Random musings and activities of a 30 something mom, potential sprint triathlete, vegetarian, dog and cat owner, and a evolving urban homesteader just trying to do the right thing in life for my daughter and the world around us. If the blog seems random, it's because life is and hits us all at 100mph.
Saturday, September 30, 2006

PostHeaderIcon Being a Hero

Whatever you do, you need courage. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are different kinds of heroes. There are ones that get all the recognition are on the news and who people talk about. Most heroes are quiet, and don't get the recongition they deserve.

Some might say my Grandfather was a hero because of his actions in WW2. We was officially injured 9 times. He earned a purple heart and a few other awards and metals for bravery and other acts. (I need to write down which ones). They are in a shadow box on the living room wall in my grandparents house. Being on the beach in Normandy and surviving is an act of heroism (and in his case, a lot of luck). But that is not the reason I think he's a hero.

He's a hero because despite a lifetime of hardship (most of it due to physical problems incurred from his injuries and would affect him the rest of his life), he was the most upbeat and optimistic person I know.

I could count on one hand how many times he said something negative about another person. He took pride in working and working hard. He took pride in his family and they were his life. His pride shows in his workmanship, as he has made over 2 dozen clocks that still hang in their home.

At the end, he could barely see and could barely hear. You never heard him complain and he was always worried about others, especially his wife. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought him enormous joy. The last time I saw him before we went to the hospital, he grabbed my arm and pointed at my grandmother who was passing through the room and said, "there goes my angel."

I know there were days where the pain had to have been almost too much as the cancer spread. Each day he got up and each day he found the silver lining. In his earlier years, it must have been frustrating to work with hearing loss and other physical problems from the war. Life sometimes gets you down, but Grandpa would never let it show when it did.

He had every reason in the world to be bitter, but instead he rejoiced in his life, his family, his faith, and the small things around him and always uplifted those who knew him.

He was a hero to everyone who knew him.

"Courage doesn't always roar.Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,I will try again tomorrow."

1947 Engagement Picture

55 years together.........

Collage at his funeral..........

Saturday, September 16, 2006

PostHeaderIcon ACLU or PTO?

Last Tues, a good friend of mine went to the monthly meeting of ACLU2.... where did I end up on a fine Tuesday night?

My first PTO meeting.

So, here's the breakdown.

~Only one dad showed up and he was married. Men, join your local PTO if you want to be outnumbered 25 to 1. I'm sure I wasn't the only single parent there!

~4 out of 5 women wear mom-jeans. I mean seriously, the jeans don't have to be exactly on your natural waist-line....... but according to the GAP ads I get in my email, tapered jeans are coming back, so a lot of these women are ahead of the style.... trend-setters if you will.

~ only 1 out of 10 women look under 30, but seriously, if I can't have a conversation with you about how I think the Simpsons are politically funny and the last weeks festival at Grinders.... not sure what else we are going to talk about. I don't scrapbook, buy tupperware, and would have rather discussed community involvement of our school (can we make pre-schoolers do community service?????) than which company is going to do school pics this year.

~People are passionate about PRE-SCHOOL pto. hmmmmmm????? Is this there little way of having a niche when you stay at home everyday? You become the fund-raising nazi for your cul-de-sac? Not saying staying at home isn't work.... in fact, it's probably harder than my job, but everyone has a need to feel needed, and I think PTO fills that need for some.

~ Catholic schools do A LOT of fund-raisers..... why do I pay $600+ per month????? Plus, how many times can I hit you up for Entertainment books, wrapping paper, candles, cookie dough, and trash bags? I'd rather just write a $30 check everytime and not mess with it.

~ I was only of only a handful of non-catholics there .... by obvious lack of signing before the prayers.... In fact, I'm proably one of the few Protestants that really isn't into praying (which is a whole other blog). Why do I send my daughter there? Hands down (for the money) the best preschool in the area. Her teachers ROCK!

~ There was too much estrogen in the room, I'm not into cattiness. You could tell by the level of eye-rolling and arm-crossing, there is some history here. I'm trying to decide if I want to stay clear or just jump in and annoy people because I'm new and don't know how "it's the way we've always done it". I could care less if I'm liked or not. I think that is an asset.

~ Next time I need a sitter, as I guess it's custom to head to T.K.s after each meeting. I was told it wasn't kosher to leave abby in the car. (I wonder if she knew I was joking?). So, obviously, it's going to cost me $30 in sitter fees to go, because I have to see what women who only get out one night per month talk about..... better not be tupperware.

Overall, not as bad as I thought, but glad it's only once a month.

Why will I go back? I think it annoys "that crowd" when new people come in and mix up the pot.

I want to be the unusual PTO-er.
Monday, September 11, 2006

PostHeaderIcon Yet Another Blog on How my Daughter Makes me Feel Inadequate

Last night in the car, my daughter started crying for no apparant reason. So, I turned down the radio and asked her what was wrong.

"I don't want to go to school tomorrow."

"whys that, baby?"

" I want to spend time with you. "

"honey, you know mama has to go to work and you go to school. we can play together after school."

"but mama, that's not enough time. can you change your schedule and make time?"

::::: heart breaking :::::

Except for a 2 month vacation I took in 2003 (when we went to Germany), I have never been home FT with her. She should be used to this schedule, but obviously not. With her starting kindergarten next year, I'm fully aware this would be my last year to stay home with her but that's just not an option.

Among women, there is no quicker way to start a cat-fight than to say, "staying at home is better for your kids than working" or some variation of that. SAHMs (stay-at-home-moms) will accuse working moms of not caring about the welfare of their child and being femi-nazis (I thought feminism was about choice?). Working-Moms will accuse SAHMs of various sorts of things as well.

That completely random conversation with Abby though brings back a lot of guilt I have and a feeling of inadequacy that (for me) only comes from when I feel like I've let her down......

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Quotes as I come across them......

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, an hour, a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it last forever.” ~~~Lance Armstrong

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." ~~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I like running because it's a challenge. If you run hard, there's the pain----and you've got to work your way through the pain. You know, lately it seems all you hear is 'Don't overdo it' and 'Don't push yourself.' Well, I think that's a lot of bull. If you push the human body, it will respond." ~~~Bob Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers general manager, NHL Hall of Famer. (Will-Weber's "Voices From the Midpack" chapter.)

The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.~~~Denis Watley

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly. ~~~Thomas H. Huxley (1825 - 1895)