Friday, July 31, 2015

First World Problems

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about first world problems.

I was getting a pedicure yesterday. Lots of white, women-of-a-certain-age, getting their feet scrubbed and toes painted by Asian immigrants.

Cecil the lion. Shot by a MidWestern dentist with a bow and arrow, merely wounded, hunted for 40 hours, then finally dispatched with a gun. The dentist reportedly paid $50,000 for the privilege.

Some kurfuffle about some football player. I don't even know what that one's about.

The Koch brothers reportedly spending over $1 billion dollars to get a Republican in the White House in 2016.

There are times I'm ashamed of my culture. My cat has better health care than many American seniors and vets. (true story: a kidney transplant was offered to our sick cat) We worry about the stupidest stuff; ratty toe polish, having a dirty car due to drought-shaming, what the neighbors must think of our weedy front yard. We complain at how expensive it is to get into the State Fair. Media frenzy over celebrities famous for being famous is at an all-time high. All respect to Beyonce (really) but I don't care about her butt or how she maintains it.  Or Caitlyn Jenner's road to happiness, or Tom Cruise's entanglement with Scientology. Those things are important to the individuals, but it's nothing to me.

Is quality of life diminished if women cut their own toenails? Some would say yes. Women are judged by how they look, and a women who doesn't appear to care about her appearance is treated differently than a well-groomed, neatly-dressed woman. It could be argued that, conforming to these standards perpetuates the objectification of women. It could also be said that the $45 paid for this service could so easily be used for far more important things. There are thousands of worthy causes those funds could be used for. And don't get me wrong; Americans are a generous people. Show us a good cause and we are there! We send money, we volunteer. But....$45. That's meals for the hungry and schooling for the disadvantaged. In our own county.

Americans are outraged at the killing of Cecil the lion. The dentist has been picketed at his office, and received death threats. Personally, I'm appalled. Such a beautiful animal, who brought tourists and their much-needed dollars to his sanctuary in Zimbabwe. But $50,000 is a lot of money. And the Zimbabweans are rightly asking, why are the Americans so upset about an animal? What about the people being murdered?

Regarding the football player, I have only this to say: I understand football is big business. I still think an unconscionable amount of money is spent on a sport that ruins the brains and bodies of it's players in the name of entertainment.

While I know this will never happen, I'd love to see America do what some counties do; a month-long election cycle with spending limits. The purchasing of candidates is beyond abhorrent; it's an offence against the very principles our country was founded on. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

A New Adventure!

I started this blog in 2009 as a way for friends and family to follow our 6th anniversary Paris honeymoon. I was sooooo excited and had so much to say in those days. Not only was the planning aspect of the trip a big thrill for me, but our twins were 3 and doing cute/funny/appalling stuff all the time. I had a great deal of material.

After a couple of years, the girls weren't being quite so adorbs anymore and the older two were teenagers or close to it. We were "in the trenches" as my husband and I like to call it. The daily routine was, frankly, a slog. Drama everyday. And there is only so much bitching your friends want to read.

But now, a new adventure awaits us! As a birthday gift to ourselves, Miles and I are going to London in November.

I have always wanted to see England. I'm roughly half English and I've studied English history for decades. So when I was asked, would I rather go to a tropical resort or London, the choice was clear.

Our plan is to spend 10 days exploring one of the oldest cities in Europe. The only problem is, how do I whittle down my list of "must see" places into something actually doable?! Ah, what a delicious conundrum...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Notes from up the mountain

We have spent this week in Colorado ski country, having an extended family reunion/Thanksgiving/memorial for my husband's grandparents.

Herein I offer some random observations...

Altitude sickness blows. I breathe hard walking around a room and a cup of coffee gives me a hangover-style headache. But at least I'm not throwing up like one of my daughters.

It feels really strange not to be responsible for making the meal. Like I'm slacking or something....

Ladies in peri-menopause do not need a heavy coat in the snow.

Smart Water is my friend. I can't even count how many liters of the stuff I've had in the last 4 days.

Despite the breathtaking beauty of the Rockies, and all the wonderful times with the extended family, I cannot wait to go home. Sea level, here I come!

I sure wish these folks were closer. Wisconson, Iowa, Arizona are all much too far away. What a marvelous group of human beings!

Tomorrow, we all say our final goodbyes to Nana & Papa. What an inspiration to us all!

I am so very grateful for my wonderful family, the chance for us all to be together, and the opportunity to celebrate the lives of Will and Lois Clark.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blind date

Tonight I had a blind date.

Yes, yes, I'm married. But the BlogoSphere lends itself to interesting social interactions.

This is my third blind/blog date.

First was Elizabeth from Flourish in Progress. We met in Brentwood on New Year's Eve, 2011. We had lunch, which lasted over 3 hours. Finally, my husband had to extract me. We were yapping up a storm.

Next, I met Jen, from '"Jen" e sais quoi' in Portland. Along with her short people. It was a fabulous lunch. It was marvellous to meet her and her sons,

Tonight, I met up with Sars. ( We talked and talked and drank and ate French fries. Eventually, Miles again had to extract me. Too much fun! We've already decided we need a second date.

How interesting is it, that the InterTubes create a new community? I knew, even before I met her, that Sars was someone I could speak the plain truth to? No need to sugar-coat or worry about appearances?

I am so appreciative of the opportunity to meet people.

Thanks, y'all! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Meanest Mother Ever, episode 1

Oh what a cruel person I am!

The little girls have really been getting on my nerves lately. They will not follow instructions. At all. And it's getting very tiresome. So this morning, I decided to teach them a lesson.

I gave them 15 minutes to get dressed. Then I told them to come down to breakfast. Only one girl appeared. 

"Aeron. Are you coming to breakfast?" No answer.

"Aeron, are you dressed?!"

Pause.... "Almost!" was the answer. Yeah, right. I believe that.

So I marched up the stairs, and found the child completely nude, reading a Garfield comic. I grabbed her by the wrist , and marched her down the stairs. About halfway down she started whine, kick and scream. I reminded her she'd been told to get dressed and now it was time to eat breakfast. She tried to grab a throw off the floor but I wouldn't let her.

I sat her down on the stool and gave her her breakfast. I suggested that she might want to hurry up so she could go back upstairs and get dressed. So, you know, she didn't have to go to school au naturel.

Claire kept laughing at her and Cameron did his part, chortling and shaking his head. FXSG was very polite and pretended not to notice that the little girl at the breakfast bar was starkers.

She ate much quicker than usual, then ran upstairs and got into a colorful ensemble and even brushed her teeth without being told.

Mama -1/Kid -0!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Weird things

This morning, I woke my daughters up at 6:45am, as usual.

Scruffy was in Sphinx pose at the foot of Aeron's bed, looking inscrutable. Claire was wrapped in blankets like a large fuzzy purple burrito. Boo had the covers over her head and was lying perfectly still, so I wouldn't know she was awake.

Me: "Good morning, girlies! Time to get up!"

Girls: ...

Me: "Boo. Don't forget you need to write in your journal."

I whipped the covers off her and discover she was butt naked. Again. I un-rolled the Claire-burrito and she moaned in disapproval.

Me: "Up! Clothes! Shoes! Now!" I went back to Boo's bed. and when I leaned on it, I felt something hard.

It was a thick, chewed-on T-Bone.

Me: "Why is this in your bed?!"

Her: "It's cool."

PS: On the way to school, I asked the child where the beef bone came from.

Her: "I found it at church!" 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cognitive Overload

I got a lot going on.

A set of squirrelly twins.  A teenage boy. A Foreign Exchange Student from Germany. All who need to be driven various places. A blended family. Schedules that change on a dime. A house, a garden and a shit ton of dishes. A husband who works two jobs.

So, I realize we're behind the 8 ball and the girls need to do a book report due on Friday. They haven't even chosen a book, much less put pencil to paper. I tell everyone we can't go to the youth group thing tonight. Wails abound.

I spend about a hour researching level appropriate books online, then checking to see if our local library had them. Not much luck there. So, as I picked up the kids, I found a teacher and she gave us permission to check in her classroom books. We found two books and then I hustled the girls home, fed 'em a quick snack and then told 'em to READ!

I run off on an errand. I also email the teachers as I never saw the packets with actual instructions for the assignment. Just the form about choosing the book.  Then, I get a phone call. It's one of the girls. I argue with her until she says something about the report being due on October 28th.

Whoa. Wait a minute.... It did seem kinda fast and I never saw the instructions and oh, wait, it's a costume thing and....

Well, damn. I'm trying to get the girls to do a month-long project in 2 days. Whoops.

Don't I feel like an idiot.

This is what my good friend B the psychologist calls "cognitive overload". It like trying to keep too many tennis balls under the water and inevitably, one pops up and smacks you in the face. 

If I'm having troubles keeping track of things, which is my full time job, I might add, how in the hell do women who work outside the home do it?!

Ladies? Any suggestions?