The Longings Of One Physically Disabled Woman


The Outspoken TULIP

Commonwealth Mall Sept 2012 026Being a physically disabled Christian often requires responding graciously to assumptions that my able-bodied brothers and sisters in Christ make. One friend envied all the extra time I have to study God’s Word (never mind that everything takes longer and my Personal Care Attendant schedule limits the hours I have on my computer). Countless people think of me as a prayer warrior (never mind that I struggle more with prayer than any other spiritual discipline). And almost everyone assumes I wish I could walk (believe me, I’d much rather be rid of my speech defect).

But the assumption that most bothers me is that I can’t wait for my resurrection body.

Friends often talk about having foot races with me in heaven. They envision me pushing them around in wheelbarrows (as payback for all the times they pushed me around in my manual wheelchair), and they anticipate dancing with me…

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Review of Killers of the Flower Moon


Killers of the Flower Moon

David Grann’s, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the F.B.I., is a gripping account of an event in the history of one of the richest Native American tribes in the United States. When oil is discovered on their reservation, the Osage Nation uses their newly discovered resources to provide a future for their families. However, their happiness is short-lived when prominent tribe members begin to die under mysterious circumstances, and no one seems to be willing or able to get the answers these proud people so desperately need. Then J. Edgar Hoover and Tom White, a Texas Ranger, step in.


Killers of the Flower Moon is a work of nonfiction, but it reads like a mystery novel. It is incredibly well-written and meticulously researched by a tireless reporter who stops at nothing to get to the truth and obtain a measure of justice for a people maligned and mistreated by those who were entrusted with their care.  Fans of History will find this an engrossing and informative tale, while others new to the genre will find it far from a dry textbook version of an isolated event. More history should be as documented, dramatic, and well-written as this. And more Americans should learn about the heroes and villains that make their heritage what it is. I highly recommend Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of F.B.I.

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Review of Sandpiper Cove

Sandpiper Cove


In Irene Hannon’s Sandpiper Cove, Adam Stone must report an act of vandalism to the police. Because he’s an ex-con, this is the last thing he wants to do but when Hope Harbor’s police chief Lexie Graham (a woman with her own secrets) enters his life, Stone gets more than he bargained for. Will the culprit be caught? And will this unlikely pair find a future they weren’t looking for?

Sandpiper Cove is a story with potential. The setting on the Oregon coast makes a beautiful backdrop, the loveable dog Clyde is an adorable addition, and the theme of redemption running throughout the novel makes the plot intriguing.

However, the characters feel shallow, the dialogue unrealistic and tiresome, and the religious message overdone. Most of all, the romantic angle is over the top and drowns out the rest of the storyline. Therefore, I regret that I cannot recommend Sandpiper Cove.



I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review


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Review of Empire Made

Empire Made

In his book, Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle who Vanished in British India, recounts his journey to find a long-lost relative who disappeared in Asia during the apex of Britain’s hegemony. Empire Made is part history, part mystery, and part travelogue as Hilsbery describes his modern-day pilgrimage retracing his Uncle’s passage through India while explaining the historical events that made British India.


Empire Made is well-written, well-researched, and presents history in an entertaining and enlightening manner rather than a dry textbook style. Hilsbery frames events in the context of a story but allows the reader to peek into life a hundred years ago with culture, customs, and  British rule as viewed by India itself.


However, Empire Made has some significant drawbacks. The first is that some of the historical accounts have been fictionalized, making it difficult to distinguish what is true and what is not. Secondly, there seems to be a preoccupation with the uncle’s sexual orientation and, finally, Hilsbery’s consultation with a seeress to verify his relative’s final resting place is dark and disturbing. Therefore, I regret that I cannot recommend it.



I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review





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Pearl Harbor and the Legacy of Carl Vinson Victor Davis Hanson

Image result for photos of congressman carl vinson



His monumental contributions to American security are largely unknown to Americans today.


Seventy-six years ago on Dec. 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese fleet surprise-attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the home port of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.


Japanese carrier planes killed 2,403 Americans. They sunk or submerged 19 ships (including eight battleships destroyed or disabled) and damaged or destroyed more than 300 planes.


In an amazing feat of seamanship, the huge Japanese carrier fleet had steamed nearly 3,500 miles in midwinter high seas. The armada had refueled more than 20 major ships while observing radio silence before arriving undetected about 220 miles from Hawaii.


The surprise attack started the Pacific War. It was followed a few hours later by a Japanese assault on the Philippines.


More importantly, Pearl Harbor ushered in a new phase of World War II, as the conflict expanded to the Pacific. It became truly a global war when, four days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. The Japanese fleet had missed the three absent American carriers of the Pacific Fleet.


Nonetheless, Japanese admirals were certain that the United States was so crippled after the attack that it would not be able to go on the offensive against the Japanese Pacific empire for years, if at all. Surely the wounded Americans would sue for peace, or at least concentrate on Europe and keep out of the Japanese-held Pacific. That was a fatal miscalculation.


The Japanese warlords had known little of the tireless efforts of one Democratic congressman from Georgia, Carl Vinson. For nearly a decade before Pearl Harbor, Vinson had schemed and politicked in brilliant fashion to ensure that America was building a two-ocean navy larger than all the major navies of the world combined.


Vinson had assumed in the mid-1930s that fascist Japan and Germany posed existential threats to the United States. For America to survive, he saw that America would need mastery of the seas to transport its armies across the Pacific and Atlantic. From 1934 to 1940, Vinson pushed through Congress four major naval appropriations bills. The result was that the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which Japan thought it had almost destroyed in December 1941, was already slated to be replaced by a far larger and updated armada.


A little more than seven months after Pearl Harbor, the USS Essex — the finest carrier in the world — was launched. Essex was the first of 24 such state-of-the-art fleet carriers of its class to be built during the war. Vinson’s various pre-war naval-construction bills also ensured the launching of hundreds of modern battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines. As bombs fell at Pearl Harbor, ships of the new American fleet were soon to be deployed, under construction, or already authorized. Vinson’s foresight would save thousands of American lives in the Atlantic and Pacific. American naval power quickly allowed the U.S. to fight a two-front war against Japan, Germany, and Italy. Vinson, a rural Georgian, was an unlikely advocate of global naval supremacy.


Before World War II, the battleship was still thought to be queen of the seas. Yet Vinson emphasized aircraft carriers over battleships. That decision would result in absolute American naval supremacy of the oceans within two years of the Pearl Harbor attack. Stranger still, Vinson had fought for naval expansion in the middle of the Great Depression, at a time when the U.S. government was already deeply in debt and poor Americans had no desire for large peacetime defense spending. Vinson lived in the heart of impoverished rural Georgia, not on the East or West coasts, the traditional homes of U.S. warships. He was elected for 26 straight congressional terms.


For 50 years, Vinson insisted on military preparedness, especially through naval power, to ensure deterrence and thereby keep the peace. Vinson’s remarkable congressional career began in 1914, before the American entry into World War I. He championed a strong Navy during the Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the start of the Vietnam War, and the Cold War before retiring in 1965 at the age of 81.


Prior to Vinson, the U.S. Navy was basically a small coastal patrol force fueled by coal. But as the chairman of House Naval Affairs Committee and later the House Armed Services Committee, Vinson ensured that American sea power — eventually led by behemoth nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (including the USS Carl Vinson) — would win wars and keep the peace through its global reach.

Vinson would live 16 years beyond retirement, dying at the age of 97 in 1981. Today, most Americans do not recognize Vinson’s contributions to American security. But the real strategic story of the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor was that Japan foolishly bombed a mostly obsolete fleet, soon guaranteeing terrible revenge from its far greater and more modern replacement armada — thanks largely to the global visions of a rural Georgia congressman.

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Posted: December 7, 2017


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UCF’s Scott Frost was born to coach, with parents fueling his journey from Nebraska to Florida By Shannon Green

LINCOLN, Neb. — Larry and Carol Frost‘s quaint, multi-level home is the easiest one to locate in their suburban Nebraska neighborhood under a dark, December sky.

They are the only family on the block who have a row of glowing snowmen wearing uniforms planted in the front yard for those passing by to see as they survey Christmas lights. Each “Frost” man trumpets its own story of accomplishments, with uniforms ranging from the military and Olympics to athletic careers at Stanford and Nebraska. You’ll also find one princess, courtesy of one of three grandchildren.

These are the first and last prominent displays of remarkable achievements you will see at the Frost home. No trophy room exists to exhibit the slew of gold track medals and awards to commemorate more than 200 football victories, most of them amassed by their son and new UCF football coach Scott Frost.

There’s no reason, after all, to keep a museum of Frost sports history because just about everyone in Nebraska already knows it. And, soon, Florida residents will know it, too, as Scott works to transform an 0-12 football team into a winner at rapid, Oregon-paced speed.

A program turnaround of this magnitude could be a daunting task for any first-time head coach. But Scott Frost, who recently left his job as the Ducks’ offensive coordinator, has been preparing for this moment for the past four decades.

“My dad’s been a high school football coach for 40 years and just retired. My mom was an assistant football coach for 30 years, so I got it from both sides,” Scott Frost said. “They’re both tremendous coaches and educators, and I’ve learned a lot from them.”

Just 12 days ago, Scott Frost was introduced to UCF fans as the young, ambitious first-time coach who wants to play fast and fun football.

But that doesn’t even begin to cover the unique background and skills he’s bringing to the Knights. To really understand Scott Frost’s values as a coach, you first have to get to know his parents — both aptly called Coach Frost.

A couple of destiny

Most evenings, Carol ran a mile and a half down the street to the Nebraska state fairgrounds from her university dorm room to train by herself at a makeshift discus and shot put circle near the pig and sheep barns.

She couldn’t use Nebraska’s facilities because women’s sports were forbidden and there were no Title IX protections to give her access.

When she wasn’t training, she’d break into local high schools to workout at after the boys had long gone home.

One evening, she found herself at a small, dirt track at Malcolm High School. Or rather, Larry found her.

“There were a couple of girls over there throwing shot put and I asked them about their team and everything and said, ‘Who’s the big star?'” said Larry, who was a junior at Malcolm High at the time. “And they pointed at her. She was over there throwing the javelin.”

He was immediately smitten. Her talent, determination and work ethic kept his eyes on the short-haired, blonde college girl.

Carol would umpire softball games in the summers and he’d come by after his baseball games to see if she was correctly calling the balls and strikes.

Eventually, the two struck up a friendship and would grab postgame chili hot dogs at Kings. That turned into dates, movies, fishing, hunting and basketball games. Some years down the road, after Larry became a starting wingback at Nebraska and she competed in the 1968 Olympics, he took her back to that Malcolm High dirt track and proposed to Carol on the shot put ring.

They’ve been married for 46 years.

“I was terribly impressed with her athleticism and she ate real well too,” Larry quipped.

A power couple is born

The same school that once denied her athletic dreams now employed Carol as the second track and field and cross country coach in school history at a meager $2,000 salary in 1977. She had to oversee 16 events and had just one paid assistant coach.

She needed another coach, but she didn’t have the budget to expand her staff. Larry, who was also coaching high school football at the time, joined her as an unpaid assistant.

He coached the jumpers and sprinters, including nine-time Olympic sprinter Merlene Ottey.

As the program grew — along with recruiting demands — so did the Frost brood, which now included two young boys, Steve and Scott. The couple decided to focus on raising their family along with coaching and teaching at the high school level. They moved three and a half hours away to a small town called O’Neill.

“He needed a receivers coach,” Carol said. “And ever since college at Nebraska, I had been going to practices and throwing patterns to him. He was a fanatic workout guy and he’d go out when everybody else had gone in.”

Larry joked, “She could be a quarterback if she had any speed.”

His pass-oriented offense — which was somewhat ahead of his time considering that power-I formation dominated football — required at least three offensive coaches.

It was a no-brainer for Larry to hire Carol after witnessing his wife’s strong arm throwing a softball, a javelin, the shot put and discus.

Convincing others that a woman could coach young men in football took some time. The players usually adapted quicker than the adults.

“The people in Nebraska, when we started out doing that, were skeptical and then she’d throw about four [footballs] and then they understood,” Larry said.

The family moved again and Carol’s first paid assistant job, ironically, came in what they called the good ol’ boy network of Texas high school football. But it was anything but easy as her oldest son, Steve, recalled.

Fans from opposing teams would call her names and whistle cat-calls. In the earlier part of their coaching stint at Palestine High, Carol would sit in the stands with the other coaches’ wives.

“She was coaching these guys earlier in the day and then for appearances’ sake, she had to sit in the stands with the rest of the coaches’ wives . . . which was ridiculous,” Steve said.

That didn’t last long. Larry never cared much about appeasing others’ opinions.

“I’m stubborn and I wanted to win,” he said. “Her technique she teaches, whatever she knows and can teach, she is great at that.”

Carol added, “throwing is all technique.”

The next dynasty begins

When Larry’s father died, the couple decided to move back home to Nebraska to be closer to his mom. He is an only child.

The couple moved to a small town called Wood River.

Much like Sunday night football film sessions after supper when mom and dad grabbed their yellow tablet folders and graded tape, moving became another part of the Frost’s family coaching experience.

“It was very difficult,” Steve said. “You’d get something established and then you’d have to go, but in many ways it made the bonds tighter with the family. When we moved to Wood River, where Scott spent all of his high school years, I was a junior. And that was when he and I became very, very tight because we were both new [in] town and we didn’t really know anyone.”

Scott was named the starting quarterback as a freshman and some people questioned if he was benefitting from favoritism since his father was the head coach. But any doubts were quickly quashed by his performance on the field.

Larry’s favorite memory coaching his son came during Scott’s sophomore season when he pulled the team from a halftime deficit to a playoff victory with three touchdown runs of more than 50 yards. Scott also blocked a punt and collected 10 tackles.

“That was Scott’s coming out,” Larry said.

Scott finished his high school career with 11,137 total yards of offense, which then registered as the third highest total in U.S. high school history.

His parents got a rare front seat to his sports journey, having coached him in both football and track. Carol, who was the head track coach, was the one who placed the gold medal around Scott’s neck when he won the state shot put title his senior year.

“I think we’ve done a good job, mostly Carol, raising the two kids,” Larry said. “They have moral standings and if you interview Scott for long, you’ll find out that he’s a straight forward guy. He’s not exactly [Donald] Trump, but he’ll tell you what he thinks, be honest about it and you can believe it. I’ve always told him if you lose your credibility, people won’t believe you and then you’re in big trouble. I think they must have listened.”

A new Coach Frost

The only coaching record Larry, 68, and Carol, 70, can clearly recall is from Wood River because they coached exactly 100 games there in 10 seasons. They won 71 of them.

Neither can remember the exact number of wins and losses during their elite coaching careers, in part, because they jumped around to so many schools during 47 years of coaching. The other reason is because neither of them is truly retired.

They’ve coached football off and on at a small, private Christian school and are substitute teachers.

Every year, Larry borrows sporting equipment from the University of Nebraska to help run various sports competitions during the Boys and Girls State program, sponsored by the American Legion.

“They never chased state championships or All-American or All-State or any of those kind of accolades,” said Randy York, senior writer for and a former sports writer for the Lincoln Journal Star in the ’70s and ’80s. “Their commitment to what they were doing was for two reasons: to help kids be better than they’ve ever been and to sharpen the focus on what athletics really means, which is truly just maximizing anything that you have.

“I’ve never seen a male-female tandem so much on the same page and yet they’re very different kind of people.”

Larry is bold, Carol is a technician and both are gifted teachers with a passion for coaching. The greatest proof is their children.

While Steve, 43, didn’t pursue a professional athletic career, he is a successful businessman who’s worked for Google, Yahoo! and is even a former Jeopardy champion.

Scott, 40, has never seen a losing season since starting his full-time coaching career. From 2007-14, he’s compiled a 103-18 record serving as an assistant coach at Northern Iowa and Oregon.

“I see in Scott a lot of the way his dad coached. Larry has very, very seldom yelled at players,” Carol said. “I’ve seen him yell [at] an official once in a while, but he doesn’t yell at his team, he doesn’t yell at his kids. If they make a mistake, he’ll pull them off the field and try to help them. He tries to fix things in practice.

“And as I watch Scott coach now, at Northern Iowa and Oregon, I see the same kind of thing. . . . He gets his point across without swearing, without yelling, without degrading and I think he got a lot of that from his dad.”

Scott Frost experienced more victories than defeats as a coach and that’s something he’ll hope to continue at UCF despite the team’s recent struggles.

He’ll need to develop patience through the process, Larry said.

Larry has taken over his share of fixer-uppers in the past 47 years.

Both Larry and Carol are looking forward to traveling to Florida in the spring to watch some practices. They’ll just have to remember “Coach Frost” in Orlando is their son, Scott.

“We watched a lot of practices at Oregon and a kid will yell, ‘Coach Frost’ and all three of us think they’re addressing us,” Carol said laughing. “Because even now, kids from 20 or 30 years ago, it’s not Mrs. Frost or Mr. Frost or Larry or Carol. When they come up to us, it’s still Coach Frost. And it’s really neat to know that our son is the head coach and is called Coach Frost.”


Copyright © 2017, Orlando
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5 Author Friendships That Make Us Jealous Zach Locascio

Did you know these authors were friends?

Great artists often work alone, but some form symbiotic relationships with their contemporaries. These relationships often help inspire amazing works through mentoring or editing each other. All friendships below are composed of literary giants whose works are etched into history; some even helped each other’s writing careers. Jealous…

1. Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Two of the most famous American writers not only lived in the same era but were friends who sent each other their manuscripts. Hemingway even offered criticisms to Fitzgerald’s fourth novel Tender is the Night. They often exchanged letters and spent time together in Paris, despite quite opposite personalities.

2. C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien

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The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings are considered both classics and staples and are beloved by children and adults worldwide. The masters behind these fantasy series were also friends! They met when they were both in school at Oxford where they bonded over religion, their time spent in World War I, and the epic stories that would later be their biggest works. Their intelligent friendship may have been the inspiration that launched the both of their works from an idea into classic literature.

3. Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath

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These writers are the two most commonly mentioned names when discussing feminist poetry. Before their fame and publications, they used to meet for drinks after a poetry seminar. Besides writing, they bonded over their contemplations and philosophies on death and depression.

4. David Foster Wallace and Don Delillo

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Wallace claimed that Delillo was the greatest living author, especially when people started comparing the two after the publication of  Infinite Jest. Wallace even used Delillo’s White Noise in his teachings when he was a professor at Emerson. The two exchanged letters and Wallace looked for advice from Delillo. After Wallace’s death, annotated copies of Delillo’s work were found amongst his possession.

5. James Baldwin and Toni Morrison

Image courtesy of The Huffington Post

Morrison met Baldwin when she was editing his work at Random House. A life-long friendship then blossomed, and Morrison was devastated after Baldwin passed in 1987. She was one of the people who spoke at his funeral and memorialized him with a piece in the New York Times.

Do you know any more literary friends?



Posted- 19 April 2017

Feature image courtesy of The Fight City

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