Thursday, April 12, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday


I'm scared. My Blogger dashboard page says that Blogger is getting a "new look" in April, and it's asking if I want to "upgrade now." Threats of impending change like that scare me. Why can't they just leave me and my little blog alone? What's changing? Will I have to figure out new widgets? Re-crop a photo? Doesn't Blogger care that fears like this will keep me up all night?


Ever notice how it's the smallest things that sometimes lead to happiness? I'm not talking about relationships here. Or life choices. Or attitude. I'm talking about something way more happiness-inducing. I went to swap out the laundry tonight - utterly dreading having to fold and put away the load from the dryer, but needing to get the wet stuff out of the washer. Guess what I found? An empty dryer! Apparently, I had already emptied it this morning. That right there, my friend, makes an otherwise lousy day all worthwhile.


Joshua is sick. He stayed home from school yesterday and apparently spent the last two hours of school today in the nurse's office. She told him to lie down and rest for a bit to see if he felt better, and then she forgot about him. Or as she put it, "lost track of time." When she remembered he was there, it was ten minutes until dismissal, so it was too late to send him home. I asked him if he cared that he was there for so long, and of course he said no. It was better than being in class, I guess, sad as that may be.


So tonight Joshua watched several episodes of Man vs. Food on the Travel channel. As it neared for bed, I asked him if he wanted to take the liquid medicine that he took (and complained about) last night or if he wanted to try a Nyquil gelcap. He said he wanted to try the Nyquil. He can totally swallow pills, but I showed him that this one is larger than the ibuprofen or Benadryl he's used to taking.

He saw the size of the gelcap, took a long, deep breath, and said, "Alright, mom . . . this is man vs. pill. I gotta tell you the truth . . . I'm a little scared."

He put it in his mouth and promptly spit it down the drain. There went a dollar.


Update: In the 24 hours that have past between the writing of QT #4 and QT #5, I have taken Josh to the doctor. He has strep. Again. Third time this school year. Oh and Lauren came home from school crying of a tummy ache and promptly had, um shall we say "uncontrollable?", diarrhea. Splendid. Don't everyone beat the door down trying to come visit us at once, okay?

The worst part is Lauren told me that she went to the nurse's office twice today at school complaining about her stomach. I know it must be hard for the nurses/teachers to know the right solution when I'm sure at least 100 kids a day complain of tummy aches, but seriously?! The day after you kept my son sitting in the nurse's office for two hours because you forgot about him, you're going to keep sending my daughter back to class when she clearly felt horrible? (She said she laid on the bottom of a slide during the entire recess because her stomach hurt too much to play and that she didn't eat her snack for the same reason.) The school will be hearing from this momma soon.


On a happier note, I introduced my family to the Marx Brothers today. I grew up watching them, so it felt like reconnecting with old friends for me. Joshua has long been convinced that nothing good can come in black and white film, so I had to convince him to give it a shot. We watched Go West (my favorite of them all) while he was home from school this afternoon, then we watched At the Races tonight. Can't go wrong with Groucho.

I made this cake for Easter Sunday.

It's a banana cake with lemon cream cheese frosting and raspberry filling. Just thought I'd leave you with a happy thought. You're welcome.

Head to Conversion Diary to check out more Quick Takes.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What I would have said (a short political soapbox)

I’ve been hearing a lot about Nikki Haley lately. If you haven’t, she’s the governor of South Carolina. An Indian-American Republican woman. I think I like her. She seems articulate, intelligent, friendly, and conservative. However, I saw a short clip of her appearance on The View today, and she was asked this question: Most people think of women as liberals. How do you reconcile being a woman and a Republican with conservative values? How does that reflect on women’s issues? (I’ve paraphrased the question.) Her answer was something along the lines of, “Women don’t care about contraception; they care about jobs, the economy, raising their families . . ..” In her defense I think what she meant was that women don’t care *only* about contraception, which the media are making into an enormous distraction from real issues, but her answer did not go over well. However, the question got me thinking, and I’d like to give a different answer. So, here’s what I would have said:

There is no such thing as a “woman’s issue.” There are just issues. If the media or anyone else were to characterize something as a “men’s issue,” women would have a conniption. Imagine if we called war a “men’s issue.” Or the stock market. Or firefighter safety. Anything that men do, or historically have, participated in more often than women. We would be outraged, and rightly so. Those things affect all of us, and we should all be entitled to have an opinion and a say regarding them.

The same is true of contraception. Abortion. Rape shield laws. All of the things that feminists tout as “women’s issues” affect us all. A woman may be the only one who can have an abortion, but a man fathered the child. The child would have grown up to be a man or a woman; we don’t know which. The woman who has the abortion has a father, perhaps a brother. Does it not affect them? What about the rest of the unnamed, unknown individuals whose lives may have been changed by the existence of the child who was never born? How about the husband whose wife can’t have children because of a complication from an abortion she had years before?

To say that abortion is a “woman’s issue” is absurd. All issues affect all people. Not to mention the fact that even if they don’t directly affect me, I can still have an opinion about them. My personal life is not affected very much by the child-trafficking industry in southeast Asia, but I certainly have an opinion about it.

You can come down on either side of an issue. Maybe you believe more strongly in a woman’s right to have an abortion. Maybe you believe more strongly in a child’s right to be born. Regardless of what gender you are, you get to choose which opinion to have. Don’t tell me I have to support abortion rights or that I must support a mandate for health care or contraception just because I am a woman.

The same is true of “race issues.” How dare we try to make all black people fit into a mold? A black man may be conservative; he may be liberal. A black woman may choose to send her child to public school; she may homeschool. She may support affirmative action; she may believe it is unconstitutional. Give her the option to use her God-given brain and form an opinion.

How would I reconcile being a woman and a conservative? Easy. I’m a person with an intellect, and I have used it to draw conclusions about what I support and what I do not. It’s called freedom, and I'm a fan of it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Things that make me go hmmmm

My apologies to Arsenio Hall, but there are a few things on my mind lately that I just can't quite understand. Maybe you can help me.

1. On the Today show, whenever they go to commercial, they always say that such and such is coming up after the break, "But first, This is Today on NBC." What does that mean? I do not get it. I mean, it would make sense if they said "Taylor Swift after the break, but first here are some commercials" or "but first, a word from our sponsors." However, "But first, this is the name of our show" I don't get. This is one reason I watch Good Morning America instead. That and I hate the sound of Ann Curry's voice. She always sounds so serious and pensive. "So you found the summer's hottest new designer swimsuits for 1/220th of the cost," she says in her deep, I'm-reporting-something-very-intense voice, "What must that be like for you emotionally?" Um, Ann, if you're reporting fluff, be light-hearted, and don't use the same tone you used to interview parents whose six children just died in a freak pop rocks accident.

However, even if Ann Curry was fired (not that I'm wishing that on her), I don't think I could bear hearing them say, "But first, this is Today on NBC." Can't take it.

2. The warm weather has been teasing us off and on for about a month now. And in northern PA, warm weather means road work. I can understand this; there is usually a limited number of months to get it done before the snow and ice return. But, every. single. day of spring and summer? This has been going on since we moved here, and I just don't get it. We only have like three roads! How can they all need work done on them every sunny day of every year? Hmmm.

3. I was watching Dr. Oz this morning while putting on my makeup because our cable company couldn't get its contracting act together at the beginning of the year, and I no longer get "Live with Kelly." This makes me sad because, while Dr. Oz can manage to fill an hour every day telling you THE most important five changes you can make to your diet (and not the same ones he told you yesterday), he's just not that funny and entertaining. And if there's anything I require in the morning, and in life in general to be honest, it's that someone at least amuse and entertain me. Sooooo, this morning Dr. Oz made this statement: "Blood Pressure is the number one cause of aging in America."
I suppose that's technically true, because if I had no blood pressure, I would die and therefore not continue to age. However, the segment was on the dangers of high blood pressure, so I really don't think that's what he meant. And so I say simply . . . hmmm?

4. "That person really knows how to pray!" I've heard this countless times during my time in the pentecostal world. I just don't quite get what it means. It appears to have a correlation to the pray-er's volume, intensity, and number of times he/she can say "My God" during the prayer. I honestly don't mean this one to be disrespectful or sacrilegious (sacre bleu!), but I don't get it. And so I say again . . . Hmmm.

There are many, many more, but I feel the need for sleep. Unlike my husband who complains every morning that he is exhausted but refuses to go to bed before midnight. Hmmm.