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The Anti-Wife



Tackling life one nitwit at a time! So many nitwits - so little time!



Updated: 2016-05-31T04:25:10.093-07:00

 



Checking in!

2009-07-12T20:36:22.167-07:00

Greetings and hallucinations! Hope this finds everyone well and happy.

Life is very good. Work is going well, I have an active social life, my cult keeps me busy and my job is secure. I am a lucky, lucky woman.

I put writing and blogging on hold for a few months to focus on other areas requiring my attention. No regrets for doing so, but now I need to think about resurrecting my story and taking another stab at getting the words from my brain to paper.

This time I will concentrate on maintaining balance between the various parts of my life that need my attention. I won't punish myself for not being able to partipate in NANORIMO or other challenges. If I want to not blog for a while, I hereby give myself permission. I will write when the story flows from me and not berate myself when it doesn't.

I want to write, but I'm not driven by it. Perhaps that's a result of my comfortable life.

Whatever happens - I'll be hanging out here occasionally and will visit some of my favorites once in a while.

I'm well. I'm happy. Life is good. Hope you are the same.



Today's lesson: They're, their and there

2009-02-02T12:19:49.162-08:00

Reading has occupied much of my scarce spare time lately. It takes a lot to irritate me, but the recent spate of misusing the words there, their and they’re has steam rolling out my ears. So, here’s today’s lesson on the proper usage of there, their and they’re.


First – THEY’RE

This is a contraction. It means they are. That’s all it is – ever!


Second – THERE

The primary use of there is as a location. “It’s there.” “Go over there.” They live there.”

As an adverb, it is:
1. used to introduce sentences in which a state, fact etc is being announced. "There has been an accident at the factory; There seems to be something wrong; I don't want there to be any mistakes in this. "

2. means at that time; at that point in a speech, argument etc. "There I cannot agree with you; Don't stop there – tell me what happened next!"

3 (with the subject of the sentence following the verb except when it is a pronoun) used at the beginning of a sentence, usually with be or go, to draw attention to, or point out, someone or something. "There she goes now! There it is! "

4 (placed immediately after noun) used for emphasis or to point out someone or something. "That book there is the one you need."

As an interjection, it is
1 used to calm or comfort. "There, now. Things aren't as bad as they seem."

2 used when a person has been shown to be correct, when something bad happens, or when something has been completed. "There! I told you he would do it! There! That's that job done. There! I said you would hurt yourself!"

The primary point here is; there is not a person or persons – ever!


Third – THEIR

This is a possessive form of THEY

As an adjective

1 belonging to them. "This is their car. Take a note of their names and addresses."

2 used instead of his, his or her etc where a person of unknown sex or people of both sexes are referred to. " Everyone should buy his own ticket. Everyone should buy their own ticket."

As a pronoun,
a person, thing etc belonging to them. "The child is theirs. He’s a friend of theirs. He’s one of their friends."

Their is not a location – ever!


Please, please, please – I beg you – use them correctly.


All assistance courtesy of www.thefreedictionary.com.


Are you using these words correctly? What word misuse sends steam rolling from your ears?



Hope!

2009-01-16T12:31:07.859-08:00

Bleak and dire predictions, stock market crashing, massive debt and unemployment, savings wiped out and homes foreclosed. 2009 started out with a depressing thud.

In Seattle we had the snow from hell – happily downplayed by Mayor Snowpuff Marshmallow Man. Then ark inspiring rain fell to ruin lives and livelihoods.

Hope. Where’s the hope? Where’s the promise for a brighter future? Where’s the inspiration? Not a person – a sign of better things to come. In the media we only hear what’s wrong and how difficult and long it will be to repair. A little bit of hope – that’s all I ask.

Then yesterday, on a foggy day in Seattle, a bright ray of sunshine appeared on the Hudson River in New York. It illuminated the country and world and reminded us of all the reasons we have to hope.


(image)


On January 20th another ray will shine – this time as our new president is sworn in. Change won’t come immediately – but I have hope.


(image)


Pain under my shoulder blade that spread to my head creating shockwave headaches exacerbated by typing – my reason for not blogging much lately. With a new doctor, physical therapy and minimal drugs, things are improving daily. Other than that, my life is very pleasant and full of hope.

Are you well and happy? Do you have hope?




Happy New Year

2009-01-04T09:23:54.137-08:00

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That was perfect! Thank you Uncle Jay. Will you marry me?

Reverse psychology, by its most rudimentary definition, infers that to get someone to do something we must tell them to do the exact opposite. For years, New Year's resolutions made were New Year's resolutions unkept for me. So this year I hope to use reverse psychology on myself so at the end of the year I can say I actually kept some of my resolutions.

So here are my reverse psychology resolutions for 2009! (In reverse order of course)

10. To not win more than a million dollars in any lotto, lottery, mega-millions or anything else I forget to enter.

9. To gain 20 or more pounds.

8. To be broke and homeless.

7. To be sickly and infirm.

6. To have no friends.

5. To lose my job.

4. To lose my appetite for chocolate and hamburgers.

3. To have no clothes and walk naked throughout the Pacific Northwest.

2. To lose my memories.

1. To not finish the cozy mystery lounging happily in my head and partially on my computer.

There you have it! My reverse psychology resolutions. Any bets on how many I won't keep? Any you want to add?



Happy Holidays!

2008-12-24T18:11:32.618-08:00

Merry Christmas

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Kwanzaa

Etc.

(image)
Whatever you celebrate at this time of year, I hope it brings you joy.



I'm fine - just really, really busy. Thanks to everyone who e-mailed or left messages. It's nice to not be forgotten.


Hugs to all!



Late to the Moonie Lovefest!

2008-11-09T12:25:15.202-08:00

Crap! Crap! Crap! I got so caught up in the sunny blue skies, sparkling blue-green water, warm soft sand, tropical breezes, mai-tais and all the Hawaii ambiance, I forgot to post my Moonie appreciation. That's what I get for not opening my computer for a week!

Moonie,
You are the greatest and we all appreciate your wisdom and expertise - and snarky sense of humor. Thanks for all you do!

Hugs!
Anti-Wife



Falling back into a routine

2008-10-28T10:56:41.483-07:00

(image)
At my new age, it takes longer to recover from big events.

I had a wonderful birthday and truly appreciate all the great messages everyone left on my blog. It was lovely.

(image) It seems most blogs are now full of either election related content or cheers for NaNoWriMo. For those who plan to participate - best wishes to you. With only 4 days in November with nothing on the calendar, I have to pass this year. Can't you do this in January - the calendar is much clearer then and the weather more conducive to staying inside and writing? Lynn Viehl has some excellent advice on her blog today for those who are participating.

(image) I was in Eastern Washington last weekend which means a trip through our beautiful mountain passes. The pictures are from Highway 2 that goes over Stevens Pass.

(image) The fall colors are spectacular this year. The golds and reds are vibrant and the leaves shimmer on the trees.
(image) I took these pictures while driving through the pass at high rates of speed. Aren't digital cameras great? Stopping and getting out of the car would be required otherwise.
(image)

Next week I'm off to Hawaii and our annual conference. Because I'm in charge of all the arrangements, it's a lot of work - but it is Hawaii! And, I'm going to spend some time with Pat Wood on Orion. Have I told you lately how much I love my job?



Just a phone call

2008-10-14T15:44:57.084-07:00

That would have been nice.

My 60th birthday was spectacular – as close to perfection as possible. But a phone call would have been nice.

My day started with a phone call from my favorite 7 year old (the son of a co-worker) singing Happy Birthday and telling me he loves me. Sigh!

At the office, my cubicle was decorated to the hilt. To get into it, crepe paper and balloons had to be moved aside. My bosses and co-workers took me to lunch at a very nice restaurant, made me wear a silly hat and sang as I blew out candles on the cake. I received expensive presents from my bosses and wonderful presents and cards from everyone – then another cake for the whole office (about 50 people) about 2:30. No phone call yet.

Left work at 3 and was greeted by 4 friends at home who took me out to dinner and then home for more cake and presents. There was a wonderful card from my little sister, Dr. Anonymouse with a very generous gift card. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my little sister?

Saturday was another day of celebrating with friends and off to another dinner. Still, no call.

Sunday, Dr. Anonymouse called to see if I was still alive from all the celebrating and to fill me in on her news. Couldn’t talk too long because my contractor was getting ready to leave and I needed to go over some things with him. But no other call.

It’s Tuesday. I’m 60 + 4days now. Life is settling back to normal. My friends, by blogging friends and my little sister made my birthday fabulous.

My mother and older sister forgot.

Just a phone call. That would have been nice.



Wisdom of the Aged - Part III

2008-10-10T11:28:35.126-07:00

On changeA wise woman once told me, “You can change.” So, I did! It’s harder than hell but it can be done. The most difficult part is convincing people you’ve known for years that you have actually changed. Many people don’t like change and don’t deal with it well. They cling to the past as if to a lifebuoy, afraid of what’s ahead even if what’s behind was worse.People try to keep you in the past, or continue to make references to how you were instead of letting you move forward. It isn’t always malicious. They may not realize what they’re saying or how they’re acting is hurtful. They haven’t come to terms with their past experiences and allowing you to move forward would force them to deal with their own issues. I understand this and am happy to have found a way out of the maze. I try to live in the present, not the past or the future - to live every day as if it’s the only day that matters because it just may be.Changing is a constant struggle and requires unwavering attention and introspection. Sometimes to accomplish it, you have to distance yourself from your past. You have to put space between yourself and the memories of who you were. Sometimes that space requires a physical move – far away where you can start fresh without all the people around to remind you of how completely you screwed up your life. It can be emotionally isolating but also liberating. It requires making a decision about what’s most important – placating other people, or making yourself happy.I don’t blame anyone for my bad choices. That’s the easy thing to do and shifts responsibility for my decisions to others. Once I left home my decisions were all mine. No one forced me to do anything. Some people influenced me more than others but no one controlled my mind. I accept full responsibility for everything that happened to me. I live every day with the knowledge of my past mistakes but I don’t suffer from them anymore. I learned from them and moved on to a much happier life.I don’t see myself as selling out for not taking my family and others to task for what they did or said to me years ago. I see it more as me taking back control of my life. They no longer have the ability to make me feel bad or inadequate because I won’t let them. They have no more power over me and what I do or how I feel. My choices in life are no longer dictated by what they might think or feel about me.People who aren’t content with themselves will never be content with another person. Dragging another person into my issues isn’t going to solve them. It’s just going to make two people miserable.I haven’t forgotten anything from my past. That’s both a problem and an advantage of having a good memory. I remember everything – good and bad, funny and sad, except for a few hours in Haiti, I remember it all. I remember the situations, the emotions that accompanied them and the pain they caused. However, I no longer feel the pain or suffer from the memories. I learned how to put the pain away and replaced it with the comfort of knowing I not only survived it, I grew and prospered.I’ll never forget. I don’t want to. It keeps me humble and in touch with what’s important. I’m not just a survivor. I thrive. I made a conscious choice to live my life happy. I may be temporarily affected by what people say or do but I have no intention of allowing anyone to permanently change my choice to enjoy life.I did some pretty stupid things in my past but don’t do them anymore and I don’t allow others to make me wallow in them either. Holding on to memories of how you were wronged is not going to make things right again. Forgiving (or at least forgetting) will. We have to move forward and leave the wrongdoers in our past where they belong.Choices can be proactive or reactive. You can live life from the outside in, al[...]



WooHoo! Let's Party!

2008-10-10T08:25:43.290-07:00

Welcome to my 60th birthday party!

Here's what greeted me when I arrived at work today!
(image)
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Wisdom of the Aged - Part II

2008-10-09T09:45:49.239-07:00

More random thoughts.I’m a simple low maintenance person who considers blush, mascara and lipstick a lot of makeup. My hair is wash and wear and to the chagrin of my hair stylist, I sometimes cut it myself. In fact, I have to change stylists occasionally because they get tired of trying to fix my self-inflicted mistakes. I don’t look my age unless you get up close enough to see the lines and wrinkles. I smile and laugh a lot so they’re fully visible. No botox for me! Those lines are badges of honor for a life well lived and lessons learned. I’ll age gracefully – unless they come up with a pill to reverse the process – but I only want to reverse it physically and back to about age 25. I don’t wear makeup on weekends unless I’m going somewhere. Jeans and t-shirts or comfy sweaters suit me just fine. I like being nondescript in stores because salespeople rarely bother with me. This is one time I’m happy to be the invisible woman. I’m not a born shopper – except for shoes. I usually go into a store with something specific in mind, purchase it and leave. I don’t wander around a store and just look with no purpose in mind. Several friends are serial shoppers and they wear me out. It’s a concept to which I cannot relate.I’m not in love with my cell phone. People who never lived without one don’t quite understand this. They think if the phone is off their life will stop. There’s such a thing as being too connected. I don’t need to share my every thought with someone as soon as I think it. The important ones will wait and still be there later. I learned not to make any definitive statements about what I will or won’t do because they usually come back to bite me in the ass. That’s also why I no longer make New Year’s resolutions. When people ride in my car, I turn off the radio because I like to converse with them, not just mention things in passing during commercials. When alone with the radio on I like all kinds of music, although I never learned to appreciate rap or heavy metal. When I’m driving down the interstate during rush hour with the radio blaring, singing at the top of my lungs and dancing in my seat, other drivers tend to give me a wide berth. I like to talk to people who are deep thinkers and well informed because they challenge me to see alternate sides of issues and look at life from a different viewpoint. It may be a cliché, but I like to think outside the box and appreciate people who stimulate me to do so. When I’m tired, or my brain hurts from too much thinking all day, shallow thinkers are great. Then I just nod and smile and appreciate the respite.I’m still doing drugs, but now they all come with prescriptions from my various doctors. Instead of buying them from dealers off the street, or growing them in my closet, I purchase them at Walgreen’s and pay a deductible.The older I get, the more I get right but my choices seem to be less bold. Twenty years ago I moved every couple of years. Now I’ve owned my house for fourteen years and plan on staying there indefinitely. I used to be a job-hopper but now am happily entering my tenth year at the same company.I am spiritual, though not part of any organized religion and don’t go to church on a regular basis. But I’m firmly convinced there’s a higher power into which I can tap in times of need. This brings me great peace. I believe someone watches over me, protecting me from harm and preventing me from making any totally irreparable mistakes. I’m glad they’re there and hope they hang around as long as possible. I listen to my intuition and trust it to move me in the right direction or keep me from being downright stupid. Religion is a very personal thing and evokes deep emotions. Because of that I try not[...]



Wisdom of the Aged

2008-10-08T10:36:33.295-07:00

In anticipation of my big day on Friday, I'm sharing some random pieces of wisdom gained from years of making mistakes.Random ThoughtsLife is a series of choices. Unhappiness and misery are a choice. I deserve all the misery I experienced because I chose it. I also deserve all the good and happiness because that was also my choice. I no longer feel sorry for people who have the intellectual capacity but aren’t proactive in their own situations. I can certainly empathize with them but I don’t sympathize with them. It’s more important to be happy than to be right. I didn’t consider how detrimental my stubbornness was to my happiness, and how hurtful it was to others. In examining my actions sometimes the things about which I most needed to be right were not really important. The world is filled with love and happiness and we will find what we’re looking for when we know what we want. This was a difficult concept for me because since early childhood I’d never known real love and happiness. I had no idea what I really wanted and how it was supposed to look and feel. There was no role model to go by. There was no list and no rules to guide me. When I learned to look for the good – I found it.Every person we meet is a reflection of ourselves. We learn something from them all, and the briefest encounters or the longest relationships provide opportunities for growth. Since I didn’t particularly like a lot of the people I met, it was painful to think they were personal reflections. The most irritating part was that many of the people I disliked kept hanging around. When I finally realized the only way to make them go away was to actually learn the lesson they were here to teach, they gradually started disappearing.Everything that happens is either from love or from a call for love. All the negative feelings - anger, fear, hatred, envy, etc, - are just a call for love. We can see things differently just by looking at situations and people with unprejudiced eyes. Instead of reacting to the negative feelings with more negativity, if I look at it as a cry for help from that person, it’s easier to tap into the love inside myself and return love to them. You need to have something that takes you outside yourself - a safe place to go where people don’t care what you do, or how much money you make, or how many mistakes you made in your past. It can be an organization, a sports league, a theater group, a book club, a sewing circle, a hiking or travel group, or you can volunteer. It really doesn’t matter what it is as long as it gets you away from the TV and computer once in a while and creates an opportunity for you to interact with other people.You have to put yourself out there even if you occasionally make a fool of yourself. And if you do make a fool of yourself don’t internalize it. Laugh along with everyone else. Most people truly want you to succeed. There will always be a few negative, unhappy people who’ll gossip behind your back and make a point of exposing all of your flaws. But most people enjoy sharing in your success. It’s important to just do something. I learned sometimes you have to take a chance and push yourself out of your comfort zone. When I screw something up, it’s best to immediately admit it and find a solution. All my diverse jobs and experiences provided me with a wonderful perspective about what’s important in my working environment. The route I took was filled with potholes – all of which I stepped in - but I don’t regret the journey. Some people are lucky. They know what they want to do in life right away and they pursue it. They find their bliss and follow it even if they have to make sacrifices along the way. The rest of us use the trial and erro[...]



Flu

2008-10-03T09:50:31.587-07:00

Fighting it! Thank god for Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup!



It's another Saturday Night and I.....

2008-09-30T09:22:24.524-07:00

Went to the bookstore,

To let John Robison Look Me in the Eye.
(Sing along with me now!)

(image) He was animated and very amusing,

He's really quite a guy!

(image) Okay, enough of the silliness. Last Saturday night I ditched one of my cult meetings to go see one of my favorite authors - John Elder Robison. It was so worth it!

John is amazing. He talked for almost 45 minutes, digressing to tell stories along the way, and never once lost his train of thought or stumbled. He has an excellent command of the English language and is very entertaining.

I don't think the audience was prepared for John. There were so many people there with Aspergers or Autism in their families. I think he gave them a lot of hope, especially when he talked about the TMS study at Harvard and his successes in regaining some of his emotional intelligence.

I won't give away too much because everyone needs to hear him speak and listen to his message. He is dynamic and very interesting.

(image) It was a great way to spend a Saturday night and I now have 3 signed copies of his book - the hardcover I won in a contest when it first came out, the hardcover I bought to lend out to friends and the paperback I bought Saturday.

I will continue to lend out the books because everyone who reads them is enlightened and impressed.

Thanks John for a wonderful experience!




Two weeks - I wonder.......

2008-09-26T10:38:13.727-07:00

Just two weeks to go until I turn 60.

I wonder why we "turn" to the next age.

Are we supposed to physically turn around? If so, when are we supposed to do it? At the exact time we were born?

I was born at 3:33 am CST. I don't want to stay up that late just to "turn" 60.

If I must "turn" 60, how do you propose I do it?



I wonder if this would work?

2008-09-25T09:05:31.257-07:00

A friend forwarded this - author unknown - and it seems like a great solution to me. What do you think?

I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a "We Deserve It" Dividend.

To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up.

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a "We Deserve It" Dividend.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free.

So let's assume a tax rate of 30%.Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.

That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.
Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads
Put away money for college - it'll be there
Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs
Buy a new car - create jobs
Invest in the market - capital drives growth
Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves
Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean or else

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.

If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG - liquidate it.

Sell off its parts.

Let American General go back to being American General.

Sell off the real estate.

Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't.

Sure it's a crazy idea, but it can work!

But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion.

We deserve that dividend more than the geniuses at AIG.

Author Unknown - I salute you!



I wonder............

2008-09-22T08:03:45.823-07:00

This was forwarded to me and it was too good not to pass on.

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.....

If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different."

Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well
grounded.

If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.

If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.

If your wife is a Harvard graduate laywer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.

If you're husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

I wonder if I'll ever understand politics!



I wonder........

2008-09-18T15:17:16.704-07:00

If I'll ever be able to retire. A year ago, I was on schedule to hang up my work mouse on December 31, 2014 - at age 66. Then I decided I could probably delay that until 12/31/15 because I love my job and waiting would give me even more social security income.

A year later, although I continue to force feed my 401k, contribute to a Roth IRA and have good investments, I'm almost $40,000 poorer. That's about how much I've lost due to the the Amazing George's financial crisis. I still have a good sized nest egg and lots of equity in my house, but this is playing havoc with all my financial retirement models.

I'm pissed and getting pretty cranky!

Working past 2015 almost seems a certainty right now and that really sucks! I started babysitting at age 10. I had my first paycheck job at 13. I always worked during breaks in high school and I helped put myself through college by working part time the entire time. That means I've been working in one form or another for almost 50 years. and contributing to Social Security for so long the government will simply be returning my principal and interest until I die.

A friend asked my advice on what to do in the current climate - sell, buy, wait? I advised her to just sit it out and wait. It's too late to sell. Buying in such a volatile market doesn't seem prudent. My advice sucks - but it's fairly sound. So I sit and wait and dream of an amazing recovery when Obama takes office and reforms our government.

Barring that, maybe Sarah can teach me how to shoot and dress an elk so I won't starve after I retire in my 80's.



I wonder ......

2008-09-15T16:02:40.314-07:00

This is from the Everett, WA Herald newspaper. It's about the town I live in. This has been in the news here for the last week and it makes me wonder -WTF were they thinking?By Julie Muhlstein, Herald ColumnistInnocent children. No lunch money. Food denied.What a perfect recipe for the heated brouhaha stirred up last week when the public caught wind of a new Edmonds School District lunch policy. Before officials changed their minds Thursday, the district had started the school year enforcing a pay-or-else practice that was nothing short of Dickensian.Kids behind on bills had cafeteria lunches taken away -- and thrown away, because of food safety rules -- after they'd gone through lunch lines. A substituted cheese sandwich must have been cold comfort after a child was embarrassed in front of other kids.Reading all that, I could almost hear echoes of Oliver Twist in the work house, holding his bowl for gruel and begging, "Please sir, I want some more."A day after adding milk to the meager fare, the Edmonds district decided instead to suspend the new policy while seeking a better solution to the lunch budget crunch.In Herald reporter Kaitlin Manry's article on the issue Wednesday, the money pinch hurting so many families was thrown right in our faces, particularly in the words of Hazelwood Elementary School cashier Barbara Burley: "Could you look into a kindergartner's eyes and take away their lunch and give them a cold cheese sandwich and nothing else?"No doubt the district's lunch-money shortfall of $207,763 last year had myriad causes, from forgetful kids and irresponsible parents to children who brought sack lunches but decided instead to have cafeteria food. Part of it, though, is real need.We all know that. Somewhere between paychecks many families bring home, even with several jobs, and the qualifying income for free lunches, is poverty in the shadows. With high costs for housing, groceries, gas and everything else, there is no question some families' cupboards and cash reserves are frighteningly bare.Of course readers were disturbed by the lunch take-away policy, which put kids on the front line. Manry listened to callers and answered e-mail about the issue all week. What disturbed me was thinking that this is what it takes to stir people up about families in need -- an up-close scenario of a kindergartner being denied a school lunch.We know there are poor families. We know there are kids living in cars in our own county. We know it, but rarely do we see it. Or think about it. Or get upset enough to do a thing.Nina Mellish, of Bothell, was upset enough to contact The Herald. The 71-year-old has worked as a teacher's aide and a social worker. In Salem, Ore., she worked at a school in a poor neighborhood where the PTA helped pay for free breakfasts and lunches."A lot of these kids would come to school in winter with rubber boots and no shoes or socks," Mellish said. She's seen kids who've had nothing but potato chips for breakfast. "There is no way we should be penalizing a small child," Mellish said. "I really believe little kids should be cared for."That's a simple statement, but a profound one. It goes way beyond lunches, to health care, educational opportunities and emotional needs. Yes, parents should be responsible. But no, sometimes they are not, for whatever reasons. And kids should be cared for. Period.[...]



I also wonder......

2008-09-14T18:07:20.966-07:00

Why people can't stand to just be quiet anymore? Everywhere I go, people are attached to either I-pods or cell phones or some variation thereof.

I know I'm getting old compared to the rest of you, but sometimes I like to turn everything off. Walking my dog and listening to nothing in particular, or driving in the car with the radio off, or sitting at home reading or cross-stitching with no TV or anything makes me happy and peaceful. I do my best thinking at those times.

Why does everyone need noise all the time?



I really wonder..............

2008-09-13T16:26:40.724-07:00

How many politicians it takes to change a light bulb?

Personally, I'd say none. They would study the bulb until the building and fixture to which it was attached rotted and fell apart. Then they would bulldoze it, build a new building with new fixtures and pay several government employees to put in new bulbs at the rate of about one per hour to allow for plenty of breaks.

Bragging rights to the person who can comes up with a better answer.



Stupidity - I wonder....

2008-09-12T10:34:44.776-07:00

I wonder how stupid people make it through life. Seriously! Some people seem so clueless it baffles me how they can even make it through a single day, much less a whole lifetime.

Any thoughts?



Recovery – I wonder….

2008-09-11T09:15:21.783-07:00

I wonder how long it takes to recover from a broken heart? Not the kind where you break up with your spouse or significant other – the kind where you suffer a devastating loss.I live in a friendly, stable, middle-class neighborhood. People who move here have a tendency to stay for a long time. We get to know each other but don’t intrude in each other’s lives. We watch out for each other when any of us are gone on vacation or when we see strangers in the neighborhood. We share gardening tips, talk about things going on in our lives and sometimes discuss the world situation. Occasionally we gossip about each other and we have gone through good times and bad together.New York and Washington D.C. are far away from our comfortable little environment. On the morning of September 11, 2001, my alarm rang at 6 a.m. Pacific time. A song was playing and I was in a fog headed for the shower. Ten minutes later there was no more music and the normally light-hearted DJ’s were somber. It was obvious something serious happened, so I turned on the TV and saw the smoke and flames coming from the north tower of the WTC. No one was sure what happened, but the term “tragic accident” was used when -WHAM - at 6:03 a.m. Pacific time I witnessed a plane fly into the south tower.I’m not often stunned, but I had to sit down because of the shock. I watched for a few minutes then rushed to dry my hair and get ready for work trying not to miss any coverage. The talk changed from tragic accident, but there were no real theories yet on what happened. The scenes from New York looked surreal.Shortly after 6:37 a.m. the news the Pentagon had been hit was broadcast. Hijacking and terrorists were words used with increasing frequency. While we sat waiting for pictures from the Pentagon, at 6:59 a.m. the north tower collapsed. The scene on TV was utter chaos and it was apparent that even the newscasters were in shock.Pictures came in from the Pentagon with smoke and flames, then the replay of the north tower collapse, then the news that Flight 92 crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside at 7:06 a.m. and just 22 minutes later at 7:28 a.m. the south tower collapsed in a huge cloud of dust.I watched for another 10 minutes then left for work, not caring about running late. I listened to the radio all the way in and noticed the solemn looks on the faces of other drivers. People at work were shaken and we all had the news streaming on our computers. It was impossible to talk or think about anything else. We had jobs to do, but our hearts weren’t there. We ate lunch in the conference room with the TV and as soon as work was over, went home to turn on our TV’s.I pulled into my garage then went over to my mailbox to grab the mail. I was in a hurry to get inside and watch the news, but my next door neighbor yelled at me. I didn’t want to talk and was a little irritated, but she insisted and what she said stopped me in my tracks.My neighbors – a couple in their late 70’s at the time – their son might have been in the Pentagon.No one was sure yet. There hadn’t been any confirmation, but his wife said he went into work that morning. He was only 30 days away from retiring from a long career in the Army and wasn’t supposed to be in his office that day, but he was trying to finish up some paperwork. He was a dedicated officer, a good and only son, had 3 children and a stable marriage. I met him a few times and he was a very nice person.His office was direct[...]



Countdown begins

2008-09-10T10:11:07.083-07:00

One month from today - October 10th - I turn 60. The countdown begins! As I reach this new milestone, there are many things about which I wonder, so I shall share them with you as we progress to the big day.

Today, I wonder why there were so few comments on the last post. I know almost 100 people read it, but only a handful commented. This is an important topic and whether you agree or not with Ms Steinem, surely you have an opinion. So, thank you to those of you who replied and to those of you who didn't - why not?



Palin - WTF?

2008-09-08T09:16:42.707-07:00

Opinion Palin: wrong woman, wrong messageBy Gloria Steinem September 4, 2008 Sarah Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton. She isPhyllis Schlafly, only younger. Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that eventhe anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the RepublicanParty -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vicepresident. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed,gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" signoff the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there throughridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes. But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first timea boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him andopposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for womeneverywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too manyof us for that. It's about baking a new pie. Palin appears to disagree with McCain on sex education Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs." This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the jobbecause she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't saythe same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years'experience. Palin has been honest about what she doesn't know. When asked last monthabout the vice presidency, she said, "I still can't answer thatquestion until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?" When asked about Iraq, she said, "I haven't really focusedmuch on the war in Iraq." She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, andshe's won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a$1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain'scampaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income orsales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that hedoesn't know it's about inviting more people to meet standards, notlowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate's views on "God,guns and gays" ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain isfilling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency. So let's be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin outof change-e[...]