What?

I don’t know why I keep being surprised by this nonsense. And why people are so willing to be ruled by these megalomaniacs.

From the Drafts Folder

I remembered this evening that I have a blog, and discovered this bit of unfinished business in the drafts folder, sitting there quietly since October 2016. It’s a bit of nostalgia, a bittersweet remembrance I don’t want to lose, and therefore I am sharing it with you four and a half years since scribbling it.


After a busy day at my desk trying to get some business things resolved, I drove up to my mother’s house to paint some trim work for a few hours. We are definitely making progress, but sometimes we feel as though we’re spinning our wheels trying to get the house finished and on the market.

I managed to get a second coat of paint on the trim around the kitchen window, the utility room door, and three doors in the hallway. I had greater ambitions when I initially arrived, but getting up and down from the floor to do the lower bits was taking a toll so I called it a night. Remembering three things I needed to drop by the post office mailbox, I headed across town before turning toward home.

The “new” post office (which has been there for decades) is right down the street from the old Wellborne Shopping Center. As I passed by the empty parking lot that stretched for several blocks along the length of what had been the preeminent shopping destination for Alvinites, I was overcome with nostalgia, mingled with more than a little sadness. In the dark, I could see brightly lit signs announcing an auto parts store, and less bright signs for a little strip center church, a Mexican restaurant, and a Hispanic grocery store.

After I dropped my letters in the mailbox, I turned back towards the shopping center and pulled into the parking lot. It was almost completely empty. A lone car sat in front of the closed restaurant and farther down the row of spaces, a truck was parked in front of a SnapFitness establishment. Other than that, I don’t think there were any other vehicles. I looked back toward the building overcome by emotion.

The first emotions to hit me were very recent and connected to the little Mexican restaurant. Las Flores. The last time I ate there, I was with my mama. On those days that I took her to M.D. Anderson for doctors’ appointments and the timing worked out right, we would stop and get a late lunch. What I would give to be able to take her to lunch again! It’s difficult to believe that was over two years ago. Before that, my memories are much more distant.

It’s hard to remember the exact order of shops. My memories are from the early 80s’ and before. I can remember general locations, though, and looking at the end of the shopping center where the Mexican restaurant is, I remember Swanson’s Music store, a beauty supply shop, and a Christian bookstore called “The Potter’s Wheel.” My first record album — Donny Osmond — came from Swanson’s. And my best friend used to buy supplies from the beauty supply shop to do her own acrylic nails. One time she was driving somewhere and decided to fix a cracked nail at a stoplight. She opened the nail glue with her teeth, and, you guessed it. Got nail glue on her lip. Fortunately she didn’t glue her mouth shut!

The Hispanic grocery occupies what was once Perry Brothers — a five and dime store where my mama would take me to pick up art supplies, Trixie Belden books, and toys. If I’d done well in school, she would take me to pick out a prize. I’d walk up and down the aisles, looking in the compartments created by narrow sheets of glass held in place by silver metal brackets. Rubber balls, sets of jacks, crayons, Big Chief notebooks — and I think we may have bought one or two Halloween costumes there before we stopped observing Halloween. We’d pick up $5 gifts there for the gift exchange at my school Christmas party, and I’d spy the jigsaw puzzles with disdain, hoping I didn’t get one in return. I almost always did.

Christmas was the best time to visit the shopping center because it was the only one in town that put up Christmas displays in the windows. We would walk past each storefront and pause to enjoy the animated characters moving slowly as “Silver Bells” or “Here Comes Santa Claus” played over a speaker somewhere. Rolls of cotton “snow” covered the tables set up for the wintery scenes, and Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus moved their arms a bit stiffly as a train set ran around an oval track surrounding them. Brightly colored Christmas lights, the large bulbs glowing like illuminated bonbons, framed the windows edged in snow that came in a spray can.

Now the huge sheet glass windows are covered with burglar bars, a complete reversal from the innocent make-believe of my childhood. I never thought of this part of town as particularly dangerous, but I guess they must feel the need. It makes me sad to see what was a happy destination for my eight-year-old self reduced to such an ominous edifice. I hear the engine of the lone car crank up and decide maybe I should make my way home, to a place warm and familiar and constant. Pulling out onto the street, I mentally say farewell to yesterday and continue onward.

Such a Virtuous Display of Ignorance

www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2020/12/11/north-face-turns-back-texas-oil-gas-company-refuses-jacket-order/

Why the Supreme Court Rebuffed Texas Suit Fighting Biden-Trump Election Outcome – Bill Whittle

Why the Supreme Court Rebuffed Texas Suit Fighting Biden-Trump Election Outcome – Bill Whittle
— Read on billwhittle.com/why-the-supreme-court-rebuffed-texas-suit-fighting-biden-trump-election-outcome/

Land of Liberty, We Hardly Knew Ye

I suppose it couldn’t last forever, and some might say 244 years is a good run. England’s Magna Carta was signed in 1215, is the basis for English Common Law (criminal and civil), and is also an antecedent for the United States Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. Prior to the formation of the European Union, the majority of Western European countries were hundreds of years old. These countries, in my opinion, sacrificed their sovereign status to become “member states” of the EU. In an effort to stay clear of the weeds, suffice it to say the United States, at 244 years, is still a kid.

It appears that at least half of America has been deprived of a legitimate vote in the 2020 elections because their voices have been silenced by those who changed the rules a mere 90 days prior to the election. Fearful of (or perhaps using) a virus that has a 99% recovery rate, a virus that is apparently smart enough to tell the difference between a violent protest and a peaceful rally and a polling location…mail in voting was DEMANDED by the Left with insufficient time to put into place security systems that would ensure the integrity of our votes. And by doing this, the legitimate votes cast in person and by requested absentee ballot (which has been used for many years) were overshadowed by postmark-less ballots and ballots “found” in corners and ballots dropped off by vans in the wee morning hours of November 4.

Welcome to the United States, the new banana republic of North America.

I read the following article a few minutes ago, and my heart aches for this woman and how the Left’s policies have, and will continue to, hurt her and her family. Alas, I fear we are all in line for similar hard times. May God give us the faith to trust Him, the courage to stand strong in that faith, and the determination to reclaim freedom for ALL our fellow countrymen, not just the Leftist Elites who fancy themselves smarter than the rest of us, so much so that they need to have control of even the most minor of our decisions, including how to best use the money we earn through the theft of that money (also called “taxation”).

“I Am Done, I’ll Not Vote Again” – One Middle-American Mom Rages At ‘Real-Life Idiocracy’

I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

diatribe | ˈdīəˌtrīb | noun. a forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something: a diatribe against the Roman Catholic Church.

An encounter on Instagram yesterday motivated Mr Polite in Public (the_crossroad_saints on Instagram) to come here, to my blog, and leave a rather ugly comment on my “Who Is This Scribbler?” page. As is the case with his kind, he provided no context and completely misrepresented our exchange. His comment:

If you enjoyed her lovely little persona here, disagree with her diatribes on Instagram. Quite a different experience I assure you. Above all, worship Donald Trump or else.

Let me set one thing straight before we get into the meat of the matter: I do not worship Donald Trump. I am able to recognize his shortcomings and truth be told, I struggled with voting for him in 2016. I almost chose to abstain from voting altogether. My interaction with the_crossroad_saints was completely focused on his misrepresentation of the facts.

When did it become verboten to express an opinion, especially when that opinion is based upon documented evidence? Much like the frog simmering in a pot of water until it’s too late, I think our Constitutional freedom of speech has been slipping away from us at a barely discernible rate. Because of “feelings,” and the inability to discuss differing views in a civilized fashion, more and more restrictions are being placed on public discourse. Mr Polite in Public’s comment brings into question my “lovely little persona,” makes it sound as though I was forceful and bitter in our Instagram exchange, and even insinuates I was threatening with his use of the words “or else.” Nothing could be further from the truth. He was motivated to come here, to my home on the web, because he had no rational response to the presentation of facts. So here we are.

Social media makes it possible for participants to express their views via the written word, photographs, and video, and to do so quickly. Until recently, Facebook seemed to be the place for words, while Instagram was the place for aesthetics: foodie photos, makers’ masterpieces, selfies, and the like.

It happened gradually, but at some point Instagram began shifting from the platform of creative expression toward something increasingly similar to Facebook. Where it was once possible to escape the Facebook wars between the left and right by visiting Instagram, now political commentary, memes, activist rants, videos, etc. populate the Gram. Scrolling through all that to find the good stuff takes more and more time. Sometimes the posts are good–like a Instagram video of the president handing a White House pen to a little kid he noticed standing nearby. It’s a sweet moment. A human moment. A moment that doesn’t get reported on the regular news, because ORANGE MAN BAD.

I watched the video and thought, “How cool is that? Wonder if that kid will use that pen to do his homework? And tell all the other kids, ‘Hey! Look what the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES gave ME?”

And then I made the mistake of reading the comments. The majority of the comments are Trump supporters: people who appreciate the good that this flawed human being has managed to accomplish in spite of his flaws and in spite of his opponents attempting to block his every move, because their hatred of him is greater than their commitment to America.

And then there are comments from people like the_crossroad_saints, who made unfounded accusations regarding the roles played by the Trump “children.” I responded to his comment thusly, to point out presidents have surrounded themselves with family members since forever. Note the link to the not conservative HuffPo article:

You must be too young to remember Jimmy Carter and all his hillbilly relatives–his mama, Miss Lillian, and his brother, Billy, who came out with Billy Beer. And wasn’t it Obama’s mother-in-law who lived at the White House with them? If we go back further, Lyndon B. Johnson’s brother worked as an administrative aide in the White House, and before that John F. Kennedy appointed his younger brother, a completely unqualified Robert F. Kennedy as the U.S. Attorney General. More recently, Bill Clinton appointed Hillary to head up the White House task force on healthcare. Here’s an article discussing the issue throughout US history: Nepotism in the White House: It’s All Relative.

So the_crossroad_saints responded:

I don’t remember any of the Carter family being on the payroll do you? .And no, a president Kennedy did not bring in other family members into his presidential administration. Are you too simple to understand the difference?

As did I:

Get your facts straight. The Trump children volunteer. They are not on the payroll. President Kennedy made his BROTHER the US Attorney General before he was assassinated in Dallas. Read the article I linked (which is from HuffPo, so not a conservative source by any stretch of the imagination). Liberals like you just can’t handle facts, so you ignore them.

So did the_crossroad_saints read the HuffPo article? I don’t know. But here’s what he said next:

Yes, trumps trust fund baby grifter spawn are most certainly on the payroll. You don’t care much for objective reality do you.

I have to admit, I did get a little snarky, but I’m not sure it would qualify for a “forceful and bitter” attack:

Trump Derangement Syndrome is strong in you. So sad.

You probably didn’t even read the HuffPo article to get a more balanced view of presidential family involvements in administrations. It’s easier to ignore facts like the Kennedys, the Johnsons, and the Clintons, who proudly proclaimed they were a “2 for the price of 1” when Bill and Hillary Clinton won.

I have to admit, his next comment was pretty clever:

There are variant strains are there not, See your healthcare professional.

These grifters of Don’s have absolutely no experience in anything other than deadbeat trust fund baby grifting, and you know it.

My last comment was this:

Kennedy, Johnson, Clinton. You ignore the truth because you can’t handle it.

And this is where our Instagram exchange ended. When I woke up at 6:00 am this morning, I discovered the comment left on my blog at 3:04 am Mr Polite in Public’s time, wherever it is that he lives.

I’m just dumbfounded by the conscious rejection of what is historical fact when it doesn’t fit the narrative. John F. Kennedy did make his brother the United States Attorney General in 1961. It was this appointment that became the basis for the The Federal Anti-Nepotism Rule (sometimes called the “Bobby Kennedy Law.”) More recently legal opinion has determined the law applies to federal agencies and not the White House:

Finally, we believe that this result—that the President may appoint relatives to his immediate staff of advisors in the White House Office—makes sense when considered in light of other applicable legal principles. Congress has not blocked, and most likely could not block, the President from seeking advice from family members in their personal capacities.
———-
A President wanting a relative’s advice on governmental matters therefore has a choice: to seek that advice on an unofficial, ad hoc basis without conferring the status and imposing the responsibilities that accompany formal White House positions; or to appoint his relative to the White House under title 3 and subject him to substantial restrictions against conflicts of interest.
———–
In choosing his personal staff, the President enjoys an unusual degree of freedom, which Congress found suitable to the demands of his office. Any appointment to that staff, however, carries with it a set of legal restrictions, by which Congress has regulated and fenced in the conduct of federal officials.

There are some interesting articles online regarding the role played by the children of a variety of presidents over the course of multiple administrations. Rather than remain ignorant of history (like my wee morning hour visitor), check these out and then form an educated opinion about the roles played by the hardworking Trump children and other presidential kids.

Behind the Law That May Keep Donald Trump’s Children from White House Jobs

Donald Trump’s Children Wouldn’t Be the First Presidential Kids to Work in the White House

It seems that in addition to concerns about possible conflicts of interest, people like our friend, Mr Polite in Public, get their shorts in knots because they think the Trump children are getting rich off the American taxpayer. Here are a couple of articles that disclose who gets paid what at the White House. The first article has to do with White House salaries and the second is a comparison between what Michelle Obama’s 24 staff members and Melania Trump’s 9 were paid. It seems to me with the president, Ivanka, and Jared working for free, and Melania having one staff member for every 2.7 staff members employed by Michelle, the Trumps are a bargain.

White House Salaries: Who Makes What?

Michelle Obama’s Staff

(Michelle Obama’s staff was paid $1.5 million in 2010. Melania Trump’s staff was paid $486,700 in 2017.)

20,699

That’s the number of days I’ve been alive as of today. I’ve been alive 56 years, 8 months, 2 days, if we want to get specific. The authors of the website where I found this information also said I was X number of hours old and X number of minutes old, but I don’t think those numbers can be accurate, because they don’t know what time of day I was born.

I cringe to think how many of those days have been wasted. If I make it to my 90th birthday, here’s what’s left:

12,175

I think I need to really work toward living more intentionally than I have for the last 20,699 days.

Psalms 119:37 (ESV)

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.

We think hurricane season is pretty much over for Texas – Space City Weather

We think hurricane season is pretty much over for Texas – Space City Weather
— Read on spacecityweather.com/we-think-hurricane-season-is-pretty-much-over-for-texas/

Praise the Lord. I know it’s not 100% certain, but these guys are pretty reliable.

I’m No Quitter

I’ll just start typing and maybe something of interest will appear. (Cross your fingers and maybe say a prayer.) A lot has happened since my last post LAST YEAR. Ridiculous, I know. I’m a crappy scribbler, and an even crappier shutterbug. But at least I’m also a really crappy quitter, which means I might disappear for a while, but I’ll always come back.

So to catch up whomever might be reading this:
We celebrated our first Christmas as empty nesters, which wasn’t all that bad since the Married Ones came over to spend Christmas Day afternoon with us. I’m embarrassed to say I can’t remember what we did New Year’s Eve; I turned 56 in January (which might explain the iffy memory issues); and we celebrated our 28th anniversary in February. I attended a wonderful women’s retreat through our church the last weekend that same month, and as I think back on it and what a delight it was, it’s so weird to realize that two weeks later everything would change drastically around the entire world for everyone.

I vaguely remember hearing about some flu in China, and a few days later the news started using the word “epidemic,” but we didn’t have anything to worry about, and suddenly it was a PANDEMIC and it was HERE. Even then, it was on the west coast and it seemed very far away. My guy (a teacher for the correctional system) was off for spring break the second week in March and we spent most of it working on our house. He went back to work for two days, and then the state decided to send everyone home because the PANDEMIC wasn’t just on the West Coast. It was on the East Coast, and it was in New Orleans, and Dallas, and Houston, and everywhere and anywhere you might even THINK about being…but one thing that wasn’t here, there, or anywhere was toilet paper…and hand soap…and sanitizer…and Lysol wipes. It seemed like we went to sleep one night and the next morning the world had lost its collective mind.

It’s kind of strange because in the early days of the PANDEMIC, I watched ALL THE THINGS. If President Trump, Vice President Pence, and/or the coronavirus task force were speaking, I was listening. And listened to all the other things on the radio. And all the other things on Facebook. And all the OTHER THINGS being said around town…until we were told not to go to town, unless absolutely necessary. So I stayed home. Except to pick up groceries curbside. And that was weird, because where I used to order groceries and schedule a pickup the next day…now pickup slots were a week out. So my usual habit of deciding what to have very shortly before actually having it…well, that was shot to hell in a hand basket. And then restaurants started offering curbside because they were trying to stay ALIVE in an economy that was slowly, slowly, slowly dying. Ordering food online or by phone was the equivalent of hooking the local diner up to a ventilator, the owners praying to survive long enough to make a come back when their patients could be unplugged from this very strange way of doing business. We indulged in curbside restaurant fare more than we probably should have, but HEY! We were doing our part to help keep the independent businesses alive and kicking—even if the social distancing required to get our order made it feel like our dinners were drop kicked from their doorways to the trunk of our car. Our daughter and son-in-law came over for family dinner once a week—I lasted all of 20 minutes without hugging her and then said, “Screw it.”

This went on for a week…two weeks…a month? Maybe six weeks? I forget. It all became such a blur and more often than not, I wasn’t even sure what day of the week it was. I did manage to brush my teeth every day. Dental hygiene is important, you know. And then the powers that be…the president, Congress, the governors, the scientists…someone decided it was kind of safe to move about the cabin. So we began venturing from our homes very cautiously. I remember the night my husband and I decided to actually go to a restaurant for dinner and we were confused by the concept of walking through the door, sitting at a table and waiting for someone to bring us our meals. It was such a treat.

But numbers started going up and BAM! YOU MUST WEAR A MASK. YOU MUST STAY SIX FEET APART. And every time we turned around, someone official was saying something completely contradictory to whatever they’d said the day before or contradictory to their political opponent…we began to think maybe they were just being contradictory for the sake of being contradictory—because good news is no news—and bad news keeps the cameras rolling.

And then we were made to feel uncaring because we questioned and suspected that maybe some of what was being said was more for the sake of ratings than because it was true. Because of all the numbers of people testing positive and being counted as sick, we were almost five months into this thing before I actually KNEW someone who came down with COVID-19. My 46 year old sister, who works as a labor and delivery nurse in Corpus Christi, started feeling really bad the last weekend in July. Some sadist named Grunhilda shoved a long Q-tip up her nose, touching the back of her brain and announced “You’re positive.” She went home to the RV fifth wheel she lives in with her boyfriend and said, “I’m sorry.”

Strangely enough, the world’s most dangerous virus made her feel like crap for five days and then she woke up on day six and felt great. Almost two months later, she still feels fine, and her boyfriend? He never got it, even though they were both confined to that small RV for the entirety of her quarantine.

Having said this, I don’t doubt for a minute that there are people who get very, very sick from this wretched thing, and there are people who die from this wretched thing. That is a tragedy that can’t be measured. But I keep wondering about the quality of the life we’re living and if maybe the “cure” is worse than the disease. What if by staying away from each other, we are possibly living longer because we’re avoiding each other…but WE’RE AVOIDING EACH OTHER, and what kind of living is that? We’re a social people, who need interaction, who need conversation, who need HUGS.

I keep thinking that if all this is only to delay the inevitable, then dammit, what the hell are we doing wasting this, our last? I remember a country song from years ago, sung by Tim McGraw, about a man who got some very bad news from his doctor and then made some changes in his life:

He said
“I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”
And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying”

There’s got to be some kind of compromise—a way to protect ourselves and others.

I just don’t know what it is.

Swing: Vintage Book Review

I was super thrilled to read the following excellent review of Swing, which was written by my friend, Lindsey Backen. To learn more about Lindsey, her books, and her passion for story crafting, visit her here. Might I mention she has a new book coming out soon?

Source: Swing: Vintage Book Review