Fostering, Rescuing Schnauzers

What Is An Animal Communicator


Six weeks ago a new foster baby was brought into our home…a frightened, sandy blonde and cream-colored mini-Schnauzer, Maltese mix named Cletus. Riding home in the car with my friend, Lyn, another foster parent, I held little Cleet…Cleet in my lap. Each time I touched him, he cringed. He would not look at me. His eyes shared such a dreadful fear that I wanted to hold him closer, and when I tried, his horrified little body trembled. It was easy to see, Little Cleet…Cleet had been mistreated, abused and never cared for like animals deserve.

Arriving home that Saturday afternoon, he sniffed at our animals, Shakespeare, Sandy Bear, Shadow and Shasta. He rushed outside, watching us to see if we were coming after him. When I moved my arms out to pick him so he could come inside, he darted away. My husband watched him. “This little guy has been beaten,” he said. Cletus had such sadness in his eyes. Looking at him I wanted to scream at the person who had been so abusive to him, but I could not. Cletus had been removed from a puppy mill, emaciated, sick, covered with fleas and an eye infection. The infection was so bad the veterinarian caring for him was afraid he would lose his sight. Thanks to the loving care of the veterinarian’s office his eye sight was saved, but nothing could treat or remove the sadness those beautiful brown eyes expressed. Every day was a challenge with Cletus. I was told by the vets office that he might not eat around people, but in the dark of night, he would eat every bite, wanting more.

Week one of caring for Cletus was a challenge. That Saturday morning, I let the dogs outside early knowing my husband and I were scheduled to pick up another foster that afternoon. I poured a cup of coffee and went outside to get the dogs. All of our family of schnauzers and a Maltese rushed inside. I looked for Cletus. He was nowhere to be found. It was 7:30 in the morning. I had to get dressed and leave to drive to Charlotte. My heart ached for Cletus. I looked in every corner of the back yard. The shed door was open, so I rushed inside. No sign of him. I noticed a hole, freshly dug. My heart stopped. Cletus had escaped. I rushed outside, “Here Cletus…come here baby…” but I knew he would not respond. Cletus had made the decision to make his own life, away from humans. After all, in his little world, humans were mean…abusive, and they hurt him. He was taking a stand to his independence. He wanted freedom!

That afternoon we had another foster to add to our little family. We had fostered him before, so when he walked inside the house, he rushed to the water bowl and the toy box. Noting how familiar he was with us, I phoned Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas, to report that our new foster, Hank, was home…and I had some bad news to report. Tears filled my eyes as I told the director that little Cletus ran away. We called Mt. Pleasant Animal Control, but they were closed. A report was filed, but nothing could be done until Monday. 24 Pet Watch was called since Cletus was micro-chipped. The animal shelter was called. I made flyers, posting them within a five-mile radius of Mt. Pleasant. I felt so guilty. I have never lost an animal before.  The independence of Cletus was teaching me a lot about what to do when an animal is lost.

For years, I have been an advocate for animals, especially abused, neglected, mistreated animals. In 2001, I was introduced to a giant schnauzer at a rescue center. He was scheduled to be euthanized because every time someone was interested in adopting him, they stopped the process because he growled. Meeting this giant beauty in June 2001, I moved closer to him. He growled at me. I moved closer, huddling on the floor to get to his level. Surprisingly, he moved closer and stuck out his paw, as if to say “Pet me.” My heart melted. Thus began my interest in rescuing schnauzers.

For 11 years, Prince Marmaduke Shamus touched my life. The day I adopted him I took off his leash in the foyer. Although he was not familiar with the surroundings of his new home, he marched into the hall, rushed towards the master bedroom, plopping his body down in the shower stall. When I found him, he wagged his tail, as if he was saying, “I’m home. This is my new bedroom.” We lost Shamey-Pooh on May 2, 2012, after a terminal diagnosis and illness. Words cannot express how empty I have felt since his passing.

My giant Shamey-Pooh taught me so much about rescuing animals and how to treat them. Now I am a volunteer foster for Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas. My life is blessed with richness when I see these scared little animals grow with love and trust with us. When they leave, I share a tear, knowing we have done our job well and a new home will be blessed with their new baby.

On Sunday, I received phone calls from neighbors saying they saw the little lost dog. He was on King Street. Next report was McCants Drive by Mt. Pleasant First Baptist Church. I searched. I walked. Deciding it might be easier to find him if I walked with my dogs while searching, I added Shadow and Shakespeare to the search, finding nothing. At night, I placed food and water on the front porch, hoping Cletus would find the scent of food and Shakespeare and Shadow and come back.

A few days later, Schnauzer Rescue suggested an animal communicator. I was totally unfamiliar with an animal communicator, but I wanted to find Cletus.  An animal communicator was located and would assist SRC pro bono. Phoning Karen, the animal communicator, she spoke with kindness and compassion, telling me not to blame myself. Funny, she was picking up on my vibes, just speaking with me. She encouraged me to send a bit of history about Cletus in an e-mail. She would review it and phone me at 5pm today.  I shared the history and photograph: Cletus is  14 lbs, a Schnauzer/Maltese Mix, and is missing. He is VERY timid, has been abused, and will run if frightened. He has never bitten but will growl if frightened. Speaking to him in a comforting voice and approaching from his level is the best approach with him.

I did a bit of research. According to the website, http://rainhummingbird.com/blog/animal-medicine-part-4-how-you-can-communicate-with-animals/

1. “Be Present, Calm and Emotionally Peaceful

The first step to communicating with any animal is to quiet your mind, relax and be fully present in the moment. Many people find it helpful to get themselves grounded by closing their eyes and gently focusing on their breath. Take a few deep breaths, relax, breathe normally and when you feel calm and present, begin.

2. Be Open and Receptive

Having an open heart and mind, free of judgments or attachments, is essential to receiving messages clearly and accurately from animals. It is important to recognize that all animals are sentient beings with intelligence, emotions and awareness, and when we are open to receiving their wisdom, there is much we can learn from them. Animal communication is not something to ‘try’ to do. It is something we allow to happen. Being open and receptive to whatever comes, in whatever way the information comes to you, will foster greater opening of your intuitive abilities and your ability to receive and transmit messages will expand and grow with practice.”

On the phone Karen shared how animal communicators use universal language, sometimes clairvoyant. The information comes in the form of pictures, stories, feelings, emotions, information. The communicator may get quiet for a few minutes to get the information soul to soul, an element of translation, If something is confusing or untrue, give her feedback. When quiet, be patient.

For hours I anticipated the phone call. Is Cletus still alive? What if this doesn’t work…what if he refuses to communicate with her?

The phone rang at exactly 5pm. She explained in detail what she would do. Then, she became quiet. I listened.

“Cletus took a talkative route from the front yard, took a turn to the right, walking along sidewalks. He said he was a bit curious; wanting to know what was out there. Cletus stated he isn’t doing so good. He’s confused. Lost. Curious as to what was out there, he walked on sidewalks. After two blocks, he ran from a boy. (I believe this was the boy who phoned me on Sunday at 4pm, telling me he saw Cletus at 3pm.) Now, Cletus says he is so lost. He is sleeping and hiding in shrubs, against a building.

Cletus showed her a big yard, or maybe a park with a bunch of grass. There are lots of trees, grass, kids. He hears machinery, maybe a lawnmower around. Maybe a groundskeeper doing yard work.” This could be Mt. Pleasant First Baptist Church!

Karen continued: “He hears voices. He says he’d like to go back. He said his curious nose got him in trouble because he smelled things and was so curious and ran away. He was a bit surprised that people are looking for him.” I encouraged her to share with him that we’ve posted flyers with his picture all over the area. He said he will look for them and he appeared a bit surprised/touched that we are looking for him. He liked the house, the people, and the other dogs, but he was so afraid. He said, “the people cared about me. The other dogs were teaching me, and I was watching all their actions.” He also said he really liked Sandy Bear.

Karen became quiet again. A few moments later, she said: “The big yard is mowed and immaculate. Kids were around earlier but they aren’t now. There is a little building around and a stream or a creek. He hears noises. Kids laughing, but he’s hiding in the bushes. He stated he has eaten. He found a sack with food in it. He ate a little. He found water from something dripping.” I asked her to tell him his foster mom is placing food out by the front porch of the house and other places so if he is hungry, come back.

We were encouraged to be flexible, when looking for him. If he runs, we might consider using a trap. The problem is I don’t know where to place the trap. I’ve placed a bag of food in the shrubs by the church. This morning, I did not see Cletus and no one I approached has seen him.

Karen stated that animals are visual. They see things as a movie camera in their heads. She encouraged me to get a leash (I have one in my bag when walking, searching for him). Let the dogs take me by leading the way. Each time I walk I use the command, “Let’s go find Cletus.” This morning, my dogs were searching in the shrubs with me. Obviously, my dogs understand what I expressed. Karen encouraged me to be open with my dreams. I mentioned that I have visions and fully believe in what she does. It was an amazing experience speaking with an animal communicator. If you lose an animal you might consider contacting one.

A week passed. Something was eating the food at night-time. Perhaps Cletus was coming back, just to eat.  Another week passed. I stopped receiving phone calls from neighbors, although they were still looking. One neighbor asked for some of my flyers. She delivered them to grocery stores, hardware stores and community bulletin boards.

Every morning the food bowl was empty, but no sight of Cletus. I was losing faith. During this time I was sick with bronchial asthma. I was so weak, I could not walk the dogs or search in the community. Much to my surprise, we received a phone message while away. I didn’t have my cell phone with me, so I didn’t get the message on my phone until returning home. Phil’s cell rang, Mt. Pleasant Animal Control had found Cletus — three blocks away from our home. He found shelter in a woman’s yard. She left the gate open and Cletus rushed into the back yard. For three days he refused to leave her yard. She fed him and called Mt. Pleasant Animal Control. When animal control came to the house, we weren’t home, but our neighbor saw them, rushing outside. Cletus was inside a trap, emaciated and hungry. She agreed to keep him until we got home.

The joy and relief I discovered when we got home was priceless. Cletus looked up at us, allowing us to pick him up. Cletus was home. Emaciated, dirty, but home! All to the credit of an animal communicator named Karen, Mt. Pleasant Animal Control, my wonderful neighbor, and the precious little lady who allowed him to stay for three days in her back yard.

With each day, we see a bit of improvement with Cletus. He doesn’t come to us willingly — yet, but we are hopeful that with our love and kindness, Cletus will grow into a trusting little guy deserving of love from humans, not abuse. He doesn’t want to go outside now, in the dark of night. Perhaps he is discovering that home is a special place, filled with love and kindness. Welcome home, little Cleet…Cleet!

Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving to the United States of America, 2012


Gobble. Gobble. We awoke to a beautiful morning. Warming the oven, we pop the turkey in, ready and excited to make our delicious Thanksgiving meal. Thanksgiving has been a tradition in America since the pilgrims. Just imagine cooking that delicious meal the way the pilgrims cooked. No microwave. No conventional ovens. No electric ovens. Everything was cooked using all that they had to use back in those days. The days before electricity. The days without convenience, or technology. Just imagine, not being able to communicate with precious long distance loved ones far away. No e-mail. No texting. No Facebook.

I, for one, am happy I didn’t live back in those days. The days before women had rights. Nonetheless, today is a Thanksgiving Day that is always precious to me and my family. On this date many years ago, my husband shipped out from Ft. Dix to Vietnam. Seems the military could care less about holidays!  Phil and I were newlyweds at that time and I was staying with his family while he was away. At least that is what he wanted me to do, but when his father (and I use the term loosely) chose to stay drunk 24 hours a day, telling me that ‘I had only married my husband because I wanted his money.’ I was only 18-years-old at the time. He was a PFC in the Army. His family lived in a trailer. Enough Said! Let’s just say, our marriage started off without much planning. I didn’t meet his family UNTIL AFTER OUR MARRIAGE. How I was hoping and praying Phil would not behave like they did. After my father-in-law’s drunkenness continued, I chose to move back to my mother’s home. Not a good decision, but it was the only decision I had.

OK, let’s flash forward to our Thanksgiving time together. For two years of our marriage, the Army kept us separate. So now, I do my best to make certain Thanksgiving is special. I use my best china, and I cook lots of food. We have enough leftovers to feed us for at least three days.

Our dinner feast included:

Roast turkey with homemade cornbread dressing with Italian sausage and giblets

Macaroni and cheese

Mashed potatoes

Gravy

Dessert – Cream cheese pound cake and cheesecake

What was your Thanksgiving feast?

This year I was sick for four weeks with bronchial asthma. So sick and weak I failed to invite anyone over for Thanksgiving.  Next year, I’m hopeful I will not get sick so I can work on that. I simply love cooking for others. The year 2012 has kept me busy so I haven’t exactly shared my cooking skills with others. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day!

My wish for everyone on this Thanksgiving Day is to appreciate others. Take a moment to share your love with your friends, family and significant others while enjoying this special day of thanksgiving.

I hope all of your holidays are filled with happiness. Remember to take time to say a prayer for our United States of America Armed Forces. Let us hope that all of them know how much we miss them and appreciate all that they are doing to keep America safe.

May your holidays be wonderful, and please, remember to keep Christ in Christmas.

To Your Health

Mammogram 101


I suppose this is an article for women only; after all, I don’t think men would appreciate the subject matter. Here goes. Have you ever had a mammogram?

During the month of October, I scheduled my yearly mammogram. Since I do monthly breast exams, I wasn’t afraid. Nothing was different so I was confident that I would receive a letter telling me to return in a year. When the letter arrived, I was concerned. I needed an additional mammogram and/or ultrasound. I scheduled it immediately. Before the appointment, I got a call from the hospital informing me that I needed to bring $265.99 to pay for the additional test.

“What…I have Blue Cross Blue Shield. They pay for my mammogram.” Surprise — only 80% this time!

I almost cancelled the appointment. After contemplating the additional test, I phoned the Breast Cancer Center again, asking why I needed this appointment. “We can’t discuss that,” the voice on the other line said.

I was furious.

The more I thought of it, the more I realized I needed my Julia Sugarbaker diplomatic style to kick in. “Hello,” I said. “I have an appointment for an additional mammogram and was told no one could discuss it with me. Don’t I have the right to KNOW Why?”

“Of Course, you do,” the kind voice responded.

She transferred me to the radiology doctor where I discovered why. It seems that my yearly mammogram noticed a change…something in the glandular structure. I heard the word “asymmeticral,” or something similar.

“Have you lost or gained weight in the past year?”

“Yes…about 35 pounds. I’m doing Weight Watchers.”

“That could be the reason. It’s nothing to get alarmed about.”

Alarmed? Could we be talking a lump, or breast cancer?

The appointment was scheduled for the next Monday. I had exactly seven days to stress, worry while my imagination went crazy with fear.

I’ve always been told I have a nice chest.  For me, this compliment convinced me years ago that a woman’s chest is one of her most feminine assets. Perhaps some people can’t imagine stating that, but when it is one of the major compliments received, especially from my husband all types of fear entered my mind.

My maternal grandmother developed breast cancer — back in the days when cobalt was the treatment used after a brutal surgery. I had to change her dressings for her when she came home. Her chest was brutalized — like a raw piece of red beef. I was a teenager at the time and I’ve never forgotten how dreadful my grandmother looked. Never did I squint or show her my fears while I cleansed and dressed her wounds. Never did I forget how she looked. My grandmother was a grand lady, an inspirational, loving role model for me, showing me what a lady should always be, how a lady should act and dress. She influenced my life significantly!

What if that happened to me? How would my husband love me anymore IF I lost a breast?

I suppose every breast cancer survivor has felt that fear. I’ve known many women who have battled and won, but I’ve never discussed their fears, or dressed their wounds. I have been told that the incision is much better now, and there is plastic surgery that can be completed.  Before I went for the additional mammogram I researched breast cancer, reconstructive surgery and on and on. I do not recommend others to research. You must ask breast cancer survivors — those who have endured breast cancer. As a writer, I have the tools nearby to find the research. Sometimes a little knowledge can make one frightened out of their minds. Still, I could not pick up the phone to ask a friend. So many women do not want to talk about the experience, and I can certainly understand.

I told myself not to worry. Easier said than done, I assure you. Then, I took my maternal grandmother’s wise advice — I went to my window lifted my eyes up towards the Heavens and I prayed, having a lengthy talk with God. My grandmother’s advice of finding a special window to have God lift a burden has always worked for me. This time, I felt the burden lift. Thank you, Gramma!

An additional mammogram. I’ve had several but I knew this one would be different. Just imagine a portion of your body placed into a paddle where the radiologist pushes, pulls, probes, squeezes, tightens….oops, not the right position so it is time to push, pull, probe, squeeze and tighten again — while attempting to get the muscles, tissues and dense breast materials to tighten, flatten — perhaps like a pancake.

My breast could never become a pancake!

If you are a man, just imagine a tender part of your body pulled into the paddle while having the radiologist tighten…and tighten…and tighten…until there is a pancake size and when the position is intact, she says, “Now don’t move.” Meanwhile your special area feels so tight, uncomfortable, and a bit painful while you attempt to escape into a part of your memory reserved for relaxation.

What? You’ve never heard of a mammogram? A mammogram is an x-ray. Allow me to discuss it further:

According to the American Cancer Society, “Getting a mammogram is one of the best things a woman can do to protect her health. This simple test can find breast cancers early, when they’re small and have not spread. This is when breast cancer is easier to treat and the chances of survival are higher. http://www.cancer.org/healthy/findcancerearly/cancerscreeningguidelines/american-cancer-society-guidelines-for-the-early-detection-of-cancer

If you’re 40 or older, you should get a mammogram every year. Don’t wait. Call your doctor to schedule one today.”

The American Cancer Society strongly recommends that women over 40 have a yearly mammogram. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so when you see women, and those who are close to women, wearing the pink ribbons, or pink clothing, remember to schedule your mammogram.

Remember to do monthly self breast exams every month.  For  thoroughly detailed images of how to do a self breast exam, visit the website: http://women.webmd.com/healthtool-self-breast-exam

Every women should have a yearly physical and have a breast examination by a doctor. While examining your breast, pay close attention to the nipples and if you see any changes, be sure to see your doctor.

In the event you should see a change, a lump or swelling, irritation or dimpling, any pain at the nipple, redness, or a discharge, please see your doctor.

After making the appointment, checking with BCBS, I approached my husband about my letter.  I’ve got to have an additional mammogram/ultrasound. It seems I have a glandular change in my left breast.

He looked up from the computer. Wow! This time, I had his complete attention.

What if…what if I have breast cancer and I lose my breast? I could not live like that.

Phil rushed to hold me. Suddenly the weight of the world lifted as he held me. Those arms of strength and love have gotten me through some rough times in my life.

“Did you speak with the doctor?”

Yes. Let’s just say my Julia Sugarbaker kicked in.

“You’ll be fine,” he said. “Don’t worry about it.”

Easy for him to say. What if He was the one who would have a part of his anatomy placed into paddles that desire to flatten the tissues like they are pancakes.

Finally the day arrived. I did my best not to worry; after all, I had a talk with God. I arrived early. The appointment was at 3:40pm. I didn’t leave until after 5pm. This time, the radiologist explained what she was doing. She even allowed me to look over my shoulder. Silly me. I was still attached to the paddle so when I turned to look to the right — well, let’s just say — it wasn’t comfortable!

When will I know the results?”

“I’ll show these to the doctor before you leave. You might still need an ultrasound, but we’ll wait until the doctor says we do.”

Thanks.

Moments seemed like hours as I went back to the dressing room — dressed in a thin bed jacket style of fabric. I couldn’t get dressed until the radiologist said I could. So, the wait began. I know it was only a few minutes, but it seemed like hours. I kept glancing down at my manicured nails. I have a tendency to pull the nail polish off when I am so stressful. I played with my nails and waited. A knock was at the door. I opened it.

The radiologist introduced me to the doctor. “We’ll see you in a year,” she said.

I can go home? I don’t need the ultrasound?

I sighed with delight. Such sweet words to hear.

“It’s just a glandular change. Nothing to be alarmed about.”

How I wanted to hug her but I knew if I lifted my arms, I would be exposed to the world. Instead, I shook her hand.

“Happy Thanksgiving,” she said.

Yes, it will be a great Happy Thanksgiving now.

I suddenly felt guilty while driving home, thinking of the women who have experienced the same tests, only to hear the dreadful six-letter-word that starts with a C.

Somehow. Someway. Someday. Cancer must find a cure. Just when — and at what cost will that day arrive? Every day I pray for a cure while remembering my precious grandmother. Her courage. Her strength. Her love for her granddaughters. How I miss her!

 

 

Fostering, Rescuing Schnauzers

Cletus Is Home


One week ago today, we were blessed with the exciting news that little Cletus “Little Cleet…Cleet” has been found!  With each day, we have watched him grow. His belly is not as emaciated as he was last week and he eats willingly, without hovering down from fear. On many occasions, I have seen his docked tail wagging with excitement. No, he doesn’t come to us yet. No, he doesn’t want to go outside in the night – in the dark. He prefers to stay inside. We are working to housebreak him. Today seems to be the best day with that. No early morning clean ups were required and he rushed outside with the other pups. He and Sandy Bear are close friends. I am hopeful Sandy Bear is teaching him, telling him that there are still good, caring people in the world of humans. People who will not mistreat a precious dog, but will love him. Yes, he still runs around in circles outside, but eventually (for me, after about 15 minutes — for my husband, less than 5 minutes) he will squat down and allow us to pick him up to bring him inside.

 

His appetite is great. He will occasionally take a treat from our hands. In all honesty, he appears to respond more to my husband, Phil, than me. Phil reports that when he is outside and sees me in the windows, he follows where I am. If I move to the front window where the fence is located, he moves closer to the window. If I move away, he watches, as if he is looking for me! He is getting more comfortable with us with every day. This morning, when I moved closer to pick him up, he barked with a happy bark and charged towards me, as if to say he wanted to play! When I moved closer, his fear gave in and he moved away! He is still very afraid of humans, but I really believe he is getting to see there is a different, kinder world within our home.

 

He doesn’t play with toys yet. He does like to have a fresh towel, with our scent, next to him at night night time. He doesn’t appear comfortable enough to rush to our bedroom to sleep with us, but he is enjoying sleeping on a pillow, with a towel and the breakfast room light on. Cletus doesn’t appear to like the dark of night, but when you consider he was lost for close to three weeks, I am certain the dark of night was probably a bit frightening.

 

Today, it is raining within the suburbs of Mt. Pleasant, SC. Cletus is happy to be in a warm home. When we pick him up now, he doesn’t struggle to jump out of our arms. All in time, he will understand that there are human arms and hands that will not strike, kick or hurt him. As his foster mom, I look forward to the day that he comes to us willingly. My first challenge was to get him to go outside willingly. That has been achieved. Second challenge – to get him comfortable enough to eat his food. Achieved. Third challenge – to get Cletus to bark and wag his tail. He accomplished that this week!

 

I am hopeful I will have more “Happy Tails” to report, via Cletus next week. He does appear to like hearing his name as “Little Cleet…Cleet…” One day, he is going to be a happy little boy. I look forward to seeing that day soon!

 

For now, I am so thankful that Little Cleet Cleet will be home at Thanksgiving!

Veterans

Veterans Day in America


Today is Veterans Day. A day to give thanks to all who have served in the United States Armed Forces. A day for America to SALUTE our Veterans!

As the proud wife of a Vietnam Veteran, I confess — veterans hold a most special place in my heart. While traveling to areas I write about, as I rush around the airports, when I see a soldier dressed in uniform, I always place my right hand over my chest, moving it quickly down — to give thanks to them. If time permits, I will approach the soldier and say, “Thank you!”

When I flew to Hawaii in July, I sat behind two soldiers. I was proud to see that American Airlines permitted the soldiers to board ahead of everyone else, and they gave these soldiers ‘complimentary food and drink.’  How nice…after all, isn’t it about time?

Still, I remember how our Vietnam Veterans were treated when they left for their tour of duty, and when they arrived home. It is unfortunate that my husband was one of the troops mistreated and spat on as he arrived touching the soils of America.

Vietnam was a dreadful pain for America. Protests were held, people shouting to the veterans, calling them ‘baby killers,’ and such. Never will I forget those incidents. I cried when I saw this happen. It wasn’t the fault of our soldiers. It was a war…a war America learned a lot from, and fortunately, America changed a few things!

Now, troops ship out in platoons…not alone…on a plane. When my husband arrived home, he phoned me from Texas, telling me he would arrive in Atlanta, GA at 2am. “I’ll meet you there,” I said, excited…My husband was coming home. We were newlyweds, so if you are reading this, you can only imagine how much my heart fluttered with excitement.

Sitting at the Atlanta Airport for several hours, I waited in anticipation! To say the least, his welcome home was fabulous for both of us. Later, after we moved into our home in Mt. Pleasant, our son was playing with a neighbor’s child. Our son mentioned that his dad was a Vietnam Veteran. The woman living at the house heard my son. “Baby killer,” she shouted! “Your daddy is a baby killer.”

My son rushed home in tears. He was only eight-years-old. He could not understand her anger. I held him tight, reassuring him that Vietnam was a sad time in America. When he calmed down, I knocked on the woman’s door.

Let’s just say — my Julia Sugarbaker style kicked in. Never did we hear from that neighbor again.

Today, I am still a proud Vietnam Veteran’s wife, along with our son. Every Veteran’s Day, I make certain my husband is treated with love and respect. I always thank him for his service, and I hug him tight. After all, this is his day. Let us never forget the veterans we have lost, and let us all give thanks for what they experienced. My husband has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]. I am proud to say, his rages appear to be decreasing. Thank goodness. When he does have a nightmare, or something forces his PTSD to kick in, I have learned to treat him with silence.  As the wife, I cannot imagine what he experienced and he does not share those incidents with me. Still, I have all of his letters written to me — approximately 365 letters, still preserved as if they are new, wrapped with a blue ribbon. A few pictures are in those documents. I plan to send them to some military resource that might want to include them in Vietnam memories.

Today, I wish all of the Veterans Happy Veterans Day. America loves you, and we are so proud of you! Thank you for your service!

On My Soapbox!

November 6, 2012 — Election Day in America Please Vote!


We are only hours away from Election Day in America. As a woman, I sincerely take my right and privilege to vote as something serious. While I will not say what party I am — neither a Democrat, nor a Republican — I have voted every election since I was eighteen years of age. When I get phone calls reminding me to vote — and this year — there have been too many — I answer without revealing who I will vote for.

Why?

My right to vote, and who I vote for is no one’s business…not even my husband’s business!

I walk into the voting booth, ready — with a print out of who I am voting for, and when I get home, I shred it!

American women fought for years for the right to vote. Still, I don’t understand what those foolish, insensitive men were thinking when they wrote the Constitution. How dare them to leave women out. And I don’t understand why their wives failed to express — but what about us…the Women??? Men of the “Good Ole Boys” generation fought for women not to vote. After all…those neurotic, self-righteous males wanted to ‘keep their women home…with the children…perhaps barefoot and pregnant…after all…all decent women belong in the home…’ and all of those ridiculous clichés! Sounds familiar, especially if you are from the South! How I wish I would’ve been a fly on the wall then…I would’ve made certain those cigar smoking, disgusting males of that generation would’ve accidentally set fire to the Constitution!  How dare them not to consider the Rights of Women!

Fortunately, in the 1920’s — passed by Congress on June 4, 1919, ratified on August 18, 1920, American women were granted the privilege to vote. http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=63 When I read about this in American History I questioned why women were not allowed to vote until that date. It infuriated me that men actually thought they were so superior that we, THE WOMEN OF AMERICA…the ones who hold the family together…birth the children…and for the most part still in the Twenty-first Century, rear the children, organize and manage the homes and in many corporations, run many aspects of Corporate America, are still not appreciated for all that we do…as a child, I simply could not understand why women were not equal.

Now, older, and perhaps a lot wiser, I’ve recognized that Women are still striving to get our rights. I confess, I live with and am married to a macho man…there are so many times he ruffles my feathers…and when he does…I am the first to stand up to him and let her rip…Julia Sugarbaker Style! No, I’ve never burned my bra…but I will step on my soapbox whenever men, women, or issues ruffle my feathers!

So, now, if you are an American woman, reading this on Election Day…please…do your civic duty…stand up and be heard.

There are so many people who actually say something to the effect of: “My vote doesn’t count…it’s the Electoral Vote that matters… “Perhaps…but I fully believe it is our duty…our freedom to express and vote for who we believe will be strong leaders for the United States of America. If we do not vote, we should not complain…criticize…or make fun of our elected officials. The time is now to stand up and say, “Yes…I will vote…” You do not have to share who you voted for. I will not ask. And please provide the same courtesy to me. I will admit, I do not discuss politics or religion with my friends. I learned that lesson before I started voting! Yes, I am proud to say – to shout from the rooftops – I am woman! HEAR ME ROAR!

It is my right to vote for the person I BELIEVE will do the best job. It is your civic duty to do the same…especially IF you are  A WOMAN… HEAR ME ROAR!

I look forward to the day when a Woman will Run For the President of the United States and she will win! No, I wouldn’t vote for a woman simply because she is a woman, but there have been many women bosses I have known that would make a great candidate! I am one of the people who actually evaluate the issues…I make a pro and con list, I do lots of research and I have my decisions made when I walk into the voting booth. Who am I voting for? I’ll keep that opinion to myself! Just Vote!!!

PLEASE VOTE — NOVEMBER 6, 2012!