From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Friday, January 23, 2015

I Don't Know Why Every Time I Am So Disappointed

I am an older person, I've been around the block a time or two, and one would think I would have grown accustomed to, accepted that, military commands often fail to act honorably.  You would think that I would have come to the place where I could acknowledge within myself that my illusion of honorable leadership does not consistently exist in the United States Army.  I see it all the time within the lower ranks.  Many of the most honorable and courageous people I have ever been privileged to know, make up the ranks on the officer and non commissioned officer side. Somewhere around the rank of lieutenant colonel, those I can respect begins to diminish rapidly in numbers.  Something about climbing that career ladder seems to subtly begin to corrupt, or as in the case of some who have always been corrupt, rear confidently a defiance of "honor at all costs."

I have long been involved in the work toward eradicating the injustices routinely committed toward those who find themselves the victims of Military Sexual Trauma.  I have worked in Washington, written on the subject, and I never miss the opportunity to stand united with the victims of this life devastating crime.  I have seen their sad eyes...

I Saw the Sad Eyes 

I saw the sad eyes of women who had been betrayed,
By those who from honor, never should have strayed.

They could not have known what would come to them,
 Integrity was pledged and they believed without a whim.

In a dark hour their faith and loyalty was shattered. 
Their lives, without regard, left broken and tattered.


Time seemed strangled and unable their injuries to mend.
To go on with life seemed to have nowhere to begin.

Then in chorus the sad eyes looked around in panic and pain,
In a moment they knew other eyes revealed the same stain.

 Hearts united and power and change came with more ease,      
 The weakest were lifted first by the women from their knees.

Words and tears were shared and brought balm to their soul wounds.

Slowly in unity they overcame, and the living of lives resumed.

 I saw the sad eyes of women who had been betrayed. 
By those who from honor, never should have strayed.


Now I have stumbled upon a new kind of victim of the defiance of justice within the military.  It is the military spouse who finds themselves the victim of domestic violence perpetrated by someone serving in the military, in the midst of a command which can care less.  I am going to be writing extensively on the situation as it continues, while offering all the support that I can to my new friend.  She has suffered much, but the German government is becoming involved, and as I watch that process, I am much encouraged.  At the same time, I find myself dismally disappointed, once again, in the attention and accountability displayed by the United States Army toward this matter.  I will keep the names and identities of those involved confidential, but they will each recognize themselves.  Stay tuned, I am once again writing generals...  Tomorrow, disappearing reports...

 The woman next to me really liked what I said...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How Lovely the German People Are

I have met so many lovely people since I arrived in Germany!  The neighbors come to our house to welcome us to the neighborhood, the people at church make the effort to speak with us in English, and even the people I meet in the shopping centers are smiling and friendly.  Of course Chance is our own little Ambassador, making friends wherever he goes.  He has become so social, wanting to warm up to everyone, and make friends.

This morning our landlord visited, what a gracious and delightful person she is.  She brought gifts, told me some of the history of the house we are living in, and met with her architect and his associate, also both very gracious, concerning a problem in one of the basement rooms.  

We shared coffee and a fresh red velvet cake with butter pecan cream cheese icing.  It was such an enjoyable time with new German friends.

Monday, October 6, 2014

I'm Moving to Germany FromTexas!: Germany, You are Going to Love My Barbie Doll Coll...

I'm Moving to Germany FromTexas!: Germany, You are Going to Love My Barbie Doll Coll...: I have always loved toys, especially dolls, and playing with them.  Now you might think what is an almost 63 year old woman doing playing w...

Packing Up Some of the Barbies for the Move to Germany

I am leaving some too, to do their job of giving a little 
vacation to the little girls of military families.
This doll is one of my Barbies from the Designer Collection 
from Mattel, whose design is from Bob Mackie.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I Am Planning Another Little Girl's Birthday Party!

Our ranch is a place for children.  In planning our aim was to create a place where our grand-children and the children of military families could come and find a place to rest and refresh.  There is no better way for children to escape the stresses of life than in play and pretend.  Really,  that holds true for all of us.  We all need play. 

From the days of my own childhood came my love for Barbie dolls.  I will never forget the first one I ever saw.  She was in the basement playroom of my friend Joy Wease, who was the daughter of the pastor of our church.  Her Barbie was of the first doll design that Mattel ever made in the "Barbie" series, and had a pony tail, and curly bangs, along with that black and white stripped bathing suit, and black, "high heel" shoes.  I immediately fell in love with her, and the very next Christmas, there was  one under the tree for me.  My Barbie was a brunette, and she had a "bubble cut" hair do.  It was love at first sight, and there is no telling how many hours I spent in play with her and the Ken doll which followed on my birthday.  My sister received a blond Barbie with that same bubble cut, but ours had red one piece bathing suits.  We both dearly loved them, and only had one Barbie apiece in our childhoods.  Maybe that is why I have so many today.  At any rate, I knew exactly what to add to the ranch for little girls to play with to take them away from all of the cares of their lives, and my Doll Barn was born.
One of the ways that Soldier's Heart Ranch ministers to the families of the military is to provide this place to view and play with dolls of all kinds, even the boys, because they really enjoy playing with the GI Joe collection. I am planning a little birthday party for Samara, the daughter of very good friends, and it is going to feature a fun "scavenger hunt" game.  The little girls will have to take their art sheets from room to room in the house, find the Barbies on the page, and get a sticker to add to their art page.   Then they will go to the  paint table and use markers to color their sheet.  Next they will go  to another art table and use a glue stick to add some glitter, finishing their art work which they will take home with them them!

There will be many dolls to see and many to play with, wonderful little games to play, and of course play time with the Barbies and other dolls.  I know they will have a great time at this special party.  I will be posting more pictures of the settings and the fun time we will all have at this beautiful little party.  So watch the blog, and if you would like to schedule your own "Barbie Doll Party,"  give us a call at 979-865-8919, or email me at!  We are located in Sealy, Texas, about an hour from downtown Houston, Texas.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Little Girls From Military Families Love to Have Their Birthday At My House

They do because I love toys, especially Barbie Dolls!

I have lots of them, big ones, regular size ones, and tiny ones.

I sort of have a Barbie Doll Museum...

Guess What I Found in the Barbie Barn!

A baby rattlesnake was in the tea set I picked up to clean.

It doesn't take me long to look at a tea set.

 If the barn had not be so cold from the air-conditioning... 
I surely would have been bitten!