Friday, December 20, 2013

Homeschooling in Ohio

So Ohio SB 248 has come and gone. It was going to be a bill that would have brought in Children's Services to decide whether or not homeschooling would be "in the best interests of the child." Right from the start, Children's Services would have been involved with you, and your children, deciding whether you had the right to homeschool. A complete invasion of privacy, and a strong blow to homeschooling rights.

Unfortunately, the withdrawal of the bill still leaves me dissatisfied. In the statement to withdraw the bill by Ohio Senator Cafaro, she states, "the true intent of the bill to curtail child abuse has been eclipsed by the issue of homeschooling." What did she think was going to happen? Of course homeschooling parents were going to be up in arms by the idea of letting the State decide what was in the best interests of their own children. This bill was all about... regulating homeschooling! I'm not an idiot, and I'm not going to be put off by political double-speak. This is simply another case where the laws were not administered, so politicians want to write more laws. In this case, I believe this senator saw a nice opportunity to gain State control over homeschooling families. Too bad for her that many people are aware and appreciative of all of the educational opportunities available, even if they aren't availing themselves of a given choice at a certain time. Too bad also that people are getting fed up with overreach by the State, and are pushing back, at least from the State's point of view. I think that the next bill that Cafaro comes up with, "for the children," also deserves some close scrutiny.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I've been suffering from health problems for the last week or so, which have put a real dent in my day-to-day life, and my blogging has not been important at all. I'm glad I have Mr. BTEG, and I'm glad that I am a stay-at-home mom that can take the time to rest up, and not have to struggle to get back to paid employment. I've been going through some depression which was related tangentially to my other issues, so that's why the blogging went down. But I have a good Christmas to look forward to, plus the Musician's 18th birthday! So I guess I'm feeling better. :)

Monday, December 02, 2013

Just Two Things

I was just reading some comments by some lovely people who think the government should be responsible for healthcare and education. Why does my mind go to: the government should provide healthcare, and education. Two things, healthcare, education and housing. The government should provide three things, healthcare, education, housing, and childcare. The government should provide four things....

Friday, November 29, 2013


I'm going around to my various social media sites updating my headers and profile pictures and so forth, for Christmas! It brought to mind something I just read recently about how wrong it is that women feature their children so often in profile pictures instead of themselves or something related to their own activities. How absurd. I've made the choice to make my children a huge part of my life. And because they still live at home, they are involved in every important time in my life, as well as the everyday ones. I enjoy seeing them happy, just like I enjoy seeing my husband happy. My husband doesn't like having pictures taken of himself, though. And I think my daughters look far more attractive in pictures than I do. :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Break

This Thanksgiving, I will be most thankful for a break from everyday life. I drive my husband to and from the bus stop, I drive the Musician around to her college class and her student teaching and the high school, and I drive the Dancer to and from the high school and all her dance classes. In between, I'm trying to keep up with household chores and all the things involved in having a high school senior, such as getting senior pictures taken that we can afford to buy, and preparing for her graduation party. I also need to make time to do things that interest me, such as sewing and other hobbies. And at the moment, I'm just about at the end of my strength. Mr. BTEG worked from home today, and both the girls have started the holiday break, so they were all home today and I really let things go. I'm hoping that on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I'll be able to accomplish what I want after this rest.

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed holiday weekend.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Evolve or Devolve?

I've been noticing more and more spelling errors, the kind that spellcheck won't catch, but that still jar me. Popular misspellings generally involve homonyms such as bear/bare or steel/steal. I was unhappy recently to see someone who writes for a living use the word "canon" instead of "cannon." I'm not ready to get out the smelling salts and the fainting couch to bemoan the death of the English language, but I do think spelling, grammar, etc. are important. I wonder if less reading is involved in poor spelling, if people don't see words used correctly and therefore don't know correct spellings. That theory makes sense when I also see idiomatic phrases that people get completely wrong. You know the ones, like "It's a doggie dog world." In this case, people are hearing these phrases pronounced poorly, and never the see the difference elsewhere. Of course, I've heard spelling is being phased out of many curriculum, even in the lower grades. That can't help either.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Well, That's Awkward

From one of my doll blogs, I thought I had made a new friend in the blogging community. Yesterday, she was following my blog, and linked to my blog from hers. This morning, not only is all of that gone, but she deleted a comment she left on my blog. My only guess is that she saw something she didn't like about me. Maybe she wandered over here? I have no idea, since she chose not to tell me. She's from Europe, so I would hope she would not judge me based on my political views of what is happening in my country, but a lot of Europeans do think we should run things how they do.

I was afraid about linking my doll blogs to this blog, but I would hope I can discuss my hobbies with people and keep politics out of the way. Honestly, I don't want to know a lot about people outside the hobbies I read about on their blogs. I might not like their personalities or beliefs, but I do like seeing pictures and reading reviews and news about things that I am interested in. So I would hope that anyone visiting here from a doll blog would still want to engage me in doll talk. I keep my "identities" separate enough.

As far as this country goes, it seems that we are beyond reasoning and compromise and middle ground. No one outside the far right seems to particularly care that Obamacare, for example, was rammed through without a single piece of conservative input. We've been labeled for all time as evil, stupid, greedy, bad, and there's an end to it. If you don't like me, there's not much I can do about it. I'm not going to change who I am. If you want to engage me on a topic, make sure you bring facts and reasoning. I'm going to keep going and looking out for my top priority, my family.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Who's Fooling Who?

Anyone else involved in any Yahoo Groups? I'm in several, all doll-related but one. Yahoo is currently getting a lot of criticism (well-deserved, I think) for the NEO roll-out that happened a few weeks ago to Yahoo Groups. However, my point for writing this is that Yahoo has found new places to put ads on the Groups page, and on that same page, Yahoo thanks Group users for being good customers. Um, yeah, we're not the customers. The customers are the companies that place the ads. We the Group users are the product. That doesn't stop me from using Groups, although the stupid changes they've made have made me significantly cut back my page views. I just know where I stand.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Short Post on Race

I'm annoyed that I got scolded as a college freshman by a professor because "there's no such thing as different races," yet sending my daughters through Girl Scouts I always had to declare their race (I usually put: human.) Now because of No Child Left Behind and a student teacher cooperative thingy that the Musician is doing with the local community college, I not only have to say whether or not she is Hispanic, but also then go ahead and list her race. The whole mess is estupido.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Compare and Contrast

I'm currently trying to get through a book called Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Life in Victorian England. I'm not sure why I'm not more interested in the book, except maybe because it is certainly very discouraging. Given the way that women were pushed aside, children were viewed as nuisances, and girl children were seen as household servants, in the author's examples, I'm surprised any ideas of anything resembling a modern, intact family survived until today. And this book features middle-class families, not the poor who were busy trying to survive, nor the rich who handed the children to nannies and embarked on affairs. Anyway, the book has made me think about my own role in my family, compared to the role of women then as this book puts forth.

In some ways, you see, my tasks as a stay-at-home mother are not very different from what the book describes as the expected tasks: nurturing the family, running the household, performing any chores one's family couldn't afford to pay another to perform, perhaps even teach the children. Of course, if you look at the stories related by those who grew up inside the Victorian homes described in the book, mothers did not always do the best job, judging by today's standards. Infants were viewed as vampires, feeding off of their mothers. Middle-class mothers preferred to be as ignorant as possible regarding the daily care of their children. Mothers, because of their own poor education, were hopeless at keeping the household books, and made poor teachers for their daughters, and their sons, before the boys left for school. Yikes!

One of the points made in the book, however, was how little time mothers had for themselves, once they finished all the duties they were expected to perform, well done or not. But really, how much free time do mothers have today, whether they stay at home or work outside the home? Precious little, from what most moms say. Even women who don't have children often lament, on places like Ravelry, that they do not have time enough to pursue their outside interests, such as knitting. I often feel like I don't have time myself to do the things that I want, not that I have to do. Of course, Mr. BTEG feels the same way, and I'm sure Victorian husbands often felt they did not enough free time either. I just find that bit interesting. There may be much to pity Victorian women for, but there are things that we hold in common.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Marcy Kaptur, You Disgusting Witch

I am especially ashamed today to say that Marcy Kaptur is my Representative after her name has been linked to this article stating that WWII vets who want to visit the national memorial may be arrested. Yes, this open air monument, open twenty-four hours a day, is currently "shut down" because Democrats are throwing a hissy fit that they didn't completely get their way, and a government shutdown ensued. Ace of Spades really brings it regarding how stupid this all is. It's always been wide open, where anyone can walk into it. It was not even funded by the Federal Government. The whole thing is political theater to punish the people who dared step out of line with a certain political party. I'm just adding the local story of how two-faced and unbelievably self-promoting this person who does not represent me in Congress is. Because check out what she has on her webpage:

She's willing to use vets for her own self-serving photo ops, but is happy to block their entrance into an OPEN AIR PARK, again, for her own benefit. I hope your district sees right through you and votes you out as soon as possible. The only member of your district you're interested in serving is yourself.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Night at Gatsby's

That was the theme for the Homecoming dance last night. Since we're a weird family, we thought it would be fun to actually go with the theme, instead of doing the usual and buying strapless dresses with skirts that barely cover the posterior. The Musician already had the lace dress; we just added some accessories to make it look more Twenties. I made the Dancer's dress out of a pre-ruffled stretch fabric. The headband that the Dancer is wearing was purchased at Claire's and can be worn as a regular headband, so she should get many uses out of it. She just wore it down over her forehead last night for a Twenties look.

We also had fun learning Twenties slang. Not surprising that much of it had to do with alcohol/criminal activity. We did learn that a "jelly bean" is a flapper's boyfriend.

On a side note, why spend money on a pair of shoes that you want to take off before you even get out of the car to go to the dance?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Popping In, Running Out

I am constantly running, it seems. Marching band four nights a week and sometimes events on Saturdays. Dance four days a week, seven classes total. And I am managing to fit more time for myself and things like sewing and knitting and study in there, even though other stuff sometimes gets let go. But this is the Musician's senior year. And the Dancer needs a lot of dance during the week to keep her strong enough for pointe, which she adores. And oh, I need to finish sewing the Dancer's Homecoming dress today, so I'm going to work on that right now. I'll be back soon, though!

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I am at one of those times where I find my life and my interests changing. I'm not exactly interested in anything *new,* I just find my priorities shifting. Part of that is because while I'm many years away from an empty nest, my daughters are becoming more independent. The Musician should be getting her driver's license within the next few months, which will be an enormous help. We had been putting it off, but this year the Musician has a wonderful opportunity. She is taking five classes at the high school, but she will also be spending part of her time either at the local community college, or student teaching at schools here in our town. She wants to be a teacher, and will be earning college credit for this, so it is fantastic that a senior in  high school can already try out student teaching. However, this will involve a lot of driving around, so we decided it was better to pay the few hundred dollars for driving school than have me schlepping her around all day.

This will give me more time for me, which I could really use. I want to get into sewing more seriously. I want to get in to sewing doll clothes more, but a big priority is also clothes for the family. I am down to wearing a t-shirt my husband wore while he was working at Applebee's over ten years ago, as one of my "at-home" shirts. Even buying store clothing on sale can add up, especially for plus-size me, so sewing at least a few things will be worth it.

Plus, the Musician needed new band shoes; her old ones were literally held together with duct tape and I insisted she needed something better for her senior year. And it looks like the Dancer will need pointe shoes every five to six months. Yes, that's a lot of money. The thing is, she's good at dance, and honestly this is the time for her to study it, especially pointe. She'll never had this chance again, and for that matter, the Musician will never be in high school again, so I want them to get all the experiences that they want, and we can afford. By the way, did you know professional ballerinas can destroy a pair of pointe shoes in a night???

Lastly, knitting. I have so many projects that I want to do, that I need to put more time into it if I'm going to have a hope of making meaningful progress on the list. I'm not a very fast knitter, but maybe with more regular practice, I can become one.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Beginning and an Ending

This week the Musician will start her senior year of high school, and the Dancer will begin her freshman year. I can tell it's going to be a crazy year, because the crazy has already started. Band camp was Monday through Friday last week, and both girls went to two of the unofficial social events after band camp: eating at Red Robin, and going bowling. The Dancer is not in band, but her sister and two of her friends are now, so she went along to socialize. Today both girls had TWO birthday parties after church. I was supposed to pick them up at eight; got a text that said they would be there longer. Ah well. They will only be this young once.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Where I Have Free Speech

I belong to Ravelry, a knitting and crocheting community of forums, patterns, etc. On a forum about copyright laws, a regular poster, we'll say Ann, completely off-topic and completely off-forum, praised a comment that someone else, we'll say Jane, left at a New York Times article site, and how wonderful it was. I then had the joy of witnessing at least a three-way lovefest going about how wonderful Ann, Jane and someone else who jumped in, Susie, all are, because they are all so outspoken. I don't know much about what happened after that, because after I got no response to flagging Ann's post, I left the forum. I flagged Ann's original post, since I thought it extremely inappropriate to take something essentially about politics (because Jane's comment was political) and throw it in someplace completely off-topic, instead of sending a private message. But since I got no response from a forum moderator, and since I would get flagged myself if I tried to respond over there, I'm going to respond to Jane's "brilliant" reasoning here. Basically, Jane is an idiot.

Our hapless poster Jane loves her some Paul Krugman, first of all. She was responding to a Paul Krugman NY Times article in agreement. Paul Krugman, former Enron economic adviser. The one who says, "Debt? Why worry?" Who thinks austerity is stupid. Because the answer to having spent so much money that we're drowning it debt, is: Spend more! A man who seriously thinks creating a trillion dollar coin will help our financial woes. Why not make a two trillion dollar coin, and get us out of debt twice as fast, Paul? And who is also the genius who said: "when the economy’s depressed it’s good to run a deficit. You don’t want the government to try and balance its budget right now." and that we "can’t run out of cash because we print the money." "What do you mean, I don't have money in my bank account! I still have checks!" Krugman's economic ideas are naive and idealistic at best, deceitful lies at worst. In short, as Monty puts it at AoS just today, Krugman is "a little ratty dog who exists only to yap and pee on the rug." Would *you* trust him to run your household accounts?

This woman than proceeds to throw out some sentences and makes conclusions with no logic to link her conclusions, or even facts. 1. The Eisenhower freeway system and the Hoover dam are really cool. 2. We don't build stuff like that today. 3. It's all Reagan's fault from when he told us not to trust the government. Well, bless her heart. First of all, leftists are trying to get rid of the gasoline-powered engine and they're blowing up dams to save fish. Well, you reply, we just need to build things that are more applicable to our needs today. Like, say monorails! Monorails are such great ideas, and if they don't actually make any profit, we can just print more money, right? Oh, and let's spend $200 million on electric car companies! We've got $535 million to spend on solar panels, don't we? And somebody called Elon Musk has done such a good job running companies such as Tesla, he deserves even more taxpayer money to build something else. And no, we're not talking about Musk's $17 million dollar mansion. So cheer up, "Jane." The government is already spending plenty of your money. The problem is it's spending plenty of my money too, not to mention my daughters' money. And oddly enough, I'm on Reagan's side when he says not to trust the government. I wonder why?

ETA: I dug back and found "Jane's" comment, so you can read her shining brilliance for herself. Go here, then go to the reader picks under comments. She is number one. I also lol'd at the second top pick. We poor idiots don't actually want GOP representatives, we've been "convinced" that we do. Of course, my representatives, GOP or otherwise, aren't really representing me, and the GOP ones are being accused of selling out their base, but that's a whole 'nother blog post or ten.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Quick Observation

This article is making the rounds of Twitter and the conservative blogs, and there certainly is a lot to say about it. Women who dropped out of the work force to raise their children are appalled because while they were watching the children, they were also expected to do things like sweep!!! and they are bitter because they cannot simply move back into their half-a-million dollar earning jobs once they re-enter the work force. One of Ace's cobloggers Monty makes an excellent case for how selfish the woman in this article are, and how little they understand of how the world actually works. The contribution I have time to add to this at the moment is personal, but well worth saying.

Yes, there can be sacrifices in staying at home with the kids, and not just from the financial perspective. But Mr. BTEG has made plenty of sacrifices in our marriage to fulfill his role as breadwinner that maybe those wealthy shrews at the NY Times can't appreciate. For one, there was the time when he took a job waiting tables during the eight months time when he couldn't find a job in his field. He was working 60-80 hours a week, and mostly seeing our daughters when I brought them into the restaurant to see their father/eat a meal that his manager often comped for us. After that, he took a job where he was away for a good bit teaching the client about the product for a week at a time. Mostly difficult of all might be when he took a job as a consultant in Chicago, and he was mostly away from home for seven months in all. He missed his family, but he did what he had to do to support us. That's the kind of stuff that gets ignored by these whiners. Then again, this article seems to be only for the elite anyway, not for those families where sacrifice is seen as a matter of course.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Now I'm Just Sick

One of my favorite sites, Ravelry, started for the knitting and crochet community, is honestly very good about frowning on politics in unrelated forums, but of course some people just can't keep their mouths shut, and so it has popped up yet again. A saw something B had posted in response to a Krugman NY Times article, and instead of PM'ing B, just had to post a comment in an unrelated forum and thread on Ravelry telling B how wonderful she is. I'm so sick of politics EVERYWHERE! And in my experience, it's always liberals who bring it up. They just can't keep their freakin' mouth shut about politics anywhere. American Girl doll boards, knitting forums, it doesn't matter. B has already had at least one comment moderated elsewhere for dragging in politics, but I guess A and B figure everyone at that forum believes the same as they do, so it's fine to talk about it. Again, this isn't Ravelry's fault, but then again they have over three million users, so if I'm not using the forums, it won't really matter in the big scheme of things.

She Believes That Children Aren't the Future

NakedDC gives yet another example of women who proclaim how wonderful it is not to have children. And in this day and age, you certainly do have control over whether or not you are punished with a child. Just don't turn around and expect my daughters to pay for your Medicare and Social Security. After all, with all that extra money you saved by not burdening yourself with offspring, you had plenty to put away for your future, right?

Sunday, August 04, 2013

I Don't Get This

I'm not going to post the picture here, but if you don't want to go look, or if for some reason you're here past the lifetime of this picture on etsy, it's a pattern for an applique cross, with a large circle in the middle For. Your. Monogram. That's right, take a cross and slap your initials right in the middle. That INRI stuff, that's so old and busted. The new hotness is to put yourself in the middle of the cross. Honestly, I'm not sure where the creator of this applique was going with this one.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

As Seen About Town

There is another car in this area with the license plate Tardis 1, so apparently there are a lot of Doctor Who fans in this area. Also, don't forget the house that had the Tardis land on its front porch.


This young lady was standing outside the house of a classmate of the Musician's, late in the afternoon. There are way too many deer in this area, but too many people don't want the deer culled, for various stupid reasons. Some idiots have actually suggested driving slower, so when the cars hit the deer the damage is not as bad. O.o  Deer being hit by autos is not the only problem, however. They are eating too much of the local foliage, and there at least two almost albino bucks wandering around within a few miles of each other, which to me indicates there may be too much inbreeding.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I'm Goin' Off the Rails

Okay, Pauli, I see your Thunderbusters, and raise you Take Me on the Crazy Train.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Movies and Nostalgia

I was reading a discussion today about the success of the Transformers franchise versus the relatively poor showing of Pacific Rim, and had one thought: Pacific Rim did not have the built-in audience of grown men who played with Transformers as little boys. As the Dancer admitted, she will be going see the live-action My Little Pony movie when it comes out twenty-five years from now. And I'm sure the Musician will be going with her.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bad Signs for a Future

For a city, one of whose best attributes at times is that at least we are not Detroit, the news of Detroit's bankruptcy should leave the city of Cleveland wondering if we are next. I say should, because there may still be a chance to pull this city back. I'm not sure that's likely to happen, given how many people refused to acknowledge that Detroit was in such grave trouble, but at the very least we may gain some sort of timetable as to how soon Cleveland will also slide off of the cliff. It's discouraging to see Detroit's abysmal literacy rate ranked with areas of Cleveland, for sure. It's sad to see that children with Down's Syndrome have a higher literacy percentage, at least according to this site. Surely almost half of Detroit's population is not severely learning disabled, is it?

I'm not really an expert on Cleveland city schools, but I do know that the superintendent of said schools pulls in around six figures, which seems rather criminal, given the job results. I also know from personal experience that teaching a child to read does not need a teaching degree or fancy materials. In my case, I was willing to take a lot of time, had the ability to take as much time as was needed without the stigma of my daughter falling behind peers, had the advantage of one-on-one time, and had a child who was generally obedient about doing her work, and knew she was expected to learn. I'm sure all of these things are lacking to a certain extent in the Cleveland public school system, especially the one-on-one time. What would be useful would be being able to address a problem individually in the case of a child from a negative environment, or in a classroom in the case of a poor teacher. The parents blame the teachers, and the teachers blame the parents, but ultimately I think the responsibility should lie with the parents. The mayor is in direct control of the schools, and the mayor, in my mind, ought to be under the direct control of his constituents. But maybe I'm biased, because in our own case, faced with a parochial school which wasn't challenging our daughter, and a public school district in academic emergency, we decided to do it ourselves. It often seems to be the way to go if you want something done right.

h/t to Bookworm Room.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Taking Care of Business

On a international crafting forum, someone who does not reside in the US was complaining because her PayPal account had fallen victim to fraud. She was angry because PayPal was making her pay for the fraudulent charges, when there was no way she could have made them, because she was in the hospital giving birth! I sympathize with victims of fraud, and it can happen to anyone. It's a headache getting things sorted out, although usually you can work to get fraudulent charges removed without having to pay them. This person claims no one at PayPal is willing to work with her. Someone else said her husband had fraudulent PayPal charges show up, and although it took a lot of work, things did get taken care of in the end. Perhaps the fact that the original poster does not live in the US means she is getting poorer customer service, which of course is not right, but may help explain her difficulties. On the other hand, it almost sounded like she was simply expecting PayPal to take her giving birth story at face value, and that's just not what a business does. Does the general public not know anything about running a business anymore?

In the comments section, people were looking for all kinds of alternatives to PayPal. The problem right now is: there isn't any. Not that handles so many countries and so many different currencies, at a reasonable price. And why would a handful of people running a international forum site want to get into the difficulties and risks of handling international transactions anyway? Bottom line is that right now PayPal is the only game in town.

Unfortunately, the take away from this by the original commenter? Maybe some nice, crafting-friendly person will someday start an alternative to PayPal. I definitely wouldn't mind seeing a PayPal competitor. As I just said above, right now the business has a monopoly. However, if such a competitor actually enters the market, it won't matter if the founder is "nice" or enjoys sewing or woodworking. What a business founder really needs? Money. In the LEGO community, there was at least at one time a system where if two people wanted to buy/sell LEGO, but they didn't know each other, a trusted third person would agree to receive the funds and let the seller know it was safe to ship. But that's one transaction, in a community where the most trusted people were often known in real life to many in the group. Heck, Mr. BTEG and I even had dinner with one of the big names in LEGO collecting, when the Musician was just a wee little thing. But expecting to run an international business? You'd better have some start-up capital, and expect to gain trust slowly. And sharing a hobby with someone else in private life, does not change how fraud needs to be handled in public life. I do hope this woman can work through the fraud issues, but it won't be because the business is "nice."

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

What's in a Name

More Hollyweird stuff! This time it's a Rebecca Romijn, who says eventually she's going to change her last name to her husband's, because she predicts that eventually, her daughters will wonder why they don't all have the same last name (they're four.) Which led to several people in the comments insisting that you don't have to have the same name to be a family, darn it! Yes, it definitely feels good to be all inclusive and open and accepting of everything. But considering that many of these same people are probably also fine with the break-up of the family via divorce, or the aborting of a family member, should we believe them? Or are too many people just parroting the standard phrases of the day because they've been told that's how the "right" people think? After all, is the family stronger overall right now, or weaker? How often have you heard "straights" have already messed up marriage so much, that gay marriage won't damage the institution any more?

I happen to think that the name *does* make a difference. We are the Evil Genius family, and in being so, we are part of something greater than ourselves. By birth, I am linked by blood to all of my female forebears. But I am also tied to all the women who produced the men in my husband's lineage, by name. I am one of a long line of Evil Genius women, and sometimes I am sorry there will be no more Evil Genius women directly after me. But my daughters will take their identities of what the Evil Genius family shares, the things that make us the Evil Genius *family*, and carry that to their new families. They will still be part of their father and I by blood, but part of their new family, the family they create, by name.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Being "Equal" Can Mean Messing Up Equally Too

I have a confession. When I get too frustrated reading political news (which happens more and more often these days,) I take some time away and read celebrity gossip instead. Which lead me to a tidbit about how Natalie Portman's new movie project is in trouble even in the midst of production. What's hilarious is how the writer tries to keep any of the blame from actually falling on the star and producer of this film, Portman herself. First of all, Portman and her crew may just be too smart for us: "Because it seems like something that would happen with Natalie and her friends, like they are too intellectual to function in normal society, not to mention a film set where you actually have to make firm decisions." Um, yeah. Is this writer serious? I'm not actually sure. I mean, Hollyweird is not normal society anyway, and a great number of the elite in that society would be asking you if you wanted fries with that if they had to live a regular life. And being intellectual keeps you from making firm decisions? Uh huh. I'm sure all the emergency room doctors, for example, stand around saying "I'm sooo smart; I just can't deciiiiiiide! Do I intubate or operate or what?"

But of course, people may also be talking trash about her because she's... a woman! In other words, we poor little women are still suffering from evil stereotyping by men. In reference to her supposedly terrible temper, "maybe she's (Portman) just bossy and men can’t handle it." Or, you know, maybe she actually does have a terrible temper. Although why a man or a woman would want a supervisor that's bossy doesn't make sense either, so?

Bottom line, if women want be treated equally, they'll have to take the same chances men do of failing, as well as succeeding. Maybe Star Magazine just wanted a nice gossipy story. Maybe Natalie Portman really does suck as a producer. In any case, if the movie totally tanks, the producer should get a big share of the blame, man or woman.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Starting Anew

God must know that we humans need lots of chances for new beginnings, because we get them so often. Lately, I've been needing a fresh start every morning, but that's a great time to start! Happy new week!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

For Better or Worse

It's interesting that the whole idea of marriage is coming up for me now, as Mr. BTEG and I will be celebrating our twentieth wedding anniversary this Wednesday. By the world's standards, we apparently married shockingly young: I was a month short of 25, and Mr. BTEG had recently turned 23. I would have liked to marry sooner; Mr. BTEG and I had been officially engaged for about a year and a half by then, and unofficially engaged for longer than that. But we waited until Mr. BTEG was through with college (and getting married while in college could be a whole other topic.)

Well, one advantage to marrying younger is having children younger. I think the difficulties of conceiving the older you get are getting swept under the rug in view of things like IVF or even surrogates. But those aren't easy or guaranteed, so I wouldn't advise depending on them. Of course, some people unfortunately cannot conceive at all, and I know that brings deep pain. But if you can, why not have children younger, when you have more energy and can bounce back quicker? In my case, neither of my pregnancies were easy, nor were my deliveries. My youngest ended up being an emergency C-section, and I'm sure recovering from that was much easier at 30 than it would have been at 35.

Being married didn't hinder Mr. BTEG's career, either. We knew we didn't want to live in a big metropolitan area like New York, Chicago or LA, but Cleveland and Columbus were just the right sizes to offer him many choices in IT anyway. I'll admit that me being a stay-at-home wife/mother for most of our marriage made it easier to move to different locations, but I would have had job opportunities as well. And IT guys typically move around quite a bit, so even at thirty Mr. BTEG was not completely settled down at the company he was going to work at for the rest of his life. How many people even do that anymore?

Of course, if one of us had wanted a career that involved more schooling, that would have made things harder. But unless you have wealthy parents or a sugar daddy (don't get me started on that) you have to feed, clothe and house yourself while you are getting more schooling anyway. If you've met the right person, why spend more money living apart?

And there is the crux of the matter for me: if you have met the right person. Mr. BTEG and I knew that we were right for each other, and that we wanted to be married. Our choices were: live together, live separately but keep seeing each other until we hit the "magic" age of 30, keep shopping the dating market and hope we found someone else we wanted to marry when we were older, look each other up again when we were both older and hope that we were still single, or... make a commitment to marry and deal with problems and changes and difficulties together. I will admit, Mr. BTEG has taught me a lot about commitment no matter what. Perhaps some of that is because I am a child of divorced parents, perhaps some of that is my mental instability. But I knew going into marriage that it should be for a lifetime, and I still think that after twenty years. It's incredibly freeing to have the stability and comfort of such a long relationship, and I recommend it. :)

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The Marriage Mart

At one of my daughter's dance classes, I was appalled to hear one mother say that she was counseling her daughter to not get married until she was thirty. Instead the daughter should be focusing on her own life and on establishing her career. I was even more shocked and unhappy when one of my daughter's dance teachers agreed. As a matter of fact, I became furious, and had a hard time keeping my temper. I wasn't even sure why at the time I was so angry, except that the institution of the family is very important to me, and I hate to see it treated so casually. I think it especially ridiculous for a Christian (like my daughter's dance teacher) to be advocating such ideas. I've spent a while turning it over in my mind, and I've come up with some specific thoughts.

When I typed the second sentence, one of the reasons I've felt uncomfortable about this really stood out: it is all about the self. Focus on YOU and YOUR career. Get yourself comfortably set up, and then you can be ready to let someone else into your life. The problem is, and this is assuming you were brought up in a close family, for about nine years of your life, your focus will have been on you. This is not about people who are single because they haven't found the right one to marry, by the way. This is about those who are doing it for essentially selfish reasons, to get the most out of life for themselves before they even think about sharing that life with another human in the most intimate way possible. But after having lived for yourself for years on end, tasting the best life has to offer for someone with no commitment other than a career, and no one to spend your money other than your own whims, why settle down then?

In today's society, indeed, why settle down at all? There is no stigma attached to living together, not even in having children out of wedlock. And even if you don't find someone you want to shack up with, you can still be having plenty of sex. It seems to be a very tempting prospect; you can have a romantic relationship and sexual release on your own terms, and if it doesn't suit one or both of you, you can walk. But again, once you've lived that life for long enough, why change, and how well will you be able to commit to one person for the rest of your life after treating your relationships as temporary?

Of course, you can live with someone and call it committed without getting married. But that detracts from the whole point of what the mothers who want their daughters to put off getting married seem to want to avoid, and that is the pain of breaking up a relationship, and the annoyance of being stuck with an unpleasant ex if you have to deal with one because of shared children. Somehow if you wait until you are thirty, and have a successful career, you and your prospective spouse will be able to take on a committed relationship with extra assurance that it will work out. I will probably take on that idea soon. In the meantime, what do you feel think about putting off marriage?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Can't Wait to Be Done

I'm glad that the suggestion for students in the United States to go to school year-round has never gotten much momentum, because I really need a break. A long break. And it's not even like we're going to be sitting around all summer. The girls have another Higher Things conference, the Dancer will be taking several classes for the six week summer dance season, the Musician has gotten a job working with the high school theatrical tech crew and of course she will be involved in marching band. Mr. BTEG and I will be taking a short trip to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary. But the pace will be so much more laid back and relaxed, and I need that. I'm so sick of just about everything, and I'm hoping to refreshed and ready to start "normal" life again in the fall.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Do You Want It All?

What does it mean for a society when children are seen not as gifts, but as a burden, something to avoid? We hear from a DINK, that "Not Having Children Is Letting Us Have It All." If by "all" they mean the material goods of this world, then yes, they have a lot of stuff. Of course, I don't think they'll always be happy with the amount of stuff that they have. There is always a bigger house, a fancier car, new furniture, a pool, a boat, a bigger boat, and then of course there is the curse of more, more places to visit, more clothes to buy, more purses and jewelry and shoes. This woman is very foolish if she thinks that she has it "all." First, because as I just stated, no one can have it all. Secondly, because she really doesn't have it all.

Maybe she and her husband will never appreciate it, but there is nothing like holding your newborn baby, a gift that God enabled you and your spouse to create with love. There is nothing like the special love that a toddler has for her mommy. There is nothing like that brief span of life where Daddy can fix anything. There is nothing like watching your child take her first steps, hug a sibling, learn to read, learn to play an instrument, go en pointe. There is nothing like the joy in the eyes of Mr. BTEG's late grandmother, as she held her newest great-grandchild, the last one she would live to see. That joy is even reflected in the Dancer's eyes.

If you look at the map towards the bottom right of my page, you can see that I have traveled. There are even places I've been that aren't on there, because I haven't figured out how to update the map. I've rafted the New River in West Virginia, been to the French Quarter in New Orleans, hung out on the beach in Costa del Sol, touched the Berlin Wall. I've had *experiences*. But experiences don't last. Since most of the traveling I listed above was done before I was 21, they are becoming dim memories of experiences, at that. I have plenty of photos, but even looking at the same photo can get boring over decades. Sure, I could do more traveling, and I probably will, but again, those are brief moments in the big picture of life. And even traveling can get old after weeks of living out of a suitcase.

For some reason, memories of the people I love never get old in the same way. Not just with my children, but also people like my grandfather or my dear friends. If you are blessed enough to be happily married, do you still like to think fondly of your wedding day? Do you remember sharing an activity with a grandparent, or the road trip you took with your friends in college? We are meant to want to be with people, to have people in our lives that we care about, and who care about us. Not all of us will be blessed with children, and the author above says she is happy she doesn't have any. That may never change; she might be eighty and be glad that she didn't have children. But I think that when I am eighty, I'll have a lot more to show for my life than old W-2s, purchase receipts and travel albums.

Friday, May 03, 2013

So Very Tired

So Plan B, the "morning after" pill, is approved for over the counter purchase to girls as young as fifteen. And I'm sure you've heard lots of arguments why it's a bad idea. It is ridiculous that I as a forty-four year old woman have to show my ID to buy cold medicine, but my teenage daughters, with their still maturing bodies and minds, can buy, with no oversight, a medication with a much greater chance of complications, even when it is taken as directed. I had to show my ID to my own sister-in-law when my daughters got their ears pierced, because we got them pierced through the jewelry store that she works at, and she had to have proof that I, as a parent, had given permission. Because ear piercing is so much more dangerous than making your body abort a pregnancy, and messing with the hormones of a girl which are not completely settled to begin with.

But honestly, I expect no less from this government. What discourages me, and makes me tired, is I would expect the majority of people in this country to either, 1. still heartily approve, or 2. not have any idea this happened. And the second group bothers me more than the first, because the second group is more likely to disapprove, and thus, there might be a chance of changing the way we treat the unborn in this society, and the inconsistent way we grant "freedoms" to citizens. Plus, some people might wake up to how little they are aware of things. Maybe? I'm considering running a little experiment and asking moms of some of the teens I know, if they have heard about this ruling. Just to see how little some people pay attention.

In the meantime, I've had to tell my daughters to be aware if they hear someone they know has taken, or is going to take Plan B. Just in case something does happen.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

History 101

Since my two favorite eras of history are the Victorian and the Edwardian, I really enjoy the following two Tumblrs: This Is NOT Victorian, and We Are Not Amused. They are great sites taking on the "This crap is old and stuff; it must be Victorian" mentality. I'm admittedly only an amateur fashion historian, but I have spent hours on end for years reading, looking at pictures and photos and extant costumes. I try to stick mainly to the Victorian and Edwardian eras, although I have branched out both backwards to Regency and forwards to the 1930's. I could study even more eras, but therein lies madness, I'm afraid. I've already recently taken up learning how to roughly date daguerreotypes by the mat and preserver, if there is one. There's so much minutiae! Although, like the above Tumblr authors, I find myself yelling at the computer or TV screen if somebody has his fashion facts way off. My family has learned to tolerate it.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I Think You're Confused

As a stay-at-home mom, this article caught my eye. I'm glad that the author acknowledges that women do have the right to do as they like with their lives, including staying at home and bringing up their children. Someone who argues that women should be able to do whatever they want, should let women do... whatever they want. Even if that means spending a season of their lives as a stay-at-home wife and mother.

I'm confused, though, at the assertion of the author that a women who does enter the workforce must do so for the purpose of "women's advancement." At least, a woman who enters an elite field like Harvard-trained lawyer, or Senator, must do this. Presumably, waitresses and administrative assistants can work merely for the grubby purpose of actually earning a living. But when she mentions that a woman can attend Harvard or Yale, become a lawyer, Senator or even POTUS, and then turns around and says that women need help advancing, she loses me. What else do women in this country need? Most charitably, I would say that leftists get caught up in some imaginary dream of perfection. Some woman somewhere suffered something that we can fix, so we must work harder to make things right for All Women Everywhere.

Less charitably, it seems like the professional left always needs a victim to stand before the cameras and cry, so that the left can push more of its issues forward. Whatever women have, it's not enough, it would seem. Honestly, if women have the freedom to choose their vocation, I think they should be able to choose not to devote their lives to "women's advancement."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Something Smells

Our local trash day is Monday. However, this week the trash has been sitting out since then, and has not been picked up. The girls have been hearing at school that the garbage men are on strike, so I steeled myself to go to one of the online local news sources, and found out that the garbage men are indeed on strike, but only in solidarity with garbage men in Youngstown, OH that are also on strike. Well. Youngstown isn't a place where the wealthy tend to congregate. My in-laws live there, my husband grew up there, and we go there often. It's not Detroit, but Youngstown has its share of abandoned buildings and run-down neighborhoods. Maybe the garbage men in Youngstown have a legitimate issue. Maybe you just can't get blood out of a stone. Mr. BTEG's previous job didn't offer enough money, or a good enough health care plan for our needs. His previous employer didn't particularly care. Apparently they felt they could afford to lose Mr. BTEG as an employee, when he was able to find a better job. The company made its decision; we made ours. An employee can't always get more money just by asking for it, no matter how unfair that may be in the mind of the employee.

In this economy, with unemployment high, and with lots of people who have gone through their 99 weeks of unemployment pay and basically given up looking for a job, I do wonder about the wisdom of striking. There might be a lot of people out there who would like work, even collecting garbage. I also wonder about the wisdom of striking when you are not even the group that has the grievance. It's over 80 degrees today, and we have garbage on the curb that has been there since Sunday night. We have raccoons locally, and I'm sure some people have had their garbage broken into. These things are not really making me think favorably about the garbage men. And what am I supposed to do, anyway? Call the Youngstown city offices and demand they pay their own garbage men more? All this strike is making me do is hope that the strikers here get fired.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Who Says?

I had alarm bells go off yesterday when reading a comment from someone in a crafting forum. She pronounced an action that someone else had taken with one of her patterns, not as right or wrong, but as not "fair." Well. I guess all you need to do is scream "Unfair!" and Mommy or Teacher should come right over and make it fair. Right? Life *should* be fair. And all we have to do is pass more laws, and play nice with others, and it all will be fair.

Remind you of any group that you know?

Friday, April 12, 2013


I made what I hope is my last visit to the orthopedic doctor today. I am cleared to start walking actively, and don't have to go back to the doctor unless there is pain again. Every visit I've had, the doctor has made a point of saying how normally injuries like this require surgery. Today was not an exception. He said people with this injury generally have to have screws put in, and that I am a very good healer. I am very grateful that God has healed me, and for people that were praying for me. I'm going to appreciate my reacquired mobility.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Road Ahead

I've been sick all week, which means survival mode. It's also meant I've been unusually depressed. It also means I've been at the computer a lot, which has made me even more depressed. It may not be the best idea for me to be reading so many current event blogs, but I have an insatiable need to know what it is going on. The worst part is feeling like I can't do anything but what I am already doing, which is my vocation of bringing up my daughters, with the help of their father. And maybe that's all that I'm supposed to be doing. I certainly haven't been called to do anything else as of right now, and my motherly duties are expanding. The Dancer is spending more and more of her time at... the dance studio, now that she has started pointe on top of her other classes. The Musician hangs out with friends a great deal and is starting her important senior year in high school this fall. Yikes! I may also have to try my hand at organizing fundraising efforts for my daughters' school activities if a levy does not go through this spring. It's actually very freeing to think about just following my vocation....

Friday, April 05, 2013

Oh No, You Didn't

Some Communist idiot on MSNBC has the temerity to say this:

“We’ve always had this private notion of children… We haven’t had a very collective notion that these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to their communities.”

You can have your child brought up however you want. Keep your grubby mitts off of mine. Our daughters will continue to be brought up with their parents, in their family. Mr. BTEG and I will take them to church, send them to Higher Things, educate them how we wish, have veto power over what they wear and where they go, make sure they are eating properly, give them chores and expect them to be done, give them guidance and support as they move towards adulthood. Leftists aren't big on religious freedom, but Mr. BTEG and I have been blessed by God with children, and it is our vocation to train them up. It worries me a little that someone can say something so obviously totalitarian on national television with so little backlash, albeit on a channel that is very leftist to begin with. Although my daughters are older, I would prefer not to have to fight for the right for them to rear my grandchildren. May God protect us and have mercy on us.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Since we've been talking about learning, I've been wanting for a while to talk about our real-life lesson in butterflies, and this post gave me the impetus to do it. Once again, this author is one of those completely down on public schooling; this line, particularly, "fill the void left in the child's heart after the state forcibly curtails the intellectual adventurousness of the wandering bug-studier, stargazer, or bookworm," made me think of our family's short adventure with Mona the Monarch.

It was early October of 2005. We were at one of the local outdoor malls on one of those days when winter is drawing closer to its appearance; it was cold and rainy. While we were walking, we saw a monarch butterfly on the sidewalk looking completely bedraggled. We found a cup in our car, and once the butterfly got into the dryness and warmth of our car, she immediately came back to life, fluttering around wildly. We decided we didn't want to turn her back out into the cold and damp, so we took her home and temporarily let her free in our bathroom, where she had room to fly. We had stopped on the way for a better temporary carrier for her, and some hummingbird food, the best thing we thought we could provide to nourish her. We did some research to discover that Mona was indeed a girl monarch, and that butterflies drink with their long tongues, and taste with their feet. Here you see Mona checking out the hummingbird food.

I contacted via email a group involved in tracking the yearly migration of the monarch butterfly, and was told that Mona could still make it to Mexico if she was released. So we simply waited a few days until the weather was sunny, and warm enough, and set her free, after a few pictures to remember her by.

She flew right up into the sky until she was over our house, and then headed almost due south. We like to think that she did indeed make it to Mexico, and that her descendants are still flying around somewhere.

What really brought her to mind was a comment that the Dancer made about a month ago. She is excelling in her math and science classes, and is taking Honors Geometry and Honors Biology in high school, next year, so we're not ruling out a STEM career of some sort in her future. She mentioned that she might want to have a job studying butterflies, because of her experience with Mona. That surprised me, because of how long ago our butterfly adventure took place, but it made me happy that it had left such an impression on her.

Tying it in to the article above, however, the author asserts that public school will kill the enthusiasm of the "wandering bug-studier." Granted, we were homeschooling when this all took place, but it was completely extra-curricular and spur of the moment. We could have done all of the above even if the girls were attending a public school, especially since we discovered Mona over a weekend. And the kids that my girls were friends with before we started homeschooling would at the very least not have shot down their interest. They might have thought it was interesting themselves, even if they would not have enjoyed the experience so much. The Dancer had even done a very simple "lesson" on butterflies in her preschool class.

I hate to see myself becoming an advocate for public schools, but the continuous stream of articles describing public school as nothing ever but a soul-sucking waste, make my contrarian nature want to respond that while public school is not perfect, it is in no way one hundred percent the same for everyone, everywhere. I'll probably respond more to this article in future posts, but this one was mostly to use as a jumping off point for another adventure in learning that I wanted to share.

Friday, March 15, 2013


There has been much excitement and activity here since a few weeks ago when the Dancer's dance teacher first suggested that she was ready to start work in ballet en pointe. The first step was simply trying to go en pointe in a pair of borrowed shoes. She found that to be no problem. Next was a trip to a podiatrist to get an x-ray to make sure that her feet had stopped growing so that she won't do permanent damage to them. The doctor was happy with how everything looked, so then came finding a time to get to the dance wear store and get the Dancer her own shoes. Next was me sewing the ribbons onto her new shoes, and her showing off the shoes to her dance class last night. I have to figure out exactly where to sew the strips of elastic and take care of getting those on. She'll start working en pointe probably next week. She started this process all the way back in 2006, by her own choice. It's fantastic to me that she has kept at it this long, and that she is now starting on a whole new part of her dance years. These are the things that make watching your children grow up, worthwhile.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Innocent Blood

So now scientists are saying that as early as 28 eight weeks gestation, babies may be able to tell different syllables apart. We learn more and more about the unborn, and about infants, and what they are able to perceive and learn. And yet there are people still defending Kermit Gosnell, an abortion practitioner going on trial, who among other atrocities killed viable infants who survived abortion. Don't go over to that link unless you want your stomach to turn.

I've grown to understand the mentality of a society that on the one hand continues to learn more and more about how complex even the unborn are in their ability to learn and process information, and on the other hand looks the other way when those same miraculous creatures are killed in horrific manners and body parts preserved in jars. The truth is, not only does evil exist, but too many people have been so swayed by emotional appeals that they overlook evil. Certainly, gruesome abortion details do create an emotional reaction on the other side. But go beyond that and think about why an unborn child deserves to be killed at all, and all of the ways to kill the unborn are pretty gruesome, when even science is telling us how, dare I say it, human, these little ones are?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tales of Learning

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to the Musician about her high school classes, and she mentioned that she was only one of two people in her physics class who knew what the definition of "work" was. I thought about it for a few seconds, then gave the definition. Then I laughed, and said the only way I knew the definition was because I remembered it from teaching the Musician science back when I was homeschooling. The Musician said that's how she knew it too, because she remembered our talking about it. A lot of homeschoolers dislike the style of teaching that I was using at the time, which was the usual public schooling method; I was using books that covered a lot of science topics (physics, biology, earth science) that became more complex in presentation each new school year. But obviously, some of it stuck with both her and me!

On the other hand, I tried Exploring Creation with Botany with the Dancer when she was in third grade or so. She didn't strictly remember a lot of what I read to her, but when she studied plant development in the fifth grade in public school, some of what we had talked about came back to her, and helped her digest what she was learning in fifth grade, better.

I used to read the education blog, D-Ed Reckoning, when it was still active, and many of my experiences as a mom of two students taught in various ways over the years reflect what he says in his last post. The kids who are easy to educate will learn. Find what works for you and go with it. In my case, my daughters have learned from a more traditional homeschooling style, from a more Charlotte Mason style, and from the regular public school approach. In fact, although my eldest daughter fought against the "school-at-home" method I tentatively started with as a new homeschooling mom, she told me only last week that she prefers the more rigid style of public school now.

Some of what I taught them didn't "take." They don't remember much from our course on Ancient Egypt besides learning to write their own names in hieroglyphics. I doubt they remember anything from our study of Ancient Israel besides making a model of an ancient Israeli house. Are you sensing a theme here? They also will never forget the carnation and food coloring experiment, and feel sorry for kids who never did that in school. On the other hand, I doubt they remember much of anything from the museums in Chicago to which I, as a dutiful mom, took them when Mr. BTEG was living there as a consultant. But they did learn things, and I think both of them are poised to do whatever they want with their futures.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Update and Good News

Went to the doctor this morning, and my bone fracture is healing. The doctor seemed kind of surprised at this(!); maybe it's just his years of experience talking there. I'm going back in three weeks, and may get the okay to ditch this stupid boot that I have to wear at that time. In the meantime, I get to do exercises to strengthen the muscles. I will be very thankful if surgery is not in my future.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Beat the Drum, and Hold the Phone

Let me take a short break from the doom and gloom of the world to proclaim one of the sweetest phrases in the universe: "Pitchers and catchers report."

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


If you give the government almost unlimited control because you agree with them, you may find out that they are using that control to do things in private that you may not agree with. Like give birth control pills, IUDs, NuvaRings and the Plan B pill to minors without parental consent. I was able to find one doctor after a quick search who disagrees with the plan to distribute birth control to students without parental consent, even though it is the Evil Fox News. The doctor has a point, however. Birth control can have serious side effects, which necessitate a thorough medical evaluation, and simple birth control does not prevent STDs. How is it right to give a minor medication, without any medical supervision, which could possibly cause blood clots, high cholesterol or high blood pressure? The NuvaRing has indeed caused blood clots which might potentially be fatal. Actually, I take this news pretty personally, because over seven years ago, my husband and I lost a friend due to a blood clot that entered his lungs. We didn't know at the time that I wrote that post what had killed him; we discovered at the funeral that time spent in bed with kidney issues caused a blood clot to move. So yes, blood clots can be fatal. No matter how hard we try, intercourse is not consequence free, no matter how much people wish it was, and risking lives to try to sweep the consequences under the rug is criminal. Risking minors' lives without the consent of their parents is even worse.

Oh, and a great couple of lines from the original article. Referring to Mona Davids, parent of the NYC Parents Union: "Davids, who is black, noted that most school-based health centers are in poor neighborhoods. 'This was population control on blacks and Latinos without our knowledge,' she said." Somewhere, Margaret Sanger is saying, "Duh."

Monday, February 04, 2013

Times Are Changing

Now that the Dancer is studying Spanish in school, she and the Musician are sharing their experiences, especially since their first year teacher is the same. The Dancer's class is learning how to express clock time in Spanish, and the Dancer informed us that the teacher had to give them times to translate presented only in digital time, as apparently many of the kids did not know how to read an analog clock. The Musician concurred that things were the same when she was in Spanish I. At the risk of once again sounding like an old curmudgeon, why is what was once a basic, very basic, skill being ignored? I don't see much value in learning Power Point but not being able to tell time using a clock face with numbers and hands. I also wonder what else is being taught, that kids don't have time to study the analog clock. I won't even bother asking where parents are in all of this.

Related, having electrical power is not something we can always take for granted, and I'm not simply talking about short term power outages due to weather or accidents. Our current president *wants* to make "electricity rates skyrocket." Electricity-generating coal plants are being shut down all over the country, including right here in my local area. Rolling black outs and power outages may become the norm in all of our futures. It was ironic to many that the Super Bowl lost power for half an hour last night after planners bragged about how "green" it would be. Germans turned to stealing wood this winter to keep their homes warm because power costs are so high. Germany, a first-world country often associated with technology innovation and precision! Yet its citizens are become reduced to relying on wood fires, and not by choice. Don't say it couldn't happen here.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Light in the Darkness

I promised that I would update once I got my light box, to let you know how it is working. Obviously, I can't peg my emotions to my environment exactly, but I can say that I am starting February in a much better place than I have for several years. I had a pretty good January as well, taking into account how much I am held back by this giant boot I have to drag around, and by not being able to drive. I am eager for new knitting projects, took tentative steps towards having my own website(s), and while I only did research on some of the other things I want to pursue, I still have the interest to follow up. I realize some of this might sound rather vague, but I don't want to reveal too much about my goals in case I don't accomplish too much. But mentally, I am doing very well.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I Wonder If

a society that on the one hand treats babies like props and spends hundreds of dollars to purchase a realistic baby doll with all of the cuteness and none of the work, is actually compatible with a culture that on the other hand aborts them and throws them away. In either case, infants are not seen as individual, human souls, but as an abstract. What do you think?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Little Things Make Me Happy

Like perusing old photos for historical fashion research and figuring out the exact year of an old picture with my own analysis. Yay me!

Friday, January 25, 2013

One Person's Kitsch

is another person's treasure, apparently. Have the people who design headbands like this one for babies ever even been to a baptism? Here's a hint: the water is poured on the head. I think boa feathers and birdcage veiling are too much for a baby anyway, but how does an over-the-top concoction on a baby's head say "baptism"? Or is the real purpose of a baptism the opportunity to dress the baby up in fancy attire and take pictures?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Health Issues

Remember when I told you that I hurt my foot? The pain was not bad, but had never completely gone away, so I mentioned it at a check-up at the doctor's last week. After some x-rays were taken, they found a fractured bone in the foot. Oops. So now I'm wearing a boot and I'm going to be getting some sort of electromagnetic treatment to try to encourage the fracture to heal. There will be a re-check in a month.

In this case it was a good thing that the initial doctor that I saw was at the Cleveland Clinic's big health building. I was able to head right downstairs and get x-rays without an extra trip.

On the bad side, we only have a car with a manual transmission, so I can't drive for a month even though the injury is to my left foot. At least the Musician has her learner's permit.

I also need to get a crown on the tooth that broke. I feel like I am falling apart.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Retro?

Even though the Dancer is thirteen, going on fourteen, I'm glad she still likes the clothes they sell at Justice, and can still wear the upper sizes. Have you looked in the juniors section of many department stores? That stuff is made for eighteen or nineteen year olds, or even the perpetual youths in their twenties. Hundred dollar jeans that make you look hookerlicious? Where would my daughter wear this? And even the stuff that is not inappropriate is much more suited towards much older teens and young adults.

So, I'm looking through the latest Justice catalog with the Dancer, and lo and behold, it seems as though some of the fashions are moving someplace besides the 80s/90s! With metal tables and chairs, mini jukeboxes on the tables, and the back of a vintage turquoise "car" used as props, it seems like there is some inspiration from the 50s. This dress seems like a definite nod to the 50s to me:

Yes, there's also some the A-line dress look of the 60s going on, but the fuller skirt and the enthusiasm of the models definitely says 50s more to me. It's nice to see something different!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Why I Will Never Be a Druggie

I cracked part of a tooth off yesterday. Yikes! Then followed a search for a dentist who even has office hours on Friday, then the blessing of a last minute cancellation to get me in. The actual work went fine, but today I think I am suffering from the pain medication I got yesterday.

I already know that I am violently allergic to codeine. Why the nurses never figured out that my vomiting and nausea after my deliveries might possibly be related to the pain medication I received is totally beyond me, but I finally figured out that my body doesn't like it. Then I was prescribed oxycodone after a tonsillectomy and work on my soft palate and a deviated septum. It made me loopy. I knew I was loopy, but I couldn't get my mind under control to stop being loopy. I hated it. Yesterday, I got vicodine. Today, I've felt tired and nauseous, and my brain isn't functioning properly. It's a mess. I pray I am never in a situation where I am in serious pain on a long-term basis.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Why Mr. BTEG Is Good for Me

Because I can have conservations with him that help me feel better when I read people's opinions about America heading towards a Civil War. Like this one. I absolutely see this historian's points, and I don't think I disagree with his overall view of where our country is heading, which unfortunately is downward. I too see government as the problem, and I'm not even sure that the "47 percent" will listen to anything other than when the next check is due to arrive, while the author holds out hope that reason might win.

In a world of dire predictions, what Mr. BTEG does for me is be his usually optimistic self. Not that he thinks our country is in a good place; he actually thinks our country has been headed in the wrong direction for decades. What he does is provide his own analysis, which while not full of sunshine and rainbows, is also not apocalyptic and full of zombies and wastelands either. That while the future is not bright, and our children will face economic problems that we parents didn't, we may not end up behind the barricades either. I'm still trying to make sure our family is prepared for whatever comes, but Mr. BTEG helps me to worry less in the now.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Back to the Future

In lieu of something more serious, which I'm still mulling over in my mind, I present another one of my Christmas gifts -- an old-school headset for your cell phone. I absolutely love it, although I haven't gotten a chance to use it yet. I imagine it will be very useful if I am forced to spend a lot of time on hold with some stupid company. Much easier to hold under your head and use both hands for something else than a cell phone. Heck, I ought to just have one of my daughters call me just so I can try it out.

The box proclaimed it to be both retro and trendy. I mean, I guess retro is currently trendy, but then the "style" has been to recycle stuff from both the seventies and the eighties for quite a while now, years actually. Behold this preppy folder from 2006, with adorable little whales all over it. Currently, day-glo is back in style. When will they start recycling stuff that has been recycled from the seventies and eighties, tweaking it just the slightest bit again?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Blessed 2013

This year will see the Musician start her senior year of high school, and the Dancer start as a high school freshman. I pray that Mr. BTEG will continue to prosper at his current job; it is the best one he has had in many years. I hope that I can make some of my plans and dreams come true. I hope that all of my friends and blog readers have a blessed 2013.