Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Wishes

As most of you know, I don't make resolutions... I do make goals for my business, but that isn't the same. This year, I've taken a very hard look at myself and others (FaceBook can be great for this) and decide that for the New Year, I have wishes for others --
1. Stop comparing yourself, your kids, your life to others'. Your path is your own. Make your life the best one for you and yours that you can. I have a friend who went through a very rough divorce this year. She commented recently something to the effect of "Your life seems so calm..." It is; now. My family went through our own hell for close to 15 years, but we came out of it stronger, closer, and happier than ever. Friends I've made over the last two or three years didn't see all the pain and anguish we all went through, so the fact that I don't have it now doesn't mean I don't know what it's like. I do. I got through it, though, and so will you.
2. Some have made comments about people being "fake" on FB... Whether they are or not, why do you care? For me, specifically, I don't post lies and my life is pretty good; deal with it, or go away. Don't assume some people only posting the good stuff because they're "being fake"; I'm only posting the good stuff because (a) there isn't much bad stuff and (b) life is negative enough; I don't need to add to it.
3. Stop with the "boys/men..." and "girls/women..." memes, comments, assumptions, etc. It's almost 2016, act like it! Being male or being female is not a reason, nor an excuse, to act certain ways. We are raising our daughter to have opinions of her own, think for herself, assert herself when needed, negotiate when required, and not take shit from ANYONE. An assertive woman is not a "bitch", a man who cries about something is not "a wuss/pussy", a guy who is a cheerleader is not "gay" (being an insult), a girl who likes to play football is not "a tomboy" (oh, how I hate that term). Double-standards are NOT ok. Also, almost EVERY SINGLE THING males can do, so can women, including: fixing cars, building things, cooking/baking, enjoying football, shopping, driving, cleaning, taking care of children, standing up for themselves, calling you out on your bullshit, holding doors open, paying for dates, making reproductive decisions for themselves, and SO MUCH MORE!! Do yourselves a favor, and really think about what you say and how you say it... and try to adjust your thoughts & words to be more equal to both sexes (or, even better, all inclusive to all genders). Repeat after me -- colors have no gender, jobs have no gender, toys have no gender, bathrooms have no gender, clothes have no gender, tools have no gender, makeup has no gender... There is no such thing as women's work or man's work. Feminism is not a bad word, it does not mean man-hater, or that women want to be of higher status than a man... all it means is "The social, political, and economic equality of the sexes." Saying you are not a feminist is saying that you don't believe men & women should be treated/paid the same...
4. Speaking of "all genders" (and to go along with #5 on this list), start educating yourself on gender identity issues. (a) Sex and Gender are two different things. (b) There are more than two genders. (c) If you don't know something, ask... but be respectful of the answers. (d) Learn that sometimes, it's none of your business. (e) One of the biggest ones for me right now -- transgender people just want to use the bathroom to relieve themselves. There's a whole movement right now called "I'll Go With You" in response to "We Just Need To Pee"... it's for trans allies to let it be known that they will assist you with matters in which you don't feel safe doing/going by yourself. The biggest one is using the restroom. Please, please, please, for all you hold dear, understand that transgender individuals DO NOT "pretend" to be a different sex so they can spy, "get off", or rape your children; THEY JUST NEED TO PEE!! And, perhaps you can use those instances to not only educate yourself, but also educate your child(ren).
5. This is most important... Stop criticizing others. I see a lot of criticism coming from people about a multitude of things; everything from how others dress (seriously, "slut-shaming" needs to go!), to how others parent, to women breastfeeding in public, to women having the choice to have an abortion, to what people post on their own FaceBook pages, and a thousand other things. I don't care what diety, if any, you believe in (and, STOP criticizing me and my family for being atheists); IT IS NOT YOUR JOB! Now, I know some of you say things like, "I'm not judging, but..." or "That's god's job..." Yes, you are. We all judge. But, keep it to yourself, because you are making assumptions about someone else based on your beliefs, and how you live or want to live; that is not okay. Try this -- if it doesn't directly affect you in a negative/harmful way, shut up. If my daughter wants to wear leggings as pants, shut up. If that guy on the bus has his pants so low, you can see his undies, shut up. If that gay couple is kissing & holding hands, smile and walk by. If a mom is breastfeeding her child in a restaurant, applaud her! If someone says something on the internet you don't like or agree with, scroll past. You are not the morality police; leave people alone, stop being so negative and start seeing the beauty in others.

Actually, I think going back to the general rule of "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" is a good life rule.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Santamas!

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of working, shopping, wrapping, baking, and more. We don't have a lot of regular traditions (which I see as "things we have to do the same every year"), partly because we were what they call a "blended family" (meaning not all biologically related) and our kids weren't always here for certain holidays. Growing up, I was part of a blended family, as well, so this wasn't anything new to me. It was harder on Ace (in the beginning) than anyone else, but after a couple years, we found our groove... just going with the flow.
One of the things we've done for years, though, is baking goodies, putting them into holiday tins, and delivering them to some local friends. This year was our biggest undertaking, at 15 tins. Not sure if I'm going to continue to do that many, or take it back to five or six and make them a surprise as to who gets one, but we'll figure that out later. I love, though, that we all get involved. With Princess' assistance, Ace bakes two or three of his family favorites, while I do my Dana bars, fudge, and peanut butter KISS cookies. Next year, we may add Princess' peppermint bark to the mix (this year's batch was small, but yummy).
A couple years ago, I also decided to invite friends over to wrap gifts. The idea was that since so many either hate wrapping, wait 'til last minute, etc, we could all make a fun time of it, and do it all together. I'm still working on how to make this one better-attended, but the two times we've done it, I set three hours aside on a Saturday two or three weeks prior to Santamas, have a few sweet treats & something to drink available, turn my DVR to the holiday music channel, and get out all of our wrapping accoutrements. I put an extra leaf in the dining table, remove the tablecloth & placemats, and use only the vinyl cover. A few people have come and wrapped with us, but the option is open for those who want to drop and leave (leave a cash donation &/or your own paper, etc, and we will do it for you). Still trying to work out some kinks with this one, as I'd like more people to come...
In the past, we've also adopted a family; one we know, so we're not going through a church (hard to find a secular local group to donate to, but I'll be doing some more research into this... maybe Toys For Tots or the local food bank) and I love seeing the faces of the friends we give to. This year, however, it seems all my friends are doing really well. So, Princess decided to try her hand at making candles and I decided that we would send them (and another gift or two) to each of my siblings and their significant others (those that have them). The candles went over well; more so since they were hand-made.
Today, Ace went to work, and Princess & I watched holiday movies most of the day... in our jammies. As for this year, the current plan is to open our immediate family's gift tonight when Ace gets home (after dinner), and take the rest down to my in-laws' on Sunday. Not sure, yet, if Squeeks is joining us, but the rest of us will be there. Since we didn't get to celebrate GamerBoy's birthday (his truck broke down the day before we had plans to get together), we will take those gifts with us, as well, and left the choice of what to eat for dinner up to him.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Belief Systems

I feel like this needs explaining... First, there's a big difference between "Satanists" (although I identify as an Atheist, my belief system is similar to this) and "Satan Worshippers". Before you go spewing uneducated & incorrect information, please do some research. That said, I have been called many things regarding my *lack of religious beliefs*, mostly by so-called "Christians." I use that term loosely because a lot of you insist that your god is about love, but that is NOT what I, an atheist, receive. I get hate, negativity, anger, "you're wrong!", and much worse. Frankly, I'm surprised my house &/or car haven't been vandalized, as that seems to be a common thing among some "Christians", too... (This story out of California, and this one in Texas), as well as theft (this story out of Wisconsin). These incidents, & your support of them (whether by reposting the stories on your own social media with positive comments or by completely ignoring them), makes me question you. If you are so firm in your beliefs, why are you so against other people having ones different than yours? It seems to me that the more you protest against others, the weaker your beliefs actually are.

Then, there are those who don't understand the law, why we have the Constitution, and that whole (pesky, it seems, for some "Christians") separation of Church & State thing... Yes, your child has the right to pray -- in school, in church, at the grocery store, etc. He does NOT have the right to disrupt others by doing so. Teachers (in public school, anyway), coaches, etc do NOT; not because they are being persecuted (please stop using that word; it does not mean what you think it does), but because in doing so, while within their official position of "educator", they can be seen as proselytizing, which is against the law (as well as the Establishment Clause of the Constitution). Traditional nativity scenes are fine in front of churches... they are NOT fine in front of government buildings such as schools and courthouses. And, asking for them to either be removed from public/government buildings/lawns completely or moved to a private location is not (once again) persecution, it's upholding the Establishment Clause. Some "Christians" are up in arms about the Freedom From Religion Foundation's actions... please remember that this is a LEGAL ENTITY. They do not act until & unless there is a complaint.

Which brings me to this lovely time of year -- We call it SANTAMAS! I see a lot of "Jesus is the reason for the season!", "Keep Christ In Christmas!", " and more pro-Christian only messages... Oh, what? You say they're not pro-Christian only? Um... hello? Can you read? EVERY ONE OF THESE sentiments leave out EVERY OTHER FAITH & non-believers. The fact is that there have historically been over 4000 gods/dieties that people have worshipped over the years, all Christian traditions were stolen from other religions &/or seasonal traditions (plus the straight-up lie about your Jesus' birth date...)! If you're interested and want to be educated, look up Yule, Solstice, Saturnalia, Kwanza, Hanakkah, Diwali, and all the other holidays celebrated by other faiths; here & around the world. Look up Humanist, while you're at it... that's me -- Secular Humanist. While you & your Christian family & friends are fighting a non-existent "war on Christmas", the rest of us just want to enjoy our families, friends, gift givings, tree & house decoration, baking, and all the other fun traditions of the winter season. So, back off, and stop pushing YOUR faith down OUR throats.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Time Of Thanks...

As many of you know, my mother hosts a family feast on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The idea is that none of us have to choose between our families; spend Thanksgiving Day however, and with whomever, you wish, then come enjoy a good meal on Friday. When our kids were younger, we had either all of them for Thanksgiving weekend, or none of them. When they were all home, we had traditional family time Thursday, then some or all (it changed year to year who wanted to come) would go to my mom's on Friday, and the weekend was spent putting up Santamas decor, doing chores & homework, and just chillin'.

When the kids were with their bios on the other side, Ace usually worked while I did a little prep & baking for Friday's Feast, and hung out by myself with the dogs. There were a few years that we went to the beach for the weekend, too. Since the older two have been "adulting" (lol), and we've had Princess full time, Ace works on Thursday while Princess & I prep, bake, and hang out in our jammies (as we did this year). We also wrapped gifts for the older two Littles, so T&D can take them home instead of me having to ship them.

Every year, mom invites all her kids, their spouses, their kids, and some friends. The most she's hosted is 12 people... in her old condo... which was 1100sq ft or so. Two years ago, she moved into a progressive retirement condo. This one is roughly half the size of her old one. And, this year, there were 15 people -- mom, Nancy, E&S, D&J, J and her younger son D, three of my own family (Squeeks is in Cali with her bf's family), and T&D and their girls. Ace was supposed to join us but got sick last minute. GamerBoy *did* join us because all of my biological siblings are here and it's been many years since we've all been together (T&D's wedding, to be exact). Mom was super-excited; I was a little concerned... for two reasons. (1) Ace & GB are both not only migraine-prone (stress, scents, and muscle pain are the three main things that can set them off; scent is Ace's big one), but they are also both mildly claustrophic.

So, two weeks ago, I asked mom if there was a conference room or something where we were all going to eat. She said, "Well, we could reserve space at the restaurant downstairs, but then it would be catered..." Um, no. We do our own food, thankyouverymuch! Then, last week, she called me and reminded me that there's the open space right next to her apartment we could spread out to, and her neighbor directly across the hall gave her use of that apartment, too -- ovens, fridge/freezer, dining, and sleeping areas if needed. YAY, we won't be squished!

Monday, Ace & I did our usual grocery shopping and other weekly errands (the only guaranteed "date day" we have), which included picking up the rest of what we needed for Friday's Feast. Wednesday, after I got home from work, we did a bit of Santamas shopping together. Then, Thursday morning, Ace went to work, I slept in 'til 740a, and Princess slept 'til 10a. I spent the morning enjoying the quiet, the dogs, my mocha, and the fire in the stove... then decided to ask (via FB Messenger) if everyone would please not wear anything scented (perfume, soap, cologne, lotion, etc). If Ace or GB go migraine, all four of us will have to leave, food or no food. I was pleasantly surprised that no one said no... and apparently, E&S are both sensitive to that stuff, too.

Friday, we all tried to sleep in, but as usual, Ace & I were up by 7a. We let Princess sleep 'til 9a, and her brother got here at 1130a. The dogs were supposed to go to daycare while Ace & the kids loaded up the 4-Runner, but Ace went full migraine Thursday night. So, the three of us headed out a little after noon. The afternoon was loud, full of food, laughter, and love, and we got sent home with a good amount of leftovers. Lots of pics were taken, and have been posted. I DVR'd the Civil War and stayed off social media so we watched when we got home. HOLY CRAP; awesome game!

GB spent the night and went home yesterday morning. I had a couple clients, plus took care of some Small Business Saturday clients (buying gifts & stocking stuffers), then later, Ace & I had dinner and left Princess home with the dogs while we went to the Pucifer concert. Next up: Muse then Motley Crue!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Feliz Cumpleanos, Mija! (and more)

Actually, let's backtrack a little...

Halloween -- The only trick or treaters we've ever gotten are the three not-so-little neighbor kids when their aunt had custody of them. The aunt has since gotten married and moved, so the kids only come around to visit periodically. However, we do decorate the house & yard just because we love it, and I always have fun sized candy in the house, so if a T&Ter wanted to ring my bell, I'm prepared. About two weeks prior, Princess still hadn't figured out her costume, so we went in search of inspiration & pieces. She decided on her own version of Mickey/Minnie Mouse. She had black leggings, a black tee, and a headband, and bought a black & red plaid skirt and a pair of yellow socks to wear with her black Converse. Her Mickey pumpkin kit came with ears, so we stuck those onto the headband, which she ended up wearing when she and some friends went out T&Ting in Beaverton, but for school on Friday, she had me do two hair buns instead. She got to hang with those friends overnight Saturday, so after Ace got home from work, we just watched a couple of DVR'd shows.

School -- Princess is still enjoying her Drama 2 class and her instructor... and she *did* end up getting not one, but TWO, roles in the Fall play. She worked very hard to make sure she had her lines down (her OCD tendancies kicked in; she made flash cards for each role, and studied any time she had a break/gap in something she was doing). I'm also happy to report that at every show were at least two people who are important to her: Ace & I at one, Mimi, her friend, and Princess' aunt & uncle at one, her squad, other friends and "village" members... she felt truly loved. If you follow me on FB, you'd also know that not only did she get asked to apply for National Honor Society, but she (as well as her whole "fam" - the four close friends that, along with her, make up her "squad") got in! Apparently, not everyone who has honor roll grades got asked to apply and not everyone who applied got accepted; just under 40 students total (mostly Sophomores) were inducted this past Monday. Ace & I are super proud of her! Tuesday after school were auditions for the next school play. It is a musical, so neither Princess nor her bff, KP, wanted to try out, but N.E. (their teacher) asked them to co-stage manage. This is not a glamourous job, but with their awesome ability to work together and their shared OCD tendancies, this should be right up their alley.

Birthday -- Ok, so as most of you know, November 6th is her birthday. She had that day off school, so she came with me to work that morning, and we headed straight down to Woodburn to meet up with my SIL for some lunch and early Santamas shopping. We finished up around 230p and were home before 330p (which was good because she had to have an early dinner and be at the theater by 6p). I'd wrapped her gifts on Wednesday that week, but we hadn't had time to let her open them until she got home from the play on Friday night. Saturday, she didn't do her weekly chores because I told her I'd do them that week (another gift to her), so after I got home from work, we just hung out, caught up on some DVR'd stuff, and watched the Beavers game. I later took her to the school for that night's performance, but her dad picked her up because I was watching the Ducks game. Sunday night, we took her out to dinner at Red Lobster (her decision), and this Wednesday, she got her free ice cream cone at Baskin Robbin. Today she had a brow wax appointment & Saturday, we finish her *Birthday Extravaganza" with a professional massage. She said, and I quote, "Sweet sixteen was one for the books!" as well as "best prezzie EVER" in regards to one of the gifts we got her.

Other Kids -- Gamerboy's living situation hit a snag (construction/remodel halted due to owner's lack of funds) so he has found a new (safer) place nearby and moves in next week. We also got an update with his grades; he was really concerned about two of the four classes he's taking, but just got mid-term grades back... looks like he has a B in one class and an A in the other. Now, if he could either get more hours at his one job or find a second one, he'd be set! Squeeks is "same old, same old" -- still has the same job, same bf, same living situation, same schooling situation. The only newish thing in her life is that she got her settlement from the insurance company and bought a newer car. It's a smaller version of mine, same year.

Ace & I -- Finished a couple of our projects that needed to get done during his sabbatical, including a platform for my gel lamps to sit on at work and the shooting gallery we wanted. The gallery has been taken out and field tested a couple of times; I'm a better shot than he is with all the handguns but he's better with the shotguns. Anyway, he begrudgingly went back to work mid-October so the only project we're working on is getting the weather station up & installed (it's partially there). Next on our to-do list is to get through the holidays.

Holiday Stuff -- I started doing some shopping, I've got a list of some other things to get, I need to send reminders to the older two kids for their wish lists (interesting how those changed when they got out on their own), and I need to prep & bake both for Thanksgiving and Santamas. This year, all of my mother's children and their families will be gathering over Thanksgiving weekend here in town; this will be the first time we've all been together since 2006, at T&D's wedding. There will be roughly 15 people, including my husband & son, who haven't joined us since GB was a bratty teenager. Mom's new place is smaller than her old place, but we also have full use of the apartment across the hall, and the hang out area next to her. Should be fun.

Wildebeest/MG & gf -- Not much to update, except Wildebeest is still obviously pining for MG, while MG & KC continue their relationship. They truly look absolutely happy. I'm debating sending them a Santamas card, with a handwritten note included in which I write something about being glad he finally found whatever it was that was missing in his life... Anyway, I should take bets on when Wildebeest finally admits they're (to quote Taylor Swift) "never, ever, ever... getting back together." HAHAHA!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Another Little Update...

For years, Princess has said she has no interest in being on-stage in any production. Last year, she took a semester of Tech Theater and truly enjoyed both her teacher (who also taught the Drama classes) and the class itself. As part of that class, they are required to perform a "Job" related to behind-the-scenes at one of the high school plays. She chose makeup, and had a great time doing that for the fall play (I *think* it was "Night of the Living Dead"... but I can't remember). She had a gap in her schedule for second semester, so she was going to take it again and do a different job, but found out she wouldn't get class credit for it (it would just be an audit), so she took Drama 1. Apparently she liked that one so much, she forecasted (and got) Drama 2 this year! There is a different teacher, but she likes him too, so she was very excited to try out for this year's first play! We are proud of her just for trying, and we are awaiting the announcement of call-backs. Drama 2 is officially her new favorite class, with ASL 2 trailing a close second.

She also had her well-child check (two months later than normal because there was a staff shuffle at the doc's office; we lost our regular Family doctor and had to wait to see one of the others on staff). No shots this time; she's up to date and they didn't have any flu shots available. No biggie; we'll get them at Safeway or Fred Meyer later. With the new doc comes a repeat of family history questions, so I let the doc know that Ace adopted her last year, we don't have much contact with the bio family, but I do know about some Alzheimer's diagnoses and a few other things that may be important, so I shared those. We talked about school, friends, classes, activities (both physical & mental), etc. She gave her a physical, took her height & weight, and said, "She's healthy; see you next year."

Ace took GamerBoy to another concert a few days ago (Five Finger Death Punch in Eugene)... He left here a little after noon, took his time getting down there by stopping by his parents' old place in Woodburn and hitting up Bauman Farms, then picked up GB, hit up the Ducks Store for a "O MOM" sticker for my car, had dinner at Olive Garden, and headed to the concert. He had taken an overnight bag with him, just in case (GB said he could crash on his floor if needed), but he ended up driving home after dropping GB back to his place. He returned about 130am, and came to bed around 2am. One topic of conversation -- GB starts classes next week, is he ready? "A little nervous, still, but yes." He's taking a full load of some not so easy courses, plus working a regular job, and helping out with the construction at his new place.

Squeeks was over last week; we all went to dinner at Izzy's (she loves that place, so whatever). We got the lowdown on her school/work plans for the next year, possible school plans for the next stage, as well. She's debating looking into a manager position at another branch of her theater, but where will depend on where she wants to attend university. She's about 40 credits shy of what she needs to move on, so these next three terms will be very full. She was also complaining (for the bazillionth time) about her truck... it's not running as well as she'd like it to be and really wants a newer car; something more reliable. Then, last weekend, her & her bf went to the coast and on their way home, they were hit on the front driver's side; totalling it. Not the best way to go about getting a newer car, but glad they're both okay, and that she will get a settlement check from his insurance company soon to use as a down payment. She was asking us yesterday details about my car, so one like it may be on her list of ones to consider. Fingers crossed she can afford the monthly payments of whatever she ends up getting.

Ace's big project these next couple of weeks is a "shooting gallery"... We have different sized & shaped metal targets, some metal & wood pieces to make it stand upright (think: smaller version of a swingset with targets instead of swings), and all the nuts, bolts, eye hooks, and chain to get everything connected. The way he designed it makes it easy to break down for both storage at our house as well as transport to any site to set up. He's also gotten more stuff out of the garage, some more parts sold online, a bit more set up in the spare room, and one day last week, he took a 7 hour motorcycle ride through the boonies to the southeast of us.

Last but certainly not least, I have a really good bit of update on Bio & The Wildebeest (of course I do)! So, MG has apparently wanted a divorce for a while now, but can't afford it. Wildebeest most likely refuses to file herself because she still hopes they'll be together again... um, sorry (not sorry) Wildebeest; not going to happen... I finally found out who MG's girlfriend is. Remember that quote I told you all about a few months ago: "...I know who you are, KC, and you will not win!"? Guess you were wrong! She *did* "win", and you lost. Her name is Kristina (last name *does* start with a C, too, so this must the be "KC" Wildebeest's been whining about on her FB page, all the while posting pics from times passed of them from their wedding -- in 2007; pathetic). Apparently, she's nice/outgoing/personable, comes from a good family, and has three lovely daughters of her own. Seems we have a mutual friend; one of mine graduated from the same school the same year she did (which is also the year MG would have graduated, had he not dropped out mid-Sophomore year). Judging by the pics I've seen, she's a total upgrade from the Wildebeest! I honestly am happy for him & wish them nothing but happiness. Guess you can finally tell all your friends and family about how he left you heartbroken, and be the victim you play so well...

Monday, September 7, 2015

School's Back In Session

Princess starts her sophomore year in high school on Wednesday, and will be properly challenged. She's taking pre-IB: Chemistry, US History, and English/Language Arts. She's also taking her second year of ASL, as well as Digital Photography, Algebra 2, Drama 2, and a semester each of Health & Child's World. For all sophomores, they also added an Advisory class at the end of Day 1. On top of that, she's got at least one babysitting gig every week for the next two months, she plans on joining the Honor Roll Society & the GSA, and *may* do a play this year!
GamerBoy is stressing a bit (mostly just because he doesn't know anyone yet, and this whole situation is a bit scary), but about to start his junior year at University of Oregon. He found a job (maybe temporary, but fine for now; pays really well, apparently) house cleaning and is working off some of his rent by helping out his new homeowner/landlord at his new place.
Squeeks is about to start her last year at MHCC. She's still not sure what she wants to do when she's done (she's debating between going on to a full University or doing some internship program somewhere... it will have something to do with animals, but she doesn't know yet), but she knows her child support ends in June. She's still working at the movie theater, too, and her room-for-rent situation is working out nicely. She needs to work out a proper budget, and start saving for a new vehicle (her truck is on its way out, apparently), but there are a few other more important things to take care of first.
We have a little over a month before Ace goes back to work, as well. We've really enjoyed having him home; most nights, we get a full-on home-cooked meal (many nights, Princess & Ace are cooking together), he's getting little projects around the house done, he's in a good mood most of the time, and unless I have to work early, no one's used an alarm until last week. He has another out-of-town concert coming up and is thinking about including a trip to Klamath to that drive. If the weather holds, he'll even take his bike. All three of us have also used the home-time to clear out & clean out -- closets, drawers, garage, etc... like "Spring Cleaning", but at the end of summer.
My business is slowing down a little; normal for this time of year, so it's fine. This is a good time to get little projects done at the studio. I just ordered a drawer system for my art supplies... the large fishing tackle box just isn't working anymore. This is where having the extra storage space comes in super handy; it's on wheels, so I just have to wheel out the cart, get into the drawer I need, and put it back in the closet when I'm done. A lot of my tech friends suggested options, but this will work perfectly (and give me a little growing rooom). I also ordered more "flower-type" plastic nail tips for swatching new colors (lots of new stuff coming out over the holidays). & I have some print materials I'm redoing. OH! And, I will be sculpting myself a new set of nails (longer, new shape) soon... So, this "no-work" time works out.
We are all ready for the cooler weather (even the rain): hoodies, football (ok, that's mostly me), apples, fire in the fireplace, etc. Bring it on!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

It Occurred To Me...

Seventeen years ago today (it was even a Saturday), my ex & I got married.

Then: I was a 24yo woman ready for marriage & a couple kids; and he was a naive 20yo barely-man who apparently was not.
Now: I am a much older, wiser, & more worldly 41yo woman, happily remarried with three kids; and he is a 37yo man who is about to be divorced for the second time with two small children.

I'm not sure about him, but *I* have definitely grown up quite a bit over the last 17 years. Aside from having a child, and all the growing up you do (or are supposed to do) with that, I am calmer, and don't react to things before truly thinking them over. "Knee-jerk" is no longer in my vocabulary. I am happier, as well. My husband and I have an honest, compassionate, equal in almost every sense of the word (except individual financial contributions -- he makes more than I do -- but in true equality, what's his is mine, as well as vice versa). He is my partner, my co-parent, my love.

We are financially secure, as well (which is also more than I can say for both my ex and his soon-to-be ex); the house is paid off, the cars are paid off, we have no student loan debts any longer, we have no revolving credit card debt (all bills are paid in full each month), we have retirement, stock, and long-term savings accounts... most of which those other two cannot honestly claim.

My youngest is almost 16yo; she is beautiful, smart, and pretty equal parts me and my husband. I'm sure my regular readers know, but for those who aren't, she is my first husband's biological child, but she is no longer *his*. After many years of thinking only of himself and his soon-to-be ex-wife, he finally signed the adoption consent just over a year ago. The adoption was finalized October 7th, 2014... and she knows her parents love her, care for her, and make sure her needs (and a lot of wants) are taken care of. She is more secure in her home life than ever, and for that, we are truly grateful.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

End Of Summer Report

WORK -- I am love love LOVING my new studio. It is so nice to have the space I now have. I no longer feel cramped, and I have all the storage I need. During the first couple of weeks, I realized there were still a couple things that needed a bit of tweaking, but (aside from a lap blanket one of my friends is making for pedi clients who wear a skirt or dress, and tiebacks for my curtains that another friend is making) I've been working in there successfully for a month. My only two complaints are: {1} Due to the angle of my new doorway (from the a/c unit in the window at the top of the stairs), it's a bit warmer in this space (the old room was a direct path; my new room is not), so I will be buying a portable a/c unit in the spring of next year. I may buy a friend's window unit for $50 to hold me over until next spring. For now, both window fans blow out my windows and the little tabletop fan sits at the edge of the doorway blowing in. I also rarely work past 2p, so I haven't hit the hottest part of the day even on the 90'+ days.
{2} About a week after I fully moved in, I left on a Saturday (around 1p), pulling my door almost shut behind me. Seeing as it gets muggy/warm in there, I didn't want to close it all the way and since I hadn't had any issues with my previous room, I didn't see the need to lock this door either. That all changed when I returned the following Tuesday. My door was wide open, my chairs had been moved like someone was sitting in them, and my window fans were on full blast & turned toward the wall... I asked Patti if she had been in there for some reason. She took a very deep breath, rolled her eyes, and said, "No," then proceeded to tell me that the permanent tattoo artist had a woman getting services and had brought her daughter (around 10yo) and husband... and apparently, daughter & husband were "roaming the hallways & stairway", and were at one point "hanging out" in my room. Um, that is NOT ok, so I now, with permission, lock my door. I also have curtains so they block some of the heat coming in through the single-pane windows.

PRINCESS -- We got some basic school supplies a couple weeks ago, and went clothes shopping this past Monday. We were originally going to meet my SIL at the Woodburn Company Stores, but she's having some medical issues, so we went local, & will do some Santamas shopping with her in October. Princess cleaned out her closet & drawers a few weeks ago, and started a list of things she needs/wants. She also wrote down a few things *I* need. Ace was going to come with us, as he said he'd like to go, but he was in the middle of the "Great Computer Swap, 2015!". Windows 10 going on all systems, troubleshooting issues, & selling off old (still working) parts. We hit up two local street malls and got almost everything on her list (the two things we got that didn't fit were returned, and I will pick them up for her at some other point).
She has been babysitting quite a bit, & has some jobs already set up through October! BF had her working almost every Wednesday evening, but pool league is done for the season; starting up again mid next month. She *may* need Princess on an occasional Tuesday over the next month, so she asked that we keep those open, if possible. A&K asked her to watch the twins some Thursday evenings and some Saturday morn/afternoons, because their older two boys' football games make keeping track of 16m olds a little "challenging" (lol). And, ES just moved a bit closer, so she asked me today if Princess could babysit her 3yo once or twice a month. If this keeps up, she won't feel the need to get a regular job (which we all feel would interfere with her high school life, and we don't want her to do that).
She also just returned from 5 days at the coast with the "L" fam, part of which was annual GrandCamp. She's not sure she's going to continue to go, but she did enjoy spending those extra days in Lincoln City with T, D, et al and she always likes spending time with the Littles. Since they left Wednesday morning, I just dropped her off at mom's before I headed in to work that morning. It's always a battle to get T to bring her back to my house, though, and this time was no exception. They had rented a van and it was due back at a specific time, and due to heavy coast traffic, they were running late. So, I met them on a side road off the highway. When they got there, I went to give the Littles hugs and kisses, but L was grumpy. I asked what was wrong, and C said, "She's hungry and mom said we don't have any snacks so she has to wait until we get to Grammy's." I said, "Do you like granola bars?" She slowly nodded, I got a granola bar and a bag of corn nuts out of my car, and handed them to her. She said, "Thank you, auntie," and I got my hug and kiss before taking Princess home.
Next week is registration. I don't know why they call it that; they have already assigned classes, so all we're really doing is picking up her schedule, having her school pics taken, picking up her student body card, and paying her fees. Regardless, she misses her school friends (the ones she hasn't seen much over the summer -- we have had a few sleepovers), so she's getting excited for school to start up again soon. She has a facial & brow wax appt tomorrow, and a hair appt soon, so she'll be "fresh" for start of school.

GAMERBOY -- Ace took him down to Roseburg for a concert two weekends ago, and they stopped in Eugene to sign GB's rental agreement. Ace said the homeowner seems cool, but the house is kind of a mess (of course, I reminded him of how messy our house seemed when we were remodeling, too...). I guess he's got a son who was headed to college himself, so dad decided to remodel & rent out this space in his basement. Anyway, they saw Chevelle at the fairgrounds down there, then Ace had reserved a hotel room so he didn't have to drive home so late. GB slept on the floor, because upgrading the room was another $50. GB's lucky Ace was kind enough to get him a last minute ticket; they didn't even sit together at the concert.
His truck had been acting up over the last month or so, and he was worried it wasn't going to make it to Eugene so he took it to a new mechanic someone recommended. Seems that someone hadn't had any major issues, because said mechanic took three tries and still couldn't figure out what was wrong. GB finally took it to his old mechanic (Rob, whom he worked for a couple years ago) in Sandy. Rob took one look at it, told him what was wrong, fixed it, and charged him only for parts. Runs much better now, and he's less stressed (was hoping not to have to buy a new rig quite yet, so glad the truck is running well, now).
Last weekend, Ace rented a UHaul, and went to GB's old place (in Cornelius) to pack up his stuff. Apparently, GB wasn't as ready as Ace would have liked, so getting his stuff into the truck took twice as long as it should have. By the time he got back home, it was 730p, and we were all starving. GB had a few clean-up things to get done, so he stayed behind, and met us back here about an hour later. By that time, Ace had gone up to Papa Murphy's for a pizza, came home & cooked it, plus we had eaten, and I had made cookies. GB slept (for the second time) on our convertible couch/bed, and we all left about the same time the following morning (me to work and them to Eugene). They unloaded immediate needs (bed, clothes, etc), took the rest to the storage place (where it'll all stay until his rooms are finished), got some lunch, returned the UHaul, and got Ace to the Amtrak station. He got in around 630p, MAX'd back home, and I picked him up. Our original plan was a late dinner at Thirsty Lion, but by this point, he was exhausted so we just went home.
Ace will be talking to him at some point over the next couple days to check in with him, but he did see him online last night, so that's progress; he didn't have any internet hookups in his room when Ace moved him down there. I know he's been looking for a job, too, so hopefully something pans out soon. Living off his savings only is stressing him out.

SQUEEKS -- I have only a brief update on her: she's been working a ton and took a couple summer courses. She had a major ER visit, and was down for two weeks, so stayed with her mother, but is back at her rental now. She had a Cali trip to visit her boyfriend, and she's registered for Fall classes, as well.

ACE -- Besides helping our son move, he's been attending a lot of concerts, arranging motorcycle rides with some biker friends, researching new televisions, and working on decluttering (computer stuff and misc garage stuff). He's had very little on his plate since he started his sabbatical. This is a good thing, considering his first one was right after he & Maleficent split, and his second one was spent helping his sister take care of his mom's estate after she died. There are a few minor around-the-house projects that need to get done, too, but my work schedule's been so full, I haven't had time to help, so they are being put on the back burner.
We've also been talking a lot lately about the work we want to do on the yard. Since we're planning on maybe moving in a few years (maybe, possibly... you know how that goes), he's still hemming & hawing about what he wants to spend money on and what's going to get us a good ROI. We also found out that when you pour a concrete slab for a structure (such as the shed we want to have), that is then added to your property assessment (which potentially means higher property taxes). Not sure how much, so we're not sure if that'll be worth it.

EX & WILDEBEEST -- Of course, this update wouldn't be complete without something about those two, right? According to my sources, she has found a place to live (oh, thank goodness she's not homeless <-- sarcasm) for her & the girls, friends have brought food, etc to them, and she had an interview at a new job (too bad it's not out of state; that would be nice). She also continues to post stuff on her FB regarding her feelings about MG (a bit stalker-ish, if you ask me), and has unfriended a few more family members, one of which feels (as I do) that the situation between Wildebeest & MG is very much like that which I had to deal with all those years ago, and that Karma is biting her in the ass. Ahhhhh, so nice to be vindicated after all these years; people finally seeing through her bullshit & lies. Anyway, I hope his new girlfriend and he are happy, and he doesn't have to deal with Wildebeest's craziness for too long.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ahhhh... Karma... I Love You

Princess almost had a run-in with the Wildebeest yesterday. It was bound to happen; we do live within the same suburban area. She & her two youngest children just happened to walk in to Taco Bell while Princess was inside getting her dinner (before babysitting). I was waiting in the car & saw L (I *think* she's 6y, maybe 7y)... then M (10y?)... then Wildebeest herself. Princess saw them, put her hood up & turned so she was less visible, & texted me from inside "J***a just walked in... :'( ". I asked if she needed me to come in; she said no, that she was ok for now, & didn't think they'd seen her.
As soon as she got her food, though (because the TB staff said her name when her order was ready, and she used her full, real name), she's pretty sure J noticed her, but she slipped out the side door. She texted me from BF's 1/2 hr later, & said "From now on, we use the drive through or we go in together". Poor thing; my own heart was racing as soon as I saw Wildebeest, so I can only imagine the stress *Princess* felt. She handled it, well, though, & I'm very proud of her. When she returned from her babysitting job, we had a chat about how to handle it if she runs into/sees J, MG, or any of MG's family.
**Just a quick note for you, Wildebeest, and any other ex-family of my daughter. In the future, if you *do* see her, it's best to just leave her alone, ignore her, walk away. If you approach her, be prepared for a tongue-lashing, at the very least. DO NOT touch her, either; if you attempt to do so (whether I'm with her or not), she may inflict pain on you in her efforts to protect herself and get away from you.**

Now, for the KARMA part -- Seems the Wildebeest is at it again... Posting things about their wedding anniversary when she's fully aware that not only are they not together, but it is highly unlikely they are ever getting back together. I don't know if anyone else who read it picked up on it, but she didn't say that they are CELEBRATING their anniversary, only notes that it IS their anniversary, what "real love" is, and what marriage takes (as well as some crap about how they've been in love with each other for 15 years -- do any of her "friends" know how to math? Have any of them put two & two together to realize that she was his mistress for a while before we officially split? Or do they all still buy her lies, even after all these years?). Makes me laugh; her public persona is so totally 180` from who she is in real life...
I know she posts that stuff publicly to give *me* the impression they're still together & happy (as if I should care?), but since I know the truth, all she's doing is deceiving her friends (& some extended family who obviously aren't in the loop). Anyway, I know that MG has a girlfriend whom he practically lives with, and that J (& the girls; I think they live with her most of the time) will soon be homeless if she doesn't find a new place soon. I'd feel sorry for her if I didn't find it so amusing in a "Karma really is a bitch" sort of way... It's really too bad that she can't be honest about her situation with herself & friends. Good friends & family are important to getting through some really hard stuff, including splitting with your spouse. I know; mine were a lifeline when MG & I split.
Regardless, I hope she's not a vindictive bitch as they go through this (no divorce papers, yet, but it's coming...). She could take his truck, and try all her tricks to get custody and child support. But, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if that is exactly what she did. Playing the victim seems to be her forte.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mid-Summer Update

The beach trip was a success... although, next time, we'll take our espresso machine & stuff to make our own mochas (instead of having to get dressed to drive to a coffee shop) and we'll sleep on the Queen bed upstairs (instead of the Double downstairs); Princess will just have to get up when we do. We hadn't explored the north side of Lincoln City much (my mother's beach house was south of town), so this was a good chance to do so. The beach house is between Surftides hotel and Chinook Winds Casino. We had one lunch at The Mist At Surftides (pretty good; Ace's first time having fish tacos), one brunch at Pig 'n Pancake (because a trip to the coast isn't complete without eating there), one dinner at Blackfish Cafe, did a lot of walking on the beach and exploring the neighborhood, and of course hit up our usual stores (smoked meats, fudge, and misc chocolate). A couple of things to note: we hadn't been to LC in about four years, so there were some new things in town to explore, we discovered that Jetty Drive runs almost the full length of LC so we didn't have to make any unsafe left turns to get back to the house, and what used to be Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (on 101 at SW 32nd) is now an independently-owned store. She makes all her own chocolates, in-store.

After multiple short drives out with Princess, we have decided she's not ready for the class that was supposed to be next month, so we canceled it. We will put her in a Fall one (and hopefully, KP will be able to join her). Because of this, she is now able to go to the coast with LeC fam before GrandCamp. I may join them, if there is room at the B&B. The trick here is figuring out transportation; T&D's Suburban has crapped out, so they have no vehicle that will fit six... If I join them, that's not a problem, but since I'm not staying for camp, too, they would need assistance getting back home. Mom has offered to Greyhound back home, so that may be a solution... Renting a bigger vehicle may be an option, as well.

My new salon studio is just about done; I have some finishing touches to do, but I am officially in that room now. Saturday, I used my new pedi chair for the first time, and figured out a couple more quirks I need to find solutions for, but that's typical. Took me a good six months in the old room to get everything the exact way I wanted. The room is functional as-is, but I will have an Open House when it's completely done, I think. One bit of good news to note - I found an app to help me keep track of my retail sales. I only have a small amount of things I'm offering to start out (starting with lotions, body butters, and cuticle oils, plus some foot care, and mini home-care stuff), but will add more as I figure out what is & isn't selling. My friend, JC, has been doing some sewing for me; she called yesterday to tell me that my closet curtain is hemmed and she made a liner for the new clean towel basket. I'll pick those up later today.

Speaking of work, I've been pretty busy! Enough so that it delayed working on my new space... It's good for my wallet because it means I'm not having any problems paying my new rent. But, I'm feeling very overwhelmed because I wanted to be in there and done with the details two weeks ago. That being said, I do have space in my books for a couple new clients (Thursdays & Fridays, every other week). If you, or someone you know, are looking for a quality nail tech in Portland, come see me!

The last few days brought the Air Show to town. I live in the path, about 3 miles from the local airport, so we got to see quite a bit of it from our yard. A few different teams rotate for the "big attraction", but when the Blue Angels are here, it's quite a big deal. I was teasing Ace yesterday (remembering that as an older child, I lived a few blocks from the same airport, and we used to climb out my bedroom window to sit on the roof to watch) that he should build me a platform with a canopy (collapsible, of course) on our roof so we can climb up there to watch. He just laughed... but he did take his nice camera out and actually got a few good pics.

Our son (I don't remember if I mentioned this previously) got accepted to both University of Oregon and Oregon State; he chose UofO, as their Master's program for his chosen field is better (in his opinion) than OSU's. A couple months ago, he did the research for financial aid and made sure his credits all transfer, and about a month ago, he went down for orientation and looked at a couple places for rent. He officially moves down there in less than two weeks, and will be starting classes in the Fall. Ace will be helping him move, as he will be on his sabbatical at that point.

Princess has started a list of school supplies (basics for now, we'll get the class-specifics lists at registration), and has started to go through her clothes & shoes. She's already pulled two bags worth out... I usually give the good stuff to friends' kids, and we donate what's left. Four small bins of clothes and misc household goods were donated yesterday. We'll be school shopping probably by the end of this month.

I think that's it for now...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Playing Catch-Up

* So, we heard back from the teacher in charge of LINK CREW; seems that position is only available to upperclassmen. Um, so why did you give Princess an application?!?! Argh. Oh, well; she said she'd just apply again when she can actually do it.
* Their last day was supposed to be a half day (out at 1130a, I thought), so I scheduled her summer hair appt for 1215p... Turns out, they didn't get out 'til 1230p, so I just picked her up at 1130a. I really like their system of pick-up; I never have to get out of the car.
* Her grades came back almost perfect -- 6 As and 2 Bs (and those two Bs were in pre-IB classes). I had promised her her choice of a massage, a mommy/daughter pedicure, or a facial if she got straight As, but since she didn't, but made Honor Roll again, I treated her to her choice of four candies from Moonstruck and lunch at our favorite sushi place.

* She & KP had a great time in Utah with Mimi. There were two other kids around their age, plus the Youth Group instructor (Megan) and some of the other adult members from Mimi's church (Princess knew most of them). The volunteer work consisted of sewing & boxing up Birthing Kits, but they also got to play. There was a trip to the water park, a visit to the local library, they hit up a museum, and they got to watch how screen-printing is done.
* BF has enlisted Princess to babysit her youngest for a chunk of time all summer. KP sometimes accompanies her & they split the cash, but mostly it's just Princess. Minus the money she spends on coffee, Takis, and sunflower seeds (hahaha), she's going to have quite the savings by the time summer's over!
* The girls and a few other friends went to an overnighter at KP's family Fourth of July tent last weekend. They got junk food at the grocery store where the stand is, hung out in another friend's pool just before and again after the overnighter, and played a ton of games.
* She & KP are headed to KP's grandparents' house this weekend with KP's mom. They may stay just for the day, they may spend the night... Either is fine with me. All the babysitting, the trip, and the hanging with friends is keeping her just busy enough, without stressing her out.
* When she's not otherwise busy, she's been helping me put my new space together at work.

* While the girls were in Utah, Ace & I hit up Home Depot, Lowe's, the beauty supply stores, and Ikea; getting everything I needed for my studio move. I couldn't actually start, though, because Princess wanted to help paint (which was the first thing I needed to do). So, everything we bought got stuck in my new room, and waited. Once she got back, though, we cranked out the painting. She also helped me put a lot of the furniture together, and Ace helped me install/anchor the bigger pieces. I've still got a little more work to do, but I can do all that myself. If you're interested, there's an album on my FaceBook page with progress pics.
* After Ace scheduled his vacation (two weeks around his birthday) and sabbatical, we started planning another (long overdue) family vacation. I had five plus days in a row this month with nothing scheduled so we thought, "ROAD TRIP!" I haven't been along the Oregon coast much further south than Newport, so that's where we started. After getting most of it planned out, though, we hit a financial snag... my car needed work.
* My car is now over 12 years old. A month or so ago, my a/c went out. By "out", I don't mean I'm not getting anything... I mean it was now blowing HOT air, even when the system was off. I was due for a service and oil change, anyway, so we scheduled it all at the same time. They had to order a part, which meant keeping it overnight, which meant I took our other rig, which meant Ace couldn't go anywhere or get any errands run until I got home.
* We went to Gustav's for lunch on my birthday (free dessert, no singing!), but didn't get a whole lot else done...
* So, southern Oregon beaches road trip is out, but I had another (not quite as good) plan. My salon's owner has a beach house that we can borrow for a few days. We can also maybe do some fun stuff around Portland (neither of us adults have been on the jet boats...). Looks like this is our new vaca plan.
* Speaking of cars, I decided to hold off buying myself a newer one. I'm not so sure Princess will be ready so soon after her birthday to take on some of the responsibility of "owning" (with limits) a car, so I took some of my money from the motorcycle accident to pay for my new salon space, and rolled the rest back into a CD. There it will sit until it matures; at that point, I will decide if she's ready (and, I suppose, if we're ready). We are still trying to figure out what to get, anyway: I love Jeep Wrangler-style rigs and have since I was a kid, I also really like the Toyota FJ Cruiser. I could go with a newer/fancier version of what I already own (so a Toyota Camry or a Honda Accord), too. Orrrrrr... we've been talking about maybe getting a truck. I love the idea of a Tacoma; the four-door version. Plenty of room for the three of us plus dogs inside, and all our camping gear in the bed. Also, no more borrowing the older children's trucks (they each drive a small pickup) to make runs to the dump or haul stuff somewhere.
* Our annual Birthday BBQ was a success. Smaller crowd this time than in past years, but mostly due to the heat. One of Princess' friends & her family were in a car wreck the morning of my party (against my protests, they still showed up to drop off food they'd made, but went home right after), another friend was sick, etc. No big deal; I just let everyone know which day it'll be next year so they can start planning now. New guests this year included Ace's cousin, LK, and her fiance. We'd been FB friends for years, and had met a couple times, but it was nice to have her here (and her fiance is nice; seems to be a great fit for her). I never expect gifts from anyone except my daughter & my husband, but my friends gave me some thoughtful ones this year, and my son gave me one of the books on my wishlist, as well. My best friend brought my dog-niece, Daisy, and she was super well-behaved.
* Speaking of gifts, my mother was on top of her game this year. Ok, let me backtrack... A couple months ago, my aunt was here visiting and the two of them went to the coast. My favorite chocolate shop has a storefront there, so I asked her to pick me up some stuff. She didn't get my message until they had already returned, so I was bummed. Two or three weeks ago, I got a message from her, telling me she was in Ashland and asked if I wanted anything from that store. I "placed my order" and told her I'd pay her back for whatever she got me. Fast forward to the Tuesday before my birthday. I come in to work and there's a cute coffee mug (says "I love my dogs") and a small bag of chocolates along with a card on my desk. My mother was downstairs getting her hair cut, so I went down to thank her. She asked if she could also take me to lunch or dinner or get coffee (whatever worked for my schedule) when she got back from Utah. The Friday after they all returned, Princess & I spent the morning working on stuff in my new room, and met up with my mother for lunch. They too gave me free dessert! It was not stressful at all.

So, only two weeks in... but WOW! More to come!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Could We Be Any More Proud?

A month ago, Princess came home with an application; three pages. I asked her what that was and she replied, "I've been nominated for May Fete Court". Um, yay?, but what is that?!?! She said she wasn't sure exactly except she knew it was related to "acedemic achievement" and "community service". She also knew that each grade group had about 20 or so students that were nominated (by their teachers), it would be narrowed down to just a few winners from each group, and there would be a celebration & assembly for those who won.

So, I helped her fill out her application, which consisted of asking what groups, activities, clubs, volunteer work, etc she'd done *while at the high school* and a little essay she had to write. She actually hasn't had much (there *was* at least one thing she could list per question) this year, but I told her to go ahead & add things she'd done in previous years, too. It may or may not have helped, but it certainly couldn't have hurt her chances. She turned it in the following Wednesday, then I sent a message asking for clarification to the Activities Coordinator, and she replied, "...May Fete Court is a tradition at ***** going back 99 years. It recognizes students for their dedication to academic achievement and service to school and community. It is a great honor to be on May Fete Court..."

Last Monday, she came home wearing a crown & holding a yellow balloon. I didn't even blink at the crown (this wouldn't have been the first - or even 5th - time she'd worn a crown at school) but I asked about the balloon. She said, "I made May Fete Court; they announced this morning." She told me that her classmate (since Kindergarten), Greyson, and newest friend, Harmony, also got in. Super-happy excited, she started sharing the details of what responsibilities she had as part of the court, what specifications were for attire, and when the ceremonies were. She needed a black dress and "something yellow" as an accessory. I asked my mother and a few momfriends if they could be there; everyone said yes!

Tuesday, I redid her nails, and Wednesday, after she got home from GSA, we went shopping. She found & tried on 4 dresses at Ross; the last one was perfect (and only $7.99 - that's my girl!). We then went to Target to find a skinny yellow belt. No such luck, but we did find a gold & yellow necklace, yellow & gold bangles, earrings, and a few hair accessories... She ruled out the hair ones, because (remember the crown she was wearing?) she has to wear the crown; she was going to wear on a cool bun, but actually ended up just leaving her hair down. She ruled out the earrings because she didn't want to wear any. She decided on the necklace ($16.99) because it had both gold & yellow; her nails are black with gold & orange glitter, so it coordinated nicely.

We looked at shoes, but nothing struck her fancy, so we went to Payless. Now, normally, we don't shop there (lower quality than what you get at Nordstrom Rack & Famous Footwear), but I figured she would only wear the shoes once or twice, anyway. She tried on four or five pairs (one actually was named her ex-stepmonster's name, so she said something like "I could wear those... it would be like stepping on her every time I walked." HAHA!), but settled on some cute black wedges ($19.99).

In true Princess fashion, she was a bit bummed that a couple of her friends, whom she feels were "more deserving" (better grades, more volunteer work, one is even already in Leadership), didn't make it. I asked her if those friends were mad at her for making it in? She said, "No, they're just upset they didn't... They're happy for me, just bummed for themselves." Oh, ok. I did remind her that they, as well as she, all have the potential to be nominated & possibly on the Court, all other years they're at the h.s.

This past Sunday, the Leadership kids (of which, Princess' bff, KP, is part of) and all grades of May Fete court gathered at the high school for campus beautification. They were fed pizza for lunch, then Leadership decorated the gym while Court practiced. Yesterday, they were presented at an assembly for the the whole school, and last night, there was a ceremony & reception for all Court members, family, & friends.

My mother came out early to take Princess out to dinner to celebrate. She & only one of my momfriends ended up being able to make it, but a few of Princess' friends came too. Everyone took pics and a couple got video too. I keep thinking about how great these things will look on scholarship/college applications... Oh, and she was offered a spot on the Link Crew for next year, too... Application was filled out & turned in, and we are now waiting on that announcement.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

A month ago, my original plan for Mother's Day was the same as it's been for the last 4 or so years; jammies all day with my daughter responding to my every need and husband & daughter making dinner together. Then, I talked to my brother. He, his daughters, & his wife were to be in town that weekend (he is an ordained minister and was officiating his old college roommate's wedding), and wondered if I'd mind getting dressed and joining them and our mother for brunch. After grumbling a bit, I agreed, and mom made the reservations.

Ace is not required to do anything for me except cook dinner; we decided long ago that it was ridiculous since I'm not his mom (same for Father's Day - he's not my dad), but my lovely husband got up early (on his days off, he's normally up around 8a; that morning, he got up at 7a) so as to let me "sleep in", and fed & let out the dogs. I was up by 730a (in this day & age, that *is* sleeping in for me; I'm usually up by 7a). I decided not to wake Princess up yet; I made my own mocha (usually she makes it for me on M.D.), caught up on messages, posted the first of many photos (my mother with all five kids, me & my mama, pics from brunch, pics of Elvis - we've had him exactly a year), then woke her at 830a.

We got dressed and out the door, parked at my salon, and walked a few blocks to West Cafe. T & fam had just pulled up (gotten up front parking) so the girls came running down the sidewalk to greet Princess & I. We got seated, had a good breakfast, took some pics, caught up on life, and left. Firefly will be here over Memorial Day weekend, and I will have her all day on Saturday, so we talked about maybe going bowling. Princess & I then stopped at Victoria's Secret on the way and were home by 1130a.

Princess had been agonizing over "what to get" me and when I told her I didn't want a physical gift, she seemed relieved. She asked what I'd like instead. I said, "...mostly the same thing you've been doing for years; a day of peace, the remote, food & drink when I need it... and one more thing." She asked, "What's that?" I said, "I'd like for you to do all the laundry." I usually just don't do it on M.D., but then it's still there, waiting for me, on Monday. She said, "That's it? Easy peasy!"

When we got home from brunch, she gathered, separated, & started a load of laundry and I did a bit more "computering", then settled in on the couch with my tablet & the remote. She brought me a snack at 230p, and around 330p, she & Ace went to the grocery store to get what we needed for my requested dinner and they ended up doing all the grocery shopping for the week (so we don't have to do that today; yay). They looked up recipes and got started on dinner around 530p; at 645p we ate. They had made wood-planked salmon on the Traeger (brushed with Italian dressing & Saskatchewan seasoning), a basic risotto, and buttered corn. For dessert, they had picked up red velvet cupcakes.

I didn't even have to clear my place, let alone load the dishwasher or clean the counters (my usual after-dinner chore when both Ace & Princess cook); I just went back to the couch. Princess helped Ace clean up after dinner, finished up the laundry, and served me a cupcake with a cup of milk as we settled in to snuggle & watch the season finale of OUAT. Aside from having to get dressed & drive into Portland, it was probably the most relaxing Mother's Day I've ever had.

**edit -- just got a message, left yesterday, from my son on Ace's phone, wishing me a Happy Mother's Day. Love him!**

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Warning... Potty Talk Inside!

Seeing as this is work-related, I contemplated posting it on my work blog, but decided that was not really the right audience for this. So, you get my work rantings; lucky you!

Let's backtrack a little. Every since I can remember in my career, I've been the tallest one there. The owner has, on occasion, asked me to change lightbulbs in different areas of the salon. A few years ago, I took it upon myself to take care of the ones upstairs, as well (the bathroom has one and there are four in the hallway, so no big deal). At some point, I was finding myself not only being the *ONLY* one changing the bulbs upstairs (I get it; you have to stand on a stool or chair to do it, and the other people who worked upstairs with me were older; fine), but also being the *only* one changing the toilet paper (it's a stand-alone one; maybe the roll holder is too snug for most people?) and the *only* one refilling the paper towels (I'm thinking that either no one else knows where the key for the holder is -- above the window sill in the bathroom -- or they can't reach it; again, fine).

Over the last couple years, I've not only found myself being the only one taking care of these things, but also these things being just left for days on end (when I'm not there). I am constantly, after my weekend (from Saturday around 1p 'til sometime on the following Tuesday), walking in to bulbs out (if there aren't some on the shelf behind the door, there are always more in the downstairs bathroom, people!), paper towel packages ripped open (sometimes half gone) on the counter, and toilet paper rolls completely out (there *are* more DOWNSTAIRS!!), or sitting either on the counter, on the back of the toilet, or (my favorite) literally on top of the empty roll still on the stand.

Oh, these things are annoying, but it gets worse. Lately, at least one of the hairdressers (and I'm pretty sure I know which one, I just haven't been able to prove it) is using the upstairs toilet to poop. Don't get me wrong; I understand that we all have to poop at work sometimes... the pooping is not the issue. The issues are: (1) There is no vent/fan in there & the window is painted shut, and she is a fan of shutting the door when she's done AND (2) I keep Fabreze in there for this purpose but she doesn't use it. Another problem is that the other woman who works upstairs (whom I believe is, along with her clients, the one to blame for the lights/tp/pt problems), also either leaves lights on when she's the last to leave (or when she's done in the bathroom; sometimes she even closes the door, so it looks like there's someone in the bathroom when there's not!), or turns all the lights off WHEN I'M STILL THERE!!

Now, for the worst offense -- Two or three Saturdays ago, I came into work (I'm usually the first one there on Saturdays) to find the upstairs bathroom light on, the door partially shut, & the toilet lid down. I took a heavy breath/sigh, pushed open the door, shut the light off, and went about setting up for my first client of that day. Fifteen minutes later, I had to pee, so I lifted the lid... Wanna know what I found? If you gross out easily, now is the time to stop reading... Ok, you asked for it: a huge pile of poop and two big wads of toilet paper... and of course, the smell starts wafting out at that point. So, I made sure I had the plunger ('cuz "something's wrong with the toilet" is the first thing that pops in most people's heads, right?), I flushed, and I sprayed some Fabreze. Everything went down fine, I cleaned the Fabreze off the toilet, used it, waitedwaitedwaited for it to fill (it's an old home), flushed again, washed my hands, and realized my blood pressure was really high.

My biggest complaint with this stuff? IF YOU CAN'T TAKE CARE OF IT, WHY DON'T YOU ASK ME OR P.H. TO TAKE CARE OF IT?!?! WHY JUST LEAVE IT FOR SOMEONE ELSE!??! It amazes me how certain people treat other people's things & places... Do you act like that in your own home? Your parents' place? Your best friend's? I spoke to the owner, and she promised to distribute a memo regarding everyone's responsibilities at the salon (there are similar/related things happening downstairs, as well) when we have all signed our new contracts. Yesterday, I signed mine, and when I gave it back to her, she said that I was the first to do so. So, I (im)patiently wait for the promised memo. In the meantime, I also discussed my disgust with another of the hairdressers (one who is a pretty good friend, and who is highly likely to share my complaints with the offender). Fingers crossed!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Honor Roll... Again.

Grades have rolled around again... end of 3rd quarter, specifically. Once again, our Princess has gotten Honor Roll. This time, 6 A's and 2 B's. It would have been 7/1, but apparently, one of the four assignments in that class (the only one she got 4/5 instead of 5/5) was worth 60% of her grade. So, it's a high B, but still a B. The other B is in a class where the teacher only rarely gives them out & it's an honors class, so a B is totally acceptable. Still super proud of her.

We made her a deal, too... even though we don't pay for grades, we did promise her "something very cool" if she gets straight A's at the end of any major grading period (so, midterms don't count). I recently gave her the choice -- a massage (she's had two professional ones, but because of her age & comfort level at the time, she missed out on the glute part), a mommy/daughter gel polish pedi (with me in the biz, I don't trust very many people to do nail services, so I always do hers. I've had a few; some in school 11 years ago, one from my friend & co-nail tech Tanya, and one from my friend & co-nail tech Rebecca -- Rebecca's salon is set up to do up to three pedis at a time, and since her boss showed me around, I know they're following state regs), or a full facial & brow wax (she's only had one mini facial, but regularly gets her brows done).

I know I've said this before, but we believe good grades should be gotten because (A) It is your child's "job" to do their school work, and do it to the best of their abilities. If they aren't doing well, it is up to you & your child to fix whatever is wrong, AND (B) Good grades are their own reward. If you have done your job as a parent, your child will feel so proud of him/herself when they get good grades. That will push them to continue to do so, and to maybe even do better than themselves at each grade period. Princess pushes herself; she gets satisfaction from seeing all the A's on her report card. She knows that the better she does at her "job", the more freedom we give her.

And, that is a huge reward; the freedom. She gets to have a later bedtime, go to the mall(s), go to the movies, hang out with her friends at miscellaneous places, etc... and we give her money for it. As she gets older, she'll be able to take the car & have even more freedom... and we'll pay the insurance. She currently gets an allowance (plus earns babysitting money at random), but the ability to go and do things with her friends instead of being cooped up at the house because she has to study or is grounded is a HUGE "carrot" for her... one that just handing over money would not accomplish.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Actions Speak Louder...

For someone who's claimed she loves my Princess "as if she were one of my own", the Wildebeest's actions sure do prove otherwise. After Princess saw what she did a couple weeks ago, she asked me if she could write a blog post directed at JG. I told her sure, but "watch your language". If you haven't read it, you can do so here. She was articulate and to the point... which seemed to be lost on the Wildebeest. Her main point was asking JG, as "nicely" as she could muster I suppose, to take down the stolen picture of her in the hospital and to stop lying about the past. However, just like MG's actions have proven, time & again, that he is more important to himself than Princess ever was, so do the Wildebeest's actions. Actually, if you take a look at her profile, a lot of it is misrepresentation &/or plain lies. She has no relationship (nor any other info except her current job) listed even though she pretends they're still one "happy" family (as represented by her cover pic), and has herself listed as "married" three years BEFORE "getting engaged". I wonder how many of her friends (and I use the term lightly, since real friends know your whole truth) know her actual history; you know, the fact that she was MG's mistress, and that she almost single-handedly destroyed MG's chances of having any relationship with Princess, among other things. Jealousy is not a pretty thing, and it will never get you what you want.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Guest Post by MK

Dear Jenna,
You are a sad & pathetic woman, and your latest stunt only proves it more. I wasn't going to say anything, but stealing my mom's pic?!?! That pisses me off. Everything my mom posts about me on the internet is okay'd by me first. It's called common courtesy, look it up. You not only did not have my permission to post that pic, but you lied in your post! You weren't there and neither was Mike, so you don't know the whole story. For whatever reason, you lie to put down my mom, but you know what you said isn't true. My mom didn't let me walk across a parking lot by myself; she held my hand while we both walked across a painted crossing! You may have come to the hospital, but my mom kicked you out of my room! Mike (that's what I call him, now; he doesn't deserve the title of dad) was only there for a few hours, too. You obviously have no idea how much money we got in that settlement, but it should have been so much more. You're just mad because you & Mike didn't get any of it! And, calling her my "bio mom"?!?! What's wrong with you? SHE IS MY MOM, my ONLY mom! You are no longer my stepmonster (you don't even deserve the title of stepmom), so stop calling yourself that. You aren't my "Na" or anything else to me. Didn't you get it when I blocked you on Facebook? I could have unblocked you & sent you a PM, I could have emailed you, I could have texted your phone, but I don't want you having any way to contact me, so I borrowed my mom's blog. We all know you read it. You're still jealous of her after all these years because she's prettier, nicer, smarter, and a better mom than you'll ever be. I just want you to take that post down, go away, leave us alone, stop harassing us, and stop posting stuff about us. Get a life & stop using my name & old pics of me to piss off my mom.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Movin' On Up...

Wow... lots of stuff going on around here!

Gamerboy recently got a new job at Intel, working in the warehouse. His lease was supposed to be up at the end of this month, anyway, and he'd been hemming & hawing as to if he was going to find a new roommate (stay in his two bedroom apt) or move into a 1bd. When he found this job, he'd decided to find a westside place to live & thought that a room-for-rent situation would be a better fit so started his search on Craigslist, Intel's classifieds, & a couple other sites. He narrowed it down within a week to three, and early last week, moved into a nice home a little further west. His deal is nice, though; rent is very reasonable & includes all utilities, food is another $50, but he doesn't have to go shopping (he does have to make a meal for the house once in a while, though) and can special request anything he wants. The house is owned by a very nice lady in her 40's and two of her three sons (very young adults) still live at home, plus there is a Japanese exchange student. He said she's "a bit on the *mom* side, but nice". Apparently, when he's not around for meals, she leaves a container or covered plate in the fridge or on the counter with a note for him, so he knows she left it for him. I told him, "At least she's a nice mom, not a crazy one..."

Squeeks signed her first apartment lease a few weeks ago; she moves out of her mother's home at the end of this month (after finals). She will be taking her cat, but is selling most of her furniture so she can buy better stuff (bigger bed, smaller desk, etc). We sold her bed & bedding that was here (gave her the money), and have set aside the items she still wants (some clothes, towel set, mostly decorative items). Once she's moved in, we'll go visit, bring her her stuff, see her place, & meet her roommate. This place is also close to both her work and her school campus... and just a little closer to us than her mother's house is. My biggest concern for her is financial -- (A) Is she or is she not getting all of her child support? Unfortunately, all we can legally do is make sure it's paid; it's up to her, and her alone, to have it distributed directly to herself. Last time it was mentioned, she told us she had access (ATM card) to a joint account her mom set up for the CS to go to, so she can take out her portion. This, as you would imagine, worries us for a multitude of reasons; not the least of which is the fact that this is the same situation Maleficient had with GB, then blocked his access & took all the money for herself (just part of the reason he hasn't spoken to his mother in more than three years)... and (B) She has no clue what a budget is nor how to balance her bank accounts (she checks her balance at least three times per week). I've offered to go over this stuff with her, but she has shown no interest as of yet.

Princess is doing well, too. After the Ethics Club took 3rd place at State, she & KP joined the GSA (Gay & Straight Alliance). They have regular meetings and are working on plans for a couple different events, plus a tee-shirt sale. She is also doing very well at school; last semester, she had two B's and six A's. So far this semester, she's got one B and seven A's. We promised her "something big" if, at the end of any semester over the course of high school, she gets all A's. She's working very hard toward that. She also has planned her summer trip with Mimi (she gets to bring a friend this time) as well as GrandCamp and Driver's Ed classes. We continue working on her hours at home, as well, so by her 16th birthday, she'll be ready.

Ace & I have been working on little projects here & there, mostly just waiting out the weather so we can get started on the yard redo. One little thing I was able to finish recently was big painted/decorated letters for Princess' wall in her room. We bought two letters (one for her first name & one for her new last name) for her from Michaels for her birthday, but the weather never was warm enough for me to paint until a couple weeks ago. When it finally warmed up, I painted them white, let that dry, taped them for stripes & painted two coats of teal (to match her room), let that dry, sprayed a "satin" seal on them, let that dry, and put blingy numbers on them. The first initial has her birth date and the last initial has her adoption date on them. She loves them, and they hang above her bed, near her head.

We also cleared out & reorganized some things in the spare room, but can't do much until Squeeks' stuff is out of there. Bare minimum, we're looking for a roughly 6' long convertible couch (like a futon, but higher quality & preferably with arm rests), some new bins for the closet organizer (as Squeeks is taking her old ones), and possibly a different desk (so Ace can have the two-monitor system that he prefers). Our 42" t.v., extra DVD/VCR player, & the other cable box/DVR is going to go in there, so although the t.v. will be mounted, we'll need a shelf for the two other things.

Ace is also officially on the hunt for a new position within INTEL, again. At his last review, his boss said he was doing a great job, doing everything they asked of him, blah blah blah... and he got another raise. But, he's just not happy there. He feels underappreciated, and his job skills are underutilized, so perhaps another position in a different department will be a better fit. And, now that two of our three kids are fully out of the house, he can take on some other shift a lot more easily than before. So, we'll see how this pans out.

I have also quenched my tattoo itch... for a little while, anyway. After I had the cover-up done on my left shoulder, I decided I wanted a couple more things taken care of... So, last week, I had a black dog paw print put onto my right foot, and a cool dragonfly put on my right shoulder blade (dragonflies symbolize change/transformation; I'd say that definitely applies). The eventual goal is to add a ladybug (for my older Little niece) and something for my youngest Little (bee? hummingbird? not sure yet), then shade the rest of my upper back in blues. I also want to have part of my family's crest tattoo'd, but I'm not sure where yet or which parts.

I knew the quiet/calm wouldn't last...
(A) The house he's living in is now sold/pending. Curious if the new buyers will allow him to stay or not, and where he'll go if they don't. If he does move, I truly hope he makes sure my attorney has his contact info. Princess may want nothing to do with him, Wildebeest, or most of their families right now, but someday she may change her mind... and if he truly cared/cares about her, he will make sure he is easily found.
(B) Seems she's still up to her old tricks... Apparently, she swiped a pic from my page (of Princess in the hospital after her accident as a toddler) and posted her own version of what happened. Lies, mostly... I couldn't care less what lies she wants to spread about me (as long as she leaves my & my family's names out of it), but stealing my photos (especially those of MY daughter) will get you reported & lambasted with messages. Btw, she's not "M... R... G..." anymore, she's not your stepdaughter anymore, and SHE DESPISES YOU (why do you think she blocked you from seeing her FB and contacting her at all?)! Seriously, woman, grow up, shut up, get on with your life, and leave us alone.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My Own Top Ten...

Top Ten FaceBook annoyances...

10. Comments on a status/post that have nothing to do with original post. For instance -- I post this status: "Went to get gas today, and got 53c off my gas... only paid $1.98!" and someone comments: "Hey, did you get my text? I'm going to need to reschedule lunch tomorrow..." Um, what?!?! STOP! Seriously, you can either PM me (for more private messages) or post that directly on my page (for more general, or no-need-for-privacy messages).
9. Comments on a photo album that are specific to one or two photos (usually when this happens, it's because pics were just added to an album). STOP! Seriously, you can just do one more thing - click on the actual pic you want to comment on - and post it there.
8. Vaguebooking. If you want to share something, do so. If you don't, don't. But, please stop leaving crytic statuses, making everyone ask "What's wrong?" or "What's up?!?"
7. Too many political &/or religious posts. I get it you're pro/anti-Obama, birth control, ISIS, Gaza, Hilary, waterboarding, abortion, etc... but if statuses/posts about these two subjects are the ONLY thing you post, you're annoying people. FaceBook is meant to get personal, so please... share some personal stuff too! I don't even mind the cute kids/pets posts, or the food pics sometimes! Like a lot of things in life, I think what you post on FB should be done in moderation. I know what you're thinking... you're thinking, "Hey; I have the right to post whatever I want..." Yes, you do. And, we all have the right to delete &/or block you.
6. "Liking" your own posts.
5. Posts for a specific area that are posted for someone's whole Friends' list to see. For example: "Does anyone have a recommendation for a good daycare?" Um, yeah... but you live in Florida and I live in Oregon. So, a very simple remedy is to take an extra couple of minutes, and limit your audience (use the button at the bottom/right of your status box to limit who sees posts).
4. Pics posted without some sort of description or reason you posted it. For instance: Friend "S" posts a pic of the inside of a bag of chips. Um... what? Why? What does that even mean? Why did you post this? Side note - just because you tag someone doesn't mean they are the ONLY one who sees that post. If you only want THEM to see it, post it on THEIR page.
3. Pages set as Profiles. If it's for you, personally, make a Profile. If it's for your business, make a Page. It also annoys me when Pages, set as Profiles, comment personally on other Profiles. FaceBook actually discourages doing this, and if they find out, they will delete the page... If you're logged on as your business, you should only be posting under your professional persona.
2. Hoax posts/reposts. It literally takes 10s to do a little research...
1. Spelling & grammar issues, and text-speak (like "ur" and "2" instead of "your" and "to"). In this day & age, you should have the ability to run a spell-check (they even make grammar-check) and proof-read your posts before hitting that "POST" button! I don't care if you're dyslexic or just lazy... there are no excuses! And, before you get all bent out of shape, I'm not talking about uncommon things... I'm talking about normal, day-to-day, stuff like to/too/two, there/their/they're, etc.

This is, by no means, an all-inclusive list... and I'm sure my annoyances are not yours, so feel free to comment what yours are. I'd love to read those!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

What Pro-Choice Truly Means

"PRO" -- For, in favor of. "CHOICE" -- The act of choosing, the right/power/opportunity to choose. In other words, the term Pro-Choice refers to the idea that every individual has the right to make decisions for his/her own body. Pro-choice (using the term here specifically to speak of embryos, fetuses, & babies, and a woman's right to choose abortion, adoption, or to keep) men & women support every pregnant woman's right to make decisions for herself without infringment from others. Pro-choice does NOT mean "pro abortion", it is simply the belief that *I* get to make decisions for myself, you get to make decisions for yourself, and every other pregnant woman gets to make decisions for themselves... whether *you* agree with it or not.

My husband & I have had this conversation a lot lately... and we've included our daughter in it, too. We all have opinions, and we all feel that we know how we'd decide if we're ever faced with that type of decision. But, what Ace said regarding his opinion took me a little by surprise. His original opinion matched many many people out there who say they're pro-choice. Basically, he said, "It's your decision until..." No. Nope. That is not pro-choice. That is infringing your opinions on someone else's choice. You don't get to do that. You see, if it doesn't affect you & yours, you don't get a say. That's the difference between the vaccination debate and the abortion debate. If you don't vaccinate your child, it affects EVERYONE your child comes into contact with, reducing the abilities of the "herd protection". If you have an abortion, it only directly affects you & your family. However, it's still the pregnant woman's decision; no matter at what stage, no matter the reason.

Let's start with a few scenarios:
1. Your 15yo son gets his 14yo girlfriend pregnant, she's 8 weeks.
2. You are a married woman in her 30's with four kids, just got pregnant with your fifth (unplanned). You are now 10 weeks.
3. You are a married woman, age 40, one kid. You discover at 22 weeks the second child you so badly wanted has Osteogenesis Imperfecta.
4. You are a non-married 23yo woman who got raped by that guy at the bar you were talking to, miss your period, and discover you're 7 weeks pregnant.
5. You are a 27yo man whose longtime girlfriend is now 12 weeks pregnant, despite her being on the pill & you using a condom properly. She wants to abort; you do not.

There are, of course, many many many other scenarios, but just dealing with these five, who gets to make the decision as to if the pregnant woman has an abortion? Let me guess; most of you said, "Well, that depends..." Nope. No, it doesn't depend. Rapists get no say, no opinion, no rights, no anything imo. However, if you are in any sort of relationship with the other DNA-contributor (meaning, the male & female who co-created), you have every right to have an opinion & to make that opinion known. As the parent of a minor in this situation (no matter if it's your daughter or your son in this scenario), you also get an opinion. What you do not have, ever, no matter what your relationship status, is the right to make that decision for other people. No matter if that pregnant person is your co-worker, your sister, your spouse, your girlfriend, or your daughter... the FINAL decision is theirs, alone, to make.

Maybe some of you are confused... There is a huge difference between "Opinion" & "Decision". Let's say (for another example) that I get pregnant. I am 40yo, happily married, and have a 15yo still at home. My husband had a vasectomy after his daughter (his second child by birth) was born, and I am on the pill (for medical reasons not related to preventing pregnancy -- another reason we need to make sure all forms of birth control are readily available for everyone). There is always a chance that I could still get pregnant, so let's imagine that happens, and I find out at 5 weeks (that's how far along I was when I found out I was pregnant with Princess). Who gets an opinion as to what I do about it? My husband gets to tell me how he feels about it, our daughter gets to tell me what she thinks, but in the end, the decision is mine & mine alone. Of course, whatever I decide, I also have to live with that decision for the rest of my life... That's why it's MY decision.

How long do I have to make a decision? Again, my husband & daughter get to voice their opinions, but that decision is also mine. If I want to wait to 6 weeks, or 10 weeks, or 22 weeks... That's is MY DECISION!! Ace doesn't want any more kids. To be honest, neither to I. I am too old, imo, to start over. I would have an abortion, probably as soon as I could make an appointment to do so. Most of you would probably never know, but you can bet your ass I would not "feel guilty" (as many Forced Birthers would have you believe). Oh, for the record, the majority of "late term" abortions (in fact, every one that I've ever heard of) are WANTED babies who have severe, even terminal, conditions that would either severely diminish their quality of life, place undue financial/emotion burdens on the families (not to mention government assistance programs most of the Forced Birthers are trying to eliminate), or will kill them as soon as they're born or soon after. So, please stop trying to eliminate these, as well. Just like marriage equality, you can't outlaw something just because you don't agree with it.

Friday, February 6, 2015

This... This, Right Here

The headline reads "Godless Parents Are Doing A Better Job"... so, of course I had to read it.
While I am not a fan of the name calling (calling you a "bible thumper" is the same thing as you calling me a "heathen", btw), the man has many good points. All in all, the article is spot-on. I don't know why some Christians think they're better than we are... All you have to do is talk to our kids, and you'll see they're loving, smart, empathetic, and probably a lot less judgmental than a large chunk of the Christian sect. What's also funny/interesting to me is this (imo) ill-percieved notion of persecution. We atheists aren't persecuting you, we are simply asking for the same respect from you that you've demanded from EVERYONE. We don't appreciate being told we're "going to hell", or we're wrong (because you know your god is the only one?!?! no), or you're praying for us... If you honestly feel that way, that's fine (we don't really care); just keep it to yourself and stop trying to change us.