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Sunday, June 28, 2015

What a wonderful week it was!

Obamacare, commonly known among those in the know as "The Affordable Care Act,"  stands as is.  After a massacre in Charleston of 9 Blacks in a church, the Rebel flag has been removed from the flagpole at the Capital.  And discrimination for my gay comrades has ended and they are free to marry.  Imagine that!  I took up the banner of gay rights over 30 years ago, so this was a real victory to me.

Of course, with the SCOTUS ruling, comes the "Bible Thumpers."  Relax!  I am one myself.  I tout the Bible to anyone that will listen.  I preach love, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance, kindness, and truth.  But being on social media, there is always an opinion and a lot of links to prove a point.  So it upset me yesterday when a link was posted to "prove by the Bible" that gays can not only not marry, but as near as I can tell, not exist and will burn in hell!  To this I will hit the unfriend button every time.

I have lived and worked along side some of the sweetest people in the world who happen to be gay.  30 years ago, when I took up this banner, I knew there would be no turning back.  And I haven't.  My God made my gay friends just exactly as they are.  My God does not make mistakes.  The Old Testament is full of all kinds of things you can not do.  You can not eat shell fish, nor the cloven hoof, and if your brother dies without leaving any children you have to marry his wife and carry on his seed.  But that is the Old Testament.  All things are now new.

I was a care giver through the height of the AIDS epidemic and still volunteer with Southern Colorado AIDS Project (although it has a different  name now).  I was there when the Privacy Act was being implemented.  I was there to hold frail bodies as they left this world.  I was there when they thought AIDS could be caught by touching.  I was there as a shoulder to lean on or as a whipping post for someone lashing out at mans inhumanity to man.  I was there when the medicines were being introduced that have now changed the death sentence of AIDS to a manageble condition.  And through it all, the one group we could always count on for support of a financial nature or a shoulder to lean on when we were tired was the gay community.

The gay community that was called names because they were different.  Because a woman loved a woman or a man loved a man.  Hated in the name of love!  Does that sound like a Godly person to you?  "Judge not lest ye be the judge."  I am proud to be who I am, a straight woman with a whole lot of gay friends.  I am proud to set beside my gay friend in church because I know if I need something, he will be there!

So today I will go worship my God.  My God who accepts me as I am.  My God who loves all people and I will thank the Surpreme Court Of The United States for being unbiased and showing me that , yes there is justice in this world and right does sometimes win.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A wolf in sheeps clothing is still a wolf!

It is amazing how the adages that I learned at my mother's knee come up in my life 65 years later.  And they are still true.  You know the ones like "Never look a gift horse in the mouth."  When buying a horse you always check in it's mouth, but if someone gave you a horse you did not.  Just be grateful for the gift. If someone gave you something and it was not exactly what you wanted, it was still given and it was free so don't complain.

"A stitch in time saves nine."  That meant if you had a small tear in a seam that if you grabbed the needle and took 1 stitch it would rip no further.  This also applied to many things in life.  If you hoed the garden regularly the weeds would not get ahead of you.  Same with dishes, wash them after every meal and you never ended up with a sink full of dirty dishes.

"You can not make a silk purse out of a pig's ear."  This also applied to many things.  In baking you needed to use good, fresh ingredients.  If you wanted to have a quality garment  you had to use quality fabric.  In dating exercise due diligence and not choose a man/woman that was lazy, dishonest, or a drinker.  You could not make a good marriage with someone who was not what you wanted.  Marriage does not change a person so if a person was a player or lazy, they would remain so.  That also fell under the adage "What you see is what you get."  and "Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it".

Some of grandma's favorites in the dating department were "Where spider web grows, no beau ever goes,"  and "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach."  She was a firm believer in the woman marries man, man supports woman, they live happily ever after and die a peaceful death within moments of each other.  Well, granny was a wise woman, but life does not always work out that way.

I have a few personal favorites that I tend to use in every day life, like "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts."  "All that glitters is not gold." and a personal favorite  "Beware of the wolf in sheep's clothing."

Ah, yes!  The pastor gave a sermon on Sunday about David and Goliath.  If you recall that story it was about a Shepard boy who slew the giant.  She told how as a Shepard boy he tended the sheep and had to protect them from the predators.  Mountain lions and bears would attack the sheep and his job was to protect and save them.  Hence he was very strong and very adept in the use of his slingshot and that was how he killed the giant.  But, he had to know that the sheep were in danger.

How many cartoons have we seen where the Shepard is tending the flock and the wily wolf dresses as a sheep and goes to the middle of the herd?  There the picking is easy and the Shepard only knows that sheep are disappearing and he can not find them.  He could feasibly loose the whole flock if this continued!  Kind of like life, huh?

 Remember back over time how people have appeared in our life and we followed them blindly?  Seems we had several evangalists that were wolves in sheep's clothing and we were not alone in our blindness.  The Jim and Tammy Faye Baker come to mind, but they are not the only ones.  Religion is not the only venue of the wovles.  We read of political greats and we watch thier fall.  Newsmen embellish thier stories and then fall from thier pedestal.  Money is embezzeled by charities and the poor suffer.  Famous people draw wealth to themselves, but with fame comes power and with power comes corruption.

Not sure where I was going with this when I sat down at the keyboard this morning, but here I am.  My words of wisdom.  Do I have any?  I guess they would be, "Never let your guard down" ".Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear". " Learn to be a cynic.  Trust no one." But those may be words to live by, but they are not how I will live.  I will go on trusting and beleiving and following that small voice inside me that says, "This person needs you.  This person is different."

The world may be full of wolves in sheeps clothing but the world is also full of goodness and kindness and understanding.  I will continue to bring the sheep into the fold and if a wolf happens to wind up in our midst, we will deal with Wolfie on his level.

"You can not sprinkle showers of happiness on other people without getting a few drops on yourself."

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Yeah, what she said.

Happy Early Father's Day to my dad, who for years wore the hat of both mom and dad, who bought me tool sets and training bras, taught me how to fish, curse, and say excuse me, who gave me the courage to stand up for what's right, and the compassion to help others. Dad, you raised some kick ass kids! We love you!

Just read this on face book and since the world has seen it I assume it is alright to put it on this blog.  I would hope the girl who wrote it would add a comment here.  It is always wonderful to see the love between a parent and child at any age.  I know this gal's situation and that makes it even more special. I confess it also made me sad.

My mom and dad were separated in age by 20 years.  That may not mean much in this day and age, but back then things were different.  The father's job was to earn the living and the mother was supposed to stay home with the kids.  It did not work that way at our house.  Momma helped with the farming when Dad share cropped.  The 2 littlest kids were carried with her and the rest of us ran wild at home.  Well, technically, Josephine was supposed to watch us and she did.  She watched us play in the mud.  She watched us chase the chickens and torture the cat.  Donna poked her finger at a turtle and she watched us try to save her.  But that was 65 years ago.

My father was a man who lived in our home.  He had no patience for us kids.  He was just there.  I always envied the kids at school who could be seen around town walking with their father.  Or walk past and see the father figure mowing the grass.  A real sand and shovel memory if you get my drift.

It was not so with my father.  I knew none of his relatives although I was named after his mother.  He had 5 children from his first wife.  A son and daughter died as infants from sand pneumonia and 3 sons  were placed in an orphanage when his wife died.  I assume she died. Two of the 3 surviving sons were adopted.  Gene was not.  I have letters he wrote to my father from the orphanage that tear at my heart.  From the letters I learned that my father was never a caring man  to any child he had.  So it was never personal.  Just one of those "It is what it is." things.  Richard served during WWII and came home shell shocked.  Today we call it PTSD.  Earl married and had 3 children.  Gene spent most of his life in prison and finally just disappeared off the face of the earth.  He left a son named Billy who I remember only as a fact, but not a person I ever met.

My father never attended my wedding or acknowledged that there ever was one.  But he surprised me.  When I had my first baby, Debra Louann, he came by the apartment and looked at her.  When he left I found a bib in her crib.  For her 1 year birthday he had my sister Josephine make her a pretty red dress and bought her a pair of red patent leather shoes.  I have a picture somewhere.  I had forgotten all about that until   I started this paragraph!  He died before my second child was born.  I wonder if things had been different if we could have actually been friends?  Maybe....

But I can not think of that tonight.  It makes me too sad.  Life is just so full of missed opportunities.  So full of roads not taken and choices not made.  As I get older I think of all the things I should have done and all the things I should have said and I wonder if the good Lord let me live though all my past just so I could finally get it.  Lizzie, I am so glad you have this time with your father and I envy you so much.

That having been said,
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

What were you thinking? What was I thinking? Is the bacon really that good?

Those of you who know me are aware that I am in pretty good shape for the shape I am in and able to do about anything I choose to do.  So this morning I was taken aback to say the very least.  I left home in high spirits and picked Teresa up and headed out for breakfast.  Our chosen venue this morning was a resturant on the Northside.  I like it because it has a very big breakfast menu.  Very good bacon also.  It shall remain nameless because I am not wanting to cast them in a bad light, just wanting to vent.  I will send them a link to this blog so they can assess thier policies.
So we entered and crossed to the Hostess area where we were met by a chipper young girl who is no doubt in training.  She was being supervised by an older lady who appeared to be very capable and imparted this to the  young trainee.  From there it was down hill.  The older lady greeted us and then looking directly in my eyes asked, "Are you capable of walking to the table in the back room or shall I seat you closer?"

"What!? What?!"  was the only response I could come up with at that moment.  I envisioned that perhaps she was going to seat us at a resturant down the block.

" Well, it is a ways to the back of the dining area and I just wondered if you could walk that far because if you can't I can seat you closer."

Now I have often used the term "I damn near had an apoplexy," and in that moment I knew how one would feel.  Until that moment I had never felt old.  I pride myself in my physical condition, and here was someone I had never lain eyes on before insinuating that perhaps I was not capable of walking across the room.

I muttered something about how I could out walk, out run, and out last her any day of the week and her time would be better served helping damn near anyone but me.  At that point I was led away by Teresa and the young trainee.  But it was too late.  The damage was done.  I even tried to tell Teresa that the remarks were maybe meant for  her and not me, but she was not buying that either.  Of course, my initial reaction was that I had misunderstood her.  My second reaction was that I should wrap my fingers around her throat.  As the day wore on and I have reflected on the interchange, I have run the gambit of actions I should take and the answer is none.
My first choice had been to report her to her superior because her remarks definitely hurt me.  Was I the only one she had spoken to in this way?  Probably not.  Should she be fired?  She is definitely not an asset to the business.  She probably needs her job and  she may actually think she is being kind in not making people walk far to a table.

I fully intended to quietly tell her that she should be a little more aware of how she talked to people and how she had made me feel, but she was not at the desk when I left.  I do think we can all take a lesson from this and think twice and speak once.  Words that are meant with the best intentions some times do not fall on ears that appreciate them.

So to the lady who ruined what started out to be a beautiful day in June, I have this to say;  I have forgotten what you look like.  I have forgotten the tone of your voice.  And tomorrow I will have forgotten your words.  I do hope you some how find this and recognize yourself and learn a few people skills. Mother always taught us to treat everyone as we wanted to be treated.  Even the Bible tells us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

So there you go on my fun day.  Just try to spread a little happiness some where along the way and it will come back to you seven fold, shaken down and poured out.  I will try to remember that.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Time to park the car!

Warm weather is here and school is out and we are headed for disaster.  Back in Nickerson, Kansas we had rules.  Be home before dark and if the street light came on before we made it inside there was hell to pay.  There was no street light on Strong Street, but we could see the one over on the highway.  And we had to wash our feet before we crawled into bed.  And if we woke up in the night and had to use the  "facility"  we had to wake up a sibling. to accompany us.  They did not have to go all the way out there, just stand by the door in case a mountain lion was lurking on the path and grabbed us.  I have no idea what anyone would have done at that point, but at least the family would have some sort of an idea of why we were missing the next morning.  In all fairness here, I had an older sister who was prone to sneak out and meet her boyfriend in the middle of the night and no one knew.  She could have been eaten and that would have been the end of her sneaking out, I am sure.

Speaking of sneaky, another rule was that whoever got in from school first got to turn on the television and set right in front of it.  Course the only thing on was the test pattern.  Actual programing started at 6:00 and ended at 10:00.  Donna was always first through the door, so she would turn on the television, adjust her chair and set there enthralled telling us to be quiet so she could hear the occasional beep.  She also like to get a loaf of bread, if we had one, and open it, remove the crust and eat the soft part out of the loaf.  She did not like crusts.  She should come to my high tea, huh?

We could always find a 55 gallon barrel to roll down the street and we would jump on it and walk on top of it and have more damn fun.  But the best treat of all was to ride a bicycle.  Of course that was a few and far between treat since the only bicycle we had access to was sthe neighbors and access to that was always a little "iffy" for several reasons, the main one being the tires rarely had air in them and mostly we fought with the neighbors. I never actually learned to ride until I was 13 or 14 years old.  I won a bicycle at the local grocery and pushed it all the way home because it was an English racing bike, a boys bike and the tires on it were very skinny and did not stand a chance against the goat heads on Stong Street.

But the rules!  Before we could ride anywhere except up and down the street, we had to go to town and get a tag for the bike.  And we had to know the rules.  Bicycles were the same rules as cars.  Ride on the right side of the road just like a car.  Signal your turns.  Stop at stop signs.  You know the rules.

Well, those rules seem to have gone out the window.  I meet bicyclists coming toward me on the right side of the road.  I am always amazed at what they are thinking.  Where do they think I am going to go?  If they were ahead of me going the same direction I am going, I could adjust my speed and pass them when it was safe, but since they are in my lane coming towards me, I am at a loss as to what to do.  If the left lane is clear, I can dodge them.  If it isn't I am given a choice of hitting them head on or hitting a 2 ton truck head on.  Guess who is going to get plowed into?

And now I see the city is adding bike lanes all over town.  So what rules appy there?  Must they go with the flow of traffic or are they allowed to openly meet us head on?  And what about when they meet each other head on?  Now I see them shooting through traffic and hopping up on the sidewalk.  What about that rule that they can not ride on the side walk or is that just to placate silly old women like me?

So enough of my ramblings for today.  I shall go close up the geese and hope a mountain lion does not get me, or better yet, hope there are no bike lanes in my back yard.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

All this rain...

All this rain takes me back to Nickerson, Kansas and the time Dad spent farming with John Britan.  The farm was located across the Arkansas River.  I do not know  East from West so I am not sure which side of the river that is, but it was leave town, cross the bridge and turn left.  As most farm land was back then, it was dry land.  Ah, but through the middle of it there ran a "slough".  For those of you who do not know what a slough is, I will tell you.  A slough is a low place that much resembles a dry ditch most of the year.  When it is rainy season, it looks like a creek.  When it is really rainy for any length of time it looks like a small river.

The wheat was planted on the full acreage was planted to wheat.  Most of the time that worked fine, but if it filled the slough that part of the crop was lost.  Now, Dad would sometimes take Jake and I with him when he went to do the harvest.  Josephine stayed home with the younger kids while Mother drove the truck into town to the elevator.  If it was dry, it was pretty boring, but if the slough was full, we had a blast.  At the time it seemed to me that this raging river was my home.  Once Jake built me a flat raft with a string tied to a matchstick that was poked through a hole.  That way I could hang on to the string and keep it from floating away.

The Kansas sun beat down on us as we played by that wonderful body of water and we could put our feet in it and we were in heaven.  We did not know what hot was and more then once we got a good sunburn.  Mother would doctor us with whatever magic potion she had on hand and by the next day, the sunburn was gone and we were a darker shade of tan.  By the end of summer we looked like a couple Indians.  I do not remember combing my hair, but I am sure I did.

Jake was my hero and sometimes one of the boys from town would come to visit him.  That was never any fun because they would wander off and the beautiful, cool riverwould  turn into a muddy, dirty mess.  Jake always made my life magic.  He instilled in me an ability to see life through different eyes.  He painted pictures of a world far away that was beckoning to him.  From him, I got my love for music.  Oh, not just music, country music.

With the help of a car radio and a good battery he delivered The Grand Old Opry to the front yard of our little house on Strong Street.  He knew all the singers. Faron Young, Little Jimmy Dickens, Hank Williams, Ferlin Husky, Carl and Pearl Butler, and on and on.  I always thought he would some day pick up a guitar and head south.  But he didn't.  When he was 16 years old he forged his birth certificate and went into the Army.  I stayed home and wrote to him.  He was sent to Germany and by the time he returned home, I was not a little girl anymore.

Funny how rain can trigger emotions that I thought were long lost.  I wonder what is going on in Nickerson?  It floods every Spring and I am sure this one is no different.  I am planning a trip back there in August, but it can never be the same.  The house is gone.  The people I knew are gone.  It is just a spot on the map now,  but isn't that how life was planned to be?  And our memories, they never leave.

I still love country music and I listen to Classic Country when I am at home alone.  The radio used to crackle and break up so I could not understand the words.  Now it is clear and while it is the same, it is not the same, but through it all I can hear Jake singing.  I can feel the hot, humid air that is Kansas.  And while this brings tears to my eyes as I think back, it was probably the happiest part of my life.

I miss you, my brother!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Colonoscopy? Thank M#$%*@o!!

Yesterday was the annual March Against Monsanto.  All over the country people who care came together and carried signs protesting what is going on with our food supply.  Our demonstation was not very well attended and at first that made me angry.  Then I rethought it and I have decided that perhaps anger is not the right emotion.  Disappointment?  Maybe, but not really.  After much soul searching I put my finger on it.  It is Fear.  It is fear for not just myself, but the whole country.  Let's review here.

Most of my friends do not recall the "good old days" like I do.  I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and restroom facilities consisted of an "outhouse" and Saturday night was bath night in the kitchen in a galvanized tub that Momma filled with water heated on a wood stove, which was also used for cooking.  Meat was a rarity on our table, but when it showed up it had usually been walking or hopping around in the back yard earlier in the day.  And we picked greens out of the yard.  We ate Lambs Quarter.  Ever hear of that?  A weed.  Our animals were fed grain that had been fed raised in some farmers field and harvested by that same farmer.  It was delivered to our place by wagon.

There was not much sickness in our small town.  There was one lady who kept having tests and more tests and the tests found nothing.  She had a hysterectomy, an appendectomy, tonsillectomy  and finally just died.  There was also a young man who set in a wheel chair in front of his house and smiled and waved every morning before school and every afternoon after school.  I forget what he had, but we knew he was not well.  He died when he was 14 or so.  But for the most part babies were born, grew up, and moved away.  The old people stayed behind and eventually died and that was that.  The flu went around and we survived. 

Then came polio.  Then a vaccine to control that.  A vaccine for small pox.  Want to know a secret?  I was very puny when I was pre-teen, so I never had those vaccinations.  No polio, no whooping cough, no small pox, no tetenaus, no nothing.  Still have not had them, do not want them and have survived just fine without them.

Then I noticed people coming down with one thing or another.  I was 15 years old before I had the sign of a boob or hair under my arms.  But I noticed my kids were alost fully developed by the time they were 12 and now it seems to be 8 or 9.  What is going on?  My first thought was growth hormones in the meat we eat and the milk we drink.  Everyone thought I was nuts.  Oh, well.  You explain it.

Then I found out little bits of info here and there that disturbed me.  Our fruits and vegetables are radiated so they stay fresher for us and can last longer on the grocery store shelf!  Every thing that comes off the shelf also has a preservative in it.  Buy a loaf of bread.  Bake a loaf of bread.  Put the 2 items on your kitchen counter and walk away.  Two weeks later the store loaf will still be there, nice and fresh.  The one you baked will be consumed by mold and unrecognizeable as anything edilbe.  Scary, huh?

No!  What is scary is what the government that is supposed to protect us is doing to us in the name of progress.  A company named M#$%*@o, the one that invented agent Orange for use as a defoliant in Vietnam came up with a way to "improve" our food supply.  Just alter a few genes in the DNA of and they will be grow very big, very fast.  Plants will be able to kill insects from within.  One bite and the worm in your corn hemmorages and dies.  I have been known to eat 3 ears of corn.  What do you think that does to you?

Do me a favor.  You apparently have a computer and Google is all over the Internet.  Google GMO.  Google World's Highest Cancer Rate.  And if you only do one, cut and paste this one.  Which countries DO NOT allow Genetically Modified  Organics.

The point I am trying to get across to you, my friends, is this:  Educate yourselves.  It is your body.  You decide what goes in it.  Big business has bought and paid for our government.  If you think about it, you know I am right.  Congress keeps passing laws to protect those who pollute our food supply.  Think about our last election.  We had a measure on the ballot to make companies label our foods.  What happened?  Big money came in and ran a campaign aimed at your pocket book.  

"If we have to label our products you will have to pay more at the store."  That is a crock!  Food has to be labeled any way, we just want it HONEST!

"Oh, us small farmers will be put out of business."  Of course you will when we find out what you are doing to us!

And last but not least, why do out of state businesses care what goes on in our state?  Is it personal?  Hell no!  Oh, wait.  It is personal.  Personal to thier bank accounts.  Please, if you do nothing else all day, spend just a little time researching your food supply and finding out why the medical problems in our country are spiraling out of control.  

And on a brighter note, our crowd was younger this year.  It is too late for us old people to save our colon, but if we can save the children, there is still hope.  This little fellow made this sign while we were standing on the corner waving at people going by and honking.  OMG! GMO!