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How well do we really know our friends and neighbors?

This morning I woke up, took my blood pressure medication, and turned on the TV.  Just like I do every morning.   Steve, Gretchen, and Brian weren’t talking about the Boston Marathon Bombers, they weren’t talking about tomorrow’s Benghazi hearing, they were talking about a home in Ohio.  That caught my attention real quick.  It was Cleveland, Ohio.  About four hours north of me.  I sat down on the couch and watched as they told of three young women that had been abducted over a decade ago.  They’ve been found, rescued, and they are alive.

From the details we are hearing, on the news, they’d been kept by three men, (brothers) for all this time.  I can’t even imagine what they’d gone through.  Well, I guess I can, some.  One of them has a six year old daughter.  As usual the authorities are holding the particulars close to their chests, (as it should be.) 

With the current economic situation the United States finds ourselves in, it’s often that we find ourselves with new neighbors.  People we’ve known for years have lost their financial footing and had to either sell their homes or lose them back to the bank.  Causing an influx of new people moving in and some times, moving back out quickly.  As sad as it is to say, (admit) I’ve found myself not real eager to cross the street and meet them.  (A few times, I’ve been glad that I hadn’t, but that’s something for another posting all together.)  I’d venture to say that the very next house has a new family in it and if they hadn’t called across the fence first, I probably wouldn’t know them.  

 

Before the economic crash we knew every family on the road.  We knew where each other worked, what they did at work, and what hours they worked.  We knew what days each family did their grocery shopping and even where they all preferred to shop.  We all knew each other’s decor’ themes and color schemes, information that came in handy around Christmas and birthday times.   Not to mention that when spring storms come around each year, the houses with basements became the place to be.  I don’t think, anyone could have gotten away with kidnapping and holding someone, let along three young ladies, hostage.  Now, I am afraid to say.  We have learned the sounds of all the new neighbor’s cars/trucks, we know about what time we should be hearing the leave for work or return from work, but we really don’t know them.

Sad situation.

Do you know your neighbors?  Would you be able to spot something out of whack with them?

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What were they thinking?

A group of men spending day after day in a room laying out the format for what would become and enormous civilization.  The foresight they had to have.

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With generation gaps seem from our grandparents to our parents to ourselves.  Those of us that have been lucky enough to have memories of our great grandparents have even a wider gap to see with our own eyes.  I consider myself extremely lucky in this aspect.  Until I was an early teenager, I can remember several greats attending family gatherings.

One was my grandmothers father.  We called him Granddaddy.  I can remember thinking to myself, “Wow, he’s old and stuck in those times.”  But, now, as an adult, I don’t see him as stuck in his times, but experienced.  He’s done things, seen things, and knew first hand what worked better.

I think that way about the Founding Fathers of this country.  They may not have been as old as Granddaddy was, but I think they must have been experiences and very wise men.

They’d seen first hand what could and did happen when King George had and used too much power.  They’d seen first hand how friends of King George were receiving power and foes of King George were tormented, belittled, and often times flat out done away with.

Sounds like something we’re going through now, doesn’t it?

What are they thinking NOW?

I can only imagine.

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Etiquette? What’s that?

I grew up in a relaxed household.  My father worked outside of the house, 10 hours Monday – Friday and 6 hours on Saturdays.  My mother worked in the house.  For years we, (my sister, brother, and I) had no idea what our father did but we knew what our mother did.  She cooked our meals, cleaned up after us, saw that we were very well taken care of.  Mom taught us all that etiquette was to always make people feel comfortable around us.  I’ve instilled that in my own children.  We learned that lesson more by seeing it in our parents than anything else.
 
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve found myself offended by just being around some people.  The kid walking down the sidewalk in front of me that has his pants down to his knees, the young girl at the register that has huge sucker marks around her neck, or the people that have huge gaping holes in their ears that you can actually see through to the other side of them.  Let’s not forget about those folks that have more rings in their faces than on their fingers or in their ears.  I’ve actually walked out of restaurants because I’d literally lost my will to eat anything.  
My own daughter walked into our home one afternoon, after shopping with friends, with a little stud in the side of her nose.  It didn’t take long for her to remove it.  I think she knew that it would be less painful to remove it herself, than for me to do it.  Her defense was that “everyone’s doing it.”  My response was not what her friends were expecting but it was effective enough to get that thing out of my site and out of her nose as quickly as humanly possible.  
Living in a small town has it’s good points as well as it’s not so good points.  I can remember the day I walked out of my office and saw a young lady walking towards me.  I took a double take and she laughed.  Now, I have no problem with dressing up for Halloween parties, shoot the entire month of October is fair game.  But this was not October. She had obviously colored jet back hair on top and blood red underneath, with a purple stripe down the back of her head.  I’ve been to the city before but seeing this kind of thing in our small town was not an everyday thing.  A week later, I walked into a diner across the street and who came to take my order?  The black/red/purple lady with a huge hog ring hanging out of her nose and some kind of spike thing protruding from her cheek.  That wasn’t all.  She’d added some king on miniature barbell looking things in the top of her fingers.
I could hear Dorothy saying that she wasn’t in Kansas anymore as I looked up at her.  
“Hi, what can I get you?”  She asked.
I really wanted to say a blind fold but I didn’t.  I politely pushed my chair back and said that I’d just remember an appointment and wouldn’t have time for lunch just then.  
 
I was so disappointed in myself.  Not only had I allowed that girl to offend me to strongly, I’d also allowed her to induce me to lie to her just so she wouldn’t be offended.  It didn’t matter that she had offended me.  I’d be willing to bet that she had no clue how much she’d offended me.  By my making an excuse and leaving without saying anything, I was enabling her to continue with this freaky and unacceptable weirdness.  
I changed my ideas right then and there.  Now, I’ll go to the trouble of pushing the button to role my windows down and holler out at boys walking around with their pants down.  “Hey, If I go and buy you a belt, would you wear it?”  I returned to the diner and politely asked the owner if she was really that hard up for help, she should consider closing the doors.  Then I walked out.  I got a call a few days later informing me that my next meal was on her.  She’d let the girl go and her business had actually picked up.  In the grocery store I’ve had people clap when I’ve told cashiers that I bet her mothers appreciate the way they were advertising that she had become a little harlot.     
 
When people respect me and my business, I will respect them.  When people show me etiquette, I will show them etiquette.    I’m tired of lowering my own standards to prevent from offending someone else that clearly has no standards to speak of.
 
Et´i`quette`
n. 1.

The forms required by good breedingor prescribed by authorityto be observed in social or official lifeobservance of the proprieties of rank and occasionconventional decorumceremonial code of polite society.

The pompous etiquette to the court of Louis the Fourteenth.
 

The Zombie Apocalypse is here! Just not like what you think.

Image  The Zombie Apocalypse is here!  Just not like you are thinking.  In most all of the Zombie movies you see people without brain function walking around in a daze looking for brains or flesh to feed on.  Those Zombies have a need and are going to do what ever it takes to be fulfilled.  

The modern day Zombies also have a need.  They are walking around in mindless stupors in search for what they want.  Free housing, free medical, and free all you can eat food stamps which are generally sold or traded for the most current flavor of the month drug and or alcohol to make them even more Zombiefied. Even the luxury items that those of us working stiffs enjoy are items that are wanted. These modern day zombies are being handed for free, to them.    Every one of us that pays for our house phones and or cell phones are actually paying for the Obama Phone the Zombie pictured above believes is free.  

What ever happened to the idea that you get what you work for?  Has it been replaced with; Come follow me, and all your needs will be taken care of?  

No matter what you go to the doctor for, these days, it seems to me that you are actually depressed and the doctor whips out his or her prescription pad and writes you out a pass on life.  <Oh, your spouse of 60 years had passed, you’re depressed.  Take a pill.  Of course, he or she has passed, if you’ve been married that long you’ve got to be 80sh.  Death is a part of life and I’m sure you are going to miss him or her but did you really believe he or she would live forever?>  <Oh, I’m sorry your team didn’t win enough games to be in the superbowl, you’re depressed, here take this pill.  Life has it’s ups and downs, we can’t always all be winners.  Someone has to come in second.>  <Oh, you fell and scraped your knee, that tells me that you won’t be able to run as fast or as far as the other kids for a few days, you must be depressed, here take a pill.  Learn now that life isn’t a “bowl of cherries” to use a wonderful woman’s words.  Some people just have to fall into the pits, you get up, brush yourself off and get back into the game that is life.>  

If children are not taught when they are young, that life has it’s ups and downs, and how to deal with them, they will no doubt, become additions to these modern day zombies.  Walking around, mindlessly, waiting for someone to give them a handout.  (free housing, free medical, and free food.)  Here, you have snot running down your chin, let me wipe that off and clean you up.  Here, you have crap on your legs because you’re too lazy to wipe your butt after taking your morning crap, let me clean you up, you poor lazy piece of crap.  

Too many people walking about mindlessly and numbed from every day life has helped lead up into the modern day Zombie Apocalypse.  Put down your drink and deal with the life you have.  It may not be the greatest but you have had every opportunity that I’ve had to make it that way.     Throw away the anti-depressants and learn to deal with the life you’ve set yourself up for.  If you don’t like, change it.  Get off your butt and find a job, it may not be the job you would like to have, but there’s always room for moving up and bettering yourself and your situation.  You will find a certain amount of self respect when you go into the grocery and pay with your own money instead of mine.  And that will just keep growing until one day you are self sufficient and able to stand on your own for a change.

If you are so hooked on the Zombie-nation, go out and rent a movie or flip your tv to AMC and watch The Walking Dead.  It WAS meant for entertainment after all, not a lifestyle.

I love rainy days!

Never really being one to enjoy the great out doors, (until I got involved with my feathered friends) I used to set in house and wish for rainy days.  Partly because as a child, when it was raining my sister and brother would have nothing better to do that stay inside with me.  

My terrible allergies may have a role in this type of life style.

So, when my daughter called me for our morning chat and I heard my grand daughter in the back ground assuring her mother that she was watching the storm on the radar, I had to laugh.  It’s really not funny, sometimes I wonder if my daughter is turning my grandchildren into little paranoid storm watchers.  We’ve been out in the yard playing and a nice strong gust of wind will blow threw and they both take notice and run for the house demanding that we turn on the weather channel.  “Must be a storm brewing!”  They’ll say.  I love that but still think it’s odd.

My favorite things to do on rainy or stormy days is to breath deeply and watch around me.  All that rain is actually washing the gunk off the trees, flowers, and weeks that make me sneeze and my eyes run with tears. I believe it’s God’s way of washing away the nasties.