Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Power of Numbers

"World Peace" the tag line of beauty queens and Christmas caroles. The battle cry of hippies. A mind set many of our world leaders find laughable. A state of being viewed as overly optimistic and unachievable by most of the world's population.

But this is the beginning of the season of miracles and I believe in the power of the written word. There is another old cliche that says you get what you ask for. Cliches become cliches because they're usually true. It's time for us to ask our world leaders to put down their weapons and bombs, and with the power of our numbers and our minds, to do what we've been admonishing our two year olds to do for centuries: "Use Your Words!"

The goal is for all of the blogging community to use November 7th as an opportunity to band together with a single topic: Dona Nobis Pacem - Grant Us Peace. You'll find a much more eloquent explanation at the originators site: http://mimiwrites.blogspot.com/2006/10/dona-nobis-pacem-in-blogosphere_12.html, or even at Quilldancers place. Take some time today to think about what peace means to you.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Steal This Gnome

While minding my own business, this judgemental creature popped by to criticize my raggedy yard. While it may be true that house of perpetual remodeling is a neighborhood disgrace at the moment, its nearly Halloween, and all that garden clutter is ambiance. Jeesh, some gnomes are so superior.

I've heard he's visiting wherever he can get, so feel free to steal him from me (I'll be glad to get rid of the snotty little bugger) or pop by his master and commander http://www.nwlink.com/~timelvis/2006/10/stealing-gnome.html and say hi while you're there.

Friday, October 20, 2006

More Halloween Madness

Pap brought this frightening fellow home to add to our seasonal decorations yesterday. In quite unpirate like fashion, he dances when you activate the motion detector. He also sings - Super Freak and Slow Ride. He's about my height (5'5").

Typical of Pap, he snuck home before Princess and I yesterday and had the pirate set up by the front door. I was startled, but being as immersed in Halloween nonsense as I am, quickly recovered and went about my business. Princess, on the other hand, may never recover. This morning I noticed she has the poor guy turned face to the wall.

He needs a suitable Pirate name. Any suggestions?

We've lived in this house for 15 years. About 10 years ago we got new neighbors across the street who happen to be Jehovah Witnesses. Nice people, we say hello if we're all outside, but that's about it. They pretty much consider us heathenish and keep their distance. Every Halloween when the house of perpetural remodeling is decked out in it's spooky finest and every Christmas when the house turns into candyland central, the folks across the street make their social statement. They gather on their porch with their JW friends, all facing my house and pray for us.

I make every attempt to be a good neighbor. I really try not to offend anyone or to put anything offensive outside my house (I save that stuff for inside...kidding). But our descent into Halloween creepy versus the Halloween cute I used to do can be attributed to these neighbors. The rebellious teenager in me just really can't help needling them. It's shameful, but I lived here first.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Grandgirls with their witch dummy from this past weekend. This was the first time they'd ever made a halloween dummy. Let it never be said that I don't pass on some quite valuable life skills to future generations.

I have a Murphy's Law kind of life. If the lid is going to fall off the salt shaker, it will be when I'm using it. If a tire is going to blow on my car, it will be during an ice storm when I don't have my cell phone. I've lived long enough that this is now acceptable, and I don't sweat it.

I spent yesterday running around doing a laundry list of annoying errands accompanied by Pap who is still crippled from his surgery so it took twice as long to do everything. No big deal, one of the errands was to the doctor to get his helpless bandage off and a walking cast on. Yay! Things were going smoothly, aside from the pounding headache that also kept me company all day. Just as we were wrapping things up by dropping his car at the shop to have the gas tank replaced it started to sprinkle. Still not a big deal, I had plenty of time to race home and put the cover on my leaky roofed car.

I'd piddled around doing house chores, checking mail... all that stuff you have to do because you're a grown up, while it started raining buckets outside. I took a bath and settled into the library with a book I'm editing and then realized I had one cigarette.

There are addictions, and then there is my addiction. Before I smoked I chewed my nails, before that I sucked my thumb. I'm a perfectly rational human being until I run out of cigarettes. I was wearing this very tacky t-shirt I've been sleeping in since I got it 10 years ago, it has one of those torsos in a bikini painted on the front, and the sweat pants I've also had for 10 years that are paint splattered, bleach spotted and overall raggedy. These are my comfort clothes, big, baggy, stretched out, non-fashionable - but comfortable. I wasn't thinking about what I was wearing while I contemplated my options. Mistake number one.

With Pap's car in the shop and mine under cover because of the rain, I had to wait for Princess to get home so I could use her car. She of course picked this night to stop on the way home for a capachino with friends, so by the time she did stroll in, even the cats were in hiding. I snatched her keys out of her hand, threw on some shoes (mistake number two) that were laying by the door and raced down the post midnight, dark, abandoned streets to our convenience store. When I arrived the store was empty, the clerk fetched my sanity sticks, I went to pay her and realized that I had no cash in my wallet and the checkbook was laying on the desk at home. Knowing that the bottom of my purse is always littered with misc. receipts, random earrings and change, I decided to dig around in there to get the necessary amount instead of going home for the checkbook. Mistake number three.

While I shuffled and dug and piled change on the counter people were wandering in, half way to reaching my goal a line had formed behind me, cranky people tapping their foot and sighing loudly. Eighty cents from completing my transaction I realized I'd emptied the well. I was frantically searching pockets of the purse, between the folds of my wallet, and under the flaps of my day planner, when a neatly manicured, male hand dropped a dollar on the counter. "That ought to cover it." The masculine voice said from beside me. This was when I knew that Murphy's Law was written just for me.

I never leave the house without my hair done and make up on. I'm goofy, but I love clothes and I'm normally very organized. I hold an elected position in town (the day job), so EVERYONE knows me, which is why I generally make a point to appear put together. I've been attempting to get a small business loan for my publishing company from our one and only bank. Most of the paperwork is done, it wasn't a cut and dried thing because it is a privately owned bank, the board can take any risk they want, turn down any project they want. The board was already a little nervous about my loan because publishing is a tough business, and we're so new. But, most recently they'd been leaning in my direction by virtue of my reputation as a professional.

The good samaritan was the president of that board. When I looked up to thank him, he was looking at me the same way you'd regard a roach in your tuna sandwich. He did the scan and scowl from my head to my feet... upon which were Princesses monkey slippers - the ones with the cute monkey faces slightly covered by their cute monkey middle fingers. That's when I remembered I also wasn't wearing a bra, and I was buying cigarettes. Oh well, our little company doesn't really need the debt.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Happy Bosses Day!

In consideration of National Bosses Day, some comments I found about OTHER people's bosses:

I thought my Boss was a bastard, and quit, to work for myself. My new Boss is a bastard, too ... but at least I respect him.

My boss has given automobile accident victims new hope for recovery. He walks, talks and performs rudimentary tasks, all without the benefit of a SPINE.

My boss says that what I call a glass ceiling, he calls a protective barrier.

Shame on these thankless people who fail to appreciate the great extremes the boss goes to everyday in their behalf. My employee would never say such things. She knows I'm her warrior, her shield between a productive living and the unemployment line. My employee knows that I would move heaven and earth to make her happy and she announces this fact loudly and frequently for the nominal fee of $20 a week.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What a Difference A Year Makes

Unlike my dog, our cats are not fond of the visiting grandgirls. In this rare moment of solidarity they huddle on the end table in the library that they are ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN to huddle on.

This weekend the grandgirls and their Mom stayed over. We used the time to decorate for Halloween inside and outside, and do some other things for the upcoming party. I couldn't help thinking as I watched my daughter with her kids, how much things have changed.

Thirteen months ago, at 3 in the morning, Pap and I were standing knee deep in filth attempting to get our crack addict oldest daughter to come home. We'd been summoned there in the middle of the night by a neighbor, one of many times they'd called us because the piece of shit that fathered her two youngest children was beating her up. On this day, both eyes were rapidly blacking, her cheek was cut and the hand shaped bruises on her arms were not nearly as horrifying as the ones on her neck.

Pap had called a police officer on our way over, he met up with us at her apartment door. The three of us talked, and talked and talked to the unkempt, jittery girl huddled on the sofa bed in the living room. We could have been talking to a wall, she wouldn't press charges because "it was my fault, he never does this sober."

This wasn't the first time we'd raced through the night to try and rescue her, and the children. We always went, she's our girl, our treasure, our oldest. But on this night, something just snapped in me, and I knew I couldn't help her, she could only help herself. We were able to have the two older girls removed and custody awarded to their father. She ran with Juliette, and moved around frequently enough we couldn't get a case going with Children's Services. She called from time to time, usually to ask for money which I wouldn't send, or to come home, which we wouldn't agree to except with conditions that she wasn't willing to meet.

She did'nt tell us she was pregnant with our new baby, but she did tell her sisters. They rallied, and went and got her and our now three year old. They were both infested with lice and scabbies, she was 7 months pregnant and had not seen a doctor... or stopped drinking and using. Bean, who makes her living as a social worker, took her and Jules in. Saw to it they got medical attention, counselling and a schedule. Pap and I provided money to Bean to help offset expenses and as we saw her really trying, we started inviting her for the weekends to give her a change of scenery.

Until Brendolynn was born the energy we put off worrying would have kept a major city in lights. The baby is perfect and thriving, but we still watch closely to make sure she's coming along mentally the way she should.

It's early yet, but watching my daughter out in the yard helping her girls fill bags with leaves, her hair a silky shining curtain down her back again, the sound of her laughter ringing through the neighborhood, gives me hope that she's turned the corner. Seeing her acceptance letter from OU in the nursing program leads me to believe she remembers who she is and where she came from. She's remembered what has value in life and what is just wasting time.

It's going to be a good year. I feel my heart repairing.

Nanny Dog on Duty

Ruger adores our new baby and has fussed himself crazy since Grandgirls Mom first brought her over. He sleeps by her basinet if she's in it, hovers by her baby seat if she's in it. Paces and races between grown people if she's making ANY sound at all. On this day, she was having a little tummy time with her Mom and Bren was not liking it, which made the dog insane with worry. He didn't calm down until Bren's Mom let him hop up and check her out real good. He's very gentle with her, I suspect they'll be best friends when she starts to toddle around.

Rug's behavior with the baby is interesting to me. We know he became ours because his original family had a baby after they had him, they didn't elaborate more than that. He has pretty much ignored the older grandgirls, once in awhile he'll bring some toy to Jazz for a game of fetch, but he even does that lethargically. But he loves, adores and worships this little baby. He pays her the attention we devote to a cherished object we've lost and later found.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Night Lights...C-ville Style


The football team will be entertaining before and after tonights performance by the cheerleaders.

I live in a football town. On Friday nights every household empties out and heads to the football field. It would be a good time to rob the place, because all the cops are there too. Despite a diminutive population of under 3,000, they won the state championship in 1977. They didn't see another winning season until 2003, the year my son was a senior. We start 'em young around here, the picture is of my oldest grandgirl, Jazzmin, who's in third grade. The boys her age are already playing biddy league football. All the hitting, spiking and running of the real game, with miniature players, and miniature cheerleaders.

I don't have a problem with school spirit. I don't really have a problem with football. What I do dislike about our football program is the town's tendency to make them little demi-gods. There are men off that 1977 team who are still living in 1977. That was the pinaccle of their life. I find that so sad. To have your best day ever before you're even old enough to vote. It's not quite that bad anymore.

The 13 boys that played football with my son started together in biddy league. They were undefeated all the way to High School. High hopes don't 'cha know, the pressure on these fella's was unbelievable. Their freshman and sophomore years they won more than they lost, but you must be undefeated to go to state. Junior year they lost one game. The summer before their senior year you could cut the tension in town with a knife.

They started two a days in August. I'd watch them running past the house before daylight. No talking, just the rolling thunder of sixty pairs of feet, the column led by the senior thirteen, pounding the streets to get in shape. They did everything together, my son and his twelve best friends. Dating, studying, getting into trouble, there were always 13 boys. They play 10 games a season, more if they win the district, then sectionals and then state.

They took the field that first game of the season to record attendance. They were the team to beat. Alumni flew in for the game from everywhere. All the local papers were represented, the radio stations and even the TV. It didn't get any better, they won, and won, and won. Two games from taking the district, the quarterback hurt his wrist goofing around at practice and they lost their next two games. Still a good season, but the men around this town were devastated, and didn't hesitate to let those boys know it.

My son had never made football his life, he's interested in lots of things, so this was just a ripple on the pond of life. Most of his teammates felt the same. What was important to them was their friendship, the brotherhood they formed over their years together. At the banquet that year, the tables were set up to seat four at each. As the boys wandered in they started pushing them together, until all 13 were sitting at one big table.

Four of those boys went into the military, eight went to college and will graduate this summer, one is being bailed out of jail as I write this, drunk and disorderly. The quarterback.

Things I Wish I'd Said ... or written

My friend Waldo sent me these. I don't know who said them, but I wish it had been me.

I hate sex in the movies. Tried it once. The seatfolded up, the drink spilled and that ice, well, it really chilled the mood.
My next house will have no kitchen
just vending machines and a large trash can.
Because it might as well be true. Ever since the kids moved away, we eat like teenagers most of the time. I don't know how to cook for only two or three. I won't eat leftovers. Nothing left but to eat out or order in.
"A husband is someone who,
after taking the trash out,
gives the impression that he just cleaned the whole house. "
Because it's true. Pap had surgery on his foot yesterday. He was sent home with strict instructions to SIT or LAY until Monday. He was told to put NO PRESSURE on his foot. This is the man who hasn't picked up so much as his own socks for 10 years, and yet, after these instructions and surgery... he decided to wash the dishes. Martyr is spelled P A P A B E A R.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Conspiracty Theories.

Our new baby up to a whopping 6 pounds.

I stumbled upon author David Southwell's blog awhile ago, and I'm glad I did. While the subject of conspiracy theories and government lies may not seem to mix appropriately with precious, innocent babies, it does. I think about the state our country will be in when she and her sisters are my age. I worry about what kind of legacy we're leaving behind. I'm going to be watching those of my peers that I've entrusted with making the decisions for my country much more closely.

While I'm basically a happy, goofy person, blessed (or cursed) with the need to find the humour in everything... there are limits. There is nothing funny about a pedophile, a serial killer or the KKK. There's nothing funny about tracking every detail of a private citizen's life from their shopping preferences to their stock portfolios to the e-mail and phone calls they make to a friend. The lure of easier, faster, better when it comes to technology is a siren call that's hard to resist. But people have been twisting good into evil since time began.

It's been easy for me to lose track of just how fast the world is changing. I live in a small town that still announces it's lunch time with hymns from the bell tower of the Church of Christ. We have one grocery store and a pharmacist that will open the store at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning if you've hurt yourself and need your pain pills. Most of the shops on Main Street don't even take credit cards. There are no metal detectors at my high school. I wasn't paying attention to much of anything but my happy life until I heard about grocery stores issuing "shopping cards" entitling the holders to discounts. A voluntary program, the store uses the records provided by the cards to track everything from restocking to determing the brands their public prefers. "Track" is the operative word.

I was trying to imagine what I could do if I knew absolutely everything about a person. From their favorite color to their choices in breakfast cereal, and the websites they visit in secret. Blackmail comes first to mind, but that's because I'm a simple person, I like things stripped right down the bare, unfrilled bones. Manipulation is the likely action. Someone smarter than me, armed with the knowledge of everything about a group of people, is a dangerous entity. The technology to do this already exists, we need to be watching.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Take a Pill and Get a Tattoo

Princess is my youngest child. She earned her nickname by years of carefully manipulating four siblings and two parents into always giving her her way. On those rare occasions when she wasn't getting what she wanted, she punished us in wily and unexpected ways. She knew better than to exhibit brat behavior, I have ammunition to combat that. She kicked our butts with wit and humour. Yesterday she completely lost her mind and got a tattoo. Not just any tattoo, chinese symbols and flowers that cover her whole back. She thinks the figures say "strength", I think it would be funny if the tattooist made them wrong and they say "punch me" or something. I know it's old fashioned to think tattoos are icky on girls. I can't help it, I just keep thinking what permanent changes to a body will start to look like as that body gets older. I should just shut up, my natural mother thought pierced ears looked cheap and weren't for "nice" girls. Times change, fashion changes....

I spent most of the day toting grandgirls mom, the three year old and the baby (who's up to a whopping 6 pounds) around on errands. At one point, Juliette had said my name so many times my ears were bleeding and I had no choice but to tell her that if she wasn't quiet for 5 minutes I was going to rip her head off and use it as a soccer ball. Lucky for me, my grandgirls already know I'm insane. Her answer "Oh Nana! That would be wery, wery messy!"

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Genius Among Us

Thank You Velvet Sacks for Finding My Link Problem! Hip Hip Hooray!!!!!
(And I will be more observant in the future. Kinda scary what I may be missing when I edit a person's book.... hmmmm)

Updates and Plea for HELP!

Here's the front and back view of Jazz and Bri's Halloween Spooktacular party... all pasted, glittered and now waiting for the little demons to write their guests names on the bottoms.
Aside from pulling it all together on the day, we're ready. Spiders and webs assembled, scary witch costume on the dressmakers dummy, creepy lanterns ready to hang in the dining room. Game materials ready: mummy wrap, ghost bowling, and my personal favorite - cluck. If you don't know how to play cluck, leave me a message and I'll explain. Hysterical for participants and observers alike.

This blog and I are having a small difference of opinion. For some reason, when I add links, it has decided to put spaces between them. I checked the template, everything is all lined up neatly like the first batch, and still, spaces between them. I'm applying for my handicapped license plate this afternoon. I am so technologically challenged, I have no hope of surviving in this highly technical world. If someone has a clue about why this is happening to me, and how to fix it, please share!

No word yet on my part in the Angel Tree play. We were instructed that we'd be informed by e-mail, I'm sure they do this so they don't see us cry. I'm sure the playbill will list me as something like "passerby #4". I'm sure this experience is going to send me into cardiac arrest. What was I thinking?

My girl down under has made the ultimate sacrifice to finance her trip up here for Christmas 2007. She's quit smoking. I'm not a good enough friend to make that kind of sacrifice. She is so getting the best present ever from me in 2007.

It doesn't get more random than this...

1.6 Billion Dollars

Yes, even my dog is shocked by that figure! 1.6 billion dollars to the You Tube Guys from Google. Ruger is extremely disappointed in me, after all his love, devotion and support, I still didn't think of an idea that would provide him the to which he wishes to become accumstomed.

Monday, October 09, 2006

To BE or Not To BE

I heard about the Zanesville Community Theaters Angel Tree Production over the summer. It’s a play/variety show they produce during the holidays to raise money for the Salvations Army’s Santa’s Toy Box Project. A real community project, the usual ticket prices are waived in favor of donations at the door and every penny they take in from tickets to popcorn sales and random donations over the three days that they present this play is donated to the cause and goes directly to the children in town. Everybody who comes to try-outs gets a part. That’s how they really caught my attention.

“Act in a play” just happens to be on my list of one hundred things I want to try before I die. It lives toward the top of that list, right in between “bungee jump” and “drink one bottle of every kind of wine made in Ohio”. In consideration of the fact that either of those two things could conceivably prohibit me from ever being able to complete “act in a play”, I decided it was my destiny to perform in this play.

There are several compelling reasons that I’m a writer, two of which are: I can’t paint and babies cry at the sound of my singing voice. I am, however, an enthusiastic student and I have gained a considerable resume of speaking experience since High School, surely the director of this play, Rich Tolliver, can turn me into an actor. Armed with the knowledge that EVERYONE gets a part, I happily zoomed off to try outs last night.

Things started out fine, I know several people connected to that theater and they all greeted me enthusiastically. There was a little form to fill out: name, address, phone, e-mail. Then the more specific questions: do you want a speaking part? Yes. do you want to sing? NO (circle that answer many times and draw arrows pointing to it). Are you a soprano, alto, tenor... XXX these all out firmly. Do you read music? Write in NO and circle it several times. After handing my form in to the assistant director I took a seat in the auditoreum with everyone else. To make a long story shorter... my try out process began with an admonishment from the director to "stop talking". In my defense, he's not a very tall man and his mother was leading me astray.

After some general information about when rehearsals would be, and how darn much fun this play always is, the director took his seat in the first row and try outs began. He called up all the kids first. Very cute, he asked them all to say their name and where they went to school. Asked them what they liked best about Christmas and then he turned things over to the music director, who immediately introduced the song and explained we would all sing along with them.

When I say I can't sing, I really mean it. My junior year of High School I attended a very small private school in North Carolina that let anyone into the choir. Anyone is my operative word, so I joined that choir much to the music teacher's chagrin. Whenever he would say "WHO is singing one octave below everyone ELSE!" It was always me. And that was before two packs a day. Anyway....

Since I had clearly indicated that I don't sing on my form, I wasn't really worrying. They brought up the teenagers next and things got worse. Assistant Director hands out papers with this three word song on it and notes all over the place. They teach it to the teenagers... and say again we would all sing along. That's when I started getting nervous. Especially when the music director started splitting the teenagers into groups of threes to have them sing ALONE.

Rich dismissed the teenagers and called the adults up to the stage. I take my place, center stage of course, if you're going to do something crazy like this, you should always do it full bore I always say. He starts asking questions at the end of the line. About three persons in, I start wishing I had worn sneakers instead of my very stylish platform wedgies. My knees are shaking, I can feel this tick starting in my right eye... looking out over those seats that will eventually be filled with people is making me sweat like a racehorse. He gets to me and I get things in control enough to actually explain who I am and what I like about Christmas (presents, duh! Just kidding). I also clearly explain that dogs had been known to howl when I sing. The people on my other side introduced themselves. Then they made us sing. Then they made us sing in threes.

Note to Director: If you saw me robustly singing along with my group - that was ACTING. So give me a good part.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Funky Gurus

We don't have any streetlights. Normally once the sun goes down on my little patch of town its too dark to find the street from the sidewalk. Normally, our full moons are more yellow than white. At this time of year we rarely see the moon because of the cloud cover. But this year is different. The moon is so radiantly white you feel like you want to stagger toward it zombie style. It's bright enough that my street is never completely dark until well after midnight, everything just gets layered with a silvery gray color. I'm sure it is this very strange moon that rattled my brain cells sufficiently to invite my husband to go with me to see the Funky Gurus, instead of my friends who would appreciate them.

Papa Bear and I are two very different people. We've known that from day one, and most of the time it's no big deal. Keeps things interesting. His priorities in order of importance are: work, parents, family. Mine are: family, parents, work. He likes sports, sporting events, playing sports, listening to sports and reading about sports. I like everything except sports. The difficulty comes in finding activities we can do together. We both like food and roller coasters, neither of which he can fully enjoy any more because of diabetes and heart problems. We used to both like to go dancing...

The Funky Gurus are a cover band out of Dayton that play locally from time to time. The ultimate dance band, they are an adrenaline pumping rush! Unless you're attending the set with the great fun sucking vacuum that is Pap. Before the night had even started, I knew it would be the last time Pap and I went dancing. It's not that he doesn't try, but that his body is breaking down faster than mine.

The real dilema is balancing my need to do things and try things without leaving him to languish in his recliner, remote control in hand. We aren't even 50 yet, there's still so much to explore.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

When Girls are Doing Well....

Apparently, this is my week for being enlightened about things I thought had been resolved and were gone forever. First banned books and now I find that young women are still hotly debating whether the children of working women are as well adjusted as stay at home mothers.

The point of the feminist movement in the beginning, well there were many points, but the one that summarizes them all for me is: CHOICE. The women who fought to give 51% of the population a voice in this country blazed a trail allowing every girl an opportunity to fulfill their full potential. For some that was a career with the ability to compete for promotions on an equal footing with their male counterparts. For others it was just the knowledge that they COULD compete if they wanted to, or needed to in support of their family.

I have a friend who says: "When girls are doing well, men and boys are doing better and that's good for the entire community." She's right. Great children come from great parenting, and the interaction of great teachers, school counsellors, ministers, adult neighbors and childcare providers. Great mothers come from working to fulfill their potential. For some, that will be working to provide a perfect home for their husband and kids. For others to achieve that perfect home, they'll work outside it for awhile every day.

I don't have perfect children. My problems with grandgirls mom are well documented throughout this blog. I was a fully engaged mother despite also working outside the home and her failures had nothing to do with how we parented her... this according to HER. The other four are hardworking, successful, well adjusted young people. They may have turned out the same if I hadn't worked outside the home, but I doubt it. Because I would not have been the same kind of mother.

I worked because we needed the money, but I would have even if Pap could have supported us all on his own. I worked because I had a burning desire to accomplish something that was just mine, to actively contribute to my community through volunteer service and I needed the feedback that comes with that kind of lifestyle. It was by having the opportunity to chase my own dreams that gave me the energy to really be there for my kids.

I'll support your decision to be a homemaker with all the enthusiasm I use supporting the women who choose to work. But I will not support either claim that one way is better than the other, it's an individual choice, based on an individual personality.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Banned Books

I really need to get out more. My friend Mert called to chat about the "banned books" table at his library last week. BANNED books? Banned book week? The last time I was involved with anything using the term "banned books" I wasn't talking about it with my happy voice.

Apparently, the American Library Association has been sponsoring banned book week the last week of every September since 1982 as a reminder of our right to read. The right of free speech extends to books and people have the right to express their opinion for others to read, even if its offensive or controversial. Clever of the ALA to adopt an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude to combat the narrow mindedness of people who actually think books should be banned. Once my book gets published, I hope some group does try to get it banned or censored, it may be the only way I get to a front table in the library or book store! But I digress...

The books on the list aren't actually banned, they represent books somebody TRIED to ban. And if I'm the only goof ball on the planet that wasn't informed about this program, accept my apology now for boring you with this post. But, I couldn't believe some of the titles on this list!
If I wasn't so technologically challenged, I'd give you a link, but you can see it at the ALA's website by searching "banned book week". Anyway...

The books - Catcher in the Rye, The Color Purple, Cujo! My goodness, do none of these people who want to ban books read? The Harry Potter Series - trying to ban that is just criminal. I don't care what the subject was, it got children reading again, including two of mine. I know Why the Caged Bird Sings, The Bluest Eye, Lord of the Flies??? The Handmaid's Tale, Flowers for Algernon, James and the Giant Peach, Where's Waldo. That's just a few. There are 100 on the list.

People who try to censor things really tick me off. What kind of a narrow mind does it take to assume you know best for all people?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Rain and Lightening and Hail... Oh My!

I was, of course, twenty miles from home when yesterday's storm hit. In my cute car with the leaking roof. On an errand I wasn't expecting to take so long - isn't that always the way? To make a long story short by the time I went caroming into my driveway I was half soaked and putting the cover on the car finished the job. My pitiful dog is terrified of storms, and has apparently passed this phobia on to his feline sisters. All three of them met me at the door and attached themselves to my leg. But I'm not complaining. A change of clothes and baby talk to the animals got my house back in order, the people in my neighboring cities were not so lucky. Power lines down, hail big enough to break windows, it was a pretty scary night for some midwesterners.

My neighborhood didn't lose power, but there were a considerable number that did. The local news pre-empted the evenings television shows in order to broadcast non-stop that there was a storm going on and people had no power. They kept staying "we'll stay right here with you until this storm passes." Now, call me stupid, but since once you'd heard the news (or looked outside) you knew there was a storm and if you didn't have power, you couldn't hear the news anyway... what was the point in all that?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Stunned into Writer's Block

I don't even know what to say about the latest school shooting. A one room school house in the heart of Amish country. Little girls shot execution style - its horrific. I can't help thinking that the shooter went there because he was going to shoot somebody and the security would be less tight in this nonviolent, peaceful community.

Even taking mental illness into account, I don't believe these shooters decide to do their deed on a whim. Where are the friends and family of these guys? Why aren't they paying attention and being proactive? I've lived with Pap for 25 years. I know when he's on a rant about something, even if he isn't talking about it. I know who's wronged him in the past and how he feels about it now. This shooter says he was getting revenge for something that happened 20 years ago. He NEVER talked about this evil deed to anyone?

It's a bad day for good news. Did you hear about the Texas teacher who was fired because her students saw nude statues in a MUSEUM? Jeesh. This country is all out of whack today.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wonky Everything

Just as quickly as it turned cold, it is now warm again. Officially, we can't call this week in the 70's and 80's "Indian Summer". To hold that title, you must have the warm temperatures after a killing frost. We've had frost, but just the bullying kind, not the murderous stuff.

Lee Redmond, 65 years old and current holder of the Guinness Book of World Records for longest nails. Twenty four feet, Seven inches. Yuck. Can you imagine? How do you wake up one day 27 years ago and decide to get your 15 minutes of fame by growing claws? I don't even mean that as unkindly as it sounds. This seems like a really nice lady, how much has she limited her life by choosing nails as a way to get recognized?

My assistant is home with the flu. This is unacceptable on many levels. Mostly I'm worried about her. She has about 1,500 hours of sick time which is the clearest indicator I can give you for how rarely she takes off work. She has two living relatives, her mother who's in a nursing home and her husband. I can't even fathom what that would be like - no aunts, no cousins, no children. Makes me think of that old Beatles song, Elenor Rigby.

My friend Waldo sent me this joke, which reminded me so much of our three year old, I decided to share it:

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though a whale is a very large mammal, its throat is very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. The teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human, it was impossible. The little gir lsaid, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah". The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?" The little girl replied, "Then you ask him!"

Enough rambling, even for a Monday.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Calm After The Storm

The irony of life... I had no sooner hit "publish" for that last entry then the bell started ringing. I live across the street from a catholic church, between masses a little guy runs out and rings the call to worship with reckless abandon. It has a very nice tone, that bell, and reminded me that two wrongs don't make a right. Life is too short to waste time on the negative.

This morning the three year old had a time out for biting. When her mother said "You don't bite!", the toddler replied "Yes, I do, I bite pancakes!" Hard to argue with that kind of logic.

Really Mean Men

Considering it's Sunday, I should be commenting on only the sweet, spiritual and devine. Something light and uplifting. But that's not possible today, so feel free to wander on if you aren't in the mood for a rant. I'll understand.

I've written before about the problems with Grandgirls Mom, so will not rehash it. Since the baby was born, and we dodged a bullet, she has been diligently working to get her life together. Diet and exercise, she conscientiously cooks, cleans and takes care of her children. I can't ask more of her, and yet she even took one more positive step and enrolled in college, with classes to begin in January, and started counselling (in which she gets the same advice I give her, but from a stranger, which apparently holds more weight... I'm really not jealous, just commenting. Really.) She has not completely broken off with the scum sucking degenerate nasty monster that provided the sperm that created her kids. They are linked by the phone line, a phony umbilical cord snaking across the state. Now that she's removed herself from his physical battering, he uses the phone to beat up her mind.

Last night, with me, Pap and Princess here to babysit, she was invited out by some friends. One of the things her counsellor is pressing is the need to have friends in addition to family as part of her support network. She dressed up, fixed her hair and happily left with a group of the nice young people she used to hang around with before scum boy. She came home (sober) around 2:00 and talked about how much fun she'd had. And then the phone rang... minutes later she was sobbing. Again.

Me? I'd never tolerate anything she's been through. I'd hang up the phone, slam the door in his face... do what I had to in able to remove this kind of poison from my life. She thinks it's her fault (hence the need for a counsellor). We might as well be standing on two different planets. As for him - death is too good for mean, abusive, nasty men. Part of me knows that the divine has a way of taking care of these kinds of monsters and I should let this anger go. But the other part wants to be there when it happens, I want to see him suffering as much as he's made her suffer.

While I'm ranting: crashtest comic - of COURSE the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a tourist trap, if it was'nt, we'd call it a museum. Jeesh.