Tuesday, November 25, 2014

With Liberty and Justice for All..... Unless You're Black!

“Well, he was caught stealing. He’s a criminal.”

Yes. He was stealing, but the wonderful thing about living in this country is that we are innocent until proven guilty by a jury of our peers. An officer of the law is NOT that jury. Michael Brown was accused of stealing a pack of cigars. FUCKING CIGARS! What do they cost? $3? This young man lost his life over $3 dollars. What a wonderful message to send our black youth, that their lives aren’t even worth $3. Good job, America.

Michael Brown may not have been the most upstanding citizen, but it should not have cost him his life. There are plenty of young, white people that have been caught shoplifting and their punishment landed them some community service, not a death sentence. Look at Winona Ryder, she stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from a high end department store in her 30s. Her punishment? Community service, probation, and restitution. It seems to be the common punishment for shoplifting….. unless you’re black.

“If he would have just stopped and submitted to the officers, he would still be alive.”

So, let me get this straight, we should all “stop, surrender, and submit” to the police. Would you tell a rape victim, or a domestic violence victim, or even the victim of a burglary to “just submit”? No. Many Americans are advocating for people to carry guns to deal with these situations because we don’t want to have to submit. I’ve chosen to homeschool my children because I don’t want them to have to submit to things that don’t feel right to them. I want them to have an opinion, to have a voice, and to be able to express these things. And as white children, they can express these things freely.

I know quite a few young, white males that have been in serious trouble with the law. My brother being one of them. My brother was resisting arrest and in doing so he injured 3 paramedics and a police officer. The officer needed surgery from his injuries. The punishment handed out, probation, and 9 months of house arrest (for other charges). Which again seems to be the common punishment…. unless you're black.

Eric Frein has been accused of killing a Pennsylvania State Trooper. He led authorities on a 7-week long manhunt, 48 days running through the back woods of Pennsylvania with an arsenal of weapons, including a sniper rifle and an assault rifle. Yet, this man, that murdered one of their own,  escaped death and has been given the right to a trial by the jury of his peers. This man murdered somebody, yet is still alive. Michael Brown stole cigars.

Before you say it, let me stop you. Yes. This is about race. This isn’t about black Americans “playing the race card,” this is their reality. This is something that as white Americans we don’t have to deal with, but this does not mean that black Americans are not. I may not living it, but that does not mean the struggle isn’t real.

Racism is alive and well in our society. You may not want to believe it, but it is. Take a look at some comments on the news articles regarding the decision to not indict Darren Wilson. It’s horrific.

My white, (almost) teenaged son can walk down the sidewalk, or even the middle of the street, sporting an oversized hoodie, hood up with his hands in his pockets, and barely elicit a response from passersby. When he and a group of his white, teenaged friends walk past your car, you are not going to hurry to lock the doors. When he runs over to your elderly parent to assist them with their bags, they are not going to flinch or scream in fear. When he runs over to your toddler to help them manage a task, you are not going to assume that he is going to harm them.Why not? He’s white. He is afforded more privileges than many in this country because he was born white. He didn’t get to make that choice, but he certainly gets to reap the benefits from being a white male in today’s society and he knows that. His black counterparts do not have this luxury and he knows that as well.

Take a look at your Facebook feed, how many people are outraged over the looting taking place but are not outraged at the lack of indictment?

Last year thousands of people took to the streets of Seattle, burning furniture, throwing bottles at police causing thousands of dollars in damage to a historic treasure in their city. Why you ask? Their football team won the Super Bowl. This was a celebration. They won. Their "team" didn't lose, they won and this was their reaction. But this was ok though, because it was a bunch of white men. The battle for racial equality taking place in Ferguson was lost last night, yet we expected peace when a bunch of drunk white men cannot even celebrate the insignificant win of their favorite team peacefully. Tell me again how race isn't a factor. Tell me again how racism is no longer an issue.

As I sit here in my tiny, cookie-cutter, portion of this suburban utopia my heart breaks for America. With each passing day, this country is thrust back 50 years or more. What happened to wanting better for our children, ALL of our children? Including our brown and black ones, because their lives matter too! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Don't Blink!

‘Don’t blink’, they tell you. ‘Cherish these moments because before you know it they will be in college’, they tell you. ‘One day you will do anything to have these days back’, they tell you. After years of sleepless nights, chasing toddlers, taxiing children to and from activities, etc. you can’t help but think that those well meaning advisors are crazy.

As parents, I think we’ve all been in a situation, usually with our first borns because we didn’t know any better, in which we’ve wished for them to achieve their milestones in a more speedy fashion. I remember sitting back and wondering when my 13 month old first born, Brittany, was finally going to take her first steps. Eventually that time came and as the years have passed, nearly 20 of them almost, it still seems like just yesterday that I watched her toddle across the kitchen. Now, as I write this, she is traipsing through Central Park with her boyfriend.

This morning my middle child, Kyley, woke up as just that, a child. She was just a little girl sitting there wide-eyed and nervous in her boy band T-shirt and PJ pants asking me to quiz her with potential interview questions. Then I blinked. That’s it, I blinked and just like that she was a mature, responsible, young adult that had completed her first (successful) interview and was offered a job (which she accepted), opened her first checking account, and then we went off to pick up her very first car. I was left wondering where in the heck my little girl had gone. I swear she was just there with her dress falling over her head while she was upside down on the monkey-bars without a care in the world. 

I know that she was definitely feeling the transition as well. She honestly went from child to young adult in the matter of about 3-3.5 hours today. Thankfully she was able to maintain a sense of humor about it. After realizing the magnitude of the events today, she exclaimed ‘Gosh, I am old. I have to buy a purse now.’

She really put things into perspective when after I asked her if she was planning on going to a funeral after she opted to wear black on black today, something that is non-characteristic of her, she solemnly said “Yes. The funeral for my childhood. I am old now.”

That it is. Her childhood is gone and will only live on in our memories. As excited as I am to watch as she ventures out on this new adventure, I cannot help but mourn the childhood of yet another one of my babies.

So I sit here and tell you parents with young ones, Don’t blink. Cherish there moments because before you know it they will be college. One day you will do anything to have these days back. The time really does pass by at warp speed.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Truth Hurts - It's Only Ruined Because You Ruined It

The Truth Hurts:

The sting of being called out in a public forum regarding one's hypocrisies is apparently too much for some people to handle. A topic that I actually had planned on doing an #insensitiveTuesday post about in 2 weeks came up on a person's wall and my response to the OP caused quite a stir. Of course it resulted in me being called rude and judgmental and then being subsequently blocked because frankly.... The Truth Hurts.

If you're going to claim that your holiday dinner is ruined due to the fact that you cannot pass up an incredible deal at Wal-Mart and how sick it makes, you can most certainly expect me to comment. Apparently my comments were viewed as "shitty" and "nasty" ... so... here they are:

"You do realize that you are just playing in to the retailers. If you continue to shop they will continue to do things like this. Not only are the consumers devaluing their own families by shopping on a holiday but they are forcing others from their families to work on days like this. And yet we all sit back and wonder what our country has come to. Is the "deal" THAT important?? You are basically stating that your family isn't worth the dollar value of the money you're saving."

"It still doesn't change the fact that you are ripping others away from their families."

"And.... if you are talking about your previous comment on this post, you said nothing about your family not being together, just your boys being with their father. Do you not consider your husband and his children "your family"?"

"I wasn't being nasty, I was being honest. You're upset because it's true and you don't want to see it because it makes you feel crappy."

"You claimed you felt sick over it... to me that's crappy. You can claim that I am being nasty all you want. I am just speaking the cold, hard truth. If you want something to change, you have to be willing to change it rather than playing in to things. This is where our country is going wrong.

I have no issues being "the bad guy" when it comes to speaking he truth, somebody has to do it.

If you are complacent about something, you may as well be the perpetrator. Take a stand against something if you feel strongly enough about it to make you sick. If you don't feel strongly about it, then sit by and participate. But know that you are taking part in the downfall of the American family. When American's are forced to forego family in the name of material happiness something is wrong."

Shitty? I didn't think so. Nasty? I didn't think so. Everything I said was TRUE. I cannot help that my comment made you feel like a piece of shit... because frankly... The Truth Hurts.

One cannot complain about something being ruined if you are making a conscious choice to take part in the exact thing you claim is ruining it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pinned and Tried

Ok, so I have been seriously slacking about posting what we have been doing with Pinterest. I have been cooking something that I have found on there almost daily, we have really been slacking with the crafting though. We haven't been home enough to do any crafting. But here are some things that we have tried...and our reviews.

Balsamic Glazed Pork (no photo of my own, sorry) : This was amazing! Kyley didn't eat it because she is not eating much meat and when she does she is only eating chicken or turkey. Those of us that ate it really liked it. I didn't tweak anything at all with this recipe. It was great as it stands.

Baked Gnocchi (again no photo...such the slacker) : This was an ok meal. It was very filling, as gnocchi typically is. I bought store bought gnocchis and cheated by used DelGrosso Three Cheese Sauce. Everybody (including Kyley's friends) enjoyed the meal, but I am sure my children would have enjoyed it more had I made my own sauce. This will be revisited I am sure.

Orange Push-Up Smoothie : The first time we made this it as WAY too sweet. I cut out ALL of the sugar and it was so much better, still sweet because I used the concentrate but better. I think the next time that we revisit this it will be with fresh OJ and/or oranges. The kids really like the concept, as do I, but next time we will stick with fresh.

Quinoa Burgers (Today's dinner..but again no photo) : I tweaked this a bit, I used Ricotta rather than Cottage cheese, skipped the Splenda and sugar, used all purpose GF flour. I also added minced garlic rather than green onions and garlic powder. These were LOVED by all and I am sure they will be revisited as we attempt to lessen our meat intake even more.

Healthy Mozzarella Sticks (Today's dinner as well...again no photo) : I used won ton wrappers and cut mozzarella cheese from a ball rather than using string cheese. They were good, but would have been better had the cheese stayed put. The kids still liked them, but I didn't have any.

No Bake Energy Bites : We made these today but we have yet to try them. The "batter" tasted pretty good though. :)

The next few things that I made were found on foodgawker. I actually use this site quite often for new recipes. I made these S'mores Granola Bars this morning for snacks for the week, however I am not sure how long they will last. The kids are gobbling these right up. I guess that means they are well liked. I tweaked this a bit, using GF oats and rice krispies and subbing honey and a bit of molasses for the corn syrup.

Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars : We made these as well today, however they have not been tasted either. I added more cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice but kept everything else the same. I also made them thinner so that they would be crunchy.

I know there are things that I am forgetting that we have tried out but....oh well. I will try to post more regularly.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I am struggling with  getting back into the swing of things, so thankfully I have Pinterest (and Kyley) to keep me on track. Today I made Honey Chicken and it was a hit, though this is one that I have pinned and tried before. The kids LOVE this meal. I put it over quinoa rather than white rice and that is the only thing that I tweak for this recipe. Today I tripled the recipe with chicken and quadrupled the sauce because we like to have extra sauce for over our quinoa.

The craft we tried was kind of a bust and the kids weren't big fans. I figured that because the kids love oobleck so much that Cloud Dough would be a hit. We couldn't seem to blend it well enough for it to be able to be formed and just mixing it wasn't nearly as cool as I thought it would be. No photos of this one today either. Sorry.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Keeping it PINTERESTing

Ok, it's day 2 for our month long challenge. Today because we were having leftovers I opted to make a snack, that we found on Pinterest. Our snack for the day was Apple Nachos. They were a HUGE hit with everybody. I tweaked the recipe a bit (I will with most I am sure) by skipping the chocolate chips and coconut (we have one who doesn't like choc. or coconut)  and substituted homemade caramel for the peanut butter. I also sprinkled cinnamon on the apples prior to adding the nuts and caramel. The kids were BEGGING for more. The caramel took a bit of time to make, but now we have some on hand and the kids like this better than any store bought brand, but the apple nachos the kids could have made on their own. Here is a picture of ours:

Dawson is already asking for more tomorrow with lunch. :) And from a mommy point of view I have to say that it is a simple snack that I don't mind them munching on. 

Our To-Do activity today was actually a repurposing project similar to the one seen HERE, but we haven't completed it so no photo. We are going to use the lot of tea tins that we found at the local Goodwill for Dawson to store some of his smaller Lego pieces. We are getting ready to do a room revamp for him so this worked perfectly. 

It's going to be a PINTERESTing Month

After seeing a friend doing a challenge for the 12 Days of Christmas, I thought that I would jump on the bandwagon and utilize Pinterest to spark some motivation and creativity. I am going to attempt to make one meal from something that I found on Pinterest, as well as do one activity, daily for this entire month. I am also hoping to take on one organizational task per week.

We actually waited until yesterday to start because we have a typical New Year's Day meal that we eat every year, so I didn't want to start by trying something new. Yesterday we made Lasagna Soup (meatless though) and it was loved by all. This is a soup that we will be revisiting often, as it was simple to make, yet tasted great.

We tried our hand at some Melted Crayon Art and this is something that we are going to have to redo as well. There are so many different opportunities to be creative with this.

My camera didn't make an appearance yesterday so I have no photos of our meal or activity, but I promise to remember for today.