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Archive for October, 2011

from WRDW

Yes, I am a proud mother today. We must be careful when we choose our battles as in when speaking up about something or when some injustice we feel is taking place. We must understand the consequences and know that there will always be someone with a different viewpoint. We must know what to say and how exactly to say it. I try to see things from more than one side but I still have my own opinions. Good and moral values are something I would think most people would want for their children, but the way of the world is quickly turning another way. It is not a secret that I am not a fan of FB—I cannot even write the name anymore. I guess this story tells just why I do not like it. If you have not read the first posting, please stop now and read Honor and Respect – Part 1 first.

During the funeral procession Thursday, a FB friend of my daughters (plural-a girl they went to high school with) was not just complaining about the traffic–that it was only one officer and that he was not even on duty when he was shot–she did not see the sense in all of the cars and all. She just wanted to get to class so she could get “some knowledge.” I guess she has had her ears plugged into something other than the news of any form for the past several days and did not hear all of the announcements about the funeral route. My daughters commented that he died in the line of duty whether he was on the clock or not and the funeral was to show him respect-much more eloquent words than I can give here. I guess that hit a nerve with her and she began to attack my daughters. It was nasty.

Given my previous posting and all of what we have been going through, my daughters were hurt when she started saying these things and accusing them of things. She also accused the law enforcement community of making a big deal of the processional because they wanted more money for all of their “stations” and that no one seemed to care about a woman who was murdered a few weeks ago. Yes, and I have some lovely beachfront property I would like to sell…     What hurt the most was how many people liked what this FB friend was saying and urging her to attack my daughters and the police even more-it was like a gang type thing going on. I wanted to know why she was considered a friend and then proceeded to dig into some of her info. Number one, she was arrested earlier this year for shoplifting (not local). If I had to guess from the info, it was with a ring of girls—just guessing here. She seems to have also developed a very close relationship with the cannabis plant I mentioned back a couple of posts ago. In essence, she is part of the element that law enforcement officers have to deal with on a daily basis. Oh, and she has over a 1000 friends on FB if that says anything.

I am proud of my daughters not because that they spoke up but for what they had to say and how they said it. We had some very nice discussions, too. We talked about how hard it is to stand up for something when you sometimes feel that you are standing alone. We discussed how many people may follow blindly behind someone but it does not make that person any more right. And, we talked about how people listen to the loudest person shouting but that doesn’t mean they are right either. So very many people, especially younger adults, have absolutely no respect for anyone but themselves-that me-me-me attitude. And, people who do not know any better teach others to not have respect. It is much like what I used to say many years ago – ignorance breeds stupidity. That is the scary part considering the fate of the world. Maybe if people had more respect for others, JD would still be alive today. By the way, on further investigation into what really preceded JD’s murder, the woman with the shooter seems to have played a bigger part than first thought-not that she fired the rifle-but that she was responsible for the fight and did some things that have shown how truly selfish she is. I think the shooter could not deal with her, but this is only guessing. He is still responsible for his actions.

So, while the pages where HONOR and RESPECT have been torn out of the dictionary, I am glad that there are still people are trying to tape them back in. That brings a little peace to my soul and I cannot express how proud I am. Teaching a child to ride a bike is not easy sometimes. You constantly go over the basics and work through it with them until finally you are walking along with them holding on and then off they go riding away with no help. Yes, I am a proud mom today. Doing the right thing is not always easy, but it is what we are called to do.

Happy Gardening and may we learn to show respect to others even when we think they do not deserve it!

My apologies for bogging down. I have to get through this and it is not easy. Thank you for all for your thoughts and prayers. We will get through it. It will just take time. Take care!

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JD funeral from WRDW

I want to first say that I am a very proud mother this morning, and if I thought these others posts were hard to write they were nothing compared to these two. This is not the post I wanted to write by the way. It has been a rough and trying week for everyone in our family with emotions running everywhere. I was only able to see parts of the funeral and processional on TV Thursday and I could not be along the route like I would have liked, but it was amazing to witness the outpouring of love and respect coming from what seemed to be everywhere. There were not enough seats at the church and many stayed home in order to allow others a place. The night before the funeral, flags were placed along the route leading to the cemetery. As the processional made its way, you could see people lined up along the entire route so they might pay their respects and say goodbye. Again, this is as close as it gets without being a member of our blood family. There were people waving flags, some holding signs and posters, many with heads bowed, all to give honor and respect for someone who gave his life for someone else. There is no greater act than this. It could have so easily been my husband or someone else we know lying in that casket today. All of this was also a way for the community to give honor and respect to those who still put their lives in harm’s way every day thanking them for their continued service. There are so many people who give honor and respect to others, being not selfish and desiring nothing in return, but this event has brought out some of the worst in people and I am sorry to say that my daughters have witnessed it firsthand.

I wanted to share part of the funeral message:

“What makes a hero? Someone brave or strong? Someone fearless or noble? I have heard that J. D. Paugh was a hero. Was that because of the way he died or the way he lived? Maybe both. But this service is a celebration of life, not death. This service is a celebration of hope, not despair. This service is a celebration of peace, not violence.”

“J. D. was a Peace Officer,he was a law enforcement officer, he was a hero. What makes a Hero? The making of a hero is day after day doing what is right. Even when you are tired. Even when you are going home late at night and the day has been long but your duty tells you, someone might need me. And you go. …”

“What makes a Hero? When children say, ‘He grilled food for us in the apartment complex.’ ‘He was a good cop, I liked him.’ When a child says, ‘I’m going to miss Deputy Paugh.’ What makes a Hero? It is an ordinary guy who is willing to do extraordinary things when duty calls.”

“What makes a Hero? Truth, Right, Pure, Admirable. And you may be saying, Why do Heroes die? Why are we here? Why is this such a senseless act of violence? Why questions must be asked but in the end they are a one way road to nowhere. I challenge us all to change our grief question from Why to What. What do we do, now that this has happened? What can be done to honor the memory of J. D.? What can be done to comfort J. D.’s family and friends? What are my favorite memories of J. D.? What J. D. stories could I tell and keep on telling.”

“What would J. D. want us to do? I think J. D. would say, ‘Be your own Hero?’ And What makes a Hero? It is an ordinary guy or gal who is willing to do extraordinary things when duty calls.”

“Thank you [to all officers]. Thank you for working holidays when the rest of us are with our families. Thank you for going through doors when you don’t even know what’s on the other side of that door.”

“… He served honorably and faithfully, answering the call of duty when he was needed … we will not forget him. We will not forget his dedication and the debt that we owe.”

Hundreds were at the church (over a thousand) and hundreds more lined the way with still more at the cemetery. It was staggering at how many people came out to say goodbye. It was there that JD was placed on a horse-drawn carriage for the last leg of the journey. But, wait, I have to tell another part of the story. One of the most touching things is the story about his motorcycle. It had been retrieved and ‘spiffied up,’ put back together although bullet holes were still visible. There was a processional Wednesday to take it to the funeral home and even then, people were very reverent as it passed along. It was made complete by adding his empty boots much like the missing rider honor for high ranking military in the US Army and US Marines.

His bike did not leave his side until it left the cemetery after JD was laid to rest. A large ladder truck from the fire department flew a giant American Flag—it was all so touching and pulled at the heartstrings. There were several honor guard groups (for lack of a better term). One was the Patriot Guard; there were bagpipes; taps were played; guns were fired in salute; the state patrol flew a missing man formation over the cemetery with their helicopters…on and on. So many people have been touched by this man and this funeral is just a very small thing that could be done to repay him for his 17 years of service and to show honor to his family (both blood and fraternal).

These are just some of the heart-wrenching things, but I think the hardest was his last call to duty (WRDW NEWS 12):

At approximately 2:12 p.m. Thursday, the following statement came over the scanners:

“Dispatch to T-31, Dispatch to T-31

Dispatch to Dept. James D. Paugh, Unit T-31

Dispatch to Car 1

Deputy James D. Paugh, Unit 31 is 10-85 from service

His job here is done but never forgotten.”

By the way, car 1 is the sheriff and this is last time JD’s call number is forever anounced as it was retired from service. I cannot read this without crying heaping balls of tears, and if you thought police officers were all tough with no heart, you should have seen them there at the cemetery. I don’t think there was a dry eye anywhere. Part 2 of this post tells just why I am a proud mother.

Happy Gardening and may everyday be filled with peace and happiness!

Note:  Some of the quoted info was taken from WRDW – NEWS 12. I want to say they have been very supportive through this and I have to thank them for showing the funeral on TV and the internet. They could have been after news ratings but from what I have seen, they have been there for the entire community and we thank them. The bike photo was found at MSNBC photoblog credited as being from the Augusta Chronicle.

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The visitation for fallen sheriff’s deputy, J D Paugh will be tonight with his funeral scheduled for tomorrow morning. I do not know how many officers from across the nation are coming, but JD was one of those people who represented the department when an officer was killed elsewhere and he also went to Washington to represent others at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (I really dread that time next year when his name will be inscribed in that memorial-I am assuming it will be next year).

People will come. Yes, people will come. There will representatives from as far away as Nevada and New York, but there will be more. I guarantee it. The church has planned on 1000 seats, but I do not think that will be enough. Flags on all city buildings have been flying at half-staff since Monday and will fly that way through tomorrow. Many businesses followed with the same and surrounding counties (like ours) will fly them at half-staff today and tomorrow. This is big! It is not just because of how he died but for who he was. He has touched so very many lives that I even wonder if he knew. We have had deputies killed in the line of duty, but something like this has not happened in a very long time-not to this extreme-and the outpouring of love and support is seen everywhere.

New details of what exactly happened are still coming forth. Reports have stated that JD was hit at least 9 times but that he was able to get off 3 rounds before a bullet disabled his weapon. He actually hit the guy in one of his arms, but that did not seem to deter the gunman. It is said that the assailant was drunk and fighting with his girlfriend before this all started. It appears that she wanted out of the car that they were riding in and this is when the guy stopped to retrieve his M-4 semi-automatic rifle from the trunk of the car. He was first shooting at passing cars before JD drove up—you can see where the bullets hit the dividing wall on the interstate circled with bright orange paint. I have to drive this section of road about 4-6 times a day during the week. It is not easy to do. The gunman emptied one magazine and loaded another one-firing at least 42 times.  It appears that he made the choice that someone was going to die that night.

Actions like this hurt deputies who are trying to do their job as peace officers. Deputies will now second guess themselves and this can hurt them and someone else.  So you see our actions do count no matter how insignificant we think we are. My last remembrance of JD was when our family was out somewhere-I think we were eating supper about 2 weeks ago-and my hubby’s phone kept going off with text alerts every few minutes. I asked who it was and he remarked, “J-D.” Of course it was JD. Why did I even ask? I hate it now that I complained about it then.

There is no doubt in my mind that JD saved someone’s life that night. We just do not know how many or to what extent. With all of his wrecks and close calls he had, I have to wonder if JD was living on borrowed time. It angers me that his life was taken in such a wasteful manner, but we all know he did what he loved to do. Is this not what we all ask of life? I am really hating this year as far as deaths and sickness with loved ones and family. This year is about as sucky as it gets-my apologies!

JD’s call number, T-31, was officially retired yesterday by the sheriff but it will be symbolically retired tomorrow. What a loss!

Happy Gardening and may we each find our place in life! So long, JD and thanks for your dedication and service!

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The Call

ODMP image from wikipedia

It is with a very heavy heart I write today and not because I am sick with this cold thing. You know that 2 am phone call is not a good sign when you hear the ring amidst the clouds of peaceful slumber. Years ago when my hubby first worked for the sheriff, he worked night shift. That was quite interesting. I had to adjust to sleeping alone and then working around his sleep time during the day. I had to also adjust to not seeing him sometimes when I awoke. Next, he went into special ops, so he was not working all through the night. After housing, he became a narcotics investigator and that job was an adjustment in just itself. He was gone most of the time (day and night) and when he was home he was on the phone and his pager was going off at all times of the day and night. All through those times, I dreaded that call where someone calls to tell me that something has happened to the love of my life. When I could not reach him or he was really late in coming home-before everyone had a cell phone-I got jumpy when I heard the phone ring and when I heard a voice I was not accustomed to hearing. You see, my hubby knew I would worry, so he would get someone to call me and let me know he was ok and was running behind. Usually, it was something like a person driving drunk as he was on his way home or too many people going to jail at the same time or getting a warrant signed and such. It is never easy to hear, “Mrs ___, your hubby…” In those first few seconds my mind would go to a dark place because I knew what the job entailed. After many calls like this, the callers changed and would first say, “Your hubby is fine but wanted me to call…” Whew! I could breathe a short sigh of relief before the blast of information came my way.

While hubby was in narcotics there were several incidents of close calls. Once, a friend and fellow investigator (not all colleagues and associates are friends) got hurt from friendly fire (long story). Then the clincher came when another friend and fellow investigator was a shot in the head and almost died. We got the news on our way back from vacation. There are a lot of stories but most end fairly well. It is the sense of dread that everyone hates in the form of a phone call for those at home and for an officer, it is the not knowing what the other person will do when they are backed into a corner. Drugs and alcohol have a lot to do with how people react along with their emotional state–and people want to legalize cannabis…??? I don’t even want to think about that one.

Last night (early this AM), I was sleeping quite well considering everything when the phone rang. I knew it would not be good and did not want to answer. By the way, my hubby was working-something he was planning to do quite a bit during the week, but was too sick to do so. The voice on the other end was my hubby’s. We have done this so much that I can usually assess what the situation is before he tells me. The call was not about him but about another officer. At first, he only knew of the event and that the officer was shot–hubby did not want me to worry if I heard about it before he got home. Then he called back to tell me who it was and give more details. He heard the gun was an AR-15, so I feared the worst. This was not just any officer–this was a hubby friend. I was shocked! This information was quite grim, but I have seen the unexpected. Not this time though. JD was like a cat with 9 lives. He was a motorcycle cop whose body had been broken up several times. The hospitals would put him back together again and on with life. One of the worst cases was when he was hit on funeral patrol. Imagine! There is much I could write—but not now.

This is the closest home this has come. I dread these next few days, weeks, and months. I know what lies ahead. Death affects each of us differently but the loss of life is all the same. For a while, we hated to go out of town for vacation because we dreaded something happening. This time, we stayed home and it still happened. I would like to call attention to a memorial page for officers killed in the line of duty. I would also like to ask you to PLEASE visit this page. It is called Officer Down Memorial Page at http://www.odmp.org/  This is one of those memorials you always hope your loved ones or people you know are never listed. Oh, his family!

Happy Gardening and please remember all of the officers that put their lives on the line!

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Halloween is coming and today it finally feels like fall again. We have had a few brief cool downs but the A/C is still on and is still running at times (set at 77) - just not as often as during the summer. Temps have been in the upper 80s to low 90s hovering around record highs for this time of year. We usually have cooler temperatures by now, so I am really hopeful that it will be cool for Halloween. 

This photo is from a shirt I bought some years ago. I have been wanting to wear it, but it is long sleeves...I am have been wearing shorts. Speaking of photos, I still do not have the fall photo I wanted to add to the top of my blog. This one is from last year’s trip to the mountains. I hope to get photos on our little jaunt tomorrow. We had big plans for this week, but hubby has spent his vacation in bed with what seems to mimic the flu if it is only a bad cold -- not fun. We are a pair, him with his cold/flu and me with my back. Oh, joy!

Happy Gardening and may your Halloween and other holiday preparations be filled with fun!

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It is new…

I really hate to write this, but we broke down and bought me a new computer yesterday. I am both excited and not excited. I have never had my own new computer-not to use just for me. We cannot afford a new computer right now, but we can-not afford not to have one to keep at the house. I keep track of all of the home things-everything from bill information to who knows what all. So, I am back-kinda, but I will be busy trying to ready things to hopefully sell in effort to recoup part of the money we just spent. When we got home, my husband mentioned that I might want to save the box it came in so we can wrap it for Christmas. I replied, “And, birthday, too.” But, seriously, he was the one who pushed me to get a new one now since the old one has been on its last leg for quite some time. We usually wait until Black Friday to buy electronics, but when we looked at the ad for this week we decided it was not worth the wait-especially since I had been eyeing the model that has been sitting beside this one in the store for a while. This one had been more expensive compared to the one I was looking at.

So, what is different? I do not have to be tethered to the router because my wireless would not work on the other computer.  I can actually put the computer to sleep rather than in hibernation mode. Coaxing it back awake was like waking a child who does not want to arise out of bed in the morning…  There are so many other things that are different, and I am still adjusting–some features I like; some I don’t. I hate technology–the feeling of having to possess all of these things in order to live or survive. I feel like we are so attached and that we are falling into a deep chasm. I know we spent too much, but I am resolving myself to be a better computer steward–through my caring for it AND my time using it. Too often, it is my window to the world, and I let it control me.

Happy Gardening and may your life be as technologically problem-free as humanly possible!

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Bad Days

Just a quick post to say that I will be away. My computer decided to completely die today 😦 😦 :(. It has died before but was resurrected…not this time.

Happy Gardening in everything no matter how bad things may get!

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It’s Time

from boiled-peanut-world.com

I have my first (and probably only) batch of peanuts boiling for this year. The rest of the family does not like boiled peanuts as much as me, but that’s ok. We must boil some each year—it is a ritual. I remember when living on the farm, I could not wait for the peanuts to fill out enough to eat. I waited all summer. The field that produced the best peanuts was right behind our house-so convenient ;). When they were ready we would pull a bunch, pull off the greens, wash them, and cook them…and cook them more. Yum, yum! One of the worst things about boiled peanuts is all of the salt. I’m not supposed to have salt, but I have to make an exception today. You can cut back on the salt, but what is the fun of that—just kidding? I did cut back about half the amount from usual.

My dad loved them, too, and when the peanuts were finished cooking, we would drain them, put them in an open newspaper, and go to town (eat). The best peanuts to me are the ones that are not quite filled to the end of the pod so they can absorb juice (salty water); soft nuts with an extremely soft shell; and salty. People tend to treat boiled peanuts like fruitcake–they either really like them or not. I like peanuts and fruitcake, by the way. If you want to try your hand at boiling peanuts, please visit http://www.boiled-peanut-world.com/how-to-boil-peanuts.html for all of the information you should need. Bon appétit!

Happy Gardening and may you enjoy all of the treats along the way!

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Simon News

A few weeks ago we had to take Simon to the vet. He had what looked to be a spider bite on his belly. We got some nasty tasting antibiotics and war began. Each one of us still has battle wounds, but I am glad to report that he is doing better-I can tell by his antics. Hopefully our wounds will heal soon.

Simon and MY Raisin Bran

As I entered the kitchen Wednesday, I observed Simon carrying my box of raisin bran cereal around in his mouth. There is very little left and he had the corner in his mouth. He put it down and swatted at it, then picked it back up, and so forth. I guess he thinks all food is his even if I do not buy him boxed food anymore. He is hilarious.

Then yesterday I found a mountain of white in the bathroom. Yes, white toilet paper. Simon has never done this before, but Monique , the black furry friend I got for my mom when she was living with me, would somehow get to the toilet paper holder and go to town removing every single sheet. It was unnerving. I would roll it back up and she would unroll like it was a game. I hope Simon is not becoming like Monique. I had to get rid of her on account she bit my mom. It is hard to believe that was over 20 years ago.

Simon still does not sit in anyone’s lap for very long (especially after each round of meds) and very seldom will he sleep with anyone. He still spends quite a bit of time in the tub staring at the drain and faucet waiting for something to happen. He is still like a 900 lb gorilla… he thinks he can sit anywhere he wants. In reality, he weighed in at almost 10 lbs at the vet.

Well, this some of what has been happening with Simon. Until next time…

Happy Scratching!

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Happy October!

One of my fall creations a few years back

The tides have turned and it feels like the season we are in if just for a while. We will be in the 80s today and the rest of the week, but it has been in the 60s and 70s for highs and we tied a low of 40 this past weekend with some 30s around. I actually turned on the REAL oven this week-a first since May and cooked on the stovetop, too. This is the type of weather I need. All of those things that have been waiting for me to get to were coming into focus and I could actually begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but wait… Do you ever do something and at that very second know you should not have done it? That is what happened a week and a half ago when I was stretching one morning. ‘Pop’ was the sound I heard AND felt radiating down my backbone. I have been paying for it dearly, and I sure do regret it. Can I please take it back?

While I have been taking it easy and on strong pain meds (maybe not enough of them), I have been switching to Google Reader. After wordpress changed a bunch of things, the blogs I subscribed to were not showing up in the reader-some would show up late and others never did. I found this to be a real hassle and terribly frustrating. I tried other readers. Yahoo wasn’t any good either-probably worse than wordpress. Then I discovered google reader! It’s love. I can categorize the blogs that I follow and mark them unread if I need to go back to reread – almost like email. Life is much easier and no hassles! I am sure the rest of you knew about this, so shame on you for not spreading the word to me (or maybe I’m just stuck in the stone-age and did not hear you). Anyway, I am so pleased!!!! Well, there is that matter of PAIN, but I guess I cannot have everything.

October is one of my favorite months of the year. I just love this time of year! So, Happy October and Happy Fall!

Happy Gardening and may your fall garden yield beautiful fruits!

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