Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Teaching Children To Be Kind

It's week two of Warm Heart Wednesday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent.

Did you hear about the seven year old Texas boy in Pflugerville, Texas?  He definitely warmed my heart at a time when the world seemed so full of hate. 

A mosque in his small Texas town was found vandalized when community members arrived for morning prayer.  Feces were smeared on the sidewalk and torn pages of the Quran were thrown on the ground.  As the little boy's mother said, "It's disgusting, it's gross.  It doesn't matter what you believe, what I believe, or anybody believes, all faith is important." 

She explained to her son what had happened in terms he could understand.  She told him how someone had spread poop on a Muslim "church" and it was an awful thing to do.  She explained that every body's churches are important.  Little Jack understood and wanted to help.  He had been saving for an iPad and had almost $20 in his piggy bank, but decided he would donate his money to help.   He took it to the mosque and gave it to one of the mosque board members.  

You can watch the news story here.
Sometimes it isn't easy raising children in today's world.  Personally, I think Jack's mom is doing a great job.  She's teaching her son to pass on love and not hate.

A Muslim human rights lawyer who was moved by this story sent Jack an iPad on behalf of the Muslim community.  That kind gesture also warmed my heart.

Please visit Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.  You can join in too!

Thank you for visiting...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Genuine Fall Foliage Warmed My Heart

Welcome to Warm Heart Wednesday sponsored by Jenny Matlock at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."

Jenny is back with something new!  Each week we are going to share something that gave us a warm  heart.  I'm excited!  This will be good for me.  I can focus on the positive and forget about the negative for a while.  I can remember to be thankful.  Every so often I need a kick in the _ _ _!  This came along at just the right time.

A few weeks ago I was asking my sister-in-law about the fall foliage in New Jersey.  "Are the leaves pretty colors?"  "Are they falling?"  I was explaining  how our leaves don't turn pretty colors along the Texas Gulf Coast and how much I miss a real fall.  With the A/C running 24/7 it's sometimes hard to believe that it's fall.  (We had a fire in the fireplace last week, but we turned the A/C down.  Is that cheating?)

Today I went and picked up my mail at the mailbox.  What a surprise!  My sister-in-law sent me fall foliage from New England!
It came from a company called and is genuine fall foliage from New England.  The leaflet explained how the leaves are preserved using some special process.  (I guess they don't iron leaves between wax paper anymore like I did as a kid growing up in New Jersey.)

What a neat surprise.  It certainly warmed my heart!

Now head over to Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.  Join in!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"Z" as in the end of the Alphabet and Alphabe-Thursday

Welcome once again to Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."

Today we are studying the letter "Z."

"Z" is the last letter of the Alphabet.  Today is the last day of Alphabe-Thursday and I am sad.  I believe I was here for the very first Alphabe-Thursday.  Over the years I haven't been real good about blogging, but I always knew I could come back to Alphabe-Thursday and jump right in.

I consider Ms. Jenny a special friend.  She's one of the most thoughtful people I have ever known.  When my son had his first stem cell transplant she asked everyone on her blog to send him a card.  He was in the hospital for weeks.  Every day the nurse would bring in a handful of envelopes.  It helped lift his spirits and mine!

Over the years she has never forgotten us. She has sent many, many cards.

She has been through her own trials and tribulations for a long time now.  Somehow she kept Alphabe-Thursday going for us.  I'm hoping and praying Ms. Jenny's health will improve and this will just be a temporary break.

Please head over to Ms. Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.

Bye for now...

UPDATE:  Ms. Jenny is going to be back next Wednesday with something new.  She's not going to be going away after all.  I am so glad.  Thanks Mr. Jenny for being such a good support system for Ms. Jenny!!  You are both in my prayers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veterans Day 2015 - Thank you for your service.

I remember sitting in front of the TV and watching.  Operation Homecoming had begun and our POW's were finally returning from Vietnam.

 Navy Captain Jeremiah Denton stepped to the microphone at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines and spoke for all the POW's on that first plane.  He said, "We are honored to have served our country under difficult circumstances."

Yes, difficult indeed.   In 1966 it was Captain Denton who first let us know that our POW's were being tortured.  While being filmed for propaganda purposes he managed to spell out the word torture in Morse Code by blinking his eyes.
Between February 12 and April 4, 1973 almost 600 POW's returned.  Like many Americans I sat and waited until I saw "my" POW return.  I had worn a POW bracelet for Captain Hubert Walker, Jr.
I don't particularly care for politics.  I jokingly refer to politics as a necessary evil in a democracy.  Recently I listened in dismay while one of the candidates vying for the Republican nomination for President spoke of former POW and current United States Senator John McCain.  He stated, "He is not a war hero."  When this candidate received some boos he backtracked slightly and made one of the stupidest comments I've ever heard.  "He's a war hero because he was captured.  I like people who weren't captured."

Senator McCain spent over five years as a POW in Vietnam after ejecting from his aircraft when it was hit by enemy fire.  In the process he broke a leg and both arms and was knocked unconscious.  He landed in a lake and came to and was able to activate his life preserver with his teeth.  He was dragged to shore by some Vietnamese.  One of them shattered his right shoulder with a rifle butt.  He was bayoneted in the abdomen and foot.  He was later put in solitary confinement and tortured.  You can read about it here.
I guess it's difficult to appreciate their service if you were fortunate enough to never have to worry about being drafted.  Anyone that had parents who could afford the cost of college could stay in school indefinitely with student deferments as long as they were full time students.  Part time students were not deferred, so if someone had to work a full time job in order to afford college they were out of luck.  There was a good chance they'd be drafted.
While this candidate for President/Commander In Chief led a carefree life as a college student our POW's were being tortured.  The troops on the ground were men that had been drafted and were mostly from poor or working class families.  Very few came from upper class families.  You can read about the unfairness of the draft here

The Vietnam war was an unpopular war that we were never going to win.  The draft was terribly unfair.  Way too many lives were lost.  Many are still missing.

Sadly, men coming back from Vietnam were usually not greeted as heroes. Back then no one said, "Thank you for your service."

I apologize.  I was one of those people.  It never even occurred to me at that time to thank anyone.

I was brought to tears when I heard Senator McCain disrespected by this particular candidate.  It meant that Captain Hubert Walker, Jr. was also being disrespected.  It meant all of the Vietnam POW's were being disrespected.  I am so sorry.  None of you heroes deserved that kind of disrespect.

I know this is long overdue.

To everyone that served during the Vietnam War...


Thursday, November 05, 2015

"Y" as in YEA!!! for Alphabe-Thursday

"Y" as in YEA for this week's Alphabe-Thursday!

Why YEA?

Because I'm jumping up and down and saying, "YEA!"
Some of you already know that my son had a stem cell transplant almost three years ago.

He's been cancer free ever since, but this past summer his PET scan lit up.  That can be an indication that the cancer has returned.  He ended up having a needle biopsy that was negative, but they said the needle doesn't get much and could have missed it.  So, he had a surgical biopsy and that also came back negative.  Still, it could have meant they didn't get enough.  Then he had a spinal tap that was also negative.  So, we were down to waiting until the next PET scan to see if the spot got larger.  It didn't.  If it was the Lymphoma returning it would have gotten larger.  There's just a small spot now.

Other things can cause the scan to light up, but once there's been cancer it's a big worry.  Needless to say, we're very relieved.  He had been told that reaching three years cancer free would be very good.   I guess kind of a landmark.   On December 21st it will be three years.

After a stress filled summer we're saying YEA!

Now head over to Jenny's blog...Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent" for a list of this week's participants.

Thanks for visiting...