Sunday, February 26, 2017

Seeing pink and a bit of red.............

Spring is here early again this year.   Just a few short years ago my azaleas did not bloom until March, they are well on their way to being done blooming and it is only the end of February.

We did not even have a freeze this year.  The mosquitos and fleas are going to be hideous this year because it has been so warm through the winter months.  Crazy weather is occurring everywhere this year.  That is because climate change is very real my friends. 

My oldest geranium plant continues to grow.  It gets cut back and then sprouts up all year long.  I have had this plant for years and years. 

While I realize now this is not the best picture, I did plant 25 snapdragons this morning.  I love this color.  They are along the screen portion of my pool enclosure.  They are bright enough to be seen from inside the house.  It is amazing what a few flowers will do for your spirits, for a few minutes anyway.

I find it harder and harder to keep my spirits up this year.  Flowers help a little but not much.  This administration is worse than I thought it was going to be.  Now thinking of cutting free lunches to those children in need.  Those children who probably do not get another meal in their home. Those children who cry when school is out for vacation as they do not know when they will eat on a regular basis.  No one should be hungry in a country as prosperous as ours.  If we can spend $500,000 a day for security for the Melania Trump, who does not want to move to the White House, her choice by the way, can't we find money to help those hungry kids?  Hungry children do not learn well.  They are embarrassed and frankly too hungry to settle their minds and learn.  Kids who do not learn can't graduate and get good jobs when they are older.  What kind of a country are we?   

Two apps I would like to mention for those concerned about where our country is going are, Votespotter and 5calls, I took the last one from Claudia's blog on Friday.  Great apps to tell you how to make a difference in just a few minutes.  The Resistance Calendar can let you know about events near you that might be interesting to your point of view.   John Pavlovitz, a christian pastor for the past 20 years is a daily read for me.  Each of his posts really speak to me but this one really hit home.  You can find it here.  

I have been missing my parents so much lately.  I think that when a parent dies you are so busy helping the other parent you do not have time to adjust.  Then when the other one leaves just 18 months later you are busy getting everything in order.  Now I find that I am missing them both so intensely at times.  I have been missing my mom for years as she was not well with Dementia for at least 5 years before she passed.  My dad was together until the moment he left this world.  I miss having him over for Sunday dinners.  I miss his laughter about Little Buddy's antics.  He was so proud of all my boys but this little one brought so much joy into his life.  I miss talking to my dad about the status of the world and the shape of our country.  He was a WWII vet, a gunner on several different planes.  Not an easy job my friends.  He was a avid believer that we should take care of everyone, that we are all equal.  He was in downtown Detroit during the race riots and was often the only white person at a funeral for a friend/co-worker who had passed away.  He would be so disgusted to see our country the way it is now.  He was onto DT years ago, he would not have been fooled by this guy, not my dad. 

My mother was a staunch Christian.  She had us at church every week.  We were in Sunday school,  youth group, the choir and everything else imaginable.  She brought us up to have a strong faith.  She would be disgusted to see how people of, "faith" are treating their fellow man, women and children.  She taught us that we are all equal.  We should be there for everyone, and that includes transgender teens who should be allowed to go to the bathroom in the bathroom of those they identify with.  Such a simple and basic task, going to the bathroom where you think you belong.  How is it okay to take that away from someone?  How is it okay to rip children from their parents arms, split up families of those people who came here for a better life or to take people out of the hospital, those in need of care and send them to a deportation center?

I know you are all tired of all of this, I certainly am.  But it isn't going away.  My mother taught me that God, and Jesus love everyone.  Not a few select people who fit the right criteria of a specific type of religion.  Jesus, a man of color, a man of deep love and faith, who washed the feet of those others felt were beneath him, loved everyone.  I wish we could, too.


Linda @ A La Carte said...

Meredith your words ring so true! I wish I had a way to say all of this myself. I'm so so sad and angry at the same time. I have the 5 Calls app now and I read John Pavlovitz, he is amazing. We just have to keep fighting on and on and on!! Hugs!

Caffeine Girl said...

I didn't know about the school lunch thing until I read your blog. Really! These people have no idea how much teacher money is spent on feeding students. I have two students I feed every day because they are truly hungry. Yes, their parents should be taking care of these things, but what is a teacher to do? Are we going to punish children because their parents are poor or not competent?

I agree that things are much worse than expected. I am hearing more and more about people who are sorry they voted for DT. I think they loved his big mouth and failed to pay attention to who he was surrounding himself with.

I am sorry you miss your parents. At the same time, it seems to me that they must have been pretty wonderful for you to miss them so much! My dad hasn't been himself for about 7 years, and I miss him terribly.

Let's hope for some good news this week!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it appalling what our country has turned into. So much hate.

I'll admit it. The day after the election I was disappointed, but thought give the man a chance. He is SO much worse than I EVER thought he could be. He is the biggest waster of time and money that we have EVER had in the White House and becomes more akin to Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin than I ever thought possible.

Betsy said...

Your flowers are beautiful Meredith. Where much of the country has had a very mild winter, we've had one of the hardest ones in a long time. It's snowing again today and more predicted for tomorrow as we are in a winter storm advisory again. I'm very ready for spring. It was lovely to learn more about your mom and dad. I know how it is to miss your parents. As I said before, my mom passed very suddenly when I was only 29 years old. And then I lost my dad the next year. Your parents both sound like very lovely, caring people. I hope you enjoy your Sunday and give your little guy hugs for me.
Blessings, Betsy

Karen said...

It's all so disheartening, Meredith. I write letters, make phone calls and volunteer three days a week at a women's health clinic. And it feels so lame. My friend put it best. It's like a cage full of rats has been released, and we don't know which one to go after or how to herd them all up. Cutting lunch programs for children, that just makes me sick. If there is anything positive happening, it's that people's awareness has been raised and more people are involved in the political process. There's always room for good.

Mylittlepieceofengland said...

It is so very sad, we watch from over here with genuine horror. Take care dear Meredith xx

Rose said...

I have fallen behind in blog reading but caught up today. Hogwarts looked wonderful, so glad you made it! I agree with you about the almost hopelessness that keeps catching up with me, despite my limited news intake. It is truly scary and definitely not what I think our country stands for. I try and discuss this on some level every day with my students in the hope that they are more thoughtful than the people who are supporting what is happening now. We will get through this. We have to hope for that.

Nance said...

Today is my father's birthday. He, too, was a WWII veteran, a scout in the army and proud but humble about his service. Your description of your dad could also be about my own father. He died in 2000, and I miss him every day. We often talked about world affairs and politics; he was a union steelworker and athlete. In many, many ways, I am very like him.

I am so deeply disappointed in my country. It is profoundly saddening to see elected officials in Washington more concerned with power than ethics. With party than with people. It diminishes us all, and it makes me ashamed.

Christina said...

Your president is in the news more often than our own and never for anything good. Unfortunately she seems to push through measures under the radar that she otherwise would have to justify to the public, for example stopping the admittance of unaccompanied refugee children to our country. Shocking. The media are outraged here about the Mr Trumps media paranoia, only pandering to those outlets that kiss his feet and refusing to communicate with those that report facts. This man's irrational hatred for immigrants is terrifying. I am organising travel for visiting trainees from South America to come to work with us and we are now avoiding all transit via the United States because immigration may cause more hassle than it is worth, even for those in transit. Let me assure you, my thoughts, and those of many others are with you. I feel quite powerless but at the very least I can give you moral support. Loosing your parents is one of the most awful things I can imagine. You paint your parents in a wonderful way, they both sound like great parents, both in their own way. They have done a great job raising you a loving, caring and socially responsible daughter. Hugs to you xxx

Wanderingcatstudio said...

I love snapdragons... I put some in the garden every year. They are such great bloomers.

I'm sorry about the loss of your parents - they sound like wonderful people. But I think you carry their spirit with you, and that's what matters.

Teresa Kasner said...

The latest thing is "they" are trying to pass a bunch of bills to try to discourage or stop protesting. One of them gives the law the right to take assets, such as their home, from anyone who plans a march that turns violent. In other words, if you plan a peace march full of people from babies to those in wheelchairs and someone joins the march just to cause trouble - they can take the homes away from the march planners. Nice, huh? Having lived for 8 years in peace and prosperity, this is very hard to live through for me. Presidents have been trying to decrease nuclear arms and this one wants to expand the nukes. Heaven help us.

CJ said...

Beautifully written Meredith. It is one bad thing after another. And trying to pressure the media as well. I am glad so many people are opposing him. There will be protesters here when he comes. Your dad looks as though he was quite a charmer, I see a twinkle in his eye there. And your mum looks caring and kind. I know they would be so very proud of you for standing up and speaking out. Well done my friend. You are not alone. CJ xx

gigi knits said...

Your flowers are Beautiful . Every day I think wagtvis he going to do today. Friday when he picked the media that was allowed to news conference sounding more and more like he wants to be a dictator .
I too have been thinking about my parents a lot lately your pictures reminded me so much of them . My dad was a veteran from World War II . He was such a proud veteran

Araignee said...

You made me cry today. Thank you for sharing your parents. I miss mine also. Although Daddio is still here, he's really not and it breaks my heart. They didn't call our folks The Greatest Generation for nothing. They sacrificed so much for us and I hate to see it all being thrown away for the ego of a very sick man and his hate filled minions.

kathy b said...

Mere, Keep telling us how you feel. I love hearing about your parents. You show your love for humanity in your actions. Your parents would be so veryproud. I am so intolerant of exclusionary religions. It is very difficult to have extended family who feel they are the only loved ones of God because of their affiliation with a certain religion. My parents fostered infants through Catholic Charities in the 70s. We had babies of all colors and we loved them all. IT was a way my mom taught us to love all. We nearly adopted a baby at one time that we had fostered and I was stunned that my father would consider such a n adoption. I think it was my mom's wish however, not his.
anyhow, let's keep loving and showing that love. I guess even to those relatives who drive me nuts

kathy b said...

Oh and THANK you for the spring flowers. we have snow. I depend on you southern bloggers at this time of year to get me through to SPRING. You cheered me on. My little plants are still soundly asleep outside.

Jo said...

It is awful Meredith, we watch from the UK in amazement. Sending you love. Jo x

Grandmabeckyl.blogspot said...

I need to buy snapdragons this year. My mom had them when I was growing up and I enjoyed them so. Thanks for the reminder! We've had the cold this year and the rain. One reason M. Trump is not living in the White House right now is that their youngest son is still in school and they will move into the White House once the school year is up.
I'm missing my parents too. It's interesting how one feels when last parent is gone. My dad's been gone for almost 31 years and now I miss him even more that mom is gone. So thankful for our parents who brought us up in church and taught us the way to Jesus would have us live. Still with me today and you as well. Praying for our country as it's harder than I've seen it in history!...for me anyway. Take care. Hugs!

MargaretP said...

This hatred and poisonous attitude is out of control.
I heard about something shocking this morning, Google 'Mem Fox detained at airport' and find the link to ABC site.....the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
Mem Fox is a 70 year old Childrens book author known around the world and has visited America 116 times.....she is not prepared to visit again.

I know your concerns are closer to home and more serious and far reaching. ..this just goes to show how the poison spreads over all areas of life in your country and the effects are rippling across the world.

mamasmercantile said...

We watch from across the pond and are constantly dismayed, he is on the news more than our own political leaders. Climate change is definitely happening, we have just had one of the mildest Winters that I can ever recall. Take care.

Anonymous said...

It must be very difficult for you, losing both your parents.
I can imagine perfectly that you miss them now more than ever.
I still miss my mother every day, she died of cancer 5 years ago when she was only 52.
Your dad sounds as a really great person and your mother was totally right about loving everyone.
This world of today is very sad, but I am happy that there are still people like you.
Take care,

Anita said...

It is hard to believe that in our day so many children are going hungry, but it is true. I get tired of hearing some people say
oh why are we spending so much money on the kids when the parents should be.....the thing is the children are hungry and that's the issue. The parents aren't feeding them and the kids are hungry, and true....they do not learn on an empty stomach. How would we go if it was us starving, would we learn? The answer is no. I blame much on drugs and alcohol. These are two big problems world wide.
I wish there was a simple answer to this, let's hope we find it.

Bridget said...

Speaking as someone who was a recipient of those free school lunches, I can attest to the fact that they are NEEDED. It's not the case of a parent being too lazy or too busy to pack their kids a lunch. It's the difference between having lunch, and not having anything at all.

Why is it so hard for people to want to help others? There are always people who will try to cheat the system, but most people are doing their best most of the time, and if we can help them, we should!

Your flowers are truly lovely. But like you, I'm dreading the mosquitoes this year ...

The Well Fed Wheel said...

Thanks for the links. I found the one for John Pavlovitz very helpful as I have been so discouraged lately. There are so many reasons to keep resisting and I know that but it's good to see them listed like that. There is a whole lot of corruption and coverups going on in our government right now. It's a disgrace.

Claudia said...

I've been missing mom and dad so much lately. I'd give anything to talk to them again. Sometimes, the loss is like a big weight in the pit of my stomach. I miss them.

And you are so right. They would have been appalled by what is happening here. That is not the way they lived their lives, nor is it the way they taught us to live, to treat our fellow man. Dad was already sickened by Trump, well before he passed away. Mom would have been disgusted.

So, we'll fight for what is right - in honor of our parents, our family, strangers we may never meet. It is the right way to live.


Mrs. Micawber said...

Thank you for letting us see your flowers! It will still be a while before we have any here in Wisconsin.

I love the photos of your parents. Somehow people in those old black-and-white photos often look like they had more character than people today. Not sure why.

I'm sorry for all the sadness and frustration that are sweeping the country. I hope that the things happening here will cause us all to examine ourselves and our attitudes. Those of us who are Christians need to be praying for whichever President is in office at the moment, whether we voted for that person or not. The Bible tells us that. And we need to be loving our neighbour as we love ourselves. The Bible tells us that too. That doesn't mean we think that everything our neighbour does is right. But we are still commanded to love others, including the people we disagree with, even including politicians who seem completely unloveable. That's hard. May God give us the grace we need to speak as we ought, think as we ought, pray as we ought, and love as we ought.

Thank you for caring so much for others, Mere.

Blondie's Journal said...

I wanted to cry thinking of these kids, Mere. I do much monetarily in my city, and by donating food at our churches to buy/supplement food for unfortunate families. Not tooting my horn...sometimes it takes more than a takes a government and we know this issue is not a priority with the current administration. And we have wealth flaunted in our faces every time we see our president and his privileged family. Enough. Thanks for bringing this travesty of the schoolchildren to light for many of us.

Your parents---following your sister's blog for so long, I feel I know them pretty well. You offered another perspective. My mother dying 10 years before my dad, well we had those many years to really ask questions and 'get to know' him as we never thought to do with our mother. He was a dedicated Navy man and though he was soft spoken, you could ask him his thoughts on any subject and it floored us...he was incredibly smart and up and up on current events that ran the gamut from A to Z. Sadly, we miss those conversations and when they are gone, we long for them and more. Sending love from across the miles.

Jane x

Jo said...

It seems to be one thing after another, doesn't it? There's such a big gap between those that have and those that don't have and to cut free lunches for those children who are most in need is terrible. I'm sorry that you're missing your parents, I can identify with you missing your mum for years as my mum is in the early stages of dementia and I miss her already. Gone are the days when we would ring each other for a chat, we could gossip away for an hour without realising how much time had passed but our relationship has changed already, there's no phone calls any more and the chats we do have are the same things over and over again, but I cherish every minute that I have with her, and my dad who is dealing with other health issues.

Suzan said...

Your flowers are lovely!!! Love the colors!!
Your words made me cry!!!
We live in Atlanta and my Mom lives in St. Augustine.
I retired from teaching so We're driving back and forth so I can be with my Mom and help her out since her stroke in Oct. She's in a nursing home and not well, and I can't imagine Mom not being here, but the way she is --- this isn't living!!
And then there's this political disaster. . . . . .

gigi knits said...


Andrea Ostapovitch said...

I wish I had more to say than I'm so sorry your country is under the control of such lunacy. With every passing day, every headline, every American blog that I read, I get so upset with that fool. It seems life is a joke to him, a game to play.

On another note, I love what you wrote about your dear parents, and I especially love the photo of your Dad. The respect you have for them is obviously tremendous. What a great gift to have had parents like that!

So nice to see the blooms too today Meredith. I hope you enjoy a lovely week ahead.

Sum of their Stories said...

Hold fast that which is good, that was my mum's favourite verse. I even embroidered her a sampler with it on once, which now hangs by our door and is the first thing we see when we come in the house. I think when times are tough and others are behaving badly it's all we can do, and the more we remind ourselves the better. Hugs to you all from across the pond.

handmade by amalia said...

Lovely photos of your parents.

Jodiebodie said...

Oh, Meredith! I read this post soon after it was published but haven't been able to comment until now. Your geranium is a gorgeous colour. I love geraniums - they are so hardy and can tolerate the Australian heat very well. Snapdragons are a favourite as well - they are so playful and fun for the children. My friends and I used to make snapdragons 'talk' when we were children, by squeezing the sides of the blooms together to open their 'mouths'!

I'm sorry that you are missing your parents. They sound like people I would really like to have met. Hang on to their values. There are more people that share them as we have seen from the numbers protesting every week.

I was also angry and dismayed to hear news that the US Administration was threatening to separate children from their parents as an illegal immigration deterrent. At the moment, Australia is living with the tragic consequences of 'the stolen generation' and the 'forgotten Australians' - people who were forcibly wrenched from their families. The profound effects of these traumas are intergenerational. Society will pay for such policies. This month, in the UK, there has been an inquiry into the removal of British children from their families and sent alone across the world to institutional care in Australia and Canada where the trauma combined with abuse have left very deep wounds.

How the US government can even contemplate separating children from families is beyond me. The long-term costs to society will outweigh any short-term political gain and the biggest losers will be the children and future generations.

I totally agree with your sentiments about the importance of nutrition for children's learning. Your 'school lunch' system and the British 'school dinners' system is different to Australia where children bring their own lunches to school yet there are similar issues with children who are not getting enough good food to eat and it is affecting their learning.

A big problem here was children skipping breakfast. A private businessman got together with other businesses and started a 'breakfast club' for one of the most needy schools in his district with great success. Businesses donate funds and breakfast foods which are served at the school at the start of the day. It has made a big difference for those children and was so successful, that it has become a non-profit organisation that distributes breakfast foods to many schools across the country.

At my local school, 'breakfast clubs' were run by the school community and supported by school chaplaincy services. Foods and funds were donated by members of the local community and also by local churches and charitable organisations.

An unforeseen benefit of breakfast clubs has been a reduction in students being late or absent for school because children are keen to get to school early for breakfast with their friends. Even my daughter, who gets a decent breakfast every day, was keen to get to school extra early to have breakfast with her friends at school so it had a social inclusion benefit as well.

Perhaps this idea could work for your part of the world?
A google search for "breakfast club australian schools" will bring up many links with more information. They are being run by organisations called "Foodbank" and also "Red Cross". Corporations that make breakfast cereals have seen it as a marketing opportunity to promote their products so it is a win-win for the community and business.

I hope ideas like the breakfast club will help to boost your hope. Your beautiful blooms certainly brightened my day. Take care xx