Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Ignorance: Not An Acceptable Excuse

I was and probably still am an ignorant racist.  I was born into it simply because I am white and was raised in a small, rural, predominantly white town.  Race was not discussed at home or in school.  I truly thought racism (and sexism, for that matter) was over.  We had come out on the other side and everyone was happy.  My fights were for the environment and religious freedom…the freedom to not be a Christian.  That was (and still is) intolerable in my hometown. 

There is no excuse for ignorant racism. Especially in 2017. You know, you just don't know how.

Many of the white people I know are not racists, overtly, and they may even think they are open minded and love everyone.  Well, it's easy to say that, it's hard to act on it, and if you've never been tested, how do you know what you are really made of? How do you know your true inner workings?  How do you know where your weaknesses and strengths are?  God says faith is stronger and more real after it's been through the forge (or something, I'm not up on my Bible), but basically, to have faith in God that is strong and worked through and hammered out and understood completely by you, your faith must be tested.  So, if you grow up white, and live white, how do you know what racism is if you've never seen it?  How do you know you are not racist if you've never been called out on it?

My entire time working at a American Indian non-profit was a test of my ignorant, ingrained racism and classism and sexisms.  Now, I worked for the Indians, but I worked in the office with white people and one amazing Puerto Rican woman, who had the patience of a saint to walk me through my journey.  Without her, I'd be a bigger idiot than I am now with tightly shut eyes.

One of my first months there, we had a staff meeting and it was brought up that a certain topic/phrase (I honestly can't remember) shouldn't be said or discussed.  I asked why, and my director and indirect director* both looked uncomfortable.  They said because it's wrong.  And I kept asking why because I need to understand something in order to change, and I need to understand something in order to not make that mistake or one like it.  The more I asked why, the more irritated and mad they got and the more they refused to answer me.  Finally, I had to say that I agreed with them, but I didn't understand!  Why should I do as they say, if they don’t' even know why?  Finally, the only non-white person in the room, my Puerto Rican friend (but not yet, I was still too new) said "Because it's insensitive." 

Insensitive.  I had never heard that before in my white life.  I didn't immediately understand, but I thought about it for years and I still think about it.  I ask, "How are my actions insensitive to the struggles of others?"  How are my words insensitive to the lives and experiences of those different than me?

I want to treat people like how I want to be treated.  I do not think we discuss this enough in school, in Bible studies, in homes.  It does not mean "be nice!", it means treat people with respect and be empathetic to their needs, desires, hurts, pains.  Wouldn't you love it if everyone you met treated you with respect and empathy?  That's what God means when xi made that the most important commandment.  Respect yourself and respect others.

God it took me 32 yrs to figure that one out.

*Do you know why I had an indirect director? Because my director was a woman, so the man had to indirectly do her job for her.  Not even exaggerating here.  She let him because it's easier sometimes to be supported by a man, even if it's wrong and unhealthy.  But this is for another day.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Goal check in

Goal Check in:

1.  Brushing and flossing are going well.  Lilly went to the dentists for the first time, so now I've got her in that 6 month cycle.
2.  I have tried but still need to work on my exersice and getting into the tamarac.  It's frustrating b/c the times that are best to go are the weekends and they have funny childcare hours then that do not work for us.  I suppose I have to change to get to the tamarac.
3.  Eating vegetables is happening.  I am having spinach at lunch and so is josh.  I'm workign to get him a veggie in his lunch too as a snack.  THis week has been hard, I was really tired, so not much is getting done that is helpful.
4.  Taxes are done but need to be mailed out.
5.  I'm still working on my planner, but it's slow going.  I just got my daily pages to print out correctly.  about 100 sheets later.  I love my printer.  It makes me get more exersize too b/c I have to go downstairs to get what I printed out.
6.  Knitting is slow going, but I can't wait to start my next project.  I want to do something big.  But I think I will do some socks for Val first.  THat's really important to me.  Socks don't take a long time if they are simple.

I have been doing my taxes 10 min a day until they are done.  It's frustrating b/c I just want to keep going, but I can't. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Best Bits


Two or three days ago, Lilly found a candy cane she had left in the bathroom two or three days before that.  She opened it by breaking it #not my child, and yesterday I found the broken off piece in Damian's daytime rocker bed.

Today, they both woke up at 6:30.  It's like they are telepathic and plan it.  I'm not going to complain though, Damian truly slept through the night.

Last night was my favorite Superbowl party ever of all time.  We ate leftovers in front of the tv for dinner, then we all cuddled on the couch until the kids fell asleep.  My team lost, but that's okay.  It wasn't my team until yesterday when I was forced to choose one and I can't choose the Patriots.  Obviously.  Tom Brady and Mathew Stafford look the same when their helmets are on.  I think my favorite part was when two guys got their  helmets stuck together like teenagers with braces.

I was able to tell Josh about my favorite play (football play) and wish the Falcons would do it.  He didn't know what I was talking about, so I showed him this video:

For the first time ever, I knew more about football than Josh.  I can't remember how I know about this though.

My coffee is so warm and delicious this morning.

Today I want to work more on my planner pages, I want to help Lilly reorganize her room, I want to do her laundry, and I want to play with her.  I don't know what yet.  A game, art, or craft activity.

Mandy and Nick visited.  They were anxious/nervous about how Lilly plays with Damian, because she is so big and he is so little.  I used to be, but he finally grew up and got tougher than a newborn.  They don't know babies so well.  The next day Lilly played with her playdo and mixed ALL THE COLORS #notmychild.  Let me tell you, that is the most anxiety raising thing she can do.  Sometimes I have to leave the room and breath a little.

It's Monday.

Sometimes I wish Lilly was cuddly, but I think I'm glad she's not so much.  I only want to cuddle when I want to, and I don't know how I would do with a child that wants to cuddle all the time.  Right now, I bribe her with my phone.  If she sits next to me and cuddles me, then she can play my phone. I sleep the best sleeps of my life when that happens.

Damian and Lilly are the most beautiful babies I've ever seen.  I see other babies and they just don't compare at all.  I just don't know the truth though.  Are my babies that beautiful in real life, or am I biologically engineered to see my babies as that beautiful so that I love them and not reject them?  And I'm not asking for compliments on their looks bc people tell my constantly, like at least everyone I see at Bill's, every time I go, how beautiful they are, and I still don't know.  Maybe we are all engineered to think babies are beautiful, to keep the progeny safe.  Also, sometimes I wish I could go grocery shopping without all the interruptions from strangers talking about my kids looks.  If they must, say they are just so clever and smart and driven and tenacious and so on.

We were at a friend's house yesterday and they had a giant fat plastic Iron Man toy that the helmet flipped and there was space to hold a different doll, clearly, Tony Stark.  But upon discussion, I found out that it holds not a Tony Stark doll, but another smaller Iron Man doll.  I went with Iron-ception.  We told Josh and Josh went with the Turducken of Super Hero's. I was so proud that he immediately saw the humor in the toy and made an appropriate joke, just like I did.  I also tried my hardest to put Captain Barnacles in the large Iron Man, but he wouldn't fit.

That's Captain Barnacles.

I was watching a video of all his best bits and a creepy spider dropped down from the ceiling less than 5 feet away from me.  It had long spindly legs and it was letting them fly!  I stood up and couldn't find anything practical to destroy it with.  Then it crawled back up to the popcorn ceiling.  It was between me and the vacuum cleaner closet, but I braved and made it.  But then once the vacuum was plugged in and ready to go, I couldn't find the spider.  And I had been watching it the whole time!  It was the stupid popcorn ceiling, it's great at disguising spiders.  I finally found it and vacuumed it.  It was an overall terrifying experience.  Lilly was busy saying "Mom, I need someone to hold me" and I was all, "NO I need someone to hold ME!", and she didn't even know about the spider at that point.  I try hard not to show fear of spiders in front of her.  I don't want her to feel how I do about them.  I think she could feel my fear though.  Also, to my disappointment, she said she does not want the job of spider vacuumer someday.  She did give me good hugs and we held each other.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Goals Recap: Where Am I Now?

The point of writing goals, I'm thinking, is so that you can go back to them and remember them and in check in on them, and see where you are in the process of reaching them.  I have been depressed lately and adding to it is the fact that I feel that nothing is getting done in my life/house.  My goals are not even being met.  I tried to write new ones and it was a failure.  But then I was thinking, I already had a list! How am I doing on those. 

But they are written in days past on a blog.  Not the best place to put them. Heh.  I need a place in my journal/planner to write them down in.  Which, by the way, was a goal.  I'm still working on it too.  I have pages with important numbers on them printed and cut.  I have pages with some of my passwords typed up too, printed and cut.  My hole punch was not in my desk.  It's in a tub in lilly's room full of crafting stuff. I think.  So that was a barrier.

When I was in school and learning about goals for the first time, someone used the term road block.  Starting then and continuing until now, I always picture road blocks as actual blocks in the road that I must climb over when I am walking towards my goal. I think they forgot to include the comfy beds that entice you to lay down and sleep on next to the goal road.  Some are crappy cots, but some are some sweet ass glamping beds!

I made a spider idea chart for my planner.  It was the first time one of these charts worked perfectly as it should.  It helped me organize my thoughts and it was not confusing and did not leave me feeling like I did part of it wrong...or like i was using the wrong tool.  Lilly saw it and it blew her mind.  She then made me help her make one herself.  It's about making cards.

Other goals, like brushing teeth twice a day for me and my family, got trapped in an ugly cot on the side of the road.  Luckly, it wasn't too comfy, and i'm getting back up to continue the walk forward.  Things that trip this up:  Having to go somewhere in the morning by a certain time, not choosing the toothbrushing fight, forgetting, Josh being home and me not being as vigilant and assuming he'll remember.  But, on the flip side, Josh had a dentist appointment and the hygienist noticed that he has been flossing more!  So we have all been flossing more.  That is a lifetime goal finally coming to fruition. Lilly even likes flossing.

Other goals:  Veggies at every meal.  I bought lettuce and cleaned it, but I have not had a salad yet with it.  And it's been a few days. That's no good.  I did add carrots to the tortilla-less tortilla soup I made, so lilly got some carrots and broth.  Josh and I got a far greater variety of veggies.  We got celery, onions, pablanos, tomatoes, corn and no carrots.  Gotta save those for Lilly Bean.  I did buy a thing of baby spinach and have been putting that on our sandwiches and in our foods.  I don't know if we are getting a full serving each time, but some has got to be better than none.

You know what?  We hit road blocks in the veggie road because we've been out and about a bit more this week.  Well, first it was Josh's weekend to work three days in a row.  That was really really hard.  We had pizza on sunday night and i should have made broccoli to go with it, but I didn't.  Maybe if I cut up the broccoli when I got home, like I do the lettuce, we would eat it more.  Prep ahead of time.  Then after the weekend, we went to muskegon to visit family.  So that was a meal not at home.  The veggie was a big salad, but Lilly did not eat that.  I sure did and it was delicious!  The next day was a veggie and bean dinner that Lilly did not like.  Yes, I think prepping the broccoli in advance and the carrots will help with Lilly's veggie intake. 

Oh, screen time was another goal.  That is just okay.  That is a slow change, but one none the less.  It really is as easy and as hard as turning the tv off and keeping it off.  And hiding my phone.  It's just, the only time I can sit down and be alone is whne the tv or phone is on.  The only solution is to increase my work time and decrease my own screen time.  A rule I've been sticking too to decrease screen time is no tv after nap time until after Dah gets home.  Though sometimes it goes on at 6:00 because I just can't function any more at that point.  Having hte new media center to play music really really helps though.  I do like having the sound around.

My knitting is going slowly, but I want to knit knit knit knit knit knit!  I want to knit ALL THE THINGS!  So I am working at night, about an hour, while we watch LONGMIRE.  Say that in the deepest more drama filled voice you can. LONGMIIIIIIRE!  Its a show about a sherriff in a small town in nowhere Whyoming near Montana.  Next to an Indian Reservation.  The sheriff solves murder mysteries.  I think the first season was more dark and drama-y than the next seasons.  There are 5 seasons.  It's very good.  Longmire, the sheriff, is like a cool cowboy version of H from CSI:Miami.  Oh, I am knitting a lapblanket.  It is only ten stitches and I attach it to the edge of the previous stitches and knit around and around in a spiral to make it bigger.

I should do the dishes now.  A friend is visiting today to help me clean the basement!  I need to find out her foot size.  I want to knit her socks for her help.  This is the third time she has done this.  Handknit socks, I've decided are the gift to give people who have everything, or do not want anything.  Everyone wears socks and handknit socks are even better than the $20 smartwool ones.  I base the opinion off of my only pair of handknit socks I own vs my collection of $20 socks.  They aren't even professional quality or that amazing, as they were my first.  But they are warm and comfy in a way no other socks can be. 

Monday, January 30, 2017


Dah is here! 

After three long days, Josh finally has a day off.  He works 12 hr shifts, so they are looooong.  I don't know how single parents do it.  After a while, you just can't change another diaper or care to take pee pants off a toddler.  I suppose if there is no one else, you find the strength and you become stronger than I.  Also, they probably have to work, so a caretaker watches them for the 12 hr shift instead.  I bet that makes the job harder, in ways I don't know.

-I stopped writing.  I brought Lilly downstairs to visit Dah.  I gave her 3 pieces of candy and explained that she can NOT have a candy cane before breakfast.  I put a load of laundry in the washer but did not turn it on, we won't be home to move it to the dryer.  I took a load out of the dryer and brought it upstairs.-

Now I can't write.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Today is a little lacking.

My son is being entertained by a stuffed Totoro.  I'm so happy.

I have a third baby for the next three weeks.  He's larger than Damian and smaller than Lilly, has the personality of a grumpy old man and is covered in a ridiculous amount of orange and white fur.  It's ACKBAR! I know he prefers the woods and the outdoors, but he misses us and he enjoys his yearly winter visit to the city.

My mom sent me a disturbing text this morning.  She explained to Lilly that she can't let cats outside b/c cats can get hit by cars.  She asked Lilly what happens when a cat gets hit and Lilly goes "Squish".  My mom didn't explain what squish means, but texted me to let me know I should probably do it.  Thanks, mom.

I want to write about my visit from my sister in law or I want to write about resistance and nonviolence.  Science.  How Trump makes me feel sick in the heart.  How he is "wrong" like how the Uncanny Valley is 'Wrong" or clowns are "wrong". But I'm too tired for that. I'll just set out my goals:

1.  Make more phone calls to my representative
2.  Find out where Huisinga (my rep) eats lunch and when so the public can come talk to him, and then go talk to him.
3.  Continue on my planner/printables schemes.  So far, it's all crap.
4.  Clean the house more.
5.  Get rid of more stuff so that I don't feel so crazy in my own house b/c it's so cluttered.
6. Find the bumpo seat
7.  Go to the tamarac

This list turned into a goals list with a todo list.  That's no good.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I Made A Mistake.

I am embarrassed.  On my last post I put said "Huevos Con Chorizo is Mexican for...."  That was a mistake.  It is Spanish for eggs and chorizo.  I am upset with myself.  I didn't even know I wrote it like that until the middle of the night I woke up and realized what I did.

My intent was not to be funny, sarcastic or culturally insensitive.

But life has taught me, intent doesn't mean anything.  Ignorance of the insensitivity doesn't mean anything. A simple mistake doesn't mean anything.

You make a mistake like that, no matter intent or ignorance, and you could get fired.  Knowing I made a public mistake like this brings back a lot of the terrible stomach feelings I would get at my old job.  A simple typo, a minute of letting my guard down, getting the name of a Tribe wrong by one word, would get me called into the boss's office and a long lecture.  Saying "no" and "I dont' know" also got me a long lecture on how I can't say those things.

Now Trump is president.