Thursday, December 31, 2009
You may or may not be aware that Ruby James just completed her new album in Austin, Texas with the legendary Charlie Sexton. This project started about three years ago, and at that time we were simple calling it "The Austin Sessions". The album is now called, "Happy Now" and is sitting at the printers as I write this message to you.
As the holiday season approaches us we sometimes forget about what is happening in the rest of the world. Comfortable to snuggle in with friends and family, drink a little too much eggnog and eat just a few too many cookies. We look at the lights that decorate our own little neighborhood, put up our trees and shop for gifts. It can be both a festive and a stressful time of year. There are some of us that wait until the last minute to shop and some of us that are totally ready three days before Thanksgiving. As you think about gifts for the holidays I would like to encourage you to reach a little deeper this year.
The economy has affected all of us. Now I am getting to that "rest of the world" statement I made in the previous paragraph. The music industry has been affected. Musicians have been affected two fold and three fold. There are no more artist development deals from labels really, or they are few and far between. It is truly a "do it yourself" industry with Independent Artists barely able to survive. Sometimes you get lucky and you find someone to invest in your career, to help you move to the next level. Sometimes great talents lay hidden because they cannot reach their target audience because they lack the funding to do so.
Ruby James is one of those. Just a few short days ago the economy threw us for a loop. The investor that had been helping us to get to the next level withdrew his backing. It wasn't that he didn't believe in Ruby, or that she could make it, it was simply the stock market. He no longer had the funds to go forward. Without the funding Ruby has a webpage, (www.rubyjames.com) that is under construction and cannot be finished, though you can still shop there and pre-purchase "Happy Now" and buy her "Desert Rose" album. There are other expenses that cannot be met, albums at the printers, mailings to media. Without funding it is possible that this album, will set on a shelf only to be heard by a few people that have pre-ordered it.
So for this holiday season, if you have read this far into this message, I am reaching out to you. Asking you to purchase one more gift. The gift of a dream. Your gift does not have to be large, it can be as small as just a dollar because every cent counts. You can visit Ruby's webpage and purchase her music, or if you already own it, you can contribute through a contribution at this webpage: http://rubyjames.chipin.com/
Give as much or as little as you can. Each and every contribution will be seen by Ruby herself. Every time someone clicks the link above and makes a contribution it will come across her email. She is making a long trek across the desert today and what a wonderful thing for her to see that people really do care, about her, about music and the spirit of giving. So that you may in part see what you are helping to bring alive I am sending you the video link for, "The Predictable Kind", a song that Ruby co-wrote with Will Sexton. I hope you enjoy it and that you have a Happy Holiday Season.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Metal Ox people work harder and more scrupulously than most people, including other Oxen. They always show a boldness and drive and will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Like all Oxen, they are completely trustworthy and dependable, but they are not ones to display their emotions freely or openly. These Oxen have the strength of steel, with a will to match. Often, this strength and ruthless will make it difficult for them to identify with the feelings of others around them. However, an Ox is always willing to defend what he knows to be true and won't give up until he has proven what he knows to be true.
Determination and strong will characterize the Scorpio Ox. These Oxen will strive and do whatever they must in order to reach their goal. They are intense lovers, but you'll never be able to read their emotions because they keep them tucked away.Though they are quite open-minded, once Ox people have made a decision about something, they rarely change it. This is a defining characteristic that can be seen as obstinacy, but it is actually the way an Ox learns to be strong, brave and straightforward.
Me thinks my wheels are spinning.......LOL
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
3001. What is your half-birthday? Moon rising in Cancer…..LOL….makes me a unusually soft Scorpion……sigh
3002. When is your un-birthday? The day I die
3003. Do you like movies about:
time travel? Yes love these
the 80's? some
drugs? not really although two dudes in the 70s made a few funny ones….LOL
crazy people? If there is a good storyline about what made them crazy
aero planes? Yes
death? at least one week out of the month………LOL
the meaning of life? depends on the mood
3004. If you said yes to any of the above you should see Donnie Darko. If you HAVE seen it, what'd you think?
3005. If you were going to write a book what would it be about?
In the middle of writing one right now
3006. Is radio obsolete?
not at my house
3007. Do you feel like you are entitled to have things without working for them? no
3008. If yes than why do you believe you feel this way?
3009. If no, have you noticed that a lot of people around you feel this way?
3010. If yes than why do you believe they feel this way?
I don’t have the answer to that
3011. "An eight track stereo, a color TV in every room and a half a piece of dope everyday. That's the American dream, nigga'"
How do you feel about the above quote? Sounds like something from a damn ass rap song…or a movie that one of my son’s would watch
3012. What is it from? don’t know
3013. What year is it from? Don’t feel like googling it
3014. Do you believe that you will someday be famous?
Everyone is famous for 15 minutes in their lifetime
3015. What is YOUR IDEA of success?
3016. Do you believe that you will be successful?
I have my moments
3017. Will you be successful without hard work?
Not in this life time
3018. What brings you bad luck?
Haven’t a clue, we all have it from time to time
Is it true that you:
3019. Claim to be Goth, punk, prep, emo or any other label?
I’ve had my moments in my life with different stages of growth and searching
3020. Claim that your opinion is RIGHT?
It’s right for me
3021. claim that your religion is RIGHT?
See the above answer
3022. Claim to be a fan of a band when you really only like a few songs?
3023. Do ANYTHING to fit in or be accepted by ANYONE?
Not in this lifetime, I’m not a cookie cutter female type. I’m not always popular or beautiful, I’m never a trophy, but I’m always authentically myself.
3024. REFUSE to listen to the ideas or thoughts of others?
I will listen, I know I do things the hard way…so if someone has a easier way to do it, I’m open to those ideas….
3025. tell others to shut up? I have my moments not often but if I’m pushed to that point, you better. Because I will next hit you, you’ve been warned, Shut UP is the warning.
3026. say I HATE (insert any band)? a certain pygmies chanting CD
3027. say I HATE (insert anything)? Not much, there are many things I don’t like, but HATE takes up to much energy and sucks the good out of my soul to waste giving it that much power over me
3028. Only appreciate certain things that you LIKE? No I appreciate a lot of things, just because I don’t like everything, does not mean I can’t appreciate things.
3029. like only one style of music? LOL Not hardly how boring would that be
3030. like only one style of clothes? LOL Not hardly how boring would that be
3031. hate a style of music? There are a few
3032. hate life? LOL Not hardly
3033. Is it true that you:
3034. don't listen when parents, elders or authorities talk? I have moments
3035. do everything parents, elders and authorities tell you? Never everything
3036. do things or want things because it looked cool on mtv? Not hardly
3037. hate everyone? no
3038. hate everything? no
3039. hate disco? no
3040. hate rap? I really, really, I mean really don’t like it, but I can’t claim to hate it.
3041-3045 These question is for the guys
You are at her home with her. Both of you have drank a little wine, enough to loosen the inhibitions while not getting tipsy. You have snuggled on the couch and it's a good time for bed. You've been romantic, but you've not made any big moves on her. You're not sure if you are up to a night of love making or even if she's in the mood.
She goes to the bedroom to put on something more comfortable... When she returns she is wearing an outfit that looks great on her and you notice that she has her hands tied in front of her, with a scrunchee...
She stands in front of you and giggles nervously. You search for words to express how you feel, but before you can get any words out she gets on her knees in front of you and reaches out to hold your hand with both of hers. Your eyes find hers...
3041. How do you react to this?
3042. What message do you think she is sending?
3043. What do you do next?
3044. Is this a good way for her to approach her fantasy with you?
3045. If not, what would be a better way for her to approach you about wanting to be controlled during sex (consider that just outright talking about it might be hard for her)?
3046-3050 These questions is for the girls
You are at his home with him. Both of you have drank a little wine, enough to loosen the inhibitions while not getting tipsy. You have snuggled on the couch and it's a good time for bed. You've been romantic, but you've not made any big moves on him. You're not sure if you are up to a night of love making or even if he's in the mood.
He goes to the bedroom to put on something more comfortable... When he returns he is wearing an outfit that looks great on him. He sits next to you. You kiss and kiss. You move your hands down his body to his chest and start unbuttoning his shirt but he stops you and whispers seductively.. 'A good slave unbuttons them with her teeth.. and you do want to be my slave, don't you?'
3046. What do you do?
3047. How do you react to this?
3048. What message do you think he is sending?
3049. Is this a good way for him to approach his fantasy with you? Hahaha not in this life time….but I do know a few great girlfriends who would be his type….:0P
3050. If not, what would be a better way for him to approach you about wanting to be in control during sex (consider that just outright talking about it might be hard for him)?
Is it true that you...
3051. are politically correct? Not hardly
3052. are too nice to say how you feel? I have moments
3053. don't think the world government affects you? Not hardly
3054. think that all people who are fat are ugly? Not hardly
3055. think all people who are thin are shallow? Not hardly
3056. think you are getting solid information from advertisements? Not hardly
3057. don't research the products you use? Not hardly
3058. believe that the lives of the people you love are somehow more important than the lives of the 6 billion other people in the world? We are always more concerned with our own loved ones, it does not mean the rest of the world is not important, only that we have an invested emotional tie to our own.
3059. believe that the lives of your country men or woman are somehow more valuable than the lives of people from other countries? Not hardly
3060. believe your ideas are somehow worth more than the ideas of others? Not hardly
3061. repress things rather than deal with them? I have my moments
3062. mindlessly self indulge ? I have my moments
3063. think there is only one right way? Not hardly
3064. think that this one right way could possibly be right for ALL of the 6 billion people on this planet? Not hardly
3065. Decide something is UNTRUE just because you don't AGREE with it or you don't LIKE it? I have my moments I am human
3066. What do you think of the out-dated Chinese custom of foot-binding (tying a baby girl's toes under her foot, even if you have to break the bone, making her walk with her toes under her foot (or hobble) because Chinese men like small feet)? I think someone would have to shoot me if it was my daughter….where do men come up with these sick ideas?
3067. What do you think of plastic surgery? It is needed to repair damage done, but Hollywood is really becoming a place of scary looking rich people……shudders.
3068. Is there a difference between foot binding and plastic surgery? Yes What? One is to hobble a female to make it so she has no control of her life ever….the other is to repair a birth defect, or repair damage done by an accident for example.
Are there any similarities between foot-binding and plastic surgery? In Hollywood you could answer yes What? Making people think they need to look like cookie cutter people to be considered beautiful….makes my skin crawl
3069. Would you be likely to continue reading a book that began: 'It was a bright, defrosted, pussy-willow day at the onset of Spring, and the newlyweds were driving cross-country in a large roast turkey.'? LOL Just to see how the story ended , most likely yes…LOL
3070. If I don't quit smoking then I will sing a song.
If I sing a song then I either play an instrument or run a mile.
I do not play an instrument or run a mile.
Therefore I quit smoking.
Is this a valid argument? Not hardly
3071. What came first, the acorn or the tree? Ask the Chicken or the Egg
3072. What is surrealism? a 20th-century literary and artistic movement that attempts to express the workings of the subconscious by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtaposition of subject matter.
If you were putting together a surrealist work of art, what would you do? In the middle of this process even as we speak and you have to wait and see them along with everyone else.
3073. What did you do on Halloween? Was at a party at the neighbors
3074. Some bees have made a comfortable nest for the winter inside your air conditioner. How would you remove the air conditioner from the window? Have one of the guys do it
3075. Why is quiet contemplation important? Those are the moments we hear, we learn, and we grow.
3076. Do you spend lots of time in quiet contemplation? I have my moments How about any time?
If not, what distracts you?
3077. What is the lowest you have ever felt? The day I put a gun in my mouth was the lowest I ever felt.
3078. Who has changed your life dramatically for the better? Sherry Meyers 6th grade, Mark E. Smith 15, My three sons Joshua, Jacob, Michael, Michael Combs, Kat, Eddie McIntosh different people at different times in my life…when the path I was on was about to come to a cross road, different people come into my life that help me choose which way to go.
3079. Is all you Christmas shopping done? Shopping yes, making gifts not yet
3080. Who is the greatest writer you can think of and why? I don’t know, I’m tired today
3081. Are people either good or evil? The basic core of their personality is either good or evil
3082. Can people be BOTH good an evil? Not really…you may have moments of behaving badly, but that does not make you evil…and you can have a moment of kindness, but that does not make you good basically either.
3083. Is there good in a rapist or a murderer? Not in my eyes
Is there evil in Mother Theresa? Her basic core was good, I’m sure she had moments of behaving badly, having a day of being short of patience, etc…but not evil.
3084. You are in a classroom setting. A teacher has asked for a surrealist project. One person comes in with cards. Each card has a picture. Some of the pictures are a breast, a penis, a urinal, open heart surgery, a woman sucking on a vacuum tube, etc. On the back of each picture is a phrase like 'Fuck you and all of your lesbian fish eating friends' or 'people who speak in metaphors oughtta shampoo my crotch'. The artist asks each person to take a random card, go around the room and at their turn hold up the card with the picture side out and read the phrase on the back.
Would you do it? Nope
How would you feel about it? I think it would be degrading
What do you think the artist's intent is? Haven’t a clue, but just because it is one person’s art, does not make it mine, nor does it mean I have to be a part of that art project. I would take the bad grade and sit it out.
3085. Are you satisfied? I have my moments
3087. How fast do you drive? It depends on my mood…..LOL…typically the speed limit posted, I am pretty good about that for the most part….but I have my moments when…..
3088. What do you want that you don't need? Ice Cream…….LOL
3089. What do you have that you wish you didn't? The reason why I’m not eating the Ice Cream…..LOL
3090. What does it mean when someone suggests that you don't own your possessions, they own you? I see it a lot in people, they have to keep up with the neighbors, own something because it is expensive and their friends own it, rather it be a picture on a wall, brand of jeans on their ass…etc….before they know it, they have a house full of crap that does not bring them joy. It is just crap that they got to keep up appearances.
3091. Where do you get motivation? Different places, different people, depends on the situation
3092. Did you ever wanna get with one of your teachers? Nope
Did you ever actually get with one? Yuck nope
3093. Have you ever had this happen, where one day you completely believe one thing and the next day you don't believe it anymore? It has happened to me
If yes, do you lie about your change of beliefs in order to appear consistent?
3094. Do you hide things about yourself from others? Not really…
If so why?
Is it because you are afraid they will be scared?
Or because YOU are scarred?
3095. Do you recognize that some part of you is evil or do you feel like you are all good?
I’m not all good, I’m to human for that, but neither am I evil, although I do have moments where I behave in a less than stellar manner!
3096. If everyone were flying flags and putting up yellow ribbons in honor of the people who died in a war and someone put up black bows and ribbons all over the top of their house what would you think? I would think they have the Freedom to Express what they believe to be their truth….that is what Americans do, we don‘t always agree and sometimes we squabble with each other in our sandbox …We are Free to do that.
Would you want them to take it down? No
Why? I already answered that in the last question
3097. Is a foot massage meaningless or does it have implications? Depends on the people…
3098. Are you sick of technology yet? I have my moments
3099. After tattoos and piercing, I believe the next big thing will be implants (horns, metal plates, etc) and after that will come genetic alteration (wings, purple skin, etc).
Would you have any of this done to you? not hardly….although…. purple skin might be cool….LOL
Would you let your kids have it done? Not any under 18, once they are adults they can make their own life lessons rather I agree with them or not.
What do you think the next big thing in body modification would be? Haven’t a clue
3100. What's the most insulting thing you could come up with to say to someone?
It would depend on the person I was insulting
2801. The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. But what was the question?
I’m not really up on Dylan music but if I remember correctly, he was questioning about war, and life in general….this song is copy write 1961 and I was born at the end of 1961...
2802. Suggest three new diary circles that you would find interesting:
2803. Buttons or Knobs?
2804. What is a juggalo?
2805. Are you a fan of Crass?
I really don’t know the music
2806. If you were going to write a short note to yourself and then put it away and read it in ten years, what would it say? I’ve done this through out my life starting when I was 15 at a instructors suggestion to write a letter to my future husband to give to him on our wedding night…
I found it when I came home with Joshua in an old journal…LOL…I never did give it to him…which is a good thing, because he wasn’t worth something that innocent….
I’m not really sure what I would write right now to my future self …I’ll have to think and get back to you on that one
2807. When someone does something that is wrong do you believe that they know in their hearts that they are wrong but they push it down into their subconscious and rationalize away their guilt?
When have you done this (if you say never then you are doing it right now)?
2808. How can a person have sex with someone they don't love? I asked my pal that question a couple of summers back…….LOL…..he explained to me why men do this…
Have YOU ever?
2809. What are the paradoxes in your head (that is when you believe two conflicting things to be true)? ahhhhhh now that has been a real struggle the past few years, I’ll let ya know when I work it out
2810. What does each set of two words suggest to you?
pale gravity: Cool gray mornings silence fills the world around me, as if even the animals feel the shift in Mother Natures Mood just watching the fog settle in.
little mornings: I love these quiet little mornings sitting outside watching the humming birds buzz around me as I sip on hot peppermint tea and sketch. You can hear the laughter of the neighbors kids playing in their yard. The dogs are barking at some turkey crossing through the yard out of their reach, Chipmunks scamper back and forth from one hole in the ground to the next. Sometimes running up to my feet to grab a mouth full of sunflower seeds and walnuts that I am snacking on.
spiritual machines: Yes I try to avoid these creatures out to save the world from all it’s evil. They see sin everywhere they look but their own back yard, we see them on TV screaming from the pulpits while they have their hands in your pockets to pay for their lavish rich styles…the expensive manicures and huge diamond rings on the wives hands…I much prefer chatting face to face with a country preacher in a thread bare sweater, than watching the spiritual machines on the TV.
eccentric being: a dear old soul whose drummer still beats a different marching tune from the rest of the worlds
pray attention: pay attention now at the end of my patience with you
yellow lectures: boredom beyond belief
2811. What movie would be AWESOME in 3D? I don’t like 3D movies they give me headaches
2812. Why is it important to write and think clearly? So the reader can follow it.
2813. A girl and her boyfriend are hanging out. It is obvious they are together. Another guy schmoozes between them and starts hitting on the girl. The boyfriend tells this guy to back off. The guy just keeps bothering the girl.
Do you think the boyfriend would be justified in hitting this intrusive guy? Why wait for the guy to hit, I have a perfectly good knee and know where to place it hard.
A girl and her boyfriend are hanging out. It is obvious they are together. Another GIRL(lesbian) schmoozes between them and starts hitting on the first girl. The boyfriend tells this girl to back off. The girl just keeps bothering the first girl.
Do you think the boyfriend would be justified in hitting this intrusive girl? It matters not to me what sex they are, NO still means NO and I won’t wait for the guy to protect me from predators like this.
If you answered yes to one situation and no to the other one why the double standard?
2814. What do you think of the name Prue? it’s a name
2815. What would you spend your last dollar on? Depends on what I need
2816. Have you ever won an ebay auction?yes
If yes for what? I think a key chain from my pals ebay store for a Christmas present
2817. Would you like it if Blockbuster had a drive through?? some nights yes
2819. When was the last time you taught someone something and what was it? can’t remember
2820. Why do adults and teens not understand each other?
Life experience.…teens think they know everything and adults realize they don’t
2821. Are you afraid?
I have my moments
2822. Do you trust large drug corporations?
Do you trust the Food and Drug administration?
2823. If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound?
Do you define sound as sound waves or as the reaction between the soundwaves and your ears?
2824. Who is full of shit?
2825. Four of the five senses are routed through a special area to the brain. One sense goes right to the brain and so is a powerful sense involved with memory and emotion. Which sense do you feel this is?
2826. Are you on a ship of fools or a carousel?
2827. What is your bathing suit like?
2828. Whose line is it, anyway?
2829. Are you more likely to answer a signed in note or a nsi note?
2830. To be or not to be. That is the question. What is the answer?
2831. Does beauty exist as a defineable standard or is beauty in the eyes of the beholder?
Why do you think it is that so many people have the same idea of who and what is beautiful?
Where do your standards for judgeing beauty come from?
2832. Would a war with Iraq help or harm american economy?
2833. What is the first thing you would do if you saw a nuclear explosion in the distance?
2834. Would you like to be cryogenically frozen?
2835. Think of the person you love the most.
Would you be willing to murder a stranger in order to save that person's life? Why or why not? I don’t know and I hope I am never put into a situation where I have to find out one way or the other.
2836. Imagine no possessions. I wonder if you can? Not really…we see it in third world countries but it is so distant from most of us, that it is hard to wrap our brains around it. It is not part of our reality.
2837. How messed up is:
your hair? in a pony tail today
your room? clean
your car? messy….LOL that I do need to clean out
your life? If you only knew
2838. What are you running out of? time in a bottle
2839. What do you live for? today…
2840. How did you decide it was worth living for? Because I don’t know if I will wake up tomorrow, so better take the day that I do have
2841. Do you consider some people to be too:
2842. By what criteria do you judge others? My own same as you do
2843. Do you look at people's words and actions or the underlying reasons for those words and actions? People will tell you who they are, just listen to them… don’t think your going to change them or their opinion of you. Just hear, accept and walk away.
2844. Which would you rather collect:
simpsons action figures? no
kiss gear? Been there did that in teen years
anything with a smiley? Been there did that in teen years
horror movies? yes
2845. Do you fight for your rights? I am just now learning how to do that
2846. Would you rather be a construction worker or a crossing guard? neither
2847. What is enough to satisfy you in life? This is a question I saw in varies forms, so I was not sure how to answer it in a completely honest way….I am satisfied with some aspects of my life but not others….and are we ever really completely satisfied…once we reach that point; do we stop the growing as humans to be better and more than we are right now?
2848. Do you think you have more, less, or average life experience for your age? I used to think more, until I joined a couple of groups and discovered so many have survived more or different forms of what I have seen. So who is to say what is average for the human race?
2849. Why go to college? To expand our knowledge of the world out there
Have you considered joining a cult instead? Some thing I was raised in one
2850. What's the last lie you told? “Really; I’m fine.”
2851. What celebrity has the sexiest voice of
females? Catherine Seta Jones when she speaks in her native Welsh accent
males? Sean Connery
2852. You are having a party and can invite three celebrities of your choice. The WILL come. Who do you invite? Whoopie Goldberg, Craig Ferguson, Goldie Hawn
2853. Where did you come from? The trying to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin…..everything I was “expected” to be.
Where are you now? Empty nest…. standing still looking at the mirrors image.
Where are you going? I have not a damn clue at this moment
2854. What would you imagine the playboy mansion is like? Ancient old man surrounded by beautiful young women willing to do anything for fame, money, and I don’t know what ever other reasons they have for being there.
2855. Do you blow your nose loudly in public? try not to….
2856. Do you help others every day? Not every day
2857. Bono or Chris Tucker? bono
2858. Is it lonely being alone in your head? I’m not alone in my head….I’m always there, as are the old ghost of my own past.
2859. What is the worst poverty you have ever seen? LA it is really depressing when I have to go down there…..I don’t know why but some of the areas just feel so gloomy while other areas are full of life and laughter
2860. Has anyone ever told you that more than 2 billion people live on less than two dollars a day? yes
What do you think of that? I think it is horrible the greed of corporate leaders
2861. Add a sentence to the story:
Once upon a time there was a man named Arthur and he was brushing his teeth when all of a sudden he saw a bright rainbow outside. So he goes out the back door to take a look and he finds an elf who says
We Elves have a task for you to accomplish, if you complete it in the appointed time we set you will be greatly rewarded with a pot of gold. But you must never tell anyone the mission and you must complete it in the appointed time your given or you will forfeit the gold coins. Here is a passport, and the itinerary for your trip, your leaving in 20 minutes for America. Once you arrive you will be met by an undercover fairy of the North American Realm who will help set you on your path. Top secret this mission is, do you accept?
LOL of course that is more than a sentence is it not….LOL
2862. Be honest.. do you generally listen or wait for your turn to talk?
I have my moments when I do listen and moments when I don’t
2863. How many fingers do you type with? 4
2864. What does 'you think you know but you have no idea' mean? Where did it come from as a common phrase? I don’t really care
2865. Do you think it's important to give up liberties in order to protect freedom? never
2866. Do you think George Bush was elected in a legal way? No, if there was a question there should have been a recount not a judge deciding.
2867. Imagine you were dying of a disease...you only had a certain amount of time left with your mate, parents or children. What would you leave behind for them to remember you by? My art and my journals
How would you feel if there were drugs to help you live, only you couldn't afford them?
I have seen that happening in my country USA here in MI already….
How would you feel if people were trying to sell you the drugs at a lower cost but the drug companies made sure they couldn't because that would cut their profits?
Again that is happening already with seniors being denied medications from Canada because it is cheaper.
This scenario is going on Right Now. The country is Africa. The disease is aids. The drug is azp (and others). The people are Africans who are very poor and have aids. The large drug corporations won't sell the drugs at a price they can afford or allow smaller companies to either. Is this acceptable? no
What are you going to do about it?
I don’t know what we can do, we can’t prevent it in our own country.
2868. Would you ever BUY a new ring for your cell phone that plays a couple of notes of your favorite song? I did in the past
2869. What has completely moved you? Watching a wounded man wake up from his fog to the world around him.
2870. If for your next birthday you had a novelty kids birthday party what games would you play at it? I’ve done this before because no matter how old we get, we are still kids at heart…pin the tail on the donkey, twister ( try this with a shot of something in your hand, and the shot glass is never allowed to touch the ground, the first person to spill has to take a jello shot) , Pictionary, piñata (but instead of candy it had those little teeny bottles of alcohol in them…) , we used to have scavenger hunts for my birthday each year, that was how the party started actually…you had the different teams and a time limit with a list of items to be found imagination was encouraged…LOL…. First team back with all the items on the list won a door prize.
2871. How can you keep open toed sandals from rubbing against your toes and making them blistered and raw? Band aide ….typically it is just breaking them in
2872. What happens to socks when they disappear in the drier? ahhhh one of the great mysteries
2873. What is the quality of humanity all about? Being humane, being compassionate, having empathy for each other…..or you have the negatives of humanity of greed, corruption, etc….two sides of the coin, which do you want.
2874. True or false - All homophobes are inherently evil.:
false people fear what they can not understand
2875. Is there anything, besides love, that money can't buy? integrity
2876. How is your soul? damaged at the moment
2877. What are you committed to? my family
2879. Are you photogenic? no
2880. Can you define these words off the top of your head as if you were talking to someone who didn't know what they were?
rain: Water falling from the sky
cold: Loss of warmth
sand: soft grains
2881. Why aren't you naked (or are you)? your not a very good psychic if you can’t tell
2882. Do you think anyone is all good or all evil? none of us are all good, but I have met people who are completely evil.
2883. Go outside a sec. how many animals are in your yard? three
Did you count yourself? yes
why or why not? because I sensed you would ask…….LOL
2884. What household appliance drags you down? TV
2885. try this..write a list of six possibilities of things you could do after you are off the computer. Make sure that at lease ONE thing is something you would be unlikely to ever do.
1. Write in journal
3. Fly a Plane
4. Walk the dogs
5. Fill the wood stove
6. Shower and get ready for bed
Now grab a dice (if you have none ask someone to pick a number between 1 and 6) and decide what you will do by flipping it. Then do it!
2886. Which of the following doesn't belong with the others and why?
c. magazine check ….gardens are generally about love and death, everything in it is planted with love, and it will all die
2887. How old are you? 48
What age do you feel mentally? that depends on the day….LOL
emotionally? that depends on the day
spiritually? that depends on the day
2888. Who do you think is more wise:
a person who has been living on the streets for 12 years?
one does not make them wiser than another just luckier is all…
2889. Do you kiss on the first date? no
2890. Would you ever want to be on:
a dating show(which)? no
a game show(which)? no
the news(why)? Yes, used to be for different things when I was younger, advertising for local theatre shows, or the local Halloween house, typical teen stuff I was part of growing up….
2891. How much money would it take to get you to:
strip to nothing but a bright orange thong (for guys, orange thongs an string bikini top for girls) and wrestle another person of the same sex in a thong in a pool of jello? not enough money in the world
participate in a contest where you drink alcohol as fast as you can until you puke? not enough money in the world
sit absolutely still for 2 hours, in nothing but a towel, covered in plaster of Paris? I could not achieve this feat
Walk around at your school in bondage gear asking people to spank you on the ass with a huge dead octopus tentacle? not enough money in the world
pick your nose and eat it? not enough money in the world
smash potatoes with your head?
Not into the whole frat crap stuff, not enough money for me to do any of these things
2892. Who deserves an apology? My son
2893. What wins the award as stupidest lyric you can think of? Tip Toe through the tulips
2894. Where do you most like to be massaged? hands
2895. Is your face clear? some days yes some days no
2896. Finish this phrase in a humorous way.. Friends don't let friends...
Get drunk and go home with the farmer boy…..LOL…..ok maybe I’ve watched to many B Flick horror films…but it is always the farmer boys who are the hidden psychos that bury the bodies in the radioactive back 40.…LOL
2897. What present would you bring to the birthday party of an acquaintance? I don’t generally go to an acquaintance party, just friends
2898. Is your game on? no game at 48
2899. What would a song for the deaf be like? sung with hands
How about a painting for the blind? textured
2900. What is a sure-fire way to get noticed? who do you want to get noticed by first
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Who are you when you are not being productive?
Hiding from hidden truths sometimes….hiding from past pains at moments…dealing by not dealing….there are moments when all of us stop being productive and just float along the currents that carry us in whatever direction it happens to be floating in….
But we can not remain unproductive because life does not allow that….we have lessons to learn, lessons to teach to others…. even when we don’t want them…something will always happen to force us back into being productive once again.
Who are you in your dreams?
Sometimes standing beside me as she shows me an event.
Sometimes I see everything through her eyes.
Which is disconcerting at times, to feel like a complete stranger within yourself. I know I am watching an event that has yet to come when I see through the eyes. My inner self wants to pay close attention to the smallest of details and I than record them in a dream journal upon awakening.
Who is the you that notices your thoughts?
Like most people I would most likely say the observer.
The part of myself that observes all that is around me, that inner conscience that reminds me that some thoughts can only lead to dark places that attract more dark to us. Or that we can refuse to allow ourselves to be turned into evil and to turn those thoughts into positives……not always an easy task…..but always possible if we work at it…
I hang onto a quote by Bill Cosby when in my darkest moments….."If you can find humor in anything, you can survive it."
My sense of humor is not always understood by outsiders…..but those who honestly care about me, realize it is how I cope. It keeps me human…some days it may be dark humor, but it is still humor…some days it is silly, or outrageous humor that gets me through a day….the macabre humor can be just as healing as the silly slap stick humor can be for me….
Where does your mind go when you sit in a still moment under an immense sky?
It goes to being free.
Freedom to go where ever it chooses….I can fly with the Eagles, I can float along with the clouds…swim with dolphins in my minds eye…I can run with wolves, or just lie still and imagine what the Stones feel to remain in one spot forever, observing life that teems around it year after year….being exposed to the elements having no control over what happens to it, being shaped by the elements year after year, never really remaining the same as the winds, rain, snow and ice change the shape of them in time….
I realize it is the same with myself….even when I stand still and try not to move or change, I still am changed by events that I have no control over. But I still have the Freedom to learn how to control how I respond to the changes. Sitting still under an immense sky reminds me of that fact….it allows me to breath for a moment, to recharge my inner battery, and to become still and find peace within myself when I need it the most. It gives me time to dream.
In your own history, what has been the best rhythm and way for you to come to know your own truth?
When I stop all motion and become still.
Taking stock of the world around me, I lie down in a soft part of earth. I feel the rhythms of the earth. I listen to the sound of the wind. I listen to the sounds of the life that teem around us each day. For even when all is silent, there is still sound within the silence. I know that makes no sense to a lot of people, it contradicts itself in it’s very thought process. Which should explain me more to you…
When I have just stopped completely. Than and only than did I realize something that was so simply right in front of me the entire time. I just had to stop long enough to see it. To allow myself to know it, to feel it.
What surprises you in your current life?
People are a constant source of surprise for me.
I always expect more than a lot of them seem able of being…You expect honor, honesty,…you expect compassion and empathy….and those you expect it from seem to fail at it miserably….than out of no where, you will find these in people you would never have dreamed these qualities to come from….the package is not what we expected it to come wrapped up in. I love that about humanity, and I hate it as well. I am learning to observe people more, or perhaps it is simply I have a new pair of eyes with which I see them with these days. Time along with my personal life lessons seem to cause that to happen.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
I know I'll probably forever be crucified for this, but it has for so long been getting worse and I am finally at the point of no return. I don't think anyone NEEDS to know this, but given the fact that our situation is so well-known, I wanted others to know the situation and the reasonings... It's extremely personal, but I think necessary to tell...... Anyways.
Five years ago met Josh. He was everything I wanted in a guy - smart, strong-willed, and made me laugh. He was attractive and loving, caring, respectful... I could go on and on. Two and a half years into our relationship he got injured in Iraq. I have been by his side every step of the way since then, not willing to compromise on that decision. He showed me everyday even thru the worst of it how much he cared about me and how much he loved me...he was sweet, thoughtful... and the same old Josh. Last year he proposed to me. I couldn't have been happier than at that moment...
Shortly after that he started to change. He showed little to NO signs of caring for me... he hurt me over and over again, all the time. I started feeling like I was only looked at as a caregiver, not a fiancee, not even a friend. It always seemed like the only time he would actually communicate with me was to throw orders my way of what HE needed. When I talked to him about how I felt about everything...how i was hurting...he would just laugh. It hurt. A LOT! This has been going on for over 9 months...and slowly as time went on and I shut myself off from getting hurt any longer. I finally got to the point where I realized I wasn't happy. I'm not the same happy person I used to be... I always wanted to "get away" to be happy again... and in the end I started hurting him by being gone so much. Needless to say, we were both extremely unhappy. Today I had to do an EXTREMELY difficult thing, and I feel it's better for both of us at this point. It was hard, and a lot of tears were shed, but I know it's the right thing.
Josh and I are no longer together.
We did not fight. We dont' hate each other... and we both decided I would stay in his home with him until he was ready on his own. I will continue doing everything I've done for him along the way... I still care about him. I still love him. We are just two completely different people and I think we'll be forever better off as friends. He will never NOT be a part of my life as long as I can help it...
This is just what's best.
Hope everyone can understand this... understand that this is still a RELATIONSHIP and relationships have issues. I am sincerely hopeful that people don't look at me as "the girl who left the quadriplegic marine", and instead look at it as any other relationship that just doesn't work out. I stuck with him through so much because I loved him with all my heart and soul... the only thing that changed was deeper than skin deep...MUCH. Please understand that. And if you can't...well then I am sorry.
This is what I wrote in my journal about it the other night...I will share my thoughts with everyone... " I'm just sort of numb right now.... I am so tired emotionally...every time I think ok...I can breath now Life has taken on a routine and everything is looking like we can get settled in...we get hit with a new bomb. But we've survived so many hardships, and while I don't understand the "Why us aspect" that all people who survive horrible things and the fall out from it must ask themselves from time to time. I know we will survive this... Just one day at a time, one breath at a time....and sometimes it is just taking it moment to moment and keep moving, don't stop, don't look to the left or the right, you just keep pedaling...I don't know where we are heading, but as long as we keep pedaling, we will arrive somewhere. Does that make sense? Right now tonight...I'm just dog paddling...not much else emotionally....but that is ok, I've dog paddled a lot in the past three years, as has those two kids...so this is something that I can not take the pain away from either one, they have to do this on their own....all I can do is be there for him as he needs me, when he wants me and accept that this might have happened even if he had not been injured. She stuck it out for 3 years....longer than anyone ever thought she would....there have been wives of 15 years that did not make 3 months to some injured vets I was told... I honestly am grateful that when he needed her the most, in the darkest most painful time of his life....if not for Heather...he would not be alive today.....so while I wish it would have been the happy ever after for them both...I understand that with all he has going against him in just the day to day care of him...the why of the break up. I also know he wants her to have everything that he will never be able to give her again...it is just hard to know your child no matter the age is suffering one more loss and there is nothing I can do to make it stop hurting. All I can do is love him, be there to support him through it and help him get to the other side."
Just all I ask is for prayers to help all of us, both families involved to be a support to the kids as their
relationship changes from what they had dreamed it would be, into what it is going to be...the loss of
dreams, hopes..and the beginning of different paths going in different directions for them both...and
please keep in mind that there are two sides to one coin...everyone will only publicly hear for the most
part Heathers side of the coin, it is how Joshua wishes it to be...
He is in counseling for his PTSD and has been working with one who comes to his home once a week from
the VA, he will continue to do so...Joshua is not a perfect man, but like Heather he is a good person. She
is still just as protective of him as I am of her...They are two very real, very human people with human needs,
human failings....who were caught in a very inhumane situation that none of us can change. All we can do is
make the best of it, and follow what ever path it is that God has us on...Some days I can only remind us that
I don't know what the plan is, but he won't give us more than we can handle...to be honest Some days that is
hard to hang on to...I'd like to wave my arms and ask him have you forgotten us down here...I think we've had
enough now...but I know it does not work that way...
I will forever be grate full that she was the woman at his side when this happened. She has quite literally saved
his life on two occasions...and has been a steady rock when he needed one in the darkest time of his life. I wish
only the best for Heather and pray she find peace, love, and happiness as her life moves on in a new direction.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
We listen to our news report another death due to the swine flu in our state, easy to believe with the weather being so fickle. To reading posts on a beloved child in the family catching a fish with her $10.00 kiddie pole...just another example of size does not matter boys...giggle.
We find new normals and let go of old ways. we celebrate achievements while we continue to pray for loved ones still in danger in foreign lands, hugging each other with joy when a new one makes it home safely. Life in Michigan goes on as usual, nothing changed for many while everything is changed for some. We pick and choose battles to be fought here in our home state, and stay silent watching others pick and choose their battles. We say good-bye to loved ones finding new lives in new places as they search for work outside of a once prosperous state now sitting at nearly 15% unemployment making us the worst state hit with it in our country.
We tighten our belts, watch food lines grow longer and longer, more people lose their homes to foreclosures, and understand others just trying to keep the roof they have over their heads as more and more companies lay off or close their doors completely. In a time when no one in Michigan is certain will I still have a job when I wake up in the morning, and the others banging on doors just trying to compete for a job with a number of growing hundreds of others. We still find time to gather with loved ones to play, make some noise, make some music and show that no matter how tough things become; how much we have to tighten an already tighten belt. We will survive this too just as our grandparents did before us.
While the rest of the country talks about heading into a depression, here in Michigan we already are living it. But we are a tough bunch and we still find ways to create joyful memories with each other. We may not have a roof over our head tomorrow but tonight while we still do, we will share with each other what we have and make sure a little one is put to bed with a full stomach.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
He did it! I am so proud of him and relieved we made it to this day!!!! There were moments of doubt, moments of am I going to make it there for this event? But we made it, Joshua's journey effects so many lives...it really is a family journey when your child is wounded in war...today it is about his youngest brother and his part of the story...a tale of a young man whose eldest brothers injury took his family apart in different directions for a year and a half. His father had to continue work as a truck driver which left him gone all week, home a day and a half each weekend. His mother was gone completely to be at his brothers side, and here was Michael...the ultimate "Home Alone" kid... At home alone in Michigan and yet not alone, he had three dogs the two Black lab/beagle mixed "Snickers" and "Buddy" the half German Shepard/Collie Mix "Scrappy-Doo", two cats the Black and White "Angel" and the Siamese "Merlin", as well as one ferret "Snowball"....by the time mom came home one dog and the ferret would have passed on to Fur Butt Heaven...leaving him "Home Alone" to hold pet funerals...each morning he got himself up and ready for school, he tended to the animals needs, left the house two way on the cell phone as he walked down the drive way to await the school bus talking to his mother as she was heading into the hospital to begin her day at his brothers side in Virginia. He attended classes, went to lunch, updated teachers and friends when they asked about his brothers condition and tried to concentrate on learning during good news, and during bad news, but always with the knowledge that their lives were changed forever. The brother who had always been the strong hero, was now in a battle for his life, it would never be the same life again. Hang out with friends, go to lunch, sometimes sneak in a two way to check how is Joshua doing...go back to classes, ride the bus home...home to 15 acres of silence...two way mom again, speak to Joshua and get the current update of the day on how it went while he was in school...make something to eat, tend to the animals, either go visit Levi his friend from school, or go to bed for a few hours and hide from the world...some days it was mow the grass, get up watch some TV, call mom and talk to her as she drove home, talk to her while she made dinner or ate the dinner they may have stopped and grabbed on the way home...watch a TV program together, read a book together, do homework...sometimes just sit in silence together but always with the connection of the cell phone...3-4 hours later it would be time to say good night, and take a shower go to bed...start the new day over with the same routine... Michael's day arrives, he made it; he is not at the top of his class more the bottom, but he arrives to the finish line, looks to his left as he walks onto the football field in his cap and gown and there sitting in his wheelchair is his hero. His big brother Joshua along with his fiancee, the nurse for the day and his mother home at last... home to be a part of this event...his father is there behind them in the crowd somewhere cheering him on...Michael is a year behind his class...but his friends came back, the friends who graduated the year before and consoled him with being held back a year, that if he had graduated on time with his class mates. Neither his mother or eldest brother would be able to be there to see him. Those friends came back and from the stands when his name is the last to be called, they erupt in cheers for him as he walks up to receive his diploma...his mother cries of course because, well, that is what mothers do at these milestone moments in their childrens life... his brothers fiancee Heather screams loudly over the crowd and from his wheel chair with a huge grin on his face, pride in his youngest brothers accomplishment beams from Joshua's face, as his youngest brother takes the day to be the Hero to many there in the crowd...
Friday, May 08, 2009
I spent the last hour chasing that dang bird....it needs it's wings clipped....I finally went and grabbed the blasted box of cheese nips that spike sneaks a cracker to Kal El each evening when he gets home from school and he followed me straight back to his cage and followed the crackers I put into his food dish right back into his cage. Much to the cats frustration that beast just made it worse....
I had a feeling something was up when I went through the morning routine with him, he did not go straight for his food and kept watching the door...I should have known he was plotting his escape. The moment I bent down to put the bottom of his cage back in he was over my head and gone!!!! flew his coup and went straight into the kitchen, than he spotted the box on top of the fridge and up he went so I grabbed the box and he followed me back. The entire time I am trying to keep angel from leaping up and getting the bird. I yelled at scrappy to round up the cat, which made the cat mad....thank goodness scrappy is the kind of dog who loves to herd...I don't let him do it often, but this morning I gave him permission and angel was rounded up like a blasted cow....
I need a drink and it is not even noon yet
Now Kal El is playing in his cage and cooing at me......you think spike would get upset if I served him bar b que parrot for dinner?
So here we have one Parrot in his cage, One cat in Scrappys old puppy crate...let her sit in the cage for an hour, maybe two...the dog gets a treat!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I keep thinking of my son and all those other wounded kids I saw and ask myself, what is he thinking?
They is no way my son or the small company he worked for before being sent to war could afford to
pay for the medical care that will be life long now!!!!
So now our country is going to send the kids to war, and if they are unlucky enough to get wounded,
than our country is going to charge them with the bills?
The American Legion Strongly Opposed to President's Plan to Charge Wounded Heroes for Treatment
Mon Mar 16, 5:49 pm ET
To: POLITICAL EDITORS
Contact: Craig Roberts of The American Legion, +1-202-263-2982 Office, +1-202-406-0887 Cell
WASHINGTON, March 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The leader of the nation's largest veterans organization says he is "deeply disappointed and concerned" after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries. The Obama administration recently revealed a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in such cases.
"It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan," said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. "He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it."
The Commander, clearly angered as he emerged from the session said, "This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate ' to care for him who shall have borne the battle' given that the United States government sent members of the armed forces into harm's way, and not private insurance companies. I say again that The American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America's veterans!"
Commander Rehbein was among a group of senior officials from veterans service organizations joining the President, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and Steven Kosiak, the overseer of defense spending at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The group's early afternoon conversation at The White House was precipitated by a letter of protest presented to the President earlier this month. The letter, co-signed by Commander Rehbein and the heads of ten colleague organizations, read, in part, " There is simply no logical explanation for billing a veteran's personal insurance for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide. While we understand the fiscal difficulties this country faces right now, placing the burden of those fiscal problems on the men and women who have already sacrificed a great deal for this country is unconscionable."
Commander Rehbein reiterated points made last week in testimony to both House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees. It was stated then that The American Legion believes that the reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate that VA treat service-connected injuries and disabilities given that the United States government sends members of the armed forces into harm's way, and not private insurance companies. The proposed requirement for these companies to reimburse the VA would not only be unfair, says the Legion, but would have an adverse impact on service-connected disabled veterans and their families. The Legion argues that, depending on the severity of the medical conditions involved, maximum insurance coverage limits could be reached through treatment of the veteran's condition alone. That would leave the rest of the family without health care benefits. The Legion also points out that many health insurance companies require deductibles to be paid before any benefits are covered. Additionally, the Legion is concerned that private insurance premiums would be elevated to cover service-connected disabled veterans and their families, especially if the veterans are self-employed or employed in small businesses unable to negotiate more favorable across-the-board insurance policy pricing. The American Legion also believes that some employers, especially small businesses, would be reluctant to hire veterans with service-connected disabilities due to the negative impact their employment might have on obtaining and financing company health care benefits.
"I got the distinct impression that the only hope of this plan not being enacted," said Commander Rehbein, "is for an alternative plan to be developed that would generate the desired $540-million in revenue. The American Legion has long advocated for Medicare reimbursement to VA for the treatment of veterans. This, we believe, would more easily meet the President's financial goal. We will present that idea in an anticipated conference call with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel in the near future.
"I only hope the administration will really listen to us then. This matter has far more serious ramifications than the President is imagining," concluded the Commander.
SOURCE The American Legion
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Joshua has a new fur butt Pal he renamed from Ringo to Motley....doesn't matter the dog comes to anything you call him...LOL
It is nice to know he has a barker in case someone messes around his home...
Spike turned 19 on the 26 of Feb, 2009 and Joshua will turn 27 on the 10th of March, 2009.
The time is flying by so quickly....it seems like yesterday the 8 year boy was holding his new born brother in his arms chatting to him on the sofa with his best friend Joshua Van Houten telling him to make sure to Love and Watch out for him because sometimes little brothers die.
His best friends baby brother had passed away from crib death...his mother and I over heard them and just wiped away the tears as one boy passed on a sad wisdom to his friend...At the time I did not realize what an impact those words would have on Joshua, words he took to heart and spent the past 19 years keeping his promise to his friend that he would take special care to watch over his youngest brother he held so close to his heart that afternoon.
Despite being wheel chair bound these days with no real functioning vocal cords yet...he still rules as eldest brother, and lets him know he is still top dog in the brother world...LOL His sense of humor still shines through with silly faces and sticking out that tongue at you to let you know when he thinks your being silly...:0)
Happy Birthday to both of you Young men, who will always be my silly boys in my heart....
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I do think that we as a nation can not allow her children to suffer because
we think she was selfish in her way of thinking...they are innocents...to rip
any family apart because we disagree with a parents choice would make us
no better than Nazi's who tore families apart...we are better than that as a nation.
I don't see the same reaction to the family of 20 the Duggers...or other huge family homes
She is not the only mother who uses the programs to raise her kids...if we start deciding who
can and can not be a parent because of a selfish choice we start down a slippery road again.
We can not forget the Indian children ripped away from their homes and forced to be more white.
Who were made to feel ashamed of their heritage...
or in our history when the poor children were ripped away and put into orphanages because others
thought them better off there than with loving but poor parents...
We have to stop thinking in terms of villainous with this woman and start thinking in terms of what do the
babies need.... well they need diapers, formula, they need clothes, blankets, beds, etc....there are so many things
that can be sent in place of money...the home needs cleaning supplies, it needs food...a diaper service for a year or two perhaps...toiletries for bathing...
Security team to chase off the men who haunt them like a pack of dogs who are the ones getting rich off their photos and stories being sold...how easy we forget a Princess in England is dead because of dogs like these...
As long as they can sniff blood in the water they swarm like sharks....and yet no one talks about them....
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Iraq veteran Joshua Hoffman ready for move to home built by volunteers aided by Homes For Our Troops
Posted by destep January 30, 2009 05:45AM
MIDDLEVILLE -- Heather Lovell suspected it all along, but now she is certain: People do care.
"It's unbelievable. There's no way to express it in words," said Lovell, 22.
She and her fiance, former Marine Cpl. Joshua Hoffman, will move Saturday into a donated house near Middleville, built with the labor and love of hundreds of West Michigan volunteers.
Given his sacrifice, they figure it is the least they can do.
"I don't think we could ever do enough for Josh," said Caledonia resident Bill White, 62, at the house Wednesday to put finishing touches on the project.
"His sacrifice will never end."
Larger view of photos
Hoffman, 26, was paralyzed from the chest down when he was hit by a sniper's bullet in Iraq in January 2007. A bullet pierced his neck and exited his shoulder blade, shattering his upper spine as it went through. He spent more than a year in a Virginia Veterans Administration hospital before coming home in March 2008.
The one-story house includes everything from an elevator to a wheelchair-accessible shower, all to accommodate Hoffman's extensive medical needs.
It has polished wood floors to ease wheelchair movement and lights that turn on and off automatically when he enters or leaves a room. A motorized ceiling track lift system will aid him getting in and out of bed and into the shower.
An oxygen distribution system in the basement can pipe oxygen into several rooms, vital for treating his frequent lung infections. A backup generator assures the home will have electricity, even if the power grid fails.
The house was built with primary financial help from Homes For Our Troops, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization dedicated to building houses for wounded and disabled veterans. It has built more than three dozen homes around the country.
"Men and women like Josh are modern-day heroes," said Brian Reed, project manager of Homes for Our Troops.
"Josh is definitely one of the most severe we have had to deal with. But he is a great kid. He has a great disposition. In my heart, I have a lot of hope for Josh and his fiancee."
Caledonia building contractor Bill Bravata, 56, acted as general contractor for the 2,200-square-foot house. And like everyone involved, he donated his time.
He lost track of how many hours.
"It's just a labor of love and respect and giving back," Bravata said.
"When God, the spirit, the power of the universe wants something, it's going to get done if you just don't get in the way. There has just been a tremendous outpouring of support."
Caledonia resident Chet Teater, a 62-year-old Vietnam War veteran, estimated more than 700 people pitched in one way or another.
He is proud to be one.
"Josh has paid a heavy price to serve our country. He has an attitude, a zest for life that is hard to match, given his condition."
Teater and others helped raise $80,000 for the project, with money coming from individuals, several area schools and $20,000 from the Marshall Community Foundation. The suburban Detroit family of Sgt. Peter Neesley, who died in Iraq in 2007, donated $626, the total of their son's last tax return.
The funds are to pay for finishing the basement and the cost of the oxygen distribution system, with a portion reserved for paying utilities and insurance on the home.
Lovell estimated Hoffman has been hospitalized 10 times since he came home to West Michigan, most often because of infection related to his paralysis. It is the No. 1 cause of death for patients paralyzed from the waist down.
But Hoffman has managed to avoid the hospital for several months and Lovell is optimistic he will thrive in their new home.
Compared to their Kentwood apartment, it is a dream.
"Josh, he is ecstatic. It's going to be such a relief to get out of our apartment with room to breathe, so he can feel more independent," Lovell said.
"That's very important to him."
E-mail Ted Roelofs: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, January 19, 2009
Looking back at an image of what was considered beautiful and desirable in the 60s, to what is now considered desirable and beautiful today in 2009.
I am shocked that women have allowed this to happen to us....
For whom are we trying to please? Marilyn Monroe would not make it in today's society as she would be considered to Fat by today's weight and measurement standards.
It is time women stood up and took a stand. We are not men, we have curves, we have real breasts that are not designed to point straight up when we lay on our backs...we have the baby pouch, because we carry babies...we are born to have curves....we are not designed to look like 12 year old girls forever....our bodies are meant to go through puberty, to have hips develop, and breasts be of different sizes....not all women are meant to be a double DD bra size....women in third world countries are having pubic hair ripped from their bodies by human monsters before they rape them....women in this country are paying to have the same hair ripped from their bodies to please men who have convinced them that they will only look beautiful if they look like 12 year old children....here we've become a country of females who pay money to be tortured so we are pleasing to the eyes of human monsters.....
Just because they dress in three piece suits does not make them any better than the monsters who are raiding the country sides of the poor countries...pedophiles, rapists in all it's forms is evil....it is time we don't just take back the night, it is time we take back all rights of being a woman and shine light on evil where ever it tries to pervert. Espeically when it is on our magazine covers and in our movies and television programs....