Monday, April 30, 2012

Unemployment, Where We Are Headed

8.2% or 12.7 million
people out of work

Every day the ongoing theme I keep hearing  about are people who are out of work. When turning on the radio it is hard to miss the people who regularly, say they are out of work and trying to find a job.  The truth is the job market is still tough, even though there are jobs out there there are even more thirty to forty something people who are out of work.  All too often older workers are passed up for someone much younger, who employers can pay less because they do not have the job experience you may have.
 If you are one of the fortunate collecting unemployment it can be hard for many to give up the steady check for one that pay’s a lot less.  Do not take this as permission to complain about how unfair the system is or to needlessly collect when you could be working.  At times, it may seem unfair or blind to the fact that people have families to take care of.  It is a reality, which to many are dealing with.  Although your personal situation may be bad, there really is someone who is worse off. 
The White House seems to be in denial about the true numbers of people out of work whose unemployment has run out and are still looking for work.  
Many have been forced to become creative to bring income to the households while they look, by scrapping for metal, selling on EBay, or even selling items at flea markets. I know because I do see them, first hand. The current statistics put it at 8.2% that is over 12 million people, folks.  There is an even greater number, who are uncounted because of homelessness or who are beyond the point of collecting.
To sit back and claim that the economy is getting better is being irresponsible as a society.  There are just too many people floating around who are out of work and struggling.  The food banks are all too often taking care of more and more families, so if you have some items in your closet that you bought because it was on sale and aren’t going t use please donate them. 
The unemployment rate is real, so maybe it’s time to look at other options. Potential employers need to worry less about credit scores (this always amazes me because if you don’t have money the last thing a person worries about is there credit) and more about filling jobs with people who are qualified.
If your one of the many unemployed, keep your chin up and keep looking. It may be discouraging at times but it is only when you keep at it that things can fall into place. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Leave Your Drama At The Door..

We all have people who tie us in knots, those individuals who make us itch because we know the moment they come for a visit all their drama will come along with them. Those people who drain you whenever you come in contact, who by the end of the visit  make you feel exhausted like you just ran a marathon.  A very wise man advised me a while ago that I needed to start telling people to leave there drama at the door.  They were welcome to visit and be a part of my life but their antics were not.
What do I mean by drama well; it is anyone who feels like it is ok to blame you for their problems instead of dealing with them like the rest of us do.  They are people who can be called toxic, co-dependent, or even chronic crybabies.
We all know who they are, yet so many of us fall into the pattern of letting them get away with it.  When we see someone else, dealing with a person like that our first instinct is to ask them why they would put up with that.  All too often looking at them as if they are the weak ninny when all too often that ninny we are calling them, for putting up with it, we should be calling ourselves. 
Why do they do that, is it laziness, or just being ornery?  Perhaps it could just be their nature yet usually there are people they do not pull that with.  It doesn’t matter why.  What really matters is why we allow it.  Each of us has the right to be treated with dignity and respect, to not feel like someone else’s dumping grounds and to be able to hold our head up and know that not being someone’s verbal punching bag doesn’t make us a bad person. It will not make you mean, and people will not look at you like you’ve suddenly turned into Satan.  If you hold your ground you will respect yourself but others will as well, and your friends or family who do this will get the message loud and clear.
That is my rule, and I have learned to have no problem saying it loud and proud.  “Sure come visit, but leave your drama at home.”  

In addition, if you cross that line I will not take it meekly and be your doormat, you are going to feel my bite as I put you in your place.  

Beautiful Ugly Babies

 My Bulldogs are my babies, I spoil them, cater to them and love them like nothing else. Annabelle is getting bigger now and almost the same size as Gunny. What is interesting about having two is they don’t play like most dogs, and I say this from having grown up with labs mutts and other breeds my whole life.  They will sneak attack each other, body check, steal socks and each others blankets and push each other out of the way like two little children.  There is no subtlety with either of them.  There is something so special about this bread for me I don’t know how I ever did without their beautiful ugly faces. Tom calls them his, "ugly babies" with affection, and there little nubs start wagging. 
Gunny was our first bulldog and she is my baby, she looks out the window when I go out, and will lie down and wait watching the door until I return.  That is of course unless she decides its naptime, then it is a long sprawl across the couch by both until mommy gets home. 
Max and Gunny
 Annabelle is more mischievous and it shows all the time, last week she tried to eat Toms new sneakers which didn’t go over well with him especially since she managed to chew off the whole toe of one shoe before we caught her. She jumps up on you when she wants your attention, and farts like a man whose had beer and hard-boiled eggs.  PEW!!  Trust me do not get down-wind. 

They are extremely loving and affectionate, and will sit by you for hours if you let them.  We took a nap the other day, just the two girls and me for about an hour and the where so happy you would think I made there day. Gunny snuggles right up close trying to steal my pillow, and Annabelle will sprawl across my legs.
At night they do not have a regular doggie bed, “Oh no, that wouldn’t do.”  They tore up every doggie bed we bought.  But I finally came up with the idea to give them a couch seat cushion and we now have no more bed chewing.  No more surprises, torn up all over my floor, just sleepy puppies snoring away. 
They love anyone and everyone, although they are still big chickens when they meet new people. They keep us all busy, and love all attention especially if its belly scratching time.  These charming ladies can always make me laugh, and smile, whether they are trying to push Max, off the steps outside, or tearing around my kitchen playing over  who has the bone. 
When she makes her noises she sound like the creature from predator, and I think looks a little like him too. 
Gunny on a Bad Hair Day

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It is National Take Your Child to Work Day, Do You Know Where Your Child is?

National “Take Your Child to Work Day” seems to have lost some steam over the years.  Every fourth Thursday in April since its inception in 1993 has been the day. Originally a day to bring your daughter to work it has evolved to include sons. What is surprising is that many school districts and companies don’t want parents taking their kids to work, and they will list a laundry list of reasons why not to.  From standardized testing to claims that it will adversely affect their learning capabilities.  
That seems kind of sad, since showing our kids what we do, that we have real jobs, and responsibilities is a good tool to set a good example and goals for them. Fortunately, there are still companies that will allow and participate in helping to educate children about what working is.  
I worked for a big box retailer several years ago and at the time doing a desk job,and I thought it would not be a problem.  It was a problem, and I was advised that company policy was no “because it was a dangerous environment for children,” which is somewhat silly since not only did kids come into the store but had activities there once a month just for them.  It is not only giving back, but is also good public relations to participate, one would think this mega-company would get that.
My kids were disappointed and came to eventually resent where I worked, as a not kid friendly place. People seem to forget that these little people will be potential employees down the road, and they just may turn their back on a company for being “not family friendly.” 
Children need to understand where we go when we leave for work.  That work isn’t a bad thing, but a necessary part of life. We are their examples of what grownups should be.  This event can have long lasting effects on kids, and inspire them to follow in parents footsteps, or to improve on something they saw, later on as adults. 
So for the companies out there that don’t participate, shame on you. Your too big for your britches and must have forgotten that you have people with lives working for you. For the companies that do, GOOD JOB, by sharing you’re putting a light into a child’s eyes and letting them learn a valuable lesson, that they may take with them for life.  If you are a mother or father, sharing a part of who you are with them is important, kids will appreciate and remember it for years to come. 

Our job as parents is to inspire, and teach our kids, we want them to grow up and be, productive human beings.  “Take Your Child to Work Day” is about connecting with your child in a different way and putting that fire in their eyes to reach for the stars.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dreams, Why Having Them is Important

 Maybe I’m a sap, but I still cry at sad movies, romances like Sleepless in Seattle, Terms of Endearment, or Steal Magnolia’s. Those moments in our lives that are so precious and singular. Like when our kids graduate, perform in their first ballet recital, get that goal or walk down the aisle at graduation or get married.  

When I think about the things that really matter, my eyes tear up and I’m a goner.  My kids laugh and Tom will tease me, but I really don’t mind.  I never used to get like that or perhaps I was better at hiding it then.  It could even be the beginning of the big M.
I have learned to accept that as a part of who I am.  If it is beautiful, touching moment that moves me I am going to cry, and laugh just a little at how silly I am being.  Those moments are what is important, they are what get us through those hard times in life and humanize us on such an elemental level. I call it letting life flow into your heart, it may be scary, but boy is it worth it.

I was driving home last week with my daughter, and we were talking about school.  Out of nowhere, it hit me.  It matters to me that I finish school; I started tearing up while we were talking about next semester, my chest got tight, and I could feel the burning need way deep down inside. 
 Going back to work full time or even part time, is one of the things I am looking at right now, not unlike many families. It doesn’t bother me to work, in fact I rather enjoy it having done so for over 25 years.
 I can only say I realized that I want to walk up and get that diploma; I want to know I did it.  That I did not let myself or my family down, that I did not give up.  My fear is that life will get in the way of completing this part of my dreams, I never realized that it meant so much to me. 
As parents, we give and that is important.  Taking care of those in our lives, providing for them and keeping them safe from harm is something worth cherishing.  For me that part is a big part of who I am.

Finding out that I want for me, is what I am coming to terms with right now.Truthfully most of my life has been about taking care of the kids, my family.  I am not used to wanting something so completely for myself, and it is a little scary.  I have always lived by the philosophy of give unto others. 

So here is my message for the day, if you are young and in college, don’t put your dreams on hold.  There are ways to work around life but most of us are just too lazy or busy.  If you are older, and you have found that “WANT” in your life do not, I repeat do not, let it go.  If your dream is to paint, take photographs, or write go for it.  Do not look back on a life only half lived when you can have one that is full.  

What Happened to Our Rights As Americans

Very rarely will I recommend someone read anything, but Roger Pilon’s paper on “The Purpose and Limits of Government” truly does explain why we are in the boat we are in today.  When our forefathers sat down and began writing the Constitution, and later the Bill of Rights they were trying to avoid a government that was limiting and ignored the rights of its citizens. 
To quote the constitution, “That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.”What does that mean?People were supposed to be allowed to live freely, as they chose so long as it respected the rights of others.  In other words your moral, or life choices are yours to make and mine are mine. Yet sadly, today our country has run amok with laws that take away those rights.  It could even be said, (the right to be stupid in what we choose to do) no longer applies. 

 Your supposed to have a right to disagree but you shouldn't have the right to chose for me or make it a law just as I shouldn't have the right to do the same to you. That’s what my forefathers fought for, the right to get away from a big government, (England) and live freely not jump in the same boat.
Government was set up with checks and balances to safeguard against abuse of power.  Our government was not supposed to have the amount of power it does today. 

In fact most of that power they gained in 1936, when the courts basically changed the rules on the General Welfare Clause, which was set up to limit Congresses spending on local or general welfare issues.(Pilon)  In 1937, the courts gave them the power to spend as they saw fit and allowed them to police themselves.  We know how that has worked out; our government spends money worse than a shopping addict does.
The next big move that happened was regarding the Commerce Clause, again in 1937 congress gained the power to regulate anything that “affects” interstate commerce-(Pilon) in short it gave them the power to regulate pretty much everything. So when you see something that is Federally Regulated you know why. 
Our constitution was set up as an ideal, it was never meant to become the mega-monster it is today. We as American’s are the only ones who can fix it.  The freedoms we started out with we have sat by and waved as they have gone away one after another.  Anyone who is foolish enough to think it can’t get worse is kidding themselves. 
My question is when do we wake up?  When do we hit that point where we say enough is enough?  We each sit here paying our taxes while oil companies pay no taxes in this country, corporations are given million dollar tax breaks, and our own politicians get caught with their hands in the cookie jar more frequently than not.  

Do we really want  government to control everything from what foods, medicines, and what choices we aren’t allowed to make for ourselves?

Attributed quotes to: (CI & Roger Pilon)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Letting Go Of Our Kids What It Means As A Parent

Letting Go

It’s not always easy watching our kids grow up.  We cherish them and nurture them when they are small.  Fixing their booboo’s and chasing the monsters out of the closet.  From soccer games, to ballet, and track you know you were there, always cheering them on from the side.  As they slowly become young men and women.There is a part of us, each that wants to hold on to the child that our children were. 
Chicken Pox times 2
I think as a parent, it is one of the hardest lessons to learn.  When is the right time, how old should they be?  They do not give you a manual when you have a baby on how to raise them. 
 The truth is most of us unless we have a degree in early childhood development or  psychology  are learning on the go. It is a big dash of common sense, and listening to your parents because by now you know they did get it right. 

Those perfect moments.
My youngest is now 18; soon to be 19 and I find myself far sadder about her growing up then my others.  It isn’t because I love her more, I love them all the same, it’s because I know a chapter of my life is coming to a close. 

Soon she will be going out on her own to follow her dreams and I am happy for her. I know that as parent I have done my job, and shown her how to be a good person, how to stand up for herself, and respect herself.  It isn’t rocket science and we all make mistakes, sometimes it even means letting them fall. 
So whether your just starting out intending to prove to the world that you’re a better parent then your parents were or if you’re on the verge of letting go.  It is a gift, that goes by so fast, cherish it!
5 generations
Cherish it for all your worth, and never take them for granted. No matter how mad they may make you as they learn to stretch their wings, they are your legacy to the world, your gift.  
Let them fly and let them go, they will come back and remember little by little the many little things you taught them if they don’t already know. You've already done the hard part now it’s time to sit back and live your own life and let them live theirs. 
Its all in a moment.

Thank You ....Finding My Way

 Finding My Way
Every day I find something good to focus on, it is not hard when you love life the way that I do.  Or when your blessed with the people I have supporting me in mine.  For today life was busy, I spent most of my day on the computer working on papers for school.  What I am thankful for it Tom and the kids who stepped in cleaned up and cooked lunch and dinner, so I could work on my papers. 
Juggling isn’t always easy, and at 45 I do get tired sometimes of being everyone’s go to person.  What is nice though is I do not have to ask, it is not a fight or a struggle, it is just a matter of doing. So today’s blog is for my family, Tom, Chrissy, Jesse and even my mom and dad who stopped in for dessert and brought homemade brownies tonight.  Thank you all for being the special wonderful people you are. 

If I could share anything, it would be the importance of saying thank you and not taking the people in your life for granted.  I know it’s easy to forget with how busy life can be at times, but if you have someone in your life who does for you, and takes care of you, take a moment and let them have some time while you take care of them. 
 I can tell you it is the most precious gift anyone has ever given me. Because it lets me know just how much they care.  That my family respect my needs as a person and me as well.

  There is no witty quote or smart words today, just a simple thank you.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Is It Monday Yet????

Have you ever been so tired you felt like you could sleep on your feet?  That’s me now.  The garage sale is finally over, (thank God no rain until tonight) and my lovely teething grandson is now home in his own bed.
 Was it successful yes, mission accomplished. I managed to unload some things I had picked up and had been holding onto for some reason.  Why do we do that, pick up things we know we do not have time to refinish or really use? 

For me at least I think it’s part of the love of antiques. I love to find a bargain, or something old. It seems there are more and more of us doing that also, maybe that is just part of surviving in this economy. Either way I would rather be doing things I love with my life then miserable doing something I hate. 

Don’t you hate when you go into a restaurant, or convenience store to get something and the person at the counter just oozes their unhappiness in their job. I’ve always felt that when you hit that point it was time to move on and find something new. It didn’t matter how much I was making at it, if I was unhappy, it wasn’t worth it. Here is why, when you are not happy you spread that to others.  You get testy, impatient, and sometime even rude. So please if your reading this and you hate what you’re doing, start looking for another job, I really don’t want to have my day ruined because your pissed at the world. 

Sometimes we have to take what we can get, but that doesn’t mean settle in there and just be unhappy.  It’s a stepping stone, a brief stop on your way to something better that will make you happy.  Only you can get you there.

I love what I’m doing now, am I exhausted yes, sometimes especially tonight.  Happy, most definitely always without a doubt or question. I am ready for Monday when the kids go back to school and I can have some peace and quiet, not that I don’t love them all, but I seem to work harder on weekends then I do all week. 

There’s no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love.  There is only a scarcity of resolve to make it happen

Friday, April 20, 2012

Growing Up In The 80's Why it Was So Great

Why Growing Up in The 80’s Was Great
      Growing up in the late 70’s and early 80’s was great.  We got to go roller skating on weekends and no one was worried about being sued.  We had some of the best music to listen to, from Led Zeppelin, Cheap Trick, Squeeze, Eric Clapton,Van Halen, 38 Special, Billy Joel, Bob Segar, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and a whole bunch more. 

     It was rock, not rap, and guys didn’t have their pants hanging past their underwear. (What’s with that?  I really do not want to see someone’s butt in his underwear.)  Guys either were preppy or wore flannel shirts tee shirts, jeans, and work boots. 
So not attractive
Oh the good old days, girls weren't hoe’s, and guys weren't gangsta’s. We also knew how to respect our parents, and teachers or get our mouths washed out with soap or a butt whooping.  If you lived in New Jersey, many of the girls had big hair, and tight jeans depending on where you lived.  Many of us in Midland Park did skip the big hair, although looking back it wasn’t flat either.  Softball, baseball, and football at least for our town seemed to be the sports of the day. 

By High School, we all seemed to go into separate groups, some changing course completely, while others took the slow and steady path.  Yes, there were bullies. Often an older sibling, principal, or at times even our fellow classmates dealt with, them. It was not like today, where a parent or student felt like it was ok to stalk and harass someone because they did not like them. 

For being only about 20 minutes from New York City, we were in many ways still small town.  Most of the cops new your mom and dad, and would stop at the house if you were getting into trouble. The truant officers (we had two), new you by name and you walked to school unless you lived the next town over. 
Everyone came out for the Thanksgiving football games between Waldwick and Midland Park, and dressing up for the first day of school didn’t mean wearing a dress that made you look like a centerfold from playboy and I don’t remember anyone’s parents buying them a BMW or Mercedes for a first car. 
I look at my kids and fell blessed that I grew up when I did.  I do not envy them their time, it’s hard and people are crueler than ever before, as you can see any time you turn on the TV.  The world is not the same as it was then, and we were all very lucky, to have many of the freedoms we did get to enjoy. 
Like riding down Vreeland Ave on a bike and being able, to feel the wind in your hair, on a hot summer day, or walking to Friendly’s for lunch with friends. 
Our music was music, and  we got to be kids. If I could change anything it would be to let my kids have that, that small window of small town crazy, normalcy that was our lives. 

Some Days Are Just Work......

Today was a busy day so my blog is late. Right now we are gearing up for the end of the semester, so its writing, writing, and more writing.  I will do my best to keep on top of things and keep it interesting.
  On top of that, it is my season to buy for my EBay selling, and we are having a garage sale this weekend, so busy isn’t the half of it.  It is now 12:42 a.m. and I am still going.  Checklist:  American Lit is done, Women in Lit is done, and Media Writing is good to go, at least for today. 

I do not mind being busy but by Sunday I will be shot, and not in a mood to entertain anyone.  In addition, Austin is coming which always brightens my day.  I love my children, all seven of them now, very much but there is something so uniquely special about grandchildren. My eldest granddaughter lives in Washington so getting to see her is rare.  However, I still consider myself blessed in that I have two grandchildren who live close enough that we get to have them over-night sometimes and we love it. 
He is at that fun stage where he is ready to walk, so he tears around the house in his walker chasing my dogs. They love him and he loves them.  Truthfully, the nicest part is that you really do get to be the good guy, you get to spoil them just a bit and send them home after. 

When life is busy, active and hectic it means there is so much going on that I don’t have time to worry about the little things because they will wait.  Sometimes Tom will grumble but overall he will pitch in and try to help as much as he can. That’s what it really is all about, I couldn’t do everything I want to do, if I wasn’t were I am now in my life. 
I remember what it was like working 40 hours and then going to work for another 32 hours just to make the ends meet. Falling into bed, and sleeping hard missing the life that was going on around me. 
 For almost ten years, I kept that pace and still would if I had not taken a chance on a big man, holding the hand of a small boy.  

That was my first image of Tom, (and no I usually didn’t date tall men as they made me nervous) this big intimidating retired marine holding Jesse’s hand, had me  hooked by the end of the G rated movie we saw.  As I watched how gentle and loving he was, how careful he was with us both I knew I had found what I was looking for. This is my life and good or bad, I will keep it and thank god every day for bringing them into my world. 

Its More then Just a Dream

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