22 December 2010

MRSA.... WOW... Really?!

I have so many pieces of writing that was written while I had no Internet to edit and post... and yet I feel compelled to just free flow write again, for posting.

WHY do I do this?! It would be so much easier to read if you proof-read and edited it before you posted it... but I choose to post it as it comes to my brain and flows straight through my fingers....so, here it is.

I thought I was bitten by a spider. But nerve pain below the sore alerted me to the possibility that it was something that needed attention. However, it wasn't logic that told me to go to the doctor. LOGIC told me that the sore looked better than it had the night before, and that theoretically it should get better. Theoretically.

But something else told me to go. NOW. So, just as I have been following that little voice for the last few months; this was no different.

Now, this sore is on my belly. On my left side, right at my belt-line about a half inch below my belly button line on my left side. Not fair.

I SERIOUSLY need some clothes. Preferably warm dresses that hang from the boobs or shoulders. NOT jeans. THEY HURT!!!!

I don't even have any of my sweats with me. Anyway. MRSA. When the doctor said it, I was shocked. My niece had told me about a year ago how that same infection had nearly KILLED her!!!!

Strange, I wasn't the LEAST bit affected when people started to try to scare me about a spider bite, but MRSA... THAT scares the SHIT out of me.

Not only with my niece's experience, but also the fact that I have MANY antibiotic allergies. LUCKILY, Cipro is NOT one of them... YET. I better not say THAT too loud!!!!

So... when I got back to my friend, Julie's house, I not only let everyone know that needed to know, but I also called my doctor and asked about the repercussions for my body in particular.

Apparently, as with everything else in my "health world", it's a "wait and see."


25 November 2010

A FOURTH Questionnaire !!!

1.  Am I DEA, or any other law enforcement? 
1. pretty sure u arent DEA or other law...but of course i didnt asK..lol

2. Am I a serial killer (that you know of)?
2. pretty sure y arent a serial killer either!

3. What about me were you most surprised about when we met?
3. well actually u were taller than i expected!

4. Throughout my visit with you, what surprised you about me?
4. no surprises really ..just seemed like i knew ya forever..

5. what was the subject of one of our most memorable conversations?
5. well the killer train ride conversation was prretty good! lol

6. One of the most memorable activities that we did  together?
6. going to the old cemetary....that place is just awesome!

7. What is the most significant impression I left with you?
7. well i'd say what impressed me most is that u arent afraid!
that is awesome.you got some cahones!!!! ya wanted to do 
something..(though uncertain of the outcome) and are doing it!
big cahones!

8. Anything else you would like others to know about you, us, our visit?
8. you are just good people! i enjoyed having u here ! enjoyed
catching a buzz with ya!

9. What should people who are asking to meet me, and/or give me a couch for a night, know about me?
9. i think they should know that they have nothing to worry about and that u have to put as must trust in them as they do you. i am glad that we got to meet and that i got to be part of your adventure!!!! and i thank u

10. When I come back through on my bike in the warm weather, would you like me to come by and say HI?
10. by all means come and visit again would be great!!!!

11. Is there anyone else in my "little world" who I may have talked about, that you would be interested in meeting?
11. did we talk about anyone else other than u and me...lol

maggie i wish u much luck on your journey...keep the wind to your back and the sun on your face...i wish you good health and hope that you find happiness ..... peace little sister!

Facebook/stranger #1 Questionnaire Answers

1.  Am I DEA, or any other law enforcement?
1. no, i hope not. lol

2. Am I a serial killer (that you know of)?
2. probably, but who knows, I could or couldn't be one too. lol

3. What about me were you most surprised about when we met?
3. how pale you were! haha!

4. Throughout my visit with you, what surprised you about me?
4. that you can actually tan!

5. what was the subject of one of our most memorable conversations?
5. when we were making a story using candy at sani food!

6. One of the most memorable activities that we did  together?
6. hanging out at stony gorge!

7. What is the most significant impression I left with you?
7. You are a strong and open person.

8. Anything else you would like others to know about you, us, our visit?
8. you taught me how to make meatballs!

9. What should people who are asking to meet me, and/or give me a couch for a night, know about me?
9. be prepared to listen. lol

Slow Down?

Right now I am wondering if I will ever slow down to catch up with myself.  I knew I had a lot of writing and photo sorting to do when I came into South Carolina, and I had thought since I was going to have a few moments off of the road, that I actually may be able to get it done.

Not so. I am about a WEEK behind!!! I am still writing, but each time I re-read even the posted blogs, I see gramerical errors, as well as every other type! Not the product that I would send to a would-be agent or publisher!!!

Once of the most glaring issues that even I am aware of, is my desire to spend time with the people that this blog and book are about. However, then there is less time to write! Contradictions!!!

I have made one decision: this is NOT a professional blog. THIS IS A FREE-WRITE for me. Although all of my original posts will be in the book (or referenced), this is NOT the place for my "cleaned up version"...

I have made this place, my place to just get it all out... you get to "hear" me ... my thought processes... as they occur. Good luck with that, by the by! Laugh. I can be a fun one to try to keep up with during a simple conversation... now I am loose with a keyboard!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all... and to all a good WRITE!!! Laugh. I crack myself up sometimes!

Questionnaire From PFF 2

From PFF #2:

1.  Am I DEA, or any other law enforcement?
1. If you are DEA or other law enforcement -- you're damn good!
No, I don't believe you're working with any law enforcement agency. Unless the rest of us advocates for Medical Marijuana are DEA - ???

2. Am I a serial killer (that you know of)?
2. I don't know any serial killers - so you would be my first .. that's IF you were a serial killer. More like a CEREAL killer... ya know, with the munchies and all.

3. What about me were you most surprised about when we met?
3. Even though it was dark - I knew you from your pictures. A little surprised by the amount of luggage for the road.

4. Throughout my visit with you, what surprised you about me?
4. How comfortable I was with (stranger) in my home. How comfortable you must have felt with us - to let it all hang out...;p
How much we think alike. Believe many of the same things.
Willingness to be so open and share your life with (strangers).

5. what was the subject of one of our most memorable conversations?
5. Relationships. Tolerance.

6. One of the most memorable activities that we did  together?
6. Showing you the lighthouse on the WI / MI border on Lake Michigan.
The introduction of cannabutter brownies!! AB - FAB ... ha, a little dab will do you!! I didn't realize the many foods that could be made for medical necessity out of cannabis.

7. What is the most significant impression I left with you?
7. That you're running from something or someone - yet, you are going towards something else.
You are full of as much energy as you are in pain. In spite of the pain, you carry on.

8. Anything else you would like others to know about you, us, our visit?
8. I say our visit was like old friends that hadn't seen each other for awhile. Respectful of privacy. I wanted you to get caught up with your corresponding and writing - I think you did. I wanted to be a pit stop so you could regroup to figure out some of your destinations and hell - meet some one new from somewhere else!

9. What should people who are asking to meet me, and/or give me a couch for a night, know about me?
9. People gotta know you're a people person!! For you to go it alone across the country - you will talk to anybody about anything = mostly about your xbf and your achieving kids! ;p
You are REAL. No pretending. A wonderful singer!
Picked up after yourself ... great baker ... I didn't hear you snore ... I would say it's worth inviting you into (their) homes ... or meeting for that "coffee".

10. When I come back through on my bike in the warm weather, would you like me to come by and say HI?
10. You will always be welcomed in my home. I would love for you to bike it here in the warmer weather! There are one or two recipes I'd like you to share with me. BUTTER being the main one! LOL

11. Is there anyone else in my "little world" who I may have talked about, that you would be interested in meeting?

11. HHHMMMMM did you talk about anyone in particular??? Tough question !!! Let me think over and ponder this question ... BWAH HA HA ... How about your multi-personality xbf? Or that guy you love to dance with ... oops ... xbf ... Or the medical marijuana tested guy ... oops ... xbf - again!
Or your daughter Siobhan. I am stunned by all that she takes on and can do for herself. She seems like an intelligent young lady with goals to achieve. Go Voni Go!

I have freaked a few people - including myself - by inviting a (stranger) into my home ... from the computer! I want to spread more kindness around the world - but will start in my little part of it.
I thank YOU Maggie - mostly for not being a serial killer OR with the DEA ... lol. I appreciate that you allow many of us homebodies to live somewhat vicariously through you while you travel. Now .. I .. care .. about .. someone .. ELSE!! ;p

24 November 2010

Questionnaire From PFF 3

PFF #3

1. Am I DEA, or any other law enforcement?


2. Am I a serial killer (that you know of)?


3. What about me were you most surprised about when we met?

How comfortable I was with you.

4. Throughout my visit with you, what surprised you about me?

How bright/smart you are.

5. What was the subject of one of our most memorable conversations?

Corn silos. LOL
Actually, when we tried to convince the Amish man at the mill that hemp is going to be the next big cash crop. He was probably laughing at us cause he already plows a field.

6. One of the most memorable activities that we did together?

Hang out under a bridge.

7. What is the most significant impression I left with you?

Your sense of adventure.

8. Anything else you would like others to know about you, us, our visit?

Very comfortable & easy-going.

9. What should people who are asking to meet me, and/or give me a couch for a night, know about me?

She is not a morning person.

10. When I come back through on my bike in the warm weather, would you like me to come by and say HI?

Most definately. Or I can meet you somewhere, like Maine or Vermont.

11. Is there anyone else in my "little world" who I may have talked about, that you would be interested in meeting?



Since I have now met or stayed with more than five people I did not previously know (read: STRANGERS!!!); Perhaps it's time for me to ask THEM a few questions about ME…

Perhaps a few things that prospective friends may like to know? Or not?

This is a questionnaire that will be expanded and edited, but will be sent to each one of
my new friends after they have met me!

As they are returned to me, answered,  I will post them in this blog.

Here goes the first incarnation of the questionnaire:

1.  Am I DEA, or any other law enforcement?

2. Am I a serial killer (that you know of)?

3. What about me were you most surprised about when we met?

4. Throughout my visit with you, what surprised you about me?

5. what was the subject of one of our most memorable conversations?

6. One of the most memorable activities that we did  together?

7. What is the most significant impression I left with you?

8. Anything else you would like others to know about you, us, our visit?

9. What should people who are asking to meet me, and/or give me a couch for a night,
know about me?

The last 2 questions that didn't end up getting sent to everyone at first!:

10. When I come back through on my bike in the warm weather, would you like me to come by and say HI?

11. Is there anyone else in my "little world" who I may have talked about, that you would be interested in meeting

Thanks so much, each and every one of you for your hospitality and gracious
friendships. You are ALL very special to me!!!


23 November 2010

Journal Entry & Free write on Book Proposal Idea

23 November 2010
3:15 PM

It has taken me a while to realize or recognize, that I tend to feel guilty or out of touch with people. I need to try to split my time between spending time with people and seeing the world as well as spending time on the computer and writing about the experiences I am having.

I wish I had a tablet computer! It would make that part easier. But probably not, I enjoy typing. Must look into technology that would fit my lifestyle.

This is the difficult juggling act. This is the part I didn’t know if I could do. I have to , I must research the proposal.
Write the intro story for the intro chapter. Also a pamphlet about who I am… and what I am doing.

Who I AM:  I am a writer, an observer, a people person, a medical cannabis patient and ADVOCATE.

I am … A wonderful cook who has learned how to incorporate cannabis into several recipes.
I am the friend of a man who wouldn’t be on this earth if not for that plant.
I, myself, didn’t really live for several years while on prescription drugs, until I began to feel more comfortable about using cannabis, then I proceeded to get off them all except my allergy pills!

I am attempting to write the introduction:  TRIP, Cannabis, (divorce, families (pf))
                    Turned into commentary (keep LIGHT) on our current societal situation!!!

Who I am: Disabled, poor , divorcing husband who took everything… leaving me with FREEdom. Freedom to see the world.

SEE: I am loosing my sight on my upper left peripheral, as well as much sensation on left side (bruises and scrapes without realizing it) using a walking stick to prevent from too many injuries. It has not been explained to me why yet.

I long to see what I have never seen before I can not see. Before I have to rely on others to tell me what I should be seeing. Before I HAVE to trust.

There were so many reasons for me to go… there was not but a few small things keeping me back. It was as if God opened a gate and said, ”get your ass out there!”

So, Out Here… is where I am. Technically speaking (a phrase I heard describe the man who the train I was riding on killed. It gave me shivers!), I am “A Transient Person in her Forties”…. Wow.

My “self-proclaimed JOB”: meeting my Pot Farm neighbors. Asking them to show me the places that they live. Share with me the beauty of YOUR world.

I have lived in the Puget Sound area of Washington State for all but a few months of my 44 years. I haven’t traveled outside of a few day trips, including a few in the Redwoods for the Redwood Run, but rarely east of Spokane, WA!

I have never seen the country that I live in and  call home.
I have never seen this world. I am a strong believer in that the stranger that you say HI to could be your next best friend. I believe that some family is more dangerous than MOST strangers.

I believe that we need to look around, love our fellow human beings. Learn to respect ourselves and each other, as well as the world in which we live. I believe the more that we respect ourselves and the world in which we live; the more we show our love for God.

That is what I believe.

I am seeing the world through the eyes of the people who I know have ONE thing in common with me: they do not believe that POT is evil. That is about the one thing that I can say about anyone who plays the game “Pot Farm” on Facebook.

About 3 years ago, my daughter went off to College at the UW. When they were assigning room-mates, they gave her the information of her prospective roommates so that they could hook up on Facebook.

I had followed my teenagers to MySpace (having been a computer programmer, technology was something I actually had over them, until my daughter passed me in the dust with her engineering education at UW) previously, and it made sense that if I wanted to know what was going on in her world, I should follow her to Facebook.

While she was home for Christmas break from college, I made my first Facebook post. Now, two years later, I thank Facebook and all of the friends that I met and hold dear, for keeping me alive long enough to realize I wanted to live.

At that time, I couldn’t afford even a standard internet connection. But, I COULD afford the $15 additional that my cell phone company was offering to charge me at that time, for unlimited internet on my phone.

That 1.75in by 1 in screen became a porthole to life for me.

I had lived in bed since the pelvic pain and bladder symptoms made any time out of bed excruciating; my phone was an escape, usually MY ONLY escape from my dark bedroom, red curtains, and DVDs (couldn’t afford cable either).

In 2003 my bed became the only home I had. 
In 2005 I lost the home I raised my children in. 
In 2008: I found a REAL escape. The throttle.
In 2010 The best friend I have ever had showed me that there was nothing holding me back; I could do anything I wanted. I just had to want it.

Left my husband of 21 years, with just the clothing on my back… into ????  The big bad world.

People were so scared that something “would happen to me.”  Apparently those people never understood the life that I have survived up through this point. Most of that is saved for the book about ME… “No One Can Handle Her’, but safe to say that I lived on the street in Federal Way in 1982 at the tender age of 15. I am also a multiple rape survivor with PTSD.

Thank the UNIVERSE for Pot! Anxiety , PTSD, chronic nausea (hiatal hernia, GERD, biliary disconesia are a few of the sources of this symptom), chronic pelvic pain, chronically inflamed pelvic nerves leading to peripheral neuropathy & last but not least, IBS are the reasons that I use cannabis. Due to cannabis, I have been able to discontinue more than 7 medications that led me to using many others for the side effects. Thank the Creator for cannabis.

16 November 2010

One Mission

I am discovering just WHY I added "420" to my name before this journey. I NEED to help people. I believe STRONGLY in the healing power of hemp products (healing the earth), medical cannabis heals cancer. I know that. At least some types....

I need to continue to be an advocate, but learn more, so that I can be an effective advocate and a resource for other people.

I KNOW that cannabis is the ONLY reason that I am up and out of bed, and ABLE to do this trip. Without it, and the freedom that type of medication has helped me find; I would continue to be in bed with a Fentanyl patch on, living day to day by dvd videos....

Instead, thanks to medical marijuana, I am seeing this world that I have been existing in for the first time ever. Thank you, God, for creating such a wonderful plant.... that was designed with us in mind.

This is the book, I believe, that I borrowed from my ex boyfriend... FANTASTIC reference!!!

Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible

This is one I WANT:
The Feel Good Cookbook: For Medical Marijuana Patients

15 November 2010

Covered Bridges

Beautiful old covered bridges today. But inside the one I walked in... the walls were filled with romantic graffiti. It seemed to be the only type that wasn't "edited" by sanding... Laugh

It wasn't enough that the waterfalls, old mills and wooden covered bridges were all romantic.... then there was the graffiti... THEN there was the spot under the bridge. Looked like it was a home .... ready and waiting.

Miss my ex boyfriend too much. I guess I am too hopeful of a romantic. I want to be wanted. I don't just want to feel in it alone. Why do I feel in it alone? He says he loves me. But... Too Too Too many "buts"... going to sleep. Tired. Long day tomorrow.

Going to see a 100 year old Blues Bar called the Slippery Noodle... and try not to cry. Then train at 11 pm... from Indianapolis to DC! 17 hours.

Feeling OLD

As I have said to many: I package it well. Laugh. That is, I can make the outside look REALLY pretty... but when it comes down to it, I have the inside of an 85 year old woman!

Now...some things are just being in my forties:  I need tooth glue, powder from an Avon Lady, disposable razors, insoles,... and underwear. Laugh. Rocking the VPL!!!  (Visible Panty Line for those "uninitiated". Laugh.) And that doesn't even go into the cyst on my incision scar that I had to cope with and drain this morning!

Have compression socks on... but no girdle... ewww... but as long as I can HOIST the boobies up and shove them into the WONDERFUL push-up bra I bought at Fredericks, I will!!!  (The bootie is ALL mine, though)...

Laugh. Must put makeup on. I am a firm believer in that you can tell JUST how old you are by how much time it takes you to put on makeup to look like you have no makeup on. Laugh. Really.

Hope all have a great day! I am going to see central Indiana today with my Pot Farm Friend, Lisa ... and her ex

12 November 2010

On Train from Seattle to Chicago - Journal excerpt

Just met Teagan (2month old baby girl) and Ashley, her mom. Going to North Dakota for her Great Grandmothers’ funeral. Sad. But happy that they can be a part of the new life that is Teagan!

On the train from Seattle to Chicago. Met a woman named Cathy in the train depot. She is in a sleeping car, and I am not. So. We will see who my TRAIN friends are this leg. Usually meet them at the first smoking stop. Apparently that is at Enumclaw, but I just realized that the train has been stopped for a long time. But I thought we were in Everett just a few moments ago. Maybe we are still there? Lol. Well, who knows. At least I had time to start writing.

I don’t know why I didn’t write on the last leg, as much. Yes, I scribbled and dabbed… but I will compile those notes on this journey.

They are waiting on freight traffic.. NOW I know… LMAO!….

Now… On to some typing for my work… compile the Pot Farm Friends Tour… PFFT

Make a directory, spreadsheet. Begin writing.

Must look into Norml for medical states along the way… I think I am good in Montana. From what I hear at least. 
I don’t know about Idaho, and I don’t think the Dakotas… but I need to check.

Right now we are in a tunnel across the Cascades. Cool

This is where I have been since I last posted:  (from Amtrak’s guide of the Empire Builder train that I am currently aboard):

Skykomish As the train follows the Skykomish River, you can see
Washington’s famous pine and fir forests.  In this area are the
prospectors Money Creek, Indian Falls, chute-shaped Sunset Falls, Table
Rock and spectacular Mount Index (right).  Skykomish was founded as
a railroad town and serves as a stopping point for recreational access
to the surrounding mountains including skiing at Stevens Pass.
Cascade Mountains For the 65 miles east of Everett, the tracks
have climbed more than 2,800 ft.  The best way to get through this
spectacular mountain range is to go under it D which you can, thanks
to the 7.8 mile Cascade Tunnel bored under Stevens Pass, 500 ft.
overhead and 4,061 ft. above sea level.  Longest in the U.S., it was
completed in 1929.
Icicle Canyon If you look closely you might see goats on the hillsides,
elk, beaver and deer in the marshes.
The train is now descending more than 100 ft. for every mile of forward
Leavenworth This quaint Bavarian themed village just outside
of Tumwater Canyon has become the first major tourist stop on the
eastern side of the mountains.  German-style restaurants abound, and
the area is a popular outdoor recreation spot for whitewater rafting
and mountain biking.  Its annual Oktoberfest celebration is one of the
world’s most attended outside of Munich, Germany.

Next stop is Wenatchee is home of the Apple Blossom festival and renowned
as the “Apple Capital of the World.”  The region grows more than 15
percent of the nations’ apple crop.  The city takes its name from an
Indian word meaning “robe of the rainbow.”
It is also the FIRST SMOKE STOP since SEATTLE!!!!   YAY!!!! Finally!

It’s dark. The baby that she was walking has since fallen asleep. I hope her oh so young mom takes the opportunity to get some rest as well. It seems she has a lot on those small shoulders, draped with her pretty golden blond hair. Going to North Dakota for her Great Grandmother’s funeral. Something tells me all attention will be on the new life that she is bringing with her… you know the one… that she was walking up and down the isle. No crying… just huge eyes, taking it all in. Gramma Maggie is sad for missing her grandkids. But I think I will have more to give to them when I know who I am.

About the Tour & the "About Me" for Book?

About the book: (draft, not been proofread yet!!!)

First Book: Pot Farm Friends Tour

Gramma Maggie, coming out of a 21 year marriage, and having found complete solace, escape & a reason to wake up every morning, in the tiny screen on her phone (she could only justify as an expense the additional $15 a month Verizon charged for internet service.   To pay $40 for a standard Internet was far above her budget).

She fell in love. Realized she couldn’t fall in love if she was already in love, jumped out of her marriage and into her boyfriend’s world. Left husband with the clothes on her back four days before her 21st anniversary.

Being a biker, and leaving her biker husband for a non-biker…another story

BF’s world did not accept her. She doesn’t fit. She has turned more “hippie” than ever. Loves people. Likes to talk to strangers. Most of the people that have hurt her have been family.

Even though her twin grand-daughters and grandson, as well as son and daughter, live in WA state; she is feeling a pull to be far away.

For the past year, she has begun to loose her sight. Upper Left peripheral. They call it a “visual field defect” there are also other neurological symptoms. Tests at the UWMC were inconclusive. Check back in February.
 Good timing. In February are her son’s and daughters birthdays.

She has a good friend in Utah she has promised to spend Christmas with. Other than those landmarks, she has decided to purchase a rail pass and meet strangers, like the ones who kept her, most literally, alive over the past few years.

The only thing she is using to guide her is her intuition. Given from God. She is journaling as she goes.

Except for a business training trip, she has never been east of Spokane. And actually, Spokane was business too, but she was with a friend….

She wants to see the world before she can no longer see. In that vein, she is using the tools of FaceBook and the Facebook game, “Pot Farm” to find people who have an interest in the medical use of cannabis; something she has become absolutely passionate about.

Her boyfriend, now technically, ex-boyfriend (needs to figure out who SHE is!); is a stage four kidney cancer SURVIVER… thanks to medical cannabis. In the experimental treatment study in which he was a participant: he was the only person who used cannabis, and he is now the only survivor.

Her own experiences with the medical use of marijuana; stem from the PTSD and chronic pelvic pain and disorders she was left with after sever sexual trauma at a very young age. She was prescribed fentanyl for over 7 years, not having her doctors be optimistic that she would ever be able to survive the pain without some type of strong opiate (was prescribed Fentanyl which is 100x stronger than morphine due to an allergy to morphine).

In August 2009, she was discharged, without any notice, from the care of her prescribing doctor. She had no family doctor, and couldn’t find one who would take Medicare in the  2 days before withdrawals began. She decided to go off of it. 

Withdrawals were the closest to death and agony that she had ever experienced. Level 10 pain PLUS all of the other bodily effects of opioid withdrawal.

After pulling herself out of bed for the flag line of a young hero (she is a PGR member), deciding that there was something out there more important than herself; she began to look toward getting out of bed (where she had virtually lived for the past 7 years) and living.

The ONLY med she uses for pain control is cannabis.

Some days are better than others. She still has days with level 9 pain, but usually it is when she doesn’t have the ability to use the cannabis. It effectively lowers her pain level to between 5 (on a great day) to around 7.5 (on a not so good day).

Living began the next March. When she met “him”…. He called her “butterfly” and showed her she had wings.  Now she is using them. Attempting to see the world, meet new friends … she their world through THEIR eyes. … see who she can help, and how…. Because THAT is the one thing she has always known: she is here to help others. Now she needs to find those that need her help.

HIM showed her how easy it is to grow, she started her first seeds… and the girls should come into fruit around the first of the year. She has a friend babysitting them while she travels.

Gramma Maggie 420, the hippie stoner medical mj advocate who loves all strangers, people as well as other entities, was born.

06 November 2010

Great Lakes Stops....so far

Well, I am set to come in to Chicago in the afternoon of  Wednesday, Nov 10th. Some of the places that I will be visiting in that area (so far)....are:   Greenfield, WI, Milwaukee, WI, Crystal Falls, Michigan, Midland, MI, Valparaiso, IN, Albion, Indiana, Terre Haute, Indiana.... 

And this is just my beginning list.  Let me know if you don't see your city listed and you are into meeting!

05 November 2010

Begining again

So, now that I am done here at UWMC (University of Washington Medical Center) for the time being; I am set to re-start my journey to seeing everything I can, before I can't see.

My first leg on the train, will be from Seattle to Chicago: Leaving Seattle Monday afternoon; arriving in Chicago on Wednesday, November 10th at 5 minutes to 4pm. I would LOVE to find a "pot farm" friend in the area around Chicago to spend my first 4:20 only 25 minutes after I am due to arrive.

I am excited. I have never seen Chicago. I have a Great-grandfather who's remains are at the bottom of one of the great lakes, yet I have never seen these bodies of water.

I will be spending a few days in that area; I need to make contact with all my friends in the greater great lakes area, so that I can plan out my day trips.

Then I will be getting my tickets for the East coast, and down to Florida!!!

My Letter to Amtrak

Re: case #2383505
I need to add some information to the complaint that I filed with your customer relations office.
During this trip, I had identifying myself as a disabled passenger who required assistance with my luggage. Unfortunately, due to my situation, my luggage was more awkward than would have been useful, but I acknowledged it, and asked if I could get assistance.
I was informed on the phone when I made the reservation, as well as at the station in Van Nuys, CA, that would not be a problem.
In fact, the customer service at Van Nuys went over and above “the call of service” to assist me. Unfortunately, this caused me to have unreal expectations for the rest of my trip.
When I got onto the thruway bus from Van Nuys to Bakersfield, I heard the customer service lady tell the driver of the coach that I was disabled and required assistance.
When we arrived at Bakersfield, I had heard the driver say to one of the first people off of the bus (I waited until the last since I didn’t want to be in anyone’s way); to watch their step.
As I came off of the bus, I looked down, expecting there to be a stool, since it was a VERY large distance (about 18 inches to the ground), there was none. I looked towards the driver, thinking MAYBE he would put a hand towards me to help me out of the bus. He didn’t.
Unfortunately, my stability isn’t good, and I nearly fell from last step to the ground.
When the driver then took the luggage out of the luggage hold, he looked at me and said; "isn't this YOURS?!"
I answered yes, thinking that since not only had my reservation made a point of saying disabled requiring assistance, but a disabled fare, and the Van Nuys station not only had told him that I required assistance, but had given me MUCH assistance in front of him at that station; why wasn’t he asking me if I needed a “red cap” or other assistance, if he couldn’t help me. I was dumbfounded. 

Leaving my luggage in front of him, I searched the area attempting to catch the attention of a station attendant and informed him of my health situation. He was very kind and helpful

As I walked away, I heard the bus driver grumble and say something nasty under his breath about people faking their disabilities to get a break on their fares. I am VERY insulted by that attitude! I may appear fairly young and healthy on the outside, but this man’s actions and inactions actually compounded my disability by causing my pain level to rise.
I am not supposed to lift anything, but forced myself to lift even more than I usually attempt to. This caused my pain level to progress from about a 7.2 on a scale of 1-10 to an 8.8 by the time I had been on the train for about 2 hours. I was unable to do anything to ease my pain for the next several hours on the trains.  

I have enjoyed my travels on the train, when I was told that my disabilities have progressed to the point that I do require some assistance, and I may require more in the near future; I have been excited about being able to travel around the country on Amtrak. I was planning on purchasing a rail pass next month with part of my disability payments, but I no longer think that Amtrak is a good way for anyone with disabilities to travel.

Just during this particular trip, every time I had to transfer; I was met with awful attitudes by the people who I thought I was supposed to ask for help. When I was informed that, no matter WHAT my reservation said, I needed to ASK for help each and every time I had to change trains; I wondered what disabled people who are non-verbal do. How does Amtrak handle that? Are they required to put a sign on their bodies in large letters and in red print: “PLEASE HELP ME?!”

Please let me know what I am doing wrong. Is there any policy that Amtrak has to assist passengers with disabilities; or is it just the MAJOR inconvenience that most of your employees appear to believe it is?

I enjoy the train as well as the friendly attendants that I have enjoyed being around. This was a VERY isolated experience in my travels with your company, unfortunately, this experience has made me hesitant to think that I can effectively travel at all on Amtrak without having to beg someone to travel with me to assist me. This will make me seeing this country before I loose my eyesight completely, nearly impossible.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and look into your policies regarding disabled passengers.

04 November 2010

a VERY rough VERY early Itinerary

SOME of the cities that have been mapped out (since I am traveling by train, and other public transportation, the major cities have been outlined, but it isn't set in stone), if you want me to add YOUR area, just let me know!

Seattle -----> Chicago
Chicago -----> Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan (Great Lakes area)
Wisconsin  -----> Washington DC
Virginia  -----> Florida
Florida  -----> Georgia
Georgia  -----> Texas
Texas  -----> California
California  -----> Oregon Coast
Oregon coast  -----> Eastern Oregon
Eastern Oregon  -----> Eastern Washington
Utah (December, spending Christmas in American Fork)
Utah  ----->??????

03 November 2010

Planning... THE trip

So, I am anxious to get back on the road. Now that a wonderful friend (a stranger only yesterday morning) came to my rescue (yes, being out of "green meds" causes me a desperate amount of pain and misery from nausea and massive pain issues, and it is enough to change my attitude about life... temporarily, often leading to dispair, but I digress....)

I am soliciting ideas on areas to visit. No more heading to a city unannounced. That doesn't work. I think it scares people. No, I am planning and announcing, and going ENTIRELY by my gut.

So far (as of Wednesday, 3 November 2010) have these destinations pencilled in: Florida, Wisconsin, Montana, Vegas, Texas & Virginia ... and I am ACTIVELY seeking additions. I am probably going to have the first few weeks mapped out in the next 48 hours.

I am EXCITED!!!!! Time to get this party STARTED!!!

02 November 2010

Quick Reflections on Current Issue

Yes, I WILL post more later... but for now...

It really hasn’t been that long since I have written… it just seems as though between my computer, phone, God, and the universe entirely; not much has been allowed to be “saved”… and not much at all made it to “posting”… so here I will try again.

For the past couple of weeks, I have felt like I have been in a “holding pattern.”  When I returned to Washington for my neurology appointment at the UWMC, I wrongly assumed that it was just that appointment. I was wrong. It was the precursor to 2 weeks of tests… a few tests, over a two week period of time. None the less; I was NOT free to go.

This was an issue. Not being free to leave, but yet not having a place to live; I was once again: Homeless.  This time, not feeling the “by choice” part.

A friend and I went “half’s” on the fee for me to be able to stay at the “Hospitality House” by the UWMC, but even though I had MAJOR help, $55 per night plus CRAZY taxes, on disability income wasn’t an easy thing to make happen.

Enough of complaining about fiscal issues. That is something that has NEVER in my life been easy… and ALWAYS has been hard to cope with.

Now the tests have been run; all we have is more questions going into my follow-up appointment with the neurologists… and I, after being informed by the ophthalmologist that the perception that my sight has gotten much worse in the past six months, is in fact true. 

I am scared. I want my ex boyfriend... I want to hide and cry and scream and beg to know why... but for now... I will cry a bit, but continue to plan my journey. 

27 October 2010

Odd Reflections: Seattle

Sitting here in a room by the UW just getting situated ... the manager of the place I am staying tonight turned on the TV when she helped me into the room.

Now, I haven't really had tv for several years... granted, I have watched a bit in bars or at friends' houses... but.. I digress. 

Oh to my point: WHEN DID STEVE RAIBLE GET OLD???!!! Weird. I reemmber him playing football for Seattle.. Now he is an OLD newsman for KIRO 7... Lol...

Okay... I am stepping away from the computer. I have plenty to write and post later tonight. I want to get my bearings and grab something to eat... THEN I will write... a LOT!!!

17 October 2010

Random Reflection before my Birthday

Wow, it's only 2 days until my birthday, and I feel like such a kid! I will be 44! If life begins at 40, that would mean that I am only about 4! Yay! Fun time!

I always loved school. Preschool when I was 4. Middle school at 14, college for the second time at 24, working for the state at 34, school of life at 44!!!

Did I ever think this is where I would be right now? No. Not a chance.

At this moment, I am sitting my my boyfriend's son's (the son he found in June due to Facebook) couch with my laptop in front of me contemplating the trip I am taking tonight on a GORGEOUS train route to Los Angeles to spend my birthday with a friend I have not seen in 30 years, but who helped me through the last 7 months to a very large degree!

I am in the process of attempting to write a book proposal selling my "Pot Farm Friend Travels" as well as my life story. Something I never would have thought I would have the gall or courage to do.

All in all, I miss my boyfriend so much I cried my contacts out last night. But if he does love me, I know we will be together again. I just don't know in what part of the country, or world, that will be in!

Evaluating The Needs of the Pull

So, what I can see ahead of me for the near future is possibly a quick trip to Texas, to evaluate the situation down there, and see if it is viable. If so, possibly a trip back to WA to wrap up things there, then an extended trip to TX with a short trip to CA in November, and a trip to UT in December.

Then, on to FL and other point in January?

Well, that's is what I am feeling at this moment... who knows, it can and probably will, change significantly! Lol!

16 October 2010

Feeling a Pull

Today I felt a VERY strong pull to Texas. Corpus Cristy  (sp?!) to be exact... We will see. Lets just say I feel I will be there sooner than later.

Going with the Flow

So, yesterday I had the feeling that I should be looking to leave town today. That wasn't going to happen.

However, if I hadn't begun looking for fares and information today, I wouldn't have been able to make a plan for tomorrow evening.

So, the plan at this oing is to leave Chico, California on Sunday night by train. I should get into Van Nyes, California; suberb of LA, in the evening on Monday. The day before I turn 44.

I need to make some plans to meet up with someone where I can just dump my bags while I tour the area for a bit. However, I need to spend one of the weekdays, or more than one, visiting the library, and Salvation Army museum (genealogy) to search archived records. Also need to find the county seat. Many Brees in the area back in time....

On the Road Again

Woke up this morning, feeling rested and restless. Today and the next few will be very difficult.

My meds supply is getting low, and my pain level was 7.8 when I awoke. This is the part of the journey I was dreading, truth be told. Oh well, it is also a part I fully expected. I never expected to make any connections down here until I got my medical here. So, money I don't have for something I wouldn't budget any money for now anyway.

So, time to get on with getting on.... Now I get to see how strong I really am.

15 October 2010

Gramma Maggie 420

Since this journey has begun, it is time to create a space for just the journey.

This is it.

There are three seperate blogs that I will  be keeping. This is the one in which I will be documenting my journey to me, via the world.

This is a bit about who I am and what I am doing:

That is the question I am attempting to answer for myself during a journey around the country and world.
During this journey, I am hoping to visit anyone who is open to it. This can include my relatives, both those I know well and those whom I have yet to meet.
It also will include my “Pot Farm” friends from facebook.
I am also looking forward to visiting many of my friends who have moved to distant locals.

I know this much about myself:
I have the sense of humor of a 14 year old boy, and no “filter” between my brain and my mouth.
I am the mother of 3 children. I became a mom at the age of 17 after being told at age 15 that I wouldn’t be able to have children. I was married for 21 years to the father of my daughter, who is now 20. My sons are 26 and 24.
I am the grandma of 3 (identical twin girls who are 2 & a grandson who was born 10 days before my 40th birthday who is now 4).
I am a biker. I grabbed a hold of the throttle after riding bitch for over 30 years with anyone who would let me. I won’t bitch again if I have the opportunity to ride. However, if that isn’t an option, I would always rather bitch, than cage.
I am  a writer and a survivor.
I am retired disabled with a “hidden” disability.
I am also a medical cannabis advocate. My only source of pain control at this time is cannabis. Just for reference, my pain level upon waking ranges from about a 5.8 (on GREAT days) to 8.5 on bad days. It averages 7.4 daily.

My disability: I experience chronic nerve pain in my pubic area, chronic pelvic pain &  a bladder condition called “interstitial cystitis”. I was prescribed Fentanyl (100x stronger than morphine) for over 7 years. I was informed by my physicians that I would never be able to completely cease using that particular pain medication or one similar.
Then, on my own,  I stopped it cold turkey in August of 2009.

In December of 2009, I was confronted by my own body failing me.. I began to loose my upper left peripheral vision. Then, it worsened in Spring of 2010, when my doctors informed me that I couldn’t have the tests that were my only hope of discovering the root of this illness taking my vision and the sensation on my left side, due to the implant that I have to control the interstitial cystitis. 

When I learned that I was loosing my vision, I decided that I needed to see more than just Washington State, where I have spent most of my life, save for living 9 months in Las Vegas in 1992. I have never visited most of the states in my own country. I have visited very little of Canada (a few day visits to Vancouver and Victoria, BC) and I have been in Mexico once as a teen for a few hours.

Last spring, after 21 years of marriage, I left my husband with only the clothes on my back.
Both God as well as the universe, have been attempting to make me aware that material things shouldn’t matter to me.
In 2005, the house I raised my children in was foreclosed upon while I was awaiting Social Security’s decision on my disability. 
Shortly thereafter, my husband failed to make the payment on our storage unit, and we lost all of our material memories save for a few photos we had been able to keep with us.

When I left my husband, he decided that I only deserved the possessions that he chose.

He even took possession of the pet house rabbit that I had purchased while I was separated from him in 2005.
A few weeks after I left, my ex had the Harley Low Rider that I had paid the majority of, and been the only person to ride for many months, repossessed.

He has the car, the house, the pet, the remaining bike, and all the items that he decided that he didn’t want.

I now have nothing to tie me down. Homeless by choice.
My children are grown, my grandchildren have excellent parents and are in great hands.

All I do is feel pain in my hometown. I have pretty much never seen anything except my home state save for a few short trips to neighboring areas.

Before I loose my vision; I want to see everything I can. I want to learn about other people in other areas, I want to see this beautiful world. I want to hear music from all around the world, beginning with different regions of the US.

I am doing this on the smallest of budgets. As I said, I have nothing. I do have a warm sleeping bag, some clothing and personal objects I require to live, and continue to document this journey around the world, as well as the journey into myself.

If I was to be honest about what this is, it is a journey to me, through exploring the world around me. 
Perhaps “Herriot the Spy” grows up and looks at the world around here, not just the people. I will be writing my life story, as well as a book about the people that I meet through the game “Pot Farm” on FaceBook.

I will be logging my travels as I visit my “Pot Farm” friends around the country, then hopefully around the world.

I welcome any and all feedback. Even though I may go through days and perhaps weeks, without posting much; please be patient, I may not have internet access or limited access for extended periods of time. I will continue to write even if it may have to be transcribed when I am able to return.

I am very much a hippie and I am trusting God and my inner intuition to guide me. I am only following my “gut instincts” to lead me where I need to go.

The current tentative plans are as such:

  • My birthday (October 19th), will be spent in the LA, California area with friends I most literally haven’t seen in 30 years. I hope also to meet and visit any “Pot Farm” friends in the southern Cali area during that time frame.
  • After I leave the LA area, I am being pulled towards the Bay area, as much of my family history is based in that are.
  •             Possibly after the Bay area: Eastern Oregon, Spokane, WA…. Then?????
  • On Christmas:  I will be in Utah with my wonderful friend who I refer to as my wife.
  • January: I hope to be in Florida visiting friends who have relocated to that area, as well as new friends I have acquired through “Pot Farm.”

ALL of these plans are completely fluid, tentative and conditional upon only my gut feelings.
At any point, I may be forced to return in order to assist my family.

For now, I am following God, my heart, my instincts… or just my crazy brain.