Posted in Family, Inspiration

10 Things I’m Thankful For

My brothers, my dad, and me

There’s a lot of things I’m thankful for and I don’t express those things often enough. Here’s a little list for this Thanksgiving. Hopefully, it’ll inspire your own list.

1. God… (Sunday School answer) for putting up with my lame *** (public school ending – I crack myself up :-D). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come back to the realization that I can always count on God. My uncle, David, had once said (something like), if you don’t hold expectations for folks, when they come through, it’s a pleasant surprise. If they don’t, you’re not disappointed. I don’t have expectations regarding God but that’s

Grandma and me

because I know that God is consistent and reliable. Oh, speaking of God, I’m thankful for my HOMEGROUP!

2. Family… despite ups and frequent downs, I love every one of ’em. Since graduating high school, getting out on my own, and earning my degree, I’ve learned a lot about my family’s dynamics. But really, I know my family has my back and I hope they know I have theirs. My wallet may have moths, but my heart is fresh as a daisy and full of love!

Mimi and me

3. Grandmothers … I’m thankful for my grandmothers because I definitely inherited their genes. I look more like my grandmothers than anyone else in my family. My paternal grandfather passed in 1986 before I got to know him. I hear fantastic stories from my grandmother often. My maternal grandfather passed on November 28th, 2001. I knew him well and learned so much about him. I eventually realized that he was my biggest cheerleader – well, most slender and tallest! Dude was a string bean!


4. Hojo … The past (almost) 3 years have been wonderful. I’ve never been more comfortable with another person and frequently pleasantly surprised. Our anniversary is coming soon! It’s the day after Christmas. ūüôā

Honey, Shadow & Bit

4. PUPPIES! … I couldn’t ask for better fuzzy friends! My aunt Shoo has personality-packed Oliver. My mom has protective and hilarious Mattie Jean Bean Sassy Sunshine (her full name). Mimi has the loveable and curious Honey and Shadow. Hojo has the sweet and not so mean-looking Churchill. And of

Churchill

course, I have the infamous and comical Bit. We love our pups like they were children that will never get any bigger!

5. My J-O-B … Oooo, a year and a half of searching and then WHAM-o! I gotta tell you, I was relieved! I’ve been there for nearly 9 months and I’ve learned a lot about my own spinal and nutritional health. (www.shafferchiropractic.com)

6. Crochet hooks … Sure, there’s yarn, but without those peculiar hooks, ya couldn’t make wristers. I just started the other one.

7. OSU Newark … I graduated from OSU. I spent majority of my time at the Newark Campus. I had wonderful professors, both in my major and my other classes that had nothing to do with it. I’ve always felt like it was home there. I miss it when I’m not tutoring.

Crack is bad, mmmk...

8. Belts … I’m thankful for them, but obviously, many boys who buy jeans that are a few sizes too big do not appreciate them. They need to wise up. Oh, and mamas with obvious thong-age and daughters that are dressed quite nicely need to learn a li’l somethin’ about belts too.

9. My Car, Ol’ Reliable … I’ve had my car since 2002. It’s had its issues, but it has held up against the odds. Right now, it could use a few replacements/repairs, but I would hate to ever have to give that thing up. I find that I am much more thankful for my car when I get stuck with a borrowed vehicle. The shop I’ve taken it to lately has allowed me to use one of their loaners – a minivan, a.k.a. The Party Wagon. Thanksk Hojo for that one.

10. Technology … I know. It’s horrible that I had to mention that. I am a geek though. It runs on my dad’s side of the family. I am thankful for my Blackberry, my laptop, and my iPod. Without my Blackberry, I would go crazy when stuff goes wrong with my laptop. When my laptop is funky, I can notify people via my Blackberry. When all else fails, I can turn to my iPod and air-jam my blues away!

So what are you thankful for? Tell everyone at the table why you’re thankful for them. I just might take my own suggestion….. ūüôā

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Posted in Inspiration

Remembering 9/11…

The tragic events of 9/11 occurred early in the morning. I was at school with, give or take, 2,500 students at Newark High School. The first plane crashed during my first class of the day.

Soon, my classmates and I switched to home room (formerly called AA… I dunno who dreamed up that one during a cocktail). Mr. Donovan allowed us to watch the television. I don’t think we saw the first one actually crash. I think we did, however, see the second one crash.

Some of the girls cried. I felt a bit in shock, but it wasn’t something that I could cry about. I knew for a fact that people were dying in those buildings and the planes. I knew that the numbers were going to be disgusting. I didn’t know the cause – I just knew the effect.

The guys were angry. Patriotism set in and several young men and women prepared their psyche for the military upon graduation – or thereafter. Some joined the military for the education and career opportunity. Others joined for the challenge and for the fight. Some joined the military because they thought they didn’t have anything else going for them. Despite the longevity of the ‘war’, our troops are coming home 9 years later.

A half-wit pastor in Florida threatened to burn a Quran on 9/11 but called it off after his form of protest against the soon-to-be mosque near Ground Zero was advised against by such prominent figures as the POTUS and Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State.

Peace and tolerance is the goal, but it’s a realistic? Psychology and science has proven time and time again that human instinct is to develop prejudgments for survival. Are we still close enough to our primitive roots that this is true? Are we also advanced enough from these primitive roots to adapt those prejudgments to be subject to rational thought and peaceful sense? Let’s hope so.

9 years later, I send my condolenscences to the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, best friends, and lovers of those who died in a freak occurrence that ended thousands of lives and changed millions more.

We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. – Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. РJonathan Livingston Seagull

Posted in Everyday Life, Inspiration

Happy Memorial Day!

I’d like to say “thank you” to a few people in my life who have made a difference by serving in the military at some point in their lives. Here goes:

My Hojo

Howard Joseph Rogers III (my boyfriend), Army Airborne. “Hojo” served in Afghanistan after training at Fort Benning for Airborne school. For a good idea of where that is, watch “We Were Soldiers” and/or read “We Were Soldiers Once, And Young”. Hojo won’t tell me what he was, I think he was an E3 coming out. He’s stubborn like that.

Howard Rogers II (my boyfriend’s dad), Army Airborne. Served in Vietnam and reached E7, Sergeant First Class, but was honorably discharged as an E6, a Staff Sergeant.

David Tibbs at a Memorial Day ceremony

Lieutenant David Tibbs (my uncle), Army Airborne.

My Uncle Dave is the youngest son of my grandmother Tibbs, and most entertaining :-D. My Uncle Dave always quotes famous people. In particular, he quotes his father, my grandfather, Howard Arthur Tibbs. “It’s not what you know, it’s how you write it down.” I always remember Uncle Dave teaching me how to write my first letter to my dad.

This is a small photo of my Uncle in uniform at a local cemetery for a Memorial Day ceremony. I do believe this was my senior year in high school. My high school’s marching band, concert band, and symphonic bandmates marched from Newark High School to this cemetery. Sometime, a reporter/photographer took this photo of my uncle. Take a look, very closely. See what’s in his sunglasses?

My Grandfather, Tuskegee Airman

Most importantly, I would like to thank my grandfather, Howard Arthur Tibbs (1919-1986). His birthday was actually September 24th, but when I was born, as my folks tell me, he changed it to my birthdate, September 23rd.

“Tibbs was drafted into the Army Air Corps in 1943. He became a Tuskegee Airman in the 477th Medium Composite Group (MCG)¬†(Tibbs). Tibbs was a side-gunner on a B-25 Mitchell, a Damage Control Photographer and Developer with the 477th Medium Bombardment Group¬†(Tibbs). Tibbs also was trained to be a Machine Gun Mechanic¬†(Tibbs).” Information from my father, Clark Tibbs, for my last history paper while attending OSU for my undergrad in Psychology.

My grandpa was a graduate of Salem High School in Salem, OH and has been honored by the Salem Historical Society. He was a saxophonist and flautist. He’s played with some of the greats including Duke Ellington. I currently have his Artley flute… which could use a good tune-up. On March 28th, 2008, my grandfather and his comrades were honored with the United States Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.

Heh, I was just looking up more stuff on my grandfather and I found this video on YouTube of my grandmother¬† Tibbs and her third son Philip Tibbs. There’s one that follows it as well. You can also read about his and his family’s musical history at this site, The Columbus Senior Musician’s Hall of Fame, Inc.

Also, my grandfather, Paul Eugene Lieber was in WWII. He was a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps, he learned to work on aircrafts, and he flew a P-51. The U.S. did not officially have an Air Force yet. I have the most memories with “Krackaw”. My cousin Jennifer called him that when she was little and it stuck. He passed on November 28th, 2001. He live long enough to experience 9/11. I have wonderful memories of him. He was quirky and humorous and always came up with wacky little rhymns that I wish I had written down. He’d sit in his leather chair that was just big enough to fit his boney physique and my li’l cuteness right next to him. We’d watch wrestling because he thought I liked it. I watched it because I thought he liked it. The last movie we watched together was “The Sandlot.” To read more about my memories of Krackaw, check out Rockin’ Sydney & Krackaw’s Shoes.

Though I don’t know a whole lot about my Uncle Bob’s involvement in the military, I do know he was a Medic. That job had to be absolutely invigorating and intense. He saw his comrades face incredible extremes.

My Uncle Scott, as my mom mentioned, served on the Roosevelt Air Craft Carrier in 1970 as a Sailor specializing in Electronics in the tower.

I’m extremely proud of all my family members who have ever served in the United States military. It’s scary to think that at any time, they had put themselves at risk for the sake of keeping those of us at home safe. I wouldn’t have known my boyfriend, Howard III and his dad, Howard Jr. Uncle Bob would have not gotten to experience the wonderful wife and children that he has. I wouldn’t have gotten to learn how to write my first letter with Uncle David. I wouldn’t have had a cute picture of me and Grandpa Tibbs, me with a little baby doll by its foot and he with a pipe in his grinning mouth. I wouldn’t have gotten to dance on Krackaw’s shoes. All these men have been extremely supportive of me.

Posted in Inspiration, Rambling

I Wanna Be an Avatar

Warning!

May contain spoilers.

I watched Avatar today for the first time. It was extremely moving! It reminded me of District 9 and Wall-E.

The message I got was that humans have the means to cause great destruction (which has occurred for centuries) and just because ‘we’ can doesn’t mean we should. Especially when it affects the lives of others who have known peace and harmony with nature before the presence of those who think they know better and/or are greedy.

It’s not a new message. We saw the same message with Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto. The viewer saw the Spaniards at the end of the film and we all know what happened. We know, at least, when we are told in college. High school history books seem to want to omit that information. They forget to mention the dehumanization that occurs. “They’re not like us.”

I had noticed a facebook friend said he enjoyed the movie but he was disappointed that it was so liberal. I don’t think a message about harmony with the only planet that we have is liberal. I don’t think that a message about not harming others is liberal. Another said something about “new age”. It’s a fictional world with fictional beings who just so happen to represent a ‘race’ of beings who are seen as inferior and have tapped into the natural world, a world with which they have an amazing synaptic connection. One of trust with the creatures and all the elements.

Hojo said he watched it last night while I was passed out in bed. He said the movie provoked tears out of him which is not easy to do!!! I watched it this afternoon with Hojo and Cai. I cried and soaked up my sleeves before Hojo got some tissues for me. So much of the movie made me feel repulsed by all that surrounds me. What isn’t surrounding me is precisely what should. Nature and simplicity. My heart ached for the indigenous people who are my ancestors, both of Native North America and Africa.

And so what if the ‘hero’ was a white dude. He was an average joe ‘jarhead’ who was sent out to learn about the natives in order to destroy them and he came back with a greater understanding of what it means to commune with nature. To live peacefully. Destroying and killing is not a way to live.

Admittedly, no matter how much I would whimsically like to discard my electronics, my vehicle, the things that separate me from communion with nature and God that makes biological sense… I’m restless, and addicted to social media and my vehicle, et cetera. The age of social media, gadgets, and the pill-popping Generation Blah.

I vow to appreciate what I feel and see that I am blessed with. Sunsets, thunderstorms, and the life in blooming flowers and trees. I vow to be better about recycling… Hojo’s been a great influence with that. It’s RIDICULOUS the amount of recyclables that one person generates!

Whatever your religious views are, God exists in the wind, trees, animals, stars, the sun and moon. That’s what I have experienced and what I have heard from church for years. That is our greatest tangible connection. The spiritual connection is the most powerful, but nature is a second by second reminder of the power that exists. We oughtn’t destroy our reminders of this wondrous love and presence.

No wonder James Cameron won so many awards. Rightfully so.

Posted in Inspiration

You Are Lovely, Happy Valentine’s Day

Is this what you want to hear? Who do you want to hear it from? What makes the word “lovely” so… lovely.¬†

To break down the word “lovely,” and make it a little less lovely, I’ll refer to www.m-w.com. Thank you Webster. Oh – and you too, Merriam. *blink*¬†

Lovely is an adjective, dated before the 12th Century. Interestingly enough, before the first entry¬†of¬†“LOVABLE”¬†is the the word¬†“obsolete“. Really?! The¬†second entry is “delightful for beauty, harmony, or grace” with the addition of “ATTRACTIVE“.¬†How’s that for flattery? Oh, M-Dub, how sweet.¬†

The next entry is “grand” or “swell”. ¬†Um, large and bloated? Let’s skip that one.¬†

The last entry for “lovely” is “eliciting love by moral or ideal worth”. Now that is something to make a woman’s heart flutter. How glorious to known to elicit love by moral or ideal worth. What does this mean to you?¬†

To me, this means that what radiates from our souls is something that no one can ever take away from us. Whether we are born with a wondrous sense of internal goodness, self-efficacy, and the appropriate combination of pride and humility, or we are working toward something within that makes us happy with ourselves, we women… are… lovely.¬†

It breaks my heart to know there are women who do not have this powerful sense of confidence. To be frank, I often lack the confidence to open my eyes in the morning and acknowledge that I have something to do with the events in my world and others’. What helps me through the day are three words that my uncle has repeatedly mentioned to me. He knows I allow confidence to slip through my fingers, and I attempt to blend into the background.¬†

“Patience, Persistence, & Perserverance”

So, what’s that supposed to mean? I’ve done a lot of thinking on these three words. I’ve heard them from my uncle’s rumbly voice all through my adolescence. Of course, when I was in my teens (not so long ago), I did not put much effort into applying these words and his interpretation of them in my life. Quite honestly, I don’t remember his interpretation. I don’t think that I ‘learn’ well with others’ interpretations, even in school. Instead, creating meaning of these words for myself is the most important thing I can do.¬†

Patience Рto have patience with oneself. Give yourself (and I, I will give myself) enough room to fall, to mess up, and to get messy. Create an environment within yourself that you can live in. Do what it takes to maintain or cause stability in every level of your being. When you are peaceful, your energy will affect others. 

Persistence Рto persist in the preservation of your peace of mind. You (and I) must be obstinant in the face of opposition. Push through the muck of messages that have become quicksand and tar. Exhale the poison that you (and I) have held onto for far too many years. 

Perserverance – to steadily persist (continuation of our previous virtue) in a course of action. Once you begin, continue. (I should take my own advice!) A support system of friends, family, colleagues helps break falls, and they’ll lift you up.¬†

Don’t give up in the face of adversity. We are too special and too important to waste away.¬†

I also noticed that the word “lovely” is also a noun. The plural form is lovelies. The first entry is “a beautiful woman”. The next is a “lovely object”. You are a lovely woman; you are a lovely object. Remember that on Valentine’s Day. You are worth getting to know. It is also worth it to get to know yourself. Treat yourself to a nice bath. Send the kids to a play date or to their grandparents and break out the bubbly.¬†

Don’t let this renewed sense of value dwindle away. Treat yourself every now and then the way you would want a significant other to treat you. If you are blessed with someone to treat you like a queen, relish the gift of love. Share it with those whom you treasure too.¬†

 You are LOVELY!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!