Cats and Cigarettes

My daughter, Pencil Princess, drew these. I love them.

She does not like them (hates them), but said I could post them on my blog.

She did these in art class. The little girl is watching big sister smoke. Then in the next panel, as an older kid, she’s now smoking. Their faces are scratched out, but I love that. So, the little girl is wearing a cat dress and then she’s wearing a cat shirt to show progression of time. I love the exaggerated clouds of smoke and how the smoke lines up almost perfectly from panel to panel.

I forget, did you do that on purpose, PenPrin? Nice job. Love it.

Check out her creations on her blog. She’s really developing her illustration skills.

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Responsible

What I’m about to type is a very conservative, fundamental, controversial viewpoint about the state of confusion in which we find ourselves. If you have factual evidence to contradict me, you can comment peacefully below. Thanks.


We are in the clean-up stages of yet another school shooting. The media is competing for your viewership/readership with breaking details about why this happened. We all know why this happened. A crazy person with a GUN, a crazy person without a fully developed frontal lobe shot multiple other human beings because they lost (or never had) the ability to respect life. And we are responsible. Everyone. Every single person who touched this boy’s life is responsible.

That would include: the media, video game designers, his CHURCH, parents who don’t store their guns properly, gun manufacturers, fellow students, teachers, parents of peers, social media, t-shirt manufacturers, school administration, the girl who let four months of harassment culminate in an explosive humiliation of her peer, anyone who saw something and didn’t say something, magazine manufacturers (publications and bullet-holders), pornography of all kinds, mental health counselors. The whole damn confusing world is responsible for this bullshit.

Oh. Not you?

Really?

In a culture that allows women to strip, or pretend to strip, for money? We are responsible. We allow teens, even accidentally, access to guns? Responsible. We do not love others unconditionally? Responsible. We have turned away from modesty, decency, restraint and community? Responsible. We have turned from God or love to love of money, guns or beauty? Responsible.

We teach young men to look at the height of beauty, to desire an image, but we ask them to control their biological impulses. Look, but don’t touch. Unless I want you to. #metoo Confusion!

Magazines today are the cock-tease of the world. Without modesty, we are definitely confusing those males who are underdeveloped and ill-equipped to sort out boundaries. We tease them with beauty, love and acceptance. We sell fantasy. Then reject them. Then we allow them access to a gun.

It’s easy to point to the parents, the teachers in that school district, to guns. But what are we actually doing about loving others? Not tempting our brother? Reaching out for the least of these and not humiliating them, getting them help? How can we pursue our personal freedom if someone else is being shot, struggling to eat, or threatening to end their life or the life of others? What are we teaching our young daughters? How to conduct themselves with modesty and kindness or get what they want at any cost?

Before we crucify another boy for mental illness and murder, should we not ask ourselves what needs to change in addition to stricter gun laws? How can I change what’s happening? How can I conduct myself in a safe, respectable, responsible way to impact the world? If I am continually harassed, what can I do to change that? If I don’t want to be thought of in a certain way, if I want to be honored for something other than my body am I offering the world my mind OR my tits, ass, and latest makeup tips? Am I projecting an image to the world that helps or hurts? What makes girls or women of any age think they receive love for showing their body?

Unfortunately, the people that ask these questions aren’t the ones picking up a gun to solve their problems. The world is lost. We are lost until we are loved. Who loved that boy enough to keep him and others from harm?

You can howl at the government and gun makers to reform, but what about our own God-forsaken communities that allow this shit to happen? It takes a village, right? It takes a village to humiliate a murderer. It takes a village to reject a human being. It takes a village to let another boy slip through the cracks. It takes a village to stop this insanity. It takes a village to save another batch of students from slaughter.

We have sold and sacrificed our youth on the altar of money, lust and greed. And it will keep happening until we love everyone. Even the killers. He wasn’t a killer, until he killed.

It will keep happening as long as we are confused, distracted and obsessed with things/power rather than people. God help us.

Braggart

I just have to praise my daughter for one moment. She deserves some praise.

Lilli started her freshman year in a new school last fall. She was ambitious and hopeful. She took AP World History because her previous history teachers were awesome and she’s always taken advanced placement classes when possible. She got to pick her schedule for the first time without input from us. (Truly! We did not encourage her to take this, it was news to us!) She had no idea how tough it would be.

AP World History is a class usually reserved for sophomores and juniors. It’s a college-level course offering college credit with weighted grade points. She didn’t really understand how grueling it would become or that it was for college credit. She just assumed this is the class she should take. The other history course offered to freshman was just regular old History.

She quickly realized the amount of note-taking and homework was unusual. A Bible-sized amount of vocab note cards later, she was drowning in stress and anxiety. This wasn’t even like any college course I’d taken. No notes dictated by the professor. Just endless excavation of words from reading. This was difficult for a 14 yo who should actually still be in 8th grade (she skipped 4th grade). Hell, it would be difficult for anyone of any age.

But she just found out–she got a 95 (A) on her final exam for the class! Honestly, I was overjoyed, but not surprised. I knew she could do it. Of anyone I know, Lilli could do it.

Lilli is smart. So are many kids these days. But what Lilli has above most, even her parents, is an undying work ethic. I’m so proud of that. So thankful for her constant devotion, integrity and bottomless strength. She inspires me.

She’s had her low moments in this class. Feeling overwhelmed. Feeling inadequate. Feeling like she’s in over her head. But she always rallied. With encouragement from us, she didn’t linger long in her feelings of vulnerability and weakness.

After the first week, she was ready to transfer. Through tears and shaky voice cracks, she was serious about moving to a less-challenging class. I asked her to try. Try until the end of first semester. “And if you still want to transfer, let’s do it,” I told her.

She tried. She finished. She succeeded. And she stayed the whole year.

We’ve helped, but she’s done most of it on her own. Just being willing to try was her biggest accomplishment. Pushing past difficulty and pain. Tackling this class has been the hardest, most challenging job she’s had so far. And she aced it.

Big lessons other than history learned here. Way to go, Pencil Princess. I am so happy that you’re my girl. So happy you kept going. You’re getting a huge reward from us! AND you don’t have to take World History ever again! LOL You’re a genius!!


You can change the world. You just have to change your mind first.

hold the door open for grace

i thought i shared this already. this is from 2015, originally.


i was being the door lady at Lilli’s school this morning and a car pulled up with two kids and one irate mom. i opened the door as the van pulled up to the curb. one child got out of the back and another opened the door to the passenger side front. she didn’t get out. her mother was mad. frustrated. high-pitched. irritated. annoyed. yelling.

u could tell she felt disrespected and very taken aback. did she have a right to feel that way? who knows? maybe. probably. maybe not. maybe she’s on her period, maybe she’s super demanding, maybe nothing anybody ever does pleases her and she’s just a high-riding bitch. maybe her daughter said something really nasty to her right before she opened the door and the mother had a legitimate beef with her evil, rotten spawn of a demon child.

maybe not.

i don’t really know either one of the people i’m describing. my limited experience with this family is that the daughter was gossiping and picking on my daughter at the beginning of the school year. in choir, the girl started a rumor that Lilli was a terrible singer and that she was single-handedly ruining the choir. i’m not exaggerating this rumor. that’s what was said. funny. because Lilli just made honor choir after auditioning for only a few moments. she thought she messed up and wanted to try again. the choir teacher said, “No need. You did just fine. I gave you a 5 out of 5.” not bragging, but i don’t think she’s ruining the choir.

so this is the girl who said bad things about my kid. she purposefully tried to hurt my daughter.

do i dislike her? no. she’s just a kid. and whatever behavior she learned is directly the responsibility of her parents. do i hold a grudge against this kid? no. she’s just a kid. i’m a xian and were supposed to forgive and forget. was i wary of this kid? yeah. i felt nervous for MY kid. mama bear has her claws out. at least.

today though. today. i had deep compassion for this kid. i am this kid. she’s tall, overweight, bully-ish and uncomfortable in most situations. she doesn’t feel like she fits in and so…lashes out. her parent is riding her and she has a bad attitude. she’s probably been pushed around by parents, other kids and other adults. i was this poor kid.

and i’m the mother. ready to be offended. i don’t yell at my kid, but i sure as shit harp on my husband. i don’t wanna be the crazy lady yelling in the car in front of everyone. but i do often feel disrespected. i wish to GOD i was not so easily offended/hurt/angered/tempted. i am an easy target for Satan when it comes to my pride. so i am the daughter. i am the mother. i am the embarrassing sideshow in front of the school. so what did i do?

i recognized my own failure in these actions. i identified with these people and i gave them grace in my heart. if not a verbal acknowledgement…a mental pass at their behavior. because so often i make constant judgments about people’s ridiculous behavior and i cut them down in my mind. kill someone in your mind with words, might as well kill them IRL. that’s what the bible says.

BUT! this morning. i made a change. i prayed for them! i prayed for them on the spot because i don’t want to be judged when i find myself in the same situation. i said, “Good morning!” with a smile to the girl who hurt my daughter. and i prayed all over her as she walked by. she doesn’t deserve it, but neither do i. and i prayed for the mom to wake up, get right, calm down and have a good day. praying that for myself too. amazing things to learn when holding the door for people and volunteering ur time at school. little lessons in the smallest examples of service. it’s humbling to have to hold the door for someone the world would tell you to hate. try washing their feet.

Thoughts and Prayers

I offer my thoughts and prayers.


God, please watch over and protect our children. Every. Day.

BUT. ALSO.

God, please help us to have common sense and protect our own children by enacting reasonable gun laws to keep military-style weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill. Please, help us to love our children more than guns. Please, help us trust you more and our ability to protect ourselves less. Help us to trust love instead of fear. Please, help us see the error of our ways and practice modesty, humility and peacefulness instead of looking for a fight. Please, help us reach out for those kids who need help. Not rebuke the misfits. Please, restore our country to the great nation it can be with loving instead of arming, shouting and hating. Please, God, bless our ailing, failing country. We have forsaken the love you sacrificed on the cross for Facebook, status, celebrities and guns. Help us.

AND. PLEASE.

Keep the NRA out of Washington pockets.

A-BOLDFACE-men.

I ask all of these things in all seriousness and fervor. I ask these things in your son’s holy name. We should all sacrifice what we love the most for the sake of healing the world as you did with your son. Please, help us see that.

I don’t want to wonder what that noise was after I drop my daughter at school.

Better Things to Do

You’ll never understand me
But really that’s okay
I have better things to do
Than fight online all day

I have minds to change
Hearts to save
Actions to do
Love be a slave

Talking to you is
Wasting my time
I would rather be
Composing my rhyme

Just please–go away
Don’t you have other stuff to do?
I am far too busy today
To get tangled up with you

Your directive is lost
Because I control my own life
People like you
Should just, “Put down the knife!”

Walk away
Get a hobby
Oh, I know
You could join the gun lobby

I choose to live life
With no weapon or guns
I may lose my life
But I won’t take anyone’s

You can’t hold evil
You can’t trust yourself
I trust God
Not a gun on a shelf

You can say that’s foolish
But only a fool would say that
Says so in the Bible
I could show you where it’s at

I have better things to do
Than worry about dying
Or to worry about your words
Or to spend my day crying

I have love to give
People to hold
Security in this life
And my ability to get old

Nothing in this life
Has power over me
Not fear, not illness
Not death, not greed

What has power over me
Is what Jesus said
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
That part was in red.

I know you don’t get it
I know you live in fear
I know you need your gun
That part is very clear

I can be killed
I can come to harm
But I won’t pick up
And carry an arm

The only arm I need
Is the right hand of the throne
It’s more powerful
Than the gun you own

Gandhi said:
Peace at all cost.
Even in death,
Obedience is not lost.

I’d rather be
On Gandhi’s side
Or Jesus or Buddha
Or any peace-loving guide

Jesus asked his friend
To put down his sword
Then marched to his death
And he willingly went forward

I’m not afraid to die.
That is truly being free.
I would fight to live,
But if overcome, let it be.

I’ll never carry a gun
I’ll never live in fear
I have something better to do
Than debate my views on here


If you don’t like my opinion, there are millions of other blogs. Let me Google that for you! 😀


This is my rifle blog. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle blog is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my rifle blog is useless. Without my rifle blog, I am useless. I must fire compose my rifle blog true. I must shoot straighter write clearer than my enemy who is trying to kill silence me. I must shoot delete him/her before he/she shoots responds to me. LOL

There are many blogs, but this one is mine! See what I did there? Step! OFF! Girl, bye.

This is Evil

peacepeAce
does not feaR men or guns.

time will have its perFect results of heaven.
our God will not abIde craven idolatry:
murderous sacrifice oF our innocent children,
worship of weapons insTead of His power on high,
grEed,
thEft,
a complete abadonmeNt of morals or wisdom.
keep your thoughtS and prayers alive

with actionS of this body
stalk and storm Halls of justice
with your powerful autOmatic voices of reason
attack vaUlts of law
where this Love of guns
is stored and protecteD by evil money and favor

oust and roust, Bust virtue out
kill the silencE of idling hands

demand safer lives wIth cautious liberty.
turn over the tables of destiny by eLecting those who should die for you
rather than kiLl in your names.
in thE name
of God,
peAce
should never be down the dark barreL of a privately-purchased democracy.


AR-FIFTEENS SHOULD BE ILLEGAL.

This is an acrostic poem, aligned in the center.
The center column has an equal number of letters on either side in each line.
The power in this country rests in the hands of those with guns and money.
It should rest on the peaceful people.


If you need a gun to protect what you have?
You don’t have what you need.


AR-15s should not be made legally available to murder 15 yos.


Every gun ever made was forged to kill a being.
Every gun ever made has or will kill a living thing. Or multiple living things.
Guns were made for no other purpose.
Only man could make killing so easy.
Karma will call and collect her damages.

Girl

when i was 14 or 15. i can’t remember exactly. but i was with my friend. Girl (i will call her). she was cool. she accepted me for whatever i was and i think she just appreciated me for being nice and understanding. most people looked at her as poor, white trash. or a slut. she was friendly, outgoing and immediately liked by boys. she had a slim figure and a pleasant smile. she knew how to flirt, but probably because she had been sexually abused. she had a boyfriend, and as far as i knew, was never unfaithful to him. he protected her. and she loved him for that.

my sister, my own sister…told me to stay away from Girl. “Why???” I asked. there was only a shoulder shrug and another head shake of no, telling me to stay away from her. funny, i would rather hang out with Girl than my own sister, that’s for sure. and i wasn’t going to take any advice from my sister who had her own questionable relationships with people of ill repute. whatever! can you say whatever and repute together? that sounds stupid, huh?

whatever.

so, Girl and i hung out. those were fun times.

i never knew though. i never knew in all the time that we hung out that she was being abused. i was being abused too. physically. verbally. but i didn’t tell anyone. i guess she was the same.

when i tried to kill myself, she was there for me. she comforted me as much as another teen can. and when she had problems, i tried to be there for her. at least to listen. but there were things that she didn’t tell me. those were the real things that mattered. and she didn’t share them. there was too much shame in what she had to tell me. i might have seen her in a different light. that’s what she feared. but i wouldn’t have. i really wouldn’t have. i would have fiercely protected her, as her boyfriend did. and i would have gotten her the hell out. Boyfriend must have known. and he loved her anyway. something in him loved her brokenness. he had probably seen it before in his own family.

but we did get her the hell out. eventually.

a day like any other day that i got to hang out with Girl, we went to the mall. i think. i can’t remember now. we went somewhere to hang out. mall, movies, something. and then we came home. we went with Boyfriend. someone other than our parents took us because when we came back, we stayed at Boyfriend’s house. hung out, ate snacks, smoked cigarettes (not me), and drank pop. Boyfriend’s mom was not home and that was the holy grail of hangouts. no parents! there was another boy there. someone from school who would never speak to me at school, but was willing to be kind in this environment. it was a fun time. just talking and being cool teenagers. but then things went bad really quickly.

as the evening came and darkness rose, Girl started talking about leaving. leaving and running away from home. i had heard this before from other friends, so i figured it was because her mother did not approve of Boyfriend. i didn’t realize it was to escape the abuse. she knew all day that today would be the day that she ran away, but she didn’t let on til now. she started talking about how her stepdad had sexually abused her. she said these things in front of the other boy.

my mind was exploding in anger, shock and repulsion. this is a man that i sat at a breakfast table with, that i was polite to, a man that i respected because he was the head of the house. had i known, i would have told someone, hounded someone, punched this worthless human being in the nose. i was bigger than him at 15 and 5’9″. and he was a puny, little pervert. or i could have just hit him over the head with a frying pan in his sleep. a girl can dream.

or i could have simply stood up for my friend when her mother wouldn’t stop contacting him. i could have NOT encouraged Girl to see and reconcile with her stepdad after he had to leave the house because he was abusing the other girls too. i actually encouraged her to see him. being a Xian and knowing the power of forgiveness, i told her to see her stepdad when he tried to make amends. she really didn’t want to. but i didn’t know about the abuse. NOW i understand! i thought she was just being stubborn. if i had known what he was doing, i would never have told her to see him, speak to him, ever have contact with him.

but i didn’t say a word in Boyfriend’s living room when she told me about the abuse. and when she asked me, “you knew didn’t you?” i just nodded my head yes. i couldn’t speak. why??? why didn’t i scream, “NO! you never told me! how could i know??!” but i nodded yes. that must have broken her heart. because now she thought i was another person who knew and didn’t do anything. but i was too afraid to make her say any more about the abuse. i could tell that she wanted to stop talking about this subject that she brought up. she was simply trying to justify to us and the other boy why she was leaving and why we should help her. no justification needed.

we stopped talking altogether. we started preparing for her to leave. our good time came to a close. we started helping her get things together, we all understood, there was no going back. we were all in. the other boy left.

finally, after talking about a plan and believable lies, we were downstairs and ready to leave. then. there was a knock at the door. Girl panicked. she thought it might be her stepdad looking for her. she was right.

Boyfriend went to the door. to make up another lie about Girl and where she might be. Girl and i hid downstairs in the garage behind a car. she was that scared. she knew if she was discovered, that would mean going back to this hell of a life and not making it out. we hid in silence and i prayed that this horrible man would believe the lie and go away without further incident. i prayed for a lie. that feels weird to type. but he did go away. without further incident.

Girl and Boyfriend got in his truck, i said my goodbyes and they drove away. then i walked down to her house, just 2 houses away. the plan was to tell Stepdad and Mom, Girl ran away. that Girl and another person that wasn’t Boyfriend had dropped me off. that i walked home by myself. that they didn’t tell me where they were going and that i didn’t see where they headed other than out of the neighborhood. half truth, half lie. i lied. to protect her. and they believed me.

i was in tears when i said these words. so the tears made it seem like truth. but i was crying for the whole mess. being in the presence of this monster. looking at him and pretending that i didn’t know what he did. how he touched all the girls. crying because i lied to my mother. she was there when i told Girl’s parents the lie.

Girl and I had been missing for hours and my mother was very worried. i told her the truth later that night, after we left Girl’s house. she didn’t rat us out.

i cried for not knowing. for not protecting my friend. for living a day of lies. i never saw that house again. or those people.

i never saw Girl again. she never came back to school. she made it out. i hope.

Sympathy, But No Admiration

I skimmed an article the other day about a woman with 5 children. It started with her morning routine and I couldn’t make it past bed-making. It looked like an attempt for recognition for her task-filled day as a working mother.

She began with, “After making 5 beds…” She has 5 children and not one of them can make a bed?

I would teach the child to make their own bed. And if they can’t? Unmade beds are the least of your problems.

I would admire you more if you taught your children how to care for themselves rather than ask for attention in doing for your kids. Or you taught them a lesson and one to yourself about leaving and accepting the unmade beds.

“Want a made bed?” I would ask my child. “Let me show you how.”

Yes, sometimes I make my child’s bed. But she’s one child and I’m happy to do it. She works hard at school, makes straight As, and doesn’t always have time. And if it doesn’t get done? That’s ok.

She knows how to make one and can do it if I ask her. One can also just shut the door.

One day your kids will care about the way their room looks and until then, it doesn’t matter. As long as there’s no pizza or soda actively attracting ants under the bed, right??

Joy is found in the wrinkled, wrestled sheets of bedtime tickles and snuggly stories of the day. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You have 5 kids, you should know this.

At the end of your life, do you want to say, “All the beds were made, every day”?

Or do you want your kids to know, “Mom loved me.”


Zen-like enlightenment or peace does not originate from a made bed. If anything, it is the opposite. The acceptance of impermanence. It’s strange that some humans endeavor in a lifelong attempt at domesticating Earth and they made an entire website devoted to it (looking at you, Pinterest). Peace comes at the realization of bed-making futility. The temporal tool of Bed should be put into perspective. It’s for sleeping, not decorating. It can be enjoyed, not fussed over.

It’s also home to several million bed mites. I’m sure they like it neat. The bed mites appreciate your hard work, Mom. LOL


When we wake up, we should greet the day with awe at the rising sun. Not worry about the messy sheets. It’s a process. I get it. I’m talking to myself as much as anyone.

Who makes their kid’s bed? Just curious.

Never Needed

WARNING: adult language. Sorry. Truly. God in heaven forgive me, but I’m tired of calling for change and nothing happens. Elementary school students were slaughtered and not a damn thing happened. NRA members who do nothing about their organization will burn in hell for letting innocents die to protect their rights.

I don’t want to live with the hypocritical bullshit of gun ownership in a country that tells me what to do with my vagina, my tax dollars and wants to deny me healthcare. A country that is actively trying to kill me slowly. Seems that there are more laws governing my reproductive system than there are restricting guns. I have zero tolerance for any maniac that says we don’t need gun control and can’t talk about it. And quite frankly, fuck you.

And now, a poem I wrote 7 months ago. Seems appropriate.


Never raped; never robbed.
Never threatened, molested, accosted or mobbed.

Never needed a gun.

The only man to ever abuse me
Was my dad who always accused me
Of being:
Lazy.
Fat.
Less than.
Ungrateful.
Worthless.

He owned 2 guns.

So if you ask me, “Do you want a gun?”
I would say, “No. Why would I need one?”

I’m beginning to wonder though.

If everyone who needs a gun
Buys a pistol. Rifle. AR-15. Grenade-lobbing launcher…
How will I protect my body? My daughter’s body?! My rights?
My right to exist.
How will I defend myself against those who have an entire arsenal at their disposal?

Do I want to live in a country
where I am required to arm myself
against those who would hunt me?
(Because they are paranoid
that the world is coming for:
their rights,
their guns,
their women
and most importantly,
their stuff!)

No.

No more alabaster cities that gleam,
We’d be no better than 3rd-world regime.
The kind that grabs power by force.
The kind that keeps boots on the necks of the poor.
The kind that muzzles our boisterous press.
The kind that punishes peaceful protest.
The kind that installs corrupt institution.
The kind that criminalizes sacrosanct Constitution.

No.

I don’t want to live with that.
I don’t want to die with that either.
But, no.
I will never need a gun.
Never needed a passport either…