A Halloween Wedding…

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Halloween Wedding

My very geeky, quirky, strange friend Bryan, is getting married. He found an equally tattooed, cool, beautifully strange woman on a website for the band, Skinny Puppy. They found that they have a lot in common, including the love of horror movies and a hatred for sweet peas.

The thing is that Bryan has been our roommate now for seven years after a severe breakup with a girlfriend and now Michelle, his new love is spending all of her spare time with Bryan in our home. They have found an apartment together and will be moving in on October 15th and so now my daughter Lara, whom I’ve lived with in her home since I have become disabled with multiple sclerosis, and I are just getting used to the idea of life without Bryan.  He has become such a valuable support system for us and has helped so very much in doing things that I cannot do for myself. we are truly going to miss him, especially because he is so damn funny.

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Both Lara and I are extremely happy for them. And at the same time are scared about losing Bryan from our household, even though they are moving only about 5 min. from us so that they can be available if we need help. What a very dear friend is he.  At the same time, it will be wonderful to have the garage cleaned out since Bryan is a computer technician and half of the garage is jam packed with all of his shit.

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I don’t believe that Bryan’s brother, the minister will have any problem with this bit of Halloween awesomeness since he went to China five or six times trying to get his mail order bride to the United States! The laws are very strict in China, a communist country and are not giving up their citizens very easily. It is been over two years now and still she is not here.  Thing is that he is good-looking, is at genius level intelligence, has a good job and still has not been able to find an American woman to love. This wonderful youth minister is a really good guy and deserves all the happiness that life has to offer. We are all praying that she gets here soon, safe and sound and that they live happily ever after.

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So, back to the wedding. I told my wonderful Ethiopian health care aide, Tenaye, about this exciting adventure, and she was absolutely astonished. Although happy for Bryan and Michelle, she could not get over the idea of a Halloween wedding. Since Halloween is a foreign holiday to Ethiopians it really gives her the creeps. When she first came here to America seven years ago and for the first time went to her apartment she found herself surrounded by her neighbor’s front doors with skeletons, jack-o’-lanterns, and frightening masks with blood oozing out of the skin. Not knowing about this strange cultural phenomenon she was afraid to even come out of her front door, not knowing what she was going to be greeted with thinking it may be some sort of ritualistic religion, or bizarre cult. Of course, now she knows more about it and is not frightened although she did say that she will not be coming to the wedding! And by the way she is now studying for her citizenship!

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Wish me luck, boys and girls. For I know not what I’ve gotten myself into. I am just relenting and giving up control and trusting that it will all go well.  It is sure to be a memorable Halloween. I will post some pictures of the wedding at a later time… I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful…for how could it be otherwise since the two people getting married are beautiful themselves.

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You can find more pictures and my thoughts on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/RenaeClare

and on my blog page right here http://thepottymouthbook.me/

If you are interested in learning more about how to get my book, if you  want an inspiring story, if you have a love of reading or if you need information about disabilities check out the Potty Mouth website. Thank you so much and I wish you well! http://www.thepottymouthbook.com/

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Back Cover      Image

 

 

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15 Fascinating Facts About Hemp

15 Fascinating Facts About Hemp.

http://wp.me/p2kTO3-Ai

I thought you would be interested in this fascinating article about hemp… It really could change the way the world works. Just give hemp a chance…

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The Choice Is Mine To Make…

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My mind is blank.

I can’t think at all.

The words just won’t come to me.

I have no one to blame and no one to thank.

Brain is diseased,

multiple sclerosis attacks.

Doing all I can think of

to  negate and make it disappear.

Meditation,

cleansing,

eating foods that heal

Reading everything I can

to find the straight route.

Spiritual masters and teachers

are finding their way onto my reading list.

When the student is ready the teacher appears

Soaking knowledge as fast as I can absorb.

Salvation from my troubles.

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Realizing that lessons are learned,

as each and every rock is turned.

Coming between a rock and a hard place is excruciating

as the space gets smaller and smaller

until I finally I see that my real self is my soul

and it takes no room,

no thought at all.

I Am

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Banish all words of negativity.

Think good thoughts

No more replaying the record of poor me,

why God, why?

Someone’s done me wrong song.

No more living in the past,

I should have,

I wish I had,

if only I had.

What good would that do

except bring about more of the same.

I refuse anymore to play that game.

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Realizing that I have so much to learn from others,

and now finding that I too am a lesson for them.

That we are all meant to learn

from those who are

different,

disabled,

disfigured,

diseased.

All have purpose to be here.

Judge not lest ye be judged.

A calmness is settling over me

as the words appear magically on the page.

Coming from deep inside,

not from my body,

not from my brain,

not from my pain

but from my mind,

my spirit,

my soul.

Giving me the knowingness that I am whole

no matter what ails me

no matter how old.

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The choice his mine to make.

Whether to live in the past

and moan about what I should have done,

could have done

or wishing I could do it all over…

Or to forgive myself for errors

and tragic mistakes

Simply to live in the here and now.

I choose the latter

because right now is all we have.

Forgive.

Be grateful.

Be kind to yourself.

Love all.

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There Is Nothing So Bad You Cannot Find Something Good In It

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My quest to live an optimistic life of positivity and living on the bright side of the street have brought me rewards beyond compare, beyond any monetary reward. Our beloved dog, Joe, died recently and our hearts are broken. He was my daughter’s dog, and she has taken this so hard . For almost a week, she has been inconsolable and has finally gotten on track.

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Joe loved to eat corn right off the cob. We had no idea what a bad idea it was to indulge him in this very funny and adorable treat. One night he started to throw up and the  next morning he got very, very sick so Lara took him to the vet. Before this incident we had no idea that anything was wrong with him. He was his good old playful self, and eating regular meals. The Dr. had no idea what was wrong with him and after doing x-rays and a multitude of tests decided they needed to do exploratory surgery where they found a chunk of corncob stuck in his intestinal tract. His colon was so damaged by our tragic ignorance, and the decision was made to euthanize the poor little guy. He would never have survived the surgery. It was just too late. The vet said the corncob had in their for couple of weeks and was slowly destroying his intestines.

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We had always been on the lookout to make sure he wasn’t eating any of the cob but just the corn itself. And yet he swallowed a piece of goddamn corncob. Lara spent

so much time beating herself up, wailing in grief that she had killed her dog. He was only six years old and it was his birthday when he left us so suddenly. She had him cremated and so he will always be with us, certainly in spirit. He was wonderful dog.

And yet, something amazing has happened from this horrible incident. My daughter has now seen that she needs to be more in the present, to pay attention to what is going on around her and to appreciate the ones she loves while they are here. There are meet ups for spiritually minded people where there are speakers every Friday night and she has gone to several of them and they have made a world of difference to her. I have the feeling that Joe’s spirit is guiding her to change her life and to be a happy, well-adjusted, open person. I am so proud of her. I have always been the spiritual one among us, and she has been stubbornly resisting. Sometimes it takes a god-awful experience to put us on the right path and to teach us what we need to learn.

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Since I have multiple sclerosis, and paralyzed and living in a wheelchair I live with her in her home. It has not always been easy, and there have been many lessons for both of us to learn. My father always tells me that there is nothing so bad that you cannot find something good in it.  Which reminds me,  I need to call him. Dad is living in a nursing home which is actually enjoying, thank the powers that be. I haven’t told him yet about our dog dying, but I know you will be so understanding. He had a dog as well for many years and he also was about six years old when he ate some rat poison under his neighbor’s house and died. And so, as the saying goes,” Shit Happens.”

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We have a new dog coming into our lives in about seven weeks and we have already named him Buddha.

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Finding A Mouse In Bed… Lesson Learned…

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My home healthcare aide, Tenaye, has been with me now for over two years. Doing all the things for me that I can no longer do that I have MS for the past 40 years.; cleaning house, helping me to shower, exercise and  get in and out of bed amongst a myriad of other things. She is one of the kindest, gentlest souls that I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Even though her English, is not the best being from Ethiopia, we do very well communicating with one another, particularly because she has a wonderful sense of humor. Not quite as raunchy as mine is so I never curse in her presence, or disrespect any of her religious beliefs.

Deeply religious and Christian, Tenaye’s interpretation of the Bible is different than mine and even though I am not at all religious in the sense of belonging to one particular church I am  however deeply spiritual in the sense of believing in a higher power, the of  power of love, forgiveness, positivity and the power of intention.

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Being a single mother with four children she is an extremely strong person with an attitude of gratitude and blessing she has gotten through some extremely hard times. And her sense of humor brings a smile to my face every single day from the stories she tells me of her kids and things that they are up to.

The other day she told me that she brought the computer mouse with her in her purse because the kids were spending so much time playing games on the computer and not enough time reading and doing other things, including the tasks that she had assigned to them. And since she wasn’t there to monitor them all day long, she decided that this was the best thing to do. Later on in the day she got a telephone call from her middle son who is now 14 years old and he is asking if she knew where the mouse was. She told him she had it with her and they would have to find other ways to keep themselves occupied. To say he was not happy is an understatement.

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The next morning when she looked for the mouse again to take with her my wonderful aide could not find it anywhere. Finally, when she went into her five-year-old daughter’s bedroom to wake her up she saw the mouse under her pillow. That little stinker had taken the mouse to bed with her so that her mother would not find it and take it away for the day. As Deborah slowly woke up she realized what her mom had in her hand and smiled broadly, begging her mother to let the kids play computer games during the day. Being sympathetic and trusting Tanaye agreed with the stipulation that they could each have one hour to play on the computer, and of course they all agreed heartily. Who knows if they kept their promise or not but I can imagine that they all kept each other in check.

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She is a reminder to me every day of my blessings, and certainly she is one of them. I prayed and meditated for an aide to come to me, that would suit me and lo and behold, I asked, and I received.

ImageYou can read more funny, sad, tender, real-life stories of my life lived with MS in my book, Potty Mouth.

 
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Stuck In A Place Where You Can’t Find A Way Out

Image You know when everything seems to be going wrong and you’re stuck in a place you just can’t seem to get out of and you can’t find the answer and still things seemed to pile up one on top of the other? And the problem for me, is that this is where my daughter is in life. And if I were in her shoes  I wouldn’t fret so much and I would give it up to a higher power and know that things will be handled one way or another. Patience, as they say, is a virtue. And this is where she is lacking.

Problem is, I am living with her since I have MS and am in a wheelchair. It has been 10 years now, and even though I have the most wonderful caretaker in the world, my wonderful Ethiopian aide Tanaye, who is here with me five days a week. My daughter needs a break from constantly thinking of my welfare day after day, with no end in sight. It Is wearing on her big time. There was no lack of love this I know for sure. And I know it is a big problem for family members who care for the elderly or disabled parents to find time to take care of themselves.

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Added to that, we have serious issues with our foundation on the house and pipes leaking underneath and so our hardwood floors are buckling and are a constant reminder of the problems lurking beneath. Dealing with this problem during her vacation week has brought much more stress to my daughter. And I dare not remind her of the much worse problems that other people are facing. Or that it does no good at all to worry and that it only makes things worse, gets you more depressed, and makes you feel like shit.

The gist of the problem is that she is now 40 years old, very pretty, never been married and has no children. She has had long-term relationships and yet has never felt the need to settle down with just one. One of them became a cocaine addict and that other was manic-depressive and committed suicide. So to say, she has issues is an understatement. She is lonely, depressed and doing the worst thing you can ever do which is to look back on your life with regret. I ache for her. I know that I am not the problem. I have a spiritual nature and when I come across a problem that is too big for me to handle I give it up to a higher power, to the universe, to God. When I try to convey my thoughts to her she cannot hear and won’t even listen, not being able to see the forest for the trees.

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And so I meditated and prayed for answers. The next day my son who lives in Houston, Texas called and I told him all about our troubles and Lara’s depression. His first words out of his mouth were,” Mom, don’t worry about a thing. We’re family. And I will do my best. I promise to take care of you and Lara and I don’t want you to give another thought about it. It’s done.” My answer was given and Ryan said, “your lumberjack is on the way.”, referring to the forest and the trees. Bless his heart. He is an optimistic being and an old soul. Even when he was in first grade he would try to solve problems of his classmates and in third grade his teacher told me that he would mediate between kids who were having disputes on the playground. He is a wise one.

The next day when she came home from work Lara told me that she had decided to go to therapy which I’m thrilled about so that she can speak to someone other than me about her feelings and about what is stopping her from moving on. She puts in long hours at work as a business analyst and is up to her forehead with the corporate world and yet she gets paid well and is afraid to leave her job because she is taking care of me and owning a home can be a never ending money pit.

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Last night  Lara and Ryan, my son, spoke on the phone for a long time and now I believe she is feeling some relief knowing that she is not alone and that our problems have a solution. This too shall pass. Meditation is the most marvelous tool to get through life, to find answers and to have prayers fulfilled. I am blessed. And I am grateful.

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MS And A Bucket Of PEE

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Having MS is really a mess and it seems that my brain function is a little off. I have always considered myself a very common sense kind of person, and now it seems that my common sense has fled the scene.

I keep an organizer on my wheelchair arm so that at night I can reach my reading glasses, earplugs, medication, etc. etc. and also, my cell phone. Every now and then the whole thing falls and things are scattered all over the floor. This time however, my cell phone fell into a bucket of urine… That’s right, a bucket of pee. Not funny, right? Particularly because my daughter had to fish it out, clean it off the best she could, and wait until the next day to see if it was still usable, stinky or not.

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Well, alas, the cell phone met an early death by drowning in a sea of urine. Poor thing. It’s not as if it fell in the rain into a puddle on the sidewalk or got trampled on by a stampeding horse. No, it was a bucket of Pee that was its demise. Hell of a way to go. They you rest in peace. I know, of course, that things are not made to last forever. However, this is probably not what they had in mind, and nor did I.

Lesson learned. No more draining  a catheter bag into the bucket at night. What a stupid idea that was thinking that it would be easier in the morning. Thinking I had had not served me right in this particular instance. But, oh well, what can you do? I learned my lesson and I learned well. My daughter was not pleased with this whole incident as you can well imagine.

The wonderful thing is that Lara my daughter went to Verizon and got me a new phone. So when I woke up in the morning there it was charging on the counter. Hallelujah! Another dilemma solved. Another humiliation just shoved under the rug.

Life gives us opportunities to learn and grow every day. Self acceptance, patience, sense of humor, just letting things go.  A cell phone soaked in urine is certainly one of those opportunities. Now that it is over and the situation is handled I can laugh about it. At the time it did not seem one damn bit funny.

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Instructions For A Bad Day…Poetry in Motion

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Shane Koyczan is a poet /singer who makes me cry every time I hear his work. I can’t help it. He reminds me of my son. He is fat, he is brilliant; he is empathy and has such compassion that he puts  into each and every syllable that nothing else is necessary. You can close your eyes and know exactly what he is saying. He is an artist because he makes you feel something. He is unique and beautiful and  special beyond compare.I have included two pieces just to share with you why I love him so much and why I listen to him almost every day for inspiration and to remind me to follow  my  own path.

I promise you that you will love him too.

 

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Cooking Shows Are Keeping Me From Writing Another Book!

Cooking Shows Are Blocking Me From Writing Another Book!

ImageLately I have been giving a lot of thought to writing another book. I put so many roadblocks in front of me; I have so many excuses of why not to start; I berate myself; and beat myself up repeatedly. However, I do have several legitimate concerns.

Since I have multiple sclerosis, my brain function seems to lag and it comes to a screeching halt. And all of a sudden The Cooking Channel seems to have so much more to offer.  Chopped is a favorite. The next food network Star is right up there. And any show having to do with Chef  Gordon Ramsey makes me cringe and at the same time keep my eyes glued to the screen to see which chef in the competition will have his balls rolled up, sautéed and put into a deep fryer. And that includes the females. It seems to me that they keep most irritating contestants on the show just to irritate the hell out of me and just for television interest and not for their expertise in the kitchen. I really don’t know why I keep watching, except to procrastinate and to watch something so mind numbingly inane.

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I am living my life in a wheelchair being paralyzed on my left side from this godforsaken disease. So many adjustments must be made including the use of a voice activation microphone system in order to type. For I have learned to adjust to most of the problems I have, but most frustrating thing is that I am so for can slow in body and mind. And so my life is so scheduled in order to get everything done, or at least something done in the course of the day. Facebook has become a crutch and instead of going over to the computer to write I find myself gravitating to that wonderful page of inspirational messages and funny cartoons instead of using the inspiration to actually get some actual writing done.

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Fortunately, I have a home health aide who comes five days a week to help me do household chores and my personal hygiene, helping me in and out of bed and doing whatever task I feel like handling on any particular day. She is a godsend and has become a blessed friend. Tenaye is from Ethiopia and has had a very interesting and yet traumatic life. She is a very staunch Christian, and believes to the letter in the Bible. I am a very spiritual person but not religious in any sense of the word and interpret things very differently than she does and yet we are two peas in a pod. She is the one with legs. I am the one with wheels.

My first book is an autobiography of my life with MS and the struggles and triumphs I have achieved. My next book will be a novel drawn from the events of my life. For now I’ll just make sure that I have all my cooking shows, recorded, even the reruns and that wonderful show on BBC called Master Chef which I have now become addicted to. One of my greatest lessons and one of the hardest to accomplish for me is to be kind to myself and not to beat myself up and to learn to enjoy the moment. Growing up in a very Catholic family, the greatest lesson learned there was guilt which I got down impeccably. Writing is my salvation. And once I put my thoughts down on paper they seem to be lessening my load. It is definitely time to start writing again  if only for myself.

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Never Give Up On Anybody… Miracles Happen Every Day…

You know what I miss? I miss gardening. When I was a little kid, I grew up on the farm where we grew a huge vegetable garden every year. We had an abundance of vegetables and fruits, and the best watermelon I have ever tasted. There were squash and melons of all different colors, orange, yellow, red and they were so plentiful that dad would go out with the pickup truck and we would come back to the house with the whole back truck bed filled high with melon which we would store in the root cellar.

I remember every afternoon in the summertime we would stop what we were doing and eat cantaloupe and musk melons after scooping out the seeds and putting a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center and enjoying every single bite. There were six kids in the family and even though we were really quite poor, we as children were not aware of that fact. We lived in a small house that my grandfather built, which had three very small bedrooms, and eat in kitchen, a tiny living room and one very small bathroom which we had to fight for to get ready for school in the morning or to get ready for church every Sunday.

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Today I am feeling very nostalgic. I suppose it is because I just spoke to my 87-year-old father, who is now in a nursing home. He recently had a stroke and his speech is affected, and his cognitive abilities as well. The main thing that has been affected is his personality. I remember him always as a tough man, his way is the highway, and hard as nails. I realize now that he was the way he was because of his upbringing. He went off to World War II, when he was just 17 years old and up until that time, he was a Mama’s boy and very attached and devoted to his Mom.

My grandmother Katie had nine children; eight boys and one girl and one time she had three of her boys going off to war. I have been told many times about the nervous breakdown that she had during that terrible time and spent a very long time in the hospital. When she came home she had to learn to speak all over again. And so she had to start all over again as though she were a little child and that my uncle Joe, as a young teenager taught her to read and write. As time went on my grandparents moved from their farm to a town about 30 miles away where grandma got a job in a bakery in order to keep her mind active and to bring in extra money.  She was greatly loved there and they became part of her extended family. Grandpa John was tough, rarely showing emotion. And even though we went to visit occasionally, I hardly even remember him. He really didn’t pay any attention to the grandchildren. It’s just the way he was; kind of scary.

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So now the thing is that after my dad’s stroke, he has become extremely affection. He tells all of us how much you love us and thinks about us and how he and our mother did the best they could to make sure we were all okay. Mom died at age 66 from complications of multiple sclerosis and my dad took care of her for all those years, so no matter how many hard feelings I had against him Growing up . I see him now as a very strong man, a good man who did the best he could with the hardships and a hard life, which he was given. And so I see the tremendous love that my parents had for one another to get through all of the trials of their lives together.

I see now how all of our upbringings bring us to where we are now and that there is always more in life to give us a chance to change and to grow and to become better people. I love my dad. I have always loved my dad even when I was afraid to approach him because of his reprisals, or when we had disagreements so far apart that we weren’t even on speaking terms.  And now that we are both older and wiser, we have come to a place where all there is love and caring. We have both forgiven each other for our failings and for our words and deeds that came from different worlds. I think now of how much time and worry and righteousness we could have saved ourselves and each other by showing empathy, forgiveness and love from the beginning and not waiting all these years to get where we are right now.

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And yet that is the story of how life works. We get there; little by little, task by task, situation by situation, one step in front of the other always doing the best we can with what we have.

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ImageYou can read more funny, sad, tender, real-life stories of my life lived with MS in my book, Potty Mouth.

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