Sunflowers

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sexual Harrassment- The News of the Year

Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Bill Clinton, Bill O' Reilly, and Matt Lauer are all names that I am sure most of us if not all of us are aware of. Unfortunately, it is now that we know them due to the nature of the "acts" that they have done and not the talent that they possess. All 5 of these men have been accused and in some cases proven of sexually harassment at the workplace or with colleagues.

These men, whether truly guilty or not, have become names associated with workplace harassment and using their power to manipulate these women. My fear is, that like so many things in society these days, the accusations may not all be truthful and some of what they are accused of doing may have been in a joking manner. I feel that as a society we have become fearful of a joke. We make it to be bullying inside the schools and we have made it harassment in the workplace. Let me add a disclaimer here for the comments that I am sure will follow this * I am in no way saying that these men are not guilty of sexual harassment. I am simply saying that it seems that no one can take a joke these days.

Years ago, I believe that many large companies and institutions were in a "man's club" mentality where women were talked about in a not so flattering way, teased because of their gender and ultimately, the butt end of so colorful jokes and comments. In today's society, that is all considered sexual harassment. At the time, it was just the way things were whether it was right or wrong. I believe that much of that mentality still exists in some places.

Years ago, a hug with a co-worker did not seem to be an uncommon thing, but these days many would say that it was wrong and was a sexual advance. No, it is simply a hug that allows someone to say that they are glad to see you, concerned for you, etc. Do I believe that women have been put into compromising situations for many years at workplaces? Yes. Do I believe that harassment exists in the workplace? Yes. I feel that it is a trending topic in the news today and an outlet for some to gain more attention.

Women's rights are a wonderful thing and I believe that women should not be put into a compromising situation at work (or anywhere), but I wonder just where we draw a line and say that the behavior was simply an act of how things were at the time. Not right or wrong, but simply the way business was ran. The way men behaved and what was acceptable behavior at the time.

I believe with the sexual harassment situations being what they are at this very time, we must take a look back at the way we have behaved in the workplace and see if it could have made anyone uncomfortable and if so, we need to be aware that we could suddenly be in the spotlight with these men.  We have to watch what we say and how we say it as our words could make someone feel that we are making sexual advances or innuendos towards them. Being told by a co-worker that you look nice could be what gets you accused. Where do we stand on these issues? Is that sexual harassment? Some would say yes, but I believe that if a co-worker mentions that you look nice they may simply be paying you a compliment.

Years ago, I worked in a restaurant and there was a cook that I did not like at all. He was also a meat cutter and his "freezer" room was near my work station. He would stare out the window that was between the two areas at me daily. I don't feel that it was harassment but I felt odd about his behavior so I immediately spoke to the manager and stacked cases of potatoes over the window as to block his "view". Today, I could probably file charges against him. These are the kinds of situations that I feel may simply be taken too far these days.

Another one of my biggest issues with what is occurring now is that women are coming forward with accusations from many years ago. I am fully aware that women were looked at differently several years ago, but I truly believe that women that were harassed to the point that many are saying they were should have gotten some attention on these guys years ago. If you know someone is asking you into a hotel room or office and exposing themselves to you and threatening you, then you obviously know it is happening to others. I am also concerned as to why anyone would feel that it was okay for a director or co worker to call you into their hotel room to do a booking call or to do any type of work. I am concerned as to why a woman would go into a situation like that. Women are saying that they had heard rumors that many of these men were doing things like exposing themselves, answering the door in towels, asking lewd favors in exchange for work. If that was the rumor, why would you go to the man's room alone? I am not blaming the victims, I am simply saying that I truly don't understand the why's!

It is time that we take a look at our values as a person and as a country and time that we consider how our actions will make others feel. I do feel that in many instances, we may say or do something that taken out of context could make someone feel uncomfortable and could put us in a situation where we are accused of something that truly we are not guilty of.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Going Up In Flames

Fire is such a frightening word to me! I remember fire drills in school and several in the past years at work places and how awful I always thought it would be to lose your home in a fire. They can spread so fast and you rarely have time to escape or get beloved items out before the home is fully engulfed in flames. Of course, all material things can be replaced so as long as my family was out I would have to be thankful to God.

Last night when my husband returned from hunting, he came into the house and yelled for me to grab my coat and get outside. I knew we were going to do some shopping, so I mentioned that I wanted to change shirts and he firmly said " No, grab your coat and come on". With no idea as to what the big hurry was, I grabbed my jacket and went out. As I hurried across our back yard, I immediately seen large flames above the trees. The neighbor's house on the other side of my in-laws was on fire. I picked up my pace a little more. I was in shock as I had just left my in-laws maybe 20 minutes before and seen nothing. Now, the home was partially engulfed in flames.


Being that it was a mobile home and we live in the country, I knew it was not going to be out before it done major damage or was fully engulfed. As I stood and watched the flames engulf the home and waited for the fire departments to get here and figure out where water was going to come from, I called my daughter so that if anyone told her that a home was on fire here, she would know we were safe. Then I stood and cried and prayed! Prayed for safety for those involved, prayed for something of their lives to be saved, prayed for my family and thanked God that it was not our home. Selfish- NO! Simply grateful!!

Knowing the family well, I was well aware that they probably did not have insurance and probably were losing everything on this cool night. Sad that I was standing by and seeing their home go up in flames and could not do anything about it. Sad that it takes a fire truck close to thirty minutes to get here and then there was so much confusion about water, etc, that it was close to an hour before water hit the fire. By that time, there was no point other than to get it out because the home was destroyed. An entire lifetime of hard work and struggles brought to a pile of ashes. It hurt me to the core! He is such a hard working man and does his best to provide for his family and yet, here he is losing everything. I was praying that they were all out of the home and thankfully, found out later that they were as well as their pets. What a miracle!

They are suspecting an electrical fire. I am sure we will learn more as daylight gets here and investigators spend the day looking at the evidence. I am just heartbroken! I will do all I can to help and I will pray for them daily. I ask that you do as well. The Miller family needs all they can get. I believe that the Red Cross was here to take them to a place to live and hopefully, can help them to rebuild their lives.

Please have an escape plan for your family in the unfortunate and tragic event that your home is on fire. Also, please consider the threat that fire is. Please consider giving your money or time to the Red Cross if you possibly can. Some family might just depend on it and you might as well someday.  This is not the way I would want anyone's holiday season to begin. God Bless each of you!


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Branson: A Music Town With Family Fun

Branson, Missouri is known for it's music roots and it is known for it's shows, but there is plenty of fun to be found without attending a show. There is plenty for a family to do and plenty of outdoor fun to keep the kids from being bored. I would highly recommend Branson as a family vacation spot.

In September, my husband and I took a 4 day trip to Branson along with our oldest daughter and her fiancé. I was worried about whether my husband would enjoy it since he does not care about dinner shows and things like that and I knew that was Branson. What I did not realize was how much we could find to do that did not involve the shows.

Since we were driving down, I suggested that we leave a day early and take our time traveling down and spend the night about half way. I Googled what the half way point was and it was a town along the Illinois/ Missouri border, so we were just a few minutes outside of St. Louis.  It was a nice break from the travels and we chose a less expensive hotel, but a nice one.
                                                                St. Louis Skyline

The following morning, I told my husband that before we started to our Missouri destination, I wanted to stop in St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch. I have seen photos and I have heard stories, but I had not ever been to it and wanted to go. He agreed, even though I don't believe that he truly cared. Our daughter and fiancé, had left home early that morning, so they met us at the hotel and went to the Arch with us.
It is absolutely breathtaking to see up close. We did not go up in it, but it was just as amazing as I expected it to be. We visited the gift shop and was able to get a couple of souvenirs. Even my husband enjoyed the visit.  The Gateway Arch  is part of the National Park System, so my daughter was able to have her passport stamped as well.  
The boats that travel the river near the Arch are just as amazing to watch. My husband watched many of them as we were in the gift shop. The entire area around the Arch is beautiful, but we were a little disappointed when we seen signs of homeless living within a few blocks from this beautiful monument. 
 
We made a couple more stops before we went to Branson, but I will write of them later. When we arrived at Branson, we were staying at Chauteau on the Lake and it was breathtaking as we arrived. 

The inside of the hotel is just as nice. There is a restaurant, bakery, theatre, pools ( inside and out), hot tub, and many more things to enjoy. 
                                                                     Waterfalls
                                                                      Birds
                                                                       Streams
                                                                        Theatre
                                                                       Lush greenery
                                                                       Trees
I could have spent most of the trip in the hotel, but I knew that there were things to see. One of our favorite parts of our trip was the American History Museum. It is located at the Big Cedar resort and is absolutely an amazing museum. For $12 per person, it was well worth the money and there is so much historical value in the museum. Being that my grandmother was full blooded Cherokee Indian, any Indian history is always a welcoming sight. 


The American History Museum is not just Indian history though. It is Ozark history, cowboys, even a section dedicated to the cowboys of the film industry- Roy Rogers, John Wayne, etc. 





Of course, you can't have a historical museum without including some prehistoric history either. These amazing exhibits are close to the entry of the museum and were interesting to see as well. 

Any family would enjoy this museum. I would say that it is not geared towards younger children, but anyone with school age children could easily spend a day here. The scenery around the museum is amazing as well. There is a restaurant next door, although we did not eat there. The aroma coming from it was mouth-watering. 

For families with younger children, I would recommend Ripley's Believe It Or Not in Branson.
There are so many bright colors and fun things for kids to see and some interactive displays too that they could touch and play. 




Among other things to see and do there are many gift shops, music shows that appeal to a wide variety of ages and interests, restaurants, go karts, a toy museum, mini golf, and many other attractions. We are looking forward to returning in March and I must say that I am truly excited about returning. I have plenty more to share, but I think that I will write another post in a day or two. Just remember Branson your next family vacation. 





Saturday, November 18, 2017

Hunting Season

Alas! Deer season is in full effect in Indiana today. Of course, there are many times of the year that different animal and weapon seasons are in effect. Today is the first day of gun season for deer for the year. The weather is not perfect for hunting as it is very windy and warm.

My husband woke up at 4:30 a.m. to be in the woods before sun rise and will probably spend a majority of the day there unless the storms that we are being predicted arrive. I don't mind as it gives me a chance to be up early and get some things done after he leaves and before my mom gets up. I have managed to vacuum and dust the living room, change the doilies on my tables to Christmas ones, clean the kitchen counter, find Christmas curtains, and straightened up some of the toys that the grand had drug out yesterday.

My husband is not a trophy hunter. He doesn't care about the antlers and the deer head to hang on the wall. He won't kill a baby or a young doe, but the adults are for the taking. He will process the deer himself and we will add the meat to the freezer. I know many that do not like hunting and many who think that it is wrong, but humans have hunted for the their food forever. The Indians were only fed by hunting.


My husband does a great job of keeping the meat from having a wild, gamy taste and I appreciate that. I can fix a roast from venison and a beef roast and no one would ever know the difference. I don't do it without telling guests but I could. If the meat is not gamy and it is seasoned right, there truly is not much difference other than the venison is much leaner.

I am not sure of how long this season lasts, but I am sure there will be many more early mornings for him and I. Once that alarm goes off, I am up and since there is always something to be done around here, I will gladly take advantage of the time.

I am headed out with friends later and will work on my Pink Zebra business later as well. Have a great Saturday!!!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fall

This is about how my yard looked yesterday as the colder air and the winds that blew through made the trees lose most of the brilliant, vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows that had dressed them for a bit of time. Fall is such an amazing time of the year with all of the colors, but when those leaves fall you are sure left with a mess.  

Over the weekend, my husband and I spoke of getting some of them cleaned up but the time never came to do that. Yesterday after work, I decided that while I had the grand doll and the weather was not too cold or rainy, that I would attempt to clean up some of the mess that is on the front yard anyway. I began raking while grand doll began jumping in the piles that I had made. I finally made her a pile and myself a pile to burn. She played in her pile for a bit before wanting to move on to helping me rake, which was not working. Living in the country is so nice at this time of the year because I know many people that don't have the option to burn the leaves. It also is nice because she was able to move between my yard and her yard without any concern. 

She has a sand box in her front yard that she loves to play in and so she truly wanted to be in it and I didn't want to take that away from her so I let her wander and play while I worked. I was able to see her most of the time, but when she was in the sand box, I could not without walking a few feet and peeking around a fence. I love that she lives so close and that I am able to let her freely wander the yards and play with the variety of toys that she has. The sand box is slowing becoming empty as she likes to move it to her dump truck, tractor bucket, etc. and then dump it in the yard. 

Another item on my list of to do's was to begin looking at and deciding which of the larger Christmas decorations we would pull out of the garage and place in the yard. I began that as well. She found a toy soldier that lights up that she wanted for " baby room" so of course, that is where he is. We also pulled out a wooden sled that has a snowman on the front of it and says "Let It Snow" on it and we placed it near the front steps.  I hope that she grows to love snowmen as much as I do so that I can give her some of mine as she grows older. 

If the weather is still decent at your place, get out and enjoy fall while it is still upon us. I know I will again today if the rain that is predicted will hold off. 

This was a year ago, but how special to spend a fall day with such a blessing from God. 


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Christmas Season is Upon Us

Christmas is a comin", at least, that is what my Granny used to say. Raised in very rural south western Virginia, she was truly a country granny. She used snuff, which I have many memories of as well as canning in the summer, wonderfully cozy and warm home in the winter from the woodstove, and how humble her surroundings were, but how much love we felt there. How I miss those days!!

Anyway, now that we are in the middle of November, it is time to begin to think of the holiday season. I do have some shopping done, but not as much as I would like. I have no idea as to what to get my husband, but I will discover something. I truly don't need much but for some reason, I can always see things I want. I guess I should start a list so I will get a few of my favorite things. Chocolate and wine would be good. LOL!!!

Christmas season at our farm begins when I decide to pull out my multitude of snowmen and begin setting them around the house. I also pulled out the farm Christmas curtains last night and may hang them today if I find the time. They have horse drawn sleighs on them and are a favorite now for years. I'd like to replace them at times, but I do love them. I am on the search for a Christmas apron! I love aprons!!

My quilting bug is really biting hard, but I truly think that may go on the back burner until Christmas is over. That would be a good project for the long cold month of January. I am hoping to begin selling quilting squares on Etsy and Amazon or eBay. I am not sure that it will be a great business, but I think that I would make a few extra dollars. Many FB sites have taken some of the business from those sites I believe. Christmas seems to be all about online shopping these days as people don't want to go out and fight the crowd or simply feel they don't have the time, but I still prefer to shop in the stores in order to see the many Christmas displays that are set up, usually right after Halloween, but I don't mind.

Christmas is truly not about the gifts. It is about the birth of a baby in Bethlehem that grew to be the Savior of all men! (Men being men, women and children). With the sad state that America and other countries are in these days, we need our faith. Whatever your faith may be, it is the time of the year to focus on that. Faith in Christ is what gets me through most days! God gave us His only Son to die for our sins and give us the opportunity to get into Heaven one day as none of us are worthy of such a place. John 3:16 says For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.  What a blessing in the world today!

Remember that peace on earth is a message in many Christmas songs and that is truly what we need these days. Peace can begin in our own homes, towns, etc. Pray for peace today if you are a praying person.  Enjoy this small bright spot in the day today.


Monday, November 6, 2017

Heart Broken

My heart is broken! Every person in the United States should be heartbroken as we learn of yet another senseless shooting that has claimed the lives of young and old, men and women, and the mass chaos that has now came into Sutherland Springs, Texas.

On Sunday, a gunman dressed in black and tactical gear, opened fire outside a small Baptist church in Sutherland Springs. He proceeded into the First Baptist Church where he began firing at parishioners and when he left, he left behind a trail of carnage that will be felt within the town for a long time. 26 people killed and 20 injured are the latest statistics that I am hearing. Ages of the dead range from 5-72, which truly breaks my heart. As a grandmother, I can't imagine anyone shooting a 5 year old child inside a church. My mind won't allow me to process that and when I begin to think of it, my heart just breaks.

Reports are saying that one family was deeply affected by this shooting as a pregnant mother, her in-laws, and three of her children were killed. The pastor and his wife were not at the church at the time of the shooting, but their 14 year old daughter was and she was one of the victims of this deadly attack.

The gunman has been identified as 26 year old Devin Kelley , a former member of the United States Air Force that had been discharged following a court marshal by the military in 2010 for assaulting his wife and child. This man was obviously very disturbed and possibly suffered from mental illness, but this type of an attack was senseless. Mr. Kelley died following the shooting and a short pursuit by a local Texas resident carrying a rifle that seen Kelley leaving the church. It is not clear whether Kelley died of a self -inflicted gunshot wound or if he was shot by the resident. However, I truly believe that the gentleman that followed after him with the rifle is truly a hero and possibly kept Kelley from killing many more as he had a variety of weapons in his car.

We, as Americans are becoming used to hearing of these types of shootings and hopefully, we are not becoming less shocked by them. Columbine, Sandy Hook, New York, Boston marathon, Las Vegas just to name a few of these types of attacks, although not all were shootings. We must stay vigilant and we must be pushing for better mental health care. We must say something when we see something or hear something that might seem as though someone is having trouble. We must push for stricter punishments with behavior that could lead to this type of an attack.

I pray that today you will remember these victims, whether you knew any of them or not and pray for the family of the shooter because he was someone's dad and son, although it is hard to pray for him. Pray for the many lives that are forever changed due to one senseless act. Pray for the survivors' of the attack because we can't imagine the pain they are feeling and the sights that they witnessed. Pray for the children that were in this building as the innocence that they have is now gone. Pray for the town as it was a small rural area where everyone probably knew the victims or part of them. Pray for peace and pray for these types of attacks to be stopped. Innocent lives are being taken and we need to find a way to stop it.

#prayforTexas

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Blounts Disease Surgery

Good Morning!  As I sit here to write this morning, I realize that I have been speaking of follow up posts about things and I never get those written. This one is going to be the first of many that I will try to get my faithful readers caught up on subjects that I have spoke of and never mentioned again.

Blount's Disease, for those that do not know what it is, is a disease in which the tibia bone does not grow correctly and the outside of the leg grows faster than the inside and it causes extreme bow leggedness. It can be a debilitating disease if it goes untreated. In most cases, surgery is required.

A month ago today, my granddoll went for the surgery that the pediatric orthopedic surgeon felt was best for her case. We were told that the surgery was performed often and that there was really not much danger of things going wrong and that results are usually successful. I have a friend of a friend that works in this particular field and she even reassured me that the surgeon we had was the best in her field and that these surgeries were done daily, but it did not put my mind to ease. I prayed and prayed until I felt that God would be ignoring them because I said so many.

For the surgery, small incisions are made on the outside of the leg and a metal plate is placed upon the outer growth plate to stop it and allow the inside to catch up. Results are usually very good with results being seen within 6-9 months.  In my head, I knew that the risks were low and that she was in good hands but my heart just did not feel the peace that I needed it to.

Surgery day arrived and the staff and surgeon made the pre-op room fun for her. She played with the mask that she would wear to be put to sleep. She walked out of the room with the patient/family care member and was given a stuffed pig to play with while waiting for surgery to begin. She would walk out of the pre- op and no medicine or IV's were given until she was asleep. She waved goodbye to us after giving hugs and kisses and we were to go to surgery waiting.

As we were walking out of that room, total dread and fear enveloped me and I could not stop the tears. As we walked into the hall, I felt hot and things began to go black. I leaned into the wall and stood while breathing extremely deep breaths. My husband asked what was wrong and I just said my baby. I imagined her walking into a scary surgical room with lots of machines and lights with strangers she did not know and then being forced to put this mask on while fighting all the while and wondering why we left her with these strangers that were hurting her.

A very long walk to the waiting room and we were suddenly faced with 2 hours of waiting and fear (on my behalf).The waiting area was not pleasant and led to more prayers. It also taught me just how uncaring some people are. My granddoll is in for what is considered a mild surgery and I am about to pass out while a lady across the aisle from me is leaving to go to Wal-Mart while her young (probably under 3) son is in surgery to find out why his liver or kidneys were not working. That seems like a much more dangerous surgery that our grand dolls and she was leaving the hospital. My patience was no good and I wanted to scream " Do you not care at all- can't Wal-Mart wait", but I kept my composure.

Grand dolls mom and her fiancé went to get a drink from the hospital cafeteria and my husband and other daughters ' boyfriend went outside to get fresh air, but I could not leave the waiting room as it felt that I would be totally abandoning her. I was thankful that my oldest daughter stayed with me. Many tears flowed while I waited. After an hour, we were told to come into the consultation room. Again my heart sunk, as surgery was to be two hours.

When the surgeon entered that room, I was on the verge of another breakdown when I suddenly heard, " surgery went well". Now a waiting game to see if it was successful. She went over instructions and my husband asked what seemed a million questions as always. I just wanted to hold her, when could I see her? They would only allow my daughter and her fiancé to go back into the recovery waiting area at first. I felt weak as I needed to see her. Finally, ( only 5 mins or so), we were able to go back. My heart was not ready for the sight as she was still not out of the anesthesia and was whiny and did not want to be near anyone but mommy. She was bandaged up and wrapped in blankets to keep her warm. I needed to leave before she seen me cry!

Within 40 minutes we were headed home and she is now running and playing the same as always. People that come over and do not see her daily seem to think that it is working and that she has already straightened some. The surgeon follow up was last week and she made another appointment for January when we will do x-rays and see if they show a difference.

I will keep everyone posted. Thank you for prayers.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Act Of Terror Strikes NYC Again

Tuesday October 31, 2017 was supposed to be a day of fun and Halloween celebrations across the United States but for those on a bike path in New York City it was anything but fun as another terrorist took the lives of 8 and injured at least 11. Another act of terrorism on the city that never sleeps.

Sayfullo Saipov, 29, a man that came to the United States in from Uzbekistan in 2010,  was shot and apprehended by an officer after smashing into a school bus and getting out of his vehicle with weapons. Mr. Saipov was shouting messages in Arabic and waving guns. Mr. Saipov was here in the United States legally, but it has came out in news reports that he had been under the federal radar as a possible threat to the US.

Mr. Saipov intentionally drove a truck that he had rented near his home in New Jersey down a crowded bike path in Manhattan just a few miles from the World Trade Center. The bike path was located along the Hudson River and is frequented by many joggers, walkers, and bicyclists drawn there from the offices nearby and the view of the river.

Of course, investigators are trying to figure out if he is connected to ISIS. Whether or not he is, it is another sad and sick reminder that we must be on alert at all times. These deranged individuals are slowly taking our celebrations and daily lives and changing them. When it will it stop? When will they realize that all lives are important and whether we share the same religious views or not, does not truly matter.

Terrorist attacks are simply a cowards way of making the news and proves that their illogical thinking truly has no voice or they would be saying more about their lives and religion that these simple suicide missions that they are on. Whether they take their own lives or are killed after the attack, all of these attacks are suicide missions. What will it take to stop them? Solidarity as a nation and stricter laws on behaviors while they are in this country. Once on the federal radar, there needs to be a plan for them to be watched more accurately or they need to be placed under some type of program that allows them to be deported immediately.  Maybe, as a nation, we need to take a new look into the men and women from these ISIS controlled states and countries that have been here legally for years to see what is going on in their lives.

For more information about this attack, you can read this article.  If you are a praying person, pray today for peace across this world.  If you aren't, please send good thoughts for peace.

Farm Week in Review

Well, another week has come and gone on the hobby farm I call home and it has been quite an uneventful one, but lots of fun and now it's...