Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last Night I Heard the Screaming…

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave unselfishly to make our world a better place, but this weekend many families will not have been focusing on those fallen in combat but on their own wars, the wars of domestic battles.

Friday last week, one woman's tragic death filled the news programs here in North Carolina. She had lost her life at the hands of the ultimate bully, her husband. She had been waiting outside an elementary school for her two children when her husband gunned her down. The report said that the incident was the result of a domestic issue.

Some would argue that the man (I would not necessarily call him that, but that is my opinion) just cracked, like an egg. But, to wait for someone and shoot them in cold blood is no egg, it is a monster. Me, I would say he was demented. I don't mean to sound harsh, it is just that the reality of domestic violence is everywhere, affecting innocent individuals, making their lives a living hell.

There is a poignant song sung by Tracy Chapman (linked below) that sums up what happens all too often. People try to ignore the signs of domestic abuse, not because they don't care but because they find it hard to accept that these horrible things are happening to people around them. We don't like to interfere in other people's lives, we are afraid that we will be known as busybodies.

Most women, who find themselves in a violent household, try to hide it. Their fear of being found out rules their world. They feel like a failure and when we ignore the all too clear hints or signs, we add to that feeling, confirming their damaged opinion of themselves. The current statistics on domestic violence show this is a HUGE problem and getting bigger by the year.

Every 9 seconds a woman in the US is assaulted or beaten. Every day three women die, murdered by a husband or boyfriend. Imagine how many women are being hurt as you read this article. It is a frightening thought.

Around the world, one in three women will experience some form of violence in their lifetime, predominately carried out by a member of their own family. That very same family who is supposed to protect them becomes their nightmare. In addition, in those families, studies suggest that around ten million children will witness those acts. It is a proven fact that those children are twice as likely to become themselves adult abusers. The cycle goes on and on, snowballing, and never ending.

We cannot eradicate domestic violence, just like we can't control our enemies, but it is time to help, time to stand up and be a busybody when we get the instinct something is wrong. We have neighborhood watches to protect our properties from crime with people who will not hesitate to call the police if they see suspicious behavior, yet many of those same people will turn a blind eye to a domestic issue just because it is not their business.

Well, let's make it our business and protect those who need it because you never know, one day, it just might be your daughter or granddaughter who needs that help. I urge you to keep aware, look for the signs, and assist. I am not suggesting becoming vigilantes, just asking for some extra community care. After all, one word in the right direction could save a precious life and keep innocent children from losing a parent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iUoqTaowaI ,

Friday, May 25, 2012

We're Off to the Races

By Sheilah
Just spent two days at the Hare Scramble dirt bike races, and got to see what I’d been missing. Prior to this, I’d always driven down the morning of the race. I tried to blend into the background and not be obtrusive, not cramp the boys’ camping style. I wanted to see what it is they do for a day before races. We packed up and were off to the races at 10 a.m. Saturday, arrived at noon dragging the Rattler Toy Hauler and a head wind at 12 mpg into South Carolina. Once you cross the S.C. state line, all bets are off. Anything can happen in our southern sister state.
Exiting the interstate it immediately felt deserted, abandoned, left for dead. You wondered why an exit existed there, but then it became clear: This here’s Flannery O’Connor storyville. I kept my eyes peeled, kind of like how Dylan says he feels racing—you never know what’s around the next bend. You hope the trail’s clear, that a tree doesn’t jump out in front of you, or a bear, or a lone rider lying there with his leg bent in an unnatural pose. You only pray you won’t have to break hard and somersault over a log, that someone won’t sideswipe you forcing a face plant.
We had arrived. Clearly, the race began by racing to the campground. At noon on Saturday for a race at 10 on Sunday—only 22 hours to go. (I kept such thoughts to myself—but now, please take them.) Ostensibly we get there first to get the pick of the campsite litter. Now, this is primitive camping, no facilities, which is why we were hauling our own expensive ones. Driving into the cleared-out space, it was clear there was nothing to pick from, even though we were the third ones there. Do we get a medal for third place, I wondered. There was nary a tree in sight, only mulch, flat acres, a rock hill. We parked in front of our friends, No. 2 there. The kids set off immediately to check out the woods, returning later knee high in mud. I have no idea how I spent those hours—except I realized good camping chairs are all important. I watched kids run in and out of the camper for our 24 pack of water, depleted in a day’s time. Doled out popsicles and zero advice.
I looked at the desert-like hill. Asked a few times why is it again we come so early. Oh, right, this is me blending into the dusty background. Then, finally, it was time to walk the track—the real reason we come the day before. You have to scope out your competition—which in this case is the earth. First off, our cadre of racers and their Dads say no, you don’t need to walk the track with us. It’ll be hard. It’s hot. You don’t have the shoes for it. (Like I’m a girl or something.) My back’s already strained from the cheap camp chair. Oh, yes, yes I do need a walk, boys. I need to see some trees. I promise to look away when you go all natural in nature.
The 4- or 8- or 12-mile trek through the woods was beautiful with a capital B. I got to experience in the leafy flesh where Dylan will ride, the rough terrain, the easy, the long, long laps of time that will pass oh-so-slowly as he races and I stand on that hillside waiting for a brief glimpse of him before he’s lost to the woods again. Walking it took over an hour. Creek crossings, bridges, hairpin turns, rocky hill climbs, moguls, dry ruts—the geography of the world under his wheels. He will eat it up. They quiz each other on how to handle certain aspects, and wonder if all the signs will be up by race time—there are different routes for younger kids and older ones.
I felt refreshed instead of tired after the long walk. The kids ran off to play again, we cooked, and hung out till 9 in the night as the boys threw firecrackers to the sky and played hide and seek with tomorrow’s competition.
A shower and to bed at 10, after 10 hours of nonstop activity. That’s the part I don’t get—how can you have a good race the next morning when you ran yourself to the edge of sleep the day before? He fell right to sleep as did we soon after. Of course the sound of the generator is annoying, but I imagine it fueled his racing dreams.
We awoke at 6:30 to bikes revving, made bacon and eggs and got his gear on. We watched the PeeWees start at 8 then back to warm up the bike and ready. In line at 10, which is always hurry up and wait. Dylan’s race includes about 50 kids of varying ages and class of bike. His line is the 9-10 year olds with 65 cc bikes, about 15-20 of them. About 6 or so rows of older kids on bigger bikes take off one row at a time with 30-second intervals between. His row is followed by a few more rows. He is competing with his row of racers only, but all 50 plus are on the same path, which scares me.
Buddy and I stood on the hilltop to see how they made it down the big rocky hill at the race start. Dylan avoids hitting it on the hole shot on purpose—he doesn’t want to be in the inevitable pile-up, an interesting strategy I must say. His buddy always wins the hole shot, and the race. He negotiated the rocky hill well and went on to pass some kids right away. Then he was gone into those deep woods by himself for 12 minutes. That’s the hard part.
We made it over to the best vantage point near the scoring tent to see him emerge from the woods looking good up the hill through the mud bog into the tent for a split-second stop where they scan his helmet. The display reads that he’s in 6th place and he’s off again. 12 more minutes pass. Repeat, still in 6th. 12 more minutes pass. Repeat, still in 6th. 12 more minutes, white flag. Then checkered. The race is an hour long—which is 10 hours in mommy time. He’s covered in mud helmet to boot, and his new GoPro camera is still attached to his helmet, mud all over his face, even with goggles and helmet covering him.
“Only one crash,” he proudly exclaims. A dirt-eating grin. Happy. Happy with 6th place. It means he’ll be on the podium, get a plaque, almost like a win. His best friend took first again, and all is right in their worlds. The Monster drink sponsor passes out free drinks, hot dogs for everyone. A sore shoulder. A shower. Time to play again.
Now with the GoPro video recorder, we get to play back the race right away on the TV in the camper and see what really happened. We got to see how he negotiated every obstacle, hear the gear he was in, see the pack of older racers zoom by and then the video go upside down, along with my little boy’s body. Got to see the Dad in the woods appear, asking “Are you all right little buddy?” No answer, then Dylan sped off again. For two laps I saw the same racer in blue lying on the side waiting for help; one of the teen girls who races said it looked like his leg was bent the wrong way. I got to see lots of riders stuck at times, saw Dylan go around them, never letting up, never getting lost. I’m grateful to the Dads and the sweepers and the track officials who hang out in the woods to help. I’m scared to death for the racer who had to lay there until someone came for him. Now I know what can happen, and what can’t.
Between walking the track myself and watching it recorded, I feel both confident and unsettled. Anything can happen. My little 65-cc Suzuki racer No.929 is pretty sure of himself and his secret strategy, and is happy enough with 6th place. I’m happy, too.  I’m also happy he scored 99 on his writing EOG last week. I told him we should hit Wrightsville Beach for Memorial Day and he said, “No way. While we’ll be relaxing, the other kids will be practicing. I need to practice, Mommy.” Oh, we’re off to the races again in two weeks. I hope the video stays steady this time, and plays back only the good parts.
Courage is fear that’s said its prayers I tell him. What the heck does that mean? he asks. You know, I say. You know. You’ve got it in your bones. And so do I.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Whistle While You Work? Let’s Not.

By Sheilah

The new guy who sits next to me is noisy. It all began so innocuously, a little tune here, one there. You think to yourself, what a happy guy. That’s cute. I wish I could whistle. It reminds you of your son who thinks he can whistle, and does so a lot, but it’s more like blowing some air through his teeth. It’s different when a grown man whistles though. And especially at work, at night, on deadline.

Luckily, he moved across the room to collaborate that night. Next to my friend.

We IM. It’s the only way we can talk to each other at work.
She: Who is this dude? Have you heard him?
Me: I sent him your way to brighten your day.
She: You suck.
Me: You can’t trust a whistler. I mean, what’s he whistling about?
She: OMG. I have a pathological hatred of whistlers. They creep me out. I’m sorry he sits next to you. I’d have to move.
Me: Was this a Seinfeld episode? It sounds so familiar. But I agree. My son fake whistles “Ode to Joy” constantly…4th grade recorder practice. I’m ready to bring his recorder and whip it out and play “Hot Cross Buns” every time that guy wets his lips.
She: Now it doesn’t bother me when a CHILD whistles. But a grown man? At work?
Me: And he’s a new hire. Can’t we fire him for it? And Dylan doesn’t know how to whistle, neither do I, but I don’t have the heart to tell him. 

Well the whistler is still with us, and I'm more suspect of him than ever. He also sings. I'm not sure what will come out of his mouth next. Scatting? Bubble blowing? Crazy person mumbling? 

God help us. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Growing Problem

 I have an obsession. It lives within me every day of my life, it never leaves, just hangs around like a bad penny. My obsession to some is annoying, to others a complete waste of time, and to medical professionals a joke. You see, my obsession is about my weight. I can't help it. Historically, it was the byproduct of years of having a poor body image, driven by the need to be accepted by others, but recently it is caused by another reason.

I am not, or never have been, anorexic or bulimic. Ironically, and probably luckily, I love food and have an extreme fear of vomiting, so there is no chance of my becoming either of the two fore-mentioned conditions. I am five feet, five inches tall and an American size six (sometimes an eight on a bad day) so logically I know I am not overweight. But, over the past two years my weight has steadily increased. I have put on ten pounds in total.

Two years ago, I was feeling sluggish, my hair was thinning and falling out, and to put it mildly, I could have killed anybody that strayed in front of me. I was the moodiest person alive, or so it seemed, especially to my family. No amount of dieting or exercise has stopped my progressive weight gain. After many visits to the doctor, it has been confirmed that I have a slacking thyroid, otherwise known as Hypothyroidism. For those of you who are in my camp and suffer from the same thing, you know exactly what I am talking about, the endless battle that just goes on and on.

Hypothyroidism is indeed a pain in the proverbial, but for me it adds extra stress to my self-proclaimed obsession. I have grown sick of the doctors telling me that my weight gain also coincides with my advancing age and slowing metabolism (hello, we are talking thyroid here!). They insist that my thyroid hormone level is now balanced, near perfect, thus rendering them an innocent party in my problem.

However, nothing is ever as it seems and I am getting desperate. Every day of my life I watch what I eat. I size up menus looking for the healthiest options and my fridge is always full of fresh fruit and vegetables. I very rarely eat fast food and I have tried every diet possible. I exercise at least 3 -4 times a week, but I do however sneak an occasional tootsie roll, and I admit, I like a glass of wine or two in the evening. There has to be some pleasures in life! I am still growing and I cannot get anyone to take notice because, I am for now, considered a healthy weight.

Some people have sneered at me when I have mentioned my problem and called me neurotic. I have had doctors intimate I may be imagining this whole connection to my thyroid problem. Some have just looked at me and ignored the weight issue completely. Once a doctor did actually prescribe a diet pill for me, it was a quick fix for two months. I think I wore them down with my moaning about my weight. I lost my weight and got my energy back, it was great, but of course, as soon as I had finished the tablets the weight came back and my afternoon slump returned. Those tablets are controlled, quite rightly so, and are not prescribed on a long-term basis to people like me, people who are not clinically overweight.

So what am I to do? I feel like I am on a never-ending treadmill. If I stop or slack in my ways, I am afraid to think about what will happen. I have this vision of my body growing like a balloon, getting to bursting point and spontaneously combusting at the most inappropriate moment, perhaps at a doctor's surgery – wouldn't that be sweet!

 I know my problem may sound simple, but it really is not. It is a nightmare, a daily one. I have yet to meet another sufferer like myself who has been given any help with this growing problem (pardon the pun!). Therefore, after many hours of investigating and deliberating I have finally decided to try another avenue of help. I am going, later this week, to see a Chinese Herbalist. I have heard many good reports of success taking this route but only time will tell. It will not be covered by my medical insurance, but I don't care. I want off this treadmill, I want to wake in the morning and feel no need to step on those scales, I want to be normal, but most importantly I want to be free, free of this time consuming obsession and finally accept me for me and get on with my life.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A List For My Children, On Mother’s Day.

Understand that I am your Mother. I will never hold the place of friend while you are growing up.

I am human and I make mistakes, but I eat my vegetables and so should you.

I love you beyond anything I have ever known and I will fight for you, but I will not lie for you or buy you out of scrapes.

I will call you out when you haven’t done your best, because I know you’re worthy and so very full of potential. You are a wonder and unique in this world. When you do not do your best, you cheat yourself above all others.

My past is mine; I will not lay it on your future. Yours is a clean slate, and you should follow your heart.                 

I do not command respect; I have earned it with every late night filled with worry, with every wipe of a tear from your faces, with every diaper change and so much more.

Each time you mutter under your breath as you walk away, or roll your eyes, or think I don’t get it, is yet another battle scar that I wear well, and I find worth wearing.

Each accomplishment is your own, and I revel in it with you. I applaud the loudest because I know how you worked hard. No one will ever revel in your glory more.

No matter what the future holds, I will always be there for you, as long as God graces me to be here.                                             

Finally, for Mother’s Day, the best way you can honor me, and those who came before, giving me what I give you, is to be loving and kind, thoughtful and giving. To find happiness within yourself and to know you have always been loved.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Confessions of a Peeping-House Tom

I love looking at houses. I could spend days and days perusing neighborhoods and looking into lamp-lit living-room windows. I know, sounds more like a Peeping Tom, but it’s true. The warm friendly glow from those windows is somehow reassuring that someone is home, and some people are longing to be there. For years, I thought that to have the perfect home, I had to have the perfect house, but then I  grew up and realized, what’s perfect?

For years I’ve driven everyone within earshot crazy about how the house should be kept. “Why isn’t this put up? Why didn’t you clean up your mess? Who left their shoes in the middle of living room so I could trip and die?” Does any of this sound familiar? Now I’m not home for the length of hours I previously was, and I can’t help thinking, what the heck was all of that about? It didn’t make my life any easier, and it certainly didn’t make anyone around me happy. So much for the reassuring glow coming from our living room windows. If I’m not careful our house could just be a place to clean and sleep, when what we want is a home.

Because of that, my idea of a dream house keeps changing. Since there really is no such thing as a self-cleaning home, I’ve found that the McMansions that I longed for in yesteryears would be a nightmare for me because unless we hit the jackpot or 4Gaby goes international with tours (hey, help a girl out here), I’m the numero uno who gets to do the majority of the cleaning. Who wants to clean a house for 16  hours on the weekend instead of enjoying family? For goodness sake, I know there are days I’d love to hop in the car and drive till the gas gauge hits empty, but surprise, I really do love my family and I’d like to be with them doing something a little less mundane. I’m not talking hang gliding, but days at the park are a treasure, as opposed to days in our yard.

Our yard is a complete monster! Having privacy between neighbors comes with a back-breaking price tag called yard work. I don’t know the amount of hours my husband and I have put into our yard in the past, desperately hoping that maybe one day we’d get yard of the month. Now I honestly love yard work, it beats dusting hands down because the yard usually stays nice for a few days. I can clean the house and in the space of a few hours it can be demolished. Still, how much time do I want to spend in the yard when the kids grow like weeds and you blink and they’re gone? Um…not so much. My idea now of yard of the month is the kids laughing outside and the family together. Top that pretty committee.

The houses in the little town where I work intrigue me. There are huge plantation-like homes and little bungalows, mixed in with big and little Victorian treasures, and I love walking by them at lunch. I go through a mental checklist; too big, too small, huge yard, needs lots of work, lovely garden, and just right. Every morning I drive by the same houses on my way into work and one little Cape Cod always has its lamps lit in the downstairs windows and I find that somehow comforting yet again. I guess it’s because each house should have its own glow.

By the day’s end, I pull down my own driveway to my messy, tangled yard and walk into a living room way too full of an overly energetic 5-year-old’s toys. I pass by my teen’s bedroom on the way to throw my work clothes into the laundry room and I know it will take a shovel to find the floor in her room. I come back down the stairs and look at a dining room table seldom used and round into the kitchen to fix supper, and then it hits me. We’re around the table, my daughter babbling about her day, my son vying for attention by making ridiculous faces and my husband looking at me with a distinctly glazed and tired face. We bow our heads, say a prayer, and tuck in. We get up together and clear the dishes and the kids go play. Either my husband or I will get our son down for the night, and then we discuss what’s on the agenda for the next day.

We’re home; it’s a safe place where we come together, sometimes in chaos, sometimes in peace. We’re tucking in to make it work, praying and bowing our heads when we’re smart enough to realize we have a house to come home to and be together in. No, it’s not perfect and it never will be. But there are those fleeting moments, now and again where we go “Ahhhhhh.” Be it ever so humble, with or without its lamp-glowing room, there’s no place like home.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Extra, Extra! Just Try to Read All About It.

I learned how to read with the help of my Mama and older sisters, and what really generated the want to read was the Sunday comics. There was nothing like getting the punch line in “Peanuts” all by myself. I found you could converse with the adults around you if they read the comics and liked them. My Daddy seemed to like “Beetle Bailey” and Mrs. Kane, who we called our “Raleigh Grandmother,” loved “Family Circus.”  There was a time when I got into “Prince Valiant,” but then college started and I didn’t have time for the paper.

A few years later the paper was once again in hand. This time the interest was in the want ads; we didn’t have Linked In or computer postings of jobs. The Internet was still neo-natal and we found jobs by meeting people and actually applying in person. I picked up odd jobs and one was tutoring a couple of guys who had difficulty reading English. I found that the comics did it again. Their interest was immediately sparked and they thought “B.C.” was the bee’s knees. Their English writing and reading skills took off after that, and I missed them when they no longer needed me. It was my first experience teaching anything, and it was wonderful.

I started to enjoy more of the paper--Lifestyles, and Art and Leisure were favorites, but nothing beat the Sunday paper.  It was thick with all sorts of surprises. Coupons, free offers, good news, bad news, rows and rows of jobs needed, you could hold the Sunday paper in two hands and build muscles. It took you most of Sunday and sometimes parts of Monday to finish the Sunday paper, cover to cover, and it’s sad to say, but those days look about to end.

My husband has been on a coupon kick and has been getting the Sunday paper faithfully now, if not for the news, for the coupons. I still find myself reaching for the comics first, looking forward to the surprise of a chuckle from someone getting to my funny bone. Have you seen the size of the papers now? Holy microscope, Batman! They’re flipping tiny! I tried to read the comics for 30 minutes before I gave up and got the magnifying glass. I don’t need glasses for reading, but I swore up and down something was wrong with my eyes, because I couldn’t read any of the bubbles over the characters’ heads in “Zits” or “Funky Winkerbean.” Geez! I felt awful until my daughter told me she had a hard time reading them, too.

What a shame. Here I am, a combo of the newspaper and computer age, and the newspapers are cutting down the size so small that those of us who actually appreciate the crinkling sound of the paper when you turn a page can’t enjoy it. We simply can’t see to read it! I know in order to compete in these economic times there have to be cutbacks, but what good is that when you shoot down the quality of a product? Reading the news on the Internet isn’t the same. How will we collect headlines for those special times like our parents did? My Mama had the paper from when Queen Elizabeth and President Eisenhower opened the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The front page of the Canadian paper was in full color and it was a dream. There is nothing like learning about the past by holding its headlines in your hands.

When I went overseas with my husband all my friends asked for little souvenirs. When we came home with suitcases full of newspapers, no one was disappointed. They loved reading the news overseas and commenting on similarities in culture, as well as any differences. While you can pick up a lot online, I doubt you can do all of the above. I understand the need to conserve and save trees, but I thought we had the recycling thing in hand, so I find it hard to use this as an excuse for the demise of the newspaper. It will be akin to losing a good, good friend if this comes to pass. I hope things turn around, I’d like to hear my son belly laugh one day because of the comics, but right now, the funnies don’t appear too funny anymore. 

See what I mean?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Headlines, and Commercials, OH MY!

Today's entry was already prepared, already edited, and you'll just have to see it some other time. It just felt too serious even though it had my snark sprinkled all through it. But it's Friday, and Fridays call for a celebration. So I thought I'd throw out some headlines and commercials and my reaction to them. Imagine I've lifted my right eyebrow, something I can't do, but always wished I could. Oh, and give me a deliciously superior accent. Hey, while you're at it, I'd like to be tall and skinny...taking it too far ain't I? OK, without further ado...headlines and commercials:

There's a commercial for a new dog treat and it uses the line, "they look homemade".  How reassuring. My dog always stops to review how aesthetically pleasing his food appears. I can tell he's doing that in the microsecond he takes before he starts eating it.

"Kardashians' Ink New $40 Million TV Contract" - This comment comes via Mary - "Please tell me they're paying them to stop" - and no such luck with that. The good news to take from this is that if you have ridiculously attractive children with no discernible talents, there is hope. For the rest of us, we need to keep cracking that study and work whip.

"'Bachelor' Host, and Wife Ending Marriage" - I guess seeing all those ridiculously happy marriages that have resulted from this show, oh, wait...never mind.

"Man Who Dressed as Dead Mother Guilty of Fraud" - Yeah, that's not the only thing he's guilty of...

"Rio de Janeiro Stripping Away Visual Pollution" - Darn. I was so looking forward to the People of Wal Mart - Rio edition.

The Camry commercial that talks about life in a Camry. Forgive me, but except for a DeSoto or a Delaurean, can't most car brands claim all those life events? Get over yourselves. Losing a tooth in a car does not make me want to buy a new one. It makes me want to go to the dentist...maybe.

"Pepsi Brings Back Michael Jackson for New Ad Push" - Well, this is a new idea. Reincarnation as a product benefit. We all want to buy a product pushed by a guy who died at 50.

Ok - I've probably pushed the limit on a few of my comments, but let me know if you see anything wacky. Laughing on a Friday should be a requirement of life!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Back Seat Conversations in May

I’m in one of those moods. Menopause does that to you or so I’ve heard. I just feel like listing some pet peeves. It makes you feel all deliciously superior especially when done with no makeup on and no one around to point out all your own faults – in other words the cat is sleeping and the dog is fed, the kids at school and the hubby gone to his job.
So here goes:
Must every establishment I frequent now ask me if I want to contribute one dollar to their chosen cause du jour? Cause I don’t want to. So I don’t sound as Ebenezer as all that, I need to say that we contribute to charity both financially and time wise (well my time and hubby’s hard earned financials). I have no overwhelming desire to make some big company look better by giving a dollar here and a dollar there and I resent being asked when I just came in to pick up some lousy poster board for the kids projects. So stop asking me already. Put a sign up there, I’ll read it and let me tell you. Cause I can, if I want to.

When did yellow become the new green? I ask because it seems that rarely does a day pass that I don’t see someone run a light. Cause if you approach it at the speed of light and it’s yellow, then faster than the speed of light it becomes RED. To get to the kids high school I have to pass over a major interstate. And apparently everyone is just dying to get on that interstate cause they don’t stop for nothing. But as I keep explaining in colorful language to my 15 year old, who will be driving soon, we hope, their failure to stop means one day they just might die. So either recognize your colors or get a freakin’ helicopter so you can fly over top of the rest of us who don’t want to die.

Speaking of driving, one more constant lecture point that I keep giving to my teenagers – put up your freakin’ phone and drive, uhh, bless your hearts.  Invariably if I pass someone who is driving like an idiot I can glance over and see your phone. It’s either your phone or you bought one earring off of somebody like Snookie or whatever her name is. I know driving can be boring, but I’m pretty dang sure that most of us have nothing so pressing that we need to be on the phone AT THAT EXACT MOMENT. Of course that’s easy for me to say – I relish some peace and quiet.

That’s just today’s list. Feel free to check with me tomorrow. Cause my mood is ever changing – just like those traffic lights y’all keep ignoring.