Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Knitting and Other Thoughts

I finished a project!

They are Ellie with the yarn Crazy Zauberball .  I started them probably 3 or 4 years ago.  They mean a lot to me in many ways.  I made mistakes in both of them that are still there.  I learned to let the mistakes go and to get on the with project.  They are the smallest needles I've used so far to knit something, and I learned that I can knit things that have small needles (more stitches so it takes more time).  I'm pretty sure it is the only pattern I have ever paid for.  I used to fill out surveys for a website and after 6 months of a lot of surveys, I had enough points to get twenty dollars.  I used part of that money to buy the pattern.  I learned of the pattern from my favorite knitting blogger, the Yarn Harlot, when she was knitting five or six pairs in a month for Christmas presents.  I picked those buttons out of my button collection (purchased from Ebay), and sewed them on myself!  It's the first time I've added embellishments to a knitting project.  I've sewn lots of buttons before, that part wasn't new.    I bought the yarn a few years before the pattern when I was in Denver visiting my cousin.  I remember going into the yarn shop and falling in love with all the colors in the ball and how they changed.  I knew I wanted to knit something special with it, and I waited and waited, and then knew it was the right yarn for Ellie.

I wish I could say they fit me perfectly, but they don't.  I learned a lot in those four years about shaping knitting to custom fit, but I haven't applied it yet, and I didn't want to apply those techniques on the fly.  I read a lot about knitting.  My favorite books are older ones written like a conversation and just talk about knitting and what to do.  A lot of those knitters don't use patterns but use math and experience to knit sweaters and leggings and socks, etc.  Patterns make knitting very rigid and strict, and in reality, it can be fluid and changeable as you go.  Like cooking.  I don't use recipes too much when I cook and if I do, I usually change it as I go.  But, when I first started cooking I needed the recipes, and I still need the patterns for the knitting.

I have a next project I want to make that I think I'm going to do without a pattern.  I have a ball of color changing yarn I got in New Orleans when I was there with my Mom and Sister, I want to turn it into a very loose knit sweater to wear over black dresses.  I'm knitting the swatch right now, experimenting with different stitches.  I like it because I'm using big needles that are NOT double pointed, so I don't need five needles, just two, and they are metal instead of wood.  Basically the opposite of everything I did for Ellie.  It's a fast knit.  I like the seed stitch best so far, but I think I need to try a larger size needle.  I'm using 7s right now, but I want very large holes, or very loose knits. I think I'm going to base it off this Tabard Pattern, but use a better stitch. 

Today at MOPS we listened to a Pastor talk about God's Fierce Kindness for us and relating it to the Christmas story.  It was hard for me, because based on a lot of what he said, I didn't see the spreading of Christianity, but the spreading of and start of the white western culture and the start of repression of women.  He said that God had Alexander The Great conquered the whole world so the everyone learned Greek and had roads so that Christianity could spread farther.  The whole world, huh?  No, the whole world as remembered by western culture.  Did he capture south or north America? Did he capture japan or china? no.  Ganghis Kahn also conquered the whole world once, and spread his religion I'm sure.  Wish I knew what that was.

Then he described the good guys of the Jesus birth story, Mary, Joseph, the wise men and the shepards.  Then he talked about the bad guys of the story...someone named Boaz and his harlot mother, and another twice widowed woman who dressed as a prostitute and slept with her father in law and got pregnant.  It really made me angry because the pastor made these women seem like the scum of the Earth because they pretended to be or were women that slept around, and that the men were the victoms.  What about the Father in Law that slept with a prostitute and didn't even notice that it was his daughter in law?  I'm sure she really enjoyed that experience.  I bet she did that just to piss him off, and not to somehow secure her survival in a world that treats women as property *sarcasm*.  Especially since her first two husbands (brothers) were such "bad people, God had them die, so they did."  If they were that terrible, what do you think that woman was going through? Good things?  And, who raised these two terrors?  The father in law, the victom.

There is one profession that women do more than men and make more money at than men (unless he is a pimp, then f*** him) and that is being a prostitute.  It is also one job that gives women power over men.  I wonder why it's so demonized? It's the one area where women are in control and can live on their own without a husband.  (Not saying it's a great job or anything, but it's one of our "tools" or options, like being the third son of a farmer and joining the army).  And this pastor makes her a "bad guy" because she sleeps around.  Thanks for the continual female oppression.

Finally, I was thinking, what if Mary was raped and Christianity is the largest cover up and denial of rape in our culture's history?  I wish I could give Mary a hug.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Rain boots and Donuts

I'm having one of those tired-but-must-keep-going days, and I brought Lilly to the grocery store hungry.  Both of us hungry.  We were out of milk and more importantly, donuts.  Lilly was wearing her rain boots, and life is always so much harder on the trips that she wears her rain boots.  She kicks them off constantly, then I can't set her down because it's wet and she doesn't have shoes on.  Then when she can be set down, she gets extra excited for the rain and the puddles and just runs and jumps and refuses to listen.

She kicked her boots off a total of 3 times in the grocery store, and she didn't even wear them the majority of the time.  She wanted out of the cart the whole time. She wanted balloons.  She wanted meat.  She wanted fruit snacks.  She wanted M&Ms.  She didn't want the fruit snacks I picked out even though they are the only type she's ever had.  I told her she has to stay in the cart because it was faster, and the faster we shop, the faster we can eat our donuts.  I heard a lady laugh loudly over that.

Both Lilly and I were out of pants.  She wore her capri pants that came up past her boots.  I wore a skirt, but didn't not want to take off my socks.  So my red polar fleece socks stuck out the tops of my fancy pancy shoe boots.  So put together looking.  I figured it was better than pajama pants, but I'm not really sure.

Then the bagger was bringing my groceries out to my car for me (one more reason that Bill's Shop and Save is the best) and we were making small talk.  Lilly had to squirm out of my arms once we got to the car and I had to unlock the trunk.  She ran away and it looked like she was going to take off in the parking lot.  The bagger was sweet and jumped after her, but really she was just going to the puddle behind the car parked next to us.  She had to jump in it. Had to.  The bagger said he was in "red alert" and that he was an uncle and was always super worried about kids.  I said
Yeah, sometimes I'm just too tired to chase her.

What does that even mean?!?!?  That sometimes I let her run around in parking lots and just don't care?  I think it's one of the most crazy mom things I've said thus far.  I have a feeling that the bagger guy is smart enough to realize the absurdity of the statement too.  I guess I hope so...I like knowing I impacted someone's day.
The donuts were excellent.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A List of Unapproved Comments

Here is a blog post from Gawker.com:  THIS IS THE LINK. CLICK HERE.

Okay, if you don't want to read it, I'll summarize.  The author was sitting at a table at a bar while her boyfriend was getting a drink.  A stranger came up to start chatting her up.  He asked a million boring questions and didn't catch on to her short I-Don't-Want-To-Talk-To-You-Right-Now social cues.  She then goes on to say that when you talk to strangers, any time, you get two questions, and if they don't continue the conversation, stop.  She brought up the example of sitting next to someone on an airplane.  Which I especially agree with.  I hate talking to people on planes.  I bring books, headphones, and pretend to sleep to avoid it.  Books are the weakest way to deter chatters.

Anyways.  I got to thinking about when I've been chatted up by guys who I was not interested in, or got rude man comments on my body.

The most obvious time was at the frat/sorority dance club in Mount Pleasant.  Not the Wayside.  It was downtown and this was the only time I went there.  It was techno night and Josh and I love to dance to techno.  We were dancing up a storm (mostly alone...apparently techno dancing isn't as popular as we would wish), and then I was tired and Josh had to go to the bathroom.  While he was gone, these two guys, who had been sitting and creepy watching us (me).  The asked me where Josh went, and I said to the bathroom.  And he says: "Well, if you were with me, I'd never go to the bathroom and leave you alone."  Ummmm....nope.  Not a good pick up line.  I always want people to go to the bathroom when they have to.

When I was at Field Camp, were are at the Million Dollar Cowboy bar in Jackson Hole, Whyoming, and I was walking up to the bar and an older creepy man says "Those aren't real." and looks pointedly at my boobs.  I wish I had looked at him and said Fuck You.  But I didn't.  I said "Yes they are" and he said "No they aren't" and then I just turned away and ordered my drink.  Later someone told me he probably wanted me to prove it. GROSS.  And, they are obviously real.  Fake ones are far perkier and less bouncy.  It's the sagginess that creates the bounce.  My shirt was low enough for him to figure it out.  Gross.  I hate thinking about that.  And...I should be allowed to wear that shirt like that with out even thinking about this.  I mean, men can go around with out shirts on all the time.  Not just be allowed to wear tiny shirts to bars only.

And...the type of shirt you wear truly doesn't matter.  Man pigs will be man pigs.

The winter before I was in DC for a school trip and I was getting off the subway.  I was wearing a tshirt with unbuttoned flannel shirt over it.  It's about as conservative and covered up as I can get short of wearing my winter coat.  As I was exiting the train door smooshed in with all the other people getting off and getting on at the same time, this guy, who was getting on, looks at my chest and goes "Damn! Look at those titties!"

I've been whistled at while wearing my winter coat.  Which I stuff the pockets with mittens and stuff I find on the ground, and it makes me look like I have a second set of boobs below the first set.

Once I was in meijer, and I was looking at some lacy underwear/tank set in the women's dept. and a creeper was in there with his cart.  Always avoid the lone men in the women's underwear department.  Always.  I was dirty, with my winter hat on badly, my ugly winter coat on and wearing pajama pants tucked into my off brand ugg boots.  I was definitely in my least attractive outfit ever.  The creeper saw me picking up the pink lacy outfit and says "That would look good on you."  Um, no.  I ran away and left the area.

It doesn't matter what you wear, what size you are, curvy or not, so long as you have a vagina, (some) men think it's okay to say sexual things to you or at you.  They view women as objects, not people.

I wonder in what ways men are viewed as objects and not people?  Is it okay because it isn't as common an occurrence?  Is it more common in the gay communities?  How do they deal with it?  What is it like in the lesbian communities? How do they deal with it?  Where is the line between appreciating someone's attractiveness and being a creeper man or woman pig? 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

In Which A Man Approves of Me...Without My Consent

In my last post, I was very angry.  I didn't read it again until just now, and I had thought that I was super mean and horrible and broke all of my blogging rules.  I felt guilty and bad and scared and stressed and anxious about it for a few weeks or just one week? I don't remember now.  After rereading it, I realized, I did a pretty good job.  It was not that horrible at all.  I still stand by what I said.  I was not that angry at the idea of too much information on the internet, but angry at a lot of other opinions I saw that day that blamed the victim, instead doing anything to help the problem.  I was angry at the world for not agreeing with me on everything.  I mean, if everyone just thought like me and agreed with me, then this world would be a better place.  Riiiiighttt....  but don't you think the same thing about your thoughts sometimes?

But I also thought about it and came to the conclusion that there is not too much information on the internet, but that there is too many opinions.  One can never have too much information...but too many opinions on what is right or wrong, to many opinions on what the information really means, can be very overwhelming and bad.  It can also lead to groupthink, pseudoscience, and just plain lies disguised as facts.  I miss the days of Caterday and Can I Has Cheeseburger and Regretsy.  I missed the days when facebook wasn't just political opinions everywhere you turn, or a new reason to hate a company or not eat a food.  I have heard the Facebook is a good way to get across your message, but...I think one has to be very lucky and/or very careful about it for it to actually work.


Okay, that's done.  Onto what I really want to talk about.  The other week I attend the Peace Concert and Fundraiser for Newaygo County People for Peace and our grassroots non-violent movement.  Sidenote:  If you read the article in TIME magazine about Bernie Sanders, this movement would fit perfectly into his movement.  And if you read The Dandelion Insurrection by Rivera Sun, you would see the movement in that book reflected in Bernie.

Anyways, I helped with the concert and felt that I should attend.  Concerts are not my "thing", I do not enjoy just sitting and listening to music, unless I can dance, then I'm there!  I was pleasantly surprised by this, as the musicians were great and entertaining!  One band was mostly rhythmic drumming from around the world and I enjoyed that a lot, no words to concentrate on and I could just relax into the beat.  Then a woman played pictures of the homeless on a big screen and sang acoustic versions of well known songs...but older ones.  Well, she started with Green Day and ended with Neil Simon with a lot of Beetles thrown in there.  Then her brother who was visiting, played and he sang this amazing song about being young and drafted or getting out of the draft for Nam.  And I have always had a thing for stories, jokes, songs, and such about Vietnam.  I don't know why.  I just really enjoyed his song, it was full of heart and all the feels.

There was also a silent auction, and I couldn't wait to bid on something and win.  I wanted a beautiful painting, as I collect wall art (paintings are my least collected of the wall art pieces) but I was outbid, so I bid and won a certificate for a woman (and friend) to clean my house!!  It might not be art, but it sure will be helpful.  I'm thinking of working with her to clean my basement and prepare it for winter.  My house is so tiny, I can and enjoy cleaning the top part of it myself.  But I can't vacuum spiders in rafters of the basement.

So that is the scene.  Before I went, I was excited to attend a concert and fundraiser within my price range.  The same building was hosting another fundraiser concert later in the week, which I got an invite too! (Everyone on the Artsplace Mailing List did...I'm not THAT special).  That one has a $35 dollar donation to get in, and so Josh and I can't afford that at the moment.  I really like the thought of attending a fancy fundraiser event where you bid on items and wear a black tie clothes and sip champagne while making small talk with the city's elite.  Picture any opening scene of a fancy fundraiser as the start of a murder mystery show.  So, I did the best I could and attended the Peace Concert.

As I described above, I was thinking fancy black tie.  Also, while at USET (work), it was impressed on me that when I go to events like this, I better as hell be dressed up as fancy as I can get.  I'm representing USET, and as such, my appearance is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than my work, my personality, or anything else about myself, even if I'm in the office and no one else is around, what if someone of importance walks through and sees me looking like a slob? Shit.  If a person didn't fit their appearance requirements, they got reprimanded.  Even if the clothes did fit the dress code.  When I wore lipstick to the office, my male supervisor would compliment me on wearing it...like I was finally able to look like a "proper" woman.  Everyone in the office new I struggled with putting on makeup everyday and doing my hair with a straightner...or even blow drying it.  I would set goals, where I would try to wear makeup everyday in the week, so that eventually it would become a habit.

To deviate from the point, my male supervisor did not take his appearance as seriously as he took mine.  His shirt was always coming untucked and his butt crack would show sometimes.  His shirts and pants weren't  high end , nor perfectly pressed, and sometimes they had odd fish patterns.  He did not wear sports jackets.  But he expected the women to dress to the nine's all the time.  And he wasn't the only one.  My other male supervisor expected me to look even better and at least he DID dress himself up to the standards he expected of me.

Yes I'm still angry about that.  And yes, this all leads to a point.  But it's going to take a while.

So, I wanted to represent the Peace People properly and I wanted to attend a black tie event, so I got out my old work outfit.  I put on my Calvin Kline dress (okay, I picked one of 3), I put on my dress shaper that latches in the crotch (no bathroom for me), I wore my favorite heels, washed my hair, and put on all the makeup.  Oh, and I even picked out a really nice clutch to carry.  I felt great, and I loved it.  I love dressing up...for myself.  I wanted to show myself that I still can get fancy if I want to.

And guess what?  I was horribly overdressed!  HA!  I forgot the "audience" or the demographic of the other people attending.  They were all hippies from the original hippie era.  Because, um, Peace Concert!  They wore their nice loose, comfy modern hippy wear and looked great.  I was the only one in business attire.  I was also one of maybe 3 people of my age.  The rest were a generation or two above me.  I love looking at what women wear and wonder why they chose the outfit they did.  I'm currently spending a lot of time thinking about feminism and gender roles in our culture and what it means to be a woman.  I spend a lot of time angry at men for trying to control women too...example: abortion rights.  Why are all these old white men making this decision for me?  Am I not smart enough to decide for myself what is best for my body and my baby?  Is any woman?  These white men are saying, no, women are not smart enough.

I don't like to be forced to wear makeup.  It's not my natural bend.  I don't like people disrespecting me because I do not fit into their idea of what a woman should look like and act like.  My favorite hair look is bed head messy.  I don't even own a straightener or a curler any more.  It really confuses a lot of people.

So, i'm at the concert, looking like a "proper woman" of the "right age" (I look younger than 30..that helps), and a man of the older generation comes up to me and says conspiratorially, and like I would be happy to hear of his approval, that "He thinks I'm the best dressed woman there".  I said "Thank you." and got away.  When I tell people this, they think, aww Lindy, that was so nice! You got a great compliment!  But, I was and am sooooo angry at that man!  Who made the concert a contest and better yet, who made him the judge?  Why should I feel all warm and fuzzy because a strange man approves of my outfit.  And who is he to judge all the other women there?  They are all truly amazing women!! If he would just look past their wonderful, non form-fitting-object-making, dresses, he would see some of the kindest, hard working, passionate people he would ever meet.  These women fought and fight for all things good for all their lives.  I was looking at them at the concert and wondering which characteristics of them fit me and which ones I should focus on in myself as I grow older.  Who do I want to be 30 years from now?  Well, what they got right was that they wore comfy outfits that looked nice and did NOT have crotch clasps.  I'm so glad that man approved of me being so uncomfortable.  The only person who should approve of that is me.  And I did approve of it, for the night, because I chose to wear it.

The frustrating part is, the next day I was doing laundry, and I saw hanging up the perfect hippy dress I should have worn.  It fits me perfectly and is loose and comfy and would have been just right for that night.  I just really wanted to see if I could dress up business style, and I really wanted to pretend I was at a black tie event. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Too Much Information On The Internet says Old People

There is this saying I hear from people closer in age to the Baby Boomers, but you could give or take 20 years, and it isn't always directly from someone, but read on an article.  It's that there is too much information on the internet for new mom's now a days.  It's possible that one could say that about anything, but the topic I remember most is new mom's. 

As a new mom, what does that mean?  Does it mean we spend too much time reading medical sites worrying that our kids are sick with something horrible? Does it mean we spend too much time talking or judging or feeling judged by other mom's on the internet? Does that mean, there are too many options for things like baby sleeping protocal?  Food options?  The best way to do anything baby?

I can talk, feel judged, and judge others just as easily in real life.  I can go to mom groups and get word of mouth information on the worst flu going around and the best way to sleep a baby.  

Just telling me there is too much information does not help me.  I grew up with this much information...maybe, just maybe, I am better at filtering through it than the pre-internet generation thinks?

How is too much information bad?  If I have a question, I go to the internet for my answer right away.  I do not go to the library and pick out an outdated book a week later for my answer.

Should I stop using the internet as a new mom?  Do I need to explain the major problems with that? In school, you are taught to use all resources available to do your work...  but in parenting, stay away from the biggest and easiest available resource?

I'm told there is too much information on the internet, but I'm not told what to do about it.  I'm not told what to do instead of going on the internet.  I'm not told what information is too much.  I just don't understand how there can be too much information, ever.  It doesn't matter what I'm suppose to do or not do instead; I'm still using the internet.  It's part of me and my life in a way it's not been part of someone older than me. 

I wish elders would tell me why not having the internet makes things better, because if I could understand where they are coming from, maybe I can do things better.

I guess what I'm saying is when it comes to the internet, Get on my level!  Teach new moms how to filter through the internet, teach new moms confidence so they don't have to jump to the internet straight away, teach new moms how to use other resources besides the internet...the only one they know.  Start a weblog called "Grandma's Wisdom" or something.  Or would that just add more information?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Who lets a zebra roam with the buffalo?

I find the end of seasons to be the hardest.  Especially (of course) winter.  Christmas starts too early...mid fall...and then somehow I have to make that energy last until February.  That's about impossible.  I wish Christmas was late January, something to break up the worst of winter.  Now that Summer is ending, my garden is weedy, I've let flower heads form on my herbs, and things are coming to an end.  It's sad to me, because I couldn't keep my gardening energy up to the end. I didn't go swimming or to the beach near as much as I wanted.  We didn't go to a concert in the park.

But, we DID go to the beach more than once, we went to the park a lot, we took walks in the woods, we got muddy, we played in the sprinkler and in the rain, we watched ants, and we did garden, if only a little. Oh, and we ate lots of ice cream. 

Next is fall.  Time for bonfires, the Fall Festival, crisp walks, more parks, darker evenings, Halloween, and decorations.  Fall is my favorite season.  And spring.  I can't decide.

Lilly asked me to kiss her butt today.  I told her no and that that was rude.

I zeroed out my fridge this week, and yet had the most filling dinner last night!  Mostly because we were out of bread and we needed bread to go with the left over pulled pork.  I made it and it was thick and heavy and filling.  Tasted pretty bad though.  Josh couldn't eat it.  I use a recipe for Grant Bread.  You mix water and yeast, and then wait 10 min.  Then mix it with flour and more water and then put it in the pan and wait 30 min.  There is no kneeding.  So it makes a thick, dense bread.  I also didn't cook it long enough because it's the first time i made it in this oven and didn't know how long it would take.  Plus, I have a glass pyrex bread pan (only one) and it doesn't cook bread well.  No matter how many times I try, if I use it for banana bread, the bottom and the top burn and the center is still gooey; like runny gooey.  I also used bad ingredients.  The yeast literally expired yesterday, the day I used it (left over from when Nate and Lianne moved), I used organic bran flour given to me when we moved here and i don't know when it was purchased, and I used white flour that expires next month.  Also, when you use flour other than white flour in bread recipes, it really changes things and it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out the right ratios, cooking times and cooking temps.

That pyrex pan is why I make banana muffins.

Lilly helped make the bread and spread flour all over everything, and mostly on the floor.  Then she spilled the water when pouring it in the bowl too.  (so another factor, my ingredients may not have been at the right ratio b/c it was all played with by a 2 yr old.).  The water went onto the flour on the floor and made a paste in which she walked through it.  I had to dry mop and sweep and the whole time she walked through everything, creating a floor dirt mache (like paper mache only with floor dirt) on her feet.  An hour later, while watching TroTro, she comes up to me and says "me feet dirty."  and boy were they!!  Yeah....I saw her dirty feet earlier, denied it and pretended it didn't happen so I didn't have to clean her up right away.  I said to myself "That'll take care of itself."  Never does in real life.

Josh and I play a game from the move "Eagle Vs. Shark" (worth the watch) where the family calls out "horse!" everytime they see one on a car ride and the person who sees the most wins.  Josh and I don't keep score, but we do try to win.  We were coming home from his mom's house, and we were about to drive past the giant buffalo farm, and we knew there were sometimes horses there, so we were looking, and guess what we saw!?  An M-Fing Zebra! We tied in calling it.  Josh thought maybe it was a horse painted like a zebra, but who paints a zebra horse than lets it roam with the buffalo?




Sunday, August 23, 2015

Lazy Sunday

What a wonderful Sunday.  Josh got up first this morning with Lilly, then when it was my turn, he went back to sleep.  (We do that, only usually I'm first).  Later, Lilly and I woke Da up by climbing on him, tickling him, and Lilly says "Good Morning Da!" really loud.  Oh and we also laid in bed as a family and played phone games.  Lilly likes to cook on cooking games.  She made a salad, a pizza, and something with lots of red peppers.  The salad at julienned raw sausage. 

Lilly and I found a giant black ant with wings bug in the kitchen.  We caught it and set it free.  Now I am roasting garlic heads and a sweet potato in the oven.  I'm using one garlic for a salad dressing for noodle salad, and the other garlic and the sweet potato just needed roasting.  I'm thinking they will be part of dinner.

Later we are helping my family with work (unspecified for internet privacy aka none of my business to tell you).  We will have lunch with noodle salad and hotdogs and other foods.

I posted on fb that I am now a member of The Satanic Temple.  Even though it is registered as a religion, I see it more as a political cause that uses our religious policies to promote its' agenda.  I am still a Christian.  Anyways, I didn't just up and join.  Well, okay I did, but really I supported their legal case for women's rights to make decisions about their bodies.  That's what they believe, that their religion says that women can make their own choices and don't need the government to make laws about what women can and can't do.  And I believe that too.  Anyways, I helped crowdsource them, and my reward was a membership, 5 sweet pins, and an activity book.

I want to talk about something I've been thinking about a lot.  Several times a day for the last month.  It started when I went to order new toilet paper from Amazon Pantry.  I love Scott TP, and when I was in Nashville I would do surveys for points that I would turn in for money; these surveys were often about toilet paper and my feelings about toilet paper.  This is where I first heard about Scott's All Natural Toilet Paper that was made from recycled paper.  Not recycled toilet paper.  Just regular paper.  Maybe recycled bills?  That's what I'm going to think.  Anyways, I always wanted to try that...my favorite brand and it's environmentally friendly!  The first time I found it was on Amazon Pantry last month, so of course I got it!  To "help" the environment (I bet it's more of a ploy to get the environmentally concerned to buy it, than that it's proven to be environmentally friendly) Scott removed the cardboard tube from the rolls. 

WORST.IDEA.EVER.

Now all the rolls squish closed because I don't handle my TP with care.  It makes good bombs, TP bowling, and a variety of other games.  The hole for the toilet paper roll holder closes up and then when you try to stick the holder through, the inside of the TP pulls out!  It gets all messed up and looks stupid.  It's a pain in the butt.  It doesn't roll well, and near the end it gets all droopy and falls off.  Not to mention, we never realized how satisfying pulling that little bit of glued TP off the tube was.  We have 5 more rolls, because I always buy toilet paper in bulk.

To be fair, I don't like the recycled paper TP because it is too soft.  That should be good for other Americans though.  I hear Americans love their TP soft.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tiny Vacations

What a busy week!  I realized it was like a bunch of mini-vacations all in a row!  And it was as fun as going on a real vacation.  It was also the hottest, muggiest, most humid week of the year, so far.  A great time to be busy.

First, we had a staycation on Friday and spent the day going through random boxes in the garage and basement, consolidating and preparing for a yard sale.  I feel a lot less scattered now.  I hate when I don't know where things are or what I own.  Basically I hate stuff in storage, and this helped organize it all.  All we have to do next is sort our books and baby clothes. 

Then on Saturday we woke up early and headed east.  First stop was Trader Joes for Ackbar's Trader Joe Cat Tuna...only his favorite meal and the only canned food he'll eat.  He's pissed if he doesn't get it, and even more angry if you try to feed him something inferior...like all the other cat food available.  At TJ's I was judged at the wine tasting stand, I think the guy thought I had a fake id because he was truly surprised at how old I was.  He was a douche.  Lilly tried to swim in the wine isle.  Luckly we couldn't buy frozen foods because it was one million degrees out and humid and weren't going home any time soon.  That cut down on costs and time spent there. 

Next stop was my Grandpa's and Aunt and Uncle's houses.  They are neighbors, so it was really one stop.  Lilly and Josh went swimming in the most beautiful lake, and I listened to stories of my Grandpa's near death experience.  He had to get a vein from his leg put into his neck?  and they had to open his chest up to do surgery too.  He has some pretty cool scars.  I wish I could have spent more time there, it's a very relaxing place.

The next day was homeward with a stop in Mount Pleasant to visit Grandma Colombini for dinner.  And it was delicious!  We took Lilly to a splash park in town and she ran around in the sprinklers for as long as she wanted.  Then she tried all 8 of the slides in the park and peed a waterfall on the steps of one of the slides.  At least it was the steps, and not the slide all the way down!

Josh worked the next two days.  Lilly had a doctors' appointment, where she got a shot!  She was such a good girl and only cried a little bit.  I took her out to icecream afterwards.  The doctor said Lilly is growing well, and a good height, but is much too skinny.  She weighed 4 lbs less than I was hoping she would.  The good news is I no longer have to worry about what she eats.  She gets to eat everything.  I just wish she would eat.  She's not picky, she just gets distracted and too busy to eat.

At the coffee shop where we got ice cream, I got coffee and a sandwich.  Then I used the time to relax on my phone.  I was the Mom-On-Her-Phone-Ignoring-Her-Child.  But then she got bored with the chair and table and got up and started running around.  I put my phone down instantly because I will not be Mom-Who-Lets-Her-Child-Run-Crazy-In-Public.  I wrangled her and we left.

Then Oma and Opa watched Lilly over night so Josh and I could have a date night.  We drank Port and played a two person Magic: The Gathering card game Draft Tournament.  And it was just as nerdy as it sounds.  It was so much fun though!  We opened 8 booster packs of cards and each made a deck out of the random cards.  We only had time for one game, which I won.  The tournament is not over yet (best of 5), so it doesn't mean I made the superior deck (so far).  Mine is green and white.  Josh's deck is red and black.

In the morning we slept in!!  And then got Taco Bell and a movie to bring to my parent's house.  Lilly was so happy to see us and we got giant hugs!  The taco bell was amazing.  Just amazing.  And the movie, Kingsman, was just okay.  Josh and my mom liked it a lot, but I was looking for less blood and more comedy.  I also didn't like the main actor kid.  It was nice to spend the hot muggy day in the woods in a much cooler house than ours.  By the end Lilly was asking for "own house!" and got mad when we had to stop at the grocery store first.  We needed food for an adult dinner party!  Josh's friend and wife visited and we grilled out.  Lilly ran around forever getting wet in the back yard and basically tired herself out.  And got wet, twice.

Now it's back to work.  Time to prepare for the coming fall.  Fair week is soon, and I can't wait to bring Lilly.  There won't be any birds there this year due to the Bird Sickness going around.  I should probably say Fowl if I want to sound accurate. 

Fun Fact: The full moon on July 31 will be a Blue Moon!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Nothing Much

Yesterday I sat down to eat my cereal and my boob got caught on the bowl, flinging it in a circle with milk and cereal flying everywhere.  All I could think about is all the women in my life who told me they wished they had big boobs and how lucky I am.  How lucky indeed.

I brought Ackbar to his yearly vet appointment on Monday.  I stopped by to pick him up from my parents and amazed my dad.  I set Ackbar's kitty carrier down in the kitchen and made two calling noises.  Ackbar, who was sleeping under a desk in a very hard to reach place, jumped up and ran straight into his carrier.  Heh heh heh.  He and I performed the same trick in front of the vet and assistants after his check up.  No scratching, catching and forcing an angry cat into an enclosed space.  Ackbar LOVES his carrier and loves going places.  Even though he doesn't like the car ride too much and he doesn't really like being in new scary places.  I think he just likes adventures.  You know, add a little variety to his pampered kitty life; it must get wearisome sleeping in the sunshine all day and chasing mice all night.

Sidenote: Mr. Ackbar lost 2 pounds and is in a good healthy weight range (a grand total of 14 lbs).

Today after checking the mailbox:
 Lilly: Mail? Mail?Mail?!?
Me:  Yes, a little mail.
Lilly:  Tiny mail.

When I was in college, I babysat for a professor with three kids.  One must have been 2 yrs old, I didn't know then, and couldn't give you a proper guess at her age.  But she was still in diapers, but could walk very well.  She helped me get ice cream ready for her and her siblings and then helped me carry it to the tv room.  She talked to me the entire time, and it wasn't until we were done that I realized that she wasn't speaking actual words, just baby speak! I loved it, having an imaginary conversation with her, and or communicating without the "right" words.  When Lilly was born I waited and waited for her to reach that stage.  Turns out, Lilly skipped it.  She really only talks if she knows the words, and doesn't have a secret baby babble language.

Last week was the Baby Food Festival, and it was the first time I lived in town while it happened.  Let me tell you, it is a lot less inconvenient if you already live in town and already take the back ways around. It was also fun because it gave us things to do for 3 days! Yes, I went three days in a row.  We went to the petting zoo the library hosts for the kids, and Lilly got to pet a rabbit, a sheep, a goat, and a horse.  She did not want to pet the calf.  Then she got to run around and chase her friend Luke and swing at trees with sticks.  Then it was off to the Kids Expo where all the kid related businesses in town and some others set up booths and games for the kids to play while handing out info to the parents.  Lilly got her first snow cone and I got my first one since I was probably 12.  We both loved it. 

The next day was the library booksale and business expo.  After spending time at the booksale, where Lilly wreaked havoc and was very loud, I brought her outside (in stroller) while Josh paid.  I rolled her back in to talk to the ladies taking the money and Lilly just started crying and yelling "No book! No book!"  poor girl has boring parents.  Then it was off to the business expo.  We were recognized by a lot of people from the spring business expo that we attended.  Isn't that crazy?  I think it's good networking.

Lilly was mad because her cheap ass boring parents wouldn't pay for her to go on a ride.  Even if she was too small and young for them. 

Then she took a nap and woke up happy.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

On Being a Woman

Lilly is now two years old!  She loves to prove it too by crying and being frustrated at things I'm not even sure what's wrong.  She also likes to do things herself and she likes to order her Da to mow.  Da! Mow! and points outside authoritatively.  She's learning new words every single day.  She got a bike helmet for her birthday and she looked at it and said "Helm" without us telling her what it was!  Just amazing.

I want to get her a pretend makeup set so that she can do her makeup while I do mine.  I also hope it will curb her drawing on her face.  She loves to draw on her face the most. 

Thinking about getting her a pretend makeup set reminded me of when I got one when I was little.  My Grandma would pick me up for my birthday and take me out to lunch.  Even if I was at school!  We would go to Pizza Hut and I would use my Book It! coupon to get a free personal pan pizza AND sticker for my BookIt! pin.  Then we would go to the Big Wheel and pick out a toy for me.  I picked out the pretend makeup and she wasn't sure if my mom would allow me to get it.  I said yes because my mom never said I couldn't get it. Heh heh heh. 

I was probably 8 give or take a few years.  And now I'm asking for one for my two year old.  I want her to grow up knowing about makeup.  When to wear it, when you don't need to, what type of makeup to wear when she's going out on a date vs. to an interview.  I have fought learning this my whole life.  I love wearing makeup for me, but I hate wearing makeup when people expect me to and say I have to.  Makeup is part of being a woman in this culture, even if it is against your feminist views or your hippie views.  I think it's important to be embraced and understood so that it you can control it instead of having it controlled onto you.

Off topic, but a thought to think about:  If everyone wants to keep their right to fly the confederate flag, and their right to not vaccinate their children (which I think they should keep that right, but would use my right to not fly the flag and my right to vaccinate my kids), why do women not have their right to their bodies?  Women should have the right to easily accessible birth control (all types, Plan B especially), and a right to an abortion.  Why does an embryo have more rights than a fully formed human that has lived a minimum of 11 to 13 years?  A possibility has more rights than a fact.  It doesn't make sense.  I would like to see birth control freely available and covered by basic insurance and maybe the government, but that's going above and beyond the basic rights issue.  That is a socialist political view, and can be argued.  But did you know you can buy Plan B over the counter at a pharmacy?  You don't need a prescription.  Why don't young girls know that?!?!  What if a woman is raped and can't see her doctor in time?  There is only a 3 day window for it. And it doesn't kill an embryo, it prevents the embryo from forming.  At the very least, I would like to see more knowledge openly talked about and spread about birthcontrol to women. At the very least, I wish it was part of the yearly woman checkup, to discuss all the types of birthcontrol and where to get it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

One Adventure After Another...But No Boats

Yesterday was an excellent day.  It was the first day of Lilly not being sick after a week, and sick Josh was back to work, not promoting resting in the house.  I took it as a day to get shiza done!  But, what to get done?  Do I clean the house?  Do I complete a homemaking chore to make life better for my family? (aka finish sewing Lilly's curtains? or work on any of my crafts?) Or do I plan a day of adventures for Lilly and skip all the other house work?

I asked Lilly what sort of adventure she wanted to go on.  She was staring out the window in the kitchen at the backyard.  She thought about it and thought about it.  I wondered if she knew what an adventure was.  Then she looks at me and says "BOAT!"  She sure did know what an adventure was!  I unfortunately couldn't find a person who both owned a boat and wasn't working.  Soooo...I only asked my mom.  They have at least three boat like things. 

I noticed that the ants were out in force, and I saw three or four extra around the couch, so cleaning took precedent.  I do NOT want ants in the couch, or any where in the house, for that matter.  Plus it was dirty due to the week of sickness, and Lilly had cereal for breakfast and spilled it all over. (Dry, no milk).  That's how you get ants.  I picked it all up (the toys, the clothes, the random stuff, boxes, recycling, etc) and vacuumed the floor and the couch.  It's easy to vacuum the couch.  I read it in a homemaking book, and I thought it was a great idea.  If you do it every time you vacuum, it gets fast and easy, and the ants don't come.

If you didn't know, Josh and I battled the ants every spring in Antioch, TN.  Second floor apartment and everything,  but damn, those ants won more battles than they lost.  They forced us to clean the pantry yearly and be aware of what is open (even if it's tightly sealed).  We couldn't keep clothes on the floor in the bathroom because you do NOT want to put on pants filled with ants.  Trust me.  And, they found the couch.  And once they get in the couch, and it's 90 degrees out and humid, they crawl up and bite you in your sensitive upper inner thigh.  Ackbar was our best defense.  He would lay down on their path and they would be forced to try and crawl the wrong way up into his extra fluffy tail.

Okay, so the best defense is vacuuming up the food in a timely manner.  Especially behind the couch and in the cracks and cushions.  Ackbar is just the cutest defense.

During the vacuuming, Lilly played on my phone in Kids Mode.  She can call four people in that mode, Oma, Grandma, Aunt Mandy and Opa.  And she chose to call Oma, and she talked to her and said Hi.  I think then, Oma asked if everything was okay or if there was an emergency, and Lilly said YES and started crying and hung up on her.  So Oma called me back and it was twice before I heard it and had no idea that the first Lilly call even took place.  And of course there was an emergency...according to Lilly vacuuming is a terrible emergency that needs to be stopped.  It was Lilly's first independent phone call!  I'm so proud of her.

Back to my productive day.  After the cleaning, I rested, paid some bills and played with Lilly. I was doing my hair in the bathroom or I was dressing in the bedroom, I don't remember, but Lilly was in the bathroom.  She usually stands on the toilet now and plays with everything she can find in the cupboard above the toilet.  It's very hard to get her out.  And this time, she was playing, then she quick ran out fast and it was very suspiciously quiet.  I went to find her, and she was sitting in the living room putting the deodorant on her chin, looking very pleased with herself.  "Finally! It's mine!!!!"  It was a dream of hers come true.  She also put it on her armpits and her elbow.

 Then it was lunch time.  We had sandwiches, but she spit out her lettuce.  Normally she doesn't notice the lettuce at first and gets a few bites of it eaten before she picks it off.  Nap time did not go as planned, and Lilly did not sleep.  I still insist on naptime being my time, so she watched tv and rested.  She chose Peep and The Big Wide World which is my favorite show because it is so innocent and funny and peaceful.  I think it is one show that truly captures adventures and exploring as a child from a child's point of view.  And there is a duck, and nothing is better than a duck.  That's a joke for the people who watch the show.

Then I remembered that I needed to make a crock pot of pork butt for dinner.  About three hours later than I meant too.  I cut up the veggies, carrots, celery, onions, whole garlics, and forgot the potatoes.  I salted and peppered the meat, and then added some vinegar and worschesteir sauce.  I forgot the fresh herbs. Oh, and I added a whole jalapeno, but no seeds. It made everything VERY hot and spicy.  That was not my plan.

After nap time we were bored.  I asked her if she wanted to go to Walmart so I could buy her a pretty birthday outfit.  She said "no."  And I respect that decision, so we didn't go.  She did have her frog boots on and was ready to play in the rain  (it had started raining hard instead of being beautiful and sunny and perfect like the morning was).  And that's what we did; Splashed in puddles and played with umbrellas.

Afterwards, we were still bored, so I decided it was time to do what I needed to do.  We drove out and bought some Amish grown strawberries, and I brought them to my mom's to make jam.  Only, my mom didn't know we were coming, and I didn't think about what one needed to make jam.  Like, jars and pectin and sugar and new jar lids. So I just cleaned them and froze them in bags instead.  Lilly would stand by the bowl and eat the berries as fast as I was cleaning them! She loves berries! 

While there, my dad called and said he needed dinner at 5:30 that day for reasons.  Which was awesome because I was going to leave to go eat dinner at my house at 5:00...but this meant FREE DINNER FOR ME.  Only not for me, just Lilly and I'll take that.  I got the tiny plate to eat off of, gotta keep my figure.

Lilly fell asleep on the ride home and stayed asleep! This meant she fell asleep 2 hrs earlier than normal and Josh and I had extra time!!  We were in the kitchen and I told him: There was no clean dishrags upstairs, so I didn't do the dishes today.

This morning I found a clean one he carried upstairs from the basement on the sink.  He's always thinking of me.

Today my work is getting Lilly a balloon.  PEEEZ!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

How I Make Soup

My favorite recipe at the moment is Cheesy Asparagus Soup.  I use this one: The Best Broccoli Cheese Soup from Averiecooks.com.  I found it through a google search...I have not read any of the other posts on the blog.  Broccoli and Asparagus are both dark green, and I like to cook meals and add foods to meals based on color.  So, clearly they are inter-mixable.

Josh and I don't like asparagus normally, but as a good friend taught me once, all gross vegetables are good if you cover them in cheese.  Enter Eggplant and Zucchini Parmesan. Right now, asparagus is in season and locally grown, so it is as fresh and as cheap as you can get food, which means we should eat it, even if it's not our favorite.  It's only around for a month or so anyways.

The recipe has you make a roux with butter, flour and fat free half and half.  WHAAT?  I never read that when I cooked it, I don't ever have half and half.  But fat free?  What IS that?  How can that be? Is it more like half skim milk half water?  Let me tell you, I make this better.  Take your two cup liquid measure cup and add sour cream and plain yogurt.  Or just one of those.  I mix them until I get one cup of thick creams then pour in one cup of milk and mix it together.  You could do just half a cup of sour cream.  Or probably cream cheese.  Just use a white delicious full fat food. 

Okay back up.  So sorry.  I add two cups chicken broth to the butter and flour roux (if you want to know how to make a roux, you should probably google or youtube it), THEN add the two cups of the white creamy liquid milk.  For the broth, I happen to have fresh broth on hand I made a few days ago.  But I would do two cups hot water with two bouillon cubes dissolved in, and be very careful how much salt I add in later.

In the recipe, the author has you cook the onions and garlic and then set them aside.  I don't have that much room or dishes to do that.  I just cook the onions and garlic in the 1/4 c butter I use to make the roux and just keep the onions there as part of it all.  I can't see a difference.  Once all the liquid is added, it is boiled/simmered for 20 min.  I don't know why.   I do it so that I can take the time to wash all the dishes I made dirty to get to this step and cut up the vegetables.  I would not have thought to add carrots to a soup like this.  Carrots are orange and cheese is orange...too much color similarity.  But it adds a nice texture change to the soup and a little sweetness.  I added red pepper to the onions because I had it and needed to use it up.  I didn't like it, but I don't really like bell peppers in soups.  I would have added a delicious jalapeno but I didn't want to make it too spicy for Lilly.

You add all the veggies and spices and boil it for another 20 min.  I don't think you should skip the spices for this soup.  The recipe suggests paprika and dried mustard powder.  It's very good.  In the future I might add cumin too, or a curry powder.  Be careful about the salt though.  Some chicken broths are very salty and cheese (which hasn't even been added yet) is also salty.  For this I added just less than a full teaspoon.

Cheese.  I pick yellow cheddar, but I like cheddar cheese for soups.  Josh's mom brought us a great smoked cheddar cheese that I added and it provided a nice smokey flavor to the soup.  Just shredd it and add it and stir and then serve the soup when you are ready.  I served it with tiny steaks that were 2$ at the grocery store.  Meat on the side!

Cheese Story:  The other morning I got to sleep in!  Josh got up with Lilly and I stayed in bed.  Lilly came in and brought me the unopened package of smoked cheese.  I thought Josh gave it to her as a surprise for me, so I opened it and shared it with her in bed.  I called Josh in, and he was soo surprised! Where did the cheese come from?!?  Apparently it was all Lilly's idea, and she also learned how to open and close the fridge.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Climbing Babies and the Barn Store

Yesterday I walked into the living room and Lilly was standing naked, on my (closed) laptop, waving the dress she was wearing around in defiance to the world.

We went to the library and when I was looking at the new release books in the adult section she climbed up onto a computer table and started laughing.  We had to leave.

We were checking out the JnJ Auction stuff in person and somehow she climbed up onto a table that was too high for her to climb up onto, while Josh and I were standing right there but didn't see her do it.

She hung off my arm like I was a jungle gym.  And my arm and the stair railing at the library too.

Lilly and I and a friend and her sons all had our picture in the paper this week because we visited the blacksmithing demonstration and pictures of moms and kids make good press.  Plus, we were all so beautiful, it was difficult not to put us in. he he he.

Last Friday we went to my Edward Jones person's open house at his new office.  He called me up to invite me, and I told him it was already on my calendar and had posted the newspaper article on my board.  He was shocked! I, on the other hand, realized that I cling to anything that offers free cake.  And, it was delicious cake. 

The office was next door to a Barn Store (like Farm and Fleet, etc.), so we went in to show Lilly the chickies and baby ducks, and to let her ride the lawn mowers. I was waiting in line to buy fertilizer and lime for our yard at my landlords direction.  A guy with a big (see: fat) hunting dog was in line behind me and talked to me about how he doesn't need a lawn mower (Josh and Lilly were climbing them) because he has such a large garden and he lets the goats and chickens mow the rest.  He told me that he doesn't like buying fertilizer etc. for the yard.  As I have a cart full of it.  I explained to him that I would choose something different, but my landlord insists...and it's not actually my yard.  And I told him about how I had to put down treated mulch and am having a hard time gardening b/c I don't want to eat food grown in treated mulch.  He agreed and said "You could grow a garden in pots...OR grow a garden of pot!!!"  He found that so amusing.  I told him that would be tough to do in town.

Then it was my turn to pay.  The cashier asked me "Would she like a cookie?" and I was confused.  She? Lilly? Lilly isn't even in eyesight right now.  I even looked around for her. And even though it was a free cookie I said "no, she just ate a bunch of cake." and the woman gave me the same confused look I just gave her.  Then she says "Yeah, my dog loves hamburgers.  We went on a road trip and that meant lots of stops at fast food places and she got a hamburger everytime.  My husband insisted."  Whaaaaaat?  I realized she thought the guy with the dog was with me.  I didn't correct her.  I just made the appropriate responses and left.

I put my heavy purchases in the trunk of the car while Josh got Lilly in the seat, and I returned the cart to the store.  As I was walking it in, this bigger older man asked me if he could have a ride.  I was like...ummm...no. And he said, pardon? and I said No.... and furiously tried to think of a funny response but couldn't.  I hate it when men come up and "flirt" with me by making a funny joke.  I never have a response, nor is the initial ever that funny.  If you are a man, has a woman ever come up and asked you for a ride in your cart?

I got back to the car and told Josh we have to leave...that store is just too weird.


Friday, May 8, 2015

NonViolence and How To Use It To Your Advantage

 Do you want to learn how to Stick It to The Man peacefully, nonviolently, and hopefully righteously?  What do you care about?  Women's rights? Equal rights? The environment? Taxes?  Laws? Big corporations seen as people? Food, from how it's grown to how it's manipulated by man?  Education improvements? Fracking?  The size of the government?  The welfare of our poor? Immigration statuses? Bringing down the baker, the banker and the candlestick maker?

There are 198 different ways to protest non-violently, so if you think non-violence isn't for you, I'm sure you can find something on the list to float your boat.  There are 24 different types of strikes.  There are citizens' noncooperation with government through boycotts of elections (seems like the young already do this), and refusal to accept appointed officials (what would that look like?), among others.  Refusal of a government's money. Lockout.  Domestic embargo (that's a government action).  To really get these to work though, you need to know what you are doing and how to best utilize these tools. 

Which is why I am letting you know that Rivera Sun, author of The Dandelion Insurrection, is coming to Grant and Fremont to teach you how to use these nonviolent actions to further your social change cause. AKA, teach you how to get what you want through non-violence.  The logistics and information is listed below.

If you want me to reserve a place (it's not too late!) let me know and I'll make it happen.  I have tickets!  All of these discussions do not focus on one issue, but teaches you to promote your issue, whatever it is.  There are also a few scholarships available.  If you want to go to the bookreading and dinner, all I can say is Hit The Road Joe's serves amazing locally sourced, house made food!  It is by far the best place to eat in the area.


Rivera Sun - Seeds of Change
Newaygo County, Michigan
Love-in-Action – May 21-23

Rivera Sun, author, co-host of Occupy Radio, and co-founder of Love-In-Action Network, will bring a focused approach to the dynamics and strategy of non-violent action, timely to people everywhere.

Thursday May 21: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Hit the Road Joe CafĂ© at 7291 Elm Ave.

Rivera will read from her book, The Dandelion Insurrection.  Dinner at 6:00.  Rivera at 6:45.  Reserve by 5/5/15 – Dinner: $10 Reading only, 6:45, free.  Call 231-652-6020

Friday, May 22: 10:30 am – 1:00 pm  Social Media for Social Change Workshop.  Grant District Library Community Room, 122 S. Elder, Grant.

Learn how to use social media to bring your message to the people.  $10.00.  Reserve by 5/15.  Call 231-335-3127 or  michigandandelions@gmail.com

Saturday May23, 10:30am – 2:30pm.  Seeds of Change Workshop, Fremont District Library Community Room, 104 E Main.

Learn skills for planning powerful campaigns that use nonviolence effectively.  Includes lunch.  $30.00.  Reserve by 5/5/15Call 231-335-3127 or  michigandandelions@gmail.com

Monday, May 4, 2015

Having Fit Pelvic Muscles Is An Important Thing

Saturday was Girl's Shopping Day for my mom, sister, and I.  Normally I don't like shopping and going to the mall, but my mom was going to buy Mandy and I something nice, and when she offers, one does not say no!  Plus, she buys quality stuff, and I love quality.

First we went to TJMaxx and were suppose to meet up with Mandy.  My mom told me to tell Mandy we'd be there in 20 min, and I said that to Mandy, but added that I didn't think that was right.  We got to TJ's earlier than I thought and Mandy wasn't there.  I went to text her, and surprise! She was calling me! At the exact same moment!  Turns out she didn't believe mom either, and was late, and then showed up to a different TJMaxx.  Well, no wonder we were confused...there's more than one!

As a mom now, I have connected to my mother in a new way.  The second we get to a store in GR, we have to pee.  Right away, first thing.  Mandy and I spent many of these shopping trips in the past making fun of her for that.  We sang the Gotta Go Right Now jingle to her and reminded her there was medication for that.  Turns out it's just a side effect of moms.  So, you non-moms, you have been warned.  Birthing babies messes up your bladder too.  Guess what happens when I have a particularly violent sneeze.  Anyways, we headed to the bathrooms first thing and one stall was being cleaned.  No matter, there were two more, and there were no signs up about not coming in.  When we washed our hands, we noticed that the person cleaning was a guy!  A guy heard us pee!!!  Ha ha ha. It was such a strange experience.  It was only weird because our culture says it's weird and uncomfortable, but rationally, I didn't care.  I mean, peeing is peeing.  I clearly talk about it all the time in public.  So I just pretended I was in Europe or on Ally McBeal.  Also, I realized, I do like separate bathrooms, but wouldn't at all care if a transgender woman was in there with me.  Woman's bathrooms are a secret club all about being a woman.  If a person is transitioning into being a woman, the woman's bathroom is the best place to go about learning about how to be a woman.

We met up with Mandy at Cabella's.  It apparently was a big shopping weekend, and they were grilling out out front.  We got free smores and I split a braut with Mom and then split another one with Mandy.  Then I returned a pair of shoes, getting cash back!  Woot.  And then we left.  Why ruin a perfectly good trip to Cabella's with shopping and stress?  Instead I got money and free food.  Perfect.

At the mall I insisted on stopping at Sephora.  There I asked for a person to help me find a concealer, and the Color Associate they called up was a guy too!  So, for the first time ever, I had a guy put makeup on me and help me.  He did an excellent job.  My very first reaction was "Does he even know about makeup?" but really, he wouldn't work there if he didn't.  Plus, he was wearing some too.

Then we headed to the good store, Eddie Bauer, and tried on ALL THEIR CLOTHEs and took up a big changing room and made the helpers run around getting us different sizes.  I stepped out to find my own clothes to try on and another worker came up and asked me if I needed help.  His name was Troy, and he reminded me of me when I worked at J. Jill.  He was doing his best to do a good job and be genuine, but really, this was just a job to him.  He was also 19.  He asked me if I needed help picking out clothes and what colors I liked.  I didn't, but I was just sooooo curious to see what he would say, so I let him help me.  He basically gave me the speil I would give at J.Jill...just repeating what he was coached to say and not doing a good job of making it original and his own. Only people who are passionate about jobs like this, I think, would make it original and their own, so it wasn't bad at all.  I just saw through it easily.  He just finished his freshman year at Grand Valley State Uni and is going to be an industrial artist...designing cars and the stuff we use everyday in our houses.  Isn't that amazing?  I love asking college kids what they are studying because they always want to be something amazing I had never even dreamed was a job possibility.

Sidenote:  My mother gifted me with an awesome spring/fall jacket!

To summarize, on one trip, a guy heard me pee, put makeup on me, and helped me buy clothes.  Is this progress towards gender equality? Or, are these men taking all of our (women) jobs?  Sort of reminds me of the argument that all of the immigrants (legal or illegal) are taking all of our American (white) jobs.

I don't know or care to think about it right now.  I'll rest on it.  Just putting it out there as Thought Food.  But that last paragraph is super opinionated and fight charged.  Pretend I said it while shoving my tongue into my cheek.  That's how I wanted it to sound.

OR I JUST REALIZED THIS!!  I was waited on by men all day.  Maybe us women's finally made it to the top!  Heh.  I like this one.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Were All Religions Cults At Some Point?

I've been reading Going Clear by Lawrence Wright.  It's about the history of L.Ron Hubbard and Scientology.  Reading it is like watching a car wreck...it's horrible and you just can't look away.  You can read the book if you want to know more.  I do suggest it, but it is horrible.  Well, the topic is terrible, the book is well written. 

The book is careful not to say that Scientology brainwashes it's people through isolation and disconnection from actual life and the world, but it is implied that it does.  Right or wrong, for this post, I'm going to connect those dots and say that they do brainwash people to keep people in their 'religion'.  (side note, I believe more in The Flying Spaghetti Monster as a religion than Scientology, you don't have to pay the Flying Spaghetti Monster to learn more about his tenants.)  I just can't stop thinking about this book and Scientology...it's the dark side of democracy, of America, of Freedom of Speech and Religion, and of Capitalism.  It works slower than the Hitler and the Nazi's, but Democracy has always been slower than Fascism for change, but I see little difference...maybe lack of complete success?

When I was in college, I belonged to a campus religious group that were Born Again Non-Denomination Christians.  I went with close friends and I liked learning about Christianity in a way I had never learned before.  Before this, I was convinced that most Christian friends I had were brainwashed...nothing they said made logical sense!  And then they would criticize me for having an interest in astrology.  It was just so confusing and unfair to me.  When I joined the Jesus Group in college (I call all of my bible studies and religious groups I join Jesus Groups because it's easier to explain to my non-religious friends) I thought that since it was Non-Denominational, it would be open to more beliefs systems and look at all the different types of Christianity.  In my hometown, there is a lot of tension between denominations and we have a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Christian Reformed Church.  Someone recently mentioned to me that as parts of a church disagree, the break-off and form another church in the same town.  We have 30+ churches and the rumor mill says they are well known for fighting among each other.  So, I thought I had escaped this by joining a non-denominational church. 

I was very wrong.

Turns out that Non-Denominational means that all other denominations are wrong and theirs is the only right one.  Tricksy tricksy.  I sat through a whole talk once on how amazing God is because in the old testament, he made the shadows go backwards...so he turned the Earth backwards to do that.  The conclusion of the meeting was to discuss how if we don't believe that literally, well, then how can I call my self a proper Christian?  Having Faith meant to whole heartedly jump in and believe literally and fundamentally everything in the Bible.  Since I can't believe that the Earth rotated backwards, I felt very alienated and wrong and like a bad person.  My Faith was challenged by my Church many times, and I was forced to pray and question what I believed, and it did draw me closer to God and it did strengthen my Faith.  It also, simultaneously pushed me farther and farther way from that Jesus Group and the people in it.  That's an odd place to be, loving God and Jesus and also being very angry and unhappy with Christians.  To the point that I don't like to belong to a Church or group because I don't like the be around other Christians.  I really really don't like being told what to do or what to believe, especially if there is an unspoken assumption that if I question or dissagree, I will be judged and ousted.  Or prayed for! LOL. That really makes me laugh.

We also had lots of discussions and lectures on how if we truly want to be more like Jesus and to be closer to God and to make him happy, we need to give up all things non-Christian...like modern medicine, non-Christian music, books, movies, tv, and especially non-Christian friends.  Even your thoughts, if impure, are sins.  The thought is the starting point of sin, so if you can keep your thoughts sin free, you will live sin free.  Doesn't that sound like the start of brainwashing?  I spent far too much time feeling guilty and like I was betraying God because I hated Creed, the Left Behind Series, and didn't like Mandy Moore movies, and I loved the Gorillaz, System of a Down, Independence Day, and, you know, regular human stuff.

After I went to these meetings and did happy Christian sin-free things with these people (except once when I was forced to watch the unrated sex scene in The Notebook over and over again), I would go out partying with my Buddhist boyfriend.

I have been "saved" three times before I left high school, once by surprise attack, and once or twice in college.  Now that I know I am a Christian and no longer need to be saved, people are still trying to save me all the time!!!  They just sort of ignore me when I say, I am a Christian.  I have been Saved.  I chose to remain Catholic.  Before I was married, Christians would lecture me on the Unequal Yoke (I always hear Yolk in my head) Bible verse on why I should break up with Josh.  Since he is not a Christian, I am like an Ox carrying more than an equal share of the yoke of teaching my child christianity and saving myself or something.  The oddest thing is that someone tried to 'save' me since I've moved home and am married.  I could tell it was a script and when she got to the Unequal Yolk part, it just didn't work...I'm already married and divorce is a big no-no.  HOW THE HELL DO YOU SAVE A SINNER LIKE ME?!?!

God.

In the college Jesus Group, being baptised was a big deal and I went to several baptisms and I was even re-baptized in the Pacific Ocean.  It was not the best most happy experience that the group said it would be.  I felt guilty and like I was betraying my family and my faith (which I felt every time I was 'saved' and accepted Christ into my life...I was born with him there...it just doesn't make sense).  I have never felt the need to be saved my whole life (leading to my suspicion that Born Again Christians are brainwashed) because I was saved as a baby.  As a Catholic, I was baptised as a baby.  There are pictures, there was a party, I already did it.  Just because I don't remember it and just because my parents didn't push religion on me, doesn't mean God wasn't there and that God wasn't at work.  But since it was a non-denominational group, my past thoughts and beliefs don't count...what the group thinks is what counts.

I did not like that group because they did try to brainwash me, inadvertently, I'm sure, but I would do it again.  It forced me to face myself and my beliefs and I formed a personal relationship with God that was amazing, and I'm so glad I came out stronger and more independent than I was before.  At the same time I would discourage anyone (especially my children) from going through that.  There are easier ways.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Shooting Star's a Meteor That's Heading For Us All

"A shooting star is not a star
It's not a star at all
A shooting star's a meteor
That's heading for a fall us all

A shooting star is not a star
Why does it shine so bright?
The friction as it falls through air
Produces heat and light

A shooting star, or meteor
Whichever name you like
The minute it comes down to Earth
It's called a meteorite"

 I only changed one bit to that song.  You can see where I crossed it out.  I like my version better.

I was marching for peace with the Women In Black - they mourn violence and offers options to counter that violence, beginning in Israel in 1988 - last Saturday in Hesperia, and afterwards we had a nice lunch at the local diner.  (Only restaurant?).  At then end of a lunch with terrible service and our server (ironically a server lady from my past) disappeared, I went up to pay, per usual.  The rest of the ladies, having more life experience than me, carried ones and cash in small bills, so they just left their payment on the table and left.  I had to wait by the register, wrangling a toddler who was intent on escaping to the outside world of sunshine and refusing to sit in her stroller (hence, why I hate strollers...can't wrangle them and a kid at the same time).  A very nice young girl came up from clearing the bills/money off our table.  She rang up my bill, and it took forever!  Finally, I noticed she was flustered and she said, It's not working! Looking, the computer says 0$ but your bill says $9.93.  I asked if I could just give her my twenty instead of a credit card.  She looks at me and goes, I dont' know what to do!  quietly and in a terrified manner, half hoping I could work the computer for her.  I said, "well I don't know what to do either!"  and I hoped that I sounded as supportive and not angry as possible.  I wasn't...but Lilly was escaping and I was distracted.  She went and got the manager, and he was one of the best manager type managers I've ever encountered.  He seemed more genuine in his happy banter than most.  He rings me up and I hand him my twenty, and I say, can I just have $7 back?  And no, that would be much too confusing for him and he asks if he can just give me the change and I can take care of the tip.  Okay, okay.  Lilly is past the first door to the outside now and heading for the last and final door to freedom.  I get my change and pick out three dollars, and ask the manager where to set them, as all the money from our table is in front of me precariously balanced on the edge of the register and the table is cleaned and I haven't seen our server in over 30 min.  Who even gets this tip???  The manager is all, I don't know where to put it!  So I left it on the pile of cash.  I hope it goes to that scared girl who doesn't know how to work the computer yet.  

I was that scared girl many times in my life.  I hope she learns to take charge of her problems and not hope that someone else will be kind and help her out.  People are usually not that kind.  That's why I march with the Women in Black.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Chemicals Are All The Things

My last post was quite an emotional outburst, and public emotional outbursts usually end terrible for me.  I haven't been brave enough yet to go back to it.  Someday I will, and someday I will speak on sexual education of the young.

But until then, I have another problem with the internet, and that is how often I'm forced to come across people I like, know, love, respect, or just are regular Facebook acquaintances, posting things that seem like science, but is actually pseudoscience.  And, as Josh recently found out, not everyone knows the "P" in pseudoscience is silent.  I'm here to tell you it is.

Next, this is my newest pet peeve, and that is the broad use of the word "chemicals".  This Article and This One are excellent better researched articles on this topic than what I'm going to provide for you.  Technically, you could call me out as a hypocrite for spouting my opinions without properly researching them first. The articles are about the Food Babe, maybe you've heard of her? I haven't, but I don't circuit the healthy living all natural food blogs because they are too full of pseudoscience, much exhibited by the Food Babe.  But she states that “There is just no acceptable level of any chemical to ingest, ever.”And that is what irks me the most.  The blatant over use of the word "chemical".  Did anyone take chemistry in high school?  It's basic science knowledge, and I'm not being all intellectual here, I do mean BASIC science, that everything is made of chemicals.  I'll repeat in Internetese:  CHEMICALS ARE ALL THE THINGS! 



Example:
Waters' chemical equation is H2O
Salts' chemical equation is NaCl or if you will, Halite, or sodium chloride.  All mean the same thing.
Chlorine is a chemical that is put in our drinking water to kill bacteria.  Would you rather drink pool water or lake water or ocean water?  One is filled with chlorine, one is filled with fish poop, and one is filled with salt and fish poop.
There is a chemical equation for all organic things...lots of OH's and C's in them.  Josh could fill you in on these, I never took organic chemistry.
The sand at the beach is mostly SiO2. Or Silica, or quartz, if you will.  Unless you are at an ocean beach because some of them are made up of carbonatious chemicals, commonly known as sea shells, or Tums/chalky antacids, or as I call them, Mommy's night time candy.
 Vinegar is a known superfood cureall make everything okay.  Not only is it a chemical...it's also an acid.  Shit.
All oils, including the most precious of all oils, coconut oil, are chemicals.  You break those chemicals apart (a glycerin chemical connected to 3 fatty acids) and separate them, and you get biodiesel.  No matter what oil it is...it all makes biodiesel. 

Milk is a chemical, and it's ever so slightly acidic (6.7 and 7 is neutral), but is close to neutral.  That's why you put it in your eyes after you touch them with capsaicin (Follow link for chemical equation and to learn its' history).  Capsaicin is the chemical in jalepenos that makes them spicy and hot.  The milk's pH helps neutralize the pain.

The air we breath is a chemical.

Now, I'm not saying all chemicals are good, but please, please, so you don't look like a giant dufus, think about what you are saying and what it really means.  You cannot communicate your message well, if you aren't saying what you think you are saying. 

And please, never believe what you read on the internet without research, confirmation, and peer reviewed credibility. I'm skeptic about the peer reviewed part though, groupthink is a real thing.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Born The Victim

I am mighty angry today.

A Facebook post just reminded me of why I hate the world and the people in it.  All the people who live in chosen ignorance and promote rape culture among our young boys.  I don't feel like giving people the benefit of the doubt today.  So if my words make you angry, be an adult and get over it, or relook at yourself, maybe I'm like and I hit a truth cord.

Also, Lilly took my lipstick and colored the counter with it.  She also made me take a bath before 8am.  She stood there and played with her bathtoys and got wet and got the floor all wet, but would not get in the tub with me, even with clothes on.  She communicates by yelling and then crumpling to the floor in a tantrum.  I have NO IDEA what's wrong.  And she's mad at me for not instantly knowing.

Shit.  I have to go out and do errands.  Luckily I just remembered, it has to be done by today.  I think I will go to Newaygo, the used book store and this other antique odds and ends store nearby. 

My mom turns twenty nine today.  And even though I'm angry typing, I'm very happy about this.  She makes turning older super exciting.  Mandy and I agree, will our hair turn grey like hers?  We both hope so and look for grey streaks regularly.  Mandy already has a 10 hair one.  Mine are still sprinkled.  Her life just gets more fun as it goes on.  My moms' life, not Mandy's.  Mandy is an introvert...lol. I tease her.

Now, what got me angry?  When I was in high school, I'd want to wear certian shirts or clothes or want to hang out with guy friends (FRIENDS) alone.  But no one would let me.  As you can figure my parents were the main perpetrators, but they were supported by an older mentor from Young Life, and other adults I trusted.  So, okay, that's fine.  But, when I asked, why? Why can't I wear this shirt?  "Because it shows your cleavage"  But why does that matter? It's just my body! What's wrong with my body? I can't help having cleavage! I didn't even know I had cleavage until someone told me.  It was always a source of concern and worry and stress for certain adults in my life that my boobs were so big.

So, then I'd ask, "why can't I show my cleavage?"  And the answer I got from all adults I asked is "It'll will make the boys think."  I asked what will they think?  And the young life lady shuddered and said, you don't want to know what they think.  WTF!?! And that's the most answer I ever received.  I still am not exactly sure what it is that the boys will think, and why don't I want them to think it?  I'm just don't know!

The best solution to my scientific teenage mind was to wear these cleavage clothes and act and dress in the way that makes the boys think when adults aren't looking, so that I can try and figure out what it is they are thinking.  And as far as I could tell, they were thinking the same things I was.  So, I was right and adults are wrong.  And I stick by this.  They should have been honost with me, maybe I wouldn't have been such a tease.  Because I was all, You can look at me as much as you want but never ever touch me, all the way until I got pregnant and lost my young woman/girl body.  Now I have a mom body, and I just don't have time for looks any more nor cares.

And that's what the face book post did, was put into words all of my frustrations with this situation: (it was followed by pic of a girl in leggings and a long tshirt)

"Today, my sister was sent home from school for wearing the clothes in the picture below. And I'm sorry but I have to stand up for my family and for women who are degraded and judged for their bodies and clothing everyday. People wonder why women feel insecure about their bodies or what they wear.. And it's beause you're told your clothing is inappropriate when you're completely fully clothed, even when you're not showing cleavage or anything. How about instead of body shaming women, school systems should start teaching 15-18 year old boys to stop degrading women with their eyes and contributing to the rape culture of today's society. Bottom line, girls cannot go to school in comfortable clothes THAT COVER EVERYTHING because school systems are afraid that hormonal boys won't be able to control their eyes and minds. And that is such a bigger problem than worrying about clothing. No, I do not believe that all boys in middle school/high school degrade young women or sexualize their bodies. That is my point.. this is not an inappropriate outfit, yet some are worried it might be seen that way, so they send girls home to change to try to avoid an issue and THAT is the problem. Not to mention, when you send someone home because of innappropriate clothing, you're taking away from their eduction. So I guess it's more important for boys to not have distractions (even when they're aren't any) than a woman's education. When will people realize how big of an issue this really is?"

Who was telling those boys not to "think things" about girls?  Anyone? Or was it all "boys will be boys"?  Why must I change who I am and change how I want to dress and express myself so that boys will not think sexy thoughts?  That's the same as saying the woman shouldn't have dressed that way if she didn't want to get raped.  We all know boys and rapists don't care what a woman is wearing,...they can imagine us naked all the same.


Monday, March 30, 2015

One Day A Habit Does Not Make

I am feeling so great today! Yesterday I felt the opposite, and I struggled with it all day.  I was tired!  There was no clean underwear upstairs.  There was no clean dishrags upstairs.  Or pants.  That's a lie, there were pants, I just didn't want to wear them.  I was able to get my pj pants on, sans unders, and a sweatshirt over my pj shirt.  I got Lilly a banana muffin and juice and situated in front of the TV, Ciallou.  Then I laid in bed until it was lunch.  I got up to change Lilly's diaper and play with her, then I laid on the couch until lunch.  I guess that first sentence was incorrect.  Lilly got pbandj for lunch and yogurt.  Then I put her down for a nap and I slept more too.  Then we laid around until Josh got home. Oh, and Lilly got as many cookies as she wanted for her afternoon snack.

It was the worst!  I was so mad.  I wanted to clean, I wanted to be clean, I wanted to be responsible. I wanted to go downstairs and find a pair of clean underwear.  I wanted to turn the TV off so my baby girl could play with toys and learn and grow.  I wanted to feed her a variety of healthy foods like fruits and veggies and protein.  But I could not do any of those things.  I just could not.  I was very worried about myself.  Was I sinking into a terrible depression?  Was I a fundamentally bad person?  Was this the start of the building of bad habits that grows and grows until five years from now I look back at myself in disgust and say "What have I become?!?!"  "What have I let my family become?"

I did some breathing/meditation exercises and looked at the situation from "outside".  Here is what I realized:
1.  It was Sunday.  You are allowed to watch tv and wear your pj's all day on Sunday.
2.  I had a very tiring busy weekend and Josh was working the whole time.  Of course I'm allowed to be tired.
3.  It was Josh's third day in a row working...I'm always exhausted on these Sundays.
4.  It was super windy, rainy AND snowy.  I wasn't going to go anywhere, it was a perfect lazy day.
5.  I did go downstairs to find a clean dishrag, but the unders were too hidden under the giant pile of clean clothes and towels, and I didn't want to search for a pair.  I'm not sure what this says about me or the situation. But I find it ironic, and that amuses me.
6.  One day does not equal a habit.  Everyone has off days.
7.  Lots of people watch more tv than me, and I respect them and their families.  TV is not the true devil.  Especially if all we watch are PBS toddler shows.
8.  I am feeling overwhelmed with the changes that spring brings.  I need to make a to-do list and more importantly, a list that chronicles what I have done.  A have-done list reminds you that you are not useless and that you accomplish more than you think.
9.  Lilly has been sleeping in her own big girl bed, and I have had to wake up and go to her once or twice a night...the change adds to tiredness too.

Here is my Have-Done list for yesterday:

1.  Put away Lilly's clean clothes.
2.  Did some dishes. (I think, I must have)
3.  Fed my baby.  A full baby is more important than a starving baby surrounded by vegetables.
4.  Provided a warm, filling, delicious meal for my husband when he got home from work.
5.  Picked up my boxes of yarn from the living room (and just moved them to the bedroom).  This one is sort of a draw.

Now, about that warm, filling dinner I provided?  It was Spanky's Pizza and Breadsticks, delivered.  Yeah, I just made a phone call and amazing food was brought to me.  I over tipped the driver b/c I made him go out in terrible ice snow rain.  Luckily, it wasn't very far.

Lilly also discovered a new word to add to her collection.  It's called "Mine!"  While Josh was eating, she took his plate of pizza and said MINE! and then grabbed his pizza and said Mine! and wouldn't give it back to him.  Then, she said "Mine!!" and licked the entire back of his pizza.  Too bad for her that when you wipe someones butt, a little bit of their tongue spit is not gross, and Josh ate the pizza anyways.  It was not hers!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Place Title Here

I realized that if I want to keep up my writing skillz, I have to keep writing.  So here is yet another post.  As you should know, an assertive adult will not read this if they don't care.  Not complain that I talk about myself too much.  And that is a showing of my lack of confidence in what I do and a fear of the unknown, not a comment on any actual person.

Blah blah blah.

WHAT!?  Lilly just put her new colored pencils away in the box they came in!  I am always surprised at how amazing she is.  They aren't all in there and I think she stuck them in through the window, not the top of the box.  She also tried to eat the red and blue ones.

The Fremont Cinemas is holding a Super Fantasy Festival in May.  Costumes encouraged.  There are only 110 tickets, so I called today to get information.  It's two days, but we can only financially and timewise afford one day. Yet, we can't buy the tickets because the schedule is not posted on the website.  http://www.superfantasyfest.com/  One of the activities listed is a Magic The Gathering Card Game Tournament, or just Magic Tournament if you play.  That's definitely what Josh and I want to do, so I called them up to see what day it is and what the rules are.  There are several types of tournaments.  Well, turns out, I'm much more nerdy than the kids working there and probably helping out with the Fantasy Fest.  The first girl didn't know much about it at all.  No big deal.  I knew I was asking picky questions.  I wanted to know if it was a draft tournament, or if we brought our own cards.  We bring our own cards.  Then I wanted to know if we can only bring cards from the last/current set.  No...we can bring any cards we want to "do battle".  How I wish all of you played Magic, so you would understand the full impact of that sentence.  One, I do not "do battle", I dominate!  Once you see me, you might as well go home.  Second, this can't be an official tournament (you can get nationally ranked, etc. b/c they do track official tournaments all over the country/world(?)).  By saying you can bring any cards, people are not truly playing on a fair and same playing field.  Josh and I would kick butts of anyone knew to the game as we've been collecting for over 10 years...we've got all the sweet cards and can build tournament illegal decks and use cards that are generally band from play because they are too good.  Many of our Magic friends would kick our butts because they put money into buying the extra awesome cards to build impossible to beat Mill Decks.  Or cat decks, or vampire decks.  Someday I'm going to build a rat deck.  It's just going to be Mana and rats.  Chittering Rats.  Mwa HA HA HA!  That's totally not legal...you can't have more than 4 of the same type of card in your deck.  Lands don't count.

Soooo...I hope there's money to be won at this tournament.  I have a kick ass green deck.  Or maybe I should bring Ack Attack...a red and white deck that rules the same way Ackbar does.

Finally, I asked on my phone call when the schedule would be posted online.  I was told it probably already was. *Eye Roll*  As a magic nerd, phone calls and personal interaction is not my strong point.  Of course I checked out the website first...if it was all there as it should be, I wouldn't have needed to call them.

Next order of business is to figure out which fantasy figure Josh and I will dress up as.

Uh oh.  Lilly has her boots on and her mittens and her coat and hat are by her feet.  I suspect it's time to go outside.