Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Always a Mom

Well, my baby started sophomore year yesterday. Jeez, it's so sad how terribly quickly time is flying. When he was born I thought 18 years would be forever and I would have plenty of time to be with him. Now he's almost grown, spreading his wings and becoming more independent every day. Soon he'll be driving and dating (he's very popular with the girls) and having his own life. And yet as sad as it makes me to have him grow up so fast I am so proud of him. I have been truly blessed with a wonderful son who is becoming quite an amazing young man and even though I will always worry about him I know whatever he does with his life he will live with integrity, honesty and nobility.

It hasn't been easy being a full-time working single mom but I think I've done a good job of raising my son without the influence of my mother. I was recently reminded of this when I received this note from my friend Charles:


1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE. "If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION. "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC. "Because I said so, that's why (we've all heard this one)."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. "If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT. "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident(I bet every mom's said this!)."

7. My mother taught me IRONY. "Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about (one of my mom's faves!)."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS. "Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM. "Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA. "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone (for me it was lima beans, and I still won't eat them)."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER. "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY. "If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE. "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. "Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY. "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. "Just wait until we get home (this one used to terrify me!)."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING. "You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way (this one scared me so much I still don't cross my eyes!)."

19. My mother taught me ESP. "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOR. "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT. "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS. "You're just like your father."

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS. "Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM. "When you get to be my age, you'll understand (funny, I still don't)."

25. My mother taught me about JUSTICE. "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you."

Now my mom didn't say some of these but I've always been very careful not to repeat anything my mom did say when we were growing up because even though she tried her best with six children she wasn't always very nice. I never let my son forget how much he means to me, how blessed my life is because of him and how thankful I am for being his mother. But I always remind him that I know how ticklish he is and that I can still outrun him!

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

We were invincible!

My friend "Hippie Tim" sent me this today and I couldn't help but get misty eyed when I thought about growing up in the 60s and 70s and how very different it is today:

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1920's, 30's 40's, 50's, 60's AND 70's !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the bed of a pickup on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

Take-out food was limited to fish and chips -- no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway or Red Rooster. Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death! We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy fruit tingles and some crackers to blow up frogs with. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because... WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and cubby houses and played in creek beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms -- WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross buns at Easter time. REALLY!

We were given BB guns and sling shots for our 10th birthdays. We drank milk laced with Strontium 90 from cows that had eaten grass covered in nuclear fallout from the atomic testing at Maralinga in 1956.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them! Mom didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet! Footy had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Our teachers used to belt us with big sticks and leather straps and bullies always ruled the playground at school.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! Our parents got married before they had children and didn't invent stupid names for their kids like "Kiora" and "Blade."

Our generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 70 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS! You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for "our own good." And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were. Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!


Every word of this is so true, WE ARE HEROES! OH YEAH!

Honestly I miss those days, staying out all day and night until my mom had to come looking for us, out in the dark climbing trees, swimming in a water hole or skating down with no helmets or knee pads to the store 2 miles away to spend 5 cents on a candy necklace (I loved those, they were so glamorous!). We'd skate back and stop every few seconds and eat some candy off our necklaces so by the time we'd get home all we had were sticky, soggy rainbow colored strings hanging from our necks and little bright wet specks on our shirts. We'd scratch ourselves up roller skating, my mom would put mercurochrome ("monkey blood") on our wounds and we'd skate away. My brother always wore a holster with 2 cap guns and ran around shooting at people, then jump on his bike and ride like the wind! Swinging as high as we could and then jump from the swing, never thinking of broken bones, just free! We were fearless and invincible! We were raised to be independent and not depend on anyone else. Most of us got jobs and became responsible adults.

I work for a hospital and we'll have a parent bring their kid in for a runny nose or a scratch on the knee, demanding x-rays and blood tests, and I just want to tell them "Put your big girl panties on and deal with it!" It kills me. We hardly ever went to a doctor, only for stitches really, and unless my macho son says he wants to go I don't take him and he's the healthiest person I know. And kids noawadays can't imagine life without cell phones, cable TV and curling irons, and why walk or ride a bike when you can drive them?

We will never see another time as amazing as the 60s and 70s when I was growing up but the memories are forever and I'm so happy to have been there, because


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Thursday, August 9, 2007


It has been a trying couple of weeks, a million things spinning around me needing to be done, one after another, including the 24-hour flu I caught at my sister's home (where there's almost always someone sick) and I was worn out last night, so in the warm early evening in an effort to regroup I went outside to get some fresh air and sat on the step in front of my door.

At first there was a very light warm breeze but after a while it became stronger, wrapping around me, ruffling my blouse and playing through my hair. As I breathed in the fresh air I could feel the strength and subtle power of nature as the fragrance of honeysuckle sweetly filled the air. The trees swayed in time with the rhythm of the wind gently blowing the leaves across the dancing grass. As the wind whispered against the windows it carried laughter from nearby. Across the street a flag unfurled and danced on unseen currents.

I blew a wish into a dandelion, knowing the wind would carry my wish through the world to an unknown destination where it would be safe until time for it to be released and formed. I breathed deeply in and out, in and out, until the wind's soothing but powerful force filled my body with new energy and soothed my soul.

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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Enough Already!


~ by Patti Smith

I was dreaming in my dreaming
of an aspect bright and fair
and my sleeping it was broken
but my dream it lingered near
in the form of shining valleys
where the pure air recognized
and my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry
that the people / have the power
to redeem / the work of fools
upon the meek / the graces shower
it's decreed / the people rule

The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power

Vengeful aspects became suspect
and bending low as if to hear
and the armies ceased advancing
because the people had their ear
and the shepherds and the soldiers
lay beneath the stars
exchanging visions
and laying arms
to waste / in the dust
in the form of / shining valleys
where the pure air / recognized
and my senses / newly opened
I awakened / to the cry


Where there were deserts
I saw fountains
like cream the waters rise
and we strolled there together
with none to laugh or criticize
and the leopard
and the lamb
lay together truly bound
I was hoping in my hoping
to recall what I had found
I was dreaming in my dreaming
god knows / a purer view
as I surrender to my sleeping
I commit my dream to you


The power to dream / to rule
to wrestle the world from fools
it's decreed the people rule
it's decreed the people rule
I believe everything we dream
can come to pass through our union
we can turn the world around
we can turn the earth's revolution
we have the power
People have the power ...

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Friday, August 3, 2007

Always miss you Brad Delp

On March 9, 2007, the world lost one of the greatest voices of my generation, Brad Delp, the lead singer of Boston. When he died I felt a piece of my heart break away and still feel so much loss. I will argue with anyone that he was the best singer ever born - the guy could sing anything, even had a Beatles tribute band the last years of his life - but from everything I've ever heard or said he was also the truly nicest guy in rock 'n' roll. I miss you Brad!


I looked out this morning and the sun was gone
Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song
I closed my eyes and I slipped away

It's more than a feeling, when I hear that old song they used to play (more than a feeling)
I begin dreaming (more than a feeling)
'till I see Marianne walk away
I see my Marianne walkin' away

So many people have come and gone
Their faces fade as the years go by
Yet I still recall as I wander on
as clear as the sun in the summer sky

It's more than a feeling, when I hear that old song they used to play (more than a feeling)
I begin dreaming (more than a feeling)
'till I see Marianne walk away
I see my Marianne walkin' away

When I'm tired and thinking cold
I hide in my music, forget the day
and dream of a girl I used to know
I closed my eyes and she slipped away
She slipped awa y. She slipped away.

It's more than a feeling, when I hear that old song they used to play (more than a feeling)
I begin dreaming (more than a feeling)
'till I see Marianne walk away
I see my Marianne walkin' away

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Chicken Suit Solution

From today's Houston Chronicle:

Judge orders 3 who solicited sex to don outfit, hold anti-brothel sign

PAINESVILLE, OHIO — The Best Little Whorehouse is not in Painesville. And Municipal Judge Michael Cicconetti, known for dispensing unusual sentences, doesn't want one sprouting in his small town. So Cicconetti ordered three men charged with soliciting sex to take turns dressing in a bright yellow chicken costume while carrying a sign that reads "No Chicken Ranch in Painesville."
The sign and costume refer to the "World Famous Chicken Ranch," a brothel in Nevada where sex-for-money is legal. The costume was borrowed from a woman who wears it to cheer patients at a local hospice.

Daniel Chapdelaine, 40, of Perry Township (that's him in the picture); Martin Soto, 44, of Ashtabula; and Fabian Rodriguez-Ramirez, 29, of Painesville; all pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges of soliciting sex from an undercover Painesville police officer earlier this summer. Cicconetti agreed to suspend a 30-day jail sentence if they wear the costume between 4 and 7 p.m. today outside Painesville City Court. "We're trying to send a strong message that we won't tolerate this activity in the city," said Painesville probation supervisor David Washlock.

It's not the first time that Cicconetti has used barnyard animals in his sentences.He ordered a man who called a policeman a "pig" to stand next to a live pig in a pen and hold a sign that read, "This Is Not a Police Officer." A couple who stole a baby Jesus statue from a manger were sentenced to dress as Mary and Joseph and walk with a donkey.

Now personally I love this story not only from a feminist point of view but also from a tired-of-the-same-crap citizen's point of view. Instead of a little fine or other normal sentence that probably would have been taken care of quietly and pushed under the rug, a little public humiliation never hurt anyone. It probably did all these guys a lot of good and odds are they'll be feeling the pain for quite a while to come.

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