Thursday, February 25, 2016

lint in my mind

I stood in the field as the icy artic wind nipped and tucked at my flesh, pinning it to my bones, like a macabre tailor.

Strange how single lines, float to the surface of my writers pail.

Pollywogs with there tails still attached, with a promise of maturing into great story ideas.

A tantalizing agate among the pebbles. A glimpse of gold in the pail.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

one more stone in the pond

Most deaths at work come and go. The memories slip like stones into my mental pond.

I am merely a witness, a silent presence that walks that last few steps with someone on lifes journey.

In their final days/hours I lotion and talk to them in a quiet voice as I massage their body. I comb their hair and give them the quiet dignity they so richly deserve.

I moisten their lips and clean their mouths. I wash their face, reposition them and tuck them in with a smile.

My face a peaceful mirror. I want the last face they see to be as gentle and loving as the one that greeted them when they were born.

I stand still in this life, they are the ones who have made the journey here to die with me.

I give them my full attention, humbled to have been chosen to be a part of this moment in their lives.

I hold their hands.

I give rescue meds as they are ordered.

Some one once asked me, are we killing them with the hospice meds?

No. The are called rescue meds because death can sometime be like a tremendous fall. Meds act like a parachute that deploys and eases them to the ground in comfort.

I have attended some horrible deaths.

Deaths without meds.

Deaths, that have heaved heavy stones into my mental pond, sending out ragged waves of ripples.

Thankfully those are far and few between.

A few days ago, a tiny stone got tossed in my mental pond. A death that has left me wondering why I was chosen to be the witness to it. It played out literally as if it couldn't progress without me being there. As if they had made up their minds that I was the one who would walk with them, and they waited for me.

The family wanted to be called in. So I prep the room prior. Its a small courtesy that I have always done before the loved ones view remains.

I can't ease their pain, but I can prevent any more from being added to it.

I straighten the room, clear away anything that says "hospice."  I put a fresh blanket on the bed. So its not the same one they last saw them alive in. I leave them sleeping quietly in a dimly lite room, with music playing if possible.

The families will not remember my name, my voice, my presence, or even know what I have done through out the whole process. Comfort care is between me and my resident. A gift from one human being to another.

This death though, this tiny stone sent skipping into my mental pond.

This one so different.

As I walked into the room with the family, I heard a quiet voice say...."oh look at that, they made his bed." 

...your very welcome. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your loved ones life. For trusting us with the care of someone so special to you.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Head games

It's good to be a gangsta.

(To my sister have my dark passengers coordinates. can you find it? heh.)

to everyone else....yes I have a YouTube channel now...God help us all.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

never ending parenting

I am cleaning up and publishing all the "draft blogs" in my draft folder. It was either finish and post or delete them before I could start any new ones. This is the last one. It was originally written the year I was on the generic thyroid medication and having those terrible issues. I've cleaned it up some and posting it without adding much, cause all I ended up doing with it was raising more questions. This in one of those cases in my writing where I can't finish it, because I have lost the original thought train of where it was going. Even as an unfinished work, I like where this WAS going, shame I never finished it.


We are transitioning control over to our 13 year old. Actually his whole life has been a slow process of handing him control of his own life.

Time for a lock for his bedroom door.

I’ve been raising kids and/or helping to raise kids for a long time.

I’m burnt out.

Fried crispy burnt out.

I don’t even have the strength to care that I don’t care.

Fighting my own head and thyroid/health issues is like having two over tired cranky toddlers running amok in my house that I must tend to on top of everything else.

So I took last week off from work and since the kids were in school, I used that time to relax and center myself and try to find the strength to roll into summer without bitterness or resentment of having kids needing my attention 24/7. I didn’t want a repeat of last summer. By August 2012 I just wanted to get into my truck and drive away. I stopped raising my kids and was just watching them, I might as well have just put them in day care for all the attention they got from me.

I am determined not to have that happen again. This summer I am going to try some different things to keep my stress levels down and my attention to parenting higher.

Above all I know that someday they will grow up and move out. That glimmer of a finish line and retirement from parenting is enough to keep me from bolting.

Though it’s not enough to keep me from pulling my hair out while I am in the trenches.

I have resumed playing the “eat right” police in my house and working on my son’s eating again. My batteries are recharged. For the moment.

This just the story of one parent, ½ done with one and 1/3 done with the other. They are fairly normal kids.

Well as normal as my child could be with me as their mother.

I worry about the other parents out there. Single parents, young parents and especially the parents of disabled kids.

For most of us parenting will end. The 24/7 of caring for another human being will end.

What if it never ends? How do you go about transitioning from parent to long term care giver  when child has reach the plateau of where there going to be.

What then? How do you cope with what lies beyond burnt out? How do you keep loving someone you wish would go away. How do you deal with the lack of community support?

How do you cope with the lack of understanding from your fellow man? Fellow humans have no idea of what it is like to stand in your shoes.

When loving them is not enough to curb the underlying current of dark thoughts that surge in your soul, scaring the fucking hell out of you.

***************** it ends here, unfinished. I usually don't spin these out so far unless I plan to follow up my question leads with thoughts, ideas etc. Bringing it back into balance. I wonder if that is why this one stalled and died here.

This was written in response to the mother who tried to kill herself and her autistic daughter a few years back. There are no easy answers to be had. But someone should be trying to find them.

Crack children

I drafted this story when I was single digits. Nine to be exact. Long before crack was a drug.  Long LONG before there were crack children.  So get that out of your head as you read.

I mean the true meaning of the word.

"To break without complete separation of parts"

At nine years old I didn't have the vocabulary to put this story to paper. If you thumb though my notes you will see "crack children" periodically scribbled on the margins. Every few years I would attempt to halter the story and tame it to paper.

It evaded all my attempts.

A rogue bronco I haven't been able to break. Worse than being tossed on my kester, this story begs to be written and then slams me to the ground and tattoos my back with its hooves, bites me then drags me merciouslly until I let go of the rope.

laying in the dirt thick blood oozing out my nose...muscles aching, soul crushed, ego dented...then the damn story trots past me with its neck arched and mane rippling in exquisite beauty. Its long tail flagging to the rhythmic music of its prancing hooves.

write me....write me....

I climb the fence today and scan the pasture. I whistle for it.

Like a freight train from the back the crack children comes at a thunderous gallop. Muscles rippling in the sun. It takes my breath away. The story has matured into a gorgeous mustang.

It sweeps past the fence at break neck speed, showering me with dirt chips as it accelerates past me. The motion causes my chest to rise and my heart to beat faster. I pop from the fence and walk unafraid into the grass.

I come empty handed. Older and wiser and ready to tame this story. I'm old enough finally to command the language to bow and bend to the musical rhythm that I write to.

I rise my hands and whistle for it again.

With a flip toss of its head it trots around me in a large circle. Each step it collects its self and soon is prancing in an exaggerated floating trot.

I gasp at the sheer beauty, and I feel my soul cave in and the emotions pour out. yes...I run and grab a handful of mane and pull myself onto the smooth sleek back.

I put pen to paper and write the title.

Crack Children

The ground hits my face with such a force I loose consciousness.

The painful bites to my back rouse me.

With a squeal it pivots and kicks out at my head. Hooves seeking to sever my head form my body. I duck safely away. The years of practice have saved me again.

Lurching to my feet I run and dive under the fence. I roll to a stop and shakily get to my feet.

It's at the fence, standing all squared up like a show pony.

"I will write you some day." I say.

It nods it's head then rears up and with a twist and a kick gallops off straight to the back fence. Without any effort at all it leaps the fence and disappears into the recess of my writers mind. Untamed and unbroken.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Bring it

Someday when the mood strikes me I will finish writing The Bag Man's Ball. It details the 15 years I spent working at HH. It was a time in my life of growth and discover...One I take over and over in my dreams. I have never quite been able to shake that place.

This is one of the chapter intros.

The building was like a huge ship going on some demented cruise to ports unknown with a passenger roster that had some of the most spectacular souls that defied description. The ship steamed ahead at more knots then it should be traveling at, with no one at the helm. It didn't slow down to pick up passengers, people were tossed in as we passed. Like wise no one bothered to shout man overboard! when someone fell over board and disappeared in the dark churning waters. We were always listing, sinking and taking on water at the stern. The screeching S.O.S was the constant beeping of the never ending call lights.

My time at RG was nothing like that.  It was like a private luxury yacht with a loving staff to make your stay enjoyable.

My current job, is a quiet dignified ocean liner, a grand ship that is regal and elegant.

But I wonder is that because I am seeing it with 33 year of hard learned  "crew experience"?

What have I learned over the years? Most importantly I learned this:

Bring the shift you want to work, with you.

Yes it is that simple.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

MRI results

MRI results: No acute abnormalities. Incidental finding of a 13 x 9 x 10 mm cystic lesion in the quadridgeminal cistern, likely an arachnoid cyst.

I like that name. Sounds like I have a spider in my brain. LOL.

They further specify that:

"a 13 x 9 x 10 mm cystic lesion in the quadridgeminal cistern, which is isointense with CSF on T1 and T2 weighted images. The lesion does not demonstrate blooming on SWI images nor does it demonstrate restriction on diffusion-weighted images. No appreciable mass effect is present."

What does all this mean? Dunno. I ended up with the radiologist report before the doctor did, so I don't know if this is anything to worry about. / relates to current symptoms.

The internet says those cyst are common and not harmful. Most are thought to be congenital. So I'm not concerned. If its been there 50 years and hasn't grown into a Manitou then I will chalk it off to yet another quirkiness of the whole of me. mysterious the Paja's are.

You know that last picture looks just  like my butt!

PS here are the Echocardiogram results:

1. Sinus rhythm.
2. Normal left ventricular size and function with ejection fraction
estimated ...
at 60%.
3. No significant valvular abnormalities.
4. There is no evidence of intracardiac shunt flow by color Doppler
or by bubble study.
And Carotid ultrasound results in:
1. Right internal carotid artery: 1% to 29% stenosis.
2. Left internal carotid artery: 1% to 29% stenosis.
And Carotid ultrasound results in: e flow bilaterally.

in plain English, everything looks great, nothing exciting!

When the wind blows

It has taken some effort, but I have managed to take out all the confidential info and make this blog friendly.  It won't read well as a story, but I want to leave my words here in hopes that others will find them selves in them. And to remind my self of a time that is passed, that was very special and dear to me.

To those who will find themselves walking these paths...may you find a guardian, a lantern, fellow travelers and the way out. Peace be the journey - Paja

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When the wind blows
does heaven know
where all the boundaries go?

Where does the wind go
as it blows?

I know that answer.

But more importantly...I know where the wind is born, and causes it to stir and move

It all starts with the beat of your heart, that is where the wind is born.

the momentum of your soul is what causes it to move.

The burning pain in my feet makes where they are attached to the stone base warm as the pressure makes them bleed. I feel my self start to slide as the blood seeps through the cracks. The wind blows and I slip free. and the pain finally snaps them off at the base. I topple to the forest floor.

I have grown tired of my stationary life and slowly lumber to the cross roads in the forest. I set my lantern down and snap out a blanket and sit down to wait. I know this cross roads is a requirement along the healing path.

I shout to the trees. "Morning beautiful peoples! Wanted to welcome you all here, glad you found us, so sorry you have need to be here. I struggle some days, triumph others. I rise each day to pick up my bat and wait to see what life is gunna pitch at me."

The trees stir from their slumber. "mornin' dear one.

 When I am feeling grounded and able I like to come here and wade into the murky darkness and search for survivors who are on the healing path. I take my lantern and sit with you, offer comfort, understanding and company.

I use my past for good. Each time I reach out and to others who are back on the path early in their healing journey, it frees me. I help not only you, but the me of the past who didn't have the blessing of an Internet or others to ease the shame and loneliness.

I set my lantern on the healing path and turn it up so it illuminates the darkness. I spread out a blanket and sit down. I'm here, this forest is here, there are others here to help you carry that pack that bends your soul and snuffs out your own lantern. Your all welcome to stop by and sit for a spell. Your safe here and in good company.


I hear you all coming, many feet walking together in a marching rhythm. Soldiers, drudging on a forced march blindly through the darkness of the healing path.

I know the sand blinds your eyes so you can't see my lantern light.

I leave it on the blanket and chase after you. My words reach you and halt your flight.

Carefully I dust your hands off. Pour warm gentle water to clear the grit from them, and place my hand in yours.

Even though you can't see us, There are many lampposts here in the forest for you. We lovingly will clear any roots that snarl your feet and trip you. We will use our words to offer comfort and guidance.

You have opened many eyes to see in your life. Then the sand blows in and another pair must open. Soon the wind will again pick up, stronger and fiercer then before.

and you will find the strength to open your eyes again.

and it wont be sand blowing in them this will be just be the fresh free air.

I brush your hair humming quietly as I admire its blackness.

A slumber party to ease the transition from the long day that has lasted years. Understanding the weight that pulls your face into a droop.

Understanding the need to trek each year and bath in these pools of tears left dotting the calendar.

I thought of you last night as the fire works went off at the country fair. Thought of all of us. How there is a dark heavy cacophony of sound then silence then the night sky opens into brilliance and light.

We curl up into cat pies and sleep in the warm lantern light. So glad you will wake to a lighter path to walk tomorrow.


I awake to a frightened sound barreling through the darkness. I spring from cat form back to people form just in time to catch you as you come thrashing torn and bleeding from the underbrush.

"I got you " I whisper calmly. " I got you, come rest a second here. Its natural to want to run through the healing path to the other side. To want to get a machete and hack a straight path to the healing side."

The journey IS the healing. Its not something that can be rushed or shortened down. You must go back, you must go inside and open door and find lost emotions and face fears and all the monsters of the past.

Some of us start the journey by cannon balling into the darkness and trying to fight our way free.

You don't have to do that. There are many survivors out there with lanterns to light the way.

You know you have a safe harbor here. That even when you feel like you are falling 1,000 mph that the board here has the other end of your rope. There are many hands to make a chain to fetch you no matter how dark it gets.

You know that I will come for you and untangle your feet, offer the comfort of my lantern's light, or give you a shove if you need it. And most of all we are all here to just bear witness to the incredible strong woman you are going to discover on this journey.


I look to see you coming down the path. Your lantern swinging to and fro as you look for others to greet.

I wave you over and pat the blanket. We sit for a moment back to back. You watching that way and I watching this way. Vigilant so no traveler goes by without a greeting.

Not forgetting that even though we have lanterns and are here as lampposts to give travel directions. That we know what it feels like to wander in here scared and confused and sightless.

I tuck a fresh box of tissues in your pack. Knowing that its hard to come here some days and respond with compassion and care. To hear the sad truths day after day till a shell builds up and it hardens your heart to protect it. To not be able to have the luxury of saying, I am not listening to any sad stories today.

I admire that you never loose sight of the hope. Even when I have known you were hurting. That I wish I could be like you when I grow up.

I stand up and tie a cape around your shoulders made of cool redwood shadows. place Olives on your fingers and give you and arm up. We clink our lanterns like goblets and totter off to eliminate the darkness.


As you step onto the blanket you feel a cold mist of water wet your ankles. You glance over to see me with a water bottle filled with water from the pacific ocean.

"If you can't come to my Eden I will bring it to you." I smile. and spurts you again.

Come my sister sit for a bit.

Let me glean some sanity and strength from your strong vines.

I move the lantern closer to your feet to warm them. I love how you move effortlessly and seamlessly through the forest reaching out and greeting fellow travelers.

Love your patience and unending hugs.

Love that even though there are dark places in the healing path that scare you and you don't want to look into them you still come in here and help others.

You are like a mama deathly afraid of spiders who when a spider nears her child you squash it with your bare hand.

*smiles gently* resting my head on your shoulder. I'm so thank full you are on this trek with me. That when I am limping and listing to the left you are there to shove me back to the right.

You don't have to be a warrior or a healed, well, sane person to be strong. You just have to be there.

*link my arm with yours*

Strength in numbers, and woman between us both we have a hell of an army.


I feel you reading our words. Feeling like you don't know us and afraid to post and say anything. That somehow this post isn't meant for you.

Well it is meant for you.


Holding up my lantern.

I remember when I hid in the dark underbrush of the healing path. When I felt like a wild animal, a missing link...a freak.

When no one saw me or my pain.

Well I see you...and your pain. the painfully familiar shoes that you wear. Clicking them together over and over hoping to magically awake.

The wish to shed your skin and be free of it. The wanting ...the needing to step out the door and just leave it all behind. To leave the pain in heavy satchels on the side of some deserted road.

That it would be easier to just create a whole new you then to salvage the old broken one.

To be at the base of a mountain of memories and not have the strength to even begin to climb up. When all you can muster is to lean your shoulder against the side and pray you don't get buried in the landslide.

The hood of my lantern doubles as a bailing bucket. There are many souls here who will come bail for you, who will come hold your hand, who will come wipe the tears and offer a shoulder to rest on.

We are all in this together. Some of us just have been further down the path then were you are now. We know the way is smoother ahead.

and we have not forgotten how rough it is were you are.

This forest is here for you to lean on and get support.

*extends my hand*

You may not now where you are headed in your journey, but here with you now at this time and location. Your company is a welcome addition.


Oh my friend. I just love you. You are a reminder to me that abuse changes us in many ways. That for some it may never end. That it can take on a life of it own.

That the dark ties that link us are damaging and need vigil to stop them from consuming us at times.

That some travelers need a different light. some travelers are following the the dim murky of an abuser.

*I slide my lantern handle into your hand*

I know its hard to offer yourself the same support. I am very glad your walking this path with us.


we are indeed blessed to be here at this time and place. For the first time in history the silence and isolation that kept sexual abuse a secret prisoner is no more.

Now men and women can seek out support on the internet and speak up.

*I clean the glass on your lantern*

wash your face and kiss your forehead. Even when you are silent I know you are there.

I hope you reward yourself for all your hard word. The healing journey should not be just hard work. You should stop occasionally and just breath. Eat ice cream. Etc.

Sit with this woman you are discovering. She is worth getting to know.


I gather up my blanket and stiffly rise. I walk slowly back to my stone base and climb up. My feet locking into place with a stone one stone grinding sound. I raise my arm up and hold my lantern out. Close my eyes and become a silent part of the forest once again.