People Asking For Expensive Things

During this time of the year, you will see all kinds of special requests from people who say that they need to get gifts for their children and they can’t afford to buy gifts. I am one of those people who will do what I can do to help people out and especially when it comes to children. It breaks my heart. But, there are also a lot of scammers who will prey on the kind-hearted. So, please be careful. In some of the groups on Facebook, I have noticed a trend of where people will get donations of money, food and toys and they will turn around and sell those items. Please make sure that the person who you are giving to are legit and the toys are going to the kids, not the adults pocket-book.

 

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Someone put out a special request for someone to buy this for their children. This  is a Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Electric Hoverboard/Self-Balancing Scooter and runs between 400.00-500.00 each. Depending on where you buy it at. 

 

I was just thinking after reading a number of posts from different groups and don’t get me wrong, I realize people don’t have a lot of money to buy their kids everything they want. But, I have been seeing people posting about wanting items such as the thing shown before, which my grandsons would love and only $400.00. They are asking for Lego sets (new preferably), Apple Watches, Lap Tops, Hover Boards, X-Boxes, keyboards and not cheap ones. I guess I am of the mindset that kids don’t need these kinds of things. If people have to beg others to full-fill toy wishes, then they should be re-examining their priorities.

resourceOne parent even went as far as posting pictures of what it was that they wanted to make sure it was in the right color and such. I posted the picture of that. They sell that kitchen at Kohls for close to $300.00.

One of the items that ticked me off was that someone posted that they wanted a “purebred toy cup poodle” for their kids because of allergies. Hello!!! So, I shouldn’t be calling people idiots and scammers, but to me these people are. I have no problem at all helping someone out. This year I am sponsoring a family since they won’t have the finances to get gifts and such. I happen to know this family and I know they would never think about taking people for granted like some of those on the Facebook Online Yard Sale sites and such.

maxresdefaultOne mother even asked for Ulta makeup for her teenage daughter. I was surprised by this because my daughter Jessica buys that and it is far from cheap. Why do people think it is OK to ask strangers for things.

Last year my church did an angel tree program and we aren’t doing it this year. We only did the Operation Child Christmas. I had people leaving me messages about what they wanted for their kids and all of this stuff. A few families were legit and after I got talking to a few of them, I realized they were getting stuff from all kinds of places. I ended up taking them off the list. There are so many children that are needy and parents genuinely need help. But, when you get people taking advantage of the system and kind-hearted people, it makes it bad for everyone and the ones that are paying the price are the children.

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This is my daughter Jessica. This was the last Christmas that Jessica was an only child and when she helped our family learn the gift of sharing. This was just a week before we welcomed Beckiah into our family. 
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This is Rebechia (Rebeccca). We took this picture just a few weeks after the case worker brought her into our home and she became our daughter. 

My husband and I adopted our daughter Rebeckiah (Rebecca) from the Foster Care Program. I use to babysit for her and her parents were good friends of mine. When Beckiah would come to our house, she had her own room, even though I was just babysitting her. When she was taken into foster care, there was no way I was going to leave her there if I could find a way to get her out. We thought it was temporary, but when we got a call from her birth mom that she didn’t want her back, then we were asked about adopting her. That was a no brainer.  After all of the paper work and background checks were done, the caseworkers called us and told us we were approved as her foster parents. We were so happy, but worried.

The reason we were worried was because they were bringing her over 4 days before Christmas. We already did the shopping for Jessica and we didn’t have any money left over for gifts let alone food. Instead of asking for handouts from others, we had a talk with Jessica who was only 4 yrs old. She and Beckiah were just 4 months apart in age, so all of the things we got Jessica would be awesome for Beckiah.

We told Jessica that Beckiah (Misty at the time) was going to be coming home. She was so excited and for her, it was like Christmas. Jessica and Beckiah were the best of friends. I asked Jessica if it would be OK if we gave Beckiah some of the gifts we had already gotten her. We only had $100.00 to spend on our entire Christmas. Thankfully there was a store called Pic N Save which I think is Big Lots now. That money was to pay for all of the gifts and the food. There was no money left over and we didn’t get paid for a couple more weeks.

Jessica truly amazed me with her gesture. Jessica was super excited to see Beckiah. She immediately went to work under the Christmas Tree. Jessica had no idea what she had under the tree since it was wrapped. She did a two pile thing. One for her and one for Beckiah. She and I put new tags on the gifts that she had for Beckiah. Everything she had was split down the middle and hand-picked out. She didn’t keep more for her.

We did have to go to my husbands boss to see if we could borrow an extra $100.00. He worked for Progressive Roofing in Phoenix at the time. The reason we needed to borrow a little from him was because we knew that Jessica had a big wheels coming her way. We didn’t want to give Jessica one without giving one to Beckiah. His boss did give us the money. He didn’t ask for us to take it back.

 

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Big Wheels from the 80’s

The Big Wheel was only $20.00, but we also needed to get Beckiah clothes. Thankfully Jessica and Beckiah wore the same size. When Beckiah was dropped off to our house. She immediately ran to her bedroom. She knew where it was. She put her clothes away. The social worker talked to us and we had to sign some papers. I asked her where the rest of the stuff like clothes was for Beckiah and she said that is all she had. She came in with one brown bag of clothes. We needed to get clothes for her. They put in a request for a clothing voucher, but it would take a couple of weeks to get to us. Again, Jessica went to her dresser and closet and she made sure that Beckiah had clothes. She even let Beckiah pick out what she wanted.

 

It bothers me to no end that people are taking advantage of those who want to help and make a difference. Last year I had so many asking for help and then I started seeing them posting the items that either I gave them or others have donated for sale. The children weren’t getting the items. They wanted them for resale. During the holidays people like to tug at others heartstrings.

I feel like as a Christian, I should be helping people. Over the years I guess I have been more cynical because of all of the people taking advantage of others. The internet has been a huge tool when it comes to getting what they want. It’s sad that people are doing this and it ruins it for others. That’s why this year I am just sponsoring a single mom and her children that are still at home. If you’re going to donate, please make sure it is legit. My personal favorite places I donate to are the Salvation Army and the Hope Chest.

Here are some links if you are in need. These are in Southern Utah…

 

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The Salvation Army is the place I will always send people to. I like the people there and the respect they have for people who come from all walks of life. The do have food boxes and they don’t judge others. The Salvation Army has many services. 

Salvation Army- St. George Utah

 

  • 803 S. Bluff Street, St. George | 435-275-4975 (Kmart Shopping Center) Click here to learn more about what they do and the services they offer.

Hope Chest Thrift Store – St. George (Facebook Page) This is a thrift store and if you are pregnant and are in need, you can call them and they offer a number of services.

Hope Pregnancy Care Center–  Click on the link and it will give you the address, times and services.

Hope Pregnancy Care Center is a free and confidential, life-affirming resource center for unplanned pregnancies. We offer practical, emotional and spiritual support to women and men through our various compassionate programs, eg. options education, parenting, material resources, and past abortion care and education. With the view toward prevention of unplanned pregnancies, sexual risk avoidance education is provided to clients and to public school students.

Switchpoint- Beyond food and shelter: Switchpoint Community Resource Center is a stepping stone to independence for homeless individuals.

Most churches and organizations will send those in need to Switchpoint. They have the ability to hook people up with the resources that they need. The have so many services so I just put the link have it where you can check them out.  Find out more information on their website – Click Here

I know that once I give something to someone, then it is theirs. It shouldn’t bother me. But it does. When I seen one family get all kinds of stuff from other people and then on another Facebook Group, they sold all of those items. When they post that they need a bed or clothes for their children because they are cold and sleeping on the floor, who wouldn’t want to help out. I can see why a lot of the churches around my area have started handing out information to homeless shelters, Salvation Army and food banks. They have the resources and ability to make sure the ones needing the help are getting it. I have donated a little here and there if I see the homeless. Usually if I see someone homeless, I will go through drive thru and buy the food. I don’t give money anymore.

During this time of the year, be careful and safe. Most of the people are honest, but there are those out there that don’t care.

Being Thankful and Grateful

Psalm 100:4-5 …… Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good and His mercy is everlasting. (NKJV)

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Wow, time sure flew by. It wasn’t till last week when I realized that Thanksgiving was next week. I didn’t come to this realization on my own. My daughter picked me up on Monday to cash my husbands check and she mentioned how she had to get stuff for Thanksgivings. Ooops, I almost missed it.

As the years go by it seems as if Thanksgiving and Christmas are here before we know it. This past year for the most part have been uneventful. Now watch something crazy happen. Because nothing major happened besides a couple of hospitalizations, it was a pretty good year overall.

I’m not really a person that goes all out for the holidays. I enjoy decorating for Christmas. I will be putting some Christmas decorations up this year. We celebrate Christmas at Easter, but I will decorate in a low-keyed manner during the Christmas season.

Christmas seems to be on everyone’s minds, but for some reason Thanksgiving get’s lost. For me, Thanksgiving falls where it should. It is a good reminder of what I’m thankful for. If it wasn’t for my faith in God, I don’t think I would be thankful for much. There are many who feel that Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for everything we have. But, I personally feel that in all things we should be thankful, good and bad. Even though it is hard to be thankful and grateful when things are going bad.

There seems to be a growing mentality when it comes to what it means to be thankful and grateful. We humans have a way of thinking that everything is better on the other side of the fence. Instead of being grateful and thankful, we grumble about everything we don’t have. I have been guilty of this also. As I get older I have found I am more grateful, but it wasn’t an easy process to get to this point.

Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. (NKJV)

It isn’t an easy process to be content and thankful for thing things we have been given. It took me a very long time to get to the point of  where I must be thankful for all things that God has blessed me with, even in the worst of circumstances.

There are some days, weeks and years that are worse than others. It is during those days when I just want to throw in the towel.  It would be easy for me to just give up when bad things happen. Many have asked me how I deal with the things I deal with health wise and the only answer is because of my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I don’t know how people go through life without God.

I honestly feel that it is important for us to go through dark days and the losses we experience. Of course I hate going through tragic loss and hard times, but, maybe it’s important for us to go through them so we can realize how important the blessings and good things are. It’s because of these dark days and losses that I’m grateful for what God has done in my life.

Thanksgiving is a great time to encourage each other and remember the things we should be thankful for and grateful for.  Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to thank God for His grace and mercy, and a time to remind ourselves that we shouldn’t be taking God for granted.

(Psalm 100:4)   “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.”

22324What I’m Thankful For;

  • My family: I have the most awesome daughters and grandkids. I also have a patient husband who puts up with the things I like to do, even though he doesn’t enjoy it (i.e. decoration for Christmas).
  • A roof over my head and food on my table.
  • The freedoms I have due to those are fighting for those freedoms such as religion, speech and a whole bunch of other things.
  • My mouthy pugs
  • Awesome and crazy friends
  • My church family
  • God’s undeserved love, grace and mercy

The other day, I was watching a video that a church in Charlotte put out. It was geared towards Christmas and all of the gifts and blessings we have received in our lives.

I wanted to leave you all this last message.  The most important thing that I am grateful for is that we have never had to earn God’s love. God loved us all before we loved Him.  God says “Your guilt is all paid for in Jesus Christ”. “Thank you!” When I think of everything I can be grateful for, it is that Jesus paid the ultimate price for my sins and He has paid for your sins as well.

God didn’t need to forgive us. He didn’t have to send His only begotten Son to die for our sins, but He did. God wasn’t under any obligation to save us. But because He loves us, He has chosen to save us.

 

Cold and Flu Season – That Time of Year Again

fluIt seems like the cold and flu season is upon us. I love the weather, but not all of the sickness out there. This is one of my pet peeve topics. With all of the sniffles and sneezing going on I get a bit apprehensive when it comes to being around to many people. I don’t wear a sign around my neck that says that I have an auto-immune disease. But, as people are hacking out their lungs and going into places sicker than a dog,  I am strategically planning my path to stay away from those people. What may cause people to get sick for a short time could end me up in the hospital for a long time.

Those who know me really well knows that if they are sick they need to stay away. But, that isn’t always the case. I know many people and I have chosen years ago that my life or my medical history isn’t an open book.  My medical stuff is hard to understand. It is hard for some of my Drs to understand, let alone anyone else. Plus, I’m just not into the whole 20 question thing unless your my Dr, nurse or someone I am super close to.  During the cold and flu season I will go a little bit into things and this is that yearly post.

If you are sick and you know me, then please stay away. If you are sick, please send someone to the store instead of you going. There are many people out there who can’t afford to get sick. Just because someone doesn’t wear a sign around their neck that says they have an auto-immune disease, cancer, aged or a whole group of things, that doesn’t mean they can handle getting sick. Not even a simple cold. When I worked at Lins, I can’t even count how many customers would come through my line as they were blowing their nose, running a temperature and throwing up. Really!!!

Health101

Then you have those who swear by the flu shot and granted, they are great for most people. But, not all people can take the flu shot, myself included. I ended up with Guillian Barre Syndrome from the flu shot. There are many people who can’t take it. If you are sick, stay home and call someone to pick up your medications. Shoot, anymore some pharmacies deliver and there is drive-thru. You don’t even need to leave your house or your car.

Here is a link on how to survive the flu season.

Senseless Killings

You can’t turn the TV, radio or just about anything and not hear about what happened in Las Vegas. I will not use this evil mans name in my blog post.

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Opening Prayer– My heart is broken for all those who have lost lives in Las Vegas and for those who survived these terrorist type of attacks. May God be with each of you and my prayer is that you are present with the broken and wounded souls. Lord, I pray for them to find peace and comfort in the days ahead. May they feel that they aren’t alone. Lord, I send my love and sympathy to those who don’t know where to turn and that they aren’t alone in their suffering.

Heavenly Father, my prayer is for those who have survived and for the victims, that they will find the strength to come with the tragedy that they have been through. I pray that they are able to find wisdom to live their lives and continue on the path that is ahead of them.

In Jesus’s name, Amen

Click Here to learn more about those who died during the Las Vegas Terrorist Attack. 

As I was watching the news and learning more about the lives that were lost just made my heart sink. The gun mans home is just 30 minutes from my home and it is way to close for comfort for my own good.  I live in Utah, but just over the border. Mesquite is like I said about 30 minutes from my home. I was listening to the names of those who died and I was just hoping and praying that there were no familiar names. Even though I didn’t hear any names of those I knew was there, my heart got heavier and heavier as the names and ages started to be mentioned.

All of those who have lost lives and have been hurt are loved by someone. They have parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, children and friends. I have no doubt that those who are hearing the names of a loved one dropped to their knees in anguish and pain. What was supposed to have been a night of fun and enjoyment, turned into hell.

Portraits of the Las Vegas Shooting Victims- Videos and Portraits

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Another Hero. This picture for some reason has stuck with me all day long. This man literally laid on this woman whoever she is and protected her from bullets. I don’t know if she was shot or how she is doing .  I hope she is OK.

In what is described as the deadliest mass shooting in American history,  there have been countless accounts of hero’s stepping in to help. Those at the concert came from all over the country and I think there were even some who have come from outside of the United States. Those who attended the concert reacted to this terrorist with bravery by saving lives while this psychopath rained gunfire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino. Some have said he was no terrorist, he was a lone wolf. I don’t care what they call him, he is a terrorist and evil.

Taylor-Winston-861988Hero’s were present in the form of military personal, Dr’s, nurses, firemen, friends and strangers.  There was a former marine Taylor Winston that found a truck that was unattended. It was the first truck he found that was unlocked and had a key in it. I would stay that was a God thing. He stole the truck so he could transport up to 30 people to the hospital. Instead of running away, he was running into the line of fire. There are countless heroes and most have said that they aren’t heroes. They were there doing what they needed to do.

There was one particular story that came out that angered me. 

CBS has fired a legal executive who  decided it was a good idea to post on their Facebook page, just hours after the shooting took place at the country music festival that killed 59 innocent people and hurt over 500 others. took to social media Monday morning with harsh words for the victims.

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This woman, Hayley Geftman- Gold, was a  VP and senior counsel in strategic transactions at CBS. She said something to the effect that if Republicans wouldn’t do anything about children that were murdered and I am guessing she meant Sandy Hook, they she isn’t sympathetic to country music fans since country music fans are Republican gun totters.

22195679_1466696780079761_5187930135265054760_nI’m glad they fired her right away. I know many that love country music that aren’t Republicans. I don’t know why this has to be politicized. It has nothing to do with if a person is a Democrat or a Republican. It doesn’t matter where you live, the color of your skin or anything else. This is about lives that were lost and they were all innocent lives. I like some country songs and I like Jason Aldean. I am not a Republican and I’m not a Democrat. I am non affiliated. Her remark angered me and I hope that she is able to see that all lives and people matter.

Of course there has also been a great deal of debate over guns and the 2nd amendment. In my opinion I don’t think the average person needs to own assault rifles. I don’t own a gun for my own personal reasons. But, my daughters do in order to protect their family. These aren’t assault rifles or machine guns. I have no problem with people owning guns if they are trained and they are responsible gun owners.I also see no problem having guns if you are a hunter. My problem is average people do not need assault rifles.

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Nate Bethea, a member of the First Battalion, 501st Infantry, holding an M-4 carbine in Baghgay in Paktika province, Afghanistan, in 2009.

I came across a story about a veteran stated that he doesn’t want an assault rifle. He served in Afghanistan either and he didn’t want to be there. He seen first hand the effects on the bullets impact and he wants nothing to do with it any more. Why would the average person need a weapon that literally shoots thousands of rounds in the matter of minutes? The reason I bring up this young soldier is that he doesn’t want to believe that we live in a world that is so dangerous that a person would  require these types of weapons.  He found himself in a situation that startled him and his hand was on the trigger. It was at that moment that he could see himself killing someone who was innocent because his finger immediately moved to the trigger and the little girl who came up to his vehicle would have been dead.

He stated that he would rather be hopeful when it comes to mankind and that there are more good people than evil ones.

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M4 carbine – Why would a civilian need this> My answer is… They DON’T

He carried an M-4 because he was living in a combat zone and he was a infantryman I don’t know anything about guns, so I’m not sure what a M-4 is. I will have to find a picture of one to put in this post. He had to be ready to fire hundreds of rounds at humans instantly. If he didn’t shoot, they would kill him first. What he said next really stuck with me and I totally get it considering what happened in Las Vegas, Orlando, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Charleston and Columbine. I’m sure there are other places, I just can’t remember them all.But, he said;

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This is just one type of rifle that was found in his room. He legally bought it. I don’t get why an average person would want to buy this. I would think some kind of red flags were raised.

 These weapons are intended for the battlefield. I don’t want an assault rifle, because I don’t want to think of my home country as a battlefield. I don’t want civilians to own assault rifles, because I think the risks outweigh the rewards. If people really do believe that they need them, maybe it’s because they see a battlefield where others don’t.

But, I also feel that it isn’t the gun that killed the person. I mean it is, but it was the evil person who killed that chose to kill. The guns are a tool. I don’t know what the answer is. But, I whole heartedly feel that nobody should have assault rifles unless you are in the military, police or in a field where you are protecting someone.

pc-140610-vegas-police-prayers-01_b51fafce84739d570fcd5f61df56105c.nbcnews-fp-1200-800My heart and soul is hurting for those who must go on. They are suffering from unimaginable pain. Thank you for putting people in the right place and the right time. While they may not call themselves heroes, they are to those who they helped. Those who lost their lives were innocent. We don’t want to accept the terrorist attacks, but we have to. Our hearts and souls rail against the suffering of the survivors and their families, against the death of innocent bystanders. The first thing we can do is offer prayers for peace and comfort after a terrorist attack. Then we need to look for ways to help, to be Jesus’ hands and feet. To minister, serve, and bind wounds.

I wasn’t sure exactly what the Second Amendment said, so I have to look it up. It’s rather long, so you can click here to read it in its entirety.

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In closing, I want to end this post with a prayer and if you would like to add your prayer, you can comment. You don’t have to have an account to make comments.

Dear Lord Jesus, protect us from the evil that seems to be plaguing our country and our world. I ask that You send Your comfort and healing to those who have been hurt mentally and physically. We ask that you show Your presence in a hurting world. I don’t know that the answer is, but You do. All things are possible when we put our faith in You. I ask these things in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

My Thoughts on Taking the Knee

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I have been thinking on this whole NFL thing and listening to all sides and the only thing I think about is that for myself, I think we need to respect those who have put their lives on the line and have given their lives for our country. I totally respect our flag and our country. I am beyond grateful for all of those who made it so we have the freedoms we have. I also think that everyone has a right to protest and while I don’t agree with how they are doing it, I am glad they aren’t killing each other.

Click Here to Read What the Flag Codes Are

What bothers me the most is that there are a ton of distractions and I wonder if the point is being missed. People are taking sides. You are either on one side or another. Over the past year or longer it has been about are you a Republican or a Democrat. There is no middle ground. I refuse to jump on that bandwagon. Just today I have seen post after post about how Liberals aka Democrats should go to hell. I find it horrible when it comes to those who profess to be a Christian.  Players and people are using their platforms as a way of taking sides. I don’t see a problem with people using their platform like the NFL or NBA or whoever else to raise awareness. But. why do it in this way?

This next section is still about not saluting the flag and not saying the pledge. Even though they don’t solute the flag and they don’t pledge allegiance to the flag, they only pledge their allegiance to God.

I have many family members and friends that are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Hopefully my cousin Raelene will be OK with me sharing this. I don’t even think she would remember this since I was about 9 yrs old. She and I were in the same classroom and at the beginning of the class we all stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Since her family is Jehovah’s Witnesses, they didn’t recite the pledge, but she was still respectful. I have always remembered that. They also didn’t participate in holidays. Which is why I don’t do most of the holidays. Even thought I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness, I can’t in good conscience celebrate holidays that have pagan origin. Everyone is different and can choose for themselves, but I can’t do it. I don’t think she realized how much I observed and I learned from her. Even though she didn’t recite the pledge, she didn’t do anything to stand out and make it about her. For her and all Witnesses, it is because of their faith.

I have asked some of my friends a long time ago about why is it that they hate the flag and they said that  even though they don’t solute the American flag they still respect it. Jehovah’s Witnesses respect the governments and flags under which they live.  Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the flag salute is an act of worship, and a “pledge of allegiance” can only made to God.  They make it a point to be neutral. I’m bring up the Jehovah’s Witnesses because I have seen some people on Facebook compare the two things and say that they hate the flag, and that isn’t the case.  But, this whole thing with the NFL is different, I don’t understand what the purpose is.  Click here to read more about why they don’t vote, do the pledge and solute the flag. 

My mother in law would be spitting mad over all of these things going on. I remember many times where she would have been in tears over people not standing when the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance. Oh man, would she be upset to the point of tears. I have seen it where she was so overcome when people wouldn’t stand, that she would walk up to the people and she would give them a piece of her mind. She lived through WW2 and my father in law served.  I have to say that I didn’t always stand until I seen how important it was to her.

I would think there would be other peaceful ways to protest. I don’t understand the whole taking the knee. I guess I won’t since they aren’t people or groups I know. But, I do know that I am grateful to everyone who has served our country.  Not just those who are in the military, but those who protect and serve like the police and the firemen.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done and by protesting in any form, changes needs to happen long-term, not just during football games. Are they accomplishing anything by taking the knee and not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem? I guess in some ways, but, I don’t know what it is accomplishing. I wish there was other ways to come together and support each other. Anymore I feel like it is more about politics instead of human rights. It seems like it is more about Trump instead of what they want to say. I’m guessing others may be confused as well.

Anyone who knows me knows that I didn’t vote for Trump and I wouldn’t in the future. Everyone has a right to vote for the person they want. I am an Independent and I vote for the person not the party. I vote for the person who best aligns themselves up with what I find important which is why I voted for Kacish out of Ohio. Everyone has their own reasons for who they vote for and that’s one of our greatest freedoms. I just wish that for those who want to protest that they would make it about the cause instead of doing things the way they are doing them.

I was watching a town hall meeting on CNN that Anderson Cooper was doing.  Those who participated were Spike Lee and former Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and York Jets player Michel Faulkner,  Click Here to watch it or watch clips. I know there are many Republicans who don’t watch CNN and they only watch Fox News. This may be one of those times where you may want to watch it. The reason why is that they are having a healthy discussion and those who have served our country, veteran’s, and people from all sides sat down and talked about the issues. I don’t watch just one news station. I watch them all, that way I am informed.

When I was the video manager at the grocery store I worked at was asked a question by a veteran who just returned to the United States from serving in Iraq. He asked me point-blank what I thought about the United States being in the war. I knew what I thought and believed about it, but I was afraid to answer that question for a couple of reasons. The main reason was because I didn’t feel like we should be in Iraq and the second was because I was at work, and I could get in trouble for talking about religion and politics. I always talked about my faith and felt if I was going to get fired for something, I was OK with sharing my faith in Christ. But, I told him and I was very honest with him, that I felt that we shouldn’t be in the war, but at the same time, I support those who were called and those who served and have served our country and for that I am thankful. If it wasn’t for men like him, then we would not have the freedom of free speech and freedom of religion that we have. I thanked him for his service and told him that I was happy to see that he came home safe. He was part of the 222 National Guard.

If someone was to ask me to stand with them and march against those who are being treated unfair such as those who have been treated badly, killed and judged because of their skin color, I would stand beside them without thinking twice. I have marched against the KKK, hate groups and in support people of color. I have participated in awareness marches and protests when it comes to my faith. I just can’t see what is being accomplished by the taking a knee.

I think the best thing would be if people would start treating people in a respectful way. Change is taught in the home and that we should be treating others as we would want to be treated, no matter the race.  I would find it very interesting for people on all sides of the fence, all colors of their skin to come together and find a way to work with each other in a respectful way.

 

What is the Cotton Picken Deal With Cotton? 

What is the cotton picken deal with cotton?

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This is a raw cotton plant and the center of this whole debate… Those who have never seen a cotton plant, the cotton is not pure white. It is creamy white and it stinks. In part because of the pesticides and there are seeds.  

Over the past few weeks there has been a great deal of debate over how Hobby Lobby and other arts and craft stores are selling cotton stems for decoration. Some are saying that it is racist to sell cotton like this and that it isn’t respectful to those who are black and those who were slaves. I have my own thoughts on this topic, which is that this is all nonsense.

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Cotton Farms in Arizona 

When my parents moved to Arizona back in the 70’s my dad worked for farmers. For the most part the farmers grew cotton. We lived in a tiny little farming area in the middle of the desert. Betty and Jerome Thompson had cotton farms. They were the most awesome people.

My parents along with my family are Caucasian (white) and we all went into the fields to pick cotton. It wasn’t based on the color of someones skin. A job needed to be done and picking cotton, weeding,tromping and all of the other things that needed to be done were done by everyone. I don’t even think there were any workers that were black.

Men, women and children went out to pick cotton and do other things. We did have a lot of Hispanics since we lived in an area that was close to the Mexican border. My dad worked the cotton pickers, my mom would haul the cotton trailers to the building where they would weigh and clear out the trailers at the cotton gin.

The cotton gin, which mechanically separates the seed from the lint fibre. Whitney named his machine a “gin,” short for the word “engine” that could do the work 10 times faster than by hand.

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That is a full trailer of cotton. The person in the trailer is tromping it. If you look in front of the trailer, you will see a cotton picker. All of us kids would be the person tromping cotton down in order to fill the trailer and get the most out of it that we could weight wise. 

All of us kids would tromp cotton. We started at 2 in the morning since AZ was so hot. We would have to get into the trailer and my dad would dump the cotton into the trailer and we would have to tromp it down so that it was compacted. The more cotton that could get into the trailer the better. I actually think  many of my health issues are from this because cotton plants were sprayed with pesticides. We were in direct contact with the cotton as it was dumped into the trailer. To this day I hate the smell of cotton fields.

Betty and Jerome Thompson moved to Willcox, AZ and we shortly followed. It may have been were we moved first and then they did, I can’t remember. But, anyhow, we once again worked with cotton farmers. When cotton wasn’t being picked, my dad was a diesel mechanic. In Willcox, once again, it didn’t matter what color your skin was. In Willcox, it was also mostly Hispanic and white people. The farmers would go to the prisons to pick up inmates to work the fields. They normally would pick the weeds between the rows and whatever else.

I live in Utah now and the area where I live is also called Dixie.  I have never seen any cotton fields here, but it seems like Dixie is a big name around here because of the cotton fields. I can’t escape the whole cotton thing since my life has been surrounded by cotton and that is even true now. Not really in the literal sense, but in the historical sense.

The settlers began growing cotton and other temperate cash crops during the later 1850s on land that had fed the Paiute. The Paiute population was decimated as a result of starvation and disease. The largest community in the region, St. George, was founded in 1861, when Brigham Young selected 300 families to take over the area and grow cotton, grapes, and other crops. The region was nicknamed Dixie by 1860. Click here to learn more about the cotton history in Southern Utah.

I know that there were times in our countries history where the slaves in the south were the primary cotton workers. I understand that most of them never got paid and they didn’t choose to do that. I find it deplorable that people are treated differently because of the color of their skin. It shouldn’t matter.

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Freed American hostages disembark from a plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Jan. 27, 1981, one week after being released. More Information

I do think that people now days are trying to make statements over some of the stupidest things. Slavery is and was very real. There is nothing funny about people being forced to serve someone because they happen to be black. Nobody should be chained up and stripped of their dignity and taken from their homeland.  I have participated in protests against the KKK, white supremacists and the need to release prisoners that were taken in the 70’s. I have no problem when it comes to standing up against hate. Everyone has a right to stand up for what they believe.

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Ferguson, MO Riots

I do want to make one exception, well, maybe a few. But, if you are standing up for something you believe, you should not be destroying property, killing others and spreading more hate. You aren’t accomplishing anything by doing that. Your point is lost because of acting out like heathens.  For example the riots that happened in Ferguson. I have zero issues with them standing up against how they were treated. But, for property to be destroyed and the livelihood of those who live in the community are left in ruins. If you’re standing up against hate, why retaliate with hate and destruction? I don’t get it, I never will.

Everyone was created by God and nobody should be looked down on because of what they look like. This whole thing over a craft store that sells cotton stems for decor is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of.  I could easily take offence to all kinds of things and I could easily take offense over someone selling cotton in a store since I was raised by cotton fields and everyone in our family and area worked the cotton fields. Whatever it took to get the cotton to the gin, then it needed to be done. On another note, none of us kids ever got paid. So I guess I could go cause a stink over child labor offenses.

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This is a cotton gin. The trailers would pull into where the open area is under the awnings and then a huge vacuum would suck the raw cotton up and then we would take the empty trailer and do it all over again. 

I’m pretty sure that most people realize that we use cotton each and everyday of our lives. I have compiled a short list of just some of the things that we use cotton for.

  • Clothing such as jeans, dresses, shirts, undergarments and socks.
  • Bedding such as blankets, sheets, quilts and pillow cases
  • Towels, wash cloths, handkerchiefs.
  • Cotton balls, q-tips and gauze
  • And a whole lot more…

Here is a link that tells you all about cotton and how it is harvested and how it is used. Click Here

I want to close this by saying that if you are going to stand up for something, then by all means do it. I would say that if you are trying to make a change, do it in a way that will draw attention to the real issues and don’t focus on things that are distracting, such as a cotton decoration. Don’t go destroying people’s lives by taking lives, burning buildings and acting like an idiot. Anytime you go after hate with hate, it is a lose lose situation and your point is missed.

Anymore it seems to be the liberals against the republicans, the Christians against the world and so on. As a country, we should be on Americas side and since I am a Christian I am always on the same side as Christ. Hate never wins. 

Chuck and I – How We Met

I have had so many people lately ask me how Chuck and I met and this is how we met. Since I have had many people asking, I figure I will share this with you all. I’m trying to keep it short, but I have a hard time since I’m long-winded lol.

A few years ago I wrote about how my husband and I met and about our marriage.

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Chuck Divan- This is the picture that my mother in law showed me when she came into my work

Chuck and I met around July of 1980. His mom Marjorie came into a donut shop (Winchells) where I worked. She told me that she needed to get two dozen donuts because her son Charlie was coming into town since he was going to be on leave. Chuck was stationed at Fort Hood Texas and he was only going to be in town for a few days. She showed me his picture and I gave her my number in case he wanted to go do anything. I guess the whole idea of a man in uniform sounded good to a teenage girl lol. She took my number and that was that, or so I thought.

When Chuck got into Tucson his dad told him that there was a girl who gave his mom her telephone number. She had no intention of giving him my number, but his dad thought it was awesome.

I received a phone call the next day and Chuck asked me if I would like to go do something. I told him I was in a beauty salon since I was getting a hair cut and a perm. I told him that we could go do something, but it would have to be later since I was still getting my hair done. I told him I can go do something around 4 or so, and he was OK with that. We ended up meeting at the Winchells. I gave him a description of what I looked like and he told me what he was driving. I learned a very valuable lesson that day. That lesson was to look in the mirror before meeting a strange man.

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Like I said, I was getting a perm and a hair cut. When I left the salon, my hair was still damp. I didn’t think there would be an issue with my perm. It was supposed to be just a wavy perm. If I knew I was meeting Chuck for the very first time, I would have also chose something else to wear. I was living in Tucson with friends because I ran away from home. I didn’t have my own clothes. I was borrowing some clothes from my friend Robin, which she and her family were more like family since we all were raised together. But, Robin wore totally different clothes than I did. I was wearing shorts, not regular shorts, but ones that were like Daisy Dukes. These were for sure not the kind I wore. I also was wearing a tube top, which was revealing. Since this was at the end of the 70’s and 1980, it was the typical style of clothes. I did have my own shoes, but I had a pair of hers on since they looked better with the shorts.

b82b2b1b79a30057a78eb410fbd4d9d2I couldn’t figure out why I was having people, mostly guys whistling at me and stopping to see if I needed a ride. It didn’t even register with me. I don’t have a picture of what I looked like at the time, well, not till I walked into Winchells and one of my friends gave me this look and it wasn’t a good one at all. By this time my hair was dried. So, let me break down the over all look for ya. I had a perm that wasn’t wavy by the time it dried, it was kinky, not a little kinky, a lot kinky. If you know what an afro is, well, there you go. Then, I had the shoes which was like heels, but I can’t remember the name of them. I had red short shorts and a white tube top. When I seen how my hair looked like, I was assuming the reason I had guys stopping was because they thought I was a hooker. I would have thought I was also with how I looked lol. Needless to say, the following week I had my sister Joyce sneak me back into my house so I could get my clothes.

Chuck was sitting in his truck where he said he would be. I knock on the window of the truck. He opened his window and he gave me this crazy look lol. I didn’t look like the girl who his mom described to him.  He thought I was a hooker also. He couldn’t believe his mom gave him my number. I told him that I normally don’t look like that haha. We hung out for a bout 4 hours and then he went back to his parents home. I never thought I would see him again. If I remember right, he told his parents what I looked like. He ended up going back to Fort Hood that morning, so it was just the 4 hours that we hung out. He told me he would call me when he got there. I didn’t believe him when he said he would call, I was shocked that he actually did.

Over the next 6 weeks, we would talk on the phone and that was about it. He and I would talk about how he thought I should come to Fort Hood and move in with him. I mean, it was just talk. I was pretty impressed that he did call me every day and if he said he would call at a certain time, he called exactly at that time. If he said he would call at 6 pm, it was 6 pm, not 6:01. We started talking more and more about me moving to Texas. At the time I was 17 yrs old and I was still considered a runaway, even though my parents knew where I was living by then.

My parents came to Tucson to see if I would like to come home. When they came up, they told me that if I came home they would buy me $300.00 worth of clothes. It was close to the beginning of school, so they figured if they bribed me with money and clothes then I would move back home. I actually think it was more my mom who said that. I let them both know that they didn’t have to buy me anything, all they had to do is ask and really want me home. I would have given anything for them to just say that they loved me and wanted me home. I did move back home, but only for a week or so. Mainly I moved back because I didn’t want to be an imposition for my friends. Chuck and I were still talking every day and we were still talking about me moving to Fort Hood.

A week later, I ended up hitch hiking to Texas. I think Chuck was surprised that I made it there. We ended up living together. Chucks parents still didn’t know I was there, that is until they came to visit a month later and surprise, I was there. Thankfully I didn’t look like a hooker any longer lol.

This is one of those rare occasions where I talk about my medical stuff. I try to stay off this topic for the most part. Right around the time they arrived, I started getting sick. Not really like a cold or something like that. I was just really tired. I was a cross-country runner and on the average I ran about 9 miles a day. I loved running. The people we were living with thought I was faking being so tired. I was having problems standing up to do dishes, vacuuming and all kinds of things. The first time I noticed something was really going on was when I ran into town and I was winded. My legs were feeling heavy. I had to rest before I came back to the house. We were only a mile from the little store by us and normally I could do a mile in less than 10 minutes. On my way home, I literally collapsed and I barely made it home.

The guys wife and I got into it because she said I was trying to get out of helping around the house and that I was lazy. At was at that point that Chuck and I found our own place. By this time we only knew each other for 6-8 weeks from the time I met him in Tucson till this point. It was at the end of August or the beginning of Sept 1980. We moved into a small trailer and when Chuck came home from the base, I was on the floor crying. I couldn’t stand up and I couldn’t move my legs and it was getting worse. I couldn’t even get to the phone to call anyone and not even go to the bathroom. To say it was scary is an understatement.

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Chuck took me to the ER. The ER couldn’t do anything because I was a minor. Over the next couple of days we went to the ER a few time. Then the one ER that was closer to the base actually took things serious, minor or not. One of the nurses thought I was weak because I was a druggy. They figure with my age and the era we lived in, it had to be drugs. Then the Dr came in and ordered a spinal tap. Within 15 minutes I was admitted and the next morning when more tests came in, they sent me to Scott and White in Temple Texas. That was the one that wouldn’t even let me be seen. They found out from the spinal tap that I had Guillian Barre Syndrome.

Within a couple of days, I ended up on a ventilator and completely paralyzed. I couldn’t open or close my eyes. I couldn’t talk and if I did talk, nobody could understand me. I couldn’t lift a pencil or anything. With Guillian Barre Syndrome, the paralysis starts from the feet and goes up. They found out that I got this from the flu shot. I carry a certain antibody and the flu shot and viruses reacts with them.

After a while, I was able to come home. I wasn’t able to walk or do anything then either. Chuck arranged for me to be dropped off at a friend’s house while he was at work. Now, think about this. He only knew me for a couple of months and some of that was only by phone. So, he would get up an hour before he had to leave work and help me get dressed, brush my teeth, help me go to the bathroom. He had to literally do everything for me. I couldn’t lift my hands. I couldn’t feed myself. He even had to feed me. We also found out that I was pregnant with my daughter Jessica. Chuck would drop me off at our friends. He would have to carry me into her house and they had a bed in the living room for me. He made sure whatever I needed, it was there.

One night after he picked me up, we were talking about how we were going to pay all of the bills. People in the military don’t get paid much and I couldn’t work. So, we only had about $800 a month. We were planning on getting married on December 14th. We did do a blood test since we knew we were planning on that. I think it was funny that we had that date, but neither of us asked the other about if we wanted to get married. It was like an unspoken and assumed thing.

We got the results from the blood tests and the approval that we are able to get married. They use to have it where people had to do a blood test to make sure you don’t have a sexually transmitted disease. But, at the end of October, we were just sitting around. The base was on alert so we couldn’t do anything. We could only go 15 minutes from the base in case of an emergency.

On October 30th, 1980 out of the blue, we said, well since there isn’t anything else to do and we are bored why don’t we just run into Belton.TX which wasn’t far from the house and we can get married. I really wanted to be married to whoever I was going to marry by Pastor Harry Myers. But, that didn’t happen. We grabbed our marriage license and my parents already sent me the permission slip to get married since I was a minor. We grabbed those papers and headed to Belton. Chuck had to carry me into the courthouse and they had office chairs with wheels on them. Thankfully I was a lot lighter than I am now. I was around 95 pounds at that time and pregnant. So, he put me on that and helped me sign the papers. I couldn’t write and I couldn’t hold the pencil on my own.

Ten minutes later, we were married and Chuck carried me back to the truck. Since I couldn’t swallow or really eat, we got an ice cream at the Sonic Drive In and I immediately got sick. I did call my parents to tell them we got married. They could barely understand me. They were relieved I got married. Not because of living in sin, they were happy because now they didn’t have to pay any medical bills.

shrinershospitalThe medical bills were also a reason we got married early. With how much I was in the hospital, we were really scared about what it is all going to cost. We didn’t know that Scott and White contacted the Shriner’s Hospital. I didn’t realize that my parents wouldn’t sign for any treatments and they refused to pay anything for my care and the one treatment that would have made my life easier was declined. About a week later we got a bill from the hospital and it showed that all of my medical bills, treatments and ambulance bills were paid by them. Find out more about the Shriners 

Since Chuck and I were married now, we didn’t have to worry about the medical bills since all the medical care for the military and dependents are covered. Which is good. I was in the hospital for almost a year off and on. When I gave birth to Jessica, I was barely 100 pounds.

Chuck didn’t have to stay with me. He barely knew me. We were only together from the end of July till October and only 6 weeks where we actually seen each other face to face. I don’t know how many guys would stick with someone under the circumstances that I was in. He never thought twice. I have to give credit to his parents on some of this. They raised their sons to be respectful and to not treat people bad and to not shreak from their responsibilities. I wasn’t his responsibility. He could have left anytime he wanted.

On October 30th, we will have been married for 37 yrs.