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 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

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

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.