Friday, June 28, 2013


   “Summer, summer, summertime…”, as Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff sang, back in the 90’s.  Well, it sure isn’t here.  We’re in the middle of a monsoon, it seems.  I am saying this lightly, I do realize that monsoons are ferocious and this definitely isn’t the season here, but seeing so much rain makes one say some strange things.

   My gardens are getting a beating and I only hope the sun comes out and stays out for a while soon.  My tomatoes and peppers sure could use a little love, and me talking to them, encouraging them not to give up, doesn’t seem to do the trick. 

   Even my beans, that are so hardy they should grow anywhere under any conditions, are turning yellow and giving up.  The whole garden is depressed, as am I. 

   My treadmill quit a couple weeks ago.  My boyfriend is supposed to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it but that has yet to happen, although he has tried.  In the meantime I have switched to the Wii and the Just Dance games, using mainly the sweat mode, to complete a workout.  Generally I try to do this every other day, but days go by sometimes.  Other times I can get some activity in a couple days in a row.  The thing is, I started running a couple months ago – on the treadmill.  I’ve only tried it twice outside and I don’t like to do it because I’m self-conscious.  However, it’s the only exercise now that makes my body feel tight, strong and healthy. I’ve really got to get out there.

   Tonight there is a book signing and reading that I have just been invited to, by my brother because he’s got some of his work in it.  I should go.  I want to go, but I was out of the house last night and the dogs have been alone all day – again.  I’m not sure what I should do, but I think the right thing to do would be to go.  I’d want my family to show up for me.

   So it is the next day and I DID go for a run outside, and I DID go to the book signing.  Both things that I feel very good about doing.  I’m exhausted today after a few long nights, and I’ have a headache, but I still feel good.  It was a busy week with pottery class, an extreme amount of phone calls and begging from my kid, worrying and family stuff.  I’m glad the weekend is here and that I’ll be spending it with my grandson.  I can’t wait to see what we end up doing.

   It’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow, but I think it’ll be nice enough to walk in and explore, and maybe that’s something I can give him.  An observation of nature, a natural curiosity.

   I love summer.  It’s more than a season, it’s a feeling.  It’s when one can exhale, relax, and just go with the flow.  I’ll be doing that this weekend. 

   As Will Smith sang “Got to sit back and unwind…” 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Bra

   I’ve been wearing the same bra for years.  I did have two that I wore religiously but it wore out.  No, it didn’t have two big holes in the front.  Nope, don’t wear a big bra.  Let me give you a little history lesson.
   When I was twelve and all my friends were wearing training bras, I asked my mom if I could get one.  The answer was no.  I think one of my sisters told my mom, finally, that I needed a bra and then we went shopping.  I got your regular little girl bra with a little padding to give me some shape.  After that I was on my own.  It’s not that my mom didn’t care.  That’s not what this is about.  I really don’t think she knew how to talk to me so she chose not to.
   Throughout high school I bought my own; flimsy little silky things that didn’t cost much and did nothing for my figure.  When my daughter was born (and I had to have gotten a bra for that expanding time) my sister bought me the most comfortable bra ever and told me to sleep in it.  “You’ll ruin yourself if you don’t” is what she told me.  I don’t know whatever happened to that bra.  I know that I shrunk and it never would fit me again unless I got a boob job.
   Then came the day a friend and I walked into Victoria Secrets.  I actually got measured and bought a bra.  For fifty-some dollars but it fit.  It was a push up demi that made me look, for the first time in my life, like I had cleavage.  It was amazing!  I looked good, I looked a little busty!  Then I got a puppy.  And the puppy loved my bra.  Then one day he chewed it up.
   Now, I still have that puppy ten years later, and I love him dearly, but I’ve never forgiven him for that.  We don’t have a VS store near us and it’s a special trip and the price is so dear.  I went in at Christmas time but it was so busy and with the crowds I was just too anxious to even ask to get fitted.
    After the season I tried to do it myself and bought two bras.  I brought one back and the other one I kept, but I don’t wear it anymore because it made my breasts look misshaped.  I’m back to the black one.  It’s kind of hard because I’m avoiding wearing light colors and in the summer you just feel the need for white!  So I’m going to try again, although I’m not sure when.  I’ve got to call my friend and see if she’s up for a supportive road trip.
   To all the larger busted women out there please know this, manufacturers make bras for you.  Fashion runways may prefer my bra size (small to none), but the stores carry a lot for you ladies.  I’m stuck with sports bras – the training bra for grown women.  I’m looking forward to a good fit, even if it’ll cost me $60.  So wish me luck.  I know I’m not the only woman in the world with this problem, but sometimes it feels like I am.
   I’ve got to go.  My bra needs to be adjusted- again.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


   “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”, said Forrest Gump’s mama.  She’s right, you don’t.  I worry about a lot of things, but in the end what is going to happen is going to happen.  Yesterday, all afternoon I was harassed by my daughter who wanted me to pick her up and drive her to the store.  In all fairness, if she didn’t live as far away as she does now, and if I hadn’t been so tired, I probably would’ve done it. 
   Now, I’ve been telling people lately that things are getting better. She’s learning the boundaries that I’ve set for her and is abiding by them.  Never in my working life except when she was a young child has she called me less at work.  Then – BANG!  She called me yesterday at least ten times at my office and probably the same on my cell phone.  It’s not like the phone rings constantly here, so the phone ringing as much as it did was noticeable.  I answer the phone so I was ok on that end, but I was just so disappointed and angry that she would do this.  I was hurt that she would think nothing of putting my job in jeopardy for her wants, and it was a want, not a need, no matter how much she phrased things that way.
   I wish I felt good about doing nice things for my daughter.  I wish I could enjoy spending time with her.  I wish I had spent more time disciplining her and not making it up to her that I had left her father and pushed her into a single parent household.  The main reason I did that was because I didn’t want her to see women as something to be pushed around and used, possibly as a punching bag or a money machine.  I left him before she was two.  She’s with someone just like that now.
   I wish I knew her hopes and dreams, and maybe someday when she’s not asking me for something, when we are content to be with each other, when her husband allows her to be alone with me, I can ask her and find out what’s on her mind.  As it is now they latch on to everything they get and see what they can trade it for – for him.  It’s not a happy life for her.  Certainly not the one I envisioned for her when I held her in my arms for the first time.  All of my hopes and dreams for her have shattered and I can only pray that things will get better for her.
   Her path, the one she’s chosen, is the one that hurts her the most.  If she walked the straight and narrow and did things the way she was supposed to she would get to a life she could enjoy without handouts and begging.  At least I think she would.  I just wish she’d try, and I wish he would let her.  ‘Cause she’ll never know, just like that box of chocolates.  I just wish she’d grab one and try it…

Monday, June 24, 2013

Obesity Disease

Obesity is now a disease.

   I don’t get it.  You’re either fat, in which case you need to lose weight in order to be healthy, or you’re not fat.  And you either got yourself there on your own or your parents didn’t care about you and let you eat whatever your chubby little heart desired.  One thing is for certain, only you can take responsibility for your fatness.

   Grow up America, not out!  When I was growing up it was awful being fat because you were the minority.  There were maybe one or two kids in my class that were fat.  Of course, our moms were home making us dinner every night, we didn’t get McDonald’s – it was a treat that was maybe done a couple times a year, if that.

   We were made to play outside.  There weren’t video games like there are today.  When Atari came into the house (through my brother who worked at a farm and also trapped to pay for it himself), we still had to go out and play.  If not we had to do chores.  Simple as that.

When I was nine I got a pony.  She tried to roll over every time I tried to ride her so eventually I ended up getting rid of her.  She got fat from eating all day and no riding, but sometimes my sister and I would ride up to the neighbor’s house.  One day the old farmer was there and he said “Fat little pony for a fat little girl”.  I was one of the larger kids in my class, but definitely not fat.  However, that one man made me feel fat for most of my life.  The one good thing about it was that I always kept myself in check.

   I try to eat well.  I exercise.  I try to make good choices about my health.  I don’t want to be fat and sick.  I want to be able to walk and not be out of breath because I’m lugging around a hundred or two extra pounds.  It kills me when a friend of mine says they are on a diet and are trying to lose weight and then say that they drink two liters of diet soda every day.  Two liters!  That’s not common sense.

   But to call obesity a disease is a travesty.  I think it’s the mind that is diseased, and if enough people realized it and went into treatment for the way they think then they could combat their physical condition and beat the diseases that obesity brings to the table.  (And we could keep our mental facilities and treat everyone who needs treatment, especially those that want to kill people and seem to find a way to do it – in big fashion).

   The AMA needs a wake-up call.  Not everything can, or should, be solved with a pill.  Personally, I don’t like the idea of living in a diseased and weakened society.  I’m not even sure if an overweight person likes the idea of being told they are diseased now.  Hopefully not.  Hopefully they are outraged and will turn to the AMA and tell them that they have diseases due to a condition that they have put themselves in.  Isn’t anyone else tired of the labels heaped upon us?  Hopefully it motivates them to do something as simple as parking farther away and walking an extra block to work or having an apple instead of chips.  I don’t know, but I think calling it a disease is wrong.

   Some decent, old-fashioned advice is what the world needs.  Instead of a world where it is “everyone else’s fault” or we “can’t help” the way we are, maybe we should pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, face the fact that we are responsible for ourselves and can only start change within ourselves.  Maybe then the world, or at least one’s very own world, would start changing for the better.  One step at a time.  You can do it if you put your mind to it.



Friday, June 21, 2013

Hey, hey Paula

   Oh Paula, why?  Why did you admit to saying it?  I know you’re honest and you’re a good person.  So do your other fans.  But why admit that you said racially disparaging remarks?

   I think anyone who says they haven’t disparaged another person is a liar, and maybe you were thinking that honesty wins out over all, but we live in a time where being malicious is second nature.  People salivated when they heard you done wrong, and not for your food.  Everyone forgets that they do these things every day, whether it’s calling someone a name, or laughing at someone and not helping them, or re-hashing things that happened deep in someone else’s past.  It happens.  Unfortunately for you, you have your life in the spotlight and can’t just sweep it under the rug.

   The other side of this conundrum is that although it is horrible for you to use a racial slur, it is not only ok, but expected, for certain musicians (rappers) to use it, re-use it, write about it, talk about how bad it is and then use it as a term of endearment when talking to their peers.  Before everyone gets up in arms about that just stop and think about it.  It’s heard everywhere, from comedians to rappers to college students, and it flows off their tongues as if they are asking for directions.  It is the one problem I have when I hear people talk about stereotypes and how we (Caucasians) are the root of all evil when it comes to this.  Very rarely do you hear a white comedian or rapper use the N-word.  They’d get the crap beat out of them. 

   I guess I’m lucky because I haven’t had to really deal with out and out racism.  I’ve been down south and not seen it, although members of my family tell me it’s there.  They know first-hand, as they live there. 

  Paula, you have come through so much.  It’s apparent you made some bad decisions (that party theme, for one), and I hope it doesn’t cause you to lose your livelihood.  If it does, then I hope others from the other side of the coin get their comeuppance too, but I really hope it doesn’t come to that.  You are a beautiful person, with, I believe, a heart of gold.  I saw the show you did with Oprah, when you invited her into your home and shared your cooking with her.  You were so gracious and kind and not at all like social media is making you out to be.

Monday, June 17, 2013

I've Got Little Levon On My Mind

   What is wrong with this picture?  Dad goes out with baby, brings baby home, leaves baby on front porch to unlock the back door, baby goes missing for two weeks before his disappearance is reported.  Poor Levon Wameling.  This poor child.  I hope that he's alive and that he's with someone who is loving him and treating him like he is worth something because apparently his dad thought of him like he was a stray cat or something.  I can just picture him saying "Oh shit, where did that kid get off to?"  No, it's not funny, it's pathetic. 

   Where was this child’s extended family?  I know I don’t see my grandchildren every day, but after three or four days, if they haven’t called, I’m calling them.  I expect to at least hear their voice in the background if not talking directly to me.  Also, if they disappeared off my porch I would immediately start yelling for them, not sitting on that information for two weeks.  Yes, we all long for a little peace and quiet, but not like this.

   Yes, the father is a person of interest.  He definitely should be.  I have to wonder if there were any agencies involved with this child.  Did the Department of Social Services have an interest in him, and if so, did they check up on him?  I know they have many cases that are sometimes overwhelming, but these children need to be checked on.  I believe Levon’s mother was in rehab at the time and awareness of his disappearance came about when she got out.  How tragic for her, to take the first step to regaining her life and have her child ripped from it.

   I cannot imagine losing my child, no matter what age, and not being frantic and crazy to find him.  I have to wonder what the world is coming to when children are treated as possessions, not people, and God, why are some allowed to conceive when they are so incapable of taking care of themselves, let alone another human being?  You have to take a test to drive a car, you have to get a license to get married, but anyone, ANYONE, can have a baby!  And they are.  And there are people out there that try for years and years, and pay their life savings for fertility drugs or surrogates, or adoption fees, who might never have that baby.  These people are probably good people who for some reason or another just cannot conceive.  Yet, that high school dropout that smokes dope and takes pills can get knocked up by the guy that beats her and calls her filthy names in front of their children can have and keep the child they conceive because there’s food on the table and the house is neat.

   There should be a test.  An unrelated expert on parenting and children should come into the house and observe conditions before birth.  Maybe install hidden cameras.  That way people might forget about acting, and start being real.  Then, if they’re not mature enough or responsible enough to raise a child then it would be taken and given to parents who would raise it and love it and not treat it like a tax deduction or a meal ticket.  I know it’s extreme but so is the fact that children are being hurt and killed by the very people who are supposed to love and protect them. 

   It makes me so angry when I hear about a parent who has killed their kids.  And it breaks my heart and brings me to tears.  I think about that baby, that child, who never got a chance.  And people will say that it was God’s will, that she was born for a reason and she must have done what she was supposed to do, etc, etc., but I know this is because no one can make sense of something like killing a kid, and no one should because it shouldn’t make sense.  Ever. 

   So I am praying for Levon, and I’m praying for his mother and hoping that if this ends up badly that she will continue her recovery with him in mind, because if he were here he would deserve a mother who cared more for him than drugs.  I pray they find him alive, safe and sound.  I pray that this doesn’t tear his family apart but brings them closer, and I pray that this case gets resolved and closed, and that someone pays.

   I hope you get to go home Levon.  You’re in a lot of hearts right now, and we’re all praying that you are ok.




Local Government Pisses on People Again

   Government at all levels is corrupt in some way.  I can’t be wrong in thinking that and I know I’m not the only one.  That said, I think our court system is in bed with our governments, whether they be local, regional or all encompassing.  It’s hard to trust an entity that insists you’re worth working for but treats you like crap.

   Where is this going? you ask.  Well, just recently in the paper there was an account regarding a couple who owned a building and were planning on opening up a restaurant there.  Next door to that building was a building that was falling down.  The county government said “Take it down!”, and they did, and in the process damaged this couple’s property. 

Well, not only did it damage their property but while they were trying to protest the demolition, the husband was locked up in a psych ward because he got on his roof and told them to stop.  The Sheriff issued orders for him to go.  The Sheriff, who apparently had some type of medical training.  Uhhh, no.  No, he didn’t.

   To top it off, this situation led to problems with the husband and wife, which resulted in a divorce.  They had at least one child and I think more, so it was made even harder for them.  These were regular people just trying to make a living and to hopefully leave something to their kids someday.  Someday didn’t come, though. 

   A lawsuit was started to get the County to own up to what they did and it took fourteen years to actually get to court.  This man had lost an opportunity to start a business that could’ve been handed down through the generations, he lost his wife and family life in a divorce, and then several years later his wife died.  Who knows if the actual loss of the building and her family hastened her demise? 

   The lawsuit was put in front of a judge and jury.  The settlement asked for was $1.25 million.  The jury decided that the County was in the wrong.  They awarded the plaintiff $5,000.  That’s 3% of what was requested.  He said it was a slap in the face and it was.  I really believe it was.  I wish they had moved the proceedings to a different county so it could be heard by those impartial to the county’s financial standings, because I have a feeling that the reason the jury awarded such a small amount is because they wanted the plaintiff to get something, but were afraid they would get stuck with a bill in the form of fees and taxes.  And they probably would have.

   I hope he appeals and requests a different venue, and I hope justice wins.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Little Zest Goes A Long Way

   How zesty is too zesty?  Well, that is the question today regarding Kraft’s new ad for its zesty Italian dressing.  Personally, I love the commercials.  The guy in them has an awesomely catchy smile.  If you don’t know what I mean, it’s this – when he smiles or even when you think of him smiling, you smile.  There’s another TV personality that has the same characteristic – Simon Baker.  Check him out if you don’t know who I’m talking about, see if you don’t smile at him.

   Back to the zesty ad though…  You can see it here:

   Personally, I think it is too racy.  I love the commercials and I have to admit I did go out and buy Kraft dressing after I watched it and when I use my dressing on my salad or as a marinade, his commercials run through my mind.  Several times.  My favorite is the one where he throws the pepper up in the air and holds the knife and it lands on the plate perfectly sliced.  Mmmm hmmm, yeah baby, I would love to cook with him!

   The television ads are a little risqué, but fun.  They leave a lot to the imagination, which is what women want.  We don’t want a naked man selling us anything.  It’s the idea of the man being naked by showing us a glimpse here and there that keeps us watching and looking it up on YouTube when we want a smile.  Clean, good fun.

   I’m guessing a man came up with the print ad idea.  They could’ve had him sitting up wearing cotton trousers, made from the picnic cloth material, no shirt and holding a loaf of bread and a bowl of salad.  What’s more inviting than a guy who just made you something to eat?  You didn’t have to do a thing! 

   Yeah, I’m thinking Kraft missed the mark on this one. I only hope the uproar doesn’t stop the commercials from coming, because I do look forward to those.  Especially when he says “oops!”.  Keep it zesty Kraft, just don’t make it too spicy.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


   Dreams.  Ever have a dream that seemed so real that years later you still remember it?  I have several that are so vivid that I’ve never had them twice, never had to.  And what about those dreams where you need to do something, you try and try, but it just never seems to happen?  Do you have those too?

   I had one dream about George Clooney.  No, it wasn’t ex-rated.  I’m not sure if it was before or after his sexiest man alive awards or not.  I met him, he was nice and we spent a day together.  Sightseeing and hanging out.  The dream ended on a wet street, late in the evening, where we embraced and said good bye.  It was then that I realized he is a really great guy.  Very down to earth.  I remind my boyfriend of that dream every once in a while.  I don’t tell him the details, just that I met Mr. Clooney and that he really is a nice guy, and he just shakes his head and tells me I’m crazy.

   But what if we do meet people in our unconscious state?  Who’s to say George didn’t share that very same dream and woke up thinking, ‘Wow, some dream, that girl was really nice. I wonder if she is in real life’?  Of course it probably wouldn’t stick in his mind like it has stuck in mine, him being a celebrity and me being a nobody, but it could.

   After my dad died I had a dream that we were picnicking on a cliff, high above anywhere.  When I think of it I picture mountain scenes from The Sound of Music.  My dad was there, and my daughter and me and probably my sister and mother.  I started to fall off the cliff and my dad tried to grab my hand, but I slipped through.  I woke up of course, disproving the myth that if you fall off a cliff in your dreams then you die, but it bothered me for a long time that my dad couldn’t save me.  Of course, that wasn’t up to him, he tried.  I really needed to grab a branch on the way down and pull myself up.  I eventually did, but not in my dream.

   When I was a kid I dreamt of a fight.  It was the same dream over and over.  I never knew who I was fighting but every time I went to punch or kick someone a force field would hold me back and I couldn’t move.  I don’t know how many times I went through this.  I talked to my friends and asked them if they ever had dreams like that but none ever admitted to it.  One night I woke up as I kicked the wall.  I had broken the force field.  I had kicked my unknown assailant.  I never had that dream again.  Later on, when I was a little older but not much, there was a mean girl on the bus who would pick on me and my little brother mercilessly.  One afternoon she sat behind us and flicked her finger at the back of his ear.  I kept telling her to stop but she wouldn’t.  I turned around and stood up, she did too.  I’m pretty sure she asked me if I was going to hit her and I’m pretty sure I said I was.  Then I did.  Square in the face.  I don’t know if I punched her eye, nose or mouth.  I know there was a lot of hair pulling and kicking and swearing, and all I can liken it to is Ralphie’s fight in A Christmas Story.  I got off the bus and cried to my mom.  I thought the mean girl’s family was going to kill me.  In the end, nothing happened except that that mean girl NEVER bothered me or my brother again.  Ever.  I never hit someone again either.  But I think that dream prepared me for it in some way.

   When I was a teenager I attended a wrestling event at a friend’s school.  I seriously think there were people like Macho Man Randy Savage there.  It was a fundraiser and I just happened to be visiting there at the time so I got to go.  As we were sitting in the bleachers I looked around and told my friend that there was going to be a fire.  Around half time the fire alarm went off and the school was evacuated.  A popcorn machine had caught on fire.  Everything was under control and once it was taken care of everyone was let back in to continue the show.  My friend asked me how I knew.  I told her I had had a dream about it.

   I love my dreams, I look forward to them.  I’ve only woken up crying or scared very rarely.  Thank God those dreams only stay with me for a little.  I always think they won’t go away, but they do.  I think sometimes dreams try to tell us something, either about ourselves or about others.  They rationalize our fears or try to explain them and help us overcome them. It is our mind trying to make us pay attention when we’re most relaxed and receptive.

   What about your dreams?  What do you dream about?  Have your dreams helped you?  Have you seen things you never thought you would?  Tell me!  I’d love to hear about them!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What Important Right Have Women Lost?

   Women’s rights.  Seriously, when I was younger I thought that this was a great idea.  Be equal to men, earn what they did, be independent and bring home the bacon.  You can do it all – raise a family, fix the car, volunteer, cook, clean, pay the bills – and for what?  My question now is, where did we go wrong?

   It seems to me that in the last 25 to 30 years our children have grown up alone, with no moral figures and no one to cling to when things get rough.  I say this in view of where I grew up, which is mainly rural.  When I was a kid it wasn’t the norm to have friends whose parents were divorced.  In fact, when my best friend told me her parents were getting one we were really worried that we might not be friends anymore.  I didn’t know anyone else whose biological parents weren’t together.  Using the term biological was usually reserved for adopted kids.  I was probably nine or ten before I found out my own dad had been divorced and that my older brother and sisters were really my half siblings.  I was told to keep it quiet, the whole neighborhood didn’t need to know.

   My mother worked.  I’m pretty sure she did part time work for a while and then full time when my dad had his heart attack.  I know she was home every day when I was a kid getting off the school bus.  We would walk in the door, drop our school bags on the floor, sit down and have snack and she would ask us how our day was.  Then we would run and change, do our chores, homework, eat dinner when dad got home, play and go to bed.  Dad would tuck us in and listen to our prayers.  Mom would get her tea and some quiet time with a book or a TV show.

   I look back now and I realize I had an idyllic childhood, not unlike something out of the Andy Griffith Show.  Our neighbors kept an eye on us when mom and dad might not be around, whether we knew it or not.  Someone called my mom when she saw me smoking in town when I was fifteen.  When I got home she was ready for me.  I still have no idea who told, but I knew someone was watching.

   We went to church as a family too.  I hated it, but every Sunday and church holiday, there we were.  Dad sang in the choir and he had an awesome voice.  I still love the church songs and I can still hear him in my mind singing them.  Mom always did the church groups and fund raisers.  They helped people and modeled the life they wanted us to live.

   My mom didn’t march on Washington.  She kept a good clean home, she made great meals from nothing, she read to us, fixed our hurts, monitored our television and our mouths, warned us of our actions and promptly punished us when warnings were ignored.  She taught us the lessons we needed to learn and gave us room to make mistakes.  She was there.

   It seems now, in this day and age, that we have the right to be everything except good mothers.  Sure there are some out there that get to stay home with their kids and live that life that a lot of us had, but there are a lot more that have to work to make ends meet.   There are a lot of single moms out there, by choice, that wanted it all and get home after a long day of school or work or both and just don’t get in the time that they want with their child(ren).  We’ve lost the right to raise our children in a two parent home, where one of us gets to stay home and take care of things on the “home front”.  The “home front” is now the “war zone” where we have to fight for time for dinner, for sports, for clubs, etc.  Our babysitter is the television with hundreds of channels or the internet with unlimited avenues or video games.  We had three TV stations – we were told to go outside and find something to do or something would be found for us.  We had to use our imagination. 

   Having our mom there gave us that.  She didn’t have to feel guilty about wanting to be there for us because she didn’t have to have it “all”.  What I don’t think she realized, and a lot of American women didn’t realize, was that they did have it all.  They had the best of it because they had a choice.  They could go out and work, or they could stay home.  There’s no choice now, not unless one is very wealthy or chooses to live very simply. 

   In my heart I believe the women’s rights movement did a lot for women.  We got the vote, we’ve passed some laws, we can get out and work in jobs traditionally held by men.  But socially, I feel it has broken down the family.  There was a reason women were nurturers and men were the providers.  There was a reason we held those roles. 

   I wish we could go back.  Just have a taste, see if the flavor is just as sweet as when I was growing up.  I know this piece has rambled, but I guess my point is this, by gaining all of these rights, women have lost the biggest right we had – to be a parent.  By losing our time to everything else we’ve lost that right and in doing so we are seeing a chain reaction in the loss of a cohesive society and a rise in violence.  Let’s give children back their two parent households with their moms at home.  I bet it makes a huge difference in twenty years time.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Look At My Life (just a little)

   I don’t want to let this blog go!  So I was trying to think of what I might write about.  Whoever is checking my page you might think I’m a negative nelly, but I’m not.  Quite the opposite.  I really do try to look for the good in all people and all situations.  It sometimes drives my boyfriend crazy because he calls a spade a spade and he’s rarely wrong.  However, I will argue and say that maybe this person went through this situation or that and that eventually they will come around and be productive, have a life, be a good parent, etc., etc.  He’s rubbed off a little on me though. 

   I had to turn Dr. Phil off yesterday afternoon.  I turned it on so I could run on the treadmill and possibly be entertained while I was doing so, but the first thing I heard was this woman talking about how her fiancé mistreats her and beats her and how she does it back to him and then starts talking about her newborn child.  I, of course, started talking to the television right away and the first thing that comes out of my mouth is “So he beats you and you decide to have a kid with him?”  That’s when I changed the channel.

   Dr. Phil, is there anyone out there that is inspiring?  Why do you televise stupid people?  People who do know better and continue to do the wrong thing?  I have to believe that your show is allowing more stupid people to feel good about themselves and justified about making stupid decisions. 

   I used to think I should write to Dr. Phil and ask him to fix my daughter, because she makes one stupid decision after another.  Then I thought, no, he’ll put me up there and tell me that I enabled her to be this way, and then he’d tell me I had to make some tough decisions to stop her behavior.  He does have some good common sense advice and I’ve read a couple of his books.  I also realized there was no way I could stop my daughter from acting the way she does but I could stop how I reacted.  (More advice from my boyfriend) So far, and it’s only been about three weeks, it seems to be working for me.  Not so much for her and my mother, who keeps helping her. <sigh>

   I still help her a little but no money, and I don’t go running out there every time she calls for me.  My time is my own and I’m trying to recapture it.  I feel cheated.  She didn’t graduate from high school, she had a job that she loved for a short time but then she met people who showed her she could get her needs met without having to work. 

   I worked and went to college and earned two degrees.  I still had time to volunteer in her classrooms and know her teachers and take her to do the fun things that were very special to us.  I love my daughter, I just don’t like the lifestyle that she is embracing.  In fact, I hate it.  This girl used to get up, shower, put on her make-up, straighten her hair.  She would look beautiful.  Now she’s not allowed to do that.  She has to wear sweatpants, no make-up; her hair is ever-rarely done.  She’s not allowed to work, and she’s married to a guy who is 15 years older than her.  My only hope is that he drops dead of a heart attack and that she pulls her life together.  We’ve tried to help her when she’s left him before, but we realized that it was a ruse to make him beg for her to come home, and for her to steal from us.

   And her father dropped dead when she was nineteen.  During that time when they weren’t getting along, so she has that to deal with that on top of everything else.  His wife refused to give her any of her father’s belongings so she has nothing physical to hold on to and the vile that had some of her father’s ashes in it broke.  She’s been in trouble with the law since she was fifteen and at 23 is still not learning.

   I read the advice columns, I watch Dr. Phil when it feels right, I look back in my life to see what I could’ve done differently.  I come up with a whole slew of options – I should’ve never read the Dr. Spock book, I should’ve spanked her more, I should’ve used birth control, I should have broke up with her dad and never told him about her, I should’ve had an abortion, I should’ve dated more so she could see a healthy relationship, I should’ve been a stay at home mom, I should’ve home schooled her.  The list goes on and on.  The only thing I could’ve done right was love her and I did, and I do.

   When she was four we went to a restaurant.  I’m not sure where we were but it was the two of us and she got something she didn’t want and when the waitress came over she told her and got it taken care of.  Four.  At three she was using multi-syllable words and knew what she was talking about.  She was smarter at four than she is at 23.  She’s picked up her husband’s way of speaking, such as “I done that” or “This is my cousint”  (spell check doesn’t like that word!)

   My boyfriend says genetics plays a role in how she turned out.  Even though she lived with me she is more like her father’s people than I ever would have imagined.  I wish and I pray that someday she will come into her own and become who she is supposed to be, not the person molded by the men in her life.  I hope the lessons I taught her are still with her and I hope she wants more for herself than just existing.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cheerios - the Drama

   Ok, John Q. Public, what’s wrong with the new Cheerios commercial?  As I was scanning news stories this morning I heard that a ton of the public took umbrage to the idea of a bi-racial family in the new Cheerios commercial.  Really?  I have to wonder why that is.  I seriously don’t understand it and what populations are so against it?  I think it’s great.  I think it shows that General Mills is more in touch with our country than our government is. 

You can watch it on youtube:

   Think about it.  Maybe we should have the government hire someone from Cheerios to discuss with them who we are, what we’re like, what we actually like and more than likely earn.  Because frankly, I don’t think the government has a clue, even though they do a census every ten years to find out where we live, who we live with, if we are living in sin, if we bring bastard children into the world, what we earn, if we own or rent or are homeless – you get the picture.  And then they classify middle class America as earning $200,000 a year.  Shit, I’m dirt poor then, and I’m better off than a lot in my neck of the woods.  If you’re wondering, I bring home almost $30,000 a year, but not quite.  I’m lucky.  I have a job and a reliable car.  I also have bills (and student loans and a child who refuses to grow up) and if I had to buy a car off the lot tomorrow I wouldn’t be able to afford it without cutting a ton out of my household budget. 

   Cheerios nails it with this family, and if you ask me it should have been presented long before this.  Long before we accepted reality shows as the norm, long before cartoon families became more real and more meaningful than our own.  Long before (and I’ll get flak for this) we recognized gay marriage in our sitcoms.  (By the way, I think gay marriage is ok, as long as you’re in love.) 

   Whoever is bashing the commercial needs to realize that this is the melting pot, as stated in a previous blog post.  My parent’s families immigrated here from Germany, Ireland and England.  The assimilated, went outside of their neighborhoods, met other people from other countries, had dinner and decided that this person sitting across from them, even though they spoke differently, was very interesting and quite possibly worth falling in love with.  Maybe even, (gasp!) have a child or two, with.  I’m sure there was an uproar from some of the older folks, but the kids got hitched and started their own families and here we are, several generations later gasping at a bi-racial couple. 

   C’mon America, pull your heads out.  Please.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


   Recently, I have noticed that Target and Taco Bell have been throwing some Spanish into their advertising.  Taco Bell I kind of expected it from, as it is a “Mexican” fast food chain.  Target, I believe, is trying to appeal itself to the quickly growing Latino population.  They are starting out, it seems, with Latino music.  On the screen they promote the store with large English words but the language sung in the commercial is Spanish.  I find this unnerving.  Now before some of you cry “racist”, as I’m sure many will*, let me assure you I am all for letting you be you and me be me.  This is not a racist rant.  I am proud of where I come from, and I come from America, where we speak English.  It is the language of our country, and if you choose to live here you need to learn it, and use it.   I have the option of learning Spanish or French or Japanese, but this country’s native language is English and it’s not going to change.

  If I travelled to another country I would prepare in advance to speak that country’s native tongue.  I would hope that it would be passable so that I could read a menu or ask directions.  If I decided to move there I would definitely need to learn it to get through my day to day living and to get a job.   We are not helping those that have come to live in our country by embracing their country’s language.  Why did they come here if they don’t want to be American?  Think about it.  They could have gone to any other country, but chose ours.
   I love Mexican food.  I went to a Latino restaurant in Washington once and the food, atmosphere and hearing the beautiful language altogether in that setting was an awesome experience.  I am not the most well-rounded individual.  I do not travel the world as I’m sure a great many don’t.  Many things I am unsure of are probably mundane for most.  I grew up very sheltered and I still live in a sheltered world where real drugs and crime are just starting to infiltrate.  I still feel safe in my world, and sometimes I do ask myself if I’m racist. 

   I am sure of one thing though – that this country is a melting pot, still.  People come here to be free, to become American, to celebrate the Fourth of July and independence.  Old country customs are appreciated, we want to see and hear about them.  We don’t mind the accents; we just want to understand what is being said.  With all of that said, I just want Target to understand that they don’t need to cater to other countries, just the one they’re advertising in – America.  We speak English, Target.  We like your store and what you do – especially that you donate to good causes.  There are a lot of people that say they will boycott Target until they change their advertising.  I am not one of those people.

   I am afraid though.  I’m afraid that America is losing itself, that the melting pot will be used to pour a new mold and we will have to change and become another entity, and what will we lose to do that?


*I checked Facebook and read the posts on Target’s page and there’s a LOT of the “R” word going around there.  I just have to wonder if patriotism, and love for your country, is only allowed for war issues.  Because THAT is something I can’t come to terms with.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wendy Williams/Amanda Bynes

   Last night as I was walking/running on my treadmill (I am not a perfect 10 by any means but I do try), I decided to watch the Wendy Williams show.  Dr. Phil was just getting me down and thought I'd try some fluff.  I don't normally watch Wendy.  I don't usually have time and I've never had the urge to actually sit down and watch.  That said, it gets boring on the treadmill and every little new thing helps. 

   Sooooooo, last night I'm running and she brings up Amanda Bynes.  She goes on and on about this poor girl and that something really is wrong with her.  She even brings on this guy from Radar online and has him talk about the situation.  Now I have read about Amanda a couple times in the last few weeks, about her getting arrested and crying abuse by the police.  Well, apparently she has shaved her head as well and is tweeting all the time about people who done her wrong or about people who tweet about her.  I don't tweet.  I've tried it, it's not my thing.  But anyway, Amanda is going through rough times.

   Wendy brings up Amanda's parents.  She says they live in LA, or somewhere in California and apparently they tweeted about their daughter's misfortune and how awful they feel about the situation and praying or whatever.  Then Wendy says, and I'm not quoting because I did not record the show and can't remember her exact words, if they (meaning Amanda's parents) really cared they would be in New York helping their daughter.  I'm guessing Amanda is estranged from her parents because of the not so nice tweets about her dad, but the point here is this - Amanda is a 27 year old adult.  She is not a child.  Her parents have probably had to deal with a ton of crap that they wouldn't have had to deal with had she not become famous.  Is it their fault she was on TV in the first place? Probably.  But in my opinion it is up to you and only you to take responsibility for yourself and your actions.  You can say someone else made you do something, but it is up to you, really. 

   When I was 12 the neighbor boy and I went to an abandoned barn and threw rocks at the windows.  He dared me to do it.  I knew it was wrong but I did it anyway.  I had a crush on the kid and thought I'd get farther with him (I did).  The problem was, I knew what I did was wrong.  I felt guilty.  When the cops came around asking questions I confessed.  My parents were not responsible for what I did.  I was and I knew it and I WAS 12 YEARS OLD.  A 27 year old has no business blaming her parents.  

   And as for Wendy, she has no right to tell Amanda's parents that they are doing wrong by their daughter, that they don't really care.  Amanda Bynes is not the only child to act out, she's just in the spotlight.  So grow up Amanda and take responsibility for yourself, and Wendy, try not to judge those you don't know.  As my parent's used to say, "Try walking a mile in their shoes", and "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all".
Peace out.