Monday, June 22, 2015

Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother

Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Saturday, June 20, 2015


This last night I woke up several times thinking of the events of the last two days. Many events came to mind: those of my family and those of my larger family - my country.

Thursday morning I turned on CNN as I do about every morning and saw that a senator had been killed. I did not yet know what this was about. I decided to wait on that first cup of coffee and see what was going on as I felt in my heart this was worse than I could imagine. Then, I saw it: the unbelievable. Nine people were gunned down in a church while praying. How could that happen? We are a country who thinks groups like Isis are awful. 

Nine lives are gone: Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, the Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor, the Rev. (State Senator) Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, the Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr.,  the Rev. Sharonda Singleton, and Myra Thompson.These nine people were doing something hundreds of thousands of people do weekly: attend their church to pray. Since I believe in Heaven, I know these good people are in Heaven today.

As I sat in front of the television, I learned more. It was believed these people were killed by a young man. They even had his image while entering the church. He left three witnesses: one a five-year-old child, the child's grandmother who pretended to be dead while protecting her grandchild, and a lady who was told that he was saving her so that she could tell what happened.

I won't go into what happened; that may be found elsewhere. Since investigations are fluid, some of what I am writing now may be found to be incorrect later. 

What I do know is that this alleged killer was a hater. He hated black people. Why in the world someone hates a whole group of people because of their race, religion or sexual orientation is beyond me. The other thing that I know is that he shot these people with a gun. He apparently had run-ins with the law on two occasions in 2015. Why did he even have a gun? It is said he bought the gun about April 2015. Why was he able to purchase a gun when he had two charges against him? He was unemployed. How in the earth did he have the money to buy the gun?

Some say this is not the time to talk about gun control. I say if this is not the time, what is? Nine people are dead and all of those nine probably would not be if this alleged killer had gone in with a stick, rocks, or even a knife. It is probable that some may have been able to get out and call the authorities if the alleged hater had one of those type of weapons. A gun allows many people to be killed in a short time with little effort. He did have to reload. I read he reloaded perhaps three or four times. Of course, I don't know that to be true. It was said all the victims were shot multiple times.

Who in their right mind is against background checks for all gun sales? No one. If you are in your right mind, you know that an investigation should be done before someone buys a gun. A gun is to kill...that is its purpose. Of course, criminals will still get them. They will steal them or now they can even make them from a 3D printer. The thing is simple: if everybody out there did not have these guns they couldn't be stolen! Yes, they could make them from a 3D printer, but those are not always reliable. No one needs a clip that holds multiple rounds of ammunition. (This alleged killer did not have a large clip; just several rounds of ammunition.) No one should be able to go into a gun show and just buy a gun. Do you all realize that the two men who have escaped from the prison in New York could alter their looks and go into a gun show and buy weapons in many states? That is crazy and should be illegal, but it is not!

Another troubling thing about these senseless murders is the hatred. This hatred that has gotten worse because we, once again, are led to believe that it is okay to hate a race of people. As a believer in God, I believe all of us were made by him. We are all the same. No one is better than another. The confederate (notice I did not capitalize) flag still flags on the state capitol grounds in South Carolina. The South Carolina and the American flag are at half mast. It is time the flag came down. I am a southerner and know that some say it is a sign of our heritage. It may be a symbol of my heritage, but it is a part of my heritage that I find shameful. The southerners were traitors: pure and simple. Not all that fought on the southern side were; many were drafted. (Not going to get into the Civil War either. I suggest you read about it.)

Pray for the people who lost their lives this week; pray for their families and friends; pray that we can find a way to live together in harmony; pray that something good can come out of this and that common sense will prevail.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Denise's Scrapbook for Extra Credit 9th grade, Mrs. Lloyd

We have a scrapbook Denise put together in 1987 for Mrs. Lloyd, her English teacher for extra credit

May 7, 1987
I Flew
I soared threw [sic] the air, wings and all.
It was great! The pushing up into the sky.
It took me 19 days to get there, but I made it.
It was rough and deserted.
I saw the glow of a different body.
Looked like I could go touch it.
I had my map that I got at the observatory.
I saw the other side, because I went to see it.
To me it looked just like the side that glowed.
But more peaceful.
It was time to go.
I floated back through space.
Then got back in our orbit.
Back home again.

April 28, 1987
I'm a girl, not a boy
In kindergarten, everyone that [sic) she was a boy. It didn't bother her much then.
The little boys all liked her and they were her only friends.
In 3rd grade she saw all the girls giggling about the boys
All the boys said yuk. And she said yuk about liking the boys.
In 7th grade she was tired of being like a boy.
She began to notice them as guys.
But she kenw all the girls would laugh if they knew.
All the girls had boyfriends.
When she was in high school, she met a boy that no one knew.
She began to dress up.
She knew one day though she would show them.
At the 10 year reunion of her class everyone was surprised.
All the girls she envied in grade school envy her now.
She was a very pretty model.
She was the tom-boy of her old school.
[Patti: I can see that some of this was actually Denise writing about herself. She was a tomboy but always wanted to be beautiful like some of her friends. She was beautiful but did not see herself that way.]

Denise "Ladybug"

42 years ago today I became a mother for the first time. I woke up that morning knowing I was going to give birth for the first time. I was told the previous Friday that if I had not delivered by Monday to show up at Balboa Naval Hospital OB Clinic and tell them I wanted to see my doctor - Dr. Miewald. I did not deliver and was terrified the night before.
I don't think I was as terrified of giving birth as I was the knowledge that I would be responsible for someone else. I would be responsible for seeing that another living, breathing human being was fed, was comfortable, and (most of all) was loved.
I was admitted and at 1:30 p.m. (13:30 as I was in a military hospital), labor began. It was not an easy labor in any uncertain terms. My pains began at two minutes apart, and no pain medication was administered. Finally, at 5:30 p.m. (forgot 17:30), I told them if they did not give me something I was going home. I finally got a little shot that helped for about thirty minutes. At 8:30 p.m. (20:30), I gave birth to a beautiful 9 pound, 7 ounce baby girl. (Back then you had no idea of the sex.) I was so very happy as I wanted a girl. Her name had been decided on one year earlier by my best friend Karen. She was given the female version of her daddy's name, and she was definitely a daddy's girl right from the start.
Denise and Dennis
He would come home from his Navy job, lie down on the couch with Neecey, and both would sleep for about an hour. I woke them up, he ate dinner, and he went to his second job at a service job not far away.
Denise was sleeping all night by the time she was two weeks old with only an occasional night when she woke up. In the mornings, she would sit in her playpen and watch Captain Kangaroo. She would watch that show and laugh and laugh. She was laughing out loud at a very early age.
We moved back "home" right before her first birthday. She was so happy to be around all her cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. She was doted on by all of them. As she got a little older, she fished with her Grandpa D, watched her Granny D make pancakes and ate them up like there was no tomorrow, spit off the front porch at the old house on the farm with Poppy, and followed Meemaw around like a puppy dog.
Denise and Lauri
Denise always wanted to know how things were put together and took apart everything she could. Finally, I found a little plastic tool box (think it was made by Fisher Price) that you actually took apart and then put it back together. She played with that almost nonstop.
When she was two and a half, she became a big sister. She loved "lil lauri," as we called her. As they got older, Neecey decided it was her role in life to pester Lauri at every moment, and she did.
A huge "bad habit" of Neecey's was her desire to see the world. She would "run off" every chance she got. Her big wheel probably had more miles on it by the time she was five than some cars. If left alone for a moment, she was gone. (Back then, we were not as careful about watching our children every minute as parents have to be now.) I met my friend Ellen when discovering Neecey was gone when I had gone back in the house to check on sleeping Lauri. I finally found the big wheel at a house I did not recognize, went to the door, and asked if a little blonde-haired girl was there. Sure enough, she was. Ellen had no idea what to do with this little girl. (This scares the soup out of me but all went well.) Ellen told me later she still remembered that wild woman throwing a big wheel in the bag of a Corvette, spanking this little girl all the while. That was the only time she ever went into someone's house (fortunately). Our eyes had to stay on her every moment after that.
The day she got her certification
She made very good grades at school (as long as she was interested in the class) and it was apparent that she was very intelligent. All our lives turned upside down, however, when her daddy and my marriage went sour and we divorced. Denise (and Lauri) never got over this, and it changed Denise's life. (This was no one's fault - just the way life goes.)
Denise was a tomboy: she played basketball, pretty good in tennis, fair in golf and loved the idea of flying in the sky. Her stepdad, Dave, surprised her with flying lessons and she was as happy during that time as I ever knew her. She loved flying and entered HSU with an aviation degree in her sights. She obtained an aviation degree in only 3 1/2 years and then moved to London to be near her future husband, Peter.

She and Peter married the next year in Perth, Australia, at Peter's parents' home, and Libby was born 1 1/2 years later. Life became extremely hard for Denise as Libby had a brain bleed at birth which resulted in a neonatal stroke. They both persevered, and Libby attained heights that no one ever imagined.
Denise marrying in her red dress
(well, actually, her sister's red dress)
A couple of years later, Denise began flying for a commuter airline out of Florida and then was able to get a job where she could live back in Arkansas with another airline. She did this for about two years and found it extremely hard to fly and be a mother. She turned in her resignation September 10, 2001. She decided to begin nursing school and began then January 2002, and she and Peter divorced early that year.
In April 2002, she was offered a training position at Morgan-Stanley as a financial analyst and took that job. She was, apparently, very good at that position as she was made a full-time employee much earlier than ever expected.
By March 2003, Denise's depression had returned and came back with a vengeance. She was extremely depressed and could not shake it this time. On June 11, 2003, she left this earth and I think is now happy in Heaven smiling down on her sweet Libby.
Why Ladybug? My mother began calling her that when she was a baby. When you see a ladybug, please smile for Neecey or, better yet, laugh out loud!
Those of us who knew her do not remember those dark times but, rather, the good times and there were many. We remember the laugh that she had. It actually hurts my throat when I try to laugh like her. We remember the funny things that she did. We remember the nice things she did for others. We remember the things that got her in trouble (or the things she did that somehow she managed to not get in trouble for). We also remember how stubborn she was and that she could make us so mad that we could scream! But, most of all, I remember looking at that baby girl for the first time and feeling a love that I never felt again except after the birth of my second, Lauri.

Friday, January 4, 2013

This is me:
I am over 60
I am female
I am white
I am Christian
I am a Democrat
I am against assault rifles
I am against clips that carry over 10 shots
I don't always agree with unions
I believe in helping care for those who cannot care for themselves
I believe everyone has the right to health care (not just the healthy and wealthy)
I believe in a woman's right to choose (that does not mean that I am pro-abortion - it means it is none of my business what another woman decides)
I am for the after-morning pill for anyone who thinks she needs it
I am for men helping financially raise children they spawn (but I am against women who let a man think she is using birth control when she is not)
Rape is rape
I don't like people who scream from the mountaintops they are Christian but don't want to help their neighbor (or someone else's neighbor for that matter)
I believe in anyone being able to marry who they want to as long as the person is old enough and able to make decisions (not mentally challenged)

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Mother

I guess I was one of those typical teenage girls. I didn't like my mother. Well, maybe that is not the correct way to say it. We just did not see eye to eye. I look back and wonder why. My mother did everything for me. As I was growing up, we were not wealthy. We probably were not even middle class, but I certainly did not know it. If I needed something, I always got it. If I wanted something, I almost always got it.
Then there was the love. There was lots of it. I think my parents told me every single day that they loved me. If they didn't, I think they did. If it was not in words, it was in something else they did or said.
When I look back, my parents were not particularly strict except in some things. They had some strange ideas: nice girls did not wear bangs. I have no idea where that idea came from, but my parents did not want me to have my hair in my face. (Now that I am an adult, I wear bangs - probably because I could not back then.) Another one of my mother's odd rules: nice girls did not wear colored underwear. I had nothing but white cotton underpants - the brief kind.
My mother's specialty, however, was making memories. We had Christmases that I think of almost every day. It was not the presents; it was the presentation. One year I got a package of gum for Christmas. I looked at it and said, "Thank you." Then I knew: another presentation. I looked closely, really closely, as she had opened that package of gum so carefully that it was not apparent at first sight. After opening the package, I still had to look very closely to notice that every single piece was opened. I pulled out a piece of that gum and, wow, there was money. There was money in every single wrapper! I opened another package and instead of a gift there was a note: get up from the chair (oh, yeah, I forgot - she always told everyone where to sit), walk five steps straight ahead, turn left, and so on. I finally got to the place and there was a microwave hidden away in the utility room. I always liked those wonderful presents, but I loved the presentation.
When my children were young, their dad and I divorced. They were with me that first Christmas, so it was still a good holiday. The next Christmas, however, they were to spend with their dad. I knew it was going to be awful. I dreaded that day for months. Finally, the day arrived. The girls opened their gifts, and their dad came to get them. (We were already at Mother and Daddy's.) After we had our Christmas lunch, Mother said, "Get up, we're going to the store." My mother worked at one of the local shoe stores. She had gotten permission from the owner of the store to take me even though they were closed. We spent several hours in that store in Christmas afternoon with my trying on every single pair of shoes in my size, and she bought me several pairs. I cannot even remember how many. My mother, in her own way, made a Christmas day I had been dreading for months the most memorable one of my life. It still was not perfect: I did not get to spend it with my girls, but it was special as I got to spend it with the lady who gave me life and a joy for life.
Now, I am much older. My daddy passed away last year, and my mother is not the same as she was before. Her memory is fading, and it makes me so very sad. The person who gave me the best memories I have is losing hers.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Pancake is described on as "a thin, flat cake of batter fried on both sides on a griddle or in a frying pan; griddlecake or flapjack."

Those of us who enjoy pancakes think they are much more than that. Eating a pancake, imho, brings back some of the happiest memories of my childhood and adult life. We pancake lovers just see a pancake and think of those days when we were children and our mothers were kind enough to make us pancakes. They were not an everyday thing - we had pancakes on special occasions. Perhaps the occasion was Saturday or Sunday, a birthday, Christmas morning; but, one thing was for certain, that pancake made that day special.

I can remember my mother making us pancakes for dinner one evening (actually we had them at night as much as in the morning), and the pancakes were piled high on our plates with whipped cream (the real kind) and strawberries between each layer and then piled high with cream and berries. I cannot remember how old I was (probably between 12 and 15) but remember that meal as if it were yesterday.

Then, I remember the pancakes my former mother-in-law used to make. Charline's pancakes were fluffy and wonderful. They were always made with buttermilk. I can still see that large measuring cup that she made them in. My kids loved those pancakes as well, and I wish my grandkids could remember her pancakes. (Libby Lu does not remember eating her wonderful pancakes.)

Now we have Libby Lu, and she loves pancakes. At first, mine were not good at all. The first time I made them in an iron skillet, and they were black and tasted awful - had to throw them out. I then realized if I cooked them on an electric griddle they would be better, but they were still flat. I finally remembered (after Lauri's remark one day) that buttermilk was the answer. Now, our pancakes are great! Libby Lu's G. P. and Becky gave her a "pancake maker" (as they call it) for Christmas. The first time I used it I didn't read the directions correctly and made a huge mess. "Billy Dave" reminded me that I had the thing upside down. Now, Billy Dave shoots them out of the "pancake maker," and they are all uniform in size and taste wonderful!

Why am I discussing pancakes today? Yesterday morning Billy Dave and Libby Lu brought me pancakes in bed to celebrate Valentine's Day. I must say yesterday was the most wonderful Valentine's Day of my life, and I think that was because of pancakes. I can now add Valentine's Day 2010 in my pancake memory bank and will always have a smile in my heart (and my stomach) for that day - those pancakes - and for those that I love.