Monday, November 29, 2010

Head Cases

My mind has been straying back to this article several times during the past couple of days. It bothers me not as a what-could-have-been but as a what-could-be. I have never struggled with mental issues to the extent that the author's son has. I made it through college with honors and successfully held down a number of jobs before becoming a full-time mom. My children are also currently doing well in their lives. Yes, I should place my trust in God, but in my frailty I wonder at times if my mind will deteriorate more, or if one or both of my daughters will suffer from mental illness, which does seem to have a definite genetic component. I do have a whole host of changes before me, God willing, even thought many of them will indeed be positive. In the end, however, there is nothing I can do to alter things, so I have to rely on God, and on my loved ones working through Him.

On a second note, I do agree with the author's assertion that we should rely on ourselves as much as possible. As was pointed out somewhere else on the blogosphere, for middle class taxpayers, what usually happens is I support your unique need through my taxes, and you support my unique need through your taxes. If we weren't paying these taxes, we could just take care of our own needs, with a lot less waste of money. Plus, I stated this when my husband was going through his mysterious health issues, but I cannot say it often enough: bureaucracy does not care. The person who was the most help to us through all of our issues was our primary care physician, who has known our family for several years. From other places, we either received no help, often for reasons that made no sense, or extremely delayed help, due to the number of hoops required first, and that fact that managing our issue was just someone's job, and not a vital issue as it was to us.

One last thing; the author wrote that he did manage to find manageable coverage for his son despite the health issues, but fears it may become out of reach under Obamacare. I believe this is an intended consequence. God be with us all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I am going to be posting on higher education, in regards to my family in particular, but as I was planning the post out in my mind, I took a side trip. I have always been disappointed in my college career. I wrote too much trying to explain, so let's just say I don't know why I went to the college I did, or took some of the courses that I did. However, when I get down to it, I always get back to the fact that I met my now-husband there, so I can't completely regret my college choice.

Which leads me to a point where I get theologically muddled: what was God's involvement in this? Dawn Eden, in her book, says that a man's wife is chosen for him by God. How does God plan things for us, however, which involve the actions of other people? How did my husband and I end up going to the same college, and both make friends with the same person who would eventually introduce us? I never felt a "call," or anything similar to go to the college I did. I went because they supposedly had a good program in a major my father pushed towards. I ended up not really being interested in that major, and not seeing the program as that good anyway. I completely fumbled my way through the whole higher education process. God knew all that would happen, since He is omniscient, but did he *direct* any of it? And if so, how?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Not Absolute

My life is flying by, and I am feeling more and more caught up in the small but rewarding world of family. I am so thankful that we decided to stay in the same school district, even though it really limited our options for a new place. The girls' friendships with fellow students continue to grow and develop, and it would have been hard for them to start with a new bunch of kids this year. I think those who are natural extroverts and who make friends easily might find this hard to understand, but from the perspective of my husband and myself, this was the right choice.

I'm trying to be more active in the girls' schools this year. Signed up for the local PTA and was horrified to get an "advocacy alert" for a Congressional bill, with which I don't even agree! Our local PTA is part of some large email client, and the national PTA seems to want to use us for its agenda. Laura is also not a fan of the national PTA. When did this become a top-heavy, self-important organization, and not just some moms passing out candy canes at the Christmas holiday party?

As you might guess, I really hate this push for everything to be centralized and bureaucrat-ized. My guess at the reason is for the accumulation of power. Think about how much more "important" one would feel as the head of a national organization, telling people how to vote and making them fill out useless forms? At times it does sound nice to have the perks and privileges of the influential. A private jet instead of getting groped by the TSA is appealing at the moment, for example. Thinking about it, though, I don't know that I would be any happier in the long run. I can't imagine the climb to get and maintain power would help my soul. It wouldn't improve my relationships, which to me are what life is all about. How many people think beyond what will get them ahead today, though? How many people have gotten to the top and jumped off in despair?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Businesses Are Evil

The other week I skimmed the headlines of the local newspapers at the grocery store, and saw that American Greetings, a local greeting card company, with product carried nationwide, is once again making noises about leaving their current headquarters. They claim to want another city where they can pay fewer taxes, and are suggesting they may even leave the state. What's funny about this is that they worship Ear Leader to the extent that they created a Christmas ornament of him a couple of years ago. They were probably disappointed that it wasn't prominently featured next to that other fascist dictator, Mao, on the White House Christmas tree.

Anyway, yes, the company has been solidly Democrat for decades. So, Mr. CEO of American Greetings, I need to tell you something. Don't be a greedy fat cat. At some point, you have made enough money. You need to spread the wealth, especially for all those children in your headquarter town. The city is only levying taxes for your own good.

As for the city itself, well, I don't know how high their tax rate is, but I do know that they are proud of being the first city to have a seat belt law, and they also have a no cell phone while driving law. So the leaders of this town also seem to be pretty happy to tell others what to do. This Dem on Dem squabbling is funny, except the prospect of losing thousands of area jobs? Not quite so funny.

Monday, November 15, 2010

In Between

Settling down in our new place. Hasn't helped that we all got sick, but that's to be expected this time of year when your immune system is worn down by stress and extra exertion. My brain is unfortunately too confuzzled (a term coined by the Musician) to write coherently about what I want to write about, this late. I have strong attitudes about things, but I don't feel like I can do serious writing any real justice, right now. Hopefully soon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mad at Ohio

At my daughter's dance lesson tonight, I was talking to a father who happens to be a teacher in our school district. He informed me and the other mom there that the state of Ohio is shifting to mandatory full-day kindergarten AND mandatory *preschool.* I'm angry and appalled! Yes, I sent my daughters to preschool, and they enjoyed it, but it was only mornings, not every school day, and I certainly wouldn't want it to be forced on every child. I also don't see five-year-olds as necessarily being ready for all-day school, either. They're still so young! Of course, too many children that age are in all-day daycare anyway, and I have to wonder if parents who do have children in daycare were a driving force behind this. It also makes me mad that I am subsidizing their daycare, basically. They are probably using some sort of excuse about helping the children academically, but seriously. When my daughters were kindergarten age, they were still solidifying letters and numbers. I don't see going to a whole day making a difference in that. Not to mention that there is evidence that even Head Start ends up not giving kids an advantage in the long run. Where is the evidence that all-day preschool will work?

Another issue is the cost. Our school district is blessed to be in a financially good place at the moment, but adding all those extra kids, and the extra hours, will put a strain on the district's budget. How will districts that already struggle financially deal with it? Especially in this economy? It will mean more levies, and of course the schools know how to manipulate parents, by cutting "non-essential" classes like art, extracurricular activities and busing. Of course, so many parents work today that they are apparently happy to pay the extra taxes to ease the burden of having to drive them to school, and pick them up right after school.

I'm so disappointed in Ohio. I'm definitely contacting my legislators, although it's a bit late at this point. I wish I had a place to get good Ohio news besides the local rag. Homeschooling did not work out in the long run for us, but I think I would probably homeschool during the preschool and kindergarten years if I had children of that age. It's a sad development.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Moving Along

So we've moved, and it has been stressful and exhausting, but not as bad as it could have been, so I'm being thankful for what we have. I've been rather busy, and I have to admit it is fun getting everything arranged and put away. I'm trying to concentrate on the good instead of the bad, which is a great idea all the time, but I find myself concentrating on the bad too often. Looking forward to Thanksgiving. We'll be guests, not hosts, so I won't have to worry that there are boxes all over the house. Which there will be. Also plotting ways to keep my winter active and upbeat. Will be getting to back to "real" blogging, too!