For the love of a dog

1533728_10206457968148448_6522807351982068975_n

Don’t know what it is with this canine but he’s slipped himself quite ceremoniously into my heart.

He’s going through a little bit of a medical issue at the moment and am keeping an ever-watchful eye.

Only 6 months old, we still have much to experience and journey together.

 

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)
poet Rudyard Kipling

The Power Of The Dog – Poem by Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie–
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find–it’s your own affair–
But…you’ve given your heart for a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!);
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart for the dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long–
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

10956623_10206454659545735_663894878124965649_n

“Cafe con leche”

This is a common saying in Puerto Rico. Maybe Cuba too since both cultures are quite similar.

This little phrase basically points out that people of that culture are of mixed race.  Puerto Ricans are a mixture of Spanish (from Spain), Tahino (Native American people who first populated the island), and African (from during the slave trade).

A colorful and quite beautiful racial melody.

Of course this mixture can bring up positive and negative attention.  I’ve received both.  Not being “white enough” while growing up. And not being Boricua enough for my island relatives. It’s like we are stuck in limbo. It’s like our appearance becomes our destiny.

Some individuals can tell I am mixed with something…usually I get Greek or Italian.  But not Latina. So what is my racial identity? When you are bi-racial or multi-racial it can be difficult to pinpoint where to mark your census box. Because I identify more with my mother and because I am half Puerto Rican I always check Hispanic. Then a part of me feels guilty for my father is of Irish descent. So what to do…what to do?

My daughter, on the other hand, is “tri-racial” because her biological father is African American. Then she has my Caucasian and Latin heritage.  I also had her DNA analyzed and I can see my genetic make up in her. (Totally awesome).

It is what it is.  If you saw the varying shades of my relatives, some are “whiter” than I am…and a few at the other end of the spectrum because of the African heritage we all carry. (And when I had my DNA analyzed it contains African and Native American).

We are all lovely shades of the human rainbow.

Embrace your uniqueness and simply respect others for who they are.

11164759_1073566859337837_6279206541478455307_n

 

A Spiritual Disconnection

“Love is always ready to deny itself, to give, sacrifice, just in the measure of its sincerity and intensity. Perfect love is perfect self-forgetfulness. Hence where there is love in a home, unselfishness is the law. Each forgets self and lives for others.

But where there is selfishness it mars joy. One selfish soul will destroy the sweetness of life in any home. It is like an ugly bush in the midst of a garden of flowers. It was selfishness that destroyed the first home and blighted all the loveliness of Paradise; and it has been blighting lovely things in earth’s home ever since. We need to guard against this spirit.”
James Russell Miller

 

“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”
Oscar Wilde

 

“Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection – or compassionate action.”
Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

 

“Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves. ”
Stephen Kendrick, The Love Dare

 

“Betrayal is an ironic thing. He or she betrays you then you betray yourself. You think you’re showing strength with your anger, but in reality you’re showing how much you still care.”
Shannon L. Alder

 

 

Love what I do

NARA_1

Work can sometimes be overwhelming. So much to do. My position means wearing many hats. I chose it because it’s challenging and I love helping others. Though at times this place can become stressful, I honestly do love what I do. I am still tied to the military through these historical records. How many people can say they honestly love their job? Being a veteran myself, reading about the heroic feats of many many American soldiers leaves me in awe each and every time. Doesn’t matter if it was my 1st record or my 100th or more…..it is an honor to serve my fellow countrymen and women.

The simplest way a legal next of kin or veteran can obtain records is on line website

Or filling out an Standard Form 180 (can access here)

WHEN THE DAYS BLUR TOGETHER

Not sure if it’s an age thing but lately it seems like my days are blurring together.  Maybe it’s a 40-something kind of bug…..Perhaps part of it is the volunteer overtime I’ve been completing or feeling a bit under the weather….but one day is merging into the next and either it’s workplace fatigue or in need of an extended vacation.

wor004

Fatigue doesn’t usually come out of no-where. Lifestyle habits and underlying health issues usually are the culprit:

  • Medical causes – Can be an undiagnosed illness such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, going through “the change”
  • Lifestyle- – Sleep deprivation, long work hours, partying too hard (as if!!!)
  • Emotional concerns and stress – Depression and grief are usually the culprit.  A stressful home life, family worries….

The solutions are simple (if you are willing to embrace change)

Eating a balanced diet, addressing any issues or concerns you have at work or at home is usually a good place to start.  Control your workload (if able)

It all begins with the first step ( sometimes the most challenging) and before you know it you’ll find yourself with more energy to enjoy the things you used to be able to do. Just remember to take time out for yourself. I should also practice what I preach.  Perhaps a nice vacation in the tropics, cool breezes, sandy beaches, and a glass of rum is the sure thing to turn my frown upside down.    😉

Things to do in St. Louis (and surrounding area)

Wherever you happen to plant your heart there’s always something fun or interesting to do.  If you find yourself bored….check the Internet or pick up the paper and see what are the new happenings around the area.

I love historic St. Charles and found the following event (not in the historic area but still nice place to visit) which luckily is going on today:

2015 Food Truck Events with Live music

Food Trucks Image April 21 2015

Mark your calendars for our popular Food Truck events! Enjoy live entertainment as you indulge in a variety of delicious food options that will be available by several different food truck vendors. Bring your family and friends out for a relaxing evening in the park!

(source)

 

There’s a little bit of something for everyone. Not much for crowds, but with all the overtime I’ve been doing lately it’s nice to have an “all Americana” outlet such as this to choose from and relax.

 

What it’s like being a federal employee

index

 

A federal employee is an individual employed by the U.S. federal government. Employees receive positions and promotions based on “grades” that are obtained through work history, employment duration and other factors. Federal employees have the benefits of transferring to other federal positions when openings are available. (source)

Ever since I can remember I wanted to serve my country and I did both within the military and in the public sector.  Being the nerd that I sometimes can be….I knew the path I’d take would be a difficult one.  I had no connections, grew up in an obscure Mid-America little town, and came from a comfortable middle class life.

What made me succeed was perseverance and having a positive attitude, an inner fire that was also a fighter to go after the things I felt were important to me.  The military provided me a structured path, the discipline and fortitude to reach my goals.

College first then full-time employment.

It took a little while to get to where I am today, and I still see myself climbing the ladder of success one challenging rung at a time.

Naysayers think federal employees are lazy, not worth the pay all of us, including me, we dole out through taxes.

Trust me when I say the National Archives of Saint Louis is one agency where all employees, in some fashion or another, earn their pay.

Unless you are management, meetings are few and far between (excluding weekly team and core meetings)

  • Yes, things seem to run at a slower pace working for “The Man” perhaps it’s because we have to ensure all regulations and compliance are met.
  • It is like a private sector job, however unlike our counterpart, getting rid of a federal employee can be a monumental task (unless it be a moral transgression)
  • There are still high-schoolish cliquish behaviors. If you work for the feds (and even if you don’t) rise above that nonsense because gossip is childish and there’s simply no place for it within a professional work environment.
  • Despite some challenges, like in any workforce, the benefits are great and worth holding on to.

Anything and everything is possible as long as you believe it to be

I think there’s no higher calling in terms of a career than public service, which is a chance to make a difference in people’s lives and improve the world.

Jack Lew

I deserve more pay!

I cannot even begin to dissect as to how I feel when it comes to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Is a raise needed?

Sure…..

but at $15 an hour no.

There are people who work in the federal government who make less than $15.00 an hour and do far more complicated work. I made less than that while serving on active duty.

I made less than that when starting out at my current agency.

I won’t even get into the rest of today’s military and what they do for their pay. Sure, we all need a cost of living raise. Inflation is a b!tch.

How about re-evaluating WHY it takes more $$$$$$ to obtain basic necessities and fix THAT???????????

My rant for the day started after reading the following article by Matt Walsh and the push for a $15 minimum wage:

 

Dear fast food workers,

It’s come to my attention that many of you, supposedly in 230 cities across the country, are walking out of your jobs today and protesting for $15 an hour. You earnestly believe — indeed, you’ve been led to this conclusion by pandering politicians and liberal pundits who possess neither the slightest grasp of the basic rules of economics nor even the faintest hint of integrity — that your entry level gig pushing buttons on a cash register at Taco Bell ought to earn you double the current federal minimum wage.

I’m aware, of course, that not all of you feel this way. Many of you might consider your position as Whopper Assembler to be rather a temporary situation, not a career path, and you plan on moving on and up not by holding a poster board with “Give me more money!” scrawled across it, but by working hard and being reliable. To be clear, I am not addressing the folks in this latter camp. They are doing what needs to be done, and I respect that.

Instead, I want to talk to those of you who actually consider yourselves entitled to close to a $29 thousand a year full time salary for doing a job that requires no skill, no expertise, and no education; those who think a fry cook ought to earn an entry level income similar to a dental assistant; those who insist the guy putting the lettuce on my Big Mac ought to make more than the Emergency Medical Technician who saves lives for a living; those who believe you should automatically be able to “live comfortably,” as if “comfort” is a human right.

 

SOURCE (read more here)

 

You are not forgotten….

“Many veterans feel guilty because they lived while others died. Some feel ashamed because they didn’t bring all their men home and wonder what they could have done differently to save them. When they get home they wonder if there’s something wrong with them because they find war repugnant but also thrilling. They hate it and miss it.Many of their self-judgments go to extremes. A comrade died because he stepped on an improvised explosive device and his commander feels unrelenting guilt because he didn’t go down a different street. Insurgents used women and children as shields, and soldiers and Marines feel a totalistic black stain on themselves because of an innocent child’s face, killed in the firefight. The self-condemnation can be crippling.
The Moral Injury, New York Times. Feb 17, 2015”
― David Brooks

 

fallen_soldiers_memorial2-300x225

Going home again….or not

“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.”
Beryl Markham, West with the Night

 

I’ve been invited by two old friends from my hometown for a visit this summer. And it’ll take a few more days than a simple overnighter.

Excited in some ways to touch base again….however I left Indiana for a reason and returning does not always bring back the most pleasant of memories.

However, with that being said, one should never allow themselves to become a victim of circumstance. Embrace the bad, learn, and move on.

That’s what I plan on doing…..

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

 

indiana-farm-hay_17625_600x450