Monday, March 30, 2009

Here's my album- Pizho and Penda is the name of my group. The album name is "The years will take care of Themselves" The photo is the third random picture from flickr. This reminds me of an asignment I had in High school art class to create an album cover for an existing (or fantasy) group. I think this random version is much better because my HS album was heavily inspired by YES covers and The Lord of the Rings novels. Gotta laugh about that.
Anyway, try it for yourself.

Random fun-

If you've ever thought of staring in your own rock band, here's your chance to make a fun start.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wordle: march09

Wordle check-
I forgot about this site, but I like how it creates word clouds from any text you provide. In this case, I submitted my blog as reference. It gave me a chance to see what I've been writing in my blog in a new light. Notice there's no quilt, fabric, and only a tiny art listed. Shows how dry my creative well has been.
Can you believe it snowed here yesterday? OMG! When is warm going to come? My job today is to do laundry for the trip. Maybe start packing. I'm procrastinating.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Funeral Arangements-

My husband's father passed away last Thursday and he has been working with his other siblings to plan the funeral. There's quite a lot to be done, between the things that need to take place in Tx (where he died) and Oh (where the funeral and burial will be) while we live in Mo. (lots of phone work) His mother passed away in January, so this is a second family tragedy in a short time.

Meanwhile, I am planning the logistics of our family of 5 being ready to make the trip. We did not all attend the funeral in January, so we will be traveling now as both parents' ashes are buried. It's a two day drive there and back for us and we'll just have to be missing some school .We'll have to see if a neighbor will drop in and check on the cats. We'll need to buy some feeder fish for the turtle and a time release tablet for the fish. I have put suits in the dry cleaners and will be doing hair cuts and shopping for us girls. All the small details that aren't important but must be done.
I'm not sure how I feel about my father-in-law passing. Sad, of course, but he's been ill for some time and we knew it was coming. Having time to prepare yourself for losing someone makes a difference. So, sad, tinged with acceptance that it really was his time to go.
This passing makes us parent-less and our children grand-parent-less. There's no one that holds the greater store of wisdom that comes from age and experience for us any longer. No one to ask how something should be done, nor is there anyone left to try to make proud. Except ourselves.
No, now we must consider ourselves finished adults and be our own experts. There's a moment of panic from that thought, and then we realize we are capable because our parents made sure we would be. They are proud of us and we are proud of them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Unrealistic Sense of Entitlement -

Day two of my "what's wrong with America rant" focuses on the term unrealistic sense of entitlement (or USE). Pop that term into google and you'll find endless blogs of people complaining about the young people of today. You'll rarely see a parent complaining about their own sweet darlings. That's a huge hint to discovering who is behind this problem. The Parents are to blame... oh and TV.

TV is not actually the blame so much as it's a carrier of the plague. Vast numbers of people who never knew a thing about Orange County, now know exactly how the parents and kids behave there. What I see of the women there makes me roll my eyes and what I see of the kids' behaviors makes me want to slap them into next week. It makes the kids in other locations think that's how they are supposed to act. Trust me- it's not. It fosters USE.

If you know me, you know I detest quite a lot that goes along with organized sports and it's machine. If I hear one more time how it inspires "responsibility and teamwork that lasts a life time" I'll scream. It does not. It fosters USE. There are stories after stories of parents yelling at officials because their sweet child's team didn't win. Parents arguing with the other parents and worse -fighting. You know the ride home is full of excuses. "That ref was an ass. You should have won. It's not your fault." Classic USE encouragement.

In my work, I encounter several USE kids. As far as I am concerned, a kid's job is school. They are to show up, do the work, and show they've learned. USE kids have trouble doing any one of them, let alone all three. USE kids who think their own personal agenda is more important than attending school. (Going on a concert tour, a family vacation, hunting trip) Then, they do not do the classroom work (there is NO homework any longer, just left over classroom work) And, of course, can't pass the tests because they haven't.

It's hard for people my age to look at that and not say, "wow! When I was in school we actually had classwork AND homework. We had chores to do at home and we still managed to do all of it"

No one wants to say that though... it makes us sound like really old crotchety ladies. The last thing we want to view OURSELVES as is an old lady whining about the good old days. We are fostering USE by not speaking up.

Here's a short history lesson. My father worked hard to finish the 8th grade. After that, he was on his own in the big, bad world and he had to make his way. By the time his children were growing up, he at least expected them to graduate from HS and dreamed of them attending college. I couldn't wait to be on my own when I graduated HS and did a circular route to college (I admit a few mistakes along the way) The point is, I did not want to be dependant on my parents any longer. I was not comfortable there in the home they worked all their life to have. I wanted my OWN without their rules.

Somehow, the parents of the USE kids have made home too comfortable for them to ever want to leave. The parents have sent them off to college (paying for it) and have accepted the boomerang adult kids back home. OH, the difference between being thrown out on your ass to sink or swim at 8th grade and the ones who are in their mid 20's now is just a couple generations apart. The difference between a child being "seen and not heard" and "the world revolves around me" child. There needs to be some moderation between the two.
My sister has a theory about the cause of USE. Too many people are concerned about a child's self-esteem so they have fewer competitions and more participation awards. It doesn't matter if you won the games or lost them, poor dear child will be crushed if they don't get a medal, so we'll give them ALL one. Wake up folks- You can't be given self-esteem, you have to EARN it. You earn it by... excelling at something. Actually being the best, not just being there.
I won an art award when I was in the 8th grade. It was a small art charm that i could wear on a bracelet or necklace. I still have it. Because it meant something. Of all the students who took art, the teacher thought I was an artist of note. It's a small thing, but it started me on the path I am on today. Someone noticed I was good at this and rewarded it. That's what gives me pride in my work, hope in my vision, determination to be my best.
Parents, be realistic about your children. They will not be good at everything but they do need to try. They will not be perfectly behaved, but you need to do what's needed to make sure they try to be. They need to suffer the consequences of their failure to do what they need to be doing. They need to know there's an end to childhood. That is, by law, 18, not whenever they finally finish grad school. If they want to go to grad school, let them be responsible for getting there. Let them figure out their lives for themselves.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dream Homes and other TV myths-
I used to enter HGTV's Dream home Giveaway. I used to enjoy the tours of the homes and dream about how my family would fit in them. The problem was, my family didn't fit. I have 3 children and, despite the square footage of those monstrous homes, there was not enough rooms for each to have their own bedroom. No matter how luxurious, these homes were not meant for a family. Who are they built for (you might ask)? Corporations is the answer. These homes are built as get-away locations for executives or rewards for good performers. They are built to showcase products. They are built to showcase design trends.
The people entering the contests are not executives. They are just average people (like me) and they don't have a snowball's hope in Hell to actually keep the house they won. They have a shell shocked look of happiness on their faces for the first 30 mins, then the tax reality sets in and they have a perpetual frown dealing with the headache they suddenly find themselves in.
Maybe Extreme Home makeover might be more my style. nah! I'm not worthy. I am just an average person, not a saint in trouble. I wonder just how hard TY would have to work to make my life sound like it sucked? I'll have to say my home has issues, but blowing it up and building one 3 times bigger won't do me any favors. How would I pay the property taxes, let alone the electric bill for all the extra light bulbs?
So, maybe the problem is I have too many things. Maybe Clean House could help. But, people are not allowed to equate sentiment with objects. They are not allowed to be excessive in their hobbies. I know the second I said I had to keep my dresser because it was my great, great aunt Mary's they would want to sell it, and I would have to kill them. And if they threatened my fabric stash, no quilter would convict me.
Maybe another design show.(No, I don't trust any neighbor of mine to understand what we like, so don't even go there. )
How much of the situation we find ourselves in financially can be attributed to HGTV and the like? So many shows telling us what money will buy in certain locations... and showing newlywed couples in their interest only homes. OH? Wow! Why didn't I think of living way beyond my means because I'm entitled to? The shows that insist that we have to have a fabulous kitchen with professional equiptment when no one knows how to cut up a chicken anymore and most everyone could care less about spending more than 20 mins. making a meal. Have you taken a good look at the grocery store lately?
The shows that design huge luxurious bathrooms for us to wallow in. I can almost relent on this one, given the possible romantic conotations of the luxurious bath. I've seen far too many garden tubs filled with cleaning bottles and dust to think this is a viable need.
And, if you think the interior decorating shows aren't enough, there's the outdoor ones. Insisting that we need to have an outdoor living space that looks as comfy as our living rooms... compleate with fireplaces, and TV's for God's sake! Didn't we want to be outside to get away from them? Bar-b-que pits, fired by gas, with mysterious pieces of this and that to simulate charcoal or smoked wood that costs hundreds of dollars when a simple bar-b-que costs about $20.
I have simple tastes and refuse to be suckered into wanting things I don't need to make me happy. There are things I'd like, things I'd like to improve in my home but for somethings, I can have patience. Eventually, i will have space for a studio. I will have a nice garden. In the meantime, i remind myself it's a nice little home we have in a nice location and I don't have to please anyone but myself because i do not plan on leaving here.