About Me

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My husband tells me I am a makebate. So, what's wrong with that? I love to write. I have 2 great kids and 1 grandson. I'd love to say I am "retired" but really, who retires from life? Shoot me a question, comment, rant or rave. They are all welcome here. Love dogs, my family, and most of all, debate. Pro NRA, conservative and a right wing lady.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The meaning of heroes

Holocaust Survivor

So, here we are, Annie Mac is on a tangent.  I have some sort of writing high, and the past few days so many topics have been running through my head.

Recently, while surfing Facebook, a picture came across of a U.S. soldier who had sustained obvious, life altering injuries from serving in the middle east.  He sat in a wheel chair.  Titanium took the place of one agile and well muscled legs.  Today, I caught a rerun of "Saving Private Ryan", directed by Steven Speilberg..  I looked at my husband, a navy veteran himself, and said, "Oh please change the channel, I can't sit through this movie."  It's not the movie itself that had me wanting to revolt, but rather the first 30 minutes of absolute violence and the realization of just how many men lost their lives on that fateful day, June 6th, on the shores of Normandy and  Omaha Beach.  Some things just humble you.

In the movie, Band of Brothers, based upon the book by Stephen Ambrose and directed by Steven Speilberg,  a segment of the movie titled, "Why We Fight" and it plays out the days that the camps were liberated across Europe. Freedom of the Camps . If ever you want to see the true crimes against humanity, you need only look into the eyes of someone who has survived that hell on earth.  Innocent men, women and children, clinging to fences, dressed is loose fitting black and white striped clothing with yellow Stars of David on their breast pocket.  Their crimes?  Being Jewish.  I still feel shame when I see those images.  They haunt me. 

I am a Catholic.  And of course, I am not old enough to say I remember those days of liberation back in the mid 40's when troops came upon the concentration camps. Some in Germany claim they had no idea what Hitler was up to.  They did not think the camps existed.  Some people today still claim that the Holocaust never happened.  Just how ignorant is man?

Most students in high school are given the Diary of Anne Frank to read as part of  their curriculum.  I was very blessed to have an incredible English literature teacher my senior year in high school.  She was an orthodox Jew.  The student body had a rare opportunity to meet Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Peace Prize winning writer and Holocaust Survivor.  He spoke to the horrors of the camps.  The treatment of prisoners, who were loaded onto trains, shipped to Auschwitz, Belzec, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Chelmno, Dachau, Janowska, Majdanek, Sobibor and  Treblinka.  (I have listed only a few of the camps.  There are many more) He spoke of the last time he saw his mother.  He spoke of the showers, gas chambers, ovens, the stench of human decay and the slow demise of the frail human spirit.  But he also spoke of the victory of those who survived and were later rescued.

Anne Frank never survived her internment in the camps.  A young girl, with an incredible knack for writing a diary never lived to be able to tell her story in person.  However, her heroine was Miep Gies.  Ms. Gies was Otto Frank's secretary.  When the Nazis started rounding up Jews,  Ms. Gies and others hid the Franks.  Later, after the Franks were found and deported to their deaths, it was Ms. Giep was found Anne's diary, and kept it until she was able to return it to Mr. Otto Frank, who ultimately survived the camps.

Had Ms. Gies discarded that diary, the world would not know of the testament of true bravery and the saga of a young lady, Anne, who authored it. Millions of school children would not read the story of a girl, not much older than themselves, who had dreams.

Some people see heroes as football players,  sports figures, or Joe Paterno, B. Hussein Obama.  The real heroes in this world are those who go above and beyond their own safety to do something for their fellow human companions or  total strangers.

Ms. Gies passed away a few years ago.  January 11, 2010.  A quiet, unassuming woman - and how many of my readers can say that they know of her, and what she did for history?  The same can be said for the woman at the beginning of this blog who stayed on stage, at the Academy Awards, kept talking as the "get off the stage music" started to play, and spoke about the meaning of clinging to a piece of bread as a lifeline.  All while other actors and actresses thanked their parents,  the very demure lady stood in front of millions and spoke with great humility on how surviving the camps was a moment in history.  She accepted the award on behalf of those who never left the camps.  For those who died, without a name, in a striped prison outfit with a gold star.  She spoke with grace and dignity to the audience.

As the sporting world mourns the loss of Joe Paterno, I can't help but wonder how we can be so easily swayed to elevate a football coach to greatness when there are those who took steps forward, did the right thing no matter the cost to their own safety, lived through hell and came back from it, wrote about it, and gave us a brief glimpse into history.

One of the charities that John and I donate to is the SHOAH FOUNDATION.  Steven Speilberg and countless others have created this foundation in hopes of recording the ever dwindling survivors from the Holocaust.  Only when we, as a society can learn from those who went before us, can we attempt to never repeat the atrocities that happened when Hitler thought he was judge and jury.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Jameson on the Rocks, Please

For those of you that know me - no.... I have NOT fallen off my little green wagon.  Ah ha - bet you thought I would say "red wagon".  Being Irish, my wagon is green.  A beautiful deep Kelly green that mimics the rolling hills of my family's homeland, Ireland.  With great fondness, I recall my tours of the Jameson distillery on my last trip home in 2007.  The smell of the peat, the woody smell of the barrels holding the amber colored nectar of all things whiskey.  It was grand.  I can smell it in my memory right now.  Alas, it can only be a memory, as sobriety is still front and center on my green wagon. 

So, what's the chatter then about booze?  I'm leading in to a book I had the privilege of reading about a week ago. 

Christian's Story

Now, before you get the preconceived idea from the title - click on the link and buy this book.  It's fantastic!  A must have for anyone, but most especially for people like me, who are alcoholics, and trying to battle our demons every single day. 

I thought that drinking myself silly was hurting only me.  Maybe a few of you got drunk dialing calls from me in the wee hours, or had to come and pick me up from where ever I was, or hold my hair out of my face, or just help raise another toast, to my oblivious path on the long road of a booze filled life.  I never once stopped, and for a moment even considered what it did to my family. 

My drinking did not get out of control until I was older.  I might have dabbled in the binge drinking from time to time when I was younger.  And of course, then came the solemn vow of " I will never do that again..." followed by a solid 24 hours of craving greasy McDonald's french fries, gallons of water and lots of Tylenol.  My drinking started to get the better of me during my marriage to my son's father.  I could point fingers all day long about who is to blame, but the bottom line is that I was so completely out of touch with reality,  hated myself completely, and wanted to escape an abusive relationship.  Sadly, I did not have the tools nor the self esteem to escape in a more positive way.  I figured that the bottle was the best way to do it. 

Along the way,  I lost sight of not only myself, but the two most important people in my life.  My children.  I am sure they have their own memories of Mom and getting blitzed. I let them down, and also myself.  I got married again, and once again, failed.  Finally, I found a man who could tolerate me, be the ying to my yang, the calm in my chaos.  John was the best thing to come along and save me.  Actually, he did not save me so much as letting me feel love, safety, self-esteem, and acceptance.  And here we are, 20 years later, and I have only been sober for 2.5 years.  So, do the math - he's put up with a lot.

Anyways, back to my kids.  I have 2 of the most awesome children in the world.  Eryn is a smart and beautiful young lady, a new mother herself to Christopher Corry, and has spunk.  Bryan is kind, considerate, forgiving,  has a huge heart and loves his Mom.  How GOD gave these kids to me, I  will never know.  I feel blessed, and sometimes, quite frankly, I don't even think I deserve them.

The last year has been rough.  My daughter stopped speaking to me about 10 months ago.  We said words to each other - and the damage was done.  I have tried to make amends.  In so many ways I want to reach out to her, and tell her that she is so loved, and that I failed terribly as a parent, but deep in my soul, I never stopped loving her.  I just couldn't love myself.  I have apologized for my problems which may have caused her to have turmoil in her life.  I pray that time will ease the heart ache I have caused her, and she will open her heart to forgiveness. 

Bryan is forgiving.  I apologized to him (as I did my daughter) for being a lousy parent.  I have had several long heart to hearts with my son over the past year.  I have explained to him what my life was like when I was drinking, what I went through and how sorry I am that my selfish behavior may have crossed over into his life and that of his sister.  Bryan tells me how proud he is of me for the 2.5 years of being sober.  He tells me how proud he is of me.  When he has every reason to run, he stands straight at me, tells me he loves me, he accepts my apology, and that I am a good mother.

CHRISTIAN'S STORY is just that.  A story about how a kid sees an alcoholic parent.  Kids want to forgive.  It's not in their nature to hold grudges.  Christian explains to people that his father has a disease, called alcoholism.  And really, that's exactly what it is -  a disease.  If someone has cancer, or MS, or arthritis, society seems far more moved to have compassion.  Yet, you mention the disease of addiction, and the compassion tends to go right out the door.  The little boy in the story is real.  His struggle with his Dad's addiction is true.  Christian is lucky - he has family who love him, a father who loves him, a grandmother who is there to help not only her son, but grandson travel down the road of addiction. and then into recovery. 

In the end, GOD helps Christian's father gain control over the devil of booze.  As many alcoholic will tell you, we are never really cured, we just learn how to better control the urge to drink.  After reading Christian's Story, I was better able to look back on my past and see how my disease, my addiction spilled over into the people around me.

You all know who you are - and again, I  wish to convey a heart felt and sincere apology for the selfishness I had back then.  I love you all.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Newt, Mitt, Obama and the Lot

Okay.  Here I go.  Another rant on how disgusted I am with the political field, and how our country seems hell bent on self destruction - at times.

I am no angel.  Please, keep the snickering down in the back.  I'm on my soap box right now.  We all have our faults.  Well,  not GOD, but the rest of us are far from perfect.  We are mortals, fallible and always trying to strive towards perfection.

The latest smut running the gauntlet of political war is that Mitt Romney tithes.  Wow, who knew!  A church going man gives to his church.  Sound the horns, take out a billboard ad, climb the highest peak and let the world in on the biggest conspiracy ever, well at least since Clinton became a Cigar Aficionado - TITHING.  Oh, a big scary word.According to the good book, The Holy Bible, tithing is... 
(Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5).The Old Testament is peppered with verses regarding the law of tithing.  No, the 10% thing is not a Mormon notion, it's a biblical translation of the amount of money that one should give to the "Church", aka GOD.  

I'm no expert on Mormonism, and truth be told, I have always looked at Mormonism with skepticism.  But, come on folks. We are talking tithing here - not secret handclasps and beehives.  We are talking about age old scripture, both Old and New Testament wherein God commands us to tithe 10% of our income or goods, or however you wish to translate it, to your GOD, vis-a-vis the Church.

When I was a little girl my allowance was $1 a week.  I had some chores that would need to be performed even before the $1 entered my palm.  For all you parents out there - allowances and chores are a great idea.  When applied correctly, it's the building blocks for teaching your kids the benefit of hard work, responsibility, and money.  Of course, now a days,  $1 would be balked at, more than likely by those Occupy dummies, but back in 1969, $1 was a great deal.  You could buy almost anything a 7 year old might desire and/or need.  Save up enough dollars, and you could even buy a bike.  

In our house though, we were taught that tithing was necessary.  And there was no 10% tithing.  We were "requested" to tithe 50%.  So, of the dollar, after Sunday mass, you were left with .50.  If I had that same fifty cents now, I'd be a rich woman.  (Hearty chuckle).  But, the allowance, the tithing, etc. did teach me valuable lessons for life.  Hard work never killed anyone, being honest is an asset, and going to Church is not tedious.  

So, here we are, on the cusp of yet another round of "my penis is bigger than your penis (sorry Ms. Bachmann), I am better than you, I tithe more than you, I make more money than you" pissing match.  I do not care!  I want to have someone in the White House who serves the office with honor.  Who leads of our country well, keeps this nation safe from terror, nuclear war, failing economic woes and restores pride to what is rapidly becoming an absent notion.  Is it really that difficult?

Some may say that how you treat your spouse is not relevant to the running of our country.  I would strongly disagree.  Husband and wives take vows.  These vows are sacred.  If you are not capable of even upholding the vows to your spouse, then how can I even begin to vote for you to lead our country?  Bill Clinton may or may not have been a good president.  But he was a lousy human being.  He liked cigars.  He liked semantics.  He questioned what the definition of "IS" was? Someone asked me if I thought less of Clinton because he cheated on Hillary.  I was more irritated that he lied about it.  If he wanted a barnyard party with sheep, I could have cared less.  But he lied to the people of this country, not to mention Hillary.  Does anyone else find that offensive?

The headlines this morning are that Newt is a crappy husband.  Again, it boils down to how he sees his marital vows.  And here's a news flash Ms. Gingrich.  Since you were a mistress at one point, it's likely that you will be the jilted woman at some point too.  However, the headlines are now fumbling over Newt's treatment of his second wife.  Ugh!  I was not a supporter of Newt before this shocking news, and I sure as hell am not one now.  

The Lot - well thus far B. Hussein Obama has done nothing but lead America down the road of dismay.  He has a penchant for golf. He seems to love vacation.  I would too, if someone else was footing the bill.  He seems far more concerned in pleasing the very leaders who would like to blow America right off the map.  The economy is hovering in a perpetual state of stinky poo-poo.  People are angry.  Pride in America is low.  How is it that so many people were swayed by his mantra of Hope and Change.  I have not seen much of either.  Wait, I take retract that.  To phrase a bumper sticker - I HOPE that things CHANGE.  No O for '12.  

I pray that the GOP gets their act together so we can put forth a candidate who not only will beat the tar out of B. Hussein Obama but restore this country to greatness.  At the rate we are going, things are getting scary.  I feel like some poor blond victim, staring in front of a mirror, saying "Candyman" 3 times.  All this nonsense about tithing is ruining the chances of the GOP putting up a decent candidate that can restore this country.

I'm voting for Mitt Romney! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolutions - The Ultimate Lie

Well, it's that time of year again.  Delusional people making all types of empty promises for the New Year.  No malice intended; just wishful thinking and then disappointment.  Then, on December 31st, we get to start all over again with another round of attempts to better ourselves, and those around us.

If I had actually kept my resolutions, I'd weigh my pre-baby weight.  It's not like I just had a baby!  My eldest, Eryn, is 28 and a mother herself to one of the most adorable babies I have ever laid eyes upon.  Christopher Corry is handsome, precious and most of all, the spitting image of his mother when she was born.  Then there is Bryan, who just turned 26.  He is tall, handsome, gifted, talented and kind.  He also makes the most perfect Creme Brulee on the planet.

Therein lies the problem with my resolutions.  It's always weight loss, and I seem to fall prey to my son's Creme Brulee.  Weight loss is not an extraordinary goal to shoot for.  I suspect that there are millions of us fools out there who have let ourselves fall victim to calories, sedentary lifestyles, gourmet cheese and decadence.  I did not set out to be overweight.  It sorta just happened.  One day I was a size 6, and the next day I was a size ****TOO GRAPHIC TO UTTER****.

The breast reduction took a good solid 10-12 lbs off.  I felt like I had climbed Everest without O2.  But that was 4 years ago.  Wow.!  It was a momentous feeling to realize that I did not need a bra that could double as a hat.  Labor Day 2007 was also an incentive to lose some weight.  Nothing says "hello world" like heart troubles, a trip to Heart Center of the Rockies for angioplasty, and 3 days in the hospital, hooked up to an EKG, recording irregular beats.  I dropped a good 2 pants sizes after that episode. 

Getting sober was probably one of the BEST resolutions I have ever made, and KEPT.  Granted it did not come on December 31, 2009, but June 9, 2009.  I have kept that resolution since June 9th.  I love that I was able to conquer that addiction.  Why can't food be as easy?

2011 was a fairly wretched year for me.  I lost a job I was good at.  I loved taking care of patients.  I loved the adrenaline of the ER. I enjoyed knowing that I might have made a difference in someones life, if only for a minute.  My dear, dear cousin, Patrick Gartlan died in July, in a very tragic accident.  (See RIP Patrick Gartlan-Leader of the Big Fat Gaelic Gartlans)  It seems that the Gartlans are not long for this world.  The economy tanked, as did the value of our home.  We had our roof blow off on December 1st.

Of course there were also momentous occasions of joy.  The arrival of our grandson, Christopher Corry.  We adopted another dog from death row.  Lady Bird has been a treat to have in our life.  John has excelled at his photography.  Please check out his website:   mollydogimages.com  Hold on to your hats - John's photos are spectacular.  Our kids, Eryn and Bryan are doing well.  They never cease to amaze us.  Both my mothers are alive.  As I have mentioned before, I am adopted, so I get the double dose of maternal love.  My grandmother Patti is still going and I love her more every single day.

2012 has got to be a better year.  It just has to be.  I have started to ponder whether or not God likes me.  My brother tells me that I am like a cat - I always land on my feet.  Well, right about now, my feet are killing me.

As for that resolution...It's a real winner this year.  I vow to sway voters to vote Barry Hussein Obama out of office.  If  I can accomplish that - then I will believe in miracles, and maybe even lose a few pounds.

Happy New Year to All and PEACE !!!!