Nothing to Celebrate on the 4th of July

How anybody could enjoy Independence Day this year after what’s been happening to erode our reproductive rights and other freedoms that were fought for and taken for granted, I have no idea.

FFS, what the hell happened to the United States of America? I’m disgusted.

The Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade

What an absolutely horrible headline. I fear dark days ahead.

Our rights, including reproductive rights, are being rapidly eroded. Soon, contraception will be regulated, and possibly marriage.

It’s simple. Stay out of my uterus. You do you. If you don’t want to have an abortion, then DON’T do it, but no one has the right to police my body. Or any woman’s body.

I know it sounds crazy, but I believe this is the direction our stupid country is headed.

It’s all so depressing and disgusting, I can’t even think about it without getting too upset.

Final thoughts…

Land Rape in Carlsbad

I can see this area called Marja Acres from my backyard and it’s several blocks away, but even so, I watch and hear this land rape on a daily basis, and it makes me feel sad and angry.

It’s one of the very last pieces of land around here that hadn’t yet been violated by earth movers and concrete and plundered by developers who don’t care about anything except making money for themselves. They tore down a couple of nurseries, a little old fashioned store, and a couple of other businesses that had been here for decades, coexisting peacefully amongst the native flora and fauna.

Here’s what the plan is, to build a strip mall and way too many homes without any consideration for the existing community so negatively impacted by yet another ugly and unnecessary development.

We fought against it, of course; to no avail, as usual.

Even more sadly for me, there was no thought nor consideration for the creatures that lived here: coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, possums, birds of prey, AND RATS. They’ve all been displaced and this is where our RAT infestation emanates from.

I swear, this city continually never fails to disgust me.

Johnny WINS! He Told the World and We Believed Him #JusticeforJohnnyDepp

Today is June 1, World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day.

This winning verdict for Johnny Depp is a win for those who have truly been abused and for those who have ever been falsely accused.

For the past two months I’ve diligently followed the Johnny Depp trial. In case you don’t know, he sued his former wife (of fifteen months) for defamation regarding false claims of intimate partner violence.

Today’s the day!
The verdict has been read and Johnny Depp was awarded $8,350,000.00.

No matter what happens, I did get here and I did tell the truth and I have spoken up for what I’ve been carrying on my back, reluctantly, for six years.”

There was never a question in my mind that he was the victim and she was the abuser.

Johnny said it best, “When there is an injustice against you or someone you love or someone you believe in, stand up, don’t sit down on them because they need you. No one should accept anything, but the truth, to express your truth.”

For those people who think the internet turned against #amberturd, this is my opinion. The “internet” didn’t turn on her. Those who have actually suffered intimate partner violence and other REAL abuse from a toxic person recognized the signs of someone who was lying and we took umbrage against someone who falsely accused a man of abuse. We seek JUSTICE for the real victim. In this case, it’s Johnny Depp.

I don’t really like to even say her name. She brought it on herself. She’s made a mockery of domestic abuse survivors as well as our legal system.

Like Johnny said, Never Fear Truth.

Attorneys are meant to be our sword and shield, our gatekeeper and protector, and that’s exactly what we saw from Camille Vasquez to Wayne Dennison to Ben Chew and Johnny’s entire team. Ethical, honest, brilliant lawyering, with respect and love for their client.

#AmberHeardDeservesPrison is trending because she manipulated and abused the #MeToo movement with malice and the sole intention to ruin #JohnnyDepp. Hopefully, she will be convicted of perjury and face a prison sentence.

Finally! #JusticeForJohnnyDepp

From Blissful Butterflies to Bans Off Our Bodies

I did a lot of “B” things today all before noon, which leaves me the rest of the day to enjoy in the garden.

First of all, I went to a butterfly festival. I mean, how could I NOT, right?

It was the North County Monarch Butterfly Festival in San Marcos, which isn’t too terribly far from me, but it’s inland and since we’re having a heatwave, I thought I’d go early. It was 95 degrees at 10:00 a.m. That’s HOT!

The North County Monarch Butterfly Festival featured butterfly-inspired art, crafts, clothing, gardening, live music, and food. I really wish the kids were here because it was the perfect fun and educational event for children.

Here’s what the event website had to say: The fate of the iconic Western monarch butterfly is tied inextricably to the health of the planet, and that means our fate as human beings is informed by the same forces that impact the monarchs. Simply put, if monarch butterflies thrive, so do we, along with all of the other inhabitants of the monarch universe; conversely, if the monarchs can’t thrive in this universe, then human beings can’t either.

This event – hopefully the first of many – will feature any and all aspects of the monarch universe, from monarch-inspired arts and crafts to jewelry, clothing, biology, pollinator gardening, milkweed and nectar plant propagation and cultivating, to discussions and presentations on a wide range of subjects, from conservation and migration to habitat restoration and creation, from diseases and predators to native plants vs tropical, from children’s activities to seed exchange.

I held a snake too, from the San Diego Herpetological Society, the same organization that helped me identify that Great Basin lizard that visited for a while last year. I’m not 100% sure what snakes and lizards have to do with butterflies, but me and all the other children loved it. The snake’s name is Matt. Isn’t he handsome?

All kinds of milkweed; I purchased the native variety. I also got a variety of milkweed called Hairy Balls, again, how could I NOT? Gomphocarpus physocarpus, commonly known as hairy balls, is a species of milkweed native to southeast Africa, but it has been widely naturalized. It is often used as an ornamental plant.

Yummy smelling soaps and lip balms. Lovely!

After that I drove back to the coast where it was noticeably cooler and stopped by the Bans Off Our Bodies rally gathering at our local train station. I was happy to see an awesome and exuberant crowd of like-minded folks while I took a few photos.

Bans Off Our Bodies

Blocks and blocks of people all the way to the beach! This is in front of Spin Records.

I like to take photos of the signs, all with their permission, by the way.

A little butterfly bliss and a show of support for reproductive rights sounds like a great day to me, don’t you agree? Time to plant that milkweed!

Oops, Mercury’s in Retrograde Again!

Mercury is doing its retrograde thing from May 10 to June 2.

This is so weird. My newish computer — a generous gift from the kids — suddenly locked me out.

Nothing I tried seemed to work so I called Apple and an extremely patient person helped me for more than an hour to go through the steps to recover access. None of the usual fixes seemed to work for him and he was stymied too, as there didn’t seem to be a mechanical or software reason to explain this glitch.

Finally, as he mirrored my device (with my permission), we were able to unlock the password protections.

It’s all fixed now, thank goodness, but I checked, and sure enough, Mercury is in retrograde which MIGHT explain how and why it happened.

FYI: this is a good time to back up all of your technology! It’s common to have files go missing, technology crashes, or software malfunctions during this time. Better safe than sorry, right?

Oasis in a Sea of Ugly

Statement of fact: I don’t like the look of my “village”.

It resembles a village as much as WalMart resembles a Chanel boutique.

Oasis (plural: oases) An oasis is a location with water in a desert, or figuratively can be a happy place surrounded by sadness, which is exactly what I discovered today.

In the almost forty years I’ve lived here, local elected officials (90% of whom I’ve consistently voted against) have destroyed any and all coastal personality by tearing down most of the original buildings and erecting sharp cornered ugly institutional-looking boxes.

Have I mentioned that it’s ONE BLOCK from the beach? You’d never know it, though. It makes me angry. They could have done so much better and it’s as if the designers and architects made a conscious effort to destroy the organic relationship we have with the sand and the Pacific ocean. It’s mindboggling, it truly is.

Because of that, I normally stay away from going there and when visitors come, we go to the beach but don’t hang around or patronize the stores or restaurants. It’s depressing.

However, I actually discovered a couple of gems, two little oases wedged between hulking sad monstrosities; a sanctuary.

I’ve been searching for a birthday gift for DIL and we share a common love of crystals and gems. I heard of a place off the beaten path downtown and thought I’d stop by. I didn’t have high hopes though, but was more than pleasantly surprised by The Village Rock Shop on State Street.

From the moment I walked in, I was surrounded by positive energy and a huge array of rocks and gifts. For DIL, I found an Angel Aura Tower. Doesn’t that sound mystical and intriguing? It’s formed as a result of the alchemical process that bonds platinum and silver, sometimes gold, into pure quartz. It is the perfect gift for anyone who seeks guidance and inspiration from the angels. This magical stone is a powerful aid in getting in touch with celestial beings, exactly right for a mom of two, haha.

Directly next door is another shop I recommend: Wild Gold Gift Shop. It’s beyond adorable. Check out their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wild_gold_shop/ I spoke with the husband of the owner, Kim Keenan, and he said they were still working on the website, so I can’t link to it right now.

If you’re in the Carlsbad area and as disappointed as I am about what it looks like, please take the time to travel a few blocks away from the ugliness and visit these two shops. You’ll be happy you did!

Your purchases from these independent, local stores support not only the owners of the shop but also local artists and artisans.

And finally, hurry before they’re torn down and displaced to make way for more hideous, repulsive, unsightly boxes.

Mother’s Day and Reproductive Rights Walk Hand in Hand

The real world has a sneaky way of intruding on my enchanted life. It’s so annoying.

Seriously, are we really doing this again?

Although in retrospect, I think Mother’s Day is the perfect time to stand on my soapbox and SCREAM to the world.

Mother’s Day isn’t always all about flowers and cards, although it’s nice to be appreciated for our neverending love.

MOTHER takes on new context in this fresh wave of assaults on our reproductive rights.

I don’t particularly care for the word “abortion” even though I’m one million percent pro-choice, because I think that every single right we fought long and hard for is being horrifically and systematically eroded in real time.

Do you know what’s been happening in some of our states? No rights for rape victims. No rights for children who get pregnant as a result of being raped by a family member. What’s next? No birth control, no credit cards, and then rescind the right to vote?

More new repressive and regressive reality:

Eleven-year-old girls are now old enough to…

Legally marry!
—YES, Tennessee HB 233

Be charged with homicide for an abortion!
—YES, Louisiana HB 813

Can learn about racism?
—NO, 31 states pass bills to ban dialogue on racism.

More insanity…the American Taliban now wants to pass legislation in ‘red states’ that will require women to pass a ‘negative’ pregnancy test in order to leave their home states.

Beto O’Rourke said that abortion laws are about “power and control over women” and he’s one hundred percent right.

I’ve shared this before. My mom was a registered nurse who practiced way before Roe versus Wade. Abortions were illegal but that didn’t STOP women from having them; what it did was drive women to back room practitioners or resort to self harm. My mom was on the front lines day after day and this is what she told me about working in a hospital before legal abortions: one infection after another, one hysterectomy after another, one D&C after another, one death after another — women who bled to death, hemorrhaging so profusely with blood loss so severe, no one could stop it.

This is the reality of life before Roe versus Wade in 1973.

Those were some of the reasons why she was an early and fervent supporter of reproductive rights. A majority of those women would have survived if abortion had been legalized at the time.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I CHOSE to have my son. He was planned and loved well before there was even a fertilized egg. However, if I had chosen NOT to have him for ANY reason at all, that also is MY CHOICE. Without government interference and without any religion or man telling me what I can and can’t do with my body. MY CHOICE. My rights.

Probably the most chilling thing about all this is horrible Amy Coney Barrett and Samuel Alito wrote in their leaked opinion that we don’t “need” abortion: “domestic supply of infants for adoption” is their justification for taking away our right to our own body.

This is a real life dystopian Handmaid’s Tale. Basically, they’re attempting to turn us into baby making factories for child trafficking.

My friend Nancy Sinatra (yes, THAT Nancy Sinatra) says, “You know, I’ve been thinking, I don’t want a man, any man, telling me what to do or not do with my body, It’s none of his damn business. Period. I would never tell you what to do with your body so leave mine alone. My body has sovereignty. It’s my temple, not yours so back off!”

From Bruce Miller, Creator/Executive Producer of “The Handmaid’s Tale”
“I’m not sure I can ask actors or crew members to travel and work in a state where an ectopic pregnancy would sentence my employee to death.

Codify Roe v Wade. Once and for all, stay out of my uterus. Organize and march.

Most of all, VOTE.

And Happy Mother’s Day!

Johnny Depp: When Misandry + Intimate Partner Violence + Defamation Collide

From Jada Pinkett Smith’s puppetmastering of Will Smith which led to the Academy Awards slap heard ’round the world, to Johnny Depp’s failed relationship with Amber Heard, the term misandry is now in our lexicon.

If misogynist is the word we use to describe a woman-hater, the correct word for a man-hater is a misandrist. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, misandry is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against men or boys. Misandry can manifest itself in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of men, violence against men, and sexual objectification of men. The belief in a matriarchal structure like this is the true ideology for those who wish to completely switch the power structure. http://www.aiesecus.org

I knew of people and situations like this, but never before had specific terminology to clearly define these particular patterns of behaviors.

I’ve known of toxic women who have falsely accused their partners of rape and assault. I’ve witnessed the damage it wrought: emotional, psychological, and financial.

It does a total disservice to those real and true victims — any gender — of intimate partner abuse; it damages their credibility and believability.

For those of you who aren’t my regular readers, I’m nobody special. I’m nothing more and nothing less than a mom and a grandma. I have one son and two grandchildren.

I’m not a medical or mental health professional, but my opinion from my own observations, is that misandry, narcissism, and other Cluster B personality disorders go hand in hand.

I knew I wanted to opine on Johnny Depp, but I wasn’t sure when I would post it. I think now that his case-in-chief concluded, it’s the right time.

Have you been following this trial?

Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard has given us a glimpse of what it’s like to try and prove (or disprove) intimate partner violence in court.

He claims that her false abuse allegations defamed him and caused him financial damages, ruining his entire career; especially the loss of acting as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and other films.

In a recorded conversation presented as evidence, Amber was heard taunting him, “Tell the world, Johnny, tell them, Johnny Depp — I, Johnny Depp, a man, I’m a victim too of domestic violence” and challenging him to “see how many people believe or side with you.”

And that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Johnny Depp has sacrificed his money, his ego, and his privacy to show the world what domestic violence looks like behind closed doors. #mentoo

Tragically, what this trial shows us is that a man must go above and beyond to prove he’s been abused — simply because he is a man. Amber Heard only had to SAY the words and many believed her. Johnny Depp has had to expose every personal and painful detail of his life to just get the world to listen.

Asked by his attorney what he lost, he replied, “I lost nothing less than everything.” I will live with that for the rest of my life because of the allegations,”  “No matter the outcome of this trial, I’ve already lost. I lost when these allegations were made cause they will stay with me forever. My life is ruined forever”.

Because of his courage, millions of survivors no longer need to feel alone and unheard.

In my eyes, he’s a hero.

Dr.Shannon Curry provided a court ordered psychological evaluation of Amber Heard. She reviewed audio recordings, videos, photograph, and witness testimonies to result in a dual diagnosis of Borderline Personality disorder and Histrionic personality disorder.

Here’s a link to excellent clear and concise information about personality disorders: Abuse in the Media: The Johnny Depp Case

I am proud of Johnny Depp for standing in his own truth with authenticity and vulnerability in the face of raw testimony that included getting a part of his finger cut off, Amber defecating in his bed, cigarettes put out on his face, being punched, and cans thrown at him.

From @Sophie_Choudry So happy #JohnnyDepp is speaking up! Someone very dear to me has suffered years being married to an abusive narcissist. His biggest fear was that being a man, people wouldn’t believe him. Praying this case changes that & people recognise Men get abused too!

No matter what the jury decides, I believe that Amber Heard is the abuser and Johnny Depp was her victim.

I’m #TeamJohnnyDepp #JusticeforJohnnyDepp

I See You. Eye Health. Seriously.

Every year I have a checkup with a specialist because I had a torn retina in my left eye in 2014 and a vitreous fluid issue in 2016 in my other eye that so far hasn’t deteriorated. (Knock on wood.)

I thought I had previously written a post about this medical condition but I couldn’t find it which is odd yet timely because I have my annual appointment on Friday to check my retinas. I don’t like ambiguity and their high tech equipment calms my anxiety.

I was told that my severe myopia was the leading cause of my retinal tear. I also believe that the crazy stress I endured because of my son’s life threatening medical condition and subsequent emergency surgery contributed to the tear, but I can’t find any facts to back up my theory. However, we know stress can do crazy things to our body, right?

In my case, I knew what it was the exact moment I saw the white flashes (Photopsia) that didn’t disappear if my eyes were open or closed. A family member was an ophthalmologist and I had worked for him during high school and college thinking I might like to go to med school, but I didn’t really want to spend another decade cooped up in classrooms. And then there was my nemesis, organic chemistry…

I called my eye doctor after hours to explain what I saw; he told me to come in at 7am the following morning, no appointment needed, and by the end of the day I had been referred to and had already been seen by a specialist who confirmed that it was a retinal tear. Laser surgery was scheduled for the next day.

My advice is not to delay seeking medical attention when you see flashes.

I won’t lie; the laser repair is the most painful procedure I’ve ever endured, worse than my C-section when the anesthetic wore off as my OB was suturing me (REALLY) and worse than a poorly done root canal. It was like a thousand sharp knives were stabbing my brain. Some people just feel a dull ache/discomfort and they’re the lucky ones.

The bright lights leave you blind for a brief period after it’s all done. For the first 72 hours after the surgery, you can’t read ANYTHING, no computer, nothing –because the eye has to stay stable and not track back and forth in order for the laser treatment to fully seal the tear. I had to sit up and could only watch TV. My friend brought books on tape to listen to, which was great. Yoga and weight lifting and jumping and pushups and plank were prohibited for about a month to reduce any pressure and inhibit healing. That drove me crazy too, but I still limit my downward dogs because I don’t like how it feels when I keep my head down. I’m scared it’s going to happen again.

As painful as it was, I’d prefer that to the repair options for a total detachment which can take place in a hospital and can involve a gas bubble insertion and/or a scleral buckle. You must hold your head in a certain position for several days to keep the bubble in the right spot.

According to the National Library of Medicine, the risk of developing a retinal detachment is five or six times greater in people with high myopia compared to those with low myopia. People with high myopia have longer eyes (axial elongation), which means that the retina is more stretched and therefore prone to peripheral retinal tears. High myopia is said to occur when a person’s myopia progresses until they need −5 diopters or more of spherical correction.

A retinal tear can lead to fluid and blood collecting in the eye, which can cause the development of several new floaters and loss of vision if the tear leads to a retinal detachment.

The retina is the thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye on the inside. Located near the optic nerve, the retina’s purpose is to receive light and then send pictures to the brain of what the eye sees.

If the retina is unable to receive and process light, the brain won’t receive information. One condition that can stop this communication between the retina and the brain is a retinal detachment, which can result from a retinal tear.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of a retinal tear include flashes in the eye and visible spots called floaters. Retinal tears can develop and progress quickly, which may lead to retinal detachment.

The most common signs and symptoms of retinal tears include:

  • Sudden appearance of floaters.
  • Black spots in field of vision.
  • Flashes of light.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Darker/dimmer vision.
  • Loss of peripheral vision.

Retinal detachments and retinal tears

Those seemingly harmless “floaters” and “flashes” in your vision can indicate serious trouble. “Floaters” are tiny black specks that you may occasionally see floating in your line of vision.

What causes floaters and flashers?

As we age, the gel-like fluid in our eyes (called vitreous fluid) begins to liquefy and pull away from our retina. As vitreous gel changes it can pull on our retina enough to cause a retinal tear or detachment.

Having a few long-standing floaters in your vision is normal. However, if you notice flashes or an increase in floaters — or if you see a curtain or shaded area in your side vision — these can indicate serious eye disease and the need for immediate treatment. Left untreated, retinal tears and detachments can lead to permanent blindness. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are critical. In fact, vision loss could have been prevented or minimized by early detection in 50% of all medical cases involving blindness.

Please take your eye health seriously!