Saturday, November 25, 2006

In Finland; In China, and in Malaya. Life, February 23, 1942
Made You Look.

In the Philippines, Mydans took last of his pictures to reach the U.S. Among them was the picture of his wife, Shelley, marching back from Sunday mass at the head of a regiment of Philippine soldiers. An invaluable aid to her husband, both in finding and setting up stories and in placating unwilling subjects, she had to share with him all the hardships of a war correspondent's life. Life Magazine February 23, 1942
Made You Look.

Top: On honeymoon in 1938, Carl was told to get a vacation, leave off taking pictures. But he took them anyway. Here he and Shelley stand before the cathedral in Cartagena. Bottom: Like any tourists, Carl and Shelley had fun taking snapshots of each other as they traveled. Here Shelley smiles prettily among Buddhas in an ancient Chinese temple. Life February 23, 1942
Made You Look.

What's A Girl to Do? Life Magazine February 23, 1942
Made You Look.

The House of Marlborough's ladies gather in the living room at Blenheim Palace. From left, they are Lady Sarah Consuelo Spencer-Churchill, 20; Lady Rosemary, 12; the Duchess of Marlborough, their mother; and Lady Caroline, 18. Child is the youngest son, Lord Charles George William Colin, 2. The Duke is away with the Life Guards and the eldest son is at Eton. Life Magazine, February 23, 1942
Made You Look.

Life Goes Calling at Blenheim Palace: Daughters of the Duke of Marlborough get jobs to help British war effort. Copied from Life Magazine, February 23,1942
Made You Look.

Aahh... the good old days.
Made You Look.

My Poem

Here is my poem written raw and read over twice by me so try and read it.

Abstruse Obscurity
Unlavished and breathing,
Truth of deceiving an underlying progression.
Not wanting the typical manner of your passion, only the
superior of you.
The mind; hardly understood in others perspective.
Its unique set- off, forwarding it to be seer and
overly imaginative.
Maybe your words are feign to others.
Leave them be to ponder your cryptic self.
But they may be careless of your unceasing opportunity
to be of their world.
There, now that thought is drifting behind.
Now stalwart words are written to inform of aberration.
Which meaningly forms to another way of turning
to unknown paths in mystic, fogging mindsets.
This is abstruse obscurity expressions.
Kayla Jewell

I hope you like it and please note of anything that I could improve or have left out.

Supporting The Marines

Operation PAL™: Prayers and Letters is a new project started by, Inc. in support of our active duty Marines who have been injured or become ill while in combat or upon return from combat. Our goal is to provide support to injured Marines in the form of Prayers and Letters. We try to reach 100 cards sent to each Marine that is on our Operation PAL™ list.

Operation PAL

A Few Thoughts

There's so much that Steve has to share with us. His short trip to Iraq changed his life forever, I believe. We are still absorbing it all. There's a lifetime of stories for him there, I know. And shortly we will begin our book, Sand and Rubble.

We have big plans for our blog. Steve wants to create a Web page so that we're not limited with the template of blogspot. He says it will take him about a week to design, and of course, he still has to get another computer first, since his was robbed from him on his way to Kuwait.

If you've kept up with our blog, then you already know the two Iraqis he paid $500. to get him back to Kuwait robbed his computer (with photos of Iraq) as well as his camera and a satellite phone which costs $1000. to replace (it was a lease). They also made him take his hiking boots off and took with them some of his clothes. He was left for a few hours waiting on convoys of military or contractors to happen by. He was finally picked up by a water treatment contracting group.

His armor: a bold navy blue sweatshirt with Back to Iraq and 1st Marine Division all over it. Aaron wore this sweatshirt faithfully; it must have been his favorite.

It's also the last thing I saw my son in alive, nearly three years ago.

I want Steve to share this poignant narrative with our readers soon. And soon enough, I'll respond in a narrative to the sand and rubble that Steve brought to me and my family. That too, is still soaking in.

So we are all a little bit shell-shocked still. But we will share as it works its way back out of our hearts and our minds, and finally settles on the keyboards we speak from.

During this time of thanksgiving, you all have been on my mind so much. Our troops, their families, and those who've faithfully served in our armed forces deserve and have our prayers and support.

Another day of football? I'm thinking so. Meanwhile the news of the last couple of days plays on in my head.

We've adopted a Marine in Iraq. Steve left his flak jacket with him upon leaving. Miles, an E-6, plans on making a career with the Corps. He's told us little about himself, but his men spoke highly of him to Steve. I know they miss Steve because Miles has e-mailed me saying how much morale support Steve provided to them there. I want to ask Miles if it's okay to post his picture, as he is gorgeous, but I'll check and see what he says first.

Fight on troops, as Americans begin to wrap up a long weekend. Fight on. We love you and need you.

The U.N. Saves The Day -- NOT

I just read a news story about the U.N. acting like an exasperated schoolmarm in Iraq, asking an unruly class to behave. This is the lead to that story:

"A U.N. envoy urged Iraq's government on Saturday to halt a slide into civil war and stop the "cancer" of sectarianism from destroying the country, warning that the carnage of this week could tear Iraq apart."

Can you believe it? Well, I hope the U.N. folks are delivering the message while they have their hands on their hips and stomping their feet to get the rowdy Iraqis' attention. They're "warning that the carnage of this week could tear Iraq apart." Really? My, my. I bet the Iraqis didn't know that and now that they do, they'll stop their murderous behavior and act like the little angels we know they really are. We all know they don't want to tear their precious country apart because they are people who respect life and property.

Get real, U.N. If you don't have the guts to put a gun in the Iraqis' faces and pull the trigger if they don't tow the line, then do us a favor and go bake cookies or help elderly ladies cross the street. Geez.

Give Em Hell

Watching our political leaders try to design a plan that will ensure victory in Iraq is like watching Jethro Bodine trying to become a double naught spy. But at least Jethro was funny. There's nothing humorous about the finger pointing and hand wringing going on in Washington.

I'm not going to contribute to the blame game and waste time naming the culprits for the Iraqi mess. We're all to blame. Those people in D.C. answer to us, the voters, and we must accept the responsibility for giving them their jobs. Of course, the arrogant representatives of the people forget they work for us, but we're also to blame for that. We let them forget that the voters are the boss.

The scramble to design a victory plan for Iraq is one more spastic dance choreographed by people who have proven they can't find their asses with both hands. Their incompetence is fueled by their arrogance, and they parade their futile findings as if they had just stepped off the mountain with a couple of stone tablets. They forget that in this case, the carving in the tablets is in their handwriting, not God's. But that's a minor detail to them.

As a shareholder in this great country, I, too, have a right to submit my plan for a victory in Iraq. It won't be considered, of course, because it's evident that I haven't mastered the art of getting myself tangled in a web when all I had to do in the first place was get a broom and knock the dang thing down. The politicians get tangled in the web of their own weaving and then spend billions of dollars and years trying to untangle themselves. Well I've got my broom out and I'm knocking the web down with all the idiots in it.

Iraqis can't govern themselves right now. Stop acting as if they can. Let's say you have three teenagers at home who are constantly trying to kill each other and burn the house down in the process. What are you going to do? Does it make sense to constantly ask them to behave and like one another? Should you make incessant pleas for peace? No, you knock them upside the head, tie them up if you have to, and you don't give them control over anything. Not even the garage door opener.

So let's stop wasting our time pretending that the Iraqis will magically arrive at a place where they will dance around the May pole and install a government that will share the country's resources equally and honor human rights. It ain't gonna happen.

Stop the insanity. Forget the politically correct bullshit. We've got a mess on our hands and acting as if we don't know where it came from is ludicrous. News flash, folks. We're part of the architectural firm responsible for the mess, so let's be grownups and fix it. Leave Iraq? Oh, good one. Yes, let's just take our toys and go home because, gosh, we just don't have the guts to do some good old-fashioned ass kicking.

We need to arrest, yes arrest, those Iraqi leaders who support and encourage the sectarian violence. We need to shut down that incompetent and impotent operation that tries to pass itself off as an Iraqi governing body. Bull. As long as American soldiers and Marines are dying in Iraq, then we have the right to rule that country. You can't take a bunch of fourth-graders and ask them to build a space station. The Iraqis simply cannot govern at this time.

So, my dear political leaders, I'm sick and tired of your bullshit. I'm sick and tired of you wallowing in incompetence when the answer to an incredibly complex problem isn't so complex. We, the Americans, must make the rules in Iraq. We have no qualms about building prison after prison in our own country. Build however many prisons it takes to house those Iraqi criminals who murder their own. Bring down a heavy hand in Iraq. Give them limited say in how the country will operate. When they learn to behave in a manner that shows they want to act civilized, then we'll treat them accordingly. Until then, what we say goes.

We don't pull out. We get tough, and we occupy. Yes, we occupy, and anyone who doesn't like the word can pack it up and move to Canada. I've had enough of American soldiers and Marines dying in a country that has no regard for human life and dignity. Bring down the mighty American fist in Iraq, and kill those thugs who are destroying their own country,whether it be 10 of them or a million.

We wanted a war in 2003. Well, we've got one. Now let's start acting like we're at war and get the job done. If you thought war was going to be pretty, then I have no sympathy for you, but I'll be damned if I'm going to keep quiet and let any political leader make a decision that will ultimately threaten the security of the United States.

Missing Writer

The writer that has disappeared on me this Thanksgiving break! Whose house are you at today, Baby Girl?


Virgie and Jerry's baby kitten. Tony has brought a lot of joy to them in just a few short weeks.

Tony was entertaining the guests at Mom's on Sunday before Thanksgiving and appears to be taking a break here.

Our Hostess

Karen was busy in the kitchen for days! She really enjoys cooking and baking. She enjoys family and parties. She loves her babies, Bonray & Sadie (their dogs) and she loves my baby brother, Gary. They've been together since Karen was 18 or 19. I think Karen is about 9 years younger than me, and I'm nearly 52.

Gary and Karen gave me a place to live during the week my first year and a half at Tech. I started to Texas Tech in the fall of 2001. So, I was at school when the jets flew into the Twin Towers. Karen watched it here at her home.

A day we'll never forget, I hope.

Senior Puppy

Hennessy must've been happy to see us when we got home Thanksgiving night. He sniffed at Greg's legs and then just threw himself up on Greg's lap!

Swinging and Talking

De'on and Steve out on the back patio at Gary and Karen's for Thanksgiving.

The Flame Thrower

This is the flame thrower that Steve jokes about. Mom uses one to light her cigarettes since her fingers are so sensitive.

She smokes nearly as much as I do, so the flame is usually torched!

We're out on the patio listening to the noisy smoking crowd. Dad and Greg have both quit smoking but get plenty of ours 2nd hand!

Virgie Bell

Mom with her eyes nearly shut. She always shuts her eyes, and I usually do too. She was one of the honored guests at Gary and Karen's for Thanksgiving.

Mom and Dad have been divorced since I was 13, but after so long a time and with so much history, neither one of them have a problem being together with their 3 kids: De'on, Lisa, and Gary.

Another Writer

Travis has his eyes shut here, but is watching the Cowboys in Karen's den with his parents and Uncle Richard.

Travis wrote an outstanding research paper on Iraq last year in school. Rich was in Iraq at the time, so I know this tweaked his interest a great deal in the country.

The Football Fans in Karen's Den

Richard, Johnny, and Lynette.

Rich is a civil engineer in Richardson, Tx. He is also a LT in the United States Navy Reserve. Rich just returned from Iraq this past summer. His missions included bridge building, bomb proofing chow halls, and putting armor on vehicles in Iraq. We will be doing some pieces about his unit. Rich was an active duty sailor with the Seabees for 3 years, used his GI Bill to help attain his degree in civil engineering and received his commission as a Naval Officer about three or 4 years ago (?).

Johnny is a successful coach in Cooper, TX, near Lubbock. He said his team had a rough past year as they were a young team, but he's brought great improvements to Cooper as the Head Football Coach. They've had great successes in the past.

Richard and Johnny are Karen's younger brothers.

Lynette is Johnny's wife. The mother of two and a RN at a hospital in Lubbock, she still manages to always look beautiful and is so much fun to be around.

Michelle and Holly

Holly is a fun one. Full of energy and wit, I expect to see her on stage someday, though she currently stays busy on the soccer field. What a delight she is to her parents, Johnny and Lynette. Johnny is Karen's younger brother.

The oriental beauty is Michelle ...Richard's girlfriend. Rich and Michelle drove from Richardson, Tx. to spend time with Rich's family on Thanksgiving.

An Avid Reader

Loretta is reading the copy of Operation Homecoming I brought to her and Jack.

Loretta is Karen's mom. When she's not working (as a RN on the nightshift in the emergency room here in Lovington) she is either sleeping or reading.

She set the other book down to read the one I brought her. Loretta is also Richard and Johnny's mom and Richard returned from Iraq this past summer. Of course, she was stressed while he was gone, and I'm sure worries that he'll return.

There will be more on Richard in the coming weeks.

The Two Dads

Jack and Harvey.

Jack is Karen's dad. The two dads enjoy being at Gary's patio bar for games, beer, and commentary.

Well, Dad can't have alcohol, but I'm sure is loading up on plenty of commentary.

Dad AKA Harvey

Despite the ride, Dad is in great condition for feasting with his son, sitting at a tall bar stool and relishing in Dallas' success on Thanksgiving.

He has to keep his shirt open due to the suffering he endures with shingles.


My brother, Gary Grigsby, finally allows one quick photo behind his patio bar. That's my dad (Harvey) in the reflection of the mirror.

Whose on the tube?

We were at Gary & Karen's house for Thanksgivng. They live in Brownfield, Tx--about 7o miles from Lovington.

International Daily Prayer Time @ 11:09 CST

Father God, in the name of Jesus: Please be with all of our troops. Keep them safe and comfort them as well as their families during this holiday season. Give them YOUR greatest gifts of Love. Amen

Friday, November 24, 2006

Virgie Bells' View

What on earth is wrong with Allen Combs lately? I mean, I know that Shawn Hannity has always been a pop-off kind of guy, but he has always had a twinkle in his eyes and a suppressed grin at the time of popping off. But Allen Combs seems to be seething with rage when anyone dares to have something bad to say about O.J. or Cindy Sheehan, and he was down right hateful to Mark Furman on the subject of whether Mr. Furman contributed to the verdict of innocence in O.J. Simpson’s criminal trail.

I watched all of the trial, and I have news for Allen Combs -- that trial was not about the murder of two innocent people but about O.J. being guilty of divorcing a black woman and marrying a white blond woman. It was just that, and the jury felt he had learned his lesson and repented. Anyone who thinks differently is sadly mistaken. Mr. Furman, to his credit, refused to even reply to Combs, and I don't blame him.

I read every book published about that trial with the exception of "I Want to Tell You" by O.J. and "A Life Interrupted " by Faye Resnick who was after her own 15 minutes of fame. I saw Allen Combs tear into both of the authors of "American Mourning" which I finished last night. Allen found them in his own word “despicable” just as he used the same manner of speech with Mr. Furman.

He really needs to lighten up over Cindy Sheehan and her desire to become the one Gold Star mother to profit financially over this war. Her remark was "This is a society that is paid for its work, and I have bills to pay like anyone else."

She had one meeting with Bush but desired more coverage, and her remark about Hurricane Katrina’s victim coverage that drew attention away from her campaign in Washington to confront the president was, "A little wind, a little rain ... There are things going on in other parts of the USA needing coverage."

Translation: “HEY I AM STILL PROTESTING.” Duh. Even Hanoi Jane cancelled her bus trip to protest the war because she said "Cindy had it covered, and I carry too much baggage." Well, yes, Jane, but your baggage is at least more pleasant to the eye than Ms. Sheehan's will ever be, and she is absolutely rabid in her delivery.

I was going to do an in-depth report on “American Mourning” but will only hit the highlights, for everyone needs to read this story of two families and their opposite reactions to the losing a son in Iraq. The book goes in depth about Cindy using crosses with the names of the other heroes in Crawford, Texas. Well, I never told De'on but I fired off an e-mail to Bill O’Riley about the same thing and Sheehan using Aaron’s name on one of those crosses, but I will be first to admit mine was about the legality of such a despicable act -- to use Allen Combs favorite word -- and I never heard back. I didn't make much of a fuss then because I was so afraid I might lose De'on when we all suffered so much over Aaron.

I have developed great respect for Mark Furman after the O.J. trial, as he has become a respected writer and is used as an expert in criminal analysis on talk shows. He has gone on with his life and probably making more money than he could ever hope to see as a detective, but in his heart of hearts I think he misses his old life as an officer of the law.

Law enforcement has the same adrenaline rush that soldiers seem to thrive on. I really do try to see both sides of an issue in this war on terror. Otherwise, I wouldn't still subscribe and read Time magazine, for it is geared to the liberal agenda. I'm glad Trent Lott is back as the minority leader in the Senate. I didn't feel the same toward Dennis Hastert as I did Mr. Lott. Just a personality thing that I found myself unable to overcome.

My gosh, I cannot for the life of me believe Harvey (editor’s note: Harvey is De’on’s dad and Virgie’s ex-husband) was going to vote for Al Sharpton for president, and I cannot believe Bill and Melinda Gates have nominated Jimmy Carter as Time’s "Man Of The Year." Go figure. But no matter what -- SUPPORT OUR TROOPS.

A Heart Full of Thanksgiving

Yesterday, Americans everywhere sat down in settings as varied as farm kitchens and opulent mansions to celebrate Thanksgiving. The observance of that holiday sets us apart from other nations, for we're the only ones who pause for a day to give thanks for the blessings that nourish our nation. Americans in Dallas, Boston -- and Iraq and Afghanistan celebrated this holiday that defines us as citizens of a nation who acknowledge our God-given gifts.

It is because of our commitment to the celebration of Thanksgiving that we have one more tie to the Jews. For hundreds of years, before Israel was established in 1947, Jews scattered throughout the world held fast to their faith and traditions. The Jews in Spain and Russia observed their holy days as faithfully as their brethern in Poland or Algeria. On Thanksgiving Day, Americans all over the world unite in the celebration of God's protection and grace, not allowing geographic boundaries to interfere. It doesn't matter where we are, for like the Jews who keep their traditions, we pause on the fourth Thursday in November to give thanks.

Yesterday's celebration was a unique one for me. I spent it in Brownfield, Texas, in the home of Aaron's aunt and uncle -- Karen and Gary. Two TV sets displayed the Cowboys' superior skills and the pounding they handed Tampa Bay. Hehe! I had to throw that in for Greg! Karen's Thanksgiving dinner filled the house with an aroma that would make an anorexic want to dive in. The food was awesome, and the company made it even better. Great food takes on an almost heavenly quality when it's shared with great people. Karen and Gary -- thank you for inviting me to your home.

For any member of the military who, because of commitment to country, was unable to be home for Thanksgiving, know that you were, and are, in our prayers and thoughts. As part of our giving thanks, we are grateful for your service and the honor that distinguishes your service. We hold you all dear, a part of our national treasure, and if all we can do is to hold you constantly in prayer, know that you will not find more committed prayer warriors.

Thank you, warriors, for defending our country. Thank you for contributing to the security that allows me to gather with loved ones to offer thanks for your service and the privilege of being an American. For that I am deeply, deeply grateful.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Gunz Up
wishes our troops
and their families,
and all those who
support them a
Thanksgivng of Love.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Marine Who?

Picture a Marine or soldier returning to the United States after a year-long deployment in Iraq. It might be his first or second tour, but more than likely, at this stage of the war, it's his third trip to battle. He's relieved to be out of a country whose capital suffers from a violence that suffocates the Iraqi hope for a peaceful existence. That American warrior returns home where he can walk down a street and not worry about a suicide bomber unleashing death on the innocent. But that same defender of American ideals also returns to a country where interest in Iraq, that land stained with the blood of his brother-in-arms, is barely discernable.

Men and women of different nationalities die daily in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Americans no longer want to be bothered by a war that refuses to behave predictably as they prefer. It hasn't gone well. We've been there too long. The Iraqis don't like us anymore.

A country whose beacon of democracy has illuminated us through the darkness of our Civil War and subsequent wars has decided that the discomfort and sacrifice of this battle is too much to bear. The soaring support for removing Saddam as a threat in 2003 has dwindled to a barely audible squeak. It is apathy that greets the soldiers and Marines, not the jubilant cheers that should announce the return of our warriors.

How are we going to win this war or any war with that attitude? How is that attitude going to keep our nation safe, and what are those people going to say when in a year the insurgents are again attacking our cities? Maybe then they will wish they had invested more into this war on terror. Maybe then they will wish they had considered the commitment and honor that propels our military -- and shown gratitude for it.

I just hope they aren't deep in those thoughts as they sift through the rubble that was once their home, courtesy of the insurgents, those Islamic extremists who won't stop until they destroy us or we destroy them. They're serious. Why aren't we?

Steve Alert!

Steve will be here this evening. Maybe he'll post something for us.

An Announcement

Starting at 12 Noon CST, I will be running a photo essay for Aaron's neice and nephews.

Jake, Chance, and Hayden Austin--HAVE FUN IN TEXAS !

Happy Thanksgiving too.

Made You Look.

Pappy made him drink lots of milk!!
Made You Look.

What a pose!
Made You Look.

Cowboy Up!
Made You Look.

Me during Christmas in Panama, first in 1991and on bottom is 1989 at the Refugee Camp after Operation Just Cause.
Made You Look.

Where Uncle Aaron lived and slept in Panama.
Made You Look.

He's out of his tie! At last!
Made You Look.

some little girl is having trouble with her neck, but Uncle Aaron's "walking" anyway!
Made You Look.

In trouble now!
Made You Look.

K. grad 2
Made You Look.

Kindergarten graduation 1
Made You Look.

Pappy, Uncle Aaron and me on January 18, 2002 in San Diego at Uncle Aaron's graduation from Boot Camp. He was in Platoon 3026.
Made You Look.

Here's one of you, Jake. Pappy's holding you back because you want to get on the tramp with Uncle Eric and Uncle Aaron. ;)
Made You Look.

Uncle Aaron, Eric and Pappy
Made You Look.

To Jake

Hi Jake,

Honey, the two photos I have of you with Uncle Aaron are in a frame made into a mirage. It's pretty big, but if you want, I'll take the frame apart and show them.

Leave a comment and let me know. Leave comments anyway, it's fun. I'll tell you when I'm through.

I bet Tonya has copies of these (as she is the one who took them) and if so, I could mail you some.

You guys bear with me while I'm scanning.

Also, I don't have those of Eric and Dana when they were young. Ask Pappy if he does.

Love you, Jake, and come and see us.

#1 Hayden, Uncle Aaron & Chance #2 guess who?
Made You Look.

Virgie Bell's View: Part One

Well, our meal was a success and our Christmas tree is gorgeous, so I will get right on with other issues.

If I were President and my country had been attacked on 9/11, here is what I would do first: I would try to establish a battleground away from the USA. I would examine my options for such a move; I would not choose just any old place, say like Cuba, or any other poor starving country, but I would choose one that had great potential, with say, oh … I guess a great oil supply, so that if I contributed in war repatriation, there’d be assurance that the country could share in the work and possess its own resources for its future re-development.

I would also look for a country that had a proven ruthless dictator who had tried to take over another oil rich country. I would figure in the fact that Hitler only really lost because he ran out of fuel; his tanks, planes, ships, etc, came to a screeching halt.

I would have to contend with telling the United Nations that they could call such a war illegal, but that I had sworn an oath to protect the American public whatever it cost in dollars.

I would keep in mind the way our military was treated after Vietnam, and I would get ready for every protester to come out of the woodwork—as they are paid to protest anything and are shipped from place to place, (and that money for them is also supplied by Korea and the party not in power). I would then put the military man in place that I decided was best for the job and go for it.

I know of course that I'm only a little housewife and my opinion is not worth much, but I would also establish a place like Camp X-Ray, there by Cuba, and if Cuba wanted to object, I would remember that they helped to establish a nuclear base so that we in the USA came close to annihilation by our sworn enemy. As for the prisoners in such a camp, I would not starve them or even beat them to death, but I would do anything to make them think I would drown them, or scare them with dogs or seductive women, knowing full well that their opinion and treatment of women is no better of the female than it is of a dog, and if it saved even one of our wonderful troops then I would feel it was more than justified.

Virgie Bell's View: Part Two

Now, on to politics, as usual . . . Charlie Rangel wants to reestablish the draft and the first reason he gave was that if the congress and other rich rulers had children that might go into combat, then those same elite would not be so anxious to go to war.

I would hope he’s wrong. I would hope that this prominent sector of our society realized, they too, had their country attacked on 9/11, and no matter what, I'd hope they would vote for war. But then Rangel’s next published reason was that countries like Iran and N Korea are a real and dangerous threat … and no matter what it takes to have enough in our military to defend our country, then we have to take whatever steps necessary, to keep ourselves safe.

I noticed his party is against this, but I admit, I can see his reasoning and agree. I realize that this would be hard, but I also know there are only two sides to a war--winners and losers. I want to win, as you have noticed, and since I have already lost one of the most beautiful and glowing people God ever put on this earth, my beloved Aaron, then yes, I have a right to a voice. I also hope that we never have to use our nuclear weapons, but if with our dying breath we have to, then I accept that.


Can anyone believe that John Kerry is really considering another run for President in 08? From his mouth to God’s ear, Kerry said that everyone had made the same misspoken or botched joke as he had and would understand ...well, here’s a news flash for him ... we do not elect them as President. Remember when Ted Kennedy made his bid for the highest office of our land, after his accident? As far as his bid went, he got thumbs down in a hurry. If I was Kerry I would just be content to live off of my very rich wife and give my politics a rest.

Virgie Bell's View: Part Three

Now, on to family news ... .De'on made me sound just like the crazy old aunt in the attic from my last novel and I am not deaf any longer as I have the latest thing in hearing: the most expensive hearing aids that money can buy. I now join the hearing society. I didn't realize the rest of you had to put up with so much background noise.

I want to wish my sister a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY today—November 21, 2006. [Publisher’s fault that it is now a belated wish.]

I will be looking forward to seeing all my family on the 23rd of December, as usual ... .I want De'on to post Kayla's picture of her in her last recital, so everyone can see how absolutely beautiful this girl is. I also wish Kayla would dance for our family on the 23rd, as she will have a dance down-pat for her Christmas recital.

Kayla, I really want you to do what you are comfortable with Angel Pie, but everyone was so disappointed last Christmas. We are your family, and that is what dancers do, is perform for an audience.

Well, De'on, Steve, and Greg are determined that I be profiled for Gunz Up, so I just want to say right now, I don't know who to name as my favorite author. I have many. I do want everyone to know that now, and then I will do a book review on something I've read. You can just skip it if you’re not interested.

I know Kayla and De'on will like the book I'm reading now, American Mourning, for it is excellent. I will say right now that Cindy Sheehan has always been nuts. When asked why she didn't put a headstone on her son’s grave, she said, “The military that returned her son’s body treated it like garbage.”

Cindy, unless you want to treat the site of his resting place with disrespect, then get a headstone and treat it like the resting place of the hero he really was, and in the meantime, shut up, or else SUPPORT OUR TOOPS!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Birthday

Gunz Up wishes Linda Gay Slatt
a Happy Birthday.

Here are your cyber gifts from us.

Song Please.

Fun Facts



We Love You!!!


Hmmm.... Well 7th grade was bad but 6th grade was my torture and wake- up to real life. I mean the horrific part of life. Seventh was a bit better. If you want to know the truth I can not remember much of it because I know I wanted to leave that year behind. Taylor Middle School was the worst school I have been to . The difference between eighth and seventh is the people. Some are mature and others minimized there faint maturity. Last year was drama, this year is a gained of freedom. I am more who I am. Because now what people think of me or say about me is just in one ear and out the other. There may be boys that are ok but most get on my very last nerve. They spit on me, cuss at me, use me for their satisfaction of power for the day ( if you know what I mean, if you don't they like to make fun of me). But giving them the -you better watch it look- seems to shup them up sometimes. Next subject.

Eighth is, of course, lots more work, but more people are rising to like me more because I am growing out of my shyness. I remember how in sixth grade when I was getting bullied a lot I turned to poetry and it let me relieve my pressure of anger. But I did start standing up to them. With the help of my mom of course. So then when they wouldn't stop I made threats and got sent to the office. But I wasn't a bad kid. Now see what I mean about and drama and lots more. Seventh was just down right annoying with all the teachers and crazy kids. So I don't know if that is what you meant by contrasting the two but I did my best. A poem will be up here soon.

God's promises are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22 Posted by Picasa

Radiate Joy

I just love God Calling. Within it, A. J. Russell edits the words of Two Listeners; two aged and impoverished women from England who began writing the words God gave to them in December 1932. If the two were not together, there were no words, but when together, God used them as messengers, to a hurt and dying world.

My first copy of this book were given to me in 1987 by someone I’d become close to in an apartment complex where we both lived in Lubbock. Brenda was starting a new life in Galveston as a physicians’ assistant student, and I would be leaving in February 1988 for Basic Training in the United States Army.

While I was in Basic Training, my Aunt Linda Dale mailed me a copy to Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Words that can come only from a loving God are rich within these pages. The messages of our God through these two women, undoubtedly with their Creator as I write today, encouraged me through Basic Training, and I’ve missed very few days since that time reading one copy or another.

While Steve was in Iraq, we read identical words, two of us together. For those who don’t have a copy, here is today’s God Calling.

Radiate Joy

Not only must you rejoice, but your Joy must be made manifest. “Known unto all men.” A candle must not be set under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that it may give light to all who are in the house.

Men must see and know your Joy, and seeing it, know, without any doubt, that it springs from trust in Me, from living with Me.

The hard dull way of resignation is not My Way. When I entered Jerusalem, knowing well that scorn and reviling and death awaited Me, it was with cries of Hosanna, and with a triumphal procession. Not just a few “Lost Cause” followers creeping with Me into the city. There was no note of sadness in My Last Supper Talk with My disciples, and “when we had sung an hymn” we went out unto the Mount of Olives.

So trust, so conquer, so joy. Love colours the way. Love takes the sting out of the wind of adversity.

Love. Love. Love of Me. The consciousness of My Presence, and that of My Father, we are one, and He—God—is Love.

Wear Red on Fridays

Wear Red On Fridays to Support Our Troops.
Click on the link above to learn more and order nifty shirts.

Think of the statement this would make throughout the USA if we all did this!!

We're also linked to them.

Our New Writer!

This is De'on's niece, Kayla Jewell. She is also Virgie's grandaughter. She has just joined us as a new writer at Gunz Up, and her Auntie is thrilled!
Made You Look.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Introducing Kayla

This is my first time to post something so it is not so clear to me.
That is why this is an introduction.
Right now I am sitting in a dark too quiet house so just know that this
will be a short post. But I want to write something so I will.
I can't wait to start putting my poetry on here.
I love to write (as you might see on my personal info) so this is of course a
good thing for me. Writing has been known to me since my first poem that came to me like a million tears bursting out of someones eyes.
I started and by then I couldn't stop, it was God given.
I could barely even tell what I was writing but I knew it made me feel good.

Ballet is also a part of me. I have been in since I was three and a half. But over the years I have grown a strong passion for it and also find an eager yet complicated doing with it. If that makes sense. There was a dance I made for Aaron's Memorial and today I wish I could go over it and make it at least five times better. But obviously it was meant to be the way it was.

I am recently reading a book called Dear John. I heard from my grandma that it will make you cry all throughout it. Well I can't to have swollen eyes. That is what happened the last time along with every time I cry. But lets move along with happiness.

Thanksgiving is coming up and I can't wait! I will get to eat good food and rent a movie. My brother and his family are coming so it will be fun. Scary noises are going through my house so I got to go.
There is my intro and I hope you got a good sense of me.


There were many different opinions about female soldiers coming into the 536th Engineer Battalion. The only real view the male soldiers shared was the need to express their opinion. From the one who commented on the shapely backside of one female soldier to another who stated, “I won’t help them carry their duffels, they’re soldiers just like me!”

There was the senior NCO with his condescending, “Your main mission here will be making coffee.”

Then there was me, who felt the need to comment to some other male soldiers that: “Females shouldn’t be in the military.” The problem was, I was sitting at the table with one of those females; the one that later would become my wife.

This was not to be the last ignert comment I would make in our fourteen years together. Still learning.

By giving Fort Kobbe and the canal back to the Panamanians, we probably saved some unfortunate female soldier the torment of being stationed with a bunch of “rocks"--the term my wife used back then to describe the 536th Engineers.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

It may be suffering.
Made You Look.

Buzzes and Links

I’ve told several, and I stand by it, that people read and hear what they want—or despise to hear. It’s the human habit in us that selfishly separates on many fronts.

We’re not hearing. Or linking, or listening , or something.

Steve told me by phone yesterday that he thought he might be a conservative. Greg will say, as he says many times, and even once again last night, “I’ve told you all along, Steve’s no lib.”

Of course, this wasn’t what Greg said two or three weeks ago, or maybe it’s been a few days. Time has definitely taken its toll on us here.

Buzz words and phrases get us all in trouble. When Steve wrote one of his posts, the one Mom got so fired up about, Greg was busy with the same fit.

I had sent Steve an email of Mom’s post and my response. I was posting it…regardless, but I wanted to give him a heads up so he had time to respond. This is a man in Iraq we’re talking about, a country with enough surprises without the shock of Bell. Several things happened. I’ll list them, though I’m not sure they’re in chronological order as everything went all amuck all at once, or so it seemed to me then:

1. Steve reads my reply to Mom, which is on top of her first post. One she’d sat on for a few days, and we all know the explosion that can cause.

2. Steve fails to read Mom’s post, which is right below my response.

3. Steve’s shock as he leisurely scrolls down the blog to Mom’s explosion.

4. My question, “Did you read the rest of his post, Mom?”

5. No response. This tells me she hasn’t.

6. At some point, Greg says, “Well, let me read the rest of it.”

7. And now Greg is back to his original statement in ¶ 3 above.

8. And at some point, probably Steve will fight to hold on to his label, though we’ve known all along, Steve is conservative; on some things, yes, Steve. And liberal on others.

This reading defect is by no means a conservative defect. It is a liberal deficiency as well, as the link linked below will illustrate. (We have to put other things back into our format when Steve gets here on Tuesday, but I can do these without messing up my template.)

Consider this link linked below, as the Reader’s Digest version of the piece I submitted to Operation Homecoming. Overall, did a good job. The absent Christy part of my narrative, I felt, was important information, but who am I?

And I was flattered they’d chosen mine out of the hundred.

And I was horrified by the comments. Or most of them anyway (some readers responded a little better than others). I thought I’d left something out. But I didn’t.

"Give Me Five More Minutes." by Christy De'on Miller

Enough said.
Made You Look.

Glory Be

I know that healing of the heart manifests itself in many ways. Each tender mercy from God above fills leaky holes, stitches up open wounds, hacks away at scar tissue, lends a hazy hope, until eternity, at last, has her final say.

My husband, as has been his habit the past few mornings, has lit a fire in our den, or living room, as Steve calls it. Greg lights it for me as he's getting ready for work at 4:30 in the mornings. I got up this morning before the flames died into embers while Sarah, Isaac, and Hennessy competed for the front row of the fire. As usual, Sarah won.

Cats are girls in personality like dogs are boys in character. It all works if we let it. Everyone still gets warm.

To me, it’s a den, refashioned from my son’s room, by Greg, my loving husband who has remained by me through the thick and thin of it all.

It’s been both.

But that’s not why I write this morning. Although I’d love to be working on a scene, pricking at a thesaurus, or playing with words, I’m merely here to keep it simple.

Dr. Chatwell is an observant MD; for he told my mom two summers was the length of time for heartache to lessen after loss. He paid attention, passed it on.

Mom told me this when the only thing I was searching for was time. When would it be over? This elusive quality of healing or even escape?

I was thankful for her words to me in her backyard on that day. It was the first time someone gave me an answer to how long?


I still don’t understand it all—but I’m at greater peace than before. I don’t think it was God that moved from me, or even me from God. I just think, I believe, one of the dimensional scales has been nicked from my tired eyes one more time. No doubt, it’s a laser surgery that will take place in my life many times before I go home to see them all. Those who wait for me there.

It’s not always unique in how our Heavenly Father reveals himself. But then, sometimes it is.

Virgie Bell's View: Part One

Well, yesterday, I wrote a lot about the most famous murderer among us. If you are not one of the inquiring minds who want to know, then this is for the clueless. Of course, The Tiny Minds Sect, (and, I have come to the conclusion they are a vast sector of our population) are also those with buying power, and God forbid we withhold something that might make a buck--so anyway--remember when I slammed Nutra-System for pandering to the anorexic? Encouraging this barbaric practice of starvation?

Well, the very next day it was announced that a top model, I don’t recall her name, as I don't keep up with that part of our population, starved herself to death.

I remember when Karen Carpenter did the same thing; what a waste, she had one of the most beautiful and melodious voices, was at the top of a career with absolutely no limits, and she starved herself.

Barbra could join Nutra-System and I would be alright with that. Instead, we have Nicole Richey running around looking like a plucked chicken with clothes and giant sunshades (because someone is always stealing her boyfriend away from her), inducing starvation to the point of believing that some prince will surely come, a-la-whatever her name is, it's just ridiculous ... and Harrison Ford ... I haven't watched a sitcom in twenty or thirty years, so I am certainly lacking in the names department here:until they starve themselves, or kill their most cherished, then, then they are in my world.

O J the exception. That murderous slime of the earth will not receive one moment of my time nor one penny from my pocket.

Did you know that this circus of a trial is a defining moment in literary history? In all my murder mysteries, just as 9/11 defines my historical and war stories, and comedy like Kitty Kelly's book, Royalty, and all things Hollywood ... I will mention this last quote by Lindsey Lohan, who wants to tour for our troops. When asked by reporters what she was doing to prepare herself for said tour, she replied, “My bodyguard is teaching me to shoot a gun… .”

One would assume said gun to be a pistol, unless her bodyguard is of the rapper persuasion, then it might be an Uzi…see what I mean about tiny minds?

Virgie Bell's View: Part Two

Well, I'm pretty far behind in the political and war sector, as we are still on Pelosi and giddiness. Oh, I do notice John Kerry is on the talk show circuit again. Steve, if I was you, I would have my party of choice gag that bird. I forgot that the most prolific among us haven't a clue, and are running for seats in congress or the senate sector. Can anyone believe this? Kerry Ketchup ran for President, yet, George Bush is called dense, or our military is, or whatever he said or meant….

I am probably one of Time magazine’s longest subscribers, and get this; they have a new piece called, What They Meant, adjacent to their column Verbatim. I’m glad too. It is all so confusing.…

Okay, the mystery I'm reading is pretty good. The author is a she, but I cannot remember her name. I know by her style, I've indulged in her literature previously … she is super quick and has numerous mini-stories going at once, so after this one, I'll keep up with her name. I’ll buy her books, for she is worth it. The title of her book is The Last Victim. And the one I thought was the antagonist is a victim already. However, he’s not eliminated completely, only wounded, so I think he is still one of the bad guys.

The plot is typical of its genre, with the crazy old aunt, wheelchair bound (in the mansion’s attic, of course). Inheritance of mass proportion has been left by an old skin … a flint who found out he couldn't take it with him and had to go anyway—so, he does the next best thing, and leaves it to the beautiful niece—cuts out the crazies of profound extremes: those who’ve already lived forever on the old geezer’s millions.

If you are into these cookie-cutter plots, this book’s for you, and then again, you could read Royalty, for it is essentially the same thing. If you read as much as me, you bear comparable repetiton, or experience a long dry spell.

Anyway, on to holiday preparations….

Virgie Bell's View: Part Three

We had to go buy something else for my Christmas Tree Extraordinaire. We had failed to get a tree topper or tree skirt. Well, we got the last beautiful gold angel for the topper and a gold satin jewel encrusted skirt. I can't believe we spent more on that skirt for our tree than on a skirt for me ... but that we did...anyway is there anything more fun than buying this kind of stuff? It is all so colorful and gaudy but is so much fun…oh, I fully intend to bring out all my old stuff from Trees Past: you know, the kind with all the memories... but if you have remodeled nearly all of one year you see enough of old memories and piled up junk that you are not ready to go there just yet for Christmas.

Jerry is on his day off and has now baked a turkey and is smoking a ham and has made two of his famous pecan pies from scratch. He wins the blue ribbon every year at the fair with his pies… it is so cute…for those of you who don't know Jerry, he is 6'3" and weighs, God only knows what … but he’s not fat, and he is just so proud of his ribbons. He also cans everything cannable and receives ribbons for all that stuff too. He has a fully furnished kitchen on the patio with a full-sized electric range, deep freezer, fridge, plus all sorts of hot plates and smokers and pits. He has a sink with cutting boards and enough iron tables and chairs that he’s crafted (he is a master welder) and the stuff that he has made is to perfection. We’ve enough tables to seat about 40 people.

We had a party for Aaron’s and Zach’s graduation and it was great fun. I guess my family will be here to have Thanksgiving with us tomorrow, except for our son, who has invited us to his house on the real Thanksgiving, I have made turkey and dressing twice in the last three weeks trying to find the very best dressing recipe. Well, l hit the nail on the head with the last batch, so that's cool ... but anyway, when you are deep into remodeling and still have a lot of stuff left over and no place to put it, you find tons of useless stuff to occupy your time with, until finally, you admit defeat and throw it away. So far, I've given bunches of clothes away, and still have miles to go before I sleep.

De'on and Steve want to profile me as a Gunz Up contributor. Among other interests, I am a cup towel embroiderer, the old fashioned hand stitched type, and an art taught me by Mama Curry and Grandma Thomas. At this time last year, I was that artisan; now, I'm just plain old gripey me, remodeling a house.

I have to go and really do some work now.