Anger, Bullying, Change, Compassion, Crying, Egos, Fake Christians, Fear, Gun Control, Homegrown Terrorism, School Shootings, Uncategorized

Another Senseless Mass Shooting….

And it has happened yet AGAIN……another mass shooting….another SCHOOL shooting!  I remember how shocked we used to be by all of this.  Now it’s almost a daily occurrence.  We have become numb and desensitized to the trauma.  I’m going to talk about some things in this post that may upset a few people, but I’m very upset right now, as are a lot of others, about this nonsense, and how NOTHING is being done about it.  I thought about apologizing ahead of time if I offend anyone, but I really don’t care if I do. There are an awful lot of innocent dead people, and someone needs to speak up.  Each side accuses the other of making it political.  Well, it IS political! Unfriend me or stop following me if you must.  I will not point fingers at any political party, but I will be political.  You all know who you vote for, and where you stand.  And I will address what role Christianity (or those claiming Christians) plays in this.  So…..read at your own risk.

First of all, never in my life, or my training to become a teacher, did I ever think that I could possibly be putting my life on the line in the classroom, and defending the little people I teach every day.  If I wanted to work in a combat zone, I would have enlisted in the military or law enforcement.  My calling was to teach.  I don’t want to carry a gun.  If schools start requiring teachers to be armed, I will be leaving the profession for good.  If others choose to carry a weapon that’s their right.  I will exercise mine not to carry a gun.  But my daughter and my grandson (the only two offspring who are still in school) have the right to go to school feeling safe, and so do their teachers.

I’m not anti-gun at all.  My father grew up with guns on a farm.  He had guns in the house when I was growing up (put away).  After all, we do have that 2nd amendment. But that amendment was written before we had semi-automatic weapons, and guns such as the now infamous AR-15. Yes, we do and should, have the right to defend ourselves.  If someone is coming into our homes to hurt us or our families, we should have the right to keep ourselves safe.  However, the AR-15 is meant for one thing…..killing a lot of living things in a very short amount of time.  And no civilian should have access to it, whether they are mentally sane or not.  It is, in itself, a weapon of mass destruction, and we’ve seen it over and over again.  Yet, the politicians with the NRA in their pockets keep turning a blind eye to it. And yes, the NRA and their political buddies have blood on their hands over this.  Oh, you’re an NRA member?  Okay.  I don’t care.  I’m not criticizing you as an individual.  I am condemning the organization as a whole, and how they have bought off the politicians who are supposed to be representing the people, in order to wield their power.  We are talking millions and millions of dollars.  They are profiting from the murder of innocent lives…..innocent children and public servants!

Mental health…..oh, here’s a good one.  I’ve noticed that any time the shooter is white, there is a discussion about mental health.  Well, that’s good, because there does need to be more access to mental health services in the United States.  Mental health is slowly losing the negative stigma and shame, and it does seem that people are more open to getting help for mental illness, depending on the severity.  Yet, so many of our mental hospitals were closed in the 1980’s, leaving these people with nowhere to go, and no options for help.  Sometimes, it’s more than one person can take care of alone.  Then they need help from society.  It should be easier for these people to obtain mental health services!  So, if the problem with mass shooters is mental health, then why is funding cut for mental health services?  Why are facilities closed?  They’re ill.  They need help! If you vote for politicians who cut spending on mental health services, then you can’t also use the mental health argument.  You can’t.  It makes you a hypocrite.  So if you voted for the ones who cut the funding for mental health services, then knock it off!  You can’t have it both ways.  I am tired of hearing it.  There was a law in place, which was recently repealed, making it more difficult for the mentally ill to obtain weapons.  Why was it repealed?  What idiot asshole thought that was a good idea (I’ll let you do your homework on that one)?  What purpose did it serve to repeal that law?  Oh, and if the shooter were black, Hispanic, Muslim, etc…..oh, that’s right….terrorist, and they should be deported.  The majority of these mass shootings are carried out by white, home grown, American terrorists.  Period.

Another argument I heard was that this gun should not have been in the hands of a 19 year old.  Really!?!?! So….a 19 year old with a history of mental illness was able to legally obtain an AR-15.  Please!  I have a more difficult time buying cold medicine! The argument I heard was that he shouldn’t have been able to get it until he was 21.  Because when he turns 21 he will be less mentally unstable?  He’ll magically become mentally stable at 21? Sorry.  That “logic” doesn’t work on me.  Neither does the bullying issue.  Bullying isn’t the problem either.  Bullying is a horrible thing that has been around from the beginning of time, and most educators do all we can to minimize it.  There have always been bullies.  There hasn’t always been access to weapons of mass destruction for the average person.

Another thing that was really disturbing to me with this most recent act of terrorism on American soil was the way the media described the suspect as being “adopted.”  AND?????  I happen to have 3 cousins, 2 nieces and several friends who were adopted, and none of them are violent or terrorists!  They are my family and people I happen to love.  By repeating this over and over on the news, I’m sure it was upsetting to anyone who was adopted, or loves someone who is.  This infuriated me, and put an unfair label on every adopted person! Totally unfair reporting!  Just what we need….more stereotypes and biases, as if we don’t have enough dividing us.

Christianity…..here we go!  Yes, I do call myself a Christian.  I do believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ.  His main lessons were to help the poor, sick, and the children.  Yet, so many people who are constantly saying they’re praying, asking for prayers, saying, “praise Jesus!” attending the “right” churches, or voting the “right” way seem to forget those simple things!  Oh, they’ll pray for you!  But what good is prayer if they don’t put forth some effort too?  Why are they putting all of the burden on God?  They’re lazy, that’s why!  Why are they boasting about all of the prayer they’re sending up, but then voting for people who do the exact opposite of what Jesus said to do….take care of the poor, sick, and the children????? Oh yes, I know about the lesson of God helping those who help themselves.  But sometimes people CAN’T help themselves!  Oh, they’re poor? They’re sick?  Do we know why?  Does it really matter?  No!  They need help! These are also the same people who claim that God/Jesus/religion is not allowed in our schools anymore.  Are you kidding me????  If you are true Christians, how can you remove that part of your personality when you are at work?  True Christianity should reflect in your actions.  Doesn’t God work through us?  Then if we are Christians, doing God’s work, then how is He “removed” from our schools?  Sorry, but yet another argument that doesn’t add up, and I’m tired of it.  I use compassion and love and understanding each day with my students.  They aren’t numbers. They are little lives, and they are our future.  We say the Pledge of Allegiance EVERY DAY (I’ve been told many times that we don’t….maybe before posting that nonsense on social media, you should check with someone who actually works in the public schools)…..and yes, we DO say, “One nation, under God” EVERY DAY!  I’ve been in schools where there were prayers around the flag pole, Bible study groups for teachers, my children were involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, etc. etc. etc.  No one is telling us we can’t pray. We just can’t force anyone else to pray! And quite frankly, I wouldn’t want someone forcing their religion on me either.  We are free to pray, and think however we want!  So all of these stupid posts about how we need to put God back in our schools to avoid more school shootings only anger me more.  Instead of putting it all on God, why don’t some of you step up and help out?  Stop using that as a cop out! Why don’t you go volunteer in the schools?  Why don’t you start serving the homeless, the poor, the hungry?  How about helping the mentally ill?  Volunteering in the Big Brother/Big Sister program? How about putting the prayer to work through your own actions?  How about praying for God to instill in you the desire to serve others, and understand others, and have compassion for those who struggle or need help?  Or, if you don’t have the desire or time to volunteer, maybe you have money, and you can help fund programs that have been cut? Time, energy, money, patience, understanding, compassion…….  Oh yeah…..now I remember……the answer is more guns, and protecting the 2nd amendment, right?

The 2nd amendment has become Biblical to some Americans, and it’s sickening!  They tout the Bible and say they’re Christians, but they are more willing to protect an amendment ratified in 1791 (that needs to be updated for today’s weapons) than to protect our children! That’s not a Christian. Why doesn’t our right to LIVE, and our children’s right to feel safe at school hold more weight than the right to carry a weapon?

So now we come to the right to bear arms…..concealed carry…..whatever you’re wanting to call it…..you’re carrying a gun.  Let’s look at the Las Vegas shooting.  That happened at a country music concert.  Now, I would guess that there were probably a few people in that crowd carrying weapons.  I don’t have a problem with that.  It’s their right.  Yet…..what good did it do them?  Were any of them able to stop the maniac in the hotel with his high powered weapons and mechanisms making his weapons more powerful?  More guns are not the answer!  The whole load of bullshit saying, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” is ridiculous!  I’m sure there were plenty of good guys with guns in that crowd!  So where were they?  Why didn’t they stop him?  Wasn’t anyone praying?  If so, why did 58 people die, and nearly 500 people were wounded?  What happened?  Weren’t people praying hard enough? Weren’t those injured or killed deserving of God’s grace?  Of course they were! But who was there doing God’s work?  Prayer and guns alone are not the answer! Maybe that guy shouldn’t have been able to get his hands on those weapons in the first place!

Yes, prayer helps.  Saying, “All we can do is pray” is nonsense!  You can do so much more!  You can stand up and speak out against the senseless crimes being committed by having access to these types of weapons.  God gave us a voice!  God gave us brains!  Use them! If you are true Christians, then where is your compassion?  Why is the 2nd amendment more important than the teachings of Jesus?  I’m not trying to be preachy, but I’ve heard these arguments from “Christians,” and I’m not buying it.  I’m tired of lazy people hiding behind the label of Christianity.  The constitution is not the Bible.  “In God We Trust” did not appear on our coins until 1864, and not on our currency until 1957.  The Founding Fathers did NOT put it there (contrary to what gets repeatedly posted on social media).  Saying, “Let’s pray, ” and “Let’s put God back in our schools,” and continuing to vote for more guns is  NOT the answer!  Putting armed guards in our schools, arming our teachers, and making it easy to buy guns (but not cold medicine), but doing nothing to fix the root of the problem is not the answer.

Other countries don’t have this problem.  There are other countries who have the right to defend themselves, and they don’t have mass shootings.  The United States…..the country I love with my whole heart, the country my grandfathers, father, uncles, cousins, and son have all risked their lives to defend….needs to get it figured out when it comes to the most horrifying and disgusting issue facing us today. The answer to most of us is very clear. For the rest of you….well, my husband and I will continue to speak up, while we go into our classrooms each day…..always ready for a lock down (with little to no appreciation from anyone unless we’re gunned down…..then we become unwilling heroes…..an entire blog post in itself).  Oh yeah, and we will educate ourselves on political issues and candidates, taking into consideration what is best for us as a whole, and who is interested in fixing this problem,…..after all, the 2nd amendment is NOT in the Bible.

So even though this blog post is long, I hope you can see my frustration, and how saying and doing nothing about the core of the problem is as good as guaranteeing that this will continue to happen.  I’m angry!  I’m pissed off!  No amendment is worth the loss of countless innocent lives, especially school children and their teachers.

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Be Happy, Happiness, Love, Uncategorized, Valentine's Day

Love Is In the Air

Well, tomorrow is another Valentine’s Day, and I have seen the retailers trying to cash in for several weeks now.  It’s really getting bad with the pressure to give just the right thing……or give to the right person, just because the commercials tell us we must.  While I really do love this special day, and what it represents….LOVE…..I don’t feel like anyone should feel pressure to “out give” or keep up with someone else when it comes to gift giving.  I also hate how it makes others feel left out or unloved if they don’t have a significant other.  That really isn’t fair.  I have been in that situation, and I believe it’s also called, “Singles Awareness Day.”   Funny, but kind of not.

Sure, every woman wants flowers.  I will take flowers any day of the year!  Fortunately, my husband brings me bouquets of flowers pretty often.  But I am just as happy with a sweet card, a favorite treat (usually Hot Tamales), or a nice dinner out.  I don’t need jewelry.  I don’t need huge bouquets of flowers delivered to work (although that is fun sometimes!), and I don’t need a new outfit.  More than anything, I appreciate the time I get to spend with my husband, because this time of year, he is so busy with his referee schedule that I barely see him.  I appreciate that he’s a hard worker, but he really is burning the candle at both ends, and it worries me a bit for his health. Having said that, he will be refereeing tomorrow night, so our Valentine’s Day dinner date will have to wait until the weekend.  It’s okay…I’m pretty sure I will still love him by then, if not more!

Valentine’s Day has become so expensive, but also cheapened in how it is approached.  You should buy cards and gifts for those you love because you want to, not because you feel obligated to.  The same can be said about Christmas….it’s become all about money.  Don’t spend money because the commercials and stores tell you that you have to! With the way our society is, and how busy and preoccupied we are with work, family, technology, and social media, why not give the one you love your undivided attention, and write a nice letter telling them how much you love and appreciate them?  Spend time making a romantic dinner.  Go for a walk together.  Turn down the lights, put on some soft music, and dance together. Go for a drive.  Those things can’t wear out.  Those moments can’t be thrown away.  Make memories with each other.

I know that at this point in my life, I try to make a special effort to let my Valentine know how I feel about him every day of the year.  Cards don’t have to wait until a special day.  Candy and flowers don’t have to wait until a special day.  Make every day count, and don’t take each other for granted…..sounds cliche’, but it does hold value.  Make this a great Valentine’s Day, and then make the day after that another great day of love!  And the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that! Love is in the air!

“Live every moment, Laugh every day, Love beyond words.”

 

Attitude Adjustments, Be Kind, Egos, Emotions, Helicopter Parenting, Uncategorized, Watch, Listen, and Learn, Youth Sports

Scenes From an Afternoon of Youth Basketball

I enjoy people watching.  I love sitting back and observing mannerisms, speech, clothing, body types, how they interact with others, etc.  I never want or need to be the center of attention, so people watching is my way of learning about others. You can learn oodles with observation!  Yesterday, I went to watch my husband referee some youth basketball games.  I don’t know any of the athletes, but I do enjoy watching, for as long as my head and ear can stand the whistles and loud buzzers.  I also love watching Al doing something he really enjoys.  But some of these games bring out interesting characteristics in people!

When I first walked into the gym, it was about halfway through the second quarter, and it was pretty crowded, so I was looking for a spot to park my fanny.  A nice man saw me searching, and said, “Ma’am, you can sit here!”  My first interaction with someone there, and he was as polite and nice as can be.  I thought to myself that manners do still exist, even in intense situations, such as a youth basketball game. That was a great way to start this little outing!

I had a front row seat, and saw Al running up and down the court.  The score was pretty close (19-14), and both teams seemed to be very aggressive.  There were a lot of fouls, and they were extremely physical! I guess the boys on these teams were about 12 or 13 years old.  The win came down to the final few seconds, so most of the parents were on edge.  It was a good game, and fun to watch!

There were two ladies behind me, but I could only hear one…..she wouldn’t shut up.  She wasn’t watching the game.  She was telling the other woman all about how her boyfriend broke up with her because she was no longer his best friend, and he didn’t feel right about dating her and also working with her.  He didn’t feel like they would be right for marriage because it was too much work, and she disagreed because marriage is work, and blah, blah, blah!  I heard it all! Then at one point, she stopped and said, “I have a hard time getting to know people.  I don’t know how to get to know someone.”  I wanted to turn around and say, “Maybe if you shut up long enough to LISTEN to someone else, then you could get to know people!”  SHEESH!  My guess is she didn’t really care too much about her son’s game, and I bet her boyfriend really broke up with her because she talks too much about herself.

Other parents love to coach their child from the sidelines, which drives me insane.  If they want to coach, why aren’t they volunteering their time to do it?  They’re yelling at their child, yelling at the coach, yelling at the refs.  I can’t imagine how difficult these people are to live and work with.  I bet they’re never happy with anything, and everything is someone else’s fault. There are a couple of parents who know nothing about the game.  Every time their child got the ball, they would yell, “Shoot it!  Shoot it!” even though they weren’t in any type of scoring position, and weren’t within any proximity to the basket.  One boy mouthed off to his coach, and then talked back to his mother in the stands.  She laid into him for the whole gym to hear…..”You better remember who you’re talking to!” He was in foul trouble, but I think he was in more trouble with his mama.

Watching people with their families, and how they interact, is interesting to me.  First of all, I like to look at facial features and body types, trying to match the children to the parents, or which couples are together.  There was one family that were all built like blocks….the mother, the father, and all of the children had very square heads, no necks, square upper bodies, and skinny legs.  It was really odd……I had a hard time looking away…..they sort of looked like cubes with arms and legs.  The mother kind of led the children and her husband around like a pack leader.  They followed along behind her, and it was obvious who was in charge.  Back to her later…..

Because of the intensity of the game, the parents sitting around me were very vocal, coaching from the stands, and yelling at the refs (Al and another man).  I do get a little defensive when anyone criticizes him, but I think I’m supposed to.  In our marriage vows, we did promise to protect each other.  I think that goes for unfair criticism too!  Again, if they want to do the job, then apply for it.  See if they want to run up and down the court for up to 16 games a week.  See if they appreciate being yelled at, called names, or criticized for making the right call! Of course, some things get by the refs, and of course, they will let some things go on purpose, especially with the younger athletes.  They’re only human, and the game does need to move along.  If they called every little travel by these young kids who are still working on their coordination and control, then the games would take days to complete!  After Al came over and kissed me, they realized who I was there to watch, so they toned it down a bit.  I guess they knew better than to say anything with his wife sitting there. If they said anything after that, they kept it to a minimum.

For the next game, I moved to the other end of the gym, where it was a little less crowded, and one man sat a few feet away from me.  He had a lot to say when the game was going on about the refs, but as soon as Al came near me during the time outs, he lowered his head and played on his phone.  When the game started back up, he started his criticism again.  Coward.  It wasn’t a very exciting game because one team was really bad, and it was a blowout, so I left at half time. One of the parents from the losing team was the mother from the “block” family….the pack leader. I’m actually happy I left before the end of that game.  Al said she came to him, and verbally berated him for not making enough calls on the winning team.  She was mad that her team lost, and was very unpleasant.  It wasn’t his fault that her son’s team sucked.  The saddest thing about this is that she is a co-worker of Al’s at school.  She attacked another adult, who was just doing his job, over a youth basketball game.  Petty.  Immature.  And now their working relationship will most likely be strained.  As protective as I am of him, it’s probably best that I wasn’t there!

Watching and listening.  Watching, listening, and learning.  Spending an afternoon watching youth basketball games, and learning about people…..people I may never see again, but who show us so much about their personalities through their words and actions.

 

 

Attention Whores, Get Over Yourself, Growing up, Let kids be kids, Lies, Making life interesting, Manipulation, Self respect, Storytelling, Teaching Responsibility, Uncategorized

Big Little Liars

I have students who tell outrageous stories (lies), and manipulate situations to get what they want.  Of course, part of it is that they have active imaginations, and they are only 6 and 7 years old.  As entertaining as the stories may be, they do need to start realizing that their words/stories will have consequences.  Just this year alone, I have been told that a student’s mother wakes her up in the morning by putting snakes in her bed, a child claimed she had gone to Disney World the day before…..Disney is 7 hours from us, and she hadn’t missed a day of school, “I got braces yesterday, but the dentist took them off again,” etc, etc, etc…….  So many times I just have to tune out the stories, but they can be very entertaining!

These are funny coming from children, but when adults lie, make up stories, embellish, or manipulate, it isn’t cute anymore.  There comes a time when we have to grow up and tell the truth.  We all want to sound more interesting than we probably are.  I have always thought I’ve lived a pretty boring life, until I talk to other people, and realize that through moving a lot, having a large family, and traveling, I’ve been able to experience some pretty awesome things, and my life has been very full and interesting.  Maybe those who haven’t led particularly interesting lives feel the need to gain attention by lying or manipulating events and people.  You know them…..attention whores.

I’ve known adults who thrive on drama, and with the drama, usually comes some sort of embellishment of the stories they’re relaying.  I mean, I get it….they need to make it as interesting as possible to hold someone else’s attention.  The longer they can hold an audience, the more likely they can gain sympathy, and let’s face it, they soak up any kind of admiration, no matter how they have to get it.

I guess my comparisons here have to do with maturity.  It’s fairly common, and sometimes cute, for children to tell (and sometimes believe) big stories/fabrications.  But there comes a time when everyone should outgrow this.  We slowly start correcting them, and helping them to understand that they can’t keep telling falsehoods for attention, or to hurt someone else….these are the first ones in my class who accuse others of doing something that hurts them.  These are the children who are busy talking, and when you call them out on it, they deny it’s them.  You see it with your eyes, and you hear it with your ears, but they’re looking right at you, denying it’s them.  I know we can try to channel this imagination into some type of creative writing, because they DO have great imaginations!  It would be a shame to completely waste it as they grow up.  However, some adults never reach that level of maturity, where they care about the consequences of their statements, or who they might hurt.  I hear it nearly every day in the political world, and even those claiming to be of some religious faith, manipulating scripture to fit their agenda.

Everyone wants to have their way.  Everyone wants to impress someone.  Everyone wants and needs a certain amount of attention.  But let’s try to do it honestly, without having to make up stories, manipulate, or embellish to satisfy our cravings for attention and sympathy.  Be fair, objective, diplomatic, compassionate, cooperative, and honest!  Leave the big entertaining stories for a novel or blockbuster movie, or just let the kids entertain us.

Be Happy, Be Kind, Being Strong, Courage, Family, Happiness, Iowa, Laughter, Love, Marshalltown, Iowa, Passion for Living, The Queen of Iowa, Uncategorized

Here’s To The Queen!

I’d like to tell you about The Queen……not the Queen of England, but The Queen of Iowa!  You didn’t know there was one, did you?  This queen is someone I’ve had in my life since I was 19 years old, and has been like a second mother to me, even though I don’t get to see or talk to her much anymore.  I’ve been thinking a lot about her lately…..

Joan Yvonne Wendt Williams…..The Queen.   I will get to why she has that title later, but for now, I want to tell you why she deserves it.  Joan was my mother in-law for 23 years, and is the grandmother to my children.  In fact, I was the one who made her a grandmother for the first time in 1989!  Her son and I may not see eye to eye on much of anything, and the divorce strained the whole family relationship, but I still consider her my family, especially since I’ve lost my own mother.  When you lose your mother, you lose a huge part of yourself. And when you divorce, you also lose another part of your family.

From the first time I met her in 1984, wearing my bathing suit (aghhh!), she was friendly, warm, and loving, and acted like she had known me my whole life.  For the first few years of knowing her, she was in an unhappy situation with her marriage.  Through hard work, she came through it on the other side, stronger, more independent, and happier.  It was hard for her to take that step, but she did it, and she has deserved every day of peace and happiness it has brought her since. She stood up for me several times in some uncomfortable situations during that time period, and I have never thanked her for that, even though I appreciated it so much.  I’m not even sure she would remember doing it because it is so second nature for her to do that sort of thing.

She was raised in a small town in Iowa, married young, as most girls did in the late 1950’s, and raised 4 children.  She lost a child shortly after birth, which I know is still painful for her.  I’ve been to the cemetery with her a few times to place flowers or pinwheels on her daughter’s grave.  She has talked to me about that time, and I could feel the pain myself through her words, even though she was so strong and composed telling me about it.  This is just one of the few things that made her such a strong woman.

Her own mother in-law, Florence, was a good woman, and was good to her too, but…..difficult.  I knew Florence well, and I always got the feeling that no woman would ever be good enough for her sons.  Yet, with Joan…..any man would be lucky to have her!  Joan told me once that she never wanted to be that type of mother in-law to me.  I feel thankful to her for that.  It sure made life easier!

We grew closer over the years, and always enjoyed having a beer and pizza together.  The laughter and friendship we shared can never be replicated with anyone else, but two of my children are now to the age where they can sit down and enjoy a good drink with their grandma and laugh the way we used to.  She and her oldest daughter, Lisa, used to make a trip to see us about twice a year….once in the fall, and once in the spring, when we lived in Kansas.  Lisa would bring her step daughter sometimes, and always had her dog in tow.  It was fun, but Joan hated driving through the Kansas City traffic before getting to our house!  It stressed her out to no end!  The very first thing she would say after her hugs and kisses all around, was, “I need a beer!”  I tried to be fully stocked on beer when Grandma Joan came to visit!

I will never forget the time I heard my 4 year old daughter say, “Oh damnit!” when she dropped something.  I said, “Lily, we don’t say that.”  She looked at me confused, and said, “We don’t?  Grandma Joan says it!”  Now my own  five year old grandson is repeating Great-Grandma Joan’s salty language that he picked up last summer.  Of course, it isn’t appropriate, but I can’t be mad.  In fact, I think it’s pretty funny……if Joan has taught me anything, it is to not be stuffy and unhappy, even when life is hard.  Learn to laugh and let go.  Don’t be angry.  Smile.  Don’t hold grudges.  Have fun.  Don’t take life so serious.  It’s short, so enjoy it.

These days I hear she enjoys her boxed wine while getting her daily fix of Drew Carey and The Price is Right!  One of my daughters was telling me that Grandma loads up her walker with beer, and meets with friends at the Embers, her retirement apartment building, for “coffee.”  I got such a chuckle out of that!  She has always known how to have a good time!  Whether it’s playing bingo, trips to the casino, watching her favorite soap opera or TV show, or “coffee” with her friends, she always has fun!

The last time I saw her, I was able to introduce my husband to her.  She hugged him, and told him that if I loved him, then he was okay in her book!  Before we left, she hugged him again, and told him to “take care of my girl.”  He promised he would.  After we left, he said he wished we could have stayed because he could have sat for a few hours, having a few beers and talking with her!  Now that I’m sick, she continues to check with my daughter to make sure Al is taking good care of me…..he is!  I’m stubborn, but he does as much as I let him do.

Now to her well earned title…….The Queen……in most retirement or assisted living facilities, they will choose a king and queen.  I’m not sure what all goes along with the title, but they get to ride in a parade!  Last year, Joan was chosen as Queen of the Embers.  She got to ride in the parade, and from what the kids tell me, she was ordering people to “bow down.”  I can’t help but laugh, because I can picture it!  Recently, a little girl was introduced to The Queen.  She asked if she was the Queen of Iowa, and my daughter told her yes!  And you know what?  She is!  Beautiful, funny, kind, gracious, friendly, salty, and compassionate……what other qualities do you need in a queen?

Here’s to The Queen!  I love you Joan!

 

 

Anxiety, Bad doctors, Be Kind, Bedside manner, Communication Skills, Equal Pay With Equal Skills, Kindness, Uncategorized

Time To Switch

What do you do when you don’t like your doctor?  I don’t mean my family practitioner.  I actually love him.  I believe he has saved my life on more than one occasion by referring me for more tests and to good specialists.  I was lucky enough to grow up with great family doctors in Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa.  We always received great treatment.  Trying to get in to see a specialist is a pain.  It takes forever!  So switching is going to be hard too.  Unfortunately, I am always going to need a good neurologist.

When all of this stuff started going on with my head, I started out seeing a couple of different doctors.  I liked one of them.  The other one….not so much.  Now I seem to be stuck with the one I don’t care for.  Wait…..I take that back.  I can’t stand him.  He has horrible bedside manner.  He’s rude.  He doesn’t listen.  And he seems to prescribe unneeded tests.  He makes me very uncomfortable.

The last time I went to see him, I told him my vertigo was extremely bad when I got off the elevator and came into his waiting room.  I was hanging on to the counter while checking in, trying not to lose my balance.  His response?  “Uh-huh.” I told him about some other things I was experiencing, and he decided to order a carotid ultrasound, and then said, “I don’t think it has anything to do with this, though.”  Okay!  So WHY are we wasting my time and money?  I shouldn’t have to take time off of work for tests that he thinks will be inconclusive, but will cost me more than a month’s salary.

He also increased my seizure meds, and told me I’m not having any side effects.  Does he know this without asking me?  I asked what the side effects might be, because I am extremely tired, and experiencing more dizziness.  He smirked and sort of laughed at me, but didn’t answer the question.  He also didn’t explain why he was increasing the dosage.  Why am I paying him?

Communication skills are not his strength, but he sure is making some big bucks by being an aloof asshole.  I make a fraction of what he makes, and have to have excellent communication skills in my profession.  Then I thought about cashiers and people in the service industry…..they better have great communication skills too!  Their income depends on it.  No one will want to do business with anyone who has poor customer service or communication skills.  Why does this guy still get to make a great living and be an asshole?  The people in his office are nice……I’m pretty sure they’re the only reason any patients stay with him.  After feeling uncomfortable and unsatisfied, I looked at his ratings online.  He has very low ratings.  At least I’m not the only one.

So I guess it’s time for me to find someone else…..wait for the next opening…..2-3 months down the road? Maybe doctors should start getting performance pay, like they’ve started doing with teachers……and bedside manner is part of their overall evaluation.  If patients aren’t happy with the performance of the physicians, then they get the minimum pay, or they lose their job.

As I’ve said so many times before, what does kindness cost?  Not being nice just makes people feel crappy, and may cost you in the long run.  But being nice doesn’t cost a thing, and always, always, always makes you a good person, no matter what your profession. So adios, Doc, and I am off to find a new neurologist, with good bedside manner, good feedback from other patients, and who will make me feel comfortable with knowledge of my condition.

 

Anger, Be Kind, Being Strong, Bullying, Compassion, Courage, Empowerment, Grow a Pair, Kindness, Loyalty, Racism, Respect, Speak Up!, Support, Uncategorized, Understanding

Don’t Be Part of the Problem

Things are a mess in our country/world right now.  I guess our parents and grandparents felt this way at times too.  My grandparents were adults during WWI and WWII, and my parents were witnessing terrible things in the tumultuous 1960’s.  I’m sure they felt afraid and concerned at that time too.  One thing they did not do is turn and look the other way when someone was being mistreated.  They always spoke up, and always stood up for people who were being treated unfairly.

In today’s world, I keep thinking about the saying, “If you ignore the problem, then you condone it.”  Right now, many of us need to be remembering this.  On a world scale, it applies to racism, bullying, sexism, animal cruelty, hatred, or any type of discrimination.  On a personal level, it applies to those who are being unfairly treated at work, home, or in our communities.

Confrontations aren’t easy, but I have always prided myself on the fact that I will stand up for others, whether I know them or not.  I will stand up for someone else before I stand up for myself.  My friends and family can always have confidence in knowing I will defend them.  If someone mistreats them, I won’t tolerate it, and will address it directly, putting a stop it to immediately.  If the other person gets upset with me, that’s just too bad.  I will not condone meanness on any level, especially if it’s hurting someone I care about.  I admired this quality in my family members, and have applied it to my own actions, feeling that it defines good character.  The good old “golden rule” seems to be lost in our society these days.  Some people might say they live by it, but their actions say otherwise.  In other words, they have no balls!  When you don’t speak up directly, and don’t stand up for someone being mistreated, you are showing that person that you don’t care about them, and you agree with the poor treatment.  What does that say about your character?  How should the person being mistreated feel about you?  If you agree with the negative treatment, then why would they trust you on other things?  Why would they support you if you needed it, when you didn’t defend them? If you thought they were your friend before, then I am willing to bet there will be a wedge in your relationship after the fact.

I worked in a situation once where another teacher was being incredibly cruel to me.  It was being condoned and encouraged by the owners of the school (private school).  They were trying to make me uncomfortable enough to quit.  They had no reason to fire me because I had done nothing wrong.  I just knew too much….(actually, I could have an entire blog just on that school!).  This teacher was telling other teachers not to talk to me, or they would be fired.  Why?  They had decided I was a threat to their business by knowing a bit too much about their financial dealings.  Yet, I would go to work each day, arriving early, teaching my students, and showing them my love and dedication, even though I was being ignored, talked about, lied on, and putting up with mean remarks by this other teacher (directly and indirectly).  No one stood up for me.  No one helped me. I was keeping my mouth shut and being professional, but I became a target, and it was miserable.  All I wanted to do was teach.  It taught me a lot about the character of the others who wouldn’t help me.  There were still a couple of teachers who talked to me, and were supportive, but no one who had the power to put a stop to this evil witch and her remarks did anything about it.  They showed me their character…..

We teach our students in school that we will not condone any type of bullying (threats, harassment, alienation, physicality, gossip, etc), but adults are just as guilty of it, and many condone it by not putting a stop to it.  I know I talk a lot about being nice, or being kind, and I think most people think they are.  Adults can hurt just as much, or maybe even more so, than children when it comes to cruelty.  I challenge all of you to look in the mirror, and evaluate yourself on this.  Are you really nice if you are ignoring mean behavior?  Are you really nice if you aren’t practicing what you preach about loyalty, love, trust, friendship, care, and protection?  If you are ignoring it, then you are definitely a major part of the problem.  Don’t be a part of the problem.  No matter how large or small the situation….stand up, grow a pair, and don’t allow ANYONE to be mistreated.