You’re Kidding!

Winston, WHY is this silly thing empty? What?!! You can’t be serious! I actually erased my hard drive? No No, NOOOO!

Oh, Rats!

What? Well, you know how the screen thingie asks questions? Right, well it asked if I wanted to erase all FLIES. Winston, you know how I feel about insects. Huh? Ohhhhh. Erase all FILES? Well, of course I don’t want to erase all FILES! Why would it ask such a dumb question? Tell it NO! Fix it quick!!

No, I am not blonde, just graciously aged. And by the way, my hair color is all natural. What? Of course I realize I’m no Einstein. I’m just a truck driver. I truck stuff, and I write stuff. PLEASE fix this dang thing so I can find my FILES and write more stuff.

Huh? Well, of course I know who Einstein is. He’s the fellow who discovered the light bulb. Hey! Hand me that swatter by the computer, please. We’ve got FLIES buzzing around here. Whack! Oh, sorry about that, Man. There were two FLIES sitting on your shoulder looking at my FILES. They might be working for the CIA or the FBI or the JOU (acronymn for Joke’s On U).

What would I do without my son, Winston. When I break stuff, he fixes it. Even when he might think I am a quart low on brain fluid, he just smiles and magically fixes all my technical errors. He never pokes fun at my un-savvyness. Course there was the time he came home with a giant superman tattoo that was actually a peel-off sticker. Good gravy! I thought that atrocity was real.

Oh, and there was the time when he called ahead to say he was bringing someone special home to meet me. I sat on pins and needles wondering what to expect. He arrived with a wide grin and a tiny female Chihuahua named Honey. When he let her loose, she made a beeline for me and planted wet sloppy kisses all over my face and hair, my blonde hair. Wow! I sure felt loved.

And then there was the time Winston had me out looking for halogen fluid…

Dumb truckers anyway.

Hi Maggie,

Thank you again for your interest in our website. We read and reviewed your book and enjoyed it very much. Here is a copy of our review:

Five Stars

 

I was intrigued by reading “Full of Beans: FLDS Mormons: Evil Culture, Lawless Cult: Fact or Fiction? (FLDS Lady Book 1)” by Maggie Jessop Jeffs a true and realistic account of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) which is one of the largest of the fundamentalist Mormon denominations in the United States. The author was born and raised in the FLDS Church environment and the author has arranged to have the proceeds from the sale of this book contributed to creating employment opportunities for displaced women with children.

I gave this book a five-star rating based on the author’s honesty and boldness. The author writes as if she is sitting in your living room telling you about her life, and ordeals and her experiences in FLDS and clashes with law enforcement.  She boldly gives the other side of the story openly and is totally candid.

In my view, it is an extremely difficult and distasteful subject. However, the author writes her views trying to make reasonable people understand the whole truth as to what happened in her life and the resulting consequences.  Maggie explains in the beginning, “In this book, I address a dual audience, sometimes the entire world. For this lack of focus, I offer my apology. It is not my tradition to speak or write publicly because I have no interest in debate. I believe what I believe, and for this focus, I offer no apology. I believe that truth can stand on its own and doesn’t particularly need me to wax eloquent.”

Throughout the book, the author has many pictures of what she and the community went through which bring you right into their environment. Many say a picture is worth a thousand words and these pictures enable the author to present a much wider view so readers can learn more about FLDS and form their own opinion.

The author is very sincere in her beliefs.  “The shameful thing is that dissenters know that FLDS members do not generally use the internet and would most likely remain oblivious to news reports and would never read a book defaming family and friends. I don’t think a dissenter ever expects to be called into question for slander. They feel strong in the support of public opinion. Misery loves company, you know. When a person persists in telling falsehoods to a willing audience, it magnifies and strengthens from there. Seriously? Make money by stomping on other people? Vomitous…I realize this subject is controversial… I don’t expect to become the most popular author on earth. I do not fear the world or worry over my reputation.”

Maggie tells a very open and honest story and adds more facts to widen the scenario with pictures and arguments as best as she possibly can.”

We posted our review on Goodreads, and we post on Barnes & Noble but could not find your book on B&N. We posted also on our social media and will try to post it on Amazon.

You can use our review any way you wish and thank you for your interest in our site and we wish you great success with your book and your future books!

Best to you,

Bruce Miller
 

Okay, so it’s Sunday, and it’s been a LONG time since we had a Gospel sermon.

In the absence of someone more qualified than I am to preach a sermon, I decided to rise to the occasion. Many people have messaged me asking questions and demanding that I justify my belief when all the “evidence” is against me.

Rather than overload the Google server with my answers, I decided to write them down in a blog article. When someone asks, I will send them this link. If they really want to know the answer, they gotta read a sermon. If they don’t really want to know, they won’t waste my time trying to sincerely and passionately explain my thoughts to somebody who doesn’t give a damn.

I joke about this being a sermon, and it kinda is because my indignation is piqued. But the truth is, I have no call to get preachy. So let’s call this Maggie’s testimony. I think the birds will be my best listeners. I really don’t expect anyone to actually read this and get clear to the end, but at least I can point to my link and be unavailable for comments from religious howlers and hater debaters.

So the evidence against the FLDS is too overwhelming to question, is it? Actually, I believe the evidence is one of those situations where little gnat rumors mushroomed into a Mount Vesuvius.

After the one thousandth person voiced unpleasantness against the FLDS and the people I love, some of whom have been in prison for over a decade, I reached the end of my patience. Yes, I admit it’s a sensitive subject. Okay, so let’s put your best friends in prison and gather up most of the people in the nation in a great big mob and throw rotten tomatoes at you and your people and trample all over your land and homes and religious rights and see if you get a little sensitive.

I’m just not interested in all the bad things people THINK they know about other people. Don’t forget, I have known the “criminals” personally for forty years. And YES “criminals” DO have American rights. Someday you might be surprised to learn who the real criminals actually are. Truth always wins in the end.

Let’s get some things straight.

1. I do not consider the FLDS a cult, certainly not the understood definition of cult with its negative connotations.

2. I did not leave the FLDS. The Good Lord sent me on a mission of self-discovery. If you’ve never gone out on your own to discover yourself, why you just haven’t lived.

3. I have lived and worked in mainstream for seven years and have had EVERY OPPORTUNITY to compare FLDS society to mainstream society. Want to know what I discovered? Mainstream is the biggest and most abusive and MOST immoral cult of all.

4. The good things I can accomplish on my own is because of the very things I learned from the prophets as an FLDS woman, not in spite of them. Over the last fifty years, I have spent literally thousands of hours in religious meetings that taught me how to excel in ANYTHING! By “anything”, I mean anything of a positive or productive nature.

People that claim the Gospel of Jesus Christ was forced on them and that Mormonism is a cult? Those are the very people who put themselves in that great big giant flock of Mormon Sheep. They somehow MISSED it. We were so incredibly blessed, even spoiled. But many of us listened without HEARING. We were complacent, lazy, and bored. We left the “being good” part up to our parents and the Prophet. And then we go racing out into mainstream to find our “freedom”, and we make the GIANT ERROR of blaming our laziness, our lack of initiative, our lack of brains, and our bad feelings on to the Prophet? That’s just not honest. In fact, it’s downright villainous.

Just want to make myself perfectly clear. I am NOT interested in anybody’s philosophy about what they think is wrong with the FLDS. If you have strong negative opinions because of all that “evidence”, you are just like 99.99% of the rest of the planet. You are just plain BORING and ORDINARY, just like all the rest of the sheeple in the fields full of cow pies and the fishies in the swamp who blindly follow the GREAT MAJORITY.

If you think that “Poor little Maggie is just uninformed. Maybe if we just download the boatload of “evidence” we got from a thousand anti-FLDS crusaders, Maggie will finally come around. If we break the news to Maggie how brainwashed she is and remind her how much we “love” (seriously? love) her even though she’s so stupid for believing in such “wicked” things, maybe we can get her to cave in and come join the rest of us bottom feeders glurping around in the sewer pond”.  Save it. Not interested.

I am a salmon. I prefer swimming upstream. If I were to join popular opinion in hate against Warren Jeffs as a result of calculated propaganda that most people suck up without question–If I did that, I would be a liar. I would turn against the truth in myself.

I do appreciate encouragement from others, but you would be amazed how many people I have met, even dozens of folks that I reconnected with the last few months since I have written public articles. Many are all “smiles and love” and supposed “respect and tolerance for all”. Want to know what’s mighty interesting? They love me and my philosophy until I give credit where credit is due for my philosophy. The minute most people discover my loyalty to my faith, my people, and the Prophet Warren Jeffs, they ping! Suddenly, Maggie is a criminal! When many folks find out that I have no hate in my heart, nothing to whine about, those very same people who professed love and friendship turn cold, indifferent, and even downright venomous.

It gets pretty boring to hear rotten stuff. Hey, I get it. If I didn’t know better, I would wonder what on earth is wrong with the FLDS because of all that bad publicity. I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that the propaganda is 99.9% false. Of course the “evidence” against a Prophet is scintillating and undeniable to the public. The devil is way smarter than you and me, and he is mighty crafty in organizing propaganda. He knew exactly what kind of tales would wrench your gut and fire up your indignation! He’s got so many people hollering over stuff they have no idea what they’re even hollering about. But as long as they’re hollering, they feel energized. Simply amazing.

Many people have asked why I use the internet since we were cautioned against it. Several people have mocked me for my blog. Boy, I sure see why we were advised to not use social media. It is such a terrible time waster, not to mention the hurt feelings from everybody barfing up opinions on one another. Makes life terribly complicated.

So why do I use the internet if I consider myself FLDS? Here’s my answer: WAIT A MINUTE! Don’t be like most everyone else. They ask me questions, and I answer, but they don’t even listen to my answer. They just want to state a question challenging me because they want to pick a fight. They have already decided the answer. Did you listen that time? If people would actually listen to me, and read with the intent to understand the person they asked the question of, they might be surprised to find out that an FLDS woman actually has very good reason to be faithful.

We were taught so many truths as FLDS people. Perhaps some recall the quote of the Prophet Joseph that says, “Whatever God requires is right though we may not see the reason for it until long after the events transpire.”

Sometimes our Heavenly Father will take us through hard experience to test our metal and to open our eyes. The test of time is one of the greatest tests. When it seems like a test will last forever and we can’t see the end, we are tempted to cave. I have been through many tests, some of which have been long enough to begin to see the reason, see the benefits after the events transpired. I still have much to learn. Who taught me that? Warren Jeffs.

One of the greatest things I learned as an FLDS woman was the importance of discerning the difference between the Spirit of God and the spirit of evil. It was impressed on my mind many times that I absolutely MUST know God for myself to survive the great contradictions. Our people were warned for decades that the day would come when we would be on our own without our parents, fathers, teachers, leaders, and without the Prophet to guide us. We were faithfully and repeatedly taught in great detail how to learn and earn faith in order to be independent in faith when the time came. Who taught me that? Warren Jeffs.

Many times our Heavenly Father will test us with a prompting to do something that is contrary to our former traditions. He told Nephi to kill Laban. He sent Esther to marry a heathen king. He told Abraham to take the life of his innocent son. None of those revelations were to me. So, what revelations are for me? If I am all alone and I can’t go ask anybody, who do I ask?

Do I have enough faith to ask God and hear Him when He answers? If I don’t understand His voice, and I don’t know how to respond to His promptings, it would be too easy to go join the world and enjoy all the “fun stuff”. If I want to be faithful, but I don’t know how to reach for answers to know what to do, then what? I have no idea how to make something of myself in mainstream, so do I hide away to protect myself and miss the point of the test? That would be like the man who hid his one talent in the earth to keep it safe. If I am afraid to step out alone, afraid to respond to a prompting that might go against my traditions, who is the loser? The man with the one talent hid it and did not seek revelation to know how to increase his talent. He lost it in the end. Who taught me that? Warren Jeffs.

At this point in my life, if the personal revelation from God to Maggie is to go do a man’s job and drive a Big Rig, risk my life every day driving solo in a dangerous environment, write stories and articles and even share my testimony and love for the Gospel with the world via the internet, I’d be pretty dumb and lazy and go against the teachings I received from the prophets to ignore that suggestion. I would end up losing my talent. Who taught me that? Warren Jeffs.

Of course I realize that I am human and a weak one at that. Yes, I could be deceived and be out doing things I dreamed up all by my little ole self. But if I am too afraid to try, I would never get anywhere. This I know: God will never fault anyone for doing the best they can in any circumstance.

I imagine most people who bother to read my analogy will think I am speaking nonsense. But if you are a Mormon and are well-read, perhaps you can see where I am coming from and understand the principles of which I speak. True faith is not earned without facing great contradiction. Many people have asked me how I can believe in a man in prison who has been convicted of heinous crime. It is one thing to be accused, and quite another to be guilty.

Many ask why I follow the Prophet Warren Jeffs when he, himself, claimed “he is not, nor ever has been a prophet”.

I answer. For those of you who still believe in the Gospel, you know that centuries ago the Prophet Enoch prepared a people who after much trial and sifting, perfected in their lives the First Two Great Commandments. 1. Love the Lord with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. The people of Enoch became perfected to the point that God accepted them into a terrestrial state.

When it came time for the Prophet Enoch to go forward to the next step, many people followed him. He told them to not follow him and warned them they would die if they did. Many turned back, but some refused to turn back. The only ones who got to go with Enoch and his city to a better world were those who refused to leave him. We all know the story. The City of Enoch was the large piece of land that God took from the earth leaving a giant hole filled in by the ocean and is now called the Gulf of Mexico. Enoch could not refuse those who followed him–those who repented and stuck with him.

A Prophet cannot un-appoint himself. God is the one who appoints the prophets. He is the only one who knows which men have enough courage for that position. My faith is not in a man, but in God. He is the One who tells me who the Prophet is. I can’t even imagine the weight of such a responsibility that falls upon a prophet. Moses resisted his leadership appointment and God patiently worked with him until he accepted. A typical personality trait of Brother Warren Jeffs is to be humble and self-deprecating, much like the scriptures describe Moses. It would be typical of him to not seek authority for himself. He has always been the first one to admit the sins and weaknesses of his humanity.

The important thing is not what I think or what you think. The important thing is what does God think? I put my trust where He puts His. Whatever weaknesses or sins a mortal Prophet may have isn’t the point. If he is God’s man, I better make dang sure I’m not out looking for fault in God or the man he appoints. See, the issue isn’t really if I believe in Brother Warren. The crux of the matter is if I know the voice of God and will be loyal to my Creator no matter who He chooses as His Mouthpiece, no matter what things look like or seem like, as in popular opinion against the man.

Many people have asked me how I can believe in a man who sends revelations that “don’t make sense”. Okay, so let’s take you and lock you up in solitary confinement for twelve years and see how you talk, if you’re even still alive. I doubt most men could endure even the first year if they were treated the same as the Prophet has been treated. I am amazed at his endurance. Imagine yourself locked up, shunned, ostracized, kept in 55 degree temp at times, feeding tubes jammed down your throat because you were fasting. Many of your friends turn against you. Some of your own children turn against you.

Many stories are told which twist and corrupt truth escalating into the mushroom cloud of rumor. The media guts the life out of everything you ever said or did and presents it to the world with their own dark and dreadful interpretation attached. Your name is heralded to the world as evil and you are likened to infamous tyrants like Hitler. They write books and movies defaming your words and actions and character, and you are stuck there for 120 years. I wonder how you would fare. Don’t waste your breath telling me of your “innocence” that keeps you safe. Little do you realize the innocence of  the Prophet in God’s eyes.

I have personally known the Prophet Warren Jeffs for nearly forty years. I am totally amazed at many of my former acquaintances whom I also knew personally, shocked to see them come up with so much relentless hate and accusation against the Prophet. But it shouldn’t surprise me. That scenario was prophesied of decades ago and the attack is simply repeating history. Go read again the history of the Prophet Joseph Smith and insert the name of Warren Jeffs. You will find it similar to our day.

Every month or so, some new story pops up about what somebody suddenly “remembers” the Prophet is guilty of, yet he has been detained in solitary confinement for over 12 years. The attackers have become so emboldened that now Brother Warren can be accused, hauled to deposition to face the lion’s den, and the court doesn’t even require the accuser to give his or her name for “fear of retribution”. You’re kidding, right? Absolutely incredible.

There should be a human outcry from justice lawyers and civil rights activists. Yet, still the Prophet loves the people. He still prays for everyone. I have always seen and felt in the spirit Warren Jeffs kept around him, “Father, forgive them.”

When I have been fortunate enough to read the revelations from prison, I keep in mind two things. 1. I do not know if they are actually from Brother Warren without being edited or altered by others. 2. Even if they are exactly from the Prophet and I don’t understand everything he says, that doesn’t mean he is not a Prophet. Am I going to get so hung up over this detail or that detail, and spend so much time looking for error, that I miss the message? I already know what the message is. It basically boils down to this. “Great destruction is coming; repent of your sins; stand ye in holy places, and watch the arm of the Lord made manifest.”

The Holy Place for me is my mind. How do I make it holy? I discipline my thoughts to 1. Love God most. 2. Love my neighbor as myself. Makes life pretty simple and pleasant.

I offer this hypothesis. If it were actually true that Brother Warren is guilty of all the crimes they accuse him of… Now, I’m not saying he is guilty because I know first hand that he is not. Even a professor at the college in Saint George this month (February 2019) voiced to his class that he, the professor, met the female witness who put Warren Jeffs behind bars. He stated in class that the witness admitted to him, the professor, that she had lied on the witness stand. I knew that woman personally. I knew the other women who testified against the Prophet, and I personally know the men and women who have written inflammatory books defaming him. The woman who confessed her lie to the professor, her false testimony, was the factor that would have thrown out the case.

PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. Ask anyone in the class.

Okay, so back to my hypothesis. IF the Prophet is actually guilty, and me knowing the voice of God enough to know that He STILL considers Brother Warren His Man, THAT SHOULD BE VERY ENCOURAGING TO ME. Not only me, but it should encourage all the rest of us. Why? If Brother Warren actually sinned, which isn’t the point, but if he did, and God forgave him and still guides him, maybe the good Lord will also forgive me and the rest of us miserable sinners. C’mon, admit it, we all know we are rotten sinners. Pride is the greatest sin of all. That dang devil! He’s got everybody SO distracted and SO riled up about what he says the Prophet is guilty of, that we all forgot about our own repentance. Crafty, ain’t he?

Remember, Enoch could not refuse those who followed him. Brother Warren cannot refuse those who follow him. He warned us hundreds of times (actually not just him, but the prophets before him also), warned us so many times that the contradictions would get so great, we would hardly be able to contain ourselves. Even the very elect will be deceived if possible.

We were taught that the gift we must seek is the Love for Truth. The power of love for truth is the only way we have the ability to recognize truth even though 99% of our friends and the public will tell us opposite. Of course most people will deny Brother Warren because most are susceptible to popular opinion, and they easily believe emotional human sob stories. Satan is very crafty in causing a gut-wrenching stir, even using the most vulnerable of subjects in order to incite the public and create the greatest contradiction of our generation–the innocence of children. What a pathetic situation. What an incredible deception.

Most folks are glad to hear public opinion that “the Prophet has fallen” because it gives them the excuse to do whatever they want. It’s easy for FLDS dissenters to join popular opinion and run to hell because hell is just so dang fun. Believe me, I have been living in hell for seven years, and I know how it is. All those shiny trinkets and fancy clothes, all that media imagery, not to mention the freedom to do whatever, whenever, with whomever you please. It’s just too irresistible for most people. Most of the population are prancing around in golden bracelets carving a golden calf looking for the golden goose so they can sit on a golden throne.

Lest we forget… 2 Nephi 13: 8-26

8.  For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen, because their tongues and their doings have been against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory.

9.  The show of their countenance doth witness against them, and doth declare their sin to be even as Sodom, and they cannot hide it. Wo unto their souls, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves!

10.  Say unto the righteous that it is well with them; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

11.  Wo unto the wicked, for they shall perish; for the reward of their hands shall be upon them!

12.  And my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths.

13.  The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.

14.  The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people and the princes thereof; for ye have eaten up the vineyard and the spoil of the poor in your houses.

15.  What mean ye? Ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor, saith the Lord God of Hosts.

16.  Moreover, the Lord saith: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched-forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet—

17.  Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts.

18.  In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments, and cauls, and round tires like the moon;

19.  The chains and the bracelets, and the mufflers;

20.  The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the ear-rings;

21.  The rings, and nose jewels;

22.  The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping-pins;

23.  The glasses, and the fine linen, and hoods, and the veils.

24. And it shall come to pass, instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of well set hair, baldness; and instead of a stomacher, a girding of sackcloth; burning instead of beauty.

25.  Thy men shall fall by the sword and thy mighty in the war.

26.  And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she shall be desolate, and shall sit upon the ground.

I appreciate encouragement, but I hate false sympathy. I am only interested in going forward in love and gratitude for myriads of blessings. Did anyone notice that the sun rose this morning? Did you notice that you can still breathe the breath of life? Did you thank God today that you’re still alive? When our Savior returns in glory and each of us face Him to make a report, I don’t think He is going to be interested in all the bad things we think we know about other people.

I imagine He will simply ask, “Did you love one another as I have loved you?”

Life is actually so simple. It can be very pleasant when we focus on gratitude for our blessings. The best thing I can do TODAY is smile, say something nice, DO something nice, and be kind to others. Great things are on the horizon. Who will stand before Jesus Christ with a clean conscience? I don’t know about you, but I sure have work to do.

I think it might be wise to SHUT UP and watch how things transpire over the next decade or two. Wouldn’t we rather be silent about our opinions of the sins of others and perhaps be thought a fool than to open the mouth and remove all doubt?

I once read a clever saying. Silence is Golden, and Duck Tape is Silver. Think I’ll head to Walmart to stock up on duck tape.

End of Sunday sermon. You are now excused.

Birdies, meet me here at 10:00 AM next Sunday.

Person:  You poor poor little thing. You were abused so badly. Let me help you.

Me:  No, I was never abused.

Mad Person:  Of course you were! You just didn’t know it because you were taught to keep sweet no matter what.

Me:  Nope, I was never abused.

Madder Person:  Ah, but you were! Perhaps you need psychiatric help. You’re just too dumb to recognize abuse.

Me:  Naa, I was never abused.

Even Madder Person:  Idiot! You are so brainwashed! How brainless you are to not be able to recognize what abuse is.

Me:  No, I was never abused.

Maddest Person:  You pervert! You are sympathizing with criminals. You must be a criminal yourself to not admit abuse.

Me:  Absolutely not, I was never abused.

More Maddest Person:  You are a horrible animal! You are SO stupid and SO blind. You wouldn’t even know it if you were abused.

Me:  I say again, I was never abused.

Madderest Person:  I hate you! You are still drinking Kool Aid!! I had hope for you to see the light. I will warn everyone about your terrible wickedness and unlawfulness because you won’t agree with me that you were abused.

Me:  NO! I was never abused.

So, who is the abuser? And…who is mad?

YOU ARE NOT INVITED TO MY PITY PARTY!

Did you know there is actually a good side to theoretical dementia? Years ago I accidentally overheard a telephone conversation where a man  I really cared about (not my husband) told a close lady friend of his, “I don’t know what to do with Maggie. Nobody wants her.”

That was a serious slug in the gut. I had to make a choice. Would I get hot and bothered and make a giant stir? Would I go down in flames and grovel in self-pity and be a slave to that man’s perception of me? OR, would I stop trying to please man and work on pleasing God instead? So after I made a medium-sized stir, I faced myself in the mirror and made the choice to get close to my Heavenly Father because I really didn’t relish the idea of becoming a bitchy biddie.

The only way I can please my Maker and please myself is to not victimize myself. I pulled the plug on all my excuses and required myself to consciously think good, expect good, and make good things happen. Good news! There is life after self-pity.

I have been invited many times to join the fray in religious and political debate. Not my idea of a party. Every one of us have an opinion, and some of us have minions of opinions. Sometimes people get upset with me because they want me to be mad with them. Misery loves company, you know. When they find out I’m not mad and don’t sympathize with their bad feelings, then suddenly I am perceived as a vindictive enemy. Ok, well, nothing new.

I believe that the quickest way to destroy a woman who is feeling bad is to give her more reasons to feel bad. Life has  taught me that as long as a woman feels like a victim and seeks sympathy and financial aid from others, that woman cannot truly be free. Of course everyone needs a hand once in awhile, but I have seen where continual and repeated handouts and loads of sympathy actually hurts women quite badly. When a lady stops using her “hurts” as a crutch, she begins to stand tall and walk on her own. If she begins to see the beauty in her present and looks for good in every person she meets, out of the ashes of her past grows a beautiful garden that bears fruit she never thought possible. The best way to help a woman with a victim mindset is to not sympathize with bad feelings but perhaps assist with encouraging her to get busy doing something productive that helps other people.

I speak from personal experience. There was a time when I was angry at a man for how he treated me. The anger and self-pity inside me grew as I voiced my hurts to others, and the misery grew tenfold. I finally had to admit to myself that I was turning into a lousy complainer. Not fun. The most liberating moment of my life came when I called a halt to my own self-pity.

See, I can’t stand myself unless I have self-respect and respect for others. I was my own worst enemy. It was a trick of the devil to convince me that my sorrow was someone else’s fault. I had to take myself in hand and say, “Self, stop your whining and stop looking for sympathy from others. Get off your butt and get to work!”

You would be amazed how your life can bloom and blossom when you jerk the plushy rug out from under yourself and get rid of the negative mindset. I don’t think I would have ever had the courage to learn a new industry at my age if I hadn’t taken the highroad. Bad feelings and anger are like cancer which spreads and destroys. What may have started out as a gnat hill turns into a Vesuvius. Who wants to crawl around in the dung pile of gossip and hearsay and rumors and bad feelings from long ago? Wouldn’t you rather rise above it and soar with the eagles? Oh boy, I sure would. I hate the stench of self-pity and false sympathy.

Forgiveness is a grand thing. I wipe the slate clean every day and start fresh. The older I get, the younger I become since I adopted this mindset: When it comes to remembering good, I have a keen memory. When it comes to holding a grudge, I got dementia. Can’t seem to remember who did what bad thing, when they did it, or why.

Life is way funner. Just keep on truckin’!

From the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Lakes to the Rio Grande, we are one united brotherhood, and united we will stand…

I remember singing that many times as a child. If only Americans could stand united. Whatever happened to that attitude of gratitude for America, this land of freedom that we seem to take for granted? What’s with all the quarreling?

Have you noticed that we build fences and erect walls around things we love. Why do we? Is it because we want to protect what we love? As families, we live in homes with walls. I haven’t noticed too many people living in homes without walls, have you?  Good grief! There’s Pa in his skivvies sitting in his Lazy Boy chair over there on his lawn watching the game, and he’s drinking…WHAT!? And there’s Ma in the shower. Heaven forbid! No walls in the bathroom? Eyewash coming up.

No walls, huh? Right. We all love walls, and we all need walls. The homeless live on the streets and under bridges, but I’m confident they would appreciate some walls. I have noticed that many people not only live in homes with walls, but they also enclose that home within a fence. And wouldn’t ya know it? They not only lock up the house, but they even put a lock on the fence. Those of us who are extra protective top that off with a security system with alarms that holler when an intruder enters. Heck! We even put walls around our hearts. We can’t have people trampling all over other people’s hearts, now can we. And if you really want to know who protects its own, walk into a government office and act like you own the place.

I have a question? Why do so many people have a problem with President Trump building a wall to protect our border? Remember, we protect what we love. Why don’t all United States citizens love their country enough to protect it? If you don’t love your country, why don’t you move to Egypt or Ethiopia? How about Iceland?

Doesn’t make sense. I bet those who fiercely oppose Trump’s wall are the very people who have big fancy properties with walls and fences and security systems. You are protecting what you love. You defend your own little country, your home, your family, your stuff. That is your American right. So, it’s great that you protect what you love, but you don’t believe in protecting your American homeland? Something is not adding up here.

I do have much empathy for the people in Mexico. In my experience, some of the finest people I have met are Hispanic. I feel for their poverty and I ache for their children. However deeply I feel after these fellow human beings, I do not consider it a blessing to either myself or those living outside my country to obliterate my Southern Border. Why? If I truly love my neighbor, why don’t I throw down the wall and invite them in? Not smart. Oh, yes, I learned long ago the importance of walls, fences, and boundaries.

I recall a particular experience during the “healing years” following the 2008 Raid after Texas returned my children to me. I was living as a single mother in a little house with my children, and we had a large garden to keep us busy. We had no father at that time, but life had taught me the proper way of serving and governing a home and family. We had a dilapidated fence around the house, but at least it was a fence. A neighbor family began to visit, and I made them feel welcome. At first I allowed the neighbor children to show up without invitation because I felt pity for them. Their clothing was worn and filthy, and they went without shoes. Often it appeared the children’s hair had not been combed in days, and they frequently came asking for food. The children did not appear to have regular chores or much discipline. It didn’t take long for the neighbors to feel welcome enough to walk through my home, run through my garden, distract my children from their chores, and interfere with my program. I no longer had control of my home, my responsibility, my sanctuary, my little kingdom. I could no longer protect what I loved because the neighbors ruled my home.

Solution? I had to build my Wall. I still cared about my neighbors, and I still loved those children. I did not get angry or refuse them succor. I simply built my wall and my fence and kindly, but firmly defined my boundaries. The neighbor children began to come with their hair combed and their clothing washed. They waited at the door to be invited in. They stopped running through my garden. My own children stopped getting distracted by our visitors, and we invited the neighbor children to help us weed the garden. Everything was fine. I had my wall, and they respected it. They obeyed the rules in my home, and I continued to protect my responsibility, my castle, that which I loved.

Let me illustrate this another way. Imagine a beautiful family of little birds. Papa bird, mama bird, and lots of cute little teeny tiny baby birds live together in a large nest in a thicket behind a garden wall. Now, mama bird, she is very soft and plumpy and birdlike. She looks around the garden and sees the other creatures that live nearby and she begins to feel sorry for those who appear to lack what she does not.

“Oh! Papa Bird,” she cries in her sweet little mama bird voice. “Just look at that nice family of rattlesnakes. They are so poor because they cannot fly like we can.”

“I see them,” Papa Bird replies in his booming papa bird voice. “You are right, Mama Bird. The poor creatures can only crawl upon their bellies. How fortunate we are to be able to fly about and gather food and live in the best part of the garden.”

“Oh, Papa Bird!” Mama implores. “Do let us be kind to this snake family. Let us tear down that wall and invite them in to share our worms.”

All the cute little fuzzy baby birds hop around excitedly, “Yay! We wuv snake fwiends.”

Mama Bird continues, “Oh, Papa, look! See the pretty little skunks with their black and white fur. Look, look, there’s a lovely family of scorpions with their cute little curly tails. Let them come too. What fun we shall have!”

Papa Bird, being the man bird, thinks really hard for a full five seconds and gives his answer. “Of course, my sweet bird family. It is good that we are kind and benevolent and sharing and caring and loving to all creatures great and small. Let us tear down our walls and fences and nests. Let us use the straw to make bonnets.”

That was a new idea. Mama Bird had never thought of that before.

The inescapable fact in this story is that Papa could not help being a bird brain. By now, I am assuming you are bright enough to see where this is going. Yup. Slither, slither, scuttle, slither. Scurry, flutter, slither, rattle. Sting, squeeze, zap, chomp, gulp. Papa Bird becomes grilled quail with pomegranate sauce. Mama Bird is now pigeon pie, and baby birds are gravy. And what happened to Mama Bird’s new bonnet? The bees stole it.

The irony of this tall tale is this: Too many Americans have LESS than bird brains. Truth is Papa Bird’s natural instinct is to build his wall and secure his border. Ain’t no way he will let down his guard. He might love the heck out of his neighbors, but that doesn’t mean he will open his borders and compromise the safety of his responsibility. What in the world happened to our natural instinct? Can you imagine what the animals think of our foolishness? I imagine the non-flying non-high-hopping animals are a little concerned about the Wall that might interfere with their natural migration. But animals are more sensitive to their natural instincts. Believe me, they will find a way to survive in spite of our wall.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that all who enter our borders are rattlers, skunks, and scorpions. To be sure there are many honest in heart who are genuinely looking for a better life in a land of relative freedom. But all it takes is a few skunks and rattlers to scurry in with the crowd to bring down our country from within.

Where there is a wall, there are also doors. There is a proper way to get in and out. Walls and fences make good neighbors, do they not? Did you know that in the Bible the reference to “walls for protection” is mentioned 245 times? If walls and fences and boundaries are important to God, why are they not important to us?

2 Chronicles 14:7

Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the Lord our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.

Property rights, public rights, human rights, animal rights, civil rights, religious rights, and women’s rights. Everybody is hung up on rights. I wonder if we forgot the most important thing. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.” Did anybody check in with Him? Imagine how He feels to see all of us ornery little kids who think we know so much blabbering about His earth.

OPINIONS! Those silly critters. The thing about opinions is that everybody has at least one. If you’re anything like me, you might have Minions of Opinions. What do we do when our precious minions are threatened? Jump on the soapbox! Grab the guns! Man the fort! Call in the troops! Shout and holler and blab our heads off! Fight to the death!!! Be sure to protect and defend your personal opinion because you might be the only person who loves it.

BUT WHAT IF… What if we loved America as much as we love those pesky opinions we would die for? If we did, the border Wall would go up so FAST, we would forget what the fuss was all about. If we had as many minions as we do opinions, picture all those millions of minions, including Bob and Kevin, working together to build Trump’s Wall. My friends, put that bee in your bonnet. Let’s quit our yapping and secure the border. Stand for truth and protect the innocent. C’mon, Stuart, hands out of pockets cuz you’re not a wuss.  Defend the Castle!

I wonder if it’s really the border problem that people have the greatest issue with. Could it be that folks are just mad at the President no matter what he does? I have observed that Donald Trump can’t do a thing right in the eyes of many. They twist and turn his words, motives, and actions to present an ugly picture to us little Sheeple.

This is familiar. I’ve seen enough propaganda against my own people to last six lifetimes. The propaganda against Trump is typical of an anti-Christian anti-conservative attack. Maybe people should quit blaming the Wall on Donald Trump. The Wall is for the protection of our country and those who live in it. It’s the People’s Wall. My word! Trump must be doing something right because it makes a lot of folks mad.

Musings from a little baa baa for whatever it’s worth.

I found myself on the road driving my Big Rig far into the night on February 14, the famous day of love, Love, and more LOVE. I am probably the most UN-techie kid on the planet, a complete Facebook novice, and certainly not a purty pro poster person. I had just made a Facebook profile to advertise my new blog and books. So on the traditional Day of Love, I seriously tried to think of something sweet and clever and lovey dovey to say like everyone else does since I generally just go with the flow. (Man, I could hardly keep a straight face when I wrote that.)

Think, think, THINK. This has got to be special cuz this is about LOVE. Okay, how about this?

“I had SUCH a bad hair day, but Remington doesn’t even care. Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweet Stuff!” 

Woah! Steady there, lover boy. Down, DOWN, I say! Sluuurp!! Oh, yeeeeckth! You taste like moldy fish. Criminy, Remington! Why is your mouth always open?

 

 

Remington! Get back in your bowl, NOW! No bubbles, Remington. How embarrassing. For crying out loud, we are on Facebook.  Excuse us, folks. Give us a moment. CAN WE HAVE SOME PRIVACY HERE, PLEASE?

Remington, you’re gonna be crackers if you don’t behave. It’ll be the radiator next time. I give up. Maybe I better try a poem.

Ode to Facebook

Tell it near, and tell it far; at home or work or at the bar;

Blab the news and pass the scandal; Soap Op buzz can’t hold a candle.

Opinions and hearsay and rumor uproar; “He said”, “She said”, and gossip galore;

Political debate and religious wars; parties and brawls and folks without drawers;

Brag up the kids and show off the cat; gush about food, and whine about FAT.

Hearts and roses and slurpy kisses; candy and cake and moldy fishes;

Speak your mind; the world will LOOK; spill your guts cuz you’re on…FACEBOOK!

 

Happy Heart Day! from Maggie and Remington and Belinda, stuck in a truck, on the side of the road, in the middle of night, somewhere in the middle of NOWHERE.

PS. Belinda is Maggie’s truck.

PS. PS. Remington is Maggie’s goldfish.

PS. PS. PS.  Remington likes cookies. Please send cookies.

Recently I drove my truck to a shipper to pick up a load.  I walked into the check-in office to see three female office personnel through the glass, well-dressed, all sitting at desks, each behind a check-in window.  The women appeared to be drinking coffee and chatting amicably.  I spend 90% of my time driving solo, so it always appeals to see people working together and getting along.  My friendly communicative self pulls like a magnet to enjoy others and join in the conversation.  I must be full of myself because I always subconsciously expect to be welcomed by others just as I would welcome them.  Silly me.

Since the women did not appear to notice me, I tapped lightly on the window and smiled.  The woman across the glass turned her head to look at me and her expression went from sunny to partly cloudy with a hurricane on the horizon.  She opened her window and without so much as a howdy, she barked, “Can’t you READ?  There are signs everywhere.  READ THE SIGNS!!!”

The tempestuous virago then slammed the window shut and returned her attention to her office companions.  She said something while motioning toward me and all three women glanced at me, then laughed at some giant joke and commenced to sip café latte as though they were on vacation imbibing at the beach instead of manning the fort at a shipping office that should require professional behavior.

Needless to say, I was rather startled and a bit humiliated.  I glanced around the room to see six men waiting quietly and politely.  Then I began to read the signs.  The biggest one said “DO NOT APPROACH THE WINDOW UNTIL YOU HAVE FILLED OUT YOUR PAPERWORK”.

Several more signs instructed which information was necessary, and still more signs warned “NO! WE WILL NOT SERVE YOU UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE FORMS. IF YOU CAN’T READ, GO BACK TO SCHOOL.”

I was appalled.  I studied the men standing around who appeared to be calmly taking in stride the negative slight. One of the men glanced at me sympathetically and remarked, “Welcome to the life of a truck driver.”

Something erupted deep down, and my dignity demanded audience.  Yes, I CAN read, and yes, I should have looked around and read the signs before approaching the Ice Queen in her crystal palace.  But there was no excuse for her rude and unprofessional behavior.  I am a firm believer in the necessity of customer service excellence in the workplace.  I see no reason on earth why a shipping office shouldn’t include the driver who risks life and limb to transport said company’s valuable goods as part of the customer who should be treated respectfully.

After I filled out my papers, I returned to the window and tapped.  The woman looked up, then continued working at her keyboard a few minutes while I waited.  Finally, she opened the window and said smugly, “I guess you actually CAN read.”

“Actually, madam,” I replied evenly with a sardonic smile.  “I was a language arts teacher for well over a decade.  Had you been one of my students, I would have given you an “F” for lousy communication.”

The woman stared at me for a moment and then barked out a laugh.  “I can see you must be educated, which means you are not a normal truck driver.”

As though her updated assessment put me on her list of acceptable people to BS with, she added conspiratorially. “You would not believe how many DUMB truck drivers come through here.”

I glanced around at the men who seemed to emit the proverbial “water on a duck’s back” attitude and I marveled.  In one way, I was impressed they had the ability to remain calm and not react as though they couldn’t hear, which I was sure they could.  I imagine they had already learned after many experiences that it doesn’t do any good to hope for respect as truck drivers.  But in another way, I thought it pathetic for them to just stand there and meekly accept the rotten tomatoes hurled by the hoity toity aristocrats.  Most of the men were Hispanic.  I was shocked by the condescending attitude of the office prima donnas whose most life-threatening accomplishment had most likely been to tootle across a gooey sun-baked asphalt parking lot in six inch stilettos.

If a person has never walked in the shoes of another, how can they be so judgmental?  How can office personnel who remain in a temperature-controlled safe box understand what it’s like for a truck driver to face the hazards of the road in all kinds of weather on a daily basis to earn their life?  So the typical driver might appear to need a shower and a shave, and he might not hear what someone says the first time since he might be bleary eyed after hours of driving in stressful circumstances.  He might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to paperwork, and his handwriting might be atrocious.  But on the other hand, he just might be the best Warrior of the Road who understands the innards of a big rig and can operate one slick as any rodeo star can manage a stallion.

I realize that truck drivers have earned a name for being dirty and grungy and a bit uncouth from past decades.  I can understand that perhaps the intelligence level of some when it comes to language and writing may be lacking.  I can understand that office personnel might have to explain things more than once, and I don’t blame them for putting up signs for drivers to read BEFORE they dare approach the Queen.  But I don’t see how any or all of these challenges can justify the insolence against truck drivers found in many shipping offices.

I signed the bill of lading for my load and looked at the woman squarely. “I fail to see your justification for bad manners,” I said with a bit of a grin.  “I bet this giant company really does care about their image, and they probably do care about customer service.  If I was your manager, I would want to know how the office gals behave when I’m not looking.  Since I don’t mind helping others, I think I’ll make a report to assist your manager in restoring the weather conditions in this office from toxic volcanic ash contamination to sunny skies with smiles all around.”

The woman stared speechless. I flashed a grin and said, “You have yourself an awesome day!”

Did I actually report the girls?  No.  But, the weather did improve.  Next time I went to that office, conditions had improved fair to partly cloudy.

After I got a CDL two years ago and found out for myself what it’s like to traverse the nation as a logistics specialist, my respect for truck drivers greatly increased.  It takes a surprisingly wide variety of skills to drive a big rig, navigate busy highways, meet deliveries, keep logbooks legal, and survive on the road.  I have found it to be a relatively thankless job.  Most people do not realize that unless you are a self-sufficient homesteader, every single thing we eat, drink, wear, use, or enjoy at home or work came from a truck.  Did you know that?  I sure didn’t.  I never even thought about it until I began commercial driving.

So… I did some research and came up with a few projected statistics. I pose this question:

What would happen if all truck drivers in America went on strike?

If all trucks cease to move, this would be the likely result:

After 24 Hours:  Medical supplies to hospitals and nursing homes will begin to deplete.  Gas stations will run low on gas since they often require two trucks a day to refill their underground tanks.  Assembly line manufactures will begin to run short on components.  Mail delivery will cease.

After 48 Hours:  Food supply in grocery stores will begin to dwindle.  Gas stations will become increasingly low on fuel which will skyrocket prices.

After 72 Hours:  Due to consumer panic and hoarding, grocery stores will run out of essentials like bread, milk, water, and canned meat.  ATM’s and banks will run out of cash and will be unable to complete transactions.  Gas stations will be completely out of fuel.  Garbage will begin to pile up in the streets.  Container ships will sit idle in the ports.

After 1 Week:  Automobile travel will cease, as well as public transportation.  People will not be able to go to work, buy groceries, or even get medical care.  Hospitals will begin to deplete their oxygen supply.

After 2 Weeks:  Clean water will begin to run dry.

After 4 Weeks:  Clean water supply will be gone leaving contaminated water to use only if boiled.  This will increase intestinal illness in an already weakened society.  Medical supplies will be completely unavailable, and many will die.

After 1 Month:  The United States will be totally disabled and in complete chaos.

Remember this next time you get hit with a case of road rage and want to shake your fist at that “stupid, filthy, low-life, POS trucker that cut me off.”  Trucks keep the world moving and put food on your table.  Trucks can’t move without truck drivers.  How shall we increase awareness of our fragile infrastructure and improve the working environment for the Heroes of Logistics?

I came up with a SOLUTION!

Call the world leaders to a meeting and discuss a plan to honor truck drivers since they keep the world moving.  So, I had an appointment scheduled this morning at Applebee’s with all the world leaders, but it was mostly a no-show.  Angela Merkel and Theresa May were out grocery shopping.  Ben Netanyahu was golfing with Mahmoud Abbas, and Putin called in sick.  Warren Buffett was invited to attend, but it was bad timing since he was detained at the bank trying to cover an overdraft.  Unfortunately, Enrique Nieto was stricken with shin splints while trying to scale the wall at the border, and Xi Jinping was recovering from a shark bite after his morning swim.

Most noted for his absence, Thunder Thor was at his summer home in Iceland frantically searching for his misplaced meow meow, and I have no clue where all the other dudes were.  However, I did meet with President Trump, Queen Elizabeth, and Kim Jon Ugh.  We passed a resolution unanimously with nary a disagreement and do hereby proclaim this illustrious day to be the long overdue, much needed, highly anticipated, mandatory worldwide celebration which we do hereby christen Hug A Trucker Day (mandatory respectfully requested by myself and Kim Jon).

So, it’s official.  Do it!

Hug A Trucker Day!

Yay!!