You have become the bully you so valiantly admonish!

Living in America, we are afforded certain inalienable rights. Freedom of speech is one of them. But in that freedom comes responsibility. Responsibility not to spew forth, hate, vitriol, falsehoods, or “Alternative Facts” as Facts. What I’m getting at is…what do you do to a child who outright lies to you, over and over again? Do you not correct their wrongdoings with some sort of consequence? Is there not a punishment for lying to a parent, guardian, or any other human being? If in fact the lie was outright egregious, then it should be handled as a lie, if however it was just misinformation or poor knowledge, it should also be handled accordingly as to rectify the wrongdoings.

Or am I wrong? Would you just continue to let your child lie to you and countless others, because it’s “Their Truth” ?

I doubt any good parent would knowingly allow their child to lie, without reprimanding them and teaching them the lessons of right and wrong. I’m reminded of the little story “The boy who cried wolf.” keep lying and no one will believe you when you’re really telling the truth. Eventually it happens, and when it does, I’m sure the circumstances are not idyllic.

I’ve seen much in the ways of propaganda, lies, and just outlandish juvenile behavior from people who I both admire, and associate with as friends, acquaintances, etc. I understand the right to have opposing opinions on various subjects, and I get a good meme from time to time is a quick way to show how you’re really feeling at the moment about a particular situation at hand, but come on people show a little decorum. Show a little respect. For yourselves.

When you are bashing the Woman’s March on DC, and posting a meme that says, “Get back in the kitchen where you belong, and make me a sandwich.”  “Trump got more than a million woman out exercising in one day than, Michelle Obama did in eight years” You are what’s wrong with this world. You are portraying nothing less than childish behavior at the expense at another human being. You are showing your children how to behave and act in this world, you are grooming our boys into men, and showing our girls where their place is in this world as well. Ultimatley you’re doing nothing to promote your cause.

You have become the Bully you so valiantly admonish! 

Think about that for a moment, and let it sink in.

By showing, or saying certain things, attacking groups of people, you are no better than the gum on the bottom of my shoe. And trust me I’m being kind by suggesting that.

You don’t need to be a feminist, to have compassion, dignity, and acceptance of others/things that are different from you. You have to be a human. Plain and simple it doesn’t get easier than that.

I have witnessed on my Facebook feed countless meme’s of hate and anger towards feminists, women in general, LGBTQ, African-Americans, etc and each and almost every one of those people who are posting, always have a savvy meme or copy and paste diatribe of words that they have scooped up from someone who is on a warpath. Hardly any of them have put into their own words what they really feel. Again I get the quick wit of just copying and sharing something that aligns with your thoughts and feelings, I’ve done it myself on occasion.

The most recent one I’ve seen circulating Facebook is one of  a particular status that expresses the reason why women did not support the marches.

First let me say, you don’t have to support the march, you should respect those that feel the need to march, however. You must realize that not everyone has the same advantages as you or I for that matter. We are afforded the right to peaceful protest under the US Constitution, we should take advantage of it. I’m not saying violence is acceptable, there is a distinct line between violent protests, and those that are peaceful. I support peaceful protests, even if I don’t participate with them, or feel they align with my values. Everyone is entitled to opinions, as you are entitled to not agree with the protests that have taken place, but to bash another person for feeling the need to stand up for what they believe is, is like telling you not to hold your beliefs true. Isn’t it?

I’m not sitting behind this monitor telling you your ideals are wrong. I don’t agree with you, but I’m not telling you you’re wrong, unless your promoting a lie.

Most of the women who are protesting are doing so because they have at one time or another felt disrespected, held down, belittled, abused, treated as second class citizens, etc. They feel at this point this is how to get their voices heard. And although we were heard in the election, our countries election process does not believe in popular vote. If you still believe that Hillary only won the popular vote because of illegal immigrant votes, I have a bridge to sell you.

You don’t have to agree with those that chose to march, you do however need to stop living a life of “I” and instead of stating…

I’m not disrespected

I’ve never felt that way before

I’ve never been abused

I don’t believe in their cause…

How about remove yourself from the equation, and think about THEM. Why are they doing what they are doing. I’m thrilled that You haven’t endured the atrocities that many of these women have faced, and are trying to prevent. I’m saddened by their experiences and the fact that this election has elicited such emotion from them that they are scared. Scared of what could happen, scared of what is happening slowly to our future. I’ve had my own share of problems in life, some that no one will ever know of, but when I hear and see things that so many people are saying it shakes me to my soul, because I know of what possiblilites stand on the other side of that door.

I don’t mind a world with varying opinions, I actually encourage thought-provoking, intelligent ones, but what I do mind is hate! Hate from people I call, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, family… it’s sickening, sad, and angers me.

Instead of bashing one another, or dismissing someones cause, how about you ask them why they are doing what they are doing. Ask them if you can help, even if in another way. You don’t need to stand with them in solidarity marching through the streets, but you should however offer a shoulder or a listening ear for their cause. If at the end of the conversation, you still can’t accept their ideas, wish them well… and walk away.

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Walking away isn’t bad, actually it’s quite acceptable, but be respectful. I understand that there is hate and negativity on both sides.  I remember the days of seeing memes referencing monkeys, and posts of violence against, President Obama, but of course many people tend to forget what has happened in the past. People who felt those posts were horrible are constantly told to “Buckle up butter cup. Stop being a snowflake. Go away and color. Find a safe place”  Those same people who were telling you were to go back then are at it now, but with a sense of power and authority behind them because “our guy won and your bitch lost” But remember this one thing, the past predicts the future, and our past is dark, we must do all we can to change the future, and the only way to change that is to change ourselves. Keep standing up for the truth.

If we constantly bash one another, even in a joking manner, it is still negative energy being let out into this glorious world we inhabit. Let us be better than our past, better than our worse selves, and better than someone who can not see past themselves.

Hold up, wait a minute! Where did the time go?

There are times in life when you just have to say, “Hold up, wait a minute! Where did the time go?”

I’ve found myself saying that at least once a week over the last few months. I’ve wanted to write. I’ve needed to write. BUT, I could not bring myself to do it. Why? I haven’t a clue. I mean I do have somewhat of a clue, like the simple fact that by the time the end of the day hit, dinner was made, the house was cleaned, errands were run, people were visited, and life was in full swing…I was exhausted. Completely drained. And in some cases, in a lot of pain. I can put on a brave face, and try to look fine, and in most cases I succeed. Then there are days I just want to sit in my leggings and scroll the newsfeeds, get caught in the sickness of politics, life in the outside world, and forget what it is that’s bothering me at the moment. Hey at least I got out of my pajamas, and changed clothes, amiright?

Then there are the moments I have an idea, a spark of something to write about, and then I self censor. The critic inside my head has much to say.

“No one wants to read this or that. It’s not interesting. It’s not relevant. It’s not good enough. It’s boring. It’s not funny enough. It’s not thought provoking. It’s not timely. People don’t even see your posts. It just sucks.

That’s when I cave. I give in to the negativity, I give in to the inner critic. The critic that really sucks in it self.

Then there are the moments when I run into people and they ask me,

“How come I haven’t seen your blog posts? Am I not looking in the right place? Am I missing it in my newsfeed? Have you stopped writing? I haven’t seen you at the coffee shop, where you normally write from. Where have you been?

I’ve hit a wall I’ve often said. I feel there isn’t much to write about right now. Life has drained my energy level and I don’t have it in me to write anymore. But that’s not always true. I have it in me, but I feel it’s not good enough. I should just say screw it, put it to page, and let it happen. I’ve wanted to write about our vacations this summer and fall, the places we’ve seen, the food we’ve eaten, and yet when I go to write, I’m stopping myself.

That’s when it hit me. New Year’s Eve.

The ball had dropped, Mariah Carey had a meltdown of sorts ( I actually was enjoying our company and didn’t pay much attention to the Dick Clark Rockin Eve celebration until the last 30 seconds or so) and it occurred to me…

What the fuck am I waiting for? Nike slogan ran through my head…Just do it! Who cares who reads it. Who cares if it’s good to someone else. Who cares if it’s funny, interesting, relevant, thought provoking. It may not be today, but it may be in a few months, or weeks or even years. And then even if it never is any of the above, Who the fuck cares. It’s good enough for me, it’s good for my soul, it gives me lightness, it gives me peace and it’s good enough for me.

Now here we are on the brink of a new year. No resolutions, just go with the flow and enjoy the moment.

Happy New Year. Happy days of writing whatever the heck I want to write about, if I want to write about it. If you read it, I appreciate it and thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you don’t read it, I appreciate that as well, and thank you from the bottom of my heart. image

A little tug at the heartstrings

I’ve been MIA from the blog for a few weeks. Not because I want to but because life is just all over the place in good ways. David and I were away a few times, once with the boys and once alone. So my time to blog has been a little constrained for good reason. But I needed to share a little something near and dear to my heart.

logo_of_the_united_states_marine_corpsMost people close to me know that, David is a former Marine…let me add Once a Marine, Always a Marine, and he’s my Marine.

A few weeks ago he had an appointment and we ran into each other at the food store before he went to it, and would later meet up at home. While I was there, buying manzanella olives, and some pickles, I saw this older gentleman who seemed to have a little trouble reaching the canned vegetables. Now I’m a shorty, but I did offer my assistance to see if I could help him get what he needed. He was so thankful, and told me he was looking for the canned corn but couldn’t find it. It so happened to be on a lower shelf and I picked it up for him and he thanked me so much. I told him to have a good day and enjoy his dinner.

I finished up my shopping and checked out. When I got home, I made a little something to eat and cleaned up a little bit. David arrived soon after, and he had this look on his face. Something was off, but it wasn’t bad, it was just that he had a little sadness in his eyes.

What’s the matter? I asked

He then tells me before his appointment he went to the pizza shop to get a slice of pizza, and about 10 min later an older gentleman walked into the shop.

As David relayed the encounter he spoke as if he was the gentleman.

He walks in and asks the waitress “Am I allowed to eat there?” When she said yes, he then asks “Can I have chicken Parmigiano and do you have hot Italian bread?”. She said yes to both and she seemed a little shocked. He then asks “Can I sit here and eat it at a table? She tells him to go and pick any one he’d like and his food will be right out.

“I noticed right away he was wearing a hat, he was a WWII Vet. A Marine. I tried to get the waitresses attention, but she kept ignoring me. Finally I walked up to her and told her to add his meal to mine. And if he asked, Thank him for his service, from one Marine to another Marine”

 

David brought me to tears, and I’m sure he’s not to happy I’m writing about this, it’s personal, it’s at a level I didn’t understand, Marine to Marine, that is. But I do understand.

“He looked so alone, and as he asked if he could eat there, it just hit me.”

I asked if the gentleman was wearing grey sweatpants, and he said yes. I then told him my little story, it was the same man in the food store I had helped with his canned corn. We took a moment just thinking about it. I told him in his own way he made that mans night and I’m sure that he’d be grateful for the gesture.

 

Fast forward to yesterday, I’ve been having a few rough days, dealing with some stressful situations and finally got myself back to my chiropractor for a long overdue visit. It put me in a better mood, physically and emotionally. I had tried to meet up with my girlfriend for breakfast afterwards but being a new mom her little man was calling the shots. So instead I went to breakfast solo, and a little diner I haven’t been to in years. After my chiropractic session, I couldn’t imagine sitting at the counter on a stool with no back, so I asked the waitress if she minded if I sat at her 4 top table since there were 2 others available. She didn’t mind and I took the one closest to the door. image

I ordered my food, and table by table the place filled up. As I was finishing up my coffee and eggs, an older gentleman walked in, and he had a cane. I could see there were no tables left for him to sit at and so I took another sip of coffee and tried to get his attention. The waitress saw this and motioned to him, he turned around and I told him that if he would like he could have my table as I was finished with my breakfast.

“Thank you so much, it’s hard for me to sit on the stools with no back to them. These old bones don’t move that easily anymore. But I don’t want you to move or stop eating on account of me” he said

“Not a problem, I understand. And it’s not a bother, I’m finished and even if I wasn’t I’d just offer for you to sit with me at this big table. I always welcome company.”

He thanked me again and I moved my plate and cup to the counter. The waitress mouthed “Thank you” to me and I nodded. As I waited for her to take his order, it hit me.

Why not.

I caught her attention as she started to walk back around the counter, and whispered, “Add his bill to mine” She smiled and walked away to put his order in. When she got back around the other side of the counter she asked me are you sure. I said yes, add his to mine. When I paid her I told her if he asked to tell him, I wanted to brighten his day with a smile.

As I turned around to leave I saw him sitting in my chair and noticed his hat. A WWII Vet. A Marine. I touched his arm, fighting back tears, and said

“Thank you for your service, have a wonderful day, and enjoy your breakfast”

“Thank you, and thank you for the table. Have a good day” he said

I walked out the door, with tears welling up. I don’t really know why, except that I did. I’m an emotional person, always have been. Heck as I’m typing this whole thing I’m fighting back tears.

I don’t write this post to brag about, David (he’s probably not going to like this at first because he doesn’t like to talk about himself or what he does) or myself for that matter. I write it because what a small gesture as these may be, can possibly make someones day a little brighter, a little less lonely. It is ironic that both men, completely different, yet so similar.

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What I do hope you take from this post is the next time you see someone, pay it forward, just for the heck of it. Buy a coffee, buy a donut, buy a meal. I did it because he was an older gentleman and he kinda tugged at my heartstrings, I had no idea he was a Veteran.

The Big Duck 

It’s time to wish a Happy Birthday to The Big Duck who turns 85 years old today!

Random Musings And Wanderlust

Flanders Duck / The Big Duck
Sometimes a random drive to nowhere leads you down a road less traveled, and a surprise sight to see. Forgot this little fella was so close by. Was fun to stop and take a picture during today’s snowfall.

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Imperfectly Perfect With You

My heart in your hands
the weight of the world on your shoulders
you bear the burden of all before you

you tackle it with grace and strength
you set forth to conquer the demons
change the perception, the course of the world

you have the power
in the subtle things you do
in the words that you speak
in the actions that you take

you bring forth a comfort and calmness
you are unique unto yourself

you share your dreams, haunts, desires, and fears
you are all I could have imagined
and more than I could fathom

you are the sun
the moon
the stars
and galaxies
combined in one
fantastical expression of God

In my heart you can find
all that I am
and all that I have
aligned imperfectly perfect with you

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Time to build the 6 ft cat tree. Or “Let’s see if this relationship will survive”

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“He won’t read directions”

“We can’t do any home project together without wanting to rip each others hair out”

“He’s a control freak and wont let me help”

“She gets all the tools, and hardware mixed up.”

“She doesn’t know what a flat head is compared to a phillips head”

Does any of this sound vaguely familiar to you? If so you might be suffering from ~ Incompatible Home Improvement Syndrome.

It affects 1 in 3 couples, and has been known to tear apart relationships before they can even have a chance to get off the ground running.

“Hey hun, I found a great painting that would look fantastic in the hallway. Let’s put it up?” Does hearing that question send shivers down your spine? 

If so, let me assure you, your compatible mate to home improvement projects is out there and waiting for you to find them. Quite possibly in your nearest home improvement store.

All joking aside, if you think about how many times you and your partner have worked together building something, working on a home improvement project, cooking, etc. it probably hasn’t been without some flaws, and sometimes you realize that it’s just better to not do something together. It’s not a bad thing to do your own thing. You may not be interested in laying tile, he may not want to crack a few eggs for brownies, you may not want to get down and dirty with grout, and he may look at you with three heads when you say you want to make a souffle with him. Or vice a versa if he enjoys doing the cooking and you’d rather paint the back deck. Whatever it is you like to do, it’s often fun to at least try to do it with your partner.

Sometimes it doesn’t always work out for the best. You can get on each others nerves for the littlest thing.

That has been my luck in some of my relationships. Often times, because I am a little extra independent and will do the home improvement project as well as the souffle, we can end up butting heads. Everyone has a better way of doing something that they think is the best way to do it because they’ve done it millions of times before and sometimes (yes I’m singling out men here from my perspective) men don’t like it if women know how to do something that they believe they should be doing. Especially if the woman does it faster and presumably better than them.

I’ve been really lucky in the sense that David and I work really well together, either in the kitchen or in the project fix it area. We have our moments where I’d like a little extra space while mixing up something in the kitchen, or he would like me to hand him the allen wrench a little faster. Like before he asks for it he expects I’d already know he needs it and have it waiting for him lol. I also have moments where I think he should know when to hand me an egg for mixing up a cake, but we don’t always get what we want.

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Last week, we had a lot cut out for us. We decided to tackle the project of the 6 ft cat tree for Lilo and Stitch to play and lounge on.

We almost bought one in Petco, but found this huge one online at Chewy.com at a really great price and it was larger than the one in the store.

What did we get ourselves into, we thought. Actually it wasn’t that bad.  25 some odd parts, screws, hoozywatsis, and about an hour later, we came out with a stronger sense of self. Or each other if you will.

It didn’t happen without a few little hiccups, let’s be frank, because at one point we thought we had an extra screw. It turned out to be the anchor for the wall if we chose to use it. We worked well together, until part 10 had to go into slot b, then it was all a mess…for a moment.

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He expected that I knew he needed the allen wrench at that exact moment.

“Hello where’s the wrench?”

“Why, we don’t need it yet, I’ll get it when we get to screw 19.”

Expectation is the root of all evil… or a grumpy moment for some people. I turned around and pointed to the wrench…

“If you want it so bad, reach over and grab it!”

He perked up pretty quick, and made a joke out of it as usual with a grab of my bum and we were off to finish up our project.  But then Stitch decided she was making home of one of the cubbies, before we could get to it. Finally after some coaxing with the treats, she came out and let us finish up.

All in all we worked very well together, and that in and of  itself is a huge accomplishment in many relationships. The ability to work together on a project when both partners are strong, independent people that know what they’re doing. Hell we even read directions together. It was fun, and we made it fun. We didn’t make it a chore. Heck we painted the laundry/walk in closet room together a few months ago and even worked on taking apart the washer and dryer to spruce it up and replace one of the belts in the dryer.

Teamwork.

So I think it’s safe to say it was a success, for us and the kitties. They seem to have settled into their new treehouse quite nicely if I do say so myself. Although Stitch seems to like that top perch wayyyy too much lol.

 

 

Pepperoni Pinwheel Bites

My Mom used to make something her and her sister called a Not-So-Hot. Something like a Calzone, a Stromboli of sorts, depending on who you are and where you’re from. Soda/Pop/Cola kinda like that.

I didn’t have enough energy to do that, not that it was extremely time consuming, but I didn’t have a rolling pin, and it was late in the day after David had his dentist appointment. So I wanted something a little quicker to make and just as tasty.

Pepperoni Pinwheel Bites it was.

 

I already had all the ingredients I needed to make it, although they were bought for the Not-So-Hot I was going to make, but nothing would go to waste and it was sure to taste just as good.

At least I hoped it would.

I haven’t made the pinwheels since going gluten free. I haven’t found a pizza dough that I like, and haven’t been able to create a dough I liked enough either. So there I was in the frozen section of the food store and I saw the Pillsbury Gluten Free Pizza Dough.

Why not? The worst that could happen is that it tastes worse than all the other gluten free pizzas that are out there, and the best that could happen is that we enjoy it.

So the process began.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb Boars Head Slicing Pepperoni (From the Deli Counter. You want the large slices of Pepperoni for this, although smaller pieces would work as well.
  • 1/4 lb Sliced Provolone Cheese
  • 1/4 lb Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  • Pizza Dough I used Pillsbury Gluten Free Thin Crust Pizza Dough

Preheat oven to 400° and bake for 20-25 minutes until the dough is cooked thoroughly.

*If you are using this brand of dough, it suggests (for pizza) to pre bake the dough for a few minutes, then top with your toppings and bake again. I was fearful that this wouldn’t work as a one time bake, but it totally did.*

 

I mentioned I didn’t have a rolling pin, right? Well I improvised with a can of black beans that would later make the black bean brownies and got to rolling out the dough. I placed it between two layers of parchment paper, that I would later use to line a cookie sheet and bake the pinwheels on.

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Once the dough was rolled out very thin, I kept it on the parchment paper and I put it back into the refrigerator for 5 minutes. All the manipulation of the dough had made it very warm and I feared it would stick and not be able to roll up.

I took the dough out and layered both cheeses, in rows, as to alternate the flavors.

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Then came the layer of pepperoni to cover all of that delicious cheese. You want to make sure you get both the cheese and pepperoni to the edges of the dough.

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Next was the rolling part. Although in this photo I am rolling the dough from the widest part over, I would attempt rolling in from the narrower sides, so the ends of the roll don’t lose any cheese or seem empty.

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Once the roll was complete, I transferred it to a cookie sheet and put it back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

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Then the fun part. Cutting them into pinwheels. They do get a little flat bottom on some of them, but all you have to do is reshape them into circles. Or leave them as is.

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After cutting them into pinwheels, I placed them on the cookie sheet, and popped them into the oven to bake away.

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After 25-30 min baking, I didn’t even have time to take a decent picture, as David was already trying to get his hands on them lol.

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They looked just as good as mom’s real pinwheels!

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And they tasted fantastic. No leftovers here, sadly. But that’s ok, because they were so easy to make, I’m sure they will be on the menu again very soon.

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Serve with your favorite sauce, and enjoy.