Saturday, January 30, 2010

I've Got the Vapors

Okay, so if it's against regulations to have a gun in an NBA locker room, then the suspension two players received for bringing a gun in was correct. But does that mean people need to be so sensitive to every bit of language that can be used to describe gun use? Even if guns are not allowed in the locker room, the NBA acted to discourage this particular behavior, but that does not mean guns should not be allowed anywhere, ever. So why should language like "not leaving anything in the chamber" be so upsetting? Oooh, even talk about a gun gives us the vapors. Perhaps, just perhaps, people should receive gun training in high school or something so guns are not so "big and scary."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

And In the Stupid File...

If you're sending out a mass advertising campaign for your fancy little private school, perhaps you should proofread your material better. Just sayin'.

ETA: Welcome Joanne Jacobs readers!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Born to Rule

That's the title of the book I'm reading right now. It's about five women who had two things in common: they were all reigning consorts, and they were all granddaughters of Queen Victoria. The author explores their childhood relationships with their grandmother, which were generally positive, and their enduring love for England and things English, even if they also learned to love their new homelands.

One of the sad things the book covers is that even though four of these women especially did grow to truly love the land of their reign, they were seen by many in their adopted countries as alien and perhaps even a threat to the welfare of the country. The book brings up something I'd never thought of; not only did many royals marry foreign princes and princesses because of the aspect of royalty marrying royalty, but in those times there was competition among the aristocratic families, for power. Marrying into one specific noble house and giving that family extra influence in court was not a wise idea

Despite their wealth and position, you end up feeling sorry for all of these women. Three of them were cheated on, four saw their thrones lost, the Empress Alexandra and her immediate family were of course eventually assassinated, and all of them for their supposed power as queen/empress really lived very constricted lives. Do you see this as a trade-off for the privileges they did enjoy?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sad Realities

The Dancer has wanted a pet bunny for years. She has absolutely loved bunnies ever since she was a wee little thing. However, now that she is old enough to deal with the work having this pet would entail, she is torn. Having gone through the pain of losing two of our family pet cats and her sister's two hamsters, she is hesitant to get a beloved animal, only to lose it some years down the road. I feel sad that she has gone through the heartache of losing pets, even though it is part of the realities of life. I suppose someone who has never had a pet wouldn't understand, but it truly was hard looking at the lifeless form of a dear pet and realizing our time of companionship together was over. I still hope she makes the decision to bring another pet into her life to love.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Getting Personal

Everyone has regrets. I think mine are mostly related to things that I said and did before I knew I was bipolar. Thank God that my most important relationships are strong, that I was diagnosed in time for me to be able to make improvements in my moods and stability.

I'm pretty sure my father is bipolar also, but he's in his seventies and I doubt would ever admit he needed help. Ironically, his current wife is a nurse. I think of all the bridges my father burned in his lifetime, including with me, and wonder if things could have been different if he had been diagnosed and agreed to take medication. It's amazing how once you have some information a lot of pieces seem to fit into place.

I really can't know for sure, but I think my father's father was bipolar also. I know he was an alcoholic which was a way of self-medication back then when help was not so readily available. Who knows how long the curse of mental illness has been dogging my family? I thank God for bringing me out of the depths and pray He preserves me and those I love.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Over My Head

The Evil Genius family picked up a few magazine subscriptions when the girls were selling them in the fall to raise money for their schools. I just got my first issue of Threads the other day, and boy, do I feel out of my league. Not that I thought I was a couture artist or anything, but it's something else to see it all laid out in a glossy magazine. Of course, for me there are not only the skills required to overcome, but the expense. I can't afford couture materials at this time any more than I have the skills to do couture sewing. Nor do I have a couture figure. :D One of the reasons I like sewing for dolls is that I can dress them much nicer than I do myself.

I also was reminded of a weird lack of faculty I have as a sewer. I can't picture sewing directions in my head. When I read that you need to do A, B and C, I have to sit down and carefully puzzle my way through them with the materials. I can't work it out in my mind.

I do wonder if I could take my sewing up to another level, just as I wonder whether I will ever have the knitting skills to sew an entire sweater, or even a pair of socks. I mean, just because you can master the basics, doesn't mean you can do advanced level things, right?? I know I'd be cheating myself if I didn't at least try to take on more advanced projects, if I really want to do them. But it can feel intimidating!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Loving to Learn

The Equestrienne starts high school next year. It will be a big milestone for our family! They are already doing class planning at the middle school for next year. I wish I had had as many class options as the Equestrienne does. I attended a small parochial high school and the classes were mostly very basic college prep. I was prepared for college courses, so my schooling was not inferior; we just didn't have nearly as many options as they do in this large suburban high school. I find myself wishing that I had attended public school. The public schools in the town I grew up in were and are very well thought of academically, and I know they had more to offer even back in my high school days.

I've always seen school as not only for creating a foundation of learning for life, but also as preparatory for earning a living. That's why I'm glad for more than one reason that the Equestrienne will be able to take classes such as photography or fashion. She can be exposed to a lot of different things that may lead to a career or just an activity to enjoy.

I'm also interested to see what honors classes, if any, the Equestrienne will be able to get into. Right now, college is a necessity for her career goals, so I'd like to see her get as many advantages in her high school years as possible.

I've sometimes thought I'd like to take classes, at the undergraduate level. That will have to wait, if it happens, until my girls are fairly launched on their own. Of course there are many ways to learn outside of a school, so I can still pursue my interests! Especially now that the girls are in school during the day.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A Little Gripe

I'm tired. Physically. All I want to do is rest and sleep. Yesterday when I was preparing dinner, I dropped a glass and then a bottle of spaghetti sauce. The bottle was plastic, but the plastic lid cracked and the sauce made a big mess. At least the glass broke in fairly big pieces. I'm hoping the simple answer to my issues is that my cold is still wearing me down, despite being on antibiotics for a week. I still do have some symptoms, like coughing and laryngitis. It's a little scary that a cold could still be hanging in there, but we don't need anybody else with complicated sleep issues in the family. We have discovered that Mr. BTEG has moderate apnea, but that doesn't account for all his issues, so it's off to more doctors. We are a family of health problems, but I can always thank God that it is not worse.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Watching a Train Wreck

While I don't hide from bad news, I don't like to talk about it very much. I've never been a huge optimist, but neither do I want to dwell on the negative. However, I've been doing a lot of thinking about what changes to the tax code for increasing government run programs will mean, not only for me and my family, but for those who we help support financially. The first things to go would be our daughters' extra-curricular activities, dance and horseback riding. However, there's the sticky problem that while these activities are a nice bonus for us, for the women who teach these classes, it is their livelihood. Going one step further, if enough families could no longer afford such classes, not only would the dance teacher be out of a job, but the building she rents would be empty and no longer bringing in income for the landlord. If enough young people could not take horse riding lessons, not only would the family that lives on the property have a hard time paying the taxes, and possibly a mortgage, on it, but they'd have a stable full of horses that would be difficult to care for.

On the other side, for higher taxes for mandated health care, what is gained from it? Anecdotally, I've read tens of stories where doctors plan on getting out of their chosen profession if government-run health care comes to pass. Since this has happened in other places where government health care became the only option, I can well believe them. So what would our money, which is now helping to provide jobs and tax and rental income to the economy, provide? Not more jobs, if there are likely to be fewer doctors. Not much of any sort of contribution to the economy. Just more money for bureaucracy. How sad and scary that the government could have such control over all our lives.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Life in 2010

Yesterday the house was full as my in-laws came in from Youngstown. Fortunately, they brought all the food, including a pork roast, kielbasa and sauerkraut. I really wasn't prepared to do a lot of cooking. My sister-in-law covets my kitchen. I'm rather fond of it myself.

I've become rather attached to this house. It's ending up, though, that the main living of the house is being done down the basement, while I prefer to stay upstairs and soak up as much natural light as possible. I guess we'll still have to work things out. On the other hand, the treadmill is downstairs, and I used it today! Not for very long, but it's a good start. This treadmill seems odd, though. Like it was made for running. The very slowest setting is about the fastest I can keep up with it. Well, it's worth every penny we paid for it! :)