Knotty Musings

Ideas, philosophies, and evil plots to take over the world through love hatched here.

I Am Enough

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson

Remove the Nots

Remove the Nots

Friday, December 24, 2010

In our hearts, in our homes, a special night,0,3825143.column

In our hearts, in our homes, a special night

John Kass

December 24, 2010


For all the children who should be loved always, but especially on this wondrous night, with our arms around them and a long goodnight kiss on the temple, a kiss more precious than anything wrapped up in a box.

For all the parents who linger in the doorways of those bedrooms, watching those sleeping shapes.

For all the babies who aren't loved enough and may grow up with a hard crust around their hearts because someone neglected to plant those kisses and give those hugs.

For every couple that adopts a child and saves a life. For all the young mothers who saved the life they carried by giving that child up for adoption.

For all those who've lost their children. For the children who've lost their moms and dads.

And for the crazy uncles who will drink too much, and put on the red suit and dance outside alone in the cold, before sneaking in to surprise the laughing kids. For the wise aunts who make sure the coffee is strong, so the crazy uncles can sober up.

For all the men and women and children of all the church choirs of the world, practicing for months, gathering on weeknights in the empty churches, so that on this night they may carry us with their harmonies.

And for their voices that gently invite us to humble ourselves, so we may ask for help to begin scraping away any bitterness that has taken root.

For all the friends, relatives and neighbors who haven't waited for one night to build what is important. All year they've been building it, and they show up on a Thursday afternoon in June, or on a cool morning in November, just to see if you're OK.

So tonight is theirs, and tomorrow too, because they are family, by friendship and by blood, by the acts of family.

For those who are far away and can't make it home this year. For those who've been distant in other ways, worrying that they've been gone too long, wondering if it is too late to open that door.

But tonight is the night of new hope.

The door is always open.

Just reach for it and see.

For the old guys at the end of the bar, nursing their drinks, half-watching the TV and grateful there is a warm place to sit and hear the laughter.

For the old women alone in their rooms, awake in bed, remembering these nights past and the laughter of children, nights when it wasn't so still, when there was so much to do and a houseful of hungry guests to feed.

For the young parents who are stressed and overwhelmed, with the kids and the bills and the shopping. For the dads and moms who've been out of work, and are desperate for a job and are afraid.

For everyone on the night shift, and those who work tomorrow. For police, firefighters and paramedics who rush into danger to help us. And for the souls of Chicago firefighters Corey Ankum and Edward Stringer, who were killed this week.

For everyone in a hospital praying for dignity and relief without shame or suffering. For the physicians who care for them. For those nurses who enter the room, pull up a chair and listen to quiet confessions.

For those of the clergy who have struggled with belief, yet find it again, and are renewed.

And for every sailor on every ship tonight, especially those on watch on the bridge, looking out into cold black water, remembering brightly lit rooms.

For our young president and his wife and their little girls. For all our leaders. For the members of the U.S. military who protect us with their bodies and their lives. And the members of the intelligence services and the Foreign Service who put themselves at risk for this country. For all their loved ones, waiting for them.

For our great nation that faces difficult days ahead, and for our countrymen who've already faced many difficult days, and see more coming and never quit.

To those of you I've offended with my thoughtless and clumsy words and shrill tone on bad days. I'm sorry.

And for those who've given this column a chance, visiting with me four mornings a week, and those who've written or called or sent e-mail. My wife and I can't ever properly express our thanks. But tonight we'll thank you, once again.

And for everyone who has kept hold of what is truly important about this special night.

It is the message brought by that perfect child born in a manger in Bethlehem, the child who came to light the world.

He is the gift.

And it is all about love.

So I hope that it comes to you, and comforts you, and remains.

From my wife, Betty, and our boys, from my mother and my brothers and their wives and children, from all of us to all of you and yours.

Merry Christmas.

"My Christmas wish for you"

"My Christmas wish for you"
By Bob Perks
First of all I wish you a spirit filled holiday season.
May those who love you and those you love be near
you. May God Bless and protect you in your travels
and bring you safely home again. May you NOT get
everything you want so that you grow in reaching
further than you thought you could to get those things
worth working hard for.
Be an observer this holiday. Participate, too. But take
30 minutes in the middle of a holiday gathering and
watch those around you. See the smiles? Hear the
forgiving voice of love? See how for the first time
in much too long a time two forever enemies bow
their heads in unity giving thanks to a single God?
Watch in the kitchen when everyone shares the
responsibilities. The end result of cooperation is
Watch in the living room as generations gather
around the tree and share in each others joy while
opening presents. See the adults crawl on the
floor as they stoop down to play once more as a child.
Note the sparkle in the eye of the littlest one who has
no idea what this is all about but what ever it is it
makes me giggle.
Watch how everyone laughs for the hundredth time at
the same family stories that the old folks have told
year after year.
See the look of satisfaction on the face of grandpa and
grandma as they proudly scan the room knowing that
they did their very best to raise such a great family.
And if you look closely enough you will see the spirits
of those family members who are no longer of this world.
They live on in each of you who loved them dearly.
Stop for thirty minutes. Soak up the memories. Hold
them close to your heart for times when things seem
so desperate and lost.
These moments are the true gifts of Christmas.
They are proof that this world can be loving, kind,
forgiving, compassionate and without prejudice if we
truly will it to be.
If you should be spending this holiday by yourself for
what ever reason please know that you are never alone.
God is celebrating there with you in the quiet moments
of this day. You are His precious gift to the
Know too, I swear to you, that at a single point in
my Christmas celebration I will stop what I am doing and
think of you. I will ask God to bless you in a special way.
At that very moment you will feel it and know that I kept
my promise.
You are loved.
Bob Perks
P.O. Box 1702
Shavertown, Pa. 18708
Contact Bob

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In A Child's Eyes

There is something magical about seeing things through the eyes of a child. Wonder, awe, curiosity, joy and chaos reign!

I mentor a 9 yr old named Asiana and she is amazing. Smart, creative, funny and loving. I like to do big outings as a group with her siblings so that we can avoid sibling rivalry and all of the kids get to have fun so we look for low cost or free activities to do together. This past Sunday was the Wells Fargo Family Fun Day with free admission to various museums, cultural sites and the Omaha Police Department horse barn. The kids had their faces painted, decorated cowboy hats, saw the horses and had cocoa and cookies at the horse barn, checked out the antique locomotives at the Durham, stared in wonder at the tree - all 85 feet of it - and sang Christmas songs. It was a great time.

I am going to take these pictures and make up prints and frame the family one for them for Christmas.

I knew that the mentoring experience would touch at least one life but it has truly amazing to share with this child and her family. I am so blessed.

Monday, December 6, 2010

"The Biggest Gift of All!"

"The Biggest Gift of All!"

By Bob Perks

"What happened to it?," the child asked.

"What happened to what?" someone replied.

"My gift for Mom and Dad. It was the smallest and it
got lost," he sadly replied.

It happens that way. It seems that when it comes to
gift giving we feel the need to out do each other. The
bigger the box, the more money we spend, the more
love expressed.

It's simply not true. It's all a lie and we know it.

"Oh, you didn't have to..."

Yes they did. The world demands it of us. You know
you would have felt rejected, ignored and overlooked
if they didn't give you something.

"I have to get a gift for Joe. He gave me something
last year."

"I'm only sending cards to people who sent them
to me."

How sad. Gift giving has become a matching game.
Or worst yet, a competition.

So it was on this Christmas morning.

"I can't believe all of the presents!" someone said.
"This is even more than last year!" the oldest child
"I guess Santa out did himself this year," Dad said.
"You must have been really good!" said Mom.
"Wait before you open them, let's get a picture of it all.
We can compare it to last year's gifts," said Dad.

Then the reds and greens of fancy Christmas paper flew
across the room. The bows and ribbons were crushed
among the efforts to make get to the gifts.

The youngest child was lost at times in the rush to find
his own Santa's treasures but managed to survive somehow.

"Don't forget the gifts we got for each other!" one child yelled.

The youngest child stopped what he was doing. He
wanted to watch his parents when they opened his special gift.
But it was no where to be found.

"What happened to it?," the child asked.
"What happened to what?" someone replied.
"My gift for Mom and Dad. It was the smallest and it got lost,"
he sadly replied.

The others were too busy to help him find it. They already
began clearing away the paper and he feared they had
tossed it in the garbage.

"You need to get bigger gifts. You don't lose big gifts," his
older sister said laughing.
"But it was the biggest gift of all," the child replied.
He sat down in frustration and began to cry.

"Is this it?" his brother asked as he held the little box in his
hand. "I almost stepped on it."
"That's the biggest gift of all?" the sister said mockingly.
"What a joke!"
"It is! It is!" he shouted back. "You'll see!"

Then, grabbing it from his brother's hand he straightened
out the bow and handed it to Mom.

"Daddy, come here. This is for you, too," he said while sniffling
away his tears.

Everyone stopped what they were doing to see what he had given.
Perhaps just out of curiosity, maybe just to laugh.
Carefully Mom unwrapped the gift and opened the box.

"Oh, my!" she said as she slowly sat down on the couch.
"What? What is it?" someone said.
Then Dad sat down next to her to share the special moment.
"Oh, I see." he said. Looking at his wife he humbly said, "It is
indeed the biggest gift."

Then Mom reached in, pulled out the gift and placed it on her hand.

It was the Christ Child in the cradle.

Dad glanced over to look at their manger now buried beneath
the all too many gifts.

"Clear away those things," he asked of his oldest child.

The dimly lit star attached to the manger shown down on the
spot where the Christ Child would normally be.

"But he took it from..." his sister began to say until Mom
interrupted her.

"He took it from the story of Christmas. The real reason we should be celebrating," she said.

The small child was standing next to the tree. The white lights
sparkled off the warm streams of tears that ran down his face.

Quietly he explained..."Every year we think about how to give the
biggest gift. I thought that this year I would give the best gift anyone
could ever give. The pastor at Bible school asked us to think about
the greatest gift of all. Then I thought about Jesus and knew that I
could not ever out give God. So my gift to you and Dad was the
Biggest gift of all...ever!"

Suddenly it was silent. Mom glanced around the room and humbly
said, "I am ashamed. We had forgotten the meaning of it all."
Then motioning to her son she said, "Come here. You were right.
The Littlest One was indeed the Biggest Gift of all!"
"I wish you enough!"
Bob Perks
I encourage you to share my stories but
I do ask that you keep my name and contact
information with my work.
P.O. Box 1702
Shavertown, Pa. 18708
Contact Bob

"I Wish You enough!"
2001 Bob Perks
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear
much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Prepare for a Snowstorm

by Linda Shapero
Preparation is key to avoiding a crisis

Most winters include a snowstorm or two. This is particularly
true for the Midwest and the eastern part of the country. That
being said, if you live in either of these areas, you should
know how to prepare for a snowstorm. Make sure you are ready
when one hits.

Heating, Power & Water Sources

Regardless of the type of heat you have, be sure your system
is in good working order. If you use oil or wood, make sure at
the beginning of the season that you've gotten enough
delivered that you can get through the winter and then some.
You may also want to consider purchasing a generator and gas,
but these must not be used indoors.

As far as water goes, if there is a chance that you will not
be able to get water from the tap, make sure you have bought
bottled water or, preferably, bottle your own up to at least a
week's worth.


If you don't have a year-round pantry that you replenish and
you hear that a storm is on the way and your supplies are low,
you must make it a priority to get out and shop for food. Be
sure to have canned goods like soups, stews, spaghetti,
fruits, and vegetables and a good manual can opener (or two
handy), in case you lose power. Don't forget to get lots of
healthy snacks, as well. If you are cooped up in the house
over a lengthy storm, everyone will be eating more than they
usually do due to the fact that they are there rather than out
of the house following their usual routine.

Alternative Methods for Cooking

You may have to use a propane grill, regular barbecue grill,
or camp stove if you lose your electricity. Make sure you have
all related supplies like briquettes or propane ready to go.
Also, be sure to use these kinds of emergency cooking
substitutes outside only.

Emergency Supplies

Matches, several flashlights, lanterns, extra batteries,
candles, a weather radio (or regular radio or both), extra
blankets and comforters, sleeping bags for everyone, snow
shovels, rock salt for the sidewalks and driveway, kitty
litter for the trunk of the car are some of the necessary
items you'll want to have plenty of on hand. Make sure you
keep listening for weather information on the battery-operated
radio in case they are calling for people in your area to

Medications and First Aid

Always have a first aid kit available. Check it often to be
sure that items that have been used are replaced. Purchase
enough medication to get you through a storm. Most medications
are purchased in 30- or 90-day supplies, so you should be able
to get through as long as you haven't run out when the storm
comes. Any other special supplies should be purchased in
advance, as well, such as baby supplies or items for an
elderly member of the family, such as Depends, denture
cleaners, etc.


Everyone should have warm clothing at his/her disposal. It may
be necessary to wear extra layers if the heat goes off. You
may have to camp around the fireplace, if you're lucky enough
to have one. With everyone in one room, you will stay warmer.
In fact, it's a good idea to shut doors to rooms that aren't
being used to conserve any heat.

Things to Do

Try to keep a box of various types of fun things that your
family likes to do if they are trapped inside for days, such
as books, cards, craft supplies, and games, etc. If conditions
are safe outside, you may want to all go out for a walk or to
play in the snow or go sledding to break the monotony of being

Knowing how to prepare in advance for a snowstorm will help
you tremendously. If you do your homework and get everything
you need, you will be well-fed and cozy while you wait out the

Take the Next Step:
- Discuss "Stocking for Winter" in the Dollar Stretcher

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful For The Food On Our Plates

Last night, my church held its annual pre-Thanksgiving dinner and worship service. As we left for the service, we discovered that the light drizzle was now freezing drizzle and that the winds were very blustery. As we struggled to get into the car and were complaining about the cold, I thought about those for whom this isn't a momentary thing but rather a daily occurrence. Those whose hunger knows no end, both physically and for kindness. Those who long for warmth, both from the cold and from their fellow human beings. Those numbers are growing in these hard times.

Today, we are fortunate to share dinner with our neighbors, who are also recovering from surgery. We will share love and laughter. May we all be so lucky.

There are so many people out there without a warm home.

And so many people without a Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

However, there are many who do not have a table to sit at today. Many who are facing an empty plate.

So let's be grateful for what we have, even if Great Aunt Harriet is a pill and your brother-in-law's girlfriend refuses to eat anything but fallen fruit. If we have food to eat, we are lucky. If we are sitting in warm homes, we're fortunate indeed.

Would you consider making a donation today to Share Our Strength or your local food pantry? You can find out more about Share our Strength Here: Remember: hunger knows no season.

Today, along with an incredible group of food bloggers, I am putting up a photo of an empty plate, instead of tempting food.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 Reflections

As I reflect on another year passed, it seems that this year has been a harder one, a year of many mixed blessings. There have been surgeries, disappointments, loved ones who have passed on and many tears and heartbreaks.

Joys have also been present at the table: time spent with friends and family, laughter, leaning on others and knowing that they have your back, learning to be gentle with oneself, the list is endless.

As I count my blessings, many thoughts come to mind. Here are just a few:

I am cognizant that every struggle contains blessings, even when I can't see them clearly.

Perhaps I find myself more thankful this year because I've relied more on others this year, with surgery, recovery and the jumble of emotions that go along with. Maybe it's a hazard of growing older, I don't know.

I am thankful for the love and care shown to me by those I count as friends and family. I am thankful for your cards, phone calls, flowers, e-mails and words of encouragement when I feel frail, small and vulnerable. I am always touched by your pride in me and your affirmations that my presence in this world makes a difference in your lives and the lives of others.

I am thankful for having shelter when the days are warm, the rain falls, the wind howls, and the snow pelts. I am cognizant of those who do not have safe shelter.

I am thankful that while I may never be rich, that I have enough and also enough to share with those who are less fortunate. May that always be the case.

I am thankful for peaceful passings of loved ones, for in death we learn how to live life fully, with appreciation and with joy. May we not need death to remind us to do those things.

I am thankful for injustice, for it teaches me to look into the darkness and to be the light, be the hope and to share what I can - whether time, skills or money - for the benefit of others.

I am thankful for the cruel words that I sometimes face; they remind me to be kind. We are not always privy to the private pains others carry.

I am thankful for health issues; they have taught me how to take care of the temple that is my body, how to eat and savor nutritious food and how to enjoy the process. I am thankful to live in a country where nutritious food is relatively easy to obtain, but am reminded that even in the land of plenty, some still do not have enough. May I be reminded that enough is plenty and to share my bounty.

Most of all, I am thankful for the opportunity to see another day and to be surrounded by friends and family.

I leave you with these thoughts:

I am very thankful to have all of you as my friends.
I count my blessings when the day ends.

I have food and remember some do not.
I have shelter and realize that's a lot.

I have more that I will share...
Even though I'm not a millionaire.

As Thanksgiving rolls around...
I feel grateful to be safe and sound.

I feel fortunate to have so much more...
Then they sell in any department store.

For good friends, old and new,
For trees of green and skies of blue.

For all the food that makes me drool,
I'm thankful that the price went down on fuel.

I'm also guided by the power above.
My riches are found in those that I love.

I applaud each of you and everything you do, everyday.
I honor your victories and I understand your struggles.
I am inspired daily by your thoughts and comments.
I give thanks daily, that you are part of my life.
I am fortunate to have such cherished friends.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, and those you hold dear.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Weepy Day


weepy today and isn't bothered by that. I suppose that Veteran's Day,
recuperating from surgery and the hormonal roller coaster it brings, and
the ex's cancer might have a little to do with that. Today, I am at
peace with my tears.

Hallelujah Chorus at Macy's

I came across a link to this in a newsletter I get and almost didn't look at it. What a joy I would have missed! Here you go and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Tomorrow is Veteran's Day. Please take a moment to thank a veteran, no matter what you think of war. They have sacrificed more for you than anyone other than God.

by Joseph Walker

As a high school senior in the early 1970s, there were a lot of places I wanted to go: Europe, Hawaii, backstage at a Chicago concert, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders locker room. But there was one place I actually had a chance of going where I definitely didn't want to go.


Don't get me wrong. I was as patriotic as the next guy. I loved my country. I was almost an Eagle Scout. And I could play a version of "The Star Spangled Banner" on my tuba that could bring tears to your eyes. At least, it brought tears to my band teacher's eyes.

And it wasn't that I had strong feelings one way or the other about the morality of the war. I registered for the draft like I was supposed to when I turned 18, and I wasn't thinking about burning my draft card or moving to Canada or anything like that. The fact is, I didn't know all that much about the war's political implications, and I didn't really care -- not like I cared about my '62 Caddy, my collection of Neil Diamond records and somehow getting a date with a cute little sophomore named Becky.

When it comes right down to it, I didn't want to go to Vietnam because... well, there just isn't any other way to say this -- I was scared. Scared of the jungle. Scared of the Viet Cong. Scared of napalm. Scared of Agent Orange. Scared of Russian weapons. Scared of body bags. Scared of being injured. Scared of being killed. Scared of my high draft number.

Of course, that wasn't my public position. As far as everyone else was concerned, I was just really focused on getting my college education. And doing some volunteer work for my church. And getting married and starting a family. All of which was true. But the cold, hard fact of the matter was, I was interested in those things because they were a lot less frightening than Vietnam -- notwithstanding the prospect of finals, homesickness and potty training.

So it was hard to know what to say when my high school classmate, John, told me he had joined the Marines and would likely be shipping out to 'Nam before the school year was out.

"They can't do that, can they?" I asked, worried almost as much for him as I was for me. "Don't they have to let you graduate from high school first?"

"I'm 19, almost 20," he said, shrugging his shoulders. He smiled at the puzzled look on my face. "I got held back a year," he said, smiling. "Maybe two, I don't remember." Suddenly I felt less embarrassed about how easily he had pinned me during a 9th grade wrestling tournament. It looked like man against boy, because it was.

"Look," he said, "you know I've never been much good at this school stuff. About the only thing I'm any good at is fighting in the parking lot after football games. So I figure I might as well go someplace where they don't give you detention for fighting -- they give you medals."

For the first time in the six years I had known John, I saw peace in his eyes. Peace -- because he was going to war. It didn't make sense, but then, few things did those days. I just knew that John, the parking lot warrior, had found his nobility. He was willing to go someplace and do a job that a lot of us were unwilling to do. In fact, just the thought of going there and doing that scared some of us to death.

And that made him a hero -- at least, to me.

I don't know how many hoods have become heroes in the service of their country. But every Veteran's Day I think about John and others like him who fought for peace.
For their country, and for themselves.

-- Joseph Walker>

Post Surgery Update

Good morning friends,

I am now a week post-hysterectomy and finally get past a few hitches in the healing. There are many concerns with abdominal surgery and even more when the bowel tears in the process of the surgery. It has been repaired, but keeping the plumbing working with meds that work against the plumbing has been a bit of a challenge. Nausea was pretty intense as well,so the dr. prescribed a drug for that and I now feel nearly human. My energy levels are still reducedand that's OK. As long as I have no problems sleeping, I will sleep.

I admit to having cabin fever, though. The highlight of my day is when someone calls or comes by to check on me. It does matter. I am looking forward to going to the Empowerment Network monthly meeting this Saturday and seeing friends and making new ones. Perhaps if things go well next week, I can get back to actively mentoring my mentee. We'll see.

The dietary transitions are going fairly well. I can definitely tell when I've had wheat, though. The meal sits heavily on my stomach and gives me gastro issues. More convinced than ever that the changes I'm making will benefit my health greatly.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gotta Read The Labels

Since researching the effects of soy on endometriosis, I have made a commitment to go soy free. I must admit that of all of the dietary transitions I've made, this one is the one that is proving the hardest.

It seems that the food producers - in their never-ending quest to label things 'high protein" - are adding soy protein or lecithin to darn near everything. Even things that aren't remotely related to a soy product - like almond milk! The hubber went to the grocery store and bought me a bunch of gluten free, dairy free and he thought - soy free - products. Several of the products contained some form of soy. Not good. I have started keeping a list of the brands to avoid and why and we will have to refer to it and really carefully read labels. I do but the hubber is learning. He is wonderfully supportive so I appreciate his efforts in this journey.

For someone like me whose body goes into overdrive with estrogen, having an estrogen accelerator like soy is not a good thing.

This is definitely a learning experience.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This Week's Beautiful Spot on the Web

OK, I'm a day late and dollar short, but forgive me. I was wrapping up all of the loose ends before today's surgery. There will be no more posts from me until the end of the week. I expect to be home Thursday or Friday.

Without any further ado, here is this week's entry:

This beautiful blog just invites me in and feels like having a cup of tea with a good friend. Beautiful pictures, yummy recipes and wonderful conversation. Jump on over and give it a look! And don't forget to tell them that I sent you.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Name is Paulissa And I Am An Omnivore

I was given a good round of butt chewing over my use of the term vegetarian while still eating chicken occasionally. To put this into context, I have many friends who while eating vegetarian most of the time, enjoy the occasional fish or chicken dinner. Usually this occur once a month or so. Since they are more vegetarian than not (proportionally), they term themselves vegetarians. I never thought much of having to qualify it with a different term. I posted a link to a chicken recipe and the backlash and vitriol was swift and quite amazing. One woman told me that I would burn in hell for being so insensitive. It was certainly not meant to be offensive. Wow, really?????

To each his own but the vitriol for not using the term omnivore because chicken occasionally ends up on my menu. Oh the horror! I understand that the choice to eat or not eat meat is intensely personal and some people avoid it for moral objections, some people do it because they don't feel the food is safe, some decry cruelty and still others do it because their bodies rebel against the food. As for me, I am going gluten, soy and dairy free because those are the 3 things that contribute to endo and since there is no guarantee of no further adhesions even after the hysto tomorrow, I want to do what I can to keep from having any furtho endo surgeries. So. . .more plants and less processed foods and sugar figure into the mix with the side effect of weight loss.

I just don't believe in demonizing food and what people eat. Sure, some foods are healthier than others, but we have freedom of choice and should allow others to exercise theirs. For the record, I am not a big fan of labels. I believe they negate anything said after the label is used.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mentoring Moment:: Who's Learning The Most?

Last night, when David and I went to pick up my mentee (whom I will call Eliana for this post-not her real name), there were cop cars right next door and the cops were running through the yards after a suspect. According to my mentee's mom, right before we arrived the suspect ran through the yard - with the kids playing outside - with a gun.

We picked up Eliana so that I could work with her on her math and we could hang out. She hadn't eaten yet so we had a dinner of tortellini, sauce, bread and butter and veggies. She ate 2 helpings of everything! It was as though she hadn't eaten all day and for all I know, maybe she hadn't. I think that what I will do from now on is to get a backpack and send her home with a a backpack of food that can be shared amongst the kids. I can't stand the idea of them being hungry.

So we worked on her math, with the lessons being punctuated by banging the drum the number of times for the set of five that we were multiplying. For example: 3x5=hitting the drum 3 times and so forth. I think she got it. We'll see when I see her tomorrow and review again.

When we took her home, that was a little odd. We were about 10 minutes early and mom was nowhere to be found. Eliana's siblings said she left for a little bit and they thought that she went to the grocery store. None of the kids knew how to unlock the door and said that mom told them not to open the door even for someone they know. That knocked David for a bit of a loop. So we waited in the car for mom's return and let her go. David said, "The whole family dynamic and walking into a potentially dangerous situation was very odd." I told him that I knew when I began mentoring kids who have incarcerated parents or who are very high risk, that I would have some interesting (uncomfortable) experiences. The important thing is to remember that we don't know everything: we don't know what her dad is in jail for, we don't (yet) know what the food situation in the house is though I suspect that a single, unemployed mom w/ 5 kids struggles, and we can't judge because we don't know the full story. All we can do is to try and help. All but one of the children has a mentor (he's on a waiting list), so I don't want to step on a lot of toes.

I expect to grow and learn a lot through this experience and it will inform my decisions about CASA (court appointed special advocacy), family law and the juvenile justice system. These experience will guide those decisions.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Lovely Spot on the Web

I think that I am going to start a new Monday tradition here on Knotty Musings. Each Monday, I will spotlight a blog that features positive thoughts, beauty or helpful information. We could all use more peace and beauty in our lives, so today's blog is The Garden of thoughts by Dodinsky. Check it out here and if you are on Facebook, check out the lovely page there as well.!/thegardenofthoughtsbydodinsky

You will find a link to the blog in the blog roll at the right as well. Please tell your friends!

Back From the ER Side Trip

It is 8:45 here and I have not yet been to bed.

I just got home from 6 lovely hours at the ER. They did labwork to rule out any appendix/gallbladder issues, etc. They sent me home with Percocet and a recommendation to see the ob/gyn in the next 1-2 days to be checked further and to see if the surgery date can be moved up. I will call her later today. It's going to be a long day I think. The dr. told me, "It's all about managing the pain until you have your surgery at this point." I was somewhat surprised that they didn't do an ultrasound to check on the ovary, etc. I will be calling my gyn when the office opens at 9 to see if I can get in and to speak with her about moving the surgery date up.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What I've Been Up To

I have been pretty lax about blogging lately: Too much work, school, and community involvement.

Hmmmm let's see if I can catch you up without making this post exceptionally long. School is going well. I am taking Sociology this quarter. It is the pre-requisite for juvenile justice, a particular area of interest for me. I am taking the winter quarter off.

I have to have a hysterectomy on November 2nd. I have been struggling with endo for the past year (had one ovary removed last year) and none of the treatments have worked, so it is time to end the pain and bleeding and move on. I have begun the anti-candida way of eating, a mostly vegetarian, sugarless, soy free, dairy free and gluten free diet. The challenge of endo is that it usually combines itself with a trio of conditions: irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, and the endo itself. I hope to keep the endo from implanting itself again after surgery through proper nutrition. It is a healthier way of eating, so there will be benefits no matter what but I can't say it isn't challenging.

On the community involvement side of things, I had a very interesting meeting with 2 Supreme Court justices the other night to discuss juvenile and prison reform. I met with our NE Chief Justice and US Supreme Court Justice Thomas. Dinner went well and after grilling me and playing devil's advocate, both said that they were quite impressed with my arguments. Justice Heavican stated that life without parole began at about the same time that Supreme Court challenges to the death penalty started. The legislators realized that they needed a plan B. The problem is that plan B has become the norm. Justice Thomas stated that the feds imposed the sentencing rules and they have been most strictly adhered to in conservative states. They both feel that it is time for more rehabilitation and stated that the change has to occur on the state level with efforts such as the Coalition. Very exciting meeting. They both took my contact info, so we will see where that leads.

Other than that, I have been busy with the Neighborhood Accountability Board, a restorative justice program for non-violent offenders, Amachi mentoring (I mentor children who have a parent or sibling who is incarcerated) and working with my state senators to change the laws regarding life sentences without parole for those who commit their crimes under the age of 18.

I am, however, looking forward to the 6-8 week forced sabbatical that is the recovery time. It will be nice to only do what I want to do (other than checkups) during that time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Youthful Indiscretions?

Once again, Omaha is shaken by a senseless murder committed by our youth. Our youth, whom we are supposed to nurture and whom are supposed to be our future. Four teens, aged 16-19 lured a pizza delivery person to a vacant apartment, robbed him of $25 and stabbed him to death.

I'm finding this to be such a tough moral issue: I sit on both sides of the juvenile justice issue - on the restorative (preventive) side as a Neighborhood Accountability Board member and on the after the fact side as part of the Coalition for Fair Sentencing of Youth. It's kind of hard to argue that we shouldn't sentence to life without parole when youths kill over $25.

Society and religious tenets tell us that once a child is past the age of reason (generally considered to be 3 years old), that he or she is able to reason, to understand consequences, to know right from wrong. Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005), abolished executions for persons under the age of 18 (the age is determined at the time of crime, not the trial date) based on the idea that the brain of a youth continues to develop until age 18.

One out of every ten arrested teens has committed a violent act (National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center). Homicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24. Teens are bombarded with images of violence, not just in video games and movies, but in their own neighborhoods. Many teens experience fear and violence at home before they even step out onto the street.

When a teen is involved in a violent crime and sent to a juvenile justice facility, he is often delivered from one hostile environment to another, despite the juvenile court's supposed role as the "court of rehabilitation". The gang loyalties and disputes that plagued his neighborhood in the outside world still exist behind razor-wire fences and thick steel doors. Were the court truly a court of rehabilitation, states would not see so many repeat offenders whose crimes intensify until the system is finally able to deal with them because they committed a murder.

So. . .what do we do folks? For those who say fry them, NE repealed the electric chair in favor of lethal injection. In addition, there is no death penalty for those who commit their crimes when they are under the age of 18, per the US Supreme Court because science shows that the brain of a youth is still developing through age 18, including reasoning skills. This is the same reason that the Supreme Court has overturned life in prison without parole except in the case of murder for those who committed their crimes under the age of 18.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

When I'm All Grown Up and Can Do What I Please

When I’m grown up and can do I what I please

Karen Lungu
The Daily Record

“Animal crackers and cocoa to drink. That is the finest of suppers, I think; when I’m grown up and can do I what I please, I think I shall always insist upon these.” These are the first lines of a poem printed on coffee mugs one of my college roommates –and dear friend - and I shared. When Lavonne and I went off to college, we had $225 between us, a popcorn maker and a case of chocolate mint soda - a short-lived flavor found at the Piggly Wiggly.

Fast friends since elementary school, we were thrilled to be all grown up to do what we pleased - well, sort of. We quickly procured on-campus jobs. Because we were not quite as grown up as we thought, our dorm room was decorated with generous hand-me-downs from the women’s group at our church and knick-knack treasures we found traipsing the aisles of the local Five and Dime (yes, there were Five and Dime’s back then, complete with soda fountains, where one could sit on a sticky, vinyl bar stool, twirling and sipping a frosty Brown Cow.) It was at this store I found our mugs. Taking the verses to heart, our room never was without animal crackers and cocoa. We spent many a marathon evening with our steaming cups, sitting cross-legged on a dorm bed, crying over one another’s break-ups and laughing over the make-ups.

After graduating, I moved away, but we stayed in touch, both of us marrying, raising families and exchanging Christmas letters and school photos.

Now, we were all grown up to do what we pleased – well, not quite.

Thanks to social networking, Lavonne and I keep in closer touch than in years past, and though our faces have a few more lines and our heads are slightly grayer, we still aren’t as grown up as we’d like.

This hit home a few months ago when the carpet guy came out to show me carpet samples. Though I gazed longingly at the ones I especially liked, I finally pointed to the darkest stain on my carpet and told him to match that. He thought I was kidding; I wasn’t. He matched it and I’ve since discovered there are darker stains.

When I’m all grown up and can do what I please, I will not buy brown towels for the bathroom just because I don’t want to wonder why my white ones are grayer after my teenage sons have showered. When I’m grown up can have what I please, I won’t need a snow shovel to get from one end of my daughters’ room to the other.

When I’m all grown up and can have what I please, I will not have three open grape jelly jars with various expiration dates sitting in my refrigerator next to two open mayonnaise jars and a 16-month old pickle jar with one pickle, and my bathroom sink will not be littered with five half-used tubes of toothpaste. I will not need a putty knife to scrape my microwave; I will not have petrified orange peels under my couch; or gray-fuzzy apple cores behind the entertainment center.

When I’m grown up and can have what I please, my garden won’t be sorely neglected because I’m trying to fill a dishwasher, write a bill, e-mail my editor and make tacos at the same time.

My freezer won’t groan under the weight of school and sports schedules and reminder cards for dental appointments, and I won’t find moldy swim towels behind the bunk beds. When I’m grown up and can do what I please, I will watch French movies with sub-titles, instead of wincing at the sophomoric humor of masterpieces with titles like “Hot-tub Time Machine.”

When I’m grown up and can have what I please, I will have my own socks and not the mismatched, misshapen ones my sons keep wearing. And, I will not walk in the front door to 24 big, stinky shoes that I insist my kids remove in my feeble attempts to keep an unstained carpet.

And, when I’m all grown up and can have what I please, I will sit sipping my cocoa, eating my animal crackers, and I will miss every one of these things.

(By the way, Lavonne, I think we look great.)

Karen Lungu can be reached at

Friday, August 13, 2010

No I Didn't Fall Off The Face of the Earth

Hello everyone,

I haven't been updating here regularly so I think some news is long overdue. First things first, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, though I have been busy.

Classes are now finished for the quarter and I'm reasonably certain that I will get an A in Criminal Law & Procedure. I will know for sure next Friday. Now I have 3 glorious weeks without classes to relax and catch up on leisure activities - spending time with friends, moving recipes from my yahoogroup to the porch sitting blog, crocheting, reading for PLEASURE, etc.

I've been dipping my toe into juvenile justice issues and trying to make a difference in that arena. The mentoring program is slowly getting off the ground and articles of incorporation will be filed by October, if not sooner.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shutting off the Critical Voice

Shutting off the Critical Voice

There are soooo many lessons in life, some harder... than others. You'd think that learning to love yourself would be one of the simpler ones, right? I don't think so. The reason being, that learning to love oneself, requires SO much unlearning. Every time someone else called us stupid, or lazy, or fat, or ugly, or naive, or boring, or crazy, or whatever, we put that away somewhere in our brain, and in our heart. And the more times we heard these negative things, the more we didn't even need to hear it from anyone else anymore. Every time we made a mistake, we could now be our own worst critic, and call ourself all of those names, without even realizing we'd said it - the brain thinks on average 60,000 thoughts a day. We don't even notice when "I'm so stupid" goes through our brain.

Well, we can stop this, and I KNOW it can be done, because I've been working on it for a few years myself. What's required, is living a little more mindfully, and paying attention to our thoughts. At first, the critical voice might be rambling for a few days, before we notice it. But once we notice it, we can backtrack to see where the negativity started. We can source the original thought that started the slide into negative self thinking. We become conscious of what we are thinking. And the more we do this, slowly but surely, the more quickly we will catch the negative voice, and stop it in it's tracks. I'm usually no further than a few sentences in, at most, now. And when I catch myself doing it, I immediately take the the time, to replace those comments with the positive opposite. If I'm calling myself "lazy", I may not at first believe I'm "a go getter", but as I keep saying it, I become it. And if I take the time to look at all the things I get done in a day, or in a week, hell ya, I'm a go getter!

Perhaps the hardest time for me to shut the voice off, is when I look in the mirror. So, instead of not looking in the mirror to shut off the voice, I went and got a big full length mirror, so i could see my entire self in it. And then, before I looked at myself in it, I painted it purple, and attached butterflies and flowers, and sparkles to it, and I made the mirror itself a piece of my own artwork, and something I wanted to look at. And now, every time I stand in that mirror, I am surrounded by my own creation, something separate from myself, but still a part of me, that I consider beautiful. And in my nakedness, every day, I look into that beautiful mirror, as I am surrounded by flowers and butterflies, and tell myself how beautiful I am. And I name my parts, and say outloud how beautiful each is. And I smile at myself. I just stand there and smile at myself, and remind myself that I am a beautiful child of God, and I am EXACTLY as God created me, and God CANNOT create anything less than perfection, He/She doesn't know how. I didn't believe myself at first, the negative voice wanted to call me a liar. But I kept doing it. And slowly but surely, I began to believe parts of my affirmations. And with a bit more time, I began to believe all of affirmations. I still have a LONG way to go with self love, and there are so core issues that still block me, but that's ok, with the improvement I've seen by just sticking with it, I'll never stop, probably not even when I AM living the Goddess life, that I know is mine to receive.

*looking into my mirror*

I am beautiful
I am perfect in all of my imperfections
I am intelligent
I am creative and a co-creator with God/dess
My body is a temple of health and wholeness
I am a beloved child of God/dess
By birthright, I am divine
I love me

~ Tracey Rogers

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Peeking Across Humanity, Across the Ages, We Find What Is Important

This is very interesting reading, especially in terms of religious tolerance. We have more in common across beliefs than we are often willing to admit or to investigate.

Bahá'í Faith:
"Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not." "Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself." Baha'u'llah
"And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself." Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. 1

"This is the sum of Dharma [duty]: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you". Mahabharata, 5:1517 "

"...a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?" Samyutta NIkaya v. 353
Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." Udana-Varga 5:18

"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12, King James Version.
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Luke 6:31, King James Version.
"...and don't do what you hate...", Gospel of Thomas 6. The Gospel of Thomas is one of about 40 gospels that circulated among the early Christian movement, but never made it into the Christian Scriptures .

"Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you" Analects 15:23
"Tse-kung asked, 'Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?' Confucius replied, 'It is the word 'shu' -- reciprocity. Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.'" Doctrine of the Mean 13.3
"Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence." Mencius VII.A.4

Ancient Egyptian:
"Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do." The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, 109 - 110 Translated by R.B. Parkinson. The original dates to circa 1800 BCE and may be the earliest version of the Epic of Reciprocity ever written.

“This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.” Mahabharata 5:1517

"None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." Number 13 of Imam "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths." 3

"Therefore, neither does he [a sage] cause violence to others nor does he make others do so." Acarangasutra 5.101-2.
"In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self." Lord Mahavira, 24th Tirthankara
"A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated. "Sutrakritanga 1.11.33

"...thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.", Leviticus 19:18
"What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary." Talmud, Shabbat 31a.
"And what you hate, do not do to any one." Tobit 4:15 4
Native American Spirituality:
"Respect for all life is the foundation." The Great Law of Peace.
"All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One." Black Elk
"Do not wrong or hate your neighbor. For it is not he who you wrong, but yourself." Pima proverb.

Roman Pagan Religion:
"The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves."

"The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form" Munetada Kurozumi
"Be charitable to all beings, love is the representative of God." Ko-ji-ki Hachiman Kasuga

“Compassion-mercy and religion are the support of the entire world". Japji Sahib
"Don't create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone." Guru Arjan Devji 259
"No one is my enemy, none a stranger and everyone is my friend." Guru Arjan Dev : AG 1299

"The basis of Sufism is consideration of the hearts and feelings of others. If you haven't the will to gladden someone's heart, then at least beware lest you hurt someone's heart, for on our path, no sin exists but this." Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order.

"Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss." T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien.
"The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful." Tao Teh Ching, Chapter 49.

Unitarian Universalism:
"The inherent worth and dignity of every person;"
"Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.... "
"The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;"
"We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." Unitarian principles. 1,2

"An it harm no one, do what thou wilt" (i.e. do whatever you will, as long as it harms nobody, including yourself). This is called the Wiccan Rede

Yoruba: (Nigeria):
"One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts."

"That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself". Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5
"Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others." Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29

Some philosophers' statements are:
Epictetus: "What you would avoid suffering yourself, seek not to impose on others." (circa 100 CE)
Kant: "Act as if the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a universal law of nature."

Plato: "May I do to others as I would that they should do unto me." (Greece; 4th century BCE)

Socrates: "Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you." (Greece; 5th century BCE)

Seneca: "Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your superiors," Epistle 47:11 (Rome; 1st century CE)

Examples from moral/ethical systems are:

"...critical intelligence, infused by a sense of human caring, is the best method that humanity has for resolving problems. Reason should be balanced with compassion and empathy and the whole person fulfilled." Humanist Manifesto II; Ethics section.

"(5) Humanists acknowledge human interdependence, the need for mutual respect and the kinship of all humanity."

"(11) Humanists affirm that individual and social problems can only be resolved by means of human reason, intelligent effort, critical thinking joined with compassion and a spirit of empathy for all living beings." 3

"Don't do things you wouldn't want to have done to you, British Humanist Society.

"20: Try to treat others as you would want them to treat you." This is one of the 21 moral precepts that form the moral code explained in L. Ron Hubbard's booklet "The Way to Happiness."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Native Divide: Serving Culturally Diverse Populations

Native Divide: Serving Culturally Diverse Populations

Paula Kipp

Metropolitan Community College

America has long been viewed as a melting pot, a place where the world’s tired, poor and abused sought refuge and a better life. The weaving together of diverse cultures into a shared heritage is often thought to be what makes America great. The main principle that “all men are created equal” as stated in the Declaration of Independence is still a draw, over 200 years later.

Yet the nation’s 4.9 million American and Alaskan Indians might beg to differ. (US Census Bureau, 2009). Equitable social services, strong families, and the pursuit of happiness through economic independence have largely detoured around reservations. A predominant reason is the importance placed upon retaining the Native American cultural identity, which has been a mixed blessing. The social worker who wishes to work with the American Indian and Alaskan population must have a good grasp on the proud traditions and tribal law that keep tribes rooted in poverty.

Lila Downs discovered a renewed connection with her cultural identity while completing her Census form. A member of the Mixtec tribe, one of 16 tribes residing in Oaxaca, Mexico, Lila has experienced a crisis of identity depending on who’s asking about her hometown. Downs explains that due to societal bias against Native Americans and Mexicans, she would deny her Mexican heritage in the U.S. and her Indian heritage in Mexico. Mixed ethnicity has proven both a curse and a blessing. The denial of heritage, Downs believed, opened more doors and prevented awkward moments with others. While studying anthropology in college, Downs experienced Oaxacan weaving and found her identity. When Oaxacan women weave, they weave a symbol of historical significance into the fabric. The realization that she was on this earth to make a mark has led Downs to embrace her multicultural heritage. (Downs, 2010).

Cecelia Fire Thunder, the first female President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, can attest to cultural challenges that exist even within the tribal unit. “The arrival of the Europeans to this land was the beginning of the end of Native people’s way of life and the destruction of their culture. They insisted on converting Native peoples to Christianity, often forcefully, which resulted in changing the structure of the Native family and community.” (Cox, 2010).

It could be argued that Native American marriage customs have further contributed to the disparity in gender equality and the overrepresentation of American Indian children in the foster care system. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2007 there were 537,500 American Indian and Alaska Native families in the U.S. While sixty percent were married-couple families with children, less than half of those parents live with their biological children. A higher share of Native American births is to a never-married mother (58.4% compared to 33.2% for the US as a whole). The Native American teen birthrate is twice the rate of non-Native American teens.

While Native American culture places great emphasis on family, the expectation of marriage is not a cultural norm. Likewise, the definition of what constitutes “marriage” differs from tribe to tribe. The Navajo, for example, use the clan concept which could best be described as “it takes a village to raise a child”. In the Navajo tribe, elders engage in child rearing and pass on traditions to the young. As a result of ambiguous definitions of marriage, it is hard to measure the rates of out of wedlock birth rate. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007).

Angela Fasana, director of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde CASA Program, points out that governmental policies intended to change the Native American way of life have contributed to poverty, unemployment and other ills. According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, American Indian/Alaska Native children experience a rate of child abuse and neglect of 16.5 per 1,000 compared to 10.8 for Caucasian children. They also account for 1.6 times the non-Native American rate of child abuse cases.

From the early 1800s through the early 1970s, policies which aimed to “tame” American Indian children resulted in nearly 35% of Native children being placed in foster care by the 1970s. Placements were not made with the cultural identity of the child at heart. The Indian Child Welfare Act, passed in 1978, mandated that children be placed in homes that keep the cultural customs alive and safeguards citizenship within the tribe. Yet nearly 4 decades later, the act is unfunded and tribes are largely responsible for enforcement. Many tribes, however, fight lack of resources. Because tribes are considered sovereign, they can pass their own laws. Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, has recognized the need for advocacy in the tribal courts and volunteers receive the both standard and additional cultural training. The ability to build relationships within the tribe and to understand the tribe’s policies, as well as open-mindedness and a willingness to learn is one of the strongest benefits a child can have besides a sense of belonging.

The American melting pot has long accepted many nationalities and expected assimilation in return. The cultural genocide of the Indian culture has existed over many generations. Racism, poverty, incarceration and abuse have contributed to the genocide. Social workers and other helpers, through understanding and advocacy can help return these proud people to their right place of honor.


Austin, Lisette. (2009, winter). Serving Native American children in foster care. The Connection. Retrieved from

.Cox, Dolores. (2010, March 31). Native women fight to reclaim equality. Worker’s World. Retrieved from

Downs, Lila. (2010, April 13). Identity is about leaving a mark, a sign, a sound. CNN. Retrieved from

Infoplease. (2009). American Indians: Census Facts. Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease. Retrieved from

National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. (2007). Marriage in the Native American community. Retrieved from