In my aud & crazy world I constantly have things running through my head. So rather then continue letting it take up space I'm putting it out there! My thoughts, opinions, fashion tips on a budget, hair tips for crazy unmanageable hair and other aud tidbits that include health and even some politics!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Amy "Susie Packwrecker" Duclose - is mom, derby referee, and wife.

     Just off Idlewild Road sits a warehouse which appears to be nothing more than an old airline manufacturing plant, however, inside you may be surprised to find taped lines in the form of an oval, benches, and roller skates.
     For many Mississippi girls, this is their go-to spot; this is where the dirt hits the fan… literally.
     For Amy Duclos, roller derby has become an obsession. On any given night you may find her at the Starkville Roller Skating Rink, or perhaps in the more official roller derby rink, located in the heart of Columbus, Miss.
     Here you will find 10 or more, tough, possibly tattooed, tight wearing, trash-talking derby girls - ready to brawl.
     Duclos said skating is her life. That is, outside of her three kids and her husband Martin, “The Canadian”, as she affectionately refers to him. According to Duclos, he is the most supportive husband around.
     “After starting derby, I was the happiest freakin’ person on the planet,” Duclos said. “I would wake up, and that is all I could think about was going to skate. Even though it was just four hours a week, it was like those two days were fabulous. Nobody could get under my skin, nobody could make me mad, it didn’t matter if the house was a mess or the kids fought all day, I didn’t care, I got to skate.”
     After losing her brother to a cocaine overdose in December 2008, the world seemed to close in on her. Between her brother’s death, and more recently, two miscarriages; Duclos felt trapped and bogged down, which ultimately led to depression.
     As a child, Duclos lived in skates. Hanging out at the local skating rink on weekends and during the summer had helped fine-tune her skills. This love continued after having three children of her own, and she would often take her own kids down to the rink.
     One particular evening after skating with her kids, a couple of girls with tattoos, face piercings, and crazy clothes came over to her and told her that she should play derby. Duclos had no idea what derby was.
     As a result of her second, but still raw miscarriage, Duclos found herself in a very low place. Happiness was difficult to come by during this time, and she found herself feeling extremely bitter and cynical. So, two nights a week of roller derby seemed like the thing to do.
     “Slowly those two days started to seep into the rest of the week, and I really do think it pulled me out of depression,” Duclos said. “It’s now been two years since I’ve felt affected by it.”
     Even her mother, Martha Ward, commented to her about the effects skating had on her daughter.
     “I’m really glad you’re doing roller derby,” Ward said, “You’re a lot happier because of it.”
     Derby has become a part of everyday life in the Duclos household. Not only does Amy “Susie Packwrecker” Duclos referee every Thursday night for the Mississippi Brawl Stars, but she also travels with the team, holds fundraiser’s, and has a derby wife who has helped her through her journey.
     According to Duclos, each new derby girl gets a derby wife, who not only shows her the ropes, but essentially becomes her second mom. Packwrecker’s derby wife is not just someone she associates with for derby, but she is one of her bestfriends.
     For the Mississippi Brawl Stars, roller derby is more than just elbows, “jams”, and blocks; its family. There is not time to worry about girls who irritate you, Duclos said. Even if one of them is a “heifer”, you get over it, because everyone is needed, and because it’s roller derby.
     As we headed into the scrimmage game Thursday night, Duclos warned me that the other girls would try to convince me to become one of them.
     “They’ll want you to be a jammer for sure, they’re the fastest; they’re the ones who score the points,” Duclos said. “Just tell them you’re here to observe.”
     As we entered the old warehouse, it was like walking into another world. The musty smell penetrated your nose, the fluorescent lights hung low below the exposed rafters, and the heaviness of the air enveloped you. Elbow pads, knee pads, fish-net tights (some with skeleton prints on them), boy-shorts, and purple helmets, gave the feeling of padding up for a skateboarding event or a football game. As girls tightened laces, fastened helmet’s, and padded up, you could tell this was no school-girl brawl, this was serious business.
     As Packwrecker blew the first whistle, which signaled to the pack to start, the girls took off. The grace and speed at which Packwrecker skated around the track was awe-inspiring, if not intimidating. It was not difficult to see the joy and fulfillment that skating allows Amy “Susie Packwrecker” Duclos.
     “I get a thrill when I’m the fastest on the track, I’ve got big-girl thighs and they push me good,” Duclos said. “I’d rather be on skates than my own feet, I feel so comfortable and good in my skin - when I’m on skates.”


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Response to John Oliver's minimum wage argument (John Stewart Show)

I find this segment ironic and yet, it doesn't shock me in the least. Although the liberals love the idea of raising minimum wage, what they aren't willing to discuss is that raising minimum wage WILL cut the workforce purely due to lack of funds and jobs in this economy. There is no way for small/large companies to hire large amounts of people when minimum wage is what we use to earn after 2-3 years in the industry.

It used to be that ten dollars an hour was a large amount of money and something that you earned after having hands on experience. Now, it's simply expected. No hard work required. No experience necessary. I see it everyday with students who are graduating with little to no experience in their field and then they expect to land that "perfect" job. Except that, oh wait, hundreds of others are vying for the same job, and half of those have work experience, and the other half - nothing. Who do you think is going to get the job?

It frustrates me like crazy that people think minimum wage jobs are bad or evil. Really? It is called a stepping stone. You get some experience under your belt, then you get an education, then you take another job with a higher wage, then you get more work experience, and then the process continues. The average college graduate salary is $46,000, the average college graduate with a  masters degree is $60,000. The average McDonalds salary is $34,000, ten thousand less than the average college graduate and almost 30,000 less then a graduate with a masters degree. So, if all those minimum wage workers would simply get a college education, they immediately take themselves out of poverty.

Side rant - I DISLIKE when people say they can't afford to go to college. REALLY! Guess what, the rest of us can't afford college either, it's called, work, side jobs, grants, and loans.  Stop making excuses for why you DON'T have an education, your situation is the same as mine. I am paying my way through school. I don't have a hand out, a magic money tree, I'm not a free-loader who's parents are paying my way. No - I am paying my way through school. So don't use that excuse here please, because I have no sympathy!

Back to the story...

Not everyone is Steve Jobs, actually he is a bad example, because he actually worked his way up. Or maybe Ashton Kutcher, no - he also had minimum wage jobs and worked his way up the ladder. One could argue that Mark Cuban just made it big, but that would be a lie as well. Did you know, "Mark Cuban sold garbage bags door to door at age 12". So although his business value is 2.5 Million, he worked his butt off and got an amazing education at Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Arguably, there is no argument. Everyone has to start with an entry level job. The problem lies in individuals who never strive for greatness, or at least greater than their current situation. Rather, they expect others to pick up their slack and according to the "me, me, me" mentality, or "give me, give me, give me" attitude, they cry and we come running.

Going back to Ashton Kutcher's now famous quote from the teen choice awards, "I never had a job in my life that I was better than, I was just lucky to have a job, and every job I had was a stepping stone to the next job, and I never quite a job until I had my next job. And so opportunity looks a lot like hard work."

I'm not sure Mr. Kutcher knew how powerful and moving his words would prove to be, but anyone who thinks they deserve more money just because, should watch the youtube video and take stock of their life, and remember "Opportunity looks a lot like hard work!"

Friday, April 19, 2013

Republican vs. Democrat

I believe many times people base their political standpoint off of what they think they know about Democrats (liberals/left) and Republicans (conservatives/right) as compared to what really is the ideology of both parties. If you are not familiar with what - exactly those ideologies are. Please take a moment to read this article. You may just find that you do not necessarily agree with all or,part; perhaps even realizing you disagree with certain aspects of your party choice, or that your convictions are affirmed.

(Please make sure and read the italics print!)

This is taken directly from: http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs/
Copyright 2005 (revised 2010) StudentNewsDaily.com

Conservative vs. Liberal Beliefs

We all want the same things in life. We want freedom; we want the chance for prosperity; we want as few people suffering as possible; we want healthy children; we want to have crime-free streets. The argument is how to achieve them…

Liberals believe in government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all. It is the duty of the government to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights. Believe the role of the government should be to guarantee that no one is in need. Liberal policies generally emphasize the need for the government to solve problems.

Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. Believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems.

NOTE: The terms “left” and “right” define opposite ends of the political spectrum. In the United States, liberals are referred to as the left or left-wing and conservatives are referred to as the right or right-wing. On the U.S. political map, blue represents the Democratic Party (which generally upholds liberal principles) and red represents the Republican party (which generally upholds conservative principles).

THE ISSUES: (In alphabetical order)


Liberal - A woman has the right to decide what happens with her body. A fetus is not a human life, so it does not have separate individual rights. The government should provide taxpayer funded abortions for women who cannot afford them. The decision to have an abortion is a personal choice of a woman regarding her own body and the government must protect this right. Women have the right to affordable, safe and legal abortions, including partial birth abortion.

Conservative - Human life begins at conception. Abortion is the murder of a human being. An unborn baby, as a living human being, has separate rights from those of the mother. Oppose taxpayer-funded abortion. Taxpayer dollars should not be used for the government to provide abortions. Support legislation to prohibit partial birth abortions, called the "Partial Birth Abortion* Ban"

(*Partial Birth Abortion: the killing of an unborn baby of at least 20 weeks by pulling it out of the birth canal with forceps, but leaving the head inside. An incision is made in the back of the baby's neck and the brain tissue is suctioned out. The head is then removed from the uterus.)

Affirmative Action:

Liberal - Due to prevalent racism in the past, minorities were deprived of the same education and employment opportunities as whites. The government must work to make up for that. America is still a racist society, therefore a federal affirmative action law is necessary. Due to unequal opportunity, minorities still lag behind whites in all statistical measurements of success.

Conservative - Individuals should be admitted to schools and hired for jobs based on their ability. It is unfair to use race as a factor in the selection process. Reverse-discrimination is not a solution for racism. Some individuals in society are racist, but American society as a whole is not. Preferential treatment of certain races through affirmative action is wrong.

Death Penalty:

Liberal - The death penalty should be abolished. It is inhumane and is ‘cruel and unusual' punishment. Imprisonment is the appropriate punishment for murder. Every execution risks killing an innocent person.

Conservative - The death penalty is a punishment that fits the crime of murder; it is neither ‘cruel' nor ‘unusual.' Executing a murderer is the appropriate punishment for taking an innocent life.


Liberal - A market system in which government regulates the economy is best. Government must protect citizens from the greed of big business. Unlike the private sector, the government is motivated by public interest. Government regulation in all areas of the economy is needed to level the playing field.

Conservative - The free market system, competitive capitalism, and private enterprise create the greatest opportunity and the highest standard of living for all. Free markets produce more economic growth, more jobs and higher standards of living than those systems burdened by excessive government regulation.

Education: vouchers & charter schools

Liberal - Public schools are the best way to educate students. Vouchers take money away from public schools. Government should focus additional funds on existing public schools, raising teacher salaries and reducing class size.

Conservative - School vouchers create competition and therefore encourage schools to improve performance. Vouchers will give all parents the right to choose good schools for their children, not just those who can afford private schools.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research:

Liberal - Support the use of embryonic stem cells for research. It is necessary (and ethical) for the government to fund embryonic stem cell research, which will assist scientists in finding treatments and cures for diseases. An embryo is not a human. The tiny blastocyst (embryos used in embryonic stem cell research) has no human features. Experimenting on embryos/embryonic stem cells is not murder. Embryonic stem cells have the potential to cure chronic and degenerative diseases which current medicine has been unable to effectively treat. Embryonic stem cells have been shown to be effective in treating heart damage in mice.

Conservative - Support the use of adult and umbilical cord stem cells only for research. It is morally and ethically wrong for the government to fund embryonic stem cell research. Human life begins at conception. The extraction of stem cells from an embryo requires its destruction. In other words, it requires that a human life be killed. Adult stem cells have already been used to treat spinal cord injuries, Leukemia, and even Parkinson's disease. Adult stem cells are derived from umbilical cords, placentas, amniotic fluid, various tissues and organ systems like skin and the liver, and even fat obtained from liposuction. Embryonic stem cells have not been successfully used to help cure disease.


Liberal - Oil is a depleting resource. Other sources of energy must be explored. The government must produce a national plan for all energy resources and subsidize (partially pay for) alternative energy research and production. Support increased exploration of alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. Support government control of gas and electric industries.

Conservative - Oil, gas and coal are all good sources of energy and are abundant in the U.S. Oil drilling should be increased both on land and at sea. Increased domestic production creates lower prices and less dependence on other countries for oil. Support increased production of nuclear energy. Wind and solar sources will never provide plentiful, affordable sources of power. Support private ownership of gas and electric industries.

Euthanasia & Physician-assisted suicide:

Liberal - Euthanasia should be legalized. A person has a right to die with dignity, by his own choice. A terminally ill person should have the right to choose to end pain and suffering. It is wrong for the government to take away the means for a terminally ill person to hasten his death. It is wrong to force a person to go through so much pain and suffering. Legalizing euthanasia would not lead to doctor-assisted suicides of non-critical patients. Permitting euthanasia would reduce health care costs, which would then make funds available for those who could truly benefit from medical care.

Conservative - Neither euthanasia nor physician-assisted suicide should be legalized. It is immoral and unethical to deliberately end the life of a terminally ill person (euthanasia), or enable another person to end their own life (assisted suicide). The goal should be compassionate care and easing the suffering of terminally ill people. Legalizing euthanasia could lead to doctor-assisted suicides of non-critical patients. If euthanasia were legalized, insurance companies could pressure doctors to withhold life-saving treatment for dying patients. Many religions prohibit suicide and euthanasia. These practices devalue human life.

Global Warming/Climate Change:

Liberal - Global warming is caused by an increased production of carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas). The U.S. is a major contributor to global warming because it produces 25% of the world’s carbon dioxide. Proposed laws to reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. are urgently needed and should be enacted immediately to save the planet. Many reputable scientists support this theory.

Conservative - Change in global temperature is natural over long periods of time. Science has not shown that humans can affect permanent change to the earth’s temperature. Proposed laws to reduce carbon emissions will do nothing to help the environment and will cause significant price increases for all. Many reputable scientists support this theory.

Gun Control:

Liberal - The Second Amendment does not give citizens the right to keep and bear arms, but only allows for the state to keep a militia (National Guard). Individuals do not need guns for protection; it is the role of local and federal government to protect the people through law enforcement agencies and the military. Additional gun control laws are necessary to stop gun violence and limit the ability of criminals to obtain guns. More guns mean more violence.

Conservative - The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to keep and bear arms. Individuals have the right to defend themselves. There are too many gun control laws – additional laws will not lower gun crime rates. What is needed is enforcement of current laws. Gun control laws do not prevent criminals from obtaining guns. More guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens mean less crime. Full text of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”


Liberal - Support free or low-cost government controlled health care. There are millions of Americans who can’t afford health care and are deprived of this basic right. Every American has a right to affordable health care. The government should provide equal health care benefits for all, regardless of their ability to pay.

Conservative - Support competitive, free market health care system. All Americans have access to health care. The debate is about who should pay for it. Free and low-cost government-run programs (socialized medicine) result in higher costs and everyone receiving the same poor-quality health care. Health care should remain privatized. The problem of uninsured individuals should be addressed and solved within the free market healthcare system – the government should not control healthcare.

Homeland Security:

Liberal Airport security – Passenger profiling is wrong, period. Selection of passengers for extra security screening should be random. Using other criteria (such as ethnicity) is discriminatory and offensive to Arabs and Muslims, who are generally innocent and law-abiding. Terrorists don’t fit a profile. “…Arabs, Muslims and South Asians are no more likely than whites to be terrorists.” (American Civil Liberties Union ACLU) Asked on 60 Minutes if a 70-year-old white woman from Vero Beach should receive the same level of scrutiny as a Muslim from Jersey City, President Obama’s Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said, “Basically, I would hope so.”

Conservative Airport security – Choosing passengers randomly for extra security searches is not effective. Rather, profiling and intelligence data should be used to single out passengers for extra screening. Those who do not meet the criteria for suspicion should not be subjected to intense screening. The terrorists currently posing a threat to the U.S. are primarily Islamic/Muslim men between the ages of 18 and 38. Our resources should be focused on this group. Profiling is good logical police work. “If people are offended (by profiling), that’s unfortunate, but I don’t think we can afford to take the risk that terrorism brings to us. They’ve wasted masses of resources on far too many people doing things that really don’t have a big payoff in terms of security.” – Northwestern University Aviation Expert, A.Gellman.


Liberal - Support legal immigration. Support amnesty for those who enter the U.S. illegally (undocumented immigrants). Also believe that undocumented immigrants have a right to: -- all educational and health benefits that citizens receive (financial aid, welfare, social security and medicaid), regardless of legal status. -- the same rights as American citizens. It is unfair to arrest millions of undocumented immigrants.

Conservative - Support legal immigration only. Oppose amnesty for those who enter the U.S. illegally (illegal immigrants). Those who break the law by entering the U.S. illegally do not have the same rights as those who obey the law and enter legally. The borders should be secured before addressing the problem of the illegal immigrants currently in the country. The Federal Government should secure the borders and enforce current immigration law.

Private Property:

Liberal - Government has the right to use eminent domain (seizure of private property by the government--with compensation to the owner) to accomplish a public end.

Conservative - Respect ownership and private property rights. Eminent domain (seizure of private property by the government--with compensation to the owner) in most cases is wrong. Eminent domain should not be used for private development.

Religion & Government:

Liberal - Support the separation of church and state. The Bill of Rights implies a separation of church and state. Religious expression has no place in government. The two should be completely separate. Government should not support religious expression in any way. All reference to God in public and government spaces should be removed (eg., the Ten Commandments should not be displayed in Federal buildings). Religious expression has no place in government.

Conservative - The phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution. The First Amendment to the Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This prevents the government from establishing a national church/denomination. However, it does not prohibit God from being acknowledged in schools and government buildings. Symbols of Christian heritage should not be removed from public and government spaces (eg., the Ten Commandments should continue to be displayed in Federal buildings). Government should not interfere with religion and religious freedom.

Same-sex Marriage:

Liberal - Marriage is the union of people who love each other. It should be legal for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, to ensure equal rights for all. Support same-sex marriage. Opposed to the creation of a constitutional amendment establishing marriage as the union of one man and one woman. All individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, have the right to marry. Prohibiting same-sex citizens from marrying denies them their civil rights. [Opinions vary on whether this issue is equal to civil rights for African Americans.]

Conservative - Marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Oppose same-sex marriage. Support Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed in 1996, which affirms the right of states not to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states. Requiring citizens to sanction same-sex relationships violates moral and religious beliefs of millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims and others, who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

Social Security:

Liberal - The Social Security system should be protected at all costs. Reduction in future benefits is not a reasonable option. [Opinions vary on the extent of the current system's financial stability.] Social Security provides a safety net for the nation's poor and needy. Changing the system would cause a reduction in benefits and many people would suffer as a result.

Conservative - The Social Security system is in serious financial trouble. Major changes to the current system are urgently needed. In its current state, the Social Security system is not financially sustainable. It will collapse if nothing is done to address the problems. Many will suffer as a result. Social Security must be made more efficient through privatization and/or allowing individuals to manage their own savings.


Liberal - Higher taxes (primarily for the wealthy) and a larger government are necessary to address inequity/injustice in society (government should help the poor and needy using tax dollars from the rich). Support a large government to provide for the needs of the people and create equality. Taxes enable the government to create jobs and provide welfare programs for those in need. Government programs are a caring way to provide for the poor and needy in society.

Conservative - Lower taxes and a smaller government with limited power will improve the standard of living for all. Support lower taxes and a smaller government. Lower taxes create more incentive for people to work, save, invest, and engage in entrepreneurial endeavors. Money is best spent by those who earn it, not the government. Government programs encourage people to become dependent and lazy, rather than encouraging work and independence.

United Nations (UN):

Liberal - The UN promotes peace and human rights. The United States has a moral and a legal obligation to support the United Nations (UN). The U.S. should not act as a sovereign nation, but as one member of a world community. The U.S. should submit its national interests to the greater good of the global community (as defined by the UN). The U.S. should defer to the UN in military/peacekeeping matters. The United Nations Charter gives the United Nations Security Council the power and responsibility to take collective action to maintain international peace and security. U.S. troops should submit to UN command.

Conservative - The UN has repeatedly failed in its essential mission to promote world peace and human rights. The wars, genocide and human rights abuses taking place in many Human Rights Council member states (and the UN's failure to stop them) prove this point. History shows that the United States, not the UN, is the global force for spreading freedom, prosperity, tolerance and peace. The U.S. should never subvert its national interests to those of the UN. The U.S. should never place troops under UN control. U.S. military should always wear the U.S. military uniform, not that of UN peacekeepers. [Opinions vary on whether the U.S. should withdraw from the UN.]

War on Terror/Terrorism:

Liberal - Global warming, not terrorism, poses the greatest threat to the U.S., according to Democrats in Congress. Terrorism is a result of arrogant U.S. foreign policy. Good diplomacy is the best way to deal with terrorism. Relying on military force to defeat terrorism creates hatred that leads to more terrorism. Captured terrorists should be handled by law enforcement and tried in civilian courts.

Conservative - Terrorism poses one of the greatest threats to the U.S. The world toward which the militant Islamists strive cannot peacefully co-exist with the Western world. In the last decade, militant Islamists have repeatedly attacked Americans and American interests here and abroad. Terrorists must be stopped and destroyed. The use of intelligence-gathering and military force are the best ways to defeat terrorism around the world. Captured terrorists should be treated as enemy combatants and tried in military courts.


Liberal - Support welfare, including long-term welfare. Welfare is a safety net which provides for the needs of the poor. Welfare is necessary to bring fairness to American economic life. It is a device for protecting the poor.

Conservative - Oppose long-term welfare. Opportunities should be provided to make it possible for those in need to become self-reliant. It is far more compassionate and effective to encourage people to become self-reliant, rather than allowing them to remain dependent on the government for provisions. Copyright 2005, (revised 2010) StudentNewsDaily.com

So, are you what you thought you were? Or, is there room for change?

Some food for thought!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Movies, Schools, Running, is America Free Anymore?

As we all remain shell shocked by the apparent terror attack witnessed yesterday at the Boston marathon killing three and injuring 170+ people you begin to wonder, is this where America is headed?

 Perhaps government will now realize that it is not the weapon but the individual (insane or not) who determines whether someone has the right to live anymore. As we digest this latest atrocity occurring at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, just one of too many recent deadly attempts to thwart the very freedom that our country was founded on. The American resolve stands strong. Across the centuries millions have flocked to America in search of "freedom", only to have it taken away by self-indulgent, self-entitled, insane individuals who believe the worth of a human soul is only valued according to how ticked off they are that day,the unbelievable idea that they will "be saved" by suicide bombing, or how "wronged" they have been by society as a whole.

Now, we can't even go running without having to worry about what fanatic is going to thwart our very freedom to exercise, run, breath, or live. The next time a runner wants to sign up for the Boston or New York marathon for which they have spent years training for, they will wonder; will I live to see the finish line?

America's freedoms are being threatened every day by mental cases that perhaps were coddled by their caregivers, or maybe sent to the basement so their parent didn't have to "parent" them, or did not have the confidence to fight off the constant badgering by "mean girls" or boys.

Let's examine the past few cases. The columbine incident, the shooting in Massachusetts, the theatre shooting; where were the parents? I am by no means an expert in any of these cases, but the idea that these parent(s) were unaware of their son owning a gun, or in some cases researching kill tactics online, or even playing hours and hours of violent video games is outlandish. Apparently it is now okay to not know what the hell your child is doing for hours in their room by themselves. As the ideals of "family" are being torn apart, as parents no longer deem it their responsibility to actually raise their own kids, and as kids are left to fend for themselves... we will continue to see the degrading effects of the family being torn apart, and the results - children who don't have a conscience.

To be cool these days you cannot have a mom and dad. No, now it is cool to just have a mom, or a dad, or, two moms or two dads. Girls are having unwed children one right after the other just so they can pull a paycheck from the government. Since when did we as Americans stoop so low as to have a child just to get a damn paycheck that is not deserved? By doing this they are putting their child in the most un-ideal situation possible just so they can stay home and be lazy. Has our integrity been stripped, have our morals completely washed away with the sands of time? How can one hold their head up high when they know that deep down they are not fulfilling their duty as a human being, as a child of God, to work by the sweat of their brow? Work, what? I'm supposed to actually work for money? Yes, and as a result, you contribute to your family and society as a whole.

Unfortunately some single parents don't have a choice, whether from divorce, death, sickness, or other outstanding circumstances; many do not choose their path they now find themselves in. I applaud their efforts at doing their best to raise their family in this world that is constantly pulling you under. Raising a child is among the most difficult things to do, when done right. These situations are to be commended.

Yet with the continued disintegration of the family it is inevitable that we will continue to see more and more violence at the hands of those who have either been neglected, feel self-entitled, or need medical treatment for which they are not being treated, or diagnosed.

It is almost impossible these days to have a one parent working household. With higher taxes, increased food prices, gas prices, mortgages, it is next to hopeless to maintain the dynamic parent situation. As women struggle to find their place in the home and at work, as more and more men are taking on multiple responsibilities at work and at home, and as more and more children are left to raise themselves; is it no wonder we are seeing so many atrocities occurring in our once safe and stable country?

No longer can we go to the movies without worrying whether or not it will be safe because some lunatic wants to act out a villain; like they are playing out some childhood fantasy. Don't they know frustrations can still be taken out on 1 inch army figures (it releases the same frustration); nope, now they are using "real people" and real weapons. Perhaps this will be a wakeup call for the fanatic left wing liberals who claim guns are the problem. Like Jim Carey is the only one who should have a gun to protect himself.

Perhaps Obama will realize that by raising prices, taxes, and fuel across the board, he is tearing down the family by forcing parents to work longer hours just to pay the bills. Perhaps this administration will start to think about the costly effects of Obamacare and the individual and small businesses that are being affected, forcing both parents to work (or work more hours or hold two jobs). Perhaps Washington will open their eyes to the ideals that set America apart from the beginning. The very reasons men sailed to America: democracy, family, religion, small business; the very things now being threatened. Now liberals are brainwashing our children; in elementary, high school, and college with their rhetorical nonsense. Socialism is the model society, that is, according to liberals. Because apparently socialistic governments are ideal, I mean Greece and Spain are great, right?

As one who strongly believes in morals, families, God, and standing up for what is right, I find it deplorable how our government continues to threaten the very freedoms our country was founded upon. Washington continues to spend money on lavish vacations, conventions, and Obamacare. They continue to give handouts to those who should be looking for a job (there are jobs available). Unfortunately, they continue to play roulette with our money and our future. Rather than pass a budget, they sit, wasting taxpayer dollars because no one is willing to agree on anything. The very people, who are supposed to fight for our rights, are actually the ones taking them away.

America, is this the country you want? You want government controlling your right to protect yourself? You want government to tell you how to raise your children? You want government telling you how and what insurance you should buy, and if you don't they want to tax the life out of you? It reminds me of the old story "Robin Hood", why did Robin Hood raise up in rebellion against government, because Prince John was taxing the life out of the poor people of Nottingham. That is exactly what Obama is doing, taking away our right to bear arms, making the people dependent upon big government and above all, raising taxes!

The liberals come out in full force, and conservatives, by nature are conservative. However, if we don't start fighting for what we believe in, there will be nothing left to fight for. It will all be gone. And you will no longer be safe just to go for a walk, or enjoy a movie, or worse; send your kid to school. You will be at the mercy of the ever over-reaching government to protect you because you didn't stand up and defend your very rights as an American, including your right to bear arms. Anyone dreaming of opening a small business will think twice because of the atrocious taxes they face. And we, Americans will continue to see higher and higher taxes, forcing us to be dependent upon those in office to maintain any decency of life.

It seems no one in Washington has the moral courage anymore to fight for the things they promised just to get into office. I'm tired of wondering how I'm going to send my kids to college, or how I'm going to pay for Obamacare, if the dream of a better future is being jeopardized. We are stronger than they who tear down everything that is right in this world. It is no longer okay to silently go throughout this life hoping that things will "work-out". It is time to stand up for what is right. It is time to stand up for what you believe in... Otherwise, there will be no battle to wage – the war will be over!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Chic on the Cheap - New Favorite Find!

As a method for coping with midterm stress, I find that shopping has a way of sending "happy" endorphin's to the brain; relaxing and soothing the over-tired, over-stressed, puffy-eyed, maniac who at times resembles yours truly.

Well as it just so happened, last night while attending MSU's PRSSA monthly meeting, I had the opportunity to hear Jason Stoker speak.  Jason Stoker is a local pastor and part owner in a locally owned clothing boutique here in Starkville! Deep South Pout is the result of two couples joining ventures and making something amazing happen.  I was so impressed with what Jason and his partners (one of which is his wife) have accomplished in such a short time, that I decided to drop in today after class. Although I had previously heard of DSP since moving to the small town of Starkville, Mississipp in August of 2012, I hadn't yet made it in to check it out.  I'd heard good things about this boutique, so I was intrigued with what was to come.

My first thought as I pulled up was "that's a charming cyan bench" which was located just aside their front door.  I thought "I like their taste already"!  Immediately upon entering I was taken in by the soft and subtle hues of color.  Mint, beige, peach, corals, reds, turquoise, blacks, cremes, stripes, and polk-a-dots.  Styles ranged from southern country, classic, rustic, and things that make you wish you were walking on the beach with the sand between your toes.

As I waded through the beautiful pieces, my little boy fell in love with the fabulous jewelry they had displayed in baskets, pinned on boards, and laying across tables.  Large beads, small beads, turquoise, coral, gold, cuffs, rings, earrings, simple yet chic, Deep South Pout had something for everyone!

A few of my favorites ended up tossed across my arm as I browsed the displays.  A black and white polk-a-dotted blouse made of a silk-polyester blend, a sleeveless sheer mint polyester blend blouse, a beautiful, delicate red/coral viscosa cardigan, and few infinity scarves to name a few.

Their fitting rooms were welcoming and quaint, with ruffled curtains as dressing room doors and gold leafed full length mirrors to aid in your shopping experience.  The staff was friendly and helpful making the boutique feel warm and inviting.  As you walked through the store you could see the personal touch, the love and time that has given this store the reputation it has and deserves, drawing in names like Jen Brown, a top ESPN sportscaster.

I walked away with some fabulous additions to my wardrobe, that polk-a-dot blouse I mentioned, the pleated mint blouse, and the red/coral cardigan + a linen infinity scarf and a cotton infinity scarf for my daughter.  I was quite please with my purchases and excited to share with you what I consider "the best finds of the day"!

As fabulous as this southern boutique is, one of the things that impressed me the most is this, Deep South Pout believes in giving back!  They give to the community, they give to the local university (MSU), they are involved in reclaimedproject.org, and they are continually looking for ways to not only give back, but to improve their town and those around them.  If your interested in learning more about reclaimed project and the 1:27 initiative, click the link, or you can access it through their website by clicking on the "about us" link.

You can shop them online, or in-store.
Store locations: Starkville, MS and Columbus  MS

So go, shop, concur the woes of your everyday life! (I'm not advocating addictive shopping behavior by any means; I am saying, shopping is one hell of a anecdote for a bad/stressful day ;)

These are a few of my FAVORITE things ;) 

Live life, play hard, and shop!