Military, Poetry, Uncategorized, world affairs, Writing

Do You See?

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He sees. 

The masses of humanity  who pass him by ( if you can even call them that.) For where IS their humanity ?

Webster’s , that great tome of definitions, tells us ; HUMANITY ~compassionbrotherly lovefraternityfellow feelingphilanthropy, humaneness, kindnessconsiderationunderstandingsympathy, tolerance …………

Perched on a milk crate , in mis-matched shoes, soles worn down to paper thin.

The little dog,  eyes shining bright , with the reflection that , he and the man are a tribe all their own.

The man’s grayed hair , and face lined  with a hundred, no maybe even a thousand memories .

Perhaps even memories he would wish to forget , of places far away, jungles hot and fetid.

The chopping sounds of helos flying over, and wondering if there is an end to this madness.

He sees.

That the people passing by have forgotten about those days, easier for them to pretend it never happened.

And so to pretend that he does not exist either.

But , he sees. 

And wrapped in an honor that only a few will know, that even fewer CAN know.

The creases in his face , would tell you the story, if  only YOU could see.

About Me~, inspirational, Uncategorized, world affairs, Writing

Hillbillies, Happenings, and How are y’all?

 

 

14424721_1216518198420851_2592819625145033806_oSo , How are y’all ? or as some would say , How y’all are?  There have been quite a few interesting happenings  in my lovely home state  of Arkansas in just the last few days. Some private citizens paid to have a monument to those good list of rules that are just a pretty good idea for all people to follow, or you would think pretty much everybody would think they are good rules for everybody to follow. You know things like, “Don’t go knockin’ your neighbor over the head. ” and “How ’bout we don’t make off with things that don’t belong to us?” and here’s a pretty swell idea for the general population , “How’s about we don’t lie to each other , so as we can trust what we all say?”  and maybe , ” Let’s not go gettin’ naked with somebody else’s spouse?” that wouldn’t be an alright thing, now would it?. So anywho, they put these and few more like them on a big ole rock, and put them on the lawn of a building. Now the government didn’t pay for them, some regular people did. And they were no more out there a day , then what some feller decided he’d run them down with his car while shouting , “FREEEEEEDOOOOMMM!!!!!” Yes. This really happened.  And what’s more , apparently this individual had done this once before.

So this happens two days ago. Now TODAY,  in some club in the capitol city of my home state some people decided that they were offended by something someone said, or did, or just looked at them sideways, and 25 people were shot, and 3 other people were wounded. No one died. Which brings me to the point of my blog today. Which is……… WHEN people find out I am from Arkansas. Which is pretty much right  after I open my mouth. ‘Cause I guess, I have an accent. Who knew.

That’s right . Y’all go on ahead and laugh. Everybody else does. Other people have two reactions. They either think it is the sweetest thing ever, or the most ignorant . But it’s always the same. “Oh my goodness, that is just the sweetest thing! Where are you from?!?” or “Well, don’t you just sound stupid. You MUST be from the South.  ” Because apparently, being from the South, especially from Arkansas , and having my particular accent , makes you immediately some sort of inbred with the I. Q. of a turnip.  And these types of news stories are NOT helpful. So I am going to set the record straight, we have had loads of educated, brilliant , magnificent people hail from here, and  as a tiny tasting here is a small list……………..

Alan Ladd ~ Actor

E. Fay Jones  ~ Architect

Maya Angelou~ Poet

John Grisham ~ Author

Sam Walton ~ Founder of Wal-Mart

General Douglas MacArthur

Brigadier General Archibald Yell

Glen Campbell ~ Singer

Johnny Cash ~ Singer

Ne-Yo ~ Rapper

Hattie Caraway ~ 1st Woman U.S. Senator

Dick Covey~ Astronaut

Hangin’ Judge Isaac Parker

President Bill Clinton

Luther Capps

Okay, so you probably don’t know the last name on that list. But to me he was the most important. He’s the man in the picture above. He was my Grandpa. Now he didn’t go to some fancy dan college. And he had an accent too. But he was in my estimation one of the smartest men ever. He could grow anything. Fix anything. Build anything. He was born in 1913, and lived through the Dust Bowl, and the Great Depression. He picked cotton, lived in California and worked the orchards, rode the rails as a hobo, and did anything he had to do to survive. He had muscles like whipcord even in his 70s and could out work men half his age. He taught me to drive , barefooted in an old 1963 Ford Falcon pickup on a backroad with the windows down and the air so hot you felt you couldn’t even feel your lungs move anymore. He followed those rules that the crazy FREEDOM shouting man so callously ran over.

 

So I refuse to apologize. That man running down the 10 Commandments and the crazy nightclub shooters are not what the “average person ” is like here. The “average” person here is like my Grandpa , God rest him.  So, NO, I am not going to “flatten” my accent to make other people feel better about themselves, or to hide where I am from. I will straight up tell you, “Yes, I am from Arkansas. No, we are not ignorant hillbillies. I do not care that you think my accent is stupid. Yes, we talk slow. Maybe it’s so all of the REST of you people can understand , ’cause y’all are the ones a little bit ‘off’, did you ever think of that?”

I will leave you with the words of Ms. Maya Angelou herself ……..

My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.

About Me~, art, inspirational, Uncategorized, world affairs, Writing

How Bizarre~

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The beautiful is always bizarre.  ~ Baudelaire 19657041_1349803748431210_6828812241786549423_n

I’ve never BEEN normal.   It was a certainty in my bones , a knowing even. An intrinsic feeling , yet not a difference that I felt was a problem. I didn’t SEE it as being a difficulty. I knew I was not like other people. I don’t say that as a form of braggadocio or as a way to say I was better or somehow on another plane. I came into this world , a wild animal. For most of my early years I refused to wear clothes, driving my mother to insanity. I thought going about skyclad was the best thing in the world.  When she DID manage to keep me clothed, it had to be boy’s clothes of the most ragged variety imaginable. Jeans, cutup, cutoff, dirty, t-shirts the greasier the better. My Dad’s castoff welding hats and goggles. A pair of corduroy Levi knickerbockers. Cowboy boots with the soles worn completely through. A set of leather chaps that a friend of mine had outworn. I spent my days out of doors ;climbing every tree within 10 miles of my house. Skinnydipping in the Little Missouri river until I was sunburnt to the color of red ripe watermelons we gommed from Granny Jo’s garden in the evenings.  I don’t know how my mother kept from killing me in those years; I never shut up, when I WAS home, which was seldom, I despised school work; what was I going to need all THAT useless information for anyhow, I wanted to be any and everywhere besides chained to that drudgery . I brought home any and every creature I could find , that slithered , crawled or flew, and was sure that both my mother and sister would find homes for them, and be just as fascinated as I was. (  I was wrong on both counts many times. ) Come to think of it, I don’t know why my SISTER didn’t kill me in all those years. I’m sure she had just cause. She was all the things I wasn’t . She was clean. She was a whiz at school, quite dedicated to it actually. And she actually kept her clothes ON. She swore on many an occasion, that “For the love of GOD, Nette, you are adopted. I swear. You actually belong to some nudists somewhere!!”  Heh.

I guess , to me, life just all seemed so bright, amazing, full of things to see. It still seems that way. Everywhere I go now, I still wonder why people want to be “normal” . And the funny thing is they struggle so hard to do this thing they call “fitting in”. What IS that, anyway? I had an interesting conversation with my niece, just the other day.  I was asking her , about a certain person , “Why is he dressing that way?” ( Meaning goth, emo, shopping at HotTopic, you know the whole ‘look’) She said , “Well, he’s making a statement I guess. Trying to stand out. ” So I asked her, “But if EVERYONE is doing that now, dying their hair, getting tattoos, going “goth” , and shopping at HotTopic, are you really making a statement? It’s not. It’s the new ‘normal’, isn’t it. ”  She didn’t really know what to say to that.  See, I don’t have a single tattoo. I don’t dye my hair technicolor. I’m not some trendy gender. Been married to the same guy for almost 21 years. I don’t have a nose ring, or some other odd piercing.  I think people ought to be respectful to others , and pretty  much live and let live. Wow.  In this day and age, guess what? I’ve become the new bizarre. And to quote Baudelaire, “It’s beautiful. “

art, inspirational, Uncategorized, world affairs, Writing

How Are You Today ? Just Four Words


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no estic bé
People are hungry. 
Níl mé ceart go leor
Children live on the street. 

Mir geht es nicht gut
The politicians play by their own rules. 
I au I Ka Moana
We've forgotten , "Do unto to others ."

אני לא בסדר
We turn a blind eye to those we could help

e kore au e ahau pai
The Golden Rule is not , "He who has the gold , makes the rules. "

Sina sawa
Love is not arrogant , or rude. 

P.S. The "four words" are , "I am not okay." in many different languages from around the world. 
 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16 :15
Just something that was on my heart today.

		
About Me~, chronic illness, humor, inspirational, Uncategorized, world affairs, Writing

Against the Flow ~

 

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Fair warning.   I like to give fair warning. If  a post might seem long, or  scatter-brained, or even if some of the topics or wording might seem offensive to some.  I had no idea until just a few years ago that even the very discussion of illness is considered offensive to some.  There are things called content warnings,  and trigger warnings.  I don’t really do that here.  It would be great if the world were all cotton-candy and lollipops but it’s not. Unfortunately, in the real world there is potential for your feelings to get hurt.  So I said all that to basically say this post might be long, and you can feel free to leave, I won’t be offended. So onward, and upward!  🙂

Anywho, This month , May, is Lupus Awareness Month.   For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I have lupus, and have had for about 20 years now.  I run a lupus support site on FaceBook  called Lupus Sucks ! Lupus Support and Humor . I’ve run it about 5 years now, and have about 9,100 followers.

https://www.facebook.com/lupussuredoessuck/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

That’s not to toot my own horn , by any means . It’s really rather to toot the horns of the amazing people on my page.   My BUDDIES I call them.   They’re amazing. They rally around each other.   They grant  words of encouragement.  They lift us up when we’re in the  hospital  , offering ways to get by  when we’re  having wretched stays in those most horrid of “Hiltons”  🙂  We’re able to help each other find doctors, share tips on what works best for exercises on already hurting bodies,  and most of all , my favorite part , is find humor, yes, I said find humor in this crazy life that got chosen for us.  By God , or the Universe,  or Fate, or however you decide the great wheel of life chooses these things.  002c9f165a729c2482566b023003f4e3

I’ve often told people if I hadn’t been able to laugh I’d have died a long time ago.  I hope that I have been able to grant some small bit of that humor to someone else. It really is okay to laugh. I decided a long time ago , I was not going to let this crazy disease and all it comorbid compatriots to steal my joy.

Which got me to thinking about May being Lupus Awareness Month, and all the things that come with it. I’ve been trying to do research about Lupus Awareness Month. When it started, WHO started it? Why is it in the month of May?  Why is our symbol the butterfly? WHO made these decisions? Was there a committee formed? Who was on the committee? Did the people on the committee have lupus? Who decided that purple was a good idea for our color ? Seeing as how this is the list of disease that use purple or some variant of it for THEIR awareness

Lavender Awareness Ribbons
Lavender awareness ribbon
Periwinkle ribbon
Periwinkle awareness ribbon
Orchid
Orchid awareness ribbon
  • Testicular Cancer. There is debate about the color for testicular cancer awareness and ribbons, however orchid, a purple/violet color, has long been recognized as the official color for testicular cancer.
Violet ribbon
Violet awareness ribbon

Are we really using the MOST effective color in our push to get people to be aware of the disease we are affected with? I have been to many sites over the last couple of days , looking for ways to get flyers with info, or ideas for spreading awareness in even my very small town. They offered no ideas , or assistance. No free printable information.

So I guess, I’m confused. Confused and a bit angry.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been angry that I have lupus. I’ve always looked at it like I got dealt a lousy genetic stack of cards. I was never angry at God. I didn’t rail at Him , saying , “Why me? ”  But I find myself feeling angry at the lack of support from these for lack of a better word “mega-corporations”. These are the people who are supposed  to be backing us up. With ideas, with materials to make flyers, with community research . They are the people that are supposed to make things HAPPEN. 

 

On that note, did anyone ask YOU , did YOU want the butterfly for the lupus symbol?

If you could choose an animal , what would you choose , and why?

Did anyone ask YOU , if May was the best month for Lupus Awareness Month for you?

If you could choose a month, which one would you choose , and why?

Did anyone ask YOU  how you felt about purple as a representative color?

Would you have chosen a different color , and if so , which one?

Why are there NO (Non-Profit) materials geared towards the average “LUPIE” ?

What kinds of materials do you think would grab the attention of the  public?

(Meaning ~ Female , between the ages of 15 and 44~ in other words , we’re young and cool not some doddering bunch of people in nursing homes )

We’d appreciate cooler , more age appropriate , materials geared toward that audience.

How do you best think we could attract the attention of the general public that we are trying to educate?

 

All that being said, I know we all have our struggles. With mobility, with being out in the sunlight, with fatigue, with emotional and stress issues. I know some of us have physical limitations which prevent us from getting out and dealing with the public. I know there are those of us who can’t speak on the phone, as it causes anxiety. I am not expecting anything to be done THIS May , but wondered if we might pool our ideas, and resources; creatively ( ideas, publishing , marketing) charitable, ( those with access to businesses who might help us with flyers, stickers , pins or buttons,etc. ) or simply working up a way to have it mentioned on a local news station. Please feel free to let me know any ideas that you have. And remember, our lupies are women between the ages of 15 to 44, but of course , the more people who are aware is even better.

I want so much to make a difference in the next year.  And I BELIEVE that we CAN DO IT!!  So maybe, just maybe it’s time WE 

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Uncategorized, world affairs, Writing

Inauguration Day~

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.  ~ Teddy Roosevelt 

That’s all a man can hope for during his lifetime – to set an example – and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history. ~ William McKinley 

You have to think anyway, so why not think big? ~ Donald J. Trump 

It’s always good to be underestimated. ~ Donald J. Trump

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I’m taking a break from my lupus series to say a little about today. Now I make it my habit to never discuss religion or politics , as I figure most people’s minds are generally made up one way or the other on those subjects. But , this year has been some year hasn’t it? It’s been a long year, and it’s been a historic year. When I was little , I was a huge history buff. I loved reading about the Presidents, about American history, and I actually liked watching things like, “The McLaughlin  Group”, “60 Minutes”, and watching inaugurations. When I was about 5 or 6 years old, President Bill Clinton, who was then campaigning to be Governor of my home state, Arkansas, came to my hometown, and I got to meet him. I told my Mom I wanted his autograph, and when she asked me why, “I told her that , ‘That man is going to be President one day. ‘ ” . I still have that autograph , which some might consider to be a dubious distinction these days I suppose. But suddenly , when Obama became President, the fun had gone out of it for me. The liberals seemed determined to make anyone who didn’t agree with them miserable. How dare you have a conservative viewpoint? It was almost as if they wanted us to be sorry for “being American.” And as if they were sorry for all the things that had made us great for so long.  We’re brash. What of it? We say what we mean, and I know lots of other countries considered that less than classy. We’re loud, we’re rowdy, we don’t mind sticking up for ourselves, and if we don’t throw the first punch, we’ll sure throw the last one. These things seem to bother uber-liberals . Then came the Obama administration. And we were made to feel like less than citizens, because we didn’t agree with his policies. It wasn’t okay to have a dissenting opinion. Because if you did, you were racist, bigoted, ignorant, yukking-it – up yokels. Then came the campaign race of the century. And we were made to feel even MORE like it wasn’t our country anymore. Hillary Clinton  thought we were “deplorable”, thought “what difference at this point does it make?” , speaking about the deaths of the  very people whose job it is to keep us safe. Lied so much that she seemed to think we all must have the I.Q. of a good sized cabbage.  Then came Trump. And he was ALL the things that I mentioned before, brash, said whatever he thought (for good or naught), he’s loud, he’s often rowdy, and doesn’t mind sticking up for himself. People said he’d never have a chance, they said he’d never get the nomination, they said no one would vote for him. Not in a million years. But the press, the naysayers, those “in the know” , didn’t count on how tired we were. Tired of being told that our opinions didn’t matter, because we were the “little people”. Tired of being lied to.  Tired of feeling like our America didn’t matter anymore. But he DID get the nomination, he DID get elected. And I’m watching the inauguration right now. And I feel hopeful. I feel like politics is interesting again. I feel proud to be American. I don’t know what kind of a job he’s going to do. No one does! And that’s the thing. THAT’S AMERICAN!!  Everyone should get the chance to dream big, and get the chance to show what kind of job they can do. Maybe he’ll be great, maybe he’ll suck.  But as of right now, I feel proud. And in the words of the newest President , “What really matters is not if the government controls the country, but that the people control the country.  And that the nation exists to serve its citizens. These are just and reasonable demands , of a righteous people. ” I pray it is so. God Bless President Trump, and God Bless the United States of America 

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About Me~, chronic illness, inspirational, Uncategorized, world affairs, Writing

The Best Things in Life are Free~

Hey howdy hey, everybuddy ! I hope today finds you doing the best you can , with what you have ,where you are. I’m perched on my ever present sofa, under so many covers that I look like “Burritos Gone Wild” .  🙂 My chest has decided to pull its lovely asthmatic routine, which of course the damp weather doesn’t help. But anywho, what’s a gal to do, but suck down albuterol, pop a prednisone, and chug some cough syrup. Story of our lives, eh? But shall we get to today’s thought?  🙂

So far in our series 26 Days, 26 Ways (to feel better with lupus) , we’ve learned to

A: Acknowledge and Accept

B: Breathe.

C. Find  Comfort

D. Get a Doctor or team of them you can trust

E. Exercise ~ even if it’s just a scoonch ( Hey ! Scoonch is a word!)

F. Have Faith

G. Set a Goal , even if it seems small

So that brings us to “H” . 

 

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Now bear with me, I have to kind of give you a little bit of background on this so it makes sense. I am a very affectionate person. I like people. ALL  kinds of people . The singularly different ones, the “something’s just a little odd ones” , the eccentrics, the painters, the artists the poets. The down trodden, the homeless, the not quite so clean ones.  I like being around them, talking to them, hearing their stories , and just being in contact with them. I also freely admit, “I am a “hugger”. I like  hugs. Hugs are good for you; and in turn , they are good for the person you are hugging. And they’re FREE!!  I mean, there’s research to back it up, and everything!! Here is a great article I found that explains it really well.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2016-02-03/the-health-benefits-of-hugging

Here was one of my favorite sections of the article , that shows just how far a good hug can go.

There’s also some evidence that oxytocin can improve immune function and pain tolerance. A 2010 study from Ohio State University found that couples with more positive communication behaviors have higher levels of oxytocin and they heal faster from wounds. More recently, a 2015 study from King’s College in London found that oxytocin has analgesic effects, leading to a reduction in perceived pain intensity and lower pain ratings when participants were subjected to brief radiant heat pulses that were generated by an infrared laser.

So not only does hugging improve immune function, and pain tolerance, it JUST FEELS GOOD!  It’s a win \win , right?

So hug someone you love, hug your friends, your family, your children; I mean , I’ve been known to hug complete strangers who looked like they needed one. ( Of course, my hubs thinks I might be a little odd, but hey  😉

The world is a crazy, scary, uncertain place. People are dealing with all kinds of difficulties, struggles, and mental anguish. I would hate to think I could have helped someone , in a small way, but didn’t , because I missed out on a hug.

So rock on ! Huggers of the world! And if you see me, don’t be afraid to ask me for one .

Cause I love you! With all my ❤ and 🙂 and of course ((HUGS))!! 🙂 🙂   ~ Ruby J.