Hope in Peaches

I have Peaches! Alright, they aren’t big juices, luscious and fuzzy skinned Peaches, but they are peaches nonetheless. They are growing on a little twig of a tree in my front yard planted just a year ago. The poor thing still has braces, but it has enthusiastically reached out and produced seven lovely little Peaches.

Now I know most people wouldn’t be impressed by this small, okay possibly minuscule crop. Nevertheless, I am in awe. First, I have a black thumb, usually killing all things green. The first three trees that were planted in my front yard died within months of their arrival. Next, this little tree really isn’t a ‘tree’ yet, more a stem with delusions of future grandeur as a tree.

But still, I have Peaches! It is spring the days are lovely and growing hotter and longer. Spring always makes me happy, that short prelude just before the furnace blast of summer in Texas.

I was outside picking up after the bad azzed neighborhood kids today; they seem content to leave their trash in my yard. So there I was wandering the front yard garbage bag in hand, looked up at my stick with leaves, there they were my Peaches!

Sometimes it is the smallest things that make you smile.

I Am What I Am

All week I struggled with an idea that wouldn’t come. Honestly, the world has been on my last good nerve lately; caused my creativity to take a sharp turn towards a dark corner and remain there. For the past week, perhaps two, I have felt as if the inspiration muse has beaten me severely about the head and shoulders and then sent me to the timeout corner without my breakfast, lunch or dinner. It isn’t for lack of thoughts or ideas, no this isn’t the problem it is more than this, indeed it is something else altogether.

Lately I have been struggling with the world. I do this sometimes; the realm of politics, justice and social behaviors weighs on me, yet it is also safe to say I am a bit of a junkie when it comes to politics and world news. Though when I started this blog I swore (yes, I really did), I would not delve into the world beyond my front door, leaving these all too often controversial subjects for another site I write on. Here on QBG I would try to make friends, keep it light and join the blogosphere on a less divisive note; hiding my more contentious side under the table and behind the linen cloth.

Do we all simply have a natural bent to us? I suspect this is the truth of it. I hope I am not naturally scandalous and argumentative (though by many accounts this is my nature). I know I am by nature curious and have a deep well of compassion; maybe this is what draws me to certain issues repeatedly. I have always questioned the status quo; it drove my parents crazy and made my teachers want to set me on fire at times (they settled for sending me out to the hallway and later for suspending me).

Recently I have fought with what to say and when. This is another part of my nature I struggle with, that is my natural leaning toward privacy especially about my past. Though I want to amuse and make light of some of lifes moments and our human foibles, I would also like to be able to use my history to teach. This is hard, my history isn’t always easy to reveal, I have kept it so tightly held for decades. Part of my reasoning was there were many who would be hurt by my revelations; I wasn’t willing to do harm even where that harm was justly deserved. Now, well now I have the difficult time of unlocking the doors and breaking the walls built over so many years that have preserved my privacy and my sanity.

So, my silence has been me sitting in my timeout corner contemplating my navel, though not entirely in silence. What I struggled with writing all week finally was completed, instead of making it to QBG I decided it belonged with my other very political writing; it is titled Propaganda and the American Psyche.

I also worked through my thinking about revelations, how they affect us individually and interpersonally. Sometimes they hurt a great deal; other times well they just make things a little bit better. I suspect I am not going to change the world, maybe not even myself a great deal anymore, what I leave this entry with is the idea that “I am what I am”.

I will bet you thought this began with Popeye, didn’t you? In fact, this really started with the great Gilbert & Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance and the song I am a Pirate King. So I am leaving you with my favorite Pirate King, Kevin Kline.

Sunshine Days

One of my personal muses is Red at Mommas Money Matters. She is funny, irreverent, brilliant and insightful and without doubt one of the great social commentators of our time. Today she posted http://mommasmoneymatters.com/sunshine-2/ a fun pick your own award challenge that I couldn’t resist. Not because I wanted an award, rather because I wanted the challenge (you’ll see).

Red has changed the rules of the Sunshine Award. I liked her change and her challenge. I have taken it up; I will leave it for all of you to also accept, though I will pick a different challenge for you I think.

The original Sunshine challenge includes ten questions.

  1. Favorite color –
    1. Hair – Tiger Striped including a swath of lavender
    2. Gems – any Blue
    3. Clothing – Scarlet and Black
  2. Favorite animal
    1. Dogs, Cats and Merlin the Cockatoo
    2. Dragons (yeah, yeah I know)
  3. Favorite number – Nine
  4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink – Coffee (stronger the better)
  5. Facebook or Twitter – Facebook
  6. My passion – My kids, Wanderlust
  7. Giving or getting presents – Giving always
  8. Favorite pattern – Sparkly (yeah, yeah I know)
  9. Favorite day of the week – (Sunday)
  10. Favorite flower – (Orchids, nearly all of them)

Reds Seamed Up

I am supposed to tell five secrets, both guess at five of Red’s previous answers to a previous award and finally write a one hundred word Flash Fiction using the word Sunshine. Because I want the big pretty award picture I am going to do all of this in just that order.

My Five Secrets (sort of):

  1. I drove for 5 years without a driver’s license; I didn’t apply till I was 22.
  2. I am depressed (clinically) without sunlight.
  3. I’ve had gray hair since I was 17.
  4. I truly despise disingenuous people more than just about anything else.
  5. I have smoked for 45 years; no I don’t cough in the morning!

Red’s answers (she had better answers in her second award I checked)

  1. Her Favorite Animal – Polar Bear
  2. Her Favorite Pattern – Paisley
  3. Her Facebook or Twitter – Google +
  4. Her Favorite non-alcoholic drink – Coffee
  5. Her Favorite Passion – Creating

Finally, Red asked that those of us who wanted to claim her pretty and intriguing new Sunshine award write a 100-word Flash Fiction, here is my entry.

“Sparkling white diamond raindrops, it seems the rain will never end. Five days and the sky is blanketed with grey to the horizon, one never ending ribbon of steel. Even the waves had taken on the same dull hues, intercepted only occasionally with the deep foaming blues and greens, as if the sea demanded attention and battled the monotony of the skies above. Would it never end? Sunset in less than five minutes the world would go from grey to black. Suddenly, the horizon flashes brilliant pink with sunshine, just one minute before dropping in the sea for the night.”

Claim Your Own –

I follow so many great Bloggers, I am not going to pick any to abuse with an Award that must in turn answer questions and follow rules. I don’t like rules myself and so won’t ask others to follow them. What I will do is this;

Add your name to My Blog Roll if you haven’t already: https://valentinelogar.com/the-blog-roll/

Pass the award on if you want or do what I and Red have done, off them up to be claimed.

Claim Sunshine Award – Answer the 10 Questions.

Claim Wendy’s Sunshine Award – Answer 10 Questions + 5 Secrets.

Claim Red’s Sunshine Award – Answer 10 Questions + 5 Secrets, Add your name to the Blog Roll, Write 100-word Flash Fiction using the word Sunshine.

Throwaway Children

I ran away from home the first time when I was about 9 years old. Not the normal running away all children do where parents laugh and wave good-bye. When I was 9 years old, I ran away, finding shelter under the deck of a

Courtesy of Goodreads.com

friends house for a night, freezing in the cold and damp; with the woods in back creaking and the wind whistling I planned my escape for the next day to the big city. At 9 years old, I had no true understanding of the world and its cruelty to children, but I understood what I was running from.

My father found me, shivering from the cold and frightened hours later; I have always hated the dark since then.

No one thought to ask me why. No one thought to hug me and tell me how glad they were I wasn’t hurt.

I was rebuked for the trouble I caused. Spanked and sent to my room for a week. My mother put on a show, she always did this, weeping and gnashing her teeth proclaiming in a loud voice (so I could hear) what a terrible and ungrateful child I was. Though I didn’t understand all she said, I silently agreed I was ungrateful. I liked being sent to my room, it was the one place in the house filled with what was mine; books to escape to, paper to fill with my thoughts (back then I wrote poetry and stories then tore them shreds) and art supplies. I never feared being alone, was never lonely in my solitude.

From the age of nine (9) forward I would evolve into a habitual runaway. It is a term the Juvenile System uses to designate those children who they are not able to keep in their homes or within the Foster system. Not all states recognize the term, some states simply name children like I was Delinquent, in fact 40 years ago when my evolution began all states were wont to call children like me Juvenile Delinquent, we haven’t come far since then only thirteen out of 50 US states have Habitual Runaway statutes.

The world was immense; I didn’t know it then and wouldn’t know it for a few more years. No one thought to warn me I might be hurt beyond the confines of the small streets of our neighborhood. No one considered the implications of my wanderlust. Did they know?

Venice Italy, 1965 Mom and Me

When I was a child, I was fearless, with an imagination fueled by the books I read and the places I had already seen. By the time I was nine years old I had toured ancient castles and monasteries with dungeons and torture chambers for wrongdoers. I had heard true stories of mad kings and stood in the very spots where queens had lost their heads and a saint had burned for heresy. I had seen the greatest art of man, climbed a leaning tower and fed pigeons in the square of St. Marks on Easter Sunday. All these and more stayed firmly in my soul, fired my heart and put wings to my feet. I knew the world was wide and waiting for me.

The narrow and unhappy confines of my home smothered me, caused my heart to crack and shatter though it would be years before I understood what I was feeling. Decades would pass before I would understand why I ran, that it was simply my fight or flight instinct kicking in. I didn’t have the means to fight so adrenalin and instinct caused me to run.

Run and run again. I practiced running away more times than I can count. I was finally successful two months after my fifteenth birthday. By the time I finally ran successfully I was a ward of the courts, in foster care. Even then, no person, no caseworker, no judge, no court psychologist (I saw a great number of them) ever asked why I ran. After a year the courts closed my case, I was emancipated in proxy; this means they couldn’t find me.

Today we have over one million runaway and throwaway children on the streets of our cities; they are at risk in so many ways most of us cannot even imagine. The world of the runaway child is dog-eat-dog, for most it is the strong feeding on the weak. Without outreach resources, beds in shelters or even food most of these children resort to petty theft, prostitution and panhandling.

Courtesy Newschange.org

Nearly all of these children will face hunger, sexual assault including rape, sexual exploitation, violence, drug addiction and disease including Aids; yet most of us will walk by them on the street and turn our faces away when they ask for a dollar; what are we thinking?

The story of why I ran and being a runaway is a story for a different day. The reality is, it wasn’t romantic or easy, it was horrifying and hard. Another reality though, it was a kinder world then than it is now though still cruel.

Facebook Politics

Yesterday on Facebook, I posted a picture of Obama with his response (rhetorical) to Mitt Romney’s recent claim that 92% of all job losses were women’s jobs. This number of course, is not accurate. It also isn’t what was interesting about the discussion that followed that post. Let me make clear, I welcome dissent, debate and examination of information on my page. I am known for posting questions, sometimes even questions intended to create controversy. However, if you are going to join in the conversations there are rules to follow:

  1. Try to stay on point
  2. Don’t bring talking points (from either side)
  3. Back up your statements
  4. Try not to bring up Hitler or Nazi’s (it is a crap tactic)
  5. Don’t post and run

So back to the discussion, this is what I posted that started the truncated firefight.

To make things simple, I have boxed the comments and I identified them with an initial. I have also left the comments exactly as they are written, except to change personal names, don’t blame me for the shoddy English, punctuation, etc (even my own).

This was the first post in the chain of 27; we will call our friend K to make things simple:


I’m voting for Romney because Obama wants to start a Communist Nation. Romney might not be more qualified than Obama, but has done nothing to help Americans, he has made life worse!!!!!!


K, do you know what Communism is? Can you tell me? Can you tell me how you are worse off? Just curious mind you, most people I know are not worse off. Just out of curiosity – are you okay with the following:

  • Elimination of Social Security?
  • Elimination of Medicare?
  • Elimination of Public Education?
  • Elimination of EPA?
  • Elimination of Planned Parenthood?
  • Elimination of Aid to Dependent Children?
Those are just a few of the things Romney has agreed to go after. Have you read the Budget Recommendations from the GOP? If not let me suggest you do so. The poor and the middle class will see their taxes increase while the super wealthy will gain additional tax breaks.

Just for edification and context there were several other posters who came into the fray, one who did not take kindly K’s comment, I’ll call him C.


that is the kind of talk that perpetuates the ignorant redneck stereotype.unlike romney obama is smart enough to understand that if the rest of the world dies so does the usa but if the usa dies the rest of the world wouldn’t lose any sleep

There were several more comments from others between C’s comment and the following from K.


I enjoy when people stoop to calling other people names because they do not have the BALLS or the intelligence to REALLY know what is going on. And everyone who votes for Obama— hope you enjoy wearing uniforms, and having a Hitler like regime. WAKE UP!!!! Yes Val i know what Communism is, and Hitler, I mean Obama is going for it. Obama has absolutely no credentials to be worthy of being President. He was put there as a Figurehead. There is no such thing as a free society anymore. WAKE UP!!!! Our freedoms have been slowly taken away from US for many years now. It started way back with FDR—not with Bush. Did you people notice that the Clintons and The Obamas are getting richer, while we Americans are paying more for everything? Agree with S. And Val if you want a fight, please go on a poltical website to do it, cause i’m not engaging in any more poltical fighting here on FB—it’s to open a forum, and many people do not understand how to treat others with respect!!!

She agreed with the following statements from another poster, S.


If they had a “None of the Above” Button on the ballot, I would vote for that. There needs to be a DRASTIC change. Neither side is for US, the citizens of this country; they are all about THEIR agenda, no matter what that is.

I did respond to the above comment, perhaps not as politely as I might have but I didn’t feel at all polite at that point. Why? Mostly because I think people, who jump in with both feet, using inflammatory language and rhetoric should be ready for the fallout and prepared to defend their positions. Clearly, K was not prepared to do either, she wanted to flame and run.


K, I didn’t call a name. You came to my page. You incorrectly implied the current president desired a Communist regime. President Obama was voted into office by a majority of the people of this nation, whether you agree with their right to vote or not.Loss of rights? You mean like the loss of the right to vote?This is my Facebook page K, you don’t like what is on my page, get off the page. I get to post any damned thing I like here.

Finally S asked the following, though he had been participating in the discussion he had not perhaps truly been reading anything but the responses directed at him.


What are all of you on K for?! Just like you, she is voicing her opinion. What’s appalling is the contradiction! Think about what you’re saying here! This country, like it or not, is based on the freedom of speech and our rights as human beings. That is being corrupted by BOTH PARTIES! No matter what race, creed, religion, etc…. We are getting SCREWED!

My response was as followed, I also finally responded to C regarding his original comment to K.


S, read what she has said. This is my page and she has suggested that I should not voice my opinion on my page, that is the first problem. The second problem is she has failed to respond to a direct question. The third problem is she has called the President of the United States “Hitler”, that is not ‘opinion’ that is Right Wing rhetoric without substantiation along with the accusation that this administration desires a Communist Regime, more Right Wing Rhetoric without substantiation.Had she said I am voting for Romney because he better represents my personal ideals and standards I would have been fine with that.
C, truthfully I would rather we all keep it more respectful. While I also take umbrage with the statements K made. I would far prefer to take those statements down, one by one and call them what they are:Right Wing Rhetoric without substantiation or value.I would rather ask the question, what is the basis in fact for the statements. In this way we aren’t just name calling or flinging insults.

Would love to hear what you think. Am I crazy? Is it getting worse out here? I certainly think so, I think the nation is getting more divided every day. The rhetoric more heated than I have seen it, ever. People are so uninformed they are willing to ‘buy’ whatever trash talk they hear the talking heads in politics and media spew across the airwaves and social media and they do it without validating facts.

Comparing the current President to Hitler and a Communist in one sentence is just one example of ignorance at its best.

What say you?

Train Wrecks

Train Wreaks

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Image courtesy of Wikepdia

We say we don’t love them, but honestly, we really do. When we hear about one if we are nearby we rush out to see the destruction, if not we tune in to watch on our television, our social media is filled with the sad news of body counts and fault. We can’t detach ourselves from the constant stream of tragedy.

We hate traffic, until we roll-up on the five-car accident on the side of the road. We cannot help ourselves, just like the three hundred drivers before us we crane our necks, slowing down to see what we can see. Is there a body? Are they using the Jaws of Life to crack open that $50,000 car?

When I was eight years old I went to school on a Military base in Munich Germany, to get there I took a bus from Pullach, which was about a 40-minute ride. One snowy, slushy morning with some 40 children in the bus, we slowed down and were directed around a police cordon. Suddenly the bus matron told all the children on the right side of the bus to look the other direction (not out of the window). Of course, we all ignored her and pressed our faces onto that frosty window, climbing over each other to get a better view at whatever we were not supposed to see. There it was, gory and terrible. A car had hit a man riding a bicycle, decapitating him. Apparently, in Germany in 1964, they didn’t believe in covering things up until necessary; I have never forgotten that sight.

Image courtesy of 1000AwesomeThings.com

The light at the end of the tunnel is most likely the train. Have you heard this before? I certainly have, I have thought it and even said it about more than one thing in my life, from my job to my marriage. There simply are times when things seem out of control, we feel as if we are in free fall and the emergency ripcord is just out of reach. I have been feeling this way often lately, more often than I care to admit frankly.

Image courtesy of Nasa.gov

What is it that drives our feelings of inadequacy and fear of loss, fear of failure? Do we watch everything around us, the ‘picture perfect’ people, the stars of reality, movies and television fail, their lives spinning out of control and fear our own cannot help but follow suit. Surely, without their resources, without their access how could our own lives not slide into that black hole sucking our energy,draining our emotional fortune? Is this really it? Is this why so many of us feel so inadequate when we look in the mirror, when we shop or just on those days when the sky is grey and the rain falls.

Perhaps the reason we are so quick to laugh and point out the failure of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s marriage is the years they were successful and loving didn’t validate our personal views. Nothing during their marriage was met with public acceptance, nothing considered ‘normal’. Always there was a joke to be had their age difference, their public affection, their life in Tweets. With the meltdown of their marriage in a very public way, just like driving by that 5-car pileup we made jokes, pointed our fingers in their direction and laughed, never once thinking how much pain they might be in, only that for once it wasn’t us; not our marriage.

Image courtesy of flickr.com

These past six-weeks I have been a bit blue, no real reason for my internal color scheme just the shading of the season I guess. The world seems to be taking such a turn for the worse, the gears of my mind work overtime to make sense of what doesn’t make any sense at all. The only way I am able to make any sense of what I am feeling lately is to try to take on the bigger picture, to depersonalize and put my pragmatism in front. Try to find the ripcord and get myself out of free fall.

What Do You See

What do you see when you look at me? Through the years, I have worn many hats, played many roles and had many titles. But when you look at me what do you see?

I have participated in a program in Texas called Victim Impact for several years now. This program is intended to bring together ‘offenders’ and crime victims in an effort to build understanding and hopefully empathy in the offenders. While in some cases the program does bring face-to-face victims and their real offender, this isn’t the part of the program I volunteer in. The program I participate in is part of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, sponsored by the State Attorney General. The Victim Impact Panels are conducted inside of Federal and State Prisons, County and State Juvenile Centers and for Paroled Adults and Teens. The intent and mission of the program is the development of empathy and compassion, something that is usually missing in offender’s make-up.

I often ask this question as part of my speaking portion of Victim Impact.

What do you see when you look at me?

  • Woman
  • White Woman
  • Blonde, Red Head, Brunette (depends on my choices it changes)
  • Beautiful Woman (I forgive them this many have been for a long time)
  • Mean Woman (lots of kids in the juvenile centers give this answer)
  • Victim (well they know this so they would see this)
  • Well-dressed woman (I usually dress in work clothes)
  • Rich Woman (I get this one often and always find it interesting, we aren’t allowed jewelry)
  • Tall Woman (I wear 5-inch heels but usually my pants conceal this)

The above are just some of the answers. Notice anything missing from this list? How about the following:

  • Mother
  • Sister
  • Daugher
  • Wife
  • Girlfriend
  • Grandmother

These are all the things necessary to see to humanize me, to make me real. What about the rest of us, how do we look out into the world at others, through the prism of our expectations and experiences? What do we see when we meet others, whether formally, informally or simply through media exposure.

Over the years, I have been brought face-to-face with men who have spent their entire adult lives in prison. When I first started this journey I will admit, my heart was hard and my mind closed, I was there for me I wanted them to feel my pain, my hurt and how my life crashed and burned. But then something changed in me and my heart started to shift. Perhaps it was the first program I did with juvenile offenders, thirty young men in a room; CorrectionsReport.comeach one had to stand and say how old they were, why they were there and for how long. Perhaps it was the first time I met young girls, some as young as thirteen in for prostitution, being punished for nothing less than being exploited, sold mainly by adults and to adults their youth laid to waste. While the young always leave me with holes in my heart and my soul crying for a justice that seems to be sadly missing in their young lives, I think this isn’t the one.

There is always a question and answer period after we speak our truths. There are usually at least three of us speaking on any panel. Sometimes questions are directed at one of us specifically other times someone will just speak to all of us, this was one of those occasions.

At one of the State Penitentiary’s a man stood up and thanked us he was about my age. He proceeded to tell us he had spent most of his adult life in prison. He had three children he had not been there for. One son was in prison, serving 20 years. His daughter would not visit him, hadn’t done so in years, wouldn’t return his letters either. Now his youngest son was facing capital murder and the DA had filed for the Death Penalty, this man would likely never see his child again, as he told his story tears rolled down his face.

What did I see when I looked at him?

  • Father

I had always talked about the need for these men to reach out to their families, who were their victims as much as we were. I had never seen them though, not really. I had pragmatically understood the rules of the game, they couldn’t get into the program without a recommendation from a Chaplin or the program coordinator, it wasn’t a gimmee. They didn’t get a gold star in their jacket for participating; they had to want to be there. But I didn’t see them, not really not till that day.

JungleMagazine.comSo what do we see when first meet another person? Do we define them by their outward appearance? Do we exclude them if they don’t live up to our standards? Do we judge them harshly or simply see through them.

What do we see when we look at another person?

ABC Award

ABC Award – from Channel Comfort

Channel Comfort is one of the kindest blogs I know, sound odd? It isn’t really this is a place of peace and restful contemplation. She practices both Reiki and yoga the balance she achieves shines through in her blog (one of these days, I will ask outright how to get there from here).

I encourage you to check her blog out she is inspiring.

A. Ambivalent

B. Balanced

C. Colorful (so I have been told, suspect it might be my language)

D. Determined

E. Enlightened

F. Free-thinking

G. Generous (sometimes to a fault)

H. Hellion (my late father(s) description of me)

I. Irreverent

J. Just

K. Kind (most of the time)

L. Learner (this is my favorite occupation)

M. Measured

N. Nuanced

O. Obstinate (only sometimes, only about some things)

P. Pragmatic

Q. Quirky (about some things)

R. Rational

S. Seeker (constantly and till the day I lay down for the last time)

T. Tolerant (perhaps more than I should be)

U. Unwavering (in my principles and beliefs, which doesn’t mean you can’t have your own, thus T)

V. Vulnerable

W. Wayfaring (given my job what else could I be)

X. Xerophobous (why I still miss S Tejas)

Y. Youthful (very unimaginative I know, but truth nonetheless)

Z. Zaftig (hey it is a better word than Fat, which was what F originally was)

I know, I know….I am supposed to pass this on; but this is a real PITA (figure the acronym out please). I will not pass it on, but offer any and all who read this a challenge instead, if you want to sit down and try to describe yourself using the alphabet please do so, it is an interesting exercise. It took me two days to complete and I finally had to resort to the my favorite Scrabble Word Book for two of the letters, can you guess which ones?

Versatile Blogger

Who Nominated (Link) – Airports Made Simple

As a frequent traveler, it was great to stumble on Airports Made Simple! Full of great tips and tricks not just on Airports but travel tips as well. The airport tips alone are wonderful but when you add parking and drive times, well these are the stuff of dreams for those who travel for work and are often rushing to make planes.

Seven things most people don’t know and may not want to know about me:

  1. In keeping with where this award came from, I used to be so afraid of flying I would break out in a cold sweat and be nauseous before every take-off and landing. I had to take valium for years before flying.
  2. I have 14 tattoos including having my eyeliner done (needs to be redone soon). My first one was done when I was 17 and my most recent just last year. I will not reveal the span of years in between.
  3. Counting all that I know or suspect, based on rumors and family history, I have between 17 and 23 siblings, some of whom I have never met.
  4. I drove a racecar when I was 18 that was the fastest I ever drove where I wasn’t afraid of getting a ticket at 118 mph. It was awesome!
  5. I wanted to be a prima ballerina when I was young, danced from the time I was 4 years-old until I was unfortunately ‘blessed’ with T&A at the ripe age of 11, my dreams were dashed at the barre.
  6. I hate having my picture taken. I have been known to destroy all photo images of myself unless commanded to retain them.
  7. I despise, no really, I despise cold weather, rain, snow all of it and I really despise it intensely. I understand there is a need for precipitation I just wish I didn’t have to ever be in it, surrounded by it, under it or otherwise associated with it.

Now to the important things in life, I have picked four of my favorite bloggers to mention, one important note from me to them, please do not feel obligated to do anything other than know I truly enjoy your writing. Don’t pass it on, play it forward, post the pretty picture or otherwise jump through hoops.

Not Quite Old indeed the title says it all. When I need a quick lift in my spirit this is one of the best remedies I know of. Full of great views from the peak without a wink and sly grin at, not quite ready yet.

Fifty-Four and a Half hits with all cylinders and leaves me breathless and always wanting more. With a bit of politics, a look at the world and a dash of humor she gets the party started and nary a grumble or acrimonious sound bite to be typed. Don’t be afraid to stop by though, it isn’t all politics; this blog is filled with the humor of the world around us through the eyes of this wonderfully observant blogger.

Totsymae reminds me of every woman my age that walked down the street hips swinging and eyes wide-open, aware life handed them everything they needed they day they were born. She speaks truth with the cadence of poetry and street rolled into one. Her art should be hanging on my walls simply to bring me joy, perhaps one of these days I will stroll into the museums and galleries where it belongs, simply for the pleasure of sitting before it.

Barking in the Dark is a humorous look at politics and what is wrong with the nation today. Fair warning if you are easily offended by off-color language, if your only source of news is Fox, if you think the GOP is the Bee’s Knees I would suggest skipping this site. However, if you have a bit of a dark side and enjoy Satire and a truly ironic look at our world and the Body Politic, this is a can’t miss.

M3 aka MommaMoneyMatters saving my favorite for last, Red provides a look into the world and sometimes ourselves that is always enlightening, though not always comfortable. Filled with humor, a view of the world that comes from being solidly in it and firm grasp of reality Red makes you feel at home and welcome, at once. She is always worth a visit, whether for Friday Follies or to follow her one of her serial posts through a variety of subjects, she is consistently on-point. Pull up a chair at M3 you won’t be disappointed.

Cover your Head Woman

1 Corinthians 11:4-6

4Every man praying or prophesying and with anything down over his head dishonors his head, 5But every woman praying or prophesying with head uncovered dishonors her head – it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a woman will not be covered, then let her be shorn! But since it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

Michael Marlow, Research and Interpretation with both Greek and Latin

I love the depictions of veiled women, also the Quaker and Amish women in their traditional caps; I have always loved watching the Sunday-Go-To-Meeting Church Ladies in their fanciful hats, each brilliant by design. We have forgotten why we covered our heads for church; it wasn’t just to make a statement, to enhance our outfits, to be stylish in our brilliant plumage. Indeed no, we women were commanded to cover our heads when we pray. In fact, for centuries Christian woman, like their Muslim and Jewish sisters veiled, that is covered their heads upon marriage to signify their subservience to their husband and through him to God.

Thanks to Brittanica.com
Stellar example of a Wimple

The standard covering was a Wimple up to the fifteen century, which similar to the modern Hijab worn by Muslim women covered the head and neck. The Wimple was worn by married women of all social classes; it was replaced by materials that were more lightweight and less constrictive designs. If you look at art through the ages, the depictions of women both high and low born rarely will you see a woman that is not without a head covering, some utilitarian some fanciful but always present. Scarfs, veils and later wimples were worn by Jewish, Muslim and Christian women through the sixteenth century, because this was the religious standard, the commandment of God, the social custom. Later Christian women would adopt snoods, still later of course for many the customs would become more lax and only the most conservative would retain the custom of veiling.

Why is this important?

Since September 11, 2001, we in the West taken on another enemy, Islam. We have identified the enemy in the shrouds of their devotion to Allah, the outward indicators of their religious belief. We have demanded they unveil in our presence, in our nation and their own; the unveiling we claim is a sign of their freedom, though what it truly does, it alleviates our fear of ‘other’.

Courtesy News.BBC.Cook.com

If only we could free the women of the veil, they would be more like us. Free them from their religious and cultural bondage; they would no longer be ‘other’. But wait, are they really? Really, ‘other’ that is, Mennonites, Amish and many other more traditional Anabaptist denominations still require women to cover their heads during worship services and their everyday lives. Other less strict Protestant denominations have no official stance; nevertheless, many women still choose to wear hats when attending church.

This takes us to the Catholic Church, where it all started for the Christians; Paul was quite clear in his letter to the Corinthians, either cover your head or shave your head to be shamed. How much more clearly can the rules be stated? He wasn’t making this up as he went along either, he was simply repeating what was handed down from previous laws, taken directly from the his understanding of the Torah (two examples: Genesis 20:16 and Genesis 24:65). Cannon Law, Vatican I of 1917, Cannon 1262 stated clearly that women must cover their head any time they are in the presence of the Holy Sacrament; this means in church, when making sick calls and most especially when approaching the alter. Vatican II did not overturn or in any way abrogate this rule, in fact Cannons 20 and 21, of 1983 specifically state no Cannon that is not specifically mentioned should be presumed to be changed.

What does this mean?

Courtesy Catholic News
Chaldean Catholic Women heading to mass

It means, Catholic women are still required by Cannon Law (that is the rules of the Church) to cover their heads! Why is this important? It means we are not so different. The fact is we are started from the same place, we execute differently. Our cultures have taken different paths, thus our societies have as well. We spend a great deal of time staring at our Muslim sisters, worried they are downtrodden and abused simply by the fact they wrap their hair in the Hajib each morning as a sign of faith in Allah (God) and to signify their respect for themselves and their families. Has anyone bothered to ask them if they want to be free?

Don’t misunderstand me; I have great compassion for the women currently in nations guilty of true abuses. I am not discussing those nations or those abuses. I am simply addressing women and men in the west who look askance at those who are ‘other’, because they are Muslim, because they are easily identified as such by their choice to veil. Perhaps we could see how they are not so different from us, how our history parallels in many ways, we could eliminate some of the fear, some of the ‘otherness’. Maybe, just maybe we can start to extend our hand in friendship instead, begin to heal the wounds created by ‘other’.

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