Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's Memorial Day Weekend....

This weekend, I would like to take time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that others could live and enjoy the great freedoms we have in our country and to keep the light of freedom shining in the world.

First, there is my great-uncle James. He died in 1942, in World War II, somewhere in the Pacific Theater. My father never got to know him (obviously, having been born in 1944), but I have heard that my great-grandmother was just completely crushed by his death. She bought ten plots at the cemetery, but only two have been used -- his and hers. I have traipsed all over Eastview Cemetery to find theirs and haven't yet. It's not that big of a cemetery, so if the weather is good on Monday, I would love to drive there, and get a small flag to place on his grave (if I find it, that is!) If not, there are plenty of other vets there, so the flag would not go to waste!

The county in which I live has an unusually high number of recipients (per capita) of the Congressional Medal of Honor: PFC Furman L. Smith, US Army (WW2); PFC William A. McWhorter, US Army (WW2); PFC Charles H. Barker, US Army (Korean Conflict); and L/CPL James D. Howe, USMC. Pickens County is also home to the first female military pilot killed in US history (Capt. Kimberly Hampton).

It is their bravery, their willingness to serve, and their selflessness that give me pause to be more like that in my own daily life. So on Monday, take even just a few minutes to pause and remember all those in the military who gave everything for your rights, your privileges, and your freedoms. It matters not how you feel about a particular war, or about war in general ..... the military doesn't get enough credit for doing a spectacular job!!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

iThink iMay have to cross over....

and become a(n i)Pod person.

I am pretty dang upset right now with Best Buy. I bought one of their branded MP3 players a couple of years back. It still works great, I'm very happy with it, and there's no real reason to trade it in for a different model. A couple of Sundays ago, I went to Best Buy to get a BB Digital Music Store download cards, just as I have done ever since I bought this model. And I went to get a new armband for it, as I have misplaced the one that came with it.

Only I have discovered....
1. "Oh we don't sell those cards anymore because we stopped partnering with Rhapsody. But we have Napster now, or you can get an iTunes card......."

Okay, back the bus up. I got on Rhapsody because of the cards, and I have grown to like the service. But I am NOT willing to pay per download outside of using the card. I got a discount that way, and using the card also gave me another level of control ..... so that I didn't rack up a $40 download bill that goes straight to my debit card. No, I like the idea of asking myself if I really need that, and do I have enough credits left on the card to make it worth my while.

I'm not switching to Napster. But I went ahead and got the iTunes card. Only I can't transfer any of the songs I've downloaded to this MP3 player as a sync. No, I'll have to burn them to a CD and then do a sync-up that way. I have not only been screwed by Best Buy, but Apple as well because I don't have one of THEIR products.

I didn't want an iPod. I never did. But......

2. "Oh, wow, an armband.... Gee. Did you look over here?" (Yes, numbskull. If I could have found it, I wouldn't be coming to you for help.)

Wow. Guess what? They don't sell things for those "old" products anymore.

I am done. Done. DONE. As much as I don't want to, I fear I have no alternative but to switch instead of fight.

I hate Big Box.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The cleaning project....

Today, after going out for lunch to treat Mom, I bought a couple of 64-qt storage containers for my winter gear. I also found quite a bit of stuff I can add to the ever-growing Goodwill bag. But I have so much further to go. I have a feeling this little project may just take me most of the week....... oh, wait. I have 3 nights where I won't be at home until well after 8:00. Dangitall....... Oh well, over the weekend then. OH WAIT. I have something I'm doing then. Guess I'll just stay up until 11:00 working on the project.

And with that, I'm off to work more on it.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Spring Cleaning..... and other thoughts

I have put it off as long as I can. So after getting home tomorrow from taking Mom out for dinner, I am simply going to HAVE to start somewhere, and my somewhere will be putting up the winter clothing at last. I have a bunch of sweaters especially that I want to keep, because I intend to wear that size come next winter. I love this idea more than you can ever imagine.

***

Speaking of Mother's Day, I picked my mom's gift up today. She wanted a gift card from a local chain of clothing stores. I swear, I must have been the only under-40 person in there .... no, I take it back, I saw a child following her mom, and they must have been gift-hunting too. I have shopped in there before -- heck, in my early teens they carried some really good clothes for all ages. But now, it's like the domain of the 65-plus woman. And the front of this store has a sitting area --- usually occupied by elderly men who are awaiting their honeys to hurry up and finish so they can just get out of the feminine haze. Poor fellas; spending countless hours of their golden years waiting on the Mrs. to get her favorite pretty polyester pants.

***

I posted this over on my weight-loss blog, but....... I did a 5K this morning, a fundraiser/benefit for a local domestic violence shelter. It was a wonderful race, and I got to see several friends from various areas of my world: a longtime friend, some coworkers, one of my WW compadres, and met someone (a friend of my friend) who works at the same employer as my best friend.

Better still, I got the chance to learn more about domestic violence, and I saw this exhibit that just tugged at me. It is called The Clothesline Project, and it was t-shirts with messages from people who have survived (and continue to survive) domestic violence whether at the hands of a spouse, their parents, or both .... which probably happens far more than we can know. If a child is beaten and told they're worthless, it's easy to see why they'd be attracted to a mate who tells them the same thing. They have no reference to learn they're worth so very much!!!! But what really got me were the alternating tees..... in between the ones made by survivors & their kids and friends were the ones with a name and the phrase "killed by domestic violence" and their death date. There were names I recognized from the 6:00 newscasts.

Having known people who were victims when I was younger, I found it hard to understand why they just didn't leave. I never realized that my own sense of self-worth had been hammered in from my childhood. Not that my parents were 100% perfect all the time, because no parent is. But if they said hurtful words, they apologized and things were eventually restored. And somewhere deep within, I had a pretty resilient spirit anyway. So it was very hard for me to fathom why a woman (especially) would knowingly stay with someone who told her she was useless and worthless and ugly and no good and then proceed to beat her to show her this. I did not get it at all......

What I've come to know is that it can happen to anyone, of any social strata, in any location, at any time, and that if it happens often enough, even the strongest woman can have her self-worth eroded to nothing..... and she feels she has no worth and maybe he's right.

This makes me want to learn more about the subject and to do something to help educate others about the warning signs, about the dangers. But most importantly, to love my sisters who can't seem to love themselves, who don't think themselves worthy of care and love. What I need to do is show them they are. And hopefully my actions and words will plant a seed that will sprout into something strong and hardy.