Come Christmas Time


I am one of the odd ducks that happens to be fully ambidextrous and, according to all the tests I took in college, I have a brain that is exactly balanced between the right and left sides of the brain. What this means, actually, is I spend more time figuring out which hand to use to do what task, and I argue with myself on almost every single issue.

Emotions in public embarrass me, so that makes logic a good choice, except emotional people think I am cold and unfeeling because I give a logical response. If others get emotional, with good reason, I have empathy for them, but I probably won’t join them in a crying jag, hysteria, or temper tantrum. On the other hand, or side, I get hurt and angry, and I am capable of having a tantrum, I just usually turn to sarcasm, facts, and downright snobby rhetoric to let others know how upset I am.

The biggest battle I face with myself, is admitting that I am such a softie when it comes to anything to do with children, my family, my country, my religion. I can be brought to tears just hearing the National Anthem, and nothing gets to me like seeing a flag flying against the sky. Only years of self control has kept me from breaking out singing God Bless America at a flag raising. See, Embarrassing.

I love my family. I have the most wonderful children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and all the steps and add on family that comes with them. I have a husband of 45 years who has grown old with me that I love in more ways than I can say. I am deeply proud of all of them, even the one that has gone on before us brings me pride and joy. I admit, blushing, that when I see them do something that brings them joy, I have to fight tearing up. After all, they don’t want to see an old, weepy lady sobbing all over them. So I have learned to suck up the tears and smile with pride, and enjoy their achievements. Holding a grandchild for the first time is magical, sacred, and fulfilling in a way only a parent can understand. It is a continuation of all that we are. But, I never cry, nor do I laugh out loud, the logic side keeps me under control enough to be excited, but calm. None of that means I don’t feel emotion, I am just more comfortable with keeping it close and personal.

Music brings me to deep emotions, especially music that speaks to my religious being. My country and all that it was founded on is as much a part of me as my name. That patriotic belief comes from my ancestors who both founded the United States, and those that were here to meet the ships as they came in.

So, as I sit here with my fifty-fifty brain, we are once again embarking on Christmas and all it means to me. I secretly LOVE Christmas. I start planning gifts and decorations in mid-summer, and can hardly wait until Thanksgiving is over to begin my Christmas plans. I love the bright lights, glittery decorations, brightly wrapped packages, Christmas trees, baking, and all that goes into it the family traditions that our melded family celebrates. It makes me HAPPY!

On the emotional side, I love the deeply religious meaning of this time of year. The sacred music, the beautiful story of the birth of Christ, the amazing story of Mary, mother of the Savior, and the abiding love of Joseph for both of them makes me feel filled with love and understanding for all other mothers and fathers. Though our struggles may be different, we, as parents, have same love for our children.

This is the one time of the year I tell my logical side to zip it and take a holiday. Oh, I allow it control when it comes to things like planning how much I need of what to get things done, and I allow it free reign with finding the best deals for gifts, but otherwise, it stays out of things. This is the time of year I can cry, laugh, and rejoice without feeling embarrassed, or out of control.

Yep, being one of those few that struggle with an ambidextrous brain and body, is not easy. But come Christmas time, only one side is in control. God Bless You One and All, may your dreams come true, and may you rejoice in all the love of Christmas and all it means.

Insanity in Florida June 12, 2016


So, once again a prediction I made several years ago has happened. It was only a matter of time before gay hating Muslim terrorists decided to make an example of them to the rest of the world. Apparently, a proud moment for the backward third world creeps who hate everyone from women to gays to anyone who doesn’t bow down to their insanity. I can’t even drum up enough mad to be outraged, it was just a matter of time.
 
The people in this country KNOW we are hated, we KNOW that we are targets, we KNOW that killing us means that they get to heaven. They LIVE the assassin creed founded over two thousand years ago in the middle east and do NOT expect to live, to do so would be failure.
 
Yet, the club filled with rainbow people is NOT guarded by someone with a weapon, and no one inside was allowed to carry a weapon (I mean a gun people, not drugs, booze, or mind bending substances), so this indoctrinated, hate filled, evil person walked right in and started killing. He was out numbered, but no one even THOUGHT to try to gang up on him and stop him. They just saw a gun and some crazy guy shouting in Arabic, and ran screaming.
 
All it would have taken is one guy with a gun, a group willing to attack him from behind, someone smacking him over the head with a bottle of whiskey… a chair… or knifing him with a pocket knife.
 
ONE person could have stopped this madness, but now, instead, all those families and loved ones of the deceased will mourn, and all those who are injured will have months, years, even life to deal with the results of this act.
 
ONE person did this, ONE person could have stopped him. Just ONE.

Stop Saying That!


I was sitting in a café having breakfast this morning when a gaggle of 20ish to 40ish women came in and sat down at the table behind me. They were talking loud and being a bit obnoxious, but I tried to ignore them and read my book while eating breakfast. Soon, however, it became impossible to concentrate because they were talking over each other, squealing, and generally trying to out talk each other. One phrase kept coming up, over and over and over…. “Oh My G-d.” It was used so often I actually started counting the number of times I heard it. In a 25 minute stretch, it was said 44 times by different females, with different vocal expressions. It was used to convey everything from awe to anger, to agreement, to disappointment. It was, quite frankly, annoying beyond words.

I guess that three word phrase is today’s equivalent of earlier generations catch words such as like, you know, just too…whatever. And it is designed to make whomever utters it sound like some empty headed wannabe (another catch word) who has no idea how to make a cogent remark of exclamation.

However, the reason this constant utterance of Oh my G-d bothers me so much is that it seems, well, offensive to those who are Christians. I was taught that to use the word G-d in casual language, or even more so, as part of a swear word, was highly offensive to the Divine. When one calls His name, one is asking for His attention. We say in in reverence and supplication in prayer, we say it in times of dire need for direction or help, we call upon Him in rejoicing and thanks, but we do not simply use His name as an expletive or common exclamation of surprise or shock.

I always remember the prayer of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane when he calls out in spiritual agony, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46, KJV) That is the standard of emotional being that would result in the need to cry out to the Father in such a way. Not just because someone has spoken about a juicy bit of gossip, and everyone responds with equally juicy surprise and avid curiosity for the speaker to tell more.

I recently had an bit of a verbal discussion with a woman who was allowing her children to jump off a retaining wall into a very busy car park. At least I thought she was allowing it. She had her face buried in her phone text messaging. Three other adults asked the children not to jump off the wall because they could get hurt as there was so much traffic. Finally, after the children ignored everyone, I asked where their mother was. They pointed her out. I walked over and told her that her children were in danger of being hit by cars since they kept jumping into traffic, and if she didn’t get off her damned phone, I was going to call the police and let them sort her out. She looked up at me in surprise and said it was none of my business what her children did. I told her it certainly was if I ran over one of them when they ran out in front of me. I calmly started to dial the emergency number, but before I hit send, she screamed, Oh My G-d, what the hell are you doing? I told her, I don’t know what He is doing other than keeping your kids alive, because you are too busy playing on your phone to pay attention to your children. I, however, am trying to get you to be a responsible mother. Then she upped the ante with Oh my F-ing G-d. I responded with the comment that the as far as I knew sex had nothing to do with the conception of Jesus Christ, and the Divine probably wouldn’t have sex with her no matter how much she begged. She threw her hands in the air and stomped off to her car, only remembering to call her children when she was half way there. When I passed her car, she was still texting. And probably using the OMG comment every two seconds. Some times sarcasm is just too intelligent for people to understand.

My point, however, is this. There are many of us who find the causal used of the name of the Divine in common vernacular, to be offensive and rude. Please, just stop and find a better way of expressing yourselves. To me it is just as offensive as being called the N word is to black people. Remember, when you use the word G-d you are asking for the attention of the Father. And if you add the word damn to the first word, you are asking Him to bring damnation down on someone. He probably won’t, but asking him to might bring you more attention that you would care for when you get to the other side. I don’t know about you, but taking on a deity is not my idea of smart.

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.

On Gun Control, Sorry for the Rough Language.


My friend said this: Having said that, NOW, let me be blunt… any fuckwitted, violence-addicted, gun-idolizing moron, who thinks the reason 20 five year olds were gunned down is that there weren’t enough guns in the school, or that the solution to gun violence is more guns, please feel free to un-friend me now. I am appalled by your ignorance, and disgusted by your brutality. You are not the kind of friend anyone needs.

I SAID THIS: My apologies for the rough language.
Fine D***** if that is what you think of people who want to propect themselves from killers. MY SON WAS MURDERED, D****. And by all that is Holy I WILL CARRY a gun to protect myself and those I love. I am NOT fuckwitted, I am NOT addicted to violence, and I do NOT idolize guns. They are a tool, nothing more. I am not ignorant, and I am not brutal. I am a MOTHER who lost her eldest son because someone ELSE decided to take his life and the life of his best friend. WHY? Just because, according to him, he wanted to see what it felt like to kill someone.

Until all you people out there who hate the gun and not the killer, walk a day in MY SORROW first, DO NOT JUDGE ME! GO look at your child lying on a slab in a morgue and identify him while he has a hole in his head and is covered in blood. Go pick out a casket for a TWENTY ONE YEAR OLD son who has a one year old baby at home. ATTEND his funeral and watch them place YOUR FIRST BORN into a grave and cover it with cold red clay from the ground of Oklahoma. THEN tell me I am a voilent loving, gun monger because I BLAME the KILLER and NOT the gun! God Damn it all, grow the hell up and see the TRUTH for once.

I get so sick of the whiners and moaners out there who don’t know one damned thing about how it feels to know that you COULD NOT PROTECT your child from some mad man who kills for not reason other than the selfish need to kill. So FUCK YOU D****! for once put aside your crap politics and see the TRUTH. I am SO pissed that someone who calls themselves a paster would be so damned willing to jump on the BLAME the gun and gun owners wagon and be totatally without compassion and understanding. The goddamned gun didn’t kill those kids, it was a fucking tool used by a crazy person to kill them.

Taking away our guns will NOT MAKE THE world safer. A crazy man in China wounded over 20 kids over there in a school today. Killiers will find a way to kill, no matter the weapon they choose to use. For God’s sake D****, and all her idiotic knee jerk friends, KILLERS KILL, not the damned tool they choose to use. Talk toa a parent or loved one of a woman who was raped and stabbed to death before you get so damned holier than thou over something so damned horrific and painful. THEIR daughter is still dead, no matter the weapon.

THIS IS NOT POLITICAL, it is PERSONAL to very single one of those parents of those little kids. So screw you D**** and YOUR DAMNED IGNORANCE AND POLITICS because you don’t know one damned thing about sorrow and loss of a child. Unfriend me if you want, I don’t give a damn right now. My heart is to filled with sorrow and tears for those poor people and those tiny kids that now rest in God’s arms.

Possibilities


Do I think too much? I often wonder if I make life harder than it should be. Do I engage my brain instead of listening to my heart and spirit? Do I simply exist instead of living life fully? Am I letting stereotypical expectations of what I should be and how I should act stop me from being true to myself?

There are a number of pithy little sayings floating about in the ether of the internet or self help books that I could apply to my feelings to create a feel good factor, but how many of them really make any difference in the long run?

I guess we all need to stop and do an internal check to make sure we are staying on the right course. Allowing ourselves to buy into the popular ala carte culture of self analysis is the easy way out of negative feelings. However, if we don’t delve a bit deeper than surface feelings, we are wasting time. None of the quick fixes out there will last beyond the next critical meltdown in our lives.

Oh, I don’t mean we need to run out and spend thousands of dollars sitting in some analysts office talking about how rotten our childhood was and how our relationship with our mother was horrific. If that makes you feel better, go for it, but I am talking about is taking the time to get to know what we really want in life and why we aren’t doing something about it. I am talking about taking the time to really learn what we feel about our lives, and to know our spiritual beliefs and needs are fulfilled.

As I age, I have less patience for people who constantly look for reasons to be unhappy and unfulfilled. I want to throw my hands up and shout, “For heaven’s sake, get off your duff and out of your pity puddle and DO something about your problems.” Inaction is no excuse for failure to thrive. We can always play the unending blame game rather than change what needs to be changed in our lives so we can flourish. It takes courage and determination to actually take steps to transform our lives. If you don’t like what you live, then alter, amend, modify, convert, exchange, or replace the things about your life you don’t like with things that you want or dream of doing. As long as you are inactive or a non-participant in your personal growth and dreams, you will never achieve happiness. Learning to be proactive in all areas of your life will give you the ability to attain all that you desire.

I recently had a conversation with my husband about how fast life has gone by. It seems that just yesterday I was a mother of two young boys, and now I am the mother of grown men and a grandmother. The years just whizzed by without my noticing; it was shocking for me in a number of ways. He pointed out that if I broke down the years, I would be amazed at all I had done, almost without noticing. He was right, and I really had no reason to be feeling sorry for myself. I had accomplished a great deal in my life, and in doing so, became the person I am today. Bumps, warts, and all, life experience has helped to make me who I am, along with all the spiritual moments that strengthened me.

We can’t go back and redo the past. It is over, to paraphrase a song by Brooks and Dunn, “[Life] is like the Mississippi, when she’s gone she’s gone.” It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking “if only” we had done things differently or made a different decision our lives would be better, and we would feel happier. Nonsense, what is, is and cannot be changed just because we wish it so. We live with what we have earned through our life experiences. I can’t make any difference in my life if I spend all my time thinking ‘if only’ about the past. What I can do is move on from this instant, right now. I can mend relationships, ask for forgiveness, and try to make restitution for the hurts I have caused, but I cannot take back what I have done and relive the past. Despite what all the science fiction stories tell us, time travel is still just a fantasy.

We could waste time beating ourselves up over our mistakes, after all, misery loves to propagate and the best way to do that is to use our guilt or frustration as fertilizer. All we will end up with is a patch of weedy discontent. If, however, we have the courage to pull all those weeds of discontent and replace them with the ability to bloom in a garden of possibilities, we can enjoy our lives.

At one point, I was a young mother, and you know, those days were so full of things to do, teaching moments, and work, I didn’t know how fast the years were going. I didn’t have time to sit around and feel sorry for myself back then. I had two little boys who were busy and growing, and I needed to be there to support that growth emotionally, educationally, and physically. I was the home room mother, Cub Scout Leader, and Sunday School Teacher. I squelched through mud and muck finding ‘treasures’ for their nature project, stood knee deep in a pond teaching them how to fish, stayed up late helping them learn to saw, nail, and glue together Cub Scout Derby cars, and had more than one battle over math homework. It was what moms did without question or thought; it was simply part of the job.

As they grew, I taught them how drive a car, work hard on a job, hygiene, and dating manners. I struggled with them through their final exams and yelled about homework more than once, and I was still there for them when they came home after curfew and ended up grounded. I learned to let go and let them make their own mistakes, and to make them be responsible for cleaning up the mess they had made with those mistakes. And, I had more time to think, and to do things for myself. I was so lost I finally went back to school to have something to do when my nest was empty. And, I started the downward spiral into feeling sorry for myself because I was no longer needed so much.

I wasted a lot of time feeling sorry for myself, until I had an epiphany one day. I realized that no one was going to feel sorry for me but me. Sympathy was not forthcoming from anyone, and not one single person was willing to join me in my pity puddle. I sat in it so long I was getting pruney and soggy. No amount of whining or moaning made any difference, except encourage people to move further away from me as fast as they could without making a scene. So, without a real plan, I just stood up and walked away from that pity puddle and began to find a way to overcome self pity and my patch of weedy discontent.

The how isn’t all that important, because it will be different for each of us. What is important is that we take the step to over come what ever it is that is keeping us from being joyful and content in our lives. Not every day will we be able to overcome the discontent in life; we have too many issues in our lives for that to happen, but with practice and dedicated attempts, each of us can have joy and contentment more often than not. For me, the most important step I made was to consciously decide that I was going to be a feisty old lady someday, and to do that I needed to practice being spirited and determined. I had to stop allowing my inner fear of making a fool of myself stop me from trying new things and learning new ways of doing old things. I had to learn to speak up and state my mind. And, I had to learn to be willing to be wrong now and then.

The second most important thing I had to do was find something to be passionate about. My passion was teaching and through that writing. For someone else that passion could become politics, women’s issues, health food, diet and exercise, learning to sing, or learning to paint. The choices are endless. What ever it is that you choose, make sure it is something to which you want to dedicate your time and energy. And, if you find it wasn’t your cup of tea after all, then admit it and move on to something else. I started out thinking I would love to teach high school, something I quickly learned was not for me, so I switched mid-stream and decided to teach at a university level. That passion I had for teaching finally manifested itself in tutoring women who were learning to speak, read, and write English as a second language while we lived abroad. My point is, without something in our lives that we can be passionate about, we have no direction for our energy. We cannot be joyfully engaged in life if we don’t have something to be joyful about.

So that leads me back to my original question, do I think too much? Am I searching for a quick fix, or am I really engaged in life to the fullest? Am I still waiting to be rescued, or am I really out there making choices and mistakes as I give every adventure a chance to enhance my life? Life has changed for me in the past few years as my health has become an issue. I don’t teach any longer, and now I need a new passion. I guess its back to practicing to be a feisty old lady, after all, someone needs to help set a good example for the next generation of up and coming feisty old ladies. Why not me? I guess I had better go and explore my garden of possibilities.

Serendipitous Day


This was written just before Easter in 2003 when we lived in Karori, New Zealand, a suburb of Wellington.

Today was one of those days when the normal turns serendipitous without notice. I got up and decided today would be a good day to walk into Wellington to get the things I needed for Crystal’s Easter Basket. It is about an hour’s walk if I don’t get in a big hurry. When I got to the Botanical Gardens, about half way there, I sat down on a bench to rest for a minute. I don’t usually do that, but today I simply felt a need to sit down.

As I was sitting there, an elderly man came along at a good pace. As he passed me, he said good morning, and I responded the same. He stopped and asked me if I was from America. We began to chat about where he had visited in the US and general information that two strangers usually exchange. He sat down and that is where things shifted to serendipity.

We began by talking about the beauty of the gardens, then that shifted to gardening in general, and before I knew it, we were talking about the magical wonders of creation. One topic led to another and we wandered through comparative religion, the occult, historical fact versus fiction or oral misinterpretation of the Holy Bible. Then we went back to the topic of astrology and the modern day fascination people seem to have with things like earth worship and the odd factions of fanatics who can ruin an entire religious concept by being over zealous and pushy. We talked about the differences and similarities between many religions and we discussed our own spiritual paths.

During the discussions things came up that we used to illustrate our personal growth. I may have lost my son to a murderer, but John lost his wife to one, and the killer was his own son. Oh, the horror of that! John said that was when he began to search for a spiritual balance and meaning in his life. Because he loves his wife so much, he knew that she could not be dead. We talked about the spiritual visits some people have and how powerful dreams can be in our lives. We discussed how people have to find the right path for themselves and the first step is to begin searching.

During our talk, we found out that his friend’s daughter is in my granddaughter’s class at school, and they play together a lot. We found out that we know some of the same people involved in different things that we do, and he said he had a lot of respect for the Mormons because of all they did to help people find their roots with our genealogy programs.

But the best part of the talk was when we were discussing what different religions believe. We agreed it came down to several concrete things that seem to be innate to the human spirit.

1. Less is more. The less we have of material things, the more we learn to depend on God for help.

2. To accept others who believe differently means we must have an honestly open mind.

3. In all religions, it all boils down to this: If we give, we get much more in return. One must learn to give of self to gain spiritual enlightenment or growth. In all religions, that one precept seems to come through more than anything else. In sacrifice we learn humility and compassion.

We had a spirited discussion on the impact the Old Testament has on the New Testament and Christian patterns of belief. Then we had a discussion about my beliefs and how I came to that through the experiences of my life. We talked about how neither of us believes in coincidence. We called it-planned coincidence, because everything happens for a reason. I never sit on a bench when I walk into Wellington. He usually doesn’t cut through the gardens on his way either. Usually he doesn’t do more than say good morning, and I rarely talk to strange men other than to respond to a greeting. I guess we were meant to meet. He called it fate.

It was a wonderful, serendipitous morning that required me to think, laugh, talk about things that I often ponder, and share my inner most feeling about God. As we parted ways, he shook my hand and said that he hoped one day he would have the spiritual strength and balance that I possess. What a great compliment to get from someone I’ve only known a few hours.

I don’t know that we will ever meet again, but today was meant to be and I feel wonderful. My brain got a workout, my spirit got a boost, and I laughed a great deal. John is 72 years old, fit, agile in mind and body, and he is finding his spiritual maturity a very interesting path indeed. I am so glad I got to be a part of his journey.