Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!
It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?
Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamin’s on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.
Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.
THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.
Leather & Lace MC
Hey Fam, you may not know that I am a SHOE NUTT! I absolutely love and appreciate fabulous footwear. SO, while on the set I will be on the look for you mixing Gasin'& Fashion. I caught a few sistas stylin in stilettos on their bikes at Tru Con's Food Drive and added them to my photo montage. Once I collect enuf photos 4 my "shoe rack" I will display them and ask you to help me pick out a favorite. That Happy Feet (and its owner) will win a gift card to purchase more SHOES! So if ur stylin' and profiling on the set with some Ooh sO FAB or Fly Footwear, Holla at Me.
There is more to sisterhood, the definition of 'sisters' doesn't necessarily mean by blood, read on.....
A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day,
drinking iced tea and visiting with her mother. As
they talked about life, about marriage, about the
responsibilities of life and the obligations of
adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her
glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance
upon her daughter.
Don't forget your sisters,' she advised, swirling
the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. 'They'll
be more important as you get older. No matter how
much you love your husband, no matter how much you
love the children you may have, you are still going
to need sisters. Remember to go places with them now
and then; do things with them.
'Remember that 'sisters' means ALL the women...
your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other
women relatives too. 'You'll need other women. Women
What a funny piece of advice!' the young woman
thought. Haven't I just gotten married?
Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a
married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely
my husband and the family we may start will be all I
need to make my life worthwhile!'
But she listened to her mother. She kept contact
with her sisters and made more women friends each
year. As the years tumbled by, one after another,
she gradually came to understand that her mother really
knew what she was talking about. As time and nature
work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman,
sisters are the mainstays of her life.
After more than 30 years of living in this world,
here is what I've learned:
THIS SAYS IT ALL:
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don't do what they're supposed to do.
Colleagues forget favors.
Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how
many miles are
between you. A girl friend is never farther away
than needing her can reach.
When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end. Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you....Or come in and carry you out. Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family: all bless our life!
The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would YOU. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.
Every day, we need each other still. Let's come together and support each other !!!!
Leather & Lace MC
I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” And she gave me a giant squeeze. “Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked. She jokingly replied, “I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids.”
“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.
“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!” she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester, we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.
Frustrated and a little embarrassed, she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order, so let me just tell you what I know.”
As we laughed, she cleared her throat and began...”We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young - Being happy and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.”
She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.” She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year's end, Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.
GROWING OLDER is MANDATORY.
GROWING UP is OPTIONAL.
We make a LIVING by what we get.
We make a LIFE by what we give.
God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
If God brings you to it, HE will bring you through it.
Good friends are like stars...
You don't always see them, but you know they are always there!
Tomorrow marks the 2 year anniversary of my fathers’ passing. He was only 58 years old and he and my mother were married for 38 years. When he passed away I was mad, hurt and angry at the world including GOD. It took a while for me to realize how selfish it was of me to want him here where he was in constant pain and suffering. When he got sick the doctors told us he had 3 months to live and he lived for 8 months so we were blessed to have that “extra” time with him. Many people do not get a chance to say goodbye. We don’t know how long we are to be here on this earth so I say make sure to live every day like it’s your last day and let go of the hatred, the pettiness and all the childishness. Tell the people you care about how much you love and appreciate them because none of us are guaranteed to be here tomorrow.
Today I salute all the Doctors, Nurses, medical professionals and Hospice. Although my father was unable to donate his organs because the cancer had spread throughout his body I want everyone to consider being a donor…you or your loved one can help to save someone else.
To Remember Me
Give my sight to the man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face, or love in the eyes of a woman.
Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.
Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.
Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.
Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.
If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses, and all prejudice against my fellow man.
Give my sins to the devil.
Give my soul to God.
If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.
"It feels so good when you let go of all the drama in you life...free from all the pain...free from all the games...free from all the stress...I don't know...only GOD knows where the story ends for me, but I know where the story begins...it's up to ys to choose whether we win or lose and I CHOOSE TO WIN!"
This is my personal motto and my piece of advice is to let go of all the drama...stop worrying about what others are saying about you and just do you!
Just remember, believe only 1/2 of what you hear because most of it is not true.
You will always have haters and people who will talk about you and gossip...but guess what...most of them are not even on the same level.
Beautiful on the inside and out, Educated and highly Independent~
Jellybean...because I am so sweet...
Protocol Basics when dealing with Motorcycle Clubs (MC CLUBS)
The following are things to consider if and when you are going to be around motorcycle clubs:
1. Patchholders are people too. They have good and bad days; they have jobs, families, and normal everyday problems and concerns just like anyone else. There are those who no matter what you say or do, it will not be right with them. Just like with any group, you will find both good and bad.
2. Protocol and Respect are primary rules when dealing with a motorcycle club patchholder.
If you are introduced to a patchholder, make sure either the person doing the introduction (or you) make sure they know what club you belong to & if you are an officer, what position you hold. Under no circumstances do you interrupt to correct a mistake while that person is introducing you or while they are talking. Wait till the introduction is done & politely introduce your self correctly. (i.e.….Joe Rider, xxxxxxxxxxxx Riding Club, 1st Officer, Anytown Chapter...Fred Spokes, Anystate Officer, xxxxxxxxxxxxx Riding Club. Use your name - not your nickname. Nicknames may come later)
3. Greet them as you would meet anyone else & wait until the offer is made to shake hands. DO NOT interrupt, wait for them to recognize you. DO NOT be offended or make a big deal if they do not offer to shake your hand. Many times they want to get to know about you and your club a little better before they will offer to shake your hand.
4. Never Ever LIE!!! You can refuse to answer a question in a polite manner by saying something like, "That seems like club business, and I would like to refer that to one of our officers in order to get better information for you." Be prepared to answer questions about what your club is about. Such as: A. "We are a riding club & not a motorcycle club and have no intention of ever trying to become a motorcycle club".
B.) The Patch is bought & not earned.
C.) Dues are paid via donations.
D.) All makes and models of motorcycle are welcomed in Wheels of Faith.
E.) We are a non-territorial club.
F.) We are a neutral club and do not wear any MC support patches.
G.) Women riders are welcomed and in many cases are club officers.
H.) We are a riding fellowship of Christian motorcyclists.
J.) Do not offer forum links or web sites, It's better to refer them to a club officer.
K.) Do NOT brag about how large the local or national membership is.
L.) Do not volunteer club info. If they ask a question about the local chapter answer it if you can. If they start asking questions about the number of members, or the National chain of organization refer them to one of the club Officers.
5. Women in leadership positions or being a patchholder in motorcycle clubs, while not totally unheard of, is very rare. That's just the way it is. Most motorcycle clubs would also rather deal with a man if there is business to conduct. Most realize what a riding club is about & will for the most part accept a woman as an officer, and a woman officer will most likely be allowed to attend any meeting. Whether or not they will deal directly with a woman officer or not depends on the individual motorcycle club/chapter. There is no set rule for this and they will let you know if it's ok with them or not. Many motorcycle clubs do not care to deal with the National officers. They would prefer to deal with the local or state representatives.
6. If anyone knows a patchholder, don't let him/her throw the patchholders name/nickname/club's name around like you're a great buddy of theirs (even if you are). Many clubs consider that as a major disrespect to the whole club.
7. Watch where you are when speaking about them, and never say anything about them in public because you never know when that woman, man, or kid in regular clothes standing near you might be one of them, or a "support member". Patchholders do not always wear their colors. By the time the story gets back to the top club in your area, it will have been changed many times over and could be blown up way out of proportion.
8. Anything said about them between club members is club business ONLY. If comments, even those said in a joking manner were to get out, problems could start. Discussion outside the privacy of the chapter can start rumors which could cause a lot of problems for not only the chapter, but also for other chapters in and out of the state.
9. If for some reason you have to say something while in public about a motorcycle club, take the person you're talking to aside, alone, and say ONLY what you need to say to get your meaning across. Say as little as possible so anyone else can't overhear it & misunderstand what you're talking about.
10. Watch where you wear your patch (RFs don't wear colors, colors are earned, not bought) and it's just common sense to stay in numbers when wearing the patch. (Some motorcycle clubs can be very territorial and some clubs don't see any difference between a RIDING CLUB and MOTORCYCLE CLUB, good or bad.) If you are unsure of the areas or places normally frequented by motorcycle clubs, find out from your club Officers. If you are planning on traveling and are concerned about what the situation may be in regard to the relationship with the local motorcycle clubs in the areas you'll be traveling through or staying in, talk to your local officer and ask if they can find something out by contacting the officers in the areas you will be in.
11. "SHOW THEM RESPECT." That's A #1 with them! (And worth repeating).
12. If you already know a patchholder, or get to know one in the future, don't just walk up to him/her and interrupt when they are with other members. Wait till he/she acknowledges you first and NEVER touch them or put your arm around them like a buddy. Don't put your hand out to shake theirs, wait for them to extend their hand first. If for some reason you're not acknowledged at all, just keep walking. If you need to talk to an officer of a Motorcycle Club the proper way is to go through the Sgt at Arms or one of the patchholders.
13. You have to decide whether or not you want to show respect by going to any of their functions or if you want to avoid all of them all together. If you do choose to show respect and go, you can do this in a way that may make you feel more at ease by going to one of their "support's" functions instead of the top club's function (if they have a support patch then you're still indirectly showing the top club respect). But if you do go, then you also have to go to their rival clubs' function or you'll be telling everyone that you're not a "NEUTRAL" club as you said you were. (Example: If you go to the Club A's function then YOU HAVE TO GO to the Club B's function, etc.) You have to decide how you want to stay neutral, by going or not going and you have to let all the other area chapters know if you're going too, so they're not in the dark and we can ALL stay on top of things.
**** NOTE ***** A better way to support them and still give the appearance of being a neutral club is to attend only "open to the public" events that a motorcycle club may be sponsoring.
If you feel that you do want or need to go to a "limited event", then you'll have to go representing yourself as yourself, preferably without wearing any patches identifying your club. Remember, if you're wearing your club patch, you are considered by everyone to be representing your whole club. If anything were to turn sour, then your whole club could wind up with problems down the road. Also, once the rivals of that club you visited find out (and they will within a day or two), then those rivals will see you as no longer being neutral & you could be considered a rival of theirs too.
14. No CLB's (Chapter Location Bars), any territory rockers, or anything giving the appearance of a rocker, should be worn with the patch.
15. If someone from a motorcycle club requests that you remove your vest/patch, don't argue. The best reply is, "No Problem," and then politely take it off and let your Club Officer know what motorcycle club it was so they can deal with any potential problems. You normally will only get asked once.
16. If an establishment has a sign indicating “No Colors”, even though your patch is not considered “colors”, the vest should be removed out of respect to the other clubs and the policy of the establishment. While you may just be a Riding Club, it's only respectful to honor the house rules. Motorcycle clubs that honored the "house rules" would probably be deeply offended that you didn't. Also remember many establishments choose to have this policy and it applies to all clubs that use any kind of patch; they do not distinguish between a MC and a RC. Be aware of the local motorcycle club hangouts & it's best not to wear the RC patch into them without an invitation.
17. Do not wear your Patch into a motorcycle club clubhouse unless you have asked if it's ok to do so or have been invited for a "sit down" with the officers of the motorcycle club, or been invited as a Riding Club Member, to attend a function there.
18. In regard to women who are with a MC club, but not in the club: "Old Lady" is NOT a negative or derogatory term! It's just a slang term commonly used. "Property Of" patches are their way of showing support for their man and the club he's in.
19. A patchholder may not, and many times will not, acknowledge your wife or girlfriend, especially upon a first meeting.
20. DO NOT touch or sit on a patchholder's bike unless invited to do so. Do not expect the invitation.
21. A prospect can usually be identified by the back patch they are wearing. There are many different ways motorcycle clubs identify prospects. They can have the rockers without the main patch. They can actually have a patch saying "PROSPECT". Some do not wear any patch, because all the Patchholders know who the prospects are. You want to treat a prospect or even someone you suspect is a prospect the same way you would treat a patchholder - with respect and courtesy.
22. Have absolutely no doubt that a "MC" (motorcycle club) is serious and many have been known to physically educate a person who shows disrespect or displays a bad attitude.
23. Be aware of the behavior and attitude of the other! In OTHER WORDS, members who are with you at events. If necessary, try to take action to avoid problems before they happen. For example, if someone appears to be getting too angry or loud and possibly disrespectful, take them aside or suggest going somewhere else until things settle down. You could also let one of the officers of the club know about the situation. If an incident should occur in spite of your efforts when no Officers are present, make sure to let your officers know as soon afterward as you can. If no club officers happen to be there, then ALL of the RC members that are there need to make the attempt to take that person aside, and strongly suggest that the offending RC member go somewhere else to settle down.
24. Be aware that problems created in one part of the country by a RC member or issues with the RC in one area have the potential to affect RC members in other areas and states.
25. The term "Brother" or "Bro" has special meaning to a Patchholder, so DO NOT call a Patchholder, "Brother or Bro". Their "Brothers" are fellow Patchholders and those that have earned that term.
26. DON'T EVER touch any part of another club member's colors, which includes the vest or jacket it's sewn on. That is considered serious disrespect, which could cause them to aggressively educate the un-informed.
This makes for some GOOD reading! There are ALOT of these out here, pop'n up like microwave popcorn....
Whatever our hands touch we leave fingerprints! On walls, on furniture, On doorknobs, dishes, books. There's no escape. As we touch we leave our identity. Where ever you
go today. Help leave heartprints! Heartprints of compassion Of understanding and love. Heartprints of kindness And genuine concern. May my heart touch a lonely neighbor
Or a runaway daughter or son, Or an anxious mother, Or perhaps an aged grandfather.
and as you go out today To leave heartprints. And if someone should say, "I felt your touch," May they also sense the love that is deep within my heart.
some people won't like this & some will not admit they agree...
Public Service Announcement...you are NOT an M.C. club if NO ONE in your club has a bike (not even the prez) & only 1 person (out of the 20 or so you rounded up) even knows how to ride...it is disrespectful to the REAL M.C. clubs by claiming M.C. status...you are a SOCIAL CLUB.
Also...why do M.C. parties let in the prez & PRO from SOCIAL clubs free to their events? I mean what does the social club (not referring to MC/SC) have to do with the bike scene besides being a "biker groupie"?
...Independent Rider by choice...