God's daughter. Woman of faith. Wife. Mother. Grandmother. Servant to the King.
Posted 9/21/16 at 12:52 PM | Karen Farris
The headlines declared that 21 were arrested in sex-predator sting operation. Scanning the list of men, ages 20-59, they all shared something in common—pornography. All the men were caught trying to arrange to have sex with children. Some had porn in their cars, or on their computers and phones. Others were prepared with lubricants and condoms. All were intending on using children for their perverse sexual pleasure.
This is just one isolated bust, but crimes like these are committed daily (hourly) with innocent children. At the root of these horrendous crimes is porn addiction. It’s only going to worsen and here’s why: When the most rented porn films were analyzed, 95% of the violent scenes the victims were women and they responded either with pleasure or with neutrality.
Not all porn is violent, but typically porn involves drugs, alcohol, or some sort of coercion. Sexual aggression is portrayed as well. Porn invites viewers to a world where sex involves dominance, submission, and sex is dehumanized. FULL POST
Posted 9/15/16 at 1:43 PM | Karen Farris
No matter what decade you were born, music has always been playing in the background.
While driving, I was listening to talk radio. The discussion turned to music, and the commentator noted that Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit was 20 years old. She remembered buying the CD as a teen and now every time she hears it she recalls exactly where she was and how she felt at the time.
Music just has that kind of power. I had a two-hour drive ahead, why not go back in time? I switched to a classic rock station and let the miles bring musical memories.
Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac) started the FM commercial-free set. I turned it up and opened the sun roof. A glorious day for a drive. Since no one could hear me, I sang along, remembering my restless older-teen years.
The raucous You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) followed and had been a fitting theme song for our high school football team on their way to earning a state title. Next up, I recalled my first job in the local music store when I was selling Elton John’s double-album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. FULL POST
Posted 9/8/16 at 11:59 AM | Karen Farris
Mother and daughter sat together in the special room used for discussing medical options. The news of terminal cancer had already been delivered and now plans were being made for the time remaining.
No one wants these meetings, but they happen every day.
When they were alone again, the mom took her daughter’s hand and asked “We know how I’m doing, but how are you doing?” A dying mom wondering how her daughter will fare with such devastating news. In truth, the daughter was more scared than she’d ever been.
The treatment options would hopefully extend her life by a year, and this determined mom would make the most of it. And she did.
Every chemo infusion became an excuse for a party. She and her daughter would bring party hats and small gifts to share with other patients. Even her doctors and nurses had to wear party hats. Fear was not invited to the parties. FULL POST
Posted 9/7/16 at 12:03 PM | Karen Farris
Just what every home needs—an explicit filter on Hollywood. VidAngel takes the garbage out for you—all the bad language and graphic scenes—leaving you with a family-friendly film.
As VidAngel CEO explains, “We created this company because—as parents and consumers—we understand deeply the surging demand for filtering content to suit the needs of families.”
VidAngel has a library of over 2,500 TV and movie titles available—for multiple devices like smartphones, computers, and AppleTV.
The service even allows users to pick their filter strength. The best part is the cost: users purchase the video online for $20.00 and can sell it back for a credit of $19.00 if viewed within 24 hours. That’s $1.00 for filtered entertainment. FULL POST
Posted 9/1/16 at 12:35 PM | Karen Farris
Back in 1977, due to under-enrollment, a small public college was deeply in debt. The Washington State legislature, wanting to cut its losses, proposed to close it. The college, designed to be a stark alternative, had no stringent academic requirements, instead encouraging students to love learning, with faculty and students collaborating in a relaxed woodland setting. It attracted mostly East Coast “hippies” and quite a few prestigious faculty anxious to leave the Ivy League rigmarole.
At the time, Washington State students avoided it like the plague.
In a strategic move to avoid imminent closure, The Evergreen State College board of directors, hired a new president—one of its founders—the highly respected, former Washington State Governor Daniel Evans.
Just after he arrived on campus, President Evans was a keynote speaker at a dinner honoring some student scholars from across Washington State. I was among the students there and we’d been asked to speak briefly about our college and intended major. I listened as the other students proudly spoke of their reputable universities and advanced fields of study. As a sophomore at the wildly unpopular Evergreen State College, I loved being part of the challenge to save it, so I stood and gave a three-minute impassioned promotional speech. Game on. FULL POST
Posted 8/29/16 at 4:54 PM | Karen Farris
I was fifteen when the the Watergate hearings were happening. Even in my teenage-distracted mind, I knew it was a big deal. It toppled All The President’s Men.
For young folks, feel free to Google it here. But since then, every scandal has carried the suffix “gate” in an inglorious honor to the Big Gate that started it.
So, will former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s pay-for-play (reporter’s words, not mine) intertwined role with the Clinton Foundation lead to a investigation? I hope so, and here’s why:
In order to know the truth an outside investigation needs to happen. Nothing to hide? No problem then. FULL POST
Posted 8/25/16 at 11:58 AM | Karen Farris
This post was inspired by summertime conversations with my grandson—as we talked about ways to manage school, home, and life.
Okay kids here’s the good news: you’ll only spend 900 hours in the classroom this next school year. Which means you’ll have nearly 8000 hours at home doing other stuff. Yeah, I know there’s homework. But if you use those 900 school hours wisely, maybe there will be less to do at home.
Your mom and dad are probably working too. It can be hectic getting out the door in the morning and you’re all pretty tired when you get back home.
But here’s something important to do—love those who love you. Helping each other is a way to show it.
Remember, it’s only 900 school hours. That leaves time for sports, TV, and video games, but also take time to look around your house, put things away, help in the kitchen, take the garbage out, you know the routine. FULL POST
Posted 8/22/16 at 3:45 PM | Karen Farris
*and can try to ask for
It’s a golden anniversary of sorts. During the summer of 1966, President Johnson reluctantly signed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) into law. He wasn’t exactly a proponent that government information would have to be released to citizens who asked to see it.
Ever since, both Republican and Democratic administrations have dealt with hundreds of FOIA requests. This has led to plenty of complaints about the government’s reluctance to disclose information.
It seems as though the government and/or its leaders are reticent to release documents that could expose wrong doing.
Before FOIA, citizens had to prove why they felt something was awry—not an easy task with the government holding the evidence. Recently Flint, Michigan’s toxic water debacle was exposed by determined folks demanding answers via the FOIA. FULL POST
Posted 8/18/16 at 1:04 PM | Karen Farris
A long time ago I was the target of someone’s discrimination. I felt the curse that many feel all the time. But we can choose to love or perpetuate hate.
Our farm was a 30-minute drive to the city, so one day when I ran out of oatmeal, I drove to our nearby country store. I walked in carrying my baby, and went to the cereal aisle. I heard the bells jingle on the front door as someone else entered.
Voices carried quite well in the little store, and I heard the owner greet the customer.
They began a conversation I’ve never forgotten. After a few pleasantries, the customer declared:
“You wouldn’t believe what those trailer people are doing now.”
The way she said it sounded like they’d discussed the “trailer people” before.
“They brought in a heap of broken concrete—piled it next to their dilapidated shed.”
The concrete got my attention. Needing extra money, we’d removed a concrete driveway for someone. It had been a horrendous job. Instead of throwing away the pieces, we thought we’d re-use it for a cobblestone pathway. Okay, maybe it sounded better than it would eventually look. But right then it was in a huge pile—next to our small shed. FULL POST
Posted 8/11/16 at 12:31 PM | Karen Farris
Take a break from politics and visit a community celebration. You’ll see neighbors working together showcasing local bounty. This is the real America—where citizens build strong communities because they care.
Summertime across America brings lots of local festivals. My rural community celebrates wild blackberries during Joyce Daze—a day-long event beginning with a hearty pancake breakfast.
Local musicians take turns on a wooden stage while vendors selling handmade jewelry, baked goods, art work, leather belts, lamb’s wool hats and scarves, and whatever one wants to sell are tucked beneath plastic tarp awnings.