Sunday, November 30, 2008

Civics 101...

starts in the home. Read the following Bismarck Tribune - Bismarck News - Americans struggle with civics test and then consider what the root of the above problem might be. The article blames the schools and media, neglecting to mention the ready tools at our disposal to easily find information. What would I blame? The number one reason our citizens are resoundingly ignorant about our government and political process is manners. Yep. Manners. We're told it's impolite to discuss religion or politics, yes? Inappropriate dinner conversation, best to stick with Aunt Myrtle's gall bladder or cousin Bonnie's new BMW. Nothing helps the digestion like gallstones or Bonnie's ability to show off. So what are our children, our littlest citizens reared on? Materialism and ailments. Throw in some choice comments about another race, religion or nationality and you've covered family values in America. Unless of course everyone agrees, hell then, when we all agree we're political geniuses !! Discoursing about just how much WE love Bush, Palin or Obama ! Why the sheer brilliance of us all as we nod knowingly content in our little universe. Every problem is the result of the other guy just not seeing the world like we do ! So after a couple of generations of "politics and religion a no no" (not in Europe by the way, Europeans would never fall for that crap, your average Greek one year old could talk about what's going in the Balkans), we are now faced with a citizenry that doesn't know it's collective civics ass from it's congressional elbow. Unless of course, and this is rich, you go to church. Why where else is it FINE to discuss politics AND religion within the same hour? Why CHURCH, of course ! Duh. Now there's a place to go to really get to a broad working knowledge of political issues. Why just the other day our local bishop was saying how much he'd love to marry two guys but the Pope hasn't come around yet.
So let's recoup about what's missing among our citizenry, civics classes? Well yea, but really they include all that stuff in other subjects. An intellectual media? It's there folks you just gotta look for it, better yet reach your own conclusions. What's really missing is your least favorite cousin stumping the hell out of you at Thanksgiving dinner while defending his own candidate. So you, in a fit of piqued rage sneak off to Grandma's laptop to find out just what the hell Keynesian means and why did it make you feel like you're an idiot. Hence a new politics buff is born and suddenly, what's this? You realize there a whole world out there that matters and it's your civic duty to give a damn. For all of us that really don't want to send our children to war or over pay our taxes it's the least we can do.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Redux!

Better late than never. What a great time to spend appreciating our blessings and expressing our gratitude, why not carry it over to another day? Especially since I'm cooking an entire turkey today at home after a grouchy morning. So in honor of Thanksgiving Redux, our favorite simple prayer of gratitude :)

thank you for the food we eat,
thank you for the world so sweet,
thank you for the birds who sing,
thank you God for everything

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rough day !

I tell ya, when it rains it really does pour. What a day ! I'm not one to complain but sometimes too much is just too much and a mother has to let it out, so forgive me and please don't let today make anyone fear for having children. I should've known things weren't going to go well when the nanny arrived AFTER my daughter woke up. Needless to say I had to hold her off with a banana until the cook could prepare a proper breakfast. Boy, after 10 minutes can I say my relief at her nanny's arrival was so great I decided not to dock her pay after all. After the chore of the morning I only had an hour to myself to shower and dress before the housekeeper showed up to wash the bathrooms. I loathe Thursdays, it's deep cleaning day and so draining to have the entire cleaning crew all over the place rather than just Rita happily vacuuming. She's such a dear too, she barely flinches anymore when a dust bunny frightens a scream out of me. I would've gladly gotten right out of the crew's way but once again I was held up for my spa appointment by the nanny ! OK, I can tolerate a lot of adversity but this was the breaking point. By the time she had my daughter dressed and ready to present to me for inspection I barely had time to warm up the Jaguar. Hate cold leather ! I'm rethinking her Christmas bonus this year. Oh well, perhaps some afternoon champagne and a decent pedicure will perk me up. Tommorrow has to be better, right?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My thoughts exactly...

Maybe now I won't feel so bad shouting "I AM NOT A CIRCUS ACT" at my kids. Living Section

Saturday, November 15, 2008

4+1= I'm five...

There's something a bit poetic about having a baby at 36. When she's 4, you're 40. Five years old and you're 4+1, six and 4+2. The poetry isn't in the math so much as in the reawakening middle age can spark in a person. Forty is a huge milestone, half your shelf life is gone, face it who doesn't go for the fresh milk way in the back? Add still raising a young child and it's a faltering reawakening. You take stock in what's left on your shelves, but it's a halting, constantly interrupted, slower process than the unencumbered 40 year old with more self sufficient children. Or no children of course, but that's entirely another matter. I imagine their stock is filled with shelves of entirely different experiences and accomplishments, easily categorized by earned income, books read, movies seen in movie theaters, restaurant dinners, perhaps travel brochures?
Anyway not to digress, it's a much more twisted road back to coherent sentences 20 years after your last final exam. (In my case 11 years since my educational process has been long and still neglected today) Wander off path and suddenly you're reminiscing about some decades old crossroad with three still uncharted roads. So back to the poetry. Rather than flail around with frustration or (heaven forbid us mothers ever admit to feeling this so shhhhhhhh) resentment because I'm unable to focus on other accomplishments besides child rearing, I decided I'm going to have a do over ! While my little girl is four I'm going to be four ! Preparing to head out into the world of buses and elementary school without the comforting apron strings of home ready to snap me back within 3 hours. I'm going to play and jump and eat only when I really want to and if I'm not too busy, so as to keep body as well as mind healthy and young. When she's five I'm going to be five ! Dipping our toes in that great big bureaucracy of rules, schedules and learning we call public education, only mine will also include some reducation along with some new credentials. And six, oh six will be huge ! First grade, 8 hours straight with perhaps even an after school activity to keep us far from the advice and encouragement of each other as we navigate our days. And so on as long as our our ages are a symmetric equation ! By the time I'm 50 the poem will be over, she'll turn 15 and mom will be banished, only brought out for audience participation, hair emergencies and when some life event has given her visceral knots of doubt or fear worthy of dusting mom off for some guidance. From now on I'm choosing to be as freed up as my child, unable to predict what the future will hold or what direction will call out to us. The next decade is going to be such a wonderful ride :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Out goes the lamb...

in comes the lion. When I started this blog I intended to change the pic in the side bar to reflect our current season. I feel so blessed to spend my life with the seasons. I don't remember when it clicked billions of other people don't and get along just fine, thank you very much, but I know retiring to Florida or some such just wouldn't cut it without a lengthy visit with snow and evergreens. Despite never updating my home sweet home pic rest assured we've enjoyed our warmer seasons immensely, all the more knowing how quickly they'll pass. The four seasons are the perfect metaphor for our lives, the joy of rebirth in spring, the intense activity and growth in summer, the reflective beauty of autumn and the solemn, quiet, peaceful respite of winter. Even small children seem to hunker down and take life more seriously in the cold evenings of hearth and home. Winter is the time to process the experiences of birth, life and death during the rest of the year into wisdom, and gain a whole new appreciation of spring.
While well aware there's still a full month before the official start of winter, I won't be changing the pic. Just as I craved spring at the start of this blog I now find myself craving the first mystical snowfall of winter.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A new day and it's OK to pray now...

Today I woke up to the same messy home, the same dog banging against the back of my knees, the same daily errands ahead with no surprises, I figured of course it's too soon for the promised "change".

But then I thought about it, I remembered how I'd feel when the words democrat and liberal were invoked with scorn by our President and Vice President. I remembered the last eight years and telling my son it's OK to be "liberal elite" and earn money but still care about the poor,and it's OK to talk pretty and develop a decent vocabulary. It's OK to be articulate and well educated, even an intellectual if you choose and what they're saying among the RNC set is just wrong. And for eight years I've defended the best of conservative and liberal values by example and modeling our own chosen conservative lifestyle. Which in the conundrum that is life is really liberal since liberals embrace all healthy lifestyles.

Now I have another toddler entering her next phase of childhood. Just like her brother pulled the lever for Gore eight years ago, this little one pulled the lever for Obama. Unlike her brother she won. And within seconds I realized nothing feels different but everything has changed. The White House will reflect our values, our President will be held as an example of what can be accomplished with a healthy mind and caring family, even if the money isn't always there. And as those successes are accomplished to remember the less fortunate, and even less deserving but in need, as it's our moral responsibility to provide those basic needs and encouragement.

A few posts ago I stated I don't pray for politicians to win. Nothing less godly or christian in my book. To be fair though I have wavered and taken the more corporeal road on that one lately. I do however fervently and openly pray those politicians elected by the people stick to their promised paths and waver only in the best interest of their countrymen, not just themselves. I pray for them to be safe and may God keep them and theirs from those that would wish them harm. And that's not so bad since it's my general prayer for all people. Be the people your dogs and small children think you are :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Squeeze the middle class enough....

and you get a revolution.

We're here !

I have absolutely nothing to add to the blog voting frenzy out there. I just wanted this date in history on my blog. :)