Saturday, March 31, 2012

Our Economy A Sticky Situation


Sitting here the one question, I have been asking people by polling the real average person: is whether they feel the economy has effected them and do they feel the government is giving us the information we need to deal with it. 


 Repeatedly I have heard concerns about the inaccuracy of unemployment statistics, which do not seem to count the individuals who did have full time jobs, but are now part of a growing number forced to work part time and struggle.  It is easy to say the economy is getting better, but is it.  When someone who has lost their job due to downsizing or for other reasons has used the limit of their benefits, the truth is, they are on their own and are no longer counted as unemployed.


Many individuals have taken part-time jobs to supplement their income, working shorter hours for less money so that they do have a job until they can find one in their field for fear of being, passed over for job opportunities. 


The concerns range from concern over the raising gap between fair wages and the rising cost of living, food, and gas.  Our incomes are not keeping pace, with the cost of living, and that is a sad truth.  Times are just as hard for small business owners who have to operate with less staff to adjust to the same costs we all must deal with. When you drive down the road it seems like storefront after storefront is empty.


The number crunchers can spin a statistic to show pretty much whatever you want, poll the right people, from the right demographic and you can take a negative and make it look like a positive. It still doesn’t mean that it is. 

There seems to be a growing number of people who are discontent with what they are seeing and hearing, I think it is with good reason. It isn’t paranoia, or extremist looking to usurp our government, its middle class people like you and me, who see the difference when we go to the store, or have to buy shoes for our kids. 


 The average person wants to work, wants to take care of their family, and it is getting harder and harder.  Many have returned to school to get that degree hoping against hope that it will help them to survive. Our food pantries, are running on a higher need from people trying to feed their families, and many are even forgoing health care because they just can’t afford it anymore. 



So you be the judge, whether you make 250 thousand or 30 thousand can you do what you did three years ago?  How about 5 years ago? 


I recently heard on a talk radio show, the announcer said," the price of crude oil is going up this is a good indicator that the economy is recovering." REALLY?????


Maybe it’s time to deal with the truth of whats going on with our economy instead of whitewashing it. 

Friday, March 30, 2012


Alicia Ostriker Poet, Teacher & Activist

Ocean County College will be hosting a poetry reading by the award winning poet and critic, Alicia Ostriker.  Her resume includes multiple awards for her diverse style of writing. She has given readings both here and abroad, and has been called a feminist revolutionary for her fight against the early discrimination against female poets.
As both a critic and poet, she has made a strong name for herself in the writing community.  Having written over ten books, on both poetry and of literary criticism, she brings a wealth of talent and insight to her discussions.

The Book of Seventy (2009
No Heaven (2005)
The Volcano Sequence (2002)
Little Space (1998)
The Crack in Everything (1996)
The Imaginary Lover (1986)
A Woman Under the Surface (1983)
Once More Out of Darkness (1974)
Songs (1969)
Professor Heidi Sheridan an instructor of English and Literature at OCC has organized this event to help celebrate National Poetry Month.  Her enthusiasm for this upcoming event is contagious as she hopes others will enjoy the readings of this dynamic woman.


“This is quite a coup to get a poet of this caliber at OCC,” said Sheridan.
I was fortunate to interview Mrs. Ostriker, who requested I read “The Book of Seventy,” which I did.  I found her writing to be real, insightful, moving, and very current for today.  When I asked how does the perspective of wanting to accomplish something or leave a mark affect her, she explained that writing and teaching for her are connected.
“The motivation is to create something of lasting value.  I had a very traditional education.  Art and Literature is built to last, what I have aimed for is a right to impact others personally.” said Ostriker. When asked about her poem Approaching Seventy, she explained, that she normally does not read it at readings because of its bleakness.  The poem deals with mortality, Alzheimer’s and growing old and is the first poem in The Book of Seventy.  The poem is very relatable for anyone wanting to understand some of the frustration older individuals may feel.
“We all have a bleak voice; I imagine everyone has got that although we try to hush it up.  For me it is a part of reality so I included it.” said Ostriker.

At seventy-five Ostriker still feels as though there is more to accomplish.  She is a forward thinking woman, always looking where she will be.  Rather than dwelling on the memories of her past. She believes that you should aim higher then you can reach.  She tries to impart this knowledge to her students as well.
“I’m mortal and I am going to die, but there are still things I am looking forward to doing,” said Ostriker philosophically.
Many of her poems touch on the people and life events in her own life.  She is able to pull the beauty out of tragedy, and create a picture with words that can move her audiences.
In her poem, titled “Laundry” she puts side by side the domestic normalcy of doing laundry with the abuse of prisoners at “Abu Ghraib” during the 2004 Iraq conflict.  Her use of the comfort or normality of the laundry was more for the irony of the situation.
“We recently learned about torture, some of the methods we were using in Iraq where used during the inquisition and before.  There is nothing new supposedly; it is against our laws and international laws.  They felt it was ok to break the laws that they had vowed to uphold.” said Ostriker.   You can feel her disgust and disappointment as she speaks about some of the images she saw.
“Everyone was so shocked, but the sad fact is Americans have gone and done the same thing or have surrogates do it for us.” said Ostriker.
She admitted to coining a phrase from Shakespeare for one of the titles of a poem, “Unwilling for School,” comes from Shakespeare, As You Like It.  Yet the feeling and energy of the poem is all hers.  The phrase puppy energy she uses to describe a small child is right on track you cannot help but smile as you read it.
What does she wishes she could accomplish yet?  “Oh well, I would like to accomplish peace on earth.  I would like to be a good enough poet to get a Nobel Prize, and for my children to be perfectly happy.  That is probably true for most people.  Set our sights higher then we can reach.  If we didn’t set our sights high we would have nowhere to reach.” Said Ostriker.
Her optimism and message is very clear, don’t be afraid to reach for what you want. Her work is lyrical and beautiful to read.  Getting to hear her read her works is a chance I know I will not miss.

Ocean County College will be hosting a poetry reading by the award winning poet and critic, Alicia Ostriker.  She will be at the OCC campus on April 10 at 11a.m. to give a discussion on her works.  Two of her recent books will be available for sale at this free event, The Book of Seventy, for which she received the Jewish National Book Award, No Heaven written in 2005. For further information on this free event please contact: Heidi Sheridan, OCC Department of English, at 732-255-0400 ext. 2197.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

40 IS NOT THE END OF THE ROAD


“I always tell my kids if you lay down, people will step over you. But if you keep scrambling, if you keep going, someone will always, always give you a hand. Always. But you gotta keep dancing, you gotta keep your feet moving.”
When I turned 35 I felt like I had hit a point in my life where I was done worrying about dieting, done playing by everyone else’s rules and trying to fit into the mold of what other people felt I should be.  It was not an esteem issue but an acceptance of me. 


Hitting 40 I realized that the world was still my oyster without the baggage, we carry from our 20’s and 30’s.  I am now 45 and I still feel like that because anything is possible. 


I am going to school full-time writing my blog, taking care of my family finding antiques and I know that achieving my goals are only around the corner.  There is an end in sight. 


At this point in life, many of us are sending our kids off to college, and finding an empty nest.  That is not an all-bad thing; life is about the changes we go through.  There are many people who have accomplished major things after 40 including my great uncle Orie Steele   was a world famous motor cross hill climb champion, who notably won most of his races in his 30’s and 40’s.
Satchel Paige was a right-handed pitcher and was the oldest rookie to play Major League Baseball at the age of 42.

Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell, Albert Einstein, Bonnie Rait, and Julia Child every one of these people did not find their success until after the age of 40.
Whatever you do or want to do with your life take a deep breath and follow that dream.  It may sound silly, people may say you’re nuts, but when you look inside of yourself  remember we each only have one lifetime to live, one chance to follow our dreams and be truly happy in life. It is far more important that you try then to sit on the side and watch life pass you by because you are playing it safe.  


Take the leap and live each day as if it were your last. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WE ALL ARE A LITTLE CRAZY


Much Madness is Divinest Sense

Much Madness is divinest Sense —
To a discerning Eye —
Much Sense — the starkest Madness —
’Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail —
Assent — and you are sane —
Demur — you’re straightway dangerous —
And handled with a Chain —
BY EMILY DICKINSON

We all have to be a little crazy to live in the world we live in today.  I am sure our ancestors felt the same way when they lived through there times.  The fact is life is crazy for everyone, there are things that happen that make us laugh and make us cry. In the world of reality TV, we get a bird’s eye view of just how strange and different some people are.  It does not make their way any more crazy than the things that we do in our own lives. Just different.



Every one of us has quirks, those little habits that drive our partner or spouse’s nuts, the little rituals we each do that make perfect sense to ourselves. There is nothing wrong with being different; it is what makes life interesting. So if you believe you talk to spirits, or you think the world is going to be hit by a meteor, or have to have everything on the counter just so.  You may be just a little bit crazy but that is ok.


My grandma used to say, “You can’t change ignorance you just have to learn to laugh about it.”  She was right, and her advice helped me realize that I could not change what people would think or say about me, I just had to live my own life. 


I have, and do finding the humor in many things in our daily lives and that’s what I am saying. Sometimes it gets me in trouble but I really don't mind.

Relax learn to laugh, at yourself and at the little daily turmoil’s that we cannot prevent.  It is how you stay sane.  So next time, your dog is rolling all over the floor in a crazy upside down dance, or your kids do something insane(which they often do) like turning their room into a fort or dressing up like the Green Lantern.  


Sit back, relax, and find the humor in the moment.  It makes the ride much more fun.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WHAT MAKES A MAN A MAN?



What makes a man a Man?  When I was 20 I thought a man was someone who went to work, and took care of his family.  I did not understand the nuances of what being a man was really all about. At 22 I got married had kids and lived what I thought was the American dream, but by 31 that dream was over.

As a single women I didn’t want to repeat my mistake’s from my first marriage so I read relationship books, self help books, and then I tucked the books away and decided that I would let things happen as they where meant to.  Unfortunately, the first man out of the gate that I dated was a serial liar, in a very big way. In my naive innocence, I could not see what it was about until it was too late, and I was faced with picking up the pieces of my life.


Instead of crying the blues and giving up, I picked myself up and resolved to date, and learn about men.  Working with men daily in a business where I was able to see them as they were was a tremendous help. Because let’s face it they think differently then we do.  Also learning how to fit in as one of the boys and remain feminine.  I became a confidant and friend to many wonderful examples of men, and some not so wonderful.  Here is what I learned.


A MAN doesn’t have to be over 20 to be a real MAN
He is honest whether he is a player or if he is into monogamy, so there are no lies.
He knows what it means to be a friend and lover.
He cares about how you feel and what you think, for real.
He understands that accepting you as you are is what is important.
He does not lie, omit, cheat, and does not play games.
He can show you he loves you even if the words are not easy for him to say.
He understand that it takes two to make a relationship work.(Not just lip service)
He knows what it means to be there for his family and is.
Even when he disagrees, he respects that your opinion is different.
He wants you to be happy, safe, and content in your life with him and makes that happen.
   He doesn't hit or abuse you.
He takes care of his responsibilities, and does not run away from them and make excuses.
Accepting your partner for who they are and not trying to change them seems to be the hardest thing for people to do.  You would think it would be simple but for many it is not.  I once new an 18 year old who was a far better man then some of the men, I know.

Men today do want many of the same things women want. The key is to actually go on dates to find that one that is the right fit for you. Don’t discriminate, based on looks, income or appearance you may just be surprised and find a real Man where you least expect it.  I know I did.



Monday, March 26, 2012

COMPOSTING IS IT A PART OF YOUR LIFE.


To compost or not?
To compost or not




More people are gardening every year, one of the questions you have to decide is whether to compost or not.  I compost, not as much as I would like, because my dogs try to eat everything, but there is actually a lot that can go in your garden to help add nutrients organically


Everything from egg shells to coffee grinds goes in my garden, because it’s good for it. Fireplace ash will help keep the slugs off your zucchini, cabbage, and other veggies, when you plant them.


I grew up in a family that had a large garden and large compost pile, so for me it was a part of my life.  Growing up, my mom’s flowerbeds and yard, where a beautiful haven. Of course, at the time, I swore up and down I would never have a garden of my own, but in these tough economic times, it is a great investment, and can be very relaxing. 


We would can tomatoes and fruits, make jelly, and juice that we were able to enjoy throughout the long winter.  Today buying a bushel of peaches or apples is not as economical as it used to be, but you can still can or freeze what you grow.  We pickle the green tomatoes that sometimes fall off the vine, and make sauce from our ripe tomatoes.  My mom even found a recipe for zucchini relish that is as good as regular relish.  Depending on your views on organic gardening, you have more control about what goes into your garden to help it grow, and in turn what then goes into your children's mouths. 



The plus side is you are cutting down on the actual garbage your putting out on the curb. 

Are you ready for an EMERGENCY???




We all have guilty pleasures; one of mine is watching American Preppers .  Some of the ideas that they come up with are smart, and simple.  Again, let me reiterate that I am making no claim one way or the other on this issue.  What I do however find as an interesting question is this: If the poop really did hit the fan tomorrow would you be OK?  Would you be able to take care of your family?   


Some of the idea’s that they have come out with are practical, and make sense.  I am a strong believer that knowledge is power in this crazy world we live in. 


The episode where they used paper and leaves, wetting them and then pressing them together to make fuel pellets was actually interesting supposedly they will burn for 20 minutes. If you keep seeds in a refrigerator they will keep for up to 10 years.  A pair of rabbits male and female will produce up to 50lbs of meat per a year.  Wow,  are they busy bunnies. 

I tend to be an observer of life, I watch look and listen to what people have to say.  The truth is when you stop to look around you, and listen, there are people who want to pretend that everything is ok and some people who feel things could possibly go very, very, differently.  


We all save money for retirement, invest in our homes, or save for a rainy day.  Why wouldn’t you invest in taking care of your family in an emergency? 


Did you know that Fema provide a 204 page Family preparedness for disaster situations, covering what to do and what food to have on hand?  Also that  the Fema chart  says you should keep up to two weeks’ worth of food and water to support your family in an emergency. Last year my area was hit by the hurricane and some families lost power for over a week.


Using common sense isn’t being an extremist, its being practical. So why aren’t we?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Our Gang & The Little Rascals Do You Remember?


Do You Remember “Our Gang” or “The Little Rascals?”


Do you remember Darla, Alfalfa, Spanky, and Buckwheat?  The funny thing is those shows where old when we were kids.  I know for myself watching it I wasn’t thinking about racial issues, I was a kid and it was kids being funny.  A friend of mine gave me several copies of some old episodes he had, and I had to laugh as I watched them.  The truth is they are still as funny today as they were then.  No Bill Cosby doesn’t own the rights to The Little Rascals, that’s one of those foolish rumors. 


What it reminds me of though, was that it taught us as kids to play, to be creative, and entertain ourselves.  That kids had power, as a group.  They were allowed to dream.  It makes me a little sad that my own kids didn’t get to experience them as I did. 


My favorite characters where Froggy, Spanky, and Stymie. I couldn’t tell you what was my favorite episode because they were all great.  School wasn’t so uptight, and kid’s got to be kids, it wasn’t about money or fame but being a kid. They got in trouble when they messed up and sometimes when they didn’t. 


How many of Our Gang or The Little Rascals do you remember?  What was your favorite episode?  I hope you will comment and share who it was for you. Thanks



Friday, March 23, 2012

Discrimination


Discrimination still in America

In this age we live in of political correctness, of being afraid to hurt anyone’s feeling or upset the gender or racial apple cart we have turned ourselves into a bunch of politically correct NINNY’S … Watching a show doesn’t make you insensitive to others, acting in ignorance based on what we see or learn is when we cross the line. 
It amazes me that today after all, of the fighting that went on for Civil Rights by men of Honor like Martin Luther King there are still people who don’t get it.  I think he would probably be appalled to see what has become of his dream.  The equality he fought so hard for has been divided by overzealous extremists who want to keep that racial or religious separateness alive and well. 


When we stop making exclusive clubs, stop pointing fingers, stop talking about what is or isn’t fair, who is or isn’t being discriminated against, then and only then will  we live in a world that is based on equality.  Native Americans, Jewish Holocaust Survivors, African Americans, Muslims, Christians, Buddhist when we stop crying out over our differences or what we feel are the worlds shortcomings to us and our group only then will we have equality.  Only when people start to realize that first, we are all Americans, and this country was based on the concept of a Melting Pot, where cultures melded and traditions from all became mingled to make Americans.  


No one says give up your traditions, or give up your culture, but open up your mind.  What is most shocking to me is some of the major culprits of this kind of discrimination I am talking about are people in actual power.  Sad that educated Americans heard what they wanted to.  


America is based on a single history, some good some bad but it is all of ours.  In Egypt the Jews where slaves, in early America Africans where slaves, debtors of mixed decent where indentured,Native Americans were displaced, Women where Repressed, Armenians where almost whipped out by the Turks and during World War II Japanese Americans Where taken to camps.  


The truth is every culture has had some kind of persecution or repression. Oppression is only a part of our reality today if we don’t learn to move on and live our lives side by side as Americans.Then when will we?


 I'm an American, I'm of mixed descent, with many traditions, but frankly that doesn't make me who I am, its they people who raised me, the values I learned and the respect I was taught to have for others. That's what an American is to me. 

Finally Friday...Let the Games Begin

Everyone is busy today, we run to our jobs, getting our kids to and from school making dinner, doing the laundry and cleaning the house.  Friday’s mean we can let our hair down, Fraggle off a bit or just plain have some fun.

Something Small

On Friday’s I go to class, hit a few garage sales looking for items for my store.  There is always some treasure out there even if it’s unexpected and small.  Then its home again where I crank my iPod and listen to some music while I figure out what to        
write on my blog. 
Annabelle Baby Girl
                                                                                                                          
I know that most of my work for school is done or on track so I can relax and goof off just a bit. 
Gunny Girl
The Girls took a swim in their pool and played. Now they are snoring away on their bed at my feet. 

It is beautiful and warm out, a great spring day . 
Friday’s are stress free, there is nothing that is so important at this point of the week that it will not wait.  There is a big glass of iced tea sitting on my desk, which is just what will hit the spot.  Dinner isn’t even a rush tonight because no one has to be anywhere specific.
By Friday, my mind is numb from school kids and schoolwork, never mind the dogs and the mischief they get into. This week was mild in the mischief department, they only decided to attack their bed and pull all of the stuffing out of it so I could fix that.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Homelessness is it Really a Problem?


How can anyone say that homelessness is on a decline?  I did just a few searches, and finding statistics alone was like pulling my own teeth. The fact is it’s a hard number to come up with because these people have lost hope and learned to stick to themselves and probably don’t want to be counted as homeless.  In Ocean County we have several homeless cities or towns, in Lakewood there are at least two, Toms River, there is one that I know of. That’s not mentioning the ones that haven’t been found yet.
The sad truth is that many of these people had jobs and had lives, families and friends not unlike you or I.  Yes, there is a percentage that are mentally disabled, that have fallen through the cracks with the many cut back over the years.  But the truth is this is a growing population. 60 Minutes did a segment on homeless people who live in their car, motor home, or even a van.  These people are no less worthy of our time or attention than anyone else is. 



So when you’re out driving around or you go to throw out something that is perfectly fine, think about passing it on, donate to a food bank, shelter, church or organization that is trying to help. 
So many people don’t want these people in their communities, maybe because they are a reminder that life isn’t perfect or maybe because they feel the homeless should be hidden away.  We all fall down at some point, and there is usually someone there to help you get back up. If nothing more, think about doing something.  No matter how small it could make a world of difference.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7389736n  60 Minutes Story in Homelessness.



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Who's in Charge?




Who is in charge at your house?  At mine, it is a combination or joint effort.  Tom and I both share the responsibility of making things work.  We each play a part in a bigger picture.  We both cook, clean, fold laundry and do the yard work, although I tend to let him and the kids do it when it comes to raking leaves. That unique balance of give and take makes life work for us.


It isn’t perfect because we do disagree at times, but we stop and listen to each other and what the other person has to say. That is not always easy in the passions of the moment but not unlike thousands of other families that teamwork is the glue that holds us all together.  The dynamics of family today is an interesting phenomenon. Technology, outside influences and work have made is harder in many ways for the family unit to survive.


Laughter is one of the key ingredients that help to pull it together.  Yes, we get silly sometimes because everyone needs to laugh, at themselves.  


Everyone in my house brings something unique and significant to the table and that’s important.  Sometimes with kids, helping them to understand that isn’t always the easiest thing, but it is such a necessary part of the picture.


The family unit is one of the hardest things to maintain  it seems like there are more and more single families, broken families, and people who don’t make those human connections. They’re important!  Whether it’s a nerf war, talking, or just poking each other it’s a key ingredient.


A family pulls together when times are good or bad, they are there for each other, help each other. I’ve always felt that my strength comes from my family. There council and input make me stronger as a person because I know there is nothing we as a whole cannot accomplish and that no matter where we are we make it work together.




Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.
-- Anthony Brandt 




Tuesday, March 20, 2012

When is Enough Enough?


In our everyday lives, we try to be the best person and parent we can be. We go to work provide a safe home for our children and love them without conditions.  One of the biggest differences I have seen between kids today and when I was a kid is the feeling of Entitlement many of this generation feels. Now I will try not to get on my soap box here, but honestly think for a moment what it was like when you grew up?  For me, it was getting a part-time job when I was in high school and helping my parents by doing chores at home.  Playtime was after schoolwork and chores where done.  

There was no demanding to do what I wanted, definitely no back talk, because my mom would let me have it as would my dad, grandparents etc. if they heard it.  Yet, we respected our elders, and still managed to feel cool.  One of the advantages of going to school is I get to see and hear how other young people see the world.  For the most part, they are incredibly smart, intuitive, articulate, and a pleasure to meet and know as people.

When I look as a parent, whose had my own experience with rebellion, and I/ME-ness I can see that they aren’t that different.  Some feel entitled to what they have, what their parents do, and sacrifice for them.  I am not saying this is good or bad, you can decide for yourself.

The reality is if we give our kids everything they want, they lose any sense of real appreciation for what they can do for themselves.  We are not empowering them.  Our society shows them they should have whatever they want.  No expense is too high, to make your child happy.

Unfortunately, the message we are then giving them is to expect more.
Truthfully, we live in a world where in the average household both parents work for a living, or if it’s a single-family household one parent is working to take care of the children living with them.  It is a fact of where our economy and life have taken us all.  That at some point unless you are one of those rare households where a parent can stay at home, your child is going to be on their own for some portion of the day.

One thing that bothers me is the feeling that some of these young people have that they have raised themselves because they are (Latch-Key) kids.
My answer is this, your family raises you, they teach you values, they are there when you get in trouble, and they are there when you get hurt.  Watching TV and playing video games isn’t raising yourself. It doesn’t make you a parent.  Those boring long conversations your parents have with you, that make you roll your eyes.  It’s the gas, electric, food, and roof that your provided with.  It’s the groundings, and punishments you get mad about.  That is what raising a child is about, it’s being there even when you’re dog tired, or setting up a special time for a parent teacher conference.  All of those little pieces added together are what makes a parent/family today.

I will apologize now for getting on my soap box, but sometimes we need to state the obvious, if not for others then for ourselves. Every parent out there needs to pat himself or herself on the back for a minute and remind yourself that you are really doing a good job, if you’re doing the best you can.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bill's Bill's and More Bill's



                                                                                                Bills Bills and more Bill’s

Has anyone else noticed that it seems to be getting harder and harder to get ahead?  That lovelydream we all bought into, seems to be disappearing right in front of our eyes.  I was a single parent for over ten years, and I have to tell you that I am honestly appalled at how much food has gone up, utilities, gasoline, and everyday items.

Now I am not a whiner, or complainer, I’m a roll-up your sleeves and see what we can do kind of lady.  I had a paper route as a kid, a vegetable stand, I have worked hard my whole life. However, I am honestly having a hard time seeing the light in this one, not even so much for myself, as for others. 


I don’t consider myself old, but it is getting harder and harder and that is with two people now.  What I find ironic is that no matter whom I talk to of my friends and acquaintances everyone is feeling the same PINCH.  Now my question to you is this, if we are all feeling it, and can see the gas prices going up sometimes several times a week.  How can anyone claim that the economy is really recovering? Are we being feed a line, to avoid panic?

Two years ago, I could run into my local Shop Rite and buy $20 worth of groceries and make dinner and lunch for the next day for my family.  When I run in to the store now to pick up a few things, its $50 for the same items.  Now I’m not a gloom and doomer here but I find it very hard to buy into the argument that the economy is recovering. Especially with the debt ratio, this country is sitting on, not pretty.  

Even here in my own county, I still see a sea of for sale signs on house that are vacant, and we are not talking driving by the beach. If the average person can no longer afford to buy a home where does that leave us all, because that trickledown effect is real, as most people know.  Therefore, here is the question for the day, and I hope you will comment.


Do you think the economy is recovering?














 As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.
Benjamin Franklin



For Additional Reading:
http://www.thenation.com/article/164349/how-wall-street-occupied-america 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

RESPECT YOURSELF...OR NO ONE WILL



Today respect seems to be a hard commodity to come by. People are either one extreme, demanding respect they have not earned or not expecting it when they should.  One of the problems with being a nice person is people tend to think nice means doormat especially when they are close to you. 

Learning to not put everyone first was a hard lesson for me.  I consider myself well adjusted pretty even-tempered and easy to get along with. Yet people will push as far as they can.

People I have worked with consider me tough but fair.  Yet in my own personal life, I have let my loved ones expect and demand too much at times. This is funny because in my relationship with Tom, I do expect him to respect me and be fair. In truth he is my anchor and advocate for standing up for me.
Tom My Anchor and Friend


Yet in the rest of my personal life, I have set a bad pattern of giving in, rather than setting boundaries. Why is this important you may be asking yourself? Well because with going back to school full time, and living my own life, by pursuing my dreams I have upset some applecart’s so to speak. 

Going to school full time isn’t easy for anyone.  Finding that balance of being both a parent and friend is often hard in our busy day-to-day life; add that all together with school and you are going to upset someone.

This post is more about encouraging others, and letting you know that it’s ok to expect others to step up. You are responsible for the decisions you make just as I am.  I have hit a place and point in my life where respect is important.  This is one of those hard lessons we learn along the way.  When we give in to others all the time and then stop, it can get nasty and uncomfortable, but have faith.  Do not give in because what you do today will make a difference down the road. Hold your head up keep your eyes on the goal and keep going.

Hold other’s responsible for the decisions they make on how they are going to treat you. Above all do not let them blame you for their poor choices.   Have a great Sunday...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Rainy Days and Oatmeal Cookies..


Rainy Days and Oatmeal Cookies



There is something about dreary rainy days, which make me think about baking.  Not just baking but making cookies.  Homemade cookies are the best comfort food, if you have a plate of cookies on the table people cannot help but help themselves to one or two or three.

So today since its Friday, I am going to share my mom’s recipe for Oatmeal Cookies.  They are very easy to make and yummy to eat.  Now anyone who bakes, knows those Cinnamon chips that were available at Christmas time?  Well, I found they make a great addition to these cookies.  Therefore, you can make them with or without.  Chips or no chips that is the question….

I learned how to make these cookies as a little kid, I can remember standing on a chair watching my mom make them, and helping her roll them and put them on the tray.  Now my son Jesse helps me in the same way.

OATMEAL CRUNCHIE'S
              
               ½ C.BUTTER
               ½ C. BROWN SUGAR
               ½ C.SUGAR
               Blend these three until smooth.


               1 EGG
               ½ TSP. BAKING POWDER
               ½ TSP. BAKING SODA
               ¼ TSP. SALT
               ¼ TSP. VANILLA
               Blend these in before adding your flour
               1 C. FLOUR
               Mix until flour is blended in scrapping any flour down from sides.
               ¾ C. OATMEAL
               Blend oatmeal in as well.

Add 1 Cup of Hershey’s CinnamonChips and mix through.(You can omit the chips if you don’t have them) Roll dough into balls, and then roll in cinnamon sugar, (1/2c sugar and 1 Tbs. Cinnamon). Cook at 325* for 10-15 mins. When they start to get golden you know there done. I like mine soft so I cook them for about ten minutes, depending on how hot your oven is. If you prefer them crispy, cook them a little longer. 

 I know I'm going to go have a nice hot cup of coffee and a couple of cookies with my honey. Enjoy!

Its More then Just a Dream

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As a recently married 46 year old I am in the process of finishing my degree. Working to take care of my family and live my life.Blogging, working, writing, and chugging along like most of us.  Who am I ? I am you, I am me, I am your mother, friend, the best and worst that we each have inside of us. I am a different perspective and find myself fascinated by the interesting moments in life.

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