Saturday, April 30, 2005

My memories of the fall of Saigon

Today is the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. Many reading this may not remember that day but it is etched in my memory as are the first time Neil Amstrong walked on the moon or the day the President was assasinated.
I recall seeing the news footage that captured the panic and pandemonium surrounding the fall of the city and recognizing what it meant for those who weren't going to be able to escape.
I later became good friends with a soldier from South Vietnam and was enraptured by his recollection of that day.
The panic we all witnessed recently with the havoc in southeast Asia took me back to that time.
Families were being displaced. Family members didn't know where each other where. Some mothers and fathers were having to make unthinkable choices.
My heart especially goes out to the military that day. They knew the urgency with every helicopter load they took it could be the last and the hundreds if not thousands that were begging to be put on the next load had to be horrendous.
My opinion of the war was even more entrenched that day.
I had friends who were never coming home. There were so many who came home to be literally spit on and ridiculed by their nation for the simple act of being the number in the draft pick.
If you didn't live through it you can't know what it was like in our country at that time.
Most military I knew discarded their uniforms before they hit the States just to assimilate back into society.
There was no pride in serving your country as we know it today.
It altered our attitude about us as a society for years to come.
So here were the military evacuating people who desperately neede our help to stay alive and yet they were going to be booed and spit on because they were there.
I can still recall some of the faces I saw on the news footage.
Can you imagine defending your country and its going down and you have to leave forever to a new place, culture, traditions,climate, language and nothing with you but the clothes on your back with little notice?
Thats what the refugees did.
And they came to this country and weren't accepted here either. Many saw them as the enemy.
My friend tells the story of eventually ending up in Columbus OH with his family.
His father had been a high ranking South Vietnamese officer.
They came to this country with nothing. They were considered well to do in their country.
Here they were nobodies. The family was 2 parents and 8 siblings living in 2 rooms. My fiend and his brother lived in the car most of the time. They went to school 6 hrs a day to learn our language and culture. They worked 8 hrs after. And then they had family responsibilitiies.
He asked if I would have done that to assimilate myself into another country? I shamefully had to admit I didn't think so.
It was then that I began the practice of appreciating my country even with its flaws because it is still the best country to be a citizen I believe.
It reinforced all the immigrants I knew from my past. I had a friend whose family escaped Cuba when Fidel took over. I had a friend from Hungary and another Germany.
It made me appreciate what my grandparents had gone through to come to this country and go through Ellis Island.
It dawned on me then that my mother was first generation American.
So much we take for granted.
And we think it will always be there.
To all the Vietnam vets my heart goes out to you for what you endured that even today most of you can't talk about.
To all the new citizens of my country who made a choice to be one thank you for renewing my pride in my citizenship when I see you proud of yours.
And to the military serving today again in an unpopular time remember that you enjoy the respect you have for your service because someone paid a hefty price years ago and we haven't forgotten.
To all military past and present my undying gratitude.
I am proud to be an American.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Elton John wedding!

Just read online that Elton John is going to be " married" in mid-December.
Now you know I have to comment on that news!
So will there be a bride and groom or two grooms? I know Elton has a penchant for the outrageous costumes but I really don't see him in a Vera Wang, do you?
Now he could follow what I'm learning to be a British tradition about the HATS. I even think he has the potential to give the new queen ( we all know she isn't going to give up those benifits) a run for the money on headwear.
I can see the guest list forming.
I wonder if we will have our regularly scheduled programming interupted for this event.
After all, he like a head a state or something now; remember he is Sir Elton John.
I wish him the best. My opinion on gay marriage is everyone should have the right to be happy and fullfilled and if it means having domestic untranquility like the rest of us, so be it!
Why should gay people be spared of the everyday mundane stuff the rest of us have to put with?
Things like picking up dirty underwear off the floor, closing a cabinet door so you don't hit your head, deciding where you will eat out.
I guess the issue of whether the toilet seat is up or down isn't a problem in these unions. Thats a plus. How many marriages are put in jeopardy over that issue?
Yes, I think they should have the right to all the pitfalls a hetersexual couple face. That's equality folks.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Pittsburg officer

here is the link on the story previously posted.

Fallen Officer

Saturday a police officer in my community was shot and critically injured. They just announced he is brain dead; his family has decided to give his organs and are waiting for the transplant to happen tonite.
I have only lived in this community since mid-December but have adopted it as my home. I have grown to like it here even more than Bob has although he has lived here for 20 years.
He was only going to be here for 2 years so he didn't adopt Pittsburg as his home but thought of Walnut Creek the trendier town about 1o-15 miles south of here as home.
Why do I like this town? It is a real community. I guess the population is around 50000 people and its very diverse.
The cost of housing is so expensive nearer to the city ( San Fransisco) that this area has become attractive to people in recent years.
Its big enough that we have all the things you need and small enough that there is still the sense of community.
An example is that last weekend 3 kids were killed in the neighboring town going to a quincinerra(sp) rehearsal. They weren't drinking or anything you would suspect in a teenage situation.
Just the wrong place at the wrong time.
The funeral wa here in Pittsburg last Friday. Over 1000 people turned out. That says a lot to me about the community I live in.
Now today the city will prepare to bury one of its law enforcement.
Equally sad is that the criminals who shot this man were teenagers; 18 and 17 respectivelly.
Their families will also deal with grief as well as the family of this officer and the community as a whole.
I wonder what the upbringing was that two kids would choose to react so violently to being caught in arobbery of a grocery store.
Where were their values and morals.
I know this has happened in other communities; I saw it in Houston many times.
I'm trying not to judge.
This man was doing his job. He has a son on the way in a few months.He was wearing a vest but was shot above the protection.
He is 35 years old. His mother being interviewed said " I can't imagine my life without him in it".
I so identified with that as I too have a 35 year old son who I couldn't imagine not in my life.
I wonder what al led up to this incident.
What was so desperate to these two people that they have changed so many lives in an instant.
it also makes me reflect that not one day or hour should be taken for granted because none are promised to us.
We hear this but how often do we really think about the impact any one person has in our lives?
And we never think about the ripple effect one life has. As this man is doing even in death his life has made a difference and will continue to do so. His wife will remember him in her life; his son will never know his father but through the words and images of others; his organs will give life to others that yesterday only had hope.
This community will feel the effect of his life as one officer will not be available to take that call that we make for help.
His fellow officers must be traumitized by the realization it can happen to anyone.
I shop in the store where the robbery took place. It was just remodeled not even a month ago; was just there last Wednesday.
It isn't a dive. Its as nice as you could hope a place to be. It was the first store I shopped when I visited here. The staff are pleasant and helpful and friendly. How has this impacted each one of them?
I will always remember this incident each time I visit in the future.
And each time I remember I will offer a prayer for all those involved, even the two wayward who set all this in motion.
Just think of your loved ones and let them know they are loved. You may not have the chance tomorrow.
To all mine- I love each and every one of you and my life is better because you each are in it.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

no marketing major

I have attempted to add adsense to my blog but don't really know what I'm doing. This has been a crash course in marketing and computer lingo for me.
I have found that the google people have been quick to respond to my e-mail inquiries, I just don't always know what it is they are helping me with.
It isn't them, its me.
I am probably the last person that should be tweaking their blog but nothing ventured nothing gained.
Bear with me as I learn how to do this. The rest of you could probably have this done in a few minutes but me, it will probably take days if not weeks.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Michael Jackson

I was reading my local paper this morning and there was a piece about all the outfits or " uniforms " Michael has worn to his trial thus far. Really, do you care? Look in my eyes and see if you find any "give a shits".
I think he is guilty of something beyond being a fruitcake. I think he has used his performing ability to try to fool anyone who will buy into it.
Do I think Hallmark is going to market a card for the victim's mother this Mother's Day? No and that isn't the point.
As happens too many times in sexual abuse cases the blame is put back onto the victim.
I know someone is presumed innocent until found guilty.But I make my own presumptions in these cases. And I don't always believe the alleged victim is telling the truth.
If you are a survivor you know all the nuances to look for. We don't even realize we do it but its been trained into us.
I hope he gets a fair trial and then we have to endure the years of appeals which, to me, is society getting screwed over as well as the victim.
Maybe he had things happen to him from his past. Well, so did I and I didn't grow up to be a sex offender.
I have yet to encounter in my 50 plus years of being on this earth a rehabilitated sex offender.
The recent cases in Florida are an example. All the perpetrators were on " probation".
No, they were let out to prey upon innocent people going about their lives as they were meant to do.
The families of these victims have to endure untold grief the rest of their lives and will suffer in ways that are unimagineable.
They were animals let out to look for their their next feeding as far as I see it.
Sex offenders, especially those of children, are the lowest of the low.
When will society say enough is enough and put these people away for the rest of their lives?
Open up Alcatraz and put them all out there to prey upon each other if anyone of them had the guts. They would be able to feed upon their own kind.
I heard last week Michael is having financial diffuculties. Oh poor baby.
Well Michael here is is a piece of advice. If you are able to weasel out of this I don't think you will ever be the star you once were.
And for those who would still want to support his habit here's a clue when you look for his schedule of next performance dates. Look in Branson MO. Or maybe not. Although its a place has been stars do go to when their career fizzles it is a place that does have a moral purpitude. They wouldn't put up with it like you got away with it in Neverneverland.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

About what?

Bob is off for a few days; like vacation days. We have had just a couple days of laying around and putzing in the house.
He was asked yesterday to find info on his late father to do research to have his name put on thee World War11 memorial.
This meant he had to go digging in his files. What an interesting day it turned out to be.
He had photocopies of Giants and 49er's tickets; pictures of he and his daughter when she was very young ( aw!); old receipts and bills; an old wallet that had a picture of him when he must have been about 10 ( handsome);lots of old junk like a splicer for old cassette tapes that were damaged, adding machine tape ( no longer has the adding machine); office supplies and cards that were never sent.It goes on.
I found a few things I can send to my granddaughter.
Oh yeah, we did find the info he was looking for!
We got a second wind late and were up way past our ususal bedtime. I was on the pc and right about the time I was to close off I got twoIM"s from people I didn't know. I am new to this stuff. Those who know me know on the information highway I am still on the feeder road!
I was having a fit trying to keep up with the two conversations but managed.
We went to bed and decided to browse TV to see something that would be inane and calm us down to go to sleep.
See, sometimes we get certaoin channels and sometimes we don't. We need a new converter box.
As we are browsing we come upon this commercial with little kids talking and one little boy says, " I think washing hands is stupid". It was the right thing at the right moment. We started thinking of other things that were " stupid".
Then he browses some more and we come upon a channel that no lie is offering a 2 tape set of ---"POPE FICTION.
Honest to God. It just struck as so funny.
But wait, - if you order in the next 15 minutes we will throw in some ash from the burning papers to elect the new Pope.
We also watched that show Unwrapped again the night before and last night. I now have seen a minature dessert expert, a small candy expert.A bbq expert, a sandwich expert.And a frozen confection expert.
Don't confuse these experts with specialists or makers. Please, don't let yourself be confused.
I am trying to provide an important service to all of you and help you know the difference.
It appears that if you make these things or serve these things you are a specialist. If you work in the front office ( I think its in the PR department) you are the expert.
I am staying on top of this to give y'all the most updated info I can find.
Some of you are doing other things and don't have the time I have to perform this useful task.
I always wondered what my purpose in life was and I think I've found it.
So any young people out there that don't know the direction they are supposed to take in life let me be your guide. Just do all kinds of nothing and someday it will come in handy and be useful to someone!
Who would have thought?
And my Mom wanted me to be a nun, can you imagine?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Happy Birthday, my wonderful son

35 years ago just at about this exact time I was going to the hospital to give birth for the first time.
You think I'm crazy now; its been lifelong.
It was a beautiful spring morning in Cincinnati,Ohio. Sunny, a little cool but birds were singing, the sun was out.
I was so naive; 17 years old and thought I knew it all. I asked my older sister how I'd know I was in labor. She was an expert to me as she had 7 by then. All she told me was " I'd Know". My mother wouldn't even use the word pregnant, Pat was always " expecting". I never figured out she was expecting another child until I was about 13.
My birds and bees talk came from my Dad the night I went on my first date.
He called me downstairs and sat me down and asked if my mother ever talked about " birds and bees. My parents were a little older and we all think our parents are old fogeys anyway so I just looked at him and said yes, we talked a lot over the years about birds and bees. He responded with " ok.That's all I wanted to know.
That was my information for venturing into the dating world.
So here I was that morning having little cramps but nothing like what I had heard the older women complain about. My husband had left for work.
I was more unesy than in pain. So I thought I'd walk to my Mom's to see what she'd say about 8 blocks away. I walked down the 3 flights of stairs and about 4 blocks and stopped, thinking if I really was in labor maybe I shouldn't be walking. We didn't have a phone then to call anyone. So I then thought about the lady on the first floor.She had 3 kids she would be an expert too.
I walked back but they were still sleeping. So I started back to My Mom's. This went on for about an hour. Finally, I heard the family on the first floor awake so I knocked and explained my dilemna. They were country people from KY but just the best people you'd want to live near.
So they brought me in and sat me down at the table and made me coffee and fed me a dumptruck fill of Mama's Devil Food Cookies.
Lester would say when you are having one of them there pains you let me know. I didn't even know about timing contactions so I'd forget to tell him.
My due date was more than 3 weeks away so I really didn't think this could be the real thing. My doc had said all first babies are late.
An hour and a half went by and they started getting uncomfortable so i paid more attention. Finally, they had me call the doc.My doc was out of town so I was given the number of another doc taking his calls whom I'd never met. Turned out he was just as funny as mine.
He said maybe I should go to the hospital. Well, I was just shocked and what if I wasn't describing it right and it was a mistake.
I called my husband at work and told him what was going on.While he was coming home I went back upstairs to pack my paper bag ( I didn't have luggage).
And, on my way out I spied the kitchen table. Oh yes, I did too.
I climbed on the chair and got on the table and jumped. In case it was false labor I didn't want to be embarrased and I thought it might help.
Went down and waited for my husband to show up. Off we went to the hospital. Didn't know you could go to ER so we went to the parking garage. It was getting close to 11:00 and the garage was full. We had to park on the bottom floor and didn't think to look for an elevator. We walked up 5 flights of steps to the ground level and across the parking lot to inside the building and went to admitting. I just sat there calm and serene. My Mom would have been proud. No scenes or hysterics just waiting my turn.
A little old lady volunteer finally after about 30 minutes asked if I was in labor. I told her honestly I didn't know. Well, she about had a fit.
She grabbed a wheelchair pushed me in an about ran me to the elevator.
Got upstairs and it was lunch time so the staff got confused as to who was doing what. I was in the labor room for a couple of hours before they figured out someone ought to check on me.
They came in with these forms. We didn't have insurance;we were paying cash from our income tax return.Then she explained if it was a boy I might want to have him circumcised.
I didn't know what the hell that was but knew they did it for Jesus and if it was good enough for Mary's boy it would sure be a good thing for mine.
Later they let my husband come in the room for a short while. I now was real uncomfortable.
The nurse checked my vitals and because we were paying cash I was trying to go without meds. The new doc came in and introduced himself and checked me. He said I had about another 5-8 more hours to go. I told my husband I didn't think I could go that long without something.
So he went to tell the nurse to give me a shot.
It was a little while until she came in. She gave me the shot and went to the door. She later said something made her go back to check me.
All of a sudden she is hollering " she's crowning". I didn't know what that was either but deducted that if you were having a baby it was pretty important.
So they rushed me to the delivery room and in no time Dan was born.
Wow, I was a Mom.
They put me in the hall and said I'd have to wait until they did the circum thing.
Meanwhile, they had sent my husband down to see me. That was in the days of the fathers waiting room.
I told him they were doing this circum thing that they talked about in the Bible. I heard Dan wailing. Big Dan then explained what it was. I was horrified. I felt so bad for him to be just minutes old and to go through that. ( like it would feel better at any other time).
He was so cute though. They brought him out to me and he looked at me as if he was forgiving me.
He looked like a little clone of his Dad.
He was 5lbs 11 oz and 191/2 in long.
He had the blondest hair. But, he had hair all over him.All over him. I thought something was wrong with him and told them they could tell me that I was mature enough to handle it.
They explained some babies are born with this " down". Then later he would gag on his bottle of formula and I knew there wss something wrong. If he only had an older, smarter Mom this wouldn't be happening to him. Boy, was I a mess!
I had decided he would be a JR. His Dad threatened to name him Tyrone Hadley. That became the famuly joke for years.
I was told by my family that when he went to my parents he was beaming. He was so proud.
My Mom said he told her, " he looks just like me and Marge wants to name him after me".
I remember them bringing him to me later before visiting hours. I put my knees up and had him propped against my legs and started talking to him.
I told him I was making a promise that I would always love him and no matter what always know that.
And, that I wasn't too smart but I'd teach him everything I knew.
And, I'd protect him from all harm that I ever could.
He just kept looking towards me as if he knew what I was saying. Then I just held him until they came to take him away to the nursery again.
I realized in those moments I had crossed the generation gap. Another generation of Mitchell-Johnson was here.And, whatever he was to know depended on me.
Dan and I are very close even to this day.
As far a I can remember we have only ever had one argument when he was 16 and it was over my smoking.
He has never given me a moment of trouble. Lots of concern over the years but never any trouble.
He was not a healthy baby and was in and out of the hospital a lot until after he was 5 years old.Several surgeries.
But he was a happy baby.He was the absolute best child. And sometimes I wonder if there weren't expectations put on him that required him to be someone he wasn't. I feel so bad about that.
I have always said we've raised each other.
He put up with a lot having a Mom who was young and inexperienced. However, we have had fun too.
I think I can safely say 35 years later I kept my promises to him.
Son, I wish you knew how much I love you and appreciate you just because you are you.
Happy, Happy Birthday.
And by the way, the hospital bill was $317.00 and the doctor bill was $220.00( 20 extra for the circum thing!)Best $517.00 ever spent!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

In Remembrance

I receive an e-mail version of the Houston Chronicle to keep up with what is happening in my old hometown.
Recently, a family friend was killed tragically in a car accident back in Houston. In browsing the death notices I found the link to read Adam's obituary. That prompted me to start checking as I am at the age that friends of those 25 years will be passing.
I discovered a link I think is worth noting. Its called . It is a site that memorializes our fallen soldiers. Often, I've heard people say I wish there were something I could do.
You can sign the guest book and leave a comment.
It may seem like a small thing but I can imagine to those left behind it isn't a small thing.
My youngest is in the Navy serving on the John F. Kennedy. He recently served a stint in the Persian Gulf and in fact was on ground in country in Fallujah during all the trouble in early December. His return home was delayed because of the conflict. He made it back. To God I am eternally grateful.
As a mother I can't tell you the anguish thinking you may lose your child.
As a mother I can't even comprehend the loss those that have lost go through.
But I do know in a small way that there would be comfort in knowing his service to yours and my freedoms were appreciated and had value.
It will take awhile to go through the entire list because it is a long list but I personally intend to leave a comment for each one who gave their life.
It is a small thing compared to what they did for me.
Regardless your opinion on the war don't forget the messengers who laid down the ultimate so you have even the choice to ignore this entry and go on about your business.
I grew up during the Vietnam era and will forever recall the servicemen coming home to ridicule and blame. Society blamed the messengers instead of the message.
Thise men are scarred even still today.
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear there will be an end to the need for the guest book anytime soon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

update to iworkwithFools

I don't know the url. Just search for and you will find it. There are even links to other sites that are associated like bosses and customers.

If you want another laugh go to Karen's site MY Life and read all the particulars about " The Work Poop". I don't know where she finds the stuff she does but we have already determined that if she and I could hook up the world would not be a safe place to be!

Can you imagine if we worked together? She is the brains and I have the guts and we both have the demented sense of humor. And if Dan were around, well.... One thing I'd guarantee there would be almost no absenteeism because you'd want to show up tomorrow to see what else we'd do.

If you can't laugh then life isn't worth living. And, Karen and I will both say what the rest of you want to say but can't. I think we should start a paypal program for her to keep a pantyhose fund afloat!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Just happened to find this blog. Its hysterically funny to me. Haven't we all? Boy, do I have stories I could relate to.
Just when you think you have it so bad read the comments and there is some chump who has it worse than you.
I'm tickled that so many people relate to each other but isn't it a sad state of affairs that so many people relate to each other?
Any bosses out there need to read this and realize what is going on.
Of course, the bosses that this would pertain to won't think it applies to them or wouldn't give a crap, right?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

My sister,Mary

I received an e-mail a few days ago from my sister telling me she has been nominated for the Florence Nightingale Award for the City of Cincinnati.
I am so proud of her. She has overcome so many obstacles in her life but that has enabled her to have compassion and empathy for her clients. That's what makes her a nurse.
I don't know her official title in the jb she has now but she is a liason in the community to assist people who are disadvantaged to receive the help they need in various areas.
She could have chosen a more lucrative facet to her career.
She has always been a compassionate person. She and I remain the closest between our 9 siblings. She and I are misunderstood by the rest.
We share more than DNA. We share the inherent ability to feel for others and therefore have been taken advantage of by others over our lives. I cannot disclose some of her adversities because that wouldbetray confidentiality but we have shared similar experiences in our growing up time.
I like to think we are the sounding board for each other.
Sometimes we will ask each other if " normal " people would think or feel what we do.
She was the one who didn't get in trouble growing up. she was the " good" one and I think sometimes has been resented by the others.
She obtained her nursing degree during the lengthy illness of our mother and her eventual death. She had been awarded a scholarship because my mother worked for the hospital but she earned her degree.
one of the things that will give you an impression of her is she chose 2 years ago to adopt a special needs child who was 5 years old at the time. My sister was approaching 50 years old herself. Her only other child was 19 and graduated high school. Not many would choose to do what she did. And there were many challenges facing she and my brother in law to adopt this child.
It hasn't been easy but I think she would tell you it has been worth it.
She has been working on a project for about 5 years now to coordinate all the potential resources available to people in crisis in any form in Cincinnati.
It looks like it may be coming together.
I think her model has the potential to be followed across the country.
She amazes me. She has a good heart and mind. She is courageous. She is faithful to her beliefs.
She is loyal. She is loving. And, best of all she is MY sister.
I love you lots, Mary.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Charmilla update

Just caught a bit of the news and of course the top story was the Charmilla wedding.
What is up with those hats? The one she wore outside in the wind looks like porcupine quills taken from the animal at full fright and entwined with pussy willows.
I am no fashion maven by any means. Presently I am sitting here with my old jammies, socks and slippers that are literally falling apart and my hair isn't brushed yet. But, and here is the clue- I am not going to photographed on international TV.
They said she had it fashioned after a piece of jewelry that had belonged to her Mum.
Awh shucks. It may have been a nice piece of jewelry but it made a lousy hat. Diana could have pulled it off but not regular looking people like me and Camilla.
Who talks to her? Doesn't she have a trusted friend who would say, " that hat looks like a dead porcupine holding young pussy willows"?
Camilla, I will be that friend.
They say she is an exceptionally nice person with a fun personality. Wouldn't you like to see that from her?
And don't act like you don't care because we all know that we are watching this story. It beats the Michael Jackson trial.
I wonder if Charles is wearing the cufflinks Camilla gave him that he wore to his first wedding? It would be a nice tradition to start don't you think?
And again the knockoffs may not be far behind. Look in the Sunday coupon section in about 6 weeks for your order form. I'm sure supplies will be limited so get your order in quick.

And, look for them to be on Dr. Phil within the year asking for advice on the blended family.
I guess she could now be seen at events wearing the T-shirt that proclaims BONUS MOM.
She has probably been in the role for awhile but can now proudly proclaim her place in the family unit.
Did you see the guests whisked off by shuttle bus from the religious ceremony to the reception? What a hoot. There was Princess Anne boarding the bus as well as the Princes Will and Harry.
I wonder how long it took Harry to break out with 99 bottles of beer on the wall!
You know he would have been the one to do it.
And so it goes. You know the world should be grateful to them for giving us the respite of this saga. There has been so much sadness reported its nice to have the royals to pick on again.
In fairness, they must love each other because they withstood the test of time.
So, I give them congratulations.
And I hope they don't change now that they are married.
I wonder how long it will be before they become like any other married couple. You know the hearing loss that comes with marriage. She can't understand him in the first 3 words he says because he mumbles and he tunes her out when he hears her voice. She could be saying the house is on fire and he wouldn't hear it.
Wonder if he puts the toilet seat down or changes the roll when its empty.
Maybe if you are a royal you have someone do that for you.
Will they fight over closet space or whose turn it is to call Mum?
I'm depending on the media to keep me informed.

Friday, April 08, 2005

domestic violence has another voice

This morning I was reading an article in the Houston Chronicle online. Melissa Noriega is introducing a bill stating that a lease can be broken when domestic violence occurs at a residence. At first glance this may seem like a " duh " issue.
As it stands now in Texas and most likely in other states as well you can still be held liable for breaking a lease if you have to move away unexpectedly because of domestic violence.
Many women ( and some men too ) have found themselves in a situation their personal safety as well as that of their children and family members are in jeopardy if they stay where they were when the violence took place.
We find ourselves looking at so many issues as it is. In my case when I left my abuser I left with only the clothes on my back. No money; no resources to get anything. My immediate concern was I had waited for my escape plan to unfold and when the opportunity presented itself I had to take it.
Much like facing a natural disaster only more private.
While in shelter there were women who were faced with this very problem of the breaking of the lease.
It was another hardship they faced in trying to rebuild a life for themselves and their family.
Texas has initiated some help for victims of domestic violence that is in place. There is a law if you prove you have been a victim of domestic violence the deposits for utilitiy hookups are waived.
Melissa Noriega is to be commended for bringing this to light. Attached to this bill also is another addendum that also allows a serviceperson to break a lease if called away to war.
Again, wouldn't you think this was already in place?
She is serving as a representative in her husband's place because he is serving our country in Iraq.
He may be the only representative serving in the Armed Forces. His name is Rick Noriega.
Thanks to both the Noriega's for serving our country at this time in our history. And Melissa isn't a puppet in his place. She seems to bring her own causes to the front.
Personally, I think the laws should be uniform across the country for victims of domestic violence. So many of us have had to relocate. I knew of women that had to go into the Witness Protection Program through the United States Marshall's Office.
We carry the physical, emotional and psychological scars. the financial scars should be as minimal as possible.
As a side note. It is springtime and we are focused on spring cleaning and purging what is in our closets, etc.
Keep in mind shelters that assist the homeless and victims of abuse when you are going through your things. Make the effort to donate to one of these organizations.
I can speak of personal experience that clothing and household goods are so much appreciated.
Women are trying to interview for jobs and don't have the appropriate clothing, shoes and accessories. It is nice to have an outfit or two that is put together to help the damaged self-esteem.
When one is starting from scratch in putting a home together every possible item becomes important.
Think outside the box. Maybe you can organize a drive at your job or your church or in your community to assist these people. The homeless person may be someone in that situation through circumstances beyond their control. It may not be the drug addict or drunk laying in an alleyway. It very well could be a woman who has children that finally summoned up the courage to take control of her life and destiny.
If you operate a business think about donating goods or services to a shelter.
I remember one night two Mary Kay representatives came and gave a free makeover to all of us. You can never know what that did to boost our self image. And they donated all the products demonstrated to us; that wasn't inexpensive.
I'm quite sure their donation accrued into the hundreds of dollars.
Another night a beauty college that was ready to graduate a class came and gave hand massages and donated manicures and we each got an emery board and a bottle of nail polish. We had a regular visit once a month from a woman who was a professional organizer and financial consultant. A bank manager came once a month and new residents were able to open a new bank account for a dollar.
Local department stores would donate out of season clothing or slighly damaged clothing. Wal-Mart donated out of date baked goods.
All this stuff made a difference.
No donation is too small and all is appreciated no matter what the community is.
If you want to understand the impact a donation has the first week I was in shelter we had sandwiches every day for lunch and dinner. We appreciated that we had something to eat but do you know how grateful we were the first day we had a real meal for dinner.
I remember the first Sunday there wasn't enough to go around. Some of us chose not to eat to make sure the kids had enough.
Each and every donation is appreciated. Most shelters rely on donations for the majority of their budget. They need not only food but personal care items and feminine hygiene products; stationery, stamps and phone cards.Socks, slippers gowns, robes, bedding.
Always much needed are disposable diapers and wipes and formula.
High chairs, play pens and cribs.
Heating pads, blow dryers, curling irons, vaporizers. Toys, books for all ages and levels. If you have a working pc that you can donate some women are trying to find jobs and fill out applications online as they don't have transportation. A used bike will be appreciated because it is a form of transportation.
So anything you are throwing out could be a treasure to someone who no longer has it.
And, if you need further incentive its always a tax deduction.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


In my local paper yesterday The Contra Costa Times they had an article about the upcoming nuptials of Charles and Camilla. None of us will admit we are interested yet most of us secretly are, right? The new buzzword is Charmilla in reference to the couple. reminiscent of Bennifer.
We've all heard the jokes. We laugh at them because some of them are down right funny in their own way. And, if you are like me and have that little edge to your humor that leans toward the demented they can be very funny. And, for the record I am the first to laugh at myself so I'm not spared from the sick humor category.
My theory is this. they had to know they were opening themselves up to this sort of stuff. Why didn't they just fly to Las Vegas and everyone could think they had someone who looked like Charles and Camilla but knew it couldn't be. They would have blended in and it wouldn't be any more the spectacle that its turning out to be.
I mean, they even had to deal with the Pope's funeral messing up their plans. Can you imagine all the chaos changing everything from one day to the next?
And they could have lined their pockets some if they would have signed on to make a reality TV show before they announced their engagement.
After the Osbourne's we could handle anything else those Brits throw at us.
I'm serious. Think of the commercial appeal this show could have brought.
Action figures complete with pony's for polo and fox hunting. Appeal to all ages. A knockoff of the ring that used to belong to the Queen Mum. And Charles is probably a little strapped for cash because he bought Diana's ring. He went to the stash in the drawer for Camilla's.
We could have had DVD's from spin offs of particular episodes and we'll miss out on the offers of -- Wait! if you call in the next 5 minutes we'll add....
There could have been a whole line of home improvement products to have your castle look like theirs. Give Marta Stewart a challenge here.
ABC could have gone in and done an Extreme Home Makeover. You know you would have watched it.
Can't you see it Ty and Prince Charles getting it on together? And, then the couple would have been sent on a vacation for a week. Free honeymoon people.
A new line of clothing for the " mature woman".
See, Fergie had it together when she started the thing with Weight Watchers. Charles should have capitalized on this opportunity.
Now, they will be haunted by the papparazi chasing them to learn there every move and goings on. It was a golden opportunity but now they will have to give in to Barbara Walters and do a special.
So watch your rag magazines for more on the Charmilla phenomenon. You won't see it in prime time.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

New Blog Digs

Hi folks. It's me, Dan. Do you like the new template?

I'm so proud of my Mom. She set this up by herself. I just set her up with her old blogroll, and I like the footer: Never Say Never.

Not only that, but when you leave comments, she will get them as an e-mail message also.

I think it's pretty neat!

Why not let us know what you think and offer some suggestions, too?


Bob and i were watching Food Network last night. They have a show called unwrapped that gives the history and other info about a specific food.
Last night they were showing " hot foods". We were cracking up. They interviewed this lady that was a " hot jelly bean expert ". Now, have you ever aspired to become one?
When you were in school and asked what did you want to be when you grew up answer, I think I'd really like to be a hot jelly bean expert.
Then they interviwed a guy who was a " hot salt expert".
Another guy they interviewed was a hot salt specialist. I guess he wasn't as knowledgeable yet as the expert; maybe a specialist is like a journeyman.
We've seen the sandwich experts and the chocolate experts, etc but I was so grateful I didn't miss the interview with the hot jelly bean expert.
Now, what they didn't go into is what made her an expert. I will let you know this. Its not hot peppers that make the jelly bean hot but, cinnamon. Just in case you missed it.
So I concluded that Bob is also an expert. He is a paper expert. That would include paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, legal pads and post it notes but what makes him stand above most anyone else is he is letter carrier. And if anyone knows paper it would be the USPS.
So you may want to tune in to see if he is included in an upcoming episode.
Junk collecting and hoarding are a hobby and he is a specialist in those areas but he is an expert on paper.
Me, I'm an apprentice still at so many things. I haven't really mastered any one thing.
maybe its my adult ADD that prevents me from concentrating on one particular subject. I coould however participate in focus groups on many levels in many areas.
Yes, we like Emeril and Rachel Ray and the Iron Chef America series. And my personal favorite is Paula Deen. But, no show can rival the entertainment of Unwrapped and its slant on uncovering the truth in food.

Monday, April 04, 2005

chat room mania

Back when I got my first cell phone last year there was a link I found called UPOC. Its communities of chat rooms. And there are every kind imagineable. Hundreds. Some with very general chat and some are very specific- adult oriented.
It was a lot of fun for me in my spare time to join a few of the general chat rooms and converse with people all over the country.
Having a pc again allows me to access UPOC again. I have had ablast just " talking " to regular everyday people like me through the day just like we have learned to do over the internet.
Its my diversion through the day.
It seems everyone knows of chat rooms and they kind of have a bad reputation because of all the adult oriented sites. and if that is what someone is looking for that's great. This is America and we have that freedom of choice.
I'm impressed with the fact that there are clean, fun sites for people to go into and joke around and have a good time for however long they choose to stay.
Its like anything else. You have to investigate and inform yourself.
I'm not necessarily promoting this as much as stating a fact I didn't know about until I happened upon it and checked it out.
It appears people in some of these groups develop an affection towards each other much as a family.
Everyone gets to know each other's personality and idiosynchoncies.
There is one I was invited to join today that we had the best fun just being silly.
A few bored older women and not taking anything too serious. Sounds like good medicine to me.
Some people, me included, belong to similar groups.
So you get to follow each other into the different groups and each group kind of has its own niche.
just thought I'd pass it along. And, to let you know not all chat rooms are explicitly adult themed material.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Gone but not forgotten

Today, the Holy Father passed into heaven. And that will mean different things to different people.
I think he taught us not only how to live but also how to die. No heroics just pass peacefully into the next life in dignity.
Ironic, isn't it, the same week that Terri Schiavo passed with all the buzz from politicians and clergy and everyday folks having an opinion the Holy Father went with no real fanfare save the thousands waiting and praying in St. Peter's Square and the rest of the world watching on TV.
Somewhere in the future books will be written on the lives of both these people.
The legacy of each life is equally as significant because all life is significant.
For the record my family and friends know I would not want to be kept alive artificially.
We watched my mother " exist ' for days after making the decision to keep her alive at all costs.
Having gone through that experience we all decided to never let one of us go through that again.
That will be 30 years this October.
I emphathise with the parents of Mrs. Schiavo yet also wonder if the husband hasn't been maligned because he held true to a promise made years ago.
It made better news to have the fight in the media than if she had been let to go naturally years ago as so many people are everyday around the world that we never hear about.
I wouldn't call what she had " living ". It was " existing " to me. As a parent I would be anguished to have to let go and have had friends go through this experience. And having witnessed it I couldn't say I know how they felt. I could only say I could imagine how they felt.
Just as having to make the decision to donate my child's organs if that situation had come up would have been gut wrenching I hope to think I would have done the right thing and given someone else's child the chance to live.
So inside this week, Easter week, the world watched two different scenarios unfold.
And maybe the lesson we all take from this is is that we each are responsible in some way for own destiny and the power to control how it goes.
We saw the finality of each situation played out in front of us on our TV screens.
What I know for sure we each have the power to do is to tell those we care about we love them and how important each one is in their own right.
How many times do hear people say " I wish I had...." well now is the time to say it.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Farewell Papa

As i write this we are awaiting news on the impending passing of the Pope.
What an impact he has had on the world while he was passing through.
For me personally it has had some significance.
I was a recently divorced Catholic when he was elected.The first divorce in my family of practicing and non-practicing Catholics.
My father converted when he was marrying my mother. She couln't have been more Catholic. Had she been alive I don't know that I could have gone through with the divorce.
Its odd to think she never knew this Pope. She would have admired him and gotten a real kick out of him.
In many ways he was unconventional.
He wasn't from the Italian hierachy of the church which had people take notice. He was young by Pope standards. He was athletic, He was outspoken. He was unconventional in some ways yet hard lined in others.
But, the world never doubted his convictions.
At that time because of life events I chose to become a non-practicing Catholic. What that means is I couldn't agree in some of the teachings of the faith yet raised as I was enough of the " Mother " church was in me that has remained there throughout all these years.
I've had many, many Catholic friends try to get me back into the faith over the years. What they failed to get was I had the faith hust not the religion.
I like to say I am spiritual but not religious.
The principles of Jesus' life are the rules I try to live by not the dogma of the religion.
In his capacity this Pope opened up an awareness into the human spirit that I think has gone unriveled. There are a few who have come close in their own way. Nelson Mandella, Bishopt Tutu and even Mother Teresa but none have had the capacity to affect the change as this Pope has.
He belonged to the people second after belonging to his faith.
There is a legacy that he leaves that I hope stays on in our hearts.
That legacy would be that one person can make a difference. A poor young boy in Poland who went through much hardship rose above it all and became the leader of the Catholic faith. In that capacity he was able to affect lives and bring change to nations through individual people one at a time.
I heard he would gather people around him at mealtimes to discuss the events of the times and glean all viewpoints. Yet, if he still opposed your viewpoint you knew it but still felt his capacity for compassion and understanding.
I can only imagine President Bush being scolded by this elder grandfatherly statesman for rushing into war with Iraq.
I wonder if he felt like a whipped puppy with his tail between his legs?
However, I'm sure President Bush was left to walk away with his dignity intact.
There will be books printed in years to come about this man yet I doubt any wiould reveal a character flaw or skeletons we otherwise would be surprised about from this man.
Right now, along with all the Catholics in the world I am praying, " Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with you. Bleesed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen