Writing For My Life

Traveling Down A New Path



So much on my mind…

There are political issues that have been weighing heavy on my mind and heart. I have been sick, so I guess I have had more time to think about some of the issues that I am concerned about. I had a sweet young woman come by and talk to me about the Clean Water Action committee that she is involved in. She told me that she needed some community activists to write letters to Bollin and Theis (our useless government leaders). So, I wrote one to each of them that I would have gladly sent out but she took them from me. I guess she is going to send them out herself, or take them to Lansing to our representatives’ offices.

I am trying to compose two letters to the editor. One (again) on the Moore v Harper matter that is going to be heard by SCOTUS on Dec. 6th. The other (which is being heard by SCOTUS this month) concerns the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978. It was passed into law because as long as whites have been on this land we have been ripping Native children out of their parent’s arms, away from their culture, stripping them of their language, their history, and their spiritual beliefs. All so that they could be whitened.

I have friends and family who are Native. Many have a very strong resentment of whites because of the Trail of Tears, blankets infected with smallpox, stolen lands, reservations on the worst lands in America, and broken treaty after broken treaty. Oh, and let’s not forget the whitening of their children. Children as young as three and four years old were placed in orphanages and boarding schools. They died of disease, malnutrition, abuse, and neglect. They broke these little children simply to whiten them.

Finally, activists were able to have enacted The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in 1978. The Indian Child Welfare Act is a law that is aimed at protecting Native children from removal from their families, tribes, culture, language, and the preservation of tribal sovereignty. (ACLU News & Commentary Aug.18, 2022).

This law is recognized throughout this nation by Health and Human Service agencies, Courts, women’s protection groups, and child welfare agencies. But Brackeen v. Haaland is a case that challenges the constitutionality of the ICWA law. If the politicized 6-3 court sees fit to strike the law down we could end up going back 250 years in history. We are losing our rights, moving back in time. Civil Rights laws are being gutted, stripping away women’s rights as in the Dobb decision that stripped us of Roe v. Wade, and the voting rights act having the teeth ripped out of it.

It’s at times like this that I wished I had become a lawyer instead of a nurse.

My Gosh! It has been years

It has been years since I have written here. I have been very politically active leading rallies, writing my legislators, writing letters to the editor, writing on social media to try to counter the Big Lie and disinformation and misinformation, and going to rallies. In other words, I’ve been busy

Add to that my youngest son and his wife had a baby in March of 2021. My husband and I have been watching her 9 hours a day, three days a week since shortly after she was born. She is now almost 20 months old. It has been quite the experience! It has been trying since we are both in our 60s and we don’t have the strength and stamina that we did at my child’s age, who will be 41 next month. But it has also been a blast! Watching her learn to crawl, walk, run (and boy she can run), learn colors, and learn to count. What a wild ride! She is growing, and learning so quickly. We are simply amazed, and in awe. We missed a lot of these things with our own children because we were both working full-time.

It is almost like being a parent full-time. I quit my job, quit my volunteer activities to take care of her. I am not complaining. It was truly laid on my heart, in a spiritual way, to do this. And as tired as it makes me, I am loving it. We are so one on one with her, giving her our undivided attention. She is very secure and knows that grandpa and nana love her deeply. She is the light of our lives. We helped raise Michael, my second grandchild, especially after my oldest son took his life. Michael is busy now and is grown (21!) and has his own life. And we were much younger then.

For me, it is so different now than then. Not that we didn’t love him with all our hearts. It’s just that she is a girl. I wanted a healthy baby but in all honesty, I prayed for a girl. I wanted a granddaughter to teach her needlepoint, sewing and maybe crocheting (if my hands and fingers still work) when she is older. I want to instill in her good values, spirituality (not necessarily mine), morality, and other valuable lessons about life, the future, and on and on. I want her to know that her life matters, and that just because she is a female that should not be an issue. Even though we do not have the ERA that she should not be subjected to gender discrimination, sexual harassment, a glass ceiling, etc. I want her to be built up, educated, not torn down and ignorant.

Anyway, that is where I have been.

Working on my house…

My house is in disarray. I started doing things in my house again and I have made a bigger mess than it was. I am trying to work on it at night while Leo is at work but I had to make a big mess in the living room before finding out that there is absolutely no room to do laundry downstairs in the basement. So he is going to have to deal with my mess until I move some stuff around and get my closet organized enough to put some clothes in it. I am going through and getting rid of clothes that I have outgrown, but I am finding it difficult to let go of the things that are just one size too small… Are all women this way. or just me???

I don’t think that it is just me. My sister is the same way. We hope against hope that we will lose the weight that we gained last year, this year. I’ve gained some weight back since last year and I had to buy a size up… So that means weeding through my size medium and large and keeping the larger ones that aren’t too terribly tight on me but tighter than what I would like. I have to get real with myself. I am up to a size 16/18. Which mean that my 14/16 have to be packed away. Bummer!!!

I’ve just come through my toughest time of the year. From mid-December to mid-January I get into a depressed state. That is when David took his life and then the holidays, then his birthday in January, my granny’s birthday and death day is also in January. So for whatever reason, I fall into this deep dark pit of despair and can’t seem to climb out of it. Losing David the way I did does not make it easy. I feel his loss every day just like it happened yesterday. I have been told that I will never get used to it and it will never get better; it will just get different. And I am starting to realize that this is true.

Anyway,  when I get depressed the way I do, my working around the house gets worse. My ability to function suffers. And then I finally have to force myself to do something, anything to get myself motivated again. I am motivated. I know what I have to do. It is just a matter of having the strength and energy to do it. I’ve been carrying things from my bedroom to my spare room upstairs. When I get that done I have to carry clothes up from my basement and put the ones that will fit back into my closet and the ones that don’t will be carried upstairs. The new ones will then have to go downstairs to be washed and dried and then brought up to my closet in my bedroom. Sound fun? It isn’t.

My carpal tunnel surgery went well and is healing well but it really isn’t liking what I am doing right now. And my new knees are rebelling climbing up and down the stairs. I don’t mean to be complaining. Just stating it the way it is. And my back is killing me so I have to keep taking breaks. Meaning is that it is taking much longer than it would have ten years ago. I will keep plugging away at it until I either get it done or my husband throws me out to the wolves… Thank goodness there are no wolves out back and the coyotes out back scare off pretty easily.

I hope that you don’t mind me writing about my boring life. If you do, let me know and I will find something more interesting to speak about. For now, it is time to crash, it’s been a long night. Thank you for listening.

A Year’s Gone By…

It has been almost a year since I last wrote anything. I haven’t even written in my gratitude journal or my journal. I don’t know what has been wrong with me. I don’t think that I have had writer’s block. I know that I have been going through periods of depression and periods of high stress dealing with my brother and his issues. And I have been pretty busy with my volunteer positions.

I have had a CASA child. She is a living doll. I have come to love her. I am trying very hard to be impartial with the foster family and the mother of the child. Sometimes it is easier than others. The foster family is very likable and you can tell they have a great amount of love for the child. On the other hand, the mother just doesn’t seem to want to do what she needs to do to get her children back in an expedited manner.

I spend an hour a week with the girl and I try to do something fun with her each time I am with her. I either initiate a craft to work on with her, play a game of her choice (she likes to play with dominos), she likes to put together puzzles, and she loves the crafts I bring for her, and she loves playing with her dolls with me. She reads at a full grade higher than her age level. She is simply an awesome child.

I just wish her mother would comply with the court’s orders so she could potentially get her kids back (her son lives with his biological father, my girl lives with her uncle and aunt). They are both growing and thriving in their respective home placements. my girl doesn’t want to go back to live with her mother if she will never see her uncle and aunt again, which is a possibility.

Anyway, I am going to try to write as often as I can. If only about my volunteer work and my CASA child. That could become pretty boring if I write exclusively about those things but at least I will be writing again, even if I have to force myself.

For now, it is 0300 and I am going to hit the rack or sack. Until I write again, make each day count for something. I know I will.


I am so excited…

We are traveling to Georgia today!!! We are going to see my sister!!! It has been almost a year since we have seen her and TJ. And I have missed them so much.Cyndi and I talk as often as we can on the phone and it feels like she is with me, but it isn’t the same. I can’t touch her or hug her or comfort her when she is having a bad day.It is so frustrating that we live so far apart. It is a 900 mile trip by car which amounts to about 12 hours drive time.It will be Leo’s birthday, so we are going to have an unbirthday party soon after we get there. This is an old picture of one such unbirthday party that we had. Of course, this is a very old picture, before I gained all my weight and got old. lol…



I wish Cyndi and I were next door neighbors. She offered us the property behind her house, but Leo does not want to have to start over at his age. I guess I don’t blame him. It would be difficult clearing the land and putting in a drain field, pouring a slab and blocking in the under-skirting of a modular home. or building a home. Plus we have out buildings that we would need when we moved as well.And moving is hard work, especially with all my stuff. And I have a lot of stuff!!!

Craft room redo Feb 21 011

.She does too, but her’s is more organized than mine.She has been busy organizing it so it is easier for her to get things she needs and to be  to see what she has available to work with. I wish I had her determination. I have so much to do, too. But my rooms are in such a state of disarray that I become so overwhelmed that I become paralyzed and give up. I can’t wait to see the progress she has made. I am hoping that it will give me the incentive to get organized myself. If she can do it from a wheelchair, then I can certainly do it with arms and legs that work.My sister has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She has been having a hard time. I cant’ wait to get down there so we can do crafts together…I have been missing sister time. And there is so much that we want to do together, sewing, collaging, beading. I don’t know if we will get to it all, but we have three weeks to try. I wish her pool was open, I would help her with her water therapy…

two women doing crafts together

They got a special van so she can get to her doctor’s appointments.and to get her out of the  house but she does not go out much. It is a cool van. It’s a modified Grand Caravan. The ramp is in the back so she can drive up the ramp and into the van. Then it dips down so she has headroom and maneuvering room. It has straps to keep her secure in the van.and she a seatbelt in her wheelchair to keep her in safe.


..Well, I have to finish packing last minute items. So until next time Make your days good ones…


It’s Official…

I am officially a CASA! I am so excited and feel so honored to be an officer of the court. We were sworn in by Judge Cavanaugh and she even teared up during the proceeding. We had photos taken with her to commemorate the event. Afterward, our instructors, who are also our Supervisors, had us back at LACASA for cake and more photos. It made it such a special day. It was a happy ending to the intense training we went through, making it all worthwhile.

For those that do not know, a CASA is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children who have been removed from their home due to abuse and/or neglect. Children who have been removed from the home are generally placed with a family member (outside of the home), if at all possible, or a foster care family. When this happens two separate cases are opened. One is for reunification with the family, handled by Protective Services, the other, handled by an Adoption Worker, takes steps to allow for the adoption of the child.

The hope is that the parents of the child will do their best to correct the problem(s) that led to the removal of the child. If they fail to do that during the course of time allowed by the Child Protection Act then the favored course is the termination of parental rights and adoption of the child.

The court wants the child to not remain in foster care indefinitely but to be placed in a permanent home as soon as is possible while still giving the family every reasonable opportunity to correct the deficits in the home.

There are many people involved in this process. The police, Protective Services, Attorneys, Adoption Services, Foster Families, the parents, the child, CASAs and many others. The CASA volunteers sole responsibility is to look out for the child’s interest and advocate in the best interest of the child.

I am delighted to be involved in this process. While I do not want to see any child abused and/or neglected. I look forward to being assigned to my first case. It is very rewarding to be able to make a difference in a child’s life. If I can make a difference in the life of just one child, I will feel that that is the reason that I was not allowed to die, when many believed my time was up…

Children need Love…

I have been volunteering at LACASA, an organization that provides services primarily to women who have suffered either abuse and/or sexual assault and children who have suffered abuse/neglect and/or sexual assault.  I have been studying really hard for these classes that I have been taking to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children. The classes have been intense but the reading assignments have been even more intense. There were only ten chapters in the program to read, but then there were handouts, the laws surrounding child abuse and neglect, and court reports that we have to file and how to write them. I really think that I am going to enjoy being a CASA court officer but I also know that it is going to be a lot of responsibility and a lot of work.

Heart from hands.    I worry about how I am going to deal with the parents who have been responsible for the abuse and neglect, especially if there has been criminal sexual conduct that the parent has been responsible for. I have to be mindful of the socio-economics involved in the case. I must be culturally sensitive and try to put any biases that I may have aside. I must be aware of the religious differences that exist and how to deal with people who may have different religious views than my own. And I have to check my political beliefs at the door. Most of those things I learned in Nursing school. But that has been a lifetime ago. or at least in my case in another life.


Children should be happy and free. Free to grow and learn. To play and to experience all of the joys of childhood. To be loved and nurtured by people who are supposed to care for them and consider them precious gifts. Gifts from the Creator. Children should be allowed to play in the sand, the snow, the water. To make sandcastles. snowmen and to splash in a pool or lake. They should be able to go to school to learn and to socialize with other children their age. They should not be full of fear, or self-loathing, or embarrassment because they are being abused or neglected at home.

David at Lake Superior 2David with snow ballsDavid standing in pool

Children should not be subject to abuse and neglect. But unfortunately, abuse happens. It occurs across socio-economic, cultural, religious and political groups. I have to really look at the family dynamics to find the root of the problem. Is there mental illness in the family? Is there alcohol or drug abuse going on? Is it just one child, or are all of the children being abused or neglected? The family dynamics and how the parents deal with the allegations and whether or not they are willing to get the help that they need.

Whether it is parenting classes, psychological counseling, rehab for drug or alcohol abuse, or anger management classes. Those are all of the requisites for parents to be reunified with their children. There is a time frame in which they have to meet or exceed these goals. If they don’t meet those goals within a specific amount of time the court can terminate their rights as parents and place the children up for adoption.

In the meantime, the children are placed in foster care. They can languish there for years while the court case goes on. And when it comes to whether or not a child is adoptable or not depends on the child’s disposition, their age, and any behavioral, mental, or physical problems the child might have. Children over the age of 10 are generally not considered adoptable because their behavior and disposition have been developed and it is difficult to change that. Teenagers are really not adoptable. People want the babies or the little ones who have not been too damaged by the environments that they have been raised in.

It is really a sad state of affairs. The courts are trying to speed up the process and find a permanent home for the children to live in, whether the custodial parent or an extended family member or adoption. They do not want to allow the child to remain in foster care for ages. Parents must work to get their children back and if they are not up to the task then the children suffer even more.

I want to be a useful member of society again, to give back to my community.  I hate to say it, but it reminds me of when I did a clinical with children who had cancer. Abuse and neglect are like cancer, one that we need to cut out. There is going to be a lot of tears, emotions, and I imagine a lot of sadness. I just hope that I can handle the appointment set before me. 

No Words…

For the past couple of weeks, I have not been able to write. I did not have writer’s block or anything like that. Just had a dark cloud over me as my son used to say. He always got one when he had to go back to school after a prolonged school break. I think for him it was separation anxiety that he was dealing with. I am not sure what my problem has been. Maybe just going through the holidays and dealing with David’s birthday has effected my mood. Then again maybe it is the training that I have been doing. It has taken up almost all of my time. The homework assignments have been really intense. Reading the laws on child abuse and neglect have been very difficult. Just hard to understand.

Eclipse at 35,000 ft.

I haven’t even been doing any research on my book, or writing any in the book that I am doing for Michael. I miss that. And I have missed blogging. My classes are now over. I have an interview to go to as a follow up to class. I am not sure why we are being interviewed again… I know that I still want to be a CASA. They still need CASA volunteers and I believe that I will make a good one. But then, after the interview, I have to go in one morning and observe the court proceedings. That is to see how things work when they go into court and what I may need to do as a court officer. And later that week is our swearing in ceremony. That sounds exciting to me.

I really want to get my life back in order. To return to my schedule. I will be volunteering, answering the phones and handling front desk activities on Tuesday afternoons at LACASA and doing my Thursday mornings at the Brighton Area Historical Society. And the rest of my days will be free again to do my writing, classes and research. At least, until I get a case.

Once I am assigned a case, with the CASA program. I will be responsible, initially, to see the child/ren every week. Meet with the parents, the foster parents, any medical professional that has seen the child, CPS worker, the child/ren’s teacher, any therapist that they have been seeing, the police officer if there was one involved and any specialty health care service provider that there may be. Also, I will be responsible for recommending any medical, psychological, or other educational help that may be needed by the child.

While I am not looking forward to any child being abused or neglected, I am looking forward to being assigned a case. I suspect with my Mental Health Nursing background I will be assigned a family with significant mental health issues. At least, that is my hope. That would put me back in my element. That or working with teens. I just love teenagers. Though they are the hardest to work with. I think I am up for the challenge.

Well, it is long past my bedtime. So with that I am off to slumber…



Blog at

Up ↑