The Aftermath of a Police Shooting

  When I contacted Jeff for his interview, he was reserved and a bit on the dry side. Despite my attempts to make him adore me like everyone else, he had a barrier around him. I was a bit disappointed because I thought by some cosmic connection, he would immediately sense who I was and warm up to me. He didn’t.I wanted to say, “Do you know who I am? I am the wife waiting to fall asleep until she hears her husband’s truck pull into the driveway. I am the mother who tucks her children in and has had to answer questions such as ‘Are the bad guys going to kill Papa tonight?’. I am the person in front of you that purchased your meal or coffee because I can see your uniform in my rear-view mirror. I am the person in the crowd who wants to tell you that you are doing a great thing. I am the one won’t turn on the news because she is tired of seeing you crucified. I am the voice that says you aren’t a murderer or bigot or dickhead, you are a good man. I am the one who respects the soldier and the law enforcement officer above all others. I am your friend.”...more

Behind The Officer Down, There Are More Left Standing

 The hardest thing about writing this blog is picking the pictures to go with the stories, Blogging 101 tells you that is how people are drawn to your story. Before writing about Jeff, I looked at every picture on his Facebook page looking for the right one.  For a guy, he had plenty to choose from – pics with his wife, with his kids, in his uniform, in his Air Force uniform and even nerdy high school pictures. Amongst them all, I found the perfect picture. It’s a picture of Steve, Jeff, and two of their buddies in Steve’s hospital room. To the random passerby, it just looks like 4 guys visiting their sick friend, but it’s much more than that. It’s a picture of survival, fear, relief and love. Actually, if you look closely, I think Steve and Jeff are holding hands just below where the picture cuts off… If the picture was so perfect, why didn’t I use it? Because I spoke to Jeff and Steve, I see things beyond the exhaustion, things that you may not. To me, the picture of Jeff is very revealing, Steve got shot in the face, and Jeff was the partner trying to keep everything, and everyone, together. I couldn’t use it because I felt the picture was just too personal, there was too much pain in his eyes.So why did I chose this picture? This is the picture of a regular guy on the beach with his kids. This is what is beneath the badge and the blue. This is the man Jeff should be allowed to be. Being a Police Officer doesn’t always allow him that luxury. Being shot at more than once reduces the likelihood that he will ever be that man again. ...more

Not Everything You Read About The Police Is True

   I’m not a historian, professor, politician or reporter. I am a middle-aged (ugh), white female whose family contains 3 police officers by marriage. What I am about to say may have no merit to you, but it does to me. Maybe I haven’t looked hard enough, but I have yet to see one article this week in support of law enforcement. I did find this from March – In Defense of the Police – but nothing recent. There may be articles out there, but they are buried beneath the hatred and accusations.I’ve seen a lot of In Defense of Black Rage, Militarization of America’s Police and Why We Hate the Police. Okay, I made the last one up, but it sure feels like I read a lot of articles with that title....more
As I began to comment on your piece, I realized I had written a post.  Please take the time to ...more

Depression and Robin Williams - It's No Hoax

 Robin Williams died today in what is being called an ‘apparent suicide’ after battling severe depression recently. It is shocking, sad and in some ways, disturbing. After all, Robin Williams committed suicide.I usually don’t pay much attention to celebrity deaths, as far as I am concerned they are just people, nothing more or less special than you or I – unless it’s George Clooney, of course. When Paul Walker died, I was going to give up the internet if I saw his face in my feed one more time. People die in car crashes every day, I didn’t think it warranted constant coverage. But here I go, caring about Robin Williams.Hollywood has had its share of suicides, so it’s nothing new, but it’s different and more profound. Despite his battles with substance abuse and depression, Robin William was not surrounded by the drama of downward spirals that we have seen from other celebrities. On the surface, he appeared to be a simple, endearing man.Many people will never understand his death, they will never grasp what would cause a man who appeared to have everything – including countless fans and an abundance of love – to take his life. Some will berate him and call him selfish, others will have more sympathy for his family than for him. But there will be an overwhelming number of people who will understand what he did; who will feel a tremendous sadness and kinship for a man they never met because they know his pain.As I have been processing this over the last few hours, I've thought about the genius of his gift. I wonder if his humor was a defense mechanism, masking his pain for so many years. I don't claim to know how long he was depressed, why or what sort of treatment he sought. But I do know this, whatever he felt was incredibly overwhelming and it would have been very hard for even those closest to him to save him....more

The Best Blueberry Bread EVER!

 If you read my zucchini bread recipe, you know we take our bread seriously - refining the recipe over the years. This blueberry bread recipe has not only been honed to perfection, it has been kept super secret. Every summer I get requests for this bread and spend hours baking. There are 3 reasons not everyone on the list gets a loaf:Growing and picking the blueberries is a lot of work and I don't like to share :)The bread is so damn good I don't like to share :)I have to rotate people out each year, too many people love the bread and I don't have enough to go around!Your mouth is watering now, isn't it?...more

8 Ways To Help Your Favorite Blogger

So you're reading my blog? Like it? That's great! I do too! I'll be honest, until I started blogging I didn't know what it was really about. I thought I'd just come in here, write and have fun. I could do that. Anyone can. It's not that hard. What's hard is all the other stuff that comes with blogging - statistics, monetizing, getting followers, spreading your message. That stuff is hard. Really hard. Incredibly hard. I guess what I'm trying to say is it's not easy being bloggy....more

The New ATM: American Taxpayers Money

Yes, I know I am an immigrant. Technically, I am third-generation American. One set of great-grandparents came directly from Italy, the other from Lithuania. They did what they were supposed to do. They applied, waited, got their visas and became legal United States citizens. They wanted a better life. They wanted the “American Dream” and they got it. The right way.They weren’t entitled to it. No one is. It’s not a right. It’s not owed to anyone....more

Every Graduate Needs a Good Set of Tires

It doesn't matter how many times I walk the aisles, there is no gift good enough. Nothing will tell you how much I love you or how proud I am....more

Easy Patriotic Wreath

It’s Herchel again from Scruggbug Corner with another quick and easy craft.  Though it seems like Memorial Day just passed, it’s already less than a month until July 4th.  My Easy Spring Wreath, the first one we’ve ever made, turned out...more