Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Backyard Olives" a watercolor by Michele A Ross ©2015

To all of our USA friends, Bob and I want to wish you a joyful Thanksgiving Holiday filled with good food, good company, and a grateful & joyful spirit!

With much gratitude for all we have and for all of you!

-Bob & Michele

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

WHY I LOVE VETERANS, an Ode to all Warriors

The Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC
Note: I wrote this in 2009 and it received national syndication. I'm sharing it again - my feelings haven't changed. Read the whole thing and let me know your thoughts. © 2009-2016 Michele A Ross

"I was thinking early this morning about this and actually got a little emotional.

First of all, I'm married to a veteran. My husband Bob was in the US Navy for 7 years during Vietnam, and was there during the evacuation of Saigon. And I'm also the daughter of one. My father was a career Army Officer in the US Army and a veteran of 3 wars, WW II, Korea, and Viet Nam.

Even if I don't agree with all the circumstances of each of these wars, there's something wonderful about someone who will hold a post and put himself or herself in harm's way to protect their group. Someone who will stand there and hold the line and say "I'm going to follow orders and get the job done for my god and my country- my group and my beliefs!" There's something above the crowd about doing that-.

When I was a child in Hawaii, we were stationed at Schofield Barracks on Oahu. One of my most poignant memories of that era was looking at the drill field covered in coffins and knowing those boxes were filled with men who had died for their country and that their bodies were on their way back to families who are grief stricken and in pain. That was the 60's and there were a lot of conflicting viewpoints about that mess over in southeast Asia. Yes, there was a lot of waste in that endeavor, but that was never any reason to dishonor those who did their job, held their posts correctly and held the line for the rest of us.

I know just a very little about what my husband and my father went through. My father spent time behind enemy lines in China and Korea and he was in Hanoi during negotiations. My husband Bob was there at the evacuation of Saigon. I can't pretend to know what emotions they felt in such environments nor what nonsense they had to weed through and put up with from both the enemy as well as lousy commanders, unethical comrades and being asked to do things that I'm sure pushed them violently up against the wall of their own integrity. I'm sure there are things that have plagued them both from time to time and still......, there's something about a guy (or girl) who is willing to take up arms, stand a post, and hold a line for their group because right or wrong at times its still their group....... I just know that while I was playing on the beaches at Waikiki, Waianae, and the North Shore, there were others who were elsewhere in the jungles of Viet Nam trying to get that job done against incredible odds from all sides. And as Memorial Day, and my childhood memories testify, many, many were lost in those efforts. Many, many warriors lost. Yes, I've walked through Arlington National Cemetery, and seen the full ship salutes to the USS Arizona- and I dare you to do so without shedding at least one tear.

War is not the answer and I've always known that- however, what would I do to defend my group, my home and my country? What would you do? We can't handle lack of accord and understanding when the communications have become bullets and missiles, however in the right context I don't think I'd personally hesitate to use such means. Yes, I'd take up arms and hold a post if necessary..

We still need our warriors, and in today's times, we must all step up to the line. Today's greatest and most urgent battles are for our own personal freedoms, our minds, our self-determinism, our bodies, our religions and the state of our immortal being. The battlefields are sometimes intentionally confused and hidden behind big media's disinformation, big Pharma, Big Chemical, unethical legislation and leaders, and destructive technologies who run a constant campaign to make us think they are there to help and that their particular brand of bullets aren't really bullets at all. They are lying through their teeth! The corpses from those campaigns are hidden behind advertising, legislation and propaganda campaigns- but like those coffins on the fields at Schofield Barracks Hawaii, they are there and they are just as real.

So, on this day I honor ALL the fallen warriors, those who have fought and died, and those who have served and lost a part of themselves in the effort whether it be in body, mind or spirit.

I also honor all the warriors still in there slugging on in today's battlefields both physical, mental, social, spiritual and ethical. Those who ARE holding a post, taking a stand, holding the line and forging ahead for their group, their beliefs, and their integrity against incredible opposition and suppression.

Today, I also ask myself and you too- What kind of warrior am I? What post am I holding?- what post are you? What do I stand for?, what do you? What arms am I taking up for the survival of my group, my beliefs, my spirit, my religion, my honor and my integrity? And in fact for ALL of humanity?

As the old saying goes- "The man who won't take a stand, stands for nothing".

I love true warriors!
Our own neck is only as precious as our fellow group member's is.

Find your cause, Take a stand, Hold a post,
Be constantly vigilant, Hold the line

Push ahead for a better world no matter the odds.

Be a warrior on your chosen battlefield and don't let the line be broken under any circumstances.

And on Veterans Day, honor all those who have served in battle, their chosen ones or not, and who held their post, did their job and have fallen before us.

Thank you veterans of all wars! Personally, I thank you very much!"

- Michele Ross -"Mikala" 

My father during WWII
My husband as a young sailor
 P.S., Miss you Dad

Sunday, November 1, 2015


A Challenge from me:
One of my absolute favorite movies of all time is "Apollo 13". I guess because its a story of absolutely overwhelming odds against survival that are overcome by those involved, to a positive and life preserving end. One of my favorite lines in this movie is when Gene Krantz, (played by Ed Harris) says "Can we review our status here, Sy, let's look at these things from a... from a standpoint of status. What have we got on that spacecraft that's good?"

WHAT HAVE WE GOT ON THE SPACECRAFT THAT'S GOOD? That line often runs though my head when I see too much bad news here on the Internet and elsewhere. It has sort of become a mantra now. "What have we got on the spacecraft that's good?" My 2nd favorite line from this movie is when Jim Lovell (played by Tom Hanks) says to his 2 fellow astronauts, "Gentlemen, what are your intentions?" It is another great line that rings in my ears whenever I see too much bad news or questionable data. I don't just question others on these things, I side-check myself as well.
Our beautiful green blue ball is much like a spacecraft that we all share. Its fun to look at photos of Mars, but really for these earth bodies of ours right now, Earth is the best option. I mean, we're ARE sort of on this spacecraft together sharing space and life support. I have been to many parts of our beautiful planet, and have found beautiful things and beautiful people everywhere I went, of all cultures and creeds. Yes, there are many overwhelming things happening here and there, but especially as we go into this Season of Good Will, Let's continue to look for and find "What have we got on the spacecraft that's good?", and when only the bad seems to be presented, ask "Gentlemen, what are your intentions?" We get what we put our attention on, so let's try to strengthen and accentuate the positive and minimize the negative, and I will try to do the same. 

So, with that said, please share in your comments below, 
WHAT HAVE WE GOT ON THE SPACECRAFT THAT'S GOOD? Note: Only Positive comments allowed.
Please feel free to share this challenge, and let more good news into your life.