My Mother’s Typewriter

June 11, 2008

My daughter wants to play with my computer. It is a brand spankin’ new MacBookPro and she is two years old. It just ain’t happening.

I can remember back to when my Mom’s typewriter (Yes! I am that old.) was something I wanted to play with and bang around on. It was a Selectric Quiet Touch I think – very cool and BLUE! I loved it because of its color, and because it made these amazing soft clicky sounds when she typed. It was a magical thing. We didn’t watch television much when I was very young so I can remember days when I would sit and play and color and just watch my Mom, in the morning sunlight, sitting at the dining room table typing away. These were always good days, peaceful days filled with the wonder of what she might be doing on those beautiful sheets of creamy white paper. She could type so swiftly and rhythmically that it sounded like music on the keyboard.

It’s amazing that after all these years I can still remember the sound, almost exactly, as if I had just heard it a few minutes ago. It had an impact on me. And I think that watching her type away made me appreciate words – words that I could type, that I could read, that I could write. And I remember the day, oh, I must have been three or four, when I was finally allowed not just to approach, but to touch that beautiful electric machine. I was breathless. I only typed a bit because I was afraid I would break it, and I had grown to love its sound and the joy it brought my mother. But she encouraged me and I typed a bit more. I learned my A-B-Cs on that old typewriter. I learned my numbers. I learned to spell my name. I learned to spell Mom.

And so I relented, sort of. I dug out my old laptop, the one I had finally retired after months of battles. I couldn’t get rid of it, and now I’m glad I didn’t. Yesterday I sat in the sun at the dining room table with my daughter, a little younger than I was with my Mom, and I let her start banging away on the keys. The look on her face as letters started popping up on the screen was priceless. The memories it brought back made me appreciate once again the gift of words my mother had given to me all those years ago. It made me realize my obligation, my gift of being able to share my love of words with my daughter. Today, that love of words is taught with a computer instead of a typewriter, but the love is conveyed with the same joy, the same breathlessness.

My Mom’s typewriter is long gone now, drowned in a flooded basement. Mom uses a really nice computer and she still can type faster than anyone I know. Her fingers have arthritis and cause her to occasionally drop things, but when she is in front of that machine, dreaming of beautiful words to share, the pain goes away and her fingers fly.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

The Emergence of a Charismatic Leader

June 5, 2008

Through the years there have been charismatic leaders who have stood out for the good (Jesus, Ghandi, JFK, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa) and the bad (Hitler, Fidel Castro, Charles Manson). There have been others who I believe have touched on this pedestal, but never quite made it to the top (Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan). To be in the presence of one with such charisma, such a magnetic pull is, and would be breathtaking, irresistible.

Our country is fortunate enough to witness the emergence of a leader so charismatic that I believe he will lead this country back to greatness. Since Barack Obama gave the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (“The Audacity of Hope”) he has instilled in people nationally what people locally already knew. We as people, as American people can be greater, not through fear, not through separation, but through the simple belief that through “Hope — Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!”* our country can reemerge into the future stronger and more united than ever before.

There are those who point to lesser experience as being a negative, and the ability to speak so beautifully, so eloquently as being unnecessary to a great leader. I turn you back again to the charismatic leaders listed** – the good ones accomplished great things, some with little past experience (and Obama has much, don’t be fooled by naysayers). The bad ones too possessed something that allowed them to turn a crowd of otherwise good people into animals. There is something a leader of this caliber possesses that cannot be defined – it can only be experienced.

When Obama speaks I get chills. I have felt this hope he speaks of so rarely when listening to other politicians. I have felt this certainty that wrongs are about to be righted less and less through the years – but that dream is emerging once again in my heart.

Never fear – he is an intelligent man. A sign of great intelligence is recognizing your own limitations enough to surround yourself with people whose strengths are your limitations. Obama will do that, is already doing that, but he will do it with people who have integrity, unlike our current administration of war-mongers and liars filled with such a sense of disregard for all who do not fit their own mold. Obama will be able to go overseas and mend the relationships that have been eroded away like the chasm that is the Grand Canyon. But the Grand Canyon eroded over 5-6 million years – our country’s, our wonderful country’s reputation has been eroded in just eight.

Oh yes, we need a Barack Obama. We need someone who isn’t an inbred part of Washington. We need someone who isn’t afraid to talk about his dreams, and to create their reality. We need someone who can lead a nation with HOPE not FEAR.

We need someone like Barack Obama because we need hope. We need to once again be a proud, strong country that can hold our head up and say “We are Americans”! We can be that again.

YES WE CAN!

*From: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/convention2004/barackobama2004dnc.htm

**From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_charismatic_leaders

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Obamababies Designs are HERE!

June 4, 2008

Check out Obamababies designs, custom t-shirts for kids, Moms, Dads (in time for Father’s Day too!) and DOGS! Great accessories too, even yard banners and signs!

Whew! Spent all night working on finalizing. I hope you like them. Let me know! Feel free to browse around.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Marathon Mom

June 4, 2008

Marathon training. Ouch. WHY the H – E – double hockey sticks (still riding high on the Penguins win in DOUBLE overtime last night) would anyone do that? I mean I live in northern Arizona. I hike all over the mountains and canyons. Heck, I hike the GRAND Canyon. Oh yeah, I’m strong. But why, I ask WHY would someone willingly put her body through something so akin to the effort it takes to have a baby with no cool human to kiss and cuddle and love at the end.

Why?

Then I had that cool human and suddenly I realized that what I used to think was pushing yourself to the limit pales in comparison to the Mama-Hood. And with that comes a new sense of direction, and responsibility. I am what they call “a mother of older gestational age” which means I ain’t exactly 25. And I don’t want my daughter to grow up with an old, pudgy, out-of-shape Mom who is still hanging on to that baby weight three year later. She should have a Mom who can hang with the younger Moms if she wants to. She should have a mom who is strong, and fierce and healthy. She should have a great role model, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. Her Mom should be a CHAMPION!

Now, I don’t honesty think I can place anywhere worth mentioning in a marathon. But that’s not my point. Being a champion in a marathon, for most of us, is just competing and finishing. My goal is to get across the finish line before all the tasty snacks are gone (so, 7 hours or so). HA! No, I am hoping for under 5 hours. I don’t care if I run (although that is the hope), walk (I could deal with that), limp (a more likely scenario that would certainly make for good video), or crawl (a true possibility if I don’t keep my sorry butt MOVING every training day!). I simply want to know I finished. Then I can PROUDLY wear my Marathon Mom t-shirt and know I really did it.

I did it!

I did it for my daughter. And for my Mom who has had knee replacements and can’t run anymore. And for my friend who is in a wheelchair and misses just being able to walk in the grass.

And I did it for me. I want to be able to say I did it for me. It is very hard for Moms to do that, to do things for themselves. We feel guilt (I feel guilty leaving for an hour and a half to run on Saturday morning, but that is my best “long day”). We always have things we need to do for someone else.

But here is a message, to everyone out there who is training, if a Mom who works outside AND inside the home can do it, WE ALL CAN!

And then, if I haven’t left both shins and a kneecap somewhere behind me on the pavement, may I will start training for another. After a pint few pints of Ben & Jerry’s…

Join the Domestic Diva in her 30 day fitness and weight loss challenge – YOU GO GIRL!

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Can a Kid OD on Corn on the Cob?

June 3, 2008

So, I was from one of those “you will sit there until bedtime if you don’t eat” upbringings. I’m not fat, but I soon learned that just shoving it all in even if I wasn’t hungry made Mom and Dad infinitely happier than seeing me pouting at the table all night. From there comes my emotional eating that I have attempted to control my entire adult life.

I do blame that mindset, although not my parents who truly did what they thought was best at the time. This is obvious to me because my second sister and I have always had weight issues, whereas my youngest sister has always been quite thin (same body type) and never relied on food as a crutch. My Mom admits that they realized maybe they should have dealt with my second sister and I differently and changed their approach with the youngest.

So here is my question to all of you? What are your parenting choices when it comes to eating habits? Do they change (and how) as your child develops emotionally? Do you ever resort to food as a reward (other than “potty treats” which I think are a very different story)?

My daughter is closing in on three and while I work part-time she attends a local daycare 2-3 days per week. I give her lots of fruit and veggies and low-fat yogurt. I basically feed HER the way I wished I had the gumption to eat myself. Her teachers are amazed. They have never seen such a thorough and healthy eater.

When she arrives home at around 5:00 I hang out with her and then cook dinner. She rarely eats more than a few bites of veggies and maybe some rice or veggie burger (she isn’t a big fan of meat and it helps us to cut some of it out). She prefers to sit with us for ten minutes or so and then she’s off – busy! busy!

I’m fine with this because she eats so well throughout the day and I know kids won’t starve themselves (at least not normally and she is very healthy). My hubby thinks she should be expected, even if not hungry to sit there with us the whole dinner. I think he’s nuts. She is only two and oh my God, to sit still that long is tough for me sometimes let alone a toddler.

Now this is (bless his otherwise sweet and loving soul – hell, it IS almost Father’s Day don’t forget) the man who if there is some (and I mean ANY) sporting event from golf to basketball (super ick!) to baseball to Nascar (Go Dale Jr! OK I’m on board with this one) on television he goes against the rule we decided on of the television OFF during dinner. I can’t WAIT until we move and can’t see the stinkin TV from the table! That will be the end of that. (Who am I kidding – then the plates will head for the living room… tune in someday soon for a rant about HOW parents can stop undermining each other).

My suggestion is we talk about her day and ask her questions and establish a dinner “relationship” and when she’s done and off to play then we actually take a few minutes to talk to each other – IMAGINE THAT!

Just looking for comments on how all of you deal (or have dealt) with this.

And check back tomorrow if interested in the very weird poopy I’m sure we will experience.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

PhotoShop Tips for T-Shirt Design

June 1, 2008

With the recent purchase of my cool little Mac, I am discovering a new world of design. You can do some really exciting things in PhotoShop, from distorting images, changing colors, shredding edges, and more! As I discover new little tricks, I will occasionally offer updates and ideas. Of course, these more techie posts are me trying feebly to be professional rather than crass and funny, which as I read more and more of you other Mommy Bloggers I realize I can be (usually) without offending (many). BUT, I am also a mompreneur (did I EVEN spell that right?) and am trying to get my shirts sold so this is also a blatant way to advertise. OK, so the truth is out there.

Back to business… I like to try my hand at retro looking design for my shirts. The designs seem to change week by week because I am always learning new ideas from other online bloggers and designers. Some of my favorites are sepia tones, tinted looks, black and white. Playing with color and texture is a good way to change a nice, but normal “family photo” into something suitable for sale as a design, or maybe even a work of art. To try a cool tinted look, try this:

Choose Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map

I recommend naming each layer. If you ever want to go back and make minor changes (such as deselecting a layer and adding a new one), this makes it easier. Assigning it a color isn’t necessary, but also helps as an internal tracking tool. Mode should be set to Normal. Opacity to 100%.

The Gradient Map dialog box will pop up. Make sure you select preview if it isn’t already checked. Play around with the different patterns and the slider to adjust your effects and final image. If you have trouble finding the slider, click the color bar of the Gradient Map and you will get a second window with the slider.

Try the Dither and Reverse checks as well. The reverse can help if you have an image that is too dark or too light or viewing like a negative slide.

Check back next time to learn more about making edges ragged, gradient face and feather in InDesign to give a more weathered and retro look.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

More Polygamist News – Breaking News from MSNBC!

May 29, 2008

I have to say that in light of the MSNBC story
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24878696/,
I am just sad.

I wrote a blog post about a week or so ago
http://sugarsprouts.wordpress.com/2008/05/22/comparing-the-polygamist-mormons-flds-church-with-the-amish/ and I was so hoping this wouldn’t happen. But it did. So the shout outs to Texas are reneged. Come on guys. You KNOW this is happening and you know to date, Arizona and Utah have continued to sit on their hands. Why can you do nothing to protect these kids? I just don’t get it.

“Under Texas law, children can be taken from their parents if there’s a danger to their physical safety, an urgent need for protection and if officials made a reasonable effort to keep the children in their homes. The high court agreed with the appellate court that the seizures fell short of that standard.”

The women and young girls who have managed to escape this life, (and given the identically abuse-ridden tales that are told, it is NOT extreme to say they escaped) agree. Young girls are forced into nonconsensual sexual marriages with significantly older men, and when under a certain age (which differs state to state) that is rape. So when did rape stop being abuse? Is it no longer “a danger to their physical safety”? Rape?

And what of the girls from Colorado City Arizona who tried to escape only to be captured by their own fathers, beaten until almost dead, and returned to their “husbands”? Was this not abuse? Is there really no “urgent need for protection” against being beaten and returned to a rapist, dirty old man?

I agree with religious freedom. I tend WAY toward the left in wanting to ascertain that all of our rights as American citizens are protected. Saying it is worth giving up our freedom to stay free doesn’t ring logical in my mind. But this goes well beyond that. I guess if a grown woman, with no outside pressure chooses this life for herself she has that right (although legally she actually doesn’t). But if that right is taken away from a young girl and this lifestyle is imposed upon her, then that my friends IS abuse.

I hear so many people say it is religious freedom and we shouldn’t interfere. But wow are those same people up in arms when they hear of the welfare system abuse, and tax law abuse that goes on. We’re terrified of venturing forth into abuse that disguises itself as religion but let’s make sure we protect the almighty dollar.

I’m sure to some degree these mothers who want their children back truly love them. But it is these same mothers who will willingly give their daughters away as soon as an antique of a church elder decides he wants a new plaything.

I live practically next door to the Colorado City sect. It IS abuse wise Texas citizens. It is abuse in your state, in your back yard. I was hoping Texas could accomplish what Arizona and Utah don’t seem to have the balls to do.

Shame on Texas!

God bless those poor girls.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Can’t Quit Thinking About It – VOTE HER OUT!!!!

May 29, 2008

Help me to gather some extra funding to research autism and educate the public about it. Go to http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts and buy a Vote Her Out or Vote Her Ass Out custom shirt or accessory. I will donate a portion to the Autism Society of America! And we can let people know in our silent protest, that they CANNOT treat our children this way!!!! If it happened there it could happen to your kid too!

If you haven’t read about this and have no idea what I’m ranting on about, click here:
http://sugarsprouts.wordpress.com/2008/05/28/oh-my-holy-hell-fire-this-evil-teacher/

Also, you too can vote that teacher OUT at:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Fire-teacher-for-unprofessional-conduct

Will it do anything? WHO KNOWS! But at least your voice will be heard!

My sister has informed me that there is an actual Elementary Education teaching method that this woman was supposedly using. I usually think the best of people, but even after having read what she sent me, I can see NO reason or excuse.

_____ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:

http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

No Longer a Tagging Virgin – I’ve Been Tagged!

May 29, 2008

Hey, thanks to Daisy at http://daisyolsen.com/ for teaching me about memes and tagging (as in “Tag! You’re it!”). I have a lot to learn but I have found such a supportive group of friends and other Moms online with such a tremendous wealth of experience that I have never truly been alone. YIPPEE Daisy!

So here goes my first tag…

What was I doing ten years ago?

Planning my wedding, river rafting the rapids of the Colorado River and, recovering from a NASTY Brown Recluse spider bite;

Five things on my to-do list for today (well, tomorrow):

Work on metatags for cafepress store – redoing everything to have a better focus (other than Mom really, really needs some creative outlet and is drawing anything her two-year-old ASKS her to draw – HA! – advice??? Let me know – check it out at http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts;

Playdate for my daughter;

Run 5 miles (OUCH! And buy new running shoes SOON!);

Find something for dinner that balances the food groups somewhat while still enticing a two-year-old to eat;

Figure out how to transfer my wordpress blog (http://sugarsprouts.wordpress.com) to a self-host without losing everything (SCARY!).

Snacks I enjoy:

Triscuits with melted cheese; popcorn, Blue Moon beer that is ice cold with an orange wedge, strawberries, bananas and grapes, salt and vinegar chips, and Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

After I give all my family and friends enough to never have to worry about anything, ever, I would: – take care of some good left wing causes (environment, women’s rights, etc.);
– help out some causes in countries in Africa where I have lived; and,
– ensure that no kill animal shelters like “Best Friends” in Kanab, Utah have enough to operate
without ever having to turn an animal away.

THEN, my hubby, my daughter, me and all our critters would have a special electric hybrid souped up RV designed and follow the Nascar (yes, I said it – the Nascar Circuit). READY BOYS! There’s a little bit of redneck in this here tree hugger!! At least that’s what my husband always says.

Places I have lived:

Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Arizona, New Mexico, and Washington DC.

Tag:
Lori at http://acowboyswife.com/

Katja at http://skimbaco.blogspot.com/

Erin at http://queenofspainblog.com/

Lisa at http://www.iowaavenue.com

Astacia at http://lifeontherunblog.com/

http://www.mayasmom.com/profile/bmxmom

http://www.mayasmom.com/profile/curlymama

http://www.mayasmom.com/profile/monkeysmama

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Oh My Holy Hell – FIRE This Evil Teacher!!!

May 28, 2008

THIS I cannot believe – and the school claims it ISN’T emotional abuse – it sure as hell is, and to ALL the kids to allow this kind of obnoxious abusive behavior from a teacher.

Teacher lets Morningside students vote out classmate, 5

By Colleen Wixon (Contact)
Saturday, May 24, 2008

PORT ST. LUCIE — Melissa Barton said she is considering legal action after her son’s kindergarten teacher led his classmates to vote him out of class.

After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn’t like about Barton’s 5-year-old son, Alex, his Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo said they were going to take a vote, Barton said.
By a 14 to 2 margin, the students voted Alex — who is in the process of being diagnosed with autism — out of the class.

Melissa Barton filed a complaint with Morningside’s school resource officer, who investigated the matter, Port St. Lucie Department spokeswoman Michelle Steele said. But the state attorney’s office concluded the matter did not meet the criteria for emotional child abuse, so no criminal charges will be filed, Steele said.

Port St. Lucie Police no longer are investigating, but police officials are documenting the complaint, she said.

Steele said the teacher confirmed the incident took place.

Portillo could not be reached for comment Friday.

Steele said the boy had been sent to the principal’s office because of disciplinary issues. When he returned, Portillo made him go to the front of the room as a form of punishment, she said.
Barton said her son is in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a type of high-functioning autism. Alex began the testing process in February at the suggestion of Morningside Principal Marcia Cully.

Children diagnosed with Asperger’s often exhibit social isolation and eccentric behavior..
Alex has had disciplinary issues because of his disability, Barton said. After the family moved into the area and Alex and his sibling arrived at the school in January, Alex spent much of the time in the principal’s office, she said.

He also had problems at his last school, but he did not have issues during his two years of preschool, Barton said.

School and district officials have met with Barton and her son to create an individual education plan to address his difficulties, she said. Portillo attended these meetings, Barton said.
Barton said after the vote, Portillo asked Alex how he felt.

“He said, ‘I feel sad,’ ” Barton said.

Alex left the classroom and spent the rest of the day in the nurse’s office, she said.

Barton said when she came to pick up her son at the school Wednesday, he was leaving the nurse’s office.

“He was shaken up,” she said.

Barton said the nurse told her to talk with Portillo, who told her what happened.

Alex hasn’t been back to school since then, and Barton said he won’t be returning. He starts screaming when she brings him with her to drop off his sibling at school.

Thursday night, his mother heard him saying “I’m not special” over and over.

Barton said Alex is reliving the incident.

The other students said he was “disgusting” and “annoying,” Barton said.

“He was incredibly upset,” Barton said. “The only friend he has ever made in his life was forced to do this.”

St. Lucie School’s spokeswoman Janice Karst said the district is investigating the incident, but could not make any further comment.

Vern Melvin, Department of Children and Families circuit administrator, confirmed the agency is investigating an allegation of abuse at Morningside but said he could not elaborate.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!

The Day After Memorial Day

May 27, 2008

I’m getting really excited about the upcoming season of Army Wives. Not being an Army wife myself, but having been an Army brat of sorts makes the show especially appealing to me. I have many close friends who WERE (and are) in fact true, live-on-post, deal with all the pride but still all the crappy rules Army (and Navy and Marine) wives. They tell me that some of the storylines proposed on the show aren’t really plausible (friendships between wives of officers ranging from privates to generals is a good example). I have to comment on this one. It does seem implausible, but refreshing on the show that cliques are in some ways undermined by the show’s heroines. That the women portrayed by this small group of actors is actually being represented in at least one television show is a huge step. Sure, the post commander’s wife probably wouldn’t “hang” at an off-post bar with the wives of enlisted men, but come on. There is one show to tell the story, and only so many characters. We wouldn’t tune in as frequently if they didn’t interact – that’s what makes it so juicy!

And that is really the point of this post. Yesterday was Memorial Day. As we remember and pray for the brave soldiers that through the years have gone to war for our country (regardless of whether you believe in the war itself – this is irrelevant in the face of the ultimate sacrifice), we should also remember the families left behind. Especially in the current world situation, where our soldiers are called to fight a war that is unjust, but do not have the right to refuse, the families feel the pain of loss every day.

So let’s hear it for the soldiers, those who have been lost, those who have returned from the many wars we have fought, and those who with hope will come home soon. And let us not forget the families, the husbands, wives, parents, and children who are left behind to hope, and to worry and to pray for their loved ones.

We honor you.

Let your kids show their pride for what Dad does if he is in the military.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Spanking is Violence (not discipline)

May 25, 2008

OK, my opinion on this is one I will admit cannot be changed. Perhaps I may gain some more respect for those “spankers” out there (and I am referring to children – what you do in your bedroom is your own business) and their views, although admittedly, I doubt it.

What brings this up? A friend of mine was recently talking about “having to” spank her little girl (about 3.5) and put her to bed early. I think by my silence on the phone line she knew what was coming. I’m not exactly known for being meek. And how could any adult HAVE TO perform an act of violence on a child. Aren’t we supposed to be the ones in control? Not just of our actions and emotions, but of the physical and emotional well-being of our kids?

I held my tongue and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. And it was totally chickenshit on my part. SO I am unleashing here (and she’s a reader so hopefully she gets it).

But so many times you hear a parent say they lost control. That makes it acceptable to hit?!?! Anyone, let alone a child? Or perhaps these are the types of parents who explain to a child WHY they will soon be humiliated and physically harmed as a “sensitive” way to inflict violence.

And you question whether spanking is a violent act? REALLY?!?!

Consider these scenarios:

==> You go into a bar, get into a fight and pop someone in the nose. You get arrested. You cannot hit a total stranger;

==> A husband hits his wife (or vice versa, or boyfriend is hit by girlfriend, or partners, but you get the picture). This is called domestic violence – hopefully someone gets arrested (although we all know that is not always the case and is a topic for another time);

==> You punch your best friend in the nose because she does something shitty to you. You get into trouble. She could press charges, and YOU could get arrested;

==> Your boss hits you because you used work email for personal messages.

(Alright, some of these seem to be kind of far-fetched examples, but really, aren’t they just far-fetched because laws prevent them from being prevalent?) In our society it is NOT OK to hit (unless you are a boxer for sport, which is barbaric, but just my little ole opinion inserted here). Or unless you are hitting a child or an animal.

We teach our children that the strong should not pick on the weak. Yet, if we in turn hit our children, we are teaching them that it is actually OK, not just to hit, but to beat up on the weaker among us. We become hypocrites, violent hypocrites. Is THIS the lesson you want to teach?

You may not believe it, but your kids really do watch what you do. They really absorb what you say. You really are molding them emotionally, intellectually for what and who they will become.

So why can’t my hubby go in tomorrow, and because his co-worker didn’t complete his job, thereby causing hubby to have to work a longer day, hit that co-worker.

Because he would get fired.

Because hitting is wrong.

Because hitting is violence.

Violence/hitting in the workplace is illegal.

And spanking is hitting.

Therefore spanking is a violent act. One of the only violent acts that is ignored by society (this and, once again, hitting animals). That is another topic and one that I could rant on about for days. And maybe sometime I will.

We can ignore the weakest among us. Because they are weak and have no voice. And so we do.

Isn’t that sad? It makes me so angry. I am ashamed that I didn’t say something to my friend, that I didn’t question her actions. Especially when I hear parents say they were forced, their child pushed them to that point. These are CHILDREN. THEY can be pushed, but YOU are the adult. You are supposed to have control. You may have to walk away and calm down, try another form of discipline, but hitting is never the answer.

Ever.

Get it?

Spanking. IS. Violence.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”


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