Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Good communication is essential for every relationship. It was nice that some Members of Congress sat next to each other during the State of the Union 2011 speech, but as you know, the United States Congress has not been communicating very well for several years and the entire population suffers as a result.

In an effort to improve communication, it is proposed that:

Only elected members of the US 112th Congress (sworn in January 2011) would be permitted to volunteer their time to work on the home within the "Beltway." Habitat is a trustworthy charity and would provide a neutral location for members to get to know each other. It would be required for half the volunteers to be "liberal" and half "conservative" during each shift, example: 10 volunteers needed so 5 would be Democrat and 5 would be Republican. Independent party (Tea Party)-unaffiliated members of Congress would join the political party that they vote with the majority of the time. Technically, conservatives currently outnumber liberals so one extra Republican per shift would be permitted.

No cameras, microphones or cell phones would be allowed on the site. The goal is to construct a home for a deserving family and build personal relationships in Congress. Donations to the project would be anonymous, as to avoid corporate sponsorship or influence from lobbyists. The goal is to complete construction before they get busy with the next election.

Each Senator and Representative would assist for several shifts (the exact number depends upon the specific house). If they were physically unable to help due to an injury or physical condition, would serve their shift in the hospitality tent and serve coffee and snacks to the workers. If they are unable to assist with hospitality, they could send their Chief of Staff (no other exemptions are permitted). The Caucus Office of each party could schedule shifts with DC Habitat office. Building a home takes several months so there is ample opportunity to schedule a shift.

Members are not permitted to take on extra shifts or substitute for someone. The point of this effort is to create a shared experience for ALL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. It won’t work if only a few folks participate. Many members have already helped at homes in their local district or even in DC but the 112th Congress effort is unique. Perhaps they will get along better if they hammer nails along side of each other. Habitat for Humanity of Washington, DC has already indicated a willingness to do this project. To learn about their organization, visit for more information.

Post a comment and let me know what you think of this idea.
(c) 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Front paws down on the ground, tail lofty, and wiggle the hoisted butt. Lots of rolling around on the ground and urgent need for a tummy rub. Yowling for 5-10 minutes at a time. Ah, the non-joy of feline ovulation. Tillie has experienced her first “heat.”

She was acting a bit odd for a few days and then progressed to profound annoyance for three days. Tillie is about eight and a half months old but since she has some Norwegian Forest Cat heritage I thought that her ovulation would be delayed (NorFors mature more slowly than other breeds). I plan to have her reproductive organs removed but need to delay until the weather gets warmer. She could travel safely to the veterinarian but I don’t want to bring home a post-op cat in a cold car. No opportunity for her to get outside since all the windows are sealed for winter and I watch to make sure no cat sneaks out the door. I did notice a lot of cat prints in the snow so male cats in the neighborhood must of smelled her as I went in and out of the house.

Poor Zozo, five years old and already spayed, Tillie would get into position and shake her butt in Zozo’s face. Much to Zo’s chagrin this occurred frequently throughout the three days. She would run to me to hide her from Tillie under the blanket when I was sitting on the couch or else beg to go downstairs where Tillie isn’t permitted, yet. I am almost done with cleaning, organizing and adding insulation to the basement.

When I was a kid, our dog Toto would go into heat at least once per year. We would have to guard her against the amorous attentions of male dogs. She never got pregnant and lived to be 18 years old. I don’t remember any odd behavior except that Toto would drip an amber hued liquid from her behind and be very whiney for a few days.

Tillie’s an adolescent cat now!
© 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Reducing political rancor can only help us. Please explore the No Labels website to learn more, Democracy is about thoughtful discussion. Calling each other names and refusing to communicate are the actions of a child and immature political pundents.

We are not labels – we are people.

We care deeply about our country.

We are frustrated and concerned about the tone of politics.

We are passionate about addressing America’s challenges.

We are Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

Most importantly, we are Americans.

We believe hyper-partisanship is destroying our politics and paralyzing our ability to govern.

We may disagree on issues, but we do so with civility and mutual respect.

We believe in the vital civil center — a place where ideas are judged on their merits.

We believe that together we can make the future better and brighter — and give us what we all deserve — a government and a political system that works — one driven by shared purpose and common sense.

We believe our politics can change, so that government will work again and produce better results.

The consequences of inaction have never been greater, because the issues we face have never been more serious, more complicated, or more dangerous.

And yet, we have a crisis of governance – A crisis that compels us to work together to move America forward.

We must put our labels aside, and put the issues and what’s best for the nation first.

A promising future awaits us.

Monday, January 10, 2011


My best friend in high school was a male, Markus. Markus could not figure out why I would strike at him whenever he did not announce himself and scare me. He was gay so his touch was never sexual. My body must have remembered the sexual abuse perpetrated when I was a wee child and was protecting me on an unconscious level.

I was in my early twenties when my sibling revealed to me about the incest sexual abuse done by a step-relative. I finally understood the nightmares and skittish reaction to male touch. I went for a few counseling sessions but wasn’t impressed by the therapist (she was a newbie). About a year later I joined a sexual abuse survivors group but didn’t feel comfortable. It took another couple years before I located a gifted art therapist, Nelly, who was able to help me make some progress.

Nelly understood that because the abuse occurred before I knew words, it was difficult for me to articulate what happened. I would draw or create a mini sculpture and talk about the feelings. I had built up walls of resistance since I was an infant to protect myself from pain. I remember watching a Star Trek rerun when I was in kindergarten (my dad would turn on the tv when I got home from school when my mom wasn’t home). I learned that Spock protected himself by having no feelings and that is what I decided to emulate. I experienced limited emotions until Nelly helped me to lower some of the barriers. It took a lot of meetings with Nelly but it was worth every hour and every penny (I was able to see her at a community clinic with a lower fee).

Feelings are great but still make me rather vulnerable. I have learned to avoid my family because they make me feel extra vulnerable. No matter what I say or do my siblings will never be happy. They will never be kind or supportive of me. Unfortunately, I get reminded of this frequently. Nelly told me that it is probably because I have sought out counseling and they have not. I urged them to get help but they only reacted hatefully. I have had limited contact with my siblings and their offspring for over ten years. At times I am tempted to completely withdraw all contact and just have them communicate via a lawyer. After our parents die, that will probably be the sad case. It is a pitiful situation. They should direct their anger at Arnold, the perpetrator of the sexual abuse, not me.

Keep seeking; a good therapist is out there! (Experienced and legally licensed counselor is the best option.)
© 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I have been reading the book “Women, Food and God” it seems simplistic but is logical. Eating is more than about the food. When you consume calories and are not hungry, food is used as a tranquilizer. I know that is true for me. After I eat, I feel all warm and fuzzy – it relaxes me and I often fall asleep after eating (even when I was hungry). I don’t binge (eat a lot of food at once) but I obviously eat more than the calories that I burn resulting in excess weight. A person can be addicted to anything: alcohol, exercise, drugs of any kind, sex, etcetera.

I have many demons. Lots of bad stuff happened to me when I was a kid. I don’t blame my parents for what I am about to divulge, they didn’t know. I don’t blame my siblings because they were victims, too. I am angry with the adult relative “Daisy” who knew but didn’t protect us. I am certain that the abuser threatened Daisy but I wish that she had done something to keep us safe.

The demon of which I write is childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by a relative, Arnold (step-family member but still considered incest). I was in college when Daisy was dying. I was chatting with one sister when I mentioned that a different sister had an odd relationship with Daisy. That is when the truth came spilling out. I was shocked but had the proverbial “ah-ha” moment. It all made horrific sense. All the symptoms were there, I had even studied them in a college course but I couldn’t see it in my own family, let alone myself. Two siblings got pregnant in high school and are highly sexualized (lots of partners). Another sibling withdrew sexually and wouldn’t let anyone touch her until marriage. One sibling won’t admit that she was abused but it could be suppressed memories or she successfully fought him off. I suspect that one or more of my siblings are now addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.

I was very young when I was abused (the bastard died when I was five) and I suppressed the memories. Thankfully, I don’t have clear memories of the abuse. I remember not wanting to be alone with the bastard, especially at night. I would scream when Daisy left the room. I also remember seeing Arnold smile when I cried in pain and the pain was in my genital area. I still have nightmares and occasionally jump when a male touches me. Damn that demon Arnold. I hope that he is rotting in hell (if such a place exists). However, demons gain power when one is reacting in a negative manner. I can only control my reaction. Must not dwell in anger…

Don’t let the demons drag you down.