30 March 2009

Monday Mutterings

Day late, dollar short, what else is new?

  1. Road trip :: Florida, senior year!

  2. Pool hall :: I played pool a lot in high school. At bowling alleys, not pool halls.

  3. Extraordinary :: I believe I am ; )

  4. Jackson :: Randy, or the Jackson 5

  5. Heartfelt :: Emotion

  6. Wet :: water is, opposite of dry

  7. Strangle :: There are quite a few people I'd like to

  8. .com :: computerland

  9. Touched :: by an angel

  10. Insipid :: boring, kind of like this word list.
Want to mutter?

28 March 2009

Earth Hour or Human Achievement Hour?

I have been thinking of ways to NOT participate in earth hour this evening. My hubby and I enjoyed ourselves last night thinking of all the different things we could turn on during earth hour. It's not that we don't appreciate our earth or want to help conserve resources. We just don't like to "go along with the crowd" and we certainly don't like to do as we are told. I can conserve and be "earth friendly" without celebrating "earth hour".

So with that said, finding this video at April's blog, I really liked what it said, and I felt the need to share. It seems like a much worthier cause than "earth hour" to me:

23 March 2009


"In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt

We all have choices to make in this world. When I first got pregnant and held my first daughter, schooling was the farthest thing from my mind. I read a bunch of books about ways to parent, took a breast-feeding class and a baby basics class. I thought back to all the kids I baby-sat and how they were parented and how I was raised. But when it came down to it, I followed my gut.

I've always felt like I had pretty good intuition. I tend to rely on my instincts more than my intellect. So we co-slept, I nursed long term. I let my children self-wean instead of relying on someone else's standard of when my child should start and/or stop doing something. I never wanted to go the traditional school route, so I found Montessori which I loved. Then I learned about homeschooling. I liked having my girls around, I was never one of those parents who couldn't wait to get their kids into school, or who dread summer vacation and can't wait until fall so they can be rid of their kids again. (Don't get me started on the parents who say those things in front of their kids! That's another post!)

When we started homeschooling and using curriculum, we were miserable and it felt 'wrong". So I went back to my gut and got rid of the curriculum and read all about unschooling and knew that was the way for us. Some people don't understand it, some people don't get it. Whatever.

Now my girls are getting older and it's time for them to start listening to themselves. My oldest wants to go to high school. I think she's old enough to make this decision for herself. Some people I know think I shouldn't let her go. That's not what my heart is telling me. My heart is telling me it's time to trust and let go. It's time to loosen the apron strings a bit and allow her this opportunity. She might hate it and want to come running home. That's ok, I'll welcome her with open arms. Or she might love it and pull a little further away. That's ok too, she needs to figure out who she is and who she wants to be. It's not my job as her mother to protect her from living her own life.

Life is a wonderful gift, and I think too many people (I hate to lay the blame on Christians again, but here goes) Christians in particular, are so afraid of the world. They are so afraid to let their children meet or hang out with non-Christians, to let their children date or listen to certain music, etc., etc. How on earth are these kids going to survive as adults? Unless one lives in a commune, one has to engage in the world. I suppose families like the Duggars who keep their daughters in the closet until their husbands come calling would say no, one doesn't always need to engage in the world, but I disagree. I think it is far worse to shelter our children and leave them completely unprepared than it is to allow them into the world and let them make their own choices.

Of course I don't agree a six year old can make the same choices as a teen. It's all relative. And I admit I was a bit sheltering of my girls when they were younger. But now that they are entering those teen years, I have to hope that the things they have learned thus far will fare them well in the future. I remember when I was 14 (like my eldest). My mom was such a control freak, so I lied and snuck around. It would have been so much better if she could've listened to me and understood me and had an open relationship with me. My 14 year old daughters opinions are valid. Her concerns about her life are real. I think we have a relationship built on mutual repsect and trust. And I know she is wise and able to make smart decisions. I hear some of her friends talk and it saddens me. They are all mostly homeschoolers and a lot of them wish they had the opportunity to go to school. Their parents will never let them. Even as teens, they are not allowed to make any decisions regarding their own lives. Then there's the other camp of kids who dread even running into "public" school kids, lest they somehow become contaminated with their "worldliness". These kids parents have them paranoid about anyone who is not doing things just like them. One girl was talking about going to Community College next year. She said she visited and was "frightened" by the people there. You know, those "real world" people we all have to encounter everyday! Geez! Her parents have done her no favors.

I'm not trying to sing my own praises and act like I am mom of the year. But I do think my kids like me, and they often tell me I am a way better mom than any of their friends. I never would have said that about my own mom. I just want my girls to grow up confident in themselves and their abilities. To be able to go into the world and view it with wonder not fear. Of course not everyone "out there" is like us, and how boring it would be if they all were.

"A human being is a part of the whole that we call the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. This illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for only the few people nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings and all of nature."
~Albert Einstein~

22 March 2009

Mutterin' on a Sunday Afternoon

I've been a little busy to blog this week. Hope to get into some meaty subjects next week. Today, just a little mutterin'.

  1. Studio :: Line by L'Oreal (yes, I am into hair and makeup!)

  2. Meetup :: Meetup? Is that even a word? Spell check doesn't think it's a word. I guess people meetup.....I think the word is lame.

  3. Ostrich :: bury your head in the sand (I hear they are tasty)

  4. Jokes :: I can never remember them to re-tell them

  5. Estranged :: I have never been estranged from a family member

  6. Random :: Acts of kindness

  7. Slap :: in the face

  8. Hotel room :: I enjoy them

  9. Inscribe :: I have several cookbooks inscribed by famous chefs....even Rachel Ray (who I don't really like)

  10. Polar :: bears are dying, polar ice caps are melting, where's Algore when you need him? NOT!

Another boring utterance of mutterings. Want to try muttering yourself?

17 March 2009


May the leprechauns be near you,
To spread luck along your way.
And may all the Irish angels,
Smile upon you St. Patrick's Day.

~Irish toast~

Today is St. Patrick's Day. A day my family always celebrated while I was growing up. My dad was a first generation American, both of his parents were Irish, met on the boat on the way over here. My mom was mostly Irish, her father had a bit of Scot in him. So when I was a kid, on St. Patrick's Day, my dad would break out the Irish Rover albums, my mom would whip up an Irish stew or some corned beef. And of course there was drinking. There was drinking even when it wasn't St. Patrick's Day, but that just gave everyone a better excuse.

So I found some funny Irish stories, some Irish quotes and proverbs to add to the merriment of the day and to help me remember my heritage. I also added a playlist below with some good Irish songs. There are the Irish Rovers, of course, in memory of my father, but there are also some good current bands on there, the Irish make some good music.

In case you are wondering, I will be making corned beef and cabbage in my house tomorrow. I'd much prefer a nice lamb stew, but my DH will not eat the poor baby lambs. So Corned beef it is.

Enjoy the wit and wisdom : )


Six retired Irishmen were playing poker in O'Leary's apartment when Paddy Murphy loses $500 on a single hand, clutches his chest, and drops dead at the table. Showing respect for their fallen brother, the other five continue playing standing up.

Michael O'Conner looks around and asks, "Oh, me boys, someone got's to tell Paddy's wife. Who will it be?"

They draw straws. Paul Gallagher picks the short one. They tell him to be discreet, be gentle, don't make a bad situation any worse. "Discreet??? I'm the most discreet Irishman you'll ever meet. Discretion is me middle name. Leave it to me."

Gallagher goes over to Murphy's house and knocks on the door. Mrs. Murphy answers, and asks what he wants. Gallagher declares, "Your husband just lost $500, and is afraid to come home."

"Tell him to drop dead!", says Murphy's wife.

"I'll go tell him." says Gallagher.


Into a Belfast pub comes Paddy Murphy, looking like he'd just been run over by a train. His arm is in a sling, his nose is broken, his face is cut, and bruised, and he's walking with a limp.

"What happened to you?" asks Sean, the bartender.

"Jamie O'Conner and me had a fight," says Paddy.

"That little O'Conner," says Sean, "He couldn't do that to you, he must have had something in his hand."

"That he did," says Paddy, "a shovel is what he had, and a terrible lickin' he gave me with it."

"Well," says Sean, "you should have defended yourself. Didn't you have something in your hand?"

That I did," said Paddy, "Mrs. O'Conner's breast, and a thing of beauty it was; but useless in a fight."


An Irishman who had a little too much to drink is driving home from the city one night and, of course, his car is weaving violently all over the road. A cop pulls him over. "So," says the cop to the driver, "where have ya been?"

"Why, I've been to the pub of course," slurs the drunk.

"Well," says the cop, "it looks like you've had quite a few to drink this evening."

"I did all right," the drunk says with a smile.

"Did you know," says the cop, standing straight, and folding his arms across his chest, "that a few intersections back , your wife fell out of your car?"

"Oh, thank heavens," sighs the drunk. "for a minute there, I thought I'd gone deaf."


Brenda O'Malley is home making dinner, as usual, when Tim Finnegan arrives at her door. "Brenda, may I come in?" he asks. "I've somethin' to tell ya".

"Of course you can come in, you're always welcome, Tim. But where's my husband?"

"That's what I'm here to be telling ya, Brenda. There was an accident down at the Guinness brewery"

"Oh, God no!" cries Brenda. "Please don't tell me."

"I must, Brenda. Your husband Shamus is dead and gone. I'm sorry."

Finally, she looked up at Tim. "How did it happen, Tim? and please don't spare the details"

"It was terrible, Brenda. He fell into a vat of Guinness Stout, and drowned."

"Oh my dear Jesus! But you must tell me true, Tim, did he at least go quickly?"

"Well, Brenda, no. In fact, he got out three times to pee."


Mary Clancy goes up to Father O'Grady after his Sunday morning service, and she's in tears.

He says, "So what's bothering you, Mary my dear?"

She says, "Oh, Father, I've got terrible news. My husband passed away last night."

The priest says, "Oh, Mary, that's terrible. Tell me, Mary, did he have any last requests?"

She says, "That he did, Father."

The priest says, "What did he ask, Mary?"

" She says, "He said, 'Please Mary, put down that damn gun...' "


Definition of an 'Irish fact':
That which tells you not what is the case but what you want to hear.
~Hugh Kenner~

The curse of the Irish is not that they don't know the words to a song - its that they know them all.
~Susan Dooley, Washington Post.~

When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.
~Frank McCourt - Angela's Ashes~

"This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever."
~Sigmund Freud (speaking about the Irish~

"The most important thing to remember about drunks is that drunks are far more intelligent than non-drunks. They spend a lot of time talking in pubs, unlike workaholics who concentrate on their careers and ambitions, who never develop their higher spiritual values, who never explore the insides of their head like a drunk does."
~ Shane MacGowen, lead singer/songwriter for The Pogues~

"It's not that the Irish are cynical. It's simply that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody."
~ Brendan Behan~

May those who love us love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping.
~Irish curse~

15 March 2009

Late Sunday Night Mutterings

It's been a long and tiring weekend. Drank a little too much with dh last night, so I'm working with a bit of a fried brain tonight. Let's see how my unconscious is feeling:

  1. Sunburn :: I've had many

  2. Aquarium : Lots of fishies

  3. Otter :: I love Otters! Emmet Otters Jug Band Christmas : )

  4. Awesome :: Like wow, it was so like totally awesome

  5. LOL :: laughing out loud

  6. Accordion :: Weird "Al" Yankovic

  7. Hot Pocket :: A fairly unappetizing frozen food product

  8. Grandstand :: Kind of like the covered bleacher section

  9. Shaved ::I feel better when my legs are

  10. Upgrade :: It's nice to get a free one
Ok kiddies, see how boring I am? Repeat after me: "Alcohol kills brain cells!"

Want to see if you have any brain cells left? Unconscious Mutterings

12 March 2009

Thursday Night Funny

Here's another stolen bit of humor. I don't who wrote this, but I enjoyed it and thought I'd share.

Jesus and Satan have an argument as to who is the better programmer. This goes on for a few hours until they agree to hold a contest with God as the judge.

They set themselves before their computers and begin. They type furiously for several lines of code streaming up the screen. Seconds before the end of the competition, a bolt of lightning strikes, taking out the electricity.

Moments later, the power is restored, and God announces that the contest is over. He asks Satan to show what he had come up with.

Satan is visibly upset, and cries, "I have nothing! I lost it all when the power went out."

"Very well, then," says God, "let us see if Jesus fared any better."

Jesus enters a command, and the screen comes to life in vivid display, the voices of an angelic choir pour forth from the speakers.

Satan is astonished. and stutters, "But how?! I lost everything, yet Jesus' program is intact! How did he do it?"

God chuckles, "Jesus saves."

10 March 2009

You've Got to be Kidding Me!

I guess this has been going on since 1996, but this is the first I've heard of it. It seems today, March 10th, is National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers. Here is a list of things they'd like everyone to do on this day:

  • Praise clinic staff and doctors with cards and letters of appreciation. Let them know they have your support and thanks.
  • Bring your local clinic staff flowers or a breakfast basket of fruit or muffins.
  • Organize local appreciation day events.
  • Organize with others to hold a March 10th dinner with area providers.
  • Step up to the front lines and be a volunteer clinic escort.
  • Ask your local provider how you can help.
  • Write your local newspaper, call talk shows to express support.
  • Take out ads in your newsletters and local newspapers.
Maybe we should institute a day of appreciation for mass murderers. I'm sure Ted Bundy would've appreciated a basket of muffins. Too bad we killed him for being a MURDERER.

I'm sorry, I realize that abortion is a volatile issue. And I don't mean to alienate anyone who has had an abortion or thinks they are OK, but I believe abortion IS murder. Just because the baby cannot survive outside it's mother while it grows big and strong, doesn't mean it has no right to live. Can a newborn live without someone taking care of it? No. So what's the difference? Just a few months, and oh, yea, the inconvenience some woman might have to go through being pregnant.

When women have babies and kill them at birth, they get prosecuted. It is inconceivable to me that an abortion can take place up till the moment of birth, and as long as the baby is killed in utero all parties are blameless, it's the law. But if that same mother gives birth in her bathroom and throws the baby into a garbage bag, she is deemed a murderer. What's the difference here? Murder has occurred both times.

I am not heartless btw. I know women who have had abortions. And I understand they felt it was the only choice they had at the time. But what if abortion hadn't been legal? What if that choice wasn't available? Would they have kept their babies, maybe given them up for adoption? If the whole world hadn't made it so easy to abort one's child, would women have chosen another way? Maybe sex wouldn't be thought of so casually. Maybe women would be more careful if they did choose sex. Maybe women would realize there are consequences to ones actions, and if you choose to have sex outside marriage or a serious relationship, you just might get pregnant and can you cope with that if it happens? If not, maybe they would think twice before seeking momentary pleasures that can change your life.

I got pregnant with my first daughter while I was suffering from a back injury. It was a workman's compensation case, and I found out I was pregnant just weeks before I was set to have surgery. My lawyer recommended I have an abortion so as not to compromise my case. Kill my baby to make sure I get the most money for my back injury. If abortion wasn't legal, would people say things like that? I was appalled that my lawyer would suggest such a thing to me. But he knew I wasn't married, and I had a serious back injury that required surgery. I'm sure he thought he was giving me the most practical advice.

It never crossed my mind to abort my daughter. I wasn't married, my now DH and I weren't really getting along at the time and I was supposed to have a major surgery in a month. But it still never crossed my mind that I wouldn't have my child. It was scary at the time wondering how I would care for her if my relationship with her father didn't work out. I wondered how my back was going to survive being pregnant. But for some reason, God chose that time in my life to create a new life. And today I cannot imagine my life without her.

When the Roe vs. Wade case made abortion legal, people knew far less about babies in utero than they do now. Babies can survive outside the womb at 24 weeks now. That didn't happen 40 years ago. Doctors then were even unsure if babies felt pain, if they responded to stimuli. They certainly didn't think that drinking and smoking and prescription drugs hurt a baby. But we now know those things do affect babies in utero. It can be proven. But abortion has become such a huge political issue that no one will look at the facts. It's all about women wanting the right to do what is convenient for them at the time. We are allowing a selfish group of individuals, with a whole lot of money behind them, to set the agenda for our country. And that is an agenda of infanticide in my book. And somehow we need to get it to stop. But how? We have a president now who told reporters that if his daughter's ever made a "mistake" he wouldn't want them to be "punished" with a child. That's what babies have become to some, a punishment. And now we even want to reward abortion providers with a special day of appreciation, where we need to bring them flowers and baskets of muffins to thank them for being "so brave" to want to take a babies life.

We have fallen so far.

"I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is "Abortion", because it is a war against the child...
A direct killing of the innocent child, "Murder" by the mother herself...
And if we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?
How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion?
As always, we must persuade her with love...
And we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts
~ Mother Teresa~

08 March 2009

Muttering on a Rainy Sunday

It has rained all weekend. Bleh. I only like warm rain, and especially when accompanied by thunder and lightning. We had a few rumbles, but nothing spectacular. So I'm in a gloomy mood.

  1. Mourning :: I am in it for my country

  2. Approval :: I don't need anyone's

  3. Lotion :: Aveeno

  4. Perspire :: I like to think I glisten

  5. Language :: Speak English Dammit!

  6. Defection :: I hope I never have to resort to it

  7. Play :: I prefer musicals

  8. Graphic :: novel

  9. Spicy :: Mexican food, yum.

  10. In love :: I am with my DH.
Gloomy answers for a gloomy mood. Want to try muttering?

07 March 2009

Quotes To Make You Think

An online friend, Carma, has made a squidoo page with some excellent quotes. It's a long page, but they are all worth reading, which is why I am linking to it here. I strongly encourage you to take a look : )

06 March 2009

My Youngest Turns 12

Today is my youngest daughters birthday (Catherine). She was born at almost 11pm, so I am trying to time this post in relation to her actual birth. Her tale is not as dramatic as my other daughters. Catherine only took one day to make her appearance into the world.

Funnily enough, I can't seem to remember the particulars as much as I can with my older daughter. Maybe already having a toddler when I was due with my second made my mind overwhelmed. I do remember first going to my doctors office around noon. She determined I was in labor and at about 3 cm and sent me to the hospital. We arrived there around 2:00pm. My sister left work and met us there to take Carley to her house. It was sad watching Carley go, she had never left us before.

Just as I was getting settled into my hospital room, my water broke. That was a very weird experience. I had already had an epidural when my doctor broke my water with Carley, so being "un-numb" and having it spontaneously happen was weird. And slightly alarming. But we hoped it was a good sign that things would move quickly along. Unfortunately that was not going to be the case. Since I had an epidural with Carley, I wanted one with Catherine.

Oh and here is a little aside: I had an amnio at 20 weeks so I knew I was having a girl and we had already named her Catherine. No big surprises for me at the birth. I like to plan ahead.

Anyway, I wanted an epidural after my water broke. So they got the anesthesiologist. He came in and looked at my back. "Have you had back surgery" he asked? "Yes, I had a spinal fusion", I replied. "Oh, well you can't have an epidural then". Witness Donna melt-down. Hello? My OB knew I had surgery on my back. She never mentioned I couldn't receive an epidural. I panicked. I didn't think I could do this delivery thing "au natural". But I had no choice.

My doctor needed to put an IV in me because I tested positive for Group Strep B. The nurses wanted to put an internal monitor on the baby, but that would've confined me to the bed, and since I wasn't getting an epidural, I wanted to be up. Thankfully my doctor didn't care what the nurses wanted, she let me be up. Which was interesting seeing as my water had broken. I had to carry a pad between my legs as I walked around the room so as not to leak.

So things progressed and at about 5:00pm I was checked. Still at 3cm. Uh oh. She wanted to give me pitocin. Without an epidural. I wasn't pleased with that, but since I wasn't progressing, she felt maybe I would just need it a short time to kick start things. So the pitocin was added to my IV. Yikes. Glad I didn't have to feel that with my first or may not have had a second. It really was extreme pain.

Between 5:00 and 7:00 (times are approximate), I progressed to 6cm, so my doctor said she would stop the pitocin and see how things went. Well, all things stopped again. What the heck is wrong with my body?

I think it was around 7 or 8 she started the pitocin again. I remember things in a dazed sort of way. I really went into the pain zone for a while. All I could concentrate on was contractions and pain. It's kind of like everything around me was a blur. I had a great doctor though. She didn't abandon me and leave the nurses in charge. She was there most of the time. She even ordered a pizza with my husband 1/2 way through the day. (Luckily I was in pain and not paying attention, otherwise I might have been miffed that my hubby and cute doctor were going off to share a pizza together).

I remember her checking me again around 10:30pm. I was at 8cm. Seeing how the progress had been the rest of the day, she figured maybe another hour or two before I would be at 10cm. About 5 mins after that, I remember feeling an uncontrollable urge to push. It was like something else had taken over my body. I told the doctor " THE BABY IS COMING!" She said she can't be coming, I'm only at 8cm. I said "NO SHE IS COMING RIGHT NOW!"

So she quick checked me and sure enough I was at 10 and the baby was right there. Nothing was ready. Everyone had been taking their time. All of a sudden it was a big commotion. The bed comes apart so I can get my feet up. Lights come out of the ceiling, someone runs off to get the isolette
for the baby. And then I start to push. I didn't feel this kind of pain with Carley. I think I only had to push about 5 times to get Catherine out. But there was no time to numb me "down there" or to give me an episiotomy. So I tore. And it felt like someone had held hot coals to me "down there". Ripping flesh is not a pleasant experience. But then baby was out. And she was perfect. So Catherine Ann Clasen was born March 6, 1997 at 10:55 pm.

This picture is of me and my doctor with a little bundled up Catherine just after she was born.

Then I had to deliver the afterbirth, and boy did those contractions suck. I really must have had a lot of residual epidural effect with Carley. These pains were all very new to me. And then of course my doctor had to stitch up the tear. And by now it was close to midnight and I was hungry and tired and just wanted everyone away from my body. But one good thing about skipping the epidural was that I was able to get up and walk right away. It felt good to be up. And someone, somewhere in the hospital, found me a turkey sandwich at 12:30am because I was starving.

Below is a picture of my step-daughter Raina holding Catherine and Carley is kissing her head. This was the day after Catherine was born, we were still in the hospital.

And here is Catherine at about 2 years old

And here she is now

Isn't she lovely.........

01 March 2009

Muttering Sick

Yes, I am sick again. I think I have been sick more than well since January and it really SUCKS! I need sunshine and warmth and I am deprived of both. Illinois is a god-forsaken place to live. Bitter cold, little sun, trapped indoors=an unhappy Donna : (

Let's see how my mood affects my muttering:

  1. Pain :: in the ass

  2. Lego :: my eggo

  3. Trooper :: State

  4. Flicker :: Lights

  5. Character :: I think I am a good judge of character

  6. Determined :: I am determined to be thin before I die

  7. Wing :: It

  8. Control :: I like to be in

  9. Automatic :: I drive an automatic although I can drive a stick

  10. Yeah :: Oh yeah, what's it to ya?
Want to mutter as poorly as me?