Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm so bummed right now.

Randey's out of town for a few days. This morning I was bored silly so I decided to entertain myself with some shopping. I don't much regret the shopping, but I sure wish I'd taken a taxi. I came out of JC Penney to find that my brand new car, the one I've only made two whole payments on, had been smucked. Here's what greeted me: I had pulled all the way through a parking spot so I wouldn't have to back up when I left and it looks like someone tried to park next to me and hit my car instead. I don't know who hit my car because the person left without leaving so much as a note. And since we don't have Uninsured Motorist coverage (and why should we? Insurance is MANDATORY in this state, therefore everyone should have it!) that person's annoying lack of parking skills and severe lack of anything even resembling character and/or integrity will cost us $5oo in deductibles just to have our car fixed. You know the really, really sucky thing about all this? Just 32 days ago, Randey was in a hit and run accident while driving home from work. They caught the guy who hit him (luckily, there was an off duty police officer who witnessed the wreck and chased the guy down when he fled the scene). But, while that young man was caught and arrested for the crime of fleeing an accident, the fact remains that he, too, had no insurance. So that wreck also cost us $500. In fact, Randey's car is in the shop right this minute, being fixed while Randey's out of town. So, thanks to 2 individuals who have chosen to break the law by having no insurance and by leaving the scene of accidents, we're out $1,000 in very short order. Yeah. I am seriously bummed right now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I've been threatening to write a political post for several days now...

but this isn't exactly it. It's political, I guess, but it's not the "big one". In other words, it's not the post I planned to do regarding the two presidential candidates. I plan on doing that one soon, but this one is more about sexism, feminism, women's rights, etc. Ever since Republican presidential candidate John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate, the so called "feminists" all across America have been up in arms. Why? Because Sarah Palin is totally and completely pro life and does not believe in or advocate for abortion. Therefore, according to these "feminists" in our country, Sarah Palin is not a woman for the masses. She is not a woman that other women should vote for and in fact, she is not a woman worthy of any support from other women. Huh. Interesting.

Anybody know the exact definition of "feminism"? I do. Check it out:

fem·i·nism (fěm'ə-nĭz'əm) n.
1. Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
2. The movement organized around this belief.

Where does it say that one must believe in abortion in order to be a feminist? Not only would I say that Sarah Palin is a classic example of a feminist as explained by that very definition of the word, I actually would classify myself as a feminist, as well. (Although I am in no way comparing myself to Sarah Palin. Love her or hate her, that woman possesses one thing in great quantities that I have never had and probably never will have; Courage!) I happen to think I am the equal to a man, I think all women are. I know this flies in the face of many historical, not to mention some religious, beliefs but I know in my heart of hearts that God made me every bit as smart as a man because I am that man's equal, not his lesser, not his better. His equal. That is not to say that I think I can do anything a man can do. I can't. In balance, a man can't do everything I can do either. Being "equal", in my view, does not mean men and women are equal at every effort across the board. Rather, it means that men and women are equal in their abilities to reason and to exist. Now. Having explained that particular philosophy, let me also say this; One of those things that I can do that a man cannot is have babies. I can give birth. And with the exception of that fella (who was formerly a woman) over in Oregon, no man has been able to match that specific capability. Pregnancy and child birth are the exclusive purview of Woman. (Tragically, not all women can do this, for a great variety of reasons. I do not believe that lessens their "womanhood" in the least. Pregnancy and child birth does not define a woman, rather it is something a woman can do that no man can. Just want to establish my feelings about that before someone lashes out at me for disenfranchising the infertile portion of the female population when that is certainly not my intent.)

Okay. Now that I've stated my belief that I, as a woman, am equal to a man (remember guys, equal yet different!!) let me get about half of you in an uproar by stating that I do not believe in abortion. I deplore the ease of abortion, I deplore it's use as a way of keeping a woman from "screwing up her life". I believe that if a woman voluntarily has sexual relations with a man and becomes pregnant, she should understand that that pregnancy is not an "inconvenience" and it's not just a "bother" to be gotten rid of at the earliest opportunity. It's a baby. I swear I don't get the whole "when does a fetus become a child" argument. Hel-lo!!!! Despite what you may have seen in Hollywood horror films, the results of a human woman's pregnancy is that of a human baby in absolutely 100% of the time. It's not like there's a chance you could give birth to a donkey or a goldfish or a stuffed animal. No, no, no. If left to progress normally, a human child will indeed result from that pregnancy. Even in the case of a miscarriage, what comes out is still human. It's human cells, not monkey cells, not turtle cells, not imploding cells from the 3rd sun of Saturn (if there is such a thing). Therefore, in my mind, any termination at any time during a pregnancy is...well, the only way to say it is, you've terminated a human life. Okay, so now I've gotten some people all tense thinking I'm trying to force my views on the rest of the population. Not so. I don't think Roe vs. Wade should be repealed. I don't see the point in doing that. I'd rather see women being taught personal responsibility for their bodies. I think Roe Vs. Wade merely provided women with a fix for those times when they didn't consider the consequences of sex, unprotected or otherwise. However, having said that, I also have to confess my ambiguity over abortion in the case of rape or incest or even in the case of the pregnancy actually endangering the health of the mother. A huge part of me thinks that a pregnancy should be respected at all costs. But another part of me wonders if, faced with the horrors of those scenarios, would I be strong enough to carry that baby to term or would it destroy me as a person to do so? And listen. I know my views are just that: my views. Not yours or yours or even yours. They're just mine. The bottom line of my view on abortion is that I think it's horrific and plain old wrong to use abortion as a "fix". A woman needs to take responsibility for her body if she ever wants to be considered equal to a man in this world. Part of taking responsibility for her body is to know that having sex can result in pregnancy and pregnancy is not like a boil you should have lanced from your ass just because medically it can be done. Pregnancy is a life. Woman have a great and awesome power in that they can carry another life inside their bodies. Only women can do that! Men cannot! That's huge!! So why do the "feminists" in our country think that the ability to negate and terminate that power is the absolute "cornerstone" of what defines a "true" feminist? That makes no sense. Woman should be treasuring the capability of giving birth, not embracing a method of destroying it. What is wrong with us? Who convinced women that the way to be equal was to become non maternal? My God. Women! Wake up! It's not our differences from men that keeps us from being equals. It's our failure to understand that those differences are what gives us our equality. Men and woman balance each other in this and many other ways. Different strengths, different talents, different capabilities...equal minds, equal hearts, equal destinies. So all you so called "feminists" out there, come out of the dark ages. Don't deny your feminine differences from men. They're there. They're real. They always will be. Cheer for those differences! And for pity's sake, stop denigrating other women who embrace the beauty of being women. Let's join hands and work towards the true definition of "feminism". Standing for abortion doesn't make you enlightened. It just takes away from being a woman. And that, my friends, is an awful thing to do to yourself.

One last thing before I go...I've been watching quite a bit of political tv lately. (And man, don't even get me started on the bias of the networks, particularly Fox and MSNBC! Whatever happened to journalists being neutral?????). Anywho...I noticed that a lot of "pro choice" individuals aren't calling it "abortion" these days. Rather, they've taken to calling it "reproductive health issues". What in the hell does that mean? Can anyone explain that to me? Are they implying that being pregnant is somehow a "health" issue for your uterus? I mean I guess you could say that's sort of accurate. Maybe. But what's with the fancy terminology? The discussion between "pro-life" and "pro-choice" isn't about a woman's "reproductive health". After all, pregnancy is actually a function of a woman's body, not a disease or malady, remember? No, this discussion is about abortion. Let's "keep it real", okay people? I mean, you can put lipstick on that pig...but it's still a pig. Right?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday's "Finding a Weigh Out of Fat"

I have a question for you guys for this week's post. We've talked about favorite snacks, favorite recipes, favorite tips, etc., but I have an issue that's been bugging me a bit. What do you guys do when you find yourself out and about, away from home, during lunch? What do you eat? I mean, where do you go to find a good, low point (for WW) or low calorie/low fat lunch? Do you bring a lunch with you and if so, what's in that lunch? Do you stop at certain restaurants and get something and if so, what do you get? I know it's important to not skip meals, but sometimes, when I'm running around during the day and find myself getting hungry around lunchtime, I'm at a loss as to where to go or what to get. Any tips? What do you guys do?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Silver Lining of Hurricane Ike (for me anyway!)

I found out last Thursday that one of my blogging buddies, Jayme, from down near Houston was evacuating to get away from Hurricane Ike. And where, oh where, do you think she and her family evacuated to? My little town, that's where! We were able to meet Friday for lunch. Here we are at Applebee's, just finishing up. And if you read my previous post, you'll remember I mentioned a shirt that I will never, ever, ever wear again because I've now seen this picture and come to realize that my honkin' arms are ginormous and probably shouldn't see the light of day again!! I mean, hel-lo! I really must speak to Randey about letting me leave the house dressed like this. He should know better (ha!). Anywho, lunch was great fun - Jayme and I seemed to be able to talk like we'd known each other for ages! Then we did some shopping together. You all know how I hate shopping, right? But...I'm a good friend so I soldiered on along through store after store in order to show an out-of-towner a good time when they're visiting our fair little hamlet. Oh the sacrifices I make for others...(heavy sigh). Here's Jayme at Ross. We found these baskets and, for some reason, we both thought they were quite funny. They're "labeled". Wonder if the basket police will come take you away if they find you've put "books" in the "stuff" basket or vice-versa? And what's with that "laundry" basket? Laundry for who? Little, bitty, tiny smurf-like people? Here's Jayme and I at On the Border the next day. Yes. We enjoyed lunch a couple of times. So sue us. I have to say, I really enjoyed lunch this day. I luvs me some Mexican food, yessir I do. I love it so much, in fact, that I really, really need to just keep clear of it or I'll undo all the good I've done with Weight Watchers these past four months. lol Cheese and onion enchiladas..... ahhhhhhhhh. Here's a picture of Jayme's daughter, Saira, playing Randey's X-Box (and that's a whole other story we'll call The X-Box Debacle. I'll tell you about that at a later time). Jayme brought Saira over to our house when she came over to use the computer. Saira is a perfectly charming little child with the most wonderful accent and speech patterns. If you could hear her in person, you'd know what I mean. I really enjoyed talking with her. She's great. I also met Jayme's husband Chad and her son Ryan (who has perfect teeth, just let me say that. I know, it's a weird thing to mention, but his teeth were that good! lol). I know that Hurricane Ike was not a happy event by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm grateful that it allowed me to meet Jayme and her family in person. That's my little "silver lining" for this particular natural disaster. By the way, her house and property sustained very little damage by all accounts, although they are still without power and water, etc. Their little town did take a huge hit and I know it'll be a long road ahead of them before they are anywhere near normal again. Keep them all in your thoughts and prayers, if you would.
Here's what else I've been up to. Last year, my daughter-in-law Jodie, decided to do a fall themed tree to celebrate Autumn. This year, I decided to do one, too. What do you think of it?
Here's a full shot of the room. As you can see, it's a small tree. Just enough to make the room glow at night. I love it. Just looking at it puts me in a better frame of mind (geez...does that mean I'm easily influenced? Yeah. Probably. That's okay, though...I can deal with that knowledge. lol).
As some of you know (and thank you so much for your kind words about it!) Friday was my birthday. My son Kaleb, got me this:
House, Season Four! Yay! I love that show. My daughter got me a pair of sandals and a kitchen clock, both of which I need to take pictures of. I liked the clock so much, I hung it up right away and then forgot to snap a photo of it when I was preparing for this post! I'll fix that soon.
Then I got this in the mail yesterday from Annie. I was so touched by her kindness. I was sort of pouting about how I didn't hear from either of my parents on my birthday and was feeling kind of down about it when Randey walked in carrying the mail. Thank you, Annie. Talk about great timing. (I should clarify that I didn't really expect to hear from my parents on my birthday. My mom and I have issues and my dad's memory isn't what it used to be so not having either of them call was not a surprise. I was just being moody about it, that's all!) Anyway, I appreciate the gift and will get good use out of the book, I'm sure.
This is what I woke up to Friday morning:
Roses, a card and a gift. I was kind of surprised because the laptop was our birthday present to each other (Randey's birthday is 6 days after mine). But oh man, aren't these flowers pretty? I love them. And the card was just wonderful, too. By the way, the card says "Happy Birthday Sissy" because everyone in my whole entire family calls me Sissy, including my husband. That's because we were introduced to each other by my sister and his brother, who are married to each other. If Randey ever called me "Kari", I wouldn't know who he was talking to. lol Just goes to show you, can get used to being called darn near anything. I've been called "Sissy" for so long, it doesn't even phase me anymore. :)
Want to know what was in the package from Randey? This thing:

A Jim Shore Halloween cat. I adore this cat. It's so perfect for this time of year and just makes me happy to look at it. I discovered Jim Shore stuff last year. I don't like everything out there that's made by him, but certain things just really appeal to me, for some reason. Like some of the cats. The ones with words like "freedom", "patience", "vigilance" and "curiosity". Love them! I also have a little chihuahua (in honor of Sydney the Wonder Dog, of course!) and a Jiminy Cricket with the words "Let your conscience be your guide!", a saying I've long been fond of, across the bottom of it and a Little Red Riding Hood "Granny" figure. I get a lot of pleasure from just looking at those figures. Don't know why, so don't ask. lol Anywho, my beloved daughter-in-law Jodie, knows of my love of some things Jim Shore. So...being the great gift-giver that she is, she found this to send me (and yeah, I just know she was the one responsible...Nick would have bought me a Star Wars thing instead! ha!) by the way, I'd have loved a Star Wars thing, too! Nick does know his mother pretty well. lol :
Isn't this witch and cat adorable? And doesn't it just put you in the mood for autumn and Halloween and cooler weather??? I love it. I don't think I'd actually seen this figure before. It's totally cool and I'm so glad she picked it out. (Check out the face on the broom. Cracks me up!) But the absolute most awesomely wonderful Jim Shore item ever made is this:
I had actually seen this in a Hallmark store here in town and came so close to buying it for myself. But I didn't. I've been spending way too much money on just "me" lately so I talked myself out of it. (See? I can exercise self control occasionally!) Then I received it from Jodie and Nick. Talk about being all smiles!!! I have spent more time just staring at this beautiful cornucopia. All the little details, the colors, the workmanship. I, quite simply, love love love this thing. Click on the picture to enlarge. You'll see what I mean. It's just darn cool to look at. Thank so much Jodie, Nick and Kara. I'm totally pleased with these two things. You spent too much, of course, but well heck...I'm thrilled with them anyway. Thank you guys! And thanks also to Susan, my BFF, for the gift card. I'll let you know what I end up getting with it. Decisions, decisions.

I guess that's about it for today. I have my weigh in tomorrow at my Weight Watchers meeting. I'm tired of agonizing over it, though. I've decided to take a totally radical approach this week. I'm gonna wear jeans and a heavier shirt and I might even leave my shoes on when I hop my butt up on that dreaded, evil weight measuring device those people call "scales". I know it'll make those scales say I've gained at least 3 pounds, but just think of how virtuous I'll feel next week when I wear my normal (and not nearly as heavy!) regular clothes. Yeah, so it's cheating. I don't care. I need to shake things up a bit and this seems like a perfectly harmless way to do that. I hope to get around to some blogs again soon. I've read a few, but need to go back and leave a comment now. But first I have to cook dinner for my dearly beloved. He's headed out of town Thursday so it's looking good for dinner out tomorrow night. But tonight, it's just me, slaving away in the kitchen (another heavy sigh). See you guys tomorrow!

Attitude is everything, technically speaking.

Just a quick note to say I've not fallen off the side of the earth, nor have I forsaken the world of blogging. Let's just say I'm having technical difficulties. My sinuses are "technically" in a world of hurt - I feel like my head is the size of the Goodyear blimp, my computer skills are "technically" deficient, in the worst possible way (I say this because I still have not mastered the fine art of downloading my photographs into the right folders, etc. and it's annoying me to no end) and my house has become so desperately in need of cleaning that I'm "technically" relearning what it means to dust, vacuum, mop and scrub (life skills I thought I was doing quite well without, thankyouverymuch!). Oh, and "technically", my scales have told me that, yet again, I've managed to do great Thursday through Sunday, but starting on each and every Monday, I begin to grow lead weights somewhere inside my body and that growth manifests itself in those rotten digital numbers on that evil Conair Weight Watchers scale that lives in my closet. Not that I'm going off the deep end over the matter of a pound or two. No sir. Not me. I'm much more stable than that. I don't mind jumping on that particular emotional roller coaster. It's fun to know that eating healthier and paying attention to culinary details is paying off in such a meaningful way. In fact, I've enjoyed this feeling so much over the past month that I think I'll buy a season pass for that ride so I can do this over and over and over again. Oh, and did I mention the fact that, once I do get my photos downloaded properly (and I'm sure that will happen - even if I have to get one of the boys to do it for me), I will be able to show you a picture of a shirt that I own that I will never, ever, ever, as long as I live, wear again? Yeah, I loved that shirt. Until I saw a picture of myself in it, of course. I swear, it ought to be a law; Every new item of clothing that a woman contemplates buying should first be photographed on the body of that woman so she might be able to better judge the quality of the "cute effect" she thinks it gives her. Because damn. Nothing like wearing a shirt that shows a set of arms more suited to a Green Bay linebacker than a 45 year old woman. Urrrggghhhh! Anywho, I'll share all that and more in short order. Maybe today. Maybe not. Depending on this thoroughly crummy attitude I'm working on. Speaking of which...the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the flippin' Dallas Cowboys last night. BUM. MER. Donovan McNabb is twice the quarterback that Tony Romo is, but alas...even his fine leadership didn't bring the Eagles to victory. It was a fun game to watch, but it sure would have been funner had Philly won. But that's neither here nor there. I only bring it up as one more example of the negative vibes I'm giving off this morning. I'll work on being nicer...or at least, at seeming to be nicer, and will post something decent soon. :0