Skip navigation

Tag Archives: independence

threegraces

I have five beautiful daughters.  Each is their own type of beautiful; no two really alike, though there are similarities among them.  None of them realize just how much they mean to me, individually, or collectively. All of them are strong women, each handling difficult situations in their own way, and facing challenges and obstacles with determination and perseverance. The learning curves are steep for all of them, as the examples they had to model themselves on weren’t very good (Yes, I’m talking about myself and their fathers). Though each had their own advantages as well, whether they recognize them, or not.

I had my own challenges and obstacles to overcome. I’m still dealing with the fall out from a chaotic child hood, where, yes, sometimes bad things happened, but there was good in it, as well.  The tough part is sorting out the chaff from the grain.  Unfortunately, my daughters were born in the middle of that sorting process. After many years, I finally learned to let go of anger at my parents for not being perfect, but not before my daughters were already grown.  I realized, at long last, that each of my parents did as well as they were able, with what they understood.  Sometimes that grieves me, but I accept that they are who they are.  I hope, that someday my daughters can do the same for me.

Our individual levels of what we understand to be good, vary widely.  The material we are made of, how we respond to our various stimuli, sets the boundaries that we work within, with the gifts  we are given upon entrance to this world, and the experiences we collect traveling through it. I hope I live up to my best potential; although, sometimes I fear that sloth will be the finish of my dreams.  Or maybe it’s my frequent low energy levels that keep me from accomplishing my goals, though I doubt it.

Some of my goals don’t require a lot of energy, they just need me to get started on them.  Once I begin a painting, there is usually no problem finishing it.  I just have trouble getting started on stretching a new canvas, and applying the first dab of paint to it. Being in school again, helps me with some of that.  Where there is a requirement, I tend to follow through.  I just need to get myself to believe I have a requirement to get my own ideas onto canvas, or translated into real pieces, so all those things I want to show my daughters, and the world, will exist in a dimensional reality, and not just in my head.

I hope that my daughters find it easier to get started on their dreams, and aren’t afraid to find out how they’ll turn out.  I hope each of my daughters have their own dreams, and hopes.  Ultimately, I dream we will all get to know each other better, and be able to appreciate the grace that is in each other.

pleiades-sisters

Thanks to The “Three Graces” rock formation at the Garden of the Gods park in Colorado SpringsColo.trekearth.com, and the image of The Pleiades, from bing images.

Other Sites:

The Music of Poetry

Defining Values for Politics

© Ellen M Lattz and emariaenterprises, llc 2016.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Ellen M. Lattz, and/or blog owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M. Lattz, and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ron Paul

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts,...

Image via Wikipedia

Ron Paul, and his supporters, know what it’s like to have their words taken out of context and used to malign them unfairly.  As a result, being the fair man that he is, Ron Paul took a nearly unprecedented step during a Presidential Primary run to defend one of his fellow candidates , Mitt Romney, who was getting that treatment, yet again.

Mitt Romney was describing, to a rapt  audience in New Hampshire, his philosophy of keeping businesses honest, and hardworking, by saying that he Liked being able to fire people who provide services to him.

After all, what happens in a business that you can’t fire?  It tends to get cocky, arrogant, and self-serving.  Instead of providing good service to you, you end up just being the vehicle to providing more money to the ever increasing demands from the company. This is Not a good business to consumer relationship model.

As an example, lets look at what has happened to service from our city/county utilities.  First, they tend to have removed as much as possible, the face to face contact.  In our area, you have to go to a bill paying service center that is mostly about check cashing, and otherwise is about paying several different bills in cash.  And on top of all that, you have to Pay this bill paying service center more money to let you pay your bill here. Of course, you Can pay them electronically…. but again,there is no personal contact.

Then, the utility companies removed as much as possible of the voice to voice contact, sending customers through an ever expanding menu of options designed primarily to frustrate the user, wear you down, and prevent you from actually solving problems.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten to where I just hold the phone for five minutes while it runs through it’s litany of menu choices and let it finally decide that I must be one of the three people in the nation still using a dial phone, and then it will let me talk to an Actual person, whereupon I usually get Much better results (Usually).

Or, how about the Cable company.  Do they give good service?  I remember when they first came into existence, and people said, why do we want these guys?  We have free T.V. now.  And the Cable companies said, “We’ll keep the cost down.  It’ll be real low.”   And it was, for a little while, until the initial contract ran out, by which time people were hooked on the convenience of tuning in to Many more show choices, and the cable companies raised the rates.  A lot. And they make it difficult to return the equipment in a timely manner; And they charge you all kinds of extra fees…  I could go on, as I’m sure you all could too.

The same thing happens with retail companies that have a lock on market products in an area.  They too, become difficult to work with and start thinking that They are doing You a favor by letting you shop at their store.

Suffice it to say, if you don’t have choices, firing the people/companies who “Serve” you is difficult; then, You end up serving them instead.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Mourning Dove

Image by mizmak via Flickr

When in doubt, I close my eyes, hold my breath;

I open them again, and count to twenty.

Breathing in, breathing out, leaves death to death;

Refocus my heart on seeing plenty.

 

The things I’ve seen are all recorded;

engraved upon my heart forever.

If someday diligence is rewarded,

Pain and suffering will visit, never.

 

While I’m waiting here, there will be others

Who’ll use another to make life easier.

There’s no single day that comes to mothers

where someone’s life is not made queasier.

 

she was looking around in the vegetable market...

Image via Wikipedia

For those in bondage, there is sympathy;

Mourning tears for the dearest departed.

Those gone before would not begrudge me,

I hold up my head, not broken-hearted.

 

;Name :Pelargonium quercifolium 'Fair Ellen' ;...

Image via Wikipedia

In setting aside the pain and suffering,

We make time to honor what remains;

Not forgetting time for sorrowing,

There’s still time enough to live, and love again.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

English: President Barack Obama leaves the Dip...

Image via Wikipedia

English: United States Statutes at Large, Volu...

Image via Wikipedia

Bahrain WTC
Image by JohnConnell via Flickr

Mr. Obama aspires to be a King,instead of a President, if his actions of late, and the addition of some very special language in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 are any indication.  In an editorial in the Washington Times, an attempt is made to dismiss the severity of the language in the new act, because it is obviously Unconstitutional, therefore, once someone takes their case to the Supreme Court, they will be exonerated…  Except that if a citizen is picked up under the auspices of this act, they will not have recourse to a lawyer, and so their case will never get to Any court, let alone the Supreme one.

In addition to desiring the power to pick-up any citizen of this country, suspending habeas corpus, and denying them the rights our forefathers so diligently argued for, and then fought and died for,  because someone labels them  a terrorist (who gets to decide what constitutes terrorism?),  Mr. Obama has also decided that he has the right to appoint anyone he wants into positions of unilateral power, without consent of the peoples representatives.  This is a highly illegal, and also Unconstitutional move on the part the leader of our country.

In Bahrain, the government protestors are getting picked up and disappearing, and never being heard from again.  The protesters didn’t have to do anything grievous to get put into the category of anti-governemt, and be eligible for this disappearing act, all they had to do was make a post on the internet that someone didn’t like.  If we allow our President to get away with the things he has proposed to do, to appoint people into positions of power without the people’s representation, to arrest and detain people without the right of habeas corpus, we are setting ourselves up for the same thing.

How far down this road do we have to go?  How many of our people will go missing because we do Nothing to stop this outrage?  It’s not just the leadership of our country that is in question; it is the deciding factor in our continued freedoms,  it is the way our country is governed;  it is our very way of life that is now in question.

Citizens, doing something includes registering to vote, choosing a candidate that you trust Not to abuse the powers they will be given, and telling your congressmen and women that you do Not approve of actions or decisions from your elected officials that go against the constitution of the land.  If your elected officials will not keep to the constitutional path, then you must choose a different person to elect into that position.  Do not reward greed, corruption, abuse of power, arrogance, and self-appointed privilege with another term in office.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A field of opium poppies in Burma.

Image via Wikipedia

English: Four ounces of low-grade marijuana, u...
Image via Wikipedia

Have I ever told you that I am For legalizing drugs?  Especially the cannabis plant?

This position might lead you to believe that I do drugs, or that I Want to do drugs if they were legal; however, I don’t  do them, nor do I Want to do them.

I’ll explain my position thus:

CIA Map of International drug pipelines

Image via Wikipedia

Making these drugs illegal did Not make them unavailable.  It does not save anyone from poor processing methods. Nor does it save our society from the evils of them.   In fact, quite the opposite has occurred.

1) Pretty much anyone who wants to use them can get them.

2) There are no safeguards on their manufacture,  and

3) It is Very expensive to maintain the criminal justice system around the unenforceable and really lucrative sale and distribution of illegal drugs,

4) There is a far larger cost to human lives than would be sustained by people doing the drugs legally, because of the nature of doing business with illegal items, and further;

5) The only people who benefit are those who:

a.  Do not pay taxes on the sale of them,

b.  Do not choose to abide by our laws,

c.   Do not care about the value of anyone else’s life, and

d.   Represent a decided hazard to the society around them.

Making the drugs legal would m0ve the growing, and manufacture of them into a different realm.  The public would benefit by:

a. Being able to collect taxes on the sale of them,

b. Better manufacture methods would be employed,

c.  Fees would be collected for the licensing of the facilities, and

d. Fines imposed if the methods for producing them caused a greater hazard to the users.

When legal drugs for sale to the public are created, they are generally tested to see what dosage is appropriate.  Taking any of them at more than the recommended dosage is courting disaster, but especially when it’s being done as a method of “entertainment“.  At present, there are no set limits on the use of drugs that are deemed “illegal,” but which are nevertheless being used as entertainment, and little to no judgement being used in the application of this entertainment.

I don’t know whether it’s sadder that so many more of our youth are lost to this form of entertainment, or that I have actually heard of some respectable, middle aged, supposedly rational people who have begun, late in life, experimenting with various drugs; only to end up, like so many of our youth, as addicted, mentally strung out, and physically destroyed individuals.

This form of entertainment ends so badly.  The feel good only lasts for a little while (if at all), and the crash on the other side leaves you worse off than you were before, but people will still do them anyway; so the best scenario for this is to make them legal, and issue guidelines for safer use in this context.

In addition, the taxes collected on the sale of them, could be used to pay for the health care of the individuals who hurt themselves or others with the use of the drugs.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cancer CounselingI am thanking another blogger who took the time to share this Doctors article on how to die with dignity.  More to the point, what Not to have done in the event that you get diagnosed with a terminal illness, or have a horrifying accident that does major damage.  It’s refreshing to hear that not all medical professionals would encourage radical treatment for something, just because it is doable.  Doctors don’t ask to have all those treatments done on them.  They just go home and die peacefully in the loving arms of their family members, some times, months, or years later than their diagnoses had suggested.

It saddens me though, to realize that the social services and courts don’t have this mindset.  If they did, then that little boy with the cancer that he didn’t want treated with chemotherapy and radiation would have gotten his wish.  Instead, his parents got dragged into court, treated like criminals, and in the end, were forced to watch as their son underwent the full assault of possible treatments available in the U.S. for Cancer, though that was Not what He wanted.

Did we ever hear about how his “treatments” went?  Did we hear anything about his survival?  I’ve been watching, but I haven’t seen anything.  Have you?

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cat Conspiracy

Image by Tjflex2 via Flickr

My cat has been here  7 years.  She’s fixed and quite the lady.

My daughter brought home half grown kits; they’ve had some pretty babies.

We’ve kept a few that grew on us, but have to get their rabies.

There’s no more room, the place is full. My cat is going crazy.

The first cat thinks  the second cats are terrible and lazy.

She doesn’t think that other cats should be allowed the spacee.

My cat dislikes to share her place, and doesn’t share her people.

She growls at them and hisses too, for them she has no scruples.

I try to hug her tight to me, but she scratches, and she pulls;

she eyes the others with distrust, and hides beneath the table.

I miss my cat; her soft meow, her silent, rumbling purr

was often felt to me a solace, to stroke her soft black fur.

Sometimes she will call to me, and arch her back for petting,

but then she spies the other ones, and leaves the room complaining.

She doesn’t feel her place is right, while others are in waiting.

And so she misses out on love; because she’s busy glaring.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Once upon a time, I wasn’t feeling very good about myself.  I had let someone talk me into doing something I didn’t want to do that day, so I felt like shit.  The person who had talked me into it, then had the audacity to take me to a “Party” to celebrate my new status.

So now,  I let some different people talk me into taking a large dose of over the counter cough medicine.  They said I would have a “trip”.  I was a very small person then. I only weighed about 100 lbs.  The amount that the other people recommended was a full four ounces.  I knew at two ounces that I had had enough, but the others kept pushing me to finish the bottle.  Maybe for them, weighing closer to a couple of hundred pounds, four ounces was needed to have their “Trip”, but not for me.  Even so…

I finally finished the bottle at their constant urging, and immediately regretted it.  I threw up a total of 7 times in the next 15 minutes.  Probably a good thing I did, as I spent the next 8 hours afraid to go to sleep, for fear that I would stop breathing if I went to sleep.  The room and the other people in it became still scenes from a photo album.  With each beat of my heart, I got a snap shot, but in between there was only blackness.  In the morning, when the others had awoken from their sleep, I told them of my experience.  They said I had a bad trip.

Wow!   Really???!!

These were the same people who, after I had taken the four ounces, and finally finished throwing up, then proceeded to tell me that several of their “friends” had committed suicide, because of the long term affects of over dosing on this over the counter drug.  What kind of “Friends” would keep doing this same thing, then, and not only that, but would encourage others to do it as well.

With friends like these, who needs enemies.

I hadn’t been having a “Bad Trip.”  I had been poisoned and barely survived the experience.
It was Stupid.  Never again would I let someone talk me into doing any kind of drug without there being a medically valid reason for it, and at the proper dosage.

There is a reason it’s called “Dope”.

I responded to an invitation on Twisteens’ blog to describe a time I nearly died with a portion of this, and decided it was worth re-telling in my own post.  Thank you ziiAn for telling us of your brush with a painful accidental electrocution and nearly dying from it.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Pain comes from disappointment.

We expected more from ourselves.

Our expectations are our enemies.

Anger comes from fear.

We fear what we do not understand the end of.

Fear is the opposite of faith.

Despair comes from giving up on yourself.

You are afraid you don’t have the right stuff.

God believes you are always worth hoping for.

If God believes it, why don’t you?

He is smarter than you.

He already knew you before you were here.

He knew there would be difficulties.

That’s why he agreed to pay the price for you ahead of time.

After everything you can do, he will do the rest.

Do everything you can.

Do what you must.

Trust him.

He will bring you home.

He is not disappointed.

He already knew what would happen.

He only wants you to let him help you.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I was angry.

Now I am not.

I was afraid.

Now I am not.

I felt despair.

Now I have hope.

There is no rational explanation for what I feel.

It just is.

Because it is what it is.

That is the nature of the challenge.

If there were no difficulties,

How would there be a test?

If there were no test,

Why bother with this type of existence?

God could make us all run on automatic with only a little tweaking.

But he doesn’t,

Because he wants the test to show us what we are, and can do, and can’t do.

Then we will be satisfied

that where we are placed is the right place for us.

We will all be happy.

Everyone will be happy.

I will be happy.

So I may as well start being happy now.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I love a beautiful, lush garden in the front yard of any home.  Some neighborhoods aren’t allowed to have vegetables in the front yards, but did you know that there are a lot of edible flowers?  Some of them used to be grown for food, but people have forgotten that they were good for that too, and just grow them for their beauty instead.  The salad garden used to be full of edible flowers.  Roses were used for salads, including the rose hips, which are known for their vitamin C content.

Lilies.  All the true lilies are edible, root, stem, leaf and flower.  And they are delicious. I especially love the short  little yellow lilies that are grown so often in clumps as a favorite of landscapers.  They bloom all summer long, and their flower petals are  slightly sweet, and ever so slightly spicy.  You can grow several different kinds of Lilies and have different colors blooming all summer long.

Don’t include in that group the Lilies of the Valley which are not actual members of the same family.  They are more a cousin of Foxglove and both provide forms of digitalis.  The little flowers have a smaller amount than the larger flowers.  They are good for people with heart problems, but not for people who have a healthy heart beat.

Chrysanthemums are used in a variety of ways in China, including as a form of tea.  Sometimes they are used as a fancy garnish on food plates.  Their flowers are edible.

Speaking of fancy teas, Jasmine flowers make a wonderful, relaxing  tea.  I just love the smell of Jasmine tea.

Hibiscus flowers also make a great drink.  Take the flowers and dry them. Crush the dried flowers into water and let steep.  Serve hot or cold with as much sweetener as suits your taste buds.

Grow peppermint in your garden. You can harvest it about three times a year.  My peppermint started from one sprig that got chopped up by a weed-eater.  Since it rained a lot right after that, all the pieces took root.  I soon had a garden full of peppermint. It has lovely little purple flower stalks on it in the late summer. The bees love it .  My daughter uses it for her digestion.  She puts a little sugar in it for sweetening.   She also likes it with lemon juice added to make a Peppermint Lemonade.  It’s especially refreshing on a hot summer day, and you can’t beat it served hot for helping ease your breathing when you have a cold in the winter.

Of course there are some fruits that are also good for growing in your gardens.  Strawberries make a great ground cover, and they are one of the earliest  fruiting  plants.  Raspberries are early bearers too.  Their canes are tall and have thorns so be sure to grow them in the very back, and they grow well in shade.  If you grow them under your windows, they are a natural deterrent for thieves.  If you want a later bearing fruit, blackberries also grow on thorny canes, and they don’t mind shade or boggy ground, but don’t cut them during the growing season.  They will spread out along runner roots all over your garden.

Tomatoes are a fruit too, and used to be grown only for their decorative effect, back in the days when it was thought that their red fruits were poisonous.  They are worthy of being grown in the front yards in the sunny corners.  And I just love the beauty of a watermelon vine. the leaves on them are so gorgeous, who wouldn’t want to see them twining their way through a patch of other assorted flowers, like nasturtium, which has a spicy flower and leaves, or around the base of your rose bushes.

I know some of you are thinking, “Why is this silly woman writing about this now?”  “This is the wrong time of year for planting!”

That’s true, but it’s the right time of year for planning what you want to grow next year.  This is a great time to buy gardening books as presents,  and don’t forget to order the seed catalogs. Happy garden planning everyone!

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Dear Ford Motors,
Thank you for your candor in reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It isn’t often I see the decency that you have displayed in your summation of this faith.  You have given me another reason to shop Ford in the future.  If I were a betting person, I’d buy Ford stock about now 🙂  What the heck, it’s a sucker bet.  Buying Ford stock after the publication of this article isn’t a gamble at all.  You’re gonna get some Great business in the coming years from members of this faith.

I wrote this as a comment on another blog published by Alan Osmond (Alan, I hope you don’t mind my re-posting it here – it’s going to show up twice in my Facebook page now, as that is where I saw it first) who posted the following article:

Following is an interesting article written by Ford Motor Company for its employees. It was presented by the ‘Ford Interfaith’ group as a message about the LDS Church .

The Ford Interfaith group promotes unity by sharing information about all faiths and features these types of articles about various religions and faiths.

QUICK FACTS & INTERESTING TIDBITS about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Fleeing continued mob attacks 158 years ago, the first Mormon
pioneers desperately started their Westward trek from Illinois in the dead of winter. Of the 70,000 who began this 1300-mile journey, 6,000 were buried along the way, including many children. The following are quick facts and interesting tidbits about this now flourishing church.

OVERVIEW

* Named “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”; informal
nicknames are “LDS” or “Mormon” -named after the prophet-historian

* Believes it is the Lord’s restoration of original Christianity as
foretold to occur before Christ’s Second Coming.

* Core focus is that Christ and His teachings bring happiness in this
life and exaltation in the next.

HISTORY

* In 1820 14-yr-old Joseph Smith told of a vision of God and Christ
foretelling a church restoration.

* Organized in New York in 1830, the church moved to near Cleveland, then near Kansas City, then Illinois .

* Fleeing Illinois , Mormon pioneers founded Salt Lake City in Utah and over 600 other Western communities.

SALT LAKE CITY

* Temple Square in Salt Lake has over 5 million annual visitors, more
than the Grand Canyon .

* The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is the world’s most famous choir and has the world’s oldest radio program.

* The Salt Lake Temple is the most famous, but there are 128 other
temples built here and around the world while
others are under construction.

* Home of the world’s largest genealogy database; visit it online or
through 3,700 free branch libraries.

ACTIVE CONGREGATIONS

* Sunday services entail a three-hour block of three meetings; about
27,000 congregations exist worldwide.

* Highly vibrant programs exist for youth, children, singles, men, and women; very strong family focus.

* Everyone has a calling; some surveys show LDS have the highest U.S. attendance and service rates.

* Families receive personal fellowship visits at home from other members on a monthly basis.

FINANCES

* Members tithe 10 percent, plus donate generously to the needy the first Sunday of each month.

* Clergy and all other congregational positions are unpaid (however, much of the janitorial is paid).

* The church has no debt; all buildings are paid for in cash (average of two new congregations a day).

* The paid positions in Salt Lake are famously low-salaried; funds are frugally used and tightly audited.

HEALTH CODE

* With a health code from 1833, LDS avoid alcohol, tobacco, illegal
drugs, coffee, and tea (herbal tea is ok).

* This 1833 code also teaches grains (especially wheat), fresh fruits and vegetables, and sparing use of meat.

* A UCLA study showed that active LDS live longer than most Americans, men by 11 years, women by 8.

* Utah is 50th in smoking, alcohol consumption, drunk driving, heart disease, cancer, and sick days.

EDUCATION

* With four colleges, Utah ‘s BYU with 30,000 students is the largest
single-campus private college.

* BYU Independent Study with 130,000 students is North America (340 web courses, 530 via mail).

* Seminary, a daily class usually held around 6:00 A.M., serves 376,000 high school students.

* There are Institutes of Religion at 1,950 colleges worldwide that serve 367,000 college students.

* The church operates schools in parts of the Pacific Ocean and Mexico for 10,000 students.

* Utah is 50th in spending per pupil, but first in adults that graduated from high school and attended college.

WOMEN

* In 1842 the “Relief Society” was organized; it’s the largest women’s
organization in the world.

* Wyoming was first to allow women to vote; Utah was second, two months later, in 1870.

* Women preach from the pulpit and serve as organization presidents, teachers, committee chairs, etc.

SHARING CHRIST’S GOOD NEWS

* 61,000 missionaries serve in 165 countries; 93 percent are college-age; 22 percent are female.

* Unpaid and paying their own way, most work 65 hours a week for two years, often in a new language.

MEMBERSHIP DISTRIBUTION

* LDS are 70 percent of Utah, 30 percent of Idaho; after Catholics, LDS are the largest sect in 10 states.

* The church has 5.5 million members in the U.S., making it the fourth largest individual U.S. denomination.

* Some memberships: New Zealand 95k, Japan 115k, UK 175k, Philippines 500k, Brazil 900k, Mexico 925k.

* Worldwide 51 percent are female; about 55 percent are not Caucasian; about 70 percent are converts.

MEMBERSHIP GROWTH

* For the last 15 years, every day an average of 800+ people worldwide joined the LDS church.

* Half of the growth is in Latin America, but the rate of growth is
highest in Africa and the former Soviet bloc.

* Worldwide membership just passed 12 million, a tenfold increase in 50 years.

* In 1984 a non-LDS professor estimated 265 million members by 2080; so far growth has been faster.

* As this growth has been steady, it will be the next major world religion since Islam.”

CHARITY/SERVICE

* Members in need obtain welfare from the LDS Church (thus Utah
government welfare spending is very low).

* LDS donate time at 220 welfare storehouses or canneries and about 400 farms.

* There are 210 employment centers placing over 175,000 people annually, and 64 family service centers.

* The church operates 46 thrift stores, in part to provide employment for the disadvantaged.

* The 61,000 missionaries spend half a day each week doing

HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE

* Over 200 million pounds of food, clothing, and medicine were donated in the last 20 years in 147 countries.

* Almost all of this help is to non-LDS; LDS charities also work with and donate to many non-LDS charities.

* Very rapid disaster relief has been given in 144 major disasters since 1986.

* Almost 3,000 welfare “missionaries” work without pay in 55 countries (farm instructors, doctors, teachers, etc…).

* LDS charities fund a wide variety of projects like drilling water wells or funding small business startup loans.

* New in 2001, members in poor areas can get low-rate college loans;
10,000 loans have been made to date.

GRAB BAG

* Utah is first in: charitable giving, producing scientists, household computers, children with two parents, and birth rate.

* Noted LDS included five senators, and other famous dignitaries
(click on link)
the Osmonds, Gladys Knight, Steve
Young, and the inventor of TV -Philo T. Farnsworth.

* LDS played a key role in the 2002 Winter Olympics; the chair was the former governor of Massachusetts .

* Hawaii ‘s #1 tourist site is the LDS Polynesian Cultural Center ( Tonga and the Samoas are one-third LDS).

* LDS have sponsored Boy Scout troops since 1913; 23 percent of all Scout troops are LDS.

* The BYU Women’s Cross Country were national champions or in second place each of the last seven years.

DETROIT AREA

* The Detroit metro area has 30 congregations; the Dearborn chapel is on Rotunda by Ford’s Building #5.

* Detroit has a temple, storehouse, cannery, employment and family
service office, and family history libraries.

* LDS include former Governor Romney, three former Lions quarterbacks,
and hundreds of Ford employees.

A member of Ford’s Interfaith Network,
the author of this note sends out monthly interfaith notes to thousands of Ford employees who have asked to receive them.

Watching the debates was, as always, educational.  Each of the candidates has been tested in this kind of forum before.  Each of them were prepared for most of the questions, and each of them had their shiny moments.  As always, each of them also revealed their weaknesses.

All candidates have weaknesses.  Most candidates who have made it this far, have strengths.  Our job is to decide which of them has:

1)  the best ideas, or the most feasible ideas, to aid our country in surviving and growing,

2) the most likely to succeed in getting those ideas to work,

3) can carry enough votes to win the race.

It’s a tough choice.

Given that I don’t think the current occupant of the position is, or has been doing a good job, he is not on my radar for getting voted for.  That leaves looking at the other runners in the field.  There have been quite a few to choose from.  Many of them have really good ideas.  Some of them have some hare brained schemes that sound catchy, but in reality would hurt more people than it would help.  Some of them are dead right about a number of things, but the feasibility of some of their solutions is impossible.

Under the circumstances, it’s impossible to choose one that says everything that you want to hear, and/or whose ideas would work if elected. So choosing is based on best possible scenario.

For me, that best possible scenario would be a match with Mitt Romney running for President and Ron Paul as Vice President.

Between them, there could be some real, effective change in Washington.   And that’s a ticket worth a 10K bet.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

If you absolutely knew you were right, and the other guy was wrong, would you offer to make an all out bet with the one who was wrong to see if he would back down?

If you were playing poker and you had a royal flush, would you go all in to bet on it?

From a poker playing angle it probably wouldn’t be a smart move, because the other guy would fold, but that’s what was wanted in this case. For the other guy to admit he wasn’t sure of his facts.  To fold his hand.

That’s what happened in the  debate  between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.  Rick made a false statement about what Romney had written in his book, and Romney knew it.  Romney offered Rick a sucker bet of $10,000.00.  Rick backed down because he wasn’t that certain of his facts. Rick probably figured he could get away with making the false statement because it might be difficult for someone to fact check it.

There’s a lot of buzz about this issue, even whole websites set up to take advantage of it.  Democrats are jumping up and down with glee over it.  Billboards are being planned, and television ads that highlight what $10,000.00 can buy the average American.

The average American would love to win a sure bet like that.  The average American is making $1.00 bets everyday in hopes they can win at least that amount in the Powerball lotteries.  Sure you’ld offer the bet if you Knew you would win.  Who wouldn’t when we all need the money so badly.

Mr. Romney has more than that amount riding on this Presidential race.  He’s betting his whole future on it, and ours.  I sure hope he wins this one.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’m not always the most persuasive person.  I call myself straightforward, other people call me blunt.  Either way, you always know where I’m coming from.

Just so you know, I love trees.  They are beautiful.  They are also a renewable resource.  Meaning that they can be regrown.  Here in Maryland, trees grow like weeds.  They can become a serious nuisance when not kept in check.

What I’m getting at, is that I like a nice environment as much as the next person, but there are ways, and then there are ways of having that.

And none of the environmental considerations will matter to any of us if we end up tearing each other apart over no jobs and high oil prices.  So here’s my contribution to the dialogue below.

Subject: THIS IS A VERY INTERESTING OIL STORY, WORTH READING

Oil Anyone?

By the way, this can be verified.

Check it out at the link below !!!!!!

http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911

Cruz Construct

http://www.cruzconstruct.com/services.php

(I do not know where the below letter came from or I would credit it properly, but I got it in my email, and have copied all the bits of it into here).

They are doing a lot of frack sand mining in Wisconsin near Chetek. It’s a special sand used in the extraction process from the oil shale deposits.  As you may know, Cruz Construction started a division in North Dakota just 6 months ago.

They sent every Kenworth (9 trucks) we had here in Alaska to North Dakota and several drivers. They just bought two new Kenworth’s to add to that fleet; one being a Tri Drive tractor and a new 65 ton lowboy to go with it. They also bought two new cranes (one crawler & one rubber tired) for that division.

Dave Cruz said they have moved more rigs in the last 6 months in ND than Cruz Construction moved in Alaska in the last 6 years. Williston, ND is like a gold rush town; they moved one of our 40 man camps down there since there are no rooms available.

Unemployment in ND is the lowest in the nation at 3.4 percent last I checked. See anything in the national news about how the oil industry is fueling North Dakota’s economy?

Here’s an astonishing read. Important and verifiable information: About 6 months ago, the writer was watching a news program on oil and one of the Forbes Bros. Was the guest. The host said to Forbes, “I am going to ask you a direct question and I would like a direct answer; How much oil does the U.S. Have in the ground?” Forbes did not miss a beat, he said, “more than all the Middle East put together.

” The U. S.. Geological Service issued a report in April 2008 that only scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a revised report (hadn’t been updated since 1995) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota, Western South Dakota, and extreme eastern Montana.

Check THIS out: The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, and has the potential to Eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates It at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable( 5 billion barrels), at $107 a barrel, We’re looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion.

“When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea..” says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature’s financial analyst.

“This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years,” reportsThe Pittsburgh Post Gazette. It’s a formation known as the Williston Basin, but is more commonly referred to as the ‘Bakken.’ It stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada. For years, U. S. Oil exploration has been considered a dead end. Even the ‘Big Oil’ companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken’s massive reserves, And we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil, Those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL !!!!!!

That’s enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2041 years straight. And if THAT didn’t throw you on the floor, then this next one should – because it’s from 2006 !!!!!! U. S. Oil Discovery – Largest Reserve in the World Stansberry Report Online – 4/20/2006 Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It is more than 2 TRILLION barrels.

On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. In three and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted. With this motherload of oil why are we still fighting over off- shore drilling?

They reported this stunning news: We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates: 8 times as much oil as Saudi Arabia 18 times as much oil as Iraq 21 times as much oil as Kuwait 22 times as much oil as Iran 500 times as much oil as Yemen And it’s all right here in the Western United States !!!!!!

HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this? Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America become independent of foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small group of people dictate our lives and our economy.

WHY? James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says we’ve got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East, more than 2 TRILLION barrels untapped. That’s more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today, reports The Denver Post.

Don’t think ‘OPEC’ will drop its price even with this find? Think again! It’s all about the competitive marketplace, it has to. Think OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists? Got your attention yet?

Now, while you’re thinking about it, do this: Pass this along. If you don’t take a little time to do this, then you should stifle yourself the next time you complain about gas prices, by doing NOTHING, you forfeit your right to complain. Now I just wonder what would happen in this country if every one of you sent this to every one in your address book.

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferior” . . . Plato

Enthralled with form, the function ignored.

The reason was there, without the rhyme.

Her loss of focus reduced the words

to one of convenience in limited time.

The question nags her to voice her concern.

She hangs her head no longer to worry.

The gift neglected, in moments returns;

the prose, select, when not in a hurry.

What words to us, as time directed,

Birth the newest conceptual image.

Choose carefully the picture selected,

Else chaos reigns o’er the resulting scrimmage.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Why?

She asks.

Do you care?

What’s it to you?

Cautious, she hesitates.

You aren’t the one.

Who sees me?

Not you.

Her.

Woman.

Stands alone.

Having been one.

Her present is more.

Her future less.

She is now.

Content.

Once,

There was

Another

Who cared for me

When no one else did.

He is enough.

God is good.

Only

Him.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Somewhere in the after-thought of getting something done,

there lies a set of reasons too profound.

You run, and run, and run until you lose yourself in motion,

hoping that your actions won’t be found.

You’re looking for a sign and you think you’ve found the one,

but the feeling that is loosed is run to ground.

You’re standing in the rain where the sun is pouring down,

the king will sleep  it off, while the Jester’s getting crowned.

There isn’t something new where there isn’t something old

And you can’t get satisfaction from the cold.

But the simple truth is this, if you haven’t had a kiss,

You won’t get any more than what is told.

We look at all our follies and we wish we hadn’t bothered,

But our wishes won’t get wheels put on our ride.

If we want a better outcome, then we have to work it out some,

And we’d better get a handle on our pride.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I have been pondering this for a while.  A recent article that oddly mixed news of whale bones and Hooters waitresses in the same article got me thinking about it again.  Someone at a Career day in a special needs school got offended that a person who was a waitress at a Hooters restaurant was speaking to the children about her type of work; that is, serving tables in a Hooters restaurant.

Wow.  I thought.  What is her problem?  Does she never go out to eat?  Maybe she only eats in fast food restaurants, or buffets, and doesn’t let anyone wait on her.  Or maybe she only cooks at home and does all her own serving.  Still, even if that were the case, why look down on someone who is taking food orders and delivering it to people who want it that way?

If this is because of the pay scale…..  again, I say Wow.   This is a subject that seriously needs addressing.  The inequalities present in our system are there because we put them there.  We choose to place one person’s type of work above another’s, in spite of the fact that we want all those different types of work to exist within our society.  We choose to assign different levels of pay to those different types of work, in spite of the fact that all the types contribute to the smooth functioning of all our lives.

Does the person who works in the tall buildings with the corner window office actually believe they would be able to do their job as well without all the things provided him or her by all those people interacted with on a daily basis?  What makes you think that the  person serving you your coffee at the drive up window, to help you be alert and ready for your job,should be paid less than you?  Or the person who cleans your suits to make you look presentable for your other interactions. Why is their  job considered less valuable than yours?   The arbitrary dollar value someone places on the different jobs is not actually a good indicator of the worth of either the person doing the job, or the necessity of the job being done.

The fact that some people had to pay large amounts of money out for a required education is sometimes used as a justification for charging higher fees for services.  That is a subject for another day, but suffice it to say, that the founding fathers wanted our nation to be educated in order to compete with other nations.  A College education should be free for all our people, all the way through a Bachelors degree, since that is what is required to be competitive.

If we take out the need to repay the educational dollars as a reason to assign an arbitrary dollar value, that leaves just the expense of doing the job.  For doctors, that would mean more, since their equipment is more expensive (shared offices help with that),  and the liability issues become another factor (torte reform).

Some people believe that the number of people served is a justification for an increase in pay scale.   Does the person who thinks this live on an island, entire of itself?  Yes, that is a reference to Don John.  We do not exist without each other.  There is no real independence except for hermits who live in caves in the hills or holes in the desert, and they don’t get paid by anyone.

The garbage collectors in New York city proved that they are a necessary and valuable part of your existence.  They had to stop doing their job to make you acknowledge it, but you finally gave them their dues.  Now they get paid a better wage.  The person who harvests the food that you eat is also worthy of the same consideration.  Alabama is now finding out just how valuable that job should be.  No one who is Not an “undocumented worker” will stay with the job at it’s current pay scale.  The tomatoes are rotting in the fields because there is no one to pick them.

The person who drives the bus to carry so many people to work is valuable, and so is the person who drives the bus that carries your children to school so that they may have the ability to properly co-exist with others both in the now, and in the future. Why should their pay scale be so low?   Or the teacher who shapes their views of the world?  Why should you think that the advertising executive should get paid so much more than the street sweeper?  Does the advertising executive actually improve the most people’s live’s?   The street sweeper keeps the streets in a state of clean that makes it possible for many people to walk about or drive on it in a reasonable condition.  The successful advertising executive only improves the lives of  those who work inside the firm that they work for.  Why should you respect the advertising executive, and not the street sweeper?

Why should the worker who serves you the hamburger be despised for their work?  Are they not giving you something you want?  Are they not providing you with a valuable service?  If you wanted to be serving yourself, you’d be in a different restaurant, or at home, making your own food.  If you don’t directly benefit from someone who serves hamburgers for a living, then you benefit indirectly.  The hamburger server provides a service to many people.  All of them members of your society, in one context or another.  When someone, anyone, provides any service to you or any member of your society, that you could not, or did not want to do for yourself, that service is valuable to you, and should not be dismissed as beneath you; neither the work, nor the worker. They have added value to your life, they are worthy of your respect.

I’m still pondering the ways and means of how we could change things in a fair way, to raise the pay of one type and lower the pay of another type of work until we all get paid the same for an hours work.  Maybe this isn’t possible, given that no one would then harvest the food, being as it is harder work than sitting at a desk writing.

Hah!  Wouldn’t  that be something, when the food harvester gets paid more than the advertising executive.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When a grass roots movement on the right meets a grass roots movement on the left, and they share some common goals, it’s time to pay attention.

Adrian Sainz of the Associated Press reported that during a lively question and answer session, the members of the Occupy Memphis movement informed their cultural counterpart Memphis Tea Party movement of some of this groups aims. When the Memphis  Tea Party movements group heard how the Occupy Memphis group wanted to limit the influence of lobbyists on Legislators, they extended an invitation to join ranks.

If the two movements link up, even temporarily, to achieve the goals they have in common, the legislators are going to have a tough time ignoring them.  If members of both movements can meet in each city, and discuss what their goals are, and when finding common ground, agree to work together for those goals, there will be no wriggle room for their respective legislators to deny them success in those goals.

I became an Independent voter because of the apparent lack of a rational middle ground in either party; however, I believe there are people of all parties that desire, or at least would settle for,  a rational middle ground, rather than the total stalemate that currently exists.  Our legislators will continue to use the extreme issues to deny us all of any forward progress as long as we continue to polarize ourselves.  It’s an easy control measure for them only if we let them use it.  We have to be smarter than that if we want real, effective change in our government.

Our Forefathers, who set our form of government up, did not agree on everything, but they came together and discovered their mutual goals, and agreeing on those, fought for their independence from the tyranny of any corruptible Crown.  Our legislators have become confused by influences that do not have our countries best interests at heart.  The personal and professional agendas have taken precedence over the health of the nation.  This has caused an egregious burden on the average working person, no matter what your party affiliation.  As a result our people are re-discovering their power to influence, because if we don’t do it, who will?  Each movement has some valid points.  Each movement has people with good intentions in it.  But neither movement can, by itself, obtain goals that both movements want.  Joining forces to achieve common goals, like our Forefathers did, is a sensible and probably necessary thing to do.  For the health of our country.  Perhaps it’s not everything that either movement wants, but it’s some progress, and some progress is better than no progress every time.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

%d bloggers like this: