Monthly Archives: December 2014

My New Year’s Wish for All of You

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I’ve heard and read something disturbing throughout 2014 – people who are so angry they want to “throat punch” another human being. I’m Irish and I have quite the temper. Plus, I’ve had some dark times in my life; had good reason to dislike certain individuals. However, I’ve never felt the urge to hit someone in a way that could collapse their windpipe and possibly kill them.  You know why?  Because hatred is something I save for more important things, like poverty, inequality and genocide.  So, I have a New Year’s wish for all of you.

  • I wish you inner peace and self-acceptance.
  • I wish you control over yourself, your emotions, your reactions.
  • I wish that you don’t give anyone else power over yourself, your emotions, your reactions.
  • I wish you to be so busy loving and being kind to all people, that you don’t have time to notice ugliness and hate in others.
  • I wish you to be so busy loving and being kind to all people, that you notice the hurt and brokenness in others.
  • I wish you the ability to turn the other cheek.
  • I wish that if someone makes you angry enough to start thinking, “throat p….”, that you take a page from B’s book and, instead, yell out, “I’M IN MY AWESOME BUBBLE AND YOUR NEGATIVITY CAN’T GET TO ME TODAY!”  It really does work; B and I know from experience!
  • I wish you to remember that we have been instructed to do unto others as we’d do unto ourselves, regardless of whether or not others are affording you that same courtesy.
  • And last, but certainly not least, I wish you to be kind to yourself.  Quickly forgive yourself, move on and do not dwell when you come up short in your own eyes.  You are perfectly imperfect just as you are and wholly loved, valued and cherished by Our Father.

Happy New Year, my friends!

A possible solution to drop the number of flu cases each Winter?

OK, I’ve kept something to myself for a while now, but i have to let it out. I know it’s crazy and unrealistic and will never happen, but I think it is a good idea that can help. The flu is getting worse each year. The majority of the families I know have been hit, from 1 member to all of them, and 95% of these families have children who go to school outside of the home.

I’d like to see what would happen if children went to school through the Summer and had the 3 Winter months off. Sure, there would still be families with working parents and kids would have to go to camps and daycares during those months, but not all the kids.  I know, I know, there’s always those people who still go out in public/take their kids out in public when they or their kids are sick, but not everyone will.  I’d bet there would be a drop in the number flu cases in the US.

I mentioned my idea at dinner with my aunt and cousins tonight.  My cousin-in-law, who has 2 children, liked the idea and suggested that Florida jump all over it and start the ball rolling.  ;o)

Just a thought.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside!”

B: I’ve been listening to that song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” all month and I don’t understand. What grown women who is old enough to date still lives with her parents, brother and aunt?!

Me: Hey! I was still living with your Nana & Poppop when I met your dad!

This lead to a discussion of what American life was like in the 1940s, when this song was written.  Women got married earlier back then and, more than not, did not have a job.  Most men and and women went straight from their parents’ house to their own when they got married.  The maiden aunt in the song had never been married and was now living with her brother or sister (maybe their parents had passed away) because that’s the way it was.

Until we entered World War II, when most of the men were shipped off to war and the women were needed en mass in the workplace to replace the men and, most importantly, work in factories that made military essentials.  They had freedom, responsibilities and pride like they may not have ever had before.  They were glad to be contributing, to help their country, and keep their minds off, even for just their shift, how much they worried about their fathers/brothers/boyfriends/husbands.  While the men were fighting for the world’s freedom, the women kept this country running.

Unfortunately, when the war was over, and the surviving men came back home, the women were pushed out, told to go back to keeping house and hosting luncheons and let the men take over again.  It was very hard for many them!  They were told they weren’t needed, weren’t wanted, anymore.  We had a really good discussion about this!

B: Thanks for telling me all of this, Ma.  I really enjoyed talking about it.  :o)

A Homeschool Vent

Something has bothered me for years and I need to let it out.  If fact, I’ve probably let it out before, but it’s still happening so I need to vent again.  It’s a little annoyance, really, but it stems from lack of thinking, courtesy or respect for others and their time.  It’s so little in fact, that as soon as I take my eyes off of it, it is forgotten.  However, the next time I open my email, chances are I am face-to-face with this issue again and the annoyance rises up.  So here goes…

I belong to a statewide homeschool email list.  There are almost 2,000 members and it is a place to post and discuss not just all things homeschool, but also homeschooling in this state.  Each state has it’s own laws regarding homeschooling that we all must meet and sometimes a county or school district unintentionally misinterprets those laws when putting them into practice.  It’s wonderful to have advocates and experienced parents to discuss and help.

My issue is with members who post about a class/event/activity to a statewide group without listing the city or town it’s taking place in at the top of the post or even at all! It’s even in the etiquette of posting rules that is shared once a month: : “WHEN POSTING AN EVENT: Include the location in parentheses (City or Town) first, name of the event, and date in the subject line…”  In the subject line.  That would be lovely if locations were in the subject line, so I could scan through the email titles to see if there are any activities in our area that would interest B.  But they aren’t.  And finding the city or town anywhere in an email can be rare.  I find street addresses, names of housing developments, community centers and franchised karate studios, but no city or town.

Lots of emails are forwards of activities.  For example, say Jane is on the email list of her local library and they sent out an email on a free Science class next month.  Since the email was sent only to people who signed up to receive notifications from that library, there may or may not be a full address in the email.  It may only have “Main Street Library” or “Andrew Jackson Library” on it (I just made up those library names).  Jane thinks the Science class on this email looks awesome and wants to share.  She forwards to this statewide group and shares in her message the wonderful experiences her children have had with past Science classes at this library and how much she recommends classes here.  So I have to read through all of her comments and get no town or city.  Then I read through the forwarded message to learn the details of this great Science class and get excited because it’s perfect for my child and the day and time works for our schedule.  But I still have no idea where it is because I have not heard of the library.  So I Google it and find that it is a couple of hours away and with rush hour traffic, tack on more hours to get there and back.  Not worth it and I’ve wasted my time researching this.

Some of you may say, “Well, why didn’t you stop when you didn’t recognize the library name?  That should have told you it was out of your area.”  Believe it or not, there are more libraries in this country than McDonald’s and just because we homeschool doesn’t mean we have the names of all the ones within a 100 mile radius of us memorized.  😉  I can’t even remember my own personal schedule, let alone the names of all the libraries in my and the surrounding counties.

And this happens all the time.  Sometimes there are dozens of emails a month, sometimes hundreds.  That time invested and disappointment add up.  I don’t think any homeschooler is intentionally withholding location information from emails.  They are just really busy with their own lives, but want to share something with the rest of us, and send something short and quick.  I just wish they’d remember how busy the rest of us are, too, and took 3 seconds to add a city to the subject line.

Perfect Example of Venus vs. Mars

First of all, I want to thank all of you who commented on my Facebook page and sent me private messages regarding my previous post, Unexpected News.  I truly thought I was alone in this and that I was disappointing and upsetting people by being so scatterbrained.  I have described it to the hubs like this: “I wish the issue was merely that I am juggling too many balls at once and I can’t keep them all in the air.  But the issue is that sometimes, I don’t even remember I’m juggling!” Turns out, there are other 40-something moms out there with lots to do, worry about and keep straight and they forget important stuff, too.  I know there are others that are able to keep their shit together and I commend and envy you.  But I am cutting myself some slack and ensuring that I am updating and consulting my Cozi at least 3 times a day.

We all know that men and women view, feel and think differently.  This past weekend, the hubs gave me such a perfect, simple example of this and I had to share.  He was in the bedroom watching a cooking competition on TV while I was in the bathroom getting ready.  I heard a woman crying on the TV and walked into the bedroom to find out why.

Me: What’s the problem?
The hubs: She’s crying.
Me: Holy crap!  And THAT – right there – is the difference between men and women.
The hubs: (chuckles) What?
Me: She has a problem that made her cry.  I want to know what made her cry.  To you, the problem is that she’s crying.  This is brilliant and so simple!  I’m putting this on my blog.
The hubs: That’s what I’m here for, babe.  To provide you with endless material for your blog.

Happy Monday!  😀

Unexpected News

I had a follow up appointment yesterday morning to the surgery I had in March.  The last time I saw the doctor, months ago, the surgery was a success, I was healing fine and it was up in the air if I would be able to get a hearing aid to make up for hearing loss in my left ear.  My ear drum was barely moving at the time, so it was not transmitting much sound to my brain.  The doctor said he wanted to recheck it at the end of the year and if my ear starts popping again, that’s a good sign that the drum is moving.  I have good hearing days and bad hearing days but I was encouraged by the fact that my ear was popping once a month.  I went into my appointment yesterday with the expectation of discussing a hearing aid – is my ear ready for it? is he going to refer me to an audiologist to test the drum’s movement? or will I just have to live with my hearing as it is (which is an outcome I was prepared for and could live with)?

I was not prepared for what he said after examining me.  The cholesteatoma has not come back.  However, I still have negative pressure in my middle ear.  This negative pressure is what sucked my ear drum into my middle ear last year.  During surgery, my doctor removed cartilage from my external ear and used that as reinforcement when reattaching my ear drum to prevent it being sucked back in, and it is still working.  Since the negative pressure cannot suck the ear drum in, it is sucking the fluid out of all the surrounding tissue in my middle ear.  The middle ear is filling with this fluid, causing the bad hearing days and some pain.  Then occasionally, my ear drum will pop, releasing the fluid and allowing me to hear better for a bit.  But the negative pressure just starts sucking liquid out of the tissue and it starts all over again.

He wants to put a tube in my ear drum.  Creating a permanent opening through the ear drum will eliminate the negative pressure.  Any fluid that is in there will drain out and the middle ear will be unsuccessful in sucking anything else.  The procedure to put in a tube can be done in his office.  It’s a 30 minute appointment  – 25 minutes of which is spent numbing the ear drum and then 5 minutes to put it in.  He says there is no recovering time; I’ll go back to whatever I was doing and if there is any pain, regular headache medicine will take care of it.  The tube can and will fall out but he can put another one back in.  After a few years of coming back into the office for replacement tubes, I can have another hospital surgery to install a permanent tube.  Once the (temp) tube is in, I can pursue a hearing aid, but a hearing aid will not help me now.

This isn’t earth shattering news, by any means.  It’s just that I went into this appointment expecting to discuss the next step, only to find out that the last step still didn’t solve my main problem – years of hearing loss – and I need more procedures.  I had to spend yesterday processing this and readjusting my focus.  The hubs is positive about the doctor’s plan.  I’d like to be, too, but I’m done with curveballs right now.  I’m not going to do anything until next year.

I should have known things weren’t going along the path I thought, or wanted them, to.  I’ve been having problems again with my memory this past month.  I messed up 3 things and then the embarrassment of messing those things up caused me to pile more stress on myself.

  1. I’ve been in a Bunco group for 2 years now, and my favorite lady in the group always hosts in November.  She puts on a full Thanksgiving spread!  I didn’t go last year because a couple of days before, I’d received my cholesteatoma diagnosis from the ENT and he referred me to a neurosurgeon to remove it.  It was a lot to process and I wasn’t ready to talk about it.  Plus, being around a crowd of people was painful to my ear.  So I stayed home.  She asked me at this October’s Bunco get together if I was coming to her house this year and I promised I would.  I wouldn’t miss it for the world!  Well, I was sitting at home one night and got a text from one of the other Bunco ladies, asking if I was alright.  I thought that was strange and replied, that I was, asking her why she was worried.  She replied that Bunco had started half an hour before and I hadn’t shown up yet!  I was mortified that I’d forgotten!  I couldn’t go then, though.  I hadn’t even showered that day and the hostesses house was a half an hour away.
  2. Two weeks ago, a friend offered to let me me borrow something.  I told her that I had this ear appointment the following Tuesday and I’d pick it up after the appointment.  Last week, I got a message from her that she put it on the front stoop for me because she had an appointment and I had not shown up for it yet.  I freaked out, thinking that I missed my doctor’s appointment that day.  Nope!  The appointment was the following week and I told her the wrong day.
  3. B is in a 4-H Club this school year and really likes it.  Since day one, he had been looking forward to one particular activity starting and constantly bugs me with, “When is it starting? When is it starting?!  WHEN IS IT STARTING?!?!”  After last month’s 4-H meeting, I entered the first meeting of this activity he has been awaiting into our calendar.  B was so excited, counting down the days and then the hours until this activity.  He could barely contain his excitement this past Saturday as we drove over to the host’s house.  When we arrived, I got a sinking feeling because there were no other cars.  Where are all the other attendees?  As we walked up to the front door, I repeated in my head, “Please don’t tell me I messed up AGAIN!”  But when the family came to the front door with confused looks at seeing us there, it was confirmed.  B handled the disappointment well on the outside.  I think he was trying to make me feel better because I was so embarrassed!

    I hate that this shit is starting again!  But now that I am aware of it, I just need to be more careful and very deliberate.  I need to confirm things with people and not assume that I have my info straight in my head or even on my calendar!

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