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"Pace is all. Rhythm is master. Consistency is your friend."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


As it appears that my posts about the "Four Agreements" may have bored some of you (seeing as how no one has made a comment), I will move on and try something a little more topical. Since yesterday was Memorial Day, why don't I start there?

There were many articles and stories all over newspapers and television about Memorial Day ceremonies across the country to honor those that have served in the military and put themselves in harm's way to protect, what they believed to be, our freedom. There is no doubt that the men and women who wear the U.S. military uniform often make the greatest of sacrifices including their own precious lives and I honor their commitment to their ideals and willingness to give up so much so that our citizens may have more.

But what about the soldiers who served in opposition to our own during times of armed conflict? What about the nameless and faceless civilians who are caught in the crossfires of war? When and how can we honor them? Should we?

Well, some veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars have come together to push for a national day of remembrance to remember ALL those who have died in armed conflict. These veterans attended several Memorial Day ceremonies in and around NYC over the weekend and held signs that read: "Veterans Remember Our Fallen Soldiers; Soldiers of the Other Side; and Innocent Civilians." The hope is that by acknowledging civilian deaths during war people will unify in their opposition to all war and push for a U.S. foreign policy that commits more aggressively to using diplomacy in matters of conflict around the globe.

In the words of Howard Zinn, "No war is a just war," in so much as war results in the death of countless innocent civilians and destroys infrastructures and lives for decades after the gunfire has ended. And let's face it, war is most often not about the citizens of any particular country - it's about the clash between two governments in which the citizens are left to fight and pick up the pieces.

While it is important to insure that no soldier is forgotten for his/her sacrifice - it is just as important to remember those who did not choose to be put in harm's way and as a result died because of an armed conflict. ALL HUMAN LIFE IS VALUABLE - uniformed or otherwise.

So what do you think? Should there be an official day of remembrance for ALL victims of war? Is it feasible? And if so, should it be held to coincide with our current Memorial Day or be celebrated separately?

Let me leave you with my new email quote as my hope for the future: "There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword." --Ulyesses S. Grant

Sunday, May 28, 2006


The first of the Four Agreements according to Don Miguel Ruiz is "Be impeccable with your word." Now, I wrote a previous post with this very same title, but meant it in a different way. When I hear this phrase I think of a few things, first of which is summarized like this: Mean what you say and say what you mean. Words are powerful and therefore my wish is for people to use them with forethought and conviction. If you're unsure what words to use, take a moment and let the right words come to you. Don't just say something to make noise. And once you say it, be ready to defend it. That's what I was referring to in my previous post.

But Ruiz has another interpretation that is similiar, yet different. We both are referring to the power of words, the meaning of words and the need for people to use the right words to express themselves. Ruiz goes a step further and says that because words are so powerful use them to enlighten and express love for one another and oneself. Do not use them for petty things like gossip and criticism because those things can create destructive agreements within others. And in turn, others will hate us and we will then internalize those feelings of hate and create destructive agreements within ourselves. In other words, what goes around comes around.

He cites the example of Hitler. Hitler used the tremendous power of word to rally millions behind him in his quest to exterminate an entire race of people. And how did he do it? Well, he used words to plant seeds within the minds of the German people about why they were out of work, why they were the victims of crime, why they couldn't afford to put food on the table for their families. The German people took those words to heart and in turn millions upon millions of people were slaughtered. So the next time you wish to pass on some juicy little tidbit about a friend or neighbor or you want to poke fun at someone's outrageous answer to your question - think about the power of words. What will your comments do to that person? Will they be helpful? Inspirational? Or will they hurt and if so, why say them? Never underestimate the power of a good word. It can save a life or cause extreme harm.

And while our words about others have positive/negative effects in their lives, what does this mean for us on a personal level? Well, according to Ruiz, the word impeccable comes from the latin word for "sin" and the "im" obviously makes impeccable to mean "without sin." But not sin in a religious or moral sense, instead Ruiz believes that sin is "anything you do that goes against yourself. . . You go against yourself when you judge or blame yourself for anything. . . Being impeccable is not going against yourself. Being impeccable is taking responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself."

WOW! If only it were that easy. We all make mistakes, yes? No one is perfect no matter how hard some of us try to be. So why beat yourself up when you fall short of perfection? It makes complete sense, yet it is very hard to implement. We are taught from a very young age to crave validation from others - "You're such a good girl!" "I'm so proud of you!" "That makes Mommy so happy!" Now, parents aren't intentionally trying to hurt their children, but when we don't do things that make us "good girls" or our parents "proud" there is often guilt and shame on our part. If you follow this first agreement, then the guilt and shame no longer come into play. We simply take responsibility for the mistake or questionable action and we move on.

This alone can change your life. What if we could actually rid ourselves of guilt? Of blame? Where does that leave Christianity? I mean, what if we lived our lives well to the best of our abilities and it didn't measure up to Mom or Dad or society's expectations? So what! As long as we are true to ourselves and listen to our truth we will be happy. We will make positive contributions to the world. We will attain a sense of peace within ourselves that we have never felt before.

Can you be impeccable with your word? Do you love yourself enough? Are you able to break the agreements of your past that require you to be validated from without and begin to get your happiness from within? How will you do it? What one thing will you do tomorrow, in the next week or the next month that will test your commitment to be impeccable with your word? How will you begin? Or have you already started your journey?

Please share your thoughts with me on this most powerful and life changing of ideas.


So I posted last night, I think, just to post. It had been a week. I was feeling like I had to do it. I was tired. I was trying to be funny. Now I'm reading it this morning, I think I may have missed the mark. Hopefully, after a good night of restful sleep and some cuddles with my boys this morning, my rejuvenated mind will make an appearance. Here goes ...

So last week I posted an entry entitled "Be Impeccable with Your Word" - now I knew when I wrote that title that it was a reference from Don Miguel Ruiz's "The Four Agreements," but when Brian actually pointed it out to me I was struck with the inspiration to read the book again. And that's what I've been doing this morning. I've read through the introduction and stopped after finishing the First Agreement and I'd like to share some of my reactions. As I've said before, I highly recommend the book. It's beauty lies in its simplicity, and yet it isn't an easy How-to-Change-Your-Life book. It's more than that. It's a philosophy that just makes a lot of sense to me. And most importantly, it's about valuing yourself and rejecting all of the poison that comes our way in everyday life. Let me explain ...

Ruiz believes in "domestication" of human beings just as human beings domesticate other animals like dogs and cats. In other words we are trained from birth on how to be civilized human beings through our parents, brothers, sisters, friends, religion, etc. Anybody who has an opinion on how we should behave inflicts that opinion on us and when we take it in we create an agreement with that person and with ourselves to believe it. As children we don't have much control over what we believe and what we don't. Generally, these agreements are pounded into us until we submit and begin to practice them.

However, as we grow we may start to realize that some of the agreements we have within us contradict who we truly are. I found this to be particularly true when it came to being raised in the traditions of the Lutheran church. I began to rebel as a teenager because Lutheran teachings just weren't sitting right with me. Yet, it was even before I was a teenager that I had these feelings, but I went along with it anyway because that's what was expected of me and because I figured my parents must know what they're talking about, right?

It's this inability for people to break agreements that were forced upon them as children that makes us miserable as people. Only when we break those agreements which do not ring true for us and make new agreements that allow us to be true to ourselves will we be happy and in turn we will experience real freedom. (Not that crap they feed us about living in the U.S. When we use that word in reference to this country - I get nauseated.)

For example, Ruiz points out that when we hold agreements about things that do not ring true for us we reject ourselves and feel that we are fakes. This feeling of presenting a phony person to the rest of the world only creates more misery and we punish ourselves for being a phony through self loathing and fear of being found out. And it escalates because we begin to get angry not only about our false life in the world, but about the lies we tell ourselves. And suddenly, it's not about the world anymore, it's about oneself. "We cannot forgive ourselves for not being what we wish to be, or rather what we believe we should be." And that inability to forgive causes many to open up a world of abuse.

You see, no one beats up on us more than we beat up on ourselves. You won't put up with someone who treats you worse than you treat yourself. However, if you believe that you're not worth much, you'll let others treat you accordingly. For example, I will never allow someone to hit me in the name of love (or anything else for that matter), but there have been times in my life where I've allowed people to call me stupid and ugly and tell me that my opinions don't matter much. And I believed it. I was the girl who refused to raise her hand in school because she was so sure she would have the wrong answer (even when time and again I had the right answers.) I believed my words didn't matter.

Over the last few years, and in leaps and bounds over the last few months, I've begun to reject that agreement with myself. I'm definitely not stupid. I'm definitely not ugly - I mean, what's more beautiful than a woman who can nurture life within her own body? (Post pregnancy belly and all!) And my opinions? Well, as you can see I'm beginning to come around on that one too. This blog has been an eye opening experience for me. I'm not afraid anymore. I don't believe that I'm always wrong. That my thoughts don't carry weight. It used to be that I'd do a lot of reading online, but would never dream of posting any kind of comments. But now I have the power to raise my hand and be counted.

It's not easy. There's a lot of stuff to get through when trying to get to the very core of your self doubt or loathing. But it's possible. As Ruiz says, "If I can do it, why can't you?" And that's what I say, too. I see a lot of my friends putting themselves down for simply being themselves. I see women in my life constantly taking the crap that any creep will give them. I see women in my life obsessed about their weight and dress size. It's all because we fear that we'll be found out for being a phony - that is not being our true selves. So stop it! Be yourself and don't apologize for it. You are beautiful in all your unique being - don't hide that away from the world because you are afraid.

Yes, it's a risk. Yes, people can say awful, hurtful, devastating things - but they're only devastating if you allow them to be. No one can hurt you unless you allow them to. Have enough love for yourself not to let it happen. And then pass what you've learned onto your children so they don't have to spend half a lifetime in misery. It will be the most precious gift you can give, not only to them, but to yourself.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


It's been a week, I know. Ive been working a lot. And when I'm not working I'm trying to keep up with my boys. So I've been tired and haven't gotten to blog in a whole week! I apologize to those of you (Franklin) who check in regulary. I have a couple of ideas floating around in my head, but since I've been up since 5:30 this morning and only got about 5 hours sleep last night because Owen kept getting up and kicking me in the back (I know. I know. He needs to sleep in his own bed. That's a whole other subject) I decided to make my return with something a little light. But don't worry, there's plenty of political bullsh*t out there - I'll be back on my soapbox soon enough.

Here are my personal Top 5 Worst Email Forwards: (Feel free to add your own)
5. Get to know your friends surveys - Let's face it, if I'm calling you my friend I probably know most of the answers already, and those that I don't usually fall under the category of "Too much information."

4. If You're a Real Patriot - This one isn't just annoying, it's insulting. You know, the one where there are all kinds of pictures of the American flag usually flying off the back of a pick up truck or being waved by a guy with no shirt on and a flaming mullet, a shotgun in the other hand and a cigarette butt hangin' out of his mouth. And then there's the ever present text that reads something along the lines of, "I support our troops. If you're a real American and not one of those antiwar traitors you'll send this on to everyone you know so that they can show their true patriotism too. George Bush Rules!" Anyone who supports that criminal in office doesn't get to lecture me about patriotism.

3. Jesus Loves You / My Prayer for You - I'll be brief. Jesus and I don't need email to reassure each other of our love. Please don't use email to let me know that Jesus loves you too. If I need anyone to pray for me you'll be the first to know. People like you are why I don't go to church.

2. Videos of People Doing Stupid Stuff/Getting Hurt - I don't watch America's Funniest Home Videos either.

And the number one worst email forward is:
If you don't forward this email to 25 of your best friends within the next two minutes you're going to have bad luck for 10 years! Forward it to 5 people and you'll have bad luck for 8 years, 10 people 6 years, 15 people 4 years, 20 people 2 years, 25 people and your biggest dream will come true!!!
(I'm not for regulating the internet, believe me, but I might support legislation that makes it illegal to forward chain letters just like the USPS does.)

Now, use the email link to forward this post to all of your friends ;)

Saturday, May 20, 2006


I'm a writer, so words are very important to me. I believe that every word has meaning and when someone chooses to use a particular word, consciously or unconsciously, it's meaning is crucial. Which is why I was so frustrated, and probably only one of a few who noticed, when I watched an interview on the evening news yesterday.

It was a story on the opening of the Davinci Code in all it's "controversial" glory. So they're doing interviews outside the movie theatre regarding whether or not people intend to see the movie. They stop one woman who says she won't be attending the movie because it is offensive to her as a Catholic. The following is not a direct quote about why she is offended, but it's pretty close:
"Because in Christianity we're taught that Jesus was pure. So he couldn't have had a relationship with a woman."
This frustrates me on so many levels.

First of all, what caught me right away was the connection she made between "pure" and "relationship with a woman." As a woman I'm offended. As if having a relationship with a woman makes a man impure? Are you kidding me? I mean, is it obvious to anyone but me that women are still paying for their supposed role in the seduction of Adam into sin back in the Garden of Eden? And who came up with that story anyway? Oh wait, I know ... a man. Christianity is one of the most oppressive institutions in existence, but for women it's practically unbearable. According to the church, women should be seen, but not heard. Stand by your man, but shut up while you do it. How many women preachers do you know? I know you don't know any woman priests ... although women can be nuns - a role in which it is their responsibility to support the church, in particular assist the work of the priests. So even though Christianity allows for women to have very little influence within the church, and forget about attaining leadership positions - a woman was influential enough back in the day to be responsible for the most catastrophic event in religious history. That must be why we have no power now. We can't be trusted. Oh right, now we're back to the purity issue. I get it.

But putting the whole purity thing aside, seeing as how the woman on TV was a Christian, I will take a step back and assume that what she was referring to as a "relationship" was really meant to mean a sexual relationship. Problem number two I have with this statement. Can we all just grow up please? Isn't it about time that we take the stigma away from having sex? What is the big deal anyway? I'm not saying that children should be having sex. I'm not saying that some sexual relationships aren't inappropriate. But last time I checked, Jesus was an adult and what's the big deal if he chose to have some sex? I mean, he wasn't just the son of God, right? He was human. He was a man. But our society is so hung up on sex and for what? Why does having a sexual relationship make someone impure? What's so dirty about it? As long as it's between two consenting adults, who are willing to face the possible consequences of pregnancy or disease - why can't we just stay out of people's bedrooms? It's no one's business what adult people do behind closed doors. (That includes homosexuals, by the way. But that's a whole other topic.)

When I said something to my husband about all this, he remarked to me that it was just Jane Doe from Nowheresville - what was I getting so upset about? Who cares what she says? Well, I do. Because to me Jane Doe represents the majority of us. And I think it illustrates that the majority of women don't value themselves as much as they should. That most women have been brought up to believe that they are somehow inferior and are often responsible for bringing men down. I mean does it get any worse than being forced to bear the responsibility of causing original sin? How can we possible recover? And although Jane Doe may not have intentionally meant to put down women, she did. And in so doing not only was I offended personally, I was angry that Jane Doe thought so little of herself and others of her gender. Sadly, she probably doesn't even realize what she said said so much.

But I heard it. It was most definitely there. It's insidious. And I think we as women would be foolish to underestimate the role that our subconscious minds play in our everyday lives. It's hard enough for women out there trying to convince the world at large that we deserve equal, human rights. But if we don't believe it ourselves, why should they?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


If you'd like to take action in stopping global warming (and hopefully you do!) then go to

It's a site with a lot of great information along with a virtual march you can join so that your representatives know that this is an issue that requires attention and as a voter you expect them to act.

Thank you to my very good friend for forwarding it along.


All right ... I have just spent the last seven days indoors because of rain. Where I live we got about four inches of rain, not terrible, but a lot considering before last week we were about five inches short on rain so far in 2006. Now, about an hour and a half northeast of where I live they got 15-plus inches of rain!!! There was widespread flooding, sewage backup into people's basements and hundreds of people had to be evacuated from their homes for days.

Now, it's Wednesday (the rain started last Tuesday) and the sun is shining and it's expected to reach 70 degrees. I know what they say about New England weather - "If you don't like it, just wait a minute," - but this is a little ridiculous. Can you say extremes? January through April we're practically suffering a drought. There was a brush fire up the street from my house that scorched over 100 acres of land just three weeks ago. Now people are losing their homes to floods? Something is most definitely wrong here.

So, I started thinking. A very close friend of mine (I won't mention her name because I think she might find it unsettling to see her name on a blog, even mine) is responsible for sparking my recent interest in all things "environmental." I have been on a tear reading everything I can - magazines, books (even novels with environmental themes thanks to that very same friend) and now I have found the movie I hope we all see. "An Inconvenient Truth" is a documentary to be released on May 24th featuring Al Gore and what his research regarding global warming has revealed to him.

Even though it is painfully obvious how I feel about republicans and the current (criminal) administration in Washington, I am not a big Al Gore fan. But I've seen the trailer for this movie and it looks incredible. I mean, if this doesn't get people thinking ... I don't know what will. The devastation this Earth has already suffered (Hurricane Katrina, the melting of the polar ice caps, the hottest year ever recorded in 2005) and what is expected to come if we don't change the way we live our lives is absolutely frightening. And no matter what Michael Crighton or Dubyah wants you to believe - Global warming is already happening.

"An Inconvenient Truth" appears to be a movie not only about scaring the human species, but showing us there is another way to live, a way that is helpful and even beneficial to the great Mother Earth. Do we really want to leave such a mess for our children? Will there even be anything to clean up if we leave it up to the next generation? It doesn't look good. And once you know the facts, once you know what to do and what not to do, here's the rub - You can't pretend you don't know. In fact, that's the biggest problem we face. People don't like change. People like living there disposable, gas guzzling, oil addicted lives. It's easy. But what won't be easy is living in a world with 100 million displaced persons whose coastal cities were swallowed up by the oceans because too many glaciers melted. That number doesn't include the number of people who will die during such a catastrophe.

There's a line from the trailer that says "It will shake you to your core ..." and if it doesn't, you're not alive. We should be scared - really scared. In the decades to come, if things don't begin to change, it won't be "us" sending "them" money for recovery after a devastating storm or fire - it will be happening to us and there won't be any them to give us assistance.

So see the film. At least the trailer (which I have conveniently linked at the bottom of this post). And let your outrage work for you. Change your life. Be the example you wish the world to follow. I certainly can't afford a Hybrid vehicle at this point in my life, but I can certainly write my congressmen and tell them that I think it's important we adopt higher fuel efficient standards for our automobiles. I can certainly demand that the U.S. make a real commitment to research in finding more efficient energy sources that won't destroy the Earth with its emissions while we strip her minerals from the ground. I can certainly make sure that I'm recycling everything possible and reusing whatever I can and reusing it until I can reuse it any more.

Every little bit counts and everyone doing a little bit - that's how change happens.


Saturday, May 13, 2006


Someone forwarded this to me and I'd like to put it out there for all the mothers of the world. We definitely don't say it enough, but without you none of us would be in existence. So thank you for all that you do. Thank you for showing your children what love is. Thank you for showing us it's OK to make mistakes. Most of all, thank you for showing that world what it is to be human and how to truly contribute something priceless to this world.

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers ... past, present and future ...

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms,
wiping up puke laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying,
"It's okay honey, Mommy's here".

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes and lifelong love.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football, hockey or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scre am for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand) mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it again. "Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home -- or even away at college.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.

For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting. For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good Mother anyway?
Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time? The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby? The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your home?

Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation...And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. Single mothers and married mothers. Mothers with money, mothers without. This is for you all. For all of us. Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them everyday that we love them. And pray.

Friday, May 12, 2006


So my son just told me, after watching a preview for "The Little Mermaid" movie that he doesn't like that movie because he thinks it's weird. I asked him why and he replied "Because it's for girls." He has also informed me before that he can't believe that I used to like to watch "The Fox and the Hound" when I was a little girl because it's a "movie for boys to watch." Over Christmas when he was looking through the Toys R Us catalog, he told me that he used to like a certain toy, but now he doesn't because he found out that it's for girls. What is going on?

I try my best to teach that in most respects girls and boys are the same. There are obvious physical differences (which at the young age of 3 1/2 we have already had to cover some of to my dismay), but other than that girls and boys can participate in the same activities. For example, he tried to take a doll away from his little brother once and I told him that boys can play with dolls and girls can play with trucks. It doesn't matter. But I don't think he bought it. And all this comes from a boy who doesn't attend day care or preschool yet. In fact, when we talk about preschool in the fall he has told me repeatedly that he's "only going to have big boy friends, not big girl friends." When I asked him why, he responded, "Because I don't need big girl friends."

So where does it come from? This need to congregate together by way of gender. I mean, we have "Girl Power," right? Women feel that we're in opposition to the male-dominated work and political worlds, right? Why is it always us versus them? Wouldn't it make more sense to get the other side to join with you in changing the status quo? Wouldn't it be easier? So why do we have this separation? And how does it start so young? And what's a mother supposed to do when she tries her hardest to present a consistent, gender equality message and her son/daughter comes to her and tells her that she throws like a girl?

I don't know. I guess that's why I'm asking. Is there such a thing as inherent or genetic predisposition toward men feeling superior to women? Is it learned? If so, how? Because one thing's for sure, until we figure that out the battle for women pushing for equality and recognition for unpaid work is going to be one that will continue for generations with little progress.

Sunday, May 7, 2006


Some of you may have seen the story about the estimation done by on what mother's would make a year if we got paid for the (hard) work we do. In their estimation a stay-at-home mom would make $134,121 annually and a mom works outside of the home would make $85,876 in addition to her salary from non-mom related work. The creators of these figures used the following titles in figuring out a mother's salary: housekeeper, day care center teacher, cook, computer operator, laundry machine operator, janitor, facilities manager, van driver, CEO, and psychologist. Oh, if only it were true.

Of course, I would definitely have to take a pay cut when it comes to the cook and housekeeper categories. My husband is the chef around here, I'm more like a short order (grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets) chef. And although my house isn't filthy it isn't "housekeeper" clean either. (Who has time when we're doing all of the other stuff?)

While it's fun to think about what we mothers might be compensated financially the fact of the matter is that we work for free and America doesn't value the work we do because of it. We live in a capitalist society that values the almighty dollar. Businesses are judged by their bottom line, their profit margin, their stock prices - in other words $$$$$$$$$. A mother's work is unpaid work, it doesn't get figured into the GNP, it doesn't get recorded or deducted on our taxes - it virtually goes unnoticed. And I'm more than a little insulted about that fact!

I mean, if it wasn't for mothers there would be no CEOs, no politicians (maybe not so bad), no store owners, no economists - no United States! There would be no human race! And yet, our work goes not only undervalued, but other working persons tend to bitch because our motherhood is (supposedly) making them do more work. If I have to hear one more time how it's "not fair" that people without kids have to work more hours or have to make up for parents who have to pick up sick kids at school or leave early for a doctor's appointment or baseball game - I'M GOING TO SCREAM! If it weren't for parents then people without kids wouldn't be on this planet! Are the rules different for mothers? Yes. Should they be? Yes. We have kids and that's a fact that can't be denied.

So why work? Because we have to in many cases. And in several others, we want to. So should our right to pursue a career be taken away because we choose to contribute to the continuation of the human race? Of course not. It isn't fair, but people without children do have to adapt to our "extra" responsibilities. Didn't their parents teach them that life isn't always fair?

And we mothers do receive penalties for having children. The pay gap between women (without children) and men is about 90 cents for women to every dollar made by a man. It's about 73 cents for a woman with children to every dollar made by a man. That's right. Mothers make less than women without kids. And it's perfectly legal. In fact single mothers make even less on average because employers don't like having to pay added healthcare costs for the children of single mothers. See, generally if you're married and have children it's the husband's company who will pick up the tab for healthcare, but if there is no husband now the mother's company has an added cost that it didn't figure on. Puh - leeze!

Should we stand for this? Absolutely not! Do we? Of course because we don't have enough time to come together and fight for equal rights because we're too busy raising our children!!! Funny how that works, huh? And works great for everyone but us! Mothers need to demand several things and have every right to do so. Here are just a few examples: Equal wages for equal work; More jobs that involve flextime so that mothers can get their paid work done without sacrificing family time; Subsidies for child care so that mothers don't have to spend a substanial portion of their paychecks on quality child care; Federally mandated paid parental leave policies (like those in Sweden and most European countries). The United States in fact is the only industrialized country without a paid family leave policy. Sickening, isn't it?

It's time for the United States to come out of the 50's and make some changes that reflect the realities and issues that face American workers today. This antiquated system doesn't work for mothers and certainly doesn't optimize production. It's time for a change, people. And the biggest change of all is for the people of the U.S. to start respecting mothers and the hard work they do by compensating them, if not directly with a paycheck, then through family friendly policies, universal healthcare, access for investment in retirment plans for those who choose not to work and equal pay and flexibility for those mothers who choose to work outside of the home in addition to their familial responsibilities.

If you want to read a great article on this very topic, click the link below and read "The Motherhood Manifesto," in this week's Nation magazine.

ALL mom's are working moms .... so Happy Mother's Day to all of you!


Monday, May 1, 2006


OK .. I know this is a hot button issue for a lot of you, although why exactly I have no idea. It was reported last week that Spanish versions of the national anthem have been recorded and are hitting the airwaves. OMG! Are you serious? How could "we" have let this happen? "They" don't have a right to change our national (war) anthem! Who do they think "they" are? This is America and we speak American - so take your blasphemous song and #@*@$#!

Seriously, what is the big deal? Has there been any suggestion that the Spanish version of the national (war) anthem replace the English version? Not that I've heard. So what are we all really upset about? I'll tell you what ... "They" are slowly taking over! First it's educating our children in public schools to speak Spanish ... then it's the Spanish national anthem ... what's next? "They" are going to take to the streets in protest and try and influence American legislation! OMG! The sky is falling!

Can we all just take a step back and really focus on what is going on here? Pure and simple racism. The United States is famous for it - was founded on it really. And after two hundred plus years, we continue to broadcast to the world that we don't want "their" kind in our country because we're AMERICANS by God and we want to keep it that way!

To be perfectly honest, I don't really believe in citizenship or borders ... I don't believe in legislating who gets to go where, when and how long it takes them to officially join the citizenship club. If "we" want to be completely honest, "we" have contributed in large part to the international poverty that exists and if it wasn't for that fact people wouldn't have to sneak across borders to enter this country and make a little money that they can then send home to support their families. It's because of the U.S. agenda that poor countries remain poor - through agreements like CAFTA and NAFTA - that citizens in Mexico, Latin & South America aren't able to make enough money to support themselves at home.

And let's be honest for one more second - the life of an immigrant worker is far from spectacular. "They" are paid obscenely low wages (there is no such thing as minimum wage for "them"), "they" are forced to work day and night for what little "they" are paid and often times "they" don't even receive the pay "they" were promised because the employer knows that "they" can't get the legal system involved without risking deportation.

I believe that all human beings are equal regardless of where their birth certificate says they were born. And because of that I don't think it's the government's place to say that "those" people shouldn't be here, that "those" people don't get to sing the national anthem in whatever language they choose, that "those" people aren't worth our time and consideration. Everyone deserves the opportunity to make a home for themselves wherever they choose to migrate and creating things like "Guest Worker Programs" only continues to perpetuate the second class status of people of color in this country. People are people and because of that we all deserve the opportunity to make a living wage, be provided health insurance and enjoy safety and security within our homes.

Don't fool yourselves. The reason there is an immigration problem in this country isn't due to the existence of immigrants. It's due to the racist and economically suffocating domestic and foreign policies of the Unites States (Empire).
So if you want to make a big stink about a Spanish national (war) anthem, go ahead, I'll be teaching my children that all people are created equal, regardless of the language they speak, and that freedom of speech is a human right - not an American one.