Take a Stand

Facebook, Facebook, Facebook you are my informant, my entertainer and my irritant. Riddle me this Facebook, why do people think that it is acceptable to do whatever makes them feel good? And the need to tell everyone this should be the societal norm?
I fully blame this hippies for this movement. Their do it if it feels good attitude has spilled over to all aspects of life.
Doing the right thing has nothing to do with feeling good. Ok, sometimes it does. But often times it’s rather painful to do the right thing. To do the honest thing, take the higher road so to speak.
If I see one more meme stating at the end if the day all that matters is if you are happy I think I’ll scream. Seriously, that is not all that matters. What matters is that you did the right thing. That you have not lied and cheated your way through the day. That you were true to who God made you to be. That is what matters.
As you go about your day, don’t think about what makes you happy, think about what you can do to ease the burdens of others. By doing so you will find your own burdens eased.
Take a stand, make a mark, a great quote by John Jakes. Go out and do just that.

Memory Lane

One of our trainers has approximately 18,000 songs in his library, seriously awesome. Yesterday, during a lull he took requests, several of the songs took me back to my skating days and summers spent in Owasso.

One of the songs brought up a memory I haven’t thought about in a long time. I can’t remember the year, maybe Tammi can.

Her family was going to Arkansas to clean out her grandmothers home, she had passed recently and they were closing out the Arkansas house. Tammi asked if I could go with them and of course my parents said yes.

So off to Sugar Loaf, Arkansas we go, it was the 70’s so of course we took our appropriate 70’s gear with us. Aquanet hair spray, platforms and plenty of blue eye shadow.

Her aunt and cousin came in from California; her cousin Cathy was the quintessential California girl of the 1970’s. Long flowing blond hair and a tan that would make the stars of today envious. There we were, the three of us, 70’s glamour as only teenage girls can interpret it.

We were out walking one day and saw two boys, we started talking to them and being that it was Friday we asked what they did for fun on Friday nights. One of them started to say nothing, the other hit him and said we all go down to the store on main street and hang out.

Great! We’ll be there! So we rush back to the house and get ready, now, if any of you grew up in that era you know exactly what that means. Tammi and I with our perfect Farrah hair; Cathy with her long flowing blond hair, blue, sparkly eye shadow all around, platforms and shorts.

Off we go, to this corner store, that the boys had assured us was the happening place. We walk in, decked out in all our glory, heads turned, boys jaws dropped and big strapping farm girls in overalls stared. The girls grabbed pool sticks and came towards us, the term we hightailed it out of there is appropriate.

We ran for the door and ran all the way back to the house, laughing our heads off. Those people must have thought we were hookers, the looks on their faces said they had never seen anything like us.

We spent the rest of the trip avoiding the corner store.

Memorial Day

A three-day weekend, that is what I first thought, I can rest up and relax, then I thought about why we have this three day weekend.

Memorial Day, it is a day where we, as Americans, reflect and honor the men and women who not only served our country, but gave their lives so that we may live ours.

As a person who has had many family members in the military this particularly hits home. The very first Testerman who came here fought for the freedom of this country from the British. He started it all, Thomas Testerman, I wish I could go back in time and know him. Have a conversation with him on his thought process and why he chose this country to land in, to fight for and to marry and have children. I wish I could tell him how it all turns out, how this family is so very proud of him for having the courage to come here for us.

I wish I could tell him of the countless generations of Testermans who selflessly joined the military, who fought the battles so we could continue to have the freedom he first fought for. I wish I could tell him about my Brothers, Uncles, Cousins and Nephew who have served. I believe he would be proud that we have carried on a tradition he started when he first signed up to be a patriot and a member of that first continental army.

I am so very honored and humbled to have known a great man by marriage, my ex-husbands grandfather. He served in WWII, and he continued to serve for many years after by helping other soldiers that were coming home. He gave so much to this country and I am honored to have known him.

I cannot forget my many friends who have served and the ones that continue to serve in the reserves. They have done and do things I could not imagine, simply so I can sit here at this computer and write this.

I have done nothing so brave in my life, I salute the ones that have, you are the real lifeblood of this country. Our protectors, our first line of defense, so on Monday we honor the ones that gave their lives so we can enjoy our freedoms.

Never forgotten, always treasured, our Armed Forces.

Respect

Is anyone else tired of women calling each other bitches? Especially on social media? I know I am tired of opening Facebook and seeing someone casually calling other women bitches. If we, as women, do not respect each other, how do we expect men to respect us?

We need to take a hard look at a society that enables women to denigrate one another so casually. It is our job, as women, mother’s, sisters, Aunts, cousins, to teach the children that are in our world to respect not only us, but themselves. How can we teach young girls to value themselves if we do not value ourselves? That is the real question; our daughters need to know that they are not bitches. They are vibrant, creative, intelligent creatures worthy of a world that respects them. We are the ones that teach them that.

We also teach our sons to respect women by how we treat each other. If your son sees you calling other women bitches so casually, will he grow up to respect women? Or will he call them bitches in a not so casual way?

This is not a good trend that is going on, it is a horrible trend; let’s end this for our daughters. Let’s end it for ourselves, I for one, do not enjoy being called a bitch, I find it insulting. You don’t see men on social media calling each other bastards (it’s the only equivalent I could come up with). I’ll give you an example of how a woman I know uses the term bitches, only I will substitute it for bastard.

“It’s leg day bastards!” Can you imagine a man saying that and it being perfectly acceptable on social media? Why then is it acceptable for women to say things of this nature to each other?

I know I will probably take a lot of heat for this, because, well, some women think by using the word, it lessens its insult. It does not. I will say this again; women using this word towards each other does not lessen its insulting nature.

Let’s lift each other up with our words, our actions and be an example to our daughters on how to treat other women. Let’s be an example to our sons on how to treat the women in their lives.

 

Parenting Rant

What’s up world? I haven’t been here in such a long time; it feels like an eternity, however I am sure you all were happy to have the break. Training is going well, I am enjoying the high energy of the trainers, I am also enjoying being in a room of people that genuinely want to learn what they have to teach.

There is also a team leader in the room with us, she is telling us a lot of great stuff about the job itself. This week we added the people from California, they seem to be assimilating nicely, however, I think they will be in for a shock once August gets here. They will be wishing for milder weather for sure.

I have something I have to get out, I am astounded by people, ok, parents, parents astound me and not in a good way. Do people honestly think children are born knowing how to do things? Basic things. For example, hygiene, do parents honestly think children are born knowing how to clean themselves? Do they not pay attention when a child has atrocious table manners? Why would you not teach your child how to hold a fork? How to cut their meat? How to clean up after themselves? Parents, you will be unleashing these wild beings into the world one day! The insanity of it all astounds me.

I made sure my children had table manners, that they could clean themselves and clean up after themselves. I taught them basic life skills, it takes time, it takes a modicum of patience, but it is you job!

Some things I am seeing today disgust me, why are people so lackadaisical when it comes to their children? Children don’t grow up, they are raised, it is how you raise them that sets them on the path to their future.

If you are uncertain on how to raise a child, I suggest watching the Andy Griffith show or the Walton’s, those will teach you a thing or two about discipline, love, attentiveness and raising good children. Ones that will become productive members of society.

I am not saying I was a perfect mother, however, I did put aside any selfish needs on my part and focus on my children when they were young. They were my reason for being on this earth and since I was the one (along with their father) who chose to bring them here, I took my responsibility seriously.

That felt good to get out, I’ll stop now, I have laundry to do, things to get ready for my workweek. Working 5 days a week is something I have not done in a while, still getting used to it!

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day has come and gone, I know I usually talk about my own fantastic mother, however, I thought I would tell a little bit about the people that enable me to have that title.

First and foremost I am so beyond grateful to God that He gave me the ones he did, I seriously cannot imagine life without them. I don’t want to, the thought is unimaginable. I wish I could take credit for their personalities, quirks and genuine awesomeness.

Jeffrey is the most caring father, I love seeing him with Tessa, guiding her, sharing a sense of humor with her and loving her. He builds Legos with her on the floor and plays petshop as well, he really is an amazing father this this wonderful little girl. I could not be prouder of the man he has become, I wish I could take credit, however, I can’t. Jeffrey has a quiet strength, a quiet sense of humor; don’t mistake his quietness for weakness. He is one of the strongest people I know, I am so happy that God entrusted him to me.

Elizabeth is the most capable person I have ever met in my entire life, whatever needs to be done, she does it. Watching her with her four-legged children, and two legged, her birds only have two legs, I should have said fur and feathered children, is a revelation. She has always been good with animals, from the hamsters, birds, chinchilla, dog, cats and everything in-between, you can see what kind of person she truly is. Animals and children love her, she reminds me so much of my grandfather in that respect, animals and children flocked to him as well. She is now engaged to a man who comes with a child, she tells me that is her contribution to my grandmotherhood. I’ll take it. Her sense of humor is well developed and she has a knack for firing off zingers. Once again I cannot believe I was chosen to be her mother, incredible.

Alex is the baby, and in my eyes he will always be the baby, he has gone through a lot to find the path to manhood. I am incredibly proud of the way he has gone through certain things at a young age that would fell adults. He is turning into the man I always knew he would, thoughtful, sensitive and intuitive. I am in awe of his fortitude, I know he will continue to grow and thrive in spite of the adversities that have been thrown his way.

All three have a wicked sense of humor and when we are all together the zingers fly around the room at a pace that is hard to follow for a lot of people. We once had a guest for dinner that likened us to the Adams family, I’m not sure that is an apt description. We don’t moonbath, nor do we have wilted roses as centerpieces, I think this particular person had a hard time following the humor. There is nothing that gives me greater joy than having them all here with me. Listening to them regress into childhood insults, then flying forward to adult concerns is such an awesome thing to watch.

These are the people responsible for me being able to celebrate Mother’s Day; I celebrate them on that day. Their awesomeness, their humor, their caring spirits and their ability to make their mother still feel like she needed.

Whirlwind

It has been a long week, I am enjoying being in a new environment, I miss walking into my other building and seeing everyone, hopefully they will be able to join us after we are done with training.

I actually got to sit with someone who I used to sit by in my other job; it was good to see all of the tools and what they do. I hope we start learning those soon, they looked interesting and a more in-depth look at the line than what we had access to.

Yesterday I did get to pick up Tess, not at school of course, at her Great-Grandmother and Great-Grandfather’s house. We had a good talk on the way to my house, we talked about two creepy dolls that she has, she is convinced they can open doors. I remember thinking a few of mine could do that at her age as well, she was cracking me up with her description of how she thought they could preform such a feat.

We decided to have our weekend gathering to Sunday, it is Mother’s Day after all, a cookout is in order. Alex is out of town; he has already called me twice to tell me where he was on his drive and to let me know he arrived safely. I do not care how old they are, a mom always wants to know her children are safe.

Today I am taking Tess shopping for new spring and summer clothes, I love doing it, she hates shopping. I seriously do not understand this; I guess she inherited her dad’s attitude towards that activity. I told her after shopping we could do something fun, she loves going to Old McDonald’s (her name for the much maligned fast-food place) and another place that I will not name as there are not that many and well people are crazy.

I don’t know which she will choose, but we will have fun no matter the place, that being said, I am off to get ready for our day of fun. I hope everyone has a great day, a wonderful weekend and a fantastic Mother’s Day!

Strange Occurrence

Something unsettling has happened, I don’t even know how to express to everyone how truly strange and unnerving it is. Recently I have begun noticing that I am drinking less coffee, I hope you were sitting when you read that tidbit. I was not trying, it has happened naturally, I am drinking so much less that I told the Irishman that he should only make half a pot instead of a whole pot. I think he almost fainted, I explained that recently coffee is being wasted, that is a sin, so he should try making me half a pot. I don’t like wasting things; this morning is my first day with half a pot.

I don’t know what is happening to me, the whole thing has me a little rattled, I don’t know the meaning, without so much coffee will my life have meaning? Will I continue to hear color? So many questions, so few answers.

In other news, training is going well, we are not beginning our hardcore training until next week as we are waiting on some people coming from California. We did get to sit with some agents who are doing the same job we are being trained for and I am really excited to begin the training to learn the new tools. The meat of the job is the same, helping people who have had continuous issues to get it fixed once and for all. Find out why the issues have been ongoing and to assure them we do care and want to help. It’s not a line, I really do want these people fixed, I can feel their frustration coming from the other end of the line. I understand their frustrations as well, when things I am paying for doesn’t work I just want it fixed, not excuses.

I had lunch with Alex on Sunday, he is going out of town and will not be here for Mother’s Day, he told me that thanks to me he is well versed in weird television shows. I said example please, he said Buffy, Angel, I said hey, those are not weird shows they are classics. And Angel was a total guy show, he said mom Angel was eye candy for women, I said David Boreanaz is an incredible actor to which he replied I wouldn’t go that far. He did agree he was good though, which mollified me somewhat.

During training I don’t know how much I will be writing, training tends to be intense and by the time I get home I just want to go to sleep. Or unwind with really great television, not weird television, really anything Joss Whedon.

Funeral Planning

Am I really the only one that wonders what people will say at their funeral? I wonder that a lot, what words will be spoken when I am gone? What stories will be told of my life?

I asked the Irishman last night what he would say at my funeral, he said he would not be able to speak at all, as he would be too upset. Then he said he didn’t want to talk about it, he doesn’t like to think about death. I think about it all the time, one of my hobbies is planning my funeral. You have to prepare for these things, I have been to a lot of funerals and you cannot leave things to the living.

If you want something done, then you have to do it yourself, why would you leave your final act up to someone else to plan? I would not do that; you never know what people are going to do with you.

I am not one of those people that say things like oh just put me in a pine box and throw me in a ditch. Yes, I have actually heard people say that, horrifying, why would you want that? A funeral is actually for the people left, a chance for them to have closure, to say goodbye and see you later. It is their opportunity to reflect and be happy that you’re free, free of earthly constraints, free of aches and pains, free of heartache. You have made it, you are going home, this is a celebration!

I do wonder though, what will my children say about me? What will Tessa say? Will Elizabeth tell stories of my clumsiness? Will Jeffrey tell about the time I took him to a Rangers game? Will Alex talk about our lunches? Will Tess tell about the times I took her to the park or Old McDonalds? Will they know how much I loved them? That they were my entire world?

A funeral is not for the empty shell left behind, so plan well my friends, this is your last opportunity to plan a great party that will allow the people you leave behind an opportunity to say goodbye. To begin their life without you in it, a pine box and a ditch is not comforting. It is ridiculous to say things like that, and thoughtless to the ones left planning it, do your own planning.

If you plan your own funeral it takes all of the guess work out of it for the ones left, they don’t have to make decisions, they can just reflect, smile, laugh and cry without the stress of picking out a casket, songs they think you would like and a service. If you do this for them you lift a burden from their shoulders, it is your final gift to the ones left behind.

It is not only my hobby planning my own funeral; it is my final gift to my children and granddaughter. I am taking everything out of their hands so they are stress free and can actually begin their grieving process unburdened by decision-making.

So, what would you say about me at my funeral?

Hopping

Today is officially my last Thursday posing as Friday event. I was offered a job in another department and I start Monday. It will be a 5-day workweek, I don’t know if I will know how to behave in that situation, however I shall figure it out.

I am incredibly grateful for my new opportunity within the major telecommunications corporation I am employed with. It was an unexpected offer, however a welcome one nonetheless. I packed my desk yesterday; it is a very bittersweet circumstance. I truly enjoy the people I work with; they are all different, with different personalities, quirks and temperaments. The one consistent thing with them all is their helpful attitudes; I am so fortunate to have worked with this group for so long. Twenty-four of us are going to the new job, so happy to be going with so many familiar faces. So sad to be leaving so many, I pray the rest can find jobs as well; they are all in my daily prayers.

When the layoff announcement came, they told us 43 people would have to go, we were stunned, shocked, dismayed and a depression settled in the office. With people finding jobs and with the unfortunate passing of one of us, that number is down to 11. The one of us that passed, he would be happy that he saved one person because that is the kind of person he was.

From 43 to 11, that is huge, the mood in the office is now one of hope not despair, I see people smiling and laughing more. We are grateful for our new opportunities and hopeful for the ones left in the office that they too will be able to find employment within the company.

I have to say here, now, our Chief Steward came through, he has worked tirelessly in the pursuit of opportunities for our people. I am beyond impressed with his dedication in this endeavor; it is what is going to keep me a union member. I also have to give huge kudos to our 2nd level manager; he also worked tirelessly helping to make this happen. I have to be honest here, I didn’t really pay attention to his mood, but when I saw, after the 24 people were told of their opportunity he looks lighter. I didn’t realize what a toll this had taken on him; I am impressed (it is a word being given a work out here, however it fits) with his caring, I am sorry I didn’t see it before.

I will begin my new adventure on Monday, learning new things, helping a whole new set of customers getting to know new people and even seeing old friends.

Before anyone thinks, wow how lucky, no, it was not luck, it was God, pure and simple. There were a lot of prayers going up for the people in that office, I am still praying that they can pull 11 more jobs out of the hat.

On a different note I am revisiting a segment I call Does That Make My Dog Crazy. Last night I come home and found the Irishman and Stormie are playing chase. Stormie actually hops, yes, hops, like the dogs in the old cartoons. I tried to get this on video, but she knows when she is being recorded! She stopped doing it! Then she and I began to play hide and seek, this is our favorite game. She will chase me to the kitchen, I will hide behind a wall, she goes to the other side, I slide around out of her view, she then runs around. I slide, she runs, then she will become very quiet, I will peek out and she is there and she jumps for joy because she won that round of hide and seek! What a joy she is, she definitely keeps our household, well, hopping.

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