Now for my real post for Today…

Now for my real post for the day. We had a good time with Church and had a restful weekend for the most part. Then for the most part we had a wonderful weekend Rob was off for four days and we didn’t even have any squabbles which is a wonderful thing. In almost 32 years we have rarely spend more than 4-5 days together without getting in some kind of disagreement. We love each so much that sometimes we have to stop at step back and tell each other to slow down. We are very much a black-and-white couple not meaning color of skin just meaning types of personalities. Rob is very let things go relax it’ll pass and I am very much I want it done now and I want it done my way. It works out for us like I said we’ve been together for 32 years working it out but sometimes it does become cause for conflict.

Rob retired from the army about four years ago I love the army and Rob loved the army. However we have a rule around the house you may be in charge at work but when it came to comming home I was the commandant at home. I had done my time in the military and I wasn’t going to be bossed around by him when it came to coming home. We had a good arrangement and that’s worked for us now for a long time but I doubt we will change it any time soon.

It seems that both of us have changed a lot over the years, he’s decided to become more picky and I have decided to become more flexible. It seems as though we change spaces and yet we just kept our own individuality. We don’t have any children so it hasn’t really had that ability to change us that way, but I’m sure that if we did we would be different than we are today in a good way. Over the years we’ve adopted two adult male children who have become more our sons more then if they were born to us. One just got married last year and the other is gotten our first granddaughter. More about them later.

We spent the first 12 years together in the Marine Corps and Rob transferred to the Army for the final 15 years and retired from the army. He transferred services because of his father’s illness as he had to take a year off in between and when it came time to go back into the Marine Corps there no space there he had to transfer to the army. He had been a recruiter in the marine Corps so the transfer to the army was quite a relief. We had moved several times in the Marine Corps and only twice with the army. I still have boxes in our garage with the tags on them from the Marine Corps moves.

Well I probably bored you enough for today with a trivial stuff so I’m gonna let you go and wish you a wonderful day. Try to smile at someone you don’t know as it may be the only smile they get today.

Skeeter/Sandra

After the Memories of Mt St Helens

It’s taken me 3 days to deal with the memories. I had no idea how deeply they affected me. I’ve had nightmares and hours of not being able to sleep at all. I truly thought writing it down would share away some of the intense feelings it all invoked. I truly thought it was the end of the world as I knew it even when we made it to the rest stop and found other people. The very fact that emergency phones were dead and there was no moon. You could see maybe 15 feet ahead of you. And no one there had any answers either for several hours. The ash continued to fall like rain all night and well into the second and third days. You really had to be there to understand the overwhelming fear of the unknown. We had no idea what health consequences the ash would have long or short term. I have a lung disorder from before this that doctors say this made it worse but there is no way to prove how much worse.

I got out of the Air Force with honorable discharge in Jan 1980. I did however get a medical pension through the VA. Some of what that pension is for is airways disease. I manage like most normal people I just have to be careful around fumes from gases and chemicals and ash. I have PTSD from an attack in my time in service so I tend to have panic attacks now and then. I have other reasons for the disability but they aren’t what kept me all messed up the last 3 days. I apologize for leaving the blog and you hanging.

I’ll leave you with a thought I started this blog with. Smile at a stranger today. It may be the only smile they see.

Skeeter/Sandra

Day 2 at Rest Stop to Mt St Helens

After a very scary night with meeting new people and not knowing what was going on still no phone open for communication and no possible way of getting in contact with the outside world. Again the next day in the darkness. Right now the only thing that changed is that we knew that Mount St. Helens had a Erupted and not in a small way. What are the other people at the rest stop had a short wave radio that was giving up broadcasts about the Eruption of Mount Saint Helens. The broken reports were so far that over one quarter of the mountain head exploded and no lava flow had started yet. The darkness span from Seattle all across to Spokane and into to Canada. The ash during the explosion blue high in the sky up into the jetstream it is said to have traveled around the world some 10 times now at this point. Ash was still falling like rain the next day and the sky was still very dark and you could see a little bit but it was still very dark. The phone system at the rest stop now it started working for emergency phone calls only one word calls out limited collect calls and numbers did you had to have directly made to the person you were trying to connect to. It was a very surreal situation. Some of the people at the rest stop had been out camping so they had food for more than one day for their families and then shared it with all the people stuck there at the rest stop.

The evening of the second day we got a call From the payphones at the rest stop a call stating that the National Guard would be coming to get us some food or try to rescue us. They said they would be coming in green buses with Army logos on them. It may be several hours before they would arrive but they would arrive.

It was about four hours before the first bus arrived. It had maybe 6 to 8 army men on it and they had saltine crackers and Oscar Meyer baloney packets to hand out. For the most part people got in line orderly and without arguing but there were a few that just acted like animals. It was the first time in my life I ever hit another human being. A man a approximately 25 or 30 years old and grab the bag of the crackers and baloney from a five-year-old and push the child out of the way and he fell to the ground I reached up and slap him and grab the baloney from him and gave it back to the little boy and I stepped out of line and help the child I was no mood to stand back in the line at that point I was so appalled. The crowd actually cheered but I was just too angry to even think about eating at that point. The ash had given me a hard time breathing because of my disability with my lungs. Later some of the other people at the rest stop brought me something to eat and I was fine. Most of all the people there were very good they were only a few people that were just bad apples.

The army buses were destroyed by the ash trying to get out to get the Food to us. So they had to radio back for other buses with better filters to try to come out and get us out of the rest stop. We ended up staying another night and a bus in the morning came and took us to the new town of Ritzville Washington. The town is very small and has like three churches a convalescent hospital and maybe A population of 20,000. And it was one of the worst hit by the Ash. There were 12 ft high drifts of ash. The only place they had to put us up and was a small church and there was a lot of us up from the rest stop to fit in the small church. The Red Cross stepped in and fed us immediately. They were like angels from heaven. They set us up in separate rooms as good as possible. Because I was sick visit me in the rooms a right off the front where the pre-stands and gives speeches and it was small little tiny room where I can lay down and have some peace and quiet they sent someone over to the pharmacy in town and got me some breathing sprays. Asthma inhalers.

I heard that during the time I was resting and 12-year-old girl was attacked by one of the older gentleman in the church I have no idea why or what for I also heard that another gentleman try to steal a camera from someone I don’t know where he thought he did it wouldn’t since nobody had a way of going anywhere in the town we were locked in so why would you steal something you got no place to sell it but that’s the way people act in disaster. Or natural disasters happen people act as natural as they are if they’re not good people before then and they’re certainly not good people during the disaster. But the same could be said for the good people the good people come out really good.

We stayed in that church for three more days before they can get trucks come to Rittzville to take us back to Spokane and I took another week after that before they get done rescue our car off the freeway it was completely totaled. The ash had taken and ruin the engine. When we got home to school can I home I had a 4 inch layer of ash throughout the house and all the driveways and everywhere else all flights in the Northwest had been canceled for over a week because the Ash On the runways stalled the planes and turned to slime when wet. It took months to get our lives back together after this ordeal I ended up having to reschedule the original trip to Seattle for the VA medical center. It’s not an experience I want to live again but I know that living it has made me a stronger person.

Skeeter/Sandra

Mt St Helens eruption, I was there.

It was a beautiful morning in Spokane, Washington. I had orders to be at the VA hospital in Seattle Washington on Monday morning for the final hearing on my disability case from being in the Air Force. We made arrangements with the neighbors to check on our pets while we were gone and we planned to stay in on base houseing for Sunday night thru Wednesday when we would be heading home. That was our plan, not Mt St Helens.

We had our bags packed for lunch in car loaded to go it was early morning when we took off we had no idea that there is going to be any kind of major changes for the day. The weather was clear and our car although old was still in good shape.
May 18, 1980 in Spokane is a beautiful time to see all the flowers and the glory of spring. It’s not the time you would expect a volcano to erupt.

We had driven for only a few miles and said only the sky start to turn dark and when I say dark I mean dark. Before long you could not see your car through the front window. We are just passed the Ritzville exit rest stop and so decided to pull over to the side of the highway. We ended up stopping on the middle divider of the highway because we could not seem to find the side. We ended up walking with our shirts over eyes because of the ash that was falling and it was so dark you could hardly see the highway lights were still on but they were very very dim because of the ash falling. The ash was warm Dany silky feeling. We didn’t realize it was cutting the thin skin at the corner of our eyes even through the t-shirts. We go to Our way back towards the rest stop by hanging on the fence. Mind you it is black as midnight now and according to our watches it was only about 3pm. Pst. Keep in mind this whole time we didn’t know the volcano had a Erupted. When the sky started to go black our radio in our car stopped working, so we were clueless as to what had happened. We saw the clouds that painted the sky black. They were beautiful beyond words. Looked like God was painting with a huge sable brush in wide glorious strokes. Thing was those strokes came so fast we had no idea to be scared until they blacked out the sun completely and caused our car to seize up engine wise. Then we began to think that maybe this was the day of the END. We gripped that fence looking for the rest stop and hopefully other people that could explain what was happening.

We walked for some time till we saw the rest stop in our sights. No lights and what seemed like no people at first. The closer you got the better you could see and hear and get scared more. Turned out the people were ok? They could say that I was sick and they gave me help. They shared the food that they had and we all work together to try and just stay in good spirits. The only pottible water was in the restrooms. There are about 40 of us at the rest stop total. For here I’m going to close for the day. Another installment tomorrow.

Skeeter/Sandra

I’ve done it again. Gone missing for a month…

It isn’t on purpose that I get so much time between posts. I just have many kettles in the fire and unfortunately the blog is way down on the list. Lately I’ve had a minimum of 2 and as many as 4 doctors appointment a week. And that appears to be the case for the next few months unfortunately. I still haven’t regained my complete voice from the surgery for thyroid cancer I had in August of 2016. Some days I have a garbled voice some days I don’t have a voice at all.I finally got the insurance approval to see the specialist about possibly getting cortisone shots directly into my vocal cords. They may end up doing some other procedure but for now that is what my family doctor says they will probably do. I’m not thrilled but I want my voice back. So I’m ready to try what ever they suggest.

Maybe here is a good place to explain some of my medical conditions at this time. I’m a disabled veteran of the United States Air Force. I receive a small check for a respiratory condition, a back injury, migraines, loss of ability to have children at 19 because they let a simple infection turn to pelvic inflammatory disease ending up in a full hysterectomy at 19 years old. I had one child that died in birth which is where the infection started. I now have 2 adopted sons whom I am very proud of and my firsts sweet baby grand girl. I will tell you more about all of them later. Suffices to say they are my world. Currently I’m still dealing with the side effects of thyroid cancer, my back, my voice, and manic depression from ptsd. I’m a serious insomniac and take about 24 prescription pills a day. None of which are narcotics or mind altering drugs. Because in case I haven’t mentioned it I am in recovery now 32 years come July 2017 from alcohol and prescription drugs. So my doctors run a fine line of what to give me without breaking my sobriety. Oh in case I didn’t mention it I lost my left kidney to cancer 8 years ago. That also makes it difficult for the docs. I always tell my hubby when I die he needs to place one of those toxic tags on my headstone so no one gets exposed without warning. He just smiles. And gives me a standard “Yes Dear”. Now that I have bored you to tears with my med story I’ll let you move on with your day. I promise the next post will be less depressing. Maybe we will go into how I survived Mr St Helens eruption. 3 days in a rest stop on the freeway then 4 days in little town till national guard could get us safety home…

Thank you for visiting
Skeeter/Sandra

I survived into 2017…

I know it’s been a long time since I posted but I do apologize. I have been up and down with ¬†illness from the radiation treatment for my cancer and all my other medical troubles. I’m going to try and be a little more responsible from here out and make at least one post a week. I have 59 years of memories I want to share with you and only so many hours in a day between doctor visits and other commitments. So weeks I may get more in but hopefully never less.

I’ve witnessed volcanos blow, been to Disneyland and Disneyworld, lived in 8 states and visited England during the height of daffodil season to help a friend pass to cancer, visited about 23 of the states. Seen most of the national treasures. I have one beautiful granddaughter. Two dogs, one cat, one corn snake, 8 cockatiels, 3 large parrot types. So you see I do have plenty to share about. Again I say welcome you to my little corner of the web.

Skeeter/Sam

Where do I start?

I know it’s been 2 weeks since my last post. I didn’t get the puppy and I did get really sick over the next three days. My potassium levels dropped again and my medications went out of balance and my poor tired body told me it had just about enough of me. The ladies from the adoption group arrived with puppy, I fell in love on first sight and as they brought her in the house she started sneezing. The lady started to look around perplexidly. Then out from under my tv console strolls my 16 year old “nasty” cat. I’ll explain more in a minute. The lady sees the cat and immediately starts for the door. It seems that the puppy is highly allergic to cats. My loss and hers. They had no choice but to deny me the puppy. They offered to try a different puppy, I just said maybe another time. I was just to crushed to even think about it. My other two dogs were content to not have a third competeing for my attentions.

Oh ya why I call her “nasty cat”, she’s just past 16 maybe 17, I not really sure but anyway she’s old for a cat. She’s bald in a couple spots and doesn’t clean herself well any more so she smells funky and she is very grumpy. Hence, nasty cat. She earned the right to live here as long as she can or wants to with dignity but she isn’t required to be friendly any more and she takes that to its extreme. All cats have attitude but she has a level all her own. We have a male cat also that is 15 and he is her exact opisate. Extra friendly, beautiful to eye, totally independent, and just generally a great cat. We named him Pita, pronounced Peeta and when people ask what does it mean they usually think people for ethical treatment of animals PETA we have to tell them nooo pain in the ass. PITA. My kind of Kat.

We have a very small version of a zoo right now compared to what we used to have. I have a corn snake named Herman, was Herminee until we had him sexed and found out her was a him. We have 3 dogs in the house but one is our nephews dog and his wife actually owns the dog. They are the best renters. Who ever said you can’t live with family just didn’t know how to respect each other.weve been doing it for a couple years now. Anyway we also have 3 large parrots and an aviary of cockatiels, 2 cats, lizards, mice. Like I said the zoo is small now compared to earlier in our marriage.

Well I don’t want to keep from your daily reading schedule. Enjoy your day!
Skeeter/Sam

I’m back..

Well I know it’s been 4 days and blogging is supposed to be a daily thing, but just haven’t had the time this week to sit down and put on paper or should I say post here what been going on. Tommorrow I get to meet the newest addition to critter collection. She is a 4 pound 2 year old female Black and Tan chihuahua from the local rescue society. I’m hoping that they let me go ahead and keep from tomorrow to forever. I’m not sure if it just a meet the puppy visit or “here’s your puppy, you won our lottery” visit. I just know I miss my baby girl Tigger so much I’ll take a visit now if that’s all I get and I’ll keep praying for adoption day.

Tigger was my baby for almost 8 years. She is the little chihuahua pictured on the main page of my website. I got her while my husband was on his las duty station in the army which happened to be away from home for 18 months. He was only in Northern California while I lived in Southern California but it was probably one of the hardest assignments we ever had during our time in his career. We had to support two separate households and my health was in a downward spiral from my first round with cancer and by the end of his tour I had my second round starting. It was a very trying time. I had gotten Tigger to help me deal with the lonely nights.

Tigger was the only one of a liter of 6 that was Black and Tan, all of her siblings were white or cream colored. I’ve always picked the odd ball in the group. She was also the smallest and the shyest. She rode home in my lap covered in fleas and when we arrived at my vet I found out also infested with worms. Needless to say, I don’t know much about how to pick puppies from homes breeders. I may not have mentioned it, but she came from an ad on the internet that posted the address and price and didn’t mention that the seller spoke only Spanish. Well I don’t speak more then pigeon Spanish so just buying her was a major accomplishment, I didn’t get any pedigree or health history, just a cute puppy and a huge vet bill. Life lesson’ know who, what, where, why, how, and all you can before buying anything off the internet. She worked out fine in fact better than fine, but cost a small kings ransome to get her off to a healthy start. I will miss her as she was taken from me by a coyote in our front yard this past June very late in the night one night. We live at the base of the foothills and due to the construction of more housing even closer to the hills the coyotes have come down into our homes at night scavenging for food and unfortunately small pets. She crossed the rainbow bridge along with some of my other babies over the years. I only hope it’s true that we all get to meet again someday.

Skeeter/Sandra

Welcome to Skeetersworld!

Welcome to my little slice of the Internet. I hope you will find something here that helps you in some small way to make your life better. Hopefully you will laugh, cry, wonder how in the world did one person get through all that I’ve been through. And most of all you’ll walk away knowing that I’m a survivor and you are one too or you wouldn’t be here reading this. I’m not anyone famous by any means nor do I have any delusions that I’m special or gifted in any way. I’ve just lived through some amazing times and I think that sharing them with you may be a way of letting my life experiences give others the benefits of those experiences without having to actually walk in my shoes, so to speak.

Let’s start with a short introduction, I’m 58 years old, honorably discharged United States Airmen, 30 year retired hairdresser, 5 year drug and alcohol counselor certified in Ca., 30 year clean and sober recovering alcoholic/addict, newly converted LDS Mormon 3 years, etc, etc, etc. ¬† I think you get the picture. I’m not going to be a prom queen any time soon and I’ve been around the block a couple times in my day. I just recently, as in two weeks ago, had my 4th battle with cancer surgery and hopefully I’ve won again. As of this writing I don’t have a completed diagnosis but the doctors said they feel they got it all in the surgery and the radiation treatment I have to have is only a safety measure. More on that later… I’m married to a wonderful retired Army Career Counselor who is also in recovery with just over 31 years clean and sober. He is my world and my rock as they say. We have been together for just over 32 years.

We live in a zoo of critters. I’ll tell you more about him and the critters as I get better at this blogging game. Don’t want to overwhelm you right off the start. Just imagine in your best daydream a woman in a car with a television, two large parrots , a dog, two turtles, a Guinea pig, and a half dozen craw fish in a fish tank driving across Texas to Califonia for military transfer of duty stations and you should have some idea why I say we will share those stories later. Trust me it is comical now to look back on, but at the time I seriously thought I had lost my mind. The border patrol thought so to when they saw all the critters in the car.

Well if your still reading at this point, thank you and again welcome! As I said, “I’m new to blogging” so it may be a few days between posts as I get used to this new world. But I’m glad you’re here. I hope I can write something you can relate to. In the meantime have a blessed day and smile at someone new today, you never know it may be the only smile they see!

Skeeter/Sandra