Domestic Violence and Remembering Leslie

This has taken longer to write than I planned. I cried a lot during this. It’s been almost ten years and I still feel the pain of it. I haven’t really dealt with her death. I’m sorry this was late for posting but it was very difficult to write.

WARNING! The picture at the end of this long blog post is graphic.

This is also a 50 Questions post that I have tried to write but I always break down crying and can’t finish it. So I am doing it for Leslie! Question #6: This the hardest thing I have gone through. This may be long.

Background

I met Leslie when I was living in Tennessee. Our children went to the same school and I first saw her at a PTA meeting. She was across the cafeteria getting ready to sit down next to her husband while holding her youngest child at the time. I knew the moment I saw her that we were going to be close friends. I felt like I had known her before somehow. This is Leslie…

leslie
Leslie Bradshaw. Daughter. Sister. Wife. Mother. Friend.

And we did! We became very close friends and through her, I also met Penny. We would get together sometimes to hang out. I had my two children, Leslie had her five, and Penny had her four. We three would play cards while all 11 children played.

We would talk about life and family and food and anything, really. One time we talked about how we thought we would die. Leslie always said she was going to die on Friday the 13th. Mine will have to do with fresh soil. I can see it but there is no explaining it.

That is also how I met the man that doesn’t deserve to be named. He and Penny were married at the time. He was abusive, controlling, and a complete asshole, generally. I witnessed his abuse to Penny and saw how it was behind closed doors. I felt for Penny but really, we all felt a bit helpless as there wasn’t a lot out there for domestic violence victims.

Penny finally got the nerve to leave his sorry ass and took the kids with her. She decided to file for divorce also. He got the papers and it was time for her to take the kids to his house for a weekend visit with the monster.

Domestic Violence 

It was Friday the 13th, October 2006. It was a regular day for us but we had a looming fear following us that day. Leslie and I went to Wal-Mart and shopped and then I would babysit four of her five kids while she rode with Penny to drop off her kids with their dad in another county.

We got back to Leslie’s house from shopping and we talked about the trip to Polk county that was coming up. We heard that he had threatened Penny and we were both worried about Penny going there and never coming back. The police would not escort her to drop off the kids either. We felt a sense of being alone in this with little help or resources to get help.

Leslie’s Plan

Then Leslie had a stroke of genius. She said we should make a plan together just in case. The original plan was, if they didn’t get home by 8 pm, I would call the police. Then Leslie said something that would haunt my ears for years to come.

“No. Wait. Two hours is too long to be tortured.” She was in her kitchen when she said it. I remember the look on her face and the pain in her eyes when she said it. “Instead of that, I am going to call you every 30 minutes to hour and let you know how we are doing. If I don’t call, call 911 and send help. There is no cell service when we get off the highway so I will call you before we got off the highway and as soon as we get back to it.”

I agreed. Although I was worried, I ran through the plan in more details with her. Call no later than 8 pm, call if she didn’t call me, and we had a code for if she called but couldn’t say “send help”. If she said the statement, call 911. If I asked the code and she said yes, call 911.

I had the information of everyone going, the vehicle make/ model, license plate number, Leslie’s phone number, Penny’s phone number, the address where the monster lived, the kids names, birth dates… everything I needed to fully identify every one, the route they were taking there and back… I was set!

At one point I begged her not to go. She told me, “I have to go. It’s my destiny.” We both believed that you don’t mess with someone’s destiny. So, instead, I begged her to be careful and leave immediately if anything looked off. She agreed and stressed that she HAD to be there for Penny. She just knew she did!

We both were confident that this was the best plan. We didn’t know what else to do.

“… if I come home.”

That evening, Leslie left for Penny’s house. In hindsight, some of the things she said made it sound like she knew she wasn’t coming home. Like the destiny comment. At the first check in, we talked for a couple minutes. She told me where they were, how it was going, how far from the turn they were, etc. Then asked how the kids were doing.

I told her they were fine, I was about to get them ready for bed, but they were so cute playing. I told her I was playing with my new camera and took pics of the kids and I would show her when she got home. She got eerily quiet and so I changed the subject. I told her I forgot the package of toilet paper in the back of her van. She said not to worry that I would get it and I said, “Yea, I can get it when you get home. No biggy.”

Then she said, “… IF I come home.” I told her she WOULD come home. She wasn’t allowed to die and I would see her when she got back. she said, “Okay.” not like a “Okay, I believe you!” it was more of a “Sure. You keep thinking that.”

I figured out the time they would turn off the highway and made a note to check and make sure she called. We had discussed this all. I was ready.

Lost Contact

At 6:20 (I think – it was 10 years ago, It’s a little hazy), she tried to call but it didn’t connect. That was right when she should have called for going off the highway so I waited for her to call saying they were back on the highway.

The kids were in bed. Some had fallen asleep, the others were giggling and whispering to each other. I busied myself by tidying up and checking on the kids and obsessively checked my phone every couple of minutes.

I sat outside and smoked a cigarette watching the minutes roll past. I called a friend and said, “I really need to talk to someone.” I think the sound in my voice made it clear that this was serious.

I did a quick run down of the plan and then told her about the check in and the call that was one the right time but I had a feeling… I felt like something was very wrong. It wasn’t time to call yet but I felt like something was seriously wrong. Then I had a moment of something I can not explain.

I was sitting there talking to my friend and explaining and suddenly, everything was black, then all I could see was gravel and I was looking under a car. I could hear muffled crying and a breath. Then everything started looking red at the edges and the red slowly covered everything and it was all black again. I’ve only told a few people this. But I know in my heart that I was seeing from Leslie’s eyes.

It was only a few seconds but it was terrifying and I suddenly knew that I had to call! I heard my friend on the other end of the phone say, “What is your heart telling you?” and I answered honestly and numbly, “I need to call the cops.” She said to call back when I was done calling them.

Calling for help

I first called the Sheriff’s office in our county and explained the entire thing. They gave me a number to Polk county Sheriff’s office and I called them too. I explained to the lady everything that is in this post and more. She said she would have someone go check on them and I said thank you.

I remember after I hung up I tried to call Leslie’s phone, then Penny’s phone. I left a message to call me and asked the code question in the message. Then I waited a minute. Then I called my friend again.

I also remember talking to my heart sister and talking to one of my brothers. It’s all a bit blurry. I can’t remember all that was said… or most of it.

Most of the night went like this: Call Leslie’s phone, Call Penny’s phone, Call dispatch and tell them I still can’t get a hold of them. (She tried too and couldn’t get a hold of them.) Then call someone else or wait ten minutes. Repeat.

Leslie’s husband got home and we both paced and called their phones. We waited and waited. It was the hardest thing to wait through. I began to wonder if I should have called earlier and then I would flop to the idea that I called early just not when I first felt anxiety.

I called dispatch every 15 minutes (I remember looking at my phone log and having a realization that I harassed the shit out of the Sheriff’s dispatch. I wasn’t giving up though! Those were my friends, it was one in the morning, and they weren’t back yet!

Officers Are At The Scene

It was a little after one a.m. when I contacted the dispatch lady for the last time. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and said, “Just tell me SOMETHING! Are we bailing someone out of jail? Looking for them at a hospital? Do we need to contact a morgue? Tell me something!” At that point, I was slowly losing my cool. I wanted to know what happened to my friends!

The dispatch lady told me, “We can’t tell you anything” as she had said in previous calls, “But listen to me carefully. Are you listening?” At this point I thought -okay, she is going to hint… and I suck at hints! but told her to go ahead.

She said, “There are officers at the scene now and someone will be by to talk to you shortly.” I couldn’t talk for a second. She didn’t need to hint. I understood it clearly. My throat felt like it was closing and I started feeling a bit numb. She asked if I understood and I said yes in almost a whisper.

I stood on the porch waiting for “someone” to come talk to me. And then I saw them… The Sheriff’s officer from our county followed by a car from the TBI (TN Bureau of Investigation). My heart sank.

Sheriff and TBI

I immediately ran inside and yelled for her husband that they were there. We both ran back outside and greeted them – half knowing what was coming but hoping for something else.

I remember his face. I remember his eyes. I remember the sadness as he told us, “There was an incident tonight and we’re sorry to inform you but, Ms Bradshaw has passed away.”

Her husband sobbed, I ran around to the back yard and sobbed. I have no idea why I ran there. I came back around and asked the Sheriff, “What about Penny and the kids? What happened to Penny and the kids?”

He said he didn’t have any information on them and I could tell by the worried look on his face that he really didn’t have any information yet. I cried some more saying, “Oh my god! He killed them too. I just know it.”

Her husband wasn’t handling the news well (who would?) and the Sheriff and TBI stayed with us for a little bit. I went inside and asked if I should call her sister and he said yes to please do so.

Just before that, Leslie’s daughter peeked her head out of the hallway door, I looked at her and she asked, “Dotchi, Where’s my mom?” I wanted to tell her and say something and hug her and hold her and tell her it was okay to cry… but I opened my mouth and what came out was, “Go back to bed for now, honey. Okay?” She said okay, closed the door… and I felt like I wasn’t actually the one that said that. I was weirded out by the experience and I felt horrible because I felt like she knew.

Calling her sister

I called her sister at 2:16 in the morning. I don’t know why I remember that time so clearly but I do. I didn’t know what to say when she answered. She sounded like I had just woke her and was a bit confused as to why I was calling at that hour. I finally took a deep breath and just spit it out. “Leslie went with Penny to drop of Penny’s kids with [asshole] and he killed Leslie and I don’t know where Penny and the kids are!”

I stopped because I couldn’t breathe for a second. It’s like my lungs just didn’t work. I couldn’t inhale as I heard her sad voice cry back into the phone at me, “Not my sister!” And I lost it and cried some more.

She said she would come get the kids for Leslie’s husband. She showed up and talked to TBI and the Sheriff (I think…) and then we packed bags of clothes for the kids and we cried in the laundry room together.

She told me, “You don’t know how much you mean to her.” and then I told her, “You have no idea how much she looked up to you.” And then we cried some more. She loaded the kids into her car and I cried as she drove away with them.

I got my kids up and told them to get in the van and I would explain what was going on when we got home.

Not My Leslie

When we got home, we all went into my room and sat on the bed. I told them that Leslie had died. The one who doesn’t deserve to be named killed her. We all sobbed in a pile of hugs and tears. I remember one of them bawling, “NOT MY LESLIE!” and then one of them asked, “Where is Penny and her kids?”

I told him I didn’t know. They didn’t have information on them but to be honest, we should hope they are alive but not get our hopes up yet. And then we cried some more until we fell asleep.

The next morning

Technically, it was the same morning. Saturday, I stood on the porch and cried some more. I went back in and hugged my kids when they cried and then went back outside on my porch and sobbed my heart out. I felt like the whole plan was in vain and the longer it was, the more I was convinced he killed them all.

Finally, my phone rang. It was Penny’s sister, Lisa. She asked me if I had heard. I told her what I knew and snot slobbered and bawled into the phone that I didn’t know what happened to Penny and the kids. She told me that Penny was in ICU in Chattanooga and the kids were in protective custody.

I found out the visiting times and for the first time that day, I wasn’t crying. I packed my kids into my car and sped to Nana’s house. We ran in and I told her I was leaving the boys with her, Penny was in ICU, and that I would be back. Just before that, she had seen the news on what was happening.

Seeing Penny and Realization

She said okay… and to this day, I still feel bad because I didn’t ask her to watch them, I TOLD her to watch them. I think I called her on the way. I don’t remember. But I felt so bad because that is not like me. But this was an emergency.

At the hospital, I got to see Penny. I cried when I saw her. I just knew she wasn’t going to make it. She woke up long enough to say that Leslie tried to call me. I knew she did.

Weeks later when Penny was moved to a room, I got to see her kids too. And that was when it hit me, what I did, I saved lives. That was Leslie’s whole goal. To make sure the asshole didn’t hurt her friend or her kids.

It was weird. That day I came to see Penny there were a lot of people there. Everyone kept asking, “Is that her?” and then hugging me and thanking me for calling the police. It was a bitter sweet moment because I lost my best friend but I saved five people too… No… Leslie saved five people with my help.

When I went into Penny’s room, it was full of people and her children were there. I hugged Penny and then sat in a chair while her kids talked to her. Someone mentioned me and I am not sure how it came up again but it was mentioned that Penny and the kids were alive because of me.

Penny’s oldest daughter turned to me and asked, “You’re the one who called?” I nodded and then she and her siblings came up to me all hugged me and thanked me. Her oldest daughter looked up at me with such gratitude and said, “You’re my hero!”

Oh my. My heart hurt so bad. No child should have to witness what they did or go through what they did. But here they were, alive and hugging me and calling me a hero. All I could do was cry and hug them. I was grateful Leslie’s plan worked and they were safe but it tore me apart inside because I lost my best friend too.

I got to see Leslie’s kids again. I still keep in touch with the older two. Penny’s children are growing up because of Leslie. Penny became a huge advocate for Domestic Violence Awareness. I helped a few other ladies escape dangerous relationships also.

Domestic violence shook my world. I never really dealt with Leslie’s death. I still cry for losing her. But I feel like it is time for me to share her story.

Because sometimes domestic violence looks like this

penny-waldroup
Penny Waldroup in the ambulance after the incidence.

But sometimes, it also looks like this.

leslie-headstone
Leslie’s headstone.

 

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50 Questions: My Favorite Recipe

I couldn’t think of my favorite recipe because I like all food. I decided that once or twice a month, I would share one I like. 

I did one earlier but I can’t find it so I am redoing the question. I will link it here if I ever find it again. For #3 on the list of 50 Questions

Today’s choice is Bone Broth. I am not going to go into details about the benefits. You can Google that or read about it here or here. I used this  recipe from Wellness Mama.

Here is what I use

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds of Beef Bones (or chicken or whatever you want. I prefer beef bones and even used baby back rib bones)
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Onions (optional)
  • Carrots (Optional)
  • Cheese cloth (for straining the stuff out) or a metal strainer

I forgot the picture of the next steps which is sad considering it cooks for two days. Meh, I am forgetful.

I use 1.5 pounds of bones per pot. By the way, if this post says anything about a pit, that is supposed to say POT but my phone thinks I am cooking in a pit this week.

  1. Roast the bones in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 177 Celcius, for about 30 minutes to an hour… or until you smell beef and remember you are cooking bones and totally didn’t hear the timer. Either way…
  2. Once it is done, put them in a pot with all the grease.
  3. Add water to fill the pot and add 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar.
  4. Let it soak for a couple of hours or until you remember you are making bone broth.

Adding the veggies!

  1. Chop the carrots and onions into chunks and throw them in the pot.
  2. I also add sweet potato peels, onion ends, yam peels, and anything else like that.
  3. At this point you can flavors like basil, parsley, etc. If you are adding garlic, add it on the last day 30 minutes before you take it off the stove. I have no idea why. That is what all the directions say.

Time to cook!

Bring it all to a nice rolling boil. Some people say skim the bubbles off, some say don’t. You can choose to skim if you want. I always forget to so mine is bubble infused.

After it’s at a rolling boil, I let it boil until I realize I am still cooking and then I turn it down to 2 (low/ simmer) on the stove.

As the water boils off, I heat up a pot of water and then pour it into the bone broth pit. See?! My phone is Autoco-wrecking “pot” to pit EVERY TIME!

Anywhoodles, let it simmer away all day and night and day and night, refilling the water as needed. I also keep a lid on it through the process.

When it’s done two days later -this isn’t from me forgetting I am cooking, this is how long it acually cooks- I strain it all through cheese cloth to get the bone and veggies out. I usually eat the good veggie chunks.

Refrigerate it to cool it and solidify the fat and grease. Then I scoop the fat gobs out because ew.

It will look like this when done

 

This isn’t eye-candy food. But it does taste good! And pouring it through the slatted side helps get more fat out.

Here it is heated up so you can see you won’t be sipping broth and chewing fat globules. 

You won’t get all the fat out

It’s actually really good. You can add salt if you want or other spices. I like mine plain or with a touch of basil.

There you have it!

Have a recipe you want to see me make allergy friendly?

Let me know and I will do my best!

 

Disclaimer: All the links on this post are affiliate ad link free. You can click freely if you would like.

50 Questions: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Today’s 50 question is number 38.

“What do you want to be when you grow up? (Yes, there is still time!)

I thought I would answer this a wee bit different from just “I wanna be a writer!” I am listing what I wanted to be throughout my life.

Here are my top six of things I wanted to be (and why I didn’t become that).

What I wanted to be #1: A Bird

When I was in Kindergarten I wanted to be a bird.

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Photo Credit: holyknight33 (is gone! too busy! sorry guys!) via StoolsFair / CC BY-NC

Specifically, I wanted to be a RED bird. For some reason, I didn’t realize that you stayed human through your whole life. I wanted to be able to fly. 

What happened? I stayed human. I know. That’s so anticlimactic. It would be cooler if I had turned into a lizard or a polar bear instead. That would make blogging a lot harder though.

What I wanted to be #2: A Teacher

Then came along the desire to be a teacher. I had dreams of being the best teacher EVER! I was going to be just like Mrs. Beaulafont, my third grade teacher.

What happened? As I got older, I realized that I like children, just not that much. I also get migraines easily with a lot of noise. I don’t want to be near them 8+ hours a day 5 days a week, 10 months out of the year. (School here starts August 31st and gets out June 9th). 

Plus, I realized that my idea of education and teaching varies greatly from the public school system’s idea of education and teaching. I would probably be fired by the end of year one.

What I wanted to be #3: Race Car Driver!

Yes, at one point in my life I wanted to be a race car driver. I wanted to feel the thrill of driving at stupidly high speeds and enjoy the exhilaration and rush of the sport.

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Photo credit: pedrosimoes7 via Foter.com / CC BY

What happened? When I was 18 years old, I was in a pretty bad accident that totaled my 1967 Plymouth Valiant. That thing was built like a tank.

I realized that if a car accident at 55 mph could total the Green Beast, I would probably die if I crashed a glorified aluminum can, even if it did have a reinforced roll cage in it.

What I wanted to be #4: A Nun

Oh how I dreamed of living in a cool cathedral style church, gardening, singing, praising God, and doing all the other cool Nun things.

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Photo credit: zoonabar via Foter.com / CC BY

What happened? I learned that you have to be Catholic to be a Nun. I am not, nor have I ever been, Catholic.

What I wanted to be #5: A Rodeo Clown

Yes, at one point in my life I wanted to be a rodeo clown because it combined rodeos (which I loved) and clowning (which I also loved) into one really cool job!

What happened? Common sense and self-preservation kicked in. I realized what could happen.

WARNING: Link is probably NSFW/ NSFL and you probably should not open it if you are squeamish. Why I am not a rodeo clown.

What I wanted to be #6: A Doctor or a Nurse or a Nurse Practitioner

Wouldn’t that be cool though? Helping people and saving lives would be the highlight of that career. Getting to know people would be cool too. Just making a difference in people’s lives would outweigh the bad things of the job. Right?

I did become a Certified Nurse Assistant and had a plan of working up to becoming a Physicians Assistant or Nurse Practitioner. 

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Photo credit: DES Daughter via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

What happened? Well… first off, I can’t afford to go to college. My credit sucks so hard it could suck the yoke out an egg through a pinhole so, loans are out.

I had made some plans for after both my kids turned 18 and all. But I ended up screwing up my back and I don’t think I would be able to go through college now.

It was a fun dream though.

What I want to be now

Now, I want to be a writer. Wait… I am a writer. I want to be a well-paid writer. Erma Bombeck is my idol for writing. 

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Photo credit: Leukos. via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

My goal is to publish one Erma Bombeck style book before I die. I should work on that.

So, what’s taking you so long? Self doubt. I am my own worse critic. I am the only thing holding me back. Admitting that doesn’t make it easier to do either. For right now, I am sharpening my writing skills.

I also have spent my off time getting all of my poems into a book. I decided to really take my time on it and get it how I want it – then I will publish it as my first book. I will work from there.

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

50 Questions: Those Medicine Commercials

This is #46 in the 50 Questions Series.

46. Create a post asking for advice on something that’s troubling you.

It’s not something that is bothering me but it something my friend and I were talking about the other day. We would like to hear your ideas on it.

Java and I were talking about medicines that we take because both of us have upcoming doctors appointments. We were comparing notes. I take Benadryl and it makes me tired. She takes Benadryl and she is wired for sound. We were comparing differences, discussing what medicines we take for what problems, and comparing symptoms to conditions we both have.

Then, as we usually do, we changed subjects and started talking about commercials. This lead us into medicine commercials. You know the ones… “Do you feel nauseous? You need Heavehalt. Talk to your doctor today!”

SQUIRREL ALERT!

A.D.D. is easy as 1-2- OH EM GEE! A SQUIRREL!
SQUIRREL ALERT! Hi, Sparky!

Okay, while this is still related to the post, this just reminded me of a YouTube video by IISuperwomanII. She is hilarious. I love her videos!

She did one on different types of commercials and the first one is about medical commercials and how what they are telling you does not match what you are being told in the commercial. 

You can watch it here. Enjoy!

Side Effects Listed in Commercials

We were discussing the side effects that they mention, that you may have, before they suggest talking to your doctor about Insertamedicinehere. The issues we have with these commercials are 

  1. They are trying to sell medicine. That should be your doctors thing. Not a company. But I will skip that for a minute.
  2. The symptoms are usually vague when they mention them. Back pain, nausea, sudden urge to urinate, feeling tired, etc. Who hasn’t had those?
  3. They tell you to talk to your doctor to see if Medicineyoudontneed is right for you right after listing all these vague symptoms.

So here is what we are wondering. For people with chronic health problems, how would you know when to talk to your doctor or if it’s just a part of [insert medical condition here].

For example, if a medicine says, “Do you have muscle aches and pains?” That goes with severe vitamin D deficiency and Fibromyalgia. Sometimes it goes with epilepsy too.

The Question: When do you talk to your doctor?

How would I know my muscle aches and pains are normal Fibromyalgia pains and when it’s a pain I need to see my doctor for?

If you have chronic health issues, at what point should you go to your doctor?

Since living here, I have learned not to go to the doctor for anything. If I can handle it at home, I am not going. I’ve taken epi-pens to the leg, downed some Benadryl and Ranitidine, and hoped it kicked in fast enough rather than go to the ER here.

I will deal with pain at home. It has to actually make my life a living hell before I will go to the doctor. 

It’s not that I don’t trust the doctor I see now. I do! But from past negative experiences with the medical care here, I am very leery of going to an appointment to ask about anything. It’s that psychological abuse that Dr Vindictive put me through. I recognise this. I acknowledge it. Still doesn’t make it any easier to go to a doctor when I should.

Which is why Java and I thought this would be a great question to ask.

At what point do you go to the doctor about your symptoms?

What do you think of those commercials?

 

How to Create a Secure (but easy to remember) Password.

This is number 26 of my 50 Questions. The question is…

Write a how-to post on something you actually know a lot about, as obscure as it might be.

After a lot of thinking on this, I am going to teach you how to create a password that is easy for you to remember, secure, and hard for anyone else to break. And you can even write it down!

Ready? I will create a fake new password for your example.

First, we are going to make the base of our passwords.

Step 1: Pick 3-5 Capital Letters

These letters can be anything to you. I am going to pick the beginning letters for the sentence, “My New Fake PassWord.”

We have MNFPW so far. These are all capital letters. Remember that.

If you can’t think of what initials to use, here are some examples to get you started:

  • The name of your high school.
    • MHS for My High School
  • Your initials or your alter ego’s initials
    • Make up an alter ego… like:Senior Sexy Stud Dingle Hopper would be SSSDH
  • Your best friend’s initials.
  • A parent’s initials or both parent’s initials.
  • The name of your pets,
    • FMSW would be for Fluffy, Muffins, Sweetie, and Wiggles)
  • The nicknames everyone called you, in alphabetical order.
    • Mine would be BBDDA (Bubbles, Bobbi, Dollars, and Dotchi Anni)
  • A saying that is an inside joke.
    • STFDB would be “Say! That’s fairly decent, Bill!”

Step 2: Pick a PIN

You don’t want this to be a real PIN to your ATM card or bank statements or anything like that. It can be any length of numbers. I use a PIN from a credit card that I had back in 1994. Oh yea. I remember it!

I’ll make on up for this post. We’ll use 0524 (the ambulance that picked me up after a car accident … I remember that too.)

Now our password is at: MNFPW0524

If you can’t think of a number, here are some samples for you to use

  • Go to Random Sequence Maker and put the largest value at 9999. Then click on “get sequence”. When the list of numbers show up, pick ones that are easy for you to remember.
  • The last 5 of your social security number.
  • Your old phone number (last four, first three, the two in the middle)
  • Your old house number from when you were a kid.
  • The number on a random ambulance.

Caution! Do NOT use your initials and the last four of you social security number (or your birthday) together.

Base password done! Memorize it!

Now that you have this, you have a base password. This is the only part you will need to memorize. Do whatever you need to but don’t write this down.

If you need to, write down a hint. Like:

  • “Kelda’s third child and the ambulance number.”
  • Or “Daniel’s sister and Aunt Ida’s house”.
  • Or “Uncle Kevin’s High School and Joe’s number.”
  • Or “Mom’s old street name and the PIN for my old bank.”
  • Or “My old name and Karl’s Birthday”

Step 3: How to use your base password.

Now, let’s say you are signing up for WordPress. You have to create a password so you start by entering MNFPW0524.

The next step is to think of a word that you will use for ONLY WordPress and no other site. This word will be all lower case letters. Here are some questions you can ask to get a word for this part.

  • What is this site? wordpress
  • What do I do on this site? readandwrite
  • What do I think of when I think of this site? blue
  • What is my favorite part of this site? comments
  • What do I not like about this website? editingposts

We’ll pick the third option.

Now our pretend WordPress password is MNFPW0524blue.

It will be different from Facebook’s password (MNFPW0524chatting) and YouTube’s password (MNFPW0524videos) and Reddit’s password (MNFPW0524lotsofsubs) and Twitter’s password (MNFPW0524tweetandreshare).

See how I always put the base password and then something about that site? That is what you are going to do with every site.

What if I need a symbol?

Just pick one and add it into your password. For example: MNFPW0524bank# could be for your bank. Or MNFPW0524wtf! could be another.

What if I have to change the password a lot?

If your bank or job requires you to change your password a lot, then do it. Start with your base password, your secret word, and a number 000. Then next time, change it to your secret word, your base password, and 001. The changes would look like this.

  • MNFPW0524work000
  • work000MNFPW0524
  • work001MNFPW
  • MNFPWwork001
  • MNFPWwork002

But it doesn’t matter that much because you can write down the extra part each time or enter it in your phone. All people will see is “workieworkie” or “typesabunch211” or whatever your new word is. They won’t see the rest of your password because that part is secret.

Phone storing tip!

If you want to enter it into your phone, you can put down “Tom in Security” as the name and a fake number. 1-800-323-0 and then the last numbers on your password.

OR you can just write down the number at the end if you remember that your password for work is MNFPW0524work followed by numbers. So just write down “oo1” or whatever number you are at.

Helpful Hints for the Forgetful

Now that you have samples of how to make a password for individual sites, if you are forgetful, just write down the password! No, really.

Don’t write down the base password. Just write down the ending. Put a star or a pound sign in front of it to remind yourself that it where the base password goes. You can always put the base password at the end too. Like “noexamplesMNFPW0524”.

I use * or # to note the base password. When you write it down, it will look like this…

20160625_015548.jpg
 Not my real passwords.

You don’t have to label it with “My Password List” unless you are super forgetful. And no one will know what the actual password is except you!

No more resetting passwords! Now, usernames… with me, that is a different story.

50 Questions: Excruciatingly Embarrassing Moment

I am having a lot of trouble with this one. I can’t really think of anything that was “excruciatingly embarrassing”. I don’t really go enough places to embarrass myself except to the store with my friends and when… Oh, wait… no… I thought of one.

“YOU’RE NOT YOU!” 

My friend, Nikky, and I were on a road trip from Bremerton, WA back home to Montana. We were sleep deprived and just wanted to get home. But, first we had to pee. So we stopped at Fred Meyer’s in Tacoma and went running inside because we didn’t stop in two hours and we were chugging coffee.

The lay out of that Fred Meyer is strange. The bathroom was at the end of a very long hall that was at the end of another very long hall. Nikky made it first, saw that someone was in one of the stalls and took one near the middle and then tucked her feet back behind the toilet so I would only see one set of feet when I went in. 

It worked, I saw one set of feet, ran straight to the back of the bathroom, took the last stall and barely made it onto the toilet. And peeing felt so good at that point. My bladder was hurting from holding it so long. Being the silly person I am, I said loudly and enthusiastically, “OH MY GOD! That feels so good!” I hear Nikky laugh. So I said, “I feel like a new man!” She laughed more.

It was great fun. When I was done, I was getting my pants up when I saw a person walk out of the stall and head to the sinks. Their coat was white. My friend’s coat is white. I thought it was my friend.

nikky bathroom laughing

Hand washing gone wrong

So I walk out, walk up to a sink, soap up, and turn to the person thinking it’s my friend… I realized it wasn’t her and jumped and shrieked, “OH MY GOD! YOU’RE NOT YOU!” The poor lady recoiled and stepped as far from me as she could.

By this time, Nikky had come out of the stall and laughing hysterically. It was the kind of laugh you give when you are sleep deprived and everything is exceptionally funny. She starts washing her hands as I start rinsing mine off. I turn to Nikky and explained that I thought the other lady was her. I didn’t even know there was someone else in the bathroom. We laugh.

I went to dry my hands and get out of the bathroom as fast as possible because I was dying of embarrassment at this point. I grabbed paper towels, dry my hands, toss them in the trash, and head for the door as Nikky follows me out. So I turn to her and get like inches from her face, literally, before I realize it’s not Nikky. It’s the other lady… AGAIN!

I jumped back and yelled, “OH MY GOD! YOU’RE STILL NOT YOU!” which is when Nikky completely lost it and started belly laughing, complete with gasping for air. The poor lady pushed her way past me and ran out of the bathroom. I stood there mortified for a second as Nikky dried her hands and headed toward the door.

As we left the bathroom, we see the lady running down the hallway, hitting the other hallway wall, turning and running out of sight. EVERYONE in the hallway turned to look at us as Nikky fell out of the bathroom in hysterics.

We managed to make it through the store and back out to the vehicle. But I learned a lesson that day.  Nikky laughs are amazing. I also make sure it’s actually Nikky before I start talking and not some terrified lady. I will never live that down.

50 Questions: Heat Wave! Hello Summer!

I am using this rambling post for question #31 of my 50 Questions. Because I do this a lot to figure out what I want to write about… so now, you get to see the brainstorming process. I just realized… this whole post is one gigantic squirrel alert. I’ll just put that here…

A.D.D. is easy as 1-2- OH EM GEE! A SQUIRREL!
SQUIRREL ALERT!

A quick welcome to new readers. I saw my page views jumped up by a lot. That usually means new readers. So Hello! And Welcome to my asylum. Feel free to leave a comment. I don’t think you have to be signed in to leave a comment. I’ll double-check the settings later today.

The last couple days have been hot here. We hooked up the air conditioners after I swelled some. And I have been on a falafel kick lately. Those are delicious! I think I ate those for the last three days. At least I am getting 800 calories a day! Celebrating the small things.

I even learned how to make my own garbanzo bean flour. It’s really easy. Dry chick peas into the blender. Run on “blend” for about… well, until it looks like flour. Then run through a bread sifter. One cup of dry chick peas makes about one and one half cups of flour.

I was thinking about the heat this last week because I know it is coming. It’s summer time (almost). First day of summer is June 20th. The only reason I look forward to that day is because the days will start to get shorter. I never understood how people could like, and look forward to, summer.

I am debating on how much Benadryl I want to live on this summer. The boys are going to visit their dad soon and I will have the whole house to myself! I am totally running around naked.

But I also don’t want to hermit myself away the entire summer. I can go outside in the evening. The weirdest thing about living in Montana is the really long summer days. I really look forward to winter because it’s dark around 4 pm. In the summer, it gets dark at around 10 pm or a little later. So much sunshine! And I get to be a hermit through it all.

I am going to make a sun cover for myself with some material I have. It’s 1970’s green and pattern. So that will be fun! Now I just need to find bell bottoms LOL. AND, I found my Mexican shoes so I am happy!

For the two people who asked how I do the word cloud pictures: I make them at this website and then save them to my desktop. Here is the word cloud for this post.

wordcloud (1).jpg

I am of to make more falafel. Some of these random thoughts will be turned into post eventually.

Enjoy the heat… or the air conditioning.