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

Monday, January 29, 2007

Mama Says Om: Song

This one's from my childhood . . . Mister Rogers is still the man ;)

It's such a good feeling to know you're alive.

It's such a happy feeling: You're growing inside.

And when you wake up ready to say,

"I think I'll make a snappy new day."

It's such a good feeling, a very good feeling,

The feeling you know that we're friends.

**This is my entry for this week's Mama Says Om theme. Check out the other entries here.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Honey! I'm Home!

Yes, it's true . . . I'm in my new house!!! (You all knew I couldn't go an entire week without blogging, didn't you? I've been without internet access for the last few days, but I'm taking a well deserved break from moving responsibilities, so what else would I do?)

Anyway, everything went well at the closing, the move has been going even better. My boys LOVE the new house. Every time we have to leave to go back to the apartment they get upset and say they want to stay. My little one asks every morning when we wake up "Can we go to new house today?"

So, yes, I am on cloud nine ... or 12 ... or 104 ... it doesn't matter. Suffice it to say that, even with the overwhelming task of moving ahead of me while I sit in a maze of boxes, I am happier than I've been in a very, long time.

I took a picture today of my precious mantle clock on my new mantle, but I haven't found the cable for the camera that connects it to the computer - so I can't post it yet. But I will. You can take my word for it, it looks perfect.

Let's see ... I have all kinds of ideas running through my head, but really don't have the time to write about them right now. I shouldn't even be doing this. I have a kitchen full of boxes; I have a living room full of boxes; I have a dining room full of boxes - and people coming to help us move our furniture over here tomorrow morning and right now they don't have much of a pathway.

I should go. So until next time, take care of each other ... and thank you to all of you who have sent such kind and supportive words to me regarding my grandmother's passing. She's in a much better place now and after more than 15 years apart she's with my grandfather again. How can I be too sad about that . . .

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

After a Long Day of Soul Searching, I Learned ...

You Are Best Described By...

San Giorgio Maggiore, Twilight
By Claude Monet

The True You

You want your girlfriend or boyfriend to be more relaxed, calm, and composed.

With respect to money, you spend as little as possible.

You think good luck doesn't exist - reality is built on practicalities.

The hidden side of your personality tends to be satisfied to care for things with a minimal amount of effort.

You are tend to think about others' feelings a lot, perhaps because you are so eager to be liked.

When it comes to finding a romantic partner, you will search and search until you find your perfect match.

You Passed High School with an A

You have the brains of a high school graduate... at least!

Your 80s Theme Song Is:

Everybody Have Fun Tonight by Wang Chung

Your Hippie Chick Name Is:


And my personal favorite:

You Are 37% American

America: You don't love it or want to leave it.
But you wouldn't mind giving it an extreme make over.
On the 4th of July, you'll fly a freak flag instead...
And give Uncle Sam a sucker punch!

Have a great Monday!!!

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Friday, January 19, 2007

It's TIme to Rise Up, Ladies!

I'm blogging over at The Soccer Mom Vote today if anyone is interested. It's a great community of women who take turns blogging about all kinds of social issues, politics, current events, etc. I've really enjoyed the discussions over there and this is my first post. I'll be posting on the 19th of every month and maybe even adding a little diddy here and there throughout the month as well (if they'll let me!) I've already got like three topics in mind that I want to talk about!

Other than that we're getting ready for the big move. We still have so much to do; it's more than a little overwhelming, but I can't wait to get in there!!

The only other news to report is that I was catching up on my magazine reading today. I was more than a month behind on The Nation, but it was worth the wait . . . My name is in the December 25th issue!! I'm so excited! Now I won't leave you in suspense - it wasn't for anything I wrote. It was because I made a contribution to the magazine last year (besides the subscription itself) and they list all their donors at the end of the year. But still! It was my name! In a magazine! I'm excited!! (Not as excited as I was when I got my first byline in a newspaper, but still) I'm keeping it for posterity . . .

And I'll pack it tomorrow ;)

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

No More Suffering

I got the phone call today.

My grandmother is no longer suffering. She has passed onto, well, whatever it is that awaits us out there when we finish this journey here on Earth.

It was peaceful. She simply fell asleep.

I'm told she had a better night last night. She was a little more coherent than she's been and she was very calm as she looked from my mom to my sister to my niece. My niece (who turned one this fall) was blowing my grandmother kisses and, hopefully, my grandmother, and certainly my sister, was able to tuck away at least one more beautiful memory.

She wasn't alone, like she was afraid she would be, this morning when she died.

So she's not suffering anymore. She's not so heavily medicated that she doesn't recognize her family. She finally let go of that battered body of hers and once again became whole. That's what I like to think anyway. I like to think that she's been reunited with my grandfather, her parents and her sisters who all went before her.

Good night, Grandma.
I miss you, but I know you're OK now.
Thank you for showing me what strength is,
what independence is,
for sharing your love of travel with me,
for believing I would accomplish great things,
for not being like every other grandmother -
Thank you for being my Grandma.

I love you.

(Still) Your Angel

Monday, January 15, 2007

Something a Little Lighter

After my VERY EARLY morning post today, I thought we could all use something a little lighter. Well, this certainly qualifies . . .

This is "Fly, Robin Fly" by Silver Convention. This was, believe it or not, the number one song on the U.S. charts on the day that I was born. A little surprising in that there are only eight words, repeated over and over and over again, in the entire song. But it's got that undeniable disco beat, and well, who needs words anyway!

Oh, the seventies . . . like it or not they will live in infamy.

Anyway, a fellow MySpacer tipped me off about this website called This Day in Music where you can plug in the day and year of your birthday and it will tell you what the number one song was in either the UK or the U.S. It was quite amusing, really, and when I saw the unfamiliar title I had to hear the song for myself.

Give it a try if you like - I plugged in my wedding day ("I'm Real" by J Lo), and both my son's birthdays (Nelly's "Hot in Here" and "Burn" by Usher - somehow appropriate if in title only) and it was a good laugh.

Attention Ms. Kookaburra: I found out that "Love Hangover" by Diana Ross was thee song of the moment on the day of your birth. (I was hoping it would be something by Anne Murray) But if that isn't enough to bring a smile to your face today, then here's hoping my video post was. *HUGS*

P.S. My sister's song was "Too Much Heaven" by the Bee Gees . . . Who doesn't love the Bee Gees?! Now heres was cool . . . what's so great about "Fly, Robin Fly - Up, Up to the Sky?" Oh well. (Happy Almost Birthday by the way!!!)

My other sister's was, hold on . . . aaaahhhh!!! "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson!! Great song!! Once again I get the shaft because I'm the oldest.

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Acceptance or Simply Rambling, I'm Not Really Sure

The theme over at Mama Says Om this week is "Acceptance," and after the day I've had it couldn't be more appropriate.

At around 10 a.m. this morning I got a phone call from my mom. Now, I'm one of those people who uses caller ID at all times and have even assigned certain ringtones for certain people so that I don't even have to look at my phone to know who it is. Well, I was covered with two cuddling boys this morning while I lay on the couch, and I figured she was calling about coming over tomorrow, so I let the voicemail pick up.

Sure enough, she had left a message, but I forgot all about the call for about an hour or so . . . I wish I hadn't - forgotten about it, let the voicemail pick up, screened it . . . I should have picked up the phone because my mother was hysterical. Hysterical in the sense that I couldn't understand most of the words coming out of her mouth because she sounded as if she was having trouble catching her breath as she sobbed.

I caught my name . . . then "your aunt called me" . . . then "Grandma" . . . lots and lots of sobbing . . . then "I have to go today, I'm going today" . . . "Call me."

A little backstory. My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer probably six or seven years ago. She had a mastectomy, she did the radiation treatments and she went into remission. She stayed that way until about six or seven months ago when she started having severe pain in her shoulder. Sure enough, the cancer was back and it had spread. The doctors did their best to manage her pain, she was forced to move into an assisted living community in November and then hospice care just a few weeks ago. It was then that they told us she probably had six months to live.

My grandmother has been having nightmares about dying, specifically dying alone. She has panic attacks in the middle of the night because of her fear. And I think she's been fighting her disease not because she wants to continue to live, but because she's so afraid of dying.

Well, it appears she has stopped fighting or as I'd like to think of it - she's come to accept that dying isn't necessarily the worst thing that can happen to you. My aunt called my mother this morning to tell her that the hospice nurse believed that my grandmother has only a few days left on this Earth and that anyone who wants to say goodbye needs to do it now.

When I called my mother back she was much calmer and was trying to book a flight out ASAP. She assured me that she was OK and that she would be OK to travel alone. She said that it was the shock of the phone call that really got her this morning, but that she was doing all right now because she had accepted months ago that her mother was probably not going to be with her for much longer; that her mother was suffering from cancer, in pain - physically and emotionally - and that maybe dying wouldn't be the worst thing, for my grandmother anyway. For my mother, of course, it's still traumatic.

She made it back to the state of her birth early this evening and I believe she is probably with my grandmother as I write this. (I hope she is, at least) And I guess I feel kind of strange because my acceptance of my grandmother's impending death came many months ago when I first heard of her cancer's reappearance. The first thoughts I had were - I hope she doesn't suffer; Maybe it would be better if she went quickly before it got too bad; This isn't fair, I mean, once you hit your mid-80's you should get a "free pass" and be assured that you will die, without pain, in your sleep when the time comes.

And today when I heard my mother's voice on the message I assumed at first that my grandmother had, in fact, already passed and I was almost relieved for her. I imagined that she was finally having a peaceful sleep. And as I type that I feel as if maybe I'm being cold. I feel as if I should be crying, if not for my grandmother then at least my mother who is going to be a basket case when my grandmother dies. But I'm not crying. I don't feel like crying.

Is that strange? I love my grandmother very much. To say she is an individual, that she is independent, strong willed and outspoken is an understatement. Although since leaving her home of sixty some odd years so she could be cared for elsewhere, she's been more of a victim.

Is it possible to have accepted some one's death BEFORE they die? I mean, she's old and we all knew she wouldn't live forever. She has cancer and we knew it was going fast. Her death within the year was expected, but is that the same as acceptance?

It wasn't for my grandmother. She hadn't accepted it while she was having her nightmares, but I'd like to think she has now. I'd like to think that she will go peacefully . . . maybe still in her sleep . . . and she won't be afraid . . . and she won't try to fight . . . Because she has suffered enough and I want her to get some rest.

I'm not really sure what all this rambling really means. It's almost 1 a.m. and I just can't sleep right now and when I saw the theme over at MSO this week (I'm not even sure this post applies to the theme at this point), I just immediately thought of my grandmother. She was never the type who baked cookies or read to us, but we always had fun sleeping over at her house. She wasn't big on giving lots of hugs and kisses, but she had this way of saying goodbye to us where she would stand outside and wave with both hands and then raise a leg, bent at the knee, and kick as if her foot was waving as well.

She took me on the "Trip of a Lifetime" where we flew over on the Concorde to London where we spent a few days, then took a train to Paris where we spent a few more days and then we were supposed to fly back to the UK and get on the QE2 back to the States. Unfortunately, back in 1997, our trip was derailed when I had to force her to check into a hospital in Paris because I believed that a pain she had in her shoulder was more than a muscle pull. It was, in fact, a blood clot that was working it's way to her heart. She was in the ICU in Paris for a few days and after about a week or so was finally given permission to fly home. No QE2, no more trips to Europe (or anywhere else for that matter) with her granddaughters . . . It was the beginning, really, of many health problems to come.

I will miss her of course, but it's my own mother and my aunt who I feel the most for. They are about to lose their mother. My only hope is that they can find some comfort in knowing that at least her pain is about to end and I hope that they believe that she did not struggle at the end because she was ready to go. She had not only accepted that it was her time, but she embraced it because she really needed the rest.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Is It Hot in Here?

While surfing National Geographic's website (yes, currently NG is an obsession of mine) I found this alarming headline, "2006 Was Warmest Year Yet Recorded for U.S." Now, I know we've all been commenting on the unseasonably warm December that has hit not only the Northeast, but the Midwest apparently - while places like Denver, uhhmm, have been suffering foot after foot of snow.

So what gives? Is it global warming? Is it El Nino? (Can you make the tilda over the "n" on Blogger? Or from my keyboard? I can't find it. My high school Spanish teachers would be disappointed in me.)

Apparently, according to preliminary data from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina, the annual average temperature in the U.S. was 55 degrees Fahrenheit in 2006 which is the warmest year since 1895 when such data started being recorded. The average temperature was also 2.2 degrees F higher than the 20th century average.

While scientists agree that El Nino certainly contributed to the warmer temperatures, especially those experienced in the month of December where no state in the union experienced temperatures below their averages and five recorded their warmest Decembers ever, they also warn that 2006 is part of a "disturbing long-term trend of increasing temperatures."

"The past nine years have all been among the 25 warmest years on record for the contiguous U.S., a streak which is unprecedented in the historical record," the NCDC report says.

Scientists believe that this long-term increase can be attributed to the emission of greenhouse gases - global warming, people. It's not a "theory." In fact, with every passing month it becomes more and more concrete. And if the Brits at the U.K. Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Change are correct then 2007 will be even warmer (globally) and the warmest year yet on record as the long-term increases continue and El Nino keeps the waters off the northwest coast of South America nice and toasty.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not really liking these crazy weather patterns. I mean, I don't ski or snowboard or snowshoe or generally go out into the snow unless dragged by my children, BUT it just doesn't feel right around here! A Christmas without snow happens all the time, but being able to play football and soccer in a green backyard without even having to wear a jacket during the first weekend in January - it just isn't right!!

Am I right?

And the implications for the spring are disastrous as well. First of all, without all the snow melt, lakes and streams and water tables are going to be low - really low - and that means a lack of water all around. There will probably be all kinds of water bans during the dog days of summer which are predicted to be VERY hot indeed in 2007.

So you tell me . . . Should we continue our fossil fuel burning ways while we continue to emit unprecedented amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and cut down thousands of acres of trees in the Amazon that would otherwise be soaking up some of these nasty greenhouse gases and releasing it back into the atmosphere as oxygen . . . or should we do something about it? I mean, really. While we can't change the path of El Nino, we certainly can have an impact on its effects by trying to prevent the annual increases in temperature due to global warming.

What have we got to lose if we try?

Well, everything if we don't.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I'm Totally Random Today

Well, I've received a request (Yes, a request!) to update the blogosphere about my big move. The reason I haven't talked about it in a little while is because things seemed to have hit a bit of a stall. Repairs that were supposed to get done (by the seller) and issues we had that needed addressing (by the seller) weren't getting addressed. In fact, we weren't getting all "No. No way. Not on your life;" We weren't hearing anything at all.

So my husband and I had been getting very frustrated. People were asking us about getting excited with the closing date coming up and my packing, etc. and all we could do was grit our teeth and try to smile because when it all came down to it, if we didn't get some answers soon we were ready to go look for another house. Don't get me wrong. We LOVE the house we found, but not enough to go into while there were still issues (especially ones that might cost me more money than I have) that needed to be taken care of. With the lack of communication, we had started to feel like we were being played and that maybe there were things wrong with the house other than what we alrady knew and that the sellers were trying to stall until it was too late for us to back out.

Whatever. So I sort of had a bit of a fit over the weekend (via an email to my real estate broker) and wouldn't you know it - the ball is rolling once again. Things are getting done, papers are being signed, repairs are being made . . . Hip, hip, horray!!! It's amazing what a few stern words will do and it appears that it wasn't the sellers at all, but their real estate agent who wasn't communicating with them. From a couple of phone calls we got this morning regarding a few of our "issues" it appears they're actually very agreeable. (Ask me again after I sign the final papers though.)

So we're still on schedule to close in a little less than two weeks (which really means that I should be packing right now instead of blogging, but it isn't the first, or the last, time that I'll be blogging instead of doing something else that requires my attention.) I've been packing, but I guess it's time to go turbo.

My hope has been restored and I am once again excited about moving into my own house! (If I'm lucky I'll never have to do this again!) I'm basking in the sunshine streaming through my window (which won't be mine for much longer!!) and I am giddy with the thought that I just did what was quite possibly one of my last pile of dishes by hand! (Yes, my new digs have a dishwasher and it's been WAY too long since I've had one of those!) I'll say it again - Hip, hip, horray!!!

On another completely random note, I read the January issue of National Geographic last night - AMAZING! INCREDIBLE! FIVE STARS! I had truly forgotten what I'd been missing the last, oh I don't know, 20 years. I remember flipping through it at school as a kid, you can always find a few good pictures to put in your latest collage creation from NG, and since it was such a cheap introductory offer (we're talking a dollar a month!) I figured, at least, the boys would enjoy all the bright photographs.

Well, I don't think the boys have even gotten the chance to look at it yet because their mommy and daddy haven't given them the chance. I mean, the photographs alone are worth having the subscription:

Not to mention the reporting. I read the cover story, Last of the Amazon, last night and it literally blew me away in words and in pictures. The portrait of devastation, of what further devastation would mean not only to the people of Brazil, but to the Earth itself - very, very dramatic.

It's not just the amazing writing or the breathtaking photography, but the wide range of topics covered by the publication - Science, Nature, Travel, Ecology, Culture, History, People (I could go on) - that there's really not much you won't get between the covers. How's this: It's like a passport that takes you anywhere you want to go even if you don't have the financial means to get there phsyically. (OK, now I sound like the advert I got in the mail!)

But it's just that good. I'm so glad we subscribed! Maybe I'll actually get around to letting the kids look at it, but only after I've poured through it several times because I feel like there's so much to it, I want to make sure I don't miss anything.

Now I just have to make sure I change my address with NG . . . and with the bank . . . and I have to call to have the gas turned off . . . I need to go through the boys' closet (I think there are some things in there to bring to The Salvation Army) . . . I need to get a list together for what we're going to need to buy for the new digs . . . I guess I really should be going now :)

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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

And the ROFL Goes To . . .

Every month Mommy Off the Record and IzzyMom run the Rolling on the Floor Laughing (ROFL) Awards. Bloggers are encouraged to post the funniest post they've read that month and Cristina and IzzyMom compile all the entries for your laughing pleasure.

This month I nominated Alex over at Formula Fed and Flexible Parenting for this post, "Things I Never Thought I Would Say." Alex is the full-time mother of two and keeps me entertained and informed about all things parenting. I love her daily "lessons learned" piece.

This particular post is simply a classic and anyone with children will relate. So this ROFL goes to you, Alex. Congratulations!!

If you need a good chuckle, be sure to check it out and if you want your stomach to hurt from laughing be sure and check out all the nominations at Mommy Off the Record.

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Sunday, January 7, 2007

If I Weren't So Angry, I'd Cry

This morning when I checked my email I received something that has really got my blood pumping, and not in a good way. It was from someone I am very close to which is only of importance when you see my response. (I will keep the sender anonymous, except to say they are family and even with family there are times when I think it is important NOT to hold your tongue.)

So this email, or should I say forward (which my husband would immediately question why I read it in the first place because most of those things are trash, aside from a few that are truly humorous and some actually informative on occasions), and it started out quite harmlessly. It was apparently (or should I say supposedly) authored by a Denver, Colorado resident who spoke about the recent snowstorms:

"Up here, in the "Mile-Hi City", we just recovered from a Historic event--- may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions" --- with a historic blizzard of up to 44" inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10's of thousands."

OK. Seems harmless. Not really sure where this is going and then I got to the next paragraph. Now, I won't reprint this email in its entirety because I am so disgusted by it. I won't give the author the satisfaction, but I do want you to see what I'm reacting to so here are a few excerpts:

FYI: George Bush did not come.
FEMA did nothing.
No one howled for the government.
No one blamed the government.
No one even uttered an expletive on TV.
Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit.
Our Mayor did not blame Bush or anyone else.
No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.
No one looted.

Obviously, this "person" is referring to the situation in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There were a lot of things that went wrong there starting with not evacuating people who had no transportation to get out of the city themselves; Not having any adequate shelter to house and feed the people who were left in the city during the storm; And not having, at a city, state or federal level, an effective plan to get to those who were drowning in the great floods that resulted from ineffective levys that were supposed to prevent New Orleans from being drowned.

Anyway, the author of this email continued to illustrate how the great people of Denver simply picked themselves up by their bootstraps, unlike those "other" people who just complained and expected someone to come help them.

Local restaurants made food and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snowbound families.
Families took in the stranded people - total strangers.
We put on extra layers of clothes because up here it is "Work or Die".
We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for 'sittin at home' checks.
. . . I hope this gets passed on. Maybe SOME people will get the message. The world does Not owe you a living.

OK. I must stop here. I'm sure the people of New Orleans would have liked to do all of those things, but IT WAS ALL UNDER WATER!!!! It was never a question of simply "digging out." And I know I shouldn't let these things bother me, but I do. I seethe over them. I just can't believe that not only are there people out there that write this trash, but there are people out there that pass it on as "interesting," "something to think about," and so on. What it is is racist and I called it as much when I sent my reply back to the person who sent it to me:

RE: Thousands of folks in Denver weren't evacuated to a convention center without adequate food, water and bathroom facilities. They weren't then locked in the convention center and told they could not leave even though there were people who had died in the convention center and were now rotting on the floor. They were not stranded for days on their roofs because the water was so high it was the only chance they had to prevent drowning.

The government failed New Orleans by not providing the thousands of people living there without transportation a way out of the city BEFORE the disaster. And I haven't heard of how many died in this snow event of "biblical proportions" in Denver, but I'm pretty sure it's nowhere close to the more than 1,800 people who died in New Orleans as a direct result of Hurricane Katrina. And I'm pretty sure that Denver has dug out and people can use their cars and go to the grocery stores and go about their lives. New Orleans was underwater for weeks and there are still people who cannot go back to their homes because of the dangerous mold, sludge and sewer waste that covers their walls, floors and streets.

You're right, the government doesn't owe anyone a living. But they do owe us leadership in times of crisis, and in New Orleans they did not get that. They didn't get it before the storm when they were told it was safe to live there; that the levys would hold back the water and when the levys failed they didn't get it after the flood waters rose. Did you know that there were National Guard soldiers standing on a bridge that led out of the city, to places where the flood waters weren't so high, and they refused to let people cross due to the orders they were given? They should have been leading those people out to safety, and yet it was like trying to cross the border into another country without the proper papers - all within the borders of the United States of America, home of the free.

It was deplorable and I am ashamed of how the government (mis)handled the situation and continues to drag its feet. I don't pay taxes so the government can continue to make the rich richer (although in reality I do, that's not where I want my money going) - I pay taxes so that my fellow human beings have help when they need it; their children get an education; and as few people as possible have to go hungry and homeless. The people of New Orleans believed they had been abandoned and I don't blame them. Put yourself in their shoes for one day during that week of horror and you tell me that they don't have a right to be angry.

I'm glad that your friend in Denver fared well in the blizzard ... Maybe it has to do with snow being more manageable than water - they say water damage is the worst. Maybe Denver was just more prepared because they are used to heavy snowfall and there was a plan in place. Maybe Denver just has more money allotted for natural disaster cleanup - after all they certainly have more wealth.

What I do know is that Denver is a city of just under 2.5 million people where 80% of those people are white and the median family income is about $48,000 per year. New Orleans (Orleans Parish where the hurricane hit hardest) is a city of less than 500,000 with just over 70% being non-white (including African American, Hispanic, Asian, etc.) and the median income for a family was less than $33,000 per year ... Maybe that has nothing to do with it, but maybe it does. If you ask me, whoever wrote this email sounds like a racist and I won't be passing it along.

So, yes, while I agree that this is trash, that I shouldn't let it bother me, etc. etc. I also think that it's time to respond, to be vocal and let people know that we recognize trash when we see it and not leave it out on display as if it were not the toxic sludge that it is. Trash goes in a trash can (some things cannot be recycled), is incinerated and the energy produced should be used to heat someone's home or provide them with electricity - then, and only then, will this kind of sludge not be so hazardous.

My rant is now over.

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Thursday, January 4, 2007

My Political Voice is Back

In my desire to celebrate all things Christmas - ie count my blessings, be grateful for the little things, yadda yadda yadda - I feel as though I may have lost my edge; Become a bit saccharine if you will.

Well, have no fear. While I may not have been blogging about it, I haven't been blind, deaf and dumb to the monotonous propaganda coming out of the Bush Administration. No, even when Dubyah's on vacation, which he is an awful lot, the sludge just keeps flowing.

No, I've been watching. I've been swearing at the TV. (Just ask my four year old) I almost threw up when I saw Cheney over and over again at former President Gerald Ford's funeral looking sullen, as if he actually had a heart and cared about another human being. And it didn't help that PBS ran a previously-aired Frontline about how Cheney and Rumsfeld maneuvered and schemed and conspired to send us into Iraq by cooking intelligence or just plain repeating, over and over and over again, intelligence reports they already knew to be false. If my two year old hadn't been sleeping on me at the time I probably would have exploded in a rage and possibly thrown something at the TV!

But there has been some good news, too. Yes, I did a Happy Dance when Bob Woodward came out with some unkind words from former President Ford regarding the mishandling of Iraq by none other than two of his former colleagues - Don (Rumsfeld) & Dick (Cheney). Yes, I enjoyed reading that Ford believed that the Bush Administration made a "big mistake" in invading Iraq.

About Cheney, who was Ford's White House chief-of-staff, Ford said, "I think Cheney has become much more pugnacious," as VP and told Woodward that he agreed with Colin Powell when he previously stated that Cheney had developed a "fever" about Iraq and the War on Terror.

So I guess it's not just me. I mean, a former Republican President, a majority of the American people, not to mention the international community at large, and me - We can't all be wrong!!! Which brings me to the other good news of the day . . .

Today, U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took hold of the gavel as the first woman to be elected as Speaker of the House. Yes, that's right. I know it sounds crazy, but it's 2007 and finally we have a female Speaker of the House. What's most notable here though is that there is now a female standing third in line to the Presidency of the United States of America. Of course, it is a rare circumstance that the line of succession is necessary, but, hey, it was good enough for Gerald Ford, right?

So like the Ying and the Yang, we must take the good with the bad. Since 2001 there's been a lot of bad (at least coming out of Washington, D.C.), but it looks like a new day is dawning. Let's just hope that Pelosi and her comrades can follow through on their promises of raising the federal minimum wage, fixing the Medicare prescription drug plan by negotiating directly with drug companies for lower prices for Medicare patients, loosening the grip of lobbyists and their influence on legislation, cut student loan interest rates in half, put all recommendations by the 911 Commission into practice, broaden stem cell research allowed using federal funds - and that's just the agenda for Pelosi's first 100 hours.

Now, if only she would put impeachment back on the table . . .

P.S. We have a daily calendar of "Bushisms" which is pretty hilarious (even though it's only been four days!) And I must share this doozy from yesterday uttered by Dubyah in September of 2002: "We need an energy bill that encourages consumption."
It's OK to laugh . . . I encourage it. It helps release the rage.

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Mama Says Om: Uberlist 2007

I found this great website entitled, Mama Says Om, and it's a place where a panel of moms comes up with a weekly prompt to offer up to anybody to post on their own blogs using words, pictures, original artwork, graphics - Whatever! Then they post links to each participants entry and you can go an surf the interpretations of others.

This week's prompt is: uberlist. I needed some assistance to define exactly what an "uberlist" was, but now that I know it's "a big fat list of all you'd like to accomplish in the coming year." So here's mine; My uberlist for 2007:

1. I WILL write everyday.
2. I WILL read more fiction.
3. I WILL exercise at least three times a week.
4. I WILL find a volunteer activity I can participate in.
5. I WILL go out once a month with my girlfriends.
6. I WILL write the majority of my novel.
7. I WILL speak up when necessary at work.
8. I WILL keep a cleaner house.
9. I WILL learn how to cook at least five meals for my husband.
10. I WILL stop nagging, criticizing, picking on/at and fighting with my husband so much.
11. I WILL be a better listener.
12. I WILL put more focus on personal nutrition.
13. I WILL be less confrontational in my opinions.
14. I WILL make a point to have more discussions with other adults.
15. I WILL have a full physical exam.
16. I WILL find my personal style and buy clothes I feel good about wearing.
17. I WILL finish the kids' baby books.
18. I WILL organize and print photos for albums, frames, etc.
19. I WILL construct a fabulous website for writers, women and mothers.
20. I WILL continue to be politically informed and take the next step to becoming an activist.
21. I WILL write two more short stories.
22. I WILL (maybe) go back to school and NOT quit a few weeks into it.
23. I WILL find my career.
24. I WILL love and laugh more, worry and plan less.
25. I WILL keep up with my letter writing to my sister through Women for Women International.
26. I WILL give blood at least twice (like I keep saying I'm going to!)

27. We WILL go outside to play more often.
27. We WILL turn off the television more.
29. We WILL find a charity we can contribute to as a family.
30. We WILL take a family vacation for just the four of us.
31. We WILL develop a solid bedtime routine that includes everyone sleeping in their own bed.
32. We WILL eat dinner at the table together every evening.
33. We WILL eat less fast food.
34. We WILL meet our new neighbors and form relationships in our neighborhood.
35. We WILL yell less.
36. We WILL spend more time doing family activities (ie. playing games, reading, drawing, etc.)
37. We WILL consume less and have a positive impact on the environment.
38. We WILL create a garden in our backyard.
39. We WILL live by a budget.
40. We WILL start a compost pile.
41. We WILL become more energy efficient.
42. We WILL enjoy the beauty of nature.
43. We WILL slow down and enjoy the little moments we have together.

44. We WILL spend more quality time together (with the TV turned off).
45. We WILL schedule at least one date night per month.
46. We WILL have a night out with friends once a month.
47. We WILL listen to each other more.
48. We WILL sleep in the same bed more often :)
49. We WILL work as a team and compromise more often.
50. We WILL read a book together and discuss what we've read.
51. We WILL plan for our retirement.
52. We WILL respect and encourage one another in our hopes and dreams as individuals.
53. We WILL stop going to bed angry.
54. We WILL communicate more effectively and talk more.
55. We WILL appreciate one another as the individual spirits that we are.
56. We WILL not try to change one another.
57. We WILL show our love more.
58. We WILL say "I love you," whenever we leave one another.
59. We WILL go on an anniversary getaway this year.

60. We WILL create the home we always dreamed we would have.
61. We WILL repair the roof.
62. We WILL update the electrical.
63. We WILL paint at least the living room, the dining room and the two bedrooms.
64. We WILL landscape the backyard.
65. We WILL create a more "green" homestead.
66. We WILL use the fireplace for at least one romantic cuddle under a flannel blanket.
67. We WILL not clutter our garage with junk, but let my husband use it as his auto shop ;)
68. We WILL organize this house better than our apartment.
69. We WILL blissfully use our dishwasher.
70. We WILL invite family and friends over for drinks, dinner and good times regularly.
71. We WILL make our house cozy and comfortable for all who enter it.
72. We WILL remember how much we wanted this house when things go wrong.
73. We WILL be grateful that we have the means to pay a mortgage for a home that will take care of us after we retire.

It's a start . . .

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Monday, January 1, 2007


At a stoplight

It's my 16th birthday party. We girls have left the lame scene (my house) to cruise around in my friend Mary's car because she's the only one who can drive and has a car. The stereo is loud -- I think it's something by Whitney Houston. We stop at a red light where a woman is selling flowers. Mary calls the woman over. She comes running, smiling. Then the light turns green, and Mary hits the pedal. All the girls laugh.

- - -

I'm 26. I'm driving home from work in rush-hour traffic. I have the windows down because it's a nice day. My stereo is playing something loud -- maybe Red Hot Chili Peppers? At a red light, a guy in the next lane calls to me. "Hey! Hey!" Is my tire flat? Is my shirt stuck in my door? Reluctantly, I look over. He's actually kind of cute. He has a nice smile. He's just flirting. But what kind of guy tries to meet women at a stoplight? I start to roll up my windows. "Can't a guy talk to a pretty woman?!" he says.

- - -

I'm running an errand on business -- my own business, at 36. A car pulls up next to me at a red light. The stereo bass is booming so hard that my car is shaking and my bones are vibrating. It's a small car, but it's full of teenagers. I hear them laughing. I turn up my own stereo -- some John Mayer or Norah Jones -- to try to drown out their sound. I can't wait until the light turns green so they can speed off and take their bass with them.

- - -

Last night on the way home from dinner out with Star, Lancelot and her dear husband, I had to stop at a light. Flybaby was in his car seat, crying. I reached back to touch him to comfort him (I can only reach the top of his head) and tell him we'd be home soon. But his crying even drowned out strains of Baby Beethoven. Then the light turned green and I put both hands back on the steering wheel, thinking of putting him in his pajamas, nursing him and putting him to bed for the night.

Hope you enjoy this month's blog exchange. This post is by Damselfly, who started blogging about her pregnancy -- and now blogs about life with a newborn -- at Growing a Life. The theme for this month's exchange is "Changes," and you can find Nancy's thoughts on the topic here.

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