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Christmas 2020

 

We found out that our son does not want to visit with us for Christmas because he is worried about either catching or giving either of us the covid19 virus. That made Katy sad but I can understand how my son feels. No one wants to catch the bug and get sick nor do they want to be the reason someone got sick. I have heard of people who have been super careful and caught the bug anyway. They did not go out in public in big gatherings of people and wore a mask when they did go outside to get gas or groceries or go to work. That thought is a bit disconcerting when you think about it. Our hopes were for all 4 of us to be together for Christmas. I have to work on Christmas day but that is a Friday which means we could celebrate together on Saturday or Sunday. Thanks to the pandemic it will only be Katy, Kristina and I. Maybe we will have some eggnog and sing Christmas carols. LOL. Our daughter Kristina aka Koalie could care less about Christmas so she probably wont be singing Christmas carols anytime soon.

I have to work this weekend so I spent yesterday getting some stuff done. I got my hair cut and then I spent some time burning cardboard in a new burn barrel I just purchased. I had to go get a gas can from Sunoco. That stupid thing cost $19.32. I had a friend come over from accross the street to help me clean up the yard which was full of doggie land mines. Then we tore apart the card board and fed it into the barrel. I doused the cardboard with gasoline and used a fire place lighter to get it going. I managed to singe some hair on my right arm as I pulled it out of the way of the big whomp and flames. LOL. I am glad that I was not standing right over that thing when it ignited. I might have lost some eyebrows or more. Once that was done we strung up some solar powered christmas lights on the front yard fence. I will be surprised if those things actually work though. The solar panels will probably need to charge for a day or two.

I cannot believe that the end of 2020 is near. Back in March our government shut us down. Businesses were closed, schools were closed and all forms of indoor and outdoor entertainment. They did that in order to slow down the tide of Covid19. Go home, stay home was the mantra that they delivered via every form of media. For those of us that were essential workers and did not get furloughed that was all you could do. Go to work, get groceries and gas. That is about it. No movie theaters, no bars, no bowling, no nothing. All you can do is sit at home and stare at the TV or social media. As the year wore on things were slowly allowed to open up. Some movie theaters are open but practicing social distancing. Most of the Fall TV line up has been severely delayed or shows have been canceled. We were disappointed that Yellowstone with Kevin Costner was canceled. Movie producers, actors and writers were put on hold as we wade through the pandemic and all that has to offer. Everyone is waiting on the new Top Gun movie with Tom Cruise. That was supposed to be released this last summer. Now we get to wait until 2021 for it to be released. I am not sure if we will have to watch it on cable tv or if we will be able to go see it on the big screen.

I know there are a lot of conspiracy theories going on about the pandemic. No matter what, it IS a serious thing to consider. Loved ones have lost their lives to this virus. Any way you cut it this pandemic has affected everyone in one way or the other. Families and friends have lost those who are near and dear to our hearts. We can only hope that the vaccine that was rushed to production will slow the tide of lost lives sooner than later. First responders are getting the vaccine and then other folks will eventually get it. I am not so sure I want to take it. What are the side affects, if any?

Life is precious. One day we are here and the next thing you know we are gone. I believe that the bible says that life is like a vapor. Keep your loved ones close and let them know how much they mean to you. Do not wait to let someone know that they are loved and appreciated until they are gone. By then it is too late. Forgive one another and figure out how to get past squabbles of the past. They are not worth it.

My hope and prayer is that you find a way to enjoy the Christmas holidays and bring in the new year safely with loved ones. Be safe and protect one another as you travel this holiday season. May 2021 be a new year and hopefully we can get our lives back to the normal that it was before March of 2020.

Happy Holidays to one and all !

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Back home from Asheville

My contract with TekSystems in Greenville ended prematurely on January 17th. There was no reason given other than the client called the account manager and said I was not a good fit for the role. I could say so much about this but I will be good and keep my thoughts to myself. Needless to say, I will NEVER do business with the aforementioned company again. I packed my bags and left the airbnb in Hendersonville and drove the 4.5 hours to come back home to Charleston. I will miss some of the people at the business I worked at for 6 weeks but I am happy to be back home.

I am happy to state that it took me a little over 2 weeks to land a job working in the data center for a local hospital in Ladson SC. The job site is about 20 minutes from where we live. I am excited about this opportunity and I believe that it is a very good fit for what I am looking for. The two gentlemen who work in the NOC that interviewed me were ex Navy and law enforcement so we had a lot in common. We are all about the same age too.

The barometric pressure in Asheville NC really got the nerve pain in my right temple all fired up. I am still dealing with the pain and I am getting very tired of it.

Katy and I spent the day at the Ladson Gun Show manning the table for South Carolina Carry. This is a grassroots gun advocacy, education and safety organization. We are working closely with legislators in Columbia SC to try and get open carry bills passed this year. We are also working with legislators to fight any bills that would strip our state citizens gun rights away from them. In particular there is a red flag gun law that the liberals are trying to get implemented at the state level along with a senator in Washington DC that is trying to get it passed on the national level.

What is a red flag gun law? Once passed this enables anyone to report you as a danger to yourself or others and the police and file for a warrant to search your home for guns and ammo and then come seize them without the due process of the law. In other words, you do not have to commit a crime for them to do this. Once your property has been seized you have to hire an attorney and prove to the court that you are not a threat to anyone. This process can take weeks or months and lots of legal fees that come out of your pocket.

What is ugly about this type of unconstitutional search and seizure is that there are home owners that open their door in the early hours of the morning with a gun in their hand because they are not expecting any visitors. If the homeowner does not comply immediately to the order to drop the weapon they are being shot and sometimes killed.
This is not a fairy tale, it is a night mare for law abiding citizens who are now coming under fire because of this bill.

Common sense gun reform is the mantra that is being chanted from all of the liberal gun control groups who are pushing for these types of bills to be passed. Our goal as a grassroots organization is to educate our members to these activities and get them to respond to the legislators and get them to vote a resounding NO when the laws are being presented in the Senate in Columbia.

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Facebook addiction

How did we get to this place? Some of us have this urge to connect with others through social media. We are addicted to our smart phones, tablets and computers. Social media addiction is the driving desire to tune in to the noise of humanity. We are addicted to being instantly connected to the rest of the world. Ok, the entire world is not connected to social media because there are a lot of folks who are too poor to afford Internet access and the toys to access it. If you are like me, you are one of millions of people who have become addicted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, Youtube and other platforms like them.

I have been increasingly addicted to social media. After all, that is where all of my friends live from all over the U.S. It has been said that people join Facebook for that very reason. To connect with long lost friends and family that are also online. What better way to keep up with your friends and family. If we could do only that maybe it would not be so bad. The problem is that you not only keep up with the happenings in their world but you also hear about their opinions on a variety of topics including religion and politics. You hear about it from your friends and all of their friends as well. At the work place they say that religion and politics is not a good subject matter. We are passionate about those topics and before you know it conversations get tense and feelings get hurt. Work relationships become strained and work productivity suffers. I have lost track on how many heated debates I have read about with regards to religion and politics on Facebook.

Facebook is and always has been a very easy app to use. How many people access Facebook via a smart phone or tablet? The better question would be to ask how many people do you know that do NOT access social media while they are on the go. We check our Facebook newsfeed while we are sitting in traffic or eating at a restaurant. We check it while we are in the restroom or when we are talking to our real life friends sitting right in front of us. We check our newsfeed while we are in bed before we go to sleep. How long can we go without being connected? When I am busy at work I probably check Facebook while I am eating at my desk. I check it early in the morning and then if there is nothing good on TV I will spend hours browsing my newsfeed and responding to posts. Oh and lets not forget the memes. We have to read and forward all of the cute memes that we can find.

I believe that we are too connected. I remember a time when you did not know about something happening on the other side of the world unless you read it in a newspaper or saw a story on the news. We consume way too much tragedy on a daily basis. There is too much death and destruction and we have a front seat to all of it. We have been desensitized to the horror of it all. I bet Hollywood is struggling to raise the bar on how much horror it will take to keep us interested.

Having said all of that I have decided I am sick of the negativity and irritation it brings. Life is too short to focus on all of that garbage. No, it is not all garbage but a good majority of it is. There are those of us that also are painfully aware of the glaring privacy issues. Just recently Facebook users were told about 50 million people having their data harvested to be used by a data company for the 2016 election. There is no expectation of privacy on Facebook. If you put it on their platform it is theres to do with however they please. Maybe you did not know that. Maybe you chose to give them what you give them in exchange for some mind candy. If you do not want Facebook sharing all of your information with others you have to stop putting on their system. You also have to go into your privacy settings and decide whom you want to see your information. You have to manually lock it down and you have to keep looking at it on a monthly basis. Facebook loves to tinker under the hood and change things without telling us anything.

Now I will have to find other things to consume my time. I am thinking that blogging and reading books will be a good start. I am going to write about things that interest me. I have a couple of books that i have checked out of the local library to read. Yes, that is what I am going to do.

What about you dear reader. What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Kristina and Frodo

My daughter shared this photo on Facebook from Instagram and I want to share it with you.  I love my kids.  🙂

 

Kristina and Frodo Moffitt

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2015 reflections

I have to say that 2015 was a fairly rough year for us and we are hopeful that 2016 will be a bit better both on the financial side of things and with regards to health issues. 

Back in September we did a hard reset on our finances and moved out of an apartment we really could not afford. Thanks to a 40% discount we were able to stay at a snow bird rental out on Kiawah Island for three months.  While we were staying on Kiawah Island a friend of mine told me that they have a condo in North Charleston that we could rent if we were interested.  Considering that the rent is 600.00 per month compared to the 1206.00 that we have been paying it was a no brainer.  Our friend did not charge us a security deposit nor did they charge us for December rent.  Needless to say that was a HUGE blessing. 

Now, we are resettled in North Charleston and we are hopeful that we can stay here for quite some time.  Thanks to Katy having dizzy spells and her balance getting worse she has been having problems with falling down.  That means she is not going to be able to work and we are working on getting disability payments started up for her.  We tried to go through the process ourselves which took almost a year and of course it was denied.  Now we are going to have to leverage a lawyer to see about making this happen.  Hopefully the lawyer will have better luck than we did.

After January 1st and our medical benefits debit card has been reloaded we are going to take Katy to her neurologist and have another MRI done to see if her tumor has grown any in the last couple of years and see if that is what is causing her balance issues.  We are hopeful there is something that can be done to improve her mobility and quality of life.

There were not any extra funds for Christmas presents this year but Katy and I were very thankful to have a better place to live in that we can afford.  We are happy to be out of limbo and in a more stable situation.  That, in and of itself was a huge Christmas present for us both. We were able to see our son Justin the other day and eat lunch with him and Katy was able to talk to her dad, sister and brother on the phone for Christmas which she enjoyed. 

We also enjoyed going to the Christmas service at Coastal Community Church in West Ashley and we had several friends invite us over for Christmas dinner which was nice.  All of our relatives are in Texas and it is very difficult for us to afford that trip during the holidays. 

So, now, we look forward to what 2016 has in store for us.  I hope and pray that everyone that reads this has a safe New Years celebration and that 2016 is a prosperous and blessed new year. 

 

 

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Limbo

Kiawah Island SC

We are in limbo with regards to permanent addresses.  We pushed the reset button on our finances and moved out of our apartment in Ladson.  I finally realized that we need to learn how to live on my income alone, and not depend on any sporadic income from Katy and her substitute teaching. This allowed us to stop paying 700.00 worth of living expenses that we were struggling to stay on top of.  We stayed at InTown Suites for two weeks.  I am so glad we are out of that place.  The room was nice but the walls were closing in on us.  The beds we were sleeping on had paper thin mattresses which means that we did not do a lot of sleeping.  We were lucky to sleep for two hours before our backs woke us up.

Fast forward to this weekend, and we are now out on Kiawah Island.  We will be here for three months in a snow bird rental, until we can fix up a condo that we found over by Northwoods Mall.  A friend of mine has this condo and it has been unoccupied for some time.  I will need to do some make ready work in lieu of a security deposit which is fine with me.  The living room needs painting and the linoleum in the kitchen is starting to curl up at the edges.  Hopefully a hot glue gun will fix that problem.  In the 90 days we are here we can take care of our final electric bill so that we can have electric turned on at the new place.  We can also check out Charleston water to make sure we are good to go with them and pay any deposits.  The first thing we will have to do is buy a king size bed.  We are going to want to buy that one new so we will probably go to a Mattress firm outlet and buy it on time.  After that is done we can start going to Goodwill stores and finding a kitchen table with chairs and other items we might need.

So, we are going to rebuild again for the second time. The first time we did this was in August of 1997 when we had a huge yard sale , sold most of our stuff and then loaded the rest of it with our three kids into two cars and headed to Atlanta Georgia.  This rebuild project is going to benefit from the knowledge we gained from our first experience.  Luckily we do not have three small children and we are not traveling from Texas to Georgia.  The good news is that this place is gorgeous and we are coming into the Fall season.  I am looking forward to being close to work.  I can drive to work in less than 10 minutes.  I also plan on getting back into the habit of walking on a regular basis.  We are about 5 minutes from the beach and beautiful nature trails.  We are going to view this as a working vacation.

I am looking forward to taking Willow (our lab and rescue dog) on trips to the beach.  I know she is going to love the water.

What about you dear reader?  Do you have any stories where you feel like you were in limbo and in between places or stages of life?  I would love to hear them.  Be sure to leave a comment.

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Happy Birthday Angel Jessica

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Today our Jessica Ann would be 25 years old.  Jessica is our 2nd oldest child next to Jeremy Moffitt who is 29.  Today is also the 14th anniversary of the World Trade Center twin towers being attacked.  I remember both events as if it were yesterday.  I remember Jessica taking her last breath on August 5th 2001 at approximately 2 am.  I remember telling her that it was ok to quit fighting and to let go.  Jessica Ann slipped from the bonds of her cancer ridden body into the arms of Jesus in that moment.  It is our hope and belief that we will see her again along with other loved ones when we leave this life and move on to the next one.

It has been said that time heals all wounds.  I would say that time allows us the opportunity to learn how to deal with the pain and grief of losing a loved one.  Time gives us a measuring stick for our perception of the pain and feeling of loss that comes with grief.  One does not simply “get over it”.  If you are a friend or family of someone that has lost a loved one please do not make the mistake of expecting them to just “get over it”.  Grief is something that becomes a constant companion.  Over time, the pain does subside and get easier to deal with but it never totally goes away.

Today, my heart goes out to the family and friends of the 3000+ souls that lost their lives in the terrorist attack in New York City on this date in 2011.  Terrorists (aka cowards) hijacked 3 jet liners and intentionally flew them into both of the World Trade Center towers and attempted to fly into the Pentagon.  Someone said that 9/11 is the “Pearl Harbor” of my generation.   I will never forget where we were when this happened.  A neighbor called me and told me to turn on the TV and watch the news.  We sat in our living room and watched in horror as the World Trade Center buildings burned and then collapsed one after the other.  We watched as the second plane hit the second tower while the first one burned.  I remember how surreal it was to watch the 110 floor towers just collapse into the ground while millions of viewers watched in disbelief.

My heart goes out to the families and friends of the public servants who rushed to the scene to help people and ultimately paid the highest price for doing so.  Police officers and fire fighters who were trying to help victims lost their own lives on that horrible day.  This is a day that Americans came face to face with radical Islam and their act of cowardly terror.  I know that the pain of the event was and is intense for most of us.  It would be so easy to categorize all Muslim people as terrorists but I realize that is not fair.  That would be like saying that all Christians are willing to kill innocent people in the name of God.

The problem with terrorism and war is that innocent people including women and children lost their lives.  I guess that our government calls this loss of life as collateral damage.  I do not pretend to fully understand all of this.  I just know that people were going about their day to day business in the World Trade center towers and that it was forever interrupted by a cowardly act by terrorists and now they get to live with the grief.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the survivors.  May they find some sort of release from their pain and find the courage to go on despite their losses.

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25 years of marriage as of May 12th

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As of May 12th Katy Moffitt and I celebrated 25 years of marriage.  That is right, back in 1990 we stood in a Baptist church in Houston Texas and before God, friends and family we vowed to be husband and wife no matter what.  For better or worse both in sickness and health.  To round out our vows we privately added a coffin clause.  The only way out of this marriage is if you are in your coffin.

Over the last 25 years we have known or seen many different marriages which have wound up in divorce court.  Marriage takes a lot of work, love, tears and commitment.  A commitment to do whatever it takes to make the marriage work.  Marriage takes love, patience, communications and lots of forgiveness.  Despite our best efforts it is almost impossible to change the other person.  When we get married we can easily fall into the trap that if we love someone enough that we can change the person to be who we want them to be. 

Katy and I have faced our fair share of ups and downs.  Some of the challenges that we have faced would have been catastrophic and would have ended most marriages.  I still remember our first premarital marriage counseling sessions.  Katy and I met an older couple out in Sugarland Texas at their home and shared a dinner.  We had a nice chat during dinner and then the genders split up and went to different parts of the house.  After it was all said and done Katy and I were amazed to learn that we would never have a successful marriage. 

The marriage counselors identified some things that were probable pit falls that would prove to be more than we could handle even if we were in love at that time.  Katy comes from a family that had to deal with alcoholism.  I came from a really messed up home life as a child.  I still remember the man stating that he could tell that “ I had been through some pretty rough spots” up until that point.  We were told that because of our past that I would never be willing to be in the relationship for the long haul and that if I did leave Katy she would wind up being an alcoholic. 

I am glad that Katy and I did not buy into that negative crap.  I grant you that these people were older and wiser than us and they could see some potential problems if we had allowed this to happen.  Katy and I discussed those things and decided that together and with the help of God we would be able to overcome them. 

As I look back over the last 25 years I can see several things that have required us to lean on each other and our faith in God in order to remain steadfast to our wedding vows.  I still do not understand how people can weather the storms of life without a faith in God.  I know that some folks do not understand faith and they view those of us with faith as weak people who are in need of some sort of fairy tale figure in our lives to run to when times get tough.  

One of the things that we seem to have always had to deal with are the financial struggles.  Nothing will destroy a marriage faster than financial stress or one or both spouses being unfaithful.  Looking back over the last 25 years I can see that while things have been a bit shaky at times with regards to finances our needs were always met somehow.  We always had a roof over our heads, food to eat and clothes to wear. It did not help that we made some stupid decisions along the way early on.  We suffered from the “I wants”, and decided that we would rather have it now and pay later.  What the credit card industry and marketers do not tell you is that paying later means you will pay dearly for the privilege of having things that you do not need quicker.  Katy always told me that she did not marry me for my money (or lack thereof) and I did not marry her for her cooking skills.  Luckily for us those areas have gotten much better over the years. 

Over the last 25 years we have lived through different seasons.  We lived through the honeymoon stage and entered parenthood with 3 children.  Jessica, Kristina and Justin Moffitt were born to us.  I have a son named Jeremy who was from a previous marriage.  The children went from being toddlers to adolescents to adults in what seems to be the blink of an eye. During this time we experienced the typical things that most families experience with 3 children.  We had our fair share of emergency room visits and hospital scares. 

I remember when we lived in Atlanta Georgia and I worked for Delta Airlines as a contractor.  Justin fell out of a 2 story window and banged his arm and head on the patio.  We rushed him to the ER and we got a lecture from a DSS worker who was concerned that we did not call an ambulance much less let our son fall out of a window.  It is tough to watch your children have to endure pain and suffering and not have the ability to keep them from that. 

I also remember when our Jessica Ann, when she was 10 years old, started to have blinding head aches and other neurological symptoms such as being dizzy and not being able to keep food down.  We found out that she had a baseball sized tumor in her head.  Emergency surgery removed 95% of the tumor but the rest of it that was wrapped around her brain stem would eventually kill her. The doctors gave Jessica Ann 12 months to live and 14 months later she went to heaven. 

I remember sitting at MUSC Childrens hospital with the team of doctors and our pastor.  We were told that she only had one option left but it was harsh and it could possibly kill her quicker than the cancer.  A bone marrow transplant would be performed and she would be in the hospital for 6 weeks while she was isolated from others to keep her from getting infections.  There was no promise that this would work even if we decided to go that direction.  I remember talking to Jessica at the tender age of ten and telling her what the options were.  I remember how she looked and reacted when what we told her sunk in.  She decided that she wanted to go home and not try the bone marrow transplant. 

That 14 months that we lived out as a family back in 2000 and 2001 was the hardest 14 months on our family. I have been told by the medical community that most families that lose a child to cancer typically wind up destroyed and scattered to the winds and in divorce court.  I remember when Jessica Ann died and the funeral director in Goose Creek told me that the statistics showed that we would be divorced within a year.  I remember how angry that made me and I remember telling that man that I rejected that idea.  We would not wind up in divorce court over this.  We would dig in and do whatever we could to survive this event. 

That was 14 years ago in August.   Our family was not destroyed but it certainly was impacted in a negative way.  None of us have been the same since that day we lost our Jessica Ann.  I am proud that Katy and I were able to hold things together and work through all of those things and that our marriage survived despite all odds.  I would also state that this season of our life was probably the one thing that did shake my faith in God down to the very foundation.  

Now we are empty nesters.  Justin lives in downtown Charleston with his girlfriend and Kristina lives in Oregon.  I guess you could say that we are in the last season of our lives.  We are sliding into our golden years and second childhood.  We are both in our 50’s and while we would like to think that we are in our middle years neither of us expect to live another 50 years.  I suppose that none of us know when our lives will end.  We have to live our lives one day at a time and leave all of the eternal issues up to our God and creator who created us and the world we live in. 

I am so very blessed to be married to my Gizmo.  Katy has been my best friend for the last 25 years. I remember sitting at First Baptist church in Houston Texas and telling Katy that we would only be friends.  I remember how that made her cry.  I guess that God had shown her that I was her husband before he told me.  I remember saying that I would never marry again until I saw a burning bush in the middle of I-10 at noon time.  Apparently there was a burning bush (or car) at some point because Katy chased my heart down and captured it.  There have been no regrets and no looking back.  I am glad that I am married to my Katy and I am looking forward to us growing old together. 

I am a better man because of Katy.  Katy has always been the most selfless person I have ever known.  Katy is also the most faithful person I know with regards to her faith in God.  Katy has a quiet faith that is very strong.   Katy has always believed in me even when I did not believe in myself.  Katy has taught me how to be more selfless and more loving of other people.   I really am not sure how she has put up with me for all of these years but she has.  I believe that makes her a saint.

 

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5 Things I will teach my boys about pornography – Daily Positive

I read this and I have to agree.  I hope that people read this article and take it to heart.  Pornography is a billion dollar industry and it is destroying families.  You can read the article Daily Positive .

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Reblog from Mothers and Words Blog on Smashing our Fears

I received the following link in e-mail this morning and wanted to share it with you.  Smashing our Fears is something that reminds us of how important it is to deal with our fears.   I would encourage you to subscribe to Mothers and Words Blog as well.

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