One-Size-Fits-All Beliefs Don’t Exist

I’m sure I’m going to annoy a few people with this post, but I think it needs to be said.  Making abortion illegal is like making guns illegal.  It isn’t going to go away, it’s just going to make more criminals.

Before abortion was legalized in the US it still happened.  Legalizing abortion didn’t make it happen more frequently, it made it less likely for the woman getting an abortion to die.

Here’s the truth about abortion, it has existed since the beginning of civilization.  And it exists in many forms.  For instance, I went to high school with a girl who was hospitalized after she downed a large bottle of whiskey.  She was hoping the alcohol would induce a miscarriage.  She was sixteen and didn’t want to tell her parents she had gotten pregnant.  Someone I went to college with showed up one day with a cast on their lower leg and she wouldn’t tell anyone how she broke it, I later learned she’d jumped off a second story balcony trying to induce a miscarriage because her birth control had failed and her family was not okay with abortion.

Both of these were good kids.  Good students.  They weren’t the wild kind, they were just people.  People with plans for their life and both almost died trying to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy because for them, abortion wasn’t an option.

I have had these conversations with a lot of people because I spent 19 years on clonazepam treating anxiety, a medication you can’t take while pregnant since it causes severe birth defects… But that’s common with almost all mental health medications.

Sex is a part of life.  Yes it has consequences, but science has proven that teens have the same traits as sociopaths and one of those is an inability to foresee consequences.  I only know a few teens that actually worried that sex would lead to unexpected pregnancies.

As we move closer to outlawing abortions again in the US, I can’t help but think we are headed down the wrong path.  We aren’t saving the lives of unborn children, we are risking the lives of young women.  We are headed back to the days of coat hanger abortions and dirty illegal surgery offices were butchers who can no longer practice medicine preform the abortions.

And sometimes, worse, risking the lives of mother and baby.  Going off mental health medications to have children is a risk.  Sometimes, it’s fine, sometimes the mother who is already mentally ill and now being forced to go through something as stressful as an unwanted pregnancy while off medications could lead to suicide attempts or jumping off second story balconies in an attempt to end the pregnancy.

I’m not advocating abortion as a form of birth control, I think women should take precautions if they don’t want a child such as the pill or Depo or uterine ablation, but outlawing abortion based on the actions of a few means punishing everyone.  And to some degree we are once again talking about punishing people simply because it doesn’t agree with your belief system.

I’ve always told my pro-life friends that if they don’t believe in abortion, they shouldn’t have one and let everyone else decide for themselves.  Because frankly, there is not a one-size-fits all when it comes to beliefs.  For instance, I find it ironic that all my pro-life friends are also pro-death penalty.  Meaning it is not okay to kill a fetus who hasn’t developed the ability to have a personality, but it is okay to kill a fully developed person simply because for whatever reason, they have committed a crime that qualifies for capital punishment?

But again, beliefs are not one-size-fits-all.


A Dysfunctional Update

In June I posted that The Dysfunctional Mob had been sent to the editor.  I got edits back the same month and then I didn’t release the book.  At first, it was because I didn’t have a cover…

However, not having a cover may have saved me from a tragic mistake.  The Dysfunctional Mob has a very dark plot and none of the usual fun stuff that readers have come to expect from Nadine and her crew.  So after much internal debate, I came to the decision that I wouldn’t publish it.

Instead, I’m going to start on the Dysfunctional Chronicle I expected to follow The Dysfunctional Mob and publish it instead.  Which means after I get through with Ritual Dreams, I will be moving into The Dysfunctional Expansion.


Ground Hog Eats Cheeseburger

I promised pictures of a ground hog eating a cheeseburger.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then here is an extra long post that includes things beyond a ground eating a cheeseburger.


First Ghost Pepper of the year…

Ending on a Low Note

Because sitting in the dart hall is akin to torture, we had reserved our room for 3 nights, leaving today.  I expected to get up this morning, finish packing, check out, and have a quiet drive home.

This is not the way it happened.  So I’ll start with last night.  Last night several of my darting buddies joined us for a lovely birthday dinner at a restaurant called Domenico’s.  It is one of my favorite Italian places at Lake of the Ozarks/Jeff City.  J got lasagna.  We ate and went back to the hotel with some of these friends who had also reserved their room for the Sunday night since this tournament is notorious for not ending until 9 pm on Sunday.

Back at the hotel we went for a swim.  Swimming is strongly encouraged by my doctors and I do love to swim.  I didn’t swim.  I sat with my feet in the pool.  I just wasn’t in the mood to swim, but J and a couple of our friends were swimming and I’m okay with just hanging out pool side in shorts dangling my feet in the water.  Besides, on Saturday night when I went swimming, I kind of overdid it and had brutal muscle spasms or nerve twitches from about 2 am to 5 am, so I didn’t sleep very much or very well on Saturday night and I didn’t want a repeat of that while trying to sleep before packing and then sitting in the car for an hour and a half ride back home.

Around 3 am, I crawled into bed.  It was a long busy weekend chocked full of long corridors that had to be walked over and over again, and a hotel mattress, so I was sore form all that, which makes it hard to sleep.

At 7:20am, J wakes me up.  He’s been up since 4am, sick.  Occasionally, he gets sick after eating food.  I suspect he has an ulcer, but it took me 6 years or so to get him to have his shoulder looked at.  He wants to go to Walgreen’s and get something for his stomach.  I tell him we should just pack and head home, I’m awake, he isn’t feeling good, weekend over.

We head to Walgreen’s.  The pharmacist recommends some Pepto, which we buy and then we are on the road.  We are about 20 miles north of Lake of the Ozarks when he pulls onto an exit and tells me, I’m going to have to drive the rest of the way home.

Fantastic… It was highway driving, so I was able to save my hip some by setting the cruise control.  And after more than a year of this crap, he finally agrees to go to the doctor because the Pepto has done nothing for his stomach pain.  Not the ER like I think he should, but urgent care, which I’ll take because it’s better than nothing…

We get back into town at 9:30am and I take him straight to urgent care, where they suspect gallbladder issues or an ulcer or pancreatitis.  They give him prescription Prilosec and send us home after drawing blood and setting him up for an ultrasound.

Once we get home, I take my first pain pill of the day and wait… then wait.. then wait some more.  It’s now 3:30pm.  He’s sleeping.  I’m in agony.  Even without driving, riding in a car causes me pain.  Driving just makes it worse.  Yes it was mostly easy driving, but even with cruise control I still occasionally have to work the brake and gas pedals which is part of the reason driving is worse than just riding in a car.

My hip is suffering painful spasms.  My entire thigh and hip feels like it’s on fire.  And I am getting a headache from lack of sleep.



The Annual Governor’s Cup Dart Tournament

Every year, around my birthday there is a large dart tournament held by the Jefferson City Dart Association called the Governor’s Cup.  It’s a team event 8 men, 4 women, play for two days wracking up points for their team with each game they win.  On Sunday afternoon, after the singles event, they total the points and the team with the most points wins.

It’s a great tournament.  A couple of years ago the hotel that the Jefferson City Dart Association booked for the event closed down and there was a struggle to find a new one in Jeff City that would give us a deal on rooms, because this is a huge tournament even though it’s only Missouri dart players.

So it was moved to the Lake of the Ozarks to the Inn at Grand Glaize.  In the 1970s and 1980s the Inn at Grand Glaize was one of the premier resort hotels at the Lake of the Ozarks.  It has an interesting history.  It was owned by Stan Musial a famous baseball player who played for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Stan managed to transition from baseball player to hotel owner quite well.  And the Inn at Grand Glaize is proof that with a little will power and a willingness to learn things outside your comfort zone, you can succeed.

Unfortunately, after Stan Musial died, the property passed into the hands of a younger Musial generation, which is why it isn’t still one of the premier resorts at the Lake of the Ozarks.  It needs some renovations and updating.  A process that seems to have been started, but not finished because the younger generation can’t get along.  Their infighting has lead to lawsuits and a general decline of the resort.

However, the rooms are clean and even though some of the rooms need to be modernized, it’s still a nice place to stay.  It sits on a lovely cove at the Lake of the Ozarks.  It has boat rentals, jet ski rentals, a nice outdoor pool, and other amenities.  It is much nicer than the hotel we had in Jeff City.

I have two complaints about the Inn at Grand Glaize.  While the majority of the staff are amazing, there are a handful of front desk workers that act like every person that walks up to the desk is an inconvenience and when things break it may or may not get fixed, because they don’t actually have maintenance staff – they have Chris.

Chris is one of my favorite features at the hotel.  He has a lovely Jamaican accent, but it isn’t so thick he can’t be understood and he likes to talk to people.  I found out most of the history of the resort from Chris.  He is doorman, assistant, handyman, plumber, basically the hotel’s Jack of All Trades and every hotel needs a Chris, he’s just great to be around.

This weekend with my husband in a sling and throwing left handed because he still can’t throw with his right the one that had surgery, Chris has been a godsend.  We decided to go to the pool last night because there were blind draws but my husband didn’t want to play and I can’t.  The pool is at the end of a long walk down a lot of steps at the rear of the hotel.  Chris was lovely enough to give us a ride down on the hotel’s Mule so I didn’t have to walk down all those stairs…. because even though we only stay here 3 times a year, Chris remembers us and he knows I have a bum hip that causes me intense pain.

And this year, with J in a sling, Chris wouldn’t let either of us unpack our stuff from the cart that he filled with our stuff and pushed down to our room for us.  A service I appreciate more than words or money can say.  He also gave me his number so I could call him for a ride back from the pool.  And when Chris realized our room was more than half way down the hall from the elevators (I request a room as close to the elevators as I can get to cut down on the amount of unnecessary walking during dart tournaments), Chris tried to get our room changed.  But the hotel was booked solid.  I didn’t complain.  I didn’t ask Chris to check this. Chris volunteered to check it for a closer room because Chris is just an all around great guy.

I don’t know how much the Inn at Grand Glaize pays Chris, but it isn’t enough.  While most of the staff are friendly, Chris is the one that always goes above and beyond for guests staying at the hotel.

Tomorrow I will have a picture post.  I managed to get pictures of the resident ground hog eating a hamburger, little paws holding it as if he were human, but my phone died before I thought to upload the pictures to the Cloud so I could access them on my laptop. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to see pictures of a ground hog holding a hamburger.

Then There Was No Sleep

WordPress confirmed that my post entitled Free Speech was removed because they received a complaint.  Okie dokie.  And that was followed by my inability to shut off my mind so I could sleep.

I am an internalizer.  I think about everything, turning it over and over in my brain until I feel like the thought might explode from the confines of my skull to become a living breathing thing.  I realize it isn’t healthy.  But I can no more stop it from happening, than I could stop a speeding, out of control freight train with a bubble blowing machine.

That’s twice since January that I have felt the wrath of a reader.  I was banned from my own Facebook page at the end of January, first part of February for swearing on my blog.  And now this…

In the six years since I began this blog and opened the HJ Facebook page, I have never been banned or had content removed from either my blog or my Facebook page.  But I have always talked politics and peppered posts with colorful language when it provides emphasis.  I have always tried to keep my posts tasteful, even when it was political or contained swear words.

Six years and suddenly this has begun to happen.  Obviously, something changed.  I don’t understand.  I welcome discussion, even when I don’t agree.  I welcome dissent.  We are not sheep, we do not need to blindly follow anyone. I am not starting a cult, agreeing to disagree is allowed.  As a matter of fact, agreeing to disagree is what makes the world go round.  It’s what keeps society civilized.

I expected some backlash when I scheduled my Free Speech post.  I expected the rampant supporter who commented that they hoped I got beheaded to have another nasty comment for me.  I expected at least a handful or more of my readers, to tell me that they support the President.  I expected discussion.  I expected that eventually we would all agree to disagree and at the worst I’d be called a name or two.

Instead, I was punished.  As the saying goes, sticks and stones… but these weren’t sticks and stones.  These were actions.  This was retribution, an action that speaks louder than any words ever could.  It is the opinion of the person that filed a complaint that I should not be allowed to voice an opinion that runs contrary to their own… Interesting.

Let me close by offering a quote from a sermon that has stuck with me recently.  It was written by a German during WWII.  Read it and think upon it.  Internalize it.  Try to understand the true meaning and why it is just as relevant today as it was nearly 80 years ago and I will try to decide what I want to do next…

They Came For The Socialists by Martin Niemoeller

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist.  then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.  Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.  Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak up for me.


Maybe Society is the Problem

I have issues with the modern day stance on breast feeding and I feel it sets mother’s up to feel like failures from the moment their wee one(s) comes into the world.

I have two adorable great nephews and eventually I’ll get a picture of Caiden and his mommy and daddy’s permission to share with all of you.  Pretty sure that he’s going to be a red head too.  For different reasons neither mommy was able to breast feed.  And both discussed it with embarrassment and humiliation because they are nearly the same age and the slogan breast is best has probably been beaten into their brains.

However, is shaming and humiliating a month old mommy because of something their body refuses to do, really the way to start their parenting journey?

Immediately they perceive themselves as a failure.  A mommy who can’t.

In talking to my own mother, she said when I was born there was no pressure to breast feed it was 1980.  It was recommended, but the option to do breast milk or formula was given on day 1 in the hospital and I was an eater, my mom couldn’t produce fast enough for me.  By two months old, I had been moved from formula to formula with cereal in it to try and get me full and keep me that way for more than an hour.

See, not every time a mother chooses formula over breast milk it’s because of her, sometimes it’s the baby that’s the problem, like me.  But the mother is the one that feels the pressure, she’s the one that has to internalize the feelings of failure.  Is it her diet?  Is that why she can’t produce more?  Is that why her baby isn’t staying full?

I can’t help but think this internalization of failure plays some part in later issues parents have with children.  Not because the child wasn’t breast fed, but because mommy felt like a failure from the moment of launch into parenthood, because society tells her that she isn’t doing what is best for her baby.

In my opinion, in the grand scheme of parenthood, breast feeding or not breast feeding seems like a trivial issue, but I’m not a mommy.  I am not internalizing the failure that for whatever reason I have to put my baby on formula a week after it’s been born.

And holy Hell the stigma.  People were constantly offering Jude’s mommy advice on why she should be breast feeding him.  It didn’t matter why she wasn’t.  They just judged and offered their advice and opinions as she fixed a bottle with formula in it for him.

Does a mommy who felt like a failure at the birth of their child later indulge the child a little more than she should trying to compensate for her inability to breast feed?  Does she later internalize more failures that aren’t actually her fault?  For instance, I read an article in Modern Psychology recently about time-outs only working on children with certain personality types, meaning they aren’t universally effective for children.  If her child doesn’t have the personality type that time-outs actually curb their behavior, is that then also her failure?

I think this question bugs me a great deal because I am a novice researcher of sociopathic and psychopathic behavior and do not have children of my own for a reason… All children, are basically sociopaths.


Earlier this year, I asked for help identifying a fruit tree in my yard.  After some group debate we settled on it being an ornamental cherry tree.  During my husband’s recuperation time, his father who does landscaping came to mow our yard and my husband and his father decided the fruit was too big to be cherries.  As a matter of fact, they looked like small plums.  So they picked a few and ate them…  The tree is a cherry plum tree and the fruit is scrumptious, just FYI.

I have spent a large amount of my “down” time canning salsa this year.  I found a recipe I love for fire roasted salsa and I can even fire roast habaneroes if I want a slightly hotter version of it.  I know because I canned a couple pints of the fire roasted habaneroes version.

I have also canned a half pint of hatch chilies that I will be recanning in a different mixture.  After I canned the half pint, I found a recipe that said they could be candied like jalapenos.  So I’m going to try it.  I have a few more red hatches on the plant that need to be canned anyway…

Yep, I said red.  If you live in the southwest you probably just did an eye roll and called me a yankee in your head.  When I was in my very late teens, I worked with a Brazilian epidemiologist.  He liked hot food just like me.  One day while we were working his wife brought in a dish for me to try.  It was amazing and she said this to me “I will never understand why Americans insist on eating their peppers green.”  Turns out she grew her own hot peppers simply because ripe peppers, even jalapenos have more flavor.

They are sweeter and spicier.  Which is why I took to growing my own peppers nearly two decades ago.  You can’t buy a red jalapeno in a store in the US.  They just don’t exist.  But they are sweeter and spicier.  I found the same to be true of the hatch (Anaheim pepper).  It was good roasted while green, but once ripe, it is even better.  I decided to can some of them for foods like chili this winter because ripe they are a sweet mild hot pepper that will add a touch of depth to chili.

It’s a good thing I like hot peppers because while my jalapeno plant has done okay this year, my habanero is the stellar producer.  In July I was getting ripe habaneros.  I currently have 7 ripe ones and about 50 that are still growing.  I have a dozen jalapenos.  And until this point, I’ve only had four total.  I am blaming the weather.  In June I had blooms on all my pepper plants, but a thunderstorm knocked most of them off.  Normally, Missouri summers do great growing peppers, this year the full sun plants (which means they like at least 6 full hours of sunlight a day) have suffered from some burning.  I’ve never seen a pepper plant burn in the sun.

Shortly after my husband’s shoulder surgery I moved them from the deck where they were getting their six full hours of sunlight a day and then some, to the patio, where they got more shade.  Once the move happened, they took off.  They have gotten taller and I have lots of blooms waiting to become peppers, even on my ghost pepper plant which is good because I was beginning to think it wasn’t going to produce after the blooms all fell off in June due to a storm.

And I have been plotting my garden for next year out in my head.  It will be a container garden, I worry the dogs will tear up a garden within the fence of the backyard and I worry a neighbor dog that roams free practically all the time will use the garden area as a toilet space if I put it outside the fence.  I live very close to three farm stores so I have been pricing water troughs and was told by one of the stores that the plain ones that aren’t heated go on sale for up to 70% off during the winter.  I priced the actually water trough planters and good grief.  The actual water troughs are far less expensive which is always good.

There’s an accounting of everything I have worked on when I haven’t been busy writing.

The Lemurs of India

Lemurs are small primates related to monkeys that can only be found in Madagascar… Maybe.  Probably.

Until recently, it was common knowledge that lemurs evolved to be small and cute because of the isolation they lived in on the island of Madagascar.  I say “used to be” because the origin of lemurs is now in question.

Fossils of lemurs have been discovered in India.  Except fossils of lemurs should exist in India.  Unless they are much older primates than any other in the fossil record and existed long before dinosaurs, during the days of Pangaea, the super continent.

Needless to say, the possibility that lemurs have remained mostly unchanged for eons of history is incredibly unlikely.  So how did the fossilized skeletons get to India?  It takes a long time for bone to become fossilized, with the softer minerals being replaced by harder ones, turning the bone into stone.

Have you ever heard of Mu?  It’s a lost continent like Atlantis, theorized to have existed in the Indian Ocean, most likely creating a large continent that stretched from Madagascar off the western coast of Africa to the eastern coast of India.

Much like Atlantis, there hasn’t been any evidence to support the existence of MU, but with the discovery of lemur skeletons in India in 2017, we may have to revise our opinions on the lost continent of Mu.

The first question is why aren’t there lemurs in India today?  Did they all get eaten?  Why would they only exist in Madagascar when they were once as far north as Kandahar?

According to Occum’s Razor the easiest solution is the answer.  The easiest answer is unfortunately still complicated because there is no single reason.  Best guess weather coupled with the lack of predators.  As Mu was covered with water the larger predators would have moved north, into India where the land mass was larger.

Madagascar was probably much higher ground than the rest of Mu and so the smaller animals, like lemurs took refuge at the higher altitude of Madagascar while the larger animals moved towards India where there were significantly larger land masses.  This would have left lemurs untouched since the last ice age ended about 12,000 years ago to evolve in seclusion on Madagascar without predators.

Free Speech When You Agree – An Important Post

Yesterday, it was brought to my attention that my blog post entitled Free Speech that ran in July has disappeared.  I contacted WordPress support as well as my best friend to see if I could somehow find a cached copy, she’s an internet security guru, so I figured she might have a way to retrieve it…  What amazes me is that whoever reported it completely missed the point of the post.

I have not yet heard back from WordPress, but I have a feeling it was removed because someone complained about it, which was my best friend’s thought on the matter more than mine.  Which got me thinking, we don’t mind free speech when we agree with it… But if we disagree we tend to act upon it.

Not everyone, but some people.  I have settings on all my HJ stuff where I have to approve all comments before they post in the comments section because occasionally the comments go beyond spam.  In March, someone who had a link to a blog on WordPress commented on one of my blog posts that they hoped I was beheaded by terrorists.  Well, okie dokie then.

Recently, I had to enact this on FB because someone commented about how they loved D&R but couldn’t read it anymore since in their words, I was a race traitor.  I banned the user from the HJ page.  I know exactly what they were talking about.  Nadine is white.  Zeke is black.

What shocks me is I thought we were adults.  For eight years, people spewed their dislike of President Obama and I don’t remember anyone getting their panties in a bunch and unfriending people over it.  No one ever told me they couldn’t read my books anymore because I actually thought Obama did a decent job as president.

However, I do get those messages regarding President Trump and no one cares why I don’t think he’s fit for the job.  I don’t identify as a Democrat or Republican.  Those labels are too narrow for me.  I vote based on the person not on the political party.  President Trump has several indicators that he is a high functioning sociopath or psychopath.  And while that is great in the business world and says a great deal about why he is a good CEO, I don’t think it’s as great a trait for running a country, look at Russia and Vladimir Putin who is definitely a high functioning psychopath.  As a matter of fact, I have a draft post that records all the incidents that lead me to believe he is a sociopath or psychopath, but I’m fairly sure if I publish it, it will end up like my Free Speech post and probably this post… a waste of time because it will disappear.

Because as a public figure, I am supposed to listen to others practice their right of free speech without exercising my own beyond what I publish in a book… I never write a post intending to offend anyone, I know I occasionally do write posts about things that are controversial… but that is the historian in me and their goal is to make people think.  Not react, just think.

See, it isn’t enough to have the 1st amendment, it has to be exercised by journalists and intellectuals or it withers and dies like a starved plant.  I said whoever reported it, if that is indeed what happened, missed the point of the post, and they did.  Or maybe they highlighted my point.  Yes, I called the president an idiot or maybe a moron, but it was done so as an example of free speech, free speech that could be interpreted as hate speech, but was still protected and once we start losing our right to free speech, we will start losing other rights and if they don’t affect you today, they might in four years.  In four years, if Trump is not re-elected, if a Democrat is elected, everyone who voiced their displeasure over my post is going to want to use their 1st amendment right to call the new president an idiot or a moron.

However, if we start restricting the first amendment today to protect our feelings about the sitting president, so we are not offended, then later when we want to exercise it about someone or something else, we will not have that luxury if we later want to use it.

For the record, it is okay to be offended once in a while.  Hearing opposing views from yours keeps you thinking.  Instead of throwing my books in the proverbial trash can or Stephen King’s books in the proverbial trash can, we are supposed to think when we get offended… why does this person not support the person I think is doing a wonderful job? And just shouting about liberals doesn’t cut it, because I have some very conservative views to go along with my liberal ones.

Essentially, what I’ve learned from this is it’s okay for people to call me a n*****-lover and tell me they hope I get beheaded, but I am not allowed to have a voice.  Let’s all rally the Gestapo and start referring to each other as comrades.  Because retribution for disagreement with someone is the enemy of freedom.


Ms Not So Little Smarty Pants

In short, anything and everything

Plus Size Plus Meds

Weight Loss Adventure

Nerdy Fashionista

Fashion for those who love the Nerd Life

C Patt

A safe place for Paper Sisters to roam

Village Books

2513 Bernadette Dr, Columbia MO 65203 (573) 449-8637

Susan Finlay Writes

Mysteries and Suspense


It's going to be HUGE!

Maria63303's Blog

Just another weblog

Roger Radford Journalist & Author

Thrillers with a Twist

Characters in Progress

Developing character on the page and off

Me and my writing life

A blog about books, my ideas and what I've learned as I live life as a writer.

Not So Easy Breezy

Appreciating the hard things in life

Rachel Poli

I read. I write. I create.


more than one way to skin a cat


easy reading is damn hard writing

Jodie Jackson Jr. - Author

I wrote a book ...

Adria Waters

Navigating my way through the writing process