Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I'm sitting here at the computer working and Little One comes in and asks me to "brave."

Lately we've been praying together before she goes to sleep.  Usually, I pray over her when she's sound asleep, but we've started praying the Lord's Prayer before she goes to sleep.

She can't seem to say "pray."

She says "brave."

So I'm sitting here and my little girl comes in with a very earnest look, peers up into my face and asks me to "brave" with her.

She sat in my lap and I held her close and I prayed for her and ended with the Lord's Prayer.

Thank you, God.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Trolling for Ideas...

It would seem Darling and I have been gifted three nights alone as an anniversary gift.  Yippee!

We have a summer anniversary, so we have time to think and plan...

and save.


I'm at a loss.  Truly, I think staying home in our own house, our own bed, not sharing a wall with anyone, and doing a staycation would be lovely.

We've never, ever, ever, had a night alone in our home.  Heck, we've never, ever, ever had a night away from the kids.

I almost don't even know what to do with myself.


We want a few days of good food, good booze, no kids, no responsibilities, not a lot of nickel-and-diming in the way of tips, a quiet room, places to wander, spots around to feel secluded and not surrounded by crushing crowds, and no need to get in the car and drive anywhere.

Does such a place exist... that isn't a Caribbean all-inclusive we can't afford right now?

Help!  I'm trolling for ideas on getaway spots.


Post 'em here.  Ask your friends.  Pass it around.  Share your ideas.  Links are welcome!

~ G

Monday, January 10, 2011

On the Altar of Political Correctness

Seems to me it's a good time to bring up an oldie, but goody:

‎"We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions." –Ronald Reagan

If anyone else is a fan of "Band of Brothers," you know of Maj. Dick Winters, the CO of Easy Company in WWII. After Stephen Ambrose wrote "Band of Brothers," he encouraged Winters to write his own book. Winters did. He wrote about leadership and his experiences in the war.

After reading both books, I felt compelled to read the other books written by the men of Easy Company. They all talked of sacrifice, fighting for freedom, and several of them wrote about how disgusted they are with political correctness and the notion of chipping away at freedom of speech for society's comfort.

Those men fought for freedom. Their buddies died for freedom. They expect us to protect what they won - freedom. We need to learn from their experiences and realize freedom is not inherent in American society, but something that must constantly be protected and preserved.

When we remove the word "nigger" from Huck Finn because some find it offensive, we scrub our history. When we tell people they need to stop being so vitriolic in their discourse and call it "hate speech," we scrub away freedom of speech.

Who decides what constitutes "hate speech," anyway? Who gets to decide what is and what is not offensive? Are we really willing to continue travelling a road telling of  each other what we can and can't say? What happens when "hate speech" becomes a punishable offense? What happens when you're on the other side of "hate speech?"

With freedom comes personal responsibility. Each person is responsible for his or her actions, independent of society. Society is not responsible for teen suicides, what individuals say or write, and society is not responsible when a sick individual opens fire on innocent people.

We are each responsible for our own actions. It's part of freedom. We have to stop acting as if no one is or can be responsible for themselves or their actions. If we want to remain free, we must take responsibility for our own actions and expect others to accept responsibility for themselves, too.

Winters passed away this Jan. 2 at the age of 92. In honor of Major Winters, Easy Company, and the men and women who have died protecting our freedom, I ask you to please consider that freedom is not won lightly. We should not willingly take it from each other nor offer it up in the name of political correctness.

~ G

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Being a Chinese Mother

No, that's not a euphemism.

Check out this article about why Chinese mothers are superior.  Now, as you can probably surmise from my bloggy persona above, I am not Chinese.  There's nary a drop of Asian blood in me; however, I think there are things my German/Irish/Norwegian ancestors had in common with the Chinese.  It's work ethic.

Read the article.  Go on.

This past weekend the kids and I went out to my parents' place in the country.  While the kids helped my mom in her workshop and then climbed trees, I helped my dad clear brush.  Yes, just like W.  I didn't get to use the chainsaw this time (bummer), but I did use the loppers, I did climb on top of the brush pile on the truck and stomp around on it a bit (well, more like jumped up and down on it like a carnival ride) and I did do a whole lot of heavy lifting and grunting.  I did clean up some timber for use as fence rails, identified some hardwood trees as keepers and prepped others for firewood.

It. felt. great.

All the worries and frustrations of the past few weeks just fell off my shoulders as I worked alongside my dad.  Clearing brush cleared my head.  Hard physical work puts things in perspective.

A few hours later, we were done for the day.  Dad's in his 60's and has declared he now has an aversion to working after 4:00.  So, despite wanting to continue, I honored my pop's decision and returned the tools to the workshop while Dad took the kids and dog for a ride in the truck.

One thing that struck me yesterday, that this article touches on, is hard work feels good.  I hated working with mom and dad when I was a kid.  I loathed it.  Complaining, however, wasn't an option.  If I complained, I got more work.  Now, I know how to do the work and Dad did not have to fill me in on the process once.  I donned some work gloves and got to work.

That felt great.  I felt great.  I felt good about myself.  I felt capable.  Strong.  I used all the skills my parents had taught me, like tricks to making lopper work easier and better ways to stack the brush, and felt incredibly satisfied with myself when we were done.  My body felt vital.  My head felt clear.  My emotions felt calmer.

Now, I have a daughter.  Despite all the articles I've read in magazines, imploring me to be careful of her delicate flower-ness, I do not worry about her self-esteem.  I feel absolutely no additional pressure to make sure she knows she's special and beautiful and not fat just because she was born with a uterus.  The pressure I feel for her is no different than the pressure I feel about raising my sons  - to be capable, self-sufficient, contributing members of society.

You know why?  She's stronger than that "girl" thing I'm supposed to be concerned about.  She's stronger and more capable and tougher and far more precious than anything she could buy in the store, than the way her friends might treat her, the way any boy might treat her, or any words I could say to her.  If I dance around her as if she's perched atop eggshells,  I teach her she's a dainty, delicate flower who can't do much. What a wretched blow to her psyche, to be treated as if she's too precious to get real and dirty.

If I hand her a pair of loppers and expect her to get to work with us, she learns she's more than the jeans she wears, the make-up she applies, the hair she styles or any of the details of her life.  She learns a lesson in the strength the good Lord gave her.  She learns she's part of this family, part of a team, very capable of attacking any challenge before her.

I know my girl.  I know she's a force to be reckoned with and that she has strength she will never know if I don't force her to tap into it.

My job as her mother is to allow her to (and, at some point, force her) to tap into that strength.  To grow up thinking she's only as good as what she puts on or in her body or only as good as what others think would never allow her to find out how incredible and strong she is.  If I constantly "do" for her, she never learns she can "do" for herself.  If I constantly frame things to make them easier, kinder, better for her, she never learns how resilient she is.

That would be a waste.

So, that's my thought for the weekend.  Next trip out, my kids are going to join us in the work outside.  This time they helped inside.  Next time they can help outside.  Someday I'll teach them all how to change a tire, change the oil, and use those loppers.

After all, someday that chainsaw will by mine and I need them to know how to clean up some rails.  If that makes me mean, so be it.  I'll take being called a Chinese mother as a compliment.

~ G

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Long Absence - Again

Sorry for yet another absence.  It would seem the laptop and I are at odds too often as to how it prefers to be treated.

In case you wondered, the laptop won.

So, back from a two-week stay at the spa, the laptop is back in my lap.


Before you know it, I'll have witty witticisms whipped up and written down for ya.*

~ G

*Provided I don't a) spill tea on the laptop or b) manage to bend the a/c adapter thingy that helps the laptop charge.


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