Giant Nick and little SiaraI have often wondered why it is that short girls tend to date giants. That has pretty much always been the case with my grandniece, Siara Harman, who is all of four feet nine inches tall. I seriously don’t think she has ever dated a guy that was under six feet tall. Maybe she is planning on having kids who have a little height on her, since she has always wanted to be taller. I remember as a child she said she was going to be five feet five inches or taller…but with a dad who is five feet four inches, and a mom who is four feet ten inches tall, I told her that she had better plan on platform shoes, if she was going to reach that height. These days, I think she embraces her shortness, as do most of us short girls, but I think she is hoping for more for her own future children. Dating giants is a pretty good way to make that happen, and since those giants are the ones she is interested in, I guess she will have a good shot at it.

Siara has had a number of changes in her life this year. She became an aunt for the first time, when her Siara and Izabellabrother, Jake Harman, and his fiancé Melanie Price had a little girl, named Izabella Siara Harman. I think it’s really cool that they named their little girl after her Aunty Siara. Stuff just doesn’t get cooler than that. Siara works at a local bank, and is training to be a personal banker. In many ways this job is vastly different from any other one she has had before, because as a college student who is studying for a career in nutrition and physical fitness, most of her jobs have been in retail or hotel services. I think she is really enjoying the day shift though, because like most of us, she is finding out just how nice it is to have evenings and weekends off. Not that Siara sleeps in, mind you.

Siara is a fitness nut, and when I say nut, well I kind of mean crazy!! I love hiking, but I would rather do it in the evening, because I want to sleep a little bit in the mornings. Not Siara, however!! Siara wakes up at 6:00am six days a week so she can go to the gym and do her classes. She loves P90x, Insanity, and Body Forest the catBeast the best, which are all high intensity workouts for maximum results. She’s solid as a rock and her endurance is through the roof. She could literally jog for an hour then go to work. Still, she does love to relax…if you could call it that…with her crazy cat. The cat has a tendency to have random fights with Siara, and I guess you must realize that this is a frienemy relationship. Nevertheless, as a cat lover myself, I can understand, that your cats personality is simply your burden to bear, because once you have a cat…they own you, so get used to it. Siara must understand that too, because the cat is still alive. Today is Siara’s birthday. Happy birthday Siara!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

HitlerAnyone who knows much about Nazi Germany, knows that Adolf Hitler was insane. His hatred for the Jewish people was nothing less that insanity, because he had no valid reason to hate them. Nevertheless, the Holocaust did happen. Hitler did kill between five and six million Jews during his reign of terror. Many people thought that the Jews were the only target Hitler had too, but that wasn’t so. Hitler wanted to kill anyone who annoyed, inconvenienced, or even remotely bothered him. On this day, July 8, 1943, upon the German army’s invasion of Pskov, 180 miles from Leningrad, Russia, the chief of the German army general staff, General Franz Halder, records in his diary Hitler’s plans for Moscow and Leningrad: “To dispose fully of their population, which otherwise we shall have to feed during the winter.” Hitler planned to level both cities, or at least kill everyone in them, because he didn’t want to have to feed the prisoners during the long winter months! And for no other reason. Most armies at least set up prisoner of war camps, which while not terribly humane, gave some semblance of an attempt to be humane. I know that everyone complains about how the United States treats prisoners of war, but there really is no comparison, when you view the way Hitler and some other terrible dictators treat prisoners of war. Humane treatment is a pipe dream for prisoners of dictators.Russian map

Hitler launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, with over 3 million men. He was highly successful, due in large part to a disorganized and unsuspecting Russian army. By July 8, they had captured 280,000 Soviet prisoners and almost 2,600 tanks were destroyed. The army was already a couple of hundred miles inside Soviet territory. Stalin was in a panic. He was so angry that he began executing generals who had failed to stop the invaders.

Halder, who was Hitler’s chief of staff, had been keeping a diary of the day-to-day decision making process. As time went on, Hitler became emboldened by his successes in Russia. Halder recorded that the “Fuhrer is firmly determined to level Moscow and Leningrad to the ground.” Halder also records the reality of Hitler’s underestimation of the Russian army’s numbers and the bitter fighting within Hitler’s own armies about strategy. Halder and some of the others wanted to make straight for the capital, Moscow. But Hitler wanted to meet up with Field Marshal Wilhelm Leeb’s army group, Stalinwhich was making its way toward Leningrad. And Hitler was, after all, in charge. But, the advantage Hitler had against the Soviets would not last very long. Winter was approaching and so was the advantage such conditions would give the Russians. The Russians were used to the severe Russian winters, and Hitler’s men were not. Like Napoleon before them, the Germans would soon find that they weren’t prepared for the Russian winter, and subsequent winters. And yet, Hitler thought he had learned from Napoleon. He ordered his troops to hold their ground. Which meant that during the Winter War, the German army was not able to pull back to more defensible positions. Consequently, the Russians were able to launch a series of counter-attacks during that first winter. These attacks cutoff some German forces, inflicted worse casualties than the Germans could inflict, but more importantly allowed the Russians to begin to rebuild their army. The winter months would prove to be just as detrimental for Hitler as they had for Napoleon. In reality, he was insane to even try such an attack.

reaganWhen a United States president is assassinated, it sends shock waves around the world. When one is shot and lives, it sends waves of shock too…and then relief. I was a little girl when John F Kennedy was shot and killed on November 22, 1963, and I will never forget where I was when I found out about it. At the tender age of just seven years, I don’t really think that I fully understood the gravity of the situation. When President Ronald Regan was shot in the chest, on March 30, 1981, I was a married twenty five year old mother of two daughters, and I fully understood the gravity of the situation, and how it could have affected our nation and the world. It was however, the reason he was shot that totally baffled me. I mean, I know what John Hinkley Jr’s deranged reasons were, but it still made no sense to me…especially that he would think that somehow he would win Jodie Foster’s love by shooting the president. I suppose that is simply how the deranged mind works.

In the years that the United States has been a nation, sixteen assassination attempts on our presidents. Of those, there have been four successful Presidential assassinations. They were Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy. I really never thought there might have been that many attempts, but I can see that people get distraut with how things are going, and if they are at all unstable, they might attempt to shoot the president.

President Reagan’s shooting was probably one of the most strange, because he appartently didn’t feel the .22 caliber bullet that entered his chest, narrowly missing his heart, and hit his lung. There were three attendants with him, who were also hit. They were White House Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, and DC police officer Thomas Delahaney. Hinkley was then overpowered and pinned against a wall. Reagan was shoved into the car and taken to the hospital for treatment. He made a complete recovery, which was amazing, considering that he was 70 years old at the time. He even insisted on walking into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. He was in good spirits and visiting with his wife, Nancy while waiting for surgery. He laughingly said, ”Honey, I forgot to duck,” and to his surgeons, “Please tell me you’re Republicans.”

The next day, he resumed some of his executive duties and even signed a piece of legislation from his hospital bed. He returned to work at the White House on April 11, 1981. He returned even more popular that he already was, and received a hero’s welcome by Congress. His highly successful economics plan was passed with several Democrats breaking ranks to back his plan. Nevertheless, President Reagan felt the effects of the shooting for years afterward. The other men eventually recovered, but James Brady suffered permanent brain damage and later became an advocate for the “Brady Bill” requiring a five day waiting period and background checks before the purchase of a gun, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. John Hinkley received a verdict of “not guilty by reason of insanity” bringing with it outrage among the people of this nation. He has been incarcerated at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital since that time, but more recently has been allowed supervised home visits with his parents. I suppose that one day, he could be released, since they have said that his mental illness is in remission.

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