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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve was AMAZING

This day was pretty much perfect. In case you don't know this already, Christmas Eve is my mother's birthday. So we started our day with a fabulous lunch of Greek food and celebrating my mother. I got myself parked between Wednesday and Jack. Darn. How terrible, right? lol Once again - Wednesday proved that Uncle Jeff is her pawn and will do whatever she wants. Soooo cute! And just for the record? So did Jack. It was a blast. I think my mom was beyond thrilled with her bday lunch. My family did what she asked us to do. Ricci was a dream for giving her what she really would have wanted. She gave her a calendar filled with pix of the babies and even a couple of my kids. I'm jealous, I want a copy for ME!

Proceed to the scene at my mother's. There are probably 6 sq. feet of presents waiting for us, maybe more. My mother and I went WAY overboard. And I'm not even going to try to apologize for it. Too much fun and too much happiness.

So we got the little ones a shit load of presents. Especially Wednesday. Recently, when Ariana and I were babysitting because Ricci had to go the hospital, we witnessed Wednesday taking the teddy bear Ariana gave her last year and feeding it and taking out wiped to clean his face and.....yeah, his booty. She is mimicking her mommy and taking care of a "baby". At this point, we determined we had a mission. That little girl needed a baby doll.

Now, you have to understand that my niece is a midget child. She turns 2 in a couple of weeks and her 7 mo brother is barely behind her in weight and height. So the world of baby dolls became limited. They were all bigger than her. HUGE, to be honest. And the ones that are automated frankly scared the hell out of us. One sounded like a stranded goat. Another one was like possesso baby and yet another said things I found vaguely inappropriate.

Then, we found the mini-Cabbage Patch baby. The ONLY kind of Cabbage kid in the store for some weird reason. It was tiny. It was adorable. It had a bottle (plus we added a pack of accessories like a mini box of wipes), green eyes and no chin.......just like our adorable Wednesday. We were so excited to give it to her but had no idea how she would react.

Let me just say this. There are certain magical Christmas moments. They don't happen every year. Sometimes they never happen at all. But Wednesday opening her baby doll present? One of the most amazing things I've ever experienced in my life.

She was like Ariana, desperate to get someone to free her baby. She was absolutely frantic. When we got her out she took hold of her and the bottle and wouldn't let go. She put the bottle in her mouth. She burped her. She bounced her on her knee. She would only let some people (that's right, I am one of the trusted people with baby McCant) even hold the baby. She immediately started making soft, crying sounds for her baby that made her have to cuddle or feed her. She couldn't care less about the rest of her presents for the longest time. That baby and it's needs became the center of her attention. She showed her to Jack and let Rissa bounce Jack AND baby on her knees. She gave her to me to hold when she opened or played with other presents. She took her brother's baby car seat, cleaned it out of his toys and put her baby in it. It was the sweetest, most adorable baby Christmas moment I think I've ever experienced. We kept tearing up about her taking care of baby and how absolutely thrilled she was to finally have a baby in her arms and do what Mommy does every day. The only other present that captured even a fraction of that reaction were the mega-blocks with a gear system/shape sorter and playing with it (while I babysat CB kid) with Rissa and Ariana in the kitchen. Wait until she gets her kitchen, magnetic, cut-up bread/cutting board/cut-up bread, fruit, etc. AND her little tool box w/ wooden tools, screws, supplies plus her backpack full of Black & Decker tools.

Okay, not baby related. My mom getting her long john pj's from all of us (because she gives pj's to the grandkids every year and Jon jokingly asked her if she wanted long john's for Christmas once and got a great reaction) and laughing so fully, loving the gift AND the joke and.........drum roll

Merry Christmas. I will wrap myself in my luxurious, red wrap that my mommy noticed me loving and went back and bought for me. She really surprised me this year.

I am beyond thrilled that she gave us tickets to "Mixtape" which I've been dying to see. The star is the younger brother to my great friend and occasional date that I recently learned had passed on. I am so excited to see the show on it's own but the thought that Lawton's little bro is the star is the cherry on top of the universe.

Merry Christmas y'all. I'll probably post tomorrow or the next day. I am drowning the the love, friendship, caring and good wishes amongst my friends and family.

Hey Abernathy/Peery clan! I love all of you more than you can know. Some day we will get together and have a proper holiday with all of us damaged kiddos.

I love you all. I am blessed to know you. My life is full because of all the souls I touch every moment.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas shopping horrors

I'm so drained by the demands of the holidays that I've had a hard time posting anything. It isn't because I haven't tried. I've started so many posts that I didn't finish. Sometimes it was just because I went to sleep and then couldn't regain the momentum the next day. Sometimes I just didn't feel the same so it didn't matter. Other times I've gotten partway through and just been too full of emotions and information to be able to spit it all out in a reasonable manner.

Shopping and wrapping are wonderful, rewarding, torturous and just plain painful. People are at their absolute best AND worst at this time of year. I try to be patient and understanding and lend sympathy to everyone.

But down deep? Outside of the wonderful people I encounter with their kids and love and excitement? The jerks bring me down.

I want to kill some of them or just tell them off. But because I don't want to feel that, experience the conflicts or live in the world of negative I just bottle it all and put on a good face. Who wants to be the grumpy, Grinchy person out shopping? Certainly not me. So I shove it down and paste a smile on my face and do my damnedest to focus on the positive, the happy kids and the joyous shoppers.

I just find it takes its toll. Do you know what I mean? You find your nerves and patience worn to a thin, raw nub. So after putting on the smiley face of a saint in the world of shopping you find yourself snapping at the people you love the most. The people you are enduring all the crap for to bring them joy and happiness. How ridiculous is that? Those aren't the people really driving you crazy but you still tamp it down for the strangers and feel too exhausted to make the same effort for your friends and family.

Okay, maybe this is just me. Not trying to project my issues on the rest of you. But I think there are many in the world who experience this too.

So I guess I'm gonna take some deep breaths and remember how much I love those who are closest to my heart. I've done most of my wrapping and ALL of my shopping so I can take the time to reflect on what's important.

But just so we're clear? If you are one of those rude people that makes me so angry? Santa isn't bringing you the presents that matter. And Rudolph will poop on your roof.

Bah humbug.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Great Weekend (not to brag)

Wow. I mean it, wow!

I'm done with Christmas shopping except for a couple of things that just have to be picked up. And I got things I'm really happy to be giving people. Best. Feeling. Ever! Niece and nephews will be happy. Hopefully so will the adults. (Oh yeah, and my girls too. I KNOW they're adults but for me they still fit in with the kiddies. Can you imagine how insane I'm gonna be when I have my own grandkids?)

Handmade projects are on schedule and will be executed perfectly (well as close as homemade projects can be. I mean, that's the whole point of homemade, right? It's unique and junk? If they were perfect a machine could have made them. Right. No one expects perfection. It's okay. Deep breath. *inhale**exhale*)

Ariana and Rissa decorated the house and yard with lots of pretty lights, etc. yesterday. Definitely lights up our little corner. I'm sure Ariana will recover from being startled by the lights SHE hung on the house. Or, maybe not.

We went and got our Christmas tree today. It smells absolutely divine throughout the house. The lights and ornaments are so pretty. Ariana managed to decorate the interior as well. It's kind of her thing. : ) Here's to hoping the cats leave most of the tree/ornaments alone this year.

I got to spend the entire day with my husband. He's been working long hours so this was extra special. I miss the smell of his skin and his hugs when we're apart. Well, a few other things too but that's another conversation entirely. : ) Mind your own business, people. I think we both feel a little happier after our day.

Did I mention he made dinner as well? It was so delicious, tender and perfect that there is NOTHING left over.

And if that wasn't enough? All that glorious stuff?

The Raiders lost.

And the Chargers BURIED THE CHIEFS AND DANCED ON THEIR GRAVES. That's right. We're bad. Unh-huh. Whatcha gonna do about it?

(As a San Diego fan it's always fun to bust out the occasional trash talk. We don't get to use it as often as some fans. Please, indulge me.)

So happy dreams to all of you. Stay safe and sane this season. If we share love everywhere we go maybe we can make this world a little happier for at least a few weeks? It's worth the effort. Then, if it works, maybe we can try it for a few more weeks? Sort of on a month-by-month extension basis? You know, see how it works out?

Love y'all. Thanks if you're reading.

What a day! : )

I wanted to blog.

Life got in the way.

I'm kind of okay with that.

I am so sorry my sister-in-law experienced pain and distress today. I am beyond grateful that my day was spent in the company of the cutest, happiest, most entertaining babies that were ever put on this earth.

I'm grateful my sister-in-law is okay......pending surgery.

I'm happy that I had a life that is so rewarding and full of love that I didn't have much time to blog.

I am more than okay with that.

So I got to blog after all.

And to think I started my day with plans to visit with friends in east county. Their daughter had a fever and stayed home from school and we had to cancel. So I called my mom and arranged to go Christmas shopping in the early afternoon. As a result I was dressed and ready to go when my brother called and asked us to help.

Talk about the domino effect.

Love you all. May I find my inner blog tomorrow. Sweet dreams.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Failure post but still a post

Okay, apparently I'm not meant to seriously blog tonight. I've put in two different ones and both have had crashes and failures. I take this as a sign from the Universe. I will say nothing meaningful, spiritual, political or in any way enlightening. The very fact that this is the one post that will publish successfully is all the proof I need to know that the Universe wants me to contribute nothing today on any significant level.

I don't think there is an expectation of me in the blogosphere as yet but I alone am disappointed in my ability to thwart destiny. Pretty lights and decorations for Christmas have me thrilled. And I hope I'm not taunting the wizards of fate when I once again worship the house with the full on, large window, media event with Santa carousing their home with a candle and warning spectators not to alert the inhabitants. Terrified my girls and MADE MY HOLIDAY.

I had so much to say and yet I haven't been able to produce.

Shop. Love. Cherish loved ones and memories. Listen to some freaking Christmas music. I will try to overcome my technological deficiencies and post a real blog tomorrow. Hopefully. Love and peace, y'all. Mwah!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How 'bout them Raiders?

I started to write a blog about the WikiLeaks situation but discovered it just made me too angry.

I thought about a blog about my weekend but really? It was just nice, relaxed and pampered for the most part. The only really bad part was my husband having to work some. Oh yeah, and the score between the Chargers and the *gag* Raiders. I didn't even get to watch the game because the first special teams fumble made Jeff so mad we couldn't keep it on. Had to watch it play by play on the online graphic program.

I really don't like the Raiders. As a team I can admire a few of their players sometimes. But they are THE most penalized team in the NFL. They play dirty more than most other teams. And their fans are overwhelming violent. When we have huge surges of bail bondsmen commercials every time they're in town that says it all for me.

Please don't get me wrong. I know quite the array of Raiders fans who are, for the most part, well-adjusted, rational, non-violent individuals. I don't mean to generalize and paint every fan of the silver and black as a violent, felon gang-banger.

And yet I'm stuck with way more than a stereotype with this team. Prison inmates (particularly in California but also spread across the nation) have a disproportionate number of Raiders fans compared to other teams. The Oakland area is the motherland to motorcycle gangs like Hells Angels and they follow Raiders almost without fail. Mexican gangs are also unbelievably tilted to being Raider fans.

Whenever the Raiders come to town we have to have increased police presence not only at the game but all over the city. Crime and violence go up without fail. I'm pretty sure bondsmen all over the county thought of this game as a fantastic Christmas bonus. Domestic violence even goes up when the Raiders are in town.

Now I know that the Raiders aren't the only team to spur violence at their wins AND losses. Good grief, the Lakers fans are ridiculous. Detroit fans go nuts. It's not an isolated event. But how many cause crime in another city when they play?

I understand if that's your hometown and you love your team. I don't get the fans who align themselves with a team JUST because of its violent image and following. It's just so weird and sick and the fact that the team almost prides itself on dirty plays and high numbers of penalties is bizarre to me. Shouldn't a team want as FEW penalties and fines as possible? Isn't that normal?

Sorry for all the negative here but doesn't this bother anyone else out there? Just takes up so much space in my brain wondering about it.

If you're a fan, please tell me why and don't be offended. I have a feeling there are more like me in my friendship circle, though.

Thanks for listening to my rant. I actually DO feel better. And WAY less panicked than if I'd blogged about Julian Assange or anything to do with him. This topic didn't require Xanax. Wheeee! Rum and diet Coke win.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Holidays complicate things

Wow, remembering to blog every day, even when you don't feel like it is hard. I bow to and worship those of you who are capable of maintaining your blogs with greater commitment.

It's the Christmas thing. I'm caught up in what we can spend, who we need to buy for and what is the most amazing thing to make people you love feel happy. My mom is planning our shopping down to the hour. I'm desperate to come up with an unused idea about making presents for people. I just can't be irresponsible about our finances right now.

I wanted my roof fixed so we could put the Christmas tree by the front door for everyone to see but it doesn't seem to be happening. I'm probably just going to invade the living room on my own and throw out everything in sight so I can at least have a fresh cut tree in there. I'm feeling like getting rid of almost everything we own right now. At least we'll have more time for ordering dumpsters and filling them over the holidays.

And yes, for anyone who knew me before and was aware of my horror about killing living trees just to stow them in my house for the holidays? Got over it. Love the smell and the freshness. Not to mention the whole fake tree being okay thing being ruined a couple of years ago when a rodent infestation had precluded the holidays and our extraction of our beautiful fake tree showed signs of rodent habitation. I wish it had been legal to burn that thing. So yeah, I'm over the save the tree thing. If animals were on the tree I buy every year at LEAST they were on it in a natural, woody setting. Not within the bounds of my home.

So anyways. I will be shopping. Maybe I'll blog (please, please, please). I'll be cleaning, too. Eventually we'll be decorating and wrapping. At some point I will come to terms with what we CAN or CANNOT do. And I'll get to think about my babies Wednesday and Jacksun a whole bunch.

Oh yeah, for the record? We went to Jeff's new company's Christmas party last night. The most relaxed, enjoyable holiday party I have ever attended. Good food, good company and the most fun I've ever had with a White Elephant exchange.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Being a victim is a life choice

You know what drives me crazy? Victims. No, not someone who is a victim of a crime or a child who is beaten. I am talking about the perpetual victim personality. There are whole sections of our society dedicated to keeping themselves in a victim status. And there are people who are born with victim DNA. There are also people born with a complete rejection of being a victim no matter how many times they find themselves victimized throughout life.

The moment you allow yourself to be classified as a minority and accept the very concept that you deserve preferential treatment - you have embraced victimization. You have given up your free will and your control over your own destiny. You have handed over the responsibility of you, as an individual, to succeed or claim your own attributes as the reasons for any success you might achieve. You have guaranteed a future where you get jobs, grants, scholarships, college acceptance, loans, promotions, houses, benefits, retributions because of affirmative action. You will be forever indebted to your benefactors for any success or gifts you receive. You will never be able to claim your own competence, intelligence, capability, resourcefulness, or ingenuity as the reasons for anything you achieve in life. Victimization has consequences.

Yes, you will never have to be responsible for anything you do wrong. Your benefactors will champion your right to be lowly, incapable of growth, poor, uneducated, violent, addicted and more. Isn't that fantastic? Wow, a whole system designed to make sure you never climb up, never think for yourself, never better yourself, never overcome your upbringing and environment. So, if you fall under this category, do you never question how a system that benefits from your low level, helpless, reliant personality could possibly be created to help you? If they get power and votes from your dependence, what possible reasons could they have for helping you actually become better, dominant and successful? If they get your vote and support from keeping you as lowly victims, what incentive do they have to let you out of your position as a helpless victim? None.

Liberals have been the ruling class in minority, beaten down districts for decades now. Not only have those districts not thrown off the mantle of repression - they have worsened over the years. Can you not see that they claim to represent you but they can only stay in power if you remain victims, minorities and powerless?

On the other side Conservative have been demonized as hating the disadvantaged on every level. And yet, if you look at this month's elections, the number of hispanic, female, gay and black people who were supported on their platform stances was overwhelming. And the Dems, liberals and "progressives" (not to mention the liberal media) all bashed every woman, gay, black and latino who ran for office with Tea Party support on the basis that they were stupid, racist, Judas back-stabbers to every other individual who fit their minority definitions. Really? They are people who want to succeed on their own merits. They have no desire to be indebted to anyone else for their future because they have figured out how to do it for themselves.

I am American Indian on 3 different fronts. My husband is on at least 2. Our children are gifted with all of those tribes.

We are also a family combination of Irish, Scottish, English and French Jew.

3 of us our women.

Jeff and I were molested.

I was abused physically, emotionally, sexually and psychically.

My father abused my mother, brother and me.

My step-father sexually abused my brother, my 2 step-brothers and almost all the boys I grew up with and loved. My mother married him after he was convicted on my first day of college and is still married to him today. He has has strokes which have made him completely incapable of buffering just in time for my brother to have a baby boy.

Here's my point. I have rejected preferential treatment of women for jobs, colleges, etc. since I was a teenager.

If you've been molested or abused - you are not a victim as a personality trait. Be pro-active and in charge of your life. If the asshole hurts you anyways, you have been victimized. This doesn't mean you have to be a victim as a personality.

I am bi-sexual, pagan, tattooed, abused, Amerindian, molested, poor most of my life, never got to finish college, started having kids at 19, white trash.

But I have educated myself. I homeschooled my girls. I reject the world of victimization even though others seek solace in it.

I'm bi-polar and so are both of my girls to different extents. Ariana is ADD and dyslexic. But we haven't asked for governmetn assistance, loans, and victimization papers.

I'm just saying that just because you have been treated like shit by family and society? Doesn't mean you get preferential treatment in real life. I've said since I was a child in the eighties that I didn't want to be given anything just because I was female. I don't want to be given anything because I was abused. I don't want people like me who have been abused to get off because we were victims who hurt others.

We are ALL responsible for our choices as adults. This is why I reject the entire liberal agenda. Who you are today is a choice on every level. Were your ancestors slaves, indebted servants, lower class? Who gives a shit? You are what you do in this world today. You are responsible for your own failures and successes.

The left say they want to champion you because of your skin color, gender, religion, immigration status, etc. They are called liberators.

The right says they want people to succeed because they believe in freedom, the constitution, individuality, justice and individual success. '

If you have a brain, which side do you really support? If you believe in people fulfilling their dreams, which side supports YOU?

Stop being victims. I have no sympathy for you. Make the world better or just go away. If you aren't made stronger by the thing that have happened to you than fade away into obscurity. You aren't worth anything and won't better our world.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Musings from a "betcha" kind of gal

Why do people hate Sarah Palin so much?

I understand if you disagree with her politically. Really I do. But the vitriol she attracts has really confused me from the very beginning. What creates such hateful, venomous rhetoric from people on both sides?

I'm not even saying that I want her to be the next President at this point. I'm not ruling it out mind you. I'm just not thrilled with her aligning herself with the Tea Party Express and supporting some GOP pushed nominees in this month's elections. The Tea Party is NOT the Express crowd, which really represents some GOP minded fundraisers who agree up to a certain point with Tea Party principles but still believe the establishment has all the answers. She is either naive doing this, too loyal to the GOP or sold out for the money. I don't know yet and I reserve my judgments for her future actions. One can only be judged by what they actually do, not just what they say. Until the past few months, I believed in her based on that criteria.

I also do not like her doing a travel documentary show for TLC or her short-lived show on Fox. I don't think it's proper for a politician to be in that role. I think they should be one or the other and she is so damn effective as a politician and speaker that I'm disappointed in her choices to follow the other paths.

See how my likes and dislikes of her are based in reason? Do you see how I can state my feelings with some criteria that makes sense?

Compare this to the rabid dislike of "the way she speaks". Really? Clinton rambled on in southern dialect and no one complained. (Bush's same dialect was ridiculed as he is a Conservative, at least in some areas.) Carter and his family couldn't put sentences together. Obama speaks in an accent he must have created for himself since it doesn't exist in Kenya, Hawaii or Chicago. I'm guessing it is IvyLeagian dialect since that is the only place people seem to speak in such a manner. He has none of the cadences so recognizable from Kenya OR Hawaii, despite having grown up in those two places. But hey, Sarah Palin sounds "weird".

You know what? I like her "betcha" vernacular. I find it recognizable and totally middle America. How do you decide on a political candidate based on making fun of her accent?

Do they hate her because she's pretty? God knows most liberals (Pelosi, Boxer, Waters) are on the horrifically deformed side. But we really criticize her for being attractive, athletic and a mother? We hate mothers now? Well, I guess if you support full-scale abortions and cleansing of undesirables (see Planned Parenthood and Eric Holder for 2 examples) then I guess we do.

I have seen Biden AND Obama make huge gaffes in their public speaking engagements. I mean, 4 speeches in a row our renowned President referred to the Army Corps as a group of dead individuals (corpses) repeatedly. Biden asked a disabled man to stand up. Our glorious leader said he'd been to all 56 states. And Palin is the moron? She's the inexperienced one?

Look, I don't think Bristol should have won DWTS. However, I think that the number of people who support her mom and her own life that voted for her shows more about the revolution happening in this country than even the November election could prove. I don't even agree with either of these mothers of young children being out without their babies so much and so often is a choice of motherhood I want to defend. But for crying out loud, judge them on something real, something you actually believe in. Stop name calling and repeating what the media and SNL tells you to think about them. Develop an independent thought.

She is a mother. She cares about the world her children will inhabit. She believes in the Constitution. She is real and Rissa and I totally identify with her personality and approach to life. We see ourselves in her. She takes the road less travelled at every turn. She chose life for her beautiful son with Down's Syndrome. She cannot be accused of racism (husband and children, bona fide American Indians, for the morons who don't get it), sexism or hating the poor since she herself has been there and done that. So in the absence of real criticism people attack with hatred and mindless malevolence that reeks of fear.

You know what? I think - no matter what they claim - liberals are more hateful to women candidates than any conservative has EVER been. I think the liberal media has attacked every woman on both sides of the aisle repeatedly. And if you're a woman and conservative? You must be destroyed. Oh wait. It's just like if you are a black conservative. Or hispanic conservative. Or gay conservative. You must be drawn and quartered for you prove that the liberals spew lies and manipulations when they claim to champion those groups. You cannot have your own mind and be any of those "minority", victimized people. They lose their power when you do that. They lose their credibility. They lose their ability to control. So they must attack you, the people they claim to defend, with more anger and animosity than they do any white, male, Christian candidate. People really should catch on eventually, right?

This is why I love the Tea Party movement. This is why I think we have started a revolution that will change this nation back to greatness from within.

And this is why I love Sarah Palin. In her we saw that greatness, that humanity, that we were lacking in all the McCains, Bush's, Michael Steeles and Colin Powells. Those of us who were inspired by her have surged forward to take back our party and with it - OUR COUNTRY. We're not affected by the name calling and the typical, liberal playbook. For crying out loud, when you are American Indian, pagan, tattooed, bi-sexual and standing between an Asian man and a black and hispanic couple and people scream RACIST at you at a Tea Party event you have to realize how full of bullshit the entire opposition is. WTF?

Thank you America. We can't get discouraged now. We're getting ready to change the world again.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Seasonal Starts

Well, tonight is late blogging and probably not very long. Of course, there is rarely a limit on my rambling capabilities.

I meant this blog to be more political. Yet considering the season I'm not that shocked that the personal is in the forefront right now. I am so easily affected by the holidays. It starts with Halloween with the costumes, candy and all the Day of the Dead traditions. We then shoot into Thanksgiving which is rich in meaning for my mother and myself with a whole new layer added by my children. Then we get tangled up in Christmas and with the lights, the charity, the good will and all the music I just get swept away. (My husband's birthday on the 16th and my mom's on the 24th certainly add to all the celebrations.)

So while I may have some other ranting and raving to do in the next few weeks, I'll probably be more of a mushy mess. Especially with little ones around to shop for. It's just too exciting for words. And we'll follow it up with Wednesday's 2nd birthday in early January. How much fun can one family have, really?

I can't wait to have a tree in our home. The girls will go over and decorate my mother's house with her. We can not wait for Wednesday and Jack to be old enough to join the older girls. Maybe our roof will get fixed before we get a tree and we'll be able to put it where I've always wanted it, next to the front door. I just think it would be exciting to have it where people can see it as they walk or drive past my house.

And in the meantime I just want to give money to everyone with a good cause at this time of year. Buying those meals in a bag at Henry's 3-7 times for each holiday. Stuffing money in the Salvation Army buckets. Donating a few toys to different groups for children. I know we don't have much money right now but we need so little compared to them. And so many people (including friends, one who used to let me "shop" for my kids at her house, Carol) have given us support and help in the past I can't help but wanting to give back. Okay, maybe I'm a sucker but I can't stand the thought of someone really being without what they truly need during this season.

And I'm like this even though it isn't a Christian tradition for me. It's American tradition and a time of the year when pagaan religions celebrated being able to live through the winter and gave thanks to the world. I don't really care where the traditions lie at this time of year. Just that, through all the cranky shoppers and drivers, there is this feeling of love and good will. After all, you aren't shopping for yourself at this time of year. You are asked to think of others and making them happy, even in the smallest ways.

So we will listen to the music, both new and old. I will remember the Christian songs and stories and relate them as a former minister's kid. We will feel warm and fuzzy and try to share it with as many people on this planet as possible.

Happy holiday beginnings, everyone. I hope this year is full of hope, love, friendships and family. May we all take this time of year to try to make our corner of the world a little bit better, a tiny bit happier.

Give love that you may receive the same. Bless you all.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I am Thankful for......

What a fantastic Thanksgiving. All the food was yummy. Ricci's green bean casserole was delicious. My turkey was mostly moist (curse some of the white meat). Jack was delightful and then actually took a nap. Wednesday was sooooo cute and adorable and.....just......Wednesday. You can't meet her without loving her. That giggle. My heart is so full.

So with that in mind, I might have some things for which to give thanks.

I am thankful for:

my daughters and the relationship we share.
my husband finding a job in this recession before his other job ran out.
my brother finding a job in the same recession.
my mother being in good health.
my kitties.
my friends, both new and old. You sustain me.
my health, even though to some of you that may sound strange.
our ability to pay our own bills.
being so lucky to be in the lives of some (now grown) children that I've known since they were little.
my marriage and our life together.
having a roof (albeit leaky) over our heads.
knowing love in so many forms and feeling full of joy.
having so much to laugh about.
my girls being healthy and intelligent.
my brother and his family for moving back to San Diego and being with us today.
having a new stove that made cooking so wonderful this year.
so many fantastic books.
America waking up again.
my Tea Party friends and their support.
Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck for keeping me sane.
knowing where all 3 of my brothers are.
every day I have on this earth.

There. I feel like I've gotten as much as I can on this list in one sitting. We each shared a reason we're thankful at Thanksgiving dinner today (apparently Ricci and I both had wanted to do that, sweet!) but I kept coming up with more. It's been said that life is nothing without hope. I disagree. Life stops mattering when you have nothing for which to be thankful. Some days I am just grateful to be breathing. But I try to search for something every day and most days? I come up with a whole lot more.

So, where do your thanks lie? What do you celebrate and give thanks for every day? What brings you to your knees, just knowing you have it in your life?

Happy Thanksgiving. Good luck to you shoppers tomorrow. Everyone else - take a nap. Love you, friends. Peace out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tired and Thankful

Good grief I'm exhausted. I NEVER cook like this except for the holidays. I ache and I'm pretty sure I will sleep soundly tonight.

It really is fun, though. Baking with my girls all day long. Tasting each other's creations. Reveling in the aromas. Having a dreary, cold day warmed by a family sharing a kitchen. Rissa has a notebook where she copies down all of our recipes and experiments every year. It's kind of a kick to pull it out every year and use what has worked without having to worry about it and excitedly adding new recipes for the future.

We're like a little cheerleading team for each other on days like today. So helpful with flavors, supporting efforts, making it all work. It seems like my sister-in-law Ricci is really excited about everything tomorrow too. Our first Thanksgiving as a family. She's bringing green bean casserole (the reason I'm not making traditional greenie-beanies) and we LOVE that. And she's bringing the best part of course. Her family. I get my brother and his great smile and huge appetite, my Wednesday and her infectious giggle and huge personality, our little man Jack and those freaking dimples and Ricci, my wonderful sis-in-law that I am so grateful to have.

So everything is ready to go. There are some beautiful dishes waiting to be eaten. And a beautiful table waiting for a family to seat themselves.

And I'm so grateful. I am grateful for my family and my friends. I am thankful for my marriage. I am thankful for the roof over my head and having all my bills paid. I am grateful for being healthy this year for the holidays. I am thankful for my cats. And I am thankful to be an American, celebrating this day, and all the people who care about keeping an America where people are free to seek the dream.

Thank you George Washington for declaring this holiday. Giving thanks is an important function of the human soul. Without gratitude we are not truly alive.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! Stuff your faces and have a happy day!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Time of Year

Maybe I picked a bad time of year to begin a blog. I'm certainly not keeping my daily quota as of yet. It's certainly a busy and stressful time to try this.

But it's a wonderful time, too. Traditions, food, family, love. We get to feed Wednesday her first devilled egg. Ariana is dying to put olives on the ends of her fingers and take pictures. The pie ingredients are ready for tomorrow, the eggs have been boiled and are cooling and the cranberries are sitting on the counter waiting to get "sauced". (Come on, had to throw in a wine joke.)

We'll get really full and play some games and just when you think you can't take anymore - DESSERT! We will watch football and my mother and I will try not to trip over each other in her kitchen.

We will (if we've planned well enough) come home with enough leftovers to roll in all weekend. I will eat enough cranberry sauce to keep me healthy all year long. We will be sleepy and happy and curl up to watch tv under blankets.

Oh yes, and while most of you are out there celebrating Black Friday I will be nowhere near a mall. I wish you all the best bargain hunting but you won't catch me in that madhouse. I will hopefully get to see Philip for a little while. Maybe we'll make it to "Megamind". I've been dying to see that. My husband has all four days off and hopefully he won't hear from a customer the whole time. Now THAT would be something to make us thankful.

And then, the best part starts. Christmas music, people putting up their lights and thinking about other people as you plan for that beautiful holiday.

Maybe I actually chose a good time of year to start a blog. It's certainly not boring and there is so much for which to be thankful.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

So TSA can molest children in public now

No really. That's how I want to open with this. A ten year old boy who went through the metal detector and didn't set it off is "randomly" chosen for a.....wait for it.......STRIP SEARCH.

In the video you see the child's father trying to help his son cooperate, standing with him to protect him and trying to get him to raise his arms for them. I commend him. I know he felt this was the best he could do for his son.

But for me it isn't good enough. Not. Even. Close. What parent stands there and tries to make it easier for someone to molest their child? That guy who said last week that if it wasn't the government doing it we would consider it sexual assault was correct. But take that and apply it to a child? That boy experienced humiliation, violation of his privacy, public exposure and emotional rape. I would never allow anyone to touch my daughters that way when they were kids. Not sure I would allow it now. Is this really preferable to profiling? Really? I have no guarantee that the TSA agent has no pedophile tendencies. Do you?

I read a story earlier that a few weeks ago a Denver TSA official was caught masturbating while watching full body screenings of teenage girls. I couldn't find a reputable source to confirm this but it is truly within the realm of possibilities with the rules we have in place. Do you want someone looking at your naked body for no reason? Do you want your teenage child viewed on the scanner or touched intimately by a TSA agent? I have to believe that most people/parents want nothing of the sort - no matter where they stand on politics. (Mental reference to Sting's song hoping the Russians love their children too.)

We live in a world where teachers and parent volunteers are told not to hug students/children under any circumstances because it could be viewed as inappropriate touching. But we should stand by and let TSA agents have carte blanche with our bodies and those of our children? I'm sorry but I would like to challenge the mental state and sexuality of the individual who actually CHOSE to pull a child out of line with no provocation and pat him down. I'm disgusted. I really feel sick to my stomach.

As many of you know, I am a survivor of child abuse, including molestation. I have spent my life trying to advocate for children (my own and others) and try to make kids feel safe. I have tried to let them have a voice and a safe place to strengthen them. I have helped parents stop abusing and I have held many kids while they cried. I want nothing more than a world where children are finally safe. Where adults don't take advantage of them, abuse their weakness, treat them like punching bags. Where their trust isn't violated nor is any part of their body.

And the freaking government wants to do this? They can molest a child but heaven forbid we pull a young adult, Muslim male (the profile for almost every terrorist attack in the past 2 decades) and search him. We wouldn't want to offend the Muslim, terrorist, anti-American crowd, right? The ACLU would have a field day. But I don't see the ACLU, Jesse Jackson, NOW, ACORN or any other "champion of the people" organization stepping forward here. Now ask me if I'm surprised.

So I guess we've decided that molesting children in public while their parents stand by and try to minimize the damage but still fully allow it to happen is preferable to being politically incorrect. Congratulations America. You've reached a new low. (And yes, I know Republicans are partly to blame. That is completely beside the point.)

(For the record, if it had been my child? I would have called in cops, security, child protective services, a lawyer and the local DA. We would ride in the back of a U-Haul before I allowed a child I loved to endure that humiliation. It would not happen.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

HP hangover but feeling Thanksgiving

Didn't really have the energy today to blog. Is there a technical term for a Harry Potter Opening Night Hangover? Between getting less than five hours of sleep and being completely overloaded (as an introvert) by the sheer volume of people there multiplied by the obnoxious, rude behaviour of some (ESPECIALLY some staff members and a manager at AMC Mission Valley) I needed to refill my emotional gas tank. Add still being a little sick to the equation and I was incapacitated.

But the holiday season began today. My sister-in-law and I agreed to meet tomorrow to plan the Thanksgiving meal. Usually my mom and I plan it all out with me arriving with "suggestions" (translate: demands) from my family about what we will and will not tolerate for the traditional meal. It's a perfect balance as my mother provides the location and we provide the food.

But this year I seek to blend my family's wishes with the desires of my newly acquired family. I want Ricci to feel like she gets her own traditions welcomed and yet my own family isn't too unhappy about the compromises. It's so funny to me that I raised these kids (especially Ariana) who are so tradition bound when I grew up with experimental Thanksgivings of tacos and orange chicken with whomever in our church was without family or provisions on that day. I grew up with a lot of my Thanksgivings being about family and Paris, TN. I experienced grievous Thanksgivings where mom and I couldn't go back to Paris and my father had custody of my brother, Jonathan. Those were difficult times where we often found ourselves down at the cliffs in Torrey Pines, watching the sunset and talking about what everyone else was doing in Paris and remembering good things. And we always listed - no matter how bad things were - all the things we had for which to be thankful.

So for me the traditions don't matter as much as the Thankfullness and the family.

But don't get me wrong. I love the whole turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and pumpkin pie magic formula. Especially the leftovers. The most depressing Thanksgivings have been those where the turkey wasn't large enough to send home heaps of leftovers.

So I guess I'm just trying to say I'm so excited about beginning new traditions of our families together, grateful and full of love. I can't wait to experience Wednesday and Jack, let alone Jonathan and Ricci for this wonderful holiday and see us grow into a gigantic, extended family of our own traditions. It is such a new beginning and I am so grateful that they are here with us permanently now and we can just be together and love one another.

I am grateful for so much. I will probably share more about being grateful this next week. Not to be cliche but I am grateful to be able to share all of this. Thank you Universe.

Now, down to the food. Yummy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harry Potter Anxiety, a real disorder

Not much to talk about today but Harry Potter. Yes, it's time for the last book to begin playing on the big screen. At midnight I will be viewing "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1" with my daughters and my Sarah's family. I am so tense about seeing these two movies. When I read the final book I sat and cried so many times. One day I took my break at work to read it in the filing room for privacy and I started sobbing so hard people came in to check on me.

Yes people, I AM aware it is just a book. It's fiction. I get it. But I read those books with my daughters and as they grew up, so did Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest of the gang. I became attached to them, their stories, their little quirks. I identified with some characters (I think I have been fairly referred to as Mrs. Weasley more than once). I grew to love some teachers and respect some of the kids. I especially appreciated the themes of loyalty and friendship and the commitment to doing what is right no matter how difficult that can be. I think it was a wonderful series for my children and their friends to have as they went through adolescence and it certainly stands apart in how many people of so many different lifestyles were commonly drawn to this world of Hogwarts, muggles and familiars.

So please understand the deep sorrow I felt reading the last book in the series. I truly grieved for the inhabitants of this story to the core of my being. To this day I find I've blocked out some of the bad parts and can't bear to speak about others. Just mention the name of some poor unfortunate from the final chapters and I'm likely to tear up. I DO have a grip on reality. I DO understand the difference between fact and fiction. No really, I do. (Not sure if I'm trying to convince you or myself here.) But I know that these two movies will absolutely tear me apart again, even more so as it involves watching the actors I've grown to adore act out their pain and losses.

So what do I do? I can't NOT go see it. If nothing else, I've already bought the tickets and Ariana, Sarah and Angie are holding my place in line as I type. How could I go through every other step of this marvelous journey with my family and not complete the final steps?

So I'm going to go have fun in line. I'm going to get a huge kick out of the costumes. I'm going to sit back and enjoy all the kids who come. They are usually fantastic, funny, full of energy and sweet. I will revel in the glory of being in a group of fellow geeks and readers of fantasy. I will eat my popcorn and gasp and cheer with everyone else.

I will also bring a HUGE box of kleenex and not even bother to put on any make-up before I go. I'll see you guys tomorrow through swollen eyes and with not enough sleep. If you're going tonight, I hope we all have fun.

Now, with a wave of my wand and *POOF*

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Is junk touching the answer?

I must admit that for once, I don't know where I stand on something. It's the new TSA searches and scanners.

On the one hand, we've been demanding better security in our airports. We've complained that it is no safer today than nine years ago. We've criticized DHS for not keeping us safe. And here comes the TSA with new measures to keep us safe and catch the bad guys. They'll be able to see hidden packages like the one carried by the Christmas Day bomber. The new body searches will allow them to detect hidden wires, liquids and I assume weapons and bombs?

On the other hand, they allow them to see everyone's "packages" in all their naked glory. And the pat-downs will allow for a lot of touching that the average person isn't willing to just give away without a marriage proposal, let alone to someone of the same gender.

I really don't know how to feel about this. I want the bad guys caught. I want flying not to include the danger of being in the path of a jihadist's dream death. I want to just worry about taking Valium for my claustrophobia and enjoying my flight reading and doing crossword problems.

I also want my privacy. I don't want some lech looking at my daughters naked. I don't think my husband would willingly allow another guy to touch his genitals without the ability to beat him up in the process. I went through a full body search when we were coming home from Maui earlier this year. I thought it was a little silly but I wasn't particularly bothered. (Stupid me, after a night of no sleep during tsunami warnings I forgot my phone was stashed in my bra and set off the alarms.) Then again, the lady used the back of her hands to touch my breasts and just used a hand held scanner to run over my body and private parts. Not sure how I'd feel about the new methods.

This is getting a lot of publicity this week. Take the case of the Oceanside man who was booted from the San Diego airport after refusing to let the TSA agent "touch his junk". Smart guy turned on his phone and caught the exchange.

Then there is the case of Penn Jillette of the comedy team Penn & Teller and how he, as a libertarian, felt about being searched and touched without his consent. He insisted the police be brought into it and filed a complaint.

Aside from the privacy issues are the health concerns. The scanners, in addition to letting complete strangers view you naked, emit low levels of radiation.
While they insist they are much lower than any hospital x-ray, how wise is this to expose so many to radiation on a regular basis? I know that when I go to the doctor these days they want to diagnose as much as possible without exposing me to an x-ray. I know that the dentist covers me with a lead blanket to x-ray my teeth. I know I have to swear I'm not pregnant to get an x-ray. I know that the technicians leave the room and hide from the radiation because otherwise they'd be exposed daily to what amounts to large levels of radiation.

So what happens to airport personnel in these instances? We know how the pilots feel about this.

And what about people who fly for either pleasure or work at least twice a week? When does their level of exposure to radiation become excessive? What happens when a woman who didn't know she was pregnant sues over birth defects? At what point to we know exactly how much radiation each person had gone through and decide who is safe to be exposed and who is not?

Of course, we could always rely on common sense. We could profile. We could actually refer to the flight risk lists and keep them updated. We could stop randomly pulling octogenarians and elementary school children out of line to be searched. When asked if Muslims were going to be subjected to the same rigors as the rest of the public, the government replies in nonsense syllables that they will be looking into that and seeing how it affects things. Meaning no, they will not be subjected to the same rules as the rest of us. That would be racist and intolerant. But the pilot who is flying your plane must allow himself to undergo this every time he goes to work. Well, that makes plenty of sense, doesn't it? And I can't wait to see the tissy fit the first time an Islamic woman is asked to choose between being seen naked or felt up. Yeah, that's gonna happen.

We could be like Britain and use sniffer dogs. I understand they are at least as effective as the scanners and, you've guessed it, they don't cause cancer OR allow people to see you naked. They don't even harm pregnant women. They can sense fear and panic without being accused of racism. They don't care what someone's religion is or what their ethnicity might be. They won't alert to someone for any reason other than drugs, bombs, fear or anything else they've been trained to detect.

So maybe the libertarian in me wins again. I believe in privacy and while I'm not very shy about my body and touching I don't know that the government has the right to sexually assault people. And as the gentleman from Oceanside pointed out, that's exactly what it would be if it were anyone BUT the government. I hate people asking for the government to protect us and then complaining when they try to do so but there HAS to be a better way. They need to start checking out the people most likely to commit the crime. They need to search further for some method to scan that doesn't put our health at risk. They still need to do their job keeping us safe but settling for the first method isn't really doing the job 100%.

I guess in this area, like every other one, we have to demand more of our government. (No, I don't mean handouts.) We have to ask them to make the hard choices and take the more difficult path. We have to continue to pester them until the do what's right.

I guess I do know where I stand now. Sweet.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Have you ever noticed how liberals only say someone is "serious" when that someone agrees to do what the liberals want? You can't be "serious" about cutting taxes or opposing health care. You can't be "serious" when you want to read a bill before signing it. Oh no, then you are being ridiculous and obstructionist. Then, you are just the Party of NO. (NO will now be known as the Party of No Obama and I "seriously" suggest the GOP reinvent its image by flying the Gadsden Flag and renaming themselves PONO.) And you are a fringe lunatic if you suggest that the POTUS should have to present his birth certificate and school records to the public just because every other politician has been required to do so throughout history. Why the lunacy, the downright silliness of those who don't agree to give up their ideals and go with the progressive program.

They are always trying to make the Repubs "prove they are serious" and compromise (translate: give up) with the Dems on EVERYTHING. But Dems "proved THEY were serious" when they REFUSED to compromise with the Repubs over healthcare - hell, blatantly ignored the will of the American People. They are "serious" when they try to push forward the global warming agenda despite growing evidence that not only is it based on lies but that it is being perpetuated for the financial and political gain of specific individuals and organizations. THAT is deemed "serious".

And now, our wise POTUS has deemed that Israel is finally "serious" about peace with the Palestinians because they've agreed to a proposal to halt construction in the disputed zone. Except, Israel isn't as "serious" as the POTUS would lead us to believe. They are "looking into it" and exploring options and MAY eventually put forward a proposal with SOME of the US ideas in it to the Cabinet.....eventually. Personally, I always think of Israel as serious. If Israel were a person, I wouldn't want to run into them in a dark alley. They take care of business, even without the support of the rest of the free world.

So what was the point of this announcement? The Rainbow Tour (Evita, watch it) was an abysmal failure by all normal standards. Was this an attempt to chalk up just one success? Some effort to force Israel into going forward with the proposal because THE ONE announced it? Once again he has landed himself deep in a pile of political manure. It seems that community organizing didn't involve any education in diplomacy or the art of negotiation. Of course, when you can call in the SEIU and ACORN thugs to intimidate your prey, negotiations really aren't necessary. But wait, didn't those of us of sound mind and body point out these faults two years ago?

You know, sometimes it's just depressing to be so right, so often.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

A beginning

Well, this is a beginning for me. A beginning in the world of blogs. A beginning in remembering how to write things that interest others. A beginning in so many areas.

I am beginning my life as a post-childhood mother. My girls are adults. They are moving outward and this is good. I'm proud of them. And yet, it is a new start for me. Make that us. Jeff and I experienced a strong dose of that when we went to Maui this year for our anniversary. And you know what? As much as I am dreading not being with my girls every possible moment, we got a really promising glimpse into our future as a couple. I actually think we're going to be okay. Maybe even have a ball. It's kind of nice to know that already.

It's a beginning in my life politically. The past few years have been such torture, so frustrating. I've been screaming the same things about where we were headed since I was in Jr. High and started reading Ayn Rand. And now, I find myself in a time where the people around me are rising up, discarding the mantle of politeness and understanding just how wrong things are. I feel like I have finally reached the historical point I was born to inhabit. I feel so alive and yet I know part of this is because we find ourselves living on the edge of the future. On the brink of surviving or taking the deep dive that drives us away from Freedeom, Individuality and Justice.

Every time a door closes, ten others begin to open. I live my life believing that there are no endings, only opportunities for new beginnings. I am grateful for each one. So here we are. A new beginning. For me, for you, for the world. Let's all participate and see where we end up. The best is yet to come......if we work on it.