Alone I sat, in my mentally made cell.
Why was I there, in that self created hell.
Thinking back to school, and my days of dope.
Foot by foot, rolling out the damn rope.
Hallucinogens were my rope, meth my noose.
Heroin in the needle, would have been my cooked goose.
One day in April, in the year ’99,
I awoke, did my prep, and did my last line.
I looked in the mirror, deep into my eyes.
I’m not am addict? Bullshit! No more lies!
I have stomped a mans head, into a curb.
He only mouthed off, something he didn’t deserve.
I broke my glass pipe, and then walked away.
No hospital detox, not even N.A.
17 years, this wagon’s been on this ride.
Not one relapse or slip up, I say this with pride.
For many years I sat, staring at my cell floor.
In the end, it was up to me, to walk out the door.

**17 years ago today I decided to get clean. I hear people browbeat others when they say they have only been clean for one week or one month and it upsets me. The truth is, we all start at day one. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you aren’t good enough, or haven’t been sober long enough to be respected for the amount of time you have been sober. Be proud of your accomplishments, and stick with it. One day you’ll look back at all that time, and your use will be a distant memory.**

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  I had gone shopping for a few things today, and stopped by the gas station on my way back. I walked in like normal and stood in line. There was a long line and a woman standing off to the side leaning on the counter looking sad. As I got closer, the clerk asked her, “Are you going to be alright hon?”
  The lady said nothing and shook her head no. The clerk spoke to another customer saying that the lady had just told her that she was about to have a seizure. Then she told the lady to sit down and she would go get her mom in a moment. There were still like 4 of us in line and I couldn’t stand there and do nothing.
  Some people have the ability to sense a seizure coming on, and if she really was about to have one, I didn’t want her to fall and get hurt. I walked up to her and offered to help her sit, as she looked very shaky and was trying to sit on the floor. I got an arm and helped lower her to the floor as I was telling the clerk I would go get the mom. Suddenly the lady dropped into the seizure.
  I told the clerk to go get the mom immediately as I took hold of the back of the lady’s neck so she didn’t slam her head into anything. I held onto her throuought the ordeal and her mom came in after it was over and helped as well. She had been sitting against the ice cream bin, so we slid her down all the way to the floor and another customer gave us a sweater to put under her head.
  She awoke confused and didn’t remember anything prior to it. I understand this happens often. She didn’t even remember leaving the house today. We helped her up and were walking her to the car as she was talking with her mom. “Where are we? We aren’t at home. I don’t remember coming here.” Then she looked at me, then back to her mom while she motioned toward me, “I remember him tho. I don’t know who he is, but I remember him.”
  I was floored. Why would she remember me? I would figure that I’d be forgotten like everyone and everything else. I helped her into the car, told them to take care, patted her mom on the back and told her it would all be ok, and went to my car where I cried almost all the way home.
  This is the second person in the last few months that I happened to be in the right place at the right time to help like this. It freaks me out a bit, because my father had a seizure just before he landed in the hospital where he died so it brings back a lot of emotions that i dont enjoy dealing with. But when I’m there, I am calm and alert. I seem to handle the situation well until it’s all over. I’m thankful for that! Could it be that I’m being shown part of my purpose in life? I don’t know what it means, or if it actually means anything at all… but one thing is for sure… I’m happy I was able to help.

  It’s difficult when you don’t have a place to call your own. You start to feel like a failure, a loser, even worthless. I don’t mean having to rent instead of owning… I mean not having a home at all.
  Shortly before Thanksgiving, my roommate’s boyfriend got us evicted. I could have stayed the owner said, unfortunately I couldn’t afford it.
  A coworker told me to come stay on her couch. I did so. I don’t like taking up space in someone’s home. She wouldn’t take any money when I’d offer. A good friend of mine is going through a rough time. Good friend doesn’t fully explain it, but let’s just say that she is not ready for anything more than friends. I love her dearly, and I understand her position… mostly. Anyway, I digress… her daughter and grandson have come to live with her while her daughter is going through a divorce. I love those two like my own. I’ve even told them that I officially adopt them as my daughter and grandson.
  Well, I have been helping them babysit so nobody has to lose hours at work. My boss will usually let me come in at 4 am so I can get off at 1. So, I’ve been doing this for awhile, and the lady where I was staying (after making sure she was ok with all of this) decided it was time for me to leave because I would spend many nights out since nobody got home til 11pm and I had to be at work by 4, there was no point in driving. So, my friend has let me stay at her place now for a few weeks. But it’s getting tiring not having a place to call home. Almost all my stuff is in my car still.
  I do love this woman, and will wait as long as she needs to heal… and my wanting to call this place my home has a bit to do with that, but mostly I enjoy being able to help the people who I consider family. I am prepared to ask tonight if I may consider this my home, or if I should try to find a place I can afford. Regardless of the answer, I will still be helping them… but I pray she says this can be my home.
  I have wanted to ask this question for awhile, but I’m scared of the answer. Then today, with no warning… I started to have a severe mental breakdown. I mean crying at work and just feeling so low that my old self harming thoughts were creeping back into my mind. I asked one of my managers if I could leave for the day, and kind of explained the situation to him. He told me that if I need, they will throw a benefit for “an anonymous employee” to try to raise the funds to get me into a place. 
  I would rather stay here because not only do I get to help with the childcare, but I throw money towards rent which also helps her out more. I’m praying she says yes, but again, I’m afraid of the answer.
  I’m asking for your prayers and good vibes on this one. I know in the end, it is as God wills it… I’m having trouble with that as well, but I do have faith. Thank you for reading, I’ll keep you updated.

    I saw a vet today. A Vietnam era vet. He was having to use a motorized cart. I came up behind him and he dropped his cane off the cart. I was too far away to help. I heard him sigh in exasperation and he picked it back up. I could tell it pained him to do so. It saddened me to see such a sight. Here we have a person who risked his life, for an ungrateful country, gaining years and not as spry as he once was. I could tell he felt like shit because of his inability to walk.
    I did what everyone else seems to do and just let it be… but I continued to see the image in my mind’s eye. Around the corner, I was putting away some vegetables and I heard something drop. I turned to see this man trying to grab a pot pie that dropped. It landed in front  of him and slid across the floor. I picked it up and handed it to him.
    I pay a lot of attention to my surroundings, and one of the big things is looking people in the eyes. As I handed it to him, I noticed tears. He accepted the help graciously, but I could see that it hurt him to do so. We could all use a bit of humbling from time to time… but this was too much. He made a “joke” about the eyes going first, then everything else, but what I heard was, “I didn’t used to be this way. I was once young, strong, and almost unstoppable.”
    How quickly our youth goes huh? One day we’re climbing trees, jumping from great heights, and the next we’re in an electric cart trying in vain to pick something we’ve dropped up off the floor.
He thanked me and went on his way as I told him, “No problem.” And I was left thinking… One day this will be me. A mere shadow of what I once was. Not able to do the things I once could. Possibly relying on help from strangers just to get through my day.” Then I started thinking. I believe in karma. And I believe that at times, we can become karma incarnate. Today I got to be a good part of the karma for a man who has done noble deeds in life… and for that I am thankful. I only pray that one day I deserve good treatment like that.
    He went on his way and I went back into the freezer at work and cried my eyes out. It was too much emotion for me to contain. Many good people are looked down upon and treated like crap because they aren’t as mobile as the rest of us. That’s no way to treat people!! Treat them with the same respect that you would treat your mother or father. I mean hell… they have been through more than you most likely… and if not… who cares… they’re human beings, and everybody needs a kind word and deed in life.

Hey everybody.  It’s been awhile since I posted anything.  I’ve been really busy.  I can’t remember if I mentioned it before… and frankly I’m too lazy to go through my past posts to figure it out… but I was given an offer to move to Texas to live with my oldest son, and my ex father in law.  The plan would be for me to go out there, find a job, get a car, and my own place.  It’s a lot more affordable out there than it is here in Ca. 🙂

Work at the ranch has slowed to a crawl, and I’m not making enough money to even pay my cell bill, so as of 11:00pm tonight Pacific Time… I’m hopping a Greyhound to Texas.  I’m a bit nervous about the move, but who isn’t nervous about moving 1800 miles away.  The only thing I have with me currently is my computer and a backpack full of clothes.  I’ve also managed to get my stuff down to an amount that fills only five medium sized moving boxes.  That’s right… everything I own fits into five moving boxes and a big backpack.  Talk about one hell of a reset huh? lol
I will be having my stuff shipped to me once I find work and send some money to my little brother.  So until I manage that, I have about five pair of clothes and a laptop.  I’m looking forward to living in Texas and the opportunities it provides for me.
It’s going to be an adventure traveling by bus to say the least.  I just hope I don’t get stuck next to some crazy person for the whole trip. LOL. It’s going to take a little over two days, and I only have a couple transfers, and a couple layovers that last more than 30 minutes.  In fact, the only downside I see is that the two longest layovers are my last two stops before reaching my destination.  They will both be about four hours long.  But it’s a small price to pay for adventure.
I don’t have much else to say other than I’ll try to keep you all updated.  I’m not sure if anyone bothers to read my stuff anymore considering I write very little, and with much time in between, and I’m not going to plan to write more often, because every time I say that… it gets longer and longer in between posts.  So until my next post, take care and be safe. 🙂

    It’s been awhile since I wrote anything.  I’ve been busy as hell.  But I find myself with some time this evening to tell you a short (ish) story about the rattlesnake situation out here in the prairie lands. 🙂  (Keep on reading this one John… it’s a good one) 😉
    I hadn’t given much thought to the fact that the prairie is loaded with rattlesnakes.  Well… it is. Bwahahaha. XD So my buddy and I are in the barn one day when we hear the distinct rattling from somewhere in between us.  There isn’t a lot of room to move around in the barn, and it’s pretty messy after years of not being touched.  So we carefully moved away and tried to look for the snake without endangering ourselves too much.  We had already relocated a few young snakes this season, but sometimes, they are in places where it’s unsafe to let them live.  Well, we found him in the middle of the pipes too far away for us to grab him with the snake grabber.  Well… we couldn’t leave him in the barn because of the danger.  Don’t get me wrong, all rattlers are dangerous, but the two types we have out here are no joke.  Western Diamondback and Prairie Rattlers.  They have both Neurotoxic and Hemotoxic venom.  You have about 2 hours to get treatment if you get bit… otherwise you’re pretty screwed.
    Being the awesome farm boys we are, we fashioned a long hook so we could scoop him out of the pipe and dispatch him.  Well, you know how farms have a lot of old equipment on them?  There just so happens to be an old broken tractor in the way so we could get him with the hook, but when pulling it out, it would get hung up… putting us in pretty decent danger.  Add to the fact that I’m holding the flashlight and can’t see the damn thing so I keep moving a bit when my buddy needs the light.  The snake was pissed!!  I would love to claim I’m so awesome that I wasn’t scared at all… but I was shaking pretty bad.  This was the first grown rattler that I had ever dealt with.  The babies aren’t so bad.  A rattler can strike up to 2/3 of it’s body length, so a one footer isn’t too scary… but when dealing with a three or four footer… it’s a little different. LOL
    So here we are, trying to figure out what to do when my inner redneck shines through.  “Hey… you got bird shot for your shotgun?” I ask.
    “Yep.  Guess I’m gonna go grab it.” replies my buddy.  And oh how the fun started.  I’m sure you all know how strong steel is right?  Well imagine shooting a shotgun into a steel pipe that’s six inches wide, and about 20 feet long.  My buddy comes back out and shines the flashlight into the pipe.  “There he is.”  Then he turns to me and says,”You might want to plug your ears.”  They were already plugged.  He raised the muzzle, took aim, and BLAM!!!  The sound was deafening even with my ears plugged.  “Son of a bitch!!”  he screamed when he looked again.  “The bastard is still alive!!”
    I’m not sure how much you know about the physics of birdshot, but ponder this for a moment.  Have you ever skipped a stone on water?  What about 30 or 40 stones at once?  Well, bird shot isn’t enough to damage the steel, so if the angle of the shot drives it into the steel, it bounces… at about 427 meters per second. So here we now had a very pissed off snake, who was probably reeling from the concussion… but he didn’t take one hit from the shot.  What a lucky snake.  If I got shot at, I can say with certainty that I would get hit with almost every piece of shot in the damn bullet. LOL So he shot again… and again… and again.  If he wasn’t so pissed off, I would have been rolling on the floor laughing.  My buddy is one of the best shots I have ever seen, so to see him miss so bad, and get so pissed was frigging hilarious!!
    After five shots, he finally took of it’s head… and 3/4 of it’s body.  It was a scary ordeal, but of course, as we leave the barn, and walk a short way out into the field… we find another snake.  This was much easier to get rid of.  I grabbed it with the grabber, and he lopped off it’s head. It turns out that it’s much easier dealing with a snake when you’re out in the open and not in some super close quarters. Now… being that we live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, we don’t like to waste things.  I had done some studying on how to cure snake skin, and I had always wanted to try eating snake.  The grilled snake was amazing, but the skin curing is a story for another time.  I might write a post on that shortly, as I’m at the end of my day and I’m not too tired yet.
    I hope you have enjoyed the story.  There should be plenty more of them as I find the time to write more often.  I’ve had a few cool adventures out here, and I’m sure there will be many more.  🙂  I’ll leave you with a shot of the snake on the grill we made, and a shot of Ranch hand Grinning Bear. 🙂
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   Nothing quite like some fresh grilled snake. 😉
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I think the straw hat suits me. 🙂

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My view of the sunset when looking West

     As I sit in the chair and watch the beautiful sunset, my mind looks back on the last two weeks of my life.  My body is sore, there are aches in places I didn’t even know I had, my hands are becoming calloused again.  I have learned many things in my short time here… and there are many more to learn.  But I have noticed one thing… it’s quiet.  Not devoid of sound kind of quiet, but the quiet that comes with being away from cities.  There is a highway that intersects the land I’m on, but being a city boy, I’m used to the sound of cars.  But our nearest neighbor is two miles away.  I have always wanted that kind of seclusion.  

     I awake in the morning, and step outside to watch the sunrise and listen to the animals prattle on about whatever it is they talk about.  Sometimes I cry because of the beauty of it all.  Have you ever seen something so beautiful that it made you cry?  It’s actually a good feeling.  Not like that crappy feeling when you cry because you’re hurting.  After watching the animals for awhile, I have breakfast and get to work.  Work could be anything.  It could be fixing the barb wire fence where some jackass drove through it, remodeling a room in the 130 year old house, or digging a big ass hole for the start of a foundation (btw, holes are dug with a shovel here for most part) LOL
     There are many things we do here, and there will be more as we get the place up and running.  During my spare time I can usually be found learning some type of new skill.  I have taken a liking to survival skills.  I have learned how to make fire from multiple different starting points. IE: magnesium stick, flint and steel, etc…  I’m learning and practicing some tracking skills, and I have learned (in theory) how to gut, skin, and cut a rabbit up for food… and to tan the hide.  (If I’m going to hunt rabbit, there will be no wasted part)  I haven’t hunted rabbit yet, but eventually the time will come.  I also know how to skin and cook rattlesnake.  They’re all plentiful out here.  I am also learning the different leeching processes for removing the tannins from acorns so I can learn to make acorn a part of my diet.  The natives used to fight over some of the old white oaks because the health benefits were so great. 🙂
     It’s not all roses though.  There are downsides.  There are Coywolves out here.  That is a wolf and coyote hybrid, that are pretty much all the bad things about the two animal wrapped up into one.  They will attack you if they get the chance.  So you need to be very aware if you’re outside of the house at night.  It’s nice being far removed from neighbors… but that also makes us vulnerable.  There have been times when people just come on our property.  Some are harmless, and then there are some like when the two guys were looking at my bosses truck, and one was trying to distract my boss.  I miss my son more than ever. (He is doing well though)  And let’s face it… there’s no way I’m going to meet a woman out here on the ranch.  I’d have to go into the city if I wanted to meet a woman… but I’ve got too much on my plate already. LOL  I’ll live though. 
     I better get outside, as I’ve already missed the sunrise while writing this.  Have a great day everyone. 🙂