Monday, August 19, 2013

A Woman's Right To Say No And Be Heard

There are 207,754 victims of sexual assault in the US every year. Almost half of the victims at 44% are under the age of 18. Most sexual assault victims are under the age of 30 the account for 80% of all rapes. Only 46% of those cases will ever get reported and 97% of the perpetrators will never see a day in jail. The reason for that is the female victims are made by society to feel that the sexual assault WAS ALL THEIR FAULT.

We live in a society where men are taught that women are lesser than they are. We're objects of their sexual desires so WE have the burden to protect ourselves from being raped. If WE aren't careful enough to protect ourselves, WE aren't supposed to open our mouths and report it because guys will be guys and we'll ruin their lives.

The 15 year old in Steubenville was blamed for what happened to her because she went to a party and got drunk. Nobody wanted to prosecute the 2 boys involved and when it happened, the 15 year old was treated to death threats from other teens because what happened to her was ALL HER FAULT.

Two 13 year olds found themselves in the same situation in Torrington, Connecticutt. They were visiting the guys in an apartment so what happened to them was also all their fault. They too were treated to death threats. Two more sports scholarships lost and that was more important than the violation of the girls.

Children think and act as children. That's why there are consent laws in most states. Very few people anymore seem to grasp the need for those laws. The consensus of opinion these days falls into the old "old enough to bleed, old enough to butcher" category. And we wonder why our children are no longer safe on the streets in our cities and towns.

I can't count the number of times I've heard we have a need to teach women how not to get raped. At the same time, I've watched the number of rape threats that happen online occur simply because a guy disagrees with something a woman says. We fear being raped and some men have no compunction when it comes to using that against us.

In Twitter alone hundreds of emails and tweets threatening to rape feminists and other celebrities have occurred and until recently nothing was done. Twitter prides itself on not interfering with freedom of speech. Since when are threats to rape and murder someone "freedom of speech"? Women who wish to have control over their own bodies and use birth control, have access to clinics where their needs can be addressed are being called sluts and whores. People like Wendy Davis in Texas who tried to stand up for women's reproductive rights are demeaned for doing so.

Somewhere we've blurred the line between consensual sex and sexual assault. Somehow a woman's right to control of her own body is being lost in a world where men are encouraged to exercise their sexual desires regardless of consent on the part of the female. It appears that women are to be considered to be asking for it by simply leaving the safety of their own home and daring to demand they be treated like the people we are.

We work for a living, we pay taxes. Some of us own our own homes. We vote, we're productive members of society, yet when it comes to sexual crimes perpetrated against us all our contributions are discarded on a trash heap somewhere. We're the ones with the vagina so we're the ones who need to learn how not to be raped. NO! Men need to learn when they've crossed the line, men need to learn that their desire isn't all it takes. Men need to take a seat and listen when women say NO.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Snapdragon Years

 photo draggin.gif Yeah, THAT kind of Snapdraggin'
I'm there already and I'm not old enough to retire yet. Well, almost, but that doesn't count, does it?

I was reading an article about the 9 common medications that cause chronic fatigue. Guess who takes 2 of them? And, of course, they're the first 2 medications on the list. Lisinopril and Toprol. That's a double whammy right there.

I'm not complaining, mind you, well, not much anyway. The alternative is not taking them and having a blood pressure high enough to blow out my veins. When you look at it that way, being really, really tired now and again doesn't seem quite so bad. On the other hand, when I say really, really, I really mean it.

You know those warnings on medication containers that say "Do not operate machinery unless you know how this medication will affect you."? I'm sure you don't pay any more attention to them than I do, right? Well, I have started paying attention since I found out what chronic fatigue feels like. If you've never had it before, the first episode can be frightening. You start aching all over, legs turn to jelly and you feel like the next step will find you lying on the floor. Half an hour of sleep and it's like it never happened. Except you know it did and you're scared it will happen again at the wrong time. Like when you aren't at home so you can take that nap. Hasn't happened yet, but...

The information for these medications say that these episodes are your hearts way of responding to the medications and once it gets used to it, the symptoms cease. That's a bold face lie. They never cease, you just don't have them as often. Which is perfectly fine by me because that way I don't get those not so gentle reminders that I'm getting old.
  Willie Nelson and SNOOP DOGG???? The really strange thing is that I like it. That's the part of me that's snapped. Trust me, it WILL happen to the rest of you sooner or later. Heh!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sometime You Really Get The Perfect Gift

This has been an interesting week to say the least. Last Sunday I was getting ready to face the woodpile and see how much of it I could get stacked in the shed for winter. I heard noises outside in the shed but assumed it was Hubby just coming home. When I went outside, there was Youngest and his family, plus a friend of my grandson's, stacking wood in the shed. For the first time in our history, every single block of wood is now neatly stacked in the shed and outside it. This is remarkable since we usually don't manage to get that job done until Halloween.

It took 5 people 2.5 hours to stack this stuff. That's a lot of bending over, picking up 16 inch long blocks that weigh more than I care to carry, loading them into my yard cart, pulling the cart to the shed and unloading the cart. It's a job that usually takes Hubby and myself picking away at it, a few weeks to finish. Done in a matter of hours, this early in the year. We didn't know this was going to happen so not only was it a gift for us, it was a surprise. I keep looking out the window, admiring the finished stacks. It's a gift that is still giving pleasure.

Also this week we learned what happened to Dave, the former companion to our Precious Kitteh. It's going to make life somewhat complicated in the Precious Kitteh department, but we'll work things out somehow.

I had gone up to the local store and on the way back spotted Precious at neighbor Ed's. Stopped to pick him up, he likes the short drive home sometimes. Ed and I were talking when 2 pick up trucks pulled into the driveway at the abandoned property, unloaded some Toro brush cutters and started work on the weeds that were sadly overgrown.

The last Thursday in July there had been a county tax sale so we thought possibly someone had bought the property for taxes. It wasn't until Precious started mewing excitedly and running towards one of the guys that we realized it was Dave. He's been in county jail for the past 11 months.

Essentially the problem was the adult son of the girlfriend rather than the girlfriend herself. The son is in his middle 20s, wouldn't look for a job, wouldn't help around the home. He stayed up all night playing computer games, slept all day and pretty much took whatever he wanted without giving anything back. Of course, Mom didn't think anything was wrong with that picture and when Dave objected to being used, it got nasty. Dave broke the guys nose, got hit in the head with an iron fry pan which knocked him out cold. Dave spent time in the hospital ER and he came home after that but the girlfriend and son filed charges against him so he was arrested and hauled off to jail.

Naturally he was found guilty and drew a 10 month jail sentence on the charges filed against him. He's been out awhile, but didn't have the money to move back in so he's been staying with friends. He won't have money to turn the power back on until September so I still have a second kitty, but I suspect he'd rather be with Dave. I was quite surprised at how excited he was when he saw Dave. Cats can be very unforgiving when things happen which affect their living standards. By no stretch of the imagination would I ever believe Dave is a nice guy, but he loves that cat and Precious loves him back. That was pretty obvious.

He's been around to eat every day and sometimes will spend time in the house, but as soon as he hears Dave, he's out of here like a shot. Dave is trying to fix all the damage the squatters caused to his home. There's a couple of broken windows and the door to the cabin needs replacing. In addition to the yard work he's doing, he'll be around pretty much every day until he can move in.

After he moves back in I think Precious will pretty much decide where he wants to be. I'm sure he'll choose Dave most of the time. I'm also sure he'll come by from time to time since we feed the better cat food. This will give me a chance to make sure he's armed with the flea/tick treatment I use on him. He's a free spirit and enjoys time in the woods where the ticks all hang out and I don't care to find any of those ticks in my home, or fleas. Butterscotch wouldn't like that at all. Some gifts are just better than others.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Got My Education In The School Of Hard Knocks

In October of 2010 polls indicated that 77% of Americans believed that the cost of entitlement programs would bankrupt the country. Fast forward to this morning, August 8 of 2013 and FOX is saying that 77% of Americans believe that we the people look to the government to do what we won't do for ourselves. No, I was not voluntarily listening to FOX, it was the channel my Thursday morning client had on. He's deaf, it's loud and there is no place to go except outside to get away from hearing it.

During the election campaign, when I was caring for his wife, that channel would be on the entire time I was in his house and we would wrangle a little about what was being said. Not too much since in a clients home I'm not allowed to voice my opinions on politics or religion, so I always kept it light and let him see what I thought by reading my face. Now that his wife is in a nursing home and I am there to care for him, his opinions have undergone quite a change.

The reality of just how little the government actually pays for has occurred. FOX is no longer the be all and end all source of information the way it used to be. His opinions are now formed by his life experience as mine has always been. At 86, he now knows just how much spin there is on everything FOX reports, and he's developed a liking for old movies, Matlock and Hoda and Kathy Lee.

I had an "I told you so" moment this morning. I mentioned, in passing, (lol) that he no longer watches FOX as much as he used to. He did a little spitting and sputtering about it, but his explanation actually ended with the words I've used as the title for this post. Being honest, I did allow that 77% of Americans quite likely do believe that people look to the government to do what they won't do for themselves. His response? It was, verbatim "Maybe these people need to open their eyes and see that it isn't that we won't, it's that we CAN'T."

His wife is being cared for in a nursing home which is taking every penny they had set aside over his Social Security. The plan was to sell his home and move him into an assisted living home or a Senior apartment complex in the city. He had a real estate broker come to assess the value of his home and after finding out what it would sell for, it was discovered that the nursing home, despite it's getting paid, has placed a lien on it.

He can sell his home but the proceeds must be placed in an escrow account and used to pay for his wife's care if his money runs out. This leaves him without enough money to pay for assisted living so his two daughters are paying for homecare since he doesn't qualify for any assistance from Medicaid.

They pay for a nurse to come and make sure he's taking his medications correctly. He's forgetful and doesn't always. I go for 3 hours every Thursday to help him with his shower, laundry and household tasks like changing sheets and making sure his bathrooms are clean. His daughters live down south. One in Kentucky and the other in the Carolinas. They come to see him as often as they can. They may try to take him south for the winter. I don't believe he'll go since it would mean leaving his wife of 66 years behind. They wouldn't be able to take her since she requires care that can't happen in a home setting anymore.

The problem is that no matter how much you set aside for your old age, the unforseen expenses can eat that up in a very short time. Most of my clients money was in the hands of Wall Street. He lost a great deal in 2008 when the market went south and hasn't been able to recover. The reality of life for the elderly is that the expenses one incurs keep rising and ones income stays the same.

Of course, that's not anything we'll hear from FOX news. They prefer to feed the Conservative meme that everyone, except the rich, are looking for a handout on the backs of those who worked for their money. They'll find out when it's their turn to experience the problems of old age.