Friday, September 27, 2013

Coaching On and Off The Field I was going to blog today about Obamacare, but I quickly realized that doing so could cause my blood pressure to take an unhealthy jump....and if my blood pressure took an unhealthy jump it might result in a heart attack or stroke.....and if I had a heart attack or stroke it would most assuredly land me in the hospital.....and if  I landed in the hospital then it could actually be a lengthy stay.......and if it was a lengthy stay then I would surely be in past Oct. 1 and Oct. 1 is when all the changes in insurance are suppose to start taking place (they aren't sure of what all the changes are yet but they know there are many changes)......and if I stayed in past Oct. 1 I might not have insurance or no longer be able to pay for my insurance.....and if I was no longer able to pay for my insurance or was not insured......with the new proposed "death panels" I am hearing rumors about with Obamacare.....they might think that my being a  woman of a certain age with heart and/or stroke issues and no insurance might not be worth saving.....and simply let me die.....and I don't want to die, so therefore, today I will not blog about Obamacare but instead I will blog about something totally unrelated. Sorry folks. I guess today you won't know how I really feel about Obamacare. ;)

Did you hear about the Utah high school football coach who suspended his entire varsity team? The story is that coach Matt Labrum of Union High School was getting reports of his players cyber bullying a kid or kids and also that the boys on the team seemed to be feeling a little too entitled showing up late for classes and disrespecting teachers. After hearing the complaints about his team, Labrum decided to nip all of this behavior in the bud, so he had ALL the varsity players turn in their uniforms and suspended each and every one of them. In replace of practice he made them do community service and take a character building class along with focusing on studies and grades.

Apparently not all team parents were behind the coach feeling that ALL were being punished for the few, however even one of the team members interviewed felt that all in all the suspension was both deserved and a good thing. Hmmmm.....suspending an entire team for the acts of a few. Is this fair? Is this right? What about those boys playing for scholarships? What will this do to Unions football season? What will this do to Labrums job? As you can well imagine, the lady with a million opinions definitely has one on this.

While I love my football from pee wee league on up to professional, I have never been a huge fan of the mentality behind high school football. Lets face it in most places the football team rules the school and if the team is a winning one....parents, teachers, administrators and often times the entire town look the other way when the golden boys act up, act out or even break the law. There is this "boys will be boys" attitude and it is a free pass for them to behave anyway they want. In school the other kids are well aware of the food chain and football players are usually at the top of it. They can bully, misbehave, be disrespectful and not turn in a stitch of homework and still they are indestructible. This is why I have always had issues with huge chunks of school money going into sports instead of academics...but that is another blog for another time. So when I heard what this coach did, it gave me hope for the future of high school football.

Football and all team sports are great if they are coached well. Kids should be learning how to work both on the field and off the field as a team and learning as individuals to be their best at all times. They should also be taught good sportsmanship both on and off the field. They should also learn that the old adage of "It is not whether you win or lose but how you play the game," spills directly into life because once football is behind these kids, life is the game they will be playing. As Labrum said, it is an honor to put on your school team jersey and hit the field. An honor kids.....NOT a right! So when I heard that some parents were upset that their kids were being lumped in with the bad apples, I couldn't help but roll my eyes. Yes, maybe scholarships are on the line and maybe both kids and parents lose a little prestige by not taking the field, but there is a much bigger lesson being taught here and I would think these parents would be standing strong behind this coach. Lesson #1 in a team....if one of you screws up it can directly effect everyone else. You are a team. One goes down and you all can go down. Lesson #2 good sportsmanship should not just be happening on the field but also in the halls of your school. You maybe popular but that doesn't make you above the rules. You are not entitled just because you wear your school colors. If anything....that should hold you to a higher standard of behavior. Disrespect, bullying and showing up for class when you see fit is not conduct befitting someone who represents their school.

Labrum in my opinion did it right and obviously as fast as this has blown up in social media....I am not the only one who feels this way. Holding these varsity players accountable for their actions and following through with consequences will likely be a lesson these young men will never forget. This also is setting an example for future players at Union, for coaches across the country and for high school football players everywhere. These boys obviously have a coach that not only cares about their skills on the field, he also cares about what life skills they are learning while on his team. In my opinion, high school sports could certainly use a whole lot more Labrums straight across the board. Good job Coach Labrum!

Well it is Friday and this ends another week. Hope you have a safe and wonderful weekend. See you again on Monday!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I Was Wrong!

Today's blog, unlike most Thursday blog is an easy one. One thing that some don't know about me is....if I am proved wrong about something, I have no issue admitting it. Yes, today I am having a serving of crow as an entree because I truly believe I was wrong. It makes me really sad too.

Many of you who read my blogs will remember that about a year ago, my family went to the Humane Society and brought home a three month old Pit Bull. Very much against my will might I add. After having him in our family though, I began changing my mind about PB's and began thinking that it was truly not the breed but how they are raised that was the issue. I have put up many pictures of the Pitty who was named Vic and I have expressed my changed views over PBs many times as I watched him grow and become a very loving part of our family. Let me say here that Vic had three other furry siblings and despite his size and build, he always appeared submissive to our corgi Spud who is the oldest of all the dogs and played well with the others.

From the time we got Vic he was raised around other dogs and also my kids. He had a gentle nature and was never treated badly. He had a yard to play in, a bed to sleep in (mine) and tons and tons of love. He was our big old 75 lb. baby. My only concerns about Vic were his size and the fact that he wanted to be treated like a small dog (lap sitting and playing like the small dogs) but his size would not allow for it. I was afraid he might also hurt someone in play because he was a solid powerful dog. Other than that though....he acted like the rest of the dogs and we all got along just fine.

Vic's relationship with people has always been friendly but I was never stupid enough to leave him alone with children, especially not David. I trusted Vic but I knew that provoked any dog could take it as a challenge and hurt someone. Without realizing it, a child could accidentally provoke a dog and be hurt without ever understanding what they did. Vic's relationship with the other dogs was always good too. They would run and play and they always got along fine. This summer though there was one incident with Vic and Shane our Rottweiler Boxer mix. Vic and Shane were playing and they started to fight over a toy. Suddenly it went from play to a full on fight with both dogs sustaining some mouth and facial cuts. Since Shane had actually started the fight I assumed that it was because he had not been fixed yet and it was a testosterone filled "guy thing." We kept them apart for awhile and gradually allowed them to play together again. They usually kept a pretty wide circle between themselves though after that.

This past Sunday.....all my illusions about Vic and PB's were shattered. The dogs were in the back yard and thankfully both Z and I were out there too. Z was in the process of taking Shane into the garage when suddenly without provocation Vic attacked Spud. It happened in a split second right before my eyes. I screamed and tried to pry Vic's mouth off Spud's neck. Both Z and Shane heard me scream and both came running back out the door. Shane then proceeded to go after Vic. Z and I both were fighting to get the dogs apart and save Spud. Finally after hitting the ground, rolling and twisting with the dogs and Z being bit twice, we were able to pull a bloodied and battered Spud from Vic's mouth. Vic and Shane however, were still in a battle that was going to end in death for one of them. I finally was able to reach the hose and I sprayed them apart before they were able to kill each other. Luckily both only sustained minor cuts and bites but Spud did not fare as well. Spud ended up with deep canine teeth wounds on his neck where Vic had locked his jaw tightly and refused to let go. He also ended up with lacerations inside his ear. He was covered in blood and probably due to the ear damage he was walking at a tilt.

Vic was originally my older sons dog but when he moved to a place where "dangerous" breed dogs were not allowed, Vic ended up staying here. After the attack incident though I called my son and told him that he had to pick up Vic immediately and find him a new home. He did.

What I learned from all of this is, there really is something to the fact that PBs can attack without provocation. Vic was never mistreated, unfed or unloved. He also was not in protection mode nor had he been provoked by anyone or anything. He was running and playing and Spud was doing nothing more than walking up to the house. Within a split second Spud was attacked and had I not been there....Spud would have been killed. During the whole thing I was full of adrenaline and felt no fear but afterwards I was terrified. I realized that had I not been there and had Z and Shane not come running out, the outcome for Spud could have been much different. I also realized how lucky Z and I were that Vic had not decided to turn on one of us. Most importantly though I realized that Vic could just as easily have attacked David without provocation or any animal or child for that matter. It was a hard realization but it was a lesson learned very well.

Lucky for us we have a friend that cancelled her Sunday plans and came over and shaved Spud and helped us doctor his wounds. Monday I took him to the vet to learn that his wounds were deep but thankfully not lethal. He was given large amounts of anti-biotics and we were told he would likely be sore for awhile. Blessedly he seems to be healing, me on the other hand.....I still am in shock. Z's arm though sore is healing nicely but will likely scar. A permanent memory of what a PB can do.

I still love Vic with all my heart and huge part of me misses my snuggle buddy. Truthfully.... 99% of the time he was a loving and gentle dog, but the fact is....that 1% is all it took for me to realize that something in him was a ticking time bomb. Never again would I have felt safe with him because I myself saw him attack without provocation. He was not protecting himself or anyone else. He was not teased or mistreated....he simply snapped in that moment and if it happened once, no one could convince me that it wouldn't happen again. a mother I cannot in good conscience keep a dog that could do that around my family, especially not David.

I am sure there are PBs out there that have never once hurt anyone, but that is not to say that something might not snap in them and even for a few moments change them into a vicious animal. Trust me, when this happens it is not easy to pull them back and in the time it takes to get them under control....tragedy could happen.

I will always love Vic and I do miss him terribly. We all do, but after this experience....armed with this new found knowledge, I would never again own or even really trust another PB. Yes folks....I was wrong!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

An Impossible Situation

If you have been reading my blogs all along, then you might remember that back during Lent, I wrote some Sunday blogs on the Catholic church and some widely believed misconceptions. One of those misconceptions was how Catholics view Mary the Mother of Our Lord and how we use her and the saints in prayer. The belief that we worship her rather than honor her as the Mother of Jesus was discussed in detail. There seems to be the same misconception from those outside the Catholic faith that we "worship" the saints. There is a vast difference when you ask a saint to pray with you and for you as opposed to worshiping and viewing that saint as a supreme being or deity. Just to make it perfectly clear......Catholics like all other Christian faiths worship one God....the only God. End of discussion.

In a world where God is fast becoming a bad word and man is taking credit for all the good in the world while God only gets blasted for the bad, you have to wonder why He didn't just do us all in long ago and end it all or at the very least....start fresh with a new species that might in fact appreciate all His gifts. However, He did not and still has not. On the contrary.....He still sends us messages of hope and miraculous gifts so that people may still someday come to know Him. Lets face it....if you have lived past 20 then you have been witness to at least one miracle.....whether you choose to admit it or not. 

Like the Mary the Mother of Our Lord, throughout the ages....God has worked some of His most amazing works through man. He has chosen those that He knows have a special soul and who hold Him and His word in the highest regard and He has worked miracles through them. These special ones are called saints by the Catholic church and have to go through a rigorous testing by both man and the church before they are officially called saints. In death as in life.....they are tested.

While living, saints often have had a great devotion to God from their earliest years, but often their lives are anything but easy.  Many live in poverty or started with money only to ultimately chose poverty to better serve God. Often they are afflicted with illness or strife but never lose sight of God or their ultimate goal.....heaven. Saints are people who stand out to those around them as pious, usually very humble, kind and generous souls. They take any suffering they have and offer it up as a way to show God that Jesus suffering on the cross was not in vain.

Some saints have had miracles attributed to them in life. They themselves realize that the miracle does not come from them. It comes through them by God as an example that when we pray....He hears our prayers. God answers prayers every second of every day and many times they go unnoticed or the credit does not go to God but elsewhere, so sometimes He needs something big to get our attention and that is where these saints come in. They are His faithful who only wish to live their lives for Him. This world matters nothing to them only the next and they are put upon this earth to bring His name in prayer to the lips of all they can. Thus by working through them many have been brought to God.

After death is when these holy people start to be accredited for miracles. Sometimes it is at the time of their death and often it is before they are even buried. There have simply been too many miracles attributed to these people to be denied. The miracles are thoroughly checked out through not only the church but also through science. Sometimes it takes years before a person becomes a saint, but in our modern world even with all the skepticism and cynicism where miracles and all things God are concerned, there are things that happen that there is simply no explanation for....not scientifically or otherwise. It is these very acts that have caused conversions and complete faith in many people. And yes.....with saints and comes down to my favorite saying: "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, no explanation is possible."

As you can imagine in my home saints were called upon for intervening prayer my whole life. I have no doubt that David was a miracle. St. Pio, St. Theresa and St. Jude were called upon daily for prayers for my child who was beyond critical and expected to die at any moment. At times he had less than a 10% chance of making it through the day and each time he survived. His final critical diagnosis: The chances were in the 90% range that he would live the rest of his life on life support with no cognitive interaction with the world. In essence....a vegetable. As I walked from the NICU for the last time holding my baby who was going home on no meds, not tubes and no oxygen.....the head of the NICU told me....."You know he is a bona fide miracle? Right?" Of course I did and I thanked God and all the saints who joined in prayer with me.

The biggest issue those outside Catholicism have is the question of why we need the saints to pray for us? Why isn't it good enough that we ask God ourselves? The same reason that when we have an issue in our lives and we ask our friends and loved ones to pray for us. The more prayers the better and the closer the people who are praying are to God.....well even better. And why not ask those who God has obviously worked through in the past? It kind of just makes sense.

Of late St. Jude and I have been having some pretty in depth conversations. In life, St. Jude was one of Jesus Apostles (not to be confused with Judas who denied Him). St. Jude has long been called the go-to saint of the impossible. The late Danny Thomas the singer, actor and comedian who was a life long Catholic even built a hospital in honor of the great saint. The story goes that in his early years with a child on the way and no income coming in, Thomas put his last few dollars in the collection plate at church. Realizing after the fact that this was all the money he had, he asked St. Jude to pray for him and help him to find his way. Almost immediately Thomas's life turned around and he was well on his way to the successful career that we all knew. Thomas realized that without St. Judes intercession his life might have been very different, so he got friends and associates together and in honor of the saint who listened and prayed for him he began the building of what we now know today as St. Judes Children's Hospital. In that childhood cancer and research hospital because of Thomas's great devotion to his faith and the ultimate realization that God had once again used this saint to make the possible out of the impossible....tens of thousands of children have been treated and cured of childhood cancers that before they would have died of. Amazing!

As I said, of late the good saint and I have been in deep conversation. I have been praying, he has been listening and he too has been praying. Is my request in God's plan? I pray it is and I pray that with St. Judes help....what feels impossible to me will soon be another miracle in my life. There is a  novena (prayer) that you say daily for nine days, when asking St. Jude to intervene on your behalf. Once your prayer has been answered the request is that you publish the St. Jude novena in a public place. Often I have seen them in the newspaper classified section or on public bulletin boards. Every time I see one, I know that St. Jude has been busy praying. Today I am publishing his prayer here. prayer has not as yet been answered, but I have every faith it will and when it is......I will publish it again. Catholic or non-Catholic.....if you are in an impossible situation I urge you to say this simple pray each day for nine days. If your prayer is answered just repost the prayer. You don't have to say why or even attach your name to it. Just pay the prayer forward for someone else.

Just so we are clear, I am not here to convince you. That is not within my power. What I am doing is telling you what I know in my life has worked and I am opening a door for anyone in an impossible situation.

St. Jude Prayer for Impossible Times and Situations
Oh glorious apostle St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor who delivered thy beloved Master into the hands of His enemies has caused thee to be forgotten by many, but the Church honors and invokes thee universally as the patron of hopeless cases--of things despaired of. Pray for me who am so miserable; make use, I implore thee, of that particular privilege accorded thee of bringing visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need(state your need), that I may receive the consolations and succor of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly (mention your request), and that I may bless God with thee and all the elect throughout eternity. I promise thee, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor thee as my special and powerful patron, and to do all in my power to encourage devotion to thee. Amen

Say this day every day for nine days. When your prayer is answered, please publish or post!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

From the Archives: The Cheating Game

Today I heard......someone on tv talking about marriage and cheating and when and where it might be acceptable. Really? It reminded me of a blog I wrote a while back in response to an email I received. They were asking my opinion and I gave it. Since this is one of those days where time is limited, I thought I would take you for a walk down memory lane and pull this one from the archives. Let me take you back to May 8, 2012 to my blog.....The Cheating Game.


The other day when I put a call out for blog ideas I received ideas not only from facebook and the blog comments but I also got a few fb messages and an email or two. Some were silly, some were off the cuff and some where a little more serious. So far...I have decided to do all that have been offered. I am really wanting to stretch my ability to write on a multitude of subjects and today's is quite the subject. I am going to write about one of the more serious topics offered me. I received an email on this topic and I found the email to be every bit as interesting as the topic. I chose this topic as it is one that I myself have had experience with, both growing up and in my adult life and I found the content of the email intriguing. Before I is an excerpt from said email:

"Please use 'cheating' as one of your topics......... I don't know why people cheat. I have seen it happen to many of my friends but I was really shocked when it happened to us. My relationship is not perfect but then whose is? It has lasted many years tho and I do not now or have I ever regretted my choice in choosing who I am spending my life with. Things are really good for us except for the fact that there is cheating going on. It has been going on for many years and it is now a cycle that seems to be uncapable of breaking. I think we both know what is going on and I think we both know that the other knows. It is unspoken so far but I feel that one day it will all come out and our lives will crumble. We have kids and I know our kids think we are one of the few in tact families still around. I will tell you that I know the cheating has not occurred with only one person. It is not a "love affair" situation. That is why I am confused. There have been numerous affairs over the years and there has been no time table for when they happen or when they end. There have even been overlapping affairs and funny enough we have been able to maintain love and respect for each other through it all. This is assuming that we both know what I think we both know and that what I think we both know is happening. Okay any way, could you please tell me what you think about all of this? Could you please tell me how you feel about cheating? I am not looking for you to fix this only to put it into perspective. Maybe we will both read this together and it will open up a conversation. Please though tell me how you feel about cheating and at the same time you can use it as one of your topics."

Wow! Intriguing....right? First let me say that I do not know the person that emailed me this. I don't even think they live in my part of the country and if I did know them....I would not be using it as a topic. Second let me say that I am not a therapist, an expert or anything close to either of those things. I am simply a woman with an opinion and that emailer and anyone else who reads this is how I am writing this. That...and it is interesting subject matter and I would like to hear other opinions too. So please feel free to comment.

Let me just say right up front......I have no idea why people cheat. I assume that there are as many reasons for cheating as there are people doing it. My first thought would be that somewhere deep inside there is unhappiness. Perhaps they married or got into a relationship too early, maybe one or both of the people in the couple changes over time or maybe they just fall out of love. To me I always thought that cheating was the beginning of the end for a today's world though and possibly even in times gone by...if the cheater is good with spreading themselves around and the one being cheated on is okay with living in denial....then the status quo seems to continue on with neither party ever rocking the boat. I guess that is okay for some, but I could not and would not do it.

The emailer made the statement "There have even been overlapping affairs and funny enough we have been able to maintain love and respect for each other through it all." As I read this I had to question that statement. They have been able to maintain love and respect for each other through it all? How is that possible? How do you love and respect someone and then cheat on them? And it doesn't sound as if it was once, but many times over.  How do you take from the person you are bound to and give someone else that intimacy and parts of yourself that only your spouse/significant other should have and still claim respect for them? In my opinion (and that is what you are asking for) that shows no respect. In shows such a lack of respect for your spouse, your relationship, your family, the person you are cheating with and most of all....yourself.

As I said...there are probably a zillion reason why someone chooses to cheat. I am also sure that there are bad marriages, open unhappiness and family issues that cause cheating, but does that justify the situation? I know too that in the new modern world....cheating happens often. I know that people even have marriages/relationships where cheating is built in, but knowing a little about human nature...I don't know how it ever works. Humans are jealous and territorial by nature and cheating always leads to destruction. Men and women may like to play the field but in most cases if the cheater found out that his/her spouse was also cheating....that simply wouldn't fly. It would be a blow to pride, self esteem and the relationship as a whole. Few cheaters feel that what is good for goose is also good for the gander. 

My suspicion is that there is more going on in this relationship and in most cheating relationships than anyone wants to admit. I totally believe that some who cheat do not see their intimacy with someone outside their relationship as loving or lasting....but merely an act in the moment. It is more a bodily function than a deeply intimate tie. Unfortunately for most of these individuals neither their partner in the relationship nor the one they are cheating with sees their intimacy in the same way. Because of this it is double whammy to the cheater if they get caught because ultimately they have hurt not one but two individuals with this act that can be called nothing less than selfish.

I also question where a cheaters head is at when they have children and cheat. If you are married and cheat and get caught, what does that do to the kids? Even if the marriage makes it through the cheating...what kind of an example is being set? Do we really want to teach our kids that cheating is okay or that being cheated on is acceptable treatment in a relationship? Do we really want them to think that breaking a trust in such a huge way should be easily forgiven and that the one cheated on somehow deserves the disrespect? These are the things that mold young people and set the path for how they will treat others in the future. The cheater is also risking their relationship with their kids when this happens as often kids remain loyal to the parent who was cheated on and seldom the cheater.

In case you haven't figure it out and are wondering...I am not a fan of cheating. I have been cheated on and trust me...coming from that place...cheating sucks! Feeling as if your best was not good enough for someone and knowing that they loved and respected you so little that they could treat your relationship like that is a difficult blow to overcome. And no...I did not stick around to be hurt again.

All this being said...I don't live inside this couples relationship or anyone elses for that matter. I don't know what goes on and as I said before...I don't know why people cheat. All I do know is that cheating is never good for anyone involved and cheaters almost always get caught. In the end someone always gets hurt and you have to ask if the fallout is really worth the game?! So is my blog and thank you for the topic.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Next to Normal

I think I have mentioned before my love for music theater. One of my dearest wishes is to someday see an actual Broadway production. I have been enamored since seeing The Sound of Music as a child and my affection has only grown increasingly larger as I have seen Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Rent and Hairspray. Of course classics such as The Sound of Music, West Side Story and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers still stay close to my heart too.

One of the perks of the long car rides we have between here and St. Louis is that Z and I switch off on either Pandora or Spotify channels. When it is my turn, you can always know that musicals will be at least one of my picks. It was during one of these that I heard the song I Am the One from the musical Next to Normal. I had never heard it before and I was drawn in to the music immediately. While I had no understanding of the words as they pertained to the musical they still captured me. Once home I went to my trusty youtube to find out more about this musical. Once I read up on it, I was intrigued.

Next to Normal was on Broadway in 2009. The show is about a family living with a mother and wife who is suffering from bipolar disorder caused by the death of her child, the same child that now both haunts and try's to guide her to him. It details her dips into depression and the highs and lows of the disorder and the effect that they have on her family. Dark? Just a bit....and how could they make a musical  about of all things, bipolar disorder? Heck....they can make a musical about anything now a days. I knew though that I really wanted to see this. Sadly, other than a few excerpts on youtube, it looked as if I was out of luck. The touring company apparently is no longer touring and my chance to see it locally came and went in 2012! Drats! I guessed I would just have to be happy with the soundtrack.....and I was.....until yesterday. As I was just browsing through youtube I came upon the actual full length musical recorded from Broadway. Eeeeeeeee!!!!! You can only imagine my excitement. I wasted no time in watching.

When you have built something up in your head, there is always that little fear that the reality might not be as great as your head-hype. Nothing could have been further from the truth with Next to Normal. Somewhere I had read that the producers of the musical Rent also produced NTN. I could see it, yet it was still its own entity. Nothing I had ever seen before. The show was very true to life showing the ugliness that can result from this mental disorder and it also showed the difficulties of treatment and how it can tear a family down to its very core. Mixed in with the darkness and I say darkness because that is how you feel watching this woman deal with her illness, there is also humor because just like in real one can survive without it. The music is beautifully done and the songs capture the families struggles from the mothers "You Don't Know" lashing out at her husbands inability to understand her illness to the daughters heart wrenching "Superboy and the Invisible Girl" describing how she feels living in her dead brothers shadow.

I will say that I have known several people in my life who are bipolar and this actually gave me a view of the disease I didn't have previously. I will also say that surprisingly I had tears running down my face during much of the show. I had no idea I would be so affected.

If you get a chance to watch it and musicals are your thing....I highly encourage it. It is not your run of the mill, normal high spirited musical. Of course I guess neither was Rent, but you know what I mean. It deals with tough subject matter and there is adult content and language throughout, so you might not want to watch this one with the kids. All in all though, I loved this show and I guarantee it just might give you insight into mental disease you didn't previously have. I am going to put the link for NTN here>>>>>Next to Normal. Since it is likely illegal for this to be on may not be there long. If you do though get the chance to watch, I would love to know your thoughts.

So today.....I like...... no actually love.....Next to Normal!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thank God for Obamacare

You remember when you were young and you got in trouble at school? Your parents always told you that whatever punishment you got at school, you got double at home. There would be no questions asked....just punishment. How about if you threw a tantrum in public? Likely you would be snatched up then and there and busted for all the world to see. The same happened if you acted up in church except you either got quietly pinched (and you better not yell "Owwww!") or you would be marched out to the car in front of the entire church and then spanked. Then there was that whole...."Kids should be seen and not heard," in a group of adults and you never talked back to your elders. I don't care what they said. You kept your mouth shut! And as far as entitlement went....we didn't even know the word. As far as we knew....we were entitled to nothing. No one owed us a thing. If we wanted something we worked for it and sometimes we had to work pretty darn hard. There were no handouts and things like food stamps and welfare were dirty words. You took nothing from anybody. You worked for what you had. Funny thing is....with all these rules, corporal punishment and work too, we were still kids. We played outside from morning until night in the summer time. We played hard out at recess during school playing kickball, dodge ball or tag and usually came in looking and smelling like thirsty wet puppies. We went fishing, camping and most of us finished high school. A good many went on to graduate college and become quite successful. To this day most of us still bite our tongues around our elders, don't have a melt down every time life doesn't go our way, and we all have a pretty darn good work ethic, so what again was wrong with a paddle on the butt when we acted up, threw a tantrum or were disrespectful?

So jump the clock ahead to now. The very things that we were told not to do as kids and were punished for will now get you a reality tv show. To be given hand outs is something many strive for and even make it a full time job to get and kids are pasty white with bad eyes because their days are spent glued to some sort of technology playing games or looking at social media. With the banning of corporal punishment, it took authority away from teachers and even parents. Once kids realized that there were no consequences for their actions all hell broke loose. Respect is a word that is almost as antiquated as the action. Kids have no boundaries so they talk to anyone, any time and any way they choose to. They have no regards for anyone especially their elders and throwing a tantrum for all to see (especially if it makes it to youtube) is some how a status symbol. And we scratch our heads and wonder why there is bullying, parent and grandparent abuse, a huge rise in teen promiscuity, drinking, drugs and the welfare system is over run. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure all of this out. Sigh

I'm just wondering when all of this happened? My kids got swatted when they were in trouble...albeit I often had to take them out the way of judgmental eyes so as not to risk getting SRS called on me. My kids were taught to respect their elders and that nothing was given to them. Still is hard to instill these fundamental values when society screams something different. According to new societal can act how you want in school and there are little to no consequences, but act like a kid and get into a fist fight and you are looking at jail time. Teachers have lost respect because they are either too familiar with the kids and try to be friends or because they try to enforce rules without consequences and the kids just laugh at them. If your kid acts up in church, you better bet that there will be annoyed eyes on you, but dare to take the child out or swat the child right there and those annoyed eyes become judgmental eyes and you risk getting turned in for child abuse. The same goes if you are in a public place and your child decides to push boundaries and throws a fit. Do nothing and you are a horrible parent. Spank the child, swat the child or even scold the child in front of others and you are abusive.

What about reality tv? Millions of dollars have been made in the last decade on bad behavior. First you have the idiots that do highly stupid and dangerous stuff and.....we don't think an impressionable kid is going to try it? Stupid and dangerous is stamped into the DNA of most adolescents and teens. Make it cool to do this stuff by giving it a world wide audience and you have kids risking their lives for five seconds of fame. Brilliant. How about the 16 and Pregnant series? Granted it was originally made to show the rough side of getting pregnant as a teen. What it actually did though was catapult these young mothers into the lime light and make them famous. Suddenly girls were getting pregnant just so they could be on the show. That was an enormous backfire. Then there are all the shows where entitlement was the basis for the show and the tantrums for not getting what they wanted were what the viewers tuned in for every week. It started with the My Sweet 16's where we told our young girls that a 16th birthday party with food, music and a sleepover was no longer good enough. Suddenly girls wanted and expected a party that would rival most peoples weddings. Then there is the whole Bridezilla thing. Granted....getting married is crazy and stressful and it can put everyone involved on edge, HOWEVER there is never a reason to act like some of these women do. They disrespect their wedding party, their parents, all involved in the planning of their wedding and usually and most especially their soon to be spouse. The thing we often learn is that this entitlement they feel is not just during the wedding. It has been life long with no boundaries and no consequences and we just get to see the final product of complete and total permissiveness. Bottom line...everything my generation was taught was negative and destructive is now being spot lighted as a way to get attention and even fame in this generation.

Because of shows like Big Brother, The Real World and Jersey Shore.....shows whose highest percentage of viewers are teens and young adults.....promiscuity, drinking and partying are the norms. People from these shows have become famous world wide for bad behavior and our kids are taking their cues from them. In today's world you are a nobody if you have reached 30 and haven't had either a DUI, an STD or you haven't been arrested, finger printed and a mug shot taken. Forget the days of striving for a college degree and a good job. Those apparently are as antiquated as respect is.

Somewhere along the way we lost our values, our sense of right and wrong and yes......even our morality. We have replaced wanting a secure future for ourselves with wanting five seconds of fame and it really doesn't matter if that fame is brought on by the positive or the negative. We are now raising a generation whose biggest influence is no longer family and teachers, but video games, social media and reality tv. The lessons being taught are not respect for self and others, hard work and education. Instead they are; do what you want, when you want and how you want. The rules apparently no longer apply to them. The scary thing is.....this generation of entitled, disrespectful and fame seeking individuals are our future leaders. All I can say to that is.....thank God for Obamacare! By the time this generation gets into office...thanks to Obamacare....very few of my generation will be left alive to see it!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Confrontational...and All That Implies

As a child I was very shy. In know that child that hides behind her mothers leg when talked to? That was me. As I grew older I was comfortable with my friends but still very non-confrontational. I never spoke up or stood up for myself because I was never taught to. My mom was always there to fight my battles and speak up for me. This served me well until I was shoved out the door to attend college away from home. I deliberately or at the very least subconsciously sabotaged myself before I even left home. Once I left I had no adult problem solving skills so it was not long before I was back home.

I think my mothers need to control all in her hemisphere because she felt so out of control was part of what kept me so co-dependent for so long. There was a part of me that fought and rebelled at every turn, but not in the areas I needed to be fighting. I had no idea what I was fighting for or even against, all I knew was I didn't like being controlled by my mother....unless of course someone was mean to me or confronted me on something. Then I was that little girl hiding behind her mothers leg again. What was cute at three was not so appealing at 23. I think this was part of the reason I got into an abusive relationship. I was running from my mother but I ran straight into the arms of someone who wanted to control me just as badly as she did.....and I let him. Where Mom was doing it with my best interest at heart....he was doing it for his best interest.

When I met my husband, he started making me stand on my own two feet. It was a good mix of being there for me and making me be there for myself. Little did either of us know....he was preparing me for a time down the road where he would no longer be there and I would be completely on my own. I was learning though and maybe in some ways....I learned a little too well.

The first time I ever remember standing up to someone and down right getting in their face was over some bill of my mothers. It was when she was going through chemo and she just didn't have it in her to fight anymore. She had gone around and around with this particular company and she thought she had it taken care of....only to find the next month that she was still charged. She was near tears and I couldn't handle that. I grabbed the phone from her hand and I lit into the representative on the other end. I was on that phone for nearly an hour chewing out every supervisor I could get a hold of while my mother looked on in shock. She had never ever seen this side of me before. Neither had anyone else. By the time I was finished the bill was taken care of and they had promised to send Mom a hand written apology for all the grief they had put her through. Did they? I have no idea, but it was the first time I had taken control of a situation and seen it through to the very end like that. I remember feeling a little bit empowered. Again....little did I know that this would be great practice for when I was dealing with insurance companies and medical agencies. Who knew?

Eventually I was on my own with just the kids and I had to face the world without a leg to hide behind. I learned that a single mother with kids is a target for every shady car salesman, the IRS, insurance companies and anyone else who wants to pull a fast one. I found myself having no choice but to stand up for myself and fight so that people knew I was not someone to take advantage of. I also had to learn what my mother never did where my kids were concerned. Kids have to be taught the skills and be empowered to stand up for themselves and fight their own battles. They also have to learn to take the consequences for their actions both good and bad. However, there are times as a parent that a situation is out of their skill set or you have a child without a voice (like David) and you have to step in. Perhaps this is why I am fairly well known amongst some teachers and personnel in the school district. That is not a bad thing!

In the last few years I joke about the fact that I have little or no filter where my mouth is concerned but the fact is true! I have gone from hiding and fearing conflict to jumping directly into its path. I have even been told that I am a very confrontational person...and all that implies. Whatever that means! I do however, find it very difficult anymore to just let things be or not say something when I feel something should be said. Perhaps it is age or maybe I have just found my voice. Maybe it is a combination of the two. With this new voice though, I have had to work really hard on when and where to use it. I am learning to pick my battles carefully. Trust me....this lesson has come from trial and error.

Politically I have lots of opinions and just as many hot buttons that can set me off. I have learned you have to know both your audience and your topic and again....pick them carefully. You also have to be careful of how you word things. The old saying that "You can tell someone to go to hell and make them look forward to the journey," applies here. People don't have to agree with me, but I would like to be eloquent enough to make someone at least think. The same is true for family situations. You can't brush something under the rug time and time again and then suddenly get pushed to the point where you go off on the wrong thing. I have done that. It is a shock for my family too as I still try to stay pretty non-confrontational with them. I have learned that it does no good to make a point if no one is listening or no one cares. However, there have been a couple of times when the buttons where pushed and my mouth over rode my good sense. It is kind of like going from Lisa 2.0 to Lisa 10.0 without any filter at all. It is not pretty and I usually come out defeating my own purpose when this happens. I am learning to avoid the people and places that can bring out these strong opinions.

Anymore I try to avoid the hot buttons of both politics and family. I will speak out if I feel like my words will be heard or have an effect, but otherwise I really try to reign in the confrontation. Every once in a while though......

Trust me, the filter is far from in tact. My health insurance company is quite aware of this as are several doctors offices. I have learned though along the way that beating a dead horse doesn't make the horse any more or less dead. You can only say so much and either you make your point or resign yourself to the fact that it has fallen on deaf ears and you have done all you can. Case and point.....a certain sports editor of a certain small town paper. At a certain point you just realize that you can't fix stupid, egotistical or brainwashed....and to continue trying is a waste of time, breath and a good blog.

So now you know a little more about I suggest you do your best not to piss this filterless old woman off! ;)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

So I am having a bit of a late start today. My little one is out of sorts and I am waiting for him to let me know what is going on with him. So far this morning it has been nothing but snuggles and catnaps. On the whole, not a bad way to spend the first hours of the day, but when you have a special needs kids who is not really verbal, I do more watching than napping. My two main concerns are seizures or a shunt malfunction. The seizures are more scary than they are life threatening for the most part, but the shunt malfunction can be deadly. That is why when he gets very quiet and doesn't want to play or do much of anything, I have to watch for signs of fever, throwing up and lethargy. So far we aren't there. He just had breakfast and is now in his room dumping his toys saying "yee haw." I will take this as a good sign.

Many people have told me that they feel for me and don't know how I do it having a special needs child. I think it would be very easy to fall into the poor me hype if I believed it, but the fact is....I have never felt anything but blessed where my little guy is concerned. God and I talked a lot when David was in the NICU those first few months. As he lay between life and death day after day....I realized that I didn't care what his health issues might turn out to be, I just wanted my boy to have a chance at life. I have been nothing but grateful for each day of his life since. It was adversity that definitely changed me for the better.

Adversity, pain and even suffering are often the things that teach us the greatest life lessons and open our eyes like they have never before been opened. These things are humbling and often wash the grains of selfishness, feelings of self pity and attitudes of entitlement from our sight. They open us up to feelings of gratitude and appreciation for just what we do have. Overcoming adversity in life is what helps to grow a deep inner strength that will serve us well and often in the future.

Monday night all of this kind of came home to me while watching Dancing With the Stars. I have always been a devoted fan as dancing has always been my secret ambition, forget that I have no rhythm, skill and I was blessed with two left feet. Still though, I have watched true ugly duckling feet emerge into light, airy, delicate swans on that show. It gives me hope. This season though, the show seems to be filled with people who are dancing to overcome, fight or just out-run adversity. Some seem to be trying to find what they once had...but lost, others want the world to see them differently and still others are standing up and facing adversity straight in the eye and fighting back. Probably the two most amazing are Jack Osbourne and Valerie Harper.  Osbourne is the son of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. Osbourne was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, another autoimmune disease that could eventually leave him wheelchair bound and even take his life. Now though he can dance and he intends to make the best of his time on the show. Funny how that Osbourne family kind of started out as the dysfunctional family we tuned into to laugh at and make us feel better about our own dysfunction. Now though.....they are growing up (all of them) and giving us reason to cheer them on. High five Jack for fighting back!

The other star who has to be the comeback kid story of the year is Valerie Harper of Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda fame. Earlier this year Harper was given a cancerous brain tumor death sentence with only a couple of months to live. Today, some eight months later her disease seems to be in remission. On researching Harper, I found that her doctors feel that it is not if the cancer comes back but when, however they have no time frame on this and she doesn't seem to be wasting any of that precious time on self pity or what ifs. Instead...she's dancing. Her words were profound when she talked the other night about when she was diagnosed and told of her prognosis. Her first thoughts were "Why me?" Then she said, "Why not me?" She has a wonderful marriage, kids and career. She had really lived for 72 years so why not her? Now though, with her living past her expiration date (as she joked) she is going to do what she thought was unthinkable a few months ago. She is competing on DWTS! Amazing!

Neither Osbourne, Harper or any of the other stars competing this season are working the pity angle. They are there to prove something to themselves first and the rest of the world second and whether they stay in the competition for two weeks or make it to the mirror ball, they will be winners in the fact that they faced their adversity and stepped out of their box. I applaud them all.

Lets face it. We don't get out of this life without some kind of pain, suffering or adversity. They are life lessons....sometimes on how not to do things, sometimes on how we treat people and how they treat us and is  just a lesson in bad things do happen to good people so pick yourself up, dust yourself off and maybe like Osbourne, Harper and the rest.....just put on your dancing shoes!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Changes on the Horizon

Today I heard.....some changes are on the horizon. This means that this week especially, the blogs may either be very short or possibly even non-existent. Fear not though things will all mesh in short order and there will be time for all. I will definitely see to that. Until then though, if you are jonesing for a cmom blog, please feel free to go back and read through the archives. I have around 400+ blogs and hopefully you will find something to entertain you, make you think or possibly even piss you off.

See you soon!


Monday, September 16, 2013

I Like........

The weekend was no longer than your average weekend, but somehow this one felt like it dragged. Perhaps it was the incessant migraine that was my constant companion since last Thursday?! I do love fall but it also brings on the weather changes that cause allergies and other nasty occurrences to my upper respiratory system and head. Thankfully though, today the pain is barely noticeable so I am hoping it is on it's way out.

So after this long weekend I think I will start this week out on a more positive note. I think I will shower this blog with likes today. Sounds like a plan to me.

I like: 
going to bed hearing the rain and the occasional rumble of thunder while lightening flashes in the distance.

hearing David laugh. Not just a laugh but that deep down almost makes him snort laugh.

smelling a baby fresh from the bath. That sweet smell attached to little fingers and toes all wrapped in a towel is beyond compare. Perhaps you need to be a momma or grandma to truly appreciate it though.

both the first day and last day of the school year. The excitement on the last day knowing that there is weeks ahead of family time with no time constraints, and the first day knowing that order and schedule are returning to your life.

ice cream in the winter time and hot tea in the summer.

the smell of the kitchen when a roast has been cooking all day.

the feel of towels fresh from the dryer.

an amazing book.

the sound of clothes on the clothesline whipping in the Kansas summer wind.

the first snow of winter (but after that I am over it), the first real storm of spring, hot summer nights and cool autumn evenings.

sitting around a fire with my friends on a cool evening and talking for hours.

movie days with my kids.

snuggles from my puppies.

hugs from my pit bull.

the sound of the train in the distance as I drift off to sleep.

planning and organizing.

Most of all though.....I love a clean house and mine is long over due for a cleaning. Here's to a busy, happy and productive day for all. Happy Monday everyone!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sports Editing....The New way to Bully in SEK

Perhaps I am wrong but when I think of the term "sports editor" in the newspaper sense, I think of someone who actually writes about sports. When I think of it in small town paper terms, I think of a column full of middle school and high school games, scores and player highlights. But perhaps I am naive in this day and age to think that a sports editor in a small town would actually report on a game, tell about the game and actually give the readers some names of players who did well along with a final score to the game. Apparently I am.

A few days ago someone from my hometown posted an article on facebook that was written about my hometown by a "sports editor" (SE) from an opposing teams town. It was our first high school game of the season and it was an away game. It was about a 2 hour drive to this town and yet quite a few parents and fans made the trip to support our kids and start the season right. I was to say the least shocked when I read this article to find that the (SE) said nothing about any of the players, gave no highlights of the game (other than to indicate that they had beaten us) and did not even give a final score to the game. What this (SE) did do though, was bash my hometown, our high school team and the fans throughout the entire article. So how is that sports writing?

To back up and give you the big picture, the catalyst for this story (according to the SE) was that two "fans" from our side went up and criticized the guy announcing the game over the PA system. The (SE) described one of these women as someone who could be cast as the Wicked Witch if the Wizard of Oz was ever made into another movie and he indicated that these women were hateful and abusive as they verbally attacked the poor announcer. Apparently the (SE) sat in the announcers box and watched the entire incident. After reporting on the unflattering encounter though, he continued to berate my town and our fans. He indicated that this behavior was the result of sour grapes due to the fact that we were losing. He then said that it wasn't fair to "judge" a town by a couple of fans but then he continued on with the bashing. Apparently we weren't cheering our boys on like we should have been and it seems that one of the irate fans thought that the announcer was saying that the opposing team was kicking our teams ass and she thought that a little out of line. What he apparently was saying was SEK (South East Kansas) kicking. Once he realized though that our fans thought he was saying "ass-kicking" he said SEK kicking every chance he got. His final jab at my hometown as a whole was that he was sure we were a fine drinking and gambling Mecca referring to the Casino built several miles outside of town. It was a back handed insult and the last straw for many who read his column.

My original take on the article was who is this guy and when did this kind of thing start passing as sports writing? I then wondered who these women were that so viciously attacked the announcer and why did they do it? My final question was.....did this really even happen and if it did, what was the side of the story that he didn't write about?

As anyone who knows me filter has so many holes in it that trying to reign in what I was thinking and feeling about this article was futile. The (SE) ended his column by inviting emails and remarks and I wasted no time typing one and sending it. His reply...."Thank you for reading." You could literally feel the smugness come through the computer. I knew I had played into his hands and stroked his over inflated ego. To him....bad attention is better than no attention at all and I am sure he was delighted. I also know that I was not the only one who fed his ego that night.

Yesterday facebook was still abuzz with the article and people posting their replies. There were those that immediately took the article at face value and jumped on the two women who started it all. There were others that felt making waves was not the way to go.  Some felt we simply needed to ignore it and others tried to play devil's advocate and express why said (SE) might have written what he did. Then one of the women who was responsible for "verbally attacking" the announcer talked to me and gave a little bit different version of the story that the (SE) published. I think her side needs to
be told as well.

I have known this woman since she was born. Yes, I am that old. She is the mother of 5 and a staunch supporter of our hometown sports. As you can imagine she has kids playing in some sport year round. Her oldest son is a senior this year and is on the team. She and other team members family's along with some fans made the trek to this other town to support the team. It was the first game of the season and our boys were not playing as good as they could have, but the fans were cheering them just the same. However, it was doubtful that the boys could hear over the announcer and the PA system. The system was so loud that the bleachers were vibrating each time the announcer spoke, which apparently was.....constantly. It seemed the announcer was more enamored with his own voice than he was with what was actually going on with the game. The fans could not even talk to each other at a yell because they were drowned out by his voice. Still, they tried to cheer but knew it was lost in a sea of the announcers "commentating." Because of the loudness of the system itself, much of what he was commentating on was coming out garbled and distorted. This is where the confusion on him saying SEK kicking as opposed to ass kicking came in. All our fans literally heard ass kicking and were appalled that a commentator would say such a thing at a high school game. Then the commentator announced that maybe if our fans would cheer some that our boys might not be losing. That was it. When half time came it was decided that maybe the commentator didn't realize just how loud the system was on our side so someone should go tell him. So the young woman who I have known since birth and who I also know doesn't have a confrontational bone in her body, went up to the box amongst stares from the opposing team and knocked on the glass. At first she was ignored and then signaled to go sit down. She stood strong and finally was asked what she wanted. She asked if there was anyway the system could please be turned down. She was met with rudeness, which she countered with the thought that maybe if they couldn't turn it down, then he might not commentate incessantly. It seems that our "friendly" commentator could dish it out but not take it. Tempers were starting to flare. The young woman then said, "And by the way, was it necessary you saying that your boys were giving our boys an ass kicking?" He immediately corrected her and told her it was SEK and not ass and then let her know if our fans actually cheered our boys on that maybe they would be more inclined to win. IT WAS ON!!! You don't tell a mom who has spent the better part of the last 12 years chauffeuring kids from practice to games, sitting out in the worst weather imaginable, constantly washing uniforms and doing everything possible to support the schools, the team and the kids that she is not cheering them on. Lets just say an unflattering word flew from her mouth during the exchange in which she apologized immediately. All the while this was happening, our friendly neighborhood (SE) sat next to the announcer and laughed. When the exchange was over the young woman took her seat but apparently another fan, an older lady who is a grandma to the core also went up to talk to the announcer. She stepped into the box and as many grandma's do she put her hand on his shoulder to bend down and speak to him. Before a word came out.....the announcer had her thrown out for pushing him. Again....the (SE) was sitting there engulfed in mirth at the whole scene. What was noticed was during the second half of the game the PA system on our side was completely shut off and the game announcing could be heard just fine without the distortion coming form the other sides speakers. Our boys could also now hear their parents and fans cheering for them. It seemed like the whole incident might have resulted in a win for those who came to cheer our boys on.

Okay....should the young woman have lost her temper. No! She knew it too. However it was pretty obvious that she had pissed the announcer off and he goaded her to see how far she would go. Would I have done the same thing had I been in her shoes? Likely someone would have to have ended up posting my bail from an SEK jail. Should she have apologized for her behavior....(I am talking abut the expletive word)? Yes, for everything else....not a chance. Her actions made it so that the second half of the game was at least enjoyable and she did what any good mom does, she stood up for her son and his team. You go girl!

Now on to our one sided (SE) and his fairy tale column that has nothing to do with sports. It was suggested to me by someone that sports writers today write columns about other things and throw a little sports into them from time to time. This (SE) according to a retired writer was obviously going for the humor. Fine. So he should be a (SE) for a big paper or perhaps the title gossip columnist would better suit him. However when you are writing a sports column for a small town newspaper, shouldn't your focus be on the game, the players and the score? Parents want to see their kids name in print, especially if they scored the winning touchdown or ran umpteen yards. Those fans that couldn't attend want to see highlights and a final score. THAT is small town sports writing.

To be honest though, there was far more that concerned me about this article than just some nasty backhanded playground name calling. We are living in a world where kids are showing less and less respect for themselves and others. Bullying is becoming a national pass time and people are being sent the message not to speak up when they see an issue but to keep still and ignore it. Kids take their lessons from adults and how adults handle situations. If people of authority are rude, hateful and nasty, chances are the kids watching will follow suit. If adults bully through exclusion, superiority, rude and hateful comments or sit behind a computer and write berating articles full of factual holes, kids are going to take their cues from that and they will also bully in similar ways. And if people continually choose not making waves over standing up for what is right and standing up against those that try to bully....then they are as much to blame for the societal problems we have as the ones doing the bullying.

Sports are a team building exercise that are suppose to teach our kids how to work together, work hard, respect themselves and their skills and respect those both on their team as well as those on other teams. It is life lesson 101 on how the real world works. It is left to parents, coaches and even (SE) to set the example for these kids. This (SE) did the complete opposite. What he showed his town and their kids and fans was that bullying, name calling and insulting an opposing team is okay. Even funny and definitely acceptable. He showed no integrity as a journalist, as a fan or as an adult in the community that kids look up to. If this (SE) had been so offended by our two fans, why did he just sit there and laugh as his announcer goaded the first lady and had the second lady removed under false pretenses? Why did he not show some integrity, take a stand then and there and tell them that they would lower the PA system (obviously that was in his power) and diffuse the whole situation? Instead he chose to call the two ladies "bad apples" meanwhile he acted as the poisonous worm trying to cause bad blood between two towns.

Perhaps I am just old school but something such as this should be addressed....not because I care what one little ego maniac (SE) thinks about my town, but because he chose to put it in print and pass on information as fact which held very little truth at all. This individual needs to be taken to task because he is perpetuating negativity, bad sportsmanship and yes....bullying by his very actions. And lets not forget..... he calls himself a (SE) but didn't even report the final score. I personally think if I were his employer, I might just have to give him an SEK kicking and look for a real sports editor for my paper.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sean Penn....Where Are You?

So fair warning....I am in a gritchy mood. I have the headache from hell, two kids home sick with stomach issues, someone dissed my town in another small town paper and I have found that yet another child that I know has cancer. Nope....not a happy day in Lisaland. Guess it is good that this is my political/social issue day. Hold on because I have no idea what is going to be typed next!!!!

Today class, we are going to speak on convictions, respect and war. You may want to take notes. You know sometimes when there are two opposing sides and you are on one side and there are those on the other side that complain, protest and stick to their guns year after year? In time, even if you do not agree with them, you do tend to develop a certain amount of respect for the fact that they are so firmly grounded in their beliefs to stick with them for the long haul. This has been the anti-war movement and myself. I have always felt that there are times that you must fight for things on both a small and large scale. To me war is large scale and when we as a country are threatened or called upon to protect, sometimes war is the only way. The anti-war brigade though feel that there is always a better way and will preach this sentiment from the roof tops.

WWII was a war we really had no choice in. We saw it coming but Pearl Harbor was the last straw and it was on. As a country we drew together and fought the enemy. There really wasn't any other recourse and men and women were proud to serve their country anyway they could. Since that time though, we have been drawn into some questionable wars. Because of this a growing liberal populace have become very anti-war. During the mid to late sixties the anti-war protesters began taking a new pulpit when high profile people such as singers and even movie/tv stars began using their popularity as a way to get their message to the masses. Woodstock and the Monterrey Pop Festival were nothing but a constant stage full of musical anti-war messages and.....the people were listening. Now 40 some year later, we still have liberal celebrities speaking out against wars. Any wars. All wars. Some are the same people who began speaking out in the 1960's and some are merely a new generation who have decided to carry the torch.

Peace! What a wonderful thought but not all countries want peace and not all people want to live in peaceful harmony. Still though....the anti-war Hollywood elite can still be heard protesting the talk of war right and left. You have to give them credit for wanting something so beautiful and speaking out decade after decade even if world peace is but a pipe dream at this point. Some have taken their battle cry to offending countries hoping that their world wide celebrity might somehow make them ambassadors of peace and good will, unfortunately some bash the United States of America in the process thus leaving other countries with a mixed message about how Americans feel about themselves and their country. Still though....I too would like to see eventual peace, therefore I do have a modicum of respect for the ideals that Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Cheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen and all the other liberal anti-war celebs who continue to use their celebrity as a soapbox have. That is why recent events have me quite baffled.

Syria, a little country that has virtually nothing to do with the USA used chemical warfare on their own people. I guess that is called civil war by most standards. Civil wars have happened in most countries at one time or another....even in America. What happened in Syria was an atrocity and devastating, but quite frankly....not our fight. Still President Obama for some reason decided we should bomb the hell out of Syria because of this civil war. Many Americans that have supported wars in the past such as the Iraq war after 9/11 are now loudly saying "No! This is not our war!" Syria does not want us involved, Syria's allies don't want us involved and most of the American people don't want us involved and yet the president somehow feels we should be involved. There are those that say if we do get involved, we could be opening the door for WWIII and with both chemical and nuclear warfare likely to be used....there aren't too many that are going to come out on the good side of this. In is doubtful if there would be a good side when all is said and done. So where  are Sarandon, Penn, Crow, Springsteen and the rest of the anti-war celebs? Crickets.

These people who have taken every opportunity to protest war since the mid 1960's have suddenly and quite obviously been struck deaf, dumb and blind....otherwise they would realize that of all the war they have protested, this would be the one they would likely get the majority of the country behind. I have waited for Penn to angrily disavow the very idea of this war and berate Obama for even thinking of such an act. Sean Penn....where are you???? I have waited to see Sarandon holding an anti-war sign somewhere....anywhere and speaking out for peace. I have waited to see Crow and Springsteen use their stage to say that this president is in the wrong and the people need to rally support against the thought of this war, but there has been nothing. Have these people all left the country or is there something more to this?

Earlier this week, Breitbart posted an interview with liberal anti-war actor Ed Asner on why Hollywood is suddenly silent. His answer? The left are afraid of looking racist for speaking out. WTH????? These celebs have spoken out against war during every preceding presidency since the 60's and they were never afraid of offending anyone before now, but because Obama is black they are afraid of speaking out for fear of being labeled racist????? Are you kidding me???? Asner went on to give a few other less than credible excuses for the lack of Hollywood response but the glaring truth was evident. These celebs were living in fear of looking "anti-black!" Nice. So all of this anti-war, give peace a chance and war is murder talk that we have been hearing from these people for decades was in fact just a load of crap? Apparently their convictions about war aren't quite as strong as they have let on, and out the window goes any respect I had for them and their so-called beliefs. They have officially lost any credibility in my opinion and in the opinions of many Americans.

Okay class, so what have we learned today? Syria is not our war, so we need to stay out of it. No one including Syria, the United Nations and Syria's allies want us involved in this. Oh...and we also learned that the Hollywood anti-war elite are nothing but a bunch of spineless entities whose convictions are about as strong as a wet kleenex. Class dismissed!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Family is Who Has Your Heart

So we all are related to someone through a bloodline. Sometimes that is a good thing backed by pride and respect and sometimes, we'd just as soon cover our heads and pretend like we didn't know certain members of our family.

Family in the true sense of the word has always meant a great deal to me. As a kid growing up with one little brother who was six and half years younger than me, it made for a lonely existence. The age difference made me feel like an only child for much of my life and quite honestly, that was the last thing I wanted to be. I had a rich imagination though and I used to dream of being a part of a big family where I had siblings close to my age and where my parents were together and everyone sat around a huge dinner table with lots of glorious noise and fun and all the other stuff that my young imagination thought was big family norm.

My loneliness would ebb some when we went to family gatherings or reunions on my mothers side. I was one of 45+ grand kids and at the youngish end at that. At those gatherings I was one of many and I felt apart of something much bigger than just myself. There was always someone to talk to, play with and there wasn't a second of loneliness. I always dreaded the end of those wonderful times and did my best to stay in touch with members of my huge family tree. This is probably why I became so involved in genealogy. I had a desperate need to be apart of a family with deep roots and huge branches.

In high school (and still to this day) one of my closest friends was part of family that boasted 12 kids. There were a half a dozen boys and a half a dozen girls. My friend was third to the youngest. From the first moment I stepped into her house of constant happenings.......I was smitten. There was always someone there, some kind of activity and I never wanted to leave. It was the family that I had always dreamed of. When things went south at my house, which they tended to do from time to time...I took refuge at her house. I am sure there were times they wondered if I would ever leave or possibly I just got lost in the shuffle of all the activity. Over the years, these people actually did become like family to me and I gained two of my closest life long friends from this family. Many members of this family attended both the happy and sad major events in my life...which was more than some of my immediate bloodline family did. It was the beginning.

I believe it was about the time I hit my mid to late twenties that I was starting to realize something that a lot of us learn with time. Family doesn't always have to be chosen for us. Sometimes we get to choose. Blood does not always equal family. Sometimes friends become family because they are closer to us, know more about us and are there for us when blood family can't or wont be. Sadly it was a concept lost on my own immediate family.

One time I was talking to my mother about a couple of my friends being as close (if not closer) than some members of my immediate family. Mom I think was offended even though she knew it was not her I was referring to. In my moms head, family was family and friends were friends. You drew a line in the sand with a double standard marking the spot. Family could be friends....HOWEVER....friends could NOT be family. This came from my mothers reclusive tenancy's and pride in family I am sure,

After both my mother and my husband died....two huge holes were left in my immediate family tree. It was at this time that I started learning a lot more about the friends as family dynamic and just how it pertained to my life. In the last few years my family has grown to include many wonderful friends. I have had friends travel great distances so I would not be alone in a strange hospital with a sick child. I have had friends travel distances to help me out with David after his surgery. I have had people come in and cook for me, clean my house and make sure the rest of my family was cared for while I cared for David. None of these people were my immediate blood family. They were all friends....who were fast becoming family. 

Now don't get me wrong....I love my family and I still adore all my cousins, aunts and uncles. I love getting together with them when life and circumstance allows. I have gained nieces and nephews and inlaws over the years that also have my heart. However, right here in my own little family has grown exponentially as those who have been friends crossed over the threshold into family. Apparently too, I am not the only one whose family has grown as I know that I have had the honor in a couple of families to stand in as sister, niece, grand daughter and even mom. I guess the family tree continues...... now you know a little more about me and my childhood longings and adult revelations. Another Thursday down. I tell you....these about me blogs are hard and don't seem to be getting any easier. Sigh. So one final thought. I know just how blessed I am to have the people in my life that I have, both blood and friends. I hope too that I always remain worthy of keeping these people close. Remember though, when the family/friend lines seem to get a little blurred........ family is who has your heart....not just your blood. 

****Dedicated to Berty, Thiry, Marni, Chris, Steve, Kevin....and all the rest who have become part of my wonderful extended family. I hope you know what you all mean to me. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Pray.....A Lot

I, like many Americans at this time (8:01 a.m.) twelve years ago was fairly oblivious to anything that wasn't in my own little world. Politics, other countries and people that hated me and my country were certainly not on the forefront of my mind. I was still reeling from losing my husband just a couple of months earlier and trying to take care of three kids and a mother who had just had her lung removed and still insisted on going to get her nails done. My world was in the car I was driving and my mom and my kids that I was chauffeuring that morning. Nothing else seemed to exist outside that present moment. I was in auto-pilot and wondering if my life would ever see a normal again. It was hard to imagine that by days end the world I took for granted outside the little shell that I had created would be turned upside down and inside out and the world would have a front row seat to witness it.

It makes me wonder how many people died upon impact that day and how many had to suffer before the end? Was there time for some to hit their knees in prayer? Was God's name on their lips as their world was ending and they knew there was no escape? I have heard it said that even atheists look to God in times of great fear and tragedy and surely on that day, in those Twin Towers as the fire burned and the buildings imploded, there were many bargaining, begging and eventually.....hopefully making peace with their Creator.

In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, when people had the time to think, process and start blaming....I did hear God called out by several. How could God allow this to happen? It is a sentiment that has been thrown out on many occasions in the last couple of decades. Whether it is the bombing of a federal building, a school shooting or the taking down of the Twin Towers, some seem to find God to be the one they point the finger at. Why? Do people not realize that God made "man" with the gift of free will? He gives the gift but it is up to man to decide how to use it. It would be like someone giving someone else a car. The giver is being generous and gives the car with the intention of making the person mobile, independent and productive. The giftee has the choice to use that car as it was intended or to drive while drunk, drive and text, drive too fast or to use the car to break the law. Whatever the giftee does with that car though, is not the givers fault. The fault lies squarely with the giftee and the same goes with our free will. God cannot be blamed for man's bad choices....and on the flip side to that is that we can't be quick to blame God for the bad that happens and yet never acknowledge the good...and trust me, the good far outweighs the bad.

Today I think back and remember the disbelief as the news on the car radio broke in and said the first plane had hit the Twin Towers. It was incomprehensible that this wasn't an accident. Someone surely just went badly off course and "accidentally" hit the tower head on. As I waited in the car with the kids, David sleeping in his seat and Z hopping from seat to seat waiting for Grandma, I listened. I thought of the people I knew in New York or close by and said a prayer for their safety. I could hear the stress in the news casters voice as they broke into national news and gave bits and pieces of information as it came in.

When my mother emerged from the salon a look of shock and sadness was in her eyes. She had been watching the news on tv as she got her nails done. She saw first hand the devastation that New York was dealing with and she knew what was starting to sink in all over the country.......our lives would never be the same. You can't unsee the towers collapsing, the injured and dazed people covered in ash and debrit walking through the streets and the newscasters trying to hold their composure as they reported the damage and death. You also can't unhear the sirens, people screaming and the sounds of a country caught off guard and terrorized by a people who wanted not just these people dead, but all Americans. It is a day that will be embedded in American lives forever.

For me, 9/11 brought home yet again, that in the blink of an eye that which we know and count on can be gone. I learned that day that there are people in this world that have taken their free will and used it for hate, destruction and death and my country and my people seem to have a target on their back. Never again will I feel completely safe in my bed. Never again will I completely trust my government and never again will I have the naivety that as Americans we are untouchable. Since that day, I do spend a lot of time wondering what this world will be like for my kids? Will they someday have to worry about their own safety and the safety of their families? Will peace just be a word with no meaning and will their rights and freedoms be nothing more than an old discarded piece of paper? I hope not and for them, my country and it's leaders.....I pray.....a lot!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

You Might Be From the Wichita Area If................

Today I heard......someone talking about Kellogg Street/Highway 54. They asked if there was always construction on it? I did a double take as I figured this person was either very young or a transplant from another city. I believe the latter was correct. Then I got to thinking......even though the majority of my life has been spent in a small town south of Wichita, I lived in Wichita long enough and worked and traveled to Wichita enough know that there are certain things people from Wichita and the surrounding area just know. I thought I would share some of them. If you are from the area, check my work and tell me if I am right (cuz I will be!) and if you are new here or haven't visited the just might learn something about our fair city.

You might be from the Wichita area if:

you know that Wichita's world wide claim to fame used to be.....that we were the breadbasket of the world (we grew lots of wheat) and the air capital of the world (we used to make lots of planes).

you know what the old Dockum's Drug Store lunch counter has to do with national history.

you remember when the Stockyards were open and had an amazing restaurant.

you remember when there was almost nothing north and east of Rock Road and 13th streets.

you know what the Nifty Nut House is.

you remember Louie the Clown at Joyland.

you ever skated at Joyland, Carousel, Skate East or Skate South.

you know what Steffan's was.

you ever dragged Douglas on a Friday or Saturday night.

you remember hanging out at Pogo's, Backstage, Bubba Rocks or the Flicker.

you ever went to a movie at the Meadowlark Drive-in.

you know what BTK stands for and it used to scare the bejeezers out of you.

you ever ate at Angelo's Italian Restaurant.

you remember shopping at Cricket Alley in the Harry Street Mall.

you remember the KAKE TV noon time show Kaleidoscope being shot at Towne East Mall.

you remember  Henry Harvey.

you watched Santa's Workshop daily from the day after Thanksgiving until his Christmas Eve take off .

you remember Major Astro.

you know who Blackbear Bosin is.

you have actually been to Cowtown.

you remember when the city zoo was at Riverside park.

you know what Vickeridge, Eastborough and College Hill are.

you remember David's.

you ever shopped at Hinkles, Henry's or Lewins.

you ever went to the Crest theater.

you remember Jim O'Donnell.

And might be from the Wichita area if................

you know that never ever in your lifetime will there NOT be construction on Kellogg.