Category Archives: In The News

Skipping the Fast Food

Every mom has been there.

We had chiropractor appointments at 11:45 A.M. today. Before that, we picked up my oldest daughter’s reading glasses and rushed through several errands. No time for lunch at home. And the Donna Reed in me (snort-cough) didn’t have the foresight to get a picnic packed…

After the appointments we stopped at the nearby library and then finished our errand running with a trip to Wal-Mart. Of course, the whole time I’m eying my watch and realizing that lunch is going to be after 3 P.M. if we don’t pick it up in town.

Then I reasoned, the cheapest place to pick up lunch is McDonalds…but who wants to eat hormone filled and pesticide affected meat raised by unregulated South American beef producers?

Sheesh, what a dilemma. The kids were great though, I’d promised them something to tide them over, just wasn’t sure what that something would be. See, we rarely eat out. When we do, it’s because we have something to celebrate (as in: We have some money!!! Let’s eat out!!!). Taking the girls out to lunch without dear husband just almost seems mean, in our little world of hardly-ever-eating-out.

And I know I’m not the only one that can count on one hand how many times she’s skipped McDonalds in favor of a loaf of bread and cheese for hastily assembled sandwiches while caught in town over the lunch hour…so don’t feel bad for me, I don’t!

So after consulting the girlies, we steered the shopping cart over to the dairy section and picked up cheese sticks, then to the fruit/veggie department for bananas and carrot sticks which we ate on the way home.

Pretty cheap and no complaints. Three year old fell asleep on the way home, tummy full and transferred into bed like a champ.

(While the rest of us skedaddled into the kitchen and made quesadillas! Don’t worry, we saved her one…)

So here’s my questions for you guys:

  1. Do you eat at McDonalds? :)
  2. In an average month, how many times do you eat fast food?
  3. What’s your grocery-lunch-fix for those days when you’re away from home and eating out isn’t in the budget?

Answer any or all! Looking forward to your comments…

January: Get Organized Month

Yes, January is “Get Organized Month”.

I love being organized. I’m all for organization. It makes life so much easier…doesn’t it? Disclaimer: I don’t struggle with organization, I struggle with maintaining the organization!

The NY Times “Saying Yes to Mess” is a feel-good article for those of us that occasionally find ourselves with a case of the “Messies”. Though I did cringe at some of the jabs taken at Type A personalities.

An anti-anticlutter movement is afoot, one that says yes to mess and urges you to embrace your disorder. Studies are piling up that show that messy desks are the vivid signatures of people with creative, limber minds (who reap higher salaries than those with neat “office landscapes”) and that messy closet owners are probably better parents and nicer and cooler than their tidier counterparts. It’s a movement that confirms what you have known, deep down, all along: really neat people are not avatars of the good life; they are humorless and inflexible prigs, and have way too much time on their hands.

Ouch to that last statement.

Yet it does relieve my guilt over the fact that the only closet in my house with any order is the linen/game closet in the hallway.

Here’s a question for you. When you visit friends do you feel more comfortable in a home that is pristine-clean, or one that has the lived-in feel? Do you think any less of your friends whose homes are on the cluttered side? (My answer: No way!)

Amy at Amy’s Humble Musings posted some thoughts a couple weeks back in an article she titled, Obvious Correlations. She said,

“I think you can tell a lot about a lady by how long she takes to get ready, what the inside of her microwave looks like, and if she regifts.”

Interesting.  My microwave isn’t always clean, for instance, but it’s never gross. Does that count? I paint my toenails in the summertime (sandals), and apply makeup before going anywhere…so I guess being presentable to me, means 10-15 minutes in the bathroom.

And what exactly does this tell you about me?

That I take better care of myself than I do my microwave?

Dr. Phil’s Take on Homeschoolers

Ha. Thanks to Gina, I’m onto him. Dr. Phil, that is.

For those of you that wonder what the big deal is, go read “The Homeschool Scuttle”…or save yourself an hour and read the highlights of the article here.

Dr. Phil is airing today, November 24, a taping titled: “The Great School Debate”. In a nutshell, he’s lumping all homeschoolers into the “unschooling”category. Yeah, take the most radical and controversial approach out there and bingo, sensationalize it.

Taken from the article:

Dr. Phil opens the “Great Debate,” episode with news-media coverage of the recent school shootings, and in a grand flourish of the “Great Debate,” he states that more and more families are turning to homeschooling. This episode could very well be mainstream America’s first exposure to a “typical,” homeschooling family.Perhaps, a very new “Newbie,” is thinking of homeschooling as they watch this show, interested in the wise Dr. Phil’s assessment of homeschooling. While it’s true that the Unschooling family did hold her own very well against Dr. Phil who relentlessly kept quizzing her with questions such as, “Yes, but don’t you want your child to be prepared to compete in America’s competitive Market?” His choice to use a “Radical Homeschooling Family,” was exploitive, deliberately calculated and controversial.If he truly wanted to have a “Great Debate,” why not begin the show by first having a knowledgeable, reputable homeschooling advocate explain the many different styles and ways to homeschool, and the theories and benefits of each style, so that the mainstream general audience could develop informed opinions and be appreciative of what they were debating in the first place?He never, ever, once said, “Teach us about homeschooling.” Or, “Explain to me the different styles of homeschooling.” Instead, he right off, used this extreme, self-proclaimed, “Radical Unschooling Family,” and never explained the basic concepts of homeschooling and all the choices that homeschoolers can make in how they choose to teach their children.What I found most fascinating was how Dr. Phil enticed homeschoolers to be a part of this program. You’ll have to read the “Bait and Switch” part of the article, if you decide it’s worth your time. I had to laugh at the fact that the homeschoolers invited to the program were asked not to bring along any children under 18. Weird, huh. Even stranger when the homeschool families standing in line outside the studio realized that busloads of public school children were arriving to take places in the audience.

Hmm. What’s up with that? Deliberately rigging the audience?

The viewing audience will not be able to see the audience as being high school children. To the television viewer, they will just be arms in the air opposing homeschooling. This is when I realized why we had been brought in as, “Special Guest Audience.” The Dr. Phil Show took no chances. They wanted to make sure that they had an audience of 10-15% that would passionately raise their hands in favor of homeschooling, and a guarantee that the entire rest of the audience would be strongly in favor of traditional schooling. They did not want an audience of people who did not care one way or the other, as they might have had with a random, mainstream audience. They needed to have a handpicked audience that would unilaterally, overwhelmingly opposed the homeschooling, *ON* a homeschooling show in which the homeschoolers had been invited, and had come to express their love of homeschooling!

You’ll have to watch it and fill me in. Or read the article. According to people who’ve been to his tapings, this isn’t the first time he’s exploited lifestyle choices by pretended praise.

For those of you able to tune in, I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts.

Picket Fences and Marriage

In a strangely generous gesture, I allowed my oldest two to wait up for their daddy last night. He didn’t get home till almost 11 P.M. Yeah,we waited supper on him. Neither dh or I grew up eating around a kitchen table. Now it’s a pleasure we hate to forgo. So till midnight at least, there we were, laughing and shushing each other (can’t wake the toddler!) as we ate warmed up meatballs! Poor dh had to roll out of bed at 4 A.M. this morning…this is the busy time of year for cattlemen…time to hit the pastures on horseback and gather up the dogies for shipping. And it’s been so hot. Cattle are dropping like flies. All our animals are listless, dragging. My prayers are with anyone who has to face an outdoor job in this heat. Mon-Weds all hit 105 or higher.

Anyway. My daughters, unused to such a late bedtime, are still sleeping in. So when I got up, I enjoyed the solitude. Fed toddler her banana and toast; then braced with coffee, I turned on CBS’s Early Show.Two experts were discussing why Peter Cook would cheat on a beautiful wife like Christie Brinkley. Okay. Another celebrity split, what else is new? But two points were made that I found interesting. Rich people—income upwards of $75,000—are more likely candidates for infidelity. One of their reasons…work and money took higher priority than relationships.

Baby~I’m glad we’re poor!

Keep those picket fences in good repair. We may not make $75,000 a year but life is busy. Busy can sometimes equal distant. Distance can feel like apathy. Spouses start to feel unappreciated, insecure. And the walls around hearts start to crack, to let in forbidden sunbeams. Stay faithful.

Be proactive! Every day do the following 3 things: pray for your spouse/marriage, do something to make your spouse’s day, and lastly, on paper or online start a daily list of things you are thankful for in your spouse. Each day add to this list. Then give it to them next Valentine’s day.

Cultivate, nurture, love.

Mary