The Time for Hope is Now

I have recently become acquainted with the Hope for Recovery Center located in downtown Franklin NH. Though they have been there for quite some time now, I had never had reason to walk through their doors until a friend of mine decided to use her birthday to help raise funds for them. When I walked in, I was greeted warmly, and thanked for coming. There was food, of course, and cake, but more importantly, there were testimonies given by people who are members of this center; members of my community. Many of whom I didn’t know. One story, in particular, broke my heart three or four times before the young lady was finished speaking. It was a story that she admitted she didn’t quite feel ready to tell, and by the end of it, I knew I wanted to volunteer if I could.

I have never been an addict, so I am not in recovery. This does not mean that I have nothing to learn from these wonderful people. The night after my first experience at the center, they had a family friendly sober dance. I brought my daughters. As we walked through the door, a group of teenagers ran up and grabbed Krishna, and took off with her. Arienette spotted some toys, and off she ran as well. As I sat and watched, (as I am wont to do when surrounded by unfamiliar people) I noticed something; there was no judgment here. These people saw no age, no disability, no class. All were equal here. They formed a circle as an elder woman jumped to the center and danced her heart out, and they all cheered for her as she resumed her place in the ring. Another, younger person took their turn, then another. Nobody asked me who I was, what I was doing there, or anything. I was just there, and they accepted me as one of them. There were many children from infants to teenagers, to people in their elder years. People brought their dates as well. There were raffles and food, and everyone had a wonderful time. These dances have been happening every month.

Hope has been planning a theater group to help young people stay away from substance abuse. The theory here being that young people choose substances to fill a hole in their lives, and that we should give them something positive to fill that hole with instead. Give them theater! Give them someone to be! Help them become stronger individuals by teaching them strength of character and character development.

There is a spaghetti dinner planned for March 10th, and originally, the proceeds were to go to the wedding of Hope’s DJ, though he has graciously offered to donate them to help Hope stay alive. The dinner will include karaoke and probably some other things as well. The people of Hope know how to throw a party.

Yesterday morning, the director found out that the center, and three of the four other branches are set to close due to lack of funding. Yesterday afternoon, the Hope community said “No.” Last night, WMUR was on site to interview and broadcast some of the members who were able to make it out to stand and protest the closing of their center.

Franklin needs Hope. We talk so often, and so much about the drug crisis in New Hampshire, but when it comes down to it, what are we willing to do to help? I know that Hope helps. I have heard the testimonies from the people who have been helped by this center. Hundreds of people walk through those doors every month looking for help. Without Hope, many of these people would still be in the throes of their addictions. They would be without jobs, living on the streets. The truth is, if we want to help stop this drug crisis, we need to put our money where the help is. I know that I, for one, would by far prefer to see addicts find help in recovery than to see them on the streets.

We stand for Hope, help us find a way to keep it alive.

YouCaring page for fundraising





On Charlotesville

It has been several days, and as such, I am behind the outpouring of words that customarily follow such an event. Words of sadness, confusion, love, help, good intent… mostly words of good intent, but also words of anger, hate, vitriol, and even people who deny that this was what even the perpetrators of the incident say it was. In this case, an act of white supremacists, making sure the rest of us know that they are still very much alive, and willing to fight for what they think they deserve.

“Jews will not replace us”

Jewish people have neither the intention, nor desire to replace anyone. There is no “gay agenda”, African Americans are not trying to undermine white people in any way. They are simply standing here saying “Please, can you make some room for us, too?” And when you stand, and shout back at them that you want them to die, or that you won’t let them “replace you” or “win”, maybe you are the problem here.

“Blood and soil

Using an old Nazi chant drives in only one point. That the people shouting it are Nazis. Unless, of course, they happen to be shouting it on soil that they stole from people, while covering it with the blood of those native peoples. Then, a second point is made. The people shouting are either extraordinarily forgetful, or just really stupid. This soil does not belong to us. If it belongs to anyone, it is the Native Americans who were cheated out of their land, pushed into corners and largely forgotten about… and then… replaced. In fact, throughout history, it is the white man who has done most of the replacing.

White people will never be replaced, and they know that. Everyone with any semblance of a brain knows that. That isn’t really what they fear. These people fear having to share, and being made to share equally. They fear having to treat everyone as though they are equal. Being forced to acknowledge that they are superior to nobody.

The fact is, if Charlottesville had been Native Americans or African Americans protesting, even if it were a peaceful protest, they would not have made it out safely. They would have been arrested. Bombarded with teargas and rubber bullets. America is not, and will not be free and equal until this is no longer the case. Until white protesters are given the same treatment as protesters of any other color, creed, religion, etc, we have no equality.

Until we have someone in the White House who can see why Charlottesville was, indeed, an incitement of terror from white supremacists, and not simply “bad on both sides”, we can not come together, and if Pence wants to stand with Trump on his statements on the issue, then let him fall with Trump as well.

We, as a country, need to move forward. We need to move into equality for all. Nothing less can be acceptable.

I Will Not be Silent

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. This post may not be well received by everyone, but that’s fine, because sometimes, it can actually be more destructive to sit and stay silent in the name of keeping the peace. I may lose friends over this, and for that eventuality, I am prepared. All I ask is that you please read to the end. Anyone who knows me should know that my intent here is good. My intent is love. As Always.

Donald Trump has made threats against every group of people except for white, rich, cisgendered, heterosexual men.

He has promised that a wall will be built to keep Mexicans out.
He and Pence have sworn to roll back the rights of the LGBTQIA community.
He has threatened the reproductive rights of women.
He has threatened to deport Muslims, and keep them out of America.
He and his people have threatened to cut aid for the disabled, veterans and the elderly.
And the list goes on.

In addition to the blatant threats, he has made insult after insult against everyone within earshot.

People, a LOT of people, are feeling threatened and at risk by this man and his people. A man who has chosen, as his second in command, someone who backs conversion therapy for LGBT youth, that includes electroshock treatment.

Schools are even offering support to students who feel threatened by Trump’s win This is not a typical election cycle.

I have heard people say “When Obama won, we felt the same way”, but no… Obama never threatened anyone’s rights. Nobody felt their life was at stake when Obama won. This is vastly different. You do not get to tell people how to feel.

To the people who voted for Trump who do not understand why your loved ones are hurt or angry:

When you voted for this man as president, it didn’t matter to the people you claim to love whether you believed he could fulfill any of these “promises”.

What mattered to them is that you were voting for someone who was making threats against their very existence.

They don’t care that your reason for voting for him is that “he is honest” (despite the fact that he flip flops faster than a fish on hot asphalt).

They care that he wants to take their rights away, and you don’t care about that.

They feel like you have turned your back on them, for this man who promises to strip them of their rights, their very person-hood. Your reason for voting for him doesn’t matter in the least, the fact is that you chose him over the people you say you love.

I’m not a Hillary fan. I love Bernie, I feel like Bernie was out best option, but we could not have him. A lot of Bernie supporters went over to Trump to Spite Hillary, but what they really did was shoot themselves, and America, in the foot. Bernie said Never Trump.

You don’t know what you have done… losing the trust of your loved ones may only be the beginning. I hope, for all our sakes, that I am wrong.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Saving People’s Smiles: A Non Profit Dentistry.

Aspen Dental has a program that allows you to come in for your first exam and cleaning for free, so, a few weeks ago, I went in. They did x rays and an exam, but, when it came time for the cleaning, they informed me that, because I needed a “deep cleaning”, they could nod do one for me for free. The normal cleaning would have been covered, but they refused to even do that much.

Aspen Dental told me I needed three fillings, periodontal work and three wisdom teeth extracted. They quoted me around $2500.

Today I had my first appointment at Saving People’s Smiles in Concord NH.

I found out about SPS through a lot of research online looking for an affordable dentist. Due to the fact that Medicaid does not cover almost any dental work at all, I had not been for a cleaning in about 10 years. This, of course, is not acceptable. I called the number I found online, and spoke with a receptionist. She old me that, in the last month, they had done about a dozen second opinions from Aspen, and saved people hundreds and thousands just on procedures Aspen said they need that they really don’t. Of course I wanted a second opinion. Medicaid covers exams and extractions, so, I could get my second opinion with that. I asked about a deep cleaning, and she quoted me $78. In fact, for all the work Aspen said I needed done, she quoted me about half what Aspen had.

I met my grandmother in the parking lot, she had agreed to watch my little one while I was in my appointment, and we went inside. The waiting room was small, and it was packed. A Turkish family was siting along one wall with a translator, and I filled out paperwork. The hygienist came for me very quickly, and took me into a small exam room. The cleaning was very uncomfortable, though it really had to be since she had to go in under my gums for the periodontal cleaning. It was nowhere near as bad, however, as the exam at Aspen.

When the doctor came in and looked at the x rays sent over from Aspen, he said there is really no reason to extract my wisdom teeth. hey are no bothering me, and they do not look as though they will any time soon. The periodontal work and fillings, however, do need to be taken care of.

I set an appointment for my first filling, which will cost me $150. (I would do all three at once, but I cannot afford it.) I also set my first of four appointments (in six month intervals) for the periodontal cleanings. They had, at first, told me it would be $160 per visit, but were able to take that down to $78. I left the office feeling good about the fact that I can afford to see the dentist, and for MUCH less than Aspen (or anywhere else) charges.

Perhaps my favorite thing about SPS is how friendly the staff is. They were all kind, polite and respectful. Not once did someone look down upon me because I cannot afford to go o a normal dentist. Everyone was completely professional, while also being very kind.

Saving People’s Smiles is a Non Profit dentistry in Concord, NH that was started by retired dentist, Dr. Simpson in 2012, and two colleagues. He wanted a way to give back to the community, and thought it would be wonderful to give people an affordable option. Dr. Simpson knows that not everyone has dental insurance, and that, even those who do are no covered very well. Since it was his 30th anniversary of graduating from St. Paul’s School, he decided to give his practice the same initials. They treat all ages as well, and have books and toys in he waiting room. I only wish I had heard of them sooner. I would recommend this dentistry to anyone who is in need of a place to go. They are doing a wonderful thing for people in need.

Saving People’s Smiles

194 Pleasant Street, Suite #6
Concord, NH 03301

White Tiger Karate Haunted Hike 2014


The first weekend is over, and boy was it fun. Every year we get together with Krishna’s Karate school and help out with the Haunted Hike. Sensei Sharyl puts this event on each year as a way to help families in need. We prep the path and then have a couple weekends to scare, and it is my favorite thing every year. We (Krishna and I) have been doing the Hike for the last six years, and this is the tenth anniversary of the event. I love my spot at the cemetery where people get off the hay cart and start their journey through our haunted woods. For the past six years I have sat by my fire at the little cemetery waiting for groups of people to be dropped off to give them a brief rundown before sending them off down the path to be scared, and I have loved every moment of it.

People will arrive at Sensei’s house where there is food and drink to be had for donation, as well as a large bonfire. From there, they get on the haycart for a brief ride up to my spot, where I go over the fact that it is a path through the woods so they should (hopefully) have decent shoes on – you would be surprised how many flip flops have come through – and ask only that they use their common sense about things that are generally found in the woods (pot holes, puddles, rocks, etc) and I usually warn them to keep small children in the center of the group so they don’t fall in the mud (mud is inevitable in the woods). Then, they are off on their adventure.

Perhaps my very favorite part is deciding what kind of makeup I will wear each night. I recently started experimenting with liquid latex in the making of prosthetics such as open wounds for my costumes. I have made several, and I get a certain odd joy from making and wearing them. They are somewhat grotesque which makes me even more pleased with them. My least favorite part is knowing I can not have Arienette with me in the woods, and even though I know she is safe inside the house, I still have trouble being away from her. I do know that it is good for her to not always be with me, however I can not seem to stop worrying about her. I suppose that comes with having a small child, however, and she always has fun with the other kids.

Small children, or others who do not wish to be scared too badly generally come before seven, when it is still fairly light, and those who do wish to be frightened come after dark. We all have a great time scaring people, and keep a running tally of how many people wet themselves. I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to Halloween, I legitimately start planning for the next hike the day after the current one ends, and even now, knowing we still have four days left this year, I find myself thinking about what I will come up with for next year. I always like to switch up my look so that, even if people have been through previously, and know I will be there, they still won’t know quite what to expect from me. The photo at the top of this post shows my three different looks from this weekend, so I do tend to change my look daily. (all pictures in this post are from this year.)

I look forward to next week, and Halloween night when we will once again be on our path in the woods raising money for local families. What better way than to organize an event where people can come, have fun, be scared and then enjoy a hot snack and drink by the fire? Sensei Sharyl puts on a wonderful show every year, and I couldn’t be happier with the turnout. Please feel free to come find us, and to comment with any questions you may have. You won’t regret visiting us, and please remember that proceeds go to help families in need.


Calling All 90’s Kids!!

I was born in 1985. This means that the 90’s dominated my childhood. Everything from Pogs to Pokemon was my life. One of my favorite things about the 90’s, as most kids from that decade will agree, was the television programming. I own all seven seasons of Are You Afraid of the Dark – it was my favorite show. I loved Clarissa and Legends of the Hidden Temple. Rocket Power and Rocko’s Modern Life. 90’s Nickelodeon was the best thing in the world to a kid back then. Who can forget SNICK, or Stick Stickley during the summer. I still remember his jingle. “Write to me, Stick Stickly, PO box 963. New York City, New York State, 10108.”

Well I want my shows back. I want a channel for 90’s Nickelodeon shows. Complete with SNICK on Saturday nights. I want to grab some popcorn, and hear Henry and June tell me to keep my “derriere” in my “chairriere” I want my kids to be able to watch the shows I grew up on. The shows out today are abysmal. They are horrible, and insulting, and I want good TV back.

With this in mind, I created a petition. Please, if you feel the way I do (or even if you don’t) go sign this petition so we can have our shows back 24/7. Not just for a few hours at like midnight.