Monthly Archives: May 2018

Cavvy Rides Again

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Bindweed Highway cover

Cavatica Weller and her sisters are off in their ever continuing quest to fight the founder of ARK, Tiberius Hoyt and expose his treachery. Not only has he been bioengineering super soldiers, but he also has the cure for the sterility problem. But, first, they must try and save Micaiah, Hoyt’s son, and Pilate, their friend, and a priest from the clutches of ARK’s Praetor Edger and her army.

Ritchey’s fourth novel The Juniper Wars series, Bindweed Highway delivers a fast paced, high octane, steampunk western. There is no lack of action. It is told from Cavvy’s point of view with her own brand of reflection.

I thoroughly love this series and was not disappointed. And, neither will you be.

5 out of 5 stars.

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You vs. “The Man”

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Status Schmo cover

Joe Winston and his family are living the American dream until the bureaucracy of government from every level descend upon them like a plague of locus. Time after time some government agency hits the Winstons with an obscure and/or illogical citation. These Gestapo tactics continually take away time and money or property from the once thriving family of four. Even with Joe’s hopeful nature he too has a breaking point. Thankfully, his wife and friends are there to rally around him. It’s almost a David and Goliath story told in modern times.

Walker’s novel, Status Schmo: One Man Against the Status Quo is a very unique look at government out of control. No matter who you are he will have you rooting for the Winstons. While serious in nature the story is told with smatterings of humor interlaced throughout.

If nothing else this book will make you rethink some the ways the news media spins a story about someone fighting a government regulation. I can relate to some of the things the Winstons have come up against. And, I bet you can too.

5 out of 5 stars.

TMI! I’m Incontinent

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WARNING
This post contains very frank and sometimes graphic discussions about being incontinent. Some of it may make you go “Ewww!”, but it is my hope that it will educate you. You have been warned. Do not read any farther unless you are willing to know more about peeing then you ever wanted to know.

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We are born incontinent. Our parents, other family members, and various caregivers changed our diapers while sometimes commenting “How can someone so cute make such a big stink?” At around the age of 2, we are potty trained. Of course, each child and parenting style is different. Some of us don’t make that leap until a few years later.

Then for the next 70 or so years, we are diaper free with only minor incontinence if we are lucky. That is, unless something happens, as in my case, that changes our entire world.

In July of 2016, I had spinal cord surgery to remove scar tissue from a previous surgery. The scar tissue was causing neurological issues making it impossible for me to function well. Little did I know the surgical cure would be worse than the original condition. For you see, I had a stroke in the spinal cord that left me an incomplete quadriplegic. When I awoke I was totally paralyzed on my right side and partially paralyzed on my left. I have come a long way since then but am still wheelchair bound and incontinent.

For the first 14 months after surgery, I had an indwelling Foley catheter. There were many issues with it including UTIs and skin breakdown from the tube’s pressure. But, my bladder would not pee. As I regained the use of some of my body it was decided to try going without the catheter. Since September of 2017, I have been catheter free. Yay! Sort of.

Now, I pee whether or not I’m ready for it. For the first week after the catheter came out, I peed everywhere all the time. If I looked up at you I peed. If I reached for the keyboard I peed. And, those over the counter supplies are for someone who dribbles. When I pee it’s in volumes. I called my doctor and begged him to do something. I was trapped in my house by my free-flowing bladder. He put me on a bladder muscle relaxer to help stop the spasmodic pees.

Finding pull-ups and diapers (called underwear and briefs – ha!) for someone like me was a challenge. After extensive research and reaching out to folks in the Spinal Cord Injury group I am a member of on Facebook, I found https://us.abuniverse.com/. This site is devoted to a cottage industry for adults who like to roleplay as babies. Their products hold 5,000 ml or more! They are a bit pricey, it is hard to find my size in stock, and they really hold more than I need.

The other site I discovered is https://wellnessbriefs.com/. Theirs is the products that I use now. They use NASA inspired technology and while pricey they do the job. I wear the diapers at night as I do not wake to go pee. My bladder still doesn’t talk to me. The pull-ups I only use when out and about. While at home I use the Walgreen’s pull-ups and try to train my bladder to go at certain intervals.

A few months back I suffered a severe UTI ending up in the ER and going home with a catheter for a month. I stopped peeing for over 18 hours. Not a good thing. This happened overnight and I knew something was bad wrong when I got up the next morning. Once my doctor removed the catheter a month later, he put me through some tests. It was determined that I don’t empty my bladder completely. I stopped the muscle relaxer and went in the other direction with new medication.

Talk about a turnaround! For the next 3 weeks, I peed everywhere. It was like starting all over again. Even though I had the good stuff from Unique Wellness it was still a mess. I have spasticity and the spasms are hard on the body. They also cause stress incontinence. With the body in spasm, liquid finds the least resistant path to escape. I peed up my back and out the sides and up my front. The compression was like squeezing water from a geyser. Back to the doctor I go.

I asked him if he had a good laugh for the past few weeks thinking of me peeing everywhere. I really did. He apologized and cut back the dosage on the medication. Now, things are much like they were before the ER incident.

I am still trying to convince my bladder to release its contents every 2 hours. So far, no luck. I cannot feel my bladder at all. The only sensation I have is on the exterior as the flow starts. I rarely make it to the potty in time. I go through a lot of pull-ups at home. The doctor hopes that since I have regained control of other functions that I will eventually regain control here. There are other possible options he wants to discuss with me that involve surgery. I’m not keen on any more surgery.

So, for now, I sleep with 3 large leakproof pads under me in addition to the diaper. Most nights the pads are dry. There’s nothing I can do about the stress incontinence. In my backpack are extra pants and pullups along with the necessary cleanup supplies.

No matter how funny this may sound, it is not fun. Being a 58-year-old in diapers is degrading. I’m not the only one but that doesn’t make it any better. I won’t give up though.

 

 

 

Learn How To Prepare

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Countdown To Preparedness

This is a work of nonfiction, a departure to what I normally review, but within the same realm. Preparedness or homesteading or prepping or whatever you want to call it is only the smart thing to do. Heck, even FEMA advises you to prepare for potential disasters coming your way. And, families, especially those in rural farm areas pass down from generation to generation ways of growing and storing their own food for the cold, harsh winters. By following the plan in this book, you should be well on your way to being prepared for any event that leaves you stranded without power and/or water for the short-term.

Cobb’s book, Countdown to Preparedness: The Prepper’s 52 Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness, is a compilation of articles he had written for a SurvivalWeekly.com. His fans asked that he put the lessons altogether in a book and here it is. It is well thought out and written so that anyone unfamiliar with preparedness can jump right in there with no trouble at all. And, even the seasoned prepper can learn something.

It is recommended that you read from the very beginning covering The Basics before going to other sections. After that, you may want to head over to whatever season of the year happens to be going on right then. Don’t worry if you must stop and start again. You need to do what’s best for you and your family. Shoot, you may want to read it all the way through and then decide on your plan of action. Either way you do it, you will be better off because of it.

For a step-by-step guide to surviving through most catastrophes, you can’t get a better reference book. I highly recommend reading it and following its advice.

5 out of 5 stars.

 

Promise made, promise kept

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Behind the Curtain

While on a mission in Afghanistan four of the remaining squad of Rangers in the 75th Infantry Regiment swore an oath to their dying Sergeant to take care of his family back in the states. And, that they did plus some. So, when the United States starts tearing itself apart under the new administration their efforts become more intensified. It is now a matter of life or death. Will they still be able to keep their promise?

Watson, Allen, and Allen combined efforts in their first novel of the Stolen Liberty series, Behind The Curtain is one of the best political/military thrillers I have read. These three authors have seamlessly brought their talents together in this action-packed book. Having read each of them individually I was unable to tell who wrote which part.

The first chapter of the book was a tough read for me. But, once I read farther into the book I was able to understand its relevance. The book hooked me and was hard to put down. To me, there is never a good place to leave a cliffhanger, but I feel they did a good job on this one. Of course, it made me cry.

I felt the e-book version that I read was a bit rushed to publication. There were quite a few more mistakes than usual. For that reason, I cannot give it a 5-star review. I do however highly recommend the book and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

4 out of 5 stars.

Many Shades of Gray

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Ash cover

The USA is attacked by nuclear warheads, and southern California is a prime target. A handful of survivors scattered throughout the area find different ways to cope with the new reality. Fate will bring them together. Not all for the good.

Abrahams first novel in The Alt Apocalypse series, Ash chronicles each of their separate stories. It is a very realistic look at life in a nuclear fallout zone. This disaster tests their abilities and their weaknesses. What will happen when they meet up? Who will survive, or will they all perish?

The premise of this series is to put the same characters in different apocalyptic situations. Each book is a stand-alone story. It is a very new way to examine human nature. I look forward to the rest of the series. Well, except for the zombie one. I hate zombies.

5 out of 5 stars, especially for originality.

 

Politically Incorrect is Wrong

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About the time I became a teenager the phrase “rude, crude, and socially unacceptable” came into my repertoire especially when it came to the antics of little brother. I became a snob sister and anything my little brother did fell into that category. The years have flown by and the phrase has slipped into the background. Well, I still use it from time to time just to irritate my little 54-year-old brother. And, on occasion, I snark it at my husband. 😊

Someone along the way switched the term out for “not being politically correct”. And, that is incorrect. Not being politically correct in my humble opinion means that you are attributing something to the wrong political party. It has nothing to do with what is socially acceptable or not. Henceforth, I shall not use the term. Why do the lemmings follow the practice of doing something wrong repeatedly until they accept it as right?

Who is the person that decides what is socially acceptable or not? Is it the same person who determines if a word falls into the cuss word category? Just because someone says or does something you don’t like doesn’t mean it automatically jumps into the all-encompassing world of unacceptability. Granted there are many words or phrases that were accepted fifty or more years ago that are taboo now. I agree that many of them should cause you to speak out. But, who decides?

It must be a cultural thing. We can visit other countries and find ourselves at odds with etiquette and sometimes even the law. Who can keep up with all the differences? It would be wise to educate yourself before you went to a specific country or region.

Socially unacceptable. That’s how I see things when some person missteps. Let’s take politics out of it. They don’t belong in this arena.

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