Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Kids today

We've all heard the small town joke, right? "My town was so small, the local high school had sex ed and drivers' ed in the same car". Ha ha ha. Actually we all thought it was pretty funny and told it a lot. That is until we came back to school on one Monday and there was a used condom in the drivers' ed car. Ick. At least they were having safe sex?

Teenage pregnancy was very common when I was in High School. I don't remember a single class where there wasn't a pregnant girl somewhere in the room. Small town = nothing to do = lots of drinking and sex. And apparently not safe sex.

Judging from the kids I see today, if they are having sex, they're having safe sex. It's a rare thing for to see a pregnant girl and this town is really small with nothing to do - just like my hometown.

There's a lot of discussion among certain politicians about what kind of sex ed should be taught in school. That kids should receive abstinence only education. That teaching them about contraception will make them more likely to engage in risky behavior and more sex. I have no idea if this is true. Teenagers are notoriously shy about admitting when they are having sex - especially if they know they are going to be harshly judged for not being a virgin. How do you know if they are telling the truth about having sex or not? If they don't get pregnant or have a disease, you can't tell. Well, I guess you can give a girl a gyn test and get an idea, but um yeah ...

Let's examine the difference between the town I grew up in and the town I live in now. In my hometown, "good girls didn't" and that was our sex ed until AIDS came on the scene. After AIDS we were told that condoms don't work that effectively and the only thing you should do is abstain. In my current town, the sex ed is very progressive and comprehensive. Boys and girls in this town can tell you everything you could ever want to know about safe sex. They aren't ashamed to go to the health department for condoms (including flavored condoms - yes for oral sex, they even understand the importance of safe oral sex). They will tell you that sex is sex is sex and the presence of a hymen does not make you a virgin if you've had oral or anal sex. They are shocked when they hear a girl say she's saving her virginity for marriage when they know that she's had oral sex.

When I was in jr high (it wasn't called middle school then) Brannon James showed me a condom in his wallet. He was bragging. It was a huge thing. I laughed at the thought of 12yo Brannon James having sex with anyone. Yeah, that pissed him off. Now, I'm told, everyone has condoms. There are, apparently, kids who take bags of them to parties and hand them out to everyone. I think that's a great attitude, myself. And I can tell you, if someone is going to have sex, they will do it with or without a condom. The presence of a condom isn't going to make someone more likely to have sex or not.

Do I want my boys having sex when they're teenagers? Not really. I don't think most teenagers are ready to deal with the emotional fallout of sex. But I'm not going to freak out if they do - unless, of course, they are not using protection and I find out they are pressuring girls to have sex with them.

Next Blog

Shall we discuss the "Next Blog" button? I love this button. I use it a lot. I've found a TON of great blogs by hitting it. For instance:

Tanya the Art Butcher you gotta love a woman who can not only draw her muse, but quilt it as well, and we won't even get into her wit.

Stoic Zebra yeah, like seeing someone wear a zebra head doesn't make you stop and look and then she can write too! (Oops, apparently zebra is a he. I'm sure it's my fault for not reading past the first page. My apologies Zebra. Still, it's a good blog.)

The Green Mommy, well, gee, I can't imagine why I liked her blog. She says the things I want to say, but in a much more organized way.

Edited to add one I can't believe I forgot! Bad Mom, Good Mom If you knit or do any kind of fabric craft, you have to check this blog. This is one of my first finds. And every time I've killed a computer (3 times in 6 months) hers is one of the first blogs I search for (because of course I don't have my favorites saved - that would make just too much sense).

I always wonder what other great blogs I'm missing. As I hit "Fergie's Shorts" "Girls, Girls, Girls" "Bestest Blog Ever", etc 5, 6, 7 times in a half hour session. How DOES blogger work that next blog button? It's hard to believe it's truly random when you hit the same blogs over and over and over.

The destructive power of ice

These are pics taken near McAlester, Oklahoma. These pics are from an area that didn't get the full brunt.

The first one? Breaks my heart. The tree on the ground is a redbud tree. This is "my tree". I harvested blossoms from this tree as a kid. When I made "salads" the seed pods were an integral part. I picked 4 leaf clovers from underneath it (did you know 4 leaf clovers usually grow in patches?), until they were killed with broadleaf herbicide to make way for bermudagrass.

At this point, there is probably not a single spot in Oklahoma that hasn't been hit by a major ice storm in the last 10 years.

Pictures actually taken in McAlester show the city bradford pears broken into 3 and 4 pieces.

Can I say how happy I am to live in the subtropics? I've done my share of ice storms.

But they do have their pretty side:

Monday, January 29, 2007

Chez Gaia

Today in our house Mr. Gaia made pancakes (lots of extras to freeze for breakfast for the boys this week).

I did laundry (2 loads on the clothesline, one still in the washer and will probably have to go into the dryer since the clothesline won't hold more). One more load of laundry left and it's all done. Then we have to put it all away. Sigh.

During the laundry time, I baked bread. 2 loaves that should last this week and maybe most of next week, depending upon how much Mr. Gaia eats.

Baking time means cleaning the counters. I do clean them regularly, but I'm the only one so they tend to get messy and cluttered. When I told Mr. Gaia I couldn't bake bread until they were clean, he did get busy and they were decluttered very, very quickly. The kitchen is actually mostly clean now. So nice.

Then bathtime for me while the kids get to play with their xmas Wii (only uses 53 watts - less than a typical lightbulb, that's pretty good for a game system). I don't use a hairdryer and have long hair, so an early bath is nice to give the hair time to dry so I don't sleep on wet hair and don't start the day with wet hair.

What didn't happen? Hyperion DIDN'T do any reading. Sigh. He needs to practice. Oceanus read tons - he just got Harry Potter 6 and is devouring it. It kills him that I won't let him tell me what is happening. I hope he doesn't get too upset when Dumbledore dies.

I sure hope Hyperion learns to love reading as much as the rest of the family. It will be very lonely and sad for him if he doesn't.

We hope to have Soccer practice this week. If it doesn't rain (please no rain tomorrow, so my clothes can dry).

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Why is Everyone So Angry

I'll tell you why I'm angry. Because in a seminar on how to deal with problem customers this was the response we were told to use when we hear "Can I speak to a man?" "Sir, I assure you I am well qualified" and to then list our qualifications. Why? Because what the man is saying is that he doesn't think you're qualified. (actual quote from the seminar leader)So, because he's a sexist pig who thinks a woman can't be qualified, I need to validate that belief by defending my qualifications? So that he is free to think "women aren't qualified with the exception of a rare few"? I'm sorry, that's simply not fucking good enough.

Another thing that bugged me is one of his examples of honor and respect:
A man and wife were filling out enrollment forms to enroll their kids in elementary school. They came to the question about occupation and she wrote "housewife". He looked at it and said "Honey, you're not a house wife, you're MY wife". Ummm, okay. I can't see how that honors or respects her. He should have said "family manager" "indispensible - without you we'd all fall apart" etc. THAT'S honor and respect. THAT'S seeing her as a competant person who isn't defined by him.

I know I learned some useful things, but the sexist attitudes towards women has blanked them out.

I also realized that I've been on the internet just a little too long. All of his jokes and most of his illustrations? I saw a long time ago via email. And most I'd seen a minimum of 4 times. It's really hard to laugh at something for the 5th+ time. Or act touched by the story of the teacher who had her class write something nice about everyone there or the story of the guy saved from committing suicide by one small act of kindness. It also makes you wonder what the hell when he believes these stories are absolutely true.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Birthday Party

I went to a nice birthday party yesterday. Nice family, nice kids. Loud - but then 6-7yos usually are.

I saw a little girl that looked like she should be mine. She looked just like me. Made my heart hurt. When she stood next to Oceanus, they looked just alike.

But you know what? Other than a moment of "that could be my child" angst, I was fine. No biggie. Maybe this hole is closing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Brrrrr, it's cold in the subtropics

No ice here, yet. Please God, no ice. I really, really, really want a heater right now. I go to work to get warm.

To help with not having a heater, I made a big pot of chicken soup this week. It started Saturday when DH baked some organic chickens (unfortunately, our only source here is Sam's, but the price is good). After we had a meal, he picked off the easy to obtain meat and then put the bones in the freezer. Monday, I threw the bones in a pot with granulated garlic and dried onions and boiled hell out of them. Tuesday, I strained the broth and then set about picking out the meat, added fresh onion, organic celery and carrots. OMS, it was sooo good. We add the salt after it is cooked because DH doesn't like much salt and has blood pressure issues.

I had leftover today. You know a good chicken soup when it cools. Mine is so rich, it actually gels in the refrigerator. It looks like chicken flavored jello. Yummy.

Today, I started a huge pot of organic beans. Dried onions, garlic and black pepper. No salt while cooking because that makes the beans tough. DH and the kids had smashed beans for supper, I opted for a nap and then leftovers after I woke up. Tomorrow, I'll separate out some of the beans for DH to make chili and then cook the others until very little liquid remains. I'll use the mixer to smash them and then freeze my "refried" beans.

If it contiues to stay cool, I predict more soup making. This way I can freeze enough for good eating during the summer. I like to have good meals in the freezer for summer so we can eat healthy, organic meals without heating up the whole house.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I have an announcement

I haven't had a Dr. Pepper in over a week. Come saturday it will be 2 weeks. I've dealt well, not too many cravings. It helps that stripes did away with their 69 cent special.

My plan is to not pay for it. If it comes with a meal deal (like at Sam's or Costco) or I get it free then it's cool. I was excited on Friday, I had to go to the bank and usually they have treats on friday, but not this friday.

Of course, I'm dealing with my withdrawal by eating lots of chocolates. I figure this will be like smoking - you gain 5-10 pounds before you break the habit.

Things to be thankful for

1) We are not buried under ice

2) We have electricity

3) There is no danger our pipes will freeze.

For all of you who can't say the same, stay warm and I hope this is much more temporary than the ice storm that hit SE Oklahoma Christmas 2000.

We are experiencing cold weather for us. We'll dip down into the 30s. And, ummm, well, we live in the subtropics. Heaters are optional in houses here. Our house? One of the many without a real heater. It is cold in our house. I made a bit pot of chicken soup to add some heat and moisture to the air.

The anxiety attack I had when traveling in colder climes went away with return to home and warmer temperatures. As a family we walked 4+ miles this weekend and I had no trouble breathing. Well, now I'm having trouble breathing again. It's cold temperature induced. I'd be more inclined to suspect asthma, but when I went to the doctor, my oxygen saturation was at 99 - which is very good. Maybe cold weather just triggers my anxiety.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

PSA for Bug Hill residents

Edna at "Curl Up and Dye" hair salon won $12,000 at a casino during the holidays. This is great for Edna, not so great for her clients. As we all know from the "pregnant teenage daughter" episode, Edna's emotions really affect her skills.

Poor Joan Smith looks like a french poodle - funky "balls" and all. Theresa Maker found out she has cowlicks. You'd think you'd know this sometime before your 30th birthday, but she'd never had her hair cut that short. She didn't plan to have it cut that short this time.

So, you're taking your chances getting your hair done this week. If at all possible, put off any major changes for a week or so until Edna's emotions settle down.