Why do we give up “simple pleasures” when we get older?

You know, I could be totally wrong, and I’m definitely not an expert on the subject, but I’m going to venture to assert that the reason our levels of stress increase as we get older is because we give up so many of the things that gave us simple pleasures when we were younger.

I would also assert that we get older, and we have so many more choices, that we think we have to give up simple pleasures because we’re supposed to be thinking more complex thoughts.

Over the past several years I’ve been trying to get back to the simple pleasures I used to enjoy. Continue reading Why do we give up “simple pleasures” when we get older?

I love everyone, but I don’t “LIKE” anything or anybody…

Instead of writing an actual post, I decided to just embed the tweets I generated on this subject. They pretty much cover everything I would have written in my post. šŸ˜€

(the above tweet actually contains a typo that I corrected when I embedded the tweet on my site; apologies for the typo)

(the above tweet actually contains a typo that I corrected when I embedded the tweet on my site; apologies for the typo)

Book Review: The Last Train to Dachau by Robert B. Niklewicz

The Last Train to DachauThe Last Train to Dachau by Robert B. Niklewicz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book description from Amazon: The Last Train to Dachau is based on the real life plight of the Miller family during World War II. With the invasion of Poland by the Germans, the story follows the family and their experiences of: the occupation, hunger, cold, and the terror in their home town. This family of five was Polish Catholic, but had a German-like surname. This situation placed them between the Germans, who wanted them to sign a loyalty declaration, which they refused, and the community which assumed that they had. The story tells of the horrors and obstacles that they faced and had to overcome to stay together and live. Emilia, Alicia and Leszek are children that spend most of their youth surviving both the physical and emotional stresses of war. Wladyslawa, the mother, is a worker in a Red Cross shelter during the day, but often had to travel at night to find black market food for her family. Wiktor, the father, was conscripted to a labor train after the surrender of Warsaw. He worked under threat of great harm to his family while forced to travel and repair damaged trains and tracks across Poland and Germany. His travels and experiences on a recovery and repair crew gave him an avenue to stay alive while still resisting his oppressors.The intensity of the story increases as the Millers face the brutality of their captors who desperately try to accomplish their ā€œfinal solutionā€ for all Poles in the closing days of the war. The reader will find it hard to put the book down as the Millers face their fate.

My book review system – 5 points per category:

  • Book cover – 5 points
  • Cohesive storyline – 5 points
  • Spelling/Grammar/Punctuation (SGP) – 2 points – lots of errors
  • Character development – 5 points
  • Credibility – 5 points

22/5 = 4.4

4-star rating

View all my reviews

Learn more about my book review system.

My new book reviewing system

I read a lot.

Before I go to bed, even if it’s 3a, I will take the time to read from my Kindle DX, even if it’s only 10 paragraphs before I find myself dozing off.

Once I read all these books, I really want to do reviews on them, to share some good (and not-so-good) reads with others.

However, Continue reading My new book reviewing system

The best award I’ve ever received…

Right before joining the Army in 1999, I taught 8th grade American Studies at what was considered a middle school in a low-income, disadvantaged neighborhood.

At the end of each school year, the grades would have awards ceremonies where the teachers would give out certificates to the students with the top grades in each subject.

To my surprise and delight, all the students in my classes had gotten together, chipped in on a cheap frame and printed out a certificate in the out-of-date computer lab at school.

One of the top students for that year asked to speak, and on behalf of the entire class I was named “Teacher of the Year.”

Forget the standing ovation I received from the students and my colleagues.

Forget the cheap frame.

Forget the flimsy piece of paper that the certificate was printed on.

Take away all that and you only have left what matters…

Just the fact that my students took the time to even think about presenting me with any kind of award at all is a priceless treasure that hangs on my heart always.

You can’t buy that kind of love and appreciation. I miss my students everyday and speak of them often… Yes, even all these years later. Sniffle.

My newest site: The Independent Author Index

I’m so proud of this latest site that I’ve launched.

The Independent Author Index.

I started it with 12 independent authors on 18 March 2012, and I’ve already increased that number to 43 authors! Including me, there are 44 profiles.

People seem to really like it so far, and I’m really pleased about that.

Today I featured an independent author who is only six years old! She denotes half the proceeds from her book sales to NICUs. I think that’s amazing.

Meet the authors who are a part of IAI already: Continue reading My newest site: The Independent Author Index

Another PoP moment resolved: “30 Quotes 30 Days”

On 14 March 2012, I did a post called, “Procrastination or Patience?.”

I’m happy to report I finally had the moment of clarity on the journaling series, “30 Quotes 30 Days,” that I started back in 2010.

While the regular-sized version has room for writing down your thoughts about the quotes, I thought there should be a pocket companion of just the quotes.

With this idea in mind, I started setting up volumes two and three of the series; registering their ISBNs, doing the book covers and creating the pages, but something kept telling me to wait.

Although the wait may be frustrating for a couple of folks who ordered the pocket companion, I’m thankful that I did wait on Him to finish guiding me into this project.

What He told me to do was not create two, separate piecesā€”one regular-sized product and a pocket companionā€”from the whole, but to scale down the size of the regular-sized product, so that it is both a journal and pocket companion.

To some of you, this may seem like it would have been obvious, but originally I was thinking, “Well, what if people don’t need the journaling portion, but they just want the quotes?”

That was an issue for me, because the main purpose of the series is to help people begin to journal who have a hard time overcoming the blank page when they first get started. Each day of the journal has three parts:

  • An original quote that I gleaned from things I’ve seen and/or experienced
  • Followed by three questions; one that asks you to explain how the quote applies to you at this moment in your life, one that asks you what you want to remember about that particular day and the last one that asks you to write down one, good thing that happened to you that particular day
  • Followed by three, blank-but-lined pages so you have more space to keep answering the questions and/or to write down your other thoughts/ideas

Well, with a scaled-down version of the regular-sized product, you don’t have to give up one to have the other, because you never know when you might want both, so…

Having said all that and now having my clearer focus, I can back up a bit and revise volume 1 and move on to my next volumes.

And, I will be sending free copies of the revised, first volume to all the people who purchased the original, regular-sized product, plus they’ll get volumes 2 and 3 for free.

It’s the least I should do to show them how much I appreciate their support. šŸ™‚

If you’re interested, click the following image to sneak peek Volume 1 of “30 Quotes 30 Days.”

Yes, we can! H.O.P.E. and Overcome…

Yes, we can! Help Obama Patiently Endure and Overcome the forces that seek to continue to tear our country apart through the thoughts, words and deeds of the President’s opponents.

Since Ephesians 6:12* tells us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places,” the main thingĀ weĀ have to do is P.U.S.H.!



Romans 13:1* tells us to “let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

Also keep in mind…

James 2:17* tells us “even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone,” which means come election day…



Also remember that Matthew 5:44* implores you (and me) to “…love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you,”

because it will be in this way that we…

H.O.P.E. and Overcome while we P.U.S.H.!

My name is Faydra D. Fields, and I am just the messenger.

*all scripture references are from the King James Version of The Holy Bible.

Trayvon Martin’s hoodie is not to blame, but…

…the blame rests solely on the people whoseĀ perceptionĀ is that black, brown and even poor white people, especially young men and boys, in hoodies are criminals or criminal-minded.

The hoodie has become to the young, urban male what the short skirt is to the young, urban female. This seems to be especially true when we talk about non-rich/non-wealthy young people; people who live in the inner cities or come from the so-called “wrong side of the tracks.”

The perception is that a woman wearing revealing clothing is loose and available. If someone decides to take advantage of her, then she “asked for it.”

It’s the same as saying, “If you kill a young man or boy because his style of dress (in this case, the hoodie) appears to be sinister, then he “asked for it.”

This, more than anything, was what appeared to cause the outrage from so many people at Geraldo Rivera’s comments about parents allowing their children to leave the house in hoodies.

The hoodie is anĀ innocuousĀ piece of clothing, just like the windbreaker, the parka or theĀ LettermanĀ jacket.

However, if young people from the inner city or the “wrong side of the tracks” in windbreakers, parkas andĀ LettermanĀ jackets start committing crimes in large numbers, then those clothing items will join the ranks of the hoodie, Timberland boots and baggy jeans. They will be associated with crime and anyone wearing one of them will be perceived to be a criminal or criminal-minded.

So the issue here is perception.

If you don’t think perception is often more real in the human mind than what’s actually true, then you really should have another think coming.

Perception is the catalyst behind racial profiling, which is essentially what many people think George Zimmerman was engaged in when he saw Trayvon Martin walking down the street.

[spoiler title=”an aside: related information”]It’s interesting that on the news today they were saying that Zimmerman claims he was just walking down the sidewalk and Trayvon Martin confronted him, but we hear the 911 tape and the operator, responding to Zimmerman’s admission that he was coming up behind Martin, suggest that Zimmerman stop following Martin and let the police coming to the scene deal with the issue. Then we hear the altercation and the call disconnects.

I wasn’t there, so I’m not going to speculate on what actually happened. I’m just relating what the media has reported thus far.


Young people don’t need to change the way they dress; whether it be the hoodie or the mini-skirt.

Judgmental people need to change the way they perceive young people because of the way they dress.

When we put the blame on the article of clothing, we abridge the humanity of the person wearing the article of clothing. We relegate the person to the status of the inanimate object, the article of clothing, and this is why it’s easier to blame the victim instead of punishing the victimizer.

[spoiler title=”another aside: related information”]But let’s back up a bit…

There are some historical issues to deal with here when it comes to style of dress and even the cut of the hair.

Are you aware that many years ago in some European countries, the length of the hair of males in a family was an immediate clue as to a family’s financial status in society?

Males with low or no financial standing in the society had shortly-cropped hair while the males in wealthy families, usually those considered gentleman (landowners) had long, flowing hair. This not only served to distinguish the “haves” from the “have nots,” it was also for hygiene considerations. If you were a peasant, working the land, and only bathing sporadically, then shorter hair was better suited to your lifestyle. If you were a wealthy, landowner then you had the time and resources to maintain the upkeep of your long, flowing hair.

So take ideas like this from the “old country” and transplant them in the “New World.” People usually continue to do what has been been perceived to work well. This is true of clothing regulations. Peasants were not allowed to wear the same types of fabrics as landowners.

Are you aware that during American slavery, bondsmen and even poor whites were only allowed to have clothing made from the coarser types of fabrics while free and wealthy people could wear the softer fabrics? A wealthy person wouldn’t even be caught dead in his/her coffin, going to rot in the ground, in fabrics that were specifically forced upon slaves, free blacks and poor whites.

Back to the present…

We’ve still got caste-clothing systems going on right now. Regular cotton for the proletariat and Egyptian cotton for the better off, for example.

When I was a student at Howard University, I had a History professor who refused to wear anything denim. She referred to it as “slave cloth.” Even years after the end of American slavery, her perception of denim was that it bound her.[/spoiler]

People want George Zimmerman indicted, arrested and put on trial.

People want to put their trust in twelve jurors to get justice for Trayvon Martin; the justice they perceive that Martin deserves and only the justice system can mete out.

But think about this…

Isn’t reasonable doubtĀ just another way of saying perception?

(click here to see some photos of people in hoodies and pick out the criminal from among them)