An Apology and an Explanation


Hi, everyone. It’s The Sister

So sorry that our dear Rebel has not posted lately; really, it’s all my fault, because I got sick week before last, and now Rebel has it.

It’s a nasty virus, and she’s having a hard time shaking it, but she’s resting.

She’s on the mend and will back with you soon.

Thanks for your patience.

Namaste,

Amy

To All Mothers, With Love 


Thank you. Hugs, Barbara

Syl65's Blog

There is no other

Like a caring mother

Forever endearing

Endless caring

What would life be

Without foundation of love

Of the family ❤️

*

Dedicated to all of the wonderful, loving, thoughtful, caring and faithful mothers across the globe… You are deeply appreciated ❤️

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A Dedication to my Grandmothers on Mother’s Day


“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”

—Naomi Wolf

 

My English grandmother, Caroline, would put it in her own way. “Girl, you have a bloody tongue in your head, use it.” I did and I continue to do so. There has always been a price but it was the advice that probably saved my emotional life. We had high tea and I played bingo with her and her lady friends. I never lost and it was years until I realized they let me win. She also had a closet with a box of toys in it for us to play with. I could walk under her dining room table. Today, I tell my own grandchildren to speak their truth, I always let them win at games and there is always a box of toys.

 

My grandparents came over on the boat through Nova Scotia from London with 5 children and one on the way. I think she was brave and good and she loved me. I still miss her.

 

My grandmother Marie was the center of my life. She was Croatian. She sewed dresses, even wedding dresses, by hand. All those little tiny stitches by hand. She kept the cleanest house I have ever seen. I can’t sew. It makes me a nervous wreck. I spent summers with her and my grandpa in Cleveland when I was young and I was very happy there with them. I learned to be a good person from them and to have good manners and to love the Cleveland Indians. I was 16 when Grandma Marie died and I was inconsolable. The sunshine left my world and I miss her still.

 

A Word to the Wise 

 

Sometimes, with age comes wisdom. These pioneering women were wise with skills and experience, and they were often able to share with us their intuition, nurturing, compassion, and personal truths. Often this occurred in a simple act of relating a story, teaching a lesson or modeling.

 

Words brought hope and encouragement. The special way a loving grandparent spoke a child’s name was soothing. Some words, sacred phrases, or secular advice conjured healing for spiritual or physical wounds. Other words became cues for listening well; what followed might change a life forever. For one granddaughter, a grandmother’s words taught her to appreciate everyday activities for their simple truths and wise instruction.

 

Bone of my Bones

“Families will not be broken.

Curse and expel them, send their children wandering,

drown them in floods and fires,

and old women will make songs out of all these sorrows

and sing them on mild evenings.”

—Marilynne Robinson

 

My grandmothers were my oracles, my wise women and nothing ever shook their love for me. I was not always an easy child. I hated hypocrisy and spoke up about it. I hated injustice and that was good for a rant. I am a survivor of child abuse. My mother was my abuser. My grandmothers were the center of my universe and the anchor in my turbulent seas. They listened as I poured out my pain and fear and anger. Their love kept me alive and going forward. I needed to tell people so that grandmothers know how vital they are to their grandchildren. I have nine grandchildren. They are the sun and moon, the celestial music to me. I am so lucky to have them in my life. If you have read my about page, you know the many things I have done in my life. Being a grandmother is the most important and the most fulfilling.

 

To all of my readers and friends who are mothers, aunts, or grandmothers, know you are the tree of life in the world of your little ones. It is a position of honor so celebrate this high honor.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

 

 

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

No Honor in Killing


The issue of The War on Women is happening all over the world. It looks different in every country but it still exists everywhere: it is still the disrespect and even hatred of women by men.
In America, it is pay inequality and the glass ceiling. It is also the fact that we are the only citizens who are not legally equal.
Often women are not given an education, and in some countries, women’s bodies are controlled and the government decides if they have children and how many. In other countries, a wife is immolated upon the briar of her dead husband. In some other countries, girls and women are sold because the family is too poor and there is not enough food. In yet other countries, female genital mutilation is performed to make a girl marriageable and to ensure she will not enjoy sex; in others, acid is thrown in a girl’s face to disfigure her because she said no to a young man; and in some a woman is killed in a so-called honor killing to save face for the family. In some countries, men buy little girls to have sex with them because they are pedophiles.
Think about it. It is the most disgusting list of crimes. I can barely think of a more despicable list. Fathers, Brothers, Uncles, Grandfathers look the other way; some participate; some organize the events. Misogyny has existed for many millennia and I realize it will not go away over night. But we must stand up to it. We must speak out. We must do whatever we can to help each woman who is being used, sold or brutalized.
Turning the world light on each incident is a good place to begin. Pressuring police in various countries to arrest and courts to convict perpetrators is also a righteous action.
Women, stand up for each other. Feminist men, stand up, speak up and be the brave souls we know you are and help women everywhere to become free, to live free and to pass that on to their daughters.
Namaste,
Barbara
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Pakistan police arrest 14 in ‘honor killing’ of teen said to have helped bride to elope

Pakistan police arrest 14 in ‘honor killing’ of teen said to have helped bride to elope

May 5
More than a dozen leaders of a small village in northwestern Pakistan were arrested Thursday and charged with burning a teenage girl to death because she helped one of her friends elope, security officials said.The crime, which is renewing attention on Pakistan’s horrific record of protecting women and children from abuse, took place on the outskirts of Abbottabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.Khurram Rasheed, police chief for the northern district of Abbottabad, said Thursday that the body of Ambreen Riasat was found in a burned van in the tourist resort of Donga Gali on April 29, the Associated Press reported. Her exact age was in dispute.A graphic photo of the teenager’s charred remains quickly circulated online. It appeared as though the girl’s arms had been bound before she was set on fire.Initially, police suspected that she may have been raped by a scorned boyfriend or as part of a family dispute. But Saeed Wazir, the regional police chief in Abbottabad, said Thursday that the killing was a “pre-planned act” involving 14 village leaders. Wazir said the entire village council had sanctioned the act to send a message to other minors.“They said she must be burnt alive to make a lesson for other girls,” he said.In an act of defiance against Pakistan’s strict Islamic and paternal customs, Wazir said, the victim had helped one of her friends secretly marry her boyfriend. The bride “didn’t obey her father’s will and did a love marriage at court with a guy,” he said.

After the bride’s father found out, he requested that village elders investigate. In many parts of Pakistan, women and girls are expected to receive their father’s consent before marrying.

The village elders called a meeting, which is referred to as a Jirga. Under Pashtun culture in Pakistan and in neighboring Afghanistan, such gatherings are often held to try to reach consensus on how best to resolve local disputes. At times, the meetings also become a form of street justice.

According to Wazir, the village elders investigating the marriage quickly discovered that the victim had helped her friend evade her father’s will. The elders decided the victim needed to be punished for not disclosing her role in the marriage.

Several men then dragged the teenager out of her house and tied her into the van, Wazir said.

“Despite the requests and pleas from her parents, villagers forcibly brought her out and set her afire while roping her to the seat of the vehicle,” he said.

Both the leader of the Jirga and the father of the newlywed girl were arrested, Wazir said. A dozen other men who participated in the Jirga also were charged, he added.

It was not immediately clear whether the new bride or her husband were punished.

The case represents a troublesome expansion of mob-like tactics that women can face in Pakistan when they disobey their parents or extended family members.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 8,694 girls and women have died in so-called honor killings here between 2004 and 2015. Those crimes involved revenge killings for dishonoring a family, village or local custom.

About one-fourth of those cases involved the death of a minor. Although most common in remote areas, honor killings still occur in Pakistan even in larger, more progressive cities. The problem was highlighted recently in the Oscar-winning film “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.”

The documentary profiles a 18-year-old woman who was beaten and shot by her father and uncle in Punjab province after she married a man against their wishes. The woman, Saba, survived. Her father and uncle were arrested but later freed, according to HBO Documentary Films.

After he saw the film, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to end honor killings.

Earlier this year, Sharif’s political party, Pakistan Muslim League-N, pushed through a women’s rights bill in Punjab province. The legislation, strongly opposed by the religious community, establishes a 24-hour domestic abuse hotline and network of shelters offering housing, first aid and counseling for women.

Still, a horrific wave of abuse continues.

On Sunday, Punjab police arrested a man and charged him with killing his wife, who was seven months pregnant, the Express Tribune newspaper reported. Using a club, the man apparently beat the woman to death after she refused to allow him to take a second wife.

Also in Punjab over the weekend, a man tossed acid onto a 37-year-old woman, resulting in burns over 30 percent of her body. Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that the woman’s nephew is the main suspect. The man apparently wanted to marry one of the woman’s daughters – his cousin — but was refused.

“He was annoyed with his maternal aunt for turning down his marriage proposal,” Azhar Akram, a police officer in Multan, told Dawn.

Craig reported from Kabul.

Dear Future Generations


 

Oh God of all, at this time of our gradual awakening to the dangers we are imposing on our beautiful Earth, open the hearts and minds of all your children, that we may learn to nurture rather than destroy our planet. Amen.

                                                        —Lorraine R. Schmitz

 

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They become more beautiful with the years, wizened, bent but not broken.

Trees become more beautiful with the years, wizened, bent but not broken.

 

“Let there be peace, welfare and righteousness

in every part of the world.

 

Let confidence and friendship prevail

for the good of east and west

for the good of the needy south

for the good of all humanity.

 

Let the people inspire their leaders

helping them to seek peace by peaceful means

helping them and urging them

to build a better world

a world with a home for everybody

a world with food and work for everybody

a world with spiritual freedom

for everybody.

 

Let those who have the power of money

be motivated by selfless compassion.

Let money become a tool

for the good of mankind.

 

Let those who have power

deal respectfully with the resources of the planet.

Let them respect and maintain

the purity of the air, water, land and subsoil.

Let them co-operate to restore

the ecological soundness of Mother Earth.

 

Let trees grow up by the billions

around the world.

Let green life invade the deserts.

 

Let industry serve humanity

and produce waste that serves nature.

 

Let technology respect

the holiness of Mother Earth.

 

Let those who control the mass media

contribute to create mutual understanding

contribute to create optimism and confidence.

 

Let ordinary people

Meet by the millions across the borders.

Let them create a universal network of love and friendship.

 

Let billions of human beings

co-0perate to create a good future

for their children and grandchildren.

 

Let us survive

In peace and harmony with Mother Earth.”

                     —Hagen Hasselbalch

 

Because we, Americans are in an election cycle, we must consider all the things that a President will have influence over or control over. War or peace. Jobs or homelessness. Green spaces around our cities breathing air we desperately need or going outside with masks over our noses and mouths. This person will have a do it my way or the highway attitude or will exhibit compassion and gentleness for the peoples who are refugees around the world. This person will enforce the precepts that our Founding Fathers formed this “great experiment” upon or they will trod all over the rights and acts which our nation was founded upon. We will have free speech or we will become a totalitarian government. We will do as we are told or we will have another Civil War.

Whomever is elected will be watched. Not just by “We the people” but by history. History will tell the truth. It may not be what is taught in our schools in the next couple of generations but the truth is what history will demonstrate in the long haul. Fellow Americans, I ask only two things during this election cycle. First, get out and vote. It is a right and it is a responsibility. If your candidate is not still in the running, vote for whomever is going to be the best or do the least damage to America. You still have choices. I, myself, have voted for the other party when the candidate my party put forth wasn’t the best choice. Second, don’t be afraid to vote for the candidate who beats their competitor. To be blunt, if you are for Sanders, and Hillary is the nominee, don’t vote for Trump in your anger. If the FBI really had all the evidence against Hillary they say they have, she would have been arrested by now. She has not been. If you think money has bought her freedom, then surely money bought Trump his victories. Which candidate will save our trees, water, stop fracking, clean up the air, stop dumping waste into our rivers and lakes and into our oceans and seas. Do you know we are about to lose our Great Barrier Reef? It is true.

 

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A recently released report revealed a heart wrenching discovery about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies found that at least 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef suffers from coral bleaching.

The bleaching phenomenon occurs when corals are stressed by high water temperatures or other causes. Severe bleaching could lead to the death of corals.

The task force surveyed 911 coral reefs by air and the accuracy of the researchers initial aerial surveys have been confirmed by scientific divers who are continuing to measure the impact of the bleaching. Dive teams have already discovered about 50 percent coral death.

“We have now flown over 911 individual reefs in a helicopter and light plane, to map out the extent and severity of bleaching along the full 2300 km length of the Great Barrier Reef. Of all the reefs we surveyed, only 7% (68 reefs) have escaped bleaching entirely. At the other end of the spectrum, between 60 and 100% of corals are severely bleached on 316 reefs, nearly all in the northern half of the Reef,” Professor Terry Hughes, head of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University said in a statement.

Hughes tweeted a map showing the results of the bleaching that hit the northern parts of the reef hardest:

See image of the Great Barrier Reef below:

57150817e4b07e305499fbf4_1280x720_F_v1

 

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Namaste,

Barbara

 

Our trees have stood over us, protecting us for hundreds of generations.

Our trees have stood over us, protecting us for hundreds of generations.

The Time Is Now


You brought me to tears and I know not why. I will pray for an outcome of truth and good. Hugs and many blessings, Barbara

Source of Inspiration

volcano

I am changing
coming to a deep realization
that I have neglected
something vital
whose time is coming.

I am preparing
with solitude and prayer
to release the deep
smoldering volcanic Force
within
no longer
can it
or should it
be contained
for its time is now.

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Torture


Guantanamo is still open, but in the process of being closed.

But there are still black sites around the world, and people in them probably still being tortured, by the United States — the country that is supposed to stand for justice and peace.

These sites, as well as Gitmo, need to be closed.  There is no oversight and no control.

Torture is against international law.  It is against the law of common decency and against humanity.  It is heinous and unconscionable, barbaric and medieval, and it has no place in a civilized society.

While I am no expert, I was a nurse and I think that we are doing a lot of psychological and physical damage to these people, and we are lowering ourselves to the level of the jihadists.  Why does America allow itself to be dragged down into the mud, when we should be the shining example to the world for human rights, equality and justice?

I am just as angry about 9/11 as every other American — as every other world citizen — but this is not justified.

The men who developed these techniques, who oversaw these works are professional men — psychiatrists, who got paid millions of dollars for this.  This is blood money, pure and simple.

Gitmo must be closed to show the world that we are not hypocrites; that America actually lives according to its own precepts and laws and according to the same standards to which we hold other nations.

For those who would respond: They were enemy combatants.  They deserve what they got, and we needed the intelligence, I would respond that no one deserves to be stripped of all human rights and dignity, and would also point out that even the CIA has said that these techniques are not reliable for intelligence, as a tortured person will say or do anything to get the torture to stop.

We must stop injustice wherever it lies — even in our own prisons and black sites.  No exceptions.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

 

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