Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Project

In the past I have posted about donating hats, gloves, coats etc. to children in the community.  There are a lot of kids who don't have them and this time of year they really need them.

I think I will put some of my energy towards that need this year.  I love to knit, sew and crochet.  I make a lot of hats and scarves for my shop.  This year I will see how many hats I can make for kids who need them.  I'll have to figure out what percentage lets me balance out my store's needs with my desire to do good.  On average I make about 4 hats a week when I crochet, so I'm thinking of donating 25% or 1 hat a week.  52 hats a year isn't much, but it will hopefully help 52 kids.  

Want to join me?  Send me an email or drop by the store.  I'm not setting up a 501, so don't drop off a bunch of hats and look for a tax receipt.  The Salvation Army is good for that sort of thing.  

Orlando's City Walk

Sure Orlando is a tourist hot spot already, but that also means there is a LOT of competition for the $$ already in place.  So why does their City Walk bring in $$ when our P&L loses $$?

I think the guy has it right when he says that it's because they have something for everyone.  Not just people 21-31 who like to drink and puke. 

KC spent $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ on a giant playground for people in one decade of their lives.  The average American lives almost 80 years.  P&L decided to ignore the majority of that life span and focus only on the one decade where most people do the drink and party thing.  What a waste.

Why  build the thing at all if it wasn't going to be something useful to most people in KC?  Spend the $$ on established areas of town and a good marketing campaign.  Oh well, woulda, coulda, shoulda.  Too late for that now. 

I am not my mother.

I wrote the following post on October 14, 2008.  I didn't publish it, I just wrote it to get stuff out of my system.  I chose to make it public because recently several people have given me the "my kid wouldn't take pills that he didn't know about" or "they wouldn't even know where to get them" lines. I can tell you that they might. I don't know if they will, but kids today know a lot more about drugs and are willing to take a hell of a lot more risks than we did. It doesn't help that we live in an over medicated society, so the 'good stuff' is easier to get.  

I am not my mother

I have 4 beautiful children. Today I am going to talk about my younger son. My 15 year old son is tall and handsome, smart and interesting. He's also a drug addict.  First I am going to describe my night to you.

Mondays are always hectic. My husband has classes at UMKC and my older son has trumpet lessons in Prairie Village. Lots of running around for me. I have had my younger son watch his little sister, but not so much in the past 18 months or so as his behaviors have escalated. Yesterday I did have him watch her. His behavior has been good for a few weeks and he has never used anything around her. Until yesterday. Yesterday one of his friends stole Seroquel and gave my son a 200mg pill. He waited until he got home to take it. That was at 7:30. We got home at 10pm and my son was unable to stand up or walk. He stood up and collapsed into some dog vomit on the floor. (he let the dog eat junk food and it made her sick) As I stood there watching my 6'2" son laying on the floor in a puddle of vomit I totally understood how a parent could drive to Nebraska. I was torn between fear for his life and anger that my 9 year old had to witness this. His brother had to help him to the car so we could take him to the ER. This was the first trip to the hospital. There won't be anymore trips home from the hospital for him. If I have to take him there again the state will have to find him a new place to live.

This is where the phrase I am not my mother comes in. I am not my mother though we have one very special thing in common. We both have sons that became addicts as teenagers. My younger brother started drinking at 12 and using hardcore by 16. He wasted 25 years of his life and went to prison before he could get clean and sober. Midtown Miscreant has blog post where he talks about the criminal frame of mind. It rang true to me because both my brother and my son have that ability. They can magic away guilt and blame and rarely show any remorse for anything beyond getting caught. Add an addictive personality to that mind and you've got an explosion of trouble waiting to happen. I don't want my son to live my brother's life. I don't want him to go to prison and discover the joys of becoming someone's sexual outlet.

I didn't cause his addiction, I can't control it and I can't cure it. Only he can do that last part. But I don't have to make it easy for him to be an addict in my house. My mom spent years fixing my brother's life. She forgave him for stealing from her, acted like she wasn't embarassed when he stole from the neighbors, bailed him out of jail and always let him come back home when he said he was sorry. I love my son too much to do that. We have no insurance and a treatment facility wouldn't work right now anyway. The addict has to want to end his/her behaviors first. I watched my brother cycle in and out of treatment wasting thousands of $$ because he wasn't ready to get cured. So what to do? All I can do is force my son to be in situations where he has better choices to make. Places where being stoned is not an option. He's already homeschooled (lots and lots and lots of drugs at school) but now he has no unsupervised social time. That has to be earned and after this last stunt it will be a long time before he can do that. I don't give him access to $$ and everyone in the house already knows to keep an eye on their valuables. Basically he is in prison without the rape. In a few minutes I am going to wake him up. He kept the entire family up past midnight and there is no fucking way he is going to sleep off his drug hangover. We had to get up and have a semi-productive day. So does he. He can choose better behaviors or he can choose foster care. I will not subject my other kids to his nonesene. I will also not let him hide in the home of my well meaning parents or my recovering brother. They have their own issues to work out and can't help him. If my son wants help with his problem I will see that he gets it. However HE has to want it. Won't work otherwise.

This is harder on my husband than it is me. Not that I love my son less, but I've seen this up close and personal before. Addicts will use you. They lie as easily as they breathe. They find the one thing they can say to make you feel for them and they push that button over and over again. Works on my husband and he keeps getting his heart broken. I'm harder. I knew he was smoking pot but hadn't caught him yet. He denied it and my husband believed him. We did catch him (love home drug tests) and he claimed it was the first time he had ever done it. My husband believed him. He got caught buying it (no charges because the cops bought his sob story and told me that they were sure he had learned his lesson) kid swore he would never do it again. My husband believed him. Two weeks later I caught him buying again. This is how it goes on and on. I feel so bad for my husband. I want to trust my son, but that has to be earned. I've spent plenty of time crying but this whole thing has really crushed my husband's view of people and family. Family just doesn't lie to you like that - not in his world.

To my knowledge this was the first time my son took anything harder than pot (which I firmly believe you can become addicted to) or alcohol. I don't know if the experience scared him. Scared the hell out of me. Scared the hell out of the parents of the kids he was with. (I tattle) I called them at 10:30 pm and told them to search their kids pockets. I didn't want any of them ending up at the hospital with my son. I'm sure at least one of them counted the #of pills left in the bottle. We were told he should sleep it off and that he would feel crappy today. He got lucky. Search the web, there are a ton of stories about kids who didn't have his luck. If you take it, your kids can get it and they WILL share it.


For the record my son has not used since this incident.  At least not anything that can be tested for.  At home drug tests are a wonder and I use them.  He's doing well and has pretty much become the kid I remember before the drugs kicked in.  Does that make him not an addict?  No, it makes him someone who is currently making better choices.  I gave him his choice and  I'm thankful that he realized I was serious.  It's a hard, very scary thing to do as a parent and you have to be willing to back up your threat.  He has stopped cussing and is more interested in family, friends and life in general.  He helps me at the store and I am happy to be around him.  He's not perfect, he's still a 15 year old boy, but I am thankful for every day for the small, 'normal' screw ups like not taking out the trash. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I am sad

I love Twist & Shout.  It's a balloon convention for balloon entertainers.  We've been for the past 3 years and were really looking forward to attending this one.  I even started knitting Bessie a balloon dress to wear.

Now we can't go.

For some reason I thought it was after Valentine's day.  I have a later date stuck in my head for some reason - just found out that it is the week BEFORE Valentine's day.  There is no way I can close the shop and go.  Sucks for those of us who do delivery, decor and entertainment.  

I'm not as sad as Bessie.  She was really looking forward to attending.   We'll have to do something extra fun here instead.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

ARRRGGGHHH - he took it again!!

There is a trash can near my shop that Westport cid put there.  Mark (works for Californo's, filling in for his brother Mike) took it yesterday.  I wasn't positive that the can didn't belong to Californo's, so I just asked maint.  about it.  They were super nice and brought me a new one.

Mark took that one too.

I saw him doing it, asked him not to, told him that the maintenance guy had brought it up there.  Don't worry he says, he's just going to empty it.  Now I have no trash can once again.  I don't have lots and lots of trash, but I liked not having to walk downstairs in the cold to get rid of it.  Now I have to chase Mark down and ask for my trash can back.

I'm going to buy my own trash can, paint it pink and write "MARK LEAVE THIS ONE ALONE"  on it in yellow letters with blue trim.  Maybe he'll get the hint then.

So now what

Ok, I'm greedy.  I got a toy store, but I want more.  The store that used to be the Imagery is huge, but they are going to divide it into two stores.  One will be approximately 1/3 and the other will of course be 2/3 the size it is now.  

So what would be cool?  Westport needs more clothing stores, but not regular ones.  I think it would be great to get clothes store in, but even better to get a designer co-op.  Two ways that would work.  First several small designers/students could work together and open a place.  Another way is for one person to open it and rent racks to the designers.  They do this a lot with crafts, but I have not seen it with clothes.  Seems like a great way for new designers to get some exposure when they are not quite ready to open their own shop.

A baby/child consignment store would be good too.  Something like Children's orchard.   

I have my eye on the spot that used to be reading reptile.  When I have enough $$ in place I want to open an "art playground".  The name isn't worked out yet.  A place for people to come and  create.  Like a gym, only you work your creative mind, not your body.  People can rent a locker to keep their projects in and use the facilities to make stuff that they can't or don't want to do at home.  I know that when I try to make gifts for family it's hard to keep them secret.  I actually came up with the idea one day when I got sick of pulling dog hair out of a knitted project.  (I don't knit at home not that I have the shop).  Anyhow, it's an idea only at this point.  I'm sure insurance will be through the roof, but I have faith.  Eventually it will all work out.

For the little restaurant I want either an Italian place or a boutique bakery.  Something like Baby Cakes in the market area.   

If anyone has any outside the norm ideas for places that should open in Westport, send them on.  I would love to hear them.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Save the Toys!!!!

New government regulations intended to keep toys safe make not differentiation between Mattel and a mom and pop toy shop.  Even toys that use not products that do not contain lead must undergo testing for lead.  EXPENSIVE testing.  Some small manufacturers have been quoted $4000 per product.  When you only  make a couple of hundred wooden toys a year this is too much!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Girl Scout Cookies

Starting January 6th Bessie will have Girl Scout cookies for anyone who ordered them.  Didn't order any?  Dont' worry, I've got a few extra boxes that will be up at the shop.  

yes, we have thin mints!


yeah, it's probably art and not intended for use, but ewwwwwwwwwwww

well, ewwwww for humans.  Makes me think of interesting things to make for the dogs.  :-)

Obama shirtless

It seems to have been quite a story.  I love the Sun's take on it.  

Befriend a Geek

Be sure to click on the action groups for suggestions on how you can make a difference in your community.

KCMO School District refuses to guarantee basic supplies

Let's pretend that KCMO promises to make sure students have textbooks. I doubt they will, since they don't do a good job of that now, but let's pretend.  What does the lack of adequate supplies mean for students?

Students may view it as a good thing.  With no copier paper there will be no handouts or homework sheets.  In the entire time Dan has been teaching for KCMO he has been unable to get more than one ream of copy paper per quarter.  1 ream for 100 kids for 6 weeks.  That's already only 5 sheets per kid and he was supposed to make it last 6 weeks.  We've always had to buy more paper out of our own pocket, but this year we have committed to NOT buying supplies that the district should provide.  Granted his classes this year are computerized, so they are less effected by the lack of paper, but what about other classes?  We are not the only ones refusing to take away from our families to make up for the districts lack of interest.

We've bought dry erase markers.  Kids steal these, so when Dan has them he keeps them under lock and key.  No dry erase markers means no notes on the white board.  There is no paper for handouts, so the students better learn how to write while listening.

With no paper and no dry erase markers, tests will be different too.  Or they will be non-existent.  

Folders.  In the past Dan has been instructed to keep a folder or notebook for every student.  The district never provided these folders or notebooks, we always had to buy them.  Not doing that again.  If the district wants them, they will buy them.

pencils, pens, erasers, tape, staples - we've gotten all of this with our own money in the past.  Not anymore.

It's like being a house painter with a wall and some paint, but no brushes.

During the semester that Dan subbed in Grandview things were very very different.  Paper was kept in the copy room and you could use what you needed.  You were not allowed to copy personal stuff, but enough was there to make sure you could do your job.  Dry erase markers were issued and so were folders.  I'm pretty sure KCMO spends more per student than Grandview, so why can Grandview do more with less?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Got a toy store!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A guy is going to rent the old Sage & Daisy spot and he's going to open a toy store!!  Got my Christmas wish!!


Shalana, the Funky Felter posted about this great new site called Artfire.  From a sellers point of view it's great.  They've even included a space to tell the story behind your work and how long it took you to make it.  Overall, I like the feel better than etsy.  We'll see how that translates into buyers and sellers.  Etsy has plenty of quality work and the people who buy it.

I am 42

Sometime yesterday morning I completed my 42nd year of life.  

I spent about 10 min being retrospective and thinking about my life.  That made my brain hurt, so I decided not to bother with it.  

A friend of mine is big into lists and constantly forwards them to me.  I'm supposed to change her answers to mind and send them back.  I never do.

Now to tie the three previous thought together.

I make new year resolutions on my birthday. 

I did about half of my list from last year.  It's on the side bar, I'll update it later.

Here's my new list.

To do 1095 nice things for people.  1 for a friend, 1 for a family member and 1 for a stranger - every day.

To teach Bessie to knit.

To paint the inside of my house.  

For the store to be supporting itself and hopefully us.

To learn how to do 12 new things.  One every month.

Filling in some of my friends lists will go towards the 1095.  They make her happy and really don't take much time out of my day.  I probably should have been doing them all along.

The birthday was yesterday, the party is in February or March.  You're probably invited.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What Not to Crochet

Now some of these I think I would like to crochet.  Although to be fair the rat is knitted.

Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie

They make me laugh  This isn't the official video, but it has the version of the song that I like best.  Ignore the subtitles, they have nothing to do with the song.  It's just some guys interpretation of the song.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Crochet can be cool

In my last post I referenced the icky stuff people used to pass off as crochet 'fashion'.  Want to see come super cool crochet stuff?

You know you do

She is often my inspiration for knitted and chrocheted scarves/hats/whatevers.

Check out savory stuffs (click the freezer marked gallery)

I'm personally fond of the ham scraf, but Bessie has been hounding me to make her a bacon and eggs scarf.  I think she will get one for Christmas.  :-)

Yarn Snobbery

I am a yarn snob.  I have a strong adversion to the harsh acrylics that you find at discount shops.  I don't want to make a sweater that can stand up on it's own.  I like soft, cuddly, fun to work with stuff.

I'm also broke.

That's where Mis-Knits comes in.  Good, basic yarn is a huge amount of colors.  Amber carries my favorie wool - Lamb's Pride from Brown Sheep in a lot of colors.  She will also order anything I want from Brown Sheep ( I love their stuff).  Her prices are good, not just fair, but good.  I would love to buy some of the fancy, hand spun, hand painted yarns that other shops carry...but I don't want to end up making a $300 sweater for my size 3 daughter.  I spent $13 on two skeins of Brown Sheep Nature Spun at Mis-Knits and so far have made 3 crocheted beanies out of it and have some left over for other stuff.  3 Christmas gifts for $13.  Beat that!  And while these are brightly colored, they are not the grimace inducing, 1970's crochted stuff that you may be used to seeing.  Nature Spun makes a good wool.

I also frequent a couple of online, luxery yarns for less stores.   I'm poor, but I would rather not knit than use crappy yarn.

My favorite way of getting great yarn for less?  Thrift shop sweaters.  Angora is EXPENSIVE at any yarn store.  Angora sweaters are cheap at thirft shops.  Find one that's not been washed (unless you need angora felt for a pattern) and the sweater must also be knitted or crocheted together.  If you find one that has been serged you won't be able to use it.  Find an end and unravel the sweater.  After several hours you will have enough yarn to make a new sweater or something entirely new.  Takes forever, but is worth it.  I do it when I am riding in the car or watching TV.    The yarn in these is usually VERY thin, so for most projects be prepared to use double strands or very small needles.  I like to run it along with another yarn to add softness and contrast.  Sometimes I will use double strands to knit the cuffs to socks or gloves.  Luxery yarn and recylced too. 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Teddy needs a job and to be thumped upside the head.

My son Teddy is a brilliant jazz trumpet player.  Sadly he's also a bit of a Diva.  This attitude may interfere with him playing at State this year.  

He made the band, we just can't afford to send him.   People are worried about the economy and as a result our income is down about $1800 a month.  (balloons are fun, but food is funner for most people)  It's picking up, but I'm not skipping the mortgage payment to send him to state.  We're only talking about $200, but right now it might as well be $20,000.   Here's where the Diva kicks in.  He totally doesn't understand that holding his hand out to me isn't going to get him the $$.  He needs to get his ass in gear and WORK for it.  Countless kids do this every year.  I've given money to this team or that player trying to head to this or that tournament.  Teddy feels different, but he's not.  I know from experience that he can earn $$ playing his horn for tips.  He used to do it all the time, right up to the point where he realized exactly how good he really is.  Now all of the music that he used to play on the street is "boring" or "stupid" or "not very challenging".  I tell him that challenge is great, but knowing how to play songs people can sing along with pays the bills.  His trumpet teacher told him the same thing.  

Keep your fingers crossed that he gets past his arrogance in time.  Right now I am annoyed enough that even if I found $200 hidden away and forgotten, I would not give it to him.  If he doesn't do something missing state is going to be a harsh and rather painful lesson to learn, but nothing compared to what the real world will heap on him.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dog-Eating Crocodile

I've lived in several parts of Florida, Mississippi and Georgia and they all had alligators.  Gators will eat dogs.  Gators LOVE dogs.  Bring a small dog to a pond full of gators and you will see a bunch of eyes sliding across the top of the water to your side of the bank.

Some people never learn this.  I would see people letting poodles romp around by the bank.  Even worse I would see people letting small children throw bread to the alligators.  They don't eat bread, but a small child would fit the bill nicely.  

In Mississippi there was a 70lb lab taken by an alligator in one of the bayous.  My kids and pets never got to play outside alone since we lived on a different bayou.  The only gator in the water by our house was small, but others could join him at any time.  

Man vs nature.  Nature always looses.  The croc in the story will end up in a zoo and people will continue to be stupid blaming the reptiles for doing what they do.  Here's an idea...IF YOU WANT TO LIVE AROUND ALLIGATORS, DON'T LET YOUR PETS OUT ALONE.  A lot less dogs would be eaten and a lot less gators would be harmed by vengeful people.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The scariest stage in my life as a parent

Each stage in a child's life brings new fears to parents. So far I've managed to get 1 of the 4 to adulthood without any major screw ups that I am aware of.

When she was a newborn everything scared me. The first time she threw up a lot, the first 'odd' poop, the first rash...the list was pretty much endless. I'll be glad when she's older and I don't have to worry as much is what I thought.

As a toddler it was the bumps and bruises, falling down things, running into things. Not to mention the stuff toddlers get into. Once I found her trying to open a bottle of children's medicine. Another time she was trying to climb into the oven. I'll be glad when she's older and I don't have to worry as much is what I thought.

She grew older and my fears changed. In elementary school I worried that she would not make friends or fall behind in classes. I worried that she would get sick from all the new germs or get hurt falling off the playground equipment.

In Middle school I worried that she would give into pressure and smoke, drink or try drugs. I worried that she would never pick her grades back up and be doomed to a life of flipping burgers. I was terrified that she would get caught up in that cutting trend that so many middle schoolers are into. Her use of the internet scared me and not without reason. To catch a predator is a horrible show for parents of middle schoolers to watch.

By high school I was worried that she didn't get enough sleep, and that she would never move past her first boyfriend who had been too controlling. I worried every time she got into a car with her friends. I didn't have to worry about her actually driving. She's never learned and doesn't plan to. She mostly lives her life without cars.

Her move into the dorms brought back the fears about drinking, drugs and now sex. It also brought new fears about strangers that lurk around college campuses instead of playgrounds.

At each stage I thought that I would be glad when she's older and I don't have to worry as much.

Then came the scariest and probably most long lasting stage.

She moved into her own place and I have no control over her life. It started when she was still in the dorms. She could go places and I wouldn't know about it. She didn't have to tell me the when/where like she did when she lived at home. Still, I had some control and influence because she was still reliant upon me for some things.
The day she moved into her place and started paying all her own bills was the day I had to trust that I had done my job and she could take it from there on out. Don't get me wrong, I have faith that she can, but it's still scary. you spend so many years protecting them and then you have to stop. It's hard.



Middle of the week for most people, but actual days off are rare for me, so it could be any point in the week for me. Today it's my Monday. The snow forced me into a day off yesterday. Almost ended up with another one today thanks to Grandview's odd version of roadway snow removal.

They finally plowed my street at 8:30 last night. My hill was bad enough that the snow plow had a hard time going up it. I live on a pretty steep hill. By 8:30 enough cars had gone down it to pack the snow into ice. Part of me enjoyed watching the plow truck struggle. At least I did until I got out this morning and realized that they had put zero sand/salt on the street. They just almost plowed it. They had the plow raised high enough that there was only a tiny amount of snow built up on the sides. Grandview sucks at this was my main thought.

Then I got to KCMO. Grandview may suck, but not compared to KCMO. 71 was ok. MDOT did their job. Looking off on the side streets I can not figure out how people are going to get to work, much less how school buses are going to get up and down the hills there. I didn't see any evidence of plowing or sand/salt. Just snow and ice. They are still having school, and I fear for the kids who are on the school buses.

That goes for my son Teddy too. He has to go to school today. Grandview isn't as bad as KCMO, but the streets are still not good. I would keep Teddy home but that would result in him flunking 4 classes. In Grandview if you are absent more than 4 days a semester you have to go to school on Saturday to make it up. The school wants their $$ for attendance. It doesn't matter if you have all A'a despite the absences, you will still get an F in classes you have missed more than 4 times. Teddy was sick this fall and missed several days of school. He made up his missed time in Saturday school, but there are no more of those left this year, so he has to go. Otherwise I would keep him home.

The cities have only a short while to get the streets cleared. The weather people are predicting freezing rain for Thursday. That sucks enough all on it's own, put it on top of the mess they have now and it's going to suck way worse.

Monday, December 15, 2008

a scare

I had a scare tonight. My oldest daughter was in a car accident. Her boyfriend was driving when some douche bag ran a stop sign and hit them. Totaled both cars. Susi and Tyler are ok. They were wearing seat belts and the air bags deployed. They still have to go to the hospital because her head hurts a bit, his glasses are broken and his knee is really sore.

I know she's ok, but part of me is still shaken up. Another larger part of me is angry. I like to pretend that I am a civilized person, but on many levels I am not. maybe nobody is. The man in California who forgave the pilot who caused his family's death is a civilized person. I've not evolved to that level yet. I want to grab the woman who ran a stop sign and do very bad things to her. I won't because my kid is ok.

That's something to think about when you're in too much of a hurry to stop. Or you're too important for regular rules and courtesy. When you drive like an ass you could hurt someone. The person you hurt could be loved by someone who isn't as civilized as they would like to be. You could end up in a world of hurt that you didn't plan on, even if you make it out of the accident ok. Even if you don't give a rat's ass about other people, care about your own skin and drive like you want to protect it.

More pictures

First the most important pictures.  Yesterday I was in Larence at a Flea Market on Massachusetts ST.  My 15 year old son was in charge of the store for the day and he did a great job.  To my total amazement he mopped the floor.  The just to really blow me away he built a dress.    A good dress.  Here's a closeup

The flea market was great.  Why doesn't KC have something like Mass. St.???  We have cute shopping areas, but not a long area that has a good mix of local and national stores.  And to be honest a lot of the cute shopping areas carry all the same stuff.  There was so much variety to be found.  I am envious.  Instead of P&L it might have been nice for KCMO to strive for something like that sort of shopping.  Invite big names in, but subsidize local operations while they get started.  Probably would have been cheaper and a lot less controversial.

I found a new consigner while I was there.  They make THESE.

I LOVE these. I did tell the women who make them to bump up their prices a bit though. They were way underselling themselves. Not that I don't love a bargin, but I don't want my supplier to go out of business! Prices are still reasonable, just not dirt cheap anymore.

Now just for a few shots from the shop. Shalana brought in some brooches that I thought looked good on hats, so I displayed some that way. Dan Smith's pictures look better in person than they do in my picture of them. The chairs and blue room sign are my favorites.

Finally, I've been making/selling reusable shopping bags for some time. Now I've added reusable swiffer pads. They hold up well and you can toss them in the wash.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pitch plog

The pitch included some stuff from Dan in an article about the P&L.  They didn't include a picture from Dan.  For the record that is not a balloon made by anyone at Oh Wow!!.  Not that it isn't a fine balloon, it's not bad at all.  We just didn't make it. 

This is important because the balloon community is a lot like high school.  If the artist who did make this balloon ever discovers it online and associated with Dan's name there is going to bea LOT of whining, complaining and badmouthing.  I can expect to get snotty emails from people who don't appreciate our taking credit for someone else's work and some people will snub me at the next convention.

I've written the reporter and asked him to have it changed.  I have several thousand photographs online that they can choose from.  I even sent him the one at the top of this post if they want to use it.  Keep your fingers crossed that they choose to change it before some other artist notices.

New Stuff

This week Dan Smith brought in some of his very cool photographic work.  There are two that I am coveting.  If they don't sell by the next time I have free cash, they will be mine.  One is of the sign at the Blue Room, the other is of some very colorful chairs.  He doesn't have a website or I would link to it, so you'll have to come by and see what I'm talking about.  His work can also be found at Gifted Hands in Crown Center.

I also got some great stuff in from Shalana at  The Funky Felter  Two of the pendents have already sold, and her stuff has only been here a couple of hours.  She brought me some pendents and some brooches.  The brooches would also be good on hats.  I will take a picture of what I mean and add to this post later. 

Lastly I got a visit from Genea at Gena Beads  She and her husband Ricky came by and are really fun people.  She won't have anything ready for sale here until January, but it is so worth the wait.  Her stuff kicks ass.  Buy some from her etsy shop for Christmas, and them come over here and get a second piece for Valentine's day.  One just isn't enough.  Her mom is also a talented jewelry artist.  I'm coveting a pair of the earrings she makes.  her etsy is Goddess Revealed    I want the falling leaves earrings.

Meg Carpenter and Leesa (who's last name I keep forgetting, but I know she grew up in North Dakota and her sister just moved her from Arizona)  should be bringing stuff by soon.  Neither has an etsy or blog for me to share with you, so you'll just have to wait and wonder.

Oh, there is one more etsy I can share.  Lauren Alexander.  She said she probably won't have anything until January too.  The holiday shopping has cleaned out a lot of her inventory, but I can wait, I love her stuff.  I am some owl prints for my daughter.  She never reads my blog, so I can write about it all I want and she will still be surprised.   Check out Lauren's other blogs too, some of her photography is very interesting.

The people behind the art are as important to me as what they make.  I've been pretty careful about whom I ask and I am happy that I've done so.  I like all the artists, and it's so much more fun to work with people you like.  Besides why be the boss if you can't make the rules?  Rule #1 - I don't work with anyone I don't like.  

Friday, December 12, 2008


Another missing child that haunts my thoughts - Kara Kopetsky.  I first heard about Kara's disappearance from my daughter, 3 or 4 days after it happened.  The kids on myspace were getting the word out, long before Belton police gave a rats ass about her. A month later the rest of Kansas City heard her name.   She wasn't pretty or popular enough for the media to care, so it wasn't until another teen went missing that her name got attention.

yeah, she was troubled in that moody, emo sort of way - but that doesn't make her a throwaway person.  She was a smoker and she left home without cigarettes.  As the child of life long smokers I knew immediately that something wasn't right.  She was a teenager who didn't take her ipod.  She didn't run away, but until Kelsey Smith vanished the Belton police department couldn't' be motivated to give a damn.  

Personally, without any evidence to back me up what so ever, I think Edwin Hall did it.  I think that if Belton cops had gotten off their donut stuffed rear ends, maybe Kelsey would still be here.  Maybe not, but I've been pissed at BPD for 18 months on this, so I like to hold them accountable.  

My heart goes out to Kara's parents and I get a little sadder every time I see one of those purple signs.  I hope eventually they get peace, closure and justice.  A large part of me hopes I am wrong and she did run away and will one day call home.  

Space Open

Sage & Daisy decided to move to a bigger location on 39th street, so if anyone is interested in a space in Westport there will be a cool spot open on Jan. 1.  Lots of window space, it's where the Re-runs was before they moved to Broadway.  There are two other giant spaces open in the horseshoe, but they are HUGE and expensive.  This space is 500sq or so and pretty reasonable.  

Just putting it out there because I would love to see something cool move in.  A toy store would be nice.  Surely someone out there has always wanted to open a toy store.  Someone besides me anyway.  Or a pet store, that would be cool too, but there are already two of those close by.  People are always asking about clothing stores too, but those seem kinda hard to run.  At  least by the number of non chain ones that go under.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a toy store.  Get set up in February so you're ready to go when Murray's reopens in March.  Just something to think about.

Of course with Murray's AND a toy store I might stay broke all the time.  Just no fabric or yarn stores.  That would send me into bankruptcy.  :-)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gem of a website

I stumbled across this today (using google, not stumble upon) and it is the most useful site I have found lately.  I do a lot of gluing and this tells you what glue to use.   May not make your life easier, but it will make mine a LOT easier.


It looks like they may have found the body of Caylee Anthony.  A trash bag with the remains of a small child was found less than a mile from the Anthony home.   It's been nearly 6 months since the last time she was seen alive.  5 months since anyone found out she was missing and 3 years since she should have been given up for adoption.

Why do so many women who don't want kids keep them?  People struggle to have kids, and would provide good homes, but these women choose to keep the children and then abuse and torment them.  In the end, some kill them.  Our self indulgent society has bred a class of people who never leave the 2 year old state of mind.  Everything is "mine!", even if you don't want it, someone else can't have it.  These people crave the attention and will destroy anything that annoys them.  They also suck in the people who don't want to believe that there is anyone that evil in the world.

Casey Anthony was given access to a 12 year old girl via email.  Why the girls parents allowed her to get so close to the situation I don't know.  They must also be the kind of people who believe that humans are mostly good.  I disagree.  I think humans are mostly bad, but capable of learning good behavior which is why society sometimes functions.  Anyway.  This little girl organized a vigil for the 'missing' toddler.  She wanted to believe that little Caylee would come home safe and sound.  Casey played her like a violin.    This is from an email that Casey sent the girl..

One of the notes said:”Hey Sweetie! I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for my family. I am really looking forward to seeing you. We will schedule something very soon, I promise. I would love to have you spend the night, and spend time getting to know each other. You are such an amazing girl and already a true friend. We are so blessed to have you and your Mom in our lives. I love you. Thank you for my gift (a stuffed animal), I named him after you. I will see you soon. Love, Casey”

Notice there is no mention of the missing daughter.  It's all about Casey.  Giving compliments to keep the attention coming.  Eventually the girl started to realize the truth and it was a serious blow to her life.  

The death penalty is not on the table for Casey Anthony and I don't think it should be.  Let her rot in prison and deny her solitary confinement.  Let her spend time with women who wish they could be with their kids.  Let them add a bit to the punishment.  

And let's keep our fingers crossed that the next time a young woman realizes she is pregnant, doesn't want an abortion, but doesn't want to be a parent...let's hope she makes the right choice and lets her child go to a home where it is wanted.  Let's hope that child grows up loved and cherished, not abused and thrown away.

a fun way to learn copyright law

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Know what I have?

A clear sidewalk in front of my shop.  First the Westport people cleared it 3 times yesterday (and salted) then in between Terry cleared it too.  He owns Californo's and is a really nice guy.  

Parking lot is clear too.  Can't say the same for the streets in Westport, so it may be my Landlord's doing rather than CID.  

Last night was CRAZY.  Two questions

1.  Do  most people not remember that it snows EVERY STINKING YEAR?  They must not because driving in it was new to them.  People were either going 5 or 75, not a lot of in between speeds. 

2.  Do the powers that be not realize that if you put sand down on the road it will make the streets safer to drive on?  The ice was/is bad on lots of KC streets.  Yesterday I was in two counties and 3 cities.  KC was the worst, though Belton gave a good effort to be worst.  71 in Jackson county was only so-so, 71 in Cass county was great.  Grandview did it's usual half assed effort but managed to land as the best.  That's really not saying much, trust me.  I live on a steep hill and had to leave the neighborhood and come in on a different street so that I could go down the hill 'cause my car wasn't going up that thing.  Ok, so my one street was bad, at least the snow routes were clear, right?  WRONG.  To leave the neighborhood I took a snow route and it was slick, barely plowed and no sand in sight.  Like I said, half assed effort.  Normal in Grandview.

I am so happy to see the sun!  Maybe the rest of this will  melt.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Things I didn't know I needed

I love stuff.  Not the girly kind of stuff lots of women like.  You know, flowers, sappy movies, cute knick knacks.  I like junk.  I love science junk - especially magnets.

I found this website off of a craft tutorial and I am in heaven.  They even sell balloon molds.  I know where to get liquid latex, so I am going to order a set of molds and make my own balloons.  I'm sure it will be way too expensive to sell, but I'm going to do it so that I can say I did it.  Besides, I might get some cool results!

here's the website.  I'm sure they have stuff you didn't know you needed.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wow - Busy

I'm not usually open on Monday, but for the rest of the season I think I will be.  Why, because I have been busier and busier - and even today, on a Monday I had a decent number of people in.  So for the rest of the winter I will be there 

Monday - 11 - 6
Tuesday - Thursday 10 - 7
Friday - 10 - 9
Sat - 10 - 9
Sunday - Noon - 5

I am going to post this and post this and post this

Until someone cares or the situation is fixed.

This is from  it is the status on negotiations about the contract - or lack of it.  Highlighting is my doing.


Listed below are the major items still unresolved in negotiations. After each item is a brief explanation of each item's current status.

Workday Language – We have exchanged proposals, but have not reached an agreement yet.

Classroom Interruptions - The District proposed eliminating language on classroom interruptions, thus there would be no limits on interruptions to classroom time from PA announcements.

Supplies - In the District's last proposal, there were no guarantees to have adequate supplies for your classroom and students.

AFT ER & D Program – In the District's latest proposal, the Union would be forced to compete with other vendors for the right to provide inservice to new teachers on classroom management (and you know how much those outside consultants cost).
Criticisms/Reprimands – The District's proposal eliminates the language that protects employees from public criticisms/reprimands.

Student Discipline - The District wants to eliminate the provision in our contract that gives you the right to send students to the office for discipline and your right to expect a response by the end of the next day.

Transfers - The District wants to transfer employees at will with no criteria and completely wipe out seniority during the transfer process.

Union Access to Members – The District wants to eliminate our right to place literature in the employee mailboxes and our right to a bulletin board at each school/worksite.

Extra-Curricular Duties (including athletic coaching) -- We have agreed upon a fair hiring process, but the district wants to eliminate just cause from the termination process for athletic coaches.

Grievance Procedure – We are very close on this one.

Librarian Work Year - The District wants to strike the language that guarantees librarians would work at their own school sites during their five extra days.

Financial Package (Steps, salary increases, longevity pay, extra-pay assignment schedule, pay for substituting) – No offers of any kind from the District are on the table.

Management Rights – The District wants a management rights in our contract.


Email the kcmo school district and demand that they stop screwing around and take care of the kids by providing a reasonable contract for the teachers.  Teachers can't teach without supplies.

So far they have not gotten their annual pay increases and have no guarantee that they will EVER get a pay increase.  The good teachers have already started to secure jobs in other districts. 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Really Cool Stuff

Since I have decided to open up for actual retail next week I have been looking for products to carry. The criteria are:

1. I have to really like it. The store is Oh Wow!! and the product has to make me feel that. Or the artist does. Usually if the artist does, so does the art. My store is about fun and I want the stuff in it to reflect that.

2. It must be made by a local artist. I am putting up bios of the artists with their stuff. I want customers to know the person behind the creation.

This week a few things will come in, more next week and in Jan, Feb and March. Those are the people I have confirmed. A couple of others I am checking out to see if we can work something out. I have met some very interesting people. People who make me smile and who's work makes me happy. I want to share that feeling. If I had the $$ I would rent a giant space and set up a gallery. Well, probably not. That does sound like a headache, but you get the idea.

As I get stuff set up I will post a few sample pictures online for everyone to see. Better yet, stop by and see it for yourself in person.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pictures of stuff

Just some pictures of the stuff I have been working on.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Now that we have the space I am going to be adding gifts to the store. I've also decided to drop the Balloon Boutique part and just go with Oh Wow!!.

Why? Because for years we have wanted to have a store where we sold the stuff that makes us go "Oh Wow!!". We still don't have tons of space, but we're going to fill what we have with really cool balloons and gift items that are unique, fun and make us say "Oh Wow!".

I've started the gift area with things that I have made. Hats, scarves (on sale, 15% off this month) a few bit of jewelry and the things I'm most proud of, fantasy flowers. Those are flower sculptures made from uninflated balloons over wire. They make great balloon weights. Flowers don't last, most balloons don't last, but combine the two and you have a fantasy flower that WILL last.

I will have the work of local artists for sale. LOCAL artists. I have to be able to meet with the person face to face. I know that leaves out a lot of really cool people, but there are so many talented people right here in KC. One exception to the KC part. A woman from Iowa that is still close enough to meet with. If we can work it out she does AMAZING quilled jewelry.

Our main focus is still balloons. Did I mention that they were REALLY COOL balloons? Dan's current balloon dress is still on display, but probably not for much longer. Tomorrow is new display day. Something cool will be replacing it.

Come by to see it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

liers get caught most of the time

fail owned pwned pictures
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Good Deal

A while back I spent $13 on a single skein of wool yarn. Good yarn can be expensive, but I usually try to find a good deal. This WAS a good deal. It was half off. Normally this yarn is $26. I got a great deal. It would have been a pretty good deal at $26. So far I have made a pair of felted slippers, a felted bowl, the trim on a child sized hat, a felted child sized hat, several felted leaves and I still have enough left over to make a change purse or maybe a pot holder. Keep in mind that felted items are made bigger than you need, so they take more yarn. I bought one other skein of the same of yarn in a different color. Now that I'm making stuff for craft shows I'm very very happy I decided to spend the $$ on the yarn.

I'm a bit of a yarn snob. That's why I have to look for good deals. I could buy cheap acrylic yarn and save a ton of cash - but you get what you pay for. Ever see that stiff, itchy crochet at craft shows? Maybe on the back of your grandmother's couch in afghan form? That's what you get when you cheap out on the yarn. I look for good deals and use the good stuff. A yarn has to feel good when I work with it. Most of what I use are wools and wool blends. My favorite is Lamb's Pride from Brown Sheep Wool. (wool/mohair blend) I also use cotton, bamboo and other natural fibers - I even use a bit of acrylic. just not cheap, stiff acrylic.

I'll post pictures this week of the stuff I have been making. I need to post some on etsy, but just have not had the time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I feel better now

As I was posting my previous rant happy things were happening and I didn't even know it. I went back to look and sulk, when I found reason NOT to sulk. A customer from about 3 weeks ago posted a review that was glowing. Now I am less sulky. Give me an hour and a cup of coffee and I'll be totally chipper!

Feeling Chipper now, so you'll just have to wonder what I was ranting about. Deleted it since stuff happens and I'm over it.

Hwy 71

I live near the 150th exit off of hwy 71. This winter is going to suck big time. They couldn't close that exit during summer, spring or fall - nope they did it in WINTER. So much traffic down the access roads as people try to get on or off of 71. The narrow, barely plowed, no guard rail access roads.

If people would make some small attempt to drive carefully through the construction I would be less worried, but they aren't. Even with 71 down to two NARROW lanes and no shoulder, just concrete walls, speeding and tailgating are still the norm. I find myself going way out of my way to avoid the construction area. If it snows I'll have to go down 150 to Byers and then over to Highgrove before heading back to 71. Fun, fun, fun. That plan assumes that Grandview plans to plow Byers. Otherwise I will just stay home. I don't do snow very well, especially in the tiny car I have right now. It's more like sledding than driving with it.

Kansas city isn't the first time hwy 71 has been a headache and the people who drive it have been a headache for me. I went to college in Fayetteville, Arkansas and my grandparents lived at the other end of the state. To get there I just took 71 south. 20 years ago there wasn't a bypass like there is now. Leaving Fayetteville to go most places south meant driving on the twistiest highway I have ever been on. With sheer drops and steep inclines. Oh, and tractor trailers too. Can't forget the semi trucks hauling goods over that road. Speeding and tailgating was the norm there too. For awhile the state posted a sign at the beginning of the twisty area that said how many people died on that road in the previous year. In the winter that part of 71 can become impassable. Not that I would have been foolish enough to be on that road if there was any chance of snow. I would have rather gone into Oklahoma and then down to another part of Arkansas than take 71 south.

Today there is a bypass so you can skip all the icky parts and get down from Fayetteville to Ft. Smith pretty quickly. If the weather is nice I will still take 71. All the trucks, speeders and tailgaters are on the bypass and now it's a beautiful lazy scenic drive.

This is an interesting (to me) article on Hwy 71 in AR.

I hope that the mess on 71 south in Grandview does eventually become some glorious highway construction that improves life for people south of the city. I have to wait at least 9 months to find out. It's kinda like being pregnant, only you get to watch the baby being constructed.

I found this on Reader's Digest

Spitting Image
Driving her Chevy Malibu on U.S. 71 one day, Kansas City motorist Robbin Doolin, 31, opened her car door to spit. “I leaned too far,” she confessed to officers. And she landed on her butt. Not one to be deterred by a tumble, Doolin hopped up and, according to an amazed witness, chased her car down an embankment and into a construction site, where she finally caught up with the runaway.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Caylee Anthony

Little Caylee's story was national news for a week or so, then more interesting things happened and a lot of the nation forgot. Nancy Grace didn't. I really really really dislike Nancy, but she did keep this case out there. Why should it be out there? Because in our society people are too happy to forget the bad stuff. I wish that every case of a missing kid, no matter the race, income level or social standing would be on the news EVERY night.

If every local news station ran down a list of kids missing from Kansas City every night people would have a harder time ignoring it. We worry when some pretty teen goes missing, especially if the teen is from a wealthy family. We don't bat an eye when a kid from a poor family is missing. As the skin gets darker the apathy gets stronger. Shame on us.

I've been following Caylee's story on an Orlando Station's website. A lot has happened. Of course they now think she's dead, but everyone already knew that. Most of us knew it when her mother didn't report her missing for a month. I've been following the story because something about the mother grabbed my attention and I want to see it play out to the end.

In more local news GO HERE to KC Child Search to see the 17 pages of kids either missing from our area or who are believed to be in our area.

Stupid cheap racist

I read this story on It's about an illegal alien who bought and sold a house The person he sold the house to set out to destroy his life when the deal went sour.

If she couldn't afford to pay rent how could she afford a mortgage?

Her quotes are those of a spoiled child. I did it, and I'm not sorry. I don't care if they suffered. I'm American, they aren't. so on and so on.

Lots of people reading this will side with her. Look at the bigger picture. yes, he was hear illegally - BUT - he was working, PAYING TAXES, and doing what it took to make life better for his family. If more 'Americans' would do that this country would be in much better shape.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Original Art Flea Market I was there today, and will be there most of the next few Saturdays. Some great stuff and it's CHEAP!!!

Pottery, clothes, vintage crochet, handmade soap, oil paintings, pastel drawings, prints, photography, knitted items, soy candles....lots and lots of cool things. Priced between $1 and $50. If the fantabulous balloons are not a reason to make you come, then there are plenty of other reasons.

Did I mention the great prices? One lady was selling awesome neckties that she had collected over the years. For $1 each!!!!! I missed out on the Gumby one, but I did manage to find 5 that Dan can wear when he's doing balloons.

yeah, you should come.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Thanks to May for posting this link Typealyzer

I am a feeler

ISFP - The Artists

The gentle and compassionate type. They are especially attuned their inner values and what other people need. They are not friends of many words and tend to take the worries of the world on their shoulders. They tend to follow the path of least resistance and have to look out not to be taken advantage of.

They often prefer working quietly, behind the scene as a part of a team. They tend to value their friends and family above what they do for a living.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stuff from Monday

Some Sculptures we did on Monday. A dress and a Mermaid celebrating Christmas. The tree has lots of little sea critters in it.

Unlike other dresses we have made for display, this one is actually wearable.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

the rest of the nation has noticed Kansas City

Sadly it's because of the lame ass momma's boy we have as mayor. I have counted 10 newspapers in other states that have run the article about him suing the city. I'm sure I have missed several.

He needs to go NOW!!!!

Can he sue the city? Isn't that a conflict of interest? How can you run the city you are suing. It's like divorcing a man and still being on his checking account.

I can't wait for the world to start reading about Dr. Sausage Fingers.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Congratulations Teddy!!!!

Guess who is the mother of the #1 jazz trumpeter in the district?????

me that's who.

Congrats to my son Teddy who made first in district. Now it's on to State - December 6th.

The boy is scary good on the trumpet. If you ever see a long haired teenager playing trumpet in River Market or on the plaza - that's my baby. (and I do mean long hair. That's an old photo, his hair is about 4 inches longer now)

Charles Sykes Rules

A good friend sent me a list of rules supposedly from a speech by Bill Gates. They are good rules, but Bill didn't say them. Charles Sykes did in a book about the dumbing down of American kids.

Rule No. 1: Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teen-ager uses the phrase "It's not fair" 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids, they realized Rule No. 1.

Rule No. 2: The real world won't care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It'll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain that it's not fair. (See Rule No. 1)

Rule No. 3: Sorry, you won't make $40,000 a year right out of high school. And you won't be a vice president or have a car phone either. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn't have a Gap label.

Rule No. 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait 'til you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he's not going to ask you how you feel about it.

Rule No. 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren't embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain all weekend.

Rule No. 6: It's not your parents' fault. If you screw up, you are responsible. This is the flip side of "It's my life," and "You're not the boss of me," and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it's on your dime. Don't whine about it, or you'll sound like a baby boomer.

Rule No. 7: Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your bedroom.

Rule No. 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn't. In some schools, they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. Failing grades have been abolished and class valedictorians scrapped, lest anyone's feelings be hurt. Effort is as important as results. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life. (See Rule No. 1, Rule No. 2 and Rule No. 4.)

Rule No. 9: Life is not divided into semesters, and you don't get summers off. Not even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight hours. And you don't get a new life every 10 weeks. It just goes on and on. While we're at it, very few jobs are interested in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to self-realization. (See Rules No. 1 and No. 2.)

Rule No. 10: Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs. Your friends will not be as perky or pliable as Jennifer Aniston.

Rule No. 11: Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.

Rule No. 12: Smoking (or drug use) does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you're out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That's what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for "expressing yourself" with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.

Rule No. 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.) If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven't seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.

Rule No. 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school's a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now. You're welcome.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around this


I don't know if I should laugh or cry. Maybe a little of both. The depths of stupidity in this country know no limits.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wow, I didn't know

I was unaware until today that the election actually cancelled out any powers that Congress might have. Apparently from now on all of the power will be held by one man. One great man or one evil man depending on which side of the vote you were on.

Is Obama really going to do all the things I'm hearing about? Is Congress truly unable to stop him? Come on people, get real. he can't raise taxes, start war (only works for Bush), implement new laws or redistribute any one's wealth WITHOUT THE SENATE AND HOUSE SAYING HE CAN. Not just the Senate OR the House, but the Senate AND the House. Obama will have great power to lead, to inspire and to some extent to influence, but he can't change everything all at once just by himself.

To all the rednecks who are in a panic - Obama can't force you to listen to rap and not country. He can't make a law that your daughters can only date black men and he won't make you get gold teeth. Your life is pretty much unchanged. On that note - cut the mullet. It was ugly in the 80s, it's still ugly.

To all the ultra ghettos - you're still going to have to work even if there is a brother in the White House. Lots of hard working black men and women will benefit from having a person of color at the highest seat in the government. Lots of lazy, not working people (of all colors from very white to very dark) will not see the instant benefits they are banking on.

I have heard so many stupid comments today from both sides of the voting lines. Obama has quite a bit of work ahead of him. I hope he does what's best for the country, 'cause he isn't going to be able to please everyone.

Bladder control training - the scary way

fail owned pwned pictures
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Ok, I finally went and voted.

Decided to test the waters and vote without a photo id. Went fine. Of course I only tried this because I live across the street and would be able to come right back. I would have to wait in the line again, but I could still vote. I wanted to see what would happen after that guy in August got denied the right to vote. No problems at all. :-)


There seem to be a lot more voters this year than in 2000 or 2004. I live across the street from a polling station, so I see the traffic. I usually would support lots of voters, but they have put me in a bad mood today. The polls open at 6. At 5 I could hear lots of traffic, so I went to investigate. The right to vote does NOT give people the right to block driveways. I got to mine in time, but two of my neighbor's didn't and were late for work as a result. On our street parking is allowed on one side only. People were on both sides leaving one narrow lane down the middle. So far today I have seen 9 standoffs where people going either direction were determined that they and they alone had the right of way. That was all before 7. After Dan finally made it out of the driveway I went back to bed. I'll vote later this morning after some of the people have made it into work.

It's only once every 4 years, so I could just suck it up and complain less. That won't happen because it's not only once every 4 years. yeah, big votes are, but rudeness seems to happen every day. Have some courtesy folks. Our street didn't close down for voting. A lot of people actually live near the schools and churches you are voting at. Don't park in their driveways, don't throw your cigarette in their yard and don't blast your radio or having screaming fights about who is supposed to pick up the kids in front of their houses. Behave nicely and I won't be tempted to cut off the valves to your tires while you are waiting in line. :-)

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Hey AssHats uses the phrase Evil Republican Overlords. I like that phrase. I've been using it a lot since I read it on his blog. Politics is one thing my daughter and I do NOT have in common. She's a libertarian and since they won't win she's probably going to vote for the Evil Republican Overlords. Except of course that I have her voter card. Just kidding, she can vote for evil if she wants to. But I am going to say I told you so about a million times if McCain wins, dies and the most evil one becomes president.

This lady is voting for the Evil Republican Overlords too.

So are the people who made up these flyers

I'm so sad, both for my daughter's choice, but also for the basic behavior of my fellow human beings. Geeze, people should know better than that by now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Things that make me glad my daughter isn't me

Most women say "I am not my mother" at some point in their lives. I know I have. I can also usually say "I am not my daughter" (I wish a few more women thought that while clothes shopping, but that's another post)

My daughter is nearly 20 and we do have a great many things in common. However she has very little in common with the 20 year old me. For that I am very happy. She learned a lot of stuff early, wish I had.

Confidence. She has it and has had it for most of her life. After the insecure middle school years she has had the confidence to be who she wants to be. She was voted most unique in high school because of this confidence. She wore what she wanted, listened to what she wanted and if her friends did, great, if they didn't , oh well. She didn't need anyone to tell her that her way was ok. I didn't have that sort of confidence until my 30's. I'm glad she does.

Conviction. This goes along with confidence sometimes. Susi will always stand up for what she thinks is right, even in the face of adversity. She's not afraid to live her convictions and she's not afraid of the consequences of her convictions. She has been a vegetarian since the age of 6 because she decided eating meat was cruel. She did it on her own and while I allowed her to do it and supported her, it couldn't have been easy to pass up on the happy meals and pizza her friends were having.

Focus. She gets great grades in school even while working one or two jobs at at time. I have to admit that when I first went to college I partied a bit too much. Susi never did. She knows what she wants to do and does it.

All in all she's a great kid. She's doing well in her life and I'm happy that we have reached that stage where I don't have to be mom all the time. I don't believe in being my kids' friend when I have to be mom. They can make their own friends when growing up, but they can't make their own parents. That was my role. As Susi gets older our roles are evolving. Now we can do things and hang out and have fun. Sometimes I get to be her friend. Not all the time. She still needs a mom too.

Back to confidence - she has the confidence to be seen in public in a balloon dress and the charisma to convince a friend to wear one too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

didn't cause it, can't control it, can't cure it

Dear Mom & Dad,

I used to have a lot of sibling rivalry with my brother. You never understood why. Neither did I. Then I thought about it. I don't feel that way towards Bryan anymore. It never was his fault. Now I'm giving you 7 reasons why I resented him for so long. Maybe by the end you'll understand why I thought I was angry at him, and who I was really angry with deep down inside.

1. You never call to see how I am doing. You call to complain about my brother or to get me to do something for my brother. If I don't call you then you will go as long as 3 months without calling me. My son almost died a couple of weeks ago. As of today I have not had a call from you asking how he's doing.

2. When Bryan had kids you forgot my kids existed. Well, not really, but you did forget their birthdays and lost most interest in interacting with them. When Bessie was a baby and we went to Papaw's house, you (mom) only held her twice over the whole week. You kept running around taking picture after picture of my nephew and you're only real comment on Bessie was "she cries a lot".

3. During the ice storm we were without power and being self employed we were without a paycheck. I asked if you could loan me money to put the kids in a hotel until we go the money we were due in a week. You said no, you couldn't afford it. That same week you sent my brother money to pay his rent. He was living in Sunny Alabama with his girlfriend, having abandoned his wife and kids.

4. One Thanksgiving you canceled plans to visit us saying that you couldn't get enough time off of work. Instead you went to Bryan's house (still in Alabama). You didn't tell me. Matter of fact you didn't even call on Thanksgiving. When I tried to call you it just rang and rang. The thing is I knew where you were even before you told me. Knowing didn't ease the feelings of abandonment though. It hurt and it pissed me off.

5. Daddy, you have not seen my kids in nearly a decade. We've been too poor for a lot of that time to take off and visit you with all 4 kids in tow. We needed the paycheck. The last time you saw Bessie she was an infant and Susi was 10. Bessie is a 4th grader and Susi is a sophomore in college. Tommy was in Kindergarten and Teddy had short hair. Tommy is 6'2", Teddy's hair is nearly down to his waist and you could walk by them on the street and not know who they are. You're not a part of their lives and this makes me very sad. I loved my Papaw and he always took time for me. I wanted the same for my kids. Hell, I even named one of them after you. Don't say that the kids could call you and that it works two ways. They are (were) kids and it's the adult's responsibility to make them feel special.

6. Arkansas and Missouri are not that far apart. You always manage to visit AR and never make it here. When Susi and I planned to go to Georgia for Thanksgiving this year, you moved Thanksgiving to Arkansas. We're not going there. She wanted to see you without the drama that exists between you and Bryan. She wanted to see you without cousins in tow.

7. Whenever I tell you something about my brother you make excuses for him. He doesn't have custody of his kids, he lives alone....HE COULD GET A SECOND JOB. You don't have to send him $$. He can work. If he wants custody of his kids he CAN CALL THE LAWYER. He's a big boy and you can't fix all of his problems anymore.

There are 1000 more examples I could give you. 1000 more little pin pricks that are the symptom, but not the cause of the pain I feel about our relationship. If you haven't figured out how I feel from this post then you never will, no matter how many examples I give you. Basically I felt less important than my brother as a kid and that hasn't changed much. But still, I wouldn't change places with him for anything.

Bryan spent over 20 years as a drug addicted, occasionally incarcerated alcoholic. He made his own bad choices and fucked up his own life - but you made it so easy for him to do so. When he screwed up. When he stole from you. When he stole from the made excuses. He's bi-polar, he's got ADHD, alcoholism is a disease and runs in our genes. blah blah blah I have the same gene pool as he does and a bit of an addictive personality. I chose not to drink, I chose not to do drugs because I didn't want to fuck my life up. Bryan made different choices and he's paid the price. He's been clean and sober now for a couple of years and I'm proud of him.

I'm also worried about him. His addictions are pretty straight forward. He drinks and he likes drugs. He'll tell you he likes them, but knows enough now not to take them. Your addiction is a bit more difficult. He's your addiciton. You have to be in his life full force. Arguing, fixing...there all the time. He moved to Arkansas to start anew. Now you're moving there too. I worry that you are going to destroy his sobriety. I've said it but you just have reasons as to why that won't happen. Let me say it again. LEAVE HIM ALONE SO THAT HE CAN STAY SOBER. I know it's his choice not to drink and whatever else he does, but a lot of stress can make that choice much harder to make.

No, I wouldn't change places with Bryan for anything.

I wouldn't change places with you either. You don't know it, but you've lost a lot. My children are beautiful, interesting people. I'm pretty interesting myself. You've missed out on a lot of stuff.

to end this where it started.

I didn't cause this situation. I don't know why you chose to favor him so strongly. I used to think it was because I was less somehow. I wasn't.

I can't control this. You're going to be who you're going to be until you decide to change.

I can't cure this. I can only fix the way I choose to handle it. I've gone from hurt to angry and that's drifting into acceptance. It will never be an ok situation, but I have so many beautiful things in my life that I shouldn't waste energy on the things I can't change.

Why write it on my blog? Because you don't seem to hear me when I try to talk to you about it.