Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rabbit Holes and Fairy Tales

Can you think of one great Irish artist?  Off the top of my head I can't.  I can think of a few writers, does that count?  Now, the interesting thing about this, is that there are some people that will think I am talking derogatorily about the Irish because they are not on my radar artistically speaking.  They might even say, because I can't come up with an Irish artist, that I am speaking badly about the Irish.  It is all about perception. 

As a conservative I have been called many names as a result of my opinions:  Repukelican, Fascist, Idiot, Uninformed, Ignorant,  just to name a few. I'm hardly a speaker for the Republican Party.  That's up to them to do.  What I dislike, is that if I have a particular point of view, I can't have that discussion without having to explain that just because I stand for a conservative issue, that I am not rich,  I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh, I'm not a colorless cardboard cutout that spouts party policy, and I don't think the way I do because someone told me to.  In fact I have to tell you I'm reading a lot right now in order to understand what is being said and am trying to stay informed. 

So let's go through it...I'm not rich.  I wasn't born to rich parents.  My dad has an amazing story of being brought up in poverty, parents never owning a home, and buying houses to rent to the less fortunate when we finally got our own home...but that's another story.  He went into the military before I was born and we lived in a tiny little trailer off base.  We lived in a trailer until I was in 1st grade when my dad went to college the only way they could afford it: the GI bill, which he worked for.  We lived in a trailer until we moved to a home that had remained empty for some time and had most of the windows broken out.  My parents fixed the house enough that we could live in it while they worked to keep the cars going and the utilities paid.   It was during this time that they were working about 80 hrs a week to keep up the rentals for the less fortunate, not usually making more than what the mortgages were.  They did save enough money to buy some property and built a house on it.  My parents, myself,  and a few of my dads students built the house because they couldn't afford to have someone else do the project.  I did get to go to college with help from my parents and loans.  I know it wasn't easy but they always put me first so that I wouldn't have to do what they did.

I'm not rich now.  We live in a modest home which was in such bad shape we couldn't even live in it for the first 6 months and have continued to renovate it for the last 9 yrs.  My husband is currently laid off.  We have one child because that is what we could afford.  I drive an 11 yr old car which I'm not complaining about because I have a car.  We have under $1500 in credit card debt because we chose not to have cards. We put our daughter in private school out of necessity not desire because even though we couldn't really afford it, it was the right thing to do for her.

I don't currently listen to Rush Limbaugh.  I did use to listen to Rush sometime in the 90's.  I thought he was entertaining and had some very valid ideas.  I already believed most of the things he had to say, so it was nice to know someone else was out there.  To be honest I have gotten more out of Dr. Laura and continue to listen to her today.

I'm not a colorless cardboard cutout that spouts party policy.  I'm a conservative person with conservative ideas.   I can't imagine that anyone could agree with everything the party that best describes them says, is 100% correct.  If they do, they don't research and are taking things on blind faith.  I choose to know what I think, not what the party thinks.  Didn't your dad ever tell you that "just because someone jumps off a bridge, doesn't mean you have to"?  So no, I don't think anything because someone else told me it is right.

I don't believe in the healthcare bill not because I'm a Republican, but because I don't like what it says.  I don't want our government any more powerful than it currently is.  They already own more than they should as a government.  I didn't like some of George Bush's policies and I don't like most of Barack Obama's policies.   I have an opinion and just because mine is not yours, does not make us mortal enemy's.  I won't call you names if you don't call me names...agreed?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Walking with the Dinosaurs

This was a really wonderful show.  I don't know if it was fortunate or not that we sat in front of a 3 yr old and a 4 or 5 yr old behind us.  The 3 yr old had memorized various dinosaurs and was announcing them as they came out in such a large voice that I am almost positive they heard him 30 rows down.  I was slightly annoyed at first that the parents didn't restrain him a bit but it turned out to be really cute and a bit of a blessing to hear his exclaims of excitement!  Sarah really enjoyed it and I'm so happy that Tracy insisted that we spend the money in spite of my concerns about spending it!  I'm just learning how to post pictures but I'll try!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Have you ever......

I can talk here so freely...that and chat where no one else hears my words.  It's funny how media has made us feel like we are so able to put our thoughts out there because we assume no one is really reading. I think, with a few exceptions, that may be true.

It's driving me crazy that I can't tell anyone we are selling the house.  Actually I'm talking to people whenever they ask directly, but I can't shout it from the rooftops because Tracy hasn't mentioned it to his family yet.  The funny thing is, I'm not exactly sure why.  We talk about it and he seems to be very sure of the decision to move away.  We rarely see them and most communication is on the phone or through text messaging or instant message.  It seems to me, that past the one time a year that we gather, they don't know where we live anyway.  In fact none of his 8 siblings have even been to our house now that I think about it.  Still, it is for him to break the news....maybe he is hoping they will nurture some regret that they haven't tried to spend more time with us...maybe they would even be sad that they haven't taken the time to know Sarah better?  Having had no siblings I'm not sure about that whole "sibling" thing.  They are entirely differently people....we are conservative, they are liberals.  It's not just the political thing, it's the social thing.  Maybe we just don't seem that "fun". 

I can't wait to get out of "sin" city.  It's actually far from "sinful" in the area we live in.  When you go 45 minutes off the strip, it's just a bunch of families trying to get away from the craziness.  I won't miss it...well, maybe I'll miss the moderate temperatures all year long.

This is a scattered, brain twisting way of saying I'm just ready to be on a new path.  I'm sorry to not be able to see friends and family here, but it is how it is.  I can't make it any different just because I have tried to make it so.  Come on house.....sell today so we can start!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I was listening to Dr. Laura today discuss a study that show how extrinsic rewards change intrinsic rewards. The theory is that external rewards can replace your internal values to the point that you'll no longer do what you valued without external payment or reward of some type.
This study showed that unexpected rewards are better than expected rewards. They took children who liked to draw and put them in three groups. The groups were as follows:

Group 1 were told they'd get a reward for drawing
Group 2 were not told they'd get a reward but got a surprise reward when they were done
Group 3 were not given anything
Then they watched the children over the next few days and discovered that those who had received the expected reward drew the least while those who had received the unexpected reward drew the most. (Even though there were now no rewards promised nor given.)

This would mean that unexpected rewards after the work has been done would be the most motivational. I need to think about this since I have been trying to motivate the kidlet by offering her a reward for a good grade in a class she has been struggling with….hmmmm

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Walked Back Into the Past for a Minute

Search & Win

Yesterday, I asked an old friend from the past to be my "friend" on facebook. We used to date for a brief minute after college and before my grown up move to California. I still have pictures of us in some box. Not too many, because I just didn't take that many pictures then. I did tell my husband that I would be adding him. We don't have the kind of relationship that makes that uncomfortable. He gets that I just want to connect with people...not look back with longing. I frankly, cannot imagine my life with anyone else!

So, today we became "friends". It made me happy to see that I could now update myself on where people are. The funny part was that he didn't even remember who I was. He was instant messaging me and I could tell from the probing questions that he wasn't sure where we'd met...and I was really amused because I thought I was a bit more memorable than that! As things progressed I put a link to an old picture from those days in the message and it suddenly clicked for him. The tone of the conversation changed entirely and he was the guy I remembered. We chatted just long enough for me to figure out that he is still single...still sings but not enough to make much money....and is still on the search for the "right girl". Things really don't change for some people, do they?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Connecting and Reconnecting

Search & Win

Facebook has become an interesting link for me this last couple of years.  I used to write in my Xanga as if it were an online diary...sure that no one would really care what was going on in my head, let enough in my internal dialog.  In reaching out and talking to people a bit more, it occurs to me that I'm a little bit internalized...and that I can be out there having conversations.  I still find me a bit boring but some people, are in part I suppose, slightly amused to hear what's coming out of my internal conversations.The thing about Facebook is that you appear slightly random if people aren't walking around with you.  I say something that is relevant to my day at that second.  This "randomness" is what makes it so interesting.  That being said, it's also necessary for me to have my bits of online "diary" space just to have these conversations in my head OUT of my head.  I doubt any but a given few will even want to venture in and see what really goes on here. 

A couple of people have recently said to me that they don't really understand why you would want to blog.  Who really wants to know what your everyday life is like?  To be honest, I can't think why anyone would want to listen to my crazy ramblings.  It's more a place for me to connect to my thoughts and reconnect with some things that matter to me.  I've always been a person who likes to write.  This may explain why I took all the creative writing classes in college in order to not use them....I need to write down things to make sense of them I suppose.

So, if you have accidentally found your way here I welcome you presence into my corner. Sit back and enjoy the ramblings of a "normal" mom and wife...or maybe this just proves that I am not quite as normal as you thought?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Old friends....

Tracy found an old address book of mine from the late 80's. I don't remember 1/2 of the people in there...some brought back some memory's that I had totally let go of in the pursuit of my life. I actually tried to pull up some of them on Facebook but most don't have profiles. I wonder what happened to them. I wonder if they have even thought of me.....

Friday, March 12, 2010

Rules For Life

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It seems I am a "black and white" kind of girl. I have rules for making it through life. I'm always trying to impart my "wisdom" on Sarah but I'm not sure it's "sticking" least not yet :) I thought I might share some of the lessons I have come up with...they are ever evolving.

1. Live an honorable life even when it is the most difficult thing to do
Morals and values do seem to be "hard wired" into my head. I try to do the right things even when it's difficult to do.
2. Speak up for what you believe in
There is no point of living a life of ambiguity in order to be friends with everyone. You don't need to shove your beliefs down peoples throats but you should just sit back and let life happen either
3. Put your immediate family before everyone else
My husband and my daughter will always be my first priority. If I think about what is best for us as a family that's the important stuff!
4. Learn how to apologize and accept apologies when they are given sincerely
This is a pet peeve...I hate when someone apologizes by turning it back on me and explaining why they are still right and I'm still wrong but they apologize anyway. If you don't mean it but just want to continue making your point and smooth things...I don't deal. On the other hand, if you truly apologize and own your issue, apology accepted!
5. Give to your husband as you would like to be given to
Goes without explanation, don't you think?
6. When you make a mistake, correct it and move on
I hate when I make a mistake. It bothers me for ever. This has been difficult but I'm trying to learn to let go and learn from it
7. Work is good but it's not the most important thing
I do not define myself by the work I do. I define myself by the important people in my life. At the end of my time on this earth, no one is going to say I did good work...I hope they remember that I loved them well
8. Don't live your life worrying about what other people think
Too many people I've know live their lives trying to please other people....I love you all but I think I need to do things that are for our family not for anyone else even if that means we don't have the fancy cars, house, etc. :)
9. Remember to say thank you and be thankful for what you have
So easy to forget the simple act of saying thank you. I try to thank people for the things they do. So thank you if you have bothered to read this!
10. Ask God to guide you, He always knows the way
I'm trying to learn how to turn things over to God...he really already knows what is best for us. We just need to listen...and I'm not always good at listening 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

There are parents and then there are parents.....

We don't love the public school system in Nevada. I'm not sure I will love them anywhere based on how our current system is working, but I definitely don't enjoy what we are seeing here. A few weeks ago, we were presented with a permission form allowing Sarah to participate in a "understanding violence" program. Tracy pulled up the program on the computer and read through it. Based on what we saw about the program, we chose not to have Sarah participate. It was not for grade and took away from the day of learning to "program" our child. We didn't see the need since we have spoken to her about most of these issues and don't feel she needed to take time away from studies. I would much have preferred she study during that time.

Unfortunately for us, they disregarded our "not" permitted to attend. Sarah felt she had to go since the "authority", a substitute teacher insisted. Sarah did tell the teacher that she wasn't supposed to go, but she shuttled her in, anyway.

I do want to say there was nothing particularly objectionable in this program. She learned about a kid, who because he had a tough life, decided to try to steal a pizza and ended up killing the delivery boy. The delivery boy's father chose to forgive the killer and set up a program to prevent violence. They had larger discussions on why you should not behave in a violent manner, but to use conflict resolutions.

I think the school system is dealing with a bunch of parents who chose not to talk to their children. That must be the case since they believe they need to stand in as the parent and give moral instruction. It's as if they are saying "please step aside so we can do the proper instruction here". I was not inclined to be happy about this...sorry, just how I feel.

Tracy and I walked into the vice principals office as soon as we heard about it and filled him in. He was really just clueless and didn't have anything to say except he would check into it. So today, I thought I would start by emailing the councelor and her advisory teacher. The email account follows:

I am writing on behalf of my daughter, Sarah ***, regarding her forced attendance of your violence program. Perhaps I misunderstood that when signing the letter exempting her from this program, that our wishes would be followed in this regard. I understand that there was a substitute during this hour but it seems a fairly common practice to leave instructions and lists for a substitute. Also, since Sarah directly addressed this issue with the substitute, I believe she should have verified that all students should be attending. We requested that Mr. *** check into this matter but I also wanted to make you both aware of our concerns. Please know that we did the research on this program and felt Sarah did not require this instruction. I do not wish to cause any larger issue in regard to this, but need to understand more clearly on how we can prevent this from happening again.

I imagine the school system will be happy when we are finally able to leave it. I don't think they could be more happy than I will be.

Originally posted on Facebook Blog 3/11/10

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Drive To Work

We were talking to a realtor yesterday to see what our house is worth...turns out that it doesn't matter if you have property or not right now. It's all about square footage. The average sale is $85/sq ft. We have a small house. We can only hope that a builder might look at the property and want to subdivide it. We haven't decided yet what to do. He will come back with some options. Here are some of the statistics he gave us:

•Foreclosure/Short Sale Listings (1/15/2010): Total Listings 10424; Short Sales: 4735, 45.4% of all listings; Bank Owned Listings: 2137, 20.1% of all listings. Short sale and REO listings consume 65% of total listings
•New Home Sales (December 2009, units sold): 477 Year Change -25.7% (excl condo conversions, highrises)
•New Home Sales (December 2009, median price): $216,854 Year Change -11.2% (excl condo conversions, highrises)
•Existing Home Sales (December 2009, units sold): 3774 Year Change +45.8

Here are some things I have learned:

•New Residents (December 2009): 4311, Year Change -7.4%
•Total Employment (December 2009): 833,000 Year Change -7.4%
•Unemployment Rate (December 2009) 13.1%, Year Change +50.6%

I took a look around today as I drove out of our cul-de-sac. I don't even notice all the for sale/empty houses anymore. I do see the small development that was started on the next corner from us that stays unfinished and slowly decaying. I think they would have been beautiful houses. I know there must be many more around me but they are silent. I do still notice the strip retail buildings that were built a couple of years ago that never got filled. Large buildings stand with empty office spaces. The signs are loud but there are no takers at any price. It seems sad and we are not the only people that feel that nothing good will come of this soon.
Posted originally on Facebook Blog 3/10/10

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Don't Enjoy "Reality" TV.....almost

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I don't enjoy most of the "reality TV shows"....I can't even imagine why people want to watch other peoples woes and pains.  I don't want to go live with them vicariously in an apartment or on an island or travel around with them.  I guess I'm just strange that way.  I also don't enjoy listening to gossip or necessarily participate in it, although I have.  I should also point out, that though I don't enjoy watching these things I have from time to time, watched.  They did not draw me in. 

The kind of "reality TV shows" I do enjoy watching are more toward the talent end.  I like "So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol".  Does HGTV and Food Network count?  If they do, I like those too. 

Maybe I'm just missing something.....
Originally posted on Facebook blog 3/8/10

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Wonder if the Republican Party Will Listen

Texas staged their Republican primary yesterday. Along with the usual question of who would be the Republican candidate for Governor, were some proposition questions I am thinking should be used as a barometer for elected state and federal lawmakers to use to help stand for the people.

"We certainly hope that elected officials will take the data that they get from these questions and inform what they do in the session," said Bryan Preston, spokesman for the Republican Party of Texas. "These are issues that ought to come up."

The following is the list of propositions:

Ballot Proposition #1: Photo ID

The Texas Legislature should make it a priority to protect the integrity of our election process by enacting legislation that requires voters to provide valid photo identification in order to cast a ballot in any and all elections conducted in the State of Texas.

92% of Republican voters favored this one.

Ballot Proposition #2: Controlling Government Growth

Every government body in Texas should be required to limit any annual increase in its budget and spending to the combined increase of population and inflation unless it first gets voter approval to exceed the allowed annual growth or in the case of an official emergency.

92% of Republican voters favored this one.

Ballot Proposition #3: Cutting Federal Income Taxes

In addition to aggressively eliminating irresponsible federal spending, Congress should empower American citizens to stimulate the economy by Congress cutting federal income taxes for all federal taxpayers, rather than spending hundreds of billions of dollars on so-called "federal economic stimulus".

93% of Republicans favored this one.

Ballot Proposition #4: Public Acknowledgement of God

The use of the word "God", prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as be permitted on government buildings and property.

95% of Republicans went for this. .

Ballot Proposition #5: Sonograms

The Texas Legislature should enact legislation requiring a sonogram to be performed and shown to each mother about to undergo a medically unnecessary, elective abortion.

68% of Republicans went for this one.

I looks to me like our elected officials better start listening or they will fall to the side of the road....just my thoughts
 Originally posted on Facebook blog 3/2/10