Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pictures from Christmas 2011

Late Christmas at the Higginbotham's

I guess if you do something 2 years in a row it becomes tradition. I like the new tradition that we started last year of doing everything in one evening. I still cook the same meal that I have for the past 30 years: Prime Rib with a side of heavy whipped cream and horseradish sauce, broccoli, potato, and yellow squash casseroles, Grandma Thelma's jello salad, and Brussels sprouts almond. I switched the pretzel salad with a desert called Fat Man's Delight(chocolate). The FMD was delicious but BOTH of my children wanted to know where the pretzel salad was and when I admitted that I traded it for the other desert I was informed that you can't mess with tradition. I won't do it again. I have been set straight. You can add but you can't take away. I wondered the past few days what drives me to go all out, to the point of personal exhaustion, on Christmas. I don't have an answer but that I just simply love this celebration. I love knowing what I have to buy at the store without a shopping list because I have made the menu for so many years I have it memorized. I love the sounds,the smells, the tastes and the spirit of the season. I love my family and I love the giving of gifts. I love getting them as well but the giving is so much better. I love the pagan tradition of the fir tree, the secular tradition of Santa Clause, and most of all the true reason for the celebration the acknowledgement of the birth of our Savior, Jesus, son of Mary and Joseph. Someday I will be too old and tired to spend days getting ready for Christmas and will want someone else to take over the responsibility. Someday. Not this year or next but someday. So again from my home to yours Merry Christmas and may the Child, born in the manger, live in your heart and bring blessings to you and yours through out the year.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Look Back Over 60 Years

I gave myself a day to think about this because yesterday I was overwhelmed with the feeling of being old like my mom was. I am the baby of the family. I don't get old. I laid in bed last night and thought about the last 60 years or rather the ones that I remember. I was going to post 60 years in about 20 pictures but I couldn't find the ones that I wanted. I like the idea so I will do it but it won't be till the first of the year.

The first 10: I have vague memories of early childhood. I remember I used to bite the toes and fingers off my dolls and I cut my Barbie doll's hair. I would sit by our bookcases that were near a furnace vent, and it was so warm in the winter. Had my tonsils and adenoids removed. I was horse crazy. I played hide and seek with my collie dog Queenie. I wasn't a bad child, I was just active and into a lot of things. I was attached to my mom and had a hard time even spending the night at friends homes. I loved to read and by the time I was 10 I had read all the horse books I could find and had progressed to the Bond Series by Ian Fleming(I had to sneak them out of the library and back in when I was finished)I probably had ADD because I just wasn't that into school. I was a "dreamer, with a great imagination". In other words I lied and didn't pay attention in class. I remember telling my 1st grade teacher Mrs. Oliver that I was late for school because a bear chased me to Lee Leman's house and I had to hide. I had to repeat the first grade. I was chubby and it should have caused me problems but I lived in a make believe world inhabited by horses and I was pretty happy.

The second 10:( Age 10 through 20). Wow I went from fat to thin. Got picked for our high school dance team the Wesketts, discovered boys, still had trouble studying. I performed in the 1969 Rose Bowl Parade. I got by and sometimes made the honor roll but it just wasn't important enough to give up my evenings and I was passing. I went to all three "senior" proms. I was a prom 'Ho". I just loved to get dressed up. I remember taking Latin for years and really enjoyed it(who the hell enjoys Latin??? I really think I was a closet nerd)I was active in our Presbyterian Church where my mom was the secretary. I didn't get my drivers licence till I was 19 because someone was always available to drive me around. I had my heart broken a few times and broke my share. I was still horse crazy. I lost my mother's parents during the second ten years. I got my first job at Taco Bell and worked at a Kingswood Kennel with Elva Alexander and rode her husband Bob's Saddle bred gaited horses. I did stable work at Thunderbird Acres in exchange for riding lessons. I had three serious boyfriends.

The third 10: (between 20 and 30) These went by more quickly. I graduated from nursing school, got engaged twice, (the first I refused a ring and got a ten speed engagement bike instead). I realized I made a mistake and traded all the china I had collected in for horse equipment and bought the first of my two Arabian horses. I realized that I needed Jesus in my life, got saved, and then proceeded to let the devil run my life for a time. I married a doctor and had my son Joshua and got a divorce. By this time I had my second horse. I had to sell both horses to survive. I lived in Gulf Breeze, Florida near the beach in English Cove Apartments. I married Stan and had Becky. During this third 10 years I moved to three different states, I flew on Life Flight in Pensacola, Florida, met Bob Hope( sorry but he was an ass)worked in 3 different Emergency departments and ran an ER at Humana Hospital in College Station, Texas. I lectured about child abuse and molestation...... and I gained weight.

The fourth 10: (Ages 30 through 40). Moved to Louisiana, discovered what a horror public school was in this state. Worked in Psych, Rehab, ER, was the manager of a Medical?Surgical Floor. Placed my daughter at Academy of Sacred Heart and fought to keep my son in school by enrolling him in a Christian School that turned out not so Christian. Discovered my son was an awesome dancer. Showed Gordon Setters or rather I tried to do so with the help of friends! Continued to gain weight. Worked more and more kept one job and had several part time jobs.

The fifth 10: (ages 40 through 50) Continued to work. Let my son move to New Orleans and dance professionally. Did not sleep well for years. Learned that a broken heart and worry will not kill you. Had my gallbladder removed. Had my knee operated for a torn meniscus. Lost 115 pounds and looked great! Watched my daughter bloom personally and in school. Got fired for the only time in my nursing career. ( have since learned that the heifer who fired me has been terminated from several jobs.... just proves what goes around comes around)Watch my son hit the bottom and rise like a phoenix from the ashes. Got our first computer. Continued to keep my weight down. Watch Becky get her high school diploma and start college. Watched my daughter grow in education and decide on nursing. My dad died. The Towers were destroyed 9/11/01 and I became a news junkie. I kept my weight off.

The sixth 10: (ages 50 through 60) My mother died and a piece of my heart. My fear of flying grew. I developed breast cancer and elected for a bilateral mastectomy with implant placement. Worked and continue to do so in a small ED. My daughter and my son both got married and brought Shane and Sydni into our family. Becky started on her masters and Joshua has a dancing school and moved it to 4 different locations. My brother in law Bob died and Joshua's half sister Chelsea was killed with in 24 hours of each other. I continue to work as much as I can. I am still broke. I gained and gained and gained weight. I am still the baby in the family but I am an old baby. My sister's and I "found" our oldest half sister(my dad's first child) JoAnne and reunited with her. I started to blog, became a computer junkie. I am a mixed political person. I have a few liberal ideas but believe only in a very small government. I can't stand the current president. I don't want to live in a socialist country.

What I have discovered is that we have become too politically correct. We don't allow our children to lose at anything because losing will make their little witty feelings hurt. We squash individualism. We don't discipline our kids and have a generation of children believe that they are OWED a check for doing nothing. God is being forced into a box where he cannot offend anyone. We have taken prayer out of school and allowed illegal immigrants to remain in our country untouched and in fact rewarded. Our president wants us all to be equal. He wants the rich to share with the poor. Those who have worked to take care of those who don't want to. I am afraid of what is going to happen in the next 10 years of my life. I will remain a news junkie and won't limit myself to one channel because I might get brainwashed. I will demand the people that feed me information be correct... and I will check. I will vote for anyone except Obama, he has nearly ruined this country. I want to live in a capitalistic country where work is rewarded. I am grateful to be part of the generation that invented the computer, put a man on the moon and invented cool whip. The next ten years will find me in prayer for my family, our nation and the world.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Safety of Our Young

Mostly I blog for just me. I write about what I am feeling sort of like an open diary. This is not my usual post and it was difficult to compose. I just know that our children are in trouble and more so now than ever before. Please leave a comment at the end.

During the time I worked for Humana Hospital in College Station, Texas I was the manager of the Emergency Department. If you can specialize in something other than the running of a department mine would have been in the area of child abuse/molestation. The hospital allowed me to lecture multiple times on the prevention and identification of molestation. I don't think that much has changed in the 25 years since I have been there except that there continues to be a group of people who believe that it is okay to have sex with a child. In all the years that I studied and read up the pathology of the pedophile it still unnerved me and could send me into a rage like nothing else. I haven't stayed current in my reading but back then, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys would be molested by the time they reached 18 years of age. I would imagine that given our current society and loosening of our morals that the number is probably now 1 in 4 of all children. I am not speaking of what then was called the undifferentiated pedophile who selects children by their availability and usually the outcome is death. What I am talking about are the monsters who live next door, who pastor our Churches, who coach our sports teams, who teach in schools, who are scout leaders, and who you would swear they would never hurt a child. These monsters destroy the innocence of our young they prey on for their own sexual satisfaction. I had an opportunity to listen to a pedophile on the witness stand say that he "loved his young 'friends' and never wanted to hurt them". What I discovered in the time that I worked with these victims is that not only are they hurt by the attacker but because the pedophile is frequently an outstanding member of the community or worse yet a relative of the victim, they are victimized by the doubt that is expressed by many that the child must be lying or even worse, asked for it to happen. That much hasn't changed as evidenced by the recent arrest of Jerry Sandusky from Penn State and Bernie Fine from Syracuse. There is immediate doubt of the story and the undercurrent is that the alleged victims want money. When I worked with a molested child I told the parents the truth... that they were about to become socially outcasted, at least for a time. It was difficult to watch. In the case of Bernie Fine his wife allegedly took part in and was fully knowledgeable about what her husband was doing.
What I want to say in this post is that it is virtually impossible to prevent your child from becoming a victim unless he/she is locked in his room till he is grown. But you can prevent it from happening again and again. Let me be clear that in my experience that if your child is targeted once he will be targeted again. I don't know why but it is the truth. What you must do as parents and grandparents is to educate your young and you must do it on a regular basis. I recently commented on Face Book about a book that is only available in Amazon as a used copy. It apparently is out of print. The book is called the Private Zone. It is a read along book that lets kids know that the area covered by their bathing suits is off limits. It's a wonderful book that lets kids know what 'bad feelings' and 'good feelings' are and what to do. I recommend that anyone who reads this get a copy asap before they are all gone. I have learned that the adult that the child sees most recently can control the child. In other words you can tell your child what to watch out for and a month later a molester (who has been cultivating your child by the way)can use threats and coercion to sexually abuse your young. What you have told your child is not forgotten but is pushed back against the threats of someone that he knows and trusts. It may happen once but if you frequently talk to your child it may prevent it from happening again. If your child starts to act out sexually, becomes withdrawn, starts to wet the bed, has slipping grades or suddenly does not want to partake in an activity that previously he/she liked then you may have a problem. The only thing I can tell you is to watch and listen to your kids. If they are young they have no way to process what is happening to them and they will start to behave in a manner that is not normal. I remember being called to a home of a friend who had an in house licenced baby sitting service. She had observed this child acting out for the last 3 days and she called me. It was nap time and we observed the 4 year old using her stuffed Mr. Bunny to masturbate over and over till she was sweaty and had fallen asleep. We called child welfare. They investigated and it was her stepfather who was abusing her. Her mother came over afterwards and confronted us. She was a school teacher and was pregnant. She was furious that we had reported her husband and 'ruined' her life. I often wonder what happened to that little girl.

There are groups that want to abolish the age of consent laws. The most formidable group is NAMBLA: the North American Man/Boy Love Association. They also want all men released from jail who were convicted for sex contact with a minor. This group is still active today. President Obama's Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools till July of this year was a supporter of Harry Hay an activist with NAMBLA and years ago praised him even knowing that he was a member of NAMBLA.

This year a group of mental health professionals , psychiatrists and pedophiles in Maryland formed B4U-ACT, designed to normalize the act of pedophilia. They want these 'misunderstood' persons to be titled with a more "sensitive and socially-accepting term: the minor attracted person. I don't know, I am still partial to predator, degenerate, deviant, and monster. What I do know is that if we bow down to any pressure to be "socially correct" with these men and women who steal the joys of childhood from our children we will never recover. Our children are our greatest gifts and deserve all the joys and wonders that childhood brings. We are all responsible for their protection. If you know or suspect that something is happening to a child and you ignore it you are as guilty as the predator.