Showing posts from October, 2010

No answers, only questions (Part 1)

Late this afternoon, I arrived home from a three-day trip to Texas. This trip was not really for pleasure; unfortunately, my mother was recently hospitalized for a handful of things. Before she got out, my brothers decided that she would be better off, at least in the short-term future, living in Texas, where she could stay with my little brother and his family and have access to better medical care than what she was receiving in the small local hospital in her area. I went to Texas to spend some time with her and help her and my brother and his family in the best way I could.

I am kind of numb about the whole ordeal. For over a week, I spent an insane number of hours on the phone talking to doctors, nurses, and many relatives and family members. I went back and forth to the hospital, a two-and-half-hour round trip, a few times. A car issue, still not resolved, further complicated matters.

Nine years ago this weekend, I was riding in a truck with a friend en route to visit my brother…

Confessions from a helicopter parent

As you may already know, I am pretty much a helicopter parent. There are a number of reasons for this, including that I had overprotective parents and that I am the parent of only one child. I am really trying to be less insane about my hovering, and reading the Free-Range Kids blog has helped. However, I have to comment, in true helicopter parenting style, on one of their/its recent blog posts.

The abridged version of this post is that a free-range mom (FRM) wanted her 9 year old kid to walk home alone from his friend's house two blocks away, something the kid wanted to do as well. The helicopter mom (HM), however, refused to let said boy do so, and had a woman who was visiting her home (a woman FRM knew) drive FRM's kid home. FRM wants to know what to do/say next time as HM disregarded her wishes.

Here are my thoughts, some of which I included in a comment on the FRK's site:

We are free to raise our kids as we wish. The FRM can tell HM that she wants her kid to walk home…

I finally won something!

I have complained a few times about how I used to be lucky but then I pretty much stopped winning anything. I was particularly dismayed that I had never won a contest with Pittsburgh Mom, despite the fact that I had entered probably 50 giveaways and some of them had only 30 entries, for the love of Pete. Well, that changed just over a week ago when I became the winner of a Nicole Begley mini photo session, courtesy of Pittsburgh Mom.

This past Saturday, Jordan, Brian, and I had a bunch of pictures taken at a nice park in the Cranberry area. Of course, Brian and I argued about what to wear; he pretty much has no dress clothes and I don't own a single pair of jeans that fits me decently, hence our dilemma. Ultimately, we decided to wear gray, and we were overdressed (really, who wears dress pants or a dress at a park on a cold fall day?), but, hey, we got free pics!

You can see a few of the photos on her blog. I just love the last one of Jordan. The ones of me? Not so much, thanks t…

Trying not to be cynical

Ah, election season. Who does not love watching snippets of lies, exaggerations, empty promises, and unflattering photos (good thing I avoid getting my picture taken as often as possible)?

I am a regular voter. I try to vote even in the primaries, even when there is not much at stake. After all, about 90 years ago, women could not vote in the US. As I have stated in previous posts, I have taken Jordan with me a number of times, to hopefully instill the importance of this right. But I can see why some people never bother. It seems as if so many candidates promise a bunch of crap and don't bother (or are unable) to fulfill half of it.

I remember when Tom Ridge first ran for governor of PA. One of his campaign promises was that he would not vote himself a pay raise. That was all I needed to hear; he got my vote. But, alas, he broke that promise at some point during one of this terms. And I have never forgotten that, as small of a thing as it was.

Honestly, I don't remember if I…

Why can't we all just get along?

If I am not reading about another shooting right here in the Burgh, I am inundated with tragic headlines about teenage suicide. Or, at the very least, I see road rage on an almost-daily basis as well as kids being mean in the Catholic school where I regularly substitute.


Have we become this appalling of a society? This self-centered, unfeeling, uncaring, and just plain mean? And worse, of course. I am afraid the answer is yes. But it does not have to be this way.

Two of my favorite classes in college were psychology and sociology. I am very interested in human behavior and the whole nature-versus-nurture debate (full disclosure: I have not read much about this theory since college 17 years ago). I tend to lean on the side of nurture; if you grow up surrounded by hate, you will probably continue down that same path.

I don't remember kids being so mean to each other (and disrespectful to authority) when I was a kid. Sure, some would make fun of others (I was much more often o…

Is change really possible?

It is not often I pose a question in a blog post (well, at least not in a post title), but today I am doing exactly that.

Can any one of us really, truly change in a fundamental way, or are we pretty much destined to be who we are (meant to be)?

I know a recovering drug addict. Said person is clean again, as far as I know, for at least the second time (not counting "forced" bits of sobriety). Do I think this person will stay that way until the sun sets, so to speak? I want to believe that this time is really it, but history and statistics tell me that the odds are not good. I also know people with drinking problems who I think even if they got help will struggle with alcohol for the rest of their lives. But I am also pretty sure in both cases, no one is ever really "cured"; every day is a challenge.

I know people with bad tempers. Some have damaged physical things. Even worse, a few have hurt others physically and mentally. I realize that some people want to chang…