The Two Lives of Normal Rockwell

This is such a moving blog post. It’s about a man that many came to know as a wonderful American artist. He was indeed a man acquainted with grief and yet he painted masterpieces of how life should be. I enjoyed every word that Cate wrote about Norman Rockwell. Her words became food for my soul. I invite others to enjoy this insightful article by reblogging it on Black Women Have It Going On.

Saturday Funnies: Being Green

Photo taken from:  http://www.elephantjournal.com/
Photo taken from:  www.elephantjournal.com

Well, I found another email message I thought was cute enough to pass on.  This one is about a young person lecturing an older person on being considerate of the earth and all its inhabitants.

Being Green 

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today.  Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store.
The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks.

This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building.
We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind.
We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days.

Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana .

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn.

We used a push mower that ran on human power.  We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.

We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the “green thing.”

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.  And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart … young person…

We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off, especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smart ass who can’t make change without the cash register telling them how much.

Thank You !!!

Inspirational Fridays: Irena Sendler Life in a Jar Story

Irena-SendlerToday, I wondered about an inspirational story for my post.  And as I was clearing my email account, yes, I found another noteworthy message, this time it was about Irena Sendler.  She was an incredible woman that save many Jewish children’s lives during WWII.

The Los Angeles Times wrote, “Fate may have led Irena Sendler to the moment almost 70 years ago when she began to risk her life for the children of strangers. But for this humble Polish Catholic social worker, who was barely 30 when one of history’s most nightmarish chapters unfolded before her, the pivotal influence was something her parents had drummed into her.”

“I was taught that if you see a person drowning,” she said, “you must jump into the water to save them, whether you can swim or not.”

When the Nazis occupying Poland began rounding up Jews in 1940 and sending them to the Warsaw ghetto, Sendler plunged in.

With daring and ingenuity, she saved the lives of more than 2,500 Jews, most of them children, a feat that went largely unrecognized until the last years of her life.

Sendler, 98, who died of pneumonia Monday in Warsaw, has been called the female Oskar Schindler, but she saved twice as many lives as the German industrialist, who sheltered 1,200 of his Jewish workers. Unlike Schindler, whose story received international attention in the 1993 movie “Schindler’s List,” Sendler and her heroic actions were almost lost to history until four Kansas schoolgirls wrote a play about her nine years ago.

The lesson Sendler taught them was that “one person can make a difference,” Megan Felt, one of the authors of the play, said Monday.

“Irena wasn’t even 5 feet tall, but she walked into the Warsaw ghetto daily and faced certain death if she was caught. Her strength and courage showed us we can stand up for what we believe in, as well,” said Felt, who is now 23 and helps raise funds for aging Holocaust rescuers.

Sendler was born Feb. 15, 1910, in Otwock, a small town southeast of Warsaw. She was an only child of parents who devoted much of their energies to helping workers.

She was especially influenced by her father, a doctor who defied anti-Semites by treating sick Jews during outbreaks of typhoid fever. He died of the disease when Sendler was 9.

She studied at Warsaw University and was a social worker in Warsaw when the German occupation of Poland began in 1939. In 1940, after the Nazis herded Jews into the ghetto and built a wall separating it from the rest of the city, disease, especially typhoid, ran rampant. Social workers were not allowed inside the ghetto, but Sendler, imagining “the horror of life behind the walls,” obtained fake identification and passed herself off as a nurse, allowed to bring in food, clothes and medicine.

By 1942, when the deadly intentions of the Nazis had become clear, Sendler joined a Polish underground organization, Zegota. She recruited 10 close friends — a group that would eventually grow to 25, all but one of them women — and began rescuing Jewish children.

She and her friends smuggled the children out in boxes, suitcases, sacks and coffins, sedating babies to quiet their cries. Some were spirited away through a network of basements and secret passages. Operations were timed to the second. One of Sendler’s children told of waiting by a gate in darkness as a German soldier patrolled nearby. When the soldier passed, the boy counted to 30, then made a mad dash to the middle of the street, where a manhole cover opened and he was taken down into the sewers and eventually to safety.

Decades later, Sendler was still haunted by the parents’ pleas, particularly of those who ultimately could not bear to be apart from their children.

“The one question every parent asked me was ‘Can you guarantee they will live?’ We had to admit honestly that we could not, as we did not even know if we would succeed in leaving the ghetto that day. The only guarantee,” she said, “was that the children would most likely die if they stayed.”

Most of the children who left with Sendler’s group were taken into Roman Catholic convents, orphanages and homes and given non-Jewish aliases. Sendler recorded their true names on thin rolls of paper in the hope that she could reunite them with their families later. She preserved the precious scraps in jars and buried them in a friend’s garden.

In 1943, she was captured by the Nazis and tortured but refused to tell her captors who her co-conspirators were or where the bottles were buried. She also resisted in other ways. According to Felt, when Sendler worked in the prison laundry, she and her co-workers made holes in the German soldiers’ underwear. When the officers discovered what they had done, they lined up all the women and shot every other one. It was just one of many close calls for Sendler.

During one particularly brutal torture session, her captors broke her feet and legs, and she passed out. When she awoke, a Gestapo officer told her he had accepted a bribe from her comrades in the resistance to help her escape. The officer added her name to a list of executed prisoners. Sendler went into hiding but continued her rescue efforts.

 

A Little Political Humor: “It Just Hit Me!”

Image Credit:  Getty Images
Image Credit: Getty Images

The other day I needed to go into an email account that I don’t use.  So, when I got in there I noticed I had over 3,600 unread messages.  I panicked!  I couldn’t just delete them all without reading regards; so, what was I going to do about them?  I made a goal!  I figured if I tackled 500 emails a day then I would have the emails cleared within a week.  Today, I only have 95 emails left to sort.  But in my reading I found this bit of political humor.  I thought I would share it.  Enjoy!

It just hit me!

My dog sleeps about 20 hours a day.

He has his food prepared for him.

His meals are provided at no cost to him.

He visits the Dr. once a year for his checkup, and again during the year, if any medical needs arise.

For this he pays nothing, and nothing is required of him.

He lives in a nice neighborhood in a house that is much larger than he needs, but he is not required to do any upkeep.

If he makes a mess, someone else cleans it up.

He has his choice of luxurious places to sleep.

He receives these accommodations absolutely free.

He is living like a king, and has absolutely no expenses whatsoever.

All of his costs are picked up by others who earn a living.

I was just thinking about all this, and suddenly it hit me like a brick……….

My dog is a CONGRESSMAN!

Pushing Through Writing Failure with the Help of a Lost Horse by Heather Mackey

Just what the doctor ordered. I am struggling with writing. I have so many challenges and so many messages to share. And my self worth is next to nothing. And I’m struggling to get to the next junction in the road of life.

Nerdy Book Club

Stories thrive on reversals. You get your heart’s desire, only it turns out to be the worst thing that could happen to you. Or, it looks like all is lost, but then somehow you save the day.

One of my favorite examples of the narrative power of reversal is found in a very simple story from China called “The Lost Horse.” I encountered it through storyteller Joel ben Izzy, who wrote a fantastic book called The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness. In “The Lost Horse,” a wise man goes through a series of reversals of fortune. Whether the change is favorable or not, his response is always the same: What seems like a blessing could be a curse. What seems like a curse could be a blessing.

I remember this story so well because—after a great deal of misery and self-flagellation—I recognize it as the story of my…

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What! You Want The Public to Pay for Your Wedding?

Photo taken by:  Annette Harrison
Photo taken by: Annette Harrison

Are you crazy!  Can you help me pay for my son’s college tuition?

Today 7 News of Denver posted an article asking people if they would turn to crowdfunding to help pay for their wedding.  I was appalled to read that people have stooped to such level of greed.  So I commented with the following:

Never have I ever gotten upset with a post from your station until today! LOL’s. People can do what they want and ask for what they want but it doesn’t mean I have to support it. And if people are living outside of their means and others want to be foolish enough to support it then each party have my blessings. But this post upsets me for many reasons and many of those reasons have been stated.

Why would I pay a $ towards a person’s wedding or honeymoon. It’s their wedding it’s their honeymoon. And its rude to ask people you don’t know for anything let alone something so extravagant as a wedding or honeymoon.

The wonderful thing about gift giving is that it is an expression of love. Love has no boundaries, yet, this act places boundaries on love and gift giving; and removes boundaries from money and logic. It’s another act that removes self-respect from people’s characters. It truly shows how young people these days are being raised with no self-respect. No wonder we have all these senseless killings.

People need to sort through their priorities!

Because there is no commitment in any of this! No commitment on the parent’s part to pay for their daughter’s wedding. No commitment on the groom’s part to pay for the honeymoon. HONEYMOON! Get it! He’s the one that is having the intimacy pleasure in enjoying her “honey” not the public! And if he can’t afford to pay for her ‘honey’ in an overused bed then he should not be taking her hand in marriage!

Listen up needy couples!

Listen up young man!  If a woman and her family can’t afford to pay for her a lavish wedding don’t allow them to drag you down with them by asking the public for pleasure money.  Take a stand and tell them you want a small wedding you can afford.  Don’t you realize they are taking your manhood away when they go begging the public for money?  Or, are you a man?!!

Listen up young woman!  If a man can’t afford to take you on a honeymoon of your choice then you need to become acquainted to living within his means at the beginning of your and his life’s journey as man and wife.  Because if you don’t, I see some dark and rocky days ahead for the both of you!  And divorce is right around the corner!  Learn how to build your man’s manhood and a future with lasting memories.  Instead of building a wedding that will end on a sour note as each of you are feeling to damn with the memories that other people paid for.

Nothing in life worth having comes easy!  So stop trying to live like the Joneses.