Birthday Blog: Hitchin’ My Star to a New Wagon


Navigating your life is not a matter of purchasing a GPS…  Following your dreams is not on Google Maps…. Knowing what’s right is to take risk and follow your gut… most often outside the parameters of your comfort zone…  As much as we would like to pretend that the “Great and Powerful Oz” is behind the curtain watching your back and directing your future…along with Dorothy and Toto…we know that just ain’t happening in real life…. And another thing… no soul mate, parent, PR manager or CEO can make it happen either… It’s all about YOU…or ME…

Ladyjustice just tries too hard….that has been her” MO” all of her life…  In old age can she relax a little? Of course, with the proper influences…

This writer’s life could be seen as a life of hardship if you are the one pressing your nose against the glass to get a better view.  However, from the inside, it has not been bad…despite some unusual adversities.  And so…birthdays are times for reflection…  To try to change your life for the better…to begin a new chapter in a new land is like….getting that last puzzle piece to fit so that the full picture comes together.  However, that piece isn’t in place yet…and the puzzle is gathering a little dust… ‘But not for long with the right connection-the opportune break….

A wise friend recently gave Ladyjustice a reality check if such changes were to be made… It was a bitter pill indeed… but one that needed to be heard…and one that  can be embraced.  Perhaps the pocketbook will be less and the pot at the end of the rainbow filled with something other than gold coins… But… should the barriers stop Ladyjustice?   Not at all….

It is fun to contemplate the newness of what it could be… the getting used to a different way…putting up with the down sides in favor of the good parts.   It is about connection and limiting the connections that no longer work.  And… you can believe there are rumblings from those who can’t understand why “Ladyjustice” isn’t acting as predicted…isn’t following the usual course…   Truth is…Ladyjustice has always been a “pioneering woman” in some arenas.  Question is…. How much of a pioneer does she want to be in this “change up your life scenario?”

Ladyjustice is a minimalist in terms of collection of material goods. (If you recall from last year’s birthday blog… she was content with a new stapler at work (And…. is still waiting, Hear that Santa?) HA!

The richness to be captured is with new people connections…for she is a social animal at heart… She needs people…just like Barbra Streisand…to be one of the luckiest people in the world… and not in the superficial sense. So how to find that… in a land where people are indeed a melting pot from many areas,…but not standoffish as the New England stereotype goes….  Ladyjustice  even talks to people in elevators…So watch out…

Pioneers and pioneering women…. Permit me to digress a bit to share this fascinating way of life of the real pioneer women in the days of covered wagons, lest I complain too much….


(Excerpts from two blogs)

By the year 1869 when the first transcontinental railroad was finished, over 350,000 pioneers had taken the Oregon Trail to start a new life. Many of these were women and most were accompanied by children. From the very first wagon train on, women would see and experience hardship like none they had ever imagined. Husbands often made the decision to start life over in the west without ever asking whether the wives thought this was a good decision or how it might affect them. in a few instances, women traveled westward by themselves.

CanavanNellie-MabelMeins39WagonBefore heading west, many women often spent their day doing nothing more than visiting, needlework, and the occasional gardening of flowers. They had married men who were established as businessmen in the towns they then lived in. They never dreamed these same men, entrepreneurs at heart, would listen to tales of gold and prosperous green land west, and decide to pack up their families and head out themselves. Others were not from as wealthy families; their men were laborers, and already working the land, they themselves working alongside them. Neither type was in most instances prepared for the hardships that lay ahead.

Before a family could head west, first the wagon must be packed. This task fell normally to the woman of the house. A list would be prepared, household items that they would no longer need or deemed unable to be carried along, would be sold off first, to help pay for the trip. This would be the first of many heartbreaking hardships.

Most women would soon realize that personal possessions did not mean as much though, as the more basic supplies soon came to mean life itself. The wagon would be packed. Clothing and furniture were packed. Food was the main item to be gathered. This would have included mainly staples, such as beans, coffee, flour, salt, a cow to be milked, and dried meat. As they traveled, many families would run low on food, and it was common to slaughter and eat the oxen they had brought along to start their new life over once they arrived at their destination.

In the end, pioneer women would leave more than discarded furniture along the trail as they traveled west. Many buried not only one child, but also several. A child could fall out of a wagon and quickly be run over before anyone could even react. Husbands killed during accidents were also not that exceptional.

Pioneer women themselves also perished. Typhoid and cholera traveled quickly through many wagon trains, killing at random. Indian skirmishes did occur, but not as many as one might think. Most Indian skirmishes were with the settlers who had reached their destinations. Babies were born in the roughest conditions. Many died and the women would not only have the heartbreak of the infants’ death, but also of having to leave behind the body in a place that they knew they would never again see.

Pioneer women were not always “women.” Girls learned to grow up fast, and if not, were forced to. Marriage as young as 14 and 15 was very common. Once a family had reached their destination, hired hands that had accompanied these families west often married into the family. The idea of a familiar face for a neighbor in a strange land was often enough for a father to give permission for his daughters to marry, even at such a young age. Mothers also would welcome their daughters as neighbors over some stranger.

Once they did reach their destination, the work was far from over. A house would need to be built, and as many arrived in the late summer or fall, that meant that this work often would be done in the cold of winter. Women quickly learned to wield an ax right alongside their husbands. At the first sign of spring, a garden would need to be planted. Trees were cleared and stumps removed, the ground would need to be worked up. This often entailed heavy work behind an ox or mule. After the planting was done, water would need to be supplied. This was besides water for cooking, cleaning, and washing that they were already hauling each day.

Pioneer women also had to deal with rodents, marauding animals, including bear and coyotes, and lions. Indians were also a concern, and some did fall to their deaths by the Indians’ hand. Where were the men when all this was being done? Working the fields or mining were the two most usual occupations.  The remainder of the work fell to the women and the oldest children if there were any.

Standard equipment : Examples: Her iron ware was stashed in a box that hung outside the wagon, and her butter churn was put in by the washtub. When all was packed and ready, she added a feather mattress and pillows, which would be laid on top of the boxes and over a side of shoe leather at night, with two comforters on top “and we have a good enough bed for anyone to sleep on”. The wagon was lined with green cloth, to make it pleasant and soft for the eye, with three or four large pockets on each side, to hold many little conveniences-looking glasses, combs, brushes, and so on.” One other important item mentioned in most diaries of the overland westward journeys is the “India rubber water bottle” (somewhat similar to a very large hot water bottle).

Pioneer women were responsible for a lot more…including inventory control: Because women were often responsible for the growing, storing and preparing of food at home, families relied heavily on their knowledge and experience when calculating how much and what kind of supplies they would need on the trail. A well-stocked, wisely packed wagon made all the difference on a long journey where travelers were likely to find themselves without food, water, or shelter if they had not planned carefully beforehand.

And so…who does Ladyjustiice want to be as the next year rolls around?


Some Examples-


Dr Quinn Medicine Woman:  (After All… Ladyjustice is all set… as she has been schooled, worked as a Rehab therapist  and “worked up like a guinea pig” in lots of medical setting… and her initials spell Dr. Gore How perfect!)

The series begins in the year 1867 and centers on a proper and wealthy female physician from Boston, Massachusetts ; Michaela Quinn (Jane Seymour) ; familiarly known as ‘Dr. Mike’. adapts to her new life as a mother, with the children, while finding true love with Sully. Furthermore, she acts as a one-woman mission to convince the townspeople that a female doctor can successfully practice medicine.

Carrie Nation:  after a tumultuous childhood filled with dysfunction, Carrie married an alcoholic physician and subsequently developed a very passionate attitude against alcohol. With the proceeds from selling the land her father had given her (as well as the proceeds from her husband’s estate), Carrie built a small house in Holden, Missouri. She moved there with her mother-in-law and Charlien, and attended the Normal Institute in Warrensburg, Missouri, earning her teaching certificate in July 1872. She taught at a school in Holden for four years but was fired from her job Responding to the revelation, Nation gathered several rocks – “smashers”, she called them – and proceeded to Dobson’s Saloon on June 7. Announcing “Men, I have come to save you from a drunkard’s fate,” she began to destroy the saloon’s stock with her cache of rocks. After she similarly destroyed two other saloons in Kiowa, a tornado hit eastern Kansas, which she took as divine approval of her actions.[2]

“Hatchetations “Nation continued her destructive ways in Kansas, her fame spreading through her growing arrest record. After she led a raid in Wichita her husband joked that she should use a hatchet next time for maximum damage. Nation replied, “That is the most sensible thing you have said since I married you.”[2] The couple divorced in 1901, not having had any children.[10]

Alone or accompanied by hymn-singing women she would march into a bar, and sing and pray while smashing bar fixtures and stock with a hatchet. Her actions often did not include other people, just herself. Between 1900 and 1910 she was arrested some 30 times for “hatchetations,” as she came to call them. Nation paid her jail fines from lecture-tour fees and sales of souvenir hatchets.[11] In April 1901 Nation came to Kansas City, Missouri, a city known for its wide opposition to the temperance movement, and smashed liquor in various bars on 12th Street in Downtown Kansas City.[12] She was arrested, hauled into court and fined $500 ($13,400 in 2011 dollars),[13] although the judge suspended the fine so long as Nation never returned to Kansas City.[1

Harriet Tubman:(born Araminta Harriet Ross; 1820 – March 10, 1913) was an African-Americanabolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made more than thirteen missions to rescue more than 70 slaves[1] using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women’s suffrage.

As a child in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten by masters to whom she was hired out. Early in her life, she suffered a severe head wound when hit by a heavy metal weight. The injury caused disabling seizures, narcoleptic attacks, headaches, and powerful visionary and dream experiences, which occurred throughout her life. A devout Christian, Tubman ascribed the visions and vivid dreams to revelations from God.

In 1849, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia, then immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family. Slowly, one group at a time, she brought relatives out of the state, and eventually guided dozens of other slaves to freedom. Traveling by night, Tubman (or “Moses”, as she was called) “never lost a passenger.

Susan Murphy –Milano-

Susan Murphy Milano,  was one of the nation’s leading pioneer advocates for victims of intimate partner violence,  and resided in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. At the end of her life… Susan Murphy Milano began her one woman crusade in 1989 after the death of her beloved mother at the hands of her police detective father. Growing up in a household which held many secrets, she vowed that the world would look differently at battered women and provide necessary resources which weren’t available to help her mother.

Murphy Milano’s books, “Defending Our Lives”, “Moving Out, Moving On” and Time’s Up, are considered the “bibles” of how to make the move away from abuse and deal with the many confusing situations surrounding violence prevention, stalking, break-up or divorce.

Her latest book, based on the experiences of her life, “Holding My Hand Through Hell,” was released on October 4, 2012.

Susan received many awards and accolades through the years for her work with victims of abuse, and her quest for justice was instrumental in the passage of the Illinois Stalking Law and the Lauternberg Act.


Although Ladyjustice has admiration for the accomplishments of all pioneering women (their  unorthodox methods aside,)  in truth, she wants to be no one other than herself….  Forever learning,  ever changing , ever evolving ever connecting  and helping others along her path!

Birthdays aren’t  so bad after all! 





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