Thursday, May 17, 2012

Along Came a Spider

A really huge, like three foot long spider!  God how I hate spiders.  I hate them in an I-feel-your-pain-Miss-Muffet kind of way.  Especially when one comes crawling out from under my pajamas and across my bed as I am flinging off my bra and reaching for said jammies. 

I'm not sure which was scarier for the family; my blood curdling scream as I threw my bra across the bedroom and went running down the hall (yes, wearing only my own crossed arms for cover), or the sight of the ginormous black spider racing across the bed.  The husband came running to slay the beast, which was fabulous because flinging my bra at it did precious little get the situation under control.  Truthfully, the bra has seen better days, so control is not something it excels at anyway.

My screams begat screams from the boy child, which begat screams from the husband as he hollered for something substantial to swat at the oh-my-God-how-long-are-those-legs-on-that-enormous-wow-is-that-a-brown-recluse-good-God-it's-ugly arachnid. It took a few good swats to kill that sucker. Of course, to add to the ick and shiver factor, the husband put the dead spider in a plastic bag so he can drop it by our exterminator's tomorrow to find out what kind it is.   I'll tell you what kind it is - it's the kind that bit me last night and now it's dead, dead, dead and gone. 

Now that I've seen the corpse, and made the incredibly misguided decision to look up spider identification websites (ooh, is that a pun?), it might be a restless night in bed. I hope it was a loner. Cancel the curds and whey and bring on the red wine.

Guess I'll just have to tuffet out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Kind of Mother

Okay, so there are a few mothers out there who really shouldn't be allowed to parent; like the woman who's two-year old keeps wandering the streets of the Aloha area.  Of course, I don't know the whole story, so I shouldn't judge - although I did judge.

However, there are other mothers out there who make conscious, and yet unconventional parenting decisions that teach life long lessons and create the very best memories.  They are my sisters in crime.

You are a sister (or brother - cuz dads can be equally renegade) in crime if you have ever:

  • Served dessert before dinner because you might not have room for it later!
  • Declared your own snow day when there is snow on the ground and your kid is ecstatic, but the school district is run by people who have forgotten that children aren't small adults  and sometimes business can wait - just a day.
  • Are not afraid to admit to your kids when you messed up and made a mistake and make fun of yourself.
  • Have let your kid sleep in and go to school late after a family celebration, because those moments with family can't be made up later, but school work can (sorry teacher friends, but it's true ain't it?)
  • Let your child wear the same hoodie to school for almost two years even though there are holes in the sleeves and you worry that people think you don't have any clothes for your child, but it makes him feel comfortable and he loves it because his uncle gave it him, so you grab it and wash it at night from time to time so it's ready to wear in the morning. (So if you're wondering - he does have other clothes, really!)
  • Encourage your kid to take a break after school and go OUTSIDE to play with the neighbors, even though that means the homework will be done later.  Vitamin D is easier to come by in daylight, right? And it's really great to kiss your kid's sweaty forehead and see the pink in his cheeks.  It reminds us of the old days when we were kids!
  • Let them wear their hair in their eyes, or business up front and party in the back, or spiked up, or colored purple, pink, green or black, or however they want to wear it because, after all, it's on THEIR head not yours.
  • Introduced them to the Brit coms - even if the humor is a little blue at times - because it's damn good dialogue and writing. 
  • Let them bake 'tinted' bread - like a purple baguette!
  • Taught your kid to add by playing blackjack - especially if you explain to them how to split two aces and double-down. 

My mom is my inspiration for the self-declared snow day.  When I was in high school, we had a few inches of snow that would usually shut things down, but we had a party-pooper for a superintendent (I think it might be part of the job description - "must be willing to suck the joy out of miraculous acts of nature for school-age children").  Anyway, several friends came over to our house in the morning to say they were 'skipping' school.  I never skipped school - repeat never - and I am not joking.  I was 'that' straight and narrow kind of kid.  I was both appalled and jealous, but stressed out because I needed to get them out of our house so I could get to school.  My mom looked at me and said, "You're not going to school today. I'm excusing you"  I argued - I HAD to go to school - we all HAD to go to school.

Mom taught me to lighten up and look at the big picture.  One day was not going to ruin my education, and yet I can remember that day better than most, thanks to my renegade mom. 

This year I got to do the same for my son, and we had a great day!

I learned from the best; my kind of mother.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mending Hearts

In honor of my mother and her struggles with heart disease and stroke, I am encouraging women to take charge of their heart health.

Take care of yourself - you are the heart of the family.  Visit these sites to make sure the beat goes on.

Women Heart

Heart Healthy Women

Go Red for Women

Mayo Clinic


That's all for tonight.  One of the keys to heart health is rest, and I will be getting some tonight. I love you mama - be strong.

Monday, May 14, 2012

You Better Sit Down for This

Fair warning, this is a stream of consciousness free-write tonight. Read, while seated, at your own risk.

Okay, so maybe it's not really true that there is a ban on texting and walking. The real problem, as always is jaywalking and carelessness - although texting can certainly contribute to carelessness, it's not the only cause.

Personally, I'd rather try to negotiate around people texting and walking than people with earpieces walking and talking.  I find the talkers unnerving because they are looking straight ahead - usually in my direction and I can't tell you the number of times I have answered someone who wasn't talking to me.  HATE THAT.

Texting isn't the issue, the real issue is multitasking and not being in the moment.  Face it - we don't have time for MOMENTS!  We need to make use of every last bit of time we have to get everything done on our to do lists for the sake of saying we did.

We favor breadth as opposed to depth. 

Truthfully, hearkening back to the days of depth won't really fix the distracted walking problem. There are still those who read and walk, daydream and walk, proselytize and walk, eat and walk, even talk to a real life person and walk.

Perhaps we should have walking 'rest stops', around the city? 

Oh wait - I think we already have those.  They are called coffee shops.

So step off, grab a cup of coffee and take a load off.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Son Shined Today

On this Mother's Day, there was no breakfast in bed, no big jewelry present, no champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries. No one cleaned my house or weeded my yard (well we did a wee bit), or sent me to a spa for massage or pedicure.

No boo-hoos here though. I did get a blueberry scone this morning. My son wanted to try to make them, but my husband had the good sense to go purchase my favorite one instead - while said son was still snoozing.  Sometimes a mess in the kitchen isn't a gift - even if it is the thought that counts.

What I did get was a lot of sweet, relaxed time with the reason I get to celebrate this day.  Oh sure, we did a bit of yard work, but pulling weeds wasn't exactly the celebration I was looking for, and truthfully we completely suck at yard work. Instead, I pulled out a chair and we sat under the shade of the magnolia tree and talked.  He sat on my lap and cuddled up while we laughed and talked about how much we both dislike weeding. We cut some lilacs and took them to our neighbor who acts as bonus grandma, and then went back to the shade of our tree.

Another neighbor was out walking while her family was attempting to make her waffles for breakfast; it was now well after noon. She'd been out walking for two hours and answering a few calls like "where's the cornstarch?", and "do we have to mix the eggs separately?"  While we were talking she said, "maybe I should go and rescue them?"  Just then her phone rang again and her husband told her "the cereal is ready whenever you want to come and eat it."  We all laughed.  It's the effort that counts anyway.

This made my son and I hungry and we went inside for a sandwich.  Just as I was heading into the kitchen, my son stopped me.  "NO!" he said, "I'm going to make YOU a sandwich today." We sat and ate our sandwiches and he cleared the plates.  We decided our weeding was done for the day and just kicked back and relaxed until dinner time.

No, it wasn't a big, flashy celebration with big ticket trinkets or lavish indulgences, but I had the best gift of all; time with the very reason I get to come running when I hear him call "Mom!"

And a nice glass of red wine to end the evening didn't hurt either...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Poem - just because

I spent the afternoon with my parents for an early Mother's Day celebration, as seems to be my pattern, I am writing just before the posting deadline.

So tonight in honor of our weekend weather here in Portland, I offer you this short poem that reminds me weather or not - I have the power to create.


Take the sun.
In solitude I light a fire
To warm myself.
Strong enough to sizzle.

Photo courtesy of - beautiful screen savers and wallpaper art! I'll be using this one.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Live It!

I have been told the 50s are nifty. Nifty, eh?  Hmm. Well, my 40s were pretty good – better than my 30s, which were significantly less angst ridden than my 20s, so I’m hopeful that the trend continues.

Nifty however is not a word that makes me quiver with anticipation. Nifty brings to mind the other 50s – an era of sock hops and June Cleaver, and well all nice stuff, but not exactly my chosen path.

My path seems to be less predictable with a trajectory that refuses to be boxed in to a pattern. Each decade has had up years and down years, as well as years that kind of flat-lined; the ‘licking of the wounds’ years.

So far the best thing about entering the 50s is that I am becoming a woman who is more interested in all the possibilities life offers than in what people may think of me if I pursue those possibilities. Yet, the urge to embrace my boldness is sometimes curtailed by a bit more reticence, not out of fear of what others may think, but just a bit of fear that wasn’t there before.

It must be overcome. I have seen people who are fearful their whole lives, and I’ve seen people who begin to be ruled by fear with each passing year. The more fearful seem to pay rapt attention to the news allowing pessimism and suspicion to become their mode of operation. Learning new things is not even a consideration as their worlds close in on them and they hunker down and batten down the hatches. It isn’t living – it stagnating – while waiting to die.

I can’t live that way and won’t live that way. I would rather approach life with the words of Mark Twain ringing in my ear: “It’s better to wear out than to rust out.”

I’m going to use it all up on living.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Recently I wasted an entire 24 hours of my life upset and angry because a very important day didn’t live up to my imagined expectations.  As I became ever more agitated and weepy, the day spun out of control.  It was a snag-fest kind of day the order of magnitude of which would have me whining, and at times outright sobbing for most of it.

After a few hours of my attitude spiraling downward, I had successfully rectified the expectation situation by getting exactly what I was beginning to expect – roadblocks, stumbles, and disappointments both large and small.  Yep – expectations can be fulfilled.

I remember years ago my dad told me that he’s happiest when he keeps his expectations of others low.  I thought he was full of it.  I thought he was delusional because he surely had high expectations for himself and us – especially in school and sports (daily doubles for track anyone?).  I had no idea what he was talking about.  I checked with my mom to see if she too thought this was utter bull, and she set me straight.

I had it all wrong.  While he had high expectations for himself and us in the way of effort and performance on things we could control, his happiness was not dependent on whether or not we, or others met those expectations. 

How could that be?  I’ve always heard that you get what you expect.  Isn’t that the theory?  Raise the bar of expectation and students, kids, spouses, friends, co-workers, etc… will rise to the occasion, right?  Well sometimes yes, and sometimes no, but never if an expectation hasn’t been spoken.  So there’s nothing wrong with setting expectations, or having them, right? Absolutely not.

The problem comes when you hand over the keys to your happiness to the fulfillment of those expectations by others.  Aha!  I think I get it; set the bar and have faith that they will do the best they can and be okay with that. But here’s the other little tidbit that contributed to my dad’s happiness, and it’s taken me a bit longer to figure out: Don’t expect more from others than you expect from yourself, and if and when they don’t live up to your hopes, either be prepared to shrug it off, or if it’s that important to you – do it yourself.

And move on.  Simple as that; happiness is an inside job and you have to bring your own tools to the construction site – daily. 

Today I picked out my own birthday cake.  A day late, but hey – I’m learning.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Homework Pass

My son's math teacher hands out homework passes to students for every ten assignments that have been graded with a check-plus.  Anything less than that doesn't count. 

My son looks forward to getting those homework passes.  He has one in his possession and is just waiting for the optimal time to use it. Today told him at dinner tonight that I wished I had a homework pass for my blog because I'm exhausted today.

Today is my 50th birthday and he's sharing his homework pass with me tonight.

So I'm taking a pass and heading to bed - thanks to my son who is a check-plus-plus-plus-plus to infinity kind of kid, and the greatest gift of all.

Cheers and goodnight.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

On the Brink

The 'brink' - kind of a complicated place to be.  There are two definitions of the 'brink' and both seem applicable at this very moment. I feel as though I am standing at the edge of a cliff, and if I step too close I will slip and fall, or dive into whatever it is I am supposed to begin.

Yep, it feels as though I am on the verge of something.  Something.  Some THING.  Since I can't yet wrap my head, hands and heart around what that thing is, I will meditate, okay sleep, on a the idea of brink-dom by co-opting the wisdom of folks with more street cred that I.

From the mouths of the greats to my subconscious:

On Vision  
"If I drive myself to the brink of my ability, then I don't get stale or bored. " - Dean Koontz

On Belief
"If I had my way, if I was lucky enough, if I could be on the brink my entire life - that great sense of expectation and excitement without the disappointment - that would be the perfect state." - Cate Blanchett

On Philosophy 
"One keeps forgetting old age up to the very brink of the grave." - Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Ready or not, the brink is here and it will not be denied.

Monday, May 07, 2012

What a Woman Wants

This is going to be short and sweet.  Well, nix the short - not my forte.  Also, it's more salty or spicy than sweet. It's a touchy subject for women of a certain age - even women who are supremely self-confident and not afraid to own their power at work.

It's an extremely uncomfortable position for many women to be in, so they stay still and silent, masking their agitation with a less than enthusiastic response and a sweet, fake, smile.

Oh you know what I'm talking about. Really gals, how can we expect to get what we want if THEY don't know what we want?  If we don't speak up for ourselves and tell them?  No one is a mind reader after all. As much as they would like to please us and make us happy, if we don't give good guidance, the result will be the same and we will yet again be disappointed.

And, when it happens time after time, day after day, things start to fester and we get crankier and crankier until the one time we just can't take it anymore and we lose our cool at the nail salon. Okay maybe I'm just dreaming of being in the nail salon sometime soon so I could lose it there, but realistically it will be at the grocery store.

Ladies, it is time to take a stand for what you want and speak up!  Set those expectations accordingly and raise the bar!  It's the right thing to do. It helps improve overall performance, and yes, many others will thank you for it. Be bold!

I can attest, that even though it was difficult to speak up tonight, the end result was exactly what I hoped for. Tonight I owned my womanhood completely and am proud of it.  Yes, this evening I did the hitherto unthinkable; I overcame my hesitance, and I can hardly believe I summoned the courage, but I did it. I SENT THE MILKSHAKE BACK!  It was too thin, so I returned it nicely and yet without apology.

I know! I hear you gasping. I felt bold, brave and at damn-near FIFTY, finally grown-up enough to not just walk away disappointed and mope all evening long. And you know what?  They made me another one; a nice, thick milkshake that made me ecstatically happy!  With an apology no less. They actually wanted me to be happy with my experience.  Who knew?  Imagine the potential. 

Years of paying for things I'm not happy with are over.  I will never again pay, and then walk away and seethe silently (and tip because I wouldn't want to offend) about something that did not meet my expectations. I will say what I want and expect to receive it; simple as that.

Because, let's face it gals; that is exactly what we want!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

When I Weed You...

Everyone has one stories about 'that' yard in their neighborhood.  The one that the homeowners association has to send letters to.

We are that yard.  Fortunately, we don't live in an area with a homeowners association.  As a matter of fact, when we were looking to buy a house years ago, that was my non-negotiable item; no homeowners association.

However, that doesn't stop me from feeling a wee bit guilty when the weeds start encroaching across the border.  We have a large yard, but big open bedding areas and very little intentional plant material.  We've planted bushes, taken out trees and shrubs, and moved things around, but have yet to figure out a low-maintenance landscape plan that fits our lifestyle.

Consequently, the weeds have a lot of elbow room.  So, on a sunny day like today, we had to make some progress before the weed seeds reach a point of no return.  The problem is that all three of us pretty much hate yard work.  Oh, we like gardening just fine - the planting and watering of plants you choose to sustain, however the weeds have to be pulled first - damn it.

Year after year we try, usually for a couple of days and then say "screw it" and let the weeds have their way with us.  We go after it hard at the beginning of the season only to be slapped down by the necessary regularity of pulling, digging and hacking.

This year we hope it will be different.  We've decided to just spend a few minutes several times a week pulling and digging.  The hope is that if we know we only have to do a few minutes, we'll be more likely to get out there and get it in gear.  This sounds much more appealing that planning a whole weekend to clean up the yard, which we find all kinds of ways to avoid.  Like  painting a room.

Of course, spraying weeds is a much faster alternative than pulling and digging, but we try to stay away from the chemicals whenever possible. After filling up two yard debris bins today (okay, the short and sweet approach didn't take hold just yet, but tomorrow is another day), I decided to put the tea kettle on to boil - about eight times.

This year we are going to try some natural alternatives to herbicides, so I poured hot boiling water on the weeds in the cracks on the driveway, between paving stones, and near the front porch.  I have read that boiling water is an effective way to get rid of weeds, so we turned up the heat on the little persistent buggers.

It looks like it's working, but I need more weapons in my arsenal, because after a day or two full of pulling, whacking and digging with a pick axe, my arse is sore. As are my legs, arms, back and hands.

The Healthy Child Healthy World blog has a list of other ways to kill and control weeds safely and naturally.  I can hardly wait to try pickling, washing and mixing a little cocktail for the weeds that will try, yet again, to bring me to my knees.

Maybe I should buy some knee pads just in case?

Saturday, May 05, 2012

It Is Better to Flay Than Do Nothing

Okay, so maybe that's not exactly the way the Confucius quote goes, but it fits.

All day we've been moving furniture, sorting, shredding and dropping off items at Goodwill. All in an effort to clear out my office and ready it for a  fresh new coat of tangerine paint. This is my birthday gift from my husband - a fresh and organized space that makes me happy.

For my part, I've ditched clothes, books and lots and lots of hand-me-down yarn. I have a lot more ditching and dumping to go, but this evening we took a break to celebrate Cinco de Mayo - in-house style:

  • Husband makes margaritas using Bobby Flay margarita recipe
  • I play Munchkin/Munchkin Fu card game with son
  • We go outside to view the Super moon
  • Husband makes second round margaritas using Bobby Flay margarita recipe
  • I make chicken nachos for dinner
  • The three of us watch home renovation nightmares on DIY network so we can fully appreciate the relative ease of our little project
  • I realize I still have to blog for the day
  • Husband clears table - sort of (after two margarita's he's not entirely on his game)
  • Son hems and haws trying to avoid going to bed because it's Saturday and Cinco de Mayo; however since he's never been to Mexico, off to bed he goes NOW!
  • Husband makes one more margarita (for me) using Bobby Flay margarita recipe because it's Saturday AND Cinco de Mayo and I HAVE been to Mexico!
  • I take a couple of sips while helping to clear the table and then remember, again that I still have to blog for today - ACK!
  • One more look at the Super moon for inspiration
  • Have I mentioned how I really, really like the Bobby Flay margarita recipe?

Now that I'm done for the day, I'll head back to my Cinco de Mayo celebration and enjoy that Bobby Flay margarita sitting on the table and calling my name.

Tomorrow there will be no more Bobby Flay margaritas and no more Super moon, but there will be breakfast, coffee and more sorting and painting.

Super. Wish I could have Brunch @ Bobby's while my husband finishes the painting.

Friday, May 04, 2012

What's in a Name?

This afternoon my son noticed a baby opossum traipsing through our long grass. You might think these creatures are ugly, but I don't.  Okay, so they aren't fuzzy and cuddly like some animals, but having been a friend to an opossum named Petunia, I feel a connection.  There's a longer story about Petunia, but the short version is that I was a zoo volunteer and Petunia was one of our program animals.  She was delicate, sweet and gentle.  I see a little Petunia in that baby opossum in my yard, and I hope he finds his mama soon.

My husband stepped out to take a quick photo of our awesome opossum - emphasis on the quick in case the mom was nearby - and little Lyle, all alone in a sea of grass,  tried out his still in development trademark defense system.  He's got some work to do - quivering is a dead, pardon the pun, giveaway.

Lyle ("the island") wandered off toward my favorite lilac bush. I was going to cut some lilacs this evening, but just in case Lyle was headed to cuddle up with his mom in their little nest, I'll wait until tomorrow.  

In the meantime we'll keep the dog, George (aka George Looney - for his stunning good looks and ability to plow through window screens with manic speed) on a short leash.

The cat, well she's too busy peeing on the welcome mat out front to give Lyle a second look. Come to think of it we should rename the cat - something like Pipi la Mew?

Thursday, May 03, 2012

He's An Open Book

Today I read "How to Talk to Little Boys" by Lisa Bloom in the Huffington Post.  I read it because, well, I have a little boy. 

While I'm fairly confident that we communicate well and understand each other, I am aware that things could change in an instant and that it's important to keep the tools in my parenting toolbox sharp.  So, I read.

And read. 

And read about how boys don't read.  I didn't find much in the article about how to talk to little boys, but I did find that according to her article and her new book about boys, Swagger, my son, his friends, and a great many boys I know are anomalies because they read.  They don't just read, they read voraciously, talk about books, share ideas for other books to read, and often read while they should be paying attention in class. My son reads in the car, while walking, in bed, and wherever he can. He begs to go to the library and bookstore.  Phew - he's not that boy she's talking about. Yet.

Our home has always been filled with books.  Heck, when I worked at a bookstore, years before he was born, I purchased children's books and had authors sign them to my "future children".  Luckily, he caught the reading bug and shows no immediate signs of getting over it.  But we are starting to reach the point where we need book suggestions to keep him adequately supplied. 

In "How to Talk to Little Boys" Bloom addresses the attitude that many boys have about reading and hits on the one challenge to get and keep boys, and some girls for that matter, reading forever; finding that first juicy book that hooks them.  Once started, keeping them supplied with interesting books is key, and as they reach the teen years, it starts to be more difficult to find books for boys.  Really.  Browse any local bookstore and check out the shelves for teens.  Take note of the genres.  While looking for a gift for a teenage family member I noticed shelf after shelf of "paranormal romance" books, and then a small section of fantasy and then whatever was left. It appears there is a genre bridge for girls to traverse from teen to adult books, but for boys there is not much to offer after a certain point other than a jump to adult action/adventure, fantasy and science fiction. 

Bloom provides a litany of reasons why boys shun reading from social and cultural pressures and ideals, to the reading struggles that seem to disproportionately affect boys; all valid points.  However I hope she is wrong on one very important point.  I hope she is wrong that parents and teachers have lowered their expectations for boys; that they have the attitude that being a boy is more about physicality than intellectuality.  Why can't it be about both?  Why can't it be about a lot more than either of those things individually or together? 

We have come a long way in our attitudes toward girls and women and what they can do, should do, and are capable of doing.  Women are competent, smart, strong and complex and have worked hard to attain that science fair victory and valedictorian status. In the not too distant past, men, including some fathers, may have insinuated that we could, or could not do something simply because "well, she's a girl you know", or that we were prone to being "highly emotional, or too sensitive".  All stereotypical beliefs that girls have had to vault over and around to prove their worth.

As the mother of a son, I am becoming more and more aware, as he gets older, of the socially accepted male bashing that goes on. Yes, boys are different from girls, and as a girl, I can say that many of us (me included) can be prone to the occasional superiority complex.  Jokes about our husband's and son's perceived ineptness in certain household duties, while meant in jest, have an edge that is no different from put-downs of women and girls in the past.  It didn't feel good then and I'm sure it doesn't feel good now.

I won't know whether or not I agree with Ms. Bloom's theory that lowered expectations and thuggish media influences are to blame for the slide in achievement of our boys until I've read her book, but I do have a theory of my own - as unscientific as it may be.

Perhaps our boys haven't slipped so much as we have pushed them down, aside, and out of the way?

We don't have to take one gender out at the knees to elevate the other, do we?

As a woman, and a mother to a son, I hope we can do better.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Bucket List, Schmucket List. Here's My F#%$ It List.

My 50th birthday is just around the corner.  I would love some time to reflect on my past, evaluate my present and plan for my future, but it doesn't look like I'm going to get it - yet.  My back up plan is to try to steal little snippets of time to winnow things out of my life, streamlining and simplifying in order to make room for clarity and purpose.

In the past I've written mission statements, penned numerous goal lists, and made vision boards - lots and lots of them.  The thing is, they are so packed full of dreams and desires that I can't decide what to focus on first and they are weighing me down; way down.

So this year, I'm cutting and culling - everything.  From my dreams and goals lists to my plastic food containers (my new motto: "if the lid doesn't fit, then you must toss it") and everything in between. 

As Jim Collins, author of  Good to Great, says,  "If you have more than three priorities, then you don't have any."

For my birthday I'm giving myself the gift of lightness; lightness of environment, mind, spirit and (calling all will-power) body.  I am also giving myself the gift of authenticity which might make some people nervous.  I plan on owning my fifty-dom in all it's glory - not trying to look, act or be anything other than who I am. 

I've never really been the type to keep my opinions to myself, but as hard as it may be to believe, I have often moderated my feelings or views in order to keep some semblance of peace and decorum.  At fifty - all bets are off - primarily because at this stage of the game in life most of my friends and family are grown-ups, and as such, should be able to handle truth.

Sounds a wee bit dangerous, doesn't it? 

"Live dangerously and you live right." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work...

Take Your Child to Work Day was last week, and I am old enough to remember when it was Take Our Daughters to Work Day. Today both sons and daughters are welcome at this on-site 'career day' event. That was last week.  Today was May Day - a traditional rite of spring in many cultures, and International Workers' Day, concerned with other rights. 

While some children accompanied mom or dad to interesting and beguiling workplaces full of people and activities riveting to fresh, young eyes; other kids spent the day in the classroom as they would on any other school day.  You know, that place people send their kids to so they can go to work, er, I mean get an education (if only it were funded, but that's a post for another day).

Let's be honest; not every kid has a parent with a job that can accommodate a tag-a-long for the day. If we're being really honest, there is also a significant contingent for whom being able to go to work at all would be cause for celebration.  Where do you take your kid on Take Your Child to Work Day, to enlighten them about the possibilities that lie ahead for their future?  When a parent is unemployed, it's tough to imagine a future full of possibilities. It's tough to imagine a future at all when you're just trying to make it through the day.

Ironically, May Day follows close on the heels of Take Your Child to Work Day.  Today there were marches and protests, some peaceful and others less so.  While some who have not yet faced the challenges of unemployment have less than flattering things to say about those who march and protest peacefully, it is important to remember that many of the things we take for granted in today's workplace that allow many to provide for our families are a direct result of others who took the tough road long ago. 

Happy May Day.