Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sometimes One can be Grateful

I have to admit I have the most, opinionated, controlling, know it all family (which would be fine if they would all just acknowledge that my opinions, control issues and know it allness was always right). and as much as they tend to drive me bonkers. I did move 2500 miles to get away from them when I was in my early 20's (I would kill to be there in the bosom of my insane family now) but I have to be grateful for those very characteristics that drive me nuts...

Had I chosen to have a litter of 8 children after already having 6 (of which at least one has a disability - autism) My family would step in and have me committed.. They would not support me, they would not allow me to feed my obsessive desire to have children by letting me live with them. Nope, they might maybe shake their heads and walk away but they would by no means show any sign of physical support until I got my head on straight!!.

Sorry to harp on this subject but now the grandma is speaking out, saying she has long worried about her daughter's obsessive need to have children.. As a parent, I have to say that child would be on her own.. do yourself chickee.. then see how many children you choose to have.. I know it seems harsh and that is not my intention but someone somewhere should have seen that there was a crazy woman out there..

I hope I am wrong and that she becomes the best of mothers, that she can show them the love and attention that they will need (hey angelina jolie seems to be able to pull it off) but I know how hard it is..

I promise this is my last blog on this subject...

Friday, January 30, 2009

What was She Thinking?

Octuplets' mother has 6 other children

I don't like to judge and it isn't really any of my business but want to explain why a woman, a single woman, would receive fertility treatment when she already has 6 children? Honestly she carried and delivered a litter. That in and of itself is stressful and trying but now she has to raise 14 children and the oldest is 7!!

As a single mother of 4 children very closely spaced.. the oldest is 20 the youngest is 14, I can ensure you it is a very difficult and exhausting job to be a parent to all four of them. To be responsible for 14? Again I have to say, WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?

And I have to wonder, how is it she was a candidate for fertility treatment at all? I know the doctors are not saying she received any and I am assuming that she did. So maybe I am jumping the gun here by asking who was the idiot who ok'd this. But, I feel it must be asked... I understand that have benefited from our fertility programs. Many parents who now hold their child who would have remained childless otherwise and yes there are many cases of multiple births... but there was no need. She obviously had children, she didn't need fertility.. Reading this I sound so judgmental and I know it is wrong. I just worry about the mindset of that young mother and her 14 children.

Good Luck

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Double Dose of Scary Politics

Two events have happened recently that strikes fear in my heart..

The first is the passing of the president's stimulus package. Oh not the package itself, or even that it passed but that it passed without a single republican vote and with 11 Democrats voting nay. This does not bode well for us.. this means that those in power will have the ability to pass willy nilly anything that they thing is appropriate. Oh and this does scare me.. no party should ever have such control of our government. They are not gods, they are not perfect (shoot in general they have proven themselves to be corrupt and self serving) so to give either party this unparalleled power is just wrong. Oh well, we are going to have to watch and see.. and wonder what comes next.. i can only hope reason occasionally steps in.

The second is the impeachment of Governor Blagojevich, I don't like him I never did. I questioned his ethics and his politics but he was voted in by the people of this state and until he is proven guilty then he should remain governor. He should not be ousted because others in his party are jockeying for power of their own.. nor to be the subject of someone elses agenda.. and this impeachment reeks of posing, self rightousness.

We need to be aware of our choices all, watch our politicians be diligent because we are on a rollercoaster ride to be sure..

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I want to go, I want to see

It seems to me as the years fly by, I want to go more places and see more things. I willingly chose a life of parenting and have enjoyed most of it. Of my own valition I moved to the midwest and have enjoyed most of my many years in Chicagoland (well I could have lived without the winters but even they had some purpose). But as my children grow I see what changes are ahead for me.

I am going to travel, I am going to do the things I didn't do. Well, I can dream I am going to do those things. When I was 18 I wanted to travel the states, work when I ran out of money and discover what was out there. Heck I wanted to do Europe too but I really wanted to do the states. I didn't, I did what I was supposed to do and it has been one of my very few true regrets. fortunately, it is one I can ammend.

I know I have 3 1/2 years before this can happen, but I am seriously considering buying a train ticket to somewhere, taking a bag, a camera and a laptop and finding America. I think it could be fun, interesting and just plain educational. I don't know if I will actually do it but doesn't the dream sound grand? I also dream of living in Barcelona (blame John Cleese and Fawlty Towers) but I have been in love with Barcelona ever since I first heart Manuel utter those now famous words... "I am Manuel from Barcelona".. ok, totally different topic.

For some reason though, lately my dreams have been growing and expanding.. Oh don't get me wrong I still enjoy parenting, hey I actually like my kids (well sometimes at least one of them all the time).

Just a little ramble and thought I would share what is bouncing around my brain...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And the Saga Continues

Today, I received a third child support payment, so in theory they are current and up to date. I also received an email in response to the one which I sent them. In short it declared all of the Federal Laws that governed the way it was run.

Federal law defines a business day as a day on which State offices are open for regular business. The Federal Reserve, who processes the electronic disbursement, is not open on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays to process the files. There are timing issues involved in electronic fund transfers/direct deposits. The settlement date is always the next business day. A fairly common misconception is that "electronic" does not necessarily mean "instantaneous" is the world of electronic funds transfers (EFT); whether the funds are going to or from a bank. A further bit of clarification: the Federal law requirement is two day compliance not 48 hours. The Federal Reserve, who processes these electronic files, is not open on Saturdays/Holidays to process files. Once the electronic disbursement file is sent to the State Disbursement Unit's bank and confirmed received, the funds are flowing through the Federal Reserve ACH electronic system and are incapable of being "held" by the SDU. The money is getting to your account as quickly as the banking system allows."

hmmm, interesting, I guess I am too stupid to allow for business days and the concept of what is and isn't considered instant deposits, of course I am a 46 year old woman who has functioned in society on her own for a lifetime. But I need an email to explain what a business day is.. what they of course failed to explain is why it is that AFTER I complained to them they suddenly found my checks.. After I pitched a major fit, the checks mysteriously appeared in my account.. hmm, one has to wonder if maybe they are skirting Federal Law.. I mean if the checks were really and truly lost in the mail, then how is it the all arrived immediately after my rant? The coincidence is astounding..

Oh, I know I will never be able to prove that I am right and God forbid they admit that they screwed up.. but we all know the truth.. oh yeah, and they still haven't responded to my offer to come work for them.. teaching them basic customer service skills.

The thing that bothers me the absolute most is, yes I received my money. Yes, I won that battle but what about those women who don't have my fortitude? My anger? My ability to fight the system? To question what is said and what is true? They are left alone without a voice. They are pushed aside, waiting for the money that is theirs by law and by right. Their voices are not heard.. WRONG!! If they so choose they may consider me their voice in the battle.. I am not going to let this go away. I am tired of wondering week after week after week if this week is going to be the one where my checks are late. I am angry that I had to fight a battle that should never have had to be fought, and I have had to fight it for 12 years.. Oh no, Illinois Child Support System, I will not go quietly into the night.. Oh no, you have created an enemy, a voice for the single mom.. and here in this forum I FINALLY have a voice.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It Takes a Politician

So tomorroe the impeachment begins.. I have to wonder though why? This may amaze and astound many but I am not a governor
Blagojevich, actually I don't like him at all. I didn't vote for him the first time and I certainly didn't vote for him a second time when I found his actions questionable and his motives dubious. BUT the majority of the people of Illinois did. That has to stand for something..

The Illinois Senate and House have decided that because of charges being leveled against the governor he should be impeached. Now doesn't that stink of guilty until proven innocent? They have allegations against him and are going to use those to get rid of him. They aren't doing it to help the citizens of Illinois, no they are doing it to save their own jobs. The Republicans get to say see we told you so and the Demcrats are running as far away from him as possible so they can say they were lily white.

The problem is, they are acting too soon. The good governor has been charged with corruption but we don't know if it is true. He has been accused of crimes but who is to say that they are valid? Oh sure we think we know but do we? Don't get me wrong I want him out, I wanted him out the minute he walked in the door. I wanted him out when he refused to live in Springfield because his elemetary school daughter didn't want her life to be disrupted (thank goodness Presiden Obama felt differently) so he commuted from Chicago to Springfield on a daily basis.. That was the first time, I have wanted him out many times since.

I just don't want him out to advance another equally corrupt politicians career, I don't want him out at the expense of the Illinois taxpayer and I don't want him out just because I don't like him. I want him out because he has been voted out or convicted...

Call me silly but it is the way I am.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's Nice to Know

Less than a week into the new regime, so much has happened and yet so much remains the same. I am not talking about the policies that still need to be addressed, I am not talking about our waffling economy, our status as a warring nation and our ludicrous health care system. Although those are things that need to be addressed.

No what I am speaking of is the mindset of our elected officials... Lets see, I mentioned above that our economy is waffling, or health care needed overhauling, and wars that need to be addressed.. and what do our amazing wondrous astounding elected officials propose as a bill? Whether or not the BCS should have a playoff for national champion in football.How incredibly insane is that? House Vote

Don't get me wrong I am actually a proponent of the BCS having a playoff series.. I firmly believe USC would have been in that game. BUT for the House to take it upon themselves to bring it to a vote is ridiculous. For a myriad of reasons:

1. They have many more important and essential issues to address. This is just a waste of our valuable time. Of course the representatives from Texas and Utah obviously come from states with no economy, health care or terror issues.. global warming has been solved and all of their constituents are gainfully employed.

2. Of course the fact that these people are so upset about something that they agreed to is also a factor. The rules as they are currently stated say this is how it will be done, they played and benefited by those rules now they must accept that they weren't the best but such is life.

3. Yes President Obama did mention in an interview that he thought there should be a playoff in place but note.. he isn't making that one of his priorities right now... maybe instead of useless posturing they should follow his example.

In the end my opinion doesn't matter and we all know in Texas football is god.. but still I would appreciate them not wasting the time of my elected officials on something that they have nothing to do with.. Of course I am sure they will feel justified in their actions.. so go ahead vote yourself another cost of living raise... I am sure it will be spent wisely on something important.. and be grateful that I am not saying what I feel they would consider important.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Amazingly Enough

So I write a nasty blog and then I write to Child Support sending them the link, with the threat that if I don't get my money my next step is going to be to contact my local officials and the press.

You will be amazed and astounded.... the money mysteriously arrived at the CS center on Friday. Yes that is correct 2 checks arrived on just that day. It must have just arrived because we all know that they process the checks the minute
they receive them. It couldn't have anything to do with my blog, phone calls and letters.. No coincidentally they received them on Friday.

Of course, I haven't heard anything about the job yet. I think they should really consider taking me up on my offer because this year I am their worst nightmare. Yep, that is correct every check that is late is going to be the lucky recipient of a blog. Making sure that the entire world knows how very inept they are.

Now, the good news is they received the checks, the bad news is they received them on Friday so even with direct deposit I won't see the money until Monday. Oh well at least I will be able to pay my storage and won't loose my things... For that I had until next Friday. And that was only because the manager of the storage facility works with me for that I am eternally grateful.

One has to feel sorry for the Child Support System, they ticked me off... gave me a purpose... now they are going to have to be accountable for their actions...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Child Support and the Government

You have to love the government and it's ability to grab on to money and not let go..

Upon my separation from my husband I was granted child support that was supposed to go through the public aid system. This program was developed to protect women from dead beat dads.. Yeah, right. In the beginning my checks were often late, at least 3 times in the first year they were 8 weeks late. My anger at this culminated in me writing a scathing letter to just about every politician I knew from the president on down. Contacting my local state representative personally and calling the governors office. My desire to escape this program worked they let me out (I know they just didn't want to listen to me anymore but I was free).

For 10 glorious months I received my checks from a county seat, they came on time every week of course that was not to remain the case. In steps the federal government who declared every state had to have one central location to send their checks.. of course the transition was rough and the checks were late and hey who cares if I lost my home over it? Of course the county clerk lost his job but I bet he got to keep living in his house. And yes, I once again contacted every resource I could and this time I had made the paper.

That was 10 years ago, up until now things have been better. Oh an occasional check would come late but in generall I would receive my checks within a day or so of when they were expected. But they have gotten complacent! Over the past year they have been late well over 20 times and behind as much as a week if not 2 12 times.. even now they are behind 2plus weeks.

When I call, I am told that they have not received the check for one of the following reasons.

A. the company has not yet sent it (the company which has sent their checks on the same day for over 12 years and has the paperwork to prove it)

B. The post office lost it.. what an interesting theory. The PO does not loose quite as many items as one would believe and seriously the same check week after week after week? Of course they really shouldn't use this argument on a child of the postal system. I understand how it works. When you mail a letter it goes to your local Post Office, if it is leaving that town it is sent to a distribution center THAT SAME DAY and forwarded on from there. For example if one worked in Bloomingdale IL and mailed a letter it would go to the Bloomingdale PO then get sent to the Carol Stream PO which is it's distribution center. From there it will be processed to go on. Now if one was sending a letter to say oh the Child Support system of Illinois you would be sending it to a PO box AT THE CAROL STREAM PO. so it would leave your office, go to the Bloomingdale Office and then to the Carol Stream one where it would be placed in the correct PO Box (the very same day) and not leave that Post Office in anyone's hands but the person from Child Support designated to pick it up (which would happen the very DAY AFTER it was mailed)... the odds of it getting lost are very very slim.

Now when speaking to the Customer Service people (and I use that term with a bit of contempt as more than a few of said employees are rude, arrogant and insufferable - not all quite a few) they will tell you that the checks are processed the minute they arrive. Hello? that is physically impossible, it would imply that for every check there is one single person waiting there to process it... yeah right!! Since that is obviously not the case each check is not processed as soon as it comes in, rather as soon as possible. Allowing for lazy, inept employees to enter it in. I am sure an occasional honest mistake is also made. Often these times come around the holidays or days when the PO is not delivering (where the argument lost in the mail or delayed by the mail still would not work do to the proximity of the Post Offices I am discussing).

Now, I always know when they are seriously behind in the checks because I call and am kept on hold, listening to their ghastly hold music. When I comment on this I am told that the two locations are not together and thus their delays have nothing to do with what is happening with the checks. Again, hello?? they are getting more than the usual amount of calls because more than the usual amount of checks are late.. Do the math..

Of course, what do I know? years as a senior Customer Service Rep would surely not give me a clue as to how to speak with a customer making sure they at least feel like something is being done for them. And of course the time, I spent in Order Entry would never allow me basic knowledge of how an item is processed and handled.

I am serious these people need me to come work for them, give them a clue as to how to get it right.. because they just keep screwing up over and over again.. Child Support Give me a call, I know you have my name, number, address, SS#, docket #, name of my children, my ex, my dog's name, my sister's husband's cousin's fishes name.. etc. What you haven't yet learned is not to keep my money.. I am getting seriously irked.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Thing About Life

The thing about life is that no matter how horrible it gets as long as you keep on living it gets better... or at least changes and allows you a new set of challenges.

Oh good lord doesnt that just sound like a load of crap? but it is true, as long as you choose to keep going one step at a time, one day at a time eventually things happen. Is my life any better today than yesterday well no... the lovely state of Illinois Child Support System is still behind on my Child Support. I am still wondering about food, shelter and storage but...

A good night's sleep a talk with a friend and life just looks better. It comes down to I believe.. interesting isn't it?

On a different note, today I wrote to the president. Something I have done once a month since I turned 18.. I figure it is the best way for him to know what is going on in the everyday lives of his constituents.. I suggest you do the same.. invite him into your life, share your day with him, also your senators, congressmen and local reps.. my reason being, if you are part of their daily lives maybe just maybe they will remember that they are there to serve you (me, us) and actually try to do their jobs.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

When Did I Get So Angry

When I was a child, teenager even young adult I was known for my amazing ability to smile. To see the bright side and to believe that good will prevail. Maybe I was naive but when did I get so angry?

It seems nowadays I am constantly just angry, I resent so much. I am frustrated and annoyed, irked and peeved. It just seems like I lost my ability to smile for real. Oh, I can still smile when called upon but the smile of true joy has been lost.

I am angry at life in general, I don't believe I have lived a life of such disastrous choices that I belong where I am. I have not indulged, I don't drink smoke or do drugs. For the majority of my adult life I have worked (shoot for the majority of my life I have worked). I don't expect perfection but an occasional day of peace would be nice.

I am angry at the Child Support System here in Illinois that thinks it is ok to delay my checks on a regular basis and then blame it on the post office. I am angry that I don't know if I will have a roof over my head or food on the table from day to day. I am angry that I can't afford to pay storage and may loose a lifetime of stuff. I am angry that I have been so damned alone for so long and everyone just thinks oh she is such a flake...

I am angry at being judged and found lacking, mentally spit upon by those who claim to love me. I am angry that I am deemed weak when the amount of internal strength it takes to just wake up and smile is astounding. I am angry that my children instead of stepping up and helping out point fingers and expect more from me.

I am angry that I have no one to share this with, that those I do share with think it means I want them to tell me that I am a failure and deserve what I get.. and most of all I am angry because I am always angry. By nature I am a positive person so the anger seeps into my soul and makes me cringe at the bitterness that comes from me.

sorry all, today I just needed to rant, tomorrow I will be better

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Inauguration is Upon Us

The inauguration is upon us and already change looms over us, the bill for this shindig is supposed to be over twice as large as any in the past.. hmmm wonder who is going to pay for that?

Faith based programs are not being funded, hmmm wonder how that happened?

One has to wonder what comes next? I have serious issues when they start messing with faith based organizations. I have a couple of reasons for this allow me to expound.

In 1999, due to the Federal government getting involved in the Child Support system and me living on less than a shoestring, I was evicted. Lost my apartment in 3 weeks. I won't go into the despair and fear I felt having 4 kids the oldest being 11 and absolutely no place to go. I went to government agencies, they wouldn't help. Said I made enough money and didn't qualify, I was making less than $10.00 an hour and my child support checks were often late sometimes as much as 8 weeks behind. I was told by a gov't worker that they couldnt help me because if I lived in the Appalachians I would be rich.. Hello?? I lived in the suburbs of Chicago, and if I lived in the Appalachains I would not have a job at all but I digress. So here I was homeless, l4 kids... and no help. Where did I turn? To the local P.A.D.S. program. A faith based organization that provided shelter for the night, dinner, breakfast and a sack lunch. I did this for 89 days and will forever thank God for that blessing. We were not suffering from a poor economy St. Bill was president and alledgedly we as a country were thriving and yet no help for someone who was down on her luck....

Another reason I get a little peeved about the entire lack of respect for faith based ministries is the entire seperation of church and state concept... OK, all I will say this once (will probably say it many times but, I wish I could say it only once). The phrase seperation of church and state is not in the constitution, it states that we will not have a centralized church, ie the church of England. Our country was built on the right to worship God... and yet we allow a few to hurl rocks at that foundation and whine and moan and demand that we NOT worship God.. citing the constitution!!

Don't get me wrong I respect that individuals have the right to not worship God but they aren't the majority and shouldn't be treated as such. Personally, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. I do however respect that others disagree with me and have a faith of their own which is why I am thrilled that our constitution denied us the right to name one single church as head of our country...

What does this have to do with Obama? well nothing really, except for the fact that the change has begun..

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Yes it is True, I am Crazy

Life is full of hazardous pit falls, the kids are always in need spending what little money I have, bills to be paid. There is rent and food and clothing aside from all of the other expenditures..

I was all excited when I was using adsense, I was rocking along had made 130.00 then was declared a threat to their advertisers, seriously I am a threat. Anyway I got really depressed and decided that I was not going to even attempt to get the money aspect going. Oh I kept up whatever I had but that was it.

Then today I noticed... wow someone is advertising on my blog. In the post your link here spot.. so I was stoked. Now here comes the crazy part, it is for a dollar. That is right I earned a dollar!! One single dollar, won't even buy me a soda in most places. But WHO CARES.. whoo hooo I earned a dollar!!!

Now maybe it is ego or maybe it is just the fantasy of making money but either way I am doing the happy dance. Anyone else who feels like spending a dollar to make me do the dance feel free...

Have a GREAT day

Friday, January 16, 2009

Just Made Me Giggle

So my daughter was watching a rerun of 2 1/2 Men it was an episode we have seen a few times but always makes me laugh. Still chuckling as a matter of fact. It was the episode where the ex went to Hawaii on vacation and Jake had to stay with the men. They were required to do all of the things a parent usually does, well ok a mom. Of course hilarity ensued, and poor Jake got forgotten several times. As a single mother this episode just cracks me up, for all sorts of reasons.

First off I would dearly loved to have been able to leave my children with their father for a week having him do all the things I did. So, they would have just missed everything for that week... but I would have so loved it had he even tried.

Then of course the fact that they failed miserably, the poor child was left out in the rain twice, late for school and basically lunchless... All of the things that a parent has nightmares about.. so of course it was funny..

The more I think about it the funnier and sadder it becomes. Mostly because as parents we work so hard to give our children as perfect of a life as possible that often we drag ourselves down. Yet on the other hand I can not imagine doing it any other way. As difficult as their lives have been all four of my kids are well respected and respectful individuals. and if they make it through this latest train wreck without one of us killing each other I will be lucky indeed.

As usual, I started out one way and went another.. oh well hope you enjoyed

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Accountability is a rather irksome thing, as a matter of fact most people are more than ready to make sure others are accountable for their actions but refuse to accept any for their own.

Life is about choices the ones we make and the ones we don't make. As we go through life we make decisions and most of what happens to us is based on those decisions. Oh, you say what if you are hit by a truck while sitting at a bus stop. No it is not your fault but you did decide to go to the bus stop. I know that is silly to think someone is responsible for their own accident and of course they aren't but that was my point on decisions.

But accountability is an entirely different thing, when you make a choice and set the wheels in motion you are accountable for your actions. If only to yourself, you have to decide if it was worth it, if your actions were worth the consequences. Oh there is often the vindication of the self righteous but so often they are just as guilty as the guilty...

In the end you are accountable to your God, your society, your community, to yourself but the only person you are only accountable FOR is yourself. So if you decide to tilt at windmills then are mocked, if you can accept the consequences of your actions go ahead.. tilt away. If you need to take a stand you must understand that you could loose much more than you gain and you have to decide if those consequences are worth it. The one thing you should never do is blame others for the consequences of your actions.

How does that work? Goodness only knows and yes there are those who will take advantage of your willingness to take responsibility they will use it as a means of saying that they were right and you have to accept that too.. People are just that people, they make mistakes and sometimes when they make a choice that others feel is a mistake in the end it is the right choice.

In the end you have to be able to live with yourself. Often we are so indoctrinated into making others like us we forget that simple fact. We have to be able to look ourselves in the mirror day after day after day. Yes it is ever so much easier to point out the flaws of others to mock the choices others make. To point our fingers in sweeping condemnation of those around us than to say hey, maybe I have to look at my choices..

Just a thought

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mama Mia what a movie

So I finally got to see Mama Mia, I have been wanting to see it since I first saw the previews. Of course who ever thought the sounds of abba would have evolved into this... as a teen in the late 70's I could almost have guaranteed two things for sure.

1. the song YMCA would have been forgotten within a year
2. Abba was just another band of the 70's to be lost amidst all the really great music.

Good thing I didn't put any money on it...

Anyway back to the movie, yet another lesson in it is never too late. I was very happily surprised at how just plain good this was. Of course I adore both Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth so how could it fail? It was good to know, that neither good sing.. and that with the exception of Christine Baranski, they were all decidedly middle aged. Nice to see that even hunks get the middle age spread.

If you haven't seen it, rent it. It is funny, poignant and just plain sweet. It starts out with one girl wanting to find out who she is and then ends with her mother accepting who she is... Interesting concept isn't it? The idea that life just constantly keeps going.

It made me smile... It made me remember and it made me dream what more could a middle aged single mom ask for?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Music in the Schools

Life is getting hard, schools are buckling down they are pushing for more advanced learning and no child left behind...

But what gets lost in the process, always music and art. Now some consider this frivolous spending, they feel the money should be used elsewhere but somewhere along the line we seem to have forgotten a few things.

First off quality of life, education is important we need to be able process all of the information that comes with the lives we are living. BUT music plays such an integral part of our lives... it portrays the fabric of our lives creates a background of who and what we are... how many of us remember a certain song fondly, thinking of what we were doing when we first heard it? or we use music to explain an emotion or thought.

Secondly, children who learn music learn other things better. I have a son who refused to believe he could master fractions.. when one day I looked at Him and said, hon you read music what exactly do you think that is? From that day on he believed in himself... of course it is proven that it helps children to focus, they are more disciplined and in general just do better in school. So with that thought why don't we teach more music instead of less.

Thirdly, while we don't admit it we value our musicians we respect them, where do you think many of them learned their first instrument?

I have four fabulous children all of whom play at least one instrument 3 of them multiple ones. My oldest plays, alto sax, bari sax, tuba, trombone, bass trombone, electric guitar, acoustical guitar, bass guitar and several other instruments at random.. but the ones listed are the ones he has if not mastered, excelled at. My second son plays the trombone and has a fabulous tenor voice, my oldest daughter plays the alto sax, bari sax and is begging to play percussion. and the youngest.. well she plays, trumpet, tuba, trombone and has a fabulous contralto voice... I know without a fabulous music program in the schools my children would have been missing an important part of their lives... I do not have the talent to teach them something like this.

I just feel we need to rally around our music programs, take pride in them, during the school year check it out, see when the local high school is having a concert, go see them. If you have small children, take them.. let them see what they can do. What is out there for them, there is more to life than sports...

Oh for the record my children are all also competitive swimmers.. so they did not lack in athletics.. and all have the brains to excel in school...whether or not they choose to is another matter.

my point... support your local school band..

The Only Way

I have had an epiphany!! Ok, so it is not so much an epiphany as a thought but there it is.

Recently I have been involved in a group, it has been a lot of fun. Over the past year it has helped me grow and find myself. Initially I was timid and reserved, then friendly and helpful. Finally, just me.

I write a blog for this group, it was my first attempt at blogs. It was well received and a lot of fun. It was more of a log of my journey than anything else. Occasionally I had been mocked for being over sensitive (something I have spent my entire life dealing with) but that was ok, I did use that blog as a means of expressing myself. One of the things I avoided was voicing my opinion about the actions of others. For a myriad of reasons.

First off, I don't enjoy hurting others, oh I can do it. I can be quite pithy when the desire strikes. I just regret it afterwords.
Second off, it felt too much like making judgments and who am I to judge others?
Thirdly, that blog is about my feelings and journey not those of anyone else.

That being said, I responded to an attack made against me. I voiced my opinions and it was freeing. I realized I so wanted to be liked that I was always going with the flow. Letting me be defined by those around me. and therein lies the epiphany....

I am me, in any rendition. I can use a screen name or my own. I can write about in here or elsewhere. I can never write about it at all, that doesn't make me any less of myself. I can't change myself and I have to stop trying to fit into a mold created by others. Not my family, not my friends, not my children, no one... none of their molds are about me. They love me or not, it can not change who I am or where I am headed.

Sorry about the total lack of organized thought and questionable lack of clarity...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stuck in the Middle

Well it has begun, the breakup I spoke of earlier has begun to turn nasty. Who to choose, who to believe and why do I have to?

I believe strongly that the one who demands you choose sides looses the right to be my friend. All of my friends know this and yet it seems that I am dragged ever deeper into a pit of he said, she said and downright lies. There is no middle ground and I have to wonder if the best way to deal with it all is to just walk away.

It sure would make my life easier, except they have both stood by me when I needed a friend. They both in their separate ways held my hands while I cried and struggled. They both offered me their unconditional support. and now.. they both want mine.

I don't know maybe walking away would be easier, but it is more honest?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Do You Ever

do you ever wake up and wonder
what will happen next
what is my purpose
my place

do you ever stop and think
what comes next
do I have a plan
do I have a goal

do you ever want something so badly
that you slip
you reach for the what if
and forget the what is

do you ever wake up crying
for something you never had
for a moment in a dream
for a promise of what could be

do you ever wonder
what if
why me
what next

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Life just goes on

This morning a dear friend, one whom I hold very close to my heart was rushed to the hospital with a series of heart attacks. While in transit, he had to be kept alive and have his heart re started at the hospital.

This man is one of those larger than life individuals, he cares so passionately, he is always such a strong force that this just scares me. I am afraid to sleep and hear the worst and yet I know I must.

I worry for His girl, so much is going to be put on her plate, so many burdens so many challenges. She will be fine but she will need positive input in her life. I ask that prayers be sent.. positive energy flow.. whatever means you have.

I thank you all for whatever support you may have to give.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Birth, A Death and A Breakup

Life changes, there are no guarantees.. This week I have watched the lives of a few of my friends and seen how they are changing.

The first, told me he was going to be a father for the second time. He is beaming, walking on air. So very proud and excited.

The second, lost her mother. It was a complicated relationship, not unlike many mother daughter relationships, but they loved each other and the grief of her loss is weighing on my friend. She will recover, she will be happy again but she will never have her mother. Shudder the thought. I know it happens but I hope not for a long long time.

And finally two friends whom I love dearly ended their relationship both are grieving both want to lash out and both are dear enough to let me love them both.

Life changes my friends, enjoy what you have treasure it, you don't know how long you will have it..

Monday, January 5, 2009

Arrogance is an Amazing Thing

Years ago I remember telling my mother that I hated going into rooms because I was sure everyone was talking about me. Her response was what makes you think that you are that important?

Now that was a harsh response in some ways but it is true, what makes anyone think it is all about them? What makes an individual feel that it is about them? Life is so full of such crazy and interesting things that we have no control over how could we ever assume that it is about us. We are just a part of it all.

Some things we have control over, our thoughts, our words, our actions, our dreams and our hopes but so many things we don't and we never will. Just live your life and enjoy. Find what brings you happiness and go for it..

Surviving the Day

I had a really good day today. It was just a simple sunday that was spent with my girls and family friends. The girls bickered and battled and then would laugh and gang up on me. Just as it should be...

I came home to find that the lives of my friends had been altered. One was under threat by an internet pest and one was having to deal with life changes that were hurting her. Each is coping as best they can but I know they struggle and I can not help them at all, either of them.

One thing I did learn though, beware.. beware of who you trust and beware of not trusting.. guard your heart and yet don't be afraid to let it fly free... plan for your life then be ready to change those plans, often. and most of all don't ever be afraid to start over. As long as there is life, there is change.

Yes this blog is rambling but I am unsettled and these things are just popping to the top. so thank you all for listening.. have a good day, week, year life.. remember as long as you open your eyes in the morning you are winning

Saturday, January 3, 2009

In Oprah's Defense

I am not what one would call a huge Oprah fan, in all honesty because of some things that happened early in my marriage I made a point of not watching Oprah. Now that is not to say she doesn't have a great show and do an awful lot of good things.

In all honesty because I am not a fan, I think this means a bit more. I guess another author she has chosen for her book club has been discovered as a fraud. Somehow or another she is getting a lot of flack for having the wool pulled over her eyes. I am a bit confused, did she discover this author? take him to an agent or publisher and DEMAND that they print his book? NO!! she went to a book store (ok, probably someone sent her the book but whatever) and going upon the suggestions of a bookseller, publisher, or whatever read it. To me, if a book is published and declared based on fact, then it is the publishers job to ensure that this is so. Not the reading public and in this case that is what Oprah is.

She has done an awful lot to promote reading and so what if some of the books were well frauds.. (frauds I can deal with plagiarism, while still not Oprah's fault is a different story). So blaming her for the actions of others is just ignorant. Well blaming anyone for the actions of others is just plain ignorant and honestly is the story compelling? Does it catch your attention? Then who cares if it is based on real life or fiction? The story is still darned good.

Oh well, just a thought.. keep reading all it is a wondrous way to spend some free time.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Tournament of Roses Parade

Today is New Year's, in my house it always begins with the viewing of the Rose Parade. As child we would watch it all day long, my father had a fascination of it, as a teenager I was fortunate enough to work on a few floats, what fabulous experience.

When I left California and moved to Chicago I brought this tradition with me, of course having grown up with this parade, I do tend to be a parade snob.. I mean this is an awesome parade, the most amazing floats and the best of the best in marching bands.

My children have always enjoyed watching with me and two of my children have continued the family tradition and worked on a float. Cori once and Frankie twice and Remi hopes to venture West next year to participate. So as you can see we take this parade very seriously.....

What drives me nuts, is those that call it the Rose Bowl Parade.. it is not the Rose Bowl parade.. it came first and the folks at the parade were gracious enough to allow the bowl game to be named after the parade and then to allow them to participate... so if one were to be named after the other it should be the Rose Parade Bowl. Do not ask me why this annoys me but it does. I have been known to yell at newscasters, refuse to watch that broadcast ever again.. write letters to Jay Leno.. no one gets away with this mistake.

I know it is nuts, I mean I have a life, with much more important things to worry about but come every year this is what I watch for.. to see who knows the correct name of the parade. Sometimes even I think I may need help...

Sorry, had to get it out