Sunday Meditations on a John Wesley Quote

Barb Caffrey's Blog

I have been taken with this John Wesley quote for a while now. As it’s Sunday, let’s dive in!

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The above quote resonated with me the first time I heard it, which was sometime in junior high school. So I’d like to dissect this quote, starting with “do all the good you can.”

Too many of us think we can’t do any good at all, so we don’t do anything. And that’s not wise, nor is it smart. We can all do something to help our fellow man, woman, and/or child…it may be something small, like carrying in some groceries if you’re able-bodied and the person you’re helping isn’t. Or it could be something big, like helping someone fix a car when they can’t do it themselves but desperately need it.

(Note I’m talking about individual big things rather than societal big things. But I will get there.)

The key…

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Sunday Thoughts: On Forgiveness

Barb Caffrey's Blog

We all go through moments in this life where we wonder, “What is the point?” Especially when we’re on the outs with people we feel close to and care about, as not getting along with loved ones makes everything seem pointless and unfulfilling.

“But Barb,” you protest. “Your post is supposed to be about forgiveness. How on Earth does this relate?”

I’m getting there, I promise. But this may take a while. (Settle in with a cup of coffee, or tea, or some sort of beverage of your choice.)

Recently, I’ve reconnected with an old friend I’d been estranged from for quite some time. Life took us in different directions. It was hard to talk with this friend for a while, though I did keep trying; on my friend’s part, I think it was difficult to keep trying, and eventually, communication just stopped.

I often wondered what the point was…

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Compartmentalization Vs. Alienation

Barb Caffrey's Blog

I’m worried about the state of the world. I truly am.

As I write tonight, there are many cities in the United States that have protests — some peaceful, but most not — over the senseless killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. That now-former officer knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck for six minutes, and the other three police officers around him did nothing. Mr. Floyd was black; the now-ex officer was white. It was a non-violent crime that Mr. Floyd was alleged to have committed — he may have passed a counterfeit $20 bill — and he was not resisting arrest in any way.

We have every right to be angry over this. It was reprehensible behavior by the now-ex officer. (I will not name him, as per my long-held beliefs that bad actors should not be named.) Mr. Floyd should not be dead.

But watching the…

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A Post About Hope for #MFRWHooks

Barb Caffrey's Blog

Hope. It’s in short supply right now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet we need it, or we’re going to have an even harder time digging our way out of the mess we’re now collectively in.

I’ve said before, here at my blog, that I wonder how Bruno and Sarah, my characters in the Elfy duology (comprised of AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE and A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE), would do in this situation. And I’m writing a story now about exactly that, so eventually I hope I’ll know.

But what came to me, tonight, is that I actually do have a bit of an answer already.

In A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, my hero Bruno and my heroine Sarah are trying to save Bruno’s teacher and mentor, Roberto the Wise. Roberto’s been taken and tortured by a Dark Elf, Dennis; worse yet, he’s being tortured in…

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Now Available in E-Book: A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE

Barb Caffrey's Blog

Folks, I’m very happy to be able to finally report that my second novel — and the second novel in the Elfy duology — A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE has been released. It’s available right now at Amazon and OmniLit…the latter will be most useful if you need an e-pub version of the file.

Edited to add: Barnes and Noble link is now live as well. Now returning you to your regularly scheduled post…

ALittleElfyinBigTrouble_medIf you have never seen anything at all about the Elfyverse — or read book one in the Elfy duology, AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE — this little blurb may help you with what’s going on:

Young Bruno the Elfy and Sarah, his mostly-human teenage girlfriend, are in deep trouble. Bruno’s Elfy mentor Roberto the Wise is about to be sacrificed by a Dark Elf, and Sarah’s parents have decided to help the Elf…

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The Hospitality Center Needs You!

Reverend Seth, the Executive Director, and Carl, the Program Manager at the center.

I’m here at the volunteer recognition dinner for the Hospitality Center, with Reverend Seth, the executive director and Carl, the program director. It was a nice turnout.

The center provides a lot of services for a lot of people. It’s the largest meal site in the area, serving the most needy, and provides a lot of social support for a large variety of people. A few things including a well balanced hot dinner at 11:30, clothing ministry, support groups, social outlet, and it’s more than helping people. It’s a safe family environment where we offer a hand up.

Donations can be mailed or dropped off at: The Hospitality Center, 614 Main Street, Racine, WI 53403. Currently, the hours of operation are M, T, Th & F from 7:30-1.

Soon, the hours will be expanding to be M-F from 7:30-2:30.

Every little bit of help to make this transition successful is appreciated! Donate, and come have a cup of coffee on us. All are welcome.

One of my regular posts at the center is to sign out lockers and be the guardian of the phone charging station. I get a lot of questions and I get to talk to a lot of people.

Earlier in the day, coming to you from the Hospitality Center, where all are welcome as you are, and serve various needs of the community. Some needs aside from milk, juice, lemonade mix and such, it would be nice to get a high chair or booster seat for some of our youngest guests to the center. Currently, we only have 1, and we have a few precious little cuties come in. Age-appropriate books, diapers, etc. Would also be appreciated. Pick up arrangements can be made. Thank you much in advance! Remember, the current hours are M, T, Th, & F from 7:30 AM to 1 PM, in hopes to expand out to all 5 days of the week for an hour and a half longer, each day.

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Announcing September and early October SC Johnson Community Interest Programs

SC Johnson is pleased to present the following events as part of the Community Interest Program series at the Golden Rondelle Theater. These programs are free and open to the public; reservations are encouraged (www.scjohnson.com/CIPreservations). A flyer detailing each program is attached – highlights are listed below for your convenience.

“The Other Boys of Summer” – a documentary – Experience the American civil rights movement through the lives of Negro League baseball players. Featuring exclusive, never-before-seen interviews with those who changed the course of American baseball by chasing their dreams and rising above hatred and inequality, the film shines the spotlight on a generation of unsung heroes.

Thursday, September 26 
6:30-8 p.m.; doors open at 6 p.m.

A Blast from Our Downtown’s Past – Racine natives relive the history of Racine’s downtown through a nostalgic look at ‘what we did for fun’ in the 1950s-1960s. The presentation features stories about the popular places to be in downtown Racine and highlights ‘scooping the loop,’ the Venetian, Y dances and more! Three program times are being offered.

Tuesday, October 1
6-8 p.m.; doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 3 
1-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.; doors open 30 minutes before each program begins

SC JOHNSON GOLDEN RONDELLE THEATER

1525 Howe Street, Racine, WI 53403

Parking is available in the lot just east of the Rondelle, at the intersection of 14th and Franklin Streets.

Reservations for these programs are encouraged. Follow these links to: make your program reservation, sign up for a campus tour or visit the SC Johnson corporate site.

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Music, Cultural Exchanges, & More!

After not playing for several years, I was finally able to play with the UW-Parkside Reunion band.  I’m hoping to be able to keep playing again, this fall in the Parkside Community Band, as well as get on the substitute list for the Racine Municipal Band.  It’s fun.

In participating in the reunion event for the Parkside 50th anniversary, I was able to get on a list to host a couple of members of a German municipal band, which is actually a community-based band.  They will be here September 14th – 16th.  I’m looking forward to it, and hope people will come to the event.

Not only will I be hosting them, I’ll be helping to pick them up, take them to their appointments here (which includes a concert), and back to where they need to go to depart to the next stop on their tour.  It will be a nice lesson in cultural exchanges for my son & husband, also.

I’m also a co-administrator for a support group, and the founder of this Sibling Abuse Survivors is on a Blogtalk Radio show.  Please have a listen, HERE – Thank you!

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Survivors Heal at Their Own Pace

Barb Caffrey's Blog

Folks, I read a Facebook post from a friend I’d like to know better earlier tonight. It was from two years ago, and I missed it at the time.

Without any privacy violations, my friend had gone through an ordeal while in middle school (once upon a time called junior high school; whichever works). A teacher had abused him for over a year, and he ended up with PTSD and other problems.

While I left as supportive of a message as I could now, albeit two years late, I wanted to say more about this.

Many of us have suffered wounds that take years, if not decades, to heal. And because we have had these problems, we think we’re less than we are; we think that maybe, just maybe, we deserved to be abused, or mistreated, or assaulted, or even molested.

I’m not saying we do this consciously. But we…

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Rant of an Advocate

I am a busy person who is very active in the community. Aside from work, I volunteer at many worthy places which include the Hospitality Center, Racine Literacy Council, Sexual Assault Services, Eco-Justice Center, and of course, I have my own child advocacy organization called Youth Voice Initiative.

I do these things because for one, I believe in the fact that one person can make an impact, as well as the fact that without personal responsibility, your rights mean nothing. These topics and organizations are near and dear to me for various reasons, partially because of who I am as a person.

The Hospitality Center serves the needy, where people come to get hot meals, social contact, a safe place to meet & hang out, clothing, and so much more. You don’t need to be poor or homeless to be welcome here, there is literally a place for everyone who wants a place to go, something to do, and people to see. It is also my belief that hungry people should be fed, and just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you have to be socially disconnected.

The Racine Literacy Council offers tutoring to those who want to improve their skills in reading, writing and basic math to better their own situations, whether the person is an immigrant looking to be able to make their own appointments & discuss various things, or the person looking to simply get their HSED to get a better type job. I believe in education, and without it, things can be difficult.

Sexual Assault Services is something that is close to me, where I am able to be the person I needed, once upon a time… While we’ve come a long way, there is still a long way to go. Advocates sign up for 24 hour shifts, and we answer the phone in case a survivor calls just to talk, or if the hospital calls to have someone there when a recent survivor is in need of a medical exam and health related help.

The Eco-Justice Center is a fun place to be, and they offer so many good things. During the summer, they grow organic produce to sell at the markets. They also have on the premise alpacas, goats, chickens & other fowl, bees, and their resident cats. The chicken eggs and honey are also sold, as well as alpaca wool to make things such as hats and scarves with. The animals are treated very well, and they get to be what they are. I help out with animal chores, which is actually quite soothing on the mind. It also ties into my personal premise of people should eat food that is nutritious and delicious, along with being easy on the environment.

This brings me to my own cause, Youth Voice Initiative (YVI), a registered 501c4, which I created back in 2008. I had done this, because when it comes to actually DOING something, there are a lot of awareness & charitable campaigns about/for child abuse, but very little when it comes to pestering our legislators about protecting our children. When I was researching throughout 2007, I found several wildlife, animal, environmental, other human rights activist groups, yet, not much addressing children in this country who are being abused in their own homes, neglected, etc. We have seen many cases where the outcome is harsh. We see cases like Casey Anthony, Susan Smith, the Turpin family, among some. Their stories were sensationalized not just locally, but nationally also. Why weren’t there checks and balances to begin with? Who knows, yet as a society, we insist on jumping to knee-jerk reactions when dealing with this.

Mind you, I don’t mind YVI being a one woman show. I will show up in Madison. I will write my legislators. If I can’t make it all the way to D.C. I’ll request an appointment at a local office. I will talk on the phone if need be. I have gotten some headway doing these things. I will escort people to court to protect children. Write letters to the judge. Write the governor. Whatever it takes. I win some, lose some. Yet, even after these types of things, no one wants to be on board with helping with much, and whatever little bit of help I can get is appreciated, but, more can be done, but, as an individual, I can’t do it all. When people try to talk about these issues, I get asked to post about them, yet, even someone sharing a news article to the Facebook page is helpful. Donating ink or printer paper is helpful. Helping to hire someone who can formulate an education curriculum to educate various parts of the public would be great. My forte is talking to those in charge, in hopes that they will take some of what I present and do something about it. I will work their campaigns, give them a plug, sincerely thank them… So, often, it’s irritating when I hear so many people complain about how terrible it was for this or that incident to have happened… What, you don’t have 1 hour a month to come to a meeting? You don’t have an additional 2 hours to help do research? How about 2 minutes to find an article to share? How about 5 minutes to take part in a discussion forum? Yes, I’m daring people to actually DO something.

For those who are already doing so much in the community dedicating time for cause near & dear to you, I sincerely thank you and appreciate you. For those who seem to do more talking and no action, hit me up. I might find a place for you to put your money (or at least your time & efforts) where your mouth is.

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