13 December 2009
- Up :: Up and away, in my beautiful balloon (5th dimension)
- Scram! :: and I mean it
- Smell :: Ooo ooo that smell, can't you smell that smell, ooo ooo that smell, the smell of death's around you (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
- Belong :: You belong to me, tell her you were fooling (Carly Simon)
- Doug :: My brother in law
- Collar :: ring around the
- Squirrel :: I love squirrels!
- Chinese :: food, we had it for dinner : )
- Tracker :: drawing a blank!
- Apartment :: I have lived in several over the course of my life.
12 December 2009
So anyway, there is a post going around on the web, I don't know who wrote it, but it has been sent to me by different people, and I like what it says. So I am stealing it and posting it here.
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santa's and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish. I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.
If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.
4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary--especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.
9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.
10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.
Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest.
Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember :
I LOVE YOU,
09 November 2009
I have already begun to receive the mass emails regarding "Keeping Christ in Christmas". Now when I was a more rabid Christian, I forwarded those emails with abandon myself. We must make sure the world knows that Christmas is only about Christ, mustn't we? I must make sure I push my views on the rest of the world, mustn't I?
I have really mellowed about a lot of things in recent years. On things like "Keeping Christ in Christmas" I'd just follow the crowd, and wouldn't really even think about what I was doing or saying. I've begun to be more aware of what I believe, say and do lately, and I try am trying to live that out. So with that said:
What the hell is wrong with saying Happy Holidays? The word Holiday is just a mutated version of the term Holy Days. In a search of Holy days for all religions in the month of December here is what I found:
Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
Bodhi Day (Buddhism)
Celebrates the date when Prince Gautama sat under the Bodhi tree, vowing to remain there until he attained supreme enlightenment
Immaculate Conception of Mary (Catholic Christian)
Honors the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was preserved from original sin all of her life
Hanukkah begins (Jewish) *
Festival of lights and re dedication; continues through December 19
The first day of the Muslim year; commemorates the migration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina
Winter Solstice; celebration of the rebirth of the sun
Christmas Eve (Christian)
A celebration the night before the commemoration of the birth of Jesus
Celebrates the birth of Jesus
Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian)
Celebrates the birth of Jesus
Kwanzaa begins (African American)
Seven day celebration of family, heritage and harvest, ends January 1
Saint Stephen's Day (Catholic Christian)
Commemorates Saint Stephens the first Christian martyr
Holy Family (Catholic Christian)
Celebration of the family of Jesus
Holy Innocents (Anglican Christian)
Commemorates the slaughter of male infants in Bethlehem during Herod the Greats attempt to kill the infant Jesus
New Year's Eve
Wow, lookie, it isn't only Christians celebrating HOLY days in the month of December. There might be Jews out buying presents for Hanukkah, or even a Wiccan buying someone a Solstice present. (Do Wiccans give presents for the Solstice?) Regardless, Christians just do not have the lock on buying in December. People of all creeds are out and about doing their thing and maybe they don't want to hear "Merry Christmas" every single time they check out in a store. I don't think I'd be too happy if I had to hear "Happy Ramadan" every time I went out, in whatever month Ramadan is celebrated. (I'm not ignorant, the month changes every year!) I also wouldn't want to be assaulted with Happy Hanukkah, because I'M NOT JEWISH!
When did Christians go from being loving and caring and spreading THE GOOD NEWS to bullies? Isn't it bullying when we threaten to boycott stores for not saying Merry Christmas? Stores don't only sell to Christians, yet Christians seem to think they should. Also, really, how many of the people out buying presents and celebrating Christmas are even Christians, by Christian standards anyway? I know a lot of Atheists and agnostics and non practicing Christians who celebrate Christmas. They celebrate for Santa Claus and gift giving. Do Christians really think that causing a ruckus and spreading toxic emails makes those who barely nod in Christ's direction on Christmas feel closer to him? Or make them want to go to church? No, it makes them want to get farther away from those who call themselves "Christians", because they don't see the love, or the caring, or the spreading of the good news, they see bullies promoting their agenda. Christ didn't call us to go into the world and demand that shop clerks wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Christ didn't even command us to celebrate Christmas. Christians co-opted a pagan holiday (the solstice) and Christianized it. Most Historians don't even think Christ was born in December.
Now after saying all that, I have to say, I love Christmas. I love everything about it. The songs, the food, the music, the fact that most people seem to be friendlier and kinder during December than most other months. The fact that we celebrate the birth of our Savior. There IS a special feeling in the air during Christmas. So why don't those of us who consider ourselves Christians spread that joy around and stop focusing on the negative. Wish people Merry Christmas and if they wish you a Happy Holidays they are still giving you a greeting, a wish for a Happy Holy Day, which Christians consider Christmas to be. Maybe if we stop being so negative, and nit picking everything the world does, and allow others to live the lives they have chosen to live, and go about living the life Christ asked us to, maybe then others will begin to actually see the Christ in us and then the Christ in Christmas. And it wouldn't be because it was shoved down their throat. It might just be because they saw something, something in us that they wanted a piece of. The joy and love.
Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
~O Holy Night~
01 November 2009
Our front yard/graveyard. Dad even bought us a fog machine : )
Our Puking Pumpkin. He also has a head wound.....see what alcohol will do to you?
My Evil, Mad Scientist Daughter....not sure who her victim is!
My oldest daughters Jack Skellington Pumpkin...and moms traditional one
My garden pigs, dressed for the occasion
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.
13 October 2009
I have had a general malaise about me for months. My sinus symptoms started in late July. At first I thought it was allergies, we've had lots of rain and I thought maybe the mold was getting to me. I let it go for about a month before I visited my doctor. I went to see her in late August. She said my head was "full" and it looked like a sinus infection and gave me antibiotics. After a few days my symptoms seemed to be clearing up, I felt better and could almost breathe again. But a few days after I stopped the antibiotics, the symptoms came back with a vengeance. Right side completely plugged up, no sniffling, breathing or blowing, just stuck. Pressure in my sinus cavity and behind my eyes, headache, feeling blah. I waited a few days and called my doc, who decided I needed another round of good old antibiotics. This time they did nothing. I knew I had a physical coming up, so instead of paying another co-pay and going in to my doctor, I decided to suffer for the last 2 weeks whilst waiting for today's appt. Not really a smart move on my part.
So today I go for my physical. Yes, I still have a raging sinus infection. Not good seeing as I already had 2 rounds of antibiotics. Yes, any kind of infection raging in ones system can make one weak and fatigued ALL THE TIME! Yes, it made perfect sense that I complained of feeling like crap ALL THE TIME. No, I should not have waited another 2 weeks before coming in and getting stronger meds, ooops.
So now I have a really strong, really expensive antibiotic and a steroid. 5 days of steroids and 5 days of antibiotics. Both will stay in my system for 10 days, after which if I am not 100% better I was told to call my doctor ASAP for further evaluation. I am really hoping this does the trick. I have never had sinus issues like this before. I feel like I could sleep until Christmas.
And I miss my blog. As I lay in bed each night gasping for air through my mouth, I have all these wonderful ideas of things to blog about. But alas, morning comes and I am exhausted before I leave my bed and it just goes downhill from there. The only reason I have been able to blog this right now was because of an injection of Reese's Peanut butter cups and iced tea ; ) Sugar and caffeine, it does a body good.
13 September 2009
Life has been crazy lately. It's funny, because people always ask homeschoolers how they do it, how do they have enough time, not go crazy, etc., etc. I'm now wondering how people survive with their kids IN school!
My eldest daughter (Carley) started high school August 24th. We haven't done the school thing since she was in 2nd grade. I forgot how tiring it is. Getting up, making lunches, getting to school on time, getting picked up and to other activities, doing homework, getting to bed, starting all over again the next day. Yuck, I hate it. But she seems to be liking it, at least that what she's telling us right now. She doesn't like the kids, but she really likes the classes. At least most of them. Even gym class. It's only been a few weeks, so the novelty hasn't really worn off yet, but time will tell I suppose. She knows she can quit whenever she wants, I'd really rather have her at home. I miss her. And so does her sister, but she'd never admit it.
I know this is a good experience for her, she needs to be out in the world a bit more. But the false reality of a high school just sends shivers up my spine. It's not that I hated high school. I liked some of my classes, I loved seeing my friends, but I hated being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. By senior year I hated being there so much I went on the work release program. I was done with school by 11:00 am and I was able to leave and go to work. Like a real person. Not a subject forced to remain in servitude to the establishment until they ok'd my release.
But I know it's not about me now, it's about her, and what she wants. Maybe because she hasn't been forced to be in schools all these years she has a greater appreciation for education, and she's willing to put up with the nonsense to get what she wants out of the experience. I hope she continues to enjoy it and I hope she can learn in spite of the nonsense that is the institution. I just hope I finally adjust to the changes in my life and routine. Right now it's giving me a headache ; )
"The Critic as Artist," 1890
01 August 2009
- Memo :: Didn't you get the memo?
- Copy :: machine
- Office :: supplies
- Stapler :: another piece of office equipment
- Paycheck :: Wish I got one ( a big one!)
- Watercooler :: I'd like one in my house
- Desk :: I have a small one
- Human :: nature
- Resort :: I want to go to one on a beach someplace warm!
- Boss :: I want to be my own
27 July 2009
So back to the wedding. It was lovely. Raina (my step-daughter) had originally planned on having a large, elaborate wedding this December. It was becoming a much larger event than she had hoped for, so early last spring they (her and her fiance, Erik) decided to make it a "family and close friends event only" and moved it to Erik's family's home and moved it up to July. I think there were probably 40 people total in attendance, including the entire bridal party. It was still very elegant and formal and everyone seemed to have a nice time.
Here's a picture of the lovebirds:
I never had a wedding. I moved out of my parents home and eventually in with my boyfriend (now hubby). Then I got pregnant, LOL. When you do things backwards, a big wedding is a bit redundant. John and I got married at the courthouse in March, and we had a backyard pig roast reception in August. When I look back, a wedding would have been nice, but with age comes wisdom and it really is an awful lot of money to spend on a party. We spent an awful lot of money just going to Raina's wedding. She wanted us in pictures, plus her dad had to walk her down the aisle, so we spent a pretty penny making sure we'd all look up to snuff.
My sister had a big wedding. My parents were paying for it so they got to call the shots. It was nice, about 100 people, at a country club. I do remember it being a lot of fun. But a few years later I remember my sister saying she wished she had been given money for a down-payment on a house instead of a wedding. The novelty wears off. Yes, you have nice pictures, but she says she barely remembers the day, having to run around and talk to people and thanking them for coming, and making sure everything was done properly.
I'm not dissing weddings. If someone has the money, go for it. Weddings can be a lot of fun and certainly special to the couple involved. But I don't think people should go into hock to give their kids a wedding. And given the choice, I think kids nowadays should think realistically, what is more important, a big wedding or a place to live? Just a few weeks ago my youngest and I were out running errands and we saw this girl on the side of the road with a sign that said: "Car Wash, Help Us Pay For Our Wedding". If you need to hold a car wash to pay for your wedding, maybe you should just go to the courthouse. (They actually made it into our local paper.)
John and I have two other daughters, so obviously the wedding thing will come up for us again. We got lucky this time, Raina and her fiance wanted to pay for their own wedding. I think my own girls are a bit more relaxed about the wedding thing. Neither is really a girlie girl and they don't have romantic notions of a prince charming and a fairy tale wedding. I was talking with my youngest about her dad having to wear a fancy suit to Raina's wedding and how he wished he could wear a Hawaiian shirt. That's our kind of wedding. Catherine said we could wear Hawaiian shirts to her wedding : )
In my dreams, one day before we die, my hubby and I will renew our vows on a beach somewhere. He can wear one of those Miami style suits, a white cotton, breezy suit with a Hawaiian shirt underneath, and I can find some kind of flowy summer dress, and we can both be barefoot. Maybe our kids will be there, maybe some grand kids. We could go out and eat lobster afterwards. That's my kind of wedding.
- Melissa Higgins -
20 July 2009
- Banter :: Talking back and forth
- Amazing :: life is pretty much, isn't it?
- Towel :: Love a big fluffy one
- Cinema :: Movie theater
- Newspaper :: try to read one everyday
- Not good :: Obama as president
- My type :: of what? man? food? blood?
- Twinkle :: twinkle, little star....yum a twinkie!
- Actress :: I wanted to be one when I was little
- Daft :: are you crazy?
Want to mutter with these words? lunanina
Want to give me a new list? Feel free to post it in my comments and I'll mutter with them : )
17 July 2009
Oh, and this is a good one too!
16 July 2009
I've noticed a lot of people lately who are very self-absorbed. I've known people like this in my own life (my sister's husband, for instance), but I've begun to notice it in strangers lately. It seems to be a growing epidemic, people who just pay no mind to the people around them, making sure only their needs are attended to without regard for those around them.
My first instance of this is people who walk off sidewalks to cross streets and don't look both ways. I have seen 1/2 a dozen people in the last month or so do this. They leave a store and just start walking. Straight out into the road, no look to the left or right, just "I'm a pedestrian, and I have the right of way, and you'd better slow down and not hit me" attitude written all over their face. Now I realize as the driver I do need to yield to pedestrians, but come on. I've had to slam on my brakes twice in the last 2 weeks to avoid someone who popped out in front of me, and they never even glanced my way as they strolled past my car. Who does this? (Obviously these people!)
Then there are the people who drive 10 miles under the speed limit because they are on their cell phones or trying to text. It is so infuriating to be behind someone and you can see them looking down, or with the phone to their ear, and they are just moseying along like the road is theirs and nothing matters but their time. Hang up and drive. When you are driving nothing is more important than safety on the road. Those people who walk off curbs without looking might just jump in front of your car, then you'll be screwed.
Then there's the grocery store. You know those people who park their carts right in the middle of the aisle so there is no way to pass them. So you pull up behind their cart, thinking they must see you, thinking they will move their cart sometime today. But no, they continue to stare at the salad dressing while you clear your throat, shift your feet, wonder what the hell is wrong with this person! So then you must ask the person to move or you'll be trapped in the store forever. And then they have the gonads to glare at you and act like YOU'RE inconveniencing them. That's right I forgot, the world revolves around them and I am but a gnat in their world.
Yesterday, while at my local Jewel (a grocery store for those not in the Midwest) I was checking out. My bagger decided 1/2 way through bagging my order to wander off and do something else (must have that self-absorbed gene) so I went to the end of the counter to start bagging my stuff myself to help expedite my exit from the store. I had left my wallet on the little shelf they provide to put your wallet on while you pay. My groceries were still being rung up. Well, the woman behind me decided to push my cart out of the check out line, and push my wallet off the little desk thing and take up residence in the spot I would normally stand in while I write a check to pay. I had fully intended on going back to that spot after helping to bag my groceries. Any normal person would have realized this. It was so bizarre. The checker and I both looked at this woman like WTF? I really was at a loss about what to say to her (my witty comments always come after the fact). I ended up having to reach up from the end of the counter to grab my check book and had to write the check from where I was. It was all so very bizarre. The woman didn't even look at me, just settled herself in the spot where I had been standing just seconds before, and decided it was her time to be there, had her checkbook out, already filling out her check and her order hadn't even been started yet.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH SOME PEOPLE???????
How hard is it take a second and think about how your actions might affect someone else before you take that action? Weren't we taught this growing up? Isn't anyone teaching this to their children? And it's not just young kids acting this way. The woman at the checkout was probably older than me. People I see on their cell phones while driving tend to be all ages (although the text-ers seem to be young). It's called common courtesy people. Do unto others, yadda, yadda, yadda!
I see it as the beginning of the fall of society. And I do think an awful lot of it comes from the entitlement mentality that unfortunatley our current government is enabling. That's a whole other blog post, but you get it. Tell me you get it, please! Tell me you don't walk in front of cars without looking, that you don't text and drive, that you only use your cell phones for emergencies while driving, that you don't park your cart in the middle of the grocery aisle! I need some faith in humanity!
13 July 2009
- Sister :: I have one, Debbie!
- Talks :: Talking Heads?
- Electric! :: Company! Slide!
- Corner :: Little Jack Horner sat in a corner
- Turnstile :: I hate those things!
- Swap :: Wife, meet
- Young :: Forever Young (Rod Stewart)
- Horrific :: crime scene
- Block :: New Kids on the
- Wind :: Against the Wind (Bob Seeger)
Want to try muttering?
11 July 2009
09 July 2009
The sun peeking through clouds, warming things enough to enjoy some time at the beach.
Fresh brewed unsweetened ice tea
A hubby willing to grill after a long day at work
A hubby happy to spend 45 mins with his wife while their daughters are at kyuki-do ; )
Good friends who trust me to watch their house and precious dogs (and will pay me well to do it)
Fuzzy cats who love me unconditionally
Daughters who get more beautiful everyday
Cheesecake on a stick that I can purchase at my grocery store, Yum! (used to only be able to get it at the Renaissance Faire!)
Cool summer breezes blowing in my windows
A God that I know will love me whether I go to church or not
08 July 2009
Anyway, while I was thinking about God and whether He is really a He or is He a combo of a He and a She, seeing as the Bible says in Genesis 1:27:
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."
How could God create a woman in his own image unless He also had some attributes of a woman?
In John 24 God is referred to as Spirit. While Jesus was referred to as a man, God is always referred to as spirit. Does a spirit have the attributes of a man, female or both, or none? If God is spirit, then how and why did He come to be known only as He?
There are so many passages in the bible where God takes on the attributes of women. He refers to birth pains (sorry men, only women have birth pains). He also talks of caring for children the way a mother does, Isaiah 66:13 -
"As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you;"
So anyway, these are things I have been thinking about and praying about which brings me to my epiphany. While meditating/praying on these things the other day, I came to the conclusion that women have been fighting the wrong battle. It is not for us to prove that we are like men to be equal. I don't want to be like a man. And I don't believe I am meant to be a like a man. I was born a woman and meant to be a woman. We can be equal but different. We don't need to be like men to be equal. We need to be respected as equals for who we are, not what we can change ourselves to be.
We were made in God's image just as men were. Not to be below, not to be above, but to be equal, to come alongside each other, for each other.
Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher.
But whatever, after due examination and analysis,
you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings -
that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.
05 July 2009
- Independence :: Our country needs to keep ours
- Meltdown :: Thankfully my children don't have them anymore
- Vulture :: predator
- Hope :: Kind of getting tired of hearing that word (and Change!)
- Float :: Ice Cream
- Hole :: Ass
- Trespass :: ers will be shot ; )
- Moving :: only place I want to move to is Florida!
- Extinct :: Our country will be if we don't collectively wise up soon
- Alligator :: my high school mascot
04 July 2009
Now have some fun and make some fireworks explode on your computer:
Lady Liberty Fireworks
And always remember:
01 July 2009
Gone Too Far?
Those who think that society has “gone too far” in supporting breastfeeding, that mothers who formula feed are demonised and breastfeeding mothers aren’t: (follow link to read entire post).
27 June 2009
- Guest :: Be our guest, be our guest (Beauty and the Beast)
- Impact :: It's the final countdown (don't know why I thought of this song?)
- Unplanned :: Pregnancy
- Tactic :: tactical maneuvers
- Delayed :: gratification
- Bombastic :: Pompous
- Comfort :: I have become comfortably numb
- Trumpet :: Wynton Marsalis plays one
- Joe :: the plumber, six-pack
- Budget :: It's hard to live within one
25 June 2009
23 June 2009
A local unschool dad had a letter to the editor published as a guest column in the Atlanta paper. He is part of a group that is working to rescind compulsory education.
This article gives a great explanation of why public school is so harmful to our children. He also gives one of the best definitions of unschooling that I have seen. Definitely worth a few minutes of your time if A: You think there are problems with public school and B: You want to know why I unschool my kids.
22 June 2009
Here's the story, which is good to know before watching the video:
Cliff is singing about his daughter Jill, who is growing up and (Eventually) getting married to Skye. (No, Jill is not Cliffs daughter, this only exists in my Vids.)
That was in Catherine's words. The pictures are people from Harvest Moon, the video game. (I didn't know who they were either, but it's still cute : )
21 June 2009
- Divorce :: None for me thanks
- Napkin :: use one
- Camera :: All I've got is a photograph and I realize you're not coming back anymore
- Leather :: comes from cows
- Fractures :: breaks
- Flip out :: I tend to do that occasionally...I blame hormones!
- Coroner :: My sister wanted to be one....Quincy!
- Atomic :: Bomb
- Liz :: Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks, when she saw what she had done she gave her father 41.
- Leave :: It to Beaver!
Well, I know I still remember the Lizzie Borden rhyme ; )
Want to see what comes out of your unconscious?
19 June 2009
The latest show my youngest daughter (Catherine) and I watched (oldest daughter can't stomach the show) was about them going to some homeschooling conference in Texas. They loaded up their giant bus and headed out on a road trip. When they got to the conference they showed some of the activities the kids had planned for the week. While the boys were outside rappelling down towers and having fun, the girls were inside teaching a bunch of little kids. What is wrong with this picture?
I get when you have to wear a full length denim skirt everyday that it might be hard to rappel down a tower, but the boys were having FUN and the girls were struggling to wrangle a bunch of little kids. I was so bothered by this. I wanted to see those girls outside rappelling down the darn tower. Heck, I wanted to try rappelling down the tower.
After the show was over I still couldn't get the thought out of my mind that they never showed the girls letting loose and having fun. They always have jobs to do. Even at home these girls are helping their mom wrangle younger siblings or helping with the housework.
What must it be like to grow up and always think of yourself as 2nd? I suppose some might think it noble for someone to give of themselves so much that they always put their needs last. But these girls are never even taught that it is ok to put themselves first. Are they allowed to say no at home? What if they had told someone at the conference that they wanted to rappel down the tower (denim skirt and all)? Would they have let them? Probably not, climbing towers isn't a "girlie" thing to do, that's boy/man stuff. That's what bothers me so much. The fact that they have drawn these lines of what is acceptable for the girls and what is not. Keep those girls in their place, girls needs always come after boys. Bleh!
I grew up in the 70's the age of feminism. For all the bad things people say about feminists, they have helped women progress beyond the kitchen. It is not necessarily a women's job to stay home and cook clean all day. If she chooses that, fine, but to raise girls and teach them that is the only choice for their adult lives does them a grave disservice in my book. I want my girls to know that they can do whatever they want with their lives. They get to dream and choose, it is their life. My job is to help them see all the choices that are available to them, not all the doors that are shut. I wouldn't even tell them any doors are shut to them, because I think if they encounter a shut door, then they should try to open it. If we had been at that homeschooling conference, my girls would have been telling everyone it isn't fair to make the girls teach the kids while the boys rappel down the tower. We would've been the squeaky wheel, the ones changing the rules.
I realize some women say they are happy in the roles that have been assigned to them since birth. Grow up, help mom to learn how to be a mom, get married right from daddy's house, become a mom, do unto your daughters what has been done to you. I often wonder if any of these women wake up one day and wonder what happened to their life. Or are they kept so secluded, all outside life kept at bay, no tv or controversial books, that they really live in oblivion their entire lives. How sad that seems to me. To never find yourself, to never think your life had a greater purpose than to be a pawn in someone else's game.
I'm so grateful that I had parents who taught me to think for myself, to question society and it's rules and roles and determine for myself what was ok and not ok. The older I get the more I have a better sense of who I am and what I want to be. And I plan to pass that on to my daughters.
A feminist is a woman who does not allow anyone to think in her place.
~Michele Le Doeuff~
18 June 2009
~ Author Unknown~
These are things I am thankful for today:
1. The sun making an appearance.
2. Laying in the sun and reading a book while my children swim.
3. Reading a good book that makes me think.
4. People who took the time to plant flowers in their yards that I can admire.
5. Children who help clean out the dishwasher.
6. Trucks driving slowly in front of me who suddenly turn off the road and out of my way.
7. Fresh strawberries from a local farm.
8. Homemade fudge from that same farm : )
9. Birds chirping and squirrels scurrying in my backyard.
10. A husband that calls me everyday on his way home from work.
~ Rabbi Harold Kushner~
16 June 2009
My day started well enough, the sun was out and my daughters and I had planned on going to the pool. It opens at 11am. It was sunny at 9:30am. As it got closer to 11 it got cloudier and cloudier, but the girls still wanted to go. So off to the pool we went. It was freezing. I guess the water was warm, but the air was not. I huddled under a beach towel and tried to read a book while my girls swam about in the pool. Then it began to rain. They were already in the pool, already wet, so they just stayed in. I moved my chair to a building overhang so I could keep my book dry and yet still see my girls. My good mood from earlier in the day was slowly leaving.
After the girls were tired of the pool I dropped them off at home and left for the grocery store. I like to grocery shop, I know some hate it, but I find it to be pretty relaxing wandering around a grocery store. On my way home I saw "the homeless guy". We have a guy in our town who is obviously homeless and he just walks around town all day. I started seeing him over a year ago, and now I am seeing him again. We have an organization in our county that houses the homeless in churches overnight in the winter. The program only runs from October through May, which is probably why I have just begun to see this man again. He always has a fairly heavy coat on, even in the warm weather. And he has a backpack type bag that must hold his stuff. I always feel badly when I see him, but my fears (being a woman) keep me from stopping and offering any kind of help to a man. Plus, what can I offer him besides a little a money? I certainly can't offer him housing or a job. (I wrote another post about the homeless last year and covered most of this stuff in that post, if you're interested: The Homeless).
Anyway, seeing that man again today made me realize how truly thankful I am for the things I have. I have a home. Not a great home, but not a shack or a hut either. It has heat and air conditioning and a roof and furniture and tv's and kitchen appliances and a fridge full of food. I have a husband who I know cares deeply for me and his daughters. He goes to work everyday to provide for us and I am thankful for that. I have two beautiful daughters who amaze me everyday. The older they get the more I am in awe of who they are becoming. I have four furry babies that delight and irritate me at the same time, but I love having them in my home. I have a yard and a deck and a patio where I can go and sit and listen to the birds and watch the bats come out at night. I can look into the sky and see stars and contemplate the universe. I don't have any giant worries that consume me. I can sit and be at peace.
When I think about how a lot of people in the world live, I have no choice but to be thankful. It is so easy to gripe and complain everyday. I can complain about the government and bad drivers and sales clerks. Or I can look at the bigger picture and realize I have it pretty good. I have a car and can drive myself anywhere I want to go. I can wake up and take my girls to the beach or the pool. Or we can go to the library, or the grocery store. We have computers and can access all sorts of information in cyberspace. The world is at our fingertips. I live in a free land and have freedom to choose what I want to do each day and how I want to live my life.
I have realized I need to make an effort everyday to find the good in every situation. My life is not so bad, certainly not when I compare it to others. Of course there are people who it seems their lives are much better than mine, they have more money and better homes and grander lives, but comparing myself to them only hurts me. Thou shalt not covet (and all that). I need to look at what I have and be thankful for it because I really do have a lot. And I need to remember to give thanks for it everyday.
14 June 2009
Today was my step-daughter's (Raina) bridal shower. She registered at Bed, Bath and Beyond as well as on Amazon (who knew they had a bridal registry?) Anyway, her Amazon list looked like a Christmas wish list, things like laptops and Ipods and all other manner of non-wedding type gifts. So I opted for BB & B.
Last week, one week before the shower I went into the BB & B store and asked for a print out of her registry. After it printed the sales girl said she wanted to explain to me how their registry worked. It has columns showing the item wanted by dept, gives the UPC code, tells whether it has already been purchased, and lastly whether it is available on the floor or it says "see associate". The young sales girl tells me that "see associate" means it's not on the floor, but they have it in stock in the back. So I took the print out home (it was 13 pages) to read over and discuss with my husband which gift we should buy his daughter. We narrowed it down to a very nice toaster oven or some of her dish place settings. But I decided we should wait a week and see what everyone else got her and then go in and get something not yet chosen. So we waited until last evening, the day before the shower. (Stupid me!)
We arrive at our local BB & B around 6pm last night. We'd had a busy day, otherwise we would have gone earlier. I go back up to the service desk for a new print out of the registry so we can see what may have been purchased in the last week. Again, as I am being handed the print out the young sales girl tells me that "see associate" means they probably have it in the back, so if we want something that says "see associate" just find one of them.
(disclaimer: I say "young" sales girls because they were young. And clueless! Not that young necessarily means clueless, but in this instance it applies!)
As I look over the list I realize very little of what Raina wants is "available", most of it says "see associate". So I find one of these "associates" a male this time. I tell him I would like him to get this specific toaster oven out of the back. He tells me they do not have this toaster oven in the back. He then proceeds to tell me that they don't have anything in stock that says "see associate". What? I tell him that the chicks up front told me that "see associate" means that if I see one of you, you will get the item for me. "Yea" he says "I don't know why they tell people that, they know we don't have those items. WTF!?!?!?!?!!?!?
So I march back up front to the young women who are apparently running things (poorly) and I say "Why did you just tell me that "see associate" means you have the items in the back when you don't?" "Well," she says, "We do have the item, we just have to order it for you". Hello? Did I just enter the twilight zone? Am I being punk'd? Do we not understand the difference between telling someone you have something in the back of the store or ordering something from somewhere else? So I lost it. Yes there were other customers around as my voice got louder and I said "My step-daughters shower is tomorrow. I waited because last week when I was in here one of your "associates" told me that you had this stuff in the back, that not everything listed was on the sales floor. When I got here 15 mins ago again I was told that "see associate" meant you would get something from the back, why in the world are you telling people that instead of telling them you need to order this stuff?" "Well, we do have the items, we just need to order them for you". What are these chicks, robots? Stepford wives? Sales "associates" from hell? Am I speaking French? Do they not understand what I am saying?
So I tell the sales girls (there are two now at the desk) "If you had told me last week that I needed to order the "see associate" items, I would have ordered them last week. The shower is TOMORROW! I can't order them now!" One of the girls then proceeds to tell me "Well I can call another store and see if you can pick it up there". Yes, it is now 6:30 on a Saturday night, I have been running around all day, and I really want to drive all over northern IL looking for a toaster oven. So she proceeds to get on the computer to look up the toaster oven. "It seems that we don't carry the toaster oven in any of our stores, it's an order only item". If I'd had a gun I just might have shot myself. Hello! Why not just print that on the registry sheet? This item must be ordered. How hard would it be to print that on the sheet? Who runs this place, smurfs? So obviously there is no way I am getting the toaster oven by tomorrow. So then she checks on her dishes. Seems the closest store is Downers Grove, a good hour away. I'm just not up for it at this point. I tell the sales girl I have no idea what we are going to do now, I am going to find my husband (who smartly hid away in the store while I stormed the service desk.)
So after realizing that there aren't' any "good" gifts we can get Raina, all the cool stuff like her dishes, her silverware, her glassware, the toaster oven I really wanted to get her, all have to be ordered or are in other stores, we opt to buy all her little stuff. Dish towels, flexible cutting mats, glass measuring cups, acrylic canisters, etc. We pretty much bought her all of her kitchen basics, the $3-10 stuff. And we bought $125 worth of piddly shit. 2 big boxes and and one gift bag full of little kitchen stuff. Not what I wanted to buy her, but what could I do? I didn't want to get her a gift card, I wanted her to have stuff to open. I didn't even really want to give BB & B my money after all that, but I had to get her a present.
After collecting all the little stuff for Raina's gift I had to go back up to the service desk to pay and so they could wrap it. Free service I was definitely going to take advantage of at this point. I again say to the girl while up there "I still don't understand why you just don't tell people up front that the "see associate" items have to be ordered. Why don't you tell people that?" "We aren't supposed to" she says. "Why not" (why the HELL NOT I wanted to say) "I'm not sure" she says. OMG! Here are people who don't know how to think. If you get hired for a job and someone tells you to tell people something that isn't true, wouldn't you question it? Is it some corporate policy to get people in the store and stuck like I was, and force them to buy things they don't want? I still would have bought stuff with them had I known I needed to order ahead of time. They didn't have to force me into buying a bunch of crap.
The shower itself was very nice btw. But it was interesting when I spoke with a few of Raina's friends, they too had problems with BB & B and the "see associate" listing on the registry. Many of her friends also tried to get items a few days in advance of the shower only to also discover the item or items they wanted weren't in stock but needed to be ordered. Raina herself told us she chose her registry items online. She never went into a store and picked out items. So she had no idea that most of her choices weren't available in the BB & B stores. If only the registry had told all of us "this item needs to be ordered" instead of "see associate" how much simpler and more pleasant our shopping experiences would have been.
In the end all BB & B has done is make me not want to shop there again. And I am also sending a letter to corporate to ask what the heck is going on with the registry. How about a little truth in advertising? If the item isn't in the damn store, tell us the item isn't in the damn store.
I think in the future I'll just sick with cash!
- Nudity :: Random
- Domestic :: Tranquility
- Burp :: never in public
- Baby :: Hit me baby one more time!
- Dateline :: NBC
- Retract :: That statement!
- Suppose :: I suppose ............
- Surreal :: Life is sometimes, isn't it?
- Infidelity :: I don't think my marriage would survive it
- Token :: of my appreciation
Want to see if you mutter boringly?
08 June 2009
While thinking about my dad in the last week, I remembered some of the things that happened after his death, things that would bring him to mind and make me wonder whether or not the dead can actually try to communicate with the living. I know this goes against every single thing a "Christian" believes, but these things really happened and I have believed them to be a sign from my dad, a sign letting me know he was ok, and that I would see him again one day.
When my dad died I had a 3 year old and a 1 year old. We still did the family bed at our house, so I would go to bed with my girls and we all watched a bedtime video while they drifted off to sleep. One night about a week after getting back from Florida (and my dad's funeral) I was thinking about him while laying in bed watching a video with my girls. Just then the tv turned off. No reason, it just turned off. I was able to hit power on the remote and it turned right back on. The same thing happened on two other occasions over the next few weeks while I was thinking about my dad. In all 3 instances, nothing was wrong with the tv, no one sat on the remote, the tv just turned off. Now that may seem like nothing, but at the time, I truly felt like my dad was there, that he knew I was thinking about him and worried about him and it was his way of making his presence known. I felt oddly at peace after those episodes.
In October of the year my dad died ( he died May 31), I was still going to the Catholic church. Every year they hold a service for those who have died that year. The service is in the evening, the lights are dimmed and there are votive candles on the altar. When they call your loved ones name, you are able to go up and light a candle for them. At the end all the candles are glowing, it is a very moving service. After I left the service that night and got back in my car, there on the floor of the passengers seat was a shark's tooth. I live in IL, no where near the ocean. My dad was an avid beachcomber of shells and sharks teeth. He had quite the collection of both at his home in Florida. I had been to Florida the previous year when he was dying, but this was 5 months after his death, and the car had been cleaned out many times since our returning from Florida. Plus I don't recall us ever bringing home any of his shark's teeth. But here was one, right in the middle of the floor mat in the front seat of my car. Right after a very moving service of remembrance for my dad. To me it was a sign. Another sign from him telling me he was ok, that there really is an afterlife and that I would see him again one day.
Now you might think I am crazy, you might think these things were all just weird coincidences. I suppose you could be right. But there really was no other explanation than the fact that I had been thinking about my dad at these moments. I know in my heart that somehow my dad was able to send me a message that he was ok. Or maybe it was God sending me the message. Whatever it was, it brought a sense of peace to me at a time when the world made no sense. How does one make sense of a 56 year old man having 6 months from diagnosis to death? It wasn't fair that my dad had to die so young. He had so many plans for his retirement. So much he and my mom wanted to do. My dad did everything right during his life. He worked hard, he was honest, he always did the right thing. And his reward was an early death? So it was very comforting to me to somehow get a sign from him that he was ok. And I do believe he is ok, and that my mom is now with him and I will see them both again someday.
I believe the dead send us signs after they die, we just need to look for them. I think many people never see the signs that have been given to them, signs that will bring them peace, because of some fear that it is not of God or that it just isn't real. I encourage everyone to remember to look for the signs after losing a loved one. They'll let you know they are ok, I know they will.
~ Mother Teresa~
31 May 2009
My dad died 11 years ago today. He was 56. I am amazed at how quickly the time has gone by. My youngest was one, today she is 12. She never knew my dad and that makes me pretty sad. Carley doesn't remember him either, she was only 3.
He was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer in Nov. of 1996. Here he is just 3 months prior to diagnosis (with me and my mom and my 5 month old, Catherine):
The doctors told him he had 3-6 months to live. He chose not to do Chemo or radiation, he wanted to have the best quality of life for his remaining few months. He did seek out some alternative remedies, and I think they helped him make it to the 6 month mark. My parents lived in Florida at the time, and I lived in IL. I was able to get down and see him twice before he died. We went down in December and again in March.
He died near midnight on the night of May 31st. I wasn't there when he died, my sister and my brother were. I had a 3 year old and a 1 year old. I was still nursing my 1 year old. I wanted to be there, but my mom and sister told me I couldn't bring my girls, that it would be too stressful on everyone. He was in and out of coherent near the end, but I did have my mom put the phone up to him and told him I was sorry I couldn't be there. I just couldn't leave my girls. I think he understood.
I didn't always have the best relationship with my dad growing up. He could be a mean son-of-a-gun when he wanted to be. But most of the time he was pretty reserved and rather jovial. He liked to read and passed that love to me. He taught me to play chess. Life was simple for my dad and he had clear boundaries of right and wrong. He was a staunch conservative and I thank him for those values. I never had a very emotional relationship with my dad, we never told the other we loved each other, although we did hug and kiss. I remember when I was really small he used to carry me to bed on his shoulders each night. And I remember even into high school kissing him good-night before bed.
Here he is on a Fathers Day when I was about 20 (that's me on the right):
Just before he died I wrote him a letter. I wanted him to know that I although I had blamed him in the past for screwing me up, that I no longer did and that I knew he had done the best he knew how in raising me. He had a horrible childhood with a very abusive father. His childhood was worse than mine. I thanked him for being my dad and told him I loved him. I waited for a reply and finally my mother called me and told me that my dad had read the letter and cried. My dad and I never spoke about the letter and we didn't need to. He heard what I said, it made him cry, that was enough for me.
Time lessens pain but doesn't remove it. I don't think about him everyday anymore, but I do think about him frequently. And I still remember the day he died. Most of all I look forward to seeing him again one day.
Here's a picture of my dad and mom in the bar in the house I grew up in. They had their issues, but I always knew they loved each other:
29 May 2009
My oldest daughter recently "graduated" 8th grade. I put graduated in quotes because she didn't really graduate from anything. Our homeschool co-op holds a graduation ceremony at the end of the year for 8th grade and high school graduates. Carley was technically an 8th grader this year, so she technically graduated. Since we consider ourselves eclectic learners, or life learners or unschoolers or whatever you want to call us, we didn't really have anything to graduate from. She didn't finish a curriculum, we don't do curriculum. We don't consider learning to ever stop and start, we learn all the time. Try to go an entire day and not learn something. We all learn something everyday whether we acknowledge it or not. Can't watch the news or read a newspaper without learning something. So that's how we live and learn everyday.
So with that in mind, Carley participated in a graduation ceremony at our co-op. There was only one other girl graduating 8th grade, so it was short and sweet. It was part of other closing ceremony activities, but the graduation came last. After Carley was introduced, her parents (John and I), had the chance to say some things about her. I talked about her accomplishments, how we have always tried to support her in all of her endeavors, about how we unschooled and Carley was able to lead her own learning. I also mentioned how it seemed just like yesterday that she graduated from her Montessori Kindergarten. And yes, I almost cried. I also mentioned that she had decided to send herself to high school next year, and how much I will miss having her home. Her father talked about how she has tenacity and determination and usually follows through on things she sets her mind out to do. It was all quite lovely actually. I wasn't sure I wanted to participate at first, I am not one for ceremony for the sake of ceremony. Carley wasn't even sure she wanted to participate, but in the end I am glad we did. I think it will be a nice memory for her to have.
Here are some pictures for your perusal:
This is before we left the house:
Here is the table we set up with a short history of Carley's life (pictures and accomplishments):
Here she is on stage waiting for her turn to"'graduate" (a little blurry, youngest dd was in charge of the camera):
Here she is with her cake (we had a small reception afterwards):
And one with Sam, the other graduate (and a good friend):
All in all, a happy night and judging by the smiling faces, one that everyone will remember.
24 May 2009
- Lisa :: Lea, one of my dearest friends!
- Hope :: springs eternal
- Irene :: Makes me think of the Dexy's Midnight Runners song "Come on Eileen".
- Tony :: Soprano
- Anna :: Karenina
- Dolly :: Parton
- Laura :: Ingall's Wilder
- Debbie :: My sister
- Wilson :: Carnie
- Paula :: Abdul