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Ramblings

June 1, 2017

I walked out on the deck this morning only to realize that it was too cool to sit on the pollen covered chair and enjoy my morning coffee.  A Northern California morning!  That chill in the air that will give way to a glorious mid day.

I was on the deck last night, wondering why the crows I never hear,  were  kicking up such a fuss.  Their calls went on and on until I went out to see what was going on.  There like a looming Macy’s Parade balloon was a huge black cloud, covering half the sky and coming right toward us.  I came in and unplugged the television from the cable connection and the electrical outlet.  All it takes is one experience with a storm and the after effects to keep me vigilant.  The stormed moved out quickly, the lightening close but not quite over head.

But that is only half the story.  Decades ago while dispatching,  I took a call from someone I had known years before.  Like some very bright people, she was also quite eccentric and it appeared from the phone call to be getting more so.  She said the deer in her yard were talking to her, telling her there were hunters on her property.  So here I am these many many years later thinking back on that call and realizing she may have had a legitimate point.  Although deer talk is still a mystery to me.

Animals are much smarter than we omnivores want to admit.  Or is it because we want to  think we are the supreme race?  Like the incredible ability of the Monarch butterflies, to go from their summer home, to their reproducing place,  then on to the winter place, with entirely new leaderless crew,  most all life has a pattern of living and surviving that is to be admired.

My uncle lived on an island in Maine, not far from the mainland.  Each fall, at the start of hunting season,  the deer would swim to his and other adjoining islands until it was safe to return.

For those who have read my travel blogs, on our Dakotas trip, my traveling companion   and I spent an afternoon watching trout play in a stream.  Two or three trout took turns, swimming up stream to stay for a bit under the over hang of a rock, before swimming into the rush of water that took it down stream.  This went on for the better part of two hours while we watched them and sipped vodka tonics.

I look back at the smidgen of my animal experiences and realize “talking deer” don’t need to be verbal at all.  Much wisdom comes with age and experience if you are paying attention.

In the beginning….

Source: In the beginning….

Working Together to Eliminate Domestic Violence

ramblinggirlblog

When considering how I think domestic violence can best be lessened I look to the law.  I was a dispatcher for a police  department  in Connecticut, both pre and post domestic violence legislation.  DV law has made a significant impact in decreasing intimate partner violence, educating us all on what is acceptable  behavior in a relationship.  Along those lines teaching our sons and daughters how to treat others, starts in the home and school, on the playground, ball field, and  any place people gather.  Mental health plays a more significant role than I would have thought.  Verbal abuse, physical abuse and a sort of water torture of threatening actions  goes on in too many homes.  Alcohol and drug abuse are major factors as well.

Over the past twenty-two months I have assisted both  women and men victims of domestic violence,   file for Restraining Orders.  I don’t work with the victims whose incident…

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Working Together to Eliminate Domestic Violence

When considering how I think domestic violence can best be lessened I look to the law.  I was a dispatcher for a police  department  in Connecticut, both pre and post domestic violence legislation.  DV law has made a significant impact in decreasing intimate partner violence, educating us all on what is acceptable  behavior in a relationship.  Along those lines teaching our sons and daughters how to treat others, starts in the home and school, on the playground, ball field, and  any place people gather.  Mental health plays a more significant role than I would have thought.  Verbal abuse, physical abuse and a sort of water torture of threatening actions  goes on in too many homes.  Alcohol and drug abuse are major factors as well.

Over the past twenty-two months I have assisted both  women and men victims of domestic violence,   file for Restraining Orders.  I don’t work with the victims whose incident ended in an arrest, those are handled by the Advocates working for the DA’s office.  I work with walk-ins, in one of Massachusetts’ busiest courts.  The law pertaining to obtaining an RO is fairly  clear and when people fall out of those parameters, Harassment Orders can be an option. However, HOs are a minefield of problems and while created to address rape by a superior officer or in a work place, harassment complaints have become the dumping ground for everything else, from homophobic neighbors,  to stalking, threatening with three incidents of the situation.  Because of their complexity, HOs often end up as a two party hearing before being granted.

As an advocate and court volunteer my opinion, is mine alone, but comes from over four decades of observation, consideration, and occasional conversation with those who work in the field.  I would like to see both laws changed and in the following ways.

Restraining Orders   for all the good  they do are not weapon proof, nor do they cover people who co-habitate, but are not in an intimate relationship; are dating, related by blood or marriage, or have a child(ren) in common.   The occasions are rare, but do exist where someone needs a RO, but does not fall under these relationships.

Harassment Orders   need to be separated into two different laws.  One that addresses neighbor disputes and one that harkens back to the original intent of sexual assault.    Stalking in and of itself is a very creepy, disturbing act. and three incidents are two too many.

For those who are the defendants in these cases, men or women, more sentencing needs to be toward Batterer’s Intervention.  A forty week program, where the participants need to pay to attend, and where probation depends on their participation and attendance.  Anger management isn’t the same.

This is one prong of help for victims,  a small step toward  Eliminating Domestic Violence, but this is  for one of fifty states. One of fifty states in a country that respects woman more than too large a portion of the rest of the world.

Education, laws that protect, batterer’s programs, counseling, and for the few who need them, safe, comfortable shelters.

Susan A. James Clark

Director    Intimate Partner Violence Project, Inc.

In the beginning….

I wish I had the time to edit this, but I am in the process of getting a grant requests out. Carol Woessner this is for you…….our first? bear “sighting?”

ramblinggirlblog

In the beginning isn’t a Biblical blog, merely the beginning of my return to writing and my travels.    There are days when words spilleth over and others when I wonder why anyone reads blogs at all.  The intent of  Ramblinggirl is mainly to chronicle travels, whether they be nearby trips to the beach, or my travels through this wonderful country of ours.  Generally the  big trips are with my long time friend and former Connecticut neighbor, Carol.

We don’t recall the actual beginning of our annual trips, except for a few to Rockport, Massachusetts where there is a family home.  The year after those trips  Carol and I  went to Maine.  Then there was a trip to visit Carol in California.  The next year we went to Montana and this is where the telling begins.

We met in Spokan, Washington at the airport.  Since Carol and I come from…

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In the beginning….

In the beginning…..

From Oklahoma City, OK to Albequerque, NM

Once I arrived in Oklahoma City to catch a Delta flight to Albequerque, my computer time ended.  For in Albequerque I met up with my friend Carol .  For those of you new to my blog Carol and I used to be neighbors in Connecticut and have been friends since we met  Halloween night, 1968.  We have been traveling the US together since she moved to California many decades ago.  

I turned in the car and headed for the airport.  It was a beautiful day and I had a couple of hours to spend before I needed to get to the gate.  Arriving early to airports is a compulsion of mine. Since having my knees replaced it can take a while to get through security.  

The day was beautiful and the area between the rental car return and the entrance to the Will Rogers Airport, was planted with lovely trees, shrubs and flowers.   I sat for over an hour watching people coming and going.   Finally it was time to leave the pleasant outside for  the “waiting room” aspect of the airport.    I cleared security and headed toward the gate.  

From Oklahoma City I flew to Salt Lake City, Utah and changed terminals and planes to continue on to Albequerque.  I arrived in Albequerque at 10:30 PM and called the hotel shuttle driver.   Leg 2 was about to begin.  New Mexico,  State 50…..or maybe 49.  That will be addressed in the next posting.