All posts by tamsue

I am a 42 year old writer. I love writing anything and everything. I spend my non-writing time traveling with my husband on our motorcycle across the country. I am a fan of classic rock and roll, folk, punk rock & country. I live on a ten acre patch of heaven in South Central Kansas close to the Oklahoma border. I love to garden, grow roses, oil paint, draw with oil pastels, bake and lecture my adult daughters ad nauseum. I am a passionate animal rights advocate to a point. We have 3 dogs, 3 cats and a group of chickens.

Just A Quick Teaser

My view of Highway 11 from Pawhuska to Tulsa behind two like minded individuals
My view of Highway 11 from Pawhuska to Tulsa behind two like minded individuals

Mike, Suki & I on 11 between Pawhuska & Tulsa.  I know we’ve been here before but this time we’re on our way to the THROWDOWN In T-TOWN!!  Although,  there was a chill in the air, the ride was SUPERB!  This off the beaten path two lane highway has it all. Hills, curves, majestic scenery and very llittle traffic.  For these bikers, it is a bikers’ dream.  I look forward to filling in the details for you when we return.   Remember to be safe & take that second look because the bikers’ lives you save might be ours. 🙂

I Love A Good Meme Just as Much as the Next Guy But . . .

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I have seen this on my Facebook newsfeed many times and each time it angers and offends me to no end.  This is a dispicable piece of seperatist propaganda designed to rally the middle class in arms against people on welfare.  Firstly, it offends me as a lover of dogs because I know the connotation is negative and they as a species are not deserving of such negative views.  Secondly, it pits brother against brother, sister against sister in a way that is simply cruel and unnecessary.  It makes several assumptions that are simply untrue.  I will attempt to address them  here.

  • The first assumption is that welfare is a pleasure that people aspire to be on.  No one and I do mean no one runs to the welfare office thinking “Yippee!! We get welfare!” 
  • The second is that welfare is a means of attaining wealth.  Wrong, again.  Welfare is not profitable, for anyone.
  • The third is that people on welfare keep popping out children without fathers to gain more benefits.  No woman on welfare says “Yeah! We got another welfare check coming, I’m pregnant. WOO!HOO!”
  • According to fair.org the average number of children in homes recieving AFDC benefits is 1.9 hardly the 6 or 8 Fox News, the woman who posted this meme on my feed and this meme would suggest. If you don’t believe me go here: http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/five-media-myths-about-welfare/
  • The fourth is that people on welfare are lazy.  The requirements to maintain your benefits are a job in and of itself these days.

What follows is the discussion I had on Facebook with the poster of this disgusting meme.

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3 hrs · Like

 

Tamara Nichols “if you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying you want a country based on Christian values. Because you don’t” John Fugelsang
This meme is exactly what’s wrong with our country. It is disgusting judgemental hate-mongering crap. If you honestly believe that it is a picnic to recieve assistance then I suggest you quit your jobs and give it a try, Nobody says “Yeah! I finally qualify for welfare!” Nobody. Just stop for a second and realize that you are comparing our brothers and sisters to dogs (which, in my opinion, isn’t a bad thing when you truly look at dogs as a species) but the connotation is a negative one intent on keeping people from focusing their attention on the ones that actually have their hands in our cookie jar.

2 hrs · Like

 

Roxanne Bayard There is a difference in lazy and in need. To have 6 kids, have never worked a day in your life when there is nothing wrong with you other than being lazy. But when you expect me to pay for your health care, your groceries, your rent, your baby food and formula all while you stand in front of me in the grocery store with the wad of $100 bills you pull out your bra and more jewelry on than I could ever I afford I have a big issue. I have no problem helping those in true need, I have a big problem with lazy.

2 hrs · Like · 4

 

Tamara Nichols How can you tell the difference? We all fall short. We are all unworthy. Remember WWJD? Who are we to judge? Perhaps, this hypothetical woman is a Catholic widow? Or simply a Christian that doesn’t believe in abortion? Even if she could find a job, it wouldn’t pay her child care bill. What if?

2 hrs · Like

 

Roxanne Bayard Come to New Orleans, I will show you the difference quickly

2 hrs · Like

 

Tamara Nichols Next time you’re @ Walmart ask your cashier how she feels about having a full time job and still being on welfare. I’m just saying that I’m dumb enough to know I don’t want to make a judgement call that isn’t mine to make. I find this meme personally offensive because I know it to be propaganda that’s meant to keep our country up in arms over an issue that has little to do with what is really happening in the USA. It is your right to think & feel what you want about our brothers & sisters but it is this kind of separatist propaganda that got a nation to turn it’s back on an entire population of what Hitler deemed as “undesirables”. We need to mindful of what we put in our hearts because it can lead to powerful results either way.

1 hr · Like

 

Roxanne Bayard Again the difference of in need and lazy. The walmart cashier trying to make a living I don’t mind helping, the lazy person sitting on the sofa all day baby making that is more than capable of working I have a problem supporting.

54 mins · Like · 1

 

Jack Russell Don’t. I. Wish.

39 mins · Like

 

Tamara Nichols Perhaps they are depressed & feel defeated by the attitudes toward them? We cannot pretend to know & understand what each of us goes through on a daily basis. Then again perhaps we should round up all “lazy” people & do away with them. Maybe if we subsidized abortion, stupid people couldn’t make babies & live a life of luxury on our dime. Truthfully, the majority of America’s budget goes to help corporations pay bonuses to keep their executives in the life to which their accustomed & to defense spending. Those drones don’t go out and kill without maintenance and programming. Just things to consider.

20 mins · Like

 

Tamara Nichols Let’s not forget how much our congressmen bring in annually in benefits & salary. There was a time in this nation their wage was tied to that of the average farmer from their district. I’d like to see us get back that to solve our budget issues. They’re hoping we won’t know about that from our history.

16 mins · Like

 

Roxanne Bayard Not getting into a political debate.

15 mins · Like

 

Tamara Nichols You posted it. It offended me & I was hoping to enlighten you as to what you are perpetuating. If after understanding that it is separatist propaganda meant to keep us fighting amongst each other rather than coming together & dealing with the real problem.

12 mins · Like

 

Tamara Nichols You continue to support it. You at least know what it is you are supporting.

11 mins · Like

C’mon people.  We’ve got to at least be internet savvy enough to make the connections here.  We have people in power that are spoonfeeding us propaganda about “the other guy”.  We have to be smart enough to see that it is a slippery slope we cannot afford to go down.  This is the exact type of behavior that Hitler engaged in to “remove undesirables” from his “perfect nation”.  I know much of us received public educations.  I did and I’m dyslexic.  I see the red flags and they are huge.  We really can’t continue to forward such cruelty onto our children and their children.  After the poor are eliminated, who’s next?  The other guy?  How many other guys between us and their agenda?  We need to wake up from our Game of Thrones, Kardashian, Voice slumber.  I welcome educated debate but will not tolerate the spread of seperatist propaganda.  Any takers?

For more information check out this article on Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting:

http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/five-media-myths-about-welfare/

I hope you wil find it as enlightening as I did.

 

 

 

 

5 NEW POEMS ADDED TO POETIC LICENSE

COME CHECK OUT THESE NEW POEMS ON
POETIC LICENSE

Afterthought

https://sharingmidlifecrisis.wordpress.com/poetic-license-1/afterthought/

I’m Tired

https://sharingmidlifecrisis.wordpress.com/poetic-license-1/im-tired/

Love Complex

https://sharingmidlifecrisis.wordpress.com/poetic-license-1/love-complex/

Praise

https://sharingmidlifecrisis.wordpress.com/poetic-license-1/praise/

Revisionist

https://sharingmidlifecrisis.wordpress.com/poetic-license-1/revisionist/

 

bluebirds

 

 

Paying Homage To My Mother

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Marsha Caron, my mother at age 21

Today I have been thinking about my mother and the legacy she left me. I spent a lot of time being angry at her for things I expected from her that she wasn’t capable of providing me. I was angry that she died from an overdose of prescription pills. Everyone was told by my grandfather, her dad, and my sister that she choked on vomit in her sleep. She used medication to attempt to control her emotional pain, to quiet the regret that ate away at her soul. It was that anger I held against her that prevented me from giving her the credit she deserved.

I was her oldest child and her darkest secret from what I’ve surmised and secretly hoped all these years. All that aside, she deserves the credit for the woman and mother I came to be and am. After all, we are all flawed.

It is because of her that I love to write. She introduced me to VC Andrews novels, Bob Dylan, Styx, Barry Manilow, Saturday Night Live, the comedy of George Carlin and too many other things to mention. She was the one when her husband left us said f— it and took us to Disneyland before we had to make the long car ride back to Kansas. She taught me how to be prolific at cussing like a sailor. As a matter of fact, it was her mastery of the seven dirty words you can’t say on TV that got me expelled from Mothers‘ Day out.

That day started like any other of my childhood. She dropped me off at the Methodist Church in Olathe, KS. I was the class clown. The old ladies spent a lot of time putting me in a chair in the corner or redirecting me from activities such as putting plastic beans up my nose and spewing them out at the kids who were enjoying my performance. This day we were to learn the real names of our parents. The teacher started at the opposite side of the table from me asking what does your mom call your dad. I remember feeling terribly confused and struggling to figure what they wanted to hear. I froze when it came my turn to respond. I honestly didn’t understand what it was they wanted me to say. Other kids had said things like Phil, Tom, Brad and Bruce. I was fumbling through my muddled mind for something to say that will appease the gray haired lady before me. She knelt down to my level in an attempt to help me muster up what my father’s name was. “Come on, Tammy. You can do this. You know what your mommy calls your daddy.” she cooed at me ever so gently. “What does your mommy call your daddy?” her voice was so sickening sweet. I fumbled through my tiny brain looking through all my memories old and recent to come up with an answer. Then it hit me like a bolt of lightning. A smile began to beam from my face. I had it.

“Asshole. She calls him asshole.” the room erupted in laughter and three of the helpers/teachers left the room in giggles. One of them immediately called my mother. That was one of many times my mother would utter the phrase “God damn it, Tammy! Don’t fucking cuss!” It wasn’t until my junior high school years that I would see the hilarious irony in that admonishment.

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My mother Marsha and I in 1973.

All humor aside, my mother was complex and lived a life full of little inconsistencies. Hers was a difficult existence. Ostracized in her youth, for being an intelligent young woman. When I was young I idolized her beauty. I craved her attention. I grew to respect her for the struggles she faced head on and survived. I mourned her loss long before she actually passed away.

She made me who I am. The uber intelligent writer, the outgoing, flirty party personality, the attention whore, the comedienne, the master of curse words, the fighter of unwinable wars and the home schooling, girl scouting, super mom. The type of mothering she gave me determined exactly the kind of mother I would be to my own children. Despite the fact that a lot of my parenting is in spite of how she parented me, it still is due to the way she parented me. I never gave her credit for that before she left and for that I am sorry. When I left work after I got the call she died John Denver’s song “I’m Sorry” came on the radio and I felt a peace come over me as I heard the words to the song. I knew she never intended to be the kind of mother she ended up being. Just like all of us, she had her moments of awesomeness and her low times. In the end and through it all she was my mother. She brought me into this world and deserves credit for who I am and how I view the world.

Mom, I’m sorry I have judged you so harshly. I’m sorry I expected things from you that you didn’t have the ability to give me. I’m sorry I couldn’t see you through your addiction. I’m sorry that I didn’t give you the credit you deserved. I don’t think there are enough words in the universe to express my gratitude for the life she gave to me. I, like many others, have recognized the important things too late to do any good. I’m sure that she knows, now. It just isn’t the same as being able to rectify these feelings while she was here. I made a rose garden as a memorial to the life and spirit of my mother. It was flawed but it was mine and comforts me in her absence. Happy Mothers Day.

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The rose garden I planted in honor of her memory.

 

Nostalgic Detour

Michael & Tamara  Circa 1990
Michael & Tamara
Circa 1990
A Much Younger version of Mike and Tam
A Much Younger version of Mike and Tam

 

 

 

 

May 6, 1990 a very handsome young man took me to a place I had never been before to teach me to do something I had never done

before. He was patient with me. His words were kind and encouraging. I didn’t have to explain to him that some of his instructions confused me because my dyslexia got in the way of me understanding left from right. My baited hook spent more time on the beach and in the trees than in the water. Still, he was sweetly leading me to enjoy this simple little park. OJ Watson is the name of the park he taught me to fish.

I was already beginning to look forward to the time we spent together. I had conned him into taking me home from work just a month before. I felt terrible when he ruined his transmission because I realized that I left my purse in the Taco Bell we went to for our first date. He was an expert at making me laugh, and feel at ease. Through his eyes I could see I had value.

It dawned on me about a week ago while we were riding down the road that it would be 24 years since that momentous day at OJ Watson park. We were walking up the bank back to his silver and maroon El Camino. He stopped by a tree and looked down towards me with a shy, awkward smile. As I got closer, he pulled me to him. Holding my hand, he asked me if I could be his girlfriend and date only him, no one else.

Twenty-four years later it is still only him and no one else. Honestly, this moment in our collective history has usually been an afterthought. We generally don’t pay it any mind except to say “Oh, yeah. It was that day.” This year, this time around I suggested it would be fun to go visit where it all began.

 

The tree Mike asked me by and the view of the pond from it
The tree Mike asked me to be his girlfriend and a view of the pond I learned to fish at.

Mike & I on our way to OJWP

OJ Watson Park Covered train bridge
Train tracks with a covered bridge.

 

 

 

 

The weather was perfect. It was almost identical to the way it had been when we were there as kids. The part of the park where he asked me to go steady was fairly deserted. We were disappointed to discover that part of the area was turned into a railroad track with a bright red covered bridge with white outlines (like the barn from a Fisher Price farm play set). The tree where he asked me was still there. I could still see my hook getting flung on the ground behind us as I attempted to learn how to cast a line.

After we walked around for a while we made our way to a picnic table in the shade close to the pond. We sat down and enjoyed some Crazy bread we got at Little Caesar’s Pizza. There was a cute little male mallard duck swimming in the water just in front of us. I separated a small chunk of bread from my stick of crazy bread and tossed it to our new guest.

Our dinner guest
Our dinner guest

Standing in the spot where it all began

Standing in the spot where it all began

 

 

The park entrance on Mclean Blvd. in Wichita, KS
The park entrance on Mclean Blvd. in Wichita, KS

 

We reveled in the years that had passed between us. We marveled at how little the park we had that beautiful moment between us had changed. We were amazed at how we had grown and changed. He had taught me how to fish at this park. He taught me that he was a good guy willing to be good to me. He showed me I was not a piece of meat but a human with thoughts and feelings.  It wasn’t until I chose to let him in to be trusted that I was able to open up to who I really was.

I am amazed at the rarity of our situation. I am in awe of how as we grow old we continue to grow closer despite all the drama and crap that life has thrown at us. I am blessed with his presence on a daily basis. He is my champion in all ways. It still makes me smile when I see that sweet, shy boy standing in front of me trying to ask me to make him the only one in my life. I am grateful that he made that simple request because it has led to a life filled with magic and wonder. Thank you OJ Watson park for such a wonderful memory.

 

OJWP Sunset
Beautiful end to a beautiful day