Category Archives: History

Going Tharn

For days I have been trying to think of some fluff to post here. Sadly, my mind keeps turning to current events and all I can think is, the country is going tharn.

Priorities have changed. There is more value placed on a fish or an eagle egg than on a human life. Some are more concerned with the killing of one dangerous man-eating beast than they are with the harvesting of thousands of unborn babies for profit. Our president compares Republicans to Iranian hardliners instead of trying to unite the country. And on the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, I see people blame the US for the war in the Pacific.

I take it back. The country has completely gone tharn. Values, social mores, standards have all gone down in the past few decades, and it seems like people choose to forget rather than make the effort to employ them. I keep wondering when people will finally say “ENOUGH!” and begin the path to betterment again.

Or if they will do so.

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On This Independence Day

So much to say, and not nearly eloquent enough to put into words. So I will just ramble along as I am wont to do. It seems to work most of the time.

God bless America

As I have traveled over the world, I have been pleasantly surprised by the respect people have for our holiday. Sure, Germans all thought we had cowboy boots and Stetsons and lived like Dallas, (didn’t help that Hubby did have a Stetson and cowboy boots, either), but they understood how important, and how vital our Revolution was. In Crete, a lady at a local shop sold beautiful handmade rugs, of which several were done in an American motif (not exactly a flag, but rather the colors and the stars). She told me her dream was to visit the US, and I do hope she was able to do so. In Poland, Americans are welcome as long-lost brethren! We were told stories how once The Wall came down, the people began to basically overdose on our Western culture. There is not a single pottery maker who does not fashion his or her own American design, either. You walk into a bar identifying yourself as an American, and the vodka flows. And in Luxembourg… the men and women still thank you for what we did for them, and for what we stand for. As beautiful and as solemn as Normandy in places.

Every year, I am grateful that I have been so blessed as to be born an American citizen. Scores of people all over the world, some of them close friends, are still waiting patiently for the process towards citizenship to begin. I pray every day that the wheels turn a bit faster for them, because they know already what it means to be an American, and are willing to sacrifice for the chance at becoming one.

May y’all have a wonderful Independence Day and please, take some time to appreciate the sacrifices so many made for our country.


Anchors to Compasses

As some of y’all know, Eldest is serving in the US Navy. One of the things I had to get used to was dealing with the fact that she is an adult and I have no control over her wants for a tattoo. I admit it is…. difficult to untie the apron strings, and I have managed to do so. For the most part. Oh, like *I* am the only parent who has ever gone through this???

Yeah, I thought so.

Anyway, blogger friend XBradTC has a post about a Russian nuclear sub catching fire. The first thought to pop into my head was Red October. And then my friend Mark commented about reminding him of the movie Hostile Waters. And that brought to mind a survey done by USAA long ago about the best submarine movies of all time. I have told y’all how my mind wanders from one thought to another on skewed lines. This isn’t news. And I began to recall my favorites.

the-hunt-for-red-october

Das Boot is by far my favorite. I fell in love with Jurgen Prochnow watching his portrayal of Capt. Willenbrock (not his name in the movie but the real life character on which it’s based) dealing with the immense claustrophobic conditions and the grittiness contained in that sardine can. He broke my heart in Beverly Hills Cop II but I soon forgave him. The movie gave us a slice of that unforgiving life served raw and rotted. And the look on his face as he dies in the air attack has never been equaled.

In not-too-distant second place it’s Gray Lady Down.

Two words: Charlton Heston.

Sure, you have Stacy Keach and Keith Carradine and even Christopher Reeve. But none of them come close to Heston. NONE!! As captain of the “Gray Lady” he balances hope against certain death masterfully. And Carradine’s act of ultimate sacrifice makes me cry every single time.

I think the first submarine movie I ever watched was my third place contender, The Enemy Below. It was dubbed in Spanish, and let me tell you, the guy who dubbed Robert Mitchum’s voice didn’t even come close to doing him justice. Technically, the submarine was not the protagonist in this movie. But the cat-and-mouse plot between Capt. Murrell and Capt. Von Stolberg brings you to the edge of your seat, and you can’t help but admire the German’s brilliance.

Tied for third place is the film that got me thinking about all of this in the first place. The Hunt for Red October had everything you could want in a movie: mystery, subterfuge, action, drama, humor, frivolity, major eye candy (don’t judge me), and even a touch of romance. Oh, not the “chick flick” type of romance, but rather romance in the simplicity of Capt. Borodin’s wishes to live in Montana. Respect for each other is definitely earned by all of the characters as the leadership of the Russian sub lies to its crew in its fight for survival on both sides of the ocean.

Last but not least, I have to say the “guilty pleasure” addition to my list is Down Periscope.  Though the entire scenario requires a complete and thorough suspension of disbelief, it’s still manages to instill good lessons in raising morale and dealing with the worst hand ever dealt. Kelsey Grammer’s portrayal of Commander Dodge is beyond hilarious, from deadpan to outrage to outrageous. Forcing the XO to walk the plank was hilarious. Christening the Stingray as the U.S.S. Rustoleum was genius.

Well, now I am feeling nostalgic. I may dig up my VHS copy of Red October from the bins upstairs. Yes, I still have VHS, and that cassette is rather special, since it’s red instead of the conventional black. Besides, one can never have too much of Sean Connery 😉


We Remember, Always

On this day thirteen years ago, our enemies struck at the heart of our nation.

WTC with flag

That day, a campaign against terror began in our people with steady resolve. We began to gather together not just to mourn, but to begin to understand why. Our mistake was thinking that this was some complex act of war, when the truth was they just want us dead. A political ideology cleverly disguised as a religion decided that it cannot let those who do not believe the same ideology exist. War had been declared against Western Civilization. And so, we went to war.

We took the fight to the root, and began a long campaign on two fronts. And we were not alone. Countries who not only lost their own in the attacks but who also saw the potential danger of ignoring the seed of evil now flowering in that desert joined us in the fight. WE WERE NOT ALONE. For a time the world understood that this was an act against civilization, not just one country. And we fought overseas, and at home. We fought the rising tide of fear and distrust, as well as the inevitable slide into ignorance and complacency. And through it all, we stayed strong in the face of indifference and political expedience.

Thirteen years later, the fight that was declared “ended”, though not “won” has flared again with the help of inaction and political correctness. The fear of offending has paralyzed many to the point where they declare that these people are not terrorists. We now have to win wars by winning the heart and minds of people who have been indoctrinated to kill the infidels. This war is not over, it is not ended, and certainly it was not won. Terrorists are still declaring war on us, and killing our people, instigating a genocide and even killing those who they believe not to be muslim enough. And so I ask, when will our government learn?

They want us dead. And they won’t stop until the Western World stops them. Completely.


Life is Like a Cup of Coffee

Yesterday I was doing some grocery shopping. Kids were complaining of a decided lack of sustenance in the pantry, mainly junkfood. I was complaining of a decided laziness in their bones that prevented them from actually cooking what was available. But I was running very low on coffee and creamer and decided my needs outweighed my crankiness, so off I went to Walmart. Why there? because I didn’t feel like putting on make-up, ok??

Anyway, I got some general school supplies, some new anti-wrinkle cream, just random crap. Eventually I make it to the coffee aisle, whereupon I begin to make my selections: Donut House coffee and some hazelnut cappuccino for Eldest. Standing in front of the vast selection of K-cup coffee is an older couple, looking a bit dazed and confused. Having been in a similar circumstance when I first got my Keurig™, I decided to offer any help in picking out coffee. I’m not a connoisseur by any means, but I figured I knew a bit more than they did. I asked them if they needed any help, and the gentleman turned to me to thank me and asked me for advice.

That’s when I noticed his cap. He was a Marine, and had served in WWII and Korea. He was a little stooped, but when I asked him about his service he stood a little more straight as he spoke of his time in the Marines. He never spoke of the gore and the violence, though. He talked about the field, and his friends, and how even now he sometimes put coffee grinds between his gum and cheek so he wouldn’t wake his wife by using the coffeemaker. He talked about how the only fights he had were over who got the first cup of joe before patrol (first one done, was first one out on patrol). Coffee, he said, kept him sane and kept his world going. As I shook his hand to wish him well, he noticed my Aggie ring. He asked what class I was, and then proceeded to tell me of the Aggies he knew from his time in service: the Aggie who rescued cattle at the expense of a truck’s tires; the Aggie who made pigeon stew; the Aggie who sang before battle. He told me that every Aggie he knew was made from something he could never define, but that was easily recognizable. I told him I felt the same way about my Marine friends. He laughed and told me I was probably right. As I thanked him for his service, he asked me to thank my husband for his. When I asked him how he knew my husband was in the service, he pointed to my purse: Hubby’s Purple Heart, which I always carry with me, was sticking out. I laughed and thanked them both for a lovely time spent in the coffee aisle. They waved and wished me a good day.

In truth the medal could have been my dad’s or my brother’s or mine. But he is a gentleman of another era who learned that only men go into combat. His memories will soon leave us without record but that of what he chooses to leave behind. In that moment, I felt very small. I had been in the presence of greatness by virtue of history. I pray his story is told for a long time, and that children learn good things from it, like the reason those men fought over a cup of coffee.


And on This Day, We Celebrate

Let’s remember what our forefathers were fighting, against and for.

god bless america

It seems that lately we are forgetting to bless what we have. We have forgotten why we fought for independence. We have forgotten to be not just a beacon but also an example to others who are struggling to be free. Instead we find ourselves wondering what the government will do for us now, and how it will take care of us.

We need to remember that WE are the stewards, not the government. WE THE PEOPLE. We need to begin taking care of ourselves again. Remember: that which gives you everything, can also take it away.

The Tree of Liberty seems to be wilting, and it may be time to water it again.


In Memoriam

In Flanders Field

by John MaCrae

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead.
Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw,
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us, who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders Fields.

red poppies

Remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.


On Muster

Today is the 178th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, marking the birth of the Republic of Texas. Normally my post on this day is all about that. But this anniversary has a special meaning today. It is also the day of Aggie Muster. On this day, we come together to celebrate those Aggies who have passed away during the year.

aggie muster

Tonight, we shall be honoring my brother-in-law, known to the blog as LC Draco. We will get together and remember our times at Aggieland, and toast his memory as Aggies do. And during the Roll Call of the Absent, we shall answer, “HERE!!”

Roll Call for the Absent

In many lands and climes this April day
Proud sons of Texas A&M unite.
Our loyalty to country, school, we pray,
and seal our pact with bond of common might.

We live again those happy days of yore
on campus, field, in classroom, dorm, at drill
Fond memory brings a sigh — but nothing more;
Now we are men and life’s a greater thrill,

On Corregidor 72 years ago today
A band of gallant Aggies, led by Moore,
Held simple rites which led to us doth all to say:
The spirit shall prevail through cannon roar.

Before we part and go upon our way,
We pause to honor those we knew so well;
The old familiar faces we miss so much today
Left cherished recollections that time cannot dispel.

Softly call the Muster,
Let comrade answer, “Here!”
Their spirits hover ‘round us
As if to bring us cheer!

Mark them ‘present’ in our hearts.
We’ll meet some other day
There is no death, but life etern
For our old friends such as they!

Until then, Draco! WHOOP!!


Happy Easter!!

god so loved the world

He is risen!! Hallelujah!!

May y’all have a wonderful day 🙂


HAPPY TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY!!

WHOOP!!

texas flag

So make sure to celebrate today in true Texas style!!

bbq stormtrooper

Have a wonderful Sunday 🙂