Buying A Ticket To The Movie Doesn’t Make You The Star Of The Show…

Like many folks close to my age, I was raised to honor the flag and Military as well as bow my head to pray in church. Our children and grandchildren have been raised with the same beliefs. 

Perhaps because I’m old enough to remember when holding a door open was a common courtesy and addressing anyone from the janitor to the president as sir or ma’am, today’s blog is a mix of what I’ve seen and heard the past few years and a trend that continues to shock me. 

From the headlines, anyone in another country might assume that the U.S. is torn in two parts. I have friends in other countries who watch the headlines and contact me to see if said stories are true or not with everyone now second guessing “fake news.” Who could blame them? 

The news is no longer about small communities anymore or feel good stories either. These days, the more “gripping” a headline is, the more viewers will tune in.

In today’s “cell phone society,” everyone pays far more attention to their phones rather than actual people. 

Reality tv is equally shocking with the only real memory I have before changing the channel years ago of Jersey Shore was a girl getting punched in the face. Subsequently, the girl became famous. Shocking right? In the wrong place at the wrong time or in the right place at the wrong time? Your guess is as good as mine. 

Television shows these days are becoming as shocking as a few of the cartoons. Violence, arguments, drunken brawls and infidelity rule the plot lines. Gone are the days of real reality with scripted reality becoming the new norm. Was someone paid to punch Snooki? The world may never know. 

Yesterday on LinkedIn, a post regarding the Kardashian sisters dressing up as Victoria Secret Angels followed up a previous post a few weeks back about the financial success of a family who became famous for their derrières and a sex tape of Kim? How is something that most people would be embarrassed about propelling this family into millionaires? 

The saga of teen stars becoming addicts is alarming. The pop stars that become paychecks for their families is equally confusing. The rag mags have blazing headlines of stars who turned their backs on family members without documenting why. There’s a story there but, the real story is hidden from public consumption. 

Headlines and news releases aside, anyone logging into LinkedIn, FB, Instagram, Google Plus or even the internet news is flooded with disruption. The depressing reality is that there are so few feel good stories these days that no one even bothers to write them anymore. 

Taking a knee or riots blaze across television sets across America while confused Americans head off to work to earn money and pay their bills, others believe they should be entitled to free healthcare and college. What the? 

My son, nieces and grandnieces were taught to stand for the Pledge as I did and they were taught to hold the door for others as I was. Our children were taught to respect their elders. 

But, raising children today is significantly different than it was years ago. We were raised with values from a single parent. 

Our father had a village to help in Lompoc but, when he moved us to Oklahoma, my aunt Mill and uncle Bob who had no children of their own, became the village on weekends. My father worked and our mother wasn’t a part of our lives. 

In Lompoc, we had two sets of grandparents and more aunts and uncles than I could ever keep up with looking after us. ALL of our relatives had different faiths and religious preferences and all of them prayed before meals and went to church on Sunday’s. 

Uncle Bob and aunt Mill were strict. They had been brought up in strict households and every meal began with a prayer. You always addressed them as sir or ma’am and when in public, “children should be seen and not heard.” Heaven forbid that you were to ask for something checking out of a store! 

Many people assume that having a parent at home and the other parent working gives children “a fresh start.”

In my case, having responsibilities after school WAS my fresh start. My sister and I cooked and cleaned and did our schoolwork. There wasn’t recess when returning home from school because there was responsibility. 

The controversy over two working parents or a stay at home parent had no impact on my siblings and I whatsoever because we didn’t have a parent at home. When we arrived home from school, our job was homework and chores. There wasn’t any “free time” or idle hands. 

My husband had plenty of “free time” and idle hands with questionable choices for friends. 

It’s shocking that my 67 year old husband was a juvenile delinquent but, true. With no one other than his maid to give him attention, Matthew found fun and excitement on the wrong side of town. He often used church as an excuse to his parents to run off and start a bonfire while drinking beer at 12 years old. 

Back in the “old days” Matthew lived with both parents but, his mother was a raging alcoholic who took little or no interest in him and his father was always at work or the country club. 

My husband frequently skipped school and “ran around with the wrong crowd.” But, the maid was the only parental figure in his life and because of this, he had the ability to run wild without any real consequences. 

My husband’s memories of riding around on his motorbike at 4AM in the morning with his hooligan friends eventually came to an end when he was called to the kitchen for a conversation with his father. 

It was a life changing conversation. “Son, you are skipping school and running around drinking beer with a bunch of losers. They aren’t ever going to amount to anything and, if you keep this up, you won’t either. It’s high time you got a job to keep you busy. I’m not buying gas for you anymore. If you want to go somewhere, you’re going to have to work to afford it. There aren’t any free rides in life. You make the choice. You are at a fork in the road and it’s time to choose your path. I know you weren’t in church last week praising God where you should have been.” 

My husband discussed this memorable conversation with my son late one Christmas Eve while he was out with his friends past 10PM and I was losing my mind not knowing if he was dead or alive. The cell phone I paid for went unanswered for hours after 10PM that night. I will never forget it. Not knowing where your child is or who he’s with is a horrible reality. 

What had happened to my well mannered son who was always home by 10? A car. For his 16th birthday, we had bought him a car without forcing him to get a job to buy gas. 

Sounds insignificant but, giving a car to your teenager or in my husband’s case, a motorcycle, gives them a window of wildness. 

Like Matthews father, I had my son get a job to occupy his free time and also had him pay his own insurance and buy his own gas. 

Late night escapades came to a hault when I also decided to lock the house and set the alarm at 10PM. If my son wasn’t home by 10, he slept in his car. 

Cindy had bought both of her daughters car after car. Stephaney continued to wreck hers while Leigh Ann took great care of her vehicles and paid for her own gas and insurance. 

Handing a sixteen year old “kid” keys to a car should come with a certain degree of responsibility. I’m saying this from experience. 

No one “gave” me a car. I worked for and bought my own. You respect something far more when it isn’t given to you. Trust me.

Today’s younger generation has become far more focused on getting their “fifteen minutes of fame” for risqué or questionable behavior. 

Social media has created a circus of youtubers and Instagram posts of half nude Kardashians and other questionable media. Getting rich and famous from promiscuous behavior is the shocking reality of society. What is it teaching our children? The wrong things.

For parents and grandparents, teaching our children and grandchildren the virtues of hard work paying off while honoring God and country is becoming far more rare among other teens and young adults these days. 

The twins have lived with Maddy since she was born at my sister house. Maddy’s mom, Leigh Ann came home pregnant nearly four years ago while her husband was stationed in the Navy. 

It was a high risk pregnancy and Leigh Ann wanted the same OB/GYN that had delivered the twins. She came home and had the baby and had been home since then awaiting orders for Alex. Cindy and I love having a baby again and we will be crushed when Leigh Ann and Maddy leave. 

Having all three of her granddaughters under one roof as well as her daughter Leigh Ann is why many of my twin sisters quotes are about family and occasionally the circus with a carnival atmosphere at here home aka “The Daniel Diva Diggs.” My sister has a FULL HOUSE. As children, my sister, brother and I spent Sunday’s in church and visits to older members of family part of a weekly routine. 

Children were raised to pray, Pledge the flag and respect their elders. Children were taught to address adults as ma’am or sir. Children were brought up with discipline in the 60’s and 70’s.

As an adult, I’ve witnessed children yelling at their parents in public and behaving in a manner of complete disrespect with helpless parents who are unwilling to discipline them “accepting” that their children are “independent individuals.” 

Children aren’t “independent” because they are dependent on their parents for food, clothing and a place to live. 

My niece, Leigh Ann is raising her daughter as a “free spirit.” Madyson is adorable but, also likes to throw things and has a pretty good arm. Maddy is animated, curious and full of energy at ALL TIMES. Young Madyson is the center of attention to her papa and her cousins as well as her MeMe and I. All of us rally around Maddy. My son and his wife may never have children because the odds are heavy that they will have twins. 

Young Madyson was a gift to not only her parents but also, Cindy and I who never expected to be gifted with another baby after the twins. 

Leigh Ann won’t be having more children due to the many health issues of her pregnancy with Maddy. 

Like her mother, Maddy has a wild mop of curly hair that she hates to have brushed. 

Leigh Ann straightens hers now but as a child was often compared to Shirley Temple. It takes a village and, we have one for young Madyson but, when Leigh Ann moves with her husband, the village will be left behind in Texas for the move to California. Cindy and I worry constantly about this. I can’t bear to say goodbye to Maddy. Neither can Cindy. 

My twin and I have both given little Maddy a “pop” on the bottom here and there to teach her boundaries and also because throwing things or hitting people isn’t acceptable behavior. 

Leigh Ann doesn’t believe in discipline because she wants Madyson to “be an individual and express herself.” It’s an ongoing battle. 

Maddy likes to chase my dog, Foxy around the house. Foxy is old and prefers to lounge around. Telling young Maddy not to chase Foxy is an ongoing escapade. 

But, Maddy is precocious. Foxy has learned to hide in my office or one of our three living area/den rooms to “catch a break.” At three, Maddy is such a handful that if she had been a twin, I don’t believe I could babysit both of them at the same time. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my grandniece but, Maryssa and Makenna were raised by their grandmother and, they were raised with rules. 

The twins didn’t run from you at a store or scream “no” when you told them to stop doing what they were doing either. Maddy is a handful. 

I worry when Maddy’s father Alex is stationed at Oxnard next year if Alex and Leigh Ann will be able to keep up with Maddy in public. My sister is worried too. In a flash, Maddy is on the run and focused on having fun without worrying where her family is. 

Maddy is fearless and the controversy over a leash in public was brought to my attention on Quora a few months ago when someone asked my opinion. 

My opinion has been upvoted over 1200 times. The explanation? “If the child is in a crowded area such as Disneyland and the caretaker cannot physically keep up with the child or if the children are multiples, I see no issue with a leash in public. 

My grandniece is a handful and without her “backpack buddy,” nearly impossible to keep up with. 

My twin grandnieces also wore “backpack buddies” years ago because one would run in one direction while the other ran off in another direction. 

As parents, guardians and grandparents, keeping up with a child is a necessity not a choice. If a leash or backpack keeps your child from getting lost or running in front of a car- use it! 

Public “opinion” regarding leashes isn’t going to protect your child from getting lost in a crowd. 

As an adult, it’s your responsibility and, if you need a leash, you should use it to control your child in crowded areas. 

Also, if you happen to be physically disabled, you cannot run after a child in public. My twin sister has 12lbs of metal fusing her spine. 

Running after the twins or Maddy isn’t even on the table. Cindy can’t run. Cindy is thankful to be able to walk after an accident that crushed her between her car and a gas pump. My sister spent two years unable to walk following the surgery. 

I posted a photo of Maddy with her backpack buddy on the Quora post. Look closely at young Maddy (far right) and she’s wearing her backpack buddy in Santa Monica. Why? To keep from running into the ocean and getting away from us. Maryssa and Makenna were raised with limits and rewards for good behavior. Maddy has been raised with rewards regardless of her behavior. 

The differences in behavior between Maddy and the twins at the same age are remarkable.  The twins would have never run from Cindy or I in public. Maddy runs all the time.

This morning while answering my McConnell Unit client about her wedding next Tuesday in a Texas Prison, I flipped on the news with my morning coffee. 

As usual, doom and gloom filled the room. Today’s topic? Taking a knee. How anyone can become famous for being controversial I have no idea but, as an employee, you should have a “Code Of Conduct” when representing your employer. 

This is common sense to me but, then again, if this cheerleader was drunk or beating someone up I wonder if she would have wound up on headlines? 

Taking a knee in front of children and others is setting a bad example. After all, aren’t you representing an American sport? One that folks have spent money to attend in the first place? 

I no longer watch the Emmy’s or other award shows although I did for a number of years. Why? Because I don’t want to hear a stars political views and I’m guessing many others don’t either. 

Simply because you are famous and in the entertainment industry, don’t assume that everyone thinks you are a genius and believe in your opinions. They don’t. You are losing half or more of your audience because you can’t keep your mouth shut while thanking people and accepting your award. 

Be graceful, the general public will appreciate you far more for staying focused on why you were there rather than why they wished you would’ve just zipped it. Rating are down because people are sick and tired of having political jargon shoved down their throats at every turn. 

Whether you are famous or not, not everyone supports your theories or your beliefs. It’s common sense but, while some may think they are untouchable, the truth is that America is sick and tired of political rants. 

Regardless of your beliefs or political affiliation or even your religious preference, public displays regarding politics like taking a knee are becoming more and more common. 

So common in fact that I find myself wondering why these people aren’t getting fired for using their job as a political platform. 

I discussed this taking a knee issue with my husband this morning while answering emails. The news reporter continued raising her voice to such an extent that he changed the channel. 

My husband’s “take” on this? “If I were to do anything controversial in my role as a Vice President, I would be fired immediately. The people who continue to dishonor Flag and Country are Americans. If they don’t like America, they should move or find another job that isn’t public. 

If I were at a game that I paid good money to attend, the LAST THING I want to see is someone protesting. At NASCAR, there isn’t ANYONE there who doesn’t pray before the race or stand for the flag. 

What makes NASCAR different? Hard working Americans that love the sport and for some reason are considered to be rednecks. They aren’t. I’m not a redneck. I’m an educated land developer and builder that was raised to honor my elders, respect the flag and pray. You can’t fix stupid. No one can.”

Roseanne shoots her mouth off and apologizes. Others shoot their mouth off and then, apologize. How about not shooting your mouth off and saving the apology. 

If these folks realized that they aren’t Gods and just regular people who got lucky enough to make a good living, they might finally figure out that not everyone shares their beliefs and not everyone accepts their apology. Especially the sponsors.

My husband prays everyday. He stands for the pledge too. My husband holds the door daily for people who don’t bother to thank him and wonders why. After all, it’s not his job to stand there holding the door because you’re busy on a cell phone. 

I hold doors to people who ignore me too so I know where he’s coming from. Every weekend during race season, my husband enjoys NASCAR. 

When it’s not race season, the Golf Channel is always on. We have both become sick of the evening news and like many others no longer watch it. 

These days, even holding the door for a stranger or standing so the elderly can sit is far less common. It’s the “me generation.” 

Everyone is in a hurry and everyone thinks they are more important than others but, they aren’t. “Class can’t be bought- it must be taught.”

My belief is that as Americans we should respect police officers and military members who sacrifice everyday to keep the rest of America safe. 

But, not everyone shares my opinion. What happened to cause this “shift in society?” I have no idea.My cousins, Albert and James (photo above taken by Leigh Ann Blais), attended church with my sister, brother and I as children and also respect the flag. 

Taking a knee during the pledge? Unheard of. Being celebrated for doing so? Shocking. Blocking traffic to protest and destroying property? Illegal. I was in California during the riots when everyone was terrified to leave their homes. 

This destruction must stop. Whatever you are upset about- destroying property and putting others in danger because you are upset about this or that is childish and reckless. Go volunteer. Go out some effort into helping others. 

In my opinion, if you are working for someone else, you are representing their organization. As such, your behavior reflects directly on the organization. 

If your behavior is reckless, I won’t work with you. I don’t deal with Diva’s because I don’t have to. I’m picky about who I take on as a client because I can be. 

All of my clients sign a contract. Why? Because THEIR BEHAVIOR reflects on me. Last year, numerous people in a wedding party were arrested. The wedding party became involved in a drunken brawl. 

I now REQUIRE EVENT SECURITY with Open Bars based on my experience at out of control celebrations that end in violence. I’m too old to break up a bar room brawl and I’m not going to put my staff at risk of being hurt with flying chairs or wine glasses either. 

Nothing is worth getting hurt over in the event industry. I don’t HAVE TO WORK because my husband earns a good living. I work because I enjoy working but, if I can’t come home from an event without cuts, bruises and scrapes from an unexpected drunk guest, it’s not worth leaving my home to put myself in a dangerous situation. 

Dealing with drunks isn’t something I choose to handle alone. Hence the required event security measures. 

Chaos is also taking over at public schools to such an extent that I’m thankful we are homeschooling the twins to keep them away from the violence and drugs that have taken over the once reliable and predictable school system. 

In the “old days,” the pledge began our day in school. Children were raised to honor the flag. Both have gone out the window. Rowdy children with overworked and underpaid teachers have made public school dangerous. The wrong kids can sway the right kids into bad choices.

There are people who risk their lives everyday to keep America safe. From Police to First Responders to Firefighters and Military Personnel, these heros sacrifice on a daily basis to protect civilians. I can assure you that you will most likely never see one of them “taking a knee.” 

Politics have taken over social media and even the steets these days to such an extent that a few days ago while visiting with my Hutchins State Jail Bride, my doorbell was rung by a solicitor. 

Interrupting my meeting and walking past my posted “No Soliciting” sign, this intruder wanted “to discuss who I’m voting for and make suggestions?” I was less than friendly regarding explaining why knocking on my door to profess her opinions and beliefs in an attempt to alter my own was an unwelcome interruption.

My phone dings constantly for either my husband, Matthew or I from political organizations regarding voting. As God fearing Americans, I can assure you that texts, phone calls, emails and even personal visits to my home are not going to “guide” my privledge of voting. 

My husband and I both voted early and knew the direction we believed in was right for us. I don’t discuss politics or religion EVER on social media or websites. Why? It’s no ones business who I choose to vote for or which faith I follow that’s why.

As a child, protests were peaceful. I remember seeing “Save The Whales” picketers on the pier where we were going fishing and no one was throwing rocks or destroying property. 

Peaceful Protests were actually “peaceful.” These folks had a firm belief in their cause and weren’t violent in any way, shape or form. They got “the word out” without force.  

What happened to change the dynamics of our society to such an extent that violence had to be a part of it? I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why most of my feeds contain political rants either. 

This is the first time in my life that I’ve ever seen such negativity. It scares me to think that it’s where we are headed as a society. Whether you are Democratic or Republican, your political affiliation has nothing to do with my friendship or being part of your event services. I don’t ask because it’s none of my business. Please don’t ask me.

A few years ago, the Parker County Clerk refused to issue a marriage license to my clients, Kat and Tiffany McKay. They called me to ask what could be done? I suggested a peaceful protest. 

Two days later, they had their license. Not by being violent either. They sat and they waited and they patiently were finally issued a marriage license by the clerk “who didn’t believe in gay marriage.” 

As a public official, your opinion regarding same sex marriage shouldn’t factor into your job. Parker County had a few hurdles on issuing marriage licenses– Parker County, Texas LBGT Marriage.

Whether you believe in same sex marriage or prisoners having the right to marry, your opinion doesn’t affect the laws giving permission to these groups the right to marry. 

I know, I know, you feel strongly about it. So strongly that you contact me regarding your beliefs or your religious preference. Please stop. Your opinion doesn’t reflect my own or my clients. 

Being “outed” by Jeff Mosier years ago in the Dallas Morning News, I had no idea that so many people had an issue with LBGT Marriage until they began contacting me. Who would?I was shocked and dismayed that anyone reading that article would take time out of their day to attempt to convince me that welcoming ANY CLIENT was wrong. Much less that loving and welcoming anyone and everyone as a client would be “controversial.”

For me, and my family, we were not only offended by such distractions but also confused as to why someone felt so strongly about a union that had no effect on them? 

If you “don’t believe in LBGT Marriage or Prisoners having the right to marry,” that’s you baggage not mine. The law says differently. 

Prisoners and LBGT Couples have the Legal Right to marry. Public opinion won’t change that. 

My saucy sister came up with a quote to voice the opinion after reading one ten page letter sent to me by a self professed Christian was turned over to the Fort Worth PD. What was it? “Not my LUGGAGE Not my TRIP.” 

If you have opinions regarding my clients or their partners, keep it to yourself. We love everyone. 

We embrace our unique clients and their story. We don’t care where they came from or what makes them different. We were raised to love everyone and, we do.I’m certain my grandniece, Makenna will ask me about this cheerleader. Makenna follows the news and is curious about why everyone is so angry about politics. 

Like most fourteen year olds, Makenna is confused by the headlines these days or why the pledge and prayers were removed from classrooms. 

I’m not looking forward to answering the question quite frankly. Explaining the behavior of others or the well publicized “Stars” who get arrested or OD or run around half naked isn’t an easy conversation. 

I can’t explain to my grandniece why people make the decisions or choices they do. No one can. My guess is the publicity but, who knows? 

I’m driving to my niece, Stephaney’s court appointed attorney this morning in a jam packed day full of client meetings and weddings at a Prison and County Jail as well as getting bids on braces for Maryssa. Makenna can’t wait to get her braces off and Maryssa can’t wait to get her braces on.

I explained to Maryssa that braces are a luxury that not everyone can afford. Cindy and I wanted braces but, our father couldn’t afford them. Love is sacrifice. Cindy sacrifices everyday to provide for her twin granddaughters.  

Yesterday, I went back to JPS/LCA to pick up a letter for Stephaney’s attorney explaining where she is and more importantly, why she will miss her pretrial hearing Monday. 

Since Stephaney was Involuntarily Committed, the letter reads “Work/School Excuse” which is somewhat confusing and I’m not sure appropriate for Criminal Court. 

However, getting documentation from a Mental Institute for a Court isn’t as cut and dry as it might sound. Due to patient confidentiality, many Psych Wards are leery to release ANY information. 

It is my hope and prayer that Stephaney is sentenced to treatment but, it’s something that neither her mother or I can control. 

As parents and guardians to Stephaney’s twin daughters, our role is to focus on the twins and let the chips fall where they may regarding the past year of their mothers escapades across Fort Worth and Weatherford.

Responsibility for your actions generally is a “wake up” call. It was for my husband and it was for my son but, for my niece, Stephaney, it hasn’t been. Stephaney has had opportunity after opportunity to fly right but, chose not to. 

Cindy and I have been told we enabled her to continue to make mistakes by picking her up when she fell. Perhaps we tried to hard to set her on a path of a successful life? We tried.

Stephaney had what we didn’t. People who cared and were determined to save her. In a few weeks, Cindy and I will be fifty four years old. 

For fourteen years, we have raised Stephaney’s twin daughters without benefit of child support. Love is sacrifice. 

We’ve decided that it’s time to love Stephaney from a distance. It’s a difficult and painful decision but, if we don’t cut the strings, we both fear Stephaney will never be self reliant. One day, Cindy and I won’t be here to pick up the pieces…