Conflict

she sees the flag of the south as a symbol of her heritage;
i see it as a symbol of racism and slavery.
she sees freedom of religion as a Christian ideal;
i see it as freedom for everyone, excepting none.
she sees life in blacks and whites;
i see it in colors of the rainbow.

we are friends, but occasionally our words grow heated, our beliefs clash.
i despise conflict, but i refuse to run from it.

  
Peace, people.

Songs About Amarillo

There seem to be a great many songs about Amarillo, Texas. In fact, if one googles songs about Amarillo the question, “why are there so many songs about Amarillo?” pops up.

If I were to take a guess, I’d say it’s probably because the word, “Amarillo” has a musical quality. Spanish for “yellow,” it rolls off the tongue and works well in country songs. And when George Strait sings “Amarillo by Morning” it’s absolutely beautiful.

http://youtu.be/0rdzq60IAVU

Other Amarillo-titled songs:

“Amarillo Sky”

“Amarillo Highway”

“Amarillo”

“I Did My Time in Amarillo”

“Is This the Way to Amarillo”
 

Caitlyn Jenner

I don’t know what the rest of the universe is discussing this week, but here in the states the top story is Caitlyn Jenner’s cover photo for Vanity Fair. She looks stunning. I’m not being facetious or sarcastic, I’m just stating my opinion. 

As might be expected a great many people are upset by the story of Jenner’s transition from male to female. I understand that. It’s as if Angelina Jolie had announced that she identified as male. America loves her icons. We put them on pedestals. They’re supposed to stay the way we want to picture them forever, even if it kills them.

The words “hero” and “brave” have been bandied about in reference to Caitlyn Jenner’s  journey, and there are those who take exception to those adjectives being used in this instance. After all, they say, our soldiers and firemen are brave, not someone who changes genders. 

But how can one not refer to her as brave? Caitlyn lived a lie for the majority of her life. She had to play a role. Her entire life. She could have continued in this lie. It would have been so easy. Just keep being who people thought she was. She’d done a great job of fooling the world for all these years. Only her health, self-esteem, and personal integrity were on the line.

Instead she knowingly risked everything, her family, her reputation, her career, to become her authentic self. That is bravery. 

I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind on this issue. There are all sorts of folks who will argue against me on religious grounds, but I believe God would want Caitlyn to be true to herself rather than living a lie.

We are just beginning to be able to understand gender identity, and if we keep our hearts open we might just begin to realize that gender isn’t a hard and fast rule. It literally is more than just the sum of our parts.

Peace, people.

Reunions

I attended two high schools back in the 70’s: Floydada high school and Dumas high school. Just three hours apart in travel time, but at that point in my life it might as well have been three hundred hours. 

I’d spent all of my school life in Floydada, Texas, population 4,000, until the end of my junior year in high school when my dad switched jobs necessitating a move to Dumas, Texas, population 10,000-ish. Eventually I adjusted to life in the “big city” of Dumas. It was tough, but I made friends and met my Studly there, and graduated from Dumas high school in 1975,  so all’s well that ends well, right?

Fast forward to 2015 and the epic forty year class reunion. I would love to attend the reunion in Dumas, and I’m even going to be in Texas the weekend it takes place. Unfortunately that’s the same weekend the the Doright Family Reunion is scheduled, and I’ll be unable to be in two places at once. 

Floydada’s class of ’75 is planning to meet in Gruene, TX, in October. I’ve already booked my hotel room for that event. After all, these are the grown-up versions of kids I went to school with from kindergarten through my junior year.

I was never “most beautiful” or “most popular,” but I always had a place among my class. And I was probably too busy dealing with my own insecurities to notice those who were more disenfranchised than I was. So I was caught by surprise when a member of the class became angry that she’d been invited to the reunion because she had felt disrespected and unnoticed during our school years.

I wish I’d noticed her more. I wish I’d been nicer, friendlier, more inclusive. I wish I’d known then what I know now–that it doesn’t diminish our own worth when we include others. Who knows how my life might’ve turned out if I’d known that years ago?

To all those who felt they weren’t included, you are loved and valued and I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you this years ago.

Peace, people!

Pregnant with Death

In the last trimesters of my two pregnancies my mind and body went into high states of anticipation. Physically I was full of child, round and healthy, a walking, talking, glowing clichè. Who cared that we were young and totally unprepared? My body was saying, “Let’s do this!”

Not me.

Mentally I went into the hormone zone. At night I dreamt of having twins or triplets, and literally juggling them (even though I can barely handle more than one bag in real life without dropping it) or forgetting they existed at all until learning they were grown without having ever known me. Gotta love those pregnancy hormones.

Recently I began noticing a parallel between my late term pregnancy time and my current existence. You see every night before I closed my eyes to sleep back then I’d think, “What if this is the night I go into labor?”

Now, as I near sixty, I sometimes wonder at bedtime, “What if this is the night I die?” It’s not as morbid as it sounds. I’m a healthy woman. I sleep well and eat a reasonably nutritious diet. After my bout with early stage breast cancer I am religious about having regular mammograms and other preventative medical exams.

But it’s as if I’ve become pregnant with death. 

I’m past those years of thinking I am invincible. I’ve lost friends who seemed full of life and possibility. I was with both of my parents as they died, and I was struck by just how effortless the final step was. They’d both suffered the indignities of long, painful illnesses, but when death finally came for them there was a release and a relief.

So sometimes at night the anticipatory thought comes to me. “What if this is it? What if this is the night I die?”

I say my prayers as always, for forgiveness, for the health and well-being of my family, for an end to wars, for any friends who’ve requested prayers, and I always end with a thank you. Because if I’m to go I want gratitude to be my final thought.

In the end I guess we are all “pregnant with death” and life is too precious to spend even a moment on dramas that separate families and friends. So forgive. And then forgive again. 

I’m not a big Max Lucado fan, but this I agree with.
 
Peace, people

If I leave tonight
my spirit will stay with you

I’ll love you always.

Define Reality

If I were asked to star in a reality tv show I’d instantly do two things:

  1. Say “no!”
  2. Examine my life and change whatever it is about it that made them ask me in the first place.

I might consider being part of something like American Pickers or Amazing Race otherwise, just don’t ask me.

Really! And no autographs, please.  

 Producers wanted me to be on Little Women as the world’s tallest little person. I declined. 
  
I turned down an offer from Mob Wives because Studly Doright is so not a mobster.

 

I still haven’t figured out what’s real about the women on these shows.

Studly and I sometimes discuss what a reality show featuring us would look like. He works hard, plays golf, rides a motorcycle. I write my little blog posts, read, cook poorly, and drink wine. We could star in “Extremely Boring People of Gadsden County.” Again, no autographs.

Peace, people!

Studly and the Second Amendment

Trust me on this, I’m not going to get political in this post, it’s simply a summary of a conversation Studly Doright and I had this afternoon in regard to the Second Amendmendent to the United States Constitution. 

First, here’s that amendment:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Normally Studly and I don’t discuss gun issues. We own a couple of guns, but the only time we plan to carry them is when we go to the shooting range to learn which end to hold and which to point. 

In other words, we have no plans to run around carrying weapons of deadly force in public. Ours are for snake killng, period.

But there are a whole lot of folks in this country who advocate for open carry of firearms. This gives me the willies for a couple of reasons. 1) how do I know this gun toter is sane and 2) how do I know this gun toter is sane. I could add more reasons, but they’d look just like reasons 1and 2.

The simple answer is there’s no way to know for sure, but in Texas now police officers are not allowed to ask a gun toter if he or she has a permit to carry. That seems counterintuitive: There exists legislation requiring gun owners to have proof of licensing, but the officers who are sworn to uphold that law are not allowed to make sure it’s being followed.

This is where Studly comes into the conversation. I read an article about the new Texas law aloud to him, voicing my concern. 

“Well,” said he, “I really don’t see what the problem is as long as the person is obeying the law. Once they step outside the law then police officers can take action.” Then he topped this off with, “It is a second amendment right after all, “‘to keep and bear arms.'”

That always infuriates me when someone isolates that phrase from the amendment, but instead of getting pissed, I said, “Arrgh!!!” Okay, maybe I got a little pissed.

“What?” Studly asked. “That’s what it says, right?”

Patiently I read the entire amendment to him. To me it’s black and white. The well regulated militia is key to the whole argument. But Studly believes that the phrase “well regulated” has more to do with the registration and licensing than with an actual organized militia.

Sigh. This seems to be the cause of much misunderstanding. Not just in my home, but in the nation. I’m not comfortable with folks carrying guns in public. I know all the arguments for and against. I know the propaganda and the emotions involved. 

I just wish we could evolve past the Wild West mentality. 

 

Peace, people. 

innocence lost

it took just seconds;
innocence slipped through fingers
too quickly to catch.

  
why should she feel shame
while he walked away unscathed?
and no one intervened.

 
suffer the children
to come unto him, she read
did that include her?

 

I know this is a heavier topic than I usually cover, but we must start noticing and taking action against those who victimize our children. 

WordPress Forum

Since I am not sure how to directly contact someone at WordPress (do they hide that information on purpose?) I thought I’d try to post something on the forum, but I’m not even sure if I’m doing that correctly.

First, I want to thank WP for providing me a forum and an outlet. Also, my articles are now sharing correctly on Facebook. For awhile there, every post was being treated as a photo in spite of my settings.

On the other hand, I believe the stats have been incorrect for several weeks. As an example I posted a piece earlier today (5-18-15) and have had at least eight notifications that this post has been “liked” but only two views appear in my stats. 

I understand that some folks might just click “like” without having read the post, but several of these people don’t follow me. I’d have to think they’ve actually visited my blog and read the post in order to “like” it.

This phenomenon isn’t limited to today’s post, but it’s the first day I’ve kept track of the number of notifications.

I know my blog is small potatoes, but they’re my potatoes and I’d like them properly counted.

Thanks,

Leslie Noyes 

Criminal Minds

I’ve shared glimpses of my mild addiction to the television drama, Criminal Minds, on a couple of occasions. 

By “mild” I mean that I’m ok if I go a day, even two without watching an episode. By “addiction” I mean that if I’m home and an episode of Criminal Minds is playing on any channel, regardless of the number of times I’ve already seen said episode, I will stop whatever I’m doing and watch it again.

And if I’m lucky enough to catch a re-airing of an episode I’ve never watched before, a feeling of euphoria sets in–it’s a high, I admit it. 

I wouldn’t call this a disabling addiction; I mean I function fairly well in my normal life except when CM is on the telly. The problem is, one can pretty much find an episode playing anytime, day or night. So, if the dishes stack up in the sink, or if the beds go unmade, Criminal Minds is most likely the culprit.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I have housework to do, but first I might need to check the TV listings.
Peace, people!