Posts tagged ‘joy’

May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I never really think to much about this. As it turns out it’s just another day off, although today I chose to come into work. It’s the first time I have worked this particular holiday in eight years.

As always I sat on my front porch drinking coffee with my husband, reading emails, playing words with friends, checking groupon. The usual stuff. Not thinking anything about the day. It just a day. Then…….my iPad started beeping with all the site subscriptions I have. Everyone was writing about Memorial day in one way or another.

The lives that have been lost; the lives that have been forgotten. The injured. The found. Every life has a value to someone. Every person has been loved. Everyone gone remembered in some way by someone.

I work with Marines. I have lost friends, and acquaintances to war. I remember them often. The smile on their faces. The sound of their voice. The kindness in their hearts. The things they loved to do with their free time: skydiving, sailing, rock climbing, biking, etc. They are all amazing men.

At work guys don’t speak of the war much. I never really ask. Their home. There with family and the war is in the past, although I hear my share of stories.  Most are amazing and totally different than what you hear in mass media. It makes you wonder, so I no longer watch stories about the war.  The Marines are proud and I am proud of them.

I have meet boys who are now men that have lost their sight, their arms, their legs, the normal mental state. I used to feel sorry for them. I don’t anymore. They are proud of their misfortune. Proud of the job they have done. Willing to do it again without regret.

I don’t think about all I am grateful for everyday. I should. We have many freedoms that others don’t.  I should be more grateful. It’s a shame we need a day to celebrate the one who sacrificed. Those who have lost their lives for our benefit. Those who have sacrificed their lives for the ones they love. The country they love. It’s a shame that as a people we forget. We get so involved with the day to day we simply don’t have the time to remember. At the very least we have today.

In loving memory of my friend.

May 29, 2011

Chaney Ranch

This is an updated post. Jantz sent us a video he made of our son. And quit frankly I am super stoked about it.

May 21, 2011

My guitar with distraction

My Guitar

It’s been awhile since I played and quite frankly I’m at a loss on how to get started again. No, I know just pick it up and play. It should be that simple. Alas it’s not. The music just doesn’t seem the same. Being sick for six weeks I am sure has very little to do with it. I believe that I was stuck before…no lame excuses. When I should hear a melody I hear up and down motions. Where I should hear a song I hear picking. By no count am I an advanced guitar player. I am skilled at noodling, if you will.

The officers (I got distracted)

There are two officers sitting on the patio of Starbucks. One is rather handsome, young, wearing a swat team uniform and dark sunglasses. He is very cool. The other an older gray haired man with…….a mustache. I’m laughing thinking only move into the century bro. I smile wider completely content with that thought. I just think they look ridiculous, CHIPS. The older man rubs his nose a lot. I think the little hairs must tickle. I’m guessing in his fifties, and despite the mustache he’s good looking as well.

Im am with great intent trying to listen to their conversation, but its breezy today. The few words I catch, education, he screwed up, she was there. I suspect they are talking about there fellow officers. The younger uses hand gestures as a means of getting his youthful more idealistic points across. The older man with hands firmly placed on his lap points and shakes his finger as if scolding a small child. He believes himself the voice of reason. The man of experience even in this rather quiet city.

They have left and I am all alone out on the patio with only my own thoughts left to consider and back it to the previous dilemma. How do I find my way back to my guitar?

A friend and I started playing at the same time. I have not been a very good motivator these last few weeks. I was thinking,

1 Take some lessons
2 Order lessons for Mary Swartz @ guitarjamz.com

Those were the only two I came up with. Indecision also includes, picking, percussive rhythms, blues, country. Since I’m not very musically inclined to start with I can’t decided what type of music I want to play. My biggest dilemma is the ud uud uud uud. I hear the motion not the melody.

May 20, 2011

Chaney Ranch

Tomorrow my boy is riding at Chaney ranch. Its invite only and many great riders will be there. I’m always nervous when he goes to a new track, of course, I’m mom. When he was eight or nine he said, “Mom, it’s ok if I die out there.” That’s what every mom wants to hear, but he’s focused and dedicated to his sport. I admire that he is willing to give it his all despite any negative consequences. This is my son.

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May 16, 2011

Perspective on raising girls

I often talk to parents about how they raise their children, daughters mostly. Mine has been a little more difficult than my son. In terms of raising her I tend to think psychologically as I wanted her to be balanced, and well adjusted.

When my daughter was two I was very new to the study of children. I should have known when she cried the first three months of her life she would be a challenge. I should have known when she skipped over the crawling and went straight to running I was in for it, but I didn’t.

When she was two and getting in trouble one day I sat her in a chair and told her to stay, like a dog I suppose. I told her if she got out of the chair I would spank her. I don’t know why. Spanking serves no other purpose than to hurt my hand, but that’s what I said. This played itself out several times and the only thing it got me was a sore hand. She never cried because her butt was covered with a diaper, but she did have fun tormenting me.

As the years passed the same situation presented itself over and over again in different scenarios mostly in the form of us screaming at each other. I never quite understood why until now that she would do anything her father said but fight me tooth and nail over the smallest thing.

Never does she have conflict with her father. If he asked her to do anything she does without complaint, because she knows this will pit him against her mother. If she severs their bond then she can becomes the leader. This can be her tribe. Dad always sides with mom but as a young child she never stops trying.

It’s just recently I hear people referring to their families as a tribes. It is the most accurate statement that can be made about the family unit. We are tribes. Preindustrialization, and modern man both men and women had roles to play. Although in the fifties era,  the Beaver Cleavers showed great signs of the separation of men and women in the home. Men went to work, they were hunters of food, protectors of the home. They were builders. The foundation of the very tribe in which they belonged. Women were the gatherers, the ones that nurtured the children into their appropriate place within the tribe. Women supplied the essence of tribes very life. Everybody has a job and they were clearly defined.

In the case of a mother and daughter. A daughter is meant for these things. I believe genetically. She is born to nurture, to supply the very essence of leadership that will one day support and guide her own tribe. Without her no tribe can exist. Now that’s not to say that boys and men do not serve the same functions in their roles but it’s clearly another essay. Females no matter the age are meant to do great things and conflict arises when there are two making the same soup.

My daughter from birth genetically, I believe, is a leader. All girls are. She wants to lead to take control of the tribe. She fights for this. She wants to make the decisions, and tells me no when she doesn’t like mine. It creates conflict, fights, a struggle between her very nature to be a leader and her age. This explains a lot about why little girls like dolls. They are playing the role of leader. Preparing for the day when she posses her own tribe.

When my daughter was three or four she wanted to pick her own clothes to wear. She wanted to make decisions, chose what she wore, what she ate, what cup she drank out of. These were all critical decisions that prepare her for life ahead. I let her do all these things. It actually makes my life easier. Now her choice is clothing hasn’t always been the best but it covered the parts of her body that needed to be covered so it was fine with me Because it is her peers that will judge her new look with blatant truth, I do not have to be the bad guy. It is her peers that become my greatest ally. They judge harshly and allow me to play the role of nurturer instead of dictator. They hurt her feelings when they say her outfit is ugly, or she’s fat, stupid, etc. To resolve this I get to tell her she is an individual, beautiful, brilliant. I get to educate her on proper nutrition, fashion, the three R’s of education. She turns to me and I become the hero, the caretaker, the wise one. It works in my favor every time.

As my daughter got older she found new ways to assert her leadership. She got bossy with everybody. The kids on the playground, our son, nana, papa, but never dad. She would tell her brother he was sick and he needed to stay in bed and home from school. She would command him to eat his veggies. Don’t throw sand at the playground someone could get hurt. Don’t go up the slide that way it’s not safe. She was being a mother and rightfully so. She is born to do this genetically, nurture, care for, emotionally tend to. We praise our daughters for these traits. We encourage these traits. This is her way of learning how to prepare for the future. How to be a mother. She immolates us because genetically that is what she is supposed to be learning in these early years.

As my daughter moves into the teen years she is afford more freedom to make tougher choices, more responsibility. She recently had to research a new school and find out if its a fit for her. She made the final decision and it coincided with mine. It worked naturally the way it’s supposed to. We have fewer fights because we work together for the greater good. I encourage her to make mistakes, take risks. She need only hear about my experiences but learn her own lessons.

I know a women that has three girls the oldest the same age as mine. She tells them how to dress everyday How to wear their hair. In fact she does it for them. They make no choices. None. They are told what sports they can play. The mother rules every aspect of their life. They have no freedoms. They are servants to their mothers will. Now this is extreme, but look forward ten years and picture what I see….rebellion and lots of it. Their mother has told me great, fantastical stories of her own rebellion but had not learned a single lesson from it.

There is not need to cuddle your child. The dress them, feed them, or rule with a heavy hand. Children by design know their path and are willing to tell us if we would only listen.

May 11, 2011

Walk a mile

Walk a mile in my shoes

I was listening to pandora last night, Everlast. There is nothing I don’t like about his music. It has a southern soulful sound to it. It has a sense of meaning to me. I can relate. A song from Eminem came on, beautiful. I’m not a huge fan of his music but this particular song influenced me. If you get a chance listen.

I don’t pretend to know anything, no nothing at all.
I don’t pretend to be smart
I don’t pretend to be tall

Life has afforded me great things
But great things need life
I have failed them all

I’ve tried so hard
The tears I have wept
The promises I’ve made
The lies I’ve kept

I suppose this sums up the life each one of us has had to lead at one time or another. Those are not the words from is song. I didn’t want to copy. From the very poor to the very rich life is complicated. Money doesn’t change that or make it better. Emotionally it is the about the same, extracting the from the equation those who are insane, mental, you get the point. No matter who you are or what you do you have to dealt with the human plight of emotions. Walk a mile in sorrow, happiness, fear. I know there are you’s out there that can’t relate, can’t feel another’s pain because you have never faced the tragedy. You will in one way or another. You have in your on way.

When I was little I lived on the outskirts of tornado alley. I grew up in segregation and I’m not that old. I have seen devastation. I have had a friend die at the hands of a bomb in Afghanistan, been addicted to drugs, lied for the benefit of me, and never made amends for the things I did to another. I have been made the fool, made a fool of you. I have cheated; I have deceived. I have done terrible things as part of my life.

I have help a friend, showed kindness where there was none. I have cared about issues, stood my ground in the defense of others. I have brought two beautiful children into this world. I have cried for your pain, and lent a hand to the fallen. I have apologized for the feelings I hurt, and felt compassion for the wrong doings of others. I have brought happiness, love and joy where there was sorrow. I have done good things.

That should be about a mile if indeed it can’t be measured. You know me better, but there isn’t much there that is different from you. Maybe you weren’t addicted to drugs or seen a disaster first hand. Both are unique, tragic. The disaster is an act of mother nature. Tornados are amazing, incredible things until they destroy your home. Drugs. I loved them, but they destroy your life. Most who used will agree in one aspect or another. Segregation afforded me perspective. A mile in the shoes.

Nothing I have done that follows me down the road I am on serves regret. I don’t hide from the past. It doesn’t torment me. I don’t let it. My miles have been long. It’s been a dusty road. One that feels no sorrow for my pains. I don’t want it to. I made all my choices. I stand by all my decisions, every one no matter how stupid they were.

Walk a mile in anyones shoes and you will see that they are much like you. Every emotion we have is called the same. Everyday begins and ends the same. Every mile is measured the same. It’s what we do with those emotions that make us different.

May 10, 2011

Kindness

I wrote a post yesterday. I decided that my thoughts were to confusing and I learned a lesson. This is how life puts you in a path to do something decent, kind. It’s about what life gives you.

My daughter is turning 12. She is a great kid: smart, determined, responsible. She is everything a mom could ask for. I wanted to get her something she wanted for her birthday. Something that would last; that would be great. She is deserving in every way. She has an old second generation touch. She had mentioned she wanted a new touch or an lg touch phone. I really didn’t want to replace her phone. The one she has is durable. But I could get her an itouch 4. Her phone was broken so I wanted to try and get it fixed. I went to the Verizon store and this is where the path starts.

It was early and the store was empty except me and two other customers. The lady next to me had a not so good brand of phone and it was glitching out. Her husband is in Afghanistan. There wasn’t much the guy could do for her. Verizon is a big corporation and they have policy. He offered to overnight her a new one. For most of us that would be great, but what if her husband called. She was worried and concerned. I wanted to do something but what.

As I went on with my day. She didn’t leave my mind. If I used my daughters phone upgrade to replace my Droidx with an iPhone. I could give my Droidx to my dad and give her, the lady in the store, my dads samsung fascinate. All are new phones. I could then give my daughter my touch 4. Everybody would get what they wanted, what the needed so to speak.

I went back on the way to pick up my kids from school and talked to the guy that was helping her. The first time I was there I got the impression he didn’t give a crap. He did, but he was also trying to do his job. I bought an iPhone and switched out my other phones. He called the lady, got no answer. I left the samsung phone there for her. She would at the very least have a spare. I told the guy I would go back Friday and see if she picked it up. I hope she does.

There was a pissed of part to this story. Another guy was involved. I am choosing to leave that out. It’s why I deleted the other post. Why be pissed when so much good is possible here.

Had I thought faster. I could have stopped her in the parking lot. I wanted to, but I wasn’t thinking fast enough. What’s important here for me is that I did or tried to do something. Because of my daughter I crossed her path. I am grateful for that.

It is a time of technology and unrest for those in the military. If the last time you are going to hear someone say I love it should be loud and clear. Your phone shouldn’t glitch out.

If the path of kindness crosses you, embrace it. It affects everyone. Hopefully the lady got the phone. My daughter got the touch 4 she wanted and Verizon replaced her phone for free. I still, with the iPhone, have a iPod. I loved my touch and used it all the time. My dad got my Droidx. He will figure it out. Life works out. It always does. They say that act of kindness make you feel better about yourself. They do, but in this case it doesn’t. I worry for her husband and I don’t want the words I love you to be the last.

May 7, 2011

To love a dog.

I remember the day we got max. I wanted another dog, a female, but i was tired of waiting. I scoured the papers. I really, really wanted another dog. I finally found an ad with six week old lab and golden mix. They sounded perfect and they had a female, so I called. Unfortunately the female was gone but they had six males left. I’m not really a fan of male dogs. I really really wanted a dog though so I decided to go and check the out.

I arrived and they let the puppies lose. They were all do tiny, cute and white. I love white labs. Beautiful. Puppies are just liKe children. They either like you or they don’t. Two of the puppies were horrified of me and ran the other direction. One was amazingly aggressive and barked non stop. A couple just wondered around sniffing the found happy to be out. Max he just sat there. “Hey, I’m here and if you would like to take me home I’d be happy to go.” I wasn’t sure, but what the hell he’s cute and calm. Max was so tiny. I think he weighed only 3 or 4 pounds curled up in my lap and enjoyed the trip.

Max is three years old now. He has gone many places and made many friends. He loves everybody. Max is amazing. He is the dog that every child should have. He is a best friend there is no doubt.

I think it’s amazing how a simple dog can change a life. He always listens. He’s always there by your side. He never questions. He never judges. He’s everything you need a best friend to be. He’s max.