Monday, October 6, 2014

Powerful Story & I Wish I could trade places.

Okay truth be known, this woman could really use my entire body.......even though it is quite a bit older--she would put it to good use and make sure that it got plenty of exercise.  How about she gets to continue to live like she wants and I just disappear?

Woman with brain cancer is going to choose her day to die.

I hate that she doesn't want to die and is going to choose to do so on her own terms.  I applaud the state of Oregon which has given her permission to die when she chooses.  She doesn't want to go down in history as having committed suicide and I don't blame her. 

You know, we euthanize our dogs/cats when they can no longer be cared for appropriately due to health issues that we have no power over.  Humans need the same respect and consideration.  I am all for her having the choice to do so but I wish I could give her the parts of me that she needs to survive and take her place.  I am so done with life myself. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

If you've ever worn the SOFT brand shoes, this is a steal.

I like  They tend to carry things that you often can't find online elsewhere.  If you decide to give them  a try, please use the following link as it earns me a $15.00 credit toward my future purchases.|1409033538998The link to Soft Shoes on the Zulily site.   

and if you would like to help me earn a credit by purchasing anything from this website, please use the following link.

The Forgotten Griever

I am not eloquent enough to have written this.  It sounds like it is from a mother who lost her child and is writing about what happens to children through what she has witnessed in her children's lives and maybe from a perspective that I don't even quite understand.  I read it and understood her words completely the first time as if she were a child.  This is a perspective not often understood so I want to pass it along because there are many siblings who lost their brother or sister in childhood.  The grieving part never goes away in my estimation--what comes to you in this kind of grief as a child is rarely talked about and so very little understood.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The pain of Endurance.....HARDCORE TRUTH

One of my cousins posted the following to her Facebook page August 7, 2014.  The excerpt from her notes came from Neal A. Maxwell and she has quoted her source accordingly.

Warning: Graphic Horrible Info:

But, before I post this information I have a bit to say about it.  There have been many people in this world who's suffering defies the whole image of a kind a loving God.  In fact if you knew the entire story of people's lives and the web's (so to speak) that they have spun toward survival--one could easily assume that there is no God and no torture is provided by a Creator to make us stronger.  After reading and rereading Daniel today, it is clear that King Nebakanezer (sp?) made a law and then called three men from the crowd to enforce the law and to ask them "What God?" basically would be saving them if they refused to bow to his idol, which clearly everyone else did whether they believed in the idolatry or not.  When they refused again to refrain from bowing...they knew the consequence of their actions but trusted that their God would rescue them.  Their faith came before their bodies being ultimately thrown into a fiery furnace seven times hotter than the normal fiery furnace at the time.  One can safely assume that there was a God who saved them while they were bound and thrown by men into the fire.  The men put to the task died of the heat from being so close to the fire but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walked away from the fiery flames without even a smell of burn on their garments.  Read Daniel yourself and see how the King responded to that ordeal. 

I am overwhelmed by life itself.  There are days I wish this life was over as I have people I cannot wait to reconnect with on the other side.  All around me there is heartache and storms not only in my life but in the life of my friends and their families and cancer, illness and just utter stress at how God could leave a little three year old without his mama at the young age of 27 and her grieving husband now to carry the full load of all they did together to make a life for their son.  Really?  I would so love to give up and die.  Mentally my mind falls short of endurance every day.  The news reminds me of beaten, hungry, even dead children who have been abducted from their homes and left to die alone, mistreated animals, elderly parents who are suffering from the lack of appreciation for the lives they've given their children freely.  Life is not easy by any means.  Some even see suicide as a cowardly thing and maybe it is okay to think that way if you have never had a reason to hurt YET.  Trust me though, no one gets out of this life alive and all will suffer grief and pain unknown to all those around you.  Many days you will feel like the loneliest person in the face of humanity.   I know because I do but it is improper for me to assume that everyone feels that way at any time--but if it is not that way for you, would be wise to be in thankfulness to God for all that He has given you.  Even then, life is not promised to any man, neither is goodness and mercy even if you are in prayer and supplication all the time, even if you never have a "down" day at all.  And graceful survival of experiences and situations "is not endurance." as Neal A. Maxwell said in his attempt to explain it.  That pretty much means we cannot pray people into wellness...all that we have and all that we are, including what experiences we each embrace in our lives are gifts from God.  He may show someone through us through diligent faith and testimony and allow our lives to be spared and he may not......but we should be thankful for the experiences that allow us to prove our faith in His name.  So if I know this and you know this, why is it so difficult to understand?

Somehow, the ultimate sadness that came from my biological family to be fragmented into itty bitty pieces. complete with all the stains of alcohol, spouse abuse, moving from town to town as a child and never developing friendships that lasted beyond the next move or through the pain of my sadness--who wants to hear about that stuff.  No one!  And thereby, losing all communication about these beginnings with the death of my Grandmother at the age of 35 (she was 88) they all got zip tied in a mouth that still cries out in pain...which reminds me of the rags that were jammed into my mouth during tied up beatings so that no one could hear my screams.  And somewhere in the midst of this little life of mine my younger brother was murdered and the rest of my siblings pawned off on relatives and adoptions.  Now I don't know how to reconnect, how to make it all fit and maybe that isn't the purpose of my life though try as I might.  Maybe that is just a tease...but it seems so cruel, so intentional and so lonely.  What gives me the right to long for what God himself has not given me or allowed to remain with me?  The tears come, the refusal to attend church--any church at all, the unintentional backsliding into things that I said I'd never do or be began along time ago.  Was I born to be unhappy?  To cry alone?  Does God not hear my crying out or see my tears?  Or do I have a brain that recalls all of this life that really didn't happen? 
Most folks just fluff off the story with the little pushes to forgive these people to better my heath.  Like that is going to happen after all??  Really, can it be?  I would love to come out of the darkness and see the light of day, every day.  I really have spent the majority of my life silently carrying this load, I'm just now exploding.  Forgive me for not being able to stand before a KING and declare my incredible faith and witness because I believe that if I were thrown into a fiery furnace, I would burn slap dab up as that has been my experience.  So where can I find a person like this today in this crazy world that we live in that will let me be king so that I can see and believe it to be true?  May God forgive me for saying this because I blame myself for hating YOU and then seeing the beauty of the world (Grand Canyon, Stars in sky, flowers in full bloom, Yellowstone, Appalachian Mountains, Gulf of Mexico, sunrise, sunset) and I know you have the power to give me peace and rest my soul.  And if not for me.....let me see someone I know who is suffering near me recover, let the children in my walk of life be free from abuse and pain, let the parents I know keep their children together and free from spouse abuse, alcohol and drugs.  Let the elderly be cared for by your tender mercy.  Please calm the storms for my younger brother with the two strokes and allow him to make a difference in the lives of his children who have already lost their mom.
PLEASE....but if not, what would you have me do about it all?

Okay here is the copy of my cousin's post August 7, 2014*******

Now we’ve got some marvelous models on enduring uncertainty and trusting God. First there were the three young men Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, whose response to a persecuting king was, as they were about to thrown into a fiery furnace heated seven times its usual capacity, “If it be so, king, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace,” and then the three words..., “but if not, be known unto thee O king, that we will not serve thy Gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” Dan. 3:17.
I pause here to interpolate this thought. On the beaches of Dunkirk, when 350,000 British soldiers were threatened by annihilation, there were critical hours, and the scriptural literacy of a least the educated class in England was such that in that setting, a signal was sent from the beaches of Dunkirk to British military headquarters, a three word signal, “but if not.” Quoting from Daniel. They didn’t know if they’d be rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk. But it didn’t matter, they would serve their king. And there will be times in each of our lives when our faith must not be conditional upon his rescuing us. Because in fact, he may not, as we would choose to be rescued. Matching those three young men are three young women whose names we do not have. They appear in the book of Abraham. Three remarkable young women about whom I’m anxious to know more. Who were sacrificed upon the alter because they would not bow down and worship an idol of wood and stone. Some day we’ll get to meet them. A third example is that remarkable Mary, the mother of Jesus, when she was confronted with perplexity. This interesting set of words appears. Mary’s response to the angel. She was perplexed about what lay ahead and the birth of the Son of God through her. And Mary said, “behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word, and the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38. “But if not,” be it unto me according to thy word. The most compressed expressions of this capacity to endure about which we’re speaking.
Enduring therefore quite naturally is equated in some respects with holding on or holding fast. And it certainly includes that capacity. To endure for one moment more. Again however, graceful endurance is not just surviving. But surviving as Job did with his integrity intact. This capacity to endure well permits us when required, as the Lord said “ be still and know that I am God” for the Lord God will watch over you. There are moments in our lives when we must be still and know that He is God. And in this silence there can be certitude. There are other times when we may be much like the children of Israel on the edge of a perplexing and demanding experience. In their case they stood at the edge of an intimidating, and probably tempestuous Red Sea. And the Lord said to them, “stand still, and the Lord shall fight for you, hold your peace.” And in each of our lives there will be moments when we must stand still, hold our peace and let the Lord fight our battles for us.” Neal A. Maxwell, If Thou Endure It Well, BYUDA, 12/84

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Immigration: Let's all talk about it!

There is a lot of talk on news media sites about the positive and negative effects of immigration on the United States as a whole.  I have seen with my own eyes callous and very critical comments about immigration reform and the ever growing population of children coming illegally into the United States.  I have been researching the good, the bad, the ugly and often very frank discussion that is going on with children coming in droves to the southwestern states.  I have also studied emergency management books during my degree studies that give a lot of concern to not having things "under control" and basically what happens is utter chaos.

So first off, let me send you packing to the following website to read something fresh (within the last month) Huffington Post Politics Poll  Nearly six out of ten Americans are not happy with Obama's performance regarding the recent influx of children.  57, 000 children!  "
On last Tuesday, the White House confirmed that federal officials at the Department of Homeland Security sent back a number of families from Honduras to that country on a chartered flight as part of the administration’s efforts to deport illegal immigrants who do not qualify for asylum.
The move was intended to send a “clear signal” that immigrants from Central America who enter the country illegally “will not be welcomed to this country with open arms,” Earnest said.   Whoa, holdup!!! What? Yes you read that right, "NOT be welcomed with open arms".   I may need a bit of reminding about the original intention of the Statue of Liberty but I have not forgotten completely the Poet Emma Lazarus's 1883 poem.  Although I have never been able to see her in person, I thought our country was a beacon, a symbol of light to all.  Have we torn or down or changed our minds about the freedom she represents?   Say it isn't so.  Our founding fathers handed down to this generation of people a pathway to all those who were not born in American.  All of our relatives, excluding Native Americans, were not born in America and therefore had to abide by laws that allowed passage into the United States.  When your own lineage arrived in America, they were not deported--they were told how to file for citizenship.

Next up, let's talk about the common negative ideas of immigration that are actually believed and stated by American people.  To start off with take a look at some reality thinking in the terms of providing jobs to Americans who are already here.  Please note that this was published September 2013.  Negative Views regarding jobs for Americans   Quite a few years back corporations were sending their products overseas to be created, packed and sold or shipped through foreign based American companies.  By sending work overseas, their cost of labor downsized and added many people to the welfare rolls.  Some of them are still there just waiting for a job.  So now, they propose to bring foreign workers to the U.S while still avoiding Americans who want higher than minimum wage to do the same job.  As a consumer of goods, I don't want prices to go up on the items I buy but I do see where heavily targeted tourist areas could suffer by not having a job.  On a regular basis, I am seeing people from all points in the world who come to America.  Some of them doctors and lawyers in their own countries and well respected there but they decide to come to America.....and what happens?  We give them a long waiting list of ways to get their credits transferred to our coding/understanding (which they pay hefty prices for).  Many come to learn English after waking at 4 am to be at a jobsite that will have them laying sod or doing any number of jobs in the heat of summer.  At the end of their shifts, they barely have time to take a bite to eat, shower and dress for a late night at school learning the English language.  As I watch them I do see a stark difference in our own people who for a better sense of the word are somewhat lazy when it comes to even showing up for classes at all.  They will name every excuse under the sun to avoid schooling.
If you have it in your thought process that they do not belong here, you may want to educate yourself a little on the positive effects of having them here.

And as the saying goes, "Give me liberty or give me death."  Living where you are free to choose and educated to accept the consequences of your actions, whatever that might be.  I am making a steadfast claim to help any person from another country just as I would do to any American who needed aid.
This is me.  I wrote this and shared the links provided

Sunday, June 8, 2014

17, 647 Days Done, How many more?

For those of you who follow my blog, this is the 17, 647th day that I have been out of the womb and breathing on my own.  The fact is no one gives a damn about those numbers. 

Here it is Sunday afternoon and another thunderstorm is rolling in.  The dogs are literally nervous to the point of one of them getting on top of my head.  This occurs these storms are filled with thunder and lightening and rumbles from far off.  This post has nothing to do with the weather.  It has everything to do with fear.

I have spent the majority of my life ( these more than 17, 000 days) angry, mad, sick physically and mentally, crying, hurt and rising above every little hurdle to the best of my ability trying every new prescription drug known to man.  Nothing fixes me, there is no permanent cure and as much as I would like to "just get over it" "just let it go" "just relax" "just think positive"  this shit of a life, doesn't get better and it sure as hell doesn't have a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  I have no suggestions for those who are in my shoes.  None.  The best I can do is stay in bed, avoid people and situations that are painful or zap my physical strength.  Three days each week, I work long hours.  There are people that I don't get along with and that not getting along with seems to make everyone uncomfortable around me. 

I lack social skills, the understanding of the world and television, I can't remember names of movie stars, actors, song writers, singers or people in general.  I feel out of sync, opinionated about the little things that I do know and I sound the voice of alarm when I feel that people do not understand the plight of people who are poor, elderly or ill.

There are times I can go for months on end helping people and then there are times I am paralyzed from conversations with or about them. 

We've had extremely hard financial times.  It is true and that has added to my grief.  Yesterday someone knocked on the door and handed me some papers.  It seems that the house I have found safe refuge in is going to be gone soon despite the fight to keep it in tact.  I have to accept the reality of it

The doctor that I have trusted for so long with my medical care has left the practice she worked in for another job.  I feel abandoned and afraid of moving on to another.  It is one of my biggest fears as I have had so many things happen to me physically since she became my doctor.  I wish her success but it is bittersweet to try to find another way.

I have been doing some more reading on poverty.  It seems no one makes the climb above it anymore and if they do, they are stuck in the unwritten rules of poverty that force them back to where they came from.

We really don't have the resources of safe, solid extended family, a savings to help us out, our educational goals have been met even under the most taxing of childhood, we were able to land jobs to keep us just above the poverty line long enough that we never qualified for government assistance and we have a car which currently gets me from point A to point B.  We've known far too much grief from people at church and we no longer participate or enjoy being in a house of worship.  The only thing we have going for us is that we both love and support each other with the best skills we know how.

So how do we rise above our current situation?  It would be easier to dig a hole and pull the dirt in over our heads than it is going to be to be at the bottom of this well looking up for ropes to grab for the climb.  We can't be the only ones in this situation but no one discusses their ill least not online/publically.

Yet, I hear very often that we live in the richest nation in the world.  How so?  I am just so over this life.  I don't understand it.  There is no explanation for what it has been like for me.  This over the top life story wanted to have a happy ending.  A calm and meek understanding.  Forgiveness and forgetting but the hail storms rage on and on.  Release me from this angry God.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Losing My Religion

Yesterday I read a blog post.....actually lots of other people's blog posts.  There was one that resonated some thought.  The writer had grown up Southern Baptist and blogged about her life growing up as a pastor's daughter.  At the age of maturity, she decided to go off to school rather than stay at home.  She traded in her long skirts for denim jeans and left her religion beside completely.  The more she studied, the less she wanted to retain the part of her that she had cherished as a child.  She decided to trade her interpretation of the Biblical passages she learned to recite as a child into educated thought that she argued back and forth in her mind.  As a result, she was open to other religions, other beliefs and the mere conversation of what people believed.  The more she did, the more informed she was of the world around her which brought more questions than answers.  She decided to attend a church with a Catholic friend and her mom and found herself missing the congregational side of church.  The community, the compassion of friends and family and the rest of what goes along with regular church attendance.  As I read her blog, I almost felt as if I was reading my own words at times.  I found so much in common with her writing as I do at other times and it ends up giving me words to chew on until I am able to write my own.

What many do not know about me is that I grew up in a lot of places and I went to church with whomever was around to take me.  It wasn't a thing of profound awakening.  I just liked church in many forms.  The only thing I did not like was going to places where preachers and others screamed aloud.  It frightened me.  In my teenage years we had a pretty good youth group (mostly girls) and we tended to flock to activities that had a lot of guys....dances, roller skating, conferences--you name it.  As such we flocked to the group that helped us have fun and I had many experiences during that "fun" that directed who I am today.

So why is it that I am going through this blog of yesterday's reading, as if I have to confess that I am done with formal religion and I must add people.  It really is true that I have lost my religion.  I too have lost the sense of community, the sense of trust and the concrete feeling that was solid in my mind and heart for so many years that I was doing the "right" thing by aligning myself with a religious group.  Thinking back, if I were to see myself 30 years ago in church and then turn to who I am today.....I would not believe it myself.  But here I am! 

I do not doubt the fact that one day we, each one of us, on our own will have that "Oh Shit" moment when the eyes of a Savior looks upon our sins.  There really will not be any personal justification for anything we did or didn't do. There will only be an understanding that I doubt any of us alive today will have an inkling about for that time.  I can just imagine all the things that I think I should be doing and the fact that I am no where near good enough to meet His atoning eyes.  This is up there with the most important things do be ready for in this life and clearly, with my judgmental mind--I have already sentenced myself to a life of hell.  Sometimes that torment gets to's like "having to wait in your room for your dad to come home" kind of deal because you're in trouble but worse.

I suppose at the end of the day, being part of a community like church folks is important but for me it is painful.  I always see the things that do happen in church with people who are trying to get to the same place you are as a trampling way to stomp out people with little faith.  I have refused to enter a church, any church, for years.  And it isn't for lack of invitation, heck those Southern Baptists down the street have probably learned by now that I'm not easy prey.  The Mormon missionaries and the friends of Mormon Missionaries are taking simpler methods these days and invited me over for dinner.  That is a no go also....and they will learn I'm not easy to conquer.   And God bless the Jehovah's witness people that seem like a larger majority than they were back in the day.  Those people always are very pushy with the literature that they have available.  Why does it have to be so difficult?  At the end of the day it is about my Salvation, not theirs and I know that.

I absolutely adore the people I've met from foreign lands.  They worship too.  Some are Muslim, Hindu and Catholic.  Anyway, I have always liked the song by REM Losing my religion.  And if you're wondering that is me in the spotlight, losing my religion but I think I may be trading it for a healthier perspective about my role on the planet and surely it is allowing me to love.  For what it is worth, listen to the song......."because I think I saw you try."

Or was it just a dream, just a dream.

Losing My Religion

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I hate cancer.....Must read! Forbes Magazine.

It seems lately that people are getting handed the cancer diagnosis like a dish of ice-cream.  I hate it.  I know what it means but I can't barely bring myself to say it to their loved ones.  First the doctor visit, then the diagnosis and rounds and rounds of chemo and radiation take a once healthy body down.   And then so many of them are children as well which brings an unspeakable pain. 

So when I say that I hate cancer...I do, as nothing but financial loss have come from those who have it and then it gets tossed around with burial expenses.

I woke up at 4am and couldn't sleep.  Grabbed the new Forbes Magazine that mostly goes unread at my house.  I thumbed through the small print pages--those writers are so long winded--you really need to be young and savvy with good eyesight to read and understand this magazine.

Grab the special issue this month (MAY) and flip to page 79.  Can you just imagine after all this time that some cancers can be cured?   This may be available online although I have not checked. What good news for those suffering.

I've known about cancer since I was nine.  No one has felt better after the cancer treatments.  Today I feel hopeful

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I like BERNIE MEV shoes

I think I have mentioned it here before but I absolutely love Bernie Mev brand shoes.  However, I'm not well enough off  to own several pairs of shoes........well I wasn't until I saw that I could purchase my size and colors through Zulilly.

So here's the scoop. Bernie Mev  I wear an 8 1/2 wide in most shoes and I found that the ( size 40 European) works for me.  My co workers have them and being on concrete floors these are really comfortable with all the walking we do.
Zuliliy Bernie Mev
Recently I ordered two pairs.  One pair came and was delayed and when I called to inquire they said they were shipping my shoes out but had reimbursed me the shipping cost for that pair as it was a mistake on their part.  I was fine with that.  And then I noticed that one of my friends purchased through Zulilly too and so I got a 15 dollar credit toward my account.

That was almost enough to buy another pair of those shoes I had my eyes on.

So yeah, If you want to try a pair, they are so much cheaper here than in the local shoe stores.  The cheapest place I have seen those are about 60 dollars before if you have some time and want to try them out.  Twenty bucks would be a perfect trial pair for you.  And if you use my link, I get a credit to my shopping account where I will immediately buy yet another pair or a purse or a blouse....the choices are endless.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Civic Disengagement

The following is quoted text from Florida Today news on May 1, 2014.  It is written by guest columnist, Daniel Tilson.

"As common as civic disengagement has become, it isn't even newsworthy. At worst, it's seen as an unfortunate fact of American life, not a dangerous epidemic. And of course, it's not unique to Florida." 

Civic disengagement is a deep concern.  The article sites that the author suggests 6 in 10 Floridians have no idea what is going on in the state's legislative session.  If this be the case, it is huge concern.  Our politicians know this.  It is seldom that people take off from work to see to things that concern them and if they did this on a regular basis they would be fired from their jobs.

Considering that people who are affluent, millionaires, big business folks with ties to whatever is coming before the legislative folks make it their priority to hire those to help fight the storms in government that might play a part on their just a disgrace to this great state.

The average Joe, might have a few ideas to make the wheels spin in toward more good of the people but he doesn't have the backing.  And where are the politicians that we voted into office?  They are not in their district seeking to know the will of the people.

There should be laws in Florida that force politicians back to their voters.  There should be meetings advertised so that all folks could attend and since most people work around the clock, our politicians should too-- making it possible to at some point be able to bring our concerns to the table.

Politicians should be able to name the people who voted for them......but sadly, many do not even know our names.  How can they represent us well?  This didn't happen over night and it will not be fixed in a day.....but we need our politicians and quite contrary to many people's opinion, they do indeed need us.  The money is on the line...we'll see their photos on the way to the polls, I assume.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Thank you Publix

Last night I took a blind friend to Publix.  We were greeted on our way in the door and immediately met with all of the BOGO foods that were in the sales paper right at the front door.  A wondrous occasion as the Walmart Pricematch BOGO deal is no longer worth the hassle of the cashiers and customer service creeps.

Yes some of the prices were higher but please note I said SOME.  At check out a customer service rep greeted our cart and offered to unload it for us.  When they had three people in line, they automatically opened another lane.  I really like that!  Had a slight problem with two coupons that were found in PUBLIX and the lady realized her mistake and immediately gave the money back for the coupons.  Superb!  To top it off, I forgot how they insist helping you to your car to.  Yes Winn Dixie and Publix, your stores will get all my business from now on.  I'm done with the NOGO's at Walmart and the attitude of the employees.

The Talk I couldn't completely deliver--

The following is what I wanted to say, but didn't.  Something about this assignment is leaving me uneasy because it was quite possibly the most important thing I've been asked to do yet....

And due to something at work that I was informed of today--Life is too short.  A local artist who spent her time with our college's prime time adults passed away yesterday or today.  She was only 41 but her spirit was free from the first moment I met her.  I will never forget the smile on her face.  Some things we never get to do over--but the need for them doesn't go away.

I was asked to speak about how my service has impacted the community and my civic life. (after two years of AmeriCorps service)

AmeriCorps service is the service I loved and when it ended I thought my life was over--no joking aside.  I felt completely lost at first.  The only way to honestly describe it is that for two years you are going 150 miles an hour times 1700 (volunteer service hours) and suddenly you crash into a wall and come to a complete stop.  No joking aside, the day they hand you the AmeriCorps certificate for your last year of service, a part of you dies.

Thanks to my AmeriCorps leader, Laurie VonKanel and her assistant, right hand--Denise Irwin who didn't not allow me to just to take a vacation even---all I wanted to do was pottery when I finished, just pottery and nothing more---they made sure that I was swiftly taken up to a new level where I was working and getting paid for a very good job (and that I could take the night time pottery class) at our local college.

I landed a good job with the college making more money than I had ever made in my entire professional career, doing absolutely the thing that I loved (which was teaching pre-school and teaching parents how to teach their children with an adult education program called Even Start).  Two years later the government funding for Even Start went away and I was unemployed for about six months until I landed another job at the college.  Now I work with adult education teachers, I register students for the program and do any testing as required by the program.

AmeriCorps not only gave me a living allowance, it provided me an educational award to finish my two years of college (AA degree) and earn another degree in Emergency Management.  This ability pushed me father ahead of my own parents education and also allowed my son to see that you're never too old to go back to school to finish.  For all of this and more,  I am thankful.

I wanted to tell all of the current AmeriCorps servants there that day that no matter where they came from, their lives would be radically changed for the better for their service.  I wanted to tell them that I was thankful for their service.  I wanted to tell them that no matter what, they were part of a larger family of people now--the AmeriCorps family.

And then, I wanted to answer the questions I was given...

Regarding my civic responsibility:  I wanted to say that no matter what, since my service was the call to vote more important than ever.  If I could this is what I would have said about that very thing.
AmeriCorps service opens your eyes.  It makes you see things that are going on and question everything.  In regard to civic responsibility, if anything it does not allow you to be passive.  For the rest of your life, if you do not question everything politics, everything related to government spending, everything about social problems--and if it doesn't spring board you to helping find solutions to current problems--you missed the whole reason why you served in the first place. For me, I cannot any longer sit by and wait for someone to do something or say something---AmeriCorps changed my in that way toward civic responsibility and empowered me  with skills to stand up and speak for the things that work and the things that don't.  And from there--there is more action to be taken.  And while I know that others are perfectly capable of helping, others often turn their heads and keep going minding what they say "is their own business".

And along with those comments, no longer do I have an Americorps boss to answer to.  No longer do I track my volunteer service hours.  I don't scrapbook my service year because frankly no one wants to see all that---but I do cherish the documented hours of work, my certificate of service and my scrapbook of progress.  That does not mean we no longer find or seek out ways to give our time to meaningful service.  It means that we know the importance of service and we find ways to serve independently to give time where time is needed.  We no longer have to ask our leaders if we get an hour for this  or that---but we have a personal conscious of tracking our own progress.  Our knowledge after being in Americorps, should prompt us to quick action without any prodding or coaxing.

Regarding how it changed my community life:    Life is ultimately a direct result of what we give our time and attention to and so we must be mindful of the things that count.  For those who are working in AmeriCorps teaching children to read, I applaud that service.  I understand it because I did the same kind of year.  Ultimately, I have decided there is no better way to serve our children and adults. Being able to read is fundamental and that basic skill trumps all others.  Being environmentally conscience is a good thing because it has a direct reflection about life and the fact that none of us would not be here if the environment was not properly maintained.  However, I would ask that those environmental stewards must work with science readers though even though that is not their job to focus on the reading, if a kid can read---the kid will know reading which is a a fundamental skill that will help him/her master all other dreams! 

Being that reading is a foundation skill for most other things and that there are many people who are illiterate.  Most people are not that way by choice.  Some years back, I stopped at a gas pump in
Georgia to fill up my tank on the way out of town.  As I completed that task, I was unaware of anyone else pumping gas....until an elderly gentleman who was there on the other side of the pump said "Mam, I cannot read and I need some help getting gas."  I told him that was no problem.   I pumped mine and went to help him.  His problem was that he could not read and the technology of the pump made it even harder.  Even though he had a bank card he didn't know how to use it.  Long gone are the days that one could pull up to the pump and someone would pump the fuel for you.  Back then you only had to be able to count your money and tell them how much.  Now the automated screen displays aren't good for visually impaired people or those who are illiterate.
I helped him and he thanked me but I was a new person for helping as it had never occurred to me that some people could be illiterate because technology advanced quicker than their age did.  Our high school had typewriters and that was the most uptown thing in my imagination....I specifically asked for extra time on those to build my skills.  I was always slower but more accurate.....not sure which is better or worse.  When computers came out with the big huge thin floppy disc.....I was stunned with what it could remember but couldn't pay me to work on one of those.   We have been spoiled by facebook, skpe, internet and online shopping.  The world is at our fingertips and yet I would bet that most people my age can't fix one if it breaks.  I know I can't.  That isn't even my point here.  The point is that technology has for most people my age is becoming more difficult as new programs emerge.  Unless we actually take a few classes in PowerPoint, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents or Photo Shop....most of us are limited in what we can do when it comes to a computer.  Being technology literate now, is just as important as learning to read in that elderly gentleman's lifetime.  Unless we all become professional students with a love of learning, technology will pass us by.  Programs like Americorps could help us not only by keeping our environment clean but teaching us all a better way to care for the Earth, it's people, it's technology and help us build safe homes for those without.  Americorps service allows for it's members to come into contact with people of stature in the community, most notably people in leadership/power and puts members in places to make job contacts that they would never make.

While I'm no longer in large groups of people and my service is generally quiet, there are people who know who I am and who trust me to take care of anonymous giving within the community.  Some people admit that they don't know any poor people and have no clue what the real needs are.  I have had the most fun recently as being Mrs. Claus to eight families in need within our community.  Weekly, I take a blind lady shopping which takes a lot of time as she uses her sense of smell to decide things like which apples to buy.  It is not a chore, we have fun together and I can say that I am honestly saving the community transportation money by helping her get her items to her home, delivered and put away.

This isn't really all I had to say but I love Walton County.  It was my childhood place I called "home" (when my Grandmother was able to take me in and care for me).  She was my first role model for service by helping others in whatever capacity she could whether giving them rides to church or to helping families that were suffering the loss of a family member.  I so miss her.

In the end, I just want to say if you are not part of the team pushing the wheel in the right are working against the goodness here.  It takes everyone on the team doing their 100% to keep things growing and moving in the right direction.  Enough said about that....Americops changed my life.  It changed the way I vote, who I vote for, it changed how I say the pledge of Allegiance to this country and helped me to become a part of the best team around that does good every day.  I love Americorps........give me a chance and I'll do 50 more years.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Speaking in Public

I have done this.  Speaking in Public has come easier to me at times.  Speaking over the weekend "not so much".  I could possibly do it again someday.  It didn't kill me.  I've refused to speak in public many of those being my own Grandmother's funeral.  I love her dearly and the thought of all she did that was just so beautiful in my life...It was just so hard to talk about her.

However, I did plan my speech.  There were about 150 people there and it was hot outside and I had to talk about how I felt a couple of things were changed in my life.  I said the beginning part just fine but I got lost in the middle and I had closed my notes because it was so windy.

Apparently because of the things I did say, I have had some compliments from people I never imagined having them from. I really loved what the compliments were and it made me feel a whole lot better about that speech.  Now that it is over, I will do much better.  .

The Noah Movie .....

A good friend of mine is a professor works at Northwest Florida State College teaching Humanities classes and Cinema Appreciation Classes.  He is an awesome instructor/professor and since he does have a doctorate degree of film/and all things cinema, I will say that all things literary, cinema and great thought belong to him.

I look for what he has to say on certain things before I go to read about them in other places.  Some of that is over my head as I haven't studied as long as I should about the things that are written about his movies that he watches.

Here is his link.  I will just post it publically about the Noah Movie so that you may have a way to research other movies in the future.NOAH ***1/2 stars.

There are a lot of concepts out there which need to be addressed by more than people who read word for word the Bible with no literal interpretation.  I am not saying any religion and/or person shouldn't voice their opinion, I'm just saying that to be open minded doesn't mean you are changing your mind, it merely let's you listen to all sides and make a more informed opinion.

In Noah's case, the whole story has caught my heart.  Learning about Noah was one of those early things you can get as a child......but the adult mind just cannot grip it all.  I made the comment to my friend the other day that if someone were to do an actual movie on the life of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea, that we would all be far too critical on that also.  Sometimes you have to study it out and study the people and how they got their information.  And then, going to a movie was not always supposed to be a perfect experience, sometimes, the popcorn is going to spill and you're going to drink so much that your pants get wet because you didn't make it to the bathroom on time.  These are not life or death fights......these are movies and it's okay for people to calm down and not feel like they went to visit the devil himself if something wasn't what you expected it to be.

Know the signs before you go!!  Know the ratings a little info on the characters, a little info on the basic element of the story.  And again, not everyone is grown up enough to go to a PG movie.