Annie Kirkwood, Author
Rte 1 Box 100
Bunch, OK 74931-9705
April/May 1999 — Issue #45
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This is Annie's section
Isn't spring wonderful? It wasn't until I saw the first daffodils and hyacinths that I realized I've been in a blue funk for several weeks. We have had quite a few changes in our home and business. Our son, James and his fiancee, Amy, have come to live and work with us. Byron, James and Amy seem to have adjusted very well. I've not seen any outward signs that they were doing anything except enjoying the togetherness. I'm very grateful they could come into the business to help out since it has gotten so busy. I wish I could adapt and adjust with grace.
I've had some internal adjustment to make: attitude, awareness, thinking before speaking. My rebel rouser nature is alive and well. It seems that my nature is to rebel first, then adjust, cope, and settle in. I really love having them here. They add energy, vitality, fun, and enjoyment to our daily lives. Not because of them, but because of me, I've had many lessons come up again. I'm learning to be a mother without mothering, something parents get a chance to learn sooner or later. I'm also learning to keep my opinions to myself and to allow them to be.
As you already know, I've had to learn to set boundaries and speak up when I need something. I'm practicing once again. You'd think I'd finally get it. Throughout my lifetime I've engaged in what my therapist calls passive-aggressive behavior. Many women of my generation learned to react this way; we learned from experts, our mothers and grandmothers. What I've come to realize is that my mother was born at the end of the Victorian age, when nice ladies didn't say bad things, they just showed through their behavior that they were displeased. If I don't watch myself, I will revert to these behaviors, without thinking. I get quiet or snipe, mostly at my husband and son. I have all kinds of small snotty remarks to make instead of speaking in a calm, loving voice. What I'm relearning is to speak from my truth, to clearly and concisely say what I need to say in a loving voice. I'm proud to say I don't place blame any longer.
For a few days my reaction to the changes were unreasonable and certainly unloving. It bothered me and made me feel bad and not peaceful. So I've been praying for and about me. In meditation I heard, "You advocate and stress family. Now it's time to practice new ways of living with your family." The new ways I feel are to change my passive-aggressive behavior to loving, compassionate behavior. I hope I've not acted this way with Amy, but I have with Byron and James. Isn't that the way it goes--we are so comfortable with our family that we expect them to understand what we are feeling without speaking words. It sounds like I've been a tee-total witch, but the truth is I used to be a lot worse. Nowadays, I catch myself being out of peace.
Then there is this blue funk that has been like a cloud. I't know how much of this funk has been due to the rapid changes taking place and how much is due to the fibromyalgia acting up. It really doesn't matter. I'd gotten out of my peaceful inner state and have been acting from anger instead of love. So it's back to a basic lesson in peace. I get to practice, and do what it takes to get back into my peaceful state of mind.
I don't like being out of peace, it feels bad, not comfortable, and certainly makes me feel like a bad person. These are the feelings that send up a red flag for me. They say, "Alert, alert! You're not peaceful, what's happened?" So I begin to look within and see what is going on. I've been blessed with many very good friends, both in Dallas and here in Oklahoma. It helps to speak to one or two of them about what I'm feeling. One of the things that happens to me is that I get confused and can't see what is really bothering me. Talking to a good friend helps me cut through to the real issues. When I know the real issue, then I can make decisions, change my attitude, and find ways to address the issues. Most times a change in attitude helps me tremendously. Many times what I thought was bothering me goes away with a change of attitude. I say to myself, "You are not being peaceful or loving right now. I choose and make a conscious decision to be peaceful and loving in handling this situation." I use this affirmation until it is done.
Wasn't it Lincoln who said, "People are about as happy as they decide to be," or something like that? I remember that I always have a choice. Daily I can choose to be angry and hateful, or I can choose to be peaceful and loving, I can choose to be happy and see the good in my life. Or, if I fail to choose, I revert to my old ways and see the bad in everything. Living my life in peace is a conscious choice. It's an undertaking that requires me to be alert and aware. I must be honest and concentrate on how I'm doing in my inner life and not what family members are doing. I'm responsible for taking care of me. This frees my family to handle their problems and stresses in their own way.
So now that spring is here and things are just beginning to flower, I feel great. It really is like resurrecting. I've left my old funky, warring self behind and feel that I've been lifted up into a new awareness of my peaceful nature. I'm truly blessed with a loving family.
Mother Mary urges us to live peaceful lives. What I've found is that I must make a concerted effort to return to peace when I find myself feeling bad and warlike. Most often who I fight is myself. My stuff can raise its ugly head from time to time. Usually it happens when I've gone brain dead and am not conscious of my reactions. We are not allowed to fake this. In the seventies I heard people say, "Just fake it." That will not work now. Now is the time of truth. In order to bring peace into the world, each of us needs to watch our reactions, actions, thoughts, and relationships to be sure we are acting from a peaceful, loving nature. It requires that we be totally honest with ourselves and that we return to an inner peaceful state of mind quickly when we get out of it. Anyway that's what is going on with me. I really appreciate your friendship and support. My best to you and I pray that you are having wonderful lives. Until next time, I remain your friend.
This is Mother Mary's section
My dear children,
I come today with a petition and a request that you increase your time of prayer and meditation and that you pray for the war-torn areas. Many are suffering needlessly because of politics. This is true of many areas in the world. You are aware of one area which is along the Adriatic Sea. You know that my apparitions in Yugoslavia have been going on for years. I love this area and pray that the people will see the similarities in their lives and not the differences. There are many who seek their own benefit to the exclusion of others. Yet within this area are many who are faithful and true to God. Pray for everyone no matter which faction they belong to. Do not pray for one side to win and the other side to lose. Pray that people will seek to live in peace. Pray for negotiations to begin that will bring all parties together for the purpose of peace.
Pray for the people on the African continent, as they too face many challenges. There is much suffering in many nations. I talk about the suffering of the spirit, and not only of the body. People suffer when they are enslaved in any way. People's spirit can flourish under the most dire conditions, but you who have plenty, who have the time and the energy to help others, are urged to help through your prayer.
Many times people believe that if they pray they are not doing enough. Yet it is prayer that does the most good and causes the greatest changes in the consciousness of mankind. When you pray, you are sending your love, your concern, your hope, your energy, your thoughts, and your spirit. Yet you think this is very little. When people pray in mass for someone or something, there is wholeness that infuses the person or situation. Pray with fervor, putting your spirit and energy into your prayers. This is how to help the most.
While you are praying for these war-torn areas, do not indulge in talking about how bad it is, or how terrible the situation is. Maintain your faith in the Goodness of God. Seek instead to see the concern and the love that people have for their fellow human, no matter their circumstances. Set aside your judgments, let your mind be filled with hope for a good outcome. In this way you open yourself, your life, and allow your prayers to be infused with more power. Your country is one which is caught up in trying to right a wrong. Stay away from thinking that this country is right and the other country is wrong. The countryside and the people are not to blame. It is politics and the will of a few people who are causing the suffering of many.
You help when you give yourself up to prayer. You help more than you can understand. You are a part of mankind. It is your responsibility and duty to pray for your fellow humans. Many people would rather give something: money, food, clothes, something tangible. This is good and needed in many cases. But you give more through prayer than mere goods; you give from your spirit. It is the spirit that remains alive throughout time. It is the spirit that can give the gifts of life, of goodness, of wholeness, and of love. To pray, then, is the greatest gift you can give another.
My little children, I ask you to give from your spirit and from your truth, for then you are giving from your heart of hearts. You can avert many catastrophes through prayer. You can change the course of mankind with your prayers. Together you can change the consciousness when you use the gifts of the spirit, such as when you love unconditionally. This is why I ask you not to make judgments, not to speak of the horror of the situation. Instead I ask you to love all people, even those who are causing the war, and those who are participating in the war.
Give your thoughts, your intentions, your motivations to living in peace. Do this not only for yourself and your loved ones, but for humanity. Think in peaceful terms, in your inner life and in your dealings with others. Where there is controversy or ill feelings in your family or among friends, do all you can to bring about peaceful solutions. Where there is strife of any kind, seek to negotiate peaceful endings. In order for there to be peace in the world, its people must begin to live daily with a deep inner peace. This is the only way for peace to come to the world.
As you live your life in peace, ending all feuds, settling all issues, forgiving all that keeps you from peace, you are increasing the consciousness of mankind towards goodness, towards peace. As you realize that all people are loved by God, the Father, you help to turn the race consciousness towards peace. You have the capability to do much good for the world, simply by living your life in peace. You have the ability to pray with your whole spirit, soul, and heart. This is how to bring peace into the world. There is much each of you can do to instill peace into the consciousness of mankind. Never feel powerless, for through your prayers, and especially as you unite in prayer, you can bring peace into the world.
So many of you want to do great things for mankind. You want to go to other countries or other cities to teach, to perform musically, to preach. When what is needed is for each person to live their life with a deep inner peace and serenity. Settling old unresolved angers, facing and overcoming your fears, forgiving those who have hurt you in any way, is the best way to do great things. Spending time in quiet prayer is the highest and the best gift you can offer. There is no need to run throughout the countryside trying to bring about peace. If you seek to achieve peace through mechanical means, through the doing, preforming, or giving without having a peaceful heart, you waste your time and energy. You must live what you seek to give to others.
Be grateful for the peace you have already achieved. Let your heart be filled with gratitude for the simple things in life--for the continuity of life, for the changing season, for the laughter and joy that is a part of your life. Be grateful for the love that God has for you. Be grateful for the talents you have, for the life you are living. Be grateful for all things, and with a grateful heart you will see ways to achieve a peaceful inner life and the deep serenity that comes through prayer.
There is much you can do in the quietness of your mind, in the meditations of your heart. I have confidence in you. I would not request this of you if it were not possible for you to achieve it. You are more capable than you realize. I am loving each of you greatly.
Mary, Mother of Jesus
This is Byron's section
A Primer on Amateur (Ham) Radio(This is an updated version of my article first published in the December/January 1993/94 of the Newsletter. I felt it was a good time to reintroduce ham radio.)
In my Survival Guide for the New Millennium, I mentioned that I feel that "independent radio communications will be very important in the future." When emergencies happen, you may not be able to pick up a phone and dial 911 and have the paramedics show up.
For a short time after Hurricane Iniki hit Kauai, Hawaii (Sept 11, 1992), the only communications link between Kauai and Oahu was by amateur radio (ref QST Feb 1993 p 19). Kauai had been completely "cutoff" by other forms of "modern day" communications (cellular telephone, satellite links, etc). Amateur radio emergency communications also played an important role in and after Hurricane Andrew hit Southern Florida the month before (August 1992). Hams (amateur radio operators) provided emergency communications during the storm of the century (on the East Coast), the flood of the century (in the Central US), and other numerous disasters since then.
Getting your amateur (ham) radio license has never been easier to get than it is now. The entry level into ham radio doesn't even require that you learn the Morse Code. This entry point is called the "No-Code" Technician License. To get this license involves studying and taking a written test, administrated by fellow hams. These hams are qualified as VE's (Volunteer Examiners) and are certified by the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) and conform to FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regulations. The No-Code Tech license has limited privileges, but is an excellent way to get started. To advance to higher classifications of licenses with more privileges will involve learning the code, if you so choose.
If you are interested in preparing for the No-Code Tech license there are several good books available that will help you. Probably the most accessible ones are available at Radio Shack and are "Now You're Talking" and the No-Code license manual by Gordon West (see the ad on the back of this newsletter). Either one is adequate for learning the questions and answers to the tests and informing you on how to contact the testing centers in your area.
When you have committed to getting your license, you may want to contact and join the local ham club. Nearly every area has some sort of ham club. As an example, in Dallas I was a member of the Dallas Amateur Radio Club (DARC). Here in Northeastern Oklahoma, I'm a member of the Tahlequah Amateur Radio Club (TARC). Often the clubs hold classes for getting your license. Fellow hams are willing to help a newcomer: to get started, advance, help locate license testing sites, and often in selecting or recommending equipment. When you get your license, you may want to get involved with the SKYWARN activities. This is an organized radio net(work) to watch and warn about weather related activities and other emergency activities. They are handled by either the RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) or a similar group ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service). This involves joining the group and participate in training and when qualified, participate in severe weather watches and emergency situations. It is a good way to get formally involved in and experience emergency situations.
Amateur radio equipment can be expensive or relatively inexpensive. As a no-code tech you have privileges on the amateur "band" known as 2-meters (same as the 144-Mhz frequency). One of the best buys on new equipment for 2-meters is the Radio Shack HT-202 hand-held (walkie-talkie) rig for $199. The range on this unit is fairly limited (1 to 10 miles) by itself, but when used with an existing "repeater" can cover a relatively large local area (sometimes up to 60 miles or more). Besides hand-held rigs, there are mobile rigs that are designed to install in your car and work off the car's 12 volts DC. And then there are base station rigs that are rated anywhere from 100 watts (the power of a 100 watt light bulb) up to 1500 watts. The base station rigs typically run off 120 VAC (or 12 VDC and a power supply to work with 120 VAC) and under some conditions (when atmospheric conditions permit), can talk all over the world. As an example, with my ICOM 725 transceiver running 100 watts, I have talked to England, South America, Hawaii and all over the US. My rig cost about $1000, but you can spend much more if you have the money and desire to have a really good station.
When you start looking at ham equipment, you will want to do several things. First, you will want to see if there are any ham stores in your area, and if so, visit them. You can usually find these in the yellow pages under "Radio Equipment." Also there are a number of good ham radio magazines, these include: QST, CQ Magazine and 73 Magazine. Check out the ads in these to locate mail-order equipment suppliers. Another possibility is used equipment. The ham club is the best way to locate used equipment. In some locations there are electronic or ham flea markets or at times you may see equipment listed in the classified sections of the newspaper.
And for those with Internet access, you can find amateur radio equipment suppliers, used equipment, discussion groups, sample test programs, and even local ham club web pages.
Finally in closing I want to recognize that there is another option, but not nearly as good as amateur radio for emergency communications, and that is CB (Citizens Band) radio. The disadvantages to CB communications is that it is usually very disorganized when trying to communicate, and is (legally) limited to 5-watts output power with which to operate. The advantages are that it doesn't require a license and equipment is more readily available and comparatively inexpensive.
I hope this little primer provides you with information that will help you get your ham license. If you do get your license, give me a call, either on the land-line (telephone) or on the air.
Sincerely -- Byron KJ5DB
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