Monday, May 31, 2010


It's Memorial Day, and you will rarely find me talking about politics or the military here.  I do appreciate what our soldiers and veterans do for us, which is mostly, defending our freedoms.  They ensure that we have rights, and protect us from tyranny.  They keep our country strong to avoid attacks as much as they can.

So, here are some freedoms I am grateful for.  

I'm grateful for the right to an education
for the right to choose what I want in life, rather than have it dictated to me.
I'm grateful for the freedom to choose who I spend my life with, rather than let someone else choose for me.
I'm grateful for the roof over my head, the food on my table, the necessities it takes to survive and the wants it takes to enjoy.
I'm grateful I'm able to teach my daughters to be strong, to stand up for what they believe in, and to pursue whatever they want in life.
I'm grateful for the freedom to choose what I want to believe in.
I'm grateful I have the right to vote.
I'm grateful I have a voice.

Today, remember a fallen soldier, and thank a living one.



Friday, May 28, 2010

F³A: Life's unfairness and how it makes me want to punch people in the face

So, Thing One tried out for select soccer. And you know how I've ranted about select soccer before.  This is the team she was on last year.  They have an A and B team.  Last year she made the B team, which we were disappointed with, as in our personal opinion she was better than a few other players who did make it, but had the pleasure of being pre-acquainted with the coach prior to try outs, i.e. favoritism.  I LOVE favoritism (note: sarcasm)

So, anyhoo she tried out again this year, and once again they have an A and B team, and she has been kicking some ass on the soccer field this year at practices, on the school team, and in indoor.  I would venture to guess, in her last few years of playing soccer the girl has scored twenty to thirty goals between the three teams.  But guess what?  Again, she didn't make the A team. 

This frustrates me for a few reasons.  First, again, she deserves it.  Second, she was one of only a couple forwards trying out for the team. Third, coach was scrambling for players so he invited some girls from another team that folded to come to the practices and all of them made the team.  He invited them to practices AFTER try outs were already held.  THEY WEREN'T AT THE TRYOUTS AND THEY MADE THE TEAM.  AND, my daughter scored two goals against them in indoor last week.  Fourth, it just sucks and made my kid cry. 

To add to it, one of the girls on the A team last year whose dad helps coach the team told Mary she had made it.  That was just wrong and stupid and hateful.

Now, I don't really care which team my girl plays for as long as she plays.  I love watching her on the pitch.  Her passing is brilliance, her crosses, near perfect, and of course I am full of pride when she scores, and love to see how happy it makes her.  I'm upset because she's upset.  And I REALLY don't like it when people hurt my kids.

I'm so mad, I don't even care if they read this blog and he will be getting an email from me today.

Okay, my rant is over for now.  Since this is the Friday Free For All I'll leave you with this weeks favorites.

Current song on my iPod: Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead

What book is on my nightstand: Greyhound by Steffan Piper though I'm currently still reading Alchemy by Mike Wood.  These should both be on your bookshelf.

Current watch: Dexter Season One.  Watching it on Netflix.  Liking it.

Quotes of the week:

"I know the world isn't fair, but why isn't it ever unfair in my favor?" ~ Bill Watterson

"There is always inequality in life." John F. Kennedy

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Paying it Forward Quatro

Much like yesterday's post, when my stepson and his girlfriend moved back here from a stay in Arizona, then California, we wanted to help them out.  They stayed in our basement when they first arrived back, but found an apartment within a week.

They really didn't have much (anything) so we gave them some stuff to use, a blow up mattress, card table and chairs to borrow.  We also gave them some bedding, bathroom towels, and our 43 inch television (I think this was a selfish ploy by my husband to get a new tv).  We went through our cupboards to see if we had doubles of anything, and found things like extra colander, baking dishes, cast iron skillet, we also emptied out our freezer of foods we though they would eat.

Then we hit the store for more food, cleaning items, and some necessities like dish towels, measuring cups, cooking utensils, and things like that.

We wanted them to have a good start back at home.  They seemed very motivated to make it on their own, both finding jobs fairly quickly.

They seem to be doing okay still, though we don't see them much anymore.

That's all for my pay it forward stories for the week.  Don't forget to check out B. Miller's blog and her Pay it Forward Giveaway.

Come back tomorrow for the Friday Free For All, where anything can happen. :)



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Paying it Forward 3.0

A few years back, (which when you're in your 40's means about 10, sigh) the husband's cousin and his wife, along with their young daughter decided to move here from California to be closer to family and get a fresh start.  They lived with my SIL for awhile, and when he found a job, they moved out on their own.

Money was still tight, so we decided to buy a houseful of groceries for them.  When my mom found out what we were doing, she also pitched in.

We tried to get the most for our buck finding things on sale, and staples that would last awhile, like rice, but we also bought a variety of stuff, different kinds of meats, pasta and sauce, coffee, cereal, dairy, bread, and things like cleaning products and other household goods.

We just wanted to help them get on their feet, let them not worry about something, like groceries for a couple of weeks.

Though I know it helps out in a small way, it's also selfish.  I LOVE to give.  It makes me feel great. I just wish I had more means in which to do it. 

Don't forget to visit B. Miller's blog for her Pay it Forward contest.  Become a fan.

When was the last time you helped out someone out?  What did you do for them?



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Paying It Forward Part Deux

The husband and I used to frequent this restaurant for breakfast called the Ruston Inn.  We would go every Sunday, with or without kids, and the waitstaff new us well.  There was this cute dark haired waitress who was very good and very nice and she knew what we wanted before we ordered it.

I remember it was right before the holidays, and my dad had a good year at the office, so he and my mother gave us a generous monetary gift to use for the holidays.  We decided since they did that, that we would pay some of it forward to our favorite waitress.  We are pretty generous tippers to begin with, usually 20%, but that day we ate for about $25 and gave her a $100 tip.

We tried to leave before she found it, but she caught up and tried to give it back.  We refused and she thanked us saying she could really use the money.

Weirdly, we never saw her again.   

I hope we helped her in some small way.

If you have a story you'd like to share, feel free. And don't forget to drop by B. Miller's blog for her Pay it Forward Giveaway.  Become a follower even.



Monday, May 24, 2010

Paying it Forward

B. Miller who is having a Pay it Forward contest this week, has inspired me to write about paying it forward all this week.  I told you about the woman whose electric bill I paid, but I like to think I've other things to pay it forward in life. 

Today I'm going to talk about my neighbors, Joe and Joanne.  They are an elderly couple we've had the privilege of living next door to for 14 years now.  In the beginning, Rusty and I both were busy full time workers, he for the county, me eleven  hours a day at home daycare.

If Joe would go out to mow the lawn, and he would see that we hadn't got to ours yet, he'd come mow it for us.  If he was out before us on garbage day, he would take our garbage and recycling cans out and bring them in after they'd been emptied.  They also watch our house while we vacation, brought in packages, and would share from their garden.

A few years ago, Joe had a stroke, and they're just getting on in age and not able to do some of the things they once did with ease.  So things have been reversed.
We used to mow their lawn, but now our other neighbor Max does it.  But Rusty now takes out their garbage cans, rototills their garden for them every year, we now share from our garden because it's larger and more fruitful, and we help out whenever with whatever we can.

And why this all seems like paying it back rather than forward, I think people seeing us do these things is also paying it forward.

Like last weekend we trimmed up some overgrown hedges of theirs.  It was a big job, lots of trimming, raking, to do.  We had a woman running for our legislature come by and we talked for awhile.  She, as well as others in our neighborhood were witness to what we were doing for Joe and Joanne, and I don't want accolades for it, that's not what it's about, but I think maybe others seeing us do that is an inspiration to pay things in life forward.

Because I think it was obvious that though the work was hard, it was gratifying for us to help out.

Try to pay someone forward or back this week.  You'll be a better person for it.



Friday, May 21, 2010

F³A: Fractured Arms and Whatnot

This has been a trying week.

Monday I was running around to doctors, x-rays, specialists after Thing Two fractured her shoulder on the soccer field Sunday. On top of that, she didn't make the select soccer team she was trying out for when she truly deserved to, and no, that's not just me as a mom talking, she's one of the best players on our team, can play any position, has a killer foot, and plays with her head and her heart.

Thing One tried out for select soccer also, and her team had two teams last year, so they didn't have to cut, but they don't have enough for two this year, so they have to make cuts.  And while I think she has the talent, there are other factors to consider, like politics.  That's all I'll say about that.

I've been desperately trying to revise WIP, Cheesy so I can send it to my agent, but life does not wait, so I'm trying to balance my time between, revising, chauffeuring,  grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc.

I've also been trying to get healthy this last week, and for the most part, I've done a good job, but still sometimes life grabs you by the reins and directs you where to go (thank you Green Day).

Some days I really wish I were on a desert island with nothing but the sun, the sand, my laptop (fully charged) and a good book along for the ride.

I wonder how much private islands are going for these days.
Current mood: tired and lonely

Current read: Alchemy by Mike Wood, along with a million critiques I have to get caught up on

What's popping up on my iPod: Phoenix, Litzomania

Movie of the Week: NOT State of Play, which is the last movie I tried to watch, promptly fell asleep, and the husband said it was horrible.

Quote of the Week:  "We're all lonely for something we don't know we're lonely for. How else to explain the curious feeling that goes around feeling like missing somebody we've never even met?" ~ David Foster Wallace



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Who would you want to be stranded on a desert island with?

Okay, I'm going to name ten people I wouldn't mind being stranded with.  It's not going to be family or friends, it's going to be celebrities, politicians, and the like. Living or dead.

John Cusack Favorite actor and I just think he'd be a cool funny guy to hang out with.

Jesus Christ The man, not the messiah.  On second thought, maybe a few miracles would be needed.  I think he'd be an interesting cat to be around.  He'd have lots of stories to tell, and it doesn't suck that he can duplicate fish and bread and make water into wine. ;)

John Lennon Profound thinking, musician, of course it would be required that he have a guitar with him so he can entertain the masses.

Winston Churchill There has to be one obnoxious drunkard in the group and I thought he would be more interesting than Hemingway.  I think Winston would be hella fun to have around.  The stories I'm sure he could tell...

Sylvia Plath I find her intriguing.  I just hope she wouldn't off herself while there.

John Muir Totally nature guy, knows how to live off the land, plus I like his writing a bunch.

Ty Pennington Someone has to build me a hut.  Or even a boat?

Rachael Ray  Need a good cook, plus I just like her.  I think she's cool.

Ellen Degeneris  She's hilarious and I love her.

Steve Irwin Someone that knows about the animals we might encounter on our island.  To tell us if they're poisonous or not, if we can eat them, or if they'll eat us.

Okay, I added one more. Zac Efron.  I have an unhealthy obsession with him.  I need a little eye candy on the island. :)

Who would you want hanging out on a desert Isle with you?



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Desert Island Movies

Here are ten movies I'd like to have with me if stranded on a desert island.  With a TV.  And a DVD player.  And electricity...

Hair This is one of my favorite movies of all time and fills my musical quota (loves me some musicals, so needed at least one on the list).  A tale about free love, hair, and the Vietnam War.

 Heathers A couple 80's movies have to be on the list, and this is probably my favorite.  Teen angst at its best, or maybe its worst. Plus, Christian Slater, Winona Ryder, death, murder, mayhem, how can you go wrong?

Wonder Boys This is my favorite book about writers.  Take one phenom, an established writer with a severe case of writer's bloc, a pregnant mistress, a homo-erotic agent, and a dead dog,  and you're in for some serious laughs.  You don't have to be a writer to appreciate this movie, but it helps.

Fargo Joel Coen.  There is nothing more to say.

The Wizard of Oz They used to play this every Thanksgiving when I was a kid.  Do you remember before VCR's and DVD players how you were at the mercy of the television stations to replay your favorite movies?  HA!!

Shawshank Redemption The BEST Stephen King book (novella, actually) made into a movie by far.  Add Morgan Freeman one of the best actors of all time, and Tim Robbins in his prime.  Love this film.

16 Candles Okay, maybe this is my favorite 80's movie ever.  It never fails to make my LMAO, still.

Serendipity Yes, I must have one sappy love story, and if I'm going to have one, it must star may favorite actor, John Cusack. And it doesn't hurt to costar Jeremy Piven and Kate Beckinsdale.

Say Anything Yep, John Cusack again. 

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory No movie collection would be complete without this.  The original, not the freakish remake Tim Burton did, though normally I love Tim Burton AND Johnny Depp, you know, if it ain't broke...

I could add more, I'm probably forgetting some, but the above are the first ones that popped into my head.

Honorable mentions:

It's a Wonderful Life

Edward scissorhands
Finding Neverland
Moulin Rouge

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Keeping the The Desert Island Theme...

...I've decided to do this the next couple days.  Yesterday was cd's Today I'm going to do books.  I'll throw out ten of my favorite books I'd like to have with me if I'm ever stranded on a desert island.  Now, I'm not including things like, Desert Islands for Dummies, or a survival handbook.  Those are gimmes.  I'm including the books I'd want to read over and over.
Again, these are in no particular order.

The Stand by Stephen King   He weaves so many characters together expertly, each one distinct, the voices perfect.  The classic good vs. evil story.

A River Runs Through It by Normal MacLean If you've never read this book you should.  It's an autobiographical story about relationship, the human spirit, and fly fishing. The imagery is beautiful and truly captures the majesty of nature.  Even if you don't fish (which I don't) this is a must read.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood One of my all time favorite books. A dystopian novel where the rights of women are stripped right along with their families and their names, and their will tested.  Disturbing, yet in the end, hope is restored.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee This is my all time favorite book, the characters, the story, the voices.  I love how it's told from Scout's point of view and her innocent vision of people and society.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner from Azkaban by JK Rowling My favorite Potter book ( It was a toss up between this and Goblet of Fire).  And I just had to have one Potter book with me if I couldn't take all seven.

The Green Mile by Stephen King One of my other favorite Stephen King, books, by probably the writer that's my favorite.  Haunting and terrible at times, it really evokes emotion.

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein Need a little lighthearted poetry to get through the rest of  your life.  Love me some Shel Silverstein.

Timeline by Michael Chrichton My favorite Michael Chrichton book.  It's exciting, educational, and entertaining.  Don't just this book by his others or by the movie (which I wouldn't go as far as say sucked, but it definitely strayed FAR away from the book)

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice  Have to have at least one good vampire novel with me.  I said a GOOD one. ;)

Mending Fences by Megan Bostic  Because it's mine and because I can, that is as long as I don't get deserted until Fall of 2011.

Tell me what some of your desert island books would be.



Monday, May 17, 2010

Fifteen Fantasy Island Favorites

Arlee Bird suggested posting Fantasy Island Favorites today, the fifteen albums you would want to have with you if stranded on a desert island.  Here's mine, and this is on the fly, so if I change them later this week, well, you know, there's a lot to choose from and I'm fickle. :)

These are in no particular order.

Green Day-International Superhits It may be cheating a little to choose compilation CD's but I would not be able to choose between songs like Holiday, Good Riddance, and Minority.  I've loved Green Day since the beginning, and they continue to be one of my favorite bands, and are now Thing One's favorite too. Favorite song: Good Riddance

Nirvana-Nevermind My favorite band to come out of the grunge movement.  I love the music, the lyrics, everything about it.  Sad day for music when Kurt Cobain took his life. Favorite song: Lithium

The Beatles-Rubber Soul Some of the best songs the Beatles did were all right here on this album.  Fun, catchy, or thoughtful, you can find it here. Favorite song: Norwegian Wood

The Beatles-Let it Be Same as above, though their later stuff was deeper and spoke volumes to so many. Favorite song: Two of Us

The Police-Outlandos d'amour This is one of my top five favorite bands ever.  I used to know every song by heart and proved that I still know many at their concert a couple years ago.  This album they were one step away from punk, fast and furious.  Love it. Favorite song: Can't Stand Losing You

The Police-Regatta de Blanc Yep same as above, the songs more thoughtful and profound.  They were my absolute favorite band through junior high and high school. Favorite Song: Bring on the Night

The Police-Ghost in the Machine Ditto.  Here they become a more mature sound.  Love it. Favorite Song: Invisible Sun

The Cure-Standing on a Beach Another Compilation, but all the best Cure songs, and what kind of 80's girl would I be without the angsty songs of The Cure.  One of my favorite bands during that time period. Favorite Song: This was a toughy.  Back in the day I would have said Love Cats with no hesitation, but today I'm going with In Between Days.

Various Artists-Singles Soundtrack Most of the Seattle grunge scene in one place (plus a couple other tunes)  AND the amazing combination of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam in the form of Temple of the Dog. Favorite Song: State of Love and Trust

Garden State Soundtrack An eclectic bunch of music by some of my favorite artists, Coldplay, The Shins, Colin Hay, and some little known artists.  Favorite Song: New Slang

Pearl Jam-Ten Pearl Jam, though are still good, have not produced anything like this since it came out.  One of my favorite grunge cd's ever.  Favorite song: Black

Death Cab for Cutie-Narrow Stairs This was a hard decision, only because I couldn't decide between this one and Plans, which I love.  But this new cd is amazing.  Loves me some Indie music. Favorite song: "Cath..."

Essential Jimi Hendrix Volume 1&2 Need a little good classic rock from one of the best guitar players ever.  Plus, he's from Seattle, so that's a plus. Love so many of his songs.  Favorite song: Hard choice, but I'm going with Little Wing.

Best of the Doors I cannot imagine living the rest of my life out without the haunting voice of Jim Morrison.  And there are too many songs to like, so I HAVE to go with the Best of. Favorite song: I think I'm going to have to go with Love Me Two Times (though again, a difficult choice)

R.E.M.-And I Feel Fine... The Best of the I.R.S Years 1982–1987 As I perused the list of R.E.M. albums I realized there was no way to pick just one.  I loved all their songs so much in the 80's. When my love for The Police waned, R.E.M. took their place in my heart as favorite band.  So, this cd is a compilation of all their best music, as far as I'm concerned.  Favorite song: All of them.  No way I can pick.

The Smiths-Louder than Bombs Morrissey spoke to so many of us back there in the 80's especially those of us who felt like we didn't fit in, that the world was against us in so many ways.  We, the original Emo society.  Favorite song:  Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want

okay, that's all for the top fifteen.  here are a couple honorable mentions.

Squeeze, 45's and Under

Matchbox 20, Yourself or Someone Like You

Never Mind the Bullocks, Here's the Sex Pistols

Death Cab for Cutie, Plans 

Coldplay, X & Y

Hair Soundtrack

Both Twilight and New Moon soundtracks

Everything else by Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam

And all the Mountain Music Lounge cd's



Friday, May 14, 2010

F³A: Random Bits of Nothing

It's been awhile since I did the Friday Free For All, so I thought I would get back to it.  Oh wait, crap, I didn't finish my Caregivers.  The last and most important was supposed to be teachers.  sigh.  But I have too much to say, so, I'll just give a shout out to some of my favorites. (and why were there not hottie guy teachers like this guy when I was in school?)

Mr. Anstett, the most awesome literature teacher in the WORLD.
Mr. Wilkinson, you are part of the reason I write.  Thank you.

As for my kids teachers, Mr. Allegro, Mrs. Gibson, Mrs. Harkness, Mrs. Jepson, Mrs. Willy, Mrs. Strong, you all rock in a BIG way!!!

Okay on to nothingness.
I finished the first draft of Cheesy yesterday.  Ah!  And today I'm going to try and take a break, although I don't think I'll be able to.  I think I'm going to want to start revising NOW.  I'm that excited about it.

In a couple weeks blogger Amy Munday is going to feature me on her Writer's Scribbles at her Unabashed Impropriety blog.  You should check them out.  My fellow vlogger and friend, Cat has one there.  Give her a read.

I also want to give a shout out to my two friends, Jeff and Tracy, who are new to the whole blogging gig.  Give them a read and follow if you will.

One other blogger I want to mention today is B. Miller.  She's got this pay it forward contest she's doing for the rest of the month.  Winner gets a $25 gift card to your book store of choice, OR if you are a published writer, she'll buy, read, and review your novel.

Here is my pay it forward story.  I was in the Fred Meyer parking lot with Rusty, and this woman approaches us and asks if we will buy her $25 FM gift card for $20.  She said they were going to shut off her electricity the next day if she didn't pay her bill, which was, if I remember right, $80.  We gave her $20 and told her to keep the card.

I'm not gullible people, and I know she could have taken the money and bought meth or crack or booze, but I just had a feeling.  I was walking through the store and we're filling our cart and I must have had a look on my face because Rusty said, "You want to give her more?"

I said, yes.  He asked how much, and I said enough for the whole bill.  So I went to the cash machine, got the money and went outside.  She was in her car.  I approached the window and said, "I sure hope you're telling the truth" and handed her the money.  She began crying. The look of gratitude on her face made it all worth while.  And we left the parking lot at the same time, she was in front of us for a time, and she was headed in the direction of the utilities building.  Of course, I suppose her drug dealer could have lived in that direction, but, I did feel good, and I had a good feeling about it.

I like to help people because many people have helped me along the way, and it does make you feel awesome.

I suppose that's all I've got for you today except for the...

Favorite song of the week: Okay, this may not really be the favorite song of the week, but it's been in my head since Monday so I'm giving it to Hey Soul Sister by Train.

Current Read: Alchemy by Mike Wood
Blurb: The summer of 1984 was a golden time in America. From California, where gymnast Mary Lou Retton was winning Olympic gold, to Cape Cod, where explorer Barry Clifford was discovering pirate gold, the nation seemed obsessed with the precious metal. But for 15-year old Al, that obsession hits a little too close to home when he finds a code-filled notebook belonging to his missing father that may contain the ancient formula for turning lead to gold. Convinced that his father’s sudden disappearance is connected to his secret experiments in alchemy, Al sets out to find the truth. He enlists the help of Cammie, a beautiful girl staying for the summer while her marine biologist father tracks a wayward manatee, and together they begin unraveling the mystery. But the closer they get to an answer, the closer they grow to each other, and as the end of summer draws nearer, Al wonders if they can break the code without breaking his heart.

Movie of the Week: Boondock Saints II these guys kick ass.

"I'm so f*c@ing smart, that I make smart people feel like they are retarded" ~ Eunice from Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day.
Okay, I think that's all I have.  Have a good weekend.



Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Caregivers of the World: Grandparents

They are like the fill ins.  Always there when you need them, even at a moment's notice.  Free baby sitting.

They come with some rules though.

1) Your children MUST not resist cheek pinches.

2) You must be willing to let your kids eat candy, and other crap that will either make them fat, rot their teeth, or give them a sugar high lasting weeks.

3) You must always expect them to come home with something be it a new toy, clothes, money, or cookies.

4) You must expect and accept that your kids may watch TV or play on the computer all day.

5) You must expect that there will be things that they can do and Nana and Papa's that you don't allow them to do at home.

6)  Once they return to your care, you will hear them say, but Nana let's me.  How come we can't ___________(fill in the blank i.e. go out to dinner) we always do and Nana and Papa's.

However, you can also expect them to receive, hugs, kisses, and unconditional love.  And that is something no other babysitter can offer.



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Caregivers of the World: Hospice

Hospice workers are awesome.  When my mother-in-law lived with us I saw first hand.  They bring in all the equipment you need.  The nurse's are great.  Very caring, informative.  They'll give the patient their meds and teach you how to do it as well.  They schedule days to come in and bathe them.  And my MIL not only had cancer, but she'd also had a stroke a few years earlier and didn't have the use of her tongue.  So they  taught me how to feed her through her feeding tube.

They aren't only there for their patient, but also for you.  They answer your questions, explain the stages of the illness, what's happening, what we could do to make it better, to understand it.  In a way they help us to accept what is imminent and support us after.  They're available 24/7.

My mother-in-law passed so quickly we didn't really have the opportunity to take advantage of all hospice had to offer.  They have many people willing to volunteer their time and talents to make people's last days as comfortable and fulfilling as possible, artists, massage therapists, etc.  Plus there are people who will just come sit with them, talk to them, or read to them.

They inspired me to make my MIL's stay as fun and comfortable as possible also.  So on top of caring for her, I'd pull my karaoke machine in and sing to her, watch movies with her, just sit and talk to her.

We used Franciscan Hospice whose slogan is, We bring light to the end of life, and you know what?  They really do.  If you're looking for a charity to donate too this year, or a way to volunteer your time, consider them. 



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Caregivers of the World: Baby Sitters

I don't mean just any baby sitter, I mean the really good ones.  The ones that play with  you, that make you milkshakes, that let you stay up a little later than you should, the ones that would read you a bed time story.  When I was growing up, we had a pair of sisters down the street that would come watch us, Caroline and Susan.  I don't remember their last names now, but they were the best baby sitters ever.

When I had kids, it was important to me to find a sitter that would actually watch and play with my kids.  Not one who would talk on the phone, or watch television.  I was lucky enough to find two.  The first one was Teefa.  She was like another daughter to me.  I'd known her since she was about 8 or 9 I think, and she started baby sitting for us when she was 12.  She was very mature for her age, so I felt comfortable leaving my children in her care.  She played games with the kids, watched Disney movies, play Barbies.  She was awesome.

However, she grew up, went to college, and now she's married with kids of her own.  When she went to college and worked, she wasn't as available as she once had been for us. So we called on Erica, the daughter of a family friend.  She was great too, played hide and seek, colored and drew with the kids.  When she would sit, we always came home to art work.

So, I want to give a shout out to those two ladies.  It's so hard to find good baby sitters, and I had two of the best.

Maybe get your sitter a little extra something next time he/she sits, a starbucks card, iTunes, something you know they'd use and enjoy.



Monday, May 10, 2010

The Caregivers of the World: The Daycare Provider

My friend Jenny Milchman    made a good point in a comment on my blog from Friday, that all people that care for others should be honored.  So I was thinking of some of those caregivers that I've really appreciated through life and thought I would mention them this week.  

Today I'm going to talk about daycare providers.  I know first hand, having been one myself, how difficult their jobs are and I think much of the time, they're taken for granted.

First of all, I think many people view them, strictly as a baby sitter and that you are their boss.  Nope. Not true.  I was the boss.  I chose whose children I took in.  It's a business, and I don't think people really think about everything involved.

First off, I had a set of rules for all parents and children.  It was about a 20 page handbook I expected all my parents to read and follow.  It showed them what they could expect of me and what I should expect of them to ensure high quality care of their child, it included what we did during the day, what they'd eat, what rules I expected followed, what happened when those rules were broken, and basically how we could get along.  And I knew some parents never bothered to read it, as rules were broken, and then they would get bent out of shape when we needed to have a "talk". (and I'm talking about the parents breaking the rules, not the kids)

Yes, you paid me...a lot...but I assume you want your child well cared for.  This is why I had employees, and had to pay wages for these employees, and taxes on these employees.  I had to follow a food program through the state, so I spent lots of money on healthy food for your children that was all inclusive in your daily fee.  I made sure your child was entertained with educational toys (which happen to be more expensive than the non variety), I formulated a curriculum so I was not just "baby sitting" I was educating, which was VERY important to me.

I worked fifty five hours a week caring for your kids, but also another few hours planning the daily curriculum, breakfast and lunch menus, filling out and turning in paper work to the city and state governments and food program.

And when you paid me late, it was really a nuisance because I had to schedule a time to leave and go to the bank, and when you did that, I had to go again.  It's hard to get away with nine kids in my care and two employees.

So, here is what I'm saying.  It's hard to find good quality care, but if you are lucky enough to do so, treat them well.  Don't take advantage of them or take them for granted.  Occasionally tell them they are doing a good job.  Don't forget them at Christmas and their birthdays.  Appreciate that they are the ones caring for your children when you can't, because you know what?  We're with your children more waking hours than you, and while you can't help this, know that we love them and care about their well being, and do whatever it takes to make sure they are happy and safe.



Friday, May 7, 2010

The elements: Fire and My Mother, these two things are not related.

Fire.  The last element.  Probably my favorite.  Yes, I know, it's not a necessity for my existence, not really.  But I love heat, being warm.  I love on a cold morning sitting in my living room drinking coffee in front of a fire.  I love on a cool summer night sitting in front of the chiminea, Rusty building a huge fire to keep us warm.  I love, after a night in front of a campfire, the smell of my clothes and hair.

I would much rather be too hot than too cold.

Enough about fire.  Here is a shout  out to my mother in honor of mother's day.  She's the most beautiful person I know.  She's kind hearted and generous.  She's intelligent and funny.  And she can be a little kooky. ;)

She's had her share of hardships.  And yes, she's fallible, we all are.  But her imperfections and her trials in life make her who she is.

And here's a shout out to my girls, who I usually call Thing One and Thing Two here, but whose real names are Mary and Rachel. Here they are to the left with my grand niece Ella Bee.

Thank you for making my job as "mom" so easy.

Thank you for making me laugh by being goofballs and calling me things like "vampire mom".

Thank you for liking my writing.

Thank you for getting decent grades. (though they could be better)

Thank you for always wowing me when you're on the soccer field.

And thank you for still wanting hugs and kisses even though you're in middle school.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there.



Thursday, May 6, 2010

The elements: Earth

Okay, since one person enjoyed my other blogs this week (thanks Barbara), I guess I'll finish it off.  So today I speak to earth (should that be "the" earth? too early and not enough coffee to know)

There are things I love and things I don't, a love/hate relationship if you will.  

I love the plants and flower and trees that rise from your depths.
Except the blue bells, morning glory, and other weird nameless weeds.

Reaping from my garden what you've helped me sow is much better than buying abnormally large, pumped up fruits and vegetables from the produce section of Safeway, yet I can't stand the feeling of you underneath my fingernails. 

Let's talk about landslides.  Not good.

But I don't mind getting dirty on a soccer field.  A little.  Let's not go overboard.

Thank you for helping sustain life on our planet.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Letting Go...

Okay obviously the theme I had chosen for this week is a big snoozefest *zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz* so I'm changing direction. 

Yesterday I parted ways with a dear friend.  A friend who has been an important part of my life for three years.  Someone I talked to just about everyday.  Someone I celebrated and commiserated with, someone I confided in. 

I love him, in a friendship way, and I'm sure he feels the same.  But sometimes love just isn't enough.  Where did it go wrong?  We've had ups and downs.  There has been drama, there has been tears.

But, in his words, we are like oil and water.  We're akin to the like poles of a magnet.  No matter how hard you try to bring them together, they repel.  The funny thing to me is, the reasons for this are exactly the opposite.  He would probably disagree, which is ironic in itself, but I think the reason we're like oil and water is because we are so much alike, reflections of each other.  At times I've said we're like the same person.

This is what connected us in the first place, our sense of humor, our loving the limelight, striving for the same goals, facing the same challenges.

But no amount of love, and no amount semblance will keep us from butting heads, and yesterday we decided it was enough.

I owe him much in many different ways.  He will always have a place in my heart and I will mourn the loss of the friendship. 

But sometimes, even though it's hard, you have to let go.



Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The elements: Air

I thank the rain for subsiding yesterday morning, but was it necessary to replace it with a typhoon.  Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but come on, what is this?  Adverse weather week in Tacoma, WA?

I appreciate the fact that without you I will die, like water, but when you kick it into high gear, you're kind of destructive and annoying.

The wind knocked two panels off my greenhouse yesterday putting all my poor tomatoes, basil, melons, and marigolds in jeopardy. 

It stung just walking from the car to the grocery store.  Yes, hindsight I wouldn't have worn the mini skirt, but the sun was shining so it was too tempting and misleading.

My kids called for a ride home from soccer practice three blocks away, it was blowing so hard .  Their skin was so cold when they got home because they did not put their sweatshirts on and I refused to pick them up because I already had dinner cooking. (what is it with kids and outerwear anyway?) 

At least unlike the rain you didn't keep my up all night.  I think you may have actually helped me sleep (or maybe it was overtired delirium from being kept up all night the night before).



Monday, May 3, 2010

The elements: Rain

Rain, I understand the earth needs you.  Plants, trees, and flowers need you to grow.

I understand that I would die without you.

But usually gray skies follow you and I can't stand gray skies.

And you kept me up all night with your pounding and storming and while I usually like that sound, I don't like it when I'm trying to sleep.

Okay, yes, I know I live in the Pacific Northwest, but this is ridiculous.  It's May and you could share a little more time with the sun.

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

Total Pageviews