Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thank You Thursday

Thank You Thursday salutes Kleenex.  That’s right.  They’re my constant companion during allergy season and right now, with 2 of us having the head cold from hell, they’re a must have.  Did you know Kimberly-Clark invented them in WWI as a substitute for cotton?  There was a cotton shortage in 1914, so a substitute was needed for surgical bandages.  Kimberly-Clark invented a cotton-like wadding called Cellucotton.  After the war it was spun-off as a glamor product: to remove cold-cream.   Women soon began writing the company to complain that their husbands were blowing their noses in the “cold cream handkerchiefs. 

About the same time a Chicago inventor came up with the pop-up tissue box.  Once the two products were wed as an easily accessible way of containing sneezes….my hero product was born. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sick...Courtesy of Stupid People

Dear Stupid People:

Yes, I'm talking to the idiot and his wife who came into Hubby's Shop and coughed/sneezed all over him for an hour or two last week.  Thanks to your ignorance in not comprehending those with germs should stay home, away from others, Hubby has the head cold from hell, which has marched into his chest. At the very least, you could've covered your mouths or used a tissue instead of your sleeves.  Hubby is not easily grossed out.  But his description of your oozing colds was not pretty.  And now he's down for the count, unable to even get in a few hours of peaceful sleep.    As Hubby is self employed, not only is he miserable, he's had to choose how to work without spreading your germs on to others.  This means him sneaking into the Shop when it's suppose to be closed to avoid contacting people.  I've done my best to get him well quickly, but this is one helluva cold germ and it is fighting back.

Today, it attacked me.

I might as well be self employed since I'm the Director and the entire staff where I work.  I'm now virtually locked in my office because this morning when I arrived at work, I soon realized this isn't my seasonal allergies kicking in.  It's YOUR stupid cold.  So as if the pinched nerve in my neck in't bad enough, now I've been enlisted in the Snot Races on the day I'm suppose to cook for my seniors.  Most was prepared yesterday, using gloves, but now I'll have to let them do the actual cooking, which is a giant No-No.  Of course they know how to cook, they're in their 70s...but it's my job, has been my job to do this each Tuesday for 22 years.  When they leave today, so will I...and then my groups for the next 3 days will be locked out because there is currently no one available to keep my Center open.

I hope you're feeling better, Mr. & Mrs. Inconsiderate With Low IQ.  But if I ever find out who you are, I will douse you in Lysol disinfectant, then ban you from our property.  I only hope you don't have children.

Your bad judgement didn't just effect you.  It was a ripple in a pond of illness that didn't have to be spread...but now it has.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Not Becoming a Member of the "22 a Day Club"

Many people don't realize what that horrible statistic means: 22 soldiers committing suicide each day.  Many have pointed out the number is an average, not a true daily total, just a statistic adopted by the media and politicians to grab attention.  Bottom line...ONE is too many.

This week has been horrible, news wise.  It was especially troubling when the nutcase who shot his former co-workers live on air tried to bring my state into his lunatic ravings.  Meaning?  His diatribe claimed he was taking on the "race war" challenge of that other nutcase who killed the 9 church members in Charleston, South Carolina. 

However the news which brought me to tears was the death of a total stranger.  I never met Austin.  One of the CWWAF soldiers I'm friends with, Tracy, has frequently shared his video clips.  I don't know how many tours he did in Iraq/Afghanistan, but his "rantings", as he called them, were equal parts of truth and funny.  Austin knew how to tell the hard truths so that they smacked you between the eyes if you hadn't been paying attention...and yet he left you laughing.  His last video was on Aug. 22nd....he decided to exit on Aug. 23rd.

I was beyond shocked.  Did no one close to him see it coming?  Was he so adept at covering with laughter that friends shook their heads, muttering, "That's so Austin"?  I checked for a Facebook page and found a photo, a week earlier, where he was serious, eyes almost dead.  Only one person had written, "Hey nephew, why the long face?  What's up?"  There was no reply.  I yelled at the screen, "Did you call him to find out?" 

Tracy was beyond shocked.  Angry.  Hurt.  Overwhelmingly sad.   She confided that he had been HER ear when times were tough.  That when she'd lost a job he'd teased that some people would do anything to take a vacation.  There was an ocean wave of mixed emotions which had overtaken and floored her because he hadn't allowed her to return the favor.  Hadn't said, "Hey, you got a minute?  I need to talk."

I admitted to Tracy that I hadn't been able to sleep that night.  This stranger I didn't know but who made me laugh was gone.  Why?  Why couldn't people reach out when they needed help?  Why are we always so blind to it until later?

Tracy did a stint in the Marines and the Army: as a combat photographer.  She's seen things I don't even want to contemplate and told me stories that made me cry.  When Austin died, several of us made sure we touched base with her, because her grief/anger was so deep.  Last night she sent several of us a message:

"I'll be off the grid for a while.  Don't worry.  I'm checking myself into the VA for a little mental adjustment.  Can't call for 24 hours.  Don't panic.  I'm okay."

And I sighed in relief.  Tracy is doing for herself what Austin couldn't bring himself to do: taking a proactive stance.  I slept better last night.

This morning, I found something odd outside my back door.  My beautiful Don Juan climbing rose only blooms in the spring.  I was thinking the other day that I need to trim it back before Fall.  This morning I found this:

 I think it's for Tracy.
May love and hope will find a way.  
We've got your six.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Defining Real Leadership

Recently someone posed the question, “If you could sit down with just one person for an hour, who would you choose?”  I assumed they didn’t mean  the dearly-departed relative-of-choice.  At the time, I didn’t have a clue.   Today I do.
George Washington.
Given today’s pre-Presidential circus, I’d like to sit down with George and ask how he managed to pull people together in times of trouble to form “a more perfect union.”  Since I can't ask, I did a little reading.
The Washingtons were a wealthy English family who came to America after receiving land grants from King Henry VIII.  By the time Geo was born, the wealth had been lost.  The eldest son from his father’s 2nd marriage, Geo’s family was known as “middling class”.  Mostly home schooled, he learned math, geography, Latin & the English classics from a local schoolmaster. His  continuing “education” however, came from friendships with backwoodsmen and the plantation foreman.  By the time he was a teenager, Geo had mastered growing tobacco, raising livestock and surveying. 
Geo was 11 when his father died, leaving him the ward of his half-brother Lawrence.  Lawrence’s wife took Geo under her wing, teaching him “social graces”.  Lawrence died of tuberculosis.  Two months later his only child died, leaving Geo to become head of the prominent estate, Mt. Vernon.  He was 20 years old.
Geo would go on to prove a natural leader during the French & Indian War. Even though he was forced to surrender and was embarrassed at being captured, Geo re-entered the fight.  By age 23, he was Commander of Virginia’s forces.  But between a Legislature unwilling to assist with his needs, impossible military assignments, and being turned down, ironically, for a commission in the British Army, Geo resigned his commission.  He returned to Mt. Vernon completely disillusioned.  
Once home, Geo married Martha Dandridge, a widow with considerable wealth.  He embraced her children. Patsy, age 4 and Jacky, age 6, as his own.  When Jacky died during the Revolution, Geo adopted his children.  At Mt. Vernon Geo found his calling: farming.  It’s said he loved every aspect of it, often taking off his coat to labor alongside his workers.  Yes, Geo had 100 slaves.  He reportedly hated the institution, but accepted the fact as slavery was law.  It was about this time he entered politics.
Originally Geo was opposed to the colonies declaring independence.  But he didn’t like what he viewed as violations by the Crown to American rights.  Calling for the Continental Congress to convene, Geo asked that armed resistance be the last resort.  You know what happened next.
Fast forward to Geo’s presidency, an office he never sought.  No, he was sought after for his military experience and charisma. America had its freedom, but each state had their own interpretation, often squabbling over borders and contributing funds to the nation’s war debt.  At the Constitutional Convention, Geo was unanimously chosen to address not only the nation’s immediate problems, but to plan for the future.  Geo received a vote from every elector in the Electoral College…the only American President in history to be elected by unanimous approval.
Many wanted Geo to be called “King”, but he chose the title “Mr. President” to further his belief that the cause of Liberty was larger than a single individual.  Initially he refused the $25,000 salary, to protect his image as a selfless public servant.  In the end he accepted it when Congress pointed out if he didn’t, only the wealthy would believe they were entitled to serve. An Administrator who surrounded himself with capable men, he delegated authority wisely. Geo consulted with his Cabinet prior to making decisions and exercised power with restraint.  Having served 2 terms, he refused a 3rd.  Geo set the bar so high many who followed couldn’t reach his standards.  It’s a shame that today’s politicians don’t even try.
Geo adopted measures which not only reduced the national debt, but put the country’s finances on more stable footing.  He approved the bill placing the nation’s capital in a permanent district along the Potomac River and established peace treaties with Native Americans.  Was he perfect?  No.  His tax on “distilled spirits” brought about the Whiskey Rebellion.  Yet rather than send in troops, Geo personally took command and marched troops into town to illustrate federal government would use force to enforce the law.  His last official act?  He pardoned the participants of the Whiskey Rebellion.
Geo had a very strong opinion on creating a political party system.  Washington despised political partisanship, believing that ideological differences should never become institutionalized. He strongly felt that political leaders should be free to debate important issues without being bound by party loyalty.
And how did we show our respect to the Father of our Country,  our first leader and, let’s face it, guinea pig, for steering our new nation?  We put his face on the lowest denomination of currency: the $1 bill.  Yet maybe that’s the most fitting tribute.  Most people have a dollar to their name.  I hope when they see Geo’s face, they might, for a brief moment, remember where we came from and who honorably led the way.
In the meantime, I wonder if we can clone another President Washington from a $1 bill?

Friday, August 21, 2015

I Didn't Forget Thank You Thursday....I forgot to post it

Thank You Thursday salutes my favorite four legged family member: Boudreaux. 

Sure, I may be Bou's chauffeur, maid, cook, medic and Chief of Belly Rubs, but he knows how to put a smile on my face.  Thanks Bou, for those gentle "kisses" on the cheek after a long day at work...even if it's partially a bribe to get me to the kitchen to fill your dish. Sometimes you're smarter, and more compassionate, than your 2 legged counterparts. Best of all, thanks for making me laugh. I can't believe you were ever that small. 

I swear it looks like he's Line Dancing.  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Working Another Saturday Rental

Guess that button won't work until 6 p.m. when this rental is over.  
Have a good weekend y'all!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Still The One

35 years ago today I said, "I do".   And I still do.  Ever the traditionalist, I wore my Mom's wedding dress (minus the 1950s hoop that came with it), my sis-in-law's wedding veil (plus the garter her husband didn't want her to wear which became my "something blue") and our wedding cake was topped with the same topper my in-laws had on their 25th Anniversary cake.

So here's to high school sweethearts who only grow closer with time.