Latest Publications

Life in the Soon to be Ex-Landlady Lane

For the last 10 months (since August 2011) I have rented a bathroom and bedroom in my house to another person. For the most part this experience has not been a good one. He smokes, he drinks, he lies, he lost his job over 6 weeks ago (and hasn’t applied for unemployment OR any jobs), he’s a user, he’s a manipulator, and he’s a thief. And those are his GOOD points.

I was tolerating all this until he let my cat go outside. The roommate is not allowed to smoke inside the house so he goes out my sliding glass door and smokes on the side deck.

It wasn’t the first time that the cat has ‘escaped’ and I don’t blame him–really–for the cat going outside. Mick loves to go outside, and he’s a sneaky cat LOL. He’s gone out several times with me in control, so again I don’t blame my roommate for his going out. I do blame him however for opting to not wake me up and tell me the cat had gone out.

Why is Mick’s going out such a big deal? There are several reasons. The first one is that he doesn’t have his shots (my roommate has been told this at least 5 times) and the second one is that the park manager (who just so happens to live across the street from me) made it clear back in 2008 when I adopted the cats that they were not allowed outside. By ‘made it clear’ I mean that he said he will trap roaming cats and take them to the Humane Society animal shelter (yes my roommate was told that also at least twice). In addition, I have a second cat that also doesn’t have his shots, so Mick being allowed outside puts not just him at risk but also the second cat.

My roommate cannot guarantee that all the animals in the park (domestic and wild) are disease free. We have deer, birds, and squirrels not to mention other cats and dogs in the park.

He cannot guarantee that Mick won’t get run over either in the manufactured home park itself or out on the major (and very busy) cross street that is close to my house (this is the same street that I refused to walk into/across when the cop in this post wanted to get me killed –run over by numerous vehicles– just so he could catch a stray dog).

My roommmate cannot guarantee that someone else in the park will not ‘adopt’ Mick for their very own, or that someone else in the park will not take him to the animal shelter.

He cannot guarantee that all the dogs in the park like cats, he cannot guarantee that there won’t be roaming dogs that don’t belong here (see the cop/dog story mentioned previously, that dog didn’t live here in the park).

However, what really angered me was that my roommate didn’t tell me for hours that the cat had left. For that matter, he didn’t tell me at all. At 10:45 am he comes in from smoking, and all innocent-like (about as innocent as Mussolini!) asks me if Mick has come home yet. I went to bed at 1:00 am, and he hadn’t bothered to tell me that Mick ran out. How was I even supposed to know that the cat was gone, since somebody hadn’t even told me? I would not have been angry had he awakened me to let me know, but I was furious that he didn’t let me know at all.

The thing is, the last time that the cat went out, he told me. I was in bed, watching TV, and I was in my birthday suit. I wasn’t going to hop right out of bed when he was still in my bedroom doorway. Even if I wasn’t fat, being naked in front of a jackass ain’t my idea of fun.

When I said “I’ll go get the cat in a minute” he said “it’s going to be cold tonight, the cat will come home on his own.” I was furious, who was/is he to tell me what to do? He is/was my ROOMMATE, not my brother, father, significant other, not even a friend, barely even an acquaintance.

But what really tore it for me is that when I did go out to look for the cat, I turned on the outside light. He was in the kitchen at the time but he made a special trip to turn off the outside light while I was still outside. By a special trip, I mean he had to deliberately go over to the slider to turn off the light, it wasn’t a straight shot from the kitchen to his bedroom.

So I am outside in the dark, the grass was wet (dew), my feet were bare, I could easily have tripped, I was already angry about the cat, and there are usually pine needles, pine branches, and pinecones all over my yard and my side deck.

My soon-to-be ex-roommate has the dubious distinction of being the first (and hopefully only) person I have ever SCREAMED “fuck you” at; he probably didn’t hear me but it certainly made me feel better. It was about an hour before the cat came home that time, and the roommate was SO concerned that he went right to bed even before the cat came home.

Most “unauthorized excursions” by the cat have been short and during the day. This last one lasted for hours and was both late at night and during the day. The only reason he wasn’t taken to the shelter was that it was a national holiday and the shelter was closed.

The cat came home within 2-3 hours of my finding out that he was gone. He was hot, dirty, exhausted, and very very thirsty. Within 2 hours, I’d told my roommate he needed to move out and that I wasn’t going to put up with this any longer. I think he was planning on leaving with no warning anyway because he was just totally calm when I told him he had to leave.

Now, before you start thinking that I’m some wierd cat lady that thinks cats are worth more than people, this man has done nothing since he moved in other than eat, smoke, drink, sleep, and watch TV. When he was working he was working 27 1/2 hours a week and doing absolutely nothing around the house other than dirtying it!

He removed the doorknob from his bathroom door without a word to me. He broke the handle off a vegetable brush and never mentioned it to me. He ruined a brand new scrubby sponge the first and only time he deigned to clean the stovetop, and refused to clean up after himself after I didn’t run right out and buy more scrubby sponges.

Later, I bought a 6 pack of scrubby sponges, and he was mad that a wet, dirty one was in the sink. He put in the package with the clean dry ones. They weren’t clean and dry for long.

He lied about his drinking in the first place. He said that he drank only on special occasions—I guess getting out of bed in the morning is a special occasion.

After he lost his job on April 20 2012, he didn’t apply for unemployment OR even one job. All he has done since he lost the job is smoke MORE, drink MORE, watch MORE television.

He stored dirty dishes, garbage, massive quantities of empty beer cans, dirty glasses, and dirty silverware in his room even though there is a working dishwasher in the kitchen.

Nearly every night he would go in the kitchen when I was trying to sleep and be noisy as 10 herds of cows (the kitchen wall and my wall for my bedroom are adjacent).

He refused to mow the lawn even though that was part of the agreement even before he moved in. I finally — after 6 weeks and a threat from my park manager — had to hire someone else to mow the lawn at a cost of $15.00 per week.

Before he even moved in I had asked him to take a look at my dryer (it hasn’t worked since October 2010), hang a shower rod in my bathroom, and fix my back door (missing doorknob). He said yes he’d be happy to do all that. Those requests were July 2011 and August 2011, this is June 2012. He hasn’t looked at the dryer at all, he hasn’t hung the shower rod, and the back door still doesn’t have a doorknob.

He had windows open in his bedroom in 42 degree weather (presumably because he was smoking in the house while I was gone) while the heat was on.

When I lost my job, he had the nerve to lecture me about ‘we mustn’t let the electricity get turned off.’ He never realized that the electric heat got turned off due to his own actions….because I don’t pay to heat the great outdoors when the temperature is 42 flipping degrees. In addition, what did he think I did for 52 years without his condescending comments? My electricity has NEVER been turned off and I have been on my own for numerous years. If he was so concerned about the electricity he wouldn’t have had the windows open with the heat on and he wouldn’t have left the lamps on in his room nearly 24/7.

Then there’s the safety issue. He has left the oven on multiple times and he has turned on the stovetop burners and left them on several times.

And let’s not talk about the fact that for the last 10 months I have had to literally HIDE my food and most of my belongings from this man because in his world, if I am not actively using something it is his for the taking.

In addition, he threw every last one of his empty toilet paper rolls in a big pile on his bathroom floor. Mind you, there are a minimum of TEN garbage cans in this house. And he was working as a janitor so there was no way he thought that what he was doing was acceptable.

Here’s even more complaints, or really same old shit, different day LOL

I do plan on getting another roommate, but I’ve learned my lesson. NO smoking, NO drinking, a specific lease period, rules, rules, rules LOL. I plan on running a real background check on the next roommate candidates, and they must have 3-5 references (would prefer employer or church references, as one of this man’s references lied for him to help him get out of the homeless shelter).

I agreed to 2 extra days because the person helping him is on jury duty. Supposedly he is paying me for those two days. But money or not, I am sorry I agreed to the 2 extra days because all it did was make him even more lazy. One load yesterday, one load today, beer drinking, watching LOUD television, lots of smoking.

Oregon Employment Department Strikes Again

I was terminated from my most recent position on March 16 2012 (for those of you that are counting, that’s 33 days ago) and my quest for unemployment benefits has been a comedy of errors.

1) My employer had not reported my wages since September 2011. I had a total of 28 hours in September and wasn’t eligible for unemployment benefits based on those 28 hours. My October 2011, November 2011, and December 2011 wages weren’t reported until April 9 2012, and I still wasn’t eligible for unemployment based on the last quarter of 2011.

2) I was told to call the Oregon Employment Department because the claim was not valid. The first person I called –April 13 2012–was just totally rude and snotty. I hadn’t been told that I needed to file an Alternate Base Year (ABY) claim, but this person acted like I should know all about doing so even though I’d never had to file an ABY claim in over 30 years of working. Why would I know all the ins and outs of something I’ve never done? I ended up hanging up on her because I was in tears.

3) I realized that I did need to file the ABY claim so I called back the same day (within 10-15 minutes actually) and got a nice person who walked me through filing the ABY claim. I was told that I was eligible for an ABY claim and that I should get my first check next week (this week, probably April 19 2012).

4) Today (Tuesday April 17 2012) I received a call from the claims adjudicator who was investigating the circumstances of termination. It became clear over the course of this call that the person who told me that I was eligible and that I should get my first check this week had misspoken. The claims adjudicator has not even talked to my former immediate supervisor OR the company that paid me (as I worked for Odesk, but was paid by Coretechs which is a personnel agency).

The person I talked to was not particularly nice about what I’d been told about being eligible and/or getting a check this week (and in fact she seemed to not understand that the original claim was filed 33 days ago even though I was later told by someone else that she had been monitoring my file since April 2 2012).

In her world, the claim was filed on April 13 2012 (even though the information she received regarding my termination from ME was dated March 16 2012). I don’t see how you can have it both ways, using information from the March claim while insisting that the April claim was the only one being considered. After listening to quite enough of her less-than-professional blather, I hung up on her.

5) I called back about 10 minutes later and got yet another unhelpful and somewhat rude rocket scientist who refused to understand or respond to my main question: why could they not have investigated the circumstances of my termination sometime earlier than THIRTY THREE days (yes, over a month) after I filed the original claim?

They just kept repeating over and over (ad infinitum, ad nauseum) that the claims adjudicator had ONLY (their emphasis) been monitoring the original claim (remember that March claim they don’t seem to want to deal with or even acknowledge the existence of) since April 2 2012. In my world that’s FIFTEEN days (even removing the weekends, that still leaves ELEVEN days) and all they needed to do was make a possible total of two phone calls.

My secondary question was why I was told on Friday April 13 2012 that I was eligible and that I would get a check this week. The only answer I could get from either unhelpful somewhat rude rocket scientist is that they had no idea why I was told that.

I hung up on the second unprofessional rocket scientist too (do we see a pattern developing here?)

I’m not sure who I’m angriest with, the nice guy from last week, the rude snotty lady from last week, or the two unhelpful rude rocket scientists from this week. I do know that I am sick to death of this roller coaster!

Burn Down The Mission

You tell me there’s an angel in your tree
Did he say he’d come to call on me
For things are getting desperate in our home
Living in the parish of the restless folks I know

Everybody now bring your family down to the riverside
Look to the east to see where the fat stock hide
Behind four walls of stone the rich man sleeps
It’s time we put the flame torch to their keep

Burn down the mission
If we’re gonna stay alive
Watch the black smoke fly to heaven
See the red flame light the sky

Burn down the mission
Burn it down to stay alive
It’s our only chance of living
Take all you need to live inside

Deep in the woods the squirrels are out today
My wife cried when they came to take me away
But what more could I do just to keep her warm
Than burn, burn, burn, burn down the mission walls

Now everybody now bring your family down to the riverside
Look to the east to see where the fat stock hide
Behind four walls of stone the rich man sleeps
It’s time we put the flame torch to their keep

Geeze, It’s Just a T-Shirt

Once upon a time I had a T-shirt that said “What part of NO don’t you understand”?

One year–years ago–I wore it to a non-denominationsal retreat that I’ve attended every year since 1994. I’ve been repeatedly judged for something I wore literally YEARS ago (the T-shirt has long since deteriorated and been thrown away)

I’m being told over and over again that the T-shirt represents my current attitude towards life and towards other people (if that was true, don’t you think I’d either have replaced it, or made sure to keep it from deteriorating?)

Geeze, it was just a T-shirt and it was worn literally years and years ago.

I had lots of choice in T-shirts throughout my life. My family may not have liked the sayings on some of them, but then again it was MY money and MY choice of what to buy and what to wear from the time I graduated from high school until this very day.

I could have chosen to worn “I’m perfectly adjusted so don’t touch the knobs” (with decals over the nipples for the knobs) or “sex is like air, its not that important til you aren’t getting any‘ or “sex is like gasoline, self-service is always faster, easier, and cheaper” or “I’d like to care but my give-a-damn is busted” or “attitude is everything” or “If you don’t like my attitude, quit talking to me” or my personal favorite, the bright pink one with “miss bossy” on it.

I’ve got a Jack Daniels T-shirt too that says “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” and I don’t even drink.

There were a few other T-shirts from Big Dog that would have been semi-offensive to some people; its been a long time since I wore them or even seen them, so long that I don’t even remember where they are much less what they said.

I have a T-shirt that says “Makes Me Crazy” in bright yellow felting on a dark blue T-shirt. It was an inside joke between myself and my therapist (ie ‘nobody can “make you crazy” unless you let them’–that was her opinion, and I didn’t agree!).

I used to have a T-shirt that was from the Big Dog store that said “Large and in Charge.” Those of you who are regular readers of my blog know that I have weight and body image issues. I have always chosen to wear large (3x 4x 5x) T-shirts because trying to look small when you aren’t is fake, as well as being dismissive of your own body. It has taken me years and years to be able to look at my naked body in a mirror and not trash myself.

Yes, these are/were real T-shirts that either I had in my teenage/young adult years or have now.

I had enough respect for the other members of my retreat to NOT wear any of those T-shirts that I thought could have been offensive to any of the retreats.

I never realized that people at retreat would have issues with the ‘what part of no don’t you understand” T-shirt because everybody around me (co-workers, friends, even my freaking mother) absolutely LOVED that T-shirt.

I don’t see or understand why some members of my retreat group have so many issues with it that it’s been brought up repeatedly–and negatively–for years!

I didn’t wear the offensive T-shirts to ANY of my offline jobs. I have enough respect for myself, my employers, and my co-workers to understand and comply with even unwritten rules about work clothes (even in a casual Friday environment). I did wear the non-offensive (to MOST people) T-shirts to work when allowed.

But my opinion is that they are just T-shirts.

Yeah, they may start conversations (my generation and younger generations love the sex t-shirts), yeah I may get stares or not-so-nice comments from older generations (my retreat friends are 15-20 years older than I am). I imagine my mother’s generation would not appreciate the sex t-shirts.

SO WHAT? If I’m okay with conversations, comments, and stares, why is it a big deal for anybody else? Why in particular is it a big deal for retreat participants?

And here’s the deal, most if not all of those T-shirts and any others I might have missed bring back memories for me. They were nearly all bought at Big Dog T-Shirts on the Oregon Coast, the Big Dog store has gone out of business and there never was one in Bend.

When I had money I bought T-shirts like other people buy candy bars. Sometimes the decals I had transferred onto the T-shirts were a bit edgy, and sometimes they were pre-printed shirts. I’ve got a T-shirt from when I went to visit a friend in Ohio, I’ve got a Kennedy Space Center T-shirt from when I went to Florida in 2007, I’ve got a T-shirt with a cat on it, I’ve got a pink T-shirt with sequins on it from my vacation in Arizona in 1997, I have a T-shirt thats pink with an owl on it. For me, they are just pieces of clothing, some have messages, some don’t.

Yes, NO is a very powerful word and it seems to bother some people (funnily enough, most of these people have NO problem when they are the one using the word). It’s a word I was not allowed to use as a child and teenager. If I said NO or otherwise refused to do/say/believe/feel something or other I was either threatened with a beating or beaten. As an adult, I’ve allowed myself to say NO to things that aren’t healthy for me mentally, physically, or emotionally

If other people have such serious issues with what I choose to put on my body, I have to wonder what their issues are.

Geeze, It’s Just a T-Shirt!!

English Skills Optional?

Just received this horse manure which I am hoping is only pretending to be from Resume Bucket. After being rather nastily turned down today for an online writing position, I sorely needed the laugh this male bovine fecal material provided.

Dear Applicant

The Human resources have just reviewed your resume due to the one you posted on You are now scheduled for an interview with the hiring manager of the company.His name is David leonard,you are required to setup a yahoo mail account( and a yahoo instant messenger ( After this process is done, you are to add up her yahoo id ( to your yahoo buddy list for the interview.add her up now.She is online waiting for you

The position available are data entry,office assist,admin clerk,health care services,customer service,book-keeping,auditing,sales management,operation manager, human resources,sales director,admin assist,sales rep,accounting clerk,medical biller,payroll clerk,manufacturing m manager,assist supervisor.

If you are interested in any one of the position you are to follow all of the instruction given to you above.

Be nefits: Health, Dental, Life and AD&D Insurance, Employee Wellness and 401k plans. Paid Time Off and Holidays with Generous Company Discounts. Free mini office equipments and other benefits which will be relayed in the course of this briefing.

Work Time: Part-Time /Full Time

*Feel free to email me on

Human Resources Dept
To respond, please log in to your ResumeBucket message center by clicking here.


ResumeBucket Team

1) Who in the world interviews using Yahoo IM and Yahoo email? The premier choice for a non face-to-face interview is currently Skype.

2) David Leonard or David leonard can’t make up his mind if he’s male or female (he also can’t make up his mind if his last name needs to be capitalized or not). Perhaps he’s a hermaphrodite? Proper use of pronouns in an email is an effective business skill. It’s unfortunate that the hermaphrodite only attended the school of spam (and not that stuff made by Hormel either)

3) There are numerous positions listed but I guess David Leonard’s S key is broken. Or perhaps the school of spam never taught him/her/it that if you have multiple things to list, you should say ‘positions’ not position.

4) The position available are…..should be the position available is or the positions available are. Is is singular, are is plural. For example, my cat IS crazy, my cats ARE crazy. Yes the cats ARE crazy but that’s neither here nor there.

5) The ‘human resources’ should be the human resources staff or human resources department or human resources manager (I could go on for days but you should be getting the drift that the troglodyte left out a word.

6) The human resources (whatever, perhaps the hermaphrodite itself?) have just reviewed my resume due to the one I posted on Resume Bucket. Did they review the ‘one’ I posted on Resume Bucket? What ‘one’ was that? This sentence should read that the human resources staff (or department, or manager) reviewed my resume which they found on Resume Bucket.

7) ‘Add up her yahoo id to your buddy list’. Add up? These sentences should read add, the up is not necessary. For example, my bills last month added up to more money than I earned last month, and my bills this month will add up to more money than I will earn this month.

8) The positions available are…..blah, blah, and blah. There should be a space after each comma in this sentence. There should be an ‘and’ between manufacturing m manager and assist supervisor. While we’re on the subject of ‘assist,’ the word ‘assist’ is generally not an acceptable abbreviation for assistant. The word bookkeeping is generally not hyphenated, and operation manager is normally operations manager. Be nefits is not a word, the proper spelling is benefits. And while we’re on that subject, there’s no need to capitalize each and every one of the benefits. Equipments is not a generally accepted usage and what are ‘mini office equipments?’

9) ‘If you are interested in any one of the position’ should be ‘if you are interested in any of the positions’ as we have another mismatch (position vs positions) and one is just unnecessary verbiage

10) Instruction would be appropriate if only one directive had been given. I am supposed to open a Yahoo email account, download Yahoo messenger, and add her up to my buddy list. That is three directives or ‘instructions’

Is this a legitimate job interview offer? I DON’T THINK SO!

Finally Back on Track

In October 2011, I fell and hurt my right knee. Since then I have had a lot of pain in the inguinal area of the same leg, and because of the pain I became very sedentary. The lack of exercise combined with no change in my eating habits lead to a weight gain of 15-20 pounds (since I was not the thinnest crayon in the box before the fall, this additional weight was really not needed!)

After 4 1/2 months of inactivity, pain, and nagging my doctor half to death (LOL) I took the bull by the horns, and started taking care of myself.

The motivating factor was the fact that I lost 3 pounds in 3 weeks without even trying.

Now I’m actively trying to lose weight and get in shape.

What do I mean by trying? I am eating healthier as well as using portion control (for example, I now eat one small bowl of Doritos rather than eating the whole bag in one sitting, and I buy ONE ice cream bar rather than 4 half gallons of Breyers and a pint of Haagen Daazs).

I am using dumbbells and ankle weights (5-7 pounds and I have several sets of dumbbells as well as 2 sets of ankle weights) every night when I watch TV, and I’ve started using the exercise bike again.

Next month I plan on buying a quarterly pass for the local aquatic and fitness center. It’s about a 10 minute bus ride from my house so that is very convenient.

I do not know how much weight I’ve lost (other than the original 3 pounds) because several months ago I *accidentally* broke the scale. I can hear the snickers already!

Well, it really WAS an accident–I accidentally stepped on one side of the scale while trying to clean the bathroom and it slammed back down onto the floor and started making wierd noises–but I do have to admit that I did not run right to the store and replace it.

I still feel NO need to replace the scale LOL. I figure I get weighed at least every two months by my doctor(s) or nurse(s) so that’s good enough for me.

I do know that my clothes are a lot looser than they were, and that my legs/back/behind do not hurt when I walk now.

I have to give a shout out to two Facebook friends (Sondra and Traci) who are also fighting the battle of the bulge. Their posts on Facebook and pictures of the food they eat keep me motivated to do this long term. Also their feedback, asking questions, and their ‘liking’ of my posts keeps me accountable. I know if I don’t post for a few days my cousin (Traci) will say hey how are you doing? It’s like a Facebook weight loss support group.

Traci has also motivated me to try food that I’d never eaten before such as laughing cow spreadable cheeses and turkey bacon. Traci and I have similar tastes in food so if she says something is good I can pretty much trust her opinion (although if she ever recommends beef liver I will run in the other direction, been there, did that, didn’t get a t-shirt ROFL)

Another shout out goes to Spark People. I have belonged to Spark People for nearly 4 years but haven’t used them to their full potential until recently. There are nutrition and fitness trackers (seeing what I eat and how many fitness minutes I get in a day has been very motivating for me recently). They also have blogs and spark pages

I am tracking protein, calories, fat, sodium, calcium, iron, potassium, cholesterol, and several vitamins. I am trying to get the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) without supplements other than potassium (I am extremely low in potassium even with the 1500 mg in potassium supplements I take every day, so I’m adding more tuna, bananas, etc to my meal plan)

Tonight I fixed a ‘healthy’ omelet: 1/2 cup Lucerne Best of the Egg, 2 slices turkey bacon, 1/4 cup shredded cheese, and 1/4 cup chopped white onion. I microwaved all of the ingredients in the same bowl for about 3 minutes — until the egg substitute was firm but still moist. For dessert, I had raspberries and grapes. I drank one can of Diet Coke with dinner, and one can of Diet Coke after dinner

I am also motivated to lose weight because there is a good possibility that I can stop taking my high blood pressure medication as well as my medication for my borderline diabetes.

Dreams and Nightmares

Once or twice a month I dream (more like a nightmare) about a so-called teacher who taught home economics at Cascade Junior High School in Bend Oregon when I was in the seventh grade (I was in the seventh grade for two school years–more on that later–so it would have been from September 1971 through June 1972 and then again from September 1972 through December 1972)

I call Dorothy Stenkamp a so-called teacher because she had no more business teaching students, molding young minds, or being in a classroom than my cats do. Even in the seventies, teachers were expected to teach children skills they needed for their future, to report abuse to the authorities, and more than anything else NOT to abuse the children themselves.

I don’t know if I was the only student she verbally and emotionally abused in her so-called teaching career, but I really doubt it. I was a troubled and troublesome student but you can’t tell me that I was the only troubled/troublesome student she ran into in 30 years of so-called teaching.

Now, if this teacher had possessed half a brain she would have seen beyond the behavior to the underlying causes. I know that 40 years ago the regulations on reporting suspected abuse basically did not exist, and there were no repercussions for not reporting suspected abuse–but this woman made things worse by her actions towards me.

I was physically abused by my mother from the time I was 3 years old until I was 16 years old; I was sexually abused by my maternal grandfather from the time I was 8 years old until I was 15 years old; and I have been verbally and emotionally abused by two other family members (mother and maternal grandmother) throughout my life (this abuse continues to this day from my mother).

Any idiot with even half a brain should have realized that a 12 year old girl doesn’t scream at other students so loudly that it hurt their ears for no reason (if I screamed at my tormenters loud enough to hurt their ears, they went away and left me alone, at least til the next time) and any idiot should have realized that a 12 year old girl with test results showing a 140 IQ doesn’t flunk half her classes for no reason.

Teachers often talk about students to other teachers. At least one teacher at Kenwood Elementary School and one at Cascade Junior High would have seen the bruises on my back, buttocks, and the back of my thighs. So its not unlikely that all of my teachers knew somebody was abusing me even though I never said anything (I did however act out to beat hell!)

And you cannot tell me that when my so-called best friend–in whom I had confided–got furious with me and told everybody in school about my maternal grandfather having sex with me when I was 11 years old that the ‘rumors’ stayed confined to the student body. The junior high school counselor heard the ‘rumor’, assumed that it was more than just a ‘rumor’, and had discussed it with my mother ‘there is something very major but she won’t talk about it to me.’ I despised that school counselor with every fiber of my being and wouldn’t have discussed a hangnail with her, much less an attempted rape.

To add to the total joy of being me from third grade through seventh grade (1967 though 1972) my parents divorced in 1968. Back in the sixties, divorce was neither as prevalent or as accepted as it is now. Being from a “broken family’ or ‘a single parent household’ was looked down upon in those years or at least it was in my extended family.

So there you have it: a child from a ‘broken home’ who is being sexually, verbally, physically, mentally and emotionally abused by three out of the four authority figures in her life (the fourth one was largely absent from the picture), who is also being harassed (by what feels like every member of the student body) about an attempted rape (although my ex-friend stated “Suellen had sex with her grandfather” not “Suellen’s grandfather tried to rape her’) and then a long-time teacher hops in and abuses her verbally and emotionally.

This teacher had it in for me (why I do not know) and called me a liar and a thief to my face, not only one time but repeatedly. For example, I found an wool army blanket in the local park, when I told her about finding it, she said I’d stolen it. She even told my mother that I’d stolen the blanket. Then when I accidentally skipped her class (and went across the street to the public library instead) I was called names for skipping class, a liar for saying I went to the library, and a liar for saying it was accidental (3 names for the price of one, how nice! NOT!)

I don’t know why the memory of this teacher haunts me twice a month but I want this woman out of my head. I owe her NO explanations, and its none of her business that not only did I graduate from high school but that I graduated from college (TWICE even).

I Beg To Differ: Life in the AARP lane

St Charles Medical Center may be a small hospital to AARP (226 beds) but it is the largest hospital in central Oregon. It is also a level 2 trauma center; in fact, it is the only level 2 trauma center in eastern Oregon.

The St Charles Health Care system also owns and manages the hospitals in Redmond, Madras, and Prineville.

In my opinion, the St Charles Health Care system delivers a level of care that meets or exceeds the level of care provided by Portland area hospitals.

Do the hospitals and clinics in the rest of eastern Oregon send their patients that need more care to Portland and Salem hospitals? Some might, but the articles I’ve read say that St Anthony’s (Pendleton, Oregon), Wallowa Memorial Hospital (Enterprise, Oregon), Grande Ronde Hospital (La Grande, Oregon), Blue Mountain Hospital (John Day, Oregon), Mid-Columbia Medical Center (The Dalles, Oregon), St Alphpnsus Medical Center (Baker City, Oregon), Harney District Hospital (Burns, Oregon), and Sky Lakes Medical Center (Klamath Falls, Oregon) and other medical facilities in eastern Oregon send their patients to St Charles Medical Center

As stated on the page I linked to directly above this paragraph, St Charles Medical Center serves over 200,000 people in a 33,000-square-mile area (greater than the size of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Hawaii combined).

I was born at the original St Charles Hospital; I’ve been treated at the emergency room for various injuries and other medical emergencies several times over the years and I was admitted to the hospital proper with pulmonary emboli almost 1 1/2 years ago (August 8 2010).

I was treated at Kaiser and Providence when I lived in Portland; it took months for Kaiser to figure out and treat my menstrual periods that would not stop (I’d had the same problem in Bend, and it took my doctor here ONE VISIT!) and my gallbladder surgery at Providence was delayed for FIVE HOURS due to a snowstorm. At least in central Oregon, a snowstorm is not a major event that prevents surgery from being performed! It took 2 emergency room visits, an ultrasound, and numerous doctor visits to even get the gallbladder issue diagnosed; during the time they were IMO dicking around I had 4 major gallbladder attacks and several minor attacks.

St Charles Medical Center is also affiliated with Air Life and they have their own heliport for critical care transportation.

Patients receive award winning care at the hospital itself, the Cancer Center, the Heart Center, NOW Care (immediate care for orthopedic and neurological care), the Emergency Room, and various clinics under the St Charles Health Care System umbrella

If you don’t need hospital care there are numerous clinics throughout the area (including but not limited to):

1) Mosaic Medical (in Bend and Prineville)

2) Bend Memorial Clinic (numerous clinics throughout the central Oregon area)

You can find a complete list of medical clinics here:

I was admitted to St Charles Medical Center in August 2010 for pulmonary emboli. I was in the emergency room for 5 hours and in the hospital; I had no health insurance and no money. The St Charles Foundation waived my entire bill, which was over twelve thousand dollars ($12,000.00). I doubt that the (mostly) for-profit hospitals in the Portland/Salem area would have done so.

Over the years, my father had gallbladder surgery, back surgery, double bypass surgery, and carotid artery surgery–all at St Charles Medical Center. There was never any discussion of going to a hospital in the Portland/Salem area because he KNEW that the level of care right here in Bend Oregon meets and/or exceeds the level of care in the Willamette Valley.

If you need more care than St Charles Medical Center can provide you (unlikely IMHO!) Air Life and short flights from the Redmond airport to Portland make AARP’s comments about transportation issues a non-issue.

A long drive–3 hours in the summer, often up to 5 hours in the winter–so yes it’s a long drive when you are having critical medical issues.

But if you are having critical medical issues that require treatment in the Willamette Valley, you would be taking Air Life or an air ambulance, NOT driving.

I am NOT saying that St Charles Medical Center is the be-all-and-end-all of all hospitals or that St Charles Health Care System is the end-all-and-be-all of health provider networks. I am just saying that AARP should have done some research on the hospital and other medical services before maligning it.

Grumble Growl Bitch Whine and Moan (LOL)

Description: Yes, I am grumbling, growling, bitching, whining, and moaning tonight. You ask why? I am seriously frustrated with my roommate (lets just call him Andrew like I did in this post:

Today’s installment of frustration came when I discovered that I was storing cookie sheets in the oven.

As the oven is rarely used by either of us, this isn’t as dumb as it sounds. Or at least it wasn’t until Andrew used the oven to cook a small pizza for himself.

I kept smelling burned ‘stuff’ even after the pizza was removed, and as he is very absent-minded (age, health, multiple cans of beer every day) I thought perhaps he’d put something else in the oven and forgot about it (he’s forgotten water running in the kitchen sink–with a pot he was washing blocking the drain–to the point it nearly flooded the countertops) or that he’d forgotten to turn off the oven (he’s also forgotten to turn off the burners on the stovetop).

The oven was turned off — but still the ‘burning stuff’ smell was persisting so I opened the oven door, and there was nothing on the bottom rack. I bent down and looked closer; that was when I saw the cookie sheets on the top rack (which is directly under the heating elements for the broiler).

Just to add to the joy of the situation the few potholders I still have are nowhere to be found. I am not self-destructive enough to remove cookie sheets from a still hot oven with my bare hands, so I found a small towel to make sure that the cookie sheets HAD been in the oven during the pizza cooking. The top cookie sheet (one of three) has charcoal on it, so the logical assumption is that the cookie sheets got baked along with the pizza. The oven door is open, the oven hood fan is on (metal is not meant to be cooked when there’s nothing on it so there’s some smoke in the kitchen), and the cookie sheets are still cooling on the rack.

Update: he started to cook another small pizza, and I heard the oven door close (I wonder if he even noticed that the oven door was open, and the fan was on). I stalked into the kitchen and said (snarled really LOL) ‘there are cookie sheets on the top rack that you’ve already fried!!” Then I grabbed the towel, grabbed the cookie sheets and trotted them out into the snow in the carport. He had the nerve to complain that I left the oven door open and there were no potholders!

This is not my first grumble with Andrew’s kitchen habits. He leaves soiled paper towels on the countertops because I haven’t lined the garbage cans (here’s a newsflash, Andrew, I am OUT of kitchen trash bags and I don’t get paid until January 7 2011). He hasn’t figured out how to turn on the hood fan when he stir fries–which he does once or twice a week–to the point that he’s set off the smoke alarm more than once. He leaves actual garbage on the countertops because I haven’t lined the garbage cans. There are three garbage cans in the kitchen, if the one closest to him isn’t lined he won’t put anything in it.

He has a small (dorm size) refrigerator/freezer in his room. When he asked to use one of the drawers (meat tray and crisper) in my full size refrigerator I said sure. Within two weeks, he’d taken over both the meat tray and the crisper. What irritated me is that he’d put vegetables on top of my boxes of ‘Boston Baked Beans’ and ‘Jaw Breakers’ (types of hard candy that comes in cardboard boxes). He forgets meat and vegetables both, to the point that they spoil. Now juices from dead vegetables and spoiled meat don’t affect normal candy bar wrappers, but they do affect unsealed cardboard boxes and their contents. Luckily I discovered that he had decided that permission to use one meant permission to use BOTH before my candy got ruined.

Since then–and without asking or even mentioning it before doing so–he’s taken over half the top shelf, half the third shelf and the top of the in-fridge freezer. I’m lucky that he doesn’t seem to even know where the small chest freezer is — or he’d take over that too probably with comments about ‘since you aren’t using it anyway.’

Oh yeah, he wants a cupboard in the kitchen for his food, which is fine. But when you are asking for a favor, making comments about whether or not the current contents of the cupboard are being used is not very nice. It is MY house, and I don’t have to use all the stuff in it just so I can keep the stuff in MY cupboards!

The stovetop is a disaster area because he never cleans it up after stir frying. He has not put a dish or glass or piece of silverware in the dishwasher since he moved in (August 1 2011). I suppose I should be happy he puts his dishes in the sink! But I am not his mother, his wife, or his girlfriend. He should clean up after himself!

Of Dogs and Dummies: Life in the Pedestrian Lane

Cops can be really stupid, and even dumb dogs can be really smart!

On Thursday December 22 2011 I was going to an appointment with my doctor at Mosaic Medical and was walking to the bus stop (the bus stop is across the street from the mobile home park that I live in, and its a 5-10 minute walk from my house to the bus stop). I walk everywhere and usually try to cross SE 15th Street as I come out of the park (this depends on traffic though, and this time traffic was quite heavy so I decided to walk up the street to SE Bronzewood Avenue and cross there–that’s where the bus stop is anyway, at the corner of SE Bronzewood and SE 15th)

I noticed a vehicle driving very slowly half in the bike lane, half on the road. Then I noticed a medium to large dog (looked like a St Bernard/boxer cross, with the markings of a St Bernard, body of a boxer) walking along the sidewalk; the vehicle was a police car or animal control vehicle (no markings on the vehicle, no lights on either).

The cop was following the dog and attempting to capture it. Yes, we have a leash law but this dog seemed to be very mild mannered–no biting, snarling, growling, foaming at the mouth, or rushing at me (or anyone else). In short, this dog was not an active threat to anyone!

Before reaching either the dog or the vehicle, I stopped and rested by leaning against a tree on mobile home park property (this PRIVATE property borders the CITY sidewalk, and I often stop and lean against a tree, sit on a rock, etc on this PRIVATE property–as repeat readers of this blog will remember, I have a very bad leg; even short walks are painful, troublesome, and require frequent stops).

When I resumed walking, the dog saw me. He ran and disappeared into one of the unfenced yards in my mobile home park.

The police officer (animal control officer, perhaps, as I said the law enforcement vehicle was NOT marked!) saw me too, and that was when things got stupid: the police officer actually motioned me to jaywalk across the street with a minimum of 15 cars coming in each direction.

At this point, a second cop in an actual police car had pulled up behind him, still with no warning lights on.

How would cars coming from either direction even know until they were within striking distance of ME (literally) that either of these cars were police vehicles, or that there was an issue, or that they should stop for me?

Although there is no law in Oregon against jaywalking (I already verified that with the police, as noted in this post:, I have a real aversion against doing it when there is heavy traffic. I am not into dying or severely injuring myself by allowing 3,000-5,000 (minimum) pounds of homogenized metal to come into close personal contact with my body!

The only times I would even consider jaywalking in heavy traffic are limited to the following:

1) I have been told to cross the street against traffic (jaywalk) by a police officer, animal control officer, or other public official who has their flashing lights on or some other way of letting the general public know that there is an issue and that they should stop for either the jaywalker or the public officials

2) There is a very real threat to me if I remain on the sidewalk or on the shoulder that I am currently on (say a dog that is biting, snarling, growling, foaming at the mouth, rushing at me in a threatening manner, or showing signs of aggressive behavior). However, even a dog bite is probably less painful and life-threatening then the aforementioned 3,000-5,000 pounds of homogenized metal traveling at between 30 and 40 miles per hour; I would probably take my chances with the dog unless it was foaming at the mouth (I hear the treatments for rabies are painful).

I find it appalling that a police officer or animal control officer would even think of risking the life of a pedestrian while attempting to capture a dog that was presenting NO threat at all to anybody. Leash law or no leash law, it is beyond stupid (and beyond irresponsible) to encourage unsafe crossings of a busy street simply because you are so focused on capturing a dog

I was amused to see the dog heading in the other direction (north on 15th street) about 10 minutes later.–the cop had gone south on 15th street and then disappeared into the traffic on Reed Market Lane. I do agree with the principle of leash laws as you never know if a dog is going to be aggressive or not, but I was pleased that the dumb (IMHO) cops had failed to either capture the dog or get me killed/injured