Nothing that Zebulon Montgomery Pike ever tried to do was easy, and most of his luck was bad,” ~ Donald Jackson
Zebulon Montgomery Pike was born in New Jersey in 1779. Pike joined the U.S Army at the age of twenty. Pike soon became the protégé of James Wilkinson, the commanding general of the U.S Army. Wilkinson, one of American history’s worst scoundrels, was also secretly a double agent of Spain. Wilkinson gave Pike an assignment with orders to explore the Mississippi, purchase sites from American Indians for future military posts and bring back a few important chiefs back to St. Louis for talks.
Pikes second expedition included providing an escort for fifty one Osage Indians ransomed from the Potawatomi tribe and delegation of Pawnees, Osages and Otoa returning from a trip to see President Jefferson. Along the way he was to study and report on natural resources and subjects of scientific interest , as well as the Indian inhabitants in Southwestern Louisiana. He also became “lost and wandered” into Spanish controlled territory and would “unknowing” serve the needs of James Wilkinson and Aaron Burr.
During his expeditions Pike became fascinated by the blue peak in the Rocky mountains. He spent several days trying to reach the peak (which would later bear his name), but the lack of winter clothing and food eventually made him turn around. Pike along with his group became the first Europeans to complete high altitude ascent of a North American mountain.
Pike’s chance for personal glory came when war was declared on Great Britain in 1812. He was now a Brig. Gen. Pike and he led a successful attack on York, the capital of Upper Canada. Unfortunately Brig. Gen Pike did not have a long life, he died at age 34.
N Posted by Rain at 4/28/2006 11:38:00 AM
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Day of Silence
Today is a good day.
I was able to sleep in until ten in the morning.
That is always a good thing.
Went to my favorite hair stylist Wendy, she is an expert when it comes to cutting naturally curly hair.
Before I met Wendy, I always took the chance that I would come out of a salon with hair that looked like Bozo The Clown.
Not the color, silly the cut and shape.
Wendy cut two inches off of the length, and I feel so much better, lighter even.
Then I was off to get my nails done and pedicure to boot.
These are my simple pleasures, that I do for myself.
Sometimes I feel a little guilty…then it just goes away.
Because I am worth it.
I finished reading, No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark.
It is a good read, however I started to figured out the ending to soon.
That always disappoints me…the thrill was gone.
Now I am starting Dragon Tears by Dean Koontz.
I noticed that they put a sticker on the front of the book saying that it is a “Great Read Guaranteed”.
Good Grief…Is it really necessary?
I wonder how many people will take them up on the offer?
Rainman came home from school today telling me that he had a “awful day.”
So I made him a snack and sat down with him ready to listen to his woes.
Rainmans high school sets a day aside for what they call “Day Of Silence.”
A national youth movement protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people and their allies.
Participants wear green cards that explains that their deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by harassment, prejudice and discrimination.
And that they believe that ending the silence is the first step toward fighting these injustices.
Rainman explained that the people that were participating in “the circle of silence” were being harassed by observers.
They were being called names, laughed at and ridiculed.
One of his friends C, a young sweet girl was hit in the head by a backpack.
Rainman was very upset because he thinks she is going to get a black eye.
He also expressed dismay over the fact that “it is nobody’s business what or who they choose to be with.”
Then he told me that “if I were gay, which I am NOT, mom…I’d get pretty sick of all the heterosexuals cramming their lifestyle down my throat.”
Today’s event at his school will definitely open up new avenues of discussion in the Rain Household.
Anyone else out there dealing with this with their own children? How did you handle it?
N Posted by Rain at 4/26/2006 09:19:00 PM
Today I get a phone call from my son.
Punky tells me that he has met a young lady from North Dakota.
He tells me that she is 24 years old and that she is pretty.
My son makes a point to tell me that she lives a Vagabond Lifestyle by choice.
Punky tells me that after spending the day and most of the night together she invites him to stay with her.
So he follows her along the waters edge, under a bridge and over a hill, down into a river bed.
After walking a while Punky sees a glow in the distance, and hears House music playing really loud.
Around a huge bush there is a clearing and he sees a camp fire with many people standing around.
He suddenly realizes that this young girl lives in a Squatters Camp.
Punky said he was invited to stay, by all that were there.
Said they were all really nice.
Then Punky said that he was invited to leave, cause he thinks he may have been rude.
"I was really drunk and you know I have a mouth."
When asked, “what did you say?”
He said that he is “to good to sleep on the ground”.
That boy reminds me of my own father when he was drunk.
Violent and verbally abusive.
Apples really don’t fall far from the tree do they?
N Posted by Rain at 4/26/2006 12:21:00 AM
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Because I Am A Fixer
This weekend I had some minor repairs done in and around my home.
In my kitchen there is a huge cabinet with sliding drawers and one of those drawers would not stay on track and would end up resting on top of the lower drawer.
There were so many plastic containers stuffed into the drawer.
As time went on, my family would force the drawer closed without dealing with everything inside the drawer.
No longer able to slide in and out, it sat a top the lower drawer.
In order to get the repair done, I had to take everything out of the last three drawers and decide what would stay or what could be recycled.
The rest will be given to charity.
In a moment of clarity I realized that this is the very thing I need to do with my life.
I need to sort out issues in my life and decide “the who, the what and where” and decide if it is worth carrying them on my life’s path.
It is not going to be easy.
For years I have been carrying a sack that has become so heavy if I don’t do something about it, it is going to kill me.
I am a diabetic, I have really bad knees and other assorted minor aliments.
I need to start taking better care of myself.
I will be starting a water aerobics class on Monday.
I am so looking forward to it.
Yes, it is all about me!
Being an only child of alcoholic parents, I feel the desperate urge to ‘fix’ any and all problems.
My life can not be defined by other peoples needs and wants.
I need to let go of them and keep my faith that they will work out for the best in the end.
That does not mean that I won’t help those who are in need.
Need a shoulder to cry on or want someone that will truly listen?
I am right here.
It just means that I will do what I can and continue on my way.
I also realize that this will not happen overnight.
It is going to be labor intensive.
There will be good days and bad ones too.
Heck I might even fail. This should make some interesting posts in the future. ;0)
Do you have any thoughts or advice? Please share...
N Posted by Rain at 4/25/2006 10:18:00 AM
Monday, April 24, 2006
N Posted by Rain at 4/24/2006 03:49:00 PM
Sunday, April 23, 2006
The last three days have not been easy in the Rain household.
My father is a professional drug and alcohol counselor. He is a respected by all in his field and he has won many awards for volunteering his time and efforts in our community. For the first time ever, my father confronted Punky about his drinking and drug use. Now before you go and attack my father by saying that professionals know that they should not counsel their own families, it was NOT his intention to do so. He was just trying to understand just what I have been dealing with for the past nine years. Although, he has heard all the excuses and watched as thousands of people point fingers to justify their decisions to drink or use drugs, I know it was not easy for him to listen to his grandson try and explain everything away.
My dad loves his family unconditionally. He has always been there, no matter what the problem, for all of us. He gives everything he has, all of the time. Over my lifetime, I have seen him give the shirt off his back (literally) to help everyone who asks for help. Anyone who knows him personally is aware that he is the “go to man”…Need a piece of furniture, a job, clothes, medicine he will find it and get it to you.
I am not saying that he is perfect, he is far from it, he is a recovering alcoholic himself. I admit that we have had our fair share of issues, mostly stemming from my childhood and his drinking. Growing up I had to deal with a side of him that I can only describe as “The Angryscarymeanabusive Hulk Monster”. I admit that I was not the easiest teenager to deal with and I hurt him as well. In the past five years my dad and I have taken on these and other issues and dealt with them with honesty and love. There is a light at the end of that tunnel.
Dad will do anything to help his family, so much so that I have seen him set aside his morals and values in order to “help” Punky. The love Dad has for him has had him seeing Punky through rose colored glasses along with holding a huge bowl full of denial. Unfortunately my son has taken advantage of his personal cheerleader and I found out that he has been emotionally blackmailing him. Of course Punky denies all wrong doing, he says he just “tells his GP what is going on in his life!”
I am truly outraged with his behavior and I am willing to go to extremes to insure that it will not happen again. As I said before, I have caused my dad plenty of pain in my teenage years, and I will not allow my own children to add to it. If you know me personally and know what I do for a living, you know gosh danged (don't laugh, I am trying cuss less) well I am serious. I am relentless, and I will do everything in my power to see that you get what you deserve. Enough said.
Day Two~to be continued..
Today I am thankful for:
- The fact that I have a “clue”
- The fact that my dad has finally taken the “clue”
- Rainman, for all of his love and support
- My lover for accepting who I am, just as I am without conditions
- Twin#1 and Twin#2 for allowing me to love them for who they are and giving the love back in return.
- All the caterpillars living in and around my Lantana bushes.
- My Dad. What can I say…he deserves to be on the list twice.
- To “Clueless” because she is not totally clueless about everything and she reached out and lent a hand.
N Posted by Rain at 4/23/2006 12:23:00 AM