Let’s play a game… #GameOn #WinMoney #PlayFree #VideoStar

Let’s play a game.
This #justforfun video on FaceBook sparked some debate over The Real Janna Hill. Some say I am an imposter. Maybe I am 😉
Post a video clip IN THE FACEBOOK COMMENTS SECTION below my hot mess crazy recording declaring YOU are The Real Janna and amuse me. e.g .  “I am the real Janna Hill….”
If you have trouble posting on the Facebook page  get a friend to help or send me your video direct and I will see that it gets posted .
I believe in #GenderEquality so men — feel free to have a go at it.

There is no limit on entries.

Have fun. 😀
Oh and [drum roll] The video with the most likes/reactions wins a $50 gift card of your choice.  Encourage your friends to like your video. Game ends May 31st 2018

P.S. Use #TheRealJannaHill for easy tracking.

#GameOn #WinMoney #PlayFree #VideoStar

There Is No Place Like Home

Can’t you just see Dorothy clicking her heels? There is no place like home. There is no place like home…

I’m sorry, that’s as funny as this post is going to get.

There is no place like home. Most people would agree with that. Some would even tell you there are places far worse than home. Those are the places we avoid, the places we fear. The places we sometimes absolutely refuse to abide… But sometimes we’re forced into such places.

As most know I recently returned from holiday and as everyone knows (or anyone that’s ever left home for more than 12 hours) things stack up.

I was sorting through an endless list of digital solicitations when I came across an article. This article was not a solicitation; it’s a magazine I actually subscribe to. The article was written back in November and titled Patients Have the Right to Choose Death From Bedsores by Art Caplan from the division of medical ethics at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.

(If you don’t subscribe to Medscape you can see most of it here or here)

I won’t bore you with the legalities or the medical jargon but the point made was this: a person’s right to die has far-reaching effects. That in itself is not anything new but the method in which the man chose to die was essentially unheard of.  The article did not delve into the gory details of dying by decubitus but more of how one person’s decision might affect those around them. Their right to die and how that right might disrupt the well-being of people indirectly related to them.

To die from bedsores – to choose to die from bedsores strikes me as a horrendous way of exiting this life yet I must respect that person’s right as much as I would anyone’s refusal of life-prolonging measures.

Much controversy and upheaval came about due to this man’s decision. He simply refused to be turned. The poor gentleman was cautioned regarding the onset and side effects of decubitus ulcers – essentially that pressure sores would develop, his flesh would rot, infection would set in and death would be slow, malodorous and uncomfortable to say the least. Being of sound mind he declared this his fate. You see the gentleman could no longer live in his own home after suffering a series of debilitating strokes and thus decided not to live at all.

The sad thing about his choice was not only how it affected him but everyone else in the hospital. For five weeks (that’s how long it took) it is said that the odor grew stronger as he grew weaker. The room in which he stayed was treated as isolation not due to contagions but to contain the stench as much as possible.

He had one daughter.

It is not my intention to judge or point fingers, this man was of sound mind, an opinion substantiated by professional reports. I don’t intend to weigh in on the family dynamics other than to express my sympathies. I’m not up for debating Kevorkian issues, to each his own and let your conscience be your guide. So what is this post about? I’m not really sure except to possibly bring light to the reality that our decisions reach far beyond the tips of our fingers and our own demise… and the fact that there is no place like home.

It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

I wish I hadn’t drank all of those margaritas on the beach the night before….  I wish I hadn’t downed so many Dos Equis on the bus ride but OMG it took like ninety hours to get there and a margarita hangover leaves a person very thirsty.

December 21st of 2012. I don’t recall that date being mentioned in 1995 when we toured the ancient grounds of Chichen Itza. I suppose it was irrelevant with Y2K looming in the not so distant future. Maybe the guide did make mention and I missed it because I was passed out resting half way up the pyramid. That of course would not have happened if he’d sent the Sherpa I requested.

I don’t think the tour guide liked me despite my best efforts to build a rapport.

“Parlez-vous français?” I had asked. “Oui- petit.” He responded. That exhausted my french so I gave him a slap on the back and said, “Well jolly good for you old chap.” He snarled and started his rehearsed dialogue for the small crowd.

Everyone listened in awe as he pointed at the cracked engravings and bits of broken symbols, skirting over the fissures and holes filled with smooth stones. I am not a hieroglyphics expert but I could see large gaps of information were missing from the story. Laying my linguistic talents aside and in my most authentic voice I gently interrupted, “Sir? Pardon me? With so much of the picture missing how can you be sure of that interpretation?” but like a well-trained telemarketer he pressed forward with the history lesson he’d been taught.

“Escuzzie  moi señor? Ooday ooyay hablas ingles?” I asked. Initially he ignored me but after repeating the inquiry eight times I got his undivided attention and readied my next question as he turned to face me. “Are there any little Mayan peoples left? Perhaps you have an oral history -”

“NO!” he snapped before slowly raising the corner of his mouth to reveal sharp decaying teeth. I have to admit it was a bit creepy staring down the rusty tines of this human tiller so I spat, “Fine! I’ll just look at the rocks and make up my own story.”

After silent hours of wandering aimlessly research (silent unless you count the noise of the Quetzal) the only conclusion I came away with was this: We are not an advanced generation; not in 1995 and not now. We assume way too much and despite all of our technical gadgets, we are idiots.

So December 21st is only days away and I sit staring at 17 year old photographs wondering, Where is my fanny pack and that intelligent archeological tourist hat that hubby was wearing? Where on earth did I get those outrageous shorts and what will I get the children for Christmas? All the while one line from a song I can’t remember loops in my frontal lobe. ‘It’s the end of the world as we know & it and I feel fine.’ I think that’s REM. They may have been ahead of their time and we may be out of it. Any naysayers, doomsdayer’s or opinions on the subject? Personally – if I can pinch my own flesh I’m not falling for it.

Waiting

I honestly didn’t know who this man was (I’m sheltered like that) until Sara’s post exposed him here on WordPress. No, I do not live in a cave though I have often wished I did.

The thing that moved me other than his world renown photography is that Steve McCurry’s Simple Act of Waiting  told in pictures is [chillingly] what I imagined when I wrote Waiting. I seriously got goosebumps.

If you’re like me (sheltered and horrible with names) or you are lucky enough to live in a cave, that doesn’t matter – I know you will recognize his photos when you see them. Who could forget the eyes of the Afghan girl starring out from the cover of National Geographic? Who would want to?

Waiting

For hopes that hung on a chicken bones
For hearts that lived in chains
For pods of green that died unknown
While waiting for the rain

For dreams left bare on empty prayer
For souls that wished in vain
For tears unshared in mute despair
While waiting for a change

For you and I and all mankind
For worlds where peace was slain
For faith and mind no man can bind
We wait and wait again

Poem first published in Interior Verse © 2012. Republished 2018 in Getting Me Back

A Pilgrim’s Prayer

Technically it’s a holiday marking the feast given in thanks by the Puritans aka Pilgrims.

I didn’t really know any of those Pilgrims but I did see a few John Wayne movies. John knew a pilgrim when he saw one. He seemed to know a lot of pilgrims.

Okay, he may have been using the term in a different sense but I propose we are all pilgrims, each one of us on a journey of sorts looking for something. Be it a quest for self-confirmation, for truth, a cure, enrichment, comfort, a friend, a lover, a job, a meal or a place to lay our weary head at the end of another day.

Life is a journey, or at least it should be. I’d hate to think any of us were just flailing through the experience killing time on this giant floating gumball.

We all have one destination though we may travel many roads in getting there. Hopefully we will choose well, but probably not. When we do take a wrong turn [and we will from time to time] I pray that we have enough sense and humility to stop and ask for directions. Sense to know good from evil and who to trust. Humility to admit we took a wrong turn.

So here’s wishing all of you pilgrims a Happy Thanksgiving and may we all, whatever road we’re on, take the time to look ahead, pause and bow our head in thanks.

My personal prayer:
Thank you Father, The Creator of all things, for this day and all it holds. Thank you for the days past and Father forgive me for my wrong turns. Thank you for the day to come and guide me to make better choices. Thank you for all the persons in my life and the ones who read this prayer. And Thank You Father for the beacon that lights my way.
In Jesus name. Amen.

How Autumn Came To Be & Where Baby Scarecrows Come From

They Always Come on Sunday (Alzheimers Awareness Month)

I always enjoyed Sundays, especially Sunday dinner. My grandmother was an excellent cook and she would rise early on the Sabbath to prepare a lavish meal fit for a wedding. As I recall it was after a delicious meal of chicken casserole, fresh cut green beans and scalloped potatoes that Edward Fry proposed to me. Edward’s father owned half of Cherokee county, the mill and the lumberyard. I remember Grandma was initially thrilled and credited her Italian Cream cake as the irresistible bait. My memory fails me as to why we argued later and she refused to give me the recipe. Whatever it was it didn’t hamper my love of Sundays.

Friends and family would stop by after church or after fishing all day, one seemed as restful as the other. They knew me and I knew everyone in the community.

That is not the case now. People visit but it’s not the same. I hardly know these visitors. I have seen a few of them before but I haven’t a clue to what their names are and I am a bit suspicious of their intentions. They are just faces, acquaintances, people I presumably know though I do not recall precisely how we met. A few of the faces gathering are not familiar at all.  They smile and let on like they know me personally; like we’ve shared more than a cordial conversation or a hot cup of coffee. I find their behavior to be crass and much too assuming. They try too hard; with all of their grinning and nodding and batting their bloodshot eyes at me. It’s a ploy to seem sincere.  They impose and pester me with niceties and the constant can I get you something as if this was the wake of a dead man and I was the widow.

Darrell (that’s what he calls himself) sits down beside me and pats me on the leg. When he’s not touching me he’s cooing and awing like I’m a goddamn baby. I try not to speak to him because it only encourages his vulgar behavior. He must be a hundred years old. The flesh beneath his eyes hangs in folds of blue and purple. One would think the puffiness would plump up those dark circles but it doesn’t. I stare at his hand when he lets it rest on my thigh. It looks like a gardening fork draped with crepe paper and it’s cold. He makes me nervous. I move my leg away from him but he insists on petting me. He reaches toward my face, not in a hurried way which is good. I am faster than him and watch his eyes tear up when I land the second slap against his loose jaw. “You nasty son of a-” Before I can hit him again one of the faces catches my wrist and yells “Mother!” Darrell assures her it’s okay but the woman holding my hand argues, “No, it is NOT okay.” I can tell she is upset as she firmly nestles my hand into my lap. I don’t know her very well but when I look into her eyes I feel it’s safe to trust her. Eyes are the mirror to the soul, I heard that somewhere once.

The sun is shining, casting a light midway across the quilted tulip bedspread. That is a sure indicator that it is past 10 AM. Usually when the rays peek over the headboard I am sitting upright with a cup of coffee half consumed and watching… what is the name of that morning show… Oh well, It doesn’t matter.

“Would you like your egg scrambled or poached?” he asks. I cannot see his face but I know the voice and my heart smiles.

“Scrambled please.” I purr, in my best seductive voice. I love Saturdays. Darrell lets me sleep in and serves me breakfast in bed. I know after the last bite of toast he will kiss the crumbs from my lips and we will make love. I unbutton my gown in anticipation.

“The kids will be coming for dinner.” he says, his voice coming closer. I sit up, smooth my hair and lick my lips. “Charlotte is home for Winter break, she will be coming too.”

“Who is Charlotte?”

“David’s daughter.” he replies. I can’t see his face yet but I sense the change in his tone, cracking slightly over the tinkling of cup against saucer.

“And who is David? Do I know him?”

“He’s your son Beth. Our son.” He says and softly sets the tray across my lap. How is it he has aged so bitterly?

“We have a son named David?… David? Oh yes I remember sweet little Davy. He made me a jewelry box last Christmas… a cigar box covered in dry pasta and painted gold. What did I do with that box? Davy is my baby.”

“He is not a baby anymore Beth.”

“I know that silly!” I tell him as I pick at the ugly lumps of yellow lying before me. “Liz, Liz is the baby now.” Liz, the woman with the eyes I can trust.

“Eat up. Liz and Ron are bringing your favorite dessert and you know you can’t have sweets on an empty stomach.”

“Liz is my daughter; she makes the best Italian Cream cake.” I’m not sure why I said that but it makes him happy.

“Yes sweetie, yes, yes, yes.” Pecking out kisses on my forehead like a starving rooster, he hoovers over the bed smiling. Amidst the rays of sunshine he looks like an angel, a weary angel. His once beautiful face is lined with worry and too many sleepless nights.

“They always come on Sunday.” More words from my mouth, their origin a mystery.

“Yes, yes they do.”

Some days the birds are the only things I understand. The context of their chirps doesn’t change much. Words, warping and twisting themselves into a rope, strangle me. English is a foreign language, a dialect that seems barely recognizable, one I must strain at to recall. Each sentence is a puzzle and I search to find the words that fit… their place, their meaning. Signs and gestures, imported expressions and faces that that fade with the sun – I suppose they are more amicable than the demons at sundown.

I know that one day I will awake and find me gone, forever lost in that void of timeless confusion surrounded by strangers I once loved. Each day is like the next, a never ending procession of things I cannot explain in a world I do not understand.  With one transitory exception, they always come on Sunday.

Dedicated on behalf of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month November 2012 by Janna Hill