Those Things For Which I Owe My Mother | Oyia Brown

I was distracted last night, and am still this morning, and so didn’t get anything prepared for you. That happens. 🙂

But this is excellent, and strikes very close to home for many (most, I hope) of us. It has a lot to do with who we are, I think. Sure does me, anyway.

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE .

“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2. My mother taught me RELIGION .

“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL .

“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4. My mother taught me LOGIC .

“Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC .

“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT .

“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

via Those Things For Which I Owe My Mother | Oyia Brown.

In My Lifetime…America transforms from honorable to dishonorable in fifty years-a commentary by Don Koenig

Ozzie Nelson

Ozzie Nelson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I don’t have much to add to this, I pretty much agree with Sherry. I think it to be the base problem of our country. We’re going to have a major problem in being the America we know and love without an honorably citizenry. We always had a subset of dishonorable citizens (see any western film) but on average we have been able to trust our fellow citizens. That seems to be changing. If so, we may be done. If not, we need to change it back.


We are seeing the results now of an amoral ruling class in Washington (and in other parts of our government as well). It’s not pretty and if it continues we will prove again as Yeats said “The center cannot hold”.


The early 1960′s certainly were not perfect but the vast majority of people in America led fairly honorable lives back then. The mid 60′s probably were the very last of the Happy Days of Richie Cunningham. That TV program and programs like the Andy Griffith Show or Ozzie and Harriet were not that far off the mark for small town white America in the 50′s and most of the 60′s. There were a lot of children in those days, birth control was limited, abortion was not legal or acceptable, and there was little confusion about the role of males and females. People in most of America were living pretty honorable lives in those days. My, how things have changed from the honorable toward the dishonorable in much of America in just fifty years.

If there is any one thing that changed our culture, it would be the destruction of the family unit. Fifty years ago people basically stayed married. The man of the house worked and the wife stayed home and raised the children. The family with an extended family of relatives in the same vicinity was something most of us had in common fifty years ago. The family and not government took care of those in need. The family had a stabilizing influence because most were held accountable to the values of their family.

The destruction of the family unit can be viewed from both a sociological and a religious perspective. Creeping socialism with its entitlement programs and big government social engineering is the major sociological reason for the breakdown of the traditional family and liberal teachings coming from our religious institutions was the major religious reason.

In just fifty years America has “progressed” from almost all of our children being raised by two parents to half of our children being raised by one parent. If that is not destructive enough, that one parent usually has to work so children are really being brought up by the social system and by peers. Without strong leadership in the family, the most influential people in many of the lives of American children are street smart punks and the bad characters of our “entertainment” media. They teach children to be disrespectful, foul-mouthed, and to emulate all that is dishonorable in any civil society.

Some Liberals will label me a racist for just giving the history of the family breakdown in America but nothing could be further from the truth. The real racists are those that put their race above the Human Race that most of the rest of us are in (psychopaths could be soulless exceptions). With that said, the breakdown of the family structure in America first started among blacks in the 50′s.

After World War II many southern black men that honorably served in the military looked for jobs in the industrial north. Many of the jobs that black men could only get hired for were the low paying jobs that white men would not do. Many black men lost self-respect and became frustrated and angry. It led to the downward spiral into hostility and behaviors that destroyed many two parent black families.


Continue reading In My Lifetime…America transforms from honorable to dishonorable in fifty years-a commentary by Don Koenig.


I don’t have any easy answers, this is going to have to be fixed, one person at a time, or not.


Mother’s Day /Every Day

I really enjoyed hearing Jess talk a bit about her mother this morning, and decided it wouldn’t hurt if I did as well.

One of the things that brought Jess and I together originally is that our parents were older, her views of life are more like mine, and mine are more  like a pre-baby boomer than would be expected. And also like her, I have little left of my family, she has a half-sister and I have a brother-in-law (and we each have some nieces).

It is funny though, Jess (as usual) is correct, I can’t remember not knowing right from wrong, of course, I don’t remember learning to walk either, I must have learned them about the same time.

I idolized my dad, which is not unusual for a boy, I still do, really, In my 60 years on this earth, I’ve never met a better man, a few, like Jimmie Doolittle, have come close, but they were very similar, really.

If you’ve never dealt with us Scandinavians much, something you have to get used to is, most of us rarely yell, and storm around. if you anger us, we’re likely to just get quiet and withdraw, and decide that whoever or whatever angers us just isn’t worth messing with anymore. It’s not limited to strangers either. I can remember dad not speaking to one of his brothers (one of my favorite uncles) for about 15 years. And, yup, I inherited that too.

In junior high and high school, I worked summers for dad, at the company he ran, and at home we were restoring an old windmill that a neighbor had given us. Given that I was about 15 dad said a lot of stupid things, and we were working on it when he did it again. I dropped my hammer in disgust, it went clang. Dad looked at me and said, “If you don’t want to do it my way, just go in the house.” So I did. It was six weeks before we spoke again. And, yes, it was a bit awkward at work. Good thing was, the rest of the employees understood, they’d been there, as well, and respected me for standing up like a man.

But you know, who always got in the middle of these? Yep, Mom did. She was plenty strong-willed herself but she managed to mediate between all of us, and keep us all alive and reasonably healthy, when dad and I wouldn’t talk or when one sister cracked the other upside the head with a cast iron frying pan or whatever else. The mediator.

But that’s the thing, she was easily the equal of any of us. In an age when most schoolteachers had a year or so of college, she had a BA in English. In fact she commented one time that I spoke good English till I went to school. Her dad was a somewhat big wheel in the Minnesota DFL, and a highly respected man, all the brothers and sisters were successful by their standards, and often prizewinners from others as well.

But, unlike Jess, she detested housework, there were stories up in Minnesota about how good she was at grinding the valves on a Model T, and working on the farm in general, and I can easily remember how much she preferred mowing grass to cleaning house, or even making lunch. She was a good cook, of course, in the somewhat limited sense of a traditional Norwegian menu, of white food on a white plate. She made the only Lutefisk I could choke down.

After college I ended up living at home mostly because dad wouldn’t do much of anything if I wasn’t around, and obviously there were no real rules anymore that I had to follow (like curfews and such) but when I’d get home at night, she’d be sitting there, playing solitaire. She said, and meant it, the only reason she didn’t go to bed was that she wouldn’t go to sleep, there was no reproach if it was 2 am and I was half drunk. But you still got up about 6:30 and went to work! No slackers.

But you know the story I always wanted to know more about was how she and dad got together. You see every once in a while when they’d go back to Minnesota, they’d stop and see a very nice lady named Amy, I think I met her twice and liked her considerably. I found out later she’d been mom’s roommate at college. But the other thing is, mom met dad when Amy brought her date to the dorm! Good thing they didn’t hold grudges, but I still wish I knew how dad pulled that one off.

And it strikes me as significant that when dad was about the age I am now, I was paying a fair amount of attention to girls, and I commented a few times to him about some girl being pretty (or something similar), his comment was, “I didn’t notice.” I believed him, I don’ think he ever noticed another woman’s looks in his life. He (and she) had found everything they needed for better than 50 years in each other. How I wish I could say that some day.

Mom, like dad, passed over quite a few years ago now, and as I get older some of the memories fade but, you know, not very much, and like dad, although in a quieter sort of way, she’s always there in the back of my mind. I think with her love of English (reasonably well used) she’d like that I have come to do a fair amount of writing, and I hope in general that she’d be as proud of me I was and am of her. Thanks Mom.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Saturday, again, huh? Well we all know what that means here, don’t we? Time to unwind a bit, it’s been a stressful week.

But it’s also the 1st of December, an that’s an important day for me. My Dad would have been 105 today. He’s been gone for over 25 years now but, every time I have a problem one of my key questions is, “What would Dad do (or say)?. If I listen closely, he often tells me, still.

“I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself.”
― Robert E. Lee

The last couple weeks he has seemed especially close, reminding me of a man’s duty. So, I thought maybe we should look at some of the things he loved.

One thing he dearly loved was music, his father did two things: ran the town light plant, and directed the town band, in truth it was the family band practically, of the 10 of them 6 of them were my uncles plus Dad. In his opinion, this was the last great American composer.

I have some problem disagreeing!

I can’t remembering him ever going to a movie, I suspect he got it out of his system when he moonlighted as a projectionist. He’d watch on TV though, usually something like this.

He liked technology a lot too, he had the first TV in town, and when color TV’s started coming out, he didn’t think he could afford one, so he bought a kit and built one. What was on? Good shows, like these.

And for all his insistence that their were no composers after Sousa, he never seemed to have much trouble watching this.

or this

In fact, even the commercials were neat.

But for all that he was a serious man, devoted to keeping the lights on, while keeping his people safe, and he would brook no compromise. He was one of the people who made our lives in the field both easier and safer

Dan Miller ran this song this week, in another context, and in truth he and I both saw it over at the Mad Jewess’es shortly after the election as well. It’s considerably too new a song for Dad to have heard but, it’s a pretty good summary of this article.

It seems a sad song on first listening doesn’t it? But, it’s not really, it speaks to us of the eternal dreams and battles we fight for what we believe in. And those dreams live as long as we are remembered.

A perfect man? Nope, he surely wasn’t, but he was the best I’ve ever known.

“Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.”
― Robert E. Lee

That would have made a good epithet for him

Happy Birthday, Dad, and Thanks.

Speaking of Class

Let’s start Monday with some memories of our childhood. I can’t speak for you but my upbringing was very much like Mac describes here, maybe that’s why he’s my friend. We have a lot in common like personal responsibility, and a dislike for hurting people needlessly, and a love for Scotch. Some would say we have a modicum of class. As you read his post, you will discover some people who have made it to the pinnacle of our society without any class at all. You will also discover why we both think that that is a very bad thing. It’s important but, it’s also a look back at a society that I miss greatly.

From The Lean Submariner, a class act, a great blogger, and my friend.

Growing up in a middle class house in America was really a blessing. We learned early on about manners and the importance of following the basic rules we would need later on in life. There were rules like

  • no arguing at the dinner table
  • no borrowing from your brothers things without their permission (it was assumed my sister really didn’t have much that would be useful to a boy so that rule was not needed
  • wash your hands before dinner and clean up your plate after
  • no wasting of food… we had enough but we knew that to waste it was a wicked thing
  • no fighting in the bedroom – especially if Mom and Dad were still at the dinner table directly below our room. The modest chandelier was a dead giveaway no matter how quiet we wrestled
  • no swearing… ever… about anything
  • you asked permission to leave the table and could only do so when Dad and Mom decided it was appropriate
  • if you made a mistake, admit it. Quickly. And apologize to the person who was offended

The last one was kind of tough sometimes. I am not sure how many times I knowingly made a mistake that hurt someone else but I know I did it. I think we all did from time to time. But taking responsibility for it was the bedrock for being a mature and responsible person.

I distinctly remember a few times when I was not directly responsible for something bad that happened but was indirectly part of the event. Maybe in my mind I would justify how unfair it was for me to take my share of the blame but taking my share of the apology seemed like the punishment did not fit the crime. But as a part of my parents values, learning to admit the error was only part of the process. Taking your share of the sincere apology to the offended person was the natural next step.

Continue reading What does class cost?.

It’s time for a course correction.

My Dream Girl

English: Raquel Welch at a Hudson Union Societ...

Image via Wikipedia

If you don’t know, and I imagine many of you don’t, I’ve been divorced for about 12 years now. Yeah, it sucks, living alone but, not as much as living with most of the women I’ve met. So like any man, I’m usually on the lookout.

Many of you know that I read Chicks on the Right quite regularly. I do so for a number of reasons, they are smart, funny, conservative, right, and other things. I was over there for a while tonight and a surprising thing happened. I was reading through their new posts, how they find time to do so much and have jobs completely mystifies me, but that is another subject.

Anyway, Daisy has a post up that caught my eye entitled: Let’s Discuss What I Think Feminism Really Is, Shall We?. I decided to read thinking that I would probably agree. I did. What’s more Daisy just described my dream date/wife.

Here’s an excerpt:

I have to put this out there, because it’s slightly causing my blood pressure to rise a bit these days – This talk about contraception being a women’s rights issue is a big, pile of steaming horse crap. It’s all over social media, and I’m literally astounded by the people in this country who believe that asking for free birth control is somehow a civil rights issue. And, the fact that these so-called “feminists” feel as though their contraception needs to be paid for by others? Well, that makes them the ANTITHESIS of feminists, in my humble opinion.

How, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

I was raised in a conservative household, with one sister, by both a mother and a father. I had a great childhood. They both worked outside the home, and I was one of those ‘latchkey kids.’ Both my parents – but especially my mother – raised us girls to be uber-independent. A lot was expected from us from a personal responsibility standpoint. They were great parents, but didn’t coddle us or hold our hands all the time. They WANTED us to be independent. They let us fall down and get hurt. They let us fail. They made us pay for stuff we wanted but didn’t necessarily need. They instilled in us a strong work ethic, and encouraged us to make our own money at a very young age. As a busy, working Mom, my mother taught me that I needed to always be self-sufficient. And later as a divorced working mom, she taught me to never rely on a man. Never rely on ANYONE, for that matter. Except myself.

Now, this may sound harsh to some – cold, even. But this mindset has been one of the greatest gifts my mother bestowed upon me. I’ve been married twice, divorced once. And without a strong sense of self-reliance, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I have never worried about supporting myself – financially or emotionally. It’s simply never crossed my mind that, in the horrible times in my life, I wouldn’t be able to find the means to pay my own way.

Continue reading.

Now that is my kind of woman, unfortunately for me, Daisy is married, to a fellow Boiler if I recall correctly, he is a damn lucky guy, and I’ll bet he knows it too. So I’ll have to keep looking, there just has to be another one out there. So, if you run across one, send her my way, please.

Oh, the picture? Who needs an excuse to use a picture of Raquel Welch, I’m picky but, not that picky

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