Monthly Archives: May 2014

Lottery To Do List

Written in response to and in SOC style.

Like many people, I have a “To Do List” should I ever hit the lottery big time. It’s pretty specific, though I am sure there are many other things that I would also do.

There is a little cemetery I used to spend a lot of time in to think and I made one very important decision that I never regretted while sitting out there pondering my future. While there, thinking and visiting a lost friend’s grave, there was a nearby grave I always noticed. It was for a little boy who died on Christmas Eve many years prior. There were many faded toys surrounding his grave, but no headstone or marker, just a piece of paper in a plastic cover. I am sure by now that paper marker is gone, as that was many many years ago. There were never fresh flowers on his grave, just the same old faded plastic ones – like maybe his family was not close by anymore, or maybe they couldn’t bring themselves to come here, or maybe they had all but forgotten about him. I wrote down that little boy’s name, as well as the date he was born and the date he died. I would love to buy him a headstone. I do not know why I am so compelled to do this, other than I think that little boy deserves one and his parents must not have had the money to afford it. I have spent many occasions thinking about this boy and the circumstances surrounding his death and burial. So buying a headstone for David has been #1 on my list for a while now. Yes, call me crazy . . .

I would love to set up a LARGE independent agency to go around and inspect nursing homes – and I mean really inspect them with surprise visits and all. Enveloped with that is the ability to change legislation governing them. My grandma lived in one for close to a decade and I always hated that. I also hated how it was maintained and how she was cared for. Unfortunately I was unable to get her to move close to me, which I think would’ve made things better, as I am certain nursing homes (and hospitals for that matter) take much better care of the residents/patients who have regular visitors, than those who do not. My grandma lived 650 miles away, so my yearly visits were not enough to make a difference, other than to remind me of where I do not ever want to end up. I would love to be able to ensure senior citizens were treated with the kindness, compassion, respect and dignity they deserve and treated others with throughout their lives.

My mother was homeless for a while and I was not close by to help. During this time, she was also looking for a job. The one thing that was always a struggle was having clean clothes and being cleaned up for job interviews. Kinda hard to get on one’s feet when you don’t have a job and it’s kinda hard to get a job when you look and smell homeless. If I had the money, I would love to set up places in areas with high percentages of homelessness that allow for people to not only wash their clothes for free, but to also shower and shave for free. Most people who are homeless do not want to be, and quite frankly most of us are only months, weeks or days away from being homeless ourselves were it not for the grace of God or great luck, or both depending on how you look at it. No, I am not a socialist or a bleeding heart liberal, but I am painfully aware of how hard it is out there and how quickly things can go to shit.

The decision I made in the cemetery and never regretted was leaving everything I knew and all my friends behind and moving to Arkansas to spend the last year of my father-in-law’s life living with my in-laws in the middle of nowhere in the Ozark Mountains, with no income. We moved there so my husband could finish building his dad’s dream home he had planned to retire in. After his dad died, and the house was finally completed, within five years, his mom sold it. The original plan was to keep that property in our family going forward. Though the price I am sure has gone up considerably, I would make every effort to get the house that Jack built (killed himself to build, or maybe that’s what kept him alive five years after the diagnosis) back into our family name. That is a possession I would truly cherish.

Then I would do the other “normal” shit people who win the lottery do: pay off my bills; move to the mountains – possibly in Colorado, Oregon or Arkansas; replace my 10-year old car; buy a little place in Panama City Beach, Florida, for my beach fix; play Santa Claus to a few family members and friends; and last but not least . . . take the family to Disneyland, of course 🙂 I’m kind of a simple woman like that.

I don’t know, just something I was thinking about . . .

Do you have a list like that?

JSIWTA has 100 awesome followers!!

I have to be honest, lately I have been so busy that I haven’t written much. I have never been exactly what one would call a prolific writer as it is, though I am working on that, as I have plenty to say that I am considering and contemplating – it just moves through my brain quicker than I can get it all down . . . seriously 😉

Today, I checked my stats for the first time in about a week or so, thinking I was getting real close to the 100 follower mark. I was ECSTATIC to learn I have, as of today, reached that auspicious mark, well auspicious in my aspirations anyway! This Thank You is my 25th post. I have had visitors from 34 countries 🙂

I want to thank all of my blog followers, and the readers who find me along their journeys. I appreciate the time you take to read my musings. I am inspired to continue writing when you hit the “Like” and/or “Follow” buttons and I really enjoy when you comment! I hope I have added something to your day.

I started this blog to share my musings (and maybe get people thinking or talking) – an idea I had for a column for decades. I finally got the nerve to do it, though I am currently doing it anonymously – and I have my reasons for that. I haven’t been blogging long, but I have learned much from many of you, as I read as often as I can 🙂

Again – I want to THANK  YOU  ALL from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to cross paths . . . I hope our paths continue to cross and you keep visiting!

Just something I was thinking about  ☮


What Will Happen to the International Space Station?

iss imageThis photo of the International Space Station was snapped by an STS-133 crew member on the space shuttle Discovery on March 7, 2011. Image Credit: NASA

It’s started. Not quite three years since the last shuttle flew, the Russian government has threatened to pull support from the International Space Station (ISS) in 2020. NASA has hoped that the ISS could operate through 2024, possibly even as far out as 2028 – which extends its original lifespan, which I believe was 15-20 years.

The Russian government has also decided to block the U.S. from using Russian NK-33 and RD-180 rockets to launch U.S. military satellites due to the growing tensions between the two resulting from U.S. sanctions in response to the upset in Ukraine, as well as U.S. plans to deny export licenses for high-technology items to Russia.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has decided to really spice things up by saying the U.S. could use a trampoline to get our astronauts to the station. He also implied the Russian Space Agency may continue to utilize the station alone, as the U.S. segment cannot function without the Russian segment, though the Russian segment can function without the U.S. segment. The thrusters on the Russian segment keep the ISS in orbit and at the proper attitude.

NASA issued a statement saying they have not received any formal word from the Russian government regarding this proposed change in space exploration cooperation. The $100 billion space station is the result of the work and cooperation of 15 nations, predominantly the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, and Europe.  I am pretty sure we have covered a pretty huge dent in the costs, in one way or another.

This raises so many questions. Why did President Bush decide to cancel the shuttle program before there was another option in place? Why was this aspect (replacement for the shuttle i.e. human spaceflight) so short-sighted in thought and forward planning? Though the space shuttles were becoming outdated, NASA was in the process of upgrading them. Why does our government continue to cut our space exploration legs out from under us by cutting funding?

Why does our government seem to have a problem with strategic long-term planning support in this area? Often NASA makes plans, gets funding, starts work, and then whichever administration is in power loses patience and interest. I would love to see a complete list of all NASA (and other government) programs that were funded, worked on, and then scrapped, and why they were scrapped.

Asking these questions will not change what has happened, but I think examining some of these disconnects might help going forward. Space and politics aren’t really my thing, but even I am smart enough to understand the implications of the U.S. not having a prominent place and role in manned space exploration.

Well at least the Russians aren’t threatening our seats on the Soyuz just yet. And maybe this is just all bluster on Rogozin’s part. There is still a lot of knowledge to be gained from the space station, not counting the amount of money that has been invested. It only seems right to get as much out of it as possible for all parties involved.

What a way for the greatest engineering achievement ever embarked upon and completed successfully to end. What a way for one of the most auspicious global collaborations in cooperation of shared visions to come to a close.

Just something I was thinking about . . .

Oh Lord ;-) {A little comedy for a change!}

Typically my posts are serious topics, but  needed a break and a little comedy.  Lately, I have been exploring some new music and was introduced to this artist by a friend. I stumbled across this little gem out in YouTubeLand, while listening to some of this guy’s songs. Laughed my ass off!!

Hayes Carll does a great job with the song and personally I really enjoy the timbre of his voice. The video parody is funny as hell! I do hope you enjoy it as much as I do – if you like this kind of music, or this kind of comedy.

I know the subject matter might be considered a bit controversial, but only if you take things too seriously. I am a believer and it doesn’t offend me. It’s “black comedy” kind of reminds me of Jerry Jeff Walker or David Allan Coe. So, if you don’t like them, you probably won’t enjoy this. My  sense of humor can be a bit warped at times 😉

Anyway, just something I was thinking about LOL –  that and freedom of expression ☮