Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Jersey A History Worth Being Proud of



One of the things I find myself enjoying the most this semester is the real discussion that is going on in my classes. I am shocked by how much I have learned so far in two of my classes in particular, A History of New Jersey and Intercultural Communication. With writing about this experience and things that go on here in New Jersey, I felt it was relevant to learn more about the state I live in and call home.
The shear grit and determination of our early New Jerseyans shows the real character that we have inherited from our past.  As a legacy, it should make us all proud to come from such a pivotal place in the history of this country.  We have fought many battles, rousted Hessian soldiers set on looting, thumbed our noses at Mother England and her soldiers, and fought back against an unfair system since our states inception. To be frank our ancestors didn’t like answering to anyone else and wanted to do their own thing when it came to how they lived. Long before the Revolution for Independence, we were pushing back harder than most.
We dont back down.
I have come to believe that that spirit is still alive and well in many of our residents. The masses may be desensitized by the media, but when it comes to the issues going on we aren’t asleep on the job. Our governor is as bold and brash as our first governor . Who incidentally made some pretty heavy, contributions to our country and government as a whole.  
When we signed on as Americans, we already were the only state that had two colleges, Rutgers and Princeton.  Both schools are still standing and still as strong as ever. We had the forthought to fight for what we wanted, riot when we felt mistreated, and keep our enemies away.
So coming from that we each have a right to hold our heads up with pride, after all we are New Jerseyans and proud of that fact.  We are capable of thinking for ourselves and getting tough when we need to. Together we are unstoppable and will be the biggest pain in the behind to those who try to fool us or cross us.

The more I learn the more I come to appreciate what it was that makes us great. Our innovative spirit and desire to succeed in a competitive world, anchors us in reality.  We sit sandwiched between New York and Philadelphia yet we are not a forgotten or overshadowed state. We will not be overlooked by those around us! We are known for always being in a hurry, and for doing ten things at once.  Why because we can, we have that special grit that creates great people who accomplish things and do not sit on the sidelines. We are not quitters, so ok the world we are living in today may be a little rocky, but in the end, we are all tough enough to get through it and become better.
Our farms
Our Food

Our Inventors

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

We The People.................. We Deserve More Then What We Are Being Fed

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America


Many people today take these opening words from our Constitution for granted. We assume that the laws that have protected us before will remain tomorrow. This isn’t a gloom and doom article, but hopefully one that will make you think, about what our forefathers had in mind when they wrote the constitution. I often wonder what would George Washington think if he saw our country today, or Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin or even Abraham Lincoln. Would they be as sickened by what we are becoming as many people are.

Do we really need to go in a direction of a socialized government, which is the direction Obama is taking us. Is it our wish to wind up like England, Japan or even China where the governments decide for the people what they can and cannot do? Even going so far as to determine how many children they can have. Look at your kids, can you honestly say you would be OK if one or two of them never happened because you weren’t allowed to have them. As we passively go along, with the status quo and don't actually listen to what is and is not being said we are surrendering more and more of our freedoms. 

Now I'm not a fan of soda
but even I think this is wrong. 

Truthfully did anyone ever believe they would see a day when a mayor was able to make it illegal for you to super size your slurpee or soda? Countries like China and Japan already dictate what people can and can't do. Do we as Americans want to go in that direction. Are we so very eager to give up our rights, and our common sense. Yes there are people that overeat, there are people out of work, there are people that seem to have no god given common sense at all.

While listening to the radio the other day on 101.5 I heard a caller call in and make the argument that as taxpayers she pays into the system and why should she pay for someone who is overweight? Heres a clue, “Most of those overweight people work 40 hours a week, they aren’t sitting at home eating bon bons while you're working and they have and are paying into that same system. “ That kind of ignorance pisses me off, because that is all it is Ignorance. What will be next? Rape victims? Victims of domestic abuse? or how about the cancer patients because you shouldn’t have to pay for them right??? Because in your delusional mind you seem to think that, that person could never be you. 



Do you really think it should be a
felony if you don't have a seat-belt
or crate your dog in the car?

We need to wake up, and see what is going on in front of us. Today it may be little things, that we feel are unimportant but tomorrow you can believe those little things will be twisted and perverted into much bigger controls that our government takes because we are too foolish to actually say no way. We don’t seem to have the moxy to stand up to a government that is supposed to serve WE the people. Not we the corporations, not we the socially elite. We the people who need to get off our backsides and open our mouths if we want change to happen.

This past week our white house was caught in a blatant lie to the American public about what is really going on in the Middle East. To put it bluntly we were lied to, frankly that isn’t the sort of man I want to follow or the kind of government I want to pass on to my children and neither should you.


If you want a celebrity turn on your TV there called actors for a reason that isn’t and shouldn’t be what being the President is about. We deserve more than that, and our children and grandchildren do as well.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Freedom Should Not Be Disposable


Should Politicians Decide How We Live Our Lives 

Every time you turn around today, it seems like whoops  there goes another right. We put politicians into office but aren’t  they supposed to be working for us? Not sitting around reinventing the wheel. Ok so maybe all of the really great law’s have already been taken. Why is it necessary  to make up laws that treat us like we are getting dumber as a society. Think about it.

1.It is a law that you must wear your seatbelt.
 2.you must wear a helmet when riding a bike
 3.It is illegal to wear a bullet-proof vest while committing a murder.
 4.You cannot pump your own gas. All gas stations are full service and full service only      except for Diesel fuel that you can pump. 
5.It is against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.
6.It is against the law to "frown" at a police officer.
7.Car dealerships are forbidden from opening on Sunday.
8.You may not slurp your soup.
9.Automobiles are not to pass horse drawn carriages on the street.
10.It is illegal to delay or detain a homing pigeon.

All of these laws and more are on the books in New Jersey. That doesn’t include the obscure laws that are still there but haven’t been enforced for years now.Frankly I would have no problem if our politicians decided to deal with the real issues in the state, like focusing on unemployment. Or bringing business back to New Jersey.

Go to any town council meeting and sit and listen to the foolishness that often goes on. Political office does not mean you have your own personal agenda machine. It doesn’t give any of our representatives  the right to decide or take our choices away. That however is exactly what happens all the time.
Why you may ask? Mainly because we don’t speak up. We don’t put our foot down when they  roll out new taxes. We don’t bother to get involved when laws are changed on the sly. As citizens of the state of New Jersey we do have a responsibility to hold ALL of our Politicians accountable. Whether it is on the school board or in the State House, that is our job. To speak up and be heard. The people of this State have a voice, we have opinions, and things we feel strongly about but we refuse to act because we have allowed the decision making to be done by others.
It makes me sick when public officials blow off hearings about how they are doing there job. You take a job in the public eye you should be accountable. Not refusing to answer. You chose to put yourself under scrutiny by the public when you accept the job. I don't know about anyone else but I am a little sick of hearing about politicians getting caught with there hand in the cookie jar over and over. Our system needs an overhaul because what we are doing is not working.
How do we change things, for starters how about demanding that any major changes have to be put on the ballot for all to vote on. Not just our representatives. If the entire state voted for gay marriage, stem cell research,medical marijuana, or voted for tax increases it would then be our voice deciding our future. I would rather read through a brief summation of what a politician wants to push through and decide for myself then let someone else decide for me. Is it boring absolutely. Would that take a little more time sure it would but at the end of the day you would know that the rules we lived by were the rules we all chose and not someone else's that felt their wants should come first when deciding our future for us.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Finding The Rhythm With School


School not unlike many other things in life is about finding the rhythm or flow of it. Every semester it is the same thing, rushing around getting books, making sure paperwork is in order just to begin again. Ocean County College offers so much to its students, it really would be hard  to not succeed . There is tutoring available, online classes and so much more. So going back to school and beginning my second year of college is getting into a normal groove.

That isn’t to say that it is not still crazy busy with everything we all have on our plates. My house may always be a work in progress, and my kids may drive me nuts. Between work, school and family I don’t think going to bed early or having a lot of down time is in my near future. I can deal with it. The dogs are sprawled out on the floor of my office snoring away right now.

Of course here is where I sit, homework finally complete for today and sauce on the stove cooking still. For anyone thinking about going back to school I can say it is most definitely worth it. There is something about learning that really does open your mind. It pushes you to question and explore ideas and things you may have never considered. If we don’t push ourselves at times we don't reach for our goals and then they become empty dreams and regrets that sit on a shelf gathering dust.

What is funny is I may never actually get to use my degree but, but if I had never taken that first step I would not have met the many interesting people I have met. I would still be sitting in the Orange box unhappy with where I was headed, and too afraid to take a chance on myself. Which is silly if you think about it.

Each of us has the power to change our lives. One decision changes the path of your life forever, and that can mean profound differences or miniscule. The answer to that is really  up to each of us. I would rather be known as an optimist then a down in the dirt pessimist life is far too short.

So the question is have I found the rhythm yet? From my perspective the answer is yes, I am slowly getting into the flow of this semester. That helps and makes life just a little bit easier, for tomorrow its work, reading for class, dinner with my family, and then canning some sauce while I do more homework. Am I tired? Um yeah who wouldn’t be but it is a good kind of tired.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Turmoil in The Middle East

It would be hard to miss what has been happening in the Middle East this past week, protests, murders and a complete lack of respect for our president.I personally have not watched the youtube video that has created this mass outcry from abroad from the Muslim community. Several things about all of this I found very interesting and perhaps you will also.

The first thing that becomes extremely apparent is that these protests and attacks  seem to be co-ordinated with the anniversary of 9/11 they are not spontaneous they are organized. It is understandable that the muslim community as a whole would be upset and offended by the movie slandering their prophet. Yet I find it very hard to dismiss the timing of these events.

As Americans we have watched shows like  South Park or Monty Python both of which have in the past,regularly slandered the Catholic Church, Christianity, the Jewish Faith, Protestants, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and even the Atheists.  Yes, if you had never seen it “The Life of Brian” was a blatant mockery of the life Jesus the Christian prophet. If anything, instead of being deeply offended maybe exercising their right to not view this clip over 3 million times would be a better way to protest and respect the Muslim faith. I have always held a persons right to practice their faith very highly, but that means to follow your faiths teachings, not twisting or perverting them, the Koran does not promote murder or violence. It does not teach hate.

The second point of interest is that for the first time our government has not taken any serious action against these countries. There is no swift justice here, and if you watch the News you can't miss that even the governments of the Middle East no longer have any respect for us as a country. Is that a good thing, this softer approach? I strongly disagree here.

There are times to turn the other cheek but  this isn’t one of them, its called sanctions against these countries that are not abiding by international law. It is their responsibility to protect the foreign diplomats in these countries and they have dropped the ball. They have no problem liking America when we give them billions of dollars, or military training and weapons, or allow there people to come to our country to attend school. Right now we look like a bunch of schmucks with our pants down. Instead of reacting in a fair and responsible manner we have laid down. Why you may ask ,well because the right to free speech that we all enjoy as a part of our society they really don't have or understand. They too have judged many by the actions of a few.

Maybe our president agrees with their action on a  personal level. Or he could be  allowing his personal beliefs to cloud his judgement in his job. One thing we all seem to forget is that the president does work for us. It is a JOB, if you don’t do your job you usually get fired, written up, or disciplined in some manner. His personal views have no place in the office of the President.

I am not unsympathetic to the Muslim people who truly are offended by this. Personally even though I disagree with this films content and message, I still believe in the right to free speech on your own time. The internet has made our actions global.  Your laws are not our laws and as hard as that may be to understand, it is reality. Frankly I really wouldn't want to be the dumb-ass who released this movie, its kind of like putting a big bulls-eye on your back, don't you think? One that wont wash off. 


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Exhausted But Not Down



It’s now 11:37 pm and as usual there is still so much I need to take care of. Juggling school, work and family isn’t always easy. Right now bed looks good which is where I will be in about 20 minutes. So far so good school is going well, there is far more reading this semester  than in the past. That has more to do with the classes I am taking then anything else .

It is often hard to step back when I am in the thick of things and focused on what I need to accomplish. As I tend to focus exclusively on whatever I am working on. Whether its  a job I am working on, at work or an assignment I need to get done by a certain time. Admittedly that is one of my strengths as well as one of my faults.

the biggest drawback so far is I feel like there isn’t enough of me to go around, Tom and the kids are used to me being there listening whenever and wherever they need me to.  Today I wasn’t a good listener, I am tired and my patience just isn’t there. Some times its trying to live up to the expectations others have of us that can be the hardest to deal with. As a parent, and fiance I know thats on me and make no excuse for my slacking.

So I will continue to work on it, without losing sight of my dreams in the process. School is now so much a part of where I am, and where I want to go.  It fills a need I have ignored for the past 25 years as I  focused on raising my kids, working to provide for my family.I can now better empathize with men and women who do the same thing every day as they to strive for their dreams. There is a whole community of people going back to school either to retrain or to follow a new dream. So I know I am not alone in this journey and that I can accomplish this.

There are days like today when the demands of family can be overwhelming and yes even a little disheartening.It is what it is, as they say. If I could make it through 10 years of raising 2 kids on my own working my butt off to keep them safe and happy I can do this.

An acquaintance of mine used to say, “Tomorrow is another day and it will still be there when you come back tomorrow.” That is true but isn’t that what we all do? Get up take care of our responsibilities and go about our lives doing the best we can. So for now good night, I will be back at it tomorrow as I am sure many of you will be as well, hopefully a little more rested and ready to face the world head on.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ups and Downs With Gunny


Ups and Downs

We all have up and down moments in our lives. Who hasn’t had the roller coaster feeling when things happen that we don't always understand. My circle is close, tight and to some extent limited by choice. So when things go wrong the one’s I turn to are a select few.

This past week we had a scare with our bulldog Gunny. She is a gentle girl who has the personality of a playful kid. Back in July she had what they call cluster seizures and she has been on phenobarbital ever since. Doing very well with it, until Friday when she had another bout of cluster seizures and we had to rush her to the vet.

I am thankful that we are fortunate enough to have Berkeley Veterinary Center close by and Dr. Linda Dziedzic as her vet. Her quick thinking and gentle approach with Gunny has given her our business when it comes to caring for our pets. Gunny is doing fine right now snoring away on the floor next to me as I write. But for several hours on Friday as I painfully went through my day at work waiting to hear if she would be ok, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.

For people who don’t have pets the only way to describe it is as if one of your kids is ill. From the first moment I held her little reddish brown body in my arms, it was love at first sight. As each mile passed as we drove home from North Carolina with her, Tom and I both fell a little bit more in love with her. She is one of my kids, in many ways. She gets in trouble and at times can annoy me when she wants attention when I am busy. She stubbornly will follow me from the moment I get home and will mope when I go to work.

 I could have left work and worried myself sick while we waited to see if she had any further seizures. That wouldn’t have made the time go any quicker, or kept me occupied during the long wait. So amidst the ups of going to school and loving my classes. Seeing my grandson whom I adore. Sometimes we have that down swing to remind us what matters to us, and how precious life is. Yes even a chubby bulldog who snores and jumps in the tub on me, can matter in a very dear way.

Time will tell if the changes that have been made with her medications will work or not. I can only hope for the best, but either way I know this silly playful dog has touched my heart and truly makes my day. That I am better for having her in my life and that it is possible to love your pet as much as your family.


Her excitement when I picked her up at the vet was all the reassurance I needed to know she was ok. As I accepted her abundant kisses, she charged both me and my dad to show her exuberance for our company and joy at seeing us.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

College Year Two


So it begins........... again...

As I start my second year at OCC I can only say I feel I am better prepared for the challenges that are to come. Today many schools started their first day, some will begin tomorrow but for everyone whether you're a parent or student  our summer has come to an official close. If your a mom, putting your kids on the bus, or a dad dropping them off to school the hectic race has begun again.  Living at the shore I feel we have the advantage, we can run to the beach and not disrupt our whole day. Yet still get to enjoy the few remaining moments of summer on the sly.

Last year I had it easy with school as I was a stay at home mom. This year however its joining the many who juggle work, family, and school and still manage to survive and keep their sanity. Personally I love the challenge the outpouring of thoughts and ideas. We will see how it goes, if I have a melt down from too much going on or if I manage to find my way through to the end.

This was the summer of Karmic justice, which made me smile. As some things went full circle. It still amazes me how truly stupid some people can be. I am just thankful our life has gotten better, and that I can still find so much to be thankful for when so many have it so rough.

To give you an update, my one daughter has taken a break from school, and it is my sincerest hope that she will be able to go back for the spring term. She also has a very full plate as both a single mom and the breadwinner for her son. My youngest is still going to school although she is now working to help pay for her schooling. What I find most interesting about this is that so many of the young people out there change majors so often. To be blunt college isn’t cheap yet many of these kids don't know what they want to do. They are unsure of what is the best path for them.

I am plugging along. We have put the wedding on hold until next September so I can hopefully complete school.Plus it gives us more time to plan since of course the guest list has gone up. How that happens I will never know. Life has become busy again with soccer, school and to much to list. I have gone from an eBay store to an Ecommerce store which I have to admit I feel pretty good about, since I had my first sale. I am still frantically trying to upload items from the other store in between and close them out. Juggle juggle juggle.

This is my first semester that I am not taking a journalism class, and I have to admit my professor from those classes was a great source of inspiration for thought. We will see how I do on my own.

This semester its World Literature, New Jersey History, Psychology, and Intercultural Communication. I am hoping that I will learn more about my state, and understand those around me better. Frankly at times I feel as if I don't have a clue about what people are thinking. I think that is how most of us feel at most of the time.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Romney & Obama Who To Choose?


 Not Always An Easy Decision
Many people in this country are unsure which way to turn with the election for president just around the corner. On one hand you have Barack Obama who came into office on a wave of euphoria from the general public. Yet today many Americans have become disillusioned with many of his policies and lack of real action to solve the problems. His opponent is Mitt Romney a conservative Mormon who has strong ties to his faith and a track record as a businessman that is above par.

Both if these men are decent human beings, both want to create change in one way or the other. So the question now comes who will you vote for? Or will you even vote? Are we in for a bumpy ride full of smear campaigns as the lines are drawn and the rotten tomatoes are thrown.

Barack Obama is personable, and very popular with the Hollywood set, he has a lot of celebrity  backing and pull with the media. He is the first African American president and that is a tremendous milestone in our history. What is sad is that for the most part that is what he would be remembered for. His lack of experience, inability to take responsibility for his actions  by blaming others doesn’t really show him in a good light. To be blunt aside from spending us deeper into debt, having no real capability in foreign policy, and the debacle of Obama Care what has he done for us. What is his legacy as president other than being the first African American president and a really cool guy. Yes he is the cool president.

On the other side of the table you have Mitt Romney a successful businessman, and governor. A good family man who is devoted to his wife and children, who we now know can be like the rest of us when he’s at home. (Improvising a repair) A man with strong religious beliefs who has a plan at least. Yet many are afraid of his religious beliefs interfering with his decision making on issues that have already been decided. So ask yourself this, did he force his religious beliefs on the employee’s of the companies he watched over? Did he force them on Massachusetts as their governor? Or did he force his beliefs on the 2002 Olympians? I don't think so. Romney may come across as a little more straight laced but is that honestly a bad thing today?

I am a regular person, I get up go to work struggle to pay my bills like many other Americans. Today I am worried about tomorrow for my family, for my kids families. It scares me that our current president does not seem to understand that he is not making things better. Four years ago life was hard but today it is a constant struggle for more and more people. Yet he does seem oblivious to that fact. In school as girls we all learned that the cool guys aren't always the  right guys.

When political fundraisers cost more than what some people make in a year for a plate of food for an attendee thats a problem. Thats not a reality that is ok. Overburdening the middle class with taxes many of us can not afford, thats a problem.

Not voting isn’t the answer, because the path we are on is going to a place that many Americans can see and if you can't maybe its time to pull your head out of the sand. Clint Eastwood was right about one thing, Politicians and government work for us, if they aren’t doing what  we are paying them to do they need a pink slick and a polite walk to the door. Our constitution does say “for the people and by the people. “ so why are we so afraid to act?

No one agrees with every politician's point of view, or political beliefs because that just isn’t reality. But they are what we have, who we are responsible to elect and put into to office to make a difference. If we don't like the result of what they do keeping them is just plain stupid. When we sit back and don't vote we let others decide for us and that is just a cop out, and pathetic. If you disagree with what they are saying write to them tell them to put that issue on the ballot and let the people in this country decide for ourselves.Let the people vote on it. Don't use different points of view as an excuse to be passive, not here not now.

Whether its Barack Obama or Mitt Romney you vote for you need to go and vote. 


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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