Sonni's Family and Our Friends

Bringing together the people who matter the most to us in a place where we can communicate with each other about our daily lives or discuss issues that are important to us. Let's have fun!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

They Will Have to Pay For This

My mind still has trouble registering the reality of this disaster and can't even fathom the long range effects it will have on the people.  We can't let the anger go away or die down.  The American people have shown in the past that they can really get angry - but after awhile they just let it go and go back to life as usual because they have a life to live and they have to worry about their own problems.  After all, they still have to figure out how they are going to keep gas in their car.

But this is the first time that something as bad as this has happened on our own soil.  Not even 9-11 can compare.  I'm not trying to downplay what happened to New York, but it didn't completely ruin the entire city and then have to evacuate all the residents.  Every single person didn't lose their home, their job or their business.  And our government watched for days as this was about to happen and then happened and then tried to pass the buck about who didn't do their job.  They didn't have to watch people die on the street and then have no one come to take them away.  The people in New Orleans just had to let their dead lay in the street.  Do you understand?  Even all our American children had to see that.  How do you think that will affect them for the rest of their lives?  To bad Bush can't order that these photos can't be shown on our TV sets.  And no longer can he say that Americans can't withstand the shock of seeing the dead in Iraq or even our own military's coffins.  He can't cover this up.  I can't even imagine how this will turn out except to know that it will take much longer than they think it will.  Bush says he will walk down the streets of a new city in two years.  I don't think so.

I am so disgusted watching the smug look on his face - hoping that somehow Rove will be able to spin this so it will look like he knows what he is doing.  But the bottom line is that he has a lot of deaths on his head.  What the hell was he doing while everyone else was watching as Katrina got closer and closer to land?  What was he doing the next day?  What was he thinking when he decided to go on with his stop to push his Medicare lies - and his stop for his photo op playing a guitar?  How can make that photo go away when it proves that he was out having a good time while people were dying?  Nothing can take the fact away that Rice was in New York enjoying a Broadyway play and shopping for $2000 shoes.  She can't make anyone believe that she cares.  And Cheney doesn't even come back from his vacation until Thursday???  It makes me sick.

All night long I can't stop thinking about these things.  It just goes round and round inside my head.  It would be interesting to see a timeline - of what happened each day from the day before Katrina hit until now.  On one line it would be the known facts about New Orleans and the physical destruction of the city.  Another line would be what our government did and didn't do.  Include in that what FEMA did and didn't do. Add into that what people and companies tried to do to help and were turned away.  On a third line tell what happened to the people and how they died as they waited for help.  How they and they children and eldery and sick suffered while waiting for our government to come off vacation and get their thumbs out of their asses.

I sincerely hope this administration goes down.  This president, while campaigning the first time around prided himself on being a man who could handle a national disaster - that he could actually juggle two balls at one time.  Now that the media has shown that it still has a bit of life left - that it can be shocked at the reality of what wasn't done - I hope it doesn't back down.  The media asked for answers.  Will it back pedal now and try to say what a wonderful job our president is doing?  Will they say that they didn't mean Bush when they were accusing the powers that be of not doing their jobs?  I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I Am Angry and Feeling Helpless

I don't know what to say.  The news is bad enough.  There is no way that the devastation in our own country can be hidden.  Watching Bush and his collective bunch of ineffectual cohorts makes me sick to my stomach.  It didn't take a rocket scientist to see what was going to happen and they just watched it happen.  Maybe they wanted to see if it was actually real before they did anything about it.  When I see the news footage of what is happening in New Orleans I have trouble understanding that this is happening here and not in some third world country - because that is what it looks like.  At least this time Bush can't order that no photos can be shown to the people the way the news has been censured from Iraq.  He can't pretend that this is a rosier picture than it is.

What was going through Bush's mind those extra days he spent at his ranch doing nothing - because that is surely what he did.  If he had done something he would have been the first to let us know what that was.  But he remained silent - and absent - along with the rest of his cabinet.  Condi Rice going shopping for shoes in New York!!  Shame on you.  Cheney still on vacation - you are a disgrace.  What this really tells us is how different you think you are from everyone else.  How much better you think you are.  I hope, with every fabric of my being that this disaster is the downfall of this administration.  That the people who have still been blinded by the religious goodness they thought they were seeing will finally wake up and realize that the people mean nothing to the people in power.  We are just the little rats that grease the wheel and keep the money coming in.  The one good thing that can happen from this disaster is to get them out!

Where will Bush's focus be now?

It makes my heart hurt to watch these people crying out for their children and for their family who are dying.  When they are all finally evacuated what will happen to them?  Where will they go?  How will they survive - or will they just end up on the street?  Yesterday, at the store, I watched the people get off the cruise ship.  They had been on the ship since before the hurricane hit land.  When I talked about what was happening it seemed that they just wanted to leave the store as fast as they could.  They wanted to ignore what was happening for as long as possible so they could at least finish their vacation and pretend for as long as possible that everything was the same.  I wonder what people will be saying next week?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Just a Little Sad News

Time is just flying by again.  It seems that Nana Bunker is not doing very well.  She is 91.  It is time.  She fell, and there were bones that broke and shattered.  After a short time in the hospital she is now in a nursing home because there is no way she can be cared for at home.  She had seemed so determined not to take the steps needed to be safe - like use her walker regularly - so it isn't surprizing that this happened.  She hasn't been a happy woman in a long time.  It's been hard on Mom being there with her, wanting to spend this time with her the past five years, but Nana hasn't made it easy for her.  I think that she just wants to let go - there really isn't any reason for her to want to live for anymore.  Many people still do at her age, but I think that Nana gave up a long time ago.  Mom wants somehow for Nana to finally come to understand all the pain she has caused her all these years and that somehow that will find closure to their mother/daughter relationship but I think that Nana will only keep pushing away until she just goes to sleep and it will all be over.  Even at 72 you can still want your mother.  Even at that age you can still feel like the 4 year old girl who was abandoned by her mother as she left her and father to go away with another man.  I don't know if she ever told her she was sorry.  I hope this doesn't last long - going on for weeks or months.  If she wants to die I hope she has the will to make it happen soon.  My mother's 3 half brothers are there so there is lot of support.  I wish I could be there.  It's a sad time for everyone.

We just went through a tropical storm that headed west and now is going north and is getting ready to slam into New Orleans.  It is now hurricane Katrina.  It looks like this could be very bad.  We weren't expecting it to hit here.  It just curved down and took us by surprize.  Lots of wind and rain, and our electricity was out for 2 1/2 days.  That was the worst part because it was so humid and sticky.  That really gets you down after awhile.  How did people ever live without AC?  The breezeway is still drying out and there are lots of leaves to clean up, but no real damage.  We still have a way to go to get through hurricane season. 

Megan is settled in Texas with Alex.  Alyssa is still in Ca with Chris - for the school year, and then it will be Megan's turn.  Even though they are still going though their own emotional stuff it seems that they are not using Alyssa as a means to hurt each other.  Right now Alex is getting some undivided attention and I think that is good for him.  He started school and so far he seems to like living there.  Megan wants to get to work on the house and get back to school.  She has a lot on her plate.  I hope that Mike and I can get there for Thanksgiving and that Robo, Kim and Karissa can be there, too. It would be good to have everyone all together in one place even if it is only for a few days.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Mike's Birthday Today

So the old Hippie is 58 today!!  We didn't do anything special.  Both of our birthdays are a week apart with our anniversary the day before my birthday.  It's been pretty hot and muggy out and we haven't done anything special yet.  Probably on my next day off we'll have a meal out and a movie.  I don't think we will be complaining this time the movie theatre is too cold!

I got a card from Cindy with an article about growing vegetables in pots - since I have absolutely nowhere to plant anything.  Karen sent me shoe fly pie and AP cake which I have managed to devour myself.  Thank goodness Mike isn't thrilled with them because I really didn't want to have to share!  There was also some clothing in the box but I'm not sure who they were from - but they fit.

I did a lot today and I am absolutely beat and if I don't go lay down I am going to fall down.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Another Day in Key West

I've been back a bit over a week now. It feels as if I never left.  It has a way of doing that to you.  It feels good to get away and it feels good to get back.  I had a good week at the store.  I needed one.  We sold quite a bit of jewelry and managed to bring the monthly sales up to what they were last month even though I had six days with no sales at all when the weather was bad.  I just love it when the cash register goes cha-ching.

It really has been over hot and humid this summer.  It's been hard getting the house cool enough.  Mike has pretty much been holing up inside with the curtains drawn and the lights off to keep cool.

I saw an ad for this little washing machine that looks like a big bucket, but it is electric and it is supposed to wash a small load of laundry in 15 minutes.  I wonder if it spins it, too.  I think I might get it and give it a try.  I just did a load of laundry in the sink and hung it in the breezeway to dry.  I just beat the clothing clean with a wooden spoon.  It's supposed to be good for dorm rooms or camping and places like that so it might be just what I need - since there is no room for a washer here.

I had my first Buddhist meeting here at the house.  There were 4 other people here to do gongyo and talk about what we want to do this coming year.  There are about 10 SGI members in Key West, and about 8 further up the keys - a mix of old and new members.  But no one has really practiced in an area where the organization is strong, so there is a big need for direction.  My years in LA and all the training I had there has really been a big help.  The district leader is Maureen and she has been chanting for about 20 years and she is really the strongest member.  She spends a lot of time with the members and works hard for kosen-rufu, but she has really needed someone here to support her.  There are 3 groups.  Key West, Big Coppit and Marathon. ( 3 different keys )  I agreed to become the group leader for Key West.  Several Wednesdays a month some of us will meet here for a study meeting.  I have found that there are so many things that have not been studied and most of the meetings have been very loosely prepared.

I will say that getting back into this has been very good for me.  I've enjoyed it very much.  I joined the SGI in 1988 and the years in California were very good years.  I never intended to quit.  But when things got so bad with Ken I let it affect me.  It seemed that it was easier to let it go, especially after my butsadan was destroyed during my trip to Key West and I went on with my life.  Mike and I are on the same page when it comes to believing in "God".  Christianity has not been part of my life for 30 years and I wouldn't have a man in my life who did.  And at the time it was just easier to let my practice go as well.  But everything happens for a reason and I guess the timing was right when I was contacted by Maureen.  She knew I was getting publications but she didn't know who I was so she sent me a post card asking me to contact her.  It felt good to chant again.  I forgot how good it made me feel.  It does so much for me that to get into it now would be too long.  But I will say that I feel better, physically and mentally.  Dynamics are moving in my life again.  I had been feeling so bad physically that all I could do was drag myself into work and then stay in bed and rest so I could do it again.  Now my energy is increasing and I want to do more.  I have new friends and new activities that keep me busy.  The Dr also put me on a new medication a few months ago, methadone, that has also helped all of this.  My pain has been greatly reduced.  Mike has been supportive and that makes me love him even more - if that is possible.  It is rare to have a mate who lets you be who you want without trying to change you.  That is indeed a wonderful thing.  On this note - I think it's time to go to bed!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Update on the Kids

Megan left for Texas last week.  She tried to stick it out in Clear Lake at Jane's, but it just didn't work out.  Alyssa has been with Chris for the summer and with Megan on weekends until the school year, but now she is supposed to go to Texas in time for school to start.  I hope this doesn't backfire on Megan. They haven't filed for divorce yet and Chris doesn't want to now.  Megan will have to establish residency in Texas and file there.  Even though Chris seems to be okay with everything right now, he might change his mind later and not want to put Alyssa on the plane.

Jane made it so hard for Megan to stay there.  She wanted to give her a 10:00 curfew.  Megan looked at her in disbelief and said, "I'm a 25 year old grown woman with 2 kids.  I haven't had a curfew in a long time."  Jane has a drinking problem.  She starts with a 6 pack when she get's off work.  I think she meant well in wanting to help Megan, but I also think she had an ulterior motive in wanting her to get back with Donnie when he gets out of prison in 4 years.  That wasn't an option for Megan.  Donnie might have gotten her pregnant when she was 16, but there was no way she was going to have him as part of life after that.  Donnie is 26 and this is his 3rd time in.  I would have personally kicked her butt across the USA if she had even entertained the thought of taking him back.  Now, after 7 years of being with Chris and really trying hard to make it work, and realizing that it wasn't going to work - it takes 2 people trying to make it work - it's time for Megan to find out what she really wants out of her life.  I'm sure she will go back to school and continue to work to be a nurse.  Hopefully she will find someone who will be good for her and treat her right.  She hasn't had that yet in her life.

I'm pretty sure that Robo is working in Montana although I haven't talked to him for about 2 weeks or so.  He was on the move again with his job.  Every time I think he is somewhere I found out he is somewhere else.  But right now he seems to be ok.  He and Kim are traveling together, pulling their RV so at least their home is the same no matter where they go.  I sure wouldn't mind doing that.  I'm glad that he is out doing what he's doing, even though I sure do miss not having him around.

I'm hoping that we can all get together in Texas for Thanksgiving.  Mike said he would like to go, too.  He said he'd even fly with me and I was surprised.  I didn't think he would travel if it wasn't on the ground.  It would be so good if that happened.  If Karissa could be there it would be the first time Mike and I would have all my family together in one place - kids and grandkids, and even their father.  Now we would need to find a way to have Mike's son Mike and Jennifer along, too.  After all, our kids are step-siblings and they haven't met yet.  We'll have to work on that.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Back to Humidity!!

I had to hit the ground running when I got back.  Back to work the next day.  I didn't even get a chance to sweep and clean up from after the hurricane.  We lost two trees in the front yard and it looks so bare.  The guy who lives in the front doesn't do anything to clean up or take care of anything, aside from the fact that it is too humid to be out there cleaning up anyway.  I guess a tree fell on my bike because the seat is torn up and it rides a little weird.  I've had it for two years now and it sure does take a beating from having to stay outside all the time and with the rain, the humidity and the rocks that come up and nick the paint when I ride.  It's really starting to look like the conch cruiser that it is.  It's the 3rd bike I've had in 5 years.

Mike said he cleaned most of the leaves and stuff that blew in through the breezeway but there was still a lot that had to be swept up, and my god, he tried almost successfully to kill my plants!  Poor things. Sniff sniff.

The girls did pretty good at the store.  Not exactly the way I would have wanted, but still pretty good.  Today was the first day I've had off since I got home.  I rented the movie, Million Dollar Baby and we pigged out on candy.  Just exactly what I needed since I just spent $1200 at the dentist!

It has been overwhelmingly humid.  One side of the house stays nice and cool but the other side doesn't.  Mike has been wilting in his computer chair because "his" side of the house is the side we can't get below 89 degrees during the day.  It still makes me want to laugh when I think of how family up north thought it was humid!!

All in all, it was a really good trip.  I think that much was accomplished in a positive way.  Mom and I did a lot of talking about the things that needed to change.  We realized that most of the problems came because of a lack of communication.  After the talks we had with Cindy and realizing that there was so much unfinished business concerning the other side of the Fritz family, we managed to take care of that as well.  It's a little too deep and lengthy to go into right now but I will say that the issue of what happened after my grandmother died was addressed.  It took a lot of courage for my mother to do that.  But she did it because she knew that not addressing it 14 years ago affected many aspects of our family today. Part of what happened concerning them was a matter of no communication, but I also believe it came from a point of them not caring enough to make sure we understood what was going on.  I did say though, that no matter what the outcome was I would let it rest after that. Maybe at some point I will contact my cousins and we will talk.  But now I will let my anger go.  Now my mother will not have to think about what would have happened if she had confronted them and now Cindy will hopefully feel that mom did her best to stand up for what was right.  I know that this probably doesn't make sense to anyone reading this.  For me, this trip was about healing things.  I don't know if that is what I thought it was going to be about when I started, but that is what it became.  And that is a good thing.

Before I left Pa to come home, I realized that I still had not had a conversation with Karen that had any more depth to it than talking about the weather.  It's so easy to talk around things without really saying anything..  I know it's not easy dealing with the problems that her son has and she is busy running around with her arms stretched trying to keep him from actually falling on his face.  She is exhausted from trying to keep his life in order while he is having a good time screwing up his life.  She keeps saying that she has had enough and that she isn't going to save him anymore but she isn't ready to do that.  It's hard to talk to Karen because the wall comes up and she doesn't want to hear it.  Maybe someday that time will come but I'm afraid she is going to get hurt in the meantime.  Karen wants Shawn to get help and he won't, and Karen hasn't reached the point where she is ready to ask for help, either.  She thinks she can fix it - and she can't.  I don't know, maybe I shouldn't be writing about all of this, but it isn't as though there are a lot of people tuning in and reading this.

It all boils down to people caring about each other.  Of not being too proud to say they don't know what to do.  We crawl inside ourselves and we don't want to talk about the things that really matter.  Sometimes, then, things never get said and it goes on for years and years.  Who are these people that are my family?  I can say I know my mother best because she and I do really talk to each other.  Who is Karen?  When she isn't trying to be all things to all people?  Karen is still not being honest with herself.  Who is Cindy?  I think I found out a little bit.  Between the 2 of them I think she was the only one being honest with me and I think that took courage.  I think it will take time, but if we can communicate and say what we really mean and not just say any old thing just to fill the space, then I think we have a chance of getting to know each other.  Between the three of us - there is a lot of work to do if it matters inside to change things.  I think maybe it does.

That is enough insight for one night!!