Silent Screams (and other odd sounds)

This is what I'm thinking RIGHT NOW. It may not be what I'm thinking tomorrow.

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Right Now

Currently, I have a 5 month old male Doberman puppy and a 10 year old male Yorkshire Terrier.  Each of my men have very distinct personalities; my puppy is moving continuously and getting into everything under the sun and my old man is more calm and sedate and prefers an afternoon nap rather than chase a ball endlessly in the yard.  It goes without saying, of course, that they look entirely different.  There is one trait; however, that they share.  Both of my men live in the “now”.  In fact, every animal I’ve ever loved lived in the “now.”  They have no care what happened yesterday or what may or may not happen tomorrow; they are fully focused on what is happening in the moment that they are in.  They fully enjoy life in all its majesty.

Living in the “now” is something I have a hard time doing.  I live in the future of what might be, I live in the past of what once was, but I rarely live in the present.  Generally speaking, I may laugh tomorrow over what was said today because I was too busy thinking of what happened yesterday.  Life is happening all around me but I will experience it tomorrow.  What if my tomorrow never arrives?

So many pleasures are missed when we don’t experience, in the present, what is happening right at this moment.  How many times have I missed the feel of a snowflake on my eyelashes or the sun as it warms my skin?  A few months ago as I was stepping out of my car, a slight wind kicked up and blew a shower of colorful autumn leaves down from the trees.  I stood in awe at the spectacle before me.  The sight was truly a gift from God.  A few weeks later my puppy went out in the snow for the first time; as the snow fell from the sky he examined each snowflake as if he would never behold a sight such as this again.  He was right there, in the moment.  When the the trees rained their leaves around me, I was right there – in the moment.

I need to be in the moment more often.  I need to remember vividly those things that can not be bought, borrowed or stolen.  I can only remember those things if I experience them in the now.

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Sex Education in School


For years and years there has been controversy on whether or not sex education should be taught in schools.  Those against teaching sex education in schools argue that it may promote sexual promiscuity;  sex is a subject best left up to the parents behind closed doors.  Those who are proponents of teaching sex education speak of empowerment with knowledge.  The controversy perpetuates but the real sexual education in schools have been hidden for perhaps longer than the controversy. 

Recently, the news has abound with allegations of sexual misconduct by educators.  People who have had positions of authority are being accused of sexually mistreating their students.  The accusations are landed years after the actual incidents because the victims feared embarrassment, humiliation, or retaliation if the acts were made public during the time of the sexual misconduct.  Even the fact that the victims didn’t tell of their abuse until they became adults have been controversial.  One side may say that the fact that they did not tell until years later proves it did not happen at all; the other side may say that peer pressure kept their victimization underground.

What has really gone underground is the conspiracy.  The conspiracy that perpetuates the myth that a school’s reputation is better than the mental and physical health of our children.  The “cover-ups” of sexual allegations closely guarded by adults in any school system is appalling.  Victimizing the alleged victims by hushing situations is nothing short of criminal. 

Currently, a local high school is being accused of covering up sexual misdeeds that spanned quite a few years.  Eleven adults and possibly a twelfth are accusing a religious educator/coach of sexually abusing them during high school; the deeds being performed mostly on massage tables and whirlpools after sports injuries.  These men, now in their mid 30’s state that “everybody” knew and did nothing to stop the situation except to transfer the educator in question to a monastery when the talk became too hot.

Whether in the classroom or behind the classroom, it seems sex education is more prevalent than is being admitted.

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Weight Adjustment Resolutions in the New Year

The holiday eating and drinking frenzy is often followed by a solemn oath to eat more healthy in the new year. Some of us step on the scales with fear and trepidation. The scales, to most of us, is not our friend. We step on it with one eye closed hoping that the number we see will be exactly what we want it to be.


If I said that the general population finds obesity offensive would you be surprised?  Would you be surprised that being overweight is every bit, if not more, discriminated against as race or sexual orientation?  Would you believe that this person:


is more offensive to most people than this person?



Each of these people have value and worth.  Each of these people have feelings. Each of these people are humans created by a Higher Power.  Each of these people have serious health issues.  For the most part, only one of them will get sympathy and the other will get criticism.  Notice the “” words on the picture of the obese woman.  What is she doing that is funny?  She is merely doing the same thing that another person at any gym may be doing, but since she is “fat” it is funny.  I want to say kudos to her for getting up and being more active.  For the most part, only one will get “advice” from well-meaning friends and relatives to adjust their weight; the other will more than likely be told (if more clothes are on to cover the obvious) that “I wish I was thin like you.”

As Americans, we are obsessed with the idea that we can not be “too rich or too thin.” Americans value thin despite the fact that we are probably the most overweight people in the world.  Maybe we should be more concerned with trying to get as healthy as we can instead of what may or may not be aesthetically pleasing to others.  In my humble opinion, weight loss should never be driven by how it makes us look but by how it makes us feel when we are at a healthy weight for our body.  Weight loss should be driven by a desire to live as optimally as possible throughout our whole life.

Although I have not been on the extremes of the spectrum, I have been on both sides.  I have been overweight and I have been thin.  I have been told how much better I would look if I would just lose a little weight and I have been told that “I wish I was as thin as you.”  Rarely did people tell me to gain or lose weight because of health; those that did cared about me and not what I looked like.

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What To Do About Today’s Youth


As I pass my mid-50’s the words “What is happening to the youth of today?” echos in my mind as words so many “older” people said way back when I was young.  I thought the words were meant to be demeaning to the youth of then but now I am not so sure.  I hear myself saying those words today, but I say those words out of concern and fear of what is happening to the youth of today and what will be happening to our youth in the future.

As I look back upon my youth, I remember it being pretty simple.  I wasn’t concerned with designer clothes, purses or shoes.  I lived simply and so did the majority of children with which I went to school.  There weren’t an abundant amount of local malls to hang out in with my friends and I didn’t have “older” friends who could drive me around town.  We didn’t have beepers, smart phones or computers.  The World Wide Web hadn’t infiltrated my daily activities and I got dirty playing tag football with the neighbors.  Life was good.  I was fortunate.

Years later, when I became a mother, things were a little different.  Most mothers worked outside of the home as did I.  Things changed from working for “need” to working for “want” but we deceived ourselves in thinking that those “wants” were needs” and I include myself in that category.  After awhile, all those “wants” did become “needs” in the eyes of our children and we became helpless to turn back the hands of time. For many parents, perhaps we did this out of a sense of guilt that both parents worked outside of the home and the “traditional” home of our youth was altered.  Lovingly, we gave our children our money because our time was too scarce. In confusing wants and needs, could we, as parents, have raised a nation of children who lived in an time of instant gratification which was and will be unable to be fulfilled in their future?

Parents my age, for the first time in history, will probably have a greater income than their children will obtain.  Many children have moved into the same house they grew up in with their parents, bringing with them their children as well.  The grandparents, who are making more money than their children, are oftentimes supporting not only their children and spouse, but their children’s children as well.  Five year old grandchildren, living with grandma and grandpa, have televisions and X-boxes in their room, bought by the grandparents. In many elementary schools, it would not be uncommon to see a 7 year old girl dressed in the most fashionable shoes with lights that flash or carrying a book bag with the Vera Bradley brand.  If the income of the our 25-30 year old parents are less than their parents how can this be?  Could it be that Grandma is buying the clothes?  Could it be that Grandpa is supporting the extended family? 

So, where is all of this mumble jumble going?  It brings me back to my fear and concern for the youth of today.  What happens when our generation becomes too old to support our children and our grandchildren?  What happens when the expectations of our children will be unable to be met?  By giving our children their wants instantly, how much did we help them?  By giving our grandchildren the best of things, how will that color their future?  When a generation has lived in abundance not created by their own hands that abundance is oftentimes not appreciated but it becomes an expectation – something deserved. 

I believe that each of us, as parents, did the best we could with what we knew.  Each of us did what we thought was the best for our children and we did it with love.  I have two daughters.  As with all things hindsight is 20/20 and I know I have made mistakes in raising my daughters.  I have done some good things as well.  I do not have grandchildren but I don’t have to have them to see that so many grandparents are doing to their grandchildren what they did to their children – giving them all they can whether they need it or not.

I was fortunate.  My children didn’t ask for much growing up.  They were not tempted by everything new and glitzy.  Since my children did not ask for much, when they did they generally got it.  Perhaps they didn’t get it that day, or that week, but more than likely they got it.  I say I am fortunate because I could easily have fallen into the “give them all they want” syndrome.  I am not immune to loving my children monetarily.

I love the youth of today.  I just hope they can survive our parenting.

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Chasing the Bi- Scene

free_technology_coursesMore than thirty years ago, I learned about a series of “on” and “off” switches that functioned on a binary number system which was supposed to be the wave of the future.  These series of numbers, ranging from 0 to 1, were going to revolutionize the manner in which we would learn.   I remember having to learn how this intricate numbering system would be able to do things that were only imagined at that time.  I laughed thinking that a binary number system could be more effective that the base 10 system which was so widely accepted at the time; besides, what a person could do with 2 numbers could be done 100 times more efficiently with ten.  I assumed that these tiny switches that would turn things on and off to make learning easier was a scientific fad much like long division.  This ridiculous system would never last!

How little did I realize that this binary number system would, thirty years later, bring me to tears.

Being born in the late 1950’s, my computer usage was very limited.  It wasn’t until I had children in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that I thought that learning how to use a computer would be “fun.”  Off my husband and I went to the most techno-geek electronic store to purchase the biggest and baddest  computer we could find with the idea that our children could use it when they entered high school in about 10 years or so.  In the meantime, my husband and I could be well versed in the computer world and give our children a distinct advantage.

Needless to say, the computer was in the electronic graveyard in a couple of years along with WordPerfect and all those other wonderful programs that would “last forever.”  The state of the art computer that we had purchased merely a couple of years before was already obsolete.  Words like “upgrades, and external hard drives” were to come years in the future, and when that future did arrive, the average Joe could only dream of doing those amazing upgrades himself.  More than likely, when the computer you had purchased a couple of years earlier for thousands of dollars became useless, off you went to one of many electronic stores, which were popping up all over at alarming rates, to finance another computer for thousands of dollars.

In the thirty years since learning about the revolutionary binary number system, I have made every attempt to keep up with the changes that have been occurring in our cyber world.  I’m sorry to say that most of the time I have always been a step or two behind the latest updates.  Just when I feel marginally competent in the use of a new device or technology, it changes and I become resistant to that change.   Maybe it is not that I am resistant to change but I just want things to slow down long enough for me to catch up.  I have grown weary of chasing the bi-scene.  I have grown weary of watching others pass me by and me being left in their cyber dust.

Recently, I feel that I am no longer in the cyber dust.  I have upgraded to cyber mud that has infiltrated each and every one of my synapses and has made the working of my physical binary brain sluggish at best.  Technology has succeeded.  It has brought me to my knees.  No longer can I be a passive learner of technology only educating myself to what is necessary in the moment;  I must be an active participant in the future that is technology.