Archive for the ‘Celebrate’ Category

For those who missed it, the above title is a sigh.  The Thanksgiving meal has become a recent memory and the turkey an ugly carcass and the next Holiday meal with all the trimmings will be fixed by my son-in-law and daughter while I spoil those terrific grandsons of our’s.

I have the Holiday gifts purchased wrapped and mailed, and I am down to charitable giving.  We purchased the car that we will be revisiting America in while we travel both Canada and the U.S.A. My husband is a tall man so it is always a challenge to find something that is tall enough to give him the head and leg room he needs, that is comfortable for me, and that I no longer have to use a running board to step on to pull myself into the vehicle.

Lucky me that the market is flooded with Japanese and Korean vehicles that are made for the 5 foot 8  or under people and the taller Americans appear to get the smaller American sedans appear to become, due to all the added technology.   We have never purchased a vehicle not made in the U.S.A., and probably never will.  The only vehicle that fit our qualifications was the Mercedes-Benz SUV.

The American-made pick ups,suv’s, and custom vans fit my husband’s size and we have had our share of them, but they require me to step on a footstool or to swing my leg up on the running board and then to pull myself up and I am  hurting before I even leave home, since my health problem is as compounded in the arms as it is the legs. We feel somewhat justified buying the Mercedes since it is made in Alabama, and you do what needs to be done.

Some people on the internet and Facebook, that seem to think it their job, have done their number on degrading the Chevy Volt, that was one vehicle that caught on fire when it was put through rigorous test results that would not happen with normal driving, and the Mercedes-Benz SUV because 8,700 vehicles had their floor mats recalled because of the potential of it sticking under the gas pedal.

I have no idea what drives people to downgrade others who have their best interests at heart, much less vehicles, but the Chevy Volt even got a dressing down by the Fox news panel even though it is the model other Countries are copying in order to catch up with its technology. It is almost impossible to get lost,killed, or bored in today’s fully loaded vehicles if we follow the speed limits, do not get caught in a pile up due to bad drivers and weather, or do not meet drunk drivers, regardless of where they are made.

I need to send out very few Christmas cards yet and the decorations and the lights were up and went on Thanksgiving night. We needed to stay at the Kids’ house as it was their turn for the other side of the Family for Thanksgiving, and we bought the SUV across the river from where they live but a distance from our own home.  My husband got sick from shell-fish and we were grateful that they extended us the offer.  Their cats were as well and they got a nice airing out of it.

It was a delight to see their tree up and lights strung as well.  I learned years ago that the weeks before Thanksgiving run as good of sales as the stores do after Thanksgiving,because often they need to attract buyers worse before Thanksgiving than they do after.  Any time I can get 40% off across the board and not fight the crowds or stand in line, it is worth shopping early. I understand that many wait for their bonus but since I pay my credit card off during the year I do not feel bad paying a little interests until the bonus is paid.

The Christmas Season or Holiday Season has always been my favorite time of year.  If I stay away from the grumpy or harassed Christmas shoppers who are shopping on Black Friday or the last-minute, I never have to see the dark side of the Holidays.  The generosity of the majority of Americans shown during the Holiday Season is always amazing and almost magical to me.  It is not an easy task to remember all those who we share our thoughts,prayers,cash, and gifts with during the Season.  When we add the meals and goodies anyone who can, do, and we see the best of mankind all around us, how can we not be inspired by the graciousness of the American people? Why anyone would resent or hate the Season is beyond me, but many do.

The complainers totally over look the generous spirit of the Christmas Season and instead complain that Christmas has become too commercial. Those who are members of a Religion, such as The 7th Day of Adventist, even refer to the mention of Santa as being sinful and deny all mention of his name in their home,totally disregarding the fact that Santa comes from the name of Saint Nickolas who was admired for his spirit of giving.  Children in these Religions are never able to celebrate beyond attending Church and being reminded of the Christ child. I do not criticize those who truly believe as they do or their right to do so.

My own personal experience with the complainers has not been so much that they  themselves resented giving as it was that they felt cheated on the Holidays when they were children,felt to give to children meant they would be spoiled and lose the meaning of Christmas, felt they should be receiving and not giving to their children,were too drunk on alcohol or drugged out to care, or felt giving to children left their bank accounts lower.

I understand the difficulty of the Season if we have lost a loved one since the memories of past Holidays can sadden all of us, if they are all alone, do not have a job, or cannot afford to buy the gift the children want from Santa, but often times these are not the people who chronically complain about the Holidays. Many of them learn to seek out others who share their pain or learn the healing power of bringing joy to others brings to them. Others are also the grateful ones, since they end up on the receiving line of American generosity just as our family members do, when they too will accept the love given at Christmas time. I grew up under the roof with one of the chronic complainers at Christmas time and I was determined to reverse the cycle by compensating for my loss by being generous instead.

We, who love the Season, are all driven by some time or memory of our own or by our spiritual beliefs of Christ’s birth to do a little extra for those we sometimes spend too much time forgetting during the rest of the year.  I know people who will leave their Christmas lights up year around as a reminder to themselves to treat others the same during the year, as they do during the Holiday Season. Some people keep their decorations up until their loved ones return home from military duty. Others work in soup Kitchens while others deliver packages to those who have not fared as well during the year. The joy on the children’s faces are thanks enough to those of us who share our good fortune with others during the Holiday Season.  Neighbors often bring baked goodies to the shut ins or sing Christmas carols each year,while others send or bring good will and cheer to those they have not seen or heard from, for years.

Even though I have been through many other Christmases, I am still touched by the magic that changes each of us, just for a while at least, when we remember why we celebrate the Holidays. Since no one knows for certain the real date of Christmas,some how, I do not feel like Christ minds too much when or how we celebrate the spirit of giving in His memory, since He instructed all of us to love each other and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Sadly, to often we need the Holidays to remember that which we should know all year; Just as much as we need to be reminded to be grateful for what we have, for our lives, and our loved ones.  If it takes commercial means to remind some that it isn’t the things that we buy but instead the spirit of giving out of love that we pass on to others in the form of a gift to cheer them, that matters,or it takes the same reminder to donate to worthy causes, is that really so bad?

As much as I love the Season I can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief knowing that most of my work of the Season has been completed and now I can stay inside for a while and enjoy the snow from our recent storm, light a fire if I feel like it, and listen to my favorite Christmas music. AHHhhhh!

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Too often I have heard throughout my lifetime, “It is not fair,” or “someone should do something about it,”or similar statements. We all know people who face the most tragic life’s lessons and still keep moving on without ever giving up, but too many of us refuse to accept or acknowledge the fact that there are others who suffer much worse hardships from our own.

There are those who believe,” that they need to do nothing to help others because they already get enough help” or “such and such is lucky” or “never had a problem in their lives.”  It has also been my experience that people who believe this are the first to react the most poorly when they chip a nail or break a heel off of their shoe or their car gets scratched or their tie begins to unravel.

The people who really learn the importance that we place on things is pretty shallow,are those who will be humbled in some way by life and learn from the experience when they do. It isn’t always fair and the suffering is often very real, but it is how we accept or deal with the tragedies of life, that is the real test of mankind.  We can always rebuild things and many times re-heal bodies but if we give up or curse others,the price we pay can and will lead to defeat. Even when we exhaust all possibilities there does come the day that we must accept our own limitations and embrace the factors that make us the person we are, the person we accept. Often times in life we are presented with  re-inventing a new way to live life to its best abilities without making comparisons in life.

I certainly am not suggesting that we do not grieve an important lost of a  home,job,or even health.  What I am saying is that the longer we dwell on the injustice of the same, the longer we ultimately pay a price much larger than what we ever should have had to pay.  When we look at others and say, “they are lucky,” too many times we are being unrealistic about the sacrifices they made in order to achieve their success or giving ourselves an excuse for the fact that we would rather quit, drink beer, or shop than make the sacrifices needed. When we recognize that no one escapes life without a few bruises and some heart ache we realize that the difference is in how they handle or recover from the lost, is what sometimes separates them from us.

The reality is, people who are willing to get back up and dust themselves off following failure or mistakes,which we all will face at some point or time in our lives, will succeed with each time they vow to come back better than ever.  It has to be there in action and without resentment or fear overcoming our determination to move on or to begin again. As long as we have people in our lives we all will either experience the just or unjust.

Anyone of us can be grateful when things are going our way, the difficult part is learning gratitude when we feel that our life is not, by seeking out what is good in our lives.  No one will ever experience a life where they do not have something or someone good in it, unless they flee from it or reject the idea or the person who does support them. Other times it is our own gift of determination and awareness that refuses to give up, that makes us get up and move on. It is when we waste time blaming others that we weaken our own chances to start over again. When we understand the lesson taught us we will reach gratitude in the process, even though our loss may seem insurmountable in the beginning.  Starting over can be the best thing we ever do, if we learn from our past. If we refuse to accept our own role in it, then too often we will fail. It is the price we pay that often becomes our best teacher in life and teaches us gratitude for the lessons learned.

Life often gets down to how we deal with the insignificant that too often gets blown out of proportion. Sometimes we do find people are in the right place at the right time but too often we refuse to accept that it is not a place that we would ever have traveled to or a job we would have wanted or were qualified for taking. People who base everything on the almighty dollar often fail to understand or appreciate the joy found around the table of a family who has food on the table or a person who is content with just having the people in their lives that they do.

Life for most of us is as rewarding as the lessons it teaches us and the price we pay for it. It is when we learn not to repeat the mistakes but to be grateful for the lessons learned that we become comfortable with what we accept as our own success. When we hear people complain that they just never got the breaks another person did, too many times it was under their own feet but they refused to take the next step or  make the right move that would have given them more.

People do determine their own goals early in life.  It does appear that some people make one mistake and pay for it all of their lives while others mess up all the time and end up a success.  We fail to see that each time the person messes up they often learn what will or wont work towards their own goals.  What made the difference is that they were not afraid to start all over again. We all have different ideas of what exactly success is;for some it is wealth but for many others it is being comfortable in their own body by giving more of themselves than what they took  in life.  A proud Father or Mother can find joy in the Children that become adults and in the way they repeat the lessons taught them.  Many will find a warm roof over their head a welcoming step that predicts the success of their lives.  As people we are not all looking for the same ideas or have the same beliefs, but whatever steps we take we have to be willing to learn from them.

What is happening with all the excuses and the blame being passed around in the Conservative movement as well as the Republican Party,following the election, is the same thing that makes them fail to understand their own mistakes.  Unless and until they accept the responsibility for their own failure to hear the majority of voters, they are bound to repeat their mistakes again and again. We can all take a lesson from their failure to take responsibility for accepting their own mistakes and their own out of touch sensibilities to the needs of the people.

My husband and I together began our lives in poverty with him being a student and my working towards paying his tuition right along with his working a part-time job.  What we had together, was an education and it is what opened the door that began our future towards retiring well.  We have been poor and we know how it feels to go without eating because there was no money nor anyone who we would accept help from, if it had been offered.  We had a great deal of pride and determination to achieve over what we had money in our pockets.

We have been lower middle class and upper middle class and will retire comfortably. It didn’t just happen without our going without along the way.  Even today I just buy enough clothes and shoes to cover me.  The biggest waste of money a couple will ever make is on clothing, despite this idea,” that we must dress for success.”  A few good pieces of clothing intermixed with other pieces is all that is really necessary, to “dress for success.” If we do make it to CEO or are CFO of  a large firm, where this makes a difference, the wardrobe will be compensatory in the wages, as well.

As my husband retires and we plan the next journey of our life I know personally that the places that we have lived and the things we have done will take their right of passage just as they indicate the sacrifices we were willing to make. The employers we had that rewarded hard work, parents who taught us how to live morally,and the schools we came from,all figure into the success that we worked for as well as the children we raised into adulthood, who will contribute to the success of their own lives.

We could never have accomplished what we did on our own, as it took finding an appreciative and grateful employer who was willing to reward our hard work.  It took me a lifetime of living with chronic physical pain, while accepting my own limitations but helping others with the problems in life they faced, and the two of us never giving up on our dream. It is about accepting the price we pay in life and not letting it get us down nor spending a moments notice on what someone else had.  As we drive away to explore the next journey in our lives and to once more view the great beauty of America and her people,I pray that we accept what lies around the corner just as we always have. Too many times we let bitterness replace the gratitude for the lessons we should have learned, for the price we paid in living. Be grateful everyone and have a great day!

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I cannot sign off of politics until I say Thank You Voters! Three times I have watched elections, in my life time ,where the “Good Old Boys” tried to disenfranchise us. Never have I ever seen it get this close to the edge of destroying Democracy and I hope I never do again.

Until and unless, you the Republican Party, recognizes that women,African-Americans,Asians,Latinos,Hindus,Muslims,Jews,Hispanics,the gay community,American Natives,the elderly, the poor,the handicapped, the youth, and any other minority group are as protected by our Constitution and as equal to all the rights of life,liberty, and pursuit of happiness, as the white Christian male or the Plutocrat, the Republican Party will be rejected by us.   Tonight we proved to you that we are the growing majority. We are born with all the same rights as any American citizen or immigrant who comes here and works,loves,and breathes on American soil. We did send you, the Republican Party, a mandate because it is our numbers that are growing.

If anyone doubts our unity or the Republican lack of the same, all anyone needs to do is look at the tape of the limited races who were in the Romney crowd as verses the diversity of races in our President’s crowd.  The differences of representation were massive. When we join together in unity and tell you, the Republicans, that we must be recognized as equals by you, have no doubts about it, we are unified. None of us will ever deny any of the rest of us the right to our own healthcare,procreation,or equality in the job force or on the pay scale. Each of us will protect the full right to equality for all of us, and you did get a mandate from us.

As soon as our President won the elections tonight the Republicans started talking about now President Obama is going to have to make the effort to go to Congress and work with the Republicans, because he did not win a mandate.  As a member of the new majority, I think I speak for all of us when I say,” you are wrong.”  It is you who needs the new attitude adjustment.  Tonight you got a mandate from us that you will not treat our President like he is less than you are and YOU will work with him on His agenda, and compromise. We are tired of your filibusters and witch hunts and you must stop the behavior and instead use your time to help “We the People” who elects you secondarily to our President and Vice President.

If you as a Republican or one of the “Good Old Boys’ refuse to accept the fact that “We the People” spoke tonight and told you that President Barack Obama and Joe Biden are our choice, and now you must compromise, then you will find a Taxi-cab waiting at the corner for you when you come up for re-election too. We will not tolerate a Congress ran on filibusters or bills being attached that denies any of us our right to our own health decisions or our own bodies or Constitutional rights. It is clear to all of us that you refused to take our message to heart and to listen to us, the American voters, the first time we elected President Obama from your horrid disrespect of him and your refusal to hear us through him, these last four years.

We will not Tolerate another CPAC retreat where all Republican members must sign a pledge to vote against our President’s Agenda or not raise taxes on the wealthy. We will not vote for people who do not tell us the truth or whom we cannot trust because their lies are self-evident.  Too many of us would prefer to see all the Bush tax cuts run out  on those of us who can afford it, so we can replenish our Treasury.

We know that affordable health care needs more work and we expect you to make concessions and to co-operate with our President, so we can take temporary care of the unemployed middle class, the students who are our future, the abused and mistreated, the hungry, ill,elderly,handicapped and,any others of the groups you have chosen to disenfranchise, when they need a hand up.  We will not tolerate anymore bigots in our government who feel superior to anyone member or feel entitled to encourage their own to disrespect our President or any one group in our new majority nor can you ever run another campaign as dishonorable as the one that was ran this year.

We expect you to stop paper capitalism for the lobbyists, by recognizing that regulations do not eliminate profits but instead it eliminates greed. When you work together to cut the deficit you must first deny Corporate and oil company welfare, before denying us Medicare and Medicaid. We will not continue letting you convince us that the EPA is heavy-handed while we watch our children gasp for air. You must not interfere as President Obama appoints his own Federal and Supreme Court judges simply because they are not Conservative judges.

We know we will have to listen for a month at least, while you, the pundits, and Conservative media refuse to accept that you, the Republicans, lost because you offered your own party such pathetic choices both in the primaries and the general election.  I know you will never put the blame on your own backward mentality nor acknowledge the fault lies in the GOP. If you cannot eliminate the Tea Party and “Good Old Boys” from your own ranks, then we the American voters will have to do it for you. We have the power to disenfranchise you because we want to live in a United Nation where everyone is treated equal.   We much prefer that you sweep out your own trash.

Thank goodness this year and half of an election is over.  I never thought for a minute the polls were right as I know too many Republicans who said they could not vote for Mitt Romney, even while my State went 100% Republican. The Republicans were embarrassed watching the long list of right-wingers step forward in the Republican primary debates and shook their heads saying,”There isn’t a one of them I can vote for if they do win the primary,” and their minds never changed. My great concern all along was not that we didn’t want President Barack Obama and Joe Biden back but that your dirty tricks would cause them to lose.

I am always moved to tears of joy, when I see Democracy is still alive and well and that we will never be anything less than a Great Democracy,because character and hope will always win out over fraud and cynicism. No matter how hard you Republicans try to stack the deck against us, Democracy and the entitlement of freedom granted to all of us through our Constitution and Equal Rights Amendment, will eventually  always win.  We the majority, will recognize anyone who tries to return under another cloak of lies or to  deny our rights to our own health issues or equality for all.

You do not have nor will you ever have a monopoly on,”We the People.”  Good day,good luck, and happy thoughts to all of us. I am so proud of all of us regardless of how we voted because I know the hate and lies comes from them and not the majority of us! We want a strong two Party system where everyone plays by the same rules and understands and respects that we are all entitled to make our own decisions,we are Free, and we belong, regardless of the playing field. America belongs to all of us regardless of race,gender,creed,color or gender orientation.  As the 1970’s Helen Reddy song said,”Hear us Roar!

P.S. to Lars—We aren’t dead yet.  America is on its way back to being better and stronger than ever with a new majority! Just watch us as we move forward and grow by doing what Denmark has, and invest in our people.:)

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The Christian Faiths believe in one God and the first commandment presented to Moses that states:”I am the Lord God and thou shalt not have  false gods before me.”  Our God is all-knowing, all-wise, and omnipotent with the vision to see into the future. He is one God only The Father,the Son and the Holy Spirit or better known as the Holy Trinity,in the majority of established Christianity, and has always been and always will be, and is not from this World. All Christians who believe in Christ,as our Redeemer, can go to Heaven regardless of gender.

The Mormon Faith also calls itself Christianity but varies widely from other established Religions in the Christian Faith.  The Mormon Church is in direct conflict with their belief of God.  They believe He is from the earth and gained Godhood.He has not always been  but will always be.  He has no vision into the future because man can only see the present and the past and since their god gained godhood while on earth he cannot see into the future.  They believe that God is all good and wise and all-powerful.  They believe that there are many gods as men of the Mormon Faith can reach Godhood or become Christ, as did God.  Women are not able to go to heaven on their own power but must be tied to a man of the Mormon Faith.

All other Christian Churches are under the guidance of the ordained clerical who in most cases spend many years studying theology(there are those who get their certificates by mail order, out of back doors or over the computer, in some cases as well); The Mormon Church does not have a clerical that are trained in theology but instead have lay men who run and head up their Church, and hold jobs elsewhere.  Christianity teaches that it is difficult for the wealthy person to gain Heaven unless they are aware of the fact that “to those who have been given much, much is expected of them”.  The Mormon Church also believes in charitable deeds and contribute a great deal to the poor through government subsidies like all  Christianity, but unlike Christianity, they believe that God smiles on the wealthy.  It is a direct sign to them, that regardless of how the wealth is gained, that their wealthy leaders meet with approval from God.  For that reason, unless someone is wealthy, it is not possible for them to be named a leader or a Bishop of the Church.

Mitt Romney is a Bishop of his Church.  Although it was long in coming, the Christian Faiths acknowledge battering,abuse, incest, and  child molesters even when it pertains to their own clergy. They allow for divorce and openly recognize abusive relationships even though many are still slow to grant divorce.

The Mormon Church refuses to accept the existence of any kind of abuse, be it molestation,incest or battering, publicly,but deal with it privately. Instead of acknowledging it publicly and reimbursing the victims, the Church  hires minions of lawyers whose only job it is to fight any and all accusations that come forward from the members of their Church.  They have so much money behind them that if they were not a Church they would head the list on the Forbes 500.  It is impossible to fight them in a court on an accusation of any kind of abuse or incest because they file case after case declaring  interference with Religious rights and hold it up in Court for years.  They exhaust the income of any law firm that tries, unless the opposing law firms merge together to fight against them.  Women and children are both sent home by the Bishops of the Church to try harder as neither equality for women or divorce exist in the Mormon Church or is possible. They still deny that women and children are abused by the men or members of the Mormon Church when it is quite obvious that both take place.

There are other factors that lead to the differences in religious beliefs but, I personally, have to ask what is it that upsets those who support Mitt Romney, who as a Bishop of his Church must put his beliefs first, that makes people accept values based on ignorance over those beliefs of President OBama’s acceptance of gay rights or equality for all Americans who he represents, as President?  Certainly, we all must understand that as an elected President of a free country, everyone’s civil rights and liberties must be protected by ALL of our elected officials.  To do less than that defeats what our Nation stands for to the rest of the free World and is a slap in the face of Democracy.   Honest men who show courage when others hide or lie is what we all need in order to maintain our own freedom and the guarantees that follow along with that freedom, regardless of race,creed,gender or color.

Mitt is entitled to have his beliefs  and feel deeply about them just as Christians are their own beliefs.  Government however is not intended to be led by religious belief and that is strongly Spelled out in our Constitution that many a young man and woman have fought and shed blood for or died for.  The families of our brave people continue to sacrifice greatly to defend all of our inalienable rights to a free society. It was also spelled out by Thomas Jefferson in his letter to the Baptist Church in the infancy of our Democracy.

What makes any of us feel more arrogant or self-righteous when it comes to refusing to accept the beliefs of President Barack  OBama, over that of Mitt Romney’s lies? Isn’t this the job of all Presidents of a free Society under our Constitution and his job as President? Shouldn’t all People  who believe in “Love thy Neighbor as thyself” also believe in  equality for all?  How is granting people of all walks of life the right to love each other and their families through  civil unions and marriage any different from the belief that we profess to have? If Mitt Romney is entitled to his beliefs and still able to run for President of these United States then isn’t Barack OBama equally entitled to embrace all of us equally in his acceptance of every American’s right to love over hate?

Either we are Americans who practice what we preach, through” loving our neighbors as ourselves” and are ready to defend the rights of both our neighbors as well as our fellow Americans and the Constitution that grants both Civil and Equal Rights to all Americans,without Religious interference, or at heart we are worse than those who we profess to be better than.

Congratulations President OBama as today you brought back the hope for all Americans who have been down trodden by the Republican Party for far too long.  We salute Your courage no matter how much Mitt Romney,the Tea Party, and the Conservatives will once more try to take it from you or cheapen the same!

The person who shows the most courage and honesty, and is willing to fight for equality for all of us, has proven to be Barack OBama, time and time again. To elect a man who openly defies the Constitution of these United States, as Mitt Romney has  declared he will do, should be a disgrace to all Americans who believe in equality and freedom for everyone. Vote for President Barack OBama and a Congress and Senate that will work with him, instead of against him, in November. It is time that we stop the wealth of this Nation and the dollars they pour into the campaigns as, “unknowns” from destroying both our economy and freedom for all of us.

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I wish everyone Merry Christmas and the best of Holidays! Last year I wrote a great deal about giving and Christmas and/or Holiday Cheer but I spent this week on politics for two reasons:

The first being from the stories being reported, I recognized there are still in America, many wonderful and generous people, who do understand and get that this time of year is about the Good will that we show those less fortunate or who struggle and do need our help. It does not stop the giving, that many times goes on throughout the year, as well. I have always believed in anonymous giving, myself, but whether you do or not, the important thing is that we give. Too many times those who can justify anything, are quick to say Christ has been taken out of Christmas and we have commercialized Christmas instead, when at least 90% of all shopping, if not more than that, is given away to bring joy to others.

I have always believed if we are Christians or of another Faith or Belief, Christ would Bless the American people, because we do have a great and generous heart during this time of His celebrated birth, as we do during times of great tragedy, as well as throughout the year. Somehow those who would criticize the American giver,in my opinion, are simply bitter that some one other than themselves are receiving. How else can we explain it differently, when it is the spirit of generosity of a person’s heart that joins with their actions,in compassion and empathy, in order for us to give to others, that they are criticizing.

I know in my heart and mind, that many of us will give up our time when we cannot afford to give from our wallet. Those of us who appreciate that we still have a home, will show our appreciation by helping those who do not have a home. Many will remember the shut-ins who are sick and suffering while others have sacrificed all year to bring joy to the children in their own lives, as well as, those who would not receive, otherwise.

People eat, who would not be fed without those who give food or food stamps, because when the food comes to their homes or neighborhoods, they are able to keep their poverty better hidden and their pride and dignity intact. The food pantries as well as food stamps, give them the selections, that we all take for granted, because of those who donate or pay taxes,(they pay taxes in most cases,as well) and the paid and free volunteer staffs, who accommodate the hungry. The educational benefits given to others can and does turn around the lives of many.As many needs as there are,there are people trying to help others.

Anyone who would criticize the giving that is so predominate this time of year, and profess that we have taken Christ out of Christmas, have lost touch with their own humanity,as in compassion and empathy for someone other than ourselves, in my opinion. We are never more Christ-like ourselves,than when we give for reasons of love, without expectation of return. Giving back,for the kindness and generosity that we receive from others in our lives, is what both we Christians and Americans do. We Christians are not alone in our generosity, as those who celebrate Hanukkah as well as those who believe in the Muslim Holidays, share in our generosity, as well, even though it was more a part of the practice of early Christians to give alms to the poor, than it was other religions.

Just as this time of year is about bringing Joy to others, instead of what we get out of it, and it has nothing to do with trying to force our own beliefs on others, is alive and well with many of us; still other Americans, believe that if we do not spend this time on our knees and in worship, then we take Christ out of Christmas. Mankind judges way too harshly, the love and the way we express it in my opinion. I think that what we do in sincerity and with a pure heart is always smiled on, regardless of those who would complain otherwise. I swell up with pride every time I hear the media announce the generosity of my fellow Americans who gave anonymously so that others can enjoy this Season.

Entirely too much of what is wrong with a few, is what we almost always hear about by the naysayers and in the media, who would rather report shootings or pepper spray over sale items in stores, by the very few who do not or never will represent those who are generous of both heart and spirit. I commend CNN for taking their time out to recognize just a few of the gracious donors in America as well as the World. We may not all be able to give as much as those who can accomplish more with name recognition or great wealth, but so many of our small contributions do add up to make other lives better. I commend all of you who do give and share generously of your own time and good fortune.

The second reason, that I stayed on politics this week, is because after spending three years listening to the right-wing and far right-wing as in Tea Party, destroy our right to enjoy the accomplishments of President Barack OBama, we Independents, Republicans, and Democrats, who voted for him and have seen through the lies, have instead had to listen to 3 straight years of complaints and lies being told about him.

Even when OBama brought justice to Osama Ben Laden, instead of our being able to say thanks or feel vindicated just a little for the great harm Osama Ben Laden, did to us as Americans and the suffering he caused so many American families, OBama was having to show his birth certificate, to prove he was a citizen.

Just to be able to see the Republicans eat crow and stop their “pie holes” from more lies,even though spin it they are, we Democrats could smile, and smile we did. I could not miss the opportunity, to just once, not to take the smile off my face, knowing they in their hate lost. That they caved,and it wasn’t for the wealthy but instead for those who have had to suffer the most for the Republican arrogance and obstructionism, just makes it that much sweeter, especially when they announced just 2 weeks ago they had no intentions of giving in.

When Boehner professed; to quote him,”Sometimes it is difficult to do the right thing,” and then repeated it several times, it should have said a lot to all of us. What I would like to tell him and all of the Republicans,is, “Doing the right thing for the people is never difficult, if you keep in mind why you were sent to Washington.” When you recognize,as we do, it is “We the People” who elect you and we expect all of you to do the right thing, then it will become as natural as tying your shoes, combing your hair or eating when your hungry. The laws of the land and the Constitution as well as the oath of office you take,is or should be your guidelines, mixed with the compassion and desire to want to do the right thing, for all Americans, regardless of race,creed,color, or gender, should make it simple enough, since we pay your wages.

It may not be all in the Christmas Spirit, but somehow I do not think Christ would mind if those who have led by lies or the lack of leadership themselves, as the Republicans in Congress have, would be exposed for their own lack of leadership and lies.I just feel that maybe He too is smiling this Christmas and or Holiday Season, even though I do not speak for Him or pretend to.

Regardless of why you subscribe to my blog, press the like button, make a comment, or just stop by, I wish you all the very Best, this Holiday Season.I appreciate each and every time you visit. I wish all who are traveling a safe and uncomplicated trip. May all things that make you smile come your way during the Holiday Season and if you are gathering with your family or their family or spending a quiet Holiday at home alone, remember to Hug the cook!God Bless us all!

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Finally!What can I say that those of us who knew this was a miscarriage of justice, for both Amanda Knox and Raeffaele Sollecito, haven’t already been saying for almost 4 years now? On May 23, 2010, I wrote a post entitled “A Black Eye On Italian Justice,”and seriously questioned the justice of this case.

For those who do not know:on the very first day following the murder of Amanda’s roommate, Meridith Kercher of Britain, the police gathered together 100 items for forensic testing. Up to this point all was quite above-board. Those 100 items of uncontaminated forensic items clearly showed the murderer and rapist to be Rudy Guede.It would take time to get the results back as well as track down Guede,as prior to this, no one was even considering Rudy. Amanda and Raeffaele were considered suspects from the first day, although they had no evidence on either of them at this time. Guede would flee and be arrested later and then acknowledge his presence at the apartment, later.

He was considered a nuisance by the girls. Amanda barely knew him and Raeffaele did not know him at all. There are no records,witnesses, or evidence, phone or otherwise,tying Raffaele or Amanda to Rudy at anytime, much less the night in question. The District Attorney had a fascination with the Occult and a gut feeling about Amanda and Raeffaele from the start and refused to let go of them as suspects.

After the initial testing of the clean DNA, the prosecution office would wait 46 days and gather up seriously contaminated items from the crime scene. Much of this evidence was piled on top of other evidence,as well as walked on, and both would further contaminate it. This forensic evidence set and collected dust,of skin cells and hair that fly through the air in any contained apartment or home, for the 46 days, so the material collected did not even come close to fitting the International code of forensic standards nor the FBI’s, when collected, for DNA purposes.

When they found the finger prints on the knife, were those of Amanda’s, this was forensics that would be disputed by the person doing the autopsy, and it could never reach the standards set for forensic evidence if the D.A hadn’t of kept lowering the bar of acceptance lower and lower, as has been reported elsewhere. The person doing the autopsy, would say, “this knife was too large to be the murder weapon.” They would then find a totally clean pocket knife of Raeffaele’s and say, “there must have been two knifes since his was smaller.”

The so-called forensic evidence of Raeffaele’s was as poor as if he shook the hand of someone else, and those skin cells of the person he touched, or DNA, would be found on a sink he later touched or even on another’s hand. An example would be; If he used the toilet and flushed it and Meredith then followed him and flushed it, she would pick up Raeffaele’s skin cells or DNA, after she used it, and then transfer his DNA when she fastened the clasp on her own bra: this then is the same kind of forensic DNA they found of Raeffaele’s, on Meredith’s bra clasp. Three other people’s DNA would be found on this same section of her bra, as well, since it was so poorly mishandled.

These two things would convict the two of them.Even though no forensic lab in the World accepts this kind of contaminated DNA as both are way below even considering as accurate DNA standards anywhere in the World.Every forensic Scientist knows to change their gloves after touching each piece of evidence but they did not do so, as pictures showed that all of their gloves were filthy. Instead of wearing the disposable plastic gloves, they chose to wear white cloth gloves. Everything was highly transferred and contaminated,due to the absorbency of these gloves,and as a result of not changing gloves with each piece of evidence.

Amanda also showered and tracked the blood of the victim, Meredith Kercher, she later discovered on the bathroom rug, into her room with her wet feet. This along with all the forensic evidence they collected was so contaminated that no forensic laboratory would ever accept this type of DNA, either.None of the evidence after the first day even came close to qualifying in any lab in the World.

As all of we women know, when washing a knife, we will sometimes pick up a knife, while hanging onto the handle, and simply wipe off the blade and put it back in the drawer.Even if Amanda’s finger prints were not highly contaminated she would have finger prints as well as blood smears in her own apt. 4 women living together, all would have blood smears, as a result of their periods or just cutting themselves while slicing or cooking, as is fairly typical around any home or apartment.

The prosecutor in this case was found guilty of misuse of his office in another case separate from Amanda’s and kept setting the bar lower and lower on the DNA evidence and then would announce that it was uncontaminated when not a single lab in the World would have even looked at this evidence, since after the first day when they found neither Amanda’s or Raeffele’s DNA, none of the DNA, was anything but sub par to any standards set in the International forensic labs, and would never be acceptable.

They were denied lawyers and Amanda did not understand the language. When they demanded that she imagine or speculate how the murder may have happened, she had no choice, because they had kept them up for hours and even hit her on the head with books so she co-operated. The room was reportedly, filled with policemen, When she tried to speculate they accepted it as her confession and she was given 26 years with Raeffaele given 25 years both for murder.

Thanks to one judge saying.” something was not right with the DNA evidence and they needed to hear them on appeal,” she and Raeffaele won the attention of this judge on appeal and have been acquitted of murder by two judges and a jury. Appeals are all automatic in Italy just as they are in the United States. Amanda will be released and coming back to Seattle where she grew up; it is also the area that never gave up hope for her or wavered on their support of her innocence.

Yellow journalism entered the picture in both Perugia as well as Britain, and since it was Halloween,and the District Attorney was bent towards thinking in terms of the Occult, witches and satan worship, along with corruption and gossip would be speculated on as far as Amanda and Raeffaelle were concern.

Amanda, when encouraged to think in terms of the occult, would involve another person with her speculation and for that she has been fined and served the time. Sadly the same people interrogating her and Raeffaelle are experienced with interrogating the mafia and Amanda was only 20 years of age and still quite naive, along with not understanding the language.

All kinds of false information along with corruption would surround this case. Also the attitude that all American women are loose or whores would be intermingled with the case that would lead to gossip of sex games gone awry. The “Foxy Knoxy” stories coming out of Brittain, along with what was being confused with Amanda’s own behavior as to bewilderment, which all innocent people would most likely express, would also add to the stories being told.

The sad thing is they had a simple robbery that led to rape and murder with the clean DNA, collected the next day, and if Guede was not pressured to include both Amanda and Raeffaele, even though neither were there, this case would have been settled almost 4 years ago. The Meredith Kercher family could have begun their grieving almost immediately.Sadly there will now always be those who believe Amanda and Raeffaele, who are entirely innocent, are suspect.

To the Italian judge, who questioned this case and to the jury who found contaminated DNA unacceptable, we say,”Thank You! To all who put in dedication, money,sweat equity,had to deal with insults, and believed in the innocence of Amanda and Raeffaele,in this case, I salute You! I feel your joy and celebrate with you. I was hopeful 14 months ago that a higher power than these mere men would set both Amanda and Raeffaele free, but not until today could we dare say, “Welcome Home Amanda and Raeffaele!”

The world, who has both followed this case and brought pressure on those involved,as well as believed in the innocence of these two College kids, is delighted that the Italian justice system did work, eventually, in this case. My apology to all Italians and your Court system, for doubting that it would.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the Kercher family, who have suffered unmercifully and who will always have to live with unnecessary questions, and to Amanda and Raeffaele, and their loved ones who have had to suffer unjustly, and will always have to live with a cloud over their head, because of the misguided path chosen by the DA, in this case, and Judges who bought into it.

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As someone, who went through screaming, tears, and general upset once Santa was exposed as a fraud in our home, I cannot express enough how important it is to tell grownups to be grownups, at the very least, during the Holiday season. The tree was never again put up unless my sister and I could find an axe and chop down a lonely tree somewhere in the region, the fudge and divinity no longer made and any gift was absent beyond that of what my dad gave to my mother. Each Christmas Eve became one of turmoil, because my father did not buy my mother the gift she felt entitled to receive. He would always buy practical instead of luxury and it would open the flood gates of hell.The family pictures taken, show the disappointment in the eyes of the children and are a lasting reminder as to how Christmas should never be spent, all these years later.

I’m sure it has everything to do with my believing that Santa is real and every act of kindness, done by we adults, to others is not only because of our spiritual need to express our love and gratitude to Christ and God but also to express our human side to mankind. Christmas, is indeed, a very miraculous time of year and it is important that we adults, do understand, it is about the children. Just as the Magi presented gifts to the Christ child, so should we present gifts to the children, granted us through God.

At no other time of the year, is it even wise to spoil our children, except their birthdays and during the holidays. If that means we don’t buy ourselves a new wardrobe just now,or lay off the egg nog, we still put up a tree or buy a gift, even though we may not feel like it, we do it anyway. The memories we are making now are not about us, but about our children and grandchildren. It is not about what your husband or wife, boy or girl friend, adult children gets you. During these financially difficult times, it is o.k., to spend what little we have on the children or grandchildren. I assure you, they will not be spoiled for life. Somehow I think both God and Christ would approve.

We adults need to keep Christmas in perspective but not by denying our own children the joy of Christmas or the Holidays. We can better watch the number of times we eat out instead of cook and how we are the example of dollars being wasted. In families where there is no money at all,draw an outline of a tree on the wall with string or thread, and have the children decorate the same with their own creations made of paper or glitter. Children need to feel that they are loved enough or important enough to know their parents will make an effort to make them feel the same. For what you spend on alcohol, use the money to buy a game the family can play, together, instead. Children know when they are poor today, unlike another time before tech and name brands were noticed, so the time you spend with them ,often times, is the best gift of all.

For those who will and do attend the Churches across America during the Holiday Season, remember children do not find the same sense of peace that we do in Church services. It takes all of us years to develope faith. To deny a child, their moment of joy, either with making them the center of attention, or gifting them with a warm coat, or new shoes, a full stomach, or yes even a toy, does us well to remember that Christmas is also about the type of grownup or human being we also are. To pay honor strictly to the spirituality and our needs and then to deny our children joy, speaks mountains of the kind of person we are not. Do not let your pride come before the generosity, being offered out of love to you and your children, by those Santa Claus amongst us, who wish to share our bounty with you. It is not a sin to be poor but it is unfair to deny our children happiness, when people are willing to help make it possible, out of love.

At no other time of the year, is there more good will towards men, more generosity and sharing given and done, and more thanks expressed amongst mankind. We grownups have both an opportunity to make warm and lasting memories for all children as well as a responsibility to make certain that all children know and feel they are a part of this enchanting time of, “peace on earth and good will towards men.” God Bless us all, man, woman, and child!

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Families all over our Nation will be gathering together to celebrate the holiday. Some are as excited as a kid in a candy store and others are dreading it with every breath they draw. This then are simple things to keep in mind to help take off the stress and to dissipate any confrontation:

1. Your children are adults now. Just because they have different ways of doing things from the way you did it does not mean they do not respect you.
2. Little brother or sister have grown up and no longer are listening to your advice. Avoid subjects that cause both hurt and pain unless they bring it up and want to talk about it. All members should be allowed to express their own ideas and thoughts as to what is happening in their lives without you changing the subject or objecting to the same.
3. Just because family members do not agree with you, does not mean they are hateful. Starting an argument to amuse and entertain yourself, will only make the rest of the members feel as though you are a “Jerk.”
4. The adult children and siblings are a married couple and should be encouraged to discuss things between the two of them instead of being told their spouse is no good and you know better.
5. They have their own menu for the children and so far it must be working as the kids are still alive.
6. Not all kids want to play ball or play in the water. Find out what the kids want to do and then play it.
7. Listen,listen, and listen. There is a reason the Dear Lord gave us one mouth and two ears. On the other hand, do not sit there and not join in because the rest of us are tired of hearing you say,”No one ever wants to hear what I have to say.” We who do speak out would many times love to be replaced in the conversation by you.
8. Mom and Dad are getting older than what they were when you were last at home. Pitch in and help out.
9. If you are at your sibling’s home or your son’s or daughter’s home they are helping take the stress off of you so do not sit on your butt while they wait on you. Offer to help. They may not need or want your help to cook but everyone can have help in sitting the table,doing the dishes, or filling the glasses and putting out the condiments and food.
10. Treat each other as kindly as you do your friends. Do not judge your differences but appreciate the way you are alike and enjoy. You all are making memories in the childhood of every child there. They will grow up and repeat those memories long after we all are dead, and well into their old age. Make their memories both humorous as well as pleasant ones!

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We are going into 4 or 5 days of refreshing and relaxing days of vacation and following are my wishes for all of us: that we take this time to do just that. Refresh and relax with ourselves or our favorite people. Steer away from the bigots, self-righteous, off centered control freaks in your life and forget your problems. Take time to live out your dream, appreciate and be grateful. Give yourself permission to enjoy the holiday.

If you have someone in your life that refuses to relax and enjoy then do yourself a favor and take a walk, shop a bit, or fix your favorite meal for a change. Get a massage or facial, take a leisurely bath, start that hobby or go back to it because you never have time to otherwise. If you do have someone ready to join in, crank up the grill,hit a ball of choice around,(golf,tennis,baseball it doesn’t matter as long as you do it with a child,spouse, or friend,) set up a camp site, do a little fishing or skiing, however you roll, enjoy it. Paint a landscape, learn to knit, decorate a room or read a good book if you are going to be alone. Relax on the people in your life if you are the control freak. If you govern your family with a time chart put it away and enjoy each other by playing a board game,chess,checkers or cards. If you have been putting off grieving then take the time to do it now. Shut off the television or get away from the computer if you are as sick of hearing others tell lies and pass blame on OBama and others, as I am. Warn everyone, that you spend time with, that you will not tolerate hearing anymore negativity and you plan on enjoying your vacation.

Put those that have nothing better to do but groan,moan,whine, and criticize out of your mind and at least momentarily, do something special for you. Spare those around you, your own complaints if you are the one that complains. If you open your mouth to complain, criticize, or preach, close it. Spend time with a smile on your face and have a good old belly laugh. If you get the kids, please show up early to get them as they worry if you are late. Put them first and get them. They are only a child for such a short time and what you do now will imprint them for the rest of their lives both positively or negatively. You have the power to make these blessings of your life feel that you are a super-hero. Please do not let them down as you will regret it for the rest of your days.

If you are an alcoholic do not use this time as an excuse to drink more. If you drink do not drive. Stay off the roads and spare us! If you are a workaholic put it away and spend the hours with your family. It will be the best investment you have ever made. If you are a shopaholic use the item that still is wrapped, has a tag, or return it for credit and make this day the first day of the rest of your life towards paying towards debt instead of using credit.

Use your imagination and do what brings joy into your life as well as the people around you. If you have an election in your State in November you are going to probably see one of the dirtiest contest to date when it comes to saturation of lies,phone calls, and ads. Enjoy this time now as it is going to be a rough time ahead. Happy Labor Day to all of you! Do not become a statistic!

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I have a special reason for this subject as today is another birthday for me. Each year I become more grateful for each one I get. I don’t know what it is about some of us, especially mothers, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that spent most of my life celebrating everyone else’s birthday and only started celebrating my own, as an individual, in the manner that I most enjoyed, later in life.

I never got the special tie in about the significance of my own birthday. As I have said before, I was struck with health problems earlier than most, in my younger adult years.(I was in my late twenties when the symptoms first showed up) During the years of confusion, before the Dr.s got a handle on what my diagnosis was, there were many exaggerated predictions, about the point of my longevity. If anyone can relate to this, then they know what I’m talking about.

Young adults’ health is never seen as much as being genectic as it is looked at as being lifestyle and stress related. As a result of this frame of mind, years that would have changed my prognosis, went ignored and led to my being physically limited for life.

Nothing in life is ever so dire as those first days of realization, that life as we planned it, is never going to be in our hands, alone. We all believe that bad things happen to other people and certainly not us. It was during this time, then that I really learned to appreciate the real value of another year and found pleasure in just the fact that each year was a gift from above.

To celebrate my birthday was never necessary, as just being alive was a true gift, that was unexpected. It was much later that I realized that one of the Blessings of being alive was to be able to make the day special as well. The thing that I most enjoy over all my other interests, is travel. Although it has never been really verbally acknowledged by me, travel has always been my way to rejuvenate myself from the same old same old. It is very easy to get into a rut where one day looks just like the next.

So now that I REALLY celebrate my birthday I use it to plan my next trip. This year I am proud to say that our youngest daughter has bought her own home, as a single woman, without any help from us. I cannot wait until the weather changes, if it ever does, and my husband and I are able to get through the passes and head to Portland, Oregon and at long last celebrate with her, her accomplishment of hard work and due diligence.

I have no doubt that if I had not been stricken by the reality that life is not our’s to always control and that it can and is limited that I would not have learned to count my Blessings and let the negatives go. For what I lost in life I have gained so much more. My husband and I have celebrated 40 years together. Our marriage has gotten stronger as has our love over the years instead of weaker. Both of our daughters graduated from college with our oldest daughter also getting her master’s degree and they have been self sufficient young women. They are without a doubt, my best friends. We all have an open relationship based on our ability to speak out and resolve issues without pretense. My oldest daughter has the ability to choose to stay home with her children thanks to the support of my very wonderful son-in-law who is also a college graduate. They like my youngest daughter bought their own home with no help from us and have provided us wiith two of the BESTEST ever little grandsons.

I have learned to really celebrate my birthday because it is a special day for all of us to renew our own intentions and to be grateful for the life so many of us take for granted. Wouldn’t it be wonderful though if all of us, before we lost our health, would live each day as it may be our last. When I hear people being bitter as a result of losing their health, my heart goes out to them as we all must grieve that loss when we are faced with it. It is only when we use that as our only goal in life to gain sympathy or to play helpless that health loss has to become a negative. There is always hope and even under the most difficult situations we can still accomplish goals of value, as long as we never give up. We just learn to do things differently from what has been normal in the past.

My wish then for everybody that can deal with the reality that we all will die someday, so why not live everyday as if it is our last day, learn to be positive. It is as easy to look at what is right in our lives as it is to be negative about what is wrong in our lives. If depression stands in the way of your being able to be happy then do both yourself and loved ones a favor and get medical help. Do not wait until you have no choice but to think positive, in order to survive. It really isn’t as bleak as it seems. We would treat everybody in our life better and enjoy every second of the day and do the things we always wanted to do if we knew it was our very last day. In my opinion, that is how birthdays are meant to be spent. I wish you all “adieu” as I go do just that!

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