Since the weather has warmed up and school has been let out for the summer, it got me thinking about my childhood and where I grew up. Continue reading
Since the weather has warmed up and school has been let out for the summer, it got me thinking about my childhood and where I grew up. Continue reading
Last summer when I was trying to get visitation rights to my son’s two children, Matthew and Zoey, he took the side of his ex-wife to not allow them to travel out of state. Since then, my son and I have not spoken and though I have been down to San Diego twice since, he will not allow me to see my grandchildren. Continue reading
From my previous two posts about trying to lose weight…always seemed like an up hill battle. After getting a few suggestions, I decided to research this Keto thing that seems to work for lots of people. I did my body type (adrenal and thyroid), purchased supplements (I did this because I knew my body was missing nutrients), watched Dr. Berg’s videos, joined a Facebook group, and began my new way of eating (WOE). I explained I had tried almost every diet out there with little to no results. I would lose 10-12 lbs and then put it right back on. I could not go below that 10 lb mark. Talk about frustrating. No matter how long I stayed on track, the scale never budged past that mark.
This is week 4 for me on Keto. The scale (which I was told to hide) didn’t move for almost 2.5 weeks. I figured I was doing something wrong. I sent a private message to Dr. Berg and amazingly enough, he answered (or one of his well qualified staff did!) He sent me three videos of his on how to achieve rapid weight loss for adrenal and thyroid body types. So, I was eating all wrong! Well, not all wrong but the little tweaks he told me I should do, worked! I seemed to be following old eating habits: high protein, low fat, lots of veggies and I was putting blueberries in my kale shake every morning.
I was eating the wrong berries. I should have been eating blackberries and raspberries. I was eating the wrong nuts. I should have been eating pecans and macadamia nuts. I was eating when I wasn’t hungry rather than fasting a little longer. I was eating the wrong meats. I was eating salmon and chicken when I should have been consuming more eggs, hamburger, pork, lamb, and steak. I didn’t know what “fats” to eat. And now I know I need to consume 50-70% of my meals with healthy fats. Pork or bacon, brie cheese, steak (prime rib), lamb, hamburger (the fattest I can find), pecans, avocado and butter on my veggies. And guess what? Once I started eating like he suggested for rapid weight loss, 2 days in, I had lost 3.8 lbs! (I did not hide my scale). And today when I weighed myself, I was down another 1 lb.
So, since starting this eating plan almost 4 weeks ago, I have gone from 193 to 186 – that’s 7 lbs. I’m so glad I reached out to him for some help because I was again thinking, “oh, no, here we go again.” But that is not what I’m thinking anymore. I’m thinking, “oh, hell, yes!” I do not mind fasting at all. In fact, most days I fast from dinner the night before until dinner the following day! So, that’s about a 23 hour fast. I love how everyone abbreviates OMAD or TMAD (one meal a day vs. two meals a day). My eating window is 2 hours so I have to consume all the fat, carbs, protein and calories in one sitting within a 2 hour window. Once you get used to it, it’s pretty darn easy.
I’ll keep you all updated on my progress. I’ll post more pictures before and afters. I do want to add, I have so much energy, I am working out 4 days per week with a trainer and I can already see my muscle tone coming back. This WOE may not be for everyone but for the one’s I have met on FB, the brave souls who post their before and afters, the people who no longer have to take medication for diabetes or pre diabetes, the one’s who are way more healthier than they have ever been in their adult lives, this is for them and for me. I really thought I would miss sugar, but I don’t. I still get to cook and bake and it’s fun trying out new recipes. I’m by far not an expert on this WOE but I’m learning new things everyday, and it seems to be a good thing for me and my body.
Sometimes we just have to let go of the norm and look outside the box. I’m so glad I never gave up!
I want to thank everyone who reached out to me yesterday after I posted my Fit (Fat) for Life blog. Suggestions for me to try out a new way of eating, one that will suit my lifestyle, were Paleo and Keto.
I have decided to try out the Keto, both are very similar in foods but I do like the fact that you concentrate on fat rather than low fat. Low fat hasn’t worked for me and it is obvious by the numbers on my scale.
I have done much research in the last two days on this and after watching Dr. Berg’s vlogs on the Keto Diet, I was amazed at what I learned.
You start out by finding out what your body type is. Mine was broken down into two, Adrenal and Thyroid. As you can see from my pictures I posted yesterday, my arms have gotten so big, I’m embarrassed to where sleeveless shirts and normally go for 3/4 sleeves whenever I shop for tops. Who knew this was caused from my adrenal malfunction. Stress is another factor that will cause your adrenals to go haywire. And I do have Hashimoto’s disease so when I saw the pictures of the 4 different body types, I was amazed at how quick I could pick mine out. The symptoms, trying to lose weight and only losing a certain amount before gaining it all back, exercising and seeing little results, restless sleep, fatigue, hair loss, acne (I started getting adult acne and went to a dermatologist). Of all the doctors I have been seeing, not one pointed to my adrenal glands and yet all my symptoms point to this.
Here is the link to Dr. Berg’s body type: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s54ioy8f7ek
If you can’t get it through the link I posted, google Youtube and look for “What are the 4 body types” Dr. Berg. This doctor is a wealth of information and if you are having the same problem I’m having, it may be helpful to you as it was for me.
Since yesterday I have ordered the Keto coffee with the Keto creamer, and two cookbooks. I also ordered Dr. Berg’s supplements for Adrenal Health, you don’t have to do this but I felt I would give it a try. This morning I am about to bake a Keto banana Walnut Bread, I’ll let you know how it turns out.
I’m excited to try this new way of eating and I’m hoping once my supplements get here, I will be on my way to a renewed, healthy body. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. This morning I weighed in again at 189, I lost 2 lbs since yesterday but then again, it’s been a yoyo, let’s see what happens on Keto!
Now I need to go make my Kale Shake!
I’ve been obsessing the last 2, no make that 14 years, of my life on my weight. I don’t mean mildly, I mean severely. I can just look at food and I gain weight. I’m sure you are all saying, “yeah right” but once I tell you what I have been doing these last 14 years, maybe there is something to what I’m saying. Continue reading
I wrote a post on the American Justice system a few months back after attending a court session on my nephew’s murder. It is appalling! Well, unfortunately, I have now had experience with the Mental Health system in America. After I tell you my story, you will most likely agree with me as to why we are having so many mass shootings in America. Tell me you work for the Mental Health system in America and I will tell you to find a different job because you are helping no one. Sorry to be so blunt but from my experience, it’s true. It’s all about money. They don’t care about the patient. They just drug them up in hopes it will help or so they don’t have to deal with the patient. So, the pharmaceutical company is making money as well, thanks to the mental health workers. Continue reading
This is the essay I did as a nonfiction piece not a creative nonfiction piece.
Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry, and though it affects nearly every community across our nation, it is commonplace here in the US and in Indian Country. According to Lisa Brunner, Executive Director and CEO Sacred Spirits First Nations Coalition, who testified in front of Congress, “Native women experience violent victimization at a higher rate than any other US population. More than 1 in 3 Native American and Alaska Native women will be raped in their lifetime; more than 6 in 10 will be physically assaulted. Native women are murdered at more than ten times the national average” (Brunner 2016). According to a new report published in May 2016 from the National Institute of Justice, “Among American Indian and Alaska Native women, 56.1 percent have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime and 14.4 percent have experienced it in the past year. Among American Indian and Alaska Native victims, 96 percent of women and 89 percent of men have experienced sexual violence by an interracial perpetrator” (Research Report p 11).
Prior to colonial contact, violence against Native women was very rare. In fact, women were acknowledged to be sacred and revered members of their communities. However, the long-term impacts of government actions which caused widespread poverty, low educational attainment, high rates of community and interpersonal violence, high rates of alcohol-related deaths and suicide, poor physical health, and corroded family and community relations. The U.S. government outlawed gatherings for ceremonies and it wasn’t until 1978 that American Indians were allowed to fully practice their traditional religions. All of which the U.S. government has never acknowledged, never apologized for, or attempted to compensate for its treatment of American Indians.
From the mid-1500s when the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto wrote in his journal how he and his men had captured Appalachee women in Florida “for their foul use and lewdness” (Galley 2002). The fact that Native women would have sex with colonist that were connected to trade made them out to be tainted and mercenary (Fischer 2002). Because of these beliefs, Native women were raped and harassed by English surveying teams and the framework was set to justify the sexual exploitation of American Indian women who colonist believed to be sexually loose, mercenary and immoral having no regard for the norms of decent society. The U.S. Army, as immigrants moved westward, not only killed American Indian men in battle, but also slaughtered entire encampments of women, elders and children. Referred to as “breeders”, American Indian women were raped, murdered, and sexually mutilated.
The atrocities continued throughout the generations. In the 1850s, the U.S. government established and relocated American Indians to reservations for assimilation. In 1879, the Bureau of Indian Affairs opened Carlisle Industrial School in Pennsylvania, which became the model for government-funded, Christian-oriented Indian boarding schools. In its 39 years of operation, approximately 12,000 American Indian children attended (Anderson 2000). According to the Dawes Allotment Acct in 1887, each reservations was broken up into 160 acre parcels which was allotted to individual heads of family, and it allowed the government to sell any unallotted land which resulted in 17 million acres of Indian land sold to companies or white men. From 1950 to the 1970s, the U.S. government performed involuntary sterilization of Native women, approved of tribal termination and urban relocation efforts, and enforced large scale efforts into adopting Native children into white families.
What does all this have to do with today’s sex trafficking of Native American women? Plenty. History set the stage to what can be “described as “a perfect storm” of victimization, oppression, and poverty that makes Native American women vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation” (Shattered Hearts Report 2009). According to the Trafficking Victim Protection Act (2002), “Trafficking involves sexual exploitation of persons, predominately women and girls, involving activities related to prostitution, pornography, sex tourism, and other commercial sexual services. Victims are often forced through physical violence to engage in sex acts or perform slavery-like labor. Such force includes rape and other forms of sexual abuse, torture, starvation, imprisonment, threats, psychological abuse, and coercion” (22). Most of these victims were sexually abused as kids. Some young women are coerced into believing they are providing for their families. All are poverty stricken and feel this is their only “career” choice.
Almost all the stories sound alike. In the city of Duluth, a port city in Minnesota, many Native women, mothers and daughters alike, are driven into prostitution by poverty and homelessness. Generations of Native women have sold themselves in order to survive. There has been a large increase in the number of prostitutes since 2000, especially those who are underage. Criminals know they are less likely to be arrested or prosecuted for trafficking and the overhead is far less than that required for selling drugs. The internet has increased the demand for prostitutes with escort services, both online and by phone, which provides a somewhat legal means for prostitutes and buyers to connect. The internet also aids the movement and coordination of prostitution. Pimps coordinate meet-ups between the women and buyers at rural bars and strip clubs. The police noted it seems to be growing in organization and sophistication (Pember 2012).
Between the significant lack of federal or state funding for helping domestically trafficked or prostituted women, and the distrust of law enforcement among Native girls and women many traffickers suffer no real consequences even if they agree to testify. Lieutenant Scott Drewlo of the Duluth police notes, “As an example, “the big boat case” of 2000, in which a 14-year-old Native girl was sold to the crew of a ship by a gang in Duluth. According to Drewlo, organized crime in the form of gangs has played a large role in trafficking girls in and around Duluth for years. The girl was locked in a cabin on the boat for days while the crew raped her repeatedly. She managed to escape when the ship was in port in Cleveland and made her way back to Duluth, where she contacted police. In the end, however, she was too frightened to testify and disappeared. We have no way of knowing how many times this sort of thing has happened,” he says (Pember 2012).
Vednita Carter, founder of Breaking Free, a Minneapolis-based non-profit dedicated to helping women escape prostitution says “true choice is the ability to change your mind and leave a situation, however, you can’t just walk away from prostitution. Once you’ve been involved so many things have happened that prevent you from leaving. I like to call it New Age Slavery. At some point, their spirits fall down and they see that they are indeed victims” (2) She claims initially some glamorize the life and speak fondly of the attention from men, wearing fancy clothes, going out to eat, staying in nice hotels. “I tell them that’s not prostitution. I ask them how they felt when a stranger ordered them to their knees and demanded they open their mouths. Sometimes they being to cry,” Carter said. It is then they come to realize they’ve been hurt, things have happened to them that they never expected to happen. A man can do anything he wants to a prostitute; “the women who come to us are broken” said Carter.
Now that sex trafficking is beginning to get the attention of federal, state, and tribal health and social service agencies, they are struggling to create meaningful ways to serve sex trafficking victims. The stringent barriers created though are causing problems. Some services are requiring adult victims to cooperate with law enforcement to receive services. Because some victims won’t cooperate, they are turned away. Minors, on the other hand, are not required to work with law enforcement, but are encouraged to do so. The first and only shelter designated to serve Native American sex trafficking victims has recently been funded by the Department of Justice. Located on the Crow Creek Reservation, Pathfinders, as it’s called, is due to open later this year and will offer long-term housing for survivors as well as mental health, job training, and spiritual support services.
The question arises, would sex trafficking decrease if prostitution was made legal? The Nordic Model, also known as the Sex Buyer Law, decriminalizes all those who are prostituted, provides support services to help them exit, and makes buying people for sex a criminal offense, in order to reduce the demand that drives sex trafficking. It was pioneered in Sweden after extensive research and has been adopted by countries such as Canada, Norway, Australia, and New Zealand. The UK is currently looking into implementing the Nordic Model. Has it worked? According to the countries that have criminalized sex buyers, such as Sweden, have seen a significant drop in sex trafficking per capita than Denmark and Germany where buying sex is legal. Street prostitution has halved and the Swedish government determined that this is not because prostitution has moved inside.
Native American women experience violence, rape, physical assault, and murder in the United States at a higher rate than any other population. This outrage alone should make people stand up and take notice. Prior to colonization, violence against Native American women was rare, however the long-term impacts of government actions caused widespread poverty, high rates of alcoholism and drug use, and low educational attainment throughout the generations of the Indian nations. History set the stage for the perfect storm and Native American women became vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation. Because of poverty and homelessness, mothers and daughters alike have turned to prostitution in order to survive. Thanks to the dedication of many organizations like “Breaking Free” and funding from the Justice Department, giving these women a choice to end their life of prostitution with shelter, education, job training, and spiritual support, there may be hope for some of these women. Gaining trust in law enforcement and providing safe access to those who decide to go after their perpetrators remains a huge problem in helping victims. Some think adopting the Nordic Model will decrease sex trafficking everywhere. Awareness is key to the start of the solution. We must, as a nation, end poverty; we must, as a nation, end homelessness; we must, as a nation, embrace our brothers and sisters with compassion and understanding. For without our help, this crime on women will never go away.
Anderson S, (2000). On sacred ground: commemorating survival and loss at the Carlisle Indian School, Central Pennsylvania Magazine (May edition).
Brunner, Lisa (2016). Executive Director and CEO Sacred Spirits First Nations Coalition. Personal Interview. 16 Sept. 2016. Print.
Carter, Vednita. (2015). Founder and President of Breaking Free
Fischer K, (2002). Suspect relations: Sex, race, and resistance in colonial North Carolina, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, p. 56
Gallay A, (2002). The Indian slave trade: The rise of the English empire in the American South, 1670-1717. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 34.
Pember, Mary Annette. (2012). “Native Girls are being Exploited and Destroyed at an Alarming Rate”. Indian Country Today Media Network. 16 August 2012. Web.
“The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of American Indian Women and Girls in Minnesota”. Shattered Hearts. Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center. August 2009.
Last May my nephew was murdered in a home invasion which was done by the RBC gang in Denver, CO. Out of the 14 gang members responsible, all have been caught and the majority of them were juveniles at the time of the crime. One juvenile is in California, where, after killing my nephew, he traveled from Denver to Torrance and proceeded to break into a little old ladies home, beat her and robbed her house. Her neighbor though saw a strange vehicle parked in front of her home and called the police. Lucky for her. This guy is a killer and I can guarantee he would have killed this little old lady before leaving her to identify him.
When the police arrived at her home, they caught one guy who had tried to run away the other one was hiding in the attic of her garage. If the canine unit had not been called in, I fear he would have gotten away. The dog found him and notified his handler. He was quickly arrested. But because he was only 17, California news was not able to show his face. That wasn’t the case in Colorado. His face was plastered all over the news because he was wanted for first degree murder. A young black male with long dread locks and blue eyes. Already a career criminal, he is still being held in Los Angeles to face his crimes there, hopefully, he will be charged as an adult and then Colorado will get him to face murder charges here.
As I sat in court today listening to the judge and the taxpayer paid defense attorneys, I was astonished at how little I actually knew about the American justice system. What a racket! And we are paying for it. We are paying for these criminals to use the system to benefit themselves. Out of all the cases I heard from 830 am until 1130 am, 3 white guys were charged with probation violations, drugs (meth), resisting arrest and the rest of the criminals were black or Mexican, drugs and probation violations for who knows what. One young Latina girl was in for probation violation. Apparently, she pissed dirty. The judge sitting on the bench was extremely kind to all the inmates. He greeted each one pleasantly and would then proceed to go over their case and why they were once again standing in front of him.
This young girl had been given probation back in April 2017 for drugs. She was ordered to take drug rehab classes and pay some fines. She did neither. In fact, when her probation officer gave her a pee test, she failed it. Her lawyer continually made excuses for her. She had had a job at McDonald’s but got fired because she called in sick (ahhh, that doesn’t happen if you call in sick once.) She had been searching for other employment to no avail, according to her attorney and this was the reason she wasn’t able to pay for her fines. Oh, and she had just found out she was pregnant so the probability of her using drugs during her pregnancy was not going to happen. (Really?)
The judge was a wise man, which is why he was sitting on the bench. He spoke to her kindly. He let her know he had been very lenient with her back in April, he had given her 2 years probation, some fines to pay (total of $500), and required her to take some drug rehab classes. She violated her probation, hadn’t paid but $60 towards her fines, and she was using drugs again. He didn’t believe her when she told him if he put her in jail, it would hinder her finding a job and getting her fines paid. He didn’t buy it. He started her probation all over again from today (2 years), her fines were $600, and now, since she didn’t seem to be learning her lesson, he gave her 45 days in jail. The officer came up and cuffed her hands behind her back and took her away as tears rolled down her face.
A shocking revelation was seeing the way some of these girls were dressed like hookers! They were laughing and joking in the hallways. One girl was wearing a pair of jeans, if you could call them jeans, the holes were so large there was barely any material on her legs, with thigh high black suede heel boots and a white sweater. I looked at the victim advocate who was there and said, you know, when I was growing up, I was taught to always look and dress professionally. She turned to me and said, well, they’re probably going to get to see their man. To which my husband said, well, maybe they are dressed for their profession, prostitution. I did a piece on poverty once, thinking this was why there were so many Mexican and Black men in prison, but to see how these young girls were dressed today had nothing to do with poverty and everything to do with upbringing.
Another criminal couldn’t speak a lick of English and was from some place in Africa. I have no idea what language he spoke but they had to call someone on the phone to translate what the judge was saying to him and what he was saying to the judge. When he left the court room, I wanted so badly to run after him calling “Sir? Sir?” to see if he would turn around. If you can’t speak English and you’re in this country committing crimes no matter what that crime is, you need to leave. Don’t waste the American taxpayers money on him, send him home.
Two of the dirt bags that took part in robbing and taking my nephew’s life were up for arraignment, which is why we were in court, mostly to support my husband’s sister and husband. After hearing stories about how the defendants families would show up in the court room in previous hearings taunting my sister in law and husband, we felt we needed to show them support and maybe knock a few teeth out in the hallway if they did it while we were there. Surprisingly, when they did see us, they didn’t say one word.
Both men plead not guilty, which understandably, they want to waste more taxpayer money even though strong evidence, fingerprints and blood, as well as GPS monitors, place them at the robbery/murder. They are in jail with no bond, and both came out with smug looks on their faces. Glancing over at us, smiling, but guess who will be smiling at the end of all this when they are found guilty and spending years behind bars. In fact, when that verdict is read, I will be standing and clapping my hands.
One thing I learned, and I’m sure you didn’t know this either, unless you’re in law enforcement, when a convict is wearing a GPS tracker, they can go wherever the hell they want to go. Now it depends on the reason they are wearing a tracker and what the judge rules for that tracker, but these little gang member, career criminals were able to roam the entire metro area without 24/7 monitoring. That’s right. Here’s another false sense of security for the general public. We are not safe from these pieces of shits. The only good thing about the tracker is it places them at the scene of the crime. However, it didn’t stop them from robbing not only my sister in law’s house, but 7 other houses that night. It didn’t stop them from having a handgun and shooting my nephew or shooting a 12 year old lab in the face. It didn’t stop them from stealing a car. Nope. But it did help the police find these asshats sooner than later, after the damage was done.
The American justice system is a very long and frustrating process. They tell me it’s because they don’t want to convict anyone who may be innocent. Seriously? Then how come innocent people have gone to jail? By the looks of these people, none of them were innocent and no amount of jail time or probation time or fines will make them turn a corner or see the light. No, I actually prefer the justice system of the old West, or China even. Hang ’em high. Eye for an eye. Am I cynical? You betcha. If you don’t believe me, try sitting in a court room and watch and listen. I have no doubt in my mind, you will walk away shaking your head just like I did. This isn’t poverty at work, it’s a lack of disregard for your fellow man and the unending cycle of always wanting or deserving of a hand out.
The reason I say that is because rarely are resolutions kept. I know, for me, every year in the past, I have made resolutions only to drop them, so this year, rather than make some silly, sissy resolutions, I have decided to adopt a new attitude. You can be with me or not. We all need different things in our lives to keep us pumped. This will keep me pumped and at peace for a long while. Happy New Year everyone!
I’m walking into 2018 with a clear heart & mind:
If you owe me, don’t worry about it – you’re welcome…
If you wronged me, it’s all good – lesson learned…
If you’re angry with me, no argument – you’ve won…
If we haven’t spoken, it’s cool – I love you & I wish you well…
If you feel I have wronged you, I apologize…it’s never intentional.
Life is too short for all the pent up anger, holding grudges, pride, spite, extra stress, drama & pain that comes along with it!
Please Forgive Me
I Love You
Peace, Love, & Blessings❣
From our house to yours, I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!! Thank you all for following me this year and here’s hoping next year will bring me more interesting tales to tell!! Be safe!