My Experience with Hurricane Irma

I am writing about my experience with Hurricane Irma. I live in the Tampa Bay Area. I have dealt with many storms before. I experienced Hurricane Elena back in 1985. I was only 15 at the time. I just remember that storm kept doing a dance up and down the Gulf of Mexico till it finally made landfall Biloxi, Mississippi. During breaks in the feeder bands, we kids would go outside to get away from being shut into homes all boarded up. The kids tied a bedsheet to two poles then hop on skateboards and surfed the wind through the puddles. I just watched them glad to be outside. Another Tropical System came through our area drenching our area sometime before 1992. I can’t recall the name or the time. I just remember coming home from work to find most of my normal routes was flooded. I eventually had to come into the neighborhood from a different direction and drive across some people’s yards to get to my parent’s home. I remember the no name storm of 1993 which occurred in March caused a lot of flooding in our area.

Once I became a Florida State Trooper, I was sent up to Pensacola in October of 1995 for Hurricane Opal. The detail of Troopers from all over the state stayed in Tallahassee at the academy the night the storm came in. We left as a group in the middle of the night heading across Interstate 10 towards Pensacola on the backside of the storm which had weakened from a Category 4 prior to landfall. We traveled convoy style dodging downed trees along our path. We made it to Pensacola and stayed there a total of 9 days. I saw the devastation to the barrier islands there first hand. The intercostal waterway was filled with debris swept off the barrier islands from the storm surge. I got to be observer in a helicopter one of those 9 days. The intercostal waterway was filled with debris swept off the barrier islands from the storm surge. We saw washers, dryers, fridges, cars, boats, and such in the water. The bridge appeared to just end at the barrier island due to the sand that had been washed all over it. We landed in a safe area and went looking in some homes that were still standing searching for those that stayed behind. It was such an eerie sight. That last day before our detail left, bulldozers had opened some of the roadways on the barrier island. The mounds of sand reminded me of snow drifts in the Midwest after a blizzard.

I will always remember the Hurricane season of 2004 which Florida which seem the constant crossing route for Hurricanes that year. That season was very taxing with the many twelve hour shifts and cancelled days off. It started with Hurricane Charley which was aiming right for Tampa Bay. It was a Cat 4. I remember helping Pinellas County evacuees on Interstate 275. Some were heading to friend’s homes in Orlando. One young family was heading to their father’s house in Punta Gorda. Then Hurricane Charley pulled a fast one and veered right off the projected path and made landfall in Punta Gorda. Hurricane Charley rode right across the state emerging back into the Atlantic Ocean off New Smyrna Beach. Barely a month later, Hurricane Frances hit the east coast of Florida coming in between Fort Pierce and West Palm Beach. Hurricane Frances crossed the state coming off into the Gulf of Mexico near Tampa Bay. Hurricane Frances then went up into the panhandle and northeasterly back out into the Atlantic Ocean as remnants. Barely a week later, had Hurricane Ivan come through the Caribbean Sea and into the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Ivan made landfall near Alabama but Florida felt some minor effects from the rain bands. Next came Hurricane Jeanne about a week after Ivan. Hurricane Jeanne hit near Port St Lucie and went through Pasco County almost emerging into the Gulf of Mexico before it tracked northward into Georgia. Three major hurricanes hitting central Florida in six weeks and those three Hurricanes crossed the same area of Polk County all three times.

There were other storms here and there that we had to respond for in Central Florida. Then after my crash in 2007, I became non-essential personnel. The offices have been closed a few times in the past 10 years. Nothing more than a day of the office being closed. This monster of a Cat 5 Hurricane was bearing down on the entire state of Florida. The storm was twice as wide as the state. We were going to get more than a small percentage of winds and effects with this one. Before the storm, I was checking in with each update. I would look at the models. I had a feeling it was going to go right up the middle of the state. The two most dependable models were showing that. I checked in with the geezers as Florida started being more in the cone of uncertainty. I was checking to see if we were going to hunker down or evacuate. The choice was to hunker down. I knew the roads were going to be clogged and with the track of the storm it was going to be hard to find somewhere to go. We couldn’t go north then west due Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath. Going north was not going to be a good option because that was going to be everywhere that those fleeing the state were going to go. I remember when Hurricane Floyd was bearing down on the whole east coast of Florida. All those Floridians evacuated to the west side of the state and caused major gridlock. I went and got extra pet food for Batman. My parents insured me that they were going to get the generator gassed up and prepared. They were going to get water and supplies. It wasn’t discussed any further.

Hurricane Irma devastated islands in the Caribbean to the point that they are inhabitable due to the infrastructure being destroyed. We received word on Thursday that the office was going to be closed Friday and Monday due to the storm. I worked diligently to get work done and to stay busy. I worked on getting my bag packed for going to my parent’s house on Sunday. They actually expected me to go sooner. The storm wasn’t due in our area until Late Sunday night. I advised them I would be over with Batman on Sunday afternoon. I packed Batman’s bag. I then worked on securing my home office and my TARDIS. It is hard to decide what you will actually take and what will stay behind. I only had one tarp and I used that on the TARDIS which covered that and half of my entertainment center. I live on the second floor in a no evacuation zone so flooding was not a concern but losing the roof was a worry. I packed Boo’s ashes, her paw print, and a sample of fur. That cannot be replaced. I felt if me and Batman were going to evacuate then she would come along. I filled my freezer with extra bags of ice from my ice maker. I also placed extra glasses of water in the fridge. I was going to take all my leftovers which were going to leave the fridge pretty much emptied. I lowered the temperature on both the freezer and the fridgerator. I had frozen a glass of water then placed a quarter on top. This way I could know how much the freezer defrosted if power was lost. I did all the laundry just in case the power would be off for a long period of time. I felt I had prepared my place as best as I could.

With my Twitter friends being from all over the world, we had just prayed for those in Texas. Now those in Texas were praying for us joined by those from the rest of the world. Several close Twitter friends are in Florida. We all promised to keep in touch as a group. I left home around 2pm on Sunday and headed to my parent’s house. There was no one on the road. It was a ghost town. Batman was not happy with the wind. Normally he enjoys riding in the car. We got to their home. My parent’s helped me unpack the car. Batman walked into the house and looked around. He explored a bit. Zoey was not happy at all. Batman approached her to make friends. She was so mean. My Mom put Zoey into the master bedroom with their Quaker parrot. This way Batman had the rest of the house. He settled down pretty fast. We all stayed glued to the TV. I spent a lot of that time talking with my friends on Twitter. Everyone was concerned how Batman was doing. It kept my mind off the impending storms approach. My Mom was pretty wound up. She was constantly changing channels taking in every livestream and report. As the night wore on, the wind and rain got worse. Batman stayed close by me. He was safe with me. We tried to sleep but the wind howling woke us a couple times. I was on the couch bed while Mom was in her recliner. We kept hearing loud bangs on the roof followed by scraping. The power flickered on/off a few times. The power finally stayed off around 2am Monday morning. The TV had drowned out some of the wind noise. Now the house was dark. We had our flashlights. Mom had lit all her battered operated candles. I had brought over some extra. This way we could have some light as we needed to go to the bathroom. It was a restless sleep that night. We awoke to a breezy, partly cloudy day. We went outside to survey the damage. We found lots of broken limbs and leaves from the trees. Some of Mom’s plants in the backyard were blown over. We made breakfast on the grill. We discovered that Kcups were not going to work for coffee. Luckily the neighbor that shares the generator with my father had some ground coffee. Lesson 1, make sure you have ground coffee and either a French press or camping coffee pot to make coffee with. The breeze kept the humidity at bay as we all went out front to rake up the storm debris. My father and neighbor started the generator only to discover that it was running but eventually stopped generating electricity. Mom and I ran over to my place to find there was no power at my place. My condo was safe with no damage. The carports sustained damage. Also the storm had broken a pipe in front of our building so no water as well. Mom and I grabbed my bacon and eggs to take back to the house. With no Wi-Fi, the cell signal at my parent’s house is not enough to fully get onto Twitter or Facebook.  I was anxious to check in. The entire Florida group was accounted for and safe. That eased my mind. I was able to answer many text messages inquiring about my safety.

Tuesday was more humid. We fixed breakfast again. Dad said this was camping without the fun. Dad sent Mom and I out on ice run to try and keep the freezer okay. Dad and the neighbor were working on getting the generator fixed. Another neighbor helped them as we were gone. We drove all over seeing lots of damage. Mom and I found a Village Inn open and had lunch. We had to wait on a table. There were some college girls next to us that found out that there was no school for the rest of the week. Many people looked weary and tired. We overheard many conversations about the power being out and damage sustained. We get seated and order. I was able to get good signal at the restaurant so spent a lot of that time getting caught up. I was able to learn from Facebook that Town and Country area never lost power. So I told Mom that was where we were going to head to in order to find ice and something to bring home to the boys. Most of the people in the restaurant were nice and understanding of the limited menu items, the extra time that it was taking to get orders filled. They had limited staff and only had gotten power back on that very morning. Then came in some entitled persons who feel as if the world owes them. All they did was bitch and moan. Seriously? We all just went through the hurricane. They skipped out without paying. People frustrate me that act like that. Unfortunately, the world is beginning to fill up with them. We finished eating and found a Publix opened which had ice. Their deli was operational so we decided to get some chicken for the boys. That Publix had a 20 minute wait on chicken. We stopped at another one on the way home to find some hot wings for the boys. The boys were happy with the hot wings. The other neighbor allowed the boys to borrow one of his generators which they shared to get the fridge and freezers back to temps before switching back to the other house.

With the heat and all, it was getting old pretty fast. We had plenty of water. I had breakfast food covered. We didn’t have enough other food once the leftovers were gone to sustain other meals. We were praying that the power would come back on soon or at least some of the local restaurants to get their power back. The two Publix locations that we had went in there was no bread, snacks were gone, no water, canned goods were scarce. We awoke Wednesday morning after hearing a generator going on all night until it ran out of gas around 430am made sleep very interrupted. We planned on clearing out the backyard. Dad used my diced ham to make omelet with the last of the eggs. To out delight, we saw the lights come on. We closed up the house so the AC would cool it down. We all worked hard on the back yard. Mom started to not feel good. Dad and I cleaned up after finishing our yard work. We went to local Publix and got some food and chicken soup for Mom. Dad and I also stopped by my place to find out the power and water was back on. I was overjoyed because I had enough. Batman was such a good boy and all. Work still was without power until Wednesday evening. I got us all packed up and back home after having lunch with my parents. I only got unpacked enough to be ready for work in the morning. I was exhausted. Still others were without power through until that weekend. The damage to the keys is horrific.

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Pet Safety

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Yesterday was a wakeup call. I received a text from one of my Troopers. He recognized my street name on the active EMS calls website. There was a three alarm fire in my condo complex. I was at work. I opened up the EMS website to find the structure fire call had a total of 35 units on scene. It was the building next to mine. At first, I was relieved because that meant nothing was wrong with my building. However, from my experience, that many fire engines and trucks was not a good thing. I began to panic a little. I checked my pet camera. There was power in my place. I couldn’t see Batman on camera. I turned the sound on and didn’t hear any commotion.  It is July in Florida which means the air conditioning was one.  I had received a weather alert for my home and work area a few minutes before I received the text. I checked the weather radar. I did see a storm moving away from my area. It had just rained heavily at work.

I called my parents whom are both retired. I advised them of the situation. They tried to contact my neighbors but both were at work. The others neighbors are all new to our building. I felt hopeless. Anyone that knows me or have read my blog, you know how important to me Batman is in my life. He is one special guy. They were worried about being able to get to him and really didn’t seem like they wanted to go over there to check on him. Mom did ask where his bag, leash and cat jacket was. I immediately knew his leash and cat jacket were by the door. But the bag, I hesitated not really remembering where it was. I really only used that to carry him into the vet. He hated the bag and liked riding in the car. So that is why I have been leash training him, his cat jacket Velcro on and secures him.  I asked my Twitter friends for prayers that he would be safe. I kept an eye on the radar and the EMS website.

My ex then texted me about the fire and asked if Batman was okay. She had seen it on an independent news post on Facebook. I found that post and learned more about the fire. It was a lightning strike. It had spread through the 3rd floor attic of that building. Firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof to locate and extinguish the fire. As everything was beginning to wind down, my parents decided to go over to check on Batman to ease my mind. She called as they walked towards my building. Firetrucks were still parked everywhere so they had to walk to my building from two buildings down. When they opened, the door and I heard my little guy talking to them. I was at ease.

I am now moving his soft carrier near the door so it is near his leash and cat jacket. I am also ordering a sign that goes in the window which alerts fireman that there is a pet inside. There is also a wallet card that you can have in your wallet in case of an emergency. This way my parents can be alerted. I also already have in place someone to take Batman in case of my death. Everyone needs to have an emergency plan in place. Anything can happen in a minute.  So think about your fur babies emergency plans. Make sure it is implementable. My parents are also going to get me an escape ladder to get off the second floor in case my one and only stairwell is compromised. I know where to go in my place in case of a tornado to keep me and Batman safe.  Now that it is hurricane season, I will get a go bag ready for me and Batman will also have a go bag in case of our needing to evacuate.

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Reflections on Cecil & Rascal


Today isn’t a start to a normal Thursday. Today I feel numb and empty. Today even Batman feels the sadness. I had to put his doggie shirt back on because he was pulling his hair again due to stress. Today Shannon is on my mind. Today Kobe is on my mind. They lost Rascal yesterday. They lost Cecil back in February. Heartbreak and devastation has reared it’s ugly head. Rascal passed away peacefully in his sleep after 16 years. I had the privilege of meeting Shannon and the boys back in October. They are a part of my ohana.

Sure some say oh he was just a cat. To those people, this is why you are not close to me. You don’t get me at all. If you did, then you would know that Batman and my ohana’s furbabies mean more to me than any human relationship. Rascal was Shannon’s furson. Her eldest of her three cool cats. I know the heartache and emptiness Shannon feels. I feel it right alongside her. The Sunday I found about Cecil’s passing, I died a little. Yesterday, I died a little more after hearing about sweet Rascal. I am grateful that I have met Shannon and the boys through Twitter. We been ohana for overn3 years now.

I joined Twitter February 2014. I had lost Boo in January 2014. The relationships built over that span have helped me through my grief of loosing Boo. They were all very supportive when Batman was sick and needed surgery in December 2014. They have helped me become a better, stronger person. Sharing my story with them has helped them all as well. I truly have found my niche.

Joining Zombiesquad in January 2015, my ohana has grown. It really blossomed as if late as more kitties joined the ranks. We have all shared in each others ups and downs. We all support each other. We all love each other. Yes we have had many sad losses. We share those losses together. We keep each other going on.

I truly believe we will see our furry ones again when we meet on the rainbow bridge. I know in my heart that they are our angels watching over us. I have sensed Boo’s presence a few times since her passing.

I have cried more for the deaths of Shannon’s boys, Peaches’ Dreamer, Charlee’s Clarence, Amy’s Gumdrop, Robyn’s Pepper, Ollie and Blue than I ever have for any human. The one exception was William Dyer who was like a brother to me.

Furbabies give unconditional love. That love is forever. That love never dies. We will meet them again. They will be waiting to greet us when we pass. That love is complete, whole, never waining.

Homecoming

March 1, 2012

Morning comes and I am anxious to get home to my fur babies. My partner has to go pick up her son. Amy arrives to take me home. I wasn’t allowed to be discharged until I was able to hold down some solid food. The anesthesia and pain meds had made me very nauseous the day prior. I had gotten sick a couple times. I get a ham and cheese omelet. Amy gets me all situated before the food arrives. I begin to eat gingerly and everything goes well. Amy and I are given discharge instructions.

Amy gets me home. She turns the air conditioning down for me since I had to have it so cold to feel comfortable. All the extra bandages and my body beginning to heal itself had me a bit overheated. There is no way that I am going to be able to sleep in bed. Just too painful so Amy gets me my pillows and gets me set up on the couch. I am so happy to see my fur babies. They both greet me. Just being home and around them has me feeling so much better.

Amy checks on my drainage tubes and it appears to be time to empty them as well milk them. I was kind of shocked how involved in this process Amy wanted to be in. She listened intently and watched the nurse demonstrate this at the hospital. My partner comes up to relieve Amy. Amy had just finished with cleaning up. I had just got back down onto the couch and was settling in get comfortable. I could sense the jealousy in the room with my partner. I rolled my eyes when she wasn’t looking. Batman jumped up onto the couch and wanted to lie on my chest as he always had done. Unfortunately, there was no way I could let him. Poor little guy didn’t understand. I had to keep pushing him down to my lap. He finally settled down on my lap. He wanted to be near me so bad. Boo comes and lies in the pet bed on the floor in front of the couch.

I spend most of the time napping on and off and watching The Big Bang Theory on DVD. I was catching up on the series. There were eight episodes per disc so it was easy to watch and not have to move much. I knew from the accident and how the body needs to heal I just needed to relax and take it easy. Batman and Boo stay constantly by my side or at the least have me in sight. My partner makes sure that I keep hydrated and fed.

The next day keep in mind that my partner still has to work and has her son to take care of. I mainly needed to rest and take it easy. The house hadn’t been cleaned yet and I hadn’t felt like really trying to tackle washing my hair. My partner did a sponge bath because I wasn’t to mess with the bandages as of yet. My parents stop by. My partner jumps at the opportunity to run to the grocery. My mother has a fit about the house and my hair. Seriously, who the fuck cares Mom? Everyone knows I just had surgery. No one is going to care really. Suzanne and Rodney were going to stop in after their shift to visit with me. They would not care. The stuff this woman worries about causes me more stress than is necessary.  My partner returns from the grocery then my parents leave.

While Suzanne and Rodney visited, my partner was able to get some things done between both my place and her place. I wasn’t quite fully able to do much other than to get up and go to the bathroom and fetch myself something to drink. My partner had bought me some flexible straws to help me not to have to lean up so much.

Surgery Day

(getting back to the main subject of my blog being my journey through breast cancer)

FEBRUARY 29, 2012

It is surgery day. I am extremely nervous, anxious and sad. I took a shower and just cried. My body would never look the same way again. I had a large scar on my leg which was no big deal to me. It was like a badge of honor for surviving that accident in 2007. This was a part of my womanhood which was going to be removed. I felt as if I would no longer be a viable partner. How would anyone want to be to be with me? I am going to only have one breast. I kept thinking we had just gotten close again. We had to be at the hospital really early. My parents hadn’t arrived yet and I was working on the paperwork for admission. I was going to have to spend the night in the hospital after the surgery. I ended up being called back early before I had even gotten through a quarter of the paperwork. My partner had to finish which also meant she would have to deal with my parents alone once they arrived.

I go to pre-op and get changed. I am hooked up to all the machines and given an IV. Then my partner and parents were called up to join with me until time for surgery. My head was spinning with thoughts and feelings none of which I could discuss with my partner or my parents. What a place to be looking back now as I write this, no one really to completely confide in wholeheartedly without regard. Dr. B comes by and marks up my right breast and places some numbing lotion on the nipple. That was quite a weird sensation as the numbness took over my right breast.

I am then taken down to nuclear medication for radioactive injections to my right breast. This was to see which lymph nodes in my right armpit the right breast mainly drained to. The injections were not pleasant and were about a score of them. I am then taken back up to pre-op. You could cut the tension between my partner and my mother. They have always been at odds. I was the pawn in the middle of their power struggle. I tone out the small talk between everyone. My head is splitting. I am given some medications to calm me down and prepare me for the surgery. Those were a blessing. One good thing was the peace that comes from being under anesthesia.

I wasn’t afraid of the surgery itself or the pain that would come from having my right breast removed from my body. The worst pain I had ever felt was the night of the crash when I felt my own bones snap after the car collided with me. I was afraid of the cancer. Was it coursing thru my veins eating me silently away? Was I going to completely recover from all of this and have somewhat of a life? Was all this really necessary if it turns out to be more? Do I really want to put myself through all that? I go to sleep and wake up in recovery. They did have to take all my lymph nodes from my right armpit. Two of them had tested positive for cancer. So to be on the safe side, they were all removed. Pathology on my right breast had come back with two different types of cancer. Dr. B described it as if a bomb had gone off inside my right breast and the cancer was shrapnel. He advised that he was confident that he removed all the cancerous tissue.

After a while, here come my parents and my partner. I could hear my Mom chattering away. Even groggy from all the medications I could see the look on the faces of my father and my partner that Mom had been marathon chatting. I am still trying to process everything. My parents and my partner were also trying to make sense of everything. They all were dissecting every aspect.

Once I am taken to my room for the night my second family comes to visit which helps occupy my Mom. I was glad to see everyone but was in a bit of pain. I felt as if the bandages were strangling my chest. I wanted to just sleep. The only bad thing about trying to sleep in the hospital was the checking of vitals every couple of hours. I just kept saying to myself, only one night. The stay at Bayfront reference the crash was eleven long nights.

Take a Knee & Loose Me

I had been toying with the idea of writing my opinions on this taking a knee or sitting during the National Anthem when it was brought out in the media by Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers during the pre-season back in August. I had kept saying no to myself because of the political nature of it. Politics have gotten to be such a sore subject during the last 3 Presidential Elections. However, after Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sat on the bench during the National Anthem on Sunday, November 13th, I reconsidered this blog post.

This home game for the Bucs was #SalutetoService to honor US Military Veterans. My own Captain was in attendance. He was so disgusted and angry about this that he went directly to the Buccaneers box office demanded a refund. The Buccaneers Ticket Office denied his request. He also was not given any contact information for The Glazers which are the owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Tampa Bay community has had problems filling Raymond James Stadium for years due to poor performance by the NFL team for the past few seasons. It has gotten to a point that opposing teams fill the seats more than home team fans. You would think The Glazer Family would do everything in their power not further disappoint the community so that they can fill the stadium on Sundays.

I find out on the news that Mike Evans has since apologized and stated he will no longer sit on the bench during the National Anthem. He did vow to further show his disapproval of the Presidential Election results by looking into organizations in which follow his beliefs. That is all fine and dandy, but one tidbit that I found particularly interesting is that Mike Evans did not vote in the election. Also, Colin Kaepernick did not vote in the election. I am sorry but those who did not do their civic duty and vote really do not have the right to complain about the results. This rioting and protests that have been occurring since the November 8th win by President Elect Trump just further shows that this country is totally divided. This division of the country has come about during the Obama Administration aided by the Liberal Media and political activists.

For NFL players and other professional athletes that make millions of dollars in salaries need to do some good with that money instead of teaching protests are the only way. Also, be positive role models to these at risk youth so they know they learn and can grow. Professional athletes are looked to with eyes open wide by youth at impressionable ages. With that fame comes responsibility which most take for granted.  Why not put that money to use by funding education initiatives in the inner cities to help educate at risk youth? Why not spend some of the money to help clean up housing projects? Why not actually go and volunteer time with Big Brothers Big Sisters to be positive role models? Why not use social media to help show the youth those organizations out there to help them with their issues?

I understand that the Democrats are upset about the election. Heck, the Republicans were upset in 2008 and 2012 but no riots occurred. The same old politics has not worked lately. Why not try something new? If that doesn’t work then use your power to vote in 2020. What a lot of folks are upset about is that their entitlements might be changed. We cannot end up like Greece where more people were on entitlements rather than those that were working to give those people entitlements. Great Britain is venturing into new territory by the Brexit vote. America is venturing into a new era by a billionaire becoming President. Back when President Ronald Regan ran for President, the scuttlebutt was how this Hollywood actor can know anything about running a country. Look how well that turned out.

It is time that “We the People” need to come together not as Democrats or Republicans but come together as Americans to move our nation forward as the United States of America. We are all citizens of this country so start acting like it. Our country was founded by a melting pot of people from all over. It is time to remember that. Stop trying to turn our country into something that it isn’t. Everyone has a right to their opinions. Those opinions may be different then your own. Get over it. We are individuals and not going to agree with everything. Put down the Kool Aid fed to you by the Liberal Media and actually research issues to know the whole truth. You are not given the entirety of the facts by the Liberal Media. Educating yourself may end up freeing your worries or lead you to a way to help your strongly held beliefs.

What I find kind of funny was so many musicians, actors and athletes all vowed to leave the country if Donald Trump won the election and so far no one has left. Well, sorry but that furthers my thoughts that some of you are total Kool Aid drinkers. Also failure to act on those vows shows that you are not a person of your word.  Therefore you have lost my respect. Those athletes that kneel or sit during the National Anthems also have lost my respect.  Do not read into this that I am against a woman being in the White House. I am all for that but it needs to be the right woman. These views are totally of my own accord. I am a registered voter but affiliated with neither Democrats nor Republicans. I vote for whom I feel is better for the job.

You Need to Smile

Nothing irks me more than to be told to smile. I do not like to smile very much. Never have even from little up.  To me, a smile is meant for someone who is special to me or if something is really funny. I do not want to be fake towards people so why should I fake a smile. I don’t know them  and in most cases want to know them. Some may find this harsh but in today’s world, I just really want to be left alone. This world now everyone is offended by something. Guess what? I am offended that you are offended. This world does not entitle you to anything. Everyone has a right to live how they want. Your beliefs do not outweigh those of others. We are individuals with free will to live how we want. However, most people do not use their free will. They follow the popular path as lemmings blindly doing what is popular. What is popular changes by the minute. It is the most important thing for a miniscule of time in the scheme of your lifetime. Something else always comes along to take its place at the top. It is the current cycle of the blind masses. If you want true change, you must break the cycle.

At work, I am direct and to the point. Complete your business and go about your life. I will go about mine. The universe does not revolve around you nor does it revolve around me. Let the interaction amongst strangers be completed as quickly as possible. I will fulfill your business in an efficient and quick manner so that you may move on. But I will not kiss your ass or fill you with fake sentiment.

Society has gotten to be so politically correct that has turned the masses into vile, hateful, bullies. Everyone else’s ideals being forced upon one another and I am sick and tired of it. I am individual thinker. I do not follow nor comply with society standards. I make up my own mind by doing my own reflection with the totality of the facts. I do not rely on liberal media, political leaders, religious leaders or what is popular at the moment to guide me. All of those sources are skewed towards their own agenda. They do not give you the full facts. They tell you what they want you to hear. Break the cycle, do your own research, make up your own mind. Get the whole facts.

The ISIS attacks in Paris, Belgium, Orlando and Nice are a reminder that it is not okay for anyone to force any ideals or ways of life. Christians did this back during the Crusade days. ISIS and radical Islams are doing it now. With the current administration in control in the American government, the United States have taken steps backwards in regards to Civil Rights Movement. The gay community fought for many years to be given the same rights as heterosexual couples. That time has come after they were persecuted and the term hate crime was coined for many attacks on gay individuals. Did you know that there were some gays that actually attacked others because they didn’t agree with their right to marry. You whined and fought to have your rights. That did not give you the right to attack others who did not believe. Granted yes not all gays are like that. Just as not all Christians want to convert you. Not all Muslims want to kill those that do not believe in Allah. Not all immigrants came into the country illegally. Not all blacks are thugs wanting to kill police officers. Not all police officers are bad.  Not all Democrats voters violently attack Republican voters supporting Donald Trump. I could go on and on with examples.

I am offended by those people that have animals for the novelty of it then leave the animals in a hot car where the animals die. I am offended by the greediness of people that breed animals in deplorable conditions while thousands of abandoned animals are waiting for forever homes in shelters praying to be adopted. I am offended by those that mutilate domestic animals for their pleasure because they hate them. Hey wake up, I don’t like non animal people but you don’t see me mutilating you.

I am offended by the atheists trying to remove every mention of God. They waged war on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Winter Solstice celebrations. They are fighting to have memorials removed because they contain a cross. Those memorials were erected to archive an event in history. Leave it alone. You don’t like, don’t visit. You have the right to not believe in God. Don’t force me to do it. You have the right to not celebrate but don’t take that right from others that do celebrate one of those holidays.

Jennifer Aniston recently told the world how fed up she was with the rumors that she was pregnant. I applaud her. She has spoken out like I do. A man will not define her. A child will not define her. I do not want a man or a woman in my life. I do not want a child. I knew from little on that I was different. I do not like children so why would I follow the masses and have a child. I did not. I will not. This world is overpopulated enough. The overpopulation has led to many conflicts, tearing the Earth apart, Americans are obese while others in third world countries are dying of starvation.

Yes, social media has given us a voice to speak to those around the world. It has given me the opportunity to find my tribe in life. I do not like to be social in person but I can be social on social media sights. There are some that are using it for harm and bullying. Let us all work together towards enlightenment of breaking the cycle and becoming better individuals. Then some of this madness will stop because no one will buy into it.

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Head Above Water

I have stated before that I love music and that music speaks to me. This song is like my theme song through any bad times. I used to wish I could go back and change things or events to have missed some of the bad trials and tribulations that I went through. Going thru some of the stuff that I have had to endure has taken pieces of my soul and hardened me. But I look back now and realize that it has made me the strong woman that I am today. It has taught me to be independent. It has taught me some lessons on trust.

I will now never back down when betrayed, threatened, and anything remotely close to that. I also will stand up for my friends. If I call you a friend, that means something. Otherwise, you are just an acquaintance or someone I know. A friend to me is someone that I can possibly count on. If I don’t trust you, I will not stand for you nor help you. I don’t have time for those that don’t have time for me. If I call you family, then I completely trust you. I know that you will be here for me. You in turn will know that I will be here for you. Family to me is more than blood or relation by marriage. Family is people you can be yourself with. They are here for you through good and bad. I have had a few so called friends leave when things got bad. They are now no longer friends. My list of friends may be short but I like it that. My family is small but I would do anything for them.

I have learned to trust no one at work. They are all out for themselves. Knowing that fact, I can spend my time doing my work which is what I am paid to do. I also know that I can be forgo any social activities that I wouldn’t enjoy anyway. I live in my own world with my family and virtual family. I have also found out what kind of strength that I have. I have been able to pull myself up by the boot straps and endure many things that may have made others just give up. It takes a lot of strength to bring out the best in yourself when no one else is there to help. That strength I like to personify as the lone wolf. I have had some tell me that there was no way they could have gone through what I have and been able to function. That is because you don’t listen to the wolf inside. They are the followers of this world blindly going where led without looking to see where it is that they are going. They are told what to think and are okay with that.

Toxic Relationships

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As I sit here working on the last day of 2015, I am listening to my co-worker and a few others laughing it up and talking about others. I have no desire to join in. They are all a bunch of two-faced, gossip mungers. I learned some hard lessons in my 45 plus years on this planet. I have learned to watch out for the most important person in the world, which is me. I have found it very hard to trust people. I have quietly sat back over the last few years since my crash and my cancer. I took a hard look inward and outward. Some people have been sliced out of my life for being toxic. They have caused me undue stress. Stress will feed cancer. Some people have been untrustworthy in the past. Leopards do not change their spots. I know that some are like people should be given a second chance. I have been in my place of employment for over 21 years. No one has ever changed. It is not in their nature to do so because they will do what is best for their ambitions and motives. They have such a sense of belonging and are so dependent on others that they have comprised themselves.

Society has barely any morals or ethics anymore. People are fully free to push their beliefs on thanks to political correctness. Liberal media has people believing whatever is fed to them via the television. They blindly follow without thinking for themselves. The news is sliced and diced to persuade you to watch their network. The full news story is never given. Working in law enforcement, I have seen many times how the real events have been edited or altered for content. The news outlets have spliced dash cam videos only showing you what they want you to see. They leave out pertinent details because it does not fall within their agenda. This is not some conspiracy theory or right wing thinking. It is from personal experience and observations on my part.

While recovering from both of my tragedies, I found the wolf that lay dormant inside of me. I have struggled throughout my life with fitting in. I have never been officially diagnosed but I suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and Asperger’s as well as PTSD from my tragic car accident. I am highly intelligent and have some OCD tendencies. My father probably has the same as well. He also has had a difficult time in life fitting in. His mother has as well. I am fairly certain it was inherited. I have had a lot of time for self-reflection and I sought out information. I also have had a lifetime of experiences of struggling with trying to fit in.

I have unleashed that wolf inside of me. I have broken the chains of dependence which were like cancer coursing through my veins. When I have shed those that were toxic to me, I have felt a release and a sense of freedom. I shed those that basically used me for a doormat. They would only call if they needed something from me. I have shed the one that has broken my heart three times who can’t find herself in a paperbag whom I thought was my soulmate. It was just me settling for someone to fit in this couple based world. I have stepped away from social interactions other than with my parents and second family. I have virtual interactions through social media with my trusted #lovebugs and #stormsanctuary. I have no need for interactions with others because I know that I do not belong.

There is one huge toxic obstacle in my life and that is work. I cannot trust those that I work with. My co-worker is the laziness, manipulative human on this planet. She will stab you in the back to make up for her own negligence in her job. For example, she will tattle on anyone trying to make herself look good. She feeds off gossip as well as stirs the shit storm. It is toxic people like this that are more than likely behind workplace violence. People just get to a point and blow.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not mind the actual work that I do. It is the closest that I can be to what I was before the crash. It is the social interaction with toxic people that I can do without. I wish that I could work alone and not have interactions because I am a task oriented person who is very organized and has self-discipline. Most days there isn’t much interaction so I am good. However, there are days when the co-worker must have rode her broom to work because she will cause such drama that I can feel the storm swelling within my veins. It is hard to slice people out of your life when it is situational like a workplace. I do my best to use my sense of humor to turn things into a funny situation or make fun of the situation. The best to do at work is to keep to yourself, do your work, don’t divulge information that can be used against you, and do your best to survive the day.

Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by an intense fear in one or more social situations causing considerable distress and impaired ability to function in at least some parts of daily life. These fears can be triggered by perceived or actual scrutiny from others. It is the most common anxiety disorder and one of the most common psychiatric disorders, with 12% of American adults having experienced it.” – from Wikipedia

Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger’s syndrome, Asperger disorder (AD) or simply Asperger’s, is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development.” – from Wikipedia

May 19th – 8 years later

Today marks the 8th anniversary of the tragic evening that ended my career as a State Trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol. A lot has changed in those 8 years. I have endured a lot. I have overcame a lot. I battled breast cancer and won.
I reflect back on this day remembering who i was back in 2007. I wasn’t supposed to be working. I had asked for that Friday & Saturday off to have a small vacation to coincide with my birthday. We were short handed during the weekend therefore i couldn’t be spared. My mother asked if i had any ill warnings before i ventured off for my shift that day. I didn’t sense anything. A police officer’s shift is not routine. You never know what you will come upon you during that time. You go out each day knowing that you may not come home that night. It is a sacrifice that we make to serve and protect. I know some people are going to think this is corny but i don’t care. I always made a point to tell Boo goodbye, I love you and approximately when i would return. Boo was my loved one that I lived with.
I started my shift and it was pretty busy for a Saturday. The weather wasn’t bad at all. So it wasn’t because of rain. Just was an active day. I took my meal break. Then a call in on the interstate. It didn’t sound good. It was involving a motorcycle. Fire and EMS personnel were already on scene. Before i could arrive, i was notified that the rider had died. It is always sad to respond to these type of calls. Someone had lost their life for one reason or another. In this case, speed and showing off cost the young gentleman his life. His friend had witnessed the horrible accident right before his eyes. I felt so bad for his friend. I am used to seeing macabre scenes but not this friend who can never unsee that. I have seen things no human should see. It stays with you.

Looking back now, it is funny how you feel safe in the middle of the interstate with lane closures, lit flares, cones, multiple police vehicles with their lights on. We had two of the four lanes blocked off. Traffic was moving along slowly. We had been out there for over two hours. We had no secondary, rubbernecker crashes. Heck we didn’t even have anyone screeching to a halt. The traffic was slow but running smoothly. Evening turned to dusk then to night. We were nearing a stage where the scene was almost finished being mapped out by the Traffic Homicide Investigators. I was talking with the midnight shift Trooper whom was going to notify the family of the young man of the death.

Then the moment of fate, we hear loud screeching. I remember looking back and seeing this white car spinning out of control coming straight for us. I started to run. I heard the loud crash as the white car hit the patrol car parked behind mine. The sound was almost deafening. I felt bits of debris flying in my direction. I was running as fast as I could but felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. Next thing I am hit from behind and thrown to the ground. My left leg collapsed and shattered beneath me. My shoestring on my right boots was caught under the wheel of the white car as it was still spinning. I remember pushing off the car with all my might just trying to get away. I thought that I was going to die. Everything was almost in slow motion. I was free and fell to the concrete onto my back. I saw two other Troopers struck and thrown back away from the white car. The white car finally came to a stop against the guardrail. I was suddenly overwhelmed by an intense wave of pain. The worst pain that I ever felt in my entire life. I was screaming. I heard the other Troopers on scene that were not involved in this crash calling out our names. It now was utter chaos as they were calling out over the radio what had happened. A nurse that was heading to work at Bayfront Medical Center came running from her car and tended to me. I could tell by her look and gentle squeeze of my hand that I wasn’t in good shape. I could hear sirens from the fire trucks and ambulances coming. I remember beginning to cry because I wanted my mother and Boo. They both know how to make me feel better.

I was placed onto the back board and loaded into the squad Fire Truck and rushed to Bayfront Medical Center even before the ambulance arrived. Being a State Trooper for almost 14 years told me that my legs were in great shape. I could feel my left was not right at all. I had two broken ankles as well. But my left leg hurt from the knee down. I was rushed into the trauma room. I was attended to by the wonderful staff that I have seen for years coming in and out of these trauma rooms for cases. I felt safe. I knew that I was going to be taken care of. I was so scared. After awhile, there were police officers from St Petersburg Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in the emergency room. I remembered being wheeled down the hallway towards radiology and police officers lined both sides of the hallway. The other Troopers who were injured were also brought into the trauma room. Two other Troopers arrived in plain clothes that were off duty and had been called. They stood by with us. I remember when my mother first walked into the trauma room later. I immediately started crying. She collapsed but was caught by the surgeon who helped her into the chair. I remember all this so vividly even 8 years later.

I was told that the injury was severe. I knew I had to be strong. You do not know how strong you can be until you have no choice to be. It was a slim chance that I may not walk again or the surgery would be a success in regards to my left leg. I woke up the next day after surgery and spent 11 days in the hospital. I then spent 4 months recouping at my parents house before I could return home to my condo on my own. I wasn’t able to actually put weight on my left leg for a couple months. I had to learn to walk on it again slowly working up stamina.

I knew that night that basically my career as a police officer was over. The person whom was driving the white car was drunk and under aged. Because of his poor decisions, I almost never made it home that night. I was away from Boo for 11 days. It was over 4 months until I was actually back home in my own bed. In the past few years there have been incidents where police officers are bashed because of a few angry people. There are a few bad police officers out there. I am not defending those types of officers. However, in any profession, there are good and bad employees. Just keep that in mind. Remember don’t drink and drive. There are real consequences behind that deliberate desire to get behind the wheel. It is a crime. A crime that affected the lives of three officers, their families, and that of a 19 year old. At 10:38pm that night, all our lives were changed.

http://www.flhsmv.gov/fhp/PhotoGallery/2007/PG052307.htm

http://www.wtsp.com/news/article/55216/0/DUI-suspect-bonds-out-troopers-ok