Thursday, December 30, 2010

Any Hurt Feelings

I want to make sure it is known that the blogs I write are not about any one person but myself.  They are about MY experiences and MY thoughts.  These are my opinions, not fact.  These are my feelings and I am responsible for them.  No one is responsible for the way I feel.  I am singling no person out nor is that my intention.  Most of the personal subjects I write about have happened more than once and/or have impacted me in a big way.  If anyone is offended or hurt by what I write, I am truly sorry.  My only suggestion is not to take anything I write to heart.  I truly love my friends and would never want to damage any relationship by my musings.  If it truly bothers you, please speak up.  I would be happy to discuss it.

Happy New Year everybody!  Be safe and have fun!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fun Christmas Facts

I like to learn about how holidays came about and how traditions grow over time.  I will share some things I have learned about Christmas since it is that time of year after all.

Gift giving was actually started by Pagans for Saturnalia and Christians who agreed that the gifts could symbolize the presents brought to baby Jesus continued it with Christmas celebrations.

The Santa Claus tradition began with a very generous man in the middle ages.  His name was Saint Nicholaus of Myra.  He would go around the poor part of his village and give gifts to the children.  I still believe in Santa, do you?

Elves and reindeer were brought about by Pagan religions.

Decorating Christmas trees began in Scandinavia where people believed Evergreens scared away the devil.  In Germany fir trees were decorated to represent the tree in the Garden of Eden.  I am not sure which originated first.

The candy cane was made to symbolize Jesus.  The red was for his blood and the white symbolized sins being washed away.  The shape of the candy cane symbolizes the shepherd's crook.

In the middle ages, Christmas was a rowdy celebration much like Mardi Gras.

Christmas caroling began in England and was called "Wassailing"-toasting neighbors to a long and healthy life.

Whether your traditions or customs bring you peace or shenanigans at Christmas time, I wish everyone good memories and may you be surrounded by family and friends who love you.  Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Deep sorrow concerning what has passed
This consuming black hole seems so vast
Despair and sorrow sting like bees
With bits of happiness sprinkled to tease
These moments float away on the breeze

Fidgeting thoughts consuming the mind
Wholesome and noxious intertwined
Sinking further into psychological strife
Becoming a prisoner of this life
Fear and uncertainty cut like a knife

Freedom waits within this heart
But cannot fathom where to start
Letting go the logical conclusion
Judgement clouded by so much confusion
Painfully obsessed with this delusion

Your friendship means the world to me
And for unknown reasons I turn to flee
Running from guilt, broken with shame
I long to hear you whisper my name
Please end this heartbreaking cruel game.

-Kathy Lewis

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Disposing of People

There is something wrong with this world.  VERY WRONG.

Maybe my view is jaded, but I feel like I have been disposed of by many people I thought were friends.  I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way.

Many times in the past friends would just stop talking to me.  Maybe I picked friends who don't like conflict, and rather than talk to me about what bothered them, they would just never return my calls or avoid me.  Or just be plain mean to me.  And I am not aware of anything that may have insulted them and have never hurt them on purpose or anything like that.  I just don't understand.

No matter what my friends do, I don't just stop being their friend.  I may not always approve of what they do and I might even voice my opinion about that, but I will always be there to encourage and love them no matter what.  If they do something bad, I might be mad for a while but I will eventually forgive them for ALMOST anything.  I don't understand why I don't have very many friends who treat me the same.  I am thankful for the FEW good friends I do have, most of whom I have met through derby.  I love you all!  Thank you so much for being a true friend.

If you have disposed of me, it is you who are missing out.  I am a loving, thoughtful, opinionated, and devoted friend who will be there through thick and thin.  Isn't that what strengthens friendships/relationships anyway?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Human Defense Mechanisms

Defense mechanisms are unconscious psychological reactions used to cope or protect oneself and reduce anxiety.  Our main defense mechanisms are denial, displacement, intellectualization, projection, rationalization, reaction formation, regression, repression/suppression, sublimation, compensation, dissociation, fantasy, identification, undoing and withdrawal.  Defense mechanisms can be helpful and healthy if used properly.  However, if used improperly to prevent individuals from realizing their true thoughts and feelings.

Denial is one of the most identifiable defense mechanisms.  There are 3 ways people present denial:
1.  Simple denial-denial of reality and unpleasant facts all together.
2.  Minimization-Admit fact but deny seriousness.
3.  Projection-Admit both fact and seriousness but deny responsibility.

There are different types of denial as well:
1. Denial of fact.
2. Denial of responsibility.
3. Denial of impact.
4. Denial of awareness.
5. Denial of cycle.
6. Denial of denial.

Denial may be your body's way of telling you that you are stressed, in emotional conflict, having painful thoughts, etc.  If you don't move past denial, you may develop harmful behaviors towards yourself or others.  If you think you may be in denial, ask yourself what you fear, think about what may happen if you don't take action, allow yourself to express your fears and emotions, try to identify irrational beliefs about your situation, journal, open up to a confidante, or maybe find a support group.  If these steps don't work consider talking to a mental health professional.

If you know someone who is in denial, be there for them.  If you pressure them to deal with it, it could end up in an angry confrontation. Instead, let them know you will stick by them when they decide they are ready to deal with their feelings and emotions. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Well We Finally Did It...

My husband finally got the vasectomy I have been wanting him to have since we had our daughter 6 years ago.  Long story short, he didn't do it while I had insurance after she was born and had to wait until we got insurance again which was in January of this year.  Having it in December ensured we wouldn't have to pay a high deductible.

The good thing about waiting 6 years is I am still as sure as I was 6 years ago that I do NOT want anymore kids.

Funny thing, I loved kids growing up and as a teenager and I always dreamed of having 6 kids.  I even had names picked out (none of which I ended up using).  Oh boy, I am glad that dream did not become a reality.  Something changed after I had kids of my own.  I adore my own children (when they aren't irritating me) and somehow grew to only tolerate other peoples' children.  When I see other children misbehave I am so glad they are not mine and I have a hard time not judging their parents.  I still love when my friends and I get together so our children can play.  I LOVE watching my kids play.  I will babysit on occasion but I am probably not anyone's first choice.  I am still good with kids, I just don't have the patience and expectations kids need. 

Thank you so much for going through this honey! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Angry at Anger

Why does it have to be so strong?
Why does it make us act so wrong?
I never wanted to deal with this.
I wanted to stay in my own bliss.
It didn't have to come down to this.

Now I have people angry with me.
I did not want to do this you see.
The anger stooped way too low,
Disrespect started to flow.
I too felt the blow.

The confusion I cannot comprehend.
My own feelings I have to condescend.
Now the love I found no longer seems
to keep intoxicating my dreams.
Why'd you have to go to extremes?

-Kathy Lewis

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Celebrity Stupid Spending

I was home sick with my daughter on Monday when I caught some daytime TV I normally don't get to watch.  I was flipping channels and caught the beginning of The View and was absolutely stupefied by Barbara Walters statement about returning a gift or using a gift card and that she ends up spending money.  She said, "If you have $100 return or gift card, you can never find anything for $100 so I end up spending $1000 returning $400 worth of stuff," or something to that effect.  OH MY GOD!!  She is sooooo out of touch with reality.  I could find SEVERAL items to purchase with $100, not just one. 

Barbara isn't the only one.  I once heard Jessica Simpson say she spent $1200 on sheets!!  I buy sheets for $40 at the most and I could see spending even $200 on sheets.  However, those $200 sheets better help me sleep the best I've ever slept in my life or I would be pissed at myself for spending so much.  BUT $1200???  On sheets????!!!!!  I could buy a car!  Or fix things on my house at least.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are rumored to have spent $5000 on Suri's birthday cake.  I spent $75 on a clown and that was the most expensive item at the party-which was a treat of all treats to my daughter.  That kind of thing doesn't happen often in my household.  How could a kid being spoiled like Suri ever learn to appreciate the value of anything, let alone learn anything about sentiment?

I cannot believe we keep supporting these people by paying them so much!  In this day, when the economy is very unstable, really celebrities should be giving some of their money back to the economy and spend money like the rest of us "normal" people.  Or at least donate to all the unemployed and homeless people in this country.  Celebrities pooling their money together could very easily fix the government's problems.  Our government lets the celebrities make the money they do, so not all the blame goes to the celebrities.  We all know the government could use some fixing up in a lot of areas, not just money, but the government is just like some of the celebrities-WASTEFUL.  A Fox News blogger listed 102 of the worst ways the government spends tax dollars.  The top 5:
5: Storytelling festival in Utah ($15,000)
4: Door mats to the Department of the Army in Texas ($14,675)
3: University in New York researching young adults who drink malt liquor and smoke pot ($389,357)
2: Solar panels for climbing gym in Colorado ($157,800)
1: Grant for one Massachusetts university for "robobees" (miniature flying robot bees) ($2 million)

The things the government and a lot of people spend money on are not things that really matter.  You can't take those things with you when you die.  The government can't set a good example when it comes to spending so we can't expect any of the people of this country to either.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Family First

I absolutely loved this past weekend.  My sister and her family came to stay with us for a couple of days.  They stayed at my house which made it so my sister and I could cook together and prepare Thanksgiving dinner together.  Everything was delicious too.

I spent some much needed time with my husband and kids too.  We shopped on Saturday with the kids.  Then the hubs and I went bowling for date night.  On Sunday, my daughter was sick so we stayed home and did some housework together.  I got an extra day off on Monday since my daughter was still sick.  She went back to school today feeling much better but still has a raw nose.

I am missing more derby practice these days in favor of family time and while my attendance percentage may go down, my mom guilt is going down as well.  I want to continue to play derby, but my family needs me more than my team does so I have to learn to balance family life and derby life better so I don't have to shut one out completely.  I love derby and it can seem a little more fun than family life sometimes, but it doesn't love me back and my family always will.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Am So Hungry

Just thinking about tomorrow has already made me ravenous today.  And it's only 11!!!  On the menu for tomorrow's main course will be a juicy 22-pound turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry-glazed carrots, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, and maybe a couple other dishes brought by my mom or sister.  For dessert we will have a choice of spiced pumpkin souffles, brownies, and apple crisp.

I have my turkey soaking in brine and the brownies are made.  Tonight I will make soup for the green bean casserole and the gravy and maybe boil the eggs for the deviled eggs.

In the morning I will get up about 6 a.m. to put the turkey in the oven and then probably go back to bed for a little while.  After I get up the second time the kitchen will be a-buzzing!  The house will be filled with smells of deliciousness!  I am HUNGRY!!!  Okay, it's lunch time.

Happy Thanksgiving all!  Be full, safe and happy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate being thankful.  Really though, we should be thankful everyday.  Even if it's just for something small like a cup of coffee when you wake up.  Finding something to be thankful for practices positive thinking.  The more you practice, the better you'll get at it.  You could even start a list of the things you're thankful for and it may surprise you if you do it for a year.  You would have 365 things to be thankful for.  That's quite a lot considering all the unfortunate people in this world who have much less than we do here in the United States.

I myself am thankful for God, my husband, my 14-year-old son Zachary, my 6-year old daughter Shyanna, my mom, my dad, a home to live in, my job, roller derby, the motivation to exercise, my strengths, my weaknesses that teach me lessons, sunshine, chocolate and other sweet things, my sister and brother, my sister's family, all my extended family, and it doesn't end there.  When you look for something to be thankful for, it really is very easy to find.

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hate is Horror

"Hate is too great a burden to bear.  It injures the hater more than the hated."  -Coretta Scott King

Hatred is a DIFFICULT feeling.  It's difficult because it is such a strong feeling.  Many times people behave irrationally when they feel hate.  Hate is toxic if you give into it or behave irrationally.  Hate destroys one's own happiness and love of life.  Hate makes one focus on the negative aspects of situations or life in general.

"You cannot hate other people without hating yourself."  -Oprah Winfrey

Hate is a choice.  BOTTOM LINE.  This choice is made when someone feels powerless or weak.  Hate gives us that feeling of power we so desperately want, but only temporarily.  It's like a drug and if you keep giving into it, it will have power over you and you will be powerless once again.  If you choose to hate, the only one you end up hurting is yourself and not those you hate.  The hated person probably knows nothing about the hater's feelings or they do not let it bother them so the very thing people hope to accomplish by hating someone doesn't affect the hated person in the least. 

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."  -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hate brings people to do horrible things to each other when expressed irrationally.  Hate destroys relationships.  Sometimes it even destroys the relationships you wish to keep.  Hate just creates more hate.

"Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat."  -Henry Emerson Fosdick

Hatred stems from feelings of fear, hurt, irresponsibility, and ignorance.  A hater tends to focus on other people's actions making their life miserable.  They are oblivious to the fact that their beliefs and actions create their reality.  The reality is that they work so much harder to hate than to love, and hate only hurts the hater.  Why waste all that energy on something so negative?

"Hatred is a quality that's always destructive, never helpful or constructive, and always unpleasant."  -unknown

Please first and foremost, learn to love yourself.  If you can't love yourself, you can't love others and the hate will continue to dominate your life.  Take time to reflect and see the uselessness of letting negative feelings control how you behave toward others.  Life is too short to let hate fill so much of it. 

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”  -James Baldwin

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

C is for Cookie!!!

I got invited to my first cookie exchange party.  What a great idea!  Everyone bakes 6 dozen cookies and makes a copy of the recipe(s).  Then you bring a container to take cookies home in and exchange all your cookies at the host's house.  This is a wonderful idea for the holidays when you like to give baked goods.  Instead of spending your time making lots of different cookies, you only have to make 1 or 2 kinds and you can come back with 10 different kinds!  Cookie heaven!

I love to give baked goods for Christmas.  Who has recipes for the yummiest cookies???  Send them my way.  I have until December 1st to decide what kinds to make.  NOM NOM NOM.  :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Does Your Stomach Bother You?

Do you know what causes your stomach to bother you?  If not, maybe you should be checked for celiac disease.

Content from Mayo Clinic: 
"Celiac disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. If you have celiac disease and eat foods containing gluten, an immune reaction occurs in your small intestine, causing damage to the surface of your small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients.
Eventually, the decreased absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) that occurs with celiac disease can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment. This can lead to other illnesses and stunted growth in children.
No treatment can cure celiac disease. However, you can effectively manage celiac disease through changing your diet and completely eliminating gluten from your diet.
There are no typical signs and symptoms of celiac disease. Most people with the disease have general complaints, such as:
Intermittent diarrhea
Abdominal pain
Sometimes people with celiac disease may have no gastrointestinal symptoms at all. Celiac disease symptoms can also mimic those of other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, gastric ulcers, Crohn's disease, parasite infections, anemia, skin disorders or a nervous condition.
Celiac disease may also present itself in less obvious ways, including:
Irritability or depression
Stomach upset
Joint pain
Muscle cramps
Skin rash
Mouth sores
Dental and bone disorders (such as osteoporosis)
Tingling in the legs and feet (neuropathy)

Some indications of malabsorption that may result from celiac disease include:
Weight loss
Abdominal cramps, gas and bloating
General weakness and fatigue
Foul-smelling or grayish stools that may be fatty or oily
Stunted growth (in children)
If you have lots of stomach problems and you haven't been tested for this disease, please ask your doctor to test you for it.  It goes under diagnosed and there may be millions of people who are unaware that they have this disease.  My mother and brother have this disease and while it is sometimes a pain to stick to a gluten-free diet, they feel much better than they used to before they found out they have it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Carnival Fun

Come to the ORG's carnival night tomorrow night (November 13th).  We will have beer pong, shot checkers, bottle toss, 7-11 doubles, and full contact musical chairs!  Musical chairs will only be played by rollergirls.  This will take place at Stroker's 7812 F Street in Omaha, NE starting at 8:30 p.m.  Bring a non-perishable food item or pay $1 per game.  This food drive will benefit Food Not Bombs.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What a Weekend!!!

It was such a good weekend, I haven't had time to write a blog until today.  I got back from Chicago on Monday to return to a mountain of work on Tuesday.  Now that I finally got over the mountain, I am able to blog.

Chicago is a really neat city.  I had so much fun venturing out on the streets, taking the train and buses everywhere and getting there in 20 minutes or less.  That doesn't happen here on public transportation.  A lot of homeless people were begging but other than that, all my experiences were good and I got to watch some AWESOME derby.

Rocky Mountain skated away with the Hydra trophy by 1 point in the most exciting bout of the entire weekend.  Congrats to them!  All the other teams that participated were amazing to watch.  I sure know I need to learn some more skills!

I had a great time giggling with girls and partying with the people of Chicago and the people who were visiting from other areas.  I can't wait until next year's championships!  Hopefully ORG will make it there!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ever Hear Of...

A giant coconut crab?  Or a glass frog (yes you can see through it)?  Or a Mexican walking fish?  These animals are strange and exotic, yet endangered species.  There are many endangered species we have never heard of.  Seems strange. 

Whether it's humans or global warming that are endangering these species, they are being discovered during this endangerment which is not a good thing.  People are more concerned about other things, however, and not worried about different endangered species.

If you would like to know more about endangered species, go to and find information about ways to help or get informed.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Playing Hooky

I am going to let my kids play hooky for a couple of hours on Thursday.  I leave town on Thursday, having to be at the airport by 4 p.m.  My kids usually get out of school at 3:30 but since I get off work at 1 p.m., I am going to pick them up early so we can have some time together before I have to leave.  I think for this one time, it is okay to break the rules.  I will be gone for 4 days and I always miss them terribly when I am away.  This will give us a chance to have some quality time together before I leave instead of a hurried pick them up from school and straight to the airport type of goodbye.

I think it is okay to let kids play hooky every great once in a while for something special.  After all, we take off work sometimes, why shouldn't they be allowed to take some time off school?

I can't wait until Thursday!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Costumes= Success

My husband and I won Most Creative Couple Costumes at our friends' annual Halloween party.  I was a garden hoe (hoe with garden tools and gloves) and my husband was an easy lay (Staples easy button with a Hawaiian lei).  I will add pictures as soon as I get some (I forgot my camera so others took them for us).

Our son's costume was the big hit.  He got so many compliments.  He was Not a Happy Camper.  We took an old Boy Scout camp shirt and ripped a bear claw into the front with blood on it.  We stuck roasted marshmallows all over it.  He had a scarred, bloody face with a black eye.  He carried his hiking backpack.  The only thing we missed was a broken flashlight.  He felt so proud of his costume.

Shyanna loved her costume as well.  She was a fairy princess and I did her eye makeup in rainbow colors and we put green, purple, and pink hair extensions in her hair.  So we made her a punk rock rainbow fairy princess.

I hope everyone's Halloween was safe and fun.  I can't wait until next year!

Friday, October 29, 2010


I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!  Remember to go with an adult or in a large group.  Have a buddy so no one gets left behind.  Use glow sticks.  Only go to houses with their porch lights on.  Look for cars when crossing streets.  Say trick or treat and say thank you!  Manners are NOT overrated.  I hope your costumes bring you lots of goodies!

Most of all-HAVE FUN!!!!  Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What to Pack?

I am getting so freaking excited for next week when I go to Chicago.  I am trying to think of what to wear.  The lows for next week should be in the upper 30s and highs should be in the 50s.  No skirts for me unless I have tights!  I still want to have some swank outfits though.  Any ideas?  I did make a pretty sweet shirt out of 2 otherwise blah shirts.  Still trying to figure out the other 3 outfits though.  I am going out 4 nights to clubs plus going to derby bouts Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  I think I am just wearing jeans to the bouts so I can be comfortable.  I am bringing workout clothes too.  I wonder if I am going to have room in my 2 free checked bags.  I did not mention yet that I am also taking food, and makeup and hair stuff and....See what I mean?  I think I just need to figure this out so I can fit it all in my bags this weekend instead of trying to figure it all out on Tuesday night when I pack.

What are all you winners going to WFTDA championships wearing?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Joy in the Kitchen

There is pleasure in cooking and baking for me.  Last night the kids, my husband and I carved pumpkins.  I roasted pumpkin seeds and made banana bread.  I also fried green tomatoes in there somewhere and managed to make it to bed at 10.  Not too bad.

I can't help but love cooking and baking, except the mess part, but if I clean as I go it's not too bad.  It is almost like a therapy of some kind.  I think the banana bread recipe I make is the best I have ever had.  It is soooo moist and yummy.

Banana Sour Cream Bread

1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
3 cups white sugar
3 eggs
6 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease four 7x3 inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust pans lightly with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and 3 cups sugar. Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in salt, baking soda and flour. Stir in nuts. Divide into prepared pans.
3. Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Give of Yourself

"Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need."  -Gillian Anderson
"Research has shown that people who volunteer often live longer."  -Allen Klein
When you choose to volunteer a service, you help someone in need and also help yourself to feel worthwhile, maybe learn a new skill, and also give yourself a boost in self-confidence and self-esteem.  Volunteers also help their community as a whole.  There are MANY other reasons volunteering is good both for the volunteer and the recipient of the services.  People make connections this way.  The world would be a more loving place if everyone would take just an hour a week or month to volunteer.
If you would like information on where to volunteer in your area and what services are available, go to today.  There are literally thousands of opportunities waiting for a person like you.   

Monday, October 25, 2010

Championship Picks

WFTDA Championships are just over a week away.  I am so excited to be able to go!

In my opinion, I think bout match-ups will conclude this way:
Bout 1-Bay Area
Bout 2-Minnesota
Bout 3-Philly
Bout 4-Oly
Bout 5-Gotham
Bout 6-Rocky Mountain
Bout 7-Philly
Bout 8-Oly
Bout 9-Rocky Mountain
Bout 10-Oly
Bout 11-Gotham
Bout 12-Rocky Mountain

I think Rocky Mountain has what it takes to take the championship this year, but Oly is a VERY STRONG possibility as well.  Whatever happens, good luck to all players next weekend and congratulations on making it this far!  You go girls!  I will be cheering everyone on regardless of the outcome.  Let's see some sweet derby action!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nebraska's Proposed Sexual Orientation Ordinance

I am verrryyy angry that I got a certain email this morning.  A Yahoo group I belong to for educational opportunities for my children felt the need to send an email out to persuade people to email their city council members and let them know how they feel about this ordinance.  What angered me was this statement, "Basic human decency demands women and children be protected from sexual predators.  But next week, Omaha's City Council is likely to pass an ordinance that would allow a young girl to enter a public bathroom not knowing if a sexual predator is inside - legally."  This just goes too far!!!

Excuse me, but my gay friends are NOT sexual predators who will prey on your children and it brings a lot of negative feelings to my heart and soul that they would think that of people I love.  This has NOTHING to do with sexual predators.  It has to do with making people feel loved and accepted regardless of who they are and what they believe.  It's is about stopping the hatred that is felt by people who have different sexual orientations, gender expression, and gender identity.  My children and their children are being affected by this hate regardless of their sexual orientation.  These people are so wrapped up in their religion that they are blind to the fact that they are not doing God's work.  

Let's counteract what these people are doing, and believe me it will be a lot.  This is a huge group of people with a lot of networks within the city of Omaha.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take the time this weekend to send a letter to the list of city council members below.  Your friends and family depend on you to help stop the hate.

Here is the list of who we need to call and reach out to in the next
day (and over the weekend)
Mayor Jim Suttle
Councilman Pete Festerson -
 Councilman Ben Gray    -
Councilman Chris Jerram -
Councilman Garry Gernandt -
Councilwoman Jean Stothert -
Councilman Franklin Thompson -
Councilman Thomas Mulligan -
444-5557 is the council's office
444-5555 is the mayor's office

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Carbon Footprints

My family's carbon footprint is approximately 222.54 metric tons of CO2 per year.  A VERY LARGE majority of that comes from our auto usage.

You can easily find out your own household's carbon footprint by googling carbon footprint calculator.  The sites you go to also list ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.

In my opinion there is not much I can do unless my whole family starts riding our bikes everywhere.  I would have a hard time biking to work now that I work at 9 a.m. and my kids can't go to school any earlier than 8:30.  It takes me 25 minutes to bike from their school to my work and if I didn't care what my hair looked like for work I wouldn't worry but I have to wear a bike helmet for safety and my hair just doesn't look good after it comes out of the helmet.  Everyone has their excuses, myself included.

Since I have so many excuses for using my car(s), I have to try to reduce my carbon footprint where I can.  I recycle but I should start doing compost.  I turn off lights and don't turn on my heat/air until absolutely necessary and keep it at a temperature that makes it more efficient.  I have started replacing all bulbs with the energy efficient ones.  There are many other things I can be doing, what can you be doing?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shin Splints

I took 3 weeks of leave from roller derby.  I just went back last night.  What was my reward?  Shin splints.

Shin splints cause pain from just below the knee to about 6 inches down the front of the leg.  The cause of shin splints is not really known except that they stem from overuse, inflammation, and possible injury to the posterior peroneal tendon.  I don't get them very often myself so I hope last night was only temporary.  I was able to work through them and endure practice so they are not bad enough to make me give up.

I have done some research on the best way to treat shin splints.  Doctors used to think either resting all together or working through the pain.  Neither seemed to work but doctors instead have found that a few treatments together can effectively treat shin splints.

Workouts such as bicycling or swimming will keep up the cardiovascular workout while treating the shin splints.  Ice reduces inflammation so applying ice a few times a day will certainly help.  Anti-inflammatory medications can also reduce discomfort.  An Ace bandage wrapped around the area can alleviate the discomfort.  Stretching the calf and front of the leg will aid in relief as well.  Stretch at least twice a day.  Proper running shoes are important as well.

May you be shin splint free.  :)  Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Expect the Unexpected

Well those of you that voted that my 6-year-old daughter would take the first chicken exit out of Shadow's Edge haunted house on Friday night were wrong.  :)  Myself included.  I voted that she would go out of the chicken exit.  She told me she would be brave.  She was right.  I am so proud of her.

She high-fived a monster at the beginning, and didn't scream when the people with chainsaws came out even though I sure did.  She didn't scream when she saw bloody people or when people came running at her.  She did make a couple of gross-out sounds when she didn't like something.  She didn't like it when she couldn't see, but she was being carried by her daddy so she felt pretty safe.  I think what helped her was I told her no one was as scary as her daddy.  I think she believed that.  :)

She was so proud of herself and I am so proud of her too.  My brave girl.

Friday, October 15, 2010


I don't like what color you're wearing!  BANG!!!

You stood next to my girlfriend!  BANG!!!

You're standing in my territory!  BANG!!!

You're not part of my group!  BANG!!!

I cannot believe this is the way some people are handling disagreements.  The mentality "I don't like that we are different or that we disagree so I will just kill you," has got to stop.  Lives are not being valued anymore.  Violence is an idiotic way to solve an argument.  Enough said.

Please answer the poll at the bottom of the blog post.  Thank you and have a great Friday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Price Match Princess

Yes, I have become one of those.  And I even clip coupons!  If you are in line after me, you will probably wait longer than the average time as I spout out the price of each item and the clerk enters them.  I make a list of the things I buy that are on sale in the ads every week.  Then I buy only those things unless I NEED an item.  I plan my meals around those items.  It has been saving me HUNDREDS of dollars.  Literally.

I used to spend anywhere from $160 to $200 weekly for groceries.  For the last 2 months I have been diligently price-matching and using my coupons and spending anywhere from $70 to $150 every week. 

I get some attitude from clerks sometimes, but I don't care.  Money is money and I save where I can.  I have found little ways to save lots of money over the last couple of years when I used to work at home.  Grocery shopping was a tremendous bill and even an extra $50 makes a difference long-term.  I have not been great with money previously.  I have had to train myself to be thrifty which has taken years.  The changes I have made have had a tremendous impact on my household budget and my stress as well.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Charter Schools for Nebraska

Charter schools receive public money, but are not subject to the rules and regulations that apply to public schools.  They are attended by choice and cannot charge tuition.  People who pay tuition for school should not have to pay education taxes at the same time.  Well we know that is not going to change so the alternative is to make a charter law, which Nebraska is 1 of only 10 states without a charter school law.  Since charter schools receive public funding, the parents wouldn't have to pay tuition and pay education tax at the same time.

If public school doesn't work for a child, then the state should still be obligated to provide a free education.  My son was being bullied in an Omaha Public School with several reports and no changes made, so I decided to send him to a private school.  Fortunately this school operates on a sliding fee scale so it makes it affordable for my family.  Unfortunately many parents still cannot afford this cost and shouldn't have to.  If the state fails a student, they should still pick up the cost to educate them since our children have a right to a free education.

If you would like to support the passing of a charter law in Nebraska, please contact the Nebraska Charter School Coalition at 230 68th Avenue, Omaha, Nebraska 68132 or by phone at (402) 558-4644.  You could also write to your congressmen and senators about this issue. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No News is Good News

"When you watch the news with all its propaganda, spin doctors, and edited footage you are being brain-washed into accepting that our world is in a state that it is not in!"  -Erin Pavlina

I hardly ever watch or read the news anymore.  Not because I don't want to be informed, but I don't want to see all the bad stuff going on in the world.  I hear enough from FB or Twitter or word of mouth.  Watching the news makes me feel fearful, sad, depressed, helpless, frustrated, angry, suspicious and a whole slew of other negative emotions.  Why do I want to keep filling my mind with all that negative energy?  Yes there are OCCASIONAL good news stories, but not enough to counteract all that negativity.  I feel all that negative energy is dangerous to a person's well-being.

News is based on fear most of the time and I just can't support trying to go around putting people in fear.  The news has an agenda.  They would rather report more bad news because negativity gets a stronger reaction from people.  When our brains react to something negative, our body releases chemicals that cause us to feel even more negative feelings such as fear, sorrow, or anxiety.  The right side of our brain is responsible for our negative emotions and the left side is responsible for positive ones.  However, our brain also sends messages from right to left, making copies of the feelings we have.  If your brain is copying more negative feelings, you are going to keep having more negative thoughts.  Thoughts are recycled over and over.  The cycle goes round and round.

There is a saying, "The right brain feels what the left brain thinks."  Our brains also have a direct influence on our immune systems.  Even if you are "left-brained" you can train your right hemisphere to be more dominant.  The more positive thoughts you think, the more positive thoughts you will have.  A good way to do this is find one thing everyday to be thankful for. 

"Thoughts and feelings are what create the circumstances and results you face in your life.  Thoughts have a vibration or frequency which will produce an appropriate emotion which will cause you to take an action, or not take an action which lines up with that emotion."            -Brenda Blindenbach

So think positive and try not to take in so much negative news.  You can stay informed without being affected by all the negativity.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Hayrack rides are a blast!!!  This weather has been perfect for them too.  If you get a bunch of people to go and split the cost it can be an inexpensive yearly event to celebrate fall and let loose and have a good time. 
You may want to take your allergy medications before you go.  :)

Hay fights are a good way to get people laughing and laughter is good medicine.

You can attack other hayracks when you pass each other.  This is really fun!

You can have a bonfire afterward and roast hot dogs and marshmallows.

Good things to wear on hayrack rides:
Turtleneck to try to keep hay out of your shirt.  Tuck that into your JEANS.  Wear a cotton sweatshirt that the hay will brush off easily.  Hay doesn't come out of fuzzy clothing very well.  You should wear boots too so the hay doesn't get to your socks easily.

Bring your drink cooler and have a great time! 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Don't Cheat Yourself

I always hear, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day."  Then I see people who are overweight and hear them say they skip a meal or meals during the day, then load up at night.  I don't see how anyone can do this and expect their body to like it.  I used to be overweight.  I also used to skip breakfast.  When I stopped smoking over 2 years ago I started eating breakfast regularly.  Now I can't go without breakfast (or any meal for that matter) or I feel terrible.  I have lost weight gradually in the last 3 years and have maintained my current weight for almost a year.

I am not saying that everyone should eat breakfast.  I am saying that it is not the best idea to go for several hours during the day without eating.  When you deprive your body of food, your body decides to slow down the metabolism to hold on to what it gets later and try to make it last.  Food is fuel and in order to keep going, your body needs it.  I have found that I keep a more regular weight when I eat every 2 to 3 hours, even just a piece of fruit. 

Men need approximately 2500 calories a day, women need about 2000, and children aged 5-10 need about 1800.  These numbers vary based on age, weight, muscle mass, and activity level.  You can figure out your personal caloric intake by using this method:

Adult women:
655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in yrs)

Adult men:
66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5.0 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in yrs)
The number you get from this would tell you how many calories your body needs if you spend the day lying in bed.  This is called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
If you multiply that number by your activity level percentage, you get the number needed to maintain your CURRENT weight.
Activity Level:
  • Sedentary (no exercise, sit at a desk most of the day): BMR x 120 percent 
  • Light Activity (no exercise, on feet during the day, eg. shop work): BMR x 130 percent
  • Moderately Active (exercise 3 or more days a week for 30 minutes or more): BMR x 140 percent
  • Highly Active (exercise 5 or more days a week for 30 minutes or more): BMR x 150 percent
I am 5'3" (63 inches) and weigh 134 pounds and I am 35 years old.
655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)=

655 + (4.3 x 134) + (4.7 x 63) – (4.7 x 35)=
655 + 576.2 + 296.1 - 164.5 = 1362.8
My BMR is 1362.8 or I need 1363 calories if I just lie in bed all day.

We all know I do not lie in bed all day, at least not since derby.  :)

Now I am highly active because I exercise 5 or more days a week for 30 minutes or more per day.

So I take my BMR of 1362.8 and multiply that by 150% or 1.5 which gives me 2044.2.  In other words, I need to take in 2044 calories to MAINTAIN 134 pounds. 

Let's say that I would like to lose 10 pounds.  I have to under-eat by 3500 calories to lose 1 pound.  If I shave off 500 calories per day (3500 calories less a week), I will lose about 1 pound per week.  It would take me 10 weeks to lose 10 pounds. 

If you overeat a lot and have more to lose than 10 pounds, you could shave off up to 1000 calories per day and maybe more, but you should NOT take in less than 1000 calories per day as that would have negative effects on your body. 

My point is, skipping meals is counterproductive to weight loss.  You should eat regularly, but take in less calories AND exercise if you want to lose weight.  This will help regulate metabolism so that your body can maintain a healthier weight.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Christian WRONG

"I join the ranks of those who are angry, because I have watched as the faith I love has been taken over by fundamentalists who claim to speak for Jesus but whose actions are anything but Christian."
—Robin Meyers
I get really irritated by people who call themselves Christian and go around pointing fingers at people who don't live as they believe and make a bad name for Christians like me who try not to judge other people by their actions.  You cannot change other people by going around and pointing out their faults.  I believe this alienates people more.  AND "Christian Right" people have faults just like anyone else but you don't see them going around baring their sin for all to see.  Forcing beliefs on others is counterproductive.  This Christian right hypocrite crap bothers me a lot. 
I believe true Christians love everyone regardless of what their faults are and leave the judgment up to God.  I have friends who are gay and I love them.  I am not going to stop loving them because they are gay.  Who am I to tell them whether being gay is right or wrong?  I really don’t know myself if it’s right or wrong.  Yes the Bible says it is wrong, but it also says it is wrong if a wife doesn’t submit to her husband which I know I am guilty of not submitting to my husband.  I know the Bible contradicts itself a lot, but let’s face it, it was written by men so I don’t take it literally.  I still read it because it is good reading.  I just talk to God about what I do not understand and He almost always shows me the truth.  Call me crazy, I don’t care.  Why does being gay have to be a bigger sin than others?  To me, no sin is greater than another, and the bible says as much.  I have friends who have had abortions, and I would never want to be in their position.  I also believe by telling them God hates what they did we are sending them farther away from Him instead of using that energy to pray for them to grow closer to Him.  I would rather love them and be there for them in the midst of their pain than shun them. 
I feel that sin is what gets in the way of a relationship with God, which is why it makes sense to me that Jesus died.  Jesus died so that when we sin, we can still have a relationship with God.  I believe it is the relationship that is important to God, not the sins we commit and whether he will forgive us or not.  I think God is a parent in the sense that no matter what we do, He will still love us and forgive us.   He just wants us to talk to him about it and pray to him about things.  The more we do this, the more we grow spiritually.  The more spiritual growth, the more peace is felt.  The more at peace someone is, the better they handle life situations.
Really my argument goes very deep because Christian Right groups are so adamant about “doing the right thing,” yet support wars that kill people when the Bible clearly says killing is wrong.  They are doing much worse things than this as well but it would take me forever to write about it all.
In my opinion, the Bible is not there for Christians to use as a list of rules for people to follow, it is there for me and you, if you so choose, to strengthen a relationship with God.  I don’t go around quoting the Bible to my friends so I can point out their flaws.  I would rather tell them I am praying for them and that I am there for them.  Hypocritical “Christians” will not be able to bring glory to God in my opinion.  The glory is in the joy of love that they are missing completely.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Almond Milk is All Right

I have recently started to drink almond milk.  It is pretty good and very good for you. It is also a better alternative to soy milk if you don't like it, which I do not. 
Almond milk also furnishes the body with high levels of manganese, selenium and vitamin E. Manganese plays an important role in activating enzymes in the body. Manganese along with phosphorous also plays a role in keeping bones and teeth healthy. Vitamin E, an antioxidant protects the cell membranes by destroying the free radicals that cause damage to them. Selenium on the other hand is good for the functioning of the immune system, for reproduction and for metabolism of the thyroid gland. 
The magnesium obtained from almond helps break down the food consumed into energy. It also assists the functioning of the parathyroid glands, which are responsible for production of hormones known for good bone health. The potassium present helps maintain normal blood pressure. Almond milk is also a good source of flavanoids. This is because, almond milk is prepared by crushing the almonds with the skin. The skin is rich in flavanoids, which is good for cardiovascular health, thereby providing protection against various heart diseases.

You can make your own almond milk if you don't want to buy it.

Almond Milk Recipe
Raw almonds, 1½ cups
Filtered water, 4 cups 
Soak almonds in water for minimum six to eight hours. Drain the water, and blend the almond with 4 cups of water, until it reaches a milk like consistency. Strain it to remove almond skin and granules. One can store almond milk in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator for four to five days. If you want it to be sweeter, then blend in a few soaked dates as well.
You can buy a half gallon of almond milk for around $3 at the grocery store.  Vanilla flavor is my favorite.  I like to mix almond milk with my regular milk to add flavor and get the nutrients from both.  I will also put almond milk in my oatmeal along with a little brown sugar.  It is very yummy that way!  Whether you are lactose intolerant or just don't like the taste of milk, almond milk is a great option.

One serving (8 ounces) of unsweetened almond milk contains about 30-40 calories, 2.5-3 g of fat, 1 g of protein, 1 g of fiber and some vitamins and minerals. Almond milk is loaded with unsaturated fat, which means almond milk is beneficial in reducing the risk of heart diseases. Moreover, almond milk does not contain cholesterol and saturated fats. The protein content in almond milk helps the growth and repair functions of the body. Besides proteins, almond milk also contains omega fatty acids.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Throwing Food Together

I love throwing things together sometimes to see how they turn out.  It's good therapy.  Last night's thrown-together dish turned out pretty good.

I had ground beef, spaghetti, and tomato sauce products but wasn't sure what to make.  I looked up recipes on to get an idea.  I saw a couple of pasta bake recipes that called for sour cream or cream cheese which I did not have on hand so, I went upstairs to see what I could substitute.  I found cheddar cheese soup so decided to add a little milk to that with some eggs.  Here is what I made.

Spaghetti Bake

1 pound cooked ground meat
1-16 oz box spaghetti
1 big can tomato puree
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Italian seasoning
8 oz shredded triple cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Drain. 
2.  Mix tomato puree, soup, milk, eggs, meat, garlic, salt and pepper and seasoning.  Add cheese and stir together. 
3.  Mix sauce mixture with cooked spaghetti in a 13x9 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Add extra cheese on top if you desire after baking and let it melt.

My kids liked it and my husband thought it was pretty good.  I thought it was great for just throwing it together.  My thrown-together recipes don't always turn out as great but this one is worth making again so thought I'd share.  I imagine it would have been awesome if I had the cream cheese or sour cream to add to all this.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beat Bullying

These stories that are coming to light lately with children committing suicide due to bullying are heartbreaking.  Many parents feel helpless and hopeless for their child because it is not something we as parents can control, and many parents may not have many options.  Then the unthinkable happens and a parent feels lost without their child, leaving unwashed sheets on the bed for over a year because they can still smell their child when they lie down in it.  I thank God everyday that I removed my son from his bullying situation before he did something drastic. 

I chose to pull my son out of public school where he was being called names like faggot daily, people knocked his books out of his hands, tried to pick fights with him, etc.  His self-esteem and grades were going down drastically and the only time he would open up to me would be when he was angry with me.  I tried SEVERAL times to discuss this with the school and at times it was almost as if they blamed him for the bullying.  They said he didn't always talk nice.  I really didn't feel they took it as serious as it was.  I decided to make a change.  I placed him in a private school with 1 classroom with 14 kids ages 5-13, where he was the oldest and it has done WONDERS.  My son's grades went from Cs and Ds to As and Bs in 1 quarter.  He gets to show younger kids how to do things which boosts his self-esteem.  He feels important again.  He feels like he matters.

Please talk to your kids about bullying.  It is IMPORTANT!!!  Tell them it is not okay to pick on other people because they look different, act different, dress different, smell different, or do anything else different.  We are SUPPOSED to be different.  We should embrace each other's differences and treat everyone with love and respect, even when they don't deserve it.  If you treat everyone with love, you can walk away proud.  If you bully someone, do you really feel proud?  It has to stop somewhere.  Spread the message that it will not be tolerated.  Educate yourself, your children and their children.  Bullying is just not okay.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Costumes Made Easy

Our family is being thrifty this year when it comes to Halloween Costumes.  For my daughter, I found a sparkly dress that she can't wear much longer.  My daughter said she wanted to wear it and be a princess.  The dress will be a little short on her so I suggested she be a fairy princess.  She loved that idea.  She has a wand and a crown so we are borrowing wings and voila!  Done.  Easy peasy.

For my son, he is being a not-so-happy-camper.  We will have him wear his scout uniform or some other camping-like outfit.  He will have a fishing pole and we will make him look like he got mauled by a bear.  Also easy peasy.

Now for mine and my husband's costumes, I will not give them away but less than $10 will be spent on them because we have most items already for them.  If you want details, ask me after Halloween and I will post pics.

For some GREAT costume ideas go here>>>

As I have said before, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  Happy Halloween time!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Amazing Family

I would like to take the time to express my gratitude to my family for all your support, encouragement, love, and respect.  I am so blessed to have you in my life.  This also goes out to my girls who all are so different and respect the differences without causing too much drama.  Trust me that's hard to do with 30+ girls!  ORG has become my second family ("friends are the family we choose ourselves").  I love how I have been taught by my mom and my girls that communication is the MOST IMPORTANT THING in working together.  If there is no communication, relationships truly suffer. 

My husband is the best!  He supports me the most and I cannot thank him enough.  He does more than his fair share of the work when it comes to our family.  I so appreciate it!

I am blessed to have 2 beautiful, affectionate, and considerate children.  They have huge hearts and are compassionate.

To the rest of my family, I really am thankful everyday that I have been blessed to have such an amazing family that really knows how to show love.  My family may not be perfect but you can feel the love and that's what is important.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Let It Out or Let It Go

Let's face it, if you hold onto your anger, disappointment, frustration, etc., it is like embers that will eventually start a fire.  When the fire starts, all the past anger, disappointment, frustration, etc., gets piled on like logs on the fire never letting it burn out.  This is why if you are going to let it out, you should probably do so within a short period of time, not letting it fester for months to years or you will end up bitter, resentful, and even have thoughts of revenge.

If you don't like conflict and don't want to let it out by talking it out or in some other constructive way, you should probably make the decision to let it go.  Forgiveness is a great way to do this.  If you can't forgive then you are going to have a hard time letting it go, and maybe it's the time to seek professional help.  Start with forgiving yourself for being angry first, then try to forgive the offender.

Some constructive ways to let it go are expressive writing or journaling, meditation, cognitive therapy (changing the way you think), or talking with a professional to let it out without telling the offender.

If you are going to let it out, do so respectfully with no name-calling trying to use only "I" statements.  Try not to be accusatory or place blame. 

Most of all, I think forgiveness is the most important thing because it truly does make the anger dissipate.  It may not go away completely at first but forgiveness doesn't mean you don't get to be angry anymore, it just means that you refuse to let the anger control your actions towards that person and the love takes over.

“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.”-Bryant H. McGill
“Sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time.” -Sara Paddison
And if you want someone to forgive you try saying, "I was wrong, I am sorry.  Please forgive me."  You will be amazed at the results.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Perfect Chili Weather

I made chili yesterday in the crock pot for our dinner tonight.  I cannot wait to eat it!  Here is how I made it:

4 cans beans, drained (I used 2 cans chili beans and 2 cans kidney beans, 1 dark and 1 light)
2 pounds ground meat (I used ground chuck) or meatless if you are a vegetarian
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 cup salsa
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
Any other spices that sound good in chili to taste

I didn't have any onion but would have added it if I did.  I used a little bit of onion powder instead, plus the salsa has a little bit of onion in it.

I put it all in the crock pot on low for about 8 hours.  I tasted it and it was just right sweet and just right spicy.  I can't wait to eat a whole bowl tonight!  The second day chili is always the best as it has had the chance to absorb all the flavors.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Young Children and Haunted Houses

How old do you think a child has to be to go to a haunted house?  I think when my daughter was 4 she was too young because she was very sensitive and easily scared at that age.  My son on the other hand, went to a haunted house for the first time when he was about 3.  He did very well and was only a little scared.  He wanted to go of course.  I also explained to him that it was scary and not real and the people wear costumes, yada yada.

Today I found a Groupon deal to get 2 tickets for $10 at Shadow's Edge which is half off.  So I asked my daughter if she wants to go to a haunted house this year.  She will be 6 next weekend.  She said she wanted to go and that she knows it will be scary but she still wants to go.  So I bought 4 tickets for $20.  Am I asking for trouble?  I don't know.  My daughter is very adamant when she wants to be and if she is scared and ends up not going through, I guess I will have to deal with that when we get there.  Only I hope she doesn't chicken out because I want to go through and if she did chicken out I would be the one to stay outside with her.

I suppose it all depends on the child and their personality more than the age, although I think any child younger than 3 IS too young to understand that it is not real and could really freak out a bit.  It could do way more harm than good for kids younger than 2 for sure.  This is definitely not something a parent should do on the spur of the moment.  A lot of thought should go into this decision.

Tell me what age you think is appropriate to take a child to a haunted house and also tell me which ones are your favorite haunted houses to go to.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Scarlett Letter

I am a little sad today.  And I will be more sad on Saturday when I skate for the last time with Scarlett O'Scara.  She announced last night at practice that she will not be skating anymore after the game on Saturday.  She explained that she loves derby so much but could not handle another year physically or mentally and does not want to end up hating it.  I understand this completely.

Scarlett loves life and is one of the nicest, funniest, and easy-going people I know.  She has been a great leader in our league and always makes people feel welcome and very rarely gets impatient and I have never seen her angry.  She will be sorely missed.  I am tearing up just writing this.  I don't know how I am going to handle skating with her for the last time.

While I know tears will be shed on Saturday, I know our team can pull out a win to honor Scarlett with on her last time on the track.  She helped us get to the place we are in, and we don't want to upset our accomplishments before she is even gone.  Let's do this ORG!!

Scarlett, you will be missed tremendously on the track next season.  Not only are you an awesome teammate, you are an even better friend and I would love see you off the track for a lifetime if you let me.  MDL!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Merging for Idiots

When merging with an interstate or freeway with a speed limit greater than 50 mph people are SUPPOSED to speed UP on the entrance ramp and should have reached a speed matching those already on the interstate to merge.  That is why it is called MERGING.  You do NOT force your way over by cutting in front of someone who is going 55 mph while you are still going 40 or 45 mph.  Not only is it rude, it is dangerous. 

Definition of merge:  
  1. to cause to combine or coalesce; unite.
  2. to combine, blend, or unite gradually so as to blur the individuality or individual identity of
It astonishes me when I am driving on the interstate the amount of people that still continue to merge incorrectly and they wonder why people get irate with them or honk at them.

Some people also assume they have the right-of-way when entering an interstate.  Let me enlighten you:  While it is courteous and safe for a driver to move over to allow cars to enter onto the interstate, it is not always an option to do so, and it is the responsibility of the entering driver to yield right-of-way to the vehicles already on the interstate/freeway.  The best thing to do in this situation is adjust your speed to slow down and enter behind or speed up and enter in front of the vehicle(s) in the lane which you are merging into.  DO NOT just stop at the end of the ramp.  Not only could this cause an accident with other people entering, you will not allow yourself enough room to enter safely either and frankly, this could cause a major pileup.

As I always say, you do NOT use your brakes on the interstate unless it is unavoidable and an emergency to do so.  It should be a place where one can set their cruise control and go, using the accel/decel buttons to adjust their speed, not their brakes.

Drive safely and don't merge like an idiot!