The Time Has Come

As I was listening to the radio the other day, I heard someone opine that people should be aware that he might not be on the air much longer. He said it very simply and without melodrama: ‘The way things are going, I might not be on the air much longer.’ He went on to say that the time might come very soon when free speech will be impeded to the point where people with views like his will no longer be allowed to have radio shows.

In 1988, upon the release of his book ­­Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie received death threats from muslim leaders. It seems he had written some negative things about the muslim ‘religion’ and he had to run for asylum in the United States.

What do these two things have in common? They both involve censorship.

And while you and I might not think that this sort of thing can happen in the good old US of A, we would be stupid in that assumption because it already has gotten to that point in our country. (For example, the recent Hate Crimes Bill makes it illegal to say certain things without censure.)

I am taking all of this to heart, folks, and I’ll tell you why: It really might get to where I cannot say what is on my heart and mind, so I think I’ll write some of those things now – things about which I have hesitated in the past because I didn’t want to offend anyone. The time has come to write plainly. It’s like that radio personality said: There might not be much time to write or say certain things . . . .

While the world seems to be focusing on Islam as the worst thing on earth, there is an organization that is much mightier and much more deadly and much more pervasive in this world: Catholicism. Catholicism has a blatant disregard for the Word of God. Catholicism is not a religion; it is a political party. (I would love to see a breakdown of the percentage of catholics who voted for pro-abortionist Barak Obama.) And while Catholicism is known for its anti-abortion stand, Catholicism is responsible for every abortion that has ever been committed in this world.

Catholicism doesn’t kill people; it destroys people, one day at a time. It anesthetizes people. It hypnotizes people. It is a doctrine of demons. They preach ‘another Jesus,’ as Paul writes, as recorded in the bible.

And another thing: Abortion is murder. Someone (a ‘good catholic’) told me that their conscience allowed them to vote for Obama because abortion is ‘just one issue.’ And I wish I’d said to them: And the killing of Jews was just one issue in Germany, too.’

Oh, oh! Just for the record: Lutheranism and Methodism and Baptismism (!) are also doctrines of demons. (As long as I am offending folks, I may as well include those people who think they are better than others because they are not catholic.)

I’m on a roll!! Here’s something else, too: Jesus said, ‘Without me, you can do nothing.’ I don’t care who you are or what you are or what you think you are all about, without Jesus, you can do nothing . . .

There! Now I have offended just about everyone. But I don’t care because that radio personality is right: There might not be much more time to speak plainly in this country.

I almost forgot: Homosexuality is perverse. Sorry. I didn’t mean to leave anyone out here! But let me go one step further for all of you who are smugly thinking, ‘Homosexuality has nothing to do with me’: Fornication ruins societies. Sleeping with someone to whom one is not married is fornication. I don’t care that our society thinks this sort of behavior is AOK; it is not.

There! I feel better now. At least now, if censorship in this country gets to the point where I cannot write such things, I will have already written some of what I know to be true. I just hope there is a place for me to run in the event that the US is no longer offering asylum to people who speak the truth . . .

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Published in: on December 30, 2009 at 12:08 pm  Comments (2)  

Big People Don’t Hit Little People

No matter where or when the subject comes up, someone inevitably wants to argue with me about this particular subject. Perhaps the subject will cause you to want to argue with me too!

The subject? Hitting children.

Big people do not hit little people.

That’s it, in a nutshell. It is not right for big people to hit little people.

Inevitably, too, the person who argues with me is the same person, or so it seems: Someone with a beer can in their hand and a wary demeanor that borders on paranoia. Inevitably, too, they feel compelled to add this argument to the discussion, ‘My parents spanked me and I turned out OK.’ To that I want to say, ‘Oh, really? You could have been better . . .’

By the time our third son came along, I eschewed the practice of hitting children altogether. I had, I admit, swatted the diaper-padded butts periodically of our older two boys, but I made a firm decision that I would not thusly discipline our third son, Will.

All of which does not explain the following series of events: When Will was quite small – maybe a year old – he took to periodically taking potshots at my head! I never saw it coming; he would thwack me suddenly in the head. There was no warning. THWACK! He would swing back and hit me with all his might.

This went on for some time. I had no idea how to deal with it. Finally, when Will hit me in a store parking lot one day, in desperation I stopped a total stranger and told her the situation and asked for her advice. I told her that I was thinking seriously about hitting him back the next time . . .

This was a nice, mature woman I consulted in that parking lot. She concurred with that assessment: she told me she thought I’d have to hit him back the next time. I walked away from that conversation thinking that maybe Will would never hit me again and thus I would not have to deal with this again.

But of course he did hit me again. And I didn’t hesitate; I pulled back my arm and thwacked him with the same force with which he had walloped me. His eyes got big but he took it like a man. And he never hit me again . . .

And now for the rest of the story: Just this morning (Will is now 13 years old now, by the way), I suddenly realized why Will felt it was a good idea to hit me: He had never been hit before and had NO idea how it felt.

I have no idea what the lesson is in this story. I’ll let you decide the implications. I, personally, am inclined to think that we are all prone to treat others in ways that we have not been treated ourselves simply because we have no idea what affect our actions are having on others, but I’ll have to give that some more thought. Get back to me in about 13 years and maybe I’ll have a better idea about this . . .

In the meantime, I have to add here that our mom – a woman who raised 8 children – never hit any of us. She never so much as threatened to hit any of us. Amazing.

Oh, and that reminds me: One time I did come close to hitting Will in anger. I offer this last note by way of an alternative to spanking: Will tried to cop an attitude with me. I got very angry with him. I’d never been angrier with him. And in fact, that is the only time I ever got that angry with him. But instead of lashing out at him, I said, ‘I am so angry with you, Will! As you know, I’m not in the habit of hitting you, but this is one time when I could hit you!!’ He got the message and backed off quickly, believe me. He’d never seen me angry like that before.

I quit!

Love always,

Susan

Published in: on December 10, 2009 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Abundant Living

Bouquets

I used to add new posts to my blog on a regular basis. Then someone told me that if I blogged something, I would lose exclusive rights to anything I shared in my blog.

Perhaps this is true. I don’t know. Not writing for a blog because I might ‘some day’ write for publication is no way to live, though; I do know that. And here is why:

The faulty presupposition is that, if I share something today, I won’t have anything more to share tomorrow.

The truth is that there is a future, and a good future, and thus I will never run out of things to share . . .

Too, there is the fact that writing for a blog is a form of publication. Just because I am not getting paid for it does not mean that I am not publishing when I write for a blog.

Put another way: A lifestyle that allows me to write for free is a better lifestyle than one that requires me to get paid for writing.

One day I made a bouguet with flowers from our garden. Someone said to me, when they saw that bouquet, ‘Wow, Sue, you could be a flower arranger!’ And I thought, ‘Well, if someone makes a bouquet, that makes them a flower-arranger, doesn’t it?’

In other words: A person does not have get paid to do something in order to be successful at that thing.

And, in fact, a lifestyle that affords someone the freedom to do something for free is a very rich lifestyle indeed.

I’m just sayin’ . . .

Love always,

Faye

 

Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 1:24 am  Comments (2)  
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Just Me

Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait

One night I had a dream in which I ‘saw’ a woman struggling through trial after trial. As I watched her struggle I wanted to help her. The dream went on and on. I got more and more frustrated because I could not help the woman in the dream. Toward the end of the dream, I realized with astonishment that the woman I’d been watching the dream video was . . . . me.

I had that dream many years ago. I awoke from it realizing that somewhere along the line I had come disconnected from myself. I started, then, to make a point of kneeling down once a day, as a way to reconnect with myself.

I also immediately upon wakening from that dream started seeking the lord about why it was that I had disconnected from myself. Eventually, I got my answer:

When I was a child, we had a cat, Calico. I really liked that cat. I was a shy child, backward and gawky. I latched onto that cat like she was a lifeline. Every morning, I would get up and go outside to see my cat Calico. One morning I could not find Calico. I yelled for her and looked for her. No cat. I went inside and told mom I could not find Calico, I could not find my cat. She was busy doing something in the kitchen, as I recall, and I remember that she did not turn away from her task as she said to me, ‘We had to give Calico away.’ She went on to remind me that the neighbors had been complaining about our cat.

That, folks, is the moment when I disconnected from myself. I decided, at that juncture in my life, that I did not exist. I figured it this way: If my parents did not see how attached I was to that cat, then I must not exist.

I’m serious. At that moment, the only thing that made sense to me is that I did not exist. That was the only thing I could think of that would explain the circumstances in which I found myself.

So! I disconnected. I was quite young when this happened. I was in my late 30’s or early 40’s when I had the dream in which I realized I was disconnected from myself. That’s a lot of years to think one does not exist. I had spent those years trying to live my life from a distance, not even realizing it was my life.

I am sharing this because I do not believe I am the only person to whom this has happened. Psychology tells us that people disconnect when their emotional pain is so great they can’t bear it anymore, so they distance themselves from the pain, from their lives. But it has been my experience that this does not explain this dissociative thing adequately. No. I think there are others ‘out there’ who, like me, decided at one point that they do not exist.

If you are one of those people, please know this: You do exist. And you are not alone.

Love always,

Susan

Published in: on May 5, 2009 at 11:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Oops!

MomMom/Betty

Daddio

Daddio

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad

I get my story-telling tendencies from my mom. She told me a story many years ago; it went something like this:

Mom hung out with a bunch of buddies she met after she graduated from business college and moved to Marion. One of those friends, Clara, introduced Betty/mom to her brother Ed.

Ed and mom dated some. Then one day she found out that Clara had announced her – mom’s – banns in the newspaper. The announcement informed the world (and mom) that Betty and Ed would be getting married in May.

Surprise! Mom had her heart set on becoming a nun (she went on to tell me) but those plans were changed abruptly when those banns of marriage appeared in the paper: She would marry Ed in a double wedding ceremony with Clara and her beau Don.

When mom told me this story – in a very serious tone of voice – I laughed. I laughed because by the time I heard this story, mom and dad had been married 33 years and had eight children together. Hullo!

All these years later – mom is 81 and daddio is 85 – mom is still not convinced that the marirage was meant to be!

But this blog entry is not about my mom; I was merely pointing out that I am not the only story-teller in the family . . . .

Fast forward to the present:. Dad took their only car to the golf course yesterday after dropping mom off at an event that I was also attending. The plan was for me to drop my carless mom off at home after the event was over.

So we pull into their driveway yesterday afternoon, and we notice the garage door is open and their car was in the garage . . . . . with the driver’s side door hanging open. Mom exclaimed that dad was home from golfing. Then she explained the open car door: Dad, it seems, often pulls into the garage when he gets home from somewhere, then opens the car door, puts the car seat back . . . . . and falls asleep.

Well, of course I had to see this for myself; I got out of my car and ran into their garage to investigate. And, sure enough, there sat daddio, reclined in the seat and fast asleep! I touched his wrist, then, and he awoke and smiled a wry smile . .. . . . . and then passed out again. I started to laugh and this woke him briefly once again; he smiled and went back to sleep.

My daddio! The man who almost didn’t become my dad! What a guy. Ed for president!

I could go on and on about Ed. He’s unique, to say the least. To say the most, he’s goofy. He once told me, for example, that he was the equivalent of the half-dad to his twin brother’s kids!

Oh, oh. One more story about Ed . . . .

Dad was very active in teaching all of his children how to drive. Then, after we got our licenses, we were allowed to take dad’s car whenever we wanted as long as he wasn’t using and we were safe and brought the car back in one piece. We were a one-car family, by the way . . . .

Well, one night I snagged dad’s car before any of my siblings could lay claim to it and I proceeded to go to an all-night party. The next morning, I drove (this still makes me shudder when I think about it) dad’s car into the driveway to see dad walking out the back door to go to work.

Most dads would have had a hissy fit at that point. But not Ed. While I brought the car to a stop, dad did not break stride. He walked at his usual pace, got into the car, turned it around and drove down the driveway. Not one word was spoken. No reprimand. No yelling or shouting. He just looked over, saw me driving the car toward him, kept going, waited till I removed myself from the car, got into the car and went to work.

There’s no moral to this story – and there’s no end to it either; I could go on and on. I just wanted to share.

Love always.

Sue

Published in: on April 19, 2009 at 3:27 pm  Comments (3)  

Plucking Something From the Whirlwind

My precious husband Bill

My precious husband Bill

My favorite all-time movie is The Wizard of Oz. It’s a well-made, thoughtful movie with memorable characters. And who can forget the tornado scenes in that movie? I know that special effects have come a long way since that movie was made, but I’ve never seen a movie that beats this movie when it comes to effects.

I once  had a dream in which I was in a whirlwind. As I looked around – in the dream – I noticed that the wind was blowing around the elements of my life. Odd, I thought. Then I realized that this dream – this whirlwind – was an analogy for my life: Sometimes I have gentle breezes . . . . and sometimes I have wind storms.

Still in the dream, I was encouraged to reach out and  grab hold of one of the things that swirled around me. Then I woke up.

The meaning of the dream was evident to me even before I awoke from it: When there are a million things swirling around me – thoughts, events, concerns, situations – and I can’t decide what to deal with first, I need to reach out and grab a hold of something from the whirlwind around me . .. . . . and deal with it.

That’s how I feel this morning. As I was pottering around, getting ready for my day, I was reminded that I haven’t written a blog entry in some time, and not for lack of ideas. No! Ideas are swirling around me all the time, and I need to just reach out and grab one of those ideas and write about it. So here I go.

Many, many years ago, when Bob and Allen were still young (1984) we lived in a duplex apartment in Lancaster, Ohio. We made a lot of memories during the short time we lived there. I would like to share with you one of those memories.

Bill and I both smoked cigarettes back then. We rolled our own cigarettes, actually; we could not afford to buy already-rolled cigarettes. Scratch that: We could have afforded them but we had other priorities, financially-speaking.

One day Bill got really upset with me about something. So he hid the can of tobacco that we shared. Not to worry, though, because I had separated out some tobacco, so I still had tobacco he didn’t know about.

Since I didn’t want Bill to know that I still had tobacco, I had to find a place to hide my stash. I knew if he found it, he’d abscond with it too. So I looked around the house for somewhere to hide my tobacco.

I looked and looked for a hiding place, a hiding  place where Bill would never think to look. I finally settled on a hiding place: Up in the ceiling in our bedroom, above the dropped-ceiling tiles.

Our bedroom was a large one. The ceiling was expansive. I picked a place in the middle of that large room, climbed up on a stool, and pushed one of the ceiling tiles up and reached in to hide that tobacco.

As I was reaching back beyond my view to a spot that was neither too far from nor too close to the edge of a tile, I felt something. Odd. I reached up further, to investigate this object I had encountered.  It seemed to be a round can of some sort. A thought flitted through  my mind, ‘Could it be?’

Long story short: Yes, it was. Yes, it could be. I had inadvertently found the can of tobacco that Bill had hidden.

Hey! I don’t make this stuff up. Who could ever make up such an unlikely story?

Love always, Susan

Published in: on April 18, 2009 at 10:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Odd Comfort? Maybe Not.

I still have dark hair in this shot! Summer of 1981

I still have dark hair in this shot! Summer of 1981

Lately I’ve found myself comforted by the fact that our lives are like a vapor – POOF! We’re gone!

I find comfort in the realization that, no matter how horrendous things get, this life will be over soon. No matter how . . . . important things seem, they are just temporary things, in the end.

Yes, we’ll all be gone soon, but in the meantime, I like to think of my life in terms of shampoo.

Yes, you read that right; it says ‘shampoo.’ Specifically, I would like to be like good shampoo. Please allow me to explain.

Any shampoo will clean your hair. But only good shampoos wash our without leaving a residue.

I want to be in people’s lives for good, and then wash out without leaving a trace of me behind.

In a sense, we are all like shampoo. We hang around long enough to do our thing, and then after we’re gone the question becomes: Did we leave anything behind that gums up people’s lives rr did we leave them feeling blah and lifeless?

I, for one, do  not want to do that. I want to be like good shampoo – get the job done then leave without a trace.

And one more thing: We’ve all experienced good shampoo and how it makes us feel. Now picture this: You die and those you love go on with their lives, feeling good for having known you. They spin around, rejoicing because you’ve made them feel good.

It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Published in: on March 31, 2009 at 2:57 pm  Comments (2)  

Frustrations Mount!

Sue: Some things really are black and white . . . .

Sue: Some things really are black and white . . . .

I once heard someone give a teaching in which they said that pressure eventually causes people to sort of ‘pop’ out of their pressurized situation . . . .

For reasons I won’t go into here, I am under as much pressure as I’ve ever been in my life. There’s pressure at every turn, I tell you!

For example: I can write in my blog till I’m blue in the face, but if no one is reading this, so what? I mean, sure it feels great to get the problems out onto the monitor, but who is really going to read my mental perigrinations, and if they read them, who will care? Hullo!

I hate spinning my wheels. When I get like this, I feel like I’m spinning on pure ice: Everything I try to do comes to naught.

No, no! When I get like this, it feels like everything I’ve ever done is for naught!

All of which reminds me of a very funny story . . . .

This happened, oh, about 13 years ago. My friend Marilyn called one day to tell me she had someone she wanted me to meet. As it turned out, she had a visitor that day who was a minister. (What WAS that guy’s name? I can’t recall. I’ll call him Fred.)

So I get to Marilyn’s house – just around the corner from where we lived – and I meet ‘Fred.’ He seemed like a nice enough fellow, but I soon realized Marilyn wanted me to meet him so he could solve all of my problems!

So I gave him an earful. I thought this would be fun and satisfy Marilyn’s urge to save the world one person at a time. I told him I wanted to get published but didn’t even own a typewriter. I told him I’d tried and tried to get published. I went on and on.

I told him about my errant husband, told him about my husband’s stinkin’ drinkin’.

So! As Marilyn sat and listened, I raged on with my tale of frustration and upset.

Then this guy started to spout platitudes at me. I told him in no uncertain terms that I was not  interested in his pat answers.

So indignant was I at his insistence upon spouting uninspired advice, Marilyn soon got into the fray. She finally turned to me and said, “Let’s go; we’re going to the bar to confront Bill about all this!’

I thought that was really cool, that Marilyn would be willing to put her neck out for me like that – cool that she was  willing to confront my semi-drunk husband at a bar.

Fred, meanwhile, looked on in dismay. I could almost hear his mind thrashing around for an answer. I’d seen Marilyn in action before; apparently this was a first for our Fred!

So Marilyn and I jump up and grab our purses and we’re racing toward her door, full-tilt . . . . when we hear Fred say very firmly, ‘Wait!’

I wasn’t too apt to give him a second chance at this juncture, but I did turn toward him long enough to see that he’d made a decision: He was going to get off his soapbox for a change and become real . . . .

Marilyn, meanwhile, halted her own pell-mell progress out the door and turned around too. She waited for a cue from me to let her know what our next move would be.

I sat back down. Fred started to talk. And what came out of his mouth changed my life. Here’s what the man said:

‘Sue, up till now you have had it in your heart and mind that you cannot become successful as a writer – as a sharer of ideas and thoughts – until after your personal life gets straightened out.’

I was stunned: He had gotten to the heart of my frustration in just one sentence.

But he was not finished yet.

He went on to add, ‘The thing is, it is as you share those ideas and thoughts that your life will begin to change.’

I know. Good stuff, right?

Hope this finds all of you well and weller.

Love always,

Susan

Published in: on March 20, 2009 at 4:03 pm  Comments (6)  

A Tip About Color

My internet connection has been . . . . disconnected for most of today. I have missed writing . . . .

Before I forget, I would like to add something here, something about blogging – and then I want to write a short tip about color and how to use it with confidence in designs.

The thing about blogs is this: You can copy and paste any blog entries you make into a Word doc and then save it to your computer. This is really great news as far as I am concerned: I not only have a blog ‘out there’; I also have a copy of every blog I write for future reference.

OK. The color tip: Any – and I do mean ANY – colors go together IF they have the same shading to them – if they have the same amount of black and/or white.

That is all anyone needs to know about color; with this info, one can make confident color choices, whether it be for decorating or painting a picture or sewing fabric or crocheting or knitting with yarn. Just make sure all your colors have the same amount of shading.

Note: If you create things but you’ve never heard this color tip before – or you’ve read countless books on the subject and come away more confused than every – you already use this shading info when you choose fabrics. If you’re like I was for years, though, you didn’t do it consciously so you ended up taking a lot of valuable time making color choices, plus you sometimes made bad choices if you didn’t have the time to ‘intuit’ your color choices. Am I right?

Oh, and while you’re at it: Make sure you juxtapose colors so as to create contrast between the colors you choose; this gives anything more verve.

As Nike says, ‘Just do it.’

Me, wearing one of my sweatshirt creations

Me, wearing one of my sweatshirt creations

Published in: on March 12, 2009 at 3:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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DVR In My Sewing Room

I found myself not wanting to blog lately – since a friend warned me that anything one writes in a blog becomes, like, public domain, in the copyright sense, she meant.

But ya know what? I’m going to keep blogging. While I enjoyed the journaling I did for all those years before I got on-line, it surely is nice to think that someone might be reading what I write. Plus I read recently that Word Press is considered one of the very best formats for blogging . . . .

In an interesting – and recent – turn of events, my hubby Bill shuffled TV’s and DVR’s around so that I now have DVR in my sewing room, plus a larger TV – the better to see the pic as I sew, you see.

Here, let me show you where I’ve been spending time lately – in my sewing room, with my larger TV and my seven sewing machines.

Sewing Room . . . . . Now with DVR

Sewing Room . . . . . Now with DVR

Not long ago, as I was driving toward home from work, I heard on a radio show that some woman was offering to sell some of her old quilt fabrics . . . . for 15.00. Even as she was reciting her phone number, I had my phone out and was dialing that number. I told her, ‘I’lll be righ t there! That fabric is MINE!’

I got that fabric home and went through it with our granddaughter Exandra. (Note: She wanted all of my new fabric! ‘People are supposed to share, Gramma!’ and ‘You can have this piece, Gramma.’) I was soon sewing with my new fabric.

Totes 'r' Us

Totes 'r' Us

Note: The crocheted tote was made from some sort of cotton cord that I got at a yard sale a while back . . . . cheap!!

I’d better end this now. I didn’t write for my blog all weekend. And now it’s Monday again! I was so anticipating that weekend, and now it seems it’s passed already.

Happy Day!

Susan

Published in: on March 9, 2009 at 11:46 am  Comments (2)