This may be the shortest post I’ve ever written. I just want all of you, my good and faithful readers, to watch this video.
There may be hope for the human race after all.
This may be the shortest post I’ve ever written. I just want all of you, my good and faithful readers, to watch this video.
There may be hope for the human race after all.
My face itches.
I don’t know how many things you read that start with that statement, but there it is.
Some time back, I wrote a post about our new house, and I mentioned very briefly about how the yard was somewhat overgrown. That may have been an understatement. Apparently the previous owners of the place were trying to reestablish some natural wildlife habitat or something, although I have no idea what sort of wildlife could inhabit thirty foot vines and inch-long, flesh ripping thorns. Bigfoot, maybe. You know, since he has all that thick fur.
Anyway, we’ve been working to clear away the jungle that is our yard. It’s hard, hot, dirty work. But we are just doing some every chance we get. Hopefully it will all be done some time before my grandchildren inherit the place. (No bitterness, really.)
I tend to be somewhat accident prone, so I was pleased that at the close of business yesterday I was still unharmed. A few scratches, but nothing to sweat over.
Then I brushed my teeth.
As I was watching myself brush my teeth in the mirror (why do we do that?), I noticed an odd little puffy place under my left eye. I thought maybe it was a mosquito bite or something. It wasn’t.
I have poison ivy on my face. On my FACE! ON MY FACE!
It has slowly spread all day long, first all around my eye, then down my cheek onto my jaw, on the side of my nose, up over my eyebrow, and even a little in my left ear. Here’s a little fun fact for you about poison ivy, in case you didn’t know. It itches. A lot.
Some might think having poison ivy on the south end may be worse, but at this point I’m not so sure. Right now, my whole life is revolving around the fact that my faces itches. Seriously, I’m only writing this post to distract my hands from digging my face. Oh! And I just LOVE when people tell me, “The worst thing you can do is scratch it!” Really? I mean, this seems to me about the same as standing and watching something burst into flames and then saying, “The worst thing you can do is put some water on that.”
I tried to explain to my husband the science behind my itchy face. You see, when a foreign substance gets on your body (for instance, your face), your body produces a chemical known as a histamine. A histamine is a hateful little chemical that sends a signal to your brain that says, “Your face itches!” This triggers a response from you to scratch your face. The histamines hope that, by scratching, you can remove the foreign substance from your body.
My husband gave me a very sour look and made a rude remark. Obviously, you can’t discuss science with lay people.
So anyway, here I am, with my itchy face, trying not to think about my itchy face. Or that it itches. My face, I mean. You know, because it’s itchy.
The only solution so far has been to take a Benadryl. Even now, as I’m typing, my brain is shutting down. If the zombie apocalypse happens, I guarantee Benadryl will be behind it. I don’t know if it stops the itching, or if it is just that unconscious people can’t scratch.
Well, I guess I should quit before I fall right over on the keyboard. Plus, I think I can hear those histamines again.
Greetings! I missed you!
If you have never given yourself a vacation from Facebook and other various digital distractions, I highly recommend it.
I had many adventures during Lent. Well, okay, maybe that’s overstating it. Mostly, I had all of my normal adventures. You know, like laundry and dishes and cleaning and all that fun stuff.
However, I do have one noteworthy experience to share. I got to see how the other half lives.
Uncomfortably. That’s how they live.
My husband and I got to spend a weekend at a very exclusive resort (paid for by my husband’s employer–duh.) Now, in case you didn’t know this about me, exclusive resorts aren’t my usual hangout. Even in Hawaii, I managed to find a Best Western for $89 a night. The closest thing I’ve ever come to a “resort” are the resort state parks we have here in WV. And what that means is that the park has a lodge and a golf course. Really.
Anyway, I was excited at first, because obviously we would never have the opportunity to stay at a place like this on our own. Then my husband forwarded an email to me which germinated a seed of doubt.
It was a dress code.
Now, I appreciate appropriate dress. I think people’s body parts should be covered in a modest fashion with clean items that fit properly. I learned, however, that there is a whole universe of phrases like business casual, evening attire, business formal, evening business formal attire, business afternoon casual formal, and sort of dressy but still business professional.
So you see why I was worried.
The seed of doubt sprouted into full-blown panic when I read the following actual statement from the resort’s dress code: “Denim is welcome in the resort for horseback riding and other outdoor activities.” Subtlety is not lost on me, and I can read between those lines. In case you missed it, that means “no jeans allowed.”
What I was expected to wear during my daily ramblings was something called “resort casual.” I had no idea what that meant. I subsequently discovered that it means “really uncomfortable shoes.”
I wear jeans everywhere. I love jeans. Also, I love slip-on, scuffed, wide-toed shoes. My idea of looking “nice” is wearing darker jeans and a tee-shirt that doesn’t advertise an alcoholic beverage. I don’t own a pair of khakis or a belt. I think I may have a button down shirt hanging in the closet, but I have no idea if it even fits. Cotton is the primary fabric in most of my clothing.
So you can imagine how well I blended in with the resort casual crowd. I staggered around on my dress boots (usually reserved for funerals) praying that I could make it back to the room before my ankles gave out. The whole time I felt like I had a sign floating over my head that said, “This woman buys her underwear at Walmart.” In fact, I think that should be the name of my dress code: Walmart Casual. Pajama pants welcome.
For all of that, I did have a good time. Matt’s colleagues are nice people, and free wine is enough to make any time a good one in my book. But I was continually fascinated by the thought that there are people who live that fancy, resort casual life all the time. I could pick them out, walking along expertly in their heels and silk scarves and shawls (yes, apparently shawls are back. Who knew?) I even saw a woman in a fancy poncho. They are resort casual all the time. They must have really strong ankles.
The room was nice, although, between you and me, I think the big price tag had more to do with the location than the actual room itself. It did have a nice big closet, and we actually had turn-down service. (Apparently rich people have trouble getting the comforter and sheet folded down just so.) Everyone was super accommodating–I had my first ever bell-hop. There was even a fuzzy robe provided for lounging around the room. But I didn’t use it.
I lounged around in my jeans.
I will be temporarily stepping away from my blog. I gave up Facebook for Lent, and it feels so good I’m going to give the old blog here a few weeks to chill out as well. I will be back in full force after Easter, so be ready!
Happy Easter to all of you, dear readers, and don’t forget about me!
I’m getting ready to break one of my own blogging rules. I’m going to talk about one of the three forbidden (by me, anyway) topics. I feel like maybe I should put some sort of disclaimer on here, but the fact is I believe wholeheartedly the things I’m getting ready to say, and I’m not going to start by offering conditions or exceptions to keep from offending someone.
I’m going to talk about abortion, and why I am against it.
Now, one of the reasons I don’t like talking about abortion is that it’s a very frustrating subject to talk about. Why? Because as soon as I said I was against abortion, BAM!, many of you slapped a label on me. You immediately assumed many things about me that, in reality, may or may not be true. You probably assumed that because I am against abortion, you know how I feel and think about everything. You probably called me a conservative, and you probably accused me of being in a “war on women.”
Let me start by saying I absolutely am NOT in a war on ANYBODY, and especially not women. I am, in fact, a woman myself. (Who knew, right?) I love women’s rights. I believe in equal pay for equal work, equal educational opportunities, whatever. In fact, I truly believe that ALL people should have equal opportunities, just like those PC disclaimers say on job applications. You know, “regardless of gender, race, religion,” etc. I consider myself a very open-minded person, but sometimes I think you SHOULDN’T be open-minded. In fact, when you know something is wrong, it’s okay to be close-minded. I can be open-minded about having equal rights, because having equal rights is not wrong.
What I don’t understand is why we, as a culture, think that a woman having equal rights means she has the “right” to have an abortion.
There is really only one major reason I oppose abortion, but I’ll get to that in a minute. For now, I’ll give you the minor reasons. For starters, if you believe in God, can you honestly say He would support abortion? This usually brings up the argument of when life begins, and therein lies one of my biggest complaints about the pro-choice argument. Consider the following: if I was 26 weeks pregnant, and my baby died of natural causes, it would be a family tragedy. The baby would be delivered with the utmost reverence and sensitivity. There would be a funeral, and for the rest of my life I would speak of my deceased child.
Now, let’s look at this scenario in a different way. Let’s say I decided to have an abortion at 26 weeks. The baby would be aborted, and tossed out like a ball of used paper. That’s it. It’s over.
So it logically follows that, based on this example, it is the choice of the mother which decides whether the baby is, in fact, a living human or not. This is quite a power given to mothers! In fact, we are almost deifying women, because ultimately they are deciding if this baby is worthy of life or not! I can’t go along with this. It makes no sense. We can’t have it both ways. Be honest with yourself. Is it a baby or not?
Another example for you to consider: if someone kills a pregnant woman, and the baby dies, too, our judicial system will charge the killer with TWO counts of murder.
This is why the pro-choice movement is lost on me.
Every single pro-choice person I have ever spoken to is so versed in political bullshit that it is frightening. They start in on how it is impossible to legislate, and how pregnant women would have to register their pregnancies or some kind of crap like that. They want to argue with you about contraception and sex education. Smoke and mirrors, people. That’s all. Abortion is not a political issue. It is a moral one.
And there is another problem. People say you can’t impose your morals on others. Okay. Let’s talk about that. What is ANY law but the imposition of the morals of others on the citizenry at large? Marijuana is illegal, right? It’s illegal to smoke it, grow it, and sell it. However, there is a whole population of people who feel like this is ridiculous. It’s my body–if I want to light one up, why is that anyone’s business? Right? The only difference is that the “legalize it” group doesn’t really have time to organize big demonstrations or anything. They are all at the 7-11 buying pop-tarts.
But I digress.
My point was we all live by laws that are based on a certain moral code. We all know you shouldn’t kill others, or cause them harm in any way. So how can we exempt our most innocent from this basic right? Don’t believe in God? Fine. Forget the “moral” aspect of it. Let’s talk science. A woman’s body, from top to bottom and all the way around, is designed for one purpose–to conceive, give birth to, and subsequently nurture offspring. Sorry if that upsets you. Blame millions of years of evolution. Or God. Or whatever force to which you attribute creation. We are the only species who systematically destroys our own young as a matter of convenience. The survival of any species hangs on the raising of its offspring. Didn’t any of you ever watch “Wild Kingdom?”
By the way, please, please PLEASE don’t insult my intelligence or yours by saying “What about rape and incest?” Look up the statistics of abortion and tell me what percentage of abortions are performed for those reasons. Let me know what you find out.
Also, I’m not going to address people who think it’s okay for a woman to get an abortion because she finds out she is carrying a “defective” baby. I have no use for this argument, and if someone believes this, I don’t want to talk to them, I don’t want to see them, and hopefully they won’t ever bother reading this blog again.
To make this a little shorter, I think we are on a dangerous, slippery slope. We think we are qualified to choose who gets to live and who gets to die. And what’s worse, we have allowed ourselves to be numbed to the horror of abortion by years of political language and media distraction. We are inoculated against reality by phrases like “reproductive choice” and “the war on women.” The truth, though, is that abortion is ugly. It’s barbaric. Look up partial birth abortions, which are perfectly legal in this country. They aren’t common, it’s true, but they are still legal. I won’t put the graphic pictures on here that show what abortion looks like. It makes people angry, and disgusted. It’s upsetting.
As it should be.
So here it is, after everything else I’ve said, the real reason I’m against abortion: it is murder. Period. Life begins at conception. If not, when does it begin? At birth? Well, then we go back to that previous scenario I described. And since I believe life begins at conception, I have to believe that the purposeful and willful stopping of that life is murder. That is the most basic definition of what murder is–the destruction of life.
Don’t kid yourself. The 55 million babies that have been aborted since Roe versus Wade were alive. Way back in the beginning of my first pregnancy, I remember laying on the little table and listening to that thumpathumpathumpathumpathumpa that was my son’s heartbeat. Make no mistake–that was my son in there. The same one who is sitting over on the couch now, eating lunch. The one with the coarse, curly hair and the gap between his front teeth. That was him. And if I had “chosen” not to have him, if I had “chosen” to get an abortion, it would have been no different than if I pointed a gun at his head right now and pulled the trigger.
Look at your own child–it’s the same. Your spouse, partner, best friend, mom, dad–all of them, they all started just the same.
To those of you who don’t support abortion, but who feel like you shouldn’t tell others what to do, I would offer you this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., from his Letter from Birmingham Jail:
“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
And this one:
“More and more I feel that people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will.”
For me, it all boils down to one thing. Thirty six years ago, my mother was pregnant. She was fifteen when she found out. Abortion was legal. She could have done that. She could have finished school, went on to who knows what. Instead, she quit school and got married. She ended up divorced. But still, she chose life. She chose me. That’s not all–the notion that our choices affect only us is self-centered and absurd. Her choice has trickled down through the years, right up to this very moment.
I’m so glad the choice she made was the right one.
********I welcome and enjoy discussion and even debate. But to all you trolls and antagonists, don’t waste your time and mine.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about people, and how they think, and what they think about others.
I’ve also been thinking about the short bus.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reminded that being told you “ride the short bus” is an insult. It means you are stupid or crazy. But my daughter rides the short bus, and my sister always rode the short bus, and neither one of them is stupid or crazy.
So I started thinking, as I was standing outside and waiting on the aforementioned short bus with my daughter, that riding that diminutive mode of transportation is awesome. Way more awesome than, say, riding a regular bus. As proof, I have compiled a highly scientific and accurate list of reasons why the short bus is the coolest bus in the fleet.
See, riding the short bus isn’t so bad. It doesn’t make you stupid, or crazy. You won’t catch a disease from riding it. In fact, I’d take the short bus any day. I’d climb on, and sit in the back, and as we passed the regular bus, I’d hold up a sign:
SEE YOU LATER, LOSERS!
The cogs are slipping.
I read that expression in a Stephen King book once before, about how somebody was starting to lose his or her mind, and King said that the cogs of reality were wearing down and starting to slip. It was a neat expression (and visual image) that stuck with me. I always sort of thought it was cool.
Now that my own cogs are starting to slip, it’s not so cool anymore. See, I’m not sleeping very well. This happens to me sometimes. It seems like every couple of years my internal clock starts slipping its cogs (See? Neat expression!) and I start having insomnia.
I read once that some enormous percentage of the population suffers from insomnia. So, in reality, it isn’t that big of a deal.
Unless it’s me.
Or you live with me.
See, not sleeping starts to do things to me after a while. My usually sunshine-y personality dims. (Hey, it’s my blog, okay? I can make any claim I want.) I start to have a rather dark view of life in general. I grouch, even though I know I’m doing it and I hate it and I try not to do it. In short, I start to feel a little crazy.
Not this kind of crazy,
but more like this kind of crazy:
While people are talking to me, I’m having uncharitable thoughts toward them. I’m not even going to talk about the people I have to encounter out in public.
I also start to lose my motivation. House needs dusting? Who cares. Laundry piling up? Oh well. Dinner needs cooked? Big deal. I guess my give-a-damn runs on sleep, and it’s all out. People seem especially whiny to me. (How ironic, since this whole entire post is basically one, big, protracted whine-fest.) I have to squash the voice in my head that is screaming “I don’t care!” when people are telling me terrible things about their lives.
I also think my decision-making is hampered. My son could come in and ask for my permission to take the van out the road for a spin, and I’d be like, “Sure, that seems like a good idea.” Or it might be the opposite, like he might ask for my permission to, oh, I don’t know, eat, and I’d be like “Why? Why do you need to that? Do you need to do it right now?”
So you see.
So, if I grouch at you (worse than usual) or seem unresponsive, I’m sorry. Right now I need to go.
I’m craving fava beans.
First of all, allow me to warn you that this is not so much a blog post as a public service announcement. What can I say? I live to help others.
I got a new puppy a couple of months back. Living with The Grandparents as I did for almost ten years, it wasn’t really appropriate for me to get a larger dog and bring into their house. I already had (and still have) a small, old dog. So I didn’t want to push my luck. Anyway, my point was, as soon as we moved into our own place, I got a puppy. His name is Jack.
This post isn’t about him, though. It’s about dogs in general.
I love dogs. I am a dog person, for sure. Always have been. I’m not an overly demonstrative person, but I get very attached to my canine companions. Also, I try to do what’s right for them. I always try to make sure they have the proper activities and vet care and such. Following this same train of thought (if you can) I take Jack for a walk every day around the neighborhood. We do a couple of miles every day.
Allow me a brief digression. We are Cesar Millan disciples around here. We believe and practice his methods to the very best of our ability. I walk Jack because he needs daily exercise to keep him calm and easy going. He hasn’t chewed up the first thing in my house, he is housebroken, and although we are still working on properly greeting people at the door, he is overall fairly relaxed. Hail Cesar!
Back to my original point (which I hadn’t made yet). When I walk Jack, I carry a stick, pepper spray, and a pellet pistol. Why?
Because of the dogs.
At The Grandmother’s house, there were almost never any loose dogs. I think the main reason was that the main highway went right in front of the house, and that’s not the best environment for a wandering dog.
Here, though, is a one lane country road, and there are lots of dogs. Loose dogs.
We can’t really walk in one direction of our loop road, because there’s about ten dogs running around up there. The other direction of the loop goes just a few dozen yards then runs into the main highway, so forget that. So, naturally, we walk out the one lane road that follows the creek up the hollow for a couple of miles. It’s a lovely walk.
Except for the dogs.
It’s very frustrating. None of my family will walk with me because of the loose dogs that stalk you as you walk. My husband will, but he doesn’t get in until almost dark, and if you’ve read my posts in the past, you know I don’t do dark. So anyway, I’m on my own. My son will go sometimes, and he tries not to be nervous about it, but I know he is. There is one dog in particular who is very aggressive, and my son and Jack sort of cower behind me while I stand her down. Everyone tells me she is just a “teddy bear,” and I’ve seen her being friendly with her owners and with one of her neighbors, and I’ve even tried talking to her and getting her to calm down and come on over and have a sniff, but she’s not having it. Some days she just stands on the porch and barks, but she has actually charged us across the road, and once I even had to poke her with my stick because she got too close. I’m not afraid of dogs, but she is a very big dog, and I sure as hell don’t want to have to get into it with her.
Luckily, I’m a bigger bitch even than she. (I thought I’d say it before you did.)
There are other dogs on our walk, but mostly they just bark. Barking doesn’t bother me. I think most people out in the country have their dogs because they want to be alerted when things are amiss. Fine. But at some point, you have to take responsibility for your pet. I know of local neighborhoods where people have actually been bitten, and kids had to stop riding their bikes on certain public roads because of loose dogs.
Then here’s when it gets ugly–something bad happens, and a dog turns up missing or gets shot. I can’t stand that. I’m not sure under what circumstances I could ever shoot a dog. I love dogs, remember? But then I start thinking. My daughter has this really cool tricycle that she absolutely loves to ride, and I’ve been so excited for her to ride it this summer. The walk out our creek here is reasonably flat, and she could go pretty well.
But what if my nemesis charges my little disabled daughter on her little bike as she rides by? Evelyn is afraid of strange big dogs, and I don’t know how she would react if one came snarling and barking at her. I don’t know how I would react.
I know how my husband says he’s going to react.
Then there’s trouble. You put up with crap and put up with it, then when you finally do something, you’re the dirty dog (pun absolutely intended.) As an example, The Grandparents have these neighbors who used to keep three Siberian Huskies in an eight by ten cage. They never took them out, ever. They dumped the food and water over the top of the cage. The water bowl looked like a frog pond. The mountain of dog shit was literally three feet high, and that is not an exaggeration. The smell was horrific. On humid evenings, you couldn’t even tolerate sitting on the back porch at The Grandparent’s because of the stench. So, finally, The Grandmother called the humane society, and they came and took the one remaining dog (the other two had died.)
Can you guess what happened? The neighbors told everyone what awful people The Grandparents were, and how they had picked on them, blah blah blah. The worst part was that everyone in the neighborhood had complained about it for years, but no one would dare do anything. Then, to top it off, the owners just knocked down Mount Turdious, paid a fine, and then brought the dog right back and put him right back in there again!
The point of my story is that, no matter what, I’m going to end up as the bad guy here. There is no happy ending. Something bad will have to happen, then more bad things will happen. Just a cycle of badness. I want to be friends with all of my neighbors. I don’t even care if their dog come around here. A neighbor up on the hill has an extremely fat yellow lab that waddles around sometimes and says hello. She’s a panting, whole-butt-wagging type of dog. But I also had to chase away two black dogs the other day, because one of them charged at my dad while he was here visiting. What do you do? What’s the answer?
There is no answer. Just the cycle of badness.
I listen to talk radio occasionally, and recently I heard a neat little segment. The name of the bit was called “Random Thankfulness,” and people called in and told about the little things in their lives that they were thankful for.
Now, we hear lots and lots about thankfulness, especially around this time of year. We are all thankful for our families and our friends and our homes and all of the things we are blessed to have.
But what about the little things?
These are the things that might sound a little odd in an expression of thankfulness, but are important just the same. So, in the spirit of the holidays, I thought I would provide you with a few of my favorites.
It’s a silly list, I know, but fun, and in all seriousness, these things make my life a little better and a little brighter.
So, fill in the comments–what little things are you thankful for?
****To my readers: I am thankful for all of you, too! Thanks for reading and sharing. I hope you can find tons of things in your life to be thankful for. Merry Christmas, happy Holidays, and happy New Year to you all!
You know, because I bite it a lot.
I’m a very opinionated person. This is not a shocking secret by any means. In fact, many people who know me have made the comment that I just say whatever pops into my mind.
If I said everything that popped into my mind, I’d be a lonely gal. No friends, ostracized family–you get the picture.
When I was younger, I had the narcissistic notion that everyone needed to hear my opinion. I don’t know what it is–is it arrogance? I don’t consider myself an arrogant person, but for some reason, it seems to fit. No matter what subject came up, I had to express my opinion. Politics, religion, local issues, family problems, you name it.
Times have changed, and so have I.
Now, let’s not get carried away. I am still a very opinionated person. Like I’ve said before, I have strong opinions about almost everything. Some things I will still climb up on my soapbox for–education, for example. I use this blog to vent a lot of my opinions, so they don’t back up on me and cause some sort of emotion explosion.
But here’s the thing–even though I am entitled to my opinions, just like you are, that doesn’t give me license to dump them on any one, any time. I’m not a profound person. The most profound thought I’m likely to come up with will probably have something to do with laundry. But my son and I were having a conversation the other day, and out of the blue I made the following statement: “People are more concerned about being right than doing right.” My son said, “Wow, deep thought, Mom.”
And it was. It is.
We love to share our opinion. Our whole society is based on the freedom of speech, and I love freedom of speech. But that doesn’t give us the right to trample others. Sometimes, you sit there, and someone is talking about something, and all you can think is, “What an idiot!” Why can’t it stop there? Fine, you don’t agree with them, and you might even think they are totally ignorant for thinking the way they do, but is it worth it to argue with them? What are you going to gain? What is it worth to you just to express your opinion? If you are in front of Congress, fine, but is arguing with your mom or dad or your friends really going to make a difference?
It’s easy to get on a soap box. Trust me, I know. It’s easy to tell people your opinion. It’s not so easy to shut up and put up. If I think education needs reformed, then instead of putting it on this blog, or posting passive/aggressive Facebook rants, I should do something about it. Go to board meetings, write letters, whatever. That’s just one example. I don’t know what it is that is important to you, but why not become an activist instead of a publicist? Try living your opinions–that’s the best to show people what they are. And when you are faced with the idiot that tries to get you to argue?
Gargling with salt water will help that sore tongue.