Thursday, March 29, 2012

Writing by Force

Okay, so I have been slacking this week.  In truth I have just had a lot of little things that needed to get done.  It is funny how little things can add up and take a little longer than you thought and then is Thursday and you have not written a blog post all week.  That is how it goes sometimes.  However, I am writing this because a friend, who is a faithful reader, pointed out my blog neglect.  This friend also happens to be going through a bunch of changes and challenges right now.  Here is a sneaky peek...she is changing jobs (which is great) and the house she is living in with her spouse and two kids has a septic tank issue that the landlord is refusing to fix.  So now with a job change, she faces finding a house (in the same school district) before the sh** hits the fan.  Okay the sh** likely will not hit the fan, but it may well back up all over the floor...which is just as bad.  This makes my piddly little stuff look like child's play.  However, we all have sh**, not all of us have it literally, like my friend, but we all have it.

So I write by force today, because she looks forward to reading my crazy musings.  Too bad for her, it is her struggles that have made me realize that I have just a million little things, while she faces actual sh**.  This is the time when I wish I could have a village of all the people I love, that have touched my life, that mean the world to me all centralized.  My friend lives in Florida, so from Michigan all I can do is pray that everything will come together and work out...FAST.  I hate thinking that people I care about are struggling.  Even while I struggle.  We all struggle.  I just do not like people I care about to have anything but good things.  Yes, that is a fully impossible thought.  We can not only have the good and easy life.  Frankly, if life was only good and easy we would be miserable with it.  Seriously.  How would we know the good and easy times without the struggles & challenges?  It used to make me crazy when I would hear people say, life's challenges & struggles are the times when we, as humans, grow and build character.  Time, and this statement proving true, over and over again, has made me not only accept this statement, but somewhat embrace it.  Reflecting on past personal challenges that caused struggle and discomfort, and often extreme frustration...then great personal growth, makes me a little thankful for the challenge.  In the midst of any personal crisis, I know that it will somehow work out and I will have learned a thing or two.

I am praying for my friend's current struggle will come to a good resolution...soon.  I know that she is a smart woman, she is resourceful, and she is a fighter.  I am still sad that she and her family have this struggle, but I know that everything will work out for them...hopefully sooner rather than later.  And I thank her for making me write by force, because my own words have helped me put some perspective on my own life.  Thank you, my friend.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Five for Friday

This week has been unseasonably warm, forcing the spring cleaning to start a bit early...but hey worse things can happen.  Here are my five horribly disjointed thoughts for this week.

  1. The Hunger Games.  I read the book in two days.  I loved it, so I will likely be highly critical of the movie.  Why did I read it?  Good question.  I was going to NOT read the book and just see the movie with my 12 year old, who has read the whole series.  However, I have a reading problem, and I was between books, so I read it.  Honestly, from what my daughter had told me about the books, it was not in my general interest area.  Not a huge fan of post-apocalyptic fiction.  Pleasantly surprised that it held my attention.  It is a very disturbing world that this is set it, but does make one think.  Yes, I will read the next two books...eventually.
  2. The Vegetarian in My House.  I am very much enjoying finding meat-free meals for my daughter who gave up eating meat for Lent.  My favorite thing thus far are spinach/chickpea patties.  Very tasty.  The only thing holding this family back from being vegetarian is my beloved and bacon.  Yes, my daughter admits she misses bacon.  Not that she ate it everyday, but she has been known to order a veggie burger with bacon and cheese. Bacon is a delicious treat, but it is certainly not within the vegetarian realm.  Perhaps I will look into meat-bacon substitutes...that sounds disappointing already. 
  3. Telling Time.  I recently had an experience that made me realize that kids very much struggle with telling time on an analog clock.  Life is just too digital.  I know that this is a skill that is worked on in early elementary in school.  However, this skill is not practiced and reinforced at home, because clocks with actual hands are almost non-existent in homes.  Trust me, I have looked.  Most places have digital clocks.  It makes me wonder if this is even a necessary skill?  Just a odd thought.  I am not anti-analog clock, or telling time.
  4. Clowns are Scary.  I am afraid of clowns.  Yes, the jovial kid's party entertainers put me in a state of panic.  I have never been to a circus.  I often say it because I feel the circus is cruel to animals, the elephants, lions, and such.  I do think that is cruel.  Not as cruel as people painted up oddly, wearing large shoes, and horribly mismatched clothes.  Clowns are really freaky.  I break out into a cold sweat when see clowns.
  5. Follow me on Twitter.  I signed up for Twitter.  I am not sure why.  I blame the media for always talking about "tweets" and and everyone having an "@________".  So if you are a Twitter-bug follow me @AllieMomma99.  I have only composed but a few tweets, but I may get better.
Happy Weekend!  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Funny Greyhound

The great thing about greyhounds  is they sit still enough to
stack a toy on their head
Yesterday, it was confessed that we are bad fish caregivers.  However we are excellent dog caregivers.  We have photo proof of so many of Ninja's cute and sleepy exploits.  She is a wonderfully patient dog.  We have heard that greyhounds, as a breed, are just easy going and good family dogs.  This is very true.
Sometimes two toys

Occasionally she does naughty things like using the
pillow of my daughter's friend who put her sleepover stuff
on the floor. (She even fell asleep on the pillow)
Honestly, adopting the greyhound was one of the best  choices we have ever made regarding pets.  Ninja likes everyone, very seldom barks, and enjoys sleeping.  She also likes going for walks and running her fast laps in the backyard.  
Sure, we missed the puppy phase of her life because she was raised to race, then raced for a year or two. She came to live here as a 3 year old, retired racer.  Retirement suits her well.  If you need a breed of dog that is friendly, loving, and a source of comic relief...consider adopting a greyhound.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wicked Wednesday

Fish Neglect.  Yes, our topic today is fish neglect.  Neglect is a terrible, wicked thing.  Even more wicked is to be brought into a home where someone pledged to properly care for you, but then forgets you almost completely.  This is the sad lot of our resident fish.  My son has a goldfish, Rutledge, and everyone, including my son forgets about the fish.  Terrible.  The poor thing gets fed, almost everyday, mostly.  Generally because I walk in my son's room and Rutledge starts kissing the surface of the water and it makes a splooshy sound.  Then I stop and think, "Huh, did anyone feed that little fellow?".  I always assume that everyone else forgot about him too, so I dash a healthy helping a fish flakes in the water, (who knows if anyone will remember to feed him tomorrow?)  I am usually correct, no one has fed him.  Fish are just too easy to overlook.  It is unfair that he lives with us, we are not good fish people.

Why do non-fish people have a fish?  Fair question.  My son this past summer got the notion that the cat and dog that live with us are not "his".  He wanted personal dominion over some pet.  What this wonderful boy did not realize is that the cat and dog have dominion over all of us.  Yes, the cat and dog dictate when we get up (the dog alarm clock) and when (and if) we go to sleep (the cat gets lonely and meows at night).  Pet care is very demanding at times.  The expelling of hairballs at 2am is unnerving, frustrating, and maddening.  A dog that barks, growls, and whines when sleeping is just creepy.  Especially considering that the dog does not bark, growl, or whine when she is awake, unless majorly encouraged with treats.  Cleaning up the poo in the backyard, and on walks... is not one of the joys of pet companionship.  I have said it before, I will say it again, the pets own us.  Sure, they are cute and sweet, but pets are a huge responsibility.  That is why I have never understood why people give pets as gifts to children.  Children can not fully care for the needs of cats and dogs.  I fully believe this, and yet, we got the boy a fish.  Just a goldfish.  I thought, he can handle a fish.  You feed it, change the water, and that is it.  Yes, that is pretty much it.  Oh wait, you have to REMEMBER to feed it and change the water.  That is the hardest part of caring for a fish.  A fish will not flop out of its bowl, fin along the floor to your room, and slap you with a cold fin to wake you up to let it out and feed it.  Nope, the fish just swims in circles in the bowl on the dresser.  A fish will not meow and yowl until you fill its food & water bowl.  Nope, the fish just swims in circles in the bowl on the dresser.  The fish gets neglected because it is not annoying enough.  It turns out around here you need to make your needs known in a dynamic way in order for those needs to be met.  Serenely swimming, waiting for someone to put away clothing in the dresser that is your perch is not enough for this family.  Perhaps a piranha would be a better fish for us.  A fish we would have to reckon with if it went unfed.  Rutledge just seems content to swim in semi-murky water and indulge himself in the guilty over-feedings.  He is too polite.  Polite pets finish last around here.  This is the home of the bold.  Negative and semi-obnoxious behavior gets awarded with attention.  Sweetly swimming in a bowl only earns neglect.  Sorry Rutledge, you deserve better, but you have us, the wicked people guilty of fish negligence.

Now I better go clean that fish bowl, before I forget about it. Oh, and maybe a dash of fish flakes too!

Monday, March 19, 2012

All Kinds of Blindness

Last night I was watching 60 Minutes, yes the durable television news show, and no, I did not then look for Murder She Wrote reruns to watch afterward, (but I thought about it).  First of all I love 60 Minutes, always have, even as a child.  This fact has nothing to do with my topic today, but I feel it necessary to let you know that if it is covered on 60 Minutes, it is relevant to me.  I also miss Andy Rooney, and felt like he was own crabby granddad (he was not).

Anyway, the wonderful Leslie Stahl did a piece on Face Blindness.  What?  Yes, some people can not visually discern between faces.  Even the faces of their own family members.  All faces just look like eyes, nose, and mouth.  Facial features between people are indistinguishable to those afflicted with face blindness.  This seemed so amazingly odd to me.  All the people that were interviewed for this piece were of normal (and a few of extremely high) intelligence, and had successful careers.  Some had families, one woman could not identify a picture of her own daughter's face.  Really these were regular people that can not recognize faces.  This was simply astonishing to me.  These people rely on voice, body shape, and other features to identify people.  So the changing of a hair color or style, could result in a face blind person not recognizing you at all, even if it is a close co-worker or spouse or sibling.  The kicker...most of these people did not realize they had an issue recognizing faces until adulthood.  They all admitted they were always challenged in social situations, but had (and still have) no idea what they are missing.

My son is colorblind.  It is a genetic trait so he always was and will see color in a way that most of the population will never understand.  Yes, most colorblind people can see color, but differently, a bit more muted in shading.  Their world is not black and white. Complete color blindness does exist, but is very uncommon. Honestly, I did not have confirmation that my little guy was colorblind until a year ago.  All through pre-school and kindergarten he identified colors on all assessment with no concerns mentioned by his teachers.  Looking back, this is pretty amazing because some shades of greens, blues, purples, and grays are all very similar for him.  He compensates by memorizing shadings and having reference items for colors.  It is quite amazing that at seven years old he does this.  Then I remember, that is all he knows.  He has no idea what he is not seeing.  I only know from doing some research how he does see things, but only in a very limited way.

 Normal color vision seeing
 rainbow colors.

 My son seeing rainbow colors with his
type of color deficiency.

These are the rainbow color pictures that I  found most helpful in understanding red/green color deficiency.  Which is my son's type.  There are several types of color deficiency.  Selfishly, I only care about the one that effects him.  Mostly because I have to help him in some situations.  I am completely amazed that we had no idea.  It really shows how much people can compensate for conditions.  I also feel sad when I look at the two different pictures of a rainbow, because I can see how many colors he will never see.  However, as I said before, he does not know, he will never know.  FYI, his favorite color is blue, which is cool because know we are seeing the same thing.

These two examples of blindness, that those afflicted have no idea what they are missing, remind me that we all have blindness in our life.  Most of our blindness can not be diagnosed by doctors like face blindness and colorblindness. Some people are blind to other people's feelings, some are blind to bad relationship patterns,  some are blind to their own ignorance.  We all are a blind in some way.  Perhaps going through our whole lives not knowing what we are missing and not seeing.  Sometimes this is good, sometimes it is bad.  I know that my son's color blindness has helped me understand him in a different way.  I admire how hard he has to work to compensate, and he has no idea.  My spouse often puts things in perspective for me at by saying, "You know, sometimes we don't know, what we don't know".  And I guess that statement covers all kinds of blindness.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Freshing Up

The old blog has undergone its Spring clean up. I applied a new design template. Moved and added some of the sidebar stuff around, added a topic cloud... I love clouds. I feel like I just redecorated. If only cleaning up my house was so easy and yielded such a quick result.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Five for Friday

Today I blog to you from my hair dresser's chair. It is color time. It has been a busy week...but I will get to that in my five things...maybe.

1. I am really bad about getting my hair done. I love the results. I hate the greys. However, sitting and waiting for the magic to happen drives me nuts. Thus, today I am writing while things develop or process or whatever they call it.

2. Chicken Shwarma. My beautiful daughter had a day off school yesterday and we went out for lunch. It was such good fortune on my part that she wanted Middle Eastern food. We also had a nice talk over our very garlicky lunches. She had felafel, since she is not eating meat currently. I got two fixes in one, yummy food and the best company in the world. What a blessing.

3. Planting & Growing with Wolves. I am a den leader for my son's Wolf Cub Scouts. Eight energetic 2nd graders planting vegetable and grass seed went better than I expected. I had a vision of soil and water all over. Fortunately we went outside to plant our tiny container gardens. The funniest thing was one boy having a minor fit over having dirty hands from planting. I am not sure there is a clean way to plant. If there is I have never learned it. Never before has this boy had an issue with being messy. It must have been the day.

4. Unseasonable warmth. It is a record. The furnace was turned off at my house on Monday. Never in the month of March, in Michigan, have I turned off the heat. We also opened the windows. I am starting to think I have moved into another climate. I only shoveled once this winter. ONCE. Crazy. I am not complaining, just a bit thrown off by the oddness of it all.

5. Looking for "Followers". Not actual people to follow me around and doing my bidding (although, if you know someone that is crazy enough to do that...I will meet them for coffee). Once again I ask you my sweet reader to follow my blog (look to the right and do what it says). Also if you really enjoy a post you read here, please share it with a friend, or on your Face Book or Twitter feed. I also welcome comments, always. Thanks for reading and giving me more inspiration to write.

Happy Weekend. Here is to new color and WiFi!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wicked Wednesday

This week Wicked Wednesday is dedicated to truly wicked people. You know the people I am talking about. They are always crabby and willing to share a heaping measure of  misery with others. In fact these people almost always seem almost joyful about being jerks. The miserable, truly wicked people are on my mind today because recently one of my dear friends had a run in with a very awful person. My dear friend Louise is honestly sweet to the core. She is kind, giving, and very seldom crabby. (And an amazing optometrist...highly recommended by this particular blogger)  This past week she was verbally assaulted by an extremely angry crossing guard by her son's school. Yes, a crossing guard that helps children cross the street.  Admittedly, my friend pulled her car across the cross walk while waiting in the pick-up line. Louise is not usually the "pick-up" person, she was helping out a neighbor, so when she did this she was unaware of her faux pas. The angry crossing guard who pounded upon her car window and proceeded to yell at her,  pointed out her mistake, while also hurling some very unfair and untrue assumptions about Louise. That is right, the woman yelled at her. Instead of making Louise aware of her pick- up line error in a polite way, this woman just yelled at her. I am sorry, but that is not okay. Yelling is just not an acceptable way to communicate anything, well I guess it communicates that the yeller is angry and unstable, but it does not convey a message very well.

When I heard about this incident it reminded me that civility seems to be optional in society. Not for me, but for many. Last week I shared about the cell phone yelling lady at Bed, Bath, and Beyond...she was scary.  Granted she was being uncivil to her own family, but one might imagine her ire could be turned upon a stranger as well.  In restaurants I overhear patrons talk in rude ways to the server when their meal or some aspect of service is not to their liking. I hear uncivil tones at the grocery, the gas station, and so many other places. Why? Why are people so rude? It does not matter if it is a stranger or a familiar person, the tone in society has become wicked. Not the fun, devilish scamp wicked that this blogger likes and highly endorses. No, there is an ugly wicked tone in society today. I do not approve or enjoy it at all.  It is downright awful.

Obviously, I do not advocate being a passive doormat. If you get a bad meal at a restaurant, please do let your server know in a polite way. If someone gets in front of you in a long line, give them the benefit of the doubt and nicely point out where the line starts. Generally, people are easily confused by crowds and lines. Most people are not trying to get away with cutting. I know that I am pretty embarrassed when I make a big crowd faux pas, like cutting or blocking an aisle. If someone kindly points out the issue, I am fine with correcting my error. If someone yells at me to point out my error, I correct the problem, feel embarassed, and then mentally plot what I would do to that person if I were an uncivil, angry, jerk.(Note: I am rather creative, and the jerks of the world should be grateful I am too civil to ever carry out any evil plots)  I do not like thinking mean thoughts about people. I like to believe people are good intentioned and do not try to make others feel like garbage. Sadly, some people do like to make others miserable. Some people live to make other people feel like garbage. I  feel bad for those people because clearly something I their life has turned them sour and wicked (again, not the good wicked, like your beloved blogger).  Life is not always a bowl of cherries. In fact it is seldom is ideal and serene.  Things go wrong.  Life is often messy, my life, your life, and the lives of angry, miserable, yelling jerks.  Often the only thing a person can control in a situation is how they choose to react.  I choose civility.  Sure, I get mad, frustrated, and even angry at times. I also firmly believe and strive to practice the old adage, "You catch more flies with honey".

I would have rather posted about a silly, wicked scamp of piece today.  However, for my friend who was a recent victim of an uncivil person, I felt compelled to write about something truly wicked in society.  Go forth and be gentle to others.  Nobody is perfect, but you do not need to point it out unkindly, or at high volume.

My friend agreed to the pseudonym "Louise" and kindly allowed me to share her brush with the uncivil crossing guard.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Whimsical Gargoyle Tuesday

This is a bit of child art.  We have a lot of kid art because my daughter is a very creative, artsy type person.   The gargoyle is one of my favorite pieces of her work.  I like the color, and the rather smug, self-assured grin on his face.  It is very whimsical.  She made this a couple years ago.  Lately her art has taken the form of  music.  She plays clarinet, bass clarinet, and recently picked up a saxophone and discovered she can play that too.  It is impressive to see how easily music comes to her.  Impressive because I never easily took to any instrument.  I tried a few and found frustration.  I love to listen to music.  My beloved is a musician and has clearly passed his musical aptitude to our daughter.  I am not sure where her visual arts ability came from (perhaps it is all her own). I do know that I grin much like this gargoyle when I hear her playing any of her instruments.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Test-Drive Challenge

Let us file this under "S" for sketchy...but it is only slightly sketchy...I blame it on TV.
On a Good Morning America segment there was an offer of a $25 gift card for test driving a particular make and model of car.  My car loving son was getting his shoes on for school when he heard this offer during the Freebie Friday segment.  He then insisted that I test drive that vehicle for the gift card.  Silly.  Not so silly that I would not do it, but silly none the less. It felt like a dare.  Dares are fun.   It has been mentioned here before that I lack a general sense of caring about vehicles.  I do however like a challenge. I figure going in and test driving a car I really know nothing, or care nothing about would be a challenge.  I needed to seem sincere about the vehicle, but no so interested that I walk out with a monthly payment.  I called the dealership and set up a time for a test-drive so I would not chicken out.  My son went to school so I would not have him pushing me to drop by the dealership.  I am a complete stickler for an appointment, it obligates me to follow through.  After I made the appointment I began to slightly panic because of my lack of caring about cars.  A person was going to ask me what I look for in a vehicle and I honestly have two requirements...

  1. The vehicle starts
  2. The vehicle moves
Really.  That is all I care about.  Sure I have colors I like and do not like, but even that is not very important.  Now I needed to appear that I cared about features.  It was becoming abundantly clear why I had never test-driven a vehicle before.  I am not picky about cars, as long as it fulfills my two requirements I am happy.  My dad or husband had test-driven and recommended all of my vehicles for the past 23 years.  YIKES!  

Furthermore, I was test-driving a foreign car.  I have only driven American cars.  Perhaps a couple rental cars were foreign, but as for ownership...I am a domestic.  But an appointment was set, so it had to happen.  And the $25 gift card, my motivator.  Oh, and I knew I would write about the experience.  Secondary motivation. son wanting me to do it, the whole reason I even considered it at all.  Full of motivation, and coffee, I headed to the dealership for my test-drive.  My very first solo-trip to a car dealership.  This was the loop in my brain on the 20 minute drive...
  • Ask smart questions
  • Emphasize that you are just starting the car shopping process
  • No dumb questions
  • No buying (okay that would be easy)
  • Have fun
Over and over those things ran through head.  Realizing I was doing something new and different was exciting.  Playing the part of someone who actually was interested in cars was a true challenge.  Until I pulled in the parking lot and saw the type of vehicle I would be test-driving. (Really, I had no idea what it looked like I knew the make and model when I made the appointment.  I never looked at any pictures on the website)  It was a lovely sedan.  A sedan.  No sliding doors.  Four hinged doors.  And a trunk.  Not a rear lift gate.  This car was everything that I do not drive, and I had only seen the outside.  I spoke with the salesman about my vehicle needs (I added more that my initial two needs) then he made a copy of my drivers license, grabbed the keys, and we headed out to drive.  Yes, I am describing this step by step, because never before have I been the person anyone talked to in the car dealership.  Up until this point I had been the backseat person.  The little lady.  The "Mrs.".  Pretty much all things that make me annoyed in most situations, but since I have complete apathy for motor vehicles, I have accepted my diminished role in the automotive selection process.  It was nice to be asked the questions about what I am looking for in a vehicle.  It was nice to be directly spoken to and told about features.  It was nice to be the driver during the test-drive.

The vehicle I drove was pretty "loaded" with nice options.  Sunroof over the driver and passenger seats, heated /cooled leather seats (front and back), heated steering wheel (that is nice), push button ignition (very suspicious of this feature...I like keys), and it was a lovely titanium color with a bit of metallic fleck in the paint.  It drove quite and smooth, accelerated nicely.  I felt rather luxurious as compared to my almost ten year old, very trustworthy mini-van.  This vehicle did not scream, I AM A MOTHER OF TWO, or I BAKED 3 DOZEN CUPCAKES FOR THE BAKE SALE, or SURE, I CAN DRIVE FIVE KIDS ON THE FIELD TRIP TO THE ZOO.  No, this vehicle really did not say who the driver was at all.  It was almost too anonymous for me.  Yes, it was fun and a little cool.  It takes a lot for a non-car person to find a car cool.  The new car smell was nice.  However, I only have two real requirements for a starts, and it moves.  The other features I like about my current vehicle is it gives my current credentials.  I am very okay with my three rows of seating, and the lack of coolness my vehicle projects.  I am not my car.  My car is not me.  It is a way to get from here to there and back.  It is all I need.  I will worry about projecting my own image outside of vehicle.

The added bonus is the $25 gift card that I will get in 6-8 weeks after I send in my test-drive certificate.  I did this as a lark, and to make my car obsessed son happy.  What I gained was a new experience, a writing topic, and a new found appreciation for my current vehicle. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Five for Friday

Ahhhh, Friday.  The day that this particular blogger's thoughts turn to the weekend family fun, a possible nap, and boxed red wine.  It also means I can produce five disjointed thoughts into one semi-cohesive blog entry.  I love randomness.  It may be one of my favorite things.

  1. I wish there was summer camp for adults.  Swimming, hiking, arts & crafts, singing, campfires, and staying up giggling until the crabby camper yells and makes people shut up. (There is always a crabby camper, they have grown up and now work at the post office or the DMV).  I envy my children heading off for various camps this summer.  I know I had my time.  I just want to do it again, as an older and wiser camper.  My lanyards would have so much more artistic integrity now.
  2. Taco Bell is gross.  I am in the minority in my family, and perhaps the whole world, in not liking the faux Mexican food. I lose the battle of where to stop for food on road trips because we are far too democratic for my liking.  I have learned that the bean burrito is the least offensive item on the menu.  In college I was also the lone inebriated person that did not want to indulge in a "run for the border".  As my fellow revelers consumed tacos by the dozen, I would eat crackers and pretzels or just go to bed.
  3. We had a beautiful, windy, 60 degree day  on Wednesday.  This day brought all the neighborhood kids outside to ride bikes, kick soccer balls, and just be kids.  I took the opportunity to open up both sliding doors on the mini-van and clean it out.  (I know. I am too much fun.  I should dial it back a bit).  Anyway, the van is cleaned and vacuumed.  When I hopped in my sweet ride on Thursday I had forgotten about the cleaning.  It was like a surprise party.  No joke, I was thrilled with the clean floor mats and lack of debris.  Who knew a person could surprise themselves?
  4. The Big Bang Theory, to say I love this show is a gross understatement.  The writing on this sitcom is so insanely amazing it makes me sick.  Who would think a show about university researchers could be so funny?  I do not understand what they do, all that science and theory and numbers.  Turns out it does not matter.  If you do not watch this show, give a chance.  It is a delight.
  5. Chicken Shwarma.  I have said it before, I will say it again.  I LOVE IT.  Sadly, chicken shwarma is not a food I can successfully prepare at home.  The pita bread, the seasoned chicken, the pickles, and the garlic sauce are just not ingredients I can properly do justice with at home.  There are two restaurants in the area that make slam dunk, perfect shwarmas.  I also do not eat it alone.  It is a food of friendship and sharing.  Okay, I do not share the shwarma in the way of a split order, but I do need to have someone with me to eat it.  This is the only food that I refuse to consume alone.  Why?  I am not entirely sure.  It is just a food that needs to be eaten with a friend.  That being said, I have not had any shwarma in 2012.  It is time for me to drum up some lunch buddies. Or change my silly rule  
All the best for a great weekend!
Live. Laugh. Love. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fraud Alert

First of all this has nothing credit card or identity theft.  This has to do with math.  I am a math fraud that is about to be exposed.  I have never enjoyed math.  I have taught elementary math.  While teaching math I never let on that I am no fan of mathematics.  No, in fact I would talk about math like it was an old friend.  I would sing the praises of long division whist talking through the annoyingly long process.

  • Fractions are fun.  
  • Multiplication  is marvelous.  
  • Subtraction is sublime.  
  • Addition is amazing.  
Yes, I have said all of those things.  I may have even made bulletin boards about all the awesome functions of mathematics.  The truth is I really do not like math, at all.  I am just an expert at putting a good spin on a bad subject.  This fake love of math has served me well.  My kids think I like math.  I have helped them with homework over the years and they have heard the happy song and dance about how awesome numbers and math are.  However, they were young and the math was easy.  Now my daughter is in pre-algebra.  The terms she talks about sound familiar, but I can no longer keep up the charade that I am wise on all things mathematical.  I am likely to to be more of a hindrance than a help if she asks me a homework question now.  My daughter is about to learn that I am a math fraud.  No great confessions are going to made.  No, it will be a subtle realization on her part that her mother is not a math girl.  I wish were, but I am not.  My daughter is a math girl.  She has always liked math and science.  My husband is an engineer and a gifted math man.  She takes after him in her linear, logical, science based mind.  I am word girl, and now my words have gotten me in trouble.

Now, I am am a fraud.  Soon to be exposed.  Perhaps I should have never overstated my love of math.  My mother always said she hated math and was bad at it.  So it was easy for me to feel the same way.  I never wanted my daughter to feel the same way. In my zeal to turn the tides and have a math loving kid,  I overstated my case, and now I must live my fraud existence.  I know that my daughter will be good at math, even when she finds out I am not a math fan.  I am just feeling a little glum that she will know I am a fraud.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wicked Wednesday

It is time again to be wicked.  I can not help myself.  Actually, I could help myself if the outside world did not continually act foolishly when I am around.  This week my wickedness is based on a very loud exchange in the travel sized toiletries section at my local Bed, Bath, & Beyond.  Please note, I was an innocent bystander.  I was on a mission to get tiny toothpaste, shampoo, and hair gel for my beloved who is preparing for a trip.  The TSA and the tiny toiletry making companies are in cahoots.  Oh, and the quart sized zipper bag making companies are in on it too.  Those entities have collaborated to make travel extremely annoying.  The couple and their college aged daughter that were getting loud in travel sized section seem to be highly agitated and stressed  by their impending travel.  The wife was yelling at someone on the phone, whilst directing her husband and daughter on which tiny toiletries to select for their upcoming trip.  I have never seen someone get so worked up about hygiene products.  Her poor  husband and daughter were grabbing bottles, bringing them to phone yelling woman, only to have her chastise them on their selections.  Then they scurried back to the wall of tiny toiletries to try again to satisfy the angry phone talking woman.  The phone lady kept saying, "3oz or less!!!!".  She had clearly been driven wild by the TSA /tiny toiletry/ zipper bag conspiracy.  Now the wicked part, sure the yelling lady was pretty wicked, but that was her wickedness.  MY WICKEDNESS was staying in that section studying the ingredients labels on products I had no intent on purchasing. Yes, I was lingering to see how it all would work out.  Then I got tired of the yelling, and the calamity.  I was hoping to overhear where they were going, or something that would help make sense of the crazy behavior.  I learned nothing other than the phone lady is bossy and loud, and her husband and daughter live in fear of her.  Okay, I assume they fear her, because I was starting to fear her and I do not even know her.

The lesson to take away from all of this is, behave yourself in public.  You never know who is pretending to be interested in deodorant ingredients so they can hear your family conflicts.  It could be a wicked blogger and you could become her Wednesday fodder.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy Places

Today I am dedicating my blog to happy places.  Places that just make me feel serene and at peace.  I know that I can not escape the general hustle and bustle of daily life.  However, it is nice to have pictures that transport me back to place that just filled me with joy.

 This is a waterfall in the upper peninsula of Michigan.  The best part of seeing this waterfall was the long walk on a trail through the woods.
 The Pink House in Savannah, GA.  It is not only lovely to look at, it houses a wonderful restaurant.  My beloved and I went to Savannah for our 15th anniversary.  It is a beautiful city to just stroll around and soak in the southern charm.
Okay, I probably do not need to say where this is or what it is, but it is beautiful.  Disney at Christmas, and at night is amazing.  The castle covered in lights is breathtaking.  Yes, it is very crowded, but if you stand on a bench at just the right moment you can capture a great picture.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Krazy Quote

"Drugs have no nutritional value." ---my daughter's 7th grade Health teacher
This quote has been soaking in my brain for about two weeks now.  This was how my daughter's drug unit in Health 7 started.  Those were the dynamic words that her teacher decided would impact his students.  Not since Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign have I heard a more lame anti-drug message.  So put down that spoonful of crack cocaine and hear me out on this one.  My daughter is 12 years old chronologically , but is a bit of  an old soul.  She is the kind of kid you can not snow with platitudes, and simple answers.  She can see through fakes, and smell lies.  I love her for it, and I struggle with her for the same reasons.  She finds her Health teacher to be an absurd person, not just because of the drug statement, but for a variety of reasons she has compiled since he was her PE teacher first marking period.  The issue at hand now is this teacher is trying to teach the approved curriculum for Health 7, and the curriculum appears to be very superficial.  I am fine with that.  I would prefer to have it as a jumping off point for our at home discussions on drugs, sexuality, and personal hygiene.  My concern is for the other students that have parents that are not as comfortable talking about sex and drugs.  What about the kids that are just getting the "Just Say No" and "Drugs have no nutritional value" as their messages?  Facts are good, and have value, but not enough.  I know that her teacher is very concerned with personal fitness and well-being, however 12 & 13 years old kids do not care about the nutritional value of things.  Okay, maybe a few kids care about the nutritional value of things, but probably not the kids that are confronted with the choice of using drugs.  As I see it, drug use in kids is tied heavily to feeling accepted and fitting in with peers.  Therefore, just saying no and nutritional value arguments are very unlikely to mean too much at the moment booze or a joint is being passed around.  It is in those moments that actual values need to come in play.  Values that can not be instilled by a class.  Values that need to be discussed, instilled, and practiced at home.

As much as I have mocked the quote by her teacher, I also embrace it as a place for us start talking about smoking, drinking, and drug use.  I am glad my daughter felt comfortable to come home and share that absurd statement with us.  It means that she feels okay introducing uncomfortable topics.  It is nice to not always having to be the one that brings up the tough topics.  If we can make it a little funny it is easier.