Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Return and Restart

I gave up on blogging because it seemed as if everyone else did.  I finally started using Facebook, but have quickly realized that what I really wanted was to blog again.

This time I will start anew [stole that from Lura!]  with an explanation.  I started out blogging with my girls and several of their friends.  I was not trying to be just "one of the girls"  because I am old.  I am not [nor have ever been] ashamed of my age.  No, I relish it, I enjoy it.  I try to share what I have learned throughout my life with those who are much younger that I.  I raised my own 5 kids. I've had a share in raising another 5.  I've been through divorce, remarriage and blended families. I've been through family feuds in 3 generations.  I hope that any wisdom I've gained may be shared.

Where does one go to consult the wise[wo]man?  To the top of the mountain, of course!  Besides I grew up on the side of a  very steep hill in the top house.  So my title is an invitation.

WARNING:  I can be very wordy, though I never mean to be so.

So welcome, I hope the climb is worth it.  I am back on my mountaintop!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm Tired

I'm tired. Sleepy, yes, but more tired from argument and yelling. I'm tired of my family yelling at each other through me. It must be a generational thing--it has been going on for generations.
I am not a buffer zone--except that I am.

Please stop yelling at me when you want to yell at someone else. Sariah and Erica, this is NOT just pointed at you. Yes, that has been this morning, but other days it is someone else, and I feel like this has been my whole life. Oh, maybe because it has been going on that long. Enough. Stop. I love my family--every single one. Have your problems with each other if you so choose. I cannot stop it. But I'm not going to be in the middle any more. Yell at each other, ignore each other. Just know that I refuse [as always] to stop loving someone else, or to be mad at someone else just because you are. Sometimes it is easier to talk to some of the 5th & 6th cousins I've found doing genealogy--I guess because I am not as invested in all aspects of their lives.

So thats it. I'm done. If you're mad at someone else, fine, but it is your problem. I am not going to try to smooth it over. I love you anyway, and I love the other person too, but I will no longer be a go between. I just wish I could get ALL my family to read this! Unfortunately, that won't happen. I'm so tired!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

America: The Strongest Tribe in Iraq

I just finished reading a book. Not just any book... here's the history.

Extremely Conservative Allrie enjoys her kids--pretty much no matter what. Liberal Erica enjoys The Colbert Report. Although Steven Colbert's show is more about entertainment than news, and he is generally pretty balanced, there is no doubt that it is a liberal show. But it is funny--and I absolutely love how he uses props--magnificently done in my humble, yet somewhat educated in the topic of props, opinion.

One night in August he had Bing West on talkingabout his newbook: The Strongest Tribe. It intrigued me so giving ita few weeks to reach the library shelves, I checked...not yet, but I put my name on the waitlist, so I was one of the first in our county library system to get it!

As I began I saw that the book broke down the War inIraq into years, and sections of years. At first, while interesting, I found that I could read only about 1/2 chapter at a time...then as I got into it, I could not put the book down! I think every voting American should read this book!

Since that will not happen, I want to share a little. the final chapter looks forward to 2009 and beyond, not just forIraq, but for the US as well. [The author took 14 trips toIraq for this book, and is a Vietnam Vet. This is his 3rd book on Iraq.] Appendix C is entitled Bing West's Counterinsurgency Lessons. It summarizes much of what he explains in the last chapter in great detail. [This may sound a little negative, but I promise that in context it is anything but! Bing West reports, analyzes and explains how the US made mistake--as in every war--but how leaders on the ground figured out bit by bit how to win not just the initial war--toppling Saddam, but the "peace" as well in unifying a fractured country]

1. Partner Always. Don't fight someone else's battles for him. The goal of US units and advisorteams is to nurture armed units--army and police. If a US unit is not combined with a local unit, it cannot succeed.

2. Fire Incompetents. Americans go in because the host nation failed. Insist on a mechanism to relieve those who fail. Sovereignty should not shield failure.

3. Act as Police. The key is identifying insurgents, not redressing their political grievances. Installing "good government" is not a US militart mission. The US militarty has neglected basic police metrics and methods. It is fooklish to fight an insurgency without conducting a census and employing biometric tools.

4. Be Agressive. UA unit or advisory team must set the example and spend most of its time outside the wire. Force protection is not a mission. The goal is a clearance rate [kill or capture] of over 50% for violent crimes--shootings, bomings, kidnappings, etc. The insurgent must know he will die or be captured.

5. Don't Catch and Release. Insist on a system of incarceration based on common sense rather than democratic ideals. It is crazy to catch insurgents and let them go a few months later.

6. Bribe. The US militarty has no competence to restructure an economy. Every platoon and advisory team should have a monthly allowance of several thousand dollars to dispence for goodwill and information.

7. Treat Everyone with Respect. First, do no harm. The task--that will take years--is to separate the people from the insurgants, not to act like a thug and recruit for the insurgants. If you wouldn't push someone around at home, don't do it anywhere else. NoBetter Friend comes before No Worse Enemy. If foot patrols by local police departments require more than four men, the area has not been cleared. If you don't have a confident, competent police chief, the area is not being held.

8. Barriers Work. "Gated Communities"--walls, concrete barriers, etc.--greatly impede commerce, but they impede the entrance and exit of assasins.

9. Fight the Top. In Iraq and Afghanistan, as in Vietnam, the high-level officials were the most resistant to change. Thwe top levels of the US government have failed to establish tough practices to force change, particularly n ripping out corruption at ministerial levels. If sovereignty guarantees massive corruption, sedition, and recalcitrance that undercut the war effort, then Amewrican soldiers should not be committed.

10. A divisive Society Will Not Remain the Strongest Tribe. As a society, America'[s martial values of patience, sacrifice, and unity have declined. Iraq was as much a symptom as a problem. We foiught in Iraq as a nation divided, with many of our elected leaders willing to lose. No nation can sustain its values by claiming to support the soldier while opposing his mission. If we are divided in the next war, we will not succeed."

Again, get the book. Read it. It will help any and everyone to understand things we must as we vote, as we write to our political leaders, and as we send our children forward in courage to be a part of the force for freedom in retaining ouselves as The Strongest Tribe.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I've just read a non-LDS sourced food storage article! It includes a clip from a news interview. We should all see this...even though it basically just underlines what the prophets have told us for ages about storing food! See it here: http://www.foodshortageusa.com/ I was surprised to learn that some rationing is already taking place. I am relieved to have as much food storage as I do, but would be happier with more! I keep working on it.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


I ride a bike everywhere for both exercise and transportation. I like it, now that the temps are cooling down. I hop on my bike and out the drive I ride. Two doors down, Rebecca's house not only has the blue tarp stretched tightly across her roof still, but now what appears to be a work order written large on it. Hers will be a big job, I hope they're able to have it done soon.

Less that a block away the smell assails me. Mold. Decay. And I thought all that stuff was gone, but wait, no, there's another pile of wallboard and carpet ripped out. Hmm, now I really need to get that done, too--even though by comparison mine is only a small amount. Still, it needs doing.

Oh, a new pile of tree branches. It wasn't there yesterday--it must have come out of their back yard. I sneak a quick peek up into the trees and see that they, like us, still have plenty of dead branches broken and caught up there. When it was really windy the other day, I, like most of my neighbors, had a new batch of branches to haul out to the curb.

I stop and snap pictures. It is now two months since Ike came through, and the clean up goes on, and on, and on. . .

Comcast trucks are much in evidence [finally]. I hear they've lost about half their customer base in our community [including us] due to their incredibly slow responsse. In our case, once the line that was down in our back yard went up, service was restored. Too bad for them that they waited so long that we looked into, called, made an appointment, had the guy come out one eve, but since it was already getting dark at that point, he came back the next morning first thing--and we now have satellite [and he even pulled a heavy branch off the roof for me!] The next day Comcast finally came. . . they still had to take care of the downed wire. It was only reported a week and a half earlier!

The daily runs of the huge trucks picking up the big loads of branches and downed tree limbs are over. The guys who did our street were down from upper Wisconsin, and the heat here was terrible to them--and we thought was nice after Ike came through. Dry and unseasonably cool. What a blessing with the power out for most of us for at least a week or more! Still it was awfully hot for these men to whom I was able to give cold water [ten days after Ike and our power was restored.]

The sound of Ike in my mind is not the wind of the storm, but the buzz of the saws beginning the next morning and continuing still. In the first week when so many places of work were closed, men were everywhere: cutting, sawing, and getting rid of the carnage. Now its usually only in the evenings and weekends, and it's here a buzz, there a buzz, [everywhere a buzz, buzz--eventually!] Most of the major work has been done.

Some blocks do not smell of mold any longer, but of new wood as the old blown down fences are hauled away, and the new fences go up. I've a friend from church who lives on a farm and they lost all their fencing, and at last report, still have "miles of new fence to put in."

I feel for the early primary grades in Santa Fe [the next town over]. They lost the roof of their first & second grade building. As a result, the first grade classes are in the Jr. High for the rest of the year [and we'd only been in school a couple of weeks before Ike!] They've settled in nicely, I hear, but they are truely short on library books etc. The community has really pulled together to help them out.

As I write, we have another load of Contracters bags filled to the brim with branches and leaves. I still have to cut down the tropical plants in the backyard which were bent beyond their capacity to recover. As I ride around town, I see that most people have put that off as well--only a few have started work on this type of plant. I guess I'm not the only one who was hoping that they would recover eventually on their own--but it just does not seem to be.

I'll post pictures next week. This has been an interesting experience, and as my rides get braver and longer and reach new territory I see fresh evidences of the churned up landscape.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Great Invention

Sippy cups--what a great invention! I wish they'd been around when my kids were small. I don't have a clue when they appeared, just somewhere between my children and my grandchildren. I liked them when I first saw the kids with them.

Then, sitting with my friend and her kids, I began to get jealous. Every Sunday, right after the Sacrament, out come four sippys, four snacks and peace continues until appetites are fed. As an adult who is supposed to carry a bottle of water at all times and drink frequently [according to my "How to be a Good Diabetic Class"] I had trouble. Because of my left side of my mouth having no feeling, dribbling is a frequent hazard with a water bottle.

So, I did it! I bought my own sippy cup. No cartoon characters. No movie characters. No fancy designs. Just a nice plain blue sippy. No more dribbles--I take it to church, to choir, to bed, and it works! And no more spills because of being knocked over! No more overflows trying to open a water bottle and using too much pressure with my left hand holding [squeezing] the bottle as I attemp to open a new one. It is a win-win situation!

Sorry, kids, you should be used to my embarrassing you by now! The sippy cup stays--what a great invention :) Got to go refill my sippy and go to bed now. Good night.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thank you, Mrs Bissell

It seems like a year or two since last I blogged. It has been awhile, but not that long, it is just that so much has happened. I was not online for quite awhile, and I am not going to journal here, but some of this summer's activities will work into blogs--of that I am sure!

Today's blog:

A couple decades ago I ran into my old high school PE teacher in the grocery store. She had just retired and I had just finished my teaching credential as a divorced Mom of three. She was a single Mom all those years of teaching, so one might think it would be a comfortable conversation. One would be very, very, wrong! I HATED PE. I was a clutz even then, and thought it the greatest waste of time. My junior year I changed my schedule at least three times, and while required to choose from a variety of sports each 9 weeks, I managed to take basketball three times. It was the only sport in which I was even mildly competant. At the grocery store, Mrs B said that the girls she had of late weren't as creative as my group was! The nicest thing she ever said to me--even if referring to tricking her!
She always said that we had to experience a variety of sports as it would stay with us throughout our lives. We would find activities we enjoyed, and be able to participate in them always. Too bad bocce wasn't on her list, But I picked reading as my sport repeatedly--she wasn't amused.
Now, however, I say, thank you Mrs Bissell. No, not for the sports. For teaching us how to take fast and cold showers when covered in sweat. Now, this is a "sport" in which I am participating several times daily. Welcome to Gulfcoast Texas!