Celebration Of Service Friday (#38)

Some things are worth fighting for.


Everybody says it but some people actually do it.

Your service is greatly appreciated!

Progress Photos – October 2015!

Happy October everybody!  On the 31st we’ll be celebrating Halloween, which is one of my favorite holidays to decorate for. I must admit, Halloween decorations went up at my house a couple of weeks ago.  I HAVE to put them up early….it’s for the CHILDREN!

In honor of Halloween month, here are progress photos of me in my costume.  I’m a Home Depot worker girl.  That bucket is my lunch pail!

orange bikini


Warning Bell

This is an off topic post.  If you want some good fitness/gym talk, please check back on Thursday!


Recently, a 19-year-old Christian woman from the Middle East told me (through a priest who was acting as an interpreter) of her experiences over the previous couple of years. What she had to say was hair-raising. She had been taken prisoner and held in an ISIS rape camp along with many other women and girls.  

The jihadis used them as rewards for the men.  They would sell them between themselves with the money going to their captors.  She tried to sell herself more so they would leave the youngest children alone but the young ones, some of whom were just 5 years old, were in high demand and were often raped multiple times a day.  

This particular woman was rescued, and is now living in the United States.  She arrived a few weeks ago. 

She says she wants to die.

John Kerry announced that he intends to allow up to 200,000 refugees, many from Syria, into the United States over the next two years.  That is in addition to those already resettled here by the Obama administration over the course of his term as President.  They make no preferential differentiation between muslims and Christians who are fleeing their homeland.   As a matter of fact, Christians, who are persecuted mercilessly in Syria, don’t meet the official definition of “refugee” since they’re under attack from ISIS and not the official Syrian government.  Therefore, they receive little consideration.  The result is that muslims will make up the vast majority of those placed into communities in the US.  

ISIS stated more than a year ago that they intended to hide among refugee populations in order to gain more access into Europe and the US.  

John Kerry assures us that the new crop of refugees from Syria will be carefully vetted before they enter our country. Government officials like him tell us they can discern between fundamentalist muslims, like ISIS members and more moderate muslims who are simply seeking a better life. 

Our intelligence community, however, has stated that the refugees cannot possibly be properly vetted since entire regions of Syria including government offices housing police records and other pertinent information have been utterly destroyed.  ISIS often raids the offices before demolishing them and steals passports and official paperwork.  They sell these items on the black market or keep them for their own use.  Therefore, even if people possess personal identification documents, they are highly suspect.

I will remind you that our military members have had many instances of throughly and supposedly properly vetted, government sanctioned, indigenous “helpers” in the Middle East turning on them in case after case of green on blue murder.  Clearly, vetted or not, our government officials can’t assure anyone, except the blissfully uninformed, that they are actually up for the job.  

If you’ve ever wondered how many refugees, wealthy muslim-majority countries like Saudi Arabia are taking, the answer is none.  According to them, they are afraid the refugees would be pose a significant “security risk.”  In other words, they think terrorists may be hiding among them. 

ISIS is at war with us whether we acknowledge it or not. They intend to destroy us…one or many at a time.  It seems reasonable to request our government representatives behave in a more prudent and cautious manner.  Islamic fundamentalists engage in violent acts against the “Kafir” all over the world and they do so in accordance with quoted religious text they reference to support their behavior.  We have seen their handiwork up close.  They killed approximately 3000 Americans (men, women and children) in one fell swoop on September, 11 2001…and have been foaming at the mouth with eagerness to continue their attacks on our soil ever since.

I recommend people inform themselves about ISIS and other Islamic fundamentalists.  Read their speeches, study their behavior, find out what they’re saying in their self-produced videos before forming an opinion regarding moving potentially hundreds of thousands of additional muslims from Syria into this country.  

It’s noteworthy that those politicians who most strongly encourage us to take in more refugees do not intend to live among them with their own families.  Our politicians live in well guarded, gated communities or tucked inside beautiful compounds constructed with imposing perimeter walls, alarms and surveillance cameras to protect them.  They have expertly trained security forces at their disposal twenty-four hours a day to make sure they aren’t the ones hurt if they make a miscalculation in who should be able to come here.  Notice, they’ve never once placed the refugees’ children in their own children’s classrooms at those exclusive private schools they attend.   They live in safe bubbles, happily insulated from negative ramifications of rolling out the welcome wagon.  

You and I don’t share in those luxuries.

They tell Americans who urge caution that we’re hard hearted although since 2010 we’ve welcomed 71% of the refugees that have come through the UN sanctioned program (they are included in a total of 2.2 million legal immigrants per year) We generously house, feed and educate them out of our tax dollars. 

 If we express worry about trying to assimilate people who prefer to live under Sharia not American law, we’re accused of being racist (even though muslim is not a race).  If we ask for different options, like helping the refugees closer to their own homes, we’re called selfish.  If we point out that there’s no possible way to vet those coming in from war-torn areas like Syria, and therefore we don’t want to take foolish chances admitting them, we are called hate-filled, hysterical, Islamaphobic, Nativist and Xenophobic.

I can live with that if I must.  What I can’t do is sit silently while ISIS and their fundamentalist brethren rampage across the earth; raping, enslaving, beheading, torturing, beating, drowning, burning alive, crucifying and displacing millions of their fellow human beings.  I also won’t support opening a door for potentially hundreds of thousands of additional muslims (refugees can eventually bring their extended families), whose backgrounds and history can’t be checked to be legally ushered into my country by officials who won’t bear the burden if they bet wrong when they’re passing out the golden tickets.

Politicians speak from positions of safety.  The rest of us are expected to shoulder the risk.  No thanks.  I consider it my duty to offer warning.  I owe at least that much to the innocent and defenseless, like that 19-year-old girl whose life was shattered by muslims who insist that they are behaving in accordance with their religion; a religion, they say, allows them to perpetrate what we Americans consider heinous, repellent, flagrant and utterly vile, criminal acts.  I don’t want people who think like that anywhere near me, my family or any of you…and I don’t want my government inviting them here on my behalf.

References (The things I write about are easily verifiable.  I encourage you to research these things for yourself, especially if you think I’m an alarmist).














Leg Day Monday

Traditionally, bodybuilders train their chests on Monday.  I don’t.  I train my legs.  Why?  Because I don’t love leg training but I sure love the way it makes my lower half look.  After the weekend, I’m usually well rested and can put a lot of effort into my workout on Monday.  Doing legs properly takes great energy so it seems logical to me to start the week off with a good, hard leg workout.  It makes the rest of the week seem easy by comparison!

True...but we actually like that deep soreness that signals a good, hard workout the days before

True…but I actually like that deep soreness that signals a good, hard workout in the days before.  Most bodybuilders share the same sentiment!

Train hard and have fun!

Celebration Of Service Friday (#37)

A letter from Cathy A. to our veteran and active duty service members (taken from Words For Warriors)


Recently, after years of taking care of themselves and their three children, my elderly parents made the choice to move into an assisted living facility.  In that facility, I noticed that there is a Wall of Honor, dedicated to those men and women who are residents and served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  The photos of these proud people, both in uniform and not, reflect generations who knew hardship, sacrifice and pride.  I look at the wall when I am there and it takes my breath away to be in the presence of such amazing people.  They are what is right in this world, both now and in times past.

For several years, I worked as a contractor to the U.S. Army.  During this time I had the honor of meeting and getting to know many men and women serving in the ongoing wars in which the U.S. is engaged from all branches of the military.  Many people refer to the World War II generation of service members as the “greatest generation,” a title rightfully earned.  However, as I had the privilege of meeting today’s soldiers, airmen and sailors, I firmly believe we need to realize, understand and appreciate those who volunteer today to serve, protect and defend the U.S. and democracy around the world.  These young men and women are just as dedicated, valiant and understated as those that came before them.   I know that 70 years from now, these same people will have sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and young friends who will be walking into a place that has a Wall of Honor and will realize that, once again, this is what is right in this world.

To those who have endured or are facing the hardships, separations and dangers of being deployed to a war zone, I can only say a very humble “thank you.”


Sometimes I like to try exercises I see other people doing.  It’s fun to mix things up and to add a little challenge to my routine.  I saw a woman doing push ups/ shoulder presses in a unique way and I wondered if I could do the same.  I don’t have  a box like the one she’s using in the photos below, so I tried putting my feet on a low bench I have at my house and also on the end of my bed.  The bed was the proper height and worked best for me.



I managed to bang out a few reps at a time but it was definitely wasn’t easy.  I tried to make sure that at the top of the push up/shoulder press I was in the same great alignment you see in the first photo.  I could really feel the stretch, even in my hamstrings.

Trying something new and different occasionally is a good way to add some fresh interest into old routines.

Celebration Of Service Friday (#36)


That’s First Lieutenant (1LT) Jeff.  He is one of our Air Force Pararescuemen and that’s his quote.

For anyone who wonders why I post my Celebration of Service entries, It’s because of men like Jeff; men who go willingly into danger to protect and retrieve those who are helpless.  They wade out there into the fray to bring their injured brothers back…and that’s a calling that deserves our respect.

It seems only fitting to send a little love back their way!

A side note to all of you experienced Pararescuemen, Combat Medics and Corpsmen (active duty and veterans) –  I know your job is/was a terribly difficult one but I hope you keep a couple of truths front and center.  I hope you remind yourself that those you couldn’t save would have passed on whether you were there or not.  You can’t fix everything. It’s not within your power.  I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that those you were unable to keep going were grateful to have you there.  Your medical skills are a gift but your mere presence on the scene is also.  It makes a difference.  If you don’t know that now, or if you forget it on bad days, my wish for you is that you’re able take that understanding to heart completely, sooner rather than later. 


A nerd-alete describes a person who is a combination of a nerd and an athlete.  Some of the kids on my older son’s football team made up the term in reference to him many years ago.  It was said with that special kind of needling boy affection; a little bit of chiding mixed with a little bit of admiration.  He was always a good student and got excellent grades, then took it upon himself to check up on his teammates’ schoolwork to make sure they would be eligible to play the game at the end of the week.  Any students with a D in a class or too low of a grade point average would be barred from playing so my son made it his business to take the weak students in to their teachers and find out what work was missing, then have them sit there after school until the work was made up.  He was like the team’s academic policeman.

My older son used to make sure his teammates kept their grades up enough to play in the football games.  He no longer plays football but he's a great track and field athlete.

My older son used to make sure his teammates kept their grades up enough to play in the football games. He no longer plays football but he’s a great track and field athlete.

I always liked the term “nerd-alete.”  It fits me too.  Sometimes people ask me what I do for fun.  Let’s see…I make up physical challenges for myself (like seeing how many pull ups I can do by a certain date or determining what happens if I do two hundred squats in one day), I read, I research and I write.  Hmmm….sounds like a nerd-alete to me!  


I don’t suppose it would be a surprise to tell you that my younger son, who is 11 years old, is a nerd-alete too.  He loves sports.  He plays lacrosse and football but in his free time he studies survival manuals of all sorts…and builds things (survival shelters, spears, bows, traps, solar ovens). He’s currently trying to build his own foundry.  According to him, “It’s basically a metal furnace.”  This explains why we have aluminum cans stacked up in the living room. He wants to melt the aluminum and make ingots then mix the aluminum with a harder metal and then make a blade for a sword.  I have little doubt he can actually do it if he has a little guidance and of course supervision.  Good thing we can call on family friends who love challenges like this.  They are an offbeat and brilliant group of metallurgists, rocket scientists, pyrotechnic experts, physicists and propulsion engineers…in other words a lot of other nerds who are willing and able to help him in his quest.

My youngest son at week's football game.  He was listening to the coach (and probably thinking about the smelting process at the same time).

My youngest son at last week’s football game. He was listening to the coach (and probably thinking about the smelting process at the same time).

My older son was reflecting in the car one day.  He said, “You know, Mom, being an athlete covers up a lot of nerd.”  I had to smile.  Perhaps one does provide cover for the other.  At any rate, I tell them to embrace who they are…there’s nothing wrong with going through life as a nerd-alete!

Patriot Day – 9/11/2001

Doctor Lynn:

A perfect Celebration Of Service Friday post from a wonderful writer and historian!

Originally posted on Pacific Paratrooper:

Some of the destruction caused when the high-jacked American Airlines flight slammed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11. The terrorist attack caused extensive damage to the west face of some of the destruction caused when the high-jacked American Airlines flight slammed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11. The terrorist attack caused extensive damage to the west face of the Pentagon

AFTER FLIGHT 77 hit the Pentagon on 9/11, the following incident occurred:

A chaplain, who happened to be assigned to the Pentagon, told of an incident that never made the news:
“A daycare facility inside the Pentagon had many children, including infants who were in heavy cribs. The daycare supervisor, looking at all the children they needed to evacuate, was in a panic over what they could do. There were many children, mostly toddlers, as well as the infants that would need to be taken out with the cribs.

Pentagon Memorial Pentagon Memorial

“There was no time to try to bundle them into carriers and strollers. Just then a young Marine came running into the center and asked what they needed…

View original 467 more words

Progress Report – September 2015

“Some quit due to slow progress, never grasping the fact that slow progress IS progress.”

That’s a saying that floats around the fitness community and it’s meant to remind us that any progress is good.  I agree.  I’m a big proponent of celebrating all the tiny improvements we make, whether it’s lifting an extra pound or running a minute longer.

I’m also learning to celebrate no progress.

That’s right!  I have come to the conclusion that steady state is also to be appreciated.  Holding back the decay (I amuse myself with use of that word) and aging gracefully is also a triumph.  At this time in my life, I’m content to continue the way I am.  I don’t want to lose any more muscle and I don’t want to see a decrease in strength but I’m not terribly concerned with visible improvement.  I’m pretty happy with my physique so if I don’t see marked differences in my progress photos over time, I’m not going to be discouraged at all.

That’s not to say I won’t make efforts to get bigger and stronger, just that I won’t be disappointed if I don’t.

I’ll just keep going and having fun!

Progress photo from this weekend

Progress photo from this weekend.  Ummm….I DO like those striations in my chest…perhaps I’ll work to keep those!


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