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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Open Letter In Response to "Dear White Moms"

Dear Moms Everywhere,

I read a letter today in the Huffington Post, and it is a letter I think we all needed to read.  So, please take a moment, and read "Dear White Moms".

Why?  Because, we need to all unite to stop this madness.

I am tired.

I am tired of hearing about how an unarmed child has been shot or beat up by those who we raise them to respect and go to for help.

I am tired of this being a race issue.  It shouldn't be.  It is an issue for all of us moms everywhere in this country.  This effects us all.

I am tired of all our children learning to fear police instead of looking to them for comfort and protection.

I am an American.  I try to raise my children as Americans.  Not as "white" Americans.  I want to raise them to not see others as being different, lesser, privileged or more equal,

Perhaps now we are hearing more and more about these horrific cases because of the Internet.  If so, then... Good.  We need to know.

We all need to know that this is happening.  If we don't know, if we insulate ourselves in our "clean" suburbs, behind the doors of McMansions, and gated communities, then we we are part of the problem.

I want as much as any other mom to protect my child from the horrors of war.  But, that is what we have.  It is a war.

It is a war on all of our children.  Our children are learning to not trust those who they should feel safe to go to for help.  If our children run to a police officer, will they be shot.  If their friends are in need of help, will they be afraid because of the color of their skin.

If we as moms everywhere don't unite and find a way to stop this madness, then it will continue and it will get worse.  All of our children will suffer.

I implore all of you.  All of you moms and dads, let's fight this.  No more should die because of this war on our children.

Let us not turn a blind eye to abuses on our children.  Let's speak up and insist that our children whether they be black, white, hispanic, mixed, or of any race be treated with the respect that they as human beings deserve.

Signed,
An American Mom



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Second Job and the Underemployed

After yesterday's blog, I was talking to some friends about low wages and working low skill jobs.

One of my friends works at a local fast food restaurant.  It was the only job in this economy that she was able to find.  She is a fairly eloquent speaker and presents herself well.  Still, fast food was the only job she was able to find.

The hours that she had bee scheduled for generally only will add up to two days a week.  Recently, she asked her manager about being scheduled for more hours.  "Get a second job" is what she was told to do.

It was such a frustrating thing to hear.  She never knows what hours she will be scheduled, it may be mid-morning to afternoon one day, and close the next.  It may be Monday and Friday one week, and Tuesday and Saturday the next.  There is never any consistency.

So, she is looking for a second job.  But, she knows that if she gets a second job, her manager won't give her a consistent scheduling to accommodate it.

This brings to mind the idea of a New York Times article that I read recently regarding Starbucks and employees there who are struggling for consistent hours.  Starbucks it seems is at least trying to do the right thing and is in the process of trying to change their policies according to a Bloomberg BusinessWeek article.

Sadly, few employers show such respect for their employees.  The mentality for the past number of years has been that anyone is replaceable and retention of good employees has ceased to be a priority for the vast number of these jobs.

This is something that needs to change.  If an employer is not going to respect their employees and treat them as equal human beings, then those employees in turn will not respect their employers.  If my friend is able to find that second job, verses being able to stay at her current job with maybe a few more hours a week, I don't doubt she will run into the same problem that others at her workplace have run into and find that her managers won't work with anything but a completely open availability.

It's sad, but it's the way things are.  It's time for all employees to be treated with respect.  These may be low skill jobs, but that doesn't mean that these are less human beings.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Hard Work Is Not the Key to Success Anymore

Low wage job is just that...low wage. Want to earn more money? Get an education and get a better job.
Low wage job is just that...low wage. Want to earn more money? Get an education and get a better job.
"Low wage job is just that...low wage.  Want to earn more money? Get an education and get a better job."

That was the first comment in a recent article that I read about an 81 year old McDonald's maintenance who is joining the fight for a fair raise (McDonald's maintenance worker Jose Carillo, 81, won't let his age keep him from waging the fight for fair wages for fast-food workers).

Too often, I believe that people forget that not everyone can earn that college education.  Life isn't fair, and perhaps they never had that opportunity.  In this case, this is an 81-year old man.  As I am thinking of it, how many of our grandparents have college degrees?  Life was different then, and college wasn't something that was touted as the key to moving up in the world.  Hard work was considered the key to a successful life.

Today, the idea that hard work is going to get you a job that will pay your bills is becoming a thing of the past.  Now, the only way to find that job that meets cost of living is to go to college.  I am not for paying everyone the same thing, but there has to be a point where we pay for the services that we want as well.  Maintenance workers and low skilled workers shouldn't be treated as being lesser people simply because they haven't been able to afford to go to college.  They should be able to make a livable wage, which absolutely differs depending on where in the country you live.

These jobs aren't necessarily as low skill as one may think.  I've flipped burgers at McDonald's and had to run and be on my feet all day.  Many of these jobs are hard on the body, exhausting and require other skills of dexterity, organization, memory, all the while keeping that smile on.  Maintenance jobs take a lot of knowledge of mechanics, and common sense that not everyone has.

I am behind workers like Jose Carillo, who deserve the opportunity to make a livable wage.  Wages for the low skill jobs haven't been going up with the cost of living in this country, and it's about time they do.

Minimum wages need to be tied to the cost of living for a particular area.  But, most importantly, workers need to be treated with respect and fairness.  If you have a good worker, treat them as a good worker.  Just as if you do a good job at your middle management job, you would expect a raise, why doesn't a good worker who serves your food deserve a raise?


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Grasping for Puzzle Pieces

My sons are on the autism spectrum.

That's a fact.

Recently, I met a number of other moms that have children that I recognize are on the spectrum.  They aren't willing to say it out loud, but I could see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices.  I met their children, and I knew.

Something about me must have let them know it's okay to talk about sensory swings, and styming, missing communication and tactile sensitivies.

As we talked, I came to realize, they are searching for that puzzle piece, the one that would make the puzzle of autism complete.  And, they were looking at me for that missing piece.

They've met my Thomman.  My heart and joy.  Thomman didn't speak at one time, or rather his speach was such that it wasn't.  Thomman once spun in circle after circle to the point that we drew spinning circles on the carport floor that he was allowed to spin in safely.

We read the articles, saw the specialist, bought so many specialized things, all in the hopes that that one thing or that one doctor would be the missing puzzle piece.

But, in the end, I came to realize, there was no missing puzzle piece.  Thom is complete the way he is.

He's my pride and my joy.  He may still spin, and styme and be more senstive to the outside world than other kids, but he is complete.

I love you Thom!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Larry The Cable Guy Strikes Again

I know.  I know.

It's Larry the Cable Guy.  Somehow, you can't help yourself eyes glued to the screen and laughing at his antics.  But, fish batter?  He has his own line of boxed mixes for different things?  I was a little skeptical.





But, you know me.  I like to try new things and I definitely like to try to expand the kids food repertoire.  So, noticed the box of fish batter at Big Lots, and the kids love Larry the Cable Guy, I had to try it.

I pulled out the skillet, followed the directions, and dinner is served!

Okay, it didn't look as good as on the packaging, and my skeptism increased.  But, food will not go to waste in this household.

I was happily surprised.  I liked it.  And, even better than that, the kids liked it.

We have added a new food item to our list of things Momma may just cook for dinner, and Larry is invited to dinner.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Baby Oil Again ... Dusting and Emma

There are so many different uses of baby oil.  It's amazing and one of those basics that I like to keep in the house.

I like the fact that it is non-toxic and is so versitile.

One of my favorite uses of baby oil is to dust and clean my furniture.  I have a lot of old wooden furniture around my house.  My daughter, Emma, is in charge of oiling the furniture on a regular basis.


Not only does it keep the wood moisturized and looking good, I, personally, love the smell.


Turkey Bacon ... Is it really any good?

I am always looking to introduce the kids to new things to eat.  Sometimes, this means going out of my comfort zone and thinking outside of the box.

I was at the Dollar Tree, and saw this package of turkey bacon by Jennie-O.



Turkey bacon?

Really?

How can turkey be bacon?  Bacon is from pork, aka, pigs, not turkeys.

Still, I had to try it.  

We fried it up, the same way you would normal bacon.


Hint:  If you fry up turkey bacon, oil your pan first.  I didn't, and I burnt the first couple pieces.

Still, it came out looking okay.  Not like real bacon, but it didn't look inedible.


  Yes, there is the test to past.  How does it taste?

I needed a test subject.  Someone who would tell me straight off, without hesitation if it was okay.

Emma!  Yes, Emma, the picky eater.  Emma, the one who doesn't like meat.  I wondered what she would think of it.


She liked it!

Needless to say, turkey bacon is now on our menu.

I never thought I'd like it.  But, as long as you don't think of it as "bacon", and instead think of it as a fried turkey jerky, you will not be disappointed.

Being able to get the turkey bacon at the Dollar Tree was just a bonus.  There was just enough for everyone to have a couple slices with breakfast, with no overeating and no leftovers.  Everyone was happy and that makes me happy.

Score!  Momma wins again.  Kids have tried something new, and Momma's budget is on target.


We Are Women

We are women!

Yes, I'm shouting that out loud just in case you didn't know.

I'm a firm believer that as a woman, you can do anything a man can.  Perhaps, you won't be able to do it in the same manner, but if, as a woman, you set your mind to it, you can do it.

Recently, my neighbor, Koreann, upstairs had some mattresses that needed to be moved out to the dumpsters after a roommate moved out.  She thought, maybe, she should just wait until her "man" (aka, Nathan) gets home.  But, Nathan has been very sick in the hospital.

Well, I'm not one to wait on someone else to do things for me, so Koreann and I moved these huge queen size mattresses ourselves.  I'm sure that the neighbors got quite the kick out of seeing the two of us with these huge mattresses precariously perched on our heads as we laughed and joked all the way to the back of our apartment complex.



The point is, that even though it may have been easier to wait, there is nothing we cannot accomplish if we set our minds to it.  True, we could have waited and had a "nice, strong man" handle it for us.  But, to me, it's important that we did it.

It's part of taking care of our family in my mind for a woman to be able to handle anything that she is faced whether it be a flat tire or a couple of queen sized mattresses that just needed to go.



The New School Year and the Dreaded Lice

It's a new school year.  The summer is over, and kids are heading back to school.

It's so exciting, and then ...

Lice!  But, it's too soon in the school year.

Sadly, it's not.

I noticed Emma was itching her head.  That didn't seem right, she just washed it and she doesn't have a problem ...

Wait...

What is that?

As I looked closely at her head, I saw the dreaded "It".

It is a louse.

One, just one, that's all it takes, and now the regimine must begin.

Emma has hair down past her waist, and she likes to wear it down.  This means that her hair has a habit of flying everywhare and getting on everything.  And, the first week of school, it also meant, she picked up a louse off of a classmate.

For the next four hours, Emma sat on the floor as I carefully combed through her hair.

Checking...  Searching...  Combining... and going cross-eyed.

The hair was combed and after last year's experience with lice, I skipped the Rid and went straight for the olive oil.  I oiled her hair down thoroughly, combining it all out carefully and then braided it.  I only found two lice, but that's more than enough to warrent a full delousing in my book.

Ten long thin braids, and my off to bed.

The next day to be spent washing every pillow and sheet that could have possibly touched her head.  All brushes and combs will be soaked in alcohol for the rest of the school year, and the weekly lice checks will commence.

Yeap, the new school year is here.  And, sadly, so are the dreaded lice.

I hate bugs!






Jaime, the Bearded Dragon, and the Emergency Vet

"Mom, Jaime's not walking right and she keeps turning over."

"What?"

Poor little Jaime, Emma's bearded dragon, was dragging her leg behind her. I was terrified that she had broken her leg.  Evidently, she had jumped off of Fred's lap and banged her leg into the wall in the process.

What is a Mom to do?  Afterall, Moms are supposed to fix everything.

So, I got on the phone and started calling around to different vets.  This all had to happen on a Saturday afternoon, didn't it?

Finally, after several calls I called back the first vet that was on my list, Winter Park Veterninary Hospital.  They sounded nice enough on the phone, and they could see Jaime today.  Not all vets will even see lizards, and Jaime is all lizard.



We arrived and were seen almost immediately.  I didn't even get a chance to sample from their selection of Keurig coffees.

In short order, the veterinary technician in and Jaime was weighed, and the technician left.  I'm expecting, a bit more of a weight and sit down to read one of the magazines on the rack in the room.  Completely surprised that they had magazines for reptile lovers.


 I didn't even have a chance to read an article before the vet was coming in the room.

She carefully inspected Jaime's leg and explained the whole process to Emma who was obviously concerned about her baby.  The vet couldn't tell whether or not the leg was broken right off, but Jaime had feeling in her leg, which the vet explained to Emma was a good thing.



Off Jaime went for x-rays.

Not even 15 minutes later, the nurse was back with the good news.  The leg wasn't broken!

Hurray!

The technician explained that Jaime had just sprained it and would only need a little anti-inflamatory and pain medication.

Complete and total relief was evident in both Emma and myself.

Emma was obviously curious about the x-rays and the vet technician picked up on this.  She asked if Emma would like to see the x-rays.  This really impressed me.

What impressed me even more, was that when we were brought out to the x-ray viewing machine, the vet was back, explaining all of the x-rays to Emma and showing her how nicely everything looked.  The vet took the time to explain and show Emma that Jaime's leg was not broken and that the swelling was from it being sprained.



I can't verbalize just how greatful I am to them.  I never thought I'd have to take a lizard to the vet, but I am glad that when I had to that I was able to find such a wonderful and caring veterinary hospital as Winter Park Veterinary Hospital.


Anika, the Nail Polish(ed) Kitten


My darling daughter, Anika, was at it again.

Tonight, she decided to paint herself up as a kitty kat.  The little girl locked herself in my bedroom and painted herself using brown nailpolish.

"Oh no!".

 Removing nail polish from arms or legs would be one thing.  I could use some standard nail polish remover, but her face ... well, you don't want to use nail polish remover on a toddler's face, especially so closer to their eyes.

Once again, baby oil to the rescue.

Put some baby oil on a wash cloth or other soft cloth (not too smooth).  It takes a bit of rubbing, but it comes off fairly easily.

Of course, I had to create a little video of our little Anika and posted it on YouTube.  I couldn't help myself.  I'm sure other mom's have run into this, so I had to share.  (Removing Baby Oil From Skin)

She will always keep me on my toes :)


Friday, August 15, 2014

Random Thoughts about the Stay-at-Home Mom

This is an excerpt from an old post of mine from a different site.  I was thinking about this today, and realize, sometimes, my thoughts just don't really change on topics.  Other times they do.  




January 30, 2009 - Random thoughts from an overheard comment

January 30, 2009 at 10:53pm
Okay, it's not nice to eavesdrop. I know that, you know that, pretty much everyone knows that. But if people don't want you overhearing their conversations they should go someplace private or shut their door, especially at the office.

I find it curious, why do some professional women find that they have to be so critical of other women who choose to stay at home, either as a house wife or stay at home mom. Personally as a working mom, I give kuddos to those stay at homes. I know a few and their job is just as demanding as mine, perhaps, in ways, more so.

So, I was sitting at my desk, and a female professional who I am near starts talking on the phone. No biggie. Then she starts going on and on about how this old friend of hers is now a house wife and she can't understand how she could waste herself doing that. Sometimes it takes everything I have to not do one of a couple things. 1. go shut their door or 2. open my mouth and comment.

Here's my feelings. Of the stay at home types I know, well, okay, I'm jealous, and I'm not too big to admit it. If the economy wasn't what it was, I'd do everything I can to be among your ranks.

...

As for the stay at homes, well, they don't have it easy either. They work hard, keeping things in order, juggling children and schedules and the house... let me tell you, when the kids are home all day, the house does take a beating. How they do it, I honestly don't know. Many do so much more too, maybe take a class or volunteer work of one sort or another. Most of the stay at home moms I've met have multiple children. These are some brilliant women too. I don't think that their skills are wasted. Children are the greatest gift there is.

Two of the finest stay at homes I've ever met, never made me feel guilty about being a working mom. Both have/had three children, some with special needs. If you've never had a child with special needs you may not realize how much research goes into it.

I remember Jessica so clearly. Jessica was a good friend who passed away of cancer several years ago. She was a stay at home mom who home schooled. Her kids knew her love and she gave them it all. Jessica could schedule the three kids and all their various medical appointments (the oldest two had a multitude of special needs). Right up to the end, I don't think she ever let on how scared she was, or let them see her cry. They'd bring their school work to the hospital (somehow she continued to home school, something she believed in with all her being as being best for her children). They were social kids, they had friends, they were intelligent and well spoken, and well, were just great kids. Jessica was brilliant, probably one of those who if they took the test would have been a Mensan. She could have been anything she wanted to be or done anything she wanted to. I'm sure that there were those out there that judged her for staying home. Some who thought she was wasting herself on what would only be a few years of the kids being home (though honestly how many careers last 18+ years).

When people make comments about stay at home moms, I think of Jessica. Her life was not wasted. She loved staying home with her children. She loved teaching them. She had a lasting affect on so many lives that go past the nuclear family. ... If it wasn't for Jessica and how she advocated so for her children, how she encouraged [me], I wouldn't be half the mom I am today.

I am by no means perfect. I know my tongue slips at times and I say the wrong thing without meaning to. I am not the perfect mom. I make my share of mistakes.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, if you want to put down those moms/women who choose to stay home, whether it be as a house wife or a stay at home mom, think a moment. These women do not make female equality any less. I think that they actually help to strengthen it. They are not less than those of us who go out of the home to work. How many working moms have "left it to the stay at home moms" to do the bake sales, or be the brownie leaders, or chaperons on field trips. If you truly felt that they were lesser than yourself, could you trust them to do those things, would you even want them to?


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Magic Woman

Magic Woman

Oh little elf -
magic woman -
Where did you come from?
Where are you going to?

You've brought us
happiness & joy!
You've lit our days with smiles.

Must you leave so soon!?!
Must you go with the Night!?!

He, Night, will not mind -
if we have but one more day
- Will he?

We have so many questions
And only your magical touch
shall answer them.

-- I guess we must wait
Wait 'til our day
When Night comes for us
Then magic woman - 
Then we shall again smile!



Monday, August 11, 2014

Our Common Mother

Our Common Mother 

Flowing white robes cover our common mother
She wears them with grace & elegance.
Before she wore green & yellow & blue
All are her pallets - her canvases of love
We ought to love the mother we share
She cares for us and provides us food & fun
She paints our world [with] beautiful colors
She raises us with conviction & love

Oh, how do we repay her for all her work
We poison her over & over again
We divide her body in pieces between us.
We destroy our Mother!

Yet, throughout all this she cares for us
With perseverance and kindly love
How does she keep us?
Why does she not turn away?

Oh such love - such gracious perseverance
We love her even as we hurt her,
Mother, oh, mother of our world - Nature.
Protect us from what lies beyond
And, help us to understand your mysteries here.

How can we say it?
We do not speak the same language
But, Thank you Mother. Thank you dearly.



Photo Op -- Well, Kinda.




No, those aren't driver's licenses or permits.  They are new state issued identification cards.

I decided it was time to get my oldest son, Fred, a photo ID.  Afterall, he's growing up and it's time that he's going to want to start hanging out with friends and exploring on his own.  So, I decided to take him down to our local Tax Collector's Office (otherwise known as Department of Motor Vehicles) and get him his first ID.

I don't think anyone doubts that getting a photo ID for their child can be a good thing.  I'm sure that not everyone would go to the extent of getting one from their local DMV.  But, since his identification is state issued, it will be easier in a few years to obtain his learner's permit.  He will already have his first part of identification.

Another reason, well, Fred doesn't look or act like your normal 12 year old boy.  Most people who meet him think he's 14 or 15 because of his height and maturity.  He can hold an intelligent conversation on more topics than I can count and is an eloquent speaker.  So, here's the proof positive, this is my baby!  He's just a little kid, even if he is taller than you.  Proof is right there on his ID - born in 2002!  Yeap, all 5 foot 8 of him is just a little kid.

Have you ever tried to get a driver's license in Florida?  It's not always an easy process.  You really have to prove who you are.  It took me over a year after moving to Florida to prove that I was who I was to obtain my state driver's license.  I decided then that I would eventually get the identification cards through the state for my children.  No denying it, here's Fred; and, here's Thomas.  When it's time for them to obtain their state driver's learning permits, it's going to be a whole lot easier than it would have been.

Anyone who has ever had to stand or sit waiting at a DMV would know that it can be a hassle.  But, I think it was well worth it.



P.S.  Both boys are also now listed as Organ Donors :)  I'm so proud of them.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Autism Does Not Mean Stupid

My son Thomas has autism.

When Thomas was 3 1/2 years old he was diagnosed with "high functioning" classic autism.  I wanted to cry, I wanted to scream, and I wanted to hold my baby tight and yell at the world that "He's still MY Little!"

Thomas was placed in a special pre-school class and received Speech Therapy for receptive and expressive language.  We found he had a number of sensory difficulties, and was especially photo-sensitive.  At one point when we lived in Virginia, he was a Project LifeSaver kid through the sheriff's department because of his wanderings.

Through everything, if anyone asked me what I liked best about Thomas, I would say "his heart".  There is something about the boy that makes your heart melt.  He loves everyone.  And, even if he can't necessarily stand to be hugged, you know he loves people.

But, through it all, Thomas was never not intellectually there.  He may vacate out into an absence seizure, or twirl a little and click his tongue.  He may emotionally seem a little closer to a child half his age, but he has always been so very smart.  At school, he moved from having an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) to having nothing while I fought to get him a 504 plan.  He received his 504 plan last year.  He needs extra time on tests, and has trouble with his ability to write legibly.  His short term memory can be a bit faulty, and he is very consistent about not remembering that he has homework too.  After all, the teacher didn't say "Thomas, you need to do pages 10, 11 and 12 tonight", she just said "Do pages 10, 11 and 12" not who was supposed to do them.

Something happened today.

Today, Grandma took him to school to meet his new teacher and find out where his classroom is.  Turns out, that the Thomman is not in a normal class this year.  He will not be with all the other "normal" mainstream kids this year studying along at what he consider's an easy pace.

No, Thomas has been moved to the 5th grade gifted class!

His most recent teacher recognized that this kid is smart! Not just run of the mill smart, but really very intelligent!  It doesn't matter if he does click his tongue in class, or needs extra time to write his work because it can be physically painful.  It doesn't matter that he has to wear tinted glasses to keep the room in shadows or that he needs his teacher to sign off that he actually has homework.

I am so proud of my son Thomas!

We'd have a special dinner for him tonight ... I was thinking ice cream and cake, but I know that would upset him and he'd say we skipped dinner.  So, looks like Mac-n-Cheese followed by a healthy serving of ice cream!



I Am Not SuperMom

The other night I met a new neighbor.  Well, not really new, he's lived in the same complex as me at least as long as I have.  Still, it was the first time that I actually met him.

One of my "girls' upstairs decided to say hello to a neighbor in one of the buildings next to us.  Since I was with her, I got the opportunity to say hello and introduce myself as well.

He made a funny quip about there being an elevator between the upstairs and downstairs apartments in our building since we are all visiting each other constantly.  I suppose it must seem like that :)  We do have a great time enjoying each others company.

I said that I'm just the "crazy" downstairs neighbor with the four kids.  He called me "SuperMom".

Wow!  What a compliment coming from a stranger.  He's seen us all hanging out, seen me interacting with the kids and looks at me as being something more than just a nutty neighbor with a bunch of kids.

Thing is, I'm no SuperMom.

I'm just a mom, like thousands of other mothers out there.  I love my kids, try my hardest to do the best I can by them and try to maintain some semblance of myself as being more than just Momma.

SuperMom would be incredible, but her house wouldn't look like a tornado ransacked the inside, otherwise known as my darling daughter "Hurricane" Anika.  SuperMom's wouldn't ever loose her cool because she just stepped on a bunch of Legos that were left in the middle of the bedroom floor.  SuperMom would always have excellent well balanced meals that everyone sat nicely and politely ate at the table.

No, I'm not SuperMom, but I appreciate the compliment.




Tribute to an old friend

I wrote this poem many years ago when I was in still in high school.  

There was a wonderful older woman, named Jerri.  She was a friend of my grandmother and was always so friendly to me.  


*   *   *   *   *


Lord, I beg!


To that magical woman
Who brought smiles to our faces
Who was always young
-- and always beautiful

Oh Lord, I pray,
That you give her a seat
In your kingdom above.

So loved with an open heart
Never selfish - have I known
Never demanding or cruel
- or harmful

I love her Lord!
Please, I beg of you - 
Protect her fragile soul
and love her 
With the love she gave to us

She was energetic -
joyful -
playful -
A young babe - 
Her memories shall not die -
For I love her too much

Make her an angel - a saint -
a messenger.
She is love Lord -
Always giving never wanting
She is our Jerri Lenard!!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Green Living? Or, Just Making More Trash?

Greenies beware!

I am about to be a bit of a green snob.

I am so tired of everyone and all the publicity going towards buying "green".

Really, what does that mean, "buy green".  It means replacing something that you already have with something that is energy efficient and should have a lower carbon footprint.  In essence this sounds pretty great.  Good for the environment, and good for the economy.

Wait!  What did you just do with that old car you replaced?  You scrapped it?  But, wasn't it running just fine?  So, now that old car is going to sit in the junkyard.  Luckily, there are a lot of scrap yards that will then recycle as much as possible of the metal and other parts.

But, what about that shirt you just threw in the trash?  Or, the plastic ware?  What about that old garden planter?  Ah, yes, it is more "green" to use the biodegradeables, but what happened to the plastic planter?  It just ended up in the landfill.  Plastic does not biodegrade.  It's one of the wonder of the invention, and one of the horrors of it as well.

If you want to green up your driving, then there are other ways as well to do it without adding to the landfills and junkyards.  I love old cars, and there is no reason that an older car cannot be made more energy efficient.  Most deisels can run on biofuels, and many other vehicles can be retrufitted for so much less than buying a new car.

Clothing can be bought at resale and thrift stores for less while reducing your carbon footprint.  Not to mention, thift store clothes can be unique.  I know I don't like wearing all the same outfits as everyone else.

Next time you go to buy green, think about it.  Are you really buying green?  Or, are you just making more trash with what you are throwing away.



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Reloved Plastic Planter

Findings - It's all in the "Picking"

I admit it.  I do it.  I'm a bit of a picker.

In the area of Florida that I live in, it is common for people to put out next to the dumpster or on their curb in front of their house, things that they don't want anymore.  Now, sometimes these are big pieces of furniture, but not always.

A lot of the time, it's other things, lamps, even dishes or a laundry basket full of shoes.

So, if I come across things, I may just pick them up.  To me, these are hidden treasures.  They make my home unique.  After all, how many people have hand painted tiles of beautiful Japanese ladies hanging on their wall.  It was a finding.  That's right, these beautiful tiles were sitting next to the curb, propped up against an old bookcase that someone was also not wanting anymore.  Needless to say, the tiles came home with me.  The bookcase did not.




I enjoy the search for treasure.  I never know if I will find something or not.  Days can go by, even weeks or months with no findings.  Then, all of the sudden.  It's a bonanza!

This past weekend, I found a really need bar table.  I knew the girl's upstairs were looking for one, and I found it!  I was so excited.  I took a picture and texted it to one of them.  She quickly sent her other half over to where I was with her truck and now it has a new home, along with a number of other decorating goodies.

So, next time you have something you don't want, don't throw it away.  If you don't want to donate to a local thrift shop, consider putting it out on the curb, you never know who may find it.



P.S.  Another good resource is FreeCycle.  They are a great group of people and are all over the country.  It's not picking and shouldn't be confused with it.  It's however a great way to recycle your clothes and other goodies around the house.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Responsibility is Learned

Responsibility is learned.  It's not something that we come by naturally.  

Recently, I had the opportunity to watch, listen and talk to three young women who had moved in together.  They all have a different take on living on their own.  Sadly, one of them has had to move out.  Why?  It wasn't just personality conflict which can come with roommates.  It came down to being responsible.  One of the girls had lost her job because she didn't show up for work and didn't call in.  She didn't really think anything of it, or the consequences of not getting a new job before she quit her job.  Within a few months after losing her job, her roommates became fed up with housing her and feeding her while she'd go out to bars dancing and partying.  

Now, from the perspective of the girl who lost her job, she felt she was looking.  In reality, she'd go out and get a bunch of applications, bring them home and too often they would sit there.  She'd apply for a job now and again, and even had a couple interviews. She wasn't contributing to the household. The other girls would get upset at her because they were working, buying food and cleaning house, while she was only occasionally job hunting, but going out several times a week dancing and drinking.   She'd come home, but she didn't clean house, she didn't buy groceries, but she did eat food that the girls who were working bought.

This young woman felt that as long as she tried (even if it was minutely), that there should be no consequences to getting fired from her job.  She felt that others should feed her, pay her rent, and she should be free to continue living her life as she wanted.  

Instead of stepping back and realizing that the world doesn't work like that. She never took a step back and thought of the fact that her roommates only made enough to support themselves and that they couldn't keep feeding her and cleaning up after her, while she took her time to find a job.  Instead, she put the whole household in jeopardy.   

Sadly, this now 22 year old young woman has to learn the hard way the lessons of responsibility.  It makes me wonder if she was taught that there are consequences to her actions as she was growing up.  If she was then it didn't stick.  

I wish her the best and hope that she is able to learn about responsibility.  




His Father Forgot His Birthday