Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sometimes, in all of our thinking of what we do not possess or what we have lost, we are unable to reflect on what we still Have or fortunately found along our way. . .

Sometimes, in all of our thinking of what we do not possess or what we have lost, we are unable to reflect on what we still Have or fortunately found along our way. . .

This day always reminds me to try very hard to appreciate what amazing memories I have of those I’ve long since lost and to feel very blessed, to be very thankful for those I still have and the moments I am fortunate to experience now.

Great Loss does not negate a great future of beautiful people, places and moments, though when we have lived through tragedy, there are hours, days and years it may seem to impossible to believe. . .

I'm actually positive I've faked a lot of happiness for a long, long time (even now, sometimes), but eventually, clouds part (at least for awhile), and you really are desperately grateful. You aren't just faking it. You just are appreciative. You remember that even when it seemed like all was lost, there were bits and pieces you scavenged to either collect or cling to tightly. You admit you have found new things to hold onto in desperation, that you love, and in all of that, you know you must be thankful.

Tomorrow, perhaps more than other days, I am thankful for 3 lovely boys, a husband who will go anywhere and do anything I ask (and I ask a great deal), a mountainside of the creatures I’ve loved since girlhood. . .and for years of being able to save horses in an area where they previously lacked a voice with people of such value. . .

I am thankful for what are now only memories, but they are cherished. I am glad I have them. Everyone doesn't. I had the most beautiful girl as a sister, such as I believe the world could not have known without her here. I've been able to love someone so much and have held her in such high esteem, her loss could hurt me so deeply that I've known a few emotions others will never believe in.

To have grown up with two younger brothers so unique and intelligent, I can easily be swept away in dreaming what life would be like had they lived longer with me. . .

And to have known a Father that touched an entire region in such a way his name is still and will always be spoken with a rare type of reverence that shakes a person to the core. . .regardless of how long he has been gone and no matter that he wore his shirts threadbare and taped his shoes.

To have a mother who never failed to watch a "play" I put on as a child or go the extra mile to entertain me and 12 year old sister still here when there is no reason I couldn't have been robbed of everything. . .including them.

I will always fight to remember to never let the loss of so many amazing lives prevent me from admitting how many new lives I’ve met and love deeply today. It isn't the same, but that is the hand dealt. There are Lives I’d never have known had so much tragedy never existed. I’d never have looked beyond all I had for something epic to fill the deep void left behind.

My walk would have been so different had they stayed, easier and happier, but I recognize that I would be weaker, more selfish and less thankful without the journey I’ve taken to be here today.

So with that, no matter where or what, I imagine you too can find a reason to be appreciative, to be thankful.

I understand. It isn't easy or even possible this year. . .sometimes. Try, though.

Be Thankful in the face of a county that seems torn apart, selfish, ill informed and hate-filled because there are, as I try hard to see all of the time, lovely lives all over the place who want better and are working for better.

(I don't think another photo would ever work on this day, for after it all, my mother is still able to see the good when even I see only bad. . .This was in front of the Emmons building as it burned down)

Be Thankful.
Kind.
Willing.
Grateful.
Hopeful.

Not because I always am and told you it is a good idea, but because someone who has walked a journey I hope you never do. . .is still trying her best. So I bet you can, as well.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Donald was elected, America whines and I sigh

We are not an informed, tough society. I wish we could be, though.
We have lived through decades and decades of corruption in America, and especially in our state of West Virginia. Yet most people have no idea how to really change anything.
So many do not realize state and county politics dictate far more in our lives than the national elections. Heck, most have no idea how laws come to be. Most never call their Reps to ask for change. Most have no idea what happens after a law passes or ever work to change anything, yet they will complain.
But I know enough representation personally and have enough knowledge to impart to assure you that a huge amount of men are representing women that are what many would consider misogynists and carry beliefs that are radically conservative Here. Frankly, most women elected are/do, as well. But they care about being re-elected, and so in spite of their beliefs, you can make progress if you really try.
We've not felt REAL, radical changes through the many national candidates taking office in the way we bemoan over the recent years, either. We haven't felt radial change through the state elections, either, though we have tantrums often.
That is the American way, after all.
We seem to enjoy the ability to whine and complain. We don't bother to learn how to fix much. Even the people who think they know the issues well really have no idea how to change anything.
When you've lost your father, sister and two little brothers (both under 20 years old) in 2 years, you would probably never say your life is ruined (or anything that might be twisted to mean anything like this) because an election didn't go the way you hoped.
Perspective.
Checks. Balances.
I've lived through all sorts political messes in a state that has ranked near a 3rd world country level since well before I was born. I've not seen meaningful change so far no matter who was elected.
I'm glad I've seen the cusp of the birth of change.
I have known what misogyny costs as I've paid as high a price as a woman (or female child) could ever pay more than once. More than Once. You can't tell me anything there I've not lived.
I've had the status quo in this county leave my only remaining brother addicted for more than 10 years because the Big Pharma lobbyists have more money than the common man does, and I've lived in a world where my family can get no rest for a moment. . .not even now.
I've done animal rescue for years. I've seen what man and beast face here in America at our VERY worst, lowest and saddest points. I've seen how no matter who we elect, little changes. I have seen a handful of people work to try to change everything, too, regardless of who was elected.
I've seen the public stay quiet. I've begged so many to speak up on various issues for children, adults and animals.
I know how quiet you are when you must do more than type angry words on Facebook.
I know.
What I will do now is tell you THAT YOU can change things. Again. As I have before.
You can change the laws that exists. All of these people in office want to be re-elected, and until you call and call and write day in and out, you've ignored your ability to change. Voting is one small step of many others.
Your duty doesn't stop when the voting ends. Your duty has just begun.
Don't complain. Find out how laws come to be. Find out how you CHANGE things. I know the power of one. Too many ignore it, and they complain.
Be Someone. Now seems a great time. This coming season at the legislature, I intend to change things again. You can, too.
Don't tell me you're busy. Come on, friends. I know better.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Now I lay be down to sleep, and no matter who is elected, I pray the Lord my Soul to Keep

Tomorrow, no matter what happens, we are still in a country together unless you've got the bags packed and are headed out.
If you are, good luck wherever you go.
I hope all sides that claim to care and be tolerate and love folks mean it. Proof is in the pudding and such, on ALL sides: Side A, B and C. There is a C, after all.
I guess we will see whether they are all serious, won't we?
Things don't always go the way we believe is needed, do they? I've lived through various major elections. Some went my way, others didn't.
We can be hysterical and encourage actions which do not fit into the kindness spectrum, and then again, we can act like Americans.
There are folk who will argue for their poor behavior, defend it and explain why they are uniquely qualified to make a call on good, bad and so forth. They are able to judge all.
There are those who will gloat and be unkind.
There are decent folks that do not fall into those categories above.
Here is to THOSE people. Hold us together. We will need it because I fear the other folks are going to make it hard to stay together.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

If you are beating, starving or raping your child. . .that must be the end of your rights as a parent forever. We have a system that works FOR THOSE PARENTS, Not the Children. Why?

I love Freedom. I'm a liberty minded person.
It is interesting how people who claim to be freedom minded use this concept of "freedom" as a protection for those who abuse children and animals.
Did you know you are only entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness if you're an adult in America? Sadly, that is the way of it.
I've got news for you, though. . .children (and animals) are entitled to decency and a life free of abuse.
This doesn't mean the government has any RIGHT to decide how they are parented (I don't care if you live in a tent and are kind to your child and feed him enough), but what it means is we ALL know there is a clear line where abuse and GROSS neglect takes place. It isn't parental preference. It is a CRIME. We can't excuse these crimes. We can't give these parents ANOTHER CHANCE.
No parent has the right to have a second chance if they abuse and grossly neglect their child. The child's RIGHTS MUST MATTER MORE.
In WV, that is not the case. Most cases of abuse go ignored. Most adoptable children stay locked up in foster care until they aren't adoptable or rehab-able. And so many people are willing to err on the side of caution in the name of protecting a parent's rights instead of a child's right.
On the heels of all I've seen reporting child abuse and neglect I've witnessed in person, in the year I spent as a CASA and from just living in a world where children get bottom of the barrel too often, I already realize that only thing this parent's rights mentality has done for WV is harm children.


"Children are dying from abuse and neglect at a higher rate in West Virginia than any other state, a problem that judges, social workers and others say is fueled by rampant substance abuse and likely to grow unless lawmakers get serious about finding and paying for solutions."
West Virginia had the highest death rate due to neglect and abuse in the nation in 2011.
Overall, we rank 37 right now with many factors considered, but realize, that rank is surely only because most reported cases ARE ignored. Ignored according to what I have seen and to those I know who worked in child advocacy in other states. . .at higher rates than can be imaged. I have made MANY reports, and none have ever been followed up on. Ever.
Imagine if 1/2 of the cases called in that were valid were followed up on? Yet, When they are, they have too few workers giving it a go and system who doesn't advocate for them. The laws aren't on their side.
They are in a system working for their parents, not them. They are in a system that may eventually take them after 3 years in a broken foster system where they are more damaged than before. Then we try to adopt them out, after their grandmother first fostered them and let their abusive parents visit them over and over, after we dragged them through the system until they are unable to heal. That mother they had keeps having more, and instead of those kids being taken at birth, they are allowed to stay until they are broke and abused and destroyed. We rattle about abortion (which I do care about, but we ignore something as brutal we can fix much quicker) and ignore this horror. This is a horror we can really change in few years if we refuse to shut up. But that isn't as compelling for some bizarre reason.
It is insane. Really.
I believe parents have the right to parent outside of government influence. I don't believe the government can tell me anything about anything. . . as long as I do not starve, rape or beat my children or chain them in the yard. You know. That is all really clear. It isn't rocket science.
If you are beating (not spanking), starving or raping your child. . .that is the end of your rights as a parent. We have a system that works FOR THOSE PARENTS. Why?
I have two sponsors at our state legislature saying they will work with me on a bill that may change this as of a few days ago, so lets give it a shot. Laws take time to change, but surely, of all things, this is MORE WORTH it than anything else.


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LUCAS FARM

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27




"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington