Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

C: Examining Myself; or The Plank in My Own Eye?

hezekia…Marduk-Baladan son of …king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, ... Hezekiah received the envoys and showed them all that was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine olive oil—his armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, …“What did [the Babylonians] see in your palace?”

“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord.  2 Kings 20:12, et seq.

V’s last post was aboutfb Facebook.  Stickhorse Cowgirls has a page as do I, personally.  Still, it is a source of irritation for me, unlike V, who finds it relaxing (?) or in some way enjoys it enough to use it a bunch. I have family members who do the same.  I do well to check one of the pages in a week.   Usually it is longer; I have gone months without checking them.   Maybe it’s a function of time…

I think Facebook  is a marvelous communication tool.  It is a great way to fb calendarconnect for business and marketing, to communicate events—think Church calendars, civic organizations. 

I love the way V advocates for homeless animals and for Alzheimer's Disease on Facebook, and it is the (I guess) equivalent of announcements for accomplishments and other posts that may traditionally have been done by notecards or other written and mailed correspondence.  “See our new house,” or “Yea! Jimmy graduated!” for example.

But there is a darker side, having to do with revealing oneself too much—unbidden—to the world; to people who have no connection with the writer (and don’t be fooled by the privacy “guards”).  It seems to me that we, like Hezekiah, are opening up our “treasures” to the world in many instances.  We seem to keep nothing back any more.  I think, just as in the Old Testament times, this can lead to disaster. 

I have already written my privacy concerns in an earlier post, but those were concerns about others in essence spying on us.  What I am talking about here is when we, like Hezekiah, throw wide the doors to our lives, allowing anyone—even those we don’t know—peeks inside.  We don’t even force them to look through the keyholes anymore.spying

I am not going to point out too many specifics, but folks share things about their feelings and about their family that in times past would have been considered “over the top” for publication.  There are some things that are best said directly and only to the object of your affection or your scorn rather than use of the worldwide web.  Facebook seems to have softened our sensibilities in this regard.

As a family law attorney, one ofno facebook the very first things I tell my clients who are embroiled in a nasty fight is “get off Facebook!”  They recoil—“Off!!??”  Many apparently cannot live without that artificial connection Facebook offers.  Sighing, I relent, knowing they are going to use it anyway, and I try to lay down ground rules:

  • No posting of your marijuana plants.  (Yes, I have had to deal with this).
  • No posting of pictures of your illegitimate child from someone other than your wife.  (Yes, this, too, comes from my real-life experience on more than one occasion).
  • If you have a paramour, tell him/her to leave you out of his/her facebook page.  I have found that it is hard to explain to a judge how pictures of you on the beach with your honey mesh with your marital vows.
  • Don’t “unfriend” someone because he/she is connected with your soon-t0-be-ex…I have found that “unfriending” someone is some form of cyber revenge or insult "(“She ticked me off, so by golly I’ll fix her—I’ll unfriend her!).  So strange, this cyber world…  In legal cases, the “unfriending” itself can be a sign that you have something to hide, and your opposition will just redouble efforts to find out.  And he/she will be successful.  Trust me, there is always someone you did not “unfriend” who will rat you out.  Better to just clean it all up.

While we’re talking insults, you have heard that words cannot be retrieved once spoken—thinksticks and stones how much more lasting are written words of scorn that are  posted for anyone and everyone to see?  Yet I see this on Facebook sometimes.

I think that knowing the whole world may have seen an insult makes it hard to forgive and impossible to forget.  You need to think long about posting something nasty about your family.  I doubt it is ever advisable or appropriate.  Better to keep your squabbles to yourselves, don’t you think?

The point is that Facebook seems to inspire in folks a compulsion to share—and share, and share and share ad nauseum.  They share stuff that is just remarkably irrelevant to the rest of us (and spend quite a lot of time doing it) and they share stuff (as in the cases cited above) that can do themselves damage.  Why?  No one asks for it, but, like Hezekiah’s folly, the sharing is extensive.

I submit we are becoming a society where we hold back no treasures.  We seem compelled to shout from the rooftops such formerly-private sentiments as how much we love our husbands (Why does anyone need to tell me that?  Who is this kind of post really for?) or other things that in the past would never have been shared publicly.  Is it good?  sharing too much

As I write this, I know I have to examine myself.  I mean, here I am writing to the worldwide web, for crying out loud.  I suppose it takes a bit of narcissism to do that to begin with.  I mean, it takes a bit of that twist to think anyone out there cares aboutlog in my eye my opinion, right?  So, I want to let you know that I am examining that angle—that I know I run the risk of pointing out specks in the eyes of others while there is a plank in my own.  I defend myself by saying that I give a lot of thought to what I write here and it usually has some sort of point to make…is that justification enough?  Jury’s out on that one.

I think the real crux is that I am disturbed by the lack of boundaries in our society, and what boundaries that remain are weakening. 


We don’t seem to care what we share with others, and we don’t seem to care all that much about what others (Retailers, Government, etc.). know about us through information gathered by myriad cyber-means.

It is a trend I do not think bodes well.  But, then, I am an old fogey…C

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Proverbs 13:3

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cowgirl V: Thanks for the Reminder, Dale Evans-- Cowgirls Take Stands!




One of my biggest distractions is Facebook.  After a difficult day at work –of which I had many this year, it’s how I decompress – chill!   I admit that I spend waayyy too much time perusing the posts of Facebook indulging my passion for animal rescue—which I attribute to my childhood love of animals.  I often share photos and stories of pets in my area that need foster care or adoption.  It’s the only way I know to keep from filling my yard and home with hordes of dogs and cats that are homeless.  I have always been an animal lover, but am determined to keep it reasonable!  Arkansas Paws in Prison is a wonderful program where inmates train dogs rescued from high kill shelters in our state –A future post  will have more about that worthy endeavor that benefits both man and dog! 






Another way I use Facebook is to share scriptures or prayers—my passion for Israel—updates on the two little boys suffering brain injuries that I pray for every day.   I know that is well worth my time, but there is another temptation on FB that gives me pause – whether it is appropriate to speak out on religion and politics. Yes, those tickly subjects that raise people’s hackles quicker than you can think and cause offense.  So it is with trepidation that I sometimes share something that is just too important to go unnoticed.    I loved Becky Gerritson’s passionate speech before members of Congress several weeks ago( before we were sidetracked with the Paula Deen drama and the debacle of the Zimmerman trial), ( both of which the media has driven into the ground making me crazy)!  I’ve been wondering if other people even heard it or remember her passionate testimony! 




I happen to believe that the media is biased in their political coverage, and I have to wonder if all the hype over situations that should  have NOT have been major national news for weeks on end, are a kind of smoke and mirrors to deflect attention away from concerns about cover ups regarding Benghazi, IRS corruption, Fast & Furious…..justa thought!


Smoke and Mirrors



Yes, I hesitate to speak out on controversial issues.   By nature I am a pleaser (yes, “C” I am the one who went to Charm School)!  lol  (this is an inside joke, folks)!   It’s not my intention to step on anyone’s toes, but when “C” and I started this blog we read over some great quotes by the late Dale Evans—and this one really inspired me!  Yes, Dale was right – sometimes you have to take a stand!



Dale Evans quote


I am not a member of the Tea Party—in fact I do not have an official affiliation with any political party, but as I’ve grown older I  definitely have become more conservative in my outlook.  I’m not the same girl who voted for George McGovern in college.  I strongly believe in civil discourse and respect for other’s opinions.  I have friends who don’t share all the  same beliefs with me and that’s fine.  We do not live in a cookie cutter world.  I really try to follow the biblical admonition: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Rom. 12:18

  Becky Gerritson has a lot of courage and I admire her.  Hope you will give her a listen  in the link above and tell me what you think!



Sunday, July 21, 2013

C: Perceptions

two cents stampIf you have read this blog long you know how much I love to put my “two cents” out there.  It is one of the greatest pleasures of this blog—an outlet for my opinion!! (Like it matters…)

This week it’s the Zimmerman trial.

The verdict was so very predictable for me, a lawyer.  I don’t have a lot of time to spend in front of the television, but when there is an interesting trial going on, I do pay attention during the hours I am at home with the television news in the background. 

I accurately predicted the scale of justiceCasey Anthony case, although I believe in my gut that she killed her child.  But the evidence was not there to convict her so I think the legally-correct though morally-stinky decision was reached in that case.

In the Zimmerman case I believe the legally-correct decision was made, and it coincides with what I believe the “right” decision was under the tragic circumstances.

From what I know about the Zimmerman-Martin case, it was a calamitous meeting of two people who both used poor, poor judgment. 

I think Zimmerman was an over-zealous wannabe cop who should have stayed in the @*$)!^ car. 

treyvonI think that if Martin was truly afraid of Zimmerman, he should have been knocking on someone’s door for help or calling the police instead of his girlfriend in New York 1,000 miles away.  I am not convinced that Trayvon Martin acted like a scared kid.

All that said, the starting point must be where the two actually met and, from what I understand, Martin was on top of Zimmerman and banging his head against the concrete.


Zimmerman’s self-serving but uncontroverted testimony was that Martin was telling him he was going to die. 

Boom!  A young life is over.  Tragedy, tragedy, tragedy.  My heart goes out for Martin’s parents.

But it’s over.  The jury spoke.  zimmerman juryThe case should now close.  This is the way our system works.

But it’s not closed.  There were riots (which don’t seem very helpful to me), there are on-going protests against a “stand your ground” defense that was never used in the case, and the President of the United States has weighed in on what should hoodie marchbe a local judicial system case. 

The case is simply larger than I think it needs to be if you are only considering the facts of the case.  We have tragic cases tried every week in the courthouse where I work, many of them warranting public discourse that never happens, so I am impatient with all this, especially given the facts of the case

It all seems so clear to me.

But, wait!  There is another perspahaective that jolted into my head this past week.  I had an “Aha!” moment…

I represent a single African-American mother.  She and I have become fairly close during the intensity of a custody case over her fifteen-year-old son.  I am happy to say that we prevailed in her custody decision, leaving this child in her care where he very much belongs.  However, we have the matter of summer visitation with Dad and Stepmom, who live not far from her home.

Last week she called me up.  “I have Son enrolled in a summer program,” she told me.  “I would be willing to take him every day if his father will let him continue there through the summer visitation.”  

We went on to discuss the fact that  Dad and Stepmom both work and Son stands the chance of spending each day at home alone—never a good thing for a teenager.  Mom was worried.  This is when she said something that pierced me and made me think about perspectives:

If he’s alone through the day,” she said, “he may take to walking around the neighborhood.  I am afraid that someone will think he’s going to burglarize or something and that he will get hurt.”


As a Mom, I would have been worried about my own teen-aged son being at home alone, but I never would thought about my son being accused of burglary just for walking the streets, much less being shot for it.

I am certain that this mother’s mind was on the Zimmerman-Martin case.  I am equally certain that her fears and her statements to me are genuidont shootne.  She was worried about her own African-American son meeting a similar fate as Treyvon Martin.

The thought of my son being shot or even accused, as she worried, would have simply never entered my mind…but I am Caucasian.   Hmmmmm…

And then the President comes on and talks about the experience of seeing fear in strangers’ eyes because of the color of his skin.  I don’t doubt it.

One can argue the merits and wisdom of that fear, given statistics—another post coming your way soon.  One can argue about Civil Rights “advocates,” president as trayvonsuch as Sharpton, whipping the situation up for gain—yet another post….but you have to give the President his perspective borne of experience.

As soon as I heard the President’s remarks, my mind flashed back to my worried client’s remarks. 

As a Caucasian, I must remember that my experiences do not mirror those of my African-American friends. 

And experience shapes perception.

So, I try to keep that in mind when I am impatient with the on-going discussion of a case that, as a lawyer, I thought was pretty cut-and-dried.

two centsJust my two cents…C

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