What made you feel sad today?

Started by scatcat, November 16, 2007, 15:08:49

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Ulrich

The state of the mirabelles on the tree in the garden... due to a lot of rain, the fruits are all split open, so not much can be done with 'em, except eat a few right now, before they'll be rotting...
It doesn't touch me at all...

SueC

...can you take all the ones that aren't rotting, and stew them up?  You can freeze this stuff then.  :)



...this is with our Japanese blood plums, but the principle is the same.  8L pot will do nearly a bucket at a time... stoning the fruit is the most time-consuming thing.  I did around 15 buckets of plums alone last summer and now we're in transports over the taste of this stuff in winter, on pancakes and waffles, in yoghurt, on toast, on semolina, you name it...

PS: Mirabelles may benefit from a dash of rum!  ;)
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on August 31, 2020, 15:28:55...can you take all the ones that aren't rotting, and stew them up?

This is being done. Spent much of the morning shaking the tree and sorting out those which are usable and later stewing will be done (probably not by me, better that way...)!  :cool
It doesn't touch me at all...

SueC

Excellent!  :)

...the ones that aren't usable, you can feed to some local cows - if they're just starting to ferment, but not if they're mouldy - because cows get tipsy on fermented fruit!  :lol:  Just don't overdo... there was a genuine case of severe alcohol intoxication in dogs reported in the Australian Veterinary Journal a while back, where a couple of Rottweilers were unconscious and had to go on drips because they'd been fed uncooked pizza dough (owner had a pizzeria).

So, "sad today" just became less sad.  But, I've something genuinely sad.  Carla Suarez Navarro, a really nice tennis player on the international circuit, got diagnosed with Hodgkin's and has six months of chemotherapy coming up. :worried:  I'm hoping she's going to make it, she's only 31... the odds are reasonable actually, but even so, chemotherapy is a horrible business...
SueC is time travelling

MeltingMan

The vacancy and demolition of older buildings continues. Now it hits Herforder Strasse 6, built in 1903, Bad Oeynhausen. 😒
« C'est un bourreau caché que notre ange gar-
dien, » a dit Musset, par une de ces divinations
confuses du génie, si admirables et si fréquentes dans Baudelaire.
(Comment on devient fée, érotique, p. 319.)

SueC

Sorry to hear that, @MeltingMan. :'(  Over here, in our regional centre, we used to have a lovely beachfront hotel made of sandstone that had been built by some rich philanthropist in old-style. 



About 15 years ago, the perfectly functional, beautiful, site sensitive building was demolished by its new owners who were greedy to make money by building a big monstrosity on the site instead.



And this is the kind of horrible faceless soulless fish tank they wanted to put there instead - into our historic little town full of colonial architecture:



(Plus, can you see how close to the current sea level that is - and sea levels are both currently rising, and projected to rise more as the icesheet melting accelerates.  We shouldn't even be putting new buildings into locations like this.  But, developers are still planning on it, and have also asked the town council for a sea wall to "protect their investment" - the developers should be paying for their own sea wall, instead of getting the town council to rob us ratepayers for it.  What happens to the neoliberal mantra of "user pays" (applied to education, health, other public services - which we're already paying for with our taxes anyway) when they're going to be out of pocket themselves?  That's right, that idea doesn't apply to them - it really means, "The little people pay for their own stuff and get the most meager public services we can get away with, and the little people subsidise our stuff, and then we reap the profits and spit on the community." :evil:)

Then the Global Financial Crisis happened, and the owners had to put everything on hold.  So now, instead of having a lovely sandstone building in which we could go for coffee and a meal, and which was a mainstay venue for local bands, the locals have had this for 15 years:



Admittedly, it's still better than the monstrosities that developers want to put there instead.  I don't know how many protests and petitions we've had, but nobody ever listens to the locals these days, big money always imposes their shiitake on us, with the blessing of our local council of thugs, who do anything but represent the will of the local community.  Nice democracy, even at this level.  NOT.   :smth011

Meanwhile, locals are having gallows humour fun.  Sometimes we're all putting socks on the security fence around the hole in the ground, and sometimes it's more quirky:







But at the base of it, we're just dealing with the same old crap, and it's really sad.
SueC is time travelling

dsanchez

2019.06.08 Dublin
2019.07.04 Novi Sad
2019.07.17 Athens

dsanchez

El Maestro Armando Manzanero, one of the greatest composers in Spanish-speaking language died due COVID-19 complications :(
2019.06.08 Dublin
2019.07.04 Novi Sad
2019.07.17 Athens

SueC

Warning:  This is graphic stuff, so if you've got a weak stomach do not proceed.

from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/05/lisa-montgomery-death-row-execution-history

Quote'A lifetime of torture': the story of the woman Trump is rushing to execute

Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on death row, was found guilty of an 'especially heinous' crime - but those who have looked deeply into her agonized life see it differently.

Lisa Montgomery's first experiences of sexual abuse occurred indirectly when she was three years old. She would lie in bed at night beside her beloved half-sister Diane, close enough to touch, while Diane, then eight, was being raped by their male babysitter.

At the age of 11, Montgomery learnt what it was like to be attacked herself. Her stepfather Jack, a "mean drunk" who regularly beat her and her mother, began raping her once or twice a week.

The assaults became such an important part of Jack's life over the next four years that he built a room for the girl on the side of their trailer, deep in the Oklahoma woods. It had its own entrance, so that he could come and go as he desired and nobody would know or hear her screams.

He would rape and sodomise her, often with a pillow smothering her face. When she resisted, he slammed her head so hard against the concrete floor that she suffered traumatic brain injury, MRI brain scans would later show.

One day, her mother Judy happened to enter the room while the child was being assaulted by her husband. Judy was so incensed she fetched a gun and held it to her daughter's head, screaming: "How could you do this to me?"

Over time, the abuse expanded. Montgomery's stepfather invited friends round to gang rape her in the room - ordeals that would last for hours and end with the men urinating on her like she was trash. Her mother got in on the act too, selling Montgomery's body to the plumber and the electrician whenever she needed odd jobs doing.

This is Lisa Montgomery's story.

These were her formative experiences which doctors, psychologists and social workers have all concluded amounted to torture endured across years. This is the woman, now aged 52, whom the Trump administration intends to put to death in seven days' time on grounds that she is such a cold-hearted murderer that even being locked up for the rest of her natural life would be insufficient punishment.

On Friday, a US appeals court cleared the way for the execution to proceed. The move was enthusiastically endorsed by the US justice department which has argued under Trump that Montgomery is guilty of an "especially heinous" crime. But those who have looked deeply into the agonized life that lay behind her criminal act see it differently.

"This is a story about a woman who is profoundly mentally ill as a result of a lifetime of torture and sexual violence," said Sandra Babcock, faculty director of the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide and a consultant to Montgomery's legal team. "Lisa is not the worst of the worst - she is the most broken of the broken."

What she did to land her on death row was utterly horrific - no doubt about that, and if you want to know what it was, follow the link.

But the reason I'm sad is that she's on death row, yet you can bet that none of the people who abused her as a child were ever held accountable for what they did - and neither were the people who knew something, but failed to help her - such as the police, social services, doctors, neighbours etc.  Had this person been taken out of that abusive situation early in the piece and received help, the story could have been so different.  Had she been helped as an adult, it could still have been different to where it ended up.

If you ever suspect something like this, don't turn away. Say something, to someone who can help.  Don't stand by and do nothing - don't say it's "private business" - we're all human beings and we should look out for one another, including when someone has the misfortune to be abused at the hands of the people closest to them.  How many people turned a blind eye, and consigned this child to the hell she grew up in...

Another terrible irony:  That the very people signing the paperwork for this person's execution will probably never be held accountable for even a fraction of their own crimes against society and other human beings.  :frowning:
SueC is time travelling

SueC

OK, I'm genuinely sad right now so here goes, and this time it's something to do with me.  12 years ago I found myself suddenly unable to speak in the middle of teaching my favourite class (really bright, fun 15-year-olds), as if someone had thrown roller bearings down my throat.  For a long time after that, I could only whisper, and I was frequently choking on my food and having difficulty swallowing, while trying to convince my then-not-so-great GPs (in a strangled whisper, which is not the most effective way to advocate for yourself) that no, this was NOT laryngitis and please stop telling me to rest my voice and sniff saline.  It took six months before I finally got endoscoped, and the diagnosis was idiopathic nerve damage to one of the vocal cords, resulting in a paralysed vocal cord.

At the time that devastated me.  The problem had happened a couple of weeks before the summer break, and I'd taken time off work already.  There was no way I could go back teaching fulltime with this condition.  This started us down a completely different path - I sat down and designed and costed a passive solar off-grid eco-house as our own long-term home and as a continued demonstration project for what was possible on a modest (for Australia) mortgage that most people would be able to afford.  We then spent five years owner-building this home (the last four years weren't fulltime and we lived in it within 18 months), and now run a part-time educational farmstay out of it, to let people test-drive off-grid, low-footprint living with a sustainable agriculture setting and with 50 hectares of nature conservation which we manage similarly to the Indigenous Australians, for bushfire risk reduction and biodiversity - all of which I now write about for various independent outlets.

It was sort of like what a good friend of mine did - she'd emigrated to Australia from South Africa with her husband and two young girls, because their house had burnt down uninsured back home, and they had to start completely from scratch financially, from nothing - they'd sold their land to pay back the mortgage.  They decided that if they stayed in South Africa they'd forever be looking back - "If only this hadn't happened" - while to move somewhere completely different meant they would then have lots of new people and experiences in their lives which they would not have had if this terrible thing hadn't happened to them.

It's a good strategy - both she and I are very happy with where we are now at, in our lives after disaster, and have had plenty of compensations that way for the losses we experienced.  We both think our lives are on balance better than they were before.

The voice thing hit me very hard at the time, and you don't know how hard that's going to hit until it happens to you.  Because it's amazing how much our own self is tied to how we sound - it's how we communicate, not just words but emotions, it's how we sing etc (and I used to sing in a choir recreationally).  It's incredibly frustrating when you can't communicate effectively through speech.  For me it was about a year of strangled whispering interrupted by coughing, with a really weak voice on good days - and on good days I went back to the school I'd previously taught at, to take casual classes, because I knew the students and we had a good relationship, and they didn't take advantage of my inability to project my voice - they were terrific, and it was lovely to be able to continue to work with them once or twice a week.  (The school would ring me and ask me if I was up to it, and I'd go in if I was.)

There was a stage about a year in where the weak voice would suddenly shoot right up the scale and I'd sound like a cartoon character, which was actually really embarrassing.  Eventually that settled and became an occasional problem, and I had a sort-of voice for speaking softly most of the time - but I couldn't use it to teach more than 2-3 days a week because it was too difficult to do, and I could only do that on the good days, and I never knew when the good days would be; I'd not know that until I woke up in the morning.

The prognosis was:  If it doesn't come back fully within a year - sometimes nerves heal up - then it's very unlikely that it's ever going to.  And it didn't.  I did DIY stuff at home like sing in the shower - didn't sound the same, but I'd just do the stuff I used to do for choir practice - send those messages to the larynx as a sort of physiotherapy.  That was probably the most helpful thing I did for my voice and resulted in having a conversational voice which to most people sounds within range of normal, unless I'm having a bad day.  It's not the voice I had before, it's more like the voice I had before at a certain stage of recovering from a cold.  It's an effort to speak and it's resulted in speaking faster (because less words can get out on the one breath), less modulation, and less resonance.

Because of that, I booked in for a follow-up with an ENT - ten years into the tree-change that resulted from the original injury (it's been a busy decade, and I've not had to speak that much).  I wanted to know if I had secondary damage to my vocal cords from the effort of speaking and all the coughing that goes with this condition on bad days, and also if there was anything that could be done to improve where things are at right now.

I got scoped again and basically, the nerve is permanently dead.  Because my voice had recovered significantly from the starting point straight after the injury, I had thought that maybe the nerve had reached partial functioning again, but the ENT told me that everything I'm doing, I'm doing with a single operational vocal cord straining to get into proper apposition to a paralysed cord that hangs in space across a gap.  He calls this adaptation, and says I've adapted reasonably well, but that's why it's such an effort, and not how it was before, and why I have issues with swallowing and clearing my throat - all the muscles down the injured side don't work because they don't get signal coming through.

The good news was that I don't have secondary damage from speaking with compromised equipment, coughing lots, etc.  He says the mucosal edges of the vocal cords are both healthy - no scarring, no polyps etc.  And he's booked me in for a day surgery to inject collagen into the tissue to the side of the vocal cord to narrow that gap and push it into better apposition - it's a temporary solution that lasts 6-9 months and should make the speaking and swallowing side easier.  It will make my airway slightly narrower than it is already from the injury (because the paralysed side doesn't open or close, it just hangs in space) and give me a trial period in which to assess if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.  If they do, I can repeat the procedure whenever it wears off, or start thinking about switching to an alternative filler that doesn't get re-absorbed from the area with time.

When I was first scoped in 2009, I cried buckets after the diagnosis.  I loved my work, this was the end of being able to do that fulltime, plus it was so difficult trying to communicate with people who didn't know me and weren't aware what had happened.  There was judgement from some people, and idiots talking down to me like I had an IQ of 50, because I couldn't get my words out on bad days.  I couldn't speak on the phone because attempting to project would send me into coughing fits and laryngeal spasm.  These days I can, and I mostly pass within range of normal, but I've got to admit, today I'm grieving all over again, because I used to have a nice voice, not just the much-reduced thing I have now, and it would be so good if someone could click their fingers and I could be like I was before.

Everyone who has a physical loss has to confront that, of course - paraplegia, amputation, burns to the face, even just the normal wear and tear of ageing - things like that affect our identities and change our lives forever.  But, the one thing you can do when you're confronted with something like that is to make sure that some of that change will be for the better - and if that had never happened to me, we'd not be where we are now.

Since my nerve died, we've downshifted and tree-changed.  We've designed and built our own house on a shoestring budget and built much of it with our own two hands, and we've planted over 5,000 trees and understorey plants into the pastures on our smallholding to create shelterbelts that reduce soil erosion and create livestock shelter and wildlife habitat (a bit like hedgerow farming).  We're conserving and managing 50ha of near-pristine native vegetation on our place and have a very active, hands-on role in maintaining its wonderful biodiversity.  I've become a homesteader with a permaculture garden that goes a long way towards feeding us, and I have lots of time for writing, so I wrote for various independent magazines for ten years.  When the pandemic happened I took a break and only wrote for fun, mostly here, because I love music and because writing about music literally lets me write about all the things that matter to me in life.  (Well, if it's the right kind of music!  ;))

I won't be sad much tomorrow, but today I'm sad for the nerve that died and for the loss of the voice I used to have.  You can do a whole bunch of proactive things, you can choose your attitude, etc etc.  But sometimes, you still have to grieve, even in the face of all the good things that happened as a result of the bad thing that happened.   :'(
SueC is time travelling

dsanchez

Friend from school just passed away minutes ago from covid-19, similar age, early forties. He got sick one week ago, went very quickly... :'(
2019.06.08 Dublin
2019.07.04 Novi Sad
2019.07.17 Athens

Ulrich

Sorry to hear about your loss, dsanchez.  :frowning:
It doesn't touch me at all...

SueC

Me too.  Take care.  ♥
SueC is time travelling