AMEN!!

By:  Jordan Thompson, Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army

I’m offended that everyone is offended by something.

I’m offended that because I’m a white male, people automatically classify me as privileged, regardless of knowing where I’ve come from or what I’ve been through. I’m offended that our First Amendment has turned into freedom of speech [just as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings]. I’m offended that people assume I’m racist because I believe in economic development by way of Capitalism and a free-market economy.

I’m offended that people who are too afraid to ask for food stamps, disability, or unemployment (because they don’t want a handout) are probably the ones who could use it most, yet the majority of recipients who do in fact receive handouts abuse their “privilege” and continue to make frivolous purchases.

I’m offended that people care more about taking down an outdated Confederate flag but don’t get riled up when their American flag is being burned in the street. I’m offended that people care more about blocking homosexuals from getting married than fixing their own, broken and unstable, heterosexual marriages. I’m offended that fast food workers get paid more than my soldiers yet still expect to get paid more than nurses.

I’m offended by people who claim how offended they are, while they do nothing but gripe about it on their phones or laptops, when they could be writing or calling their respective representatives to actually get something accomplished. I’m offended by the lack of initiative, hard work, and tenacity in this country. I’m offended by complainers who pity themselves and just want to take as much as they can. I’m offended by those who have in fact “made it” yet are too rude to give back to the communities in which they’ve come from.

I’m offended by people who vote for a person based on the party they represent, the race or gender, age or a religion of a candidate… instead of how the candidate proposes to address each issue, respectivly. I’m offended by people who aren’t open-minded and think they’re always right, no matter what. I’m offended by people who don’t listen and read and legitimately try to understand unfamiliar concepts before brushing them off. I’m offended of what our country has become.

I don’t claim to know solutions to these issues… eventually maybe we will. I just pray that we can one day change our country for the better. And hope that our offenses can turn into progress.

(source click here)

MISSOURI CIVIL WAR MUSEUM

On Father’s Day my husband, daughter and I visited Jefferson Barracks Civil War Museum.  It contained a wealth of artifacts and information regarding Missouri’s role during this turbulent time period of American history.

Little did I know that Missouri ranked 3rd for most causalities during the war and over 1000 battles were fought on this soil.  The entire experience was quite sobering.  My fascination of this era has further whetted my appetite for this time period’s medical knowledge and plan gaining more material for a project I have in mind

Below are some interesting facts regarding Missouri’s role during the Civil War:

  • Missouri was the only state in history, when proclaiming to be part of the United States, where the U.S. Army declared a state of war existed between it and the Federal government. The initial war declaration occurred at the Planters House Hotel in St. Louis in May 1861 between Federal commander Nathaniel Lyon and Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson.
  • The first military action of Missouri state forces occurred with the seizure of the Federal arsenal at Liberty, Mo. on April 20, 1861.
  • The first skirmish between Missouri State Guard and Federal forces occurred at the Battle of Boonville, June 17th, 1861. It was a Union victory.
  • Gov. Claiborne Fox Jackson is the only elected functional governor in United States history to have commanded troops in combat. In this case, he led the Missouri State Guard troops against Federal forces.
  • St. Louis was frequently inundated by wounded soldiers arriving from the battlefields aboard hospital steamboats. Sometimes 800 wounded soldiers or more would arrive in a single day. The city’s streets were filled with walking sick and wounded from “the levee on Chestnut Street up to the Planters House [Hotel] on 4th Street.” Early in the war, the Confederate wounded POWs arriving on steamboat went to the Sisters of Charity Hospital and the Union wounded were sent to the City Hospital. A number of other hospitals were also used. In 1862, Jefferson Barracks was converted into a military hospital with more than 3,000 beds for Union soldiers. At times during the war, Jefferson Barracks cared for more wounded soldiers than any other hospital in both the North or the South.  This is what ultimately caused Jefferson Barrack to become a National Cemetery, due to the large amount of deaths that were occurring at the post’s hospitals. Where there was a large amount of death, there was an immediate need for a burial place. Benton Barracks located in north St. Louis provided a 1,000 bed convalescent hospital and actually opened a segregated black hospital in April of 1864 for colored soldiers and sick contraband slaves.
  • Missouri had two state governments during the Civil War, one seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy in 1861, and the other remained loyal to the Union.
  • Missouri supplied 110,000 troops for the Union and a minimum of 40,000 troops to the Confederacy (the actual number of Missouri Confederates is unknown as many Missourians joined non-Missouri units).

(source click here)

10351382_10206862396498904_3239161635722819475_n 10359171_10206862389258723_2463180680235694415_n 10412012_10206862389498729_1357497913154244319_n 10534677_10206862397698934_2663142822336178000_n 11099289_10206862395178871_2764393759782996924_n 11147188_10206862390898764_7952040133471347391_n

 

 

It’s good to be “me!”

16797-1_nI think all of us get the case of the blahs when it comes to our appearance. Though some might think it shallow, appearances DO account for a lot of first time impressions which can open the doors for further interactions.

I have seen how people interact with those who are overweight to obese, and dealing with older Americans……and it’s not pretty.

And as I approach 50 (3 years ack) and am slightly overweight (sigh) I feel like I’ve been dealt a double whammy.

Women seem to get hit on both ends when it comes to our age and appearance. A lot of us struggle to keep the weight off, look presentable (ladylike) and well put together. Society DOES judge us at face value, I don’t care where you come from.

And when I think about myself, what I need to do in order to get rid of these pounds, to embrace middle-age….feels like a daunting task.

I have spent a small fortune in trying to remake my look…fresh, well put together, friendly and inviting. Have scoured magazines directed toward women my age (cough…cough) and fitness mags created for women seeking to improve not only their health but overall appearance.

It’s scary, it’s hard…and it’s frustrating.

And yes I do bitch about my weight, my looks, my health because it’s my right.

With that being said, I also realize I need to take action so that these three areas are addressed and I can improve my overall outlook.

FEEL healthy, THINK healthy! BE healthy.

Goals! Goals! Goals!

Easier said than done ladies right?

 

The following article:  Weight Loss After 40:  Why It’s So Hard and What Works (click here) has several key points women of “our age” can use to help us in this journey.  I pulled some tips which may help you as you continue on the right path towards a healthier, truer, “you.”

 

Time your eating to take advantage of your body’s natural rhythms.

Most experts agree on one thing: Snack (or eat dinner) after 8 p.m., and whatever you eat is more likely to go straight to your hips and stomach. Happily, the opposite is also true — what you eat in the mornings, when your metabolism is revved up to its optimum operating speed, is much more likely to be expended efficiently.

Don’t like to eat breakfast? Sorry, but there’s no way around this one; eating a good breakfast is one of the key habits experts have identified that keeps thin people thin. When members of the National Weight Control Registry (people who have maintained a weight loss of 30 pounds for between one and six years) were surveyed, 78 percent reported eating breakfast every day and almost 90 percent reported eating breakfast at least five days a week. This was one of the only factors researchers identified that those in the registry had in common!


 

I pray the latter half of this year brings about a new me. I can feel myself falling into this dreadful funk and it isn’t a pretty sight.

All talk and no action is akin to crying wolf. No one will take me seriously. I don’t know how many middle-aged women face what am currently going through.  Not just with “the change” but with coming to the realization that their body…our body doesn’t react the same way it used to.

And with that realization it sharply pulls me into my current situation.  I already received a hard dose of reality from my doctor.

With my health the way it is at present…..I need to suck it up, put on them big girl pants and create change….embrace a new me….new outlook….and ultimately a healthy solid attitude on life.

A Father’s Rights

With Father’s Day tomorrow I think about those men who are unable to be with their kids. Absence runs from soldiers deployed overseas to those who want to see their children but for whatever reason can’t.

For this blog post, I am primarily focused on those men who are, what I term as, “part-time” fathers.

And by no means am I belittling these men for their role or time involved in their children’s lives.  I blame the courts which have reduced these men’s presence to mere hours, days sometimes weeks regarding visitation rights. I blame the women who consciously choose to prevent good men from seeing their children.

Now, I realize there are quite a few deadbeat dads out there. (And this post doesn’t include them)

I digress, but honestly, I strongly feel that the family courts (though they say they try to keep the best interests of the child in mind), and then these women (not all of course,) involved will sometimes play with these men’s feelings  (ultimately affecting their children) because of past transgressions, hurt feelings, lies, whatnot.

Thankfully either party can request a contested hearing to enforce their respective parental rights.

In the end….keep the best interest of the child at heart. Do not maliciously withhold visitation rights from the other parent out of sheer spite.  The child involved deserves to know their parent and develop a healthy relationship.  HEALTHY!

For myself, my dad has been gone for over 4 years.  When he passed away he was only a shell of what he used to be.

I did not appreciate who and what he was as a man, as my father, as my dad….until it was too late.  His passing was pretty tough on me.

I looked back on old photos, movies and realized wow….my dad was there.  He photographed and filmed so many milestones of myself and my siblings.  He involved us in so many of his own personal interests.

So thank you dad. Thank you dad for being there.

##########

So, with that being said….if you are estranged from your father or from your son….take that first step…reach out and make amends.

 

The Joys of Marriage

1978906_10206809633579864_6371591213545950960_n

Received a lovely email from the hubby regarding our pup Asa.

It seems….he has acquired a taste (err…fetish maybe) for cat feces.

I love and adore my dog.  But, this nasty habit will be nipped in the bud…right after I brush his teeth (and tongue) with dog friendly toothpaste.

As much as he loves licking our faces I don’t fancy imagining where his little mouth has last been.

Once my husband made me aware of the situation, I quickly decided to do some armchair research.

I found the following info, which may be useful, to you pet owners out there of the canine persuasion:

Medical Issues

Take your dog to the vet right away. His taste for feces might be triggered by intestinal or pancreatic issues. Any medication he’s on could also be a culprit. On the other hand, a prescription might help him if the coprophagia comes from severe anxiety. Even if your vet doesn’t find a medical cause, your dog might have picked up parasites—such as coccidia, giardia, roundworms or whipworms—from eating cat poop. The vet can test for these and prescribe deworming medication.

Inherited Behavior

Eating feces—those of cats and other animals—might be an inherited and even genetically programmed behavior. Wild canines, such as coyotes and wolves, sometimes scavenge poop if they can’t find or catch prey; they can actually get some essential vitamins this way. Access to cat litter might bring out the same instinct in your dog, even if she’s getting a balanced, nutritious diet. Also, when domestic and wild dogs have pups, the mother licks her babies to stimulate their bladders and bowels. She then eats the waste to keep the puppies’ environment sanitary. Seeing it modeled by their mother, some puppies try coprophagia, too.

Other Causes

Your dog might just like the taste of cat feces. He could also be anxious, bored or trying to grab your attention. If you’ve put the litter box in a spot he can access without much trouble, he might have become intrigued by the smell. He might even be hungry. It’s possible, though, that you won’t ever know exactly why he eats cat poop.

Stopping the Behavior

The easiest way to keep your dog from eating cat poop is to remove the opportunity. Put the litter box in a spot she can’t reach, or try a covered litter box. Some pet stores sell products you can mix with your cat’s food to make the feces taste disgusting—even to your dog. Sprinkling cayenne pepper, chili pepper or Tabasco sauce in the litter box might also deter her. Make sure she knows and obeys the “Leave it” command, and keep an eye on her in case you need to use it. Whatever you do, don’t punish her for the coprophagia—this can stress her, which might actually make the behavior worse.

 

source (click here)


With that being said…I would most definitely keep an eye on your fur baby if you notice he’s spending more time near the litterbox eyeing the cat for a deposit.

As stated in the article above, either your pet has A.) developed a taste for the er uhmmm “tasty” treat…or B.) he has an underlying medical problem.

Either way, the behavior has to be curbed because it’s just something (at least in my household) which cannot continue.

Love the sin…not the sinner

NetCulture11
Camille Gear Rich, in her CNN article, Rachel Dolezal’s right to be Black, examines possible reasons as why a Caucasian woman decided to embrace a Black identity and it’s similarities to Bruce Jenner’s transgender journey.
I personally fail to see the similarities.
I am mixed. Half Puerto Rican and half White. I did not choose to be like this.
My parents fell in love and produced 3 children. I grew up in a primarily white environment in Southern Indiana and YES, I did face discrimination growing up by the kids in school who called me names, had rocks thrown at me for being “different”. Being mixed with a “minority race” or being of a minority group can be difficult. It also has it’s positives. I love my heritage and though I don’t necessarily look Hispanic, I am because of my mother’s ethnic origins. I chose to embrace my cultural heritage. It’s in my DNA. I don’t have to lie about it. Ms. Dolezal lied.
She can champion the causes of ethnic minorities through her actions…………not through her looks.

An Army of one….

I don’t think so:

Singh, a Sikh college student at Hofstra University is happy about a federal court decision which allows him to enroll into the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) program at his university.  He will not have to shave his beard, cut his hair, or remove his turban.

 

According to Military.com:

Under a policy announced last year, troops can seek waivers on a case-by-case basis to wear religious clothing, seek prayer time or engage in religious practices. Approval depends on where the service member is stationed and whether the change would affect military readiness or the mission.

This is my take on the situation, I have served well over 15 years in the Regular Army and Army Reserves. My question is, though I respect his passion for his faith, the military HAS to maintain it’s regulations to ensure conformity.  This includes what we wear, how we wear it.

I remember many times when we went into full MOPP gear, how important it was to ensure we had a tight seal on our protective mask. This is just one example.

I have never seen the military as a regular 9-5 job.

In my agency, I have seen records of men and women who were put out because they could not hack or perform to the military standards.

There has to be a line drawn somewhere when it comes to appearance etc. or why have a military at all? We go through basic training as an individual…we come out as a team.

We are TAUGHT to think as a team.

 

source (click here)

The New Scarlett Red Letter

Extracted from Laura  Basset’s Huffington Post’s article, Jeb Bush In 1995: Unwed Mothers Should Be Publicly Shamed

Public shaming would be an effective way to regulate the “irresponsible behavior” of unwed mothers, misbehaving teenagers and welfare recipients, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) argued in his 1995 book Profiles in Character.

In a chapter called “The Restoration of Shame,” the likely 2016 presidential candidate made the case that restoring the art of public humiliation could help prevent pregnancies “out of wedlock.”

One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.

(source:  click here)

Sad comment. Sorry Jeb, but not all of us single un-wed mothers end up as failures.

Each person has a personal story behind this stat.

Yes, there should be some type of counseling, guidance to assist these young men and women.  Those women who refuse to work or go to school while on welfare need to be penalized.  The men who go around making these babies need to be held accountable.

Sad to say because in the end it’s the innocent children who are affected but where do we draw the line?

I am not an advocate of promiscuous behavior.

Unfortunately there are many illegitimate children born in this country whose parents are either irresponsible, walk away, or think that the government owes them something for x number a years, or sadly, for a lifetime.

However, not all of us who fall into this category are completely irresponsible.

Yes, my daughter was born “out of wedlock” and yes we were temporarily on welfare, but I set long-term set goals long before I joined the military or had my daughter, which I was quite determined to complete.

I reached by goals by working two jobs, one of them being an active duty soldier in the Army.

Once I was discharged I immediately started working while in college and reenlisted into the Army Reserves.

I then obtain my degrees and now work for the federal government and OWN my home.

My daughter is about to obtain her bachelor’s and already has her associates. She works for the federal government and one day soon will OWN her own home. She was NEVER and I mean NEVER a misbehaving teen.

I HATE blanket stereotyping

Could you handle an open marriage

While on break I saw this CNN headline pop out to me and simply had to address.

Maybe this concept is a throwback to the 60’s communal living and free love but I don’t believe in this practice. Am rather aghast that there are individuals out there willing to “trade” their husband or wives for a few moments of pleasure.

Of course, to each their own but not this lady.

According to the founder of Open Minded, which caters to such a population, more married couples are seeking outside relationships to fulfill a “need” for something different.

How about this novel idea?:  “DON’T GET MARRIED?”

Unless the both of you are into swinging (which I find quite vile,) then two consenting adults can do as they please.

Personally, I’ll never understand why such individuals marry if monogamy isn’t in the game plan.

I would much rather find my thrills and sense of adventure with my spouse than with a stranger.

According to the CNN author, Mel Robbins, cheating can actually create a stronger marriage. Of course I find this laughable and certainly not plausible for most married couples. (???????)

 

Ms. Robbins further explores the nuances of open marriages by addressing the following:

When you step outside your marriage and into another person’s bed you may say its “just sex” — but in reality you just invited that person to step into your whole life, and they probably will. You’ll be in your kitchen, with your spouse, when the texts appear on your phone. Are you free Saturday? You’ll be driving in your car with your kids, when the song that reminds you of your lover plays. And suddenly, they are right there in the car with you.

What I discovered about myself was interesting. It wasn’t the idea of Chris having sex with someone else that truly bothered me. I can even admit that if I envision a particular Victoria’s Secret supermodel with him — it’s actually a turn-on.

What crippled me was the realization that while you can compartmentalize the physicality of sex in your mind, you can’t keep real intimacy separated from real life. The idea of an outsider having access into our life, our family, our world and the power that comes with it … that scared the hell out of me, and it scared him, too.

source (click here)

 

And there it is folks…though you may think having an open relationship will make things less complicated, when in fact it can make the relationship flounder, even fail. And when it comes to honoring your vows:  for better or for worse, it certainly doesn’t mean condoning cheating.

Becoming an empty nester

I only had 1 child and through most of her childhood it was me and her against the world.  She is now 27 and will be spreading her wings to fly.

Am excited about her new chapter but sadden in that after 27 years I won’t have my baby around like I used to.

Never take your children for granted.

Ever.

I am lucky in that I have a very supporting husband and know I’ll be starting an exciting new chapter with him adoing the things we wish to do together as a couple.

yet, the experience of letting go, especially for single mothers, I think….is very painful.

Not to say those mothers whose children’s fathers are in the picture experience less hurt…just seems different when you’re a single mom.

I will worry about her safety, as always…heck my mom worries about mine and am 46 years old!

I will feel a profound sense of loss.  Getting used to not having her around will take time.

According to the Mayo clinic when it comes to single parents (and those with only 1 child):

If you have only one child or strongly identify with your role as parent, you might have a particularly difficult time adjusting to an empty nest. (source: click here)

 

Her happiness means the world to me and I will fight tooth and nail to ensure she gets it.

05f01f61942988b39ee1142912c5a59d