Monday, November 03, 2014


Taking a chance and trusting my fellow Americans

I am stepping out on a limb here and talking about politics. This is risky because politics does something crazy to people. It makes good friends argue. I don’t want to start a debate. I’m not really a political person. I simply want those who have not voted yet in this election to pause and think, and read “facts”, not news blurbs, before marking their ballots. I am worried about our country, about my state, my little county, about us. Why? Because…

I am an American, a person with EQUAL rights in this country, a woman, a mother and grandmother of the future generation. I am also a registered Republican who is voting the Democratic ticket in this election, and I want to get my party back to being a true Republican Party.

The Republican machine has become something I am not, that the party I grew up in is not. The Republican spin machine is filled with filthy water and has contaminated even small town politics.  Our country can’t progress while spewing dirt and lies across the land. The only way to stop this squalor is to not support it with my vote.

What has this big money funded machine done?
The machine funds those who will do its bidding, finding those to whom money talks. It is not above buying people. It has enticed otherwise good men to vote for and push programs they know are not in the best interest of my state, as it has done in other states. Look at West Virginia. Why?  These programs are in the interest of BIG business, and if the politician wants money to fund his campaign he has to do the Machine’s bidding. This is scary and sad.

By pouring “thirty pieces of silver” into the hands of politicians the Machine buys legislation, working from the bottom up. It has bought news media and has lied to “we the people,” knowing most won’t check the facts. Why? Because we have been raised to trust. It has robbed us of that wonderful quality by its actions. A Machine has no morals. A Machine does not care.

It has nothing of its own doing to be proud of, so the strategy is to drag the country down to its level, then the Republican machine, not we Republicans, can be in control. It’s scary to think of a future with this machine in control, especially for those who care about equal rights, schools, the environment, and children.

It knowingly and maliciously maligned the sitting President. Why? Not because he is black. Not because he is bad. The Machine has done this to take a charismatic man out of the picture during the campaign season. It’s strategy. Why? Because the Machine knows, if his rating is high, their agenda will fail. This President has worked hard. The Machine doesn’t care. Be thankful, if it isn’t you that the Machine has targeted to take down, because it will try to take down whatever and whoever clogs its gears.

The Machine’s bottom line agenda is making money for the few who grease its wheels. Both parties have Machines, but the Republican Machine has become a Monster and has taken over our party. I want it back.

I am a woman, a mother and grandmother of the future generation. Because of this, I am also a registered Republican who is voting the Democratic ticket in this election. I want to take my party back from the Machine. I hope I don’t lose friends over this post, but sometimes, you have to step out on a limb to save the forest. Anyone who knows me knows I love the land.

Please, if you’ve read this far and haven’t voted yet, think about these things, do some real research, before going to the polls on Tuesday.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Summer Painting

Outside My French Doors

It’s an impressionist painting kind of day, outside my French doors. The sun slapped brilliant white on some foliage and butter yellow on others. Bright sap green dominates. Then there are the surprises. Happy scarlet splashes, as cardinals dart about. Tiny dots of indigo and purple play amongst the grasses. Tying it all together is a boy baby blanket sky. I wonder as I walk along, how do I fit in?
Then, I realize, that is the magic of our world, we each bring our own bit of color to the mix and a masterpiece is created, fresh and new each day.
Go, enjoy the landscape of life, all.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Reflections

Outside My French Doors 

On Memorial Day, my eyes travel to the red, white and blue flag outside my French doors, and my heart fills with memories of war brought to our country, memories of men who served overseas and a lasting pride in our country and what she stands for.

The Symbol

Every Memorial Day I hang the flag that draped my stepfather’s coffin, every year except for one. That year I did not look forward to the holiday as I had in the past. I did not hang the flag on Memorial Day, for I had hung it on the front porch on September 11th of the preceding year and had yet to take it down.
That September 11th was a nightmare of a day, and my heart ached as I watched the flag unfurl in the breeze. The reason I hung the flag was sad. The reason I owned it was sad. They both dealt with death. The flag hung through a complete cycle of the seasons and throughout that year I would look out the window and see the flag twisted into a tight spiral. It seemed appropriate that Old Glory wound around upon itself since my feelings were also twisted tight within me.
There are no words for how I felt. It was as if my ability to express emotion was shattered in the explosions that shook our nation that September. I stared at the tangled flag and could not summon the energy needed to set it free. There was a void inside me. The internal essence of the United States of America, that treasured part of my identity, had been damaged and I was afraid. I grieved.
Then one day as I stared at the flag the wind changed and this special piece of cloth unfurled and snapped in the breeze as if irritated at having its independence stifled. In a wild, daring dance of red, white and blue it cavorted, made me grin in spite of my fear. I watched it and my heart relaxed, the pain eased. I smiled deep inside for the first time in months. You can’t kill a good idea, I realized.
The spirit of America is meant to be free, not twisted and confined. We are a people who dance upon the winds of our dreams. So today I will take a long moment to thank my stepfather for the flag that lay across his coffin. Then I will go outside, hang his flag, place my hand over my heart and salute the vision that symbolizes our country. I will twirl around, synchronize my movements with those of Old Glory and I will celebrate the ones who released me from fear. They gave so much for me. The least I can do is honor Memorial Day for them.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend Harmony, Outside My French Doors

The birds are playing outside my French doors. They even have a little percussion thanks to a woodpecker and the music makes one smile. What a great way to celebrate on a Memorial Day weekend, Harmony by nature. Yet, we humans, the most intelligent species, can't seem to stay in tune, even amongst ourselves.

This year, when you've got those two bare feet on the dashboard and are singing along with Chesney, have fun and take a moment to harmonize in a special way. Remember those soldiers who lie quiet listening to nature, perhaps their spirits will join in. Everyone loves a good song.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Carrie Underwood at the Grand Ole Opry

Carrie Underwood at the Opry May 10, 2014

We traveled from North Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee a week ago to go to the Grand Ole Opry.  Why? To see Carrie Underwood, the Charlie Daniels Band and other great country artists. We had second row seats and I was pumped.

The last time I attended the Opry it was still being held in the old Rymam Auditorium in downtown Nashville, and Willie Nelson was in the line up. That tells you a bit about my age, and a bit about my enjoyment of country music.

I became a Carrie Underwood fan when she was a contestant on American Idol. Her voice took my breath away. You could say I was "blown away" by her talent. I've seen her in concert twice. Once the year she toured with Keith Urban and last year in Charlotte. Her voice was always perfect and she has improved her stage presence with each performance. 

As we waited to go into the Opry for the late showing we could hear her singing Blown Away clear out in the lobby. That girl has power and the place was packed. When it came time for her to come on stage, she was the next to last performer, a couple of security guards sat down in front. The moment they announced her name I understood why. Fans rushed forward to take pictures. The guards made them stay below the level of first row seats, let them take pictures, and then sent them back to their places, so others could come forward. Carrie smiled and sang, never missing a beat. It was quite a sight.

She sang Mama's Song, for her mother and all the mothers celebrating their big day, and I believe, Last Name, but I was so carried away seeing this tiny woman up close, I don't really remember. She closed with Before He Cheats. At the Opry, you are allowed two, three at the most, songs and that is all.

Three songs, by this singer, up close and personal was well worth the trip. Her voice is stronger than ever and she now looks relaxed and happy on stage. I guess Carrie Underwood finally believes, as we fans have always, that she belongs up there.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kicking a Can - Outside My French Doors

Outside my French doors, a dogfood can has been gifted to me. This is from Cooper, my small rescue mix. She loves the morning ritual, MacGyver gets the contents, she gets the can to lick. Bounding, whirling, she leads from mudroom to garage, eyes on the prize. There she settles in to lick the very essence of food from its interior. This gifting of the can is a recent phenomena, and my mind pauses, puzzles the meaning behind the action. Why? What is the motive? Is there one? What does she want in exchange?

I pull myself up short. Why am I thinking this way?

Dogs have no motive. They are free givers of self, endless flingers of love. Someone asks and they shall receive from a dog, no conditions attached. I know this. So, why am I questioning this gift of love from my Mini Cooper? She does not resent the big dog, she focuses on joy inside herself.

Is it because I have been asked ‘why’ often the past few years, as to motive behind my actions? These whys caught me by surprise, because there was no motive. I was raised in the all you need is love era, not the what’s in it for me age. Someone asks, you can help, you do it, preferably unrecognized and as well as you can.

As I stare out at the small can, I realize that I have become cautious, a bit suspicious. I ask why now, instead of taking things at face value. I hesitate before saying yes, wonder what’s the end result going to be for me? I have become one who questions motive. That is not who I am and I don’t like the feeling. It is time, I realize to get back to the basics of a good life.

My hand reaches for the door handle. Cooper appears from around the corner and dances near. I thank her for my present. She cocks her head a bit confused by my words. The gesture done hours ago, it is already forgotten in her mind. There was no expectation of recognition, no motive behind her actions, except that she’d wanted to share the love of that can. I smile.

We go outside my French doors, and practice unconditional giving. Cooper dashes down the walk wanting to play, and I follow, nudging her gift ahead of me. I do not think about the why of my action, I simply follow my heart. That’s what a real life is about.

Go have a kick the can kind of day.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Outside my French doors, dawn fight with the night over the coming day. A fiery sword flashes, a dark cloak counters. Though I know the outcome, I watch, fascinated by the battle. Why? What is it about conflict that attracts? We see it at sporting events, we are pulled in to the TV news like addicts when there is a disaster, between nature and animal, between the earth and man, and especially between clashing members of the human race. Why are we not more fascinated by love?
The dogs pay no attention to the war between morning and evening. Noses to the ground they follow the story of night time visitors, trotting along, tails wagging, tongues lolling.
Horses stand, warm shadows towers of meditation, still, waiting.  There is a lesson in their calmness.
A brazen squirrel tightropes the top fence board, then leaps into the deep dark blue and hangs swaying in the air from a branch I cannot see. He traverses the border between bright and dark with ease.
My gaze turns back to the eastern horizon. Morning and night are paused on the edge of indigo. A truce for the moment.
I turn away to seek the light. A story awaits my thoughts, my words. I will build a fire, and brew some tea.
This is the season when thoroughbreds are born. It brings back memories of when I was a Foal Watcher. I shall nestle within the images and see where they lead. Perhaps, they will lead to a tale of hope. Perhaps, I shall be fascinated by the love between a woman and a horse, while outside my French door the battle over dawn is coming to its inevitable end.