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Posted by on Jan 20, 2018 in Everyday Life, Reflections | 0 comments

shut it down.

The last time the government shut down, it was my birthday. Not just any birthday. My thirtieth birthday.

And my brother, my sweet, endearing brother, decided to call me on my birthday.

Except he decided to call me at 8:15 AM when he knew I’d be at work and he could meander into a voicemail.

Death avoidment achievement unlocked.

And if for one minute you are thinking this call was a sweet sibiling serenade of Happy Birthday, you’re hashtag WRONG.

There was something about not putting on my turning signal backing out of the driveway. And something else about not throwing things at the neighborhood kids to get them off of my lawn. OH and the last punchline about what a shame it was that the government was shut down the week I qualified for social security.

And the promise of a brand new bedazzled hover round on its way once my insurance approved it.

There’s a reason his motto is, “I can run faster scared than Allison can mad.”

Brad Shapiro is 200% Little Brother.

And this morning, I knew, I just knew I’d wake up to another one.

Blame being thrown as a hot potato marking everyone’s hands with red hotness.

Not that I know too much, but everyone with red hands is probably in part to blame. Just saying.

And the kicker. The biggest kicker are the facebook posts spewing about how democracts care more about illegal immgrants than “tax paying citizens”.

That last line makes my blood pressure escalate faster than Lucy can run. Which is fast. And furious. And without containment.

Can I just openly admit that I HATE politics and that I DO NOT appreciate the fact that I must participate in such because politicians and ignorance over charter schools has FORCED me to get involved to protect my kids?? Well, if I hadn’t, now you know.

FIRST of all, these are NOT illegal immigrants in the balance. These are INNOCENT CHILDREN brought here by their parents, who were some of the time BORN in America, who would probably invent the cure for cancer if we’d just put our torches and degrading language down.

And YES, Senators DO care about these DREAMERS, because they are the FUTURE of our country.

All I see day after day on social media is how God has been taken out of our country.

And in these posts, in these hate-filled posts degrading immigrants or poor people or gay people or transgender people, then yes. In these hateful words God does not abide.

Let me back peddle here a bit. I am a fourth grade everything teacher, and we focus on the Thirteen Original Colonies, government, and the American Revolution. What’s interesting is that each and EVERY colony was founded on the basis of RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

They were sick and tired of people telling them where they could worship, how they could worship, and what they could worship.

So they left. Fled. And made a new life.

They literally came over, said a what’s up to the Native Americans living here, and proclaimed they had to leave because since they found the land, it was now theirs.

I mean, there is a Trail of Tears and some incredibly inhumane government proclamations in there too.

Soooo… do these people have any less of a right to forge a new life for themselves? Let go of your pitchforks and torches against the dreamers. Letting go of hate is holding onto love.

And as I said earlier, DREAMERS are the future of our country. These are the future environmentalists, the future lawyers, the future scientists, future doctors, future inventors who will change the face of our country and change life as we know it for the better.

This whole matter that a tax paying citizen has more rights than a dreamer is absurd. If this dreamer is never given the opportunity to become a citizen then this argument is null and void.

Sometimes I do long for childhood simplicity. I went to the best elementary school in Arlington, Texas. One of my best friends was a Muslim and one was an Iranian refugee, both who have made profound impacts on our world in their own ways as they grew up. When I went to high school, many classes featured Allison Shapiro in the spotlight as the role of Only White Girl.

And guess how many people cared.

Only one, because he figured out I had a crazy laugh and it was easy to get me to do.

Even as a teacher myself now, in an area with very little diversity, I have taught a few Hispanic kids, all of which worked circles around everyone else. Their work ethic was second to none. One of which I found out received a full scholarship to an Ivy League school. Sounds like a bad hombre to me.

The only evil that exists in immigrants is the ignorance we allow fake news and alternative facts create.  And as long as we provide fuel to this hate, God will refuse to live inside of that hate, and  therefore yeah, I would say that God is moving away from it. But don’t be so quick to put God in a box.

God raised Jesus from the dead.

God parted the Red Sea.

God turned a stutterer into a hero.

God took an adultering, murderous, filth of a man into a king.

God took the blood of His only son and created our redemption.

But even leaving religion out of it, it still comes back to the fact that this country was founded on the premises of freedom of religion. People do have the freedom to continue being jerks, but people don’t have the freedom to be ignorant. Not with all of the knowledge at our fingertips nowadays.

Our children deserve better.

I sure hope they do better.

So. In the meantime, as senators squabble and our” esteemed” president goes about his tirades that might just get us killed on Twitter, let’s stay sane in an increasingly insane climate.

We are all part of the American Party.

Country over Party.

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Posted by on Jan 19, 2018 in Everyday Life, Reflections | 1 comment

before you say sh!thole.

Have you ever written an entire blog and then deleted it?

Because I just did.

I’ve never been short on words, or an arsenal of phrases to take pictures of my thoughts with. But the other day, I was left just that: speechless.

It started over a meme.

A meme that was so offensive, so disgusting, I really don’t want to discuss it.

But what I will tell you is that I couldn’t keep it to myself. I couldn’t keep my words from flying out of my fingertips and into the comment section.

Because using terms such as sh!tholes isn’t exactly the issue here.

It’s the issue that somebody who comes from less, or lives in less is somehow less worthy to be human than the rest of us.

Pause. Rewind. Does anybody remember that part about Jesus being an undocumented immigrant? And the part where His love knew no bounds? And that He’s probably crazy offended by terms such as “love the sinner hate the sin”? What does that even MEAN?! It seems to put us in a category ABOVE others who participate in “sin” that we would never ever touch.

Um. Excuse me. May I raise my hand here and say that….ummm….dirt is dirt and dust is dust so ummm…..isn’t judging and lying the worst of all sins here? And who out there hasn’t lied? Who out there hasn’t judged?

I believe we are all on our own personal journey. I do. In my own journey, my awareness has blossomed due to the experiences and people I’ve met along the way and with how Jesus has used these collections to transform me. Some of us just take the long way around (I certainly have), but hopefully we eventually get there to the part about how people from sh!tholes aren’t worthless.

Perhaps my perspective can be written off as, she just marches to the beat of her own drummer. But let’s think about this a bit. So for those who don’t know, my grandmother is Polish, my grandfather was Czech. My other set of grandparents were English and Canadian with some others sprinkled in there I am sure. My family came through Ellis Island. I wonder if they’d even be allowed in nowadays. I wonder how they’d be treated if they were. I wonder if their former homes, for which they took such pride in would be deemed “sh!tholes” and therefore spit upon.

I wonder if “the wrong side of the tracks” is deemed a sh!thole and deemed less than worthy to be a productive human being.

I wonder if coming to school in the same socks all week because it’s your only pair deems a sh!thole categorization.

I wonder if being forced to rely on free lunch because your parents work two jobs apiece and can’t make ends meet deems a sh!thole label.

Do you see where I’m going with this? I personally know many people (including the person who kicked me off their facebook page) who get really hot when Appalachian people are considered hillbillies. Yet, when you look where a lot of them live, it’s not unlike the conditions others live in in third world countries.

Perhaps we should demand a toning down of the language. Perhaps we should demand a classier president. And perhaps we should fight for those who can’t really fight for themselves. And those who can, we should help.

It’s basically the gospel Jesus died to defend. Call me crazy, it won’t hurt my feelings, but these risks, these acquaintences Jesus made I would absolutely say He would say were worth it. All of it.

Jesus fought for the least of these.

The first will be last and the last get a crown.

Those who have nothing have everything in the eyes of Jesus.

Divisiveness is such a sad thing to me. Such a devastating thing. It’ll absolutely slaughter democracy if social media doesn’t get there first.

We have a choice to make in the matter. To accept it and go along with it, vehemently defending it, or taking a stand and saying no. This is unacceptable.

It kind of is that simple and just as complicated.

I just wish we could see inbetween.

Perhaps maybe then we could see eye to eye and come together as a nation and perhaps do something about our esteemed president’s unacceptable antics.

The devil’s craft is crafty and so sneaky you don’t even see it coming. Now more than ever we must open our eyes to the love of Christ rather than close them to the ignorance of the devil.


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Posted by on Jan 6, 2018 in Everyday Life, Heart Clutter | 0 comments

winter is coming?! winter is here.

winter is coming?! winter is here.

Texans cannot handle snow.

Let me modify.

Texans cannot handle a snowflake.

The minute one fell, all law and order and reason and humanity was decimated.

It was now Sparta.

Every man for himself.

No lines on the road mattered. Only how fast you could swerve around and hop scotch yourself into every lane possible in order to prove that the world was collapsing.

And if you think I’m making this up, you would be wrong.

Even when I was a kid, it was evident that snow was the great chaotic twilight zone.

We were let out of school if the possibility was possible.

Not that we cared.

We lived at the bottom of a cul-de-sac, which happened to be a hill. My brother and I would go sledding in a trace of snow, just slippery enough to allow our sleds to have some traction.

Our dachshund, Shasta, would scurry up the hill, wait for one of us to load her on our sled, and come speeding down with us. She loved it.

We loved the chaos because it meant that while Sparta was raging, we got to have free reign of our own being. To a kid, that means sledding.

I can’t say that Tennessee is much different, not that I’m complaining. We just don’t have the beast mode snow equipment of the north to really deal with the four or five inches we MIGHT get on occasion. I mean, why would we? Buffalo is the gateway to the artic circle. There is a difference. So, as soon as my break ended, it began again due to sub zero wind chills and slippery roads. My body is so exhausted from being exhausted that I’ve welcomed the extra rest.

And my girls have each taken a different approach to the cold. Lucy scurries outside, does her business, and in a flash, she’s back inside. Annie, however, I believe is part polar bear, part husky, and part Tweedle Dumb. I can’t get that girl to come back in the house for nothing. My friend bundled up Annie with her scarf the other day and I can’t say that Annie minded. Any attention you see, is good attention. Oh the minds of the simple hearted.

Little Fashionista Annie

I’ll gladly take the extra borrowed rest on borrowed time. Time is an unforgiving master, so anything borrowed is really stolen, and that must be cherished while you have it. And until Time forces me to march forward, I’ll lounge by the fire snuggled by my fur babies, cook food I never have time to cook, and enjoy.

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Posted by on Jan 2, 2018 in Adult Reads, Books I love | 0 comments

the handmaid’s warning.

the handmaid’s warning.

It’s no secret that I am a reader. The obsessive kind really. Reading created a haven for me growing up, away from feeling like a misfit, far from really crappy days, light years beamed from anything I wanted away from when I couldn’t go anywhere else.

It’s also no secret that friends hate going to the bookstore with me. That’s two sides of annoyance: a) I wander even when I know exactly what I’m looking for and b) I feel the need to ceremoniously visit books I’ve already read as if looking through a photo album of past trips.

And I’ll add that I don’t like reading what everyone else has just because everyone talks about it. Catchy plots written just to get attention and poorly written novels get entirely too much spotlight. Especially when some winner decides to turn the so called book into a *cringe* movie.

So when I tell you I rolled my eyes when The Handmaids Tale series caught fire, it’s truth. Bait and click. Click and bait. I’m cautious. I don’t trust easily anymore.

But I finally caved and got the book. Less than twenty four hours and my mind is blown. However good the series might be, and I’m sure it’s fine, I promise you the book is better. The series provides actors to experience it for you. The book you’re forced to experience it yourself.

That’s an argument for another day. This novel is a warning. A promise. A prophecy of sorts. As a staunch believer in women’s rights being human rights, because I was raised to believe in equality, I can see the haunting parallels.

This isn’t a great read. It’s a must read. I’ve read a lot of words and dystopian novels but I’ve never been left so unsettled by anything as I was this tale.

Hopefully, the chaos will calm and this will merely stay a tale. I have my doubts and I have my hope. In my hope, our children do better than we have. In my doubts, all I hear is the noise of precariously terrible listeners only wanting to hear their own noise.

But I digress. Everyone should read this. We must demand better. Not better for some and worse for most. Better for all.

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