Life, Women

The Pot of “Hope” at the end of the Rainbow

The Pot of “Hope” at the end of the Rainbow

It was my birthday last week, and let me tell you, I FREAKING LOVE BIRTHDAYS!!!  I turned 49 years old laying flat on my back sick as a dog and STILL loved my birthday. MSP (or Mr. Sexy Pants my Hubby for those of you new here) sent me flowers, and I had tons of Facebook posts to respond to with crossed eyes and blurred vision.  Heaven!

Now to be perfectly honest I’m working hard everyday to make this 49 look like 29.  I’m every self-help guru’s, cream selling, supplement advertisement, and this can be you’s pot of “hope” at the end of the rainbow.  Man, they can smell me coming from a mile away.  I’m helpless; it’s a problem. 

For example, one of my friends has been working out and eating right for 4 months and has lost 21lbs!  Heck yes I want to work out and eat right too.  Come on, 21lbs is AMAZING.  Never mind that I’ve been a couch potato for the past 2 years and cannot walk up a flight of stairs without having to stop.  Let’s do this!  The power of suggestion is strong with this one!

Example two:  I’m noticing more than your average “fine lines and wrinkles” popping up on my trying to be 29 again face.  Are you kidding me?  Say hello to my skincare regimen by DRMTLGY.  DRMTLGY – Medical Grade Skin Care | Official Site

I spend a LOT of time asking myself why I have to wash my face TWICE a day when I do not wear makeup or leave my house most days.  I also spend quite a bit of time trying to remember whether or not I use the serum before or after the anti-ageing eye cream.  Also, NO ONE told me that if you’ve never used retinol before that you should go SLOW with it.  Using it every day right off the bat will MAKE YOUR FACE PEEL OFF!  No joke, my face turned into fish scales for a week.  Nevertheless, I’m in.  I’m washing and scrubbing and putting so many things on my face I added like 20 minutes to my 5 minute get ready routine every day.

So, I’m working out, losing weight, getting back in shape.  My face has peeled completely off like a snake and I think at least ONE of my wrinkles has disappeared (WINNING!) Now let’s talk about what’s going on inside of this 49 trying to look 29 body.

NEWS FLASH:  According to Pinterest you need to take vitamins along with eating right.  (My love of Pinterest is a real thing!)  Apparently, apple cider vinegar is a THING so yup, I’m taking smelly ACV supplements along with my horse pill size women’s multi.  I’ve tried one kind of ACV, have since found another one that is supposedly THE BEST, and will be switching to that when I run out of this one.  Thanks Facebook advertisement.  UGH.

Then one day while enjoying a “how-to” video for winged eye-liner (stupid, remember I almost never wear makeup.  What was I doing there?) I get hit with a “Do you know that you lose 90% of the collagen in your body by 30 years old” advertisement.  (Thanks again FB, ugh)  This leads me down a RABBIT HOLE of collagen supplements both pill and powder form.  With and without amino acids, peptides, and vitamin C.  Did you know that you need 5 kinds of collagen?  Really?  Look it up!  I decided on this one Codeage Multi Collagen Powder With 10,000mcg Biotin, Keratin, Vitamins

because it has it all, I don’t feel like researching anymore, and I can just put it in my coffee in the morning and forget about it.  Please don’t let my hair grow any more or get thicker!!! 

Speaking of hair.  Get ready for this.  I have enough hair on my head for 5 women.  Maybe more.  I have such thick hair that I have about half of it shaved off underneath (ears down) to help my neck get some air.  You would never know that though BECAUSE I STILL HAVE SO MUCH HAIR! 

I decide one day to buy a clarifying shampoo and a super conditioner to give me “shampoo commercial” hair again.  I’ve lost my shine y’all.  So, there I was in the shower double washing my hair with this clarifying shampoo when I realized that my fingers were literally stuck in my hair.  It’s as if I had one giant dreadlock.  Commence freak out. 

I try to rinse but it’s not working.  I get the super duper conditioner and start trying to work it into the dreadlock with no avail.  Now, I’ve been in the shower for a while and I’m in danger of running out of hot water.  I turn off the water and just sit there praying that the conditioner starts working.  I get a shower comb and start picking at it.  Nope, not working.  Do I just call out to Mr. Sexy Pants to come and shave my head??? 

Thirty minutes later, 30 MINUTES LATER, I’m almost crying as I’ve ripped out a billion strands of hair detangling it.  I finally turn on the water, rinse it off, and get out.  After losing a BILLION strands of hair I was feeling okay except for my head hurting like I’ve just been in a 10th grade girl fight getting drug down the hall by my hair. 

MSP has justifiably assumed I’ve been kidnapped since I’ve been gone for so long.    

NEWS FLASH #2 Do NOT use clarifying shampoo if you have naturally DRY hair.  Just don’t.  You’re welcome.

Now MSP has a ring-side seat to the glorious mess that is me.  He supports me working out and being crippled a couple times a month because I did too many reps of something without stretching, or tried to pick up something way too heavy for me.  He hasn’t said one word about the buffet size display of face goop in the bathroom.  When my face peeled off in ugly little flakes he just shook his head and once he made sure I wasn’t hurting just ignored it like it wasn’t even happening.  He’s a trooper and hopes that I just don’t lose my sanity before we can retire and travel. 

Xoxo,

Jeanie

Healthy Lifestyle, Life, Women

My Dorky Island Life

My Dorky Island Life

Thirty years ago, on our honeymoon, two teenagers (my husband and I) came down to the Texas coast and had a dream of one day living on this beautiful island.  Fast forward to today, and we’ve been living that dream off and on for 4 years now.  My husband (from here forward MSP or Mr. Sexy Pants) and I, along with roughly 15,000 other like-minded souls, have the absolute pleasure of waking up on, or near, the water every single day.  Winning!

I’ve made some wonderful new friends over the past year, and just realized that I need to update the “About Me” portion of my blog for those new to my world.

My blog is called “Housecat in Paradise” because

#1  I nap a lot just like my 4 beautiful kitties, and

#2  I live in Paradise

I’ve never been an overly “neighborly” neighbor.

Example one.

I’ve tried the giving of gifts to introduce myself with horrible results.  There I am, holding a plant for lack of a better idea, with my biggest hello smile on my face only to be met with wide eyes, a quick plant snatch out of my hands, and something mumbled as the door closed in my face.  I never even got her name.  Maybe I’m just not meant to be a welcome wagon.

Example two. 

I walk my beloved pooch Willie up and down the streets surrounding our home, and met the cutest older gentleman named Bob.  Bob and his dog are adorable so I approach and introduce myself.  Bob is so happy that we bought our house and is delighted to meet us.  I’m pumped.  I’m being neighborly.  Several times later, Willie and I are out walking around and I see Bob again so we wander over to say hi.   With excited eyes Bob is again so delighted to meet us and wonders if we just bought our house.  I don’t have the heart to tell Bob that this is the 4th time that we’ve met. 

Another delight of the island is riding my bike.  Boy, I haven’t ridden a bike since I was an unlicensed teenager and I don’t remember it being such a workout.  I remember riding for hours, every day, and the pure joy of it.  Now I’m using Map My Ride so I can not only find my way back home, but to also just make it a little longer of a ride than last time.  Progress is key!

Last December I was feeling the spirit of the season and decided to just share my joy by taking the “Great Banana” out for a spin.  My first bike in over 30 years!  MSP wants me to wear a helmet, but I won’t tell if you don’t. 

The kicker was I wore a Santa hat, my “Don’t Stop Believing” t-shirt and had a huge Bluetooth speaker in my cute little basket blaring Christmas music as I went.  Sunny and 70 degrees, I caroled my way through the streets surrounding my house, and made a few people smile.  Mission completed.  Later on Facebook I posted my route and how much fun I had and was pleasantly surprised by comments of those who said I had made their day when they heard me and wondered where that music was coming from.  Yearly tradition created!

Girl Time

Around 5 months ago I decided that I needed some girl time.  One cannot live on dog walks, and bike rides alone so I researched island activities and joined a personal training studio PLUS a Womens Empowerment group.  2021 is my year y’all!

LifeFit Personal Training Studio www.lifefitpts.com was my first attempt at putting myself out there.  Not only am I determined to make 49 years old look like 29 years old, but I’ve also met some of the most amazing women ever within those walls.  Tasha, the owner, Nicole, and Amanda have already transformed my body, mind, and mentality in just 5 short months.  The other ladies I work out with are real life inspirations to me, and I’m so happy to have met them all.  I wear funny t-shirts like “Shut up legs, you’re fine”, and “Suck it up Buttercup” to help me laugh through the squats.

Next, I was accepted into Padre Islands Women’s Empowerment Group by the amazing Jolynn.  JoLynn started this awesome group almost 3 years ago, and it has an astounding 818 members.  Every month roughly 30 of us meet to “empower” each other and/or discuss how we can make the world/our island a better place.  Let me tell you something.  You want to talk about empowerment?  These women are incredible.   Mothers, teachers, nurses, professionals in their fields, retired, big-hearted, and powerful each in their own way.  How much fun to spend time with all of them.  My heart is full.

Everyday I have an adventure on this beautiful island whether it’s right off of my back deck jumping into the boat with MSP, or out and about discovering new things.  One thing for certain is that I will continue to try to be a great neighbor, always have coffee if you want to stop by, and you may or may not see me out on the “Great Banana” singing a song, or walking Willie introducing myself to Bob.  Again.

xoxo

Life, Women

Observe and Report. My morning of discovery in a ”sacred” female place.

Sacred. Well, not really, but yes, a beauty salon is the place where we go and spill our guts to the stylist who makes us beautiful. Come in Raggedy Ann, mini girl-talk therapy session while getting foiled or a blow out, and then you leave looking like Cinderella, or Jasmine, or Snow White without about 5 lbs. of emotional baggage you just dropped on your stylist. She’s in there sweeping it away right now BTW.

I sat under a dryer waiting for my blonde bombshell color to develop, and because I was relaxed and alone for the moment I closed my eyes, and started taking in the white noise of our “sacred” place. Some top 40 music, lots of water and dryers, but most of all chatting. You could be chatting with the same stylist you’ve had for years, or unloading on a brand new one that you just met.

You know you do it. We all do. My stylist is the ONLY living person who knows if I have any grey hairs at all. I told her not to even tell me. That’s a bond my friends. Do not take these bonds for granted.

That being said, I sat under my dryer and caught the conversation of the stylist and customer closest to me. My eyes were closed, so for as far as they knew I could have been asleep. There was no anger, malice, judgement, or complaining from this lovely customer, but her words shocked me nonetheless. She just sat there telling her stylist that her husband was pretty much useless unless a light bulb needs to be changed. She went on to describe that she’s in fact the handy one in the marriage, and if she cannot do it they simply hire out.

What struck me was the absolute nonchalance of her words. It was like she was stating that she was going to buy bread at Whole Foods today, and maybe wash her Audi on the way home.

My questions are as follows: (Gonna make some of you mad here, but I know that, and I also don’t care as this is an OPINION blog).

1. As the woman appeared in her late 30’s, early 40’s I assume (could be wrong) that her husband is around that same age. How in the world does a man that age get through life and be so “useless” (Her words, not mine)? I have a theory on this, but that’s for later. Look for THEORY in all caps further down.

2. WHY would any woman marry, or get past the first few months of dating a man that is “useless”. Useless based on her conversation and my interpretations would be someone who cannot change a tire, cannot change the oil on their vehicle, cannot replace a broken toilet, cannot unclog the kitchen sink, cannot install ceiling fans, and/or light fixtures. I could go on forever, but you get my drift.

Let’s be honest about a few things here. Women can do all of that stuff themselves. We can learn, and do all the same stuff, but why should we? If you prefer to be single is it because other than sex you can take care of everything else on your own without dealing with “Useless Man Baby”, and his “man cold” that rivals the pain of natural childbirth?

I am getting to my theory now.

THEORY……………………………..

I’m late 40’s, as is my husband. Our grand-fathers generation (GOAT’s moving forward in this blog) was the last generation of men who were 100% taught by their fathers how to not be a “Useless Man Baby”. Their fathers taught them how to work on cars, small engines, how to build a house from the ground up, how to build a vehicle from the ground up. Our grandfathers were of the “Greatest Generation” and proceeded to come home from war and make sure their sons grew up to be the kind of men who could provide, and take care of their family. Their sons, and/or male relations are Gen 1’s.

After multiple conversations with wives of our GOATS, Gen 1’s, and their Gen 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s here is what I hypothesize.

Gen 1’s taught about 75% of their son’s and/or male relatives how not to be “Useless Man Babies”. Gen 1’s which would be someone my father’s age, born in the late 40’s early 50’s. These men also went to war to fight for our country, and came back teaching their sons and male relatives how not to be “Useless Man Babies”. My father was Grizzly Adams and MacGuyver all rolled into one. He too could take a toothpick and a stick of gum out into the jungle and build a shopping mall. I was fascinated watching him build, create, fix, and just plain keep things working right, and our world together. Stability, safety. Two very strong words when describing what it’s like to live with a man like that.

Gen 1’s held back a little or were riddled with PTSD, and they imparted about 50% of their useful knowledge onto their Gen 2 sons, and male relations. This is where you start seeing the disconnect. Gen 1’s are able to get maybe 50% of their Gen 2 sons, and/or male relations to take an interest. Sure, things are getting a little more electronic, and digitized, but that lawnmower can be fixed, and yes you sure can put up an 8 ft board-on-board privacy fence around your back yard over the weekend with a buddy. Hell, flat tires are virtually unchanged in the way they are removed and replaced with a new tire.

Gen 3’s are our generation. Born in late 60’s, early 70’s. Things get a little tougher here for multiple reasons. The herd of “Useful Men” has been culled. With only 25% of their sons, or male relations receiving any teaching, skills, common sense, problem solving abilities, and/or how to change a broken load leveling system on a 1991 Ford Expedition with just some hand tools and a friend with beer holding a drop light and playing music. Gen 3’s have about a 10% chance to get just one survival skill ingrained into their sons heads that doesn’t involve just calling 911. Gen 3’s are seeing first hand that if it’s not something that AAA can handle, and how do you call a tow truck again??????

The Gen 4’s are in trouble. Gen 4’s are those born in the 80’s, and 90’s. These highly educated, or digitally engrossed men are the newest generation of “Useless Man Babies”. We are looking at maybe, and I’m being generous here, a 10% ability to take care of themselves, much less a girlfriend, wife, and/or children. Not only do they suffer from almost complete lack of courtesy which should have been ingrained for the past 4 GENERATIONS into their brains, but they do not even stop to offer assistance. Been there. Been ignored as an out of town female driver in a ball gown no less, on the side of the highway with a flat, in the dark, could not get the lug nuts loose to get the tire off, and you guessed it. 200 cars drive by, and 2 hours later I’m calling a tow truck.

Let’s wrap this OPINION post up by saying a few things.

* I understand why more and more women in their 30’s and up are saying that marriage is not a viable option for them. They can have children if they want, have careers if they want, and change their own damn tires if they want. (NOTE: must have lug wrench, check your trunk ladies, don’t just assume)

* Why would any intelligent woman want to have children with, or try and build a life with a “Useless Man Baby” unless you are assured that you have a Gen 3 or higher. You will be planning on building your life on low hanging DNA. Do you want your sons to be the 5%?

I know some of you are going to be insulted cause I just told you that your man is the untaught, uninterested Gen 3, or Gen 4. You know if me saying it out loud puts you in a bad place then just take a deep breath and regroup. You already know it, and have just accepted that you love him, and it doesn’t matter that you wear the pants in the family, and have to go check your vehicle and see if you have all the proper tools to replace a blown out tire. Jack, lug wrench, good spare…….

My daughter is a Gen 4 and I’m horrified at 90% of the boyfriends she has. Useless. Just freaking useless. How am I supposed to just let her ride off into the sunset with one of these “Useless Man Babies” when I know her father will end up coming to rescue her, and HIM, when things go south.

Guys, get your shit together. Take a course on some common sense things that up your percentage of usefulness. It’s not the 40’s or 50’s anymore. You have to bring more to the table than a paycheck. That’s not ALL we need you for. Remember, we women are getting paid too, and we are telling our confidants how useless you are. We cannot help it. Break the cycle. Ask your Dad, or grandfather for some help if they are still around. Use your resources. YouTube and Google. Seriously.

Basically, if you cannot be the man she needs you to be, sit the hell down so she can see the man standing behind you.

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Life, Momma

I Am A Strong Woman Because A Strong Woman Raised Me

Sunday, May 13th is Mother’s Day in the U.S.  A day to celebrate Moms….. Fur baby Moms, single fathers who are both Moms and Dad, and Moms who are no longer with us.

I lost my Mom in 2006, and I have a handful of friends, and family who have also lost their mothers since then.  I know for most of us that Mother’s Day is at the very bottom of our list of favorite holidays now, but it’s also one that I started celebrating again.  You see, I’m also a mother.  A mother of a beautiful, and loving 26 year old daughter who is so important to me that I push back the bad thoughts of losing my mother, and concentrate on her.

I look forward to spending time with her doing things that I love, and she mostly hates.  🙂  It cracks me up that she just fights through the boredom to do what makes me happy.  It also makes my heart fill up that she loves me enough to just spend time with me doing “lame mom stuff”.

My Mom was the strongest woman I ever knew, and continued to hold that title until my daughter took it from her in the past couple of years.  I see a lot of my Mom in my daughter, and I smile because it’s the best parts, her strength and beautiful heart to just name a couple.

So, happy Mother’s Day to those who celebrate.  Call your Mom.  Love her while you can.  One day she won’t be there to call, or hug.

 

 

Life, Momma

April Showers Bring May Flowers and Two Weeks of Pain

Mother’s Day is the 2nd Sunday of every May, and is preceded by up to two solid weeks of inescapable pain.  For some, not all, have lost their mothers for any number of reasons.  Some, not all, grimace in pain with hearts being stabbed by all of the Mother’s Day commercials, and well wishes to those mothers who are lucky enough to still be here with their families.

I wouldn’t begrudge anyone of their well wishes, and celebrations of their mothers BUT I sure wish May 15th would hurry up and get here.  Last year Mother’s Day fell on May 8th.  Lucky us, only 8 days had to pass before we could breathe again.  This year, not so much.

I think back to Mother’s Day past, and try to remember celebrating with my Mom.  It’s been so long now I just can’t recall a single memory even though I know that we did.  I know I gave her, or made her gifts.  I know that I sent, or made her cards.  I know that I sent flowers, or brought her presents.  I know I did, but my memories are a black hole that I can’t fill in.

There has to be a medical term for selective memory loss…..  (Thanks Google, there is.)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 (Redirected from Selective memory loss)

Selective amnesia -is a type of amnesia in which the victim loses certain parts of his/her memory. Common elements that may be forgotten: relationships, special talents, where he/she lives, abilities in certain areas , and events such as concerts, shows, or traumatic events (e.g.: a death of a loved one).

I believe that this “selective amnesia” is a coping mechanism used by our brains when the pain is too traumatic.  For instance, I have fogged over the entire 3 months from when I learned my Momma had a brain tumor, all the way up to the day of her funeral.  Those memories are still there, but in a foggy way, not clear and horrible.  I can, if I want, pull them up and remember them, but mostly my brain just glosses over them and skips that part of my life.

I tell you all of this as more of a release valve than anything.  A reminder to my friends, and those who follow me, that if you’ve lost your mother I know what you are going through.  I am here for you if you need me.  My mother was my best friend, my partner in crime, my rock.  Not a single day goes by that I don’t miss her, want to talk to her, or sit and stare at her picture.  I still can’t believe that she’s gone, but I take heart that I will see her again.  That thought makes the pain bearable.

This is my 11th Mother’s Day without my mother.  My 11th everything without my mother.  And my 11th reminder to those who haven’t lost their mothers to:

  • Call your Mother
  • Make up with your Mother
  • Celebrate your Mother
  • Forgive your Mother
  • Love your Mother

For the rest of us, hang in there.  Four more days to go.

 

Life

The Saddest American

tears

Today marks a new beginning of an era that I thought I would never live to see.  An era of hate, fear, and helplessness fueled by one man who has single handedly broken our country in two. 

Donald Trump, from here forward just “trump” is now our new President.  Not that you will ever hear me call him that.  He is not now, nor will he ever be, MY President.  She, the woman who is MY President, is stoically watching from the front rows as a man who did not win the popular vote steals the Presidency right out from under her.

sticker

We can debate the Electoral College until we are blue in the face, but the bottom line is that it didn’t work.  It was a failsafe put in place to protect our nation from a demagogue, and because we are so partisan in this country, those who swore to protect us FAILED US in the most horrific way.

traitor

They had ONE JOB.  ONE DAMN JOB to do, and they couldn’t see past party lines to do it.  They will forever be labeled as TRAITORS TO THIS COUNTRY in my opinion, and I hope to God that they have to live with crippling guilt for what they have done, forever.

I’m not only sad, I am frightened.  I am frightened for my 25-year-old daughter to continue to grow into adulthood in this world where it’s perfectly fine for someone to grab her by her genitals since hey, the President can do it, so why can’t I?  I’m terrified that she will not be able to take advantage of an equal pay working environment because no one in the White House cares about that when they can start writing and submitting bills to make abortions of any kind illegal.  I’m frightened that all of the progress we have made for women will not be in her experience, just an article on the internet she reads about one day.

I’m frightened because my 5 and 7-year-old nephews will have this President as the first one they remember, and learn from.  They will see how he denigrates women, minorities, and the disabled.  They will see him say that treating women like shit is how you are supposed to do it.  They will see an unqualified, unfit, and unsound man holding press conferences and making threats to foreign leaders on Twitter. 

 I grieve because trump is in the White House.  I object to him on so many levels that I get tired of listing them all.  You’ve watched the video, and listened to the audio.  You’ve been exposed to the same democracy carnage that I have, but you might have interpreted it differently that I did. 

I want the sadness to go away, but I know that will be impossible.  I’m too disgusted by every word out of his mouth; by his utter contempt for anyone not just like him.  But I also don’t want you to think that I’m sitting here helpless.  I’m fighting every.  single.  day. to combat any wrong trump may do, and to stay on top of everything that either he, or congress, is doing to keep them from destroying us. 

I am #TheResistance  

resist

Until the day he is either impeached, or voted out of office, I will remain…

The Saddest American.

Life

2017. The year I find out “why”?

two-days

2017.  The year I find out why.

I grew up being told by my mother that I was born for a reason.  Not because mom plus dad equaled me, but because I was meant to do something great.  I’ve had so many miracles in my life that I’ve always believed what she told me was true.  So many times in my life I should have died, but didn’t.  So many unexplainable times either health wise, by my own stupidity, or for reasons out of my control I should not have made it, but I did. 

Now, my husband is definitely one of my angels.  He’s had his hands full with me for the past 26 years, so he deserves a ton of credit.  I’m accident prone, and should not be left unsupervised for long periods of time LOL.  I’m so thankful that God sent him to me for this, and many other reasons.

I asked my Pastor once why I had so many miracles in my life.  More than what I thought was my fair share.  He told me simply because I believed in them.  Because I believe so strongly in miracles, I see them when they happen….almost manifest them for myself.  I recognize them for what they are.  I’ve always loved his answer as it made sense to me, and allowed me to be at peace.

miracle

I know one reason “why” I’m here was to bring my amazing daughter into this world.  She has truly made this world a better place just by being in it.  That’s important to me.  I’ve seen her save people, and change their lives for the better with my own eyes.  She’s destined for greatness by virtue of her beautiful heart, loving nature, and ability to reach out to people with words, and actions to make them feel better.  Live better.  It’s a beautiful gift she has that makes me so very proud of her. 

In 2017 I’m going to continue my quest to find out “why”.

why

I’m here for a reason.  I’m not just a human walking around on this planet, and using oxygen.  I’m more than that.  I’m not a useless person taking up space.  I do my part to save the planet, to make a difference, to try and right the wrongs I see, to combat injustice and hate when I see it.  I refuse to be a spectator.  That’s not what I’m here for.

XOXO

Jeanie

Life

An Open Letter to Donald Trump, Congress, SCOTUS, and DOJ

Hell yeah. Amazing read. I could not agree more, and this blog moved me. Brava!

Rachel Murphy Azzara

Dear Esteemed Leaders and Mr. Trump,

As 2016 draws to a close, the rest of the world looks on at our great country with combined feelings of ridicule, fear and, glee, for those who desire our demise and see opportunity in our chaos. Americans have been called the ‘best and the brightest’, and the good news is that we still are. 74 million Americans voted to reject Donald Trump as President. 66 million of these votes were for Secretary Clinton. Yet, it seems our Electoral College system, which Trump himself called a disaster, failed…but, not without help.

The GOP spent years cultivating an anti-intellectual constituency and provided a fertile environment for Trump to play his con game. He preyed on the uneducated and the desperate, appealing to the basic instinct to blame, hate and divide, and found an audience well-primed to believe the lies of a demagogue and to be…

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Crime, gamer, harassment, Life, Swatting, Tips and Hints, video games

The Fall of @DemonTheLord Part 2 – The Nightmare

You may THINK you are safe in your own home, but you are NOT.  Let me repeat.  YOU ARE NOT.  This is the take-away that I want readers to have.  At any time, anyone can make a simple phone call and destroy your life.  No warning……

In my last blog post The Fall of @DemonTheLord Part 1 I shared with you the BEFORE.  The WHY.  This is Part 2.  This is what can happen with one phone call.  What can happen when threats against you are not taken seriously by ANYONE.  This is what can happen when anyone in your house is an online gamer.  This is what can happen when obsession turns to rage.

NOVEMBER 2014

I said that there was finally blessed silence, and after almost a year of harassment he had finally left us alone.  I also said that I had never been more wrong about anything in my life.

APRIL 2015

Saturday April 11, 2015 @DemonTheLord picks up right where he left off in November.  Five months later, and out of the blue he again spends most of the day harassing and threatening my daughter by phone and internet.  Again she tells him off, and to leave her alone…………  After an entire day of harassment, he asks her one question.  “How are your parents doing in Shady Shores?”.  Then silence.

911

A few hours later, around 5-6pm, this monster makes an anonymous call using VOIP from a random Google voice number to our local police departments non-emergency line.  This monster, whom I have the entire recording of, told an operator that he was a resident at OUR address, had MURDERED his mother (ME) and brother who were lying on the kitchen floor, had strapped a BOMB to his sister, and IDENTIFIED his sister by name as my daughter.  

Between 6-8pm, WITHOUT US EVEN KNOWING, my ENTIRE privately gated neighborhood was evacuated by 25+ law enforcement officials.  The city cut the street lamps, emergency vehicles broke our front gate, and blocked anyone from coming inside.  All neighbors were told to turn off all inside and outside lights at their homes before leaving the neighborhood.  Kids were pulled out of bed in their PJ’s and stuffed into cars and evacuated in the dark so the knife, gun, and bomb wielding murderer in my home could be taken down without anyone else dying. 

swat

What were we doing you may ask?  We were in the process of selling our home to move, and had been packing boxes all day.  We had been eating dinner, with ice cream for dessert and watching X-Men before going to bed.

That’s what we were doing while 25+ FULLY ARMED SWAT team members, police officers from 2 different cities, fire department officials, and Sherriff’s deputies were outside surrounding our home. They spent 1-2 hours in the ditches, behind vehicles, under neighbor’s bushes, in the woods behind our house with sniper rifles trained on all of our windows assessing the danger from the armed murderer and supposed bomb in my house. 

I got a phone call at 9pm from an unknown number.  My phone was on silent, and charging in the bedroom so I did not see the missed call until 9:10pm or so.  The Sheriff’s Department had called my real estate agent who is also a long-time friend of ours (because of the for sale sign in our yard) to get my phone number.  They left a message that said basically “This is the Sheriff’s Department calling, please call us back.”  This was upsetting because I was worried something had happened to our daughter, but there were no details in the message, nothing.  THIS WAS THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT ONE CALL TO SEE IF THEY COULD REACH ANYONE INSIDE OF THE HOME.  Remember, just “can you call us”, no other details.  I called the number back and was hit with a 9 option automated system.  I just started pressing buttons trying to reach someone.  I finally was able to get through to a live person, told them who I was, and that I was calling them back.  I was upset, and asking them is my daughter ok, did she get into a car accident?  Is this about my daughter?  They said no accident reports, and they weren’t sure why I was called.  They tried to transfer me around but nobody could tell me why they called me.  This took all of 5 minutes before I hung up, and called my daughter.  SO, THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT CALLS ME, I CALL BACK, AND NOBODY KNOWS WHY I WAS CALLED.  Meanwhile they are still surrounding our house.  Why didn’t they know to ask me if there was a murderer in my house, was I ok, did I need help? 

9:15pm  I go outside on my back patio to call my daughter.  I’m on the phone with her, and she’s telling me that she’s ok, but the monster had been harassing her all day again. 

handcuffs

9:20pm  That’s when all the yelling started.  My husband decides to walk outside, having been called by our real estate agent’s husband, Kris Saxon (who was a Bexar County Sheriff himself) that there were police headed to our house.  He walks out the door, surprises every law enforcement officer outside, and they start screaming at him to put his hands up, and get down on the ground.   My husband puts his phone on speaker, and drops it on the ground as he’s being handcuffed so our friends can hear everything that is happening.  I’m on the back patio still, on the phone with my daughter and I take off running through the house yelling into the phone that the police are here, they are doing something to your daddy in the front yard, and oh my God I think the swatting is happening.  I hang up on her and sprint out the front door only to be taken down by two officers with guns to my head as soon as I clear the doorway.  My brother came out after me and was taken down as well.

What followed was a living NIGHTMARE for me and my family that had everyone but my daughter, who was not at our home at the time thank God, on the ground on our front sidewalk, in handcuffs, with dozens of high powered weapons pointed at us, as everyone was yelling at us and searching our house room by room looking for this supposed murderer. I just can’t even begin to describe everything that happened.  Chaos.  Terrifying, helpless, absolute chaos.  Thank God we had put the dogs to bed for the night in their kennels just 10 minutes earlier or all three of them would have been shot. 

All three of us could have DIED that night if just ONE of these officers would have mistaken something we were doing inside our home as part of this “Swatting” call.  I’m not making this up…. This is what I was told by the Texas Ranger who was sent by his commanding officer in Austin who had been called when all of this started.  He said he was just there to pick up and remove dead bodies. Not a single officer that I spoke to had ever been on a real life swatting call like this. It took 2 hours to sort the mess out, and get everyone out of our home and neighborhood.  I don’t think I slept that night, and not one of my neighbors ever spoke to me again.      

Am I mad at any one of these officers for being here?  No.  Am I mad at the first female officer in November who didn’t “Flag” my house as being threatened?  Hell yes I am.  If she would have DONE HER JOB in November and “Flagged” our home as we asked, the severity of what happened on 4/11/15 would have been lessened.  The police would have still responded to the fake call, but they would have been forewarned that we were being threatened.  They would have done MORE to try and contact us to see if we were in danger BEFORE evacuating the neighborhood, and surrounding my house with snipers, and 25+ officers to come running out of ditches, from behind bushes, and behind my neighbor’s vehicles to put guns to our heads.  

gavel1

THERE ARE BASICALLY NO LAWS TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING TO INNOCENT CIVILIANS!  Professional gamers are the #1 target of “Swatting” in the US, not celebrities.  Google the word “Swatting” and watch the videos of these innocent people just playing games getting taken down by police while streaming live on the internet.  THAT’S the payoff for these psychopaths.  They watch live as the people they are harassing have this happen to them.  They are anonymous, and think it’s very funny.  INNOCENT PEOPLE HAVE DIED because of this terrifying trend in harassment.  

My daughter was streaming her games live when this happened to us, but she didn’t live with us….. he did not know that. Or did he?  He asked “How are your parents in Shady Shores?”.  Sounds to me like he knew she did not live there anymore, and decided to swat us instead.  I almost lost EVERYTHING that night, and am currently living with the aftermath, because that monster did not get what he wanted from my daughter.  I could have watched in horror my husband being gunned down in our front yard by snipers when he walked out the front door just because someone made a phone call.  A PHONE CALL.  No evidence, just one simple chilling phone call.  

Let that sink in for a minute.

If you have a gamer in your home that streams, go to your local police department and get your house flagged.  

If anyone has threatened you, or your gamer, GO TO YOUR LOCAL POLICE AND GET YOUR HOME FLAGGED, AND MAKE A REPORT.  

Make sure, ABSOLUTELY SURE, that a report is made.  

Do NOT let them ignore, or shame you into leaving without this being done.  

Copy and paste this link, and take this FBI article in with you that says to do this.  http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2013/september/the-crime-of-swatting-fake-9-1-1-calls-have-real-consequences/the-crime-of-swatting-fake-9-1-1-calls-have-real-consequences  

If you are in Texas, use this web address http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx   Call, or write your Representatives, Senators, and anyone else who can help make laws to stop this from happening to you. 

I’m doing all of this and more while I sit here terrified and helpless, waiting for this to happen again, and knowing that I can’t stop it.  I periodically listen to the chilling, evil swatting call that was made to remind me that we are still not safe.

After the swatting the Corinth, Texas police department was kind enough to “flag” our house in case of future swatting calls.  We moved two weeks later.

PART 3 COMING SOON.

Crime, gamer, harassment, Life, Swatting, video games

The Fall of @DemonTheLord Part 1

The monster who tried to kill me and my family is finally in Federal Prison.  October 13, 2016 was day one of his one year and one day sentence.  I’ve been unable to write about what he did, and how we got here, until the day he stepped foot in prison to pay for his crimes.

This is part one of three.  The before.  The how, what, and why.  I’ve chosen not to reveal the name of the monster who did this to us, or specifically where he is from.  Just the state that he lives in.  He wanted to be famous, in not revealing his name, even in writing this, I am denying him that.

seal_of_the_federal_bureau_of_prisons-svg

The Fall of @DemonTheLord

The FBI later told me that he sat, harassed, terrorized, planned and plotted in a dark, small room somewhere in Oklahoma.  Roughly 18 years old, with a twisted mind surrounded by computer monitors and computer equipment wrapped in an anonymous online name that gave him a sense of invincibility. He had two ridiculous obsessions.  To take over the internet and become its so-called king, and to have my daughter.

If your child plays online video games this is for you as they will become the #1 target for “swatting” in the United States. 

STATISTIC:  Between 2002 and 2006, the five swatters called 9-1-1 lines in more than 60 cities nationwide, impacting more than 100 victims, causing a disruption of services for telecommunications providers and emergency responders, and resulting in up to $250,000 in losses.  Source.  FBI.gov 

This is a true story. This is our story. This is my story. But it hasn’t ended yet. My hope is to inform others, to teach others, to warn others of what can happen to you and your family. What you thought could only happen to somebody else, or you probably didn’t even realize could happen to you…. You need to know.  I’m hoping by the end of our story you will understand what we are all up against, and how to protect your family as best you can.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?  THE BACKGROUND

My daughter, who is 25 now, has played video games with her Dad and his friends since she was 8 years old.  Games like Halo, Rainbow 6, Call of Duty.  First person shooter games where you compete in battle campaigns solo, or with a team of players.  By the time she became so good at these games, beating her Dad and his friends all the time, Xbox released Xbox Live so she could now play with other gamers from around the world via the internet.  What a great idea, right?  She could now get even better by playing others just a good as she was.  Her “gamer tag” is how she, and other gamers, identify themselves online.  Just a fun code name so you do not have to use your real name online.  (Tip #1 NEVER use your real name as your gamer tag!)

My daughter became so good that when other gamers would see her sign in to play they would leave the game knowing that they could not beat her.  She later would use different names to sign in with so people would not realize it was her, and would play with her.  It seemed funny at the time that she was becoming so well known that people would avoid playing with her for fear of losing.  (Tip #2 The more well-known you are the more likely you are of becoming a target for “swatting”)

Years of gaming go by, and tons of people asking her to teach them how to play, or to let them watch her play and learn from her.  She decides to buy a web cam, one of those cute little round ones that would sit on top of your computer monitor.  This was before affordably prices laptops came with webcams included in the frame.  She then tapes the webcam to a headband so it faces her gaming screen, and then puts the live video feed online so people can watch her play.  It was so funny to see her sitting there, my cute little teenage girl, with this webcam on top of her head.  But hey, it worked and her friends loved it.  Now they could watch and learn and hear her talking to them while she played. 

pro-gamer-fr_

More years go by, and she found an internet based company that is dedicated to online gaming streamers who want to entertain their viewers like she had been doing already, but they could now make money doing it.  Thousands of dollars later she has a Star Trek like computer set up in her room, and she is a partner with this streaming company where subscribers pay $4.99 per month to watch her play, learn from her, chat with her, and discover new games and products she would tell them about.  She has thousands of online viewers, companies that sponsor her and send her merchandise to promote, and she travels the country as a female professional gamer to compete in tournaments, or be an ambassador to promote women in the gaming industry.

Cool, right?  Making money to play video games.  Who would have thought that would even be possible?  It’s a dream job.  Until you become so popular that you now have obsessive fans, and/or people who are threatened by your success.

I told her to shrug it off at first.  You have to have thick skin to be a female gamer.  A lot of men and boys in the gaming industry do NOT like female players.  At all.  They come together in groups to kick the girls offline, out of gaming sites, and off the internet completely.  Did you know that the male professional gamers for the most part will not allow female gamers on teams?  The women had to go out and make their own professional league, and my daughter was one of the first chosen to be in this league, and lead a team.  I’m so proud of her. 

pro-gaming-crowd

Now, my daughter has been harassed online pretty much from the beginning of online gaming.  Being a girl, and being pretty has helped and hurt her.  It’s not just gaming sites either.  Once you establish an online identity you tend to cross over social media platforms, and these harassers will follow you to every site you are on.  She has been told by a good number of these male gamers how they would like to kill her, and rape her. They have crashed her router with hundreds of men/boys hitting all at once on her screen telling her to go kill herself before they can find her and then either kill or rape her. Not necessarily in that order either.  They are very specific, and graphic, and have caused many of bad nights where she would be forced offline and just sit with me until the trauma had passed.  

Cyber Bullying Statistics 2014.      25% of teenagers report that they have experienced repeated bullying by their cell phone, or on the Internet. 52% of young people report being cyber bullied. …

Are you outraged yet?  This is barely the beginning……  Imagine holding your shaking, traumatized, and scared daughter after she has been virtually raped online.  Here’s where you say why didn’t you just tell her to stop streaming video games?  Why did you let her continue if it’s that bad?  Well, by this time she is over 18, and a legal adult, BUT why should SHE be forced offline and to quit the career she has chosen because she’s a girl and being threatened.  Why should she be the one attacked, and now be told to run and hide like she did something wrong?  Why do men/boys in this industry get away with and think that it’s okay to do this to a female who DARES to enter their “club”? 

All of that aside, my daughter continued to develop her career, have the time of her life doing what she loves, travelling the country, and mentoring other female gamers at the beginning of their careers.   

Then she caught his attention somehow, somewhere, in some game, or through some post.     

threat

MADNESS

The harassment and threats started sometime in early 2013.   I cannot remember exactly as the months have run together in my mind, but it started for my daughter first.  My daughter had by this time moved out into her own home in another city close by us. When the harassment became too much for her I was finally informed, and then in October 2013 it started happening to me.  Seemingly innocent enough, boy meets girl online and says he likes her.  Girl tells him that’s nice, but I have a boyfriend.  Then boy gets mad because she is not giving him what he wants. 

Hidden behind the online Twitter username @DemonTheLord he barraged her with requests to add him to all of her social media sites as a friend.  Sensing that something was not right in this situation my daughter repeatedly refused to interact with him.  She was used to fans, but he was aggressive and she did not want to interact with him.  He was in her streaming chat room, he was on her Twitter, he would not leave her alone.  He would tell her that he just wanted to talk to her because he liked her and thought she should be his girlfriend.  Finally, my daughter became more forceful and told him to leave her alone and do not contact her again.  She blocked him on her sites, she refused to answer any private messages that he still somehow was able to send.  He would then start to reach out to her friends, whom he did not even know, trying to get to her through them.  He was so thoroughly blocked from getting to her that I’m positive that is when his infatuation and obsession with her turned into anger and rage.

leave-us-alone

The rage took him from trying to interact with her online to obtaining her phone number somehow and calling, leaving messages, and texts to threaten her.  He was now demanding that if she paid him money he would leave her alone.  She told him no.  He then told her that if she added him as friend, and promoted him friend to her thousands of social media friends/followers to increase his number of friends online he would leave her alone.  Again, she said no.

Then starts the router “flooding” where she is hit so hard online that it cuts the internet off to our whole house.  Did you know people could do that?  I didn’t either.  Then he starts trying to hack into all of her social media sites…  She would get multiple warning messages each day of attempted hacking and to change her password to protect her account.  Keep in mind the phone calls, messages, and texts are still coming in during all of this. 

Then he goes after her financials.  Paypal, online banking sites.  It was a mess.  By this time she has asked me for help.  We barely blocked him on one site, and he was hacking into another.  This went on for weeks.  Then he somehow got my number.  We still do not know how this happened, but as a grown woman who has more information online that the daughter half my age, it apparently it wasn’t very hard for him to find out EVERYTHING about ME. 

I started getting phone calls and text messages from a different number each and every time asking me for my daughter’s information.  “Miss, I’m texting because I am with a very large gaming company that your daughter has bought merchandise from us, and we need to verify her address, and email information as a last step before we send out her merchandise.”, “Miss, I’m calling because I have a delivery coming for your daughter, please verify which bank the purchase was made from”.  You name it and he tried it.  I was so confused at first and would call my daughter to see if she really did have a package coming and she would FREAK OUT that it was him and to NEVER give any of her information to anyone.  I started to get a little scared then.

Then I get a text simply saying “tell your daughter that I am sorry, and that I had to”.  It had a short link to click on.  Once I clicked on it the link took me to a HUGE file sharing site where he had released not only my daughter’s name, and gaming alias, but MY name, address, phone number, social security number, previous addresses, maiden name……  EVERY POSSIBLE PERSONAL DETAIL ABOUT ME was now online and getting sent out to the internet for everyone to see.  He DOXXED us.   In case you do not realize this, doxxing is a CRIME. 

doxxing

dox  däks/  verb
gerund or present participle: doxxing
  1. search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.
    “hackers and online vigilantes routinely dox both public and private figures”

He said he was sorry, and he had to.  He was now using me, and my identity and location to blackmail my daughter to give into his demands.  I contacted the site trying to get my information down, to this day I have never received a response to my requests.

I think it’s important to mention at this point that my daughter has tried to spare her family any trouble from the social media, and gaming community since the beginning.  Here are just some of the things she has done, and has HAD to do to protect both herself, and her family.

·        She has NEVER used her real name online

·        She has NEVER linked her address, or phone number to any streaming or social sites

·        As her popularity increased she asked all of her family to NEVER interact with her on most of her social and streaming sites because it would lend clues to her actual identity, and put US in danger of the harassment that she endures

·        For security reasons she has purchased her own customizable modems so that she can change IP addresses as needed, and other technology to bounce her actual location to different spots around the world so her address can never be pinpointed

·        She moved away from home and we refused to change her address on her driver’s license because that information can be found online

Despite all of this he was still able to find me through her.  I was now a liability to her.  It was only a matter of time before he cracked all of her information too. 

NOVEMBER 2013

swatting

A few days later my daughter comes to visit me, and sits me down to tell me that he was hinting at “swatting” her as a punishment for still ignoring him.  Swatting is the act of deceiving an emergency service (via such means as hoaxing an emergency services dispatcher) into sending a police and 911 response team to another person’s address, based on the false reporting of a serious law enforcement emergency, such as a bomb threat, murder, hostage-taking or other alleged incident. The term derives from SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), a specialized type of police unit in the United States and many other countries carrying military-style equipment such as door breaching weapons, submachine guns and assault rifles.   See Wiki page here

She explained to me what “swatting” was because I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about.  She showed me You Tube videos of it happening to other online gamers.  I was now absolutely terrified.  She was only a little concerned about it because she did not really believe he would go through with it, but as I was still receiving increasingly nasty voicemails from this person I chose to take it as a 100% credible threat.  The one good thing about all of this was that my daughter no longer lived at home with us, but nobody outside of close friends and family knew that. 

I explained to my husband what was happening, and the implied threat we had received, and like my daughter he was not overly concerned.  “Swatting” happens to OTHER people, celebrities, not people like us.  I was so upset about it, and the danger to us and our animals, that he finally agreed to go with me to the police department to file a report about it.

This is the point where I felt as if I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone.  We went in to file our report of the harassment, and the threat of being “Swatted”.  My concerns were brushed off by the police officer we spoke to, and I quote “Things like that don’t happen here”.  Because I only had an anonymous gaming tag to give them for the person we were being harassed by there was NEVER a report filed on our behalf stating that we were in fear for our safety, nor was our request to “flag” our house as a possible “Swatting” location ever set up.   I left the police department crying and in despair that I was not being taken seriously.

THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING

Magically after the swatting threat was received all of the calls, texts, voicemails, etc just stopped.  I went from dealing with this harassment every single day to blessed silence.  I thought, we all did, that he had finally given up and moved on.  I’ve never been more wrong about anything in my life.

Part two will be coming in the following days.

 

jeanie

A little about me…… I’m a princess……yes, a real live princess….. I have a purse, shoe, and book obsession. I’m a borderline animal hoarder with 2 dogs, and 4 cats, and I’m also a House Cat, living in paradise with the love of my life AKA: Mr. Sexy Pants.  I’m also the proud mother of a beautiful 25 year old daughter who professionally video games for her career.  I can’t stand hot weather……… love when it’s cold outside, and I’m emotionally high maintenance requiring LOTS of attention. I only sing in the car, not the shower, and always by myself…… Last, but not least………I drive a little red hot rod Hyundai (yes I know, don’t say it), her name is Miss Scarlett