Giving Gratefully

My daily devotional was about giving with a loving heart.  It never occurred to me that you would give with anything less; but after reading the entire thing, I can see that some would feel less than happy to give.

Me?  I’m a happy, loving giver.  I see something that I know someone will like and I get it and give it, so that I can see their joy that I was thinking of them.  Some people feel they have to give out of obligation.  Not me.  If I don’t have it in me to give a gift, I don’t.  Though, I am mostly a giver, no matter the circumstances.

For example:  I’m preparing for a “Grinchmas” Party on the 22nd.  It’s the last day of school before break and a half day.  Since it’s a half day, I’m making lunch for about 7 kids and I’ve shopped to find the perfect gift for each of them.  I’m decorating the house “Grinchy” and have not only planned the meal; but games and a movie.  The kids are looking forward to it.

The gifts were carefully researched with their likes in mind and I have to say, I do not believe anyone will be disappointed.  At least I hope not. 😀

I’ve always believed it was better to give than receive and have loved finding and giving the perfect gift for those I love.  As a matter of fact, I’ve made and given gifts to at least one person each month of this year.  I began the year with what I called “The Year of RAK”.  I painted, made jewelry or crocheted items for just about everyone on my Facebook friends list.  I made two large blankets and several baby blankets.  I’ve also crocheted three blankets for charity.  I love giving.

BTW, RAK is “random acts of kindness” and were gifts I gave anonymously to friends with a note that said to pay it forward.  It was the best year ever!!!!  I loved seeing them post their joy at a surprise gift from a “stranger” as they said Thank you to “whoever” sent it.  I did it locally and distance.  I’ve enjoyed every little bit of it.  I absolutely loved the satisfaction of giving to them and making them smile.  I even had two friends say it was a blessing to receive on a not so nice kind of day.  😀

I, personally, feel that giving a gift is not an obligation; but a privilege to show someone how much you think of them.  If I don’t think enough of the person to give them a gift, I don’t.  It’s that simple.  If it feels like an obligation, I skip it.  I want to be a joyful giver.  I want my gift to mean something to them and me.

So, remember this holiday season, that it is love in the giving or it’s an impersonal token of obligation. 😦  Hopefully, joyful giving is the win!

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Long Week

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What a week this has been.  My son had rehearsals 3 out of 5 days and performances on two nights.  He played drums for the Choir concert on Tuesday evening and then had a Jazz performance on Thursday evening.  We no sooner ended Marching season and have now begun Indoor Drumline, which doesn’t end until April.

The Jazz performance was great.  His director singled him out and told about the song they were playing, “Drumming Man” which featured my son on the drums throughout.  Great piece and he did an incredible job.  He’s also stepped up and is subbing for our drummer at church, who had a stroke 3 weeks ago and is in rehab.  So proud of my boy. ❤

I went to the doctor on Friday due to this prolonged crap from Irma stirring up all kinds of garbage.  Gave me a more powerful antibiotic, two shots, singular and nasal spray.  Doctor told me I was full of fluid in my ears and my sinuses are swollen.  UGH!  So sick of this crap. 😦

My son and I went to see “Wonder” on Friday evening and it was pretty good.  He had read the book a while ago and was curious to see how good the movie was going to be.  He is now on my sh*t list.  He broke the cardinal law of taking me to the movies.  THE DOG DOES NOT DIE!  Anything can happen.  People can die, just don’t kill the dog.  Simple rule.  You’d think my kid would know better?  Nope.  Dog dies.  I lose it and he says, “Oops, Mom, I forgot.”  He’s grounded for the next few years!!!!!

After church last evening, we stopped at CVS.  We were in the Christmas aisle and I was playing with the musical animals.  One was doing a rocking rendition of Sleigh Bells and I was dancing.  Little did I know I was also being videoed and sent to my sons snap chat for all his friends to see.   Brat!  Though he got a lot of great responses to it like:  That is so your mom.  Aw, sweet!  She’s so much fun.   I’m not too upset, just caught off guard that he would do something like this.  SMH Gotta watch myself in public around this one.

We just got Netflix.  We’ve both binge watched “Stranger Things” and “Mindhunters”.  We like them both.  Not sure what the next thing will be.  We LOVE the new ABC show “The Good Doctor”.  He’s a big Freddie Highmore fan from “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory” and “Spiderwick Chronicles”.  He didn’t really care for “Bates Motel”, though.

I can only imagine what this current week will bring our way.

 

Every Little Thing

Yesterday was my sons last Marching  Band Competition in Lake Worth, FL.  We took a charter bus there and for 3 1/2 hours, we were not allowed to eat, drink or use the bathroom.  WTH!!!!!  By hour 2, I had to pee so bad and I was over the limit by the time we arrived.  I tell you, THAT was my 1st priority when we got there.

Oh and one of the girls in the band, while we were still at the high school, walked past where I was sitting and accidently hit me in the head with her Mellophonium case. I’ve got a lump and it hurts; but like I said, it was an accident.  I teased her the rest of the day about it.  Now, I’ve teased every kid in that band at one time or another.  They all know me; but for some reason, she has no sense of humor and got upset.  I told her that I was teasing and I had to apologize to her for having fun with it.

I love these kids.  I’ve told them on plenty of occasions that I do.  I’ve hugged more than half of them on more than one occasion, too.  I’ve tied shoes, I’ve zipped and unzipped jackets (in the back), helped them put in plumes and take them out.  I’ve bought snacks when no one else thought of it.  I’ve taken more than a few out, had them in my home for parties and meals and enjoyed being their biggest fan and cheerleader.

The competition was a lot of fun for all of us and the kids came in 2nd place in their division.  So happy.  Mom & Dad came up from Florida City to watch and stayed until 6 pm.  It all ended around 10:30 pm.   Worst part of the trip?  Stinky footed ride home. UGH!

Auditions for Indoor Drumline are on Thursday.   There show this year is called, “Breathe” and the kids voted between this and another one last Wednesday.  They are looking forward to starting the next “season” with this show.  I’m not sure when rehearsals start; but I do know that they’ll have the same 2 day rehearsal schedule.  My son has already memorized the audition piece and was playing it yesterday while waiting for the others to finish setting up so they could start warm-ups.  His teacher was impressed since they’d just gotten it the night before, after their last game of the season.

I drop off two band kids before we headed home at a bit after 1 am (2 am) LOL!  On the radio, while stopped at a traffic light is the new country song, “Every Little Thing” by Carly Pearce.  I’ve loved the song since I first heard it.  However, this time, it hit me hard.  Memories I didn’t want to remember came flooding back and tears stung my eyes.

“Every little thing
I remember every little thing
The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting
Of every little thing”

Even though I have left it all behind me, the mind still does random memory checks that flash before you like an unwanted movie, forcing you to see what you’d rather not.  I often wish I could just remove them from my mind so that I never have to review them again; but alas, it doesn’t work that way.  <sigh>

It’s a wonder my blog title is “Mind of a Mad Woman” because these memories are definitely what has made me as mad as a hatter can be.  LOL!  There is one thing I can say and that is the ride these last 49 years has been anything; but boring.

A friend asked me if I’d participate in his November Patriot Recognition.  I told him sure and that I’d get back to him.  I have to gather my thoughts and see what to reveal and what not to reveal. Ha, ha!

My birthday week, last week, was awesome.  Birthday Tuesday with dinner and cake.  Wednesday morning breakfast with my girlfriends in God.  Thursday lunch with one who could not make it to breakfast and Friday, spur of the moment Mexican dinner with same friend and another friend.  Great, great week!  So far, 49 is a great age. 😀

OH, and my son, he is not liking that he is now 18 and an adult. LOL!  He still wants to be a kid.  Speaking of which, he uploaded his auditions for his college application and submitted it for early admissions.  I told him I’ve prayed on it and believe it for a fact that he will get in.  Now, we wait to hear.  Not sweating it or stressing it; because there is no reason to, God’s got this.

Spent the morning cleaning house.  When I get to wanting to clean, I whip through my house like a tornado and everyone just backs away as I do what I have to do.  I was so busy doing other things this week, that it got away from me; but now that we’re back on the clean side of life, I’m happier. 😀

Life is good.

 

Super Carlin Brothers

Many people, especially teens, are familiar with YouTube and their many videos.  From anima to music and more, if it’s a video, you are likely to find it there.  It doesn’t matter what your interest is, you can search for it and likely find various videos in response to your query.  I’ve watched many crafting videos there to learn how to do many things.  It’s a super cool place to visit and can be very addicting as well.

Last year, as Marching Season came to an end and my son, no longer needing me to drive him to and from school after hours, as a typical teenage boy, spoke to me for a total of 5-10 minutes daily.  This included rides to and from school and while we ate dinner together.  To say I was feeling alone is an understatement.  Especially since the previous year and a half I’d spent taking care of a sick friend 24/7 and his passing left me with a lot of free time.

In typical teenage fashion, probably to get me off his back, he told me about how he loves to watch various YouTube videos and that there were a lot of channels there and I may find something of interest on it, since I was not into watching television all that much.

YouTube suggested a number of videos to watch, one of which was Super Carlin Brothers.  Super Carlin Brothers is two young men, who started a year long conversation with each other via video uploads in May of 2012.  What got me hooked on their channel was their love of Harry Potter and Pixar.

So began the journey to binge watch every video they made from day one to the present. LOL!  Who are the Super Carlin Brothers?  Two brothers from the Roanoke, VA area who were inspired by John & Hank Green to start to start their own YouTube channel and see where it would go.

Jonathan Carlin or “J” , the older brother, was super excited to be a new video maker and was very enthusiastic from day one.  All of his videos were intense and fun; because of his obvious love of doing them.

Ben Carlin, on the other hand, looked terrified for his first year or so.  He was not as comfortable as his older brother with the idea of making videos, let alone being put on the internet for anyone in the world to watch.  It made him seem vulnerable and sweet.

They also have a younger brother, Tyler, who has guest appeared in several videos; but is not a regular on the channel.

As the years began to pass, they became more and more invested in their channel and much better at the whole video posting world.  J has never lost his enthusiasm and Ben has become relaxed and more excited about being an internet celebrity.  I just love watching them.

You get to really know these guys well over the years as they tell so much about their personal lives.  J shared videos about getting engaged, married and is currently expecting his first child.  The viewers have all shared in these wonderful life events with him.

Ben owns an aquarium business in the area and has shared some of his “fish tales” on the channel.  You can even hear about his frustrations about Nemo & Dory making the business a bit harder; because kids began wanting tanks with fish similar to the fish in the movies.  I won’t spoil it; go see for yourself.  😀

You can check them out in this link:  SuperCarlinBrothers

Ben & J influenced another young YouTuber into making his own video channel.  I also got hooked on watching Seamus Gorman.  Seamus is from England and is also a theorist of the Pixar and Potter universe.  He actually came to the US about a week ago to meet Ben & J for the first time and collaborate on a few videos and theories with them.  It was great!!  You can check out Seamus Gorman’s channel in this link:  Seamus Gorman.

As I have watched all of the videos on both of these channels, I now have to wait each week for new material to come out.  That’s what happens when you binge watch things. LOL!  Of course, I’ve also gone back and re-watched some of them when I can’t remember what they were about by just the title.

These two channels have really made me rethink and re-watch movies I’d previously seen with different eyes as well as reexamine the HP books like never before.  I like things that make me think.  So, if you, like me, are looking for new takes on movies or want to visit various theories, check out their links.

I’m also a stalker, I mean fan, of theirs on Instagram.  J & Ben post a lot of their social lives on there daily.  I also follow J’s wife, who is adorable, as she shows off her baby bump and gets ready for the Super Carlin Baby to arrive.

Autumn Dreams

Ah, Autumn, how I miss the smell, the crisp air, the crunch of leaves under foot, a light sweater and the beautiful colors.  I sometimes wish I was still up north, enjoying the season in it’s full glory.

I used to love to hike in the mountains and enjoy the Autumn in all it’s splendor.  I love it so much and is truly the only thing I miss about this time of year.  I remember when I was pregnant with my son and we didn’t know if he was a boy or girl yet.  We picked two names.  If a girl, she was to be Autumn Hope.  But, alas, he was not a girl and his name is perfect for him.

It’s only 3 days until we celebrate his 18th birthday.  I can hardly believe that he will be 18.  The years seem to have flown by so quickly. I still reminisce about the joyous times we’ve spent together.  He’s been my miracle since birth and I have enjoyed every moment of it I’ve spent with him.  I am incredibly blessed by God to have been chosen to be his mother.  He turns 18 and 6 days later, I turn 49.  Best birthday present ever! ❤

Last night at church, our Pastor discussed Matthew 25:14-29 — The Parable of the Talents.  In this parable, three men are given talents from their overseer to take care of while he was away.  The 1st man was given 5 talents and multiplied it to 10.  The next was given two and multiplied it to 4.  The final man received only one and he buried and hoarded it, not doing a single thing.  Upon the overseers return, he congratulated the two investors and chastised the sloth, casting him out.

As we reviewed the scripture, we began to understand it.  God gives us each talents.  We are all unique, we are all in receipt of abilities that are ours alone and we are to use them to glorify God.  Because, sometimes, we are the only person who is seen by others as God in the flesh.

I took a “Spiritual Gifts” test to figure out what God had given me to use in this world for His glory.  I received giving, caring and mercy as my top 3 gifts.  (These were far above the other gifts you can receive) I have to say, they were pretty obvious to me, even before the test; but to have it confirmed, was a pleasant surprise.

As I reflect on my life, I see these gifts in so many parts of it.  I’ve always felt it is better to give than to receive.  I take great delight in giving things to people and watching their joy and happiness unfold.  I’m also a natural care giver.  I feel my best when I am able to take care of people and ensure their well being and happiness.  As for mercy, I have always forgiven others much more than they deserve.  It’s why my ex-husband told close friends of our years that he could sh*t all over me and I’d always take him back.  <sigh>

I do it all for Him, and still, I cannot do enough for Him.  It is just not possible.

It’s been a strange few weeks.  For some reason, the Lord is surrounding me with the name of my “love”.  I chaperoned my son’s competition a few weeks back and there were 3 boys with his name, sitting and speaking with me.  I turn on the t.v. and I hear both his given name and nickname, which is not a common one.  I hear it on the radio.  I’ve encountered several while out and about in stores, the mechanics, at the VA,  and on.  It is so weird; but also mysterious as to why I am being bombarded with his name.

November will be 2 years since we’ve reconnected.  In 2015, his name popped into my mind, unexpectedly, while driving home after dropping my son at school.  This has happened to me with various friends I’ve know and usually after I reminisce about them, I forget them again and move on.  Not this time.  Three days later, I am still thinking of him and I decide to look him up on Facebook.  He’s the first choice and I check him out and decide to friend him.  He immediately connects and I move on.  Nope, still there.  UGH!  So, I send him a message.  He had pneumonia, so I tell him I’m praying for him to get better quickly and I’m sure he doesn’t remember me at all.  Low & behold, he not only remembers me; but looked for me on more than one occasion; but to no avail.  LOL!  Spelling my name is a bitch. LOL!  No one gets it right.  So we chat several times over the next year.  He dates a woman, I pray for his relationship.  It ends, I pray for his heartbreak.  Until last November.

November 2016 is when I get the vision of him in church during prayer.  It shocks, it disturbs and scares me.  I come home from church, deeply upset and after an hour of contemplation, I message him angrily and tell him I don’t appreciate his invading my God time, etc.  He finds it funny, I don’t.  I pray about it and God let’s me know His plan and his involvement in it.  I’m in shock.

As this year has gone by, this man and I have had several conversations in which he teases me, leads me on and then disappears from communication for months.  Drives me insane.  Now, I’ve read several articles that state if a man shows no interest, move on.  I have tried.  I pray daily.  I ask God for clarification.  Each time, God answers: “Stay faithful to Me, the plan and the man.”  So I do.

So, here I am.  Still faithful to my Lord, His plan and the man. 😀  Only God knows how this will come to fruition; because He is the author of this love story.  ❤

My son has only 2 more weeks until the end of Marching Band season.  Not sure if the new Band Director is going to be doing Indoor Drumline this year or not.  We shall see.  Because of Hurricane Irma, the band is not motivated at all.  They seem to have lost their mojo for performing.  My son and his friends, who usually love it, seem down and ready for it to end.

I’m almost hoping we don’t have Indoor; but we shall see.  I found out he is graduating on May 19th at 10am and I’m happy for him.  Looking forward to him to do so and also missing the fact that he’s going to go to college at the same time.  So proud of him, though.

And time marches on………………..

Freedom

Tonight I went downtown to “Bike Night” and saw Lita Ford in concert.  Had a fabulous time and as I was driving home, it occurred to me that in the last year, I have truly enjoyed the freedom of not having to ask someone’s permission to do things and have them say no or to say yes and then upon the day’s arrival, force me to cancel my plans, leaving me disappointed.

I can hardly believe it took me a year to realize I am finally free!  I’m free of controlling men.  I can come and go as I please.  After spending the last 22 years with 2 different men who controlled my every move, I am free to do as I please, when I please, with whomever I please.

WOW!  I am amazed.  After all this time, I’ve finally realized that I owe nothing to anyone.

I always believed that a couple should share everything and respect each other and love each other and treasure each other.  In relationships where one partner is completely controlling of the other, you don’t get these same freedoms, love or respect.  You become a virtual slave to the other person and their needs are all that is important.  Even though I’ve completed some intense therapy, I have only just now realized the extent to which I was controlled.  I am so grateful that I am no longer in such situations.  YEAH!!

Knowing that God is bringing me my next relationship and it will be blessed by Him, I have no fear that I will have to worry about that again.  God is directing me toward His plan for my life and I have to say that it is greatly anticipated and looked forward to.

I’m keeping busy while I wait for this plan.  I’ve been crocheting blankets for Boggy Creek Summer Camp, which children with brain tumors and cancer attend yearly.  This camp gives each camper a blanket and teddy bear to keep.  So far, I’ve made two and am working on the 3rd.  I also am working on two other blankets for friends having babies in December & January.

I’m busy with my son’s Senior year of HS as well.  He got his Sr. portraits taken and the cost about floored me!!!  YIKES!!!  I didn’t really like them, either.  He has about 3 weeks left of Marching Band and the time seems to be just sailing by.  He’s working on his college audition videos with several boys from band and is making progress.  So proud of him.

I’ve lost 19 lbs in the last month and am happy with my progress.  I’m steadily getting my life in order.  I’ve got to downsize more and I am waiting until it is a bit cooler to start again.  UGH!  It’s still so incredibly hot.

I miss living up north sometimes.  I miss the leaves changing, the crisp smell of autumn air and the crunch of leaves under foot.   I miss hiking in the woods or up the mountains.  <sigh>

My grandfather passed away this week.  It’s been 18 years since my grandmothers passed, within one week of each other, while I was pregnant with my son.  My grandfather suffered with dementia for the last few years and it is truly a blessing that he has gone home to our Lord.  I know my NC family is grieving his loss.  It hurts that I will no longer get to see him; but I will one day, when I leave this world.  He will be greatly missed. ❤

Most of the missed hurricane days from school are going to be made up before the new year, with only a few days after the new year comes to finish it up.  My son will be graduating on May 19th at 10 am and my parents told me that they’re planning a cruise right after with my cousin, who’s twins will be graduating on the 17th of May, so we may tag along if the price is right.

My world is finally settling into a new normal.  I’m learning to be me again.  I’m who I am again.  Living my life, raising my son, taking care of my pups and loving the new freedom I’ve regained.

Life is good. ❤

 

Mom?

On Saturday, I chaperoned my son’s Band Competition trip.  They competed with other bands in their 2A Class at another high school north of us.  It was a hot and tiring day; but the kids were terrific and placed 2nd in their class and received a 1st place for their Color Guard.  Overall, it was a great experience with a lot of younger, freshman competing for the first time.

At the end of the evening, the leaders come on field for awards presentation.  I had moved from where our band was in the stands to the otherside of the field’s bleachers in order to take photos for the event.  As the 2nd to last band performed, I waiting with our kids and one of them told me he wished I was his mom.  I was stunned.  I gave him a hug and told him I loved him.

For me, it’s easy to love these kids.  I am their cheerleader, mom, task master, shoe tying, instrument holder, jacket zipping, water giving volunteer!  And I love it!  I have taken them to the movies, out to eat, hosted parties at my home, cooked for them and just given out hugs where needed.  I listen to them without judging and I give gentle suggestions when needed.  No child is turned away from this loving momma.  Need a hug?  I got one for you!

So, upon hearing this declaration, I was touched.  I was also shocked.  This young man has a mom and dad; but I learned today that his mom is 30 minutes from where we competed Saturday and he is currently living with dad locally.  That his mom, despite being so close to the event, couldn’t even care enough to attend.  My heart hurts.  He hasn’t seen her in months and I hurt for him.

I was telling my son this on the bus, just before heading back that night and a gal in a seat next to us stated that she, also wished I was her mother.  WTH?  From the sadness in her eyes, I knew she was also hurting and I smiled and told her that I loved her.  I later found out that she has a horrible home life and though there isn’t any physical abuse, you can tell she’s dealing with a lot emotionally.  A friend of my son’s told me that she is a Junior, has no cell phone or internet access, isn’t allowed to have friends over and her parents are very strict when it comes to what she can and can’t do.  Her parents also “forced her to come out of the closet” when she identified herself as a lesbian.  Though none of what I have stated about her home life is truly terrible in and of itself, I cannot help but think that whether my child is gay, straight, bi or whatever, it isn’t anyone’s business but his and who am I to tell him to announce it to all and sundry?

I have, in the past, listened to these kids cry on my shoulder for hurts and heartaches and even though my son is a Senior this year, I do believe that I will still be here for those he’ll leave behind.  His very good friend has already told me he was going to call me and invite me to games and competitions next year, so I had better be prepared. LOL!

I may only have given birth to one child; but my heart is filled with love and compassion for all these other young lives.  I adore them.  I remember my son telling me that one of the Seniors last year was telling him how he didn’t like to be touched or hugged and my son reminded him that he hugged me all the time.  This young man told my son that he does it for me; because he knows I need it.  LOL!  I think that worked both ways.  He never missed an opportunity to give me one. 😀

It’s been a great 4 years.  I love watching these young people go from tentative playing/marching to full on completed shows and victory!!!  Their hard work and effort really shows by the last night and I am there, cheering them on and showing my love and support.

The band director spoke to our bus and I asked him if I could say something.  When I spoke, I told them, as a 4 yr band mom, I was proud of them, they did great for their 1st Comp. and I could hardly wait to see the completed show and watch how far they’ll go.  They then screamed out that they loved me and we left to go home after a long, exhausting  day.

Not My America

It’s a sad day here in the USA.  It seems that the whole country has gone mad.  It is no longer “My America” any longer.

My America is beautiful.  We’re diverse, we’re proud, we’re free and we’re grateful to those who paved the way.  My America is color blind, kind and gives a helping hand.  My America salutes the flag, kneels before God and stands proud to claim to be American.

Growing up in America, I was raised in a small town in New York with only one traffic light, best friends who were black, Puerto Rican and Jewish, went to church on Sunday at our local Catholic church and even attended more than one Saturday evening in the Synagogue, worshiping with my best friend, Heather.

In the summer, we all swam in the lake and winters skating on that same lake.  We had numerous sleep overs, hikes up the mountain and overnight camping trips to various locations with the folks.  I’ve marched in many a Veteran’s and Memorial Day parades as a girl scout and attended more than one function at the local American Legion Post and our Elks Lodge.

I respected my elders and God forbid I gave them sass, because my Mom and Dad would find out and I’d be in deep waters.    I volunteered to help others.  I made regular visits to my grandparents and celebrated holidays like Christmas and Easter in school!  It did not matter that my best friends were white, black and of Indian descent, all that mattered to us was that we liked each other and had the same interests.

We were poor and I never even knew it.  We were on the Government Cheese program where the government brought the dairy surplus from farmers and gave it to those in need.  We got it monthly and even cut the mold off it to eat it when we had it for so long that it began to go bad.  I wore hand-me-downs from my cousins and most of them were male.  LOL!

I was bullied.  I was beaten up by both girls and boys.  I worked it out.  I liked everyone; but not everyone liked me.  My parents didn’t fight my battles, they made me do it myself.  They didn’t involve themselves in kid fight; because kids make up and parents are still angry and it’s over kid stuff.

We celebrated our differences; but we also joined together in our solidarity as Americans.  It is the old school, hometown values that made this country great.

Big Jim and Tiny were the local gay couple we all knew were gay and that you could call on them for help if you needed it.  They also had a cool steam engine in their front yard, which was so cool.  A good friend of the family, a man named Niles, was Jamaican and the darkest skinned man I ever knew and we called him “Uncle” because he was like an uncle to us kids.  We knew to be home by the time the street lights came on and we were hardly ever at home; but out playing and enjoying the fresh air.

If a person wore a uniform, they were an authority figure and we had better behave or we’d be in trouble.  We knew most of the town police and firemen.  They knew who we were, too.  We could walk or ride our bikes anywhere.  We were safe.  We were home.

It’s why I, myself, put on the uniform and served this great nation.  To protect and serve.  To honor what those who came before me had already established so that my children could enjoy the same rights as I did.  And yet, here I am, raising my son in a country I don’t even recognize.  I also have to state that in Sept & Oct 2016, I received a flag for two fallen Marines, both of which served Honorably and passed.

People are killing people for being different.  People are disrespectful to each other.  People are rude and self – centered, self – obsessed, and selfish.  People move to this country and think we need to change to fit into a mold of the country they left.  If it is so important to you to have your customs, why did you leave?  Why should I have to adopt your customs and values?

When I was stationed overseas, I had to adapt to their local customs and ways.  I didn’t go their expecting them to change their laws and customs to accommodate me.  I was expected to follow their ways.  As a matter of fact, everyone who does go to a foreign country in the military, has to go through a weeks worth of orientation before going to their commands so that no one can say they were unaware of local laws, customs and traditions.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

With all that has changed in the last 15 years or so, I’m not sure that we’re going to be able to bring this country back to it’s former glory.  It’s a shame.  Yes,  there are problems; but violence doesn’t help.  Protesting doesn’t help.  Treating people with disrespect doesn’t help.  We have to work together in order to work it out.

What I do know is all of this discord is tearing our nation apart.  I’m saddened and wanted so much more for my son.  I’m hurting for our children.  I’m hurting for the country I so love.  I’m hurting for those who are hurting.  I just want my country back.

I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.  Today, not so much.  I was disappointed in the fact that they refrained from even entering the field for the National Anthem.  These men are paid to perform.  They are not a political organization.  They are overpriced showman.  It’s the same with actors/actresses.  They’re paid performers.  They make more than the average American does to entertain us.  Why are we giving them the power to do this?  We need to cut them off.

 

 

 

Anniversaries

This month brings two important anniversaries for me.  June 24, 1987, I graduated from High School, making this year the 30th Anniversary.  It is also 8 years since I nearly died at the hand of my ex husband.  It is hard to believe how fast life passes you by.

I have very few people that I still speak to from high school, only those who have been life long friends.  I have even fewer from the time when I left the panhandle who I still communicate with.  It’s hard to believe those who believed the lies of an abuser over the woman who nearly died at his hands.  <shrug> It is what it is.  Can’t change the world or those who have eyes that can’t see.

My son & I are preparing to head North on Saturday to visit an old friend from my USMC days.  So excited.  A whole lot of catching up will be had and a whole lot of laughing, singing, dancing and foolishness.  I haven’t even begun to pack.  I figure tomorrow is soon enough.

I am one week post surgery on my throat and still feeling a bit of pain; but what can you expect when you have something shoved down your throat to remove a cyst.  It’s healing according to the doctor.

Currently reading three books.  One is on Ruth and breaks down her life with Naomi and how she abandoned her life in Moab to go with her mother-in-law, to Judah, and worship the one true King.  The 2nd is a Max Lucado study on Jesus at the Cross.  It is broken down into the tiniest of details of that day.  My 3rd is by Anne Graham Lotz called “The Daniel Prayer”.  It is how to make your prayer life as powerful as Daniel prayed to the Lord and finally freed the Israelites’ from their 75 year imprisonment by Babylon.  It’s a follow along study with Videos on her site.

I bought the movie, “The Shack” on Tuesday and my son & I watched it that night.  Such a powerful movie and had me in tears again.  Love that movie so much.  The lessons it brings are simply beautiful and give such hope.

 

Happy Mother’s Day

I hope your day is spent in beauty and love.

My wish is to always be the best Mother I can be to my son.  The Sarah Connor Meme was what he posted on my FB wall for Mother’s Day.  I guess that speaks for itself. LOL!  Oh how I love that boy of mine. ❤

Friday evening was the Band Awards Night.  My parents came and my son received his Junior year award, his Jazz, Percussion and Marching pins and was named Most Outstanding Musician for this past year.  So proud of him and his accomplishments. Afterwards, I took him, my parents and one of his friends out for dinner at Ruby Tuesdays. Delicious food, great company and lots of laughs.  Gave my mom her gifts for Mother’s Day and we all had a great time.  So blessed to have these great times together.

I know I have a year until my son graduates and we’re making the most of our time together.   The first two weeks after school gets out, we’re going to Virginia to spend time with friends.  Not sure if the whole time will be there; but we shall see.  Also have an open invite from my Uncle in NC to stop by, so I may spend a few days with them as well.

I am so looking forward to our trip.  It’s about a 17 hour drive; but I know the two days it takes to get there will be tedious, however, well worth the hassle.  Seeing a friend I haven’t seen in over 20 years.  So blessed to be able to do so.  He’s just had both knees replaced and I just can’t let any more time go between us.  I have to see him.  I can hardly wait to meet his wife.  She’s sweet and kind and has tamed this man a lot from our youth.  I adore them.

This year has gone by quickly; but the last week has seemed to crawl by slowly.  I guess knowing that it is only a few weeks until I get to vacation must be what is making it seem this way.  Of course, the time we’re away will fly by for sure. LOL!

Last week, my cousin laid to rest her boyfriend of 17 years.  It was unexpected.  He had a brain tumor that he didn’t know about, caused him to lapse into a coma and become brain dead within two days.  Devastating her, his family and their friends.  What is strange is that in September, shortly after my own loss, we had gotten together and had discussed what would happen to her if something happened to him.  I had been explaining to her all the things I needed to go through with the power of attorney, lawyer, cremation, etc.   She expressed her concerns about her situation with me and I listened and shared what I knew from my own personal experience.  I hope it led to a talk with him about it.  She hasn’t been up to talking to anyone, so I am not sure.  I feel so bad about the situation.  She loved him so much.

Actively working on my patience.  On my second Max Lucado bible study book.  Did a short one on patience that I’d gotten from another source.  It was only on patience and about 60 pages, but very intense.  I certainly needed that.  Still waiting on God’s perfect timing.  ❤