Sunday, December 30, 2012

I got your Resolution right here....!

Every year around this time, articles begin to tumble out the universe telling you what to do about the upcoming New Year, what NOT to do, and whether to resolve to do anything at all.  That seems to be the most popular 'resolution' these days. Be safe and do nothing. (That and to sign up for a gym.)

Personally, I'm going to stick with the standard and resolve to keep the following:

1)  I WILL make a sincere effort to 'eat clean' throughout the year of 2013.  There will be at least 4 days in the week where nothing considered 'unclean' will cross my lips.  That means the dirty words, too!

2)  I WILL accept that not everyone is going to 'get' me and not explain myself ONE MORE TIME to those who don't. They'll just have to live with it. (It's exhausting and very frustrating....I'm sure you get my point!  No? Well, what I'm saying is...Oh, never mind.)

3)  I WILL move this body of mine beyond the distance of house to car and back (we may have a knock-down, drag-out fight over this but it's GOING to happen!  Wake up, Muscles, time to return to your former glory!)

4)  I WILL continue to love and treasure every human being and stop secretly wanting to 'thump' them on the forehead when I see or hear something silly or downright stupid being done or said.  Who am I to say that pressing the elevator button after you've seen me do it, already, is stupid? Maybe you really believe it'll arrive faster for you than for me.  (OK, I'll decrease the number of times I want to thump.  I'm no angel!)

5)  I WILL not procrastinate in any task that needs to be done.  (Starting the 2nd of January...or thereabout.)

That being said, I hope everyone has a tremendously fun and safe New Year's Eve and a thoroughly blessed, healthy, joyful, prosperous, and productive 2013!! 

(Early New Year's Eve kiss to ya, wherever you are! Mmmmmuah!)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Wholly Innocent

Another sleepless night, going over the Christmas Joy felt with the beginning of the Christmas Season and tempered by what follows.

Today, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates Childermas, or Childrens Mass, or, more likely known as the Feast of Holy Innocents as part of the liturgical year that details and follows the life of Jesus Christ. 

The exact time it happened is not known, but estimated to be within 2 years of the appearance of the Star to the Magi., according to one source.  Whenever, it was, it was a malicious and horrifying massacre of the children of Bethlehem and surrounding area, ordered by King Herod, to make sure the Savior would not live to become King. (short version)

This Christmas Season has included the following:  never forgetting an unexpected tragedy in Connecticut, the remembrance of my eldest brother's death the day before Christmas Eve, the death of a young child ON Christmas Eve, the death of my husband's friend and former co-worker ON Christmas Eve, the death of another friend of my husband's on Christmas DAY, and the remembrance of the death of my beloved grandfather the day after Christmas.  In my world this Holiday, I had one day 'off' followed by today, the 28th, and Holy Innocents. 

That's a lotta sorrow if you think of it that way.  But, as St Augustine wrote, "The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory."

I believe that is how we should see it, but not how we do.  We feel the losses.  We grieve so pitifully.  We miss the departed Souls and the lives they may have had if they'd lived.  And, if we let it, we allow the thoughts and emotions to bring us into a dark place that we are not meant to stay.  If you believe what Augustine wrote then we can't possibly stay in that hole.  We are meant to be a joyful people. That doesn't mean we go through life grinning with unawareness of reality and never feel, appropriately, sad.

Anyone can relate to this, of any or no religion, who hasn't been living as a hermit in a cave with no contact with another heart.  We are social beings.  We crave all kinds of love in our life.  Without it, a voice is always at our backs whispering, "Something is missing".  That something is not in the latest pill advertised, either.

Why do you think almost every commercial or posted ad you view has the smiling-happy people WITH another person?  We are supposed to imagine that their product or service will bring that kind of happiness to us if we buy it.  Simple enough. (Personally, I hate attempts at manipulation like that, but it's a business.)

The real joy we feel, if we can remember, was when we had our innocence.  There was a time in our lives before the manipulation, hidden agendas, not-so-hidden agendas, crimes against our innocence by others, or influences of those who had no right to rob us of it.  We were trusting, loving, inter-dependent, affectionate, outgoing, brave, questioning, joyful beings once.  Would it not be the nicest feeling to wake in the morning and feel that way again? 

When we hurt, then, we ran into the arms of one who loved us and who we loved, even if we couldn't articulate it.  Whose arms to we run to now?

I watch the news and want to scream at times, WHERE IS OUR DAILY JOY?  Many believe in a just and loving Father that cares for us and wants that for us but still cannot allow that be 'the thing' that brings us joy.  We have to have things 'our' way.  Well, God doesn't operate the Burger King or duet with Frank Sinatra, so we remain disappointed (or deluded). 

The world then becomes a constant struggle against darkness, evil, dysfunction, loneliness, and the killing of innocence.  We are left with only one weapon, but it's enough.  Love.

When we fight, with our weapon, we gain light, goodness, repair of broken hearts and souls, healthy relationships with family and friends, and are able to save our children by letting them be children for as long as they are supposed to be and grow to good and loving adults.

If the children aren't pressed into adulthood before their time, if the children are not raised in environments that force them to hide and be afraid, if they aren't exposed to activities of adult-content either real or televised, if they are allowed to keep their innocent joy longer, maybe, just maybe, they can keep a spark of it into maturity. 

But, Herod seems to be alive and well and still at work destroying Innocence.  We really need to keep our weapons sharp and at the ready.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Mind is a Fun Place...but You Wouldn't Want to Live There!

Is it possible to live without fear of any man as we are encouraged to do?  Sure, it is. 

But the Mayo-Monster may still get you.  It's not really a man and I just heard of him today. Pardon me but LMBOSHIAFOOMCAHMKA!

(Translation:  Laughing my butt off so hard I almost fell out of my chair and hurt my knee again.)

Because I've been imprisioned, for the most part until my next appointment, I have been SO glad to see other people, it's bordering on insane behavior.  I almost wet myself when someone knocks on the door.  (I'm a little a chihuahua.)  When I'm "released" for appointments, I get excited as a puppy (Wanna go for a walk, girl?) and I become that annoying person who wants to talk to everyone.  They won't let me lick them.  Not that I've tried.

Remember this as you are working your job today, or whenever.  We say to ourselves, if only it weren't for this place I have to show up to everyday for pay (Ew.), I could be so much more creative!  I could crochet HATS, clean out a closet, start a business, write the Great American Novel, and I could get so much DONE!  If only I were independent of time and finances and the Master/Mistress of my own life! Then, you wake up back in your cubicle, wipe off the drool, and reapply your lipstick.  Well, guess what?  NONE OF THAT IS TRUE.

I'm so, so sorry to have to break it to you so abruptly.  If I don't do it, who will?

You would be surprised what takes over your life! It ranges from those who are still working to those pesky phone calls, texts, and internet searches for hair tutorials and kittens scaring dogs videos.  Forget about your entire day if you make the error of clicking your television on to check the news or weather.  Let's be real here with each other.  We all know it's just a gateway drug for talk and cooking shows, and lead to the hard stuff, CourtTV. 

Meanwhile, you've got little kids who are fussy about being little kids.  They have no bills, no job, no mortgage, no responsibilities, and no one but the parents on their backs.

Nap?  I DON'T WANT A NAP! And you would LOVE a nap in the middle of the day as a grownup.

(Child) I WANT A COOKIE! Can't have it.  You'll ruin your dinner. 

(Adult) I WANT A COOKIE! Can't have it.  You'll ruin your hips, plus it's made with sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  And it also has food coloring that causes cancer.  And it's very low in fiber.  Crap on a low-sodium organic non-wheat cracker...just hand me the friggin' bottle of water!  Can I get a slice of lemon over here, please?

Go to school and color and debate the proper way to draw the Sun (it's a 3/4 arch in the corner of the paper with a smiley face and shooting rays!), have a story read to you, play outside on the swings, then take a 3 month 'vacation' from it.  Who wouldn't love that as an adult?  Seriously?? 

As a friend and I were discussing this earlier, they don't know how good they have it. 

Her only fear as a child was of the Mayo-Monster.  She will not eat it mayo to this day.  Apparently, his Modus Operandi is to wait until everyone is asleep, enter the fridge, and vomit into a jar of mayonnaise.  I know.  I don't get it either.  I love mayo.  Where was I, again?

Oh, yes.  My daughter stopped with the Trix-addiction after having 'unswallowed' the lovely candy-colored morsels as a child.  She found out the hard way, they aren't for kids. She can't look a rabbit in the face.  In fact, she's a vegetarian.

What's with the hurling connection to childhood fears? 

For me, it's cold spaghetti in tomato sauce.  My cousin, Linda, will gladly explain why.  Let's just say it involves scarfing it down to make HER sick, then jet-propelling it throughout the family homestead.  It's not a pretty story, or image.  I still like spaghetti. Yum. Spaghetti sounds good right now. Didn't stop me!

I was going somewhere with this...really. 

Snap!  I get it! I'm lonely!  I'm not bored.  Only boring people get bored.  Everyone is out doing their thing, living life, and feeling groovy.  Hubby's out running errands or working.  I'm contemplating my navel.

I'm not really doing that.  That would be gross.  However, have you ever laid (lain? layed? lied?) on your side in bed, closed one eye and tried to focus on your nose?  If you get a good view, you can make your nostril move and it looks like it belongs to someone else.  Now, THAT is time spent productively, my friends!

Sigh.  Gifts are wrapped, packages sent, tree is up, house is decorated, food is ordered, Fa-la-la.  I have saved one last task to make myself seem productive this season.  The cards have not been sent yet.  They haven't even been signed and addressed. I haven't even opened the ones we've received yet.  My reasoning is this:  Everyone will remember ours (wink-wink).  They'll arrive right around New Year's Day.  See?  I'm using my noggin for something besides a hat rack. 

Oh, hats.  I'm supposed to be crocheting a hat and making tamales. 

Postscript:  I do not drink or do recreational drugs just in case anyone is curious.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No one's gonna scare me outta love!

No evil, no badness, no madness, no insanity, no threats, no terrorist, no sickness, no injured minds or hearts, no contaminated soul, no sadness, no sorrow, no failed hope, no economically 'sick', no distorted views of the world and its people, no guns, no bomb, no knife, no war, no poverty, no life......

NO ONE WILL SCARE ME OUT OF LOVING HUMANITY! No matter how hard they try!

I pray for a Merry Christmas and God's Blessings upon each and every being that takes time to glance here!  May the New Year bring Peace, Hope, Goodness, and Love to everyone!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Have a heart, or a kidney, or a liver...

A recent conversation with a dear friend is prompting this one today, Folks.

The world almost lost her this year, a couple of times, actually.  It would have been a sorrowful world without her, too.  She's one of the most intelligent and hilarious people I know.  And I've known her since we were 13 years old, too, so I can vouch for this.  We are the ones that don't see one another for a while but have 2-hour phone chats about anything and everything, laughing, tearing up, reminiscing, and ruminating.

For some unknown reason, she claims she's not a 'good person'.  Having been through many experiences with her and observing her reactions, I'm puzzled why this is her opinion of herself.  It's not the one I've seen all these years, for sure, nor is it false humility.  There's nothing false about this girl!

A guaranteed true miracle happened for her in receiving a donor's liver this year.  It was a scary time when we found out she needed a transplant, having heard about the infamous WAITING LIST.  Somehow, someway, she got a call in the shortest time I've ever heard of and had a successful transplant. 

The short time she waited in the hospital was a time of reflection for her and an opportunity for all of us to pray for her.  God bless nurses!  One prayed with her the day before the surgery.  She will kill me for saying so, but she cried.  And this woman does NOT cry.  I see she has yet to figure out if it was relief, fear, gratitude, sorrow for the donor, or all of the above that prompted the tears.  All I know is when I got the call, I cried tears of joy!  My friend was going to stay with us!  She, on the other hand, woke, saw that nurse, recognized her and said, "I remember you.  You are the one that made me cry!" And began again.

Now that the drama of the ordeal is over, these days, she attends transplant patient support group meetings and is her typical sardonic self.  She doesn't talk.  She won't.  She listens and she feels, deeply for others, but won't show it.  She states, "All of these people have a story.  I don't have a story.  I'm glad I don't have a story."  Now why would she say that?  I'll explain because she has a story.

She is one of the most humble humans you will ever meet.  Instead of focusing on what she has been through, she spent our conversation discussing those who are still waiting...mostly for kidneys.  She is perplexed by why they have to wait.  She asks why their family members aren't jumping at the chance to donate.  She told me someone said their family just said, "No".  She realizes it doesn't make them bad people but is still wondering why people are being so greedy (her words, not mine).  She asks why people don't offer even a 'piece' of a liver as a Survivor Donor, as one lady's sister did for her.  It made her want to cry again but she would NEVER do that in front of anyone.  Sad and weird is how she describes the situations she hears.  Her statement was, "Why are you saving it for something you don't even know is going to happen?"

One thing she's realized is how good health feels. I could hear it in her voice and smiled. She just thought before that she was tired because she worked hard.  She got used to the symptoms, which is what we do, mostly.  We make excuses and explanations and self-diagnose for every ache, pain, fatigue, and weirdness that happens to our bodies.  Then, eventually, our bodies tell us, stop doing that and see a doctor! 

The most touching realization she expressed is that when it doesn't involve you, you don't think about it.  I do now.  It has to be such an odd experience having part of someone you don't know permanently with you.  For life! She is tremendously grateful for her donor.  She speaks to him, in private.  She speaks to her new organ.  They are still trying to get along. (He tells on her via blood tests, apparently.) She says she doesn't know why she was so blessed...that she's not a good person.  She gives thanks but doesn't understand it.  She knows no one can relate unless they've been there. I told her honestly, this is not one of those times when I can say, I know how you feel.  Only members of that group can say that.

She will be with us, on medication the rest of her life, but with us.  For that, I thank God everyday.

I told her of a young woman I knew in Arizona whose family all wanted to donate a kidney, and not one was a match.  The one who matched and finally donated was her fiance.  Go figure.  That's the Hand of God, People.

Well, her final statement on the subject...."I've been given an opportunity to do something right....but what would it be?"

My response?  "It's coming."

She laughed. 

I loved hearing it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Eating Clean is Surprisingly Easy!

Well, I not only completed the weekend but have been inspired to continue the project I mentioned in my last post, supported by Takeyah Young of or @CoreConnection on Twitter.

It's amazing how easy it turned out to be.  Although, it wasn't the main goal, I actually lost 6 pounds!

Let me begin by patting myself on the back.  Takeyah provided a shopping list for the long weekend's meals and I actually had everything already, excluding the fresh produce, even quinoa and the Bragg's Amino Acid! (googleit)  As I wrote her, turns out I was on the right track, apparently.  I just wasn't disciplined enough to USE everything regularly. 

I'm used to making veggie-only meals for my husband, who could EASILY be a vegetarian except for the occasional pallomillo steak sandwich from his favorite Cuban restaurant.  Here I am the family carnivore who can't resist, well...MEAT.  For this weekend, though, I had no thoughts of it. Crazy, right?

I love to cook and love to chop veggies and fruits. I like my knives, okay?  I don't know what a doctor would make of that and prefer not to ask.

Having the support and comments of the others on Facebook was a definite plus.  When you know you are not alone in your struggles it makes a difference.  We were provided with instructions that were extremely easy to follow, additional information regarding cravings, praise for what I did and encouragement when needed.

All in all, I can see myself continuing this lifestyle.  Hey! Whaddya know? A new reboot! 

I WILL have that occasional steak sandwich but will pay attention to how it makes me feel afterwards.

Gee..who knew that I would actually start paying attention to my body's health at this point? 

Color me pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Clean Eating Weekend...Let's Go!

I like the sound of that...Here's to new beginnings!

I'd almost forgotten that I'd promised to do a project sponsored by Takeyah @CoreConnection (see Twitter) when I received the email this morning.  God Bless her! SHE remembered.

After the Turkey, et al.  After the Birthday cake, et al.  I owe it to my body to do this one thing for it.  EAT WELL and FRESH.

Now, don't get me wrong.  Most of the time I'm buying organic, making good things and keeping away from GMO's as much as I'm aware.  But I also must confess to being the carnivore in the family.  Do not try to deny me MEAT when I need it! It isn't pretty.  However, for my health and well-being, I MUST try to do what Takeyah's suggesting....and more!

I love the idea of this weekend plan as a jumpstart to that better health I'm craving.  I have my own medical issues that may or may not complicate things but I know that it will improve, not diminish what my body needs to do daily.  She is making it easy by providing a shopping list and meal plans for the weekend.  Second confession:  I am the Master at Listmaking.  I make them and check off items and have been doing that since I was a child. 

I also love the idea that she will be available for questions, support, and to keep me on track---personally.  It's like having my own diet coach...I hate that word, die-et.  The program will be extended, of course, as it's silly to think I would start and immediately go back to bad habits.  The program is very informative regarding what we should be eating and what is, in the long-term, deadly.  There's no other way to put it.  Most of our illnesses seem to be resulting from the food that is widely available to us in grocery stores.  As it is, I rarely purchase pre-made boxed, canned or frozen prepared foods.  Frozen, in our home, only include vegetables and fruits that are out of season or not grown locally/organically.

The timing of this is perfect as I've just found an organic hydroponic grower very near my home.  I intend to visit them more often.  I actually found sorrell there! (google it!) It was delicious and required nearly NO cleaning. 

I'm excited to start yet feel guilt and sorrow that this is not available to all people.  I'm not doing this to live longer, just better while I'm here.  Many in America do not have this kind of choice and should.  Poorer areas only have what is within their neighborhoods, which includes many fast food joints and little fresh ANYthing. In a country of this size and so-called power, this is what we face.  Medical issues like diabetes, obesity, cancers, and cardiac problems are rampant and no one has made the connection?

As stated in a previous blog, our government hasn't even cared enough about us to label the genetically-modified foods like Europe does.  They don't because then many of the illnesses could be traced back to the manufacturers and growers and there is a tremendous amount of money being circulated to keep that wheel turning.

Well, they'd better watch out.  If and when I get right and fit, I'm taking them on with both fists.  How, you say?  I don't think a single letter to my Congressman will do it at this point.  There's going to be a movement along with leaders like @DavidWolfe, @OrganicLiveFood and @RogerBezanis and everyone contributing on Twitter and Facebook.  I'm sure something can be done.  This is about the food we and our children ingest!  That's more than a little important, in my opinion.

Wow.  Did I just get off the mark a little?  Well, that's how my mind works.  I'm used to it.

Feel free to check back with me on the progress, if you like!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Bird's NOT the Word?????

It still amazes me that there are people who don't like turkey. 

Why? What did Tom ever do to you?

Ah!  I bet it was Aunt Josie's dry bird that turned you off!

Or was it the time Uncle David didn't clean it and left the insides all nicely wrapped in paper inside. Ew.

OK...I'm with ya!

Truly, I think everyone loves the sides and desserts more than anything else.  Being raised in an African-American family, I know that everyone thinks their 'dressing' or whatever, is the best, even if we all know our Grandma's was the best. I was almost run out of town the year I tried putting apples in the dressing.  We don't speak of that anymore.

Everyone has favorites passed down through tradition and I think it's wonderful!  Eat. Pray. Love.  No. It's Pray, eat, sleep, eat again. Try to avoid the cops having to be called.

Thanksgiving is the schizo holiday that comes before the multiple-personality of Christmas.  And, I'm rather alright with that.  It's like a rehearsal dinner for 4 weeks later of Opening Night. 

On the 'real deal' we dress up a little more, put a little more care into decorating, get excited about seeing the relatives that didn't bother to or couldn't come to the 'rehearsal', and put everyone, including ourselves, on our best behavior.  I think it's great.  I think we NEED that rehearsal. 

We need to break out the pots and pans, make arrangements, and actually sit at the table instead of in front of the television.  Dessert, however, is allowed on both occasions in front of the t.v. due to football.   We get to hand down recipes and techniques to the next generation.  We get to instill the traditions of our families or start some.  It's lovely.

Then, why am I so stressed I could just crawl back into bed and STAY THERE???

This is the first...the FIRST...year that I'm not handling the turkey, macaroni and cheese, dressing, greens, ham, escalloped pineapple, mashed potatoes, SWEET potatoes, rolls, pies, and whatever new something I'd decide to try!  Then I'd rinse, wait 4 weeks, and repeat.

I have a lovely cousin in town who loves to cook.  Thank GOD, because we invited some friends without family over, as well. She offered to handle ALL the sides, and I would provide the meats, and my mother (who doesn't cook!) wanted to provide the desserts.  Fine.  All worked out.  Until last Monday when I injured my knee. 

No. No.  Don't feel sorry for me.  I feel it was my own fault.  What's that?  You didn't feel sorry.  Fine.

Everyone is being so great about it all.  Cousin's still doing her part, Hubby ordered (ordered!) a turkey and bought a cooked ham (forgive me, Grandma!), and I get to, maybe, heat the rolls up.  God bless them all!

Hubby grounded me like Denzel in "Flight". I'm not allowed to do ANYTHING until after I see the Ortho Doc. I, literally, don't know what to do with myself. It's touching how much he cares but he has NO idea what this is doing to my psyche!

Therefore, if you see a little more of me on Twitter and Facebook and HERE...this is why.  The fingers still work!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and have a wonderfully blessed day!  Oh....and Happy Birthday to Me. (Pitiful Sigh) LOL

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Voted for President Obama Because....

he's black. 

And, not because he's black (Well, half).  Confused yet?  I was for a long while.

A friend posted this on FB and I have to share it here...

"Because He's Black (author unknown):

A white man asked his black friend, 'Are you voting for Barack Obama just because he's black?' The black man responded by saying, 'Why not? Hell, in this country men are pulled over everyday just because they're black; Passed over for promotions just because they're black; Considered to be criminals just because they're black; Thousands of you won't be voting for him just because he's Black! However, you do not seem to have a problem with that! This country was built with the sweat and whip off the black slaves' back. And now a black man has a chance to lead the same country, where we weren't even considered to be people, where we weren't allowed to be educated, drink from the same water fountains, eat in the same restaurants, or even vote.

So YES! I'm going to vote for him! But it's not just because he's Black, but because through his leadership several of Americas elusive enemies were brought to justice; several of our citizens rescued from peril; our economy, health and environment improved; and our good reputation around the world has been restored. He is hope. He is change. He is wise. He is a man of integrity and intelligence. He is a man of faith and perseverance. He is a man of maturity and good judgment. He is a faithful husband and father.

And he now allows me to understand when my grandchildren say they want to be President when they grow up, it is not a fairy tale but a short term goal. They now see, understand, and know that they can achieve, withstand, and do ANYTHING just because they're black."

And, again, I only post this today because I have a Cuban/Scotch/Irish husband who remembers being a child pulled away from a water fountain that was for Coloreds ONLY.  There should be no white-guilt or black-anger anymore just because of the amount of, or lack of, melanin in a person's skin.  We live this daily.  We also live without asking, "What's in it for me?" as many are questioning this election.  We need to ask ourselves what's in it for the long-term of this country, of the world, of our childrens' futures.  Most of all, we need to remember that, yes, there was a time when there was NO country to vote, not all men COULD vote, and, as women we were not allowed to vote.  To not show up is an insult to all who fought and are still fighting to maintain the privilege we have here.  Yet my husband spoke to many yesterday who said they were not going to the polls.  I say, then I'm not listening to those subjects' complaints about the results, whatever they may be, or of anything that happens afterwards.

Obviously, as a practicing Catholic, I have my reasons for not agreeing with the direction the country is headed under any Democratic Administration.  Many prayers for guidance went up before I entered my polling place. However, the main issues, promised to be 'resolved' by every candidate since Roe v. Wade, has not been and will never be. Both parties LOVE hot topics that don't make them DO anything. 

I maintain, in opposition to many of my Christian brothers and sisters, that Grassroots education is needed with prayers to show women that we don't need harmful, cancer-causing, hormone-manipulating drugs to avoid creating Life and many, who've been led to believe they can't conceive, don't need artificial means TO create Life. And it's free!  (Please see  We spend more time fighting for overpriced organic tomatoes to stay healthy, for Pete's sake!

Bottom line? We need only to be able to form the words, "not today" or "now", depending on your goal.  We, generally, do have that much control over our bodies but have handed it over to courts and 'lawmakers' and everyone except ourselves.  Unfortunately, we're teaching the next generation the same non-responsibility, disrespect for life, and to blame others for getting in the way of our 'choices'.  As long as the artificial means is available, we don't have to make decisions, we don't have to be more selective, we don't have to wait or turn down a man. Now, is that a sign of maturity and readiness for intimacy? With the status quo, who profits besides immature unattached men, pharmacies, and insurance companies?

That's all on that subject, as I know there'll be plenty of backlash on that alone.  Bring it.  I have my reasons for believing what I do.  I know the history and origins.  I know my Faith, Bible, and Tradition.  And I know what is being done to undermine women by distracting us with what really doesn't have to be an issue for us but is used to keep men from being involved in the process by agreeing to, "OK, not today." and to sell us on drugs and procedures to which we should never expose our bodies, all for financial gain.

Alright, one last thing.  The pain and suffering that results from choosing to end a pregnancy, I can't even imagine.  But, there is help for women and men through or call AfterCare-Healing at 1-888-456-4673 (HOPE) for healing.
So...Let's start there and meanwhile, save unborn and existing children who need housing, food, education, clean water, healthcare, to be safe and have less-stressed, educated, skilled and employed loving parents.  Whoever 'wins' the election needs to concentrate the efforts there with no more empty promises.  And, we should all be taking names of those politicians that stand in the way of progression within those topics.  Next go-around, they will NOT be employed by us, the American People......their bosses.

Monday, October 8, 2012

I Still Have Faith in Us!

Without bringing to mind too much of Anne Frank, I needed to get a new post out.  It's been a while and I'm sure everyone understands that inspiration for writing comes from different sources.

In my case, I'm what I have termed, an ADHD-writer.  I have so many thoughts and inspirations, and gatherings from news, people, twitter, et al, that I have a hard time picking just ONE topic on which to write.  I'm sure someone out there gets that.  Just me? Yeah, thought so. So to continue...

I have been swinging between finally doing a Political/Religious post but realized that, even though I have no fears of alienating anyone, there's a deeper commonality onto which I stumbled.  It happened in those late night hours right before you fall asleep and you want to get up and write it down because you KNOW you won't remember any of it in the morning.  Well, guess what?  I actually did!  Put THAT in the record books!

There is no shame and should be no fear in expressing yourself or your ideals.  I'm quite happy about one of my choices, in fact.  I could speak all day on the subject as I've been on fire with it and reading and studying since 2000.  The other, I could debate until the cows come home, as the older folks say.  What would be the point in doing so, though?  I save my energy by picking my battles, carefully.

Therefore, I decided to look past the left and the right and see just the people.  That's all.  Humans.

If one takes the time to observe it, we have more in common than in differences.  Generally speaking, for example, no one wants to see their family injured, in need, or split.  We all desire basic needs to be met, health, safety, peace, and, dare I say, prosperity, for ourselves and our children.  No one wants to see or experience arguments and hatred in themselves or others.  If this is all true, why does a problem exist in America and in the World?  Why are there wars, drugs and human trafficking, child labor, murder, rape, white-collar crimes, and drive-by killings and more? 

We have been desensitized to any event that does not directly affect us.  There.  I said it.  If it's not in our house, on our job, at our kid's school, or at church, we dismiss it.  We have taken the attitude, as well, of what is in it for me? Not for US but for ME.  That's the silent chant I continously hear at Town Hall Meetings, Pep Rallies and ads presented by political candidates.  While it usually is a voting situation of pick your favorite crook for office, instead of who is going to be compassionate and effective in the office, I believe, still, that we are better than the people we elect.

Against Big Government?  NEWSFLASH! We, the people, ARE the government!

I believe that if we prepare and educate our children, they will learn, be curious, and pick up skills and knowledge that will build this country and the world on every level.  I believe that if we sit down with teenagers and show them right from wrong, manners and respect, how to eat properly and talk to others, and how to present themselves with dignity, many problems that exist, would decrease. 

I believe that if we didn't allow ourselves and children to be influenced by 'reality' shows, we'd all have LIVES.  We'd have a true focus on ourselves and what IS real and true.  We would have self-respect that doesn't push us to keep someone under our heel to make another feel bad and, thus, ourselves, superior.

There's a simple lesson for us all to follow from St. Paul.  Wanna hear it?  Here it goes: 

1 Timothy 5:1-2  Never censure an older man, but appeal to him as to a father.  You should treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers , and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

Simple? That's just common sense through some general advice that could change the world if kept in mind in our daily interactions. 

I believe there can be love shown to every stranger I meet in a store, street, or office.  It is the kind of love that, is said, when one no longers sees me but Jesus.  One might think I'm odd because sometimes I'm overwhelmed with love for us stupid people down here on Earth.  My own humility urges me to see that we are not and will never be as smart as Him.  We MUST get over ourselves! Sheesh!

I believe that the only real issue that separates the reasonable, sane people of our nations is the dirt we are standing on and the water that separates us.  We speak the same language, otherwise.  I still have Faith in us.  Ever the optimist, I think I always will.

Thanks for taking time to read this.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

James Brown's Got the Beat.....!!!

I believe anyone who grew up on the South side of Chicago knows the rest of that lil' diddy. Ah! School Days!

Yes!  I'm back and ready to amuse myself with thoughts that come to me as I drift and as I awaken!  Welcome to my world, Readers!

This time, I wondered what, if anything, do children 'play' outside these days.  Since my daughter is a grown woman, I'm out of touch.  There used to be so many things we did as children that I wonder still happen today.

For instance, after recess and lunch break, we could be found in the playground, munching on our 5-cent butter or peanut butter cookies, compliments of the Chicago Public School Cafeteria Lady.  There would be games of It, Catch, hopscotch, hand games, jacks, kickball, cat's cradle (done with string or yarn), rubberband ropes (In-Out-Side to Side-On-In-Out), and my personal favorite, double-dutch.

To choose who would go first, in ANYthing, to be 'picked' we'd put our feet together in a circle (An alternate could be hitting the outstretched fists of each person-Ouch!).  One of the girls would tap the shoes of each foot with...

My mother said to pick the ve-ry best one.  And you are not it. (Great for self-esteem!)

Or this cheerful one...

Engine, Engine number nine
Going down Chicago line
If the train falls off the track
Do you want your money back? (Answer Yes or No. A moot point, in my opinion.)
Y-E-S (or N-O) spells Yes, so, out you may go
with a dirty, dirty dishrag on your toe. (????)

There was a comedian who included in his skit how in more 'suburban' settings, you'd have a little girl in pigtails and ribbons with her friends and a single rope jumping and singing, "Down in the valley where the green grass grows...".  Switch to urban Chicago playgrounds where girls are standing around, digging potatoes, aka hesitating to run in afraid of the rope burn across your face, because ropes are flying in every direction at a furious pace, singing something fast and unintelligible until the end where you heard, "...and your bald-headed mama!"  I embellished that a bit because it was so long ago.

I considered this and laughed out loud.  Our songs included, D-I-S-H (D is for double-dutch, I is for Irish-whatever!, S is for single, and H is for hop) during which you were required to perform whatever was called out until you missed (ropes stopped).  If you missed, you went to turn the ropes.  And, God help you if you were "underhanded" as you turned!

And why did one of our songs have to sound like an old Spiritual being sung in the fields?

Stepped in the water...boom-bah
The water was cold....boom-bah
Chilled my body........boom-bah
But not my soooooul..boom-bah

Then it got peppier....

Hoppin' on guessed it...boom-bah
Hoppin' on two.....boom-bah, etc.

This one was followed, after reaching ten of course, by one I, first, didn't understand, then was embarrassed to sing.  I wonder what in the world the teachers on duty in the yard were thinking and why they allowed this to happen daily!

So, Postman, Postman, do your duty
'Cuz here comes the lady with the African booty
She can wiggle, she can waddle, she can do the twist
She can raise her dress up above her knees
and show her legs to who she please
She never went to college, she never went to school
Bet-cha 5 dollars she's an educated fool!

What the....?????

A hand game for two that I, personally, always thought was clever ('cuz I got it) is...

Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack (guess we needed to make sure you heard correctly?)
All dressed black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back.
She asked her mother, mother, mother
For 15 cents, cents, cents
To see the elephant, elephant, elephant
Jump over the fence, fence, fence.
He jumped so high, high, high
and touched the sky, sky, sky
and never came back, back, back
'til the 4th of July, LIE, LIE! (See? Clever, right?)

In conclusion, for those who don't know about James Brown, I'll clue you in here.  Why we weren't slapped in the head for this one, I'll never know.  But I can tell you, honestly, I didn't understand what was being said but just followed and jumped to the rhythym.  I imagine the equivalent to be today's rap music.  Just follow the rhythm, no matter what the words being said, no matter how demeaning, how trifling, how degrading to women. Sorry, I drifted there for a bit.  Here goes....

James Brown's got the beat
Drop your draws and follow me
In the bushes we will...

Man! I can't even finish it.  Let's just say it concludes with "Wontcha mama be surprised to see your belly rise".  'Nuff said?

Now that I think of it.  The kids are better off playing the video games, I guess.

Have a blessed rest of the week and stay cool!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lie to me some more, please!

Now, I'm not the person to debate politics or religion.  I leave that to my husband.  I know where I stand on both issues and my 'reboot' of the latter is very personal to me. I am always willing to answer any questions, if anyone shows interest or is confused or just curious.  The door is always open.

This is not a change in subject, just follow along with me on this. 

When I lie in bed, like your average human, trying to go to sleep, I MUST have the t.v. on.  I have to have it tuned to something I've seen before or something I have no real interest in watching or listening to for a reason. 

My problem is that as I lie there, my mind is doing many activities.  I am rehashing the day's activities, the people I saw, what I heard or read, what my daughter's up to, prayers for those I know need them (which is everyone, basically!), plans for the next day, if any, and even plans for future activities.  I think of my husband's plans, how they will impact me. Oh, my!  It's a wonder I sleep at all!

Last night, even WITH the t.v. on a food channel, I was recalling a magazine cover I perused in the doctor's waiting room yesterday afternoon.  I'll describe it, then tell you why it was on my mind way into the night hours.

The cover was of a beautiful blond woman in a designer dress and shoes standing on a cobbled Parisian street outside of a shop.  She was holding a bicycle with a basket of flowers, bread, and the biggest wheel of cheese I've ever seen!  I never got past the cover to read the magazine for the following reasons.

I noted that a) she couldn't possibly ride that bike in those heels or dress, b) she couldn't even walk on a cobbled road in those 6-inch heels, c) she was SO thin that I'm sure she wouldn't TOUCH the food in the basket at any cost, and d) she was on a beautiful street IN PARIS and had this look of disdain on her face, not pleasure. 

Obviously, the photographer was going for something.  But as I learned, one of the rules in graphic design is, is it VALID?  Meaning does it communicate the message you want in a way the viewer can pick-up on?  OK. Now, I'll tell you.  It was a very well known and expensive TRAVEL magazine.  Nothing about that photo made me want to go to Paris (Alright! Maybe the cheese wheel!).

My late-night thoughts brought me a big belly-laugh at the time and were refreshed this morning as I heard the Supreme Court's opinion on the Healthcare Law.  It passed 5-4.  I laughed because (here we go again!) a) I wondered how could ANYone want to deny care to the sick or potentially ill, b) a judge appointed by former President Bush voted FOR the passing of the law (irony noted), c) there is a party running a candidate for President that passed an almost identical law in the state of which he was Governor, d) most people do not understand what it means for them now or down the road but are strongly for or against it, and, yes, there is an e) citizens are as ignorant of this as we are of many issues that happen in our country.

When I use the term 'ignorant' I'm using the exact definition that we just don't know, not meaning it in a derogatory manner.  We are lied to constantly, fed inaccurate information on all sides, and having what intelligence we do have insulted on a daily basis. 

That's how I felt looking at that magazine.  I was having my intelligence insulted.  I was being played for a fool.  I was being pandered to as someone that knows very little about rules of physics and the world.  I wasn't meant to look that closely at that cover. And I was offended.

I am deeply offended, also, by the Republican Party, on this issue of Healthcare Laws.

Consider that we are required by law currently to have automobile insurance, drivers' licenses and have our cars registered by law. Lenders require us to have mortgage insurance, smart people buy rental insurance, and for goodness sake, people buy PET HEALTH insurance.  As I recently, tweeted, why are we so reluctant to have to pay for insurance for our personal health and the health of our families! We didn't and don't fight the other insurances.  Why don't we want to take care of ourselves?  Is our self-esteem that low? Or do we truly see ourselves as immortal and invincible against all diseases and accidents?  Obviously, it's one or the other.

Wait.  There is one more.  Is it because Congress is fighting it so hard and people who follow their logic don't realize that those politicians don't have to worry about such things, personally?  The politicians are covered.  Their families are covered.  Their elder years are more than covered.  And guess what?  They don't have to pay for it!  We do! 

So, we are more willing to pay for them and their families to have good preventive healthcare, receive excellent care when they are ill, and have no cut-offs or pre-existing exclusions, receive their medications without having to decide whether to use their money to eat instead like our Seniors do,  and not have to worry about going bankrupt while sick or dying from a catastrophic illness?  How generous we are!  And, pardon me, but how foolish.

THIS is not valid, in my opinion.

May we all be blessed now and in the future with excellent health, a great craving for the truth, and open eyes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mastering the Cleansing of THIS Body/Mind/Spirit

Being the "foodie" that I am, I surprised myself last week.  I have now forgotten what made me look up the Master Cleanse again.  I mean, the original Stanley Burroughs book is in my library at home.  I tried it years ago without success (Translation-made it 'til noon!).  I know the theories behind detoxing your body and the side benefit of weight loss and was, understandably, skeptical. 

But last Tuesday, I looked at my kitchen and realized I already had everything needed to begin.  I eyed the lemons in a glass bowl on the table, knew I had pure maple syrup in the fridge (ALWAYS), and had cayenne pepper that I use, literally, by the pinch. I have no tolerance for HOT!  I'm a wimp! I admit it. So I began. 

My husband called and told me what craving he had for dinner and it was over by 3pm.

But fear not, my fine blogged friends!  I picked up the gauntlet again on Wednesday. 

For some reason, it was a different day, and a different "feeling" about starting AND continuing.  Yes, I'd prayed for the sustenance I'd need to do it.  I also had a long talk with myself (quietly so my hubby wouldn't commit me to the nearest mental hospital).

I reviewed my days spent either planning meals for us, watching food shows (I just LOVE "Chopped" and Nadia G.'s Bitchin Kitchen, @bitchinkitchen), and the commercials in-between are full of "we deliver/cook this/come eat here/you MUST have this".  I was stunned at how many of my thoughts involved food.  I was embarrassed for myself!

The result was, I decided to reboot how I looked at food.  I considered how many go hungry in the world and with the proper amount of guilt, I began again.

I'd read comments online that indicated that after - Oh, however long people chose to say! - you no longer feel hunger and you don't think of food.  Right.

So here's how it went and no one but my husband knew I was doing it, at first.  I didn't want to hear the negative comments or be influenced in any way.  I wanted to pay attention to my body and see what happened.

     Day 1 - I made enough of the lemon, syrup, water mixture to last the day.  (Tip #1,
                 if anyone ever does this, leave the cayenne out until you fix a glass or 
                 you will be unpleasantly surprised by how hot the cayenne became in the
                 pitcher.  Woo!
                The day went well with drinking, staying busy, and drinking lots of water, as 
                well.  Problem was....I WANTED TO CHEW SOMETHING! I WANTED
                TO EAT! So, I may not have been in the best of moods, I admit.

     Day 2 - Would you believe I forgot about food?  There was a joke a comedian had
                long ago about those women who say, "Sometimes, I just forget to eat!"
                The comic said, "It takes a special kind of stupid to forget to eat!" But I
                did not have the same obsession, and in one day! The fact I dropped 4     
                pounds was a bit of a motivator.

    Day 3-6 Yes, People!  I was dropping weight and so disinterested in food that I
                was able to make 20 chorizo-egg breakfast burritos to freeze, a lamb stew,
                AND watch my husband eat a vegetable calzone without clawing my eyes
                out!  It was amazing how detached I'd become.  I began to wonder for how
                long I could maintain the detachment and the 'de-tox'. (Tip #2 When they 
                say take a laxative and leave time for it to act, DO IT. No need to say more.)

    Day 7 - Stopped.  I had my grandson stay over a couple of nights while we took
               him to Vacation Bible School.  I guess he noticed I would just keep him
               company while he had his meals and was puzzled as to why I wasn't eating.
               Making 'turkey sloppy joes' for him, he asked if I was going to eat, too.
               When I explained what was going on, he looked at me as if I'd grown another
               head! He couldn't IMAGINE not eating and told me as much! I had dinner
               with him. (There's a way to Ease-Out of this that I didn't do.) Being with him
               at the table, sharing a meal and chatting became more important. (Final Tip -
               It's essential to a child, heck, and adult, to sit down with family and/or
               friends and share a meal.  A real meal not eaten in the car on the way to
               soccer practice or in front of the tv.)

I decided I'd proved my point to myself.  The idea that I could detach myself from something as near and dear to me as food was astounding and made me feel a little better in my spirit.  People claim to have this GREAT energy while doing this.  Perhaps if I'd gone longer, but during this ride, I felt a little more tired, which I'm chalking up to the MS. 

I will be doing it again soon.  It's not just because I lost 14 pounds in total, either.  I mean, that doesn't hurt the cause, but it's not the reason.  It was almost like a mini-Lent.  I was actually able to put my mind elsewhere.  As much as I like to create old and new recipes, I was never tempted to dive in.  I did it to feed those I love.  I did it in gratitude that the food was available, fresh, and others enjoyed it.  I realized that I don't need as much as I thought I did.  I'd already accomplished that in other areas of my life in decluttering/downsizing, but this was all new!  And I liked it!

Consider this section of rebooting a success!  Just stay clear of me on the first day, for your own sake.

Just want to add that I don't recommend the Master Cleanse for anybody without you reading the book and seeing a doctor to determine if you can do it safely, as it was just an experiment of my own. 

Now, everybody have a blessed rest of the week and weekend!


Friday, June 1, 2012

The Deepest Need of Man

There are SO many topics in the twitterverse and facebookland that pop-up and spark posts for me!  My head's spinning with the possibilities.  To be honest, my head spins a lot, normally.

Anyway.  @AndreasChoice, of whom I have become a regular viewer on YouTube of her videos, mentioned that there are some "weird @ss things happening in 2012".  I smiled wryly, then recalled an earlier conversation with my cousin.

We were saying that there seems to be an inordinate amount of people, well, "eating" body parts.  Let me say that a different way.  There is CANNABILISM and I'm not talking about in the deepest scariest jungles of Africa or the Amazon!  In one week, there were at least 4 stories of such frightening tales, you'd think you were watching Horror Night at your local theater.

Part of my reboot this year includes being more aware of the happenings of the world around me.  Sounds simple?  Not so much.

Most of us, wake, complete our routine, make our way to a job, complete our jobs, eat a few times in-between, make our way to dinner and tv, until it's time to bed-down and start again in the morning.  We have opinions that we express with co-workers, friends, and family, usually the same as theirs.  We veer on the weekend to include errands and activities we had no 'time' for during the week.  We might throw in a movie we saw an ad for or dine out at the place we heard was good, or that we go to every weekend.  We are alright with that.

What we don't see is what's around us.  What we don't feel is happening on levels that we ignore.  What we don't hear is the bad news or any news, for that matter. 

Now before you start thinking UFO's etc. know that I am, reasonably sane.  As Plato taught, in humans, there is a desire for transcedence beyond what is around us.  Part of it is considered, self-awareness.  Your dog or cat has no self-awareness, but we do.  We are even aware of our self-awareness and this can go on and on.  But also, we must be aware of the group dynamics around us. 

For instance, the U.S.A.'s group dynamic, as individualized and free as we like to think ourselves to be, is actually pretty similar to the rest of human race.  We actually go out of our way to make ourselves different by getting tattooes, piercings, dying our hair, dressing unusually, or being 'artistic' with our lives.  What happens is, eventually, others 'catch-on' and start to do the same thing and we are no longer unique.

We're convinced we want this uniqueness, this way of standing out from the crowd.  What we really want is to belong.  Stay with me now. 

Once the basic biological needs are cared for, what we crave is transcendence due to our self-awareness.  We think we want everyone to just leave us alone to do our thing.  The unknown result of the awareness of separation from the world is that it arouses anxiety in us. 

One day, I'll finish reading The Art of Loving, but I want to take my time and live it as I read it.  In the chapter on the Theory of Love, Erich Fromm, describes the consequences of separateness:

"The deepest need of man, then, is the need to overcome his separateness, to leave the prison of his aloneness.  The absolute failure to achieve this aim means insanity, because the panic of complete isolation can be overcome only by such a radical withdrawal from the world outside that the feeling of separation disappears-because the world outside, from which one is separated, has disappeared."

So, the solution to this insanity is a radical withdrawal, to become a hermit. That seems to work really well for those in prison in solitary lockup. (insert sarcasm here.)

This is not a reasonable solution for most.  The point is, we need one another.  The transcending is of our own individual life and finding "at-onement" as he writes. 

Our human condition, our existence, is based on each other and on the planet on which we live.  With that separateness is, as stated, anxiety, guilt, shame, loneliness, all which can lead to, also as stated, insanity (Big jump coming, hang on!) AND CANNIBALISM!

This is what I'm picking up from the news daily.  Surely, others have noticed the increased pharmaceutical ads to "treat" these conditions, the number of self-help books on sale, the increased "bipolar" diagnosis, the number of people hurting each other (emotionally, financially, physically, and spiritually.) 

On the more positive end, we are aware of the love that is needed in our lives to survive.  Of love exists self-love, which is not the same as selfishness, brotherly love, love of God, and love between a parent and child. Unfortunately, there are those who think the only love that is available and worth pursuing is erotic love, and few get that right.

On that note, I'll leave you with what Fromm included in this book, a beautiful poem by Muslim poet and mystic, Rumi.  It describes the necessary polarities in loving relationships:

"Never, in sooth, does the lover seek without being sought by his beloved.
When the lightning of love has shot into this heart, know that there is love in that heart.
When love of God waxes in thy heart, beyond any doubt God hath love for thee.
No sound of clapping comes from one hand without the other hand.
Divine Wisdom is destiny and decree made us lovers of one another.
Because of that fore-ordainment every part of the world is paired with its mate.
In the view of the wise, Heaven is man and Earth woman: Earth fosters what Heaven lets fall.
When Earth lacks heat, Heaven sends it; when she has lost her freshness and moisture, Heaven restores it.
Heaven goes on his rounds, like a husband foraging for the wife's sake;
And Earth is busy with housewiferies: she attends to births and suckling that which she bears.
Regard Earth and Heaven as endowed with intelligence since they do the work of intelligent beings.
Unless these twain taste pleasure from one another, why are they creeping together like sweethearts?
Without the Earth, how should a flower and tree blossom?
What, then, would Heaven's water and heat produce?
As God put desire in man and woman to the end that the world should be preserved by their union,
So hath He implanted in every part of existence the desire for another part.
Day and Night are enemies outwardly; yet both serve one purpose,
Each in love with the other for the sake of perfecting their mutual work,
Without Night, the nature of Man would receive no income,
So there would be nothing for Day to spend."

We need each other, however we find each other.  That one's mine.

Have a blessed weekend!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Grandparents Rule!!!

Although I think of my maternal grandparents frequently, as well as other members of family and friends no longer with us, it was only this week that I realized how much they left us.

I, also, know that my younger relatives haven't heard half of the histories and stories (real or myths!) that surrounded them.  What a shame! 

My grandparents were of a generation, unlike today, that knew how to work, how to survive, how to save, how to stretch a meal and a dollar, knew what needed to be done, and how to do it.  There was no discussion, no bargaining, no compromise, and, definitely, no whining.  They commanded respect (yes, sometimes out of fear!) but mostly from love and admiration for what they accomplished in their lives together.  And everyone knew it, from the closest relatives to the mysterious lady who styled my grandmother's hair that no one ever saw, neighbors we'd never met, and their childrens' friends and families!

Their funerals would make anyone envious for the number of people that appeared out of nowhere to pay their respects, almost too many for the funeral home.  That's how many lives they touched in their years together.  You would have thought royalty was being honored on those days!

Separately, they were something else.  Together, they were a force to be reckoned with.

Our great-grandmother, Cora, was given the "suggestion" to get our young grandmother OUT of Mississippi by the Sheriff.  We still don't know what she did or who she cussed out to warrant that!  Grandma was sent to live in the big city of Chicago with her older brother.  Her brother showed her picture to our then-bachelor grandfather who responded with the immediate desire to marry her!  Just telling like I heard it, folks.  I've seen a pic and, boy, did they look good together!

Now, Grandma, given her strong personality, won him over, obviously.  However, she was not going to be the wife of a man that played saxophone in a band.  She told him that.

Pawpaw, as we called him, put the horn down, away, and never picked it up to play again.  I once saw it in an old, old case in their closet.  It was worn and dusty and forgotten, sacrificed for the love of a good woman.

Now, don't get me wrong.  Pawpaw was no push-over.  Oh, noooo!  Another story was told by our deceased eldest uncle, of walking down the street as a young man with his friend and spotting Pawpaw on the other side of the street.  Pawpaw was rushing behind a man trying to get away and as he caught up to him, he gave that man a beating.  Our uncle's friend said, "Isn't that your father?  Should we go and help him?" The answer was, "No.  He's got it." And he did.  I often wonder what that man said or did to Pawpaw to make him so enraged that day. 

I can only say that it must have been pretty bad because that same man could be as funny, sweet and gentle as anyone you'd ever want to meet.  He loved his kids and really loved THEIR kids (us brats).  He'd pop in from the back porch where he and his dog hung out during the Sunday or holiday get-togethers, just to dance for us a few minutes (I think, to check on us!), then back off again to the porch.  Just a man, his dog, some Old Grandad, unfiltered Pall Malls, and his thoughts.

He was the hardest working man I'd ever heard of.  Oh, did I mention he had a wife and 10 children to house, feed, and clothe from the 40's to the 60's, until his retirement?  He was the man who did what he had to do.  Where are those men now?  Do they still exist?  Perhaps.

After a few half-hearted attempts at 'relationships',  I had resolved that my 'soulmate' was blind, married, living on the other side of the world, with 8 kids, and an incurable disease.  In other words, I'd told the Lord, if you have someone for me, great.  If you don't and it's You and me, that's good, too. 

Shortly after, God sent me a man (of a different race but good eyesight!), who lived on the other side of the United States, with no wife, a grown stepchild, and healthy as a horse.  He had proposed and wanted me to move to his State.  I, as we women tend to do, decided to test this relationship, and asked if he would move to where I lived.  Without a beat, he said, no. 

"NO?  You don't want to be with me wherever I am? You jerk! Are you thinking I'll just leave my life for you now?? You're NUTS! It's OVER!" 

Of course, I didn't say any of that because I took a deep breath, thinking of the type of person he was, I quietly asked, why not?  Something/someONE urged me to have faith this man would come up with a satisfactory response.

"I was born and raised here.  I know where everything is and who to call on for anything here.  I can take better care of you here."  DING DING DING! Good answer!

Neither of us knew that years later I'd be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis so I thought it was a sweet sentiment, but seemingly unnecessary, at the time.

So, I moved. A couple of months later, we had an ant problem. That required my husband to crawl under the house to spray, with all the ant hills, spiders, webs, critters, and God only knows what else. I knew he felt almost the way I do about them all.  Basically put...EEEEEEEEEEE!!!

But he did it. 

He did it.  And he won my heart even more that day.  Why? Because he saved me from the big bad terrible ants?  Yeah, right! (OK, partially!) But I loved him because I saw a man like my Pawpaw and knew I'd lucked out.  No!  I'd been blessed!  This was another stage of my "reboot".  No more silly questions.  Trust in this man to do the right thing.  He won't disappoint.

Now, we won't have as many years together as my grandparents did, but we will squeeze in all the love we can, like they did, for as long as we can.  In fact, that's similar to Tommy's toast on our wedding day.

I pray that my daughter will find the same one day.  In fact, I wish it for everyone. 

Have a blessed weekend, Memorial Day, and week, All!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

From 300 to 206! Wow!

You probably are thinking about weight loss right now, right?  Yes, that was intentional.  Sorry I mislead you.  (Nah! I'm not really!)

I was inspired this week to comment on a Tweet posted this morning by @hereisjasmin of (I like that name!).

She posted that we have 300 bones when we are born and by the time of adulthood, we only have 206.  It's not that I didn't know that (pat on the back) but I started to worry again for people, especially women, who know very little about their own bodies.

I think it should be required that we take an anatomy and physiology class once we've developed our bodies to know what it's doing, how it works, what to expect it to do in the future, and how to keep it in optimum condition for as long as we can.  I say as long as we can because...well, come on..from the moment we are born, we start to die.  GOOD MORNING, SUNSHINE!!! Sorry, but it's a fact.

Anyway, back to the body and the mind.  There is a definite connection.  There is no reason for us to pay attention to our bodies, unless there is pain or pleasure.  No? What the heck?  Throw a psychology class in there, too!

I'd like to ask the average reader of this blog, do you know where your diaphragm is and what it does?  And, no, I'm not talking birth control here.  But speaking of that, do you understand how and when and why you have a menstrual cycle? Where blood is made? How the heart, veins, arteries work?  Where certain hormones are secreted and what their function is? It's amazing how we can have these incredibly efficient and intricately engineered bodies and not want to know all about them unless we're studying for a job in a medical field. 

The diaphragm is a muscle located at the base of our lungs.  It helps us to breathe thoroughly allowing total emptying of the lungs on exhalation with help from the abdominal muscles (everyone's aware of those!).  In fact, correct and healthy breathing does not come when you stick out your chest and inhale until it hurts but when you expand your abs.  You are literally filling your lungs from the bottom up.

See?  We don't even know how to breathe!! (Unless you take yoga or a martial art.)

I encourage everyone to do some research, take a class, anything to make yourself more knowledgeable about the only body you have. 

I could go on about how the brain works...which is, indeed, separate from the "mind" but I don't want to sound like a know-it-all.  God knows, I only know a tiny fraction of what there is to know in this world and I'll be the first to admit it. 

Thinking of a recent encounter, I do want readers to know something about how my mind and soul work. Ahem. I'll never be that person who has to have the last word, who claims to have every subject known and will debate you with both gloves on, and needs followers to confirm me in my 'rightness'. I've met people like that all my life and now I just listen, obtain the info in-between that is actually useful, thank them and move on.

I find those exact actions lead to a more peaceful existence for me. 

But that's just me rebooting.

Have a blessed rest of the week, All!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"It's not a lie..."

The remainder of that statement is, "...if you believe it."

It's a direct quote from George Costanza on an episode of Jerry Seinfeld.  Yes, I am actually quoting George Costanza!  I've done worse in my life of which I will not speak, except to my priest.

My response to George is, "Yeah.  It is!"

Let's talk lies.

People are uncomfortable with this subject and insist they never lie.  Really? 

Politicians lie all the time.  Parents lie to children.  Drivers lie to try to get out of tickets.  Children lie to avoid getting into trouble.  But all will tell you, they aren't lying. (Oh, no, she is NOT trying to call me a liar!! Here, hold the keys to my Jaguar!) 

The worse lie?  The lies we tell ourselves to the point that we believe them. 

How much are we lying to ourselves?  Lessee....

We lie about what we need to have in our lives, mostly, our lifestyle, our homes, our jobs, what's on our backs, stuff for our kids, to like, or to be liked and admired.

We try to live lives that look successful (financially!), knowing there's a problem with paying the electricity or being broke from taking care of grown children, and have nothing saved and nothing of the hard-earned money working for us, anywhere.

A very independent and strong single friend has a beautiful large home of her own.  She, to many, appears to be living the 'good life'.  Before you think I'm about to throw her under the bus....let me tell you.  She's wisely saved and paid off cars.  She wisely saved and invested and put down money to have a home built to her specifications, sold it, made money, and was able to put down enough (with left-over funds), to relax about that house.  She has mentioned that if she ever lost her job, she could make the payments working at McDonald's.  Now, that's planning. 

It's the kind of forward-thinking and planning we all should have.  Being adults, we are way past the immediate gratification stage of development.  That's for infants.  They want what they want and want it NOW. 

Here's another example:  my husband is the 'good one' with the money.  I have NO problem handing the responsibility over to him and he's comfortable with it.  In a marriage, you can't lie to yourself or spouse about your strengths and weaknesses.  I know about it but don't have to deal with it.  That works for us.  We have 'board meetings' regularly to see where we are and to plan.  Find what works for you.  It's not a control issue.  It just works.

In handing that weakness over, he has managed to place us in a position of comfort, if not material wealth.  Our mortgage is less than a third of our neighbors.  It's a simple small house and it's ours.  I'll be honest.  Until we win a lottery, we won't get to travel as much as we like and my hair and nails are done at Salon de Sucarichi.  I've said before, I'm not a shopper so my clothing budget is what some would call pitiful.  However, we enjoy ourselves and eat well and more healthily now than ever before in our lives.  We don't lie to ourselves about the 'deal-breakers', either.  Tommy wants to eat out occasionally and I like to buy books.  Obviously, we have simple needs.  This is something that, if we had young children, we would teach them.  The more you have, the more you worry about.  The lie is that you still need those things no matter WHAT!

It's important to consider your own deal-breakers, honestly, and work within the confines of some tough decisions.  We are not rich and may never be, but what we are is satisfied with what we have and are still ready for emergencies (Thank you, Suze Orman!).  The smartest things I've heard her say was regarding standing in your truth.

What we have, I wish for everyone.  I would love to know that everyone can lay their heads down at night without the stressors that keep many up from chasing after the Joneses.  That is the true blessing.  You DO realize that The Joneses no longer exist, right?  That's the lie. They are an illusion.  The Joneses represent the tremendous amount of debt our country and citizens have incurred over the period of many years.  The Joneses dissipated into an atmosphere of greed and pride.  Finally, they couldn't keep up with themselves.  Hopefully, they have seen that not living above your means is no longer the answer in this economy.  Live BELOW your means (another Suze-ism!) as financial matters improve.  I do still hold out hope that it will.  That's no lie.

If I could do anything with this blog, it would be to convince everyone that it's not the address, the dress, make-up, hair, nails, or car that make you "YOU".  You were who you are long before the capability of getting things.  One day, you will be you in the grave without those things.  It's inevitable.  Life is short.  Pursuit of stuff makes it even shorter.  Your things don't stay with you, but those you show love and kindness to will always be there for you.

I have one last thing.  There may be some readers, thank you, that noticed the absence of the ads on this blog.  I tried it, then realized I don't want the interruptions in thought nor do I want any readers to think I'm trying to make money from their time.  That is not why this particular blog is being written.  I'm no fool.  Everyone wants to make money.  I just don't want to do it that way. 

Thanks for reading and have a blessed rest of the week, All!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Do Unto Others....

If the day hadn't started the way it did, I wouldn't have been prepared for what happened. 

The world is full of paradox and dichotomy.  This I've known since I was a little girl, actually.  The concepts were refreshed recently that, a) meat is bad for me but I crave it like a wild animal at least once per month, b) I live in one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. (Florida) but we are known as the other States' idiot brother, i.e. CHADS and FL vs. Zimmerman, and, finally c) my mind is willing but my flesh is weak and flabby.

We are faced with decisions daily, some easy, others horrendously difficult.  I'll place yesterday's decision at the horrendous end of the spectrum.

Rushing to run an errand for my mother, I hit the store and began the drive to her home.  I didn't get far from the store when I passed a young man lying on a bus-stop bench.  He looked as if he wasn't breathing, no movement, and in the hot Florida sun with no shade.  I imagined he could be high, have sunstroke, be ill...amazing how many thoughts can go through your head in just a few seconds.  If it were my brother, or my daughter, or friend in trouble, I'd be eternally grateful for anyone to help them.  In fact, people have been very kind to those I love and pray for so why not? However, I wavered, as we all would in this situation.

I asked out loud, "Should I go back and check on him or face the Wrath of Mom?" (You Trekkies will get that joke.)

As I kept an eye on him for movement through my rearview mirror, I sighed heavily and made the turn into a parking lot to return to the man.  I parked on the street corner next to the stop and went to him.  Long story short (too late!), my questions of his physical status, mental status, and level of danger to me were all answered in a quick assessment. 

First, he was chewing on a plastic candy wrapper in his mouth, a bit of a beard coming in, dressed appropriately, but there was something else.  His eyes and his answers let me know that this poor boy, was developmentally disabled.  He told me he lived in a group home and that he was walking from school.  A lot of what he was saying was unintelligible but I thought I made out the name, Dillis.  Later, I asked him again because that sounded stupid to me.  Turns out when urged to remove the candy wrapper and speak clearly, the name was Louis.  

Louis only answered questions.  Otherwise, he did not speak.  He told me he knew where he lived, but did not know the address or any names besides his own.  I believed if the home was in the neighborhood, with some help, he could point the way. 

          "Do I keep straight here?"
          "Keep going?"
          "What's the color of your house, Dillis?  (Hadn't figured it out yet, OK?!)
          "This is the end of this street.  Do I turn left or right?" (It was about here, I realized this is not working.)
          Louis points right.  Louis points left.  Louis drinks the bottle of water I'd given him.
          "How old are you?"
          "Ten."  (Houston, we have a problem.)

So, I gave up on Louis' directions and decided to stop at the police station nearby.  I had Louis get out of the car, go in with me and have a seat.  As I'm explaining where and how I found him to the policewoman at the front desk, another policeman walks up and she tells him, "I think this is the kid who wandered away from Chamberlain."

In a couple of minutes, they'd determined that, yes, they had been searching for him, he had the mentality of a 5-year old, and that his name was.......John Edwards.  Right out of his mouth when the policeman asked him!
I kissed him goodbye, blessed him and practically ran out of there to get to Mom's with her groceries!

One policeman looked at me strangely and said that not everyone would have stopped for Louis/John Edwards.  I explained that I always will when I feel it's right.  I've been blessed with my health (minus the Multiple Sclerosis!), loving family, friends, vehicle, home, clothes, food to eat, and safe water to drink.  Anything I do, I do in love and gratitude for what is given to me. 

It's not like I would have offered a ride to the man I spotted Sunday, who resembled a VERY skinny Santa, wearing nothing but shorts, socks, and sneakers, skipping and dancing down the street. When I last glanced at him, he'd stopped and had struck a victorious Rocky-pose. Even I have my limits.

Now, understand, I'm not writing any of this for a pat on the back OR to be screamed at for how unsafe such a situation could have been.  I don't advocate anyone try what happened here or ever pick up strangers.  However, if anyone is actually still reading at this point, I'd love to think that it made you think about what blessings you have in your life and how many don't have what you may have.  It is our duty to take care of one another, in addition to our own families.  Everything we do, wherever we go, love should be the primary motive of our actions.  We can live without 'stuff' but we can't live without each other.  Not really live.

Can you imagine what a world it could be?  Dream on, you say?  Nah! 

Well, guess what?  People besides the great ones you consider, like Mother Theresa, are out there making a difference.  Regular people everyday help in the smallest ways which add up to big ways.  Organizations like Catholic Relief Services ( are helping to bring water to the villagers of Rhoka in East Africa and to Ghor in Afghanistan, while still helping the U.S. poor, and people like Dr. Vandana Shiva and others ( are working in India and globally to keep companies like Monsanto from patenting and controlling and destroying Earth's gift of natural seeds and farming communities.  Small organic farms are popping up everywhere as we all begin to find our roots (Hey! I like that one!).

Meanwhile, a very small percentage of Earth's inhabitants are doing things like building private islands to escape anyone who has less than they do. (  Sorry...I threw up a little in my mouth over that one.  I wonder if they give even a measly 10% of that kind of wealth to help others.

The very rich should not be the only sector of humanity who are able to eat well, have water, and be safe from violence.  I'm counting our blessings every day and remembering there are people who don't have enough to eat right here in the United States!  Contributing to food pantries locally is a wonderful way to help the poor and working poor of your community.  Help a senior neighbor who doesn't drive by giving them a ride to a doctor's appointment or the store.  Make a dish for a family you know is under/unemployed.  Summer's almost here and parents will have to feed the kids all day instead of school meal programs providing for them.  Visit someone who is in the hospital or shut-in at home sick just to chat.  Invite a acquaintance that hasn't many friends to a holiday gathering or just to dinner or coffee.  Write to someone who is imprisioned that you know could use some outside contact.  And if you happen to BE one of the under or unemployed, there's all the more reasons to reach out with whatever you have to help others, too.  Volunteering time to Seniors or shelters makes life meaningful for you while life works itself out. From a more practical side, it also opens you up to meeting others, which could lead to employment and friendships. 
Did you know that a human can die from lack of physical contact (being touched)? Hug somebody today.

Ok.  Now it looks like I've drifted a bit.  Time to get on with the day and see what it brings.  Have a blessed day, All!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Are You Hungry? Pink Slime, Anyone?

Or thirsty?

Pink slime in the burgers and beetle extract in the strawberry drinks.  Sounds delish, doesn't it?

So far this week we have learned that there are some unbelievable "supplemental" additives in our food that we purchase at our local grocery store and Starbucks. 

Apparently, Starbucks resorted to using beetle extract to avoid using artificial coloring in their Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino and strawberry smoothies.  I won't even go into the area of Fair Trade of which no barista I've spoken to is even aware. 

For a while, now without our knowledge, the ground beef in the stores and restaurants have been 'bumped up' with pink slime or lean, finely-textured meat, as they call it.  True, many grocers (and McDonalds) have pulled the items from their supply but, really?  REALLY??? 

We not only have to deal with the Genetically Modified/Bio-tech foods that they don't have to tell us about, but now this.  I wish that I could say our government is protecting us and our children from eating foods that will make us immune to antibiotics, grow tumors, cause allergies, and KILL US, but I can't.

The FDA is packed with people who were on the board for the main culprit, Monsanto.  Even Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice, worked as legal for them years ago.  The USDA is the same.  In case, you were not aware, the company is the one that created Roundup, to kill weeds.  Then created an insecticide-resistant soy bean...resistant to all but Roundup.  They patented the seed, and many others, as well, like corn, wheat, and canola.  Therefore, a farmer is no longer able to use or REUSE his own seeds to farm or he will be violating a patent, be sued, and, sometimes literally, lose the farm.  We watched a documentary called "The Future of Food" and other investigations into this matter that show farms being sued because Monsanto came and took samples indicating the patented seed was in the farmers' crops.  How do you keep pollen out?  Visits by insects or a breeze can contaminate acres.  They did not intentionally plant it but it was there and that's all that mattered to the courts.

Our government has determined that there is no responsibility to tell us that our food has some GMO product in it.  There is no responsibility to advise us of it at all.  Know why?  Because if it said it was there,  in writing, and someone had a reaction to it, became ill, etc. it could be traced back to that food and, therefore, that company.   

We were supposed to be convinced that fooling around with the genes of live plants would save starving Third World countries.  It has not. They've done this in some of the poorest areas of the world and put local farmers out of business which is why they are even more destitute.

What is the next step? They have already patented a breast cancer.  The feed they give animals are patented.  Does that make whatever the animal becomes part of that patent?  Then, we eat the animal product or plant.  I suppose they could patent human life at some point?  Scary, isn't it?  It's like a Sci-fi/horror movie where you may not be able to reproduce without the Corporation's agreement.  Then they 'own' what is born.  (Shiver!)

I wish the U.S. had gone the way of European countries in rejecting this monstrous creation. I found this on

The European Union guarantees the traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and products produced from these organisms throughout the food chain. Traceability of GMOs allows the monitoring and checking of information given on labels, the monitoring of effects on the environment and the withdrawal of products from the market in cases where new scientific data demonstrate that the GMOs used in the product present an environmental or health risk.

GUARANTEES IT!  Gee, it sounds like they actually care about their citizens. What is wrong with the U.S.?  This brings to mind so many questions of ethics in science.  AGAIN.  Where should you draw the line?  When do you realize you are sacrificing lives due to greed and avarice...and STOP?

Wondering yet what is safe to eat?  Well, our house is focusing on organic and local farms.  Most of the food hasn't travelled so far that it's lost its nutrients.  You can talk to the person that actually grew it.  You can ask questions.  I'm the carnivore in the family, so I seek out grass-fed safe beef and chicken.  You do know that cows eat grass not corn, didn't you?  But corn is cheaper.  Also, although, I once killed a cactus, I'm looking into starting a small garden in pots.  My husband talked me out of the chickens, for eggs.  I'm sort of glad he did.  Ew.

The bottom line is---find out all you can about what you place in your mouth--in your children's mouths.  Read the labels.  High fructose corn syrup is one of the villainous products to watch for.  (By the way, all the food in the aisles will soon be manufactured under 4-6 large corporations under all the different brands.  But that's another post for another rant.)  Personally, my eyes were opened when I read a cracker label that indicated it contained canola, cottonseed, AND/OR soybean oil.  If they don't know then....

That, of course, is a legal way of getting around any illness that may result from eating it.  I've been wondering for years now, why more children are asthmatic these days, what is with the ADD/ADHD diagnosis increase, childhood cancers, diabetes, and the obesity rates.  Wish I'd gone deeper into the science field. This would be a thorn in my side until I figured out.  For now, all we can do is be careful and watch.

So, I hope this has urged you to not just accept whatever is in the grocery aisles as good for you because it may taste good and, certainly, not just because the box says so.  There is more, much more, at stake here.

Sigh! These are the times I envy Adam and know, before they screwed everything up.