Reminiscing…

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I miss the beach. the feel of sand between my toes, the warmth of the sand, the warmth of the sun, the sound of the waves, the smell of the water, the sound of seagulls, searching for shells that I can use in crafts or display with my lighthouses, the way peanut butter and jelly sandwiches taste so much better after playing in the waves and soaking up some sun…

I miss having picnics at the lake, watching the kids play while the guys fish, taking off my shoes, rolling up my jeans and sitting in my folding chair at the edge of the water squishing the wet soil between my toes, the smell of hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, having to patch up the kids after at least one, if not all, fall down running and skin their knees and the palms of their little hands, their excitement when one of the guys catches a fish! The fellowship and conversation and we enjoy the scenery, the serenity and the friendship.

I miss going to the park to do my homework or read a book. Sitting on the grass, under a tree. The breeze through my hair. The sounds of the birds in the trees. Taking a moment to make a daisy chain from the tiny little flowers and putting it around my neck or in my hair. Pretending I was sitting under a tree in a huge yard of a plantation or ranch style home in the country, far away from the city.

I enjoy sitting outside in the backyard, with the breeze blowing my hair and creating musical sounds with the wind-chimes. It feels good to laugh as I watch the puppies chase each other, and even better when they chase butterflies. Their curiosity as the watch the birds fly overhead, and the way they tilt their heads to the side when the wild parrots fly over squawking to each other.

I miss the feel of being on a waterski, jumping the wake and the spray of the water on my face. The thrill of the challenge of not falling as I cut back and forth through the wake of the boat. I do NOT miss camping on the beach, sleeping on a folding lounger and waking to see the shade tarp covered in bugs. I do not miss hiking to a port-o-potty up on a random hill and blazing hot inside.

I still remember when I was swimming and my cousins poured their cereal out into the water and I did not know it was in my hair and I was leaving a trail as I swam along which I very large fish was following me eating the cereal! I remember clearly how it felt to turn around and see the fish almost face to face with me and how I could not run out of the water fast enough!!!

Testing my anxiety…..

Written in April, 2017

Well today was a big text for my anxiety….

Let me back up. As a kid a had a dentist who was mean. He seem to have no concept for the words “I am not numb yet”…. To sum it up, I had 13 cavities filled during my childhood without being completely numb. One time he did manage to numb my eye and make it droop for the rest of the day – but the shot did NOT numb the front tooth he was working on.

Needless to say, when I got old enough I refused to go to the dentist for at least 10 years. My fear and anxiety was so bad that one time I had a tooth abscess and I treated myself. HOW you ask? I used a box cutter to lance the abscess and drain it. I used some left over antibiotics that I had to try and fight the infection and rinsed my mouth out a lot with salt water. Eventually the tooth cracked and I used tweezers to keep loosening the pieces until I got all of the tooth out. THAT is how much I did not want to go to the dentist.

My husband finally decided enough was enough and with HIS dentist managed to find a dentist who would take our insurance AND was willing to sedate me OUT to do work. No one had wanted to sedate me because I have a heart valve problem. My regular doctor had to write a letter to the dentist saying he was pretty confident they didn’t have to worry about me having a cardiac event during the procedures.

So I went to a dentist who specialized in special needs – meaning small children and people who have other conditions that make regular dental visits very difficult. They put me out and pulled a couple teeth, did a deep cleaning, and filled a couple cavities as well as a root canal. I went back a month later for them to put me out again, finish the root canal and deep cleaning and fill another cavity.

After I got all that done while under anesthesia I was able to handle going to the dentist for regular cleaning. I even handled a few cavities and then having the tooth with the root canal that died pulled out while I was awake. I do not know how I managed to handle that as although the guy got it pretty numb he LITERALLY put his foot on the side of the chair to yank on my tooth!!!! Maybe I passed out and that is how I handled it.

I did pretty well for years. Got a partial for the missing upper teeth and decided to hold off on gum surgery for a bridge on the bottom. Then my mom died and I had to start helping my dad, which included a 4 hour drive to Vegas of all places, every 2 weeks. On my days off. It was exhausting from day one. I would cook so he would have a freezer of microwaveable meals, clean and do his grocery shopping, etc. Then drive home to start my work week. Taking care of my dad went on for years – that is another story.

Somehow between the back pain, taking care of my dad and working 50-60 hours a week I did not go to the dentist like I had been. So today was my first visit in at least 5 years. I got the impression my teeth were very long over due. Brushing is NOT enough and I am not a faithful flossed like my husband who has maybe had 1 or 2 cavities in his life time.

I go back next month for a deep cleaning….

Pondering my writing…

Why have I chosen to write now that I have been medically retired…. I have always loved to write. I would write page after page to my friends whom I saw in class and talked to on the phone and yet I would always still have so much to say. When I was young, I think 11 years old, I got my wisdom teeth out and it was painful to talk but I went to my music lessons anyway and I remember my instructor celebrated the fact that I was so quiet!! I guess that says a lot about my talking.  Apparently, it was an issue in school because I actually remember that on our report cards in middle school there was a comment section and comment #8 was “talks excessively”.  Hmmmm, guess I saw that on my report cards often huh?  So when I found myself medically retired from the job I had worked so very hard to get because I wanted it and loved it but now was out of it, I thought why not use my knowledge and combine it with my love of writing and communication.

The question is what should I write about? I could easily go the direction of gruesome murder mysteries (I say easy as in the subject for me, not that writing a book is easy) but I wonder if I really want to look into the abyss to write a really good murder. I hesitate to go to the place that has damaged my soul.

Then I think about the people I have met on the job.  I could write about working side by side with interesting agencies – including riding in the engine of a train to see the view the engineer has and learn about the science of how long it takes to stop a train and why it is impossible to stop by the time they see someone on the tracks!

I think about all the homeless I met. For the most part my interactions with the homeless were quite cordial.  They knew I was not interested in what drugs they might have or such, but that I needed their help when one of them had died or been killed.  They seem to appreciate being told that I could use their help and I would sit and talk with them and more often than not they had information that was helpful.  They would tell me the stories they knew of the decedent and it would help me find family – as in next of kin – for the decedent.  Many times, they told me some of their own stories too. Heartbreaking stories.  I have thought about writing their stories if they would let me because most of them have lived interesting lives and their journey to the streets is fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time. The problem there is most of them do not want to be found or have their stories told. They just want to be left alone, and I respect their desire to be so.

I love animals and love the CARL books. Check them out if you have never seen them. They are about a Rottweiler named Carl who is left to babysit an infant and does a good job. It’s mostly pictures but adorable nonetheless. I have emotional support dogs.  They are very important to my mental health and comfort me, calm me and even wake me if they hear me breathing odd (sleep apnea) or in distress (from a nightmare).  My girl Tessa spoons me. I sometimes consider writing children’s books about animals who help people. Guide dogs, support dogs, diabetic alert dogs, and even family dogs who protect the home and family. Would certainly be subject close to my heart!

I could write about grief.  I certainly have many experiences to take from.  I have notified family after family of their loved one’s death.  I have lost both of my parents. My mother very unexpectedly and my father to suicide – and I was the one who found him. I have had friends murdered and I have investigated murders. I even use to work for a guy who ended up committing 2 murders before taking his own life. I watched my grandfather die a slow painful death from cancer. He was on hospice and my mom brought him home to my childhood home to die surrounded by family instead of in a hospital. I was barely a teenager. One of my friends who was murdered was killed by a serial killer.

Sometimes I wonder why I have always had death in my life. As a very young child I remember my cat being hit by a car and my mother put her on a pillow when she then placed on my lap and I comforted my cat while she died. As an only child, my pets were always more than pets. They were my companions and my siblings that I wanted but was not meant to have. One of my daughters is much like me in this way. She has always been attached to every animal she has had. Even when she tried to keep insects and such.  Her sister not so much, until the last couple years when she was here with when my husband and I brought home a rescue from the shelter who was only 3 months old and scared. He snuggled right up and won her heart.

Recently, on a trip out of state, I was able to take many photos of the scenery.  I took some great pics if I say so myself.  I now consider maybe posting a pic and writing about it – what I see or feel or wonder about it.

Some have told me I should write about my nightmares. First of all, they never sound like nightmares when I talk about them but to me, when I am IN them, it is awful.  I do not have “boogyman” type nightmares.  I dream that I am at my old job as a secretary working for an impossible boss again and I am just having the worst day, over and over. My time there was so miserable it really caused problems in my life.  I was so stressed there that when I went to the coroner’s office and worked in death and grief every day I actually stopped needing sleep aids and cut my heart medication in half within the first 6 months.  You would think it would have been the opposite. Some people have no people skills and that boss was/is one of them. I also dream I can’t find a clean bathroom.  Why is this such a common dream? Maybe I should research THAT. So weird!!

So many things to ponder… but for now I should get some sleep. Many things to get done in the morning!

For now I leave you with this….. the story of me now!

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Inspiring Adventure

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Recently the hubby and took a trip to Idaho. We are close to retirement and thinking of moving to somewhere cooler and a bit more laid back from the hurries from life. We traveled quite a bit of the western side of the state, starting up north, then down to Boise to visit family then drove to McCall for the weekend. Such a beautiful drive. I felt peace there, everywhere we went, peace I rarely feel here.  Part of our drive was along the Payette river, and through some beautiful plains as well as some lakes.

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A very interesting thing happened… a while back I had a “scene” come to me about a cemetery on a country road. It’s been over a year since I wrote that piece, just one scene. As we were driving from one property to view another, we drove past a cemetery that was almost exactly what I had envisioned when I had written that scene over a year ago.  I yelled stop to my husband who was driving, so I could get out and take a few pics.  I took a few pics then sent them to my daughter and friend, who both said it was quite interesting to happen like that. My daughter called it a “sign” that I needed to go back and write more with that scene.

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The peace I felt while on our little adventure inspired not only the writer in me but the photographer as well – as I hope you see from these few pics!

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Genre dilemma

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This little cartoon says so much about my imagination problems. I remember during a weird conversation at work I made the comment that I cannot create a romantic fantasy.  My obsessiveness for details won’t let me. I went on to explain that if I tried to create a romantic rendezvous with my husband, I wouldn’t get past the door because I would spend so much time worrying about where would we go, how would we get there? If it is a surprise would we take 2 separate cars are one of us get there somehow else so we could ride home together. What would be the pretext to get us there? Would we eat dinner first? Who would be watching our dogs? And so it would continue until it would become no longer worth the effort to figure out the details…. And so is the crux of my writing. Which genre should I write about? Mysteries, murder mysteries because I have training and experience in such matters – but do I want to go back deep into the abyss of the awful horror which I have buried in my head from what I have seen and done as I gained said experience? What about human interest stories – I have encountered so many different people and so many stories but then who, what and why – and would I have to pay them, would they do it for a lunch or dinner, how would I find these people…. When my kids were younger I was always telling people about the things my kids would say and do and of course I always did so with a very dramatic flair. So many people told me I should write a book about my experiences in parenting – especially since I could easy write a chapter about vomit…. My younger daughter could hit the back of my head with projectile vomit from her car-seat behind me. Thanks to the generically passed curse of Migraines my kids have thrown up in many a public place. And then there is the time I lost a nursing pad in the mall and didn’t know it, until we looped around and I said look – someone lost a nursing pad – how gross – hahahahahahaha and THEN REALIZED I WAS MISSING ONE…. Yeah not so funny then… but it sure is now!! So you can see I have so many ideas and genres I could pursue but can’t make up my mind and so for now I ramble on in my blogs and try to be educational on my website. I do miss talking at the schools.  I would do career day for a couple of jr high schools every year and also a science class and random high school classes as requested. It gave me an opportunity to tell them what it is really like and answer their questions.  Well, even us crazy detail obsessing people need to sleep sometime…. I should mosey along for now….. good night

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Dreams and crazy crap in my head….

Well I have finally found a quiet moment to try and get some work done on my website and blogs… of course it is at the cost of sleep but thanks to pain radiating down my legs I wasn’t going to get any sleep right now anyway.  Not to mention the wacko dreams I have been having lately. Let me back up.  I have been plagued by nightmares all of my life and even if I have a “good” dream, it is very weird.  When I say nightmare, they aren’t the boogie man kind, they are the sh*t happens in life kind of nightmares. You know… in public with no pants on, forgot everything I studied, get lost somewhere, break something important to me, and of course my favorite reoccurring theme is I can’t find a clean bathroom.  Apparently all toilets in my subconscious are over-flowing, dirty, etc. It does not help that in real life I have had a couple of bad “port-a-potty” experiences, one that included a wild buffalo on Catalina Island and another in which the lock did not engage and some guy opened the door, which faced the HS football stands! “HELLO”.   I certainly could use some of my dream world for characters in my writing but of course although the “feelings” I feel during the dream stay with me all day but the actual scenes, plots and characters come and go in flashes. I can sort of remember a little flash but can’t put it into words.  I could so much better when I was younger but not so much now. There are other reoccurring things as well.  There is a house that I dream about that has many secret doors and rooms and it is in the middle of the forest and we (my hubby and I) are trying to restore it. I am sure there is some kind of message from my subconscious in there but I haven’t figured it out. And it seems every time the house appears in a dream there is a new room, or piece of furniture.  As a kid I would try and protect myself and my punches would move in slow mo and not hurt anyone so I would try to think of a weapon or super-power at night as I fell asleep.  It worked! My brain began to make me able to take care of myself and others. I usually could fly in my dreams up until about 5 years ago… then I started running. I can’t remember how many times I am running down a freeway barefoot in a dream now. Or scaling a dirt wall and climbing around railroad tracks. Always barefoot, and always “on foot” and I do not get that part. One nice thing about my dream time is people who have died are there a lot.  My parents and my beloved god-mother. The 3 of them all died difficult deaths including a surprise fatal heart attack, a long suffering of emphysema and the 3rd of suicide, of which I found him. They are always at peace and on the sidelines giving me advice or encouraging me in my dreams.

Where are the nightmares you ask? It is so hard to explain.  The toilet thing is self-explanatory but it is so much more about the feelings I am experiencing than what is actually happening. The frustration of being on foot almost all the time, or the other night trying to drive a big rig for some reason and I couldn’t reach the pedals well and I kept making u-turns. Sometimes they are very clear. Many years ago when I worked in a retail store I had an employee who had gone on a senior trip after graduation and drank a bit too much. A classmate took advantage of her inebriation and raped her. She was devastated and traumatized and the mother in me was pissed, even though she was not my child, I felt responsible in some ways for all of my employees, and was fond of her in that maternal way.  Soon after I dreamed myself and my employees were all swimming in a lake near a dock. The (faceless) guy who raped her came walking down the dock and said he was coming back for more.  Somehow I was able to pull him into the water and with a crow bar hack his head off.  I let his body sink, then held up the head and set it on the dock and told her (my employee) that she did not have to worry about him anymore, I had taken care of it. It was so clear at the time, and I woke up feeling angry and amped with adrenaline at the same time. When I have an intense dream like that, the feelings stay with me. My husband has often said he does not like me getting mad at him for things that happen in my dreams!!

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I sleepwalk too – once in a while now, but more often when I was younger.  I once woke up to find a new package of red vines opened and half gone and yelled at my kids for it – they now laugh about how they kept asking each other if the other one did it… but then I brushed my teeth and found remnants of the red vines – oops sorry about that.  Another time my husband woke me while I was standing at my dresser with some knick-knack in my hand trying to sell it as a shoe to the dog, who was sitting patiently and staring at me. My favorite is when I took my girls to visit my mother, who still lived in my childhood home.  We all went to see the brand new (first) Jurassic Park movie – tells you how long ago it was – and I was sleeping in what was my childhood bedroom. I was dreaming the T-rex from the movie was coming through the town getting closer and closer so I was watching out the window for it.  I suddenly woke up and found myself UPSTAIRS actually looking out the window. Scary that I could get up, go down the hall, turn into the living room, turn again to go up the stairs, turn down the hall and into the guest room. All the while asleep! Which is why my parents did not let me have an upstairs room as a child!

Well I supposed I should try and get a little sleep before I have to leave for a 10am appointment!! (it’s after 4am now.)

Welcome!

Welcome to me and to whomever is reading this.  There is a little bit about me in the “about” section but to sum it up I worked years in the field of death investigation. First as an autopsy technician and then as a sworn investigator in the field. I have to admit the job did a number on me. It wasn’t really until they medically retired me (back issues) that I was able to step back and realize how deep into the abyss I was. I have a website now where I am putting my experience to use in an educational and factual format for the curious and the writers who want to use real life instead of TV to base their crime scenes on. I have a blog attached to it that tells more about the damage of the job and I would like to make this more about the recovery and my dogs.  Why can’t I just write everything in the same place you ask? Good question!  I am not sure myself.  I am a complicated person.  I have a hard time focusing because my mind is always trying to do several things at once.  Even when I sleep. I have the weirdest dreams and nightmares and some days it is hard to convince myself that something that happened in the dream was not real. My husband is quite tired of getting a dirty look upon waking because I dreamed he flirted with a pretty woman LOL. That man deserves a medal for putting up with me! I am the first to admit it. I have a hard time doing one thing at a time. For instance, I often am reading more than one book, I usually have the tv on when I am cruising social media or reading. I have been this way for as long as I can remember, for example in jr high, I would come home from school and do my homework with the tv AND my stereo on! I couldn’t concentrate if it was too silent. I can’t sleep if it is silent either. I always have a fan on. Even in the middle of winter (I just point it up and away) I need the sound. I often sleep with my iPod on with either an audiobook (Starla Huchton’s “The Dreamer’s Thread” is my favorite) or some type of nature sounds. I had to remove the sound of a crackling fire from my nature sound playlist because I kept dreaming the house was on fire – because THAT is how my mind works!

I hope to keep this blog on the lighter side with funny memes, many photos of my adorable fur pack and updates on my gardening. If you want the darker side, check out my link in the about me section!

Until next time!

Karen