"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Saturday, January 30, 2010


This came to me via email today. I thought it was beautiful and wanted to share it, along with some thoughts of my own:


"For those who are unaware: At all military base theaters, the National Anthem is played before the movie begins. This is written from a Chaplain in Iraq:

I recently attended a showing of' Superman 3' here at LSA Anaconda.We have a large auditorium we use for movies, as well as memorial services and other large gatherings. As is the custom at all military bases, we stood to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was going well until three-quarters of the way through The National Anthem, the music stopped. Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments, and everyone would sit down and yell for the movie to begin. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place. Here in Iraq, 1,000 Soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again and the soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. But again, at the same point, the music stopped. What would you expect 1000 Soldiers standing at attention to do?? Frankly, I expected some laughter, and everyone would eventually sit down and wait for the movie to start. But No!!... You could have heard a pin drop, while every soldier continued to stand at attention. Suddenly, there was a lone voice from the front of the auditorium, then a dozen voices, and soon the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers, finishing where the recording left off: "And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave."It was the most inspiring moment I have had in Iraq and I wanted you to know what kind of soldiers are serving you. Remember them as they fight for us!----------------------Pass this along as a reminder to others to be ever in prayer for all our soldiers serving us here at home and abroad. Many have already paid the ultimate price."

Written by Chaplain Jim Higgins LSA. Anaconda is at the Ballad Airport in Iraq , north of Baghdad.

I was so moved when I read this. It caused me to stop and reflect a bit about our troops that are stationed so far from home. I know that sometimes these messages that are forwarded over and over through email are not always true. But I believe this one and I believe it to be a perfect example of the quality of the men and women in our United States Armed Forces.

It seems I have heard so much these days about the lack of direction and quality of our U. S. military. I have heard how it has digressed and become politically correct and on and on and on go the criticisms. These criticisms don't necessarily come from people who are involved with anyone serving our country in this capacity, but rather just something that was heard "through the grapevine" so to speak. It is always troubling for me to hear this. Number one, we have the greatest military in the world. We have the strongest defense, the best training, and we have quality enlistees that are beyond compare.

I'm not saying our military is perfect, or that there is not room for improvement. I simply believe it is not anywhere near as bad as many say, nor as bad as some in the media would have us believe. I know there have been changes that are not necessarily for the better. But criticism from the outside will do nothing to improve any of these problems. How about helping elect politicians that are pro-military and pro-defense. It is something that is crucial to our national security.

My own son is in the Civil Air Patrol Program for youth, which is the auxiliary program for the United States Air Force. I have watched these young men and women for several years now; and I have seen the dedication and the serious attitude with which they approach their training. These kids are not just out for a place to socialize. I do believe every one of them that is involved in this program is there either because of their love for country, or because they have a military career in mind. I have watched year after year, as graduates move on from CAP to one of the military service academies or enlist into service. I'm not saying they all do, but these cadets have learned service and respect for their country as well as the military; and they move on into adulthood with that training behind them and with that attitude in mind.

This program is successful because it follows military guidelines. Through it, I am seeing over and over the quality of character and academics of the young men and women that are entering our military branches.

If one were to check, statistics show that now more than ever, those that join our armed forces are people with a love of country, conservative values, and a good education. And that is a good thing! We need quality people in our military, just as we do in any other industry such as medical, homeland civil services, and education. I only hope we as a nation will continue to support our troops; and when we hear the bashing of our extremely important United States troops, that we will stop to consider the source, and check out the true facts for ourselves.

If you know someone that doubts the quality of our men and women in service, or the training they are receiving, maybe you could forward the message above from Chaplain Jim Higgins and hopefully cause them to reflect abit, or check the facts out for themselves.

"I have never advocated war, except as a means of peace."
~Ulysses S. Grant

It's The Soldier
It's the soldier, not the reporter who has given us Freedom of the Press.
It's the soldier, not the poet, who has given us Freedom of Speech.
It's the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the Freedom to Demonstrate.
It's the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the Right to a Fair Trial.
It's the soldier who salutes the flag, serves under the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives the protestor the right to burn the flag.
~Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Reflections - Mr. and Mrs. B.

He was a World War II veteran; she was a little English lady that still drank tea in the afternoons while she nibbled English muffins. They met while he was stationed overseas, and married before he finished his tour of duty. They had four children, a strong faith, and a good life. He loved wood working, she loved poetry. They were my husband Sam's neighbors, long before they became my neighbors; but they accepted me right away and our son, Matthew, became like one of their own grandkids.

He had to call on me quite a bit as he and his wife got older, and I know he didn't like to have to do that. But we were neighbors, we were friends and we lived just across the street from one another, so it only seemed the natural thing to do. Matthew was just little at the time and I have to admit that there were times interruptions could be difficult, as I was homeschooling him. But I never told them no; and now all these years later, I am so thankful that I didn't. It is bad enough living with the guilt that I wasn't always cheerful about helping them. I never let them see that though.

I remember one day in particular, Mr. B. was apologizing for having to call us once again. I could see it really bothered him. He was so independent and they both had done so much for other people throughout their life, it was hard for them now - especially Mr. B. - to have to ask for help. Anyway, as he stood there on the porch and I started to walk away, he gave me another apologetic thank you. I quickly responded, "Are you kidding, Mr. B? This is the least we could do for you, after all you have done for us." He looked a bit surprised, so I continued. "Remember all those times you brought your snow blower over and made sure our driveway was cleared of snow; and all those times you watched out for us when Sam was out of town?" I will never forget his response. His head went up, his chest went out and he stood a little taller with a big smile on his face. "Oh, that wasn't anything," he replied. But I could tell a thank you from me and reminder of what he had done for us, was exactly what he needed to hear that day. It made him just a little bit stronger once again - made the burden of now requiring help, just a little bit lighter.

That was such a lesson to me. We all just need to be needed. We all need to be appreciated every once in a while. I remember for years I had a sign on my refrigerator with a quote by Arthur Gorden that said: " 'Compassion' - Why wanting it so much for ourselves do we so often deprive it to others?" Don't know. But what I do know: neighbors like these two, are few and far between.

They gave my son a wonderful understanding of what a "neighbor" should be. They praised him and taught him and gave him gifts. Mrs. B. made us morning muffins and brought them to us warm, wrapped with love. She sometimes shared secrets and she sometimes shared poems. Mr. B. shared history and knowledge and strength. They both shared their life; they both shared their love.

I love them and I miss them.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Beagle - Bullet Bad Boy ummm - Bullet Bull's Eye

Meet our Beagle. This is Bullet Bull's-Eye ~ aka "Bubby", or when he is in trouble, otherwise known as "Beagle Bad Boy"! He is an AKC registered, tri-colored Beagle with ancestors consisting of names like: "Wilson's Rabbit Tracker" and "Roscoes Red Sawdof Browning Shotgun". Yep, you guessed it! He comes from prime hunting stock. And yes! It rubbed off on him. This "bad boy" loves nothing better than to put his nose to the ground and take off running, baying all the way once he has picked up a scent! He has left me in the dust on more than one occasion. And yes, one does learn to recognize the difference in the howl of when these hounds are on hunt, and when they have found their prey and it has been "treed".

Beagles are a great breed. They have short, soft hair which allows them to stay clean with little shedding. They are a very social breed and love to be cuddled. It just has to be their idea. It is recommended if you have one beagle, you should have two; or at least another playmate for your beagle, as they do not like to be alone. They have a nose that I'm sure beats out any other nose for picking up scents no other beast could. This is also why they tend to gain weight. Our beagle has a way of sniffing out, finding food, and eating it before we even know he has left the couch!

They will love you to death, but they also have a very selfish streak that I have noticed is not common in my Labrador or other breeds. Beagles do indeed sleep on their backs and as Charles M. Schulz has portrayed in his cartoons of Snoopy, I'm sure they would sleep on top of their dog houses should they have a master that would be so cruel (in their eyes) to keep them outside. Our beagle is a southern boy, hailing from Amarillo, Texas and therefore, does not like the cold! ....Soooo, he sleeps indoors...with a blanket...and his head covered.

Before you get a beagle, watch Snoopy for a bit; because that is exactly what you will be getting. Once you have had a beagle, you will know that Mr. Schulz, creator of Snoopy, had beagles, too!

"Puppies seem to know that one of their functions is to make time stand still--they are not only another beginning themselves, but they have a way of spreading it around making everybody feel a little younger." ~ Gene Hill

Saturday, January 23, 2010


If I am honest with myself and others, I would have to say one of the main reasons I was inspired to begin blogging will be found in this section that I have created called Reflections. I wanted a place to express my feelings that may otherwise not have an appropriate venue. Obviously, one is able to write a "Letter to the Editor", but some of the things that I might want to write about, may not be appropriate there. Facebook could be another option, but for me, that is a place to have fun, connect with friends, and escape the burdens of life for awhile. With a blog, such as this one, no one has to read it, nor is anyone forced to come back if they do not like it.

It's a nice thought to think that maybe one can make a difference in trends, or politics, or simply just cause someone to think about something in a different light. That may or may not happen, but this will also be a place to gather my feelings, and formulate what I believe. I like to keep up on all things political and I am a strong believer in the written word as a strong source of communication. I'm sure this will become a place to change my thoughts on some issues as well. But that won't happen this time. This first subject that I want to write about is something that has been on my mind for years, and it is a trend that I have observed becoming more and more prominent. So here we go...

When I was a kid, I was taught in school (and that would be public school) that any words having to do with God should be capitalized. That would include the pronouns referring to God, such as "His", and "Him"; proper nouns, such as "Father", "Son" and "Holy Ghost"; and of course "Bible"; but even more than that, also the adjective "Biblical" should be capitalized. The rule I learned was one of those set rules like " 'I' before "e" except after 'c'." We all learned it. It stated simply: "Capitalize all words referring to the Deity and the Bible." I have found one source today that still teaches this rule and that would be A Beka Publications. I'm sure there are others, but it is no longer a common practice.

It is very rare these days, to see the word "Biblical" capitalized. It is also becoming more common to see the word "Bible" in lower case letters, even among Christian writers. While this may seem like a little thing, I truly believe it is not; nor do I believe it is unintentional. With the advent of the computer and "Spellcheck" we have little need to worry much about our spelling and grammatical errors. However, I don't believe it is coincidental that Spellcheck is not set to correct the error of "Biblical" being written without capitalization. The reason my generation and preceding generations were taught this rule, is because it was common belief that God and everything about Him was to be respected and to be treated as Deity. The Bible was known as the very Word of God, with little dispute. The capitalization of these words insured that it was unmistakably the Divine Creator of the Universe Who was being honored. To not capitalize Bible or Biblical at this time, is merely to make it just another book and remove the holiness and sanctity of this Book from the common perception.

I write this mainly to Christians. You may say, "God's Word will never be degraded in my mind, I don't care if it is capitalized or not." But the truth of the matter is when we allow it or condone it, we are a part of the agenda to make it just another writing. I am amazed at well-known Christian authors that have let this new standard change their writing habits. Christians of all people, should not be willing to let the world turn the Holy Bible into just another book. No one will ever convince me that that is not the intent of this digression. Let's all make efforts to get back to the higher standard that everyone was once taught. The Bible has been removed from public schools and so has the teaching that it is to be respected above all other literature.

And so....

Me? Blog? I don't think so. But then, I do have a few friends that have blogs and I love to read their pages. It keeps me in touch with their lives and allows me to see photos of their family. I get great recommendations for books, and recipes, and they allow me to see provocative thoughts through their perspective. Pretty amazing!

Pretty amazing we live in a time where we can do this through technology. Pretty amazing we live in a country that gives us freedom of speech that allows us to share our thoughts. Pretty amazing, I would even want to attempt this.

But then, I do love to write. Didn't I just answer someone's question of "What is your hobby?" with a simple answer of "Write". I have always enjoyed it. I don't pretend to be good at it; but still, I find it relaxes me. And boy, wouldn't a blog be a great place to share all those thought provoking one or two line quotes from founding fathers, and age-old pastors that I love so much. Hmmmm.

I got caught in a blog the other day, read more than I wanted to; but the author was asked why he blogs. He had such great reasons! They were so well thought out, and so well-spoken it led me to believe we all should blog. I won't go into his reasons, but it was enough to push me over the edge to the beginnings of a blog.....