Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Farewell to my First Hero

I must say that I completely anticipated that the previous post (about my mom) would be my last post before I was to get this 'blog' put into book form.  At that time, I had decided to come back to the blog and finish the 'book' off with a post about my mom since she, too, has a bit of a penchant for writing :-).
And, as life does, way led onto way & I did not get around to getting this blog published at that time.
Then... the whirlwind came... and that's what it felt like... a blur looking back now.
My dad was diagnosed with brain cancer. 


This whirlwind began when my folks came over on July 15th, 2016.  It was four days before our daughter's 10th birthday.  I knew something was not right when my folks arrived.  My dad's affect was flat.  I had seen him a month prior and, then, 2 weeks before.

At the month prior, he was quiet.  But I passed it off as he had been to the internment burial of his brother that passed a half a year before... he was not close with him, but nevertheless, I thought some emotions had been stirred, so I passed it off as such.

Then, two weeks later, I saw him when we went to pick up my son who had been visiting my folks/his grandparents.  My dad had fallen while taking my son down their back wooded, somewhat steep yard that went down to a ravine.  I thought the fall had him shaken (no, the fall was because of the brain cancer) and again passed off his behavior.  Being a licensed psychotherapist, I like to think I pay a little more attention to behavior than your average person.  Yet, at the time, these reasons looked reasonable for how he was acting.


Anyway, when my folks came for our daughter's birthday, it was obvious... he was flat, didn't spontaneously talk (which he normally would as he had his opinions), had difficulty getting up from our recliner, and had difficulty getting his night shorts on (my mom told me).

My husband and he were slated to go to Creede that next week... my dad was looking forward to it (from what he said, but couldn't tell emotion-wise).  I thought that maybe my dad had had a stroke, but looking back, there were no single sided hindrances.  My husband told him that he thinks he should get checked out before they leave as my dad admitted being unsteady.  The next morning, we convinced him to let my husband take them to the ER... it went all downhill from there:  CT scan, hospital referred him to downtown Houston.  My dad had brain surgery three days later, on our daughter's 10th birthday.  Brain surgery was to see if they could remove part of the 'tumor' and diagnose.  They couldn't remove any tumor to speak of, but enough to diagnose.  He has

My dad died six months later on January 16th, 2017, four days after our son's 7th birthday.


Those six months were, like I said, a blur to say the least.  A lot happened and was going on with our family during that time;
  • my husband had been out of work (during the time of the "oil business" employment bust)
  • our daughter got & began raising several 4H turkeys
  • school started for both our children; 1st and 5th grade
  • our dog had been bred, got ultrasound, showing she didn't take (a blessing at the time)
  • my mom had to have knee replacement surgery
  • my husband had been in severe pain with his back (the worst he's ever experienced) and had to have back surgery
  • my mom had to stay at a rehab home to get daily physical therapy for her knee
  • because the first back surgery didn't get the job done, my husband had to have a second back surgery three weeks later, to the day
  • my mom's birthday
  • Thanksgiving (we enjoyed a 4H turkey)
  • my husband, within 2-3 weeks of back surgery, started a new job
  • our daughter had surgery to have her tonsils out
  • my husband had to go out of the country
  • we had our dog surgically bred again and she became pregnant
  • our ceiling showed water damage & our chimney leaked resulting in a new roof in January
  • Christmas
  • my husband's birthday
  • New Year's Eve
  • our insurance coverages for home, both autos and Colorado all went up and had to be reassessed/changed
  • our son's birthday
  • forget all of the other bills, household chores, appointments for school & other, grocery shopping, regular daily life routines, etc. that happen...
I list all of this because ... this time seems... lost.. lost in a sense like it wasn't lived purposefully, like I missed planning it the way it was supposed to be (ha)... I was just along for the ride... as all of this happened WHILE my dad was sick.  It all happened during the trips up to my folks, the myriad of phones calls, trying to schedule nursing care so he could remain home.
It was an absolute blur and, looking back, it was ... I will say (and not for dramatic purposes)... it was surreal.

My dad was taken care of, in his home, mostly by my mom with the help of care givers.  He died in his home, the way it was supposed to be.

I remember it clearly.  My dad's bed was in the living room.  My mom was asleep on the couch.  My brother was doing work at the kitchen table.  I was siting on the couch.  I had been sitting there for some time.  And I heard it, my dad's breathing changed. I knew. I was glad. And I sat there for a bit... to make sure .. and to take it in by myself .. before I woke my mom.
He died in his home... as he should have.

The following is what I wrote, said and had played at my dad's funeral:


*************************
So I have written this multiple times in my head… and my thoughts are always scattered about with what I would like to say to you all about my dad;

I thought about talking about…

·         Stories…

·         What kind of person my dad was…

·         Lessons he taught ..or lived by…

The trouble is, there’s a lifetime of things I could tell you.  Hence, my quagmire.

So, I am stuck with picking a few or so… and I’ll still probably talk too long   --so a pre-emptive ‘I’m sorry’ :-~ as this may be disjointed and not the most cohesive thing you hear today.

Speaking of talking & communication, as many of you know, my dad was very laconic.  He could take a situation and distill it down to its essential elements.  I think this style of his was a major factor in contributing to our young (then) family’s well being. 

You may or may not know that my dad came from an alcoholic family.  Suffice to say that his dad was a mean drunk.  To top it off, my mom, as well came from an alcoholic family.

So, imagine… married 18 & 21 y/olds -both from dysfunctional families having a go at it… they were warned by more than one that they wouldn’t make it.  Well, they did and my hat’s been off to them for a long time because of it.  I have to say the greatest gift my dad gave me was treating my mom with dignity and respect –despite some rough times, he remained calm and acted as an emotional distillery, if you will, to get to the essentials and solve & resolve things as we grew as a family.

So, being laconic, distilling things down to their essential elements… Very fitting for our family and a very fitting way for being a Chem—E.

I always kind of wondered what my dad did… it was somewhat mysterious as he didn’t talk a whole lot about it.  Oh, I remember hearing names… some of which are here today, but I never really knew exactly what he did.  As I got older, he would talk more… or maybe I just listened more.  I remember it was a big deal (when I was older) that I got to go to his office, I saw certain pictures and such.  Saw a picture of Colorado… 

Side note here:  for those of you that don’t know, practically every summer growing up, our family went to Colorado.  We would camp… yes in a TENT in Colorado… Colorado can have temps in the morning in the 30s during summer.  You can get on the shady side of a mountain and you could be shivering… and if you’re riding motorcycles, then you have a wind chill on top of it.  I do remember riding in front of my dad on his seat right up by the tank thinking I was going to turn into an ice cube.  Many times, we rode and camped with long time family friends;  Jerry and Peggy Davis.  We all had bikes (except me);  my dad, Jerry, Miss Peg, my brother and mom rode their own bikes… yes, my mom rode a motorcycle --up in the mountains –along side sheer drop offs (I shudder to think of that now).

So, back to my dad’s office;  when I got to go, I saw pictures of Colorado, family and… I saw an essay that he had prominently displayed.  It was called “The Trip is the Destination”.  It was, for a him, a theme, if you will, to live by.  And he did.

While my dad was a “planner” ..oh, boy, was he.  No stone unturned in going forward, no hasty decisions… yet, at the same time, I do not find that his ‘planning’ ruled him.  He, indeed, seemed to enjoy the trip.

So I would like to share the essay that he has had displayed in his office, since I was a kid, up until….  it still sits displayed, in his office, at home: 

The Trip is the Destination  ~from The Station by Robert J. Hastings
(read The Trip….)
Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows we bring in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.
But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a complete jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering—waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.
"When we reach the station, that will be it!", we cry. "When I’m 18."  "When I buy a new 450SL Mercedes Benz!"  "When I put the last kid through college."  "When I have paid off the mortgage!" "When I get a promotion."  "When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after!"
Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.
"Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."  It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.
So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough. 
..............................................................................
And it did come soon enough… it came too soon… that part bothers me because my son and daughter won't get to be around my dad.

Sorry… another Side Note:  this might come as a surprise… and sound ..?? ..risqué… but, my dad had another child other than my brother & me.  He had another son.  Now, before I go on, please know that BY NO MEANS did this other son & my dad’s relationship with him diminish the love he had for his own son.  The heart simply can always hold/take on/have room for more love.  This other son is my husband… who never had a wonderful father-figure… until my dad, he found that in him.

Kint and my dad worked on many projects together over the 29+ years they’ve known they knew each other.  My dad designed and had a cabin built in Creede CO (camping got to be too cold)… well, on our honeymoon, they both and others -no contractors- built the garage to that cabin... over the years many projects were done together: our property’s fence, barn, shop, my dad’s shed, 2 horse sheds, a utility building, a covered porch on the Colorado cabin… collecting firewood in the mountains, they cleared trees behind my dad’s house, worked on cars together… the last project they did together was adding an eve on the back of our barn a couple of months before my dad was diagnosed (he was diagnosed in July).

As my husband, Kint, put it;  In working/doing projects with my dad… Kint would dive in head first, while my dad would wade in slowly… one sped the other up so to speak, while the other slowed the other down.  It just worked.

So, to our kids, my dad offered a balance to that of their own dad.

My dad enjoyed building things, was very hands-on for being so abstract chemical theory oriented.  Our house -growing up always always was maintained in tip-top shape… if something squeaked, was out of kilter (even a tad) …. or if there was something that just didn’t work the best he thought it could, he would fix it or improve upon it.  Grass did not grow with things that needed to be done around the house. 

In that vein, fixing things around the house… is just one of the gifts my dad gave to me… Others were;

·         he was a man’s man, so what did I do… married a man that could fix things b/c that’ s what men do… and catch bugs …and get rid of dead gophers, rabbits, birds, lizards and snakes that the cat leaves for us.

·         He also taught me to speak my mind –no, not directly, but from his example I’m sure.

·         To ask questions… which I hear I can do in excess at times.

·         Not to worry what others think,

·         Be honest… my mom will tell you that I learned that one “to a fault”.

·         AND so many others, but I cannot leave out… Animals!! –We had animals!  And to think some kids don’t… I cannot imagine a life with no animals.  Dogs: we always had a dog, & a cat …and then it happened… a horse!  I had always wanted a horse.
You see, my dad had horses growing up.  He and his mother would go to play-days together riding the different events; pole bending, flag race (which was a favorite of my dad’s). His mom would sew special matching outfits/shirts for both of them. 

Just a few months before my dad was sick … my daughter was staying over at my folks place.  She came home telling me of “grandpa getting teary”.  She went on to tell of how he was telling her a story of his early days with his mom and him riding horses and going to play days and how his mom sewed intricate outfits and all.  He was telling Emma, my daughter, about a particular time; regaling his sewn shirt & how he won several speed events on this real fast horse …and he got teary remembering those special times.

My dad wasn’t much of a story teller… I guess it wouldn’t have been my dad if he was, but I would have liked to have heard more stories.

Lastly, my dad had many music artists he liked;  Buddy Holly, John Denver, Anne Murray, The Righteous Brothers, Reba McEntire, & even Celine Dion, but driving to Colorado every summer… we always heard Neil Diamond.  I can sing every word of every song from Neil Diamond’s Hot August Night Album.

Side Note:  I absolutely love Neil Diamond to this day… in fact, my son’s teachers have heard him sing the chorus to “Cherry Cherry” at his little Christian school- thank goodness he didn’t know the actual words to the chorus and it was sung in gibberish.

So, while this song coming up is dedicated to another man… it could just as easily be dedicated to my dad.

To end, if I had to be super laconic (ha!)  in describing my dad… and had to pick only one word, it would be: 

Integrity. 

………………………………….....................

Enjoy the trip.


(Reba McEntire video song: 'Just Like Them Horses')

She held him close, then she kissed his face
He said it just has to be this way
Yours is the heart I'll always keep
I'm not gone even if I leave
 
If you love me, don't you be afraid
To look in my eyes and open up the gate
Then watch me ride beneath a newborn sun
Just like them horses
When it's time to run
 
He said, Chockie Mountain is calling me
Gonna take a walk up where I can sing
Turn and face that western wind
Oh, and I'll be home again
 
If you love me, don't you be afraid
To look in my eyes and open up the gate
Then watch me ride beneath a newborn sun
Just like them horses
When it's time to run
 
Oh, just like them horses
 
She held his hand, he took one last breath
Then she walked out to the front porch step
Stared at the sky, tears on her face
And she swore she could hear him say
 
If you love me, don't you be afraid
To look in my eyes and open up the gate
Then watch me ride beneath a newborn sun
Just like them horses
When it's time to run
 
Just like them horses
When it's time to run
When it's time to run
When it's time to run
 
Now it's time to run
 
Just like them horses, ooh
Just like them horses
Oh, now it's time to run...


*************************

Thanks dad, for helping me finish my little ditty of a 'book'.  May Kint & our kids (and their kids?) know more about their family because of it.
Love, Julie


Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Re-Dedication to the Woman in My Life that Showed me Love Unfettered

I haven't been on this blog for ?? eons as Life has been/is happening instead (as it should be).  I'm not a 'facebooker' for the same reason.  Albeit, I have an account so I can look at my daughter's class's Facebook page from school.  In that way, I do 'look around' sometimes... and then find, entirely too much time has escaped me :-~ ...hence my reason for not being a real facebooker.

Much has happened in Life since my last posting.  This coming July, my children are coming on 10 and 6 1/2.  Also, right before Christmas, my husband lost his job of almost 15 years.  He was laid off -and yes, he was in Oil & Gas.  Had a good job.  But, it wasn't just the economy... new higher up from another company came in and, subsequently, starting infiltrating with his own (husband's boss was told to retire 1 month before my husband was laid off) ...ANYway, now is mostly being told that he's 'overqualified'.  He has 10 patents to his name, managed the entire engineering group in Houston (for an international co.), and became their Global Eng. trainer.

So many changes ... including a 'Mom' change... no, I didn't get a new mom.  But, she.. my mom, had a change... no, she'd already done the menopause thing... not that change, she had a 'health' change in that she was diagnosed with PF- 'Pulmonary Fibrosis' last Novemeber.  It's a terminal, degenerative lung disease that progressively disables the lungs from being able to transfer oxygen to the bloodstream.  She coughs a lot and is on oxygen.... basically, it sucks.  We don't know how long she has, but suffice to say, she won't be around for many of my kids' milestones (graduation, getting married, etc.)... maybe she'll make my daughter starting her period  :-~  ... is that a 'milestone'?? 

So I didn't get my mom any 'thing' for Mother's Day.... shoot, she's giving things away.  But, I figured I'd re-dedicate a post to her from my blog.  Seeing as I'm planning to get the blog put into book form sometime, I figured I'd end it on a word on mom... since that's where the writing gene came from and all.  Not so incidentally, my mom just published a book that she's been working on for decades, literally.  She was a Hospice Nurse and it is a book of inspirational stories about her patients.  It is called "Chapters of Goodbye" by Sandra Cooper Allan.  No, it's not on Amazon, but if someone was interested, they might be able to find her through Facebook since she is on there.

Where to go from here?  ...just am hoping for as many memories as possible to be made.
Thanks mom, for being who you are and bestowing that unconditional love upon me.
L,J


A re-dedication to my mom: 

Happy Mom's Day, Mom
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My mom had it rough growing up.

This is my mom when I was not quite 3 y/o.
I'm sure there are those out there that had it rougher. But, let me tell you, there are SO many that can't imagine how she had it. And be glad for that if you, like me, are in that large group.

The early days- my mom is 27 y/o here (my older brother and I were 6 & 4 at the time).
I've heard tidbits over time... gees, for that matter, the bare facts are enough to make me shrivel up and want to go hide: one brother five years older, then she (my mom) arrived into the world, then another brother 3 years younger arrived. Just three months after the younger brother was born, the already absent father left and her parents divorced. Mix this with her mother being an alcoholic and emotionally/mentally unstable. A year or two later, add a remarriage of the alcoholic unstable mother to 'God Knows What' that abused my mom (and her mother). Around the time my mom was 5, she began to live with her blind grandmother (since the step dad was abusive and an alcoholic). BUT, they lived right next to each other in like a duplex that sat on top of one another... so only a stair-way separated them. Subsequently, at my mom's age of 7 or 8, this 'step dad' hung himself. Shortly afterwards, my mom went back to live with her mother.

Just about every summer, as I was growing up, we went to Colorado. We camped and often rode motorcycles.
So, from the time my mom was 5 years old, she *living with her blind grandmother* had to do household chores that I just can't see a 5 year old doing; fixing meals, dishes, ironing, etc... at five years old. Yes, it was by far the better choice than living with her mother and the abusive husband. But... gees... being so responsible at five... for that matter 8 years old... hard to fathom.

My mom on the Durango/Silverton Train in Colorado.
It's no wonder my mom became a nurse. You know, research shows that 80+ % of nurses come from alcoholic/abusive families ...interesting, they couldn't "fix it" when they were young, so they go into a field that tries to "fix" and becomes the bearer of the brunt of things... cause that's what nurses do.

POINT IS... my mom had it rough ...and, I assure you, this is only a sweet summary. My mom forgave her mother before she passed- told in my mom's words HERE. What a forgiving woman my mom is... she saw her mother for the wounded child she was.

Another thing, she (my mom) didn't repeat the cycle by getting with an abusive man. My dad has never laid a hand on my mom, nor has he ever been verbally abusive (talk about beating the odds ... kudos to my dad on this as well!). They've been married now for almost 44 years.
You know, I asked my mom what she was okay with me 'sharing'... her response was just to do what I thought was okay. I then asked myself what my aim was after all. After much consternation, the two thoughts that came to mind were:
  • First, when one sees things about themselves in writing, somehow it's more real... it's like it holds more credence... if this makes sense. In that regard, it is my hope that maybe my mom can appreciate herself more and be more forgiving of herself in how she raised her children. She, after all, did a remarkable job.
  • Second, who knows if her (my mom's) children's children (and theirs?) will someday read this. With technology and all (these blogs can be saved), it's like a history of sorts. I know I appreciate stories of my family's hardships. Makes one appreciate their own lot better.
Those are my reasons for 'sharing'.
Before I started typing the above, I had saved a post with a few short poems and sayings to post on Mom's Day. The text is still below. Though this post is lengthy, I'll go ahead and leave it... because the poets say it better than I can and I want my mom to hear it. Plus, the home video is kind of ? ... ? neat.

******************previously typed below*******************

I found so much good stuff searching for the *ultimate* Mom's Day poem. Alas, no one poem can summarize what a Mom is, does, gives, transmits, translates ....etc, etc... So many of them connotate so many different things. I figure a sundry of things just might touch the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

I use the term, "Mom", because that is what I call my dear one. For me, the term 'Mother' was not the name/word of choice. We all have symbolic meanings attached to things and, for me, that term isn't warm and fuzzy (perhaps it's because I remember my mom calling her alcoholic mom, "Mothhher"). Regardless, for me, it doesn't convey my feeling... so "Mom" it is. Consequently, since I was young, I have always put a line through the word 'Mother' on cards and whatnot and rewritten "Mom" over it.

On the poems below, I have included the authors names whenever I knew them. Please send a comment if you happen to know the author of any poem whose author is listed as unknown. And don't forget to turn you speakers on for the video.

************************************************

Untitled

There are times when only a Mother's love
Can share the joy we feel.
When something we've dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.

There are times when only a Mother's faith
Can help us on life's way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.

For a Mother's heart and a Mother's faith
And a Mother's steadfast love
Were fashioned by the Angels
And sent from God above.

~Author Unknown

Mother o' Mine

If I were hanged on the highest hill,
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!
I know whose love would follow me still,
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

If I were drowned in the deepest sea,
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!
I know whose tears would come down to me,
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

If I were damned of body and soul,
I know whose prayers would make me whole,
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

~Rudyard Kipling

Wonderful Mother

God made a wonderful mother,
A mother who never grows old;
He made her smile of the sunshine,
And He moulded her heart of pure gold;
In her eyes He placed bright shining stars,
In her cheeks fair roses you see;
God made a wonderful mother,
And He gave that dear mother to me.

~Pat O'Reilly


To My Mother
You too, my mother, read my rhymes
For love of unforgotten times,
And you may chance to hear once more
The little feet along the floor.


~Robert Louis Stevenson

This heart, my own dear mother, bends,
With love's true instinct, back to thee!

~Thomas Moore

And a couple of "Tru'isms"...
When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.
~Sophia Loren

We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves.
~Henry Ward Beecher


**************************************************
So, we (my family) have our three generations pics; my mom, my daughter, and I. My maternal grandmother passed before our daughter was born. However, in a small way, she still can hear her...

(For book purposes: the video that was/is posted is one of Emma sitting in, what is now, Clayton's closet that was full of stuff... including a talking picture frame that had Grandma's mom recorded on it saying 'I love you'.)

video
I am more blessed than words can say.

My cup runneth over.

HAPPY MOM'S DAY TO YOU!

LYM

Saturday, May 11, 2013

On to Greener Pastures
Julieboo
(Rampions Amira)
 
Feb. 5th, 1980 ~ May 6th, 2013 
 
I got Julieboo after my first horse (of only 10 months), 'Bunnie', died.  Julie was a 2 y/o filly in the same public barn where we kept Bunnie.  The lady that owned her was selling her at the time of Bunnie's death.  So, Julieboo was offered as a gift.  But my dad made sure the gift was compensated... little did I know.  I was 13 y/o at the time.

 
That's one scraggly-headed kid on that pretty mare.
Julieboo had her spunk for sure, but the scraggly kid managed to shape it somehow into a very nice western pleasure horse.... she was a natural, though, all on her own.


Dandy on Julieboo w/ a protective pad under the blanket.  Julieboo had many "tricks up her sleeve".

The last third of her life was spent on our property where I could see her every day.  I'm glad that I was able to give her a nice 'retirement'.  She deserved it.

Julieboo on her pasture of retirement.
She had sweet eyes.

I'm so glad that my kids got to know the ole' grey mare.
E & C on their last ride (didn't know it at the time- though I suspected the time would be soon).

I had been increasing her feed for about 2 years prior to her death- it was then that she started becoming a bit harder to keep.
Several months prior to her death, I had to really start pouring it to her.  But, no amount "would stick" to her ribs.  I gave her so much, I worried I'd colic her.  She just wasn't assimilating it like she needed.


This pic was taken 2 weeks & 1 day before the ole mare just couldn't get up... and the 'decision' was made.


She is buried over on the far right -in this pic- in our big pasture.
She will be missed.
Not many -truly- 'bomb-proof' horses are out there like her.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Loves of my life...


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Wisdom of Thomas Sowell










There is nothing so bad that politics cannot make it worse.

It is amazing how many people think that they can answer an argument by attributing bad motives to those who disagree with them. Using this kind of reasoning, you can believe or not believe anything about anything, without having to bother to deal with facts or logic.

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.


If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago, and a racist today.

What “multiculturalism” boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture—and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.

Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.

One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.

The welfare state is the oldest con game in the world. First you take people's money away quietly, and then you give some of it back to them flamboyantly.

Mystical references to "society" and its programs to "help" may warm the hearts of the gullible, but what it really means is putting more power in the hands of bureaucrats.

If you have ever seen a four-year-old trying to lord it over a two-year-old, then you know what the basic problem of human nature is - and why government keeps growing larger and ever more intrusive.

Liberals seem to assume that, if you don't believe in their particular political solutions, then you don't really care about the people that they claim to want to help.

If you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else's expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves.

The essence of bigotry is denying other people the same free choices you have. Many of those who call themselves environmentalists could more accurately be called green bigots.

Liberals love to say things like, "We're just asking everyone to pay their fair share." But government is not about asking. It is about telling. The difference is fundamental. It is the difference between making love and being raped, between working for a living and being a slave. The Internal Revenue service is not asking anybody to do anything. It confiscates your assets and puts you behind bars if you don't pay.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

We fly you in distress BECAUSE we have respect for you...

....and believe this great United States has been stressed enough with the last four years of bureaucracy that is actively eroding the very ways that made this country so great to begin with.
And now, four MORE years (!?!) from an incompetent, elitist, arrogant, narcissistic, haughty, demagogue that has less business being in the White House than someone that has            (list his "credentials" in the preceding blank).
With all of the evidence of previous maleficence, I am in utter disbelief on this Election day evening.
All with concern for my children & children's children,
Bz

p.s. We flew you this way only on the day following the election of such a traitor of the American way.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

UPDATE to Previous Post: Missing Alert

The toothpaste was found!  We were all in the living room when Mr. C. reached behind the big television where all of the cords and wires live and at about the same time as I told him to get back from there, he pulled his hand back with a tube of toothpaste in it... not open, squeezed or smooshed ... thank goodness!
One tube down found.
One to go find.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

MISSING Alert:

It has now been discovered that a SECOND tube of toothpaste is missing.


This is the second one in less than a week.  There are no signs of forced entry, nor is any part of the home left in a disarray (no more than the normal disarray that occurs with a 5 y/o & 2 y/o).

There are no clues as to the whereabouts, but we feel quite certain that a "person of interest" (mugshot below) may know the whereabouts.
Should we learn the whereabouts, our teeth will be happier... as will the parents of the 'person of interest' because then their fears shall be allayed in wondering if these tubes have been expelled in some remote part of the home only to be discovered dry and glue-caked into ... who knows what!?!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Standing Proud...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April is here with all the fun & the latest happenings...


Starting the day with a little iPad puzzle.


Then play with the pup.

See the beautiful contrasting colors?


While Miss E makes a "nest" in the background, Mr. C decides to soak in the pup's water bucket, clothes and all.
This was after he bent over and dunked the top of his head in.

Bark mulch is NOT a regular part of his diet.


Momma affording Mr. C some privacy.

Three sweet fellas; although one of them has dined on horse truffles more than we care. His tongue looks clean here though.

Miss E's nest is complete!

Booger, the cat: "Are you going to hurry up and finish the rose garden so I can take a nap in it?"
Amazing how cat's pupils can narrow to such little slits.

The rose garden complete.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sighhh... He Can Now Work Doorknobs

But he's ohh so cute!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Who's the Moron that...

....invented folding clothes?


[Asked aloud by my dear husband.  To which I answered, 'I don't know, but it's stupid.']

Monday, March 12, 2012

Which Austen Heroine are you?


Well, I took the quiz and it says that I am:
 
You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.




Truth be told ... as is the way of my character, I've not read/seen any of the Austen liertature.
I hear it's good.  I would like to read some someday.
WHY did I take it then... b/c SOME day I may read it.

If you want to take the quiz, click here:

http://www.strangegirl.com/emma/quiz.php

Friday, February 3, 2012

What a Noble Lad he is...

"Laddy" at 7 months & 80 lbs

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mr. C turns TWO! ...and gets a haircut the next day

Restraining underway


C LOVES trains.
[Thanks 'GRRRrandPA' (grandma) for the cake.]

Mmmmm...

More Mmmmm!

Who DOESN'T love cake & ice cream?!?

So grown up from one day to the next.

Cute from the back too!




Monday, December 26, 2011

A Little Bit O' Christmas 2011

It was great seeing Santa!


A right, cute, jolly little boy.

A baker deluxe- did her own Christmas Tree Cake.

The big one of our Christmas trees.

Our blessings -not in disguise here :-)