The laws, the violence and our new President…

I have long contemplated writing my own take on what is going on in the USA, especially with regard to Trump, his policies, and the violence going on in many cities.

I voted for Trump, I will admit that, even if I can’t discuss this with friends and co-workers. We talk about many subjects, except for politics, and I turn to my stack of work while they talk amongst themselves. I have some nice friends, but politics is where we separate. My family and I aren’t even on the same page, with varying ideologies. I believe in laws, I believe in the U.S. Constitution, and I believe in the exchange of ideas. I don’t agree with the notion that if you supported one candidate you are a racist, and that  if you supported another candidate that you are a good person in support of rights.

Some people will read this and think I am heartless, insensitive, a racist, etc. I am not. I am, however, sick of being blamed for all of the ways every group outside of my ethnicity has been wronged, and I am sick of the ways each group has allowed ourselves to be manipulated to fight each other over bullshit.  In reality, those in power made bad decisons for a very long time, and now we have a bad economy, lack of jobs, a skewed sense of justice, wars still being fought in multiple countries, and a restriction on the rights of Americans.liberty_and_justice_for_all_poster

I have worked with and befriended people from all walks of life, as I have written about before. I have gotten to know them and learned from them, even while not agreeing with all of their views or decisions. I have worked with diverse backgrounds of people, and I have seen the choices families have may have made out of desperation which have long-lasting negative effects on their children and on their communities . First off, because the parents broke the law, they have shown their children that it is ok to break the law… And we as a country have shown these young people that they might have to follow some laws but not other laws. We have shown them also that, not only do they not have to follow the rules, but that not following the rules allows you to get stuff that other people pay for, and that it is ok to bash people while they are helping you.

I understand that people can fall on hard times. I have had my share of hard times, where I had to figure out how much food to buy  because I was broke. I had poor credit at one point because I couldn’t pay my bills, and I have slept on the floor and washed my clothes in the bathtub because I had a low paying job. I rented an apartment in a neighborhood drug addicts and rundown buildings because it was I could afford, until I could afford to move to a better environment. Boyfriend has also had very hard times, but the only people who could pull us up and out of the hard times was us because we are white, childless people, rather than minorities or foreigners or people with children.  People think that being white exempts people from struggling or suffering or being broke.  Struggling is struggling regardless of race, color, sex, or creed.  People of all walks of life can struggle and suffer, regardless of what the politicians tell you, right Bernie Sanders?

Being that I live and work in Central Texas, I am very aware of the policy battle raging between the governor and the Travis County Sheriff. I follow the local news and the real (alternative) news very closely. I see people walking into my work building to handle their business and I have met some very nice people, while also meeting some people who don’t get it, don’t want to get it, and who will never get it… they don’t want a hand-up, they want a hand-out, expecting someone to let them keep breaking the rules, not assimilating, and taking no responsibility for their actions.  scales-of-justice-glass-effect-800px

I am not against people coming to this country legally and lawfully. My ancestors came to this country from Europe through Ellis Island, including my grandmother, whose family made three attempts before successfully escaping the czars nearing Russo-Poland. I am an Irish/English/Scottish/German/Russian/Polish/Lithuanian/Texan-American. One of my proud moments was visiting Ellis Island 15 years ago to see where my ancestors entered this country.

So,  I am not against foreigners coming to the U.S. and wanting to become Americans. I do not appreciate my country opening the door to people who tell us what is wrong with our country while we give them food, shelter, clothing, etc., while they say it in their language, don’t follow our laws, and while their country(ies) tell us what to do. These countries would not give me or any other American the option of crossing their border and setting up camp in their country because things didn’t work out for us in the U.S. Rather, we would have to have money to afford living there and would still have limited rights, or we would be imprisoned for trying to live there illegally.

I understand helping someone in a truly desperate situation. I have done that many times without a thought, but that would not give someone the right to take over my house, eat my food and tell me what the rules in my house should be. Other countries have laws and rules and procedures that visitors must follow, I don’t think my country should be any different. Other countries get to decide who comes in and who doesn’t, who stays and who doesn’t. I also think that we as a country should be able to protect ourselves against intruders and enemies, foreign and domestic, by way of personal defense and keeping enemies out. I hope to never see another event like 9-11-01, 0r 9-11-12, or what happened in San Bernardino, Ft. Hood, Orlando, Boston, or the events that have taken place in Paris, Berlin, and so many others. I believe that people having the ability to defend themselves would have lessened the loss of life in most these and other terrorist situations. wp_20151108_002

We have started to hear a lot more about the violence that has plagued Chicago for years from Donald Trump and the news media, but society has blamed the guns rather than the criminals and gang members who shoot with reckless abandon, often striking the wrong, innocent target(s).Oh yeah, and the guns are often illegally obtained through straw buyers or on the black market, not usually through legal means (going through a background check and purchasing at a legal firearm distributor). However, it’s perfectly OK  for people angry that their candidate lost an election to destroy property, assault innocent bystanders, burn up vehicles, smash in windows, loot businesses, commit hate crimes, and fight the police. That’s just normal. And, again, I am pro-Constitution so I fully support free speech and peaceful assembly. What I don’t support is for anyone to lash out at other people just because you are pissed off, because you are might be held accountable for breaking the law, or because someone has simply offended you. I get offended everyday and I learned to deal with it, and I have learned to use effective means to hand my grievances or other situations.

I hope that things will get better in this country, and in the world. I hope people do their own research rather than be spoon-fed propaganda by the mainstream media… the same media that covered up some politicians’ crimes, indiscretions, bombing of Middle Eastern countries, political affiliations and business dealings, while openly trying to sway an election, dig up mistakes and oversights, and distort information. I am not saying that anyone who has made it in politicians is an angel, and I would dare that say that each and every one of them has made deals, justified behavior, and done things that most of us could not rest well with. I am saying that for all we have heard about someone’s marriages, flirtations, inappropriate language, and dalliances, we didn’t hear much about similar or worse behavior from other candidates and/or their spouses. poorunclesam

My intention in writing was not to piss people off, but done so in the hope they will realize that there are two sides to every story. So people will realize that the truth is not being told, and that the people who voted for Trump are not all angry, hateful people but are people who want things to improve in this country for all Americans. We can’t help others until we can truly fix our own problems.

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House-hunting, there goes my weekend…

Boyfriend and I have been looking at housing options on and off for awhile. We considered trying to buy a house with a few acres, then buying land and building on it, finally looking at houses in our general that offer good space and a large yard for a garden and backyard chicken coop. We have spent several days, yes days, driving around the surrounding areas/nearby counties trying to find a prospect that will not be under water every time it rains in Central Texas to no avail… they were too expensive, restricted by HOA guidelines, too far to commute to/from every day, or awful in some other way. Home-netalloy1

We thought this weekend might find out the right available home to meet our needs, though a bit more than we wanted to pay… pending but take back-up offers was not what we hoped for. After seeing this completely redone early 1900’s home with front and back porches among the other great touches, amenities, and yard, it was not only hard to look at the other two houses we found, it was dreadful, smelly, and even more disappointing. I don’t know how people can sell houses for those prices in their current condition! We got mosquito bites inside one of the, dare I say, homes, while we breathed in warm, musty air and hoped that the floor, which was completely uneven, didn’t cave in. Casa-in-campagna

Our realtor is kind, patient, thorough and, I believe, fairly honest compared to most realtors, and she took the time to help us understand the home-buying process. The Seller’s realtor on the other hand… Sadly, though, this was probably a waste of time. The home we really want was going pending as we inquired about it, and we did go forward with an offer because the home status is pending but taking back-ups, but it is unlikely to work in our favor. I am trying to remain optimistic and have prayed about it, that if we don’t get this home it is because something better is in store for us… Ultimately, we will be renewing our lease for six months to keep looking if needed but I am not thrilled at the idea of living in 650 square feet for too much longer, and neither is boyfriend or the Cat.

© 2016 blogdaysofchrell

Reminiscing… and feeling a bit abandoned (revised)

In response to the Daily Prompt, “Abandoned“:

One year ago, Boyfriend and I were hanging out with my mother and my aunt. They came to visit us in Central Texas over a four-day weekend. There were a few interesting moments, but there were also great opportunities to talk with them and to share our corner of the world with them. I had not spent an extensive amount of time with my aunt in a very long time, perhaps since I spent overnights as an adolescent, and I had not seen my mother since I moved from the Chicago area two years prior.

Wow, time does go by. There were moments I could have handled differently, which I learned from, and I hope for another chance for my mom and aunt to visit. I actually hope that my father and my brother and his fiancée all visit because I not only want to show them the beautiful landscape and the places we like in Central Texas, but also because a phone call only does so much. We are all very different people with different interests, ideas, and viewpoints,  and it can be hard to really relate in a meaningful way on the phone.

I feel lucky that I was able to visit my brother and his fiancée’ this past November. I got to see their new apartment and neighborhood, as well as experience a little of their daily existence in NYC. I visited my parents while I was in Chicago last summer, and I think we need a change of venue.  I know that life can be busy, and travelling can be challenging… I think its time for another family visit in Texas!

© 2016 blogdaysofchrell

Mt. Bonnell

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Central Texas with sunshine, a few puffy clouds, low 70’s, and a slight breeze. We decided to take a drive into Austin to see the view from Mt. Bonnell, a landmark that has long been considered the highest point in the city at approximately 780 feet above sea level.

Boyfriend and I have been in and around this area many times but had not known about Mt. Bonnell until somewhat recently. We decided to take our own route rather than the suggested route, which included tolls, and I’m glad we did because our route was full of rock walls, windy roads, and beauty all around us. We split the driving for the days so we could both have a little fun and enjoy the scenery. It’s to believe that this bird’s eye view of the Colorado River and the surrounding Austin area can be experienced so close to people’s houses and apartments.

After a bit of exploring the path around Mt. Bonnell, Boyfriend and I headed downtown to get a snack and continue to enjoy the beautiful day. After a stop at Whole Foods Market, we walked through the west side of downtown and found ourselves along Lady Bird Lake near Auditorium Shores.

Such a beautiful, sunny February day in Central Texas!

© 2016 blogdaysofchrell

 

Red Pill, Blue Pill… and choosing food for mind and body

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt from 08/21/15: “Red Pill, Blue Pill.” If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill — no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation — would you do it?

Buddha's Brew TangerineThe short answer is no,  because I would hate to give up my favorite foods and drinks, including coffee, Boyfriend’s chocolate chip and double chocolate peanut butter cookies, and the wonderful dinners that he prepares us out of simple but healthy ingredients, pizza, hamburgers from Mighty Fine, fresh squeezed orange juice, Buddha’s Brew kombucha, and many other tasty items.

courtesy of infowars.com

My next answer is that this reminds me of Alex Jones, the well-known alternative media man from Infowars.com and Infowars radio, who talks about taking the red pill or the blue pill to know the truth or to stay in the dark about the reality of our world. He often plays a clip from the movie The Matrix, with Morpheus offering Neo a way to learn the truth for himself.  Before you leave my page due to mention of a “conspiracy theorist”, I urge you to check out Infowars.com because it is a great place to find out what is really going on in the world and the articles usually offer supporting links so you can do more research. Ok, now back to food.

I am skeptical of quick-fix solutions in general, and I am assuming that this nutritional solution would be produced in a lab, likely making it chemical based and/or genetically modified. Not that I am a perfect, healthy eater, but I try to avoid regular consumption of fast food, modified, GMO, HFCS, artificial dyes/colors/etc. whenever possible.  I don’t eat McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Whataburger, KFC, or any of the other similar restaurants because of the quality and content of the food. The place I fall down on this the most is at work when the department is celebrating a birthday or holiday, and I decide to have the piece of cake, despite its foot-long list of ingredients.

Boyfriend's cookies going into the oven
Boyfriend’s cookies going into the oven

Boyfriend and I have done our research and have learned what we can and should eat based on how our bodies react to food. We do not react well to the fake, “pancake syrup” given for your waffles or pancakes at many restaurants, often feeling sluggish and tired after dousing our food with high fructose corn syrup. Both of us were really excited to find out that Kerbey Lane, a Central Texas restaurant that serves breakfast 24 hours a day, has both “pancake syrup” and the real maple syrup, which they will give you if you ask. We are willing to pay the extra dollar for real maple syrup, and we are both happy that this restaurant sources a lot of its ingredient from local farmers.

Food is really important for nourishing your mind, body, and soul. I realize that food serves a purpose and is necessary for each of us to survive, whether it is tasty or not, and whether it is affordable or not, but being able to choose your food is satisfying. I have taken people to get food at a food pantry as a function my job, and I have delighted in seeing people be able to choose between chicken noodle soup and sirloin vegetable soup, or between wheat bread and French bread. Food takes us to another part of ourselves through our senses and our memories, good and bad.

rutamaya-mediumroast-I remember cutting vegetables with my grandmother and eating cucumbers while I helped her cook, and that crosses my mind when I am making myself a salad. Tasting one of Boyfriend’s wonderful chocolate chip cookies makes me feel loved and reminds me of making cookies to share with others while I was growing up. Each and everyone of us has a story about a meal, a place he/she used to go for family celebrations or a smell that would permeate their home at a special time. Why would we completely give that up for convenience in pill-form, when eating at McDonald’s is bad enough? The conspiracy theorist in me is sure that the powers that be already have the idea for us to consume our nutrients and whatever else they feel is good for us in the form of pills, capsules and other devices with no other choice sometime in the future.

Until then, I will eat my salads, my golden scrambled eggs, grass-fed beef or bison, seasoned organic chicken with Brussels sprouts, home-made cookies, Ruta Maya coffee with Mill-King organic whole milk and other tasty items made with real ingredients that make me happy, if nothing else.

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell