Back to blogging :-)

ST Command Central.

ST Command Central.

After taking an unintentionally long hiatus, yours truly is back to blogging. :)

Last year saw a lot of changes for me on many fronts, and “real life” got a whole lot busier. And in the summer when the race for the NC US Senate seat between then-Senator Hagan and now-Senator Thom Tillis began to heat up, I had to make some choices to make and decided that my offline responsibilities and the Senate race would be my top priorities – so I didn’t get to blog much, as social media became my main front for getting the message out about Kay Hagan, the bias of the North Carolina press, and how important it was that North Carolina do its part in changing control of the US Senate. Thankfully, we did! In fact, Roll Call did a nice piece talking about how NC conservatives/activists really stepped up their Twitter game in the final weeks before the election, which may have helped carry Thom Tillis to victory.

Since the election, offline life has continued to be busy both personally and professionally, which kept me away not only from my site but social media as well. In fact, this weekend has been the first real “me time” breather I’ve had since the week of Christmas, and my goal as it has been for quite some time was to change the theme and make it a more “back to basics” type format where the content was the main focus, not all the links and fancy bells and whistles – which I don’t have time to maintain anymore, anyway. So the new them is “live” – and I hope everyone likes it. Still have a bit of tweaking to do here and there, but for the most part, this is how everything will look.

It will be nice to (slowly) get back into the blogging and social media groove, even though now it will be infrequent and not as often as I once could do. But what’s important – and you learn this once you don’t have the time on your hands you’d like to! – is the quality of content and not so much the quantity, although if you can go doth quantity AND quality, that’s a definite bonus! Also, I plan to expand my topic range to incorporate things I didn’t talk about much here before – things like fashion, movies, home decorating, and other topics of general interest that go beyond politics and current events. I feel like I limited myself a bit before, and don’t want to do that anymore.

As always, the one and only Phineas, who has been my co-blogger here for many years and who has done an outstanding job, is welcome to blog here whenever he wants to. The door is always open!

Thanks for listening/reading. :)

Thankful for many blessings on this #FathersDay

In a couple of hours the family will be getting together for lunch to celebrate Father’s Day. Considering all of the health issues my dad has been going through, we are so blessed that God has allowed him to be with us for another year and that he is still in relatively good spirits, and still enjoys puttering around the yard, in his small garden, and with his truck. This in spite of the fact that he now has trouble seeing, and gets around a lot slower than he used to. We are thankful that he has not given up on life, because we will not give up on him.

The family today will pray for another year of blessings and little miracles, both for him and Mama T, who has been our rock through the good times and the rough times. I pray for all families getting ready to honor your respective fathers on this very special day that you, too, continue to be blessed. And if your father has passed on, may your memories provide you with strength, comfort, and peace as you look back fondly.

Dads matter, and I truly treasure, love, and adore mine. Happy Father’s Day, daddy.

Papa T and ST

Papa T and me – circa mid 1970s.
I was probably yawning, or laughing – or yelling! : )
Happy Father’s Day, dad-o.

(Re-posted from last year)

Happy Mother’s Day!

Just wanted to take a moment to wish all moms out there a very happy, safe, and special Mother’s Day filled with the love, laughter, and pampering you so very much deserve every day of the week!

My own story this year involves a “selfie” Mama T recently posted on her Facebook wall.  She was wearing a “sweet pea” necklace, which she bought one day when she, my sisters and me were out shopping at a costume jewelry store.  She always calls us “sweet pea” (and “pumpkin”, and “honey”, and “sugar”!) and we all thought that necklace was perfect and so she bought it – and wears it on days like today, her birthday, and our birthdays.  Now, most people post selfies to show off a new haircut or to brag about where they are and/or what they’re doing.  On mom’s, her comment was “you can’t see the sweet pea necklace very good in this pic, but I’m wearing it!”  Even in a “selfie”, my mom is selfless.  As she always has been.

I couldn’t be more blessed to have this beautiful, inspirational woman as my mother.  I can’t wait to shower her with a bunch of extra love and attention today!  Love you, mom!

Mama T and me

Yours truly and the beautiful Mama Toldjah : )

Turkey Day: Wishing you & your family a blessed #Thanksgiving!

ST's turkey

The Toldjah family turkey as it came out
of my oven last night. : )

Just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very safe, happy, and blessed Thanksgiving holiday. Posting here has been and will obviously be light for the next couple of days as Phineas is visiting family and mine is visiting me. Lots of cleaning and prep work has gone on in the last couple of days. :)

We should be thankful everyday but Thanksgiving provides us the opportunity to amplify our appreciation for faith, family, friends, and food.  Please also remember to be thankful and say a prayer for those who can’t be with their families today for whatever reason – whether serving in the military, working in law enforcement or in the medical profession, and any other job or responsibility where there never really is a “day off” or “holiday.”

Yours truly, with a lot of help from Mama T., made the family turkey last night in advance so I could free up some time this morning for other things to do before the family comes over. I get the honor of hosting the Thanksgiving holiday at my little home this year, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Enjoy your day today – God bless!

Thankful for many blessings on this #FathersDay

In a couple of hours the family will be getting together for lunch to celebrate Father’s Day. Considering all of the health issues my dad has been going through, we are so blessed that God has allowed him to be with us for another year and that he is still in relatively good spirits, and still enjoys puttering around the yard, in his small garden, and with his truck. This in spite of the fact that he now has trouble seeing, and gets around a lot slower than he used to. We are thankful that he has not given up on life, because we will not give up on him.

The family today will pray for another year of blessings and little miracles, both for him and Mama T, who has been our rock through the good times and the rough times. I pray for all families getting ready to honor your respective fathers on this very special day that you, too, continue to be blessed. And if your father has passed on, may your memories provide you with strength, comfort, and peace as you look back fondly.

Dads matter, and I truly treasure, love, and adore mine. Happy Father’s Day, daddy.

Papa T and ST

Papa T and me – circa mid 1970s.
I was probably yawning, or laughing – or yelling! : )
Happy Father’s Day, dad-o.

Happy Mother’s Day to my biggest inspiration

Love you, mom!! :x

Mama T and me

Yours truly and the beautiful Mama Toldjah : )

God bless all moms out there on this special day. Though this one day of the year is designated specifically just for you, every day should be mother’s day, IMO. :) May this day, and every day going forward be blessed for all of you. @};-

From #proabortion to #prolife: My thoughts on #RoeAt40

First, I’d like to say that I hate that the anniversary of this decison, which gave women the ‘right’ to terminate their pregnancy(ies), is on my birthday.

Second, abortion is an issue I find hard to talk about – not because I’m afraid to talk about it (I got over that long ago) but because it is an incredibly painful issue for me to discuss. Not that I’m alone in that; I’m sure it’s tough for a lot of people, mainly male and female pro-lifers, to discuss because of the moral issues, the visual images we’ve all seen of aborted babies, and the deep emotional commitment pro-lifers have towards saving the lives of the unborn. The pain for me is that, but also the knowledge that as a young woman finding my way in life, I once advocated the ‘continued right’ for pregnant women to abort their unborn babies. There are fiercely strong elements of both guilt and shame inside me over my old beliefs about abortion, so strong that I can’t write or talk about the issue without being overcome with emotion. I simply cannot forgive myself that I, in my own small way, contributed to the culture of death at one point in my life. It is something I continue to have to work through, not just as a Christian, but as a human being, because you don’t have to be a Christian to understand that abortion is morally reprehensible.

On the other hand, having been on the ‘other side’ of the issue at one time helps me, I think, in being able to give a more understandable and (hopefully) believable insight into the mind of someone who is (in my case once was) pro-abortion, but before I get started, I’d like to acknowledge that I realize that reasonable people can disagree on this issue, but the people I most often debate the issue with are those who are militant and unreasonable, and who make easily debunkable arguments, which I’ll explain in depth below.

The word “abortion” alone speaks volumes about the procedure, and you can best believe that over the years pro-abortion forces in groups such as NARAL and NOW have sought to reframe the debate by preferring to use Photo courtesy of Kurt Rogers/SF Chronicle the term “pro-choice” more and more rather than “pro-abortion” (Example 1 and Example 2). There is a reason for this, which is evident when you analyze the word “abortion” itself. The word “abort” means to “stop” or “terminate” something and in the case of “abortion” what exactly are we “stopping” or ‘terminating”? Pro-abortionists don’t want you to consider this aspect of the argument because they’d have to admit that you were “stopping” or “terminating” the very maturation of a little life – a human life – where we all began. Thus the attempt at reframing the debate by claiming they are ‘pro-choice’ (or ‘pro reproductive freedom’) rather than ‘pro-abortion.’ They want you to believe it’s not about a ‘aborting a life’ but instead ‘making a choice.’ Right.

The attempt at reshaping the debate by using less inflammatory words is a common tactic of the pro-abortion crowd. Oftentimes when debating abortion I’ll come across a staunch abortion advocate who will insist that it’s not a baby in a pregnant woman’s womb but a “blob of tissue” or “parasite” or “leech.” I wrote this last October regarding the changing of terms we use when discussing unborn babies or humans in a PVS, and I think it’s worth repeating today:

Viewing unborn children as a parasites is very similar to viewing patients in a persistent vegetative state as a vegetables. It’s a way to take the human aspect of the issue out of the equation. When you don’t view something as a human, it’s easier to justify your support of taking its life. Dr. Yacov Tabak, who helped provide the best care for his wife Marsi, who was diagnosed as being in a PVS in 1997, explains:

Dr. Tabak couldn’t bear the term “vegetable” when it was first presented to him, and since the Terri Schiavo ruling, says that some in the medical community have shown an ulterior, ugly side regarding this appellation. “There is a medical agenda with this term” Dr. Tabak contends. “It’s very difficult to get emotionally involved with a vegetable. To have a relationship with a carrot goes against human nature.

And to have a relationship with a ‘parasite’ goes against human nature, too. Viewing an unborn child as a mere pesky parasite makes it sound, to pro-abortionists, so much more ‘justifiable’ to terminate.

There are conflicting studies out there which show on one hand that ‘most’ women who have abortions are not emotionally scarred by it and feel relieved once it’s done, while others show that having an abortion scars a woman for life, some more so than others. The truth is somewhere in between, but make no mistake about it, the decision to have an abortion is not one that most women make in a snap. They think about it and agonize over it, and there’s a reason they agonize over it: because deep inside, they know it’s wrong. Last October, I blogged about a hospital in the UK that was discovered to have thrown aborted babies into the same incinerator they used to get rid of trash, which outraged not only pro-life groups, but some of the women who had abortions there, who thought it was a horrible way for their baby to be dispensed with, which tells you about how torn women who have abortions are between doing what’s right (keeping the child) versus doing what is convenient (aborting them) and the guilt which eats at them later. Women are reassured prior to the abortion that their unborn child will be buried or dispensed of ‘with dignity’ but why worry about the dignity of the child when you didn’t want it to begin with? If you’ve made the choice to abort your child, you have little room to complain when you find out how it’s been disposed of, but all the same the thought that women could be horrified to find out something like that happened to their unborn baby after they aborted it shows that they know deep down that what they did was wrong to begin with.

The hypocrisy involved in pro-abortion arguments is so obvious that it amazes me that pro-abortionists can make them with a straight face, but make them they do and they’ve gotten away with it for years. For example, you frequently hear and read pro-abortionists exclaim “the government has no business in my sex life” yet these same people advocate that the government does get involved in your sex life, especially if you’re poor and don’t have the money to get an abortion. Then they’re ok with the government getting involved in your sex life – specifically involved in your choosing to terminate the result of your irresponsible sexual behavior via a state-funded abortion. Never ever let a pro-abortionist convince you that they don’t want the government involved in your sex life – they most certainly do. If they didn’t want government involved in your sex life, then they wouldn’t support continued state-funded abortions, and they wouldn’t advocate government-approved sex education in the public school system. When pro-abortionists say they don’t want the government involved in your sex life, what they’re really saying is they don’t want the government telling you that if you choose to be sexually irresponsible with your body, that there can be serious consequences for your behavior. What they want the government to do is to essentially condone your behavior by paying for your abortion, or paying for your child to be able to eat and have a roof over his head.

Another hypocritical position pro-abortionists take is the one where they claim to promote ‘responsible sexual behavior’ which would be laughable if the issue itself wasn’t so serious. How on earth can you claim to promote ‘responsible sexual behavior’ when you encourage women to feel free to engage in sex with whoever whenever? Whether they are protected from disease and pregnancy or not, it is not – I repeat – not responsible to routinely engage in casual sex, whether you are a man or a woman. Respect for your body comes not in seeing how many people you can share it with, but saving it for the person with whom you intend to share your life. That is the real way to engage in ‘responsible sexual behavior’, not giving in to your every sexual urge with everyone you’re attracted to. Not only that, but with each new partner, you increase your chances of getting an STD, and/or either getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant, and as a result may have to rely on the government to either pay for your abortion, your child, and/or your healthcare. How is that ‘responsible’? You simply do not promote sexual responsibility by giving the green light to engage in frequent casual sex. Taking disease and pregnancy out of the equation does not make frequent casual sex any more responsible. Furthermore, pro-abortionists in feminist groups like NARAL and NOW betray their ‘responsiblity’ argument by routinely blaming the man for everything that happened. Check out some of these bumper stickers on the NOW website:

Against Abortion? Wear a Condom, Dude! $2.00

[…]

Against Abortion? Have a Vasectomy! $2.00

[…]

Not Every Sperm Needs a Name $2.00

These hypocrites also have the nerve to claim that they are pro-family! I don’t think I have to explain the absurdity of such an argument.

Also, you’ll find that most staunch pro-abortionists are the same people who will chain themselves to a tree in order to protect it or launch a campaign to ‘save the whales’ – it’s bizarre that they put more importance on life that is not human than life which is.

Photo of 10 week old baby courtesy of David Barlow/National Geographic's In the Womb seriesProbably the biggest logical fallacy involved in pro-abortion arguments is that the baby growing inside a woman’s body is supposedly not yet human because it couldn’t sustain life outside of the womb. I find it beyond comprehension that one pregnant woman’s 2 week old child is another woman’s 2 week old ‘blob of tissue.’ I find it even more incomprehensible that women who have had children can remain ‘pro-choice’, considering they’re not ignorant about when their son or daugther’s life started. It’s either a child or it’s not. In actuality, we really don’t get to decide: once that child is conceived that’s what it is: a child. Why there is a debate about this is beyond me, because every single one of us, whether on the pro-life side or pro-abortion side, started off as a ‘blob of tissue.’ Thank goodness that our mothers didn’t view at us the way pro-abortionists look at pregnancy today, eh? A question pro-abortionists are reluctant to answer is: “In retrospect, would you have been in favor of your mother aborting you or your brother or sister when you or they were just ‘blobs of tissue’ if she had wanted to?” It’s easy for them to be pro-abortion when they don’t have to consider the possibility that they or one of their beloved family members could have been aborted at their mother’s ‘choosing.’

President Reagan once famously said: “I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.” Timely then, and timely now.

My hope is that anyone who reads this and who considers themselves pro-abortion will revisit and reconsider why they believe in the ‘right’ to abort a child. I know people can change their views on abortion: I certainly did, and I don’t regret it for a minute. There is a lot of hypocrisy and senselessness involved in pro-abortion arguments. I know, because I used to make them.

More: Let’s take a look at a typical method of abortion, known as the D&E abortion, as described by Planned Parenthood Golden Gate. This is what they describe as the ‘safest’ method of abortion and they perform them on unborn babies up to 18.6 weeks gestation (emphasis added):

You return to clinic on the day of your procedure. Before the procedure is started, a needle will be inserted in your vein and will stay there during the time you are in the clinic. Once the needle is in place, all the medications that you need will be given through it. These medications may include drugs to help you relax and reduce discomfort.

If used, the gauze and dilators will be removed. The doctor will give you a local anesthetic (numbing medicine) in your cervix, which will make the procedure more comfortable. The opening of the uterus may need to be stretched more, which will be done gradually with a series of narrow instruments called dilators, each a little larger than the one before. When the cervix is open wide enough, a plastic tube will be inserted into the uterus and is connected to a suction machine. The content of the uterus will then be removed by a combination of suction and instruments, usually taking 5-15 minutes. During and after the procedure, you may feel cramping as the uterus shrinks down to its normal size. The doctor then may do a final check with a spoon shaped instrument called a curette. Later, the doctor will examine the pregnancy tissue to check whether it has been removed completely.

Isn’t it sick the way they describe what’s in the uterus as the “contents” of the uterus or “pregnancy tissue”, rather than a fetus? This is what a fetus at 18 weeks gestation looks like (more here). Some “blob of tissue”!

Prior/Related:

Personal note: Down with the sickness

Hey gang,

I’m STILL nursing a cough/cold that will not let me go. This marks the week and a half mark. The cough (mild at first) started Monday the 19th, the sore throat started Thanksgiving, and hasn’t let up since. Really don’t want to go to the doctor as they’ll tell me what I already know (that I have a cold), but if this cough is still kicking my bootie in the morning I’ll go.  Right now, I’m sticking to OTC meds.

Blogging and social media will be light to non-existent for yours truly for the next couple of days at least as I have almost no energy to do anything other than day job-related stuff. Thankfully, Phineas has said he’ll hold down the fort here while I try to recover. Please keep in mind, however, that he has a lot going on as well – but he will take care of things here when he can.

Hope everyone is doing well. Happy middle of the week! :)

Happy Father’s Day, #PapaToldjah

I can’t write the post I wanted to – I get a little emotional when I write or talk about my dad these days, but I just wanted to wish him a Happy Father’s Day here on my humble little blog. Can’t wait to see him in a few hours.

This photo was taken a few years ago, a few months before he was diagnosed with kidney disease and not long after that, the emotional roller coaster started for me – and dialysis treatments started for him. He always teases me about not having water in the birdbath for thirsty birds, so he fills the birdbath up when he visits. It’s so cute.

Dad - April 2009

Dad, putting water in my birdbath – April 2009.

Dad, I’m not a healer, but I pray all the time that healing hands of God are always upon you – providing you comfort and strength. Love you.

Happy Mother’s Day, #MamaToldjah, and to all mothers

Getting ready to head out shortly to celebrate Mother’s Day with Mama Toldjah and my two older sisters. Normally the whole family gets together for Mom’s Day but one bro-in-law has to work and the other has to take care of a dog recovering from surgery. Dad is content just being at home so it will be a girls day out for the four of us, which is probably for the best.

This year has seen a lot of changes in mom’s life, most noteably the fact that she was forced into retirement earlier this year. It’s taken some getting used to, because mom has worked all of her life – since she was a teenager – and hasn’t known how to act getting up every morning now and not having to go to work. It’s been an adjustment for her both financially and emotionally but has ultimately been for the best, what with the health issues going on with my dad and her desire to be at home acting in the role of caretaker (even though he by and large can still take care of himself, even with being on dialysis and having eye problems). Her new role is stressful at times but she is thankful to be able to be at home to help dad when he needs it and just in general to be able to spend quality time with him as he weathers his health issues.

Below is a picture of mom and me from roughly a couple of months ago. People tell us all the time we look alike (my oldest sister looks a lot more like her than I do) but the funny thing is that as I’ve gotten older I’ve started to ACT more like her and view things the way she always has. I remember when I was a teenager (and knew everything there was to know about life, of course) I would tell myself I would be so different from mom in terms of being more carefree, wanting to stay out late, do stupid things, etc. But as I’ve grown up and matured, I see she was right about so many things. Not EVERYTHING, mind you, but many things.

And please … do NOT tell her I said that! ;)

ST and Mama Toldjah 2012

ST and Mama Toldjah