Category: Random Stuff About Me


I used to be obsessively clean. I would apologize to visitors who had to “endure” my bathroom if it hadn’t been cleaned at least once in the past week. Even as a teen, my bedroom was SPOTLESS. White glove checks would have been welcome.

This carried on into my married life. When we’d move, I’d find a place for everything and everything would be in its place. Even after I had two kids (barring the few months after giving birth), things were mostly neat and tidy, and I cleaned regularly. I’d go through the kids’ clothes to weed out the too small, or too stained. The dishes got done in short order, and the laundry wouldn’t pile up to monstrous and seemingly insurmountable mounds.

Sounds delightful, right? Well, it came to a horrific end when we had #3. Oh, sure, I still kept things somewhat clean…sort of…but the clutter threatened my sanity at every turn. All in all, it wasn’t a total loss, and I had lovely friends who stepped in, like organizing angels, just in the nick of time.

Then, the death-blow to my former cleanly glory was struck. We moved to the country. I’m not sure if it was the fact that I started a huge garden and so spent more hours doing that rather than cleaning, that the dirt comes in at an alarming pace and I grew tired of trying to out-pace it, or if the kids got old enough to exponentially add to the clutter and I just gave up.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a clean house! But, you want to know what I’ve learned through all this?

If you don’t clean your house (by this I mean let the clutter build up, the bathroom go for longer stretches between cleanings, and the like), when you DO clean it, people (my immediate family included) seem so impressed that they gush over your hard work.

Guess what people never did when I cleaned all the time? You guessed it. Gush. I like gushing. For me, it’s akin to getting a raise or award at a job where one is gainfully employed. I suppose that’s a risk one takes. My mom ran a tight ship and was so good about cleaning that I once told my neighbor that she never washed my towel (you likely have surmised that she washed it and replaced it all in the same day and that I was quite dense…and you’d be right on both counts).

Well, now, when I do deep cleaning (with longer intervals in between), I basically get a medal for my efforts. Sure, I could clean my house for my own satisfaction, but I’m busy blogging right now and I want my daggum medal, thank you very much!

We’ll be moving in a couple of months, back to the city (the word city is a huge stretch, here, but it’s not the middle of nowhere) and I’m hoping I can revive my old desire to keep the house clean just for the sake of having an orderly and clean house.

Even if I do, I can count on my kids to proclaim loudly to the neighbors, church leaders, and anyone else who will listen about how the house is so much cleaner, now. I can only imagine that they’d say something like, “Yeah, mom NEVER used to clean the house.” It’s gonna be great. 😉

 

**Click on the link to the right (or on the title just over there —->) to get my book The Declaration Made Easy!**

I was a weird kid, but don’t worry, I grew up to be a weird adult, so it all worked out. Only now, I don’t have random people, who also hold power over me as to whether or not I get to keep writing, judging my writing like a literary agent or publisher – but who won’t pay me any money. Now, I get to keep writing whether I get down-graded or not. Yay!

Back to when I was in middle school: the assignment the teacher gave to the class was a fiction story. There were pretty loose parameters, mostly length, and we were advised, as always, to follow standard grammatical rules, etc. Fine. Well, here’s the deal, I am NOT a fiction writer. Since I had to be, I stepped up and thought of a cool idea.

My story was about a scientist. She was super smart and she had discovered something big about the universe. She was going to present her ideas to some board or panel (not that I knew how scientists actually relayed their ideas at this point, but work with me, I was 12). Anyway, she kept not sleeping well, having horrible nightmares about being choked to death, felt like someone was watching her, but she knew the info to be too important to keep quiet. The day arrived and she was going to present her findings.

What she had uncovered, as only the reader got to find out, was that this universe was actually a portion of a molecule that resided inside some being in another, vast (to us) universe. And, the molecules that we thought so tiny actually contained entire universes. (Side note: when I saw Men in Black, I had the passing thought that, just maybe, they’d stolen my idea, but that’s another story altogether). Please, don’t ask my how she knew, her methodology, or whatever. She was science-y, okay?

Well, when this scientist lady went to reveal all that she had found, she stood up in front of the panel, began to speak, but all of a sudden she was dry in the mouth, saw shadows start to move, and then her throat constricted. It was later reported that she had had a heart attack and died. Mysteriously, all her work had gone up in flames, and no one knew what she was going to reveal. The end.

Now, this may not have been the most gripping story anyone could have written, but my grammar was fine, I met the length requirement, and all other parameters, as requested. But, on my paper, and I kid you not, my teacher wrote that my story was “weird.” I got marked down two grade because of my plot. No joke. I got a “C,” on my fiction paper all because it was weird.

Looking back, that’s not a bad thing. I guess I was just ahead of my time, and she just didn’t have the vision. She’d have called Men in Black “not believable” or something. 😉

 

**Click on the link to the right (or on the title just over there —->) to get my book The Declaration Made Easy!**

For many years my husband was in the Air Force and we lived on base. Before that, we were just young, stupid kids who rented and never thought past our 6 month lease. Ah, yes. Back when we “knew everything.”

Then, he separated from the Air Force and, after a time, we were faced with the *exciting* prospect of buying a house. Sounds fun and easy, right?! WRONG. It’s the most perplexing thing I’ve done…and I’ve learned French and successfully filled out insurance paperwork.

First, you have to find a realtor. Thankfully, though I hear this can be arduous, in and of itself, I knew one who is trustworthy and good at her job. I feel like we won the lottery, we are so happy to have a competent realtor. If you are in the San Antonio, Texas area and looking to buy or sell a house. comment below and I’ll give you her name and number. Okay, first job done…now, we just find a house, right?

No. First, you have to decide what kind of house you want and where you want it to be located. Think of the price you can afford to pay, the layout you want, the amenities you must have, and extras you’d like. Take some time, write them all down, and make sure you know exactly what you want.

Now, take that list, crumple it up, and throw it away. Don’t be ridiculous. You think you’ll get any of those things?? Nope. The next step is to  search for houses in your price range, in areas with reasonable property taxes, and maybe a few of the items on your list. You’ll need about 10 hours a day for a few weeks to really get your spirit broken. Once you’ve snapped, give in to reality.

You’re going to find a house that is more expensive than you’d ever expect, in a decent (but not great) neighborhood, and you’ll deal with that galley kitchen, no fireplace, and small rooms with no closets. No, in fact, by the time you find a house, any house, that isn’t currently condemned, you’ll be happier than you ever thought possible.

Then, just when you least expect it, you’ll find a great house, just in the location you wanted, with all the things you wanted…and it will have sold two days ago. So, you’ll go back to putting an offer on the house you are going to buy and the real insanity begins.

Next up: Paperwork and check writing…you’ll be an expert in both!

 

The other day, my beloved husband and I were looking for a florist to purchase some flowers to put on a grave in the Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery.

Finding a lack of actual florists nearby, my husband astutely pulled into the parking lot of an HEB grocery store he spotted. This was great as it was right on the way to our destination, and we knew that every HEB has at least a minimal amount of floral items from which to choose.

Well, this HEB was near the national cemetery. They chose to stock a vast assortment of silk and real flower arrangements, designed specifically for people to put on or near gravestones of their lost loved ones that were buried a scant distance from that store.

Once we had purchased our assortment, placed it at the grave site, taken pictures, and were driving away, I remarked, “That was so cool that that HEB carried those flowers. It made this so much easier for us.”

Some, usually statists or liberals, would think, “Oh, that evil HEB! They are just playing on the emotions of people who lost loved ones! They just want to make a buck!”

First, tell me anyone who is in business, has a job, or is a human being, who doesn’t need to make a living to feed themselves and/or their family. Second, why is it a bad thing that HEB would make that money by providing a product that I desperately wanted that day? My husband and I were delighted to part with a small amount of money to not have to drive to a florist that was at least 5 miles away, or do without.

Second, please tell me WHO should be paying for the flowers, if not me? If anyone else paid for them, and I received the benefit, or HEB did…that would be theft of that other person’s property (their money). Why, exactly, could this ever be looked at as a good thing?

There is a quote by Walter E. Williams from one of his articles that sums up the best way to look at this situation:

Prior to capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow-man. With the rise of capitalism, it became possible to amass great wealth by serving and pleasing your fellow-man. Capitalists seek to discover what people want and produce and market it as efficiently as possible as a means to profit.

And, finally, if you wish to see more about how capitalism is awesome, read this.

In the end, I look at it from a reality perspective, with a firm grasp on the necessity of the law protecting private property ownership. HEB rocks for making a lovely and helpful choice in deciding what to stock.

Hang on, y’all. We’re about to get “churchy” up in here. I am going to write about sins and whether the original sin is THE original sin, which we are all stuck with as our own sin, or if it’s just the original (meaning first) sin.

It all starts out in the Garden of Eden. We see that Adam and Eve have eaten the forbidden fruit. Then, God comes back to the garden. He knows they’ve sinned, they can’t deny it. He’s, shall we say, less than enthused. There are consequences. Here’s the question:

“Does Adam and Eve’s sin flow down to us, becoming our sin, too? Or are we just at the mercy of the consequences of their sin?”

This is where we have to look at the nature of sins. If a man sins, does his son have to plead for forgiveness to God for his father’s sin, as if he (the son) committed it? Not according to the Bible. Jesus regularly said to people who their sins were forgiven them. Never once did he say, “Thy sins and the sins of thy parents, which are on thy head, are forgiven thee.” Why should the sin of our first parents or any other ancestors be any different?

Do we have to repent for David scheming and murdering to wed Bathsheba? No. Do we have to repent for Solomon taking many wives and concubines and forgetting his God? No. Do we have to repent for Peter denying the Christ three times before the cock crowed? No. Why? They were not our sins. We didn’t choose to commit them…they did. And, He clarifies this in Deuteronomy 24:16:

“The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”

Thus, we can equally say that Adam’s sin not our sin, but we are at the mercy of the consequences of his choice. We read in Romans, chapter 5, that because of Adam’s choice, sin and death entered the world. Well, that means that we are mortal, and we can each sin. Being mortal and being able to sin does not mean that we are born with one sin already committed. It means we are born into a body that WILL die, and that we are capable of sin.

See, God is big on agency…free will…making choices. If we TRULY don’t know something is a sin, it’s not a sin. We read in John 9:41:

“Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.”

We also see that God gave humans, from the first, free will – meaning, He would give commandments, but they had the capacity to do whatever they wanted – and experience consequences for actions. In Genesis 2: 16-17, we read:

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

If we, as humans, could not choose our actions (have free will, otherwise known as agency), then their hands would have been stayed from being able to take the fruit even off the tree, and each of our hands would be stayed from committing our sins. However, because they could act as they wished, they chose to disobey the Lord, after buying the lies of the Lucifer. The consequence is that they became mortal (in that day, they would begin their death), and that sin was introduced into the realm of possibility for everyone. There was never any discussion of their children already being born with this sin on their heads, only the real consequences of the first parents’ actions.

For those of you who think I’m full of baloney, here’s what ya do. Ponder this, search the scriptures, have a real desire to know the truth, and read James 1. Then, pray earnestly for the Holy Ghost to testify of the truth of the matter to your heart. Voila! And, have a lovely day. 😀

Money and Me

I was listening to Dave Ramsey the other day and he was talking about the “ouch factor” that one feels when spending cash. I love his show and tend to see the wisdom in most of what he preaches. However, this day, his premise was that, when one spends cash, the brain sees that as “real” and then makes one feel the pain of the cash leaving your hand and going to someone else, the way that a debit and/or swiping a card just can’t do.

Well, that may be true for those people who get paid by check instead of direct deposit, used cash for purchases and/or paying bills at some point in their lives, and such. But, even I, at age 39, have never really used cash, except as a wee little. When I was 16, I marched myself to the bank and opened an account. Since I had an official paycheck and about $50 (kids, this was a substantial amount back in the day!) the bank officer opened an account for me.

Side note: It was many years later that I figured out that he really didn’t have to open an account for me, that they had no legal way to bind me to any contract, as I was 16. I now understand why he seemed so surprised to have me march in and decidedly announce that I needed an account and that I asked about interest rates on a saving account. Funny how it just seemed the thing to do, so I did it. No one told me I couldn’t, I didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to be possible, so I went ahead and did it.

Anyhow, I got checks with the account, and an ATM card. I almost NEVER took out cash. When I did, I would spend it because the amount was already taken out of my account and was reflected on my check register. If my check register logged it as a reduction from my account, whatever I had in my wallet was found money and I could spend it until it was gone, without any thought.

This is the problem with the “ouch factor.” What Dave needs to realize is that, for anyone who has been born in the last few decades, the “ouch factor” comes, for many of us, not with the spending of cash, but from seeing our bank send us a notice of our transaction (along with a balance) as a banner on our smart phone. We have access to our bank account at all times, now, and that’s how many of us determine how much money we “have.”

So, when I make a transaction with my debit card, I feel the “ouch.” When I have cash, it’s free money day!!

I’ll leave you with an example. Someone gave my son some money as a gift to put into his savings account. Well, he uses the Bank of Mom and Dad, and so he gave us the cash, and I put the money from our checking account into savings, making a notation that this was his money. This left me with $50 burning a hole in my pocketbook.

Fast forward to this past Saturday when I was in town with the kids. Snacks were bought, lunch was acquired and consumed, the car was washed, a yard sale was made use of…and all with the cash I had in my wallet. At the end of the day, it was gone. As we drove home, after having put gas in the van and paying with my debit card, the thought that crossed my mind was this:

“Man, that was kind of awesome. We were in town most of the day and all I spent money on was gas!”

Yeah. It’s like that.

When I was a liberal*, I didn’t even really know what I was. There were several themes that I followed, almost zombie-like, that were not spoken, really. They were demonstrated by my friends (all liberals), and I mimicked them mindlessly. Let’s run them down.

How to be a liberal:

Rule 1. Be angry. All the time. At everything. Seriously, just presume things are bad and worth being angry about, then you can fit something into it, if need be. It doesn’t have to be explosive anger. You can seethe. That’s fine, too.

Rule 2. Be disingenuous. Make sure that your praise of ANYONE is based on their adherence to the protocols of being a liberal. If they step out of line, they are no longer worthy of praise and must be crushed. Racial slurs and sexual and/or rape innuendos (or outright calling for rape, when women are involved) are appropriate here. They broke the code. They are nothing to you, anymore. Unless they back-pedal. Then, they’re cool again.

Rule 3. Presume everyone is as disingenuous as you are, all the time, about everything, except other liberals. More on that later. Cynicism and true sarcasm are your friend. The more bitter you are, the more you can project that emotion onto everyone around you. Except for:

Rule 4. Other liberals. Believe in the depths of your soul that only liberals can be good in any way. Because all liberals have a “good heart” their actions do not belie a false faith in them. They don’t mean the racist, sexist, horrible things they say or do. They just got emotional, just lost control for a minute (think about that one), or were angered to insanity by someone who was not a liberal. Which leads us to…

Rule 5. Know that you are not responsible for anything you say or do. It’s always someone else’s fault. They made you angry. They made you. Got it? You are NOT in control of your emotions, actions, or anything. This way, when you say something awful to someone, it’s their fault for not being liberal. If another liberal lashes out at you, you are supposed to brush it off because, remember, they didn’t mean it.

Rule 6. Be pompously irate at facts and reality. Proclaim loudly and often that things should not be such-and-such a way, and that something should be done about it! Offer solutions that involve the government coming to “help.” Which leads us to:

Rule 7. Accept that history starts today. Never look at the past with an objective eye. If you do break this rule and look at the past, use all former rules as a filter for what you see.

Rule 8. Be a huge advocate for “choice,” but know that this ONLY applies to a woman somehow having the “right” to kill innocent humans growing in her body. Light bulbs, cars, insurance plans, etc. do not apply here. In all other instances, be an interventionist.

Rule 9. Deny that you are an interventionist, always, regardless of the truth. And, speaking of the truth…

Rule 10. Reality doesn’t matter. Everything must be emotion based…how you FEEL about things. I mean, if you FEEL that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is racist, it IS. See? Easy. The fact that it has nothing to do with race is irrelevant.

Rule 11. When losing an argument, change the subject ever so slightly. Just enough to attack your opponent so they feel they have to defend themselves and their character, and quit debating the topic at hand. Then, if they get mad at you for calling them racist, misogynistic, or whatever, you win because you are calmly sitting back watching them get mad. The fact that the person was right should not occur to you. Block that part of the conversation out and refer to rule number 3.

Rule 12. Use anecdotal evidence whenever possible. The fact that these anecdotes go directly against the vast majority of cases in any variable is irrelevant. And, make sure to use an emotional plea while using said evidence. For instance, besides the fact that 70% of crime is committed by people born in single-parent households, hold up the one person you know that was raised by a single parent, who is not a criminal, and say that there is nothing wrong with single parenthood. You must disregard all the other kids that had a built-in disadvantage at birth, and the hardships they face, because someone didn’t want to give their baby to a loving home with two parents when they had sex out of wed-lock. See, now a “good” liberal would change the subject to rape and incest, to show how heartless I am, when, in reality, it’s people choosing to have sex out of wed-lock that produce vast majority of babies that then suffer due to their choices, not rape or incest.

Now, especially the liberals in the readership are going to be offended by this. They are going to be saying to themselves, “What?! No way! I am nice!” Well, so was I. I was even called “nice” by conservatives. But, my heart was like the Grinch’s. I lauded government programs to “help the poor,” not thinking about how this was legalized theft that didn’t even help the faceless “poor” I’d go on about. I railed against “inequality” and “prejudice,” even though I had no idea that what I was saying was the opposite of what would actually help a society. I’ll do more blogs about why the policies I chose to support were hurtful, when they seemed they’d be helpful. That’s just it, though, isn’t it? I never took the time to learn what the real effects of the policies I supported were. And, that makes a “good” liberal.

Dear liberals who have read this far, instead of getting mad and huffing away: you, too, can be free from the bondage that is liberal thought. My challenge to you is to read Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams daily for one month. Then, get back with me. Please do let me know if you are taking the challenge.

I’m not sure, exactly, what made me turn away from my liberal ways. It wasn’t all at once. First, I had to pay taxes, so that was a huge wake-up call. There weren’t even many taxes. Mostly it was a lack of getting redistributed wealth from poor saps who did have to actually pay taxes. More people need to feel that sting so they have the vested interest of reducing that sting, hopefully across the board. Second, I grew up a bit and saw how some prospered and others didn’t and the lifestyle choices that tended to coincide with that. I actually took the time to read Thomas Sowell’s book Basic Economics. Blew my mind. I became avidly pro-life when I read The Declaration of Independence, brushed up on some unbiased science, and saw The Silent Scream. Liberals, watch it. Don’t pooh-pooh what you THINK it is. Watch it. And, read The Declaration of Independence. Just do it.

Better yet, read my book on The Declaration, which has it translated into modern English! Click the link to the right of the blog page, and get your copy TODAY.

When you are done with that read all four of Frederick Douglass’s autobiographies. Seriously. It’s literary butter (and if you knew how much I love butter, you’d know what kind of compliment that is) and will help you to see the Constitution for what it is, why it’s important, and why it matters that you understand.

*”Liberal” is pretty much interchangeable with any kind of statist, and heaven knows that statists have been changing their names from socialist/communist to liberal to progressive back to liberal again, etc. That’s part of rule 11. Shoot, they’ve even gotten some conservatives to be statists…and not even notice! Bravo, liberals…but many of us are on to you. Why not join reality with the rest of us? It’s so much more freeing and the people are just grand. They actually mean it when they compliment you.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In our church, just about everyone has a job. It’s nice as the entire church is run by laymen, and it’s all volunteer. I kinda dig it.

Anyway, at one point, my job was to be the Primary President. Sounds fancy, but that just means that I was in charge of the youth program for kids ages 18 months to 11 years. It’s not like I was Wonder Woman. There are all manner of helps from the Church and entire websites devoted to ideas on how to make the curriculum and themes work.

Each Sunday, I got to hang with the kids for two hours while the majority of adults went to their classes. We did have adult teachers for each age group, and occasional visitors. It was all great fun and I love teaching, especially kids who are actually quite sharp and witty.

Each Sunday, all the kids ages 3-11 would have a combined session that is called Singing Time. I’ll let you surmise the point of this. Well, sometimes, the pianist that accompanied us would change, and, sometimes, for periods of time, we’d not have one at all. For this instance, we had been using CD’s for “accompaniment,” if you will. Then, great news! That Sunday, a visitor to our church played the piano and was happy to help us out in Primary.

Since the kids had never met the visitor, we made proper introductions to the class. This is when things got a bit dicey. I excitedly exclaimed, “Guys, guess what?! We have a pianist today!”

My youngest son, who was then 6-years-old, and normally quite soft-spoken and shy, shouted – with a huge smile on his face – loud and clear for all to hear, “I have a penis, too!!!”

Now, the adults burst out laughing, the older kids tittered somewhat awkwardly, and the younger kids just kept trying to find things to stick up their noses, but, and you’ll be so proud of me on this one, I DIDN’T LAUGH. Not sure how because my entire being wanted to so badly, but he would have been heartbroken for being laughed at in church…by his own mother.

I smiled broadly at him and said, “Yes, you do, my love, but what we have today that I’m excited about is a pianist [which I enunciated quite clearly]…a piano player.'”

And, on that note, I will wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

A-Life-Size-Nativity-christmas-3040509-2024-1518

Oh, and buy my book, as it makes a wonderful present for any time of year! 😀

**Photo credit to deedeeflower on fanpop: “A Life Size Nativity”**

Why I Never Pursued Acting

I took some acting classes in high school and college. I absolutely loved them. I was game to get into character and exist in a pretend land with no connection to reality.

Here’s the problem. When I got into character, I’d take on that role and almost fuse it to the real me. I guess my ability to separate reality and fiction, when I was at the epicenter, is not as strong as it would need to be. If I played a sorrowful role, it would bleed the sorrow into my real life.

In the end, if I had kept up with it, I’d have lost the real me. I sometimes wonder if that’s what happens with stars who are deeply in love in a movie, and the get married shortly after filming, only to divorce a little while later.

How ironic that those who would work for hours on end in a pretend land, and not lose track of their own souls, must be those who are most rooted in reality.

So, though many who know me in person know I’m a huge ham, and love theatrics for the sake of a laugh, this is the reason I never did anything with that part of me, though, I didn’t recognize it as such until I was older.

Somehow, I don’t think the world was ever, nor would ever be, ready for a Holli that goes full-bore into the acting world. 😉

Latin. Ugh.

Here’s the thing…I love languages. I find them fascinating. I love to learn how to speak (or sign) them, almost one and all. There is one, however, that makes me nuts. Latin.

I know, I know…it’s almost imperative to understand Latin to read all the founders’ and framers’ writings about this nation, common law, and history.

I know their culture was such that the “great orators” kept people hanging on until the end of their sentences, riveted, anticipating, getting all worked up until the final utterance.

But, good grief! When coming home from war, they’d keep people on edge so they could, I don’t know, wait ever LONGER to hear how the battle went. They’d say things like,

“The palm fronds of victory, in my hand………….I HOLD!”

Maybe I’m uncultured, but gag me. Bust in the door and yell, “We WON! Booyah!”

I’m telling you, that is the froufrou-iest language I’ve ever met. I just want to tell all of them to get on with it. Maybe they just had more time on their hands then. Maybe they were really hard up for entertainment. Whatever. It just bugs me to no end.
Just had to get that off my chest. 😉

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