Floods, Home, and Motherhood

Charleston, SC is where my home is currently located. The recent situation of flood disaster across South Carolina has an interesting personal perspective from me as I continue to watch South Carolinians recover in the aftermath and the presence of true miracles. Values and reasons that sustain what we all hold dear are not entirely standard commonalities across any type of people for their similarities that may or may not actually exist.

South Carolina has been in too much pain. The confederate flag was removed from the state grounds and the history of the people of this state was asked denial. I have lived in the South U.S. variously enough of my life to understand a better world in the present day out of all of the Southern people that have grown and matured and created better civilization than the historic pasts. Validation of pain in the South is regression from what has emerged better that shows a stubbornness to arrive correctly in the present time. Now South Carolina has had a flood crisis and more rebuilding and resources are demanded on top of economic and other pains.

Most of us were born from a human being that gave birth that we call “mother”. I am a daughter and I do still have a mother. I chose for many real reasons in my life not to bear children. This does not invalidate the concept and realization of motherhood that still remains valid, even when I know I do not wish to live my life for, about, or because of children. We do not all become exactly like the mother we were born from and history bears children that are not history’s mothers and fathers.

Precious to me are a few honest things in my life: home, my cats (my childeren), men and women that care about one another and keep well in contributions they give and values they maintain for themselves in better lives, skills and talents and resources not wasted and disposed of, but most of all how human beings take responsibility for their own decisions and uses when freedoms are still alive and the viability of all compatible existing versions of love that are defined in human kind. South Carolina might redefine in some ways, but if you ever knew this state and believed in anything remember not to hate with destruction that does not leave value for the changes achieved as I, for one, would like a future that keeps well.

I gave thanks my ways for my home that still remains in South Carolina today.

Mothers and Fathers die and pass away. As an adult, I have realized we are not always there for everything that happens in our own we have had and we did not always know in all ways everything that was from our heritage. When we do not deny our own lives as we are now, or our histories from our own understandings, life sustains alive on the Earth and a future.

Touching One Another- Great or Small

“People you meet and places you go” are traditional old topics for consideration in conversations about travelling, cultures and societal structures. I am always surprised by the coincidences that create unusual situations for most anyone attending a public venue that may or may not result in interesting outcomes. The intermingling of the indeterminate human factor on planet Earth leaves us opportunities formed from touching one another- great or small. Elimination of the capabilities for transportation, marketplace exchanges of most types and autonomous societal mobility could cause a wide dearth of possibility for human enrichment in our own lives.

As an author, I do not have delusions about my name fame spreading unusually and inappropriately for my works. On the other hand, I like to meet people and talk to people that I get to know a bit better about my books and on-line work a bit. I have passed out copies of my books (when I had copies available to give) most places I stopped and travelled. This gives me a chance to spread the word about work I have for sale at amazon.com or available elsewhere to read, but this type of groundwork in public also provides me with exposure to different people that all give me some pause for thought.

When communities are local and most people in an area are familiar with one another, it can be extremely difficult for someone coming from an external environment to walk around and interact comfortably with the established public and social arenas. I have spent quite a bit of my life, off and on, in parts of the Southern U.S. In the South around here, most people are more inclusive of others in allowing friendliness in their responses to interactions after someone has established a life in a community area or arena and after that person has been around long enough to become familiar in some ways to others. I like having a home of my own that lasts as a comfortable home for that reason.

There is usually something special about the reasons we chose that we like our homes and the surrounding communities; some people have more comfort in those choices once they have made them than others and some people will continue to chose further homes and situations until they are happier. Autonomous societal mobility opportunities allow citizens of this nation to try to determine the best choices possible for themselves to reside in regions and communities where personal happiness flourishes best individually.

Some of us always hope that we will meet more people, either in our own surroundings or as we travel. I am a writer, not a people person- but I get along with people and I like meeting people that I can get to know better than just “heys” and “goodbyes”. Due to the indeterminate human factor of synergies and coincidences connected through our realized opportunities to touch one another, life continues to be a place where the great and small “people” moments count.

-Kimberly A. McKenzie

The Magic of Lipstick

There are some things that females enjoy that not all males do. Males use lipstick as well without the prejudice that used to exist in alternate uses of lipstick applications.

One of the traditional female representative hallmarks that lasted over time is the magic of Lipstick. In our time, not only females use lipstick. Lipstick draws attention to the mouth. When attention is drawn to a mouth, usually a mouth is sexier than it would have been. On the other hand, lipstick can make a mouth more honest. Ugly and beautiful are both created in the magic of lipstick. This does not change the honesty of a mouth.

Lips without lipstick do not draw as much attention. On the other hand, lipstick can enhance the honesty of a mouth once the lips move. Classically, over time, beautiful lipstick has been portrayed on a closed mouth so that the lips are showcased. When lipstick is not used, our mouths are just seen as they are. With the application of lipstick, a fascination begins to take hold even if a mouth is beautiful or ugly.

Without lipstick our mouths are just what they are naturally and usually they do not draw more attention than people will naturally pay to a mouth. When the magic of lipstick is applied a mouth will be seen sooner, and lips will appear more appropriate, than on a mouth without lipstick. Some people do not choose to use lipstick at all. Others use it religiously. I am someone that believes in old- fashioned honesty that age adds privilege over lipstick use. In youth, young lips are plumper, fuller, and less likely to dry out. Lipstick can be used to restore comfort from some of the difficulties of age for older lips.

Although not everyone uses lipstick, people that do can find a strange fondness of attachment to lipstick that causes somewhat of a naked feeling when regular lipstick use ceases. Lipstick can almost be viewed as a form of clothing for the face- like any type of makeup. On the other hand, lipstick has unique qualities and can be used with or without other makeup.

Not all cultures have always included lipstick use, but most cultures at some point in time have added some form of lip and mouth decoration. Part of the magic of lipstick is that cultural use is not so much attached to the value and reasons for lipstick in most people. Choices about lipstick use are personal, even though lipstick use is influenced by trends and social etiquettes. Since lipsticks come in all types of colors, flavors, and with different properties to enhance lips using lipsticks can be fun. Some people take lipstick use more seriously than others.

Lipstick has lasted. The magic of lipstick will never disappear. Whether lipstick supplies are plentiful or limited, we will never forget why lipstick is lipstick and people that choose to use their lipsticks will always be capable of enjoying the benefits provided in lipstick magic.

“Social Justice and Legal Action”

In the United States society has a set of complicated laws. Sometimes, legal action according to law has a social decision element that impedes the human honesty about a more humane and just decision in legal action. It is my belief that social justice should not use law as a vehicle to attain its ends. The idea of a fair trial by jury is based on giving a hearing to every case that will not bow down to the social justice decisions inherent in individual opinion. In our culture, media plays hard on outcomes for others that mean something to a larger population. This is actually a myth in most cases. Truly, legal outcomes in law are for plaintiffs and defendants and do not realistically associate a benefit beyond the decisions in the outcome that affect both. This does not mean that social justice advocates in their own arenas for their own points of view do not use these personal outcomes to leverage benefit for their causes.

As long as this phenomena in our society does not impede the fair outcomes for personal results and does not affect more humane treatment of parties, guilty or innocent, involved, I do not have issue with social results from the law. This does not mean that one case or several cannot be used to decide broader legal guidelines and decisions that affect society. In higher court levels of law, this means a representative sample of real answers that can be examined for realistic input against law only.

We need, as a people, to understand that there is a difference between effecting social change by laws and using personal situations and legal outcomes to point to social justice victories and losses. Also, prosecuting on a personal level for social justice reasons is not a viable legal action decision in any arena that maintains humane viability for the citizens residing under the trust of our laws.

Social justice can cause change. Change by social justice is not predicated on legal claims with any standing except that higher-level laws incorporated a social need.


I have worked in various companies over the years that have used “Diversity” in their company cultural platform. We tend to imagine diversity as meaning all races, sexes, and origins. There is, however, another element to a cultural inclusion of diversity. All people do not think or believe alike. The definition of diversity expanded in popular understanding some time ago to include differences in religion and politics. This still does not strike at the heart of the value created by synergies generated from thinking differently from one another, acting differently to express individualities and relying on differing systems that can be worked together to find common results. Diversity encompasses all of these characteristics and brings them into one place to create new ideas and innovations from elements that might not usually expose themselves naturally to one another. People tend to find similarities that bind them can gravitate toward establishing environments where they are comfortably pursing their own natures without interruption. I truly believe that both types of cultural understandings, both inclusion of diversity and pursuit of commonalities, are healthy.

A common question in pursuing the inclusion of true diversity is the question of finding stabilization. When standards and best practices are usual methods of establishing workable regularities, the concept of diversity can be rather scary and perceived as a destabilizing or disruptive danger. The difference in capturing synergies from encouraging diversity effectively and enabling destructive chaotic change comes from keeping diversity channeled instead of letting diversity manifest without structural guidance. Finding new solutions from synergies in diversity does require less stricture and more freedoms, but historically there has to be a structure of agreed to boundaries to allow the freedoms in diversity to be preserved and encouraged.

It is hard for a culture to incorporate the reality of diversity and often the token differences we can point to are mistaken for embracing “otherness” in others in an inclusive, if not accepting way. If our commonalities ground us in togetherness, perhaps there is a commonality in the foundation of an environment that protects and encourages diversity. Accepting certain stabilizing principles and regulations is not the same as stating that only certain types of diversity are allowed. Rather, the groundwork for a diverse environment must keep the environment intact while providing room for differences without demanding conformances that would eliminate diversity.
Change is not always easy for people to accept. In corporate cultures, change often has an accepted and patterned path. Diversity can create fear because it is perceived as change and this is not necessarily a truth. The synergies from diversities that arrive at solutions or new implementations do not achieve effectiveness simply because diversity exists. Solutions and implementations are agreed to or tried out because people come together to work for some reason that pertains to more than differences exist. Diversity implemented correctly creates an environment with more potential., more acceptance, and more variations that prevent stagnation and weaknesses that cannot be remedied. I believe in a future of diversity.

Ten Strange Pet Habits and Attributes

Have you ever watched your dog sleeping and wondered why his paws were bicycling in the air? When was the last time your cat jumped at a blank wall with nothing on it for apparently no reason? Pets do strange things while their owners are not looking and some of the most bizarre pet habits are only “found out” when we catch our animals off-guard. Other strange pet habits are behaviors pet owners may observe more often that are only odd under closer examination of the nature of non-human species. Recognizing these pet habits for their healthy and special qualities can assist potential pet owners with pet choices and care. Keep reading for the ten strangest pet habits, some of which would appear “normal” on the surface:

  1. Cats and Dogs– Both cats and dogs roll over and expose their bellies for rubbing when they are happy and content. This behavior is so common in both types of pets, cats and dogs, that this habit of rolling over exposing an underbelly does not always register with the pet owner as behavior that is not exhibited by most animals in their natural habitats. Belly exposure is an indication in any animal of security in the environment and trust in life-form surroundings. Wild cubs of various species will exhibit this behavior naturally until maturation as they are under the protection of their sires. Rolling around upside down is the sign of a happy and healthy cat or dog.
  2. Birds– A bird flies from place to place and lands when it arrives at its intended next perch. Once in awhile some birds crash during flight for no apparent reason. This behavior or habit is not known to be an act of sabotage or destruction and is not categorized as “dive bombing” (a practice of angry birds or birds of prey) or the same indication as an injury or illness. Rather, some experts consider bird crashing to be attributable to distractions or the need to suddenly appear vulnerable to avoid other dangerous elements in their flight-paths. Examining a pet bird for problems if a bird crashes in flight is a good practice. Birds with crashing behavior will repeat the habit and should just be checked occasionally to ensure best care.
  3. Fish- Sleeping upside down in the water, (not fish floating on top of the water), is a strange aquarium fish habit. There are two schools of thought on the reasons for this behavior in fish. The first group of aquarium gurus believes that fish do not sleep and that an upside down fish probably is exhibiting some sign of disease. The second school of thought is that fish that are from an aquatic species oriented to resting in cave-like environments will turn upside down to rest as the behavior keeps them oriented to escape quickly from predators. Fish pet owners should look into this behavior and study up on their fish species when deciding if their pets have a problem or a strange, quirky nature.
  4. Hamsters– Disappearing is a strange behavior that hamsters exhibit. They have this habit in common with cats. A hamster will burrow under woodchips or newspaper nests in its cage. Cats will hide under piles of clothing or in closed in dark spaces. Since both types of pets are natural predators, this behavior is categorized as survival oriented. Burrowing can add to security factors and assist with isolating prey for food. However, there is some evidence to suggest that both hamsters and cats need solitary time and that the disappearance habit can be stabilizing as a reaction that creates a removal of the presence of other environmental inhabitants and irritants.
  5. Dogs- The eating of feces comprises a strange canine behavior that does not necessarily indicate any form of hunger or malnutrition. There are no definitive reasons that can be discerned as to why dogs occasionally partake in this; informed speculation abounds including the idea that this is due to a natural “scavenger” instinct. The supposition that this behavior is based on some sort of nutrient requirement has no real foundation. This habit can lead to issues with muzzle and mouth diseases if it is allowed to prevail.
  6. Snakes, Lizards and Frogs– Possibly the very strangest difference in reptiles and frogs from other types of pets is that they are not a warm-blooded species. Basking in the sun is common to the animal kingdom and a strange phenomenon in snakes, lizards, and frogs. Since these types of pets do not have internal thermoregulation, they use the warmth from the sun to keep from freezing, even in hotter weather. The direct light and heat create the kinetic energy needed to remain active. Instead of producing a sluggish effect, basking in the sun actually keeps snakes, lizards, and frogs more mobile than without external temperature transference. Pet owners often employ solar lamps to “warm” their reptiles, as snakes, lizards and frogs are not pets that are routinely allowed to wander outdoors.
  7. Spiders- All spiders make silk. This does not mean that all spiders use their silk for the same purposes. Some spiders create webs from their silk; others do not. Spider silk can be used to trap prey, build protective shelter and to cocoon young spiderling eggs. When a pet owner chooses a spider as a pet, housing a spider in a cage and feeding a spider by hand may begin to interfere with the natural use of the spider’s silk. Some spiders sold as pets have this capability removed in order to try to curb overly aggressive behaviors and make upkeep of pet cages and houses easier to clean.
  8. Horses– Tossing of the head and stamping of the feet is a natural strange behavior in horses. Equines are normally categorized as an aggressive species and are actually animals of prey. Often, people that own horses will perceive head tossing and foot stamping as an attempt, on the horses’ part, to communicate. This does not negate the fact that this type of equine behavior is stimulated by environmental situations and is based in instinctive reactions that signal the next behavioral intentions. Although horses are easily domesticated, trained head tossing and foot stamping habits are not as a general rule characteristics that can be “removed” through domestication.
  9. Cats– If a cat sees a bird, the cat may start to chatter or make mewling noises at the bird. This is not an intention to attack and will not often be followed by aggressive behavior. In fact, this habit is most commonly exhibited when the cat is in some way removed from the bird (such as by a window, porch screen, or tree height). Experts think that possibly this could be due to the fact that the cat is not in a position to chase and kill, but the strange behavior has never been fully explained. Communication does not seem a plausible reason for this habit, but it could be considered as a theory due to the fact that cats are known to be naturally expressive vocally in a similar manner to dogs.
  10. Rabbits– Rabbits do bite. They nip each other, gnaw on cage bars and can become aggressive. Usually, a rabbit will not cause damage due to biting. On the other hand, when a rabbit engages in biting behavior it is a common sign that the rabbit is uncomfortable, upset, or bored. Nipping one another is also a form of communication between rabbits and does not signify dangerous behavior toward other rabbits. A biting habit in a rabbit is only problematic when the bites become hard enough to break skin or if the rabbit is injuring itself on the object being bitten. Just as with other pets that can bite, healthy rabbits with proper vaccinations keep their owners and other handlers safe from accidental biting incidents.

Pet behaviors and habits have been studied for as long as human beings have adopted animals and other creatures. Some of their stranger habits have become routine characteristics that we use to identify our individual pets as healthy. On the other hand, some of the healthy pet habits exhibited in nature’s kingdom are still strange and singularly different features that can be abused the wrong way by pet owners. Recognizing the signs of aberrant behaviors and adapting to strange pet habits that are healthy can help pet owners love and care for their pets for the duration of a normal pet life-span. Choosing a pet is sometimes difficult and when the stranger habits of possible pets are identified ahead of time, the “best fit” for a pet owner’s environment and care levels can result. Some strange pet behaviors will not be visible ahead of adopting a pet or identifiable under a species characteristic. On the other hand, each individual pet owner should take the time to become acquainted with their own pets and enjoy the strange habits that make pets stand out as remarkable and exceptional in their own ways.

The Price of Our Anger

“War and strife; sacrifice of life- the wounds won’t go away…” (from the song “Turning Away” on The Best of HillTop by HillTop Records)

On a day to remember the war heroes that have passed in the line of duty in all wars and nations, I am frightened of the angers loose in our present day and time. In recent history, we have seen massacres in progress on a barbaric level overseas, riots happening in our own cities, and unrest in the politics at the top of our government. There is an idea that anger should be contained or diffused or eradicated to curtail the damages we do personally, societally, and nationally in the name of escalated disagreements and unresolved conflicts. I have long been a champion of using anger in a more positive, less destructive manner to achieve real results that resolve issues, rather than bowing to violence and force to conquer one another with the “right makes might” mentality that has prevailed in establishing dominance. The misnomer is that every conflict can be settled peacefully. It is impossible to talk or negotiate with a man already using his fists. On the other hand, the price of our anger is destruction that cannot be reversed or undone with an impact that destroys much more than just our enemies that we cannot pacify into some sort of cessation of war.

When I was much younger, I attended a college class that had one problem posed for the entire semester. The question as students that we were asked to resolve was “What is the one solution to never having a nuclear war?” Our class failed. We never answered the question. I have come to believe over the course of my life in “live and let live” as a good philosophy, but I also believe in the value of diversification. I do not think there is any “one way” for humanity to unite in thought, culture, or personal conduct without losing our very existence as human. Perhaps the issue with answering that question was that there should be just “one way”.

To my mind even war can be civilized to an extent greater than behaviors in the current conflicts have reflected. Mankind will not change his and her nature radically enough to eliminate anger, violence, and war. I do not even argue that mankind should, as at times these attributes have been proven necessary for survival. Civilized methods, behaviors, and codes of conduct can elevate our natures to minimize destructive consequences and better wars bow down to this.

The dead of our former wars will not return, but they are still with us. Dishonor of their memories is in every conflict where we do not hear the lessons learned from their sacrifice. We have our own wars to settle. Civilization has always been marked by forward progress. Let us remember the wars and the fights for strides forward; let us not move backward in the name of the price of our anger.

A Millennium of Millennials

A millennium is quantified as a thousand years. I have heard 1,000 miles of words on the up and coming- somewhat arrived- generation called “Millennials”. Do not take this statement as a negative attitude toward the “Millennial” generation. I do love the younger generations and their potential and motivation is starting to show huge returns on impacts, in all arenas, for the future. Every generation finds a designation.

From “Baby Boomers” and “Flower Children” to the “Me Generation” and “Generation X”- every generation older than the 1940’s (and the “Flappers” had their time)- has had to carry forth the torch with something to define their “code of age” for other generations. I have found this labeling is not just an identity symptom, but that it can also be a tool, a weapon, and a crisis point. Older generations try to define the generations beneath them. With Millennials, much of the popular literature shows that Millennials “have what it takes” and should be “correctly encouraged”. There is nothing wrong with that personification. However, I would caution that Millennials should stake their own claims for their generation and not just ride high on descriptions from the media and images molded to fit.

As with every generation, there will be high profile key players that start to “represent” the Millennials’ signature values and achievements. I would caution every older generation to be wary of this when dealing with Millennial age individuals. Millenials know who they are; they are developing their own contributions; we have no right to tell them who to be. On the other hand, we have defined our own generations from before and those generations are not finished. I feel a peace is needed in pursuing the future together.

As generation succeeds generation, there is a gradual transfer of responsibilities and needs for the generations to come. This passing of the torch is not always easy. Respect is a two way street and the Millennials in society today have shown they have a human respect for others. There are quite a few generations before the Millennials still in play. I believe each of these generations comes outfitted with different needs and points of view. Focusing on one or two generations loses the wealth and wisdom inherent in each progressive decade’s people that have made their contributions. It is my hope that instead of erasing one another, the Millennials and generations still in play in society will move forward in a way that preserves what came before while opening up the potential of the developments and achievements in the years to come.

The next thousand years will come quicker than we knew. Millennials will have an impact that reaches further than most. Segregation of this impact from the influences from generations before is not possible. Millennials are going to make their own mark as well. It is a difficult task, but summing up the past to travel into the future is not possible unless we all walk the paths toward tomorrow together.

Emptiness and Life

So many people struggle with depression. According to “Uplift Program” the percentage of serious depressive disorders in the United States only affects 9.5% of our Country’s population, but that is equal to 18.8 million individuals. It is commonly stated that “everyone” will at some point in life suffer from depression. I do not know if this is true, but my own experiences with serious depression have led me to understand that depression is a condition that can be life threatening and a condition that can be relieved.

There are many “How To’s” for self-help in depression and there are doctors that work hard to help patients with serious clinical symptoms. Depression can be debilitating because it starts with a deep sadness and changes to an emptiness that has no explanation in the realities of day-to-day life. I know. I have been there. “Curing” depression is the myth. Finding a way out of it is possible. Learning to live with depression is difficult on an individual level and debilitating to others that live with those suffering from depression. It can be done and there is no “one path” forward for anyone.

Respect for individual life, thought, and decisions are key for those helping someone with serious depression. While these honesties from others will not “cure” depression in someone, they protect a depressed state of mind from becoming worse when others acknowledge these truths are viable even for those suffering depression episodes. Some depression stems from situations in life, some depression orients from personalities prone to a depressed state of mind, and some depression is literally unexplained by any “causal” factor. This is why not all “cures” can help all people in the same way.

As someone that has suffered from depression in a clinical way in life before, and as a person that has won in her battles against suicide, I can only relate what I know about the issues in depression “up close and personal”. For me, I had to find the strength to overcome situations in life and find my own stability in my own values. I learned that “put one foot in front of the other” is some days not the wrong advice. When there is emptiness in me I “do it anyway”…this usually brings back the reality that life needs my efforts.

I truly believe that everyone should find their own true beliefs and the things that work well in life for them. No one can “invent” or give answers for others that work as well as the mentalities and life-styles that someone finds keep them best on his or her own personal level. This does not mean that others cannot help. It just means that I have never found that an answer from others is going to prevent depression.

When I was young “The Facts of Life” was a sitcom with a theme song: “You take the good; you take the bad. You take them both and there you have the facts of life.” Love life.

History Today for Tomorrow (Women’s History Month)

Right now! Today! We are not only products of women in History; we are making strides for History in our immediate present. Milestones have been achieved across the ages for women’s rights, women’s equality as human beings, and women’s progress in images, philosophical thought, and education. Too many points in history of serious achievements for females have occurred for me to list them all and not miss some of the important contributions for women from women. However, this does not stop me from admiring women making strides today for the female voices on our planet. Among the females I genuinely admire for making a difference in the present tense are: Gina Trapani with ThinkUp, Chelsea Clinton with The Clinton Foundation, and Lady GaGa.

I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s where feminism was a question mark and most media referred to women’s rights as “Second Wave” or “Third Wave” questions. The generations at the forefront during that time were not original women’s movement founders and female empowerment was relegated to a “non-issue”. Women in this country were outnumbering men in higher education although men executives still outnumbered females in corporate United States. We did not grow up taught to make a “happy home” as our future. Girls and boys had an equal chance at dreams for whatever they desired to become in the next decade. I did not understand that issues still existed between male and female in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.

Then the 1990s rolled in. Human rights became a priority in the women’s rights movement as we saw that other cultures did not support our ideals and images for the modern woman. By the time of the millennium, the two issues became inseparable. In later years, women’s rights would focus on economic stability and gender-based violence with resurgence in the assertion of female needs for children and pregnancy securities.

I have found myself something of an interesting sub-culture as a single, divorced, heterosexual woman in her mid-forties with no children. When I think of women’s rights, I agree to the humanitarian influence as important, but I am more concerned with the female as an individual- not as a woman that may be “at the mercy of a male husband” or dealing children’s needs. If we are going to talk about women’s rights or the female condition, I think we do need to focus on the opportunities available for females instead of focusing on issues related to prescribed female roles.

There are differences between the sexes. Laying aside sex based roles and issues forces us to deal with one another as individual persons. Women’s history has proven we can correctly make strides toward certain equalities. Perhaps we should consider that sexual bias of any sort has to be eliminated to obtain individual freedoms. When we learn that what we choose defines us and we have the opportunity to make viable choices, we will be more capable of eliminating abuses and discriminations based on those choices.