Category Archives: Life

Autumn Leaves – The Politics at Hand


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Sept 21 WordPress Daily Prompt: Autumn Leaves

Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?

I have mentioned that politics do not dominate my landscape per say. But I have to admit, when I read this prompt, I couldn’t help but think of politics and how the mid-term elections are coming up. I have also heard that mid-term elections typically have poor turnouts, which I understand, as I myself have skipped a few over the years.

I have to tell you, I am now making it my business to know who is running and who I am voting for. We have got to start instilling some change in this country, in the way problems/issues/legislative actions are approached and then dispositioned, in the way those who WE elect into office represent us once they are elected, and in the way we are actually represented overall as a whole – a constituency.

This takes a lot of research and a lot of time, but I am dedicated to it. I can’t afford not to – none of us can! Complacency leads to neglect, which leads to contempt – I can promise you, not because I want it to, but because it does.

Regardless of how you vote, and what your ideologies are – you have to ensure you educate yourself and make your voice heard. The “Old Guard” just doesn’t have their hand on the pulse of America, and they certainly aren’t hearing us.

Just something I was thinking about . . . ☮

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Did You Live Today?


Not feeling real serious this week . . . enjoy . . .

Did you live today?? 🙂

 

Just something I was thinking about . . .

[Yeah, still celebrating my birthday just a little – long time girlfriends, Mexican food, and margaritas! Gotta love old friends ❤ ]

Thanks For Letting Me Do It My Way!


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Don’t you hate when people take your picture and you’re talking & they catch you with your mouth open! YES this is me – when I was about 16 or 17 🙂 I remember this girl – though it was a long time ago 😉 If I knew then what I know now – damn I would’ve been an incredibly dangerous woman LMAO!!

Today is my birthday – I am 53. Sometimes I am shocked that I made it this far, and sometimes I can’t believe how fast the time seems to have flown by.  I have learned so much, yet still have so much to learn! Spent the day very low key and spontaneous 🙂 (Nothing earth-shaking yet – still feel it coming though!!!!)

As I am about to end my  “special”day, I was sitting here thinking of all the things I am grateful for – & my WordPress family/community is on that list. I want to thank you all for sharing your time with me – taking the time to read and comment on my assortment of musings!

I so enjoy reading your posts, too – though I am seriously behind this past week for sure! I have read some fabulous thoughts/features/narratives/poems that were inspiring, funny, thoughtful and/or thought-provoking, informational/educational, and everywhere in between. [My Nook and bookshelves have been feeling a bit ignored lately 🙂 ]

I’m getting close to 200 followers, almost doubling over the summer – which has been a pleasant surprise. Thank you all for the great inspiration and motivation you provide! I look forward to continuing writing my way 🙂 And I look forward to your continued visits and comments, and visiting your pages and commenting, as well!

Here’s to the coming year!! ☮

Just something I was thinking about  . . . ❤

A 9/11 Memory


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Today is the 13th anniversary of one of the worst days in American history. I am sure many of us remember where we were and what we were doing that horrific fateful day. I was working at NASA as an education project manager and journalist. I had an interview that day with one of my subject matter experts onsite at 10:30 a.m.

I had just gotten out of the shower, and had walked into the kitchen in my towel to get a glass of water, when I noticed on the television that a plane had flown into one of the Twin Towers. The sound was down on the television, so I couldn’t hear what was going on and just thought there had been an accident. About that time, my phone rang. I answered it, and my sister, almost frantically, asked if I had heard what happened. I explained to her that I had been in the shower, but from what I was looking at, some fool had hit one of the towers. At that point, as I am watching the television, another plane struck the other tower.

“What the hell is going on,” I asked my sister. She is a first grade teacher and was at school, which is why I thought it so odd that she had called me.

“We are being attacked!” she replied, her voice cracking.

“No, we’re not,” I said. “We are not being attacked! No way!!”

She asked me if I was going to work that day. “Yes,” I said, “I’m getting ready to go in and interview this cool scientist.”

I was stunned, as she begged me not to go in. “You can’t go in today! Please stay home!”

“I have to,” I told her. “This guy’s real busy and I have been trying to pin him down for weeks. This is going to be an awesome interview and I’m not going to miss it.”

“You CAN’T go in to work. PLEASE stay home today – NASA could be a target,” at this point she is crying so hard I can barely understand her.  She continues to plead with me to stay home and not go to my place of work.

“Okay, okay. Calm down. Let me get online and see what’s going on. If it’s a true threat, the center will post a message telling employees and contractors not to come in. Let me get dressed and then I’ll check it out and call you back.”

“Okay, we’re on lock-down here, so call me back,” she said as we hung up.

I got off the phone, and got dressed, combing out my hair wondering if we were truly under attack ,and if so what would that mean. I turned the TV up so I could hear it. Back then, my Internet access was dial-up, so I couldn’t be on the phone (no smart phones back then either) and get online.

I got on my computer and signed in via VPN to the local intranet for my NASA center. I didn’t even have to log-in to the internal network when I saw the message that all NASA centers were closing down and would be closed until further notice, and all non-essential employees were instructed to leave.

I called my sister back and assured her I wasn’t going to work, and asked how things were going at school. Some of the teachers were freaking out, and this was starting to make the kids uneasy. They were all doing the best they could to keep things as normal as possible under the circumstances.

I called my husband at work, and he and his co-workers had found a television and were gathered around watching in shock, too. I thought about my child and her safety – but had already heard her school was on lock-down, too – no one in and no one out; so nothing I could do there at this point. (Yes, I must admit, this made me quite uneasy as a mother!)

Okay, now I was in total disbelief and was completely glued to my television. (Actually, as a journalist, by this point I had 3 TV’s on – the 2 with recording capability were set to record different channels.)  I had hoped that this Twin Towers accident was all just being blown out of proportion, but by now the Pentagon had been hit, also.

New York City was completely shut down – all airspace, bridges and tunnels. Then one of the towers collapsed. Then the second tower collapsed. I watched this and was absolutely horrified at the images I was seeing and the knowledge I was now aware of. The fate (and heroic measures) of Flight 93 were now being discovered, as well. [My timeline may be off a little, but I believe this is an accurate one.]

At some point, it was announced that ALL flights in the continental United States airspace were grounded. This had never happened in my lifetime; as a matter of fact this had never happened before in American history. As I sat and watched all of this play out in my living room, I was completely shocked. I was on the phone here and there when people who knew I might be home would call for more info.

I continued to watch all day and late into the night. The United States was on its highest military alert next to ready for nuclear attack. (I believe we were at DEFCON 2.) I woke early the next morning to see the news coverage continuing. It was like this for days (as almost all regular programming on television had been pre-empted), and after about three days, I had to disengage for a bit. That’s when having a large CD and movie collection helps.

I was also about to turn 40 and had a huge party planned, margarita machine rented and all. This had been planned for months. I had no idea if I should still have the party under the circumstances. Though it was planned for 4 days after the attack, I just wasn’t sure I was in a partying mood, of if anyone else would be either.

I discussed it with several family members and friends, and I decided to go ahead and have the party. Looking back on it, I’m so glad i did, as it was obvious people needed something fun to focus on. People needed to laugh and spend time with those they cared about and loved. THIS is what living and life is all about.  The terrorists want us to live in fear – that’s one of their goals. I think I can safely say, as a nation, we do not live in fear, per say – though there is a huge amount of information and data gathering as a result.

My heart went out to all of those involved, those who knew the fear, had a sense of what was coming, those who died just for being there, and those who died trying to save those in the wrong place at the wrong time. This country may be divided on many things, but I think we all feel the same about the events of this day. As a country, we were violated. We were raped. We were maimed. And after the reality of what had happened set in, we were outraged.

[I am sure many who live in other parts of the world wonder about American’s “false sense of security.”  They wonder why we feel we are above being attacked on our own soil. It’s not that we think we are above it all, it’s that except for the American Revolution and our own Civil War this is not part of our experience – particularly anyone alive today; that was not part of our everyday world. It has been mentioned in a few conversations I have had that our location on Earth with the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans separating and buffering us from Europe and Asia and the Middle East, have made us less of a target than many other countries. But if we were attached in land mass, things might very well be different. I don’t know, thoughts for another day, maybe. I have a few thoughts that might be for another day, but not for today.]

Today, on the anniversary of one of the worst days in the history of this country, I am bowing my head in respect, honor, reflection, sorrow, and prayer. I don’t mind telling you, I shed many tears as I wrote this. I can only hope this never happens here again . . .

I wish this kind of violence, murder, intimidation and oppression never happened anywhere, but I know that’s not even a pipe dream . . .

Just something I was thinking about today . . . Peace ☮ ~ ☮ ~ ☮
Just realized this is my 50th blog post!

What Was He Thinking??


Watching the news today – I know, it’s always an experience and often entertaining, and it has been a few days since I’ve watched any because I had to check out for awhile – and as I’m listening, the reporter starts talking about the color of President Obama’s suit at a news conference yesterday. It was tan, or what some would call taupe. Seriously, I’m not shitting you. I saw it, of course you know they had to show it, and it was a nice suit; I saw nothing wrong with it. (I haven’t seen the news conference yet, wasn’t engaged yesterday and have been busy today – but I will find it and watch it.)

Those that know me know I am not a fashion icon by any means, BUT come on people – with all the problems in the world, in our country and in our own lives – does the color of his suit really matter? Am I just an idiot for thinking it doesn’t??

Then one of my Facebook friends commented that some news reporter/commentator went on to chastise saying – after mentioning the suit debacle, of course – that President Obama stated that first he wanted to say something about some revised numbers on the economy, like real Americans cared about that after the beheading of James Foley and ISIS concerns. Then the president went on to say that we don’t have a strategy for ISIS.

Now I am a real American, and for the first time in decades, I have been unemployed for 15 months. I’m living off my retirement money and I have at least 15 years until I can retire. So I do care about the economy. That is most important to me at this moment. Having said that, what we ALL better be concerned about is that we don’t have a strategy to deal with ISIS, and if that’s not bad enough, now the whole world knows. The whole world also knows that those crazy ass Americans are in an uproar about the president’s suit color, not that their military has no plan.

Oh my goodness – as I am writing this, just heard the news reporting the color of Obama’s suit was the top trend on Twitter. That, my friends, is exactly why this country and maybe some other parts of the world are in the shape they are in. Look at the shit the “important people” – the communicators, the decision makers, the money makers/spenders, the policy makers – are focusing on. What the fuck is wrong with you people?!?

Okay – I am so not related to these people, I can tell you  . . .

I’m curious what y’all think about this, too.

Anyway just something I was thinking about it . . . and felt the need to rant about 😉

Some Days I Just Breathe


I’ve been listening to this song lately, probably because right now I am having trouble making sense of so many things – things in my personal life and events and happenings in my own country and in the world at large. I have said this before, the world is a scary place. Most times, life is never easy. People’s thought processes and actions and reactions continue to confound me. Sometimes as I write this blog, it’s not so much to share MY opinions, but to get insight from you, my readers and others I follow, as to how to make sense of it all. Are you as confused (and concerned) as I am?

The racial tensions in Ferguson, Missouri, are troubling. I saw a town meeting today on one of the news channels, and it was pretty apparent, to me anyway, that the governor of Missouri is totally in over his head and has very little control over the situation due to  a lack of trust from his constituents.

The crowd kept asking why the police officer involved, Darren Wilson, hadn’t been arrested yet. I do not know all the details of the Michael Brown shooting, but in all honesty I don’t believe a week is long enough to investigate it, all the while dealing with the protesters and rioting. Just being realistic here.

I know the cops aren’t always the good guys, though I was raised to believe that they were. I also know sometimes kids are ignorant and immature and do stupid and crazy-ass things. I did (not stuff like robbery but still really cocky , thoughtless, careless and stupid stuff) and I am not that person anymore. Unfortunately these days, we can’t be sure if some dumb-ass punk  (AKA young adult or teenager totally not acting in an age-appropriate morally and socially acceptable way) is going to try and kill us when they act stupid.

IF this kid acted towards the cop the way he did toward the store clerk he robbed, I can understand why the outcome was what it was. In all honesty, if that was my store and I had a concealed handgun license, I might have shot him myself when he doubled back and came back into the store rushing me, after pushing past me to get out and make a run for it. Pretty sure as big as he was and as small as I am, I would have felt threatened. Shit, what is wrong with kids today?

They are doing a second independent autopsy to confirm the findings. I am sure that is going to answer a few questions. {Man I love science!} Then again maybe not. They’re also continuing to investigate the robbery. I hope they do an honest and thorough investigation of this entire case. I hope the people of Ferguson can find some closure soon.

A curfew was to begin tonight – just checked the news, and it is not going well. Protesters and others are not getting off the streets and looting is going on. Peacefully protesting I understand, looting, definitely NOT. I can only say, with the way the situation continues to escalate, I hope no one else gets killed.

ISIS – now I do not even know where to begin with these radical killing machines. Their ideology and attitudes and mind-set are beyond me. I certainly comprehend it, but for the life of me, can’t understand it. My husband and I watched some 30 minute piece CNN ran with a reporter embedded on the mountain with the Yazidis, flying in on a supply drop helicopter. It was truly horrific what these people are going through, AND we didn’t see any of the really bad stuff – but I can just imagine . . .

What is going on over there has to be stopped. I don’t know what they need to do, or even actually WHO “they” are. But collectively, all of these leaders have got to get on the same page against ISIS and figure out how to take them out. Warring between themselves is bad enough, but this is a whole new enemy. And I know this sounds really bad, but between everyone involved, they ought to be able to figure out a resolution. I’ve said this before, when Syria, Iran, and Iraq are asking for us to help them, it’s some bad shit.

I’ve already talked about Ebola and it’s getting worse.

In light of all that, I got my own stuff nipping at my heals, too. Some days are longer than others. Music (though I can’t play it – or sing it 😉 ) is a staple in my life – kind of like breathing. On that note – yeah pun intended – I like to start my day with this one . . . here’s to you . . . with blessings from above . . .

Just something I was thinking about . . . ☮

Who Would You Choose?


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If I was given this luxury or gift of spending an hour sitting with anyone from the past or the present, it would be a difficult choice to make. I have a few that come to mind:

My Mom – I would apologize for all the times that I was such a bitch! Seriously!! I wasn’t a bad daughter per say, but I was a rebellious (to say the least) teenager and a hard ass as an adult. Now that I am older, I can appreciate a few of the situations she found herself in and why she struggled the way she did. I can also appreciate and understand the bond and love you feel with your children, especially your first. I don’t think most human beings really understand this until they have become a parent – truly. I know I didn’t. I would want her to tell me all about Heaven.

My Brother – Though I am the oldest sibling, my oldest brother died when I was five. He was 3 ½ years old. Things were said like pneumonia, crib death, and other things, but who really knows. Did he know I loved him? (I was told that I was so good with him and sweet, but did he realize it?) I would want to ask him what Heaven is like in his eyes, because I know if there is one, he is surely there!!  I’d want him to know even after all these years, though I don’t recall much, I have never forgotten about him. HE was my first real friend, and after watching my granddaughters together – I just know he and I were close like that.

My Papa – My grandpa died when I was 14. He had a massive heart attack in his 50s. I didn’t get a whole lot of time with him, but I got enough. I would want him to know that even after all these years, he was one of a few good men I was able to look up to and respect. He was one of the only men I ever trusted completely. I would tell him the lessons I learned from him were lifelong. I still think of him so often even now. They say some girls marry a guy just like their daddy, well I certainly didn’t – but I’m pretty sure I married a guy a lot like my Papa 🙂

My Father-in-law – I would gladly insist my husband take my place and spend that time with his dad and get those last words they needed. The one day he rallied to say goodbye to everyone was the one day out of three and half-weeks that we did not make the 3.5 hour drive one way to the hospital. The next day, we showed up early in the morning, but he was out of it again. He died a week later. We missed our opportunity to say goodbye – most importantly, my husband missed his opportunity. I would love it if they had that time together.

My younger self – I have so much advice, especially in hindsight. There’s a few habits I wouldn’t have picked up, and a few others I would’ve. I would have saved so much more money, had I only known what the future held. I wouldn’t have taken a few things so personally. I would’ve handled a few keys thing very differently, which would have changed the course of my life in some aspects, I believe, for the better.

This is a tough decision, so good thing it’s not for real! If you had this luxury or gift, who would you choose? It’s an interesting train of thought, for sure.

Anyway, just something I was thinking about . . .

http://misslouella.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/just-jot-it-july/ 

Catching Up On a Few Things


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Baby owls in my tree – look closely, there are 5 sets of eyes!

The world really freaks me out – I mean like frightens me, especially for my kids and grandbabies. I heard that North Korea is really incensed about some movie scheduled to come out in October, with Seth Rogen and James Franco. It’s called “The Interview.” The movie is about a plot to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un. He is pissed and feeling completely disrespected and has said if this movie is released it will be considered an “act of war that we will never tolerate.” Seriously, we are going to have a war with North Korea over a movie . . .

This is from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28014069:

The North Korea [foreign ministry] spokesman was quoted by the state KCNA news agency as saying: “Making and releasing a movie on a plot to hurt our top-level leadership is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated.”

He added that the “reckless US provocative insanity” of mobilising a “gangster filmmaker” to challenge the North’s leadership was triggering “a gust of hatred and rage” among North Korean people and soldiers.

“If the US administration allows and defends the showing of the film, a merciless counter-measure will be taken,” the spokesman was quoted as saying.

What can you say about that? I certainly believe in free speech, but at what cost? Is this particular movie and article of free speech worth poking this crazy frickin’ bear? What do you think?

And then I heard Iran, Iraq, and Syria want help from the U.S. in the form of air strikes to help them fight against ISIS. The world just keeps getting stranger. Not sure what I think about the request – could be advantageous later, but then again, it seems whenever we get involved in this type of conflict, especially in that part of the world,  those we go to help seem to turn on us later. I don’t know, I just can’t help but think if we ever have another civil war here, the United States would not tolerate any other country stepping in, in any way, shape, or form. I understand about needing a peacekeeper/peacemaker/mediator sometimes, but who appointed the U.S. government in that role?

They still haven’t found the plane and I am beginning to think they never will. I don’t know, maybe aliens did snatch that baby right up, or maybe Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went through an area like the Bermuda Triangle. I remember growing up, we all talked about the Bermuda Triangle and whether it was weather-related, pirate-related, alien-related, or a series of coincidences  – we weren’t savvy enough at the time to think any government might be involved. Now that I am older and with the advent of cable TV and the Internet, I don’t hear much about the infamous triangle anymore. Maybe it’s lost its appeal, with everybody paying attention to Lindsey Lohan, Justin Bieber, that icy blue-eyed criminal and zombies and other useless kind of stuff.

Speaking of that icy blue-eyed criminal  – his mugshot finally hit over 100,000 likes on the Stockton Police Dept.’s Facebook page. The noise on him has definitely quieted down a bit. I can tell you some of the comments are on that page are just stranger than fiction. REALLY!

Russia has hinted they may pull out of the International Space Station (ISS) in 2020, as opposed to getting the full life out of it, manning it until 2024 or 2028. They want to re-allocate Russian ISS funding to work on projects with China and India. It sounds like Russia wants a piece of the moon, if you ask me. Anyone paying attention to NASA lately had to have seen that one coming . . . I did. I see lots more to come on that regard, and I can promise it will be interesting to say the least. NASA has high hopes the amicable international partnership of the ISS will continue. I hope they are right.

There’s a new Planet of the Apes movie coming out – that just scares the shit out of me . . . really LOL!! Like the world isn’t a scary enough place, without thinking about apes being in control 😉

On a joyful note, I did find out there are at least five owl babies!! I don’t believe the nest is in my fig tree, but is in in one the trees in that little corner thicket, maybe in one of the cedar trees. Haven’t seen them in over a week now, so maybe they got big enough to fly away. Sure hope they come back next year!

Just some things I was thinking about . . .

Abortion and the Story of Becky Bell


I was replying to a comment from one of my wonderful readers today, and it made me think of a show I watched on TV many years ago in the 1990s. The series was called HBO Lifestories: Families in Crisis. These shows dealt with pressing issues in society involving kids, families, and communities. They were all based on true stories, with the real people involved interviewed at the end. I’m pretty sure I saw them all, but the one that hit me the hardest and I never forgot was “Public Law 106: The Becky Bell Story.”

Becky Bell was a senior in high school. She and her boyfriend, also a senior, were both good kids and both had earned scholarships to college. They came from good families, volunteered in their community, loved their parents, and loved each other. Naturally, as human beings do, they expressed their love for each other in many ways, including having sex.

Becky finds herself pregnant, though they had taken precautions. She and her boyfriend (I’m sorry, but I do not remember his name, but not because I did not find him important in the story) discuss what in the world they should do. Becky was close to turning 18, in just a matter of weeks, if I recall. Her boyfriend was already 18.

They loved each other and were planning on getting married, but they knew not only would this unplanned pregnancy possibly derail their college plans, but worse, what were their parents going to think. They discuss how disappointed their parents would be with their decision not to wait to have sex, as well as the fact that now a pregnancy has resulted and all their future dreams for their children changed. They decide, though they love each other, they cannot destroy their parents with this news – they cannot risk their parents’ disappointment, and loss of trust, respect, and love.

They decide a secret abortion is the way they must handle this. Though they are adults in some respects, they are also still just kids, trying to find their way, lacking experience and the skills to understand the consequences of their actions. Because Becky is not yet 18, and due to Indiana’s Public Law 106, she must either have her parent’s consent or get a judge’s permission. Again, telling her parents, in her mind, would be so devastating that she had to figure out how to do this without them knowing. The judge would not grant her permission, insisting Becky speak with her parents. Becky & her boyfriend decide there is no way on earth they can tell their parents.

Becky can ask to see another judge, but since time is of the essence, it would take too long to get on another docket. She heard about a place that did them illegally, across the state line if I recall. Regardless, she takes a bus several hours away to have the procedure, and then takes the bus back to where she parked her car. Once she returns home, she is obviously not well, running a fever.

The next day, she is still quite ill, yet tells her mother there is no need to go to the doctor, she just has the flu or something. At one point she gets up to go the bathroom, and there is blood all over her bed. Not knowing any better, she thinks she is having her period, so a doctor would not know she had been pregnant.

As she gets out of bed, and staggers to the bathroom door, she shouts, “Ok, mom, I’ll go to the doctor, if you want.” Then she collapses on the floor. Her parents find her, she is rushed to the hospital, where she subsequently DIES. A beautiful, smart, caring, loving young woman with great promise loses her life. This family loses their daughter, and I am sure felt full of blame, as well as the young man who was in love with her.

As I am watching this, my four-year-old daughter is playing within eyeshot. As I look at her, I think – This could’ve been me. This could’ve been any of my friends. This could be my daughter someday. On that thought, I cried as if I knew Becky Bell personally. I’m sorry, but to me it was personal. The thought of anyone losing their daughter this way was soul-wrenchingly horrifying to me.

Should Becky have talked to her parents – yes certainly she should have. BUT she didn’t. Should she have been having sex as a teenager in high school – probably not, but do you actually remember what it was like to be a teenager? Right wrong good bad – they do it – it’s human nature.  Should she have died for these mistakes, poor decisions, and short-comings? Absolutely not!!

I am not trying to change your mind about your beliefs, just hoping you realize women who find themselves in positions where they feel this is the only choice they can make at the time for whatever reason – these women are not murderers, nor are they happy or thrilled, or remotely proud or comfortable with their decisions. They do, however, feel that they are backed into a corner with no other solution – desperate. EVEN if there was a better solution, they didn’t see it at the time! Have we not all been short-sighted at some point in time?

Do I agree with them – maybe not. But I will not call them sinners.

I am not perfect, and I can be on occasion judgmental – but I am not God and it is not my job to approve of or forgive these women for what many call a sin. This is why I am pro-choice. This is why I do not think middle-aged men in suits should make healthcare and life-changing decisions for women, particularly women they do not know.

Walk a mile in their shoes first – and let thee who has not sinned cast that first stone.

They are all somebody’s daughters.

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