A Week in Review; Naps and Feminism

Another week, another sneeze.  Captains Cold Log reads that I’m slowly getting over the cold just so I can be fully prepared to enter into allergy season.  There is nothing more fantastic then knowing one sneeze will replace another.  Tissue Stock Purchasing, here I come.

I’m in my mid forties and I have a horrible confession to make.  I have not a flipping clue what the hell feminism actually means anymore.  I grew up thinking it meant that a woman should be allowed to do what she wants, when she wants and how she wants.  She wants to stay home and munch on granola’s or bon-bon’s (still not sure what they are either) while raising her little packets of joy until they are 30 something years old all the while hovering around them with blades spinning…go for it!  She wants to hire Nanny Maddie to sit with her kids for 12 hours a day while she power suits up and heads to the high rise office to fight over legal papers….go for it!  She wants to be a farmer heaving hay bales until her arms look like something out of a muscle catalog…go for it.  She wants to never have children and live the life of an artist covered in paint smears and turpentine while dressing her face up to match the vintage clothes on her body…go for it!

Yet, I’ve come to the conclusion that my views must be totally screwed up.  Girls bitching at girls for wearing make up.  Girls bitching at girls for not wearing make up.  Wear a dress?  Shame on you!  Wear pants?  Who do you think you are?  Want to run to the store in old jeans and your husbands sweat shirt because you will be damned if you are going to wear your own nice sweatshirt into the barn….slob!

Look..feminism should be really really simple and is a basic human reaction that is taught right around the age you enter pre-school.  Be kind and supportive of each other.  It really should be that simple today.  I’m pretty sure my Mother and her mother and her  mother before that did  not fight for your right to bash another woman or girl simply because her choice is different then yours.

I think if anything were to be passed into law and mandatory for all human beings alive in the world…nap requirements would be one of them.  It seems to me that a whole helluvalotta people would be a whole helluvalotta kinder if they just took a damn nap.

 

 

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Captains Log, Day 3

Sick.  Sick, sick, sick.

One would like to blame allergies considering the weather in the North East but nope, it’s a cold.

I’m going on day three of running nose, coughing, sore throat and possibly might move to Guam-type of sick.  Not alotta fun.

On the bright side, I found the yuuugggesst mug in my cupboard.  Joys considering it fits a whole helluvalotta coffee.  Hydration with a bit of dehydration is in progress.  Wish me luck.

Super Tuesday is completed.

It seems that at least one half of America is batshit crazy over super crazy Trump.  At one point, I thought the guy was doing this whole ‘Run for President’ as a joke.  To prove how racists, ugly and cruel some people really are.  I’m over that.  Kinda to the point now when people around me are all TRUMP FOR PREZ!  I seriously question their moral standings in society.  True Story.

Cruz seems to think that the US needs to be based off his own personal belief and I’m not really sure what Rubio is or stands for.  It’s really hard to get a grip on anything Republican at this points since they are more interested in flinging mud piles at each other versus actually talking about their platforms.

On the other side, is HRC.  I don’t really like her.  She’s actually a Republican with some Liberal Social Views (if that is the proper term; not a clue/don’t care).  It’s not about Benghazi (unfortunately, given US history won’t be the first or last time), it’s not about the emails (again..not the first or last).  It’s about her ability to play the establishment so well that I don’t think anything is going to change.  Our poor will still be poor if not even more poor.  Our rich still won’t be paying their fair share in taxes and our corporations will still be treated like people, only better.

Sanders, him I like and support.  I’ll vote HRC if it comes down to it but I’m really hoping Sanders pulls through.  I’m not expecting half of what he would like to do, to actually be done.  I certainly don’t agree with everything he stands for.  However, at the very least…those suits on the hill will stay out of my bedroom, protect everyone’s rights to equality and stop trying to make decisions for women’s bodies while popping Viagra themselves.

On that note, I’m making Chicken Quesadilla’s tonight for dinner.  Because I can.

 

 

 

Are you Pretty….

There is a meme going around face book about being pretty versus being smart or kind or loyal and the list goes on.

It annoys me.  True Story.  Here it is, in all it’s glory:

pretty

We have become a society that has this notion in our heads that we must be one or the other and neither should focus on looks.

If a girl gets her hair cut in a wild style, people rip it apart.  But if she then turns around and gets an A in math, we applaud her and ignore her hair.  Why is this?

Why can’t we be pretty and tell each other we are pretty and be smart, kind and loyal and all other things that should go into being a decent human being?  Why must we insist that a girl or a woman needs to be one or the other but certainly can’t be both?

If we say to our young girls “Wow, you look fantastic!” on a day they decided to dress up when they are normally in jeans and sweatshirts, does that automatically mean that they have just reduced their IQ?

I think not.

Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and it most certainly is more then just skin deep.  However, I think we should learn to embrace the total package and not swipe one part away in favor of another part.

Never apologize for telling a woman (or man for that matter!) they are pretty in your eyes.  Never apologize for telling someone they are smart or brave or loyal or kind or considerate or any other descriptor.

If we want our children to grow up confident and secure in themselves then as parents, we need to learn how to embrace the entire package and not just a portion of it.

 

 

Parenting To Do Lists

….that I failed at:

Parents are urged to play board games with their kids.

I might have done this once.  Each.  I have two, so math tells me that I played a board game with my children possibly two times.  Once each.  Rules of Parenting (in that hand book none of us ever got unless we bought it off Amazon for an exorbitant amount of money and only partially skimmed during screaming infant time) dictates that if you want happy and healthy children, you should play board games with them.  I’m unsure if we are supposed to let them win in order to boost their self confidence or go in like the batshit crazy parents we are and wipe them clean of any dreams of ever achieving ‘beat the parent at Candy Land.”  I went batshit crazy and totally slayed them.   Tears, tantrums and life lessons ensued. Something about me cheating and their hearts broken.  Whatever.

Parents are urged to take their children to Disney.

We didn’t actually fail at this since we did it twice.  Two Times the Hell.  To my children:  You’re welcome.   The first time, it was in June and hotter then Hades with a 4 year old that only wanted to swim.  Was petrified of all things large and costumed and not overly fond of the idea that she had to deal with crowds.  I think it marred her for life.  The second time was with a 13 year old and an almost 7 year old (give or take a few months and a year) and it was in December.  The December that Florida had an extreme cold wave come through at Christmas time.  Yes, we thought we were being brilliant by taking the sweet children to see Mickey and all the beautiful lights at Christmas.  Joke was on us.  Oh sure, the lights were beautiful but again….we marred their childhood with mobs of people and bitter cold weather.   They have asked if we had any intentions of going back to the famous mouse park and the answer was “Yeah..no.  You can be like every other children in this county and visit it on your senior class trip with 300 of your best friends crammed into a bus for 24 hours.  Enjoy your bickering.  Without us.”  Again…children, you’re welcome.

Parents shall never enroll their children into activities that give them participation awards.

Big Fail, Big Time.  Not only did I enroll them at their request but for years, I also ran the show and ordered the participation trophy’s.  I go by the theory that if the kid is willing to get their ass off the couch and out the door in the dead of winter, they deserve a damn award.  It’s not too often that kids want to leave the comfort of their own home and participate in something that revolves around exercise and going to a gym a few times a week.  Have a blasted Trophy and display it proudly!

Parents shall use punitive punishment.

HUGE FAIL IN ALL CAPS.   I tried the whole punitive route.  Didn’t like it for reasons of my own and decided from that moment forward, no physical punishment for my children.  Logical and Natural Consequences seem to do the trick (and my husband is most excellent at this and keeping me on track–I’m kinda aggressive and love a good pay back, so he’s the parenting leader).  My oldest has a saying that we are the strictest most laid back parents ever.  She’s probably right considering our rules are ‘follow the law and rules even if you think they are stupid.  You are not above them.’ along with ‘You will own your own mistakes and although we’ll help fix them, it’s yours to deal with.’  And of course, my all time favorite “No matter what, treat others the way you want to be treated even if they are treating you like crap because kindness is the best defense.’  (along with this goes the old saying ‘your kids are not perfect, don’t pedestal them.)

Parents shall teach their children responsibilities through Chore Lists.

If I had a dollar for every time we tried to do this, I would be the next millionaire.  I’ve done poster boards, Popsicle sticks, jars, magnets…you name it, I’ve tried it.  I failed at it each and every time.  Either I didn’t feel like making them do it or (in most cases) they did it wrong (slight control freak here) so I figured…screw it.  Chores be damned and if your room is a mess, I’ll just close the door.  Instead of designated chores, I opted for the whole ‘if I ask, you shall do…’ line of reasoning.  With the exception of shared living spaces.  Leave a mess there and if you don’t get it cleaned up, the garbage is right over there and your stuff will end up in it.   Didn’t always work out well but hey…this is life.

There’s a ton more that I failed at but this post is already getting too long and there are no pictures to go with it, so we’ll end here.   Parenting failures…..we all have them.

The Holy Grail of Coffee Makers (is mine)

A few things my favorite English teacher told me back in high school was to remember my punctuation, not make up words and to never give away the story in the title.  Apparently, my listening skills back then sucketh the biggeth and today is no different.  But that’s only because of how damn excited I am about, yes…a coffee maker (I think Mrs. E might of even told me to stop using those little dots, but again….I lack listening and following direction ability).

Ok,  here’s the story.  I sat down to watch TV (something I don’t do too often) and saw this fabulous commercial for all things wondrous.  A Hamilton Beach Flex Coffee Maker.  This was to be the coffee maker of my dreams based on a 30 second commercial spot.  It brews single cup.  It brews a carafe.  It has a timer for goodness sakes so the brewing takes place before you even wake up.  Beautiful and magical of all things making the coffee!

This is also about the time that my husband informs me that I have a serious coffee maker addiction.  Some people collect shoes, purses (hey, I do that too!) or clothes.  Maybe they collect toilets or license plates.  That’s all good and dandy because I collect coffee makers.  He politely informed me that I was a proud past owner of three different percolators, a Keurig, unknown number of basic carafe makers and the current Hamilton Beach Brew Station as seen on my counter (I’ve actually gone through about three of them).

 

two coffee pots for blog

Up until this point, the Brew Station was by far my favorite coffee maker.  It didn’t have a carafe and kept the coffee warm in a well which means no burnt coffee.  Problem with that is it doesn’t brew single cups of coffee.  Unless you feel like measuring out a single cup both in water and in grounds.  Which, I don’t.  I’m lazy.  This was established eons ago.  There for, one must also have a Keurig for those single cups of coffee moments.  Or tea.  Or hot chocolate. You know, those times you want one single cup of hot liquid to either warm you up or wake you up.  Possibly both.

I am excited to announce that has completely changed!  No longer is the Brew Station my favorite and it’s been pushed to the back of the cupboard for ever more (because one does not just toss a maker of coffee, one must keep it forever or unless/until it breaks completely then that bad boy is going in the dumpster).   As I am now a proud owner of a Hamilton Beach 2 Way coffee maker.  My Pride.  My Joy.  My thing of all things wake up and smell the world for what it really is….(this morning, it was cows that could really use a breath mint).

Yes, yes…at first I looked at the flex and thought that was my holy grail of coffee making.  My dream come true.  The parent of my next born cup of coffee (you get the idea) but like a smart little shopper that I am (only when considering new coffee makers), I realized it had a horrible design flaw.  You had to measure the water if you wanted a single cup of coffee.  The carafe and the cup both shared the same well for water.  I have to say Hamilton Beach…shame on you.  Do you not realize that us coffee drinkers are either prepping the coffee maker late at night with our eyes half closed and brains long shut off or we are doing it in the morning in hopes of a nice hot cup of caffeine to wake our brains up?  I’ve decided that anyone who buys the flex hates themselves and enjoys cleaning up tons of water dripping down their counters every morning because they put the cup in when they should have put the carafe in.  Or they are just much more responsible and mature then me.  Both works.  But it’s all good.  Those who are much more responsible (or have a ton of towels for water clean up) can have the flex because Hamilton redeemed themselves of the design flaw and came out with the 2 Way Brewing System.

 

20140501_173934

 

TADA!  My most beautiful newest edition of caffeine love.  This baby will take you from eyes shut to wide open with a click of a button.  Why you ask?  BECAUSE IT CAN!  (I really make a great sales person).  Two separate wells for water; one for the brew-a-cup and one for the brew-a-carafe.  It comes with a screen filter for the cup side (yay!) but not for the carafe side (boo and which brilliant person thought that would be ok?!) so if you buy this maker, buy the screen filter.  Earth will love you for it.

The best part of this coffee maker?  Both sides can be programmed to start at different times.  I kid you not!  If you are like me and get up  before the crack of dawn every day, you can have a cup of coffee waiting for you.  Then, once you are done in the barn (because drinking coffee and feeding/scraping animals simply do not mix well together), your carafe of steaming hot coffee awaits you.  Brilliancy at it’s finest!  There is no going wrong here people.

The only downfall I have discovered is that while brewing, the machine does steam.  A lot.  I recommend pulling it out from under the counter to brew the coffee.  The woodwork and paint or whatever is on your back splash will love you for it.

And that there folks is the newest coffee maker addition to my coffee maker addiction.  Oh and the counters…yeah we still have not a clue what we are doing with them.  I’m thinking concrete with a tile back splash but until I’m positive , they are staying the stained and poly’d plywood.

Digital Art via Virtual Worlds

Oh hey there, how’s it all been.  Don’t remember who I am because it’s been too long?  Yeah, me too.  Welcome to my world.

The other day, my oldest told me she had a book report due and instead of writing three pages of words, her group opted to do a art piece coupled with a page and a half of words.  Brilliant, considering she can draw but it takes her about a week or two to get things just right.  We discussed it a bit and decided we would try and complete the art part of the project in one day utilizing the virtual worlds I have accounts in; Secondlife and InWorlds, no affiliation with either both are separate worlds and that there is trademarked stuff.  I use the two worlds for the same line of projects that I’ve yet to really promote because I need to get a separate web page going but that takes time and money.   So we decided to see how it would go.

The book she read was Dante’s Inferno.  All the many different levels of hell which is always my favorite stuff to work with.  Dark, mysterious and with a touch of the devil going on.  Not that I particularly like the devil mind you, I just like the captures you can create with dark and mysterious things.  Anyway!  Here is a quick shot of the rough drawing she gave me

20140424_072128

That’s my hand writing, messy as hell (pun intended) and slightly side ways.  To explain, she wanted a fire pit with rocks and a ledge that the damned were walking down.  Add in a full walkway for Dante and an angel and stick it all in a cave.  I can do this!  She wasn’t so sure but she was willing to give it a go.  Based on her directions, I logged into IW, where all my building tools are, and started  the scene.  Fire, rocks, cave….oh yeah.  This is what it turned out like:

Starts out as_001

Meh, I say…Meh!  Not enough fire and wrong angle.  Plus, I didn’t use any photo shopping to the scene and I didn’t use a feature called ‘windlight’ to grab the capture.  So triple Meh.  Adding a bit more fire elements and utilizing the wind light tools transformed the build from Meh to “usable!”

more fire_001

My work in IW was done.  We had the scene that she approved and now we had to head over to SL, where all my avatar stuff happens to be.  We went through the different options of costume for the damned and the demon and bought what needed to be bought.  Went to Material Squirrel (dressed as said demon) and grabbed some wings (cause best wings on the grid y’all!) for an angel and started grabbing captures on a ‘green screen’ similar to the one below:

use this girl 3_001

Downloaded the free Gimp on line editing program and we have lift off for cutting out the people.  I will readily admit it took me a while to remember how to use it (and oh my, has it gotten a bit fancy through the years since the last time I looked at it).  For the record, color selection then invert (INVERT, I say!) is your friend when trying to get something off a green screen.  To bad it took me a good three hours and a car ride to remember this fun little required technique.

Moving on, once the people were put in to the scene, we did placements and woolah….we have some circle of which I cannot remember on a level for Dante’s Inferno

final

 

It definitely works for what she needs it to do but neither of us are super happy with the angel.  If we had more time, I probably could have found an angel avatar that looked much better but it is what it is and does what it does.  I would have twisted the demons a bit more to make them a bit more demonish versus demon (makes sense in my head and yep, still making up words as I go along).  The oldest was definitely impressed (and later admitted, she was a bit worried how this would all work out) and wished she had used a different scene from the book.  Something about circles, looking over a ledge and more fire.  Not really too sure since I never could sit through the whole book for a reading.

In any case, it was a fun project to do with my daughter and re-affirmed my belief for those in virtual worlds, they can be used for just about anything.  There is no limit, only your own and being in multiple worlds isn’t a bad horrible thing.  It’s a bonus feature.  No reason to pick just one, use them all for whatever it is you want to do with them.

(I did try to write this up on twitter but oddly enough and not to my surprise, it was a jumbled mess.  Besides, I miss blogging.)

 

I’m a hypocrite….

True Facts.

As many know, I’m not a clothes shopper unless it means squeeing with joy when I find that really pretty shirt in a second hand shop.  I hate malls, I hate box stores and I’m really not kidding here.  A few times a year, my daughter manages to drag me out but usually it’s kicking and screaming, followed by praise and hot wings if I last through lunch.  She’s very kind like that.

So nothing brings me more joy then the fact that she gets some hand me downs from someone else who does love to shop (and is very good at it, mind you) and that someone happens to be close to my size.  There’s the occasional jackpot of “YES!  A new shirt for mmmeeeee!” going on.  This time really was no different and it’s lovely that I get to go through the bags too as some of the stuff is my size.

Imagine my happiness of all things wonderful when I discovered not one,  not two but four freaking jeans in that bag.  Double that when I discovered they are my size.  I have been in desperate need of new jeans and down to the last two pairs that are acceptable to wear in public (aka, not barn jeans).  So I washed them up and wore one on Tuesday and just about died of jean happiness.  These things were so soft and comfortable it felt like I was wearing my pajamas.

Raving like a woman who just discovered chocolate about the wonderous happiness of all things amazing, my daughter asked what brand they are.  I gave her the ‘blank face’ and she sighed with a slight shake of her head.  Then she demanded I turn around so she can see the tag.

That’s when I discovered I’m a hypocrite because no way in hell was I going to take off these jeans.  Not for coffee, not for coffee with sugar, not for a pot of coffee times eight with all the sugar in the world.  Pry them from my cold dead hands after you bury me in them and I will come back to haunt your ass.  And you won’t enjoy it.

They were AF jeans.  That store that refuses to make anything above a size twelve and were pretty damn mean about it as well.  I hate being a hypocrite but this did teach me a lesson in humanity and helped me understand a few things about myself (as well as others).

We may pedestal ourselves all we want over certain things and we all have that red line we absolutely will not cross no matter what.   But sometimes….occasionally…..when the world spins right and the stars align with the sun….there is that moment we fumble down off that pedestal and do it anyway.

Apparently, my red line for certain clothing stores was drawn in the sand, blown away by the breeze and landed on my ass with a soft thud.

 

They make Wha?!

I had the education of a life time last night in all things ladies undergarments.   I kid you  not.  Although I’m not some major fashionista who shops at high ritz stores or even one that shops often at low ritz stores, I received the shock of a life time last night that I actually had to google this morning just to check it out.

Apparently the latest trend (as in wanting to dance in the streets with happiness) in ladies undergarments is micro fiber.  You know, the stuff your couch is made of to avoid staining and easy cleaning.  How the hell that translates into underwear is beyond me.  But it does!  You can get microfiber underwear with lace or without.  Boys cut or high thigh, there is even a granny panty for those that enjoy the comforts of full coverage.  By the way, although I’m not even remotely close to being a grandmother, I’m not overly fond of the words ‘granny and panty’ strung together.  It’s like finding out your parents had s to the e to the x.  I reeaaalllyyy don’t want know what my grandmother wears on her bum and I’m pretty certain the stork dropped me out of the sky onto a nice fluffy pillow.

Yes, Yes….I’m still trying to wrap my mind around wearing a couch for underwear so work with me here.  My biggest question was “but aren’t we suppose to wear cotton because….” whispers quietly because like menopause, we do not discuss this with close friends, relatives or our favorite stuffed animal “…..of yeast infections?”  GOOD NEWS!  Microfiber undies come with a built in cotton panel!  Sweetbabyundies….they think of everything these days.

Pardon me while I go take a slice out of the back of my couch to save a few bucks and hand sew me some fancy undies…..

Asking too much….

As a mom, I try not to ask for too much.  We all know that in the non-existent mom handbook, it reads:  Children before mothers.  Or some other such bullshit that makes us wait for that pair of jeans we have always wanted.  We hold off until we find that book on sale and we rarely get ourselves the ice cream we’ve been craving (I’m liar on the last part).  The things we do ask for are usually not even remotely monetary based and involve happiness, love and peace for our children.  For them to succeed in life while maintaining our ultimate goal of world domination (that last part might just be my own aspirations.)

But is it too much to ask for them to please, with super duper sugar on top of a donut from the mighty DD and a side of latte to PLEASE PICK UP YOUR STUFF WITHOUT BEING ASKED?!  I realize that I might be bordering on unreasonable here but that’s ok.  A mom has to have a dream.  I tend to put everything I find on their designated kitchen chair for them to take care of of when they get home (yes, we have set spots to sit and eat otherwise I get to hear “SHE STOLE MY CHAIR” from whichever cranky kid has had their chair stolen).   Does this work?  Absolutely not and sometimes maybe.  Usually I find the stuff in my own chair because apparently it’s easier to move items from chair A to chair B versus walking 20 steps to their room.  If I’m lucky and in a foul enough  mood that I can give ‘the eye’ to whichever child has the largest pile, stuff might just get moved to the kitchen desk.  The downfall of relying on my foul mood for ‘the eye’ to make it’s appearance is pretty poor parenting considering I do my best to maintain the ‘happy face’ at all times.  Unless I’m reading.  In which case, it’s a grounding sentence for any person who dares to interrupt me, but I suppose that’s a whole post and story all of it’s own.  So basically, the piles sit.  Oh the joy of housecleaning.

I dream of being able to vacuum the living room without finding my youngest socks scattered about (which might explain why she can never find any) or my oldest collection of a billion bobby pins on the kitchen floor (although in her defense, rumor has it that she leaves them scattered at the dance studio as well).  Very possibly, this amazing ability may not occur until the little darlings out of my home and into their own.  Which I’m sure, I’ll be missing the bobby pins and socks everyfrickenplaceyoucanimagine in my house.

However, right now?  As in just sucked up yet another bobby pin and located another wayward sock?  As in, if my vacuum cleaner breaks, for once it won’t be my fault?  As in, why does the cat have yet another freaking hair tie stuck in her teeth?   And last but my absolute favorite “Shit, that just hurt my foot!” as I step on yet another misplaced monster high hand.

Thinking I’ll  miss the clutter is over rated.

True Facts and for realz.

 

Family Bonding Ala Dinner

Here’s me being as productive as a box of rocks:

(imagine a box of rocks picture here)

 

As you can see, I’m getting far in life today.  My to-do list is beyond long, I really have to go to the bathroom and yet, I’m blogging as a way of procrastinating the day way.  Blaming the weather (blah, humid, possible rain) would most likely work in this scenario but meh…to lazy.  Hell, I can’t even be assed to put an actual picture of a box of rocks for your viewing pleasure into this post and I’m pretty sure we have one floating around (goodness knows we have everything else here).

My family (read: me) has also come to the conclusion that this whole sitting around the table for dinner every night is bunch of phooey invented by a parent that has not a freaking clue as what they are doing.  Not kidding here!  They tell you it’s supposed to be this pleasant dinner with all the fix’ins like green beans, nasty ham and mashed potato’s.  Sometimes you might get a yummy crescent but most often, it’s a loaf of bread tossed on the table with a side of butter.  While sitting at the table in family bliss, each person (in theory) gets to talk about their day, share a few jokes, pass the nasty ham to each other and have an otherwise Leave it to Beaver dinner.

Bullshit.

What generally happens is you get everyone together and at least one child is not in a pleasant mood.  Maybe they are tired, had crappy day at school (yes folks, this does happen in the real world…I know some of these parents are in an alternate reality but hey…whatever fantasy floats their boat) or they just hate life today because a strand of hair is out of place.  Whyever (word!) their foul mood has blessed us with it’s presence is completely beside the point because it is happening and you are subject to their theatrical stage debut as their unwantingly audience (see what I did there? another word…I’m making my own dictionary).  So you have this unhappy family sitting around a table, making snarky comments at each other while trying not to fling taters in each others hair.  Mom may or may not have a glass of wine disguised as kool aid (or better yet, three shots Yager lined up) and all chaos is breaking out to the point that each child gets grounded to their rooms for the night and somehow mom gets stuck cleaning up the kitchen in a huff and throwing knives at the wall to release some pent up tension.

Family bonding at it’s finest.