Sunday, September 28, 2008

Let's Get Ready To Ramble

I guess I don't have all that much to ramble about, but here goes.

First, we are not at home. We got to the Twin Cities Saturday afternoon and I think this is the first moment I have had to actually relax and surf the interweb. We have been going constantly and I am so exhausted already, I don't know how I will manage for the next few days. It seems as if every minute of our time here has been planned for. Oh, well, just another vacation I will have to recover from when we get home.

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Of course, we have been spending every moment possible with A and her husband. Going to their place is like nothing I have ever experienced. They live in a very small two-bedroom duplex--with two dogs and five cats. The dogs each weigh around 60 pounds and think they are puppies--and lap dogs. If the two of them aren't rough-housing, they are trying to climb in your lap. For someone like me--I only have an extremely anti-social cat, one who doesn't even seem to exist at times--the constant attention from these large creatures is quite overwhelming. Then, of course, you have the cats. One cat we really think is a pretend cat--he doesn't show his pure white body for ANYONE to see. A dragged him out last night just so we could see he actually DOES exist. The orange cat isn't too sure he likes me--I happened to decide that HIS chair is the most comfortable for me to sit in. He does, at times, just sit across the room and glare at me. He and I made friends--sort of--because I will gladly scratch his cheeks for as long as he wants. He STILL isn't happy that I sit in his chair, but... The 'middle' cat thinks she is a princess and expects to be treated as such. She will, whenever she wants, rub against your leg or hand, but resists being pet unless it is her idea. And she WILL hiss at any opportunity, just because she can. The two youngest cats are siblings and just like to smell you. It is a bit disconcerting when a cat will jump on your lap and proceed to sniff every inch of your face--and then stare into your eyes for a long length of time. I never know what they want and it makes me a bit jumpy. Walking into their house is like walking into an animal boarding kennel.

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We went to the zoo today and really had a good time. I have decided that I want to keep prairie dogs as pets in my backyard. I could have spent all day just watching them--they are very, very fun.

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Tomorrow K and I will be shopping all day. Now, I'm not too sure how much BUYING we actually will do, but I know I need to visit Lush, so there is one purchase I will make. Maybe I'll be a one-woman economic recovery solution. :)

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We are, of course, in town for the Eagles concert on Tuesday night. I am so excited I can't stand it. And wouldn't you know, that happens to be the first night a Wings pre-season game is being telecast! And yes, I have the recorder ready to record it. :)

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So, for the pre-season already, the Wings have won 2 and lost 2. Could be better, but definitely could be worse. It will be fun to see the entire team together when the season begins. Only 10 days and 20 hours!

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It was very sad to hear that Paul Newman had died this weekend. He was a very good actor and starred in some of my favorite movies of all time: The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Slap Shot.

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I have never put down the story of why I am estranged from my family--at least not the ENTIRE one. I am working on the story and will be posting it within the next few weeks. It will be long--and hopefully NOT boring--so I will post it in installments. Watch for it--I think it will give a better insight into why I am the way I am.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Update On Lidstrom

This is why I should never post right after a game: the news usually will change after a few hours.

Today it is being reported that Lidstrom broke his nose when he got hit by the puck last night. He also got 25 stitches under his right eyebrow. But his eye is fine and he should only be out for three games. How in the world do you NOT do damage to your eye with an injury like that? I wonder if this will teach him that he needs to start wearing a visor? Good grief.

:)

cat
more animals

First One Is Over

And I am talking about the first pre-season game. I managed to find the game online--audio only--so I got to listen a bit. Unfortunately, I think my girls know whenever a game is on, cause they like to call me during them. Tonight I was on the phone for about half of the game. Oh, well.

The Wings lost the game in a shoot-out by the score of 3-2. The biggest news, though, is that Leino--the second Finn the Wings have ever signed--looked very, very good out there. It will be interesting to see when and if he becomes a regular. Kopecky seemed to get right back into the swing of things--I guess his knee is fine after the surgery. Anyway, he checked a Canadien and knocked him unconcious. It was a legal hit and was just unfortunate. The guy was out for a bit and they had to take him off of the ice by stretcher. He was brought to the hospital and seems to be doing fine. Of course, it is still early--wouldn't be surprised to find out he has a concussion and will be out for a couple of weeks. Then, in the third, Lidstrom had a puck bounce off of his face. He wound up with stitches over his right eye. They say it didn't do anything to his eye. Sometimes I wonder if the pre-season games are actually worth the risk. The next game is on Thursday against the Bruins.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nothing Important

Yesterday was a bit busy for us, so I didn't get a chance to post. Actually, I DID sit down in front of the computer last night and managed to get a bit of a nap. SOOOOOOO not good. Uncomfortable, too. Anyway, I was too exhausted to do any writing.

We went to see the dietitian yesterday and it doesn't look too bad. Pretty much, her recommendations were to modify all things eaten and be OCD about portion control. Other than the obvious--ham, over-processed box foods, etc--there aren't all that many things K can't have. Again, it all boils down to portion control. THIS makes things a lot easier. I will have to do my part when it comes to cooking, but that, also, shouldn't be too difficult. It WILL take a bit of getting used to when it comes to eating salt-less (or nearly salt-less) food, but it can be done. I am feeling much, much better about things.

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BIG news, for those who live under big rocks: Clay Aiken has announced he is gay. *yawn*

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HUGE news in Michigan: Millen--GM of the Lions--has been fired. FINALLY. (Full disclosure--I DON'T do football, so I am not too sure what this means. I DO know the Lions have sucked big-time for many years, so it might make a difference to the team.) Anyway, it is causing quite a stir here. Among the few Lions fans, that is. After all, this IS part of Packerland, so not too many ARE Lions fans.

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And finally, VF has said his thumb is doing much better and he even has done some shooting. He's looking toward Friday to come back. YAY!! Now if I could get a broadcast to actually WATCH. I'm not even sure if XM will be carrying the game tonight--bummer.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Update

Filppula was on the ice again today--he only skated, though. X-rays show that he didn't break his thumb, but is not able to shoot. He won't be playing in Tuesday's camp game and is questionable for the pre-season games later in the week. However, things look pretty good for the start of the season. Hopefully this is the worst of his injuries for the year. Keeping my fingers crossed. :)

The Wings made their first round of cuts today and are now down to 53 players. It will be interesting to see which of the young guys might make it to Detroit. Still waiting on word as to who will be traded--someone has to go in order to get under the cap for the season.

I'm not sure if I will get to see the game on Wednesday--can't find a broadcast, yet. DAMN!!! This would be the first time I'd get to see Hossa in a Wings' uniform--can't wait to see him play. Time isn't going fast enough.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Political Issue

For anyone who has been living under a big rock, I have an announcement: we are in the midst of a political campaign! I have, for the most part, been ignoring it. When I analyzed this fact, I came away with one reason for the ignoring: I don't want to alienate any of my readers who I consider dear friends. From reading other blogs, I am fairly certain that my political views are very different from some of my favorite people, so I just want to 'play nice.' And, for the most part, this is what I will do. However, there is one political issue that I am extremely passionate about, so I will do my every-four-year post stating my position. I trust that those readers of mine who feel differently will just agree to disagree.

I am 100% against abortion. There, I said it. I could call myself pro-life, but that doesn't really do me justice. I feel there are two kinds of people, those who are against abortion and those who are for it--I don't care for the terms 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice.' Really now, how many people are there exactly who are against life? Ridiculous. And I am 'pro-choice'--I believe when a woman finds out she is pregnant, she already made her choice: whether or not to keep her legs together. (DON'T hit me up on the rape and incest issue. Every place I looked for statistics on how many abortions are performed as a result of rape, incest, or the mother's health say that less than 1% of all abortions are for these reasons--COMBINED.)

Okay, give me a chance here. I could give you the Biblical reasons for my feeling as I do--Psalm 139:13 states "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." for example--but I won't. Anyone who has debated abortion has either used the Bible as a reason why abortions are wrong, or has heard the arguments. I, however, will give you my personal reasons--without 'facts' from any source other than my own heart.

While I have always been anti-abortion, it never was really personal for me. And I am deeply grateful. My heart aches for any woman who has gone through an abortion--I can't imagine. However, 12 years ago I had a very personal experience that brought my beliefs home for me.

I received a phone call in the afternoon of 5 July 1996, telling me that my oldest daughter had gone into premature labor and that despite everything the doctors did, she gave birth. The baby was 11 weeks early. She was being rushed 100 miles to the nearest NICU--which happened to be in the town where I live. I was going to be at the hospital to meet the ambulance and see my first grandchild for the first time.

NOTHING prepared me for seeing my granddaughter. She was only 2lb 7oz. To put this into perspective, go to your pantry/cupboard and find a bag of brown sugar. Now, imagine it weighing seven ounces more--that is what my granddaughter weighed. She not only was smaller in size than a Cabbage Patch doll, she weighed less, too. Her arms were so thin that an adult's wedding band slipped onto her arm easily. If you have never seen, in person, a baby this small, you cannot imagine the horror. The worst part, though, was watching her breathe. As she sucked in breath, her chest would collapse so that it touched her spine--and this happened each time she breathed. I have never been so upset, so horrified, and so saddened in my entire life. My first thought was, "This baby will die before morning." I couldn't imagine how I was to talk to my daughter when I got home--how do you tell a mother that her newborn was about to die? I didn't have one iota of optimism over the fate of this precious baby.

As I stood watching over the baby, my mind began to wander. At one point it occurred to me that, had it been my daughter's wish, eight hours earlier this baby could have been aborted. This living, breathing child could have been killed just because someone didn't want her. The thought was even more horrifying to me because I watched her struggle and fight for her life. It was very hard, but this little being kept breathing, kept wanting to live. She was still alive in the morning. We, as human beings, have a will to live--and she proved how strong that will is. Today, she is a delightful, beautiful, smart, athletic, joy to be around. And she could have been dumped in some garbage heap if my daughter wanted. My daughter was a senior in high school, basically homeless, wandering from place to place with her boyfriend, when she found out she was pregnant. It never crossed her mind to get rid of the 'fetus.' She also never thought about abortion any of the other six times she has been pregnant--even though she has problem pregnancies and has given birth to one stillborn and two more preemies.

Now, onto my other daughter. She cannot get pregnant. She has done the fertility clinic bit and it hasn't worked. They can't afford to try in vitro--it just costs too much. She wants a baby so badly that I swear she would slap anyone she found out had an abortion. Not only would it hurt her to see someone get rid of something she wants so badly for herself, but abortions hurt her on another front: adopting. Right now, it is hard to adopt a baby--there just aren't enough to go around. And if they could find one, the cost of adopting is prohibitive for them--it costs about as much to adopt a newborn as it does to go through in vitro. So, if they can't afford in vitro, they can't afford to adopt. Partly due to abortions being so readily available, there are not as many babies put up for adoption as there used to be. And people such as my daughter and her husband are hurt by this.

Although the majority of abortions are for birth control--I DON'T have statistics, but it seems as if this is the case--a large amount of abortions are done because the 'fetus' might not be 'perfect.' Before anyone has a stroke over that last statement, I would suggest watching an Oprah-type show, reading a celebrity gossip column, or surfing a message board. After doing those three things, you will know that I am right. There are A LOT of people who want everything in their lives to be perfect--and will tolerate nothing BUT perfection. Should one of these women have genetic testing while pregnant, I don't believe she would hesitate aborting. THIS frightens me. While none of us would want to see a child of ours suffer through a terrible illness, genetic testing really can't tell whether a child WILL have a particular problem or not--nor can it tell how severe the problem might be. There may be no indication whatsoever that the child has a problem--it just might be a genetic indication.

I am overweight and have psoriasis--and both of these conditions seem to be genetically caused. (The jury is still out, but every indication is that genes play a major role in both.) So, if someone who wants perfection had a 'fetus' that tested positive for either condition, is that a reason to abort? I might not be great to look at, but as far as having something to contribute, I think I have a right to life. I also have high blood pressure and the beginning of 'sludge' in my carotid artery--both indications of possible heart disease. And it wouldn't be a wonder if I should develop heart disease cause it runs in the family--and can be detected genetically. Does this mean I should have been aborted? I don't have heart disease, but I MIGHT develop it--but I might NOT. But genetically I am predisposed to heart disease. A dilemma.

I don't believe I could ever change someone's mind about abortion, just as my mind couldn't be changed. All I intended to do with this post is to explain my position. This is my passionate political issue, plain and simple. I hope I don't lose any readers because of it.

Heart Lodged Firmly In Throat

The headline read: "Filppula injures thumb on hit from Downey." The story goes on to say how Downey gave VF an accidental, illegal hit during a scrimmage today and VF had to leave practice. Two days into training camp and Baby Boy gets himself hurt. Of course, reports are that it 'wasn't bad,' but that is what is ALWAYS said. A player has to have a limb hanging by a thread before the team actually says how badly they're hurt. Anyway, VF said he probably will be back tomorrow, so there is hope.

Now, a jammed thumb doesn't sound all that bad, as far as injuries go. However, when you use a stick to puck-handle like VF does, a thumb is vitally important. And injuries happen--last year he injured himself during training camp, too, and was fine for the start of the season. It is a risky business these players are part of.

(I can't say how ecstatic I am that hockey season is starting! :))

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Celebrate

Celebrations for the week:

21 September
Miniature Golf Day
Women's Friendship Day

22 September
Elephant Appreciation Day
Dear Diary Day
Hobbit Day
National White Chocolate Day

23 September
Innergize Day

24 September
National Cherries Jubilee Day
Punctuation Day

25 September
National Crabmeat Newburg Day
National One-Hit Wonder Day

26 September
National Pancake Day
Love Note Day

27 September
Ancestor Appreciation Day
National Hunting and Fishing Day

Friday, September 19, 2008

Funny

I had to chuckle when I saw this one:


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Confusing

Last night I needed to pick up a few things. While I was out, I saw a girl--college age, I'd say--wearing pajama bottoms and pink, fuzzy, bunny slippers. Complete with long, floppy ears. Just HOW do you make the decision to go out shopping dressed that way? Or do you not think? Would she have left the house in a teddy if that's the way she slept? Or would she have given consideration to her clothing--or lack there of--if she slept naked? Now, I'm no fashion plate when I leave the house, but I DO wear the appropriate clothing for the situation--you know, nightshirt for sleep, fancy dress for a wedding, jeans to run errands. I would LOVE to run to the store feeling comfortable in my sleep shirt and flip-flops--trouble is, that would mean leaving the house braless. NOT a picture you want to see. ;)

Smiling :)

It's true, it's true!! The Wings left for training camp today! I even saw pictures. Life is worth living again--hockey season is about to begin.

FINALLY...almost

9:30 AM...25 September...Joe Louis Arena...the Red Wing veterans will leave for Traverse City and training camp. It really is happening--the season is about to start! There IS a ray of sunshine out there! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Party Update

Well, the invites aren't going to be as bad I thought. It looks like I will only have to make about 55 and the majority of them will be hand delivered by someone else. That means I won't have to put out too much in terms of postage! Yay! Seems as if A LOT of the people being invited will get a phone call instead of a written invitation. Also, the party IS going to be a joint one for BOTH of the twins--thank goodness. I only need to do 6 combined invites--the rest of The Aunt's invitees will be called on the phone. Frankly, I think sending invites is the proper and classy way to go, but I'm not complaining--it cuts down on how much I have to do and how much money I have to pay out. Works for me!!

The Mother called me and dictated the guest list to me tonight. yippee. I'm not sure WHY she did it--and I don't think C knows why, either. Oh, well, it was her choice. And somewhere along the line she had it in her mind that I was helping to plan this thing. EXCUSE ME!?!?!?!? I let her know in no uncertain terms that ALL I was doing is the invitations--AND that I just may not be able to make it to the party, either. Just from her tone of voice I could tell THAT tied her panties into knots. Sorry lady--DEAL. So, all in all, I'm feeling a bit better about things. What a difference a day makes. (make sure and SING that last sentence when you read it. :))

Monday, September 15, 2008

As An Apology...

Because of my last post, I will post these to make you smile.



CRAP!!!!!

I am going to apologize to my readers right away. I am so sorry that this post is going to be a rant, but I am in SUCH a crappy mood right now, I need to vent.

Sometime in the last one to two months, I got an email from the oldest. It was pointing out the fact that The Father's 75th birthday is coming up and they were planning a surprise party for him. And it asked for everyone to offer some help. Knowing I couldn't get out of it, I offered to do the invites and pay for the postage. This way, if I decided I 'couldn't' make it to the party, I would have done my part.

A few weeks ago, a thought hit me like a ton of bricks: The Father has a twin sister who WILL be at the party. How can you have a party and ignore the other person who's birthday it is? Especially when the other person is the twin of the...well, you get the drift. (The party was to be held on the actual BIRTH DAY.) So, I called C and relayed my revelation--asking her WHAT are we to do about The Aunt. Of course, this was something she never thought of. She had to call The Mother and get HER reaction and then I wound up waiting for days (weeks?) for any news. FINALLY, C and I got to talk about things last week and I pretty much convinced her that it would be best to just have a much smaller party at The Parent's home and forget about the rest of the bullshit. (According to The Mother, The Father's sister/s were being their usual bitches about things.) And I have been living a great life for about two days. Until this afternoon.

I answered the phone today and C let me know that everything was worked out and that the party is on again. And that she will try to get to The Mother's and get the guest list worked out so that she could get it to me ASAP. Unfortunately, this better be done VERY quickly because I have to use next week to get ready to leave town for five days at the end of the month, so I only have this week to work on these invites. Nothing like not giving me the time I want to get something done--everything is going to be a rush job, as usual. To top it all off, C said that the guest list will be horrendously huge--at least 50 names from their CHURCH alone! I'm developing a headache just thinking about it. I am so pissed off I can't think.

I was really looking forward to our trip and the Eagles concert--but this has put a damper on things. And yes, I know it is ME that is allowing it. But leave it to my Family--if they can screw up my life in any way, they will do it. I am trying to convince K to do an overtime shift on the day of the party--then we won't have to go. But, overtime isn't even offered until the week before, so I still have a month and a half to think about having to be at this shindig. I am beside myself and don't know what to do. I just have to try and stop myself from going on an eating and shopping binge. It will be hard.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Celebrate

Here are the celebrations for this week:

14 September
National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day (YUM!!!)

15 September
International Sing-Out Day
National Women Road Warrior Day

16 September
Collect Rocks Day
National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day

17 September
National Apple Dumpling Day

18 September
National Play-doh Day
National Farm Animals Safety Week

19 September
National Butterscotch Pudding Day
Talk Like A Pirate Day

20 September
Big Whopper Liar Day
International Eat An Apple Day
Wife Appreciation Day (make sure and forward THIS ONE to all husbands! :))

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Less Than A Month

With hockey season beginning in less than a month, all of the magazines, blogs, hockey sites, etc, are publishing their predictions for this year. Pretty much across the board, they all are saying the Wings have the best chance to repeat as the Stanley Cup champs since the last team to repeat...which were the Red Wings in 1998. Yup, the Wings are the last team to repeat. And they could do it again...at least on paper.

Arguably, the team has gotten better since the Cup win. They have replaced a 43-year-old goalie--granted, he IS a HOF shoe-in--with a 32-year-old one and have upgraded from Drake to Hossa--BIG upgrade--but that doesn't guarantee a thing. Injuries happen. Just look at the bad spell last year when most of the 'D' was gone. Still, it is getting exciting and I can't wait to see the guys in action. The time is dragging.


"There Is A Time For Everything..." Ecc. 3:1

My great-grandfather was a man of strong faith and spirituality. He believed in the literalness of the Bible. When Ecclesiastes 3:2 says that there is "a time to be born and a time to die," he believed it with his whole heart. And he had a story to go along with it. (I was told it was true and that he knew the man in the story.)

One night a man had a dream, which he relayed to his wife upon waking the following morning. He dreamed that he was in the copper mine where he worked and while on his shift, was killed. This dream shook him to his very core and he told his wife that he would not go to work because to do so meant his death. So he stayed at home.

At some point during the day, the man became sleepy. He decided to take a nap next to the wood stove in the kitchen--someplace he could stay warm. So he curled up on the floor next to the stove and went to sleep. But he never woke up. While he was sleeping, the heavy flat iron that was on the stove, fell from its place and hit him in the head, killing him instantly.

This story, my grandfather said, proves that you can't cheat God when it comes to your day to die.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Political Post

After seeing the bumper stickers and yard signs; after watching the news and the commentaries; after reading the newspaper and the 'Man on the Street' interviews; after surfing the web and reading blog posts and comments, I REALLY worry about our country after the inauguration. A lot of people have drunk the Kool-Aid. Scary stuff.

Hiding

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I Have An Announcement...

http://www.inews3.com/topstory.php?id=436d6b7c4f75746f666d796d696e64

Celebrate

The celebrations for this week:

7 September
Neither Snow Nor Rain Day
Salami Day

8 September
National Boss/Employee Exchange Day

9 September
Teddy Bear Day
Wonderful Weirdoes Day

10 September
Hot Dog Day
Swap Ideas Day

11 September
National Hot Cross Buns Day
National Neighborhood Day

12 September
Video Games Day

13 September
International Chocolate Day
Bald Is Beautiful Day

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Quite A Kid

School started for C's kids on Thursday. It was the first day of kindergarten for the 5-year-old. Everything went well. On Thursday night her older sister told her they needed to get to sleep early so they could get up for school on Friday. The 5-year-old replied, "You mean I have to go there AGAIN?"

Police Log

--9:31 PM, two 8-year-olds not getting along

Anyone with more than one child knows how aggravating two kids fighting can be, but just HOW bad were these kids? Is this a 'Scared Straight' situation? Just too many unanswered questions.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Police Log

THIS is something I NEVER thought I would read here in the great white north:

--3:09 PM, iguana at large

That just brings too many great mental images for me to comment any further.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Let's Get Ready To Ramble

This might turn out to be more whining than rambling, but what else is new. :)

I have never pretended that my sleep habits are anywhere near normal--I basically live a 'night shift' schedule--but after last night everything is REALLY bass-ackwards. A cold front came through yesterday, so that meant thunderstorms. I don't go near/in water during bad weather, so I wound up taking my shower between storms. This caused me to be 'done for the night' by midnight. I was feeling only a little bit sleepy, so I figured I would read till I was exhausted and around 2:00 AM I crawled into the couch. (I wanted to sleep to the sound of the TV, hence the couch-sleep.) All was fine until 3:00 AM when I woke up. After a trip to the bathroom, it was back to sleep. At 4:00 AM I was done sleeping for the night. Great. I tossed and turned until about 5:30 when I decided to just get up, get ready, and go and do the shopping I needed to do. Thank goodness I only needed to go to WalMart and the grocery store--WalMart is open 24 hours, the grocery store opens at 6:00 AM. I was home and had everything put away by 9:00 AM--a definite record for me. Then I was left with nothing I could do--K is on night shift, so he was sleeping and I couldn't do anything around the house. This kind of led to my collapse--I crashed sometime around 12 or 1 PM. I don't even remember what time I woke up--I just know I WON'T be able to sleep tonight. Yippee.

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Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were record-setting days in terms of temperatures here. It happened to be our first sustained-heat spell for the year--and it happened during the unofficial end of summer. Fitting, I suppose. Anyway, we had temps in the 90 degree or over range for those days--definitely not my cup of tea. And it put me in a horrid state of mind. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I ABHOR hot weather. Thankfully, today it was at least 30 degrees colder than it was the past few days--and I am loving it. I finally realized what I could say when anyone asks what my favorite day of the year is: The day we get our first heavy frost! The frost will get rid of the bugs and give the air that crisp feel that screams fall. And it doesn't matter how hot our 'Indian summer' days are afterwards--there is that fall feel. My favorite time of year--and I can't wait.

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So K is trying to sleep today and our neighbors are not being very cooperative. I can't really blame them, because stuff HAS to be done during daylight hours, but I feel for K trying to sleep through what he had to. First, our neighbors up the street decided to put up a garage and today the excavating started. That meant various pieces of heavy equipment driving back and forth all day long. And that wasn't bad enough. Our neighbors across the street are, for whatever reason, tearing up their driveway. This means, ALL DAY LONG, someone was using a jackhammer to break it up. And if you don't think that is beyond annoying, you have never been through it. And I think it will continue tomorrow. Just another reason to long for winter: no construction.

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For some reason or another, I attract lousy drivers when I am driving. Over the past several days it has become very apparent. What I have been dealing with are drivers that pull out right in front of me from a side street and then decide to drive 5 miles below the speed limit. And this is usually where the speed limit is 25 MPH. AND it usually is when I am trying to get home, so I'm in a hurry. Annoying beyond belief. I really wish I could just ram into them--but I don't do road rage. :D

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In our paper the other day was a report of a bear attack. Now this is very unusual, as the bear around here will back off if 'threatened' by a person--as in, make noise, wave your arms, make yourself as 'big' and threatening as possible. In the town up the road from us, a guy was out walking his property and saw a bear. He tried to shoo it off, but she came at him and bit him. She retreated, but came back for another bite. The guy's dogs then went after the bear and chased her off. The guy said he noticed, too late, that there was at least one cub in the area and he had inadvertently come between the babe and mama. Very scary, indeed. Oh, the wounds the guy sustained were NOT life-threatening, thank goodness.

The Man Of The House

This pretty much sounds like MY house. :)


A husband had just finished reading a new book entitled, 'You Can Be THE Man of Your House.'

He stormed to his wife in the kitchen and announced, 'From now on, you need to know that I am the man of this house and my word is Law. You will prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I'm finished eating my meal, you will serve me a sumptuous dessert. After dinner, you are going to go upstairs with me and we will have the kind of sex that I want. Afterwards, you are going to draw me a bath so I can relax. You will wash my back and towel me dry and bring me my robe. Then, you will massage my feet and hands. Then tomorrow, guess who's going to dress me and comb my hair?'

The wife replied, 'The funeral director would be my first guess.'

Monday, September 01, 2008

Nurture? Nature? Talent? Money?

An article in The Hockey News this week tells how much it cost the family of Patrick Kane (19 year old phenom for the Chicago Blackhawks) to help him become an NHL player. It is estimated that the family spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $150,000 from the time he started playing hockey till he signed his first NHL contract.

Hockey is a very expensive activity for kids to be involved in. The skates, helmets, protective pads, and sticks just to BEGIN playing are cost prohibitive for many people. And if a kid shows any talent at all, and wants to get to higher levels of play, the costs mount. Most pro players had to leave home at some point just to play in a more elite league--one where he can learn by playing with the best and where he can show his talent and be seen by those who could decide if the pros need to see him. When the kids leave home, the family needs to find a place to board their child--and this will cost. In some cases, the player will go to private school because of team travel and it is easier for private schools to work around the player's schedule. And at different levels the player has to pay for the privilege of being in a better league AND they have to pay all of their expenses when they travel. Of course, during the off-season, there are the hockey schools/camps which the player will attend to help hone his skills--and they all are expensive. Especially the ones where NHL players do the teaching. (Several summers, Kane attended 10 schools WHILE playing in the summer leagues.) This is NOT a sport for poor people to be involved in.

All of the money spent is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. When a member of the family is involved in hockey, the entire family is. Most NHL players will talk of their younger years and being on the road by 6:00 AM just so they could get to an ice rink on which to practice. Many players here in the States have to travel great distances in order to play the game while they live at home--and that usually means a member of the family will be doing the driving. Not all places in the US have the ice availability that we do--and many of our ice arenas are open almost 24 hours per day because ice time is in such demand. To raise an elite player, one who will make it into the pros, requires a great amount of dedication from the player as well as the family.

This all got me to wondering: Did I do enough for my girls in terms of helping them develop their talents? We allowed our girls to try most anything they wanted--and quit when they decided it wasn't something they wanted to do. We wanted them to have a well-rounded idea of what was out there so they could find what they were passionate about. But I still wonder if we pushed them enough when it came to their talents.

C went through her figure skating phase at an early age. She was in a club for two or three years and decided it wasn't for her--which I whole-heartedly agreed with. She also did her stint with the 'gifted and talented' group, but that ended when she went into middle school--NOT her decision, it just wasn't offered anymore. She really found her gift when she started playing the flute--the girl was phenomenal. We did the basics when it came to 'pushing' her, but took our cues from her. Basically, we got her private lessons and that was about it. We never looked into Interlochen or any other music school, but with her not living with us after ninth grade, it wasn't completely our fault. I do wonder if we would have done more for her if she would have been at home through high school. I think I always will have a small amount of disappointment because she never did anything with her musical gift.

With A, we did more--which was easier, cause she was, in essence, an only child for most of her school years. She did the swim lessons, until she didn't want them anymore. She played basketball, but didn't have a great talent for it, and didn't play after grade school. There were several things she thought she wanted, signed up for, and then never pursued. She also had a talent for music and played the flute. We gave her private lessons and an upgraded flute, as well as a piccolo. Her and I even talked about Interlochen, but she wasn't motivated enough to do much about it. And her lack of motivation is what kept her from realizing some things she could have accomplished. But, it wasn't all her fault because I didn't push her, either. I gave her the opportunites and she either took them or didn't. She DIDN'T push to be on the boys' wrestling team, which I would have supported. She DID become a basketball ref, but didn't take it as far as she could have. She gave up her opportunity to go to school in Denver, for whatever reason. And I am a bit disappointed that she hasn't completely lived up to her animal-handling talent--even though she does work for a vet, she could have done a lot more.

My whole point of this post is this: Whose 'fault' is it that my children haven't used their God-given gifts to their full potential? Did I drop the ball by not being a pushy mother and MAKE them do things they didn't want to at the time? Did I allow my children to make decisions that I should have made? When does encouragement turn into bullying when it comes to pushing your child to do something? I think my biggest regret with raising my girls is not knowing if I did right by them in terms of their talents. I will always wonder if I could have pushed a little more and helped them into very different lives than they have now. And would they have been better off with different lives? We can never look back and say 'if only,' and I have to banish the 'if only' thoughts from my mind--or I will go mad.