Last weekend, the president lit up the White House in rainbow colors to celebrate the supreme court redefinition of marriage. This is an issue that divides Americans based on deeply held feelings and beliefs. I wonder if the president will attempt a similar lighting activity this weekend to celebrate America's birth?
Would you join me by sharing the picture below and asking our president to light the White House in Red, White, and Blue?
Happy Birthday, America!
America the Beautiful
Words by Katharine Lee Bates, Melody by Samuel Ward
O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet Whose stern impassioned stress A thoroughfare of freedom beat Across the wilderness! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife. Who more than self their country loved And mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine Till all success be nobleness And every gain divine!
O beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabaster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears! America! America! God shed his grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for halcyon skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the enameled plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Till souls wax fair as earth and air And music-hearted sea!
O beautiful for pilgrims feet, Whose stem impassioned stress A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought By pilgrim foot and knee!
O beautiful for glory-tale Of liberating strife When once and twice, for man's avail Men lavished precious life! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Till selfish gain no longer stain The banner of the free!
O beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabaster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Till nobler men keep once again Thy whiter jubilee!
Since my recent, intimate contact with chiggers, I have taken a break from my daily routine and skipped my morning and/or afternoon walks. Today, still ate-up with chigger bites, I decided to get back on routine and go for my morning walk. In the morning, I usually like to walk around a nearby city park. The park has a 1-mile track around it, in some places paved, and in others, hard pack dirt and gravel.
I decided to get 2 miles in this morning, alternating jogging and walking as I please. When I had just about completed a mile, I noticed a woman ahead of me doing some kind of interpretive dance. She had a large dog with her, it appeared to be a white lab. As I got closer, I began to sense that it was not a dog at all, more likely it was a trans-chicken in a dogs body, and the woman was not dancing, she was ducking and running for safety.
The woman and the trans-chicken were passing a mockingbird's nest and momma bird was not happy about their proximity. She was dive-bombing the woman and attacking the chicken. The two victims were bobbing and weaving, jumping and turning, crouching and crawling to escape the killa mockingbirds fierce beak and claws. She ducked to her left, lurched to her right, and practically rolled forward to get out of range of the demonic bird who followed her 20 to 30 feet.
Having finally escaped their tormentor, the woman and the chicken-in-a-dog's-body approached me. Dumbfounded, she asked, "Did you see THAT?!? Have you EVER seen ANYTHING like it???" Of course I had seen scenes like this in movies and on animal planet, but I perceived that was not the answer she wanted to hear, so I said, "No. I have never seen anything like that."
I continued on my way and passed the bird. She didn't take any action--didn't even threaten me. Maybe she was just trans-phobic.
The 21st century has become the century to celebrate delusional thinking. In our efforts to achieve self actualization, we have consumed so much positive thought mantra that we are beginning to believe it is literal. We used to say, "If you can dream it, you can do it," and, "You can be anything you want to be," knowing that we were being figurative and inspiring; always with the realization that somethings we dream about would not and should not be possible. Today, these statements are taken to heart. Enter the Trans-everything movement.
Last week, trans-racial entered the picture explosively with Rachel Dolezal. Mrs. Dolezal, with her pale skin, freckles, and Cindy-Lou-Who hair, has passed herself off for years as a black woman. She self-identifies as black, so we should all accept that as her reality.
I applaud Ms. Dolezal for working in a capacity to make America better for racial minorities, but I don't think we should applaud her lie or enable her mental delusions. Her recent television interview with Matt Lauer makes her look mad as a hatter--she is a woman so invested in her facade that she actually believes it.
At some point we have to come to a realization that it is more loving to help someone learn to love themselves and become comfortable in their own skin than to encourage them to live a lie.
I recently got my first experience with chiggers, the microscopic larvae of the Trombiculidae family of mites. I was at an outdoor event in grass one evening when a million of these tiny eco-terrorists swarmed up my pantlegs and helped themselves to my flesh. From the waist down, I look like a star map. The insanely itchy "bite marks" they leave behind are a long term reminder of our evening together and they have taught me a few things:
A hot bath or shower feels GRRREAT, but the resulting increase in blood flow to the skin will cause you to itch like crazy. Use cold to sooth, not heat.
Most home remedies are temporary and less effective than itch relief creams or gels.
Itch relief creams or gels are also temporary. Buy them in bulk and keep them handy. I found Tecnu Calagel very helpful.
You can cover your welts with nail polish. It will sooth the itch while the polish dries, then you will have shiny welts that itch.
Peeling dried nail polish off of the welt is EXTREMELY satisfying; but not so much that I would put more nail polish on and do it again.
Chiggers can jump up to 3 feet according to my doctor. I believe him because they appear to have jumped from my ankle to my crotch.
When under relentless, merciless attack from microscopic flesh eating bugs, the testicles will retract ALL THE WAY into the body (or maybe that's due to the tepid baths...).
If you are opposed to using DEET based insect repellents, you will need to wear a hazmat suit to play outdoors in the country.
I am certain that the welts spell out a secret message in braille, but I have not found anyone willing to read it to me.
If these creatures ate fat instead of flesh, at least I would get something out of all this suffering.
Don't follow your impulses. Scratching the itch feels good at the time, but you risk infection. Plus, scratching the itch makes you itch more. Leave the welts alone. Eventually you will be able to ignore the itch.
After many severe reactions to poison ivy, I have learned enough self control that I rarely scratch. If this is my super power, I got short changed.
Have you had an encounter with chiggers? What worked for you? What lessons did you learn?
***I am not being paid to endorse Aveeno or Tecnu.***
Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy was a feature character on the original Star Trek TV show and six Star Trek movies. He is famous for declaring the guy in the red shirt to be dead. He is also well known for reminding his commander that he works within a narrow job description--that of a Doctor. Don't ask him to psychoanalyze someone. Don't ask him to bake a cake, and don't ask him to pole-dance.