Play it, Jen

Every good movie has a piano player somewhere in the background--
sometimes seen, usually unseen.
Seldom really noticed.
The feeling, the very soul of a scene, is created by that person tinkering at the keys.
It has been said, "All the world's a stage."
Well then...Play it, Jen.

My Photo
Location: Over Yonder, Missouri

I'm a California Native transplanted to the Missouri Ozarks. I've learned how to chase cows in high heels and load hay faster than you can say "Coco Chanel." These are some of our pictures and stories of living in a land with breath-taking beauty and adventure around every bend.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Blog

I'm working on a new blog which will focus on our adventures here in the Ozarks. You can find it at Lofty Ideas. See ya'll there!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Joe is a finalist!

Friday, March 20, 2009

2009 Spring Equinox Sunrise

Missouri Sunrises (yeah, I'm actually up to take pictures! Get that!)

Missouri Sunsets

Pics from around here

This is the gate I knocked down yesterday and had to re-hang all by myself. Super farmer woman in da his-house!

I need more of this, all around our property!!!!

Here come the cows! :)

Forget the partridge in a pear tree, I've got a robin in a thorn bush!

The moon got stuck in our oak tree!

Katie and Mr. Corndog

Mr. Bluebird on my Shoulder, or Deck as it may be...

bluejay hunting cat's food

Ducks in my pond quack a happy song

Friday, March 13, 2009

Look at my face

I woke up this morning and hopped (o.k., actually, slowly rolled/crawled/fell) out of bed to start about my morning routine. I picked up the TV remote and turned the television on to one of the network morning shows, awaiting a report on the weather. I supposed I needed to know just how cold I was going to be today. Ugh! Perhaps I should roll/crawl/fall my way back into bed!

The report currently running on the channel was an interview of a forensics psychology specialist discussing the case of master swindler Bernard Maddoff. The 'expert' and reporter were happily engaged picking apart statements Maddoff recently made in court. It is always fun to dig around and speculate on the motivation behind a subject's words, isn't it? As I went about, with half an ear tuned to the conversation, I heard something that immediately demanded my full attention. I even grabbed up the remote control and hit the DVR button to skip back so I could listen to that snippet of talk again.

There had been discussion as to whether Maddoff was exhibiting signs of sociopathic behavior. The 'expert' stated that he did not think it was so much sociopathic behavior as it was just greed. Very extensive, very deep greed. Mr. Expert continued to state that he felt Mr. Maddoff must see money as impersonal, just paper, as though he did not see the people behind the money he was taking.


Maddoff. He does not see the people behind the money he took. No thought of the people whom he was taking from. No human element. Just paper. Greed.

All he could see was the money he was getting.

No thought as to how hard these people had worked and what they had sacrificed to earn that money.

All he could see was the money he was getting.

No thought as to what these people would be missing in their lives (time, material possessions, retirement, peace of mind) due to that money being gone.

All he could see was the money he was getting.

No thought of what it would do to the system in place around him, how far-reaching, how many people would be affected by his greed.

All he could see was the money he was getting.

And so we put his pictures up all over the television, and scorn and scold and say what a bad, bad man he is for being so greedy.


But what about this statement the 'expert' made? To Maddoff money was just paper, impersonal. Mr. Maddoff did not see the people behind the money.

Is Maddoff the only person in our society who thinks this way?


It seems to me, and I understand this is just my opinion but everyone is entitled to it, that the general mind set of the general public in this general day and age is EXACTLY this. Money is impersonal.

Every dime that the government hands me is impersonal, just paper, there is no person behind it. The government is just some vague, mystical, unreachable machine out there and whatever I can get out of it for myself the better. The government holds billions and trillions of dollars, why should I not have a piece of it? Who does it hurt?

Well, where does this government get all of its billions and trillions of dollars from in the first place? Hmmmm, let's start with tax dollars. Here, we'll put this link in for reference. The US government gets its money from taxes.

Where do taxes come from? Do taxpayers have a face? At the starting point this money belonged to someone who worked and sacrificed to earn it. The money is paid to the government and now it is the "government's money."

Remember: there is no "people" in government. There is no face to the government. Just a big money machine. So there are no people behind this money, right?

How often do we stop to think about this? What if we took a moment and, just for fun, tried to see what the face of the government looks like? Do you suppose we would see a giagantic ATM sitting in front of us? What would we see?

We would see a sea of faces: young and old, tall and short, skin that is white and brown and black and speckled; eyes of blue, of brown, of green. And hair? You want to get started on the hair? Tresses of yellow and brown and black and red, not to mention some bright pink and purple and blue thrown in. Some with no hair at all. People of every size, every shape. This is America.

Is this what we see when we think of our government? Is this what we see when we are after any little bit of money we can get our hands on?

How often do you see the "free government money" adds and feel tempted? How often have you thought there must be some government program that you deserve money from? Not that you need it desperately to live for the rest of the week or keep your little children from starving or dying from exposure to the elements, mind you. Would it not be nice, though, to have things that are bigger and better than what you have now? And the best part? You don't have to work for it! It really is free money! In fact, why work at all? The machine will pay for everything and I can just do what I want all day. I wonder what it would be like if, instead of having the face of George Washington printed on our dollar bills, a portrait of each tax payer of America in turn was printed on the dollars so we would see the faces behind the money.

The face of our government. It is distant enough to keep us comfortable in our greed.

I think of the many hours my husband works in order to make ends meet here and be able to pay our taxes. I think of the hours my children go without seeing their father because he is working so many long hours. I see the wear and tear on my husband from the stress of not having enough hours in a day to do all the work set before him. What would it be like if we were not paying so much into taxes?

I think we all know the answer to this.

But there are too many in our society who cannot see the faces behind the money they are scrambling for. They cannot (or will not) see the young father leaving his family to spend weeks on the road so he can send a check home to feed his children. They cannot (or will not) see the older man who would really like to be out at the lake catching a trophy but instead stands in the doorway of a store to say a hearty "good morning" to indifferent customers. They cannot (or will not) see the children who go to bed at night having seen only a few minutes of their father's face because he got home just in time to tuck them in. They cannot (or will not) see the mother who sits in the doctor's office, distraught over the decision to buy the medicine her child needs or buy groceries to put food on the table that night. They cannot (or will not) see more and more of the workers breaking down under the enormous weight of this burden.

All they can see is the money they are getting.

Mr. Maddoff, you are a bad, bad man. You have held up a mirror. You have shown too clearly the faults that run all throughout our society.

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Heros walk among us

We report a chain of 10 kidney transplantations, initiated in July 2007 by a single altruistic donor (i.e., a donor without a designated recipient) and coordinated over a period of 8 months by two large paired-donation registries. These transplantations involved six transplantation centers in five states. In the case of five of the transplantations, the donors and their coregistered recipients underwent surgery simultaneously. In the other five cases, "bridge donors" continued the chain as many as 5 months after the coregistered recipients in their own pairs had received transplants.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Missouri Sky