Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas..Or SOmething Like It

I have to admit, I have lots of thoughts about Christmas. I don't know if it is because marketing has been going on since Halloween, because I am Jewish and straddling a couple holidays, or maybe I am just desperate for adult conversation! Whatever the reason, my mind is wandering this season. (How about that for rhyming!)
I'd like to start by saying, I don't get stressed this time of year. I would encourage others to do the same. Once upon a time, I thought Chsristmas had to be similiar to a Hallmark commercial. I was never so naive that I thought it would be EXACTLY the same, but isn't Norman Rockwell suppose to be what our goal is? Last year I blogged about my sister's car accident a few days before Christmas, and I hate to get all preachy, but seriously, narrowly escaping a worse scenario puts it in perspective. I get crap for not cooking the big meals, I get eye-rolls for some of my gift suggestions, and I can't get a single person to vote for pizza. But I have some of the most fun this time of year. The lights, the decorations, the songs, wrapping, lame movies, good movies, the mall...bring it on. Because the truth is, like everything else we do in life, the holidays, any holiday, is what you make of it.
Which leads me to my next topic... Santa.
A few weeks ago I had a conversation with another mom about Santa. She wanted to do that with her kids, but the let down when she found he wasn't real was so acute, she didn't want her children to go through the same thing. I remember the magic of Santa, I remember finding out he wasn't what I thought, and remember there were a few years there where I struggled with what the point was. No Santa? Then why bother with the decorations, tree, and all else...I could just toss a gift to everyone and call it good. Thank God the teen years are not forever. Seriously, thank-you God!! Other than the ability to eat what I wanted, I can't say I would re-live any of it.
What I learned is that Santa the Man may not be around anymore, but his spirit continues and after a decade or so of seeing how it works, it was now my turn to be Santa. And the great thing is, anyone who wants to, can be like Santa. Everytime we buy a gift for a needy child, I feel like Santa. Everytime I find a gift someone isn't expecting, I feel like Santa. Surprising people with stocking stuffers...yep, I feel like Santa.
Bill Murray had it right in the movie "Scrooged"-this is the time of year when we do a little more, care a little more, and take time out to enjoy things a little more.
My advice to people, as if anyone really needs it, is to relax, enjoy it, and believe in Santa. I do.

Monday, December 07, 2009

'Twas The Day After Football

'Twas the day after football, and I was all pumped.
My team was the winner, not one little slump.
I headed for the party, lots of great cheer,
to talk with my cronies and have a good beer.

The restuaraunt was crowded, winners and losers quite loud,
discussing the game, all the highs and the lows.
When what to our wondering eye should appear,
but the ultimte fan still dressed in his gear.

He was covered in team colors from his head to his foot,
he even wore a wig, the color right down to his roots.
He laughed and jeered, poked some in the chest,
all while claiming his team was the best.

He called people names, he made fun of the other team,
said he was The Man, and then he would preen.
Despite all his spirit, he drained all the fun,
and no one felt jolly, not even those who had won.

Then a voice tried to whisper,
but kids under 10, can't sooooo..
I heard a voice ask their mom, "what's up with that mister?
He is acting worse than my kid sister.
He called those people an awful name,
because of some silly game?"

The Fan, oh he heard, and his face looked mean,
he stalked on over, he opened his mouth, and he looked
ready to scream.
He went red in the face, I am not sure he could see, and
the whole room went silent, waiting to flee.

The mom, she quivered, but she got ready for battle
when a friend The Fan came with, said with mettle,
"Hey, dude, you are being an asshole."
(I don't need to rhyme here.)
"The kid is right, you are being a shrew. We hate to be seen with you,
people think we are in the same crew. You scream and you yell, you take all the joy,
quite frankly you act like a little boy. Winning, losing-it don't mean a thing,
you get all upset and make a big scene. We try to come when you aren't here,
but you show up anyway since we are your peers.

The Fan stood still, then turned about,
looking around as if the friend was in doubt.
But every face that looked his way,
was in agreement he needed to change-
there was no need to be nasty after the game.

"I am not a bad person," The Fan said with a tear,
"I love sports, and I love the cheers. I help out at my church,
I work with the poor, I don't do drugs, or go over-board.
His friend, he hugged him and nodded his head, "We know dude, you are usually nice,
except when your team is playing anything, even mice."

The Fan was changed, he came again,
but the next time he wore a grin.
No more kicking and screaming and shoving about,
he turned into someone we all liked having around.

The kid taught us something that some of us forgot,
that winning is fun and we like a lot,
but at the end of the game, the world still hurts,
poverty, homelessness, and illness still lurch.
And while it is fun, to be free for a few hours,
let's not party till everyone is sour.

I am glad the Ducks won the Civil War, but it was a good game all around, and we will be routing for every Pac-10 team this bowl season, Ducks and Beavers like. Happy Football Watching to all, and to all a good game.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Being Thankful For...

So on Facaebook, a challenge went out to ask people to come up with one thing they are thankful for everyday. I don't think it takes a brain surgeon to realize this was in honor of Thanksgiving. Call me Pollyanna, or saintly, or just plain brilliant, but this task was not that hard. It helps that I love history, and I know that the good old days were not so good. Sure, you could walk around at night, and probably not see much crime, and obesity and the related health issues was not really a problem. Children were pretty creative, and families did spend more time together. But the average life span was much shorter, a lot of children died before the age of 5, and pollution was pretty much unchecked. Oh, and labor laws were pretty straight forward-you did what the boss said so working 6 days a week was pretty common. Plus, any type of abuse, from spousal to drugs, as simply not talked about even though it existed. We have come a long way baby.
So if you don't follow Facebook, you might be asking yourself, what is Dena so damn thankful for. On Facebook, I have been saying one thing a day, but let me sum up here:
I am thankful for everything.
To vague?
Honestly, there is my health, and all my family. The happy home my husband and I have created. That I can fall asleep on the couch, or go to my bed, and either way have a safe place to sleep. For friends that see my through my life, in good times and bad. For good books, and good music. Food I love. Jokes to laugh at and beautiful mountains to look at.
The truth is, life is not all good. We have our down times. Running into the garage door did not make my week, and dealing with a small child racked by diarhhea was not my idea of a good time. My prescription for my post-partum pills is too much money, and my four year-old thinks it is funny to fart on me.
But, that is life, and if you focus on the bad, that is all you're going to see. The little things of life, are turly not worth stressing to me, and I read about people who are experiencing war, abuse, and other difficulties, and suddenly, the fact that I have water all over my bathroom floor doesn't seem so bad. I will complain about it, but in my heart of hearts, I know that it isn't so bad.
Maybe it is just a matter of putting everything in perspective, or maybe I really am Pollyanna.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Dr. Laura Amendment

Dear Dr. Laura:

I finished your whole book, and I as much as it galls me, I have to admit that I aactually agree'd with you on a few things.
1. I would agree that spanking is not neccesarily child abuse. Granted, it can become child abuse, but a swat on the butt, that DOESN'T leave a mark, is not going to cause irrepreable harm to a child's psyche. I also agree that it should only be used when needed and not as your only form of punishment.
2. You are right that people shouldn't have kids if they aren't willing to invest the time to raise them, and that some parents need to actually do more parenting.

But day care is not evil, quanity is not more important than quality, and quit ragging on 2-income parents. As fewer and fewer jobs offer health care, how else are parents suppose to get health care for their kids?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Dear Dr. Laura

Dear Dr. Laura:

I am almost done reading your book "10 Stupid Things Parents Do To Mess Up Their Children". I thought I might learn someting about being a better parent. I was wrong. However, I did learn something else. As scary as it sounds, I agree with you, in part. I agree that more people should take responsibility as a parent and do better. I agree with you that people should stop having babies for the wrong reasons. I agree with you that children should be a higher priority with politicians, and as we shape policy for the future.
However, after that, you only show me your ignorance. My advice back: don't talk about things you know nothing about.
1. Single parenthood, while not ideal, is not evil. My mom was raised in a single-parent household from age 11. She has been married 40 years and her offspring have been stable, non-destructive citizens. It is not the worst thing on earth.
2. Until you have wished your parents would divorce, don't knock the practice. I have no idea what divorce is like, but I have countless friends who were grateful their parents divorced, or wish their parents would divorce. Until I walk in their shoes, I have no comment and neither should you.
3. I find it ironic that you insist parents should sacrifice everything for their kids, be home for them, attend all their events, and never be gone from their lives. I knew parents like that, and their kids not only never finished high school, but they had little coping skills because everything had been done for them, or "sugar-coated" for them so they would know no difficulties. Life isn't like that. My mom and dad went out without me, attended about 80% of my events, and made it clear that while I was extremely important, I was not numero uno-I had to share their time with siblings, careers, etc. While kids should be a top priority, they do not have to be number one EVERYTIME.

What is most glaring though is your lack of historical content. You hold up post WWII (1950's/60's) as the banner eyar for marriage and family. Not only was there fewer societal problems, in your opinion, but people got married and stayed married, for the betterment of their children.
A. Marriage existed before that time period, and the previous thousand years or so did not usually include love. Marriage, at various times, was a business contract, a way to combine wealth, a way to legitimize an "oops" pregnancy (premarital sex is nothing new)and a way to create farmhands. But love was not a part of the picture till "modern times".
B. Societal problems existed in your glamour years, but they weren't talked about. Since no one reported child abuse, drug abuse, alsoholism, or molestations, there is no way to know what the statistics are, but ask the survivors and they will verify that all these things were present then, as they are now.
C. But most importantly, the beautifully married couples of the 1950's are the grandparents of today. They raised the people that can't seem to find their heads from their assholes, and these idiots are now the ones trying to raise children while they marry, divorce, marry, divorce, and engage in destructive lifestyles. Your couples who "stayed together for the children" apparently didn't do any favors for the future generations-they just created a great statistic.

Is society worse off than in the past? No. Is this generation any more selfish? No. There will always be loving parents do the best they can. There will always be idiots, raising idiots. And there will always be the one child, for whatever reason, who escapes the poverty and desperation, and does better. Human beings are human beings and will continue to be so till God says we are done, not when you say so.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


I cannot believe that the last time I blogged was the end of September!!!!!!! Yikes-I have been slacking here. Well, I can't say I will get better but I can tell where I have been.
Facebook. Facebook. Facebook. Guess what? I love Facebook!!! It is fast, I can post a few lines even with the kids whining, and the best part-it doesn't really take much brain function. So for those of you who are on Facebook, whether you admit it or not, look for me there.
But since I am here today, I should write something worth while. See the pressure is on to write a well structured paragraph, whereas with Facebook I just need a few sentences of witty.
So instead of being witty I will do a quick update.
Last week, I got sick. Passed it onto Noah, who has never been sick before. He got it much harder than me and after a suspicious bout of looking blue, we took him to the ER. We did it just to be safe-not because he looked like he was struggling, and wouldn't you know it-once we got there he looked pink again. Still, we did the follow-up with our family doctor and discovered that Noah and I had a mild version of the Swine Flu. Could have knocked me over!!!! I had the seasonal flu 4 years ago and felt 10x worse!!!! I know the Swine Flu can be bad, and there are different versions but despite what the media will tell you, it is not the Second Coming. Noah and I are much better, Halloween was fun, and Nick and Asa never got it. So there you go.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings

I started this blog to vent my feelings, and guess what? Today I am venting!!!!

I can't believe the health care debate right now. I won't claim the plans put forward are that great but some of the things being discussed have no relevance in my opinion. All I want is a mature discussion on what this country is going to do about health care. It is a viable question. Costs are going up, a lot of employers are no longer offering it as a benefit, and a lot of us are to young and/or healthy for medicare/medicaid.
So what do I hear? Don't have kids if you can't afford them. Get a better education ergo better job. If we have government run health care, people will die from lack of care. The USA has the best health care in the world so why mess with it?
Who is having this discussion? Crack smokers? Okay, maybe that is a little unfair to label EVERYONE a crack smoker but honestly, who's healthcare are they talking about? Numerous studies show that the USA does not have the top healthcare in the world. Not one plan put forward includes death squads. But the real clincher for me is the "don't have kids/find a better employer argument.
Let me tell you a story.
When I was in high school, we were told that a good job was one that offered benefits. Hence don't work fast-food/be a gas-jockey/work retail. Go to college, get an education, and get a good job-and a good job was one that had benefits.
So, my husband and I went to college. We got good jobs. His was with the family business, but it had the benefits so it fit the criteria. My job asked us to pay for part of our health care. Okay, so not so good but economy sank and we were lucky to have jobs so it still seemed good.
I got fired.
I got a part-time job. Okay, those never come with benefits, but it was great for raising a family so I took it. Plus, my husband had benefits-I married a man with a "good" job. And after 9 months of looking, I was happy to have a job again.
1 part-time job, 1 full-time job with health benefits.
We had a kid.
We lost employer paid health care.
So now, we are paying for the family, but Nick is covered. Okay, we can absorb that. It isn't pretty but by cutting back on extras, we managed. Besides, no one promised a free ride and we knew that this was being a grown-up.
We go for kid number 2.
We lose all employer based health care.
So where in the argument should we have done something different? I guess we did choose to have kids AND we choose not to consult our crystal ball to see into the future but now we have 2 kids and no employer based health care. I guess we both could have chosen different careers, degrees, etc. but we followed through with dogma we were fed in high school-we got degrees and we got good jobs. The good jobs turned bad while we were there though so now what? With 2 kids and a mortgage, who just walks out and assumes they can find a good job?
It could be worse-I am not complaining about "how bad we have it" and I know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the same boat as us.
I get pissed, because after all is said and done, some asshole says that people like me feel we are entitled to health care. As I keep hearing, health care isn't a right, it is earned.
Know what I want to say to that? F*** You. (Okay, even in my blog I have a hard time with using the F*** word! Girl Scout runs strong in me!)
F*** You F*** You F*** YOU!!!!!
And then when we talk about medicare/medicaid, we don't dare touch those because THOSE people need it. So I guess what that means is that some of us are entitled but some of us aren't?
And you want to know the truth? After all the brou-ha-ha from the conservatives about the sancitity of life and how precious it is, yeah, I feel entitled. I feel like if I get sick, I should be able to go to the doctor without worrying about how much it will cost me. I want to go to the doctor's without worrying if this will cause my insurance to cancel me for being "sickly". I want to be able to get the preventative care the health community says I should have so I can live a long life and be there for my children-hopefuly my grandchildren. And dammit, I want the health care I was promised if I worked hard and got a good job. Or at least chose a partner who had a good job so we could work together and not be a drain on society.
Billy Joel sang a song called "Allentown" in the 1980's. It was about the mining industry in Pennsylvania, but it rings true today as well. We were promised a good job if we did the right thing; we did the right thing and we got screwed. It sucks that over 2 decades later, we are singing the same damn tune.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What Did I Miss?

The latest thing making the rounds on the internet and the op-ed pages of the newspaper is that we should all be scared. Apparently Obama is leading us down the path of socialism and we will not only end up losing our rights, AND have to pay through the nose for it. We should all be scared. Really scared.
Under the last administration we attacked countries that possibly have nuclear power, and hate the USA to boot. That scared me.
Under the last administration, the deficiet grew to astronomical numbers, and no benefit to anyone as far as I can tell. That scared me.
The current president hasn't been there a year and yet the problems of health care, unemployment, and the melt down of the banking business/mortgage industry go back prior last January.
Don't worry, I am scared but not because of the direction we are headed too. I got scared by the direction we were led 8 years ago.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Just to clarify my last post, I know this is a huge topic that could encompass more. And I know that everyone has a different story. All I am focusing on is the people who won't seek help when it is available. Don't even get me started on the health care system in this country. That is an important dynamic of the issue of mental health, but all I am talking about is the one issue of the attitude of people who "don't want drugs" even if they could help.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

An immortal soul

An immortal soul: "I rant and rave about the negative side of science and lo' and behold, I found a good side this weekend.
I found out from a friend, who shall remain nameless, that they suffer from Depression. They didn't call it that, but it is. When you say you have a big hole inside of you and if it didn't hurt those around you, you would welcome death, I call that Depression.
So I ask 'Bernard', how come they don't do something about it?
Bernard responds, 'I don' want to take drugs.'
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAARRRGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!
I don't understand that, I honestly don't. That is such an old-fashioned response, but so common and it drives me nuts. And if you think I haven't been there, ask me about my post-partum again, when I sat there and cried because I couldn't decide what to eat for dinner.
Why are people so willing to pop pills for headaches and colds (including Bernard), but when it comes to mental health, everyone goes up in arms against 'drugs'?
How many chemicals are there in the human body? How much do we need of EACH chemical to be a functioning adult? How many chemical changes do we go through in our lives? Exposure to pollutants, having babies, going through menopause, just getting older-all these things change the make-up of our bodies.
I may be on anti-depressants the rest of my life. I may stop after this year. I don't know yet. But I sure as hell don't see why I should have to live in misery because I don't want...happiness? I am afraid of the stigma?
It kills me because I am the one making Science such a bad guy and it finally does something good and people don't want to touch it. Experiments on rats have given us epidurals (God's gift to pregnant women), AND that there are medicines to take so we don't have to suffer with certai"

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Catch The Tunes

Hey, if you follow my Facebook, you may have caught that I made a playlist. Guess what? Here it is!!! This is so awesome and I feel like I got caught up with technology!!! Although by the time I wake up tommorrow, it will have passed me by again. Oh well. If you don't like the music, just turn the volume down. Otherwise, rock on!!!!!
It is kind of cool too, because now you can learn what kind of music I like.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Silly Me...Time Has No Meaning

One of the reasons I was once worried about having kids, was that I wasn't sure I could entertain them all day long. I mean, it seemed cruel to have a "curriculm", but I didn't think I could stand playing games all day and I certianly didn't want my children zoning out in front of the tv all the time. Now I have kids and I remembered today why I no longer worry about entertaining them.
For starters, meals can take upwards of two hours. That includes preparing, eating, cleaning the kids, cleaning where they ate, cleaning where you told them not to go because they are dirty, and cleaning the kitchen. Easy meals such as cold cereal can be shorter, but any meal can be prolonged when the kids decide to sit there and stare at their food. Now this last part only seems to happen if I am in a hurry, so I do't usually plan for staring time, but I am no longer surprised by it either. Ironically enough, the actually eating part, which was your goal in the first palce, happens in about 5-10 minutes.
Next activity of the day is getting dressed. This is actually one of our easier activities since, lucky for me, my kids aren't that picky about what they wear. But others having given me testimony that this activity can take about an hour depending on temperments, what is clean, the position of the moon, and if ANYONE has to go to the bathroom. For whatever reason, getting dressed inspires people to pee/poop/whatever. This includes adults, and yes, if we go potty, STILL give the whole "getting dressed" activity an hour. If I could go to the bathroom alone, it would be faster. But from "the throne", I have to shoo kids out of the drawers, answer questions, give hugs after one, or both kids, run into the wall, and still focus on the job at hand. I think this is why God has made women such good multi-taskers.
So now we have been up three hours and all we have done is eat and get dressed. An hour or so of playtime and guess what, it is lunch time! And the whole cook/clean process starts all over again. Oh, and since you don't really have kids but some kind of muntant locust, you can't really do ceral again but must make something hearty and nutritouis. And two hours later, if you are lucky, you don't have to change their clothes.
For the afternoon, we do playtime/slash tv time. I have blogged before that the tv is how I get Asa to nap, so I use it. Whether you have the tv on or not though is totally optional since you only need an hour of playtime before you start asking them to pick up their toys. Give this activity 1-2 hours depending on your kids. Asa REFUSES to pick up toys. I have taken away priveleges, sent him to bed early "like a baby", paddled him twice, taken away the toys in question and NOTHING has worked. (If any one has any other ideas, PLEASE, PLEASE tell me.)
By the time you finish picking up toys and doing a few hours for dinner, ta-dum, the day is over, it is bedtime and no further acitivties are needed. Throw in an occasional trip to the library, park, mall, and the kids feel like they have had a very busy week.
I know I am tired so we must have.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Call Me Crazy

I am publicly answering "Deep End's" blog. You know who you are, but I don't really have your permission to use your name. and Please, no jokes about "Deep Throat".

Deep End wrote about how women let men treat them. I am not saying you are wrong-from conversations with fellow women, I know it happens that women tend to be the ones who suffer with the bullshit while men seem to go on their merry way. And further, you are absolutely right that you have to love yourself before you can have a healthy relationship with someone else. AND, we shouldn't be relying on men to be our saviors.
But let me throw this curve ball in. Some women do the same thing to men-the mind games, the emasculation, the rudeness. Although granted statistically, it is the other way around and women suffer.
What it comes down to, is that, regardless if you are male or female, dating the opposite sex or same sex, we should be teaching our children how to have healthy relationships. We should be teaching our children to strive for self-success, AND then find someone who loves and supports who they are as a human being. That no matter who they find, or how many people they find, NO ONE will know them like they no themselves. Yikes-sounds like tongue twister.
This isn't hard. Relationships are hard, but healthy ones aren't that difficult. Ask for respect, give respect, and accept yourself.
I know this, because I am this. I never set out to get married, or stay single. I figured I would be single because book loving, politic talking, geeky girls are not in hot demand, and I wasn't marrying for marriage's sake. I refused to spend the rest of my life with some jerk just to have a ring on my finger. This isn't some feminist rhetoric. I want to teach my sons the same thing. I want them to know that marriage is but one option for them, but that happiness is required. It sure makes the bumps and bruises of life go a lot smoother. Besides, if I raise my sons to seek healthy relationships, the chances that they will enter a relationship with a healthy person are much higher, ergo bringing them more happiness.
It isn't just a women's issue after all.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

How Goes My Goals

So, like most parents, I am big on dreams and short on time. I wanted to be blogging WAY more than I have been, but such is life. By the time the kids are in bed, I just don't have the wherewithall to form a complete sentence. I actually feel like that tonight, but I am also feeling dangerous and rebellious so here I go!!!
I had talked about a few goals for myself at the begninning of the summer and I thought I would update the "public" on how it is going.
I wrote once that I wasn't as successful with coupons as I wanted to be. I am to loyal to certain brands, to lazy to cut coupons out, and to pressed for time to remember to use them. However, my re-adjusted goal of using what I actually buy has been great. Not only because I am getting more bang for my buck but I am wasting less to the land-fill AND using the space in my freezer more wisely. Seriously, I found pork chops from 2007. If they hadn't had a label on them, I am not sure I could have identified them correctly. The pork chops were using space ice cream could!!!
The garden has been a success but more in what I learned from it, versus the amount of produce I have actually gotten from it. First off, I realized I didn't really plant enough of anything to avoid buying it in the store. There is a reason farms have a lot of acreage and my little urban plots didn't come close. Second, not everything came up as planned. Since I hadn't the hart to thin my radishes, I basically got pretty flowers, and I don't even know what happened to the spinach. And for those of you not on Facebook, the wild rabbit visiting us has taken his/her? share of beans.
However, I learned a lot about how food gets to the table,the amount of effort farmers are expending, and I will do things differenlty next year. I learned that radishes can flower, and they are pretty!! My son also learned that we can eat some plants because my peas were awesome-he ate so many I barely got any! My tomatos are looking good and I have eaten two of those. I think it is good for kids to learn that food doesn't have to come in a container, and I think Asa got that this summer. And, as a bonus, we actually got to eat ome good stuff too!
By next summer, I am hoping to actually have a part of my backyard devoted to a garden and NOT just a few pots here and there. Although the stuff in pots excaped the wild rabbit. Hmmm, something to ponder. And yes, I have gotten advice on how to get rid of the rabbit, but I kind of like it. One, it has led to some good discussions about wild animals versus pets, because a neighbor had a rabbit. And two, it shows Asa that animals eat these things also; the Circle of Life if you will.
I guess technically, I didn't achieve my goals. But I learned a lot, and knowing is half the battle. Yo Joe!! Seriously, I feel successful and that is what counts the most.


So I got some private comments about my last blog.

Although I may not be making racist comments based on the definition of racism, I still think my post was a little racist in that I am making a definite distinction between black and white.
Point blank, I think in the past, since Baby Boomers tend to have better access to health care, they tend not to want to change it. That is Baby Boomers, male or female. And yes, they are the largest voting bloc. That is why I think efforts failed in the past. However, now, a new president, who split the Baby Boomer voting bloc doesn't need white, Baby Boomer votes and therefore doesn't have to back down. AND, he has the votes of other voting blocs to make up for the votes to make up for the ones he is losing.
That is based on the polls right now, in my opinion. Obviosuly polls change, but some headlines I have seen are starting to support this hypothesis of mine.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Racist Me

I privately debated whether I should write this or not, and decided I needed this conversation out of my head. But reader beware. I believe this is one of the MOST racist things I have ever thought, or publicly said.
President Obama is tackling health care. I for one, cannot be more happy that he is attempting this. I don't know whether he will succeed or not, and I have already blogged previously that not only am I unhappy with how the current system runs, but also that I don't know how to fix it. And regardless of the outcome, Obama will be given credit as being the first modern President to try something; the first baby steps if you will.
In the past nothing was really done, and why, do you ask? Because as soon as a competent leader, Presidential or otherwise, suggests ANYTHING, the biggest voting bloc this nation has pitches a fit. That would be white, middle class-particularly male. A newspaper article I read this past week confirmed that the Baby Boomers, despite their age, are currently (although not indefinitely) the biggest voting bloc this nation has. Ironcially enough, another article I read discussed the fact that African-Americans registerd, and voted, at new levels to get Obama into office. And the continued irony is, this is also one of the groups that has less access to health care than say, white, middle-class, Americans.
So where am I going with this? Obama doesn't need to worry about the white, Baby Boomer vote like previous Presidents, THANK GOD!! The people that voted him in (ie. Blacks, those like me who are under 50 and looking down the barrel of escalating health care costs) WANT health care change and Obama knows that. Finally, someone who won't back down on this issue!!!! Trully, I am thanking God and not taking his name in vain. I hope the plan works, but even if it doesn't, it is nice knowing that at least we have a President in touch with what the public wants domestically. What a change from the previous 8 years when no one in Washington D.C. seemed to give a crap what happened on American Soil.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Is The 15 Minutes Over Yet?

I know there are people who will disagree with me and I don't care-this is my space on the internet and I am using it.

Sarah Palin is Dan Quayle with tits.
Pleeeease, your 15 minutes is up-just go away.
If you can't finish out a term for Governor, why would I vote you in as President? If you "got a higher calling", would you leave that office too? And if you thought your family was under to much scrutiny in Alaska, a state with WIDE open spaces, try living in the White House. It is a microscope. Did you not see Obama trying to hide a cigarette?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Day Camp

I am falling asleep as I write this, so watch for typos.
I can't say enough, how much fun we all had at Day Camp last week.
The kids got so dirty they had a bath every night.
Noah was treated like Prince Charming, while Asa has scratches, bruise, and bumps from playing so hard. He ran into tables, fell off tables, and did some face plants in the dirt. Plus, there was the day he played with the tailpipe of the bus (the bus was off). Can we say black? Can we say black from head to toe?
I, of course, loved singing and playing games with over 150 Girl Scouts. I honestly thought my counselor days were behind me and I am so glad I was wrong. Hearing "Zinka" again, my camp name now for OVER 20 years, is like putting on a pair of comfortable tennis shoes. And like I told other staff, having lunch with people who DON'T giggle and tell me they just tooted was such a bonus.
And after all that, I realize that going to day camp makes it seem like summer to me. Yes, Ic an look out and see sun. Yes, I can look at a calender and read what part of the year we are in. But for me, growing up, summer meant going to camp. Through day camp, resident camp, and summer jobs I had, I went to camp for 24 summers. I can't explain it very well, but it is like Christmas with snow, and Christmas without snow. You know either way it is still Christmas, but the change in the weather makes it seem that more special to you.
And total bonus-they said I can come back next year.
Mentally, I am already there.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Updated June 30

Just a quick blog to let the faithful know that we are still alive but really busy right now. I blogged about our trip to the Olympic National Rainforest (which I am still giddy about), but after that we had Rose Festival, playtime with Auntie Tutu, Father's Day, some birthday fun for mommy, camping last weekend, and now we are doing day camp.
Day Camp has been a trip, in a hippie, "oh my goodness", type of way. I volunteered to help with Girl Scout Day Camp, never heard back, volunteered again, never heard back, and all of sudden I am in charge of songs and games. Okay. I have questions, no answer. I still have questions, no answer. I get a phone call thanking me for volunteering and I was finally able to find out what I needed to know. Yes, the kids can come-they have their own special unit for little ones under 5 years of age (only for counselor kids). Yes, it is a week I am available. Yes, I can pretty much do what I want. So I dust off my counselor stuff, totally stoked because I thought those days were behind me. And I get tripped out because the last time I helped at Girl Scout Day Camp, I was an aide in the unit especially for little kids under the age of 5. And here I am, many years later sneaking peaks at my own kids in the unit I last was in. Wow.
But the most important part is that we are all havaing. Asa loves having kids his own age to play with, however the only way we can get him to wear his camp t-shirt is to put it on OVER a dinosaur t-shirt. Noah is being carried everywhere and snuggled by all the aides who think he is sooooo cute. He is getting used to that treatment rather easily and next week will be very hard on him. I am loving getting to sing my old camp songs and since the kids are "gone" all day (but I can see them so it isn't really gone), I get to eat lunch without anyone crying and have real conversations with people my heighth!!!! I know all three of us will be sad when camp ends!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brand Names

So, to do my part to economize, I started clipping coupons. I even got a very inexpensive organizer and had things filed away by store and item (breakfast, dessert, cleaning product, etc.) This seemed like a great time to learn, pick up something new, AND due my part for our household economy.
I have failed. And I feel pretty good about it.
For starters, I am brand specific. This is no great surprise if you remember I hate change AND new things, so I am not inclined to buy something just because it is on sale or has a slip of paper promising a discount. Example: Pepsi could be .10 cents a can and I would still turn my nose at it. I guess that makes me a food snob too.
Second, I am also store specific. Another no brainer, considering what I just wrote about being brand specific. I hate driving all over (and wasting gas in my opinion) just I can get a deal here, there, or everywhere.
Finally, I just hate coupons. If you are offering deal, just offer a deal-don't make me jump through hoops to get it. I get annoyed.
But I learned something and I think that counts for a smiley sticker by my name. Coupons can work, if you are willing to follow them. And I am not. Trying to save .50 cents if buy two, on something I won't eat doesn't make much sense so I am done with that experiement. However, just because I am done with coupons doesn't mean I am not saving money.
By examining my shopping habits, which coupon clipping forced me to do, I discovered that I am a horrible impulse shopper. I tend to buy things thinking I MIGHT cook something and then forget I even have it until I notice something dusty on the back shelf. By then of course we are WAAAYY past it's freshness date, so that even if doesn't kill me, it would be like making paste for dinner. No matter what the reason, whether something smells funny or just sat looking cute on shelf, throwing food out, is money out the door. I also tend to get way more then I need at sale times. So I get 10, because they are cheap, then eat the first 5, and toss the others because they are stale/bad. Again, money out the door.
So now, new and improved shopper that I am, I write a list, stick to my list, plan out my meals, keep my "extra's" down to a just a few per shopping trip, and already bah-da boom, bah-da bing-I have already shaved about $30 per grocery trip and I can do better once I quit going through the garden section. I came up with that figure by not only including the items I DIDN'T buy, but also by buying within reason AND eating it all at home.
So clipping coupons was a good lesson for me, even if it turned out different than I expected. Isn't life like that?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Follow The Trail

So, this morning, I have to admit, I took a nap-right after I got out of bed. It is amazing what kids teach you: lesson number one is that you can sleep anywhere and I did. God Bless Nick-he came home from work and let me sleep. My sore throat feels 100% better.
Have I mentioned before that Asa is in the midst of potty training?
Every parent has stories; this is ours.
Asa has been doing fairly good at going potty. Of course we bribe him with candy but that is by far cheaper than diapers and we discovered he doesn't like the feel of wet clothes. Score one for us.
However, like many 3 1/2 year olds, Asa wants to be very independent. So this morning, he went poop in the potty. This is a joyous occasion and he got very excited. (Please remember, I am sharing all this second hand-I was napping during this event.) So he wiped, did badly, got poop on his hand. But he is still joyous, so he went into mommy and daddy's room to jump for joy on our bed. Get's poop on our bed. Goes to his room to be a good boy and get his underwear on. Got poop on the floor and his bed. By the time daddy get's to him, it is like Mr. Hankie the Christmas Poo had a festival in our house. (For those of you who don't know, Mr. Hankie is a character from "South Park" and he is a lump of poo that sings. It's as gross as it sounds.)
I know what Nick wanted to do, and to his credit, he didn't do it. How do I know? Not once did I hear any crying. I awoke to "next time tell mommy or daddy, okay?" , over and over and over again, and a ton of laundry for me to do.
Remembered when I blogged that all mom's have a hobby? Maybe my son was thinking of me when he created all this laundry for me to do tonight.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Territory

I am sure I am going to bungle this and not say it right, but in a way I am just speechless. An 88 year old man, yes 88 year old man, raged into the National Holocaust Musuem in Washington, D.C. and shouting hateful things, killed a security guard and injured two others.
Someone once said to me that the United States should just declare itself a Christian nation since all it's citizens basically were Christians anyway. When I said that I wasn't a Christian, and said I was Jewish, I was told I was close enough to Christianity anyway. (It was at MHCC Alina as college students-frizzy bunny tail head girl-remember her?)
Incidents such as this remind me that not only am I not a Christian but that the one thing this awful man and I have in common, is that we both think I am not even close to being a Christian. And when I tell people I have mixed feelings about seeing The Cross, this would be why. The people behind The Cross have brought us hospitals, schools, and homes for the elderly. People have been fed, clothed, and taken care of by believers of The Cross. But people have also been killed, maimed, and beaten in the name of The Cross. The Cross has been held up as a reason to uphold slavery, racial injustice, and sexism.
And when you ask me if I ever feel like I have something in common with other minorities, I will answer yes. My skin may be white (or a nice golden brown in the summer) and I may blend in with a crowd, but as long as people want to hurt me or my sons simply because we are "different", we stand in the minority crowd.
I know I am just one little blog but I will tell anyone who will listen-different religions are God's gift to us, his children, so that we may all have a place in His life. Just any parent will tell you that each of their children is different, so God knows that each of us is different and provides us with different ways to communicate with him. There is no right religion, there is no wrong religion. ALL MAJOR, HOLY BOOKS ESPOUSE PEACE AND LOVE AND DENOUNCE HATRED AND KILLING. Only the people who "interpret" these books seem to fnd the passages that say something different.
I have to admit, I am angry. 88 years old-give it up dude.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Just An Update

This time of year is incredibly busy so I will just make this short and sweet. My aunt is in town, we do Rose Parade floats, go to parades, etc. so it doesn't leave much time for anything else, although we have a great time. Today was the Junior Rose Parade, aka The Children's Parade. Last year it was rainy and cold-this year hot, hot, hot! We always seem to get extremes. Good mother that I am, I made sure my kids were properly covered and greased up. Yet somehow I failed to think I could sunburn. Am I teflon? Special? My arms look like lobster AFTER it has been thrown in the pot. I honestly don't remember the last time I burned like this. So live and learn, pray I don't get skin cancer, and be grateful I have a whole year to forget what I did and make some mistake next year!!!
Also on my second round of antibotics for a very stubborn sinus infection, watchng Noah cruise the furniture as he attempts to walk, and Asa, after going cold turkey with no diapers, is on his way to being potty trained. It is the little things that give us joy.
Hope everyone is enjoying this late-Spring season as much as me.

Friday, May 29, 2009

My Dream Come True

So, one of the places I wanted to take my kids was the Olympic National Rainforest in Washington and thanks to some very generous grants (and a heck of a lot of patience), my mom and aunt helped turn my dream into reality. Thank-you!!! Thank-you!! Thank-you!! The three of us spent Memorial Day Weekend with the kids at Lake Quinalt, which is on the tip of this wonderful place. We got good weather, beautiful scenery, some animal sightings (including deer and slugs), and a lot of exercise. However, as usual, when you take small children out in public, you never quite know what you will get. In the middle of lunch, in a semi-crowded restaraunt, Asa announced "mommy, my butt hurts." By using his "indoor' voice, only the immediate 4 tables heard us. He also had one of his stuffed dinosaur's "leap" off a bridge into the stream below. Asa is lucky it was a little bridge, with a little creek, and mommy could get down to rescue it. Otherwise that dinosaur would be floating out to sea for a free cruise. Noah enjoyed all the hikes we took-something about watching Asa walk around made Noah giggle and laugh.
What I really liked, beyond the relaxing state of nature, is that I now have children old enough to "get it". The last few years, I have dragged Asa out into the forest, only to run myself ragged dragging him out of creeks, keeping him out of the fire, and staring him down so he doesn't eat any strange berries. This year however, I finally have a little boy who got excited to see deer, told me to stay on the trail, and was hopping up and down to go inside the big cedar tree (that was way cool!). It has made the last few years, worth it. Noah may not be as old as his brother, but he had fun as well, and I know it will only get better and better.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cheap Entertainment X

This is my tenth column on cheap entertainment. Is anybody excited? Does anybody realize what I have missed? Anyone else realize that television is the cheapest of all cheap entertainment?
Okay, stay with me. I know that many of you consider t.v. the root of a lot of evil. And I can't disagree. There is a lot of, dare I say it, crap, put out there. But if you want to talk cheap, and I do, it doesn't get much cheaper than a television set. Dollar for dollar, you will get your money back on t.v. for entertainment value. Plus, temper tantrums are done in the privacy of your own home, you don't have to contend with the weather, you don't have to pack a small suitcase to leave the house (if you have children), and there are restroom facitlities (however they are only as clean as you personally make them-which sucks if you don't have a maid).
However, you mention television and you immediately get "a look". The liberals brand you as a senseless zombie intent on de-sentizing your children to natural experiences. Conservatives hail you as a realist intent on giving your children a few hours of pleasure. Anti-Violence Activist insist you are raising the next Charles Manson and Hippies let you know your child will never be able to come up with an original thought for the rest of their natural life.
How did an INANIMATE OBJECT get so much power?!?! Because that is all it is and it all comes down to the question of do you control your t.v. or does it control you? I have seen it both ways and it is a personal question.
In my house, as I have said before, the television set does NOT have to much sex, violence, or degrading content. Why? Hello-I censor that sucker. The t.v. fulfills a few basic roles for us however and they are as follows:

1.)The Negotiator/The Punisher...Didn't pick up your toys? Hit your little brother? Good boys get to watch t.v. and bad boys don't. Did you just yell at mommy? Hey, my turn to watch "Antiques Roadshow". Yippeee!

2.)The Boob Toob...It is absolutley true that the t.v. makes you zone out and for this reason we use it to inspire naps. Nothing makes Asa unwind, relax, and fall asleep like a cartoon in the middle of the afternoon. For this reason alone, I love my television set.

3.)The Educator...Nothing, I repeat nothing, replaces human contact. At this point in both my sons lives, that would be mom and dad. However, there are some good things on t.v. and I have watched them by myself, and with my sons. The kids are a little young to watch the shows on The Plague, but I got excited. And we have language programs that we have watched, helping us learn to count in foreign languages.

4.)The New Stereo...Our cable program includes music, so I frequently turn on classical music. I don't have cd's of Mozart, Haydn, Bach, etc., lying around so this has been a nice way to expose both my kids to different music. We have also listened to Swing, Golden Oldies, and a little Rock-n-Roll.

The reality is, in my opinion, that televsion is what you make of it. It can be the focal point of a uninspired child's life, or it can be one more tool in a parent's arsenal. It is however, always, cheap, cheap, cheap.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Finally, a weekend of sunshine. Me and the grandparents took the kids camping. The mildew dried up between our toes, we smelled of campfire smoke, and I think I got a few bug bites. It was so much fun. The previous summers I have taken Asa camping, I have to admit, it has been more work than fun. It seems like it was a constant battle to keep him near me, out of water, and in one piece. But this time out, Asa was an experienced camper and we finally had the "aha" moment that makes it all worthwhile. Our first night there, after Noah had gone to bed, Asa was sitting outside with Memaw and Mommy and he noticed the moth's that were swarming the lights. Granted, I was not impressed but he thought this very cool. We also went on some hikes, roasted marshmellows, and saw lots of animals. It was a good time and we can't wait to do it again next month.
(FYI-this is not a cheap activity!! Granted it is cheaper than traveling via hotel, but by the time you reserve a camping spot, get food, and drive there, it adds up. Still, it was fun and worthy of doing again.)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

And It's Official...

Well, this flu thing seemed to drag on and on and on and get the story. So we had a field trip at the doctor's office...oh boy. I have my very first sinus infection. I feel so lucky. So the cold went into the flu, that morphed into a sinus infection. I am a mutant.
Again though, a silver lining.
I have been so congested that when my sons poop (and they do), I can't smell it. That is a nice change.
I have also lost 5 pounds. Probably not just in the last week-I haven't forsaken food that much. But it is nice to know that my efforts to lose the baby fat are slowly coming along.
The sad thing is that even with additional cost of drugs, being sick is still pretty cheap as far as entertainment goes. Although I haven't had much fun this week so maybe entertainment isn't quite the word...

Monday, May 04, 2009

Cheap Entertainment Part IX

Well, I have just spent the last four days sick with the flu. I honestly don't know if it was swine, bird, or even slug, because I got lucky in that it was just a mild case. I get achy skin, I had a low-grade fever, and my nose ran like a champ agrravating my throat and ears, but I never threw up or had a high fever. I did however pass it on to the kids. Another stroke of luck-they were not as sick as I was but kids have such a low tolerance for anything when they don't freel good. Asa would look at Noah cross-eyed and the tears would start; from both of them. Ugh.
But there were a few silver linings this weekend. One, because I lost my appetite, I am pretty confident I can get into the dress I want to for a wedding reception I am going to in a few weeks. Two, I saw a few movies since I was on the couch.
Three, being sick is about the cheapest form of entertainment out there. Not only do you NOT feel like going anywhere, but laying on your bed in peace and quiet, ALL ALONE, becomes super fun. When Nick said he would watch the kids, I got giddy as I shut the bedroom door and flopped down on the bed. Not only did I not spend ANY MONEY, because of my fever I kept the heat way down despite the cool weather, I didn't do any chores so no toxic fumes (green cleaning is my next goal after gardening), I kept a lot of lights off because the glare hurt my eyes, AND I didn't shower so no water usage. Our carbon footprint was way low these past few days. Okay, no close contact with any humans either but no one wanted to be near me anyway. Hacking and having snot run down your face is soooooo unromantic.
Now, this may have been the cheapest form of entertainment I have run across, but it certainly wasn't the most fun, so I wouldn't recommend it. However, it fit the bill-it was a very inexpensive weekend at our house. Plus, the things I didn't do over the weekend, like laundry and dishes, are greeting me now so the cheap entertainment continues. I am not bored.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Did I Look Desperate? Scary?

So this week my babysitters went to Vegas-lucky dogs. I harbor no ill feelings-they deserved to go. However, it meant that I just spent three days in a row (four including to day) spending the day with my children. So the sales person for Verizon comes to the door and thinking it is a grandparent, I open it. It is a young-ish guy asking me why I don't have such and such product. Never start a conversation with a woman who hasn't had a chance to speak a full sentence that doesn't start with "don't do that to your brother..."
I got to talk about Einstien and Edison-2 examples of people who didn't have the latest educational toy to play with and no DHA in their baby food. Look what idiots they grew up to be. No, this had ABSOLUTLY nothing to do with the product being sold. But the sales guy was a living being over the age of 18. I am pretty confident I looked desperate.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why is cheap, cheap?

Ever wonder how I decide what is cheap?
When I worked at a local museum in the mid-90's, a guest complained one day about how expensive it was for admittance fees. I took a non-comittal stance, as an employee, but privately I agree'd with them. This same guest, who must have been desperate to talk to some one. They stood around for a very long time, and started talking about all the movies they had seen recently. Whoa-back the truck up. Movies were, and continue to be, on par with any museum as far as price goes, however when the movie ends you are out while a museum will let you stay all day. Hence, an idea was born.
If people will pay so much to sit in a dark room for 2-2 1/2 hours on average, then they can pay so much to do something more constructive. Current polls bear me out-in a troubled economy, attendance at movies has gone up, inspite of the price to get in. Soooooo, an average family of four is paying about $30 for a 2 hour movie (full price, 2 adults, 2 kids), and many of my ideas (even with my lazy way of buying lunch) come WAY under that for the same number of people. I rock.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cheap Treats Part VIII

You may have noticed I am behind in my posting-we have had some speed bumps here lately. A couple early mornings for work (ugh-my night owl is in disarray), one case of pink eye, and lots of yard work can disrupt the best of schedules. However, as always, I have my eye out for great things to do.
A few weekends ago, I went to the local nursery for some plants. If I am getting plain old flowers, I go to Wal-mart. But if I need a plant, AND some good advice, it is worth it to pay more and get the right flower/shrub and advice on how to grow it right. Buying the cheap version, but planting it in the wrong area, is a huge waste of money when it dies.
Anyway, the person I spoke with told me about clinics they have for kids once a month where they do a garden project. Last month they decorated pots. Of course these clinics are free-they hope the parents will spend money, or at the very least creating a future loyal shopper. But lots of stores have them, and if you are looking for a cheap activity (and nothing is cheaper than free), these are a great way to go. I have done arts-n-crafts at book stores, and I know home improvement stores have done wood craft projects. Are these projects creating the next Da Vinci? Probably not. But it is a great way to expsoe kids to different activities, and it fits the criteria of being inexpensive.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Beef Today

So after looking over my post on our health insurance saga, I realize I still have some hard feelings to work out. And really, my beef is with insurance in general.
Anyone out there truly understand how insurance works? In any field? Three word-Don't Use It. Okay, four words-Do Not Use It.
Insurance, according to Wikipedia, has been around since at least since 1750 B.C. Life insurance policies and contracts covering losses in shipping and goods, is old. Most of us though only use insurance in three areas: home, health, and car, and these are obviously much newer.
Anybody know what the world was like when modern insurance policies were written? Cars, the super-duper fast ones, could top out at speeds of 45mph, but the first ones typically never passed 10mph. An apple a day and leeches was a pretty good prescription, and the cure for many health ailments. Some homes were actually made with dirt (think the Sodbusters of the mid-West.)
Technology has changed almost everything, from the way we travel, to the way we take care of ourselves, and yet our models for protecting ourselves are centuries old. I am the first to say that sometimes the old ways are better but in this case, we are trying to pay for safety with a model that was instituted when people drank urine as a tonic and cocaine was a regualr ingredient in medicines. Isn't time we think of something better? Is it socialism? Maybe. Is it time to demand people become educated on the simple things and quit going to the doctor so much? Maybe. Should cars be built better? Limited in some areas? Maybe.
I'll be honest, I am not sure where to start for the answers. But I know there are people out there with ideas, and it is time we asked them to speak up for all us because what is happening is that none of us are getting what we need. $50 dollar asprin in the hospital is not a good thing, and neither is watching your life go down the tubes when your home is destroyed because of an "Act of God", which can cover anything and everything. Families in New Orleans still don't have a home, how many years after Hurricane Katrina?
Insurance needs to change.

Cheap Entertainment-Part VII

This is starting to look like a horror movie series-how high can I go?!?! Cheap Stuff Part MM? (That's 2,000.)
I missed my deadline this week because I took the kids to visit a friend in Central Washington. We had a great time seeing new sights, and new sites, visiting friends, and watching cows and horses. Hey, I have city kids-we don't see those animals on a daily basis.
So once again, I am going to pull from personal experience and talk about traveling-on the cheap.
Our three-day jaunt costs us under $100 for myself and 2 kids. If daddy had been able to come, we still would have been under $100 as gas was our primary expense. Granted, it takes loving and understanding friends to travel this way-staying at someone else's home is the cheapest way to travel period. But if you have such a connection, use it. My kids saw different eco-systems, animals, and people. We went to Ft. Simcoe, which made my geeky side very happy, and it didn't cost us anything but gas. Plus, Ft. Simcoe had a playground, which made Asa the Rambunctious very happy too. We watched tractors, another cheap activity not always available in our hometown, and we got to play with the family dog, yet another cheap activity my young kids loved. And I got to talk with a friend-a cheap activity for mommy.
Note the repeated use of the word "cheap". And note the use of simple activities. Most human beings are happy just doing something different. Especially with young kids, and older kids too, not every experience has to be on par with Disneyland or Las Vegas. Think outside the box-playgrounds, hiking trails, and other outdoor ativities are great in a new place.


I received a few e-mails regarding my last blog, and I should clarify that Nick and I have Health Insurance. We pay almost triple what the kids cost, and our deductible went up as well so basically only use our insurance in an emergency, but we do have something. But i stand by my parting comment-the US needs to cahnge the way it does Health Care.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Use At Your Own Risk

So blogging is about sharing your feeelings right?
Nick and I have been shopping for new health insurance. So why were we denied health insurance from one company? They listed the reasons and basically it was every doctor's appt. I have had in the last year or so. I twisted my ankle and went in to be sure it was broken-they lsited that as a reason denied. The benign cyst I had checked out on my shoulder-they listed that too. So the medical community urges us to get these things checked out to be safe, and then when we do, the health insurance companies ding us and refuse to accept us because we are a bad risk. Can we say "Catch-22"? What the hell are we suppose to do now?
I guess we should be grateful that at least the kids got accepted but now I am leery of letting them go to the doctor's-will their appointments and check-ups now be held against them in the future?
What a bitch this is and as far as I am concerned, changes to the way the United States does Helath Care can't come soon enough.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Is This Equality?

I just read a snippet that Courtney Parks, a basketball player from the Oklahoma Sooners, was drafted into the WNBA at a starting salary of $41,000. That is a good starting pay for a new job, but I ask you: what is the starting pay for a man draftd into the NBA?
According to Information pulled off of, which has information on the WNBA, the base salary of a starting rookie for the NBA was over $300,000 in 2007.
I guess the argument could be made that the NBA attracts more views, ergo more money via advertisment and ticket sales. Still, $41,000 versus $300,000 plus tells me that women play sports for the love of the game, not for personal fortunes. So why do we call the men of the game the hero's? Or should women be happy that they are jsut allowed to touch the ball without wearing a skirt?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cheap Tip-Part VI

For those of you living in a rural area, this is a no-brainer but for us suburbanites, with a multitude of choices, people look at me in a surprised sort of way.
A great way to expose young kids to sports and/or the theater is to take them to a high school game/production. For older kids, take them to a community college.
Seriously, football/basketball/baseball tickets to the local teams will be far cheaper than anything professional. Same with plays, orchestra concerts, and singing shows.
I remember going to see "Oklahoma" at the local community college when I was 13-I thought it was practically professional and everyone seemed old to me.

Beep Beep Beep

I wasn't going to blog about this, because I already wrote it on Facebook, but my friend Katie said I should and we all know what a follower I am so here goes...

And by the way, I swear I am not making this up...

Last night I was making dinner (a miracle in itself) and of course when I opened up the oven, all the steam makes the fire alarm go off. In my defense, the previous owners put the fire alarm in a very lousy place. The fire alarm almost always goes off when I cook. However, last night when the alarm went off, Asa ran by and went "alright, dinner's ready." Crap.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Is This Love or Annoyance?

The other day, with the warmth of the sun on my back, I just sat and gazed at my beautiful baby boy. Noah just lights up when he sees me and there is so much trust and love in his face it just makes my heart sing. He looks at me like I am queen of the world, and as I coo'd and awe'd at him, I just couldn't imagine ever being angry at him.
Then his 3 year old brother walked by and I am yelling "Asa, get finger out of your brother's nose! Asa, why did you poke Noah in the eye?! Asa, did you toot or poop?"
Oh yeah, sweet little babies turn into stinky little boys. I love both my sons with all my heart but the singing heart stuff doesn't happen everyday.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cheap Tip- Part V

This week's tip is from experience.
Yesterday, Memaw and I took the kids to the airport via public transportation. We took the local train to the transfer station where we picked up a bus. At the airport, we ran around in the play area, had lunch, and reversed our trip with bus than train. Now, mommy is a complete lunch snob, so we bought lunch but if you took a lunch, obviously the cost would be much cheaper-basically just the cost of two bus tickets.
Asa thought this was the neatest activity. He looked out the window, talked about Thomas the Train, and waved at people. He like the bus as well. Part of this was his age-I just can't see an older kid having as much fun. But the big thing is novelty. In talking to my sister, who has her kids riding the bus weekly, I realized that for my nephews and niece, this activity would not be as much fun for them. However, for my little suburbanite, the train and bus are truly special.
I have to be honest, the experience was not as much fun for me. Going was fine but coming back everyone was tired and cranky. It was raining cats and dogs waiting for our transfer, and when we got on the train all the seats were taken but one. Of course I let wiggly Asa have it to keep an eye on him. God Bless the woman who got up to give me her seat. Truly, God Bless her. I thanked her MANY times, and profusely. With a 20 pound baby in my arms, I must have looked as tired as I felt. And for the record, not one of the men stood. Half way home, the train had to wait due to police activity on the tracks ahead. Oh joy-one crying baby, one cranky toddler-I counted to ten over and over and over and over again. Then I notice that the guys across the aisle are laughing, and I hear snickering from down the way. I look at Asa and he is LICKING the plexi-glass. The guy DIRECTLY behind him was not amused, and I realized I was cranky AND grossed out. But it did keep Asa quiet and isn't this why we have immune systems?
So the tip this week is bus/train/mass transit rides for kids who never get the chance. I guess for the kids who ride mass transit a lot, maybe a car ride would be fun for them?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Entertainment Tip o' the Week- Part IV

Memberships, Memberships, Memberships.
A lot of people don't consider this a cheap tip. And clearly, the intial pay-out can be daunting. Bust the question to ask is: how often will I use it?
I got a membership for a great, local institution but it wasn't age appropriate for Asa and the distance was kind of far for a small child. After the first year, I dropped that membership. The zoo however is always a hit and we have the benefit of not feeling pressured to see the whole thing in a single shot. We also have a place we can always go in and utilize the facilities if we need too (restrooms, stretching legs, etc.)
Another thing to keep in mind is if the facility has partnerships with other institutions. We have a membership to a museum an hour away, but it is partner's with a nearby museum and we can use that for free now. Basically the use of two museums for the price of one. Aslo on our trip to Canada last year, we used our Portland zoo membership to get a discount at a zoo in Washington. A great benefit when planning a low-cost vacation.
Another tip-thanks to "blended families", the whole family doesn't have to have the same last name. Do you have another family you do acitivites with often? A grandparent in the area that tags along all the time? One thing my mom and I did was split memberships. I got the forestry museum membership, but put her name on it (Nick hates that place). My mom got the history museum membership and put my name on it. We got two museums, but we each only paid for one.
Also check how many kids can be on a membership. Often, the family memberships allow up to 4-5 kids. If you have a small family, you can buddy up with another small family and add extra kids onto a membership, getting at least part of the second family in for free.
When deciding if a membership is good for your family, do the math. It would cost our entire family about $25 a visit to the zoo. That is just admittance fees. Without a pass, we would go to the zoo at least three times a year. At $75, a membership makes total sense and we visit more because we have already paid for it.

Monday, March 23, 2009


When I was 10 years old, I remember going to see "Xanadu", with Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, and a bunch of people I had never seen before. I thought this movie was the bomb!! Cool clothes, roller skating, and a cute leading guy-we were besides ourselves with the coolness of this movie. Thanks to the beauty of cable, Nick and I saw part of this "classic" last weekend.
Gene Kelly, as always, was a class act. People wonder why he did this film-for the love of his job. Acting is acting and he still shined, even in this. The music still rocks. Jeff Lynne did most of the music and if you love ELO, go get the soundtrack.
The rest of the movie? Other than Olivia Newton-John, who the hell were these people? And who thought that was acting?!?!?! I have heard better script writing on "Sponge Bob Square Pants" and my 3 year old puts on a better act when he is trying to con me. When I think back to when I was 10, I can still feel the magic, but I have to ignore the grown-up side that says "pee-ew-eeeee". Watch "Grease" if you are having Olivia Newton-John withdrawl's (do those exist?) and watch "Singing In The Rain", "Anchors Aweigh", or "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" if you need to see Gene Kelly.
I feel better now. Thanks Blog!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Father's Day Early

I just finished reading Tim Russert's book "Wisdom of our Fathers: Lessons and Letters From Daughters and Sons". People sent Tim Russert's letters that they wrote their father's and he compiled them into a book. It was pretty good, and a nice read for someone with two young kids. It got me thinking about what I would write, or say to my dad. Isn't that the point of books like this?
So, I gave it a lot of thought. There are a lot of things I could say but why state the obvious. Yes he was kind, and there for us. He was loyal, and fun to be around. But when I thought really hard there were really only two things I could say about my dad that didn't also describe the family dog.
My dad taught me that success isn't measured by achievement, but by trying even if you fail. Hip hip hooray for losers!! Just kidding dad.
My dad is an only child. My dad didn't date much. My dad's knowledge of women is a lot less than what he knows about hunting and cars. And yet God blessed him with two daughters. It is what we call "irony". Growing up in the 1950's and '60's did not help his cause. Sexism was taught, accepted, and totally legal. In the 1970's when I was born, a "modern" dad hugged, told his kids he loved them, and that was the end of the expectation. Oh, sure, many, many dad's did more than that, but just as roles for women have changed, so to have they changed for men, and in the '70's, I had a lot of friends who didn't do much with their dad beyond simple conversation. My dad may have been clueless about girls, but that didn't stop him from forging a relationship with us. He stole our toys, took us camping, and came to our piano recitals. We did his hair, made fun of his clothes, and asked him to buy us stuffed animals. He was way out of his league, but he still kept plugging along. As he said to me once, what else could he do? It wasn't perfect. There were some tears when the wrong things were said, and Pollyanna could have given us a lesson or two. But I will always, always be glad and grateful that my dad gave it his best shot and stuck in there, even when the going went through puberty (ugh-not doing that again)!
So, dad is an only child. My husband is an only child. My mom has two sisters, neither of who had children of their own. I have a sister. My mom was raised by her single mom after grandpa passed away when my mom was young. My family is female orientated. It wasn't planned, it just happened. I have two little boys. God must be in hysterics by now. This was brought home to me one night when Noah was first home from the hospital. Asa runs by me drooling. Why, I thought, why is he drooling!? Then just as I catch a whiff of what is in Asa's pants (oh yeah) Noah does a big "sssqqquuiirt" on my lap. Who knew being a mother could be so much fun. I caught myself saying "now what?" and almost immediately it was followed by my dad's voice saying " do what you have to." I may not know jack diddly about boys, but by golly, I won't let that stop me. Having girls didn't stop my dad, and my sons will have a relationship with me, even if it involves tears.
The second thing my dad taught me was that no matter what the outside says about you, it is how you feel on the inside that determines our age. My mom has taught me this to, but with less scaring involved. My dad is forever 21-drinking beer and doing dumb things. He was well over 50 when he fell off the houseboat and bounced off the deck below, only to land in the water with a broken femur. He was past 60 when he biffed it on his new ATV and had the thing land on him. He cracked his helmet and bruised so badly he had a pint of blood rolling around under his skin. The dog was never that dumb.
I hope my son's get the same things from me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tip o' the Week-III

A lot of times, when you say the word "volunteers" people either conjure one of two images. 1) You are a do-gooder, out to change the world with your super good ways, or 2) the old Tom Hanks movie where he heads off into the Peace Corp with John Candy and a good looking woman at his side. However, volunteering is a grat way to do things on the cheap.
Volunteering is a great way to check out a new activity, without paying a new price. When I was in middle school, I remembering being the usher at plays in downtown venues, so we could see them for free. And when I got out of college, and had lots of student loans, I volunteered at the local art musem and science museum so I could see their exhibits for free. Most public institutions of any kind have some type of volunteering opportunities, including those for families. Make sure to check the age though-for insurance purposes, often times it is only older children that are allowed to volunteer, although I have seen things for all ages. It just depends.
The hidden bonus of volunteering is that you do help the community at large, and for kids it can be a great way to explore a career. I have heard of teenagers volunteering at both, the Oregon Humane Society and the local zoo, to see how much they enjoy working with animals.
Do not let living in a small community deter you. Although a metro area will provide more opportunities, smaller communities have the luxury of working with you. For example, I did an internship at a rather small nature center in central Pennsylvania. Although small children could not do much, they were free to play around the kids area while their parents volunteered, giving the whole family access to a great resource. Believe me, a big metro musuem would not allow that.
And this is another area where doing something old, but in a new place (like playing with toys at someone else's house), is going to go along way. Think outside the box. Hate the mess of crafts at your house? See if a senior center is looking for a regular arts-n-crafts activity. Want to sing? Check out local religious institutions. Coffee bars are also starting to have open mic nights-without the stale cigarette smoke of tavern! Does your garden runneth over from to much love? See if a neighbor might like some help in landscaping. The same neighbor might love help with home repairs if you liek woodworking/fixing things.
A lot of groups are always looking for leaders so you can probably find an organization to fit your hobby with a little research. The local Audobon chapters hold annual plant sales-a great time to volunteer and talk about the love plants all rolled into one.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Survey Says...

Okay, I am taking this to the "blog streets". Nick and I are in the middle of a disagreement. I want to get our two sons a kitchen set to play with. Not a Barbie-centric, pink frilly thing that sings when you push a button. I just want a neutral, plastic thing in the general shape of a stove, oven, and refrigerator. My feeling is that one day my sons will need to know how to cook. And maybe one day they will have a family that they will be responsible for. A kitchen set will let them know that the kitchen is for everyone, NOT just the women folk. Nick thinks I am getting them girly toys.
Now, no one will change my mind, but I need to know what the wider world thinks. Leave me a message, e-mail, or call me-I don't care. Just let me know if you think this will send my sons to therapy, or if I am brilliant for thinking of it. The more ammo I can use the better, because if I think I am right, I will do it anyway.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Show Me The Money

Okay, I am not an economist. However, I fail to understand why some states are refusing bail out money from the government economic stimulus package. Oh they say they have good reasons but what it comes down too is that once again, the guy, or girl, who needs help the most won't get it because someone who has never missed a meal feels they don't need it. If Texas, South Carolina, and whoever else don't want the money, can Oregon take it because I know we have use's for it.
And the conservatives can say what they want about who is to blame for this economic mess. I have heard Clinton, Bush, foreign markets, the auto industry, NAFTA, and it goes on and on. But I say this: regardless of who started this mess, you cannot deny that the BILLIONS we spent on WAR last year, would have gone a long ways to fixing this mess if we had spent the money here at home instead of overseas. .

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Smell of Love

This week has been difficult. Noah was diagnosed with a massive ear infection and it has been five nights of sleeping in a chair because the pressure is to great for him to lay down. I wouldn't call our family environmentalist but we seem to be recycling the same cold over and over again. We are going for our third swoop and I am finally inspired to actually clean to get rid of this damn bug!!!
So yesterday was day 5 of no sleep. I never showered, was sticky from trying to get a 6 month old to take medicine, I had baby drool AND vomit on me (coughing just brings up whatever is in Noah's stomach), and I was wearing the same clothes from the day before. The only luxury I took was clean underwear. Nick got up (he works nights now) and when he looked at me he said I looked really cute! Okay, maybe we are both sleep deprived and glassy eyed, but my heart did do a little pitter patter. When a man thinks you look cute when you feel like the hairball a cat choked up, he is a keeper.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tip o' the week for you

This is what happens when you have a sick baby all week-your brain goes numb!! Noah was diagnosed with a massive ear infection today. We will all recover for brighter tommorrow's but right now we are sleep deprived!
So cheap aactivity of the week is a no-brainer: go to the park!
It amazes me when I tell people this, I usually get one of two responses-either they already go and the kids are tired of it or they never thought of it in the first place.
So to add to that tip-go to a new park! Especially if you live in a metro area, or you are traveling and looking for a spot to stretch some legs, most cities have multiple parks. We have 4 parks in a 10 minute radius of our house, that we alternate between. And then with in a half hour radius we have about 10 more. And parks are a lot like toys-since we don't go to the same one everytime, it seems like there is something new to do (just like your regular toys suck but your friends toys that you don't see as much totally rule!)
To really make this a truly economical activity, bring some toys. Frisbees, balls, chalk if the park is okay with it, and bubbles are just a few activities that work well in the park. Again, these can be done at home as well, but in a new setting, sometimes it is that much more fun.
Speaking from experience, a new park is a big hit with kids and definitely in our budget-everytime, and an added bonus is that it encourages nap time. Touchdown for mom!!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Everybody's Talking

You would have to be an idiot living under a rock in the Antarctic not to know the economy is a hot topic right now. My opinion is mixed on how things are. On the one hand, things are bad. Prices are up, wages are stagnant-if you even have a wage. Just yesterday I read about more banks failing and the word "depression" is starting to be thrown around. However, flip the coin over and there is actually good news. Some business'es are thriving, and I think it is pre-mature to say it is 1929 all over again. Just off the top of my head I can tell you that it is a different world than 90 years ago.
However, regardless of what you think, it never hurts to save money, so to do my bit, I am offering an "economy tip of the week". Ok, this isn't actually my idea in full. A couple blogs I read have "cooking tips of the week". Not much I can tell you about a microwave. But when it comes to doing things on the cheap, I am all over it. Some of my ideas may seem obvious, but when I mention them to people I get looks of awe. Apparently I am the only one traveling in my circle. Some of my ideas are only cheap compared to the alternative (example-the beach two hours from house my house versus Spain). And some of my ideas are cheap, if you have the money to start with (example-renting movies. Great idea if you already have a VCR/DVD player). However, all my ideas have one thing in common-they are better than what I read in magazines. One article that caught my eye was how to do Disney World cheap. I got excited till I realized every family they interviewed lived in Florida. Coming from a national magazine, I thought that was a mean teaser. I have also seen articles on doing cruises cheap. Um, I still have to fly to wherever the ship leaves since I never see cruises out of the Oregon Coast.
So first idea I have is: the local library. Almost everyone I know goes to the library in tough times to check out books. Not a bad idea but especially in this area, that is waaayy UNDER-UTILIZING this resource. Our local libraries (Portland-Metro area, Oregon) have dozens of FREE activities, for kids AND adults. There are story times in different languages, reading groups, basic computer classes for all ages, plus lots of guest speakers. And if an activity does have a charge it is pretty inexpensive compared to other forms of entertainment. I know people who have shelled out over $100 PER ticket to see singers. An author coming next month is $12. One library near us does a pajama party every Tuesday night for kids under 6. And at the end of this month the Oregon Zoo will bringing out it's traveling animal exhibit for kids. The possibilities are endless, and cheap, cheap, cheap.
Now, those of you who are "in the know", realize that many bookstore also have this kind of entertainment free. Story times, arts-n-craft session, and touring authors are just some of the things I have seen advertised. For an addict such as myself, a bookstore is a dangerous place. Granted it is great cheap entertainment, but I usually blow my budget anyway buying books. I think the library is a safer place for me to be, but those of you with more resistance should do just fine in a bookstore.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Makes a Mother Proud

Lat Sunday we had a birthday party to go to. Since the birthday boy was turning 4, it was a theme'd party-Super Hero's.
So Saturday we go looking for a birthday present, confident in the knowledge that we will find some really cool super hero stuff. We get to the store and immediately get bogged down in the Thomas the Train section. Asa is pretty confident that the birthday boy wants Thomas stuff. After a couple go-arounds I say "Asa, I talked with the mommy and she said that we should get super hero's." Asa replied "Well, I talked to the mommy too and she said Thomas!" Right. So much for trying to outwit Asa. So daddy gets the toy while we dream of Thomas toys.
Before bed that night, we talked about the party the next day and how we treat our friends, so Sunday Asa is pretty excited. He knows we are going to play. Being the militant mom I am, I say no to sweatpants. I don't force him into nice pants often, but I thought that at the very least we could put on regular pants. Then we get to the shirt. Hoping against hope, I ask Asa if he wants to wear his super heor t-shirt daddy picked out for him months ago. Nope, dinosaurs, again. I try again, mentioning how cool super hero's are. Nope, dinosaurs. Finally in exasperation I say "Asa, don't you want to wear super hero's? Everyone else at the pary will be wearing super hero's." Asa looks me in the eye and says "Not me mommy."
Okay, I melted. Granted his stubborn streak drives me nuts, but got to love a little boy who can resist peer pressure-even when it comes from mom. It gives me hope for high school. and yes, we wore another dinosaur shirt. And no, even at the party Asa was fine in his dinosaur shirt. He never even asked for one of the extra mask's or cape's.

Monday, March 02, 2009

P is For Perry Mason

It is ironic that just as I list the tv show "Perry Mason" as something that makes me happy, an article on the show is in our local newspaper. Guess what? I am not alone in my "Perry Mason Geek-dom".
When the station Perry run's on hired a new manager 6 months ago, they told him one thing-you can change anything but Perry Mason. It has run at 12:00p noon on that station since 1970, except for one season when it started at 12:30p. Apparently in this area is it VERY popular.
All can say is, thank goodness!! I have been terrified that one day I will turn on the tv and find Perry Mason gone. No one I know but me likes it-or at least no one who admits it. How long can a black and white show from 50 years ago last? Even in re-runs? (Perry Mason ran from 1957-1966; it was in the article). Hopefully for many years to come.
So what is the allure? Why is an out-dated tv show so popular? In this area, 1 in 11 people are watching it on any given day. I can't answer for all of Portland but I know what I think, even as I watch an episode where I remember the murderee, murderer, and reason for the killing.
I don't remember the first time I saw Perry Mason, but I do remember coming home at 5 years old and being grateful I hadn't missed that day's episode. It was on when I was sick, home from vacation, and every reason in-between. I have good memories of being snuggled up on the couch watching these old shows with my family. Even my sister, who never cared for the show as much, turned it on when she was home, sick from work, long after she moved out and lived on her own. It is almost a ritual-if you are home at noon, turn on Perry Mason!
My kids don't know it yet, but they are fourth generation viewers. I get a kick knowing that I am not only doing something with my kids, that I did with my mom, but also something my mom did with her mom.
But the biggest reason for watching Perry Mason is psychological comfort, pure and simple. I don't know what the future holds. I hope everyone I know remains healthy, and we all keep our jobs. I hope we clean up the environment and bad people go to jail. But the world is an uncertain, uncontrolable place, and I don't know what will happen. On Perry Mason, it is not the real world. In this racist (although ahead of it's time-I have seen a black cop on episodes) and chauvinistic, world, where people smoke and married women rarely work, I know the bad guy will get caught and the good guy will go free. Perry Mason will defend truth, justice, and the American way, and so will his staff. We know who the enemy is, and there is no room for fudging on who the good guy is. Most episodes end up in court half thru and the murderer is revealed with about 10 minutes left. There is NEVER a part 2, so I don't have to worry about tuning in the next day to see the end. There is a comfort knowing that while my world can change on a dime, Perry Mason is the same till the end.
Is it silly. Yep. Would I watch it if I didn't like it-no way. Is it cheaper than drugs or alcohol? Absolutley. Long Live Perry Mason.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Why, why, why?

Okay, I am bitching as a parent.
I understand that Asa is three and has some life lessons left to learn. So I go to his room and I physically point out the things we need to pick up. This is kind of how my conversation went tonight:
"Asa, please pick up your blocks. No, leave the shoe alone, get the blocks. Okay, you can pick up the train instead."
"Your trains are all picked up, get the blocks."
"Now get your book."
Asa physically turns his whole body all the way around, steps forward onto the book and looks up, "where is the book mommy?"
To my credit, I kept a civil tongue and told him he was standing on it but inside I am thinking, how the hell do you STAND on the book and not know where it is?!?!?!?
Asa did all this with one shoe off and one shoe on-just like the nursery rhyme. Why he only took one shoe off I have no idea.

A Record Setter

Hey, guess what??? My indoor plant has been alive since July!!!! This is the longest I have kept an indoor plant alive-EVER. Funny thing about indoor plants-they have to be watered. Granted it is an aloe vera plant and the upkeep is minimal, but considering my track record, I am pretty excited. I know that outdoor plants have to be watered as well, but in this area of the United States, I only have to make the effort for about three months out of the year, and some years it is only two months! It usually doesn't get warm until the end of June, and around August when I crap out and get sick of making the yard at least presentable, cooler weather and rains return and I am off the hook.
So now when I look at my aloe vera plant, I always think to myself "ahhh, there is the little plant that could".
And by the way, I have killed a cactus and ruined Top Ramen. Domestication is not a strong suit in my family.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Remember When...

I am going to get on my soapbox today and talk about those chain e-mails that float around the internet entitled "Remember When..."
I see these in slightly different forms but they all amount to the same thing-remember when the world was great and right now sucks? Children played outside, people ran with scissors, and we all survived. It is human nature to remember the good but as a history nut, let me do my own version of "Remember When..." Some of these, it is pretty obvious they are before my time and some are from my life time, but they are all from the United States.

Remember When...
*It was okay to morally and legally discriminate...
*Nutritional Diseases were very common due to food being seasonal...
*Jackie Robinson was going to ruin Baseball...
*The biggest drug dealer in East Multnomah County was in four of my HIGH SCHOOL classes when he was arrested...
*Mental Health consisted of two sides-you were crazy or you weren't...
*Talking about any form of birth control, including abstinence, was punishable by a prison term...
*Contracting polio was a very real fear for children...
*Issues like child and spousal abuse, incest, alcoholism, and rape were never discussed and the victims had to suffer in silence...
*If you had a learning disability you simply failed school...
*It could take days to simply travel out of state...
*Giving Women and "Blacks" the right to vote was going to ruin this country...
*Meat Plants could legally boost their hamburger product by adding things like sawdust, metal shavings, and anything else they choose...
*Your employer could demand you work 7 days a week, or you could be fired...
*Children under the age of 10 could legally work, even in dangerous conditions...
*We polluted the water, air, and soil to the detrement of our health and other animals...
*Smoking was socially acceptable and done publically indoors...
*There was no financial aid for colleges...
*Wallpaper included prints for ugly flowers and paisley designs. (Ugh!)

Nothing is perfect, not then-whenever "then" was-and not now. We have some real problems. But we also have some real good things going on, even with the economy as it is. So why is that minors under 18, who are statistically safer than they have ever been before, have one of the fastest climbing suicide rates? Why do they view things as so bad?
If you send me one of these e-mails, I won't go balistic on you, but I never pass them on either. Delete can be a wonderful thing.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Never Look Bored

Last night at 11:00p I heard "uhhhhhhh" coming from Asa's room. Sigh-this means I have to go be mom and find out why he is up that late. I am warm and toasty on the couch! But I go up there and again I hear "uhhhhhhh".
"Honey, why are you still up?"
"Honey, what is wrong?"
"Mommy doesn't know what that means-What Is Wrong!?

Okay, those are the words that came out of my mouth but apparently they were code for something else because Asa sits up, and promptly throws up all over his comforter, sheets, pillows, and favorite lovey. Oh goody-laundry!!! Because I was sooooo bored enjoying a quiet moment to myself!!!!
And for those of you that are medical minded-Asa coughed so much he just brought up what was in his stomach. Of course, that doesn't mean it smelled any better but at least it is just a nasty cold and not the flu.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

For The Holiday-Still

You can't tell, but I have sat down to work on this blog three different times! It was suppose to be something for St. Valentines and since we are still in the right month, I am going to go for it. But if I sound like I am hopelessly behind, it is because I am.
I was asked if I thought of former "loves". Yep, sure do. Do I wonder about the roads I didn't travel? Yep, sure do. Any regrets? No, not when it comes to relationships. I don't have to edit this part of my life for a family blog-all the "loves" of my life, inclduing those that I engaged in orginal sin with can be counted on one hand, with missing fingers. You can call me a bitch and a book addict but a slut is way off base.
Do I still love the guy I went out with in high school. Yep. I believe in high school romance, and I believe teenagers can fall in love because I sure did-big time. But I love the 16 year old I knew. I have no idea what he his like now, if he is even a worthy human being. 20 years is a long time to change and grow.
So how do I know I love my husband? When I think of Mr. High School, I wonder what became of him. When I think of my husband, the father of my children, and the man I have built a life with, I can't help but smile. I am smiling as I write this! I can be totally pissed at "Mr. Wonderful", and if I think of him, I smile. Because the truth is, while no one has made me as mad as he has, no other man has brought me as much joy either. He is rude, crass, totally honest, and makes me laugh like no other. We have different hobbies, different likes, and even had different ideas on what to name our sons. And I love him to bits. Only God knows why.
So on St. Valentines Day, Nick knows better than to get me flowers or chocolates-of which both I disdain. He agrees to go to a musuem with me in honor of the 150th anniversary of Oregon statehood.
Cost of push-up bra to help boobs feel attractive-$25
Cost of typical girly things loser ex-boyfriend from college would bought-$50
Getting your husband to do something he hates because he loves you-priceless

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rules For Chillin' With My Babies

People are so nice. Or at least they are nicer than me. When people watch my kids, they always ask me about special food they like, what tv shows are appriorate, am I okay with certain activities,etc.,etc. Me-I live in a fog. If your kid can't do what my kid can...oops, to late. They all got to watch Sponge Bob! It isn't that I don't care, I just DON"T think of it.
However, since enough people brought it up, I have decided to let everyone know what the rules are for hanging with my kids. Reader beware-you will be held to these standards.

1. Please respect my kids. At this age, Super Hero's rule. Later, it may be their art. Still later, they may like horrible music. Whatever it is that they hold special, please don't ridicule them.
2. Please don't give my kids meth as a snack. Okay most people know that, but seriously, as long as you try to give them something healthy, I am okay with that.
3. Please don't let my kids play in traffic or give them sharp things to play with. You can't possible baby-proof your home of every single danger; Asa has bruises from running into the wall. Just hide the scissors and don't play in the street.
4. Please don't hit my kids. Hey, one cries all the time because he is 3 and one cries all the time because he is a baby-my kids drive me nuts sometimes. If you have to put them in a room and give yourself 10 minutes peace, I understand that. But save anything worse for the pillows.

Um, okay, that covers it. It sounds simple because it is. One day of sugary snacks will not scar them for life, and neither will a day of sitting in front of the boob tube. Besides, seeing that other households do things differently than us is really good for them. The best way for my kid to discover "diversity" is to see it up close and personal and if they have to say grace at the Jones', or get to have Super Sugar Fruit Snacks at the Smiths', it shows them that different people do diffferent things. Besides, the truth is, there is nothing you can do to my kids in one day, short of violence and abuse, that I can't fix later on. If you see my kids every day, that is another story. But few people do so, no worries. Now who's ready to babysit?!?!?!?!