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Friday, March 30, 2012

A Wasted Lent?



Sometimes, you just have a 'duh' moment.

We've been skipping mass.  Like.. for the last month.  I don't think we've went to mass since Ash Wednesday.  VERY out of character for us.  And I can't blame anyone else.  Just myself.  And as a result, I've cheated myself and my children out of Holy Mass, Communion, and hearing God's Holy Word.  Not to mention I have seriously set a bad example. 

I used a variety of excuses.  All of them valid, true, but still... excuses.  Pain from my stupid hernia.  Lack of sleep.  Depression.  I used all three.. and they were all true.. but I should have went anyway.

Satan has started attacking us lately... and it started, as usual, in small ways that I didn't notice.  And once Old Smut Face gets a toe in, he is like a big festering wound.... it just gets worse until you work on healing it.  

Hubby took down my little Shrine table for Christmas.  Well, my things on it anyway.  I was not happy and squawked against it, but my non-Catholic husband didn't "get it".  He did set up a beautiful (our nicest) Nativity in it's place... but still.  He did leave up my Holy pictures and crucifixes on the walls.  I informed him those were "non negotiable".   He gaudied up our home... and to explain that... Yes, I am married to Clark Griswold from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation", and anyone who has seen our home during Advent will know I am not exaggerating in the least.  It goes from one property line across to the other.  And he adds more stuff every year.  














We have people who drive by our house every year.... and it's not just on the outside.  It's INSIDE too.  I have actually had to complain that the small Christmas tree in the bathroom was too much.  Snowmen bed sheets, Christmas towels, Christmas dishes.. *sighs*  Yes, go ahead and laugh.  I'd laugh too if some else lived in a Florida version of the North Pole for 2 months a year. LOL  But by golly, I remind my hubby that Jesus IS the 'reason for the season', and my blessed things all stay up.  But... he moved the stuff off my Shrine table.  


Here's a picture of the Nativity he puts on my Shrine table during Advent..
  

Since my depression started smacking me in the face mid-January, I did not put my Shrine table back together.   I have not been to mass.  My prayer life has been... non existent... to be completely honest.  I take no pride in admitting that.  

We've been being attacked, as I said, in small ways, and growing.  Today, I saw another 'sign' in my home that all was not 'right', and it frightened me.   I went to Catholic.com forums, and did some reading in a thread where someone else was being spiritually attacked.  It started to make perfect sense to me.  Old Smut Face was feeding my depression.. and instead of turning to God and to Holy Mass, Old Smut Face convinced me that wouldn't help and HE EVEN CONVINCED ME that I'd have panic attacks if I went...  (I was having them bad for a few weeks.. still a few, but much, MUCH better).   By my ignoring God, Jesus, and His Blessed Mother, I was almost rather kicking them aside... which makes me feel sad and ashamed.  I wonder to myself WHY I listen to Old Smut Face... why do any of us??  Why do we, *I*, believe the lies?  And MAN is he ever SNEAKY!!!  Jerk!!!

So after my epiphany (my "a-ha" moment today), I got busy to work.   First, PRAYER!!!  I took my holy water and went and sprinkled and prayed in every room of the house, (sort of a cleansing), and then got my Shrine table set back up!! :)  I dusted it good, got out my free-standing crucifix and cleaned it, and got out my holy water bottles and candles...  talk about a sigh of relief.  Isn't it 'funny' how something like a little home shrine can make a GINORMOUS difference in the home!?    

The girls and I are going to Confession tomorrow.  And Mass Sunday.  LOL I want to go NOW!!!  But since hubby has the truck at work, I will just have to suck it up and wait.  I did have a talk with my youngest daughter about it.  She admitted she has not been praying as much either, and is happy we are going back to mass.  

I guess sometimes (especially after being away from Holy Mass for a few weeks) we have to shake the dust off, clean away the cobwebs, and of course we run back to Jesus.  It bothers me that I've pretty well "wasted" our Lent.  But, Praise God, we have Holy Week left.  And it will NOT get wasted!!!

+JMJ+  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Boundaries...


Boundaries is something we all have to set up for ourselves, for our sanity.. for our peace of mind.   Our backyard fence is a boundary... keeping our pets and kids inside, and stray (potentially dangerous) animals and people out.  But, there is a gate.  We alone decide who we open that gate for, and who we close the gate for, and when to put a lock on it.  

Boundaries are not just for yards and gardens.  They are for our homes, our lives, and our hearts.   I choose to allow family and friends, and people who love me, "in".  But to someone who does not have my best interest at heart... or to someone who wants to use me and lie to me and hurt me or my family, I must close that gate.  

Sometimes we have to set a boundary for the ones closest to us... and that HURTS...  I don't know about anyone else, but putting a boundary on someone I love breaks my heart.  But when that person is hurting others... that leaves you no choice. :(

My Catholic bubble feels a lot smaller and sadder tonight.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wading Out into the Unschooling Pool


To School or to Unschool... A Nerve-Wracking Dilemma!  One I've struggled with for a couple of years now..  and I'm giving this 'unschooling' a go.. finally.

I have been "homeschooling" my girls for three and a half years.  I started out, (because I was so new at this), with Reading, Writing, and Math.  When I withdrew my youngest daughter Robyn from a second grade, public school classroom, she could barely count to twenty.  Her reading consisted of, "the fat cat sat" type stuff.  And even that was slow and painful.
However, she had a large vocabulary, and could correctly use, (for example), the word "facetious" in conversation without batting an eyelash.  I got comments all the time on how amazing her vocabulary was.  When we went to speech therapy, it amazed her therapist that Robyn couldn't say her "r" or her "l", but she knew "all these big words".  Robyn was globally delayed, and legally blind, but I got large print books, talking books, and we read aloud.  I also didn't "baby talk" with her.  When you have a kid who is speech/language impaired, you learn quickly not to do that.  The end result is that she has a bigger vocabulary than many adults I know!  :)

Since we've been home educating, Robyn has grown by leaps and bounds in her education and knowledge.  Now how much have *I* taught her? I helped her learn to tell time.  She can now add, subtract, multiplication, and very basic algebra. She's learned how to bake brownies from a mix, and a few basic things... pancakes, eggs... Turning the stove off and on, basic kitchen safety, laundry basics.   But I've noticed the bulk of what she learned is *a* life skills, and *b* is things that she has learned all on her own.  She knows all about different animals, about why we use organics instead of conventional...  she's learned about why we stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves and have no voice.   

She's learned about space, stars,  aurora borealis, and a million other things I cannot think of.  She has had cultural experiences.  Sitting in a Cuban restaurant, ordering in our pathetic Spanish, and eating Cuban cuisine.  She's had escargot in a French restaurant, and studied about the Eiffel tower, and leaned a lot about France in general.   The same can be said of Japan, Germany, and the Middle East.  

Yes, she has learned from reading her Seton books, and doing the work books.  In three and a half years, I've never given a spelling test, nor do I 'teach' 'spelling'.  I just encourage her to read whatever she is interested in.  I think that if you are "a reader", you can't help but become a good speller.  I have not "taught" science.  We go to the science museum.  The zoo. Her sister takes her to the beach.  We observe nature and talk about leaves and trees... we go on field trips with experts who know all about the native plants, animals, and the who's and the why's of what we are seeing, smelling, and experiencing.   We see what happens when we crack an egg into a pan and add butter and heat.  

Science.  We've raised a bird, fish, turtles, guinea pigs, and dogs.  

We've studied different forms of transportation.  Discussing importing and exporting.  She's attended ballet performances,  She's sang along with opera.  She's watched cannon fire, picked and ate fruit, learned to shell pecans, has helped make homemade fruit preserves, sprouted seeds, and learned about bats.  She has seen cows get milked, and made homemade butter from cream.  

Robyn has climbed, swam, rode horses, petted farm animals, alligators, and snakes.  She's wandered in a corn field, eaten raw unfiltered honey, ate produce from an organic co-op, eaten purple cauliflower, heirloom tomatoes, collected shells and rocks, examined fossils, attended a Green Expo where she learned more about green living.  She understands about food storage, hurricanes, and what to do.  She has beaded necklaces, thrown an ax, and is learning archery.  

Most of this, as you will notice, is not anything she has learned in a workbook.  

When I started buying "school books", we were up to nine... NINE subjects a day.  We have dwindled to four or five, depending or what we are doing.   I believe in quality over quantity.   From her schoolbooks, she's learned to repetitiously do math problems, read a story and answer questions about it. (which is kind of stupid if you think about it), do phonics, (again, pretty stupid if you're already reading on a high level and are a good speller).  And her religion books, which are mostly reading.  We also do English.. but good gravy... AGAIN... if you're already a strong reader, what difference does it make?   

I have pretty well decided to 'do away' with "sit down and do your schoolwork", and let her lead in her education.  I am still believing that math is necessary.  She needs to be able to do basic math, handle money, and make sure they don't cheat her on her paycheck later in life, pay bills, and so forth.  I have allowed her to be self-led from the very beginning with her science, history, health, and pretty well with her reading.  She independently reads on a variety of subjects.  We also read out loud.  Classics.. and Shakespeare.  We own two guitars.  A piano.  She takes karate.  And she wants to learn French, so I am looking into that for her.  Also, ASL, and Spanish too.  She already knows a few words/phases in German, Japanese, Spanish, French, and even Latin.

As much as I believe that "unschooling" is the route I want to fully go with, I find myself scared that I am somehow going to cheat her out of learning... which I know is dumb.. since the bulk of her learning has been self-led anyway.    The things I've listed, honestly, don't even scratch the surface of everything she has done, experienced, and learned.

Yesterday, hubby asked me if Robyn had "done any schoolwork today".  I told him she was on Spring Break.  He was happy with that answer.  For the most part, he gives me full freedom to do what I think is best in terms of her education.  But if I told him we are not doing "traditional" "schooling" any more, I am a bit nervous as to how he will react.  Will he think I've become a mother who doesn't care and has gotten lazy?  Or that I've become negligent?  I don't 'think' he would think that, but I do think it would 'freak him out' and make him worry.  I don't want to do that.  

But for pity's sake.  My kid learns better with hands on approaches... with things she is actually interested in.  As long as she is learning, does it really matter?  Until I can think of something better, we will stick with the math program we are using.. Math-U-See... as it's one of those, "you see it with your eyes, so you can see it in your head".  Besides, she likes playing with the manipulatives that comes with it. :)

I am nervous.  I admit it.  Nervous about not just being 'relaxed' with our homeschooling anymore.  Nervous about somehow 'failing' my daughter.  Nervous that this will make me a 'bad mom' or 'negligent' or whatever other word you want to use.  

Mark Twain (who was homeschooled, by the way), was quoted as saying that he never let schooling get in the way of his education.  I like that.  I like to think this way is more freeing.  Robyn will be free to learn at her own pace... learn what she is interested in.  Giving her 'wings', so to speak.   I want her to love learning.  And not stomp on her creativity but instead encourage her interests.  She has already learned how to research things, because that is how she has learned to "learn".  I want her to continue to love learning... and learn above and beyond what some work book can "teach" her.

+JMJ+

Friday, March 23, 2012

Unschooling Journey

Okay.  I am a nervous Momma.  I have been a 'wannabe' unschooler for about two years now.  I believe in my heart it's the right thing to do.  Hard though, to get rid of those old 'mindsets'... and knowing in my heart this is a better way for our family.  Those old ways are 'drilled' into me... the change will be easier for my daughter.  The biggest struggle will be with myself.


Blogging these links for not only myself, but for anyone else who may find this useful!!  Wow I am nervous about starting this!!   We've already been "unschooling" to 'a degree'... I am going to try and 'completely' unschool now... Lord, help me do the right thing!!  I want to do the best by my kids, and want to please You, Lord!  Help me!!


Here is the first book I bought...




And here's the links I've been reading....




The Unschoolers Emporium Will Help You On Your Unschooling Journey:


http://www.naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/deschooling.html


http://www.lifelearningmagazine.com/0804/when_unschooling_feels_like_unparenting.htm


http://sandradodd.com/unschooling


http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/08/03/unschooling.sudbury.education/index.html


http://joyfullyrejoycing.com/unschooling/unschoolingphilosophy.html


And these are the two latest books I've bought, that my dear Catholic mom friends are recommending and using themselves.








+JMJ+

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Depression, A Beauty Queen, & Surviving

Just sharing an article I found.


I have loved and admired Delta Burke since she was on Designing Women.   Beautiful, smart, classy, and definitely Southern.  A Florida girl like me.  We even share the same maiden name.  Delta was everything I ever wanted to be.  






I have loosely followed her over the years... hating it every time the tabloids picked on her, (jerks!), and nobody could say anything bad about her.   She was what I wanted to be, and I would not hear anything negative about her.  I still won't.  


As I got older, and started gaining weight, and even Delta, in all her perfectness, was gaining too.  Well for pity's sake.  If it can happen to a beauty queen, it could happen to anyone.  


I have struggled with depression for years.   Delta was on a television show.. I forget which one... and there were these women on there... some just girls... sobbing... they were depressed.  They hated their bodies.  Hated themselves.  Felt unworthy and unlovable.  Delta sat next to them... I don't remember her saying a lot... but by gosh she had the guts to get up there.. and sit next to them, and she HEARD them as they let their pain out...  I remember watching her face as she listened to them.  Delta got it.  She really did.  Delta has struggled in her personal life.  Depression, OCD,  and Hoarding..  she has suffered.. like so many of us suffer, every day.   She talks about her hospitalization even.  


Someone like Delta who had been there, done that, and inspires others... well.. she inspires 'me'!    When a celebrity is able to stand up and say YES this is something that I struggle with..  it lessens the shame that many depression sufferers feel.  This lady is awesome!!


I just found this article.  It's less than a year old.  I encourage you-all to read this article, if you've ever lived with depression...  I am planning to check out this book, and maybe purchase it.  



On the Couch...with Delta Burke

Actress, Stigmabuster, Survivor.


http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/two-takes-depression/201107/the-couchwith-delta-burke 


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Changes at Home, Decluttering, a Coat of Paint, and "The Glad Game"



 My days and nights as a vampire mom (LOL) are coming to an end.  This is actually, the last week.  Ours days and nights have been mixed up as a result of my husband's work schedule.  His new schedule changes begin next week, so that means changes for our family. :)   We, the kids and I, are excited.  We feel that our sleep patterns are SO messed up, that we are missing out on life.. literally!  Sitting up to wee hours, then sleeping super late... I hate that.  We ALL hate that.    I am really, really looking forward to going to bed early, and waking up early, and getting  more accomplished.

I have been reading a lot.. having some personal issues I am trying to overcome... and have decided to make some small changes, slowly, and then keep them up....  radical change, I don't think ANYONE can do.  But this is 'not' a 'race' and no 'deadlines' (I love the sound a deadline makes as it goes whooshing past)  LOL   But (for example) cutting back on my tea and drinking more water, eating more fruit.  Weeding out things in our home that are just useless 'clutter' and don't bring me or anyone else joy.  If an item is used, or needed, or even if it's just something beautiful that brings me joy, then it stays.   If it is something I've not used in the past year, out it goes.  If an article of clothing is ill-fitting or makes me feel like a cow, then out it goes.   Everything donated, of course, as I would never ever toss out any thing, no matter how trivial, that someone, somewhere could use or benefit from.

I want to clean out and re-organize (again) my pantry, laundry room, and closets.  Hubby doesn't know it yet, but I want my laundry room and pantry painted.  I don't care if he thinks I've lost my marbles.  I am telling you I want them painted. :)  LOL  I have gotten quite a bit organized already in the laundry room and I want to continue that.  And since I do have to do laundry in there, and I store some of my smaller appliances in there, I want it to look cheerful and inviting when I go in there.. everything proper in it's place, easy to find, and pleasing to the eye.  After all, it's part of my home... and our home is almost 40 years old.  "Umphing up" is needed. :)

In our master bathroom, I want to repaint.  I want to clear it out in there, toss out stuff I don't ever use, neaten and organize everything.  Maybe, perhaps, buy a new lacy curtain for the window.. maybe not.. I rather like the one there... and put in a small pot of succulents to add a bit of prettiness to the window sill.  Later, a new shower curtain.  The tiles are all new... as is the commode... but, I'd like a new sink basin and cabinet... but that can all come later.  I'll be pleased with a simple coat of paint and some organization for now. :)

I do like "good" changes, that I can plan and do according to my 'comfort level' and at my own pace.   When Mark painted our front room before Christmas, I was so happy.  Our walls in the front room are painted paneling..  and he painted them a lovely vanilla bean with gardener green trim.  (it looks much prettier in person) Since I have a ficus tree in each one of those rooms, I thought it looked wonderful together.  Florida is a very bright, sunny place to live.   With a very bright sun, and large "picture" windows in every room, it lets a lot of light in.  I like it to feel airy and open and clean feeling.  Uncluttered, and have that sunny feeling... but of course within the comfort of an air conditioned house! LOL  

I want my living room and dining room painted the same colors, and we want to rip out this disgusting old carpet and put in some flooring.  We'd 'like' hardwood floors, but oh well.  (too expensive)  So we will go with that stuff that 'looks' like hardwood floors, but isn't.  Mark also wants to put in a chair rail in the dining room, and I am drooling over a new chandelier (way too expensive) that I saw in a store a year ago.  (That will probably continue to stay there in the store!) I do want to buy new lacy curtains for these three rooms, and Mark is hand painting some 'fancy' molding pieces to trim the top of the wall (sort of where stencil would go) in my living room.  I've always wanted an ivy stencil or something there... and lo and behold he found this lot of individual flower moldings to paint and put up.  I love the thought of it and am so happy that he is going to make these for me. :)  Now if I can just get him to DO it, that would be great!  They're already bought, and some of the painting done... just get them finished and up. :)

Buying new things isn't always an option.  But small changes, such as the decluttering, and some organizing, and some fresh paint, can sure make things a lot nicer, and feel prettier, cleaner, and well... more "homey" feeling. :)

Putting my thoughts and energy into something healthy and positive will help 'me' too.  I may not be Pollyanna.  But sometimes you have to play "the glad game".  And sometimes, you just really, really want to. :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Missing Stephanie ~ "Aint No Sunshine When She's Gone"

Stephanie, I am thinking of you tonight.  Did you hear me sing Happy Birthday 11 days ago?  I sang out loud, in the bathroom, as I cried, thinking of you.  Nope. I still cannot carry a tune.  I am sure you heard me, laughing at me with your fingers in your ears.




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CADORATH Stephanie - Sander Cadorath, 36, passed away peacefully in her sleep Friday, November 18, 2005. Mrs. Cadorath was a member of Arlington Congregational Church, where a Celebration of Her Life will be held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, November 23, with Dr. Bruce Havens, officiating. Interment will follow in Arlington Park Cemetery. She attended Jones College and was formerly employed with Kuhn Flowers, Jim King Companies and America Online. Stephanie will be greatly missed by her loving husband, Karl, to whom she had devoted her life; her parents, William and Anna Rae Sander; her brother, Bill ( Sharon) Sander; nephews, Hunter and Austin; and other dear relatives and friends. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Tuesday (TODAY) at at COREYKERLIN FUNERAL HOME, 940 Cesery Boulevard. Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com
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You know, it's weird.  It's been over 6 years.  I still have a half pack of your cigarettes up on top of my curio cabinet that you forgot and left the last time you came over.  I can't bear to throw them out.   I still have some of the things you gave me.  I have a framed picture of us in the dining room with Sandy...  the three of us young, and smiling.   That picture has got to be 16 or 17 years old.  But I remember that day well.  We were having so much fun.

Things I've learned.  It hurts so bad when you lose someone.  I will never forget how I felt when you died.  How I felt like someone had ripped my heart out of my chest.  What no one tells you is that it doesn't go away.  How almost 6 and a half years later, I hear a song and cry.  Or remember our fun times together, or a silly face you used to make... or hear someone use one of your expressions... and I think of you.  And many times I can't help but cry... this stupid pain hasn't lessened.

I don't cry every day anymore.  But I still think about you all the time.  I remember little things.  Like you filing your nails at work.  About how you got excited when you made yourself a hair appointment.  How you loved your rings.  Especially pearls.  And silver/platinum.  And the opera.  Classical music.  Shiny black and polished silver.  How we ate chocolates and laughed and "talked smack" while Mark waited on us like we were queens.  I remember how much you loved my children.

I remember us being outside drinking champagne, and were so tipsy we didn't even know it had gotten cold outside.  I remember us going to the Fright House that Halloween, and seeing Pinhead from Hell Raiser and being so scared, and then laughing our heads off... and then twenty minutes later seeing Pinhead walk by the ladies restroom as we were exiting and us screaming and running back into the bathroom again.

I remember laying in front of the tv with you, watching U2 videos, and Tales From the Crypt.  I remember we used to eat at "The Golden Eggroll", and me eating your broccoli because you hated it.  I remember how we had matching cars... Honda Civics.  Except yours was black and mine was white.   I remember when we got matching haircuts, except yours was blonde and mine brunette.  I remember you calling me a health food nut because I liked pumpkin seeds.  Haha. :)   I remember how I always made fresh sweet tea when you were coming over because you loved it so much.  I remember buying you an entire case of Starburst candy... your favorite.  And how you separated all the flavors in order from your very favorite to your least favorite. :)  And how we laughed about that.


I remember that you loved my dads grilled chicken and my moms potato salad.  I remember that you ate barbecue sauce on your green beans.  I remember that we both loved U2, and Sinead O'Connor.

I remember how you hated lizards.  And loved cats.  I remember that you found a parakeet outside and caught him and named him Keanu Blue.  I remember having cooking decorating parties at Christmas, and the time we smashed a cough drop and used it as "sprinkles" and cracked up thinking who was going to be the one to end up with it.  (it was me, and it was gross!) LOL

I wonder how long this will hurt.  I wonder how long the memories will last, or will they fade?  I hope they don't fade, ever.  I don't want to forget one thing about you.  I want to remember every time we laughed, every time we were silly.  Every time we acted crazy.  And every time we were just there.. quiet..  just... there.  Knowing that the other was right there.

Sometimes I think you are still just 'right there'.  But you're on the other side, and I can't see you, or feel you there anymore.  I can't hear you laugh, or smell your perfume, or you calling me "Heifer".


I miss you Steph.  36 was too young.  I was your friend for thirteen years.  And it flew by in a flash.  Especially since the last couple of years we barely saw each other.  And the last 18 months, I didn't see you at all.  I wanted to.. but we had our own lives, our own problems, and before we knew it... before *I*knew it.  It was too late.  You were gone.  Just 8 days before my 38th birthday.  We were a year and 4 months apart.   What you don't know, Stephanie, is that my beloved Grandpop died two years after you.  Exactly one week after you.

I miss you.  I miss how we used to laugh.. and talk about everything.  How we had planned to be two crazy old ladies together and we were going to be menaces in the old folks home.  But, you went on without me.  Jesus called you.. and you went to Him.  It was your time.  And I get that.  I am selfish.. I wanted you here longer.  I wish I'd seen you more while I still could.

I know though, in my heart, that you loved me.  And you knew in your heart how much I loved you.  We were heart-sisters.   I hope you know how much I still think of you.. love and miss you. I wonder if there is a window in Heaven where you can sometimes look down and see us who still miss you, and mourn you.   And I am grateful for those moments I sense you.. and know you're there, watching over me.

I miss you Heifer Girl.

Love, Susan

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Non-Acceptance and Other Myths


Warning.  I did not hold back when I wrote this.  And I was angry when I wrote it, so I don't care.

You know what makes me really mad??  I am a Conservative Catholic.  A right winger.  Which means that I love babies and believe that life starts with conception and that if you have a baby you don't want, then please put it up for adoption...  I believe in old fashioned Christian values.  Right is right, wrong is wrong.  I believe that if you break the law, you should be punished.  I was raised that a man's handshake was as good as his word.  And that ladies ACT like ladies.   And children should be loved and let them grow and be innocent and the world is mean enough without subjecting them to things before they are mature enough to handle it.  Let them be kids for goodness sakes.  Childhood is too short as it is.

I believe in my second amendment rights.  If Mr. Axe Murderer comes into my house, I want to shoot him before he kills me and my children.  I don't want to be Clint Eastwood.  I just want to protect my family.  The Constitution says I have that right.

My parents raised me that if you can't say something nice, you don't say nothing at all.  Evidently not everyone was raised that way.  The fact that I love God and go to church and raise my kids and stay home and keep house and bake cookies and vote (as is EVERY registered voters right) as I believe is (in my opinion) the best choice that I can make... and I have done my part and go home and dutifully watch the results.  If my candidate of choice wins, then I am pleased and hope sincerely that they live up to their promises.   If the other guy wins, then I wish him the best and if he firmly believes in something I am against than I pray that he has a change of heart.  

There is, however, some screwed up thinking out there.  Evidently since I am NOT an "Obama" supporter, this somehow makes me "intolerant", "racist", "ignorant", "stupid", "backwards", an "extremest", and a whole slew of filthy ugly slurs I refuse to repeat here.   I can say with every ounce of honestly in me, I DON"T CARE what color he is.  We've had crappy white presidents too.  Don't be silly.  That has not a blessed thing to do with it.  It's his ACTIONS and what he says and does (or doesn't do) that I don't like.  

To any of you liberals out there, who are just waiting to set me on fire, let me ask you this.  You hate me because I am Catholic.  Okay.  Maybe you don't agree with the Church.  That's your business.  I am not asking you to convert.  But why are you throwing it out at me like it's a dirty word?  Does the crucifix I wear around my neck personally offend you?  Have I demanded your conversion?  Have I personally done something to you?  Well if it's ME your mad at, then be mad at ME... why hate an entire group because one person or even a small group of them somehow ticked you off.   If you are nice and polite, then so will I be.  But if you start name calling right of the bat.. do not expect me to be thrilled about that.

Because I don't (and won't) vote Democrat, (which, by the way, is my right as an American citizen), somehow this makes me a "rich fat cat" who only wishes to crush and stomp upon the poor.   Cause I'm so darn rich, don't you know.  Let me help you out with that.  We barely get by.  We are a one car family, and that one car is an old one.  We reuse, and recycle.  I thrift shop to save money.  We can't afford a lot of organics so I help at the co-op just so I can feed my kids better.   My dogs are lab mix mutts we rescued.  I shop at the thrift store out of necessity.  Yes, I homeschool but I buy the books all used.  Are you going to seriously tell me again what a 'rich fat cat' I am?   Come sit down on my 15 year old couch and I'll show you my recipes for homemade laundry soap.

I am SICK AND TIRED of being told how intolerant and close-minded and hypocritical we "right-wingers" are.  Are you kidding me.  I joined a 'secular' homeschool group.  Knowing I was the only Christian in the group and I was physically cornered and verbally attacked.  My crime was wearing a small crucifix around my neck.  I hadn't said a peep about any religion at all.  We were just there for arts and crafts and lunch with the other homeschool families!  I left crying, and never went back.  They swore they were open-minded and tolerant.  But only if I was Wiccan or whatever.  That didn't include any 'flavor' of Christian.  So WHY are they (and many, MANY like them) are ONLY open minded and tolerant if you drink the same flavor of koolaid that they do?  Not very open minded of them, now is it?  I wasn't there to recruit new church members.  I was only there so my kids could play and have some fun.  And that's what we got.  

I am a mom.  A Catholic.  I raise my kids to the best of my ability.  I try very hard to be nice to everyone, and hope they are nice back to me.  I am friendly, and talkative, and even if we are as different as different can be, I will try and find something we have in common that we can both relate to, and try and build from that.  Not everyone wants to be friends.  Trust me on this.  I have friends of different races and religions.  I have dated boys (years ago) who were white, Cuban, and Jewish.  I've had friends of every race.. and ones who were gay.. straight, and two that were 'bi'.   But they all had the best thing in common.  Good hearts, lovable personalities, and I cared very much about all of them.  Some I am still friends with, and I love them!

People come to my house... and see my organic produce, my beaded jewelry, my long skirts and my Birkenstocks and my reusable green bottle and they assume I am a liberal democrat.  No. I am a crunchy Conservative.   I love the Earth.  I love God.  God has blessed us with such wonderful things here in His world... shouldn't we do our best to take care of them?  Yes, I think we should.   And shame on us if we don't.  I have hugged trees.  And I have hugged babies.  All life is sacred.  That tree is NOT more important than that baby.  ALL LIFE is sacred and important and worth saving.  "All you need is love.".... right?

I know the gay rights thing is going to come up, so let me clear the air on this one right now.  Now I am not asking anyone to agree or to disagree.   This is my blog and my opinion.   You can share my opinion, or not.  That is your choice and even if I don't agree with it, I will respect it.  Here goes.  I do NOT hate gay people.  I have had gay friends.  My daughter has gay friends.  I have a cousin who is gay.  Gay neighbors... a sweetheart of a man I know is gay...  and I love him to pieces!!   Gay rights.  What IS gay rights?  Seriously?   IF you mean that gay people have the right to work and live and pray and worship and live peacefully... well DUH that is a "gimmee".  That's not a "gay" right that is a HUMAN right and we ALL deserve it regardless if you are gay or straight or black or white or purple.  Why would I attack a gay person?  Why attack a Christian??  Why attack a Jew??  Why attack a homeless man??  Why all the hate??  

Why would you attack me for being a Catholic?  I have never, ever bashed or attacked anyone gay.  Come to think of it, I've never (to my knowledge) had any gay person attack me either.  Who I HAVE had attack me is people who know I am conservative and start telling me what they THINK I think/feel/believe.   Gay marriage.  No I am sorry I am against it.  I am NOT against gays.  Not in the least.  But that is one thing I just cannot agree on.   They have the right to be loved, respected, and have happy lives.  Gay people are made in the image of God and DESERVE respect just as any human being does.  I have a "friend" who angrily told me "no one should tell you who you can and cannot love".  DUH.  I DIDN'T SAY THAT.   I love all kinds of people.  I love animals too.  I would hate anyone to tell me who I could not love.  I wouldn't listen... I'd love who I wanted to anyway.  I am not talking about love.  I am talking about marriage which is a Holy Sacrament and a Covenant between an man and a woman AND GOD ...and if this offends you I am sorry...I understand they feel love for another person but any marriage is NOT based on just feelings..  heck I can't change rules to suit myself and no one should be able to redefine things to suit their agenda.  Maybe you don't like that or believe that or maybe you don't even believe in God at all.  But my point is this.  This is MY faith and MY beliefs.  Not all Catholics believe the same.  Not all Conservatives are recycling and reusing and eating organic beans either.  But neither is every liberal.  

NO one.. not you... not me... wants to be 'lumped in' with the few extremists in every group.  Just because I am pro-life does not make me one of those nut cases who bomb abortion clinics and fist fight people.  (Those weirdos belong IN JAIL!)  They give us regular pro-lifers a seriously bad name.  Nope.  I am just peacefully on the sidewalk, praying silently, holding up my sign, and hoping that you change your mind about killing your baby.   Just because I am Southern does not make me a racist.  That is ignorant to even suggest.  A while back I had some nasty mouthed person tell me that the Holy Father (the pope) was the "new Hitler" and I was a "mindless" "sheep" who was incapable of thinking for myself.  Oh, nice.. gee thanks.  Baaahhhh??  Pffft.

Lastly... As a mom, and I am standing in a check out line mentally counting to make sure I (a) got the necessities and (b) getting my coupons in order, and (c) hoping I didn't overspend... the woman in front of me has a nice new "the latest and greatest" cell phone.  (mine is old, cracked, out of date, pay-by-the-month), Hair obviously just had done.  Salon nails.  Name brand nice clothes. One of the 'big label" purses on her arm, and she pulls out a big ol' wad of cash to pay for her alcohol and lottery tickets and a ton of other stuff.. and then uses her food stamp card for the rest.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  I 'shared' my "wealth" so she could do this?   I am living paycheck to paycheck, and haven't had a decent haircut in months, but Miss Thang has her hand out...  oh... sorry.  I guess I am just being a closed minded unaccepting hypocrite again.  I am sorry.. but I resent that.  I resent that my kids do without because of those who abuse the system.  If there is a genuine need, then YES by all means, please do help that family.  I believe in a hand UP not a hand OUT.  But enabling the ones who use the system and just take and take.. I am SICK of it.  It's not right. :(   But that makes 'me' a hypocrite and unloving and a 'rich fatcat' and so forth and so on...  WHATEVER. :(   Give a man a fish, he eats for a day.  Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime..

Rant over.  

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daisy Mae and Abigail

This post is nothing more than me bragging.   We have a yellow Labrador mix, Daisy Mae, whom we have had since we adopted her... this summer she will be, (I am not kidding), 15 years old.  Some creep had dumped the whole litter.  She was the runt.  The only yellow one, and the only female.  Half the size of her brothers, they wouldn't allow her to get any of the food.  When we got her, they literally told us not to bother.  She was starving... ribs showing.  Mange, kennel cough, broken tail.. and barely 8 weeks old, if that.  She should have still been with her Momma.  We adopted her anyway, and took her to the doggie emergency room.  Many dollars, shots, and me carrying her around literally for two months like a newborn baby, in my arms, hand feeding her (again, I am not kidding at all), fresh roasted turkey breast.  She loved it... it was tender, and easy for her to eat.. she loved how juicy it was.  I got it from the deli just for her, a few times a week, enough for a few days.  Hubby complained she was eating better than we were.  LOL Yeah, I know.. but she was a baby and she was sick.   Now Daisy Mae is an old girl, fat and sassy, and spoiled rotten.  Here she is, wanting a cookie. :)  How can anyone say no to this face?



Since Daisy has gotten up in age, we decided to get another dog... FOR Daisy.  A pet for our pet, if you will. :)  Daisy had been my eldest daughter's 4th birthday present.  I decided my youngest daughter needed 'her' own dog too.  Enter, Abigail.



Abigail, ("Abby"), was born on June 12, 2011.  And she was my youngest daughters 11th birthday present.  Yep, another Labrador.   (we like that breed as you can see!) All black, with a white tuxedo.  She was 8 weeks and 1 day old when we got her.  At that age, this was already her third home, I am sad to say.  She was homeless, and unwanted.  She was so adorable and sweet, but large breed dogs are not easy to find homes for... especially if they are not 'full blooded' (neither of our dogs are 'full blooded' but WHO CARES?!)   If you have large breed pups, you can barely find homes for them, and that's just a sad fact.  You cannot GIVE them away.  Look on Craigs list.  Page after page of people trying to find a "good home" for cats and dogs.  So sad...  but I digress....

Abby was just a fluff ball when we got her... so docile.. and the cutest fattest little bugger you ever saw.  We were immediately in love.  She cried the first two nights we had her... it broke my heart.  I almost caved and went and got her and brought her into the bed with us.  Good thing I didn't.  We found out very quickly she not only had worms, but she was covered in ticks.



Long story short, we had to have her wormed, and our house 'bombed' twice to kill them all.  (ticks)...PLUS Daisy had gotten them now too from the puppy... Arrgghh!!   That means we had to not only treat both dogs, but then remove not only ourselves but ALL our pets for a few hours... twice!   Thank the Lord that is all over with now.   Abby has now been spayed.. doggies are pest free.... and you know... I didn't think I'd ever love another dog as much as we have loved Daisy Mae.  But I loooooove me some Abby.   :)  

One thing about Labrador "puppies"... they are HORSES!!!  My "puppy" is now 60 lbs... and is already a fantastic guard dog.  God help us, LOL, she is going to get bigger.  She'll be bigger than Daisy...  but... Daisy was a runt so not as big as most labs.  Abby has had a healthier start in life.. not starved like poor Daisy was.

I don't know how much longer Daisy will be with us.  We will love her until it's time for her to go to "The Rainbow Bridge".  And love her and spoil her and treat her like the queen she is until that time.  Abby is not a 'replacement'.   Abby is our 'younger child'. :)

Abigail will get older, and she'll settle down and stop eating the newspaper and chewing up everything. :)  She'll learn "good doggie" manners, and she is going to be a wonderful, WONDERFUL dog, like our Daisy is.  Funny how different their personalities are.  Daisy is such a gentle sweet girl, who is a huge coward...very timid, very loving... and in her 14 and a half years of life, she has never caught on that she is a big dog.  She thinks she is a tiny little lap dog.  And we have never discouraged her thinking that way. :)  I love my big sweetie girl.

Abigail is a "bull in a china shop", so to speak. :)  A knucklehead.  A ruffian.  Feisty.  Energetic.  A jumper.  And WAY too smart for her own good.

So, this is our Abby... short for Abigail. :)  She's about twice as big now as she is in this picture.  But oh, isn't she PRETTY?!  :)


    

Dreaming....



Dreams

Why do we dream?  Why do we dream the things that we do?  

Funny how you can dream about things that have been on your mind, or something you've not thought of in a really, really long time, but is (obviously) still in your subconscious.  Then there's those nutty, off the wall dreams that look like something out of a Tim Burton film... or at least along those lines..

I have heard about how only 'some' people dream in color... I don't know how true that is.  I certainly do dream in color.  I think it would be ODD to dream in black and white!  Some of mine are quite vivid...  and detailed.  Not always... 

Remember the story of Joseph in the bible... he could interpret dreams.  I am not saying I dream anything 'worth' interpreting.  LOL  (unless someone interprets that I am just a huge freak).  :)   But I do see that there are 'dream books' out there... and again... I don't want to 'assume' anything... I have an (underlying, suspicious type fear), that those are of the occult, and I CERTAINLY don't want any dabbling in that.  (Read: AVOID AT ALL COSTS)   But still... why do we dream what we do?

I hate the dreams that are so horrible and so real that you wake up sobbing, and you can't shake it.   Like... someone in your family dying.  Or dream about someone that you love, or used to love, and when you wake up you can't stop thinking about that person, or that situation.... or that time in your life.   

Dreams can feel so real.  Cinderella sang, "A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you're fast asleep." 
  
Maybe sometimes.

But when I am dreaming that a psychopath is chasing me with an ax, I tend to disagree with her.  
:P tongue

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Some days.....


Some days.....

Some days I like to sleep late, and then lie in bed and watch a funny movie with my hubby.  

Some days I want to twirl in my skirt, and sit on the swings under our silver maple tree, and listen to the birds and the wind chimes while I swing.


Some days, I want to be a fruit-itarian.

Some days, I want to dye streaks of my hair hot pink, and wear my love beads with a pretty skirt, and walk everywhere barefoot.

Some days, (okay, MOST days), I wish I had more children.  Like... ten.  

Some days I want to climb to the top of a tree, and look for birds nests and write poetry.

Some days I want to spend the day sipping tea and creating (attempting) art with oil pastels.

Some days I wish all the windows in my house where made of stained glass, and that the door bell sounded of chimes, and that I had an indoor glass room full of miniature fruit trees, some veggie plants, and lots and lots of succulents.  



Some days I wish that jasmine bloomed year round, and that tea never got cold unless you pour it over ice.


Some days I wish we had a shower in our back garden....large enough for two...with cedar walls, covered with flowering vines... raised stones to step on inside, and a wide bench along one wall... and the sky for the ceiling.

Some days I wish I never had to turn on the air conditioning or the heater... that we could safely leave our windows open all day and all night.... so we could awaken with the song of birds and the morning breeze every morning.. and at night go to sleep with the crickets and the owls... the wind in the trees, and the song of the world at night.


Some days I wish that fruit trees grew wild, everywhere.   Children playing outside could be free to pick one and eat whenever they wished.  The homeless wouldn't ever be hungry, and the sweet scent of blooms and succulent fruit would be ever be in the breeze.  

Some days I wish there were no fences; no walls... and that people and animals alike had freedom to roam as they wished safely without fear of harm or danger.

Some days I wish I were tiny enough to ride the backs of a bumblebee, or a dragonfly, or even a butterfly.... and could nap inside a flower.


And Some Days, I remember that in the grand scheme of things I really *am* tiny...  a drop in the ocean... a speck of sand on the beach... a speck of dust in a breeze...   I am but one small voice in the world.   But even the smallest voice can sing a song.  And a song can change the world.