Monday, January 31, 2011

Dear Rachael Ray

(Update below)

Dear Rachael Ray,
I have been observing the exchange between you and Randall Christensen, the costume designer for the show "Dancing with the Stars". I thought your addressing his letter last week and apologizing for any offense was very gracious of you. The fact is, not one time did you ever say the outfits the contestants on the show wore were ugly. You stated a personal opinion of how "little" the outfits were. You should NEVER apologize for having an opinion! You are entitled to have an opinion, Rachael!

I have watched you since my now nine year old daughter was a toddler. She has grown up watching you cook. Countless hours we have cuddled up on our couch watching 30 Minute Meals on the Food Network, and I can't begin to explain how beneficial it has been in my quest to get my child to eat a variety of foods. In the past year, my daughter has become quite observant, and she has only mentioned ONE thing she wished you done differently. She wished you did not show as much skin "up top". Much to our delight to see you stick to your principles last week and for her to see that you, one of her role models, are indeed a modest person (even if some of your shirts are sometimes too low cut for her tastes). She still admires you for who you are, and respects that your clothing choices are sometimes different than what she wishes you would choose.

I was hoping to see you continue to stand up for your principles (because you are right) when Mr. Christensen wrote you back. This evening when my daughter sees you agreeing to try on one of his custom, designed-for-you dresses, I am going to explain this scenario as one of conflict resolution. I HOPE, come Thursday, when you try on Mr. Christenson's dress, you will stick to the truth. If it shows too much skin, you will say so, and stand by your conviction that while the dresses he designs for the contestants are fine for the contestants, it is not your personal preference to show that much of your body.

As a fan, but more importantly, the mother of a fan, I hope you will be willing to convey the fact that it is more important to stick to your value of personal modesty, than it is to have someone who cannot respect your own opinion, "like" you; because in our society, it's hard enough to teach our daughters that people who cannot accept you for who you are, insisting you change yourself in order to be "accepted" -- are bullies, without having what decent role models we have left for our children, succumb to bullying.

Wendy, mom to Hannah

Well, she done it! She put on her custom dress made by the Dancing With The Stars costume designer. I believe she was sincere, clearly uncomfortable, but very respectful. Jackson sat and watched it (Hannah didn't want to), and even he mentioned how uncomfortable she looked. The dress, I didn't believe, was much different in length than the outfits she wears with leggings, and it was a simple, spaghetti strap top. In other words, he made it more conservative than what you typically see on the show, but flashy and less enough material Rachel was out of her comfort zone. Why take my word for it, go see the video here. I still don't agree with the premise of the whole ordeal, but, it is over, and she stayed true to herself. That's why I love Rachael Ray.

This is why kids act up

Have you seen the news today? If not, this was a highlight from this morning's news:

This is the summary of what happened-
"The brawl broke out during a game between the Butler Bulldogs and the East Mecklenburg Eagles when a Butler player's father started arguing with a school resource officer on January 28, 2011."

Maybe, just maybe, if the adults in our society actually ACTED with the maturity that adults are expected to behave, our children would not run around with such utter disrespect- not only for each other but for adults and other authority figures in their lives. It's behavior like this, I believe, is why children run around acting like the world owes them something and they end up never truly contributing anything positive to their environment. So sad.
Even worse? This happened in my state. How embarrassing!

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree?

Why multiple twitter accounts?

I first started on Twitter in 2009. My primary interest was following and tweeting about politics. When I started designing my own Twitter backgrounds, I created a second account to test out my backgrounds. I figured I could tweet about all things FLYlady on that account. Then I started following the "Mommy Bloggers" on the second account. I then realized it would likely be easier for people who did not see the same politically as me, to reciprocate follows on the second account. Social Media is about building relationships, correct? So I had my "political" relationships on the first account, and "non political" relationships on the second account. Then in December I decided to get back into blogging for myself, so, here we have the third account. The third account, essentially, was meant to replace the second, and be a better representation for my "personal brand".

Then I started going to the gym, and realized it would be easy to keep up with what I done at the gym, by tweeting my workouts as I completed sets, treadmill sessions, etc through the second account. The plan is, I tweet the details, then come home and copy the tweets into my workout logs. In the end, the second Twitter account found a purpose, anyway! Not to mention, if I would start getting more organized with FLYlady, I could start tweeting about that again, too.

Are you on Twitter (what's your handle)? How many Twitter accounts do you have? Do you use different accounts for different things?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Isn't it Amazing

One can never ponder enough upon Christs birth, can they? What a beautiful song!!

Have a blessed Sunday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Why did the chicken cross the road?

SARAH PALIN : The chicken crossed the road because, gosh-darn it, he's a maverick!
BARACK OBAMA : The chicken crossed the road because it was time forchange ! The chicken wanted change !  
JOHN MC CAINMy friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.
HILLARY CLINTON When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.
GEORGE W. BUSH We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
DICK CHENEY : Where's my gun?
COLIN POWELL Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.
BILL CLINTON I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?
AL GORE: I invented the chicken.
JOHN KERRY Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.
AL SHARPTON Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.
DR. PHIL The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.
OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
NANCY GRACE That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty ! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
PAT BUCHANAN To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
MARTHA STEWART No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.
DR SEUSS Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY To die in the rain, alone.
GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.
BARBARA WALTERS Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.
ARISTOTLE It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.
BILL GATES I have just released eChicken2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never reboot.
ALBERT EINSTEIN Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
COLONEL SANDERS : Did I miss one?

If I fall down, I'm going to sue!

I saw this story on Fox this morning, and thought "Hey, that's a serious "America's Funniest Home Videos" clip! Check it out:

Then I hear the rest of the story, this woman has retained a lawyer and is suing because she's humiliated because the video was put on You Tube by the mall security and "she" was being laughed at. Seriously? Her name was never mentioned in the video! They had NO IDEA who she was. All the people who viewed this video knew was some person, who is not identifiable by any stretch of the imagination- was apparently too concerned with texting on their phone to watch where they were going and flipped straight into the mall's water fountain.


Sorry lady- that's FUNNY! Only now that she is going public to try and milk the situation with a lawsuit, is she identifying herself as the one who was not paying attention and natural consequences took over. What makes it worse is, now that she has revealed her identity, we find out she's a mall employee! Of ALL people who are forewarned of your surroundings, she would be!

Yes, texting and walking IS dangerous, when you are actually on the street and could potentially walk in front of a bus. But Ms. Marrero, you weren't. You were in the mall. You tripped straight into a fountain. End of story! To actually bring a lawsuit forward because ... you were not responsible enough to ... watch where you were walking? Really? That's almost as asinine as a girl's parents suing the city because their daughter fell into a man hole because she was not watching where she was walking while she was texting. (Who was I supposed to sue when I tripped on grass and smashed my face in?)

What has happened to our society that as soon as YOU do something YOU are responsible for, the first thing that happens is to DENY responsibility? For WALKING? Common sense must prevail in our society. Instead of making texting and walking illegal, not taking responsibility for your own actions should be made illegal. So when a frivolous lawsuit is brought forth, and it is dismissed for no grounds, the person bringing forth the lawsuit must pay a STEEP fine and the fine be donated to charity.

Are you with me?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

GratiTuesday: 1-1-11

This week's GratiTuesday post will be short, sweet, and simple. All day I have been grateful for heat .... and a roof over my head. Simple things, but something a lot of people in this world do not have. Yesterday started bright and early at 4:30am, and the school calling just before six cancelling. So I didn't get to sleep in like I was sharing with one of my Twitter friends, but I was up long before the kids were and was able to get a lot of things done. I was thankful for the silence. I'll confess I wasn't thankful for not being able to get to the gym, but I worked through it! ALL DAY, yesterday and today, I've been inside in my warm, cozy house, with my coffee maker pumping out the liquid gold. I also got to sleep in this morning, because school called last night to inform us instead of making us wait until this morning. Yes, I'm thankful for sleeping in, and I get to do it again tomorrow, too!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Giffords, Palin, and Tolerance

I've been observing the Arizona shooting incident and the subsequent news coverage and blog posts since the shooting happened. As soon as I turned on my TV Saturday night and saw the ongoing coverage, my first thought was "Oh no, they're going to blame the TEA Party.". Instantly, I felt bad. Politics was not the story. The story was, someone, who at the time they did not know who he was, shot 13 people, and at the time five was dead, including a nine year old girl. My kids often attend political events with me. That could have been me. My daughter just turned nine. That could have been her. I should have never, in a perfect world, had to have the thought cross my mind of what kind of political mudslinging was about to occur because a Democrat Congresswoman was shot in the head. THAT is the environment in which our Main Stream "Media" has created in our society. Then I stopped, listened, and learned more about her political history.

Gabrielle Gifford's Political History
She used to be a Republican. She then changed to the Democrat party. She is known as a "Blue Dog" Democrat. ("Blue Dog" means "Conservative".) If there was a Democrat that the TEA Party would "like", it would be a Conservative Democrat in theory. It might be news to some, but Sarah Palin does not dictate what happens within the TEA Party. Go even further, there are a number who identify with the TEA Party values who do not even care for Palin, and believe the TEA Party Express, who Palin toured with, oversteps their boundaries within the movement. There are some TEA Party Patriots who when asked, will share they agree with Palin in ideology but are not a follower of Palin and hope she does not run for President in 2012.

The TEA Party
TEA Party people are very opinionated, and independent thinkers. They do not need a "leader" in the movement, they just want the right person to stand up for the values in which the TEA Party stands on. They're very simple:
- Limited Government
- Lower Taxes
- Eliminate Wasteful Spending
- Free Markets
- Individual Responsibility

Common issues outside the TEA Party platform conservatives agree on can be but are not limited to:
- 2nd Amendment Rights
- Pro Life
- Choice in Education
- Religious Freedom

The Shooter: Jared Lee Loughner, 22 Years Old
- Obvious history of mental instability, became a social outcast in the 10th grade and starting hanging around with the "drug-oriented people".
- The year he would have graduated from high school, and charged with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
- Among his favorite books is Communist Manifesto
- Registered Independent, voted in '06 & '08 but not in '10
- Anti-Government
- High school friend Mr. Marriotti says "He wasn't especially political, though he expressed frustration with the Bush Administration."
- Had been following and unhappy with Congresswomen Giffords since 2007.
-At the end of November, he finished a series of youtube videos raging against the government and the Constitution and discussed "terrorism."

Ever since the shooting, people have been pointing to Sarah Palin because last year she posted a chart with cross-hairs representing the Congressional districts that were to be targeted in the 2010 election based on the health care vote that occurred in March. After the Democrats pushed the health care legislation through (without some underhanded tricks along the way), Palin tweeted to conservatives "Don't Retreat, Reload." Normal people, which encompass 99% of the people who follow her, took it for what it was: encouragement not to give up on the political process.

The chart she posted was not unlike a chart posted in 2004 by the Democrat Leadership Committee, where the targeted districts were referred to as "enemy lines". Enemies. Where have we heard that recently? Oh, Obama!
"And if Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, we're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us, if they don't see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it's gonna be harder - and that's why I think it's so important that people focus on voting on November 2," he said. (October 2010)
Have Republicans been blaming all violence committed towards Conservatives, by Latinos, since October because those "Mean, Old, White Republicans" are their enemy? Hardly not. Yes, words do matter. I personally wish my President did not refer to me as his enemy, but that's between him and God. Logic prevails, no one is blaming President Obama for Conservative deaths coincidentally caused by Hispanics because he said Conservatives were their enemies.

Lets not forget our own President has also said:
"If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,"
"They are fired up. They are mobilized. They see an opportunity to take back the House, maybe take back the Senate," he said. "If they're successful in doing that, they've already said they're going to go back to the same policies that were in place during the Bush administration. That means that we are going to have just hand-to-hand combat up here on Capitol Hill."
Anti Government / Revolution / Violence...
One line of conversation that was being had before the election was that Obama was not moving forward fast enough with his agenda, and the "Professional Left" (translate: the liberal base) was upset with him because of it. Buzz was that liberal "enough" legislation was not being passed fast enough. Then MSNBC highlights an author who wrote a book that promotes violence because of a "failed" government:

What about someone who used to be a "homegrown terrorist" now working in the Obama Administration, that to this day has not denounced the violence led by the group he was involved in? To not denounce it, would be to endorse it, and our Presidential Administration employs this person?

Guns do not kill people, PEOPLE kill people.
The debate is already up concerning "gun control". It is a proven fact that when people are permitted to protect themselves, the crime rate is down. Enlgand had a ban on guns in 1997, but in 2007 statistics were released that showed an increase of 340% between 1998 and 2005. In a study titled "Guns, Violent Crime, and Suicide in 21 Countries" by the Canadian Journal of Criminology found that countries with more widespread gun ownership had fewer murders while countries with less gun ownership had more murders. How about Washington D.C.? It was reported just last year that after the handgun ban was struck down by the courts, murder rates decreased by 25%. The same article refers to Chicago's gun ban, and how unsuccessful it is at protecting people.

Political rhetoric did not kill those people on Saturday, mental illness and instability did. Sarah Palin did not trigger this man no more than politics triggered Michael Hayes.

It is a sad day in America when the death of someone has to be politicized. 
Lets STOP THE EXPLOITATION of these precious souls that were lost on Saturday; and
Lets STOP THE HATE towards political figures, period. I challenge any person reading this to explore their thoughts and think about the hate and contempt that is in their hearts towards those who do not share the same ideology.
TOLERANCE goes both ways.

My (new) friend Sarah said it best:
You might not be tolerant if you
Glenn Reynolds hit the nail on the head when he said:
"To be clear, if you're using this event to criticize the "rhetoric" of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you're either: (a) asserting a connection between the "rhetoric" and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you're not, in which case you're just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?"

"I know this is disappointing to politicians and the media, but sometimes the story just isn’t about you. It’s about the people who were shot, and the person who shot them." - "Stu"

The image of cross-hairs, and guns existed long before Sarah Palin come on the scene, and they'll be around along with the existence of target maps for elections long after she's not on the scene; and people will still be murdered because that is the unfortunate consequence of the society we live in that will never be changed.

If there ever was a time for bipartisanship, it should be now. We can all agree the attention needs to be paid to the ones who lost loved ones, little Christina's parents, and the injured survivors of this unfortunate event. Let God hash out the rest!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Favorite movies from 2010

We saw four "new" movies this year that we really enjoyed and would watch again. In order of level of enjoyment, they go as follows:

Despicable Me
This has to be one of THE funniest movies I have seen ... since Nemo. Kid. You. Not. We laughed SO hard watching this the first, second, and third time :) I'm not a big DVD person because we DVR a lot, but we got the kids the Blue Ray version of this movie for Christmas and it was worth every penny.

Ramona and Beezus
THE cutest of all girl movies. Light hearted, sweet, loving, pink cotton candy and blue butterflies. This movie was ALL girlie, which is why Jackson was glad this movie was seen on a "mom & Hannah" day :) Unfortunately for him, this will be a DVD purchase, as well. He will see it one day! Selena Gomez plays the role of big sister struggling with her confidence perfectly. If this was a hint into her movie acting abilities, I hope she stays with roles very similar to this, appropriate for 8 year old girls.

Not only will we get the DVD of this, but I found a Beverly Cleary box set of "Ramona" books while Christmas shopping that Hannah is going to LOVE. She'll have them finished in no time! (I'm very excited about finding a new set of books for her to read.)

Toy Story 3
I was very surprised when we saw this movie. I expected it to be dud-like, like Shrek 3 was. It wasn't. I cried. There. I said it! This one was equally as good as the first and second movies. Would we buy a DVD? I'm not sure. This one probably will stay in the "DVR column", only because the kids are older. If we have Braden (our part time four year old great nephew) more and settle into a regular routine with him, I'll consider maybe getting a boxed set when they come out with those.

This movie was very cute. We LOVED how realistic that HUGE Great Dane was. Cute storyline. Family friendly, hands down. We'll be watching it again when it is on TV.

What movies did you enjoy in 2010? Any recommendations?