Why We Believe

1. Today my 28-year-old daughter had to verbally take down two men on Facebook that were making harsh comments about sexual assault victims. One of the men was 65 years old.

2. Today I called my 30-year-old daughter because she was going to a concert alone tonight and I had to ask her how she was getting there and how she was getting home. Because women cannot plan an outing alone without worrying what will happen to them. I was relieved that her husband is dropping her off and picking her up and is understanding enough to know that having this experience alone was important to her.

This is what is wrong, this is beyond a mom having to worry about a child’s safety. This is about worrying about a woman you know and love being victimized.

On Twitter the other day Danielle Muscato posed a simple question –
“What would you do if all men had a 9pm curfew?”
The answers were honest and straightforward, the most frequent response and the saddest was – “I would take a walk by myself.” You see, women cannot take a walk by themselves in the evening and be completely relaxed.

Other women said, “I would walk to my car with my keys in my purse and look for them when I got to the car, instead of having them clutched between my fingers as weapons.”

On particularly poignant answer was “I would go to a club and not worry about someone slipping something in my drink when I went to the bathroom.”

All of this right here is why we believe the victims. We know, we know what it is like to worry about your safety every time you are alone, every time you have an opinion, every time you want to live freely.

If I Could Rescue Them All

Fostering rescue animals is such important work. If you can find time in your life and space in your home, it is a rewarding experience. So many cats and dogs are saved because rescuers step in and care for them. Without a strong foster network, even these rescuers would fail.
I often post pictures of my cute little fosters, cuddling together or cuddling with me. What I don’t always post are the times when fostering is tough.
My last dog foster came from a severe hoarding situation; she was horrified by human contact, and we spent weeks gaining her trust. She is now in a new home, happy and thriving with her forever family.
My current litter of kittens are all on antibiotics and require medicine twice a day. One of them has a severe URI, and I spent yesterday morning sitting in a steamy bathroom trying to help her breathe. Later in the day, my husband took her to the vet for a breathing treatment and new meds, and today she is beginning to feel better.  We are not out of the woods with her yet, two meds twice a day and some more steamy bathroom time and she will make it.
I am not sharing the tough part of fostering to scare people away, I just want to share what one person can do to save a life, and give these sweet babies the happy home that they deserve.
The one thing I hear from people more than anything else about fostering is, “I could never do it, I would want to keep them all.”  You will want to keep them all, the one thing that prevents me from keeping them all is knowing that if I have too many, I cannot help the next one that needs me.  Also, as sad and hard as it is to turn them over to someone new it is rewarding to know that you helped save them and assure that they are placed in a loving home.
I have a few rescues that I have kept over the years, these are known as “foster failures,” which is a much more positive term than it sounds.  But there are many more that have gone on to bring cuteness and joy to another household.
If you can find space in your home, you can find time in your life to help save a life.  Reach out to your local animal rescue; there are thousands around the country from big city shelters to small operations.  Most rescues have a social media presence and will be happy to help you help them.
Take a look at this video with Hannah Shaw, The Kitten Lady.

Never Here, Never Again

I am in my fifties.  I have been out of high school for a long time, but I remember my history lessons.  In high school, college, in books, we learn about the lives of humans and how they lived in the past; the good and the bad.

The awful lessons of history always seem so long ago.  We often tell ourselves never again.  We often ask ourselves, “How could this happen?”.  The atrocities of the past were committed by horrible people, and we could not possibly be so unenlightened that it would happen again.

I will add to this by saying that we know that awful things happen today.  We have instantaneous news.  However, those dreadful things seem to happen far away.  Oppression, extremism, slavery, none of those exist in our clean and whitewashed world.  Right?

In a free and civilized world, slavery will never happen again.  The Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, Witches being burned, the Crusades, and the list goes on for as long as man has walked the earth.  We are far too evolved for this.  Right?

I never thought I would see it or say it, but it is happening, and it is happening where I live.  Liberals often say that Conservatives do not care unless it happens to them, I would say that could be said of just about every human.  You could argue with me, and probably come up with many examples, but I could probably counter with twice as many for my point.  I am just saying that I am watching something I never thought I would live to see; the dismantling of my country.

We are quickly rolling downhill and picking up hate and extremism, and distrust, and government oppression as we go.  All of those things from my history lessons, everything from far across the world, all of those horrors are now here.

I said to a very liberal friend the other day that idealism is a loser.  I do not want it to be, but it is.  It causes division and inaction.  If you do not believe and support everything that I do, then I do not want you to win.  If the real enemy wins, too bad, we deserve it because you did not think of everything for everyone.  It is paralyzing.  Our country is being lost to the opposite of idealism; it is being lost to extremists.  Extremists are people who will band together under one banner of hate and certainty that they are right.

I do not have the answer for the way out of this, but I believe that many more people will start to react and stand to oppose the extremism consuming our country.  Many of you will finally respond when it happens on your street, to someone who looks like you or worships like you.  Then, maybe then we will all pour into the streets.  But then, it will be too late.  There will be millions who have already been fighting with hate, and lies, and oppression.  Millions more that already won.

Lady General

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Today is the fourth anniversary of my mothers passing. I miss her every day. When going through some old files a few days ago, I came across this letter that I wrote for my mom for her retirement dinner, many years ago. It is not sophisticated, but it does share just a little of how I feel about her.
Lady General –
Thought a lot about what I was going to talk about tonight. It leads me to a nickname my mom has, that ties together experiences of those who have worked with her over the years and those that she raised, her family.
The nickname “General” was given to my mom. If you know my mom I do not even need to explain it to you, she is in control, running the show, leading the troops, anytime she is involved.
I joke with friends I have met over the years, especially those I have met since living away from home, those who do not know my mom. I joke that even in my forties and several hundred miles from home, she can command my attention and get me to do what she wants.
I titled this little story “Lady General” because for a while that was my mother’s AOL screen name, the one she would send me countless chain emails from, you know the kind that tells you if you do not read it and send it to 2500 of your closest friends that you will get hit by a bus tomorrow.
But I picked the title “Lady General” because despite being the General of the family, my mom was and is always a mom, always a lady. She has worked hard for a lot of years, raising four kids, while keeping all of you in line at Crozer. I said to her just yesterday, I still do not know how she raised us and worked, yet still had dinner on the table, and we all sat down and ate together, most nights. I have been a working mother for almost 20 years now, and gave up on trying to do this and just married a man who could cook and was home more than me.
Sometimes when I remember you being there, I remember you barking out orders and making sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to do (aka what you wanted them to do), that is where the general comes in. I always remember you being there, for events, for dinner, sometimes even when I didn’t want you to be there, for that, I will always see you as a Lady, a mother.
Thanks Mom.

Wine

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On this journey, I have enlisted the help of Weight Watchers.  It seems like a reasonable way to get help.  All it asks you to do is pay attention to what you eat and exercise.  Since this is what I am trying to do, and the online price has come down considerably, I am giving it a try.  (PS – I am not paid by them, although maybe I could be?).

Anyway, wine is four points for five ounces; you get about 30-points a day.  Who only drinks five ounces of wine? No, that is not okay.  In addition to the points per day, you get weekly points.  Having points for wine helps you realize that drinking wine every day is probably bad.  So, you need to figure out how you use those weekly points, just for wine, maybe, four days a week.

I have to do math for this, I do not like math.  Thankfully!  Weight Watchers has a calculator that does math for you!  If I keep my food to the daily points, I can use my weekly to consume wine!  Want to know the truth?  I came up with this as I am writing this, and it is brilliant!  Enough exclamation points, I will calm down now.

This is important, so let’s do the math now to figure out the wine.  Four days a week, and you get 42-weekly points.  This is not a whole number, so let’s use 40 points, four days a week for wine.  That is 10-points per day, and two points left over for like a Hershey Kiss or something.

Five ounces of wine is four points, ten points a day, four days a week is 12.5 ounces of wine, four days a week!   That seems reasonable, right?  Geez.  That actually sounds like a lot.  Guess I am going to survive this weight loss thing after all :).

Down eight pounds so far.  Have a great week everyone!

Feed Me Seymore

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Here I am again, thinking about all of the healthy meals I could prepare and eat to help me lose weight.  However, I HATE cooking.  To lose weight, I need to eat well and exercise.  The exercise, no problem.  Eating well, that is the hard part.  Not because healthy options are not available, but because healthy options require prep.

I know that whining about cooking is ridiculous.  But, I want you to think of the thing that you like doing the least, more than anything else. That is how much I dislike cooking.

There are a lot of prepared low-calorie foods available.  However, these foods do not satiate.  Also, I have Celiac disease, so many of these foods are off limits to me anyway.  This leaves me with whole food, requiring prep option.  This is the best way to eat, right?

Any suggestions for a good ingredients list out there that is healthy and easy to use to prepare meals?  What should I keep in my kitchen that I can throw together for a quick, healthy meal or snack?  You should know for the record that salads make me sad sometimes, so I do not want to eat just salads.  Whine over.

 

Commitment

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Back at the fitness and weight loss thing again.  I have put on weight that I lost a few years ago.  This irritates me, but of course, I have no one to blame but myself.

I am finding it is not enough to know how to lose weight; you have to want to make the commitment.  Then, once you make it, you have to want to stick to it.  I shared the other day that I am now thinking about weight loss as I thought about giving up smoking.  I have to want to do, for the right reasons.

Beyond wanting to do something, I have to work on wanting to maintain it.  I have not smoked for five years; this does not mean that I do not ever want a cigarette.  I just work through the feeling when I do want to smoke, and it passes, until it comes again, then I do the same.  I repeated this time and time again for the past five years.  I have stayed smoke-free.

I am now in weight loss mode now.  Like before, when I lost 50-pounds, I know how to lose the weight.  If I eat right and exercise, the weight will come off, steadily.  The problem the last time is that unlike with smoking, I did not fight through my cravings every time they happened.  I slowly started giving in to them until they just became a habit again.  So, here I am all of the weight gained back.

I am in my second week; I started with Weight Watchers again.  The first week, I did not lose any weight, I simply started tracking and did not change anything.  This week, I have done better; I walked several days this week, and I ate better.  I do know that I am down at least a few pounds.

Here is the tricky part.  Unlike smoking, I cannot just stop eating cold turkey; I still have to eat, I just have to eat better.  There are ways to stop eating certain foods cold turkey.  Some say that this is a good way to diet, detox your body and all of that.  I am considering that just not there quite yet.

Let’s just say, so far, so good.  But taking it in steps.  Step one, lose the weight, step two keep it off by working through each desire to slide back to old habits.