Monday, November 28, 2016

Blame Those Responsible!

I will forever remember this Thanksgiving, but not for the warm and fuzzy reasons you may think. Instead of the traditional gathering of family and friends, instead of the aromas of golden brown turkey, toasted marshmallow sweet potato casserole, and luscious pumpkin pie, I'll be haunted by the memory of the deaths of David, Kaylie, and their two year old daughter, Annika. Every time I pass by the intersection of routes 30 and 48, I'll see the burned out shell of a car and hear the deafening silence surrounding it. I'll imagine the gruesome sight of David's body lying on the pavement, bruised and bloodied, and I'll gasp in horror when, like the firefighters and policemen, I realize that there are the bodies of Kaylie and Annika inside the vehicle's remains, charred beyond recognition.

And when I remember the events leading up to this senseless tragedy, once again my anger will rise up.

A police officer stops a car for an illegal turn. The driver, a 22 year old man, and his girlfriend appear nervous. After checking the license number and discovering that two arrest warrants are in effect for Demetrius Coleman, the officer calls for backup. However before he can approach the wanted man, Coleman steps on the gas and screeches out of the parking lot heading east on route 30 at the speed of over 100 mph. Doing what they are trained to do, serve and protect, policemen from both East McKeesport and North Versailles follow in pursuit. After weaving in and out of traffic, at times driving in the on-coming lanes, Demetrius Coleman crashes into Kaylie's car, which instantaneously bursting into flames, snuffing out the lives of an innocent family on theBir way to celebrate Thanksgiving with loved ones. 

And when I remember that some people entertain the notion that this horrific tragedy could have been avoided it only the police officers would not have chased these two, my anger only escalates.

Why does it appear that nowadays law enforcement is always at fault? These courageous men and women take their responsibilities very seriously. They have taken an oath to protect and serve. They risk their own lives so that others can escape injury and death. They are to be respected for their commitment, not vilified for their actions. Don't accuse those who perform their duties for doing so, but rather place the blame where it rightly belongs.

Just because you're an addict, whether your drug of choice be heroin or alcohol, and just because addiction is viewed as an illness, you are not absolved from responsibility for your actions. You don't get a free pass to do as you please, break the law, injure, maim, and kill others, and not be held accountable because you were under the influence. People with debilitating diseases like those suffering from incurable cancers, kidney failure, or dementia must pay for what they do, and if illegal, are subject to the same penalties that you and I are, and must accept the consequences of their misdeeds.

Demetrius Coleman and his girlfriend, who had heroin in her possession, are the ones who caused the deaths of these three beautiful people, and Demetrius Coleman and his girlfriend alone are responsible not only for their demise, but the pain and suffering of the family and friends left behind to grieve for many, many Thanksgivings to come.

If any finger pointing is needed to identify those who are to blame, let's make sure we're pointing in the right direction, at Demetrius Coleman and his girlfriend, who are totally responsible for what happened at the intersection of routes 30 and 48 on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, 2016!

Monday, November 21, 2016


I could go through a very, very long list of all that I'm thankful for in my life, but I suspect you've heard it all before. You know, family, friends, good fortune, etc. but after serious thought I'm thankful for one think in particular, LIFE ITSELF!

My life has stretched out over seventy-two years, WOW! Hard to believe I've managed to wake up 26,280 times, give or take a few, and look forward to what the day had in store. Don't get me wrong, there have been many, many occasions where I would have rather pulled the covers over my head and remained prone indefinitely. But there was always something grabbing my hand and helping me up to start all over again, and that something was life.

LIFE is that force inside of us that energizes each cell in our bodies with oxygen, blood, and nourishment. It gives us the ability to breath, move, feed, and feel. Of course all animals have these same drives, but we as humans have been blessed with powers far beyond survival mechanisms. Additionally we've received the abilities to think, make decisions, and create. And these are the attributes that make life itself worthwhile as far as I'm concerned.

Being able to think about what to make for dinner, choosing a new recipe, and then actually preparing the dish, in my humble opinion, is amazing to me! I can tell you that without being able to perform this three-step operation, my hubby would most likely be eating dog food 24/7! This is just one example of millions that make like wonderful or like I choose to say, 'full of wonder'!

When life is good, everything we see, hear, touch, smell, and feel intensifies. Our energies seem to multiply one-hundred fold, our desires to experience new things increase, and our spirits take flight!

Even when things aren't going well for us, life is what allows positive change to happen. We can research possibilities, eliminate those that aren't achievable, and design strategies that will help us to succeed. Giving in to depression only minimizes our life force and threatens our very existence.

When sitting around the dinner table surrounded by your loved ones this Thanksgiving, among all the many blessings to be grateful for, remember to be especially thankful for LIFE ITSELF, for yours and for everybody you hold dear.

love ya'll

Monday, November 14, 2016

Like A Thief In The Night

Like a thief in the night, this presidential campaign has sneaked into our collective souls and ripped out our funny bones! Honestly in the last year, how many times have you laughed so hard tears of joy ran down your face? When have you even twittered or tee-heed? How about a smile from ear-to-ear or a shit-eaten grin?

Seriously folks, without a sense of humor our country is doomed to darkness and despair. We alone must take the initiative to bring back laughter into our lives, because without it I promise you things will only get worse.

Now I'm not talking about making inane jokes at the expense of others, there has been enough of that as far as I'm concerned to last a thousand lifetimes. Let's look inward to find something we've experienced over the years that was hilariously funny and share it with family and friends. We've got to break the chains of anger that have tightened around our minds and hearts because if we can't, explosions of chaos will happen all across this great country of ours. We're already seeing hundreds of protest marches popping up like dandelions, crowding our streets with unwanted weeds of unrest. And if this is just the beginning of a national trend, God help us all!

Twenty-five years ago I was a kindergarten teacher, which was the best job I've ever had the privilege of holding. Each day I couldn't wait to get to my classroom, because I knew something would occur that would put me in stitches!

Picture this: It's the beginning of the noon session and 15 children are sitting in a circle waiting for me to kick off the day. I start by asking what everyone did over the weekend, but before even one person could speak, Jonathan came rushing in with backpack slung over his shoulder and his lips going 100 miles an hour. "My mommy had a baby yesterday. It's a baby sister for me and my brother. Her name is Meghan and I got to hold her!"

"Wow," cried the group in unison.

Once Jonathan joined us, I asked him a few more questions concerning the health of his mom and sister and then proceeded to get back on task. However one of girls, Kristy, who by now was feeling greatly ignored, stood up and announced that her mommy had a baby yesterday, too. Now I knew that this was virtually impossible since Kristy herself had been a change of life child, and furthermore the last time I checked, her mother wasn't even pregnant! But this was getting very interesting, and I just had to see where it was going to end.

With hands on hips, Kristy looked at each of her classmates daring anyone to refute her declaration. Now it was my turn to question its validity.

"Did your mommy have a baby sister, Kristy?"

"No, she didn't," the blonde cherub replied.

"Well, then I guess she had a baby brother?" I remarked.

"No, she didn't have a baby brother either," Kristy said with her distinctive lisp.

By this time, I was thoroughly intrigued.

"Well if she didn't have a baby sister, and she didn't have a baby brother, then what did she have?" I wanted to know.

Before Kristy answered once again she eyed each student, and in a loud and clear voice she announced, "My mommy had a baby kangaroo!"

"Wow," cried the group in unison as Kristy returned to our circle feeling happy that her friends agreed that having a kangaroo was just as amazing as having a baby sister!

It took everything in me to squelch the laughter that was bubbling inside of me and simply agree that both Jonathan and Kristy had had a very eventful weekend.

If this story didn't tickle your funny bone, I'm guessing you've never had one in the first place!

Now it's your time to come up with experiences that have had you laughing your head off, holding your stomach, wiping the tears from your cheeks. It's your duty to share humor at every turn because everyone in our country's circle is depending on you. Be a 'Kristy' if that's what it takes!

Don't let a thief in the night rob you of your right to live in a nation that allows all of us to speak and act freely, and laugh as loud and as long as we choose!

Monday, November 7, 2016

All The Presidents.........MEN!

Before reading this post, let me assure you that I'm not a feminist, nor will I ever be one. I think of myself as a realist. When faced with a crucial decision, I search out the facts, pour over the details, weigh everything carefully, and then come to an informed conclusion. Here is my conclusion regarding the 2016 Presidential Election.

Forty-four men have served our country as presidents since 1789. They deserve all the praise for creating a land of the free and the home of the brave. They also deserve all the blame for the mess we find ourselves in today. The issues of  high taxation, joblessness, inequality of pay in the work force, abortion rights, lack of reasonable immigration laws,  racial tension, sensible gun regulations, war and much more dysfunction falls squarely on the shoulders of these men as well.. They are the ones who have been at the helm, and have led the United States into 'the black hole' according to millions of  our concerned citizens.

Here is a list of all the U.S. Presidents...MEN :
1. George Washington (1789-1797)John Adams (1789-1797)
2. John Adams (1797-1801)Thomas Jefferson (1797-1801)
3. Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)Aaron Burr (1801-1805)
George Clinton (1805-1809)
4. James Madison (1809-1817)George Clinton (1809-1812)
None (1812-1813)
Elbridge Gerry (1813-1814)
None (1814-1817)
5. James Monroe (1817-1825)Daniel D. Tompkins (1817-1825)
6. John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)John C. Calhoun (1825-1829)
7. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)John C. Calhoun (1829-1832)
None (1832-1833)
Martin Van Buren (1833-1837)
8. Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)Richard M. Johnson (1837-1841)
9. William Henry Harrison (1841)John Tyler (1841)
10. John Tyler (1841-1845)None (1841-1845)
11. James K. Polk (1845-1849)George M. Dallas (1845-1849)
12. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)Millard Fillmore (1849-1850)
13. Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)None (1850-1853)
14. Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)William King (1853)
None (1853-1857)
15. James Buchanan (1857-1861)John C. Breckinridge (1857-1861)
16. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)Hannibal Hamlin (1861-1865)
Andrew Johnson (1865)
17. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)None (1865-1869)
18. Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)Schuyler Colfax (1869-1873)
Henry Wilson (1873-1875)
None (1875-1877)
19. Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)William Wheeler (1877-1881)
20. James A. Garfield (1881)Chester Arthur (1881)
21. Chester Arthur (1881-1885)None (1881-1885)
22. Grover Cleveland (1885-1889)Thomas Hendricks (1885)
None (1885-1889)
23. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)Levi P. Morton (1889-1893)
24. Grover Cleveland (1893-1897)Adlai E. Stevenson (1893-1897)
25. William McKinley (1897-1901)Garret Hobart (1897-1899)
None (1899-1901)
Theodore Roosevelt (1901)
26. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)None (1901-1905)
Charles Fairbanks (1905-1909)
27. William Howard Taft (1909-1913)James S. Sherman (1909-1912)
None (1912-1913)
28. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)Thomas R. Marshall (1913-1921)
29. Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)Calvin Coolidge (1921-1923)
30. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)None (1923-1925)
Charles Dawes (1925-1929)
31. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)Charles Curtis (1929-1933)
32. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)John Nance Garner (1933-1941)
Henry A. Wallace (1941-1945)
Harry S. Truman (1945)
33. Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)None (1945-1949)
Alben Barkley (1949-1953)
34. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)Richard Nixon (1953-1961)
35. John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)Lyndon B. Johnson (1961-1963)
36. Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)None (1963-1965)
Hubert Humphrey (1965-1969)
37. Richard Nixon (1969-1974)Spiro Agnew (1969-1973)
None (1973)
Gerald Ford (1973-1974)
38. Gerald Ford (1974-1977)None (1974)
Nelson Rockefeller (1974-1977)
39. Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)Walter Mondale (1977-1981)
40. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)George Bush (1981-1989)
41. George Bush (1989-1993)Dan Quayle (1989-1993)
42. Bill Clinton (1993-2001)Al Gore (1993-2001)
43. George W. Bush (2001-2009)Dick Cheney (2001-2009)
44. Barack Obama (2009-present)Joe Biden (2009-present)



Millions of folks want change, but change simply for the sake of change does not lead to positive results.Change must be accompanied with astute study, careful planning, and resolute execution. Talking about Making America Great Again does nothing unless the person behind the slogan has studied, planned, and resolved to do exactly that.

Only one of the presidential nominees has spent her whole life studying and planning, and is now ready to execute her informed conclusions. This Tuesday, November 8, vote for Hillary Clinton, a knowledgeable woman with experience and passion on her side who will work together with folks interested in changing America for the better.

After 227 years, isn't it about time to give a woman the chance to restore the United States of America to it's former glory? I certainly think so!

God bless us all!