Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hurricane Sandy After The Storm

On the anniversary of hurricane Sandy’s dramatic hit on New Jersey last year the question still does remain are we in a better place. Living here at the shore it is interesting to see the many articles that the papers have been putting out. Some show how there are still many struggling to recover. Others take the stand that it is all better, with only minor issues.
When Sandy hit we were fortunate, located inland enough that the water wasn't a factor. The wind and tree damage was, power lines, trees, homes, and even cars were destroyed. I know many people who did literally lose everything they had including their homes. People who live here tend to be scrappy, survivors. They will dig in, when it gets tough and stubbornly push their way through. Despite the funds that organizations like The Red Cross collected and then didn’t put into restoring the shore. Or several of the other charities that were here for their publicity shots, but when push came to shove, they were the same greedy bastards that they have always been putting a minimal amount of what is raised into recovery and the rest in their executives pockets.
There are and where several organizations that did spring up that put the money were it was meant to go, such as our own Governor Christie’s Charity that was started to rebuild. Those funds are still going where they are needed.
Many Homes sit gutted while
people have to wait. 
It is true that some people are still fighting with Fema and other federal organizations (Who did turn out to be pretty useless.)  and their banks who are holding funds hostage. The problem for some isn't that the money isn't there, it is that they have made it so complicated for people to actually get what they need to fix the problems and meet the new guidelines for flood zones. It is understandable in a way, that the banks want to make sure the repair is going to be made. However that is still no excuse for a financial institution to hold off on paying someone the money needed to begin repairing their homes and lives. Nor is it right that once you finally get all your needed paperwork in to FEMA or HUD you must redo said paperwork again at 6 months. The process needs to be mainstreamed to get the funds where they will do the most good. Not into the pockets of people who haven’t had their lives destroyed.
Many of the changes people have to make near the water are very expensive to do (and of course some contractors are taking advantage.) So if you're a regular piney living near the beach, you may be beat, or have to tough it through to get someone to help you sort through all the paperwork.

It is hard to pick up the pieces and for many,what was lost cannot always be replaced. There is still so much that was pulled out to sea and is now just sitting in the bays and off the shore polluting the waterways. Chemicals that were in peoples homes, appliances, cars and even entire homes. New Jersey may be strong enough to survive the storm but rebuilding in the economy we are all living in has also taken for many, their ability to rebuild an remain here in New Jersey.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Living Your Own Life.....

At times it can be rather confusing when people don't seem to understand that living life means to actually go out and do just that. It isn’t about worrying about what others are doing, being bitter over things you cannot change, or what someone else may or may not have said or done.
For myself, I do not have much use for busybodies who feel its ok to stalk your life. Nor do I give them my time, because they don’t matter, not to me or the people around me.Its almost creepy the way some people will do that, and I have a hard time finding my sympathy for people who are really so twisted in the head that think that type of behavior is ok.  
I am always amazed by how much time people will waste trying to find out what someone else is up to. Is their life better? Is it worse? Do they have something you don’t have? When I hear about people who do this it makes me laugh and feel sorry for them at the same time. I have to laugh because I am just living my life, one day one step at a time just like the majority of us all. There is nothing secret about my life, for the past two years its pretty much been an open book. Sure there are things I don’t put out there but there is a lot I do. The same goes for the people many seem to follow. Are they funny? Sure sometimes, but living vicariously through someone else isn’t living. It doesn’t add to the quality of the life you have.
What I find sad is that anyone with half a brain, could give, importance into needing to know what someone else is doing. Unless you're a friend or acquaintance, why bother?  Yet as a society we all seem to do that, following the tweets of the stars or other people. We are training ourselves to be nosey, but in doing this do we actually gain anything from the  process? Other than finding something new to gossip about which 9 out of 10 times you don’t have enough information to actually pass along as useful information.
As a mom, grandma, daughter and friend I’ve learned the value of not sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong. That means respecting my friends privacy, and lives as well as my families. If you think about it life is so short, so why waste it? Why let what someone else says or does make you nuts ? Why give it value when it will never affect your own world or life.

In today's world if we don’t teach our kids the value of the here and now, we are letting them buy into believing its important to want what the Jones have. We are in short teaching them that what they have isn’t enough anymore. The TV is filled with reality shows, some good some bad. Most are scripted in advance so it isn’t real, reality. Instead of watching someone elses life, its time to start living your own.
Its time to find what makes you happy in your own life and do that. Embrace what you have. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the Kardashians, Selena Gomez, or even your next door neighbor is doing with their lives, what matters is what you're doing with your life. What matters is finding your dreams and focusing on them instead of everyone else.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Politicians Behaving Badly The Mo Money Syndrom


A traitor is everyone who does not agree with me. 
George III Quote
Over the past several weeks I have been trying very hard to take the high road in regard to the furlough and nonpayment of the over 800,000 government employees. Frankly it is beyond absurd that while our politicians in Washington pose, and behave like irresponsible little boys the rest of the government employees are working for free. Under the good faith that they will eventually be paid. Many are currently working without a paycheck, what they are being told is to call their creditors and let them know they are not getting a paycheck from the government and to put off their bills until the government can get this all sorted out. Really?
Does anyone else not see the pathetic welfare state our government has put its employees in? I was beyond disgusted when president Obama came out and said he would not negotiate with congress. Maybe its me but does that stink just a little bit of dictatorship? Don't get me wrong between the democrats, republicans, and tea partyists the whole thing is corrupt including the President. No one group is better than the other and each owes big corporations their loyalty. Who gets screwed us, the little guy.
So lets ask a basic question here if you are financially over extended would a bank give you more money so you  can get further into the hole? I dont know about your bank but mine operates under the premise that you have to have something to borrow against something tangible. Since President Obama has been in office we as a country have had our credit rating drop once already because his answer is to raise the debt ceiling so we can  pay our bills.
Hmm you can't pay your employees, you can't balance your books, and you're acting like a King (King Barak) but yeah ok, we should definitely add to the problem by doing what you say. That has worked out so well over the past five years with you at the helm. Now at least President Obama is willing to talk. at least long enough to temporarily raise the debt ceiling. (Mo Money, mo money, mo money.)
What is by far most frustrating in all of this is that statistically the majority of us know continuing the way we have been is a very bad idea. Its bad to keep raising the debt ceiling to pay our debts. Its bad to overextend ourselves just to keep the train going.
“(King) Obama, warns us that if we don’t give him what he wants(more money) our home values will drop and our 401K’s would be hit as well. “ (cnn.com) Didn’t we ditch an English King who always had his hand out for more money, because he told us he needed it?
Its good to be King..
The most galling part in all of this is that it isn't just the salaries of the 800,000 that are on hold. It could very well include the pensions of our retired military if this goes on much longer. (Thats a bunch I wouldn't want to piss off.) Mind you no one is saying that out loud yet but that is the feeling and message being sent.
Our government needs to get their heads out of their backsides and do their job. Get a budget approved, and stop trying to raise the debt ceiling to solve your problems. I really want to be able to leave something to my kids and grandkids someday.
I can't fault Boehner for trying to hold out for some adjustment to Obama Care, nor to the suggestion that was made that it be mandatory for politicians to participate in it all the way to the whitehouse. (It was after all their wonderful health care plan, I would think they would have jumped at the chance to show the American public just how great it is.) But that idea was reject.

Either way this irresponsible behavior needs to stop before there is no point to return from. We need to fix this and if that means writing millions of letters to President Obama directly and letting him know he isn't doing his job,or to our congress, and our senate then so be it. Our country is based on the premise of government for the people by the people, the original constitution didn’t include Big Blood Sucking Corporations, that are now calling the shots or men who would pretend to be Kings.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Am I Awake?


Part of taking classes are the assignments, so as I said earlier one of my classes is creative writing. For our first assignment we have all been working on writing a short short fiction story.  Everyone brought them in for a workshop with our classmates and then get to go back and refine it. 
It was amazing to see the shear talent and creativity of many of these young students. I have to admit I was a little nervous bringing my writing in for others to read and critique. Many of the suggestions were both useful and helpful. Here is the end result.
I know with all of the political mayhem I could have taken shots at our government, but for today I figured I would share something of mine. I hope you enjoy it and consider it a small break from you day.

Am I Awake?
     It is only a dream!  The first thing I remember was waking up, quickly.  You know, like when you jump out of bed because you know you are late.  I’m not late though, and I can’t seem to open my eyes yet.  I hate waking up.  Morning is the worst part of my day.  Get the kids to school, pack my husband’s lunch, clean the house, the list goes on and on.  
     Why can’t I open my eyes?  Come on wake up!  What are you going to do, sleep the day away?  Oh, that would be so nice.  I can feel the darkness closing in again.
     I must be dreaming, I think to myself.
     “John, hurry up your going to be late for school again.”  I yell down the hall.
     “I’m coming mom!  You’re such a frigging nag.”  He says with teenage sarcasm.
     Annoyed I begin to throw lunches together.  Never seeing the dogs following my every step or the warm sun peaking in through the kitchen window as it shines across the floor.  I hurry around, getting everyone ready to leave for their day.  The fragrant smell of warm coffee brewing, teases my nose while I wait for the mass exodus to begin.
     I yell, “Move it!  Don’t make me tell you again.”
     John a lanky and lean teenager strides into the kitchen, plopping down in his chair he absently picks up a piece of toast and begins to munch on it.  At sixteen, he is a full head taller than I am.  His sandy blonde hair and brown eyes sparkle as he savors every bite.  He walks over to the coffee pot and pours himself a cup of coffee.
     “Ah,” he sighs drinking the fresh brew.
     “John, get going you don’t have time for that.”  I tell him.  “You have to leave now!  You’re going to be late!”
     Making a face, he scoops his nap-sac off the chair heading for the door.
     “You’re a pain in my ass.  Some day you won’t be able to tell me what to do.”  He growls as he is leaving letting the door slam in his wake.
     Some days I would really like to just smack the crap out of him.  Sighing I go and pull out my husband and daughter’s lunch and wait.
     Taking a sip of the forgotten coffee on the counter, I savor its bite as I turn to face the two remaining occupants.  My husband Len and daughter Kerri who are quietly finishing their breakfast, oblivious to the world around.  They get up, leaving their dishes as they turn to head out the door.
     “Have a good day babe.”  Len says, kissing me before he and Kerri go out the door. His 6’4” body an older replica of my son, towers over my youngest as they shuffle out the front door.  Turning I, face the kitchen, which looks like a tornado, has gone through it.  As I stand there finishing my coffee, I enjoy the brief moment of silence in my now empty house.
     Picking up the laundry basket that is sitting by the door, I make my way to the laundry room to get things moving along.  All the while, I keep a running dialogue going with my two bulldogs.  They follow my every step dancing under my feet they keep up, while I hurry to get things done.
     “Mom will take care of it all.”  I say to them as I pull out my stepladder to grab a new box of detergent off the shelf above the washer.  Climbing up I reach up on tiptoes to grab the bottle above my head, just a little further I think as I push to reach it.  The dogs jostle the ladder and I feel myself falling back.
     “Ahhh!”  I scream as I fall and the dogs run from the room.  Backwards, I fall and then suddenly there is blackness, no sound other then the dogs whimpering from the other room.  As if in slow motion, everything fades from grey to black.
     Why can’t I wake up?  Why can’t I open my eyes?  There, it’s getting lighter.  I think to myself.
      I can see myself laying on the floor now, blood pooling around my head and my leg twisted in the ladder.
     Is that me?  I ask myself as I float above.
     Is that how I look?  Worn and tired.  Detached, I look at myself laying there on the floor.  Suddenly the dogs begin to howl, whimpering they crawl in close laying their heads down next to mine.

     “I’m dead!”  I realize, as I look at my still lifeless body growing pale and mottled.  The puddle of blood underneath grows larger.  Just like that, and it’s over, no good bye, no apologies no second chance, no do over’s.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Getting Away From It All......

I can't describe just how beautiful it is here. 
This past weekend we were fortunate enough to get out of Dodge for the weekend. we didn't go to some fancy resort, nor to the casino’s, or some tropical retreat but instead went up to a cabin with no running water, trees as far as the eye can see and millions of stars. Sometimes it is an important part of keeping a family strong. Every so often we do manage to get away back to nature where there are no cell phones, TV’s , or computers. One of the reasons I feel so strongly about this is because it forces us as a family to work together to accomplish things.
Yes we did work this weekend cleaning up brush, talking to each other, helping as a family to make dinner, laughing, and relaxing in between. We all slept in the same room in 6 bunk beds with two dogs and 5 people. Was it a little crowded sure but it was fun and peaceful.
Sometimes in life we need to get away from all the stresses that crowd in on us from all directions. Lets face it with a president and congress that only seem to be interested in bickering like children  there isn't anything we can do to change that. Other than to roll with it for now and pray for something  better. So off to the woods we went this weekend fully knowing that come Monday, my husband could very well be one of the 800,000 who were told that they were on furlough  again until the government can get their heads out of their backsides. 
 (Who would have thought that working for the government meant a lack of job stability.)


We made the move in this direction for several reasons, one my husband loves to hunt and this is in a great area for that. Secondly its a great place to take the kids and, “Get the Heck out of here!” As my grandpa used to say.
My nine year old is forced to play games instead of watching TV or Burying his head in the computer. Another thing that makes this get away location great is it is so peaceful and quiet we are literally in the middle of the woods.
Saturday night as I stood out on our porch, looking up at the millions of stars I hadn't seen in a really long time. I couldn't help but to be moved by the beauty of my surroundings. The night air was crisp, and cool the cabin was warm from the fire we had in our wood burning stove. Everyone was fed and relaxing talking or playing cards. It was perfect, in every way for what we are looking to do and for teaching our kids about a more respectful way to live here.
Lets face it I love New Jersey but we have so many rules that it is next to impossible to enjoy anything anymore without someone taking issue. It is one of the things that makes it hard to live here, especially if you grew up in this state and were fortunate enough to live during a time when kids were actually allowed to be kids and use their imagination to amuse themselves.
This was our first view of this lovely little cabin
with a little work its now a haven. 
This is the way we take our sanity break as a family, and it works. We each find our relaxation in different ways and it is important to remember to do something together. All too often life can be messy or difficult, it can be hard to step back and remember what family is all about, but it is a necessary part of staying strong together.
In a world set on pushing families further and further apart holding on to what makes us strong is what matters.

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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