Archive for the ‘life’ Category

I posted this on Facebook after watching my wall explode with opinions all over the place, very heated. Just wanted my opinion out there. This just happens to be a day that my husband is working on the Memorial downtown. I want to say that when we took my kids down there once when he was working on another site down there, fixing it, rebuilding one of the damaged buildings not too long after 9/11. My son was a bit concerned, because what was happening, what was that big hole in the ground? I told him what happened that people like his dad were rebuilding it, and making things better. I pointed to the workers on the building, fixing it, making it whole again.

So here’s what I had to say on FB:

I am somewhat bemused that as Facebook is exploding with Muslim Mosque hysteria, my husband is at this moment building the memorial to the victims of 9/11. Put your money where your mouth is, and help REBUILD our nation, instead of tearing each other down. I think his actually being in the dirt and heat and sweating does more honor to the victims and our nation than whining about a building expanding blocks away. Ask why the site is STILL not finished. Where is the glory? The honor? Instead, there are squabbles like filthy animals in the muck. Is THAT the America you want to be?

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My son started Camp Bee A Friend this week. This camp pairs off children on the autism spectrum with their typically developing peers, sharing the camp experience together. It’s not about therapy, academics, things like that, it is camp. Real camp with camp activities. Fishing and swimming and crafts and lunch and songs and games and sports and all the typical day camp stuff — something that kids on the spectrum, particularly ones like mine, don’t really get to experience.

Now, one of my fears with Ted is that he’d be alone when we were gone. That the only people who would be with him would be obligated to. Family members, and people who work with him. Maybe a roommate in an apartment or group home. It’s one of the things that makes me sad, the thought my son may never have a partner, a family, a social life. He’s still non verbal, and he doesn’t really notice other people a lot. He doesn’t interact, usually. And since there are a lot of things he doesn’t understand, what could he bring to the table, friendship-wise? This breaks my heart on a regular basis. I try not to think about it, because it makes me want to die inside.

Well, when he got on the bus to go to camp, another kid came by. He looked at the open doors, looked over the seats, and said, “I want to sit next to Ted!” I smiled, I made a pleasant remark to one of the staff members standing there (as well as continued to discuss how Ted doesn’t eat lunch) and left.

And then proceeded to cry the entire drive home.

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Don’t confuse being busy with being stressed.

Being busy is just another way to acknowledge you’re alive, valuable, needed, part of the greater world around you.

Sometimes you can be very stressed, and not busy at all. The silence, the lack of motion, when not reflective, can be a time that leads you to worry and fret about what you’re not doing, what you’re unable to do, and your separation from your community and life.

So the next time you’re running around without a minute to spare, remember the goals of it all, and your purpose, your place in those tasks. You’re busy because someone needs you, you need something, something needs doing.

And if none of those (or similar thoughts) are true? Then maybe you CAN be a little less busy, and step away from those tasks that are weighing on you.

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Dear Ma,
I’m sorry when we talk I only ask for more stuff,
I’m sorry I don’t tell you how much I love you enough.
I’m sorry I don’t call when I plan to come home late,
I’m sorry I take it out on you, when I’m not feeling great.
I’m sorry I’m so lazy, it couldnt’ hurt to do another chore,
I’m sorry that although you give me all you can, I always ask for more.
I’m sorry.

Thank you for putting up with me and my bratty attitude,
Thanks for understanding and asking what’s wrong when I’m in a terrible mood.
Thanks for being so very strong when dad’s a thousand miles away,
Thanks for asking “How was school?” at the end of every day.
Thanks for suffering through child labor in a hospital for hours,
Thanks for paying the gas, electric, & water bill — it’s nice to have hot showers. [:
Thank you.

I love you even though we sometimes fight and argue,
I love you cause I need you and life wouldn’t be the same without you.
I love you cause I can tell you everything, you’re my very best friend,
I loved you when I was a little baby, and I’ll still love you ’til the end.
I love you, cause Ma, without you, I wouldn’t even be here.
I love you not just on Mother’s Day but every day of every year.
I love ya!

Happy Mother’s Day.

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(I post this every year, if I remember. I usually do. Going back to at least 2003.)

This post is to those who may have a very hard time today.

Relationships with mothers are very complex. So today may not be a day that has you all excited like so many others.

There are people I know who have no one to call, to give flowers to, today. They could put flowers on a headstone if they live close enough, but otherwise they have their memories, their photos. If I could be some sort of universal mother and speak some special mommy language, no matter how old you are, I would love to say to your moms look how beautiful your children turned out. And I could tell you with almost 100% certainty (and not 100% because there is always the cynic in me) that they are giving you that love from wherever they are. That their influence on you has marked your life. Those of you that I know who read this, who are having a day like this, are people that I would be proud of to have my kids turn out the same. Even if you think your life is perfect. Even if you think (and not all of you do) that maybe mom wouldn’t have been happy with your life. We know that our kids aren’t always what or who we want them to be, but we do want you happy. So don’t feel that way. Mom loves you. Happy Mothers Day to your mom.

Then — oh this one is personal to me — moms of angels. I know there are some on my list who have ‘only’ angel babies. Or those who have both — but still know that in their hearts it is still hard. Having the wonderful children I have doesn’t mean I don’t love my angels. I do. They are still my children. In one book I read, they were talking about how the final incarnation before heaven/nirvana/etc. has to be a perfect life. The life of a child not born, or died young, is as ‘perfect’ as it could be. No bile, no anger, nothing to work out. Somehow that gave me comfort. I know the awful awful pain of sitting that first mother’s day afterward, hoping someone would say something, but no one saying anything. Wanting acknowledgment for your child. You ARE a mother. Don’t forget that. If no one else says so, I say so. Happy Mothers Day.

Then to those I know who don’t have physical custody of their children. This also includes people on my list who may have children they put up for adoption, not just those who don’t have custody, or share custody, or whatever. Sometimes you have to do what you have to, for the best interests of your child. And you know what? Yourself. Nothing wrong with saying that. If you are still getting your life together, then you have to take care of yourself. Its hard to take care of another life if you are still tending to yours. And some may be in custody fights now. And don’t have your kids around. But that doesn’t make you less of a mom because you didn’t win a court case. You are still a mom. That doesn’t change. Happy Mothers Day.

There are those who can never have children. Beyond the possibilities of modern medicine. Today can’t be easy. So many questions (usually just WHY), looking around at women pushing carriages and people getting flowers. I still see women who would make great parents. Even if you don’t feel adoption or foster care is not the answer, you are no less a woman because of your reproductive system, and I find in my friends like that a nurturing in other parts of their lives. Other people, art, science, life, politics! You give birth every time you create, you mother every time you hold the hand of someone who needs it held, comfort someone who needs it. Ovaries don’t make a mom. Happy Mother’s Day on behalf of the people you mother, the life you give to the world around us.

Then this one is the hardest. Those who have had abusive mothers. Difficult or absent mothers. Moms aren’t perfect, and I am not going to get on my mom soapbox and tell you HONOR THY MOTHER. Today is hard for you. But I hope you found your comfort, your love, your guidance somewhere else in your life. You are brave souls, who made your own mothers when you had nothing else. Happy mothers day to you, because you deserve the credit for picking yourselves up and making it this far in life.

You know, for every situation here, I know more than one person it suits, who reads this. But I still thought of you individually. So no, I didn’t blab private stories, because I blended them, but I didn’t forget you either, by just pulling stuff out of a hat.

There are lots of other people who deserve to have a good day today, but I felt those groups were the most neglected.

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I’ve decided to start doing reviews for Yelp! I was always disappointed that there weren’t enough reviews there for my liking, and realized the only way to get reviews up there was to do some myself.

So my URL there is http://www.kibblesbits.yelp.com if you want to see my opinion on stuff, beyond what I write here.  My first review is for Pizza Ranch in Dubuque.  And if anyone reading this wants to add me, go ahead!

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Today, I got my first box from Little Tree CSA. For those of you who don’t know, this arrangement means that in exchange for cash monies, every week I get a box, a share from the farm. A box filled with good, yummy things. This box of fresh deliciousness will arrive every Saturday morning at the Dubuque Farmer’s Market until the end of the season (October).

This box contains spinach, lettuce, radish, chicken of the woods mushroom, micro greens, kale, garlic, chives, purplette onions, mint, lemon balm, and wild ginger. I had no idea what they would have this early on, I figured it would be lettuce, radishes, and more radishes. I can’t imagine how much this is going to change over time, because it’s already so much!

What I like about something like this is the way it compels me to eat better, to eat creatively. Organic and localvore issues aside (this fills both roles), what really matters is variety in the diet, to me. If I did not have this box, I would have got the usual produce, half at the supermarket, half at the farmer’s market, half from my own garden. I’d go for the old standbys. Now, microgreens? What will I do with those? How about the kale? I could use more of that green and leafy in my life. Chicken mushrooms? It looks fantastic! Things I would not go out of my way to eat, I will be eating now. Think of how good that is for my diet. Not only does it increase my exposure to healthy food, by granting me access to it, it increases the nutritional value of my diet. You can’t help but ensure a greater variety of nutrients when you have a greater variety of fresh food.

What am I snacking on right now? Microgreens. Until 30 seconds ago, never ate it in my life. Considering that I would normally poke around the kitchen for processed crap, this is a massive improvement. This really ups my veg intake a lot, investing in a CSA like this.

CSAs don’t come cheap, mind you. I’m paying $500, broken up over the months, for the boxes, which is about $25 a week. Well worth it, but there is an upfront cost. However, for fresh, local, organic food, it is a huge savings. I got far more than I would have had I gone and bought each bit individually. Some CSAs offer (or require) some work in exchange for the share, too. It depends on which one you join.

Most of them, like mine, have a newsletter, too. I’ve got recipes that are tailored to what is in this week’s box. And notice how I said “mine” there? It’s how I feel. The CSA concept makes me feel like part of the farm. Like an investor. I mean, that is kind of what it is, but who feels that way when they get stock in a company? Here, I am meeting the people, reading the newsletters, talking to them, getting to know them. It’s something I always loved about the Farmer’s Market, knowing where my food is coming from. But the CSA is even more of a bond, because of the regularity. We’re in this together! They said they were exited giving out the first boxes, and I was excited to get it. MY box, from MY CSA. How often do you think that about what you eat? It’s topped only by eating from my garden.

For information on CSAs, including where to find one near you in the United States, check out this website. It also links to farmer’s markets and other sources of local food.

This is going to be a GREAT summer. I can feel it!

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