Memorial Day Should be OUTLAWED

I wrote this in May 2010 and decided to share it with you again:

Instead, Every Day the American public should express thanks to our veterans and soldiers.  If we were more caring and appreciative on a daily basis instead of squeezing our thanks in between a cold beer and a softball game, NASCAR race or Bolder Boulder on our day off, then perhaps veterans would be more honest with us about their experience and the stress they are dealing with each day.

Looking for my brother's name on the Viet Nam Memorial Wall
Looking for my brother’s name on the Viet Nam Memorial Wall

What is it that is capturing their souls and leading our soldiers to commit suicide in record numbers? In the past five years the suicide rate among soldiers was the highest since 1980 when they were first recorded.

Military suicides make up 20% of all suicides in the US.  And for every death, five members of the armed forces tried to take their lives and were hospitalized instead.

The government is trying to stem this human exodus and is deploying mental health experts to work with the returning soldiers and their families.  In the beginning, when a soldier was deployed, he or she had the support of family back home. However, as the deployments were extended and increased, the support back home began to have their own mental health issues.

For the families left behind dealing with their own anxieties, running the household, making ends meet, parenting their children, holding down a job and fearing for the safety of their loved one, they may not have the strength to offer the support and hope to their spouse that they once had. They may be seeking mental health help for themselves, taking meds and antidepressants and trying to get support for their children.

In addition to being away from home, fighting a war that doesn’t end, with no actual date of return … these soldiers are learning about the stress they’ve put their family under. So to help out, they share less. They communicate less. They take the burden off the family back home as a way to protect them and hold it all inside.

And when they return home – they are wounded. Some are wounded on the outside, others on the inside and many suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This disorder is commonly found in people who have lived through a traumatic event that caused them fear, stress and a sense of helplessness.

How do we express our thanks besides waving a flag? How do we offer help?

I sure would like to know.

No Comfort Zone: Week 22!

I did something really out of my comfort zone this week … I didn’t blog. There were a few times I sat at my computer and put my fingers to the keyboard but then pulled back and walked away. It was strange. I wanted to share and yet I also wanted a bit of silence.

I didn’t want my happiness tied up in the amount of posts I did or did not do. While I wasn’t posting I was taking pictures, fly-fishing, hiking, playing, walking, reading and living in every sense of the word.

The one thing I wasn’t doing this week was blogging. It really was hard. Blogging is something I enjoy – I love the ideas, the flow, the sharing and the engagement. It is fun for me. When it stops making me happy and turns into a job – then I close up the Inside Out Café, put the CLOSED on the door and turn out the lights.

That’s not going to happen today.

Instead, I’m going to continue to do things to take me out of my comfort zone because that’s where growth occurs.  I’ll keep you posted on my out of comfort zone progress.

As for staying happy –  you know that’s a big plus in my book! Below are some people who keep happiness high on their priority list. Talk to you soon!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Hands and Happiness
What Makes You Happy

I hope you dance…

Sometimes a song jumps out with such sweetness and clarity that it has to be shared time and time and time again. I hope you enjoy this lovely reminder!

Song by LeeAnn Womack:  I hope you dance
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat, but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leaves you empty handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope that one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance*

I hope you dance…

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin might mean takin chances, but they’re worth takin
Lovin might be a mistake but it’s worth makin
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,
I hope you dance (time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance (rolling us along)
I hope you dance (tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder)
I hope you dance (where those years have gone)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,

dance…., I hope you dance,
I hope you dance (time is wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance (rolling us along)
I hope you dance (tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder)
I hope you dance (where those years have gone)
(tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder)
(where those years have gone)

Dance*  😀

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shades of Blue…

Six shades of blue

Barrel of monkeys feeling sort of blue …

Happiness Tingle

Yup, another post about happiness. In a blog post last week,  I invited you to write about happiness and link back to my blog. When I am focused on a topic, I see it everywhere – in my flower garden, books,  quotes and on the back of cereal boxes! If you have a tip, secret or awareness about happiness and care to share, leave a comment below!

Here are a list of words that immediately take me to a good zone. Ready? (Feel free to add your own to this list!)

Taking a hike to Rabbit Mountain in Lyons, CO
Click photo: Lace up your boots and let’s hike!
  • Bask
  • Bliss
  • Dance
  • Engage
  • Dream
  • Move
  • Laugh
  • Learn
  • Travel
  • Read
  • Sing
  • Share
  • Thank
  • Listen
  • Appreciate
  • Blog (of course)

For each of these I can write a full post about how this word brings me a sense of happiness …but that would take the mystery out of it.

What words give you a happiness tingle?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Using Photoshop, I’ve added fillers to this lovely photo of the Tetons.

Hope you enjoy!

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Ailsapm invited me to this Weekly Photo Challenge — Great idea!


Hya MargeKatherine – seeing as there hasn’t been an official weekly photo challenge this week, I’m stepping up and throwing down a challenge for anyone who’s interested.

I’d love you to join in – the more the merrier. Pass it on. xxx Ailsa


Call me Mom or don’t call me at all!

Happy Mother’s Day to you and you and you!Happy Mother's Day sign surrounded by flowers

At any given moment my mother was called Mom, Mommy or Ma. She didn’t like being called Mother. She chastised me when I called her by her first name. She told me that anyone can call her Katie but only very special people can call her mom. I understand that now and cherish that title as well.

I grew up in a large family and there was always one kid on my hip that needed to be diapered or fed or cared for  – so motherhood was not something foreign to me. What was strange was the doubt I had when I was in the mist of it.

It would be great if we could all be grandparents first. Grandparents understand that our children just need us to be with them. Focused and in the moment. A simple thing but so often undervalued in this day of iPods, cell phones, televisions, computers and other electronics. The act of playing a card game, hiding and seek or singing during a car ride …is all about making memories for tomorrow. It’s really so simple, so very simple to do.

Humor brings happiness to my world as well, Here are some great chuckles that will certainly make you smile!

Magsx2's Blog

Dublin Bar

Patrick walks into a bar in Dublin,

Orders three pints of Guinness & sits in the corner of the room,

Drinking a sip out of each pint in turn.

When he had finished all three, He went back to the bar & ordered three

The barman says, “You know a pint goes flat soon after I pull it ……….
Your pint would taste better if you bought one at a time.”

Patrick replies, “Well now, I have two brodders, one is in America ; & de odder in Australia ;  & here I am in Dublin .  When we all left home, we promised dat we’d drink dis way to remember de days we all dranktogedder.”

The barman admits that this is a nice custom & says no more.

Patrick becomes a regular customer, & always drinks the same way …….
Ordering three pints & drinking a…

View original post 286 more words

Happiness is…

A very clear way to define happiness is to look at where I spend my time. I can honestly say that I am physically in a a library at least once a week. I love getting audio books, reading magazines, checking the selection of music cds, reviewing the “New” book shelf and just relishing the feeling of being surrounded by so many ideas.

Doobie Brothers cd at the libraryIn addition to visiting my local libraries (yes, I have several favorites), I also check the online books and download them to my pc or other device. So, for many of the books I acquire, I don’t need to walk in a door – I just sit here and click, choose and checkout!

I think we all have places we go that make us happy. Some people visit churches, stadiums, mom’s house, stables, shopping malls, sailboats, beaches… know what I mean? For me it’s libraries.

Key to Happiness #1

Three year old singing with his heart and soul on a table in the gazebo!
Three-year old singing with his heart and soul!

My number one source of happiness comes when I am  with my grandson.  We see each other at least once a week and I am enthralled when we are together. He is funny, smart and engaging. I am funny, encouraging and willing to teach as well as learn.

This young person makes me laugh, makes me question “why I do things that way”, offers insight from 36 inches off the floor and remembers everything I say.

In the course of 30 minutes, you can find us playing hide and seek, wearing bandanas and cowboy boots, playing with cars and making towers that we can knock down with pillows.

We have our favorite libraries and playgrounds and we are always open and ready to try one more.

His presence allows me to have a ‘Do Over’ where I can get it right this time. Even though I was from a large family, I still had to learn the art of motherhood as I went along. There are some things I wished I had done differently and with my grandson in my life, I get to apply the wisdom I’ve acquired!

In this photo (umm, yes, I always have my camera ready!) he is singing me some wonderful song as he stands atop the stage (he’s on the picnic table) for the whole world to see. I have a huge grin every time I see this picture. Click the photo to see a larger image.

So many more things to share with you – Hope you liked this one!

Check out the photography that brings Reb happiness at