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Showing posts from January, 2008

My precious little agnostic atheist heathen

Yesterday Jon and I got called in for a Parent and Teacher Conference. For Persistence. Age 3. The main point of the conference was to say we have a really bright, creative, independent, social, and cute kid. But then the teacher---who, by the way, is an incredible teacher---got around to what she really needed to talk to us about. That would be the incident between Persistence and the Priest. As you may or may not know, we've been lucky to send our kids to Catholic preschool. It's a wonderful, small, sweet, connected, caring, loving, welcoming church. The attached preschool is the same. (If you knew me, you'd know what a serious whiplash-like change in opinion this is for me. In Texas I learned to be very, very afraid of anything claiming to be remotely connected to religion. The mere mention of "God" or "Jesus" sent chills down my spine. And I am someone who always felt very connected to church, believed, had faith, so forth. I hesitate to even us

Hump Day Hmm for January 30, 2008: Sweet Dreams

That year we went to Paris, and I fell in love with Renoir at the Louvre. I especially adored his series of the two girls, which reminded me so much of me and my best friend. I purchased two prints of this one , Reading in the Garden, because it was us. One for me and for her. As modern as the world got, some things never changed, and I think that's why Renoir is forever famous: his work is classic. There will always be dreamy girls reading together in a garden somewhere. And for those of us who once were those girls? Inside us remains, always, a dreamy young girl reading in a garden. When I was thirteen, I thought it was just me. Isn't that how all teens think? It's just me, I'm the only one going through this, feeling this way, having this happen. It's a bold and unusual person who will share meexperiences and normalize, but in my case, I truly didn't think anyone could relate, and I might have been right about that, but I was wrong that it was just me cha

Can you see my blog in your feeder?

On Friday, per a request from Angela, I fixed my feed in readers to full. Apparently that killed my feed. Gwen kindly alerted me to the problem; she said nothing has shown up in her reader since then. I changed two settings and tried to keep full feed. If my blog still doesn't show up, I'm sorry but I'll have to switch back to partial feed. Can you let me know if you see my blog in your reader and how it appears? And by the way, I did post Friday , Saturday , Sunday , Monday and today . Although, in the spirit of full disclosure, I handed the blog over to the kids for most of that time and they kept it up. I'm not even going to bother copyrighting this. If you steal this post? More power to you. Julie

Unadulterated

Pure, unadulterated, flat out enjoyment...spraying fountain on a hot day on the boardwalk. Ever notice how unadulterated's root word is "adult?" Ever wonder about that? What do you say to children when they say how they can't wait to grow up? Do anything they want? Do you tell them the price of that freedom? Someone once said that motherhood is like this super secret club and nobody tells you the membership rules until after you join. I think adulthood is like that. Would you have believed anybody who told you the membership rules? Would you have been so anxious to get here, if you had known? Yes and no. I tell my daughter, when she says she can't wait to grow up, that adulthood is a lot like childhood. Sometimes we get to choose and sometimes we don't, sometimes we can and sometimes we can't, sometimes we are free and other times someone is looking over our shoulder. Don't be in a hurry to grow up, I tell her. Enjoy childhood. You'll never

A Good Night Story by Patience---the Monday Mission

Every night our mom tells us: Tidy Up Wash Up Brush Up Go up To Bed Every night we tell our mom: We don't want to! One more book! Can we play a game? Every night our mom tells us: I know Time for bed Time for bed Every night we tell our mom: But why? Why do we have to go to bed? Every night our mom tells us: Because your little bodies need sleep. One night we were in the office doing a craft and mom told us it was time for bed. We said no, she said yes, and she carried me upstairs first. She looked at my little sister Persistence and said, "Wait right here, please, I'll be right back!" But Persistence isn't very good at listening. She keeps her ears closed and her mouth open. Mom says she is a learning child and I think she better learn fast, because here's what she did. When Mom got back, Persistence had climbed up the cabinet and gotten the paint out. She dumped it everywhere. All over herself, the floor and worst of all, our poor cat!

FRAGILE! Newborn babies are not as breakable as they appear

Little bitty Patience holding newborn Persistence, on her birthday. Itsy bitsy newborn Persistence, who proved that newborns are much hardier than we thought, after all. Yesterday began with big, exciting, happily anticipated news: a new niece! Just before 8:30 a.m. my youngest sister-in-law and her husband welcomed their new daughter. We're very happy, and today are going up to meet her. The kids are beside themselves with excitement---you know, the sort that makes you wonder if visiting is really a good idea. Also, yesterday, while folding laundry in my room, I shamelessly eavesdropped on the kids in the playroom. They were bickering. Patience was explaining that the new baby cousin was a baby baby, not a doll baby, and Persistence---because she's Persistence---argued the other line. I don't really think she thinks this, I think it's just her being her. But they are chattering happily about holding, hugging, squeezing, and so forth. That's sweet and all, bu

Interview with two small(ish) girls who will tell you what's what

Patience and Persistence wanted in on this blog thing, so I agreed to let them have an entry. However, faced with two obstacles (blank page and no ability to draw in this window) we compromised on an interview. Mom: What's your favorite song? Patience: Blackbird (the Sarah MacLachlan version) and Upside Down from Georgie (Jack Johnson). Persistence: No! Tissy can't have Georgie! Georgie's MINE! Mom: It's okay that two people like the same song. I'm glad when someone else likes the same music I do because then we can talk about it. So Pers, what's your favorite song? Persistence: GEORGIE! ( Upside Down by Jack Johnson) Mom: Any others? Persistence: WOO HOO SONG! ( Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall) Mom: Tell me about your favorite friend. Persistence: SABI! Mom: You've known Sabi your whole life, right? Persistence: YES! Sabi habing birthday like I hab birthday! Mom: True! Your birthdays are really close together. Patience: M

Twitter-do or don't: 5 Reasons why I haven't "Got Social Media?"

I went to the Got Social Media? conference yesterday. Some of the best and brightest were there, and some of the even better and brighter presented. It was an interesting conference, full of good-to-know information, new concepts, attention-capturing speakers, and excellent networking. So why, after it is over, do I still say I haven't Got Social Media? 1. Whoops! Wrong class! I was looking for "101---Social Media for Dummies" and accidentally sat down in "102---Social Media for Those With a Clue" Have you ever walked into a classroom, sat down, opened your notebook (or your NoteBook), tuned in to the Professor, found yourself a little baffled, looked around and saw everyone else was getting it...and then realized, whoops! Wrong class! Okay maybe not but I'm sure you can sympathize. I spent an entire semester in geology feeling that way and whoops! It was my class and whoops! It was one of my required courses for my degree. I freely admit I cried my w

27 Dresses: 27 laughs, one burn of the heart, a moral dilemma, and something about citrus drinks

Have you ever noticed that life tends to hand out lemons with the left hand and lemonade with the right hand? The lemons... Tuesday night, still reeling from the knowledge that our dog has cancer , I was laying in bed, my arms flung wide. You might imagine this was Drama Personified, but it wasn't. My lymph nodes were so swollen I couldn't put my arms down. "Great," I snuffled nasally to my husband, because my sinuses were burning and my eyes were running, "Next it will be the thyroid, and then I'll go to this awesome social media conference on Thursday looking like a runaway boa that swallowed a Bocce ball." He snorted at me in laughter, which was not the sympathy I was begging for, pitifully. "It will move up to the pituitary and then we'll all be sorry," I said threateningly and vengefully. He fast-forwarded through the American Idol auditions. I sniffed. He looked at me. I sniffed again. He sniffed. We looked at each other

Hump Day Hmm January 23, 2008: Big Pink Elephant---The Most Important Cultural Issue

Today is Hump Day. The topic is "January 23 --- Tell us about the most important cultural issue from your perspective. Is it something that ought to be emphasized more in politics? Is it a political issue? Why or why not? Does it affect how you vote?" I got so busy with my spectacular pity party yesterday---and oh it was a bash, let me tell you; also, many thanks for all the support---I forgot to put up a reminder. I can only hope you are better organized than I am and took note when I announced the topics at the beginning of the month and in the past weeks. Please remember you can create a new post for this, or can link to a post you already wrote at any time in the past. As a heads-up, next week's topic is about a key/pivotol moment in your childhood or growing up years, why it was important, and how you carry it with you. You are welcome to suggest topic ideas any time. I've added in my topic as a link (below) like the rest of you. Looking forward to all s

My Big Pink Elephant for Hump Day: Money, Social Programs and The Generation Gap

We are all operating under some informational delusions, and they are affecting how we vote. We're letting the very people who have a personal agenda tell us what to think; that's called a conflict of interest and unreliable resource in my book. So let me clear up a few things and express my largest cultural concerns along the way: * we're in an economic crisis and a stimulus package isn't going to fix it. Stimulus packages are for the short term, and we have a long-term problem ahead of us because the cost of living and big business interests are dangerously outpacing earnings. (Not to mention big business practices---such as those evil Adjustable Rate Mortgages---which benefit business at the expense of the people, economy and country at large. Banks, mortgage lenders, speculators and so forth who perpetuate this shouldn't just be ashamed, they should be fined and jailed. And politicians who enabled and supported it---including our President---should be ousted fr

It's cancer

Adenocarcinoma. This is a common form of colorectal cancer. From About.com Definition of Adenocarcinoma Let's break it down. "Adeno-" is a prefix that means "gland." In general, glands secrete things and are classified as endocrine or exocrine. Endocrine glands secrete things into the bloodstream, like hormones. Exocrine glands secrete things that go outside of the body, like mucus and sweat. A carcinoma is a malignant tumor that starts in epithelial tissue. Put the two words together and you get "adenocarcinoma," which means a malignant tumor in epithelial tissue, specifically in a gland. Cause of Adenocarcinoma Virtually all adenocarcinomas develop from adenomas. In general, the bigger the adenoma, the more likely it is to become cancerous. For example, polyps larger than two centimeters (about the diameter of a nickel) have a 30-50 percent chance of being cancerous. You can learn more about polyp size and colon cancer risk by viewing the Poly

This (white) American Life, Part II...with the actual podcast

In my first post of the day , I endeavored to recreate a broadcast from This American Life from an old memory. I'd tried to find it through various searches but was unsuccessful. And so i wrote what I recalled, which was the gist, if not exact. However, luckily SciFi Dad is a better searcher than I am and he found the exact piece I meant. Thanks! Please, have a listen...it's an amazing story. A thousand times more powerful than what I tried to recreate. Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert Also blogging at: Using My Words Julie Pippert REVIEWS : Get a real opinion about BOOKS, MUSIC and MORE Julie Pippert RECOMMENDS : A real opinion about HELPFUL and TIME-SAVING products Moms Speak Up : Talking about the environment, dangerous imports, health care, food safety, media and marketing, education, politics and many other hot topics of concern.

This (white) American Life

Added Forenote: The kids are home (and slightly near a cold sick), the dog is home (and extremely sorry for himself) and all are (can you believe?!) demanding my attention...they have a zero tolerance policy for Mom Blogging. I know. It's always the ultimatum: you at computer reading and commenting on blogs, Mom, and we ruin the house and create chaos OR you mind us and do the mom job. So, long rationalization short...I am trying to preserve order and peace at home, which means little to no time for blog commenting. I will try to catch up on reading, and hopefully you'll see I was there reading at least (you know, if you have one of those nifty little Visitors things). Sorry. Soon...I promise; I'll be back with my comments, which I arrogantly assume are of importance to you. ;) Kaliroz can tell you I am a huge Ira Glass fan and she's right: I am. I love the ordinary, and anyone who can take these things that happen to us all and make them interesting and relatable thr

Transition

We stood in the small exam room at the veterinary surgeon's office Friday morning as he explained the procedure he and our regular vet believed was the best course of action for our dog. I tried not to wince because the concept of how he does the surgery made me cringe inside, in empathy. It sounded a lot like how childbirth hurts during and after, only without the balm of the baby. The surgeon was a young, interesting man. Apparently our questions and perspectives were extremely revealing about the sort of people we are. He was intrigued, and shared how he and his wife believed similarly to us. We mentioned a change in lifestyle---which is either an understatement or euphemism, depending upon how you look at it---for us and the dog when we moved here. "We do a lot less outdoors now. Before we moved, we hiked, walked the beach, took trips to the mountains...just so much activity, pretty much every day, some sort of activity," we told him, "But here, not so much.

If I could just recall how to float. . .

Life is a study in discord, chaos and catastrophe right now. I have developed a habit of breaking things down, one by one, in my mind so that they don't seem overwhelming to my head. I have not mastered this skill for my heart. My heart murmurs quietly inside my chest, its demure speechlessness no match for the big voice of my mind. It's so easy to listen to directive and solid words, thought out loud or stuck inside to rattle around my skull. It's harder to stop and let the heart have its say, simply feel. I find myself flailing, crying out in a childish and needy voice, "Hear me, HEAR ME, I am lost in this mess, but it is my job to guide everyone out and clear it up." Except I do not use such precise and clear language. Instead, like my children, I focus on the minute and concrete, "What a mess! We need to tidy up the playroom!" "Who left these shoes in the center of the hall? They need to be in the shoe shelf!" "Markers and crayo