Posts Tagged With: women


My mother is gone, but when I think of her, I remember how strong and resilient she was. She was at her mother’s bedside through the birth of her 11 siblings. She comforted her at the death of two of those children, one at age 4, another at age 8. She lived through many tragedies but remained her grand children’s darling gramma. And, great-grandchildren, too. She was religious, faithful, polite, patient,  always helping others but able to build her own dreams. She had a catering business late in life and made it a whopping success. She did it all with civility and grace. What an example she was to me.

I have many mother’s in my life to celebrate, my daughters, my daughter-in-law. And each of them is a wonderful mother with dedication and the values we believe in and share. They too, raise their children and pursue their dreams. They are each unique with varying abilities. Women, as mothers, contribute so much to our culture, our comfort, our love, our greatness as a country, we  stop to salute them today and not forget them tomorrow.

It amuses me that at one time women were considered the weaker sex. I’m grateful my husband never considered me weak. He always recognized and acknowledged my own gifts and I have become the proud matriarch of my clan.  I’m proud to recognize their strengths and revel in my own.






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Meet Rock Panera, a security professional, who teaches simple moves that women and children can execute in their own defense. I took this class just before we moved from Birch Bay, yesterday. We are now in La Conner, Washington, sitting though a heavy rain this morning with a very weak signal.

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Here he demonstrates what to do when an assailant comes from behind you and pins your arms. You are not helpless. You have many options. You can go half limp and your body weight means the assailant has to hold you up, giving you a chance to break free and run. Or you can stomp on his foot and make it hurt. Keep moving, keep elbowing and punching.

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But, the best way, is to wrench yourself to the side which makes one of his arms extend and puts him off-balance and giving you, or even a young child, the chance to put an elbow to his crotch, break the hold and run, run, run.

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If an assailant tries to grab your clothes and pull you toward him, or pin you to a wall, you grab his clothes and keep your arms extended if you can and he will have less control. If you are holding his clothes whatever he does to you, he is doing to himself. But the end game is to break that hold, the minute he takes a hand off of you, bash him, with your head, knee to the groin, stomp a foot and run. Always run, as fast as you can.

Assailants look for women with long hair, because it is the easiest way to control a woman. If you are grabbed by the hair, you lace your fingers together and put your hands on top of his and press down and flail your elbows until he has to change his position. Then bolt. Always, attempt to break his hold and run.

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This little guy wrenched away from his mother and elbowed her where it hurt.

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He put the kids through the moves and it was amazing how they responded. I thought this class was a worthwhile reminder of how to be pro-active should you ever, by whatever circumstance, be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He put me in a choke hold from the front. Instead of trying to pry his hands away, he instructed me to reach out and clap his ears hard with both hands. I couldn’t reach his ears. His second was to dig fingers into nose and eyes, or to use the heel of your hand and strike his nose, hard. It can actually be a death-dealing blow and doesn’t take a great deal of strength.

In today’s violent world, unless you are trained or a karate expert, you won’t be likely to execute or even remember some fancy move, nor have a chance in a fight. It is best to defend yourself by getting away from your assailant and run and scream.

I agree. Both of my daughters were accosted as young women, and I was put at risk several times as a child and talked my way out of a rape by two men when I was 17.  Luckily we got away unharmed. You are never too old to be a victim. I was glad I went to the class, because sometimes we need a reminder.

Rock emphasized that none of these break control and run plans may work if a knife or a gun is involved. But, each individual must make that instant decision based on the perceived danger of their situation.


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If you drive by the prison, cells gouged from the south wall are visible from the road, along with the Mission Church Steeple and the two famous bridges that cross the once mighty Colorado River. Though we visited the prison on a previous visit, we decided to do it again.

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The prison is now a state park and when you look over the edge from above, the territory around the river is wild;  sand, river bed, desert stretching all the way to Mexico and even horseback riders on this day. Three-Ten to Yuma was filmed here.

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Inmates built the prison cell block by cell block after the first building was built in 1875, approved by the legislature as a territorial prison, since Arizona was not yet a state. This edifice was actually a well, once covered by planks, then later electricity was used to pump water. Later still, Covered over and a guard tower erected on top of it. The well and electricity gave the place a reputation as being a country club.

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While true, the prisoners were also correct in calling it a Hell Hole.

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Still, inmates desperate to escape, tried many times to do so. Some made it. Most failed.

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Territorial law was harsh.

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Otherwise law abiding citizens, yes, but no prostitutes were arrested, the type of woman men appreciated.

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The sister, who was single, was not arrested.

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As consenting adults, we take our freedoms for granted.


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After several many times serving in solitary for breaking prison rules, and two escape attempts, inmate C.E. Hobard finally settled in and served his life term for murder. DSC02724 (Copy)

He worked all day in the quarry, building more cells; during his spare time he made beautiful lace. Several shops on the grounds gave inmates the opportunity to make and sell things. If they couldn’t make a tin cup, for instance, they did without a cup. Draconian.

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There were some real bad guys. Leslie worked with Wyaat Earp at the Oriental Bar in Tombstone. He killed Billy Clairborne of the Clanton Gang. He killed his girlfriend in a drunken rage. Earp claimed Leslie was the only gunman who could compare with the speed and accuracy of Doc Holiday with a six-gun.  Yet, he only served 10 years of his life term. DSC02815 (Copy)

The original bunks were wooden, but lice and bedbugs were so endemic, they changed them to metal.DSC02798 (Copy)

Adding to the hell hole of discomfort, hard metal beds, open cells like this were ventilated during Yuma’s hot summers, even if metal doors heated up to the point you could burn yourself to touch one. But during winter, you froze at night. Other open-on-one-end cells were deadly hot in summer, but a bit warmer at night and winter. A perfect lose, lose.

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Punishments, if obeyed by administrators, were simple but also harsh. The ball and chain confinement in a solitary cell, or the Dark Cell. An unlighted area, no toilets, no change of clothing, multiple people chained to the steel grid on the floor at the same time, with no light nor ability to lie down. One man served 102 days in this cell and came out a model prisoner. Two women served time in this cell for breaking rules.  Stinkin’ brutal.

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The prison is a fascinating place to visit. They have a gunfighters gathering on the grounds the first two weekends of January that was a wonderfully costumed competition we attended in 2011, I believe. It is worth planning your visit during that event.

When the prison closed, it was used by various organizations, most notably, a High School, and later a home for people displaced during the depression.

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The High School Mascot was the Crims, for criminals. Don’t miss the historic Territorial Prison tour when you visit Yuma.

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I am sooooo tired of the campaign, the calls, the negative ads, and all that rush, rush stuff. This song from the 1960’s is a message song that was remade for today:

Check it out.

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