Sunday, November 9, 2014

Faith and Logic; Can You Have Both? A Rhetorical Question for Discussion

A friend of mine, Aleksandr, who is from Russia, and helps train our troops in hand to hand combat and such, is a highly spiritual person, being at peace with his inner self, and is also a feminist.  He holds women in high regard, and believes women should be considered a higher species than men.  Of course, much of what we find in our religious books are very contradictory to what is stated in the Bible.  Because often, it is stated in the Bible of slavery, rape, mass murder, and so many instances of racism and sexism, that it's basically turned him off to religion.  Often, more intelligent people are less likely to believe in a creator, but, that doesn't mean all people who believe are uneducated.  Aleksandr has proposed many a listing as to why religion is bad, and I'm trying to let him know that it's not as bad as he thinks, without diminishing the fact that yes, there are very terrible things that have been written in the Bible.

So, how do we broach this type of subject?  If we accept some things but not others, we are accused of cherry picking.  If we say that some misinterpreted what was, it loses credibility as a document.  But, I do say that there are ways to figure out what may or may not actually be. 

I'll start with this example, which has nothing to do with faith, religion or the Bible.  But, it's a relative story that happened in real life.  I was a sophomore or junior in high school, when I was in a sociology class, and it was covering the different cultures of the different countries and continents.  Even though the newest copyright date was from 1971 or something like that, and this was the mid 1980's, I didn't put too much stake in it while learning about some of the third world countries and primitive cultures.  But, we came upon the section for Japan, and what do we see?  It depicts how the women all wear kimonos, have their hair up in a bun, with white powdered make up on their faces, and this was being taught as being the current culture...  Okay.  Um, I was born there in 69 (yes, I'm dating myself), and was there until I was 8.  Well, unless it was some kind of festival, no one wore kimonos on a daily basis, and I have no recollection of people wearing make up to lighten their skin.  I'd also went back to visit in 85, when I was 16 for 5 weeks.  So, I'd raised my hand saying that the book was old, and the teacher actually got mad, saying this is they way it is there in Japan, now.  And since that's the way it is in the book, that is the way it is.  I'd said I was just there, and I explained that is what I observed, I was told to stop being insubordinate or to get out of the class...  Maybe I should have walked out.  But, the teacher would sit there and misgrade my tests and such, and some of my correct answers were marked wrong, and when I'd point it out, he'd say something about being appreciative that I didn't get a worse grade...

Anyway, back to the topic...  I don't think that the Bible is an all or nothing type situation.  I actually understand where the turn offs are, with many of the situations.  But, lets face it.  Back in the Genesis times, written word was not "invented" yet.  The stories were passed down from generation to generation, and like the game of telephone, and the more people you have, the more it gets messed up, these stories, too, could have been turned around in retelling the stories of ancient times.  While not everything got twisted or lost in translation, the way it translates into other languages can have an impact on it too, as we come close to modern times.  I'm not saying it's bad, but, it's one of these things that certain languages are still more restricting than others.  How can we say what was changed?  Let's have a look...

As we read in one story of Genesis, the first day, God created heaven and earth.  The second day, created day and night.  The third day, He separated the land and water, and had the vegetation grow, both for beauty and for food.  The forth day, was creating day/night lights as well as seasonsThe fifth day came underwater creatures and, of course, land & other above water creatures.  See the pattern?  God made heaven/earth, day/night, land/water, sea creatures/land creatures.  And these were to multiply and populate the earth.  Even fruit trees need a pair, to cross pollinate.  With corn, you have to have male rows and female rows to have good & tasty corn cobs to grow correctly.  It's not just the animals that come with a male/female counterparts to ensure reproduction for future population.  Sure, it's the survival of the fittest, because seeds that are planted in the shade will not grow as well as those which are in full sun, if sun is what they need.  A plant requiring shade will not grow correctly in full sun.  But then, on the sixth day, God created man.  What, and all of a sudden, Adam cries to God "Hey, yo' big daddy!  Where's MY mate?  How do I populate?  Huh?  I'm kind of lonely down here as the only human!"  Uh, oh.  So God says, "Quick, Adam, lay down and go to sleep on the dirt....  I'm going to play Santa Clause, and when you wake up, he-he.  You will like this one."  Excuse me?  I think we can logically say, that it's more like the sixth day, God created man and woman in his own image.  No, not man in God's image, then woman from Adam.  By saying that God made Adam, then Eve from Adam, you can't say that both were made in His image, when one was His direct creation, and the other was an altered copy of the first.  It makes more logical sense, that mankind were made together, male and female, in His own image.

Thing is, God also gave his peeps dominion over the earth, and all of the critters.  This does NOT mean that God gives us permission to rape our planet of all Her resources and wreak havoc.  The other animals, including the coral reef is also a fellow creations of God as well.  This is why I don't understand those who think that it's okay to sacrifice nature for jobs, while species go extinct with the disappearing natural habitats.  To me, it's a great disrespect.  If God is Father Time, his Goddess wife is Mother Nature, wound up in one being as supreme.  No, I am not being rude.  I really think that there are many aspects of God who most consider male, not only has female characteristic as well, but, is also partly hermaphrodite, as well as some in between transition as well.  It only makes sense, if God is a single being, that She could actually  create life while organizing temperature zones and all of it together.  In studying Genesis chapters 1 & 2, you will see that one does state that God created man and woman in His image.  Which means, there is equality in this act, not a favoritism to one gender or the other.  To say that Eve came from Adam would be kind of like Adam being Eve's biological father, as opposed to a mate.  This is why neither of them had belly buttons.  Logic.  And faith.

There is more confusion with the gender roles in the Bible.  In Ephesians 5:23 - For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  I never quite understood that.  I'm not sure if anyone can explain it to me satisfactorily.  This gives the impression that husbands are on higher ground with God than wives.  Even without full knowledge of understanding, it also contradicts with this verse of Galatians 3:28 - There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  Here we go with the equality again, and how sexism and racism is wrong, that we are ALL the children of God.  Since Goddess created us equal, even with our differences, it makes sense that Jesus would also have all of us equal under Him.  It doesn't make any sense to me, with all of these verses that wives should submit to her husband, and that the husband should honor his wife.  How do you honor a subservient?  Yes I realize that respect comes in many terms, but, if women are supposed to be submissive toward men, what, so the eldest daughter has to be rated underneath her younger brother, because he's the head of household if the dad dies?  Um, excuse me, but, as a mother, my kid isn't bossing me around, better pack a lunch.  A God who created men and women equally in Her image, this description just makes no sense, what so ever. 

While it is true, that the original sin was committed by both, and it seems if only humans are ones that say that Eve was the first offender, even though God punished Adam and the sons of Adam.  Women have pregnancy/birthing issues, and man was supposed to toil the earth.  Even in this day and age, and no, we're not just talking about 2000 years since Christ, this is going back to the beginning of time, that men were supposed to toil.  to honor his wife properly, he is supposed to be able to be a good husband and with their children, a good father.  The pay rate to this day reflects that, and is also why when couples split, that the kids usually go to the mother, since the mothers are more nurturing.  I tell my son that he should not pay any close attention to a girl that he can't consider worthy of being the mother of his children.  But, for some reason, though, there seems to be a huge disrespect to what is considered "woman's work".  My ex used to try to say that the difficulty level of his job when working at a church was double of what my difficulty level working 24-32 hours a week as an aide with developmentally disabled adults, on top of which, my son was only 3, and I would come home to ensure that he got clean clothes for preschool, etc.  Run the household errands, start supper, make appointments, take him to the appointments, keep up with laundry, house keeping, etc...  By the time I was actually done with the week, I had probably worked about 75 hours to his 40, and I STILL wasn't done.  Thing is, I'd help him at his job, too, just to have him complain that I didn't get to the house work that got missed because I'm doing everything else.  So, this is another one of those things where it doesn't make sense, because how do you explain Ruth, in the Bible?  She was not only a faithful, but, initiated the intimacy and subsequent marriage proposal, to which the wealthy land owner gave his promise to do his best to take care of her properly.  She wasn't considered a gold digger, either.  She was a role model of a woman in the Bible.  So, does this sound like a submissive woman to you?  Not to me. 

Then there is Rebekkah, who was ambitious, kind of a go getter, and even was deceitful in certain situations, and gave Jacob the blessing needed to inherit his father's estate.  This goes to show that women were still considered people, too, and that a good mother understands her children, to know who should be in charge.  It doesn't matter that the traditional roles were that women were beneath their men.  The contradiction is, there are women who are in leadership positions, such as Deborah, the Judge; Esther, the girl who became Queen; and of course Mary Magdalene, the right hand woman of Jesus, who held the fort down in the home front, even with the disciples, when Jesus traveled without his peeps.  Here is a link, with other notable women in the Bible, and there are more than you think.  http://www.womeninthebible.net/  Here is another link about Mary Magdalene, and she isn't the prostitute that many have led you to believe.  It's truly even more sad, that people want to say that this woman was a prostitute, when it was probably another Mary.  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/who-was-mary-magdalene-119565482/?no-ist

I find it pretty sad, that even today, rather than focusing on the positive role that women have, not just in a domestic way, but also as workers, diplomats, and so much more.  Or, maybe the fact that in my days in Japan, there were a LOT of people who were Shinto, which has obvious differences, yet uncanny similarities with the Native American spirituality.  In Shintoism, Kami is a sacred or divine beings, more like a spiritual essence, is one of the main monuments of the faith.  It's a belief that Kami doesn't just exist as spiritual beings, but also exists in nature as well, in the trees, natural regions, and more.  The balance of life is another key, where we must all endure in the greater circle.  Of course the Native Americans have many beliefs about celebrating the #4, and no, this has NOTHING to do with Brett Favre.  It has to do with the fact that there are: 1) 4 seasons  2) 4 directions 3) 4 elements and 4) 4 races.  For every tree they cut down for their own use, they plant 2.  It's all a part of the greater circle, and being one with the world they live in.  I'd spent a little bit of time on a reservation, and while I did learn a lot, I don't know even more.  But, it's all a part of my learning, and some of the teachings have entered into my belief system.  I find it peaceful that I can associate with peoples who give back to the earth what we borrow during our lifetimes, to try to keep the circle continuing safely, so we don't ruin the planet for future generations. 

We can't keep taking and taking and just brush it off that the "earth will fix it's self" mentality.  Especially with Christianity, with so many things that can be interpreted differently, which can be a discussion point in the comments, or maybe even a whole 'nother blog...  I've questioned, got some answers, questioned more, and some of it flat out doesn't make sense.  So, yes, I get it that in many parts, that the Bible talks about women being subservient to men, and the wars to take over the women and children, and take slaves, etc....  If God created us equal, I don't understand why rape would be considered, and yes, instances in there about how a man had visitors, and didn't know they were angels...  The men of the community wanted "to know" the visitors, to which the man offered up his daughters...  Um, so, the excuse is, at least the man didn't allow the townsmen to sex up the angels...  Um, excuse me, but, the angels have the wrath of God.  And what is worse, is, because to this father, these were just strangers, that being hospitable to strangers is more important than your own daughters' purity?  A God who loves all of his children is going to allow for a human parent to allow for their own children to be assaulted because treating strangers well is more important?  No wonder it seems if our culture world wide are considered property than as humans, and then that assaulting female children and adults is an okay thing, and that some men are even entitled...  A loving God would insist on good nature, as a person, as a species.  We can't have dominion over the earth and the creatures living on it if we can't have dominion over ourselves.  So, here is what I think.  The parts that points to the ugly aspects of faith was probably written or told by those with power/control issues, and trying to boost themselves up onto God's level.  The true words are the ones where equity and other progressive ideas were being pushed, as to move the whole society toward a better tomorrow.

So anyway...  aside from whether or not we believe or don't believe in a God, Goddess, Supreme Being, Creator, etc.  The cycle of life continues, and, just like how Mufasa told Symba, “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance, and respect all the creatures from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope." then something along the line of - lions may eat the antelope, but when lions die, we become the grass that the antelope eat.  Simplistic, but, very true.

May the force be with you.  Live long and prosper.  Peace out.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Morning Madness: Blogophilia 33.7

Don't want to get out of bed...
Don't want to go to work today...
Morning madness paints me blue...
And I'd rather sleep the day away!

https://www.facebook.com/notes/marvin-martian/blogophilia-week-337-morning-madness/804121179609101

(Hard, 2 points) Use a line from a Robert Frost poem
(Easy, 1 point) Include the name of three cities

Sometimes, I can fly out of bed, and other times, especially when there is that cold nip in the air, I sleep so good, I don't want to crawl out of the covers.  But of course, every day, is the rush of get up, slam the orange juice, drink the coffee, go to work, run an errand or two, eat lunch, go to another job, and there goes the day of a home care worker.  It's not easy on the schedule, because you don't go to a full shift, you go into people's homes for short periods of time...  and because of it, it's hard to get house work done, etc...  Then there is the job search...  That is also hectic, and is wearing.  It's good to know that the end of the road is near.

So, morning is the most hectic, with not much less during the day.  As much as I would like to sleep the day away, I can't, not even on a day off...  I am a go getter, and that always trumps my sensibilities to want to stay warm under the blankets...  but of course, morning madness has to carry over, even on days there is no rush, and to have to go here, there, everywhere, it's like rush hour, in three cities like Boston, Springfield, and Providence.  I'd love to visit them, because of the American history that has been built there....

In the rush, we often let time get away from us.  Sometimes, I think with more modern conveniences, that we get busier and busier, even though all of these different things that are supposed to make life easier.  I've always liked this poem by Robert Frost....

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963
Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. 
It's not that we don't celebrate life.  I like this poem, because it shows how we are all awed by newness, such as babies, kittens, puppies, lion cubs, etc.  Our children don't stay little very long.  And even if babyhood doesn't last long, it's fun to watch our babies turn into preschoolers, and their little personalities are so darn cute, too.  then, they become teenagers.  Life sometimes causes us to lose people and things that bring us grief.  We get older.  Youth escapes us, after wanting to grow up so fast...  Yet, with every generation, we repeat the newness, and with each baby born, human or otherwise, we get new 'gold', nature's way, and with hope, will be a better day with each day, year, and generation.  Carpe Diem!  Go capture the day!







Topic - Trevor
Bonus points - Christopher and Dave Nissemech
Picture - jay
Word/Phrase - 1) wash away time  2) time slips into the future  3) So much ocean, not enough time to swim  4) Drowning in time  5) time flies  6) bird flew over the cuckoo's nest

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Food Share & Job Training: An Economic Rant of an Advocate...

Some point in the last week or so, there was an article in my local news paper about the fact that a good solid economic location also has to have a solid manufacturing going on, and how the local manufacturing businesses are stating that there is a lag in skilled labor vs. the positions open, and how the local technical college is taking in those who qualify for these positions are able to get grants, and how they are starting to host an apprenticeship for young people to get hands on training for these manufacturing jobs.  Even if there is a lag, at least it is being addressed as we speak, which is good for the long term effects of meeting those requirements.

Even though through the Wisconsin Works (W2) has been in effect for several years now, it has gotten a little bit tighter since we've gotten a Republican Governor and a republican majority in the State Assembly.  The original W2 plan was to get people who are on assistance to either work (even if it is only part time) to earn their benefits such as child care, Medicaid, food stamps, etc, or, if not employed, to apply for positions that they are qualified for, to be able to receive their benefits.  This was to try to curb the fraud on who are applying for jobs, for example, a high school drop out who is unemployed and the only experience is working at a gas station would not be qualified to apply as a store manager at a department store.  This way, they are applying for positions they actually have a chance at getting hired for, rather than purposefully applying above their heads, just to not even land an interview.

Now, with the tighter rules, there are other rules in place, that, even if the only benefit you are getting is Food Share, and if you do not have any minor children, you must participate in this FSET program, which is Food Share Employment & Training program, sponsored by ResCare (respect and care) Workforce Services who are "assisting people to reach their highest level of independence.  Of course if you are a senior citizen 65 years of age or older, or officially disabled, you are exempt from going for the jobs.  This is something for the 18-64 year old able bodied adults.

This program is to provide food share participants the assistance and support they need to obtain competitive employment.  FSET is supposed to "draw on the strengths, needs, and preferences of the ob seeker to provide services that result in successful & competitive employment, while promoting economic self sufficiency".
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What are the benefits of the program?
*  Employment:  FSET Case manager will help set goals, (short and long term) to help you gain full time employment.
*  Training:  online, in person, or at the worksite
     *  ResCare Academy has over 300 classes online.  Each person will receive a login and password.  Classes can be taken at any computer the participant has access to with internet.
*  Supportive Services:  overcome barriers such as child care needs and transportation
*  Education:  get your GED, Vocational Training, or earn certificates needed for job placement

FSET Enrollment
Enrollment in the Food Share Employment & Training  FORWARD Program is simple.  You must first be enrolled in the FoodShare program.

If you currently receive Food Share benefits, FSET enrollment is quick and easy.  Contact us and we will get you started!
As for a referral to the FSET program by calling:
     Racine & Kenosha Counties - 1-888-794-5820
     Walworth County - 1-888-446-1239

Foodshare Enrollment
If you are not receiving Food Share, but, think you might be eligible due to low income or unemployment, give us a call.

There are 4 ways to apply for Food Share in Wisconin.  Two of the easiest and quickest ways are:
     1)  You can find out if you are eligible by logging online at www.access.wisconsin.gov
     2)  You may talk to someone about eligibility and enrolling by calling:
          Racine & Kenosha Counties - 1-888-794-5820
          Walworth County - 1-888-446-1239

You can also apply in person or by mail.  The phone numbers listed above can be used to find out more information about these application options.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, mind you, I get it.  Wisconsin's economy is still very shaky.  The S.E. Wisconsin area that includes Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Walworth are doing exceptionally poor in the jobs and economics department.  Many skilled jobs, such as machinists, welders, CNC operators, heavy equipment operators, etc are listed in the jobs section, and most of us are not qualified without the training which could be from school or by apprenticeships. 

There also many positions for CNA's in the jobs section, to do personal care work, both at nursing homes, group homes and home care agencies.  Some of these positions will hire personal care workers, who have experience but not the certification, and may help you get certified.  Here again, you need the certification or the experience.  In this case, there are programs available through your local Workforce Development Center to get into the health care field, whether it is as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Health Unit Coordinator (HUC), Surgical Technician, Medical Assistant (CMA), medical IT personnel, and a couple more.  Obviously, the IT people have the highest pay rate, and the rest have better earning potential than a CNA, even if it is just a little bit.

But, it seems as if this training that is offered in conjunction with the food stamp program has a wider option of help to propel people into the workforce aside from the two programs mentioned above.  This could be good news.  So, I called the number.  I am not required to participate in the program, even though yes, I do receive food stamps, probably because I do have a minor child who needs help with school issues.  Or, it could be because I went through the program in health care to get my health unit coordinator diploma, and subsequently got certified, yet it doesn't seem as if I am able to find a position, despite applying for about 175 positions as a CNA, HUC/CNA, and HUC positions in every facility in the Kenosha County, Racine County, and Milwaukee County areas.  Yes, the county areas, also.  Not just what is located in the city proper areas.  I've also probably put in an additional 50 or so resumes as a receptionist for doctor/clinic offices, optical offices, dental offices, medical supply places, as well as others, which have nothing to do with health care, but, I am not leaving anything remotely possible undone.

I actually agree with having people go through the program to try to find better job positions.  There are plenty of homeless people who would think it was super duper cool to have just a couple dollars to go buy themselves an ice cream.  Even in the case of a married couple, minor children or not, if both are physically and mentally able, one of them ought to be able to go for a job that is better than their current position.  Of course, it's different when the couple have children, and say, one of the adults/parents are disabled, so that leaves one parent to care for the children and their spouse, that it is better to allow for them to be home, or risk having to pay out more money for hired staff.  it's just economically more sound.

On the other hand, I have met plenty of people who try to use every excuse under the sun to not want to improve upon their situation.  They think because they are doing this or that, and because it's too hard to show up at certain times and places, or that they refuse to learn a different or new skill, or that they think they should be able to meander along and still get benefits.  What some people call trying, is only half ass, and here comes every excuse on the planet as to why they can't even try for any of these opportunities.  I say this, because I've had people ask me for job referrals or for what ever item or tidbit to make their lives easier or better, yet they find a way to waste it away by not applying, or bringing politics into their imploring letters for a job.  Some of these open positions require certain skills that are not physically demanding, but, requires other learning to be able to be qualified.  So.  Don't tell me you want an office job when you don't know how to use a computer well enough to use Microsoft office, or type relatively well.  The Workforce Development Center is available to help you learn these new skills.  They offer various classes throughout the month, every month, and if you're not an 8am person, go to the 1pm class.  Convenient?  Sometimes.  Not always.  But, do you want to live out your life, not knowing day to day if you're going to be able to make ends meet?  If you love yourself enough, respect yourself enough, know that you're deserving enough...  you will find a way to make it happen to get into these classes to update your resume, take what ever class it takes to learn or clean up your skills, and go for it.  That job isn't just going to fall in your lap by itself.  You have to go get it.  So when someone shows you a door to open, go knock on it.

Of course, there are times when some people like being in their situations...  Because they can come and go at will, and because they don't have family to have to worry for, they choose to be bachelors or homeless or what have you.  I don't get it, but, these people aren't complaining.  It is those who seem to do nothing but complain about their situations, when there are options to help them.  They are hard up, but, they don't do as much to get up on their own to get things done.  Yes, I realize that not everyone has the same level of gumption.  I discovered advocacy in college, and, I not only enjoyed it, but found I had a knack for it.  I also discovered that yes, I need to be my own advocate as well.  When I get into advocacy mode, there are many who wonder how I keep it up.  But, as I said, I have a knack...  It's like a musician who works hard busting their chops, and as thankless as it may be, when it's show time, they shine like the star they are...  Sometimes it would be nice to borrow some of that energy, but, hey, you gotta find your own energetic place, and use that as fuel to boost yourself.

Thing is, I totally understand that the situation is ridiculously difficult, because everything costs money.  But, this FSET program is willing to give you a bus pass or a gas card to go do what you need to do to get your job.  But, remember, you have to go get it.  It won't be easy, because it seems that those of us who are willing to bust a move get punished for our efforts.  In the month of July, I took extra hours, and some of them were on the 4th.  Based on that month only, they yanked $150 off of my food stamps, which hurt, because I never make that much, and that was just to try to get ahead...  When I reported my new income, rather than go by August, they averaged it, and only gave back $38 in the food stamps...  Now that I lost a client, my hours are almost nothing, even with reporting, the change won't come to help until November, though I'll be short of cash in October...  Mind you, after 11 years as a CNA, and being in my 40's and not getting any younger, it's not easy to keep up with doing aid work these days.  But, I have to remain determined and set a good example for my son, not to give up, even if the odds are stacked against me.

This is why I decided to volunteer to opt in on this education thing.  I'll go to the meeting, and find out what is in store, before I commit to the program and make it a requirement.  But, I'm holding out hope that something good will come out of this.  I worked through my education process when I went for my CNA course as well as my HUC training, all while I still advocated for our abused children every little chance I could...  AND managed to spend one on one time with my son, AND with my hubby, along with getting family time in there, also.  Budget your time, draw a line where you have to, and reach for your goals, because there is no fairy God mother to wave her wand to give it all to you.  Life isn't always fair, and getting welfare doesn't always give you the hand up that you need, because sometimes it seems as if you are punished for being a go getter, and that puts more hurdles for us to overcome.  Find a way to get over that hump, even if it means taking  detour to go around it, crawl under it, or tunnel through it, or what ever you have to do.  No one else is going to do it for you.  Push ahead, full speed.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Mist of time: Blogophilia 32.7

Open your eyes to the beauties of fall,
Jeweled colors sparkling and sublime.
Pen poised in hand, you heed the call
As your words unveil the mist of time.

WELCOME ONE AND ALL!!!! Autumn is officially here and it is your favorite time of the week -- time to share your thoughts, feelings, poems and stories with us! :)
https://www.facebook.com/notes/marvin-martian/blogophilia-327-the-mist-of-time/797904460230773

(Hard, 2 points) Integrate a line from the poet Christina Rosetti
(Easy, 1 point) Incorporate a classical music composer

With fall here, and temps mild, we are grateful for sunny days, even with the days winding shorter... 
Dreary days remind us of the mist of time, where we know we do not always have tomorrow.

So much to do, and as busy as we are, there are those Mozarts out there yearning to break out of their shell with the great works that lies within them.
Yet with chores to be done, work to be paid, searching for better positions, children who need us...  Dreams are not for the struggling practical.

"Can anything be sadder than work unfinished?  Yes, work never begun."  Sad.  Yes, very sad.
Many of whom wish to improve upon themselves, who never get the chance, and like the mist that turns to frost, dreams die.

But, there is hope.  A splash of color in the dankness of the mist.  Not always easy to see, but, it's there, bright eyed with bells on the toes.


A heart of roses, swelling for you...A heart of roses, swelling for you...


Here we are, with a glowing heart, that tomorrow always brings a new chance, no matter how small...
That splash of red, when everything else is drab, don't forget, these flowers smell good, as well as that morning coffee, freshly brewed.

I enjoy sitting on my front porch, with my coffee, in just about any weather, because even if I'm not planning on going anywhere, fresh air is always good.

Topic:  Barbara K
Bonus points:  Doris and D Ana
Picture:  Jessica
Word/Phrase:  1) A heart of rose  2) My heart bleeds  3) Roses are Red  4) Red rose for love  5) Rose candle light  6) My heart is locked  7) I bleed for you  8) Raindrops on roses  9) Brand new lover  10) old flame  11) My heart goes bang  12) Heart murmur  13) Every rose has it's thorn

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lifted Up: Blogophilia 31.7

Summer wanes, autumn draws near 
Drown your sorrow, spread some cheer
Take the challenge, do not fear -
Read our topics; right now, right here!
(NOTE: If you are in the southern hemisphere of this big blue marble; please change the words 'summer and autumn' to 'winter and spring'!)

WELCOME ONE AND ALL!!!! Hope you are all enjoying the last few weeks of summer!  Now it's your favorite time of the week -- time to share your thoughts, feelings, poems and stories with us! :)
https://www.facebook.com/notes/marvin-martian/blogophilia-317-lifted-up/797943953560157

(Hard, 2 points) Include the title of a Benny Goodman song
(Easy, 1 point) Mention corn and apples in your blog

Usually, I am most lifted up as spring comes to a close, although my favorite smells are contained in spring.  But, my favorite activities are in summer, so, it's kind of a strange thing, because I love my fresh corn on the cob, which for us is August and into September...  Then again, with fall, the apples are in full swing, and who doesn't like apples?  They're great in a Waldorf salad, with leafy green lettuce - walnuts - apple chunks topped with a little salad dressing, though mayonnaise works well, too.  And of course, my very own apple pie, from my Grandma's recipe box.  It's awesome.

Speaking of awesome, an autumn walk in the ever changing colors of the trees, who wouldn't want to skip around and Sing Sing Sing With a Swing with Benny Goodman, toward such a great looking place like this?



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Jn9_Ci12tQhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Jn9_Ci12tQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Jn9_Ci12tQ


So goes the seasons....  Another year passes, and soon, it will be spring, again...  It's too bad I'm no longer a spring chicken....

Topic:  Bettie
Bonus Points:  Doris & Trevor
Picture:  Nina
Word/Phrase:  1) Land of Oz  2) Yellow Brick Road  3) Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore....  4) If I only had a brain/heart/courage/home  5) Munchkins  6) Are you eating my apples?  7) Poppies...  8) Magical Kingdom  9) Ruby Slippers  10) Scare Crow  11) Tin Man  12) Cowardly Lion  13) Dorothy  14) Wicked Witch  15) Glenda  16) Tornado  17) Falling house  18) Life Journey  19) There's no place like home  20) The Wizard

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In My Wildest Dreams... A rand by a child advocate: Blogophilia 30.7

Time to wake up, it's a brand new day -
Time is flying away too fast, it seems!
Come share your thoughts and feelings -
You can even share your wildest dreams!

Good Sunday morning, Earthlings!  WELCOME ONE AND ALL!!!! Hope you are all enjoying the last few weeks of summer!  Now it's your favorite time of the week -- time to share your thoughts, feelings, poems and stories with us! :)

https://www.facebook.com/notes/marvin-martian/blogophilia-week-307-in-my-wildest-dreams/791578400863379

(Hard, 2 points) Incorporate a Black Crowes lyric
(Easy, 1 point) Include the word 'butterflies'

In a world full of violence, turmoil, political factions, religious wars, ethnic persecutions, and poverty isn't just for the 3rd world countries, it is plagued here, in the United States.  The violence isn't just in the mass shootings of recent years.  Domestic violence and child abuse are both running strong and rampant.  Never, in my wildest dreams would I have even thunk that I would be needed to help press our law makers to try to stiffen up on these issues, especially for child sex abuse.  We must remember, that in times of trial, such as job loss, holidays, etc...  The abuse usually escalates, even if it is supposed to bring families together.

In the Black Crowes song, Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution, they say, "Open your eyes and see your solution".  Well, sorry, with only ONE other 501c4, a nonprofit to make social change to protect abused children, which is PROTECT by Rep. Debra Wasserman-Schultz, this means that no.  I am not a daughter of the revolution, I AM the revolution, and yes, my eyes are open, and I AM part of that solution with my own cause...  Often, I stand alone, but, it's something that I find is worthy, and I am unafraid.

My hopes is that with curbing the violence toward children, that these precious youth will come out of their cocoons that the abuse put them behind, and become the butterflies they are meant to be.  They can't do this alone, they must have support, protection, and a safe environment.  This means, regardless of what is popular or not popular, we do NOT return these children right back to the dangerous situation they've come from.  I have another organization that had opposed the April's Law for Wisconsin legislation because of the facts such as having a sympathetic perpetrator.  Or a child that does 'not behave'.  Or a single mother who relies on her parents to babysit her 10 year old daughter, who, consequently is molested by her grandfather, so that the single mother should not have to choose between her daughter and father.  Or a blended family where the older step brother sexually abuses the younger step sister, that the parent of the victim should not have to choose between the daughter and the spouse (the parent of the older son).  I call this 'bull crap thinking'.
1)  Quit feeling sorry for the perpetrators. 
2)  Stop blaming the child victims because they are insolent.
3)  Familial abuse is the worst in damaging the victim in every way...  Those who are supposed to protect the child that ends up abusing the child causes the worst type of emotional, psychological, and spiritual damage to the said child.

I say that we need to start listening to constituents and organizations that are in your district, not those who do not sit in legislator districts.  We also need to make sure that we have our priorities set.  It is easy to pretend that there is no issue.  It takes courage and strength to push through to ensure that we are doing the right thing.  Right is right, even if we are the only person doing it.  Wrong is still wrong, even if everyone else is doing it.  We need to protect our children, even if it means that we break up the family member who is guilty.  If a father of 4 with a stay at home wife taking care of the children commits a felony act of armed robbery and bodily injury, should we go easy on him because he has a family?  If he is willing to do this to strangers, what is he willing to do to his family?  I can guaranty that the family is probably being abused in some way, too.  So, if a single mom, who immerses her children in freezing water to punish them, should we keep the children there?

We recently had an article come up on facebook about a mother who used her "toy", to sodomize her 2 year old, stating that she only wanted him to "feel good", because her toy made her feel so good...  And here is a list of articles that show what light sentencing people get, and this is just here in Racine, WI...  Just think about how it is statewide or nationally....

Why We Need Harsher Sentencing!

Why do we need stiffer punishments?  In too many instances, we consider children to be "property" of their parent or legal guardian.  So, in instances where it is a family member or other trusted relative, all too often, the child is either returned into the same situation where they were sexually abused in the first place, or the perpetrator is given a light sentence.
Please refer to these articles, just in Racine, WI that deals with these light sentencing:
http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/mount-pleasant-man-gets-year-in-jail-for-child-sexual/article_e6d2aa50-f093-11e3-b5ad-001a4bcf887a.html

http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/johnson-to-serve-four-months-jail-pay-k/article_8c504e8a-eda9-11e3-88aa-0019bb2963f4.html

http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/man-ruled-incompetent-for-now-to-stand-trial-in-molestation/article_2c34cea2-da91-11e3-961e-0019bb2963f4.html

http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/waterford-man-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-girl-to-go-to/article_b5adb168-c16d-11e3-9bee-0019bb2963f4.html

http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/another-months-in-prison-for-man-convicted-again-in-sexual/article_99d48672-bfda-11e3-afa4-0019bb2963f4.html

http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/sexual-assault-charge-against-waterford-man-dismissed/article_6778bbe6-a9da-11e3-8da6-001a4bcf887a.html

http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/teen-given-probation-in-child-molestation-case/article_440ae916-5694-11e3-8f81-0019bb2963f4.html


Here is to all of our children who deserve to dance with the swans...




Swan RiverSwan River



Topic:  Irene
Bonus Points:  Deborah and Nissemech
Picture:  Kim
Word/Phrase:  1) Swan River  2) Trumpeter Swan  3) Swan ballet  4) Graceful  5) Swan River  6) Ballet  7) The Swan Princess  8) The dying swan  9) Mute Swans  10) Swan Song  11) Sweet Swan of Avon  12) Whooper Swan  13) morning mist

Thursday, September 11, 2014

When Cold Rain Falls: Blogophilia 29.7

You've been waiting with bated breath
For your favorite time of the week.
A new jacket holder, a new topic...
So come on over and take a peek!
 
Good Sunday morning, Earthlings!  We are now in the third week of the new season.  It's time to share your thoughts, poems and stories with us! :)

https://www.facebook.com/notes/marvin-martian/blogophilia-week-297-when-cold-rain-falls/789441734410379

Bonus Points:
(Hard, 2 points) Incorporate a Khalil Gibran quote or line
(Easy, 1 point) Include the phrase "color blind"

Fall is in the air, and the weather is getting cooler, which means the rain is also colder.  When cold rain falls, it seems to wash the changing leaves off of the trees, reminding us that the sweet kiss of wintery death is looming around the corner.  Don't get me wrong.  Being in Wisconsin, we have 4 seasons, and the freshly fallen snow on the trees are kind of an amazing sight.  But, last winter was cold and treacherous.  Last summer was stolen, with only 2 weeks of real summer broken up in chunks...  This summer, too, is going too fast, with not many nice days. 

My son is 14.  He will be 15 in March, but, I seriously don't know where the time went.  Being a mom is the best job I've ever had, and the struggles are not so bad, since I am lucky to have a relatively good kid.  But, Sir Khalil wisely says, "Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you."  Of course...  He must grow up and live his own life.  I can only guide him on his way.

On the same token, because ALL children are the suns and daughters of life, I am an advocate for reducing the gross abused of our children.  Because ALL children are precious, I must be "color blind" to ensure ALL children are kept safe.  It irks me when a child shows signs of being abused, and because some act out, they are blamed for their victimization or deserves it for "being bad".  Or how 6 year old little girls were "dressed provocatively" so the pedophile couldn't help it...  What doesn't help, is when you get commercials like these:
1) Here is what, about a 6 or 7 year old girl, whose poses and the open mouthed wink is way beyond her maturity, and here is this little girl, flirting with this older woman, as if she is some Guido at a bar...  At least she is fully clothed, but, she is way over sexualized, and we don't even recognize it here in this country, and we wonder why little girls get preyed upon by sex offenders?  Disgusting!  To me, it's not about will power over the donuts, there are better ways to push the healthier choices in food.  The video:  http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7kWQ/special-k-protein-cereal-doughnut-willpower
2) Here is a fiat commercial that starts off innocent enough, where two nicely dressed young men beep for their dates to come out.  The ladies come out, and it's almost comical about how because it takes so long for us to change, especially when dressed as the wedding party, that the ladies had to change in the car...  How they did it w/o ruining their hair, I'll never know...  The grotesque part of it is, toward the end, when the 4 leave, there is a boy, about 10ish, maybe?  That gets this knowing grin, as if he just scored big time...  This is still the age where boys think that kissing girls is gross, yet he acts like he's ready for a cigarette...  Again, oversexualizing the tween boy, and we wonder why the sex abuse against our male children, and even adults are on the rise...  NOT COOL!  The video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=351-Xr_LfH0

I've been accused of over reacting, and this is just the way these sex offenders want it...  I could go on, but, you get my point...


Waling the beatWaling the beat


Topic:  Irene
Bonus Points:  Trevor and Michael Todd
Picture:  Barbara
Word/Phrase:  1) Walking the beat  2) Girls' night out on the town  3) BFFs  4) Window Shopping  5) 5th Avenue  6) yellow brick road  7) Moving on  8) Moving out  9) Freedom!  10) Big dreams  11) Vacation girls  12) Maiden Voyage  13) Street Walkers  14) West side girls