pete and repeat, on and on it seems to go…

Child #1 “Pete and Repeat were sitting on a fence.
Pete fell off.
Who’s left?”
Child #2 “Repeat.”
Child #1
“Pete and Repeat were sitting on a fence.
Pete fell off.
Who’s left?”…

What the people need is a way to make ’em smile
Line from the Dobboie brothers


(a city sign perches in the city center of Highlands, NC / Julie Cook / 2021)

Do you remember when “they” told us “get the vaccine and you don’t have to
wear a mask”????
Do you remember that????

I’ve had Covid.
I’ve had the vaccine (the two shots vs the one)
I now feel fully double whammied…maybe that’s like
more of a doubled immunity.

So imagine my chagrin this past weekend when we pulled into this
particular little mountain town retreat in which we chose to spend our
38th anniversary celebration.
“MASKS ARE MANDATED INSIDE OUTSIDE SIDEWALKS”

GEES LOUISE!!!!!!! was my initial response as we rolled into town.

“Oh you selfish person you” scream the woke cupcakes over this
initial reaction of mine.

But you need to know something…you need to know that I will always honor
a business’s personal concerns for their own establishment and employees.
My husband was a small business owner for the last 50 years…
so yes, I get that.

But I draw the line outdoors.

It is still very much the summer here in the South—hot, hazy and humid.
Mountains or no mountains…we be hot!

Try breathing through a mask—filtered hot contaminated air coming in,
carbon dioxide going out via the mask…of which means residual C02 remains or
comes right back in…
a perfect wet humid mix of bad air breathed in and out.

Oh how our Italian friends would very much find fault in these bad vapors.

And now let us add in the trash residue…

And so as I labored breathing, watching the other empty masked faces…
suddenly I heard a long forgotten song playing out in my head…
a song by the Doobie Brothers–

Listen to the Music–
Don’t you feel it growin’ day by day?
People gettin’ ready for the news
Some are happy some are sad…
Oh… we got to let the music play
Umm-hmm
What the people need is a way to make ’em smile
It ain’t so hard to do if you know how
Gotta get a message, get it on through…
Oh now mama don’t you ask me why

Yesterday I mentioned that the US had left behind 90 million dollars worth of equipment
in Afghanistan—I mistyped…that was meant to be 90 BILLION dollars in equipment.

That 90 billion is tax payer monies simply abandoned by a sitting president.

It was not as if we were being overrun and had to make a hasty retreat…we
did not. The hasty retreat was of our own current president’s doings.

So if you’d like a free Black Hawk helicopter, maybe a humvee…
all you need to do is to sneak across the Afghani border and claim
your helicopter and or vehicle of choice and fly or drive that puppy
right on out of town.
You are a taxpayer and therefore you are part owner…
and if we are simply leaving such behind, by all means, please, go get yours!

Let us remember that we impeached Richard Nixon for truly a much lesser offense
then that of President Biden.

Nixon obstructed justice and abused his power…
Biden has lied and failed American interests at home and abroad…
think loss of lives,
Biden has abused his power as well as having been negligent in the handling
of American troops.
He has aided in the documented deaths of 13 Americans as well as countless
Americans who have been left behind…as in, stranded.

There has been a blatant abandonment of American citizens…
purposefully and knowingly leaving Americans in harms way.
Bypassing his duty to serve and protect the American people and her
interests both home and abroad.

Impeachable offensives.

Far more egregious than those counts brought against President Trump.
There was no blood on the hands of Trump.
Merely falsified Russian collusion and a falsified pro quid pro.

Blood and the loss of life with intent is far more damnable.

So we wonder…what type of president do we want.
An emboldened go getter or a weak reactive man who claims he’s not
the one in charge.

It seems to be our choice.
So what say you…
Pete, or repeat?

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy
that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life,
and those who find it are few.”

Matthew 7:13-14

zen to hell and maybe one day back

“I realize as never before that the Lord is gentle and merciful;
He did not send me this heavy cross until I could bear it.
If He had sent it before,
I am certain that it would have discouraged me…
I desire nothing at all now except to love until I die of love.
I am free, I am not afraid of anything,
not even of what I used to dread most of all…
a long illness which would make me a burden to the community.
I am perfectly content to go on suffering in body and soul for years,
if that would please God.
I am not in the least afraid of living for a long time;
I am ready to go on fighting.”

St. Therese of Lisieux, p. 122
An Excerpt From
The Story of a Soul


(a lovely look at The Highlands Botanical Garden’s trail at Lindenwood Lake /
Julie Cook / 2021)

Close your eyes.
Breathe out slowly.
Feel the weight lifting…
ahhh the zen of life….HA!

Today’s image is that of a zenful moment.

And yet, there is no such thing of zen and life–
the two are simply incompatible.

We stepped away from life for a few days, headed northward about 2 hours toward
the North Carolina mountains…taking a belated anniversary get-a-way.

38 years of wedded bliss (cough cough) needed to be celebrated.
And the particular inn that we wanted to visit only had a first available
room about 2 weeks after the fact, so we took what we could get…
and thus off we went.

This escape came at a time when our nation was / is at a such a juxtaposition.
And yes, there is just oh so much to say…
so much dismay, so much pain, so much sorrow, do much disappointment, so much anger…

I looked forward to tuning out for a couple of days.
But how do you tune out the pain you feel for 13 families who just
lost their children, spouses, siblings because of a president who
is nothing but inept?

If you can do so, you have no empathy in your heart.

I am absolutely seething under the surface.
Disgrace does not speak strongly enough.

How in the world could a president have no clue?

We, the average US citizen, all knew that an attack was imminent,
we all received the notice via our various news outlets.
Heck, I received a push notification.
If I got it— if I get it…how come the President didn’t and still doesn’t?

An attack was coming and yet he sat back and basically waited.

So it appears that the deaths of those remaining service members
closing out our stay in Afghanistan could have been readily and easily avoided.
Throw in the 90 billion dollars worth of American war equipment that has been abandoned–
all of which could have been readily evacuated…
had there been a cohesive plan….but there was no such plan.

A plan.

As a longtime educator, I totally get the concept of a cohesive plan.
I know all too well that how you finish is just as important as how you begin.
And yet sadly this administration does not comprehend such.

Stand down from a lengthy occupation…stand down from being in a place
much longer than we ever should have been…yes, by all means, stand down…
but to stand down without precision, order, or a well calculated plan…
well even we simpletons, call that pure negligence.

So off we went Saturday on our little trip all the while Afghanistan
swirled within both our thoughts… a sick heaviness lingered in the pit
of my stomach.
13 American service men and women were killed needlessly.
ABSOLUTLEY NEEDLESSLY!!

Add to this the hundreds of Americans, their Afghani partners, US babies,
and US military service dogs who are all now stuck behind enemy lines…
Yes– left stranded, Jen Psaki…as in stuck in harms way…no thanks to
our President.

Yep, we little people actually comprehend this notion…we call that stranded.
You can’t sugarcoat stranded.

And you can’t sugarcoat what will happen to those left behind.
Think torture, abuse and twisted delight in the demise of any
human or animal associated with the Americans…
but we don’t like to think about such…we don’t like the uncomfortable…
we don’t like that which makes us feel out of sorts.

Explain being out of sorts and uncomfortable to the families of those
Americans who are now hurting today over tremendous loss.

I will be the first to tell you that I agree with the fact that the
length of time we have spent in Afghanistan has been well past its prime.
Pulling out certainly needed to be, however, the manner in which we pulled out
should have been paramount.

Start strong, end strong.

Oh there’s just so much to chat about isn’t there?
However, today, time does not permit those lengthy sort of conversations.

We’ll look at masks, mandates and Covid dilemmas tomorrow.

And of course we’re coming up on 9-11…
so much to say, so little time.

Stand up my friends.
Time is not on our side.