Friday, June 26, 2015

#LoveWins

Amazingly, I've only had to unfriend one person on Facebook tonight.  I don't do it often, and I like to think I'm a pretty tolerant person.  But I won't deal with hatred on my own page.

I know some people aren't happy about today's ruling.  I get it.  The analogies will come out that now we can have plural marriage (what the person on my page had to say about my "rainbowed" profile picture).  Or marry dogs.  And of course, WWJD?  It's a sin!  It's a behavior!

Well, I'm pretty sure Jesus would tell you to love those people anyway.  Jesus would tell you not to judge those people.  Jesus might tell you that we are all made in his image, and this includes EVERYONE, not just you.  

I don't know.  I'm not Jesus.  And pretty glad I'm not.  That's probably a lot of pressure there, what with the miracles and the constant people praying at you and all.

Everyone is welcome to their opinion.  It's one of the things that our country is built on.  If I care about your opinion, I'll read it.  If I don't like it, I'll not read it.  But I certainly don't expect you to come over to my Facebook page and spew your hatred (and yes, it's hatred IMHO.  And on my Facebook page my humble opinion is the only one that matters).  If you don't like that, you are welcome to unfriend me.  I'm ok with that really.  I might miss you.  But it's ok.  I'll get over it.

My biggest question is, besides the "moral high ground" and the "I don't want to have THAT conversation about THOSE people with MY child", how does this ruling affect you in anyway if you aren't LGBT?  Really, as a straight person who is married, and does have gay friends, I'm thrilled for them, but either way, I'd wake up tomorrow and the world would still be turning.  Tomorrow, we'll all wake up and the world will still be doing it's thing for everyone.  Some of the same people who claim it's time to move to Canada said the same thing in 2012, and here they still are.  And the world is still turning, degraded moral compass as some see it and all.

But for my friend's that this directly affects:  It matters.  They're life is changed.  If you don't like gay marriage, don't marry someone of the same sex.  It's ok, I won't judge you.  That's not my job.

I personally feel that the world will be a better place with more people able to love and marry each other.  More love can't hurt, right?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Book Review: Gramma Nancy's Animal Hats (and Booties, Too!) by Nancy Nielsen

I received this book for free from bloggingforbooks.com.

I reviewed the book, Gramma Nancy's Animal Hats (and Booties, Too) by Nancy Nielsen.


I didn't want to blog until I actually made some of the hats, and I was pleasantly surprised.  The hat instructions are clear and can be used for all hats.  Then you embellish the hat to make the animal whatever it is (I made the chicken hat for a friend's baby).  The other nice surprise is that the hats aren't just for babies, and are easily sized to fit everyone.

I made one of the hats for my daughter, who is 9, and it did fit a little snuggly.  I will go up a size next time I make them.  The other knock on the book is that some pieces were to be hot glued and stuffed with styrofoam, which was not attractive or safe for a child.  I know that the directions were written that way so that all skill levels of knit/crochet can do the embellishments, but I would have liked to have seen instructions for knit/crochet embellishments, or at least something that would have been safer for a child/baby (considering that this is the dynamic the book is marketed for).

Overall, the book is worth a look at the local library, if not as an addition to your library for it's reusability and cuteness.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Stranger in a Strange Land

So we moved.  We have most of the stuff we are unpacking, unpacked.  The garden is started and the bird feeders are filled.  I've set up a chore chart for the kids to start tomorrow, but for the most part they've been very helpful.

But I'd be remiss to say everything is great.  I don't quite know how my husband is going to do this job long term, mostly because this city appears to have given up.  It's very rare to get good customer service; everyone is rude.  And worse, I think that everyone in town is used to having everyone give them rude service, so no one even gets worked up about it anymore.  Evidently the only people who Brian has had complain about it are from out of town (and expect better).

We've heard probably from no less than 10 people "Why would you ever move here?".  One was a person working at Shopko pharmacy for 23 years and drives in a half hour every day.  And she wouldn't have it any other way.

I am a customer service oriented, people pleasing person.  I abhor bad service (and I reward good service).  The only good service we've gotten is at the local Papa Murphy's.  Every time we go they are helpful and pleasant.  And that's it.  Most of the time people don't bother to say please or thank you.  When they do, they come off insincere.

I just don't want my kids to think that's ok.  And I don't want to get so jaded that I act that way, or accept it.  I actually did my big grocery shopping for 2 weeks-$260 worth-up in Stevens Point after receiving such shitty service at our local Copps.  Today my parents came down and we went to the local Shopko garden center.  The worker (a high school kid) was a complete ass and could have cared less.  The plants looked half dead.  We ended up going up to Plover and checked out the local Shopko garden center there.  The plants looked great.  The person who checked us out (a high school kid) was helpful and friendly.  We went in the store to buy seeds, and the person who checked us out (another high school kid) was helpful and friendly.  So WTF?  Why does everyone treat everyone else like shit here?  Can it be fixed?  Am I having to resign myself to drive 25 minutes away to do all my shopping? 

Probably.  I refuse to get treated like shit.

Anyway, onto other news.  I feel like my house is indoor camping.  I woke up the other day with a giant spider crawling on my arm.  When I wacked it against the wall, it made a loud thunking sound. There are so many bugs: flies, wasps (they are getting in the basement, and we can't tell where), ladybugs.  And ticks.  Ticks everywhere.  Every day at least one of us has a tick on them.  We pulled one out of the cat's head.  I just took one off my neck as I type this.  It's terrible.

Our landlord told us that he's renting out the storage units, but the people only come by to pick up their vehicles in the summer and leave them in the winter.  So far, we've only seen one person coming to those.  But he failed to tell us when he was talking about how "he does a little farming in the gardens across the driveway" and his "daughter grows some pumpkins to save for money for school" that he's actually RENTING out the gardens, and we have random people coming by every day.  They don't come up our drive way, but they are right across from us.  And we have yet to see his daughter that grows pumpkins.  Just him.  And lots of random day labor people.


I am not a "call the landlord" type person.  But I swear every time something breaks, I'm having Brian call.  I am not fixing a damn thing in this house.  I'm not.

So I was going to complain about my house.  But I decided I'm going to talk about the good things.

1. I have a whirlpool tub that is giant, with jets.  It's very relaxing.
2. Everyone has their own bedroom, and we have two bathrooms.
3. The appliances are all new, or nearly new.
4. I finally have a dining room, and we finally bought a decent table.
5. I have a nice back deck.
6. We have bluebirds nesting in our yard.
7. We have a nice sized garden.
8. My air conditioning works.

So there.  I ended on a postive note.  And the tick is drowning in alcohol.  Hopefully I will be soon too.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

So...Almost June, huh?



I am very happy to say after a hospital stay, an extra ER visit, 2 primary care visits and a cardiology visit, Brian's blood pressure is way down.  Today at the doctor's office it was 118/76 (Better than mine!).  So it appears the meds and the changes we've made in diet are working.  Of course, we're only eating healthy and I have yet to lose 2 lbs.

It figures.

We are in the middle of moving, and my eye is twitching all the time from stress.  I have 3 able-bodies kids who don't want to help, a semi-able bodied husband who is never home, and me, who is working her ass off to get everything packed. Worse case Ontario (Thanks Ricky!) I have to get a storage unit to throw things from the garage in to get everything out of here.  I am hoping that doesn't happen.  It's stressful.

(By the way, if you haven't watched Trailer Park Boys, you're missing out):


I am also tired of feeling like the "Bad Mom".  I think sometimes the male-parental-units (mainly.  There are a bunch of stay-at-home dad's who get this, but it's usually, in the eyes of society, moms) understand the stakes.  Tonight at 8:30, I asked Nicholas in passing what he needs for his track meet tomorrow.  He says, "A water bottle.  And lunch."  Mind you, we have NO lunch things in the house.  I put extra money in the kids' hot lunch accounts knowing by this point everything will mostly be packed.  I had exactly $8.00 on me, so Nicholas is having a dollar store extravaganza tomorrow (secretly, I am happy I had to go to the dollar store.  I got all the same stuff I would have bought at the grocery store for half the price.  Emily even packed her lunch for tomorrow.) 

So then I get back, show him what I got for lunch and the next thing out of his mouth is, "You washed and folded my 6th grade shirt, didn't you?"  Fucking A, I have done about 50 loads of laundry in the past week.  I have no idea, but I know I saw him wear it last week.  So I start frantically searching the basement, hoping it didn't already go to Rapids.  And Brian says, "Let him find it".  Now here is what pissed me off:  It doesn't reflect on Brian he doesn't wear his special shirt.  It doesn't really even reflect on Nicholas.  It reflects on me for not taking care of house business and knowing where his shirt is.

Fortunately, it was washed and folded and pseudo-put-away in a drawer upstairs. 

In other news, Anna went out with a newish (old) friend from school again tonight.  This girl has been hanging with Anna more lately.  Unfortunately, it seems like every other thing that comes out of this girl's mouth is a lie, and the "every other" is a lie covering up the lie.  She's been working on an LGBT project, and has Anna helping her with calling Christian phone help lines to see their response when she says she is Christian and gay.  So I just had a feeling, and I told Anna (who, honestly, has not decided on a gender she prefers yet) that I though this girl, M, might be asking her to go out for ice cream to ask her out.  Sure enough, she got Anna a rose and a note that says she doesn't want to be "just friends" anymore.  Anna politely told her that she doesn't think of M that way, and she's flattered but no.  And of course now Anna feels bad for rejecting her.  I probably overstepped my "mom bounds" but I did tell her that it's possible M is asking her out to gauge her reaction for her project.  We also had a hard talk about friendship is a 2 way street, and Anna tends to pick people who use her.  I also said there is nothing wrong with her saying no, and she needs to do what is best for Anna in the end.

I taught her (and all 3 of my kids) that you never have to be a dick of someone you aren't interested in asks you out.  Be polite, but firm.  So Anna did this, and I proud of her.  I just wish she wasn't hurting from rejecting someone.

This parenting thing doesn't come with a manual...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Stress, yarn and Knitting

I was hoping knitting would alleviate my stress a bit.  It has a little, but I wish it could do more.

Last Friday my husband was giving a speech during WAPL (Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries) conference and after he felt short of breath.  After much convincing, he went to the ER in Wisconsin Rapids (or home in 12 days).  There they diagnosed him with pneumonia and very high blood pressure, and checked his triponin, which is a heart enzyme that determines the likelihood of a heart attack.  It was elevated; they said it could be because of the sever pneumonia (he was just fine the day before!), but they admitted him to critical care and monitored the level. 

So I was in Wisconsin Rapids with the kids, and my parents went home.  I got the call at 9:30 that his triponin level had gone up, there was no cardiologist in WR, so they were transferring him to St. Clare's in Weston (an hour away).  First they had to find a hospital that wasn't full and would accept him.  Then, when St. Clare's did accept him, we had to wait an hour for an ambulance to come down from Weston to come get him.  I kind of did a little bit of "losing my shit", and asked the nurse how hospitals "just get full".  She said, "Lots of people had the flu" and my response was, "What, like The Stand??" 

I really thought early Saturday morning I was going to get a phone call that he was dying.

So Brian ended up in Weston.  After an echocardiogram, and a heart catheter, they found 20-30% blockage in his heart, but mostly it was about lowering his blood pressure (which at one point was 202/111) and treating his pneumonia.  He was discharged last Sunday, back in the ER up here in Appleton last Monday (his bp was 192/126) and after seeing a PA on Wednesday, his bp is up and down but not as dangerous (knock on wood...) as it was. He sees a cardiologist next week and a general practitioner the week after.

My oldest daughter's wonderful teacher brought us a homemade vegetable lasagna, which was delicious.  I had so many friends reach out to me and let me know they cared--it's very humbling.

So that is crisis time.  I've been working on the second roundabout sock, and it's coming along nicely:


I also went to a rummage sale in Manitowoc yesterday where a local fiber vender, Lucky Rose Fibers, was selling yarn and fiber.  I resisted the fiber (I so need to work on my spinning skills), but BritneyLe's yarn was half off, so I indulged and spent Mother's Day money from my mom and my "big fat rebate check" from Ebates on yarn.


 I can't wait to get knitting with it!

My other news is that I am officially unemployed.  I am going to be packing and sorting for the next 2 weeks.  I am so very sad to leave my job--I loved my job and my coworkers.  But I need to leave eventually, so I left while I had time to pack.  Very bittersweet.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ever feel like it doesn't matter?

So I've always celebrated holidays (no matter how obscure) with special meals in our house, ever since the kids were little.  The two biggest are Mardi Gras and Cinco de Mayo, but I make sure there is red, white and blue treats for July 4th, special pumpkin bars for Halloween, whatever.  I've always done it.  I guess maybe because I would have loved to have had a mom that did stuff like that.

I did this long before Pinterest, mind you.  Pinterest makes it easier. And makes me feel more inadequate.

So tonight was Cinco de Mayo.  So I made carnitas.  I forgot to get the stuff for dessert empanadas, so I skipped those.  I made guacamole.  I HATE guacamole.  But I made it.  And got salsa and chips.  And made sure to pay extra for just the margarita mix so my kids could have fake margaritas.

Not one thank you.  Not one acknowledgement.  My oldest daughter actually left for a walk with her friend, even though I was going to make her special meatless tacos (they ended up coming home and eating all the guacamole.  Which is fine.  I HATE guacamole!)

So I kind of wonder if I quit doing it, would I get over the guilt?  Would my kids forget that I ever did it?  Is it easier to just not do it than do it and have them not notice?  Would they notice?

No more Mardi Gras King's cake and hurricanes jambalaya.  No more special Mexican dinners for Cinco de Mayo.  No more red, white and blue parfaits for 4th of July. 

I don't do it for the praise.  I like to do it.  But I still would like for my kids to notice.  Stupid, I know.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Quick Night at the Ball Game

The Timber Rattlers announced that Scooter Gennett (former Rattler, now a Brewer) was rehabbing with them this weekend, and Friday was "Webkinz Cow Night" so we decided to go to the T-Rats game.

Timber Rattlers games are pretty inexpensive, especially compared to MLB games (I think Anna went to a Brewers game when she was little.  Even the cheap seats at Brewers games are expensive).  We decided to take the grass seat option-something we've never done-as the tickets were $6 instead of $12 for seats where we usually sit (the kind with backs and a cup holder).  I ordered them online--Anna didn't want to go, so it was 4 tickets@$6=$24.  Great.  Until you tack on a $7 convenience fee just for the privilege of ordering a ticket online.  And $5 to park.  So we were essentially paying for 6 tickets for 4 people.

Whatever.  It was still not a bad price for a night out.

So we get to the ballpark, and it's not nearly as busy as usual.  Mind you, we always go on Star Wars night and sometimes go on Storybook Princess night.  It was just Webkinz cow night, so we were ok.  The stands were mostly empty.

We opted to sit in the grass seats by the Kidszone, because Emily wanted to play.  This is when we found out that the Kidszone is actually $5.  WTF?  To jump in the bounce house and go down the inflatable slide.  *sigh*  Then the grass seats started to fill in.

I'm not one to put on airs.  I have my white trash roots, and I am always a pay check away from white trash (or homelessness in some cases).  On any given day I am white trash.  But what a motley crue in the grass seats!

There was every kid in the ballpark running around, pushing and shoving, flying down the hill at 80 miles an hour toward the cement barrier with parents sitting on blankets ignoring the shit out of them while they drank their Jack Daniels Lynchburg Lemonades.  In addition to every kid in the ballpark, we came on "The local Junior High choir sings the national anthem" night, so even though they had seats (with backs I'm assuming) they all invited their friends and were hanging in the cheapseats, mostly standing and talking to each other and taking selfies.  In front of us was a preteen who spent the entire time we were there taking pictures of herself on her phone with the field in the background.  Combine that with the people who were just there to pound beers, and it was the dirt mall of the ballpark.

I did get to take this nice picture though:
We made it through the first inning and it was time to go.  We hit the "spin the wheel" game on the way out, and Emily won 2 free happy meals, so hurray!  Kids, you're eatin' tonight!

I'm not a snob about most things.  I drive old cars, live in old houses, shop at the Goodwill (not because it's trendy; because it's cheap).  But I won't sit in the grass seats again.