Archive | March 2014

Winter drags on…

I helped my sister out at her store today and when I left the house it was a balmy 65 degrees and some of the customers who were shopping stated it had gotten up near 70 degrees. But about late afternoon it started to become overcast and started to cool down quickly. The biggest complaint from everyone today was the wind though – we had gusts up near 50 MPH and it was unrelenting. Driving to town this morning was not too bad, but it had become stronger when I drive home making it difficult to keep the vehicle on the road. One gal said she got home from work and their flag pole was broken in half from the strong winds. She was thankful she had not put out her bird feeders, as she figured they might be into the next county by now.

With the wind today a lot of people were crabby. I know the weather has a lot to do with it. It seems winter will be going right into summer with no spring to enjoy. Yesterday was a beautiful day near 70 degrees, but once again the wind was very strong and it was difficult to stay out for long to enjoy the lovely temps.

We are going to get some much needed rain this week it sounds like, but it is to be breezy all week long with no end to that for now. This winter I could count on my fingers the days we had no wind, so is it any wonder why people are crabby when the wind blows this hard. Most of our winter has been raw, strong windy days. It was first thought that we would have milder temps this week with just rain showers, but tonight they are predicting the temps are to drop further, there is a wind chill now of the teens, we are to have snow by Friday and it could be the accumulating kind.

I am headed back into town to attend my nieces music concert tonight and I certainly hope I make it home with no mishaps or wind issues. I always worry about passing semi’s when the wind is this bad – if they have an empty load, I have seen where the winds can topple them on their side and the wind today could do that.

Spring might officially be here on the calendar, but Mother Nature is not done with the snowy, cold, blustery weather yet, despite my attempts at pleading with God for some spring-like days. I keep telling myself…this too shall pass.


I’d Be Moving…

I just posted on my Facebook page about a rat that was caught in a Swedish families home – please go there to check it out – truly amazing how big this thing got. They wondered why the cat was not wanting to go into the kitchen – cannot blame the cat! I would not be able to stay in the house after catching this! They state they can eat through concrete and layers of wood.

Here is the link to my Facebook page. In inches it measured 15.55 inches long, not including the tail. I never knew they could get that big!

Sorry if it gives people the creepy crawlies – do not mean to disgust anyone – just thought it was an interesting story. A monster catch in a Swedish home…

The Future Belongs to God….holding onto that!

As each day passes and I am still finding myself searching for work that is not to be had – I am struggling with what my future holds.

I have always been able to find work in my field, but this time it is proving to be next to impossible locating any work around my home town. I was laid off the beginning of December, basically a surprise to me with no real warning it was coming…just very, very subtle hints, but I was so busy to really be able to read them and such things had happened before, so did not really think this time was different. I have been on unemployment with my benefits running out in 3 months and no closer to locating work than the day I started looking.

I question at my age of 50 if I need to reinvent myself and go back to school, take a job I have never done before and gain new experience (can an old dog be taught something new?) or continue to look in the field I have always worked in (medical)?

I pray daily for God to give me a sign or show me the path to take – I am still waiting for that sign. I know He wants the best for me, but the silence is difficult to accept when time is ticking away. I am trying to be still and prayerful through this because I know God can and will open a door. I know He has plans for me just as he tells me in Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, “says the Lord.” “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” So I am trusting Him for this promise in my life right now that where I am to be is where I will find myself before the next 3 months has run out.

I love the quote by Oswald Chambers “We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties” and sometimes I do pray more for God to help me keep my eyes on Him then I do for the difficulties I am facing.

Part of the difficulty in locating work is that I need to be close here to help my parents. As they have gotten older they are needing more and more assistance with things and as the oldest child and single, I feel it is my duty to be there for them when they need help and sometimes that means literally picking them up off the floor on occasion because they have fallen. My sister helps when she can, but she is a busy gal with a family and my brother lives too far away to be of any help. Some days it is overwhelming, but I remind myself all they sacrificed for me over the years and that it is my turn to give back to them.

In some ways I am trying to look at the loss of my job as a blessing. Strange maybe, but let me explain. I was under extreme stress and had little free time for myself, as I was working long hours. I was the only person who held my position. They got someone to help me, but it was not the kind of help I needed to be able to leave this person for a week in my position while I would take time off. When I took a day off to take one of my parent’s to a doctor’s appointment, the gal they had hired did not get much done. I worked for this place a little over 7 years and in those 7 years I only had a vacation in the first 2 years, after that they had let all the other staff go who did my job and it was just me. Needless to say, I was experiencing burnout fast and in some ways being laid off was a bittersweet blessing, which allowed be to finally get some time off.

So while I wait on God for answers and direction, I started this blog, I help a couple days a week at my sister’s secondhand store, I started selling Avon again, I’ve been taking my parents to appointments, enjoying the pleasure of reading books once again, working on some projects I did not have time to do while working full-time/overtime, and praying for guidance and direction. I feel keeping busy keeps my eyes off my problems and able to think more clearly. As far as stress goes, things have gotten much better.

I know God is faithful to answer my prayers, He has never failed to do so and if I have received no answer, I remind myself often that I do not see the under workings in my life/circumstances, but He does and He always works things out for my best interest and so even a no answer is an answer. I certainly do not want anything that is outside of His will for me. It is my hope that I will have an answer before the 3 months is up and I am trusting Him for that!

The Story Of Leonard Peltier…A political prisoner.

I have followed this story after watching “Incident at Ogalala: The Story of Leonard Peltier” about a year ago and this man needs to be set free.

I think this man is a political prisoner and should be released. They do not have any evidence he killed the two FBI agents (Collier and Williams) who came onto the reservation that day in 1975 in South Dakota, uninvited, chasing a vehicle they stated was a “red picket” and the man they had been looking for, Jimmy Eagle, who they state stole a pair of cowboy boots. Not the color of the color of the vehicle and the make, as it is crucial in this case and it will be changed and used to convict Leonard, as you will see in the second video.

The gun they state Peltier used really belonged to someone else and the questionable investigation the FBI performed does not convince me it belonged to Peltier.

The other two Native American men, Robideau and Butler, who were arrested for the same crime were found not guilty in a court here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but FBI agents state the jury was being harrassed by AIM leaders and that is why they came to that verdict, but jury members state they were not threatened by nor did they see any Indians except in the court room. One gentleman stated he was more fearful of the FBI agents and there were many of them present in the courtroom each day.

Leonard went to Canada and eventually was extradited back to the states and was not allowed to be tried in Iowa, but was tried in Fargo, North Dakota and eventually convicted of the deaths of the two FBI agents. The evidence does not substantiate their claims – another man killed the agents, but Leonard took the fall for him and he will not say who it is, wishing to protect his people. He was convicted in 1977 and has served 37 years. You will see in the second video the man who actually killed these two agents in disguise. His vehicle was seen leaving the scene and was never seen again after he shot these two agents and the three who were tried witnessed this.

Some still believe he is guilty and needs to rot in prison, but I don’t come away with the same conclusion. I think it is more a cover up of the FBI fumbling an investigation and two agents who were bound and determined to get their man and came uninvited onto a reservation where they did not properly announce themselves nor were they known to these Native Americans, they were new to the area. The shooting began and of course both sides state it was the other who started it – I am not sure anyone fully knows who started the shooting to this day and not sure it would make a difference.

Not only was this reservation fighting with the government agencies during this time, but also the leader of their tribal council who leaned more toward the enforcement of white men and their government. Dick Wilson run rough shod over these people – he was more white than Native American – Pine Ridge Reservation was the poorest one in this country – Dick Wilson kept much of what the money the US government gave to this reservation and he used it as he saw fit, which was not for the people he ruled over. So not only were they under the thumb of our government, but the thumb of a man who did not understand or care about their traditionalist ways and beliefs, despite the fact he was one of them. Because of him and his goons, many murders happened on this reservation and many Natives were killed or wounded badly, even women and children.

In order to get Peltier extradited back to the States, the FBI threatened Myrtle Poor Bear. Leonard and Myrtle had never met or had ever known each other until his trial began and she was told she had to tell lies and state she saw Leonard kill the two agents. If she did not she would receive the same fate of a female AIM member who had her face shot off by an unknown assailant and left in a ravine and was later identified only by her hands. Myrtle was told she would receive a worst fate where no one would ever know who she was and her child she would never see again. Based on her false testimony in light of the threats, the Canadian’s felt this was enough to have Peltier extradited back to this country for trial.

The description of the vehicle these agents were chasing was reported over the radio as a red pickup and this was stated in the first trial of Robideau and Butler, but they stated at Leonard’s trial that it was a van or suburban. Leonard Peltier drove a red and white van and the description was changed in order to say it was Leonard’s car they were chasing and they tried to say these two agents did not know the difference between a pickup and a van because “maybe they did not grow up on a farm!” Guess that means someone from a city or town is unable to distinguish between the colors and the shapes of a vehicle – two men who would not know that – I don’t buy that, most men know the makes and colors of vehicles, I have never met one who doesn’t. Preposterous attempts of the FBI to do whatever they thought necessary to point the finger at this man. When I look at the FBI and US attorneys on the agencies side in the two videos below I believe they are lying by the look in their eyes. They were angry about not winning the case against Robideau and Butler in the Iowa court system and this was their way of nailing one of these three men for the deaths of their two agents.

I think the US Attorneys and FBI agents in these two video’s below want everyone to believe that the FBI agents were not at fault, but with the history of what had happened on the Pine Ridge reservation over the course of the previous 5 years prior to the 1975 incident, they came barreling forth, determined to catch the man they were after in a “red truck” and did not take into account what had happened prior to this time and the fear that ran high among the Native Americans on this reservation when anyone entered their land aggressively and a people who would do anything to protect their land, their families, and their way of life, such as it was.

I believe that Native Americans just want to live their lives just like we all wish to – in peace and to have the same resources to the same things we all do – which they should, they are just as human as we all are and they were here first! I believe that the white man long ago was convinced that they were superior to the Native Americans and this is where they were wrong, but why they have been treated the same all these years – I do not understand it. We all bleed the same, we all are born the same way, we all are created in the likeness of God – none of us are better than any other human that walks this earth. The God I believe in would not be looking down and agreeing with this kind of treatment and I do not believe He condones it or will bless those who pursue this kind of treatment for any of His creations!

Native Americans had much they could have taught the people they encountered in the beginning, but they were always at war with people who continually took and took from them and treated them as savages and not entitled to their land, their hunting of bison and what it meant to them. Just think, say for instance you owned a parcel of land – you had laid claim to it and you worked and lived off that land – if someone came along and began to set up house and did not ask or inquire if it was okay and they would shoot your cows or pigs and only use what they wanted and left the rest of the carcass to rot – just think – how would that make you feel – would you sit still and let them do that, would you just say – here you go have at it? You know you would fight for it and that was what the Native Americans did – fight for their way of life, but they were over powered by the multitudes of white people coming to this country and wanting to establish a home on a parcel of land. I think the approach that was taken by the white man was very wrong – there was no approaching these people with peace, just entitlement to wanting what they wanted and using any means to get it – even killing and telling these people that your way of life does not matter, you don’t matter – you will be placed on a plot of land and you will farm it and accept only what we feel you are worthy of getting, which over the years has been very little.

History will repeat itself and it will not just be a certain people or race or religion – it will be multitudes of people who will be treated this way because they will wish to fight for what they believe in and what they feel is their right under the Constitution this country has been built upon. Does that mean those who fight will be considered savages and of no worth? Yes and probably worse! We are being told already if you stand up for the right to bear arms, the right to practice your beliefs or share them, your right to home school your children, the right to spank your child to teach them right from wrong, the right for freedom of speech, the right to pray in a public place, the right to display the manger on public grounds, the right to say Merry Christmas, the right to have the Ten Commandments displayed in the halls of justice, the right to say the Pledge of Allegiance, and the list goes on – you are WRONG and not entitled to those things anymore and you are therefore considered radical and against what this country is now all about. Maybe you can understand what the Native American people have lived with all these years. Don’t believe me – read the story of the Trail of Tears – unbelievable horror those people experienced and many did not survive to tell the story, but thankfully some did. We talk about genocide in other countries, but that has happened here, on this land as well.

Watch and decide for yourself whether this man is guilty or if it is highly probable they have convicted the wrong man. Not everyone in prison is guilty of the crimes they have been convicted of – this has been proven time and time again in this country and all over this world.

Incident of Ogalala: The Story of Leonard Peltier – Part 1

Incident at Ogalala: The Story of Leonard Peltier – Part 2

Additional video about Leonard Peltier

To Heaven and Back by Mary C. Neal, MD

I found this book at my sister’s consignment store and it is about a doctor’s extraordinary account of her death, Heaven, Angels, and life again – based on a true story of what has happened in her life and what her purpose on earth is.

She speaks of her faith when a teenager and the many times God seemed to intervene over the years after getting out of high school and going into medical school for her studies in orthopedics and then to become an orthopedic surgeon. She admits she is cynical and skeptical and maybe that is why she experienced so many times where she encountered angels, her short time in heaven, and many other occurrences that she felt God was close by and intervening.

She wondered why she was brought back to life, which I am sure we would all question that since Heaven is wonderful, but she knows now that God had reasons why she was to be here and she shares those in the book. I have experienced times in my life where I know God was with me and saved my life or was a presence to encourage me and know He is never far away, but always present by my side whether it is He himself or guardian angels.

I enjoyed this book and I do believe that miracles are still performed today, not just something that happened while Jesus walked the earth. Mary dispels the myths that there is definitely life after death.

I watched a documentary the other evening about Life after Death and they spoke only from a scientific point of view and rarely was God’s name mentioned. I was truly saddened by the lack of a connection with God these people had following their experience in heaven – many would say they saw the Mother Mary, others would say it was strictly angels, and only 1 or 2 people stated it was a higher power. I was surprised after their near death experiences that they did not have more of a desire to pursue God. And rarely do you ever hear of the stories of people who had near death experiences who did not see the light, but just darkness. I know there are people out there who have experienced that, but I think most people do not share those because no one wants to believe there is a Hell that people will go to, but in the Bible it states in Revelation 20:15
“And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.” And again in:
Matthew 13:41–42
“The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Satan will deceive many in believing there is no hell, but he is lying. I am sure he already knows that will be his fate along with the false prophet.
Revelation 20:10
“… and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

This book by Mary C. Neal, MD is a good one and I found it difficult to leave it lie. I have attached a copy of the front of the book here for your viewing. If you read this book – may it forever touch your life!

To Heaven and Back by Mary C. Neal, M.D.

Music…what kind were you raised around?

Music was a big part of my life growing up. My mother played the piano and both my parents sang. The music I grew up hearing around our house was honky-tonk, bluegrass and gospel/Christian music. To this day I enjoy that music, but I am diverse in my music tastes and like variety in that with it all depending on my mood and what I want to listen to at that time. I enjoy Soft rock, some jazz (Kenny G), Celtic, Native American, some classical, instrumental, contemporary Christian (love to listen to K-Love radio), country music (not so much the modern), some pop music, some Hebrew, some reggae, and those mentioned above.

My mother in her younger days would play the piano with her sister for dances in the area. They only knew how to chord and did not have much in the way of formal training, but they were good and were asked many times to play. When we were in high school we started to go to a little country church not far from where we lived and she would play piano there and often times pick up the tempo of some of the hymns. She worried that people at church would not like the way she played them, but they actually loved her playing and asked her often to play for church services and others needing accompaniment while singing.

We were all encouraged to sing. My father used to sing in the choir in school and carried that on and sings for funerals and church services. My mother never sang solos, but would sing the harmony with me or my father. I have sang in church in various capacities and quite often until I came down with pneumonia one year and since then my voice has not been the same and have done very little singing since then – I miss it a lot!

I am a huge fan of music and believe that it can speak when there are no words to express what you are feeling at the time. Somewhere I read a quote that stated: “Music is the language of the soul” and I truly believe that.

Music has many benefits for us humans – it can reduce stress, improve our outlook, it can encourage and motivate, ease tension and frustration, studies have found it can boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure, and there is a growing field now in music therapy, which uses music to heal.

What do you enjoy listening to? What music did you grow up hearing? I hope you will share!!

Music is what feelings sound like

Dorito Chicken Bake

2 cups shredded cooked chicken or 1 lb of browned ground beef
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (divided)
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
½ cup milk (mix with soup)
½ cup sour cream
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes (drained)
Sliced black olives, drained
½ packet taco seasoning
1 large bag Doritos
Shredded lettuce
diced tomato

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix together shredded chicken, 1 cup of cheese, cream of chicken soup, milk, sour cream, Ro-tel tomatoes, and taco seasoning. Mix well.

Grease a 2-quart casserole dish, and add a layer of crushed Doritos across the bottom. Top with a layer of the chicken mixture. Add another layer of crushed Doritos, and then add another layer of the chicken mixture. Top with remaining cheese. You can add more crushed Doritos on top as well if you wish.

Cover and place into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30-25 minutes until bubbling hot. Remove from the oven and top with lettuce, tomato, and black olives.
(Makes 4 Servings)