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Being a survivor from domestic violence can mean many things to many different people. Here is my story, and my journey after that in order to have a voice in helping others through a variety of advocacies that I do.

National Domestic Violence Survivor Law Project

The story of my past experiences with domestic violence and how I have moved forward throughout the years to provide advocacy to others.

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Just a little something to think about.  How does this possibly apply to you?

THE DASH

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the date on the tombstone from the beginning, until the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth; the second date, he noted with tears.

But he said that what matters most of all, was the dash between the years.

For that “dash” represented all the time spent alive on the face of the earth.

Now only the loved ones left behind knew what that little line was worth.

For it matters not how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash.

What really matters is how we live and love and how we spend our “dash”.

So think about this long and hard, are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left, you could be at “dash” mid-range.

Should you be less quick to anger and show appreciation more?

Should you love the people in your life, like you’ve never loved before?

Should you treat others with more respect and more often wear a smile? 

Remember that your special “dash” might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, your life’s actions to rehash, will you be pleased with what they have to say about how you spent your “dash”?

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Have loved getting to know another side of Blake Shelton on the hit show, The Voice.   Take a listen to this song… the Honey Bee…. love it!  Very cleverly done!

Congratulations To Blake Shelton – ‘Honey Bee’ Is The New #1 Song In Country Music | The Country Site.

 

 

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OMG, just read a blog posting that an author stated that,

“There is an oft-repeated, but false, myth that Super Bowl Sunday is the worst day for violence against women.” 

Of course, the author then adds,

“Would that it were that easy.  Domestic violence doesn’t care what day it is.  It is an every day (and everyday) problem of individuals, families, and society as a whole.  The solution to domestic violence cannot, by definition, take place only within the family unit.  It is a public health issue if ever there was one.”

The first sentence sent the hair up on the back of my neck — MYTH?  a fallacy???  I don’t think so!!  I have been working in the domestic violence field for more than 5 years now, not counting the 15 years that I have been a paralegal and the many years of physical and emotional domestic violence that I personally encountered for many years, and yesterday was probably the first experience I had had with working specifically on Superbowl Sunday in this industry and I wrote the following on another site…..

entitled, “Underdogs come up and win! Thank goodness someone did!!!”

Today has been a rough day for me. For many that know, I answer crisis calls for a living. That, in itself isn’t too bad because I generally can separate myself from their pain and move forward to the next caller.

Today, it has been different. Perhaps, it is because I have never worked in this field on Superbowl Sunday; I don’t know. It seems like I had before, but I don’t remember it being this rough.

Superbowl for most people can be all fun and games, but from the domestic violence perspective it can be quite the opposite. I have been receiving higher risk crisis calls today percentage wise than I ever have, I believe. I mean, usually, it is just calls wanting more information or how to plan to help from friends or family members OR understanding how they need to understand why they need to stay away from the abusive person OR some students wanting help on their projects.

Today, though….

* a woman’s face was bashed in by her ex and she just returned home from the hospital. Her ex was on the way to p/u the kids and she needed to ensure their safety until she could reach the attorney and the district attorney in the morning….

* callers calling from places they are hiding from their abusers….

* callers from the other room while there abusive partner was enjoying the superbowl game after having beaten them up. They were seeking shelter space….

* callers wanting us to call 911 for them…

* caller stating that her husband had just “disciplined” her daughter by yanking her hair and dragging her through the house and throwing her into the doorway. The daughter now has a concussion….

* other child abuse calls being called in….

and sooooo much more.

It is times like these when one gets these sort of calls you would like to be able to hang up the phone and call “The Equalizer” to take care of things. I guess I always loved that show because the actor would do so in a not necessarily violent way to get the point across to the aggressor — a sort of person who advocated for the underdog.

It is sort of the peace de la resistance (sp?) in the fact that, at least, one underdog has won today — even if it is from an event that seems to masks the pain of others in the same day.

Some day — I wish the pains of the victims away and the abusive/aggressive folks of this world find peace so that we can all live in the world as one happy family. Is it really too much to ask for???

Now, try to tell me, after my experience yesterday on a domestic violence hotline, that Superbowl Sunday isn’t one of the worst days ever for domestic violence.

In all fairness though, there are hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of calls received day in and day out throughout the entire year.  Domestic violence isn’t just domestic violence on Superbowl Sunday; however, the intensity culminates to something that is both exasperating and emotional.

Some day…..

the violence in the home has to end!

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Making lists doesn’t always put our world in order, but it certainly helps us to feel more orderly.

~ Anonymous

lol..

I don’t know how many lists that I have written over the years, but it has certainly made me rest better at nights very often so that I could have a renewed perspective of the upcoming day, as well as a renewed charge and dedication to eliminate as many of the items off of my lists.

How about yourself????

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Wow!  One of the men on a social site similar to MySpace (called Fubar) put 2 and 2 together about a small town that we both had family connections to.  It so happened that his aunt and uncle were bee farmers in that town and had died in the 80’s.  I couldn’t help but respond to him by stating —

“When I was little there was a bee farmer that would bring over to my Grandma’s and Grandpa’s ranch a couple of jars of the best honey with the combs still in it.  Honey became my favorite commodity.

The man that would bring the jars would sit with my family in the country air and talk to us.  He was the nicest man and I really got a kick out of his visits — especially when it meant that he would bring us honey… lol!!

One time, he had held me in his lap and a bee landed on me.  He said to me – don’t worry.  The bee won’t sting you unless you show him that you are scared….

It was a great exercise in overcoming any possible fears of bees and every time I encounter bees, his voice echoed in my head.

My Grandpa worked for Humble Oil for many years, then the Lumberyard until he simply couldn’t work anymore.  He ended up with TB, lung cancer, and emphesema…so he stayed in the house connected to the garage mostly and would come out on the porch, smoke us pipe, and tell us all kinds of stories.

Because he stayed in that house, we would meet in the yard between the two (the garage house and the main house) and socialize; hence why the bee man was also visiting us in the country air versus in the house.

You stating that they died in the 80’s makes perfect sense since it was a rare find after that time to have that delicious honey.  Whether or not they are one of the same, it was nice to relive that memory.”

It is amazing how small of a world that we may or may not live in….and it is wonderful still that such inquiries can trigger such marvelous memories from our childhood.  I can still smell the freshness of that honey that the bee farmer would bring to us, a quality unmatched from honey sold today.

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Just something inspirational to share with you today:

“I Wish You Enough

Recently, I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at a regional airport. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, “I love you. I wish you enough.” She in turn said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.” They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking,”Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this man was experiencing.

“Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?” I asked.

“I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back will be for my funeral,” he said.

“When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, “I wish you enough.”May I ask what that means?”

He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.”

He paused for a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.

“When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting theother person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them,” he continued. Then, turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.”

He then began to sob and walked away.

My friend, I wish you enough!

You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to give enough to those you love. ”

~ Unknown author

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On January 9th of this year, a posting was made by Timmy called “You want what?”.   In the posting he states:  

Today’s Kick in the Ass goes to an anonymous person, or asshat, who filed a claim against the federal government for of $3 quadrillion for over damage from the failure of levees and flood walls following Hurricane Katrina.For the sake of perspective: A mere $1 quadrillion would dwarf the U.S. gross domestic product, which was $13.2 trillion in 2007. A stack of one quadrillion pennies would reach Saturn.Or maybe this would be a better way to put it in perspective – compare that to $250. That’s the amount FEMA gave residents of my area when in September 2004 Hurricane Ivan dumped 9 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. Nine inches is an unbelievable amount of water to come roaring thousands of feet down mountains and into already flooding streams. The result was the worst flash flooding in the history of the area. That’s where the “impressive” numbers stop. Because unlike some other natural disasters that gained the attention of the world and the backing of disaster efforts and corporate moneys, “only” dozens were killed. “Only” hundreds of homes destroyed. “Only” thousands were displaced. The town I once lived in, Jacksonburg, was wiped off the map. The town was situated on the inside of a huge horseshoe bend in the creek. A temporary earth and culvert bridge had been put in place to allow work on the existing bridge. This became a dam as soon as the wave of water brought trees off the hills. Within minutes, dozens of homes were gone. These were homes built out of the 100 year flood plane, and no one ever imagined flood water could possibly reach them, including my aunt’s home. How did people recover? Neighbors helped them out, mostly. The company me and some other residents worked for declined to help saying the numbers just weren’t there.

But at least not one opportunistic attorney got rich.

This is certainly an atrocity with the audacity of some thinking that they are going to sue the government, especially, for such an exorbitant and outrageous sum of money.  That being said, though, I responded on his posting with the following comment:

I so concur with your thoughts on this.  Any suit would be insanity and justification in comparison to what??

True.  The Katrina victims did face great adversity in their plight; however, years have gone by, and at some point in time, a line in the sand should be drawn, and those same victims should say to themselves, “While we were victims during the Katrina hurricane storm, we are now Katrina survivors!” and work to strive to empower themselves to move forward, out of adversity, and towards a better life for themselves and their community.  At some point, the past can be remembered, but shove the memory to the past and allow all to move to the recovery and survivor mode.

Okay, okay.

Off of my soapbox — for now…

Of course, I don’t want to downplay the enormity of the devastation felt by New Orleans and its surrounding communities; however, at some point of time advocating must be done towards moving the victims from the poor pitiful me stage to empower them to say that they are victors above all because they have overcome such an awful fate of nature that day.

I am sure that there are many victims of the Katrina that have moved forward and are looking at this suit as “Oh, God, when will be able to forget and move on without this being played out and expanded in the media again and again and again??” or “When can the healing process begin without having constant reminders of the past?”

What is really going to be served at attempting to bankrupt the very government that continues to issue grants and support in many continuing situations throughout our society?  Are they really thinking this all the way through?  Do they really want to be remembered for causing a riff in the economy from a potentially bankrupt government, as well as the affect on our children and other members of the society throughout the United States, as well as other parts of the world that we, as a nation of people, do help to support???

Does anyone have a true good solution???  I’d really love to hear it…

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Life isn’t perfect — it never really is. A man lost his wife tonight who he had been married to for 14 years, dated for 10, and known each other as children growing up.

I have been on many victim bereavement calls after the death of a person. They all take you back in a certain way. This one bothered me more than per usual because, although the paramedics had already come and gone by the time that I had arrived, the woman’s eyes were still opened. I guess I am just used to paramedics in the past closing the eyes of the deceased before I arrive — and when I had found my own husband dead, his eyes were already closed (but my husband had also often talked with his eyes closed – a habit of his for some reason).

Currently at work, working on advocacy in another realm tonight; however, the vision of the woman still remains engrained upon my mind. I am sure that it will for quite some time.

Throughout life there are things that approach the way we feel about life and treasure life for what it is and is to be. Seeing death in people, as morbid as it may sound, is one such way that we gain a greater perspective and value for life and the life we live each day.

As family members thanked us for being there, I mentioned to them that, “I can’t say that we enjoy being here, but we are indeed happy that we can help in any way that we can.” I even had one woman bless me tonight; this is certainly not your normal sequence of events at a scene.

I think I remember from a time when my closest grandmother died a person told me that for every death there is a birth. In so doing, while we sadly will miss the person leaving us and heading towards their life after death (for those of us who do believe in that), it is a joy in being able to look forward to births to follow.

I wonder what great birth will become of this death tonight, as a result. Who knows? In the meantime, we are always forever touched in our souls by life’s experiences — the good and the bad, the life and the death.

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Today I awakened at my Alzhiemer’s client’s home to find that she is distraught over her cat.   She threw her cat out the door after the cat appearing to have changed colors (say what?). She said that the cat turned pink.  After seeing the cat last night myself and wondering if the cat were pregnant because she was big around, I was wondering if she meant that the cat was about to have babies or what.  Still not sure what she meant, but I encouraged her to take a shower after engaging her in the Joel Olsteen show this morning and having some freshly squeezed orange juice and toast.

I put out some cat food while she was in the shower after not seeing the cat myself.  After cleaning up the home we left but she thanked me for everything as she was encouraged by Joel Olsteen’s power talk about minimizing our adversities and putting a magnifying glass towards the bigger and better things to come for us ahead – and, she agreed the the shower did make her feel refreshed as well.

We set out and went to Denny’s for breakfast and then off to Sun Harvest for some bits and pieces for things to make at home.  Poor thing.  She got in her mind that she was going to make her famed chicken soup and when I told her that we might not need to buy a whole chicken because it won’t fit into the toaster oven, she felt despair and disgust to her son who had taken apart her stove to keep her from setting the place on fire accidentally.  I tried to point out that she might be able to do the same in a crockpot and she toyed with the idea for a moment then said, “No, I just want my stove to be working!”.  We went around and put some of those ingredients back and searched for other possibilities that she could do — for instance instant oatmeal with the water boiled in the electric kettle, etc.

When we finally got home, we prepared some tuna salad for sandwiches this week and put away the groceries we did purchase.  After calling her son to tell him that he really must get the stove working and hanging up on him after a conversation about his love life that isn’t working out too hot, she pulled up a chair for me to sit in and said, “Come.  Talk to me!”

I sat down and I got a lecture about taking a chance with life and finding a man for me.  She called me a “gootah” (phonetically correct, but Jewish for a woman that does things for everyone else but herself).  She says that she wants me to go out and spend $100 on myself — a new dress, earrings, lipstick — and go dancing.  She says that I should get a sign to wear (like a nametag) and say that I am a free woman! (I can just see it now — women who have already been married and are now divorced and/or widowed must wear a “W” – – an “M” inverted for “woman” and signifying turning over a new leaf!  OMG…lol…..

As I finally was heading out the door after spending 30-1/2 hrs this weekend with her this weekend, she said to me, “You are a lovely woman.  I enjoy spending time with you because you make me feel sane and you are fun to be around.  You need to buy that dress, earrings, and lipstick — and, find something daring to do!”  It almost sounded like a preacher giving me a charge to do for the week ahead, as well as a challenge to find something daring to do.

Thank goodness she has Alzhiemers and she may not remember that she told me that next weekend or I might have to actually report to her the daring thing that I did this week; however, on the other hand, because she does have some degrees of Alzheimers, I might have the same lecture next week.  Oh, nooooooo!!! lol….

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Just had a bump in some plans… lol.

While I didn’t get the FT position that I was vying for, I did get a raise finally that I really should have received back in October.  I am just thankful that I did get that much good news today.

Just took of the 9th quote for the month of January to reveal the 10th’s quote as it is already past midnight while sitting here at work.  It states:

“Reality is something your rise above.”
~ Liza Minnilli

This is so on cue today.  Reality is that I someone scored higher in the hiring process this time around, but that isn’t going to steal away my joy.  I reminded myself that the real joy is in the work that I do.  All the same though, it would be better if I were to get paid for what I do at a better rate of pay, which is what I would have received had I been able to get the fulltime job.  However, (1) I did finally get my raise (so today I am getting paid better than I did yesterday and the days before) and (2) I have an opportunity to apply for an upcoming parttime position.  Being “just a relief” has its disadvantages as the person hired was hired from a pool of applicants that were already either fulltime or partime applicants; being “just a relief” has a rung lower than a true employee of the organization, but better than an outside applicant.  Oh, well…

On to revamping and waiting my turn.  My turn will come soon says the director to me after I had already heard the news from the supervisor and attending an inservice training meeting that builds our knowledge about new laws and law resources to better help our victims.  I truly hope that my turn does come soon.

At any rate, I have risen above and no joy is stolen today!!

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In reading some profiles on Fubar (much like MySpace), I ran across one that had this written on it (by “Lonewolf”)…..

The most wonderful of all things in life,
I believe, is the discovery of another human being
with whom one’s relationship has a glowing depth,
beauty, and joy as the years increase.
This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing, it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of Divine accident.
Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.
It is because we are different that each of us is special. Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.
Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless.
Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future.
By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.
Don’t give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying. Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect.
It is this fragile thread that binds us to each other.
Don’t be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love is to give love.
The fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly;
and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.
Don’t dismiss your dreams.
To be without dreams is to be without hope;
to be without hope is to be without purpose.
Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you’re going.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

I, especially, love the part about “…Don’t dismiss your dreams.  To be without dreams is to be without hope; to be without hope is to be without purpose. ….”  We all need a purpose in our lives – a purpose for the enjoyment of the moment, and for our future ahead of ourselves (whether or not we can determine what our future is exactly).

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(Actually written 1/2/08:)

I saw a bumper sticker the other day and was puzzled slightly by what it said — “Those who abandon their dreams, will discourage others.”  Although I wrote it on my hand, and later on in my datebook journal I received as a Christmas gift, it just didn’t make sense to me until today.  After all, eventhough I haven’t achieved all of my dreams, I am still the cheerleader encouraging and empowering others to be able to move forward with their own dreams.

Today, though, I indeed had a v-8 moment and realized just what the bumper sticker could possibly mean.

For my living, I am an advocate for those who may not necessarily speak up for themselves.  Currently, I have found myself being an advocate for the elderly as part of my vocation and passion and, as a rule, I truly enjoy what I do.  One client though I have been struggling with to keep upbeat about it.

When I first started going to this client a few weeks ago, I was shocked by the care of his room.  While he may have incontinence, his room reaked of urine all over newspapers, bed linens, clothes, and such.  Apparently, he can’t remember to wear his “briefs”, the depends.  That, in itself is one thing, and makes my job enduring as each week I have to spend 3 hours waiting for the loads to wash through and I don’t feel like I can do this client justice fully because I don’t feel like I have as much time to visit with him, but he tends to stick things in the toilet and stops it up as well (ie, apparently he doesn’t like carrots so they end up in the toilet, which is very disgusting.  I end up having to call maintenance of the facility to come fix the toilet.  It shouldn’t get to the point it does.  The client has a phone; he could call for maintenance himself.  He also walks to the dining room each day; he could tell the management office his needs as well, but he chooses not to.  So, each week I return and I encounter much of the same thing.  You would think that someone wouldn’t want to stay in a room that smells like urine, much less sleep in wet sheets and covers each night.  Each week I keep thinking to myself, “Why, then, do I put myself through such turmoil?”

The answer lays in the fact that I continue to hope that I can make a difference in this man’s life, although, it appears that his level of care needs to be much higher.  This man, who used to not even move out of the bed, does now greet me at his door each week so I am doing something right, it would appear.

Too, while waiting for the clothese to be washed and dried, I’ve met other residents that walk (or, ride) by and they either wave or stop to talk to me for a bit.  I think that they are just happy to see someone else available to hear what they have to say about their day.  Some of them are now even introducing themselves to me with their names and inviting me to go visit them in their rooms — so many are just anxious to have company and companionship.  Even in an assisted living facility, so many residents keep to themselves, which is a shame.

Earlier this morning, I checked my Fubar page just as anyone might check their MySpace page or emails, and saw one of my best friends indicate that he was having trouble waking up this morning.  I called him and told him that, while he was having trouble waking up, I was having a great deal of trouble just motivating myself to move forward to go see this client this morning.  We were talking about why I was having trouble in particular today and he set a positive tone for me by saying to me, “At least, you will have lots to blog about today,” and he was right.

Although I am discouraged by this man’s seemingly giving up on his dreams of having a great life in spite of his health problems, I am discouraged (just like the bumper sticker says).  However, what relights my enthusiasm for returning each week is the brightened eyees and smiles of others I see each week at this facility.  Today, I was surprised, too, in that this man didn’t stay in his room while I was tending to his laundry down the hall.  He actually got up and took the trash to the laundry room area and later he came down to the sitting area and talked with me for a bit telling me that the maintenance has come while I was down here.  Not only once though, but three times!  Maybe next week, he’ll actually sit down and talk to me?  At any rate, any progress made is certainly making way for encouragement that my advocacy is making a difference.

I’ll certainly have to remind myself that, as I crawl out of bed next Wednesday morning, while advocacy work can indeed be very discouraging, it is encouraging to see when folks be able to crawl out of their hinderances (sometime created by themselves) and start getting a little more excited about life.  That is the reward I get in lieu of great monetary salaries, a richness more fulfilling to living a life than making a huge income and not being able to stop and observe life for what it is.  Humanity is a precious regard on this earth; unfortunately, most people are too focused on making the big bucks that they often forget the joys that would surround them if they would just stop and look!

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Although I have run across this blogger, known as “Midnight Dancer”, on another social site (currently called Fubar and fka Cherry Tap & fka Lost Cherry), his blog entitled “Let’s Dance Through Life: Love, Honestly, and the Internet” has a posting called “No Guts, No Glory” and poignantly states:

It has been said many ways: No guts, no glory. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Life is full of chances and opportunities. But to take a chance .. to reach for an opportunity … there is risk involved.

Some people like to play it safe. They don’t want to take a risk. They have been hurt before and are afraid of being hurt again.

That is totally understandable. I have taken many risks in my life, and I have been hurt. The question one has to ask themselves is, “is the risk worth the reward?”

I have always answered this question, “yes!” Because I know that the reward is the best thing I would ever dream of, and I have said that I will go through anything to get that. And if I quit, then all that I have gone through in the past would be for nothing.

But sometimes … I waver in this. My courage begins to falter. Sometimes I think, “Not again. I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s too much.”

Then I try to take a deep breath, and think, maybe the next risk will be the one that pays off. And I remind myself; I repeat it to myself like some kind of mantra. “No guts, no glory.”

I had responded by stating that…. “Hmmm… I am sure that my crisis callers may not all appreciate that motto or mantra; however, it is certainly one to keep in mind indeed for all of us who have ever taken risks — or about to! :D”

Don’t you think???

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Received Oprah’s “Today’s Mission Calendar Inspiration” email today wherein in the first paragraph it states about the January issue, “Let the hot air out of the self-esteem balloon–and find a more stable basis for carrying yourself through the world.”  What a great quote!

Wow!  Isn’t that a formidable quest at times???  A more stable basis for carrying oneself through the world???  After all, our world as we might know it gets shaken up all the time — divorce, marriage, becoming pregnant, realizing you can’t have children, in a domestic violence situation (whether it be physically or emotionally OR even if it doesn’t directly involve you but involves someone that you love or have as a friend), illnesses, deaths, etc.  We don’t plan on these events happening in our lives (directly or indirectly) but many are destined to be inevitable to happend, after all wherever there is life, there is also death around us.

For some, it can feel like a never ending cycle.  “Let me off of this roller coaster ride, please!” some will say; others, will not feel the affects of the roller coaster rides of life in general because they live ever so protected lives whereas many of us will feel small in comparison.  After all, how is it that they can have such even keel lives and others don’t?  I certainly don’t see “Hurt me!” written on the foreheads of victims nor do I see “Immortal!” written on the foreheads of those seemingly completely escaping the vast majority of the effects of the rash, bumby roller coaster ride.

How does one truly set out to find oneself more stable for carrying oneself through the world? 

* Having one job that can support yourself and your family?

* Advocating for the future of others?

* Having a job that allows you to afford to be able to spend more time with your family?

* Decluttering life’s “treasures” from one’s home?

* Having an income that will provide for a possibility that you actually have a savings for those emergencies and/or to set aside for retirement — so that one can truly enjoy retirement?

* Vowing to live healthier?

* Having opportunities for vacation time so that one can truly enjoy life?

* Restoring one’s faith in humanity?

* Having an opportunity to make time to enjoy doing things that one enjoys doing besides just working, sleeping, working, and sleeping?

What in the world is it going to take to make one more stable in order to carry themselves in the world?  What would it be for you?

For me, it would be to find that perfect balance in life where I can work to have the bills paid and a bit left over for savings, while having enough time to continue doing the things I enjoy doing — ie,  being with family and friends, blogging (go figure, huh?), artistic endeavors — as well as achieving the things that I want to do — ie, writing the book that is swarming in my head and waiting to be put into print, traveling to other countries that I haven’t been yet to (Belize, Equador, Scotland, Ireland, and Peru), building a modest home in the countryside, and finding a mate to share the rest of my life with one day (someone, that I can see us sitting in our rockers on our porch on our countryside home and just reminiscing about the good things in our lives when we become too old to move around like we had in the last 40-50 years of our lives).   Obviously, though, not all of those things can be accomplished in 2008 — or, can it?  We all must realize our limitations without letting our visions of our limitations stimy our growth. 

I am not sure that one can ever truly find that “perfect balance in life”, but surely one can attempt to try, can’t they?

Goals are nice, but getting them put into action seems daunting at times; sometimes, appropropriately determining one goal in particular is more important that setting many that will merely set us up for failure of being able to accomplish anything.  The purpose of having a New Year’s Resolution, after all, can be to light that fire of inspiration below ourselves to motivate ourselves to move forward from whatever level of instability that we have had in our lives in the past to empower us to move towards the level of stability that we all really truly desire.

Do you have a goal that you are going to put into action?  What might that be???

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I, honestly, cannot remember if this was also circulated around last year or not in our emails as well; whatever the case though, it certainly would bear repeating….enjoy!!

A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.


Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.


My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.


The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,

then thesure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.


My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.


A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.


‘What are you doing?’ I asked without fear,
‘Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!’


For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light,
Then he sighed and he said ‘Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.’


‘It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.


My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,’
He sighed, ‘That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.’

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
< /S PAN>


I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.


Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.


I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..


Who sta! nd at th e front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.’
‘So go back inside,’ he said, ‘harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.’


‘But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
‘Give you money,’ I asked, ‘or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.’


In his eyes welled a tear that held no regret,
‘Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.


For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.’

——————————————————————-


PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.  Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30t h Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum , Iraq

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Not too sure that it is going to work for the Easter Bunny too, though!! 🙂

 

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZVNOGtEINw]

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Steven’s TV Video video talks about how the world is changing to utilize free technology to put forth their campaigns…not just for amateurs anymore.  See Oprah, politians, comedians, etc. take advantage of the video tubes to tell you story….

What do you think?

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has become a way of my looking at life in the advocacy world when answering domestic violence calls on a daily basis… or in working with the elderly… or in my victim advocacies….

It is a way of, essentially, looking at the glass half full rather than half empty. Instead of going home a bit exhausted from the many callers I wasn’t quite sure the seeds I was planting in planning for them to be safe and living a fruitful life was working, I started a while back counting the “God Bless You!”s I received that day. It would seem that those seeds might just germinate and grow into a future that one could have without victimization, harm, destructive behaviours, etc.

How many “God Bless You!”s have you received today??? or, how many “God Bless You!”s have you shared with someone else today???

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It’s about time…

bring back the jingle and the jangle back into Christmas!!

Make us proud of our beliefs…not having to hide them like many countries have to do in their countries.  After all, being proud of our beliefs and not having to hide our thoughts, dreams, and ambitions is part of what make Americans proud of their heritage as well as a number of other things (which are not directly related to the issuance of this song);  it is just about being able to be able to wish some one “Merry Christmas!” with no worries of being offensive to anyone.  After all, when someone wishes “Happy Chanukah!” to a Christian with Christian beliefs, they aren’t stammering and say “I am offended by what you said.”  Instead, Christians just generally nod and say to their Jewish friends, “and, may you have a Happy Chanukah!”

Bah humbug to the politically correct censorship and the victimization of the Christians to succumb to the numbness of the non-emotional impact of their beliefs, and let all the Christians sing along with Go Fish:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAckfn8yiAQ]

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Does anyone actually achieve their dream job — or, is it just merely a figment of everyone’s imagination?

While someone may be doing the job they absolutely love to do, it may not pay all that well and they have to struggle to make ends meet.  Additionally, family members or friends may look down upon someone that isn’t mastering the financial ladder as someone that is being less than their full potential.

A friend was asking me tonight, who often plays “career coach” to me from time to time, what I want to be when I grow up.  If only I could pick and choose the qualities of each of my past jobs that I liked the best and make the ideal job that would be pleasing in all aspects — high income, advocacy, interaction with others, great researching skills, and so much more.

It was announced in the news and news media sources lately a lot about the newest generation of workforce employees are having a tendency to job hop more and have many more background experiences than their counterparts in generations slightly ahead of them.   No longer, for instance, is the trend that people people have jobs for more 20 or more years.  It would be unheard of, perhaps, to see these generation of workers retiring with a job of tenure of 40-50 years of service, as my bosses’ generations have done.

My parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this month.  Gone, too, are the days that many couples will look forward to see the day of having a 50th wedding anniversay, while couples in my parents’ generation and before saw 50th and 75th wedding anniversaries as part of the norm of the culture.

What has happened to our culture?  or, do we even have a culture to be considered these days?  What is to be considered about the American society?  Are we all going to be judged by the people who lead us — or what affect we, as individuals have upon our local and global societies?

Okay.  So, I have digressed. 

Does anyone actually achieve their dream job — or, is it just merely a figment of everyone’s imagination?

Does anyone have an answer????

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those at the Justice for Children program. 

“It is the position of Justice for Children that PAS is junk science.

“P.A.S. per se (not “parents lying about abuse allegations”) is not a syndrome.   People lie on the witness stand every day but that does not make it a syndrome.   Various credible studies have documented that the incidence of false allegations of abuse in custody proceedings make up significantly less than 5% of all abuse allegations  in custody proceedings.  When mental health experts or attorneys claim that P.A.S. is a “syndrome”  — knowing full well that it lacks scientific validity, is the concoction of a disgraced psychologist, and has been soundly rejected by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges — that is disingenuous at best and unethical at worst.  Moreover, when it is used as a vehicle to keep children in the custody of men who abuse them, it is also immoral. ” – Randy Burton, Founder, Chairman and President – Justice for Children

PAS is touted to be an accepted psychological “syndrome” when, in fact, it has no scientific foundation and has been routinely rejected by courts and mental health professionals as admissible in the courtroom.  Nonetheless, PAS is still being used by unscrupulous attorneys and hired gun “experts” to attack the credibility of, parents, usually mothers, and undermine the testimony of little children who have accused their fathers of unspeakable acts of abuse. “

For more information see their posting on Justice for Children

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1.  I am alive and survived the 5th year after the death of my late husband!

2.  I have a beautiful daughter who has a loving hubby who both have a beautiful daughter (my first Granddaughter) born this year!

3.  I have parents who will share a 50th Wedding Anniversary this year!

4.  I have two adoring cats — Gibson and Moobaby!

5.  I have a loving family, although I do wish I could see them more often!

6.  I have caring friends who aren’t all into football!

7.  I love my advocacy work that I do, although (of course) I would wish that it would pay better!

8.  I am grateful that I don’t have significant health problems that would impair my dexterity or sight or hearing abilities.

9.  I am grateful that when I walk into a dining room, I am not feeling that I am walking to a whole new world!

10.  I am grateful that when I look into the mirror, I am not seeing anyone other than myself!

What are you thankful for today????

Being Grateful for the Gift of Today

“When you learn how to remain grateful every day you are developing a habit of happiness in your life. There is no such thing as an ordinary day. Every one of your days is a gift from God that is unique and irreplaceable. When you train your mind to see the good and discipline yourself to focus on the positive you’ll be happier, rise higher, and live the life of victory that God has in store for you.”

~Joel Olsteen

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See the inspiring speaker, Barack Obama, as he spoke in Austin on February 23, 2007:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45jM2DKwCKI]

What could be better than watching the next President of the United States at a classic Texas hillside ampitheater?

It’s going to be beautiful weather, and we look forward to seeing you this Saturday afternoon at The Backyard.

Who:
Sen. Barack Obama

When:
Doors open at 3:00pm
Saturday, November 17

What:
Live music from Fastball
Guest: $25
Student: $15
After-party at Victory Grill

Where:
The Backyard
13101 Highway 71 West
Austin, TX 78738

click here: Reserve your ticket

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While raising my daughter, I grew up in a world that we tried to make sure that we made our children feel important although we were raising them often in two income families or a single parent family; oftentimes, overcompensating to make up for lost time.  Sometimes though there are children who have been raised to believe that they are “IT” and the world does revolve around them — perhaps, those are partially due to the fact that their lives became so public when they were so young and, now, they seem to thrive on the papparazzi that follows them.  This cartoon happens to eminate my feelings exactly when I hear about them on the tv as well; after all, with all the papparazzi, you would think that they have accomplished to win a Nobel Prize or something — not!!  After all, too — what does this say about our society who puts so much emphasis on folks who put on sunglasses and prance around town with much ado but just strutting themselves around, getting involved with the law, and running over a reporters sandal leaving a tire imprint on his socks which are being auctioned off on eBay for a charitable cause.  Say what???   lol….

chickenwhocares.jpg

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Lol… anyone who remembers the old Memorex commercials may know what I am talking about here!! lol…

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While I am presently at work this morning, I was up in the wee hours of the morning (besides increasing my inventories on eBay and Half) watching the news blurps about the Memorial Wall of the Vietnam soldiers who didn’t make it back to the States.  It made me teary eyed to think that so many had died in service and how fortunate that I was to have my Dad return to our family when I was in second grade from Vietnam as a Captain in a MASH unit.

In my email this morning, I also received a wonderfully thoughtful message from the US Senator John Cornyn (from Texas):

Dear Fellow Texan:
 
Join me today in honoring and remembering the brave men and women who have answered the call to protect our freedom, defeat tyranny and advance democracy.

This year we honor an increasing number of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the greater Global War on Terror.  They join the proud and honorable tradition of American Veterans in whose name we pay tribute.
 
From World War I to the current Global War on Terror, today America stands in collective awe of the heroism of American servicemen throughout our history. It is important that future generations know these stories of American courage, character and selfless sacrifice.
 
While Texans have many thoughts on the War, there is one thing we must agree on, supporting and thanking all those who fight, and have fought, for this great Nation. 
 
Today is a day for us to honor the service and sacrifice of all of these great patriots.

Senator John Cornyn

I certainly do share Senator Cornyn’s sentiments for all of those who have and continue to serve our Country.

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Received this in an email from a friend in Canada….enjoy!!! 😀

A is for apple, and  B is for boat,

That used to be right, but now it won’t float!

Age before beauty is what we once said,

But let’s be a bit more realistic instead.

A is for arthritis;

B is the bad back,

C is the chest pains , perhaps car-d-iac?

D is for dental decay and decline,

E is for eyesight, can’t read that top line!

F is for fissures and fluid retention;

G is for gas which I’d rather not mention.

H is high blood pressure-I’d rather it low;

I   is for incisions with scars you can show.

J is for joints, out of socket, won’t mend,

K is for knees that crack when they bend.

L is for libido, what happened to sex?

M is for memory, I forget what comes next.

N is neuralgia, in nerves way down low;

O is for osteo, the bones that don’t grow!

P is for prescriptions, I have quite a few,

        Just give me a pill and I’ll be good as new!

Q is for queasy, is it fatal or flu?

R is for reflux, one meal turns to two.

S is for sleepless nights, counting my fears,

T is for Tinnitus; there’s bells in my ears!

U is for urinary; big troubles with flow;

V is for vertigo, that’s “dizzy,” you know.

W is for worry, NOW what’s going ’round?

X is for X ray, and what might be found.

Y is another year I’m left here behind,

Z  is for zest that I still have– in my mind.

 

I’ve survived all the symptoms, my body’s deployed,

And I am keeping twenty-six doctors fully employed!!!

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No, I know.  Jolly Green Giant and Sprout are generally the animated characters associated with the line of vegetables that you see in your grocers’ aisles for many, many years and years throughout the past decades upon decades.

Today, though, while driving from home to a meeting this afternoon, I heard that they are advocating for a PBS station to be 24 hrs with all the fine programming  of Barney, La Madeline, and many others.  If you are 18 and above and without kids around you, you might be saying ughhhh… not more of that; however, if you have children, you are probably jumping with glee.  Although there are special programming for children that are 24 hrs, there are none strictly for the school age child. 

Of course, they are not probably up 24 hrs a day; however, consider the child late up at night with fevers, sickness, or night terrors.  This might be nice to have. 

What I see this as being, perhaps, providing a pre-school age channel that doesn’t jump from the pre-school shows to the elementary and/or junior high-school scheduling.  That pre-school child wouldn’t be limited to a certain timeframe during the mornng or afternoon to accomodate the scheduling of the other age groups on the PBS network.

I, who watched my siblings grow up with Sesame Street and the like, think it is a terrific idea.  What about you?

If you are in favor for your area’s cable stations to include this 24hr PBS channel in their offering of the network systems, you can call 1-866-9-SPROUT and follow the phone sequence to show your interest.   I understand that, too, you can go onto the super highway network under the URL of http://www.sproutonline.com/sprout/home/jump.aspx to demonstrate your interest as well.

While some might view this as a means of some people to placate and/or substitute their children’s daily activities with the PBS Sprout Program, I do see it as a means to enable our pre-school children to jumpstart into their learning since so much more is demanded from their learning than they had before (ie some aspects of Algebra is taught in Elementary School whereas, back in my day at least, it wasn’t a subject matter until the 9th grade at the very least.

Check it out — let folks know what you think!!  It may well be the new Jolly Green Giant leap for the PBS network system!! 🙂

1-866-9-SPROUT

http://www.sproutonline.com/sprout/home/jump.aspx

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“A woman is beautiful at any age, if she feels good about herself.”

–Rose Morgan

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“Grace will lead me home” – the title of the book she is promoting and speaking out about domestic violence, bringing home to a lot of victims of domestic exactly the fears, trials and tribulations that they have faced and feared.  Check out her story in these YouTube videos:

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcZg2_BDZKo]

– Robin Givins Story, Pt 1

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SkgsHX2g0w]

– Robin Givins Story, Pt 2

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVFaEJDO_zs%5D

– Robin Givins on ABC  (NOTE: sad to see the hate comments left on this video)

  

“You have to talk about it to conquer it!” – Robin Givins

(what a great quote!!)

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This is just in…..

Final: Horns come back to defeat Oklahoma State 38-35

STILLWATER, Okla. — Big leads are never safe when Oklahoma State plays Texas. On Saturday, the Cowboys built a three-touchdown lead, only to see the Longhorns come back and win on the game’s final play.

Ryan Bailey booted a 40-yard field goal for the Longhorns as time expired for the most improbable 38-35 Texas victory, giving Mack Brown a 10-0 slate against the Cowboys.

FOURTH QUARTER

The Longhorns began a comeback bid with a pair of touchdown runs by Jamaal Charles. Colt McCoy set up both with big plays. The first was a 17-yard gain by McCoy on second-and-23, part of a 59-yard scoring drive. Charles capped it off with an 18-yard TD run to cut OSU’s lead to 35-21.

The Cowboys’ punter then pinned Texas to its own 1 yard line. McCoy found Quan Cosby for 15 yards on second down for a little breathing room. Then Charles broke free for a 75-yard touchdown run to cut the Cowboys’ lead to a touchdown, 35-28.

After an OSU punt again pinned Texas deep, this time at its own 9, the Longhorns’ offense again struck quickly. McCoy scrambled for 16 yards on first down, and Charles broke free for 14 on the next play. That led to a 60-yard bomb from McCoy to Jordan Shipley to the 1 yard line, where Vondrell McGee banged in the tying touchdown with 3:22 to play.

But the Cowboys didn’t roll over. After a Texas facemask penalty extended OSU’s kick return to the Cowboys’ 45 yard line, Zac Robinson lofted a screen pass to Dantrell Savage, who turned it into a 35-yard gain. But the OSU drive ended without points, when Jason Ricks missed a 32-yard field goal attempt wide right.

Texas took over at its 20 yard line with 1:13 to play. The Longhorns advanced to the Cowboys’ 40 on a 30-yard pass to Jermichael Finley with 29 seconds left. Then facing third-and-11, McCoy scrambled left for 14 yards to the Cowboys’ 27. That set up Bailey’s heroics. He came in with two seconds to play and booted the 40-yard field goal as time expired for a 38-35 Texas victory.

The Longhorns are now 8-2 on the year and 4-2 in Big 12 play. They are in second place in the South division, with Oklahoma (3-1 in conference play) hosting Texas A&M (3-2) tonight. Oklahoma State fell to 3-2 in conference play and 5-4 on the season.

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“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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“Asabe Ladagu, a Christian widow in this capital city of Borno state in northern Nigeria, has survived without income the past 16 months. It was that long ago, the former librarian told Compass, that Muslim administrators at Ramat Polytechnic forced her into early retirement – without pay – after she and others requested land to build a chapel.

The Christians viewed the denial as deliberate discrimination against Christians by Muslim administrators at a time when there were seven mosques on campus.”

 ~~Nigeria: Ramat Polytechnic Discriminates Against Christians

Can you believe that this is about a current day issue and not something that just happened during Biblical times?   With all the advancement of technology and forward thinking, you would have thought that we would be much more above and beyond this — no matter what part of the world we all live in!

 

 

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Received this in my email today.  It is comforting that some businesses can and do actually go beyond their call of duty these days; so many don’t.  It is indeed a rare find and we should support those who do.

See below for full story:

Sears Walks the Walk…
 
Could we each buy at least one thing at Sears this year?

How does Sears treat its employees who are called up for military duty? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up…

Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years.

I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution.

Suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves.

Pass it on.

Decided to check this before I sent it forward. So I sent the following e-mail to the Sears Customer Service Department:

Received this e-mail and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your company. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item, even if it’s cheaper at that store.

This is their answer to my e-mail:

Dear Customer:

Thank you for contacting Sears. The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback.

Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.

Bill Thorn
Sears Customer Care
< A title=mailto:webcenter@sears.Com href=”mailto:webcenter@sears.Com“> webcenter@sears.Com
1-800-349-4358

Please pass this on to all your friends. Sears needs to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and we need to show them as Americans, we do appreciate what they are doing for our military!!!

It’s Verified By Snopes.Com at: http://WWW.snopes.Com/politics/military/sears.asp (shows the entire article).

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZFkZiwMLZ4]

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drG8_h9xpro]

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