A Quiet Protest at Home

hunt county tomatos

Volunteer Texas Wild Hunt county tomatoes

I stand for peace.

I stand for the same rights for all people.

I stand for the children and the widows and the homeless.

I stand for differences bring not only OK but celebrated.

I stand for choices

And I do it at home.

Each time I …

play music,

work in my garden,

say hello to my neighbors,

try a new recipe

taking all this to the library and teaching people it’s OK to drop and pick it back up.  I take it to the community garden and work and say, “Here’s an easy plant to grow.” or “Here’s a native tomato. It’s little but it packs a lot of flavor. And this year the tomato plants in my back yard are all volunteers. They grew on their own.”

And like a ripple in a pond, the effects of my protest will continue to spread and change lives.

Quite and peacefully.


Shooting Your Mouth Off

I know that some people think those with special needs shouldn’t be in public places.  I disagree.  I took Gpa out lots of times. In only one case was I confronted.  Another time a waitress came into the bathroom but didn’t say anything when she saw that Gpa was in a wheel chair.  He had been yelling ‘ugly guy’ because he saw himself in the mirror.

The time I was confronted wasn’t because of Gpa’s special needs.  The woman thought my yelling at Gpa was me being mean to him.  My tone probably wasn’t the best.  I was exhausted and Gpa couldn’t hear well or respond without help sometimes.

So I’m yelling at him to put his foot in the car.  No, the other one. I get him in the car and I see this woman at the door of the place we had been and she shakes her head and asks me if I have to be so mean.

I just replied that he can’t hear as I’m slinging his wheel chair into the trunk.  She shook her head again. I just got in the car. I teared up, I thought it would be a treat to take Gpa for coffee and a cookie and got reprimanded. Gpa looks over at me and even in his demented state, he says, ‘Thank you.”

And his opinion is the only one that mattered.

So over the Memorial Day weekend. It’s reported that a gun got pulled out at a park. Looks like it was because the adults didn’t know how to teach the kids how to get along at the park.

A 5 year old hit another kid. Kids do that, they are learning how to interact.  That’s when we as adults step in and say ‘it’s not nice to hit other people’ That’s not when the adult should start calling the kid names. What will the kids learn?

But names got called, and the situation quickly got physical. Which isn’t good either. UM, what are you teaching your children about conflict resolution?

AND then a gun gets pulled out.  In the picture, there are at least 10 other people visible that had nothing to do with the situation. Each of them were put into risk when the gun came out.

So even though the police told the man and everyone else that he was within his rights – He was defending himself and he had a permit… but what about his verbal abuse that started the escalation?

Why don’t we address that if he had said something different to the children in the first place he wouldn’t have had to defend himself? What made him think that name calling is acceptable behavior at any age?

And now he has made so many other people feel unsafe in the park.



Touching History

Sunday, I met Dolores Huerta. I took my grand-daughter to a screening of ‘Dolores’, a documentary about the work Dolores did for the Farm workers union. Not only for, but in creating it.

She made history even if she never makes it in the history books. My grand-daughter and I were able to say hello, thank you and take a picture.

And I’d like to think we picked up the baton in away.  Not to say that what we have done to this point isn’t relevant. Sunday was a moment in time for reflection and intention. We, too, are a part of history, even if we never make it to the history books.

Yesterday, I had lunch with someone who, until we sat down, I did not know she is helping organize a march.  I told her if she needed help with phone calls, I could do that.

And stand in prayer

  • For the leaders
  • For the people
  • for the now
  • for the future

And with Dolores say, “Si, Se Puede!”

What history will you be making?

Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta

Our First On-line Fundraiser – for St. Baldrick’s cure for childhood cancers

Edye Melton has signed up to shave her head for St. Baldrick’s search for a cure for childhood cancers! She is a cancer survivor and knows what it’s like to be bald from treatment.  It’s hard fighting cancer as an adult, even more so for children.  Edye is doing something about it.  And would like you to help her.

She only needs $150 on the site to reach her goal.  Go here to make a direct contribution
Edye Melton wants to shave her head for St. Baldrick’s

And she has agreed to have a Pampered Chef fund raiser as well.  So if you’ve been wanting some Pampered Chef and haven’t made a purchase, you can go to this link and up to 30% of the sale will be donated to St. Baldrick’s Pampered Chef fundraiser!

Why am I doing this?  I miss my Gpa and I still have a lot of love to give.  I care about what you care about.  I found out about Edye’s event through her niece McKensi who had a regular pampered chef party.  That did nothing! So when McKensi posted about Edye and St. Baldrick.  I suggested we convert her party to  a fundraiser.  Especially since I’m doing a special through May 1st by giving my commission to the fundraiser on top of what Pampered Chef gives.  Pampered Chef gives up to 15% directly to the cause.  And I’m going to give another 15%.  That’s 30% of sales to see Edye shave her head! Plus there’s bonus money for parties booked.

Give me a shout out to let me know if you want to have a party and keep the giving going. You can book a regular party, a fundraiser or even a wedding shower party!

And every time you use your pampered chef products, remember that you did something for the cure for childhood cancer and helped Edye shave her head!

McKensi is so awesome! Thank you McKensi!

Edye is so awesome!  Thank you Edye!

First Fundraiser February

Even though I don’t have ‘a’ valentine, I still want to spread the love this month.

I care about what you care about. I’ve started selling Pampered Chef and have learned that they are set up to also be a way for organizations to raise funds.

For anyone who contacts me this month to have a fundraiser and schedules it by May 1st, I will donate any commissions I earn for that event back to the organization.

This is my Valentine to you.

I’ve already had a couple of people reach out to me for their organizations.  You can, too! I’d love to see how much love we can spread between now and May!



On Still Alice

I watched Still Alice last night. It came out in 2014.

Gpa died in 2013.

It has taken this long for me to be brave enough to watch the movie. I’m glad I did.

Everyone did a fantastic job. All the emotions and struggles we went through were on the screen. And the joy’s. The years I cared for my grandfather will always have a special place in my heart.

Each day was a precious gift where I spent my time in the moment, in his reality and I lived to see the twinkle in his eye as he interacted with me and other people I brought along on our journey.

Not only do I miss him, but those who met him as he slipped away. They too mention of the loss of the delight of who Gpa was even as he became more and more child like.

It’s hard to imagine that it’s been 3 years since he died. As the days go by, I feel the memories slipping away, anchored in place in the moments they happened.

But as I reflect on Still Alice, I think about the going forward. There will be a day in the future. Where we will meet again and that thought takes a bit of the edge off of stepping away from the years Gpa and I had a grand adventure.

Until we meet again, I’ll have to gather other’s who will venture forth on this crazy ride called life. Thank you for letting me share.

Celebrating at JJs

Celebrating at JJs

On Women Speaking Up

I recently read this article on Taylor Hirth. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a8557036/taylor-hirth-gang-rape-independence-missouri/

It appears her case wasn’t investigated as thoroughly as it could have been. She also felt that she was the one under investigation.  How rapes are handled, viewed and dismissed is largely the reason women do not speak up.

Look at other allegations such as those against Bill Cosby.  Once someone spoke up, others gained the courage to do so as well.

In the article, Taylor, who is a victim’s advocate, asks, “How, having gone through what I went through and am still going through, can I still encourage women to report?”

I would reply, especially since she has gone through the same thing, she can encourage the women AND let them know it is a difficult journey.  If Taylor hadn’t reported, the evidence would not have been in the system and her child’s endangerment would not be one of the charges against these men.

Who am I to say to speak up?

I was sexually assaulted at a public swimming pool.  A neighbor boy grabbed me from behind in the pool and twisted my nipple.  Of course I screamed and fought to be let go.

The life guard and the boy had and verbal exchange, all the while the boy continued to hurt me. He told the guard I wanted it.  He only let go when he was ready. I didn’t want it. I didn’t even know he was at the pool.

I already knew to stay away from him and his younger brother. When they first moved in, the younger boy and another neighbor girl exchanged words.  He knocked her down and kicked her in the chest.

When the girl went to tell his mother, I among a few other neighbor girls who had witnessed the exchange, went with her. The mother’s reply to the report was, “boys will be boys.”

We girls had grown up that boys don’t hit girls.  These boys lived by a different set of rules.

So nothing happened of consequence afterwards.

Except I didn’t go to the pool any longer. And until today, I’ve never spoken of what happened.

If we, who have been attacked do not speak up, the perpetrators will continue to go free without consequence to treat others in the same way. It is a long and hard journey but what type of world do we want for ourselves, for others and our children?

An Example of Grace

Recently Grace Parker, reported missing, was found dismembered. A horrific story unfolds as days go by. Her adopted mother and boyfriend accused of what has happened to Grace.

And then I read some details of who Grace was. People have stepped forward and shared that Grace made friends at school with others who didn’t have many friends.  She told those friends the people at home are mean.

Lately, I’ve been chewing on what does one do in the face of bullies. There are those type of bullies that will back down when confronted, but  there are those bullies that will do what they do and more damage is done.

Grace dealt with her situation as best she could. She didn’t let the mean people dampen who she was.  She choose to be kind and reach out to others.

I will do that as well.  I will stand up to the bullies by living my life well.  I will reach out to those around me and seek to make a difference where I can. I choose to be kind, regardless of what others are choosing to do. And I thank Grace for being an example of a way to stay strong and true to oneself in the face of adversity.

Grace, may you rest in peace.

A Litany of sorts

It’s been 22 years since my mother died.  And this year has been particularly rocky.  This has puzzled me as I have a good job, a great boss and have been building my life up again after losing Grandpa.

An incident of no matter really happened the weekend before Thanksgiving that threw me for a loop.  A choice of my sibling felt punitive and I was devastated. So I looked at why I was reacting so.

I am now the age Mom was when her kidneys failed.  She struggled with this health issue for three years.  So I called the company EAP and had my first appointment with a grief counselor.  (I find it interesting that they’ve been able to determine that 4 sessions is all I will need, or maybe it is that they’ll only pay for 4.)

I’ve been to counselors before and had forgotten that the first appointment is a telling / re-telling of life history.  For how can we go anywhere if we don’t know where we have been.

I don’t particularly like my litany.  It goes something like this:

Dad was an alcoholic.  Mother had migraines.
Got married to an alcoholic and had 3 children.
When the relationship started to get violent, (no he never hit me but did kick the bed) I left and got a divorce. Moved in with mom.
Mom’s kidneys failed. Grandmother got cancer.
Three years later they died within months of each other.
Re-married.  That didn’t work out.  Got divorced.
Grandpa got dementia and after a couple of years overseeing his care, quit my job to take care of him full-time.
Grandpa passes away and it’s harder to get back into the work force than I expected.
And now, I’m hitting the grieving process again.

The thing about the above list is that  it only paints one or two colors of my life. Looks like I’ve done so much sacrificing or struggled to survive.  Well, that’s so untrue!  That’s just the list of why I’m at the counselor’s office.

But another list of my life looks like this:

Met my best friend when I was 10.
Started college
Had 3 children
Got a job that had college tuition reimbursement
Finished BA degree
Made quilts
Learned to play guitar
Took kids  to Disneyland
Watercolor painting
Read great books
Saw Movies, embarrass kids when I am the only one in the theater
Kids and I went to Disney World, Epcot Center and the lot
Lillie and I went to London
Gena and I went to the Dominic Republic
Bought some property, because there was a field of buffalo across the street.
Met Daughter in law and grand-daughter
Bought a violin and learned to play
Have a whole line up of pets throughout the years
Juggled all over and now teach it to other

Both lists are true. Both are incomplete by themselves.  What my life is, is a combination of the two.  I’ve had sunshine and sorrow each step of the way.  And as I work with the counselor, I want to become more purposeful in where this life of mine is headed, be more thoughtful in my choices and leave a great legacy.


They Said the Titanic was Unsinkable, and the Pipeline Unbreakable

The company building the Dakota Access PipeLine(DAPL) has repetitively made assurances that there will be no spill from their efforts.  They dismiss the protesters concerns and have called for local and federal law enforcement in assistance to remove the obstruction to their plans to move forward no matter what.

However, in 1988 near Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania Ashland spill occurred, in 2010 BP spilled oil in the Gulf Coast, in 2013 there were spills in Arkansas(Mayflower) and in a field near Bismark North Dakota. This oil spill in the land covered the equivalent of 7 football fields.

In October of this year, 2016, spills occurred in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

And still this company stands with the comments that their pipeline won’t spill.  If that is true, wouldn’t it behoove them to sell their special pipes to these other oil companies that do no seem able to keep oil from contaminating the land and waterways of America?

Is the Federal government tracking the viability of these areas that have been compromised?  How is the water for Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia since the spill in 1988?  These are the states that reports show were impacted by the spill.

How is the water in the Gulf? When was the last time the water and wildlife tested?

Today, I am calling my Federal representatives both in Congress and Senate to ask HR5979 at their local office. This is the Energy and Water Research integration Act.  The one created in 2007 HR5189 requires a plan.  I’m going to ask where to get a copy.

Find out who your representatives are http://whoismyrepresentative.com.

I’m also going to contact EPA Donna Downing at 202-566-2428 and Army Corps of Engineers Stacey Jensen at 202-761-5856 both are listed in the EPA waters of the US Rule documentation.  I will update this page if these contacts have changed.

Instead of repeating that their pipeline won’t break which is unrealistic bearing that other pipelines have failed, offer a plan for containment and clean up would be more reassuring as well as more believable.