Sunday, August 20, 2017

Social media break

First, one of my friends posted that tomorrow's solar eclipse was a sign of the end of America. How did she know this? Because her pastor told her that the last solar eclipse that went clear across the USA was in 1776, the year the USA "began".  She named other reasons why her pastor said it was a sign of end times- but here's a fun fact. The last time a solar eclipse went across the USA was in 1979, not 1776. Because her pastor said it, she feels like she has to believe it and can't fact check. I hate that.


Then, with all of the bringing down of confederate statues, someone posted that some liberal protesters actually knocked down and desecrated the tomb of the unknown soldier. This is also not true. After that, I'd had enough and just deleted the Facebook app from my phone.


Friday, August 18, 2017

I wish I had those skills

My old pediatrician, Dr. Kholenbrenner, was brought up in conversation the other day.  Throughout the years, my mother would bring up his advice for different ailments that ultimately nothing could be done for.  He was my doctor from my birth, probably until my family left Chicago when I was 14.
The other day, it hit me- Dr. Kholenbrenner just pulled random things out of thin air to tell my mother just because she didn't know better, and he wanted to shut her up.  To this day, she still believes that if you de-fizz a soda, it will settle an upset stomach.  (An upset stomach just has to resolve itself unless it's been too long).  I'm surprised he didn't prescribe skittles, although maybe he did and I just don't remember.

I laughed at my mom the other day and said, "Mom.  Dr. Kholenbrenner pulled things out of his rear end just to shut you up."

She retorted, "He saved your life!"  This is true- I had appendicitis at age 6, and the surgeon described it as "red hot and ready to go".

But, still.  Now that I am a grown up with some 20 years experience, I know what he was doing.  I just wish I had those skills.  His skills of strait-lacedly telling parents to do xyz even though there's really nothing to be done is something I definitely could use.  He was 78 when he died in 2001, which I guess would make him 94 now?  If he were still around, I'd ask his secret.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

50th anniversary woes

My mom and dad got married on 9/24/67, and that means their 50th anniversary is coming up.  Their plans were to do the one thing they love best- to take this senior citizens' bus to a casino in Louisiana.  However, with all the KKK stuff now in the news, my dad doesn't want to go.  The towns along the TX/LA border are infiltrated with KKK.  I reassured him- it's not that serious.  They'll just be on a big bus passing through.

My dad gets triggered easily with white supremacy, because of being born and raised in the south side of Chicago and being stationed with the Navy in 1960 in the deep south of Mississippi.  He has a million and one stories of the culture shock regarding segregation that was the norm in Mississippi but definitely not in Chicago.

It got worse when I taught my father the story of Emmett Till.  Emmett was only 14 when he was murdered, but he was a year older than my dad.  He lived in Chicago with his mother and wanted to visit Mississippi to see his cousins.  His mother let him, but she knew that he was not accustomed on how to act in the south.  She was from Mississippi and before he went, she taught him how to act and how not to act.  Nonetheless, Emmett chose to whistle at a white woman working in a shop and was brutally murdered for it.  His mother chose open casket to show the world what was done to her son.  It triggered my dad immensely.  He often tells of getting off the bus and walking with a black woman and two small children, helping her with shopping bags and getting spat in the face and roughhoused because they thought she was her husband.

I would say it isn't like that anymore, but- it is.  We just push it under the rug.  I hope my parents find a way to celebrate 50 years of not knowing how to live with and not knowing how to live without each other.    

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Father and a Mother





Today is the feast day of the virgin Mary in my parents' denomination.  If your name is Mary or Maria, it's also your namesday.  I view Mary a little differently.  Watch the clip as young Morgaine Le Fey explains to her younger half brother, the future King Arthur.






Saturday, August 12, 2017

Back to school woes

i can't believe summer is almost over. The first day of school is August 21st. Here in Texas, things are done differently. Elementary school is only Pre-K - 4th grade. Middle school is 5th and 6th. Junior high is 7th and 8th. By then, I'm hoping we can convince Anna's dad to move closer into town so she can go to a magnet high school for kids who want to be doctors.

But back to the present. The school district is so disorganized that I was told a million different things about what I need to do and what I need to come up with for the new school for 5th grade. As a former CPS investigator, I know how teachers and principals call for every little thing, so I was pounding pavement to make sure there were no snafus. It made me so tired. I thought, how do people with more than one child do it?  Well from my lips to God's ears, because I quickly found out that my younger child advocates kid's foster parents have nothing on him. There is supposed to be an educational folder, and it's supposed to be green (for kids in state care). What the foster parents got was this Manila folder with two sheets of paper that hardly say anything. He was satisfactory in music, he behaves, etc. oh my goodness!!!  So I email the caseworker and her response was literally,

"The foster parents has the educational folder."

Parents has.

Ok now I get Texas ghetto slang, and I do use it, but I'm not about to use it in a professional email. Did you not take English, girlfriend? So I did some digging, found shot records, two forms of identity, and so on. What a mess!!!

Monday, August 7, 2017

R.E.M. - Losing my religion (The story behind the song)





We all grew up hearing the song "Loosing My Religion" by REM.  I loved it as a kid.  It's also spoken to me through a thousand different situations through the years.



The lead singer of REM (When did he get so old, by the way?) not only tells so eloquently about how it's not all really about religion, but about "unrequited love", but he explains PERFECTLY the struggle to write something genuine.



I can relate to that!  Writing "The Child Advocate" needs to be genuine as he says.  I can relate to throwing everyone out of a room and getting naked to do it, although it's never come to that.



Thanks REM for such a classic.   I hope I can leave mine behind as well.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

I survived ikdg

Great news!  The kickstarter campaign for the 20 year follow up for the 1997 book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" has been fully funded, and will be made!

Please see the updated trailer at. www.isurvivedikdg.com

I like the new trailer better, mainly because it cuts off the statement from the woman that says "my only purpose in life was to someday be married". I'm so glad they cut her off. In the 90's the study groups around this book emphasized that your only purpose is "not" to be married. 

I also like it because it tells more of Jessica Van Der Wyngaard's story. One of the articles has a nice pic of her and her mom on a porch swing. I can't wait until it comes out. I want to watch it alone first and then show my daughter. My ex husband wants to see it, too, as well as some people from that church I'm still Facebook friends with (except, of course, the only one that actually got married)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Out of the mouths of babes

Annalise's favorite book series is Wings of Fire.  Book number 10 FINALLY came out on July 24th.  It arrived at our house on the 29th.

Anna was so excited to finally get it.  She said to me, "Mama, do you know how OLD this series is?"

"How old?" I asked.

"She started writing it in 2011!"

Oh, well that is quite ancient when you are 10 years old in 2017, isn't it?

Annalise also likes to draw dragons.  Each has minor different features and colors, and they are all related.  She wants to make them into a book such as these.  A few weeks ago, she came to me with a pretty extensive family tree of all of the dragons she created.  They were lovely, and I told her so, but I also told her, "When you are writing, you don't want to create too many characters, because it will confuse the reader."

She gave me the same exact look her father gives when he comes up with a comeback immediately.  "Mama?" she retorted.  "How far have you gotten in your book?"

Oh, Touche, kid.  Touche.  I was on a writing spurt a few months back, but the muses have left again.

We've also been planning Halloween already.  We didn't celebrate last year because of Evan's death and how the death representations everywhere were triggering.  This year, I'm over that, and we're having a great one.  When Annalise and I both took our ancestry DNA tests, she came back part Scandinavian and I did not (so it came from her dad).  She told me that she wants to honor the Viking side of her ancestry and be a Valkyrie for Halloween.  I was really excited and impressed, and we picked out this hat together.  I didn't order it yet, because we all know how kids change their minds.