Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Some catching up to do

So the holidays are finally past us, or will be after Friday. Time to play end of the year catch up.

First on the agenda. I keep getting samples from the Febreeze company to test and discuss. The latest the Febreeze on the go version. It's in a spritz bottle, and I got a chips bowl, some cute football paper plates and napkins and a canned drink holder. I gave the Febreeze to one of my testers,.ie one of the kids as my smeller is still MIA and likely will be forever. She tested it on a container that had some clothes that her husband had used when he was doing ROTC training. According to her they clothes were a whole lot of stinky. She sprayed the clothes and the container with the Febreeze, waited a week then opened the container. The smell was still reduced in pungency a week later.  Even if I can't smell the stuff, it apparently works.

Second on the agenda. I do know what I want for my birthday this year...besides the full copy of Windows 7. I am using an evaluation copy right now. Son promised full version for my b-day. I want a Wii Fit. My son in law got his wife a Wii and it currently resides at my house. Talk about a whole lot of fun. Tennis is a blast, bowling can be a lot of fun, and then there is boxing. I did two opponents last night, and won both matches, but was completely winded by the end. It is more of a workout then one would expect. I also did the fitness test, and according to it, I should be using a walker and wearing Depends as I await my turn at the Bingo table at the Nursing Home. I know I'm flabby, but PLEASE.

Next is the juice consumption at our house. Because of the toy strewing toddler in residence, her mom, and her aunt MeyMey, we go through a lot of juice. We have a wide variety of sippy cups, including a kind that has Disney princesses on the top. Helene' love those. Today we got a sippy cup from the Juicy Juice company in the mail. Helene's mommy likes the Harvest Blend, and I do as well.  That is when I get an occasional glass. It mixes some veggies into the juice and it doesn't have that v-8 feel or taste. Nice way to sneak in veggies into a little kids diet. I need to start buying that stuff by the 50 gallon drum, we go through it so fast.

The last is the fact that we have very much enjoyed my son-in-law being home on leave. He has finished his basic training, and has moved on to his secondary training. He will be flying back on Sunday to finish that training and then will be reporting to his duty station.  Please keep Derek in your thoughts and prayers as for all our men and women in uniform. It is hard for them to be away from their families for long periods of time. I am very proud of this young man. He is a wonderful daddy to his little girl and will expand his daddy awesomeness to his son to be, who arrives in April. He is also a fine husband to my daughter, something I am very thankful for.

I wish everyone a very happy 2010.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Some Pre-Christmas gifts.

Tonight I am sitting in my warmest, most unattractive jammies, in a quiet house all by myself, if you don't count two cats. There are bills waiting to get paid, food to be purchased for next Friday's holiday meal, wrapping paper and boxes to go back up to my frigid attic, laundry to do, and the weather outside is a rather nasty shade of nasty, but I can't help but be thankful for a few things that happened today.

The first is that my son in law made it home from his army training safely. The flight wasn't delayed and the weather held off long enough for everyone to get home. Ashley and her friend made the trip up to pick up their soldiering men dressed in specially made t-shirts for the occasion. Even Helene' had one to wear. They all made it home just in time for the sleet and slush to start falling. These two couples had requested that the reunion just be them alone. No one shared the moment of these two couples first sight of each other after several months but passer bys at the airport. Yet that didn't take anything away from that special moment. Their families got their turn later on this afternoon and will enjoy catching up over then next couple of weeks before our young men head back to finish up the last of their training.

The second was the kindness of a stranger. This little group stopped by a fast food restaurant for lunch, the way home and a complete stranger bought their food. This was food for two men, one of which has, I know, a healthy appetite, their sweeties and one toddler. As the men were still in uniform, this stranger was touched by the scene of these two little families and gave a gift that will not be forgotten soon.

The third was the weather allowing me to go home from work early, and just have some long awaited, "no one but me" time. Yes I totally wasted it doing nothing of actual value, but it was still worth every moment. The weather kept Ashley, Derek and Helene' at his parents and Megan at a friend's close to where she works, so I know they are safe, and not braving the slippery roads. Most of our clients wisely stayed home as the weather worsened, and as far as I know all my co-workers made it home without incident as well. Tomorrow things will warm up and melt, and things will be back to normal. I don't get too many times like tonight, I so do enjoy them.

The last is sitting right behind me, a bed with blankets, pillows and two cats who act as feet warmers. I think I'll get into it now, and say a little prayer of thanks for these simple gifts that were handed out today.

Monday, December 14, 2009

a day without kids

You know you are in need of a break when you look forward to a day to clean the house, knowing that there will be no little person around undoing all your work. That will be the case today. Helene', the toy strewing toddler, will be spending the day at her other grandparents, and her mommy and I will be celebrating that brief freedom by going grocery shopping, and cleaning the house. I will also take some time to do Ashley's hair, something she's asked me to do. Yippee!

One forgets how much time and energy it takes to do anything around the house with a toddler constantly underfoot. You pick up a room, turn around and see things strewn throughout. It is like living in a vortex of toys that magically appear continually. Shopping is even harder, as one has to take the kid out of a car seat, find the grocery cart with the little car in front and the steering capacity of an ocean liner, try to avoid any section of that store that may contain something that she just have to have, deal with the temper tantrum when you tell her, that no, she doesn't need whatever it is she has spied, check out, then load everything back into a car. It's exhausting I tell you.

We've made out our list, planned our agendas and are ready to call Ashley's in laws to inform them of Helene's arrival time. We just can't seem to be able to get out of our pajamas yet.

Monday, December 7, 2009

scandals and why should we care?

So this morning I decide to run a couple of errands with the toy strewing toddler in tow and then meet a couple of friends for brunch at Papa's Breakfast Nook. While I was walking into the resturaunt I noticed a New channel 7 truck and a reporter and a camera guy interviewing someone outside.

I sat down and ordered coffee and juice while I waited for my friends to arrive. Within a few minutes the camera crew was inside asking a question to patrons. "Oh crap, I am thinking, I decided to go  "au natura"l this morning, meaning no make-up and my hair in a semi-neat ponytail, and I am wearing an ancient pink tshirt and horizontal striped sweater. GUARANTEED to make me look even wider then reality. Of course the darling toddler drew their attention and I was asked my opinion of the "question of the day"

Now a smart woman would have said "no comment" because I knew that I didn't look camera worthy. Heck, I never look camera worthy. But I stamped down my inner introvert and gave them a answer.

The question was "what do you think about the Tiger Woods scandal?" I think the golfer is making an appearance some time soon, and I guess they wanted local flavor on what the average person thought. So here are mine, as I am certain that I likely broke their camera.

I will admit to having People.Com on my home page, and do on occasion look at headlines of the rich and famous. Celebrity fascination is nothing new, but it has never taken the tone and flavor that it has lately. I said that I thought that the media has spent far too much time speculating on what happened with this individual and his family, when there are some more interesting and relevant news stories that are getting little to no coverage. There is a lot of speculation, supposed mistresses coming out of the woodwork, whom I suspect are actually hunting their own set of paparazzi to follow them around, rather then have actually have been a actual love interest of Mr. Woods. The did he, didn't he, did she didn't she, shouldn't be making national headlines as it is.

I was asked that because he is someone who makes more money a week then I make in a year that it should matter that he may have had an affair and everyone should know about it. I said no. They have just as much a right to privacy as I do, or the reporter does. Too many assume that just because we see them on tv or in a magazine that they have given up the right to have a private life, and deal with things without everyone butting in to things that are simply not anyone's business. Does they having financial success mean that we can now delve into their private lies, and if we don't know exactly what is happening we can just make stuff up and then call it factual? Would we want that happening to us?

I do hope that the Woods family can deal with whatever is going on in their lives and move on, with as much wisdom and guidance as they can, and with the same privacy that we all deserve. It is quite sad that the media and those of us who are addicted to celebrity-itis feel compelled to follow their every move real or supposed, and give time and attention to those who just want to add fuel to the fire.

Of course I cannot give complete fault to our local television station for wanting to cover this. After all the gossip is running free and people are talking about it, and they are hoping for viewers. But it is rather sad that we'd rather be watching, reading and talking about a celebrity marriage that may or may not be in trouble instead of something actually relevant to our community

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thinking Environmentally

The environment has been very much in the news these days, or rather stories about people's opinion on environmental issues and whether they have validity. There is a recent article about a radical group that objects to fossil fuels of any kind and wants us to return to a individualistic agrarian society. They made headlines for getting arrested while attempting to halt the delivery of a coal generator destined for a energy plant in NC. Then you get the supposed Climate-gate news about leaked e-mails. These e-mails supposedly say that evidence submitted about climate change and the greenhouse effect is not as solid as has been largely accepted. Then there is the upcoming Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen where leaders and scientist from around the world are planning to attend. I have issues with all three of these.

The first.

While I understand that we need to work at using cleaner sources of energy and that renewable sources such as solar, wind and others are hopefully the wave of the energy future, the infrastructure isn't here yet, and the rest of the world is likely far behind those nations who are beginning to implement them. While I also understand that small farms often produce high quality products, they cannot meet the needs of the billions of people on our planet that need to eat every day. On both there are solutions that people are trying very hard to research and implement while at the same time working to help our current system work better. What bothers me about such groups as Rising Tide is that they spend a lot of time and energy, protesting the very thing that allows them to do what they do. They use  electricity provided from coal or nuclear sources to access the internet for their websites, they need to travel, and most likely need to use automobiles to get to their locations. It is quite likely that many cannot produce all their own food, fibers for clothing or even household items like toilet paper and must visit a grocery store. If they are against all the things like they say, then stop using them.

The second

Then there is Climate-gate and those emails. Climatology is an interesting science. It is a bit like fortune telling, you make guesses based on things or trends in the past. Yet one cannot be quite sure things will turn out that way, because we really cannot foresee the future. So again time and energy, is going to be literally wasted as this gets hashed out in the press and the news. Imagine the kilowatt hours that are going to be burned up just "getting to the bottom" of this supposed scandal. Anyone else see the irony?

The third

Then there is the upcoming conference. There is already criticism about this as people fly, often on private planes to gather together. Here is a conference on saving energy, and the reduction of carbon emissions, and yet so much is going to be used just getting to and from Copenhagen, not to mention traveling around the city, using lights in motel rooms, meeting rooms and the conference hall, preparing all that food, cleaning up afterwards, etc. Again, anyone else see the irony?

I am very willing to try to be less of a polluter and try to take small steps to lessen my environmental footprint.  I know that I am not alone as more and more people try to find practical ways to save energy, and use more efficient sources of using that energy, as well as taking simple steps such as composting and recycling. Yet I do wonder at the waste that is being caused and the mixed messages being sent. Not by businesses, power plants, or manufacturing plants. Many of these entities are already working to implement things to reduce their energy footprint and be better stewards of our natural resources. I am thinking of the people who protest so mightily against these entities while still readily using them. I find it rather hypocritical.