Categories
Faith family focus

No Idea

Truth be told, when I started this post, I had no idea what it was going to be about, still don’t, but figure what the heck, I’ll keep pecking away and maybe something meaningful will come out of it, if not, oh well, I tried 😬

Perhaps it will be about something specific, Or not, prolly be just ramblings and jumbled together words, who knows?

Peach and I watched movies this weekend just kinda chilled out and made the living room into a movie theater and enjoyed. We watched perhaps the (in my opinion) the greatest war movie of all time “The Longest Day” and then we watched “1917” another good movie that I’d never seen. We then watched “Spencer Confidential” followed by “6 Underground” and then an older movie, “V” and finished it off with “Mortal Combat” haha, it was a total old movie weekend and we loved it. “The Longest Day” is from the era when movies were made “big” big music, big scenes, everything was more clear and pronounced. Scenes were held that extra bit longer, and the music was loud and powerful, I remember those from my childhood (we have discussed this, none of your business when that was). “1917” was based on a true story (“loosely”) and set in WWI times, it was well written I thought and kept Peach and I on our toes to the bitter end. “Spencer Confidential” was actually a very funny movie, action with humor (Needs a sequel). The same can be said for “6 Underground” which I believe was good enough to rate a sequel. “V” is the type of movie that makes you wonder, masterful performance by Hugo Weaving. “Mortal Combat”, all I can say is that it’s a movie me and my boys watched a bazillion times and it’s just fun, but makes a point about trust and friendship.

Moving on to different areas with this rambling, we have also been on the Ham radio a bit, mostly listening, but talking a bit also. On 2 meters I listened to a conversation between older Hams and what sounded like a young boy and it was nice to know that he was interested and respectful and wanted to keep the sport going. I believe it’s time for Peach and I to contemplate studying together and upgrading to the highest rating, but it’s so technical based I can’t really wrap my mind around it yet. The advantage of upgrading is there aren’t any frequencies you can’t use. We always have fun studying (I apparently have a weird definition of fun) to get upgraded when we do, and cool thing is, there’s not time limit, we can take as long as we like before we decide to take the test. Anywho, when we are ready we will start studying and I’m sure we will eventually pass (I hope).

“Giggles”, we sometimes get them like children and cannot contain the laughter. Not sure we should try and contain it as it always makes us feel better.

“Amazon”, yep we fall into the trap of getting stuff from Amazon cause it’s easy and quick, not all the time, but sometimes.

“Reading books”, actual hold in your hand physically turn the page, smell the paper and ink, books. Peach and I have tons of these and we read them off and on to break up the monotony of sitting on the recliner couch staring at a television screen all day and half the night. Yeah, we have the Kindle things, but sometimes you gotta feel the real thing.

Weird how you wind up doing one job all your life, even if it’s not what you expected. I’ve had tons of jobs, finally settled on a career, and have loved it, but it is not the career or job I thought I would have. I always had a fascination with the ocean and it’s inhabitants, and thought that would be my career, marine biologist or something like that. Not meant to be, but that’s ok, I still read about it, explore the possibilities.

“Selling pictures”, photography is another thing Peach and I have in common. We take the pictures, sort through them, pick the ones we like best and put them on our website PeachandBatman@smugmug.com and hope one day someone will see something they like and buy it. Not a “have to have” but a nice to have 😬.

Peach, she writes, and she writes things that can teach Gods word, and if I can ever convince her how good she really is, others will get to experience Gods word through her writings and teachings. She does not know how good she is at it, and how if she would stick with it, her following would grow and her teaching of Gods word would reach so many people who need to hear it. I poke and prod her in the hopes she will buckle down and focus on it, maybe just 2 hours every couple of days, and within 6 months she will see I was right (won’t admit it, but she will see it). Peach has a way of taking Gods word and putting it into context with what is going on, and why we need it more now than ever. She never changes it to fit “her” interpretation, she teaches it as it’s written, and I think that is where so many go wrong with teaching Gods word, they try and interpret it in their way. Anywho, I shall endeavor to keep annoying her until she gives in and starts really doing it, I can at times, be very annoying, if I put my mind to it 😬.

Contemplating future posts…honestly I don’t sit down and think of things to write about, as you can tell by this ramble, but I do hope it doesn’t bore too many people. Well, even if it does that, maybe they will get a good nap falling asleep reading it 😬.

“Still waiting on that post that starts you off 🍑, we are ready to learn”

Categories
Faith family Fear focus Life

Listening

Batman Says:

Sitting out on the deck early this morning before most of this part of the world wakes up, I closed my eyes and just listened. Ever do that? Just listen? Interesting what the result may be if you do. Because I was outdoors, and Peach and I live out in the country (not deep in the woods away from all sounds of man like I wish but, still country folk) I get to hear nature, sometimes mans noise butts in, but mainly nature. Early like this, there are still night creatures about but also the day crews are waking up and moving about. It’s a peaceful time, and the amount of nature that could be heard (probably could hear more, but for years of teaching shooting numbing my hearing 😳) night hawks, whip-or-wills (Chuck-will’s-widow more often) early morning Cardinals, Mocking birds and of course, the always present sound of roosters crowing, Horned owls, Barred owls, and Screech owls… you get the idea. All add their voices at one time or another, together or separate, frequent or rarely, and just listening to them relaxes me.

There are at times no sounds at all, it’s creepy still, the time of morning or night when as Sherlock Holmes put it “the powers of evil are exalted”. Times like these some get nervous or frightened, but as Don Williams sang “Nothing makes a sound in the night like the wind does, but you’re not afraid if you’re washed in the blood like I was”. Night sounds (early morning, too) can stir up fears in people, an involuntary reaction stemming back to the days when it was kill or be killed, and wild carnivores roamed everywhere, it also stems from man’s evilness to one another where certain elements prey on weaker victims. But in the here and now, the sounds I hear are stealthy, and then some are musical, neither cause fear as I have and still hunt the evil most refuse to acknowledge exists and fear little in doing so (“Fear profits no man” ..13th Warrior). Settling more in my comfy chair I hear leaves rustle, probably a mouse or mole looking for edible yummies, as I look up thru the live oak leaves to the crystal clear ink black sky with its brilliant sparkly lights (them is stars in case you didn’t get it) flashing colorful lights from far away. You can almost hear the trees talking to the wind and each other (probably wondering why we get to move around when they can’t) with soft subtle voices that you either believe in or don’t. If you believe, you can quietly hear the soft voices on the wind, maybe not understand them but you can hear them if you listen. Most refuse to hear those quiet voices from things in nature, especially those they hear when it is dark, and they do it out of fears. Fears of the unknown, fears others may not have heard it and would ridicule or belittle them, fears they would lose friendships or companions.

“Fear does not stop death it stops Life and worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles it takes away today’s Peace”

If you must fear, the fear should be that you have let God down by not following his word. (Squirrel ran by…apologies)

Listening teaches us so much more than talking does, and if most people would open their ears and close their mouths, they would learn tons and there would be way less conflict. So I sit, when I can, be it at home or at work (rare but I do sometimes get the chance) and I listen to what the world is trying to tell me. I hear the sunrise, I hear the wind, I hear Gods creations great and small. I don’t always understand them, but I hear them all, each has its own unique voice, some booming some barely perceptible. None of these would I be able to hear if all I did was talk. The gift of silence is often underestimated, but having the ability to let someone talk or vent, without interjecting, is a rare ability that more people need. Take the time to shut up and just listen, I bet you hear a lot and maybe learn to appreciate silence more.

“What’s that Peach? Sorry wasn’t listening” 😬

Categories
Faith family health Life

Camping and Stuff

Batman Says:

Raise your hand if you like camping 🖐🏼🖐🏼. Peach and I are, and pretty much have always been, fans of camping which is another one of the thousands upon million of reasons I love her. Her family, like mine, were brought up as campers. Cars were packed up stuffed full of tents and paraphernalia as well as kids, then off to some spot, usually a known place where they feel comfortable, and the camping set up begins.

Dads all over the world will get this..the frustration level increases to just before nuclear meltdown stage right about the time the !*%!%**%#! tent is finally up. Then when the blood pressure comes down from the stratosphere, the relaxing can commence.

I have fond memories of all night fishing trips on the river where we kids were forced to finally go to sleep in a huge old Army GP medium tent that my dad and uncle put up (can’t do it anymore as there are bleepin houses where we used to camp). But anyways, they were fun trips. Also remembered are the trips early in Peach and my marriage with the rug rats all crammed in a small tent, nothing could make these trips or the memories of them better that they are. Road trips to the camping spots also hold many fond memories along the way. We once stopped off in the Echota Cherokee Capitol Historic Site in Georgia and wandered around old log cabins and buildings where old settlers lived. No school classroom on the planet could replace the effect of actually being there, feeling the wood, seeing how the Cherokee people lived and survived in a completely different environment than they were use to….(I feel a squirrel running by). Our boys were products of both private, then public, and finally home schooling (Peach is a wonderful and patient teacher with the smarts of one of those people with all the alphabet letters attached to their names, and she came by her wisdom the right way, she lived and learned). I will not bash any form of schooling, I just believe that learning math you can use, English you can speak, and the history of your country as it was not as someone thinks it should have been, prepares kids better for real life than study guides set down by committee (you take God out of the equation, you aren’t worth the paper all those alphabet letters behind your name are printed on), just my opinion, again I’m not trying to change yours so don’t try and change mine. Told ya, Squirrel!

Anyways, we explored several places along the way to that camping excursion, and we learned a lot. Some of the trips were hot and sweaty, some cold to the point of ice, all were trips I would not change for anything in the world. I believe the time out in the fresh air, be it at a spring and river, or on a mountain top, did wonders for myself and the family. Working together to set up camp, exploring, building the camp fire and keeping it going, cooking meals, cleaning up, all have their places. Gathering around the fire at night roasting marshmallows or other stuff, talking and laughing, it freed the soul of stress. The downside to any of it, if there is one, is that it never seemed to last long enough, before long it was the night before packing up and going back home. Everyone’s movements slow, but time speeds up. No one wants to leave but we eventually get packed up and away we go, headed back home.

Seldom were there trips that we did not have a really nice time. It seems camping and the trips to and from always seemed to agree with us. Everyone returned with a happy disposition which sometimes lasted well into the week following.

I think the fun of camping is just being together “roughing” it for a couple days as a family. We slow down, we bond as a group, we “Live, Laugh, Love” and repair ills that society piles on us.

Just my opinion…yes you too can “chuck it in the bucket” difference is, I’m not trying to change yours 😉.

No Peach I did not pack your hair dryer”

Categories
family food Gratitude Life life styles Uncategorized

Baloney

Peach says:

You know, Batman and I are from the last of the generations which had a bit of an old fashioned bent to us. We were raised by people who worked, made things last, you were taught not to be wasteful, you ‘cleaned your plate’ and ‘if you’re hungry’ (in between meals) you’ll eat bread and butter (that’s a whole ‘nother story!🤣🤣)

Part of that was there wasn’t the plethora of fast food or junk food, that was around when we raised our kids, or especially now. There also, were not near as many food choices period. If you didn’t grow up in those times, I am not sure you could understand it.

In our house particularly, I learned to bake because that was the only way we got snacks. It was good for me! Mom just turned me loose in the kitchen. I had total access to do anything I wanted with the recipes in her cook books and the ingredients in the cabinet. Heaven! 🤗

Each household has their certain ‘go to’ foods, and I think a lot of them are just habits, routines, and the ‘tastes’ of who does the shopping. At least it seems like that to our experience.

Growing up, I can remember one stint we did, where my Dad introduced us to fried baloney sandwiches! Something of a delicacy to his mind!! It was fun to learn how to make. I never really ‘took to it’. Because we grew up on the only ‘Brown bread’ readily available back then, because my Mom did not believe in white bread, (or kool aid), she was trying to help one of my brothers not have so many additives in his food. Her and Dad also preferred Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard, which the combination of the Roman Meal bread and Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard, was realllly an flavor combination for a mature taste palette, for which I still don’t think mine has matured! Lol! We are a decidedly Yellow Mustard family now days!

Anywho, the result was I temporarily bonded with my Dad by appreciating the Fried Baloney sandwich, but I never craved one again. And I don’t think we ever had baloney in the house again, if we did, I did not notice!

Fast forward a few years and I’m a very newly wed young bride living (the first year of our marriage) with Batman’s family. Batman and his Dad LOVED a good baloney sandwich on soft, white bread, with mayo and (the cherry on the sundae) YELLOW MUSTARD! 😍

I remember being introduced to this one day, his Dad was a Marine Patrol Officer, and he was on his days off for that week. He drove down to the local country store (which Batman has told you about here), and came back with FRESHLY MADE baloney!! I wouldn’t even know where to find that now! Such a shame! And fresh cheese. So good!

That was the best half sandwich I ever did eat!

Today I was making my sweet Batman a baloney sandwich for lunch, and I don’t know what made me remember it, but, all of a sudden I was remembering the day his Dad picked up that fresh baloney, and how different it tasted! Then I remembered when Batman worked at a local aeronautics factory, right down the road from my work! He got 35 minutes for lunch, and by the Grace of God, if he hustled I could meet him at the picnic tables in front of the county Sheriff’s Office where I was working at the time. We would have a nice quiet lunch, act like two kids, flirt, say good bye and both go back to work. Many years ago! Before cell phones. So you had to watch the clock, and be outside waiting when he pulled in, because not much time was available!

Fast forward a few more years, I was back to work after a very short 6 week maternity leave, after our second child, and now I was meeting him at his parking lot, because we were temporarily carpooling every day. I’d be there waiting when he got out for lunch, we would eat and listen to Paul Harvey on the radio. We were starting to grow up, and pay attention to what was going on in the world just a bit. Paul Harvey was a good way to get acclimated to keeping up with the world.

Looking back, I can see so many things to be grateful for, like that my work was just barely down the road from his work, at a time we really needed it. That we had those old school values to make and bring lunch and spend time together during those crazy, hazy days of being young, working our behinds off, raising a family, and at the same time, not really knowing what we were doing, but we kept plugging, and God kept blessing!!

And of course! Thankful for BALONEY!

Hope you are all doing well!! Pack a lunch, eat a sandwich with someone you love!!

Just not with Batman, he’s all mine!!

Peach 😁

Categories
Faith family focus Life photography

Peach & Patience

Batman Says:

As the career of a long term Police Officer heads towards its end, I find myself making plans (man plans, God laughs, He likes good jokes too, I just know it) as what we shall do upon retirement. I listen to the stories and plans of others who have moved on, all want to “see other countries” or “exotic places”. So I come up with ideas, and this is where Peach’s patience comes in.

Plan 1 buy a small pull behind camper and drag it all over this beautiful country we live in, visiting places and photographing things of interest and beauty. Generally having a moving house for a month before returning to home base to chill before the next adventure. There are bazillions of options of campers / travel trailers whatever you call them and the options are endless. Peach and I have never been fancy people, we have simple tastes and we have decided between two makes, and we will be attending an RV show this summer to get a closer look and see what we think. Great idea, let’s do it! But wait…

Plan 2 tent camping, can do the same thing and don’t have to drag the camper all over the country. Just outfit the truck with some cooking stuffs, coolers, chairs and bikes, load the tent up and off we go, same plan, different ‘moving house’. There are tons of things for tent campers to make them comfortable and cozy and we actually enjoy camping this way. Ok so that’s what we are gonna do, tent camping and driving all over seeing the country…..

Plan 3 😬, Basically follows along the lines of plan 2 but we add a pontoon boat. Before you go there, I have heard it before “the two best days are when you get your boat and when you sell it”. We have had boats and loved them, they were and still are something we like to do, but being older (none ya), the pontoon boat is an ideal vessel for Peach and I, we can put it in the water early, and it’s a stable platform to photograph those mysterious sunrises, as well and drop a line in the water and catch who knows what. Here’s the kicker, the basic 20′ size can hold up to 10 people (based on weight so unless they are children it will cut down the amount), and for Peach and I this is perfect, we can take our oldest son and his family out and have a great time (time with the 5 grandkids to boot) cruising, fishing, or just goofing off. Peach and I head to the Florida Keys at times, we can drag it down there and again have an awesome platform for loads of fun. Ok, this is the one, let’s do that…

Plan 4…

Can you all see where this is going? I am so scatterbrained, and have so many things I want to do with Peach, that my concrete plans change every few days, minutes, seconds..

All the while my beautiful Peach smiles and agrees, with the patience few have (I do get the “look” sometimes, you know, the “you are changing your plans again” look. But she never fusses or complains, she just goes off and tries to focus on making my latest great “plan” a reality. I hope before long to actually settle on a plan, commit to it and bring it to reality, till then I will keep coming up with “plans” and I’m sure Peach will keep smiling and being patient (I hope so anyways).

“Peach, how about we do this….”

Categories
Faith family Fear focus health Life

Unremembered Forest Things

Batman Says:

When I was little (yes everyone I once was little and didn’t have adult cares, how long ago? None of your business cheeky bugger), I was born (not hatched or beamed down as some believe) in a very small country town. I was actually the only one of my siblings born in this small town, but my moms family was from there and we lived there a short while. We moved to a different place, not to far away from where I was born and made frequent return trips there, so much so when I was small, it was as if I never left. Many memories of those days are gone, lost or pushed aside by other information garnered over the many years of my life (no you don’t need to know how many!). Some are still there and pop up at weird times to remind me of something (I truly wish I knew what that was) and they sometimes linger about showing up off and onto annoy me.

Like my grandpa’s place where we stayed at times, he had a tater field and would pay us kids a quarter for whoever dig up the biggest tater (by hand of course). Even fonder memories were of visits to my Aunt and Uncles house (10 minute walk across one dirt road and a couple fields) where they had rabbits (for eating, sorry no pets) and a pond that I would spend hours catching and releasing bream and catfish in (unless my uncle said “keep’em we will eat them for lunch/dinner”). My childhood memories of these times were to me idyllic and I’m saddened that they slip out of remembrance only to pop up occasionally now days.

My grandpa, my uncle and sometimes dad if he were not off helping someone fix something (seems I remember him always fixing stuff for people when we visited there) would take me fishing on a river that ran thru our little town, and at this part of the country, separated two states acting as part of the state lines. When it was summer and it hadn’t rained much, you could basically walk the river for miles without ever getting past thigh deep (on a small boy) except for parts around stumps and widow-makers (underwater snags).these deeper pockets is where the “Stump Knockers” (google it) were hiding and where the lines from our cane poles were put to catch what we could then move on to the next.

Sometimes my grandpa or uncle would stop and stare off into the woods as if seeing something but try as I might I never caught what they were seeing. I asked over and over ‘what are u looking at grandpa /uncle ” and would get “nothin son” or “just looking”. My aunt told me later that they were seeing “forest creatures” and she would laugh. Now as a small boy this fascinated me to no end, but soon I would be off to other small boy things and it would be forgotten.

Fast forward a few years (again, don’t ask how many, it’s rude) and I spend as many spare seconds as I can in the woods or creeks, hunting, fishing, photography, just being outside with Peach, or whatever. This is my happy place, my forget all your troubles, relax and just “breathe” place. Took me several years to catch on but I think I finally get it..

People who spend time in the fields, forests, swamps and natural places will know immediately what I mean in a couple seconds, some others will also as there are other types in the world. Here you are, let’s use photography as the reason you are there in nature just as a for instance. Strolling along slowly maybe with purpose in mind of something to photograph or maybe not, then, without knowing why or even thinking about it, your focus is drawn to a area or specific spot, why? Did u subconsciously see something, was it a memory of something from a time ago, or something else?

I have come to believe in my own silly mind it is done with purpose and you were drawn to that spot where one of the Unremembered Forest things was, or had just been. Your mind saw it before your eyes could catch it and your vision focused on the spot it just vacated. Good hunters have a developed sense of where game can be found, same goes for good photographers and other nature lovers. We all have in us a Predator instinct, that’s why our eyes are set in front of our head and not out to the sides (look at a cat as opposed to a deer). This instinct does not go away, but now days it’s suppressed by societies belief that “hunters are evil” (sorry squirrel ran by).

When we were children and out in nature I believe we could see the unremembered Forest things, and they weren’t afraid to be seen, but as we get older and refuse to believe, they have become skittish and we only get to see the places they just were when we spooked them.

There are so many unexplained things in nature that scientist and nay-sayers roll their eyes at, doesn’t matter, I still believe. I spend lots of time outdoors, exploring the wild, and I am constantly being drawn towards things without knowing why.

Here is an example of not seeing what’s there, I took this picture without knowing why, the colors are ok, but I didn’t really think it was that awesome. I was drawn to it without knowing why, snapped it and moved on. As I reflected upon it later I recognized the image before my eyes, if you do not see an “Angel praying” then you need to get outside into the forest for several days to reset your brain before it’s to late.

Seeing for the first time in ages the hiding places of these “things” sometimes leads one to make up rationalizations for why we chose that spot to focus. That’s cool If that’s what you believe, who am I to try and dissuade your beliefs? Just like I chunk opinions of others who try and dissuade mine into the “bucket” with the other rubbish.

I call these things “Unremembered Forest Things” because I believe that when we were small, and well before our brains were polluted with things society thinks we should know, we knew these “things” be it creatures or something else. But over time we have forgotten them, only to be reminded every so often subtly by our unconscious mind, a tugging of your focus for no apparent reason to a certain spot, and hint of a smell, or whatever. Watching the stillness of a pond where no breeze is blowing, when suddenly there are ripples on the surface as if a stick was drawn across it, Water Faries dancing on the surface? Naw just the wind right?

In the stillness and quietness, I find my peace, and I find those parts of myself from my childhood I thought were gone forever. Sometimes I can just stand still in the woods, for hours at a time and be content. This refreshing memory inducing time is only ever bettered, when I have my Peach along with me. Peach gets it, she gets me to, she knows there are things we cannot explain, nor do we have to try, we should just enjoy them.

God has filled this wonderful earth with creatures great and small, and it’s up to us to “remember” them all, and to take time to go seek them where they are.

Hope you all enjoy this ramble, and it’s my wish that if you want to, you go into nature, and let your unconscious mind guide you, follow it, and see if it does not reveal some of the “Unremembered Forest Things” that you knew in your childhood years.

Did ya see how that last pick looks like it has a turtle in it Peach?”

Categories
Fear focus health Life life styles Uncategorized

Sense of Humor?

Batman Says:

Just curious, anybody remember what that is anymore? I honestly believe that most people have either never had one, forgotten what it was, or just are to persnickety to allow theirs to show up.

I have been called lots of things in my lifetime, funny, weird, gruff, grumpy, hardheaded, ok ok that’s enough, but I’ve always had a sense of humor. Mine’s a little off kilter, and sometimes ‘bent’ but most people that really “know” me, will tell you I have a great sense of humor, those who think otherwise may be acquainted with me, but they don’t “know” me.

Humor is a stress release I think, and helps us cope with everyday stupidity. Before you get sidetracked, I’m not talking about laughing or joking at someone’s distress, I’m talking about not being afraid to laugh out loud at something you find funny. I have found in my career as a person who deals with other people’s problems, that most who have a sense of humor, are easier to work with than the naysayers and “the sky is falling” kind of people.

Meeting people on the street and having conversations will quickly tell you which type you’re dealing with, which should tell you how the conversation is probably going to wind up, example:

I was at our City marina in the dock masters office (small building out by the fuel dock where reservations are taken, fuel is paid for, dock hands relax for a couple seconds) getting my morning coffee, and of course because the world is losing its proverbial mind over a flu-bug, only one customer at a time is allowed in the office at a time. I saw a man headed up the ramp towards the office, so I opened the door and was going to leave so he could conduct his business. I said “mornin, come on in I don’t have any diseases”, which anyone with a sense of humor would have thought was funny, the dock hands did who were there and it was said with a smile and a sincere greeting. This fella chose to be an *ss and replied “prove it” as he was pulling up his face mask (which by the was was a dust mask not one rated to stop this junk). I stopped on the outside of the door holding it for him, and replied, again with a smile “if I got it, it just happened talking to you as I just got my test results back and they were negative”. This person was a sailboater, who had been staying at said marina for the past few days, so I asked “soooo what essential reason do you have to be here on your boat instead of quarantined at home per the Governors orders?” again EVERYBODY but this person knew I was being funny and could care less. This person turned pale, stammered and shuddered for a coherent answer that was plausible, and failed miserably, all he had to say was “I dunno” and went about his way, but since he chose to be an *ss I let him dangle for a while before smiling and wishing him a “nicer day”.

I went about my job and when I stopped back by later to fuel up one of the dock guys was still there and thanked me for “putting him in his place” as apparently he was rude to them the entire stay. Wasn’t my intention, I was honestly being humorous and I meant the “good morning and have a nicer day” greetings, but this person chose to be rude.

A sense of humor will get you out of more pickles easier than any other thing I know. If you cannot laugh at yourself, and laugh with others when they laugh at your goof ups or silliness, you are in for a long sad time in life.

Somewhere along the way it apparently became unpopular to have a sense of humor, probably some group someplace decided that they were offended by people laughing and quietly it has gotten pushed aside. Y’all are way too serious in this day and age. Happy people are more productive and make better employees and customers, why not spread humor instead of hate, good feelings instead of bad? Being paranoid does no one any good, being humorless only makes people not want to be around you, or if they are, they are mostly guarded and aren’t the people they are normally.

People without a sense of humor are such bores, I mean seriously, who wants to be around someone who can’t find it n themselves to laugh sometimes, no matter how serious the job or occasion.

I read this stuff someplace:

“Laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner”

The above quote I read someplace about laughter and it’s benefits, I new it was good for you but until I read that I had no idea the extent. Here, check this out:

“Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Laughter boosts the immune system.Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Laughter burns calories. OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.

Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.

Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.”

(Sorry can’t find the actual article to give them total credit for the above quoted info)

Who’d a thunk it? Simply giggling and laughing can have so many positive benefits.

Someone find that sailboater with his goofy mask and tell him a funny joke will ya, he could certainly use a good laugh.

You can stop laughing now Peach I finally figured the remote out”

Categories
Faith family focus health Life life styles

Stores

Batman Says:

Click and “poof” whatever you want is delivered to your home, you don’t ever have to leave again. Some call it convenient, I call it the slow death of “Stores”.

Remember going to the store? It was a trip, a journey where you met people, said hello and actually conversed. It was a time away from the house, sometimes it wasn’t convenient to have to go, others it was just fun. I remember during the summers when I was young (again, none ya business when that was) we would sometimes ride our bicycles the 5 miles down our barren county road to the wooden country store in the middle of the ‘tater’ fields just to get a NeHi soda and sometimes even candy. We sometimes played the worn out pinball machine, sat in the shade and talked to the “old guys” that hung around and we just had fun. Then we rode back home down that lonesome road.

As we got older the trips were made in trucks and we somehow didn’t have time to sit around and talk. And the trips to the “store” became less important. We found more “important” things to do I suppose. Shame, I kinda miss it now that I’m “growed up” supposedly.

I think somewhere along the way from childhood to adulthood we lose a special part of ourselves that if we kept, we would never not want to always see, hear, and visit places and things, and “stores”. Now with modern tech, it’s all too simple to become a hermit and just have anything you wish, dropped outside your front door. I, for one think it’s sad, I’m not saying I don’t use these options here and there, I’m saying we should never stop totally, taking the trip to the store. Giving up the chance to see an old friend, or make a new one, is not worth missing just for convenience.

Take it from Batman, you’re never too old to make new friends and renew old friendships, chances are better for both if you’re out and about as opposed to being a hermit.

No Peach this does not mean I go to town every time you do”

Categories
bible Faith family focus health Life photography

Pretty Days

Batman Says:

Peach and I have taken lots of photographs over the past few years, and it has got me thinking about what defines a “pretty day”.

To me, every day that comes around, be it sunny and bright, rainy and gray, blinding snow, hurricane blown wind and rain, all have a pretty aspect. The are all something God allowed to form for one of his purposes.

Peach and I have captured a few of what we call pretty days on camera and I’d like to share a few here with you. Some you may have seen before others maybe not, all are special to us as it is time spent together photographing God’s creations, enjoy and please comment if you like or dislike, it’s how we learn.

God paints the pictures, Peach & I do our best to capture them to share.

Each day we are blessed to be a part of, be it stormy weather or clear skies, leaves an indelible mark on each of us, savor the moments you have, stop and look around, dance in the rain, the days are created for us to use, don’t waste them with “we’ll see, or I can do it later, or It’s too hot, it’s too cold”. Do what you can to enjoy the moments, and reflect upon those gone on ahead who are waiting for us.

“Pretty Days” to us is more a state of mind than an actual kind of day, hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoy taking them and sharing them.

Y’all get outside and breath the clean air would ya…

“I’m comin Peach, hold your horses..”

PeachandBatman.smugmug.com

Categories
bible Faith family Fear focus health Life

Living a Life of Duty

Batman Says:

Hello my friends, going a different direction with this post, hope y’all don’t mind, but it’s been weighing on me to talk about this even if it’s a small audience. Who knows, maybe somehow the right person or persons will find it and it will help.

There are people, ordinary everyday people out there, that do something extraordinary. They don’t do it for the money, glory, fame or recognition. They just simply do it because something tugs at them inside and they answer that calling. These people live a Life of Duty.

Soldiers, Police Officers, these are the people I’m talking about, and let’s see if we can explore why, and if not why, let’s see if we can find ways to let them know we appreciate their sacrifices.

I’m a Veteran, I am also a 25+ year active duty Police Officer, I know these sacrifices and I salute anyone that has or is either, you are my Brothers & Sisters in arms, and I know…

No one tells you about all the things that surround you when you are in one of these services, military service people are sent to God knows where to perform tasks that would break a normal persons heart and soul to go through. Sometimes fighting night and day to stay alive, far from home while the world continues to spin and your civilian friends party and carry on with no clue what you are living through. Missing family and always in the back of your mind focusing on the one thought that helps get you through, the thought of going home when your tour is over. And when you finally do get to go home, you realize you no longer are the person you were before you left, you have seen too much, felt too much, to just brush it all off and pretend you are you. So, if your able and are one of the lucky ones, you shove the bad into that dark place in the the back recesses if your mind and you mentally build an impenetrable wall to keep it from escaping. You pick up your life and carry on as if nothing happened, you live a happy life and are complete.

But if you are not lucky, or are not able to force the bad into a box and wall your mind up around it, you are tortured by the demons that haunt your mind. These souls desperately search for help, from pills, from a bottle, from wherever they can. They often find the “official” channels are made so cumbersome and full of people that only care if you fill out the appropriate form, that they cannot get past the front desk. The V.A. Is FULL of non caring people that ONLY care that they get their weekends off and a steady, easily earned paycheck. There are though, Angels in the V.A. who despite the red tape, and bosses with their forms, truly care and are devastated to know they didn’t help someone who needed it. The Veteran that cannot get help, often self medicates with one of the earlier mentioned items. Some find solace in other Veterans and groups who get together and listen, share horror stories, cry on each other’s shoulders and maintain the bond created in difficult times.

Will leave it there for a couple lines while I share a conversation with a friend and fellow Veteran I had recently. This Veteran served in Iraq on the ground door to door, and came home, ok but not completely, the demons kept creeping out, and he would self medicate with alcohol to keep them at bay. Just as he came through it, and could start to keep the demons in the box, tragedy strikes and his son, also a Veteran who served in Afghanistan, after struggling with depression, self medicating and not getting the help he needed from the V.A. took his own life. This pushed my friend back into a spiraling fall and only by the Grace of God and his own strength of character, did he emerge from. Every day is a reminder to him of his son, and he fights on because he knows to give in would hurt more people that he loves.

Now back we go, the above story is true and I only found out all of it from my friend last week. It brings home tragedy of a friends loss, and brings to light for me the fact that there are so many Military Veterans that NEED help. Take the time to tell a Veteran, don’t just say “thank you for your service” say “Thank YOU” and “Is there anything you need that I may be able to help with?” I’m not talking about offering money I’m talking about offering compassion, it’s worth all the money in the world to someone that thinks no one cares.

When I became a Police Officer back in 1994, things were different. For the most part citizens liked the Police and what they stood for. Things have changed, not all for the good, some as a result of bad decisions by Police Officers, some by the media bending the truth to sensationalize a story to get ratings. I became a Police Officer at the age of 30, so I had had several jobs, been around the block a few times and was considered one of the old school cops. We told you how we felt about something honestly and if you needed arrested we arrested you, if you needed someone to vent to, we let you vent (verbally), words can hurt but it’s temporary and not life threatening. I cannot tell you or guess how many times I stood and talked to someone that was irate and genuinely wanting to cause trouble, that eventually calmed down and after a while, changed their attitude ( by the way the surest way to tick someone off is to tell them to “calm down” trust me on this).

For the most part the people we dealt with were not the worst of society, don’t get me wrong, on any given minute anyone is capable of anything. One of the most calm and well spoken people I have come across had just killed a man for “disrespecting” his camp. But I hold no grudges, people make mistakes daily and most try and put it behind them. I go by the motto “Don’t judge a man by how he falls, judge him by how he stands back up”.

Leaping forward in time the Officers are from a different generation, the new replacing the old, as it’s always been, but…this new “millennial” group of Officers, despite being competent and confident, lack the ability to take criticism, cannot talk to people and are always in a hurry to be someplace where the action is. More than once in my career I have been told “you can’t talk to millennials that way” or ” you don’t know how to talk to millennials”. Maybe so, but I know how to talk to people, it came to this job with me, and it came from years of life experience“, something you do not get from a book or video. I am lucky that I had firm but fair parents, that taught right from wrong, taught manners (I still say ma’am and thank you, I still open doors for people, I take my hat off around ladies and inside) but more than that, I was instilled from a young age a coping mechanism for any and all problems, and that is a faith in God, and that he knows and will provide me with the answers and comfort I need, when I need it.

Now this past paragraph may sound like I am bashing millennials, and this is no means the case. There are two points I want to make, if I can, one is if a person would just listen more than talk the answers would present themselves, and the second? Follow along…

Being a Police Officer has taken a drastic change over the past 10 years, we are no longer respected by the populace, as we once were. This is partially our fault and partially the fault of outside influences beyond our control. Police Officers are having to contend with situations that they are not trained on and that are more military in nature than civilian. Ambushes, terrorist attacks, these are things Soldiers are trained for and these are the things that if you survive, leave scars mentally. These scars, are put in the box with the demons from the homicides, the sudden deaths, the drownings, the suicides, as well as the media constantly finding flaw in every thing we as Police Officers deal with in a manner that they don’t agree with. Today’s Police Officers are being killed at unprecedented rates, but worse, they are unable to keep the demons in the box, and sadly they are committing suicide at rates way higher than ever. These young men and women, are the newer Officers mostly, with an average of 5 years on the job and find they cannot cope with what they have seen, done, and been accused of, alone, and do not know where to turn. They self medicate, and when that fails, they resort to the only solution they think they have left, suicide. I’m not saying that just because you fall in the millennial “group” and you’re a Police Officer, you are more likely to commit suicide, I am saying that it seems to me that younger (in time) Officers, that haven’t developed the coping mechanisms, who do not think they need to listen, who do not believe they need God in their lives, are walking a thin line, without the safety net that seasoned Veterans who have life experience have.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you read this and know someone that you even faintly may feel like they are in trouble, get them help. Do not just let it go, if you can’t help tell their boss, their parent, wife, friend or family member, do not let them try and face it alone.

I have been and always will be a Soldier (once a Soldier always a Soldier) I have been and will always be a Police Officer, and I know I may be called to make a sacrifice that few can make in order to protect the “sheep from the wolves”, that’s the choice I make daily when I put my uniform on. I can cope with my demons as I have the Armor of God, and I let him guide me in times when I am feeling weak. I have the most beautiful and loving wife in my Peach, and nothing on this good earth is going to keep me from annoying her for another 50+ years.

I chose to live a “Life of Duty” like thousands before, and thousands will after, praise them when you get the chance, we are human beings also, with the same wants, needs and fears, we just chose to put them aside to protect you all from the evil in the dark places you choose not to believe exists.

To my fellow Veterans, and my fellow Police Officers, YOU ARE NOT ALONE, if you are feeling weak call and I am there, hit your knees and ask God to show you the way, his way may not be what you want, but it will be what you need.

“I don’t believe in God” “it’s ok, God believes in you”

“God does not care who you were son, God cares who you are”

Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”