Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and it made me think a lot about family. I am very fortunate to have two wonderful sons. They are very loving, very sensitive, generous, caring human beings. I am extremely proud of both of them and the lives that they have built for themselves. Having said that, I feel the need to explain why that is such an accomplishment. You see, they didn't have the benefit of an extended family. No cousins, no Aunts or Uncles. Not because they didn't exist. Quite the contrary. There were four Aunts and three Uncles. All of which had 2 to 5 children themselves. My youngest brother and myself were both adopted. So, all but one of the Uncles were not raised with us. However, at the age of 15 I found my birth family and discovered that I had in fact known them as a child because I was told they were my 'cousins.' We would play together on the weekends....then, all of a sudden that just stopped. No explanation given. Just never saw them again until there was a death in the extended family and there they were; at the funeral, all grown. From that point on, I tried to be a part of their world, a part of their life. Often times it felt forced and awkward. But, I ignored it. To me, they were my family. I hadn't abandoned them nor they me so, why shouldn't there be a relationship? But, so many years had gone by. They were just enough older than I to be in a different stage of their lives. While I was in high school, they were getting married or were already married, starting families or already had one.. I liked seeing my nieces and nephews. But, it soon became apparent that I was not 'included' in things. Birthday parties would be planned and unless I happened to drop by on the actual day of, I would never have known it. I would ask if a niece could spend the night and be told no. I would ask if I could take them out with us for pizza and the answer was always no. It was like, no matter how hard I tried to build a relationship and be close with this next generation, it just didn't happen. And so, my sons, were never allowed to get to know their cousins. They barely remember the few times they were around them. What slowly became obvious was that, my "life style" choice obviously didn't match theirs. So it was no wonder then, that I was shunned from those family functions. In turn, my children were shunned. Even my youngest brother that I was actually raised with shunned us and my sons. The only time he would have anything to do with them was if he wanted to have company for his wife's nephew when he visited. Or when, after he had adopted a son, he wanted someone to come and play with him since they lived out in the country and there weren't a lot of playmates around. To give you an idea of how he behaved; our adopted mother would of course invite both our families to Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. Being a single working parent, I often couldn't afford nor did I have the time to cook an entire Thanksgiving or Christmas meal so, we would all meet up at her house on the appointed holiday. My brother and his family would often arrive after we were already there. Sometimes, they didn't even bother to eat so, why they came, I don't know. But, whether we arrived before or after them, the outcome was the same. My brother would literally lie on the couch as if he were sleeping. Then rise, eat and leave without ever engaging in a conversation or saying so much as 'boo' to me. This went on for many a year until I was finally able to do my own holiday. As the years rolled by, my youngest brother's marriage (as well as the marriages of my two other brothers, ended. All my sisters wound up divorced and remarried except for one. I say this only to show that they were hardly in a position to throw stones at me.) My adopted father passed away leaving our mother alone. It seemed she quickly became my responsibility so naturally, during the holidays she was invited to my home. However, it didn't seem that way. In her mind, I was cooking for her and as such, she felt she could invite anyone she wanted to my home to eat. That being said, here come the brother that never spoke to me, in to my home where he again, ignored my sons, ignored me, barely ate and left. Finally, I said no more and told her. She then refused to come at all...instead I had to carry a plate of food to her house where she would eat alone. Fast forward till now. That brother passed away not long after she did. My other two is in Nevada and the oldest one right here in Florida. They sort of speak on Facebook. I say sort of because it is never anything to personal. Mostly postings about their beliefs and politics which in a nutshell reconfirm what I've always known, and that it that 'my kind' should have zero rights and privileges and if possible, be eliminated from the earth. With that being said, you can imagine how I felt when my own with a heart of gold, reached out to my oldest brother in the way of a birthday wish in which he jokingly stated that he had missed his birthday but, doubted at his age he would notice and then continued on with what he thought was funny. My brother on the other hand felt it was 'critical humor' and immediately and unceremoniously blocked him on Facebook. No explanation, no warning, nothing. Of course, I called to find out what had happened. He launched into a tirade when I called him about how he felt it was inappropriate humor that he just 'didn't want on his timeline' and how if it were his son, he would have done the same thing. Of course, I laid it on thick that my son was 'hurt' by his actions when in truth, it was I that was hurt. My son, having never really known his Uncle, and going by how the ONE Uncle he did know behaved, imitated him. Whoops. But, as misguided as that was, my brother's behavior was over the top and boarded on being dictatorial. I came away from the conversation feeling like in the long run, he did both my son and I a big favor. We may have gone on for years thinking he was some terrific person when in fact, he is an ass hole. It is amazing to me that I could have two brothers, not raised together and they are both the same in a lot of ways. I am not even going to be surprised by what the third brother ever does. In short, I am very thankful for my two sons and my three grandsons. More importantly, I am thankful that as time marches on, people I have thought of as "family members" are showing me that they are anything but. I am thankful that I don't have to continue this lie anymore and can appreciate the unselfish love of my friends and church and yes, my family of choice.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Can you help find his old war buddies?

Can we help him find his old war buddies? Retired Pfc. John Knowles, who lives in Bonaire, Georgia, served in North Africa and Italy during the war. He shipped overseas in 1942 and spent nearly three years fighting with the 34th Infantry Division, 135th Regiment, 3rd Battalion in I Company.

Monday, June 8, 2015


MERCEDES HIT AT INTERNATIONAL MALL If you were at International Mall June 7th 2015 and this is your #Mercedes: ‬, this is the car (left) that demolished the full drivers side of your new car. According to one Cedric Britton on Facebook, who was able to take this picture, "she pulled in coming down the wrong way and tried to make it work. She hit it hard enough to push it over in the space. She was gone in less than 30 seconds."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


GIDDENS, Nelda Marie Reeder, 87, of Tampa, passed away on Friday, May 31, 2013. Born in Hillsborough County, she
spent her teen years on the family farm in Darby, FL.  She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 55 years,
Roland Giddens, Sr. She is survived y her daughter, Darlene House (Lorissa Pfaff), her son, David Giddens, 3 grandsons;
Daniel (Joyce), Dane, and Justin Giddens, 2 great grandsons; Jullian and Deven.  The family will recive friends between
12:00 - 1:00 pm on Monday, June 3, 2013 at the Garden Of Memories Funeral Home, 4207 E. Lake Ave. Tampa. A graveside service will begin at 1:00 pm at the Garden of Memories Cemetery. Rev. Dr. Kathy Rooke officiating.  In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Melech Hospice House in her honor.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


From the largest company in the world creating books for Kings, Queens, FTM/MTF entertainers, androgynous performers, and drag show promoters, comes A GLBTQ trade publication with over 300 contributing writers, a database of 5,260+ entertainers in 32 countries. The Infamous Todd Kachinski Kottmeier has created this trade publication, the largest of its kind in GLBTQ history, about the art of being an illusionist. This is absolutely FREE to all of you to read and 100% of the ads go to supporting the Food Pantries for the Poor Program. As with any project he creates, it cost you the reader, nothing but a place in your heart. Thank you Todd for all you do and continue to do!

Monday, January 9, 2012


Dear Mr Huckabee:  Because of the healthcare overhaul, 2.5 million more people between the ages of 19 and 25 are now insured.  I guess President Obama personally rammed this pretty far down your throat because even with a gazillion ads running every ten minutes for over a year, it still happened.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Homebuilding 101

Back in 1999 my house burned down.  Since I owned my house out right, I decided to rebuild on the
lot. I went to  one of the oldest builders in the area.  Right off the bat, I asked them if they
employed their own people or if they hired subcontractors. I was told they had their own crew so I signed
the contract.  According to this builder, since I was having a "small" 3 bedroom, 2 bath house built, they estimated once the permit was pulled, it should only take them 4 or 5 months to complete. In the intrim period my home-owners insurance was putting me up in another house, fully furnished and would do this for up to one year so I felt safe that there was plenty of time.

Within two weeks, I was called back in to this company to sign a paper by the same salesman that had written up the contract in the first place. According to him, he wasn't suppose to say that it would be 4-5 months even though he was sure it would be and wanted me to sign a waiver that let him off the hook 'just in case.' Of course, being naive, I laughed and signed. After all, they had a year. Even if it took six months, I'd be good.

What they didn't tell me was that the waiver encompassed EVERYTHING the salesman had said to me which turned out to be that they DID subcontract. So, my little house wound up taking literally the entire year to build. Not only could they not get a crew together timely, they apparently couldn't, according to the notes from the city inspector, follow directions. So when you added all the delays and lack of workers, etc., it really did take an entire year.

Before you move in, you have to literally sign off on the house with a walk thru. So here I am with my insurance rental expiring in two days and having to sign off on the house just so my family wouldn't wind up on the street homeless.  To say there were things that were not right, is an understatement and certainly material for a much longer blog. And of course I made them write it down with a promise to come back and fix, etc., but, I still had to sign off to get in the house.

However, the purpose of this particular post is to vent about what has over the years become a joke. When we moved into this new home, it came with a yard full of sod. That lasted all of one year before it literally died. I fertilized, I watered, I weeded, I did everything you are suppose to do to your yard but, nothing worked. I finally gave up and let it be whatever it was to become...a mix of grass and weed. Then we decided to put in a flower bed and as we started to dig, we hit something. Turned out to be a bucket full of beer cans. Yep, a giant paint bucket filled with empty crushed beer cans. And so the jokes began. You cannot dig anywhere on my property that you don't find something....left over cement, roofing tacks, a bucket of screws, etc., Not surprising when you look back at it to know why the grass died. Apparently they dumped dirt over the entire job site and thru the sod on top of that. But after 12 years, I would like to think I have found everything there is to find. T'was not to be. I went out today to plant a small shrub my mother gave me. I used my trusty spade and before I could scoop out the second scooper full, the dirt turned orange and I hit something. But this time, I went in and got a camera. This is what I dug out of one hole...

 The point of this rant is this...if you hire this company that has been in business since 1955 to build a house for you, or if you buy one that they have built on one of their lots, have an inspector to go over everything including the yard with a metal detector. It will save you in the long run. I can only imagine what they will find someday when I put that inground pool in.  Maybe the body of that salesman...I noticed he turned up missing not long after I signed that waiver......