Thursday, September 27, 2007

The links to John's site has been fixed! Thanks for the heads up sis.

And then I read this post over at Dandilion Mama:

Pracitical Application and CF Bulbs

This is VERY important! Please check out what she has to say.

Then go over and read what John has to say, all in all a very good blog day.

Now go...CLICK!

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A "must read" blog recommendation

O.k. I am using a snorkle to breathe, but I am out in the open world again! While I was living in a state of suspended animation I did A LOT of blog crusin'. All of the usual suspects, and then going down blogrolls to find new and exciting things!

One of my favorite blogs, one on my blogroll for a very long time is Flagrant Disregard. John is smart, witty, and one of the great photgraphers (he has a fabulous Flickr! page). He is responsible for Flickr! Toys and a bunch of computer techno stuff I can't begin to understand. The point is I click on his blog constantly because it is always a good read.

Lately John has been parenting his two children alone while his "Lovely and Talented Wife" has been on tour. He has been writing about his experiences which have been absolutely hilarious.

This post is what I consider a must read by pretty much everyone. He sums up a long month of single parenting and what he has learned from it. It's a very good read. So go over and check him out. Let me know what you think.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Calton's Log: still a sick day.

Randsburg is in Kern County, California. The population was 77 at the 2000 census. Located between Kramer Junction to the south and Ridgecrest to the north. Randsburg is in the Rand Mountains, and is separated by a ridge from the neighboring community of Johannesburg.

In 2000, there were 49 households, with 22 families. (According to the census, the average household size was 1.57 and the average family size was 2.09.) The median age is 57 years. For every 100 females there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.7 males. (do the math on that one...there are only 77 people to begin with!) The median income for a household is $48,000, and the median income for a family is $49,875. Males have a median income of $53,750 versus $21,250 for females. The per capita income is $23,602. None of the population and none of the families are below the poverty line.

From Henry Chenowith's account: "No mine in recent history has been plagued by more legal problems than the Rand mine. First discovered in 1895 by three prospectors who had spent time in the Mojave and Death Valley area with little to show for it, the find created a rush to the area despite the merciless heat and the absence of available water. The mine's legal problems started with two of the original owners agreeing to sell a half interest to an investor as a means of raising cash to construct a mill. The third original owner did not agree and set off a round of legal problems that lasted well into the 1920s. However, the original three owners had by 1897 received some $250,000 for two years work. Eventually, revenues would amount to over $25 million from the Randsburg mines."

Jim Bremner says: "The Rand Area extends over a hilly plateau at an elevation of 3500 feet. The climate is typical of the high desert -- summers are hot and dry, reaching average highs of 110 degrees F. Winter temperatures can drop as low as 10 degrees above zero and snow is not infrequent. With Spring comes the desert wildflowers -- Primroses, Prince's Plumes, Indigo Bushes, Lupines and Asters. Late summer is the season for thunderstorms.
Kit Foxes, Jackrabbits, Cottontails, hawks, eagles and Coyotes are some of the animals that live in Randsburg year-round. The Costa's Hummingbird visits during the summer. Tarantulas and Desert Tortoises migrate through the Rand Area."

There is a "Cottage Hotel", "Opera House and Cafe", "Saloon", "Museum", "Antique Store", Post Office" and "General Store" to help you pass the time. The entire town is about five square miles, so trust me when I say that you can find easy parking and walk everywhere.

Next time you are traveling north on old 395 through the Mojave take a left when you see Red Mountain or Randsburg. You'll spend an interesting few minutes and drive away thankful for where you currently live.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ahhrrrrr rated post

My pirate name is:

Captain Ethel Bonney

Even though there's no
legal rank on a pirate
ship,everyone recognizes
you're the one in charge.
You can be a little bit
unpredictable, but a
pirate's life is far
from full of certainties,
so that fits in pretty
well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

According to Bloody Mary Rackham today is "Talk Like a Pirate" day. Bloody Mary suggests we all get a pirate name or walk the plank, so do as yer told! I'm going back below deck with a jug of rum. Um, I'm the Capt'n, I can do that.

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Carlton's Log: sick day

Photos from a trip through Randsburg, CA, "the living Ghost Town". Located in the hills south of Ridgecrest (yeah, that name doesn't conjure up any mental logistics either...) Randsburg is a desolate community of rambling hills, vacant shafts, and lots of character. Thor and I travel through Randsburg at least once a month on our way to Bishop for work meetings. A couple of trips back we stopped long enough to get a few photos.

I'll post more info in the coming days. Today my head is exploding and I have a deep sexy(?) voice from the lovely viral nasty that has moved in and is residing there. ugh.

Seeya tamale.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

a good idea, repeated

I am repeating myself in this post to emphasis a great point, one that -again- I can't claim as my own.

A young mom in our ward found herself in the same situation we all do, frustrated and wondering how her child made it through the day in one piece. She confided over the pulpit that she had made the mistake of putting her child to bed in anger. She tucked her little one into bed with a laundry list of his wrong doings and turned out the light in a huff.

Half way down the hall she heard his tiny voice calling, "Mommy, what about the rights?" In confusion she turned back and asked him to explain. "What rights? What are you talking about?" Her little boy replied that she had told him all the things he did wrong, would she tell him the all the things he did right before he went to sleep?

At this point, her eyes filled with tears and she realized she had sent her child to bed without knowing any of the good things he had accomplished that day. He felt like a failure in his mommy's eyes, unsure of his place, unsure that he was loved. I fear that we all have been in that same position some time during our mothering careers.

I was very humbled to hear this story, feeling my own guilt and wanting to be better. Isn't this a grand idea? She repented right then and there and decided that every night he would be tucked into bed, no matter the prior experiences of the day, with a laundry list of things done right. She admits that the list can be difficult to fill some days, "You were the very best at breathing today!" "You kept your shoes on all the way through lunch!" and other such good deeds. The thing is, he went to bed feeling loved by his mommy.

I don't believe we need to coddle our children, to let them win each time, to take them to every event they are invited to or make sure their life is fair in every way. They need to learn and experience life. However, they should always feel safe when they lie down at night. They should always feel love before they go to sleep.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Part 4: An Example Chart

This is an example of a chart that I made years ago. It has a different colour for each child on the top, and then colours for mom and dad on the bottom. (You can adapt this to your needs.) Each section has five minute increments, beginning with the bedtime and going backwards, which can be marked off.
The bottom of the chart is an illustration that shows that "obedience equals happiness and a correct bedtime" on the left; and that disobedience equals unhappiness and an early bedtime.

You may need to click on each photo to see clearly the illustrations, but you get the idea. And yes, my kids went to bed at 7:00 until they were in 6th grade.

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Part 3: Family Home Evening Lesson Outline

Now that you know the basic foundation for the program here is an outline to help your children understand exactly how you will train each other for happiness. The idea is, that instead of arguing and disobedience, choosing to obey, and being disciplined will result in more happiness -which is its own reward. An obvious reward for obedience (using this system) is that everyone will go to bed on time and not have to miss out on family time.

Every time a person chooses disobedience or arguing, that person will take five minutes off of their bedtime. They will recognize their behavior, admit it to the parent, and promise to try and choose better. At the end of the day, one half hour before the earned bedtime, they will begin the bedtime routine. After that time (the half hour before the bedtime) any (each) act of disobedience will result in five minutes off for the following day. If a person goes to bed other than the regular time, that person will not get a story or other bedtime 'perks'. Prayers will be said, the parent will tell the child (at least five) things they did right and tuck them in. If a child goes to bed before dinnertime, they will still go to bed, and when dinner time has come, they will get a sandwich and a glass of milk. They get out of bed only to re-brush their teeth. They only go potty if they get permission. Any "pretending" adds five minutes off the next day.

Every bedtime should include prayers and mom and/or dad sharing (at least five) things the child did correct during that day, reinforcing the good behaviours and letting the child feel forgiven and accepted.

If mom and dad goof up, say a naughty word or whatever you decide, there is a spot on the chart for you to take responsibility for your mistake as well. At the end of the week the children get to decide how to spend those minutes, as a family, with you.

A chart that should be laminated and used with a dry wipe marker to mark off the five minute increments for disobedience. Each person in the family will have their own colour, mom and dad can share colours if you want. Place the chart low enough on the fridge so that every child can mark on it and "read" it easily. An example chart will be posted after this. When you make up your family's chart try to make it so that any non-readers can understand the concept clearly by observing the illustrations.

A key to the success for this system is that you will train yourself NOT to argue or debate with your children. Never. You are the parent, they are the children. You train them, not the other way around. Later, in their teen years they can discuss points, but in tones that are rational and with respect and obedience without argument to your final decision. Your children will not be robots without opinion, but rather young adults who can discuss and accept the will of wiser parents with trust. In turn you may even find they have a great reason and change your opinion due to their self control and good use of language!

Always pattern your parenting to that of Heavenly Father and you'll do fine.

Most all other questions should be answered in the following outline. However, if you come up with a question, feel free to ask away and I will try to explain it better.

Family Night Overview

Opening Song: Choose the Right Way CS 160

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: “ And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” - Mosiah 4:14-15

Ask each family member to tell of a time when they felt really happy.

Explain that Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to be happy all the time. When we look at the times when we are happy it is usually when we are obedient and following the commandments of God. Commandments are like God’s rules.

Our home also has rules. What are some of our rules?

When we follow the home and family rules we are happy.

Satan does not want our family to be happy. He has come up with a plan to make us sad. It has a name: Contention. (3 Nephi 11:29) Contention means to argue or fight with each other, to use mean voices and angry words. When we disobey the family rules it makes Satan happy and God sad. It makes us sad too. We are Heavenly Father’s children; we feel the same way Heavenly Father feels when we obey and when we do not obey. We do not want contention in our home; we want to feel happy inside.

Our bedtime rule is that the children go to bed at 7:00 so they can have a good night sleep and wake up happy and ready for a new day.

Let’s talk about a new rule to help make us happy. It is a choosing rule. You will get to choose for yourself to obey or disobey.

Do you think it would help if we started to think carefully about our words and actions? Our words and actions need to be nice. We need to speak nicely to each other, not argue or fight, and to obey Mommy and Daddy without arguing.

Do you think we can choose correctly and make Heavenly Father and ourselves happy all the time?

Here is a special chart that will help all of us learn to choose the right and make changes so that we can be a happier family.

If we choose well all day long, we will get to eat dinner with the family and spend family time until our bedtime. Mommy and Daddy will spend the time right before bedtime helping you take a bath, brush your teeth, and get ready for bedtime. We will share a story, tell you the things you did right all day, say our prayers and sing a song before you go to sleep. That would make us all happy, right?

When we choose to disobey, or uses mean words, or argue, we will lose 5 minutes of the day. This means that we will need to go to bed five minutes earlier. If we choose to disobey the family rules we will go to the chart with Mommy or Daddy and cross off the bedtime by five minutes. We will also have to tell Mommy or Daddy what we chose to do wrong and say we are sorry and try to choose better.

It takes us a half hour to get ready for bed. So at the end of the day Mommy or Daddy will check the chart and when we are a half hour from the bedtime you have chosen, we will come and get you and help you get ready for bed. We will help you take your bath, brush your teeth, and get ready for bed. We will say prayers with you, tell you the things you did right, and tuck you in.

We will not get a story or a song if we choose to go to bed early. If we choose to go to bed before dinnertime, when it is dinnertime Mommy or Daddy will bring us a sandwich and a glass of milk. We will not be allowed to get out of bed without permission; if we choose to disobey then we will lose 5 minutes off of the next day. Even if it’s sunny outside or we are not tired we will need to rest quietly in our bed. If we have to go potty, we will need to ask Mommy or Daddy to get out of bed. If we choose to pretend or be disobedient after we are in bed, then we will choose to lose another five minutes for the next day.

_______will be the red colour, _____ will be the blue, and ______will be yellow. Mommy and Daddy will help you to choose the right. If you argue with Mommy or Daddy you are choosing to lose five minutes.

If Mommy and Daddy use angry words or disobey the family rules they will choose to put 5 minutes on the chart. At the end of the week, we will count up all the minutes. The children in the family can decide how to spend the time with Mommy and Daddy.

Do we think we can change for the better and make us all happy? Do you think that Heavenly Father will be happy with us?

I know that Heavenly Father will be very happy that our family is trying to be obedient and not allow Satan to make our choices.

Let’s begin this tomorrow and see how much we more happy we can be by next week!

Closing Song: Quickly I’ll Obey CS 197
Closing Prayer:

In all honesty, the first day we applied this system, #1 went to bed at 3:30! Wow. Not one of the kids made it past 5:30. It was one of the toughest days of my life! The next day it got better, and the day after that it was great. By the end of week two the kids were only missing bedtime by 20 minutes or so. Eventually, (a few years later) we decided that when a child reached the sixth grade they could go to bed "whenever". It was an easy rule, because they were self disciplined by then. They knew the rules, they knew they had to get up at a certain time, no matter what, so they usually chose well.

This disciplined all of us so well that I can also honestly say that I can count on less than one hand the times my kids talked back to me after we implemented this program. Imagine your teenagers NEVER giving you back talk, never raising their voice to you, and rarely to their siblings. It was years of practice, but it worked.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Part 2: The Base

When we think about it, Heavenly Father never argues with anyone. He does not debate. He sets a certain standard and expects us to follow that standard. When we choose to disobey there is an established consequence already in place that follows. The same is true for obedience, there are set rewards for obedience and we receive those rewards according to our obedience to Heavenly Father. This is a great example for us to follow as we parent our children.

Heavenly Father allows us the opportunity to grow and learn, to repent and change. We can take advantage of this gift each time we make a mistake and try to better ourselves immediately. Heavenly Father recognizes the person who is trying to repent. He forgives our mistakes and helps us to listen better to the Spirit, which will help us to choose more wisely our thoughts, actions and words.

Teaching children to understand the process of agency is important. Many times members of the church refer to this as “free agency”. It is true we are “free” to choose, however agency comes with rewards and consequences. We can choose the act, but not the reward or consequence.

Our thoughts lead our words and actions. Helping children to understand they think about their choices before they act is vital to their becoming aware of their agency and their own responsibility. Reminding them that they are constantly choosing for themselves will help them accept the rewards and consequences for their chosen behaviors. Re-enforcing good behavior is always preferred, however children must also have boundaries and understand with clarity when they have crossed over those boundaries.

Little children learn very early on what “yes” and “no” mean. If they can say “no” they understand its’ meaning well enough to begin practicing obedience.

As children grown in understanding they can be taught that only Heavenly Father can refuse to forgive; we are commanded to forgive all. However, when things become very serious, Heavenly Father will remove someone from the group – kind of like “time out”, to keep the group safe from harm. In society, when adults behave badly, in a very serious way, they too are removed from the group and set apart so that they do not harm anyone in the group. This kind of “time out” is called “jail” or “prison”. Their agency is taken away and someone with the proper authority chooses for them. In both of these examples there are times when the person who has behaved badly will repent and be brought back into the group, forgiven and allowed to live, choosing for themselves again. In other cases, when they have behaved so badly they do not repent, they will sit in a "time out" and not be allowed to make their own decisions. They lose their agency because they have not made enough correct decisions. They do not live with their families, friends, or get to leave “time out”.

In our homes children need to understand clearly the boundaries Heavenly Father has set and the ones that we as a family have set. Children need consistency so they can choose correctly each time and know what to expect.

Children need to understand the difference between discipline and punishment. A disciplined child will be educated, love learning, be obedient and eventually live the standards necessary for acceptance into adult society, clubs, etc. and if a member of the church -a temple recommend. Discipline is a gift, most times without tangible rewards. Children will need help recognizing these rewards as they come along. Constant reminders of “hidden” rewards for a disciplined life will help them appreciate rules and boundaries that help them towards goals.

Hidden rewards can be earning good grades, being the good friend, finishing projects, helping others, etc.

Hopefully as we train ourselves to be better parents, our children will become self-disciplinarians and the parent role can evolve (around year 18!) from caregiver and teacher to adviser and friend. “I teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.” – Joseph Smith

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Are you frustrated as a parent? So was I.

A long time ago I found myself alone with five children as Thor went off in search of a dinosaur to whack over the head and throw into our cave. I was out numbered and the offspring got restless. I couldn't blame them or Thor, it was my fault. I was inconsistent and it frustrated everyone.

One particular day I found the very ugly side of myself and thought I was the worst mother in the world. I grew up in a spanking world. I was taught to spank. Spanking solved everything. If I got into trouble I was to go outside, pull down a slim branch, spend a few minutes bending it back and forth until it broke off the tree, and then hand it over to my mother who disciplined me with said twig. Although I never went that far, I did spank and I regret each and every one of those spankings.

I remember them and what is worse, my children remember them. Do we remember what caused them to be spanked? Nope, just the punishment that came from anger and left its emotional mark on my kids. My kids are grown now, and have forgiven their dolt of a mother. I have not.

We have been admonished by a prophet of God, now, recently, to give up the spanking. I wish I had heard that speech when my little ones were little. My spanking was encouraged, even praised, and I had well behaved children to prove the method. However one day I broke. I couldn't do it anymore. So I prayed. Hard.

What I came up with was marvelous. It worked! It was HARD. Especially on me, because I had to change. The training was more for me than the kids. But change I did, and they followed; and after one heck of a week things began to turn very well. I still had the best behaved kids I knew, just without the spanking, arguing and other messes that led to all of our frustrations. My kids were happy and content; and so was I.

So here you go. I have been asked by a few people to finally get this out there in hopes that the masses (read: the 5 people who read this blog) can find it as useful as I did. Please read through all the posts and feel free to adapt it to your particular circumstances and family.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Thanks to Kim Carney from "Something to Say"! She has flattered me much and nominated me for the "Rockin' Girl Blogger" award. I am gushing. If you have yet to be over at Kim's place you need to go. She always has something terrific to peruse. She has the best links and the most delicious photos to look at every day. Lots of flowers, but many other subjects. If you get a chance to wander through her past, check out her Flickr! Sets and her Self-Portraits -you will never see better art work and honesty. She is fabulous and inspirational!

And while I am at it...I need to thank (once again) my sis -Cooper's Chronicles , who makes me look good. If there is any techno stuff that needs to be taken care of, she graciously does it in the middle of the night for me like the Shoe Maker's Elf. I love her. LOVE her. If you need to know anything she can tell you. Seriously. We were yakking the other day about a post we read and she asked a question that neither of us could answer. After a minute she said, "Well, I just google that and learn about it." And she did. A week later she could tell me all about the subject and that she now could practice that particular skill and improve her resume, once again. She never sleeps. She knows literally everything about food. She is just geographically challenged to make it pay for her. (I keep telling her she needs to move to the big city...she would cleeeean up!) A Jack of all trades she's up to any challenge. She can craft almost anything. She's a photographer, a glass fusee( fuser came up as a mispell, lol!), and seamstress in the professional sense of the word, a quilter, a cook, a historian, a maker of jewelry, knows more about history and astronomy than the average person, and don't dare challenge her with music...she has her bases covered there as well. I haven't even scratched the surface. She's a smart one, she is.

And now to make a nomination of my own: I would like to send y'all over to Mustang Sally's. She's definately a "Rockin' Girl Blogger! " I knew her as a little girl, and laughed along with her mom all through Sal's teens. Now she is all grown up with a hubby and three little ones and a sense of humour that just cracks me up. She has a terrific vocabulary and I can hear her voice when I read her words. The thing is, she really talks the way she writes; always has. You gotta love a gal who consistently uses the $10.00 words. (and a few salty ones...shhhh!) If you want to peek back into the times when you were a young mom and remember the joys that come with discovering your kids personalities, read Miss Sally.

O.k. now go some linkage!

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The BEST Meme ever...

OH.MY.HECK! I just went over to my sis's blog (Cooper Chronicles) and I laughed out loud to myself so many times I had to consider myself tagged (she told us we could all play).

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car),
Mai Ling View

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie),
Chocolate Chip Macaroon

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name),

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal),
Green Kitten

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born),
Carol Long Beach

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first),

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),
The Midnight Blue Phosphate

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers),
Sidney George

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy),
Coco Godiva

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),
Carol Darrell

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),
Schmeling San Diego

12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).
Autumn Peony

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)Pear Clam-Diggersie

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),
Granola Oatmeal Star Pine

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”),
The Oil Paint Electric Thunderstorm Tour

Dude. That was fun! C'mon, know you wanna!

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Endless Summer

Grab one last lemonade, find a striped umbrella, sit back with your feet up, and enjoy some of the waves off the coast of Oahu. Aloha.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Another great post!

Hey everyone! I wanted to send you over to Chronicler's place to read a post she has on being an "Alpha Mom". It's well written and you walk away with a new perspective. So go on now and check it out.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Carlton's Log, curio shop

Every once in a while you come across a store that has an amazing variety (read: thousands of items) of 'stuff'. This happened to be one of those stores. Lured into the store by a sample root beer barrel candy we went inside a place we would have normally walked by. They had old, well everything, magazines, odd items, and it seems whatever they had was in multitudes on display. I was draw past the tin, wood, and paper items and into the glass.
The store itself seemed to be teetering on pilings and old floor boards. 60% of the items needed a good and thorough dusting. Every space was utilized, which explains the items above displayed in the window sills.
But when the light made its' way through the old milky windows and onto the glass, they sparkled. A barrel of marbles, and army of "Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima"s, and probably the best platter for serving ham in the world; this store was a feast for the eyes.
Oh, and you should have seen their old fashioned candy

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Love pines...

One more shot...June Lake Loop.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Love is in the air....

Just one more that I thought was cool....

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Love is all around...

As we traveled today I took the opportunity to search all around me and find some love. I hope you enjoy these shots as much as I do. I am planning on keeping a journal of "hearts" that are random, ones that I can see either in nature or as happenstance in the scenery around me. Take a look around your surroundings and see how much love is really out there. You'll be surprised. In just one day I found 42 hearts.

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Happy Labor Day!

Today's post is very late. I have been on the road all day with my favorite guy. We are on our way to another meeting, this time up north and a looong drive, so we hit the road early. We just got in and I finally got hooked up to a wi-fi! I'll check the mail in a minute...

Good ol labor day. Most folks are unaware that this is a holiday that was designed to celebrate the Labor Unions and what they have accomplished for the "average Joe". Now I know there are some who have no clue about unions, and still others who may have plenty.

For this post I am going to say thanks to the folks who fought to get labor unions up and running. It's true that there are some unions where things haven't worked out as well as the founders had hoped. It's true that there are unsettling facts within the history of -again- some unions. I am not defending those acts, however, most institutions have faults and points in history that should be rewound and erased. Today I am weighing the good and the bad and I think the good they provide far outweighs the ills they have caused.

Unions were formed initially because wealthy industrialists were taking advantage of workers. If the worker complained, they were fired. Long story short, the union was exactly that. Unified individual workers stood together and made demands that provide many benefits for all of us, in a union or not.

Without those unions, whether we like them or not, we would be missing out on a lot.

Without the unions all of us -in a union or not- would not have a standardized 40 hour work week. Child labor would more than likely still be in tact in some industies (see some of our foreign neighbors for this continued nightmare). Sweatshops and unsafe factories are now a thing of the past in the U.S. if laws are followed. Because of unions if you are not paid equal to a man for the same job you now have rights and laws that you can use to get what is due you. Before unions there was no overtime, no holiday pay, no hazard pay, no contracts that decide what working odd hours will pay. Because of the unions you have a right to fair advancement without discrimination, evaluations and documentation before someone can fired you. The unions were pivotal in gaining rights for all workers when it comes to being hired without discrimination in all areas. We have workman's compensation to help us pay for injuries that occur on a job. Pensions and health benefits are now available to the worker, not just the employer. Sexual harassment laws were a direct result of labor union advocacy. Living wages are a constant battle of the unions. Contracts that benefit the employer and the worker. I am sure there are many other benefits that I am missing; but I am really zonked.

My point is, the labor unions of this country have provided many things for us that in truth would not be here without them. In a perfect world employers would give all workers these benefits without contracts and laws to back them up. The fact is that usually is not the case. When a "union" law is put on the books, remember that it will benefit every worker.

So as you are (were) out and about today, I am hoping that you took a minute to thank those workers who bravely put their jobs, and some their lives, on the line to make our working conditions better.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

I'm quirky.

Mustang Sally asked me to answer the Seven Quirks/Habits etc. meme.
Here are seven quirks or habits about me. I think these are new info??? If you have heard it before, tell me and I will come up with something new.

1. I am not a huge fan of strawberries. I feel guilty eating them because most people are like, "Oh my heck! Look at the strawberries!" and then get all excited at the thought of gorging themselves on the cute little fruit. If I don't care one way or the other about strawberries and someone else does like them that much, they should have them.

2. I carry a full hygiene kit in my car. If you have a personal need I more than likely have a solution for you sitting, nicely organized, in my jockey box. Need a razor? There's one in there. Want tweezers? In there. Floss, pick, or mouthwash? In there. I have potty seat covers and t.p., sanitizing gel and wipes. Girly stuff if you need it. Clippers, both toe and finger. And a file. I have Tylenol, Excedrin, Tums, Zantac and Q-Tips. I have heat wraps and Blistex. Are you bleeding? I have band aides! Lotion, comb, and a sewing kit. There's more, but I digress.

Oh, and I get really crazy if you leave trash in my car. Seriously. It bugs me a lot to have trash all over the car. We're talking even the paper from the straw. If you unwrap your straw in my car take the paper with you when you leave. Thank you. Don't get me started with drinks or bottles that are left in there.

3. I almost always have a toothbrush handy. I find comfort in brushing my teeth. I brush my teeth while driving. I was a creative tooth faery back in the day. Thank you notes, with full descriptions of just how the tooth would be turned into this or that shaped diamond, would be hand written in the tiniest hand, on glittery paper, an left near the tooth pillow. Tiny high heeled foot prints would be (hand painted and glittered) entering and exiting the window nearest the child's bed, and glitter would be everywhere the faery would have flown. The footprints and glitter would fade over a few days...

4. I get kind of creeped out when I see someone with the kind of fake nails you get from a manicurist. The acrylic or porcelain, whatever they are called. I think it because they are so much thicker than a regular nail. When I was in junior high school one of the gals in the group of friends had a habit of fixing her nails with toilet paper and nail polish. If she got a snag or a break she would just break off the tiniest piece of tissue, paint her nail with polish and while still wet add the tissue (over and under the break) and paint over it to repair the break. After a while her nails were seriously thick and fuuuuunky. And they looked just like the "good nails" women get now. Nice on the top, but thick underneath. (seriously, I just got the chills thinking about it.)

5. I fall asleep (usually) very quickly and deep just to wake up twenty minutes (to the minute)later and struggle to fall back asleep and as deep. I dream vividly almost every night and can remember amazing details in my dreams the next day. I have about a dozen or so dreams that have repeated over the years since childhood. I can (at times) manipulate my dreams and make them go the way I want them to.

6. I have a strong dislike for cars without hubcaps. I would rather see a car with primer paint than a car without hubcaps.

7. My purse is about an inch and a half wide and somewhere between the size of an index card and a postcard. It carries everything I need on a daily basis, and then some.

So there you go Sal! I would tag ya'all, but everyone I know who reads this blog probably has already done this. Oh well, I had fun! If you want to have fun to, let me know and we'll spread the word to have everyone over to your place.

add to sk*rt