Awww Monday: patriotic pupper

Hello everyone, Cabo here to let you know all is safe and sound at our house after the boom-boom weekend they call Independence Day. I’ve been wearing my patriotic bandana in honor of the occasion for the past couple weeks.

I have to admit, I spent most of the evening of the 4th inside. This was mainly because I wanted to voice my opinion at all the boom-boom noises and Mom said it was annoying. I don’t shake or tremble like some of my peeps do…and I’m so very sorry if you are one who has this reaction to loud noises. I really don’t blame you at all. Fireworks can be very scary. So, Mom put me in the house so I could comment from inside and not annoy anyone.

Bridget just laid in her bed and ignored me. Shocker.

I’m doing my best to find pieces of the boom-booms that drifted into our yard from the neighbors show. So far, Mom has been a step ahead of me and I think she cleaned it all up before I could help.

I hope everyone has a pawtastic week. July is here and you know what that means…….

The dog dayz of summer are here!!

Stay cool. Pupper kisses to all,

Playing today with Sandee’s peeps over at Comedy Plus and Awww Monday.

 

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Independence at a price

I picked up this post from a few years ago. I believe it’s appropriate to repeat it on the day of America’s decision to fight together as a country for our independence as well as for Thankful Thursday.

from sea to shining sea 72

July 4th is celebrated as Independence Day in the United States. As with independence of any sort, it was born out of conflict and ended in a revolution from the status quo.

Let’s begin with an interesting Q&A on the streets. Spoiler alert: this is 6 minutes and 45 seconds of shocking answers to questions that should have been super simple for any American over the age of 13. Clueless would be an understatement to describe these poor souls…except for the last two interviewees who nailed it. And I wonder, has our education system failed so completely that most people are completely devoid of knowledge of the birth of our country? Or, do they just not care about this part of our history? Either way, it’s truly a sad state of affairs.

And I also wonder, since they know so little about the events and circumstances surrounding why patriots fought so hard, would there be any desire to defend our country’s freedoms to that extent in the future if necessary. Or, would they simply roll over and surrender in oblivious and blind allegiance to any tyrannical group that tries to eliminate what our founding fathers/mothers fought so hard to obtain? Truly a head scratcher.

So, with that piece of misery out of the way, let’s review some basic American Revolutionary War history.

4.19.1775
The day the first shots were fired in our nation’s quest for independence from England. It happened that morning in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Do not fire on them unless they fire first, but if they want a war, let it begin here.
~American Captain Parker, Battle of Lexington

13
The number of colonies that fought in the Revolutionary War.
Yesterday the greatest question was decided… and a greater question perhaps never was nor will be decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.
~John Adams

217,000
The number of troops that were engaged in the fighting.
The die is now cast; the colonies must either submit or triumph…. we must not retreat.
~King George III, In a letter to Lord North, 1774

1,546
Number of military “engagements” during the war.
We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall hang separately.
~Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Independence

10
Age of the youngest members of the Continental Army, serving mainly as cooks and messengers.
The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.
~Patrick Henry, 
speech at the Virginia Convention, 1775

4,435 or 6,824 (depending on the source)
The number of colonist casualties during the war.
Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
~Patrick Henry, speech in the Virginia Convention, 1775

24,000 (Approx)
Total British casualties from battle and disease in the Revolutionary War.
I never saw such fighting, since God made me.
~Lord Charles Cornwallis, Battle of Guilford Court House 

1783
The year Great Britain acknowledged America’s independence with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The treaty established the nation’s northern boundary along the Canadian border and the western border as the Mississippi River.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
~Thomas Jefferson

Our Founding Fathers risked everything to make their idealistic view of freedom from taxation tyranny/oppression a reality. Their resulting actions were a burden on not only them, but their families as well. But they held firm to their beliefs, regardless of personal well-being and even death.

Posterity—you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.
~ John Quincy Adams

As we all celebrate Independence Day with picnics, fireworks, pie, ice cream and other festivities, may we always remember the soldiers and statesmen who sacrificed, at great personal loss, to achieve the freedom we sometimes nonchalantly take for granted today. May we continue to preserve the rights and freedoms of this country for generations to come.

 A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy…While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.
~Samuel Adams

I believe Sam spoke very true words that are as applicable today as they were 200+ years ago. Freedom and independence is painful. It’s a gift many people in the world will never receive under their current government. It’s messy and complicated.

And totally worth it.

I wish every American in these united states a Happy Independence Day, and hope there is an opportunity to pause and reflect on both the blessings we have because of our freedoms, and the responsibilities we haven to preserve them in the face of those who would tear those freedoms away from us.

Sharing today with Brian’s Home and Thankful Thursday.

2018 One Word Wrap Up

My post today is doing double duty. My Awwww Monday photo is so cute and you’ll surely think it’s an awwww-worthy selection for today.

The second is because it’s New Year’s Eve. For quite a few years, I’ve ditched the New Year’s resolutions in favor or picking one word to focus on for the year. Some years are successful, some…not so much. Here’s a recap since 2015 when our lives were thrown a major curve ball.

One Word for 2015: Fearless: In late 2014, Entrepreneur was diagnosed with renal cell cancer. I believe I’m stronger now by focusing on trying to be less fearful of the future.

One Word for 2016: Present:  I wanted to focus on being present without the distraction of social media. Despite mixed results, I’m more conscious now of how much time my eyes are focused downward instead of outward or upward.

One Word for 2017: Joy:  This one was a spectacular FAIL. Joy was elusive to me. Entrepreneur’s cancer revisited us as a brain tumor in February, so setting the tone for the rest of the year. Post surgery physical and mental deficits, radiation, a 9-month bout with Bells Palsy, and oral chemotherapy pretty much sucked the joy out of life. While 2017 did have some happy moments, I’m afraid I lost my Joy in the middle of the muck.

One Word for 2018: Shalom: A word I desperately needed to focus upon given Joy’s disappearance in 2017. Daily, oral chemo was still a regime for Entrepreneur and I watched my husband of 38 years lose 20+ pounds and continue to suffer chemo fog and related, devastating side effects. But, in the middle of it all, beautiful, loving, caring prayer partners came alongside us both physically and emotionally to help navigate the challenges. The result was a sense of calm that enveloped me in the middle of the chaos. I did a couple of women’s bible studies and read two especially helpful books. I highly recommend both of these books for anyone facing the hostilities of life.
1. Not by Sight by Jon Bloom: a book about trusting in the promises of Jesus, and following him into the unseen and unknown.
2. Be Still My Soul by Nancy Guthrie: a book with short commentaries exploring the age old question of why God allows pain in our lives. And, how to trust the promises of Jesus in the middle of pain and suffering.

Peace is dependent on the absence of something and is always fragmented. Shalom is more all-encompassing. It’s a positive force, not dependent on the absence of anything. It’s the gold standard of contentment in the middle of chaos, anger and despair. This kind of lasting peace, or shalom…wholeness, completeness and harmony…can only come from Jesus.

While I’m not completely there yet, I think my state of mind has more shalom than before. I still get anxious about what the future holds, but can feel a sense of calm in my soul. Am I giving up and giving in? Hardly. We will fight the good fight, but realize the outcome is ultimately up to God’s plan for our lives. I have a specific scenario of what that outcome should be, but surrender the final decision to the One to whose life I belong.

Check back on January 1st to find out what word I’m choosing for 2019. 🙂 Until then,  hope your 2018 was filled with good memories with family and friends.

Blog hopping today (after too long a hiatus) for Awww Monday with Sandee at Comedy Plus.

 

Vogue: A study in conformity and hypocrisy

Wow, Vogue. Just Wow.

I’ve waiting a few days to cool down and collect my thoughts before commenting on this article. If you haven’t read the article Vogue printed about the awful state of white, republican women, you can read it HERE. I don’t know whether to be disgusted, incensed, or whether to laugh at the sheer hypocrisy of their rationale.

Evidently, white woman who vote republican are “confusingly unsisterly” and “don’t care about other women.” If they did, according to the article, obviously they would vote for every Democrat, in every race, everywhere. The Vogue writer makes no bones about their contempt for this voting bloc. Surely they must be parroting their misogynist, patriarchal husbands and their thoughts are being controlled by the GOP.

And, in my opinion, therein lies the hypocrisy.

Democrat organizations that supposedly champion women tout they want us to be strong, independent thinkers…..but only if those thoughts align with their policies and agendas. It’s unthinkable (and definitely not preferable) for women to think any other way. Their elitist attitude doesn’t consider any other opinion.

Conform to the view of the Democratic party and their organizations, and be embraced and celebrated. Don’t conform to a liberal platform and be shunned, criticized and condemned.

Got it. Attack women if they don’t conform. Shame them into doing what others think is best. Demean them if they disagree with what you believe is the correct path. Historically, that sounds very familiar.

Misogyny is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls. Misogyny is manifest in numerous ways, including social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, androcentrism, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification.
~Wikipedia

Yes, I’m a white women. Yes, I lean more conservative than liberal. Yes, I’m educated, and have my own thoughts and opinions….sometimes separate from my husband. Yes, I vote Republican….and have been known to vote Democrat on occasion, depending on the office and issue. And yet, Vogue holds me in contempt, belittles me and is hostile to my opinions. Do you see the irony here?

Additionally, I find this article humorous coming from a “fashion magazine” that promotes Exclusive Beauty, Style and Cultural Views. Vogue, a magazine that perpetuates youth and beauty through genetically-altered images of women (aka PhotoShop); Vogue, a magazine whose pages can result in lowered self-esteem among those who don’t look or dress like the pictures within their pages; Vogue, a magazine that promotes exclusive brands and styles that, while beautiful and attractive, no average woman could even dream about affording.

To be honest, I have not picked up a Vogue magazine for years. Perhaps its intellectually stimulating now. Perhaps substantial content pages outnumber (or even equal) the pages of paid fashion and beauty ads pandering to women’s insecurities. Perhaps now it’s an accurate reflection of the average 21st century woman’s style and appearance. Perhaps.

Democrat candidates are not entitled to my vote simply because I’m a woman. “Women’s issues” cover much more than the hot buttons of reproductive rights and abortion that are hauled out front and center most of the time. Taxes, economy, safety…those are women’s issues as well.

My foremothers fought and died for my right to vote. I wrote about it HERE. I take this responsibility very seriously. Show me a candidate with a legitimate, common sense, pro-active plan of action, based on reality and achievable goals. Show me a candidate who understands what it takes for the average family to be prosperous for many generations. Show me a candidate that respects this country’s constitution and values above their own political agenda. Show me that candidate and I’ll seriously consider voting for her or him.

Pander to hot-button, emotional issues hoping to sway my vote….and you’ve lost me. Show me the only passion you have is overthrowing the majority party and being an obstructionist because you didn’t get your way….and you’ve lost me. Show me all you care about is demonizing and disrespecting your opponents…and you’ve lost me. Spend money uncontrollably on expensive, unnecessary programs that only further personal agendas OR refuse to acknowledge waste and corruption in current government spending….and you’ve lost me.

Honestly, I see very little difference between Republicans and Democrats. Both parties want power at any cost…and they are not above lying, cheating and stealing to get it done. Both parties give false hope and make promises they have no intention of fulfilling. Both parties campaign on hope and change in the Washington DC machine, but in reality, when they get there, are only interested in supporting the status quo because they personally benefit from it. Many times my voting decisions are based on the lesser of two evils listed on the ballot.

So, I’m sorry Vogue (but not really) for not conforming to your perfect ideal of what a woman should do in the voting booth. But, I can assure you that by continuing to label me as unsisterly, criticizing and condemning my choices, demonizing and insulting my intellect…..you will lose me every time.

Summer’s end and August musings

Summer is all but over unless there’s an “Indian Summer” hiding in September. And what a summer it’s been.

Entrepreneur is adjusting to his *new normal* with the chemo pills he takes every day. The Bell’s Palsy is getting better…slowly. We added a fur baby to our family in May….Cabo the Goldendoodle, who is 5 months old this month. The grandbabykins are back from seeing their dad in Alabama and school started a couple of weeks ago. We’re still taking care of Twix during the days, while attempting to do something that resembles work in our home office.

But all that pales when looking at what’s going on in our country. Today’s musings will be accompanied by a few uplifting captures from my summer garden and seasonal quotes I like. Hopefully, they will bring a smile to your face…in the face of all the ugliness of the news.

Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, TX last weekend and the devastation continues with water rescues and destruction of property. I was really hoping there wouldn’t be any looting, but the depths in which some people will descend never really surprises me anymore. In spite of those that steal and loot, there have been hundreds of stories about everyday heroes who are rescuing people with their own boats and taking them to safety. Humanitarians are trying to find and take care of abandoned pets. Below is a video of a line of cars towing boats en route to Houston to offer their help. This. Is. Awesome. These are the stories that renew my faith in humankind.

Which leads me to the Florida professor who tweeted Harvey was karma for the predominantly Republican  people in Texas. Really?! With that type of mentality, I suppose one could make a case that people living in the predominantly Democrat states in the Northeast deserved to be hit by Superstorm Sandy. Ludicrous. I was happy to read this professor was relieved of his position. Yes, he does have the right to voice his opinion (see the first amendment), but it should not shield him from the consequences of this really stupid remark.

I also believe those people who comment about presidential assassinations should be held accountable as well. Missouri congresswoman Chappelle-Nadal, who advocated President Trump’s assassination, should be relieved of her responsibilities as someone who was elected to uphold the laws of our country…which do not include assassinations. Last I read, the Lieutenant Governor has called for a special session of the Senate to expel her from the legislature.

This lace cap hydrangea grows every summer in the garden. It was blooming when we planted it years ago, but never bloomed again…until this summer. If anyone has a clue as to why, I’d love to know. I think this quote personifies the human will to survive in the face of natural disasters and other life challenges. We never know what we’re capable of until our faith, tenacity and resolve are put to the test.

Next on my @#$% list is ANTIFA. This group needs to be categorized as terrorists, plain and simple.

Terrorist
noun
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism.
Everything I’ve seen and read about these people fits the definition of terrorist; especially in light of their assault on the peace rally in Berkley a few days ago. While reasonable people recoil at the messages of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, we need to be equally disgusted with the rhetoric and methods of these masked…..I don’t even know what to call them. While human beings, they react violently without any semblance of humanity towards anyone who disagrees with their views.
The only thing I can say about what’s happening in Charlottesville and other cities who have commemorated soldiers and historical figures who are on the wrong side of culture’s opinions now is that is makes me both sad and angry. I’m sad because I can understand how statues of Confederate and slave-owning historical figures can bring about bad feelings. On the other hand, this is part of our nation’s history. Whatever message is being perverted by the presence of a piece of stone will not be erased with its disappearance. Will we go so far as to rename every street, county, city, currency, school and building named after someone we disagree with in order to erase any and all reminders of our past that some find offensive? My personal opinion is if a statue has the power to destroy your psyche, perhaps you need to spend some time self reflecting on what’s really behind your rage, and how it could be channeled towards something more constructive and educational. On the other hand, if I were a Jew living in Germany, I probably wouldn’t like seeing a statue of Hitler on my way to work. Recently, I ran across an article about a brilliant response by a town in Germany where they pranked a neo-Nazi group who marched in their town every year to commemorate Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess. Brilliant, and a much better response than the assault and destruction methods that seem to be the norm now for anything deemed “offensive.” When you stop and think about it, every ethnic and cultural group has something in which they can take offense. If every one of those offenses was appeased, where would it end? And, who gets to decide which offenses are legitimate and which are not? It’s a Pandora’s Box.

So, those are my musings on this summer day. Agree or disagree, I would hope we would be able to engage in dialogue as intelligent adults and either find common ground, or just agree to disagree.

Linking up with others over at Peabea’s Pictorial Tuesday.…on Wednesday.

Beautiful Coincidence

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above[a] proclaims his handiwork.
Psalm 19:1

Eclipse 2017 is on the books. For most of the country, it was a celestial event that won’t soon be forgotten; an event many of us may not ever see again in our lifetime.

So how special was it, really?

Yes, it was an event that doesn’t happen every day, although an eclipse of some sort happens in our world more often than we realize. But every time it happens, people stand in awe. Astronomers and those with more knowledge than I say the moon is traveling away from the earth and in a few million years, earth probably will not even have the type of total solar eclipse we just saw because the moon and sun will not be perfectly aligned in size.

But for now, what are the odds of the moon and sun appearing nearly the same size from earth’s perspective? There are mathematical calculations that have to do with angular size that are far above my pay grade, but they explain the coincidence of how the moon can appear to be the same size when calculating angular size in relation to distance from the sun.

To further make your brain hurt is the statistic that the sun’s diameter is about 400 times larger than that of the moon. Add to that, the sun is about 400 times farther away from the moon. This results in the sun and moon appearing nearly the same size as we stand on earth and view into the heavens; which is why we are privileged to periodically witness a total eclipse of the sun.

The closest comparison of what we experienced yesterday may be duplicated on Saturn with one of its moons, Titan. I’m not sure that counts, as no one can stand on Saturn. Earth is the only known planet where living beings are able to enjoy this type of celestial display.

A beautiful coincidence?

Guess that depends on what worldview a person holds. Personally, I don’t believe in coincidence when viewed as events or discoveries that seemingly happen completely at random. And, I’m not talking about the person sitting beside you who is wearing a hat, or watch or the same kind of shoes. I’m talking about “coincidence” on a much larger scale. There is a magnificent order to things in the universe, our world and within each of our bodies. And, I believe, that is by design.

God is not susceptible to proofs and disproofs. If you believe, the evidence is all around you. If you don’t believe, no evidence can be enough. 
~Andrew Klavan, The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ

Yesterday’s event was jaw-dropping awesome. Unless I travel, I will probably not be privy to another one that can be witnessed close to where I live. For me, I’ll be eternally thankful that the God who set these mathematical specifications in place did so on the only planet known to humankind that could actually enjoy it.

Beautiful coincidence.

Playing along with others over at Peabea’s Pictorial Tuesday.

November reflections

november-leaf-quotographyNovember’s sky is chill and drear,
November’s leaf is red and sear.
~Sir Walter Scott

November is only half over, but a lot has happened, hasn’t it? The election fallout is still falling out and I’m both surprised and saddened by the behavior of some people from both sides. This quote may sum up November in more ways than one.

It’s strange to me how those whose presidential candidate lost have completely abandoned all semblance of common sense and decency. In 2008 and 2012, I don’t recall riots and hysteria when Obama won the election….and I knew plenty of people who detested the outcome. This election has shown the worst side of some people….or sadly, maybe it’s shown them for who they really are.

Bad men cannot make good citizens. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience are incompatible with freedom. ~Patrick Henry

In my opinion, there is absolutely no excuse for anyone demonstrating violence against another person because their candidate lost…or won. It makes me sad to hear of assaults by Trump supporters that spew hatred and “white supremacy.” There is no place for that in America, and those people should be prosecuted.

People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’m equally appalled at some Democrat supporters who are rioting in the streets and causing mayhem because Trump won. In Portland, a mob attacked a pregnant woman. She was trying to get to the hospital for a medical emergency. Someone hit her windshield with a bat and then attacked her outside her car. And, what’s with the person taking the video…and posted it on social media? Are these people so heartless and self-absorbed that they have no common decency?

The vitriol on Facebook, Twitter and other forms of communication from Democrat supporters towards anyone who voted for their opponent is so caustic that I believe they’ve turned into the very personification of character traits they rallied against during the election.

The viciousness of words in the populace on both sides are driving wedges between friends, neighbors and families. It’s ridiculous. No amount of justification will excuse being mean-spirited and hateful because you disagree with or want to gloat about the outcome.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. ~1 Peter 3:8-9

In light of all these protests, let’s have a little history lesson.

  • Abraham Lincoln received only 40% of the popular vote in 1860 and narrowly received enough electoral votes to win. No riots resulted from the opposition’s supporters, and he went on to become one of the most beloved presidents in history.
  • In 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes won the election over Samuel Tilden by one electoral vote, but lost the popular vote by more than 250,000 votes. No violent assaults erupted.
  • Benjamin Harrison received 233 electoral votes to Grover Cleveland’s 168 in 1888. But, Harrison lost the popular vote by more than 90,000 votes. Again, no hysterical protests or calls for abandoning the Electoral College.
  • America is a Republic with a Federalist government. That means power is divided between the states and three branches of government so to avoid disproportionate mob rule.

If a simple majority was to rule the land, candidates would never bother with most of the states except those along each coast. Their focus would only be on states with the largest populations.

And, here’s a few event in history that would not have happened if the majority had had their way:

  • The Declaration of Independence would not have been adopted because most colonists were afraid of the consequences.
  • Slavery would not have been abolished.
  • Women would not have the right to vote.
  • Civil rights legislation would not have been passed.

Wow, those Founding Fathers were pretty darn smart setting up our country to NOT have majority rule.

Up until quite recently, America was one of a few nations where a peaceful transition of power could happen. Apparently, not anymore. The protests that have resulted are anything but peaceful and should come nowhere near being considered a First Amendment Right. How have we become a nation where we have forgotten the tenants of why America was formed; to escape tyranny.

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. ~John Adams

Sharing with Quotography and Life Through the Lens.