Suicide is painless…

…or is it?  The recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have shocked the world.  How could people with so much money, privilege and opportunities hang themselves?  That method of suicide is very hard for those who loved them to cope with.  Most of you know that I have a chronic mental illness but I have a particularly intimate knowledge of suicide.  Two of my cousins killed themselves, one by gun and the other with medication.  I lived in a village that suffered a contagion of suicide during a ‘dustbowl’ depression.  In the UK I managed a nonprofit project for people dealing with the effects of severe mental illness.  Somehow the last telephone call on Friday night always seemed desperate and you wondered if the person would survive.  Finally, I have thought so often about suicide or nihilism myself that I hope I have talked myself out of it.

The last thing that anyone needs is castigation or judgment for feeling so desperate that you no longer wish to live.  I had my first bout of depression at age 7 and then a more serious illness when I was 20.  I was young and convinced that my living conditions (with a mentally ill mother) were the only contributing factor.  In a future life, I would get a job that didn’t stress me and marry a man who would look after me.  Never did find the former but I did marry my husband who loved me so much that divorce was never an option in his eyes.  Over the years, we both learned that I had a life-long illness that I had unfortunately inherited (why not money, for goodness sake?).

I can’t claim to know Kate or Anthony but from all reports, they were kind, loving, quirky, charismatic humans who had inner, mostly hidden, pain.  I hesitate to use the word demons because it is so generic and unfair.  When I was working in the field of mental health I would give talks to student nurses and social workers with one of my volunteers who had schizophrenia.  Despite all of them nursing or caring for people with severe mental illnesses, they struggled to empathize.  You truly do need to walk a mile in a person’s shoes to know their angst.  What surprised the students the most is that we were articulate, funny, knowledgeable and well-educated.  They rarely had an opportunity to see the hospitalized person after they had recovered from that breakdown so this was an eye-opening opportunity.  We don’t usually recover from a chronic diagnosis – we just manage our illness to the best of our ability.

So let’s talk about suicide.  One of my clients had a very severe mental illness, most likely one of the bipolar illnesses.  Every time he had a psychotic break, delusional and manic, he recovered in hospital but a little part of him died inside.  To make it worse, he didn’t react well to the medication.  Every day he would see a relative, walking the main street, who also had the inherited illness but had retreated into homelessness.  It was as if he were looking in miserable mirror.  He talked to us so many times about his sense of hopelessness.  There were other clients who could bounce back much better.  It was as though our Fairy Godmother gifted us with self-deprecating humor, a sprinkling of fairy dust and charm to balance what ‘Malificent’ gave us.  One day he called the office, having escaped from a locked psychiatric unit, and said goodbye to me.  I knew immediately what was going to happen and called the authorities.  In the weeks following I comforted his family and friends but they found his body in a wooded glade, having taken his life.  Normally, I would feel just deep sadness and regret.  In his case I understood his pain and the relief he sought.

CNN had an expert talking about a contagion of suicide which is an excellent way to reference this.  Was Anthony inspired by Kate or was it just some awful coincidence?  I mentioned living in a village with this contagion earlier.  It was a farming community and the crops had failed for the third year in a row, leaving many of the farmers with huge debts.  It had a knock on effect for other workers such as painters, electricians and plumbers whose invoices were ignored.  One farmer, who I knew, shot himself.  The plumber hanged himself in the garage a few days before Christmas and it continued.  I completely understood – these people had lived in this area for generations.  What would they do if they had to leave their farms and businesses?  For some of them it was unthinkable to live in a nearby town in rented housing when they had always lived on the land of their forefathers, in gentle silence.  Our community was grief stricken and all of us took some blame.  Did we not say hello one day or be over critical about some work?  One wife could not forgive her husband for the manner of his death.  All I could hear was “How could they do that to their family”, “Selfishness”, “Other people manage without money”.  No one kills themselves without feeling such anguish that life no longer seems feasible.  The very nature of mental illness is that it makes you selfish and sometimes narcissistic but that is a symptom not a personality defect.  Not everyone who takes their own life is mentally ill but surely in that moment it’s moot.

So, why do we think about suicide?  I can only talk about my own experience and it doesn’t really make any sense.  Having volunteered all my adult life, I know all too well about the resilience of the human spirit.  People can lose everything, be imprisoned in a concentration camp or tortured and still live a long, happy life.  Last week I had three long days of work and an event.  I managed the work and enjoyed it but I had to leave the event with an anxiety attack.  I stayed in bed for four days with my mood going up and down.  Thoughts of hopelessness and failure were flitting through my head just as quickly as writing a story about fairies.  People with psychoses sometimes hear voices that can be disturbing.  Their illness makes them unable to perceive that these are just delusional thoughts created by the psychosis.  I know what my thoughts are but can’t control them.  On the outside, I just look haunted but with so much psychotherapy, I can switch up my mood in a second so that I can manage an interaction.

Getting older, in my case, is making my illness more difficult to manage.  I suspect the natural drop in estrogen is contributing.  With the help of my doctor, I have been changing drugs, combinations and strength.  Right now it is difficult for me to do the other things that help such as eating well, no alcohol and exercise.  Here is an example of one of my thoughts. “Whales are being found with lots of plastic in their stomachs” “Perhaps if I cooked from scratch I could avert this” “That’s not possible but perhaps I could just eat bananas and avocadoes?” “Life isn’t worth living anymore; do I have enough air miles to go to Switzerland for assisted suicide” “What about Teddy and Toffee – I can’t leave them”.  At the end of these thoughts, which go on for hours, I am utterly exhausted.

Two days ago I felt exactly like that but today I went out to lunch with my friend and we had a genuinely lovely time.  I have gone for a walk, cleaned the house and have been asked to do a really fun job next week.  The job will exhaust me but the accomplishment will help my mood.  Now I can anticipate a good weekend, living for the moment.  There is not much likelihood of a cure or completely successful treatment for me.  When I think objectively, I realize that life is full of beautiful moments and I try my best to avoid stressing myself.  During all of this, I feel so sorry for those people who do take their own lives but pity whatever drove them to it.  I hope that this post might help someone who is considering suicide or those who have lost someone.

If you feel desperate please share your feelings with someone you trust or reach out to –

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

“We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.”

1-800-273-8255

What is this?

A mystery…

Those strange markings in a circular pattern; flying saucers or just saucers?  Did a small alien land in my garden?  No…just a very fussy feral kitty called Katniss who decided that she doesn’t like gourmet chicken with tomatoes.  I fed her first and then went in to tend to Toffee who was wailing because Katniss was fed first.  I glanced out afterwards to check on Katniss and she was standing staring at me through the window.  Her dish was missing too, so I went out to see what had happened.

She stared at me with her little round green eyes and I started laughing when I saw that she had covered (the very expensive) food with stones and dirt.  “Would you prefer something else, Princess?” “Yes, please, strange human mummy”  She deigned to eat the crunch but was silently condemning me for my poor grocery shopping.

I suppose she looks rather well fed and spoiled for a feral.  She has a strange psychic ability over me and I can sense she has arrived in the garden waiting for food, even when I can’t see her.  My car noise is immediately identifiable and that often brings her running.  Toffee often knows when her Dad is turning into the street before he arrives at the house.  Animals have amazing sixth senses.

I caught a cold this week, just a regular snuffly nose one, but it turned my brain to jelly.  During a phone call I could not remember my home telephone number which I have had for 14 years.  My recent travel photos are waiting for me to turn into a Postcard from Kerry but they will have to wait until my brain recovers.

My heart goes out to our neighbors at Santa Fe, Texas with another school shooting by a disturbed young man whose father’s guns were available.  They should be locked in a gun case.

My heart glows to see Prince Harry marry a biracial American.  As Teddy knows, all the smart guys marry one of those…❤

I am sleeping with a senior citizen…

Celebrating Teddy’s 60th birthday at a rooftop hotel in Mobile, Alabama

…and he snores too. Teddy and I rarely travel together because of our elderly cat but made a special effort to go to a new place for his 60th birthday.  When we married he was 24 years old and I can’t figure out how all this time has passed.  Teddy went ahead of me and I arrived at Mobile Regional Airport on his birthday.  He picked me up in a rental car and we went straight across the fabulous Mobile Bay causeway .  Sometimes water that close to a roadway scares me but this was just sublime.  We started looking for brown historical sites signs and starting learning the fascinating history of Mobile.

View from the original settlement of Blakely near Mobile. The city of Mobile is in the far distance.

This whole city, named Blakely, was abandoned after an epidemic of yellow fever in the 1800s and everyone moved to the new settlement of Mobile on the other side of the vast bay.  Five rivers create a delta into the bay.  From our busy metropolis, this was absolute bliss – very few people and polite drivers.  We went to lunch at an Oyster place with a great view across the delta.  After two glasses of wine I decided ‘we’ would drive to just over the border of Alabama into Florida.  It was wonderful.  Teddy and Bunny decided that there was no reason to change the habits of a lifetime and had a spat about which direction we should be going in…  There was no cell phone service deep in the country and the GPS stopped working.  By the time we had dinner in the rooftop restaurant of our hotel, all was bliss in Teddy and Bunny land. 🐻 🐰

Many more posts of a place less traveled and some funny stories.

Rose Gold

Rose gold hair

A miracle happened!  I colored my hair a new shade of rose gold and it turned out the same as the picture on the box.  Then I went to my hairdresser who cut it rather sharply with a cute little quiff.  It is my husband’s 60th birthday next weekend so I wanted to have a nice haircut to celebrate with him.  I am still in shock that I will be married to a 60 year old man – whaaaaaatt!!!!

He still looks cute though…

My two beautiful girls

TOFFEE

This is the inside Princesa – Toffee.  It is hard to get a good shot of her because she is a darkly colored Tabby (mixed with Egyptian Mau).  In reality, her markings and fur are exquisite.  She has the typical saggy beige fluffy tummy of a Mau and little fluffy Hobbit feet to protect her from the desert heat.  We rescued her as a kitten in Cairo but at age 15, I still can’t pick her up.  For years she hardly spoke but since the other two Egyptian cats died she has not shut up…  She talks about everything with precise vocalizations.  “Thank you” for lunch sounds very different from “Clean up my poo stat!”  Although she and Katniss have never met face to face, Toffee chats to her through the open window.  In some Disney world they would be sleeping together but they are both little ferals, happy in their own worlds.  She hunts sunbeams around the house even though I keep the temperature at 76 degrees or above.  I move Nana’s orange and brown rug about so that her old bones are comfortable in the sunbeam.

KATNISS

This is the outside Princesa – Katniss.  I rudely call her Fatniss because she is a voracious but slow eater.  She is probably about 3 or 4, maybe neutered by the local cat people and I think she belongs to me now?  At the moment I was writing this, I ‘knew’ that she was outside, so I interrupted this post to feed her with newly clean dishes.  The raccoons have been playing with the dishes again and I had to hunt for them around the garden.  From time to time, Katniss rolls in the garden and I get to see her lovely white tummy with a black belt (in Karate?)  She has a lovely mixture of black and pink toes, usually immaculate despite living outside.  She also talks – do they get it from me??  Katniss has a tiny little voice and chats while I feed her.  Sometimes the tone is terse when it is cold or wet.  She also hisses when she is happy – I think she is just trying all her vocalizations.

They make me happy. ❤

The Bed

Her bed was an object of degradation. It reeked of alcohol and sweat. Too drunk to make it the bathroom, the bed was stained with urine. Sometimes it smelled of sex and the repugnant odor of her boyfriend. He hated my looks of disgust and barbed comments. It was all too easy for him to look past the sad eyes of a 15 year old girl whose life was falling apart. Mental illness and self-medication had turned her home into a hovel. There was no safe haven.

She had transmogrified from a caring, beautiful, working single mother into a burden for the only person she always loved – me. We went from fairy stories about my missing Prince of a father – handsome but troubled – to the drunken ravings of a mad woman. What made it worse is the ravings were true. My father had asked her to abort the unwanted fetus, me, and if she hadn’t had me her life may have been so much better.

My heart broke into crystalline pieces like a shattered fairy castle. The truth was there and I just chose not to see it. Perhaps I never needed to know all the intimate details of how my father betrayed us. One revelation was that an American relative wanted to adopt me but my mother refused to consider such a possibility. I longed for Aunt Jackie to rescue me but by this stage we were no longer in contact.

Sometimes I reacted with kindness to my mother’s sad life but mostly I became remote with sarcastic comments. After a neighbor asked me to take her home, she was drunk and incapable of walking the few hundred yards, I shoved her into the wall of the house in frustration. She just sobbed and asked me to forgive her. I could not.

In anger I looked at the bed and tore the filthy bedding from it. I recoiled when I realized that it was soaked in urine. Lifting up the mattress to see if it was as bad on the other side, I saw that she had torn open the lining of the bottom divan and it was filled with dozens of mostly empty bottles of whisky. My temper flared and I started pouring the remaining whisky down the bathroom sink to the sound of her plaintive sobbing. She knew that I had been checking to see how many bottles she was drinking. At her worst it was a bottle of whisky a day.

Venom

Black Widow Spider

I decided to create my blog on WordPress because I thought there might be less negativity than other forms of social media. For the most part it has been a perfect way to express myself in words and pictures. Twice in two weeks, however, I have received comments that were both negative and unpleasant. The first time I decided to call out the racist, Racists come in every color, but the second comment I deleted. Despite my initial common sense reaction, deep down I felt hurt, low and discouraged.

Many times I have sympathized with fellow bloggers, truly hurt, when someone has made a nasty comment. Why do people do this? It is a free press but kindness and etiquette should still come first even if you vociferously disagree with another post. Occasionally I sigh when a new follower has very different political view or set of morals but I can still appreciate them.

This particular comment was in response referred to my post Courtship by an Angel which was very quickly followed by My True Valentine – a testament of my love for my husband. You can read the post about Angel but here is a quick summary: On my recent trip to Mexico I hired a local driver, about 37, married with children. At the end of our time together, he started complimenting me and indicated that he might like to cheat with me. NOTHING HAPPENED nor did I do anything to encourage him. I was utterly complimented by a much younger man desiring me.

The comment was from a regular follower (no longer I assume) and I suppose that’s why it is so upsetting.

“This is so sad and the ‘delighted giggles’ at a man willing to cheat (on his wife and children) is part of the problem and only encourages men to overstep the mark. I pray all women gain a high sense of self- esteem and not rely on compliments by anyone else to boost them. Yes, it is nice to be healthfully complimented but seriously, ladies, wise up to the deviance”

My self-esteem is low; mental illness gives me a strange form of body dysmorphia and a general insecurity about anyone liking me. As for flirting or, more accurately, being engaging – I do it with everyone and every species. Babies, old ladies, cats, dogs – they are all prey to me charming them into submission. If only it was truly that easy to have self-esteem and not rely on compliments… I suspect I hit a nerve and I truly sympathize with anyone who has been profoundly hurt with infidelity. It is not deviant behavior, though, just human.

My personal experience is that there are much worse things that can happen to a relationship. My father mentally abused my mother and abandoned both of us. As humans we find it hard to be with just one partner or the divorce rate would be lower. None of those statements, or my flirting, indicate that I endorse cheating in relationships or life. Forgiveness is a wonderful quality and I wish I were better at it. I feel that some of my followers read my blog about churches but neglect to see older posts that talk very openly about sexuality. For any new followers – I am a left wing liberal who loathes our President, guns and a stupid wall. Ironically, I can no longer have physical sexual intercourse because of a rare medical condition (which I will talk openly about in a future blog). It struck me that some of my sadness and longing for a ‘normal’ sexual life might be emanating from me like a beacon.

Let’s lighten this blog up! I was chatted up by a handsome young man in a foreign country with a different culture. For all I know my open personality and solo traveling was a signal that I might be available. The one wise thing I did was not to make him feel bad when I was alone with a strange man in the back of beyond. But as for charming…it continues. I have two older admirers in the produce department of my local supermarket. One is Hispanic and he likes that I thank him in Spanish. The other is Southern and loves my accent. Last week they were subtly fighting for my attention. Southern Gentleman, with some teeth missing, won the battle and we started chatting. I laughingly said, “I can’t be the only lady with a foreign accent in here”. He deftly responded, “But you are unique…” I walked off with a spring in my step and as far as I know neither of them intend to leave their wives for me. It would be a waste of time because my preference is a full set of teeth and a tad younger. 🐆

My True Valentine

I am sorry for the blurry quality of the photograph but I was laughing so much…  Despite my amorous adventure in Mexico, Courtship by an Angel…, there is only one true soul-mate for me.  Teddy!!!!  We both forgot about Valentine’s Day this year and he is currently on vacation in California.  Yes, it really is a new brush for Teddy wrapped in pink chiffon.  Many years ago Teddy made a terrible mistake and bought me a peg-bag (for hanging up washing) and a kitchen clock for Christmas.  I have always wanted to get my revenge and this week I did.  We really did need a new brush and Teddy mostly uses it to carefully clean up our utility room every morning at 5 am.  He scoops out the litter boxes, feeds Toffee and gives her medicine.  Now that is a true Valentine.

When he saw it propped in the garage, he burst out laughing, as did I, and I think that is our recipe for success.  He is romantic and silly and still looks damn good naked.  I was very shallow when I met him and fell for his six-pack and blonde hair.  After 35 years together we have had the most romantic vacations such as falling into a bed of roses in Istanbul, getting very frisky in a mirrored room in the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs but we have also helped give enemas and removed zits from awkward places.  Teddy most amuses me when he wanders around the bedroom with just a t-shirt on with his appendages sticking out the bottom.  His bottom looks amazing for his age and I like to squeeze it.

As I told Angel, my husband is really very romantic, much more so than me.  We love snuggling and spooning.  Some sexual intimacy has faded but our erotic intimacy has not.  Life changes with each decade.  We play a little game each night called hand sex where we pretend our hands are having sex.  Recently he initiated this in a restaurant and I was mortified.  No one could possibly know what we were doing but it has become our secret pleasure.

We go out for brunch every Saturday and he holds hands across the table, looking into my eyes, sometimes whispering that I am beautiful or my eyes are so blue.  We still occasionally dance in the kitchen or he has a quick feel of my boobs or bottom which results in a playful slap.  Mostly I say, “Don’t touch what you can’t afford” and go running through the house to escape his clutches.   What touches me the most is when I remind him of my mother; I had a complicated history with an alcoholic mentally ill parent.  Teddy could see through all of that to the vulnerable, naïve, beautiful soul that was hers.

BUNNY LOVES TEDDY to Pluto and back!

 

Courtship by an Angel…


I saved my most surprising tale from Merida for just before Valentine’s Day. As you know, I had a marvelous driver, Angel, who I paid to drive me all over the Yucatan. We are both naturally chatty and speaking different languages didn’t stop us. I had a Spanish/English book and he had Google Translate when we were in cell phone range. When we first met, he asked me if I wanted to travel in the front or the back. It would have been weird to have been in the back, as though he was limousine driver, so I jumped in the front.

We learned a lot about each other over two days. He showed me photos of his pretty wife and children. They had been married for 14 years and he was astonished that I had been married for 35 years (so am I…) I think he thought I was in my mid 40’s and I would have guessed he was in his late 30’s. On the first day, we chatted about my Mexican Spanish heritage and I told him about my mum and dad. He asked me if I was famous which perplexed and amused me. I think it was because I told him I was a writer and my mum was a model. As many of you now know, being a published writer doesn’t necessarily make you ‘famoso’ or wealthy.

By the second day, we had got into a good groove with our Spanglish banter. I was feeling good and I put on some mascara and lipstick. Maybe he thought it was for him? Both days I just dressed in t-shirts and leggings because the rural Yucatan areas are quite conservative. My expeditions were into potentially dusty and dirty areas, so no point in being glamorous. He was very intuitive about what I would enjoy and had asked all the right questions. Yes, I wanted to see unusual pyramids (no turistas, por favor) but I got most excited about handling an iguana and seeing fruit bats. Curiously, when I showed him my photograph of the Carpenter Woodpecker he knew immediately what it was. Perhaps he had worked in another field before driving.

I make a good traveling companion, if my health is good, and I could see that he enjoyed all the laughter. He told me that I was a really nice, funny person. There are police checkpoints all over the Yucatan and I said, “Lento, Policia!” which means ‘slowly, police!’ Angel wasn’t speeding (he was an excellent driver) but he thoroughly enjoyed my mime of what I do when I see the Texas police, braking really fast. They seem less afraid of Mexican police than we are of Texan ones…

About an hour before we returned to Merida on the second day, he told me that I was very pretty. I laughed and said, ‘Pero vieja (but old)’ “No, no” he insisted “Muy bonita”. Finally, I just accepted the compliment. Then he asked me if I liked to dance and my face lit up. Salsa is my favorite, I shared, and it is very popular in Houston. “Do you have lots of boyfriends?” “No!” I squealed, “I am married.” “Did I have lots of boyfriends before I married?” I explained that I married at age 21 but yes, I did have lots of boyfriends. Of course I did!

So, after beautifully predating courting me for 2 days he came up with the final stunning question, “¿Haces trampa?” which means do I cheat (on my husband). Another squeal of NO from me followed by delighted giggles. I have had plenty of propositions even in recent years but I was beginning to think I was getting to my ‘best before’ date. Then I explained that even though my husband was REALLY old, he was very romantic, telling me he loves me most days and that I love him.

We reached the hotel, having previously organized that he would pick me up for my early flight the third day. He ran around to open my door (please take note, Teddy) and we shook hands while Angel looked at me with big brown eyes. Just at that moment a few Europeans appeared across the road. One of the men shouted in broken English, “You should take her!” Angel didn’t understand what he was saying but I thought, “He very nearly did.”

I was a little anxious about the atmosphere on the ride to the airport the following morning, after my rejection of my suitor. He usually turned up early and I was pacing at the hotel door. Then the red car turned up and I ran out with my suitcase. A woman got out of the car – he had sent his wife!! She was really very pretty and charming. One of his little daughters was in her school uniform, for an unusual school run via the airport with a strange blond lady who spoke bad Spanish. It is not the first time that a much younger man has approached me, even when they know my age. I am complimented and fascinated. Perhaps some of the ageism has disappeared from society. Maybe a good figure and a fun personality negate the age barrier? Keep it coming, guys, because it makes me feel fantastic!

PS. Before anyone mentions hashtags, bear in mind that no boundaries were crossed. I was perfectly comfortable and he just asked me questions. As to whether he was a cheater; I am not sure. It was curious that he showed me his wife and children immediately. Perhaps I just enchanted him and he saw a once in a lifetime opportunity with a quirky white cougar who might be really good in bed….

The Teddies

Bye, bye, Teddies


In one of my posts about Hurricane Harvey, I mentioned my dilemma about my mum’s collection of Teddies. As a child, she and her siblings had very few toys. One year, when I was an adult, she shared that she had always wanted a Teddy of her own. Growing up poor, my presents to her were usually practical – clothing or money. I had a complicated relationship with my mum because of her strange mental illness (and mine) but I adored her. The Christmas after she told me about her Teddy longing, I bought her the largest Teddy in the box (which was very expensive) and put it in a huge box with lots of tissue paper. The look of delight on her face when she found the Teddy was priceless.

From then on, Teddy (my husband) and I would buy her Teddies at any opportunity and she loved every one of them. They were perfectly arranged on her immaculate lacy white bed every day. As she was approaching her death, she asked me not to give her Teddies away. My husband and I teased her relentlessly with various nefarious scenarios. Our favorite was that we would put them all in a little boat, set fire to them Viking style and send them off into the North Sea. She would be torn between laughter and tears. Anyway, my mum died suddenly at age 69 in 2002 and those dang Teddies have followed us to Africa and America. Our three Egyptian cats became very allergic to the heavy allergens in Houston (tree pollen, mold and other stuff) so the Teddies had to go into the attic.

After Hurricane Harvey hit us, I realized that this was the time to let the Teddies go. I sprayed them with anti-allergy formula and gently wiped them with anti-bacterial cloths. Then I lined the boxes with tissue paper and took them to the nearest evacuation center a few miles from my home. I knew that charities rarely accept soft toys because they may have bacteria on them but I ‘persuaded’ the volunteer that these were obviously never played with, many still had their tickets on them. For some reason, I felt happier that they were going to the Catholic Church. Surely they would treat them with reverence? To my surprise I was tearful as I left the Teddies – one last link to my mum. I am usually more pragmatic but this has been a very hard two weeks on me mentally.

Volunteering has allowed me to feel less impotent. I held the hand of a colleague who had lost everything and told him I would pray to Saint Jude. Heavens knows that we will need some prayer, magic and good will to get through the next few weeks. Please let our country stop thinking of how much this will cost and just do it. I studied economics at college and realized long ago that we could function perfectly well without money, stocks or shares. The Netherlands had a crazy period when the country was very rich when Tulips became of a form of currency. Yes, really!! If we chose to, we could share our wealth more fairly. Tears welled up when I saw a man on CNN give up the last generator that he was ready to buy to the lady behind him who needed it for her father on oxygen. I hope that the modern miracle of weather forecasting and social media allows for many lives to be saved during Hurricane Irma and then Jose. The 1900 Hurricane that hit Galveston killed more than 8,000 people. Be safe and kind. I light a virtual candle for us all.🕯️


I am plagued with migraines just now so please forgive me for not responding quickly to comments and follows.