Turkey Day is HERE!

Okay, it is a little after 12  noon and it is turkey day, aka Thanksgiving, and Sara, my fur baby, and I received a pre-cooked turkey with some side dishes.   We were most appreciative  and grateful.  It was frozen, so I put it in the fridge to thaw.  This morning, I got it out to heat it up because it says “Fully cooked.  Simply reheat.”  Okay, cool!  So I read the directions for temperature, etc., to reheat the bird.  (It smelled wonderful cold!)  Then the hitch.  The directions said turn the oven on to 350 and put foil over it.  Okay.  I can do that.  THEN “reheat” 15-20 minutes for each pound.  Okay.  No weight listed.  Get the bathroom scales and put the bird on it.  hmmm.  12 pounds.  Okay.  Put the scale up after washing it off.  Wash the turkey from being on the bathroom scale.  Now, put it in the oven.  Calculation?  Bird will be “reheating” for two and a half to three hours.  Hmmmm. And it must reach 160 degrees.  Wait!  This is a pre-cooked bird?  And I have to cook/reheat it for the same amount of time as if it had never been cooked or seen the inside of an oven?  Oooooookay.  So here we go.  Bird is now in oven for another hour at least.  Ah the great idea of pre-cooking it!  May we find the humor here?  BUT, I am still ever so grateful for the free turkey with side dishes.  It was super kind of them to donate it to my belly since there would not have been turkey except for their generosity.  But I am still laughing over the pre-cooked bird cooking as long as an uncooked one!  LOL!

Sara is not allowed turkey because I don’t want her dead or sick, so now, I am even more thrilled with the turkey because I alone cannot polish off 12 pounds of turkey but I can use it!  This is going to be great for the homeless peeps I get to help make lunches for!  So after it cooks–oops–reheats, I will gorge myself,  then moan around, then bone the rest of the bird and freeze the meat for the next walkabout with lunches for the homeless.  Cool, huh?  No waste, no want!  Then Sara and I will sleep off the damage and relax with some movie.  Sara likes the muppets so we will watch a muppet movie and kick it while we laugh and enjoy.

We hope your turkey day, aka Thanksgiving, is great and you can have fun with friends and family.  Tomorrow, we will sleep in as black Friday is only good for people-watching in our estimation.  But oh, they are fun to watch as they fight for more, More, MORE!  And just the day before, today, they were sooooo grateful for what they had.  LOL

Have a good one.  Again, I am so very, sincerely grateful for the bird because I do love turkey and I dooo soooo love to see the smiles on faces when we hand out lunches and the generosity of those giving the bird allows me to pay it forward.  Now how cool is that?  Love you all!

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Turkey Day–Here We Come

This blog will not be a rant, as is my usual to express what I see “wrong” going on.  No, tonight, I will concentrate on positive things, for the most part anyway.  So what do we have to be thankful for?  Well, if you’ve opted to read this, you can be thankful for your smart phone, or your tablet, or your computer–right?  Without them, you couldn’t read this blog or facebook or twitter or instagram or whatever internet media you choose, now could you?  Are you grateful for that?  I am.  It’s so much easier!

I have a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, food in my fridge.  Yesterday, when I helped pass out lunches to the homeless along with dog food to their fur babies, I realized, again, they do not have a roof, a bed, a fridge.  I’m grateful for those things, and I cry because they don’t have them.

I have a car to transport the food to the homeless, take me to the store, to appointments, to things I want to do.  Others do not.  I am grateful.  I have friends I can talk to, trust, that inspire me.  My homeless friends have these same kinds of people in their lives as they take care of each other, look out for each other, share woes, hopes with each other.  Ah, we are all grateful for those special people in our lives!  And it doesn’t matter to them or us what we look like, what we have or don’t have because we have those special people in our lives regardless of our circumstances.

So here it is time to point out that it doesn’t really come down to what material/physical things we have–it’s WHO  we have.  Personally, I have friends who are economically well off or at least comfortable and friends who make it one day to the next.  But does that make a difference when I think of them?  No, not at all.  I have friends who I am sure some people see as beautiful, attractive, in a great job or profession and able to wield power.  Does that make a difference to me?  Not really.

The persons I am most grateful for?  Often I cannot give you a physical description of them, or an evaluation of their economic status.   BUT– I can describe their eyes when they talk of something they are passionate about.  I can tell you how they will treat others.  I can describe what angers them, what makes them laugh, what makes them cry. I can tell you if their hands are soft, calloused from hard work, gentle as they pet an animal or hold my hand or softly squeeze my shoulder when expressing love and compassion towards me.  I can tell you some of their dreams, some of their past experiences that make them who they are.  I can tell you how they battle evil and injustice, express kindness and love to both myself and others.  These are my friends.  These are people who share their hearts with me, allow me to share in their lives, are always there to share in mine.  We laugh together. we cry together.  We work together.  We share love for others we don’t know together because we want to bring more people love and understanding–to include them in this overflowing feeling of caring and acceptance.  What do they look like?  Beautiful brown eyes, green eyes, blue eyes.  Soft hands, calloused hands, gentle hands.  I already said this, didn’t I?  But that to me, is all the description I can offer.  Then I will tell you about the person inside the body.  THAT IS WHAT MAKES ME GRATEFUL FOR THESE PERSONS!  Are they white, straight, brown, black, trans, gay, post graduate educated, third grade education, income above a certain amount or below it?  I would probably have to stop and think and search my mind to answer that if you asked me because once I have seen and felt their true essence, connected with their soul, the outside doesn’t matter to me.

I had to laugh once when they pulled one of those “witness accuracy” exercises in a class I was in.  A person, on cue, ran into the classroom, committed a crime or whatever, and ran out.  None of us were expecting it so it was a total surprise.  After the person that burst into the room exited, we were asked to be witnesses and state what we had seen, i.e., the clothes, sex, race, etc., of the person.  There were varying descriptions, some really strange as one person had seen them wearing shorts and another jeans, but when my turn came to give a description I blew it.  I said the person’s hands were flailing wildly but were rather small.  Their eyes were darting around the room and were black with fear.  And their voice sounded scared and alarmed the whole time.  What was the person wearing?  My response–“clothes, I guess…”  How tall?  “not sure, really…”  Sex? Color?  “hmmm–just a panicky human…didn’t notice sex or race…”  Then I was asked how I expected the police to catch this person with so little physical description?  I laughed and said, “If I see those hands, eyes, and hear that voice again, I’ll know them right off!”  I did not get an “A” in that exercise.  Oh well.

Am I alone in this?  When you describe the people you are grateful for in your life do you describe their physical attributes?  Do you say how much money they have or don’t have?  Do you say race, gender preference, etc.?  Or do you talk about how kind they were/are?  How they want to make the world a better place?  How they treat others and animals?  I do, obviously.  Today, a few days away from Thanksgiving, ye olde turkey day, I am grateful for things I cannot and would not buy–beautiful hearts that are loyal, true, kind, compassionate, and hold the essence of love.

I am grateful to all and for all of my friends.  You make life worth living.  I love you with all my heart.

Good night.  Sleep well dear ones.

Are We Going To Stand For America?

Many thoughts have crossed my mind over the past few days, and I have to admit I am deeply troubled and discouraged.  But I want to remember the good first.  I got to meet with three wonderful people for lunch, some older, some younger, but all wise, thinking, caring people who have been sources of wisdom and inspiration.  They, specifically, helped me in immeasurable ways and I basked in simply being with these beings who are still giving to others as they gave to me.  That is GOOD!

Why did I speak of this first?  Because I could see how they, too, are troubled with the current state of our nation and the response of the general population towards this state of existence.  We were all glad that women were finally speaking up about being molested, abused, slandered, violated and that they were attempting to make others aware that power does not give license to abuse nor slander nor stopping people from speaking out about such things.  We also were very glad that those of the other gender were also speaking up against their abusers.  And of course, the conversation included stories of women and men who are now grown admitting they had been abused by people in power over them as children.  That, reader, is called enculturation .  If you can’t “rock the boat” when you are hurt, molested, abused as a child, you learn to keep your mouth shut as an adult.  Women could not protest being taken advantage of by adult males as children and could not protest more of the same when they could lose their job, be labeled  and slandered as an adult.  Men have a precarious decision to make also because they fear the stigma of sexual abuse leading to homosexuality. (a Myth)  Again, enculturation.  But finally, people are speaking up.  That is GOOD!  But this is where the dilemma comes in.

We currently have a president who laughs, boasts about how he can sexually accost women of any age because, as he states, when you’re rich and powerful, they let you do whatever you want.  Now we have an openly hypocritical man running for senator under scrutiny for these same attitudes/actions and his own political party will not stand up for the moral rightness to demand he withdraw under such charges against him.  And why should they when the president openly brags about doing the same things?  This truly troubles me.  So what discourages me?

The discouragement comes from watching the news, reading the newspaper, listening, hearing the prevailing attitudes of condoning actions if certain people do them.  Sort of like two separate legal sets, depending on how much money and power you have vs. no money, no power.  When did we adopt new laws for one group over another?  The discouragement also comes when I realize this is just the beginning.  You see, I went to school when history was taught and not altered as much as today.  I read about the Holocaust and how the United States hedged on letting Jewish refugees in to flee the death camps–and then we entered WWII, saw the few survivors of Hitler’s scourge of the Jews, and were appalled.  Why oh why does it have to hit us in the face before we accept or do anything about it?

I watched a documentary on WWII and the heroes and heroines who saved as many Jewish people as they could to escape Hitler’s reign of terror.  But I watched very closely through this documentary.  Hitler started by discriminating against certain ideas and supposedly “helping” Germany become stronger, a force to be reckoned with.  Gays were first discriminated against to start the ball rolling.  And you know where it went from there.  So I ask, who are WE discriminating against first?  Ah, yes, the Mexican rapists and murders.  They were targeted first.  Then Muslims.  Then women.  Then black people, then gays lost rights, workers have lost rights, the unions are being disparaged, and the media?  Oh man!  The first derogatory remark by the media unleashed the term, “FAKE NEWS”  and specifically CNN.  Read your history.  Fear works best.  Mexicans, Muslims, etc., are to be feared.  Then take away some taken-for-granted freedoms, like that of the press.  Lie to the people, promise them grandiose pie-in-the-sky jobs and wealth and purity of nation and BAM! THEY’RE HOOKED!  They no longer need facts, or a reality check because Hitler and our current president are their reality and whatever they say or do is above question and above the law–their version of the law.

I read Dr. Zimbardo’s book, The Lucifer Effect.  Ultimately, the title of this blog refers to the insight gained from reading this book.  Zimbardo shows what having power over others can do.  He acknowledges we all have a dark side but given a little power, or the desire for power, can change morally decent humans into what we have in government, the corporations, city governments, etc., right now.  You see, we all have a choice.  We can enhance our own sense of power and entitlement or we can choose to help others as well as ourselves.  I am discouraged because the choices I see being made daily show little regard for others or anyone else’s well being other than individual selves.  This is how it starts, folks.  Take care of #1 first and only.  Justify it by the Head selfish #1 above you telling you it’s right!  it’s good! it’s guaranteed success!  and you just have to get rid of all the naysayers and the people like Mexicans, Muslims, etc., out of your way.  That unites them against a common enemy.  While others, like me, are going, “Whoa!  You can’t blame all the problems with the United States on specific groups!  We are all a part of this problem just as we should all be part of the solution!  I help you, you help me, we all benefit and have pride and integrity and make headway!”  This is becoming a dream for some of us since reality is showing us it is operating just the opposite.  Ergo: discouragement.

So the question is: Are we going to stand for America?

I will.  I will keep fighting for your rights and mine.  I don’t care how different we are in how many ever aspects.  If you are hurt, I will help.  If you are hungry, I will find food for you.  If you are sick, I will try to find you help.  If you are scared, I will try to help and probably commiserate with you.  I will respect you, I will stand for your rights.  I will not speak about you behind your back or find a way to remove you from this life because we disagree.  I refuse to judge you on appearance, religion, sexuality, or whatever.  If I do judge, it will only be after talking and getting to know you.  If you are a child molester, abuser, we are morally miles apart and I will try to find you help, but I cannot meet on common ground with you morally.  But I still won’t kill you or eliminate you.  Likewise for others.  I do judge by moral integrity.  You violate someone’s life or lifestyle, I will shun you.  And if someone doesn’t like me, please let it be because of ME!  Don’t label and dislike me because of my skin color, my sexual preference, my religion or lack thereof, my economic status, what I do for a living or don’t do, the way I cut my hair or dress.  Get to know ME and if you don’t like me, bail!  I can handle it!  I won’t disrespect you so please don’t disrespect me.

We are at a crossroads, people.  We can choose Good, or we can choose Evil.  We have never been led by such a being as we have now for president.  He lies, he cheats, lies about cheating, disparages anyone and everyone who is against him, uses power to manipulate and bully, and we are all feeling it.  Many have already chosen to follow his example.  I won’t.  You have to choose to either give in and join in aberration of morality or stand up.  America was built on fairness and justice for all.  It is not an untruth to say it no longer seems to hold to those ideals and acts on them.

If I knew how, I would here play “Imagine” by John Lennon for you.  Listen to it before you finish here, okay?  Just listen and take it all in.  Every word.  Because as the song says, “Some people say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…”  Please, stand up for America.  We are not Hitler’s Germany unless we let ourselves be.  Please, stand up for justice and fairness to all.

Thanks for your time

We Are Losing Ground

Today we all dealt with the time change–at least most of us.  A few places don’t acknowledge the time change and I wish we didn’t.  I laugh as I remember I was upset when our government decided it should be at different times than I had grown up with.  God, I wish that was all I had to be upset about!

So I got my extra hour of sleep this morning, but it was dark, night so early!  Oh well, there were bigger things to occupy my mind shortly after I woke up.  Like another mass slaughter, in a church, in Texas.  As I read and heard about it, several things stood out to my little mind that I found deplorable.  First, it was noted that the murderer was white.  That makes a difference to all the people who lost children and family?  Second, that it was in a “conservative” small community.  Who cares who voted for who as they died?  And then the usual question as to motive, background of the murderer (a young discharged serviceman from the military).  If I had lost my 5 year old, I would wonder why, most certainly, but his background?  Call me weird, but anyone, and I mean ANYONE, that carried an automatic weapon into wherever I was and mowed down people I love, would not care about his damn background!  My loved ones, people I knew personally, were dead at the hands of a man who had a weapon that left no one the chance to escape, run, or take him down to prevent him from killing.  He pulled the trigger and the bullets kept coming.  I’m to worry about race or his political persuasion? But–What could anyone do?–would be my answer?

So the response from all outside the town was–and this is all over the news, Twitter and Facebook–“Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims and their families in this horrible tragedy.”  Okay.  Well, as has been pointed out, these particular victims and their families were in a house of prayer when they were mowed down.  Sure, I get it–what else can you say?  We can SAY A LOT!  AND DO EVEN MORE!  And now I will get this off my chest, once and for all.

First, I am not against people having guns for protection against those who break into their homes or who go duck or deer hunting.  Got that?  I don’t want to repeal the second amendment.  BUT I do not advocate military weapons, assault rifles, silencers, etc., being sold like candy.  None of the people I personally know that own guns are going to mow down a deer or duck with an automatic assault rifle.  Do you know any?  If you’ve ever had to prepare an animal by picking shot out of it so you could cook and eat it, you don’t want to be picking out shot for hours to be able to put it on the table.  Why would you shoot an automatic weapon at an animal?  There wouldn’t be much left to dress out and eat, now would there, after you finished killing it.  And if a person is protecting themselves and their home with their gun–how many bullets does it take to bring down one or two intruders?  Or were you planning on a home invasion of a small army of intruders?  If you can’t protect yourself with a few bullets, chances are with an automatic assault weapon you will wind up blowing apart everything the thief came to steal as you spray bullets around hoping to take out the intruder.  Just sayin’…

But that becomes less of an issue when you look at the big picture.  I have worked in the field of retail, education, and mental health.  I have had to memorize codes to yell out or punch into a system that relate to “active shooter.”  I have been schooled as to how to save myself and others from same.  There are emergency buttons I could push to summon police if such an occurrence came up.  Yes, at the time I took these trainings or learned what to do, it was always labeled as preventative training.  And here we are.  Now do we take trainings at concerts before we go?  Do we take trainings before we walk down a city street or on a bike path?  Or trainings before we go to church?  Get on public transportation, go to a store for groceries?  Send our kids off on the school bus or walk them to school?  And pray–oh yes!  While your little one is at school, you better pray some person with a weapon doesn’t decide to shoot them.  When you decide to celebrate and go to a concert, you better pray someone doesn’t shoot you and vast numbers while you’re there.  When you stroll down a bike path or down the street, you better make sure you don’t get killed by a truck aimed at you.  And while you’re in church praying for your salvation, be sure you’re ready to die.

Guns have been the preferred method of taking out large numbers of people quickly and efficiently, if you want to classify it that way.  Now trucks and cars have joined the ranks of weapons.  Ironically, we actually have more control over trucks and cars than we do the guns in the hands of people that should never have them because now everyone is allowed to have a gun.  The mentally ill.  The domestic abusers.  The known disgruntled people can walk in, buy an assault rifle, and hey!  It’s their right.  I can and I would be a definite danger as the only firearms I know how to handle are a .22 rifle and handguns.  But I can buy an assault rifle, and when I’m upset take care of my problem.  Which brings me back to the things that bothered me when I started this writing and ranting.

If I took an assault rifle and went to settle a score, real or imagined, it would be noted that I was white–probably a “lone wolf”–older, a woman (now that would throw everyone, wouldn’t it?), a liberal (evil to conservatives), and since I am over 65, probably suffering dementia or Alzheimer’s — right?  But if my skin wasn’t white, I would be a terrorist and evil, and there would probably be legislation proposed because my name is of foreign origin.  But you know what?  The people I might kill would be just as dead, their families just as devastated, no matter what my political affiliation or skin color.  Right?

What’s worse is again, people would send their thoughts and prayers and nothing would change.  Do you realize how many mass shootings and killings by other means we have had in this year alone?  Are we so “us vs them” that we do not see what we are doing to each other?  I’m sick of hearing about people of color being banned from the US because they are terrorists but we can raise good old white boys here that wipe out more people and they are lone wolves, mentally ill, unstable.  But by god, they got an assault weapon, didn’t they?  We used to look at the crime, the injustice, and try to deal with it.  Now white cops shoot non-white people but hey–that’s because they felt threatened.  And remember, Neo-Nazis and the KKK have good people in their groups as they arm themselves and then use cars to kill others when they can’t get to their guns.  Again, the cars, we have more control over.  We could control the assault weapons!  Know why we don’t?  Look at the contributions the NRA shovels to our senators and representatives in government.  Their people are not victims of mass murders, so why should they care as long as the NRA keeps pushing the money to them to stop gun control?  Folks, we are paying the price!  Crazy people having a handgun or a deer rifle cannot do near the damage those with assault weapons can!  You don’t have to ban hand guns and hunting rifles.  But common sense tells you no one needs an assault weapon to hunt or defend themselves!  You want this kind of gun?  Join the military and do your thing.  But quit saying it is always foreigners assaulting our way of life.  WE GROW THESE MONSTERS RIGHT HERE IN THE USA!  We don’t challenge the gun laws and regulations until we lose people of our own.  But by god the federal government will place a new restriction on new immigrants if a “foreigner” does the same thing our home grown terrorists do!  And the people who kill here are terrorists.  Terrorism is terrorism. Look up the definition.  Our poor lone wolves and mentally deranged are TERRORISTS!

My greatest fear?  We have lost so much ground in our treatment of each other due to skin color, politics, sexual orientation, gender and economic status that we immediately are told someone’s race and then political affiliation and all the rest so we can rail at the killer and not realize we created him!  Then we become desensitized because when you hear of another mass killing on a daily basis, you mumble  “our thoughts and prayers are with you” and we all go on.  I don’t want to be numb to pain that I know could have been prevented and is senseless.  I don’t want to say, “What can we do?” and shake my head and go on.  Worse, I don’t want to stand and hear or see or both these things and say, “Thank god it didn’t happen here!”  Because that, to me, means if that is the prevailing attitude, it will most certainly happen here sooner or later.  And the way things are going, probably sooner.

This nation is in crisis.  We are spawning and nurturing hate and divisiveness.  Again, just look at the write ups about the shooters.  Every day we see corruption in our police department, in our local government and judicial system, and then at the state level and the federal level.  We shake our heads and pray.  If we lose much more ground, there will be little to salvage.  I don’t want to be mowed down when I go to the store, or when I ride the bus, or when I go to a concert or to work.  If you are willing to take your chances, good luck.  Personally, I would like to demand the odds be in my favor, not that of another person of whatever color or ideology or political persuasion that can buy an assault weapon and tilt the odds in his favor.  I want assault weapons outlawed.  How much more ground can we afford to lose, folks?

Just sayin’…

 

Poem–#30

Thirty days of poetry,

Only tonight and one to go.

What has a person gleaned

From words put to paper,

from all the different writing souls?

We’ve read of pain and joy;

seen passion and love.

We’ve read of life-changing happenings,

laughed at some with comedy entwined.

But all in all, we have looked deep

Into the hearts of others,

glimpsing truths of their lives and minds.

Thirty days of poetry have touched us

and we are not so different, are we?

That is beautiful and poetry in itself.

PEACE AND LOVE TO ALL.

Poem–#29

What would Life be Like with Unicorns and Dragons?

Unicorns would sprinkle magic dust

over all the children’s dreams,

flying them away from monsters

that hurt them,  make them afraid to scream.

Understanding and consoling,

bringing comfort to the little ones,

they would only show them kindness and caring,

bringing them to light and love.

The Dragons would wait nearby,

Watching, waiting to act,

As Unicorns swept the children away,

The dragons would breathe fire and wrath.

Dragons would burn up the monsters,

leaving ashes in their paths.

Then in the sky they would swoop and spin

To say no more harming the little ones;

Enough! Enough! Sending fire again–

Life would be good with Unicorns, and

Dragons would make things right.

Little ones would have a voice;

sleep safely through the night.

#Me Too