Sunday, August 30, 2015

One More Thing Obama is Going to Do Without Authority - Change the Name of Mount McKinley

Mount McKinley
In another effort to whitewash the United States of its heritage and icons US citizens hold dear, Obama will announce his plan to rename Mt McKinley, America's highest peak. According to The Hill, "The White House’s announcement did not specify how Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will assert authority to change the mountain’s name without approval from Congress."  This is par for the course (no pun intended), rather than to make his conquests through proper channels, Obama will circumvent Congress once again.  And once again Congress will let him do it.
Mt McKinley is a 20,237 foot peak in the Denali National Forest. It is also the third highest summit in the world.  Nearby natives have referred to the peak as Denali for many years and the name is used across the state of Alaska.  William Dickey named it Mt. McKinley in 1896.  Dickey was part of the gold rush and William McKinley was then a presidential nominee who supported the gold standard.  Hence his reasoning for naming it after McKinley who went on to become President of the United States.  The natives call it Denali which means The Great One to them.
For 119 years we have all (well almost all) called the peak Mt McKinley.  For 119 years signs have been made with that name on it, books and maps published, textbooks notated.  I know that was the name we learned it to be back when I was in school.  So now all this will have to be changed with no act of Congress.  Has anybody even thought how much this change is going to cost?  And who is going to foot the cost?  Oh yes, it will be the US taxpayer.  The ones who have called this Mt McKinley for 119 years and still will.  It's going to be just like the Sear's Tower.  Does anyone call it by any other name (even though it's supposed to be called the Willis Tower)?

Top 16 Trump Political Cartoons

The press is alive with Donald Trump jokes and cartoons.  Whether you back the guy's run for the presidency or not, you have to admit these are funny!  One thing I do notice is that 95% are derogatory against Trump.  It will be interesting to see if this changes to a more positive portrayal of him or not.

Will be interesting also to see if the Editorial Cartoonists get their dream of a Trump Biden race in 2016.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Why the June Bride Carried a Bouquet of Flowers

When I got married I made just we did not have a June wedding.  I didn't want to be the "typical" June bride.  After researching the history of June brides I sure am glad I chose to get married in August.

In the 1500's most people took their annual bath in May.  In June they still smelled pretty good. Of course they did! They only had one month of dirt on them rather than 12 full months of slime.  Since they only had this one month of dirt on them by June people got married because they really weren't smelling so bad yet. 

What I don't understand is why didn't they have their weddings in May when people still smelled half way decent?  Although had they done that we wouldn't have the tradition of brides carrying a bouquet of flowers to mask their horrid body odor!


Monday, August 10, 2015

The Chipmunks have Escaped!

Are there no chipmunks in Florida?  My silly hubby is from Florida, and apparently he has NEVER seen a chipmunk before.  Well, that is before today! 

While at Brookfield Zoo he started exclaiming that a bunch of small animals had gotten let loose.  Luckily while on his way to find a zoo worker to inform them of said escapees, I noticed what these little varmints were that he was so worried about.  CHIPMUNKS!  They roam freely here in Illinois, just like squirrels and rabbits do.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Don't Stop the Goth Look

"My son wants to dye his hair jet black, what do I do?", I asked a friend of mine.  "Let him do it." was her answer.  Those four words were just about the best parenting advice I have ever been given. 
As a child who had been homeschooled through 8th grade, entering high school at a big public school was a huge adjustment for my son.  He made some really nice friends right away, joined some organizations and was on his way to a rewarding high school career. 
Soon after school started he wanted to grow his hair out.  That was fine with me.  Then he went from wearing his khaki pants and plaid shirts to black jeans and black t-shirts. Then black coats.  Then the black eyeliner started.  Goodness! I didn't know what to say to that, but he actually looked great in the eyeliner! And I still don't know how he learned to put it on so well!
The end all beat all was when he asked to dye his hair jet black.  His hair was dark brown to begin with, but he wanted it BLACK!  That is when I called my friend to see what on earth I should do.  This was my son wanting his hair dyed, not my daughter.  She had already raised two teenagers and she is the one that said "Let him do it. There's a lot worse things he can be doing at his age.  If you fuss, he'll fight you on it.  Just let him do it, and let him get through this phase. It'll pass."  I had another friend who told me her son went totally goth in high school and college and is now a clean, cut wall street broker.  So there was hope of normalness after the "goth era".
Sure enough two years and four months after his first day of high school my son came bounding down the stairs asking me to take him shopping. "What do you need?", I asked.  "Colored clothes.  I'm sick of wearing all this black."  That sentence was music to my ears. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Support YOUR Candidate

My dad said something very poignant about Donald Trump today, "I'm not backing him because he will never win the general election." It got me to thinking that this is why we never get our candidates elected.  The general election is 16 months out and already people are deciding whether someone can win or not.  Do they have a view into the future that others don't?  By not backing whom you truly think may be the best candidate for any election you are sending that candidate's chances right down the drain.  We have become a country of followers.  Instead of backing who would be the best person based on ones morals, values, and issues, this country votes on who could possibly win.
Why don't we do something different this election cycle.  Why not support YOUR candidate until it is clear he or she cannot win and they bow out of the race.  Let them determine whether they can win or not. Don't determine that before they even get going!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Eight Tips From the Heart of a Caregiver

Many are finding themselves in the Sandwich Generation, those who are taking care of their own kids as well as their elderly parents. For some, elderly parents are able to live on their own well into their 90's, others are able to afford very well assisted living care, and then there are those who choose to blend families and have mom and dad move in with them.  There's no right or wrong answer to this situation, every family is different.  For my family we chose to have my parents live with us. We wouldn't have it any other way, and we love having them as part of our daily life.
As a caregiver, life changes drastically for you and your entire family.  Gone are the days of running off on a Friday for the weekend.  Gone is your own independence to do as you wish.  In blending our family we chose to keep all my parent's furniture and household items so my mother, who has alzheimer's, would remember her things.  This has been a challenge as now my children, although preteen and teens, no longer have anything of their own home, except their bedrooms.  We are realizing this was a bit of a mistake.  When blending families, all things need to be blended. And your kids should still be your utmost responsibility.
So for those who know people who are caregivers, especially those who are the caregiver for your own loved one, here are some observations, suggestions, wants, needs, pleas from a caregiver who knows:
1.  Don't walk into one's home and start making suggestions and rearranging their own home.  Not only is it stressful for the entire family who lives there, it is their home, and that is the way it works for them.  It's actually disrespectful. To complain about how things are done when you don't deal with this on a daily basis only makes the caregiver(s) feel not only unappreciated, but also incompetent. 
2.  Call the caregiver.  Ask how they are doing.  How are they really doing.  Is there anything they need?  Would they like a pizza or Chinese sent for dinner tomorrow so you don't have to make dinner.  Remember, they are now cooking for more people.  They are distributing meds throughout the day, they are cleaning up bathroom messes, cleaning, arranging doctor appointments, going to way too many doctor appointments.  No one ever asks, how are you really doing. Probably because they really don't want to know!
3.  Don't complain to them about how busy you are.  See #2, they are taking care of everything for everyone other than themselves.  They don't want to hear how busy you are.  Most nights I go to bed knowing all the tasks I never got done that day. No one ever cares to hear how busy I am. It's pointless to even mention it as everyone else is always so much busier.
4.  If the elderly parents are able to go out of the house, offer to take them out or have them come over to your house for a spell.  The biggest help I get is when my sister picks my parents up in the morning and has them over for the day. This gives me time to either do something with my kids or to actually get something done around the house! 
5.  Make a phone call.  The elderly are the ones who still enjoy talking on the phone.  It totally changes my parent's whole day when someone calls just to chat.  They smile and are much more chipper and talkative the remainder of the day.  They also love to get cards in the mail.
6.  Come visit!  Even better come on over and set a spell.  A visit gives them something to look forward to and they will talk about it for days.  You will also be the BEST person on the planet to them.
7.  If the situation is conducive, spend the weekend so the caregiving family can go away on a trip somewhere.  My sister, who lives out of town, comes periodically solely for that purpose.  She, of course, knows all the medical issues, how to distribute meds, what to do in situations, so she is able to come in as a backup.  All caregivers need a backup like this.  Everyone says "We'd be screwed if something happens to Kristie."  Well, this way everyone won't be screwed if something does happen to me.  And the family really needs some respite together outside the home.  Everyone needs a vacation, especially those caring for others.
8.  Don't expect them to give up being parents to their own children.  Except in life threatening situations, the kids' needs should come first.  Also don't tell their kids what they should be doing for grandma or grandpa.  They are not the adults, nor is it their responsibility to be a caregiver.  My kids help plenty, and they shouldn't have to be doing the stuff they do at this young age. They have had their teen years of independence sacrificed.  According to their friends their home is no longer the "cool" home to go to.  So don't tell them they need to be doing even more. They have sacrificed enough. They have homework to do anyway!
In essence, taking on the role of caregiver to two aging parents, is just about the hardest thing I have ever done.  Suddenly this writer has been thrust into the role of nurse, physical therapist, nutritionist, you name it, without really any training.  Some days are rough, others are wonderful.  If more people out there offered small snippets of help and encouragement to those caring for their loved ones, it would make everyone's life just a wee bit rosier.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The General Lee Belongs in the Smithsonian

The General Lee
Whether you are for or against the Confederate Flag, if you grew up in the 70's and 80's you probably loved the Dukes of Hazzard and the cool car they drove, the General Lee.  It was good, clean programming with a lesson in each episode. Many of us even had the Matchbox General Lee cars, which I'm sure we wish we still had to this day.  Everybody had Dukes of Hazzard gear, lunchboxes, t-shirts, school folders. And we grew up in the North!
As people continue to debate the Confederate Flag issue, TV Land pulled the Dukes of Hazard off their programing schedule due to the flag being atop the Genearl Lee.  That car was driven by Bo and Luke in every episode except for one.  Now, Bubba Watson, the owner of the original General Lee from the show is claiming he is going to paint over the flag.  He bought that car knowing the flag was on it and what that car means to TV hIstory.  Why on earth would he want to ruin an icon of our culture?  The General Lee is revered just as Fonzie's jacket and Archie's chair.  Why not donate it to the Smithsonian where it belongs?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Reporters Obstructed by Hillary Camp

By now we have all seen, at least I hope we all have, the deplorable photos of how Hillary Clinton has her campaign treat reporters.  What gave them the right to set up ropes to obstruct anyone's passage?  These were reporters doing their job.  A job which in essence probably would have given her some decent press photos and articles on her campaigne.  Instead the campaigne is getting the exact opposite, which they deserve.  Instead the news today is of how Hillary's camp inhibited reporters from getting near her.
Sound like someone else we already know?  If people think we will get any more transparency from Hillary Clinton as president than the current administration you better take a good look at this picture.  This is what she does to the press. This should be a huge wake up call to everyone.