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patty1943
18 April 2016 @ 08:12 am
I finally finished my taxes, on time, and am feeling liberated. I have been having Orthobionomy treatments at the UF Ortho center and they are helping. I lie on the table and Kalpesh Patel slides his hands under me and waits. Gradually frozen muscles wake up. It is so weird. One time I felt as if my clothing were moving on its own, but it was a muscle letting go. I am also incorporating stuff from Aging Backwards by Miranda Esmonde-White into my exercises and reading Younger Next Year. I am planning to be younger next year!
Bob's been writing. Son Jack is staying with us again which always makes me happy. My coreopsis are blooming in the back yard, all started from a single plant I pulled up beside the road. They grow willd here in north Florida. I adore them. I also have a blooming nasturtium.
I will finally have time to plant my tomato plants and some herbs I bought, or brought home to die as Bob says...
Feeling light and happy.
 
 
patty1943
25 November 2015 @ 09:58 pm
I just put the apple pie in the oven at 9:30 PM so I will be up for a while... Haha!
Our local store was out of eggnog yesterday so I went down to the publix by I-75, our new spiffy store with only 2 stalls in the women's bathroom. Consideration for the customer does not seem to be a design parameter, although the staff is wonderful.
I got my eggnog so I can have my bi-yearly whiskey and eggnog (tomorrow and Christmas Day) with fresh nutmeg on top.
Got the mail, took back a book, got gas and with my Winn-Dixie card paid only $1.65 a gallon, which was nice.
I am icing my knee and planning to read.
Listened to Corelli this morning. When Bob got back from Vietnam, he was an instructor pilot at Ft. Wolters, Texas, which had a library. There was a multi record set of Corelli sonatas. I had never heard of him, but I took it out every week, I loved it so much. The CD I have now is glorious. Charms my soul.
 
 
patty1943
23 November 2015 @ 08:08 am
I have been doing mostly Facebook where I get very unsettled because of the tons of veteran friends I have who think research and independant thinking mean listening to Faux News and going to right wing websites, where they tell the TRUTH that the media keeps from us...
So maybe it would be better to come back and do my thinking here. Get back to trying to be a writer...
We'll see.
 
 
patty1943
06 February 2015 @ 03:35 pm
Unbelievably  someone actually plagiarized Bob's memoir, Chickenhawk! Word for word in most places except when this idiot doesn't make any of the mistakes Bob did and does all the heroic things Bob's buddies did. He also adds a lot of exploits at LZ X-Ray probably lifted from some other book. You can read an article about this guy, Dennis Surrendi here http://www.nantonnews.com/…/book-tells-story-of-reluctant-c….
A fan of Bob's in Ireland read the book and contacted Bob and sent us the book. You can't buy it anymore, perhaps because this fan also wrote Surrendi to ask why he'd plagiarized Chickenhawk.
Well he and Bob took notes together. HAHAHA. That's why it was so similar.
The only notes Bob ever had were his letters home to me all of which I still have. And I read every word Bob wrote on his typewriter through 5 drafts, the day he wrote it.
I wanna go to Canada and beat the crap out of this miserable wannabe, however since I am 5'1" and 71, I don't think that is likely to happen.
By the way, you'd think with his neurosurgery and multiple PhD's they'd have saved him for something better than helicopter pilot. And you'd think the Nanton News would have fact-checked some of his crap.

So that is our excitement for the month, I hope.
My knee is doing well, but I overdid the driving and walking so I am crutching for a few days till it feels better. It already is a lot better.
 
 
patty1943
17 December 2014 @ 09:31 pm
Knee  
So I am getting my knee arthroscopically surgeried on January 2. It went back to hurting like a sonofawhatever. They can also inject your knee with some goop made from rhino horns or rooster combs or slime or something, but I'll try that if this doesn't give me relief.
Bob had to drive me to the doctor. We spent the day there seeing the injection guy, then the surgeon, then and Xray and offer of crutches, but I have a walker. Bob says crutches are hard.
I am looking forward to feeling like I can walk in the woods.
 
 
patty1943
09 November 2014 @ 11:32 am
I haven't been posting but I have been reading posts kind of randomly.
I tore my meniscus, maybe doing a side-stepping physical therapy exercise with a band around my knees. It put me in a wheelchair for a week, then on a walker for 2 days and then the cortizone shot kicked in and I could walk. Then I took a step up with the bad knee and now it hurts a lot again. It has slowed me down a lot.
I'm discouraged about the ABC book. We have a link for signed books on my webapge http://www.patiencepress.com/patience_press/Critters.html#2 and had Google adwords and Facebook ads aimed at searches for alphabet, abc, picture books, kids books, etc. Quite a few clicks, but no sales. You can page through the book at that link and see how fun it is. I am pretty sure I just have to do footwork and since it is self-published (after a year of looking for an agent, many of whom liked it and said it was publishable, but ABC's were a hard sell, so they didn't want to represent it). It is on Amazon, available to bookstores through Ingram, and a Kindle and an iBook which has a read aloud featuring me and a lot of funny buttons.
I've got nice reviews, below the pictures on that link, and I am aiming for more.
I also plan to do how to make them sheets for my Etsy shop (downloads), Christmas cards with the critters (also downloads), get Kids&Nature groups interested, etc. I know I need to hit stores and schools, but with the bad knee I can't really walk far or much and I am shy... So I am putting that off.
On Etsy they have a bunch of articles on how to improve your shop and one suggested having a line, so this years line in critters will be the Acorncap family, like Andy Acorncap in the book, but none identical, and the Christmas owl or angel wreaths that sold so well last year. All I have to do is make them, hahaha. Well I have 10 made... It is hard to get upstairs to my office to make them, but soon I should be able to.
I have been taking this time to edit two books I am working on for two friends. Bill Reeder was the last Army helicopter pilot captured in Vietnam. He had to walk to Hanoi from Ben Het in S Vietnam with an infected leg and a broken back. It is a hell of a story. Bob (whose Vietnam memoir Chickenhawk is famous and has sold a million copies worldwide and is still in print after more than 25 years) and I both urged him to write a memoir after we heard his story. I have edited the first part twice, and now the new part is much better written. No more sentences starting with "it was," on every page. More showing, less telling. I feel like we taught him to write. I am also editing my friend Kaimei's story of being sent to the countryside during Mao's cultural revolution. Reading about that period and those customs and attitudes is amazing and she finds my editing helpful, which makes me happy. They pay me, too, which is really handy.
My knee has been so painful that I think I am going to ask for the laparoscopic knee surgery instead of sticking with the shots.
 
 
patty1943
11 September 2014 @ 09:39 pm
I am slow to get things done, so I am pretty happy to say I got together a selection of reviews for Woodland Litter Critters ABC and Bob is making a flyer to mail to bookstores and libraries. I also managed to put the Kirkus review and several others on Amazon.
It is like herding cats to get my mind to focus on this.
We are having a book signing at Books N Things in Norway, Maine, on Saturday the 13th from 1-3. On Monday the 15, the power company comes to see where we want to hook up the power to our cabin, instead of running a huge extension cord from the other cabin like we have for years. After that we go home to the north woods of Florida. I feel hot already.

If you are interested, you can page through Woodland Litter Critters ABC at http://www.patiencepress.com/patience_press/Critters.html.

Some good reviews:
 “A host of strange and delightful creatures made from seeds, leaves and vines populates the pages of this first children’s book by the Masons ... A book that will engage young readers with its unusual creatures and may inspire them to create their own.” Kirkus Reviews

“Woodland Litter Critters is a distinctive children's ABC picturebook. It is important to note that Woodland Litter Critters does not condone actual littering; instead, the title refers to whimsical sculptures of imaginary animals, crafted with loving care from acorns, twigs, pine cones, etc. collected from the forest floor. Each letter of the alphabet is paired with the names of some insect-like crafted creations, displayed in full-color photographs and poses. "Hieronymus and Harriet Hickorynut showed up together. The Jessamine boys [Jock Jake Jack] flew to a stump." A unique and captivating work of art in more ways than one, Woodland Litter Critters is a wonderful ABC book for parents and children to share--and perhaps inspiration to create one's own critter art projects from ordinary woodland litter!" Midwest Book Review, 09 Sep. 2014

“Woodland Litter Critters ABC, written by Patience Mason and published by her own Patience Press, only came to my attention in the last month. Oh, how I wish I would've had this when my littles were just learning their ABCs! Many ABC books are loud and chaotic. These little litter critters though have such charm and cleverness that you can't wait to turn the page to see which critter will represent the next letter!
“From Andy Acorncap and the Bird babies to Zippy the Zygodactyl, each page contains an amazing litter critter to examine and a sweet or humorous bit of text to accompany. The critters alone are stunning in their detail and ingenuity. And the text is a nice accompaniment but doesn't overshadow the little critters. My personal favorite page is probably the hooty owls of the O page...”
--Joy, The Book Children

“I found a “wonder”-full book filled with delightful text and images that spread over the page playfully ignoring margins and scale to create a sense of a maker’s kind of book. Andy Acorncap ambles into the rhyme scheme that develops between the facing pages which puts Woodland Litter Critters ABC right into that One Book Four Hands place (a place reserved for the kind of book that should be shared between an older reader and a younger reader to hit those rhymes and rhythms while pointing to the images purposefully before turning the page). Within the twenty-six explorations of the building blocks of our language are devices to share and to talk about. “Bird babies bee-bop behind,” “Elvis and Elvira Evergreen strike an elegant pose,” and we meet the “vines”: Vicky, Vinnie, and Volt.
What I share with students in Room 407 is that I often judge an ABC book by how it treats the letter X. And Patience does not disappoint from a wonder sense. On this page, we meet Xerxes the Xenos his one-eyed Xat. Later, in the end pages of the book, we learn that Xenos means “alien” in Greek. Imagine, later in a students reading, when they encounter the word, xenophobia, within a text and remember Xenos.
In the Notes section of this engaging ABC book, Patience offers ... where many of the elements of her “critters” come. That many of these items are commonly found in woodland areas and backyards is encouraging to this readers “maker” sense. It means that I can make critters too.” Paul Hankins, Wonderopolis

“As the day slowly winds down, various woodland creatures—litter critters—watch the sun set. From Andy Acorncap to Zippy the Zygodactyl, various critters from A to Z teach young children their ABC’s and a little about creativity. The author created each of these critters from various pieces of the woods that fall upon the ground, hence “litter” critters. Each is remarkably lifelike in appearance.
“These critters are cute with their twig arms and legs, acorn bodies, and various decorations. Most of us walk over these cast-off pieces, never thinking at all about the possibility these could be critters. Patience Mason doesn’t think this way. Instead of stepping on the twigs and nuts, leaves and scattered seeds, she sees hiding woodland critters waiting for her to pick them up and give them life once more. These critters look real. Patience has done a remarkable job putting each together with imagination and creativity. Any child could do the same, though not at her level of artistry. Yet, with a little help, kids could create all sorts of litter critters never before seen. There is no artificial coloring added to any critter. Critters like Mike Magnoliacone and Greta the Giant Gnat, get their color naturally—Mike from magnolia cone seeds; Greta from sparkleberry leaves.
“An unusual feature in Woodland Litter Critters ABC, aside from all the critters, is the ABC’s are not only in upper case, as in every other ABC book, but also in lower case. Children can walk into their first day of school knowing both and be ahead of the class.
“I think kids will enjoy looking at each critter, trying to find them in subsequent pages, and possibly making their own. In fact, I cannot imagine any child who reads Woodland Litter Critters ABC not wanting to make its own critters. For families that have a creative day, this is an ideal book. The possibilities are endless. While this is not a craft book, there are certainly many ideas represented for kids to follow or mix up. Woodland Litter Critters ABC is the most imaginative and creative ABC book I have ever seen. The pages are not thick as in most ABC books, but torn pages are worth the risk to introduce your child to the likes of Ulysses Unicorn and Elvis Evergreen (with wife Elvira).” Sue Morris, Kid Lit Reviews.
 
 
patty1943
13 June 2014 @ 02:14 pm
I have been posting all month on PTSD at my other blog http://patiencemason.blogspot.com/. You can read them all there or on my facebook book page, Recovering from The War.
Here is the first post:

PTSD Awareness month; days 1 & 2

Just posted this on Patience H C Mason, my author page and Recovering From the War, my book page:
Since I just found out that June is PTSD Awareness Month, I think I will try to publish something each day here and on my Recovering from the War page. Don't ask me why I have two pages on Recovering. It seemed like a good Idea at the time.
I find the professional literature on PTSD lacks insight into human nature.
When I was writing this book, I kept asking myself why would a person have this reaction? What is its purpose?
To my way of thinking, the symptoms of PTSD arise out of survival skills built into all our brains: not into the thinking, speaking parts, but in the more primitive parts which react before thought.
PTSD symptoms are grouped in clusters, but the order of the clusters in the official diagnostic criteria make them look random and weird.
My order is arousal first, then rapid adaptation and avoidance, and then re-experiencing, which can't happen till AFTER, after all...
When someone attacks, your body reacts instantly, shutting down or fighting back or running (freeze, fight or flee). It's instinctive. We don't have conscious access to this ability. Sometimes a highly trained soldier will find himself unable to get up and attack because this part of him knows he won't survive. It is not cowardice.
The most common response is to flee. That is why soldiers have to be trained to fight.
So I start with the brain's built in ability to pay attention to threats. Wave your hand in front of a snake or bat at a kitten to see this in action.
We, too, react that fast. There is no thought involved. People who don't understand danger call this an "exaggerated startle response," instead of an "effective startle response," which kept you alive.
Threat creates an emotional response. Emotions are designed to keep you alive. Threat creates anger. Irritability and outbursts of anger are a pretty natural response to people trying to kill you, or otherwise traumatize you. More tomorrow.

So I got as far as "irritability and outbursts of anger" yesterday, a part of the cluster of symptoms which arise out of the brain's natural ability to pay attention to threats, to act instantly in reaction, and then to become constantly wary, checking for more threats. Normal brains do this, become hypervigilant, especially if the threats are constant, or intermittent and prolonged, both of which are a good description of many war experiences (and violent families). Anger can keep you alive and help you endure the privations of war or other traumatic events. "Inability to fall or stay asleep," is the next symptom in this section of the diagnostic criteria. This will also make you irritable as well as being the most effective form of torture, too. People do not sleep soundly in wars. It can prove fatal. The last symptom in this category is the "inability to concentrate," which is another misstatement. The veteran is not concentrating on normal everyday stuff. He or she is concentrating on who has a weapon, how will I get out of this room, is that an IED on the road ahead, etc. Concentrating on survival leaves very little room for listening to your spouse or a new therapist or some clerk at the VA.
When you look at these symptoms the way I do, you see them as an effective set of responses to war and other traumas. They are not weird or weak or abnormal. As a matter of fact I see PTSD as a solution to the problem of war. You lived! Tomorrow numbing and avoidance.


Here is the latest:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Detach with love, Day 13 of PTSD Awareness Month

With all the additional information on PTSD ( although none of it is presented the way I see it) it is hard not to get annoyed when people will not go for help. Why is that? And what can a spouse do about it?
People are human and American, and human Americans do not like to think they need help. They are fine (F*ked up, insecure, neurotic and egotistical, but they don't know it) and you are somewhere between nag and nut case to think they are not.
Detach with love.
Let him be where he is at. Let her be where she is at. Our society tells us we can change people. If this were true, there would not be a new self help book out every week. The only person I can change is me, and that is slow and hard and I have not lived through a war and had the symptoms of PTSD hammered into me by traumatic events, over and over.
So if change is hard for me as a civilian, it is going to be harder for a veteran. He will have to face pain, devastation, horrible memories of blood and guts and fear and despair and anger and vengeance and destruction. It is easy to think he should man up and just do it.
We start out as rescuers: Oh, honey, you should go get help, or read this book, or do that. We do not know what healing from war involves. We have no way to know. I had a lot of advice for Bob, none of which he took, so when I was writing the book, I realized that not taking my advice was evidence too.

In combat, things are out of the person's control. Wishes will not stop bullets or explosions or someone bleeding out. Those are just words to us. As Bob once said to me when we came out of the movie Platoon, "It's worse when it's real."
Not following directions is evidence that following directions put them in danger.
It is evidence that they need to regain a sense of control in their lives and if they do what you say they lose that.
So even if what you are saying is the right thing, saying it may be the wrong thing.
More tomorrow.
 
 
Current Mood: contentcontent
 
 
patty1943
27 May 2014 @ 06:07 pm
MRI  

I just got back from an MRI of the upper parts of my spine. It was weird.
I was stuffed into an intermittently very noisy tube for more than an hour. Some of the noises reminded me of the worst minimalist modern music, rhythmic, weird atonal noise with random changes of tempo, tone and loudness. Part of it was like a construction site, bang, bang, bang. At times it shook a little with a noise like the machine that shakes paint cans at the hardware store. There was also a distant pounding like some sort of machine was pounding in piles while the paint cans were being shook. Sometimes it was completely silent except for a sort of rushing watery noise which I suspect was my blood.
The ratatatats didn't sound like gunfire to me. The wierdest thing was the words: at one point I swear it was saying "Oi! Oi! Oi!" for about five minutes. All I could think was that I was locked in a large Jewish robot from Brooklyn, which is where I remember hearing that phrase. However it never added a "vey" so I can't be sure. Later it started saying "Dada, dada, dada," and then tried to shut itself up by saying "Fight, fight, fight," over and over, over the dada. It was quite annoying.
Lying still for that long is hard. I think I fell asleep for moments, because I would think I got up (you can't) and feel bad for ruining the test then realize I didn't. Or think I had waved. I also felt a lot of pains in my back and hips which I don't usually notice. One at a time. Oh, look! My left hip hurts. Stop noticing that and notice my shoulder feels  painfully hunched even though I know it's not. Then my mouth is dry. Are my old fillings heating up? And on and on... I worked on just being there and being all right with whatever happened, seeing it as an experience I can use in my writing.
I was very glad when it was over. Felt like I'd been run over by a truck.

 
 
Current Mood: draineddrained
 
 
patty1943
19 May 2014 @ 10:29 pm
This review made me so happy I cried. He got it!
http://wonderopolis.org/wonder-year-2012/woodland-litter-critters-abc-by-patience-mason/
I gave the book to my favorite libraries in Maine (the Casco Library, Norway Memorial), and the High Springs Library. Hoping they will review it too.
Bob is working on an iPad version. Each critter will be a button. When the kid touches the critter, each has a phrase or smart remark that pops up when you touch it. It is going to be very cool.
The pub date is July and between now and then I am looking for people to read it and review it on their blog or at Amazon and/or Goodreads. You can page through it at my web page to see if it interests you.
Meanwhile I am making critters to put on Etsy when I reopen my shop.
Here is the review by Paul W Hankins:

Just a week ago, my good book friend introduced me to Patience Mason as Teri knows of my interest in ABC books, particularly when teaching classification as a rhetorical mode (a post for another time).

I will always accept a new ABC title into the collection we have in Room 407, and I am never disappointed in those recommended by my friend. But, when I got a chance to look at Patience’s “critters” on line, the mailman couldn’t come quickly enough. When this book finally arrived at Hankins Ranch Thursday afternoon, I dove right in.

And I found a “wonder”-full book filled with delightful text and images that spread over the page playfully ignoring margins and scale to create a sense of a maker’s kind of book. Andy Acorncap ambles into the rhyme scheme that develops between the facing pages which puts Woodland Litter Critters ABC right into that One Book Four Hands place (a place reserved for the kind of book that should be shared between an older reader and a younger reader to hit those rhymes and rhythms while pointing to the images purposefully before turning the page). Within the twenty-six explorations of the building blocks of our language are devices to share and to talk about. “Bird babies bee-bop behind,” “Elvis and Elvira Evergreen strike an elegant pose,” and we meet the “vines”: Vicky, Vinnie, and Volt.

What I share with students in Room 407 is that I often judge an ABC book by how it treats the letter X. And Patience does not disappoint from a wonder sense. On this page, we meet Xerxes the Xenos his one-eyed Xat. Later, in the end pages of the book, we learn that Xenos means “alien” in Greek. Imagine, later in a students reading, when they encounter the word, xenophobia, within a text and remember Xenos.

In the Notes section of this engaging ABC book, Patience offers from where many of the elements of her “critters” come. That many of these items are commonly found in woodland areas and backyards is encouraging to this readers “maker” sense. It means that I can make critters too.

With summer break coming, I can just imagine shoeboxes full of small sticks and acorn caps and seedpods and pinecones. It’s time to make new some new friends. Friends of our making. Just waiting to be wondered. Just waiting to be made.

- See more at: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder-year-2012/woodland-litter-critters-abc-by-patience-mason/#sthash.9KXEqSLQ.dpuf
 
 
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful