Apr 142012

Good morning everyone, and happy Saturday once again! It’s been a very productive week here for me, and quite frankly, I can’t believe how fast the time is flying. I just got notice I passed my fourth (of five) unit test, which means very soon, I will have my real estate leasing agent license. I just have to pass one more unit, which is a tough one, and then I move on to take the city (CAR) and state (AMP) tests after that. I’m well ahead of schedule, which is a blessing, because I really need the extra time to pass this last test then study hard to pass the final exams. I pray the Lord and Lady give me a little extra oomph! so I can pass these tests. C’mon – three more times – I just need a 75% three more times. I’m not asking for the world here – just to get three quarters of the answers right on the next three tests! YES WE CAN!

So, my question to all of you who follow the stars is this: Which days in the upcoming month would you suggest I take my exams?

One other thing I learned this week, which many of you may find interesting, is while the world of real estate is very tight on fair housing and extremely proactive on anti-discrimination matters, it also applies to those on the working end of the spectrum. My last unit covered, in great detail, all the things that can get my ass “fired” (lose my license) as well as cost me a small fortune in fines and legal fees. Scary stuff indeed! (Yeah, needless to say, I was elated to find out I passed that unit test! Whew!) So it had me wondering if my religious beliefs would somehow trigger a discrimination filing. So yesterday, I dropped a line to get some clarification. I specifically asked if a leasing agent could wear religious jewelry while showing apartments to clients, and the answer was that wearing religious jewelry is entirely up to me – no rules against it.

Now granted, the pentacle I wear is very small and stylized and therefore not blatantly obvious, but anyone who gets my business card can easily Google my name and find out a lot about me. So the way I see it, my beliefs are no big secret, but as long as I keep my business life all about business, it’s all good. I do need to take extra precautions in the matter of course, but my religious beliefs are a big part of me, and I am glad I can be myself – even if I am dolled up, covering my tattoos and driving around town in heels n’ hose. I suppose the “My other car is a broom”-type bumper stickers should be kept off the car as well. (I do have a Misfits license plate frame, which I should probably trade in for something more mundane, but I doubt most people look that hard.)

Now before I discuss our Clip for the Troops campaign, I wanted to fill you all in on a wonderful project that is helping our returning troops decompress and begin anew in the civilian world: The Valhalla Project. No, it is not a Pagan-run organization, but its philosophy certainly is. In just a little over a year, these fine folks, led by retired Lt. Colonel Gordon Cucullu, U.S. Army Special Forces, have taken a brainstorming idea while out in the desert of the Middle East to an amazing reality. 200 acres of farm and woodlands have been purchased, farm animals and crops have been planted, housing has been secured and improved upon, a fresh water pond has been constructed and plans to take the property completely off-grid and eco-friendly are in the works. Wow – just wow! I can’t tell you how absolutely amazed I am at so much progress in so little time!

So who is welcome? Per the website:

Valhalla is all about Soldiers and their well being. It will be a facility designed to accommodate individual Soldiers and to hold small unit gatherings. Because of the warrior emphasis on Valhalla, it is envisioned that primarily members of combat units in the Army – active duty, National Guard, Reserves and their retirees who have survived combat – would be principal users. Due to the warrior emphasis, presence of those suffering from PTSD, and other issues, Valhalla would further be designated for adults only. Procedures for selection will be established in time as the demand increases.

Initially it is thought that volunteers will constitute the initial resident population, but all must come with a recommendation from unit leaders supporting their application. A screening committee comprised of the Valhalla Board operating with recommendations from the Valhalla Governance advisory committee will make final decisions.

Now true, right now, their limited scope is focused on working with post-9/11 combat Soldiers (meaning Army, Reserves and National Guard), I read it as being that’s the branches they know best. Start with what you know and all that. As stated,

…to open up Valhalla even to all post-9/11 veterans of all services is a physical impossibility – we are limited in scope and funds. The idea of a facility that serves ALL military veterans would be overwhelming to a small organization. After all, we are new, growing, and trying out a largely experimental project. We are not a mandated governmental program operating with millions of dollars, we are simply ordinary citizens attempting to make a positive difference in the face of an overwhelming challenge. We had to start somewhere and this is our selected starting point. At the same time, we are dedicated to constructing a prototype that will inspire and encourage the start of similar facilities serving other military branches — or other generations of veterans — by anyone who wishes to take on such endeavors.

So what to do to ensure the doors start flying open to ALL vets? Hard work and generosity are needed, of course! This is a 100-year ongoing project for our veterans suffering from PTSD and those who are having a hard time adjusting to civilian life, including those who are having difficulty finding gainful employment. In its current state, Valhalla is “…designed to be a pleasant, refreshing, but ‘tough love’ activity for those Soldiers with issues that a few days or weeks in a work-play environment can help correct…”, and I trust as they grow, they will be able to expand their offerings. I’m sure as the weeks, months and years go by, after the mistakes are made, clarified and rectified, these wonderful people will be able to move forward in their mission.

It appears they’ve taken a liking to updating on their Facebook page, so I encourage you all to Like! the page and keep tabs on their progress. And of course, if you want to become involved, there are several ways to do so. While monetary donations are certainly welcome, it seems they prefer needed materials donations. I, for one, am very enthusiastic about this project, so I have already liked the page. And, after scouring through their website and postings, since I know some of yas are curious, not once did I see any reference to a particular deity or belief system. Good on them for being religiously neutral from the get-go!

So there’s my big contribution in written form for this week. I would like to feature even more good works like these, be they great or small, so please do share so I can pass along the message as well. What programs do you know of which serve our military? You can drop me a line at doom diva (at) ya hoo (dot) com or even give me a jingle at 773 (dash) 697 (dash) 4474. I’d love to hear from you!

And yes, okay, back on to our campaign. I sincerely, from the very bottom of my heart, want to thank you for helping me raise some much-needed postage money so I can get out these coupons! THANK YOU! A few more bucks for the kitty would be much appreciated, so if you want to send some cash via PayPal, send it to my hubby’s business verified account ron (at) rotting corpse records (dot) com. Just be sure you notate it’s for the Clip for the Troops campaign and not for a CD order. I know, you all just love your extreme Metal bands as much as we do, but seriously, we don’t want to take the chance of mixing up the cash. This week, $10.30 was collected, enough for two Priority envelopes! Thanks so much! And of course, if you want to send coupons, because the post office people are jerks, if you email or call me, I can give you my home address. The PO box expires in June, so we’ll be getting a new box near us here so we won’t have that problem anymore.

Well, that’s about all I have for you this week. Thanks again everyone and have a wonderful weekend. Take care and many blessings!