I love life!

Hi, I am Jo and this is my blog about my life. Here you will find entries on cooking, gardening, food safety and the interesting things happening in my search for an inexpensive and healthy way of living. My home is located in North Florida and I am relearning how to take care of myself at almost 50. This is the deep South so my garden and season may be a bit different than yours. I look forward to seeing what you have to say as time passes. Read on and have a beautiful day!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day and this afternoon people across the country will be having cook outs, going boating or simply enjoying a day away from the grind of employment. Many Americans will be going to prayer services and memorial events to remember those who have fallen in defense of our nation.

Me, I am somewhere in between. I have served as have many family and friends. The military gave me a strength of purpose and a belief in myself that prior to my enlistment was shaky at best. However, I am hesitant to remember my time in the service. Veteran's Day and Memorial Day are rough as they remind me of a time that is sometimes better and easier to forget. That was a time full of an innocent hope and promise. That hope and promise were tarnished by the actions of one man in a barracks room on Camp LeJeune.

Having had military sexual assault in the headlines has been hard for me lately. It is great to see that FINALLY it is being addressed but the asinine, ignorant and arrogant comments have been tough to endure. On discussion boards after articles on sexual assault, people posting, mainly men, have said everything from "Women don't belong in the military anyway....If they were not there it (sexual assault) would not happen." to "All humans are animals and men are programmed to procreate." WTF. I have served and have an honorable discharge to prove my service. My enlistment was not an automatic approval to be disrespected or assaulted for my gender. The amount of disrespect to women and outright dismissal of sexual assault on those boards turns my stomach.

Additionally, there are dismissive comments by vets and non vets alike about "liberal bias" and the "liberal agenda". Sexual assault has nothing to do with politics. Assault is about one person exerting his or her dominance over another. I am sure politics do not impact who a rapist decides to assault. Somehow there is always one person who has to play politics and spout anger when it simply does not apply.

I will continue to follow the news on sexual assault in the military and educate when possible. It sad that it mars what should be days of reflection and  acknowledgment of service.

So today I will remember and honor those who have died in the many wars our nation has fought. They have been men and women of many ages who have in times of crises stepped up and done what many could not or were unwilling to accomplish. May they not have given their lives in vain. May we, as a nation come together to honor all who have served.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Grace Unexpected

Let me begin by saying Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mom's who read this blog!! Without you none of us would be here today.

Unfortunately, I have been laid up with a wicked sinus infection this past week. Prior to that our week ends have been filled with travelling to Boston for the Marathon (Yes, we were there.), a friends wedding, my birthday, watching grandkids and Mother's Day. Today is also our 6th anniversary. The past few weeks have been a crazy time full of both great things as well as those that make one question humanity.

However, it has brought my husband and I to the realization of what really matters. We always knew love and family were the core of our life and all of this has simply cemented the concept further. When people die there is a void left behind. Personally, I want that void to be filled with remembrances of my love and compassion for everyone in my life. It is a lofty goal and I am human, therefor, this could be beyond my reach.  

Life is a fragile web and too often our self absorption, our busyness and involvement in non essential issues allow us to forget that fragility. All of the drama of the past few weeks has been tough. Somehow now I feel that fragility inside of me and at odd times a softening of my heart towards everyone. It is a simple tenderness similar to what one feels when holding a new baby or staring into the eyes of their beloved. And that feeling of expansion is both humbling and awe inspiring.

People strive for years reaching out to the universe, to God, or to anything to cope with the craziness of the lives they lead. Then grace floats in at the time it is least expected and your heart opens, overflowing with love. Sometimes it happens as a result of a tragedy. May that feeling of tenderness abide in my heart as long as possible.

On this Mother's Day may your heart be full of love and may grace walk quietly into your life.