Sunday, June 26, 2016

Now My Ten Things of Thankful….

My writing nook is cleaned, somewhat organized; it’s dusted and all the piles are neatly placed where they belong. The window is open blowing a soft breeze; it is quiet outside with an occasional car passing by and the birds chirping about something …Teddy is near me, and I am enjoying an ice coffee that I made a few minutes ago.   To a very quiet house, with everyone out…Ahhhh!

It has been a very busy two weeks with school winding down, the kids had their finals - studying with them and quizzing each one was on the schedule.

In between math quizzes, reviewing similes and homonyms, I ran over to Kohl’s for something appropriate and cute…because of ahem …a certain eighth grader and the eighth grade dance.

I am so proud of this boy…he is a good kid; in between studying, preparing for his finals, he helped his dad getting the yard in shape for the summer – they planted herbs, flowers, laid mulch in the beds and helped his dad erect a new gazebo…..

Him and Nick did this too and surprised me –

A water fountain in front of our driveway - the electric cord runs under the patio bricks – yes he helped his dad  get this done; pulled out the bricks tucked the cord – laid the bricks on top of the cord then filled it in with sand.

They both knew how I always wanted one…did you noticed the plant at the end – it’s a hibiscus they added that too.


Psst, yard is done…Gazebo is up, and Bob the pool is looking good.  (Pictures next week.)

There was a moving up ceremony on Tuesday at the high school.

The principal and vice principal said some wise and good things to the kids; after the ceremony James said to me that what the vice-principal said sounded like something I said earlier that day …hmm I wonder why.

The thing she said that James thought sounded like something I would say is; you will meet people in life that will block you or want to stop you; you need to move away from them quickly.  You will also come across people that will always support you, cheer you on, and will encourage you – hold them close to your heart, they are valuable souls that will always help you succeed.

He listened….or he was listening.

A sort of teeny, tiny fearful moment for me became a lesson learned.  I know what not to do and do next time... I hope so anyway.  Yet, truthfully, I hope there won’t be a next time or an opportunity to face this again.

I hate confrontation.

Both kids did great on their finals and last marking period.

They are the scrappiest bunch that when it comes time to work, they do.

We are so proud of them.

Friday was their last official day (btw, they had off on Wednesday, and Thursday …Tuesday was their last day of finals) they had to go in on Friday for an hour.

I took off and picked them up, we went out for breakfast – something we’ve always done on the last day of school. 

When we got in the car, Amelia stated “see mom I think I did good this year – I tried hard and I am proud of that...and they (school board) said I couldn’t do it. I showed them …didn’t I mom?"

Amelia at her spring concert

You sure did… my girl …you sure did!

James helping dad with the Gazebo after he fixed his shades…

Them celebrating Father’s day!

What are your thankfuls for this week?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Benjamin Franklin

What a week it’s been; and it seems it all centers on Orlando.  Last Sunday morning, I woke up to hear of the shooting at Pulse.   During the week, I heard of a disturbing story about a baby and an alligator at Disney World. 

I cannot wrap my mind around this one, and I feel like I’m the dad trying to save that baby.  I cannot imagine what he must be going through, what the entire family is going through; I am praying for them.  I hope they get the support, love and care that they need to carry on.

I am so saddened by last week’s events…

I am also disgusted, ashamed, and angry. Allow me to repeat, I am so, so sad.

Another shooting, another waste of life, destroying not only the people he killed, but also the survivors and all extended family and friends of everyone that perished and everyone that lived.  Therefore, we are now in the thousands of affected people; and let’s not mention the public, who prayed and had vigils, in not only this country but also many places around the world.

With every action, there is a reaction – a ripple effect. Their untimely and abrupt end to their lives affects so many that we cannot know the true magnitude.  Among this crowd could have been the next Oprah, the one that cures cancer.  Maybe a few helped the homeless; and some probably visited high schools to teach teens how it was to grow-up gay.  In the crowd of this assembly might have been a bully that would have realized his wrong- doings and decided to back –off.  Or, a tormented soul that wanted to end his or her life yet a simple visit and speech stopped the unthinkable.

We have no idea what the extent is of this senseless act. Moreover, I don’t have a crystal ball to know what would have happened.  All these examples could be good possibilities…we just don’t know.

See what one dumb lunatic did.  Who did he think he was?

Life is so very precious – I believe that it was given to us from a place of reverence; this means to me something we cannot describe, understand, or more importantly remember.  I won’t get into too much of how I feel about the human spirit – I have too much to cover; but I will say this.   We are all miracles, our maker thought of everything – from how we walk to how we give life to how we die.   We are all an engineering marvel.   How else do we explain our presence?  Think about that!

Because of this belief, I truly trust that we shouldn’t mess around with fate. This ruthless and meaningless act was not fate. Fate is when we can make sense of it – when there is a calm understanding. 

Throughout the week, there has been chatter, and more chatter everywhere on the news, on our social media and now on SquaareKat.  People start by saying “I don’t want to get into the politics….”  You know what, why not get into the politics, this is the perfect opportunity - you know why?  Well, you know when you came to age as a young adult and the first rule as an adult you learned not to talk about politics, sex, or religion.  Can we admit, due too many recent events it is safe to say that line has been crossed in front of our eyes more than once. 
I am saying this once and only once….


When we get robbed, our first instinct is to buy a better alarm system….or close the barn door after the horses bolted.

So what are we talking about, its done people -  hey there are many shootings every day  that don’t get the news coverage …and I’m not sure why, except there maybe way too many for CNN, FOX, and MSNBC to cover so  they focus on the high profile ones….

Some of the more highly covered shootings are Orlando, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, San Bernardino, and Aurora CO.

These are just a few of a list of many….and all I am wondering, what is it going to take  - after how many do we say enough is enough.  Which one will it be?  Because if we are not appalled with the latest one, then which one will shock us to the point that we act more like a grieving society.   Maybe appalled is the wrong word or maybe my passionate side sees what our reaction should look like differently.

Every one of the shootings I listed was personal to me and I really expected every human being to feel the same way as I did; crying, praying, and hoping for a better solution; anticipating some accountability from us all.

Although I did not have a family or friend among the fatalities-, I do have friends that are gay, that I have spent time with in my home…I have gone out with them and met them at friend’s parties. 
Moreover, I am a mom; I have two wonderful kids that took me a lifetime to be their mom.  I have dropped them off at their schools; hurrying them to get out so I won’t be late; expressing my love, telling them to make good choices and on occasion expressing, “have fun storming the castle.” One day they will be away at college following their cousins, and friends - people I know; which includes a few special needs family members that personally are the smartest, whom I’ve learned so much from.  Lastly, I’ve been to movie theaters, sometimes alone but most of the time with family or friends. I’ve also stayed home while family and friends went out to see a movie. 

Therefore, I am Orlando yet, because of some unknown grace I was not part of the carnage.  I could have been the teacher that spoke to her students with words of love, because she did not want them to see hatred, or for that to be the last thing, they see or felt.  I could have been at any of these places because I am a human being too.  

People, we are not immune to any of this anymore – a line was crossed and no one was accountable.

Because of all this, I demand better gun laws and background checks too and background checks for every family member in the household as well.  Too harsh well those shiny things should have never been in the house in Sandy Hook. Did you know when we were applying to adopt and host my children temporarily that background checks were required for every member that lived under my roof. That means just that - if my mother-in-law lived with us in our house, she needed to have background check as well.

At this point, I don’t want to hear anyone lament that is not part of the constitution - the second amendment has been reinterpreted throughout its history. It will always change to fit our society. 

Look I’m not anti-gun (well maybe I am – I hated it when James wanted to play with guns) but I allowed him, explaining that it was make believe, he looked at me so confused because he knew that.  Therefore, I repeat I’m not that anti-gun – I grew up in a household that had rifles- my father and uncles were hunters.  We spent our summers in our country home in the Catskill Mountains where I learned to take target shots with a 22-rifle. .

Guns/Rifles were in my home, they were respected, feared and always under lock and key.  What were not in my home were assault rifles. These do not belong in civilian’s hands – these are not or should not be considered as an item to add to a collection.  Their only intent is to kill and destroy lives.

Truly I don’t mean to offend  - however I  am offended lately how adamant people  are defending these guns/rifles -  folks take the hit now or suffer the consequences later -  (because this will happen again) what was legislated  in the past is not working anymore…too many grimy hands are in the cookie jar and it needs to be stopped .

I don’t see any other way because with “power comes great responsibility” and I have yet to see that happen.

It truly amazes me to hear the crap that comes out of their mouths - 

One woman on Facebook used a car as example.  If a car on the road causes an accident, should we take the car off the road.   Well I get what she is trying to say; because the "us" that want better gun laws seem to be focusing on the weapon and not the shooter. 

Why is that?  Well for starters the majority of the shooters kill themselves or are killed -  and yes  the focus goes on to the weapon  because why are these weapons sold to the lunatics; why did that mom  have assault rifles in her home with a child that obviously was troubled. 

How did all the shooters get these weapons, and in addition how is it that someone can order so many rounds of ammunition, and weapons on the internet and not one person that handled the order questioned the motive …

Red flags folks and accountability is a must. 

As for the answer to the car analogy - we do not purchase cars for the intent of killing anyone.   Each car is registered, and the driver is licensed only after tests are passed.  Cars and drivers have insurance and must pass inspection.  If a car is unsafe, it will be recalled or taken off the streets.  If a driver is reckless, that driver eventually will face the law.
We need better gun laws because:

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Back to discussing dealing with or properly mourning these shootings, I suggest that the next shooting – and I pray vehemently that Orlando was the last one.  That whatever state it is  that the shooting happened  those citizens of the state visits each funeral and pays their respect, that we mourn with the families, we attend  our place of worship  and pray for all who were murdered, our moment of silence should be for days – no music, no arguments just quiet to respect the dead.  Moreover, the rest of the country does the same, mourn the dead as if they are members of our own family. 

How else can we make this personal?  A person, a brother, son, daughter, grandchild, niece, nephew, mom, dad, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend just died. 

Let’s respect that first. Then we need to change it; no question asked because we do.

One of the highlights of my week was when I found out that Democratic Senator from Connecticut seized the Senate floor and filibustered for 14 straight hours with a lot of help from friends, constituents, colleagues for better gun laws. One senator from Wisconsin took about 45 minutes or more to ask a question to the senator by including descriptions of twenty human beings who died on Sunday morning. Folks, they have names, they had lives….they had families that they loved and was loved back as well. They had jobs; they had friends, and future commitments.  All there is now is a void in so many lives.

When will this stop, and when will we learn.

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