Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Friday

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My husband was off from work on Friday so I decided to do some Christmas shopping. I am so not the 5 am riser and did manage to make it to the stores by 9am. I had a coupon for Toys-R-US so I thought I would start there and make my way down the strip. My first clue should have been that I had to park in the lot behind the store. I didn't even know that there was a lot there. I walked into the store and it was beyond packed. They had people in every aisle lined up to check out. I couldn't even get to the things I wanted to look at because people were standing there waiting in line. One woman brought a book and was reading it while she waited. When I inquired how long of a wait the clerk said "probably an hour and a half". No thanks-I'll come back another time. Honestly, I was panic stricken in there. There was no room to move and I'm sure if there had been a fire that no one would have gotten out. How they would allow such a packed capacity is beyond me. I left and went and did my shopping elsewhere.

We were supposed to go to the Alpaca farm today but it was hailing and snowing this morning. Really annoyed me as I hate the icky weather. But it gave me time to clean my desk and prepare for the parents planning meeting.
I love my group of parents and kids that I see every week. They always continue to inspire me, have great ideas and are so non-judgemental. We had a great discussion about unschooling, what works and doesn't work for us and although we all had different methods, in the end we were all reassured that we need to do what works for our family. There were some great suggestions, some fears and some great confidence. We had 8 mom's at the meeting-such a great turnout. I have meeting minutes to compile and some laundry to finish. My youngest is having a "sleepover" in my daughters room tonight. He's very excited. I think he just wants to get out of the mess in his room. But no matter-he is happy.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What Day is It?

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I'm already longing for spring and some flowers. I hate this time of year. It's sometimes too cold to play outside and my garden is sad. I miss my butterflys and flowers and green grass. It's been a whole week since I've posted. I've been having a hard time and really need to follow up with my doc about the lingering muscles aches, headaches and pain. My legs hurt so bad this week and were so heavy that walking up stairs was hard and painful. We'll see. Tired of talking about it.
I worked a 12 hours shift last night, slept until 2pm today and am very tired. I lose track of the days when I work the night shift. Larry took the kids down to CT today to see his sister and Dad and stopped by the cemetary to put some flowers on his mother's grave. It was the first time he had been down there since she died so I'm sure it was hard.
Oh and the damn silkie chicken is not a hen. He's a rooster. He crows in the coop every morning now. So now we are down to 5 egg layers. IF they ever lay any eggs. We have one chicken that everytime you get near it it squats down-a sign of iminent egg laying they tell me. Yeah sure.
We are taking the day off from church tomorrow for some family time. Larry and the kids and I are going to an alpaca farm not too far from here. Our neighbors are joining us so it will be nice to get out and the event is FREE. My favorite type these days. Then in the afternoon I have a parents planning evening for my homeschool group.
Many of us have been discussing the "unschooling" method. Look it up-it's too difficult to explain. But most of us employ some bit of it. Our discussion tomorrow will center around this method (can you call it a method?) and what works and doesn't. I'm somewhere in the middle.I do have to say that once I backed off of formal lessons and gave the kids some room it has made for much more enjoyable days and they are learning so much. This week we have ornament making with the homeschoolers, next week a cookie swap and the following week holiday crafts.

My oldest Patrick blows me away with what he knows about science and biology. He just finished reading about genes and chromosomes and is now into chemical compounds, elements etc. I think I need to dust of my chemistry brain. When I was in highschool I actually loved chemistry but we had a very fun teacher and roasted marshmallows on the bunsen burners.I actually did learn a lot in that class. Patrick recently did an experiment on the PH of things and tested acid/base balances.
Morgan has been busy blogging and doing a lot of song/poetry writing. She had a soccer tournament yesterday. Three games back to back and did well. They one the first game, lost the second, and tied the third. One tired girl afterward tho'.
The family just got home and it's chaos so going to run, have a glass of wine and sit by the fire.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekly Check Up

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Tonight I thought I'd blog about what's been going on during the week. Lately I've been blogging about specific items but here it is a nut shell.

-Some people will never get that they are rude or wrong.
-I created another blog for my kids to write. Check it out here:
-I have to renew my CPR this week. I hate CPR renewals. I spent 3 hours taking an online test for CPR in person that normally takes 20 minutes. And I still have to go tomorrow morning to do the 7 am.
-I no longer want to be a nurse but since I have bills to pay this will have to do. Something else is calling me-please help me find it.
-My chickens have yet to lay one frappin egg.
-I'm still having post lyme symptoms and most likely will be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. How frickin' happy am I.
-I can no longer type to save my life.
-Morgan's soccer schedule is killing me.
-I'm tired.
-I made some yummy lemon chicken for dinner tonight.
-I think little keebler elves come in the middle of the night and mess up my house. No really.
-Wine should come with an intravenous option.
-Foley catheters should be mandatory for nurses and mommies.
-I hate the cold weather.
-Morgan has an entire notebook filled with songs. Hopefully she'll be a big songwriter someday and support me at the nursing home while someone wipes my butt, feeds me strained peas on a spoon and straps me in a chair because I beat the crap out of the nurses who tried to put the ugly shoes and elastic waisted pants on me.
-my children have a better wardrobe than me.
-A trip to BJ's cost us no less than $300.

I'm going to bed early tonight.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Heartbeat of Me.

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I've spent the past few days defending my right to be offended by Joy Behar and The View (see the last post). I was offended at her statements not only because they were false but because they were cruel. I unabashedly support homeschooling or any other educational choice that someone determines is best for their kids and family. Joy Behar's comments were uncalled for. There comes a time when people need to be challenged on their behavior and what is acceptable. All too often, in the name of free speech and diversity, people think it gives them the right to say whatever comes out of their mouths. There used to be an old saying...If you don't have anything nice to say then,.....thanks Mom-I did a learn a few things from you.
To an extent this is true. But in the past few days I have been attacked for homeschooling, for watching the view, have been called "uneducated" because I watch the view, have been told that I am invoking drama and generally have had hateful comments from others. As a UU we try to respect everyone's viewpoint. I find that difficult when others assume they know what is best in my heart and for my family.
This week, there was an online confrontation between me and one of the other homeschoolers on the listserve. Every response feeds this person so I chose to not respond. And unfortunately I find that the very person who needs correction doesn't get it and thinks it's not them. This person is generally angry, condescending and plainly mean in emails. She says that tone of voice cannot be determined in an email. I will give her that. But when people are afraid to post comments, refuse to call people on bad behavior that is hurtful, or just blatantly criticize for the sake of hearing their own is that helpful. I'm no saint. I complain about other nurses at work but also let them know when they've pissed me off. The post on The View became about "is this show worthy" and are you worthy to have these feelings?
When did we stop respecting each other's view points and feelings? When did that happen that we are no longer entitled to our own beliefs and things we feel are offensive? When did we stop being kind to each other?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Joy Behar on The View-"Homeschoolers are Demented"

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Someone from my UU homeschoolers group sent this link. Joy Behar from the view was talking about whether Barak Obama should send his girls to private school or public school. Joy Behar chimed in and said that "all homeschoolers are demented." That we teach our children to be afraid of other children. WHHHAAAAAATTTTT? Barbara Walters chimed in and said homeschoolers were "socially isolated". You can see the video clip here. I was totally appalled. What exactly does she think we do with our kids all day, hide them in the bathroom? And socially isolated? Remind me what that means when I'm driving my kids to homeschooling groups, art classes, girlscouts, sign language, soccer, karate and playdates. Joy Behar made comments that were so stereotypical of homeschooling while knowing nothing about it. So Joy-if your listening (or if you can read), give me a call. I'd love a guest spot on The View or for you to spend a day with us to see what some real homeschoolers are all about. Research before you comment please.
And for those that would like to reach The View. You can contact them here:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


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Tonight I thought I'd write about best friends. Everyone should have one. But BFF's come in different forms. Pete and Stewie above have become BFF's-look how snuggly cute they are on the couch. And the picture of Morgan and Stewie....well it was just cute so I posted it.
Morgan has a BFF even at age 9-our neighbor Gab. The two are inseparable and spent the summer writing songs and poetry together.
Two of the girls in my homeschool group have become BFF's. They hadn't seen each other in 4 whole days and missed each other terribly. Maybe it's a girl thing. Guys don't seem to need BFF's.
I've known my BFF since I was 10. We met at a campground when she beat the crap out of my stepsister for me. I knew I liked her from the start. We've really seen and helped each other grow up. Dating, college, marriage, kids. She's been there the whole time. Our lives have paralled each other many times. We've both been thru some garbage in our lives. We both survived. Maybe it is the strength we give each other or just knowing that I can tell her anything and not worry about being judged. She's pulled me thru some hard times lately. I'm always grateful to her-because I don't know how I'd survive without her.
I wanted to post a picture of the two of us-I had several to chose from. There was the one of us in our General Hospital Sweatshirts, the way old one when we dressed up like Raggedy Ann and Andy for a Halloween Party and then of course the sexy one of us in our bathing suits when we used to lifeguard. Then there was the one of us at a potluck tearing thru a whole lobster like hillbillies.
So a shout out tonight to BFF's everywhere and to my BFF-Allison who some day will move in with me and whom I've yet to convince to homeschool her kid.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Neighboring Faiths

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Yesterday I gave my first sermon on Organ Donation. I think it was very well received and I wasn't as nervous as I thought I was going to be. I think we handed out over 100 donor cards yesterday. The funny thing is that in a UU church most everyone is already a donor. We are very into recycling...body parts too. Many thought they were donors but weren't sure so it was a good reminder for them to check their license and talk to their families about their wishes.

Patrick also took a field trip with his RE (religious education) class to a nearby Catholic church. In UU tradition the kids are required to attend many different faith groups for a well rounded Religious Education. The kids are encouraged to participate or observe as much as they feel comfortable with. They then go back to their RE classes for discussion on differences and likenesses between the two faiths. Last time they visited a Buddhist Temple and will visit a Baptist church, synogogue, Jehovas Witness, and a few others. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I find all of Religion (and Life in general) humorous. Over dinner last night we had the best conversation. We were laughing so hard we were crying. And if you know my kids, you'll understand the following conversation.

Me: "Patrick, how was Our Lady of Mercy Today?"

Patrick: "Pretty cool-I liked the mosaic (stained glass)windows but the cow on the podium was kind of gross."

Me: "Cow?"

Patrick: "Yeah it was some sacrificial depiction but it was all slaughtered and nasty."

Me: "I'll have to check on that one-I remember a lamb but not a cow."

Patrick: "Oh and the baptismal fount looked like a big steamer pot that you'd put clams in to cook."

Me:"But what about the sermon-how was that?"

Patrick:"I don't know-I couldn't understand a thing-he was mumbling-And I'm pretty sure he forgot the words at some point."

Patrick;"Oh and there was this urn in the lobby with holy water like we use during coffee hour at our church."

Me:"You mean bowl of holy water that the congregation can use before entering the church?"

Patrick: "No mom-I mean an actual urn with a spigot and everything.The Priest said that they go through a lot of holy water and this was just easier."

So then we started talking about the different rituals and things quickly went downhill from here. But my son is 12 so just keep that in mind. Most of his conversations go back to burping and farting so let's put this in perspective.

Patrick: "And they had this room with a curtain and doorbell. Not very private for the bathroom. And why does it need a doorbell?"

Me: "I'm pretty sure it was the confessional and not the bathroom."

Patrick:"Can't they just put an occupied sign up?" Oh and they said this prayer that I don't get-it told us to hail mary. That's mean."

Larry: "The confessional is where you go to confess your sins, like if you were always getting in trouble with your parents."

Tae:(raising his hand and pointing to himself) "OOOOhhh, OOOOHHHH That's me-I'm in trouble a lot."

Me: (sitting in silence for a few minutes not quite getting it) "HAIL-as in to praise Mary, not hail-as in to stone her."

Patrick: And they had this room where the babies went because they were really annoying."

Me: "The crying room?"

Patrick: "Yeah that was it-it was all sound proof so I don't know how anyone in there heard what was going on."

Me:"They pipe the sound in there."

Morgan: "Oh-like the Verizon commercial. Can you hear me now?"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

This Is Your Brain on Drugs

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Let me first apologize for the expletives tonight. I worked a 12 hour night shift last night and probably shouldn't blog coming off the lack of sleep. Nights like last night really make me rethink my dwindling nursing career. I had this patient in his 50's. Long time Heroin user, smoked 2 packs a day. I struggle in my efforts to be kind and compassionate to people who constantly make the wrong choices. This patient apparently thought that his horrible life gave him the right to be incredibly rude and condescending to me. He blatantly told me to f*&# off, refused to be washed, spit on the floor, dumped his urinal on the floor, disconnected his IV to cause a massive flood and called me a B*$@*^. Sigh.

Now I am the most calm and understanding nurse around. I'm patient with my patients. But there is something called being a baseline a@$$-it has nothing to do with your medical condition or your addiction. More than likely if you were obnoxious and unliked before your illness, you will continue to be that way despite your illness. I know-these are the very folks I should have compassion and sympathy for.
I lost my mind around 2 am. Told him that this was not the Marriott, nor was I the housekeeper, handmaiden or punching bag. He was much more pleasant after that encounter. So maybe that is the compassion-letting people know when they are being hurtful and rude. Maybe he didn't know or ever had anyone call him on it.

So when it is day 5 and you are going thru your heroin withdrawals, when your temperature is 104 degrees, when you're vomitting the last speck of bile from your gut and the pain is so bad you want to die, when the hallucinations of bugs crawling on your legs finally get to you, when the voices stop screaming in your ears....and you decide that this really isn't much fun...get yourself some help. Because as frustrating as it is, we really can't help those who won't help themselves.

Friday, November 14, 2008

OOOOhhh That Was Fun-NOT!

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We started the day going to sign language class with the kids. I always stop at DD for a coffee. While there I saw one of the other soccer Mom's from Morgan's team. We had a full conversation for an hour the night before but do you think I ever asked her name? Noooooooo. So here I am waving like a mad woman and don't know her name. Thankfully she didn't see me. I did find her name out later at the soccer game.

Oh and the soccer game at 4pm-let me tell you about that. In general, it's a terrible time of day for my youngest who's 4 1/2. From 4-6 pm I've always called it the witching hour. Cranky kids who want dinner, need to sleep-don't know what they want. Tae is an early eater. Dinner must come by 4:30 at the latest or he melts down bigtime. Don't tell me to give this kid a snack-it doesn't work. This kid needs a full belly! It doesn't matter that he had a donut, 2 cupcakes, and apple juice at the homeschoolers meet. He's famished.

But since the soccer game was at 4 pm dinner wasn't going to happen. I thought when I got to the indoor arena that I would just grab a slice of pizza for him. You would think that they would actually have the snack bar open to accomodate my child. No such luck. I did manage to find some goldfish in my pocketbook (doesn't everyone have this emergency stash?)and then ran to the car and found a bloated juice box that looked like they had been using it for a soccer ball in the back seat. Tae was happy enough with that but then decided he didn't want to stand and climbing the bleachers up and down would be more fun. Small crowd today though because of the early game time-no problem-climb away.

I did manage to get him to sit for a few minutes as I strained to watch my daughter get her 4 minutes of game time. Tae continued to climb up and down...and then fell right thru the bleachers literally hanging by his fingertips and chin as his feet dangled below. Did you ever try to scale people to get to your child. My kid is dangling and some woman is shooting me dirty looks. I managed to push her over and grab Tae by his ears and yank him up. Then came the screaming. Crap! Meltdown! He didn't get hurt but was scared to death and screamed like someone was beating the snot out of him. My surrounding bench warmer parents sooooo appreciated that. I managed to text my husband (all in capitals) "Bring home wine". My saving grace was the final buzzer that announced the game over and drowned out Tae's blood curdling screams.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008



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Has anyone's inbox become the new telemarketing ploy of the computer age? Good God, I worked a 12 hour shift last night and didn't get to check my emails until 3pm this afternoon. Now granted we have really good computer security that catches most of the spam but I still check my spam box because inevitably something important ends up there.
Let's I had my choice of meds for ED (think viagra if you don't know what that is), I could buy a bachelor's degree online for $29.99 without attending college, I could order a script of vicodin and get free Valium if my order was over $29.99, and I found out that there was a sweepstakes waiting for me for $5000 and a rich millionaire in Haiti wants to leave his estate and money to be because he's dying of cancer. I need to send him my bank acount info first. Let me get right on that.
My phone doesn't ring anymore with telemarketers. I guess that's a good thing but somehow they found my email address. I think there should be a "do not email list" for computer spam just like they have a "do not call list" for the phone. Any violators would have to pay the person they are emailing just for being annoying.

That's my rant for tonight. SPAM. Not the meat product you thought it was.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chicken Nuggets Anyone?

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So my chickens are now 17 weeks old. I've been checking everyday for eggs. These freeloaders need to start laying soon and earning their keep. The girls should be laying any day now. I'm looking forward to fresh eggs instead of the gross things they sell in the grocery store. One chicken is definitely moulting and it has no feathers under it's chin and looks ridiculous. Apparently chickens may not lay during cold weather, moulting season, tax season the lunar eclipse. I have no idea.

These pampered birds have the cleanest coop in town. I rake out the pine shavings in their coop daily and rake out their run. I hate a stinky coop. My coop doesn't smell at all-really.

I went on the chicken forum.....ok that makes me a total farm girl, when I knew nothing about how to raise day old chicks. It's actually quite informative. Back Yard if anyone is interested. So I wrote in to see what the signs of imminent laying were (yes they really it call it that). Some said to check their wattles-they should be bright red. They are. And has anyone ever noticed that chicken wattles look exactly like female labia? Just thought I'd throw that out there. And now that the vision of labia are forever burned into your retinas, here's something more.

The chicken forum also told me to check their "vents". Uhhhhh-is that next to labia because I want no part of it. The vent is where the egg comes out of. Chickens don't have labia's. What exactly am I supposed to be looking for in a vent? Dust bunnies? Now from what they tell me the vent is supposed to be moist (helps the egg to make a fast exit. Makes sense. Totally repulsive but makes sense. I think this is chicken foreplay. God help me. Okay, after playing chicken run in the coop trying to catch all 6 chickens I check them all except Chipmunk (the moulting one)because she craps down my leg as she screams in panic that I might kill her. Nope-no moisture in any vents.

Now-just so you know-when we take the dog to the vet and they say, "You need to express his anal glands," I also back away from that. That's what I have a vet for. Have at it. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any local chicken vets around.

So for now I will patiently wait for my girls to start doing their thing and am looking forward to some fresh eggs.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Have Really Good Kids

We had to talk to the kids today about how financially tight things are. While we didn't want to burden them we also want them to understand why Christmas will be so very small this year and why there are no extras. I'm grateful for my kids. Even in hard times they get it. So today I'm posting a poem that I wrote for Patrick several years ago. In his ever gracious and giving heart he never complains. None of the kids do-so this is for all of them. Amen.

Do You See ?

Do you see my child
the way that I do?

Do you see what a special boy he is?
How he notices everything around him
like the gold flecks in my eyes
when the sun hits them just right?
And how he tells me it makes my eyes
look pretty ?

Or how he has to rescue the slugs from
the driveway in the morning,
Just because,
“God put them there for a reason.”

Do you see my child the way
That I do?

How he worries and wonders
why everyone just can’t be friends
and how the world upsets him
when people are cruel?

Have you ever noticed his dimple,
right at the edge of his mouth
and how it dips at the corner
just slightly when he smiles?

Or his eyes?
His hazel, emerald green, blue,
Sky blue, azure sparkling eyes,
and how they twinkle with delight
when he’s discovered the salamander
He’s been looking so hard for.

Do you know my child
the way that I do?

How his heart is so big
even for a seven year old
that he wonders why people kill
and babies have no mothers
and why God ever made something called hate.

Do you know
that we had a fish funeral
Last night?
Or that his favorite food is mashed potatoes?
Or that he noticed the golden strands
of Victoria’s hair
shining in the sunlight?

Do you wish that you could see
the way that he does?
Through the eyes of a child.

Do you wish that you could
Know what he knows?

How simple life really is.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Stewie In Action, Pete and his flotation device

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Whew! What a week. So above are some pictures of Larry's hearing dog Stewie in action. Stewie is still training with Larry as he learns where all the sounds in the house are. He's had some difficulty in figuring out what he needs to do. While at NEADS most of the training was done in one room. Here, we have 3 kids, another dog, 2 levels to our house, many different noises and 3 kids to all provide a distraction from Stewie's work. But he is very smart and picking things up quickly. And considering he's only 10 1/2 months old-he is doing remarkable. It's amazing to watch him when he has his vest on. He immediately knows he's going out in public and his whole demeaner changes. He is spot on perfect in public. When we light a candle at church he even knows to tuck in his tail away from the flame. Now that's a smart dog.

The picture above is Stewie waking up Larry when the alarm clock goes off. Nothing like having 60 pounds of dog jump on you in the morning. Have to say that as soon as I hear the alarm go off I immediately tuck and dive into the fetal position. Stewie doesn't let much get in his way and that includes me. I learned that the first morning he jumped on us. You can hear a frequent "oooffff" from both Larry and I as Stewie jumps and dives onto the bed. If Larry doesn't get up, Stewie crams his head under the pillow and plows the pillow across the bed until he does get up. It really is kinda cute.

The other picture would be my 2 youngest kids, affectionately torturing our dog Pete. The kids took an old crib mattress, placed it in the middle of the living room and dubbed the pirate ship "Captain Morgan." Hey-he's one of my favorite men...right along with Jose' Cuervo and Jack Daniels. Sorry-couldn't resist. Morgan found an old bow from her bow and arrow set and used it for the anchor. Her 3-D purple star became the "compass" or north star to guide the ship. Planning out the treasure map came next. (They still won't tell me where that dang treasure it). And of course...look at the ship's dog Pete. You will notice that the "life Preserver" around his neck is actually a neck pillow that I got from a drug rep at a nursing conference. Thanks Zofran people! Pete was less than thrilled to be the ship's mascot and promptly abandoned ship.

This past Thursday we went to a homeschool event. It was an unschooling non-con. Lot's of very cool information and some awesome kids having a blast there. We had so much fun and one of the other mom's hosted the event. All the kids learned to tie-dye shirts or socks or pillow cases. All the shirts came out so cool looking and I'm even letting the kids where them to church tomorrow. We had a totally fabulous time. It's been many a year since I tie-dyed but something we will definitely do again.

Tomorrow I'm baking bread for the week. It's become a weekly habit (that I haven't been able to get to lately) but one that I love doing. Kneading the bread is so cathartic and the whole house is filled with a wonderful aroma. The kids love helping to cook and Friday's have sort have turned into a homeschool home-ec day as the kids have been helping with meal planning and baking for the week. It has helped to save a lot of money too. It is a bit of a pain but if the meals are planned for the week and made ahead of time, I'm not stressed out about dinner or what to cook nor am I running to McDonalds for the garbage meal. We have been ordering local produce thru a program at Larry's work and it's working well. Order online, Larry picks up the delivery at work. Voila-fresh produce.

Oh- and I've had a lot of activity on the blog. I love the live feed that tells me where people are checking in from. So I'd love to hear from you, how you found me, what you like and please do recommend the blog to others. I'm looking to do some paid blogging reviews so if you're out there-give me a holler. I need something to pay my oil bill this year.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Confessions of a Voter

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What a momentous day. President Obama! I sat for at least 6 hours yesterday watching the presidential election. I even got the kids into it. We were figuring out how many electoral votes each candidate had and how many each could get with the states that had not yet closed voting. It became a game early on to do the math. It was a great lesson in civics and geography and math and human nature. We taped the McCain and Obama's speeches and let the kids watch them. They noticed a lot.

So let me get to my confession. I'm really embarrased to say that before this year I have never voted. No-not just I was out of town and missed a vote. I am 40 years old and have never voted until yesterday. Honestly, I never felt the need to vote before this year. Nothing ever struck me as that important and I never felt like my vote would count anyway.

So why this year? What changed my mind that I would do whatever I had to get my vote counted? This was tough for me. I didn't always agree with Obama's platform nor with McCain's. But they both have attributes that would have made this country stronger.

I had to weigh many options and give my hopes and prayers to the universe. Ultimately, my decision rested on a few things. First, I see so many people struggling. These are people with good incomes who now are living penny to penny and cutting corners in every possible way to make ends meet. This year....those people became my family.

We struggle to pay our heating bill and pay for basic necessities for our kids. We are cutting every inch of our budget and it isn't helping. That is very scary to me. We have not turned on our furnace yet and instead, are using our fireplace for warmth. We have cut our charitable contributions in a time when there are those so much more needy than our family. We have friends that have lost jobs and homes and have seen others go back to work at the age of 73. I've seen the mess that we are leaving our children and wonder how we will pay for college for them. I've watched our debt grow each month as we rely on credit cards because there is no more savings left.

I have watched the garbage fly during this election and watched the hate grow out of people's unfounded fears. I've listened to the rhetoric and watched America separate on views at a time when we should be coming together.

In the last weeks of the election, McCain narrowed his target audience. Obama reached out and was welcoming to all people. He didn't see skin color or race or whether you were gay or straight, Catholic or Atheist or Republican or Democrat. He saw the people of America as one and welcomed each and every one. He saw all of these people working together to pull this country out of the mess that we are in.

It is a historic day for America. The first Black American President overwhelmingly elected. I watched Rev.Jesse Jackson, Oprah and countless others cry in the audience last night and can only imagine how amazing they must feel. I have renewed faith in this country. We will struggle for quite a while longer but there is hope. There is always hope.

So my words of wisdom for the day are spreading the word to be politically active. Don't vote for a candidate based on fears, be kind and welcoming and get out and vote. It really does count!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Who In God's Name Gave You Scissors?

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DuraSoft 3 Litetint

Patrick was sitting doing his school work this morning. Really we were watching the town tree trimmers hack the trees for the season. Remind me to blog about the confrontation I had with the trimmer when he started to take down branches with baby birds in them. Anyway-another time.
So Patrick turns to me and says..."Hey mom-there is a hole in the curtain." I look closer. Hey-that looks suspiciously like.........A SCISSOR CUT! Now the 3 kids are lined up on the other side of the work table. The 9 year old and the 12 year old stare at me blankly. The 4 year old won't look at me and says under his breath......"It wasn't me."

HAH-GUILTY! No eye contact, busily coloring his paper. So nailed! Again he mumbles..."Wasn't Me." And then he begins whistling. That's it-that will distract me. Not wanting to accuse him of this crime, I examine the cut. It looks like the little black birds we used draw on our papers as kids. You know the ones-they look like little shaped V's or check marks. Now I know he did this. The two oldest kids use regular scissors and only the youngest uses the safety scissors. You would think that Frickin' safety scissors wouldn't cut curtains.

Then my youngest says, "at least they didn't cut the carpet in my room." I sit there for a minute not quite believing what I've heard. "What do you mean the carpet?"

"Yeah", he says, "The Scissors need to be sharpened-they won't cut the carpet."

Ok-I'll bite. "WHY WERE YOU TRYING TO CUT THE CARPET?" My voice was getting louder. Maybe he was making some arts and crafts and needed some hair for his creation. Maybe he was weaving a bed for the dog. Guess what his reply was?

"Because I had the scissors."
I wonder if that will work if I put a broom in his hand. Sigh.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Just the Right Amount of OCD

Larry came home on Friday with Stewie. Our Boxer Pete met Stewie first thru the fence and after a half hour of running and barking we finally let him into the fenced area. Pete plays and greets hard. There is a lot of growling, boxing and butt sniffing. All normal dog behavior but to someone on the outside, Pete looks ferocious.

Pete was a rescue and has had his issues. He's come so far. We are on day two of having Stewie home and a lot of Pete's behavior challenges are disappearing in just this short time. Stewie is trained to respond to door knocking. He runs between the sound and Larry to alert him to the sound. In the past, Pete would have been plastered against the door barking like a maniac at who ever was on the other side. Today we had a huge breakthru. Pete did what Stewie was doing and all we got was little yips out of him. No real barking.

For the next several weeks, Stewie gets treats when he responds to a sound. Our job right now is to teach him where the sounds are that he needs to respond to. It's a game to him and the treats will gradually be phased out. He does not get treats for basic obedience. Just the game of hearing the sound.

Both dogs today had a great time playing in the yard and Stewie is so attentive to Larry. It's amazing to watch and I'm sure the bond will get tighter as Stewie learns what Larry needs. Stewie is very much a puppy and has so much energy. He got a long walk today, lots of yard play and he and Pete have been chasing each other non-stop. If you have a ball, Stewie will not stop for hours. He also loves stuffed animals and has swiped a few of the kids toys that were left on the floor. Although he doesn't know the difference between his toys and the kids a simple, "leave it" is all that it takes for him to move on.

The gross thing is that despite the Frontline, the ticks here have been horrifying. We pulled at least 6 off the dogs and several off ourselves today. Cockroaches and Ticks really are my worst-they completely make me sick. Crawling nasty things.

That's all for tonight. We are wiped out after a long week, trick or treating and soccer finals today.