Posted by: Kathy White | November 10, 2018

Flames and Fury

First off, my heart goes out to every person suffering because of the fires in both Northern and Southern California. So many lives lost — not to mention the homes, businesses and property that are just gone!

It’s devastating and we want to help. Give to the Red Cross. SFGate.com has several stories on how best to help or donate. And don’t forget the animals. Many were left behind but still managed to survive. One friend is going to shelters all over the area and taking photos of animals to try to help them reunite with their families. I know being reunited with my Nellie would help me feel a lot better — family love.

I want to keep this positive and helpful. You can reach out to me directly if you have questions.

As for Trump busy laying blame while people are hurting so badly — and threatening to withhold federal funds — it just proves one more time what kind of man he is. We are Californians. We will endure and take care of one another. And we don’t need his negativity right now. We need love. We need to find hope in some of these small stories of endurance under this horrific conditions.

And finally — those in the thick of the battle. Thank you! When everyone is running away, you are running in to battle the flames, risking your life to save others. You are truly heroes. Let’s not forget to take care of them. They need food, water and places to rest before charging back into the battle.

Stay safe. Reach out for the help you need. We are here. Point us in a direction and we will head right there. Hugs and love from the Bay Area.

Kathy

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Posted by: Kathy White | November 1, 2018

Panic at the …

Overheard at a grocery store: “All these people claiming they have panic or some anxiety disorder, they are lying. They just need to calm down. Buddy of mine — acted like it was killing him. I call bullshit.”

This sentiment happens a lot. Often, when I discuss my panic attacks and overall anxiety — I will get the eye roll.

Good for you. I am so glad you have never experienced the terror of a panic attack or the sometimes very terrifying feeling of anxiety — just trying to walk through this world.

I do. I may not even be doing anything. I’ve had attacks in grocery stores, in my car, just walking down the street or even just talking on the phone. Every day stuff that should not cause you to feel like you cannot breathe and that, possibly, you are having a heart attack can happen — and it feels like your heart will burst out of your chest!

I have been sound asleep only to wake up and I’m already in full panic. No idea what I was dreaming. Nothing I remember. But now I’m up. Sure, there are drugs and they do help. But a lot of those drugs also make it harder to function. The cure kills the anxiety — but you’re half asleep. Not real conducive to working — particularly if your job requires laser-sharp focus.

I know it feels like a fake thing to people who don’t ever suffer from it.

I know what it feels like to me — to my nephew. There are a LOT of us. Show some respect. It may not be a part of your world, but I guarantee you somebody in your tight circle of people in this life suffers from it — maybe not in a BIG way — but that doesn’t matter. It’s real. And they may not talk about it.

Most important: Be kind. Not just for this — for all things. Tired of the hate we seem to be thriving on — even on something as simple as a panic attack.

If you suffer, a lot of resources here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/panic-attacks/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20376027.

Hugs to those who suffer. I feel you.

Posted by: Kathy White | October 29, 2018

Sleep On It

Sleeping is essential. It just is. But sometimes getting that sleep is a challenge.

Quieting the mind when you have so much spinning inside that brain — it can be tough. Yes, I want to solve the world’s problems. I want to keep people from hurting and killing each other. I would love to stop the senseless hate.

I cannot. I also cannot heal every wound.

I can control my own actions. I can take care of those I love. I can vote. I can stand up to the injustices I see. I can walk my dog.

But many nights I cannot shut off my brain. I am a worrier. I worry about my mom. I worry about my friends. I worry about my dog. I worry about money and getting a job. I worry about tomorrow.. and the day after that. Needless to say, I do not live in the moment all that well.

So, sleep does not come easy all the time. I know I am not alone in this.

I have so much to be grateful for today.

I will be be grateful for sleep, too.

Posted by: Kathy White | October 25, 2018

The Journey — One Adopted Child’s Story

This story is real. No names will be changed. No details are “fake.” This is my life.

I was born March 13, 1967. I was given up for adoption. I wasn’t able to be adopted until 1968 because they thought I had epilepsy– no.. Just a really pissed off baby.

So, I was adopted March 7, 1968 by two wonderful people. I always knew I was adopted. Always a part of my growing up and story. I was “chosen” — no weird sit-down conversation. I just always knew.

As I grew up, I knew I would eventually want to find my birth parents. I started when I was 19. California is pretty locked down on information for adopted children. I got nowhere. Later, I used the resources of Adoption Liberty Movement. Got a little more info but, still, not much to go on. After that, found a non-profit that worked with adopted kids and birth parents to help them reunite. From this, I had names. Baby Lay, Baby Nall, Baby Fleming. I was one of these. More research. Still, not getting much. I have the papers filed via the SF Social Services who handled my adoption. Redacted documents, but it still had information. Birth mom got pregnant from a man she met at work and never told him. Then left California for NC to join a mime troupe. Yes, you read that right.

So, 2018. I decided to take a DNA test via Ancestry. What the hell, right? My results came back and an immediate match came up: Randolph Lay — my cousin. OK. That matches earlier information. I email him. We figure out that, after many communications, that Mary Lay is my birth mother. His aunt.

I ask him to reach out to her (they know one another) and see if we can have some contact. I figured it would be shocking to know I found her. I didn’t want to upend her life. So… he did. He immediately was met with “don’t tell her.” Of course he did. And now I had a name, address, email.

I waited. And waited.

Then I emailed her directly. Nothing.

Few weeks later I get this anonymous card — no return address and no signature. It just says: “If you are who you say you are, there are a couple of people who may want to be in touch.” It followed with an address for Chris Nall (that other name) who lives in England. And then says “And half-sister Dana Reddick” — email address.

I falsely assumed Dana had sent the card. I sent her a long email about how excited I was she had reached out and about my life and how I hoped we could be in touch. Whoops.

Dana didn’t send the card. Birth mom had sent it. But, Dana and I started talking. And the story gets really complicated from there.

I also sent a letter to my birth father with pictures of my life.

My birth mom lied about a lot of stuff — both in the papers she did for my adoption and things with my sister. My sister had found our birth mom 15 years before I had. She hired a PI and she actually ended up meeting Mary. Dana asked her if there were other children. Mary lied. Said there was no one else.

Dana was born March 2, 1968. We are Irish twins. Mary got pregnant about 3 months after I was born. Dana was also given up for adoption — in NC. The story of how Mary ended up in NC varies. She supposedly was moving there when she relinquished me. She told Dana the only reason she was born there was that her car broke down there. Uh.

So, here we are. I got the chance to talk to my birth dad on the phone. He is a very nice man. He sent me pictures of himself and how he looked over the years, too. OMG. Yeah, no doubt he is my dad. My birth mom, when I called her on her lies and asked why — she just shut me down and wants no contact. I have 2 half brothers from my birth dad but none of that family wants to be in contact, either.

So, I found them. I know where they are and what their lives are like. They don’t want anything to do with me. Fine.

I HAVE A SISTER. Dana and I text, talk every day. I have a wonderful nephew and my brother-in-law is the bomb. I got lucky. I feel really lucky.

Love comes along in sometimes unexpected ways. No, my story is not what I hoped for or wanted with my birth parents. Every adopted child has a fantasy of how it will all go. But, I have another family. My Mom has met Dana via FaceTime. My mom is very thrilled with all of this. As am I. Dana and I are so similar and the love is so incredible for us both. It’s still weird to say Sis. I love it!

And that’s my story.

Posted by: Kathy White | October 24, 2018

Vote 2018: The Theme Remains the Same

If you look at the archives of this blog — you will see that I posted about voting in 2010. I re-read it and found that the themes are the same. First off — VOTE. Secondly, think about who and what you are voting for and about. (https://onpiano.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/why-voting-matters/)

The ideas expressed and felt then I still feel now. I won’t listen to you rant if you don’t bother to vote. It’s the one right that allows you to have a real say in your government and the things it will do with your money, with your ideals — all of it.

I do not like, support or respect our president. I think he is a pathological liar who is out to turn this country into a dictator state with him and his cronies in charge — handing out money to the rich while screwing everyone else — and I mean EVERYone else.

And the Republicans who stand by silently while he destroys our nation? Shame, shame, shame on you. First they came for everyone but rich, mostly white males — so ya think you have it good right now. One day, they will be coming for you and your children. This doesn’t just stop — unless we vote. Yes, I want a big blue wave. I doubt we will get that.

Just watching the news today, and shocked at the lengths he is going to to enrage his base about things that simply are not true. It’s frightening. This is not my country.

I will vote. I hope you will, too, even if it isn’t for my side. Voting is a sacred right and responsibility. Vote.

 

 

Posted by: Kathy White | February 23, 2012

What Women Want

A friend of mine was talking about women and how hard he thinks it is to relate sometimes. He asked me if I had the same issues. It occurred to me – because I am indeed a woman – that I might have some insight in to this.

So, here’s my take. What women want:

  • Love. All of it. Love of friends, of family and, of course, of the one true love. Love is so paramount to a woman … she gives it out without thinking but wants it back without asking.
  • Respect. And here goes the list:
    • Respect of smarts: Because, well, she is. It may not be the smarts of Einstein but every woman knows a lot about something.
    • Respect of emotions: Yes, she will cry at the end of sad movies and some AT&T commercials. No mocking. Women are more emotional because, well, my theory – women give birth. It’s a thing.
    • Respect of faith: Because she has it. In you. In herself. Maybe in a higher being but not the point. Faith is a universal feeling of “yes” … and a woman has that kind of faith, sometimes to a flaw.
    • Respect of instincts: If she says you are going the wrong way, trust me, you are. Always trust her instincts.
    • Respect of turf: She has hers, and no, it is not clearly marked. Don’t go tromping around where you don’t belong. You have your turf, too, but she knows it and tries not to trounce on it. Do the same.

    Honesty. Yeah, seems obvious. But if you aren’t honest with yourself, then you can’t be honest at all. So, be honest about who you are and be your true self around her. She will give you all that you want and more.

Posted by: Kathy White | February 3, 2011

I’m Not Dead Yet

Well, I’ve been busy. No excuse, I know. But here’s what I think about what’s going on in the world in brief, bulleted items and in no particular order:

Egypt Unrest

Get your anger on..

  • Egypt is in trouble, but I think it’ll come out okay on the other end. It’s going to take time, but when the people stand up as one, a lot can be accomplished. Wish we’d learn that here.
  • I think the Steelers will win but I really hope that the Packers do. Should be a helluva game, either way. Too bad I’ll be on a plane.
  • I hate what humans are capable of doing to other humans, particularly children. It never ceases to amaze me that somebody can do these things. What kind of mind does that take?
  • It’s friggin’ 67 out here and most of the rest of the country is buried in snow. This is why I live here. Don’t see what the rest of you see living in all that crap out there… tornadoes? Hurricanes? Snow? Forget it. Now, where are my board shorts?
  • I’m not sure who I like in the Oscar race, but my money is on The King’s Speech… history, good acting, a weakness to overcome — and we’re talking British royalty, which we love here. Done. What’s a Facebook?
  • I think Charlie Sheen is hilarious on TV. I do not find his life to be as funny.
  • I’m happy for William and Kate. I think they’ll do just fine. I feel sorry for Charles. I don’t think he’ll ever get to be the king. Poor bastard.
  • I still hate reality TV. What was up with that whole Bachelor thing and the sad, sad Idol story? Thank you EW.com
  • The rhetoric on both sides has gotten ridiculous. That’s why I like this.
  • Has Sarah Palin gone away yet? No? Damn it.

Well, that’s all there’s time for right now. But I’m sure I’ll get busy with this again .. lord knows I need somewhere to vent.

Have a good one!

Posted by: Kathy White | November 10, 2010

Up To My Ears

I’m up to my ears in work, but that’s a good thing. My ankle is recovering nicely but the physical therapy makes it hurt like hell.

But enough about me. Wait, this is my blog. So, you’ll just have to soldier on.

I’m completely dismayed by the following things:

Why we couldn’t get DADT repealed before the Republicans kill it.
Why everybody calls Pelosi and Obama failures.
Why is the shrinking middle class not causing more of a concern for everybody!
Why do a dog’s paws smell like Fritos. Go ahead, sniff one.
Why am I still so damn excited about what the Giants accomplished.

But, let’s not ponder on too many things. After all, the Raiders are on a 3-game win streak so obviously the world is titled in a whole new direction.

Happy Hump Day!

Posted by: Kathy White | November 2, 2010

Why Voting Matters

I almost always listen to people who like to rant about this, that and some other thing. But when it comes to complaining about government or policy, I always ask the same question: Did ya vote in the last election?

Not always, but more than I care to count, I get “no.” I then proceed to explain why I will now no longer listen to their rant. I will also not vote for people who can’t be bothered to vote (hello, Meg and Fiorna). A lot folks in the world don’t get any say. They live with whatever it is those in power decide. Well, we don’t. We have the power to vote people in and out of office. We have the power to vote for or against policy. We have the power to move the political conversation and make our elected leaders listen. And if all you do is bitch, I have no time for you.

It takes all of about 10 minutes to vote. Maybe it takes an hour to do the research to decide how you want to vote on the more confusing issues. It’s not a whole lot of time out of your day and life to contribute. Always the same excuse: “My vote doesn’t count. What does it matter? It’s all just bullshit anyway.” Wanna know why that may turn out to be true? Because you didn’t participate. If you keep throwing away your right to participate, someday it won’t matter — that’s true.

It won’t be an opportunity that you have at all.

Vote. Just friggin’ vote.

 

Posted by: Kathy White | October 20, 2010

Mary Jane, Pot, Weed, Ganja …

Since we in the fine state of California are voting on whether to just legalize pot or not .. I thought I’d visit the fun world of marijuana. Grab your bong and come along …

  1. Marijuana is created from the dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. — And god bless the individual who figured out how fun it was to smoke it.
  2. Marijuana is the most common illegal drug used in the United States. Approximately 100 million Americans have tried marijuana at least once, and more than 25 million have smoked it in the last year. — Really? OK. But how many of them have inhaled?
  3. According to one national survey on drug use, each day approximately 6,000 Americans try marijuana for the first time. — I just love this stat. There are 6,000 happy people today. Sweet.
  4. Worldwide, it is estimated that about 162 million adults use marijuana at least once per year, and 22.5 million use the drug daily. — That explains a lot — well, it explains a lot about the guys at Amoeba records, some of the folks at Starbucks, and most of the people on Haight St.
  5. smoking joint
    After alcohol, marijuana is the most popular drug worldwide
  6. After alcohol, marijuana is the most popular recreational or mood-altering drug used worldwide. — Trust me, if it becomes legal, alcohol doesn’t stand a chance.
  7. Just under 40% of high school students in the U.S. report using marijuana at least once in their life, and 20% report using it regularly. — How else do you survive high school?
  8. According to one report, it would take 800 joints to kill a person—but the cause of death would be carbon monoxide poisoning. — Who the hell finds this kind of stat? And who had to smoke 800 joints to figure it out? At 799, he was still ok. And then….
  9. There are over 200 slang terms for marijuana in the popular vernacular. Some of the more common nicknames include pot, grass, weed, hash, and ganja — What, no Mary Jane?
  10. The international and scientific name for marijuana is cannabis. However, the substance is most commonly called marijuana within the United States — it’s commonly also called “smoke ’em if you got ’em.”
  11. The name marijuana comes from a Mexican slang term for cannabis and is believed to have derived from the Spanish pronunciation of the names Mary and Jane. (The two names were also common Mexican military slang for a prostitute or brothel.) Marijuana came into popularity as a name for cannabis in the U.S. during the late 1800s — There’s Mary Jane!!
  12. The cannabis plant can grow in nearly any environment and averages one to two inches of growth per day and up to 18 feet total in ideal conditions — yeah, but if it hits 18 feet, the drug enforcement planes can spot ’em… better to do the heat lamps in the attic.
  13. The primary active ingredient in marijuana is THC (delta 9 tetrhydrocannabinol). It is this chemical that produces marijuana’s mind-altering effects — far out.
  14. The psychoactive side effects of THC in small doses include loss of inhibition, elation, and a distorted sense of time. The drug can also cause increased visual sensitivity and heightened imagination — and they say this is a bad thing? Eating 5 bags of Doritos is a bad thing.. and that’s a side effect.
  15. Depending upon the weather conditions, soil type, and time of harvest for a cannabis plant, as well as the specific mixture of dried leaves and flowers in the marijuana product, a sample of marijuana can contain anywhere from 3% to 20% THC. — Quick, call your drug dealer and see what he says his is.
  16. Cannabis seeds were used as a food source in China as early as 6000 B.C — Explains a lot.
  17. shen  nung
    Marijuana was first used as a medicinal drug in 2737 B.C. by Chinese emperor Shen Nung
  18. The first recorded use of marijuana as a medicinal drug occurred in 2737 B.C. by Chinese emperor Shen Nung. The emperor documented the drug’s effectiveness in treating the pains of rheumatism and gout — and now it can solve world hunger.
  19. The first law in the American colonies regarding marijuana was a 1619 law that actually required farmers to grow the hemp plant. Once harvested, hemp was useful for clothing, sails, and rope — but they never really got around to making any of that stuff.
  20. During the temperance movement of the 1890s, marijuana was commonly recommended as a substitute for alcohol. The reason for this was that use of marijuana did not lead to domestic violence while alcohol abuse did. — Yeah, stoners just can’t get all that worked up about anything. Takes to much energy. Pass the Doritos.
  21. Marijuana was first severely restricted as a recreational and medicinal drug in the U.S. by the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. The law did not prohibit marijuana use but imposed such a heavy tax that legal sale and use became nearly impossible. — Bastards!
  22. In October of 1937, Samuel Caldwell was the first U.S. citizen arrested under the Marihuana Tax Act for selling marijuana without paying the newly mandated tax. He was fined $1,000 and sentenced to four years of hard labor in Leavenworth. — Wow. What did they do to murderers?
  23. Prior to its ban, hemp was a staple cash crop of the family farm in early America. The first two drafts of the United States Declaration of Independence were written on paper made from hemp. — Luckily, nobody thought to roll it up and smoke it before it made its way in to history.
  24. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 made it illegal to possess, use, buy, sell, or cultivate marijuana in the United States. The law classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and no acceptable medical use. — Well, we know THAT isn’t true.
  25. Marijuana production and trafficking make up the world’s largest drug market and the substance can be grown in almost every country. The United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC) has data on 172 countries and territories known to grow marijuana. — Planning your next vacation? Check out these great locales.
  26. Paraguay is believed to be the world’s largest producer of marijuana — OK. Decision made.
  27. According to the UNODC, there are several countries worldwide where greater than 8% of the population are said to use marijuana. Among those countries are the United States, Canada, England, Spain, France, South Africa, and New Zealand — I’ve been to all of these countries except England. Coincidence? Yes.
  28. In 2007, nearly 900,000 arrests for marijuana violations were made in the United States. Approximately 90% of offenders charged with marijuana-related crimes were arrested for possession only. — What a friggin’ waste of money and time and jail space.
  29. grocery store
    Marijuana was easily obtained at the local grocery store or pharmacy until the early 1940s
  30. From 1850 to 1942, marijuana was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia as a useful medicine for nausea, rheumatism, and labor pains and was easily obtained at the local general store or pharmacy. — labor pains? Love it. Welcome to the world, baby.
  31. Current supporters of medical marijuana believe the drug has significant medical value for patients who suffer from AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and chronic pain. Several studies have been published to support and document this belief — and those who smoke it just feel better.
  32. In 2003, Canada became the first country in the world to offer medical marijuana to pain-suffering patients — Blame Canada!
  33. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to legally allow medical marijuana for patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation. — Yup, always ahead of the curve out here.
  34. Well, I hope that helps you make up your mind on voting day. Smoke a bowl and think it over. Cheers!

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