Bunnies – A Lack of Ears

Don’t worry, no one ran over the furry variety with a lawn mower. What I’m talking about is an admittance or understanding by a rising group of people that pornography hurts women. Pornography adds to the demand for prostitution and that in turn, builds momentum for sex trafficking.

Playboy recently announced that they are removing full nudity from their magazine. Their reason was because they felt it would improve their brand. I applaud the decision even if their reasoning is wonky.

Several hotel chains have recently moved to remove pay-per-view porn channels from their offerings. Hilton, Omni, Marriott and most recently Hyatt Regency have all made the move to cease offering these channels. Thank You!

Porn kills real love. Porn turns women into objects or tools in the minds of men. We become Things to be Used instead of being recognized as real people, unique in all the world. We need to teach our daughters that they are worthy of real love and not to settle for anything less. We need to teach our sons that they too are worthy of real love and not to settle for anything, like pornography, that would make them and the person they claim to love so much less.

Another long update

Life has been very busy in this house. Also, I’m not of the generation who grew up with blogs and social media as an everyday part of life so updating this space seems difficult to me when I’m in the thick of life. So, I’m sorry for the long absence again. Here is all the news that’s fit to print:

April & May were busy with the usual end of the school year stuff. June brought Marching Band Madness to our usually laid back & tranquil summer plans. Ditty participated in the flute section for the first time (she could have participated last summer but I’m glad she didn’t). They had a week long sweat camp and then it was 2-3 parades per week for the rest of June. One parade got rescheduled because of rain, so that week had 4 parades, the rescheduled one on Tues, another on Thurs & Fri & Sat. So glad that’s done, none in July & just one more exhibition parade on Aug 2nd. They did earn some good marks and even received one Grand Champion recognition. I didn’t get to watch them perform at any of the parades, so I’m looking forward to watching on the 2nd. June also brought Driver’s Ed classes back to our schedule. Ditty now has her learner’s permit and needs to get 30 hours of behind the wheel in the next 6 months in order to take her test for a conditional driver’s license. Teens don’t get full driving privileges straight off anymore.

DH learned the importance of teaching your teen driver exactly what your “driving slang” means before you use it on them. Ditty’s first behind the wheel attempt with us was driving his truck over to Clearwater/Pleasant regional park. She was backing out of the driveway and he wanted her to turn more sharply onto the road so he said “crank it”. She applied the gas and we bagan to shoot across the road. I yelled “Stop!” and she applied the brakes, thankfully before we wound up in the neighbor’s ditch. DH asked her why she stepped on the gas and she replied “well, I thought that’s what you wanted me to do.” Teach them the meaning of your slang so you will live longer-just saying. Also, saying Crank It when you don’t give them a direction to turn in isn’t very helpful. Hard right or hard left would help a beginner more. Maybe this was why the eldest always wanted me in the vehicle with her. If that happens again, I really need to get some valium.

We brought BooBoo in to the doctor in June and we have finally received some answers to his issues. We now know that he has ADD, the inattentive type and he has now begun taking medication to help with his attention issues. This has also greatly improved his anxiety & depression. It really feels like we have our old Buddy Sunshine back again. He comes up the stairs with a spring in his step and no longer balks when we interrupt what he wants to do with a request to complete a chore.

July has been, well, interesting-let’s just leave it at interesting. The 4th brought the usual parade & 2 potlucks. A neighbor invited us over for fireworks and that was nice. I am getting a little tired now of picking up the debris from my yard. Apparently fireworks are for the whole month of July. Oh well, they are good neighbors the rest of the year. Speaking of neighbors, I think we finally have some new neighbors kitty corner across the street. There was a trailer there yesterday along with 2 large vehicles so one can hope that house is finally going to be someone’s home.

I finished writing the new Nature program for our Girl Scout day camp. 2nd grade learns about mammals, 3rd grade learns about bugs & butterflies, 4th grade learns about birds, 5th learns about trees (and has the coolest craft), 6th learns about reptiles & amphibians & fish, and 7th learns about wildflowers. 2nd & 3rd don’t do a nature craft, they have games instead. 4th & up do a craft that relates to what they are learning about: Bird feeders, Pine cone boxes, Toad homes & Wildflower presses. The girls seemed to enjoy their time in Nature this year, especially their nature hike/exploration day. I think it was the fact that they had permission to look & touch & observe their surroundings that captivated them. The 6th grade girls loved going out to catch frogs & toads. We learned that we have a lot of Leopard frogs in our day camp area. We also found a baby Great Plains toad. Maybe next year we’ll have to catch some insects too and see how the frogs and toads catch their meal. (This thought is due to the Cope’s Gray treefrog that was clinging to our deck door last night. I watched it crawl, looked like an Army crawl, up the side of the door and then leap at a bug that it ate.)

July also brought 2 more visitations/funerals. My last uncle on my dad’s side passed away in June, then the father of a friend’s husband passed away in early July and another friend’s husband was tragically killed in a motorcycle crash this past weekend. It has been a mournful month. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, by the mercy of God, rest in peace.

I am looking forward to enjoying our final 5 weeks of summer vacation. BooBoo wants to have the guys over for a fire and hot dogs soon. Ditty has swim team practices starting up again in August. We still need to update her flute and she wants to start learning the saxophone as well.

Time to get BooBoo started on his guitar practice. Hope your summer is going well.

Poverty-What it truly is & isn’t

What is poverty?

Most people would say that poverty is when you don’t have enough money to buy the things you want, or buy the things you need.  But I’ve known many families who can not buy all the things we think we need in today’s world.  Those families had great love and a wealth of creativity.  They were close and helped each other get through life’s little troubles.  They were together and there for each other and that was what mattered.  I never really thought of them as being poor.

Fast forward now to the past few months.

I’ve been thinking a lot about family, especially with the deaths of two uncles and an aunt in the past 8 months.  I’ve never really paid much attention to my cousins.  I mean they’ve always been there and we talk from time to time and get together for life’s milestones.  Yet I’ve never really appreciated the vast family connections that have graced my life.

You see, I have 36 first cousins.  Three dozen, not counting their spouses and their children.  In today’s world, that is an incredibly large family connection.  My own children, on the other hand, have only 12 first cousins and two of those, they have never even met.

That, dear readers, is true poverty!

My cousins have helped me and been there for me through so many of life’s bad times.  We’re family and we help each other.  Even when we can’t be together physically, we are there for each other in spirit, praying for each other. 

My children won’t have that vast built-in support system, and my nieces & nephews have even fewer.  All because today’s culture believes in travelling light.  Our culture today believes in cutting ties with the family early and not getting tied down with family obligations.  So we have fewer children, or none at all.  We say things about overpopulation and saving enough space for future generations.  We rob our children of the support network they will need in the future so that we can give them all the things money can buy.  We don’t calculate the cost because family is one of those intangible items.  You don’t realize the treasure you’ve lost, given away or abandoned to be more precise, until it’s too late.

That is true poverty and we are a very poor nation.

Sometimes I wonder

Why some people are loyal beyond measure while others show no loyalty to anyone outside their family and sometimes not even then.

Why some people wouldn’t think about lying, or would dismiss the idea, and will admit their mistakes while others can’t be trusted to tell the truth even when they would suffer no consequences from it.

Why some people have a moral code that will not allow them to dismiss their responsibilities while others walk away from their responsiblities without a backward glance.

How did they lose their sense of right and wrong?  And why don’t they care enough to change?

I guess all this came up from an issue with one of the costumes in the play my kids’ are involved with.  Someone cut the neckline of a costume.  I don’t know who.  I’ve been told that “they’ve got that figured out”.  The thing is, at one point I was the one accused of either cutting it or helping to hide that it had been cut.  I did neither of those things and yet no apology for accusing me has been given.

Anyone who truly knows me, and I thought there were several involved with this production, would never believe I would do anything of the sort.  I would never take a scissors to a costume with the intent of destroying it.  I would never help someone hide their deed either.

I’m really disappointed in the way that this incident has been handled.  I won’t be volunteering again next year.  My daughter who enjoys acting in these productions will have graduated from the school and my son will be encouraged to try chess club or something.  I simply don’t want to be there anymore.  I’ll finish out my commitment this year, but no more.  There really is no joy left in this for me.

Life is crazy

So, I have been absent again from this space.  Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever slow down enough to continue this blog as it should be.

Our life has been busy here with the play and my efforts to help with costuming the 114 little people in the cast.  This year, I think we (Sara & I) have about 6 people, including ourselves, working on costumes.  It seems like it should be more and maybe there are more that I don’t know about.  This year just seems harder.  Harder to get the information we need to make the right costume choices in the first place and harder to get into the right mind set to get the job done at all.  Part of the problem seems to be a lack of people who still know how to sew and are willing to do that on a volunteer basis.

I think it may boil down to me needing to say no to some of the extra stuff that I do.  I think it’s time to slow down the busy-ness of my life and just enjoy being in the moment.

It’s time to say no to being the service unit treasurer for our Girl Scout service unit.  I haven’t had time to do this job properly for some time now and I’m sure that there is someone in our service unit who can do this job.  i’m not sure what other volunteer stuff I can cut right now, but this one has to go.

It’s time to say no to busy work.  Those projects that I come up with to fill time that doesn’t need filling.  Like cutting out an apron pattern to sew for the play when we don’t need one.  The pieces are staring me in the face, but I’m not sewing this up until other things get done.  And maybe I’ll just sew it up for myself  then instead.

It’s time to declutter our living space.  We have too much stuff.  Our house is the right size for us and I don’t see us moving into anything else, either bigger or smaller, any time soon so it’s time to rid ourselves of what we no longer need, want or use.  I’m sure that there are charities who can use these things to make money for themselves via resale and that is where they need to go.

It’s time to get serious about getting rid of my excess weight.  It isn’t helping me by keeping it on and it is hurting other aspects of my life and my life expectancy.  It has got to go.  Today I have made a start-again.  Kind of like when I quit smoking almost 21 years ago, I just had to keep quitting until the quitting stuck; I will have to keep beginning the 17 Day diet until the formula sticks.  Today I had 6 oz of Greek yogurt with 1 Truvia packet and a cup of coffee with creamer for breakfast.  Not exactly the perfect 17 Day Diet breakfast, but closer than I was yesterday.

It’s time to put our house first on the to do list.  That means making sure that I have finished what needs to be finished here before going to another project outside of the home.  Pretty soon I will get called back to work for the spring and I need to have this space clean and in proper order before that happens or things might continue to slip.

It’s time to stop putting my family second to other people’s wants, or what they think are their needs, because I’ve accomodated their wants in the past and they just seem to want more and more.  Enough!  My family deserves my best effort and that is where my efforts will go.

It’s time to enjoy life without the craziness of busy-ness.

Enjoy life.

Monday morning muse

Is back.  All the quotes worth quoting one Monday at a time.  Today’s quote comes from an email forwarded to me by my husband.

“If you put the government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.”  Milton Friedman

Our government seems to be on a spending spree of late.  There’s a cartoon floating around that first ran in the Chicago Tribune in 1934, possibly on April 21st if the handwritten notation is anything to go by.  Look it up.  It’s rather enlightening.

Those Quirky Search Engines

“It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.”  G. K. Chesterton

Search engines, do they ever manage to put all of the truly relevant data on the first page?

It’s always interesting to find out how people arrive in my little corner of the blogosphere.  Someone last week landed here due to typing in “should knitting & crochet be taught in schools”.  Well naturally I would have said yes to this, if I had ever written about it.  I certainly don’t think I’ve ever written about that subject.  I hope they weren’t too disappointed.  I do enjoy visitors, even when I mainly write for myself.

It would be nice though, just once even, if the creators of the various search engines would admit that sometimes their devices goof up.

A beautiful poem

I found this poem today on Homeschool Freebie of the Day  and had to share it with you.

It Couldn’t Be Done
Edgar A. Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
  But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
  Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
  On his face.  If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
  That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
  At least no one ever has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
  And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
  Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
  That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
  There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
  The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
  Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
  That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

What a great bit of inspiration for us all!

Necessity

“When I see these pretty, haggard young mothers in the grocery store, my heart goes out to them in a perfectly unnecessary fashion. Unnecessary, because they are much too driven and bedeviled and enjoying themselves to have any idea that they inspire pity. There they are, hardly out of their teens, one baby in the grocery basket, two clutching their skirts, one probably to be fetched from grade school before they steam home to fix meals which will be mostly left on plates for Mother to eat up so that it will not be wasted. Then there is the young and probably anxious husband to coddle and reassure. After all, he is responsible for this circus to which there seems no end, and the insurance people lose no opportunity to remind him what a fix they would be left in should God forbid. Yet these women are so necessary that they just shine, and what greater happiness is there than that?”  Elizabeth Zimmermann

Being necessary, having a purpose in life.  These are something to which we all aspire.  Take stock of your life, find your purpose.  It doesn’t need to be grandiose.  If you have a talent for rocket science, great.  If your talent is in raising your children to be caring human beings, that too is great.  Love the life you lead.  A big ripple can be started by the smallest of stones.

Today was the day

Or rather, yesterday was supposed to be the day.  The day we went to the Math & Science Family Fair.  DH & BooBoo went.  Ditty & I were going with our Girl Scout troop.  But, the weather turned fickle as it is wont to do in mid November and often times much earlier.

We woke up this morning to snow.  Not enough to keep most people indoors.  After all, we have to shovel the stuff off the driveway and front steps.  Can’t have it piling up just anywhere you know.  It was however enough to keep Ditty & I at home.  My co-leader for her scout troop and her husband own a towing business along with a snow plowing service.  This snowfall gave them plenty of work.  They were busy pulling vehicles out of the ditches all morning.  They are also the ones most aware of just how bad the roads are since they go out on calls during the worst weather.  So, she called off the trip and I will stand by her call.

I called DH to ask him if I should drive down to the Fun fair with Ditty since he was expecting her to help him in the B.E.S.T. booth.  He said no.  He had seen 8 cars in the ditches of the freeway between two towns that are not so far apart.  The roads were bad and if he hadn’t been the one with all of the stuff for their booth, he would have turned back just one town up the road from ours and headed home himself.  When you’ve lived all your life in Minnesota, that’s saying something.  We deal with snow on a constant basis in winter.  Although not all the people here remember how to drive in this weather, we do.  So when he says don’t go out, I listen.

Or at least I did until I ran out of painter’s tape.  Then I head to Walmart.  Luckily, it had stopped snowing.  The side roads hadn’t been plowed yet, but the main road was good.  I passed my co-leader heading in the opposite direction.  A car was in the ditch close to where we both live and she was in one of their tow trucks coming to get the person back on the road.  No, we didn’t wave to each other.  We both kept our hands on the steering wheels of our vehicles.  There’ll be time for hello’s later.

In the meantime, Ditty’s room has it’s walls washed and the trim is all taped.  Monday will see us putting on the first coat of primer and if all goes well (meaning if the phone doesn’t drive me daft), we should be done painting her room by Wednesday or Thursday.  Then I’ll just have the wall paper border to put up along the ceiling.  Ugh, the things I get myself into.  When did I ever think that I could hang wallpaper?  Oh yeah, back when that room belonged to the 24 year old.  Oh drat!  Wish me luck.

Have a blessed Sunday!

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Perfectly Preserved In Perpetuity

Friends, Romans, Countrymen

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Quotes:

"If you are what you should be you will set the whole world on fire."
St. Catherine of Sienna

I finally understand

"Among those around you, apostolic soul, you are the stone fallen into the lake. With your word and your example, you produce a first circle, and it another, and another, and another, wider each time. Now do you understand the greatness of your mission?" St. Josemarie Escriva: The Way