Thursday, February 26, 2009

SkyWatch and Feeling Spring

I'm finally back to SkyWatch Friday.  Where I live, spring is definitely on the way.  The grass is starting to turn green, the temperature warms up nicely in the afternoons, and a shower means rain instead of snow.  No blossoms yet, but they won't be long.  

The Pine Valley Mountain still has snow, but I've traded in my coats for light jackets.  Hooray!

I know I'm at the warm end of the state, some of my family and friends are still shoveling and wearing hats and gloves.  But then, that's part of the reason I'm now here and not there.  For other cool pictures visit SkyWatch Friday.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More bad parenting examples

I'm afraid this is another example of the consequences of lousy parenting. A short piece was in the news today about two 19-year-olds who had escaped from a drug treatment facility in southern Utah and were found in Arizona.  Sometimes kids don't have much of a chance.  One's single mother was on disability (for what, we don't know since the mother was seen running with her dog), but couldn't be bothered getting her 5th grader to school. He would show up sporadically, usually just before lunch, sometimes having walked (a long way). When asked why he was so late, his answer was often that his mother had slept over at her boyfriend's and wasn't home.

I could post about stuff like this for months, but I won't. It is too distressing. Maybe I'll try and find some really excellent examples of solid parents raising responsible, hard-working children. I know there are some out there because I've met many of them. I hope there are enough.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ranting about Children

My hubby and I are very worried about the future. Not just because of the economy, but because of the children. There are so many selfish, messed-up parents out there. I posted about problems with the gene pool back in July, and I feel even more strongly about it now.

Yesterday, we sat in a booth having breakfast next to some young people. The young man--probably early 20s--was talking about how his girlfriend got him back (after breaking up) several times by telling him she was pregnant, but she wasn't. Yes, his father knew he sometimes slept over at the girlfriend's house. GOOD GRIEF! Obviously, this young man has no respect for women--why should he? The young women seems to have no respect for herself. And where were her parents? To these booth neighbors, it was all a joke.

A slightly older female was there too, with a small boy probably not two years old. I couldn't tell if she was his mother, but I think she was a sister to the young man. The whole time we were there, she spoke five words to the child. Meanwhile, she discussed having her tongue pierced again, the young man's sex life, and various social activities. The little boy ate potato chips (they must have brought them) and stood quietly, nose running. I guess he's used to being left out of things.

Then, the article in the paper about the 11-year-old boy who killed his father's pregnant girlfriend. Our first thoughts were about what a horrible life that boy probably had. What kind of situation would cause an 11-year-old (we have a grandson that age, and I spent 18 years in classrooms filled with them) to think that was his only option? His own family torn up--there was no mention of a mother--but a women moves in with two small children and takes his father away too. I read today that the jail where he is locked up is trying to get him moved to a juvenile facility--I should hope so, he's 11!

I'm not a person who thinks we can take care of everyone; I don't believe in absolving people from their own stupid choices. However, I do think children deserve care and consideration. Too many narcissistic parents are disregarding their children's feelings and/or discarding their responsibilities. Children are very perceptive, and we are going down a very dangerous road toward a future where entire generations will have no good parenting role models:
Everyone does what feels good at the time.
Who cares what others think?
I want what I want and I deserve it.
If I can get it, it's mine.

What will become of them?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Traffic Dance

It seems to me that vehicles on the roadways are like the dancers in a very large performance. Each has places where they are required to slow, stop, go forward, or turn. If they miss their marks or stumble out of position, they risk stepping on other performers. Those who fail to follow the choreography force others out of position and into the possibility of the failure of whole sections of the dance.

In order for the dance to continue as intended, dancers must follow the design. There are, I've observed, several types of dancers who are unwilling or unable to stay in step:

1) The Impatient dancer. He/she doesn't want to wait for other performers to make their movies. He/she is intent on making their moves first, even if it causes others to slow or lose step. He/she is forever trying to gain seconds in the dance.

2) I'm Important dancer. This dancer has an exaggerated self-worth who sees his/her time as more valuable than anyone else's. He/she will move out of the dance pattern to shove into a spot farther up the line. This dancer assumes that others will automatically recognize his/her importance and make way. These dancers stop in places where not permitted, and imagine themselves as stars above the rules.

3) Distracted dancer. This person sees the dance as one of the least important things to do while driving. He/she will often be talking on the phone, eating or drinking, fixing hair, sending or reading messages, or napping while trying to stay in the dance. Neighboring dancers must be vigilant around this performer.

4) Isolated dancer. This performer behaves as though no one else is in the dance, often changing from one line to another without regard for other dancers. He/she is unconcerned with dance protocol and fails to make other dancers aware of his/her intent to change position, speed, or direction. After all, no one else need be concerned.

5) Opps, I need to be there dancer. This dancer fails to plan ahead or frequently changes his/her mind about the dance destination. The last minute desire to move across three lines to make a turn characterizes this scatterbrain participant.

The amazing part of this dance is that it so often works, thanks to the dancing abilities of many. The defensive dancing of the majority keeps the dance disruptions to a minimum.

Everyone, dance carefully.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Do Opposites really attract?

Hubby and I are the same age (actually I'm a bit older), we went to the same high school and college, and because the schools were small, we had many friends in common.  His parents are each a year older than mine, and both families consisted of three girls and two boys.  Our fathers both did stints in the Navy and mothers were homemakers.  We are both oldest children.  Strange, weird, a little eerie? 

Yet, we are very different personality types, opposites even.  I was the good girl, honor student, rule follower.  Hubby was a wilder rebel teenager, and he did things that he would never have permitted his sons to do--not that he had permission from his parents either.  Yet we found each other.  As you might guess, his parents were more pleased about that than mine were.  

Hormonally overcharged, struggling for independence, we married young.  We have had disagreements--many of them--but have never considered divorce.  We think very differently; it is like our personal joke that we often do not agree. We expect it.   Sometimes we convince each other of the value of our opinion, sometimes we just give in, sometimes we stay on opposite sides of the fence. 

I do think that we balance each other.  Together we have more skills than we each would alone.  Maybe that's why opposites seem to seek each other out.  One's weaknesses can be supported, one's strengths can boost both.  And the similarity in our backgrounds gave us a firm foundation to hang on to.

When asked how long we've been married, my hubby will say, "All my life."  There's quite a bit of truth to that.  Our 41st anniversary is on Monday.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Confused cook

I found a recipe in a magazine that seemed to be something I could make and might like--fewer than 20 ingredients, no unusual herbs or exotic spices, simple instructions. My only change was making it about half as much as the recipe called for. If I had made the whole thing, I could have fed a big crowd. As it is, I'll have plenty of leftovers to freeze.

The illustration looked tasty, so I gave it a shot.

Surprise, mine didn't look anything like the picture.  I take that back, I could see the spinach and the chorizo.  I can't figure out where the yellow color came from.  Was there some saffron that wasn't mentioned? Some ingredient that was left off the recipe?

It could have been a difference in lentils, but since it called for red ones, mine looks more like I thought it would.  By the way, mine was pretty tasty, but no one would think it was the same dish.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Disappearing Adverbs

I think adverbs are disappearing from our language.  I suppose in these days of instant messages adverbs are unwieldy with too many syllables.  

Why would anyone write "Drive Safely" when "Drive Safe" is shorter?  Why should people be admonished to "Eat Healthily" or "Eat Healthy Food" when we can "Eat Healthy"?  Apparently it doesn't matter whether or not it is grammatically correct, as long as it fits on the signs or doesn't take too many letters.

A business commercial says that their company "... does it right and does it complete."   The assumption must be that they are thorough and careful, but I guess that would be more words than they wanted to use.

"Well" is soon to be relegated to simply a hole with water in it, because people don't seem to know when else to use it.  How are you?  How did you do on your test?  How did you feel? Good is the common answer these days.  Few people will respond with a verb-modifying adverb.

Now I'm going to walk on a treadmill for a while, but I'll try to walk steady, hydrate smart, and step careful.