Thursday, October 15, 2015

What do we have wrong?

I'm skipping ahead on the list today. So many seemed so "meh" to me and this one really stood out.
"What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?"

That's easy: That someone is always right.

For SO many countless issues, there is no right or wrong answer. Or right side in a fight. No one has all the information. People's backgrounds, experiences, and personalities influence their decisions and viewpoints. Take, for example, gun control. Person A survived a mass shooting. He is an advocate for stricter gun laws. Person B had his life saved by a "good guy" with a gun who stopped Person B's assaulter. He is an advocate for everyone owning guns. Both have strong, valid viewpoints and both think theirs is the correct answer.

Basically every issue in every debate is the same. Also for wars. Each country involved believes firmly they are fighting on the correct side. No one goes to war believing that they're wrong.

So what IS the answer? There is no easy solution. People are so firmly entrenched in their beliefs that most refuse to even consider the other side. Until that happens, I fear we are doomed to a society of hatred and conflict.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The future was wide open

(I can hear that song line in my head but can't remember what song it's from)

Back to the 30 day writing prompts... oops.

What is my dream job?

Well. That sounds like an easy question, right? Like the old question "What would you do for work if money was not an issue?"  I can never decide, though.

I really want to be a writer full time. Like, feel-it-in-my-bones kind of want. The problem is, I can't write when other people are around, at all. I'm too easily distracted. So that would be pretty hard to accomplish with a family, unless by some miracle money really wasn't an issue and I could stay home and write while the girls were at school.

Also, I'd love to own my own book shop. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to that. I want it in an old building with character. I want a fireplace, book club meetings, children's events.

I think I want the first one more, though. The book shop would be more of a fun side project. My biggest dream is just to move past the self-doubt and fear that has built up a brick wall and just WRITE.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Feels like Flashback Friday

So I'm registered for Nanowrimo, and volunteering with Girl Scouts so my daughter can participate. What year is it again?

Five years ago I attempted Nano. Not easy with a busy 12 year old and an infant in the house. I wrote more on one project that ever before, though! I didn't finish, but I was proud of how much I did accomplish. Now that those girls are 17 and 5, and I'm not quite as frantic, I'm trying again. I'm actually excited about it, although nervous. I'm not going to pressure myself, though. This is good motivation for me to actually finish what I started then, and actually do something with it. I'm tired of thinking "what if."

And then there's Girl Scouts. Sophie has wanted to join since she was 3. Our teenager was a Brownie and a Junior, and I was her leader for the Junior years. It was overwhelming and exhausting, and she was an only child. The troop dissolved when I had pregnancy complications when Sophie was coming along, so it's been six years since I've done this. We had a great time, but the overwhelmed feeling is my primary memory of those years. I was glad to register Sophie, but told myself I wasn't going to be a leader this time around.

But now, the GS rules are different. Two committed adults are required to form a troop now. I had originally said I'd be a parental support, but only one other parent had volunteered to be one of the leaders. So the person running the meeting said "Ok, no troop formed today, I'll put you all down as interested and we'll see where we can go from there."  Okay fine. I'll do it. It will be easier with two of us, and several parents have also said they'd help out. I'm anxious to get this started, which makes me impatient. I'd love to fast-forward through the training and set up and just DO it! But then again, I know nothing at all about Daisies so the training will be quite helpful. And, it has been six years. I'm sure I've forgotten a lot of things and others have changed.

I know it will all be worth it.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Stop defending them.

I was five the first time it happened to me. The same age as my youngest daughter.  I was with my parents at someone's house, family friends I guess you could call them. The adults were downstairs visiting, I was upstairs with their kids playing. All I remember is one of the boys (the kids were all several years older than I was) made me get in his bed under the blanket to see a "snake" and touch it. I didn't even know what it was. I knew it wasn't a real snake, but I could't even imagine what it might be.

Then came the classroom. In elementary school, one boy sat behind me and would hit me, hard, in the back of my head every single day. I told my parents. I told my teacher. I was told "Hit him back, he'll stop." One day I did hit him back. I got in trouble, not him.

 Another year, another class, same boy - he would sit behind me in class. He didn't hit me. He grabbed my breasts. In class, while the teacher was talking. He intimidated me so that I was afraid to say anything. It had already been reinforced to me over the years that telling someone didn't do any good. It wouldn't make him stop.

I can hear it now - grownups saying "Oh boys only are mean to the girls they like." Every time I'd try to talk about various boys who would touch me, hurt me, mock me, harass me - "he's just doing it because he likes you." I'd get the good-natured teasing "Christine has a little boyfriend!" More reinforcement: Your discomfort doesn't matter as much as the boys' pleasure.

In college, I had several guy friends. Suddenly, there were more. Guys from my classes would call me in my dorm. I'd chat with them, sometimes go on dates with different guys. Many times I'd go with a group of people and we'd go out dancing. Then I found out there was a rumor going around that if a guy was nice to me I'd sleep with him. I was floored. Finally I was confident, I was happy, I was enjoying myself, but since many of my friends were guys that meant I was a whore? I wasn't even sleeping with them, but that's beside the point. I broke down crying at home and the first thing said to me was "Have you done anything to cause people to think that?"

This is why I'm sickened by so many people's reaction to the whole Bill Cosby thing. Yes, we grew up loving Cosby Show and Jello Pudding Pops, and his comedy albums, and the specials. Yes, he was America's favourite dad. But that was a character, not the real person. These allegations have been whispered about for years. But finally, someone listened to one of the women. And that gave others courage to speak up also. Because I am damn sure those women were also shut down when they first tried to tell someone. "Bill COSBY did this to you? Are you sure? Didn't you maybe have too much to drink? Maybe you just led him on." And on and on it goes. More and more women came forward, and I had the displeasure at hearing a male in my life say out loud "I bet they're all making it up, their stories are too similar." Or maybe his MO was that consistent?

Yes, I'm sad that such a hero of our culture turned out to be such a villain instead. But I'm even more disturbed, saddened, and absolutely disgusted by the defense he's still getting.

Quit perpetrating the message, however subliminal, that girls and women aren't good enough to not be assaulted. Quit implying that because a man is powerful, respected, funny, well-liked, he couldn't possibly have done anything to them and they must have brought it on themselves. Quit teaching our daughters that if they are ever harassed or sexually assaulted, that it's their own fault.

It isn't our fault.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Today's prompt asks what five things make me happy right now.
I like thinking of happy things!

1. When our girls are snuggled up together, playing and giggling.

2. Unsolicited hugs.

3. Time together as a family.

4. Words. Reading them, writing them.

5. Laughing together

Monday, July 20, 2015

Talking to myself

Today's prompt asks the question what 10 things would I say to my 16 year old self, if I could.

1. It gets better. The bullying and harassment will stop soon. Just keep going.

2. You won't be this close with these friends forever. But you will keep in touch with a lot of them thanks to social media. However, in just a couple years you'll be in college and you'll make new friends, who will be the best friends you could ask for.

3. You'll make some questionable choices, but that's okay. You'll learn and become a stronger person from them.

4. It's okay to ask hard questions.

5. It's okay to take care of yourself.

6. It's okay to say no.

7. Treasure the time with your friends, since some won't make it far into adulthood.

8. In 3 short years, you're going to grow up very quickly.

9. You're going to be okay.

10. Don't stop dreaming.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


(Again, blog challenge found here)

Day 2 of this challenge is about fears. Describe 3 legitimate fears I have and explain how they came about. Sounds easy enough, right?

1. I'm afraid of ducks and cows. Not pictures, toys, or anything like that, but being around them in person. Exposed. No walls or fence to protect me.
Image from

I'll wait for you to stop laughing.

No really, stop.

Why am I afraid of ducks and cows? It's simple, really - they started it!

When I was little, we used to go to a duck pond and feed the ducks. These big, ugly black ducks with red bills.

 These ducks are mean. They chased me and bit me. Evil things.

As for the cows? That one is simple. I was near one, and something startled it, and it reared up at me like a horse does! Cows are huge, and I knew that was bad. I haven't been able to get close to one since.

2. Like every parent, I'm terrified of something happening to either of my daughters. This fear is bestowed at birth, I'm sure, and is pretty self-explanatory. Both girls tested this within their first couple days of life but thankfully both are healthy and full of life.

3. Heights. I'm fine on planes, but can't stand being near the edge of balconies and decks. Observation towers? Aerial trams? Nope and nope.

I've ridden this before. It's horrifying.

Monday, July 6, 2015

That's so random

Last night I found a few 30 day blog challenges - how exciting! Roughly half a year of ideas, hooray! (Here is the link if you want to join in.) Today's topic? List 20 random things about myself.

1. I have red hair and blue eyes, which is the rarest hair/eye color combination in the world. And my daughters are the same.

2. The Myers-Briggs personality test classifies me as INFP, accurately.

3. I read a lot. On Goodreads, I set my yearly challenge as reading 100 books this calendar year. As of today I'm at 136 finished and counting.

4. I google everything. Seriously, everything. If I don't know something, I just look it up. Honestly I can't comprehend why everyone doesn't! What else was that actor in? How do you make a certain dish? Is that political story going around Facebook true or not? I can tell you in seconds.

5. I think bacon is a bit overrated.

6.  I'm guilty of this:

7. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by responsibilities that I just shut down for a day or two. I read book after book after book and try to forget for a while. Then I can move on and deal.

8. Cold temperatures make me break out in hives, starting on my fingers and traveling up my arms if I don't warm up.

9. I often have a hard time sleeping because my brain just will not shut off. So I'll read to distract my brain, which leads to a whole other insomnia issue.

10. I'm 5'11" and still wear heels. And I won't apologize for that, either.

11. Red is my favourite color.

12. Grumpy Cat annoys me greatly.

13. I've had a terrible case of poison ivy for nearly 2 weeks now. Today is day 12 of oral steroids for it. I wish I could stay on them forever! I've been pain free in my back and feet for the first time in a year.

14. I used to paint with watercolors and oils but it's been almost 10 years since I've done it. I have no confidence in my abilities at all and talk myself out of it every time.

15. I do this a lot, too:

16. My favourite movies are The Whole Nine Yards and Rent.

17. My favourite TV show is Sherlock.

18. I love big dogs. We have a Pointer (small at 45 lbs) and a German Shepherd (not small at 90ish lbs).

19. This October will be our 18th wedding anniversary. In 2016, I'll have been married for half my life already!

20. I don't mind my job, but I haaaaaate commuting to work. I get so freaking bored in traffic. Even when there's not much traffic I just want to get there already and be done with it. The long drive just kills me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A change of perspective

When Sophie, our five year old, was two days old, she started having seizures. The first one caught my attention as "This is odd. I wonder what it is." But they happened every hour, like clockwork, and progressively worsened. We took her to the pediatrician, where she had another seizure. Before we knew it, I was riding in the back of an ambulance with our newborn in her car seat strapped to a stretcher, on our way to the ER at Children's Hospital. This tiny baby was put through so many medical tests and interventions. The giant doses of IV medications to stop her last, longest, seizure did the job, but kept her asleep for the next two days.

I cried a lot during the week we spent in the hospital (as a nursing mother I was admitted with her). I missed my husband and oldest daughter. My husband had been staying at the hospital at first and our oldest was staying with a friend, but then she became sick and had to go home. I missed my home, our dogs, and a normal life. I felt cheated out of the happy new-baby-at-home time we'd been expecting. I was scared, lonely, and hormonal.

Finally, she was deemed healthy. The seizures were the result of bleeding on her brain, trauma from her quick delivery. The bleeding had stopped and the blood reabsorbed itself into her tiny body. But the neurologist wasn't the admitting doctor, and that doctor wanted to be safe. She wouldn't discharge us until every single test came back. However, she was able to be disconnected from all the monitors that kept her confined to a six-foot radius of her bassinet. I was able to walk with her up and down the halls, and see something other than the four walls of our room and the various procedure rooms.

While we were walking around, though, I realized that no matter how scary and horrible that week was, we were one of the lucky ones. Our child was going to be fine. We were taking her home. Too many kids there have serious illnesses, or terminal diseases. Too many families don't get to take their kids home, or are in the hospital for long periods of time. For too many, my nightmare is their normal. I took Sophie back to our room, and cried again. Out of relief, and heartbreak for all the other children on our floor.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wordless Wendesday

Because sometimes, there just aren't any explanations.

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Things I love

I found this idea on Pinterest today, and it's intended for the Project Life type fancy journaling, which I do not do. At all. Don't have the time, energy, or organization for that. Instead, I blog sporadically.
Much better, right?

So, here are 100 things I love (in no particular order):

  1. My husband
  2. My daughters
  3. My parents
  4. My sister and her family
  5. Caffeine
  6. Internet
  7. My friends
  8. Texting
  9. Snapchat
  10. Dark Chocolate
  11. Naps
  12. Our new sofa and love seat
  13. Writing
  14. Reading
  15. Books
  16. Kindle
  17. Netflix
  18. Hulu
  19. My dogs
  20. Beautiful clothes
  21. Shoes
  22. Bags
  23. Tea
  24. Cookies
  25. Ice cream
  26. Fruit
  27. Sherlock
  28. Supernatural
  29. The Blacklist
  30. Joss Whedon
  31. Family time
  32. Fanboy Expo
  33. Feminism
  34. Sunshine
  35. Bodies of water
  36. Nature
  37. Sleep
  38. Music
  39. Pinterest
  40. Office supplies
  41. Art
  42. Jewelry
  43. Makeup
  44. Quinoa
  45. Beyonce
  46. Forehead kisses
  47. Spontaneous kid love
  48. Doctor Who
  49. Harry Potter
  50. Warm weather
  51. Stripes
  52. Autumn
  53. The scent of the flowering tree outside our front window
  54. Color
  55. The Whole Nine Yards
  56. Sims 3
  57. Red
  58. Vacation days
  59. Weekends
  60. Peace
  61. Equality
  62. Understanding
  63. Compassion
  64. Improvicooking
  65. Sharp cheddar
  66. Cities
  67. Museums
  68. Parks
  69. Snuggles
  70. Pearls
  71. Traveling
  72. Exploring
  73. Turkey, apple, cranberry, and brie paninis
  74. Broccoli
  75. Carrots cooked with butter and nutmeg
  76. REM
  77. Classical
  78. Jazz
  79. 90s music
  80. Learning
  81. River Song
  82. River Tam
  83. Pasta
  84. Sarcasm
  85. Quirkiness
  86. Anything caramel
  87. Facebook
  88. Washi tape
  89. Much Ado About Nothing (also this one)
  90. Jennifer Coburn books
  91. Toby Neal books
  92. The Moonstone
  93. Beautiful architecture
  94. Warm cozy socks
  95. Dinner made by someone else
  96. Secret smiles
  97. Knowledge
  98. Baby snuggles
  99. Laughter
  100. The Princess Bride

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pick-and-choose Christianity

The biggest objection to gay marriage right now is the religious, Christian argument of “The Bible says it’s wrong! In Leviticus, God calls it an abomination!” 

A few weeks ago, my teenage daughter mentioned wanting to get a tattoo when she turns 18. She’s also talked to me about wanting mother-daughter tattoos. My father used another Leviticus reference to admonish her for wanting a tattoo. 

This morning, while sitting in church, I started flipping through Leviticus trying to find the first reference, about homosexuality. Silly me, wanting to know the entire verse and context. I never found it, but I did find the verse my father was referencing. The exact same verse says men shouldn’t cut their hair or trim their beards. 

You see, I grew up in the Christian church, but as an adult, I’m turned off by the arrogance of many Christians who want to force their own rules on all Americans, even those of other religions or no religion at all. The very reason America was established by the early settlers was to escape the religious oppression of the Church of England – the “do it our way or else” mentality that is taking over our society today.

So, here’s a list taken directly from the frequently-referenced book of Leviticus of rules for society (by the way, these are not even rules for Christians – this was thousands of years before the birth of Jesus. I have yet to hear any of these from the New Testament.)

Things you SHOULD be doing:

  • ·         Animal sacrifices out of both guilt (for penance) or for praise
  • ·         Women who have given birth have to be hidden away for 33 days if the baby was a boy, 66 days if she had a girl. Then make an animal sacrifice at the sanctuary to be allowed back in.
  • ·         Two weeks out of every month women are “unclean” – the week of menstruation and seven days after. Anyone who touches her or her clothing, furniture, anything she dared to sit on, is also unclean. On the 8th day of after the second week, make a sacrifice.
  • ·         Have extramarital sex with a female slave
  • ·         Pay hired workers (employees) daily
  • ·         “The foreigners residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself.” (Gives new meaning to immigration reform, huh?)
  • ·         Execute anyone who curses at their parent.
  • ·         In the case of adultery, execute both parties.
  • ·         Burn prostitutes to death, if their father is a minister/priest.
  • ·         Marry a virgin
  • ·         Every seventh year, plant nothing. (Sorry farmers)

Things you absolutely cannot do:

  • ·         Eat rabbit, pork, birds, shellfish, calamari, anything from the ocean that does not have scales
  • ·         Cannot eat the harvest of your fruit trees for five years
  • ·         Eat blood sausage, blood pudding, rare steaks – nothing with blood at all.
  • ·         Gather your entire harvest of crops.
  • ·         Show preference to either the poor or the wealthy (that knocks out most politicians, right?)
  • ·         Mate different kinds of animals (Liger? Mule? Wolf-dog hybrids? Turkins? Bueller?)
  • ·         Plant two different kinds of seed in the same field (so much for companion planting – or household gardens)
  • ·         Wear clothing of two different kinds of material (cotton/lycra blends? Wool blends? Tshirt and jeans?)
  • ·         Mistreat foreigners
  • ·         Marry a widow, divorced woman, or someone from another country.
  • ·         Work on the Sabbath.
  • ·         Cut your hair
  • ·         Trim your beard
  • ·         Shave your head
  • ·         Get a tattoo or pierce the skin

All of these are found in Leviticus. If the whole “homosexuality is a sin” argument is valid, why aren’t these? Why do modern Christians give more weight to one thing than the others? And before anyone references the instructions of “go into the world and make disciples of all men” – that does not mean forcibly make them follow your religious rules. “But Jesus was the fulfillment of the law, so those rules don’t apply to Christians!” So why pick and choose some to still try to force on others?

 I legitimately don’t understand. How is gay marriage an attack on marriage? How does it threaten marriage? And since in the US, marriage is a LEGAL contract not a RELIGIOUS contract, it shouldn’t even be an issue. If you don’t want gay marriages performed, what’s next? Atheists can’t get married? Jews can’t be married? (Jews are not Christians, by the way) Buddhists, Sikhs, Taoists, Native Americans practicing native religions, Hindus, agnostics? Why not then ban weddings performed at City Hall, in gardens, at home, on boats, in orchards, in any venue other than a church? 

Or, better yet, why not remember that God loves everyone and the commandment “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Thursday, May 7, 2015


I wore a sleeveless top to work today.

We live in the South, and it's hot and humid. Temperatures are already in the mid-80s every day. It's just plain hot.

So, I wore a sleeveless top.

I examined myself in the mirror. Do my boobs look to big? Does my belly look big? My dress pants aren't very forgiving, either. I'm a little bit round in the middle. Is it really okay to wear this to work? Should I put on a longer top that covers my stomach and butt? But it's really hot, I'd be roasting. What about my arms? They're not toned at all. I have a bruise from a rambunctious dog.

Do I look fat in this outfit?

But then -

Screw it. I'm NOT skinny like I used to be, years ago before birthing babies and age making my metabolism slow down. I have boobs, a belly, and a butt. I'm human.

So much subtext goes into dressing ourselves each morning. We have to look professional (or at least presentable) to be taken seriously, or at the very least avoid the "Oh my, are you feeling okay? You don't look so good" well-meaning if backhanded remarks. We can't show too much skin, because heaven forbid we acknowledge that we have arms and legs and middles. Every inch of our bodies are scrutinized for criticism - too much makeup? Not enough? Every hair in place? But not too overdone? Clothing is perfect, even though we might be bloated that day? Shoes are pretty? But not too high, because apparently heel height has correlation with promiscuity. What about accessories? Can't be too flashy, because that's just showing off.

I wore the sleeveless top to work today.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Hi again.

Yes, I know. It's been a while. Life happens. And keeps happening. And I have to Adult, which makes me tired. So after I Adult, I don't always have the ability to form coherent thoughts here. I think them, just can't quite express them.

So anyway, allow me to reintroduce myself.
(Yes, there's a purpose for this.)

See? Big baby.
I am a wife.
I am a mother of daughters.
I am a daughter.
I am a dog-mom. I hate that term, but basically it's true. We have a giant baby who sheds. A lot.
I am a feminist.
I am pro-choice.
I am pro gay marriage.
I am an employee.
I am a dreamer.
I am an optimist.
I am a bookaholic.
I am addicted to caffeine.
I am a friend.
I am quiet.
I am chatty.
I am not too many steps from vegetarianism.
I am frustrated.
I am fed up with the discord in our nation.
I am irritated by parroting of news commentators.
I am eclectic in my musical tastes.
I am a watcher of geekery.
I am also a Penny.
I am a lover of Pinterest.
I am achy.
I am loved.

So tell me about you! Bonus points if you use no physical description. We are not our bodies.