Boys To Men


One of my pet peeves is seeing people be upset when boys are being, well, boys. I was a Cub Scout Leader for 13 years. I ran day camps for up to 300 eight, nine, and ten year old boys every summer for eight of those years. I loved every minute of it, even when I heard the same silly or gross joke for the umptheenth time, or had to separate to boys who were having their version of a pissing contest for dominance over the group. That was back when boys were in training to be men. Back before the marginalization of boys by the matriarchal society led by the progressive liberals and the out of step feminists, and it was no longer politically correct for boys to be boys.

My husband ran across this from PJTV. http://www.pjtv.com/series/war-on-men-how-masculinity-is-under-attack-in-america-832/boyhood-under-attack-why-boys-cant-just-be-boys-anymore-10924/

He pointed out that,” Today, Tom Sawyer would be in ADHD therapy, and Huck Finn would be in Juvenile Prison.” Today, boys aren’t allowed to ride bikes without helmets and protective gear. Had I tried to force that on my boys, they would have been outraged because I obviously thought they were too inept to ride a bike without hurting themselves. We, as a nation, have made it nearly impossible for boys to become men, living and growing from their natural inclinations and behavior that is embedded in their DNA.

Because boys are loud, dirty, smelly, and politically incorrect; because they run, make noise, climb, pick up gross things like worms, and they fight with each other our society of fearful mothers and fathers are trying to force boys to be something they are not. All of that is genetically part of being male and teaches them how to be hunters, fearless, curious, and innovative thinkers. It also establishes a pecking order that is vital in a hunter/gatherer community. Of which, we are still very much a part. We just hunt and gather different things today. (And the chief is your boss.) BUT all of that natural male inclination is politically incorrect in today’s matriarchal society in modern western countries.

So, to fit in, to keep from embarrassing their community or family, their NATURAL male instincts are cut from their lives, and they are forced into more feminine behavior, along with brain washing that being male is a bad thing. Enslaving the minds and bodies into unnatural behavior makes them act out more. The easiest way to control them is to label them with some sort of disability and drug it away. Along with being unable to just be kids, they ‘lesson and sport’ kids from the time they are five or less. No kid needs to be in ballet at three, no kid needs to be on a team at five. They first need to learn how to play and work together on their own, to create their own social group without helicopter mommy and daddy making sure their darling child is treated fairly. (That means better than others in PC lingo.) We do them no favors by removing them from the natural rhythm of play and forcing them into the unnatural world of competitive passive aggressive sports or lessons. All it does is place more stress in their already submerged and trampled maleness.

Playgrounds are no longer mayhem. No kids running around playing and yelling, no foot races, or natural male competition is allowed. Instead, everything is organized and ‘fair’ (gag) and no one learns to be a leader, problem solver, or how to create relationships. Everything is a passive aggressive competition since out right competition is forbidden as someone has to lose. Yep, we are making our boys weak, immature, and incapable of being men with all their natural abilities. That is how we end up with confused metrosexual guys who aren’t sure what they are, male/female/straight/gay or human.

By labeling everyone with a disability, the kids who really are having problems and really need help are pretty much marginalized and shoved to the back of the line. Besides, don’t you know it is the IN thing to have a kid with a disability? Everyone is trying to get that diagnosis so they have an excuse for why their kids, male or female, is out of control. Personally, I believe that most of those kids just need attention at home, and the occasional kick in the pants for bad behavior, oh, and taught some manners. Parents need to parent and stop being afraid of what the social group they hang out with will think.

And another thing, since I am already on a rant. We need to stop forcing our children to play together when they don’t like each other. If they don’t want to share their toys, especially with a kid they don’t like, stop making them. All it does is to teach them to be confused about their feelings, and to see themselves as the ‘mean or bad’ kid since they are being politically incorrect. I loathe hearing parents to tell their children to ‘play nice’ when they need to be telling them to have fun. As adults it is hard to deal with social situations with people we can’t stand, to force that on a child is beyond cruel.

Another reason so many boys are labeled disabled and on drugs is because it makes easier to control an over crowded classroom of 35 kids. If the kids are drugged, they aren’t a problem for the teachers who are free to teach regurgitative education for the purpose of state tests. There is no need to expect the kids to think, theorize, innovate, or invent, because they are too drugged up to care. Some teachers love that because that means they can meet the goals set out for them with less pressure from the powers that be.

So where does that leave us when they become teenagers who have been given powerful behavior altering medication for years? What happens when they become young men with the natural behavior of males totally squashed and unrealistic social behavior forced on them? It leaves many of them unable to cope with anything.

Aggression is frowned upon, although there is a constant need to prove themselves. Boys turning into men aren’t supposed to be gross and rowdy, they are supposed to be caring and emotional, you know, like girls. That isn’t to say they aren’t caring, but they do not go about it the same as a female. They think differently, and no amount of constant belittling of their maleness will make them think like a woman – they have hardwired DNA.

Where does that leave us? With kids who are used to being drugged up, and incapable of understanding how to cope with feelings and needs. So they self medicate with alcohol or other drugs. They act out in rage that they don’t understand because they have been told from birth that they cannot be angry. It is bad to be angry. To give into anger makes them a bad kid. Instead of having their entire childhood to learn how to cope with emotions and anger, they are taught to deny their feelings. Men, boys, males of all sorts need to have that challenge of other males. They need to have that opportunity to learn how to build a social group that works for them within the boundaries of being a guy among a bunch of other guys. They need that chance to be gross, smelly, dirty, and loud. They need to learn to be men by being boys first.

OK, off my soap box

Pity Me, Pity Us


I read this article from Salon by Julia Bount.

http://www.salon.com/2015/04/29/dear_white_facebook_friends_i_need_you_to_respect_what_black_america_is_feeling_right_now/?upw

This is my response:

What a load of pity me, pity us. Because you allow, ALLOW yourselves to be victims, and once you are, you wallow in the whining and refuse to take responsibility for your actions and for the lack of parenting and fathers who stick around to BE fathers.
This is NOT a black and white issue, one of the officers charged is a black Female!! This is a flat out, rabble rousing issue by the likes of the pot head in chief and the likes of Sharpie Sharpton.

Every thing on that pity me list screams victim.

I hear hopelessness

Not just a black issue. Poor people all over the world feel this way. Think you have it bad? What about the women in the middle east who suffer just because they are women? Beaten, raped, murdered, just because they are women. Compared to them, the worse off black American is living in luxury and freedom.

I hear oppression

The only people oppressing black people, are the democratic/progressive party and black people. Sharpie Sharpton WANTS you to be oppressed. That’s how he makes his living. So do the political left, that’s how they make their money. The more the government interferes with your life, the more dependent you are on them, the more they get to keep you as mental and emotional slaves. Oppressed? Really? Then break out and refuse to be. Not by riots and following the propaganda and brain washing, but by being a human being instead of a victim.

I hear pain

So do I. But not because of racism on the part of the white people. I hear pain because the black community destroys its own community. Violence, drugs, riots, burning down business owned by black people who live in their community. Two or three generations who have lived within the welfare system, but have every opportunity to get free of the grinding down of their dignity because they are afraid, or lazy, or it is easier to make money selling drugs and ruining even more people in their community. Self defeating behavior causes pain. Along with the fact that they have allowed themselves to become mentally enslaved by the system. All the opportunities given to anyone else are also available to black Americans, and probably more so than other folks.

I hear internalized oppression

Now there is a phrase: Internalized Oppression. That means that they SELF oppress. No one is doing it to them, they do it to themselves. Where did they learn that? Not from white people. Over my life span, I have seen proud, hardworking, business owning, educated, and wealthy black communities become ghettos of drunken, drugged, drop outs who spend their time on street corners doing nothing but encouraging each other to feel oppressed. Gangs are one of the most oppressive things in most communities, fostering fear and violence against their own, and if the police intervene, they whole community goes against them. Even if the gangs are committing horrific crimes. And then there are the professional riot folks hired by folks like Sharpie Sharpton and his pals telling everyone they are being brutalized by the white people. Again, it is easier to let someone tell you that you are a victim and believe it than it is to stand up and refuse to allow the government to tell you that you are unable to care for yourselves. Internalized Oppression – SELF defeat, SELF fulfilling prophecy.

I hear despair
I hear it too. From the people whose lives were destroyed by the riots. Those who will have no jobs from the fires. Those who will have no way to make a living now that their business is gone. I hear despair from white people who have done everything they can to prove that they are not racist toward black people. I live in the South, I don’t see it here. The only people in despair are those who feel they are being labeled as a racist just because of their skin color. The majority of Americans, by far, simply ignore skin color. WE DON’T CARE what color you are. We CARE about how you behave, treat others, and contribute to the community.

I hear anger

For what? Not getting every thing you want? Because you get arrested more than other folks? Have you ever considered the fact that the majority of crimes are committed by young black males? Don’t do the crime, don’t do the time. People of all colors get arrested and go to jail for many things. Get you kids off the street, make them go to school, make them understand that if they go to jail, then they will pay for the crime they committed. You think you are profiled? Well, duh, stop being the most criminal group out there. You blame it on white supremacy? Really? It isn’t just because you are black that you are watched closely by cops, it is because of the amount of crime the black people commit in certain communities. Preventing crime is the responsibility of the police. It is their job. And black people aren’t the only people to get hurt while being arrested. That’s what happens when you fight, argue, and taunt the police officers.

I hear poverty

Really? So do I. The poorest people in the US are the working poor. Blue collar workers who have to support their families on low income wages do without a lot more than those who can use their EBT card to buy everything from cigarettes to steaks. The hardest working people, the middle class, small business owners, those that keep the city and country functioning – including police, firemen and women, nurses, technicians, store owners, those that work hard to provide for their families so their kids will have more and do better than them – they also are taxed the most so that the EBT crowd can stay home and choose not to better themselves.

Poverty is not a black issue. There are people of all color who struggle to survive on a minimum amount of money. EBT people get free medical, free food, free lunches, free childcare, free education, free transportation in most cities, a place to live, and know where and how to get free food and clothing too. Black or white or brown or green with yellow dots, poverty is a real issue for many. And folks of every color are EBT people – sometimes for generations. By refusing to stay in school, having babies without daddies around to raise them, refusing to work menial jobs rather than accept welfare, anyone will find their community over burdened with poverty.

You say you have to worry all the time about your brother, cousins, friends, etc. being stopped by the police. EVERY person has that same worry. Because if you are breaking the law, then you get stopped. If you refuse to follow directions from the police, they you are arrested. If your community is known for violence, crime, and law breaking, then your community is watched more carefully to protect others from your violence, crime, and law breaking. Profiling only happens when it is merited. A lot of Hispanic and white communities bear the same burden.

Take responsibility for your actions. Black, white, rich, poor, behavior matters. There are always consequences for poor behavior.

Black lives matter. Of course they do. No one I know of who is white, has ever said differently. That mantra is from the likes of Sharpie Sharpton.

As the mother of an American Indian son, murdered by a white person, I could scream racism too. It wasn’t about race, it wasn’t even about the gun that was used, it was about a crazy man who decided to see how it felt to murder someone. Skin color had nothing to do with my son’s death. Someone’s evil decision and action killed him. And thank goodness the police and justice system were there to find the killer and lock him up so he could never harm another.
All Lives Matter.

It isn’t just a black thing.

It Isn’t A Tragedy


I over heard a conversation this morning between two women. It left me a bit gobsmacked and annoyed. It seems these two women have a mutual friend who had a kidney transplant via a relative. One woman said it was such a tragedy that their friend had to have a transplant. They went on to talk about how everyone needed to make allowances for her erratic behavior, and that she should be treated carefully as she recovered. After all, with someone else’s kidney in her she would never be normal.

I thought, “Tragedy?’ Not to me, it isn’t. That woman will live a long healthy life, she is not an invalid, she is not helpless, she is the product of the miracle of medicine and blessings. How can that be a tragedy? They acted as if having any transplant was something no one would ever want. What?

Tragedy is something that cannot be controlled, stopped, or overcome resulting in either an end of a life or constituting a complete change in circumstances for a survivor. Tragedy is losing a new mom to childbirth. Tragedy is a child with incurable cancer. Tragedy is a wounded warrior who has lost limbs, sight, ability to walk, or suffers brain damage or mental illness from serving in the war. Tragedy is a teenager committing suicide. Tragedy is a plane crash that kills 300 people. Tragedy is an old person freezing to death. Tragedy is the mentally ill on the streets of the country when they belong in a safe institution where they can be cared for, instead of suffering the effects of cold and heat, and the lack of food. Tragedy is losing someone to addiction to drugs or alcohol. Tragedy is having a funeral for a twenty year old girl whose death was sudden and unexpected. Surviving a kidney transplant is not a tragedy! It is, instead, an opportunity to celebrate a new and continued life!

What those well meaning women are doing is placing their friend in a box labeled perpetual victim. In pandering to her, giving her excuses for bad behavior, and creating a tragic attitude around her, they are making her weak, mentally, physically, and emotionally. In refusing to celebrate the miracle that her life is, they want to demean it. That isn’t friendship, that is an attitude of superiority. “Poor little thing, she will never reach her full potential,” one of them stated. The other agreeing and doing the Southern thing when faced with perceived tragedy, shaking her head, and murmuring, “Bless her heart.”

I don’t get it. I really don’t understand their attitude, especially treating her as if she is fragile and unable to cope with surviving. She isn’t one bit more special than anyone who has survived a horrific illness. Instead of encouraging her to be helpless, they need to stand behind and beside her as she moves forward into a strong, healthy life. Instead of lowering their expectations for her life, they should be the best of cheerleaders, celebrating each and every milestone in her recovery. And, the last thing they need to be doing is enabling helplessness. I repeat, she is not an invalid. The only tragedy in her life is that her friends see her as a victim who will never be normal instead of a survivor.

The Fat Lady Needs To Exit Stage Right, Now!


 

Over the past four years, I have lost 168 pounds and change. Yes, I feel better, have more energy, look better, and enjoy my grandchildren more. However there are a few drawbacks that never occurred to me before hand.

Skin. Losing weight, even as slowly as I have, leaves a lot of saggy, ugly, rumply skin. Bat wings for upper arms, skin that sags down from thighs to knees, and it just keeps on going long after I stop moving. Totally gross, totally embarrassing. And wrinkles are much more prominent too. I always had a smooth face, now I have wrinkles that I never had before. The upside is I look a lot thinner, the down side is learning a whole new way to apply makeup – when I bother that is.

Clothes. For years, like most fat women, I tried to hide my weight in baggy clothes, ugly dresses, and lots of jeans and t-shirts. Underwear was pretty much limited to grannie panties, and because I am rather well endowed up top, very boring super strong support white bras. Now, I nearly have a panic attack when I go into a store to buy clothes. I have gone from a size 28-30 in Women’s (that means fat lady clothes in girl code) to a size 14-16. But because I still have the well endowed parts to contend with, I get a larger size top. I don’t like tight clothing, it generally shows every lump and bump, cellulite, and muffin top on a fat lady. But, I find if I get looser clothes, they fall off me, which can be horribly humiliating if it happens in public. Oh, and shoes. Did you know that when you lose a lot of weight your shoe size gets smaller? Neither did I, but I have had to replace a large portion of my shoes lately. I’ve gone from a 8.5 Wide to a size 7 average. How freaky is that?

Temperature. I have long passed menopause, but temperature change really causes me issues. If it is cold, I freeze when the same temperature in my fat lady stage didn’t bother me at all, because I was always too warm. I forget about that and pay for it by shivering constantly. Wind also has an effect on me. I used to relish the cool wind, not so much now. Besides, I actually got pushed hard enough to almost fall the other day. I am so used to being sturdy enough to stand up to anything up to about 40 miles an hour winds. Now I just feel cold and like a wimp. Heat still makes me miserable. I hate hot and humid climates, but I don’t get miserable as fast as I used to, and can actually stand hotter weather than before.

Hair. I have always had rather thin hair. Now, because I am healthier, stronger, and I actually take my meds and vitamins every day, my hair is thicker. So I have had to learn to change my whole regime while washing my hair. It is hard to break a habit of over 30 years. I keep heading for my old shampoo and conditioner when I simply do not need that brand any longer. It is, well, annoying to have a routine totally changed.

Food. I didn’t have surgery to lose weight. I became very, very ill. Even the doctors didn’t think I would pull through. Fooled them. Wasn’t my time yet. Anyway, I used to crave sweets, sodas, carbohydrates, and fatty foods. I could eat a full meal at any restaurant in America. I was always hungry, and I used food as my drug of choice to cope with life. Now, food – eh – whatever. I don’t often eat every day, and I rarely have more than one meal a day. I make it a policy to eat only half of what is on my plate when we go out to dinner. Because half of a serving is a bit more than a serving for one person should be. The standard meal is FAR too much. At least it is using American sized servings.

Attitude and Mood Swings. I have never been so easily angered as I am now. Part of that is hormonal because everything is still out of whack. But a lot of it has to do with my attitude. While I have never been one to be a door mat, I would often allow my feelings about being fat make me want to stay in the background and unnoticed. Today, I am pretty much one of those old ladies who says what she thinks and devil take the hindmost. Whereas, I used to stay quiet, I am now more than willing to debate and do verbal battle with those who oppose my stance on everything from politics to dealing with bratty kids. So, on one hand, I am dealing with moodiness, and on the other I am dealing with trying to shut the hell up and stay out of trouble. Not doing too well on either issue.

The up side to weight loss is better health, the downside is that my entire lifestyle had to change and catch up with my body changes. I sometimes don’t recognize myself in the mirror. I sometimes think that I am fooling no one, and the fat lady still resides in my mirror and every one knows it but me. I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the way everything changed and continues to change as I keep losing weight.

I guess, because I can spot a phony a mile away, and because I don’t suffer fools gladly, that I tend to step back from every compliment. Like most fat ladies, people would compliment me on my eyes, color of my clothes, hair, but never say I was pretty. Now, folks do say I am pretty, but the fat lady hasn’t sung and exited stage right just yet. I really wish she would shut the hell up so I can get on with who I am becoming. Hateful cow.

“Inaction is not an excuse for failure to thrive.”


“Inaction is not an excuse for failure to thrive.”

I’ve noticed lately that a lot of people my age tend to simply stop. They stop doing fun things, they stop being involved, they stop thinking and growing intellectually. They just stop. Then they sit about and complain about how boring life is, how hard it is to do things they used to do, how much they wish they had done such and such before they got too old. They are failing to thrive in the late years of their lives. And there is no excuse for that- period.

I know, things are a bit harder to do when knees hurt,backs don’t want to bend, and the body gets tired much easier than it did at the age of forty. We all have to slow down,but that doesn’t mean we have to stop. It may take longer, but there is no reason not to at least try.

Years ago there was a movie entitled Cocoon followed by another, Cocoon Returns. If you haven’t seen them, I suggest watching them at least once. It starred a lot of “stars” who were getting quite elderly. All stuck in a nursing home, waiting to die, fussing at one another, etc. Until things change due to a visit from the aliens. Look, I know it is really a sappy story, but what I loved about it was the willingness of almost all of the elderly folks to embrace that which was different. If their youth didn’t return, their joy for life certainly did. And, at the end of the day, their inaction became action, and their lives infinitely better.

Another movie I loved was Driving Miss Daisy, a stellar performance by one and all. Again, another character that defies the tendency to just sit down and stop. Fried Green Tomatoes is a fantastic film. Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy were great together and the flashback between Mary-Louise Parker and Mary Stuart Masterson is equally dynamic. At the end of the day, we are still not sure which woman Jessica Tandy was as the elderly friend of Kathy Bates. Ambiguity saturates the film, while turning Katy Bates’ character from a meek doormat into a woman filled with confidence. And, of course, the character played by Shirley Mclaine in Steel Magnolias is just like I want to be when I get old.

I see many older folks off and doing things all over the world. They travel, explore, serve missions of compassion – regardless of sore knees and aching backs. They move, act, and they live every minute of every day. That is what I want to do too.

When our youngest son went off to college, my husband and I decided to work our way around the world. Eight years later, we finally returned to the US. As we were raising our granddaughter, she went right along with us. We lived in London, Hong Kong, and New Zealand, and only came back to the US due to health issues and the awful Socialized Medical care in NZ. We traveled all over each region and were enriched many times over by our experiences.

But I was in my forty’s when we did that. Now I am sixty, and it is going to become more difficult to do some of the things we did. So, we chose other things to do so we could travel. A cruise or four, a road trip across the US, and our big adventure this year is to travel across country by train. I don’t hike for miles any longer, but I sure can sit and enjoy the view from the train.

So there is no excuse not to thrive, people. Just get up, take a few steps, find a hobby that fulfills you, volunteer as a surrogate grandmother to rock babies at the hospital. Volunteer at the schools or libraries to help kids with their reading skills. Go help out a nursing home if you have a talent like playing the piano. There are a multitude of things you can do to overcome the lack of inertia and sedentary inaction. For me, being with my grandchildren is one of my greatest motivators. I write, I hang out on social media sites, I keep up with friends and work on my family history, and I am planning on taking art lessons. I have always wanted to learn how to paint. That will be so much fun!

So, you are old, so what? Inaction is not an excuse for failure to thrive. Just because your body is starting to creak and moan, it doesn’t mean your brain isn’t functioning. (Unless you have a serious condition, of course.) With all the medical miracles out today, most of us will live well into our eighties or nineties.

I have a friend who is ninety-eight. For the several decades, she has traveled the world following the performances of the operas of Wagner. All on her own, she would jump on a plane and off she would go to Italy, France, Germany, or any place in the world that the operas were being performed. What an amazing lady

who just kept on going like an Eveready Battery. She is running down now, but she is still in control of her life and decided to go home until the end of her days. It is heartbreaking, but at the same time, what a life she has had! Even now, she keeps busy with doing her family history and chatting with her friends and family.

Even if you are homebound, unable to walk, unable to drive, so what? There are a million things you can do to keep your brain healthy and busy. Never just stop and wait to die. We all have a finite amount of time here in this life. I could spend it worrying about death, or I can just get on with living while I am still here.

The more we let inaction rule our lives, the less likely we are to live a long life. Not just because our bodies need to move to function well, but because our brains atrophy at an alarming rate. Inaction is not an excuse for failure to thrive. But it is only you that can take that first step. I can’t wait to become a feisty old woman who says exactly what she wants to say about everything.

Come on people, get up, find a cause, reason, purpose, or passion to fill your life. Go on!

 

Forever Young


On September 11, 2014, my first born will be 40 years old. For many people that requires a birthday party with black balloons and silly “Over The Hill” banners. It has been almost 19 years since he moved on, and still we miss him every day. But my son, you see, is forever young. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E6-AYce-_M

If he were here, physically, he would be a proud father of his baby girl, and an even more proud grandfather to her baby girl. He would hug his girl, and spoil her girl, and still be a strong man to lean on when they needed him the most.

I don’t know what he would be doing as a profession, but I know it would be something outdoors. He hated being cooped up inside, no matter the weather. If it was hot, he would be off somewhere playing or fishing in the water. If it was cold, he would get up to all manner of things that required slipping, sliding, and general mayhem, with a bit of danger mixed in for spice.

I don’t know what his political bent would be, but I expect it would be about as conservative and his parents and brother tend to be. I don’t know if he would be religious, but I know he would be spiritual. I don’t know if he would like all the modern gizmos and technology, but I know he could master all of them quickly. I don’t know what kind of vehicle he would drive, but I know he would own a Harley.

But, I don’t need to know, because my son, you see, is forever young.

He would still like boxing, and loud music. Music that ranged from classical to heavy metal met his approval. He would still like reading and learning on his own, in his own way. He would still love to sit and talk with the elderly and people who captured his interest. He would still love to tinker with motors, even if they frustrated him every time he worked on one. He would still love his family, his friends, and impress strangers with his knowledge about all sorts of things. He would still give you the shirt off his back if you needed it, and make sure that you had something to eat if you were hungry. He would still support the Viet Nam Veterans, and give them all the honor they deserve. He would still want to hang out with his brother, and probably torment him as only a big brother can. He would still be our Arron. Because he knew that growing up didn’t mean becoming someone else, it just meant being more who you are. He was philosophical that way.

He would still get into fist fights, but maybe not as much. He would still stand up for the underdog, but he might not lose his temper over misjustice so easily. He would still protect his mother, wife, daughter, niece, or any other female in his life, but he wouldn’t put up with drama trauma from any female. Like most guys, it either made him uncomfortable, annoyed, or confused. He would still love his beer on a hot day, and his whisky on a cold night, and he would still sneak bites of dinner as it is being cooked.

He would still like to go shirtless while working outdoors, and he would still wear those motorcycle boots, no matter how hot it was. He would still wear 501 button down Levi jeans, Harley shirts, and the occasional button down with the sleeves torn out of it. He would still have his silver front teeth instead of changing the caps out for something like everyone else. And he would still have long hair, a beard, and wear an ear ring, even though he knows it bugs me.

He would still have his cheeky, wicked grin that told me he was up to something he shouldn’t be. He would still make me laugh at his irreverent humor, tell me that I looked like a dumpling, and tease me about everything I do, just to get me riled. He would still walk to the beat of his own drummer, follow his dreams, and fly his kite just the way he wanted to.

Yes, he would do those things, and he probably is doing just that where he is. Because, you see, my son is forever twenty-one.

Happy Birthday Arron. Welcome to the old fart club. I love you. Mom.

Forever Young.  Arron Glen Combs  September 1974 - Jan 1996.
Forever Young. Arron Glen Combs September 1974 – Jan 1996.

 

Why Is It Number Four


Why is it, as soon as I put the hard top back on my car, the sun comes out?

Why is it, that having the top down makes me want to play my music really loud and drive really fast?

Why is it, that every time a young person sees me driving a sports car, they seemed shocked?

Why is it, when an old person sees me driving a sports car, they all look confused?

Why is it, when a person gets past 50, everyone expects them to slow down and be stodgy?

Why is it, that when a person gets past 50, every single working part of the body decides to retool and redefine their working order?

Why is it, that some women freak out and spend thousands on plastic surgery and products to look younger, when time will catch up eventually and they will look like freaks AND look old?

Why is it, that everyone is scared to death to be round? Round is a good shape. Comfy, and easy to maintain.

Why is it, women under 60 freak out about being a grandmother?

Why is it, that women under 60 come up with stupid names for their grandchildren to call them so they won’t be known as a grandmother? I mean, really, MoMo?

Why is it, getting old is a sinful thing instead of something we have earned?

Why is it, that the young never appreciate what we know and the wisdom we have to share until it is too late to make a difference in their lives?

Why is it, if a couple is out dancing and having fun, and they aren’t young, people think it is either sweet, cute, or disgusting?

Why is it, people stare if I hold my husband’s hand in public? It isn’t as if we are doing anything gross, like snogging.

Why is it, all little babies and toddlers know that I am a Nana? Hormones?

Why is it physically impossible to stop myself from cooing over little babies, snarling at kids between 8 and obnoxious, and loathing kids between oh, teenage and forever if they are impolite, gross, or disrespectful?

Why is it, no one offers to help mom’s who are struggling with kids in public instead of complaining and making rude remarks?

Why is it, the older I get, the more I love the old guy I married so many years ago?

Just asking.

That Bugs Me


For the past few weeks, I have seen a commercial on television, that, over time, has come to really annoy me on several levels. It is for the Xfinity programs on cable. In the commercial, a mid twentiesish guy is trying to move house. He calls up his friends, and one by one they either lie to him, ignore him, or simply tell him no when he asks for help. The only person who “helps” is the lady on Xfinity who sets him up with all he needs for his new place. Cable, Internet, etc. is easily moved for him. In the last scene, the guy is sitting all alone, in his new place, he (it is assumed) moved all his stuff into it by himself watching television. No friends in sight.

It bugs me because friends are supposed to help friends. I can’t count the number of times we helped people pack and move. We have hauled sofas that weighed more than a small car, furniture of all shapes and sizes, clothes, dishes, even pets. We moved people in everything from our small Datsun station wagon to huge moving trucks. We, ourselves, have moved so often over the past 40 years, that I am a master at packing and hauling stuff. Everyone pitched in to help as soon as the word went out that help was needed. Generally pizza or Chinese takeaway was provided for the friends and family who showed up and pitched in.

So, what the heck is wrong with those twenty-ish kids who won’t help their friend move? One is at the beach and pretending to be at the office. One is shopping and pretends to be sick. One is playing video games and doesn’t even answer the call, and one just flat out refuses to help. Talk about selfish and self centered! If all those people had jumped in, the moving process would probably have taken less than a day. (We all know that no one ever fully unpacks boxes, we have some that are still taped shut from our move from Hong Kong.) But these, kids just can’t be bothered.

It makes me crazy to see someone need help and no one steps up. When I took Hal to the Urgent Care clinic a few weeks ago, there was a woman in there with a child about three. He was miserably sick, and constantly whining. He wanted to be held, but only if his mom was standing up. He was breaking into a full blown hissy fit, when I finally stepped up and asked the frazzled and frustrated mom if she needed some help. Her jaw dropped, then she stepped back and said, “If you have a miracle, go ahead.” I put on my MOM HAS HAD ENOUGH face, crossed my arms, walked over to the boy and cleared my throat. When he was looking at me, all I said was his name. In a calm, but firm voice. The tears shut off, he ran behind his mother and grabbed her skirt. We heard him in the exam room later when he got a shot. But, for the meantime, he stopped, the mom was thankful, and I could hear myself think again. That mom needed HELP. She was exhausted, overwhelmed, and right at the end of her patience.

I don’t know if I am odd, or what, but I am always offering to help people. Most of the time, they thank me and tell me no, but sometimes they are very grateful someone noticed their need. I sure as heck don’t see that much in the younger set. If they won’t help their friends, they sure as heck won’t help a stranger. Although, having said that, I do live in the South, where manners are vital in social behavior. I am not above asking some tall kid to get something off a shelf for me in the grocery or in a store. And I always thank them.

Last weekend, Hal and I took Addie out for breakfast (becoming a tradition for us now that she is old enough). As I was leaving the restaurant, I fell. Hard. I no sooner hit the ground than I had three guys trying to help me up. Poor Hal had his arms full with Addie, and could only stand there. I was so shaken, that had folks not gathered up my glasses and handbag, I probably would have walked off without them. (I broke my right foot, banged up my bad knee, skinned up my forehead and elbow, and felt like a fool for falling.) After thanking them all, I made my way to the truck and managed to climb in. Some how, I don’t see folks jumping to help others in big cities. They all just whip out their cell phones and start taking photos or filming. I guess people are used to viewing life through a screen. And that really bugs me.

So, I am going to write a letter to Xfinity and tell them they would do people a service by showing everyone agreeing to help the guy move. And to be honest that the darned service guy will be there sometime between Monday and Friday between the hours of nine a.m. and four p.m. Because that bugs me too.

Taking A Break


I have recently taken a break from most of my most politically, socially, and emotionally liberal friends. Some of whom, I have known for over forty years. I am not angry with them, I do not hate them, I don’t think of them as less important or valuable as I am, or anyone else for that matter. I am just tired of dealing with people, though I love them, who are so narrow minded, judgmental, and so caught up in their self serving lives that they cannot, or will not, take the time to learn to be truly accepting people. Accepting, that is, of others who do not profess the same agenda, live the same life style, agree with the same issues, and walk, talk, and do just as they do. I am too old to deal with group speak, group mentality, and group non thinking. I miss the individual thinkers that they used to be.

Political correctness has taken over the minds of so many of my brilliant friends. Highly talented, intelligent, and, previously, interesting people to the last one, they have become mind numbed robots of the politically correct, or they have taken a path that allowed them to steep themselves in unending self victimization as an excuse to be angry at everyone not exactly like them. The odd thing is, they profess, profusely, profanely, and with great pontification that they are accepting of everyone. Of course, they don’t say, “As long as they believe exactly as I do.” We see this playing out on the stage of world politics every day. It has, sadly, trickled down into every day life for many people.

I am reminded of the opening scene in the movie, Joe VS The Volcano where hundreds of men and women walk in near lockstep into a factory of some sort. In the center of the concrete slab that is the outdoors, one single flower grows regardless of the fact that it shouldn’t be able to do so. It gets stepped on, ignored, pulled up, but it still managed to grow and make a single bright spot in the middle of the gray concrete. Not one person notices, except for a man who is miserable with his boring, repetitive life. He notices, and that leads to a whole new life of adventure.

Many of my friends of old, have become those boring people who do the same things day after day They only read the socially approved books, watch the popular movies, listen to the music that is most acceptable by their peers, and never, ever, think for themselves. It seems like they have given up on growing intellectually. Why read history, why bother with anything that you can’t find on the Internet with the newest electronic gadget? Just go with the flow, and accept that you are happy just the way you are.

There is one particular person, that we love very much, and always will. He lives in one of the most sophisticated cities in the world. However, at pushing sixty, he has never lived anywhere else other than to attend college. He lives in the family home, and he is doing exactly the same things he was doing at the age of 25. His life is a world more based in fantasy than in reality. Don’t get me wrong, he makes a good living, and is successful in myriad ways, but his entire life outside of work is caught up in fantasy characters and play. Not on line, oh no, in real life. Yeah, he is the guy wearing the clothes that always look like a costume of one sort or another. Last week he was Sherlock Holmes every time he went out the door. He has a vastly busy social life, on and off line. (But seriously, can one really have 2000 “friends:?) He has a successful marriage, to an equally fantastical woman, but I really don’t think he has a friend he can just sit down and talk with – as himself, bumps, warts, and all. He hides behind that personae and crazy, frenetic activity that is his life. Consequently, he sees anyone who is practical and based in reality as someone who is completely out of touch with the ‘right’ way to live. As a liberal person living in a very liberal city, he has abdicated common sense and turned over his thinking to big brother and others who bother with that sort of thing. Go with the flow, man, go with the flow. Even if it does rip away all his rights eventually. That liberal river is one mean mother when she overflows and takes rights away in a flood of laws and regulations.

On the other hand, I have friends who live such supercilious, fake lives that they think they are living in a movie, and they have the staring role. It is all about cars, houses, clothes, money, gizmos, and doodads. The women get hooked on shoes and the men get hooked on, well whatever they can get away with, be it golf or women. They are like one of those French pastries that looks delicious on the outside, but they are all hollow inside. Under all the chatter and silliness, there is a cut throat competition that would make the Hatfield and McCoy feud look like a tea party. Many of the men in this group are business men. It is all about screwing over the competition so they can feel manly. For the women, it is all about looks and having more than the wife, or girlfriend, or lover of their significant other’s competition. I really, don’t get it. These people can look at a diamond and tell you exactly the karat, cut, and value of it in a glance, but mention something like, oh, Benghazi, and they look at you like you just passed gas at a formal dinner party. They know all the trendiest spas, trainers, cars, places, and things, but rarely have an original thought – and if they do, it scares them to death. The women copy each other, the men steal ideas from each other. They bore me to death. Really, I would rather walk on rocks than go shopping all day, (Bookstores are an exception, but I only shop there on my own.) or spend my time trying to out do everyone around me. Too much work, too little return.

Then there are all my LGBT friends. Yes, I have more than a token one or two. You can’t be in my field of employment without knowing many. I have a few, very few, friends in this group who are as conservative as I am, that just get on with their lives. They honestly do not care one bit who anyone sleeps with, loves, or cohabits with. They are who they are, and being LGBT is not a big deal. They are accepted professionally, socially, and politically – and yes, religiously within their group of friends, family, and community. However, sigh, there is the group of friends who are LGBT first and foremost. They are angry, strident, bigoted, and racist toward anyone who does not bow down to the god of rainbow flags and their sacred fight to be “Just Like Everyone Else.” If you do not agree with everything they do, say, and believe, then you are branded as a hater. Ironic, since they are the people hating to begin with. No matter how often I tell them I don’t care who they sleep with as long as I don’t have to be a party to it, they still think I am a homophobe. I have just thrown up my hands and decided they are all insane and need a time out for anger management. Thinking for themselves is anathema to these people. Just get on the band wagon, in the parade, or carry the rainbow flag and scream about how much everyone hates them already. Oy, can we say self fulfilling prophesy? If you treat everyone as if they hate you just because they think or believe differently, they they just may start walking away in droves. OH, and the LGBT group is evenly sprinkled with fairy dust and delusional beliefs in the first two groups as well. Professional victims still, but vacuous victims.

I have a boat load of friends who are living in the fly over country in middle America. The majority are parents, hard workers who know how to enjoy their down time. Some are city dwellers, some live out beyond the back forty. Some love to travel, some won’t leave their home county, let alone their home state. Some are professional people, from judges to teachers and then some. More are blue collar workers of one sort or another, and another bunch are farmers and ranchers. There are a few things they have in common. They believe in Family First, and included in that is the extended family of friends and neighbors. They tend to be religious, not necessarily church going, but religious. They believe in the greatness of the United States (even those in the south who still lament the late Northern Aggression, aka Civil War.) and they stand firmly for the Constitution and values upon which this country was founded. Best of all, they are independent thinkers, and they understand that history repeats itself if humanity doesn’t protect its freedom from tyranny. Most of them have either served in the military or come from a family that has served. They are patriots.

That’s not to say that middle America folks aren’t selfish and self absorbed. They can be, and some are as vain and supercilious as anyone else. But, at the end of the day, they are less focused on themselves, and more focused on the world around them, and the world far away.

There is something so fun about engaging in a debate with thinking people. Even if we are complete opposites on everything, thinking people take the time to listen and think before spouting the current propaganda and talking points of the day. Like me, these good folks don’t give a flip about who you love, sleep with, or how you live – you are defined by your behavior and how you treat others. What they do care about is the individual, not the lemming behavior of the group. Everyone has incredible potential, and the greatest gift everyone has is the ability to learn, think, and make up their own minds about who they are and what they think. I may not agree with the things they do, or how they think, but it is their right, and they know the consequences of their behavior. The great thing, is we can disagree vehemently and still be friends – not thinking any less of each other or throwing about invectives concerning hate.

So, this self imposed distance from my knee jerk, emotional, lock step, group think, self absorbed liberal friends has done two thing. It made me realize that I bought into their arrogant belief that I simply could not be as good as they are because I am an ignorant hick from Oklahoma, and it made me aware that they are so bogus in that arrogance. They may think they are all that, but deep inside there is a huge hole of discontent and fear. Hiding behind pretend personae and victimization isn’t going to improve anyone’s life. Suck it up people, and learn to think for yourselves. Yes, you might lose a few of those so called friends, but if speaking your mind offends them so much, then they aren’t really your friends.

It took me years to realize no one has the right to tell me to sit down and shut up. No one has the right to tell me how to think. And, best of all, that I am intelligent, well educated, caring, accepting, and willing to lend a helping hand or listening ear. I am not perfect, liberal whiners and moaners annoy me and I loathe the political leaders who are trying to destroy our country. But, at least I am honest with myself and others, and I am not afraid to take a stand and state my thoughts on any topic.

So, my distant liberal friends, I recommend that before having a knee jerk emotional response to every little thing in life, take a deep breath, step back, and think before babbling nonsense. If you don’t know the truth, find out. If you don’t understand, learn. If you are afraid, learn to stand firm even in the face of adversity. Because until you do, my dear liberal friends, you will never be truly happy, content, or who were intended to be.

Israel and America


1jewishI am not Jewish, although there are many in my family history. I am a Mormon, and that means, even to the LDS haters, that I am a Christian. HOWEVER, I am pro Israel, and I am appalled at the behavior of the people in political power here in the US. If you have ever needed proof that the man elected president of this great nation is anti Jewish and pro muslim, this might make you reflect a bit on that very FACT.

My opinion is this: The Jewish State of Israel, from it’s resurrection after WWII, has been an American ally, backing us in the UN, and on many other political fields, throughout the years. They took a barren, neglected, filthy area in the Middle East and turned it into a veritable paradise. No one wanted the area called Israel. There were no Palestinians, because there has never been a country called Palestine. The name comes from the Crusaders, whose very purpose was to decimate the Arabs in the region in the name of Christ. It didn’t work out well for the Crusaders.

The land called Israel is the traditional home of those who profess to be of the religion of Israel, son of Abraham. Now I am not a Jewish scholar, so correct me if I am wrong, but in the great diaspora of the Jewish people, they were torn from their homeland and made slaves to others all over the known world. And always, when things were bad in a country, the Jews were blamed, killed, removed, denied rights, and often torn from their families, never to be seen again. This, of course, cumulated in the horrors of the concentration camps of Nazi Germany in WWII. Now, after generations of being torn from their homeland, they are back and rebuilding all that they lost. Or trying to.

Flash forward to now. The allies who traditionally stood behind them. The United States of America, The United Kingdom, and others are no longer making a strong stand in their defense as the Muslim Arabic countries do their best to deny the Jewish people their homeland. Each day there are news articles about the hatred toward Israel and the Jews who live there. Here are a few, just from today, 17 December 2012:
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/did-you-know-about-the-surprising-views-on-israel-of-obamas-likely-pick-for-secretary-of-defense/

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/iranian-state-press-praises-likely-obama-defense-nominee-anti-israel_689884.html

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/radical-jordanian-cleric-warns-israel-allah-willing-first-we-take-damascus-then-tel-aviv/

And the sad fact is that two of those stories show, quite clearly, that the man in the white house does not like the state of Israel or its people.

Now, I have a question. Why, knowing how much the administration dislikes Israel and the Jewish people, did so many of them vote for him, TWICE? This is something I simply cannot understand. It is clear that if he had his way, Israel would simply disappear. So why keep putting him back in office?

So, people, unless you want to see another war in which an entire race of people is killed because of their belief, their hard work, their intelligence, their abilibty to turn a desert into a paradise, their willingness to overcome horrific adversaries to worship as they may, or not, and their deep inner knowledge that Isreal is their HOMELAND, it is time to stand up and support the state of Israel.