Saturday, December 29, 2012

Intentions

Are intentions different than resolutions?  If I intend to do something this coming year, does that carry more commitment behind it, than if I just say 'I resolve to...'? 

I hope it does, because for 2013, there are some very simple things that I intend to do.  Some of my intentions are simple, mundane things, like being more organized, or making an effort to write something here every day(because I really like to write, but have no good reason for not doing it).  But other intentions are harder, or more complex.

For example, it is my intention to turn off, or at the very least turn down, my inner negative voice.  This is the voice that calls my BIL 'D-bag' instead of his real name.  It's the same voice responsible for other negative thoughts that blip through my brain, and quite frankly, I'm tired of hearing it.  I'm realistic enough though, to know that I can't be Miss Sally Sunshine all the time, that's just not me.  Hopefully, I can reign in the snark just a bit, and be a little bit easier on myself in the process.  But if I have something really good to tell you, like a good MIL story, I'm gonna tell it!

Instead of resolving to 'lose weight and eat healthier' (haven't we all made that resolution?), it's my intention this year to be kinder to myself, by making healthy choices when it comes to food and exercise.  It's my intention to indulge in the foods that I really, really, love- but only once in a while.  If there's one thing I've learned about myself over the years, it's that I have to gradually ease into change.  There's no way I could go on a diet and have any success.  It will be easier for me if I break it down in to smaller steps. 

There are so many things that I still want to do in this life of mine, and while I may not get to do all of them, it's my intention this year, to put myself on the path to fulfilling a couple of my dreams.  What about you?  What do you intend to do in this new year?


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Questions...

Yesterday's school massacre in Newtown, CT has left me shaken, heart broken and angry.  To even begin to imagine what the parents are experiencing is beyond me.  I've been thinking a lot lately about how it's almost time for Chickenhead to go back to public school.  And when something like this happens, I don't think of him as an almost teen, but only as my sweet baby boy, and I want to do everything I can to protect him from the evil that exists in our world.

School is a place that we should be able to send our children to without concern for their safety.  Shopping malls, restaurants, movie theaters, are all other places that we should be able to go to and live our lives without the fear of someone else ending it. 

The Husband is a gun owner. He has a gun that's for the protection of our family, and he has guns that are for taking out to the shooting range to shoot. He is, like most other gun owners I know, a responsible owner.  He's attended gun safety courses, as has Chickenhead.  Going to the range and shooting targets is a way that they bond and spend time together and I've never had a moments doubt about their safety.  Whenever they go again, I will continue to feel this way.

Unfortunately, not every gun owner is like my husband.  Part of the big overall issue of gun violence here in the United States is that despite existing gun laws, a lot of people with undiagnosed or untreated mental illness have legal access to guns. The shooter in Connecticut yesterday used guns that were registered to his mother. The gun laws we have in place need to be enforced consistently.  As a nation, we need to demand that our legislators put more money in to treatment for mental illness.  The stigma needs to be removed from seeking treatment for mental issues.  It shouldn't be taboo to get help.  It shouldn't be cost prohibitive for someone to get therapy, treatment and medications that could help them, just like with any other illness. 

I don't think banning all guns is the answer.  Even if we did, people would still find a way to get a gun. I do think that we should ban extended magazines for guns, because nobody needs a shit-ton of bullets to shoot targets or hunt deer.  If you're a good enough shot, it only takes one, maybe two bullets to hit the bullseye or take down a deer.

I don't think 'putting God back in the classroom' is necessarily the answer, either. Which god?  Only the Christian god?  What about the Buddhist, Hindu or agnostic child?  Do they not count?  I have no problem with religion even though I don't personally practice it.  But a big part of the idea of the separation of church and state is exactly that, separate.  If people want their children to pray in school, then send them to a parochial school where prayer and religious studies are practiced and learned. 

When our founding fathers wrote the Constitution, our country was new, and obviously very different from the America we live in today.  The Second Amendment is-" A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  Our fore-fathers could not have imagined the world we live in today.  I personally don't know that we need a 'well regulated militia', that's what we have our armed forces for. 

There are no easy answers to the questions our country faces right now.  But right now is the time to face them. And for today, even for a few days, let's not be Atheist or Christian, Liberal or Republican, let's just be Americans.  Let's look after one another, let's show some kindness for our fellow man and woman.  Let's care not only about our child, but everyone's child.  Let's re-learn compassion, because we have lost so much of it. 



Friday, November 30, 2012

Extreme Suburban Birdwatching


About a month ago, I was out running errands with The Husband and Chickenhead.  The store, the bank, nothing too exciting.

That is, until we were headed to the bank.  I was writing up a deposit slip when Chickenhead exclaimed, "Cool! A hawk!!"  The Husband began looking around excitedly. "Where?!"  "It's back there on that utility box, Dad!" To call these two giddy with excitement would be a gross understatement.

We whizzed through the drive in at the bank, The Husband impatient, hoping that the hawk would still be there.  Sure enough, it was, and so began an almost 30-minute quest to get a photo. 

The Husband drove while I attempted to take a picture of the hawk from a moving vehicle with my cell and an ipod.  All the while, The Husband is huffing impatiently at the cars behind him honking, and providing me with 'helpful' constructive criticism. "Take the picture, take it now!!!!" I seriously contemplated jumping out when we made the third u-turn in the Costco parking lot. 


We drove past the hawk's perch again, and The Husband got mad because I got the pic with my phone, but wasn't able to snap one with the ipod.  Finally, I snapped.  "Well excuse me, Marlon Perkins, I didn't know we were going on safari today!! It's just a fucking bird!!! We've got one at home in a cage you can look at whenever you want!!"



Chickenhead giggled quietly to himself while I posted the one photo I got on to Facebook.

Finally, we were all calm and apologies were made all around.  Later over lunch, I asked Chickenhead to keep it to himself whenever he sees something cool.  Silent wonder and admiration can be a beautiful thing!



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tales of a Pinterest Junkie

I think almost everyone I know is on Pinterest these days. We're all pinning pictures of our favorite animals, recipes we want to try, funny pictures, household tips, our fantasy weddings, etc.

But there are some things on Pinterest that I will just never be able to fathom. I'm all for recycling and reusing things, but some people take it too far. These are some of the things that I'm seeing too much of on Pinterest lately.

Toilet Paper Roll 'art'-

Empty toilet paper rolls are fine for vacation Bible school craft projects, or any other kidlet project. Other than that, they go in the recycle bin.


Here's another good one, using plastic spoons-

Maybe I'm just not as 'green' as what I thought I was. Because although the shades of blue are lovely, it's plastic spoons. They go in the recycle bin after you use them. And while I'm spending all this time thinking about this, if you bought a pack of new, UNUSED plastic spoons to make this project, you're not really recycling, are you? No, you are wasting, my friend.

Don't get me wrong, I realize how good I've got it here. There are some people in this world that have no choice but to wear these-

But there are too many people getting carried away with upcycling and recycling here, and this is what we end up with-

Pinterest inspires all of us to want to create, try new recipes, etc. But if you've reached that point when you're painting and gluing your trash to your walls and sticking soda bottles on your feet, it may just be time to stop pinning!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tales From The Dark Side (an MIL story)

It's no secret that I have a lot of issues tolerating the 10lbs of crazy in a 5lb. sack that is my Mother-In-Law. She wears me out, and I don't even talk to her that often.

My husband was the lucky recipient of a phone call from his momma yesterday, that went on for a good hour. The small portion of the conversation, as I heard it, was the Husband saying, 'mm-hmm', 'interesting', 'mm-hmm' as he watched YouTube videos on his laptop while she blathered on.

MIL's latest saga is that she has MRSA (the drug resistant staph infection? The one that usually eats away so much of a victim's skin that they have to have limbs amputated? Yeah, that one). She claims to have huge blisters all over her skin that are infected, but she's only contagious if they rupture. She's been making this claim for well over a month now, so if she's still this bad off, why isn't she in the hospital? Probably because she doesn't have MRSA, that's why. Sounds like chicken pox if you ask me. To be fair, I haven't seen her in over six months, but I know her history. If you have a cold, she has pneumonia. If Lifetime does a movie where a character has a fatal illness, within a week, she has the exact illness, only worse. She exaggerates a lot, is what I'm saying.

News also came from the crazy train that she's getting another settlement from the breast implant lawsuit that has been going on since I met the Husband. That's almost 19 years for those keeping track. But she doesn't want anyone to know about this settlement, it's (her words) a secret settlement. You know what scares me about the 'secret settlement'? Besides the fact that it will rain QVC and 'as seen on TV' gifts down on my house this Christmas, is the fact that she will use the 'secret settlement' to procure a vehicle. She has a revoked license, a drug habit that would make Keith Richards go pale, and black out episodes caused by her diabeetus (that's how she says it), but she will somehow get a car and terrorize innocent people and parked cars on the streets of our city. I really wish we could move to a different time zone. I'm sure for her, driving will be like riding a broomstick, once you get back on, it all comes back to you.

So put your call blocker on, lock up your kids and your prescription meds, my MIL just may be hitting the streets again soon. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's Silly Season, and My Head is Close to Exploding

Well, look who's back! I ended up taking an extended hiatus from my little blog because I couldn't think of a darn thing to write, and I had this minor depression/anger/apathy thing going on. But, I'm now medicated and motivated, and looking forward to writing again!



Silly Season. That glorious time in the U.S, also known as the months leading up to the Presidential election. When politicians will say literally ANYTHING that might pull them in a huge endorsement check or a few more votes. VP Joe Biden put his foot in it last week when he told a group in Virgina, that if Romney became President, he would 'put y'all back in chains'. Joe Biden is a smart guy, I have a lot of respect for him, but sometimes I hear something he says I kind of cringe.



As cringe-worthy as VP Biden's comment was, though it pales in comparison to the now infamous words of Missouri's would be senator, Todd Akin. Yes, you know what he said. "If a woman were legitimately raped, her body has ways of shutting that down". I know my own husband must think that my uterus is some sort of tracking device, because he's always asking me where his crap is, but if there's one thing my vajay-jay can't do, it's determine if I'm being sexually assaulted or not. My hoo-ha is not Miss Cleo, ok? I would rely on my brain, which is much farther north of my cervix.



Anyway, everyone started piling on Akin. Even Boss Hogg Limbaugh was telling him to get out. VP contender Paul Ryan was trying to distance himself, despite the fact that he co-sponsored a House bill with Akin that would redefine the word 'rape'. Since Ryan and Akin seem to believe that a woman can't get pregnant if she's 'legitimately raped', then they could ban ALL abortions. But they didn't stop there. They also co-sponsored HR 212, which basically said 'fuck it' to science and declared that human life began at fertilization. The bill also said that since life begins at conception, it would outlaw birth control pills, IUDs and in-vitro fertilization. Make no mistake about it, even though Romney/Ryan are now saying that 'rape is rape' and Mittens is saying that his policy has an exemption for abortions in the cases of rape or incest, they agree with Todd Akin. They truly believe that a woman can't get pregnant as a result of rape.




The real problem that I have with all of this is that as women, we are fighting this bullshit again. It's been less than 100 years since we won the right to vote, and we've been fighting for everything else ever since. Equal pay, equal opportunities, we're still fighting for them. As my friend, Mrs. G said so eloquently, "All the while, their undiscussed, unlegislated dicks are swinging freely in the gentle breeze of sanctimonious, underhanded hypocrisy." Word. What do these men in DC (mostly old white men) gain from banning abortion? What do we gain as a society from FORCING women to not only have a vaginal ultrasound, but be forced to watch the monitor while a doctor describes the zygote/embryo to her? If abortion is effectively banned through bills at the state and Federal level, how do we benefit as a nation from legally forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term?




I am PRO-CHOICE. Not PRO-ABORTION, Pro-Choice. I don't think the decision to have an abortion is one that should be made lightly, but women need to retain the legal right to have a safe abortion if they choose to do so. Without bullshit waiting periods and vaginal probes and all the other nonsense. I firmly believe that if we loose our right to choose, women will die needlessly. They will die from botched, illegal abortions, or worse, from trying to terminate the pregnancy themselves. They will die at their own hand, from the despair of being forced to carry a state enforced pregnancy; a pregnancy that wasn't planned, or even worse, was the result of a brutal, violent attack or through incest. They will die because even though a doctor may have told them that carrying the pregnancy to term will pose a serious risk to their life or the life of the unborn baby, abortion is illegal.



No matter which way you choose to vote in November, I urge you to vote! And if you have daughters, friends, nieces, cousins, aunts or moms, think about their rights as women. Think about the rights that the women who came before us fought so long and so hard for. Think about the world we are creating for the next generation of women and ask yourself, is this what I want for her? VOTE!!