Happy Birthday Elizabeth Anne

Today is the day, the day that should be a national holiday, no, not my Birthday, Elizabeth Anne’s Birthday.
I still can’t believe I got her as a daughter, God really knew what He was doing when He gave her to me.
To say I am proud of her is an understatement, she has an incredible life that she has built very literally with her own two hands.
She has given me many grandchildren, too many to count, four-legged, two-legged, furry, feathery and never boring.
Every day that passes I am more in awe of her, here is a woman not afraid to get her hands dirty yet looks like a princess. I have often thought she looks like Belle come to life. It’s not surprising Granny Dee bought her the Belle costume when she was little.
She is sassy, smart, funny and beautiful, she is also tough, caring, kind and thoughtful.
Elizabeth Anne, you are the best present I ever got for my birthday, the day you were born is still an incredible memory. You and a huge ice storm all in one day, what mom could ask for more!
You were born curious and alert, ready to take on the world around you. Whatever task is set in front of you, you tackle it with determination and old-fashioned hard work.
I watch you and I am in awe of you, there are days I still can’t believe I get to call myself your mom. You are exactly the daughter I prayed you would be.
When I begged God for a daughter He gave me you, every day I thank Him.
Happy Birthday Elizabeth Anne!

Humans

I saw something, for once not on Facebook, it struck me, the person said that the five slain officers were overshadowing the civilian deaths that had recently taken place.
I admit I sat there for a long time just looking at it, the words, the sheer audacity, the sheer non-understanding of why these five deaths are resonating with the nation. No, the world, they ran into the line of fire to save the people protesting them. How does that not express the profound meaning that their lives had? That their deaths have? They ran towards gun-fire to save people who protested them.
I have seen a lot of things recently spouting “race” as if ones’ race is based on skin tone. It’s not, we are the human race, created in God’s image. He did not create different humans with different skin tones, He didn’t say “you know what, I’m going to separate these people I have created by color”. He didn’t color code us. He created man in his own image and saw it was good.
Good. We were created good, prejudice is not inherent, it is learned. I was taught all of my life to judge a person by the content of their character not by the outward appearance. A hard lesson for me, oh, not by skin tone, apparel. I judged by what a person wore, their hair style, shoes, oh my, yes the shoes. My poor mother, she really had her work cut out for her with that one. I remember one Sunday, in Owasso, OK at the First Freewill Baptist Church, a woman came in with jeans.
WHAT!? This had to be 1979 or around there, I was aghast, one simply did not do that in 1979. As soon as we got in the car to go home I just could not contain myself. The judgements flew out of my mouth at a rapid rate. I could not believe someone, much less a woman, would come to church in jeans.
I’ll never forget the look on my mothers’ face, it wasn’t anger, it was sadness and disappointment. She looked at me for a long time and said Angie show me in the bible where it says don’t come to church in jeans. Or for that fact where it says all ye women come in a dress.
I sat there in that back seat and just stared, then I said well you won’t let me do it, she said no, I won’t. Here’s why, when we go to God’s house we wear our best, that’s why it’s called our Sunday best. You are very fortunate that your Sunday best is stylish, nice, pressed and what we, as your parents, deem appropriate.
Not everyone has those kinds of garments, did you ever once, in the middle of your judgement think that the jeans were her Sunday best? Those are the best jeans she owns, they are clean, no holes and fit, her shirt was nice, clean, pressed and she was presentable. She was dressed in her Sunday best and here you sit, judging her. I never forgot that, disappointing my mom it was up there with disappointing God. I learned a strong lesson that day, it is one, I admit, I still struggle with.
To judge a person by something they cannot control is idiocy, people cannot control the color of their skin. The pigment they are born with, it is who they are, that is not something we should be judging on.
No matter what color your skin is, if it is white, peach, ghostly white (Irishman shout out there), brown, light brown, dark brown, black, olive (Tammi shout out there), tan, red, yellow or any other color that can be found in a child’s Crayola box, one should not be judged for it.
Before my life in Owasso, the one I don’t talk about too much, I lived in Oklahoma City, as a matter of fact, I lived in a really tough neighborhood. Capitol Hill, if you are from there, then you know, it’s rough. Or it was when I was a kid.
In the 1970’s Oklahoma began desegregating, I know, 10 years behind everyone else.
There was a good mixture of skin tones in my elementary school, we had everyone, white, black, brown, red, everyone. You know what, no fights based on skin color, I did have a fight with a boy named Kevin, he was my skin tone. He made me mad and I hit him with my lunch box. My metal, partridge family with the thermos in, lunch box. Mr. Jackson was our principal and I went to see him fairly often, only once did he call my grandparents. Never anyone else.
Did I mention he was black? A lot of my teachers were as well, I never thought anything about it. Skin color was never mentioned and as children no one cared. At all. There was one incident, but I really can’t talk about it here and it’s not “race” related it was more an explanation gone wrong issue. And yes, it had to do with me.
When I got to Middle School, Capitol Hill Middle School, things had changed, it was not an equal mixture of skin tones, it was roughly 75% black, 15% white and the rest Indian, I am using these terms due to the fact that is what we used then. Please take them in context to the time frame.
In middle school, still no issues, no one made any reference to skin color, a lot of classes, as I look back, I realize I was the only one in there that had a pale appearance. No one held it against me, I wasn’t called names. I was confused when I watched the nightly news, as it was talking about “race” riots, minorities and things of that nature. In my school, I was the minority, so I really didn’t understand.
Then I moved to a different part of Oklahoma City and started going to Jefferson Middle School, way different demographic, back to more of an equal balance of skin tones. Here is the funny story from there, I saw my friend Paulette from CHMS and we were thrilled to see each other. I said I didn’t know you guys were going to go here! She had a twin brother named Paul. She said yes, her mom and dad wanted to get out of the old neighborhood. She then said, and I’ll never forget it, there were too many black people there. I looked at her for a minute and said Paulette, you know your black right? She laughed and said that is what she said to her mom and dad. She said she really never got an explanation for that one.
Oh and before you think oh they must have been too light skinned for “the community” at that time. Not the case, her family was very proud of the fact that they were pure, no Indian and no White. I didn’t know what that meant until later, all I knew was Paulette and I were friends, her family welcomed me into their home and mine welcomed her into ours.
Then the move to Owasso, now, I have to tell you, Owasso was a shock to my system, a huge shock, on so many levels. Gone were the museums, the symphony, no orchestra at school, I was so depressed about moving I didn’t want to join the basketball team, I had played in OKC, I didn’t want to join the band, seriously, I was a cello player. No cellos in Owasso at that time, also, not a lot of people that didn’t look like me.
I remember the first day of school there, my BFF Tammi and I went, we took the bus, spent all day going from class to class. Then after school, we waited for our bus, I couldn’t take it anymore, I whispered what did they do with the black people, she said I don’t know, but don’t say anything because they might do away with us. Tammi came from Tulsa, huge diversity there as well.
Owasso is much more diverse now, however it wasn’t then, and it was a shock to my system.
But I still was being raised in a household where you did not judge based on outer appearances, especially based on something you cannot change.
Something has to give in this country, if you are judging me based on my pigmentation then you are prejudice, if someone is judging you based on your pigmentation they are prejudice.
I am a regionalist, I admit that, I judge on what region of the country you are from. I states, well, I am not overly fond of I states. I am not going to say what those are here, as I would get hate mail. Just know, that the job I have, I get to see how people behave when they think they can get away with speaking to humans any kind of way. I think we all know what that means.
Every day, I work side by side with people who do not look like me, we all get along, we all joke with one another, help one another and share knowledge and experience. We don’t base our opinion of someone’s ability to do their job based on the pigmentation of their skin.
We are one race, we are the human race, God made one race, humans, until the aliens come, and they totally are, but for now, on this big blue marble, we are it. Human. We might come in different colors, different shapes, sizes and have different thought processes, but we are all one. And if you are a Christian or even Jewish, then we are all descendants of Adam and Eve. We are brothers and sisters; we all need to remember that.
I do not judge a situation based on a snippet of a video someone took with their phone, from an angle that doesn’t show everything that happened. I do believe that the media and politicians and people who are in power want to keep everything stirred up. They want to keep humans fighting over pigmentation.
Just stop, stop and take a good long look at what the people in power don’t want you to see. Take time out to forge friendships with people of differences. Physical, emotional, intelligence and personality, those differences in us make the whole.
I’ll leave you with the words of Downtown Julie Brown, peace, love and gossip.
As always, if you have any comments or questions you can direct them to angie@angieworld.com

Keep Lookin’ Up

Easter was the first time ever, that I had all of my children on a holiday, it was nice, the only one missing in the family was Tessa. It was her mom’s turn for Easter.

I would like to make it clear I don’t consider myself Stacy’s mom, she is my daughter, but I am not her mother. She has a mother, she has a father, and they have and continue to be good parents to her.

I haven’t written in a while because my thoughts are scrambled, there is too much going on in the world, in the United States, in Texas and in McKinney. It’s insanity I tell ya, the world is totally going to hell in a hand basket faster than we can imagine.

So, the Irishman has decided we are married, he told me that we were, I scoffed, he said look it up. Sure enough, in Texas, we meet the requirements of common law marriage. AS a matter of fact, if we broke up, we would have to divorce.

Now he has it in his head that we need wedding rings and has changed his status on Facebook to married.

I really don’t know how I feel about this, in his mind I think he sees it as a renewed commitment to me. To our relationship, to let others know he will not entertain interference from outside forces. Maybe this is more of a reminder for him, than I, that he is in a relationship, that we do live together and have since 2010. I don’t know, it’s just kind of unsettling to come home to ring size papers everywhere.

The days are getting longer, there is no chance of me getting snow this year, I am sad, I didn’t get it once this year. Not one single time, it is disheartening, when there is no snow I believe God is angry with me, that there is something I was supposed to do for him and didn’t.

I’ll have to figure it out before next year, as I want snow, desperately want snow, it is the great equalizer of the world. The way it blankets the earth in pure, sparkly whiteness, making even the ugliest of landscapes beautiful. There is something magical, pure, a giant blanket giving the earth warmth. I miss it, I crave it, I need it and it renews my soul, my soul is hurting this year from the lack of snow.

Yes, I now it sounds crazy and no, I do not care, you have your thing, I have mine.

I do look forward to summer, to being able to have Tess more, to take her to the pool, skating, bowling and maybe a trip to the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum. That would be incredible.

That is a trip my mother always wanted to take, so me taking Tessa would be honoring her memory. Then maybe a side trip to Silver Dollar City, how fun would that be! I’ll have to map it out and see how far it is and see if there are hotels near these places.

I know there is around Silver Dollar City, the other is in question.

TTFN, see ya soon, and remember keep lookin’ up, cause that’s where it all is! (Yes a Kidd Kraddick quote to end this)

Ignorance vs Stupidity

I would rather meet someone ignorant than stupid, ignorance can be corrected, stupidity cannot. The dictionary defines ignorant as lacking in knowledge or training, the definition for stupidity is foolish or unintelligent. So you see, by definition, ignorance can be cured.
The reason for this is of course a Facebook post, someone re-posted something someone else posted without research. Now I am guilty of this myself, however, when corrected or someone posts the research as a comment I quickly correct my post.
The person posted something about a major retailer, it didn’t sound true, so I researched it and posted the research under it and said hey this isn’t true.
Their response was does it matter. Does it matter? Let’s think about this, you posted something that was erroneous and potentially harmful to the retailer. As it was quite vicious in it’s accusations. Plus, let’s add on the fact that the person portrays themselves to be a Christian.
So now we’ve got a violation of do not bare false witness and thou shall not lie, so yes, Virginia, it does matter.
It matters for so many reasons, first you are showing that you are not ignorant as you cannot learn, you are showing that you are stupid or foolish. Next it matters due to the fact if, a big if I admit, many people believe the vitriol it could hurt the major retailers’ business. That would mean layoffs, people losing their jobs and not being able to provide for their families. I know that’s a big supposition, however, it could happen.
After that, we have your immortal soul, do you really want this to be the thing you have to explain to God when you die? Because, contrary to popular belief, God can see everything you do, yes, even on the internet.
People think they are invisible or they forget that that God is omniscient, He sees all, He knows all. I have to admit, there will be quite a few things I have to answer for when I die, however baring false witness will not be one of them.
Choose what you post carefully, I try, I am not always successful, but I do try and I feel that if I am ignorant on a subject I will educate myself.
In the words of Judge Judy, Beauty is skin deep, Stupid is forever. Ignorance can be cured, stupidity cannot, and with the advent of the internet we are seeing stupidity overtake ignorance in a big way.
This is my advise to everyone, read, read then read some more, if you have any doubt on anything you read, then read more. Education is the key to fighting ignorance and warding off stupidity.

Heavy Heart

My dad loved college football, he said it was the last time players played for the love of the game instead of a paycheck. He particularly loved the Sooners, he would watch every OU game that was on television and if it wasn’t on television, he would listen on the radio. This was back in the day where pay-per-view and cable didn’t really exist. Especially in the country, where we were at.
When he wasn’t rooting for OU, he rooted for OSU, unless they were playing OU of course. I asked him once why he would ever root for OSU, even when they weren’t playing OU.
He looked at me with that dad look, you know the one, the head half-cocked, one eyebrow raised, and said words I would never forget.
He told me that all Oklahomans stick together, and when OSU wasn’t playing his beloved Sooners, the Cowboys deserved his respect and attention. Simply due to the fact they were representing Oklahoma.
He would be heartbroken over what happened in Stillwater yesterday, senseless loss of life, people injured. Especially children, the children injured and dying would have brought him to his knees. He would have asked God to wrap His arms around the parents and families and thank God for welcoming the children into heaven with open arms.
He would have prayed for the person who did this, for her family, as the guilt of this will be staggering on them as well. Our actions have a ripple effect and her family will be hurting over her actions.
When I would question him on this, and I would have, he would assure me that our God is a loving God and will be there for the survivors. We should pray without prejudice, and pray unceasingly.
My dad was what we call a good man, he was a godly man and he was the head of our household. I miss his unwavering belief that everything would be ok, that consistent prayer and worship and study would bring us the answers we need in life.
He was first and foremost a Christian, after that came my mom and his family, then he was an Oklahoman, to the core of his being. Even when they moved to California during the depression he never stopped trying to figure out a way to get back.
God provided that way through a job at McDonald Douglas, God was faithful to His faithful servant.
I have to believe now, in the wake of this tragedy in my beloved Oklahoma, God is faithful, He is the great comforter.
Like my dad taught me by example, I prayed for the victims’ families, for their loss, and for the survivors, I pray for a quick healing of body, mind and soul. And yes, I pray for the perpetrators family, that they can come to grips with what their loved one did.

Fruits of the Spirit

On Saturday, Valentines Day, our Ladies that Lunch gathered for our celebration of the day. We gathered at the Chocolate Angel in the Antique Mall in Plano, it is a lovely place with awesome food.

My friend Wanda gave us all Valentines gifts, she had gotten the Nine Fruits of the Spirit books, each book was a different gift. She wrapped them and gave them out, now, after wrapping them she didn’t know which person would get which book. As it turns out, as each of us opened our gifts, we all said, oh this is something I struggle with.

It’s funny how God always knows what we need when we need it, I know what you are wondering, which did I get. Well I got kindness, which is something I struggle with, as I have a naturally acerbic personality.

When someone says something I deem, well, stupid, I have a tendency to want to call him or her on it. I have to stop myself, when I was younger I didn’t always do that, with disastrous results.

As I grow, I don’t like the word older, hmmm how about more mature, I realize that the need to call people out on things they say is actually demeaning to the person saying it. There is no need to hurt people emotionally or verbally, we each have our own demons to deal with, no one needs me as another.

I will be going through the devotional and work on being kinder to my fellow humans.

I once went through a study of the Gifts of the Spirit, which is different than Fruits of the Spirit, I had three equal Gifts, Prophecy, Wisdom and Faith, sometimes I see them come out and I am awed because I know they are not from me, they are from Him.

I would urge everyone to find out their Gifts and Fruits, I have never engaged in a study of the Fruits, I would be interested to find out what mine are.

I know they are ever changing, Gifts and Fruits from God are not static, and they change, as He needs you to change. I know several that I have never been blessed with, patience has never been one of mine, I know that for a fact.

I can say Joy has been mine, I can say that with certainty, and Faithfulness, those two are a constant within me.

I would be interested to know if anyone out there has ever really thought about this and what you consider yours to be and if you struggle with something in particular.

I’ll sign off for now, I hope to hear from you all.

 

Cloud Coverage

One week down with no sugar, no dairy and no grains, so far so good, oh side note, coconut milk is gross. I do find it challenging finding enough to eat, to get in the calories that they want me to have. 1200 to 1500 a day. Dairy used to be a staple, cottage cheese, yogurt and well, cheese, not to mention whipping cream in my coffee. I really miss that, tried coconut milk in my coffee, literally thought I was going to die. I finally found some non-dairy, sugar-free creamer and it is ok, not fantastic, but better than the coconut milk.
I am muddling through the working out, I feel clumsy and clunky, but I am doing them! I am already starting to feel better, I know what sugar does to me, I always feel better when I eliminate processed sugar, no bloating, no tired feeling at the end of the day. It’s crazy how things that we have eaten all of our lived really effect our bodies. We don’t even realize it until we give it up.
Today I will be trying spaghetti squash; with organic, sugar free pasta sauce, this will be interesting. If it works out, then I will take leftovers for lunch tomorrow, I am getting tired of protein smoothies. I hate protein powder, no matter what else I put in it, banana, peanut butter or almond milk, nothing masks the taste.
A few weeks back when I picked up Tess from school, there were all these big, fluffy white clouds in the sky. I asked Tessa if she had noticed them and weren’t they pretty. The following is our conversation:

Me: Tess, did you see all of the pretty clouds?
Tessa: yes I did, God must be doing a lot of flying today.
Me: What?
Tessa: Gigi, you know that when God flies over us to check up on us He uses clouds to cover up.
Me: I forgot.

At that moment I look out of my window and I see a cloud in the perfect form of an Angel, I thought to myself, she’s right. God was doing a lot of flying that day; I will never look at clouds the same way again.
Children are amazing, they see things we have forgotten about as adults, things we take for granted are truly miracles in this world. Even something as simple as a big, fluffy white cloud.
I shall report back on the fitness journey, if you are thinking of making a change, Fitness Together is the place to do it. If you are like me and have yo-yoed your way through life then call them. I think they still have the Groupon; you can give them a try for a few weeks and see how you like it. After one week I am seeing a huge difference. Even people around me are remarking on it, my son and a couple of coworkers have said they can already see a difference.

Newness

Well here we are, Thursday, the day before Friday, the gateway day, so happy it is here. This week has really flown by; I was thrown into the deep end of the pool work wise. On Monday, all of us who were in the training class were thrown into the fray, taking calls and helping customers.
I feel clunky with the tools still, but helping people is not something new to me, I have been doing that for years in the major telecommunications corporation I work for. Identifying with the customer, feeling their pain at the trouble they are having is something I do really well. Now I am just adding television and voice issues to the fray, and trust I understand television woes. Yesterday I had to tell a woman we really needed to replace her DVR and when she gave a wailing no, I knew exactly how she felt. I told her so, I said listen when I had to replace my DVR I about died, I have so many things recorded. Not just season finales SERIES finales. She said I’m so happy you understand, other people think I’m crazy. I said no ma’am, we are the normal ones, she laughed, said give her a week to clear it out and then she would call back and have it replaced.
I have often said that I am placed near the most interesting people; this time is no different. My new teammates are nice, helpful and have a great sense of humor as a whole. I feel good in my new place, while I miss seeing all of the familiar faces that I had grown accustomed to over the years, I like where I have landed.
God always has a plan and even though I balk at times in the end I know He is right and places me in the right place.
Speaking of, I had an argument with Jesus the other night and of course He won, I did what I was told to do and had awesome results. It wasn’t the ending I thought it was going to be; in fact it has turned out to be a beginning. Life is amazing when you follow what you’re supposed to do and not what is comfortable or what you really want to do.
Must go, time to get dressed, go to work, help the people keep their entertainment and windows to the world working.

Another Bachelor Rant

Once again I find myself totally disgusted with the show the Bachelor, seriously, why are women still participating in this claptrap? I will reiterate, I don’t watch this pure unadulterated crap, however, I cannot escape hearing about it on my favorite radio show, or being inundated with updates on twitter and Facebook.

Apparently, this last bachelor was probably the most honest one to date, and confirmed what we all have known all along. This is nothing but an opportunity for a man to have sex with a bunch of women and it’s not called cheating, because he is taking each one out for a test drive. On national television, sickening, I will say this, Juan Pablo was honest, it is being reported he told one contestant that he loved having sex with her, but really didn’t know her. He didn’t say sex by the way; he was incredibly crude in his comment. The woman took offense, my reaction was, um aren’t you the one that was participating in this? You willingly bedded a man you barely know for fame.

Women! STOP! Just stop selling yourselves for momentary fame, what are you doing? Are you making your parents proud by this public behavior? Are your siblings happy for you? That you have just sold yourself, your soul, your body, your dignity for what? Fifteen minutes of fleeting fame? To the woman offended, I say why? You did this to yourself, you signed up for it, you told this man by your actions that you would happily allow him to use you without even knowing him that well.

This man has a daughter, he just taught her that she is easily discarded by men; he taught her she doesn’t deserve respect. She will seek out men who treat her the way he treats women. I wonder if he will be ok with that?

This show is nothing short of a prostitution ring; women are willingly participating in this disgusting show of misogyny. I am saddened by the lack of good judgment that women are showing. I am also saddened by how many women watch this! Calling it romantic!!! Romantic!? Are you kidding me? This show has nothing to do with romance; it has everything to do with cheapening women and denigrating the morals of whole generations.

If you want a romantic story check out the book of Ruth in the Bible, now there is a romantic story. Ruth didn’t cheapen herself to catch a man; in fact he was drawn to her loyalty, her obedience to God, her modesty. Shame on all that watch this and allow it to continue.

What to do with Hurt Feelings

Something happened to me that quite literally left me speechless, because it was so unexpected, so blatant in the fact that someone let me know that I didn’t matter to them. This was shocking in the fact that I have been there for this person more than once throughout the years. How many years you ask, around 30 years.

I can write this because I know if they don’t have time for me, they don’t have time to read me. I feel confident even if they did read this they would not recognize themselves.

I have to temper this with this person is not the only one I have gotten this response from. I asked them to listen to my radio show that I do with Shanon Jay, the past shows are on the website, one can listen at their leisure, the shows are only 15 minutes long, one can even listen in their car if they have a smartphone and an axle cable, or blue tooth.

I later asked this person if they had listened, the response was I don’t have time for that. I thought to myself, wow, what if I had said that to you all those years ago when you needed help. I was simply asking them to listen, as I had valued their opinion, for an honest review of the show. I was told I was not worthy of 15 minutes of their time.

It struck a chord with me, I’ll be honest it hurt my feelings, however, I quickly shook myself off and tried to forget the incident. However, it has left a sour taste regarding said person, especially when I consider friends that I have listen, friends I have not done the things I have done for this person. They listen; they give their opinion and encouraging words.

I received some very good advice today from another friend who said “Ideally you say ok thank you and then turn to those who will support you.” She went on to say “I know I understand hon. I expect people to treat me the way I try to treat them. But sometimes there may just be things in the other person’s life that keeps them from doing what we would expect. Something unknown. Allow yourself to be hurt for a time them move on and forgive them. Maybe they will be there next time. OR (and this is GOOD) maybe God desires someone else to be your supporter this time.”

Very wise advice, I will be taking this advice to heart and walking away, I will remain purely Facebook friends with this person, not really expecting anything. I can tell you this, if they need me in the future, I wouldn’t hesitate to help them in any way I could. Because that is how I was taught to be, in a home, that very literally put God first, putting God first means helping those who are in need. Even if it is something as simple as listening to a radio show.