I have a Blog!

Now what do I do?
Of course I have thoughts and ideas and I could spend hours tapping them out for you to read. But I think I’ll start by giving you a link to my latest book. ‘Wally and Petey, Sock Monkey Brothers’.(Amazon)
As the Sock Monkey Fairy, who makes her debut to the big screen in the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival on October 24, 2013, I felt it was just natural to write a book starring my two favorite sock monkeys.
I made the monkeys, wally and Petey from the authentic red-heel socks. I mean, that is what the Sock Monkey Fairy does best. Right?
I also photographed and wrote the story. I had my husband proof it for me since he’s better at the written word.
You can get your paperback from Amazon:
4IMG_adj8756 - Copy

http://www.amazon.com/Wally-Petey-Sock-Monkey-Brothers/product-reviews/1492208167/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1

If you would like a copy for your e-reader, please visit The Author’s Club. (The PDF copy turned out best.) Here is the link:
http://the-authors-club.com/index.php/hikashop-menu-for-categories-listing/product/278-wally-and-petey-sock-monkey-brothersThanks for stopping by!
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(Jennifer Wheatley-Wolf and Jean LaFootnahalf)

A Nation Divided

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Global Street Art- Statue of Liberty by NOK Crew

The majority of the people in this country did not vote for the unqualified man who will take office in January.

Think about that.

In any other election we scrawl a name on a small piece of paper indicating who we want to win. The names are counted and the one who has the most votes is the winner.

Except, this doesn’t happen for the most important election in this country.

Like the majority of people in this country, I did not vote for the malevolent circus clown who was cheered and admired through this entire election process by people who envy him, who want to be just like him.

His legion do not care that he is callous, crude, mean, vindictive, childish, selfish, prejudiced and unqualified.

They turned a blind eye to his mocking.
They turned a blind eye to his thousands of lies.
They turned a blind eye when he admitted he “Can’t stop himself” and feels compelled to kiss and grope women who he feels are worthy of him.
They turned a blind eye to him when he said he will round up all the Muslims in this country and ship them out.
They turned a blind eye to him when he said all Mexicans are rapists and murderers.
They turned a blind eye to his being endorsed by the KKK.

I could go on and on, but we are all aware of just how disgusting this man has proven himself to be.

His followers do not care.

They voted for him saying they want change for this country and that is good. Finding ways to improve the quality of life for everyone who suffers financially is good.
Coming up with ways to make sure everyone has a job that pays the bills is good.
Making sure everyone has health insurance and don’t have to worry how to pay the bills when they get sick is good.

We all want these things.

But, achieving these goals at the cost of our humanity, humility, honor, security and personal freedom is not good. It is frightening and dangerous.
This is why so many people have been demonstrating the election results.
His supporters, those who turned a blind eye to all the hate and ugliness he handed out are now telling us, those who oppose him,  to:
‘get over it’, ‘quit whining’, ‘you lost, grow up’ etc.

It is terribly sad and horrific that some of the protesters have relied on violence and destruction to make their feelings known. But, they have been few.
Most demonstrators are stunned, frightened and angry but they are not violent.

I recently read a friends Facebook feed that said all of Clinton supporters are the same.
She made her comment in response to the protesters who have, sadly, turned to violence to express their grief and concerns.
I wanted so badly to respond to this comment, but I couldn’t.
She did, however spur me to write this post.
I know that she would not understand that her comment is EXACTLY the reason Hillary supporters are so fearful.

He has brought out the worst in so many people.

Lies are OK.
Disrespect is OK.
Hypocrisy is OK.
Bullying is OK.
Bigotry is OK.
Hate for those not just like you is OK.
Distrust of those with different colored skin is OK.
Belittling women and special needs people is OK.
Threatening retaliation on all who oppose you or who are not in favor of you is OK.
Being a sexual predator is OK.

This woman’s disrespectful comment, her hatred of millions of people, comes as an off-hand comment intended to sum up the majority of the voters in this country.

This is why there are demonstrations.

Don’t think for a minute that if the tables were turned, this same woman,
and millions who have allowed hate and distrust to take hold of their hearts, would not have taken to the streets in the same fashion.

I am disappointed Clinton didn’t win. Many of us were excited at the possibility of electing the first woman president. A woman who’s experience made her the most qualified candidate in history.

While I was waiting in line to vote at the firehouse I was chatting with a woman; small talk really. We discussed how we thought coffee and donuts would have been a nice idea, how beautiful the weather was and the length of the lines.
As we got closer to the front of the line, like me, she found the anticipation of voting for a woman for the first time in US history to be overwhelming. Both of us were crying. It was empowering. There was a bond so strong that maybe only other women who supported Clinton could understand.

I was and will always be proud to say I got to vote for a woman for president.

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I voted for a woman to be president in 2016

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. If our antiquated system of the electoral college were abolished years ago when it’s usefulness ran out, she would be our next president. But, she lost this election.

(To learn more about this system of government that was established in the days of slavery please read this article. The Troubling Reason the Electoral College Exists

I could have come around to accepting the 3rd party candidate if he had won.
It would not have been my favorite result, but I could have lived with that. I believe many others could have accepted that result in favor of the one we are presented with.

What his followers don’t understand is the demonstrations are not about who lost the electoral votes so much as it is about who won, who will be sworn in in January.

They chose to vote for him and his horrible plans do not concern them. They do not care.

They do not care how his plans to round up Muslims and deport them, abolish Roe vs wade, defund Planned Parenthood, reverse the gay marriage law, and build a wall of alienation threatens millions of people.

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“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”
―Abraham Lincoln

These millions of people, who have felt safe in their country, our country, are now facing a genuine threat.

Millions feel threatened by the legion who, by voting for him, aligned themselves with him and his ideas. Of course, not all of his supporters are hate filled, vengeful people. But a lot of them are. And, a lot of them have  lashed out, followed his lead. They now believe it is OK to be everything he is, no matter how horrific.

The greatest  threat though comes at the hands of the next leader of this free country.
Millions are terrified their rights and personal freedoms will end when he is sworn into office. This is not a vague threat they feel. It is very real. He has made it clear throughout his campaign that he will take aim at abolishing everything that does not suit him.

A lot does not suit him.

His supporters do not care or understand that victims of sexual assault and rape are traumatized by having a sexual predator in control of this country.
This is the equivalent of being trapped in an abusive relationship on a scale that is beyond our comprehension.
Many women have reached out to me devastated by this. Many are experiencing PTSD symptoms.
Symptoms they thought they had under control during their journey from victim to empowered survivor. They are feeling powerless again.
Having a sexual predator in the Oval Office is a very real and frightening backwards slide for all survivors.

As a rape survivor, I choose not to say his name now or ever if I can prevent from doing so.
I will have to listen to his voice on the news over the next 4 years and this disgusts me. Everything about this man disgusts me.
It’s a voice that makes me nauseous. His words fill me with shock. I, like the majority of people in this country truly hoped
we  would never have to hear his name or see his face again.
That will not happen any time soon.

The man who lost the election will be sworn into office.

However, I will never respect a sexual predator who tells me how he is going to make my life and America great again. Never.

He is a reminder of what is so wrong with so many of the very people who cheer and praise him.

They just do not care.

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News photos of demonstrators. Sorry, I do not have the names of the photographers

Exposing America

A gentleman named Bill Howell eloquently wrote this letter.
Dear Mr. Trump,
It’s taken me a while to realize this and to admit it, but I’m grateful to you.
For the past few months I’ve spent a good deal of time lamenting your campaign and the poison it has so effortlessly generated.
I’ve watched our country imploding, our public discourse become polluted, our political climate grows ever more corrosive, and wrongly assumed you were to blame.
It’s only lately I’ve come to understand that you haven’t manufactured our current national ugliness—you’ve simply revealed it.
By saying the irresponsible, mean-spirited, ignorant things you say so freely and so frequently, you’ve given other like-minded people license to do the same.
You’ve opened up the floodgates for our corporate sewage to flow fully. People no longer conceal their vile mess, they now revel in it, they broadcast it and retweet it.
You’ve made bigotry and racism socially acceptable again and that has been a kind of twisted gift because
it’s allowed me to really see people; not as they pretend to be on the surface—but in the very depths of their wounded, weaponized hearts.
Over and over as your campaign has persisted, your supporters would tell me that they like you because you “speak your mind”.
It wasn’t until recently that I’ve realized that you speak their minds. You’ve given credence to their prejudices and made those prejudices go mainstream.
Thanks to the terrible ground you’ve broken, politicians, pastors, friends, and strangers, both in person and on social media
now regularly out themselves as hateful, intolerant, and malicious—and they remind me just how close they are to me, just how deep the sickness in us runs,
and just how far we have to go together.
You’ve emboldened people to be open about things they used to conceal for the sake of decorum, and though it turns my stomach,
I know that this is the only way we can move forward; to have that cancerous stuff exposed fully so that it can be dealt with.
Our progress as a nation is predicated on authentic dialogue, no matter how brutal and disheartening that dialogue is.
In other words, you’ve let us know what we’re really dealing with here and while it’s been rightly disturbing, it’s also been revelatory.
That’s the thing about that kind of harsh light: you’re forced to see everything. Beauty and monstrosity equally illuminated.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think you’re the least qualified, least knowledgeable Presidential candidate we may ever have had participate this far into the process,
and if you somehow were elected I’d fear gravely for the world my children would inherit—should it survive your Presidency at all.

I believe you’re reckless, bitter, and completely reprehensible; the very worst kind of bully.

But whether you win or lose, you’ve already allowed me the blessing of Truth; about me, about you, about other candidates, about our nation.
And in the process you’ve also shown me that I am not alone in resisting you and this ugly thing you’ve revealed about us.
You’ve generated an equally loud, equally passionate response to it and this is where I find my hope these days.

I find it in those for whom equality isn’t just a cheap buzzword, it’s the most precious of hills to die on.
I find it in those people who refuse to be silent in the face of our impending shared regression.
I find it in those willing to be bolder in defending the inherent value of all people.
I find it in the growing army of those who will not tolerate hatred as a core American value.
I find it in those who reject violence as our default response to dissension.
I find it in the ever rising voice of people who will not let malice and bitterness represent them in the world.
Today I find my hope in those who, like me, will not be complicit in allowing bigotry and intolerance to become a source of national pride, because we’ve seen where that leads.

Yes, Mr Trump, you’ve unearthed our hidden sickness and you’ve allowed it to go viral.
You brought every awful thing about us out into the open.
You will NEVER Get My Vote!

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“For Crying Out Loud”

Anyone who knew my father for any length of time learned he was a talented and quiet man; a leader. He inspired those who knew him to be creative, be the best they could be. Your efforts were not acceptable if he thought them ‘Half-Assed”.

Dads Army Portrait

Dads Army Portrait

A couple things I have done in my lifetime made him proud. I got sober and started concentrating on my talents as an artist. He bought a few of my paintings because he liked them, not just because I painted them.
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sm-palm-shadows-97© ArtGiftsEtc.com

He inspired my latest art quilt, Geisha in The Snow
He gave me a print-out of an image he found on line and liked. I remember dad asking me if I thought I ‘could do anything with this’ as he handed the piece of paper to me. Although the quilt is not completely finished, I was able to show it to dad when he was back east in July. It knocked his socks off!
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Geisha in the snow (quilt)

Geisha in The Snow-Step-By-Step

After I wrote my book-One Voice Raised: A Triumph Over Rape, he called to tell me he thought it was very well written and wished it could be read by all rape survivors. I know he passed his copy on to so many friends it was a dog-eared mess by the time he got it back. Or, maybe he never got it back? I don’t remember. It would be pretty awesome if my book were still being passed along with my dad’s recommendations.

One Voice Raised (Amazon)

Some of my earliest memories from childhood are of me standing by dads drawing table watching him work on his architectural drawings. I found the process fascinating. I imagine it must have been difficult for him to concentrate with me peering over his left shoulder while he drew, but dad never seemed to mind. I guess it must have been during these times with dad that I decided I wanted to learn to draw.

Pastel 1980

Pastel 1980

I spoke with dad about a week before he died. He told me he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and his doctor thought it had spread to his hip. I had the feeling he didn’t want to hang up from the call and that it would be the last time I would talk with him. I tried to shake the feeling, but it wouldn’t go away. I think he knew he was sicker than he let on.

He told me he wished he could go to Venice again. One of my sisters and a few friends and I were heading to Italy on October 10th. I promised we would send photos and told him I hoped he would get the chance to return.
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On the 13th of October dad had what was supposed to be the first in a course of chemotherapy treatments. After the treatment he said he felt better-no pain in his stomach from a lingering bout of diverticulitis. It was the best he had felt in weeks and he said he thought he was on the mend…happy to feel like his old self again.
The next day dad enjoyed a big lunch and was in good spirits. He went to lay down for a nap and didn’t wake up.
Around 11pm the doorbell to our apartment in Venice rang. My sister unlocked the door and no one was there. It was just about the same time dad laid down for his nap in California. I guess dad made it back to Venice after all.
It would be just like him to ring the bell and hide.

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My father was an architect who played a part in the construction of many malls and buildings around the country and in Europe. Although these building will be around for years, I think his legacy will live on in his 5 children, grandkids, great grand kids and his friends. He taught us to try our hardest at what ever we pursued. By striving to be the best, you will never be disappointed in what you accomplish knowing you have given it your all.
And, he taught us to laugh. He loved to make us laugh.

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Dads heart was to be out on the water and as often as he could he would be on his boat sailing.
Lately I have been hearing a Tom Waits song in my head:

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Shiver Me Timbers

I’m leavin’ my fam’ly
And leavin’ my friends
My body’s at home
But my heart’s in the wind
Where the clouds are like headlines
On a new front page sky
My tears are salt water
And the moon’s full and high

And I know Martin Eden’s
Gonna be proud of me
And many before me
Who’ve been called by the sea
To be up in the crow’s nest
And singin’ my say
Shiver me Timbers
Cause I’m a-sailin’ away
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The fog’s liftin’
And the sand’s shiftin’
And I’m driftin’ on out
And Ol’ Captain Ahab
He ain’t got nothin’ on me.
So come on and swallow me, don’t follow me
I’m trav’lin’ alone
Blue water’s my daughter
‘N I’m gonna skip like a stone

Everyone who met my father learned a lot about themselves by listening to the advice and teachings from a man whose harshest words were
“For crying out loud.”
And when he was really mad, he added,
“You Jerk!”
Love you dad…gentle breezes…till we meet again.

Dads 80th Surprise Birthday Party

Dads 80th Surprise Birthday Party

The Gift Of Robin Willams

    In my lifetime I have witnessed the passing of many public figures but none so sad and frightening as the recent suicide of Robin Williams.

     

     Sad because we all lost a gem. He made us laugh and cry wanting the performance or movie we were watching to never end. I know I always anticipated his next roll and tried to catch every TV appearance. I envied his carefree and spontaneous manner. I admired his way of making us laugh at ourselves.

     Robin’s death is frightening because it reminds me that we are all vulnerable. Fame and fortune are not enough to isolate us from mental health problems like depression and substance abuse. They may, in fact, make things worse for some. Each of us has burdens but do we have to suffer alone? 

    He was loved by millions and he was alone.  I cannot imagine how horrible that isolation must have been for him. Was there no one he could reach out too? Did he feel he had tried everything and there was no help left?  His despair led him to take his own life to end his pain and all of us are desperate to make sense of it all.

    I read something on Facebook this morning that prompted me to write this entry. It references a Tweet about a movie Robin did the voice-over for. I didn’t see the movie>>>

 

“Suicide contagion and social media: The dangers of sharing ‘Genie, you’re free’

More than 270,000 people have shared the tweet, which means that, per the analytics site Topsy, as many as 69 million people have seen it.

The problem? It violates well-established public health standards for how we talk about suicide.If it doesn’t cross the line, it comes very, very close to it,” said Christine Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “Suicide should never be presented as an option. That’s a formula for potential contagion.” <<<

      I agree that suicide should not be an option. But, sadly we are reminded that too often it is. Maybe the “standards for talking about suicide” should be revisited.

    As a reformed alcoholic with 24 years sober, I know how difficult the discussion of addiction is. I know too the shame and humiliation felt by those who suffer. Choosing not to drink is a daily decision. But facing and slaying the demons that guided me to the path of drinking in the first place is what keeps me balanced and prevents me from slipping off of the very thin tightrope. Sobriety really is ‘One Day at a Time’ 

     Perhaps the most generous gift Robin Williams has given us is the opportunity for the discussion, recognition and treatment of mental illness, depression and addiction without social recriminations. Creating an environment where those who suffer begin to speak openly and freely can help us recognize red flags and find a way to help. Open discussion may offer hope to some and lead to fewer suicides.

     When a man who was loved by millions the world wide feels so alone and desperate- isolated in his own home that his only solution was to take his own life, we have to wake up. He is free of his pain and we can learn from it.

 Be at peace Robin Williams

 

 National Suicide Prevention Life line: 1-800-273-8255

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

A Farewell To Cancer, Farewell To Mom

The first time I can remember hearing the word ‘Cancer’ was when I was in Jr. High School. My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her doctor convinced her he could ‘Get it all.’ if she had a mastectomy. So, Nana agreed. I believe he removed her spunky spirit when he removed her breast. And, he did not “Get it all.” Nana died when I was in High School.

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When I think of all the people who, since Nana, have died from cancer I get a sick feeling in my stomach. The mother and father of my best childhood friend, another good friends mother, a couple of neighbors, several friends and co-workers and today, my mother.

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The number of people who I know who have had cancer and gone through treatment and not survived is staggering and too many to name.

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I use to believe a cure for cancer was close. I use to have hope. Now I don’t. I don’t believe the cure for cancer will never be released. It may have already been discovered years ago. When I consider all the diseases science has conquered in my lifetime, it is impossible for me to believe cancer isn’t on that list. But then I think about the size of industry that is devoted to cancer research and treatment and I get cynical. It’s easy to see how finding a cure is counterproductive to the search for a cure and detrimental to it all is the announcement of a cure for cancer.

Just imagine the staggering number of people who would be instantly out of work if a cure for cancer was announced today. Oh, sure, some would go on to research other diseases, but not many if you consider the big picture.
Scientist, Doctors, Hospitals, Pharmaceutical Companies, Medical Equipment Manufacturers, Therapists, Holistic Healers, Fashion Industry, Fund Raisers and on and on and on, would all out of work.

The never-ending search for a cure for cancer may just be one of the largest employers in this country. I am tired of hearing about the search for a cure. For almost ¾ of my life I have heard some mention of finding a cure for cancer every day. Oh how I would love to turn on the TV, radio or computer and see “Cure For Cancer FOUND!!” I have lost hope.

It was determined several years ago that breast cancer is hereditary. My grandmother died of it and today my mother died of it. I do not believe the cure will ever be announced in my lifetime so it’s likely I will die of it too.
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If there is a heaven or here-after, I hope my mother made it there and she is finally at peace.
Give my love to Nana for me mom.

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Amazon…….WTF???

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Dear Amazon.com,

It was brought to my attention today that there were some inappropriate ‘Sponsored Links’ on my book’s product page.
I am horrified and repulsed beyond your comprehension.
Please click on the photo below and take a good look at the screen-shot.

Amazon-"Wanna See Raping?"  WTF?

Amazon-“Wanna See Raping?” WTF?

What problems did you find?

‘Wanna see Raping?”
Do I have to explain to you why this is not only offensive, but criminal?
As one of the largest market places in the world you could be using your power to influence good as I have with my book
One Voice Raised: A Triumph Over Rape.
Instead you allow repulsive Sponsored Links like:

“Check out Rape” “Wanna See Rape” and “RapeVideos” to freely appear on my page.

How dare you!?!

I am trying to raise awareness and create an environment where victims and survivors feel safe and supported.
I am looking forward to the day when all of us who have suffered abuse, rape and sexual assault
are greeted by a world of trust and understanding.
A world that looks at the survivor and does not see what the rapist has done and does not condemn the survivor for being the
victim. I am looking forward to a world where all survivors find their voice and speak out against these heinous crimes.

Amazon, your endorsement of criminal behavior and repulsion is a clear indication of the problems my dream faces.

You disgust me.

My next step is to make your horrible choice of supporting sexually abusive behavior be seen by as many people as possible.
I sure hope this goes viral so millions see the horror that was revealed on my own product page today.

You don’t care.

Most Sincerely,
Jennifer Wheatley-Wolf
Author of: One Voice Raised: A Triumph Over Rape

Please share this post. Amazon must be stopped and you can help. Thank you.