Wise Women Won't Wait Any More

Wise Women Won't Wait Any More

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Wow! What an Army Nurse!

By Faith Chatham Feb. 15, 2018

An article in the Longview News Journal earlier this month discounted US Texas 1st District Democratic Primary congressional candidate Dr. Shirley J. McKellar, PhD, RN, Maj. (ret) as "just an Army Nurse."

My response is:
McKellar has created more jobs in East Texas than most governmental programs. In addition the two businesses mentioned in this article, she is responsible for helping meet the mental health needs of 12 East Texas counties military families and veterans. As an officer on the Veterans Administration Mental Health Advocacy Council, she is "at the table" fighting to restore cuts to women's mental health services and to expand mental health services for all veterans. 

Instead of just talking about supporting veterans, McKellar puts her talent and personal resources into helping veterans. Last year she attended a ribbon cutting for a housing complex in Dallas for Homeless Veterans. She asked: "How can we get a similar one in East Texas." She did not let the current party of the majority of Congress or the current occupants of the  White House deter her. She pulled together a steering committee of local stakeholders, donated some of her own land, and worked diligently with HUD and the VA to "make it happen." On March 3rd there will be a ground breaking for the new complex in Smith County where homeless veterans can use their VA Benefits to buy their own condos.

For 20 years she operated an early childhood education center in Tyler which provided care and education until midnight 7 days a week for infants through 13 year olds. When she was deployed to the Middle East that facility closed. However, she has tracked the progress of the children they served. EVERY child served by that center has graduated from High School and gone to college. One is currently in law school. That program could serve as a pilot program for how to do it right!

Shirley McKellar understands that the more responsibility you have the more you don't know which you need to know. Therefore she is always learning. She has a PhD in nursing, a MS in Criminal Justice and has almost completed a masters in Political Science.

Her expertise in economic development, small business incubation, job creation and non-profit organization equips her to serve the people of this district. During Mr. Gohmert's tenure the unemployment rate and number of persons living in poverty in most of the district has escalated. Shirley McKellar listens to people, verifies and researches, collaborates and brings solutions that serve people. This is the leadership we need in Congress. 

Someone with the Longview News referred to her as "just an Army Nurse!" 
--She is "just an army nurse" who implemented much of the women's health care for the US Military in the European Theatre. 
--She is just an army nurse who established the only comprehensive breast center in the US Military serving men and women. 
--She is just the army nurse who partnered with UT Medical School to determine why the mortality rate for men and women of color who have breast cancer is significantly greater than for white women and to look for treatments which give better outcomes. 
--She is also the Army Nurse who co-founded (with UT Medical School) the African American Breast Cancer Awareness. 

Somehow, I think the best outcome for East Texas in 2018 is for Louie Gohmert to be replaced with this "just an army nurse!"

Donate to Shirley McKellar for Congress at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/justarmynurse?refcode=ArmyNurse

Friday, February 9, 2018

TCBD 2018 Virtual Town Hall - Part 1

By Faith Chatham Feb. 9, 2018
I was honored to be present when this town hall was videotaped. These six women are running for U.S. Congress in 2018 in the Democratic Primary in Texas. All except Dallas Councilwoman Carroway are running in districts currently occupied by GOP incumbents.

This year there are Democrats running in all of the Congressional Districts in Texas. Most of these women are in contested primaries.

If you are a woman or if you are a veteran or if you are a person of color, you have only 20% representation in the US Congress.  These women are articulate, accomplished, compassionate,  informed, persistent fighters for what we need in our communities and nation. They are neither "out of touch" or uninformed. Any one of them will be an improvement over most of the current members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Please share this video with your friends.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Resistance and Insistence Poetry released by Wise Woman Press

By Faith Chatham -- Feb. 3, 2018

This is not our grandparents generation's volume of sonnets!

Not everyone can turn the frustrations and disgust we live through into poetry. San Antonio Tri Centennial poet, Carolyn Chatham's anthology of Resistance poetry is not a collection of flowery lyrics. She tells readers that "I am not the sweet old woman that you think I am." Her words flow from the place human beings encounter when they won't be quiet and take it any more.

The title "Those Bones That Float About" comes from the East Texas idiom used when a person looks you straight in the eye and says: "I've got a bone to pick with you!" These are not words that are used lightly, and they are not prompted by trivilities. They spring when harm has seeped past the coverings to the very foundations of our existence. Once picked dry,  they surface and cannot be hidden.

Released by Wise Woman Press  Carolyn's book, Those Bones That Float About, is available for pre-order on  on Amazon.com, at https://bit.ly/CarolynChatham.

School shootings, fires in California, Hurricane Harvey, gender, racial, economic and immigration discrimination inspire her poetry. One poem, Let's Make America Great Again, is to Colin Kaepernick.

Let’s Make America Great Again

Let’s make America great again,
bring back those good old days.
A man was head of his household.
Kids all toed the line.
A boy could be a boy and fight,
and we all got along just fine.
A man could be a man back then
so long as he was white.

Make America great again,
Let’s put the lid back on.
A baby every year or so
will keep those women home.

Plenty of eager hands back then
to mow our lawns and clean.
No laws to tell us who to hire,
or serve or educate.

Let’s make America great again,

restore the proper order.
Let’s keep those undesirables
on their side of the border.

Let’s make America great again,
bring back the holocaust.
The hanging trees are yearning for
the fruit that they have lost.

I will not stand for this,
This living in the past.
It's not "make America great again."
It's make her great at last.
I will not stand for this.

Take a knee, America.
We should not stand for this.

© 2017 Carolyn Chatham Used by Permission

In The Commander-in-Chief Eats Cake, she makes her opinion of the current resident of the White House clear.

The Commander-in-Chief Eats Cake

The Commander-in-Chief eats cake and smacks his lips, commenting how great it is
from his Mar-Lago resort.
The dark chocolate and orange skin are Halloweenish,
a rotten pumpkin shell.
He shovels dark icing
down a pink throat between sniffs.
His pudgy fingers and reptilian tongue lick brown goop from his too small mouth
centered obscenely on his bloated tangerine face.

While he gorges on cake,
bombs level mountains in Afghanistan,
vaporizing people he has never met or talked with,
whose names he cannot pronounce.
People who may or may not have been terrorists.
People whose children, wives, nieces and nephews are now most certainly terrorists.

Unconcerned for life unlike his own,
he licks his fingers
and announces the “Mother of All Bombs”
has been dropped on Iraq.
Or was it Syria?
Or maybe Afghanistan?
Anyway, it was one of those countries
where he doesn’t have a hotel
and where the people aren’t pink and orange like him
and nobody is asking about his ties to Russia today.

He is a spectacle, an alien thing, surely not human.
He belongs in a side show or science laboratory,
an alien life-form to be studied
then sent back to its cell,
and safely locked away.

© 2017 Carolyn Chatham Used by Permission

Monday, July 24, 2017

Since when does taking Medicaid away from children promote education?

By Faith Chatham - July 24, 2017

A lot of heresies come out of the Texas Legislature. We've watched legislators who claim to be "pro-life" ignore infant mortality and maternal mortality. We've watched a man who was already indicted for Security Fraud "serve" as Attorney General. We've seen time wasted during the regular session.  Now we are seeing the special session crammed with so many different items that it distracts people's attention and focus.

Yet, it is impossible to ignore what they are considering, and what they are proposing.
1. The Texas Teachers' Retirement Fund had been grossly underfunded for a VERY VERY long time. Teachers continue to elect Republicans who continue to refuse to fund it. This year some of Austin's "finest" elected officials decided to try to placate teachers by proposing a $1000 a year pay increase which was to come out of the local school districts' funds. Teachers did the right thing. They showed up in force and said: "No Way!" You haven't restored the funding you stole from the schools several sessions ago. They said: Fix our Retirement fund. Restore school funding.

2. In the Special Session they have already backed away from taking it out of local school funds. An alternate proposal was to transfer fund from Medicaid under Health and Human Services to fund the $1000 teachers' pay raise. Ooops. Thankfully, teachers are more concerned for children than many of our legislators. They know that many of the most underserved children in our state rely on Medicaid for speech therapy, and other critical rehabilitate services! The teachers said: NO Way! Don't make these children suffer to fund this pay raise. RESTORE OUR RETIREMENT FUND!

3. The Legislature is attacking the right to organize. They have a proposal on the table to prevent payroll deductions for union dues. The bill would exempt first responders. The First Responders have objected. They know that if they are exempted this year, they may not be exempted next session. They do not like being placed in a special class while all other unions and associations are discriminated against by the legislature!  Teachers and First Responders have already shown up in Austin for this special session saying: NO WAY.

The Legislature hasn't fixed anything so far in this special session. They have proposed things which will things worse.

After yesterday's Senate Hearing they seem to have backed away from forcing local school district to fund a $1000 a year raise for the teachers and they have probably backed away from transferring money from the Medicaid fund, but they have not done anything substantial to fix teacher retirement. They have not dedicated any of the state's funds to funding a deserved raise for the teachers. They have not restored the money they stole from schools a few years ago. They are basically saying: We'll give whatever is LEFT OVER after we compete the budget to schools.  Gee. When they don't have enough to go around, that is a really lame proposal. We'll be sure to give NOTHING toward solving problems they have ignored for much too long.

4. Funding Special Education - The same legislators who propose cutting Medicaid funding for children propose allowing several thousand dollar stipends for parents to choose private schools for special needs children. If the child goes to public school the funding will be only $500 per child!!! Here, is the cherry on the cake -- the real zinger: the private schools for special needs children will have no standards
basically they made suggestions that any reasonable public servant would know would be unacceptable to reasonable Texans. This is a ploy to make it appear that they tried to solve a few of the problems which they have ignored for decades. However, it was not -- it is not a good faith effort. They deserve to be called out for such a pathetic show with has no substance.

5. Infant mortality and maternal mortality are both higher in Texas than in any place in the developed world. A child born in Texas is six times more likely to die in the first year than a child born in California. A woman who gives birth in Texas is six times more likely to die within a year of giving birth than a woman who gives birth in California. California has addressed factors which impact infant and maternal mortality. Texas has "studied it." They are discussing studying it some more but many of the men don't even want to study it. None of them are pushing to implement solutions which have been proven to help keep new born and their mother's alive. One bit problem is that women who are on Medicaid only have 90 days of post-natal care and the rate of death in many new mothers occurs during the first 6 months after birth. Follow-up medical care can prevent some of these deaths. Many of the very same politicians who play to the Pro-Life Crowd and fight against abortion the most publically lead the charge to limit funding for Medicaid and vote against funding initiatives to address the infant and maternal mortality crisis in this state.

Old people, poor people, and children with special needs to seem to be consistent targets for Republican legislators. When Special Education programs work they get defunded.

The bill hasn't passed yet. It should not pass. It should not have even been proposed. These guys in Austin should be watched. We need to watch them closely, like you'd watch a rabid dog. The things they propose have the same impact as bite from rabid dog.

There is nothing Pro-Life about refusing to solve our state's infant mortality and maternal mortality problems. There is nothing pro-life about refusing children and old folks decent medical care. There is nothing pro-life about refusing to fund speech therapy and physical therapy for special needs children. There is nothing pro-life about stealing money from school children and transferring what little funding there is to private institutions who are not given any guidelines.

If the people who were proposing this were totally stupid, we could attribute it to that. Instead they are callous and self-serving. They must be watched. It is our responsibility to see that they are replaced by human beings who have hearts to serve, and compassion, and determination to solve problems for every man, woman and child in this state. When one of them claims to be pro-life and votes to slap down those who are struggling, those who are literally gasping for breath, we need to slap them down.  We need to be sure that every citizen of Texas recognize them as the duplicitous cold-hearted wasteful pathetic panderers that they are.

Friday, May 26, 2017

I Love Congressman Al Green

By Faith Chatham - May 26, 2017

During the past few years, I've had numerous occasions to "cross paths" with Congressional incumbents from Texas.  One stands out. Congressman Al Green won me over several years ago by being exceptionally gracious. I appreciated how easy it seems for him to extend himself  for other people. I've seen him encourage other candidates who are running for Congress. I've seen him step forward to put in a word to help others get podium time, even if their war chests were light and their name recognition a "work in progress." Once a challenger becomes our party's nominee, you'd think that incumbents would do what they could to help them defeat obnoxious GOP incumbents. However, I find that is not the norm. Most incumbent ignore challengers, even after they win their primaries. I've never seen Congressman Al Green snub a challenger. I appreciate that enormously.

I have always found Congressman Al Green to be exceptionally gracious, very intelligent, and solid through and through.  When I look at how members of Congress vote, I'm never surprised by Al Green's voting record. He is consistent. He's for Civil Rights, Human Rights, good affordable education, people having good health care, children and old people not going hungry, and good jobs for everyone and everyone getting paid good living wages in safe workplaces.

He doesn't seem to be a man who waste a lot of time with pretense. It is not necessary for him to spend a lot of time "forging a message." He is driven by a sincere desire to see people being treated fairly in business, in the courts, in the voting booth, in the community, in our schools. When it comes to gender discrimination and racial discrimination, whether in the workplace, education, pay, housing, or governmental contracts, I know how he'll vote. He always votes against it!

Al Green is truly passionate about policies which help people get and achieve what they need and deserve. He doesn't  have to think a lot about how what he says will sound. Instead he concentrates on how to get the job done. Instead of "forging a message", he practices doing everything he can consistently to further what is beneficial for the human beings in his district and across the Lone Star State and United States of America.

He's not a person who blows off his mouth to capture the news cycle. This past week, however, he emerged onto the national stage when he stepped forward and officially called for Impeachment Proceedings to begin in the House of Representative in examining the actions of President Donald Trump.  Others have discussed it. Others have tweeted about it. Others have posted videos about it. Congressman Green officially moved to get the Impeachment Process started.

When Congressman Green had seen enough. when he'd heard enough, when he knew enough,  he did not wait for others to discuss it for many more months. Instead, he stepped forward and called for the Impeachment against Donald Trump to begin, and he called for it to begin right now.

I am convinced that he isn't doing this to tear this nation down. He isn't doing this for partisan purposes. He has taken this action because he knows enough to realize that there is ample evidence to suggest keeping Donald Trump in the Oval Office is places our nation and her people in danger, and there are ample grounds for removing him for office. He knows that intelligence is being shared with governments which are adversaries, rather than close allies sharing our interests. Al Green understands the Constitution of the United States and he sees ample constitutional grounds for impeachment.

Some of the more violent supporters of Donald Trump have stepped forward showing the dark underbelly of racial rhetoric. His action has made him a target for hatred. His life is being threatened. The ugliness Donald Trump encouraged during the primary and general election validated some of the baser instincts in a segment of the American population. Congressman Green is receiving the full force of their wrath.

As for me, I am reminded that long before he stepped forward and called for the impeachment of a man I never thought should occupy the Oval Office, I already knew that "I love Al Green!"

In my estimation, of the people who occupy seats in the US Congress, Congressman Al Green is definitely among the creme of the crop. He is consistent. He never falters when it comes to the rights of people, the priorities which address needs of the people rather than feathering the nest of the large donors and members of Congress. He values the Constitution of the United States. He fights for justice for every person. He doesn't back down when he knows something is right. He doesn't pay lip service and lend support to those who harm vulnerable people or foster hatred, facism, or racism. He does not shy away from standing up and speaking up for what is right, and just and true and necessary, even when others remain silent. He respects people. When you respect people rather than power and money, your motivation differs from those who are motivated by their own ambition or for their own self advancement or profit.

I am thankful that Congressman Al Green, a man who doesn't normally seek the spotlight, emerges as a voice coming from the Lone Star State. I habitually monitor how the members of Congress from the Texas vote. I monitor what they say. Much of the time, most of the members, disappoint rather than inspire me, with their votes and their positions.  I suspect that until this past week, many people in the USA had never heard of him. Many from Texas, unless they are from the Houston area,  probably never heard of him. We have 22 media markets in Texas and do not hear a lot about most members of Congress from other parts of the state. It is good that people all over this nation heard from Al Green this week. It's much better to hear from Al Green than from Ted Cruz or Louie Gohmert!

My wish is that someday more people will associatae Al Green and his code of integrity with the Lone Star State instead of the antics of blowhards like Ted Cruz, Louie Gohmert, Rick Perry  and Joe Barton.

Al Green reflects the values of the state I grew up in much more than the selfish, stingy immoral, so called "moral majority" Freedom Caucus.

The Texas that I grew up in is where neighbors lend a hand up to neighbors and strangers when we know they need it. Seeing that value trashed is heartbreaking.

Instead of the "we can do it together" attitude, there is a cancer of faux religiousity which calls for more to be hungry, less to have health care, separating parents from children in the name of national security even when the parents have not broken any laws except for coming here, fewer to afford good education and job training, and for women to work for less pay than men who do the same jobs. A culture of discrimination and intimidation instead of justice and keeping the peace erodes our communities. Many in the Texas Legislature and US Congress favor policies which validate the worst instincts of some of our citizens. Al Green fights against such policies. He is a consistent voice speaking up for equality, fairness, justice, opportunity. My dad would say that what Congressman Green says and proposes is just plain old "common sense" or good old Texas style "horse sense." It makes such sense that it is amazing that so many people fail to comprehend the wisdom and necessity for creating a nation where our policies enable more people to succeed economically instead of making it harder for them!

If thinking about what is going on in Washington depresses you, then I recommend that you start following Congressman Al Green. It will show you that we still have some "good eggs" who aren't spoiled and worthless in the House of Representative. If you need to regain a little faith that Texas can send good people to Congress, then start watching Al Green. You'll see that  some of them still persist in doing what they were sent to Washington to do -- fight for policies which preserve the Constitution, are just to everyone, and which uses the treasury and powers of this nation for all of the people!  If you are tired of those who hog the  limelight and who knock others out of the way to get to onto the front row for photo ops, watch Al Green.  You'll probaby have to google a bit to find mention of him because he is  a man who focuses on getting the job  done for the people instead of posing for photo ops and pulling stunts to grab the news cycle.  I find that exceptionally refreshing. This old Texas gal is comforted to know that Texans have Rep. Al Green in the U.S. House of Representatives. I think the more you get to know him, you'll grow comforted knowing that he's in Congress. He's a man who instead of thumping the Bible and posturing as a "Christian", puts into practices some of the teachings we learned in Sunday School: "care for the orphans and windows," "extend hospitality to strangers", "heal the sick", "do not oppress the poor", "feed the hungry."

Manners + Intelligence = Necessities for Diplomacy

By Faith Chatham - May 26, 2017

Watching footage of President Trump's trip to the Middle East is painful. The reactions of world leaders who encountered him as he pushes himself forward, rudely pushing the President of another nation out of the way to be on the front row during a photo op says a lot about his vast lack of personal skills. One cannot forge important alliances with rudeness. A lifetime of exerting himself to the detriment of all others around him, works against him when he is thrust on the international stage. Instead of concentrating on the art of closing "the deal", he'd be better served to have manner instilled in him so that they are second nature. Habitually refusing to be respectful to those he encounters in the daily course of his business and personal life is magnified when he is in the presence of heads of state who are accustomed to diplomacy and protocol.

It is unlikely that gains are made in important alliances when those who are the decision makers for those nations watch and cringe at the arrogance and ignorance of another world leader. No nation is so great that other nations have to embrace leaders who insult their leaders.

Lack of knowledge of world affairs, history, geography, and yes, basic manners, creats a chasm which defeats most attempted diplomatic endeavors.  In international affairs, most "deals" which need closing are accomplished through good will, trust and diplomacy.

Violating confidential intelligence sources, insult nations from podiums, and being rude to the heads of state of soverign nations defeats the purpose of any international "diplomatic" mission.  Getting your photo taken with a leader is not sufficient to bridge the gap when one's attitudes, actions, world view, and basic manners fall far short from the minimum acceptable standards for those who represent other nations.

The best favor any supporter of Donald Trump could give him would be an etiquitte book. It is obvious that this president of the United States missed many of the lessons most children learn in kindergarten.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Chocolate Fix

By Faith Chatham - May 16, 2017

This year, I've NEEDED Chocolate more than every before in my life.
I cannot keep anything chocolate here on hand. It gets consumed rapidly.

Last year I stumbled some packets of chocolate drink which were  "add milk" chocolate drinks. I found them very handy, then was unable to find them in stock in my local grocery stores. I discovered that they were nice when added to hot tea. I missed adding a third of  a packet to a cup of tea and to have a hearty drink. 

Now I've found another way to make a really good dark chocolate hot drink without milk.

Per Cup:
1 teaspoon of dark Hersheys powdered cocoa
1 cup of mild hot tea (spice or herbal is great)
Sweeten to taste

Brew the tea and add the dark cocoa and stir. Sweeten to taste.

1 to 2 tablespoons Hershey's drk chocolate cocoa
Pot of Hot Tea, brewed
Sweeten to taste

The beauty is that a box of Dark Chocolate usually lasts longer than brownies, chocolate cake or ice cream around my house. I have sensitivity to milk and can use it in moderation. By turning my tea into a rich hot chocolate drink, I get the comfort of hot chocolate without the calories of the addition of milk or other side effects.  Ofcourse, there is also the absence of the protein and calcium from the milk also. There are pros and cons to substituting tea for milk, but for some of us, it is a smart move.

At the very least, it gives us another chocolate option for that needed "fix" when everything else chocolate which was in the pantry or freezer is gone!

Dwelling in Caves Does Not Make a Family Terrorists!

By Faith Chatham - May 16, 2017
I've been researching the 1980s for background for a fiction work. It has taken me into the cave dwellers of Afghanisthan. I had an acquaintance in Grad School who was a refugee from a village where they lived in caves. Some of the men of the village had joined the resistance when the Soviets invaded. They were not terrorists, but people who were fighting for the lives of their families. They got caught up in the East/West Cold War dance for power between outside forces.

From what I've been reading lately, forty years later, displaced familes continue moving into  caves. These are not necessarily ISIS or terrorists as much as displaced folks needing housing following decades of warfare in their land. The idea that we'd drop a megabomb on caves assuming that those who dwelled there were ISIS is problematic for me. Yes, we know that terrorists have fleed to the remote areas to hide. But that does not mean that everyone there is a terrorist. That would be like saying that because people who commit crimes live in Arlington and sometimes avoid arrest by living in neighborhoods where they go undetected that everyone in those neighborhoods are criminals. It is absurd to justify bombing an entire apartment building because one person inside is a criminal. I would hate to have a bomb dropped on my apartment building to eliminate one or two shady people, whom many of us have never met or associated with even though he or they may live in close proximity to us.

Governments who do not weigh the cost of "collateral damage" are rogue. Refusal to acknowledge that people from other cultures are as important as we are is arrogance which leads to discounting the importance of respecting each and every life and doing everything we can to preserve the lives of those who are innocent, regardless of how cruel and despicable some may be who live near them.

One of the key differences in our culture is that individuals are judged based on each person's actions, not on family or tribal actions. We don't murder people because their father or sibliing or spouse is a murderer. We don't eliminate entire families because one member is dangerous. To do so is to become more dangerous than those we see as terrorists.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Quick and Easy Way to prepare Steamed Vegetables and Potato Soup at the Same Time

By Faith Chatham   March 26, 2017

Use a stove top double boiler steamer with lid

Wash 1/4 head of cabbage

Peel and slice i3 large sweet white onions into wedges

Wash and quarter 5 large red potatoes with skins

Wash 5 or 6 large fresh brussels sprouts

Wash and separate about a cup of broccoli into flowerettes

Put all vegetables into the top of the steamer

salt vegetables and splash with olive oil

Fill bottom of double broiler with water.

Cover and steam over heat until vegetables are tender.

Serve steamed vegetables

Turn the Vegetable Stock in the bottom of the broiler into Potato Soup

Before serving the steamed vegetables,
transfer 1/2 of the potatoes and 1/3 of the onions to the stock which is in the bottom of the double broiler.

Salt and pepper stock to taste.

Mash up the potatoes into smaller chunks with a fork

Add in Mashed Potato flakes to thicken until broth and vegetable mixture reaches potato soup consistency


I also like to add in a small amount of the broccoli for color

The soup can be served immediately or cooled and refrigerated to serve later. If refrigerated, when heated if soup is too thick, add water.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Never Underestimate A Fat Woman!

Faith Chatham Jan. 28, 2017

Message to Judge Bailey Moseley: Never underestimate a fat woman!

I have not seen Bailey Moseley since our high school days in the 1960s. However, my memory of him from those days doesn't place him in the category of lean and trim. I remember him as a studious, and rather non-descript teenager. Like most of us, he was a kid with potential and the average basket of adolescent flaws.

His tweet referring to the Women's March, if even if in jest, is unfortunate. Some folks inherit dna that makes being slim easier than the dna inherited by others. Personally, I am a fat woman. I thought of myself as a fat ugly person for the first thirty years of my life, even though photos of me as a teenager and young adult show that I was not particularly ugly and I was not fat. Now that I am old and I am definitely fat, I am strong enough to know my worth despite physical challenges.

I would LOVE to have been marching with those women but realized that mobility challenges would have made it more difficult that was prudent. Even though my feet were not actually marching, everything else about me was there marching with them, before, during, after and probably forever.

However, there is a lot that fat women, skinny women, young women, average women,old women, single women, married women, working women, stay home moms, stay home empty nesters, retired women, smart women, not exceptionally bright women, tall women, short women, white women, black women, immigrant women, native American women, Asian American women, Latina women, oh, and read this and know that it is true -- EAST TEXAS WOMEN, can do, whether we are in the streets, at our computers, out shopping, in public office, teaching, preaching, or merely the woman who you depend on to serve you coffee and pie.

Even though we were not "Buds" in HS, and I have not seen you in over 50 years, I really didn't think you were someone stupid enough to refer to one woman, let alone millions of women, as "FAT".
Any smart man knows better than to call any woman, even those of us who are of ample porportions, "FAT." Any smart person (of any gender) knows the force and determination of a pissed off woman. Most women, even those who are of perfect proportions (whatever that is). get pissed off when referred to as "FAT". Any smart person knows to be wary of a pissed off woman.

East Texas women are noted for being easy to get along with until they are disrespected. There is a level of tolerance folks get because smart people know to pick their battles and let certain things slide, up to a point. Then when someone steps over that line, and the tolerance ends, history demonstrates that is it wise to LOOK OUT. When things move beyond that line, there is something that happens. It's not planned. It's not premediated. When that watershed moment occurs and determination sets in, things happen. That's when talk stops and action takes over.

Since Bailey is from a long line of East Texas women, and his entire existence is dependent upon, and interconnected with, East Texas women, I trust that he is wise enough to realize that he is in exceptionally deep water. He had best begin dog paddling with all his might. College degrees, years on the bench, and membership in good ole boys clubs will not insulate him from encounters he cannot avoid by those who can wear velvet gloves, or boxing gloves, whenever and whereever he encounters them. If he hasn't been to confession lately, he'd probably better go. If he hasn't sought spiritual direction from a wise counselor lately, he probably should set down with one and seek a path out of the mire he has jumped into. He will need assistance from a power much greater than he is to get out of this one.

Best wishes Bailley. You are going to need every ounce of goodwill you can muster!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Quick And Easy Empty Nester Chicken and Dumplings

By Faith Chatham Jan. 25, 2017

Here is another cold weather quick and easy empty nester comfort food. This recipe is for one or two people. For one use two frozen buttermilk bisquits. For two servings use three frozen buttermilk bisquits.

Empty a large can of chicken with broth into a pan.

Add the bisquits and run both sides of the bisquit in the broth.

Sprinkle cracked black pepper generously over the top of the bisquits/broth mixture. (Do not add additional salt. The bisquits and broth has enough sodium)

Place in over and bake until biscuts are done.

Remove from oven. Cut biscuits into fourths before placing in bowl (s) to serve hot.

You get all the flavor of chicken and dumplins without the hard work.
This is a great way to get a serving or two instead of making a family size pot which will really tempt you to eat more than you should!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Watch Us Roar! We Will Not Be Silenced Anymore!

By Faith Chatham Jan. 21, 2017
Some people don't vote. Others vote and do nothing else. Then there comes a point where those who previously were silent step out and actively express their political views and determination. This is one of those watershed times when the genie will not go back into the box. Trump claims to represent a small sliver of America who professed to be the silent marjority. In reality, there are many women in the streets who had been silent.

We are the ones who were told not to discuss rape, sexual assault, incest, domestic violence, sexual harassment, work place discrimination, economic injustice. NO MORE. We have only just begun and you haven't seen anything yet. This is just to show you the tip of the iceberg of people who are standing shoulder to shoulder because we are fully Americans and will not be intimdated. We stand for ourselves and for those unable to stand up for themselves.
Across this nation and around the world we stand in solidarity. Bullies have told us we should unify. We are. It's not the unity you tried to force upon us. Instead of empowering the sexual predator we are standing for decency and justice.

Day 1 brought more people into the Washington Mall than were there for the Inauguration. Those numbers are multiplied by hundreds of thousands more in venues in cities across the nation. We have only just begun. Watch us roar. Watch us organize. Watch us alert others. Watch us enlist others. Watch us equip others. Watch us elect others. Watch us defeat others. Watch us change the culture and preserve what is worthy and revamp what is not!

We hold every individual who voted for Donald Trump accountable for every shred of damage he and his team does to this nation and the people of this country. Actions have consequences and as we bear the brunt of the consequences of your action, we are giving you a taste of what consequence your act has for you. It may be having to cook your own supper. It may be not having the comfort of our company, service or wisdom. It may be not having us spend our money in your firm or give you a job or contract. It may be you not being re-elect to public office. There are lots of consequence. Some will be public. Others will be private or even intimate. As your actions have multiple of consequences to many people,l pay back will take many forms. There are millions of women and enlighted men who are prepared to weigh the circumstance and act within the law to respond (react) accordingl

The one sure thing is that this is only the first cannon ball in the squimish Until Donald Trump and his "team" are out of the White House we will persiste. You'll probably be more relieved that we will be when he is finally out of office. Life is not returning to normal any time soon and we will not be the only people distressed.
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Monday, January 9, 2017

Choosing Dangerous over flawed

By Faith Chatham - Jan. 9, 2017

Sarah Lerner sums it up:
"“Perfect is the enemy of the good.”
Those are the words I keep coming back to after the improbable, yet all-too-cliche, election of Donald Trump. Of course we empowered the least qualified and most dangerous man to the highest office of the land. Because his female opponent wasn’t perfect."

In a similar vein, I have been struggling with the quandray of how people can sit in the same church pews, participate in the same liturgy, and internalize it in vastly different ways when it comes to applying faith to political action and social justice. Some of the most scripturall literate, generous, devout people I know voted for Donald Trump.

I know that if a man were to put his hands up the skirt of a woman in the church or a woman were to grope a man's crotch these very same individuals would be meeting with the Senior pastoral staff and lay leaders to ensure that such unacceptable behavior ceased, and that if the perperator had any position of authority, that role be terminated. However,, they were able to listen to the tapes where Donald spoke of groping women and of pursuing a married woman despite her not showing any interest in him. They voted for him despite over a dozen women coming forward and sharing that he had groped them.

I know these people would be furious if they learned that a pastor, or large donor, used their authority to be in the dressing room of teenagers when they were not fully clothed; yet these same people vote for him despite numerous accounts of him barging into the dressing room of beauty pagent contestants, includng teen contestants. They voted for him despite release of tapes where in his own words he explained that being able to be in the dressing room when beautiful women were undressed was one of the benefits of pagent ownership.

I find it impossible to process this and make sense of it. Among my closest associates, people I admire for truly living their faith by not only study, but by being generous with their material resources and time,, serving in the community, and being there ready to lend people who need a helping hand, yet despite all of this are able to compartmentalize enough to still pull the lever to give Donald Trump control over the Attorney General, the DOJ, to be able to fill over 100 Federal Court vacancie where the judges will hear sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence cases.

I am uncomfortable in the pew because my mind keeps trying to make sense of this. Somehow it seems that the very best amound us,, those who truly apply their minds toward learning what religion should mean and applying it in their daily lives instead of being just pew potatos who show up on Sunday and lay it aside once they leave the church house... Somehow I cannot help but question if the best among us can know what is known about Donald Trump and can vote to give him this level of control over people's lives, then perhaps what we do "best" is greatly flawed as a faith community.

I am part of a congregation where we do not discuss politics in the Sunday School classes or from the pulpit. However, as individuals we get to know each other andwith such knowledge come knowing partisan prefence. My perception is that I am in the minority. I am not uncomfortable because I am in the minority. I am accustomed to that. This year however, it goes much farther than Democrat or Republican. It reaches to the core of who we are as decent human beings, what is acceptable in those old fashioned terms we call "common decency" and how we relate to others. I know we are not supposed to judge and I am acutely aware of my many shortcomings. I probably have many more than many of the individuals I know in my church who voted for Trump. However, I find that empowering him once it is known how he conducts himself with women and girls (and people who are disabled or are minorities) propels me to distance myself from the appearance that I condone such behavior. My faith and spiritual formation teaches me to denounce the kinds of practices he boast are his because he is a celebrity.

Those who rejected Hillary because she was "flawed" and empowered him despite his being perverted and aggressive and criminal perplex me. I cannot process this and come to grips with how we can study the same words, worship in the same ways, serve side by side, and asipre to similar ideals and yet come to such vastly different conclusions when we enter the privacy of the voting booth.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Quick and easy pecan praline biscuits.

By Faith Chatham Jan. 6, 2017
Note: I rarely post recipes but today I think we deserve all the comfort we can get. Here is a quick and easy one.
Quick and easy pecan praline biscuits. For this recipe you can use those really cheap canned biscuits. The ones that usually come out dry and tough will be delicious in this recipe. I use my ceramic lined pan because it is really easy to clean up and nothing sticks to it.

Cut up 4 or 5 pads of butter halfing them and scattering them on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 cup of brown sugar over the butter in the bottom of the pan and sprinkle in a handful of pecans. Open a small can of 5 or 6 biscuits.

Rub the top of each biscuit and get it coated with the sugar and pecan mixture and place it with the bottom in the sugar butter oecan mixture.

Bake in. 350 degree oven. When done empty onto a plate and empty all remaining of the sugar pecan mixture from the bottom of the pan onto the top of the biscuits and serve warm.

They will be moist and crunchy from brown sugar pecan mixture. Enjoy.

Great for cold mornings when you need comfort food or for serving midafternoin when unexpected company stops by.

I Want to Wake Up in an Alternate Universe

By Faith Chatham Jan. 6, 2017
I usually have a few frends over on Epiphany evening. This year I am not. However one tradition of that gathering got me thinking . each guest was given 2 pieces of paper and two envelopes and asked to write down their wish for the world and then one wish for an individual. We sealed the envelopes and guests would draw them and read ine and others would guess who wrote it.
Since I am observing Epiphany at home alone ths year my personal wish is for myseIf.
My wish for the world is that everything that occurrred after 7 p.m. on election night is a bad dream and we wake up and realise that America's heartland is not overly influenced by White gun totting Protestant preachers and scary duck dynasty mentality voters.. Instead we would know that most Americans from every walk of life refused to be misled and cockoed by false claims and fake news,and instead embraced the canddiate who was most qualified,most ethical, most dedicated to public service instead of personal gain and glory. My wish for the world is that a lunatic not be in clontrol of the world economy and nuclear football.
My wish for myself is similar. I'd like to really be in one of those parallel universes that are hinted of in the plots of sci fi novels and movies. They show how different decisions and actions set into motion different outcomes in parellel universes.
I want to be out of the one we are in where the news is full of neo nazi and Russian influence in our national leadership and images of Donald Trummp about to take contol of the American Presidency with power to appoint judges, heads of agencies and to be Commander in Chief over the US military with US intelligence reporting to him.
I wan to wake up and be fully conscious in a different parellel universe than this one!
I want to be =in the parallel universe where the president elect has assembled a team of the bestsuited, most qualfied, nominees who are dedicated to fulfilling the constitution and legislative mission of each bureau and agency knowing there will be no lining if the pockets through their position for themselves or anyone close to them.sophers and citizens and statemen and stateswomen and public servants rejoice in the inauguration of the woman whose life has always reflected a commitment to enabling as many people as possible to thrive and succeed and soar to their highest, most fulfilled best!
I want to be in the universe where we are confident in the compassion of our top leader(s) instead of fearful because we know how debased and selfish he is and how he is surrounding himself with others who are neither qualified, skilled for the job and who are positioned to further their own financial enrichment more than the nation's common good.

I want to wake up and be in the universe where the people about to fill cabinet and other appointmented positions are the creme of American instead of the scum of the earth.
I want to be in a world where the emphasis is on preserving what is good and improving what isn't quite what it should and can be for the good of everyone, especially for those who are young or generations who come after us instead of skimming off the best for ourselves at the expense of everyone else.
I want to be in a world where political correctness is merely a guideline based on decency and those who cross beyond it are rejected because of how they act, rather than promoted because of how much they own or "who they are." I want to be in a universe where fairness is a value that is practiced instead of scorned and being a deal maker is less important than actually enacting publc policy which works for this nation and for every person in it.

I want to be conscious and present in te universe where little girls and women of my generarion stand together knowing that the best person for the job this time is elected because she is the only man or woman who is as fully capable of leading this nation and world at this point in history.
I want to be in the parallel universe where the president elect has assembled a team of the bestsuited, most qualfied, nominees who are dedicated to fulfilling the constitution and legislative mission of each bureau and agency, knowing there will be no lining if the pockets through their position for themselves or anyone close to them.

I want to be in that parallel universe where Donald Trump is left to his personal devices to work out hisoersonal financial doldrums without it impacting American securty or the American taxpayer.

I want to wake up in the parallel universe where we know that our national leadership is in good hands and is operating for the good of the American citizens. I want to wake up in a universe where I am inspired to do what I can to improve my community in each and every way I can because I am confident and inspired by the people our country has elected to public office and I have confidence in the good judgement of those who live with and around me..
Most of all Iwant ot wake up andrealize that what seems real is merely a bad dream.

The Diary of Anne Frank Part 1 of 2

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Shadow of Anne Frank over the 2016 Election - Part 2 of 2

By Faith Chatham - Dec. 1, 2016

In my journey to discover if the Frank family truly sought political asylum in the United States, I discovered that the NY Times, Time Magazine and Reuters covered the story when documents were uncovered in 2007. Her father, Otto Frank appealed to his college friend Nathan Straus, Jr. for a $5000 bond and affadivits to help get his family into the United States. Straus was the head of the federal Housing Authority, a personal friend of Eleanor Roosevelt's and his father was a co-owner of Macy's Department Store.

In their 2007 story when the documents were uncovered the New York Times story said:
 “Page by page, the papers illustrate the tortuous process for gaining entry to the United States in those days. Even with powerful connections and money, European Jews could not overcome the State Department's restrictions against refugees, said two Holocaust scholars who examined the documents.”

The New York Times Reported:
By June 1941, no one with close relatives still in Germany was allowed into the United States because of suspicions that the Nazis could use them to blackmail refugees into clandestine cooperation. That development ended the possibility of getting the Frank girls out through a children's rescue agency.

Because of the uncertainty, Otto Frank decided to try for a single visa for himself. It was granted and forwarded to him on Dec. 1. No one knows if it arrived. Ten days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States and Havana canceled the visa.

In a 2007 Time Magazine article it was reported that:
Straus and Frank's brother-in-law, Julius Hollander, regularly corresponded with two private Jewish agencies, the National Refugee Service in New York and the Boston Committee for Refugees. Straus also contacted the State Department on Frank's behalf. Hollander and his brother arranged affidavits from their employers, Jacob Hiatt of E.F. Dodge Paper Box Co. and Harry Levine of the New England Novelty Co., both of Leominster, Mass.

On 4 September 2015, Anne Frank's step-sister, Eva Schloss,, drew direct parallels between the Syrian refugee crisis and the Jewish refugee crisis of World War II:

"You must not be selfish and you must share whatever you have and help in a desperate situation. They need help from you.

"These people have had the courage to do a very difficult thing- to take your family and your whole life to another country requires bravery and strength. This is history repeating itself.

"These Syrians are valuable, educated people. These are doctors and nurses who are only too willing to help our society and they will become leaders in the community if you let them."

Anne’s mother, Edith, wrote to a friend in 1939:
 "I believe that all Germany's Jews are looking around the world, but can find nowhere to go."

In closing, I am acutely aware of how important it is for us to be discerning, to distinguish fact from fiction, to not allow fear to overrule compassion and to not allow compassion to unduly endanger us. 

There must be a balance so that policies do not label victims as criminals and  are not so overly restrictive that their enforcement means certain death for the innocent and vulnerable. 

American policy rejected admission of the Frank children to safety in the United States, leading to their deaths in a German death camp, citing the possibility that some relative of a refugee remaining in Europe might be used as a spy for the Nazi’s.  As a child, she wrote a diary which has captivated generations. If the Frank family's petitions for political asylum in the United States had been approved, it is probably that they would have joined their relatives in Boston. Today she might have been a 70+ year old New England author with an even richer body of work instead of being a child who perished in a Nazi death camp.

Fear is a paralyzing force. It sometimes comes from being touched by evil. Other times it prompts us to be overreaching in our denial of refuge and kindness,

When political leaders play on our fear or prejudice to gain power, inciting people to greater selfishness and hatred, as we have witnessed this year in the 2016 Presidential Election, it takes on a life force of its own. 
We have to be careful if we are to remain alive and we must be wary not to allow fear to rob us of active compassion if we are to remain human.