Monthly Archives: March 2011

Thursdays Thought-Cheeky Changes

There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse! As I have often found in travelling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one’s position, and be bruised in a new place. ~Washington Irving

What a delightful quote, it made me chuckle a bit, and then to laugh out loud. I wanted a quote about change to piggyback on yesterdays subject of seasons and cycles of change. Naturally there are many cheery, optimistic and inspirational quotes about change but I chose this one for it’s realism and simplicity. In truth it speaks to our adaptable nature and resiliency. Those of us who have endured difficult times have often had to trade one discomfort for another in order to reach a destination. Maybe you’ve gone from a crappy marriage to a life of poverty as a single parent. Or perhaps you’ve left behind a drug addiction to spend 3 months in a treatment center with four crabby roommates and limited freedom. What ever situation caused us to exchange one bruised butt cheek for another, we eventually made it to the end of the Stagecoach ride, bruised, but having found a new and different place.
How have you “bruised your butt cheeks” to arrive at a destination?

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard


Wednesday’s Wisdom-Seasons and Cycles

Hello Everyone!
I don’t have a guest blogger prepared for today so I will go ahead with my own thoughts today.
Here in Wisconsin, the sun is shining, the weather is slowly warming, crocuses are popping their blooms out from underneath the decayed leaves from last fall and it is no longer painful to go outside. These are all beautiful, wonderful miraculous evidence of Natures ability to keep on going, to regenerate and rebirth. Each season, each cycle has it’s own merits and challenges much like the cycles of our own lives. We ebb and flow, sometimes we are cold and sheltered at other times we are in full bloom and beauty. Nature and her seasons affirm that this is the way of life, the natural way. Our season may cycle more or less rapidly than Mother Nature’s, we are as her children, perhaps a bit unruly in our ways. But like all children we are exploring, playing and learning. Just as all children should be treated with Love and Acceptance, we need to remember to extend that same indulgence to ourselves and our cycles.
What season are you in today?

Image courtesy of

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Judge Maryann Sumi Tuesdays Tribute

“If it wasn’t clear last time, Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi made it clear on Tuesday: Any further implementation of Gov. Scott Walker’s law limiting public employee unions is barred, and anyone who violates her order risks sanctions.” excerpt from the Wisconsin State Journal article 3/29/2011,

I have spent a large portion of my day following the progress of the legal proceedings that took place in Madison Wisconsin.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the case, or with the legislative process here in Wisconsin, I can share some links if you’re interested in learning more. Suffice to say, Wisconsin is not unique here in the States or in many other parts of the world which have suffered attacks on Unions, entitlement programs, Education and Health Care. It’s pretty much the same here as in much of Europe, leaders claim they are “broke” and yet somehow manage to have enough money to provide big tax breaks for the wealthy and fund unending wars and “interventions” in the Middle East.
So, who is Maryann Sumi and how does she fit in? If you’re from Wisconsin, it’s likely you are at least familiar with her recent role in the Governor Walker/Republican party bag of tricks, manipulations and outright lies that have been employed in an attempt to strip Union bargaining rights, among other things. To tell the entire story would take days, but in a nutshell, the Republican leaders are now being called out on their behavior. The two most pressing issues, lawsuits actually, are in reference to the middle of the night passing of Walkers Union busting bill without giving sufficient notice or allowing an open meeting. The second issue comes in the outright manipulation of constitutional law and legislative process in order to get the bill officially made into Law. In Wisconsin a bill must be published by the Secretary of State before it becomes Law. In this case, the Secretary of State Doug La Follett immediately filed a complaint stating that the Republicans had violated the open meeting rule and therefore the validity of the bill was questionable. This is where Judge Sumi comes in to play. Judge Sumi issued a restraining order which prevented La Follett from publishing the bill until the process could be reviewed to determine if proper procedure had been followed. Here’s where it gets good, Assembly leader Scott Fitzgerald, Walkers croney, finds what he thinks is a loophole in the law and has the bill published by the legislative reference bureau (which is usually the role of the Secretary of State, by Law) and then decides that move is adequate to make the bill official law. This event happened last Friday and over the weekend Gov. Walker began implementing changes by raising State employees healthcare and retirement plan contributions, and ceasing payments of Union Dues. What? Who is this guy, Darth Vader?
He may well be, but if so Judge Sumi is the Yoda to Walkers Vader. Throughout a long day of complex, unprecedented process filled with irrelevant arguments and many attempts to derail the process, Judge Sumi maintained her professionalism and authority. She did not hesitate to chastise time wasting or nit-picking and yet gave equal and fair consideration to comments from all sides (unless they began to fall into the nit picky category)
As of today the one clear outcome was that Judge Sumi is not playing and is not afraid to assert her authority in the face of some pretty powerful players…we can only infer that when she say “anyone who violates her order risks sanctions” that includes the Governor himself.
For her Courage, Patience and Integrity Judge Sumi is my heroine of the day!

If you’re interested in seeing any or all of the hearing you can view it at-

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Budget deficit? Or attention Deficit?

It’s happening all over the country, elected officials are forgetting that they work for us, not the other way around. Some people will argue that these politicians were elected and therefore earned the right to make certain decisions which is true,to a point. It seems however that some of these newly elected representatives are so excited about their new status that they have forgotten a few details. Apparently those pesky checks and balances, those open hearings and other time tested procedures that must be adhered to when creating policy and/or law. are far too troublesome and time consuming. Supporters of these attention deficit stricken Politicians may have forgotten that we do operate with a two party system; the other party having also been elected by and for citizens who also deserve representation. These people have been flooding the streets, stationing themselves in State Capitols, campus Administration buildings and local government offices for over a month now. We have taken to the streets in thousands, in crappy cold weather to insist that we be heard. As I write thin there are events scheduled as far into the future as late summer.
It’s not only the “big” events that are propelling the winds of change; there are daily updates on social networking sites with accompanying discussions. There are conversations happening just about everywhere you look. There are small acts of rebellion, a spray painted message on the sidewalk here, and impeach Walker sticker there. Bit by bit the concepts are becoming embedded in our cultural consciousness, and the more firmly entrenched, the less likely they are to be undermined.
No matter what issue ignites a passion within you that demands Justice, there are actions you can take that will make a difference. If you are interested in becoming involved, please feel free to leave a comment or send an email and I can provide you with a list of resources, contact people and tips on ways you can make a difference. I offer the same, eve if your passion project is not related to the many current political issues at hand (although they seem to be covering all the bases if you look closely enough!) Whatever it is that calls your Heart to action…you do have the power to make a difference!
© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

>Post Treatment Realities part II


still lazing around in bed….

Well, I seem to be at a loss for words, not only because the brain fog hasn’t entirely lifted but because I do want to be delicate in how I state what it is I want to say. I will enclose a link to my friend Eva Day’s blog because I believe she has summed up so precisely what I seem to be experiencing in my first weeks after EOT. I will include the big disclaimer that everyone’s experience is unique, but as with treatment itself,  there are also seems to be a startling number of similarities and shared experiences in the post treatment months.
One of the more inevitable is the anxiety that accompanies the wait for lab results. Of course if we’ve been clear of the virus throughout most of treatment, chances are we’ll be that way a week after ending, after all the nasty meds are still running thick in our blood. It is in the later blood tests that we must anxiously wait to see if we have achieved the goal of SVR. I had requested a one month follow up because I know myself and my tendency to obsess over things like this. My doctor was kind enough to indulge me and I skipped off to the lab last week in hopes of finding some peace of mind; even bad news, as they say, is better than no news. Perhaps ironically the lab tech did every test except the viral level, so yesterday I took myself off to the lab and got another poke in the arm. My nurse Practitioner must have really railed on the tech because when she saw me she was quick to avoid my eyes and left the room. I felt kind of bad for her, a dedicated patient advocate can be very passionate, shall we say, about their work.
Now it’s a few days of waiting, again. Thankfully my doctors clinic is affiliated with a large hospital and the blood work can be done on site.
There’s a part of me deep down inside that has a feeling that I have not cleared the virus. I don’t know if it’s a result of a lifelong pattern of coping with the uncertain by always preparing for the worst, or something else. It may be the fact that I still don’t feel “better”, at least not as “better” as I’d like to be.
Whatever it is, I have learned through treatment and other challenging life experiences, that worrying changes nothing but one’s own contentment and the best we can do is, as they used to say back in the day, is to “keep on truckin”
Wishing You all a happy, restful weekend!

Here’s Eva’s link

© 2011 Jennifer Hazard

Feeling Funky, Feeling Fine



Friday is supposed to be the fun free for all day, and yet today I’m finding it challenging to maintain that state of mind. The good news is, I just realized that if I am to walk my own talk, I have to accept that fact. More than just accept it; but honor, it respect it and stop trying to fight it.
The harder I push back against feelings, the harder they resist. For many years after I got sober I was “The Eternal Optimist”, always looking on the bright side. The recovery community is big on Gratitude, and for good reason. What some people tend to overlook, or forget, or fail to recognize at all is that one can angsty, fed up, tired, disenchanted, crabby and all sort of other “bad moody things’ and still be Grateful.
I know I’ve written on this topic in other posts, but is an issue that continues to cause problems for individuals, families, and entire cultures. The myopic and undiscerning frame of reference that fails to take into account the wonderful capacity we humans have for complex thought and emotion. When you think about it, it’s pretty cool really, to take a moment and explore all the thoughts, feelings and moods we experience throughout one day. We are constantly evolving, even day by day, hour by hour. This is one reason I like to keep a journal, to observe the cycles of mood and process of thought that weave a pattern in and out through my day, my week, my years…
But as much as I find it fascinating, puzzling, frustrating and beautiful many people are not so comfortable with complexity. Our culture tells us to be even keel, reliable and cooperative. Those of us who dare to express our swings of mood, our frustrations our extreme joy are often labeled as eccentric at best, bi-polar at worst. I’m not denying or discounting that for some people there are symptoms and thought processes that can be disturbing, disabling and even life threatening; but let’s look at how many people (especially women) are on some sort of anti-depressant or mood-stabilizer. The very phrase “mood stabilizer” makes me chuckle if only a bit ironically. Are we only supposed to have one or two moods at best? Why is it not ok to feel sad, angry or depressed? Face it there are plenty of reasons to feel that way, just as there are reasons to feel grateful, content or joyous. How can we truly experience one emotion without having experienced a full range of emotions?
I encourage anyone reading this to take some time at the end of the day to reflect on the thoughts,feelings,moods and physical energy levels you have experienced in just one day. Are there any that are uncomfortable for you? Are there any that you may have struggled to repress? I’d love to hear your feedback about this and I think it’s a topic that can generate endless discussion.
Have a fabulous weekend and enjoy the wonder and beauty of the medley of moods you are capable of experiencing!
© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Thursday’s Quote and my Grandma

“There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.” — Martha Graham

My Grandmother was a portrait of contradictions, she was a small woman about 4’11” with a big presence. She was at times elegant and charming. She was frequently mentioned in the small town newspaper where she lived for her work in the Catholic Church or for hosting parties for women of note. On the other hand, she smoked, drank and swore like a sailor and she was not above throwing a drink at someone if they pissed her off. She has the most wonderful husky “whiskey and cigarette” voice which my father and uncle imitate impeccably. Some of the most noted quotes I remember are: “that God-damn dog!”, “this town is full of riff-raff” and “Oh for Christ’s sake, Jennifer”. She was a unique character and she played a starring role in the very early years of my life.
The moment I read this quote by Martha Graham, Grandma popped into my mind. It was characteristic of something she would say, she always encouraged me to be proud of who I was and she herself wore an aura of self-confidence as she clicked down the street in her 4 inch heels. I believe she truly respected people, especially women, who dared to be unique, who weren’t afraid to challenge convention and to fully embrace their individuality.
They say that no two snowflakes or sets of fingerprints are exactly the same, this is absolutely true of human beings. What a wonderful gift to humanity it is that we all have something, some essence, that is uniquely Us. As Martha Graham implies, it would be a disservice to humankind to deny others, and ourselves, that gift.
What is it that makes you uniquely you? What are your gifts? Do you allow them to bloom or do you keep them hidden away? If the latter is true, how about bringing them into the light, even if a little piece at a time.

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard