About kaiserswest

A wife and mother to 3 amazing sons, and grandma to 6 (and counting) beautiful grandchildren. This is just a place where I can muse on things in my life and the world around me. I don't pretend to be a great writer or theologian, historian or blogger, but I'd love you to join me on this journey!

Cacophony – noise – chaos

My dad is 94 years old. He has minor dementia. Whenever we speak, it is 90% about him. Which is normal for him. We did not speak for about 2 years until recently, when my brother gave him my phone number (thanks oh so much). We have had major disagreements in our relationship and my world spins much smoother when he is not poking his head into it. He has a habit of disrupting my life. I have now had three conversations with him since our non-speaking timeframe and I realized today I have not missed it much. That is so horrible to say, I know. But my father is an old narcissist and he uses it well. He loves to say little things to ensure he has put me in my place. He will always follow it up with, “But you know I love you.” Ha. Typical gaslighting. His sort of love can destroy a person. And he almost succeeded with me. I have since learned that although we have loved ones who are a major part of our lives, like parents, we do not have to grant them real estate in our heads or let them take up too much of our time. Both are precious and we only get one try at this thing called life.

My dad doesn’t just talk, he basically lectures. He thinks he’s being kind to people, but he is pretty condescending. He thinks he’s being so witty when he tears someone to pieces with cruel words, and follows it up with kind words. Today his focus was on why I don’t publish or write professionally. I have had this blog since 2012; I’ve sent him links in the past, but he has never bothered to read them. I think technology has passed him by. His days are now filled with jigsaw puzzles and Bingo. To me, this is enough. I get joy out of making new friends through this medium and by sharing thoughts with people. I don’t need to be paid. He thinks I am wasting my intellect being at home. But he has no idea what I have accomplished or the places I have been, nor the people I have interacted with, because he was too busy doing his thing and not inquiring about my life. Today he had no idea I had 3 grown sons. No idea. That is the dementia talking; I know. But it is also how he has treated those of us in his life in the past. Today, I did not allow him the space in my head, nor the words to worm their way into my heart to hurt me. I listened to his words, and let them flow…sort of like water off a duck’s back.

The one issue that did make me think was his comments about why I was not writing at all. And I realized that I had nothing of import to share. Nothing to add to the conversation in this crazy world. If we all opine in the public square, it becomes a cacophony of sound. It adds to the chaos. It becomes nothing more than noise. And although I have strong opinions about what is going on in our country and world ( for example: no vax for me; no mask for me; it’s the flu; the news lies 24/7; open up the marketplace and get people back to work; pretty much everything I was taught was part of a greater narrative that did not have my best interest in mind; God wins. Period.) I don’t think that long diatribes add to the cure. The cure? In my opinion? Turn off the TV. Return to quiet family times. Insulate yourself from the greater world. Pray – a lot. Read your Bible. Do penance on behalf of this world. Celebrate this 40-day opportunity to re-align yourself with God. It’s Lent. Live it. And stop believing all you hear is truth. Because it is not. Associate with good people. The people you hang out with have a far greater affect on you than you realize. Attend more services at Church. Stations of the Cross, the Rosary. Read religious works. Start a prayer notebook to track who you pray for and look back and see God in action! Start a 40-day gratitude journal. Be positive. About all of this.

My youngest son has been an only child since our middle son left for college. Since he was about 9 years old, he has been blessed to be home with just me and his dad. There are choices he makes that I disagree with, and I know if I try to discuss it with him, it is just noise. Blah-blah-blah. Good old mom, blathering on again about this or that. And I know my opinion gets lost in the words and it just does no good. He has always been one of those kids who has the ability to just turn off. He did it as an infant, toddler, and during his school years. He goes somewhere inside himself and stays there until he feels it is appropriate to re-engage. It’s a protective mechanism he was born with. And so I have learned that lectures get me nowhere with him. And I was thinking how much the rest of the world needs to be able to just turn off all these externals. So much information, but so little intelligent thought. And I know my little blog is just going to add to the noise. My protective mechanism is to just hide. I left the public square in so many ways, because I learned it was like beating my head against the wall. Very little satisfaction; a lot of pain.

And so my conclusion for this post is that I did say a lot here, to tell you I did not have a lot to say. Oh the irony!! LOL! But more importantly, I am trying to share why too many words, too much information, too much falsity in the public square only makes all these things assailing us all, much much worse. Practice detachment from things and people and situations. Practice silence. Practice prayer. And remember, regardless of the pain of this journey we are all on, in the end, God wins. Always. Forever. Period.

The suspense is killing me!

Alright, I am a die-hard conservative. It spills into pretty much all facets of my life. I do not indulge in credit card spending and try to live within my means. I do not listen to music that would rot my brain or put words I do not need into my head. I try to avoid media that is filthy, to put it bluntly. I decry the reasoning behind horror movies or overt sexuality on the screen. I do not like first-person shooting games although my kids do. I could barely use a pinball machine, let alone a computer or game controller. My 9-year-old grandson laughs at how I crash constantly in Mario Cart games. My eye-hand coordination never got that gaming perspective. Honestly, I have a back-up camera on my car. Can I back up and do it without hitting anything (or going outside the lines)? Not for very far. I cannot figure out how to hold those tiny new controllers for my grandson’s Switch games. Ugh. Technology is passing me by, I think!!

I have run the gamut of politics in my lifetime. I was raised by very conservative immigrant parents. My dad loved the John Birch Society, if that explains anything. I rebelled in late high school and college. I switched (no pun intended to the Switch game console and controllers shown above) majors in college from pre-med to Forensic Anthropology and my dad about came uncorked. Because anything outside of physical science annoyed him. He was a doctor of medical engineering. And he wanted me to become a surgeon. He just never could deal with my love of history, and I thought forensic anthropology was a nice compromise. He did not. And so since I was heading down a pathway of humanity studies, I became a flaming liberal. For about 1-2 years. Then I realized (it was the 70s) most of the liberals just sat around complaining, and smoking pot. A lot. You would get high just being in the same room. And so I began to look to my political roots. I had been a “Nixonette” in High School, manning the phones at his Whittier office in my spare time. I really though he was a good guy. LOL. I loved Reagan and then I loved the 2nd Bush. And then 9/11 happened. And it changed everything.

Yeah…down the proverbial rabbit hole I went. Something did not sit right with me. It was the beginning of an awakening. As I learned more and more and more about my history and my understanding of America, I wanted to sue my college for all the BS I was forced to learn and memorize. It was complete BS. We have been sold a bill of goods in this country. We have been trained to listen to the media as telling us the truth of what is happening. We relied on the media for the full truth. As I think back to sitting in front of the TV every night, eating our dinners on TV trays, watching the nightly reports from the war in Viet Nam, I get so very angry. Lives were lost and lies were told. And it continued on until even this very day. More lies from the main stream media’s leftist narrative. It really really really – I cannot stay it enough – bothers me.

This is my favorite meme of all time. When I look at it, I can clearly hear it. It makes me laugh so much. But it is also so true. We have been lied to. For generations. If you think what is happening has anything to do with democrats or republicans, you have not allowed yourself to listen to the truth. There are not really two parties. There is one. Someone coined the term, “Uniparty” and I have to agree. Behind the scenes they are all buddies and think we are pawns or sheeple. They have no respect for us, the voter or their constituent. Can you imagine being in office for 30-40-50 years???? What happened to the idea of “gentlemen legislators”? Our Founding Fathers never intended for politics to be a lifetime career. They did not intend that representatives to our Congress would never have had a normal life, with a job and a paycheck. It was not intended that people would leave college and go right into politics. They have no idea what punching a time clock is. Nor do they understand living within their means and balancing a checkbook. They don’t have to! Between their salaries and the money they get from special interest groups and people, they are set. And they know it. I don’t care who you are, you cannot get into office without financial assistance. (Well, there are exceptions. Even with all his millions and billions thrown in, Michael Bloomberg couldn’t buy his nomination. It’s actually funny). And whenever you take money from someone, they wait until they need you and remind you that you owe them. So my advice is to always, always, follow the money!

Once upon a time, a reporter asked Julian Assange why he did not do a report on Donald Trump. Why didn’t he spill the beans and show all the dirt on Donald? His reply? “Because there is none.” And in walks Donald Trump, onto the stage of politics. Oh how the people loved him, the rich man they could hob-knob with! He hung out with all the other rich people, and mostly democrats. He was approached by the FBI decades ago to help bring down some New York businessmen who were not honest. And he was happy to do it. He loves this Country of ours. And because he loves it so much, he has put up with so much!! He left his billionaire lifestyle to serve this country, and the people. The political and financial establishments hate him. Why? Because with everything he knows he can bring it all crashing down on their heads. Every. Single. Brick.

I’m gonna pull the whole thing downI’m gonna bring the whole ******’ diseased, corrupt temple down on your head. It’s gonna be biblical. Clyde Shelton from Law Abiding Citizen

And that quote pretty much embodies what President Trump has been planning to do. There is quote on a Tweet from 2012:

And he wrote one of his first Executive Orders (2 EOs, and 3 proclamations, and 8 bills) all about child trafficking and sex trafficking, vowing to take it down. And I believe he has been doing just that. And when the entire truth of the campaign against him is discovered, the majority of the people will be sickened and in complete disbelief and denial. I have spoken in previous posts about “cognitive dissonance.” It’s a real thing. When you learn something but it goes against what you believe about humanity, about life, about your perceptions of EVERYTHING, you reject it outright. And it is understandable. Even expected by those trying to share the truth with you. Well, I have to tell you that I have slowly come to the conclusion that all of this is very, very real. And that our President and a select group of amazing individuals has worked tirelessly to take this world-wide empire down. And I think they are winning. Which is why the “other guys” did everything in their power to get him out of office. Two impeachments and they’re trying to arrest him. Why? Because he has it all. Once it is all revealed, they will not be able to walk the street. Think about it. Have you ever seen an inaugural set-up like the one we are seeing? An inauguration on a stage, with celebrity performances, behind fences with 25,000 (or more) National Guards and DC police and other law enforcement? With these fences having razor wire on the inside, and locks on the outside? With checkpoints and barriers all over the capital of our country? For someone who supposedly won in the largest popular upset of our time? Something does not add up, my friends.

So walls work now???

All I can say anymore about all of this is to pray. God wins in the end. But everyone also needs to remain calm. Stay home. Be with your family. Let the professionals deal with all of this. Tomorrow is a day for history to be made. We will see, in the next few months, exactly what that means. Because quite honestly, the truth is still hidden from the majority of people. God has the last say. If we fervently believe in His promises, all will be as it should be. Never, ever, loose hope in God. Faith is believing even without seeing. I have 100% faith in all of this, and that God’s hand is in all of this. He wins. Honestly, He wins. And all of this, every bit of it, has been for the children.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.

And so as these next days unfold, know that behind the scenes much work is being done. If it does not look the way you think it should, or if it seems as if all is lost, have faith. God allowed this evil to be perpetrated for generations – literally – and if a presidency can take it down in just 4 years – that’s a miracle. And I can be patient, remain cozy, and just wait for God’s plan to unfold itself. God wins. Always.

God meets you where you are.

I bought this gift for myself this year. I normally hang my calendar (s) near my washer in the laundry room. I catch up on upcoming events and holy days, and give myself something to ponder while mindlessly doing laundry. But this calendar is special. Even the paper it is made of is pretty and strong and thick. So this year, I hung this calendar next to my desk. And my sweet husband has not noticed the new hole in that wall. LOL. He will after he reads this, if he does. LOL.

What I wanted to share is that this simple calendar really touched me. I love this sort of primitive folk art and her colors and content just captivated me. It spoke to my heart, right where I am today. Let’s face it, 2020 kind of stunk. There were joyful highlights to be sure, but the tone of the year will go down in the history books as one of the least fun years. I find it fascinating that a strain of flu has been used to shut down entire nations and their economies. The CDC estimates that the death rate overall in the USA will be less in 2020 than it was in 2019, before this bug invaded our country. But the lockdowns are still around; curfews are being implemented; people are protesting; and even the more liberal among us are pretty much over the mask mandates. So many people I know have lost their livelihoods. And many more are no longer friends with people they’ve known their whole lives; not to mention all the families with members no longer speaking – all because of a simple flu strain that is 99% recoverable. It saddens me that so many do not question narratives but choose to mask up and abide the lockdowns.

There is so much going on out there. The Rally at the Capital had a dramatic turn/twist. I fully believe that there was no rioting by Patriots, but by actors inciting and leading the way. I find it interesting that politicians had fully typed commentary on the “violence” by Trump supporters prepared and were able to preach and pontificate, even proposing legislation and enacting public policy, so close on the heels of their “frightening” ordeal. After a warning on their laptops, they retreated into their tunnels and safety from the antics of the paid actors (there are a series of tunnels and trams that take politicians to all the major DC buildings. Otherwise there would be no room for the rest of humanity of the city streets). The sole alleged murder (because reports of this being a false flag are circulating today. No blood at the scene and a sighting of the victim on a return flight to CA) of a peaceful veteran was not by a DC policeman, but rather by a staff member paid to protect a legislator. There are conflicting reports but I certainly will never again trust our media. The on-the-scene cell phone videos are far more trustworthy than our media is or has been. And the eye witness accounts paint a far different picture than CNN.

The world is not peaceful right now. People are angry and upset. And feel like they have no say and no power in their lives. Many decades ago, my mom worked for a real estate company that specialized in governmental acquisitions. Her job was to finalize purchases and to ensure all the titles were transferred properly. There was a project in the greater Los Angeles area for a new freeway expansion. The homeowners had no say in this project and they were required to sell their homes to the government. They call it “eminent domain.” The government was being fair, right? They get fair market value for their homes. No chance to make a profit by holding out, nor the ability to not sell and stay put. And that is when I learned that nothing I own is really mine. Whenever my husband and I have purchased a home and we have made those horrendous house payments, we have discussed how this beautiful place we call “our home” is never really ours. Until we make that last payment, the bank owns it. If the borough or the state decide to put in a skating rink and declare “eminent domain,” they can forcibly take our home, or remove us from it. Nothing, and I repeat this, nothing is ever really ours.

For Christmas, I was given the book above, Pierced by a Sword, along with the two other books that are in this series. God meets us, truly, where we are! And when we need Him! This friend prayed I would read these books as she gathered them together as a gift for me, along with some baked goods, a coffee mug, and a rosary her dad made, all wrapped in a warm shawl. Her dad has Alzheimer’s and is now confined to a memory facility, but he can make a rosary. How profound is that? Anyway, to make a long and interesting story short, I read this book – again. I read it several times more than 20 years ago. And I even knew the author and gave his books out to people (St. Jude Media distributed these books at no cost. Please go to their website at http://www.catholicity.com for the fastest way to get one into your hands). Let me just say, this gift was heartfelt and the Lord placed it on her heart to give it to me. And trust me when I tell you – this book is even more relevant today than it was 20+ years ago. I wept. I laughed. I was hooked, once again, on the characters and the storyline. I was also reminded that our world is careening out of control towards heathenism, debauchery, and absolute hell on earth. And nothing, absolutely nothing, is ever really ours. We cannot depend on our country or government to stay intact, nor our home being ours; nor our friends remaining friends; or our family staying intact. The sole thing we can rely and depend upon is our faith in God, and His unending and bountiful Mercy.

If you think the political and social world we are in right now is bad, it can easily be much, much worse. We are truly in a battle of good vs. evil. This is so far, far beyond the scope of Democrat vs Republican, or Liberal vs Conservative. So few of us bother to do more than give a cursory glance to what the media tells us. The black box in our hands or on the walls of our homes drones endless streams of information into our heads, and sadly it is not for our betterment. There is a narrative and those who control the media control that narrative. And through that, they control most of us. And they have no interest in the freedom of religion. They want our god to be our jobs, the car we want to buy, the purse we carry, the latest movie being released or the next sports game being televised, or the house we buy – anything but the Lord of All Creation. Because they deny God even exists. They removed Him from our schools, our sports, the movies, and TV – unless it shows a weakened, watered-down version of faith. God tells us all life is sacred – but our government, the medical professionals, and Wall Street all sell us that if a life is getting in the way, get rid of it. There is nothing parenthood-related about Planned Parenthood – its’ goal is to stop you from being a parent. What is our defense? The Full Armor of God. We need to seriously turn off those black boxes, and we need to return to the life of an active Christian. If you are Catholic, get yourself to Mass. Pray the rosary. Go to confession. Receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. And if you are a different strain of Christian, attend church services. Go to bible study. Get your kids to youth group. Character counts – surround yourself with people of character. People who strive to be their best selves. People who believe in God. Fill your homes with the symbolism that reminds you and everyone who comes to your home, that you are a Christian. Hang pictures, put a cross up, apply those decals that spell out great Bible verses on them, onto your walls. Do not let the evil one get a foothold into your homes or families, because he is prowling about, seeking the ruin of souls.

As the book, Pierced by a Sword, captured my heart and brought me to my knees, it also gave me peace and hope. If the world does go like some think it will, we will live in love and peace. If evil prevails, it will be our own fault through lack of faith and prayer. Because God is just waiting for us to turn to Him. Do not wait. Do not pass go and collect your $200! Time marches on and evil is prowling about. I can feel it. It is like the world is collectively holding its breath. And God waits. He waits on us all to turn back to Him and ignore the chaos all around us. Deep breath, and pray:

And the great doxology: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

“Therefore, do not fear them…”

Do you ever wonder why people think the way they do? Or where they get their information from? Forming a conscious is not something to be taken lightly. I have quoted him before, but one of my favorite books is, “Our thoughts determine our lives: the life and teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica.” It is one of those books that can inform your conscious for the rest of your life. Elder Thaddeus was a savior of the Serbian people and the Church in Serbia. His concise teachings are so remarkable, that they should be known by all peoples.

I have read this book more than once. I have highlighted all through it, and I have grown with each reading. His teaching of simplicity of thought is groundbreaking for our times because so few people are simple thinkers, if they think things through at all. Our conscious can be formed by the people we surround ourselves with, by the voices we allow to penetrate our thoughts. I have spoken to the use of the television to influence people, and it is being played out large right now. Most people do not even realize they become parrots of what is said on the nightly news. That they purchase products because they see innumerable commercials about it, or some celebrity uses or wears it (aka: product placement). Here is something interesting:

All of that influence from a program on Netflix. This is an example of how we are programmed daily. There are products who do not advertise, but just have amazing logos. They place their logos on T-shirts and coffee cups, pillows and stickers. And when we see the logo, we know what it is. I remember my girlfriend’s daughter could tell her mom what she wanted to eat, and knew where she was pulling into, by the logo, because she was 3 and did not read, yet. But she knew McDonald’s “golden arches” and the bell of Taco Bell. Ingenious marketing. And we have all fallen for it, hook, line, and sinker, as they say.

Bringing a person to a conscious awareness of something like this can be so difficult. I watched an experiment today of a woman sitting in a crowded waiting room. She was the sole experiment. Every time a tiny bell would ring, everyone in the room stood up. And sat down again. This woman was looking around like everyone was nuts. But after a few bell-rings and standings, she joined in. She had no idea why everyone was standing for the bell, nor was she given instructions, nor had anyone else in the room spoken a word to her (it was completely silent in the room). But she wanted to fit in. So she stood when the crowd stood. Think of masks. When everyone around you is wearing one, you think maybe you should, too. Why? Social pressure, unstated but understood, to fit in, regardless of how you believe. Think of the early Nazi movement, and not just about the Jewish issue, but German people in general. The children were indoctrinated in the schools and were encouraged to turn in their parents, if they did not support the Nazi government. Neighbors would turn in neighbors. It was easy, relatively, to round up entire families of dissenters of the Nazi party, because they were told to go with the soldiers, and no one told them not to. It happened so quickly, too. Hitler began his rise to power in early 1931 and was in complete control by 1934. Think about that.

Right now, we have things happening in this country that I never thought I would see in my lifetime. We are a country of immigrants. My family story is not that out of the ordinary. My parents immigrated here in the early 1950s. They chose to come here because they could have a better life. Their life was not bad, by any means, but in order for my dad to fulfill his dream of space engineering, the USA was the place to be. And so they came. It took them 5 years of application nightmares, but they came. My dad was able to live his dream of participating in putting a man on the moon, for America and American pride. The Space Program celebrated American smarts and ingenuity and I am proud of my dad’s participation (many people say our space program was run by Nazi scientists brought over here through “Operation Paperclip.” It sickens me when I think about it, and it is one of those reluctant rabbit holes for me. I am still trying to wrap my head around that, and also that the entire space program was faked…aka: Wag the Dog).

This was one of the many projects my father worked on for North American and NASA.

My in-laws, on both sides, have a different story in that they all were escaping the horrors of early communistic rule in Russia. They knew persecution and starvation, of a government out of control with the love of power. They escaped horrific situations and found their freedom on the plains of Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, and Colorado. They dug deeply into the land and farmed and wove their story into the fabric that is America. They brought their strong faith, sense of family, their many traditions, their unique music and dancing, and foods that I have grown to love. Being a part of this culture changed my life – for the better.

One of my favorites! Schwartzbeeren! Volga German Blackberries!

For both my husband and myself, we are proud to be Americans. Proud of the fact that our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents chose to forge a life of freedom, and hard work, where they could fully participate in the American Dream. Their voices counted for something. They were hard-earned and they mattered. Our family members who struggled and suffered so much to be here would be ashamed and appalled at the disrespect and the manipulations of one of our most important rights – the right to vote. The right to have each person’s voice heard and for it to count. And to literally be counted on Election Day.

Make no mistake, our country is under manipulation and attack. The mindsets of millions think this is okay because they have been indoctrinated in our schools and universities. They have listened to, and trusted, the news outlets with their many expert pundits tell us for decades to trust them. So when a huge farce is played out in the landscape that is our political arena, and merged into our personal lives, millions do not see it. The absolute fraud in our voting systems negates the votes of anyone and everyone – this is not left/right, republican/democrat. It has moved so beyond that. It is disenfranchising the average working man/woman, regardless of party affiliation. Their votes are taken away each time fraud was committed. There are statisticians and computer experts now saying our current elected officials are more than likely there because of fraud. Our voting machines were connected to the internet and were open to manipulations of votes, and outcomes, from interests in foreign countries! Nothing was secure from anyone, once it was live online! China and Venezuela are two countries that are constantly noted. Servers in other countries, specifically Germany, have been seized and we are awaiting their analysis. This election is far from over. DO NOT BUY INTO THEIR NARRATIVE. It is like the use of this Chinese Flu, which was infiltrated into America on purpose, to manipulate us into using mail-in-ballots. (And which the use of was contested by BOTH SIDES more than 10 years ago). It is a virus and can make you sick, yes, but it is milder than the flu. It is more virulent, but less deadly.

I am begging you to turn off everything – radios, televisions, computers, podcasts, phones except to use as an actual telephone. This is Advent. For many of us it is more than two weeks into it. We are to pray, to fast, to focus on the Coming of the Lord into the World, and into our hearts. We have to stop allowing that box in our homes to spit out lies and lead us to doubt, to question, to numbly follow human beings who do not have our best interests at heart. They have their own agenda, and it is all about power, and control. Do you want a vaccine card that allows you to drive your car, do your job, shop at your local grocers? A vaccine the manufacturer says causes sterility in woman? Where is this leading us? Can we smile at people and love them and have them know it, through a mask? Masks were always worn by criminals to hide their identities. People hide themselves to escape notice of others. But it also impedes our ability to love one another. To trust one another. Are we to be afraid of the flu for the rest of our lives? To live in fear and masks? To be quarantined when we are not even sick? To close businesses because of lockdowns (to slow the curve, dontcha know??). To shut our country down for the agenda of those who want to control us? I am afraid for my grandchildren. What sort of country are we leaving them?

My grandma apologized to me once, for the mindset of my dad. She said that they all suffered deprivation during WWII, and that when it was over, and they could, they spoiled their kids. They praised them overmuch for small victories because the trials had been so hard. They tried to make them succeed even when they did not really earn it. My grandparents continued to bail out my dad until their deaths, when my dad was in his late 60s and early 70s. She lamented the state of the world with so many spoiled brats running around. She said that the “greatest generation” bore one of the most spoiled. Makes you think – and here we are. Spoiled by power, those in control want to stay that way.

Once again, please think for yourself. Rely on solid information, not just the local newscast or that of the MSM nightly news program. Search for the truth. Even our medical community has been fed lies by the CDC, who change their data and their minds almost daily. The MSM is declaring a candidate a winner – it’s not their job nor their responsibility to say someone has won, and then censor everyone who disagrees with their interpretation of the election process. The world is careening out of control, and how America goes, so goes this world of ours. It is time to “put on the armor of God” and to stand up for what you believe in! Hang in there. Nothing is over in this election cycle, yet. The only firm date in our Constitution is January 20th!

Truth will always prevail…

I recall learning about telling the truth when I was a little girl. I had Barbies. Barbie everything. I am kinda old, so these Barbies were some of the first, and they were sturdy. And all the accessories were sturdy. I played with my pink Barbie car in the dirt, with her latest outdoor outfit, with my brother’s GI Joe’s and their tanks. When I was done, I just hosed it off. And it was pink. Every accessory you could buy was pink. Garish pink. LOL. One day, my mom had gone to the store and brought home something brand new. It was personal-sized potato chip bags in a long, rectangular box. Mom put them on the shelf in our pantry and told my brother and myself we could have 1 bag each.

Well, I love bar-b-que chips. Has always been a weakness of mine. I took 2 bags and ran off to play. A little while later, mom called us inside and asked us which one of us had eaten two bags. I, of course, denied it. I thought I had been so crafty. My neighbor walked over with an empty bag, asking my mom where she got them, etc, because they were so new to the marketplace. She had no idea I had stashed the bag in her trash can to hide my theft. Sigh. I was caught. Mom said the dreaded sentence, “I will talk to your father and he will decide what punishment you get for telling a lie.” I was doomed. Dad always talked too much, so my brother and I were never afraid of any sort of corporal punishment; we instead dreaded, “THE LECTURE.” It could last a half an hour or more, depending on his mood, and the day he had had. Well, that night came and my dad was so creative with his punishment. So much so, I am 64 years old and I can see that stupid bag of chips, and I can still see myself staring at the punishment, all these years later. You see, he took everything pink and Barbie and put it on the shelf above the washer and dryer, in the garage. It was taken away for a month. I could only stand and stare up at it, for 30 days.

For a kid, this was devastating. And unforgettable. So for me, telling a lie had real consequences that I have never forgotten. I raised my kids with the adage of, “I would rather you tell the truth, as awful as it may be, than to lie to me and make it worse.” I would not spank my kids for much, except lying. It is the foundation of character. And that is where I am at today. Lies – truth – character. It all matters, in everything you do.

There was a discussion online today about choosing your path, and that it has never been more obvious that we are past partisan concerns, and we are facing good versus evil. Well, I countered that since the beginning of mankind, in however you choose to believe that occurred, humanity has always been struggling with good versus evil. And I countered with the the fact that the size of the step towards either is inconsequential. It is the direction you chose to go.

I fear God more than I worry about what people think of me. I would prefer to stand for the truth that is of God, than to lie and be well thought of by men. Unfortunately, not many today have that line in the sand – that truth is above all else. So many have walked away from their faith and the truth, in the light streaming from the “Box.” And since TV was invented, it has been shaping the conscious of humanity.

When our children were young, we lived on a dairy farm where there was no cable. No TV signal reached our house, situated in the literal middle of hundreds of acres of farmland. If you did not know where we lived, especially when the sudan grass was high, you would never find our house. And I loved it. Our children were young then. The oldest was 5 and the baby celebrated his first birthday on that farm. And they spent the next 5 years not watching TV, unless it was a video we bought for them. The photo above is the two boys, in our driveway, in 1991, I believe, in young sudan grass growing. No TV, just all those acres to run around in. It was truly the best time of our lives. I miss the simplicity.

Recently, the truth has come under attack. Whatever side you stand on in this election battle, please know it is truly a battle for our 1st Amendment rights, as well as the right to live freely, and have every voice heard in a legal vote. If we do not protect this way of life, and allow an illicit election to go forth, our country is doomed. Quite literally. And it is next to impossible to convince anyone who believes in the honesty and reality of the results of this election, to listen to evidence that all is not as it seems. The abundance of fraud is unimaginable to most.

There is something I have addressed before and it is called cognitive dissonance. That is when the truth is told to you, but it is so outside your current belief system, that your brain just cannot accept it. Reality becomes something you shun. Because you believe every word that comes out of that BOX. Please. Do yourself a favor, and turn it off. Walk away. There is dishonesty, graft, evil, and malfeasance all around us. It crosses the aisle. It is in both houses of government. It is in many state employees, legislators, and governors. It is in our mayors and unfortunately, most of the departments they control. Evil is running the show and we have been so ingrained to accept it, we don’t even see it.

This election is tearing families apart. It is tearing friendships apart. It is tearing the fabric of this nation apart. Are you a patriot? Do you love America? Then stand up for what is right!

Hillary Clinton, who I believe is evil to her core and sold her soul decades ago, said as she walked off stage when she realized she had lost in 2016, “If he comes after me, I am taking 90% of DC with me.” And guess what? I am fine with that. Root out evil wherever it is. And it is everywhere. Watched the new Ryan Reynolds’ commercial? Satan falls in love with 2020?? Or his new movie preview about living in a video game? The symbology freaked me out. Do yourself a favor – research your questions. The answers will blow your mind. But truth is always better than a big, happy, lie. And it always prevails. Always.

Winter Doldrums

I am a little down today. It’s Black Friday and I’m feeling the black mood. LOL. Yesterday we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with our son and his family. My daughter-in-law outdid herself. The food was amazing. And they had decided that since they had so few Thanksgiving decoration items, they would just go ahead and bring on Christmas. And it was lovely!!! The decor looked amazing and it added to the festive attitude. Our grandson made everyone welcome letters. It was so sweet. I was able to sit with each grandchild and listen to them read from their favorite new books. They are doing so very well. I am so proud of them.

This image was floating around the web and it was one of many that sort of spoke to the day. And to 2020 as a whole! LOL! We enjoyed our Thanksgiving regardless of what was going on around us. Our DIL said a lovely prayer, and then we went around the table, telling everyone what we are grateful for. My granddaughter stole the show when she told us she was grateful for hot water! And to be honest, the simplicity of that was just beautiful. It was where she was at. And she continually amazes me with what she shares. LOL.

I am sure you can see, even without a full face, that she is a character! And I thought about it and having character is a good thing. I also saw my mom yesterday; her character has stood her in good stead over her lifetime. She has end-stage Alzheimer’s and is now with Hospice care in her Assisted Living Home. Because of the chaos of Covid, people like my mom are cut off from everyone they know. We have lockdowns and our most vulnerable, our elderly, have no one to hold their hands or share stories of their lives with – no one who really knows them well. The staff are such amazing people and I know that they have developed their own family within the home, and I have seen how they care for mom. I am eternally grateful that they will be the ones spending her final days with her. But I am kind of mad it is not me. On the other hand, she is in an Assisted Living because living with us just did not work out so well. I’ve said it before, but something inside mom knew the order was wrong – she was supposed to be caring for me, in her home, because she is the mother. And it was all backwards for her, and as she descended further into Alzheimer’s World, this one confused her too much. She was frustrated and angry and I was the closest person she could take it out on. And since she has lived there, we had been able to restore our mother-daughter bond. Until yesterday.

High School Graduation 1974 – Me and Mom

Yesterday, mom did not know who I was. For the first time. And it undid me. She has no memory of being a mother, or having children running around, all the years of my childhood, of my brother and I. She has no memory of being married. She does remember she danced. The annoying part for me is that I am jealous of her years dancing, because she remembers that and not me. She took ballet and tap and was a part of the Royal Ballet – their junior troupe – until she was 18. She is 91 and she recalls that part of her life. When she asks to go home, she means New Zealand, with her mom and dad. No memory of my dad, who she met at 20 and dated until 21, when they married. During that time, they built their own home. In Mt. Roskill, New Zealand. They immigrated to the USA in 1955. I was born in 1956, and my brother in 1958. My parents divorced when I was 22. Mom remarried, to the love of her life, and was married for over 30 years. They lived on a sailboat; they traveled. They enjoyed life so very much. (They lived in so many places we used to tease them that they belonged to the Witness Protection Program!!) And my children recall him as their grandpa. He passed away about 8 years ago. She has no memory. Of any of that. None of it. Alzheimer’s steals the person away from themselves, because it rips those memories away from them, leaving them hollow. And making those of us who live beyond them, longing to have them back.

Mom turned 91 and we brought her a gift and a card. They are on lockdown, so I was only allowed to stand in the storm entry while she remained in the house. She read this card and commented how nice it was. I told her it was from us, her daughter and son-in-law. And she responded, “Oh. That’s who you are.” My heart sunk. She had been looking at me so deeply, and after she said that, I realized she was searching for familiarity. And she could not find it. What was interesting was as we were about to leave, she called me by my full name – and when mom used to call us by our first and middle names, I knew it was time to listen. This time, I was happy she associated me with my name, but there was no reason to pay attention because she had already checked out. She was being wheeled back to her recliner and called over her shoulder, “Call me sometime and we can get together. I would like that.”

Mom and I the day she moved in with us, in 2017

The days have certainly raced past these three years. The interwoven life we had when mom lived with us, has gone by far too quickly, as Alzheimer’s has just stolen more and more of Mom away. I am so very blessed we had the time we had, just she and I. We had the conversations we needed to have, so that I can ensure these last days are how she wanted to spend them. The Hospice team is incredible, and so very kind and understanding. We have zoom meetings and they do me so much good. They understand this disease and although they are there to give mom the best medical care, they are also there for me. And I feel blessed for that. The Chaplain and I hit it off, and she plans to call me regularly. Not mom, but me.

And that brings me to the winter doldrums.

It sort of feels like it is time to huddle. LOL. The holidays are fraught with all sorts of landmines, and this just brought me down. I am going to have to do some baking or play Christmas music or something, because I just paused writing this, called the Chaplain back and left a message, and had a weepy moment.

They say Alzheimer’s is the long goodbye. And I totally get that. I realized my parents are pretty much gone for me. Dad has dementia and we haven’t spoken in a couple of years, and that relationship has been purely over-the-phone, off and on, for about 30 years or more, and steadily that way for over 21 years. So we were not that close. But Mom was a different thing. To watch her shrink into herself and for us not to be able to connect, well, it is devastating. I long for some mom moments with her even at 64 years old. But I realized yesterday that I will never have that again. And it deeply struck me on Thanksgiving Day.

I am also looking to my granddaughter in her simplicity…and I will be thankful for all of it. Because the bad and the good are what make up life and it makes it richer. Moving forward, one day at a time. And appreciating hot water!

I am thankful, with my granddaughter, for hot water!

Plandemic – Lockdowns – Holidays

So, don’t judge me too harshly. Yes, our tree is up. So are all our decorations around the house. We have not put up anything outside, as of today. That may change, but who knows? My daughter-in-law helped me do this while my husband traveled for work last week. I was worried he would not be happy, but he just shook his head and said, “Why not? I’m just glad I didn’t have to do it!” He was also impressed our DIL climbed down under the house to our crawl space, brought all the boxes up, and then put them all back down there, again! She was my hero of the week!!

If you are familiar with Jim Shore’s creations, you will recognize the style, if not the statue. I am in love with all Jim Shore! His representations just make me smile. These two Santas are on the side table by my chair in our living room. I love looking at them so much. The world is so chaotic right now, why not have some Christmas? I am different in that I am devoutly Christian and am not moving the Birth of Christ or anything of that nature. We have started Advent, so I feel like it’s time to decorate anyway. But, I do not leave the Christ Child in my nativity scenes. I play this game with our kids and hide him daily. I tell them, “Find Christ and keep Him in your lives every day!” Well, now that we have just one at home, and he is almost 22 years old, I did not think he would care. He came in the house in the evening after we had put up the tree. He walked in and audibly sighed and said, “I like it. A lot.” Later on in the evening, as he and I were eating dinner, he shouts, “Found Him!” I laughed. I really did not think he would care at this point. So since he found Him, I had to move The Christ Child around.

Our singing, stuffed, Santa in camo is holding the Christ Child on his knee. We will see if He is found the next time one of our kids or grandchildren are over! And I love the movement of the Christ Child throughout our house. It makes Him come alive in a silly game. But my kids love it, even as adults. My grandchildren play the game when they are here, too. There is nothing wrong placing Christmas decor up in your home if you feel the pull. I personally enjoy a lit tree because it gets dark around 4:00pm here, and does not get light in the mornings until almost 10am. I love sitting with just the tree on, drinking my morning brew. After all, it is 2020 and it has been an awful year. Our state is closing down today, for three weeks. I have no idea what Thanksgiving will be like. I bought a tiny ham for my husband and myself if it’s cancelled and it’s just the two of us!!

This was my first Jim Shore. I fell in love with the simplicity, and with the style and how engaging it was. My husband, and my DIL the other day, keeps telling me Santa rides a sleigh with reindeer, and I know that. But this is whimsical and just cute. It is a pain to store, because it comes in two pieces and the styrofoam is getting old. LOL. In this era where we have to be at home all the time, why not have the things around you that bring you momentary joy when you glance their way? Why not celebrate the coming Birth of our Savior now, when the world around us is afraid – afraid of catching a bug (with a 99% survival rate I might add) and afraid of each other? We’re all masked and hiding from one another. I feel the worst for children. When out shopping I rarely mask up (I always wear one at my doctor’s office) and quite often people will pull their kids away from me, because, well, you know, “the Rona”! Kids rarely catch it and are not germ-spreaders. I wish the main source of information would give accurate information. Most people are scared and think they’ll die. They won’t. My dad, who will be 94 soon, was in the hospital with both Covid, pneumonia, and strep. He survived. In fact, he was up and walking and feeling fine after 2 days in the hospital. He was symptom-free. He was one of the “vulnerable” population, too. I have a friend who is very vulnerable and yes, she would not survive, but she has so many other issues that would contribute – she’s on O2 constantly, among other things. So I get the concern. But that portion of the population is very small. We should quarantine them and let the rest of us roam freely – no mask required (they don’t do anything other than identify us as obedient sheep anyway).

One of the things I think we have forgotten in this era of masks, anger, and distrust, is the simplicity of service. We can opt to be kind to one another, even if we disagree. Our current status here was moved to locked down as of today. It means the CDC enacted strict distancing and basically asks everyone to work from home and stay home unless it is absolutely necessary. It is no way to live. Engendering fear in the populace is the art of control. And we begin to turn in our neighbors for not wearing a mask or for having people not of your household, even though they are family, over for celebrations. Good heavens, people! What has happened to us since March? That is only 8 months. In that short space of time, our country and our world has disintegrated into families locked in their homes, with little to no social interaction, children not playing with friends or going to school (I homeschooled so being at a brick and mortal school was not a priority). We just don’t want to risk getting sick. Which is kind of silly when you think in 2019 they estimated (still not sure – good old CDC) the deaths from the flu to be 34,000. And with all the shoddy reporting these days, somehow the CDC believes 1,000 people per day are being diagnosed with the Chy-na flu. (aka Covid-19). The deaths are just not happening. The news – the mainstream media – is making Covid out to be the great killer. It just is not. It is a form of the flu and it is very virulent. So wash your hands. Maintain good personal hygiene. Go outside! Get in the sun! Take vitamins. Eat home-cooked, good-for-you meals. Exercise with your kids. Play with one another. And decorate to make yourselves happy. Enact service with your family – do things for one another. Be kind to those you meet. Do not be fearful. The plandemic, because I do believe this was international germ warfare, is not going to destroy our country. We may come out of it different people, but don’t be the one who is narcing on their neighbor for no mask or having a birthday party!

I stand at this window when I wash dishes. And I love to be reminded of things. I placed the items there to direct my thinking when I am standing there. I see the sock-darner of my grandmother; I see the cross, the angel, the icon of Christ, and now I see my Santas. My husband made those for me. There is another one, and he is red, and he is over by my stand mixer (They match). I try to see these things and remember to get my head straight. I pray when I see the Cross, and I see the Holy Water. I have cute little figurines from my kids up there (a character from the movie, Avatar, and a little gnome my husband found). Why I am telling you this is that the world is against us. The NEW WORLD ORDER (NWO) does not want us meditating on the past with our families; the future and praying to God. They do not want our families intact – they want the State to care for us.

And there you have it…the holidays so far….

Hospice. Stunned. Expected.

This is my mom as a little girl in New Zealand. Next month, she will be 91 years old. I am praying she makes it to her birthday. I have shared with you all about our journey with mom and her Alzheimer’s disease. It really is the long goodbye, and there are some awful moments. But there is joy along the way as well. We have spent some horribly tearful moments with mom, but we have also had ooodles of laughter. She is beloved by all that come in contact with her. Below is mom with my younger brother. They laughed and laughed.

Mom loves her kids and grandkids, and the great-grandkids. She had a way of making you feel like the most important person in the room. And to her, at that moment, you were. When she visited for the first time in Alaska, our oldest son’s children were little. Like 3 and 1, I think. She would get down on the floor and play cars or whatever it was they were doing. I loved watching her do that. And the kids were loving it, too. She always is smiling and never wants to be a bother to anyone. And since I am her only daughter, she loved to help me in the kitchen. (Which I found funny, because I was not allowed in hers!) We spent many happy hours washing dishes and gabbing. It took me back to when I was a child and we would clean up after family meals at my grandma’s house, and all the female family members pitched in and washed and dried all the dishes – those were the days before dishwashers – and I loved seeing all the towels hanging around the kitchen, draped over the oven, counters, sink. It warms my heart. And mom and I re-created some of that with just the two of us. I smile when I think of it.

Mom’s friend, Jeannie, sent me this photo above and I just love it. It is of mom and her husband, Frank. It is the last time the four of them were together. And they look so good. I miss Frank a lot. He was such a joy in our lives, and mom misses him every day. In the hospital, she kept thinking the people walking into her room were Frank and she would say, “Frank, darling, is that you?” Breaks my heart!!

Back in June, mom fell and broke her hip. She had surgery and recovered so fast, we hardly knew it had even happened (we know she did not know it happened!! ). She had been doing so well, we had to place alarms by her bed and chair. She refused to stay down for more than 15 minutes day and night. It was disconcerting. She thought she was about 40, in her mind, and 40-year-old’s do not use walkers! And so, like we were afraid of, mom fell again and this time broke her opposite hip. She underwent surgery for the second time in 4 months. She now has, what the doctors called, “a matched set.” She has no idea she broke anything, just like the last time. Only this time, she is not progressing. And so today, we moved her back to her assisted living home, under the care of a hospice team. It is devastating, but I expected it long before this. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Hospice in the age of Covid and governmental oversight is a new and tricky endeavor. Each state, each city, has precepts in place, as well as CDC guidelines. (To be clear – there are no LAWS. Just governances and statutes, precepts and guidelines. But no LAWS). To say it nicely, the elderly under hospice often die alone, with no one from their family allowed to be present. Some states are allowing, under a case-by-case basis, family members to come in. It is usually only 1 person, and it is the same person each time. It is cruel. And I officially hate this entire journey with this ugly virus around. Alzheimer’s is bad enough, let alone adding Covid to the mix. To my way of thinking, I can’t make mom any worse than she already is, considering she is on hospice care. And no one can be in an assisted living home unless they test negative for Covid, or are screened. (Perhaps NY is an exception??). For me, I believe I am healthy enough to be with my mom, and she is certainly no danger to me. So I am very frustrated. To say the least.

One of the best things I did for myself and my mom, to prepare for her living with us, was to take advantage of the resources I had. And one of the best, hands down, is Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska. Honestly, they are the nicest group of people who go out of their way to assist you in any way they can. You are able to walk into their offices, plop down into a chair, and bawl your eyes out if you need to. They even provide tissues and a hot cup of coffee, along with an experienced shoulder to cry on. (I also did that when I was tackling Medicare “everything” for my mom – only this time I went to Links of Alaska. I also got coffee and tissue! They helped me get through stupid amounts of paperwork, and they also made sure mom got all the assistance she was entitled to. They are amazing, and coordinating benefits is what they do best!!) At ARA, I took their in-person courses as well as their online offerings. And truly, I would not be able to handle everything I have in front of me, nor the journey thus far, without their input and instructions. I read what they suggested I read. I devoured everything I could about Alzheimer’s because I was about to become my mom’s caregiver, her voice, her protection, and her resource for everything. And trust me, it is nothing like becoming a foster parent or adopting a baby, because I have done both of those things, too. The staff gives you their personal cell numbers. They expect and encourage you to call anytime with questions or problems you need help getting through. They also provide a Care Coordinator, who works with the state and the federal governments, assisting families to ensure their loved one receives all the benefits and care they are entitled to. A wonderful, comforting group of people.

When you take on someone who has lived on their own for decades, and you try and assist them, it can be rough. In addition, when it is caught early, they understand their diagnosis. Mom knew what she had and told me she hated it. She has no clue now, but that has taken 10 years. It has been the past three years that she has been my sole concern. It is not easy. Not everyone can do it. I lasted almost two years before we placed her in an assisted living home. I tried but we did not work well as mother-daughter when it was all turned around. I think deep down she expected that she would care for me, and in her home, not the complete opposite. But now I am at arms-length because of Covid. And that hurts, it really does. The one thing I can be, and enjoy fully, is her daughter. Thankfully, through everything I learned through ARA, I was ready for today. I understood what mom wanted and how she wanted her last days to go. And I am keeping that promise to her. We had a day of lucidity several years ago and I am so grateful I had the courage to ask the tough questions. Because I was encouraged by ARA to ask the hard questions and to delineate all my mom’s wants, desires, and needs. We processed all the needed paperwork early and every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed and it’s notarized to boot!

I hate that this is the most recent photo of me and mom – masks! Ugh! Anyway, she fell just two days later. So you never know when you will need all the things that you need, until you need them. I made copies upon copies of every piece of paper we signed. I have file folders and clipped ID cards. I have files for Power of Attorney, and for medical information, for her burial/cremation, for her DNR/Comfort Care. There are copies for every bill we paid and every doctor we visited. I have copies of her information on file with all the EMTs and ER Hospitals in the area. It makes handling an emergency with a loved one so simple. All the local hospitals have all her records. They share back and forth and so it makes medical history so easy. All her medications are listed in one place (well, she only takes one medication and vitamins, so it is pretty easy!) for easy reference. You especially want that in case giving your loved one medication in the ambulance or ER may interact unfavorably with a prescription. And I have all the local pharmacies we can use, familiar with her information, as well. And I learned all this preparedness through studying and taking courses with Alzheimer’s Resource Alaska. I am sure there are agencies like it where you live. I also used LINKS Resource Center here in AK, as well. They both excel at what they do!!

My advice? Be prepared. Be over-prepared. Because when an emergency strikes, it conjures up all these emotions and we often do not think clearly. I was so grateful I just had to reach for a piece of paper in a familiar file folder – neatly labeled where I could easily see it. And with all mom’s information already on file, treating her in a timely matter was easy. And the hospital staff appreciated having her medical history at their fingertips. In addition I was sure all the agencies had my information readily available with current phone numbers, email address, and my POA paperwork on hand.

Mom is entering something new. She will be cared for, I am certain of that. She will be pain-free, I am also certain of that. And she will be lovingly walked through this next phase of life. And I am free to be her daughter, just the way it is supposed be. Please keep us in prayer!

Prayer for the Terminally Ill

Lord, Jesus Christ, Who suffered and died for our sins that we may live, if during our time we have sinned in word, deed, or thought, forgive us in Your goodness and love. All our hope we put in You: protect your servant, Maureen, from all evil. We submit to Your will and into Your hands we commend our souls and bodies. For a Christian end to our lives, peaceful, without shame and suffering, and for a good account before the awesome judgement seat of Christ, we pray to You, O Lord. Bless us, be merciful to us and grant us life eternal. Amen.

“Don’t want to beat a dead horse…”

I have had an interesting past couple of months. I had injured my back and my shoulder, simultaneously it turns out, and began visiting a chiropractor, who referred me to my personal doctor, who referred me to a neurosurgeon, who in turn referred me to a pain management physician. Whew. Lots of referrals. And last Friday I was given injections directly into my spine to try and ease the pain. I was scared to death, because I faint when I get shots. So one in my spine was scaring the poop out of me. I must admit I was being a baby. But this stupid dance with 24/7 pain for the past 8 weeks, has been one filled with (if I can carry the analogy even further) trips and stumbles, and very little harmony or joy. At least the neurosurgeon did say that nerve pain is far worse than giving birth. I think I would agree, since when I did give birth, it was done without even Tylenol. And so I felt acknowledged and that was comfort in and of itself. And although Friday was not a fun day, especially when the lidocaine wore off, by Saturday afternoon, I was pain free. For the first time in more than 70 days. And trust me, I am extremely grateful.

I was introduced to this “attitude of gratitude” idea a few years ago. I was challenged to keep a Gratitude Journal for 40 days. I would wake and say my prayers, and then immediately express my gratitude for whatever was in front of me, good or difficult, for that day. It was a struggle, day after day, to start with a thankful attitude. But what it did for me, well, it changed me. Because I learned to be grateful for the blessings, but also the opportunities to learn to feel thankful for the trials in my life. It is a big adjustment.

Each season, I drag out this box that barely fits under our bed, filled with seasonal decor. I have something for each “Hallmark Holiday” we have throughout the year. There are stickers or clings for my windows, different placemats I put on our side tables, little statues or signs. Even wreaths for different seasons for our door, and flags for the little flag display in our front flowerbed. And I keep specific things in my cupboards above my washer and dryer (I am vertically challenged and they are way too tall to use regularly) that won’t fit under my bed. As I hauled down my paper mâché turkey for our table, and my pretend tiny pumpkins for my little crystal bowl, I found this banner I had bought a couple of years ago. It is made of balsa wood and is colored in fall colors. It’s made of little leaves strung together on twine, separated by letters. And this year I thought to myself, I want this above our fireplace/TV area. It is where I would look at it every day. At the time, I was facing surgery for both my spine and shoulder. And I was frightened. But I wanted to remind myself that even in the worst of times, we need to be grateful, and we need to subsume our will to the will of God, for our lives. What is below is as close to what I have that I could find online.

I was trying to feel grateful even for the days of fog spent with pain and medication. Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not whining. I am trying to share from the point of view of where I am learning to place gratitude first. And, honestly, I am so very grateful. Because I believe God brought me to an abrupt stop. And He gave me time to reflect. He gave me time to gather myself. This world can splinter us. It can get us into a space of crazy chaos and noise. It can make our days fly by with no discernible accomplishment. An accomplishment can be simple – we give thanks to God. We make our bed. We get dressed. We call that person we have been meaning to contact. We file papers. We are present to those who are around us. We do the job we were intended to do. It does not have to be equal to slaying a giant with a rock, or some epic task. That being said, all our small accomplishments each day are our giants, and we are David, gifted with a small rock.

Today I was reflecting, as I glanced up at my “Gratitude” banner, that I am so very blessed. I had prayed for deliverance from the cycle of pain I was in, through God’s grace and in His plan for my life. And here I sit, my 3rd day with no pain. I am truly grateful. And I am focusing more on what is out there, in front of me. I am grateful for my husband and family; for my friends who I can call and whine to and who get me. I am beyond thankful for the health professionals who are caring for me, and helping me heal, pain-free. I am grateful for where I live. I love my home and the property around us; the trees and weather and my cute little bird houses outside. There is so much that God is doing for us, if we just stop and notice. When we make our environment simple, the blessings can jump out at you. And today, with the frost sticking to the ground for most of the this day, I am grateful to live where I can see the movement of nature and the seasons. I can appreciate the brief sunshine on the plants I rescued this weekend from the death of frost outside, sitting by my windows in their new pots. I can reflect at the little things…the wag of the short tail of our dog; the smile on my son’s face when he came home from a fire-fighting training. The joy of laughter shared over silly stories and jokes. The joy of having the life I have. An attitude of gratitude can color even your darkest days. And in those places, God reaches out to you…grab ahold!

Oh my word…

So, I have been in a lot of pain from my back, I am not on social media insofar as writing goes, and I have been stealing away to mystical, wonderful Mitford. Ahhh…the joys of a little town. An escape to a place where there is no overt sexuality, no profanity, and no violence! It is a balm for the soul. The series of books written by Jan Karon have been just what I needed. They have calmed me, made me laugh, and been a true respite from the inane sounds coming from the television in terms of news and/or programming. Wonderful!!

But when I finally chose to come back and post on my blog, the entire thing has been updated. The template I have been using all these years is gone. And I am in full-blown panic mode. I do not know how to use computers all that well. I can plunk my way through things, but technology is racing onward. You know, I don’t get why I can’t keep that old format. New is not always better, sometimes it is just new. And they also have narrowed down, for those of us who use this for free, our options. I don’t blog as a business. I don’t do this so readers will help me earn a living. I do this to get stuff off my chest, and to share. Who knows? Maybe some of you can relate to what I am going through, and it will make you not feel so alone in this insane world we live in. And I am about fit to be tied with this thing. I have no idea what this will even look like when I publish it, so bear with me. Change is hard. Very hard. And I try to be open minded and try to learn, but most days I could care less. LOL. Sad, I know. But dang it, I went to school decades ago and I am done. Plus they keep changing the facts. I want a refund. LOL. I know – reparations! LOL! I want reparations for all the crap I had to learn that everyone now says is incorrect. All the coffee I ingested in college, trying to stay awake and cram for tests of history and anthropology, which I am now told are not true. Ugh.

And here I am, trying to deal with this little nugget of change in my life. It truly is no big deal. I can choose to not blog. I can choose to keep things to myself. I can choose to type and just let it sit in my computer. I can pick up my current Mitford book and just float away into a lovely town. Or not. I can grab my big girl panties and learn something new. I can accept that this is how things are going to be and I can flow with it. I am working on the flow thingy. Right now, it is not easy. LOL.

There are so many options in life. And there are a myriad of choices we can make in any given situation. We should strive to choices that err on the side of good, and righteousness. We should always err to the right and not stumble and fall to the left. To be honest, in today’s world and the choices we have in front of us, we truly need that roadmap of faith to guide us properly. There are so many sayings about making the right decisions about the choices we can make. Because decision and choice are not the same thing. I can choose to go left, but I decide to make that turn. I can choose to go on a diet, but I must decide what food goes into my mouth.Right now, we have choices before us, and decisions to make about those choices.

We are hearing and seeing discrepancies from our media these days. People are worried about my sanity, because I choose not to listen to a lot of it (the mainstream media). And misinformation is flying on both sides, the right and the left. There are crazies on both sides and talking heads on both sides. And I am just looking for some peace, because I am tired of the chaos!! To that end, we enjoyed a wonderful meal with some close friends the other night. It was, first and foremost, a wonderful experience to eat at the same table, no masks, and enjoy one another’s company. The restaurant was full and everyone was laughing. It almost made the scamdemic seem like it did not exist. Normalcy has seemed almost an intangible thing. But there we were, eating shrimp tempura and calamari appetizers, laughing away at stories we had to catch up on. It was over too soon!

And even though we stole away from all the current hysteria for a few glorious hours, we still have to deal with those same choices in front of us. Do we go left or right? Do we choose based on policy? Or do we have other things to base our choices on? For me, my line in the sand has always been, and always will be, the right to life. People say someone can be pro-abortion (which I believe is murder) and still have great financial policies. To me, you cannot throw money around at pet ideologies and still think murdering a baby up to 9 months, and now some even say immediately after birth, makes you a viable candidate for my vote. You know how it is said that children who physically hurt animals will someday be serial killers? Now I don’t know the science about that, but I do believe that character counts. It counts in all areas. It counts in business – can I trust you? Are your numbers true or inflated? It counts in international peace agreements – did you really get rid of all your nuclear facilities and cache? It counts in life – did you kill that child because they would not stop crying? Because they did not fit into your lifestyle? Because it would be too much of a sacrifice right now? Murder of the unborn is just a matter of differentials in time and location. They were too young and in the uterus, or old enough to live but not born, yet. Or maybe they are born but no one wants them? Murder past the birth canal or murder above the birth canal are both murder. It is just time and location.

So for me, the choice cannot be for the left. They do not support life. None of them. Their plank even says so: “Democrats believe every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion. We oppose and will fight to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to women’s reproductive health and rights, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment and protecting and codifying the right to reproductive freedom.” That was found on page 42 of the Democrat Party Plank 2020.

Because I vehemently oppose abortion, I will vote Republican this year. I prefer being Independent, but in my state, if you are an Independent, you only receive Democrat information. And being pro-life, that gets me nowhere. So, I am now Republican. But they are not really as conservative as I am. And so among the Republican candidates, I look for those who are completely pro-life. People who have their pet exceptions are not pro-life. They tap-dance around the subject, too afraid to take a strong stand against any threat to the lives of the unborn. The Republican plank from 2016, which I am told has gone unchanged for this election is this: American taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion. As Democrats abandon this four decade-old bipartisan consensus, we call for codification of the Hyde Amendment and its application across the government, including Obamacare. We call for a permanent ban on federal funding and subsidies for abortion and healthcare plans that include abortion coverage.

For me, this is a simple election cycle, really. It is simple because it is about good vs. evil. In a nutshell. And I know I am painting with a broad brush, but we all do that when we vote party. We choose one party over the other. I know not all Democrats are evil, but to be a Democrat means you support Abortion, because that party does. Republicans do not. They dance around it and are not truly partisan, but they do not support it. Our President has said he does not believe in it, and wants to reverse Roe v Wade and abolish abortion. And so for me, I will be repeating my 2016 vote for Donald J. Trump. And I plan to vote red most of the ticket I will be given. I will not be choosing the “lesser of two evils” because I believe the Democrat ticket is evil; they do not value human life. Born or unborn – Governor Cuomo and the elderly who were positive for Covid proved that. He, a democrat, did not value the lives of those elderly. The Democrat presidential candidates have both stated their support of full term abortion. And infanticide – allowing a newborn to die if they survive an abortion. I just cannot walk down that road.

I am not part of a conspiracy theory. Do I believe some of what is floating out there? You bet I do. But I only believe that which I have verified all by myself, tapping away on my laptop. Will I cease relationship with those who do not accept these theories? Of course not. Relationships are far more important than political theories. I am more than political theories. Some things I will not abandon, most specifically my viewpoint on abortion equalling murder. But it does not mean I cannot be friends with those who believe it is okay. I disagree with them, they know it, and I pray for their change of heart. But we can still enjoy one another’s company. I have friends who are quite liberal. I have friends even more conservative than me. I have friends of differing faiths. I try to be well-versed and well-rounded in what I believe and who I allow into my life. So should everyone else. I am inherently on the side of God and faith, goodness and life. And most people within my orbit get that about it and it is okay. And we have agreed to disagree about this election. But please know, on November 4th when the pandemic magically disappears, when my vote has helped usher in another 4 years of the Trump administration, I will be here, ready to chat. When heroes on both sides of the aisle have to face justice, I will be here, ready and able to help you make sense of it. In the end, God wins my friends, God wins.