I can't believe how quickly the summer got away from us. Now the Holiday season is right around the corner! I don't like that our "big days" have lost so much of their sparkle. Our lives have been in such a state of flux that nothing has any kind of pattern, good or bad: no great planning, no anticipation, no festive air. Nothing is really any different from one day to the next, yet everything is always changing. It's not boring, in fact it's an exciting and adventurous way to live, but it doesn't lend itself comfortably AT ALL to celebrations or feasts or what most folks consider to be 'typical' traditions.
I really want to make the big dinners and the family time special, but all the sudden I don't seem to know how to go about it. We did pretty well with it last year, but looking back, it was only a nice meal that was 'festive' and the rest was just like any other day. I don't need to decorate and plan games or any thing, but I would like to create memories with my kids while they are still here.
Last year, Thanksgiving was great! Allen cooked a good portion of the dinner outside in dutch ovens, taking LOTS of work off of my shoulders and allowing us all to spend some really wonderful outdoor time doing what we like. Granny came out for the week for a really wonderful visit, and the whole thing was quite memorable, if not festive. Everything was nice and right and I think we all enjoyed it. We had pictures and leftovers and naps and messes, as we should.
We will be alone this year, just our immediate family, which is OK. We like our home and each other's company, and we have always liked Thanksgiving the best. It's a get-to-be-with-family, lazy, lay around and eat kind of a day: all our favorite things. We really like our rather non-traditional Thanksgiving food, as well. Most people have the turkey and stuffing thing, but we usually do roast or stew, sometimes ham, and green beans, taters and gravy and all the good side disshes. We'll probably try cooking it outside, campfire style again this year, too. That was just about the shizz, right there! We may take in a movie, or eat out the next day. Fun time, fun times.
As for Christmas-- unfortunately, last year's Christmastime just sort of came and went. We are very anti-everything-modern-commercialism-has-done-to-Christmas at our house. One year we actually tried to 'postpone' Christmas for a month or so and do it our own way without all the ridiculous hype, but it felt sad and flat and we determined not to do that any more. We've tried to disentangle the typical gaudy Christmas decor from our celebrations, but despite the department stores, it's still always been a traditional and happy part of Christmas for us, and we missed the pretty lights and shiny things. We'd rather not allow the likes of Walmart to rob us of our wonderful traditions just because they are tacky and greedy.
I would like to think up some more clever ways to make Christmas memorable and happy and "Christmassy" again without falling into the Santa, Coke-a-Cola bear, zillion dollar trap and whatnot. Our house is very tiny, so extensive decor is out. We have a string of lights up over the couch/dinette area, and it is very nice. I tried to add a cheap little, tiny tree with fiber optic, multi-color tips to the festivities, but it was such a silly (and really ugly) little thing that I'm pretty sure I'll be leaving that off this year.
I think maybe we'll go back to one of our old traditions and have stockings up for the two weeks or so before Christmas. I would always wrap tiny, silly little gifts and add them day by day until Christmas Eve. They could take them out and feel and shake them and try to guess what they were. I think they'd like that. Maybe if I add some home baked goodies a few times and force some old corny movies on them, it would be good. :) I want to clearly mark the holidays this year as being special and happy. Time with my kids is slipping away faster that I realized!
I'm not sure why I don't blog. I enjoy blogging, I just sort of forget. A schedule here in my home is pretty much non existent, so blogging is something I can remember to do between, say, items F and G on a list, or after school, or after the days' work. Things are so fluid and changeable that nothing really rings a bell for me like that. I might consider setting an alarm on my calendar, but we'll see. At any rate, I am posting just to (hopefully) prime the pump a little and get it up and going again. I hope see you here soon.
Is it too soon to start talking about how to choose a candidate? Is it too soon to start looking at Presidential candidates? Well, the big media and the news herd have already started talking about Rand Paul. Obviously they're trying to get a head start on destroying his chances. They say don't like him. They say he's scary. They say he's inexperienced (yes, they actually had the hair on their backs to say that out loud with straight faces.). That's all I need to know to look into him a little more closely. Could You Vote For Rand Paul? The short answer, if you're just taking a survey, is yes. The long answer has to do with how much I do agree with him and whether or not I think I can deal with the differences. The inexperience factor of the junior senator has to be addressed. Yes, he's a noob. We've seen the disastrous consequences that a certain junior senator from Chicago has saddled us with, due in part to inexperience, but I tend to think that has less to do with things than most people do. These top guys get tons of very experienced counsel from hand picked people to join them in leadership. I think the failure of the current administration has less to do with the leader's inexperience and more to do with his ideology and that of the people he has chosen as advisers to further his ill conceived agenda. You become like those you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with intelligent, experienced and successful people, you can benefit from them. If you surround yourself with thugs, criminals, radicals, race baiters, Marxists and terrorists, well... you see my point. I am not put off by inexperience as much as I once was. Obama has proved that even the most inexperienced can achieve their goals with the right people in place. I've been a registered Republican for all my years as a voter, but I haven't been a republican in many years, at least not the way they are now. I still hold to the platform for the most part. I just wish they still did. I think I'm more of a Conservative Libertarian. I think Rand Paul, too, is conservative, probably adheres to the Republican platform but no longer to the party. I don't have to see eyeball to eyeball with him in order to support him. To discount a good candidate because you don't agree on what brand of gum to chew, or whatever, is pretty immature. He wouldn't be able to pass laws to enact everything I do like and he won't be able to pass them all for the ones I don't. No president is ever going to change everything during his own time in office. There's no worry that after eight years with Rand Paul we're all going to be just like him or forced to live inside his world view. He will have influence and make some changes, but no single president alone during his time in office is going to re-make America. Having said that, at this point in history I would *almost* vote for an anarchist over one of the two parties that get handed to us every election cycle, just to get us turned and going in a different direction. Even an anarchist, in one or two terms, is not going to take the country all the way into anarchy. That's silly! He might, however, get things going in a direction other than the one we're in, which is a fast, right-hand swirl down the drain if we keep following the pattern we've been following. I guess it comes down to character. I know character is not supposed to matter any more, but it does. Rand Paul has been consistent. That's an admirable trait in today's politics. He has been actively involved, present, voting yea or nay, not abstaining or missing in action, and he's seemingly tireless. I believe it's his intent to get back to where the government is of/for/by the people, where politicians are public servants. (That almost made me laugh! It's been a while!) That's is a great goal and should be a common goal. I also think, for what it's worth, he means what he says. That's not to say he can't or won't go the way of other politicians, because Washington has it's Washington ways, but I'd like to think he would continue to maintain his character. Thus far he has, and that's what I have to go on. That's practically an argument for him and his noobosity. Maybe it will take a while for them to get to him. I believe he is more of a "regular guy" than any of these suits that have been paraded out before us in recent years (decades) and can still see the forest despite the trees. And, he's likable. Evidently his "likability" crosses party lines. That can't hurt. I know one thing: If Libertarians, Moderates, "Reagan Democrats," Republicans, Tea Partiers (and whatever other group would like to see the government reigned in) don't stop making their voting decisions based on single issue, pet projects like a bunch of dang toddlers, we're going to keep getting George Bush and Barack Obama. Educate yourself, vote your convictions and for the candidate you think is best able to accomplish the most at this time and who is likely to get the chance to do so. Voting for candidate 3 or 4 is noble, and I can understand why you would and have done it myself. I don't consider it a "wasted vote". Votes are wasted when we wind up with the guys we've had in recent history. I never want to have to vote against anyone or hold my nose and vote again. THAT is a wasted vote. The problem with 3rd party votes is that they can't rally enough support no matter how qualified or right for the job they are, and they detract votes from other candidates. In many cases that's fine. For instance: Barack Obama or John McCain. Seriously? Vote for ANYONE else! God help us! However, in an election where there is a possibility of having a decent candidate make it past the primaries, or (Oh! May it be so!) a 3rd party candidate that could garner enough support on a national level, then vote for the best choice and get someone in office that isn't "one of them" for a change, and might actually be "one of us!" If we could just stop letting the powers that be and their right hand, the 5th column -- the media-- keep us divided among ourselves and factioned into micro groups with too many heads, we could get a good man at the helm. NO ONE wins when we are divided. Obama only wins because he divides his competition against itself. It works. Folks, don't let it happen again. The Libertarians are the worst about this! That's a main reason I don't associate myself with them. I will support Rand Paul if he runs, provided no one I like better is running against him. I will vote for him if he is nominated. I will vote for a good candidate who has a chance to win. In the event that we get handed candidates X and Y again, then I will pray for my country, because I don't think there's much hope for a future if things are left in the hands of the ones who are currently in charge, Democrat or Republican.
I haven't abandoned my blog. I'm just struggling with some issues... personal discipline issues more than anything. I keep letting time go by. I'm not typically a time waster. Ugh. I'm so lazy and unmotivated lately. My own disorganized mind would be bad enough of a mess right now, but it also seems like I am constantly at the mercy of someone else's plans, time clock, decisions or lack thereof... I can't make a decision or do anything or go any where or try anything or set any thing in motion. It's been that way for years. I feel hog tied and hamstrung, and I'm sort of watching myself slip away and not even trying very hard lately to stop it. That's unacceptable. Basically, that's just a lame excuse for getting "out of the groove", BUT, I'm the type to jerk myself up by the bootstraps. I'm never down for long.
I need to come in and post a follow up on the lighting situation, and I will, I promise, but that means I probably should go get another fixture and install it. I have good enough info about it already to probably make a decision and let you know what I came to, but I still want to try one more thing. We'll see. I need to any way.
I also need to try my hand at some plumbing in the kitchen and blog a little about that. Living small like we do makes things pretty accessible and I think I can take care of this stuff, no problem. The biggest problem is having a relatively large section of the house out of commission while I do it.
I have a couple of far more serious structural issues, too, and I may go into a big fix, or I may just figure out how to patch and reinforce it. I don't want to cut corners or half do it, but if a good patch job is as effective and durable as a big overhaul, I'm all for the patch.
As sort of a response to an attack where I was (wrongly) venomously and with damnation, accused of being a republican, (gasp!) I have to ask, were you judging me? Were you stereotyping me? No! Say it ain't so! Such tolerant folk wouldn't be a party to such hatefulness, would they?
Guess what? EVERYONE is stereotyped. Always have been; always will be. Tattoos, clothing, skin color, neighborhood, gender, dye job, political party... the data input is analyzed and filed in the appropriate folder. I'm so sick of hearing, "Don't judge me," that I could puke. The same people puff their chests out and say, "Represent!" like it's a battle cry, then they tell me not to judge when I draw conclusions based on their representation. Do you even know what you mean? Don't judge me? Really?
Of course you're being judged! Of course you're judging me! It's called "assessment," not judgement, and it's automatic. Feel free to talk to me for a while so you can form your very own, personal, stereotypical assessment of me. If my convictions on a subject are strong, then say or think what you will; it's no skin off my teeth. I'm a big girl, I can take it. If I'm concerned at all that your judgement of me is incorrect, I'll assess it again myself and I'll alter my presentation accordingly if I need to. If your opinion matters enough to me, and if I assess that you're perceptive enough for me to have a meaningful conversation with, perhaps we can talk again.
I represent. I am a representative. It's the mark I make on people, for good or for bad, for right or for wrong. I'm confident, my convictions are sure, and you and your short-sighted and sophmoric hysterics don't bother me. Now, grow up and live with it, for crying out loud! Or don't. Your problem.
We are all representatives, like it or not, so first off, arm yourself well with some education, understanding and intelligent arguments, because at the end of the day I don't really care how you FEEEEEL. Secondly, represent well and intentionally. If you don't appear to mean what you say or know what you mean, how can you expect anyone else to take you seriously? I don't want to hear your quotes and party line and have you cuss me when you're ignorance traps you in a corner searching frantically over your script for the proper reaction.
Finally, have the hair to stand up for it if you believe it! I want to see confidence of conviction! You can't fake confidence, it only makes you come across as obnoxious. If all you have is assimilated ideology and feeeeelings, and you don't have confidence or convictions, you should probably keep that hole below your nose from letting off gas. If you can do that at least then if we disagree I can walk away with some respect for you.
It is full blown, undeniably springtime in my little speck of Texas! I know, most people have their own springtime, so what's the big deal? It's because I am just fresh out of the desert, and it's like I'm seeing spring for the first time all over again! Sure, the desert has springtime, and sure, long-timers there recognize and love it just the same, but I was never a bona fide desert girl. I was mid-western born and raised, and it's just a different kind of a springtime altogether. Lovely. Lovely!
Some of the indigenous hardwood trees, I think maybe a variety of elm, started leafing out some time back and are taking on deeper, more summery green tones already. Several other varieties have since begun to follow suit, but are still a fresh, bright yellow-green. There are some trees that are so completely covered in tiny new leaves that they almost look fuzzy from a distance! There are still a few bare trees. The pecan trees seem to be dragging up the rear for the spring parade, although as I look more closely, they are getting small little leaves now, too. In and among them all stand various dark green and bluish-green pines and spruce trees that held down the fort through the winter months. The contrasts are amazing. There are so many different colors of green! It's all amazing!
Every so often, tucked into the midst of the other trees, there stands a flowering tree or two. Red-buds stand out with pinkish-lavender flowers, others, maybe fruit trees, with white or pink flowers, and still others with brighter reds and oranges tucked in low underneath. There are bluebells all over the place and I've seen some fuchsia flowers of some kind in such dense mats that they almost look like a solid mass. All along the roadsides and in the open fields there are wildflowers that are maybe as high as your thigh, covered in bright yellow blooms. If you cast your eyes about it looks almost like someone with a paint brush took the time to tip each and every twig with it's own fresh batch and specially blended color. All of this with a backdrop one minute of happy, sunny blue and the next minute of an exciting and unpredictable gray.
(I'll try to stop and get some pics of the local flowers soon.)
The smells are impossible to describe. When I moved here last July, for the first month or so I honestly thought someone nearby had found a wonderful brand of dryer sheet and the wind was bringing it to my window. Seriously, I did. As time passed I realized it just smells good here! How can that be? If that wasn't enough, it seems that it's possible that it was merely the remnants of the springtime just passed. The smell here this spring is beautiful, fresh, pretty, "plantish'. HAHA! How do you describe that? Lovely. Lovely! (photo credit)
I wake up every morning to the sounds of birds: not a few, not a few dozen, either, but multitudes of birds! I thought something was wrong to begin with. I know, that's ridiculous, but I did! I hadn't heard anything like that in many, many years if I ever had. Hundreds of birds hollering "Hey" back and forth to each other, I guess, signalling where the left over pecans from last fall are lying. When I first heard them I thought they were a harbinger for a storm or an earthquake! It made me think of an old, scary Hitchcock film! It took me a while to realize it's a spring thing, and it's beautiful! One flew into the glass on my window just as the sun was coming up, poor thing. He got up and staggered away, or swaggered away, or whatever a stunned bird does when he flies off.
The crickets are cricking, the bees are being, the snakes are probably snaking by now as well. No matter the fickle weather and temperatures, it is definitely springtime. I'm wringing every possible drop of enjoyment out of it.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Eccl 3:1
I recently read some more ridiculous stories about the unholy
escapades of the TSA. So many of the people who
comment on these stories says that they would never allow that to happen to
them, but statistics, and more to the point, results, say differently. We do what “must be done” in the airports of
our nation because we are not willing to compromise our comfortable lifestyles
one iota in order to stop these hirelings, who follow unconstitutional laws, from
invading our persons. It might make us
late. It might even get us
detained. We’d better just “go along.”
When this started we were outraged! I'll never do that! I'll never let that happen to my wife, child,
grandma, etc...! But they instituted it
over a busy holiday season after everyone had already purchased their tickets
home, and so, they caved in, sold their rights for the price of an airline
We said, “How long before it is trains or buses?” and now it
is trains and buses. How long now before it is
freeways? It has begun: The land of intrusive checkpoints. The 4th amendment is no more. We gave it up when we decided to subject
ourselves and our children to unlawful search and seizure. We
allowed it, and they encroached a little more and a little more, until they got
it all. They know that when you will
sell your personal space, your modesty, the privacy of your very body, AND THAT
OF YOUR CHILD, you have nothing left that is beyond their reach.
But we allow it. We don't want to waste the purchase price of the ticket. We don’t want to be inconvenienced. We don't want to be late for work or some
event. We don't want to lose an extra
day's pay for the time it would take to drive.
We don't want to endure the day long trip in a car with a fussy toddler
or an incontinent old person. We don't
want to cut into our vacation time. So
we sell our freedom and we sell our countrymen out in the process, all for the
price of an airline ticket.
As I mentioned, they instituted this infringement on us during
the busiest travel holiday of the year.
They KNEW that once people had set a vacation plan and bought a ticket
that they would do whatever was told them on the day of the trip, telling
themselves in their minds, “Well, it’s wrong, and I’ll oppose it later, when I
have time and not so much at stake.”
They knew. And they knew once
the people allowed this violation that all their prior resolve would be gone. They knew they could continue and advance to greater levels. They knew that they could aggressively invade
a few here and a few more there, but that the vast majority would not be “overly
inconvenienced” and would therefore remain silent.
Soon it will be all of us. ALL will be
subject to the government’s search and seizure, whenever and wherever they
We have to be willing to sacrifice some of our conveniences. I just don't fly. They will do what they will, and I don’t want
to participate in any of it. I'll
sacrifice time, a few hours on the paycheck and a little comfort, and allow
extra time to take a different means of transportation. I am by no means a frequent flyer, so that is
the best solution for me. If I choose to fly at some point, I have to be
willing to stand for my rights as a free citizen and face the
Sadly, my little piece of the pie being absent from the pie isn’t
hurting the whole pie much. It’s the
frequent fliers who need to be forcing their hand. Unfortunately, they are also the most impacted,
the ones most likely to suffer consequences, and the least likely to rebel
against it. They are empowering the TSA
and the powers that be to successfully violate the public at will.
So what do we do? I don’t have a great and final answer. My best answer is, don’t be worn down. They are counting on Americans either getting
used to it or being worn down to the point that we don’t fight it. I'm sad to say, I think we may be to a point where it could take some heinous action on the part of TSA or some affiliate agency to cause civil unrest on a scale big enough to affect change. It could come in a less than pleasant way. Our culture has grown so fat and lazy that to actually have to sacrifice or fight for a cause that's not for our own personal gain has become distasteful to us. We'll have to have something happen that will override the selfishness and laziness enough to jolt us into action. I hate to think of what it could be, I really do.
Just do not be worn down. "Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9 Above all, pray. Only God can sort this out and bring leaders to the forefront. We need Him.
This is the Success Blog of Rhenda the Representative. I will attempt chronicle the journey from life attached to the umbilical of the grid and the government to a more self-sustained life closer to God and the good earth He gave me.
"For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee."