Mystery Solved!

Back in January, on the way home from Literacy/Game Night at school, Hannah Rose made the comment, “No guns allowed in school.”  https://brennigriobhta.wordpress.com/2008/02/01/no-guns-in-school/

We had no idea where that came from at the time.  Nancy figured it out.  Apparently, one (or more) of the boys were playing and made a “gun” with their hand (forefinger/thumb thing) and Hannah Rose’s teacher told them that guns are not allowed in school.

Nice to know where that came from!!!

Daily Wrinkle

“For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it.”

~Patrick Henry, 1736-1799 
 

Pride

Michelle Obama’s comment, “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country,” has set a lot of people talking.  And perhaps even thinking. 

If you’re looking for me to bash Michelle Obama–or even defend her–you’re wasting your time.  There are plenty of other sites where you can find that.

I’m more concerned about the bigger picture; namely:  the state of this country; is it something to be proud of; and is a lack of pride unpatriotic and unamerican?

As to the state of this country–We’ve definitely got a lot of things going for us.  Freedom, Democracy, The Constitution, Bill of Rights, technology, ad infinitum.  We’ve also got a lot of things going against us.  Encroachment on rights and freedoms, poverty, apathy, ad infinitum.

Is the US the best country in the world?  There was a time when I would rush to answer that question, without thinking, resoundingly: YES!!!  OF COURSE!!!  That was also during a time when I rushed to answer a lot of questions without thinking.  How would I answer it now?  I don’t know.  Seems to me that America is not as great as she once was.  Does that mean she’s beyond redemption and hope?  By all means, no!  Does that mean I’m ready to give it all up and move to Canada?  No.  I can understand to a large degree why so many Americans find it important to believe America is the greatest country in the world.  We’re a competitive people.  And stubborn.  Want proof?  Look at how we back our sports teams.  The 49ers haven’t won a Superbowl in years and yes, they’re still the greatest football team in the country.  Want proof?  Just ask me (or any other “true” 49er fan)! 

Bill Mahr said something recently that makes sense to me.  He said, “Why does America have to be the best for everyone?  Why can’t it just be the best for us?” 

I want differences.  I don’t want everything and everybody to be the same.  Granted, I may not like all the differences–just like I don’t always like every dish on a restaurant menu, but I sure do appreciate the variety and availability of choices.  I do not believe the rest of the world has to model how they do everything after America.  In the grand scheme of things, it might do to remember that when it comes to age America is a young country.  So yeah we may mix things up a bit, do things differently (like drive on the right side of the road instead of the left)–but different isn’t always better.  It’s not always worse.  Sometimes it’s just, well, different.

There are A LOT of things that make me proud to be an American.  There are things that make me ashamed as well.  I think that’s healthy.  I think that’s realistic.  I don’t always like things that my country does.  Does that mean I’m jumping ship?  No.  Do I have to always like and approve of everything my country does?  Hell no!  Parents can love their children unconditionally without being proud of their every action, decision, and word.  Parents can love their children always even when they disapprove of what their children have done.  Parents can support their children even when their children have made egregious mistakes.  I realize not all parents do so…but wouldn’t our children be better if all parents did do so?  Why can’t we take the same stance with our country?

A lot of men and women have sacrificed greatly to secure this country (and not just those who gave their lives…those who served, and their families).  Does questioning this country, its condition, and expressing displeasure (or even dare I say shame) negate those sacrifices, make them worth any less?  I don’t think so!  In fact, I think holding one’s tongue, blind faith in the government, and a refusal to see what is working and good as well as what is not is more disrespectful to those who have sacrificed than speaking the truth is.  After all with the truth comes the possibility that things may change–and for the better.

It’s easy to jump ship just because you don’t like something–but honouring a commitment to one’s country is proven not when one is happiest with one’s country, but when one is most unhappy with it. 

What makes a patriot?  The dictionary has this to say:

pa·tri·ot      [pey-tree-uht, -ot or, especially Brit., pa-tree-uht] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation

–noun

1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
2. a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, esp. of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.
3. (initial capital letter) Military. a U.S. Army antiaircraft missile with a range of 37 mi. (60 km) and a 200-lb. (90 kg) warhead, launched from a tracked vehicle with radar and computer guidance and fire control.

[Origin: 1590–1600; < MF patriote < LL patriōta < Gk patrités fellow-countryman, lineage member]

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

Notice–there’s nothing in there that says a patriot must be proud of their country.  Food for thought, most definitely.

Something else to think about–John Adams said, “Democracy… while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide. ” 

Daily Wrinkle

“The best things and best people rise out of their separateness; I’m against a homogenized society because I want the cream to rise.”

~Robert Frost, 1874-1963

Accepted!!!

2124877967.jpg 

Remember this?  https://brennigriobhta.wordpress.com/2008/01/17/

Last week was the parent interview and observation of Hannah Rose at the Detroit Waldorf school.  We just got the news….she’s been accepted!!!  

 I am sooo excited!!!!  Not just me–but all around we’re excited!!!

 Nancy’s going to have Chris tell Hannah Rose the good news this afternoon! 

For the observation, Hannah Rose spent half the day with the current kindergarten class.  The following day was parent-teacher conferences…and the kindergarten teacher said that the parents of all the girls were asking, “Who’s Hannah?”  lol!!!  She’s a charmer all right!!! 

 Did I mention I’m excited??? 

She is going to get such a GREAT education!!! 

Addendum–Chris told Hannah Rose over the phone this afternoon that she’d be going to Detroit Waldorf for Kindergarten and she was so excited she couldn’t really concentrate at Karate!  Turns out, right after her observation at Waldorf she told her mom that she wanted Waldforf to be her kindergarten, and has been talking about it since.  Hannah Rose called me this evening before going to bed and the first thing out of her mouth was “Waldorf is going to be my kindergarten!”  She’s rather excited. 

Daily Wrinkle

“All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”

~Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900

Governmental Efficiency

Yes, I know that’s a paradox; a Utopian idea.  HOWEVER,  I got my passport today.

 I applied for it 15 days ago–including weekends and President’s Day.

I was told it would be 6-8 weeks before I got it, but 2 weeks!  Not bad!  And I didn’t even pay for express processing. 

So I can now legally leave (and re-enter) the country!  WooHoo!  I’ve been to Mexico…but I’ve yet to set foot in Canada, and I only live minutes away from it!  Maybe I can convince Chris that we should go to Canada if for no other reason than i can say I’ve been to Canada.  (He’s not too impressed with Canada…)

And maybe, just maybe….my dream of going to Ireland will become a reality.  I know Chris would like to take me there for our honeymoon–but we’ve a wedding to pay for, and a little girl to put through private school (hopefully–we’ll know soon if she gets accepted to the Detroit Waldorf School).

If only the rest of the government could be so efficient….  A girl can dream, can’t she???

Belated Valentine’s Surprise

Chris surprised me yesterday afternoon with some belated Valentine’s Day gifts.  (We had been too sick the previous week to go out)

He got me some brownies (chocolate….), some roses, and a KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

1004-3.jpg  1007-2.jpg  1009-2.jpg

 Now, I know some people would consider giving a woman a kitchen appliance for a Valentine’s Day gift an insult….but this is no insult!  In fact, it’s a very very thoughtful gift!!!  We shop at Costco….and Costco carries the KitchenAid.  Chris has noticed me lusting over this mixer on more than one occasion.  He paid attention–he knew I wanted that particular mixer, and he even got it in the colour I wanted it in!  I’ve been wanting a KitchenAid for years and years.  Now that I’m cooking for a family again, it’s great to have it!!!  I am going to be getting a lot of use out of it! 

Isn’t my sweetheart just wonderful?!?!  I’ll admit he spoils me sometimes, but the best part isn’t the presents–it’s just being with him!  OK!  Enough mush for now!!!

Daily Wrinkle

“Well, I think that as a country, we’ve drifted away from appreciating the importance of imagination.”

~Terry Brooks, 1944- 

Assess Your Stress

Here’s a stress inventory I got from:

 http://www.bhicares.org/pdf/manual/indepthassessment/homesrahestressinventory.pdf . 

You’re supposed to add up the scores corresponding to all the life events you’ve experienced in the last 12 months.  What this number tells you is how suseptible you are to a stress-induced health breakdown. 

 My score is 371.  Very high!  Which is what I was talking about in having to work on bringing my stress level down.  I can’t undo life events that have taken place…but I can work on decreasing the way the stress affects me.  I already know that when my stress is too high I tend to get sick more.  (Hence the getting sick 3 times since Christmas!!!)  My docs have told me that I’m very vulnerable to stress right now.  So I’m working on the stress-busting.  (Note on this scale marriage rates a 50…but getting engaged not even on this list!….so my score does NOT take that into account!)

What’s your score?  How are you dealing with your stress???

Life Event                                                                                            Mean Value

1. Death of spouse                                                                                100

2. Divorce                                                                                              73

3. Marital Separation from mate                                                      65

4. Detention in jail or other institution                                            63

5. Death of a close family member                                                   63

6. Major personal injury or illness                                                    53

7. Marriage                                                                                          50

8. Being fired at work                                                                         47

9. Marital reconciliation with mate                                                  45

10. Retirement from work                                                                 45

11. Major change in the health or behavior of a family member       44

12. Pregnancy                                                                                        40

13. Sexual Difficulties                                                                           39

14. Gaining a new family member (i.e.. birth, adoption, older adult moving in, etc)        39

15. Major business readjustment                                                        39

16. Major change in financial state (i.e.. a lot worse or better off than usual)        38

17. Death of a close friend                                                                     37

18. Changing to a different line of work                                              36

19. Major change in the number of arguments w/spouse (i.e.. either a lot more or a lot less than usual regarding child rearing, personal habits, etc.)                                                               35

20. Taking on a mortgage (for home, business, etc..)                        31

21. Foreclosure on a mortgage or loan                                                 30

22. Major change in responsibilities at work (i.e. promotion, demotion, etc.)       29

23. Son or daughter leaving home (marriage, attending college, joined mil.)       29

24. In-law troubles                                                                                  29

25. Outstanding personal achievement                                                28

26. Spouse beginning or ceasing work outside the home                   26

27. Beginning or ceasing formal schooling                                            26

28. Major change in living condition (new home, remodeling, deterioration of neighborhood or home etc.)                                                                                                            25

29. Revision of personal habits (dress manners, associations, quitting smoking)            24

30. Troubles with the boss                                                                      23

31. Major changes in working hours or conditions                                20

32. Changes in residence                                                                          20

33. Changing to a new school                                                                    20

34. Major change in usual type and/or amount of recreation             19

35. Major change in church activity (i.e.. a lot more or less than usual)     19

36. Major change in social activities (clubs, movies,visiting, etc.)       18

37. Taking on a loan (car, tv,freezer,etc)                                                 17

38. Major change in sleeping habits (a lot more or a lot less than usual)   16

39. Major change in number of family get-togethers                              15

40. Major change in eating habits (a lot more or less food intake, or very different meal hours or surroundings)                                                                                                15

41. Vacation                                                                                                    13

42. Major holidays                                                                                         12

43. Minor violations of the law (traffic tickets, jaywalking, disturbing the peace, etc)     11

Now, add up all the points you have to find your score.150pts or less means a relatively low amount of life change and a low susceptibility to stress-induced health breakdown.150 to 300 pts implies about a 50% chance of a major health breakdown in the next 2 years.

300pts or more raises the odds to about 80%, according to the Holmes-Rahe statistical prediction model.

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