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A yearly diatribe
Anger
Birthdays Suck
Dealing with loss
Kids are tough
Memories
Relationships
Small Successes
Surprise!
The election for God
Thoughts On Friendship, Love and Life In General
Monday, 5 September 2005
The Pumps Are Working!
A step, a small step, but a step.


Please pass the following information along? Some of you won't see or accept the value of pets in the light of the human tradegy but trust me when I say their owners do.

There's hope for stranded pets in the New Orleans area. The Louisiana SPCA, New Orleans' animal control agency, has begun rescuing pets from owners houses.

Louisiana SPCA director Laura Maloney said shelter workers follow other agencies and crews through neighborhoods and rescue pets, some that are locked in houses. At the owners' request, "we break in," she said.

Owners have to call or email the operation and give their name and address and information about where the pet is confined.

The hotline number is: 1-225-578-6111. E-mail should be sent to Katrinaanimalrescue@yahoo.com.

The hotline already is in effect, Maloney said. "It's busy an awful lot. We are trying to get a bank of telephones"

Posted by thekays at 8:08 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 30 August 2005
Katrina Aftermath
The Humane Association of Northwest Louisiana (http://www.hsnwla.org/) has now established an emergency shelter for animals from the affected area. They are in need of volunteers, supplies and funds. Please pass along this message and cross-post it in your journal.

The following are additional organizations that are aiding in the rescue and relief process for the two- and four-legged victims of Hurricane Katrina:

Noah's Wish
http://www.noahswish.org/


Samaritans Purse
http://www.samaritanspurse.org/MP_Article.asp?ArticleID=42


Kodiak-Terra USA Katrina Relief Effort
http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?


Catholic Charities
http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/news/content_displays.cfm?


*************************************

The following was posted over at the Metroblogging New Orleans site. PLEASE CROSS-POST this information and circulate it to whomever you think might find it helpful:

Katrina - Tropical Weather Tools

National Hurricane Center

Storm Surge Information Sheet
LSU Hurricane Tracking Chart - (PDF) State Police Road Closure Hotline:
1-800-469-4828


Shelter Information:
Red Cross- 1(866)-GET-INFO (438-4636)
Special Needs Shelter Information
Triage Phone Numbers:
Alexandria: 800-841-5778 Shreveport: 800-841-5776
Baton Rouge: 800-349-1372 Monroe: 866-280-7287
Houma/Thibodaux: 800-228-9409 Slidell/Hammond: 866-280-7724
Lafayette: 800-901-3210 Lake Charles: 866-280-2711

Equine Shelter/Evacuation Site Information
Locations for Animal Evacuation:
Alexandria - Large & Small 318-442-4222 (all vet clinics will accept)
Lamar Dixon - Gonzales - Large Animals
Shreveport - LSU-S (pets only, no livestock)
West Monroe - Ike Hamilton Coliseum

Louisiana Hotel Information 1-800-99-GUMBO

Emergency Shelter Information Points:
Tourist Welcome Center, US 65 & 84, 1401 Carter St. (US 84), Vidalia, LA
Tourist Welcome Center, TA Truck Stop, Tallulah Exit (Hwy 65 & I 20)
Paragon Casino, 711 Paragon Place, Marksville LA
Sammy's Truck Stop, I-49, Exit 53, 3601 LA 115W, Bunkie, LA
Med Express Office, 7525 US 71, Alexandria, LA
P.E. Gym, LSU- Shreveport, One University Place, Shreveport, LA
Pickering High School, 180 Lebleu Rd., Leesville, LA
Mowad Civic Center, 5th & 10th St., 1 Block off US 165, Oakdale, LA

Posted by thekays at 6:39 PM EDT
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Thursday, 18 August 2005
Validation Is A Wonderful Thing.
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Small Successes
It would appear I'm about to be published again.

I've said before, I neither claim to be a great writer nor a complex thinker. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and often react without thinking things through. I write the same way. There are times I look at what I've typed and cringe, well, truthfully that's my reaction with most self reviews, but someone out there likes them.

The Editor for Blue Mountain Arts contacted me almost two years ago about obtaining options on 40 such ramblings from my webpage. Thus far they've used three in their hardback book collections but yesterday I had an email and a call from their new editor telling me they'd like exclusive rights to use two on their cards.

Dear Brenda,

My name is James Haley and I am the new permissions editor at Blue Mountain Arts. Thank you for your patience with the market review process. I have good news for you: BMA has decided to buy exclusive rights to two of your poems—“If I had the knowledge to know” and “What defines a strong woman?” from the July 20, 2003, and July 19, 2003, contracts respectively.



Blue Mountain Arts was the mother of the e greeting site: BlueMountain.com. The webpage was orginally started with the idea of garnering business for their line of hard copy greeting cards. I know Books A Million carries them as well as Cracker Barrel - of all places - so I know I'm going to be obsessively looking for copies like a mad woman until I see them actually on the racks.

I've wanted to write greeting cards for a number of years. I know it sounds like a silly goal but a friend, Jesse, and I used to talk about making our own brand of cards with the main theme of "soulmates". She would do the graphics, I would write.

At any rate, the check will be a welcome addition to my stressed pocketbook and I confess to loving the idea of cards having my words beind distributed across the US.

The poems in question are here:

Strong Women

If I Could


Posted by thekays at 11:18 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 18 August 2005 11:19 AM EDT
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Monday, 15 August 2005
The Case Of Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of a US soldier lost in Iraq. She was, by all accounts, a loyal mother, a good mother who still mourns her son. Much has been written the past few weeks about Ms Sheehan, both good and bad, but one thing is obvious: Cindy Sheehan is mad.

Casey Sheehan voiced his opposition to the war in Iraq to his parents but said he would serve his tour without complaint because it was, he said, his duty. Both of his parents were in opposition to this war and voted against George Bush. So does it surprise anyone that as the numbness from Casey's death wears off, anger towards Dubya takes it's place?

For anyone who hasn't read a paper in the past two weeks, Sheehan is camped about three miles from Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas where he is currently taking a five week vacation. She has requested a meeting with the president saying that she wants to ask him what "noble cause" - Bush's words - that her son died for.

I can understand her frustration, in fact I share a portion of it. This war was not based on facts, it was based on anger. 9-11 was chanted like a holy litany to prompt support for the invasion. The US population, intent on extracting revenge for the attack on America, followed a leader who swore he would bring the guilty parties to justice.

But somewhere along the way, we allowed Bin Laden - the real culprit behind the attacks on 9-11 - to escape and focused our attention on a more visible target: Saddam Hussain. The untruths that have emerged since 2003 show either a path of deliberate lies or the worst example of intelligence collecting and communication that America has ever seen. I choose to believe that our intelligence organizations are not that inept, especially now that documentation has surfaced that the administration received warnings prior to the war that the administrative spin placed on intelligence reports was not being presented correctly.

SO yes, I can understand Cindy Sheehan's anger.

But realistically, should the president meet with her? As much as I'd love to see her have that opportunity, the answer is "no".

Bush is struggling in all polls. He is at his lowest approval level yet. His political power in the house and senate is faltering among republicans worried about reelection.

Meeting with Sheehan would only weaken his position more. He can't admit to her that he was wrong. Doing so would neuter any political power that remains. He would be ineffective as a president and as the virtual head of the GOP.

Make no mistake, I do not uphold the actions of George "God talks to me" Bush. I believe the future will show him to be the worst president in history. I think the quagmire of Iraq will destroy our global reputation, negate any pull we have with other countries and take us years to recover from both the social and financial difficulties it has formed.

But we need a leader for the next three years, until we can go to the polls and undo the mistake that was elected in 2004. For better or worse, that's George Bush. If our elected representatives in Congress come to their senses and limit his destructiveness themselves, then YAY, the system works as it should. But Bush himself can not be the instrument of his own demise.

God be with you, Cindy Sheehan. Your pain is noted and respected by, I hope, the majority of Americans. Your son truly is a hero. I hope your vigil brings you some comfort and that somewhere congress is listening to your cries.

Posted by thekays at 12:14 PM EDT
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Thursday, 10 March 2005
Memories.....of love
Topic: Memories
Memories
"If you have to write it, write it and then send it to me."

I'm not sure if it were Lori, Jesse or Tues who told me that originally but it was one of the three. They were the three who nursed me through the realization that first love might always linger but it doesn't always work out.

I'm at square one tonight. Where I first heard someone whisper to me that he loved me. Where a couple of years later I started a disasterous and ill advised affair. This place brings back so many memories. Most of them quite happy at the time but now which are tainted with a melancholy hue.

Part of me would love to relive those times. Another part reminds me the past is in the past whether we wish it to be or not.

"Write it and then send it to me."

I did. I poured my heart into a number of fractured letters full of raw emotions and then I sent them to friends who would safeguard them for me until I was ready to move on.

I've forgotten what it was like to feel that innocence that believed all you had to do was be true to love and have faith for everything to work out. That girl is still here somewhere. Revisiting this place...I hear her whisper but can't seem to see her face...

Posted by thekays at 5:31 PM EST
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Wednesday, 9 March 2005
Sweet delays
Topic: Surprise!
A little after 6 am and I am happily STILL home, not being forced out into the cold just yet. We have another delay this morning.

When I tell people we have a delay or school closing here they inevitably comment that, gee, we seem to have a lot of snow problems. It's not so much snow as it is ice and lots of rural roads.

Most of southern west virginia is hilly. If you build commercially in the coal fields you literally have to blast the rock off a mountain and dig yourself a parcel of land large enough to house a facility. Think of a funnel and you have our terrain. It's also a very undeveloped terrain which means lots of small, narrow, winding roads that follow the hillsides. There's one four lane road through the area and it dead ends before it traverses the state.

When I say rural....

There are no real community schools here anymore. Consolidation and financial crunches have seen to that. Kids often ride buses for an hour to travel from the furthest reaches of the county to a school. Because of that our superintendents are very careful to inspect both weather and roads before putting kids on buses. Ever try to stop a bus sliding down an icy hill? Won't happen till metal hits something it's not suppose to.

So..another delay which enables me to sit and ramble, have a relaxing cup of coffee and finish getting my garbage out without stress.

There are times I appreciate Canada, Tues. *grin*






a mirror of this blog can be found at
http://www.livejournal.com/users/bkhager/

Posted by thekays at 6:32 AM EST
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Tuesday, 8 March 2005
We cry over the silliest things...
Mood:  sad
Bob was a huge, lovable, funny, white great dane. He was deaf as many blue eyed danes are. He had been badly abused in his early years but he found a loving, happy and animal crazy family that adopted him several years ago. Despite Bob's rough early years, he was the most lovable dog. Loved being scratched. Loved just standing, yes standing, on top of you. LOL He met me at the door when I visited my friends always excited and happy to have company.

Bob was almost 9. My friends told me at mass Sunday that Bob had begun having seizures. I thought maybe epilepsy. I had several smaller dogs that had suffered for several years with it.

Bob died this morning at 6. My friend wrote and told me and I sit here now in tears.

Animals can personify the best of the world. They have a gift and capacity for love that humans certainly have difficulty matching. They are God's four footed angels and every now and then they touch the hard places inside our hearts and melt the ice that we've erected to keep it safe from feeling emotions. Bob was the most innocent of those angels.

I'll miss you, Bob.

Posted by thekays at 6:36 PM EST
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Friday, 4 March 2005
Anger
Mood:  down
Topic: Anger
Sometimes anger is the only thing that keeps the other demons at bay.

Anger is the soul's defense against hurt and pain. It serves as a buffer to keep
the heart's suffering from overwhelming us. We cloak ourselves in it's numbing rage so that we don't have to deal with whatever issues lurk beneath the surface, unrecognized by the conscious mind.

As the anger subsides we are forced to peel away the facade. Often kicking and screaming, protesting all the way, we face those inner demons and find truth. Sometimes that means we collapse back into a deep ball of hurt that takes longer to emerge from. Perhaps that's the true source of anger. Fear. No one likes to hurt. No one wants to be in pain, tormented by self doubts and recriminations. Thats why we wrap ourselves in the anger. It's easier to explode at those around us and leave the unsettled emotion with them than it is to look inside for what's really wrong.

It doesn't mean anger does us any favors. It often masks the real problem and allows us to avoid addressing the true issues that are causing us distress. But managed, it can keep us sane until we're ready to face the truth.

It's a process....

It takes time to even realize why the rage exists and then more to find the root of its cause. Anger will only completely fade once we've sifted through and found the core of it's essence. First will come admission and acceptance and then the long process of healing.

I have been angry. At everything. At everyone. Finally the anger broke and I could see several nodules which had been feeding my rage, and it was indeed rage. Death. Loss. Stress. Dissatisfaction with life in general had caused me to be short tempered and clipped in my replies to many. I regret those quick unchecked impulses. As I let go of the emotion of one, the sorrow of another arrived to quickly fill the void as I knew it would. I spent a morning crying, mourning the loss of a friend, of a life I always thought I would have but which had escaped me, and the inevitable shortening of time left for me to live life.

It's easy to speak the positive words but so much harder to live them. I keep trying.



A mirror of this blog is at:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/bkhager/2063.html

Posted by thekays at 12:48 PM EST
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Wednesday, 2 March 2005
Political Animals
I am a political animal by nature. I love the debate, the discussion, the planning and the underlying faith of true statesmen that their actions can bring about change for the better, change that will improve the life of their constituents.

Which is why GWB is such a disappointment to me, as a republican.

I'm not sure I'm going to recognize this country after the next four years. Certainly our compassion seems to be ebbing as well as our charity. We use double speak now as a means of daily communication and avoid examining our own actions even while we criticize those of others. (Can we say Bush and Putin?)

Prejudice has reared it's head and is being used as a tool of fear to manipulate the American public into making choices that I believe are not based on the best interests of the average American but are designed to further the goals of big business. The end result is that the political favors and machinations will serve to further widen the gap between the haves and the have nots.

I can not fathom why a country who is willing to give Halliburton a million dollars a MONTH to do laundry in Iraq can not find the human compassion to insure it's population has adequate health care. I can't fathom that we condone the army issuing 9 million in bonuses to Halliburton and then want to remove social security and Medicare from our books. Why do we deny our own yet offer our wealth to others? I'm not saying that the US shouldn't offer aid whenever disasters strike and shouldn't be involved in any peaceful attempt to improve the human condition wherever it falters, but why then ignore those closest to us?

It appears we fall into "victim" mode when dealing with those who live and move with us. We're so worried that someone is going to "take advantage" that we fail to fully see their situations.

This white house is the most deceptive and misleading since Richard M Nixon yet it seems the religious right have anointed Bush a holy man and God forbid anyone criticize him or hold his administration accountable for their lies or misinformation.

I want my country back. You know, the one that's the land of the free? We have the brave. They fight ever day in Iraq and btw, despite what any right winged zealot attempts to say: It is possible to disagree with Bush and still honor and support the men and women who risk their lives every day doing danger work abroad. God keep them, God bless them, and God bring them safely home.

I just hope they recognize home when they return...







A mirror of this blog can be found at
http://www.livejournal.com/users/bkhager/2012.html

Posted by thekays at 9:24 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 2 March 2005 1:15 PM EST
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Tuesday, 1 March 2005
Small Gifts
Small gifts
Sitting with a cup of hot coffee in my hands, watching the morning news and enjoying a snow delay for our district. It means my day will begin with an 8 oclock departure instead of the usual 6 am.

The pups aren't exactly sure why mommy's still home. They wore themselves out playing and performing for me this morning and now are sleeping peacefully. The quiet and contentment of just being at home makes me want to turn off all the sounds and just absorb the peace. But my minutes rapidly wear away.

Is it age that brings contentment or is it fatigue that makes the smaller pockets of peace seem so much more important? I realize this morning as my inbox fills with different news items that I've not had time to read since last summer, that the pace grows more hectic each year. I seem to get less done, have more ahead of me and fewer minutes to do my tasks in.

But these small pockets revive me, keep me going until the next one comes along.

I'll take my happiness where I can get it.


Posted by thekays at 7:20 AM EST
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