Well, I think I have rid the 'puter of its flu. We'll see I guess, but for now I am tentatively back.
Well, the Lord's retribution is swift and appropriate - my computer is telling me it has the flu. So if you don't hear from me for a few days, that will be why. I gotta figure out how to get a dose of tamiflu into a computer.
Well duh, Arlen Specter is said to be flipping today. Hallelujah and pass the biscuits. Like he was ever a Republican to begin with. Yes, sometimes he voted with the Rs, but only when it was a sure thing anyway. If there was any vote that was close and important he voted with the Dems anyway. My bet is he got enough calls from folks like me who said I'm sending money to ANYONE Dem or Rep that runs against you you sorry sack of &*(#^$ that he already knew he was gonna be toasted rye in the next primary anyway if he stayed in the party.

I hope it is true and Good Riddance to you!

BTW I am unaffiliated - not a Dem or a Rep, I am a conservative. And if you think they didn't already have a filibuster proof majority, they did. Specter would never have allowed a filibuster anyway as shown by his move today.
"I have a gift" said Obama to Harry Reid with no trace of arrogance Reid says.

Yet yesterday a photo op buzzing Gotham in a 747 was not thought to be a problem? Why no sir, because everyone in the world knows that the world now revolves around the young, hip, charismatic, gifted, caring, brilliant, and humble president of the United States. It would never occur to anyone that this event might have been a problem, right. And the administration needed a new photo for their file so ya know - no problem at all.

Obama needs to read this and perhaps he might get an inkling why this was one very dumb ass move. And you might simply wish to read it if, like me, you absolutely do not want to ever ever forget. Found by way of Primordial Slack.

I'm sure in reality Obama had no idea this was happening, some moron who works on his staff I'm betting is responsible - but first, it comes from the cult of personality that is this administration, and second, like Bush wouldn't be hammered if he did this sort of thing. He never would have though because he actually does have a heart for the people of this country. Bush knows the pain of the people of NYC. Maybe this bone headed move on the Os part will make at least a few in that city think a bit more clearly?
Glenn Beck right now has a guest on, Mike Levitt former secretary of Health and Human Resources (and former gov of Utah, but that is neither here nor there), who is giving the most level headed - helpful - realistic advice I have heard to this point on the "swine flue" scare. If you are not listening to him I would suggest watching his show on Fox tonight. Knowing Glenn he will either have this guy on tonight, or at least share what he learns.
He is explaining that because this virus has jumped species it is in fact likely to be more virulent than other viruses. But he is also saying don't panic, prepare. He even gives advice on how to prepare.
My throat is sore, but I know it is from my allergies and wonderful spring time allergens.
Gotta go get some more duct tape...
Observation - this swine flu thing is being blown all out of proportion.
Why? My bet - obfuscation, get everyone paying attention and panicked on this so they are not paying attention to what is going on in DC. Make Obama look like he handled a "crisis", give me a break.
How long before they blame the whole thing on Bush?
Raise the chickadees such that they are well adjusted, self sufficient, capable, courteous, secure adults by the time they are released upon the world at large.
I home school the boy, you probably know that. NC has very few regulations for home schooling which is nice, but I sure wish they would help a bit more than they do. There are only two written in stone rules for NC. One is that you register with the state - duh, the other is that you administer some standardised test each year.

People home school for many reasons. Some good, some not so good. Our reasons are many, some better than others. But one of the biggest reasons is that I know on any given day I can move my kid/s much further down the road in their education working one on one than some poor harried public (or private in many cases) school teacher with 20 or more kids who learn at varied rates, ways, and on varied levels - teachers who must deal with government paperwork/rules/regs and parents who are sometimes clueless, pushy, uninvolved, and difficult and do it all with a smile. But eventually (high school) I do put them into the public system. Not because I can't teach at a high school level (more about that later) but because it facilitates the process for getting into college.

Because we do put the kids back in for high school I'd love to administer the same year end tests the state uses so that, when we re-enroll, the school has a good idea where my kids are in relation to how the school classifies their students. It gives no real indication how advanced or how broad their education as been because these tests do not cover on all the areas we teach, but at least the yard stick would be pretty much the same as is used with the other kids. But guess what, the schools will not allow my kids to sit for the same tests, never mind I pay the same education taxes everyone else pays. So, not only do I have to buy all my own materials (gladly) but I have to pay for the year end testing as well.

The first year I tested my girls, some 10 years ago now, they both blew the top out of the test I administered (CAT). This made me a little nervous that the state would not believe their scores so the following year I paid a bunch more money and took them to a testing center for year end tests. They blew the top out of that one too (except spelling, we are all congenitally challenged in spelling - but we use spell check very well) so the following year I switched to what is known to be a tougher test (Iowa) and hired a friend to administer in my own home. The girls continued blowing the top out, but at this point we had a track record that showed it didn't matter which test or how it was administered, they were just good at these tests.

Now we are getting close to the end of this "school year" (schooling never really stops around here) so this week is test week for the boy. He just finished his first section in 1/3 the allotted time and the second section in half the allotted time. Another perk to home schooling, testing is not a week long high stress period. We generally finish in a couple days, and that is with lots of other stuff happening too.

If any of you are interested in home schooling, how we do it, why we do it, whatever let me know and I'll spend a lot more time on it. I could write a book. If it bores the snot out of you I'll spread the posts on the topic and not bunch them together too much.
Why is the world such a mess? I'll tell you why, humans came along and decided to cheat evolution, that's why. The laws of natural selection were put there for a reason.
thanks serenity
Can the media stir up a panic?
Cover your mouth if you cough, wash your nasty hands - close the barn door after the cow is out - and all that jazz
Gonna give this Meme thing a go, as much to practice the link thingy as for any other reason :) Old minds gotta work hard to remember new skills. This is the Saturday 9 from here

1. If you could have just one more conversation with a person from your past, who would it be?

My DenDen (mother's father) I think, would love to have more stories.

2. Do your friends tend to be male or female?

In the real world probably female, though I do have a few male friends - don't have many true friends anyway, people don't seem to do true friend well. Now in the blog world - who knows? :) you guys could be anything really right? But it seems to be a healthy mix of both, as long as no one is playing gotcha games out there.

3. What is in your car’s trunk?

A western pony saddle, a dressage saddle, and an all-purpose English saddle - saddle rack fell off the wall in the tack room yesterday. Good thing I had already taken out the two bags of potting soil and two giant bags of kibble! - oh, and I drive a Town & Country minivan so I don't really have a "trunk" but I have yet to find anything I can't fit in the back of the van.

Now I'm sick of driving a "bus" and would love to have a normal car with a trunk but with 2 kids in college - I can't buy a new car right now. Besides I still drive college kids' stuff back and forth and occasionally haul horse stuff, bicycles, plant stuff, and when hauling D3 to her activities I often must haul a harp, cello, fiddle, concertina, and various other instruments - all at the same time. So I guess I continue driving the bus for a while. Unless the government in their infinite wisdom decide we all need to drive stupid little electric golf carts instead of gas guzzlers.

4. What was the last CD that you purchased?

A Klezmer CD for D3 who now is interested in Klezmer Clarinet. Apparently already playing 20 some instruments and being fluent in Irish Traditional music and Classical music is not enough for her - she's gotta try something new.

5. What is your favorite movie and why?

Depends on my mood. I hate sad movies, life is sad enough without borrowing sadness for entertainment. Not big on scary movies, I have enough nightmares. Like funny movies and action, adventure movies. Some of the movies I like as they come to me are Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Independence Day, the Pacifier, Juno, Clancey movies, Bond movies, Ever After, Princess Diaries, Little Miss Sunshine, Forrest Gump...

6. If you could wake up with a new talent tomorrow, what would it be?

Exercise, there has got to be a talent for it and I just don't have it.

7. What is your favorite day of the week and why?

Saturday, usually have a less harried day on Saturday.

8. What are you wearing when you feel you’re at your best?

I never feel I am at my best, but I feel best when I am in my jammies snuggled in my home with my kids, my dogs, and himself.

9. When was the last you time cried?

When a friend of 20 years was murdered by her X on New Year's Eve 2008. It took a few days after hearing of the murder to accept it was real and actually cry. Still think of you often Angie.

These are my girls D2 and Rosie
Rosie is 10 yrs old. We bought her
shortly before her second birthday
and we have done all her training

Rosie and D2 over fences in better days.
Don't know how long it will be before she
can sail over jumps again.

This is the boy on our Rolo
Aren't they cute?

This is years ago D3 on Rolo
after he made his usual ribbon
haul at a show on the Biltmore

Rollie giving D3 kisses.
Now I really must go mow the dandelions.

Two of the lovely old buildings on the property. This farm is about 120 years old. My pony lives in the old barn with the hay loft. Nobody lives in the other old barn.

The gray mare is Melody (not mine) she lives in the stall next to my blue eyed girl.

These are the barn dogs. The border collie is Lacey. The pit bull is Max and he is one of the sweetest, gentlest, silliest dogs I've ever known.

Free range barn pig Olivia. She pretty much does as she chooses.
Four barn ducks - this is the first crew of ducks that have survived a winter at the barn. Coyotes didn't get them!

One of three hen's that live here. One other looks like her and there is one little red hen. She hatched these babies and is taking very good care of them, but there is no rooster at the barn so these are not her DNA babies. We are all wondering what they will grow up to be. I'm betting more little red hens.

This is not my farm. I just board my horse and pony here and work here two days a week so that I can afford to keep my horses. It is a 10 min drive from my home so it is very convenient. It can be a lovely place to be, it can also be a royal pain in the butt. There are 21 horses, five cats, 2 dogs, 4 ducks, 3 hens, 8 chicks, and a pig - and an aquarium in the house. That is an awful lot of mouths to feed, before you even get to the family of 4 humans.
The view from the saddle. My horse, Rosalie, is in rehab for a serious foot bone issue. She has had her Tildron treatment, new fancy shoes, and takes butte (horsey aspirin) daily. She hates the butte, which we should be able to just mix with her feed but she refuses to eat if the medicine is in there, so I have to force it down her silly throat every day. She needs to be brought back into work very slowly so right now for 30-45 min a day four or five times a week I am supposed to ride her at a walk. That is all well and good, but my knees just scream. The horse is kept for my D2, hopefully in a few more years she'll be in a position to take over Rose's care, but right now as D2 is in college it falls to me to climb into the saddle. I'm really too old for this. A kiss for Mommy's toe....

Stinky pony. His name is Rolo. We've had him for about 11 years, D2 trained him herself, then between her and D3 riding him, he went on to win more than a hundred ribbons, most blue or red - plus many division championships and two series championships. He "jumps like a cricket", for a tiny guy he has a huge heart. Now the boy rides him some but those 11 year old legs are growing very quickly and soon he too will be simply too big to ride our stinky pony.

We've had offers for him over the years, even from show judges - had many people at shows tell me he is worth his weight in gold - but I just don't trust anyone else to care for him, so I guess he'll be my stinky pony for a long time.

Pony tongue and sweet soft pony eye :)

Barn Kitty Missy is rolling in the drive.

Barn Kitty Tux looks dressed to go out.

There are 3 more barn kitties.

My favorite biblical passage is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Just sayin.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war; and a time of peace.

It is beautiful, no?
Nothing much to say yesterday or today. I'm tired, but should write something just to keep things going. Blog a couple weeks then weenie out. Not cool.

Weather was beautiful most of the day today (except for the freakish thunderstorm that came out of no where literally about 3:00)

Bought a bunch of vegetable plants, herbs, and flowers today. Not as many flowers as I have in past years, economy and all, but some. The boy wants to garden so we'll grub in the dirt tomorrow and put everything in. I generally love grubbing in the dirt, but the last few years I've just been too busy in the summer to really get into it so my main goal has been to kill as much as I can. The black eyed susans are spreading like wild fire and the weeds are just more than I can handle. Plus one side of the yard grows a healthy crop of poison ivy and no matter how careful I am I manage to get it on my face 2-3 times a year. Requires quick prescription of prednisone or I get into serious trouble in hours. No fun.

I'm thinking I might put most of the vegies in pots on the deck - and a few herbs back there too. That will help keep the weeds under control in the vegies anyway. No large vegie garden is possible here, most of my yard is just too shady. I've tried several areas in the yard and none have proven particularly successful. But the boy had good luck with his one tomato plant on the deck last summer, so maybe that is the ticket.

Right now the garden looks pretty nice. It is early in the year, and I bit the bullet and spread two dump truck loads of mulch in March to help keep the weeds down. Still will be terrible in a month or so, but for now it is rather pretty. Maybe I'll try to get a decent photo or two tomorrow to share with you, but no promises - a photographer I am not.

I'm boycotting politics right now. I need some peace and lovely things for a few days. I'm all about a clean house, gardening, and maybe reading a book.
In my regular morning meanderings through the land of Blog I ran across this. Ms Serenity did a great job of saying what I was thinking when I read this yesterday so rather than me trying to say it all, I'll just say "what she said".
My turn to pepe plus see if I can follow pamibe's directions on how to embed a link (did I do it right?:) (by way of leeann, by way of mum in chaos) I think I've got it Pam.

8 things I'm looking forward to
1) Obama leaving office.
2) Nancy Pelosi leaving office.
3) American voters waking up and smelling the fruitcake.
4) Some Obama youth type to show up at my front door.
5) My horse being sound and rideable again, it's a long story and it involves many trips to the vet, much money, and a hefty dose of good luck.
6) All my kids being all graduated from college.
7) One day remodeling my kitchen - that'll be sometime after all the kids are out of college.
8) My evil sister getting what she deserves.

8 things I did yesterday
1) Got the car inspected
2) Went to grocery store
3) Went to bank to make D3 deposit
4) Got S1 all schooled up for the day
5) Called App State to try to get student account straight, they say we owe them $300, but really they owe us $200 - they "lost a check". Funny, it cleared my account.
6) Cleaned and bedded 21 stalls, fed/watered/hayed/turned out 21 horses (not all mine - I have 1 horse and 1 pony)
7) Watched Idol - I know...
8) Vacuumed/did laundry/made bed/washed dishes/cooked dinner/cleaned 2 bathrooms
cheeze - boring

8 things I wish I could do
1) Lose 20 lbs
2) Keep my mind focused enough to read a book
3) Sleep without drugs
4) Look like I did when I was 30 - well, like I wished I looked when I was 30
5) Wave a magic wand and actually have it work
6) Make everything all ok for D1
7) Teleporting would be good
8) Make all my getting old symptoms go away

8 shows I watch
2) the Mentalist
3) Dog Whisperer
4) Animal cops - all sorts of places
5) CSI all sorts of places
6) 24 (on DVD after the season ends cause it is better to watch it in several days rather than over weeks and we make a family summer activity of it)
7) ok, I admit it, Idol (unless there is something better on, like NCIS)
8) Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Patti's Parenting Primise number D - nobody is perfect and no matter how hard we try as parents we will in fact make mistakes. An occasional mistake does not a failure make and most mistakes can be corrected.
Patti's Parenting Premise number tres - do not try to be your kid's best friend. That is not your job, your job is to be your kid's best PARENT.
Patti's Parenting Primise numero dos - If you are not ready to devote yourself to raising children, please don't have any. Children are not window dressing for you, they are future citizens that will be unleashed upon the rest of us about the time they are taken for their first outing to the grocery store.
Patti's Parenting Premise numero uno - Children are not born civilized. They must be civilized.
get up
drink coffee
drink more coffee
check blogs, laugh at bird vid on Leeann's blog (you make me laugh girl)
call in hubby to laugh at bird vid
tread mill and animal planet
flake out on couch, call both girls in college to check on them
go to barn
shed on pony
shed on mare
ride mare at a walk only 30 min (in rehab)
come home, take copious quantities of antihistamine i should have taken before leaving
eat peanutbutter and banana sandwich
take dogs onto deck and shed on them - god corgis can shed - leave hair for birds
mow back yard weeds and dirt - no grass back there
drink copious quantities of dr pepper
take dogs to park
flake out on couch - drink glass of red wine
take much needed bath
take more antihistamine
go to bed : )
pretty day in the mountains...
oddy, still waiting for those doggie pictures : )
This is for any of you who fear my boy may learn more verbiage from your sites than I might approve.

First thing to keep in mind is that he is home schooled. If he were in public school (or private for that matter at this age!) he would be in middle school now - 6th grade. When most of us were in school that was still elementary, as I believe it should still be. But now 11 year olds are folded in with 13 year olds in Middle School. Remember what the general conversation between boys that age would consist of? How often would a smuggled copy of pr0n be the contraband of choice? My bet is that sort of thing is still the norm - and have you listened to the music these kids follow? Or the movies they discuss? The actors they follow-Brittney Spears? P A- L E S E! One of the host of reasons I home school is to maintain some degree of control over this sort of exposure. Kids today are not allowed to be kids for nearly long enough. They only get one crack at it, and I jealously guard the right mine have to those precious few years.

But of course the first comment anyone and everyone has to the idea of homeschooling is "socialisation", and being able to handle the "real world." Just because I try to keep him/them from porn, trashy language, trashy music, and pants around their knees does not mean I shelter him/them from reality. By no means is this the case. I actually use every example of such we run across as a teachable moment. I generally point out these sorts of things when we come across them and explain why someone would behave this way, and why they are wrong to do so. We discuss it all. That way my chickadees are aware of uncivilized behavior and are armed with the tools to resist following the lead of such examples. It is not that I try to shelter him but that I want to be the one who influences his perceptions of the world and the behavior of those around him, both good and bad.

How does this apply to you all? Well for starters you are all adults and he knows that. He knows that some things are more acceptable for adults than for kids. He knows that I will turn him every which way but loose if I hear certain words pass his lips, simply because he is still young. He understands that we use certain expletives at certain times to make a pithy point, but that he may not do the same. Add to that he does not read the comments, which is where the majority of pithiness tends to appear. He knows that what we write is not necessarily the way we would speak in public, just 'cause some of you use F Oprah regularly on line does not mean you walk about saying it! Look at your posts my dear friends - most of what goes up there are photographs (of dogs, flowers, and family for the most part), news reports, and well thought out intelligent commentary on the moronic behavior of the "leaders" of our country, or better yet commentary on the moronic writing and ranting of those who claim to be journalists. These are not things from which I need to shield him. These are the things I want him to see and hear. You are the sort of Americans I want him to be aware of. You are good people, caring people, patriotic people. You are the good stuff that makes this country great. Maybe you get frustrated, but usually for very good reason - the same reasons he actually hears me rant.

Of course there are a couple on my list of links that he has been advised not to check, ever, without asking me first :) And he actually listens to me so I don't worry too much.

So, please, don't let it cross your mind that my 11 year old might be reading you today - after all, this stuff is on the net, someone else's 7 year old might be reading it ;)
From Drudge Report---
Coverage of Tax Day Tea Parties Fox vs rest of the drive bys....

FOXNEWS 3,390,000
MSNBC 1,210,000
CNN 1,070,000
FOXNEWS BECK 2,740,000
FOXNEWS SHEP 2,185,000
CNNHN GRACE 1,336,000
CNN KING 1,292,000
MSNBC MADDOW 1,149,000
CNN COOPER 1,021,000

I'm thinking Nancy and the crew might want to start paying a little more attention.
If the majority have a certain opinion, can it, by definition, be extreme?
This is one of several vids of yesterday's event here in beautiful Asheville to be found on youtube.

There is a cameo of the author, but only the annointed few will recognize her. Hint, in no shot do I speak, or hold a sign. Nor am I the focus of the video at any point. Just do a walk through : )

Dearest Elder Harvey - head of the clan Bad Example,

I humbly request admission to the clan and appeal to you for my appropriate placement upon the tree of clanage. Pamibe is my blogmother, and the list of bad examplage blog sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles is long indeed.

Respectful regards,
Patti :)
Janet Napolitano stands by her report saying folks like these are potential domestic terrorists. She doesn't mind using that word "terrorist" describing you or me, but the Obama administration wants to refer to pirates as merely criminals, and the actions of Al Qaeda bombers as "man made disasters ." Somebody want to explain how that makes sense?

What I saw here were families - grandmas and grandpas, regular Americans - from a recently sworn in new US citizen from Ireland to business men in suits. From housewives to guys in leather jackets carrying motorcycle helmets. Saw several Uncle Sams, a few ladies in colonial dress, a few men also in colonial garb, and a lady liberty or two. Several great dogs and not a few babies in strollers who's futures are already mortgaged. I saw smiling faces, despite the cold wind - and it was brisk to say the least. I heard singing, a little chanting, laughing. I saw people introducing themselves, exchanging email addresses and phone numbers, exchanging stories and frustrations. And not a few saying things like "I went to bed a housewife and woke up a terrorist." This was an uplifting event. I couldn't stay long, the boy was home sick, but it was worth the quick trip to see I am not alone in this town.

Ya know what is cute? Finding that my 11 year old son is not only reading my new blog but going to my blog roll and reading you guys too. He laughed at the Russians on Primordial Slack and quoted Shakey Pete to me when I came up from exercising.

He is feeling puny today, tea party field trip is in jeopardy.

He also says it is not all about fame with him....
Tea party day - hope most of you are going to stand up and be counted. I don't plan to stay all the way through our tea party, have other things to do. But I'm going and I am taking S1 as part of his schooling for the day. Good opportunity to illustrate some of what makes this country great, the right to speak up and speak out. I'm taking the camera, and if I can remember to pick it up, I'll snap some photos to share. Not taking a poster of my own, between keeping an eye on the boy, watching out for ACORN type infiltrating trouble makers, and maybe snapping some pics I will have my hands full.

I've made my first round through the blogs I like to keep an eye on. Not sure how to embed links in the body of my post yet so just check my blog roll for links to Shakey Pete today - and I want to say "what he said" cause he does a much better job than I do. And check Primordial Slack if you need a good laugh, I literally had tears running down my face.

Just back from a five hour drive - returning D3 to Appalachian State. I'm tired! But D1 is already fussing because I haven't posted anything yet today. Therefore, in retaliation, this post will be about her. Take that D1!

I said in my first post, or my about me, or both, that I have raised great kids and that I'd probably post about them because I can. To know me, you must know my kids. On the days when I am not anxious to pontificate on current events, not riled up about something someone said elsewhere, I'll introduce you to my kids. Right now what I have to say is being covered plenty well on other blogs and by Rush and Glenn so no real need for me to do that today (ra ra go SEALS!).

D1, as with pretty much all firsts, started at a bit of a disadvantage. Being that babies do not come with owner's manuals, firsts are pretty much condemned to guinea pig status. Certainly she was no exception. So we, her parents, muddled along and did the best we could, learning as we went.

The biggest frustrations we had with her really stem from her stint in public school, starting in 2nd grade when she had strep throat over and over all year long. One horrible week she returned on Monday to find that one of her young classmates had died suddenly and unexpectedly over the weekend from a freak virus that attacked her heart and killed her in hours. This was a heartbreaking incident that the school bungled unbelievably. These were 2nd grade kids and the little girl was one of D1's best buddies, but no one let me know what had happened and because one of the other girls in the class got so upset about the death, the kids were instructed not to talk about it. So now I have a 7 year old being traumatized by a friend's death and not being allowed to talk about it (in her mind that meant to me as well as her friends because she followed directions and was told not to talk about it). I was not notified so I had no idea why she was suddenly so upset and withdrawn. Finally word got to me, but please - where were the bereavement councilors? Once that situation was past it was time for year end tests, now I have a kid who has missed school off and on all year for strep and though she didn't feel well during test week, I sent her anyway - being the young inexperienced parent I thought she should be there. I was wrong, she did poorly and I should have waited. Though she was an excellent student, straight As, bright and quick - just felt sick during her test, the beginning of 3rd grade they put her in remedial math, based solely on the CAT score ( know this because they admitted to me they did it based on her test score only). But they didn't notify us and we didn't find out until open house, 6 weeks into the school year. Folks this was a kid who in reality was probably 2-3 years ahead of grade level in math. She didn't understand why she was put in that math group, but she thought it must mean she was a terrible student and by the time we found out, again the damage to her little girl psyche was done. Yes, you can bet they moved her right out of that group and into the group she should have been in, and her teacher readily admitted she had been placed incorrectly - so why did it take 6 weeks and us pitching a fit to fix? What we actually had was a gifted kid, but didn't know how to kick and scream to get her "labeled", like that should have been necessary.

Then came middle school. Ack, is there anything in the world stinkier than middle school girls? Especially in the spoiled rotten kid school district we live in? And indeed these girls went after my D1 in every way they could. Think "Mean Girls." We didn't shop at Gap or the Limited, I have never seen clothing as something a large part of our budget should be spent on, but most of the girls wore the trendy clothes from trendy stores, carried trendy purses (please) and wore trendy shoes (I'm a Pic and Pay shoes kind of shopper). They treated D1 like trash because she didn't have the correct outerwear to fit in, she had good clothes, clean clothes, even cute clothes - just no labels or big price tags. And, even though we finally got the AG (academically gifted) label needed, for "enrichment classes" this school's idea of enrichment was an hour or so per month to tell the kids how not to feel bad if other kids gave them a hard time for being smart. No actual enrichment at all. (I'll tell you about my schooling philosophy, why and how I home school, on future posts)

By the time she got to high school her need to "be rebellious" was in full swing. Not because she actually needed to be rebellious but because she spent so much time every day with spoiled kids who griped about their parents non stop. Parents who, in this area, gave their little monsters everything they wanted, including brand new cars for their 16th birthdays - sorry kido, not in this family! So it was (and is, and likely always will be) the accepted norm that you should push back at your parents, particularly your mother all.the.time. Her high school years were pretty much, more or less, a running fight with me - she did not tend to lash out at her father. By the time she left for college it was probably a good thing as one or the other of us was likely to soon draw blood. Not that she wasn't a good kid, truly she was, did lots of great things - service, band, drum major, dance, art, creative writing, good grades, had a job, was in great demand as a babysitter, and helped with her little sisters quite a bit, came home by curfew always - never smoked, did drugs, or drank, and no boy trouble at all. She never really asked for anything expensive, kept her desires for things well in line with our family's values. She was always very well behaved in public, as with all our kids people always commented on how mature and repectful and well behaved she was. Most of her teachers loved her, the ones who didn't just didn't like any of their students. But she was on a mission to argue with me if I so much as said bacon was salty.

Once in college, for the most part, she began to recognize that her father and I (mostly me) were not as bad as she thought. As she experienced other young adults and their relationships with their parents she began to rethink her positions with regard to us, ok - me. Then she graduated, and soon after found the man she married.

The first couple years after they were married went very well. Actually bought their first home just before the wedding. We were married more than 7 years before we were able to buy our first home and it was more than 20 years old when we bought it. Theirs was brand new. Not bad at all. They both had jobs, his a very good one. All was sunshine and roses.

But then her husband began a series of hip surgeries for a rare and seemingly impossible to treat bone deformity, and those set off a hyperactive nerve disorder. All this has left him pretty much disabled, in constant pain, and unemployed now for about 3 years. He has suffered from a degree of depression, understandably, as a result of it all as well. Through all the surgeries and difficulties, D1 went back to school and has gotten her teaching certificate - first degree was in marketing but she was born to be a teacher, just took her a while to realize it. Now she teaches high school English, and does it very very well. If all public school teachers had her dedication, drive, and empathy for their students - our public system would rock!

So the good part. I am so very proud of her. She has stuck to her vows, and her partner through I loose count how many surgeries (they are young, she is only 31). Nursed him over and over. She works, 1 hour commute both ways, and struggles to support them both on her school teacher's salary - in a state that has said it will soon increase health care premiums and raise the deductable on their teachers' plans. He is not on disability, at least not yet, so she is carrying the full load on her back. She does most of the house work, all the errands, all the everything. In today's world of me first, me last, me always, she has stayed. They are struggling mightily financially, barely hanging on by their fingernails. Most young women today would have said I didn't sign on for this and left long ago. She loves him, he loves her. And, she loves her students. She works in a rural North Carolina school system where few parents have more than a high school education and fewer still know how to advocate for their own kids. But she does advocate for them. She does everything she can to encourage and motivate them. She even gets in trouble with her administration every now and then for standing up for what is right for her students.

And now she and I are close, she listens to me. I can say bacon is salty and she will agree.

So there you go. Great kid #1, though at 30 something she ain't a kid no mo.
I've been trying to get a picture of the cardinal that is making a desperate attempt to get into my house. But he is just too quick for me. I'm pretty sure he is angry because he was fooled by a beautiful Easter Sunday, seduced into coming out of hibernation - or flying back from Florida - or where ever he has been for the last few months. Either way, today it is wet, cold, and gray - again - and I'm detecting he wants in the house to warm up. He has tried several windows and both back doors. Sorry dude, you look too much like corgi food (heehee, rhymes).

I am more than ready to get beyond the cycle of 3 cold rainy days, 1 1/2 warm sunny days, lather rinse, repeat. I swear I want to strangle some global warming yaya, and if I hear the word drought I just might explode! Lady in her dead silent hybrid tried to run me over in the grocery store parking lot. Honestly lady, you are in your warm - silent - eco friendly cocoon, can you just pause a moment so I can get out of the cold and rain!

At least the sun is supposed to be shining by Wed just in time for our local Tea Party. I'll be there with bells on. You guys going to one?

So, Suzette says you all need to see this.

These are my shorter four legged babies. I have a pony and horse too but they don't get along well enough to share licking a beater.

One on the left is Gus, red tri pembroke welsh corgi. One on the right is his sister Fiona.

There, Suzette, are you proud of me? I got a picture in : )

If you want to see more of the corgis there are a few pictures on my flickr, just do the linky thing.

OK, now after a day and a half of wrestling with templates and such, and one complete false start - do they test their new templates at all before they post them? - I am now up and running I think.

So, it is incumbent upon me to say a word or two to my fairy "blogmother" - pamibe for those in the know - and my blogsister, Suzette. Thanks girls for the gentle nudge.

Also thanks to my kids: daughter #1 (hereinafter referred to as D1) for doing all the actual code wrestling [I don't do code], daughter #2 (herein etc as D2) for collecting blog name nominations and tallying votes to end where we are, daughter #3 (D3) for saying things like "whatever""have you lost your mind?" and "name your blog It's my neurosis and I embrace them" cause that's how she sees me, son #1 (S1) for being excited that his mom is going to have a blog - therefore in his 11yr old world will be famous and it is all about fame with him. To himself for saying things like "I'm going to have to ban you from using the Internet" after showing him the posts that make me ROFL, the ones from my blog roll. Yes girls, he thinks you are all a bad influence ;) that is a compliment as far as I am concerned!

At some point I'll see if I can import cute emoticons and such, cause I really like those, but it will have to wait until the next time I have young adult kids in the house. Sometime this summer I guess.

So tomorrow I guess it will be posting for real, if I can figure out how to get back to this page by myself as the big kids will all be gone again....
Oh goodness, what do I think I’m doing? Well, I guess at the end of the day I need to stop ranting on other folks’ blogs and rant on my own space. Hate being a mooch so here goes.

What this blog will be about? A bunch of stuff. Like most folks, whatever is on my mind at the time. I’ll share shamelessly about my kids cause this is my spot and I can do that. Having as many strongly held opinions on parenting as about politics - probably share a good bit about parenting. If we are to be known by the fruits we bear, when it comes to parenting, must be doing ok ‘cause I’ve raised some pretty amazing kids. I’ll share about my dogs and ponies because they are entertaining, and I like animals more than I like most people, seriously – I’m not a “people person”. I’ll share my travels, we do a good bit of that, but not as much now that the girls are either in college or married and doing their own stuff in the summers. And I’ll share my political and current event observations, opinions, etc.

I’ve considered trying to stay anonymous in this blog, ‘cause I am bound to make folks mad (my mouth has gotten me into trouble my whole life), but that would simply take more energy than I want to expend and would limit the things I can share about my family. So no real attempt will be made to hide who I am. I don’t engage in lots of profanity, but will use a little when it applies. I am not interested in racism or hate speech, people are people - race matters not– but realities are realities and I will tell it like it is. Warning, I can get a bit snarky at times and am a master of smart ass comments and sarcasm.

What matters is what people believe, where they are coming from, their values, how they live their lives, how they treat others. I have no interest at all in “political correctness”. It is banned here. I am no good at being “diplomatic”, to me that usually means lying, either by trying to hide some part of an issue or twisting words to give one impression while actually meaning or believing something else. Disagree? What is your opinion of the average “diplomat”?

I am an unashamed and unabashed conservative. Period. I have been registered as “unaffiliated” since I registered to vote at age 18. I vote in every election, I vote only when I am educated as to whom or what issue I am voting. If you don’t vote, don’t gripe: if you can’t bother to educate yourself, please, don’t vote. I have voted for members of both parties though, as a conservative, obviously, I am more likely to vote for the Republican than the Democrat in any given election. Some people assume unaffiliated means moderate, but frankly the Republican party is often just not conservative enough for me.

I also hate that every third word in this diatribe is “I”!