Friday, November 30, 2012

January First

A Child’s Descent into Madness and Her Father’s Struggle to Save Her

By Michael Schofield

This is the true account of a child tormented by mental illness. It is written with the intensity and emotion that only a parent can feel.

From infancy, Janni had conflicts that other children did not seem to have. She was more connected to her imaginary friends than other children. She was absorbed in a world she called Calalini. As time went on, it became apparent that these were, in fact hallucinations.

Janni’s parents, unable to help her, sought counsel and medical advice. Ultimately, they were forced to obtain psychiatric intervention. They needed help, but also answers and a direction to resolving Janni’s problems.

January became a hazard to herself and her parents; she also became a serious hazard to her baby brother. They could not allow Janni near him for fear that his crying would send her into a rage. Her many problems were tearing the family apart. However, her parents would not give up on the family, or on January.

At the tender age of six, January was finally diagnosed with Schizophrenia. With this diagnosis, her parents were finally able to begin to understand Janni, and to help her.

This is a very emotionally charged account of mental illness and its effects on a very young child, as well as her family. Both heartbreaking and brave, it is a compelling read.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I am Home Sweet Home. I have seen much, learned much, and have much to share...just as soon as I get organized! I am still catching up on things around here. I don't think I will ever catch up on blogging that I missed. 

The Sprint Hot Spot I had did not work, sadly. I did not have Internet access 98% of the time. I spent hours trying to get a connection, to no avail. On Thanksgiving, I spent over three hours trying to get a connection; I was in tears. It was very upsetting. Next time I will have to look at other options, and am open to suggestions.

Since I cannot possibly "catch up", I am moving forward. I have many reviews to post, I have stories and pictures from my Road Trip with Bill. I have memes that I will be rejoining. Please be patient, and rest assured that I will be doing my best to get back on track.

The Girls (Maggie P., Grizelda & Chloe Jo) are fine. My longtime friend & neighbour, Cathy, did great with them, as always. We got home just in time for Grizelda & Chloe Jo's 2nd birthday!

Living Bill's trucking life for a month was incredible. I don't know how he does it. He is amazing, and exceptional at what he does. It literally is a 24/7 job, when he is in that truck. I respect him even more than I already did, for what he does. Everything you eat, use, and purchase got into your hands because of a trucker! It is truckers who get your product to the stores and to you. Many are like Bill, hard working, dedicated people trying to do a good job and contribute to society in a positive way.

I will be writing and posting again. My books are in the process of being released, as well. They are finally ready! I will let you know when they are available! By the way, Cathy is the illustrator of my children's book. (Watch for the release post!)

I appreciate each of you, your support of me, my blog, and of Bill. Thank you again.  

Ella the Pink Elephant

Her Life, Love and Fame

By Doris Rueger

As a young elephant, Ella was a star in one of the world's largest zoos. She was dressed in beautiful pink garments and outfits. She was admired by all who saw her. People would come from all over just to see her.

As she grew older, Ella grew tired. Eventually, she was retired to a zoo where she could rest in peace and quiet. However, for the first time in her life, Ella saw herself as she now was: old and grey.

Ella now had to find ways to be happy within herself as she had become. Looking back, she had fond memories; now she had to make new memories to make her happy.

This is a wonderful book of learning to accept oneself, and to be happy with where you have been, where you are going, and ultimately who you are.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cruisin' with Carrie #6

Carrie at The Slow-Dripped Life has been asking questions for several weeks. She is doing this as part of a travel contest. Personally, I joined in because I like Carrie and her blog. Please visit her; you will see what I mean! 

Let me thank Carrie for doing this contest. Also, thank you Carrie for your patience in my slow blogging responses. It is very different blogging from an 18-wheeler. Sometimes I have no connection, the hours are long, hard, and there is no routine! I have much to say when I get home. For now, Carrie's question...this week, Carrie asked what we think of the blurring of Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas. This issue has bothered me for many years. 

As a child and young adult, I looked forward to each Halloween and participated in it appropriately. There were decorations, pumpkins becoming jack-o-lanterns, costumes, and trick or treating. When it was over, we celebrated "All Saints" and "All Souls". The celebration of our loved ones who had passed over. 

Then we looked forward to Thanksgiving. We gathered together. We decorated, cooked, baked, ate, watched the parades and football. We gave thanks, as we became more conscious of each other and our blessings.  We appreciated what we had, and we shared with those who didn't have as much as we did. When Thanksgiving was over, we were ready for Advent.

As a Christian, Christmas is very important to me. We decorated, continued to count our blessings as we shared with others. We made ourselves and our home ready for the birth of Christ. It was (is) a very special birthday celebration. It is the foundation of the Christian religion.

I think each holiday is a progression leading up to this special day. Those who celebrate Christmas should understand what I mean. It wasn't always like this. If we put Christ back in Christmas, there would be no blurring of these holidays. 


There comes a time
we must withdraw,
to retreat within ourselves,
protecting that which is hidden
within our heart and soul.
Painful debt, paid by
our own blood and tears,
an unseen burden
too great a risk, a price
we cannot pay.
We seek peace, safety
in familiar solace,
ultimately owing only
                   ~McGuffy Ann Morris~

Shared with Poets United, March 2013

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cruisin' with Carrie #5

Carrie at The Slow-Dripped Life is having a travel contest. This is "Week 5". Each week a question is posed and it is our task to answer the question. The question this week was asked by Ken-inatractor . 

The question is: "Have you ever been on a trip or vacation that while things appeared to be going badly, something happened that changed your mind, from worst trip ever to, meh....this wasn't so bad?"

Considering the trip I am on now, traveling in an 18- wheeler, living in it 24/7, I could go with this...but there is a particular vacation that comes to mind. We used to go to a NASCAR race every year, in Michigan. It was an annual, planned event. However. one year it started off quite badly.

We traveled by Bill's Durango, which was a perfect vehicle for such an outing. We would drive to the race track very early, in order to get a good parking place. then we would sleep in the car until the track opened. If you have ever been to a NASCAR race, you know what I mean. If you have not been to one, talk to me before you go.

It was the very first day of vacation. We were going up to our seats, which were very high in the stands, just off of the start/finish line. As I turned to go up the main sets of steps, my knee went out. There was an audible "pop", in spite of the noise of the racetrack. The searing, excruciating pain was almost unbearable. 

Bill was already in our seats. When he turned to sit down, he saw me way down near the bottom of the stands. I was literally hanging onto the rail, crawling up the steps. I got up to my seat, as he was struggling to get to me to find out what was wrong. Sobbing, I explained that something was very wrong with my knee. I explained what had happened, and that the pain was excruciating.

"Let's go! We need to get you to the First Aid Center, and get help." I was horrified! This was our annual NASCAR vacation! We waited all year for this! "Are you kidding me?", I exclaimed. "I got up here to my seat, I am not moving until after the race!." As long as I didn't move or put weight on it, I could deal with the pain. 

We stayed. My favourite driver for the race won that day. First Aid assisted me to our vehicle afterwards. I went to the local hospital and was put into a leg brace and given crutches. I was prescribed painkillers, also.

The next day we went back to the racetrack for the main NASCAR "Cup" event. My driver, Dale Earnhardt, Sr., came in second place that day. I got by on my crutches, with the added help of my brace and painkillers.

After race weekend, Bill was ready to take me home for some serious help for my knee. I was not about to give up our vacation. I was doing fine, and I knew when I got home that was going to be a major event in itself.

We went North, to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We had rented a fishing cabin and planned some activities UP in the Great North Woods. We did them, too. We spent our week, almost just like we planned to do. I had a little assistance, but did just fine. We had fun. 

Once home, I consulted with a couple of doctors, went for some tests, and was ultimately treated for a torn meniscus and torn cartilage in my knee. I ended up having both knees replaced years later, but it certainly didn't ruin that vacation!
Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

Bill's "Trucker Coffee"

Traveling in a big rig is very different than in a a car or even a camper. This is work, not vacation. I have had to adjust to the hectic, even chaotic trucker lifestyle. Bill has had to adjust to having me in his truck, too. I take up space with my stuff, and I tend to talk a lot...just sayin'. 

So there have been some adjustments. However, we have worked it out. In our 31+ years of marriage, we have been through a lot. This is another adventure for us, another chapter of our journey together. 

Bill cooks his/our meals in his truck. He is a great cook at home, and has this down to a science in his truck. He cooks everything from omelets to soups! He's amazing. Thankfully, every morning Bill also makes coffee in his truck. It tastes like home brewed and is wonderful! He has his own special recipe that not only wakes you up, but also has the best flavour! We take our coffee differently, so he puts our names on the cups to lessen confusion.

Well, truckers can be ornery or "snarky" under stress. They are trying to keep to other people's schedules, various shippers and receivers, making deadlines, dealing with traffic and constant construction, DOT, it has gone from "Mine" and "Yours" to this:
But, he calls me "Snarky"! Don't mess with a trucker, especially before he has had his coffee!

Thank You, U.S. Veterans

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Truth vs. Lies

the choice is easy,
sometimes it is not.
It is each person's right
to make their own choices
based upon their experience 
and their place in life.
the truth is not a choice; 
it is a responsibility.
Interpretation does not
change the reality
of Truth.
And as it is said...
"Truth will set you free."

Life is a Highway

It has been a week since my last travel update. Needless to say, a lot has happened! We have been east, west, and in between. A trucker's life is hard! It is endlessly changing, physically and emotionally challenging. Hurry up and wait! There is no routine. And there are areas where you cannot get Internet or even phone usage. It's been a wild week!

We took a load of meat from Holcomb, Kansas to Butler, Wisconsin. It was strange being so close to home. Even though we had a "Delivery Appointment", we ended up stuck there for fourteen hours! After waiting, and then the mandatory break time, we were called to do a "swap". Bill had to pick up a load from another driver who was unable to make his delivery.

We drove through the beginning edge of Hurricane Sandy, as she took over the Great Lakes area. We drove through the wee hours of the morning, sleet and high winds battering us. Bill did a great job driving in the wind, but not all truckers did. Along the corridor of I-80, east of Cleveland, we saw an overturned truck.
We had five deliveries throughout the corridor of northern Ohio! The sleet and winds did not let up, as the storm was relentless. We had some interesting experiences. Bill delivered to a few places, including the courthouse in Cleveland.
We had some problems with the trailer and had to take it in for repairs. The GPS sent us through an area that I call "Tiny Town". It was particularly difficult for a tractor-trailer! I felt like I was Alice & Bill was The Mad Hatter, as the roads got more narrow and everything seemed to be getting smaller. Finally we were able to find another route and get the trailer fixed, to finish the deliveries.

Leaving the Cleveland area, still in the storm, we encountered another rolled truck. This one was a driver with the company Bill works for. This is very frightening to see, and a reminder to be aware of road conditions. Please give truckers room.

We were routed back west in Ohio to pick up a load of soup. Two miles from the shipper, it was cancelled. We then spent a couple of hours arguing with the GPS, trying to find a truck route into a cold storage plant in Defiance, Ohio. (Interesting name, considering.) We picked up a load of chicken and turkey when we finally found a truck route into the facility.

We traveled across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri on the way to Oklahoma.


Indiana Pumpkin Farm  



After delivering to Pryor, Oklahoma, we had to pick up another meat load in Dodge City, Kansas. The flies are incredible in cow country. Fighting them in the truck is reminiscent of "Beetlejuice", the movie.

Today we are in Kansas, still. We swapped the meat load to another driver, as Bill's tractor was due for maintenance and some repairs. He also is taking fall classes and updating permits. He was also given a random drug test. We have no idea what is next, but I'll keep you posted.

It takes a certain, special kind of person to be a good trucker, like Bill. Seeing him do what he does and experiencing it with him is definitely different for me. I am blessed to experience this and that he wants me to.

Poppy and the Stranger

By Eli Jay

Poppy is a wandering balloon. There is a series of books about his adventures and many lessons that he learns. 

In this book, Poppy meets a stranger in the dark of night. Afraid, he tries to escape through the forest. There he meets several creatures who try to help him. It is one new friend, a bear who finally helps Poppy to understand his fears.

Easy to read and identify with, children will enjoy Poppy and his adventures.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cruisin' with Carrie #4

For her travel contest, Carrie at The Slow-Dripped Life has asked us to share an embarrassing experience. Wow. The first one that came to my mind is one that still makes me laugh.

Twenty-five years ago, I was pulling my car into our garage. The entrance to the garage had a slight slope to it. Halfway into the garage,I put the car into park, so I could move the lawnmower. When I turned back to get into the car, I realized that the car was rolling out of the garage and backward down the driveway! Apparently my old car had slipped out of gear.

I chased after the car, trying to get back into it! I had to stop it before it rolled into the street. I noticed a neighbor, who was a fireman, standing and watching the whole fiasco. The car continued to roll...out into the street, and across into our neighbour, Ed's yard. It finally came to a stop, after rolling through his split-rail fence and destroying it! I was mortified!

As I was getting into my car, The fireman asked if he could help. I politely told him, "No. I can handle it from here!" I was shocked that he watched the whole thing.

I parked my car in the garage and immediately went to talk to Ed, the owner of the now demolished fence. I offered to pay for a new fence, telling him that I was so sorry and mortified by what had happened.

Ed burst into laughter, telling me he hated that fence. He now would be able to replace it with bushes. His wife had fought him for years on the fence vs. bushes issue and now he would get his way. I offered to pay for the bushes, but he would not allow it, thanking me for the "favour".
Google image

The Intruder

I was home alone with my siblings; they were in the other room playing. As the middle child, I tend to be independent. I spend a lot of time alone. Our parents were out somewhere.

Suddenly, there was a commotion. Someone was coming in the front door. This is unusual, as my parents usually come in the back door. Then I heard a voice talking to my siblings; it was not them! Something was not right! I immediately froze with fear.

Footsteps were coming down the hall towards my bedroom. Quickly, I crawled under the bed. The voice was calling to me. Hopefully, they would not find me and leave. My siblings were nowhere to be seen; I hoped they were okay. I was shaking with fear!

I could see the person’s feet at the foot of the bed, and they then got down on the floor. They were reaching under the bed! I scooted up as close to the wall as I could, hopefully they would not find me.

They began to talk to me and dropped a handful of something onto the floor. As it scattered, I could see it was my treats! I realized this was my cat sitter!

Feeling cautious, but relieved, I ate the treats. I was still fearful. I wanted my parents to be home. I knew I would be okay, though.