Cumberland Falls, Cumberland Falls State Park, Honeybee/Corbin, Kentucky

**PLEASE NOTE** - I use no other social media and my comments are closed due to persistent harassment and impersonation by one individual - sorry :(

Friday, September 30, 2022

American Invincibility Complex, Part 2 - Exhibits B and C ...

Jim Cantore almost getting taken out by a tree branch was Exhibit A (though I have no idea what his politics are, it's just the general attitude), but we definitely do know with these guys.

American Invincibility Complex Strikes Again!


What the ???

Yeah, good luck with that - because it clearly works to stop hurricanes lol.

And let me get this straight, "F Biden" Guy -  are you blaming Biden for the hurricane too or-?

"Damn that Satanic warlock, Biden, conjuring up and steering them hurricanes, B'God!"

(Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo - BOING!) 

No, Dear - presidents, and humans in general, are not powerful enough to control hurricanes. 

However, I DO think we should've named the hurricane "The Donald" instead of Ian -  not only because it was devastating, but it somehow managed to get the Jan 6 congressional hearings postponed ;) 

Ft. Myers, Post Ian ...

It's really strange, the day after a hurricane, n Florida - it's almost always sunny and beautiful, like it never even happened - but then, of course, you can clearly see the devastation.

After the 2004/2005 hurricane season, a neighbor couple and their daughter moved to Ft. Myers, stating their reasoning was the building codes were better than Pensacola.

While that may be true with higher-end condos, homes, and office buildings , others are not so lucky. (and you can see the disparity when you view the photos)  

The death toll is currently 12, I've seen, but it is rising as rescue teams still struggle to reach people.

Some of these photos take me back and look familiar - piled up boats, some houses reduced to matchsticks, crushed cars, trees blocking roads - God bless those people, it will take a long time to climb out.

It worries me, though, seeing people letting children outside, etc., with downed powerlines, sometimes in water, nails and wood everywhere.   I sent my daughter and stepson back to Lexington beforehand, each time, until it was safe enough to return. 

I went with them them for the first Hurricane Ivan, because I was the newest member on the transcription team for a local hospital and there wasn't enough room in the hospital (which also acted as a shelter) for all of us, and my apartment wasn't super stable. 

Hurricane Ivan was the worst of the three for us - a slow 3, with several tornadoes spinning off.

I called my work the day after, after seeing the windows blown out of the hospital on the national news.  They had backup generator power now, but I could tell in my coworkers voice she was checked out/traumatized and she said the national guard was stationed outside now, because in addition to the hurricane itself, people rushed in the broken windows for shelter, try to get ice and food, medicine, etc.

So I rented a minivan and hightailed it back to relieve them and with a boatload of supplies donated by my grandmother's church.  No one was allowed in, at that time, even if you lived there, but having a my work ID for a hospital, they let me through.  I could barely find my house, due to downed trees.

It wasn't until about 5 weeks later that the power was back on and it was deemed safe enough for kids by local government, so they had no idea what it looked like originally.

Ivan was a slow 3, with 12 

By this the time, there was enough room with the hospital as shelter and power (though it would be five more weeks at home).  I remember we'd have to take mini-breaks because there were so many sad stories coming in, many of them actually days after the hurricane hit, people trying to remove branches from power lines, stepping in electrocuted water, unable to get their life-saving medicines, etc. 

So people, please only do what's necessary until the power lines are down, but if you need medical attention, still get it, calling 911 still if need be (but only if true emergency because they are busy)

Also, now comes the roofing scams and price gouging, so be careful as you can ...

Ft. Myers Beach itself is decimated ... 

There a couple pics above where you can see the disparity, but here's another - the condos and high-end homes and office buildings have great building codes, in Ft. Myers, but everything else?  Not so much ...

Lastly, gonna post our anthem, at the time, for those struggling in the aftermath.  Pensacola has a huge naval base and is also home to the Blue Angels.

Thus, we could hear the Van Halen song dedicated to the Blue Angels, "Dreams," blasting all day, every day, from our car and portable radios - and the Blue Angels then flew over and tipped their wings at us, to boost morale :)

I'll never forget that, or the sound they make as they rumble across the sky :) 

That's the other strange thing about hurricanes, I was talking to our maintenance man from Puerto Rico about that not long ago - people forget their beef with each other for a while, what your politics are, what color your skin is, what faith you are, what your sexual orientation is, and just help each other - people are often at their best when things are at their worst. 

It can be done, I've seen it - too bad it often takes things like hurricanes to do it (and so many people forget later and go back to the way things were, how quickly we forget).

Thus, I still tear up when I hear this song - who would've ever thought Van Halen would bring tears to your eyes? lol

Stay strong, Ft. Myers et al ...

Van Halen - "Dreams" - ft. the US Navy's Pensacola Blue Angels 

World turns black and white
Pictures in an empty room
Your love starts fallin' down
Better change your tune
Yeah, you reach for the golden ring
Reach for the sky
Baby, just spread your wings

And get higher and higher
Straight up we'll climb
We'll get higher and higher
Leave it all behind

Run, run, run away
Like a train runnin' off the track
Got the truth bein' left behind
Fall between the cracks
Standin' on broken dreams
Never losin' sight, ah

Well, just spread your wings
We'll get higher and higher
Straight up we'll climb
We'll get higher and higher
Leave it all behind

So baby, dry your eyes
Save all the tears you've cried
Oh, that's what dreams are made of

'Cause we belong
In a world that must be strong
Oh, that's what dreams are made of

Yeah, we'll get higher and higher
Straight up we'll climb
Higher and higher
Leave it all behind
Oh, we'll get higher and higher
Who knows what we'll find

So baby, dry your eyes
Save all the tears you've cried
Oh, that's what dreams are made of
Oh baby, we belong
In a world that must be strong
Oh, that's what dreams are made of
And in the end
On dreams we will depend
'Cause that's what love is made of

Thursday, September 29, 2022

PS - Jim Cantore VS. Tree Branch ...


So I mentioned in my last post (and many other times) my irrational fear of the Almighty JC (Jim Cantore, not Jesus Christ, though some do confuse them) showing up anywhere near me again, including in my last post, after  he showed up three times in the 2004/2005 record hurricane season while living in Pensacola, like the freakin' harbinger of doom, right?

Here he is in Punta Gorda, yesterday, just as Ian began, almost getting taken out by a tree branch.

At least he wears a baseball helmet for protection now, and yet still, this is what happens when you think you're "American invincible" and show off during a hurricane.  

Well, at least he's a little less inappropriately gleeful, now, and doesn't do pushups during them anymore?

And yet ... *sigh* ... why? 

I saw this live and just SMH.

So are we all supposed to clap for him or-?


Don't get me wrong, he IS a good meteorologist, and I don't want to see anyone get hurt, but back in the day - doing pushups in the hurricanes to show off how tough he thinks he is, then quickly flying back to Atlanta to safety -  doing literally nothing to actually help anyone devastated by the hurricanes - it got on my very last nerve, so I couldn't help but snicker - sorry.

Okay, he is good I thought I would never have to see that man in my town again, but in 2011, he was here in Lexington before a tornado, but then moved on to Indiana.  

Mark woke me up and said, "Get up, Jim Cantore's here."

        Me:  "Oh, you're hilarious."

Mark:  "No, seriously, they think the tornado is going to hit here now."

I had my boots on over my pajamas, one of Mark's riding helmets on, dragging him out the door to the car to go to a underground parking garage before he could finish that sentence ;)  lol.

However, Jim then moved on to Jeffersonville, Indiana before that devastating tornado hit.


PS - Family is fine, thank goodness, as of last night, but phones are likely out of charge by now 

Good ole' Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts is always open the next day, though, for such things, by the way, but be careful - downed powerlines are a problem, especially in water. 

We're all just now getting images of the devastation ... 

Though none of this is funny, of course, gotta grab a smile when you can, right? 

So I have to add, here, though, that back in the day, my prior stepson (from my first marriage)  said:    

"Dad, don't go outside, Dan Powerlines will get you, he's dangerous!"

So being 6 years old, at the time, he thought the news people were saying "Dan Powerlines," like a person, of "downed power lines"  aw -  LOL! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Hang On For a Bumpy Ride, Family in Tampa/Sarasota/St. Petersburg ...


... for category 4, possibly category 5, Hurricane Ian.   (One of Mark's brothers and his stepdad live there.)

 I'll do my "Go Away, Ian (and Jim Cantore) Dance" for y'all, but since it didn't work for my (newly discovered) aunt in Nova Scotia (who is still without power), I'm not putting a lot of stock in it, but I'll do it anyway lol.

If Jim Cantore shows up in your back yard soon, run like hell inland (though I'm not sure he travels for these much anymore, but he used to peg the hit exactly right).

Holler if y'all need anything - hugs!


PS - I was just informed by said BIL that Jim was in the Tampa/Sarasota/St. Petersburg area earlier, but he has now moved south to Punta Gorda ... 

 ... which is about two hours away.  This doesn't mean that Tampa won't be affected, as this is a huge hurricane, plus hurricanes do travel northwards - but perhaps not a direct hit to the greater Tampa area?  

Friday, September 23, 2022

So My Neighbor's Son is Playing Running Back for the University of Virginia, Right Now - As A Freshman!


I believe I've mentioned on here before how awesome my downstairs neighbor and his sons are, but now, his oldest son is becoming a superstar - this is the Cavs second game and the second time he was put in as running back for the University of Virginia Cavaliers (against Syracuse) -  as a freshman.

The TV game commentators just described him as having "electricity!" 

Not only is he a great running-back, but he's super smart - UV ranks #25 in the US in academics, making it one of the most competitive universities in the country - and if you think it's easy to get in just because you're good at football, think again - you've got to have the GPA and college-entrance scores, too.

Aw, I saw this young man headed out in his tux with his beautiful prom date, last May.  And I bake cookies for L and all three of his sons every Christmas.  Growing up fast  :)

Go Xavier, Go Cavs!

PS - Watch also for his little brother, Evan, still in high school, but also headed for superstardom (but more likely basketball or baseball, both young men excel at all three sports) -  and who also does a great job of watering my flowers when we're on vacay! lol

Saturday, September 17, 2022

ESPN's College Game Day is at Appalachian State Today!

For those of you unaware, App State U is in Boone, North Carolina -  a liberal, laid back, hippie, eco-friendly, inclusive, bright-blue-dot college town in a sea of otherwise rude, vocal, particularly angry shade of red Trumpers (Blowing Rock, Wilkesboro, Mt. Airy) nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which is where we've vacationed for the last 2 years, and is in our top 3 retirement destinations - and who also beat football-legacy powerhouse, Texas A&M, last week!

Thank goodness no one was hurt, no buildings or cars were damaged, and no fires were set, as they flooded the streets of Boone, they behaved themselves.

Unlike here, in Lexington, Kentucky, last week, when Kentucky won against Florida, cars were flipped ...

And a fire was set in the street on State Street ...

Of course, the cops just looked away, during the actual event, with the damage being done by young, overprivileged, white-male UK students.

Because apparently, as we learned already with January 6th, it's NOT a "riot" - or vandalism, criminal trespassing, or wanton endangerment - IF performed by mostly white-males, and especially if in support of  your team or your political side. 

Then it's just "legitimate political (or sports) discourse!"   ;) 


Ahem, but I digress - all the commentators are saying Boone is a laid back, hippie college town, with the best bread and fresh farm-to-table food, the best nature spots nearby -  and they don't ever want to leave!  Amen!

(Kirk Herbstreit, after finding out about the fly-fishing rivaling Montana, pronounced it his kind of kind of town lol)

But wait ... no, no, NO! 

Because as a local potter put it to us ... "Y'all are welcome to move here, but shhh, don't tell too many people -  we're one of America's best-kept secrets!  We'll lose that laid-back, small-town feel, if too many move here permanently, and we'll end up like Gatlinburg -  or worse, Pigeon Forge -  and nobody wants that!  The home prices are already starting to rise too high!"

Whups, too late ... they're on ESPN CGD now, the secret is out ... and the home prices are going to skyrocket now, aaak!


PS - App State won again, against Troy, in a "Hail Mary" touchdown as the time expired.  Go Mountaineers! 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

For My Daughter: (Biased) Memory VS. Objective Documentation ...


(*Edited - and still editing - typos, plus adding more info or pics of documentation) 


Of course, 9/11 was a memory-maker, and I've written a thorough account of where I was and what happened that day HERE, with which our perceptions pretty much align (although there are some things she didn't remember about that day).

I'm also spending the day organizing family pictures to scan and send to new family members (as a result of my recent DNA test). 

I'm really having a ball getting to know my new family members, they are so welcoming and wonderful, it's truly a blessing :)

But it's a bittersweet process to go through all of these family pictures of mine, of course - in fact, a painful one, if I'm honest - but I'm doing it :) 

In fact, after grieving for years, living in self-doubt about my own perception for years, I made the decision to avoid looking at them anymore because I finally decided I had grieved enough, second-guessed myself enough, and that I was now continuing their abuse  myself, choosing to stay in that old constant pain myself, and that I needed to move on with my life, let go and let God and all of that.

Either way, this process is mostly a private affair, but I wanted to post a couple of things here for my daughter's benefit which she may not remember, may not know, or for which "alternate" versions of events when she was very young have been told to her by certain family members (who were not even around).

In other words, during this process, I suddenly realized I actually could disprove 2 persistent "alternative facts" told by these family members with documentation, rather than just my word against theirs, as I  mentioned in this prior post - at least partially disprove one, and irrefutably disprove another, with documentation (though believe me when I say these aren't the only two ;).

I was initially only going to post just the positive feedback from her teacher on a report card, but my husband encouraged me to post the others, especially the latter two photos, which are of court documents, because they irrefutably disprove one of the biggest lies told (about the amount of child support I actually received), as well as when I started receiving it (officially mandated by the courts).

I debated posting them, so as not to stir things up and just trying to continue to "let it go" - however, Mark encouraged me to go ahead and do so, saying I shouldn't always just bow out to take the pressure off my daughter in the middle - as it's more important than ever, these days, to present truth and fact versus belief in general. 

However, as I have explained to him before -  and he's seen before himself - when these accusations are made, my self-defense of them, trying to tell my side of things,  even trying to present proof, only gets perceived as "attacking" the family and will do no good.

And actually, THIS time, they may actually have a point, because they've been quiet about it for a couple of months, so it would be me bringing up the subject, this time, after things had settled down, but I just realized I could disprove a couple of accusations with documentation during this process today.

However, I'm going to post them here anyway,  just in case those "alternate facts" ever come up again, so they can see the difference between fact versus belief, if interested. 

But before those last two photos, let's first focus first on a positive, the only thing I was initially going to post - and that is that I have kept every single report card, every single parent-teacher conference note (which I attended alone), and every single school performance program she has ever been in (which I also often attended alone) -  to include the following handwritten comments from a teacher on the back of this one from May of 2001 ...

... This might surprise her, to realize which teacher actually said this about her - but it's very true about her :)

As you can see, it's not my handwriting -  but I wholeheartedly agree and was glad someone else saw this in her, too :)

It's from her (second) first-grade teacher, and in case you can't read it in the photo, it says:  

"McK has the potential to achieve any goal she strives to accomplish.  McK has a keen intelligence and a wonderful wit.  Have a great summer."

It's true - but this comment came as a surprise to us, back then, as though not her meanest teacher, by far, this teacher had been a bit harder on her, especially considering our situation - so it was a wonderful surprise and way to end the year :) 

However, I think she still has a somewhat negative or mixed perception of that teacher, whom she once thought didn't like her, and I totally get why, but she had perhaps forgotten that in the end, she surprised us with that final comment.

In fact, in some cases, like this one, some teachers are hardest on/expect more out of those whom they believe have the most potential :)

(However, it'd be nice to know that's why they were hard on them before the end of the year!)

I also realized in going through these report cards that I could prove  that after she started school, we only lived there for 9 months, versus what she had been told - and most importantly WHY we moved back in (at my grandmother's request, who was ill) -  here's how: 

Here's her kindergarten report card from Breckinridge Elementary in Lexington - the date clearly stating 1999-2000 ...

Here is the middle portion of the 1st grade report card (also above in blue, the handwritten note dated May 2001, from Nicholasville Elementary in Jessamine County.) 

As you can see here by the middle portion, it clearly states 2000-2001 -  and in the attendance portion, there a dash for the first quarter, because she was still at Breckinridge until we moved at the very end of October 2000.

Lastly, here is her 2nd grade report card, when we moved back to Lexington in an apartment again, 9 months later - from Breckinridge Elementary again - clearly dated 2001-2002.

(This is the school she was attending when 9/11 happened.)

There are more, from our years in Florida (2002 to 2005) when married, but I'm not going to post every report card - I think this is enough to prove I'm telling the truth and always have been, or at least cause reasonable doubt in lies that have been told. 

Also of importance is WHY I moved back in with my grandmother for those 9 months when she was in first grade versus what she has been told - NOT because of "financial trouble," I was doing just finebut because Granny ASKED me to, suffering with a bout of pneumonia, two months after Pap died - and everyone else - including Mom - refused to do so, making lots of excuses.

So I'd mentioned in a prior post below that I previously lived with my grandparents until she was age 4 (1998) due to financial reasons (as as single mom with intermittent child support until 2001 - see below). 

After training to become a medical transcriptionist, though still an apprentice, I was making enough now that we could move out into a small apartment in the Fall of 1998 and were doing very well.

However, 2 years later, my grandfather died in August of 2000.

My mother and 2nd cousin both called me after my grandfather died and asked me to (because my cousin said she couldn't and my mom said she wouldn't).

I said "Has anyone asked her if she wants that? 

Of course they hadn't.

So I said: "Let's ask her if she wants me to." 

So we did finally ask her.

At that time, she said she was enjoying not having to answer to anybody and coming and going as she pleased.  In fact, she was unusually chipper, almost like she was in denial, she wasn't dealing with his death at all - but especially in THIS family, if you even lightly push anyone in denial to see truth and fact, they only go in deeper in, as well as become angry and feel "attacked."

Two months later, however, in October, she contracted pneumonia, and called to say she needed help, maybe if I could move back in briefly and help.

As I said, my daughter and I were doing very well, both financially and otherwise, so I didn't want to uproot her again -  but if my grandmother asks for something, I did it.  

However, my daughter did have trouble with Pap's death and the transition of the move, and it adversely affected her school focus and behavior, at first. 

My mother called to "thank" me (ensure I was going to do it so she didn't have to ;)

I wasn't used to thanks or compliments from her and didn't know how to respond, nor did I feel I needed thanks, because of all the care my grandmother had given me -  plus unlike my mom, I felt it was my duty.

So I downplayed it, made it sound less noble, and said, 

"You're welcome, I'm happy to do this for her, I owe her some care for all her care of me.  And hey, it'll help both our bills to share costs, right? lol

Of course, the only part of that response that was shared with the rest of my family was the last part about the bills, twisting my reasoning into doing it was for financial again.

(Now remember, my mother had refused to do so, though she lived 2 miles away - so the only reason I can figure why she twisted this in this way was to make my reasons look for doing so look bad, in comparison to her refusing to do it  ;)

Though my grandmother knew it wasn't true, she feared confrontation (especially with my mother and older sister) to the extent that she never confronted them regarding me (until shortly before her death).

She used to say, "It doesn't matter what they say, they're not even around, you, me, and God know the truth and that's all the matters."

Regardless, what is also not known is that six months later, after the doctor said the pneumonia was gone and her still lying in bed was emotional/grief rather than physical, I walked in her bedroom at noon, pulled the shades up, and had a "tough love" conversation with her.

I said:  

"The doctor said that your pneumonia has been gone for three months, he gave you a clean bill of health. He also said that if you don't start mobilizing more, you'll get it again because your lungs are weakened by the pneumonia and  lack of mobility invites it.  He said it isn't the pneumonia causing this now - he suspects it's depression and grief, which makes complete sense. It doesn't mean you're weak or lazy, it means your body is reacting to grief, and he wants you to go on an antidepressant, just briefly." 
""Grief sucks, it's so heavy, I know, but you weren't dealing with his death at all, doing a lot of focusing on the positive, a lot of pretending.  But when we don't address grief, it has a way of eventually catching up to us and bites us in the butt later, when we least expect it. Grief WILL make itself known, it will get louder and louder, and can even affect our physical health, until we face it and deal with it." 
"However, my social work education taught me that most couples who have lived together 25 years or more will die within a year of each other.  What you need to decide is whether you want to be part of that statistic or whether you have more living to do?" 
"It's your choice, but in my opinion, you have a lot more living to do, and I can help you get back there.  We can take the antidepressant he prescribed, get you a bereavement counselor for the grief and you and I can work on regaining back your strength and independence with walking, cooking, driving, whatever you still want to do, and I can stay or go, whatever you want, when you're ready." 
 "I love you and  I want you to get back up. Get back up, Granny ... you can do this.  I'll help you.  But first, you have to make up your mind, yourself, that you want to." 
"I'll leave you alone to decide, "Do I want to follow him or do I still want to live?

At first, she was mad at me, I could tell, for being so direct - but IMO, her life was at stake here. 

So after laying there for about another 30 minutes, she surprised me by putting on her slippers and walking into the kitchen, signaling she was ready to try -  and I embraced her and told her how proud of her I was and how glad I was she'd made this decision :) 

We at first took slow walks just around the house, then  in the yard, then partially down the lane.  

Then we went to Walmart's parking lot to practice driving.  She began to cook again.  

She also began to see a bereavement counselor at Hospice to deal with her delayed grief/depression, which many women from that generation are loathe to do, especially someone like my grandmother, who prided herself on her cheerfulness - but she said it helped her immensely, in the end :)

And when we agreed that she was at her prior level of independence she had prior to the pneumonia, she decided she was okay and wanted to live by herself again, and was very capable, so I moved out again at 9 months - and she lived independently, and very well, for another 7 years :)

And don't you know, when I left, they said I "abandoned" her.

So I was always damned if I did, damned if I didn't, right? 

Regardless, we didn't live with her again until 5 years later, after leaving my ex-husband, with nothing (and only for a year) and I didn't "abandon" her then either.

I left because Kim threatened me in various ways if I didn't leave the house, afraid that my signing off on any right to the estate wouldn't be enough -  that I might later change my mind and come back and claim "squatters" rights. 

(I didn't - I promised I would sign off on all rights to the estate and never contest it and I never will.)

However, I never told anyone why I left, at the time -  especially not my grandmother -  because she was sick with lung cancer and no need to put her in the middle of it.

However, she figured it out herself when she didn't believe what Kim had told her about the reason she had the will changed, nor that I had "abandoned" her, and later confronted mom and Kim gently, before she died ;)

Now, for another example of what other family members have told my daughter versus truth and documented fact - I mentioned in "Shhh, you didn't see me here, I never existed"  post at the bottom of this page. 

This is the first official court-mandated child-support order from 2001 (prior to that, he paid me directly by personal check, intermittently, $100 here and there):

As you can see below, the amount was never raised from that initial  $212 dollars twice a month.

The the first picture is a check stub from 2001, and the second is the last paper stub in 2009 (before they switched everyone to direct deposit) in 2009.

You can clearly see they are the same amount ...

I never asked for it to be raised, despite his making over 100K by that time, and despite $424 a month not even being enough to cover childcare (though by the time of the court mandate, she was in elementary school anyway. I paid for daycare myself until then, when working.)

The $900 receipt that Kim has mentioned that she saw was an arrears check - a one-time check which I received for back-payment of his non-paid child support and NOT the usual amount.

(He had paid intermittently until then, but himself requested a mandate to garnish from his check after being at that job for six months, because he said at the time, he "couldn't always remember to.").

I suspect Kim knew this already, but since it didn't benefit her narrative of me, why not omit that detail?  ;)

As for what motivated the aforementioned people to say otherwise?

I guess you'll need to ask them that, McK.

While you're at it, ask them - if I were a thief or all about money -  why did I sign off on all rights to the estate, never asked for child support to be raised, and left my ex-husband with nothing at all, asking for nothing in the divorce,  and took on all joint debt upon myself, just to be free of him, hmm?

Don't expect an honest answer, though - in fact, I predict just rolling onto the next (false) accusation instead in deflection ;)

Now -  I could tell you my opinion on why they lied as much as they have, but that's something you'll really need to ascertain for yourself in your own journey.

(Here's a hint, though - the smellers are usually the fellers in guilty conscience - projection? ;)

I'm sorry there are more of them than me, but mob rule doesn't make the mob right - and collective biased memory is even less reliable, as the mere existence of the phenomenon known as the "Mandela effect" proves (our memories often merge two or more similar people, events, or even advertisements, over time) - especially if that information is passed along from people who weren't even present, who have guilty consciences ;)

A lie doesn't suddenly become true no matter how many times it's repeated or how many people spread it - especially the sort of people who need to believe lies because it justifies their bullying behavior.

I'm not trying to invalidate your perception, or anyone's perception, of events - you all have the right to your own perceptions.

I'm just requesting that you remain open to the possibility that you may not have all the information, things are not always what they appeared to be -  especially in this family - and that belief surrounding those memories is not always fact.

Make sure your memories are truly your memories - and that they haven't been supplemented or manipulated by outside influences who weren't even present - who may have their own reasons for doing so ;)

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Farewell to a Queen ...

(PS added, 9/9))


If we could look past our politics or mistakes made, for just a moment, to the woman herself as queen; how remarkably fitting it was that not one, but two rainbows appeared, over Windsor Castle near the time of her death, as people gathered awaiting any news ...

... because whatever else was going on in the world, the world itself often looked to Queen Elizabeth as a shining symbol of hope, stability, and constancy during even the darkest and most chaotic of times, never disappointing them :(

Thank you, Dear Lady ... may you be greeted on the other side first by your beloved Philip :)


PS 9/9/22- Again, let's try to separate the person that was Queen Elizabeth from the "British Empire."

She didn't start it, she's not responsible for any of the things that came before her, including colonization - she's not even responsible for the way things are now (her power being very limited by parliament), with the exception of being an advocate for turning former colonies into a "commonwealth," a positive move - she was merely born into this role and did the best she could.

How likely was she to abolish the entire system?

Not likely - and you know dang well, you wouldn't abolish the monarchy either, if you were born into that role lol. 

In fact, she literally can't abolish the monarchy all by herself,  even if she wanted to -  again, policy decisions are now made almost exclusively by parliament. 

UK's governmental system is now exactly as it should be, it's very balanced, given its history - monarchy is limited in power by a democratically-elected parliament - which she never once overstepped, mind you.

Think about what an accomplishment that actually is, especially compared to democratically-elected PMs and presidents, who especially in recent years have notoriously overstepped their constitutional bounds.

HOWEVER, the system does need some reform, IMO, some closet cleaning, to include better people in parliament, and above all, to make reparations for damage done, just as we here in America should do.

Could she have done more?

Of course - but it's a rare person who's never laid on their death bed and didn't think "I could've/should've done ______." 

It's just most of us don't do, or not do, these things in a fishbowl.

We don't know what her regrets were, but I'm sure she's not a sociopath and did have some because she has lightly touched on them.

Also, that doesn't mean I didn't like Diana, I liked her very much, too, for different reasons - because again, we do not always have to pick sides, empathy can go both ways.  

Two very different women, both with admirable qualities as well as quirks and flaws. 

The Queen learned from Diana, even if inadvertently, and it's very sad and unfortunate that it took Diana's life to do it.

Thus, I suspect having regrets, she began to modernize and allow human emotion to sometimes be shown - which is something Philip himself had pushed for earlier on, to pull the curtain back from some of the mystique to reveal at least some humanity (although I wish more had been done to curb the paparazzi)

Along these lines about what the Queen did and didn't know, I think the Queen herself has hinted previously - long before Diana - that she was too shielded by members of the business that is the Royal family (as opposed to the actual Royal family) from many things - not so much to keep her ignorant, but to keep her distanced from certain unpleasantries, because if she doesn't know, she's not responsible  - shielded much more than the Queen herself would've liked.

That is not to say she was always innocent or never made mistakes, she is still, of course, human - but  IMO, she did try to educate herself on as many things as she could, while her staff tried their best to make sure she didn't and tried to distance her.

Regardless, I'd like to see a person criticizing Queen Elizabeth at her death - who not only clearly has no regard or empathy for her, but also has none for those around them, grieving - do a better job on their best day.

I mean, it's like you're standing up at a funeral and shouting everything you didn't like about a person - you just don't do it, if for nothing else, out of respect for the people around you, because it's not all about you and your opinion, right?

Y'all can't even hold your tongue (or fingers) for a single day, even a single second - try a lifetime of having to, as she did!

(Clearly, I'd never make it, myself lol.)

Sorry, but I for one am choosing to focus on the positive rather than speak ill of the dead, and I genuinely have much respect for her. 

For those of you who can't even wait a day to criticize her, sometimes very nastily, you've already proven your unwarranted arrogance and sanctimony, as well as that you have no empathy, no ability to give others the same benefit of the doubt that you expect for yourself, and that you have nothing positive to say about anyone, anyway.

Thus, the rest of us will try to be more like the Queen and just ignore you/your apparent lack of impulse control :)

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Breakfast with Braeden, Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill ...

*Edited  to add a bit about "First, know thyself" :)


Our "honorary" son, Braeden, came into town, this Labor Day weekend, for a family event, but wanted to catch up with us, too, so we had breakfast at "The Trustees Table," the restaurant at Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, my absolute favorite place in Central Kentucky :)

(I'm putting the pics on here because it's the fastest way to share them with everybody at once, especially considering I have lots of "new" family members after a DNA test ;)

It was super cloudy with rain expected, so we didn't get many - but we plan to go back in the fall. 

Center Family Dwelling 

"The Trustees Table," restaurant - fresh farm-to-table food

Me, Braeden

Braeden, Mark

So we've unofficially and honorarily adopted Braeden as the son we never had, he has no say in the matter lol ;)

Just kidding, he does, but I don't think he minds lol.  Plus his mom and Mark work together and she and Braeden's Dad don't mind sharing, we're sort of like godparents, I guess? lol

He taught us a new term, today, that I love - a "NIMBY" - which  means "Not In My Back Yard" - which refers to a fellow liberal who votes liberal, says they're liberal, and sometimes even donates to liberal causes, but in their personal lives, are themselves overprivileged/entitled (having benefitted from the broken socioeconomic system) and thus do not want to do the personal-level work required to address, take on, deal with, challenge, confront, or combat any of these issues personally or interpersonally (poverty, homelessness, racism, addiction, social justice, women's rights, LGBTQ issues, climate change, our broken socioeconomic and justice systems) -  either out of fear of rocking the boat and/or losing their privilege or because they prefer living in their own little insulated bubble, but either way, continuing to enable the broken socioeconomic system.

(We agreed that Lexington is chocked full of NIMBYs lol.)

So I have Braeden slated to marry my daughter,  someday, which they DO have a say in - but alas, they have yet to meet lol. 

Plus, we've pulled a ticket and gotten in line - everyone wants him to marry their daughters lol.

And all right,  I can't lie - I'm also partially posting his picture here, so my daughter will see him  lol.  

No rush, no pressure or anything, you two, just sayin' ... keep your options open? lol

We moms can't help ourselves lol 

But youth is for exploring, finding out who you are  - "First, know yourselves" (and finish all degrees! :)

So Braeden was my husband's IT intern while in high school - flash forward 6 years, he's now finishing his Master's at Johns Hopkins and is next hoping to get his JD (juris doctorate of law) at the University of Virginia.  

He worked his way through his master's by working for the DOD (after writing an algorithm that identified Russian political bots). 

Yep, we're talking total genius.

Smart, cute, funny, passionately politically liberal, a tall intellectual with glasses, never touches alcohol  -  everything on your "list,"  McK -AND  -he's recently unattached! Just sayin' lol  

All right, I'll stop lol.   And again, NO RUSH ... 

"First, know thyself" (and finish all degrees)!

So while we were there, a worker for Shaker Village approached us and asked if we'd like to ring the 10 o'clock bell.  I've been there many times, but never been asked to ring the bell, so this made me so happy!

I rang first, which we have no pictures of, thankfully, because I almost fell down lol -  I pulled hard, expecting it to be heavier lol

Then Braeden did it, clearly more effortlessly than I did ...

Then my husband, not to be outdone by either one of us, had to show us both up and do it with one hand lol

Very macho, you two ;) lol


PS - For Braeden - just so it's handy.  I prescribed a dose of Dr. Petty, as the perfect song for you, right now - meant to be sung super loud, while driving  :)

We love you, Braeden, do yo' thang ... xo 

Tom Petty - "Free Fallin" :

Monday, August 29, 2022

For Family: DNA Ethnicity Results ...

*Edited I removed a significant portion of this post on whether or not the results either proved or disproved genetic links to anyone else.  

It's not what was suspected - in fact, it's even weirder! lol

There were surprising genetic matches and findings that you may choose to look into further for health purposes, etc. 


Here are the ethnicity results from after my DNA test, just received today.

Here is the breakdown by parent.  

Because of my closest genetic matches -  and other supplemental info we've discovered -  we've determined that Parent #1 is Mom and Parent #2 is Dad.

Meaning that Dad was roughly 70% British, 25%  Scottish, and 5% Swedish/Dane.

Mom is, in fact, NOT British at all - she's roughly 30% Polish (see below), 25% Irish, 15% Scottish, 15% Austrian/German,  6% Welsh,  5% Swedish/Dane, and 4% Balkan.

Being that we receive 50% of the DNA from each parent, this explains my ethnicity percentages being roughly half or theirs.  

As for me, the mostly British (34%) was no surprise - but most surprising was being equal parts Scottish and Polish 21% each.



(Everybody sing, "S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!" lol)

As for being 21% Polish, that's cool, too, but ... "Whaaa?" 

Total surprise, right?  

I had no clue.

However, this can be explained with the surprising genetic matches I previously mentioned, but I won't go into it publicly.

There is a footnote about specifically being from the West Galician and Sub-Carpathian region of Poland, specifically Rszeznow (Southeastern/Central Poland, which came under Austrian-German rule prior to WW2, explaining the Austrian/German heritage).

Only 10% Irish, in the end, specifically, Northeast Ireland (Connacht and Mayo counties).  

7% Austrian/German (originally Northeast Germany, many migrated to Austria and Poland under Austrian rule) was no surprise, nor the 3% Welsh - but the 2% Swedish/Dane was - but then again, not really, considering British (and Scottish) history.

Otherwise, unfortunately, so much for family rumors - though the Polish footnote does include Rzeszow County, which was notably one-third Jewish until WW2, it is not overtly apparent that we are Jewish, as "European Jewish" has its own genetic marker and it did not appear on my results.

HOWEVER  - does have a general note on European-Jewish heritage, stating that further autosomal testing may be required.  This further, more specific testing would include testing for Ashkenazi or Jewish genetic markers.

So though it's still possible, it's very unlikely, since the more obvious genetic markers for European-Jewish heritage weren't immediately apparent on my results.

Also no Native American, no African American heritage. 

Just posting this as an FYI to family - and with that, I'm outta here :)