Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Powerful New York City

I am not a fan of cities. I can't handle all of those crowds and noise. It's too much stimulation for me to process. And yet I can't deny the power of New York City.

A lot of people in my town work in the city. Usually, Manhattan. I actually have been there a few times. But, as I have gotten older my anxiety and OCD has gotten stronger. I can't handle it anymore. At least, I don't think so. Yet, I find myself wanting to ask my mom if she wants to go to the city together. She loves the city. That's what we call it in this area, "the city".

The last time I was there was in January of 2004. We were wedding dress shopping. The week before was my first time trying on dresses. Josh and I got engaged before I went off to college. So I had spent a lot of time during my last semester that fall dress browsing online. I had already found a David's Bridal dress I liked. When I tried it on, it was the one. But, it was always one of my mom's dreams to shop for my dress in the city. We had already made plans. So the following week, we were in the city.

I took the Citalopram to manage my fear of parking on the roof of the Port Authority. Along with any other high floor I might have to conquer. My cousin was with us. The first place we tried was a small private place. I wanted a bright white dress and theirs were all off-white. So, they recommended this other place. Sure enough, that place had pretty dresses. It was a fun day, but, I got my dress from David's Bridal.  That day had really been for my mom.

I've seen the statue of liberty (from the shore thank you). I've seen the naked cowboy. I've seen Time Square. I've seen my mom in a card shop for gay men without realizing it in Greenwich Village. Frankly, the name "The Rainbow Card Shop" should have been a clue. I also have seen some musicals and dance performances. Including my favorite choreographer, Paul Taylor, a couple of times.

We can see the city lights from a nearby reservation. A view from the Hudson as it's called. "Breathtaking" is putting it mildly. There is beauty and music to all of that chaos. There is a reason people move there and don't want to leave.

What makes the city, New York City, so powerful is the diversity. There are so many different neighborhoods filled with so many different types of people. Different incomes, backgrounds, races, genders, sexual identifications, religions, ages, and best of all, personalities.

The power lies in the pure energy you feel just standing on the street looking around you. The power is in the famous places featured in the media. The power is in the flood of people crossing the one way streets. The power is in seeing the suits of wall street and an hour later a gay couple in love in the village. The power is what you feel when you step on the ground within the city. It's just one giant "WOW!!!"

"The City That Never Sleeps"
"The Big Apple"
"The Capital of the World"
"The Empire City"

or, my favorite

"The City"

People come here for careers. Sometimes in entertainment. Sometimes in finance. Sometimes just to work at a big business headquarters. People come here with dreams and goals. Some people come here to find themselves. Some people come here for a fresh start. Some people live in the city their whole life. It's their pulse.

It's a power that's hard to put words to. Especially, for me. It overwhelms me. There is too much stimuli to take in. Too many tight places without quiet. And yet, I am in awe in the city. It takes time to process that I am really there. In the place that is so recognizable and of full of so much history. I just want to take it all in. The serious, the silly, the independence, the diversity, the beauty, the history, the arts, and the pure fame of the city itself.

It is the powerful New York City.



Saturday, May 05, 2018

Zach's Tech Day

Zach had a big day today for electronics. It started with setting up his printer. It arrived at 9:00 last night from Amazon. He's had a Chromebook for about a year. But, he is using it, and the printer a lot more. We only had the one printer. So, we got him one for his room.

It's an HP all in one. The link is at the bottom. We have the same one for the living room. Officejet 6518. It's wireless. We really like it and he's excited about it. With each year he will have more and more need for this printer. We got him the Chromebook when he needed a separate computer last year. But, we didn't foresee how much he would need to print at home! It's already helpful!

But, that's not the biggest tech we got Zach today. We got him a cell phone! Actually, technically, we got Josh a new cell phone and gave Zach Josh's old phone. Adding a number. Which has a funny story.

After getting the phones we did a lot of modification to make Zach's phone personalized. That meant renaming contacts. So, under his name I sent a large group text saying the following.

"This is Zach. Save me."

I just was trying to make it quick. Sent while walking to Zach's baseball game. To me, it just meant "save this number in your contacts as me" but in shorthand. To some people it meant "HELP! I'm in trouble"!

Umm, my bad.

So, I clarified, once multiple responses included "Zach where are you?" and "Does anyone know where Zach is?"

Here's the clarification:

"I'm fine. I just meant save this #".

Josh's sister left a lol. No further responses after that clarification. But, neither Josh or I had been calling around asking for people to be on the lookout for him. We would be doing that if there was cause for concern.

Our town is a walking town. A lot of people walk to a lot of places. Most of the time, kids get a cell phone as a fourth grade graduation gift. They need to be reachable with all that extra freedom in middle school.

Zach isn't the first kid in his class to get a cell phone. I want him to make the new phone mistakes kids make now when we are around a lot. He needs to figure out how to set Wi-Fi everywhere. He needs to stop forgetting to check for Wi-Fi. He can't forget to almost always have it with him. He needs to keep it charged. He can't forget to answer when mom calls and be careful not to break it. He also needs to remember to check email.

We also gave him an email account now on the phone. I'll forward him the emails he needs to see. It's a good basic email he'll use as he gets older too. As he gets older this will be more and more useful. But, I will be keeping an eye on all messaging and email activity.

We programed in Josh, me, all of the grandparents, and most of the Aunts and Uncles. As well as the number for a friend's mom. We can add to is as needed. But, it's a good thing for him to learn how to use. I've been considering this since getting my own smartphone back in February!

Now, when he does have the middle school level of independence in a little over a year, he'll be ready. This is going to be an interesting experiment. It was fun watching him set the phone up just for him. It was fun watching him choose his phone case too. It's going to be a mix of things during the learning process. But, it's for the best.

Zach's Phone Samsung Galaxy J V3



Zach's Printer

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OY9D604/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Ups and Downs

It's been a long time since my last blog post. I've been busy. Lately, it seems like I can't do basic things without an issue getting in the way. All these ups and downs have made me so stressed I am doing and saying things I shouldn't. What I call "mentally sick days". The reason I can't work.

A painting fell on Zach's head last Wednesday. It was low and close to the bed. The part his feet are supposed to be. But, he kicked it reaching for something. Luckily, it wasn't a concussion. But, his headache the next day meant he was home with mommy and no activity!

On Sunday I went to make burgers for dinner. It had to be super early because he had a travel team game. A moth flew out of our George Foreman grill. You can't use it until cleaned after that. At least we saw Josh when he delivered our pizza!

Sunday was a busy day for Zach. He went to throw something from his bed to a chair, and knocked the cord on the ceiling fan to wrap around the fan mechanism multiple times. I couldn't get it undone. But, my dad did fix it. Those cords have caused a lot of problems over the years. What Zach needs is a cordless one that works from the light switch.

These are only a few of the metaphorical fires I have had to put out on my own. There are a lot more. My dad may have helped with the fan, but he was a series of criticisms with every word while he was here. That counters the "supportive" part. What I need most right now is support.

The bottom line is I have been doing a lot on my own. I have to take care of these problems as they happen. In order to function properly I need time to relax and de-stress. I have had too little of that lately. It has made me nauseous, clumsy, exhausted even after 8 hours of sleep, forgetful, and moody. Sick, it has made me sick. Starting yesterday I didn't do some things I had planned on doing because I deemed it unsafe.

But, in the midst of all this chaos something big happened for Zach. On Saturday, he played catcher in his rec league game. For the first time. He did a good job. His travel coach was at the game and made him catcher on Sunday in the travel game. He looked comfortable in that position. He alternated with other another kid in each game so it wasn't the full 6 innings.

The travel game was long after everything else that happened on Sunday. Including after we made up. I was just so proud of him. I'm still struggling. But, watching him is when I started to calm down. He's so comfortable on the baseball field.

There haven't been any of these metaphorical "fires" since Sunday. Maybe I'll start to feel better soon. I hope Zach continues to be placed as one of the catchers. I'm so proud of him. I made sure he knew it. Life has ups and downs. But, too many at once are not easy to handle!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What Mueller Finds

I don't have any pre-determined assumption on how the Mueller investigation will end. But, I don't want it to end early. Like many Americans I want Mueller to be able to complete the investigation the right way. Without being fired.

As that becomes closer to being a possibility, members from both parties in congress have initiated bills to protect him from being fired. Mueller is doing everything right. He's conducting a clean investigation.

But, if Trump is innocent, why does he keep threatening to have Mueller fired? Why was a warrant for his fixer such a big deal? To obtain a warrant, it had to be proven that evidence would be found. Technically, it was a FBI investigation that Mueller just provided some information for. Rod Rosenstein, Trump's appointee signed the FISA warrant.

To me, Trump is like a gang kingpin, mob boss, or cartel boss. He was involved, but, there won't be evidence pointing to him so he won't be catchable. I am assuming he was involved because of his shady and manipulative behavior over this investigation. Innocent people don't behave this way.

I don't care about the affairs or prostitutes. This investigation is about if Trump obstructed justice and if he knew about Russia's involvement in the election. All these porn star interviews in the news are drowning out that important fact. 

Melania might still be deciding what to do. This level of embarrassment was what Trump hurled at Hillary during the election. She stayed in the marriage and took flack for it. But, if Melania leaves, she doesn't get his money. I don't know what she'll decide, but I hope it makes her happy.

I like that it's a bipartisan effort to protect Mueller's investigation. His firing would be a constitutional crisis. In both parties senators and representatives are saying "let the law do it's job, investigate." The truth is important.

If Trump is innocent, that will be proven. But, innocent people don't behave like he has. Ryan and McConnell have decided not to bring anything about protecting Mueller to the floors. They stupidly believe Trump will let the investigation take it's time and complete. I wonder what someone is sneaking into their meals!

Trump is an awful president because of his decisions and policies. I am curious about what he's hiding in his taxes. But, I didn't need to see his taxes for to realize he was going to be a bad president. I wouldn't be making any assumptions, if he supported the investigation. I'm don't know what Mueller is finding, but clearly it concerns Trump. If he were innocent, Mueller's findings wouldn't be a problem.

Those porn stars agreed to sleep with him because they were told he'd get them on "The Apprentice". It wasn't rape. It was consensual. He told them what they wanted to hear to get what he wanted, and never kept his promise. According to various news sources including the New York Times and CBS.

Advice for doing business with Trump, don't agree to anything unless he has to do his part first. Also, include a void clause if he doesn't do as promised. That advice applies to politicians making deals with him too. Although, North Korea is kicking his butt! He's made all the concessions so far and they have made no promises yet. His behavior does effect his ability to do the job when he flip flops on views so often.

Mueller isn't assuming Trump knew what Russia did. Mueller is investigating what Russia did and who knew about it. He's investigating if Trump obstructed justice, but he hasn't pressed charges for that, yet. It's a serious problem that Russia interfered in the election. It speaks volumes that Trump doesn't want that information brought to light. We don't know what Mueller has and what he doesn't. But, he is doing everything in this investigation by the book.

We don't know what Mueller has seen. But, we need to let this investigation complete before deciding on how to react. We need to let Mueller find the truth. What that means for the country and this presidency can't unfold until the investigation is complete. It all comes down to what Mueller finds.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A Letter To God

I pray every day. I'm not a "kneel before bed" prayer. I usually pray when walking but, if not, I find time to pray anyway. I'm an Episcopalian and proud of it! Years ago when I hit my breaking point, I went to church on a Friday and talked with and hugged a deacon. When I need it most, someone from church pops up in my life away from church. God's reminder everything will be okay.

I have had a lot of big sources of frustration lately. Something I thought was taken care of in 2015 wasn't. But, after a lot of time and research I know it will be okay. There are other big frustrations too. On Monday afternoon we were at my parents house after school. I wanted Zach to get some fresh air before homework time. Someone from church showed up with a donation for a charity my mom volunteers for. We talked, we hugged, and the next morning we got good news on one of the problems.

I am going to share my prayers with you. Because I pray for all of you already. I don't know what you need, but we all need prayers. We all have struggles. We all have frustrations. We all need guidance sometimes. We all get blindsided by new big stressors sometimes. We all need help with life events.

So here is my letter to God for today. The "heart to heart" part changes each day. That's more targeted and as needed. But, it always is a mix of gratitude for blessings and more targeted prayers. I usually think it but sometimes I say it out loud.

God,

I pray for everyone in the world. Any prayer needed, I am praying it. I don't want to start listing things. I don't want to forget something. So I am praying any prayer needed.

Thank you for all the blessings in the world. There are many and we should all be grateful.

Heart to heart time.

I pray Josh has a good day today. We really could use a good tipping day. I pray Zach has a great day on his field trip. I pray he has a great practice tomorrow night as well. I pray I have a good day too. UPS screwed up my delivery yesterday. I pray they get everything right today. I pray my mom has a great day at NP today (the charity). I am grateful she is able to help so many people who badly need that lifeline! I pray for my dad's health. I pray he's feeling good today. I pray for my brother and his family. I love all of them and hope they stay close, happy, and healthy. I pray for patience. I get impatient when there are this many things that get this frustrating. I need help being patient. God, please help me stay calm, positive, and patient!

I want to thank you for the blessings in my life. Zach is the best blessing ever! I am grateful for the blessing of being in a great relationship. In July we will have been together for 20 years. Josh has been a gift I am grateful for. My entire family is a blessing. I am grateful for each of them. I am also grateful for living is such a wonderful town and knowing so many wonderful people. My home is also a blessing.

Thank you, Lord.
Amen.

For those of us who pray we all have our own prayers. We all do it our own way. None of us are wrong. It's a private moment between you and God. I do believe that God sends us signs sometimes. Reminders to trust him. That everything will be okay. So much that is happening is out of my control. I feel helpless. It's not just one thing. It's a few things. Piled on to each other. There isn't much I can do. But, I can pray and trust God.

Lord hear all of our prayers...............Amen.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Meal Planning With OCD (Cookbook Edit)

I organize everything by months and seasons. That becomes harder when things overlap. Meal planning for dinner is particularly hard. It's gotten harder. Zach has gotten some testosterone. I know, he's still 8 and it's started! That means his taste buds are changing.

We are currently on the "Fall and Spring Transition" menu pictured below. We aren't fully ready to grill everything. But, I'm not making baked potatoes anymore either. We have a George Foreman grill. That means we can make the burgers inside.

The last time I made a year round menu Zach was four. It's time to redo it. I have some new recipes mixed with tried and trues. I am also bringing back old favorites. A welcome return for me is Good Housekeeping the magazine.

When we got married in 2004 I subscribed to Good Housekeeping. I loved their recipes. Especially, their "Healthy in a Hurry" recipes that later became "30 Minute Meals". When Zach was born, I didn't have time to read it. I cancelled the subscription and eventually, I tossed them. Unfortunately, I regret not copying ALL of the "Healthy in a Hurry" recipes! I had some, but I miss the rest.

From 2012 through February of 2015 I re-subscribed. That "Healthy in a Hurry" section changed names, disappeared, then came back as "20 minute Weeknight Favorites". It's modified now but still called "20 Minute Weeknight Favorites". It used to be just one recipe but now they have multiple recipes in this section. During this subscription they got a new editor. Less recipes, more fashion. It began to look like every other woman's magazine. So I stopped subscribing.

But, last week I was going through my recipe binders. Other then my recipes and family recipes, the only recipes I liked all came from Good Housekeeping. That says a lot since for two years I also subscribed to Fine Cooking!

I decided to re-subscribe again to Good Housekeeping and picked up the April issue in the meantime. It looks a little more like it used to. It also had great recipes again. But, you can't beat the peach glaze from an August 2007 "Healthy in a Hurry" recipe. It's called "Pork Tenderloin With Peach Glaze". Link to the recipe is below.

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a3511/pork-tenderloin-peach/

With that, I unveil the Menues:

Fall, Spring and Summer Picnics
Day Meat Starch
   
Monday London Broil Pasta Salad
Tuesday Breaded Chicken Pasta Salad
Wed or Thurs Grilled Chicken Tator Tots
Wed or Thurs Mom and Dad C.  
Friday Burgers Fries
Saturday Peachy Pork Chops Stuffing
Sunday Take Out  
     
Fall and Spring Transition
Day Meat Starch
   
Monday or Wednesday Burgers Pasta Salad/ Fries
Tuesday Breaded Chicken Pasta Salad/ Rolls
Monday or Wednesday Terriyaki Chicken Rice
Sunday or Thursday Peachy Pork Chops Stuffing
Sunday or Thursday Mom and Dad C.  
Friday Take Out  
Saturday London Broil Steak Fries
     
Fall, Winter, and Spring Comfort
Day Meat Starch
   
Monday Chicken Catchatorre Spaghetti 
Tuesday Breaded Chicken Rolls
Wednesday Terriyaki Chicken Rice
Sunday or Thursday Cranberry Pork Chops Stuffing
Sunday or Thursday Mom and Dad C.  
Friday Take Out  
Saturday London Broil Baked Potato/ Steak Fries
     
If practice is at 6pm: cut, bread and clean up chicken before. Cook & eat after.       Dinner: 5:30pm for 7pm practice, 6:30pm for 8pm practice & after practice if b4 6pm

 We eat with my parents twice a week normally. But, I like to have a backup plan. It's my mom's pasta salad recipe. "Rolls" mean Pillsbury crescent rolls. Cranberry pork chops are sautéed Pork chops with cranberry jelly on the side.

I don't collect all of the "Weeknight Favorites" recipes. I thought about it for a while. Especially after struggling to find a cookbook with the "Healthy in a Hurry" recipes. I might have found one. It just didn't arrive yet. Now that they are doing multiple recipes, I only copy the ones I might use. I copy and add them to a Good Housekeeping binder.

Edit: I found the cookbook! "Weeknight Easy"! Link is below for Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Good-Housekeeping-Weeknight-Easy-Delicious/dp/1618371304/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1523707238&sr=8-1&keywords=good+housekeeping+weeknight+easy

As the snow melts and the temperatures warm up, it's nice to have different meal plans. This is what meal planning with OCD looks like. But, the routine helps. Sometimes we just need a part of a recipe for inspiration. Sometimes, we have favorites that remain unchanged through time. Either way, it makes grocery store stock up easier knowing when a new menu will take over.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Happy Pools

Soon it will be time to register for our summer pool memberships. With that in mind, I have been thinking about the summer. It's going to be a typical summer for us. But, that's how we like it. For me, the best summers are when it's hot and sunny. Because that means swimming!

I have always been a pool person. I hate the beach. I'm too scared of ocean life to go that far into it. But, pools are special. It's one of my comfort places. I am very at peace being surrounded by water. Bathtubs aren't good enough. It has to be a pool.

It feels like a baptism. As the water grazes my body, it hugs me. I float, I bounce, I swim, I walk through it, and I go to the bottom and swim across it. As a kid I had amazing lung capacity. I used to make it a long distance at the bottom of the pool before needing to come up for air. Life guards would be on the edge of their seats watching me closely. According to my parents and childhood babysitter, Dona. I still like doing that. I just can't go nearly as far with my own breathing issues. But, I could bounce on a noodle chatting with Josh for a long time. If the water temperature is just right.

My parents signed me up for swim class when I was about 6 months old. My dad loves this story. When it came time to dunk us babies underwater, I came up giggling in joy. The other babies cried. My natural instinct with pools has always been "this is awesome!"

I often dream about pools and the symbolism is usually maternal comfort (me or my mom), calm, peace, God, and a lot of other positive things. Bad things don't happen with pools in my dreams. I still remember one I had about 11 years ago. I dreamt that I lived in a big house and every room was full of pools. The stairs were a lazy river in one place too.

Lately, I close my eyes and remember the summer feeling of being in the pool. I feel that whoosh as the water grazes over my arm. Knowing about my sensory processing disorder I understand that particular interest now. The water soothes my senses. I can focus on one sense at a time. If the water is the right temperature, all of the sensations are usually positive. It's therapeutic. I am drawn to things that calm my senses. Because that calms me.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

And Cow Is Vaca

Part of taking a break from knitting and crocheting means I need a new focus. So, I returned to my quest to eventually be fluent in Spanish. It also means I have brought back an old study habit.....flash cards, '90s style.

I'm glad I am doing this. I know some people who primarily speak Spanish. Even though they know English, they are more comfortable with Spanish. You never know when you will need to communicate with one or more of the many people who's primary language is Spanish. It's a beautiful language. Instead of kicking everyone who doesn't speak English out of the country, we should be making access to learning Spanish easier.

I am taking a two and a half part approach to refreshing my Spanish knowledge and adding to it. I have this great app from Samsung. It's on my galaxy tablet, galaxy smartphone, and Microsoft computer. It also doesn't use wifi or data so I can do it anywhere without worries. Made by Zeemish, It's the one with the owl. Link below for those with Microsoft. For phones and tablets it's under "Samsung apps" (search "Spanish").

https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9WZDNCRCS3K0

The other part and a half is from this book. That's the Amazon link but I have seen it at Barnes and Nobles.

https://www.amazon.com/Practice-Makes-Perfect-Spanish-Second/dp/0071849211/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1521753623&sr=1-5&keywords=Spanish&refinements=p_n_feature_fifteen_browse-bin%3A5245005011


The book does come with flashcards. But, it's more effective to make your own. So I grabbed a giant stack of index cards and a pen. I made the flash cards for Unit 1. Chapters 1 - 5. Now, I quiz myself. Each stack, until I can make it all the way through without any mistakes on both sides.

That's how I did it in high school and college. It's more likely to be remembered and recalled in the future. If you want to be fluent, you need to just know without thinking what the right words are. The flash cards are based on the book but I treat them as a separate form of studying. Hence, the half part.

I have also asked a friend to pm me a sentence to translate into English and an English sentence to translate into Spanish every once in a while. I hope that works too. When I am getting my Friday lunch salads from Josh's place I practice my Spanish.

"Ensalada con pollo, por favor". "Salad with chicken, please." Because of his co-workers, Josh is trying to learn Spanish too. I am putting a lot more effort in though.

Zach is watching. He's paying attention. He sees me working just as hard as he is. These flash cards will help him in the future. He has declared that he is taking Spanish not Mandarin when he starts middle school.

Yes, Vaca (pronounced va ka) is cow in Spanish.

It's nice to challenge my mind like this. Eventually, my hands will get fidgety and I'll pick up my knit and crochet projects again. In the meantime, I am setting a good example for Zach and expanding my mind. I am also getting better at communicating with a large amount of people I come across.

Originally, I planned to save this for when Zach starts middle school. But, it was on my mind and there is no reason to wait. When I am confident enough, I might do a blog post in Spanish (with translations).

Adios, mis amigos :). Buenos Noches! Goodbye, my friends :). Good night!

La vaca es en la granja. The cow is on the farm. (granja pronounced: gr on ha)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Pumpkins Vs. Petals

St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow. Why am I writing a post called "Pumpkins Vs. Petals"? Because I have been in a rut lately. A rut that doesn't happen in the autumn. But, it happens now. A motivational rut. Why was it so much easier in October then it is now? That's the question I had for a skein of yarn before.

Okay, I'm not that crazy. I didn't literally ask a skein of yarn "why do projects go so much faster in the fall then they do in the spring?" But, I was looking at a skein of yarn when I had the thought. I didn't expect an answer from the yarn.

I have a few crochet and knit projects that I am either working on, or have planned. The hot pads are part of a four season project I am working on. Spring and fall are completed.

In progress:

1. Cable Knit scarf for Josh (regular wear) 1/2 way done.
2. Triple Crochet scarf for Josh (when shoveling snow, it's harder on these things) only a little done.
3. Cats Crocheted Toddler Girl blanket for a charity my mom works for (1/2 way done).

Planned but not started:

1. Cats Crocheted Toddler Boy blanket for the charity my mom works for
2. Diagonal Crocheted hot pad: Summer (waiting on yarn)
3. Diagonal Crocheted hot pad: Winter (waiting on yarn)

In the fall I was able to spend an average of 4 - 6 hours a day on projects. They went so quickly! So, why is it so hard now? After brainstorming on facebook with a knitting group I am in, I have a few theories.


1. I have done a lot of projects lately. I did take a break. Maybe I just need more of a break!

2. The issues started around when Zach's basketball practices started in November. I had been predictable about when I would work on them. Then new schedule threw things off.

3. These are all things used in November - March. It's easy to be motivated in the fall. They will be needed soon. In March, you have what you need for that year. It won't be done in time for the current  year. So you have six months before crunch time.


When I had the same rut about a month ago the problem was skill level. I was ready for more challenging projects. I had moved up in my abilities. But, most of these projects are using new skills or patterns. They aren't too hard or too easy. I do enjoy working on them while working on them. I just have trouble being motivated to work on them!

A lot of crafty people are like that. We have times we thrive and get a lot of projects out. Then, we have times when we want to do something. It just seems to take forever to complete something that shouldn't take that long. I would imagine it's like that for those who do woodworking, painting, and photography too. This happens with a lot of different things.

Pumpkins verses petals. Each represent different times of year. Each time of year has their charms. It's easier to be motivated to do different things during each time of year. But, pumpkins win the needlepoint battle! At least petals have the gardening battle covered! Enough snow has melted to enjoy some of my daylily and daffodil sprouts! I love my fall garden, but, fighting the forging squirrels takes away from it in the fall!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

10AM

Today, March 14, 2018 at 10:00am, high school students across the country walked out of school for 17 minutes. One for each life lost in the Parkland shooting a month ago. Some will be disciplined. Some won't be. But, these students give me hope for the future.

There was talk about this right after the shooting. So, I emailed the school superintendent. I explained that even though my third grader wouldn't be included, I think this should be allowed without punishment. I also told him I think the police should be there for safety. As they are with any protest or march.

I wasn't the only parent supporting this. This morning I am proud of the students in my town who participated. They had talked about it with the high school principal first. Because of that, they knew they wouldn't get into trouble and the police would be able to be there for safety. If I was a kid, I would have joined them. If Zach was in high school, I would have encouraged him to join them.

To me, it's silly to say these kids would be punished for participating. Parents could sign them out at 10am and return them to school 17 minutes later. Legally pulling them out of school for that time. The common concern was safety. That is why I am grateful that my town planned ahead and arranged for the police to be there. Any town could have done that. Now they risk lawsuits for impeding first amendment rights.

I don't know why 10am was the selected time. The shooting happened at the end of the school day. Maybe because it's the one time every kid in the entire country is expected to be in school. When it reached 10am in your time zone, protesting kids walked.

Common thought, "they just wanted to get out of class". I'm sure some kids thought like that. But, that's why we needed to educate them before hand about what was actually happening. That they would be using their feet to say "I want stronger gun safety laws so I can feel safe at school!" They needed to understand the weight of what they would be doing.

Today, at 10am I was walking around Kohl's for exercise. Lap six, last lap. I saw the time and thought about these kids and how proud I am of them. These are things we should have done after Columbine. I read this morning that Columbine was one of the schools participating with encouragement from their principal.

Today, at 10AM, history was made.