Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday

Thirteen years ago God gave us a incredibly energetic, fiercely loving, sometimes excessively happy blond miracle.

I have learned in the past thirteen years that I with God’s help am capable of far more than I ever thought possible. Firstly dealing with the challenges that come with parenting a disabled child. I never thought I could be as strong as you have needed me to be. Secondly, I never thought I had the capacity for leadership and guidance that you have needed of me. And thirdly, I would have never dreamed that I was capable of loving another person as much as I love you. Before I became your Mom, I heard the quote. “loving a child is like going around for the rest of your life with your heart on the outside of your body” I know what that person felt, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Happy Birthday Dear One. May God always keep you in His loving care.
Love Mama

Friday, January 22, 2010

How Dumb Can People Get?

The whole family has been sick for the last two weeks. MB took BB to the doctor in a blizzard because he has asthma, and was having chest pain and difficulty breathing. We couldn't see his regular doctor on short notice, so we settled for a sub. He said, "It's just a cold." and sent him home. Two weeks later, none of us were showing any signs of getting any better, and BB had been running a 101-102 fever most of that time. So we called and made another appointment. We waited an extra day so his regular doctor could see him. She diagnosed sinus infections in both boys, and put them on antibiotics. MB was already on antibiotics for a sinus infection.

So I took the boys home and left them with MB while I went to get their prescriptions filled, and pick up a few things from Piggly Wiggly. I groaned inwardly when I saw the newspaper guy in the entry. Several times a year, they send him around to each grocery store in the area to give out free papers and try to get people to subscribe. Now, the Universal Amalgamated Journal Sentinel Tribune Post Dispatch News-Free Press Sun Chronicle Daily Planet Democrat Observer is no worse than most city newspapers, but it's no better. Its main advantage over the nothing-but-advertising paper (that's free at every grocery store and delivered to every residence in town whether you want it or not, and continues coming even if you call the secret number and ask them to stop--even death will not end your subscription) is that it's thicker. Of course, it costs money, and if you have a lot of packing or painting to do, you can just pick up more copies of the free paper.

I don't buy the paper, and I don't even read it when it's free, but GL is like a pack rat on steroids. He doesn't read it either, but he collects every scrap of newsprint that makes it through the door, and reacts violently to the merest suggestion of thinning his collection by even the smallest slip of cellulose. The only way to keep the house from exploding is by occasionally sneaking small quantities out in the dead of night. The following morning, he'll have a screaming fit that we are "throwing away all his stuff."

I resolved not to take a free paper from the man because then I would feel obligated to listen to his sales pitch, wasting his time and mine. Of course, he asked some sneaky question, masqueraded as small talk (which I also despise, but politeness obliges me to answer) and before I knew it, I'd accepted the paper, and felt obligated to let him finish his pitch before saying, "No, thank you." There must be a genetic defect that keeps certain people from refusing anything, no matter how much they don't want it, so long as it's free. I think that trait runs in my family. I brought the paper home (my second mistake) and handed it to MB with instructions not to let GL have it. She of course immediately turned to the Funnies. When she finished, I took a quick look. (my third mistake)

It was pretty much what I expected. Mindless cheerleading for Obama, without even the pretense of neutrality. Hand-wringing that, now that a new Republican senator has been elected, the Democrats may actually have to negotiate with the Republicans when selling out the Constitution, the Treasury, and the People of the United States. Of course now that they can negotiate better terms (better for their own selfish interests, that is) the Republicans will be happy to make the sale. I can get the same sad stories on Yahoo for free. Off-the-wall recipes from over-priced restaurants and bars. I'm not a vodka drinker, but as beverages go, I hate tomato juice even more. Even if I did like Bloody Marys, I fail to see how piling a chef's salad on top of one could improve the drink or the salad. Maybe MB had the right idea. I turned to the Comics.

I think the Comics peaked as an art form when I was about ten, if not before. You may speculate that this observation has more to do with a juvenile sense of humor than with changes in the Comics, but I still have a juvenile sense of humor--just ask Mama Bear. The Funnies used to be funny, but the good comics either turned serious, and lost the ability to tell a good story OR be funny, or were dropped one by one, and replaced by comics that are supposed to be funny and aren't. With the notable exception of Calvin and Hobbes, which Bill Watterson chose to end, most comics introduced in the last thirty years stink, or faded from their early glory, and the older comics are just shadows of their former selves. I found myself laughing at the comics today. More amazingly, I found myself laughing at more strips than not. My fever must be higher than I thought.

Besides the colossal daily failure of the Funnies, there is another reason not to look at the Funny Pages. A deep, dark, secret reason. A temptation to indulge a scandalous weakness. My eyes are drawn to Dear Abby like a forty-car pileup. I know I won't see anything edifying--all the most interesting bits are covered or quickly removed, and seeing them would only disgust me anyway, and yet, I can't look away. I know why they continue to run the column. Everyone, from the smartest person you ever met to the dumbest, likes seeing an even dumber person demonstrate his or her stupidity. Although most of us give the appearance of feeling secure in our intelligence, the mind has at least one screen devoted to replaying our dumbest moments continuously, and seeing someone do something even dumber makes us feel, illogically, a little smarter than we did before. I don't know if there ever was a Dear Abby with a shred of common sense, but the last two Dear Abbys have filled the "someone dumber" role admirably. And it gets better. Like Ask Laskas, (Reader's Digest, once a great magazine, has proceded down the alimentary canal since Chris Wilcox took over. The current editors have continued the process of digestion far enough that it's time to flush.) Dear Abby usually takes only the easiest questions, and usually gets even those embarrassingly wrong. But--and here's the juicy part--people are dumb enough to continue to ask her for advice! Today's column included a letter from a couple who had an argument over whether lightbulbs screw in clockwise or counterclockwise. Rather than try it and find out, Ms. Counter-Clockwise wrote to Dear Abby to see who was correct! I'm surprised anyone that dumb can even read or write!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

What does this sign say?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Propaganda in Children's Literature

GL has discovered the "Bright and Early Books for Beginning Beginners" series, and is tearing through the library's entire collection. They're light, humorous, and mostly harmless, although I'd just as soon skip those pious propagandists of feminism, Stan and Jan Berenstain. There are two varieties of feminism, "women are as good as men" (but, as Dorothy Sayers asked, "At what?") and "men are scum." Both are represented in these books, but the majority lean toward the second variety, constantly preaching that Papa Bear is a fool, while Mama Bear knows everything, and even the cubs are both smarter than Papa. Yesterday he read He Bear She Bear (sic). This one leans more toward equality, listing all the jobs Brother or Sister could grow up to do, regardless of gender. But the real, if unintended, message of the book is something both types of feminists seem to agree on, my main problem with feminism viz. a) Being a mother or father is less important than earning money, and b) Work done for an institution or business is more valued and fulfilling than work that only benefits one's family (presumably because the former is usually either paid, or considered charitable, and the latter is not. Nowadays, doing something for your family is considered greedy, not generous.)

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387 or, My Blog Reading Habit

I finally got my unread blog posts down to 387, the lowest number since I fell behind over the holidays. Seems every time I get it down around 400, a bunch of people go and post more stuff!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

5% Goal reached!

I am a member of weight watchers. Today I reached my 5% goal, which means I've lost 5% of my starting weight. I will post more later, but I had to post my success.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Natural Healing

Dear C,

I'm glad to hear you're feeling so well. My faith in natural healing methods has taken quite a beating over the last thirteen years, but my image of God has grown wilder and freer. His grace is more amazing, and His love gut-wrenchingly beautiful. "'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved." He is most certainly NOT a tame lion.

Papa Bear

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Nothing to Report

Wouldn't that be a refreshing headline to read instead of what passes for news some days? Not that nothing has happened here, but very little new has happened. We had a peaceful Christmas season. Since then, we've been busy, but neither anything unusual nor interesting has happened. We have company coming tonight, and again tomorrow afternoon, neither of which is by itself all that unusual, but it is somewhat unusual for us to have company twice in one weekend.

We all have colds, not bad enough to curtail our daily duties, but enough that there's little energy for anything extra. Since Christmas, I hadn't checked my blogs, and only opened email messages that might require an immediate reply. I spent the better part of yesterday and nearly half of today cleaning out my inbox and catching up on laundry. I'd fold a few items, sit down to rest, check a few messages, and repeat. I also finished downloading all the Adventures in OdysseyOfficial Podcasts (the boys are big fans) including all the video podcasts, which took a long time over dialup. I also stumbled across the Unofficial Podcasts and downloaded all of those, too. Hey, if I'm just sitting here, and don't really feel up to much more than that...

Then I checked Google Reader, and found 499 accumulated posts. I really need to cut back on my blog-reading habit. Especially if I plan to post anything to this blog. As Bob over on Poppy's Front Porch once said,
And that's about it for this blog entry. It's kind of like taking photographs; and I did take a fair number today. It seems like you can go hog wild with the camera (or with the blog site) or you can participate in the day's events and enjoy.