Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Monday, December 29, 2008

N.E. Patriots

We're out. And I had hopes that we might win the Superbowl. Considering the injuries we sustained, Coach Belichick did a fabulous job. He probably should get "Coach of the Year" for the job he did. We won 5 of the last 6 games. And we're the first NFL team with an 11-5 record to miss the playoffs since Denver in 1985. What a shame. I think we could have proved everyone how much depth we have. But our chance is over, because the Jets couldn't pull a win last night. sigh.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Don'tcha just love world peace?

Today at a the gym I witnessed two old men greeting each other,
"Happy Hannakuh"
"Merry Christmas"

I got all warm and fuzzy inside. Don'tcha just love world peace?

That reminds me of a line from Family Guy that had me cracking up. Peter said,"I guess the lesson here is that it really doesn't matter where you're from. As long as we're all the same religion".

Friday, December 26, 2008

A wonderful Christmas

We had a lovely Christmas. I hope you did too. We did something different this year and it was pretty successful. I called it "Three days of Christmas". Christmas eve we spent with my husbands family- spending the night there. Then Christmas day we went to my family. And then we waited til the next day to have "our" Christmas. It went well. I didn't want to try to squeeze it all in and get stressed out.

The two funny stories from this year were: the nice Adidas outfit Timmy bought me. It was just a little too small. We debated returning it. Finally we decided we should. Though it was discouraging to me that I was returning a size X-Large because it was too small. But then it occurred to me, "Honey, did you buy this in the juniors department". My husband said that he must have. But it got even better than that. When we got to the store, it wasn't just the juniors department. He got it from the KID'S section!!! :) Yeay. I'm not that fat after all.

The second story is that we did a Yankee Swap for the first time with my in-laws. They're all big gamblers. (roll eyes). So, in a not-so-surprising, but absolutely hilarious turn of events, eight of the eleven gifts exchanged were scratch tickets. (roll eyes again). I picked one of the real gifts given- the DVD "Wall-e". The other cool thing was that I had a "feeling" about one of the scratch tickets (which is very unusual for me). So I told Timmy which one to pick and my feeling was right. We won forty five dollars. (shrug shoulders). Maybe it was coincidence. But I always felt that I am sensitive to the spiritual world.


Friday, December 19, 2008

A Father's Love

God designed us to need our (human) father's love. It probably serves as a symbolism for our need for our heavenly father's love, as well as a biological need for protection.

My heart breaks for my husband whose father has never really loved him. He beat him as a child and hung him upside down from the ceiling for hours, threw him in a hot stove- or something like that, I don't want to ask him to clarify and remind him. Timmy doesn't talk about it much. There are six kids in that family. And my father in law feels some sort of rivalry with his first born son- Timmy. So he is the only child who is treated this way. But what really hurts him now, is the love that he still denies him. How can someone want the love of a person like that?! The only answer to me is that deep rooted, God given need. As an adult the physical abuse is over, but there is no affection. He acts petty. Jealous. Mean. And my husband would give anything for a hint of approval. Love. Respect.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lost coin purse

I lost $100 with my license in the Walmart parking lot. Nobody returns things to their owner any more?? What the heck!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An ice storm and a metaphor

An ice storm blasted Eastern Massachusetts this week. Downed trees took out power lines all over. Tens of thousands of people lost power for days. And with the bitter cold, it was more than just "inconvenient". We lost power for two days. So did my brother and wife and my cousins lost power for three days. We all ended up at my parents house for some time. There are some who still don't have power.

What was really surreal to me was how one neighborhood had no electricity and the next neighborhood went on living life like nothing was different. There were pitch black houses right next to houses lit to the roof with Christmas lights. There were people in living in bitter cold right next to people shopping for Christmas presents. I'm not saying we are a cold hearted society. Certainly everyone who knew someone affected offered their help. But... a lot of people don't know each other any more.

And more than that, I really saw it as a metaphor for life. What a strange thing life is. That one person can be suffering right next to someone who is blessed and full of joy. It's so random. It seems. It doesn't seem right. It doesn't seem fair. Why? God. Why?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Nursing: the family business?

You know how, in the good ole days everyone learned a trade from their father and then, maybe joined the family business? Well, I think there were some real benefits to that. We are lucky to live in an era with so much freedom of choice, but I think we've reached the point where it's become more of a negative than a positive. Without a natural career track to follow, there is too much opportunity to flounder, to not know what to do, to pursue random tracks and waste money in college. Yup. I said that. My generation was totally hoodwinked into borrowing tens of thousands of dollars for college and being trapped into a life of debt with those loans. Add to that the fact that a college degree no longer guarantees a decent paying job... and you've got a recipe for disaster.

Since health care is turning out to be a super safe job in this economy, I've been thinking that I should train all my kids to become nurses right out of high-school. If there's something else they want to do, then, by all means, they are free to. But at least this way, they all have a back up plan or at least an in between job when they're getting their careers up and running.

So I've started teaching them nursing knowledge whenever it is relevant to make the transition to nursing school easier. Like, yesterday we were playing with a pH kit, testing liquids and turning them more acidic and more basic. I concluded the "lesson" by informing them that the body maintains an optimal pH through urinating and breathing, among other things. :) Then today I started teaching them the names of all the major bones in the body. And the other day I mentioned that the medical term for peeing is "voiding". See? A little of this every day and they'll all wiz through nursing school and have a fabulous back up career- or if they want to go on to be surgeons that'd be cool too.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Language barrier or just rude?

The headline in today's local paper is "Language Barrier led to stabbing". A lot of the coverage of this stabbing was about what a nice family man this victim was. No one has mentioned that he was kind of a jerk to all the customers. I think it's dumb the way our society sugar coats the lives of the recently deceased. Maybe if reporters told a more well rounded story than people will think twice about being rude to strangers. Not that he deserved to die. But to imply that this murder was over a language barrier or prejudice just isn't true. They're saying this because the murderer reportedly said, " "You don't even speak English." But have you ever heard the study that says that only 7% of communication is done via words? Rodriguez understood exactly what the victim was trying to tell him when he lost his temper and stabbed him. It's a sad sad situation all around. But let's do some better reporting, reporters.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Free Market Fantasies

I just finished another groundbreaking book called High Wire: The Precarious Financial Lives of American Families. This is a must read!!

It explains America's financial crisis- and not just the precipitous stock market or housing market. It explains how Americans are being forced to take much more risk than ever before. Families are being given the risk that government and businesses used to shoulder. It's not a bunch of generalizations either. It's filled with specific examples of how we've unknowingly taken the burden of risk- in housing, healthcare, insurance, retirement, education. It's just... startling.

For 200 years our country functioned on the premise that we have an obligation to our fellow human beings. And that shared risk encourages capitalism. For instance, Ben Franklin invented fire insurance. And the Mayflower Compact was an agreement "for the general good of the colony". But since the 1970's we've been slowly stripped of our safety nets. Safety nets like pensions and laws that protect the public from corporate greed. Pooled risk is an integral part of the American Dream and it's all but disappeared.

Thank you, Peter Gosselin, for bringing this to our attention.

(Here is another person's perspective on the book).

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Monday, December 01, 2008

A jaw dropping anecdote

I read this story in a book and had to share it with you.

David Duke rose to the Ku Klux Klan's highest post, Grand Wizard in 1975... One of his more surprising actions as Klansman was to write a book called "African Atto" under the pseudonym Mohammad X. He sold it by mail order, taking out ads in the black newspapers with the heading: When was the last time Whitey called you N*****? The book was a martial arts manual. Duke told people that it's real purpose was to compile the names and addresses of the blacks who ordered it- for Ku Klux Klan records.
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