Feb 28, 2011

Victory is mine

Yesterday the Grand Finale and I went to visit The Beautiful Redhead.  It was one of the few days where I dared risk the trip, as the weather was warm and it was just supposed to rain.  We drove through a lot of fog to get there.  Our view looked like this:

It was easy to forget where you were during a long trip. This picture is a good analogy of the picture of my life, incidentally, much of the time.  I mean, I always know I'm on the way to somewhere, but I often cannot fathom where because I cannot seem to see too far ahead.  Probably just God's plan so I don't give up too soon.  But I digress.  I do it beautifully, don't I?  So, we made it and picked up The Beautiful Redhead and spent the afternoon shopping.  Not anything exciting, rather Sam's Club for tp and trash bags, but we got to eat out.

This is quite a thing for us these days.
I want you to know that for the first time in my memory, my children asked me where I wanted to eat.  Which is maybe not so shocking to you, but then they ate where I wanted to eat without one word of complaint.
It was so shocking, to me, that I reflected all the way through the meal that we actually had a good time the whole day.  Not one drink was spilt.  Not one rude word was exchanged.  The Grand Finale even sat next to each other, in a restaurant with actually glass glasses and real silverware and bread plates and EVERYTHING, man, and never even threw elbows into each other's ribs.  They passed things, used their napkins, and I'm pretty sure the waiter was half hitting on The Beautiful Redhead, but she took it in stride without seeming interested.  I don't think she was interested, you understand, but if she was I am pretty sure she would not want me to know it.  Hopefully this stage will end soon. 

In other words, it is my great pleasure to announce that we have made it.  Where we have made it is hard to define, but any parent who has spent the last 15 years in "restaurants" that feature ball pits or mouse mascots paying you attention will know instinctively what I mean.  We are in a good place, where we are able to simulate a normal family without arousing suspicion.
I almost had some wine to celebrate, but then I remembered it just makes me go to sleep now and I couldn't afford to supply the under aged Beautiful Redhead with a liquor source.  Let her explore her luck with the friendly waiter.  He didn't look 21 to me either, but these days nobody does until they are about 30.

So on our way home it looked like this:

And this, very cool.  It made me want to hear The Year of The Cat terribly, and I don't have that recorded on a CD.  Can you believe that??  A classic song like that?  Note to self made.

When we left Columbia, it was 64 degrees and misty.  The Cyclist called me a little upset about some storm warnings and possible tornadoes.  I started home immediately.  By the time we got to Moberly it was 36 degrees, raining, and very very foggy.  Every once in a while you could tell it was lightening because it looked like a flash had gone off, but I was beginning to worry about tornadoes.  By the time we got to New Cambria, a tornado warning for Randolph Co. came on the radio.  We had missed it by about 30 minutes.  It continued to rain hard almost all the way home, but we made it safe and sound.
You never know what a day will bring.  Especially in Missouri.  That makes us have to trust God a lot, not to mention, be aware and prepared.
Take time to enjoy your victories, no matter how small they might seem.  No victory is small.  They add up and before you know it, you are living your dream.  At least, parts of it.  Nobody has everything ALL the time.

Feb 26, 2011

Distracted much?

I was so excited last night to catch up with one of my dearest, best friends in the world, who was coming to my house for dinner.  I was in such a good mood that I agreed to let the Grand Finale have 3 of their friends spend the night.  They promised to be quiet and good, and they were as good as their word.

So this morning I got up, fried a dozen eggs, made a load of toast, and told the boys to get around because I had to go grocery shopping.  Running around the house getting my list made, throwing in laundry, doing dishes, etc., etc.

I get to Wal Mart and forgot my list, which I have learned doesn't really matter anymore.  For some reason if I wrote it down and forgot the list I can still remember what was on it.  I have checked myself many times and found that I have about a 98% chance of getting everything even without the list in my hands at the time.

It worked this time to. 


 Except that after I got home and the boys all helped unload the groceries I happened to catch sight of myself in the mirror as I put up the toilet paper, and realized that I had just spent at least an hour wandering around Wal Mart, talking to people the whole time, with only one hoop earring in.  I remember putting one in and not being able to find the other one, then grabbing more dirty clothes to put in the laundry and making a note to myself to find the other one where I seemed to remember laying it down.  It is important to note that I did not write that down, just thought I would remember.  This has made me laugh several times already.  If you can't laugh at yourself, your life is going to seem endless and much too long.  Whether anyone noticed or not remains a mystery, but if you hear that I'm wandering around looking like a hot mess, rest assured that it is both true and not anything serious to worry about. :)

The moral of the story is to write stuff down.  Also it is always a good idea to look at yourself in the mirror before you leave the house.  As you get older, or maybe it's only if you have kids, you quit looking at yourself in the mirror much.  Whether this is due to the fact that you just don't care anymore or it never mattered in the first place, I will let you decide, dear reader. 

Write things down, double check, and don't feel like the Lone Ranger if it happens to you, folks.  There really is nothing new under the sun.

Have a good weekend!  I'll be looking for 1 hoop earring, no telling when it will turn up, or where.

Feb 24, 2011

Gang rape happens, even if not reported

I hate to bring everybody down today, but as you know, I can never keep my mouth shut.

The following link is a story that has not seen much coverage.  It is a difficult topic.  But I'll be damned if I'm going to keep quiet about it.  It is graphic and true.  If you have a daughter, or are a daughter, read it.

Still here?  How are you feeling now?  Did you know this?  Hadn't heard? 

This woman, an American citizen and reporter for CBS, was raped, by between 6 and 50 men, for up to 3 hours (reports vary) in a mob while they screamed JEW.  Oh, and a lot of it was recorded. On camera phones.  Hard as it is to believe, they simultaneously have camera phones and lack any aspect of simple human decency.

First of all, the last thing I would ever want to do is bring more pain to this woman, or any woman who has gone through this.  I cannot imagine surviving this or even trying to recover from it.  I certainly cannot imagine trying to survive it or recover from it with the whole world watching.  I don't know if we will ever hear from Ms. Logan again.  I would certainly understand if we did not.  I do not want to draw unwanted attention to her, but this needs to be addressed.

Second of all, I know she has been a reporter for years and used to work for CNN.   I remember her reporting from the Iraq war.  I assume she is very familiar with the Middle East, which is why I cannot for the life of me imagine why she would have gone out to report (about the democracy loving protester's, if CBS and other MSM are to be believed) without covering her head with at least a scarf.  But she did.  I do not think a woman "should" have to cover her head with a scarf, no American does as far as I know.  However, in Muslim countries men have the right to beat you and even kill you for this offence.  This is their law. Be prepared before you go to obey their laws, as we SHOULD be able to expect them to obey ours in America.  

When in Rome..... So there is that.  I do not know if the powers that be told her she was exempt from this, or that they could protect her, or what.  We may never know, but I certainly hope we find out.  Suffice it to say I think it was a very bad decision on her part, and I do not believe for an instant that she did not know better.  I also find it hard to believe she would have risked this because she has never seemed unintelligent to me.  So there is more to this story I think.

Third of all, if you know a young woman (or are a young woman) who thinks it is her "right" to dress any way you want to, this might serve as a cautionary tale for you.  I am not saying you do not have the right to dress any way you want.  I am saying that you need to be careful of the image you project and the company you keep, because things can get way out of hand really quick and there may not be anybody there who can, or will, help you.  In fact, there may be lots of guys standing around recording whatever happens with camera phones.  Count on it.  Ms. Logan was not dressed provocatively in any way, shape or form to an Americans eye.  I do not mean to suggest that she was.  I mean to suggest that to those men, because she was a woman, felt they had the right to treat her any way they saw fit.  Their mother's must be SO proud.

Scary stuff.

Fourth, this would be a good time to say a little prayer for Ms. Logan, and while you are at it, thank God that you live in a country where  people have rights, whether they are man, woman or child.  Hell, in America even fish, birds and trees have rights protected by lawyers (activists) paid for by the taxpayers.  Better to be safe than sorry.

The fact that this has not been reported on bothers me most of all.  I do not want to bring more attention to her now, in her condition.  In fact, if I was guarding her door, I would make everyone go away and probably shoot all the  men just for good measure.  It seems to me that this story didn't "fit in" with the crap they are trying to make us believe. So they didn't say anything, not to protect her privacy, but to protect their storyline and their asses while they are at it.  Their mother's must be SO proud.

Frankly, people, we are not that stupid.  It scares me for our young people to go around believing what they see on TV.  They might believe that you can go around the world and not have to worry because you are an American.  They might not have noticed that we are combating Anti-American hate from more and more directions all the time, some of them WITHIN OUR OWN COUNTRY.  We have a pretty good life here.  It's not perfect and never will be.  We have our problems, but we can work them out if we are all on the same side.  I want to believe we are all on the same side, but it gets harder every day.

Someone started a facebook page entitled "We raped Lara Logan and enjoyed".  This hit me like a train.  I reported it and asked everyone I knew to report it also.  I suppose it was a "right" to start a page like that in America.  It's our right to report it also.  I'll be interested to see how long it stays up.  But I was so sad thinking that anyone would do that at all.  It is beyond cruel, beyond tasteless, and beyond reason to me.  If they did it just to upset people it is the most pathetic thing I've ever imagined.

Like the college students who boo'd the vet at Columbia college, it sickened me and I wondered what this world was coming to.  Is it some kind of joke to them?  What is this attitude????  Who is encouraging our young people to think, let alone act, this way?  What kind of environment nurtures this kind of behavior?
I do not know.  But I will not politely lower my eyes and keep quiet.  EVER.  Because it is wrong.

Funny how with all our technology gang rape still ranks number one as the preferred method of war, isn't it?  Isn't that just hilarious? 
I hope you know that is sarcasm.  (We SO need a font for that, tone cannot translate in the written word).

The only advice I can offer is be aware.  Of where you are, who you are around, and the tone you are projecting.  Do not assume other people are good, or even decent.  Some people have no idea what it is to live in a civilised society.  A LOT of people, and we have more here every day.

The only hope I can offer you tonight is the hope that those animals will be blown off the map and left to pick up rocks for the next 75 years.  I wish I could say it was a valid hope, but I am sorry to say I don't think it's going to happen.

We'll see.

I pray for Lara Logan to find her strength, and not so she can cover for her network, either.  Shame.

Feb 23, 2011

Time to hit it again......or not

It is that time of year when, if you live in the Midwest, you start to think the weather is going to get warmer.  I say you think the weather is going to start to get warmer because the sun is out longer and the breezes are no longer Arctic winds.  Most of the time.  The fact of the matter is that Mother Nature is teasing us.  She knows we are tired of the cold and the dark.  She also knows we are desperate enough to believe it will change pretty quick despite years of evidence to the contrary.
If I had a dime for every time I've torn the plastic off the insides of the windows at the first sign of the weather warming up, only to be fighting an Arctic blast a few weeks later, I would be sitting pretty.  Have you ever tried to figure out how to get a quilt to stay over windows to keep out a draft?  If you live in a city and think a "quilt" is something you order out of a catalog and weighs less than 25 pounds, you should know that your education in this area had been sorely neglected.  I know they are pretty!  I know they are expensive!!  But that does not make them a real quilt, my dear.  The only way you can get a real quilt to stay over windows would be to nail it, and that would be sacrilege with a real quilt.
It's that time of year when I know I should start spring cleaning, but I would much rather sit in my warm bed and pop bubble wrap instead. 
You don't pop bubble wrap in bed instead of facing bleak realities?
You should try it.  You will like it.  You will want the smaller bubble wrap, trust me on this.  It is much, much cheaper than therapy, assuming you even live in an area where that is geographically possible, which I do not.
This time of year I am lost in the purgatory of not being able to see the end of the tunnel or a justifiable reason to look very hard for it.  I am reluctant to change my winter routine of staying warm and going to bed early. 
Especially if I have bubble wrap on hand. 
Methodically popping bubble wrap while mulling over situations in your life results in more logical thinking and calmer heart rhythm.
No, I don't have any science (!) to back that up but if you try it you will see for yourself.
  It also leaves plenty of time to notice how many cobwebs have accumulated over the past several months and make a plan of attack, once you decide to hit it again.
Or not.

It will come. 
I will know by the bright sunshine that will illuminate the cobwebs in the corners and the marks on the walls.  It's been a long winter, and somewhere along the way the Grand Finale decided to put some nails in the walls. They also had some wild swings which resulted in two (2) perfectly hammer shaped holes in two (2) different rooms.  That I did not ask about the details says a lot about the state of my mental health this winter.  Actually, it says a lot about how mothering tends to wear one down, but I'll save that for another post.
It's not all bad.  I used to get really upset and cry about stupid stuff like that.
Which actually makes me laugh real laughter now.
Live and learn!
For now, let's concentrate on the fact that it is spring, almost.  Despite the temperature, look what I found poking their little heads up today:

These are surprise lilies, naked ladies, whatever you want to call them.  I used to get excited every year when this part came up.  Because I forgot that this is just the green part and means nothing except at some point there will be very fast growing flowers with NO LEAVES, and whenever that point happens, it will be a surprise.  That they will probably by buried under 2 inches of snow by Saturday will affect their progress not at all.


These will be jonquils and will not let us down.  They will have pretty yellow flowers soooon, very soon.

And here is a shot that I took of the full moon last week that made SHADOWS as long as it was out.  How clear and beautiful were the nights that this moon lit!  I certainly hope you took the time to notice and appreciate it.  I know I did.

Hold on.  Just a little bit longer.

Feb 19, 2011

Uncomfortable positions

If you are looking for a laugh today, you need to stop reading right here.

I am "having a life" for a little while this weekend, so no long post, but this morning I checked one of my favorite news blogs and saw this, and no matter how you feel about abortion, I think you need to get real clear on your stand because our young women need us now more than ever in the history of this world.

Whatever choices you may make, they stay with you and will shape you and hold you accountable every single day of your life.  Sorry to be the one to break it to you if you hadn't figured this out already.

When you are a young woman, you cannot even imagine how long your life is going to go on.  You will not be able to understand even this concept for many years.  And that is just due to the hormones, honey, and nobody's fault at all.  In fact, it's the way God designed it. 

I do not think we will ever see a world without abortion.  I don't even think we have ever seen a world without abortion, whether it was accomplished by some Pennyroyal in your tea that you bought from the wisewoman of the village or a "free" women's health provider in a modern clinic.  It has always been with us.

When Roe vs. Wade passed, I, like most people I think, assumed it would be safe and rare.  Somewhere we have slipped off the track.  How we got to the point that there could be any question as to the seriousness of that decision, not to mention the consequences of such an action, is beyond me. 

If you are still here, please see the link below and my comment.  Feel free to leave a comment also.

We are the adults now.  It is up to us. 

True story.

And after that, spend the weekend with someone you love.  God bless you all and if you are not praying for our country, now would be a good time.

Feb 17, 2011

Oh, sorry, didn't see you.....

I am adjusting to bifocals....does that ever end?
I keep getting home from the grocery store with stuff that I didn't want.  At first I just thought I was extremely absent minded, but I think I may have figured it out.  Last week I expressly remembered getting a bag of tator tots to make the ever popular tator tot casserole.  When I looked in the freezer to get the tots, they weren't there.  After looking in both freezers all I came up with was a bag of hashbrowns that I didn't remember buying.  I think the bags of hash browns must have been a little bit closer than the tator tots, and I grabbed the wrong bag. 
This is my life now.
I hate to bring it up, but so far my driving has been ok.  At least as far as I know.
Looking down is a challenge, and if it's dark, I just have to grab something and wave my foot around until I find something to set it down on.  From there I call on faith, man.   I think it's my only hope.
I saw an old friend of mine in the post office the other day and I noticed that while we were standing beside each other we kept twisting our necks around so that we could see each other "right".  Neither one of us mentioned it but I have to say, it was painful and made my head hurt.
One night going into a basketball tournament in the dark I had to stop and shut my eyes because the sidewalk sloped down at one point and it made me dizzy. DIZZY!!   The people in the next car probably thought I was drunk.  Or worse.  With any luck they will spread the word and people will give me extra room for parking.
This could get messy.  I'm just hoping I don't get hurt.
And if one more person tells me they saw me the other day and I didn't wave, let me say this:
I wave at everybody who I see, having long ago given up trying to figure out who they are.  If I don't wave, give the old lady the benefit of the doubt and just assume I didn't see you, because I probably didn't.  In fact, you might want to count yourself lucky that I am not trying to park in the spot "next" to you.
With that I'm going to go try to make a grocery list....the tricky part will be double checking to make sure I actually get what is on the list before I leave the store.

Feb 16, 2011

Resume? Seriously? I'm a mother--I can do it all

I am so excited that Mrs. G commented on my blog that I'm floating. 
She is a very savvy woman, and she brought up the supreme point that her years spent mothering make a crappy resume for employers.
I know where she is coming from.
But the employers are wrong.
I've had three paying jobs since becoming a mother, and let's just say that while the titles were different the jobs are all about the same.
All the jobs have required me to be pleasant, whether I feel pleasant or not, organization, decision-making, and drudgery.  Most importantly, though, all the jobs have required my mothering skills, especially that last one.
The most valuable skills I learned being a mother were these: distraction, negotiation,and re-direction.
These skills are in constant use due to the simple fact that I work with other people.
I work for one of the few places left in America where you get a real person to answer the phone.  We pride ourselves on this when it's a customer that calls.
Sadly, about 30% of the calls I answer these days are from recordings.  This is not a good plan from a practical standpoint if you want people to listen to you. Most of them come from collection agencies who have been smacked down (by yours truly) for calling a business phone during business hours and don't want to get fined again.  Apparently there is some loop hole that makes it not count if it's a recording that violates that rule again and again.  The others are seasonal and usually from political candidates.  Of both parties.  I have sent all offenders strongly worded e mails.  They haven't seemed to notice.  Yet.  The money spent of these calls and the trash they send through the mail is one of my personal targets to de-fund.  But I digress.

So, with all these calls ringing in, none of which are usually for me (just like home) things can get kind of hectic.  If I hadn't been following up on all those kids all those years, I would never remember to nag remind my "people" of all the appointments they need to keep and calls they may not have remembered to return.
I also try to keep some candy around all the time.  Guess where I learned this?  This way, if someone comes up and is having a hard day you can listen quickly, throw some chocolate at them, and send them on their way.  They are usually so happy to see the chocolate they don't realize you are hurrying them on their way, and if they do, well, the chocolate serves as a happy distraction and they forgive you.  They will be back, it should go without saying, but you are there everyday anyway and you just never know what a day will bring.  Chocolate is never inappropriate.
Also, people sometimes come in the front door.  Not a lot of people who shouldn't but the occasional new salesman.  To my eternal consternation, we now have companies who send people out to find new customers in areas that are already serviced by these same companies.  It is pretty hard to be the one to break it to the enthusiastic new recruit that we already have a representative, yes, from your same company.  It's very embarrassing for them. I have to help them through the moment when they realize they have wasted their time, energy, and possibly money to work for a company who either doesn't know, or doesn't care that they are sending them on a fool's errand.  It's not easy.  Kind of like the first time your child figures out they have been played for a fool.  By a jerk.  Chocolate does not hurt in this situation, but you have to walk a tightrope because clearly you are not being paid to comfort strange salespersons.  A cheerful tone of voice and the assumption that there must have been a mistake is the quickest way to get them moving right back out the door again, hopefull with their pride intact.  The repeat offenders I give the old "firing lasers out of my eyes" look.  I assume you remember this look from your own mother and it need not be explained further here.  It is a universal look recognized by all, not least traveling salespersons.  Hilariously, this works much better on men than women.  Women think they can see my laser eyed look and raise me a business card.  I take it, give them my steel door look and ask if they have anything they would like to leave.  They fold, but not because they are weak, because they are smart, and recognize steel when they see it.  That may just be the last dregs of my hope for women not to embarrass me anymore talking right there.  So be it.  I grew up nurturing that dream and I'll go down nurturing that same dream.  Along the way maybe someone will notice.

With all that going on, I am also expected to do actual work, fitting it in around the phone and various and sundry persons coming through the front door.
Now, anywhere you have people you have personalities.  These are not carefully examined and matched before you go to work (although that is a great idea), so you have to muddle through the best way you can.  My method is to try to just skip along the tops of the waves and not get too involved.  Failing that, I try to keep my mouth shut and keep working.  This is not a hugely popular choice, except for with the people who actually pay you.  I take it as a mark of my mothering skills that I can get up and walk down the hallway, sending people skittering back to their desks behind me.  This is a most valuable skill, and one that all mothers have.
Recently we had someone fall on the ice in the parking lot.  Every mother in the place went to see the victim, checked their eyes, asked if they felt nauseous and warned them to tell us if they felt sleepy.  There was no need to consult a book, we mothers knew what to do.  The victim recovered just fine.
One day the toner broke all over the floor.  Did I stand around and wait for a janitor to clean it up?  Don't be silly, I am well acquainted with the business end of a shop vac.  Years of cleaning floors qualified me to take control of the situation immediately.  It was less mess, if you can believe it, than most of the meals my children flung to the floor.  And I got paid to clean the toner up!  Win-win.
Somebody's in a bad mood, somebody's sick, somebody's sad, somebody's excited and can't concentrate.  Am I talking about my own breakfast table in the morning or work?  What's the difference?  One I not only get paid to deal with--I am not emotionally involved in!

I am telling you, if you want a good employee who shows up most every day, who can and will roll with the punches, who is not above doing the dirty work, and who is used to doing all this for free, hire a mother!  Mothers will not let you down.  Mothers will not shirk responsibility.  Mothers keep a drawer of candy for the bad days.  Most importantly, mothers intuitively recognize the shortest and simplest answers to any question, and are not afraid to implement it, giving you peace and quiet so that you can get some work done. 

Feb 15, 2011

Is Science Saturated with Sexism? - Christina Hoff Sommers - National Review Online

Is Science Saturated with Sexism? - Christina Hoff Sommers - National Review Online

Did you see this? It turns out, and I quote, "the real problem most women scientists confront is the challenge of combining motherhood with a high-powered science career. This issue, they say, will never be solved by the “misplaced focus on discrimination.”
This, despite trumped up "evidence" of discrimination and many, many retreats, seminars, etc. supposedly dedicated to the study of said discrimination, and paid for by our tax dollars.

Thanks affirmative action! (waves, resignedly)

Time to get real yet?

Motherhood really is important. No doubt someone is trying to get funding to do a study to prove it right now. But wait! People with brains already know that. Oh......

Stop goverment funding of crap like this. If people want to spend their time chasing their tails, more power to them, provided they pay for it themselves. That's where I stand.

Feb 11, 2011

The old bait and switch...feminism revisited

My impressions of Women's Lib, straight from the front.  I was there, man, just young.

Feminism.  What does that mean?  Good question these days.

I was born in 1965.  I can vaguely remember the women burning their bras on TV.  I just got a glimpse before my mother turned it off.  She shrugged it off as something "the hippies" were doing.  I asked why people would burn bras they had paid money for.  She said that they were protesting because they didn't think they should have to conform the natural shape of their bodies with foreign objects.  Those were not her exact words, of course, I was 7 years old.  I don't remember her exact words, but I do remember a little history lesson that started with corsets, hit girdles somewhere in the middle and ended with bras, burned in a dumpster.

I should mention now that my mother never, to my knowledge, went anywhere but to bed without a bra.  I should probably also mention, because in my opinion, this MATTERS on this subject:  my mom actually had boobs.  Good ones, which get plenty of attention WITH a bra on, thank-you-very-much.  I am pretty sure they must have all been small boobed women, those bra burners.  Or high.  Maybe they were just stuck at home with the kids and would take any opportunity to get out of the house.  I wouldn't really know.  I was at home with my mother, who explained what she could about the movement but never waivered in her conviction of what a woman is.  Or the wearing of her bra, either one.

I wonder who watched the kids while they were burning their bras?  Probably their mother's, who were at home doing what women had always done: raise children and making a home.  I figure those mothers were probably thinking "get real".

Next was the Equal Rights Amendment, that resulted in nothing ,for decades, but a whole lotta arguing and a new name for laudry detergent.  I love the irony there.  It was supposed to make sure women got paid the same as men for doing the same work. The "same" work was never satisfactorily defined.  At the time, my mother "had" to go to work, as was her right after she was left with two small children.  Her husband finally left her to run off with another woman.  I think she was a woman, although a legal definition of "age of consent" may need to be consulted to tell for sure.  Never heard if she wore a bra or not.  Mom got a job at a bank, where she was not allowed to wear anything other than a skirt or a dress.  Of course she wore a bra, too.  I'm pretty sure they would have frowned on liberated sorts who didn't.

I do not remember hearing discussions of who would watch the children if the women went to work, but I'm sure they were going on.  Maybe they were figuring their mothers would do it.  I also do not remember hearing discussions of what would happen when those children got sick, but I'm sure people were discussing it.  Or, they may have just figured that their mother's would do that, too.  Because they always had.  When you decide to change the way things have always been, there are a lot of variablesI suppose it's hard to be prepared for.

What I brought out of the whole experience was that girls were supposed to be equal to men, and get paid the same.  That is pretty general, I know, but I was about 10 at this time.  Honestly, I have to say it sounded good to me.  I already felt I had been somehow devalued, not to mention being defensive about it, which must have been part of their plan, but it was years before that would occur to me.

Flash forward 10 years, say 1985:

We girls are all prepared to have "careers" and make all this money, only we still don't get paid the same amount as men.  We are pissed about this.  A lot of us aren't married because we don't feel that we have been indoctrinated to look down on women who feel they "need" a man.  We are also of childbearing age now, and oddly, the pill did absolutely nothing to decrease unplanned parenthood.  Since we would be working, we would also be sending our children to daycare, where they will get sick, necessitating the missing of work to take said children to the Dr.  We are missing getting paid, but we have to come up with extra money for the Dr.  and the pharmacy. 

It occurs to me that this might have a little bit to do with the fact that we don't make as much as men.  Most of the men have a wife, mother, sister, someone to do this for them.  Free.  I'm pretty sure that's because no women actually trust any men to take care of small, sick children.  In any event, those damn men hardly ever miss work.

Madonna arrives on the scene as a pop culture icon. 

Everybody starts getting boob jobs.

Oh, and anti-depressants are everywhere, and you are not to feel bad about taking them, either.  It's not your fault you're depressed.

I wonder if this was what the bra burners had in mind.  I think they are doing it wrong.  I solidly stand behind their RIGHT to do it wrong, however.  I mull over the fact that boobs have been the biggest source of money coming to females since........there have been women with boobs.  I think some things never change.  I think someone needs to GET REAL, but I am no longer sure whether it's "them" or me.

Instead of the ERA passing, we got something called "affirmative action", which was supposed to be good not just for women, but anyone of "minority" status.  I vividly remember having a discussion of this with grown adult (around 40 years old) at this time.  The adults were against it, because they said it would end up with people having to hire people because of their gender or color of their skin, which would be bad.  I said that that was just silly, it was to keep people from holding any gender or color issues against you.  They said "GET REAL", they are going to tell us who we can and cannot hire!  I said that would be stupid.  NO one would ever hire a people who weren't qualified, that would be stupid!!!  Then, I am pretty sure I stomped away in a rage, as teenagers are wont to do.  They probably rolled their eyes and lamented my lack of vision.

You see, I could not concieve of a time when what I thought of as adults would ever NOT be in charge.  I also, and this is a luxury not available to the youth of today, was sure that common sense and justice would always prevail in America.
So, I would like to take this opportunity as an adult to apologize to the adults of yesteryear because I have to hand it to you:  YOU WERE RIGHT.  You know who you are.

Some kind of war between working women and stay at home moms begins.  Also at issue, oddly I think, is nursing in public. 
I mean, GET REAL, women have been nursing babies since....women have been having babies.  It's what the ever popular and lucrative boobs are actually designed for.

At any rate, now women, instead of being attacked by other groups, feel free to attack each other.  I think they are doing it wrong, and suspect their mother's are saying "I told you so".
Flash forward 20 years:

All the old rules seem to have been thrown out, along with most of what you would recognize as music.

The little girls who were raised not to compare themselves to or aspire to be Barbie dolls have steel in their faces, ink from one end to another and instead of worrying about careers, just make sex tapes or become pop stars.  Which is now the same as porn, by the way, FCC rules for tv having gone through a liberation of  their own.

Thanks, Madonna! (Who wears big caricatures of bra's incidentally.  Coincidentally?)

 I still do not negate their RIGHT to do that, but I'm wondering what kind of parent (mother) they have (Madonna?  No, you may be surprised to know that she is very strict with her children.  They don't even watch TV, probably for obvious reasons), and what kind of life this is going to make.  I conclude that they are nothing but a cash cow to their parents, who must not be able to conceive of the notion of "nurturing" or "protecting innocence".

We have court cases because, of all the firemen who are eligible for promotions, the ones who get hired have to be black, and none of the black ones could pass the test.  What to do???  Thanks affirmative action!

We have women serving in armed forces, despite having children, and soon will have openly gay people there too.  I wonder who is raising their children.  Not just the women's children either.  This being the age of equality, gay people are going to have the right to get a job and leave their children for someone else to raise also.

On the upside, women finally gain a little in the battle to make as much as men.  Woot!  Woot?

Boob jobs and plastic surgery have reached a saturation point, so begins the long and no doubt painful backlash.  Products said to remove tattoos flood the market.

It occurs to me that when you tell kids they can be anything, they believe you.  As proof, transgenderism abounds almost as much as diagnosed cases of ADHD. 

You can get any kind of drug you want as easily as going to your Dr. and requesting whatever the commercial said repeatedly right before the long and horrifying list of side effects.  Except anitbiotics.  There remains no black market for them unless you can get some for your pet from a vet.   At least, as far as I know.  If I hear of any I will be sure to let you know, though (wink wink).

Where does this leave us?

Beats the hell outta me!

All I know for sure, is this:  the children have to be taken care of and it's usually the women who do it.  I do not mean to take away from what a father brings to the equation.  Perish the thought.  Children need both a mother and father, working in tandem.  One of them needs to be with the child constantly when it is small and cannot take care of itself.  Traditionally, this has been the mother, due to the boobs. 

We have the right to do just about anything we can imagine now.  It pains me to see young girls being encouraged to devalue themselves. And being in some gansta's rap video is not something to be proud of. You can blame drugs, tv, hippies, almost anything and be a little bit right about how we got into this mess, but it seems pretty clear to me that nobody has been taking care of the kids for the last several decades.  That cannot and should not be taken lightly.  I think everybody should do whatever makes them happy.  I just always assumed that personal dignity would always be the natural, unanimous choice of women.  I think they're doing it wrong. 

What have we gained? 
What have we lost?
When are we going to get real?

Feel free to comment.  You are anonymous unless you choose not to be.

Feb 9, 2011

Slogging through

I have had nothing funny happen to me lately and it's that time of year where in MO we are just slogging through till spring.
It's supposed to be 50 degrees by Sunday.  I would settle for 40.  Either way, it's time to get ready for the mud.  I use old sheets that I have saved for years because I couldn't bring myself to throw them away.  They are perfect, especially if you have dogs, or really anyone at all coming into your house.  Let them come in on an old sheets.  Once the shoes dry off you can gather it all up and just wash it.  I have one sheet for that and one that I use to roll out noodles.
I sound like I'm 85 years old.  Some day I hope to be.

I am thinking of my family members in OK, AR and South MO tonight.  They are all buried under a couple of feet of snow and enduring frigid temperatures to boot.  I know just how they feel.  One of my cousins posted on FB today that the street crews were going up and down the streets but they weren't scooping any snow, just running with their buckets above the ground.  I commented that  there would surely be a farmer along soon to organize them.  I'm sure there was, too.

I am reading a book called The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, by Allan Gurganus.  I really enjoy historical reads, not to mention old people, and this is great so far.  Her husband enlisted in the Confederate Army at the age of 13 ("Thirteen, and didn't even have to lie about their age.  They had trigger fingers and some eyesight, didn't they?  Was enough.") and came home at the age of 16.  Talking about his homecoming she says:
      "Just back from the war, Marsden installed his momma in rented rooms.  He didn't talk to her about his own sad deeds in the historic mud of Virginia and Maryland.  She couldn't yet speak, which spared her mentioning bad local luck-her getting in the path of Sherman's firebugs.  The Mardsen farm had been leveled.  Though she still lived and breathed, this lady's personal best-her character, the priss and fun and fuss of her-was mostly leveled too.  Her ruined face and arms and chest spoke three words: Scorched Earth Policy.  In twelve minutes, she'd gone from Beauty to Monster.  A story there.
     So, two well-brought-up souls just sat together.  He would clutch his large hat on one knee.  She would hold a teacup, sometimes a full one, more often empty, always white and always Spode.  She slept with this safe in her palm like some child clutching its toy.  And she never rolled upon or broke the thing, and rumor has it she was buried holding her favorite bone china, comforting in the casket with her."

If you have never experienced the South, the Spode reference might not have made you laugh your head off, but it did me.  Sometimes life has a way of making you face reality.  Not necessarily if you are a Southern woman, though, God love them! I know I am going to really love this book, and not because parts of it will be funny.  Those who don't remember the past are destined to repeat it.  I think it's important not to forget, no matter how vile or horrendous your experiences are.  Sometimes they turn out to be the most important.

Which brings me to another piece of wisdom that hit home with me like a lightening bolt the first time I read it.  I copied it down into my journal, which my kids will get to read when I die.  I first read it Jan. 26, 2006.  It's from The Life All Around Me, by Kaye Gibbons.  She writes about strong women, often unapologetic strong women, always unforgettable strong women and this is the 2nd book she has done about the character Ellen Foster.  This is the best passage about the strength of women I have ever read.  It reads like a prayer, and I have gone back to it ever since.  It's a very beautiful way of looking at the whole sum of your life.  And you don't have to be a woman to benefit from it.  I put the lines in because it should read like poetry (in my opinion, and this is my blog, so try it my way here folks, you won't be sorry) and the underlining is also mine:

   "No matter where  you're living, I hope you sleep peacefully tonight and waken into relief,
 not so hounded by worry you miss listening for the reindeer feet, even if you've grown older, as I have,
 and depend on memories of thrilling wishes. 
With no regrets or grudges against the tin and timber real life around you,
 let it be time to bring every memory inside you like wood you place in the fireplace peice by piece, wish by wish. 
The old need that wasn't met,
 the wants misunderstood,
what you absolutely knew and guessed, what you dreamed or half-invented,
saw and heard outright or saw and heard in words you read and adored,
what was done to you and calls for revenge that you let burn away.
 Each thing is of the same good use, and burning together, continually, the light the bundle makes belongs to you, you're love and work, what you see by, how you are seen.
  Now I understand that the deeper the dreams and beliefs,
 the brighter and warmer you and the rooms you walk through are,
and you're safe now passing through old places, not dark now, more than sufficiently kept lit by you."

It has always comforted me and brought me hope. I offer it to you, in these dark days while we are still huddled by fires.  Winter is almost over.  Best get started on the spring cleaning, girls.  (Onward ho!)

And if you are in the aftermath of a blizzard tonight, I hope you have a book to read. 

.....It also is helpful to know a farmer because you are going to have to have a tractor to get all that snow removed.  But take heart, you're in America, and one will probably show up soon.

Feb 8, 2011


I am finally better.

Yesterday I went to work and blew my nose continuously until it was time for lunch.  I drove straight to Wal Mart and perused the pharmacy for some kind of something to make it stop.  It was just a bad cold, and there is really nothing you can take to "cure" that, so I opted for my old favorite (although not the same now) Alka Seltzer Plus Day and Night package and a new bottle of the generic equivalent of Vic's Vapor Rub.  Since I was there I also got a loaf of Rye bread, to make more of those wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches.  I was relieved to find it because Sunday I went to both stores that we have in town and neither one of them had any Rye bread left.  I can't explain why the Super Bowl would be a reason for both grocery stores to be cleaned entirely out of Rye bread, but I'm sure that one exists. I am less certain that it can justify the fact that I had to get out twice in terrible weather while I was sick as a dog to finally obtain some.

Once home I ate lunch and prepared my potion.  I called work and told them I was getting ready to take cold medication and I was pretty sure I was going down for the count, I would try again tomorrow.  I'm pretty sure they spent a good 1/2 hour Lysoling down the office, and more power to them, says I.
I did not waste any time choosing between the Day or Night type, as the thing I've always liked best about Alka Seltzer Plus is the fact that it all knocks me out like a light.

I smeared the Vapor Rub all over my chest, nose and lips, plugged in the vaporizer, positioned a box of kleenex and a trash can in the right places, crawled into my wonderful bed, and knocked back the potion.  It was bad.  It always is.  I only use the smallest amount of water I can to make it a smaller amount.  Drinking it counts as a sacrifice in itself, one I was happy to make.  It worked like a charm and I am happy to say that I slept for 4 hours.  Then another two.  Then, after getting up to do supper, I went back to bed about 8:30 pm.  I woke up without a runny nose.  This could very well have just been the limit to the runny nose.  Three days solid.  I went through a box of Kleenex each day. 

On vaporizers, I use the old kind.  The ones with actual steam.  Mine even has a little place scooped out that is specifically for you to put Vapor Rub in so that it will send it's penetrating steam all over the room.  It is worth more than gold to me, because you can't get them anymore.  Years ago somebody decided you shouldn't use those anymore, you should use cool mist instead.  I don't know who it was, but I don't think it was anyone who had tried a cool mist vaporizer.  When I heard it, I politely looked at the ground and said nothing.  The same way I did when probably that same person decided it was bad to feed babies before they were 6 months old.  I looked at the ground and said nothing because I thought it was the polite thing to do.  I grew up with steam vaporizers, and had been slipping mashed potatoes and gravy to small babies for DECADES at that point.  So had everyone I knew.  I hoped "they" wouldn't embarrass themselves too bad, because the fact was that everyone knew better than that.

I have never changed a thing, but "they" change their minds every 5 years or so.  I don't think most people pay them much attention either. But there seem to be some that don't have any common sense at all.  I wonder who raised them.  I'm afraid no one did.

And I am wondering if it wouldn't have been quicker and easier to call "them" on this kind of crap the first time I heard it.  Maybe we all should have?

I leave you with this clip of Georgette from the Mary Tyler Moore Show singing Steam Heat.  It was the one and only time they ever let her be the least bit sexy on that show, and it's from a time that I miss.  A time that did not seem so conflicted.  At least not to me.  I was, like, nine years old, but still.  A time when there were still adults in charge.  Enjoy.

Feb 6, 2011

Sick yet?

I survived the blizzard only to get some kind of sinus/cold thing that has brought me low for the last couple of days.  I have made my way through most of a new box of kleenex and have reached the stage where I can be upright without also being dizzy and breathe with my mouth closed.
My solution for this is rinsing out my sinuses with the equivalent of a netti-pot (NeilMed Sinus Rinse), gargling with salt water, and putting a couple of drops of alcohol in my ears at least twice a day.  That would be rubbing alcohol, just saying so that my more heavily drinking followers don't end up with a big mess in their ears.  Just old home remedies, but they work for me.  My children just hate to do all of these practical and free things, and I have to sometimes stand over them to get them to do them, but it is worth it.  Yes, I have insurance.  Big whoop.  I still can't afford to go to the doctor.  If you define "afford" as being able to spend the money on the Dr. instead of gas or food, that is.  But enough of the depressing stuff.
Anyway, the reason for this post is that I have discovered a wonderful new twist to grilled cheese sandwiches.  At least, I think I have.  It's new to me.
Arriving at the Cyclist's house yesterday, blowing my nose and breathing through my mouth, he took pity upon me and offfered me anything he had in his cabinets for lunch.  I don't mean to give the impression that this was a vast array of stuff, it was not.  But there was a can of tomato soup and enough cheese to make a grilled sandwich if I was willing to make it with Beefsteak Rye Bread.  I was.  It was the best grilled cheese I've had in years, maybe ever.  Normally I don't care for Rye bread but in this instance it was really, really good.  You should give it a try.  Unless this is something everyone has known except me, and then I guess you can just welcome me to the club.
The Cyclist offered to fix supper later, and after poring over cook books, we was torn between grilled ham and cheese sandwiches with cole slaw and bacon cheesburgers and tots.  He even went to the store by himself and bought the groceries.  This is a very big deal.  Usually he will concede to drive me to the store, but that is as far as he will go.  When he has to go to Wal Mart for a big grocery spree, he waits until midnight.  Really.  He honestly hates going there more than anyone else I know.  EVEN ME.  It's hard not to respect him for that, don't you think?
Anyway, he came back with groceries and we ended up having bacon cheeseburgers on grilled buns (the secret to a good cheeseburger) with coleslaw on top.
Unconventional but delicious.
I mean, really, really good.  I have had coleslaw on pulled pork sandwiches before and I knew it was good.  We decided to give it a whirl on cheeseburgers, and we were not disappointed.   So, unless this is also some kind of open secret, there is another idea.   Especially if you are stuck in the house and don't really care for coleslaw, but have some on hand.  Try it as a dressing on about any sandwich and I think you will like it.
I felt so much better this morning, having not had to blow my nose constantly and being able to breathe with my mouth shut and everything, I offered to make breakfast.
I made potato cakes, which were ready to go, only had to be cooked, and an omelet.  Easy, right?  Easy if you are used to cooking on an electric stove instead of gas and you don't have someone talking non-stop.  Electric stoves do not hold a candle to gas stoves when it comes to speed or effeciency.  I got two skillets warmed up, but not hot enough.  Finally when they got hot enough to put the food in, suddenly they were really too hot, and my onions were burning before I could get the omelet poured in, the potato cakes were just right but needed more oil, AND the Cyclist was going on and on about something to do with politics which I was trying to listen to but did not really care to hear or discuss at this particular time. 
About the time I was turning the potato cakes and trying to keep the omelet from burning and randomly saying "uh -huh" as if I was listening closely, he says something to the effect of "Oh, you're making really little ones, huh." 
This did not over well.  I was proud that I pretty politely said "Listen, I cannot deal with doing all of this, and listening to you, AND having you criticize me at the same time" (So for the love of God SHUT UP)  I didn't say that last part, but he must have heard it, because the next words I remember hearing him say were "I'm not saying anything else".    I gave him a big thumbs up on that one and managed to save the (small, apparently!) potato cakes from burning.
We are pretty good at fighting.  Which is to say, we are pretty good at accurately stating the problem and then mulling over how we can compromise on something we can both live with.
This gets easier with age, not least because the list of things you really care about is so much shorter once you reach a certain age.
We were able not only to have a civil discussion about why what he said hit me wrong (It was the pressure!  Everything was going wrong at the same time!!), but when I mentioned a few minutes later that he needed a smaller spatula, he jumped up, grabbed one of the two he had, cut the edges off of it and it worked PERFECTLY.  Again, he was my hero.
I should probably mention that the Cyclist used to tell me to use his "little" spatula, and I had the sad job of informing him that his "little" spatula was in fact a cheese slicer.  It seemed mean to tell him, but downright rude not to.  He now knows the difference, thanks to me. 

So I guess the moral of this story is two-fold.
1) You can have some scrumptious meals at home using imagination instead of money.
2) Sometimes it's a good idea to just be quiet for awhile.

And now, I am going to gargle again and lay back down.
I hope you are warm, and well today.
Play fair.  Be as nice as you can, and if you can't be nice, be honest.
In 4 more weeks it will be March.  We about have this one whipped.  Barring more blizzards, but that goes without saying, right?

Feb 5, 2011

Digging out

When I got up Wednesday morning, the skies were clear and the wind was quiet.  I looked out to see the damage.  This is what I saw:
But you know how we are all a slave to our routine?  Since I was up, I thought maybe if I started in, I could get some of it dug out myself.  It's true, I had several cups of coffee in me at the time and was probably feeling a little bit like superwoman.  After all, the damage was done.  Now it was clear what we had to do.  The problem was, how to get to the snow without smashing it all down, and then, a bigger problem, what to DO with the snow, should I get any of it scooped up.  I opened the garage door:

This one I took because the sun was coming through the snow at the top.  I don't know how well it photographed but you can use your imagination, what else are blizzards really good for?

This is where the snow plows had made the street passable.  Unfortunately, this results, every time, in putting up a barricade at the end of all of our driveways.  Which can't be helped, but doesn't exactly add to our joy, as the end of the driveway will have be dug out many, many more times.

I called the neighbor to get on a list for a tractor to come and dig out the driveway, having quickly abandoned any thought of being able to make a dent in this myself, even with the Grand Finale's help.  I decided to start on the porch.

It took me about 45 minutes to do the porch and carve out a little place to stand at the end, so the tractor driving man could tell where the driveway was even supposed to be when he got here.  It was kind of strange, because I have never, ever seen things so quiet.  A few people ventured out and took in to digging.  I salute them.  They dug all morning long, and about noon, what do I see but this:
Yes, that is my neighbor and his son with his snow moving tractor.  He was poised to make many, many dollars this morning and I was so excited to give him some.  I was not the only one.  As the sound of the tractor came down the street, more people drifted out, checkbooks in hand to wave.  I know it doesn't look like it in this in the picture, but after shoveling my drive the tractor man went back to his dad's driveway and had to cross the yard to get my check.  He is a tall guy, I would say at least 6'2", and the drifts you see here came clear up to the place where God split him.  Pretty impressive, at least to me.  I would have had to try to get on top and try to roll over the top of it. 
What?  Desperate times call for desperate measures, and this is a small town.  I do not doubt he has seem me do far stupider things than that.  We have known each other pretty much our whole lives.  Small towns are accepting like that, and if you don't live in one, you have my sympathy. 
 Even lifting you legs and putting them down was really hard, particularly since you had no way to really know where your foot would stop.  He is a brave man and I salute him.  I gave him a shout out on FB and I am pretty sure it only added to the money he would make that day. 
Don't you just love America?
And farmers????
After some time, mostly trying to decide WHERE to put the snow, my porch looked like this:

Notice the freshly flung snow in the middle there?  My snow flinging was a little too enthusiastic at some point.  So sue me.
And my driveway looked like this:

So we were back on track, except for the periodic shoveling of the end of the driveway. 

Uptown, the center of the streets had huge piles of snow in the middle of them.  Street crews have been filling up dump trucks and dumping all the snow into an empty field over by a creek in the middle of town.  Yesteday I would say they had about the area of 1 block full of snow about 10 feet high.  Pretty impressive, I thought.
These days we have so much convenience in our lives that we have forgotten how to do things ourselves.  the old fashioned way. And I won't go into this further in this post, but it looks to me like there is a whole lot of people who either need to be told what to do, or are content to simply wait until someone comes along and helps them.  Not a good plan, folks.  Children can be forgiven for that kind of thinking, but not adults.  Take time to pay attention and do things right.  Look to the old people. And the farmers, who often are old people.   Quick, think of the oldest person you know.  Chances are they grew up working on a farm. 
Take a moment and contrast the people in LA after Katrina with the people of IA after the horrible flood they had up there.  You never saw the people from IA waiting for anybody to help them.  They all got out and started cleaning up.  Go ahead, google news stories from both events. I encourage you to research and verify, and then decide for yourselves.
I think we are coming to a time where we are going to have to depend on ourselves and think ahead in order to have a good life.  I could be wrong.  I hope I am.  But it never hurts to talk to the older generation and to LISTEN to them.  They know an incredible amount of things that you may think is obsolete.  You thinking that is just proof that you are still in your youth.  Enjoy it, but think for yourself and think to the future.  You never know when a blizzard will come along and shut everything down.  And a blizzard may just be the most you can hope for.

Feb 4, 2011

I haven't forgotten

We have survived The Blizzard of 2011.
I've just been too lazy to post again.
But I will.  Probably tonight, if THAT BABY says it's ok!!  And I have a bunch of pictures, which are always a challenge for me to figure out how to put in, but I'm learning.
If not, then soon.  I still have taxes to do too.........
Stay warm and have hope.
......and read a book, for Pete's sake, with all this time off from school everyone should be half way through Little House in the Big Woods by now, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Feb 1, 2011

Blizzard - Seriously

We are having a blizzard.  This blizzard was predicted, prepared for and anticipated madly for at least two days.  The kids came home from school early yesterday and joyously proclaimed that they were not having school today.  Indeed, the blizzard was supposed to start last night here. 

I stayed up until almost midnight reading because I fully expected to wake up and be in the middle of a blizzard.  I marveled at what a difference a "snow day" can make in your life.  We all remember the feeling from childhood of course, but as an adult with a job, snow days are few and far between.  If there is even the slightest suggestion that you may not have to get up and do that same thing at the same time, suddenly everything changes.  Normally I have to drink coffee when I get home in order to stay up until 10 pm, so "tired" am I.  Last night I wasn't tired at all and hated to stop reading even then, but I did because I knew there was the outside chance that the blizzard wouldn't come. Many years of experience has taught me this.  It may not hold true in your life.  I hope it doesn't.  But I do not count on "snow days" until they actually happen.  That's just kind of the way things go with my life.  I 've learned to roll with it.

I think I live most of my life under some kind of deadline pressure, only the deadline never comes.  It's just the perpetual pressure of what I have to do next with a clock ticking, ticking, ticking down in my head.  That needs to stop.  Enough is enough.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  DO other people do that to themselves?  Is it just me?  I know intellectually that there is no "finish line", no "prize", no point at which we will ever be "done", as long as we still live.  But I can't seem to shake the constant checking off of that list and the adding to it. 

So, this is one snow day that will not be wasted.  It will be treasured.  I give myself permission to take a break from the list and the pressure and especially the review of what I did wrong or didn't do at all.

I give you permission too.  

So I wake up this morning, nothing.  Not a thing.  It's just started snowing in KC and Joplin is already buried.  So I figure ok, I'll go to work and stay there till noon or it starts flying, whichever comes first.  Due to the delivery of the new doghouse, I have gotten my car back in the garage, and I am just reveling in the fact that it's inside out of the weather when I push the button to open the garage door and it doesn't work.  See what I mean about my life?  I shelled out the money for a new garage door opener last year and it has never worked right.  The remote almost never worked.  About 1/2 the time you can open it with the keypad on the outside, but most of the time the button works.  Not this morning, but most of the time.  So I sit there and keep hiting the button, which is my technique for things that don't work, and eventually, after stopping and starting repeatedly, it goes all the way up.  I back out the car, have to get back out, hit the button, repeatedly, again, and then have to beat it to make it under the infernal thing before I can even leave to go to work.  I was exhausted already.

So the great Blizzard of 2011 started about 9 am.  It grew steadily worse all morning, cancellations are rolling out of the radio, local law enforcement is advising that visibility is dropping rapidly and basically begging people not to go out, and still no one is calling off work.

I left at noon. I think most people did.  Eventually they all left, thank God, I do not know what time.

What I do know is that we had about 6 inches on the ground when I got home at noon.  If you can believe this, I got the car back in the garage and we battened down the hatches.  I changed my FB status to "let us put on our mother's aprons and cook it up!" and got busy.  I baked brownies, made hot chocolate and got baked beans and tenderloins ready to go for supper.   All this time the snow fell like crazy and the wind blew until you couldn't tell which way it was coming from or going.  We brought in the dogs and attended the Snowpocalypse on FB, ate brownies and watched movies. 

We just went out to check and see how bad it was (and I'm sorry I don't have pictures, but I tried and all I got was a wet camera), and we are officially snowed in, man!!  In front of the garage there is a drift at least 3 feet deep.  There was 8 inches on the porch, most of which I managed to get off.  You cannot tell, at the end of the porch where the steps are, where the steps are.  It's just all snow.  You have to step off and wait till you hit bottom.  The dogs went out and were up to their shoulders.  They had to make it to the street before they could pee! They were pretty excited about it and ran first up the street, then down the street, chased by my Youngest Baby.  He did not have his hat. gloves, or coveralls on either.  But you probably knew that.  The one concession he made was boots, and if he wore them you can bet that there was no other way he could make it off the porch.  He is short on preparation but long on dedication, and between him and me using my meanest voice yelling at the dogs to come back, we got them to come back home.  They had less enthusiasm breaking through the 40 feet of driveway drifted in 3 feet of snow. Never underestimate the effect that the sound of food being shaken in the container  you feed them from.  I recommend using metal container, as the sound carries better through blizzards and stuff.  We are all safe and sound, surrounded by food and many, many blankets.

It's supposed to go on into the night, they are saying.  I don't know when it will stops, but when it does, I am going to have to find someone with a tractor and blade or something to dig me out. 

I talked to my family down south and Neosho is reporting 18 inches.  It will be interesting to see how much we end up with.  I can't see either one of the wagons in the back yard anymore, but with it blowing like this it's really hard to tell how much is on the ground.

Enjoy the blizzard if you are in it.  It kind of makes you feel sorry for the ones who didn't get a snow day, doesn't it?