From Port Lavaca to Rockport-Fulton & Back

Four weeks into the aftermath of Hateful Harvey – – the hurricane from hell.

If you have ever visited/lived in the Texas Coastal Bend you know how charming it was… how charming it will be again!

Yes, Harvey wreaked havoc, destroyed homes, businesses and even lives but he did not break the spirit!

harvey landfall august 25 017
There was so much more to photograph. There were weary folks still digging through the ruble, swatting at mosquitoes and pausing to cry. The locals and volunteers shared kinship and friendship and displayed such gratitude for the simplistic things; basic items like trash bags, bug spray, and gloves – things we tend to take for granted on an average day.

Humbling.

Sorry, I did not have the heart to pick up a camera in those seconds of pained expressions amidst devastation – the ones that make for cover worthy photos. I simply lived in the moment and tried not to infringe upon their privacy or their grief.

Tuesday’s Tell-All (Erratic Black Planets)

I (like a gazillion others) watched yesterday’s solar eclipse with great enthusiasm.

I cooed as the shadows dimmed and a cool gray color spread over the landscape. The temperature even dropped a few degrees.

This is nice, I thought as I aimed my Nikon and shot.

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I am not really sure what’s in the picture but there is an entire galaxy of erratic black planets orbiting my eyeballs.

Sometimes Truth Is Stranger than Fiction

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago I worked as a nurse. Nurses Janna & Jess.jpg

My daughter (on the left) is a nurse and many of my friends and family are still working in the field of nursing.

I could write forever about the combined experiences of a nursing career. As a matter of fact a few of those experiences fueled scenes in the fictional Clan Destiny series where the main characters (Clara, Linda and Maggie) are nurses. Mary Latrull (another fictional character) likes to pretend she is a nurse and would probably be a good one except –

Oops. I veered off track.

I mention the series now because this is National Nurses Week.

Happy Nurses week comrades, family and friends!

Oh poo, let me ramble off road for a minute and we’ll make this one of Tuesday’s Tell All.

Thinking on the series: when the books stood alone, before they were renamed the Clan Destiny series and before the reviews disappeared from Amazon I had a few comments that the stories were too “far-fetched” and unbelievable.  Yeah, nurses with paranormal abilities. Ha! I’m not sorry, that is why I called it fic-shun.

A handful of people (mostly “nurses”) suggested the medical terminology and/or procedures were incorrect. I know it was wrong but I had to call those to attention. Why? Because I kept “procedural” scenes to a minimum for lay reasons and if practice or terminology has changed that much in the last few years I honestly wanted to know. But nope…

The real thing ‘said nurses’ took issue with was the (occasional) disrespect and unprofessional behavior that I portrayed.  The strange thing is those scenes were all too real. Allow me to share.

Examples:

In book one Maggie curses a bit, insults a doctor and she and Clara have a confrontation, nearly coming to blows while on duty. One ‘said nurse’ says, “#1 no nurse would talk to a doctor like that and #2 Cursing and fighting on duty like hoodlums would never happen.” Truth? It happens. Been there, done that. Nursing is a stressful profession and nurses are human, sometimes we act stupid.

In book two Mary (as a patient) leaves the hospital against medical advice without signing the proper forms.  Another ‘said nurse’ says, “A patient would not be allowed to leave without signing the necessary documents.” I laughed myself silly. Truth? I have chased more than my share of irate, deranged and determined absconders while pleading with them “just sign this and you can go.” Hospitals, clinics and care centers are not prisons; you cannot hold someone against their will and you cannot make them sign a form to c.y.[own]a. (cover your [own] a**)

In book three Maggie, Linda and Clara laugh (in private) and refer to a patient, Mr. Stenchman, as Mean-as Stinky man or Mean-ass Stinky pants. An offended ‘said nurse’ says, “You should not depict nurses in such an unprofessional and unflattering way.” Truth? Sometimes we are unprofessional and ugly and sometimes the patient is a mean-ass stinky man.

I could rattle on about sordid affairs, fist fights, missing bodies/body parts, resurrections, insurance/benefit/patient abuse, medicare fraud and more but I won’t. Not today.

Yes, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

I may write a true tell-all one day but until then I’ll keep changing the names to protect the guilty, add a little ‘what if’  and focus on the fictitious person – not the true profession.

For all of you nurses [with or without imperfections] keep being the best that you can be. Thanks for shoving your own sh*t aside for 8 to 16 hours a day and caring even when it seems like you don’t.

 Happy Nurses Week!

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A short, short story about a timeless life.

Inspired by Time and Eternity, on a topic I have often dwelt on and for whatever reason I feel compelled to share a piece written in in 2011. And congratulations to Snowak for being Freshly pressed

 A short, short story about a timeless life.

Consumed by a paralyzing and debilitating dread. Lying inert as frenzied milliseconds spark still frames with bursts of terrestrial years past.
Whirling memories so fast they pin my mind to the wall with such intense pressure I cannot even utter why or what.
And then…
Quiet… Calm… Tranquility as clean and clear as the waters of a mountain spring. A peace more pure than morning dew.
Entrancing light more than warms and welcomes me, it heals me.
All of my troubles now seem trivial, fleeting, and totally unimportant.
I am overcome by a sense of well being… an indescribable comfort that makes pain, sorrow and worry words I no longer  comprehend.
There are no strangers here, I know everyone and everyone knows me. The glowing they emit is untainted and wholesome, it is love and it nourishes my spirit.
The further I travel from this flesh and bone shell, the more peaceful and perfect I feel.
Awakened to the memory of such wonder and well being I can see the universe. Where we have all been, where we are going, together.
I am not grieved for anyone who is not here, only grateful for those present.
I want to ask questions but none of them really matter now. The few inquiries I have are answered before I can speak:
Yes, they are here. The answer is no. Time? Time has many meanings. .. All in due time.
A sudden jolt and I awake ensnared in this weak, pained, decaying carcass. More aware now of all these imperfections, though less troubled by them for they are the fate of every man to some degree.
I am made aware that the anxiety of transition will remain. As it was coming into the flesh, it will be when returning to the spirit. Much like the fear of a roller coaster one is determined to ride.
Death comes to every life and life comes from every death.
And me…. I nearly lived.

Some People Just Give It Away

Before your assumptions make a hard left in the wrong direction please know I am not talking about sex, books or money.

I may be guilty of giving away the aforementioned but this post relates to donating body fluid; lifesaving liquid. The stuff mosquitoes, bedbugs, lice and ticks take without asking.

Literally your lifeblood.

Did you know you can donate (aka sell) plasma and keep your cells? That’s right, the red and white blood cells along with the platelets are returned to you during the process and a little stipend for your trouble.

The last I heard the pay was about $30 per donation. It usually takes two hours so hey, that’s fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad for a part time job. Most facilities allow you (even encourage you) to donate twice a week. That’s like what… $60 a week… $240 a month. Shoot, during months with five weeks you could earn as much as $270!

Some people I know [honestly] supplement their income this way and then some people just give it away.

Donating a pint of whole blood is less time consuming and pays much less. The average payout for whole blood is $0.00. Yeah, that is definitely not a way to supplement your income. I personally prefer to donate, not because of time constraints but because it makes me feel better… like a philanthropist. Maybe they’ll put that in my obituary.

Yes I donated blood today, hence the reason for this post. I left the bus smiling a juice mustache smile with a package of Nutter Butter cookie bites feeling like I saved the world.

If you are a donor reach around and pat yourself on the back. You’ve saved a life or at least improved someone’s health.

Please also consider your own health and the possible side effects of frequent plasma donation.