Monday, May 30, 2016

Saying Thank You on Memorial Day

Thank you to all of those who served, are now serving, and especially to all of those who gave their all so Americans can be free!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

In the news today...(my take)

The U.S. Senate passed legislation Thursday designating a Perryville, Arkansas Post Office as the “Harold George Bennett Post Office.”


The House of Representatives passed the Intelligence Authorization Act on Tuesday, which determines the funding for most of the United States’ intelligence community.


Not that I am for the mistreatment of dogs in any way shape or form, (I have three dogs that I love very much, as much as I do my own children), but I can't help but wonder, what if China felt about cows the way we do about dogs? Do we really have a right to meddle in the affairs of the Chinese about their culinary tastes?

It's just a thought.

Hastings Sends Letter to China’s Ambassador Cui Calling for an End to the Yulin Dog Meat Festival


On May 21, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 2393, the Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2015, to extend foreclosure protection for military homeowners from 90 days to a one year period until January 1, 2018.


On Tuesday, the House of Representatives today passed legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03) to name the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Laughlin, Nevada in honor of Master Chief Petty Officer Jesse Dean. The bill passed the House by unanimous voice vote.


U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley, Calif.), the top Democrat on the relevant appropriations subcommittee, worked with Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and others to pass a bipartisan amendment to the Commerce, Science and Justice Appropriations legislation, increasing spending on Native American crime victims by more than 7100 percent.

That number is not a typo.

Currently, less than 7 cents per $100 from the Crime Victims Fund goes to tribal programs, despite Congress tripling overall allocations for the Fund. The Fund is completely fee-funded through criminal fines and penalties, costing the taxpayer nothing. Honda’s amendment, which passed overwhelmingly, will mandate that five percent of these life-saving funds be dedicated to Native American victims.

Although I am for relieving the pains and costs of healing for any victims, I think this measure would better be served to help ALL victims of crimes, not just Native Americans. Is it me? or does dedicating funding toward a specific group of people seem discriminatory? I applaud that victims are getting relief, I just think that ALL victims should get the same relief, and that the government should not be in the business of giving help to those who they deem as "more deserving".


During an interview with WHTC, Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02) called for VA Secretary Robert McDonald to step down following the Secretary's out of touch remarks that compared wait times at the VA to waiting in line at Disney. McDonald is quoted as saying, “When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?”

I think the whole thing was taken out of context, and that asking him to step down is a violation of freedom of speech. What if every American were held accountable for HOW he says everything he says? I honestly don't think he meant harm in his wording, and that focusing on how he was trying to make a point is wrong. There is a lot of truth in what he was trying to convey. I'm sorry, but there IS a lot of veterans, and the wait time is inevitable.

We, as a nation, just don't have the money or resources to provide immediate one on one care for everyone asking for or needing it. I have great respect for our veterans, but we need to realize that just because you have to wait in line doesn't mean you aren't going to get cared for. I have to wait in line in the emergency room at the civilian hospitals. I don't think it is any different.

The level of need dictates the importance of care anywhere. The importance is, are you happy you got the help when you did?

I think too many people took it too personal, and it is going to cost Veterans the loss of a VA Secretary who is doing all he can possibly do to help them.


The Department of Veterans Affairs has acknowledged to U.S. Rep. David Jolly (FL-13) that it wrongly declared more than 4,200 people dead between 2011 and 2015, disrupting benefits to veterans and dependents. In 2015 alone, the VA says it erroneously terminated benefits to 1,025 individuals. In each case, the veteran or person receiving VA benefits was very much alive.


In February, U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter, a Marine Corps veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, introduced legislation to require that women register for the selective service. The legislation, titled the Draft America’s Daughters Act, requires registration for women no later than 90 days after the enactment of the measure or 90 days after the Secretary of Defense opens all combat specialties. Hunter is joined by U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke in introducing the bill, which comes on the heels of recent statements by the leaders of the Marine Corps and the Army that women should register for the draft.

With Obama's new transgender rules, and the dominance of sexual attacks in the military, this ought to work out pretty well, don't you think? (I'm being facetious).


Monday, May 23, 2016

God Supplies for all of my needs!

Today is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!

I am updating my list of things that I am asking God for. Payday is Thursday, so some of that list will dwindle, as God makes it possible for me to obtain some of the list items. It's funny how that list changes over time. Some of the things I wanted yesterday, I no longer want today, whether I have them or not. Praise God for that!

Philippians 4:19
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Over the past three years I have watched that list dwindle. It has never reached over a page long.

All I have to do is look at that list and see how God has blessed me to be encouraged on a daily basis.

I hope you all have as blessed a day as I am having!

God has made the way!

I praise God every day. I was a single mom who had to work in bars and restaurants and fast food, sometimes two jobs at a time, with little or no government help or help from my family or friends.
Most of the time I had no transportation. I walked up to 5 miles a day to and from work when I couldn't afford a cab.

I went through countless relationships with men trying to find a man who would help me carry my burdens...but there is only one man who ever lived who can do that...

I suffered abuse, mistrust, hopelessness, depression, but I learned that hope is God, and Jesus can handle any storm.

I shouldn't be where I am today. I shouldn't have the future that I see before me today.

But God...


Friday, May 20, 2016

When others hate me...

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matthew 5:44

I have learned to do this. and by doing so,I have opened myself up to receiving blessings that I never knew I could experience or have. I have made enemies into friends that I wouldn't trade the world for. I have proven my integrity with those who could help me climb higher. I have gained help from unlikely sources who know me and trust me for who I am.

When you stand on The Rock long enough, you become the rock someone needs in their life to stand on, and you gain opportunities that you would not otherwise have.

Your enemy can make or break you. It's up to you which one happens.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How High's the Water, Momma?

When my son, Justin,

came to see me a few weeks ago, we went riding with my mom and stepdad over Texarkana Dam at Lake Wright Patman.
The water was high, but not this high.

I am reminded of this song by Johnny Cash. Then I remembered that Justin kind've likes Johnny Cash, so I thought I'd share:

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Hallelujah, Anyhow!

After the Fire at Redwood Apartments.

The next day, after my mom left her house to visit my grandmother in the nursing home, I went back to the Apartment complex to see what I could salvage, and what it would take for me to move.

When I got there, the Red Cross lady was camped out in Apartment 15, which was vacant, next to the one I was moving into. Six households had been displaced due to the damage. She was preparing vouchers and tending to immediate needs. She was awed and in tears over the way the tenants were working together and helping each other.

All of the tenants in the Complex were helping with the clean up. Liz met me before I got out of the car.

"Here is the deal," she informed me. "You are moving into 16. I already have most of your stuff moved." Then, she gave me a list of things she had yet to do.

I was amazed, and so grateful and relieved.

Liz was a former employee of mine from a previous life of when I owned a bar.

Two weeks before, she had knocked on my door after I had not seen her for nearly ten years. She was homeless. I remembered how resourceful she was, and what a great person she had been, and that I trusted her with the keys to my business. So, I offered to let her stay with me if she would help me keep my house clean and maybe cook for me, because I had no energy for it after working so hard at the hospital.

This day, I remembered why I had made that offer.

She went above and beyond to take care of me. I loved that girl!

I told her, "Liz, what can I do? I feel like I will just get in the way..."

She said, "Feed us."

So, I went to Kentucky Fried Chicken and spent nearly a hundred dollars for dinner for the whole complex who was helping in the clean up.

My recent promotion at work had allowed me to have the money to do so, and I felt that this was what God would want me to do with it. I praised God that I was able to do it.

While I was there, the neighbor in 23 took me in to show me her apartment. Everything in her apartment was also miraculously saved. But, you could see the black marks in the corners of the ceiling, where the fire had already started to burn it. The marks were seen all the way to her front door, which was two feet from my front door. Above her door was hanging a crucifix with a verse from Psalms about God's protection. God bumps. All I could say (through my tears) was, "I KNEW we were covered!'

I received offers to help me move, which I gladly turned down, because God had already provided.

But, the whole week after the fire was a very testy week.

Monday morning, I went to see what I could do to have my cable moved. I need my cable internet moved so I can work online at home. Plus, I don't have a TV, and watching Netflix relaxed me after work. But, the cable company was closed on Mondays.

On Tuesday, I went back. I made arrangements to get my cable moved on Wednesday, but I had to make sure I answered the phone call when they called to tell me they were coming, or they would reschedule me.

I work late at night, so when I get home, after unwinding, I usually don't get to sleep until about four o'clock in the morning. My phone was turned off, so I missed the call Wednesday morning. I had to reschedule for Friday.

In the meanwhile, I had moved into my apartment, and unpacked enough to be able to sleep there again. The dogs were adjusting, but I was having trouble with the newness.

Wednesday night at work, I accidentally dropped my phone into a mop bucket without knowing it. The chemicals in the water, coupled with the fact that it was there an hour before I found it, and it already had a cracked screen, made it impossible to fix, even with rice.

So now, I was without internet, TV, AND a phone, having to move and get settled in a new apartment.

Thursday morning, I bought a new phone. I took the opportunity God gave me to upgrade on the one I had. But, it was like relearning how to walk. I had to get to know the new gadgets on the phone, and how to work it.

Friday morning, my appointment with the cable company was scheduled between 9 and noon. I received the call, but I accidentally hit decline on my phone instead of answering it. I immediately called the cable company, who rescheduled my hook up by 7 pm.

Then, Liz informed me that something was wrong with my car. You could see a trail of liquid from the road all the way under my car. There was a puddle under where it was parked. I told her, "Liz, I got home at 2 AM. Surely, the water would have dried by now. That can't be water." The apartment manager smelled it and said, "Transmission fluid."

Just what I needed. I only like three more payments on the car.

I was barely able to get the car down the street to my mechanic. They found a line that had been knocked loose and (Praise God) fixed the car within two hours, only costing me $30.

In the meanwhile, I had already accepted five calls from the automated confirmation that the cable company does to make sure that I still wanted my cable. The last call came at nearly 2 PM. It was from an unknown number. They had told me that if I get an unknown number to accept it, because it was probably the technician. I accepted the call, but there was a bad connection and the call was ended.

I was SOOO frustrated!

I called the cable company, begging them to keep my appointment. They assured me everything was fine.

An hour later, I called them again because the technician still hadn't showed up. They assured me I was still in the system.

Finally, about 4 PM, I got the knock at my door. I barely opened it because the dogs were barking. I said, "Are you with the cable company?" The good looking man looking at me smiled and said, "Yes, ma'am, I am." My heart melted. He was EYE CANDY!

"Let me put the dogs up..."

I was thinking, "So this was why God had me so frustrated. Under any other circumstance, I'd be chasing this one..." I couldn't help but laugh at myself. I had been single for so long (Over two years), and had enjoyed it so much, I had wondered if any of that sort of desire still resided in me. My sudden embarrassment at my weakness was replaced by praise that God saw fit to remind me that I was still all woman.

We spoke while he hooked up my cable. He asked me personal questions (Like, where I worked, and that it didn't seem fit for me to live in a place like this with my position at the hospital). I explained to him that I was single, and on the back side of middle age, and was thinking of my retirement. I needed to save money, and that I had just got my promotion at work. I told him about Liz (whom he met while I was putting the dogs away) and the fire.

He said, "You gotta believe with all that that SOMEBODY is looking out for you!"

I took the opportunity and said, "I do. As a matter of fact, you should come visit my church, 1st Bikers Church on Sunday."

He raised his eyebrows and asked, "Really? Where is this?"

I told him. I hoped he'd come.

I got to thinking about all this after he left. God has spent the week upgrading me. I now am in a new apartment, with a new phone, my car is fixed and I can sit back, relax and watch Netflix. And, just maybe, my cable man will come to church on Sunday.

The lengths God won't go through to get someone in church.

Don't worry, I plan to stay single for as long as I can. God has certainly taken care of me until now! No need to ruin that!

The Fire at Redwood Apartments

My neighbor's apartment caught fire on May 7, 2016.

It was the same day my sister got married.

A crazy lady named Virginia (who is certifiable, to say the least) was living in Apartment 22 with Mr. Tom, who was handicapped, because he did not need to live alone due to health problems. He is unable to get around well. She apparently started the fire with hot grease on the stove, and rather than grab the fire extinguisher that was on top of the refrigerator four feet away, she ran out of the apartment to knock on doors and ask for salt to put on the fire. She came back into the house that was smoking so much by then that you couldn't see much, and threw the salt on it, then took her chair outside and sat down two feet from the door.

I was in my pajamas (it was my day off after the wedding), and playing a nice game of Fallout: NV in Apartment 24. My neighbor who lived in 23 begin yelling (which was nothing new, so at first I ignored it) for everyone to get out. Then I smelled smoke.

I jumped up, put on sweats and a cotton shirt and my shoes, grabbed my purse (because my ID was in it and I didn't want to lose it) and phone and went to stand by my room mate, Liz, who had just come out of her boyfriend's apartment to witness the show.

Virginia sat in her chair just two feet from the door. She was yelling at my neighbor in 23 that the fire was out. She actually acted perturbed. She actually thought that throwing salt on the fire and coming outside to wait for the smoke to clear worked. My apartment manager came out and asked her if Mr. Tom had oxygen in the apartment. The smoke was getting thicker. by now you could hear the crackle. She said it was in her purse.

I immediately grabbed her purse, and her by her arm to force her to move away from the door of the apartment, telling her, "THAT is smoke, Virginia. There is a FIRE in there. You and the oxygen need to MOVE." The apartment manager's dog came and bit me on the arm.

I honestly don't believe he meant to hurt me. Everyone was stressed. He wasn't growling. His tail was tucked between his legs. But I felt the pressure on my upper arm and yelled, "OUCH, Singer, that HURT!"

Another neighbor, Mr. Victor, ran in to grab Mr. Tom (who was asleep on the couch when all of this started), and brought him out. As soon as he exited the apartment, Singer grabbed him, too. If Singer was trying to hurt me, I imagine my arm would have looked a whole lot worse.

The Apartment manager grabbed the dog and went to contain him.

Before the fire department could arrive, it started spreading through the roof to neighboring apartments. I just knew that it was God's way of telling me it was time to move. I guess I started weighing my options out loud, while my roommate, Liz, covered her eyes, shaking in disbelief. "I have money in the bank. I still owe Mr. Ed, but I can pay him and move back in at Oak Street. He done said I could." The apartment manager walks over to me and says, "You could move into 16" (a different building altogether in the complex.

I called my mom, who was still at the reception down the road, and she and my stepdad were there within five minutes.

Then, when the fire department finally arrived, I remembered that my babydogs were still in the apartment. I nudged Liz to help me get the dogs to safety. The Fireman ran to stop me from going into the apartment and I told him, "I just want to get my dogs out." He let me.

The smoke started spreading through the roof to several apartments down. The fire department had to tear holes in my ceiling in order to contain the fire. My stepdad offered to go get the truck and a dolly to get my stuff out, particularly my food and my freezer after the fire was put out. I accepted, and I accepted their invitation to let me go to their house to spend the night, since I wouldn't be able to sleep in my apartment.

We watched wondering what we were going to do. Would our stuff survive? All we had worked so hard for; all God had given us... I heard God speaking to me through all of that saying that it was going to be alright.

I hugged my roommate and told everyone there, "When God speaks, you have no choice but to move on it. You may as well go with it and count your blessings."

My mom said, "We won't have a problem remembering this day. One daughter gets married on the same day other is driven from her home due to a fire, the day before Mother's Day."

Liz planned to stay with her boyfriend. I just laughed when the apartment manager asked me what I was going to do, and said, "God is telling me to spend Mother's Day with Mom."

I was reminded of the story of Jonah and the Whale. When God wants you to move on something, He makes it happen.

When the fire was put out, I was fortunate to find that all of my stuff was saved, except for the smokey smell. But, the ruined ceiling and no electricity made it impossible for me to live there now. We moved my deep freezer to my room mate's boyfriend's apartment temporarily, along with my food. She agreed to keep the dogs safe while I went to mom's. I grabbed some clothes to wash and went to mom's.

All I could think about was the song that Brother Matthew had taught us the Wednesday night before in church: