Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Desecration of the Honor or Heroes

Hello, my friends,                 

They’re at it again and I’m mad as hell!

Westboro Baptist Church, an independent Baptist church based in Topeka Kansas and headed by Fred Phelps and family, is nothing more than a legalized hate group; not too far afield of Nazi-ism if you ask me . . .  but . . . I digress.

These people go all over the country touting their so called “religious” beliefs—disguised as Christians who defile the American flag but shroud themselves in the Bill of Rights—by protesting at the funerals of the very heroes who died to preserve those rights. They preach hate and intolerance and are constantly monitored by the Anti-Defamation League. They advocate prejudice against all who do not follow their practices and deem them “Satanic” and bound for hell. This is not true Christian behavior. Christianity advocates love, honor and respect for their leaders and the warriors who are charged with the protection of the people.

How can this be allowed? You might ask.  Well, this issue was brought before the United States Supreme Court in March of 2011 and in a vote of 8-1 ruled in favor of the church. 

It seems that they have the right to disparage the honor of our fallen heroes as often as they like and just about any manner they choose because it is in the Bill of Rights. You know, that line about freedom of speech and the separation of state and church.  But I ask you this: How could a group of people who so openly abhor this country and shout as loudly as they can that God hates American and we should all be destroyed, they hold up signs that say “Thank God for dead soldiers”; a group that has ridiculed America, expect to be protected by the rights those same dead soldiers they protest against, died for?  Can you say: “double standard”?

Just this past Saturday, January 7th, 2012 one of the fallen heroes, a young Pfc. named Justin M. Whitmire, only 20 years old, was laid to rest in Simpsonville, South Carolina and this band of hoodlums tried to stage a protest.  Do they not realize the agony the families of these fallen young men and women are going through? This young man was training to be a medic; not only was he a soldier to protect his country but he wanted to be a healer as well and these . . .  I have no words to describe them! Scum?  Disciples of Lucifer? However you describe them they are heartless and soulless to celebrate the death of one so good and pure of heart.

They tried to dishonor a hero. They tried to discredit his life’s purpose.  But they failed! Halleluiah, AMEN!

The Patriot Guard Riders, a group of motorcycle riders that formed in 2005 to protect the families of deceased soldiers, was on hand at Pfc. Whitmire’s funeral and stood to protect his loved ones from the protest.  I’ve also heard it on good authority that Hell’s Angels were on hand as well.  From the “grapevine” I heard the Hell’s Angels blocked Frank Phelps and his hoard of heathens from even attending the funeral by blocking the parking lot of a store where they had convened: to “pray” I would imagine.

This country was founded on freedom.  Young men and women have suffered, bled and died for over two centuries to protect those freedoms and I for one believe they should be given proper respect.  There is a difference in “freedom of speech” and down right “hate propaganda”.  Frank Phelps and his “hoard of heathens” he calls a church’s actions may not be technically defined as treasonous, but what do you call it when a group of American Citizens spew out such diabolical rhetoric defaming this country’s military? It aids the enemy in breaking down the morale of our citizens. It gives an opening to home grown terrorists to step in and stoke the flames of discontent within our borders. This administration’s approval rating is at an all time low as it is, not to mention this is an election year and focus is split in a myriad of directions.

The “hoard of heathens” are aiding and abetting terrorist activity. For the sake of and the safety of this country we all need to do something about this situation.  I suggest everyone write their city council, state representative, governor, congressman, hell write the president and let them all know we will not tolerate the desecration of the honor of our fallen heroes.

I only have one last thing to say to those who hate America: Don’t let our borders hit you in the ass on your way out!!!!!

God Bless America, and have a great day.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A New Year; A New Attitude!

Hello friends;
Well, it's a new year and all things are possible!
Just think: the turning of a new page means that you have the chance to start fresh. Begin anew. Old things are passing away and new things are about to begin!
 By all means I would never suggest that you leave behind the things that are important such as your loved ones, bills that need to be paid, that place where they hold your paycheck hostage and you dread leaving the house every morning just to put in your forty plus hours. Those tangibles that we must endure to survive in a world spinning out of control. The rampant commercialism, mud slinging political campaigns, (it is an election year after all); looming global economic collapse and, well, I think you get the picture.
Hmm, not exactly the most promising picture I'm painting is it?
That's where the turning to a clean page comes in: Everyone knows and suffers with the tangibles . . .  but what about those intangibles?  Like attitude? Self esteem? Tolerance of others? 
Let's take these intangibles one at a time:

Attitude:  Webster's New World Dictionary defines this as: 1 a bodily posture showing mood, action, etc.  2 a manner showing one's feelings or thoughts  3 ones disposition, opinion, etc.  4 (slang) a quarrelsome or haughty temperament or manner. 
If you ask me these are all things that we have total control over--in ourselves that is.  I have decided that the way people perceive me is due to the attitude that I project from within. No one controls that except ME. I am in total control of my attitude.  So that can only mean one thing: If I don't like what I see in the mirror I am the only one that can change it.

Self esteem 1 self respect  2 undue pride in oneself; conceit
Yes, I have spent a lot of my life with what could be termed "Low self esteem"  I had no respect for myself, and was my own worst enemy. I was also a self-saboteur.  I felt I was unworthy of anything better and for many wasted years I did nothing to change that until I saw the light with a simple remark that my best friend told me about twenty five years ago, give or take a couple of years, "People will treat you the way you teach them to treat you."  WOW! That one took me by complete surprise when I realized that it was absolutely true.  I projected a poor attitude of myself and others picked up on that.  If I didn't like me then why should they? I never saw myself as attractive, desirable or even smart back then. I've always thought of myself as plain, common and nothing special. And thinking that way about me I sent out these tsunami waves of negative energy and others picked up on them.
Once I realized what I was doing I did what I had to do.  It wasn't easy and I fell back into that "woe is me" attitude on occasion but I have finally come to realize that I am special: to myself.  I am attractive and desirable, (someday someone will realize that I am unique and special but I refuse to wait around until that day comes. I can do what ever I wish to do because, "I CAN"). I am an intelligent woman and I learn new things every day.  I stopped believing the worst about myself and I finally convinced myself that I wasn't really a waste of fresh oxygen and chromosomes.  I would catch myself putting me down with degrading remarks such as; "I am so stupid.  Why did I do something so dumb?" Or, "Look how fat I am." And the coup de gras "I wish I looked like (fill in the blank with the current supermodel here)."  These are all things that told me I was not good enough and I was lacking.

But, you know what? Like that old song by Patti Labelle "I've Got A New Attitude"

I stopped telling myself what was wrong about me and started finding things that were right about me.  Each day I told myself something good about myself and that no matter what I was going to find something good to make even my darkest day just a little bit brighter.

If not, well, Tomorrow will be a brighter day!

Tolerance: The last item on my intangibles list.  1 being tolerant of others' views, beliefs, practices, etc.  2 the amount of variation allowed from a standard  3 med. The (developed) ability to resist the effects of a drug, etc. (this one has no bearing on my point but thought I should add it anyway.)

Well, this one is pretty self explanatory I would think.  You should have a little more tolerance for yourself when you make a mistake.  Don't beat yourself up over a bad decision, a broken relationship that should never have been a relationship in the first place, or backing into that pole the other day.  Things happen, deal with it and move on.  Easier said than done, I know, I know.  I am my own worst critic and I should practice what I preach and for the most part I do.
It's not the mistakes we make that make us, it's how we deal with those mistakes and what we learn from them.

It's all in the attitude, self esteem and tolerance.

Tomorrow will always be a brighter day . . . even when it rains it could be always be worse.  You could be living in a country that shuns democracy and advocates the subjugation of women.
Think about it.

Start your New Year with a Great New Attitude!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays, welcome home!

Happy Holidays to all and welcome home to those military service people that have finally returned home from Iraq.
It is so great to have you home and with my deepest gratitude THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!!!
There is no way to say in words how much your sacrifices are appreciated. I would like to bestow on you and yours all the blessings and greatest wishes for the new year and hope you will all find the success and happiness you deserve.
I know that this transition will be extremely difficult for you.  Your life has been a constant vigilance, finding danger from all sides, always on your guard against treachery from those who posed as friend and ally. Even walking along the roadway brought danger and death.  You could never place your trust in anyone other than your brother or sister in arms. Fear and suspicion was your constant companion.
Now, you are home, the enemy you faced over there are no longer such a prominent threat.
But your demons have followed you home.
The training can't be unlearned, you will always be vigilant.  The horrors of war that you faced will always be in your mind, in your dreams as it has been for all warriors, soldiers, fighters throughout history. And the grief you feel for the loss of those friends who gave their lives and fell in battle will leave a deep and painful scar on your heart and soul.

Perhaps while you were there, as rockets burned across the night sky and you shielded yourself behind a wall, a rock, or where ever as bullets hailed like hellfire around you, something like,"I am so afraid to die, I don't want to be here.  I want to go home." went through your mind and guilt assailed you for it. Those thoughts are not the thoughts or needs or wants of a coward. Those are the thoughts and needs and wants of a brave and valiant human being that put the needs of others before his own needs.
It has always been said, through time immemorial, "There is no greater love than to lay down your life for another". The true sign of a hero is not that he is not afraid, but that in spite of his fear he does what needs to be done.  That, my friends, is what our US Military has done for this country and we should all, each and every American citizen should be thankful for: our military service personell from the highest ranking general to the filing clerks. They have all played a part in keeping us safe so that we could celebrate this Christmas season as we see fit. From the birth of Jesus Christ to Hanukkah to Kwanza to no religeous belief at all, we have them to thank.

You are brave. You are appriciated and you are loved!

Always remember to thank a soldier for their service.  It doesn't matter why they joined, only that they did.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!!!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hubris of youth, joy of hope

            Reality has very rudely slapped me in the face!

            This attention grabber came at me in the form of a photograph that surfaced recently after being buried in the obscurity of my life’s history.
            I was young, I was free and I was HOT!!! And I was nineteen when this particular image was captured for posterity. Oh, those were the days . . . 1976 . . . summer time to be exact and as I recall the times were the best of my life. I look back on them fondly and with some regret.  The halter tops, bell bottoms and mood rings were all the rage and I was grabbing the good times with both hands and wringing every drop of fun and excitement I could squeeze from those fun filled days. It was the summer to beat all summers. Life was just waiting for me and I had no time to lose. 
            Looking at that picture I remember the dreams I had and the future that I fantasized about.  And I had big dreams but they were always for tomorrow.
            Now, here I am approaching my . . . ouch . . . 55th birthday—man that hurts—and I remember.  Those dreams and fantasies have never come to fruition.  That hurts even more, I think.
            I suppose we’ve all had our fair share of dreams at that age; some of us made those dreams a reality and reached the goals we’ve set for ourselves.  Then, too, there are those of us, myself included, who had no real idea how to set about making those dreams a reality and thinking “oh, I’ve got lots of time yet” and felt they would, “just happen” when the time came.
            Alas, they didn’t happen.  I never had those 2.5 children, the house in the Burbs and that $100,000 a year dream job in a top executive position.  I never attained that bullet proof cape of “Super Woman”, leading the charge of righteous feminism into the future as a hero to womankind.
            There was the devastating disappointment of my first marriage that had the life span of a soap bubble; one of those really bad choices a young woman makes when faced with great looks, broad shoulders and a forked tongue.  Honestly, we’ve all been there at least once in our lives, haven’t we?  Some wake up before it’s too late and the rest of us have to learn our lessons the hard way.  What can you do?
            There were incredible highs like buying my first car or winning an all expenses paid trip to Jamaica. Sun, surf and lots of turquoise water to dance in. Not to mention all the buff, tanned beefcake you could feast your sunglass shaded eyes on.  And there was that moment . . . that one special moment when you look into a pair of the most compassionate, warm, loving brown eyes and know you have seen your own special heaven.  The feeling of being treasured beyond all things flows through you like warm honey and satin and you know you have finally become whole.  I’m no Plato but I do believe we all have another half of us that makes us feel whole and there is nothing to match that feeling when you find that person.
            I’ve never been blessed with children of my own but I’ve known the joy of watching my nieces grow and find their own way in the world.  I’ve experienced the ecstasy in finding that one special love that made me whole.  And I’ve been blessed with the most amazing friend who has stayed by my side, literally and figuratively, over the years and has never let me down.  She was my life line when I lost my husband, my soul mate, to cancer some years ago. An angel named Anna.
            I have lost good jobs, money, friends and loved ones. I’ve even lost my dreams but the one thing that I have never lost was hope.
            There were moments, however, when my grip on hope was tenuous at best; but I held on to it. I clung to it like a scared child clings to its mother after a nightmare knowing that should I lose my hold on hope, I would be lost.
            As the saying goes “that which does not kill us  . . .etc.” You know what I mean.
            The disappointments in my life, the losses and the confusion have tempered me to a resolve of steel. It has made me strong enough to endure almost anything, I think. Every morning when the alarm sounds it gives me an opportunity to make old dreams real or create new ones if needs be. Every time the sun rises over the eastern horizon I have renewed hope that this day will be better than yesterday.  And if it isn’t? Well, tomorrow the sun will rise again and hope will be reborn.
I may be more mature now than when I was nineteen but with that maturity comes life and with life comes friends, family, hopes and dreams. Joys and disappointments. And, God willing and if the fates allow, I’ll have many more sunrises ahead of me that renew those hopes and dreams.
With a new day, come new challenges to be met.  With a new year comes a chance at a new dream.

What will your dream be?

Hope to see you here again.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Share your blessings

Well friends, it's that time of year again and everyone is about to start their frenzied Christmas shopping. To tell you the truth, if I had to go to the mall between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, I think it would throw me into psychotic episodes. I haven't been to the mall since Don passed away over eight years ago except to run into a certain store for one item and then I felt as though I'd stepped into the Twilight Zone on crack!
    Oh, I remember the days when I lived for going to the mall! Alas, as I have matured my priorities have matured too. I miss those younger, fun filled days.
    I envy those who have the ability to clad themselves in the armor of persistence, aggressive attitude and the battle knowledge of how to surveille the stores for the ultimate gifts for those special someones on their lists. And to find that perfect gift at the absolute best price would be like winning the holiday lottery . . . only the winnings would be wrapped in brightly colored paper, bound with festive ribbon and placed lovingly under the artificial, pre-lit tree that had been sitting in the prime spot in the living room for weeks, until Christmas morning.
    When I was a kid, the tree was a real honest to goodness tree fresh from the Christmas tree lot and filled the house with fresh pine scent, not something plastic and pre-lit with fancy white flashing lights and shiny glass ornaments purchased from specialty stores with no real meaning to them other than they were "pretty".  No sirree, when I was a kid those trees were real, the lights were strung in multi colored strands by my grandfather while the rest of us waited with baited breath to hang that first home made ornament on the first bough we could reach. Many of the ornaments we had back then were homemade but some were also memories of happy times in far off places like . . . New York City maybe, or some other place my grandparents had visited in their own younger days.
    Christmas meant something back then; it meant that it was a time for families to come together and help one another, to love one another and yes to fuss at one another too. But isn't that what families do? We all have our own memories of this holiest of holidays; some good memories, some fabulous memories and some bad memories. I have had a lot of holidays to remember in my . . .  we won't go into how many Christmases I've had, suffice it to say there were many . . . lifetime and the majority of them I am happy to say have brought me a great deal of pleasure and I thank God for those memories.
But--and here it comes--there are so many who have nothing this holiday season and those of us who can will do what we can to help them. If you don't have the money to give maybe you have some canned goods in your cupboard that you could donate to a food pantry so someone less fortunate can have something good to eat over the holidays. Or maybe you have a few extra blankets that the homeless shelter could use; maybe a coat or jacket that has been hanging in the back of your closet that you never wear could be donated to a shelter for abused women and children.  There are so many ways to help others if you just put forth a little effort.
    And what of those who have family over seas in the military that will not be able to make it home for the holidays? What of the men and women on the real battle lines where live  bullets and road side bombs are more of a threat than not finding that perfect gift at the mall? Maybe you can pick up a few things like magazines, toothbrushes, books and other little things that the soldiers over there miss, and put them into a box and ship a nice Christmas package from home. Even if you don't know them personally there are ways to brighten another person's day just by saying "I'm thinking of you and you are appriciated". If you want to give a special gift to a soldier, contact your local VFW, I'm sure they would be more than willing to help you find the right way to send a Christmas package to a soldier overseas.
    Sharing your blessings is the real reason we should celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. After all, didn't he share the ultimate gift with us?

May you all have a blessed holiday season.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Welcome Home!

Dear Friends,

            It’s been a decade awash in blood and tears.

            The men and women who have so selflessly sacrificed more than they should have ever been asked deserve our unending, heartfelt gratitude.
            It is because of those courageous, valiant souls that I have the freedom to write this without fear of persecution for voicing my thoughts in a public forum.
            Since time immemorial the strong have stood for the weak and bled for them.  They have been our champions and guardians.  They battled back those who would stand for evil over good, wrong over right, greed over altruism.
            In our history we haven’t always been so gracious to our warriors returning home.  The heroes returning from the Second World War were met with parades and revelry and praise for a job well done.  But those who returned from the jungles of Southeast Asia were greeted with scorn and ridicule and protests.  How could we have been so cruel to those who gave so much?  They fought and bled and died as soldiers had done for centuries and yet we treated them not as the heroic warriors they were but were shunned and persecuted for doing what they were sent to do.  They fought in our stead so that we could sleep in peace.
            Though it is years past time to say thank you to the veterans of Vietnam, I still want to tell them they were and are appreciated by many more than they really know.
            The men and women returning home from Iraq will be met with gratitude and open arms by most of the American people.  I will be one of them.
            There will be those dissenting few who will look down their noses and sniff in disdain at them for what they might perceive as unnecessary cruelty and violence toward a country that we had no business sticking our political noses in.  I say to them, “THEY DREW FIRST BLOOD!”  9/11 wasn’t the first attack against America; it was just the first attack on our turf.  We are now more vigilant and it will be the last time we are taken by surprise.
            We could no longer turn the other cheek when terrorist groups bent on destruction of democracy in favor of their religious tenets that dictated nothing but subjugation of women and death to any who do not believe as they do.
            Our men and women in uniform have upheld the democracy and freedom this country was founded on and still stands for.  They’ve done their patriotic duty not because they were paid a wage for their loyalty but because they believe in what they are fighting for.
            They are strong, they are proud, they are Americans with honor.
            Please join me in saying to all of those returning home from Iraq.

                                    WELCOME HOME      

            The war isn’t over and many more are destined to die until terrorism is defeated.  For now, we can rejoice in the fact that there are those with the strength of heart and soul to stand and say, “Not on my watch will your evil enter here!”

May God bless all of our military and keep them safe.

Until next time,

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Timeless Battle

Hey y'all,
It's coming up on Halloween and I thought I would share a poem that Anna and I worked on a few months ago.  It seems fitting for this time of year and hopefully it will bring the chill bumps cheerfully raising on your skin.  Just remember that all myths have a grain of truth at their inception.  It really makes me wonder about the legends of vampires, werewolves and other creatures of the night.
I have recently been re-reading my collection of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series and believe me it has given me a lot of pause for thought.  The woman is a master when it comes to mixing Greek Gods and vampires to make it all sound so  . . .  reasonably plausible?  Who knew?  If you haven't read anything by her this would be a great time to check it out.  I really enjoy her work and if you get a thrill out of Gothic vampires in modern day situations mixed with thousands of years of torturous memories that haunt her characters, and how they deal with the humans they inevitably come into contact with, you will love it

Now, here is the little ditty that I promised you:

The Timeless Battle

On wings of silence the wind swept, in evil defiance the mist crept as the new moon ruled the night
Lurking among shadows underneath heaven's gallows, the malevolent bastards started the fight
The gossamer veil grew too thin between spirits and ghosts and men as the battle for souls raged on
The Furies took their stand claiming souls of the recently damned as they greeted the blood red dawn
Magic dark and magic light ravaged each other through the night but only one will claim the power
It can be said the inception of this nightly obsession began at the dawn of the Golden Hour
Voices were raised in futility as darkness died in humility and they all screamed in pain
The dawn lay bleeding from the celestial feeding when the Gods were dark and insane
And the demons of fear demanded entry here as they beat bloodied fists upon the door
As the new moon set and the God's collected their debt, the evil ones retreated once more
To the depths of hell where Hades hailed, and the shades of Tartarus wailed in constant pain and woe
The evil ones will try to flee from there, the lost souls will do what they dare to end what they know
Forever in hunger and pain and thirst, to this existence they were cursed for the sins in their life
So know it now when offered this deal, some of the myths and legends are real, in your time there is goodness inside the strife.
Heed this warning for your immortal soul, evil has but only one goal: to return to life in the sun
As the world endlessly turns, their thirst for your blood burns if you fall the end has begun.

Oooo! give you the chills yet? Think about it on all hallows eve!

Have a great Halloween.