Ramblings

Life, family, business


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Every Single Person Matters and Why Fear is Killing Us

I do believe that this is true, every single person matters, to someone.  Every person is a mother, father, son, daughter, niece, nephew, friend, or loved one.  Every one of us matters to someone.

I see the hatred and racism, I hear it talked about at my store, on the news, and all over Facebook.  People categorize and generalize, and group people into labels.  But each of those people matters.  Every one of us is a child of God, and a child of the Earth, and a child of two other people.  Every one of those lives has a purpose, has a reason.  Each one of those lives has been given a different set of talents, unique to that person, and they should have the opportunity to use them.

I know not all of us are the same religion, but that shouldn’t mean we can’t cooperate and learn together how to make this planet a better world for all of us.  We’re not all the same color, but that shouldn’t make any difference; the color of one’s skin doesn’t make them any better or any less of a person.  WE ALL MATTER!

But the power behind all of this nonsense, is FEAR.  When we fear other people because of their color or their religion, or even their sexual preference, we are the losing team.  God tells us to fear no man.  But we do, we fear all kinds of things, but mostly, we fear anything different than us.  We fear the differences in culture, in language, and in morals.  We fear that someone will try to make us change, and we fear change of any kind.

But the world is changing every minute, every second.  The world changes and we change too, even if we’re afraid.  I am not the person I was 40 years ago, 4 years ago, 4 days ago.  My experiences in life change me every day.  I learn new things everyday, and by learning those things, I am a different person, a wiser person.  I go out of my way to learn about people and their cultures.  I learn about them, their families, their hopes and dreams, and their own fears.

Education is the key to stop FEAR in its tracks.  The more you know about something, the harder it is for you fear it. I have friends and relatives who are gay, transgender, straight, black, brown, yellow, red, white, and even pink. I have friends and relatives who are Atheist,  Christian, Muslim, Pagan, and even a couple who are witches. I don’t fear my friends, I want them to be happy and have joy and fullness in their lives.  I want them to feel love and be loved, just as I want that for myself.  I want them to be accepted for who they are, without feeling any type of oppression or fear from others or for others.

I challenge everyone to learn about the people who scare you.  Before you stereotype a person into a label that you fear, try to meet them, befriend them.  “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”, as Jesus once said, because once you start praying for them, they are no longer enemies, perhaps only friends you haven’t met yet.  If we all work together, we can make this world, this country, this state, a better place; a place where all lives truly do matter.  A place where we build each other up, look out for each other, and try to help each other understand why there should be no fear here.  We are all brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and children.  We are all in this world together.  What a beautiful place it could be if we saw each person for who they truly are, if we could see their lives as valuable, just as we value our own.  Each of us has value, each of us has a unique soul, and each of us has a worth.  We just need to open our eyes and see that we are all the same, yet we are all different, and that is why each of us, each single life, matters.

 

 

 


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Everything You Tell Yourself is TRUE!

Everything you tell yourself is true.

You are what you say and think you are.

~be careful little mouth what you say~

You have to believe in yourself.  If you’ve ever been in sports, your coach probably said those words, or told you that you have to believe it to achieve it, or something similar. Many times in life when we face obstacles, we talk ourselves through it, we help ourselves do something by believing we can!  But if the talk in our minds is negative, its not going to help us at all.  Its going to pull us down, because if you believe you are worthless, you’ll become worthless.  If you believe you are overcoming, then you are an over-comer.  As children, we are told many things, some good, some bad.  Stop believing the bad things.  Stop believing the cruel words of others.  Only believe the good, and work toward being better. Try hard to be a better person today, than you were yesterday.  Change only happens when you change what you are saying to yourself!

~be careful little ears what you hear~

But think about this, what if every song lyric you sang or listened to automatically transferred into your life as a true fact.  Would you keep listening to the same music?  The songs you sing in your head; are they going to lift you up? Or bring you down?  Do you listen to sad songs? Or songs about violence and rage?  Those words are who you become.  Do the lyrics of your favorite song talk about how pathetic you are?  How screwed up you are?  Its only going to reinforce these thoughts and keep you stuck in the downward spiral.

It kills me when people who suffer from depression listen to death metal.  Don’t you want to feel better? Listen to happy music, children’s songs, church hymns, anything that’s upbeat.  Don’t reinforce your depression by listening to someone drone on about how miserable they are, or how terrible their life is.  Every genre has this music; Country, Rap, Metal, and Rock.  There are even Classical pieces that resonate doom and despair-don’t listen to them! Pick something that makes you feel good inside.  Find some music that makes you feel happy.  And no, don’t try to tell me you only feel happy when you listen to depressing or angry music, I don’t buy it, please don’t insult my intelligence.  Find some relaxing music; Native American flutes, Buddhist singing bowls, or ocean waves, or something from nature; anything that clears your mind and helps you think in a positive manner.

~be careful little eyes what you see~

Did you know that when you watch a movie, your subconscious brain believes its really happening to you?  There are people who have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after watching violence happenings on television.  Some people are more sensitive than others and watching horror movies, or violence, can cause serious repercussions, especially in children. So think about how much stress you are inflicting on your subconscious just by what you watch on the screen! (I’m going to start watching exercise videos!)

~be careful little hands what you do~

Having nothing to do is an invitation to boredom, and that can cause you to feel worthless.  Find a hobby.  Find something for you to do in your spare time.  You’d be better off finding a part time job to make a few extra bucks than just sitting around moping.  It good to have things to do, find some!

Finding peace is possible, if you want to find it.  You have to believe you can, and you need to feel that you are worthy.  Only you can make your life better, and the best way to start is by realizing that everything you tell yourself is true.  The words you say, the music you listen to, the things you give your attention to, are the things that make up your life.  If you want your life to change, you have to change it!  You have to pick a different choice than you have in the past.

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

“There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do.”

Henry Ford is credited for the quotes above, and he’s right.

YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

 

 

 


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It’s 90 degrees, on May 5th, in North Dakota.

This spring has been one of the weirdest weather years in my life. The winter was mild, it felt like spring in February and March, and then cooled down again. And here we are today, at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

12795257_10208695979944951_6450639887248248609_n (High tunnel picture with side rolled up.)

I’m a gardening fanatic. I took the Master Gardener classes at NDSU awhile back, and I just love growing plants. I have a little greenhouse, a high tunnel, and a basement full of grow lights. (Don’t worry, there’s nothing illegal being grown here ever!)  I have over 70 houseplants that live inside all winter.  I have a banana tree on my dryer, and a cactus that touches the ceiling, both in my laundry room.  Am I the crazy plant lady?  Maybe. But its an inherited disease.  My mom’s banana tree lives in her dining room.

 


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Drug Testing for Welfare Benefits: Pros and Cons

I have seen a ton of posts on Facebook about testing all welfare recipients for drugs, and denying benefits to anyone who tests positive.  I totally agree with this, for people without children.  The problem is, the kids who have druggies for parents didn’t choose to live this way.  They didn’t make the choice to do drugs, their parents did. I think this should also apply to alcoholics raising children.  Its not fair to the kids.

But if people want to be able to deny benefits for people with children, we have to be ready to raise those children.  How many kids will you take in?

The need for people to take foster children is great.  I’ll be honest and tell you that I’ve thought about it, but I know how easily I get attached to beings, like dogs, cats, and children.  I wouldn’t be able to give them up, to go back to a drug infested home, especially if there was abuse involved.

I would be open to adoption, but the cost of adopting children is ridiculous.  What if we figured out a way to let families adopt children for a much lower cost?  The children who need homes could have them, and people could afford to adopt.  The children then grow up in a healthy environment, where they are loved, cared for, and go to school.

How can we fix this?  The children are not the ones at fault.  And the kids who grow up in those environments are some of the same kids who start doing drugs as teenagers.  If drug use is normal, then the kids who grow up with that are much more likely to end up with the same addiction.  When there is no hope for a future, the world is a very bleak place.

I would love to see a system where families could afford to adopt as many children as they want, as long as they can afford them and pass a credible background check.  Yes, we’ll need more social workers.  But the savings of welfare benefits  to those who don’t deserve them will probably more than pay for the cost.

I don’t have a problem with welfare though, its there for a reason.  They are honest hard working people who need a hand, and that’s okay.  But one requirement of welfare should be that people have jobs or are looking for a job.  If people can’t find a job, then maybe we can have jobs available, like cleaning the roadways of litter, cleaning up graffiti from public buildings, or any other job that we expect our public servants to do.  But they need to be hard jobs to encourage people to find jobs they like and enjoy doing.

I also believe that people in prison need to be put to work doing something.  If prison was a hard life, then maybe some of the people would stop re-offending. There are lazy people out there, people with the mentality that somehow, humanity owes them something.  But the truth is, no one owes you anything.  If you want it, you need to go out there and earn it!

We need people to be accountable for themselves.  Our society has created an entire class of people who don’t think they have to work for themselves.  Unless you are truly disabled, you need to work for yourself!  You need to earn your own money!  When we give people money for nothing, we are the enablers.  We are the ones who let them get by with not being accountable.  And if you can’t even take care of yourself, how can you take care of children?

This blog is my personal opinion, and I realize that many people will disagree with it.  And that’s okay.  But if you disagree, how do you think we can solve this problem?  Children don’t deserve to live a life of neglect and abuse.  I’m very open-minded and I would love to hear your differing opinion.

 


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Are You Good Enough?

 

The world is a terrible place, full of lies and deceit.  As a young teenager, I remember looking in the mirror and being OK with who I was.  I needed braces, but other than that, I thought, I was OK.  But then the world chimed in and told me that I wasn’t OK at all.

The world is so miserable, it just can’t stand to see anyone happy.  It wants you to be just as miserable.  It conspires against you, telling you that YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  It wants you to believe that you are not as good as the others.

You are not pretty enough,

Skinny enough,

Smart enough,

Strong enough.

You don’t have the right hair, the right clothes, or the right body.

The world is a bully.  It’s the worst bully of all.  It says bad things to us about ourselves, and SOMETIMES, WE ACTUALLY BELIEVE THEM!!

That’s the worst part of this.  We actually believe the lies the world tells us.  Why?  Why would we put ourselves through this misery?

The TRUTH says that we are exactly the way we were meant to be.  Generations upon generations have blended together to make you exactly who you are today.  Even one variable in those ancestors would have made a completely different person!

You are good enough!!  You are pretty, smart, and strong!  Your physical features have nothing to do with who you are inside.  Your body is just that, its a body.  Its a vessel that we are given to move our brains around in.  You need to take care of this body!  Its the only one you get.  Maybe you’re not happy with it, but don’t envy the one someone else has because you think its better.  For the most part, you can shape yours too, like a potter shapes the clay.  It takes work, but the results can be fabulous if you stick with it!  Maybe you aren’t happy with some aspect of it, perhaps its not the one you would have chosen had you been able to try them on and pick.  But the one you got is the one that was picked for you.  Learn to like it, that one thing will make your life a much happier place!  Feed it well, with nutritious foods.  Nurture it, exercise it.  Perhaps yours is a malfunctioning body, or one who has taken much abuse and now has a few dents and dings in it.  It may be hard to understand why yours isn’t in good working order, but none of us knows why these things happen.  None of us knows what things we will learn in life because of that thing that makes us unique.

Once you have made peace with your body, its time to look into your heart and see who you are.  Who are you?  Not your name, or your title, but who you are on the inside.  Its hard to find, because we’ve accepted so many labels from so many people over the years.  But take away all the things that others have named you, and what do you have left?  Take away the lies you have believed in the past, wipe the slate clean. Who is living in your body?  Who is this person called “I”?  Think about it. Dwell on it.  See if you can find “I”, meet them, ask them questions.  Ask them who they truly are.

I am compassionate, loving, caring, strong, and determined.  I am introverted, intelligent, creative, and empathetic. I am a daughter of God. I am a mother, wife, daughter, friend. I am patient, I am impatient.  I am so many things.  I am also not many of the things the world has labeled me as.  I get to choose who I am. I don’t have to accept any label I don’t want.  If another person chooses to label me, I am not that label. I am not what others think. What the world thinks is not my concern, my concern is what I think.  What I think I am, is who I am.

I’d love to hear about who your “I” is.  What labels have you chosen?

 

 

 

 

 


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Blow like the Wind

The wind is unseen, yet its force causes the leaves to flutter and the branches to bounce.

The wind is invisible, yet one can feel it, on their skin and in their hair.

The wind is hidden from our eyes, yet our ears can perceive its presence.

The wind can be gentle; a breeze lightly teasing the grass.

The wind can be ferocious; tearing apart buildings and blowing down trees.

We can be like the wind; we can do many things without anyone seeing us.  But the results of our actions can be momentous.  Good or bad depends on the one who discerns, and the one who acts.

 

 


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What’s Your Opinion?

I can be a very opinionated person.  I have a very strong belief system and I defend my beliefs.   An opinion is simply a belief or view or judgment formed about something.  We all have them.  Some have more than others.

Every person is entitled to their own opinion about anything.  Here in the United States we have the freedom of speech, and we have the right to voice our opinions.  However, its important to remember that not everyone has the same opinion, and even though you can voice your opinion, I don’t have to listen.

What makes some people feel the need to express their opinion to people they barely know, with no invitation?  What makes these people think that their opinion means anything to people they don’t know?

This is one of the things I’ve been pondering over this Christmas holiday.  It seems like I meet one of these people every year or two.  But what makes a person act like this? I’m not talking about your outspoken friend talking to you, I’m talking about that person who has just met you, or is in your line at the store, or the person behind you in line at the buffet who makes unkind or rude comments about your choice of food.

The one theme I see in people like this is ignorance.  People who don’t take the time to learn about a situation and just try to judge others are very ignorant.  People who try to tell you what they think or believe without being invited into the conversation are rude, discourteous, and lacking manners.

I know I have acted this way as well, especially when I was younger.  Its something I try very hard not to do.  These rules are obviously not for close friends, they are my rules for meeting new people and talking to people you don’t know well:

NEVER insert your opinion where its not wanted. How do you know if it’s wanted?  The person will ask you for it if they want it. If they don’t ask, keep your yap shut.

NEVER criticize other adults for their choices.  Its not your life, you don’t get to choose for anyone except yourself.  If you don’t like the way someone else did it, then don’t do it that way yourself, and keep your yap shut.

And lastly, you can judge people all you want in your head, but keep your yap shut.  Karma is a bitch. You reap what you sow.  Once you start judging others out loud, you will become the target of those who will judge you as harshly as you judge others.

I can tell you from experience that when you try to insert your opinion into someone else’s life, they generally aren’t going to like it, especially if it doesn’t agree with theirs.  When people do any of these things to me, or breaks my rules, it creates an instant dislike of that person.  Is this me judging?  Yes, it is.  As an adult, I get to decide who my friends are, and who I talk to.  There are so many negative people in this world, I try my hardest to make sure I don’t add any of them into my  circle of friends, or even my list of acquaintances.

Since I have started choosing the people I allow into my life more carefully, I have become a much happier person.  I surround myself with people who are also tolerant, loving, and peaceful.  I reject those who are abrasive, self-serving, or disrespectful of my life’s beliefs.  Every one of us gets to choose who we let in; respect yourself and make purposeful choices.


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A Christmas Story from the Store

I am the owner of a small convenience store in a small town in rural North Dakota.  Every morning, a group of mostly retired men come to the store to have coffee or a bottle of water, and shoot the breeze.  Some play cards, some play practical jokes. Its a great group of guys who have become almost like family to me.  We’re open every morning of the year, except Christmas.   We joke around a lot, and keep tabs on what everyone is doing or where they are going for the winter.  Almost all of them have a great sense of humor, and we laugh so much, sometimes my cheeks hurt.  

One of the jokesters was getting ready to leave this morning.  I asked him if he had gotten something nice for his wife’s Christmas present.  He said, “Nope!  I got her a present a few years ago and she never used it.”

I asked him what he had gotten her.

He laughed, “A cemetery plot.”

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and a fantastically wonderful New Year!

 

 


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Why its Important to Teach an Old Dog Some New Tricks

I started playing piano about a year ago.  I was so good about practicing every day, and I was even impressed how quickly I was able to play some of the songs.  But then spring came, and my true passion ensued: gardening.  I love gardening so much; planting seeds, the smell of fresh soil, the first shoots of germination, the breath of new spring life.

On rainy days when I was off work, I still practiced, but those were few and far between.  My poor piano sat neglected.  But then eventually, as it always does, the frost came, and the piano came back to life.  I lost so much from my negligence, but I’m gaining it back.  I’m working my way to where I was when spring sprung and I ran outdoors, leaping for joy at the new growth and spring rain, and plants.  I’m still ahead of where I was last year at this time when I just started.

My doctor told me that learning something new, like playing an instrument is amazingly good for your brain.  It creates new pathways, new connections.  The funny thing is,  I can feel them growing!!   I know, it sounds crazy, but I can feel my brain working, expanding and improving.  I can only practice for so long, before I can’t take it anymore.  Its as though my brain says, “Ok, this is all can muster for today,” and I need to stop.

I also want to learn Spanish, but I haven’t gotten very far with that.  Buenas Tardes!!   I have gotten through the first few lessons, however.  If only I had more time!!  I think this is why its so important to help our children learn these things when they are young.  When we are children, we learn so much faster, and we have the time to learn, and to practice.  But if we do not have the opportunities as children, there’s no reason not to learn the things we want to know as we get older.  Its good for our brains, and its good for our self-esteem.  I love being able to play a new song, or understand what someone said in Spanish, even though I maybe can’t say it on my own quite yet.  The neural pathways are still being constructed.  But once they are painstakingly built, I will work harder to keep them in good condition.  Perhaps I will try speaking Spanish to my plants, or play them a song.

Its so good for each one of us to learn something new.  Did you know that learning a new hobby or trade can ward off depression?  How about protecting yourself from dementia and Alzheimer’s?  I consider myself to be a bit young to worry about that yet, but as we all age, we all are at risk for so many mind-killing diseases and disorders.

You’ve always dreamed about learning a new language?  Speak it!!  It will only help you!  Always dreamed of learning to play a musical instrument?  Play it!  It will make you feel great!  Always wanted to learn a new hobby, or trade?  Learn it!!  It will set you ahead of yourself, and it will help your brain stay younger.

What are the dreams you have?  The things you want to learn?  What language do you want to speak?  Find your interests, and go with it.  Learn something new, no matter what your age.  You’re NEVER too old to learn some new tricks!


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The Fall of Summer

As the leaves turn from green to yellow to red, the fruits ripen, and the chipmunks are busy gathering their winter supplies, my heart saddens, knowing the joyous days of summer’s heat are being cut short.  The blue jays, with their clever calls mimicking the sound of a hovering hawk, fight over the acorns with the squirrels. The yellow jackets appear more intensely, hungry for every fallen apple, and ready to bite every intruder.  The luscious season of tomatoes ripening, juicy goodness only available in the late summer, is almost over.  The bags and bags of them in the entry way, waiting for me to do something.

The first nip of frost blackens my squash and pumpkins leaves, and they ripen quickly, forced into readiness by their natural enzymes.  “Hurry up, everyone!” the frost seems to say, “Your time is almost done”.  The zucchini plants make one final attempt to produce more fruit, and the yellow squash does the same, sending out new blossoms, calling to the bees. The bees are also in a hurry, to bring more nectar back to the hive for their winter syrup of life.

The wild animals grow heavier coats. My chickens grow in their heavy under feathers, getting ready for the cold.  The air in the evenings has a crispness to it, a chill, and the fire warms our hands and feet.  The leaves crunch underfoot.  The flowers are faded, turning to stalks. The seeds blow on the wind, their ingenious parachutes and umbrellas of fuzz setting them adrift in the sky.  Like the pioneers, they set off, not knowing where they will land, but they will try to make a life wherever that is.

The geese and ducks fly overhead.  Going south, who can blame them?  The Monarch butterflies too, migrating back to their warmer climate for survival.  Their instinct pulls them into the migration patterns their ancestors followed for generations, and now they follow as well, creating an amazing pattern of life.

Every fall, I add another number to my chronological age.  The numbers don’t really bother me like I thought they would, I still feel the same inside.  An old neighbor of mine once told told me that the years go by faster the older you get.  This scares me, because they go by so quickly already.

The winter comes every year, and every year it catches me off guard.  I’m not ready.  Not ready for the cold or the wind, or the snow or the ice.  I wish for the warm nights of summer, fireflies dancing in the grass, and planting.  Planting everything, working the garden to see what will grow, what will fail, and what will turn into something extraordinary from a seed, some dirt, and some water; the promise of what is yet to come.  The miracle of life and death, and rebirth; of hibernation and migration, the circle of life.