Opinion Piece: Enjoy Memorial Day as a celebration of life and freedom.
I am torn by the constant reminder, in the news and on the internet, that Memorial Day is not about hot dogs and picnics, but, only to remember the fallen Soldiers in our history.
Yes. There are plenty of US Citizens, who do not live near a military base, who do not know a military Veteran, and who are not familiar with all that goes into being in the military. They are going about their weekend in blissful happiness that they are able to take a long weekend and spend some time with the family. That is all they know. The main things they are looking forward to is time off and spending time with the family. They might attend the local parade, and hang up their American flag, and eat, drink, and be merry during the whole weekend.
Is that really so bad?
As a career Soldier, it honestly makes me very happy there are families in small town America who can go about their lives and never know the pain, suffering, and lose that Soldiers feel every day. I didn’t join the military so that I can tell those families what to do. I joined the military so they could do what they wanted to, at any time, without fear of oppression and war in their own backyard.
In my mind, I see Memorial day as a Celebration of Life for Soldiers who have gone before us. We remember their lives and their sacrifice by not sitting around crying all weekend, or in solemn prayer all weekend, but in celebration for what they did on the battlefield, and how they served their country very well.
Throughout history, armies did not remember their lost brothers (and now sisters), by spending their entire mourning time in tears and sorrow. They spent the appropriate time in sorrow, but, after the tears, they partied and told grand stories about their fallen comrades. The more mead or wine which was poured, the bigger the stories became. They danced, they ate, they drank, and they made love, while being thankful for the freedom they had due to the Soldiers who died in their place.
This Memorial Day weekend, let’s not condemn those who are spending time with their families, who are fishing with their children, who are drinking, eating, and seem like they don’t have a care in the world. Let’s be happy that, we, as Soldiers, and the ones who went before us, are able to provide the freedom for those people to have a happy weekend. We shoulder the pain, suffering, and sacrifice time with our own families, so they don’t have to. The fallen Soldiers (and their families) have shouldered the ultimate sacrifice, so those families could smile, love, and be together in a free nation, without fear of condemnation of others.
So, go out and have a huge Celebration of Life for the lost Soldiers from our past, and enjoy the freedoms they gave to the American people. While you are having a beer, have one for them too, but, don’t condemn those who are loving, living, and laughing in the free nation those Soldiers stood, and fell, for.
It makes my heart happy to see families together in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
If you wish to post the name of a Veteran you have lost, I will make a photo for them and post it on my blog.
This is an open letter to the stranger, a man, who called me a “loud-mouthed feminist bitch.” I wish to thank you. Not only is your insult one of the nicest I have ever received, but you have shown yourself to be a little bitty man in a much bigger world then you can comprehend. If you think your off-the-cuff, over-used, outdated insult would affect me or silence me, you are gravely mistaken and you are way out of your league.
Not only are you not the first person who has insulted me, you are not even the first person to insult me today. I have been insulted by much classier, wealthier, and more powerful men then you could ever hope to be. In a world full of bricks being thrown at me and so many other women, you are nothing but a bug bite on my arm. You are not even worthy of being considered a bug bite on my behind, because that might actually cause me to be upset, and your words were actually an awesome compliment.
There have been many wonderful and fantastic times I have received wonderful compliments from those who love me, but since you, a total stranger, tried to bring me down with your pitiful little insult, let me give you an insight into the person you are trying to tear apart and silence.
As a child of less than 9, I was called:
Poor dirt farmer’s daughter, ugly, fat, wild, loud, untalented, crazy, strange, weird, spacey, bratty, slow, too short, roach girl (because my home had roaches), and an “N-lover” (because I had a black friend in first grade and stood up for her on the playground). At 9 years old, I was called a slut and a whore by a female adult, because many of my friends were boys. These were not the only harsh words I faced, they are only a sampling of what created the person you tried to insult.
As a child in the fourth through sixth grades, I was sent to a “Christian” school to try to “fix me.” There, I was called by students and also teachers:
Dumb, wild, uncontrollable, loose, crazy, spacey (because I was shy and an introvert), weird (because I dreamed of being an astronaut, when women could not be astronauts), bratty, chatty, hyper, and a male student even called me a bitch because I would not allow him to kiss me and I slapped him (yep, standing up for yourself at 11 gets you called a bitch, but, guess what, he didn’t get to kiss me). See, your lazy insult of “bitch” has been used for many years against females, and we haven’t stopped winning yet.
From seventh grade through eighth grade, I was called:
Slut (because I would not allow a male to slap my butt), I was called strange and weird (again, because I told a teacher I wanted to be an astronaut), I was picked on, picked at, and bullied in middle school because I refused to conform to the “gangs” of little mean girls who only had each other as back up and would never make it alone in life. I was called an outcast, a Salvation Army baby, and because I refused to meet the boys in the eighth grade bathrooms for some “play time,” I was called slut, bitch, fat, and a whore. Yet, I still progressed, where others were slowly fading away to pre-teen pregnancy, drugs, gangs, and sadly, random deaths, and yes, even suicide.
As a teen, I was called:
Bitch, slut, whore, cunt, and pussy. See a pattern? Come on. Can’t people come up with more creative insults? I was harassed with words such as, “Baby you look fine, I wish to fuck you in the bathroom,” or my all time favorite, “I had your mom last night, I want a little of you today.” I have had bigger breasts since tenth grade, so that opened the door for more slang words, harassment, and “tear downs” of my spirit and my soul. I had teachers who told me to find more appropriate goals in life. I even had a teacher look at me when I entered her class for the first time, and say, “Oh, it’s you. I have already heard about you.” This is the same teacher who, in 1980-something, was having kids perform dissections on real cats. I tried to persuade her to hold a fundraiser to purchase fake cats instead. Her response was to joke about the cats being found behind the dumpsters and say they didn’t matter. Yet, she made me feel bad about being in her class.
I started a long distance track team, and teachers said I was too short to run. I ran anyway. I was told I was too fat to be a cheerleader. I cheered anyway. I was told I was too poor to be in band. I joined anyway. I wasn’t popular. I joined popular clubs anyway. I was bullied. I did not change my path to class. I walk down the same path everyday, anyway. So, you see, your insults don’t even bother me, they push me to do better and be much louder about it.
By students and teachers alike, I was made to feel bad about my body, my brains, and my outrageous goals in life. Yet, I still progressed forward, and the people who bullied and harassed me fell to the wayside in depths of drugs, drinking, and despair.
I was married a few times, and from those “kind gentlemen,” I received such “lovely” words as:
You are dumb. The house is a mess. You suck as a wife. You are nothing to me. You are looking fat. Why can’t you look like so-and-so? You can’t cook. Your thighs are fat. Your hair isn’t the right color. Oh, why did you change your hair. Gain weight. Lose weight. You don’t make me happy. You don’t deserve what you have. You will never amount to anything. I cheated on you because you work too hard (I made more money than my ex). You make me look bad when you talk about your degree, job, and income, but you will never be better than me. Of course, there are many more, but I am sure you get the gist of my wonderful time with my ex-husbands.
I spent over 20 years in the Army, and I was called and told by my male leadership and my co-workers:
That I was a bitch, slut, whore, cunt, and pussy. Constantly. I figured I would get those out of the way, since males have no imagination when it comes to insults.
I was busting my back fixing a tire, while a male soldier was sitting whining about how lazy women are in the Army. I have been touched, jeered at, harassed, physically hit by my own commander in the face with a book, physically hit in my injured back by a male PA trying to prove I was not injured, called stupid, insubordinate when standing up for myself, a liar, lazy, crazy, strange (that I had dreams of doing things females were not allowed to), weird, and a bitch, more times than I can count. I added bitch in there twice, because that is a running theme of females in the Army. If a female isn’t happy just taking orders from the “god like” males and succumbing to their ever wants and needs, then, those females are “bitches.”
I have also been called a dyke, lesbo, homo, twat waffle, pie muncher, and many homosexual slurs. I am not a homosexual, I just happen to be a very strong woman in the Army, who did her job very well. If they were referring to the take they believe a homosexual female is tough, smart, strong, and hard working, then I take their thinly veiled attempt at an insult, and I take it as a compliment.
I have been told to shut-up, sit-down, be quiet, don’t make waves, be more lady-like, be less lady-like, be this, be that, be something else all together. Yet. I am still here, progressing every day, while others fall in their own tracks of misery.
I have been told my huge accomplishments were only gained by sleeping my way to the top. I was told my awards were given to me only because it was determined by the government a certain amount of females receive certain awards. It could, in no way, be because I worked night and day to earn every recognition I was awarded. All of my accomplishments have been gravely diminished by the males in my life and my command. Not because I did not, in reality, truly earn them, but because the males were eaten up inside by jealousy, intimidation, and the hatred of anyone who out shined them (especially females). The only way for them to feel powerful wasn’t for them to work harder and meet the new standard a female had set, but to try to belittle and tear down the accomplishments of the females around them to make themselves feel better.
And yet, I still progressed. Day by day. Week by week. Pulling the hatred of men behind me like ankles weights on a prisoner sentenced to life. Every time I tried to escape the low standard men set, they would harass me, insult me, and try to tear me down by adding another weight to my ankles to keep me in my place. And yet, slowly, ever so slowly, I worked harder and became stronger than they ever could imagine and I continued to progress. One thing people forget: when you put weights on someone who is willing to work hard to get what they want, the weights do not hold that person back, but makes the person stronger, meaner, and more accomplished than the haters could ever imagine.
I am 47 years old and I have had many years and many late night crying sessions to contemplate ugly, pathetic, uneducated, underlings like yourself, and I have come up with a few rules for people like you:
- Come up with new and better insults. Your insults are tired, worn out, and old, like you. I have been insulted by Generals, physically hit by a combat Soldier, and even had a Senator send me an email to request I move out of his district. So, please, if I can survive the insults from those people, you are nothing to me but a pesky bug to smash.
- You bore me. Your old, outdated, stupid, idiotic, backward-thinking and raised-in-a-barn upbringing really bore me to death. I hate discussing serious topics with someone like you, who does not present any research to back your claims and relies solely on shoving their own personal agenda down people’s throats in a failed attempt to change the minds of those around them. I am bored with you and people like you. People of all sexes, races, and even dis/abilities have proven over and over they are worthy to occupy a seat at the “grown-up table of only men.” Please, you can’t hold those seats open for your friends forever. Your friends are not keeping up. Instead of insulting and putting down females, who are slowly taking those seats by storm, you need to talk to your male friends and tell them the world is changing, the rules are changing, the standards are higher, and they need to learn to keep up.
- Go to school. You sound like an idiot when you argue with me. If I am going to waste my time on people, like yourself, I really wish to have an equal brain to argue with. Trust me, a woman’s brain can multitask, find information quickly to bring to an argument, and immediately remember what you said after you yourself have long forgotten. You, on the other hand, must retreat in an argument, because you can’t keep up. So, please, go to school. At least the information you learn in school might make up for your old, broken record arguments toward females. At that point, I will gladly have an intelligent discussion with you concerning your issues of women working in “male only” positions.
So, let’s re-cap: I have been insulted, harassed, abused, stepped on, pulled apart, kept down by men around me, and so many other things you will never understand, and you expect me to “shut-up” my feminist talk, all just because you called me a “loud-mouthed feminist bitch?” Oh honey, you have a lot to learn about who I am. I don’t shut up, I don’t sit down, I don’t take crap from anyone, especially not the likes of you. I am better, stronger, faster, smarter, and more determined than you will ever fathom.
Again, thank you. I take your insult and accept it as a compliment, because, honey, that’s how I fucking roll.
I really need this in my life before the end of 2015. The top two are my favs!
I adore color. My life has been colorless for far too many years. I need color again. Instead of blending in, I need to stand out and shine. I need to step away from the shadows and be free to be who I am.
I have run on autopilot for so many years, I lost who I was. Please understand, I am, and I was, very happy as a Mom and a Soldier, but, there are deep sacrifices each Mom must make to do both of those very well. This is especially true for those of us who have free spirits, which need to be caged to succeed at certain things in life.
It is frightening to know I gave up so much of myself to do what I needed to do, to be a successful mom and Soldier. When I finally retired from the military and the kids were grown, I discovered I was only a shell of who I was. Now, I need to reach deep and pull the old me up from the depths of darkness and grey. I need to discover the color of her spirit and let it shine.
If you have anyone in your family who is sick with any severe condition, please, watch this video.
No matter what your views are on the recreational use of marijuana, the use of medical marijuana can no longer be ignored. People, including children, are being saved daily with the use of medical marijuana. This is happening all over the world and is finally being allowed in the US.
88,000 people die every year from alcohol alone (that doesn’t include the domestic abuse injuries and deaths alcohol causes), 16,007 people died from OPIOD overdoses in 2012 alone, yet, Marijuana, when used alone, killed ZERO people, EVER. Let’s stop lying to ourselves, we were duped into believing that marijuana was worse than alcohol, or even tobacco.
There have been cases when children have accidently ingested their parents marijuana. What happened? Nothing. They went to the ER and had a bad trip. Was it a scary situation? You bet. They need an IV for dehydration, and some serious amounts of snacks after coming down, but, all in all, they were fine. What happened when children ingested too much alcohol? There have been cases when children have actually died from too much alcohol. This includes college students and teens who have died from alcohol poisoning. Yet, alcohol is everywhere and easily accessible, and marijuana, even medical marijuana is made to look like it comes from the devil himself.
I am not saying marijuana is safe. It is not. It is a drug. Just like all drugs, it should be respected, but, if we are going to allow something as dangerous as alcohol to be made in our father’s bathtubs, or to be kept on the kitchen counter, please don’t be a hypocrite and fight against something like medical marijuana, which could actually save lives.
The FDA and the US GOV is finally studying it, but, Israel has been studying medical marijuana, and using it for their patients, for many, many years.
Medical Marijuana does help with PTSD, Severe Pain, MS, RA, Fibromyalgia, Epilepsy, Depression, Wasting Diseases, Diabetes, Cancer, and Alzheimer’s, and many more issues can be helped with medical marijuana.
For my entire life (44 years) I was against all illegal drugs. There was nothing good about anything that was illegal. In some sense I was right. In all cases, there is no reason to let any drug, alcohol, marijuana, or any other drug, to ruin your life. I still believe that. If you allow anything to stop you from becoming a productive member of society or taking care of your family, then you need to readdress what you are doing, and find a new way. You can’t break the law just because you think it is unfair. If your job does not allow medical marijuana, or even cigarettes, you either need to stop doing those things, or make the decision to move states. You need to be a truly productive member of society and care for yourself and your family first. YOu can either move for medical help or work to change the laws where you live, but, I digress.
When I was younger I was strictly against all illegal substances, and I believed everything I saw on TV. There was no medical value in illegal drugs. Then in 2011, I got hurt in Iraq and about the same time, I also became very sick. The military opened my eyes to how much control medical professionals have over pain meds and your body. You become a slave to pain meds, which means you become a slave to the medical machine and the medical machine are slaves to politicians and the random laws. I am not even referring to something as serious as addiction. I am just referring to the relationship between a patient and a doctor. If a patient does or says anything that displeases the doctor, or if the doctor has a bad day, that patient’s entire medical case can be changed at the drop of a hat. It doesn’t even stop at the doctor. The politicians, the FDA, the ADA, even KOCH brothers have their hands in everything that deals with your medications and what is prescribed or approved at any one time. Once a patients becomes sick, the hard truth is, the prescriptions which are allowed or approved by the FDA are all controlled by money. Plain and simple money.
At any time, a politician can be bought or sold by the Koch brothers, or any other big super pac backer, and very quickly my pain medications can be changed and outlawed and I have zero control in how my medicine is handled at the federal and state level. Worse, if my medical provider decides for a personal reason, not a medical reason, to stop prescribing medications, then I have to find a new doctor, or suffer withdrawals and suffer excruciating pain, which is exactly what happened to me. No warning. No help. No titrating down. One day my medical provider decided he wasn’t going to provide narcotics anymore and that was that. His patients had to suffer or find new doctors, which is never an easy process.
As a chronic pain patient, which true severe pain conditions, my entire life is controlled at the politician and medical provider level. When my own medical provider decided to select his own life over mine, I knew then I had to fight for my own well being. That is when I started researching natural pain medications. I found that medical marijuana had been used for thousands of years for joint related pain diseases, such as RA and gout, or other pain disorders. Even now, the US owns a Patent on Medical Marijuana for their own researchers to do tests on the plants. They even have their own fields where they grow only the best plants to test on (which is shown in the video) . — This leads me to believe they know it will work for the listed medical issues (again shown in the video) . I do not like my life being controlled by politicians and big money. I don’t think a patient should be a slave to big pharmaceutical companies, to politicians, and then to the whims and personal agendas of medical providers. A patient has the right to live in dignity. Now, I am a huge supporter of medical marijuana and I fight everyday to change the laws so every patient, in every state, has the same rights to live in dignity and even die with dignity, and less pain.
This is the exact stuff many Veterans have to put up with when going to the VA.
Now, let me ask you, if your civilian nurse or civilian DR treated you like this, would you put up with it? Heck no! You would find a new office, but, many Veterans have no choice but to go to their local VA for medical help. The local nurses and Drs in those offices know those Veterans have no choice and treat them as second class citizens.
I hope this nurse never finds another job dealing with any patients. This is not the way to treat any patient, especially a Veteran!
When will the VA fix these issues? They keep promising to get rid of people like this, yet, these type of stories pop up almost every week. These issues need to be fixed sooner rather than later.
My goodness! Many of my blog entries include food! I guess that tells you what is on my mind most of the time. I promise, I have more hobbies than just eating. 🙂 Really! I promise. I really do. The truth is, I do love food and when I’m hungry, I tend to search the internet for all kinds of fun and easy stuff.
Tonight, I really wanted a waffle but, I did not want to mess up the kitchen while making the waffles. I looked in my refrigerator and realized, with much excitement, that I had a can of biscuits. I had watched many videos online about making stuff in a waffle iron, so, I decided to give it a try. IT WAS FABULOUS!!! These were fast, good, and, the best part, NO MESS!
This is a photo of the Biscuit Waffle I made. I used my waffle maker on half power and cooked the biscuits for about 1 minute 45 seconds.
** Hint: when you first put the canned biscuits in, don’t force the lid shut, just wait a couple of seconds, and then shut the lid the whole way. **
Also, if you have someone over for breakfast, and just want individual biscuits, these break apart wonderfully. I completed cooking the entire can of biscuits in less than 4 minutes and I never had to turn the oven on, nor did I have to dirty a pan.
Over the next few days, I am going to try hash browns. I am also going to some cake mix this weekend.
Below is one of my favorite internet ladies! Yes. I have a FANGIRL Crush on her. Give her some love! She is so funny and very interesting. Her husband is very funny too! I would really love for them to have their own sitcom sometime.
If you wish to get social with her, here is her information:
Sometimes you just have to hang your head and survive the storm, even when the storm is in your own head. — Amanda Blount