Monthly Archives: December 2007

John’s job situation

I thought he’d announce it on his blog, but since he hasn’t…. 😉

John got a new job. He starts on January 14th. I told him to enjoy these next few weeks of sleeping in. 🙂

He’s working for Driftwood in Egg Harbor, so he’s back to commuting again (and paying for a tank a gas each week). Here’s their website:Driftwood RV

He’s excited about working there because they do a lot of business and have a wide selection.  We’re both hoping it turns out to be a good thing.

It’s anti-bigotry, not political correctness.

My husband ragged me recently about being politically correct because I included good wishes for everyone celebrating a holiday during the last few mpnths. I get this comment a lot, so I thought I’d explain. It’s part of my resolutions, after all. 😉

I’m not committing what seems to be a horrible phrase to people: political correctness. I’m treating someone the way I want to be treated: with respect.

This country was founded on religious freedom. Its values did not favor any religion or philosophy; the majority of Founding Fathers did not belong to a religion like Christianity and they put in numerous writings why it was so important to them that they searched for the best values in all religions and philosophies. When they threw out the British Empire, they also threw out a Religious Empire with it. Only one religion was legal back then; all others were punished with at least a fine and at most prison and time in the stocks. Even the Puritans/Pilgrims who came here for “religious freedom” meant freedom for them and no one else. (Read about the SECOND Thanksgiving where they prayed for God to kill all the “heathens”/Indians so they could have all the land for themselves.)

So the country’s creators sought for everyone to have the right to believe what they did. No church was favored, no one’s values put above others. Whenever a church group like the Lutherans, the Baptists, or the Episcopalians sought to create an empire again, Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Madison and the others fought for equal rights. After all, the first nation to support the colonies for freedom was Muslim. Washington and Franklin both attended services with the Native Americans and praised their religious, non-Christian practices. Benjamin Franklin even had a favorite story about a Christian minister and an Indian group to show why he did not allow only Christian values and only their God to be favored, even with all his respect for Jesus and his teachings.

When the Pledge of Allegiance was written, it contained nothing about “under God” even though its creator was a devout Christian. He believed in the equality that the Founding Fathers believed in, and like Franklin, said Christians better served God by doing actions that brought about “liberty and justice for all” than pushing words that led to prejudiced actions.

And so we remained for almost 2 centuries. Then came the 50s, Joseph McCarthy, and the Red Scare. And out went equality.

Equality, everyone was told, equaled the Red Menace. Only Christians were decent and if people thought other religions should have rights, they were blacklisted. Using these terroristic actions, those seeking a restored Christian Empire at last got their way. The Christian God was put into the Pledge of Allegiance and on the money; if a Senator didn’t vote for it to happen…. well, who doesn’t know what McCarthy did to the poor people he slapped with the Communist label?

So Christians got a national holiday for their religion, and they’re the only ones allowed to have that. They’re also the only ones to have their faith put into our countries Pledge and currency. They’re the only ones allowed to have billions spent for their entertainment (name 10 major motion pictures about Buddhism. Now name me 10 about Christmas.) or have their holiday celebrated in music on radio stations for days in a row.  And so the bigotry spread.

And then a few people asked, don’t I have equal rights too? If that’s true, instead of having only Merry Christmas in the public places (that non-Christian dollars pay for too), how about we celebrate all the holidays?  Not just mine, but everyone’s.
Notice they didn’t say “We don’t want Christmas mentioned anymore.” They just said, can we celebrate everyone?  Can we wish everyone a happy holiday, whatever that holiday may be?

Christmas is still the only national, religious holiday. It is still the only one with billions of dollars industry in entertainment. It is still the only one that has numerous radio stations playing its music constantly for periods of 30 days or more.  The White House does broadcasts about it and no other religious holiday.

In a land supposedly free, that’s a lot of bigotry.

I’ve asked every Christian I know: would it be okay if I assume you’re Muslim and just say “Have a good Ramadan” when I see you around the holidays? Everyone of them screamed about how bigoted that was.

I asked if it was okay if we took out God in the Pledge of Allegiance and put in Buddha? They freaked.

Would it be okay for a Muslim to do their daily prayers in schools? What about Jews? NO! they screamed.

But it’s okay if it all goes their way.

Especially considering: Jesus was a Jew. He established a Jewish church through St. Peter. Jesus, his mother, his apostles, and his followers for centuries celebrated Hanukkah. Not Christmas. Not even under St. Paul.

It makes no sense to me as an American not to give other people the rights that I have. And it makes no sense to me to yell at other people that their holiday isn’t as good as mine. Especially when I’m yelling at some of the people that would include Jesus himself.

So I treat them like I’d to be treated: with respect. If it was good enough for Ben Franklin and his cronies, and good enough for Jesus, well…. why not me.

After all, I still get a boatload of prejudice in my favor. It’s just giving .0000000001% equality. I still get the day off; the radio still sings CHRISTMAS! once every couple seconds at least… including the stores and every public area where a Happy Holidays banner may fly. I still get Hollywood making movies for me and not the other guys. No one has called Joseph McCarthy the ahole that he was by undoing the bigotry he committed by shoving his God down everyone’s throats.

It’s kind of like having a pile of presents and not allowing someone else with nothing to  have a piece of fruitcake.

So I don’t see wishing all holidays a good time as big thing to give. I can certainly spare that little bit of bigotry. I’d even be willing to go for more.

Interesting horoscope

Of course, this could fit anyone!

Pay closer attention to your dreams — both the kind your subconscious cooks up while you sleep, and the kind your conscious mind creates as part of your life goals. They may seem like fanciful ideas that express your innermost hopes, but they can also be a real roadmap to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. Get with a friend and compare dream stories. They may help you identify patterns that could shed a lot of light on your life.

I would love for someone to shed light on my dreams, the ones I have while I’m asleep, but frankly, they’re pretty scary.

Growing Old with Dogs – a wonderful poem

Grow Old With Dogs

When I am old…
I will wear soft gray sweatshirts…
and a bandanna over my silver hair…..
and I will spend my social security checks on wine
and my dogs.
I will sit in my house on my well-worn chair and listen
to my dogs’ breathing.
I will sneak out in the middle of a warm summer night
and take my dogs for a run, if my old bones will allow…
When people come to call,
I will smile and nod as I show them my dogs…
and talk of them and about them…
…the ones so beloved of the past
and the ones so beloved of today….

I will still work hard cleaning after them, mopping
and feeding them and whispering their names in a
soft loving way.
I will wear the gleaming sweat on my throat, like a
jewel and I will be an embarrassment to all…
especially my family…
who have not yet found the peace
in being free to have dogs as your best friends….

These friends who always wait, at any hour, for your footfall…
and eagerly jump to their feet out of a sound sleep, to
greet you as if you are a god.
With warm eyes full of adoring love and hope that you
will always stay,
I’ll hug their big strong necks…
I’ll kiss their dear sweet heads…
and whisper in their very special company….

I look in the Mirror…
and see I am getting old….
this is the kind of person I am…
and have always been.
Loving dogs is easy,
they are part of me.
Please accept me for who I am.
My dogs appreciate my presence in their lives…
they love my presence in their lives……
When I am old this will be important to me…
you will understand when you are old….
if you have dogs to love too.

~Author Unknown

Kwanzaa and resolutions

I took what I learned about Kwanzaa in Epcot last year, and used it as a guide for making this year’s resolutions. Who am I as an individual? Who am I as a member of a family? and Who am I as a member of a community and a society?

So to be a better individual:

  • Stop being so lazy!
    • Eat right again and get back to exercising! Not doing this not only endangers my health, it affects my spirit.
    • Get back to that great writing schedule I used to do! Writing makes me feel better, and while I’m not a great talent, I can do something with it. Not acting on our gifts, as so many have said, is a slap in the face to Nature or the god who gave them to me.
  • Get rid of the clutter! I’m a packrat, and there’s advantages to not throwing everything out, but a lot of it can go!
  • Know when to say something – holding things in can wreck me inside, it can hurt people by not being there for them, and because some things need to be said. But also learn when NOT to say something, because either people are close minded and won’t listen anyway, or I will hurt someone, or it’s not the battle to be fought, at least not in that way. And learn how to say it, not just that it has to be said.
  • Continue educating myself like I did this year with history, religion, writing skills, and job skills.
  • Stop being so selfish and self-centered.
  • Stop whining.
  • OK, I hate my job. But I can’t let that affect my work. If nothing else, CYA and don’t give people ammunition to attack me.

To be a better member of a family:

  • Keep learning how to communicate with John. Keep going out on dates. Keep that wedding vow of supporting him as an individual and being there for him when he’s low. As the couple celebrating their 50th anniversary just told us at Disney, no matter who else is in the picture — kids, in-laws, friends, and society — it’s the two of us together. Make real time for just us, for romance, fun, and laughter, for being best friends and equal partners…. or it’s not a marriage.
  • We keep making the same mistakes every year with things like money. It’s time I stop that pattern in myself!
  • As for the rest of my family:
    • be there more for them, even when it’s hard for me, because it means a lot. Ask them to go out and call just to say hi.
    • Accept that Mom won’t call me unless she needs something. It’s just her; she doesn’t mean it to hurt.
    • Accept that I’m low on the totem pole because I don’t have kids, and that nothing I will do will change that for many people in my family. It’s their loss, not mine, but I can’t be a poorer family member because of it.
    • If it comes up, don’t let my family push me around with their chips on their shoulders, their manipulations, anger and guilt. I have to be a better family member, but not a weak one.
  • As for the furballs…. I already made the pledge this year to make their lives as great as possible. I will no regrets this time about what I could have done, the time I could have spent, when it’s time to say goodbye. The little boogers sleep in a king sized bed; they get to go to Disney World, the beach, and strut their stuff in places like Animal Kingdom, Smithville, and Cape May’s outdoor mall. My one friend said if she dies young, she wants to come back as one of my dogs.

As a member of a community:

  • Being a piece in the mediocrity does not excuse wearing blinders. I got to know what’s really going on and make a difference! Keep getting the facts, keep calling my government and speaking out, keep getting involved! A phone call or an email only take a couple minutes! Remember the people I have met who have busier lives than 10 people combined, but they always worked in time to learn the facts and make a difference. So can I.
  • Get more involved with being a volunteer at the animal shelters. I did only the minimum this year.
  • I can help a hungry family by adding those slips at the checkout line; it costs me less than a lunch out. Like Harry Chapin said: it’s great that I contribute to food boxes at Thanksgiving, but what are those people eating the other 51 weeks of the year?
  • I can give blood at least 4 times a year if I keep up with making appointments. This year, I only did it 3 times because I got sloppy with scheduling donations and my eating habits. That one lost appointment meant 3 lives! [Updated: I’m wrong, I can give 6 times a year – every 56 days.  So I screwed up even more lives than I thought.]

In summary: People are born to be something of meaning and given tools to do that. It’s time I stop doing nothing other than the day to day grind, and it’s time to stop complaining about things in myself and around me and do something about them. A little thing affects everything. If I got things together for Goodwill or Veterans, I remove clutter in my life and improve my well being. That makes John happier too, living with a happy spouse and a better home environment — not to mention helping our taxes! In turn, someone in need gets the sweater they need or a fun thing to put a smile on their face.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It’s building to be a wonderful Christmastime!

On Wednesday night, the local high school band surprised our neighborhood with a small parade complete with Santa! We all came out of our houses to thank them and applaud.

On Thursday, John came up for lunch and brought the dogs.  It really picked up my day and a lot of my co-workers said the same.

Thursday night, I did a little shopping, picking up a few gifts for John.  Traffic was a bear, but I enjoyed being in the stores.  I was in Borders and an animal shelter was wrapping gifts for free.  I didn’t have anything for them to wrap, but I gave them a donation anyway.

I also got all the trouble with work figured out; in the end, the managers told me I did a good job, so it turned around to be a good thing for me.

Today, they surprised us by announcing they’re closing the office for New Year’s Eve!  Now I don’t have to go in for the day!  UPS is closed, so we couldn’t ship on orders.  Our CEO didn’t want to go back on our guarantee to ship within 24 hours, so we get the day off!  Thanks, UPS!

I went to lunch with Sandy and the whole day was people laughing and enjoying themselves.  On Sunday, Becky and Sophia are coming over.

I can feel Christmas so strongly.  I’m dying to go somewhere like Smithville to see lights and decorations!

It’s going to be a wonderful Christmas time!

May you have Peace and Love for every holiday you celebrate!  From our home to yours.

John, me, and Cathi at the Christmas party

We’re back!

I caught a cold from switching from warm weather to cold and rain.  And I’m in trouble at work.

So glad to back. 😉