Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Art of Giving and Receiving

Okay, so as you can imagine, I have several pet peeves. I don't have the time to, nor would I want to burden you with all the things that bother me. However, considering the time of year, I think that my pet peeve at people's lack of thought and graciousness with gift giving is an appropriate one to address. When I was younger, a teenager I think, my sister and I spent a great deal of money purchasing a Christmas gift for my mother. Now, anyone who knows Margrett, knows that she does not mix words and back then, she was younger and had very little tact. I don't remember what it looked like, but I know it was something to wear. Seeing that I shopped with Taffy, I am sure it was something nice, but definitely meant to "update" mom's wardrobe. When she opened the gift, she looked it over and then looked us straight in the face and said, "Take this back. You didn't buy this for me." I agree that that is in no way how to graciously accept a gift, but since she was our mother and her goal was to teach us, she said this with the best of intentions. The lesson we quickly learned was that when purchasing a gift, you have to keep the recipient in mind. The amount of money you spend or how nice the gift is has little to do with whether or not they will like the gift. So goes the old adage, "it's the thought that counts". That is in no way meant to mean that as long as you think about getting something, you did enough. It means that the most important part of a gift is that you take the time to really think about what a person likes or needs and spend your time getting something for that person. A gift that instantly says, I know you well. I try to always remember that lesson, as I hope all of you will remember it too this holiday season. I would rather have something that I would like and need that you bought at a dollar store than something that doesn't look like me or is useless that you spent $100 on (later in life I am sure my kids will love this). However, with that being said, if we are in a gift exchanging situation (family drawings for example) and you have to ask what to give me and actually want a detailed gift description to include where to buy it, then you really shouldn't be buying me anything anyway. I love the surprise of the holiday. I like seeing what you WANT to give me. If you are going to go out and get the exact item I wanted and then you want me to do the same thing, then we should just keep our money and purchase what we want on our own. I take time to think about every gift. I LOVE giving gifts. If you get a gift from me, that doesn't mean that I expect you to buy me something (although I do like presents). It means that I thought of you when I bought the gift and seeing you happy to get it is enough. I am the "happy" person. I buy little things on occasion and give them to people just because. This is not an invite to message me about how you can become a recipient! You will just have to wait and see :) I plan to teach my children just as my mother taught me (hopefully with more tact). Everyone tries to remember about the receiving part and sending a thank you note. That is a dying art that I want to make sure doesn't die in my family too, but take the time to teach about giving and giving without expectations. It is amazing how just a few dollars and a little time can brighten a person's day. You should try it this year.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Love is a Funny Thing

When we are growing up, if we are lucky, our parents told us everyday how much they love us...mine did. Then as we grow older, we are taught that there is only room in our hearts to love but just one person for life. What kind of BS is that? Everytime you fall in love, you give a little bit of your heart away. Sometimes you find out that it wasn't real love and you recover and can pass that along to someone else. I figure, the older you get, the less you have leftover to hand out. I am sure that the first person I loved, the one who made my stomach do flipflops and had butterflies, is still in a little part of my heart. The first person I had a real adult, intimate relationship with most definitely took a piece of my heart. Then I met my husband and he took up most of what was left, but then I gave birth to two precious little boys who tugged at those heart strings and I fell in love with them before I we ever met them. They will forever be in my heart. In all my years, I have had many friendse who I could love no more if they were my own flesh and blood. My sister and I have one of the best friendships I have ever had and I know that I love her more than most people love their siblings (although we didn't always feel this way). I am sure that I have room in my heart to love alot of people in alot of ways. We are made this way for a reason. I can't imagine going through life and only loving one person. What kind of life would that have made for me? So, I plan on letting my kids know that there are many different kinds of love and many different ways to love; and just because you begin to love one person it doesn't mean that you have to stop loving another, you just have to prioritize that love. However, there is one lessons that I was taught as a child that I will pass on to my kids. Always make sure you tell the ones you love that you love them. There may come a day when they aren't around to hear it and you don't want to forever wonder if they knew. I wish people weren't so shy or embarrassed by this. I think hearing someone say I love you makes you feel so wonderful, I don't think it should be those "dreaded three words". No one should dread saying them unless they are doing so out of obligation and not because of real feelings. So, today, tell your spouse you love them; hug your kids and tell them you love them; send a text, email, Facebook, etc. to whomever you think may not know this. You would be surprised who you may happen to tell that really needed to hear it and you may even save their life by letting them know. I plan on doing it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Home on the Range

Well, we have been living in Idaho for two weeks now. I didn't want to blog about being here until I really knew how I felt. My answer far, so good! We arrived on Sunday, August 22nd and on Monday morning we enrolled Dalton into school at Mountain Home Air Base Primary. It is a small school with only three second grade classes. It is not a Department of Defense school, but it is located on the base and operated by the local public school system. He loves it and to put to ease anyone on the MS Gulf Coast's curiosity of his preparedness from Biloxi Public Schools, he is on course, if not a little ahead. We checked into the housing office on that Monday and were given keys to 3 different houses to look over and decide what the best fit would be. We chose a wonderful house in the SNCO area of the base. It is a 3 bedroom/2.5 bath house with a 2 car garage. It is supposedly about 2400 sq ft. It doesn't have a fence, which would ordinarily be a deal breaker, but the house was too great to pass up. We installed an invisible fence for Maggie which she seems to have adjusted to within the first 5 days. While in the housing office accepting the house, I received a call from the transport driver carrying our household goods. He would be in the area on Tuesday and wanted to know if we had an address or if he was to bring the stuff to temporary storage. So, we accepted delivery of our household goods less than 48 hours of arriving at Mountain Home. Strangely, this place already feels like home. I will be the first to admit that it is a SMALL town. In fact, the small town is about a 10 minute drive from the base. The people all seem very nice. It is a working class kind of area. We have been to Boise twice in the two weeks. Boise is only about 45 minutes away and has everything that we really need. Plus, I lived overseas and in post-Katrina Biloxi, so I am pretty good with internet shopping. That probably scares Chris alot. I grew up in a small town, so I am readjusting to this lifestyle. Everything is really slow. People are not in a rush to do anything. It is so peaceful here. Even the noisiest time of day is not as noisy as the quietest time in Biloxi. We can sit out in our backyard and watch the kids play on the playground, look out at the mountains in the distance or see every star and constellation in the sky. It is so surreal and I have felt my stress level be cut in half. I don't know how long we will be at our little house in the desert, but I plan on enjoying it while I am here. We haven't had the time or opportunity to do much exploring yet, but we are almost completely unpacked and settled, so we will soon start exploring what Idaho has to offer. I look forward to sharing all of the beauty of this part of the country with all of you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Trip to Idaho Part 3

Today the majority of our trip was spent on I-80W going through the rest of Wyoming. It was a long and quite monotonous trip, but it was far from boring. There isn't much there, but the sights were beautiful. Every state has had its own highs and lows and each one has its own special beauty. I have never been this far west, so I am speechless at some of the sights. We entered Utah today. I am in love so far. If Idaho is half as beautiful as this state, then I may be content for life. We are staying in Ogden, Utah tonight. We even have mountain views from our hotel. We had dinner at a family owned Mexican restaurant that was very good and thus far, we have not met a rude person yet. Everyone has been friendly and fascinated by the sound of my voice alone. The boys are entranced by the amount of trains they have seen today. The west still uses trains for the transport of many things. Dalton said it was the best day ever! Both boys are very happy about the move and want us to get a house that is up on a mountain. Don't think that will be happening, but it is nice that they want that. It shows me that they can see the beauty around them too. As we walked back to the hotel after dinner, Dalton looked up at the mountain range behind the hotel and he actually thought it was a painting. He was shocked to find out that they were real. That is the beauty surrounding us here. It is so breathtaking that to the young eye, it has to be a painting because he can't imagine it actually existing. I have posted some pictures on my Facebook and now I must turn in for the night. Tomorrow is the big day that we arrive at our new home in Idaho. I am sure I will have much to say about that tomorrow night.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Trip to Idaho Part 2

Today was long.....there is really no other way to describe it. We got on I-80W about 1 mile from our hotel in Lincoln and we stayed on that until about 1 mile from our hotel here in Cheyenne. Anyone who has traveled that road can tell you how completely monotonous that can be. On a high note, the speed limit is 75. I won't say that the drive was completely boring because it wasn't. The countryside is absolutely beautiful and very clean. The sky was bright blue and at points I could see the horizon like in the Delta, but the colors were much more brilliant and not so drab. Chris compared the fields to the ocean and how they almost rippled out as far as the eye could see. I can only imagine how many stars we could see out there in the middle of the night. At first all we saw was corn fields for miles. I don't think I had seen that much of one crop grown in my life. Not even in the Delta farmlands. Eventually we started seeing other crops, but still fields and more fields. Occasionally a town would just pop up when you would cross a hill and there it was in the valley there. It reminded me alot of the villages you could see in Germany just pop up while you are driving the Autobahn. Dalton actually said that it was so beautiful out here that he wanted to live here forever. One, we aren't actually in Idaho yet, so we won't be "living" anywhere; and two, let's see what his opinion is after we go through our first winter. We had a little history lesson on the way today. We stopped for a break at one of the original Pony Express stops and learned about the early Nebraska settlers, Sod Houses and the western movement. The boys really enjoyed it. I think they are adjusting well and Dalton only has momentary spurts of nervousness over starting school on Monday and not knowing anyone. I am sure he will make friends very quickly. He is a complete extrovert. Not much more for tonight. Tomorrow we are crossing Wyoming on our way to Utah and then on Sunday we will finally be in Idaho. I am so excited and anxious. Sounds crazy for this Southern girl, but I think I may like this so far!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Trip to Idaho Part 1

I promised myself that I would blog about our move to Idaho, but that was when I thought we would be having a fun, family trip through fascinating places. However, circumstances have caused us to have a quicker trip on a more direct route. We spent a night with my family, had a nice dinner and got to tell them goodbye. Then we went to Memphis where we stayed for a week. It was a nice visit, but we were ready to move on after a few days, but knew that no one else would see that as a good idea. On Wednesday morning we left Memphis after a large breakfast with my MIL and FIL and headed to Springfield, MO. We chose Springfield for no other reason than it was the right amount of miles away and located on our trip route. It was a nice enough area and when leaving we were able to drive a little on Route 66. Unfortunately, the boys were more concerned about their video games and not so much about the historical reference. On Thursday we headed to Lincoln, NE. Once again, the stop was chosen for location. On the way to Nebraska, we drove through pretty much the entire state of Missouri. It is a BIG state! We made a stop in Iowa. It was a beautiful area. Reminded me of the Delta farmland, but with mountains in the background. The farms are more manicured and less dirty looking. From there we moved on to Lincoln, which was a little interesting finding our hotel and I am sure that we could have found a more direct route, but the GPS (bitch in the box) lead us through the city and I am sure she was avoiding traffic issues on some roads. Now I sit here in a hotel in Lincoln, NE. The boys are sound asleep and by the sound of his snoring, Chris is sleeping well too. Maggie seems to have adjusted to the travel and now realizes that we aren't leaving her anywhere. I know that I have to rise a little early in the morning, but I can't seem to find that level of exhaustion I require. I think my adrenaline keeps flowing and I have too many things running through my mind. I am just ready to get to Idaho and be settled. Only a couple of more days and we will arrive at our new home. We are heading to Cheyenne, Wyoming in the morning. Wish us luck and I will talk to you later.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A New View of the Parenting World

Today, Dalton was diagnosed with stress triggered migraines. Unfortunately, the stress trigger seems to be some bullies at day camp. I am at home during the day, so there is no reason other than him having fun for him to continue going. Now that he isn't finding it fun, then he will begin staying home with me. Since this has happened, I have taken a different view to parenting, mainly how others do it. After talking to other childcare providers who have only solidified my thoughts, I thought I would take the time to share them. You may or may not agree, but it is definitely food for thought. Kids will be kids. That is so very true, but there seems to be alot more bullying these days. I believe it has to do with the generation of parents that are coming up behind me. I was an older parent by most standards, especially Mississippi and the military. Dalton was not born until I was the ripe old age of 27. To many of you, that sounds young, but not so much in comparison to the parents I meet daily who have similar age children and were 16-18 at their birth. Now, with me being older, that means that my parents also came from a different generation. I was raised by baby boomers. In my home, the rules were made and you followed them until you left. College was not leaving if you received any kind of financial support. We did what we were told or we suffered the consequences. Those consequences did not include time outs. Time out was the amount of time your parents took to breath and calm down so when they did finally spank you (yes, I was spanked), they didn't kill you. We had chores that we did because we were told to, not because we got paid. We said yes ma'am and yes sir because there was no other way. If someone was older than us, we gave them respect unless otherwise instructed. Other people's parents, neighbors, or some random person in Walmart could correct us. At no time was it ever okay to say "you aren't my mom or dad". Children now are out of control. They are given no real rules or boundaries. Teachers and caretakers have no real authority. Everyone is afraid of what the government will do if they choose to say anything to any child. We once joked about calling social services on our parents and they would encourage us to make the call; they would offer to dial the number. Now, it isn't a joke. Children practically have the number on speed dial in their cell phones. If we don't want this country to continue on this downward spiral that it is on, we have to allow parents to discipline their children. We have to re-train the world in the natural order of things and that is parents have the power over the children and not vice versa. I am not condoning abuse because each family has to use whatever means works for their child. I have actually found with Dalton that his world comes to an end if he loses all the electronics in the house. Peyton, he doesn't like to think that people are angry with him and starts crying as soon as a voice is raised. However, my boys not only respect me, but they correct other children who they perceive disrespecting me. I don't want to shelter my kids from the world, but I want them to understand that some people are not "good". I don't allow them to play with kids who are disrespectful to their parents or who are destructive to their own or other people's property. If kids are mean to them, I teach them not to be friends with them because they aren't their friend. These are simple, basic life lessons that can get them through childhood and even adulthood. I encourage everyone to look around at your friends. If your own friends have parenting styles that differ greatly from your own and you see that in the near future their kids are going to be little terrors, you may want to re-evaluate whether or not their kid needs to be around your kid. I have to look at a bigger picture in the military with families coming from so many different areas and backgrounds. Somethings are just regional differences. I teach my kids to say Ms or Mr. before people's names, but that is a Southern thing. Minor differences are okay, but the bottom line is that your kids are going to learn from them as much as you and you have to decide what is worth the work it is going to take to undo what was done. That is my two cents.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Because it is Mother's Day

Lately my mothering has fallen under the scrutiny of friends and neighbors, and since today is Mother's Day, I figured I would take this time to reflect on my parenting. I don't apologize for the parent I am because I don't feel I have anything to apologize for. I am far from the poster child for wonderful mothers, but like all the mom's out there, I do the best I can. Maybe I do yell at my kids too much sometimes, but anyone that spends a great deal of time with my very energetic boys usually feels the same way by the end of the day. I have a loud voice and it carries across miles, but I refuse to allow my kids to get away with murder because I fear that the neighbors might judge me. It is not my job to be my boys' friend or playmate. It is my job to raise them to be respectful, hardworking, productive members of society. At least that is the way I was raised. I see the mother's who spend their days entertaining their children. They plan out playdates and activities. I don't really do that. I was always taught to entertain myself and use my imagination as a child and I expect for my children to do the same. Like most kids these days, they have a bedroom full of toys that they rarely play with. I don't want them babysat by game stations and television. I want my kids to play games together, ride bikes, pretend to be cowboys or cops and robbers. I want them to know that not everything they do in life has to be organized or monitored by their mother. I want to be their parent and not their activities director. I watch plenty of families spend money that they don't have, dragging their kids from one festival to the next because it would be a "fun" thing to do. Those same kids are growing up not knowing the joy to be found getting lost in a book on a Sunday afternoon. I want them to get exhausted just running around and playing chase or riding bikes and pretending they are chasing the bad guys. I don't think that it is bad parenting to want your children to be independent, self-sufficient people. It is not bad parenting to teach your children how to do chores so they don't grow up not knowing how to clean up after themselves and how to seperate the whites and darks. It should never be seen as bad parenting to try and teach your kids respect for their elders and basic good manners. If caring more about how my children will turn out as people instead of having an agenda for their day and how to "entertain" them is bad parenting, then I will gladly take the title of bad parent. When your kids are still wanting you to do everything with them because they have no idea how to do things on their own, you are more than welcome to call this bad parent and ask me how to get them to grow up. Of course, I will probably laugh and say...maybe you should have just been the same kind of bad parent I was. My family doesn't have alot to leave in inheritance. We aren't rich people, but there is one picture that hangs on my mother's wall and I hope to inherit it one day. It is the following poem: "The Meanest Mother" I had the meanest mother in the whole world. While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast. When others had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich. As you can guess, my supper was different than the other kids' also. But at least, I wasn't alone in my sufferings. My sister and two brothers had the same mean mother as I did. My mother insisted upon knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we were on a chain gang. She had to know who our friends were and where we were going. She insisted if we said we'd be gone an hour, that we be gone one hour or less--not one hour and one minute. I am nearly ashamed to admit it, but she actually struck us. Not once, but each time we had a mind of our own and did as we pleased. That poor belt was used more on our seats than it was to hold up Daddy's pants. Can you imagine someone actualy hitting a child just because he disobeyed? Now you can begin to see how mean she really was. We had to wear clean clothes and take a bath. The other kids always wore their clothes for days. We reached the height of insults because she made our clothes herself, just to save money. Why, oh why, did we have to have a mother who made us feel different from our friends? The worst is yet to come. We had to be in bed by nine each night and up at eight the next morning. We couldn't sleep till noon like our friends. So while they slept-my mother actually had the nerve to break the child-labor law. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things. I believe she laid awake at night thinking up mean things to do to us. She always insisted upon us telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed us- and it nearly did. By the time we were teen-agers, she was much wiser, and our life became even more unbearable. None of this tooting the horn of a car for us to come running. She embarrassed us to no end by making our dates and friends come to the door to get us. If I spent the night with a girlfriend, can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really there. I never had the chance to elope to Mexico. That is if I'd had a boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention, while my friends were dating at the mature age of 12 and 13, my old fashioned mother refused to let me date until the age of 15 and 16. Fifteen, that is, if you dated only to go to a school function. And that was maybe twice a year. Through the years, things didn't improve a bit. We could not lie in bed, "sick" like our friends did, and miss school. If our friends had a toe ache, a hang nail or serious ailment, they could stay home from school. Our marks in school had to be up to par. Our friends' report cards had beautiful colors on them, black for passing, red for failing. My mother being as different as she was, would settle for nothing less than ugly black marks. As the years rolled by, first one and then the other of us was put to shame. We were graduated from high school. With our mother behind us, talking, hitting and demanding respect, none of us was allowed the pleasure of being a drop-out. My mother was a complete failure as a mother. Out of four children, a couple of us attained some higher education. None of us have ever been arrested, divorced or beaten his mate. Each of my brothers served his time in the service of this country. And whom do we have to blame for the terrible way we turned out? You're right, our mean mother. Look at the things we missed. We never got to march in a protest parade, nor to take part in a riot, burn draft cards, and a million and one other things that our friends did. She forced us to grow up into God-fearing, educated, honest adults. Using this as a background, I am trying to raise my three children. I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride when my children call me mean. Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world. written by Bobbie Pingaro (1967)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Male Bonding

Both of my boys miss their dad terribly and the one thing I have realized during this time that Chris has been gone is that little boys need a man in their life. I know there may be many people who argue that, but I am not saying a "father", but someone who can do all those male bonding activities with them. As mothers, we may think that we can do all it takes to meet their needs, but I can tell you from experience that sometimes they just want to learn to be one of the guys. Lucky for me that I have some wonderful friends who have equally wonderful husbands. If it wasn't for these guys, Dalton would probably be even more lost this year than he already is. People looking from the outside probably think that he is pretty well adjusted, and on most accounts he is, but he is 7 years old and he craves that male bonding. Peyton, being only 3, is pretty content to still be a Mama's boy, but Dalton gravitates towards males, uncles, cousins, grandfathers and even neighbors. I want to take this time to publicly (well, almost) thank some outstanding men who have done their all to help me out this year. Bryan B. who plays basketball, rough-houses and just reminds him that there is a constant male authority figure around. Brian K. who allows him to tagalong on trips to boating shops and bike rides with his son. David H. who treats him just like one of his kids and lets him hang out with their family and attempts to teach him to fish even when his interest is short-lived. I appreciate what these men are doing for him and I hope their wives know how lucky they are to have such wonderful fathers in their kids' lives. I am sure that Chris appreciates these friends of his as much as I do for being there when he has no way to be.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Decisions Decisions

There are no easy decisions in life. No matter what you choose, there is always someone waiting to tell you why your choice was wrong. It gets so much harder when you have children. All of a sudden you have to make choices in their life until they are old enough and also every choice you make all of a sudden affects you and your entire family. Immediately you go from responsible for yourself to so much weight on your shoulders. I don't know if everybody realizes this, but adding the duty of military spouse to my resume' only adds to the weight. Everything I do or say can have an effect on my husband's career without me even knowing it. With him being gone this year, I live constantly under a microscope. People keep up with my comings and goings. They know who visits my house, when they visit and how long they stay. People actually keep up with me via my Facebook account and make their own judgements as to whether I am having too much fun or if I seem to be emotionally unstable. All that said, I am a grown, educated woman. I do, in fact, make all my own decisions and whatever consequences result from those decisions I can gladly accept. I am not a woman who is easily swayed by others' opinions. So, I absolutely despise when people blame uninvolved people for my decisions. Sometimes it takes awhile for me to weigh the pros and cons and analyze the things that don't quite sit right with me, but in the end, if you disagree, I am the only person to blame.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


It is what it is...I think my mom says that to me almost everyday; it is her new "thing". Sadly, she is right. This hasn't been the greatest of weeks for me, but most of the things I can do little about so why dwell on them. I won't even get into any of it simply because it is not stuff I want to make public right now. Instead of moaning and groaning, I have decided to accept what happens, work through it and stay positive. Hopefully some of that positive energy will yield some positive results. I haven't blogged often as I promised myself I would. Not that anyone probably reads this stuff, but it helps me to vent and I swear it lowers my blood pressure just a little. There is lots I can vent about this week.... For instance, I really do care that unemployment is on the rise; especially when many of those people want to work. So, it really irks me when I go into the Shoppette on base and at this one register which handles regular purchases and tobacco. Unlike the old days, people can't just walk up and get what they want, it is behind the counter. Anyway, there is this old woman who always works that register and she sits on a stool the entire time. No one else gets to do this, but apparently she can't stand. However, she has to get up almost every other customer and get them cigarettes or something. Anytime she is asked to do that, she gets all huffy like it is an imposition. I supposed I could almost understand that if it weren't that after she rings you up, she points to the printer and says "there is your receipt". She is too lazy to reach up there and tear the thing off. Well, today, the man in front of me obviously didn't want his receipt because when my purchase was done and I went to retrieve my receipt, his was attached. I looked down to make sure I kept the right one and she snatched it from me and yelled that "he paid with a credit card and I shouldn't be looking at his receipt", so I snatched my receipt back and said that I am also not supposed to be doing part of her job retrieving my receipt either and I walked out. Did I mention it has been a rough week? It doesn't help that I despise lazy people! Lazy is not reserved for the working class. I am so afraid that we are raising an entire generation of lazy kids who know nothing about doing for themselves and taking care of themselves. I won't mention names because if she reads this she will know who she is anyway, but college students these days piss me off too. Please follow me for my elaboration..... I went to public school my entire life. Our textbooks were old, our lab equipment was from the stone age and I laugh when I think about how excited we were to get computers. My parents believe in public education and I do too, but there was always a twinge of jealousy when I would watch the private school kids have the best of everything; all the amenities that I would have died to have. The only thing that ever helped the jealousy was that in academic competitions, we prevailed; in sports, we prevailed; and when it came to college, when we went, we excelled and completed. I thought that the stereotype of the spoiled kids taking everything for granted would lessen somehow from then. I somehow thought that when the economy started taking a nose-dive and people started having to do what they never anticipated to get by, maybe the parents would start showing those kids about real-life, working for what you have, not taking anything, even education for granted. Well, fat chance on that. I have now seen that first hand. Picture it...not so rich girl wants to go to a "college prep" private school; Daddy can't possibly say no, so she goes; grades are tolerable; she graduates; goes to state college; apparently no scholarship and not sure if that "college fund" was spent to fund "college prep" education; doesn't do so well first semester (guess college prep didn't prep much); more concerned with high school drama and "serious" boyfriend; ends up on academic probation (yes, this means less than a 2.0); now says, college is! you want it to be easy and it is preparing you for a career? thinking she may not want to stay in college and works longer at devising a plan to do this than the time she spends studying that "hard" stuff....did I mention she has never held a real job for very long, but is contemplating entering the real world.....Six words for ya...WOULD YOU LIKE FRIES WITH THAT? What exactly was the purpose of that expensive, private education? Lazy people not only anger me; they disappoint me too. It infuriates me when people take opportunities they are given for granted. I want to cry when I see some bratty kid driving his brand new F150 and acting like he is king of the world, while a grown man is using a 20 year old truck held together by prayers and duct tape to do landscaping work to feed his family...what's worse is when that kid is laughing and pointing at that truck; insulting this poor man who probably has more character and integrity in one finger than this kid would ever have. Unfortunately, the things that make you a good and honorable person can not be purchased by daddy or your trust fund. I know this was long. Don't shoot me. Imagine how long it would have been if I had included the rest of the stuff that made my week so frustrating and long.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Whiners Beware!

I HATE whiners! Little kids who whine are bad enough and I know that hate is a very strong word, but there is no word strong enough for the disgust I hold for adults who whine. Facebook is sometimes one big pity party. I admit, sometimes my status updates are not positive, but I am not whining, just letting you know what is going on. However, often times you have those "friends" who have to bitch and moan about everything simply because they feel that they are not at fault and the world is out to get them. Haven't you ever just wanted to slap those people? I want to shake them and say "get over it!" I firmly believe that life is what you make it and you are in control of your future. That is a big statement coming from someone who looks at the cup as half empty all the time. I do that to avoid utter disappointment at those things I can't control like illness, weather and other people's attitudes. However, when it comes to things I can control, I take control. Now, I will say this, if you are complaining to me about something because you genuinely want my help and input, I will listen, but if you don't want to do something about it, then keep it to yourself. Don't complain about your weight and then sit on your butt watching TV and eating junk food...I don't want to hear it! Don't complain about your finances, but refuse to follow a budget and buy stupid things...I don't want to hear it! If you are ill and need some medicine picked up, I am here. If you really need assistance with something and truly want my help, I am here. If life is absolutely crap and you need a shoulder because there is nothing anyone can really do about your situation, I am here to cry with you. But always remember, if all you want is for someone to agree with you that the world is out to get you; if you want someone who will commiserate over your financial problems while watching your big screen TV and eating take-out food for the 5th time in a week or tell you that deadlines that were to be met or due dates should be overlooked just because you are who you are....DON'T LOOK TO ME! I can be the most unsympathetic, often brutally honest person in the world. Chances are if you are reading this and thinking about how you should remove me as your friend or delete me from your life, then I am not your real problem. Obviously the truth hurts and you should really be evaluating how you can take control of your life and all those crappy situations.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In My Opinion

I promised myself that after the new year, I would be more dedicated to blogging. Honestly, blogging makes me feel better, but here it is almost 11 days into the new year and I am just finding time. I have lots of opinions to voice and soapbox rants to get on, so if you aren't interested in reading them, get off my blog! Personal blogs and facebook pages are just that, my voice of interests and opinions. I don't care if you agree with me. I don't care if you read them. Just don't try to stifle my thoughts because of your own ignorance. Much like my parents raised me, I plan to raise my children to think. I want them to look beyond what the media tells them or what their friends believe and say, "I believe this because....". What if they don't agree with me? Then I foresee some great dinner table debates. I want them to know that their opinion matters as long as they have thought the ideas through and often researched the information and have a little something to back it up. Occasionally it may just be a feeling that they get, something deep in their gut saying something isn't quite right, but they need to believe in that feeling with conviction. Our children are seldom taught to think anymore. Classrooms that used to have teachers who wanted to teach beyond the text are now ridden with teachers prohibited by state and federal mandates, teaching to the test and paperwork on top of paperwork. Students are so consumed by required work that they don't have the time to give to after-hours instruction. This all started when I was in school; however, there were a few of us even then who craved more. I was on the Scholar's Bowl team, 6 members and 2 alternates, 8 students who spent free periods and hours after school and sometimes Saturdays studying current events, history, sports, science, math, pop named it, we learned it. The only kids wanting to put in that time today are usually involved in sports. I visited my old teacher, Coach Morlino, while I was home for Thanksgiving. He was watching an episode of Cash Cab and said he thought about his scholar's team every time he watched that show and he would think about how much money we could have all made together. He doesn't teach much anymore. Health and bureaucracy got him down, but I will always be glad he was there to encourage all of us to think. I am considering going back to get certified to teach, but I am so uncertain about that because I don't want to just teach the facts in a book, I want to teach kids how to think, not what to think. My husband will say that he is a Republican, but he resides only slightly to the right of the line. I would say that there is just one leg over the fence. I, however, am about the same way to the left. Basically, this is an independent thinking household and I believe that gives my children a slight advantage. By residing in the middle, I find it is easier to see both sides of the argument. Maybe it is by listening to people that I somehow ended up in the middle. I get a little perturbed when people assume that means I am indecisive. Those that know me got a real laugh out of that. In fact, I believe strongly in those things which I believe, but I don't believe things just because a certain party does. I won't get into what those things are, but I will be more than happy to share if asked. It is funny how I grew up in a family where I never knew how my parents voted. We weren't allowed to ask, but I always knew they voted. I don't think they wanted to sway our convictions out of some expected loyalty to them. I will say that on my 18th birthday, I registered to vote. My grandpa didn't give me any real option and I had been waiting for that day like most people waited for their driver's license. When my sister turned 18 I begged her to register and she said it didn't matter to her and none of it pertained to her. Needless to say, she is registered now. She has a good job, no kids, no major deductions and now she knows that it matters to her. Yet, I married into a family who freely voice their opinions about world events and matters. There is no doubt in your mind for who they cast their votes. At the same time, I never feel that it is a place for a free-flowing exchange of ideas, but rather a lecture as to why you should think the same way they think. Right or wrong. Agree or disagree. They do pay attention. I think with all that is going on now in our government, there is no better time for all Americans to start thinking. Critical thinking. Don't listen to one news report or read just one newspaper and decide that your mind is made up about anything. Remember that most mainstream journalism is a little slanted. Often you have to pay attention to what they are telling you while picking up on what they aren't. It is your job to know more about the issue than what Bobby Jo down at the barber shop told you. We are at a very critical time for our nation and if I had a crystal ball, I would say that this all doesn't bode well for our future. It is time to think for yourself and stop being so apathetic about politics and government.