prompts or not

prompt or not: lovers
AWW ~ 09/10/14


Blank paper.
Blank screen.

What has bitten your tongue Carol?
What has stifled your voice?
Why do you allow it?

Is it a phase...this avoidance of writing, especially putting out anything of depth on my blog or anywhere online?

When I publish a piece on my blog or elsewhere, I don't want to explain the piece or feel that I should explain. I don't want to necessarily engage in discourse about what I might write.

Today as I felt my inner self-doubt gremlin, I closed my eyes and lay back on my and Hubby's bed. It's a king size, tube, water bed that is in much need of a new mattress shell. The current shell slumps toward the middle, so Hubby and I usually sleep on the far ends of the mattress where it is more level, less slumpy.

Hubby is usually the first to retire in the evenings, between nine and ten o'clock. I follow between ten o'clock and midnight. I seldom close my eyes right away. I usually turn on my night stand light and read from my smart phone or from a hard copy book, or I work Sudoku puzzles from a paperback book. Lately I've opted for Sudoku over reading. When I successfully complete a Sudoku puzzle, I draw a smiley face on the top of the puzzle page.

I wonder who created Sudoku; who figures out all those different puzzles?

On July 20, for medical reasons, I started vaping marijuana. Sometime in August, I pulled out my Sudoku book thinking that playing Sudoku will help keep my mind sharp, in case the herb would try to dull my thinking and calculating capacities, not that the herb will dull my brain cells. And Sudoku may not really exercise my neurons, but it can't hurt. I enjoy playing, especially the "easy" puzzles. The number nine is a fascinating number; I think it is my favorite number. But it's not a prime number, and I like prime numbers.

Prime numbers stand alone.

Today as I felt my inner self-doubt gremlin, I lay on my bed, face toward the ceiling, my eyes closed. I focused on my heart area. Carol, can you somehow thank this self-doubt, this anxiety you feel? Thank it and ask what its purpose is?

Almost immediately, my mind's eye saw a young adolescent girl. Shivering. Alone. In the rain.

These internal images I get seem so stupid.
Quiet, Carol...just go with the image.
What would you do for a young girl, alone, in the rain...especially if it was someone you knew and loved?

I gave a coat to the young, shivering girl in my mind's eye, placing the coat around her shoulders. It was a long, dark coat, like a trench coat but not jet black. I wasn't sure as to what else to do for this young woman shivering in my heart.

The shivering was the most notable characteristic of the girl.

She wasn't shivering due to the cold; she was shivering because she was afraid.

My front doorbell rang. I continued to lay on my king size bed. Maybe it's UPS delivering a package, and they'll just go away.

I did not want to talk to anyone if I could help it.

Then I heard banging on the front door.
Knock, knock, knock!

I got up and walked across the hall into my son's bedroom, though my son doesn't permanently reside there anymore. I walked over to the window and peeked through the closed blinds looking across the front yard and out to the street where a big, white, flat bed, delivery truck was parked. There was a large box at the back of the truck. A man walked through our front yard away from our home and to the back of the truck, stopping to look at the large box, and then walked around the opposite side of the truck and climbed into the driver's seat.

Inside the house, I walked back across the hall to my bedroom. With a sigh, I strapped my black, Teva sandals onto my feet.

I walked through the upstairs hall noticing the tenderness in the soles of my feet reminding myself of my new normal. I held the banisters as I carefully descended the two sets of stairs. Once on the ground level, I walked though the den and through the office and through the laundry room and through the garage to the driveway. I walked down the driveway toward the truck. The driver was on his cell phone, talking, as he got out of the truck to meet me in the driveway.

He was delivering a mattress, and our address was written on his delivery slip. But neither Hubby nor I had ordered a mattress.

I really should buy us a new mattress soon.


Purple Ha Ha Hays

Hahaha... I can't resist.

You Now Have That Riff Stuck in Your Head
Lyrics by Matty Malaprop:


I just saw fields and fields of rolled "hays" this past Sunday. After seeing this photo, I may never look at hay bails the same again.

For any readers who may not know, along with Purple Haze being a song by Jimi Hendrix, Purple Haze is also a type of blotter acid - a psychedelic drug. It was around during the 1970s. I don't know its prevalence in this current age. I may have to look it up and add to this blog post later.

The same Sunday that I saw the "hays," I spied Jimson weed plants as I hiked through a pasture. Some had purple flowers.



Victor Barnard: "Preaching Lies" to air on "The Hunt," Sunday, August 24, 2014

On August 24, CNN will air The Hunt's episode of Preaching Lies about wanted fugitive Victor Barnard.

Two different clips from Preaching Lies:
  • "They only knew what he told them"
  • "He's [like] the anti-Christ"

  • Barnard is a former follower of The Way International and a Way Corps 14 graduate. He left The Way around 1990 and launched his own small Way spin-off group, River Road Fellowship, around 1992. (Link: VICTOR BARNARD: Timeline of a cult leader)

    Beginning in 2000, Barnard hand-picked a group of girls and young women, ages 12 to 24 years, from his congregation. The group was called "The Maidens," and was sometimes called “Alamoth,” a biblical word referencing virginity. After moving the Maidens to a camp where they would serve God as virgins, Barnard manipulated them into having sex teaching them that since Barnard was Christ, the girls would remain virgins even if they engaged in sex with Barnard. Barnard taught them that it was normal practice for men of God to get their sexual needs met by loyal followers; after all, Solomon had his concubines and Jesus had Mary Magdalene along with other women. (Link: Minister raped 'Maidens' in Minn. camp for years)

    [From at least the 1970s until around 2000, The Way had a similar inner-circle doctrine (hidden from many followers at the time) that included handpicked female followers meeting the sexual needs of certain men of God. The Way's inner-circle doctrine did not include that those men were Christ nor that the women would remain virgins. To my knowledge, most of the Way leadership who engaged in that abusive doctrine did not coerce minors.(Link: Minnesota cult leader called the girls 'brides of Christ' - and he was 'Christ')]

    In 2012, two of Barnard's victims came forward and reported what they had endured for some ten years at the hands of Barnard. They were only around 12 years old when Barnard had handpicked them and began abusing them.

    On April 11, 2014, a warrant for 59 counts of sexual misconduct was issued against Barnard.(Link: Alleged cult leader Victor Barnard charged with molesting 'Maidens')

    Barnard was possibly sighted on August 13, 2014, in Washington state. (Link: WANTED: Cult leader Victor Barnard possibly spotted in Washington)

    To report information regarding Barnard's whereabouts, please call Detective Ryan Spangler at 509-227-6644 or the Pine County, MN, tip line at 320-629-8342.

    Links to posts on toss & ripple regarding Victor Barnard:

  • Victor Barnard and River Road Fellowship
  • More thoughts regarding Victor Barnard...and influence...and The Way...and...
  • Victor Barnard: "Preaching Lies" to air on "The Hunt," Sunday, August 24, 2014

  • ***


    Sabbatical and cable car...

    Apparently, I am taking a blogging sabbatical.

    Of course, now that I have announced it...I may end up posting more entries and thus end my sabbatical.


    My son went to Santa Cruz, California, in late May/early June. He spent the summer there and will be back in North Carolina this week.

    My daughter went to California in early August for a ten-day trip.

    Son and Daughter had a meet-up in San Francisco in early August.

    I don't recall if I have posted any photos of my children on my blog but do want to share a photo now.

    I call this photo, siblings on a cable car...


    When the switch flips...and medical marijuana for North Carolina....

    I have hardly written anything since the end of June. July got off to a rough start.

    It was like a felt a flip switch on Monday, June 23...They've quit working, the epidural and injections from May 17.

    But, maybe not. I'll rest a bit and then rebound. In May, Doc said that I can't receive any more injections until August. I have to be able to make it until mid-August.

    My limbs became heavier and weaker and more painful as July approached. Hubby, as in times past, was having to help me dress and undress. But, still, I had to bathe and dress and eat and walk and drive and work and think as clearly as I was able.

    When it takes so much effort to simply be, when bathing and dressing become feats to conquer, life becomes overwhelmingly complicated. The goal is to get through the next ten minutes, the next hour, the next day. I rest a lot at those times, but the rest does not rejuvenate. It helps, yes...but the energy does not rebound.

    I have noticed, when I am fatigued and health-challenged (to put it mildly), my confidence wanes. Just push through and do one more thing; give it all you've got. But, to push through with more stamina is an impossibility. All the will power on earth cannot strengthen the ability of my physical nervous system to supply its strength to my limbs so they can properly function. It's like asking a blind person to will themselves to physically see.

    It cannot be done.

    I am still learning to accept that and to not go the extra mile...at least for now.

    There have been years upon years, when I suffered through asthma and pain and fatigue in the past, that I would watch television commercials - commercials depicting healthy people doing normal things...like walking or running or jumping or eating various foods or camping and other 'ors.' I would feel surreal at those times, knowing I lacked the ability to engage in those life activities but feeling that I must try. I must not give up.

    Again, I have experienced this same odd feeling - an observer of doing instead of being the doer. It's almost like watching a fantasy. It's not a "negative" feeling. It's simply odd, detached. I can only imagine how a paralyzed person feels when observing a similar fantasy.

    I ended up receiving another epidural in my lumbar and 7 shots in my neck on July 7, even though I wasn't supposed to be able to get them. Hopefully my insurance will cover the costs. July 8, was a full day of nausea and migraine. By Jul 14, I awoke feeling rested, finally. The relief was heavenly. I'm bicycling again and will start back on my water exercises today.

    So what now...between now and the next 6 weeks? I'll know more in 6 weeks. In the meantime, I'm on a higher dose of daily medication.

    Medical Marijuana is now legal in North Carolina for use in seizure patients. It is a start. The program isn't available yet; logistics are still being worked out. Draft rules are supposed to be issued no later than October 1st.

    If only we could flip a switch to make good change happen more quickly.

    Flipping switches causes sparks; enough sparks cause change.

    I can spark.

    Here's a link to get North Carolina House Bill 1161 on the North Carolina November, 2014, ballot: Help put medical marijuana on the ballot

    Here's a link to NC House Bill 1161: NC HB 1161 (pdf)

    From page 4 of the NC House Bill 1161:

    ...(7) "Debilitating medical condition" means any of the following:
    13 a. Cancer, gliomas, glaucoma, positive status for human
    14 immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency
    15 syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, porphyria, amyotrophic lateral
    16 sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS), Alzheimer's disease,
    17 nail-patella syndrome, fibromyalgia, severe migraines, multiple
    18 sclerosis, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, diabetes mellitus, dystonia,
    19 gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, incontinence, injury or
    20 disease to the spinal cord, spinal column, or vertebra,
    21 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), myelomalacia,
    22 osteoporosis, pruritus, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, Tourette's
    23 syndrome, or the treatment of such conditions.
    24 b. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment
    25 that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting
    26 syndrome; severe pain; severe nausea; anorexia; seizures, including
    27 those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle
    28 spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis (MS),
    29 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS), or
    30 Crohn's disease....


    A Bit About Me, II

    Following are some tidbits about me.

    • I have lived most of my life in North Carolina, USA.
    • I have also lived in Florida, Kansas, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
    • I have two siblings; I am the youngest.
    • I grew up with horses from around age 4 through age 12.
    • As I youngster, I dreamed of being a dancer, or a teacher, or a nurse, or a nun, and other ors.
    • While growing up, I often star gazed; I wanted to see a UFO and meet aliens.
    • One of my big dreams since high school has been to thru-hike the 2180-mile long Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine.
    • From age 15 into age 16, I experimented heavily with psychedelic drugs...including Jimson weed for which I was hospitalized.
    • Between the ages of 17 and into my early 20s, I hitchhiked over 5000 miles around the USA. Most of those miles were logged while I was in The Way Corps.

    • I was involved with Transcendental Mediation for over a year beginning while I was age 16. I took the Science of Creative Intelligence class. I hung Maharishi posters at high school and volunteered at the local TM Center helping with initiations.
    • After TM I became involved, at different times, with a Free Will(?) Baptist Church, the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, Ram Daas, and the Charismatic movement.
    • After graduating high school, I attended college with the aim of becoming a Christian counselor. I dropped out of college after one semester to study and serve with The Way International.
    • I received an abortion in 1978 when I was 19 years old while serving as a Word Over the World (WOW) Ambassador with The Way International.
    • I spent 28 years, from ages 18 through 46 (1977-2005), as a loyal follower of The Way International running lay fellowships for over fifteen of those years. I believed the Bible, "as originally given," was inerrant and that The Way was the "true household of God." I served as a WOW Ambassador for approximately fourteen months. I was a member of The Way Corps for over four years (including two Apprenticeship years) but never graduated.
    • Since leaving The Way in 2005, I have slowly left my biblical belief system and gravitated toward agnosticism.

    • At age 22, my health took a dive and I began developing what turned into decades of chronic illness. I have survived (among other ailments) asthma, allergic rhinitis, hives, multiple bouts of pneumonia, an over-responsive immune system, avascular hip necrosis, mercury toxicity, hormone dysfunction, depression and anxiety, herniated disc, four sinus surgeries (polypectomies), one hip replacement surgery, and one carpal tunnel surgery.
    • I currently live with peripheral neuropathy, specifically polyradiculitis, in all my limbs.

    • I have been married to my husband since 1984. We have two wonderful children who are now young adults.
    • I home-eclectic schooled my two children from birth until college.
    • I and my husband helped care for my father for over eleven years after Dad survived a head-on collision which left him to live his remaining twelve-plus years as a quadriplegic.
    • As of 2009, both my parents and all their siblings are deceased.

    • I am a 'generalist;' my interests vary, sometimes widely. My chosen "career" was a stay-at-home mom.
    • I held my first real job when I was 14 years old; I worked as a hospital dietitian aid.
    • My other jobs include or have included nurse's aid in a nursing home, hospital laundry worker, taxi-cab driver, neighborhood ice cream carter, waitress, food services, various secretarial jobs, various sales positions, potter's assistant, childcare, science center educational presenter and on-site camp-in director, preschool music teacher, miniature-art studio manager, and professional pet care.
    • As of 2014, I spend more time face-to-face with animals than with people.

    • Most of the time, my favorite colors are purple and green....or the rainbow.
    • I like salty foods more than sweets. I do not smoke. I drink alcohol in moderation.
    • I am lazy when it comes to written communication; I prefer the phone or face-to-face.
    • I have hand-written about nineteen journals since 1998. I know Gregg shorthand which I use when I journal with a pen.

    If any readers are so inclined, I'd love to read any tidbits about you. You can share them in the comments section below this blog entry.

    Thank you for visiting toss & ripple!

    Related posts:
    A Bit About Me, I
    Ode to Email
    Seeking: Life Along The Way [Part 1 of 3]
    Seeking: Life Along The Way [Part 2 of 3]
    Seeking: Life Along The Way [Part 3 of 3]
    Seeking: Life Along The Way - III John 2 ? [Addendum to Parts 1 thru 3]

    One of my life-theme songs is Tapestry by Carole King. I especially like this compilation on Youtube...


    About this blog, II

    Related post: About This Blog, I

    A friend of mine once stated that blogs are me-centric. This blog is no exception. Most, if not all, of the blog entries are snapshots of my life, of my thoughts, of my reflections.

    Life stories naturally involve other people, so other people appear in many of the entries. To protect certain identities, names and/or dates and/or places in some blog entries are changed from the actual.

    What is the purpose of this blog?
    Probably the main purpose has been and still is - to provide a venue to give voice.
    Within that, I have an avalanche of feelings and doubts and thoughts.
    What other possible purposes might this blog have?
    ...to practice writing,
    ...to step out of my comfort zone,
    ...to grow in my ability to communicate more clearly,
    ...to learn who I am and have a record of how I evolve,
    ...to become more comfortable in my own skin,
    ...to continue to discover...

    I hope to never veer onto a path where the purpose becomes to impress.

    The name toss & ripple was inspired by a poem I penned in 2007 entitled significance beneath my sandal. I believe in the ripple effect; the seemingly small actions, words, deeds, and misdeeds of one person ... matter.

    I hope that as I grow in my ability to express and to embrace authenticity, others who come across this blog are inspired in like manner.

    Thanks for visiting toss & ripple...

    significance beneath my sandal
    (penned march 31, 2007)

    one grain of rock
    trampled under
    crushed beneath
    my sandal

    no thought given
    to its suffering
    for it is
    but gravel

    yet this pebble
    tossed on water
    rippled pond
    life aroused

    one day trampled
    no thought given
    form concealed

    another day
    tossed to freedom
    bobbing shapes
    round and round

    Contact oneperson...


    Email *

    Message *