UPDATED with a challenge ;) Culture: make your own – no not yogurt – and quit letting 2 people define culture rot

Can’t speak for anyone else but I think this needs to be said:

What matters to you, your kids, your life, your happiness, your satisfaction happens right there within your family. Turn off the t.v. if it offends you (duh?) If you object to the lousy role models you see on t.v. then FIND OTHER ROLE MODELS. It’s not difficult. If you can’t find a grandparent, teacher, coach, volunteer, or other excellent role model in your day to day life, there are MILLIONS of them in the US alone.


There are 4,495 Title IV eligible degree granting institutions of higher education in the US and 14.6 MILLION full time college students. Fourteen point six million people pursuing higher education and you’re focused on a music awards show. YOU ARE AN IDIOT. Regardless of your “margin of error” 2 people vs 14.6 MILLION isn’t statistically significant.


Ok, degree granting institutions are too intimidating for you or too far away? There are one hundred nineteen THOUSAND nine hundred eighty-seven (yes, 119,987) LIBRARIES in the united states.


You say you don’t want to read a book, look at a magazine, thumb through the paper, borrow a movie, listen to an audio book to absorb the single most wonderful miracle in the entirety of humanity: human & the pursuit of knowledge? Fine. Go to a museum & absorb it there.

There are 17,500 museums in the United States.

The US is composed of about 3.794 million square miles.

And the average licensed driver in the US drives 13,476 miles per year.

So every year with your car, you’re covering enough distance to encompass 15,858 full time college students, 15 degree-granting institutions, 426 libraries and 62 museums. And you’re focused on 2 idiots on an awards show as representing our “culture rot”?

I’m willing to bet the people who are sharing the 2 idiots – whether positive or negative – on Facebook haven’t spent as much time at museums, libraries, or universities COMBINED in the past year as they’ve spent complaining about those 2 idiots.

It’s marketing … and not only is it working … it’s making you its slave. Who’s the idiot? You or them?

P.S. if you can find 5 people who posted a photo of or the names of those 2 examples of “culture rot” in the past 4 days AND have also been to a Library, Museum AND University (for the pursuit of new knowledge, not for alcohol, drugs, standardized tests, or athletic events) in the past year – I will read a piece of Victorian Era literature or one of its American contemporaries (which I loathe as much as the whigners loathe the 2 examples of culture rot). So bring it on – prove to me you’re not a bunch of uncultured whigners and I’ll be lady enough to read Brontë or Austen or Tennyson. One piece of Victorian literature per five “found” exhortants of culture rot who’ve been to a museum, library AND University in the pursuit of knowledge in the past year (yes, online universities count)


Things You Need to be Told – August 2013 Edition

The web is rife with articles about things teachers wish parents knew and over 240 people echoed a kvetch about other people having the audacity to interfere with bedtime and naptime when Lisa-Jo Baker posted about it the other night.

Back in 2001, this gem Things You Need to be Told was a gift to the literary and etiquette world – I think the Etiquette Grrls had the right idea … so here’s mine 😉

032513 002

7 Things I Wish Teachers Knew

1) We’re not idiots – the vast majority of the parents whose children you’re teaching have the same quantity & quality of education that teachers do; please stop addressing us as though we’re technologically illiterate monkeys with a kindergarten education. The parents you’re trying to reach are the exception, not the rule. (and no, those “Exception” parents aren’t reading WSJ.com or its print counterpart … let’s be serious here, you’re condescending to an entire generation of parents in paper that we’re reading for business news not parenting advice LOL)


1a) We’re not technologically illiterate – at least not all of us – and some of us are more technologically savvy than you are; so save your sermon on social media for your grandma. (meaning: The tech savvy parents saw your diatribe not only in the daily WSJ delivered to their inbox, but on Twitter and FB as well …)

2) When you tell us “we love kids” we don’t believe you – at least not wholesale. We know you love the idea of fostering a love of learning in healthy hale kids who come to school from solid homelives with a healthy nutritious breakfast ready and eager to learn. We know that your hearts get broken by the kids whose parents do not provide that. The parents whose education is on par with yours know at least 2 if not 6 or 10 former classmates who became teachers for reasons other than loving children.

2a) When you tell us you didn’t go into the profession for the money or the glory, we do believe you. We didn’t become parents for fortune & glory either 😉  teaching, as anything else, is a calling. But we also know plenty of people who teach because they need the same work schedule as their kids (because childcare is expensive) or people who went into teaching to help put their spouse through grad school or to pay off student loans from an undergrad major that didn’t manifest into a career.


3) The things that we (as parents) teach our children are important, too – and a lot of those things aren’t things that you can teach our children nor should you. So when you overstep that line and try to impart morality in the classroom or try to brain wash our kids into following your lifestyle choice, we react. You raise your own children & let us raise ours; please.

4) We choose our battles and we do expect our children to learn from their mistakes, so stand by the consequences you attached to poor decision making at the beginning of the year. It’s part of the team that we’re all on.

5) If you work for an administrator who values children by the $$ attached to them from programs, no amount of classroom excellence will overcome that.


6) If you believe that a child’s only need for math in the future will be for money, you need to get out of teaching and go work in any other field. Pick rice for all I care, but stop perpetuating the soft bigotry of low expectations. It might be ok at your house, but it’s not ok at mine and I will get my child out of your sexist bassackwards classroom asap.

7) When a parent asks you a question, they expect a professional well-thought-out response – in complete sentences. Otherwise you’re proving that your pedagogy is the nonsense that it sounds like when you preach it.


7 Things I Wish my Fellow Moms Knew

1) We’re not mowing the lawn at your kids’ naptime intentionally – we’re mowing the lawn because it needs to get done. If you want to change our schedule, feel free to pony up for a landscaping company to come do it for us.

2) Motherhood is not a competition. Nobody wins. Being alive is being alive. Whatever happens after that is up for religious & philosophical debate – presumably it has nothing to do with whether a parent SAH or WOH.

3) It’s not about you – the things that WOHM do or say are NOT about SAHM – we’re not out to “get” you or out to “undermine” you by not adopting traditional gender roles.

4) It’s not about us either – the things that we all do are what’s best for OUR family; if you’re doing whatever you’re doing as a political or gender role “stance” you should probably enroll in a philosophy course at the local community college & explore your cave a little better.

5) If you’re peddling guilt – particularly if you’re dragging the Bible into it  – you might need a new hobby. No, taking it to Pinterest doesn’t count.


6) If you homeschool and your social media is regularly afflicted with spelling, grammar, or usage errors you’re passing that on to your children – both in how you’re homeschooling them because you clearly can’t correct your own work, nevermind theirs – and in so far as you’re teaching them that adults can be sloppy & lazy about their writing and it doesn’t matter.  it DOES matter. resumes with misspellings go to file 13. colleagues with poor communication skills are ignored.

So true

7) Your friends will be there for you regardless of how many times you’ve had to eat crow or how many times they’ve passed you the ketchup to make your own crow more palatable – but it’s ok to have an “out” – a safe word or some other “cue” for your friends to give you or you to give your friends to indicate “ok, enough about little Johnny’s green snot” or that you can give your friends to say “excuse me, you’re starting to sound like Super Nanny not my bff, and I need you to let me kvetch, not try to fix it for me”



For all the kids out there who live in fear, I hope there’s a spark of something somewhere in their lives that makes a difference.

Have you ever had one of those weird experiences where something beyond “us” is driving something to happen?


(note – it’s finals week right now  & I missed posting in Five Minute Friday last week also because of school … but this is important … child abuse is a very real thing in our nation and I think that more people need to take a stand about it, so I’m “linking back” this post from last night … and then getting back to school work)

DH had to get to the lumber yard by 5pm because our special order swamp-cooler pads had arrived & he asked if I would stop at (grocery store) to get some sweet red wine on my way home because he wanted to make a batch of sangria for the weekend.

ok, no biggie. I leave work carrying 3 huge bakery boxes w/ cake and muffins in them and get them piled in my car (planning to take to the nursing home when I visit my uncle so they’re not in my house) and started driving and realized it was too darn hot to leave whipped cream frosting sitting in the hot car while I ran into (grocery store) so I ran to (different store closer to work) even though stuff’s usually more expensive there. Found the sweet red wine and wandered around while I was waiting to hear from DH if M was home or at a friend’s house so I knew if I needed to pick her up. Got the text just as the folks at (different store closer to work) were asking “can we help you find something” because I was wandering aimlessly. Told ’em I was just waiting for that text and was good to go.


Complimented the staff member’s shirt (it’s all fun & games til someone gets hurt & then it’s hilarious). Started walking to my car. from my left I hear someone cussing and a child crying – that high pitched scared cry – saying horrible things calling her child a dumbass and saying she was going to beat her f’ing a– again and this that and the other. She’s got a little girl by the shoulder of her shirt, a little African American girl about 5 or 6 years old – she had a hello kitty button w/ a ribbon on it, made me think it was a special day for her … some special day … but the poor kid’s wailing (honestly at first I thought it was the “I don’t feel well” cry) and I thought maybe the mom was just talking trash out of frustration, so I tried to ignore her mouth.

So I get to my car and I see her open up the side of her minivan and I think she’s just sitting her kids in it and they’re leaving. I’m putting on my seatbelt when I see that this psychopath is folding over a men’s leather belt … and then hear the sickening & unmistakable sound of a child being beaten with it … at first I started to leave that “it’s not my business that someone else raises their kids that way; they’re from out of state, it’s really REALLY not my problem” mentality having gotten ahold of me.

But dammit,  The mom was probably 300 – 325 pounds, I couldn’t have taken her in a fight even if I had to, gravity & momentum would’ve been on her side. Plus she was wearing stretch pants and a t-shirt … easily defeats button down oxford & khakis. And she was whaling on a little girl who couldn’t have weighed more than 50 pounds. Whatever that poor child did in Family Dollar (where she got dragged out of) it couldn’t have been bad enough to deserve a beating from someone 6x her size.

that little girl wasn’t carrying on like that because she’s coming down with something that little girl’s carrying on like that because she’s scared of her momma and she’s not old enough to do anything about it; all she can do is scream and cry and carry-on. I was nauseated. That momma had a belt IN THE CAR ready to go. This isn’t the first time she’s done this. Which made me realize that it might make her kids’ lives better if just ONE adult had taken 5 minutes to make a phone call and have someone in authority tell tell her that’s not an acceptable (or legal) way to raise a child.

So I texted myself the lady’s plate #, started up my vehicle & moved over to the other side of the parking lot and called the non-emergency # for the cops. Wow – it seemed like I was on the phone forever with dispatch but it was only 8 minutes and 31 seconds according to my call log from when I called them until the dispatched officers got there.

All I could do was tell them what I saw & heard.

Probably nothing will come of it. Maybe the cops can’t really do anything unless the poor kid really got hurt – and probably a well practiced belt whippin momma knows how to beat her kids so it don’t show. Maybe I did the wrong thing. Maybe the psycho is going to beat her kids harder because they got “caught” getting beat. IDK.

But for some reason God put me in those children’s path tonight and gave me the best birthday gift I’ve gotten in a long time: the opportunity to make a difference for some little kid that I’ve never met and will probably never see again … maybe I’m hopelessly naive, but I really hope that the little girl who got her butt whipped tonight finds a little spark of courage from knowing that someone stood up for her and that when she’s grown she doesn’t raise her hand to her kids in anger or violence and that she doesn’t end up in a relationship with a man or woman who physically, verbally, mentally or emotionally abuses her.

For all the kids out there who live in fear, I hope there’s a spark of something somewhere in their lives that makes a difference. And I’m kind of embarrassed that I complimented the lady’s shirt at (the store closer to work), it seems inappropriate given what I witnessed and the phonecall I made.

The Bill of Rights

Once upon a time we believed that all people were created equal. That they were endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among them were the rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness.

did we not?

And many of us went to school together.

None of us could have predicted what we would grow up to be – and it didn’t matter.

It didn’t matter when we were 10 or 15 or 20.

From The Chive

From The Chive

Now we’re 35 (or well will be in a couple of weeks)

And there’s an awful lot of loud opinions.


Do any of the following make any difference in what you think about me:

  • The kind of car I drive?
  • The color I choose for my hair? Or nails?
  • What brand of sneakers I’m wearing?
  • Whether my socks match?
  • My style of panties?
  • What shampoo I’m using?
  • Or shavers?
  • Or shower gel?
  • That I’ve been sugar free & flour free & except for Greek yogurt & non-fat half & half, Dairy free for 11 days and have lost 13 pounds?

NO Because NONE of that affects how we interact. I’m not sitting on your sofa.

So it shouldn’t make one iota of difference that I spent last Saturday working on my marksmanship.

Nope, I didn’t post a check-in at the range. Nope, I didn’t post pictures. Didn’t even take any. Because I know that the vast majority of my friends are rabidly anti 2nd amendment. And that’s fine for you. But when you live a mile outside the National Forest and getting anywhere requires a 2 hour drive across some of the most rugged terrain that God put on this earth, the perspective on “why” changes a lot.


Photo from the national forest (YES it is illegal to shoot in the national forest, I’m not concerned about that … I worry about things wandering OUT of the national forest and coming to visit … really and truly it’s a mile up the road to the forest … that’s not real far for an animal)

Do you want to do the physics equation of how much mountain lion vs how much patio door it takes to have an unwelcome visitor on my sofa?

I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. (I don’t play Farmville or Candy Crush LOL) I’ve gotten one speeding ticket in almost 20 years of driving. And I only practice 2x/year because ammunition is damn near impossible to find and when it’s possible, the prices are astronomical.


On some level we all want to believe that background checks are going to be the magic (dare I say it? smoking gun!) to getting guns out of the hands of bad guys … Unfortunately they’re going to tell us what we all already know – you believe that if you insulate yourself far enough away from the savage things in nature that you can pretend that nature is 100% rainbows and butterflies and mommies nurturing babies while daddies hunt for nommies. Because that’s what it looks like when you’re locked away in the asphalt & concrete & high-rent world.

I’m not being judgmental – I KNOW that’s how I saw it when the meanest thing I saw in nature was the Canada Geese leaving their nasty green cigar poop all over the apartment complex. There wasn’t a reason to worry about safety or nature coming to visit.

But 5 years and 3 timezones out of suburbia, I finally GET IT –

You don’t stop CRIME by forcing more law abiding normal people to provide more information to a database that’s already got so much information in it that a ticket for being disorderly in North Carolina in 1980something can prevent you from getting a permit for a hand gun in Michigan 30 years later. EVEN IF IT WAS DISMISSED. You stop crime by supporting initiatives that prevent criminal activity in the first place. And you disassociate guns from crime and start addressing the REAL ISSUES:

1. Kids don’t feel like they have a real place in a society where there are so many talking heads yelling about so many problems that we’re medicating our kids for anxiety by the time they start school.

2. In a society where nobody is remarkable and everyone is “special” there’s nobody to look up to – we all create our own heroes – and it’s high time that WE as adults started being the heroes in kids lives. be a role model.

3. Everything else 😉


Before you judge, I encourage you to attend a Women on Target event sponsored by the Women of the NRA. Take a little girl that you love and teach her that not being scared and not relying on someone else for her safety is essential. martial arts are great – but unless you’re Chuck Norris, probably they’re not going to do much good against wild animals.

From The Chive

From The Chive

if a tree falls vs. character … aka if you don’t post about it on social networking, it (did/didn’t) happen … or the paradox of existentialism

Once upon a time, the riddle “if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it fall, does it make a sound?” was what I thought of every time I rode my bike down the country road of my childhood or wandered (deliberately or aimlessly) in the woods …

not because I was particularly challenged by the implications of the riddle, but because I was listening for the sound of a tree falling

… in all my wanders through the woods, not once did I hear a tree felled that wasn’t felled by man in one respect or another (axe, chainsaw, logging equipment).

Outside the woods I’d heard trees fall as a result of nature, but not in the woods.

From The Chive

From The Chive

Since it’s spring break, I’ve had some spare brain cells and neural synapses not obsessed with the ingestion of academia, I’m not hellbent on studying (which is admittedly naughty) so there was room in my head …


here’s my final answer on the Tree riddle … you know that quote by JC Watts  “Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking”? That is the existentialist extrapolation of the paradox of the tree.

Nike - found on Pinterest

Nike – found on Pinterest

If doing the right thing when nobody’s looking is your habit, then doing the right thing is more important than someone else’s accolades … if you only follow the “right” way when someone is looking, then someone else’s accolades are more important than doing the right thing. There are all kinds of ways to make this into an analogy for the general rise and fall of civilizations, of leaders, of individuals, or even of mankind as a whole if you’re so inclined.



and it occurred to me today that Social Media has become the new “test” for what is and what isn’t – what did or did not happen – the indicator of …. whether or not you are keeping up with the Momzillas and Mombies of the 21st Century.


But is it?

source unknown

source unknown


How many people have you filtered out of your news feed because you simply do NOT need to know THAT much about another person with whom you don’t share a refrigerator?

Or because you’ve read How Not to Use Instagram  and your sense of self-preservation selects the “HIDE” option and then your tenuous hold on sanity selects “Hide All By” … especially when you’ve been (whatever the facebook equivalent of a photobomb is) by someone’s choice in feminine protection or deodorant or hair color? HONS! if you’re reading this and you’ve ever “liked” a product that belongs in/near the restroom please remember … even if it’s not horrifying enough to you that you just “shared” that preference with EVERYONE on your friends list

some day your children will be old enough to have untethered access to the internet.

I don’t mean when they’re 13 and old enough for Facebook, I mean when they’re in their own home paying for their own internet … or worse yet … they’re in a position of running electronic background checks and YOU are looking for employment … and because you’re on their friends list (like you insisted when they turned 13) THEY are going to be able to see that stuff.

SO just imagine if you will … 20 years from now when that beautiful child you’re so proudly quoting in your status and sharing as your cover photo … and you’ve gotten to a point in your life where you stop considering an academic calendar in your career needs and you decide that you’re going to do something wild and audacious like start a new endeavor … and a Google Search pops back today’s date and that you puffy-heart a particular brand of tampons, or an equally personal product … and your kid has to check the box (or not) for whether you have discretion about sensitive information in order for you to get that job (or security clearance or whatever) …


Sure, Facebook may have jumped the shark – but remember: 20 years ago, employers didn’t research you online before you sat in an interview … 20 years from now, imagine what else they’ll want to know … “So Mrs. Thomasthetankengine, it says here that you loved Playtex Sport from 2011 to 2012 and then you switched. Loyalty is very important to our organization, if you can’t commit to a tampon for a year, how can we know you’ll be fully engaged in your work performance?”

Social networking is a fantastic tool for sharing your life – especially across time-zones – with others in messages and photos. It’s fun, relaxing, and often an educational experience. But sometimes it gets overdone … or you discover that you’ve fond the END of the Internet. Hopefully before you’ve shared your preference for ensuring regular bowel movements … but hey, it’s 2013 and boundaries are a thing of the past. Except when they’re not. Be careful. You might need those boundaries again in the future.

From ICanHasCheezburger.com

From ICanHasCheezburger.com


Remember: “I didn’t change, you just got to know me better” should have a VERY limited audience. 



You don’t have to attend every argument to which you’re invited (aka Newsfeed LOL)

Had to remind myself this morning that I don’t have to jump in and correct – my “that’s inaccurate” assertion isn’t going to change anyone’s already-made-up mind … or status … or shared photo from someone else’s site

However, one of the gleeful pleasures of having a Blog of my own is that it’s an outlet for my opinion 😉 … or as the 12 year old version of me would prefer: mental forehead smack, rolling the eyes, and muttering …

My biggest “oh you did NOT just say that” is being passed around on Facebook by Hyland’s Teething Tablets … and it says

“Children shouldn’t have to sacrifice so you can have the life you want. You make sacrifices so your children have the life that they deserve” (originally posted January 28th).

Isn’t that ADORABLE!?!?!?


I mean REALLY the life that a child thinks he or she deserves isn’t anywhere NEAR what’s appropriate & healthy for that child.

If kids were in charge (which this asshattish SomeeCards offering is suggesting) there would be

  • no immunizations,
  • no vegetables,
  • no toothbrushes or dentists or orthodontists,
  • no limits on the # of pets a child could (should) have or any responsibility for taking care of said pets (MOMMY! My pink sparkly pony pooped again and the orange fuzzy one just peed, take care of that mommy! Stop making me sacrifice my playtime to be responsible for them!),
  • no baths,
  • no diaper changes (I mean really? how often have you heard a baby scream bloody murder that his diaper is dirty and then scream bloody murder that his bottom got cold when the diaper came off?),
  • no-one under the age of 30 would ever have to pick up their toys, put their laundry in the hamper, tidy their room, wipe down their bathroom,
  • the school day would consist of playtime/recess/lunch/art (if you WANT) and consequence-free mischief.
  • Candy would be a food-group.
  • Children who like whole foods, especially fruits & vegetables, would be mocked by those who don’t.
  • There would be no fouls in sports – instead everyone would play full-contact and there would be no consequential injuries –
  • also in sports where height/vertical leap makes a difference, children would be provided with jet packs.
  • And once a week they’d receive a new pair of the latest & greatest shoes appropriate for their sport.
  • And we’d have to call them all by their chosen cartoon name …
  • and they’d be allowed to hit each other in the head with Nerf Bats when they didn’t like each other … or shove each other off the top of the slide
  • because there wouldn’t BE any injuries because NOBODY deserves to get hurt.
  • And they’d be able to trade in their dogs and cats and hamsters every time they outgrew the super cute puppy/kitten/etc phase.

OH AND because of all this,

  • mommies & daddies wouldn’t have jobs.
  • We would all play. All the time. On our big expensive toys that nobody actually has to pay for …
  • we’d all live in treehouse forts when the weather was nice and big castles when the weather was poor …
  • and we’d go to Disneyland, Disneyworld, EuroDisney, Cedar Point, 6 Flags, Michigan Adventure, Busch Gardens (which would have to be renamed for something other than Anheuser Busch), etc so often that Dramamine would have to provide transdermal patches for motion sickness medication.
  • And if your theme-park obsessed child has a sibling who prefers to be at home or who has a sensory processing issue, that child will be installed in a sensory deprivation chamber so that they both have the life they deserve.
  • which in short, means that nobody can actually HAVE any children. because it’s impossible to have a life where this would actually work.
  • (p.s. it also implies that nobody would ever relocate for work … ever. or if they did, then the relocation would include a complete relocation of everyone and everything that the child “deserves” … so the kid wouldn’t EVER experience anything NEW unless the t.v. told him/her to)

(yes, I get it that this SomeeCard was probably directed at those who didn’t get the memo that what children NEED is
a stable home-life
in a safe environment
with running water and working heat in the winter,
one with responsible (sober) parents who are willing to invest in the fact that they’re parents – such as choosing nutritious food over beer if the budget is demanding a choice,
providing appropriate consequences for choices,
making sure homework is done,
providing some guidance about media selection and consumption,
ensuring that the child doesn’t go to kindergarten without the fundamentals,
providing medical and dental care when needed, etc

…. but really? if that’s the target audience, is Hyland’s Teething Tablets’ facebook page the right media for the message?
probably not.

because the parent that you’re trying to reach with the message is probably sleeping through the night because he or she rubbed whiskey on their baby’s gums … instead of the chamomile and milk-proteins that the parent is supposed to get the child to dissolve in his/her mouth to provide calming during the teething sleepless nights)

So other than the people at Hyland’s needing to reconsider their average consumer base ….
1) with sufficient therapy (i.e. the equivalent of a 4 year degree of work and co-pays) it’s possible to overcome the too-pat-too-trite-too-simplified statement “your children will become who you are, so be who you want them to be” … I mean REALLY!?!?!? the entire point of raising a child is to provide an environment in which he or she can be him or herself. Yes, you can build the core values and beliefs … but if your child grows up to be different than you are, you’re not going to say “well on 3/10/13 I posted this graphic on Facebook and you’ve let me down; I must disown you now”

for steph

2) stop blaming your kids for how you are … they’re not in charge of your choices, stop letting yourself off the hook … why? because you don’t want them to say “I didn’t do my homework because Mommy was playing FarmVille and I had to watch because Mommy needs attention too”

So true

3) that saying “a year from now, you’ll wish you had started today” – that is true about anything that you’re determined to accomplish – again, stop blaming your kids. if you choose to take a raincheck on starting a goal, that’s your choice and taking responsibility for it being your choice will make you feel better about it. No matter what it is.


4) it’s ok to goof up … and if you don’t let it be ok for yourself and your spouse and your kids to goof up once in a while without coming down on them like the fire & brimstone of your understanding of God, you have to ask yourself why. and then go back to #1 above because it’s probably your parents. And it’s probably overkill. People make mistakes. As long as there’s no loss of life or limb or felony committed; it’s going to be ok – someone will learn something – and you will learn about your capacity to love.


5) if you’re walking through the grocery store wearing a t-shirt and hat advertising your personal religious fervor, remember that the way you treat the children and other adults your with reflect your real personality … I can wear an A|X shirt, that doesn’t mean I’m a designer any more than your “Christ” hat means you’re a Christian. The way you berate your parents and children tells me you’re probably telling yourself “spare the rod & spoil the child” is justification for why that poor kid in the cart thinks his name is “stop WHINING” it was 8pm on a Saturday night. your 3 year old is going to whine. it’s almost bedtime. he needs to unwind not be wound up by the 8 billion bright & colorful & “I said NO” items at the store. Jesus loved the little children; there’s no mention of their hypocritical mothers …


6) there’s a reason that a lot of people are filtered out of my newsfeed – apparently I need to do that more … and I need to learn to ignore better at the store … perhaps shoving Excedrin in my ears will mute it …

p.s. if you have an opinion about the fact that 5 years ago we re-loed cross-country and/or that I have a career and/or am pursuing academic goals concurrent to having a family, remember:

Trying this Today: Perfect Pot Roast | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond

Perfect Pot Roast | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond.

A couple of confessions of my own 😉

We are out of carrots – the guinea pigs ate them all.

The roast is a Beef Arm Roast – because our freezer still has plenty of 4H meat from longer ago than I’d like to admit.

We are out of stock – all kinds – the Kitchen Witch used them 😉 so Bullion and a splash of worsterchire (never spelled correctly TYVM) were used instead (and wine isn’t in my home unless it’s going as a gift to someone … I have the tolerance of a baby kitten and the hangover propensity of a bad movie … I can’t even take Tylenol or Motrin w/out a rebound headache … so alcohol and I are generally not friends)

And I put the whole thing in a 13x9x2 pyrex after I did the sautee pan step – because even my huge Calphalon omelette pan wasn’t deep enough to make this without making a hugeeee mess and the only pan bigger doesn’t have an ovenproof handle

I used bacon drippings instead of olive oil and/or butter … it’s the only day all week that we’re all home for all meals … so they’re hearty and homey. errr something like that … breakfast after picking MadiKinz93theUnicorn up from KBeanz house was pancakes & bacon; the midday meal will be this perfect potroast with onions, sauteed zucchini and mashed potatoes. The late day meal will be leftover pizza from DeMarco’s – spinach, broccoli & mushroom on white for me, pepperoni on red for my other half and MKinz can have whichever …

Discoveries …

The past week has been interesting. Adding a 34 page proposal on top of the usual mix of work/school/mom/etc definitely pushed the limits of my sanity & ability to coexist peaceably with others by 5pm Friday.

But along the way I discovered the following –

First, The Perks of Being a Wallflower has become one of my all-time favorite movies and I’m so glad that I rented that instead of watching that awards show that every other blog on the face of the internet has been talking about since Sunday. Also, if you’re a mom and you try not to let the laundry steal your sanity, you will end up wearing the same black & white striped cami / black sweater / black dress slacks combo 3x in a Friday to Friday span … and it will be clean every time you wear it … indicating that it might be time to lighten up on the laundry a little LOL

Second, I got eaten alive by some kind of really itchy bugs last Saturday at Ren Faire

Third – it’s possible to make a double batch of deliciousness during an hour-long sports practice … as evidenced at this site:

http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/ – where there were the most fabulous PB & J Blondies http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2012/09/peanut-butter-and-jelly-blondies.html

Fourth – my reputation as The Anti-Marketing Maven has stopped preceding me in battle … someone had the audacity to tell me I should “go pro” in marketing because I successfully green-washed Pampers with sufficient research … I’m sorry, the only BS in my life is in a frame stashed on a shelf in the closet next to my desk … I won’t be making a career of it anytime soon; but thanks for the A on the project, I did work my tail off for it.

Fifth – that split infinitives are easier to recognize than to describe in a conversation … to boldly go … stupid Star Trek … everyone knows Star Wars is superior

Sixth …

And the 300+ page Salt River Allotments Vegetative Management preliminary environmental impact study (which you can download at this site http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558/abc123/forestservic.download.akamai.com/11558/www/nepa/79171_FSPLT2_376186.pdf  – public comments are welcome until early April, if you’re interested, speak up – email addresses etc below in the original blurbs I put together about this and other TNF news for an environmental communication project this week)

Seventh …

The music of Eliza Doolittle, Joss Stone, and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears.

Eighth …

And really? I’m trying not to get really tired of being sequestered to sneakers all the time – which is definitely a more comfortable accommodation than the 16 weeks I spent last year in that damn boot/walking cast thing – but really? I’m looking at pretty spring dresses & realizing that I’m stuck in black dress pants until I can start wearing “real” shoes again in early August. 5 more months.

Good thing I’m reading AJ Jacob’s The Year of Living Biblically because it reminds me that there are more significant pita than the sneakers 😉

Ninth … I’m tired of Lent already … specifically: I wanted Gyros for lunch on Friday … and the cheese crisp I had instead sent me to the Tums 2x between 12pm and 5pm. At least gyros would’ve been worth the heart burn …

Tenth … I’m not in the least bit ready for the HFMA CHFP exam that is haunting me … I’ve got til 4/30 to sit for the exam. YIKES.

Eleventh  – putting this first because I have NO idea if it’s really going to work, but I ordered the yarn and will try it this week …


Twelfth – watching movies with Kristin Stewart and Winona Ryder back to back is a BAD IDEA – bad acting is bad acting … (and I can’t decide, having seen it now, if the last Twilight movie was the worst of the movies or just doing the best they could with what was left of the story line … )

Thirteenth – I didn’t miss anything in the last season of AMC’s The Walking Dead … because I was asleep less than 10 minutes in to the 2nd episode …


What’s New In the National Forest?

Residents of our region enjoy the Tonto National Forest every day. Here’s what’s new:

Signal Peak’s Communication Permit up for Renewal in April

Signal Peak’s communication permit is up for renewal in April. Along with 26 other permits including those issued for communication sites on Humboldt Mountain, Carol Springs, Blackjack and Cooks Mesa, Signal Peak’s communication site permit is expired. The National Forest Service proposal is to reissue the permit for ongoing activity. If you’d like to learn more, visit: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=41164 or contact Rebecca Hoffman at rchoffman@fs.fed.us.

Land-Swap to Provide Camp Consolidation for Kids

Currently, the USFS is working to swap some lands in the Tonto National Forest (and 3 others) for land in the Pinetop region. The purpose of the Pinetop land would be to provide consolidated camps for children, rather than the existing isolated special use camps. The project is estimated to complete in December of this year. If you’d like to learn more, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=5004 or contact Randall Chavez at rchavez02@fs.fed.us.

Fossil Creek to Get River Management Plan

Building on the 2009 declaration of Fossil Creek as a “wild and scenic river” by Congress, and the Public Input received over the ensuing years, 2013 will bring a Comprehensive River Management Plan to Fossil Creek scheduled to be completed in July. To learn more visit: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=27457  or contact Elizabeth Dykstra at edykstra@fs.fed.us

Firefighters Needed in Arizona and New Mexico to Ensure the Ecosystem of the National Forests

The Southwestern Region (region 3) of the National Forest Service has 10 positions to fill this fire-season in Arizona and New Mexico.  Qualified candidates may view the Consolidated Outreach Statement here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5411684.pdf. Applications are due by March 22, 2013.

Livestock Grazing Management Evaluation Pending

The time for public comments is now – February 22 through April 8. Public comments and ideas pertaining to the grazing and management of the plant life in the Tonto National Forest / Salt River Region to Comments-Southwestern-Tonto@fs.fed.us. This autumn, the US Forest Service will be reevaluating the Salt River Allotments Vegetative Management. To download the report visit: http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558/abc123/forestservic.download.akamai.com/11558/www/nepa/79171_FSPLT2_376186.pdf

Countless things you could say instead …

Something got my dander up when I first wrote this … it was probably from Huffington Post and it was probably shared on Facebook … it probably had something to do with “things not to say to a (label) mom” … heaven knows HuffPost (for all its humor and all the decompression opportunities it’s offered me through humor over the umpteen years that I’ve occasionally read it) has its share of those kinds of posts … probably written by moms like me: who were on their way to (work, home, grocery store, child‘s therapy, their own therapy, the gym) and some well meaning stranger made a comment in passing that became the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and instead of crying or indulging in substance abuse or calling someone and having a mini-melt-down modern moms on the verge of breakdown do what passionate persons have done since the dawn of time … they create: words, art, food, more babies, etc … so anyway … it’s been sitting here for a while, but I’m going to “undraft” it and just hit publish …

For the past 12 years, I’ve been a mom … for the past 15 years I’ve been an accountant … and off and on for the past 20 years, I’ve been a (formal, full time) student.

No. I’m not 47 years old so these things didn’t occur separately.

When I first became a mom, I naively thought that the siss boom bah of the “debate” about SAHM or WOHM would go away. I really did. This “debate” is the parapet of competitive parenting and it’s pure and utter crap. Everyone does what’s best for her own family and her sanity – there’s nothing concrete or set in stone about it – we each have our own personalities, our own strengths, our own weaknesses. and to put it to bed FINALLY

everyone is raising their own children


Did I say it loud enough?

Should I YELL it again?

Why am I yelling about it? Because HuffingtonPost.com just keeps droning on and on and on about the holier than thou SAHM and the holier than thou WOHM.

Guess what? There’s more to life and infusing the SAHM / WOHM role choice with morality, predestination, fate, GOD calling you to it, etc and then trying to impose your belief on others is pure poppycock. If you want to be home with your kids and that’s a lifestyle you can swing, then GO FOR IT. If you want to have a career AND children, by all means, have at it. If you want to homeschool your children or have them eat all natural home grown goat-fertilized vegan cuisine or not vaccinate them or if you want them to go to public, private, charter, or martian school or have them eat an omnivorous diet or vaccinate them, if you co-sleep or CIO, if you wear your baby or encourage tummy time and independent play, if you breast feed your child until he’s 4 or wean her when she’s 2 or  … that’s your prerogative.

Here’s the thing that you (I, all of us) need to remember:
Eventually our children are going to be adults. They’re going to (God willing) go to college and they’re going to make choices about their lives.

Do we want our children to grow up believing that their parents were so militantly guided by a religious view of gender roles that they lose their minds when they become adults because they don’t know that CHOICE is something that awaits them on the other side of our apron strings? Do we want them to grow up believing that EVERY adult around them is going to fall all over themselves to make sure that their needs are met?


Dear God, let’s HOPE not.

Otherwise you’re going to have to select everyone who interacts with them ever based on your gender role perceptions. So all the professional women that interact with your child will have to NOT have children of their own (since WOHM is baaaaad) and all the professional men that interact with your child will have to be Manly Men of Biblical proportions who follow whichever verses of Leviticus and Friends that you’ve decided are going to be THE RULES in your home/family/life (which honestly, is noneya …. as in none of your business … really what are you going to do? gruelingly interview EVERYONE with whom you interact? Do you have children (yes) are you female (yes) … HOLY HELL You’re polluting my children! Infidel! … and then your child can’t go to school with mine? can’t play basketball with mine? you can’t visit the facility where I work because OMG moms work there?

Conversely … I’m not going to interview all the women in my life and shun them if they choose to SAH with their kids …


Because here’s the thing (and this is what really separates the wheat from the chaff … oohh yeah there I did it … the heathen made a Biblical reference) … when my daughter was little, she did have a SAHP … AND she had a WOHM … because *gasp* charge the paddles … our family’s choice was to have the DADDY be the SAHP.  For some inane reason this – not my WOHM status, but that in my family the daddy was the SAHP – has driven several so-called “friends” (people who knew me in high school in the 518 area code) to shun me. Because I don’t believe it takes a vagina or a uterus or 2 boobs to be at home with the children. It also doesn’t take a penis and 2 testicles to be in the workforce or have a career.

yep, that’s the #1 reason (as agreed upon by the Momzillas and Mombies who were once classmates) that I’m a bad-ass who shouldn’t be living in the same society as them and their perfect-gender-role-example inculcated children.

(followed shortly by oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo VACCINATION! run. I’ve had my shots. that’s why I’m not controlled by my girly parts LOL)