Day 780 my friends

Today is Monday. Today, I received a nice pile of letters from the dear people I write in prison. I must tell you that, Marty Gottesfeld sends the most upbeat letters even if he is struggling. He is always thinking about Matt.
I received a letter from my Autistic friend and he always asks about Matt. He knew Matt from another prison. He tells me that he misses my son very much.
You know, most of the people I correspond with are usually thinking about the welfare of someone else. Matt called earlier today just to encourage me and not to worry about the job issue. He told me the best one is coming.
Seriously, while maniacal monsters are running the system, decent and good hearted people are in cages.
Today, I would really like to hear some of the people I know ask, “Wow, Leann, what can I do to help encourage those caged,” in our dismal and unethical prison system.
I usually hear, “Wow, you are amazing. I couldn’t do that.” No, there’s nothing amazing about it. I just give a damn about people suffering. They are more than just people, they are my friends.


Day 779 Books

Today is Sunday. Today, I was made aware that the Bureau of Prisons is getting ready to roll out some very harsh rules regarding books.
Just so you know, many of us who send books realize how therapeutic, educational and important books are to prisoners. Journalist Barrett Brown made a great point that those in solitary have nothing but books (and that isn’t afforded in all prisons) to help them get through the isolation.
Amazon and Barnes and Noble will no longer be able to ship books nor small not for profits that provide free books to prisoners.
The BOP will provide the access to books and severely limit the amount prisoners can order. There is also a 30% markup.
This means the BOP will ultimately decide what books can be purchased. I have indigent prisoners I buy books for besides my son. I am not rich. How will they be able to buy books.
So, I ask which politicians own stock in this? Only the rich, as Mr. Brown said, will be able to buy the books and I guarantee the amount they will be able to purchase will be based on financial status.
I am infuriated. I am sick in my heart.
I think about my one autistic guy and he reads young adult fantasy books and Manga.
He is so excited when I can manage to scrape up some funds and send him books.
OMG..I am crying.

I’m sorry..I am heartsick.

Day 778 Mountains

Today is Saturday. Today, we drove up to the mountains to a town just before you cross over into Vermont. There is still snow on the ski slopes.
Mountains– they are beautiful, majestic and enormous. Sometimes that is how problems may appear in our lives: enormous.
I have gotten enough rejection emails and letters from my job search that I could wallpaper a bedroom. Honestly, I did not expect to be facing seemingly a mountain.
Those who know me keep telling me that one is out there for me. I just hope it’s not washing windows for high rise buildings because I am afraid of heights..;)
Back to the real mountains, I couldn’t help imagining my son, Matt, flying down the slopes on his board. I’d eat bread and water for the rest of my life to see that.


Day 777 Vines

Today is Friday. Today, I was assessing my trees and there are some that have had vines growing up around them. In fact, the vines have literally become part of the tree creating circular rings up the tree trunk.
The vines made me think about things that we’ve grown up with that have been an integral part of our lives. Some of those things may have been good and nurturing; some not so good and damaging.
Today, I watched the movie, “The Post” with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. It was about the Washington Post deciding to go ahead and publish the “Pentagon Papers.”
You know what I didn’t grow up talking about? No history teacher in junior high, high school or college ever discussed the Vietnam War. Nothing was ever mentioned about the moral courage of one man, Daniel Ellsberg (a true patriot of the Amercan people), who leaked the study showing how the Vietnam War could never be won. So many young people died because the US gov’t under Presidents Eisenhower through Ford for 30 years had its ego to protect.
Tell me what has changed. In fact, we now see journalists, truthtellers and whistleblowers persecuted, imprisoned and murdered.
If we allow ignorance and silence to choke out the truth like a vine around a tree; we will find ourselves repeating the same atrocities.
Lest we forget:

Michael Hastings–journalist investigating the secret drone program–died in a suspicious car crash June 2013

Serena Shim–journalist who died in a suspicious car crash October 2014 after being declared a spy. She published a piece detailing how the Turkish government used humanitarian aid-marked trucks to transport weapons and ammunition to ISIL-ISIS factions that opposed the Assad administration’s government in Syria.

Julian Assange–publisher for Wikileaks forced to seek asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for the past 7 years. Most recently, he has been denied contact to the outside world.

Chelsea Manning–imprisoned for 7 years after leaking damning cables and the murder of civilians by US military.

Edward Snowden–residing in Russia under threats of death from US politicians for leaking the huge surveillance program on US citizens by their own gov’t.

Jeremy Hammond–serving a prison sentence for hacking and leaking emails from a private intelligence firm, Stratfor, which spied on activists and protestors.

Matt DeHart–truthteller who received information about the three letter agency’s murder of American citizens. He is serving a prison sentence for drummed up child porn charges.

So, if you believe your gov’t wouldn’t conspire and lie, remember Vietnam, just one of too many examples.
Those few I mentioned above know this very well.


Day 776 Monsters with a Walmart mentality

Today is Thursday. Today, I found myself frustrated. You know, the kind of frustration that brings you tears. When are people, human beings, going to make humane changes? What planet did all these slimy, vicious, heartless monsters come from?
Prison reform. I want to see rehabilitation, restoration, and compassion. I’m sickened by the barbarism and cruelty. I’m sick of the Walmart “throw away” mentality.
But, my day did not end in a wild shriek. I did go fishing for trout. I caught a tree branch and a clump of river grass. The sun was beaming and the pine scented breeze made the treetops dance. It was all good. There’s something healing being by water, especially a pristine lake and a river so clear you can see every rock.
Just a thought..can we put the DOJ in prison?


Day 775 Payback

Today is Wednesday. Today, Paul and I got a payback. Yesterday, we hit a drive through for coffee. Paul, unbeknown to me, usually buys coffee for the person in the car in front of him if it’s a cop. I know what some of you might be thinking and I was a bit confused myself. Truth is, I don’t trust or have much respect for any law enforcement.
But Paul feels that kindness begets kindness. Hatred certainly doesn’t produce love or kindness.
Today, we went through to get our coffee and someone else graciously picked up the tab. It just made me smile.
What goes around comes around, eh?
Or, for us believers, we reap what we sow.
And that was just a cup of coffee. 😉

Paying forward; I like that concept. 😉


Day 774 improved health

Today is Tuesday. Today, I saw my doctor for the final visit. She said I am doing well and I “graduated.” she gave me a big hug and told me that I was her favorite patient and she would miss me. Awwww.
The ladies behind the reception desk asked if they could just schedule me for another appointment anyway. 😀
Today, Paul and I shoveled dirt to cover the root ball of a hundred foot pine that was yanked out of the ground by last year’s storm.
We are building a permaculture to grow plants and hide the enormous hole near our driveway.
Today, it was 72 degrees. It was wonderful to wear short sleeves. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.
Today, Happy Birthday, Terri.
Today, read the updated info on Matt at put out by Courage.
Today, keep the families of whistleblowers and truthtellers in your prayers. The struggle is painful.