Morning Coffee

14 03 2009

I lay back down for a minute after the alarm sounded this morning. Then I heard my retarded daughter moving around in the kitchen so thought I better check on her. When I entered the room, she was leaning against the counter, eyes downcast. She said, ‘I made a mess, Mom’. She had certainly done that! She had tried to make coffee for the two of us and coffee grounds were everywhere. They were piled on top of the coffee pot, on the counter, in the open drawer, on the floor. My first thought was to get mad and fuss at her. But then I realized she had done the best she could. So I just patted her shoulder and asked her to help me clean up the mess. How could I possibly get mad at her when she had done the best she could? God only asks this of each one of us, that we do the best we can every day. How could I ask more of her than God asks of me?
Read my book, A Better World for more suggestions on how to have a better life. Visit my website.

Thanks, Bet





Life in the 40’s

14 03 2009

In The 1940’s, we were taught a lot about patriotism, love of country, and respect for each other. It was an honor to say The Pledge of Allegiance or sing the Star Spangled Banner at school each day. We really didn’t mind that items were rationed or hard to get. In fact, if we could not buy gasoline that week, we just stayed happily at home.  We learned to appreciate what we did have rather than bemoan the fact we didn’t have something else. To be together as a family was the most important thing in our lives whether it was listening to the radio in the evenings or sitting on the porch watching the world pass us by. We were a family together and that was the important part.

Read all about this time in my book, The 1940’s
Look it up on Booksbybet.com
Thanks, Bet





History#5

14 03 2009

By now we had been through several more presidents and congress. As I said before, if it is a republican, the democratic congress makes sure nothing is passed and we have only gridlock. A democrat president gets everything he wants. Such was the case of Jimmy Carter and his administration. The country was in a real mess. Inflation was rampant all the time. We owned a $31,000 house and got a call one afternoon that someone wanted to buy our house for $95,000, sight unseen. I turned to my husband and asked if he wanted to sell and he said no because we would have to just buy another one.  The prices were obviously sky high.  We could all thank Mr. Carter for that. Taxes were 90 cents on the dollar for those in the higher income brackets. What point was there in even trying to work? Inflation! Inflation! Inflation! Lots of money, not worth anything.

Mr. Reagan came in a close second on getting his agenda through Congress because he was such a popular man and had a program of rebuilding America and everyone liked the sound of that. He did a very good job of uniting the country and getting things back under control. He was a Republican you know. 

When Mr. Bush, Sr. same along, he could not get anything done. The democratic congress stopped him cold on every single thing he tried to do. He even came on the television and asked the people to write their congressmen telling them to stop the gridlock and allow some of his programs to get done. My father, a die hard democrat from depression days just laughed at that one. You could write those democratic congressmen all day long and they would not move an inch anyway. It does no good to contact them on any issue and Democrats are still running the Congress. 

By now, because of the Democratic governments that had gone before, we had more and more government programs to contend with. Tax money was flying out the door, taking care of everyone and everything, the world over. A lot of people growled about this, but it did no good. We still had to pay higher and higher taxes.  Things didn’t change much since we now had a democratic president and a democratic congress.  A couple of the congressmen tried to make a change in all that, but they were stopped in their tracks. No progress was made again.

Then the second Mr. Bush came along.  He tried to get his programs through and did manage to push a few along the way. At first he had a majority in congress by one vote and then that one vote disappeared and that was the end of that. Even his ‘no child left behind’ program for the schools could hardly pass through. And that one was designed to just help people. Nothing subversive about it at all. Just make sure the children got educated.  Our public schools have constantly become dumber and dumber over the years.  A lot of the graduates cannot even read or write and most of them cannot handle their money, write a check, or even know how to take care of their own finances.  Credit cards have come on the scene and to most of the people, a credit card is to be used until the balance reaches its limit. And then it is simply time to get another card which is easily done. In fact, cards arrive in the mail saying that their credit has already been approved. Just put the card in your pocket and you are on your way – again and again.  Their debts pile up and up until bankruptcy is a way of life for a lot of them. And, as I said earlier, we have regressed at least three generations since 1960. What a terrible shame that is. We had so much. Before that time, you could get a good high school diploma from a public school and be equipped to get a job or even start a business. Now that diploma is not worth the paper it is written on. No education, no opportunity. It is now necessary to spend the next 6 to 10 years going to college for that same start in life you could have had with a high school education. Children of today need an education, a good one. And children don’t need to start out at the age of 3. Leave the family alone. Leave the children at home where they belong. The family does not need government intervention all the time. 

Over the past few years, there has been little honesty on the financial scene.  You can see that by where we are today. Some big corporations are the greedy, grabby people who take your money and run. A small utility company was family owned. The family had taken pride in running it in an honest manner, always keeping in mind their stockholders and benefactors. Now the young generation has taken over the company.  They build a five million dollar home on the lake and spent money like water. Then the stockholders pay the price when their stock becomes worthless. Some of those stockholders were retired people planning on that stock for their livelihood. The younger man who now owns the utility company does not care at all. Just put that money in his pocket and run. We have seen that scenario many times over in the past few years. Same old story, same generation of takers, thieves, etc. etc. etc.

Now the election is over and you hear that change is on the way. I have seen change over and over again and it is always the same. Change to have more taxes, change to give more money to those who will not work, change to help those who steal from everyone else.  Sure, change.  

The small businessman who is the backbone of our country, needs support, not change. He needs lower taxes, less regulation, and more opportunity. He needs tax breaks on his investments. He needs tax breaks on whatever he can pass on to his children. Then he will put the country to work and pay a fair salary and provide opportunity.  

It is time to pay attention to moral issues. If some will kill their own babies, what else will they do? If they will steal on the mailing of a letter, what else will they steal?  If they will lie to cover their financial problems, what else will they lie about?  And the list goes on and on.  

Value human life.  Want honesty in government, not bigger programs and more taxes. Want the small businessman to have a successful business, not those who want to see what more they can squeeze out of the small businessman.  

Value family life and true marriage. Put God first in your dealings with others.  Be in favor of those who would allow you to run your own life, free of government intervention, those who want progress for us all in the careful use of our natural resources, those who will make you proud to be an American.     

Thanks, Bet 





History #4

14 03 2009

Well, we had been having such a great life that all the troubles sort of sneaked up on us.  Suddenly, only it wasn’t suddenly at all, the world changed. That media – you know the box in the living room – suddenly erupted with the most awful mess of noise and anger and problems that you could ever imagine. And right smack dab in the middle of all of it were the country’s children – those who had been showing off a bit too much and were now really showing off. Some were taking part in the peace demonstrations all over the country and of course the media was covering every single event. But they didn’t seem to be very peaceful with any of their demonstrations. They were all running around giving the peace sign to each other and demonstrating every chance they got. Now there were demonstrations being held everywhere for any and all reasons and the highways were full of young people hitching rides going from one demonstration to another. Walking the highways with tattered clothes, dirty faces, and hair, hair everywhere, they all needed a shave and a haircut.  What happened to the nice looking young people everyone had raised? They had all disappeared and they didn’t much care what the demonstration was about anyway. It was free meals and fun for all and even free sex. I heard one person state that you could just walk on the street, have your eyes meet with a member of the opposite sex and spend the afternoon having free sex. You didn’t even have to know their name. Now isn’t that something though. What a horrible sub life. And what had happened to the good life we all had? They were busy destroying all of it for all of us. These young people were demonstrating all the time and breaking all the laws of the land. This was covered in the media also.
But the most important thing to remember here is that, not only were these people breaking the laws of the land, they were also systematically breaking God’s Laws. Those Ten Commandments that had been given to mankind by God so many years ago were simply for the trampling nowadays. Mankind had existed all these years by following God’s rules, but no more. Everyone had forgotten that those Ten Commandments are what make civilization civil.  

First, it was the Law of taking God’s name in vain. You could hear this everywhere you went these days. Complete irreverence. Second was the honoring of God. Boy, that was a hoot. Who even took the time to think about God, except in a derogatory way? And then comes keeping the Sabbath Holy. Ha! No one even thought about that one anymore, unless they were demonstrating at a Church somewhere. And killing – it was in all the news reports about women having abortions. So not only did they kill, but they killed their own. And stealing was an obvious humorous privilege for these young people.  There were even books written about how to get away with stealing and they were popular books at that. Adultery was rampant, everywhere, and bragged about constantly. Coveting was a way of life.  Remember the Jones that we all had to keep up with? That was a way of life now. Honoring father and mother was a real disaster. Not only did they not honor their parents, they ridiculed them, argued with them, fought them at every turn, and eventually turned against them completely. I heard of one family that was traveling, pulled into a service station for gas. The young adult son got out of the back seat, crossed the highway, put out his thumb, a car stopped and he got in it. The family never saw the boy again, never knew what happened to their son.  

The pill came out about this time and everyone was excited, so much so in fact, that sex became even more rampant. Now no one had to be responsible for anything. Complete birth control, no responsibility, what a life. What a degrading disgusting life. Now all the young people really had the world on a string. They didn’t have to account for anything they did in their lives. Complete irresponsibility in all areas. Live as they choose. Find their own space. Do as they please. None of this would hurt anyone. Wouldn’t bother anyone. They could live any kind of life they wanted and they did.  Boy, how they did.  

My father was watching TV one evening, turned to me and said, ‘it took us all my lifetime to come up to the standard of living we have now.  And they – meaning the marchers and trouble makers – have taken us back down three generations’, and he was right.  

I had a distant relative who, during the depression years, wrapped himself in newspapers to ward off the cold and became a hobo, a bum.  He wanted to ride the rails in a boxcar, hitch the highways and live that supposed good life, free of ties and responsibility. Now, this generation of young people wanted to do the same thing. They wanted to walk the highways, ride the rails, cheat, lie, steal, live that supposedly good life of no responsibility, no ties, no problems, thus no real adult life. They didn’t even know enough to wrap themselves in newspapers because they never had been cold or hungry, nor had they actually done without anything. This was the generation that had everything. Their parents had worked constantly to provide that great wonderful life for these darlings and now look at them. They were wearing  dirty, filthy clothes, never washing, having dirty hair filled faces, yet knowing everything. They could tell you in a minute how to run the world. They had so little experience in life, yet they really thought they knew it all. You just needed to ask them and the media did, and their views on life were broadcast constantly throughout the country and the world every day all day long.

Even the shows on television were now ridiculing our country and all our officials. Even the president and his staff were up for constant ridicule. I assumed the persons on the television were much more capable of running our country, or ruining it.  

And the American people got the blame again for another war. We didn’t do our part. We didn’t do what we should have. When in fact, we were all sick and tired of war, war, war. We had war all our lives. We didn’t want anymore wars. We wanted peace. We wanted to go back to life as it had been just a few short years ago before the world changed so drastically. We wanted responsible young people, we wanted honest politicians; we wanted peace; and we wanted a level playing field for all. We wanted to be left alone and allowed to live our lives as we saw fit. We didn’t want to see or hear anymore about problems everywhere. Enough was enough!  





History #3

14 03 2009

Back in the late 40’s/50’s, time were a’ changing, that’s for sure. As I said on the previous page, new mothers were told not to nurse their newborns anymore. It wouldn’t make that much difference anyway according to the doctors and society in general. This meant that the mother didn’t have to worry about putting on all that weight after giving birth. Since she would not be storing that milk for the baby, she would have her figure back pronto. So all young mothers were now expected to look sleek and trim, constantly. Pants came into vogue and all the young mothers were expected to wear them now.

Suddenly, we started having shortages of everything. First were coffee and sugar and then bacon and numerous other things. There was always a reason for each one of the shortages of course, but the main reason was to raise the prices. Now everyone was beginning to shop, shop their grocery lists, going all over town to get the best prices on whatever was in shortage at this time. About the only thing there wasn’t a shortage of during these years was babies. Now that women no longer had the natural birth control that nursing gave them, they were having more and more babies with shorter time between those babies. And of course there was also no shortage of ball fields. So mother had the babies and the car to drive and the baseball fields to frequent. The husbands were out doing their share of the driving these days also. A lot of them had the latest great job – that of traveling salesman. They pulled out of their driveway on Monday morning and did not return until Thursday or Friday afternoon. A great life. They made great commissions and everyone was living the good life, all the time. Mother was worked to a frazzle, so was dad, but everyone was expected to do just that. No one complained much. Cooking out on the grill became a craze and so now when dad came home, he got to cook out on the grill over the weekend. While mother ran the washer, the dryer, and the dishwasher and bathed a few babies. Still no complaints. It was a great life out here in ever, ever land. And of course we all watched TV all the time, too. We enjoyed the sitcoms with their simple story lines and laugh tracks. We watched the game shows and rooted for the winners. We enjoyed seeing the variety shows which were on at the appropriate times. What a life! Why everyone even had a private line telephone by now, too. That was a great change for the better. That phone rang all the time, too.  

Now the media changed their news shows to include commentary, so not only did we get to watch the news and find out all that necessary stuff that was going on all over the world, but then we got to hear opinions about what was happening all over the world. We really had it made! Sort of.  

By now, we had been through several presidents, some good, some better, some worse. Truman didn’t have a clue about the atomic bomb, if you will remember the stories and yet he made a great president. Eisenhower was a war hero and was elected because most people revered him because of what he had done to help end that terrible war. We had also been through many so-called programs. We had another war or two and had not found any real peace in this world. The public was sick of the wars and not willing to put anymore effort into them. We wanted to live in peace now. It was time. We had all paid our dues. It was time to stop killing and get on with living for a change. but the politicians and military of the world didn’t seem to share these views so, we just kept on having wars.

And the politics just kept being the same old thing.  If we had a democratic president, we paid a lot more taxes and got a lot more government programs.  Same old stuff.  If we had a republican president, we had gridlock.  We always had a democratic congress that would spend that money if it was a democratic president and if we had a republican president and a democratic congress, the country would grind to a slow stall and we would have to wait it out, hoping that congress would finally do something to let us all get going again.  Same old thing.  Same old stuff over and over again.  Some of those senators and congressmen had been in the congress all their lives.  They were not about to give up their seniority nor their positions and so we were at their mercy over and over again.

The people who refused to carry their share of life’s burdens by putting in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay could count on the democrats to give them something for nothing.  The republicans demanded that honest day’s work to get the honest day’s pay; the democratic congress couldn’t let that happen.  Same old story today.  

More tomorrow.  Meanwhile, there is a whole other generation coming up in history #4.  

Thanks, Bet





History #2

14 03 2009

Back again. Hope you are enjoying the history lessons. They are not official you know, just from living this history. Anyway, to begin. Before World War II, a lot of people in this country lived in the rural, rural areas. They really had no shoes in the summer, no electricity, and no running water. This was very common. People in the cities had an entirely different lifestyle. Most of them had relatives out in the country, but they were not interested in living the country life, that was for sure. It was a hard life after the War. Those servicemen had seen the country and most had seen the world. They were not ready to go back to the sticks and raise food and animals anymore. They wanted that good life they had seen. So they took advantage of the GI bills and all the other schooling. I remember having some of them come back to school when I was in the 7th grade. They were too big to fit into the desks, but they wanted to learn what they had never had the opportunity to learn before.  

Then they could get a job and have a paycheck and buy those pretties they had seen in the previous years. Those shiny things that everyone else had really looked wonderful. And they told all their relatives and friends about it, too. So now, everyone wanted to move to town and get one of those great jobs. It was no longer acceptable to sit on the porch and say ‘there ain’t no jobs around. I can’t get one of those good jobs.’ Now there were lots and lots of jobs, due to the War years and the scarcity of items. For instance, if you needed a good refrigerator, you either had to have a friend of a friend of a friend who could get you one, or you had to beg someone to please sell you a refrigerator on the black market at an inflated price and you were glad to get it at any price. This was the world of 1946-49. And jobs were everywhere. Almost everyone from some of the small rural towns went to Detroit because big money was to be made there. Or maybe they went west to the airplane factories. Big money there, too. All you had to do was show up and you could get a good job. So the country was moving on and on and on in those days. New cars came out and it was an event in the showroom. They were shipped all over the country completely covered with tarpaulin so that no one knew what the new models looked like. And by the time they were shown, there was a waiting list to purchase one. Meanwhile, houses were being built by the dozens, hundreds, and  thousands. Pre-fab they were called. This caused everything to increase: bus service, rail service, schools, etc. Everyone was living the good life.  

And then, came the wonderful 50’s. They were truly great. Everyone was happy and prosperous. And then that new thing, the TV came along at this time, too. Every family in America had one of those things just as soon as possible. It was truly a wonderful time. Every morning, we woke up to the morning shows, lived through the day with the game shows and spent the evening together watching the sitcoms. And everyone in the country did  the same things together. Then the media found out how they could use these channels to tell the country what was going on everywhere at the same time. Soon, we were waking up to the news from around the country and it was presented constantly. And the weather was the same way. We knew exactly where that low was coming  from and when the high would arrive.  

Why, even the children got in on this one. Children’s shows were on in the mornings, the afternoons, and the evenings. And the music shows for the teens were on everyday so they didn’t miss out on all that new music and noise, and new dances, too. 

And then the TV began to sell and sell and sell. One Christmas all the children wanted that airplane that showed the pilot getting on and off the plane. Only the pilot didn’t do that, but all the kids thought he did and so they wanted that airplane so bad. We couldn’t afford one of those, thank heavens. We could hardly afford Christmas at all that year. So we bought cheaper toys that we didn’t know all ran on batteries and they were a huge disappointment when the batteries didn’t last very long, but we learned. So did everyone else. Soon, we parents knew what toys were ok and what ones were not, but the children still didn’t know the difference.  

And now, they were reporting a huge study had been done about sex in the country and seems everyone was indulging everywhere. Why, everyone you knew was supposedly out having an affair of one kind of another and some of those solid marriages were beginning to show the strains of hearing about this sex study all the time. Some of them even ended up in divorce court. Meanwhile, many years later, it was reported that the study was all a hoax and hardly anyone was doing any of that stuff, but the damage had been done. Television had been opened up to include sex. 

And now, we were hearing about the crisis problems all over the country. There was a fire here, a riot there, a family dispute that turned deadly, another robbery or murder, another problem. After awhile, you could hardly stand to hear it anymore- you just turned it down and out in your head. The afternoon music shows were still going strong though and the kids were still listening to all that noise.

And somehow things just didn’t seem the same anymore. So much noise, so much commotion, everyone on edge a lot of the time. What happened to the great life? What happened to the fun times that we had just a few years ago. Now everyone was trying to keep up with the Jones, whoever they were. The wonderful house wasn’t so wonderful anymore. We needed another living space. They called it a den and it required another TV in the house. More noise, more commotion, and now the family did not have to be together to watch the newest of the new. Some of them could be in the den and some in the living room. Progress! And mom in the kitchen soon needed to have one in there, too so she could keep up while she did the cooking. The car needed a tune-up, the clothing styles kept changing all the time, requiring newer purchases. Something just wasn’t quite right anymore. And another change had come in the early 50’s. No one really paid any attention to this one, but new mothers were told not to nurse their babies anymore. It was formula for everyone, now. The baby would do just as well and mother was free to live her own life without having to worry about feeding baby anymore. Just a minor change and everyone was certainly for this change, but somehow it wasn’t the same. Baby was sick sometimes now. We even had specialists called pediatricians for the sick babies now.  Before that, we just had family doctors, but now there were specialists for everything. Mother became mom and she was free to leave baby now.  No big deal. No big problems. Just a small change – for the better? See you tomorrow with more of history! Meanwhile, check out my booksbybet.com site and purchase a book or two.  If you enjoy this, you will most certainly enjoy my books.  Thanks, Bet





History #1

14 03 2009

Ok ‘nuf said about the stock market and all that depressing stuff. It’s time to pay attention to what has happened in our lifetimes, especially those of us old enough to remember when it was always better.

When the big depression hit in the 20’s and 30’s, the country went completely bust.  Everyone was out of a job.  Well, not everyone, just those who really wanted to be without a job.  The problem was not jobs, but a lack of communication about jobs.  My father worked every day all thru the depression years.  He worked on a newspaper and the paper was put out regardless of the times and so he had a job.  Others who were not so fortunate to be in a business that had to work did find themselves out of a job for a long time, but then the country was not very well organized at that time.  There was a lot of country out here and a lot of rural living.  Most of them grew their own crops, raised their own animals and survived on their own wit.  Those who did not know how to do so were the ones who suffered.  Growing crops and farm animals is not fun, and anyone can lose their possessions overnight if they are dependent on the weather such was life in America at that time. Dust bowl, drought, flooding, all natural disasters occurred pretty frequently.  The Mississippi was not controlled at that time, neither were any of the other rivers.  Flooding was a way of life.  

So politically, Mr. Hoover got the blame for everything and Mr. Roosevelt had all the answers.  His answers were that everyone needed a job and everyone could have one.  He made up jobs and put everyone to work doing something.  He started the WPA and the CCC and many other working programs.  This got people up off their duff and willing to work again and this was the most important part of his plan: getting the people motivated.  And after he got them up and moving, then there was The War.  This took care of everyone else who did not want to work.  Everyone got a job in the Army or another branch of the services.  Everyone got something to eat, a new wardrobe, and a place to call home.  This was the answer to everything and prosperity reigned supreme once again.  It had been a hard time, no doubt about any of that.  But now things would be rosy and wonderful and great for everyone.  And it was for a short span of time.

Then the War ended and all those young men came home again.  Jobs were scarce, inflation was running rampant, scarcity of consumer products was high, and the country was headed for trouble once again.  Then programs were begun to help everyone get a leg up on life.  GI Bills were put into place to provide education for all these young men (they didn’t have to work while they went to school on the GI Bill). Over time, their education opened up better jobs for them.  Then housing bills and programs were begun. Anyone who really wanted to purchase a home could do so now.  No more rent.  No more homeless.  Everyone could have a home!  And they did.  This once again gave the incentive for work, work, work.  And the women stayed home and took care of the families and the children came one after another just as they should have in this now prosperous America.  Now schools had to be built, shopping areas had to be opened, grocery stores had to expand, and the country was on the move. Production had to be heightened on those items that were in scarce supply. As a result, jobs became plentiful and everyone had a paycheck, such a great life for everyone.  Everyone was doing great!  Taxes were low, gasoline was cheap, and cars were being produced in great numbers to satisfy all those consumers who could suddenly afford to buy cars, houses, shoes for the children, school clothes, the best food ever, and even some extras.  Why, Christmas buying even became the big event of the year.  Everyone had a Christmas Club at the bank or something similar in order to save money for that all expensive Christmas Season.  Wow!  We really had it made in America.   Things were great, grand and glorious! 

More in History #2