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

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I Forgot!

I knew it was coming up. I just forgot about it earlier in the week. (Have I heard that excuse somewhere before?)

Yes, it's true. I have been sharing my random thoughts with you all for a full year. Yes, I had a blog-a-versary this past week. (See how far I've come?) I can't believe I've actually kept this thing going for a full year. It's not my usual M.O. But here I am - still - and here you are, too.

So thank you to everyone out there in cyberspace who have been reading this thing for the last 365+ days. (And thank you to my friends who have also shown interest. It was pointed out to me recently that some of you have learned things about me by reading this blog that you probably wouldn't have found out otherwise. That may be true . . . although I can get pretty chatty after a couple of beers ;)

But I'm tired now and should go to bed. Thanks again for stopping by and hopefully you and I will all be around this same time next year.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

A National Call for Impeachment

Anyone who reads this blog with any frequency knows how I feel about the current administration occupying the White House. It's never been a secret.

So it should be of no surprise to you that I am joining my fellow Americans across this great nation today in calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney.

And it's not just me. Congressman Dennis Kucinich already introduced Articles of Impeachment against Cheney on Tuesday, (Yes, he's from Ohio - Go Bucks!!), while state senators in Vermont passed a resolution for impeachment of both Cheney and Bush on April 20th.

While I realize that impeachment is a LONG process and even if they are impeached, but aren't convicted, it won't necessarily change the situation in Iraq or even curb this administration's blatant illegal activity at least it will leave a black mark on the two offenders in the history books.

We can't just let these two get away with breaking the law in the name of national security. We must take a stand to let future administrations know that we will not tolerate a perpetual state of war against an unidentified enemy. We must take back the civil liberties that are being taken away from us and send the message that even the President of the United States is not above the law.

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Friday, April 27, 2007


It's been almost a week since I've checked in over here. I've been busy - not with anything in particular, just life :)

Yesterday was probably the highlight of the week. We travelled to a friend's house and spent most of the day outside in sunshine and 60 degree temperatures. Our visit included a nature hike that included frog egg sightings (protected by green slime which truly impressed my boys), two beaver lodges and several fallen trees and stumps that had been created by the previously mentioned beavers.

While we were hiking my four year old (who is known for being a little awkward) put together a mantra of sorts and I couldn't help but smile while he chanted "Balance. Balance. Balance. Balance . . ." It must have done the trick because while we were a little slower than our hosts who take these kinds of hikes regularly, we emerged from the wilderness without incident and both boys wanted to know if we could hike through our woods at home.

It truly was a beautiful day in which I actually found myself taking deep breaths of the fresh, spring air. And, of course, the adult conversation couldn't be beat ;)

And while it's not exactly the same as conversation, I finished reading Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" today (which, by the way, is timeless and has reignited my political fire - at least for the time being) and now I'm onto D.H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers as part of my Banned Book Challenge. After finishing this one I'll be just over halfway to my goal of reading 12 "subversive" and "controversial" books by June 30th.

I recently read Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five and it was amazing! I had never read anything by Vonnegut before and I will definitely read more. The biggest impression it left on me was to reinforce my own viewpoint about how pointless war is; that war isn't about soldiers fighting other soldiers in order to preserve freedom or some other moral ideal, but war is really about countless civilian murders that often go uncounted because they don't happen in an "official" capacity and besides it doesn't put the combatants in a very good light.

But enough of that . . . I want to think some more about my peaceful nature hike . . .

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Child's Wisdom

I've bragged several times about the intelligence and humor of my boys. I know, I know. You're probably tired of hearing about it already, but here are a couple of good ones that I just couldn't pass up sharing with you.

"If people want to be healthy, then we have to make sure we keep the earth healthy, too." --- The wisdom of my four-year-old that surfaced while we were talking about Earth Day.

"They should put the Yankees in diapers . . . Because they stink!" --- My two-year-old's reaction to hearing that the New York Yankees were leading the game against our favorite baseball team the Boston Red Sox

Happy Earth Day, everybody! While it's honorable to do your part today in helping the environment, let's make every day Earth Day so that we can all be healthy!!

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Friday, April 20, 2007

My Poem to the Earth

It was school vacation around these parts, so my boys and I headed to "the beach house" as my two-year-old referred to it to see my mom for a couple of days. The weather was awful - cold and very wet thanks to a spring nor'easter that slowly came through - but it was a lot of fun anyway. If nothing else we (read I) were able to get away from the stress and daily routine of our reality. (That included the computer/internet which was a nice break indeed.)

Onto more exciting things . . . This is my poetry entry for the week. This poet isn't as well known as the others I have previously mentioned, but I think he's actually better.

My son was watching PBS today and they were talking about Earth Day (this Sunday) all morning. Suddenly my four-year-old turned to me and said, "Mommy, this is my poem to the Earth." And here is what he came up with:

The earth is sweet,
The earth is beautiful.
I love green trees
And playing in the backyard.

We should keep the earth clean.
I also like bugs,
I want a tarantula but Mommy says no because she doesn't like spiders.

"And that's my poem about the earth." (I know, I know. Go ahead, tell me he's a genius; a poet laureate in the making.) It does warm your heart, doesn't it?

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

I Can't Say Nothing

So I've stayed away from the whole Imus thing . . . until now.

I don't want to get too into it. I've had a couple of discussions with my husband about it. I've been listening to NPR and the evening news; I've heard the "experts" and the friends; I've heard about how the Imus Ranch charity will suffer and therefore so will the children with cancer - I think I've heard it all by now.

But all I want to say, at least to Imus, is that no matter what the intention - it wasn't funny; it wasn't a joke. And it's not because it wasn't politically correct or because the public has become too sensitive and we don't know how to take a joke anymore.

It was racist. It was sexist. He was a public figure on the public airwaves and while he has every right to say what he wants to say, the public also has a right to react to it. Free speech has its consequences. Yet, this isn't really about free speech for me. The greatest impact this whole "controversy" has had on me has been with regard to my disappointment with the society we live in in 2007.

My first disappointment came when I realized that there was even a discussion as to whether what Imus said was "OK" or not; whether since it was said in humor - Just stop right there. Of course it wasn't OK! These women were playing an athletic competition; they were representing Rutgers with pride and dignity; They were respectful and should have received the same respect in return. Yet, Imus did not make a joke - he tried to reduce these women to nothing more than sub-human, sex objects.

Which led to my second disappointment. People were outraged - as they should have been - and some people were defending him saying that it was just a joke and "why can't people take a joke anymore?" It just really took the wind out of me when I had to face the fact that things really haven't gotten all that much better for women and minorities in the U.S. if there was a debate going on as to whether or not such derogatory speech was humorous.

Seriously, why is it that there are still so many people out there who think it's OK to use derogatory terms to describe other people? How is that humorous? Because I really don't see the humor in making fun of people because of their gender or their ethnicity or their sexual preference or even the way they happen to wear their hair for that matter. Why is it funny to make fun of other people at all? Shouldn't we be a little more civilized than that?

I love a good laugh as much as anyone, but not at the expense of hurting someone else. That to me just isn't funny. Whether they're in the public eye and "asking for it" or they're your next door neighbor - I wouldn't like it if someone was making fun of me, so I try not to do it to others.
Making jokes at the expense of others, so that you can feel like you're part of the "in" group or so that you can feel like you're somehow "better" or smarter or whatever - I guess I was just hoping that that sort of thing was on the decline. I mean, why do people have to do it? Whether it's through supposed humor or music lyrics or in conversations they have at the dinner table? Why do they feel compelled to make such negative generalizations and use terms that are only meant to demean and oppress other human beings? Aren't the majority of us just trying to survive this crazy, mixed up world; to take care of ourselves and our families?

And it's not just the issue of speech that upsets me. While women and minorities have been legally given the right to vote, it's disheartening to know that they're not always given an easy route to exercise that right. While African Americans are no longer enslaved on the cotton fields of the South, they certainly do not experience social or econmoic equality, equal protection under the law or the same access to opportunity afforded to those of lighter skin tones. African American and Latina women are probably discriminated against most often because they have two strikes against them in their ethnicity and their gender. Gee, look who Imus' comment was aimed at.

I don't believe in coincidences.

We certainly can't fire every person who is racist or sexist, but we can make an example of those who publicly show their hatred. We must declare as a society that we will not tolerate such behavior. We need to make that declaration together, beyond gender and culture lines; to say that we will not allow racism, sexism, discrimination of any kind, etc. in our society because it is simply wrong and should not be tolerated.

Because it just isn't funny.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

My Man Robert Frost

To continue in highlighting National Poetry Month I thought I would share a couple of Robert Frost's poems. I think most of us are familiar with the first one (but it's just so good I couldn't help reprinting it) and the second is one I remember my father reciting to me. I think I was studying Frost at the time when he recited "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" from memory and told me how he had had to memorize it as a student some years before.

I think I remember the moment so well because my father is a man of numbers and logic - a computer programmer, an engineer, a student who associates the song "Take it to the Limit" by the Eagles with a calculus class he once took (all right, and maybe a girl, too, but he never admitted that part); he was the kid who earned his FCC license so he could use the radio he built himself - and to listen to him recite poetry, spontaneously, is just something I may never forget.

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

I realize that Frost wrote so many other poems (among them "Birches" which I love) and these are probably two of the most obvious choices. But I figured why go out of my way looking for beauty when it's already in the forefront of my mind :)

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Thursday, April 12, 2007


Today is national Drop Everything and Read Day (D.E.A.R.).
(Now personally, I don't need an excuse to pick up a book, but it's always nice to have one :)

D.E.A.R. officially began in 2006 and is a national celebration to remind people, especially children and families, to take time out each day to read. D.E.A.R. is celebrated on April 12th to honor one of the best children's authors around - Beverly Cleary - on her birthday. (If you don't know who Ramona Quimby is, get thee to the library immediately.)

Apparently there are activities planned in schools, libraries and bookstores across the country, but the most important thing for you to do is take some time out of your busy day, find a quiet place and read for at least 30 minutes. (If you have children, read an extra book at bed time or make reading a special activity in the afternoon; have your children read to you, etc.) And then make reading part of your daily life.

It could be that I'm just getting old and grumpy, but sometimes I feel like books are losing out to things like the internet and video game systems; there's just so much visual stimulation out there kids don't get to use their imaginations very much anymore. Yet, it's the imagination that makes everything possible.

And reading a book is the greatest way to stimulate those brain cells (not to mention spark your curiosity, improve your vocabulary, teach you about other people and cultures, whisk you away to foreign lands, create such vivid colors and pictures in your mind's eye that no artist has ever been able to capture before . . .

I guess what I'm trying to say is - Drop Everything and Read today!!!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Two of My Boys
My entry for this week's Mama Says Om theme: Peace. Looking at this picture puts me in a place where I can forget all about my responsibilities and the crazy, messed up world we live in.

It brings me peace.

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Monday, April 9, 2007

If You Want to Know, Ask! is hosting a Virtual Town Hall meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 7:15 EST where presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, and Joe Biden will answer questions regarding the war in Iraq. These aren't the questions the media are currently asking or questions pre-selected by the candidates themselves. These are questions posed by everyday people just like you and me and (hopefully) we'll get the answers we're looking for.

For me, the soundbytes just aren't enough and I don't have the time or money to attend speeches and Q & A sessions around the country. This is a great way to get to know the candidates and find out where they really stand on an issue that is of the utmost importance without leaving the comfort of your home.

This is the first of three town meetings that will be hosting. (The other two will cover issues surrounding health care and global warming/energy policy.) So if you like what you see be sure to stay tuned for what's to come.

I believe that the 2008 election is quite possibly the most important election of my lifetime and I'm going to make sure that I know who I'm voting for so that I can have confidence in the job I believe he/she will do. You can't just vote for the frontrunner or the person your parents are voting for in this one - there is just too much at stake.

So if you're interested in "attending" simply click here or on the link above. Don't just sit there - do something!!!

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Friday, April 6, 2007

I Gratefully Accept This Award on Behalf of . . . Me!

Alex recently awarded me with the Thinking Blogger award (although I didn't notice for some time because I had fallen behind in my reading. Sorry, Alex!) and I must say that I am honored. (I guess the title of my blog hasn't been in vain after all.) The award is given to a blogger for a specific post (or the blog itself) that makes you think. You know ... think ... that thing we do when we actually have a spare moment to pause and let an idea ebb and flow through our brains (clearing out all the cobwebs) ... At least that's how it's been for me over the past few weeks. Lots of buzzing around from place to place and not much thinking going on.

Anyway, here is why Alex nominated me, "because her blog does such a great job bringing attention to many social and environmental issues." Yeah!! I know I shouldn't care what other people think, but it is quite the ego boost to hear someone echo one of your reasons for writing. So thank you, again, Alex for your nomination. (And I promise, that "Real Moms" post is on it's way!)

Now, the rule is that once you receive an award you nominate five more blogs/posts that are worthy of the title. So here are my nominees:

1. the true story of what was - Cheryl's posts make me think about my own personal relationships and issues. She is so honest and raw with her emotions that I can't help but think of my own role as mother, daughter, wife, friend, etc. (And she tells the best stories!)

2. Formula Fed & Flexible Parenting - Although she's already been nominated, I had to throw this thing right back over to Alex. Her posts are always full of advice that isn't just coming from some article supposedly written by some expert that (whether intentional or not) ends up making most mothers feel guilty about their parenting choices. (And, again, with humor!)

3. Sempiternal Horizons - Shani makes me think most about my writing. Whether she's inspiring me with quotations or writes an entry that spawns a writing prompt for me . . . she is the epitome of thoughtful. (Especially with those words of encouragement for me that she is ever so generous with)

4. retro research - This brief bit of blogging opened up all kinds of thinking for me. It's the tale of the beginning of a graduate project where a student committed to living without post-1950 technology for one month. That's right no cell phone, no television, no microwave, no ATM cards . . . none of this gadgetry that today we rely so heavily on. (As if the world might stop spinning if I don't pick up my cell every time it rings!)

5. 365: A Photo a Day - This is a photo journal that is thought provoking because the pictures stimulate all kinds of feelings and emotions. And Emily does it all without using more than three or four words per entry.

So there they are. Check them out if you'd like to get those neurons firing, and a thank you from me to all the nominees for giving me lots to think about!

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Thursday, April 5, 2007

P.S. to Sporadic Posting

I found this over at Izzymom today. It's a great followup to my post the other day about my sporadic posting as of late (which is really kind of funny considering I think I've posted everyday since then :)

So here it is, The Blogging Declaration of Independence: (The articles which apply to me anyway. If you want the full version click the icon at the top of this post)

1. I will only write when I feel like writing. I will not allow myself to feel obligated to write a blog post or do any other blog-related activity if I don’t feel like it.

3. I will write from my heart and remember that my blog is about me and whatever I want to write about.

4. I will not compare myself to other bloggers.

7. I will not feel bad if something I care about doesn’t get a lot of feedback or comments.

8. I will always try to remember that blogging is a hobby first and foremost. When it stops being fun, I will step away and re-evaluate.

11. I will not worry about losing readers if I change my focus from time to time.

12. I will be true to myself and my feelings. I will be cranky if that’s how I feel. Being a diplomat 24-7 is just exhausting and unnatural.

15. I will update and add to this declaration as necessary.

As usual, I have found that I'm not the only one suffering with whatever ails me in the moment; But it's still nice to hear it once in a while.

So to all of you bloggers out there who managed a post today - Congratulations! And to all of you bloggers who did not - Double congratulations!! You must have been having too wonderful of a day ;)

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Leaving It to the Experts

Yes, April is National Poetry Month (at least over here in the States), but no, I won't be torturing anyone with any original poetry of my own ;)

Instead I have (quickly) found a couple that I like very much by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886); And I'll try to feature at least one poet per week in celebration.

From: Complete Poems. 1924.

Part One: Life

I ’M nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell!
They ’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Part Two: Nature

A LITTLE road not made of man,
Enabled of the eye,
Accessible to thill of bee,
Or cart of butterfly.

If town it have, beyond itself,
’T is that I cannot say;
I only sigh,—no vehicle
Bears me along that way.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Sporadic Posting = Busy (Happy) Life

I realize my posts have been sporadic lately, but someone :) pointed out to me that he actually enjoys visiting my blog and noticing that I haven't been posting very regularly. He (quickly) told me that while he enjoys reading what I have to say (whether it be personal or political) he experiences a moment of joy by my blog absence because it means that I'm busy living my life; busy spending time with my family; busy being away from the Internet. Although I had never consciously thought of it that way, I realized as soon as he said it that it was true.

I have been busy (and dealing with illnesses, my own and my children's) lately. I am easing back into work. I've been helping my sister with wedding responsibilities (Yeah! Less than two months away!), planning a housewarming party, dealing with some very small concerns regarding my son at school . . . I've been busy. And while I've still been checking in with some of my online friends and reading the things that I enjoy reading, no, I haven't been blogging. And that's OK.

I respect and enjoy the comments I get from readers. I appreciate that while we are ALL busy there are those of you who take time out to stop by my little nook and read what I have to say. But, of course, my biggest responsibility is to myself and to my family; so I will continue to blog when I can, but there may be lapses. I will continue to use this space as a place to rant and to think out loud and to vent, but as I approach my one year "blogaversary" I realize that I must make choices and sometimes my choice will be not to write and instead jump into my new interest in gardening, get back to writing some fiction (which has been neglected for too long), continue ticking off titles on my "to read" list (while adding two titles for every one I read) - and of course there's plenty to do with my kids (and my husband, too).

So keep checking in . . . I've actually got a couple of topics running around in my head at the moment. (Don't worry, Alex, I'll be posting the Real Moms meme next!)

I'm off to read some more of Born on a Blue Day, which is excellent btw.

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Sunday, April 1, 2007

One Day in the Life of a Stay-at-Home Mom

By some fluke of nature, we have acquired some new married friends that have no children yet. We are ecstatic for many reasons. A. They have a pool, B. bedtime for them depends on how early they have to get up the next morning and C. Everything my 2-year-old does is "soooooo cute" (including tantrums, large messes and weird eating habits). This couple just moved in 2 weeks ago and today is his first day working at the same company the hubby works at and she doesn't start her job for another 2 weeks.

Last night, we had dinner with them and went swimming for Memorial Day. I was semi-confused when she kept asking me, "So what do you and your son do all day?" I was confused because none of my other mommy friends ask that question. I guess it's just understood what a stay-at-home mom does. I couldn't really answer her question on the spot because I was so taken back (not to be confused with offended) that she was actually asking me this. But after much thought, I think I have come up with an answer that would suffice.

I think that what happens when you have a toddler is that everyday processes like getting dresses and eating breakfast take 5 times the amount of time that they normally would take. For example, taking a bath. We (meaning me and the babe who is usually working towards the opposite goal) have to first clean a path large enough through the rubble to get into the bathroom, then I carry the toddler, who is screaming over and over again "I don't wanna take a bath!" into the bathroom, I somehow manage to get all his clothing off and pry his legs from the sides of the tub so that he is semi-submerged in the water when he remembers that he quite enjoys the bathtub! So he plays while I take a break pausing to look into the mirror (I would not recommend this step very often, it's quite shocking). We wash the babe off and let the water out which is celebrated with more screams, "I don't wanna get out of the bathtub!" After all the water is drained and my son has laid spread-eagle in the tub until he can no longer take the cold anymore, I force him to get out and get into his towel. This is the end of the bathtub experience. He is not dressed yet because that is a whole other process that takes much more time and bribing.

I am convinced that if I only had to get myself up, dressed and fed I would return to being a normal person who could get more accomplished in one day than laundry, eating 3 meals and the dishes.

This post was written as part of this month's Blog Exchange where the prompt was to pick one of your best previously written posts. This entry comes from Kendra over at Dramatized Reality. She has a 3-year-old son and a 6-month-old daughter. When she’s not keeping busy with her children, she likes to play the piano, scrapbook, read and sew.

Nancy’s "Best of" post can be found today over at Dramatized Reality. Click here to check out the other posts this month, and to get more info on the blog exchange.

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