Thursday, September 30, 2010

Arguing with the democrats on Facebook mostly about legalized abortion

I entered a discussion this morning with Sheria Reid, a long time blogger from North Carolina, a confident articulate black lawyer, and her friends offered their opinions and we went at it for a while. Sheria is always the catalyst for me in these discussions. She very much wants President Obama to be appreciated and supported, and I was trying to tell her that the democratic party's inflexible support of legalized abortion is going to do more to jeopardize his chances of a second term than anything.
He has already disappointed us because of his seeming inability to inspire us with great rhetoric as we once heard from black leaders like Martin Luther King who gave a speech when he marched on Washington in a peaceful protest non violent in intent for civil rights that may go down in history as one of the great speeches of decades if not centuries. It is pretty hard to inspire people without calling on God for help and inspiration, just because our long time concept of God is at odds with abortion.
Articulate democratic thinkers like Sheria I believe are underestimating what this lack of passion in the leadership of the democratic party will do at the polls. They still are determined to support legalized abortion no matter what. But are they prepared for our first black president in history to go down with this cause after his first term?
I think that would really upset his followers. I think that the American people are rallying to defeat a pro choice president, but I am not sure if it will be this president. They didn't really rally to defeat Bill Clinton who was a pro choice democratic president, but as far as I am concerned they should have done. I think the opposition focused entirely too much on his hi jinks with the young page instead of on his political beliefs, and it backfired on them.
I do not think that opposition to legalized abortion is going to manifest real strength until a president has to pay for supporting it. I think most of us saw John McCain as too war like to take his pro life stance seriously. We got seriously bitten by a pro life President Bush who proved to be a pro war president as well by going to war with Iraq costing billions, and because of disillusionment with his contradictions, we were willing to support a democratic candidate for a change, even if he was not pro life.
President Obama compromised on legalized abortion government funding to get a pro life democratic senator to sign the health care bill, so it could pass. He said he would see that government funding would not pay for abortions. This should help get him re-elected if the American people are convinced he will keep his promise.
The second term is the President's and the democratic party's to lose, but it remains to be seen how deep the American people's pro life beliefs really go.
I believe Sheria and strong supporters like her must also tread carefully if he is to win. They can't just spout the same old abortion propaganda rhetoric we have been hearing for years. They need to show they are more flexible than that in my opinion. I don't see much willingness in them to draw in their horns. I perceive the thinking in the democratic party as being still too shallow on legalized abortion.
I think the American people are profoundly tired of the death count staying so high due to legalized abortions. They are tired of too many shallow reasons justifying it.
Legalized abortion did not exist in this country except in a few states before 1973. Even in the democratic party there are old time Christians whose belief in God goes very deep. And I believe this includes many black people who have supported the democratic party despite their reservations about legalized abortion. How long will they keep doing that? I think they, too, may decide enough is enough and they can't support it any more.
The democratic party has tread very willingly on the toes of the old time Christian black democrats who could find their comfort sometimes, only in their belief in God and that he cared if nobody else did about how they were treated. These were the followers of Christian preachers like Martin Luther King. Martin Luther King and other leaders like Medger Evans paid too high a price for their fight for civil rights for the democratic party to disrespect their Christian beliefs.
I do not believe in certain aspects of many Christian religions but I believe in the power and greatness of men of God who have sacrificed their lives for many causes down through history to make progress when nothing else worked.
How far will the American people support men in office who do not believe in the sacredness of life? I see legalized abortion as every bit as important a cause as slavery was.
Millions of the unborn are dying every year with legalized abortion. There is a holocaust going on. If pro choice believers continue to insist that it is a 'woman's right to choose' at some point there is going to be rebellion, and this next election just might be the turning point. Pro choice believers are too inflexible to change their hearts and minds. If they don't acknowledge the price that is being paid by human beings in the fetus stage by legalized abortion, they may help bring about the second term defeat of our first black president.
I have observed that many pro choice believers are no more willing than slave owners were to change their minds. They keep spouting all this propaganda as though it justifies this unprecedented taking of life. They cannot seem to grasp that this is a life, that someone is dying without ever taking a single breath. They do not seem to know what is propaganda and what is not, and they don't seem to care. Arrogance always assumes victory.
People like me are seen as the enemy, the blind, the unable to comprehend, but who is really not able to acknowledge wrong thinking here? I don't think it is me. Who cannot comprehend that the blood of the innocent should not be our right to shed? I just heard this morning the same old arguments, the same old closed minds refusing to concede that every death is our responsibility as long as abortion is legal. It is our responsibility to change this law and as soon as as possible, ready or not. What are we waiting for? A better time to stop killing?
There just isn't going to be a better time than now. In fact, the longer we wait the harder it will be to stop it. Enough of the American people just have to be able to see this to act.
Doesn't matter how intelligent Obama is, how capable, he was elected supporting legalized abortion. That is in short why I did not vote for him. I will vote pro life hoping that candidate will continue to back up their beliefs with action. I don't care who it is as long as he or she is willing to fight for the cause. Sarah Palin. Whoever.
Sometimes intelligence is not a sign of ability to grasp eternal truth. There is no way to justify the taking of life. If it is against the law then people adjust. They take more precautions. They act more responsible. That is what a law that protects the life of the innocent does. It helps people to act better. A bad law gives them license to act bad. So we learn to take bad laws off the books. That is what needs to happen with legalized abortion. No matter how many pro choice people scream and kick. They are still wrong.
I will be looking forward to the next election.

Democrats' inflexible support of legalized abortion may doom Obama's chances for a second term which is usually the president's for the taking

Let me first state that I became a democrat because I thought the democratic party had a better record on civil rights and treatment and understanding of the homosexual than the republicans. I voted democrat until the legalizing of abortion in 1973 when the democratic party became a big supporter and made what I consider a wrong turn for a party supposedly committed to the support of those in America being unfairly treated.
This apparently did not include the unborn who were conceded no right to live by the believers in 'a woman's right to choose.' I, as a firm pro life democrat, was not accorded any respect in the party. I began rather to be seen as out of step, a turncoat whose protests were not welcome at all for fear they might influence someone not to vote the democratic ticket, as I eventually did not, if a republican came up with a strong pro life platform. The democrat party even seemed perfectly willing to kill off God who has stood for the sacredness of life for centuries. Perhaps they did not think anyone who counted would miss him, given the contempt many have for the 'fanatic' who cannot embrace legalized abortion.
What happens to a party that becomes that inflexible about belief? I am sure there are a lot of pro choice republicans, too, but the republican party soon got the idea that the democrats' inflexibility on this issue could be turned to an advantage. This is how the unborn are getting a break. Obama has been shackled by the democratic party's determination to make legalized abortion one of its mantras. He had to support legalized abortion or he would not have been nominated. He absolutely could not be a pro life democrat, while the republican could be. Fatal mistake in strategy for the democratic party I believe. Arrogant enough to believe they could do away with belief in God to better support legalized abortion.
If Obama loses the second term it won't be because he is black or because he isn't a smart leader, it will be because the democratic party will not allow any deviation on support of abortion.
Makes you wonder why a political party would get that determined to perpetuate millions of abortion deaths which even may cost the democratic president his second term. They apparently thought that violence was so popular it would always win. But America can surprise you.
Maybe too many Americans, ill educated or not, respect the idea of a God who frowns on the killing of the unborn, and maybe too many of them feel guilty about the millions of the unborn who have died since 1973. Maybe these ignorant uneducated people will rise up in defense of a God who they believe has tried to teach them to respect life. Maybe they will decide he really means it when he says Thou Shalt Not Kill. Maybe he really means the unborn, too. It does take bloodshed to accomplish abortion.
I don't think the democrats or anybody else for that matter have been very nice since they have taken it upon themselves to defend and champion abortion. I don't recall having worse fights. But I am one of these stubborn Americans who will not give in to bullying.
I keep pointing out we are better off with a belief in a God that frowns on such killing. We would be better off with too many babies to take care of than all these deaths to get rid of them. The abortionist's hands have to be covered in blood, and that means that all who use the abortionist and support him have blood on their hands, too.
Abortion has become big business world wide since its legalization. We are in the business of killing for a profit, the innocent, those who cannot speak for themselves. Is that good for America? Is that good for any country?
But I believe that America is a country that can lead the world in putting a stop to this. I see the light dawning and many people realizing that if we are going to save the world from the evil of millions of deaths of the innocent, we Americans have to lead the way, we have to show we can stop it, starting in our own country.
Civil rights in this country was not advanced by killing. It was advanced by not killing, by non violent protesting. That is a far cry from legalized abortion. Not the same thing at all. Because we have proven the melting pot of many races can succeed in America, we have been an inspiration to the world. We elected a black man to office, but sadly the party saddled him with the burden of supporting abortion. He had no choice. The democratic party was inflexible on that score.
I do not believe that violence accomplishes anything, does not solve problems, only creates worse ones. With legalized abortion we are sending the young the message that it is all right to kill. Where will it all end? Violence begets violence. We have become an even more violent society, as could have been predicted if we cared to see what 'legalized' killing might lead to.
Now we have to turn around and fight to become non violent. But violence to fight the violence is not acceptable. We must turn this country around with non violent means, through the election process, through electing strong men to office who understand and believe in the power of non violence.
The democratic party has backed the wrong kind of belief, the violence of abortion death. They will eventually be defeated until they can see the error of their ways, until democrats within reject the leadership of those in the party who believe in violence. The democratic party has stood for non violence on many issues, but all political parties can be corrupted by factions within it.
Legalized abortion has become the democratic party's Achilles Heel. Obama is an example of a young man who have been taught for 37 years that abortion is acceptable and necessary.
He alone cannot fight these insidious beliefs. He could have been much stronger than he is. Martin Luther King never gave up his belief in God or in non violence. I believe he would have abhorred legalized abortion, but he was killed before he could fight that tragic development. Martin Luther King's belief in God caused his spirit to soar when he got the chance, to give a speech that was one of the great speeches given by a leader under threat of death, "I have a dream".
Obama cannot stir the people as Martin Luther King did and we wonder why. Look to the party's insistence on legalized abortion as a mantra. Nobody can support that and give speeches that inspire mankind for decades if not centuries. There is no glory in killing the innocent. Martin Luther King knew that, but the men who blew up a church and killed four little black girls attending the meeting did not.
Nobody gets inspiration from killing the innocent, no matter how they try to spin these acts of violence.
Obama could have been a great leader but he was not taught well how to do this by his party which had taken a wrong turn.
I still believe in the democratic party that fought for civil rights in this country, that fought good battles for many causes. But wrong ideas must be purged and flexible leadership restored for this party to have a healthy future in American politics.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The atheists versus the pro life activists

You might note that I have added the atheist channel to my blog list which my sister Linda posted on FB. I really enjoy the elegant reasoning of some of these intellectuals like Christopher Hitchens for example who wrote a best seller I read called, "God Is Not Great." As you might gather from that title he is a thoroughgoing atheist. I watched another video in which many brilliant physicists said one by one they did not believe in God.
In the middle of all this I watched a young woman, a pro life activist, Gianna Jesson, in another video listed on my Facebook profile, Gerry Hitt, sent to me by a good friend, telling her story about being saved at birth from a saline abortion procedure. Despite the scalding effects of this she was born alive, that is she began breathing, even though hurt. She credited President Bush for further saving her life by passing a law that said if a baby survived an abortion procedure it then could not be legally killed. In her speech she said before this law was passed that a baby surviving an abortion would be smothered or killed some other way.
Her cerebral palsy she said was the result of being deprived of oxygen too long, but she is a beautiful woman now going all over the world as a pro life activist telling her story, including Australia where this video was filmed. I would embed it here but I could not find it listed anywhere except on FB.
I felt that Christopher Hitchens and other intellectuals I watched do not believe in the Catholic Church's version of God nor in other church's either. I watched other videos that delineated their objections to church reasoning about God. I agreed with some of their objections, but somehow I forgot their elegant reasoning almost as soon as the video ended, but I could not forget as quickly this young woman's passionate speech.
Some Catholics are out now praying to abortion clinics to save babies about to be aborted, and have recruited members of other denominations to join them in what they call Forty Days For Life. Now that is a lot that their God is asking of them, to save these babies. I doubt if they could recruit one single one of these intellectuals to go do this.
I think that is actually the toughest test of faith there is, to be asked to go to an abortion clinic to pray and try to reach those determined to have an abortion. That is just asking for people to get mad. Must be very discouraging work at times.
But what could be more important than saving the life of a baby when it comes down to it?
Those who believe in choice would argue that it should be a woman's right to kill her fetus. The Catholic Church and other Christian churches says no, the child is a separate entity and deserves protection from birth and it is a sin to take the life of that child once life begins. I would say this is a very tough law. At times it would be harder to believe in the Catholic God than it would not to.
Churches sometimes ask their members to do very difficult tasks. And some faithful members go and do it! That moves me.
I don't think atheists have as tough a life as believers do. I am sure pro life activists aren't nearly as apt to make money as brilliant atheist intellectuals and physicists, because they are not popular in demand people. They are more apt to be poor, but I know their God says that worldly success is not as important as being right with him.
I try to think how I could not believe in God, but I have always liked to be challenged. God has got to be tough to please to my mind. He has got to be the toughest of all to please. He cannot care if you are poor because of doing his work. He can not care as long as the work gets done, because if you do not do the work eternity will be lost.
Eternity is a lot to lose. I am surprised at how easily these intellectuals and physicists give up on this idea. Christopher Hitchens claims to be at peace with the thought the he just won't exist any more after he dies. But all my years I have been praying to a God if there is one and asking how we humans can earn eternal life. I don't understand people who give on eternal life, which is why the church people attract me more than the intellectuals do. I just can't wrap my mind around oblivion. I feel too alive for that.
If there is any way to survive death I am going to take it. If God tells me I need to do hard tasks to have eternal life I am going to do them.
I know continuing to write about saving babies doesn't make me very popular but I have always felt that God just poo poos my reluctance. I picture him saying, so what if you are popular but eternal life is lost? You must try to save the babies, you must live as though you believe life is sacred, you must want eternal life, otherwise how can you do hard things to earn it?
Believe me, I felt dismay when I felt called to become a pro life activist. But after I prayed every day for God to lead me to eternal life and I asked him what I needed to do to earn it, he has said since abortion became legal I need you to fight legalized abortion. I need you to try to save lives.
I know that young woman, Gianna Gesson, going around the world as a pro life activist, is going to earn eternity.
I am glad she survived the holocaust of the unborn as she puts it. She is a great witness. Her reasoning is even more profound than the atheists' reasoning. She could make the most hardened person weep. She reveres the gift of life. She is definitely saving lives. I know she must be greatly loved by God.

Living with an alcoholic father figure in the home as remembered by Doc's step-daughter

Yesterday was a rather upsetting day for me as Doc and I interacted with Christine, his step daughter, who he says is the one child he attempted to help raise the longest in a marriage to her mother. Doc was taking his 'tough' stand with them, or attempting to so I said that I was going to ask Christine a question that he might not like. I asked her how much he drank since Doc had been very evasive with me about that. I would speculate that his alcoholism must have had its roots in his life for a long time for it to have such a grip on him. Christine confirmed this suspicion by answering that when Doc was living with her mother he drank a fifth of vodka a day! Boy, I did not quite expect that answer. I said well, did he work? She said that he would get a job and quit it after a few days. I know his father died during the time he was married to her mother, so he would not have had to work while his inheritance lasted. He has said that is when he painted so many of his big canvases which he consequently abandoned in a storage place.
I then discussed my perception of Doc as being a very smart guy that I finally decided to work with despite his alcoholism, that he was like my dad who eventually all but quit and made a lot of money. But I said I could not let Doc interact with my family because he was too insulting and said inappropriate things. Then Christine burst out that they as children could not have kids over because Doc insulted them. He said this was kids he was insulting! I could still hear the resentment and anger in her voice over him doing this. I knew then that Doc's alcoholism had been tough for her to endure, something that Doc is still not willing to admit.
I am going down to Doc's this morning who wanted me to put some of this illuminating video discussion up on his channel. I think it would be valuable if he did, if he put the part where Christine expresses what she really felt about his drinking. I knew. I could relate because this is how I felt about my dad's drinking in our home as we sisters were growing up. I acknowledged that Doc sometimes has great clarity and insight into people just because he is smart, but his arrogance and unwillingness to admit to this day the cost of alcoholism in a home with children in it is still insufferable at times.
I reasoned, however, as a child, that God allowed children to be born to alcoholics because he knew that sometimes a child was the only one who could reach them. Most adults, even family members, lose all patience with alcoholic relatives and stop interacting with them, but if they have children this is also abandoning their children, leaving the whole family to struggle more or less alone. I experienced this abandonment by my Dad's sisters and even somewhat by his dad and mother who did not drink. Most of the community also shunned the family with the errant drinker.
But I knew we sisters had to struggle to reach our dad to try to sober him and keep him alive. If he died we all might go down! I knew we would have a very hard life without his know how and ability to make money.
I asked Christine why her mother did not kick Doc out as she said she drank but not nearly as much as Doc did. She said well, it was a love-hate relationship. Christine also very frankly confessed to having a problem with alcohol which she said she drank to feel good. She thought Doc drank as a result of early hurt and pain which we both knew occurred in his first marriage with the subsequent loss of contact with his own two daughters. Doc said yesterday Christine and her sister were to become the closest thing to daughters he would ever have. Christine said she self medicated with alcohol but wished she could get feeling good without it. She admitted to being a very angry young teen when her mother was married to Doc.
In answer to my observation that despite years of drinking Doc had never had an alcoholic crisis yet that put him in the hospital, she thought that amazing too, but said that he always took lots of vitamins and did eat once in a while, and always looked muscular and healthy. I said that nobody could escape the ravages of alcohol abuse forever.
I thought this girl had analyzed Doc's personality extremely well. I knew she could not help but feel disappointed to find him still drinking, but what she might not have expected was the element of truth emerging in our discussion, an invitation to say what she really thought about Doc during the years he was married to her mother, which Doc allowed to be interjected into the meeting.
I think he was pretty unstrung however, too. He called later on and demanded I return to discuss it all, right then, but I wouldn't do it. I said I will come back in the morning. This is what Doc does I can't stand. He drinks too much and then gets upset and wants his hand to be held and comforted, yet he is the man doing the drinking. I said, Doc, you always have to drink. I cannot be there to comfort you for the fallout connected to that. I am tired. I need to rest, and remember I am withdrawing from you. And I will continue to do so.
I agreed to be a part of this meeting for Christine as much as for anybody, for the girl who grew up with an alcoholic step father just as I did with my real father. I know that can be rough. But she is a strong survivor despite her scars.
She said she has now watched many of the videos Doc and I made. Christine was lively, personable and touching. But the upset she talked about experiencing with Doc's drinking made me want to cry. She also said that her cousin Shirley is the only family she has left. I take it she is not in close contact with any of her three sisters or her mother.
She got to me and maybe she got to Doc a little, too. I don't know. But this morning when I try to edit this video I will find out what he got out of this disturbing yet enjoyable visit with a major character out of his past.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reporting on the progress of 40 days for life with Shawn Carney


Across the nation Shawn Carney and other leaders for 40 days for life are leading people in many different cities in prayer at abortion clinics, very tough places to try to change the hearts and minds of mothers. Here is what one man wrote quoted in the e-mail Shawn has sent out to those who have signed up to receive reports on the progress of 40 days for life.

"40 Days for Life is upon us and sometimes it's
hard to muster the courage and energy to confront
the dark cloud of abortion that hangs over this
nation. However, occasionally a ray of light
shines through the darkness to remind us that God
is still there and His love is triumphant.

When I moved to Charlottesville this summer I met
a couple men who had been standing outside of
Planned Parenthood for years. In fact, one of them
had been standing for so long that he was starting
to question his service.

He said to me, "It's very rare that I get any
positive feedback." I told him that it was a small
town, but I knew from my experience in Houston that
lives were being changed simply by the presence of
men and women outside of the abortion clinic praying
and handing out literature.

No sooner had he crossed the street than a woman
pulled up into the Planned Parenthood parking lot
and started yelling at me. At first I thought she
angry with me. But then she told me she wanted to
tell me something.

She pointed to the back seat of her car and said she
had a grandson in a car seat that was alive because
people were standing outside of the clinic -- and
she wanted to say thank you.

I ran across the street to the parking lot where my
friend was parked to tell him the good news.

But God wasn't done!

A week later a young woman pulled off the side of
the road to tell me that she, too, had changed her
mind because people were standing outside the clinic.

This woman later sent Steve a note. Here's what she said:

I'm not sure why I was so inclined to stop and speak
to you but remember feeling like I needed to tell
someone my story, someone who changed my thought
process when I was trying to decide whether or not I
should carry my child to term.

I cannot thank you and others like you enough for
standing up for what you believe in, because had it
not been for you all I may have made a horrible
decision and terminated my pregnancy. My girl is my
entire world, and everything I do now is so that I
can create a better life for her.

Please, do not stop doing what you are doing. I know
it may seem like your messages are falling on deaf
eyes and blind eyes, but I can assure you that me and
my daughter are proof of the power that you all have.

"So when your feet start to hurt and your back begins to
ache," said Steve, "just remember this baby is alive today
because a group of people overcame their fears, anxieties,
and personal plans to help others."

Amen!"

Meeting Doc's step daughter, Christine, and her cousin Shirley




The top photo is Christine who Doc has not seen for around 20 years, and the bottom photo is Shirley, her cousin. Christine was out here from the St. Louis area working a booth for her employer to a convention held at the Mariott. She told us she will be working all day tomorrow and then she will be returning home.
So this was a surprise for Doc, but a meeting to his apartment went very well. Both of these young women are charming and personable, and I thought we had a good visit. Doc, of course, filmed them, as I photographed, and so tomorrow I will try to edit some of that video for his channel.
All of us being on Facebook helped facilitate this meeting. Christine is about the same age as my youngest son, Dan, and she is also a dancer like my daughter. She says she first danced the east coast swing and for the past two years she has been dancing the west coast swing. I will have to tell her if she comes out again perhaps she can visit my daughter's dance club. Ronda, my daughter, is getting accustomed to a new nurse's job plus doing training in Colorado, so she is missing her dancing!
I was hoping this meeting would take place as I think it gave Doc a lift. Christine did not disappoint!

Monday, September 27, 2010

I made my once a year potato salad and ate all I wanted, slept, and am back

I was so nervous about interviewing Paul and making sure I did not forget any questions I wanted to ask him that I did not sleep that night nor the night after just from excitement as I have a feeling this video is a turning point. I don't know why I sense this, but I just do. Believe me, it is nerve wracking to start putting other people into my videos. Usually only the pros do it, but after four years and many videos later I got the confidence to tackle the outside world a little more. Paul was an inspiration to interview, and his mother, Mary, was along to add more stability to the proceedings. She is such a calm person she could settle anyone down.
Then a meeting that I have been trying to help Doc to achieve this past week may finally come to pass tomorrow, I hope. This is with someone from his past. I will tell you more if it happens. Doc wants me to be present since I have been interacting with him for five years. He has not seen this young woman for 20 years that he once tried to raise like a daughter. He is naturally very nervous, so I have been summoned several times so he can discuss the events and check messages and FB since he is not adept on the computer. I have wanted him to connect to people in his past for years, but there didn't seem to be any out there who were thinking the same thing. FB has helped.
Oh, I made my favorite potato salad today with corn off the cob, green beans, and little red potatoes. The problema peppers roasted well today and I was able to peel them handily after I left them in a closed plastic bag to cool. The corn wasn't quite as good as in the past as I had let it set around for quite a few days, working up my energy to make the salad. Country cooks would have been horrified. I had to improvise a little with the dressing as I did not have red wine vinegar, but I used an expensive vinaigrette dressing I bought to Farmer's Market which worked, along with some expensive olive oil I bought there, too. It also calls for dijon mustard.
I decided not to worry about eating anything else, as this salad is so good I defy anyone not to eat too much of it. Maybe going to all that work, boiling all the vegetables separately, works up an appetite. Let me know if you need instruction to make it. If you are a great lover of food you will want to try it sometime.

Your salad will look something like this with a third of it gone. And I did not use 6 ears of corn as the recipe calls for, only 4.


I am getting the ingredients together to make one of my all time favorite dishes, chicken enchiladas, which I have not made since I became a vegan over 3 years ago. Got sick and had to stop being a vegan. People used to ask me to bring this dish to parties. My daughter gave me the recipe. I will be talking about that dish more when I make it.
Raymond talked to me all he could on his now fixed cell phone on his way out of town. We did catch up some but kept getting cut off everytime he went into a dip! He is going to Seattle in October to do his show, Bohemian Cowboy. He is also setting up other dates. I think he should take it to every town he can before he puts it aside.
Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day if all goes well.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Paul Patrick felled by Phoenix serial killers and a stroke (1-2) is a determined survivor!


While attending the trial of the Phoenix Serial Killers as the 'face of a victim" Paul was felled by a major stroke. The top of his skull was removed to save his life and reattached 10 months later! Still in rehab for paralysis on his left side, Paul is determined to be a survivor and I think he needs the continued support of all of Phoenix to make sure he is not forgotten!

Paul's mother, Mary, has been his devoted caretaker since he was shot. He says she has the heart of a lion when it comes to her children, and I truly believe she does from what I have observed about her. Paul talks about the book written about the shooting and also his stroke called Sudden Shot by Camille Kimball who has become a devoted friend. The whole story of the shootings can be seen on ID in a case study called Wicked Attraction. Thanks to police work and informant citizens the killers were caught much sooner than most serial killers. I am going to do my part by keeping track of Paul and his mother Mary who also has ailments of her own. I am concerned about Paul being able to keep his spirits up through long painful weeks of rehab. I hoped he would wear red today as a symbol of his courage!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Farmer's Market is calling me!



I went through my Saturday Morning ritual, shopping at Farmer's Market set up across the street in a parking lot. No watermelons today though. Guess season is over, but I stocked up on ingredients to make my all time favorite potato salad, which includes corn off the cob and green beans, small potatoes, and poblema (sp) peppers roasted, red vinegar and olive oil dressing, flavored with chives. I didn't get as much as my recipe calls for so as to try not to make a pig out of myself. On the farm when we made a delicious meal everyone ate too much. It's a problem!
I didn't buy any of the purses in the header photo but they always tempt me. I might buy one of the big denim ones for my daughter for Xmas. That's what I am thinking.
Bought fresh plums and a pear for snacking. Oh my barley soup had too much barley in it. I put a cup in to boil instead of a half a cup. That would have been plenty! The barley seemed to multiply more overnight. An old dog can always learn new tricks. Farmers used to raise oats for their horses and wheat for the pigs, but rarely barley, so we didn't cook it. But my favorite cereal was cracked wheat with good cow's cream on it.
I got some beautiful tomatoes, of course, cucumbers, and avocado so I think I am good for the week. My favorite fresh vegetable is the tomato. My mother taught me to make soup by sauteing onion in butter and scalding ripe tomatoes, peeling them, and adding them. With fresh bread and butter to eat with it, there was never a better farmer's dish on this earth! She would add a little honey or sugar and salt and pepper. I love my fresh pepper ground from peppercorns. I could never go back to the other as it now tastes stale!
Find a Farmer's Market for some mighty good eating!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Linda returns home, thank goodness

She was only kept over night. She is like a different person today. It was concluded she had a reaction to drinking so fast when she was not used to it. She apologized to all those she may have offended. She says she does not remember some of what she said or did. The alcohol may have mixed with her meds which was why at one point she was convinced she had been drugged.
Doc was quite subdued. He said the last person I drank with left and on the way home fell in the bushes and broke his arm. I might get evicted for being a bad influence. I kidded him by saying, "and nobody would deserve it more!" I told him I would never bring anyone to his apartment again.
But I got to worrying that Linda might receive drastic treatment I did not think she needed. She and I both think she needs a counselor of some sort to talk to when things begin to seem overwhelming and to help her resolve her anger issues. Of course if something like this keeps happening she will be in line for eviction.
My ex-husband used to have extreme reactions to being under the influence. I would always be afraid he was going to get us evicted from our apartment when he went on a tear. I remember once he tore up a big venetian blind we had to pay for. He was as bad as the dog! Ha. I had a dog once that was left home alone too long and he tore up some expensive drapes over the glass door to the patio.
I had a wonderful talk with Paul this morning, getting ready for our video filming on Sunday. I hope to have a very productive meeting with him then. This man has been shot and scalped. To hear it is to believe he has been through hell, but he says he is still putting one foot in front of the other each day, determined to survive.
So I have had a very busy day. The swimming pool has gone green again and has been closed now since Tuesday. I am afraid we are not going to have very many more warm days that will make swimming possible once it has been restored to blue to their satisfaction. And it is still too warm to walk! I am already restless and don't know what to do with myself!
I just read my book for the day, so I need to rest my eyes. Guess I will have to meditate. And if I can't concentrate take a nap!

My sister Linda in the pool when it was a beautiful sparkling blue!

Beef barley soup and moving on get me back up to par

I bought soup bones at the Farmer's Market store and made beef barley soup yesterday. I have never liked carrots (too carroty for me) but have discovered I love organic carrots because they generally have a milder more delicate taste. So I added them and onions along with pearl barley which adds such substance to the meal, and I had a very nourishing soup. Doc showed such interest in my intent to make soup I will throw in a chunk of meat and give him some as I have lots of it. I won't even miss his.
I plan to go over to see Paul today to see if he is up for a video on Sunday down to the park. Paul was one of the shooting victims of the Phoenix Serial killers, but I plan for the focus to be on moving on as the last time I talked to Paul he said, "I have so moved on."
His determination inspired me and I know just what he means. You have to build a good life beyond being the victim of a violent crime. I know because I was the victim of an abduction and sexual molestation at 5 years old and moving on had to be achieved to diminish the damage a criminal can do. I tried to do damage control even then by not telling so murder or some other awful thing would not follow. But I did have to tell eventually and deal with the fallout in order to heal more completely.
I am in a sense still telling in my memoirs but am trying to write them in a way that will be the least damaging to me and my family now.
I am happy with my life now as I feel I am where I ought to be. I am living in the Westward Ho at the center of down town activity. Many other residents here have been disabled as I was by the results of some trauma and are also trying to move on and live productive lives despite the damage. I am very interested in helping them do that.
I have written a number of plays but understand why I cannot get them done in theater as people in Phoenix are conceiving it, which is why I have branched off to do my own videos as I feel I can deal with more that is pertinent to life that way. It is very difficult for theater worlds anywhere to nurture the local playwrights. That hasn't happened much in Phoenix yet, not as far as I am concerned. I feel I am perceived as being too broken, too unstable for them to take the risk of doing my plays. So I am not waiting around for that to happen. Instead I am still recording the dramas of life any way that is available to me to take them to the public. You Tube has become a big venue for unknowns, so I have my channel, GerryKing40, and am now getting close to posting 300 videos in the 4 years I have been doing this. I can embed them in this blog as well which I maintain also for contact with the whole world out there! This morning I noted someone from Vietnam had looked in and a few days ago somebody from Luxembourg.
If theater worlds pass on portraying the living dramas that exist in their communities they are not reflecting the big picture.
Paul, for example, was part of one of the most terrible dramas Phoenix has ever witnessed, a reign of terror by two men seeking notoriety they thought would be accorded to them with murder. In a chilling conversation recorded by the police, the killers discuss their kills and one is angry because they have not been credited with enough of their murders in comparison to other serial killers! In fact, it is thought that at the time these two and another man who became known as the Baseline Serial rapist and killer were competing with each other!
These men appear to have been motivated by the notoriety the press accords them with which cannot be helped if there are people dying by their hands.
Now theater could take these local dramas and add the analysis and control that is needed to balance and counteract what destructive men seek to do with publicity. But local theater people have to get involved in their cities' dramas in order to do that. And that is what is tough to do when only old plays are generally all that are accepted, developed somewhere else about more distant dramas.
What I will do in a video is try to add the voice and vision of a local playwright to what has happened to Paul with him expressing his own take on the events as a major player in a horrific series of events. I will try to encourage him to express what he wants to do as the result of having been cast as an unwilling participant.
He is the most prominent victim I know of in this city. He can well be the voice of those who want to triumph over the men who victimize with strength of his own to rise above and go on, and with a damaged body that is not easy.
Paul's mother, Mary, another lady, Trudy, and a man, Mike who had been in a terrible car accident with trauma to the brain discussed rehabilitation out in the patio yesterday. Mike learned to walk again after months of struggle. He was talking to Mary about Paul's rehab struggles following his stroke, which happened during the trial of the killers.
There are so many locals whose story I want to help tell. My goal as a playwright is to live as close to the drama as I can and record it. I interact with these people and then I am trying to record a portion of what they feel.
To keep doing this I can't afford to get too ambitious for recognition or I will remove myself from the scene of the main dramas. I have to be able to stay close to the action. The drama, not the glory is what is all important to a playwright, I believe.
I think too many people go for the glory in theater too fast and hard. They therefore feel they have no time for damaged people, so they by pass learning and being involved with their dramas. Damaged people are too risky. They might not do as they are told. They might not be easy to control. Drama that is too controlled begins to lose its vitality.
I do not involve myself too deeply in the theater world, because when I start feeling the life going out of it, I know I have to withdraw. If a play does not call to me with vigor and strength I won't go. I keep saying respect where the drama is.
I challenge the theater people to become a part of all the local dramas they can. I always have had to be at the heart of the action, wherever it was. I find ambitious people tend to withdraw from the poor. If they lose touch with the poor they are no longer dramatists in a major sense, because we are poor in such great numbers, especially now days. To abandon the poor is to move out of the mainstream to live in a palace, remote and safe. That has never been my choice. Even when there is danger, I prefer to live in the heart of the most action.
I happened to run into one of the Maricopa Country Supervisors who have been in the news for months. She waited on me in a Mexican cafe across the street! She verified to me that she was Mary Rose Wilcox. I told her that I had a first cousin who was another Maricopa County Supervisor, Max Wilson, and then I told her I treasured my twenty years on the west side learning to understand and appreciate the Mexican people. (Mary Rose is Hispanic) When I told her my youngest two children graduated from Carl Hayden she knew I was not kidding. I told her I had listened to her speak on the west side several times when she was running for supervisor. I said you are a well known character in that district. She was reserved at first, but I was most impressed she waited on me. I believe she must have an interest in the cafe since they serve a Mary Rose Wilcox summer squash casserole I told her I had ordered a number of times!
This is what I mean by keeping in touch with the people even should you rise to be a representative. I liked Mary Rose Wilcox even better after she waited on me!

Mary Rose Wilcox, official public photo. I googled her name!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Uneasy sleep causes me to wake in the night with concern about Doc

I woke up about 12:30 in the middle of the night realizing Doc had not called all evening. This caused me to get so uneasy I finally got up and went down and knocked a long time on his door. When he did not answer I called. Still no answer, so I finally went to the security desk and asked if he could be checked to make sure he was okay after yesterday's events with Linda. He said not without the police. I debated quite a while about whether to call the police but decided to let it go until morning. I knocked about 20 minutes after 6 this morning and he finally answered. He said he did not answer the door in the middle of the night because he did not know it was me. He said that once during the course of their drinking Linda put him in a stranglehold. I said what did you do. He said nothing and she let go, but she is very strong. He said he could see that if she got really angry she would have been very hard for him to handle. The reason I got nervous is because Doc has gotten into several physical bouts with a drinking buddy when both have been very drunk.
He did not know that Linda had been hospitalized for extreme upset.
In my younger days I have dealt with very upset people under the influence where the police had to be called. Doc said if he had known Linda's state of mind he would not have offered her a drink! Well, I hope he has learned some sort of lesson and I have certainly learned mine about taking anyone else into the apartment of an alcoholic. An alcoholic is not mentally stable, so therefore not as responsible as other people. However, I told Doc I could not stick around trying to protect him from the trouble his drinking with people might get him into.
It has taken some adjustment to deal with the larger amount of mental patients who are seeking an apartment in this HUD complex, federal government subsidized, and by law they cannot be discriminated against. I find it all very interesting actually as I have a special interest in the mentally ill, ever since my own days of being incarcerated. I had gotten very upset because of making the decision I had to leave college which I knew my dad would not accept, and I doubt he ever could have accepted it as well as he did if he had not perceived I was ill. The past had finally caught up with me. I just could not function any longer in college. But actually, the psychiatrists made me much more ill than I was by refusing to believe something was wrong with me that might cause electric shock therapy to be too dangerous for me. Since so many were getting it they seemed to think they were obligated to give me some shock treatment. They could not just try to deal with my stress. That would have been giving in to me, the patient, since they did not believe my story of chronic fatigue. I knew I had something wrong with me that was pretty serious, but this shows they were not flexible when it came to electric shock therapy. They were on the defensive about it and could not make an exception.
If they had just believed what I told them, I would have suffered much less damage. Nearly dying did not do me a lot of good, and they pushed me into that result. That is how they found out what I had was serious.
But doctors continued to misdiagnose me throughout my life and some refused to believe that chronic fatigue was even real. I was not going to die just to prove to them how serious it was, so I always had to handle my own case, especially when I was dangerously ill. I had to heal myself with a combination of relief from stress, rest and exercise as soon as I could recover enough to do any. Limited activity.
I wished before I died many times some evidence of the illness could be discovered in a test. It would make things a lot easier for anybody suffering from this. I could not believe I was the only one in the world with it. I have run into people with serious symptoms of it who were having about as hard a time as I was being taken serious.
Now I more or less have the symptoms all the time in old age and have to do very limited activity, but since it is a chronic condition I remain in good spirits. I am just able to adjust to my limitations without upset. I do not expect it to be very hard for me to die since I just continue to get weaker until I can hardly feel anything at all, and then numbness can set in and the dying process can start. I have been down that road too many times not to know what each step involves. So as long as I stay within a certain boundary of symptoms I am okay.
I got into a little trouble a couple of days ago and had to go to bed most of the day and night, but was pretty much recovered by the next day with that much rest. I always tell people who are ailing to rest more. It is a wonder cure. Many do not know when they need to rest. Very often simply resting relieves a lot of symptoms. We are such a go go society! In fact over work and stress when still a child I thought caused me to get chronic fatigue!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Linda, subject of my last video, hospitalized

It has been a tense day at the Westward Ho as Linda I noted had gotten increasingly more upset in recent weeks. The morning I did the video I suggested that she might want to wait another day to do it, but she said she had been looking forward to it and thought it might cheer her up. I think it did, but I also think that many things had begun to prey on her mind which she was not able to throw off. She might have needed to see a counselor all along because of depressing aspects of this tracheotomy. It is always upsetting when a resident has a meltdown. We had tried to let Linda vent as much as possible but that did not seem to be relieving her mind.
I had told her that I did not want to deal with the negatives in her life, but I thought she sang the national anthem with vigor and I hoped that just talking some about her 'trache' might relieve some of her frustration.
Her dog is being looked after. That dog Toby acts so intelligent. I was very impressed with his calmness after being left with someone else. I swear I think he had some idea that his mistress was hurting.
When I went to Doc's to unload the video from the camera so I could edit it Linda asked to come along and see it on Doc's big screen. Doc offered her a beer which she took and since it was so early in the morning, I was alarmed. It was soon plain to see that alcohol was not going to help her at all. So Doc is hiding out, not answering his door or phone. He is so used to me not drinking and always being in control I think he got quite complacent. I think he will think twice now about offering anyone a beer he does not know well as many of our residents have emotional problems and it is not a good idea. I also learned a lesson about taking anyone with me to Doc's. I will let Doc and other possible beer drinkers find each other without me being a go between.
Alcohol does not tempt me in the least. But sweets sure do!
Say a prayer for Linda. She really needs all our good thoughts. When someone has to be hospitalized here for whatever reason we all try to keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

Joyce Gittoes wins Arizoni for her work in this Black Theater production, "A Lesson Before Dying"

Below I have posted my review of this play my daughter Ronda and I attended back in February 2010.



I took this photo of Joyce on the north of the Viad Building where you enter to attend a play at the Playhouse in the Park. She looks happy as well she might be playing a good role in the Black Theater Company's production of "A Lesson Before Dying." This play adapted from the book by Romulus Linney was I thought directed well by Ed Smith and on the whole the acting was very good with the audience responding strongly to a pretty serious story lightened by some good humor and good character drawing by the author.
I read the book years ago which is about the impending death in the electric chair of a young black man who has been involved in a shooting. The evidence suggests that he was merely along with the men who did the killing but since they also ended up dead along with a white man, Jefferson (the young man) is sentenced to death after his inadequate white lawyer fails to do a very good job of defending him. But such death sentences have been all too common in our justice system especially when blacks have been involved in a white man's death. This play is set in the late forties when blacks did not have the civil rights even that they do today.
But now that Jefferson has been sentenced to die his godmother, Miss Emma, played by the ageless Joyce with her usual vitality, intelligence, and humor, wants to try to help him accept his fate and die like a man. Up to then he has been pretty mentally disturbed, acting out the hog being dragged day by day to slaughter, which is what his lawyer called him in court in a misguided attempt to get him off. He is still insisting he is no better than an animal and will have to be dragged to his death. So Miss Emma asks a black school teacher to come in and give him 'lessons before dying' as best he can so that hopefully Jefferson will die with more dignity. Rod Ambrose plays Preacher Reverend Ambrose in a delightful portrait of a preacher that is both humorous and right on, who thinks Jefferson should be taught out of the bible about his soul so he can better go home to God instead of wasting his precious time with a teacher who does not even believe in a hereafter (maybe up to now that is), but Miss Emma wants a teacher, too, so all his needs will be met. She is obviously afraid that the bombastic Reverend might not be able to get through to him. The teacher, played well by Anton Floyd, struggles to find something meaningful to teach a very upset young man about to go to his death for not a good reason. Jefferson, played by Aaron Petite, suggests his bitterness and disbelief very well and shows a gradual change in his character from being driven mad by the unfairness of it all to revving up his courage through talks with his earnest teacher to walk to his death upright instead of being hogtied and dragged. The cop who attends the execution comes to tell the teacher he was the bravest man in the room when the switch was pulled, which the teacher is so moved to hear. Well, there is really no good ending to this sad story.
By this time Ronda and I were both shedding tears, and Ronda said as she left, "That's why I don't believe in the death sentence. There is too much chance of a man dying that did not deserve it."
I thought what a terrible dilemma for a young man to be in, so young, so alive and yet must somehow find courage to be executed. This play really made you think about what that would be like. I am sure Joyce was proud to be cast in a play that demanded much from the actors as well as from the audience. To the actors' credit the audience acted moved and responsive despite the time it took to build an authentic preparation for an execution. I think all those involved in this production can be very proud of themselves.

Joyce, I am happy to hear, has been justly rewarded for her fine work in theater over the years. I always love to see her perform!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to my oldest grand daughter, Laura Lynne, sitting on her dad's lap


That is her sister beside her, Kelly Anne. My son Gary, her dad, and her mother Candy were divorced when Laura Lynne was 9 or so and her mother moved to Flagstaff to be closer to a sister. So I have not seen Laura Lynne since her wedding, but she has gone on FB so I get to see the latest photos of her two children, Wyatt and Kerynn, as well as some beautiful ones of Laura Lynne. I went to Flagstaff to her wedding in which Laura was one of the most beautiful brides ever. It was a wonderful wedding. My son Gary paid for our hotel rooms and I rode back with him. My son Raymond brought his dad with him, the grandfather. Some of my family came from Utah as well. Here are some memorable photos of that wedding.

The top photo is one of me, Dean, and our sons Raymond and Gary.

The lower photo is of Kate, a Utah niece, and Kelly Anne, sister, granddaughter, and bridesmaid. The group photo is of the Grandma and Grandpa, Gerry and Dean, Kelly Anne, mother of Travis, my oldest great grandson, and Gary.


The bottom photo is of course the beautiful bride, Laura Lynne, and handsome groom, TJ.

Last is another beautiful picture of Laura with one of her children.

Laura Lynne has taken to motherhood with a passion since she had to wait quite a long time before she got her babies. She made the decision to tend some other babies instead of going back to work so she could stay home with hers.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Linda talks about her permanent tracheotomy and even sings!


For those of you who don't have broad band I am interviewing Linda this morning who has a permanent tracheotomy which was actually the result of surgery she was told was to remove a cancerous thyroid. The biopsy indicated she did not have cancer at all but Hashimoto's which is an auto immune system condition. My surgeon had a biopsy done during the surgery and nothing can be done about Hashimoto's. Additional thyroid medicine is prescribed and this is what was wrong with Linda. She did not have cancer at all, but the surgeon did not write down what he told her was wrong, so no lawyer would take her case after he accidentally severed the laryngeal nerve. It cannot be repaired and she went into respiratory arrest several times before a permanent tracheotomy had to be done. Now she must pay $200 for her trach supplies which she says she cannot afford so has been using the same supplies over again after washing them out. This does not seem right! I hope she can get help with her supplies at least.
However, I think her attitude is courageous, even though she says her condition sometimes depresses her, which I think it would anybody. She even got her voice back after nearly five years and sings the national anthem on this video! I was talking to Linda throughout her ordeal over five years ago, and was horrified to think she would come out of it with a permanent 'trach'. Singing was always her hobby. She was loving to sing Celine Dion songs when we were doing karoake back then. I hope to have her doing karoake soon. We are planning a Christmas carol karaoke style.
Oh yes, she asked if she could see herself on Doc's big screen so she and Doc had fun joking back and forth while that was going on. Then she watched me edit the video and upload it to You Tube, and Doc has promised to burn her two copies so she can give one to her mother.
I have changed the video picture so you will be able to see the top of her head. Video Photographer Gerry in the park sometimes boo boos. I still think the setting was gorgeous and the buses were not running so often. Isn't her little dog cute? His name is Toby Keith Urban for guess who? Ha.

P.S. Header photo of the Westward Ho is how it looks now. Linda and I live there and have known each other 6 or 7 years. We are filming to the new park a block away.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Farmer's Market tomatoes the best; miracle doctor saves Tom's leg


Farmer's Market the best as usual. This time I got a soup bone to make a beef barley soup. And of course I purchased tomatoes, corn on the cob and peaches.
My sister Ann said Dr. Khoury operated on Tom, her husband 3 different times inside of 24 hours to save his leg. That's dedication. I don't believe without this doctor he would still have his leg. Ann said his toes had started to pink up already. Ann may have already been able to take him home. So once more the worst thing that could happen has been avoided. I don't think we give good doctors enough credit when they manage to pull off miracles. However another doctor neglected his case for 3 days once, neither taking any measures himself or referring him to another doctor. I believe this was malpractice. Dr. Khoury had just moved to town and he was able to save his leg that time for sure. I am sure all the seniors and disabled in the St. George, Utah area are making good use of Dr. Khoury's determination to save their limbs. That city like Phoenix is a magnet for seniors because of the mild winters.
We have so many bad legs in here I am very aware of the condition. It seems like most tall overweight men especially develop the tattle tail dark ring above the ankle that signals serious circulation trouble. If a person is tall, he would do well not to put on weight.
I am quite worried about the gentleman who was in the Westward Ho Interview One video I featured in my blog. His nick name is Butch and he said his legs went out from under him and he fell hard on a bad hip. It has been five days and he is still in considerable pain. The doctors want him to have hip surgery, but he is hesitant, afraid of a bad outcome. I told him his slimness is in his favor, but he is a smoker and has a smoker's cough so I don't know how he would fare in surgery. I think he is in pretty good shape other than that. He said his sister had to have hip surgery for a worn out hip, too, but she is 12 years younger. He says she is very glad she had hers done. In the meantime he might have to have his hip checked out if it continues to give him pain. I might should check on him.
There is always somepn' for us seniors to contend with as our bodies age and this weakness or that shows up.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Life on the Rock" features leaders of 40 Days for Life Movement


Last night I watched "Life on the Rock" live on the Catholic Network on my blog list with guests Shawn Carney, Father LeCroix and Juliet Cassell telling us just what 40 Days for Life is all about. Father Mark Mary presided over the discussion who came across as a kindly man. How much I trust a kindly man, for it is hard to come across as kindly when such tough issues as abortion are being featured.
In fact 40 Days for Life leadership emphasized over and over that this is a prayerful protest which is the only way they believe they can make headway protesting at an abortion clinic site. 40 days for life people are instructed to pray as they gather there to try to intervene at the very place where life will be taken.
Protest at the abortion clinic site is of course what the media often covers in a very negative way, so I was very interested in the discussion of why this needs to be done and what the best techniques might be to achieve success.
It is a little bit harder to lose control of your emotions while you are praying constantly which is what seems to be so important in protesting abortion. Time and time again we have seen how violent protesters get featured over and over in the news in order to discredit the pro life movement.
Shawn Carney and Father LeCroix, co-leader, and Juliet Cassell all talked about the role that prayer plays in keeping protests non violent.
Another thing the Catholic priest, Father Mark Mary, said that impressed me was that we must succeed in stemming the abortion tides, we cannot fail if we are to truly worship God, that abortion truly is all of our sin, because we know in our hearts we cannot stem the red tide, the massive shedding of blood of the unborn that has resulted in 60 million abortions in our country alone since 1973, unless many of us commit ourselves to the cause.
40 Days for Life is an out reach to people of all churches. Although Catholic in origin this movement has grown to include pastors from other churches bringing in some of their flock.
The Mormon Church into which I was baptized at 8 years old is strongly against abortion, and because I still have many family members who are active Mormons, I refrain from affiliating with any other church. I feel more at peace independent but still acknowledging my tie to the Mormon Church with many ancestors on both sides members as well.
But this discussion was so fulfilling to me as it might be to you, too. It will be repeated Friday, the 17th, at 9 am eastern time and Saturday 1 am on the Catholic network on my blog list. It was so good to listen to strong men and women committed to a cause so difficult as fighting legalized abortion. It reaffirmed to me again that this is not being done by mad fanatics who cannot be reasoned with, in fact, those most successful in fighting abortion are doing it with peaceful prayerful means, but they are not shrinking from going to the abortion mills, the killing fields of abortion.
They know they cannot avoid the front lines and win this fight. Shawn Carney talked of having prayerful thoughts for the workers inside the clinics who are performing the abortions, trying to reach them as well. So the prayers are for the baby, the mother, and the abortion clinic workers, trying to save the baby's lives by changing the hearts of the mother and the workers.
I had chronic fatigue syndrome so knew I would have to fight this battle with my pen rather than by standing on the front lines at the abortion clinics. I did not have the stamina for that, so I made the media my field of protest, writing letters regarding every single piece of abortion propaganda I read, and there was a great deal of that being printed on my newspaper's editorial page during those early years. The Arizona Republic, one of the biggest newspapers in America at the time, went pro choice in a big way, a shocking surprising development to me.
That kind of propaganda is not being printed now days in most newspapers I would say, for the media has learned there is a cost to it. It has turned off the public in ways not really understood yet by them or by the protesters, but a great deal of brain washing by the media was effective in turning the young especially into believers in 'pro choice.'
"A woman's right to choose" has probably been one of the most successful propaganda slogans ever. Women are still saying it not thinking they are becoming abortion advocates to do it without restraints or limitations. Embracing this slogan is giving way to the insidious lure of propaganda, for what woman has not struggled for the rights of women to be respected? A woman's right to choose as long as she does not hurt someone else is what we must not forget. If we have sex that results in a child then we must acknowledge that child as real with the right not to be attacked and killed in the womb of all places, where it should feel the most safe. If we remember that abortion cannot be accomplished without the violent act of killing the child then we are recognizing there must be limitations to a 'woman's right to choose.'
Those who believe in abortion knew that the killing of the unborn would be the sin easiest to justify, and they have justified it in so many different ways, for years and years. It is the sin of killing easiest to hide for no one has seen the face of that child. Abortion in our midst can be accomplished in silence and secrecy, and that is why the protest at the abortion clinic site is needed to call attention to the fact that the killing goes on in our midst most of the time without protest.
We cannot stop millions of deaths without more commitment, more awareness of the killing fields, and more determination to change hearts and minds.
I am sure many think that stemming this red tide is too overwhelming a task, but with a strong belief in God and dedication a way to stop it will open up. I believe that people are capable of a great deal more than the abortion advocates think they are. They have underestimated people.
In the presence of these strong men and women last night, I could feel that God was real, made real by deeds of courageous people who believe that right can triumph over wrong, good over evil. First of all we have to go into the presence of death, we have to let ourselves think about the slaughter, the sadness of it. We have to become aware of the constant migration of tiny souls from this world, children who have never been allowed even to draw breath on the earth, who died before they could leave the womb, real, nether the less, full of life.
A woman abortion clinic worker who had a change of heart said that 'we used to lie to the women, telling them that this was not a baby and yet after the abortion we would have to go and put the aborted baby together to make sure we had gotten all of its parts'. She repeated several times that they just simply lied to the mothers, telling them what they wanted to hear rather than what they knew to be the truth. Women who believe in 'a woman's right to choose' as preached by the abortion advocate does not want to think that abortion advocates have lied about many things in order to make abortion go down easier, for what reasons it is hard to fathom. But there is insanity in this. Wrong thinking, and yes I believe that the abortion advocate or clinic worker has to be reached as well.
With such propaganda millions of young people have been persuaded abortion is just an unpleasant fact of life but necessary. We have a lot of work to do to undo the effects of abortion propaganda. But we have to remember we were vulnerable as a nation. We were not strong enough to to keep this philosophy of life from taking over. Abortion came in the backdoor you might say as a fait accompli with the Supreme Court decision, and we were not prepared to fight a Supreme Court decision. We were still wanting to think that Supreme Court Justices were infallible. Instead of people who could be persuaded that such a violent solution was unpleasant but necessary for many reasons.
We have to face that there were people who believed abortion was necessary with a passion that overwhelmed the opposition's resistance to the violence of abortion. In the years since Roe vs Wade we have had to examine our beliefs to the core, we have had to see that if we are to believe abortion is a sin then we must welcome the babies who would live were it not used. The fact that we have not been able to welcome the babies is a big problem.
We have decided the earth isn't big enough for all these babies, that we cannot learn to control our families according to our resources. We can look out at the stars without end and still say there isn't room. It is hard to have faith that there will be room, that people can find a way to live without using abortion to control population. People are always afraid of the challenge to find room for babies.
I know they can find the room. There is very little abortion in Utah and it is a flourishing state. And people there do learn to control the size of their families without resorting to abortion. I grew up in a society where illegal abortion was rare. In fact, we have discovered that abortion advocates also lied about the numbers of back street abortions that were occurring as well as self induced ones. If people will exaggerate such numbers to promote abortion, we cannot trust them. Again trying to justify killing which cannot be justified given the innocence of the unborn.
Oh the challenge to transform society into one that will not resort to abortion is huge. We may think we have forever failed at this task, but as the Catholic Priest said we have to succeed at stopping the red tide of abortions to believe in God. We know very well that a just God would ask us to be responsible for the lives we create. He did not intend for us to take these lives. If we are given the power to create we need to believe we have the power to preserve the lives of those we create, our children. We have to find a way to be responsible, and to accept the fact that to take these lives is wrong.
I think of God as having the personality of a great kindly priest, of a loving father.
Even in the presence of death there is life. Men have time and time again reaffirmed the existence of God by showing strength. With great strength we can imagine eternity.
The abortion clinic dispose of the unborn aborted babies like garbage, but the priests bless these children and acknowledge their deaths as those of a human being in the first stages, so reaffirming that life exists from conception to be preserved without being harmed.
To believe in God is an intellectual challenge beyond any that the abortion advocate can conjure up. Killing the fetus is killing the great potential of these human beings rather than rising to the challenge of providing for them.
Prayer at the site of the abortion clinic is a challenge to the abortion advocate to match it with anything as powerful. Killing a person gives people who transgress in this direction a sense of power. To save a life is more powerful for it becomes a life long challenge to come up to.
The young respond to challenge. They wither and grow weak without it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

40 Days for Life

I listened to part of the web cast last night which was to launch off the 40 Days for Life pro life activities to stop abortion officially beginning Sept. 21 across the nation. Last night the director talked about 60 million deaths since Roe vs Wade in 1973, but said that is too hard to wrap your mind around. He said instead it was necessary to concentrate on saving one baby at a time, reaching one more mother. This is in line with what I have always thought, that if everyone of us takes care of our own and tries to keep everyone in their own circle from being tempted to resort to violent solutions that is going to end up being a lot of people that are being reached and helped to make good choices.
The 40 Days for Life consists of vigils where people can come to pray. I did not volunteer to be part of this since my walking ability is somewhat impaired and I have no car, but I have always used my pen and my words to do my protesting where I thought someone needed to do it. Some are going to be outside abortion clinics. Some may just be donating funds for the cause.
I am going to watch a video tonight which I am going to put on my blog list. This website uses You Tube to broadcast their videos. I am always interested in those and you might be, too.
I went to Missy's blog, What Comes Next, (blog list) and as I saw a photo come into view I felt a chill and you will too. It is number 9 of her 30 days of blogging, and this one involves her feelings about legalized abortion. You know what, I felt immediately that this cause will be strengthened by a worker of Missy's caliber who expands tremendous energy. I must say her entry although the photo was very sad infused me with more energy to do my part.

Check down to the bottom of my blog list and click the Catholic network which has put out some very powerful videos to fight abortion. Tonight there will be a video on the 40 Days for Life effort. This will take you to their network.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sister Ann deals with BIL's crisis with his leg


Ann's husband Tom is in the hospital with still another crisis with his leg. If they can't clear the circulation to his leg he will lose it and that's not good news. He has the condition that affects some smokers, has had blockage in the artery in his leg which was repaired but when he had knee surgery, that collapsed, so he had to have another repair. Now it is threatening to shut off circulation altogether. He is in the hands of a very good doctor, so whatever he does it will be because he had to. Poor Ann just attended the funeral of her grandkids' other grandma who was only 50. Her son has just moved his family to Texas, but they had to come back a month later for a sudden funeral when the other grandma died before they could even give her very much chemo, of a sudden infection. Now another crisis. My sister must be flagging about now.
Another neighbor in here who used to live on the 9th floor has infection in her leg, but she is very heavy and I am afraid she would not survive amputation. That would be especially hard on us ladies who carry our weight in our thighs. Which is why I try to stay as active as possible to keep my legs in better shape.
You would think we would be scared into going straight, that is losing some weight to get ourselves in better shape. Sarah my neighbor is in a scooter and has a terribly bad back so had not been able to walk for quite a long time. That is what really puts on the weight, inactivity.
I am happy to report another woman I had lined up for a video wanted to go do it today! It used to be I could not get anybody to go on camera but now they are becoming used to the idea. I am so happy. I made a date with her to go to the park Sunday when there will be less traffic downtown and therefore less noise. She is going to take her cute new dog. I already had made a date to film her apartment this Xmas season as she is a wonderful decorator. I have Danny from last year lined up for a video, too.
I am also getting people lined up to try to connect karaoke and Halloween. They go well together! I want to film some people in costume having a karaoke party. I am going to do a karaoke Halloween film of Doc and me at the same time. I did order $170 dollars worth of new karaoke dvds to have fun with karaoke this year that Doc paid for, so I have got to get him in there some way. Besides he is the best singer in here. One is $100 worth of Christmas songs, including the more goofy ones, so you can expect some Christmas caroling I hope. I am giving you a hint. You will hear some warbling on Sunday from Linda with a surprising twist.
Oh yes, I even got my grandson Dante's mother to agree to make a video. Angelina is a charmer so that will be a treat, but she got burned taking a ride on my son's motor cycle, so it might be a while. They are not together but still good friends. They both love their son who is still in California going to school. I have lots of questions I am going to ask her, including her take on Immigration as she is Mexican, if she agrees to talk about that subject.
I just got back from getting my meds at Walgreens, and it's hot! The swimming pool is green and had to be shocked, but it is supposed to open back up tomorrow.
My sister Linda in California who used to go to comedy clubs to try her hand at stand up comedy really liked Carol's comic lines in the video. I told Carol and she has agreed to learn another little routine and she will give us that the next time I film her. We had a lot of fun doing this one. What I like about Carol is she doesn't have to be coaxed to do anything.
I am holding off on filming Paul, the victim of the Phoenix serial killers as I was so affected by watching that ID featuring them. It brought back the terror we were experiencing while that was going on in 2005-6, especially reliving it with a victim who described a man running across the street who was a medic back from the war keeping him alive after he had been shot. It was like war out here on these streets, and they struck from one end of Phoenix to the other, even in Mesa. So as soon as we have all recovered from reliving those memories I am going to film Paul talking about what he is doing to put all that horror behind him. I think he has a great attitude.
People over to the Silvercrest were happy I filmed LeRoy, the great master pool player in our midst, before he goes in for treatment for prostate cancer. I haven't been able to get back over there since, as it has been too hot to walk.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Carol of the Westward Ho talks to Gerry in the park


Carol and I went down to the park this morning and found this beautiful bank of yellow flowers and I set up the camera. We thought a little bit more noise was worth breathing the fresh air in an outdoor setting. Down town Phoenix was bustling all around us as we talked. I show the Westward Ho in the distance as well as the cactus blossom sculpture in the park.

Monday, September 13, 2010

MEMOIR--"Daughters of the Shadow Men" Chapter 25 When I killed a heifer pushing cattle upon Sinking Water Bench


Connie did this great title header as well as the cowgirl. She understands country.

DAUGHTERS OF THE SHADOW MEN

Chapter twenty five

During my last winter at home for 8 years, when I was twelve, Daddy deemed me experienced on a horse enough to promote me to some long distance jobs of cow punching. A heavy snow fell during the early winter and that night he did some thinking. The next morning he asked me if I wanted to take a ride down to Kings Bench. He said that he wanted to put some cattle upon a little bench called Sinking Water because the cattle would be able to eat snow for water and could browse the good feed up there. He and my Grandpa King and some of those other Boulder cattle ranchers were probably the only men in the world who thought of such errands. I argued with him. I did. I was a little nervous about being his helper and as it turned out I was right to be concerned.
Once Daddy had an idea concerning the well being of his cattle, he could not be deterred. So we set off for Kings Bench at quite a fast clip. Apparently there was water on Kings Bench although now I wonder about the water on all those benches where they used to run their cattle. By this time, the winter range had been divided so Daddy and Cecil, Grandpa's hired man wouldn't have to camp out together any more. Ever since Daddy took away some of Cecil's precious upper pasture which really belonged to Grandpa his resentment could not be contained. He did see to it that he and Grandpa got the best winter range, Bounds Bench, further down, but Daddy agreed as he had gotten to hating those long rides down to their benches.
Once we got on Kings Bench, Daddy started rounding up a herd of cattle including an old cow or two he said he been up to Sinking Water before. He told me when we got to where the cattle were going to have to go up this trail that wasn't really visible at all I was going to have to push the herd while he led the old cows up there. Well, the first time I was too timid to push them Daddy said and the cattle broke away from me and scattered again. Daddy was pretty good natured about my ineptness that time, but the second time they broke away, he did let out some pretty good curses. We had not come all that way for nothing, so I knew I better settle down and follow his directions better or we would be there all day.
When he yelled, “Push 'em, push 'em!” the third time I rode up on my horse determined not to let one critter turn back. I saw the cattle push that heifer to the edge, but I couldn't believe it when she tumbled off into what sounded like a bottomless canyon. You could hear her beller all the way down. I kept on pushing at Daddy's command and we got all but her up on Sinking Water at least, but I could see Daddy was mighty disgruntled over what had happened to that heifer.
He was so disgruntled he cussed practically all the way home. I remember he said once that that heifer's death just wiped out all the profit of him and me coming down there and boosting those cattle up on Sinking Water to get that good feed.
He was mad enough that I did not dare argue with him. I did hope it would be quite a while before he thought up something else for him and me to do. Cow punching was harder than it looked.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

MEMOIR--"Daughters of the Shadow Men" Chapter 24 When Daddy drank rub alcohol




Chapter twenty four

(I announced I would not post any more of the chapters of my memoir, Daughters of the Shadow Men Volume 1, in my blog. I waited and waited for inspiration to come off line. I have waited in vain. Apparently I am all done with writing in isolation until I have enough material for Volume 1 in order to spare the family from the public humiliation of seeing our family history in my blog going out to the whole world, although I estimate only about 30 people might be reading on a daily basis. So now I am back to putting my memoirs of my life in the wild west of yesteryear online as well as aiming for a book. I think my family would rather I did this than not write my memoirs at all)

I was always in a quandary about my dad who was my teacher in the art of cow punching. I generally divided him into the good dad and the bad dad, who mainly existed on weekends which he reserved for getting drunk. During the week he was an admirable hard working dad who knew how to do everything on a ranch, knew when it was time to clean the ditches and get ready for planting, when it was time to cut the hay, how to train a horse to work with cattle, and when to round up the cattle on the winter range in the big spring round up. He even knew how to tell funny stories and for years he would tell some of his stories to my girlfriend Connie when she came to visit from Escalante. As I recall she was the only one who was privileged to hear them, and this was not very long before I was taken out of that home to be sent away to school a year early because I appeared to be cracking up over my dad's drinking.
It was true I did start to crack up, but not before I developed chronic fatigue syndrome the year I turned twelve. We lost our precious hired girl that summer, Leah Coleman, who said she was going to stay home after working a month and get ready to move to Salt Lake to find a job and maybe go to school. I groaned at the very thought of the fruit and vegetables coming on and Leah not there to help us. I was not really surprised when I began to drag half way through the season and got worse and worse until I could barely drag myself out of bed in the morning. I tried to think what could possibly be wrong.
I tied it to that strange scarlet fever attack, as diagnosed by my mother and teacher, Jean Hansen, who finally decided it was not bad enough for scarlet fever. I was determined it was the worst thing I could possibly have. They were not going to rob me of that distinction. I had a bad feeling about that virus, and now I was dragging, no doubt going into rheumatic fever or possibly leukemia. Could I tell Mother and Dad? Best not, as nothing else had manifested yet and it took an awfully lot to impress either one of them. I knew it was probably bad to wait for something worse, but they would just think I was trying to get out of work. Get out of work? Who could live in that household and get out of work.
I thought well, I will just go ahead and die before I will become an invalid in this house unable to ride horses and punch cattle. That is what I lived for.
I can't tell you how relieved I was when my fatigue started to ease up when I had to stop bottling all day and go to school. I could sit down most of the blessed day and just do light school work, which tended to tax no one. Of course I still had to bottle in whatever hours I was home and on Saturday, but my work burden was considerably lifted. I did however think I probably still had whatever it was, it had just receded a short distance into the shadows, ready to strike again in some alarming fashion if provoked into it.
This turned out to be when my dad drank his second bottle of rubbing alcohol that winter. This infuriated Mother and she said she simply would not take him to the hospital, he could die for all she cared. He did lay on the couch unable to get up for several days. I was forced to go check on him every little while to see if he, indeed, was still alive. He turned sort of gray and beads of cold clammy sweat broke out on his forehead at one point. My theory is that this constituted more stress for me than I ordinarily experienced when he was drinking. He usually did not threaten to die right on our couch.
I knew Mother would never change her mind. She probably hoped he would die and was disappointed when he began to rally, because then he started to beg her to go into the bedroom for sex! Yes. I was not used to seeing my dad act like this. I could almost read his mind, “I am too sick too go find the hired man, so she is going to have to accommodate me like any good wife should.” We children were privy to this conversation which infuriated my mother more and more. Finally she cursed, “All right come on, you son of a bitch, and get it over with!”
They went in the bedroom in the afternoon, and since the bedroom door was warped and did not entirely close, by coming near it I was able to see and hear this bestial act of sex, which consisted of curses from my mother until mercifully it was over with. I vowed right then I would never have sex with a man, husband or not, unless I wanted to. This was going to be my rule.
I suppose the stress of wondering whether my dad was going to rally and then this violent act of sex on top of everything else did somewhat unhinge my mind. When Margie and I were washing the supper dishes after my dad and mother retired into the bedroom, I really despaired. I remember I broke down crying simply because I thought this grim state of affairs in our house was never going to end.
My sister Margie took one look at me crying and ran screaming into the bedroom, “Mother, Dad, Gerry is crying for no reason!” She meant I had not been struck and I was still crying.
They both ran out but I just ignored them. By that time I was sitting down at the table. Finally they all went to bed and left me there. I eventually just got tired of crying and went to bed.
I swear to you that is all that happened, but pretty soon I was told that I had suffered a nervous breakdown and Aunt Nethella had petitioned her sister Aunt Neta to take me into her home a year ahead of time, I presumed before I cracked up entirely , whatever that might consist of. She also told Mother and Dad not to work me so hard. I don't know how she knew how hard Mother, especially, worked us, but Mother must have been scared into doing more of the work herself. That is how I know I lived through the summer without dying of whatever ailment had manifested. Again, I knew somehow that ailment was pretty lethal, and had only been persuaded to retreat into the shadows but would come out again if I were the least bit severely stressed.
I obviously needed to be treated like a child, not like the children of alcoholics are often treated with no regard for the stress and strain inflicted every time the offending parent gets drunk. Mother was so frustrated with her life she thought nothing of escaping her unhappy lot, leaving her children to do all the labor required to keep a household going without the benefit of electricity or running water. People have no idea how much work that requires. Mother had become the master escape artist who set her children up to do a five hour bottling job and then ran away to play. I am sure that is how she kept from going crazy and murdering our father. I knew he was even more guilty of violating the marriage than she suspected, so who was I to blame her? She had gotten herself into a fine mess with such a husband, and there was no way out until we children were older. Until then she was determined we would at least do the household tasks she had come to hate. She did still do the ironing and cooked breakfast and was around to keep us safe when Daddy and his buddies invaded our territory on a drinking party.

Herrad

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