Size Matters ~ It’s a Matter of Size

 – SIZE MATTERS                                 IS IT A MATTER OF SIZE? – 


A recent dream discussion led me down this path

I have this dream discussion often

The caricatures characters change

Then again, they really don’t

They are always me, myself, and I female

There are always wailing tears


When I met the man I was to marry – I was in my prime at a svelte size 12

(He rocked a 30″ waist with a rock hard shame on you chest and bulging      stop it arms)


When we married – I was an even svelter size 10

(He maintained his inches in all respects)


When we accidentally made the decision to get pregnant – I rocketed to a “Dayum! Do they even make clothes that big?” size Who Gives a Shit, I’m Pregnant

(Again, he maintained his inches and bulged in all the right places :shock: )


Post first born and Pre second born – I regained my pre-marriage svelteness at size 12 with only a slight shift in distribution

(Somewhere around here, he upsized to 32″ despite developing noassatol syndrome)


Post second born – Let’s just say, svelte was forever in the rearview.  I was proud to have achieved a 14 with zero qualms of how I looked cuzzzzzzzz I looked good and behaved like I believed it!

(This is 6 years in and he’s effortlessly sporting that 32″)

[These were the days of meeting him at the door in one of his t-shirts that went ‘just’ down to there, or one of his dress shirts buttoned ‘just’ up to there.  Ya know?]


Now…fast forward 25 years, 7 states, 16 or more, I’m too tired to count addresses, later – I’m coming in at a fluffier size 18 to his 34″ and questioning a severely intimacy challenged marriage of 30 years

A challenge to my desirability and to his commitment

A challenge we both decided we didn’t want to engage in anymore

A challenge we both walked away from; me leaving, him allowing me to

A challenge that was one stroke of the pen away from no longer being a challenge but a divorce


We each fought our demons

We each made the decision to try again

We each found our way back to the love that was always there but had been taken for granted

We each found our way back to loving each other in all ways and knowing we’d made the right decision

And. It. Was. Good.

Even though were I to have met him at the door in one of his t-shirts then, he’d have asked when I’d bought a new sports bra…we’d have laughed because

We. Were. Good.


Fast forward again…three years later, to the here and now the last place I want to or thought I’d be, again

This time in our lives when we’ve made big decisions to show each other that WE are what’s important

Decisions that took us off one road and put our feet on another, for all the right reasons or so I thought

Decisions that I see now, perhaps only delayed the inevitable


It hurts worse now…after the trying and the changes

It hurts worse now because what is there left to do besides try to become something I’m not, thin, but even if I was or could be again, I’d never trust him for loving that me and not this me

It hurts worse now because there is nothing in the way; nothing to blame…

But myself for becoming something he didn’t bargain for


The honest truth is…it’s harder to live with the fact that he says he loves you, shows you he does in lots of little ways, but can’t in the way he would if you were even close to who or what you used to be, or at least, not what you are today, which is a hefty bag size 20 who’s food intake is far less than the average 10 year old

It’s harder to live with knowing you’re loved so much that he can’t imagine living without you, yet can’t show you that he knows and sees you are still the woman he married somewhere in there under all that life the way you can see him as the man you married under the gray hair, age spots, saggy butt, and not too bulging arms because…

the outside only drew you in…it was the inside that knocked you out


I know we are no longer teenagers

I also know, this is the time we were both working toward and looking forward to

We grow in our lives and in our love

We change our minds and change our outlooks

We transcend some things and put up with others

We shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations

But we shouldn’t settle for less than we deserve need either


So…I find myself at a crossroad once again

I’ve found this way of living and loving leaves me feeling at a loss lost


Self Esteem – Self-esteem is what we think and feel and believe about ourselves

Self Worth – Self-worth is recognizing “I am greater than all of those things”


What does this mean to me?

Well…there’s no question that my self esteem has taken a huge hit through all of this.  As the esteem comes from those things that make us feel good about ourselves

Nothing about the last year adds shit to mine

So…that leaves my feelings of self worth

Self worth is a deep knowing of your worth.  An honest belief that you are valuable, worth loving, and necessary

This has very little, if anything, to do with your self esteem

Surprising to me, is that I KNOW my worth.  Through it all, for the first time ever maybe, I KNOW my self worth

I know I’m valuable – I know I’m lovable – I know I’m necessary

Which leaves me with this…I know I’m worthy of complete love, so why am I accepting less?


Is it really such a bad thing that I have all but become a hermit…not leaving the house unless I absolutely have to, because if someone who LOVES me sees me this way, how the hell does the rest of the world see me?

Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things that the best I can hope for is an “I love you” as he rolls over to go to sleep?

Am I over reacting when he reaches to hold my hand and I pull it away because my thoughts immediately go to “I don’t want to give you the impression that I’ll settle for that” so I’ll give you nothing instead?


The worst part is…

I love kissing hello and kissing goodbye

I have always loved walking hand in hand, knowing the hand I’m holding wants to hold mine and let the world know I’m his and he’s mine

But I find I no longer want to be offered those things, as I see them as a consollation prize to the big show

The worst part is…how fucked up is that?

The worst part is…I deny the simple things I truly love because I can’t have it all.

AND it confuses me

Am I crazy?

Am I, at 54, supposed to let all of that go?

Did I go through Menopause for this?

Should I be telling myself that all people our age are giving it up without a fight?

Should I be content with what I have and piss off what I don’t?  There’s nothing wrong with companionship if companionship is what you want.

Even though I take the blame because I’m not a size 10 or 12 anymore?


I don’t know

I. Just. Don’t. Know.


Sorry…this was a shit filled ass post

An exercise in self pity if there ever was one and yes, it’s disgusting

I didn’t have to write this here, but it’s my page so I did

I just want to know…why can’t I let it go?

I want to let it go

I want to

I want

Shit…how selfish is that?

No Comments Needed…I’ll figure it out.

xo

North and South

Growing up in the far northern climes of Vermont, summer could be summed up in one word, which, oddly enough, is the same word attributed to its winters, only for different reasons.

L O N G E R

There is only one question to ask when living with and through a northern winter…”When will it end???”

No one I’ve ever known would dare ask that same question from the 4th of July through Labor Day, which in the best of years, is a Long Vermont summer.

A better question for summer is “When will it begin????”

But the Longer that lives in the northern summertime, isn’t for how many months, or weeks, or days, it lasts…it is for those Longer days, Longer bike rides, and Longer games in one backyard or another.  Longer moments of peace among the winter weary, battle fatigued, cohabitants that are brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers.  Longer trips looking for warmer weather, with Longer hellos, and even Longer goodbyes.

Summer is a Long way from Long in the north.


At the same time, there is also only one question I know to ask as a northerner living with and through, a southern summer… “When will it end???”

My slow melt begins in April, with signs of ripples in May.  Then I start to bubble in June, and by July, I’m roiling out of the proverbial ‘melted pot’.  By August, when coincidentally enough, the homicide rate begins to increase, I’m ready, willing, and able to add to the statistic of “Heat induced insanity killings”

It’s only the 9th of July here in Virginia and I’m ready for it to end.  I’m Longing for cool days and cold nights.  I want to put on a hoodie and go out by the campfire, watch the lightning bugs, and gaze at the stars in the crystal clear, cold cleansed sky.

I’m tired of the inside of my house.  I’m heart-sick at the number of times I say no to ‘Grammy, can we go out so I can run through the sprinklers?” because that would mean I’d have to go O U T there to supervise.

I’m disgusted that the longest walk I take all day is from the front door to the mailbox and even then, if I knew someone else I could ask to do it for me, I’d PAY them to do it!

I am glared at by my four legged pal who wants nothing more than to run around the yard, chasing something…anything…as long as she can runl.  NO, No, and no, because that means I’d have to go O U T there and participate!  Ugh


I Long for shorter days.

I Long for cloudy or rainy days.

I Long for someone to pick up on the fact that I wear a “Let It Snow” night shirt EVERY night hoping it’ll happen.

If you haven’t noticed…I hate the heat.  But even if I didn’t…I’d hate T H I S heat!

When. Will. It. End?

Semper Fi

IMG_3168

The flag’s on the table, folded precise and exact

Waiting for the moment white gloved hands would extract

Its full measure and meaning as they unfurl with great care

This symbol of freedom, for which eagle’s dare

Open in its glory while Taps haunts the grounds

Open still as the guns salute with rounds

IMG_3169They stood in the distance, these old volunteers

Aged eyes strain to see what old ears can not hear

The sign that it’s time to raise, aim, and fire

The salute to the memory of this beloved spouse and sire

The brass hits the grass as our tears hit our chests

While the tear stains remain, the brass is picked up in respect

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Off to their left, in Marine dress so smart

A man and his bugle also awaits his start

To show his respect for a brother he’d not met

To guide him to rest on his longest journey yet

Silently white gloves refold the old girl

But from this moment on, no more to unfurl

Turning on a dime, pacing five steps

Eyes ever forward, toward her he crept

He kneels and hands over this flag and this brass

As he speaks to her quietly, his face sheds the mask

I can see the sincerity, respect, and sadness

For this brother sight unseen but remembered none the less

IMG_3171

Semper Fidelis he spoke when rising

Semper Fidelis I whispered, not surprising

To the man, marine, husband, and my only father

Semper Fi, Always Faithful….I’ll live it.  Love, your daughter

…but on the bright side

So much time is spent negatively talking about, writing about, thinking about, debating about, and snarking about, our country in the last several years, that many folks forget what it feels like to be proud of who we are, where we live, who we cry for, and what we die for. Perhaps forgotten too, that the generations before us fought and died, lived and dreamed, for the same things we are fighting, dying, living, and dreaming for today.  And the generations after us will do the same.

I, for one, am taking a moment to remember that we do have a brighter side.

For this one moment, as bittersweet tears softly track the history of my life in the wrinkles on my face, I’ll remember how they got there.  This facial road map of my life’s joys and sorrows distinguish me from anyone else, just as our country’s road map is like no other.  And as I look at her wrinkles, I’ll remember how they got there too.

I love my country, wrinkles and all, and invite anyone needing a reminder of what that feels like, to read about and listen to others who felt the same.

The history of a special song, written for a special place, sung by a special woman, needed by a hurting people…

Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said that when he and a million other guys first heard her sing “God Bless America” on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped away a tear or two.

Here are the facts… At the bottom of this post, you’ll see the link to the video showing the very first public singing of “GOD BLESS AMERICA“. But before you watch it, you should also know the story behind the first public showing of the song.

The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we’d have to go to war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans.

This was the era just before TV, when radio shows were HUGE, and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith.

Kate was also large; plus size, as we now say, and the popular phrase still used today is in deference to her, “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.” Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV, but with her voice coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her time.

Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring . She had hope for America, and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song-writer, Irving Berlin (who also wrote “White Christmas”) and asked him to write a song that would make Americans feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her.

He went to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published, 22 years before – way back in 1917. He gave it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America. Any profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.

This video starts out with the news, then Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first time, and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in the background still singing, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, “You’re In The Army Now.” At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a paper; it’s Ronald Reagan, the future 40th president of the United States, and at 69, the oldest president ever elected.

To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country. Back in 1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt whether she realized just how successful the results would be for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry… and for many generations of Americans to follow.

Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you’ll enjoy it and treasure it even more. Many people don’t know there’s a lead in to the song since it usually starts with “God Bless America …” So here’s the entire song as originally sung… ENJOY!

Today, I exercise my right to remove the flag from underneath the flag-stomper du jour and wave it proudly in the air.

God Bless America…and all who stomp on her.

On The Duggars

Rhonda:

I could not agree more with this if I’d written it myself. Thank you Witch for the much needed slap in the face wake-up to anyone still listening to these ridiculous justifications for Duggar’s actions!

Originally posted on What a Witch:

Sexual Abuse Silence

I don’t want to talk about the parents.

I don’t want to talk about how they raised their children in a cult.

I don’t want to talk about Josh Duggar.

He’s a child molester.

I don’t want to talk about his “reform.”

Josh and his parents insist that he is no longer a danger, but Josh and his parents are also the people who hid his sexual assault.

So maybe their word is not so valuable.

Oh wait, I’m sorry, I misspoke. (mistyped?)

Their word means less than nothing and I would be perfectly happy if they would shut the fuck up.

I don’t want to talk about the family’s connection with Hobby Lobby.

I don’t want to talk about the fact that the place that Josh was sent to for “counseling,” the place wherein the family claims that Josh underwent his “reform” was run by a man who is…

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Guarding the Unknown

ARLINGTON CEMETERY

Jeopardy Question:

On Jeopardy awhile back, the final question was “How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns?”   All three contestants missed it!

This is really an awesome sight to watch if you’ve never had the chance.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

1.)  How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

Answer:  21 steps – It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2.)  How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

Answer:  21 seconds – For the same reason as answer number 1

3.)  Why are his gloves wet?

Answer:  His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

4.)  Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and , if not, why not?

Answer:  He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5.)  How often are the guards changed?

Answer:  Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6.)  What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

Answer:  For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5′ 10′ and 6′ 2′ tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30 inches.

They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives.

They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way.

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn.

The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.  Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty..

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.  A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred.

Among the notables are:
President Taft,
Joe Lewis {the boxer}
Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC , our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, “No way, Sir!” Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person.

The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.

tomb-sentry-sunshine-henry-kass-2005-photo-01

Heroin rears it’s ugly head in suburbia

Rhonda:

To my blogging family and friends here on WP…whether or not this has touched you, your loved ones, your friends, your neighbors, or your communities…I ask that you read my dear friend Mo at magnoliabeginnings.org post and the included article from the Police Chief of Gloucester, MA – The little town that will – and see the logic in the approach to combat this disease. Take it even further, if you agree, and find out if your own state and local legislators would be willing to back a program as logical and compassionate as this one. Thank you for reading, bless you for caring…R
R.

Originally posted on Magnolia Beginnings:

Dear Friends,

The experience of writing this blog has proven to me that as different as we all may think we are we are all remarkably similar as well. The problems and concerns that hit me in Boston are also having the same effect on someone across the world. Records gathered from police, courts and the medical examiner shatter stereotypes about who gets sucked into this deadly vortex. It’s not all young adults. The median age of overdose victims is 41. And they’re not the dregs of society. They are homemakers, professionals, students and laborers. (Patriot Ledger) . One person every 8 days dies of a heroin/opiate overdose in my area and the numbers keep rising. I am impressed and encouraged by the actions of a small Massachusetts town Police Chief. I encourage you all to share this story with the hope that the approach will catch on. There may only…

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SOMEONE has to be the Grownup!

This is where they’ll be this time tomorrow…

IMG_0024

Would YOU say no?

No, didn’t think so.

Headed to one of my favorite places so Mom can spend time with the ‘girls’…friends of a certain age who haven’t ‘laughed like they used to’ for more than 20 years…think they’ll have fun?

IMG_0063

Yeah…me too.

Hopefully I’ll come back with stories to tell and photos to share…along with a sunburn.

Outer Banks…the Mother Duck’rs are coming…you ready?

(Bird) Food for Thought?

An Analogy to chew on…
bird feeder

I bought a bird feeder…I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed.

What a beauty of a bird feeder it was I thought…as I filled it lovingly with seed.

Within a week, there were hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food.

But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue.

Then came the poop. It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table ……everywhere!

Then some of the birds turned mean.

They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket.

And others birds were boisterous and loud.

They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it and refill it, then refill it some more.

After a while, sadly, I couldn’t even sit on my own back porch anymore.

So I took down the bird feeder and in three days, the birds were gone.

I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio.

Soon, the back yard was like it used to be …quiet, serene…and no one demanding their rights to a free meal.

The analogy?

Well, let’s see…our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, free education, and allows anyone born here to be an automatic citizen.  Programs apparently so important to some running our government, that they hide them or piggy-back them on the shoulders of other programs that are paramount to our country’s health and well-being, so that we, the voters, don’t know about them and don’t have a say in their passing.

Illegals (notice I said “ILLEGALS”) came by the tens of thousands.

Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free services; small apartments are housing 5 families; you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor; your child’s second grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn’t speak English.  

Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box; I have to ‘press one ‘ to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than “ours” are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.

As I said…just my opinion…but maybe it’s time for the government to take down the bird feeder.

If you agree, speak up.  Help make it less necessary for the government to step in by stepping in yourself.  Donate to your local food banks, volunteer in your communities, donate your time or money helping the homeless, vote to reform immigration, or write your congressmen to stop ignoring the illegal immigration problem by making it less attractive to be illegal.

If not, just continue cleaning up the poop!


A personal note:

I am a huge proponent of immigration.

Just as, I am as huge an opponent of illegal immigration being ignored or treated as though it’s a legitimate path to citizenship based on the number of years you’ve been here (illegally)!

We, like every country in the world, have immigration laws.

We, UNLIKE every country in the world, have forgotten to enforce our immigration laws.

Instead, we make excuses and allowances for those who break the law, for as long as these choices promote one political ideology as humane and the other as intolerant, it will remain so.

I am Pro-America!

That fact alone seems to paint me as racist, bigoted, and anti-immigration.

I am none of those things.

I am Pro-Immigration!

If you want to come here to live in freedom, then do it LEGALLY and I’ll welcome you with open arms!

I am Pro-I don’t give two shits where you came from, but you’re in America now, so be a proud American!

Not African-American, Asian-American, Mexican-American, Russian-American, Somali-American…you are American of “African, Asian, Mexican, Russian, Somalian…” decent.  Like all of us.  EVERY ONE of us came from somewhere…what we now have in common is being American!

I am Pro-Keep your culture as long as you understand you are adding to America’s, not removing ours to make room for yours.

Add to our Land of the Free and Home of the Brave instead of trying to remake us into your Land of the Oppressed and Home of the Voiceless.

You came here.

I did not go there

You want to re-create your culture here at the expense of MINE by believing I must accept YOURS while you do not have to ACCEPT mine?

Why did you come here?

You want to live and breathe the country and culture you left behind, without embracing the one that took you in?

Why did you come here?

Many say Americans are arrogant and full of themselves.

Maybe we are, but how many Americans would you suppose, relocate or repatriate to other countries and make it their MISSION to change that culture to one that mirrors what they left behind?

The beauty of an immigrant rich society is what is added to our melting pot, not what is taken out.

 

Just Stay

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.

“Your son is here,” she said to the old man.

She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes
opened.

Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw
the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent.  He reached
out his hand.  The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old
man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the
bed.  All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly
lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love
and strength.  Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move
away and rest awhile.

He refused.  Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was
oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital – the clanking
of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging
greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words.  The dying man said
nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

Along towards dawn, the old man died.  The Marine released the now
lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse.  While she
did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned.  She started to offer words of sympathy, but
the Marine interrupted her.

“Who was that man?” he asked.

The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered.

“No, he wasn’t,” the Marine replied. “I never saw him before in my
life.”

“Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?”

“I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his
son just wasn’t here.

When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his
son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.”
I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey.
His son was Killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to inform him.  What
was this Gentleman’s Name?

The Nurse with tears in
her eyes answered,

Mr. William Grey

 


The next time someone needs you … just be there.

Just Stay.

**************

WE ARE NOT HUMAN BEINGS GOING THROUGH A TEMPORARY SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE.

WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS GOING THROUGH A TEMPORARY HUMAN EXPERIENCE.


Author unknown, but I’m thankful to the one who sent it my way.

Good Analogy or Same Ol’ Shit Politics? YOU answer that for yourselves

For me, I think the commentary below is a damned good analogy for Obama-care…aka The Affordable Care Act.

Yeah me, the ‘so-called’ middle class…the one who is now paying more than twice the cost for less than half the coverage.

The one who can no longer afford to go to the doctor, even though I have insurance, because the deductible is a joke.

No…worse…the deductible is half a year’s living expenses.

Political?

I wish it were that easy.

Reality?

You betcha.

I am one of those who has insurance, but will never reap the benefit of the (50% greater) amount taken from the paycheck for the simple fact that, the (4x greater) deductible is more than we could ever afford to pay on top of the premiums.

Therefore, for all (his) intents and (his) purposes…we consider ourselves one of the “Insured WITHOUT the state and federal benefits of the uninsured”

Yes, this is the reality.  If you are part of the subsidized health exchange system…good for you.

If you are not…like me…then this is our reality.

Does this mean I’m anti-poor or anti-needy?  HELL NO!

Does this mean because I work and you don’t, I am responsible for taking care of YOU before I can take care of me and my own?  NO

Does this mean I think I deserve decent, affordable health coverage because that’s what I pay for?  YES

Do I think there is a better way to achieve this than Obama-care?  YES

Why?

Because more than 50% of what my household makes ALREADY goes to the government.

When is it enough?

When is it going to be okay to think YOU take care of YOU and YOURS and I take care of ME and MINE is the way it should be, if at all possible?

Charity begins at home.  Right?

Charity comes from the heart.  Right?

Charity is NOT a mandatory tax.  Right?

Since when did the government become a charity?

I give what I can when I can, which is often.

I have never passed another human being in need, without offering a helping hand.

When did that cease to be ‘charitable’?

The future Analogy of which I speak (and please, this is not a personal attack on the Prez…just his policy) is outlined below:

Affordable Plumbing Act

Only weeks after leaving office on Jan. 20, 2017, former President Barack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Troy the Plumber to come out and fix it.

Troy drives to Obama’s new house, which is located in a very exclusive, gated community near Chicago where all the residents have a net income of way more than $250,000 per year.

Troy arrives and takes his tools into the house. He is led to the guest bathroom that contains the leaky pipe under the sink. Troy assesses the problem and tells Obama that it’s an easy repair that will take less than 10 minutes. Obama asks Troy how much it will cost. Troy checks his rate chart and says, “$9,500.”

“What?! $9,500?!” Obama asks, stunned, “But you said it’s an easy repair. Michelle will whip me if I pay a plumber that much!”

Troy says, “Yes, but what I do is charge those who make more than $250,000 per year a much higher amount so I can fix the plumbing of poorer people for free. This has always been my philosophy. As a matter of fact, I lobbied the Democrat Congress, who passed this philosophy into law. Now all plumbers must do business this way. It’s known as the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act of 2014′. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of it.”

In spite of that, Obama tells Troy there’s no way he’s paying that much for a small plumbing repair, so Troy leaves. Obama spends the next hour flipping through the phone book calling for another plumber, but he finds that all other plumbing businesses in the area have gone out of business. Not wanting to pay Troy’s price, Obama does nothing and the leak goes un-repaired for several more days. A week later the leak is so bad Obama has had to put a bucket under the sink.

Michelle is not happy as she has Oprah and guests arriving the next morning. The bucket fills up quickly and has to be emptied every hour, and there’s a risk the room will flood, so Obama calls Troy and pleads with him to return.

Troy goes back to Obama’s house, looks at the leaky pipe, checks his new rate chart and says, “Let’s see, this will now cost you $21,000.”

Obama quickly fires back, “What? A few days ago you told me it would cost $9,500!”

Troy explains, “Well, because of the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act,’ a lot of wealthier people are learning how to maintain and take care of their own plumbing, so there are fewer payers in the plumbing exchanges. As a result, the price I have to charge wealthy people like you keeps rising. Not only that, but for some reason the demand for plumbing work by those who get it for free has skyrocketed! There’s a long waiting list of those who need repairs, but the amount we get doesn’t cover our costs, especially paperwork and record-keeping. This unfortunately has put a lot of my fellow plumbers out of business, they’re not being replaced, and nobody is going into the plumbing business because they know they can’t make any money at it. I’m hurting too, all thanks to greedy rich people like you who won’t pay their ‘fair share’. On the other hand, why didn’t you buy plumbing insurance last December? If you had bought plumbing insurance available under the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act,’ all this would have been covered by your policy.”

“You mean I wouldn’t have to pay anything to have you fix my plumbing problem?” asks Obama.

“Well, not exactly,” replies Troy. “You would have had to buy the insurance before the deadline, which has passed now. And, because you’re rich, you would have had to pay $34,000 in premiums, which would have given you a ‘silver’ plan, and then, since this would have been your first repair, you would have to pay up to the $21,000 deductible, and anything over that would have a $7,500 co-pay, and then there’s the mandatory maintenance program, which is covered up to 17.5%, so there are some costs involved. Nothing is for free.”

“WHAT?!” exclaims Obama. “Why so much for a puny sink leak?!”

With a bland look, Troy replies, “Well, paperwork, mostly, like I said. And the internal cost of the program itself. You don’t think a program of this complexity and scope can run itself, do you? Besides, there are millions of folks with lower incomes than you, even many in the ‘middle class’, who qualify for subsidies that people like you must support. That’s why they call it the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act’! Only people who don’t make much money can afford it. If you want affordable plumbing, you’ll have to give away most of what you have accumulated and cut your and Michelle’s income by about 90%. Then you can qualify to get your ‘Fair Share’ instead of giving it.”

“But who would pass a crazy act like the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act’?!” exclaims the exasperated Obama.

After a sigh, Troy replies, “Congress… because they didn’t read it.”

HooK LiNe and SinKer

Though I know spring is right around the corner, and I look forward to the rebirth of nature’s bounty and for some of you, the births of new little ones who’ll soon be pitter-pattering on your hearts can’t come soon enough…I just can’t help but bitch about this particular time change; and never more this year than any other.

I don’t know what it is.

It’s not the extra daylight surely.  Who doesn’t like the normalcy of waking up in the light and going to sleep when it’s dark?

It’s not the rain because I’ve never minded a good ol’ rainy day.  I love them actually.

Who wouldn’t, knowing this beauty below, from a year ago, is drinking it up so it can make another grand entrance?

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That said though, It just feels, to me, that the spring daylight savings robs more of the day than it gives.

When I wake in the morning, it feels too late.

When I retire at night, it feels too early.

When I think about lunch, it’s too close to dinner.

When I think about dinner, it’s too soon after lunch.

Feeling this way, you’d think the fall time change would make me feel the opposite…

Up too early; to bed too late; starving by lunch; when the hell is dinner.

Right?

But no…I feel none of that.  And frankly, I don’t remember the spring change feeling this intense before either.

I keep asking myself “What the hell is it this year that makes me feel so irritable about it all?”

And then it hits me.  Or at least, I think it does.

Along with all I do look forward to in the spring, now, there are things I know I’ll never see or do or feel again.

At least, not in the same way.

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I’ll never see the joy on his face when the ice has retreated enough for us to take poles in hand and put lines to water, hoping for enough perch for dinner or, at the very least, stories grand enough for everyone to swallow…

HooK Line and SinKer

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We’ll never walk the rocky path through the woods, looking for that one spot that offers the perfect balance of flat rock and clear air, to sit and cast a line (not to mention a hearty tree truck to hide behind for those necessary times).

Or a high, flat bank, on which to perch a chair to jerk a perch.

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I’ll never feel the strong surety of his hands as he takes the ‘big’ one off my line because I jumped and didn’t jerk, so that fish swallowed it all…

HooK Line and SinKer

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I’ll never see him begin another spring outing as the 5’7″ man he was, only to end the day coming in at a cool, 5’11” from the mud cake that grew on the bottom of his shoes; full of those anticipated tall tales about big fish, that we willingly swallowed…

HooK Line and SinKer

caked mud

I know the memories of these times are what are important.

I know too, that when the fall arrives, there will be even more that will make me miss him the most.

The scores of memories of him saying “Let’s take this road, there’s a great barn you need to see!”

Those are the ones that will make me weep first and smile later.

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Those times, though as forever behind me as they are in the rear-view above, will always be the happiest times we ever shared.

But I know too, and will remember well, that when next the boys lower the boat to kiss the Clyde one misty morning, he will be there.

He’s probably there now…waiting…for the ice to break, the fish to come up for air, and us kids to show up with all we need, to keep the traditions going and the memories fresh.

He’ll be there.

And we’ll be there.

Ready to take it all…

HooK  Line  and  SinKer.

the clyde

WHO KNEW?

A customer asked, “In what aisle can I find the Polish sausage?”
The clerk asks, “Are you Polish?”
The guy , clearly offended, says, “Yes I am. But let me ask you something.
If I had asked for Italian sausage, would you ask me if I was Italian?
Or if I had asked for German Bratwurst, would you ask me if I was German?
Or if I asked for a kosher hot dog would you ask me if I was Jewish?
Or if I had asked for a Taco, would you ask if I was Mexican?
Or if I asked for some Irish whiskey, would you ask if I was Irish?”
The clerk says, “No, I probably wouldn’t.”
The guy says, “Well then, because I asked for Polish sausage, why did you ask me if I’m Polish?”
The clerk replied, “Because you’re in Home Depot.”
:oops:
HomeBanner3

yabba-D.A.B.D.A.-doo the numbers

The five stages of grief

1.  Denial

2.  Anger

3.  Bargaining

4.  Depression

5.  Acceptance


1

There has been no denial…

…there was no doubt death was coming

2

There has been anger…

…but it’s an exhausting emotion

3

There was a little bargaining…

…too close to self-blaming to be tolerated for long

4

There is depression…

…that ‘happy memory’ thief that sneaks into your heart in the dark

5

There will be acceptance…

…a state of being both wanted and feared at the same time


Remembering the good times, the happy times, is not hard
there are so very many of them

Remembering I am not alone is not easy
until I hear the sadness in the voice on the other end of the phone

Remembering he is gone takes the joy out of the day
until I remember too, how much of him is left within me

Forgetting that he lived and loved and was loved in return is not an option
especially when remembering his legacy to all of us was 

Live like it’s your last day
Love like it’s your last chance
Regret Nothing

Roy E George


The Epilogue

The service is done

The tears shed

Ashes placed

His final bed

Pride in my family

Not the least of which, Mom

Who honored my father

With dignified Calm

Standing Room Only

His life well represented

Laughter the keystone

Not a life being lamented

Notes to be written

Soups to be made

We dreaded the after

But we’re no longer afraid

Of the space that is empty

His body departed

‘Cause his spirit is present

We are each lighter hearted

Remember my laughter

Remember my smile…

Remember my loving

Remember my style

I’ll forever be with you

To navigate the way

As you journey forward

I will help lead the way

You’ll never be alone

Nor should you feel sorrow

I’m forever in today

As I’ll always be tomorrow

Okay Dad…we’ll remember

The Eye of the Human Storm – Repost

As you know, Superman passed away Sunday, February 15.  I am re-posting what I wrote for him back in July because, though I thought I understood the emotions of what was looming…I couldn’t have known how I’d feel at this moment.

But, this comes as close to my feelings now as anything I’ve ever written about my father.  About how it was more about how we live than how, or when, we die.

I love this man even more for leaving me with a deeper appreciation of the life he lived, than fear for the sorrow at the loss of his life.

I love you Superman and I thank you with all my heart.

You truly were…

My First Love ♥ My Only Hero


Today’s forecast
Pain with a chance of happiness
Life – It hurts
Our first breath
Born in and out of Pain
Our last breath
Born in and out of the fear of Death
Beginning to end
The human struggle to keep moving
Beyond the current pain so we may endure the next
To begin again
The circle, the cycle of life, of pain
To reach our destination – Death
So what is the point?
When one ends where one begins?
What is the point?
The middle is the point
To feel the heart beat
Of a lover
To hear the laughter
Of a child
To know the touch of another
The touch that completes our circle
Ones who will rejoice with us
And for us
And those who will mourn us
But more – Remember
That we were here
That we mattered
That we made the difference
That we closed a part of their circle
As they too, closed a part of ours
To gather at the end of the day
To hear the sounds of silence
The human sounds we make without knowing
The sounds of love
And life
The middle
Those sounds our ears miss
But that our hearts hear
These are the sounds of silence
So loud we are compelled – T0 listen
Struggle to keep moving
From one pain to another
For in the end It is not the pain
We Remember – It is
Love
Our circles have no true beginning
They meld with our ending
We only have what is in
The middle
Today’s forecast
Pain with a chance of happiness
Take an umbrella if you must
Wear your raincoat and galoshes if you have to
But
Prepare more for getting swept into the middle
‘Cause that’s where life happens
In the middle
Never be afraid to get wet
Put the fear aside
Go beyond the tropical storm of prologue
Fear not the hurricane of the epilogue
Walk into the wind
Get pummeled by the rain
Get to the eye
The middle
Where the calm allows us to hear
The human sounds of silence

The sounds of Love

For My Father

My First Love ~ My Only Hero

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Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

by Mary Elizabeth Frye

For my father, who is all things. You are here and not there.
In the simple things I love so much…thanks to you.

(But hey…do you think you could tone down the northeast wind a knot or two? And while you’re at it, this shiny diamond, snowy goodness thing you got going on is pretty and all…but could you ratchet back the swirling white stuff too…it is freaking CoLd!)

I love you Dad

Always and Forever

Simon (& Garfunkle) Says

A stanza from The Boxer keeps running through my head…

In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains

Yes. Yes he does.

And this naturally, takes me to The Sounds of Silence…

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted
In my brain still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of
A neon light that split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share and no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

Fools said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the signs said, ‘The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls and tenement halls’
And whispered in the sounds of silence

And, in my own mind, I live in Kathy’s song…

I hear the drizzle of the rain
Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm continuing
Tapping on my roof and walls

And from the shelter of my mind
Through the window of my eyes
I gaze beyond the rain drenched streets
To [New]England where my heart lies

My mind’s distracted and diffused
My thoughts are many miles away
They lie with you when you’re asleep
Kiss you when you start your day

And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There before the grace of you , go I