heart breaking

Help them now.

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A person can only be pushed so far.

I really do not know how people do it.  How do people continue on peacefully when the world around them is crumbling?

Last week a young mother was shot dead in the middle of the afternoon.  From what I understand there was a fight going on between two groups of girls.  Someone pulled out a gun, shots were fired, and people ran away.  This young mother was running away, to save her life.  It didn’t work.

This was in a neighborhood of housing.  People live there, sleep there, laugh there, feed their children and sing lullabies.  Yet outside at any given moment someone can be shot dead in the middle of the afternoon.

I am so touched by this story, and so entirely confused as to why this violence  is allowed to continue.  Is it because these people are poor? Is it our cities failing to make security and safety a priority?  Is it the crumbling school system, or the rarely existence family support? Is it caused by the onset of  the gun culture?  Or is it really because the rest of the city and surrounding suburbs just don’t give a sh*t?

We need to take a moment and wake the f*ck up.

_____

Since writing this many months ago, a terrible shooting happened in a small quaint town of about 5000 named Chardon, not too far from Cleveland.  One morning before classes started, three students were shot dead.  A 4th student  is recovering in the hospital and the fifth shooting victim is recovering at home.  Three young people shot dead in cold blood by a 17 year old student.

I have pondered the effects of the school shooting and nothing I come up with makes any sense except that we the people have to start caring about each other.  We need to teach kindness, and tolerance.  We need to teach the basics of  right from wrong in our homes.  We need to be reminded that people can be cruel and bitter, but usually because they are in a painful place, and they need help. We need to do all we can to build bridges in stead of walls.

We need schools that are safe.  And if that means we need police there, then put police there.  If it means we need metal detectors then place the detectors are the door ways.  We need to take bullying seriously, and we need to listen to our children, especially if they are saying something that sounds off-base or unusual.

We need to wake up to the fact that there are drugs in every school.  It’s a fact kids drink and drive, and they have parties and drink their parents booze.  Students cheat on test and make trades for homework, and just like always they have unprotected sex.

Parents need to get their heads out of the sand.  School administrators need to be fair and consistent when enforcing the school codes.  No more hiding the dirty little secrets.

We need to recognize that all students are not the same, some are gay and some students are homophobic.  Students are every race and racism is alive and well in America.  These are issues that continuously harm our society as a whole.  And if we want it to change, each one of us has to personally stand up and say enough is enough.

Regardless of differences each child deserves an education in an environment that is safe physically and emotionally no matter what it takes.  And they are not going to get it unless we demand it.  They need us now, not later.

Start a conversation, let your voices be heard.

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Happy Birthday Batman!

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Today is one of my dog’s 9th birthday. Batman is nine. He is a gentle soul, a loyal buddy, and his is big fluffy and hug-able.

He has his faults, as we all do. He has a weakness for cats and not in a good way, but other than that no one could ask for a better dog. I have a photo of him when he was just a puppy with my entire family. Now I can tell how old we are were in the photo, because before I couldn’t quite peg it by sight alone. My children were 10,12, and 13 in that photo, it was taken during spring soccer season, right before my youngest turned 11.

Batman and my youngest son 9 years ago

The photo is somewhere in all my stuff that was shuffled out of our home while we dealt with the nastiness of the recession.

Our “situation”, it doesn’t change quickly because what some people don’t seem to realize is when all the work is done and you are out of the house the rebuilding starts and that takes time, a lot of time. On the contrary, nine years just flew by when I was living a normal life. Now time seem to seep away slowly as if I have a tiny leak in my soul.

I have stopped expecting anything good to ever happen, or even wishing or hoping. Too many tremendous let downs recently. I am making it through each day but I barely feel like I am here, but I know I am here because I can’t get away.

I am thinking about my escape, and I am thinking real hard, because what I am doing right now isn’t cutting it. It may be unconventional, but I am going to fix this so that I can stand the “situation” until we find a house.

Right now we are waiting to hear back on the 5th house that we have bid on. I quit looking at photos of the home, because I have really talked myself into liking this one. It ended up with multiples. Funny how that’s now happen twice with this same lister. Any time there are multiples, someone appears to get an inside tip as to what the amount needs to be offered to win – we never win. I personally think it’s like insider trading and it’s a huge scam.

In any case, one way or another, I am existing in this temporary situation. It’s temporary. It’s temporary. It’s not a healthy living environment for me or my animals. Temporary has now become too long.

Happy Birthday Batman, I love you.

I have left this environment two other times in my lifetime; once when I alone and single, and once with my entire family cutting a holiday visit short. Always because of the same reason.

Why in the world did I think that it would be any different this time?

Tip: Forgive people, but don’t forgive so much that you forget what you had to forgive, or it might just happen again.

Inspiration:

Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the whole sky.

– Hafiz of Persia

One-day one-thing: Learning what I already knew.

Not everything can be fixed

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Realizing this is difficult.  I would say, I must have thought I was super woman or something in the past because it never crossed my mind that some things are un-fixable.

At one point in my life,  I was looking at that broken egg on the ground.  I said, “That’s my last food, you broke my last food.”

That was so many years ago, it wasn’t my last food ever, but it was never fixed.  Because food in general was replaced, the brokenness of my last egg meant very little to me.  However, I never forgot the feeling of having nothing, and no way to fix it..

When you realize that somethings cant be fixed, it’s intensely realistic.  But being a mother as I have for 22 plus years now, you spend you entire life fixing things and making bad things better.  Then comes the day you can’t. You can’t fix it. You can’t make it better.

On that day little pieces of you die.

100,000 miles

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She lay lifeless in the medium.  Two people were standing over her without any expression, as if they themselves were not there.  Four cars scattered about in the snow covered grassy area separating the westbound from the eastbound traffic. A fifth car sat damaged on the far right shoulder of eastbound lanes.

It never occurred to me that I would see a dead person on my drive to NYC.  She had obviously been thrown from one of the vehicles. Her body was tangled on top the snow in an unnatural state.  I could tell she was dead from a distance.

Thoughts rushed through my head;  like if I had left 3 minutes earlier, I might have been in that accident. Or I bet they were just heading out to go shopping and in no shape or form did they expect this.  That poor woman, her family, her children, oh my God!  All because of a slippery road, an accident.  No one wanted this to happen.  No one.

It was the first snow of the season, and the roads had not been touched.  No salt, no plowing.  Actually there wasn’t enough snow to plow, but there was plenty to make it extremely slippery and dangerous driving.  It was awful.  As I continued on my way there were more fender benders, a  pick-up that had rolled-over, and another truck that lost it’s front wheel (not just the tire – the entire wheel) – it must have hit something with high impact.

My driving speed raged between 20 and 40 miles per hour,  I was considering turning around.  But little by little it cleared up, the roads improved and I was decidedly on my way.

Traffic was light until I hit the Delaware Gap, from there in it got worse, much worse.  Jill, my GPS voice,  is old out-dated.  She doesn’t know anything about the detours and construction before the Holland Tunnel.  By this time, it was dark, she directed me onto several side streets in Jersey City.    Surprisingly these streets were loaded, completely packed full, with Christmas lights. It was stunning.  Fast forward through the H-tunnel and Canal Street (both total chaotic messes) and I finally made my way to Brooklyn, arriving only one hour past my original ETA.

Today I cracked 100,000. miles on my Odyssey.  All miles that we put on the car.   We’ve never done that with any other car, so it’s an accomplishment of sorts. I knew it would happen on this trip.

However what remains is the snap shot of what I didn’t expect.  Except for the two people gazing over the body, each driver stood alone motionless next to their own cars.

In my head, they are all still standing there, frozen in time.

(Post note: I have been unable to verify any details of this accident, maybe she lived)

What Gives Me Hope

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As hopeless as the world appears to be, as down I am about the holidays and my own personal problems.  I do get nuggets of hope.

I cherish these nuggets, because in my world, they are few and far between.  I tend to question everything with this one word: Why?

Why if we have the resources, why can’t we solve problems?  Why if we have the intelligence, why can’t we solve problems?  Why isn’t taking care of people in need a top priority in our world?

We are a powerful country, a wealthy country, home to super wealthy corporations, but we seem to have become a country of people who don’t really care. It appears we have learned to blame the victims, and look the other way, as if they are not our reflection.

Society reflects itself, we are exactly what we see.

Why or what has led us to believe that it’s A-O.K. to let the homeless suffer in our streets? What twisted message have we been hearing that has warped our humanity into a callous self-righteous existence? What religion supports this?  What government supports this? Why do we support this?

There but for the grace of God go I. - literally.

Mind you, I don’t believe that we as individuals think that this is right.  But when faced with the decision as to what should be done about it we get over whelmed, we don’t know how to help, and we end up doing nothing.  And by doing nothing, we are essentially turning our backs on people in need.

I don’t have much extra money, at the moment, but I am going to NYC tomorrow, and I will be taking twenty five dollar bills and handing them out  to homeless people.  I think I will make PB&J sandwiches to go along with the money.  A simple brown paper bag with a sandwich and a five.  I want to help, I want them to know that they are not forgotten.

So where’s the hope?

Where are the nuggets I spoke about?

The “hope-nuggets”  are people I meet who do good things.  They are individuals who are standing up and showing they care.  Many I know  in person, and others I know through on-line relationships.  Those are the hope-nuggets, real live people.  Individual people who are making a difference how ever they can.

Thank you for existing. Thank you for sharing, and never give up on making someone’s life better.  You restore my hope in humanity and you inspire me to be a better human being.  I am so grateful for all of you.

Peace.

Inspiration:  “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people. ” ~Gandhi

It’s a S.H.E.L.L. Fund

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I’ve been a bit single minded, focused only on my self lately. This is nothing I am proud of or ashamed of, it’s just that there’s more to life then my problems. I share them in hopes to help others as well as myself , but depending on a person’s frame of mind (that day), my issues may seem irrelevant. I can’t help that and I can’t care.

But I do care about many other things in the world besides myself and my struggles. And today I am going to share a cause that is very close to my heart.

You probably know I have Siberian Huskies, and if you didn’t know, here’s their web site: Batman and Ice. My dogs are family dogs, they were purchased from a breeder and never suffered one day of their lives; pampered and loved, spoiled almost rotten. They are minimalist Gods.

Ice and Batman

It wasn’t until I met Kristen that I learned about all the abused, neglected and abandoned Siberian Huskies out there in our towns facing certain death. Kristen is an awesome lady and a true-blue advocate for the under-dog, for those dogs left to die, those who are abandoned and for those who have suffered beyond any of our worst nightmares.

When Kristen was a full time nurse, she began to rescue, rehab, and place Siberian Huskies with loving families. She found that working with the dogs was where her heart was, it was her passion. At that point she made a life changing choice. She gave up the security of a regular paycheck and all the other benefits of full-time employment. I’m not certain if she had any support for her decision. It was a bold move with a completely unknown future – that decision took a lot of courage.

(more people should follow their hearts)

Fast forward a several years, Kristen founded the non-profit Siberian Husky Emergency Life Line fund (a non-profit 501c3 tax-exempt organization) and in addition Kristen now owns and operates a boarding kennel she was able to purchase last year.

Please take a moment to look though her site, and learn about the many dogs up for adoption and those who are still in rehab. Many of my dogs’ friends were adopted directly from the Shell Fund Rescue. They’re all absolutely awesome and beautiful creatures who have adjusted wonderfully and are now living in loving homes.

Jagger, Niko and Lucas

Kristen’s expertise and continued dedication for the health and welfare, and placement of these abused Siberian Huskies is incredible and unwavering. If I been more educated before buying my dogs I would have certainly look to the Shell Fund first.

Here’s my plea:

Since this is the holiday season, please consider donating even 5.00 dollars to help feed and care for these homeless Siberian Huskies. Your donation is a tax write off and it would mean the world to me if any of my readers could show some love to this worthy cause. I know times are tough for everyone, and unfortunately in poor economic times donation are low.

Please help if you are able, really any amount is better than nothing. Maybe you could skip your latte today and help save a life at the same time. I would love that! Your small donation will help nurture these beautiful creatures until they are ready to be placed in loving homes.

Nothing would make me happier. Cheers!

“The greatness of a Nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” -Mahatma Gandhi

I know Kristen will be surprised when she reads this, I didn’t ask permission. So Surprise Kristen!!!!! :) I hope this helps!



I want to be like Angelina.

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I’ve been taking mental notes of talk that puts my mind into a negative or an overwhelmed and hopeless place. Most of the time it’s discussions about something I can’t control, and I don’t like, or things that make me sad. Talking about issues that make you feel small and helpless can make you crazy. It can raise your blood pressure and it can causes stress. And even worse, once you’re finished with the conversations, nothing has changed for the better.

It seems this is time of year we are frequently reminded of the hungry, even though people are hungry every day. We are informed that some people don’t have heat, homes, or even shelter. We can read about countries withholding clean drinkable water as a means of political control and we see images of hungry babies. All these horrible scenes play out everyday of the year.

So why do I do it?  Why do I allow myself to go there?  Why?  I do it because I want “it” to change for the better. I want the world to get better. I want wrongs to be righted. I want life to be better for everyone. But I know talk is cheap and I know I can’t change the world. There are just so many different areas that need fixing. It is entirely overwhelming.

Still, I have to believe if we try harder we can find individual ways to actually improve another persons quality of life. If everyone contributes to a small improvement imagine the accumulated overall effect.

I like to use Angelina Jolie as an example when I explain my feelings about helping individuals. Granted she saved the lives of more than one, but I believe she is of the mindset that ” if I can help one person I will”  That’s a mindset I truly admire.  She didn’t have to do what she did, she did because she felt she had the means and she wanted to.

Same with so many other people not as famous as Angelina. People like my neighbors who vacationed in Africa, and never expected to come home with their new eight year old daughter. People like this open their hearts, homes and families to children who had little to no chance of a decent future in their own country.

Not everyone can adopt a child, I realize that.  It’s a recurring thought for me, but I realize I don’t have the resources required.  But there are other ways to touch, improve, and help someone’s life.

Below are few of my favorite sites that to do just that.  When you donate to an individual or family they actually benefit right away. (or shortly there after)

One laptop per child: http://one.laptop.org/

Buy a goat: http://www.heifer.org/

Micro lending, invest in people in other countries and get your money back plus some. http://www.kiva.org

Buy your eye glasses on-line, and someone gets a pair for free: http://www.warbyparker.com

Get the gift of giving water. http://www.charitywater.org/

Donate blood. http://www.redcross.org/

Please add your favorites unique charities in the comment section. Cheers!

Tip: Honor of someone else by giving in their name.

Inspiration: ” The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.” – Walt Whitman

One-day one-thing: On strike