Sunday, July 1, 2018

Knee Jerk

I almost titled this Response Time but then I thought, no......right now we are hearing much too much about response. Response to danger, to criminality, to rhetoric....these days there are whole groups driven or paid to respond.
I am quickly learning at my advanced age that much of our response is being whipped up to suit others’ agendas. Everyone, today, has a “cause.” And, they naturally seek out other like minded people to try to help them push that “cause” on others. Or, they give us a sucker punch in our solar plexus by appealing to our sense of right, fair and civil. This punch is pretty effective since we are constantly reminded that “facts don’t matter, just feelings.” Therefore, finding people whose feelings you can manipulate isn’t hard, because at our core, most of us are kind, generous and fair minded people.
We all see things, hear things, know things that tend to elicit a “knee jerk” reaction in us. We immediately hate it, love it, are sorry for it, or mad as hell at it. Once we hit the feelings and emotions button on things it is hard to walk them back. Our body chemicals start to do their thing and suddenly our knee jerk reaction makes us become a part of a potentially damaging issue.
I am trying these days to avoid my own “knee jerk” reactions to issues and people by hitting my own internal “pause” button. I am trying to do my own research about things before I decide to fall into “hate it, love it, sorry for it, or mad as hell at it.” The information is out there on everything, you just have to care enough to look and look in several places and then use that large melon on your neck to do some thinking........for yourself.
Issues today are NEVER what they appear to be on the surface. There is a whole multi-layered story running like a raging river beneath the surface of what we are seeing. Sometimes that story beneath is more positive than the negative one you are hearing. Sometimes not. But, I have confidence in us as a thinking people that we can think while continuing to feel. But please, think first and feel after. Doing the opposite is what is driving much of what is wrong in our country today. We have whole groups of people who can’t get a hold of their feelings and those feelings can lead to random acts of violence, civil disobedience, and much worse.
You seldom see large groups of people who are thinking decide to create problems for other people, but every day we are seeing groups of people driven by their feelings and feeding off of the feelings of others, creating a chaotic world for all of us. The danger in this “knee jerking” is that eventually the pendulum will have to swing the other direction, and that, my a big problem.
....come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord....-Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Lesson Slate at 68

As I turn the same number as the year I graduated from high school in a little town in the dusty Texas panhandle,  I am extremely grateful for my wasn't privileged but it was protected and in many ways very easy.  There wasn't a lot of enchantment - family struggles were at the forefront of my awareness, but I also knew that I could run a small distance in any direction and find a friend.  At this age, I have come to realize that I actually am fairly smart, I have an honest and open heart, I'm pretty sensible about everything but money but not having an abundance of that helps in that area as well.  I am deeply flawed, have made horrible mistakes that I regret.  Mistakes I would fix if I could but that is a story for another day...and I've made my confessions to and peace with the BIG GUY I have to be good with that.  But, I've also done some really good things as well and am blessed with some friends who like me so there's that.  I have a good man who loves me, great kids I am proud of, grandkids that I love more than life and now I'm starting to accumulate those great grandkids.  I reached a marriage milestone and have shared my journey for 25 years with someone I am grateful to grow old with, I worked some interesting jobs and lived a pretty danged interesting life.  I've hurt some people along the way...I'm sorry.  I've been hurt along the way....I forgive.  But, in honor of God giving me 68 years to work on me, I wanted to put down on paper the things I feel are a pretty good road map for a life.  Some of these are things I have been pretty successful at, but a great many are things I need reminding of every day.  Don't panic there aren't 68 of attention span isn't that long. is my:

  • Let someone else be the smartest person in the room sometimes. 
  • Help people grow.  At work, church, school, and at home.  Don't let people drown in "sameness" - allow them to see and do something different each day.
  • Being right is not nearly as much fun as being loved and being right is cold comfort on a bitter night.
  • Love.  Love God. Love your family.  Love your spouse.  Love your friends.  Love your fellow man....Love your country.  Love dogs....or cats...God put people and things in your path for a reason, try to find out what that reason is.
  • Sometimes it is okay to just BE, just sit, just think....or nap.  Be bored, boredom brings your imagination into play...people and things don't necessarily do well in constant motion.
  • Not everyone is going to like you - some people are just not very smart.
  • You won't like everyone - see previous statement.
  • Practice saying I'm sorry until you believe it and mean it....and....use it.
  • If someone shoots an arrow and you run and step in front of it, don't blame the archer or the arrow...they weren't shooting at you.  You made yourself the target...because you think you are just that important.  Meanwhile you caused the arrow to miss its mark.  Again, aren't you important?
  • The inability to recognize and admit your own shortcomings is a sign of a weak character.
  • Make someone else the center of YOUR world, no one likes a narcissist.
  • It's okay to say NO - with no excuses or disclaimers....just no.
  • It's okay to cry.  Save it for the big stuff - not everyone or everything is worth your tears.
  • Look for the funny, happy moments in bad things, you will live longer.  The longer you spend in anguish, the more likely it is to become your favorite shirt.
  • It's okay to be's okay to be heavy as long as you are happy being you.  Just give being as healthy as you can be your best effort.
  • You cannot and will not improve on God's original blueprint of what God designed in every ounce of your perfection and imperfection...God does not make mistakes.
  • Money can't buy happiness but it does alleviate quite a lot of stress.
  • It's okay to be impulsive as long as you are willing to live with the consequences.
  • Make sure you are mentally and emotionally old enough and equipped to make important life should never be in charge of important life changing decisions.  No one is that old a soul.
  • If you are a grown in charge...the scariest place for a kid is somewhere they feel like no one is watching or protecting them.  Oh, they love the freedom, they think.  But they secretly want boundaries....there is safety in boundaries.
  • Work a job like it was your business.  No one will notice, but that's okay.
  • If you spend all your time waiting to be offended someone will be happy to oblige.
  • Looking for sin and deceit under every rock ensures you will eventually find them.  Don't look...God won't take you there.
  • The sooner you realize you are a composite of your mistakes and triumphs you will realize how unique you are and the happier you will be.
  • Try to build on your success....don't beat yourself up with your failures.
  • No one had a "perfect" childhood...that is not an excuse for being a butthead.  Use that as a foundational road map to build something better.
  • We are not guaranteed tomorrow....don't leave anything unsaid today.
  • If you want understanding and respect...try giving it first.
  • Try hard to be kind and civil to everyone but pay particular attention to the young, the sick, the afflicted, the elderly, the widowed, the orphaned, and the furry creatures.  I believe you will be judged by your treatment of those because they are the ones unable to fight for themselves.
  • And finally, be proactive in life as opposed to reactive.  

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Illegal Versus Unlawful

Many, many.........MANY years ago I used to watch the Art Linkletter Show on a very small (think maybe about the size of tablet) black and white television.

Mr. Linkletter had a segment called "Kids Say the Darndest Things" and they did and they never disappointed.  This cute little panel of kids under the age of 10 all decked out in the bowties, ruffly ankle socks, and patent leather shoes found themselves extremely comfortable in Art's presence and offered great much hilarity.

One such episode sticks in my memory quite vividly.  Upon learning that the little boy's father was an attorney....the question was asked "so, do you know the difference in unlawful and illegal?"

The little boy pondered but a moment and replied "yes, unlawful means something is against the law, and a sick bird."

I can't help but think about the depth of truth here when talking about our current situation of illegal immigration.  It is indeed a very sick bird.

While my heart soars with the words "Give me your tiredyour poorYour huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore."  I finally realize those words are NOT a component of the thing that sets law for our country, they are not the building blocks of our constitution.

And, upon research I have found documentable video, or written transcripts from practically every single so called champion of illegal immigration where they spoke of the dangers of NOT protecting our country and its citizens from these people.

This is a great example...give it a read and a listen and tell me who it reminds you of.  Someone saying these exact same words today who is maligned for having these same opinions.

This was approximately 2 decades ago and how much worse has it gotten in those two decades.  What was true then, remains true today.  But what has changed is all those people who spoke out so eloquently for protecting America and its people and resources have quickly figured out that all those things handed to illegal immigrants for free translate into a lot of votes so THEY can maintain THEIR standard of living and THEIR quality of life.

Don't think for one minute they actually care about them...they are using them...actually, they are enslaving them and we are being sold a bill of goods. Any group of people who is willing to see their own system of government fail in order to protect the rights of people who are not legal citizens has only their own best interests at heart.

I praise the people who came here out of need and a desire to have a better life and assimilate into a country that would provide them the chance to be better. The ones who did the work.  What I have a huge problem with are the ones who want to leave their horrible places of origin, come here without the proper work to become a citizen and then begin to make of our country something resembling the one they fled from.  The proverbial S Hole if you will.

What has been created is an enormous ill-eagle....a very sick bird that is spreading contagion in its path and in many cases is also manifesting in quite a bit of UNLAWFUL as well.

I watch news reporters spend 1/2 an hour weeping with illegals because in 2 or 3 decades they have never attempted to become a legal citizen (because they didn't have to - rights of citizenship were just handed to them like a lollipop in a doctor's office.)  I have yet to see those same reporters weep with the mother or father of someone who has been victimized by an illegal immigrant.

We are broken....we are ill and some of us are trying to fix it.  And we get told every day that we are heartless, inhumane, unChristian, ignorant, deranged, selfish, deplorable and entitled.  They fail to mention we are also for the most part law abiding, hard working, good hearted and open handed people who can be counted on the do the right thing.

I reject those negative labels on myself. I choose to remain hopeful that our country can become a shining light of good stewards of the land and good protectors of our beautiful country and its citizens for other people, so that they want to come here, be part of us and labor with us for the good of all.

We will always have unlawful....but there is no reason for us to embrace illegal.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Spoiled and Entitled and It's All My Fault

Recently, someone of some celebrity seemed to indicate that women tend to make their sons more spoiled and entitled than their daughters.  Indicating that we expected more from our girls and less from boys.

I'm not sure what she bases this opinion on having never raised boys herself but I beg to differ.

In my case, I raised one of each of these little critters and I can tell you for sure I was much harder on my son than I was my daughter.  However, my daughter was extremely hard on herself, she had this inner drive to succeed and she pushed herself much too hard.  And, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if she argued that I was tougher on her.

Coming from the background I did I expected my boy to be brave, to not be a cry baby, to exhibit more masculine traits.  This had to be hard for him as he has a very tender heart, a sensitive spirit and a great deal of creativity which lends itself to a softer side.  He also has a very hard head and a strong will.  He isn't prissy at all, he likes guy stuff, has been known to resort to fisticuffs on occasion and I have no doubt he is all man.  But, I will say there were times I enabled my son in some wrong thinking mainly because I was just so worried about where he might land in life.  For a pretty long time I was solely responsible for both my kids and it is danged hard to be the only adult/parent in the room.  Sometimes, you just get tired and you let down and you let them down.

I am a huge believer in personal accountability, I think decisions you make you HAVE to own, and learn from, and do better.  I am not a fan of excuse makers.  If you try hard enough you can find a good reason for almost everything you do that places the blame on someone else.  My children's father is a man of many stories and in every story he tells he either emerges as a hero or a victim (more often the latter) whichever suits his purpose.  I've often said that if he were a book, every chapter ended one page too soon.  But to continue would cast a whole different light on the story he tells.

Blaming others for our shortcomings just isn't productive because not stepping up and owning your stuff stifles your growth and eventually creates a mindset and trend that only gets worse as you get older.

My biggest advice to anyone is to realize that none of us have had a perfect life.  We have all crashed into the potholes of life and come out stinking.  But every dip in the road, crack in the wall, or obstacle placed in our path provides us with two choices.  1)  Take that imperfect life and use it as a foundation to build something far better. ....or.....2)  Take that imperfect life and wrap it around yourself as a blanket of excuse and never have anything better to show for yourself.  Because, that warm lack of accountability blanket eventually becomes a shield that repels every effort and good thing coming your way.

Entitled and spoiled men often share three things....1)Money   2)Power     3)Control   - and every one of those things is an absolute corrupter if we are not vigilant.

So, no.  As a woman, as a mother I refuse to accept that I might be responsible if my son was a jerk (which he isn't).  He has a mind, free choice and the intelligence to make his own decisions.  I will own the fact he was first and therefore my human lab rat, my science experiment in parenting.  I made a lot of mistakes.  I also did some really good things and in the end, he's a pretty decent human spite of me.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wahhhh, Wahhhh, Wahhhh

Three words that describe this year's abysmal season of BIG BROTHER, which needs to immediately be rebranded as BIG FREAKING BABY or Herd Mentality in a Nutshell.

First of all, I am unapologetic about my fascination with reality TV.  And while I am relatively new to this particular show (thanks a heap Kristina L), I am a huge student of human nature and people's behaviors and character....or lack thereof.

Here is my take away from this season of Big Brother. *****SPOILER ALERT****** - read no further if you have NOT yet watched the finale or proceed at your own risk.

1)  I am not a fan of returning "vets" - in my opinion they have a huge advantage in this game and therefore it is unfair to bring them back for a second shot at winning.

2)  One of the biggest mistakes made this season was for the entire house to NOT band together to eject Paul immediately upon his arrival.  However, I totally have no problem with Kevin going for the $ in that temptation.  In my mind he knew he didn't have a shot to win it all but he took the opportunity to walk away with something.  Smart move....however, that move did release the annoyance of the "puppet master" on the house.  Every single person in there should have immediately decided he needed to be sent right back out so they could have THEIR season...instead they were all in awe of his huge personality and success from last season soooo they played right into his hands.

3)  I liked the temptation thing I thought it added a great little wrinkle to the play but no one used it wisely, therefore, once again....they were dumb.

4)  Jessica made two really bone headed moves.  First, she should have taken Ramses off the block and put Paul up beside Josh and Paul would have had to reveal his true colors while fighting for his life in the house.  Dumb move had all the power and wasted it.  Secondly, when you had the power to halt the eviction you should have sat on that information until the second the eviction was announced and then unloaded it.  You would have caught Paul off it gave him days to plan yours and Cody's demise.  Super dumb.

5)  When you have someone in the house who has NEVER been on the block and yet has been in your ear the whole game telling you what to do with your power, common sense should tell you he is doing the same thing with everyone in the house.  Did every one of you think you were that special??? I guess so.

6)  When someone has to talk so fast they are basically unintelligible (JOSH) you can bet your bottom dollar they are an accomplished liar.  Someone should have taken those 2 skillets and flattened his head while he of THE MOST annoying humans I have ever seen on TV.  The fact he won is beyond comprehension and I hope someone steals his money and makes him cry.

7)  Alex, Alex, Alex....I honestly thought you were smart as a tack and I sat waiting for you to turn the house upside down and you left me hanging.

8)  While I think Cody and Jessica are a cute couple, I predict that is not a long time thing because I think he will never soften on issues she needs him too.  One thing about him - he believes what he believes and doesn't waiver.  The fact he stuck the final knife in Paul was almost poetic and just shows that as badly as he hated Josh, he saw Paul for what he was, viewed him the biggest loser in the house and made it happen.  And Paul knew it....when the vote was tied and Cody's key remained....I saw hope depart from Paul and my little heart was happy.  It speaks to Cody's complete understanding of his own character that when he won fan favorite his only words were "it doesn't make sense."  Probably not, but maybe, just maybe there were a whole lot of people who appreciated seeing someone stick to their guns and be willing to take it in the shorts.

9)  Kevin might have been the smartest guy in the house...he cruised along like an aging GQ model knowing he had the money in his pocket and anything else was simply.......gravy.

10)  Raven who daily sucked on a helium tank and spouted boatloads of ridiculous rhetoric in her squeaky voice was just annoying.  Did that girl EVER make sense?  I found myself wishing for a large mouse trap to spring on her.  And really...she was helping Paul pull strings?  Then why were you sitting your butt in the Jury House with Captain Crunch.

11)  Christmas just got carried through on the strength of an injury.  Throwing comps to her was insulting and she should have never stood for it if she is the strong independent woman she wants to profess herself to be.  And let's face it the only reason she gave Josh the time of day was because she thought he would sweep her with him into the final two.  Well, ho, ho, ho Christmas Joy.

12)  Mark and Elena just kind of were there being swept along on the Paul wave until it crashed on the shore and they were left picking seaweed out of their teeth.  I think both of them probably are pretty decent human beings but they were waaaaay out maneuvered in the deception and manipulation department.

13)  Jason was kind of a favorite of mine and he and Alex had what it took to win the whole enchilada but they both allowed Paul to turn their heads and Alex allowed her smarts to be sucked up into her kitty ears.  They could have rode their collective skill with winning comps and Alexs' supposed game savvy all the way to the end.  But sadly, they did not...and honestly that would have been good for the show.  This ending was not.

14)  Long story short....neither Paul or Josh are good people.  They want you to think they are, but they are not.  I still think this exercise in human behavior can be done without destroying the core goodness of people.  I hate coasters, I want to see honest competition and everyone giving 100% for their own game without throwing crap on someone else and then I want to see good sports both in winning and losing.  After last season I do not believe Paul needed the money....he had a brand and a big following, he had the keys to his success from last season....this season it was all about his ego and I quite frankly was happy to see that squashed.  I just hated to see JOSH me this was the equivalent of watching a child throw a tantrum in Walmart in the toy aisle until his beleaguered parents give in and just buy him the store.  Crying is one thing but his sobbing shrieking meltdowns were only eclipsed by the fact he allowed himself to be used by everyone in the house to just annoy the crap out of Jessica and Cody.  She spoke truth when she said it took all of them banding together to put them out.  What a pity they couldn't have used that team spirit to deal with Paul early on.

My conclusion on this season is that there were a whole lot of really not very nice people in that house and it could be a microcosm of society in essence....a pretty good little dose of reality.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

America - Your Medication of the Day is.....Growicet

Let me go on record by saying statues and monuments are horribly offensive....let me show you why.

This one celebrates a grown man who made loads of money playing a game for a living.  I mean....really?

 Does it bother anyone else that this old dude is holding this baby in a questionable manner?

Is she cavorting naked with an innocent child?

 There are no females in this image....I'm definitely offended by this one.  Where were WE?  Making coffee somewhere?
 This guy is pointing at rude!
Shows weaponry....weaponry is bad!

 This one is simply terrifying, what if children see this?

This triggers my depression....and it is clear he has obviously been abusing that horse.

 Clearly someone had waaaay too much time on their hands...and who paid for that and who cares about these guys anyway?

This is a ridiculous waste of the precious resource of electricity...must go.

Clearly these children are stealing bread from that poor old woman...again...must go.
But this one is the worst....fat shaming is just plain wrong.