|New porch - view from the driveway...|
I spent the day binge-watching Jane the Virgin, which is a great show. It's sort of a parody of tele-novellas and is a little over the top but it's been entertaining. Yay for Netflix! Yay for avoiding the 24 hour news cycle this week!
I also finished a massive Italian course that I've been working on since - April, I think - that included over 2,000 words. The way the program I'm using - memrise.com - works, you continue to review the words from courses you've finished at certain intervals so I'm not technically DONE with that course because I'll keep reviewing until I'm sure I know every single word. Or most of them. I'm still reviewing the Duolingo "recap" course and I'm working on a new course that is more about learning phrases and understanding sentence structure which is a very big difference between English and Italian. I still only speak Italian to the cats but I'm getting better. I enjoy the challenge.
Pain wise... left shoulder, still the piriformis syndrome but not as bad, headache but not migraine level, muscle spasms in my lower back. I'm not kidding when I say that it's something every single day. Not the worst pain day I've had lately though, so that was nice.
Today I had yogurt with granola for breakfast... corn for lunch (just corn... I meant to warm up some leftover potatoes in chicken and I just wasn't that hungry)... and then fried chicken and macaroni & cheese for dinner. Not getting the fruit and veg in so well today. It's just harder to eat with the doggie beside me. He's very interested in my food!
I've never done a Filter Free day before, officially but I think my blogging style tends to lean toward unfiltered anyways. This has been a tough week for me emotionally. (physically too but that's always the case). I'm really hurt by the things I've seen posted on Facebook by people who feel differently from me politically. This happened during the last election too and I think it just hurts more now because I'm feeling so emotionally vulnerable because of our situation with Cosette. I'm just already so bruised and battered that I take things more to heart. So I'm just going to go ahead and list the reasons that I plan to vote the way I'm planning to vote not that I think it will change anyone else's mind but because I'm tired of being vilified. Here's the thing...
I believe that abortion is always wrong. It ends a life. And while I understand that people have reasons... and while I might be emotionally moved by those individual, heart-wrenching cases, I can't escape the conviction that ending a life is wrong. That's always my main reason for voting conservatively. The extreme cases such as rape and health concerns for the mother and child are a small percentage of abortions and in those situations, I would want someone wiser and more knowledgeable than myself to make the decision. HOWEVER... those cases are not the bulk of the abortions in this county, most are for the convenience of the mother and father. So - always - every time - no matter what - my vote will go for the candidate with the most conservative position on abortion. For those who believe in a woman's right to choose... I agree. Those infant girls and boys have the right to choose life and I will always want to do what I can for those who can't speak up for themselves.
The other fear I have in this election, at this moment in time is that our world is in chaos and I feel strongly that our isolationist policies of the Obama administration have strongly contributed by not doing what we could and not speaking up for those who needed to be defended. For half of his administration his Secretary of State was Hilary Clinton and I'm not impressed by her handling of world affairs. We pulled out of Iraq too soon. We haven't been strong against ISIS. People are fleeing for their lives from the places that ISIS has infiltrated and those who can't flee are being executed. Christians... executed. Homosexuals... executed. Women... raped and executed. Want to protect Women's Rights? Start in Syria. Or Iraq. Are you for equality... same sex marriage? Guess who isn't? ISIS. The horrific things they do to homosexuals haunt me. How could we do anything short of electing someone who will be strong against ISIS? How could I allow myself as a woman, or my gay friends to be put in danger?
Places with open borders are finding themselves facing frequent and horrific terrorist attacks. Do I want us to build a wall between us and Mexico? No, of course not... but I do feel like it's important to have strong border controls so that those who consider us as "infidels" don't get in. Our country has a history of being a melting pot but it never has just flung open the doors for anyone and everyone. If you spend any time doing genealogy studies you realize that there were checks and balances and lots of people didn't get in. Look at Germany... France... Turkey... and how open borders have cost the lives of their innocent citizens. War doesn't look like it did in World War II - with uniformed men marching across borders. They come one at a time... and so many that end up causing harm have already come under suspicion but political correctness stopped them from being stopped. Not speaking up costs innocent lives. That matters to me.
For those who are here and undocumented, let's extend amnesty. If they can show a history of working or studying, maintaining a home, obeying the law (except for being here illegally), let them stay and pay taxes. No system is fool proof but we can't just blindly say, "y'all c'mon in..." without placing our nation at risk. Blanket amnesty, beyond what our system could handle puts us all at risk, even those seeking sanctuary here. If they're breaking the law... send 'em back to where they came from. I think it's simple. Let the ones who want to do things right stay here. Free up the folks in immigration and border patrol so that they can spend time watching for those who want to come here to do harm instead of chasing down people who want to do the right thing but just haven't been able to get the paperwork in order.
Look, I'm not a huge fan of Donald Trump but I am concerned about what has happened in the past eight years. I'm concerned about the future of the Supreme Court and having activist judges appointed during a Clinton Administration. For Ruth Bader Ginsberg to feel so emboldened as to speak out against a Presidential candidate just demonstrates to me that justice is no longer blind. I'm concerned about the world that my children and grandchildren will be living in. I'm concerned about leadership that doesn't lead. I'm concerned about the growing racial divide in this country. I was accused of being racist this week by someone very close to me... when they painted all "non-Hilary" voters with a broad brush and that hurt me. I couldn't watch the Democratic Convention because my heart is too weary right now to listen to people like myself with only the best, patriotic intentions at heart be maligned and attacked for what we believe. This happened during the last election too... with accusations of not caring about people without healthcare when absolutely the opposite is true. I'm concerned about being able to pay for the programs that our government creates and how heavily my kids and grandkids will be taxed.
So - Filter Free Friday - the truth is that if I loved you before this election, I will still love you after this election, no matter how you vote. I will respect your right to follow your convictions just as I follow my own. I won't engage in name calling or Facebook debates because truly, how could that possibly change anyone's mind? I won't paint with a broad brush that says, "if you don't like what I say, unfriend me" because my hope is that I can continue to be friends with a wide array of people who all bring their own unique life experience to the table and that those who love me, love me for who I am and understand that my heart is in the right place. I've learned so much from people who aren't just like me and I want to surround myself with diversity. But I can't tell you that it doesn't hurt to be essentially tossed aside over my belief system and my own personal convictions when I have always respected those of others. And I can't tell you that I won't remember things that were said about... people who feel the way I feel. I don't post politically divisive stuff because I don't want to hurt people I love who see things differently than me. That's sometimes the problem with "free speech"... we only want to protect it for those who think like us and stifle those who don't agree.
I remember a story that my former mother-in-law told me about my father-in-law who was killed in Vietnam. He came home and faced people protesting against the war and their anger towards him for serving in the war. He told his wife that it was ok, he was fighting for their right to disagree. Many have fought and died for our right to follow our own convictions. I hope we don't let their sacrifice be in vain, that we can continue to allow people to speak freely.
And I guess that's all I have to say about that. Happy Weekend, friends! Love and hugs!