Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mammogram No Biggie

Attention ladies, I had my first mammogram today (another first). I have to say I was scared to go in there after all of the horror stories I had heard. Well, I just wanted to let you all know, after childbirth and after thyroid surgery – the mammogram was nothing! It didn’t hurt at all and yes, they had to flatten it out a little, but it wasn’t as if it smashed into a vice, as I had heard. Strange but necessary, I would say. One thing I don’t get is why they leave the room so you can put on the jonnie, if they are just going to be holding your breast and moving it all around wherever they need it in five minutes anyway. After being taught/helped to breastfeed in the hospital, there is no shame left about the breast for something as simple and as important as a mammogram. Easy peasy, no worries, I’d of had it done in the lobby if they needed me too…

While I was having mammogram fun, I also had my TSH levels checked. Keep your fingers crossed for me, I am hoping for 0.5 - 4.0. After the surgery my levels were way up to 76, the next test was 43, the last test was 21. My synthroid is up to 200 mcg's, so I am hoping for normal levels. Although normal would not usually be a word to describe me! Ha Ha But perhaps after I hit the normal range I will start losing this extra 25 pounds I have put on since surgery. It's getting kinda heavy.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cake News

(Photo from flickr.com by maverickil)
My daughter and I baked a wonderful cake the white, white cake where you only use egg whites with milk chocolate frosting, bundt cake style of course. Yummy. I am though having another piece to ward off this funky depression that has come over me, and probably half of the women in America, upon hearing the horrible news... Matthew McConaughey is having a baby with Camilla Alves!!! That's it, the one chance in a gazzilion we all wished we had of landing him just completely changed to no chance in hell. Even though we knew we didn't have a chance we hoped for a chance, but not now, not with a new dad. Well congratulations to them, and some skim milk to take the edge off that cake to me... :)

Please Remember to Click Thru

Please remember to click thru to The Hunger Site and click the box to give food each day. It works by allowing the sponsors ads to come up on the thank you page when you click. The sponsors then give money according to how many times their ad has come up. What I do each day is click thru my link - Click Once a Day for Sponsors to Give Free Food - and then hit the button on The Hunger Site and then go through each tab on the top and click the buttons on each of those like The Literacy Site, The Breast Cancer Site, The Animals Site, and The Rainforest Site.

Giving food is important, provided you are giving it to people who are still alive... I was just on The Hunger Site and clicked thru to Darfur information and looked at a picture of three beautiful girls in colorful garb and had to wonder if they are even still alive. Even the refugee camps are not safe in Darfur and the UN peacekeepers need more helicopters to make a difference. You can write to our President and ask him to send the helicopters. I added the link to www.savedarfur.org to sign a petition to the President. It seems to me that we can put a man on the moon, let me live without a thyroid, and do all of the amazing things we do that 24 helicopters is just chump change. Can't Warren Buffet, an actor or actress, Oprah or someone send them over. What's up with Bono? Let's do another national concert or something to raise money. An exerpt from the SudanTribune 1/25/08 states, "In July 2007, the UN members approved the 26,000-strong force for the Darfur peacekeeping mission. The UN is having problems to find enough troops for Darfur since the Sudanese government insists on African-only force. As in Rwanda, there is a problem in finding equipment for the mission. For months now, the UN and African Union representatives are asking the world powers to provide the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) with six attack helicopters and eighteen transport helicopters so they can start protecting civilians in Darfur. To this day, no one responded positively." 1/26/08 "The force has less than half the planned 26,000 troops and police, and lacks crucial gear to pacify a region nearly the size of France, said Jean-Marie Guehenno, the U.N. undersecretary general for peacekeeping. Guehenno was on a tour of Darfur, where more than 200,000 people have died in five years of fighting between ethnic African tribes and Sudanese government forces." They started in July, there should have been peace by August, it is now 2008 and people are still getting killed because of what they believe in. why? Why can't we stop it? Because they don't have oil? Is that really it? That can't be it...

My ex neighbor and friend, who has moved but still stops in for a visit every now and then, has a son who works for the Sudanese government on a ship on the Nile River. He does not have anything to do with the Darfur genocide, but my point is, is that they talk on the phone, like we talk to any of our family on the phone. She talks on the phone to people in the Sudan, Kenya, Egypt, etc. and it is all just not that far away anymore.

I try to help in all of the ways that I can. My Temple had a fund raiser to send solar cookers to Darfur, so the women wouldn't get shot by government troops just trying to collect firewood to cook their meals. One woman had her baby bundled on her back and was shot right through her baby. I wish I had all the money, or all the power but I don't. I do have my voice though, and I use it, I talk to my students, other teachers,neighbors, I have my car stickers and window signs, I talk to random people in line, and this is my attempt to use my voice to talk to you. Thanks for listening. Psst, pass it on.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hmmm...

$1.5 billion – amount US government spends a year on renewable energy research.

$1 billion – amount ExxonMobil earns in a day.

Monday, January 21, 2008

MLK Day Thoughts

In anticipation of Martin Luther King Jr. day, last night, my daughter asked me if the African people when they came to America had to build pyramids. The question stung me as a “light skinned” American, because no matter how long ago oppression occurs (and I am consciously avoiding any tie-in to the Holocaust), future generations of the oppressed still feel the pain. Not only do generations and generations of oppressed people suffer because of what their ancestors went through, but also the future generations of people who did the oppressing suffer terrible guilt. As human beings there is nothing stronger living inside of us, no matter who we are, than wanting to see our children safe (in all ways), to do better than we did, and to not feel our conflicting pain. However, to have pride and understand who we are, we must be taught where our people have been. Today I am a guilt ridden; pain stricken Jewish American, because no matter how we try to disseminate things, it is all weaved together in what we are, what we will become, what our children are, and what they will become.

So, “No honey, they didn’t have to build pyramids in America, they had to farm crops for plantation owners, wait on people, suffer and pretend they cared all the while earning nothing and being constantly dehumanized, tortured, and beaten. Pyramids, crops: it’s all the same, because it is about people were treated, like animals, by other people. Not just what they had to do.”

Today I wish that Martin Luther King were alive so he could see his children have an opportunity to vote for a man who looks more like them than like me to run for President of the United States of America. After all, my daughter went with me when I did…

When I asked her what she knows about Martin Luther King, Jr. she told me: A girl sat on a fence and talked to the African American kids on the other side and then they played, played, and had fun all day, and when they got tired, they all sat on the fence to rest. Well, Martin Luther King Jr. came and he knocked that fence down, (so they could play whenever they wanted) and it was the longest fence in the world. -- 'Nuff said for 1st grade. Thank you to her music teacher.

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. -- "Strength to Love," M.L.K. 1963

Sunday, January 20, 2008

New Ideas

My daughter had a great idea today, so I thought I’d put it out here. We had a small strand of white Christmas lights in the house, for some reason, and she found it and threaded it through her dollhouse. She went in from the third floor window down into the second floor window across, then out and down into the first floor and across. It was exactly long enough. I taped the lights to the ceilings in the house. It looks luminescent. I’m sure someone else has thought of this before, but I thought I’d share.


The fairy door. I made this entrance d├ęcor for my girl, and told her that the fairies told me how. She has a little thing you have to say when you go in and out. It is so cute. All I did was get a spring loaded curtain rod to fit the door. Then I purchased five yards of pink tulle. If you cut that in half 2 ½ yards is enough for the length of the door including sewing a rod pocket at the top, leaving an inch on top for the ruffled effect, which took all of five minutes. As I was sewing the rod pocket, I sewed in pieces of ribbon to hang down with the tulle as well. I made both door panels the same using different colored ribbons that I had around the house. Then I purchase a yard of purple tulle, which I simply tucked above the curtain rod and let hang down in a curve. I topped it off with a sprig of amazing flowers that I purchased at Joanne’s, the fairies favorite fabric store. Just thought I’d pass it on.

Sharing Clothes
I always knew that eventually my little girl would start sharing my clothes, but who knew it would happen so early. Today she needed a black belt and didn’t have one, so I saw one of my black cloth headbands hanging on the doorknob. I held it open and told her to step in and wha-lah - a black belt.

After surgery, I had to buy some turtlenecks to hide my scar so I wouldn’t scar the students. I can’t stand to have my neck covered now, so I don’t wear them anymore. One shirt I purchased was a crazy graphic pattern, empire waistline, with three-quarter length sleeves; but I don’t like the turtleneck. So, my girl put it on and it was the perfect dress, absolutely adorable. Even the seams for the shoulders lined up with her shoulders, amazing. She loves it and it even passed the important twirl test.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Schleppy the Snowman

Monday, January 14, 2008

Snow Day Stuff!

Yay, another snow day!
I went out just one hour ago and shoveled six inches of snow, now there are four more inches. I took a break from the Monopoly play-offs and took this picture. Can you see all of the snow flakes in front of the tree, that is how fast it is snowing.

Also posting picture of "our" turkeys taken yesterday. They are coming up to eat from the birdfeeders, or at least from the ground underneath them, and are always together. I wonder what the love birds are doing during this crazy snowstorm, hiding in bushes I suppose.

Speaking of Monopoly, Milton Bradley, are you kidding us - Monopoly with a credit card! Have you seen this advertised? It is the dumbest idea ever. The great fun of Monopoly is having your child be the banker and watching them learn math skills while making change with bright eyes, excited to be fulfilling such an important role in the game. Okay I already have Boardwalk, I have to go and try to land on Park Place before she does!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Note on Notes

While discussing the preparations for Monday’s school lunch, my daughter decided to stand up for something she believed in. Very tactfully she told me that my writing, I love you and have a great day at school type of notes on her napkins was inappropriate. When she then said that they embarrassed her I was crushed, until she continued to say that she likes to read them aloud to her friends but she is supposed to wipe her mouth with the napkin and can’t because there is writing on it. Not just criticizing but offering a solution, she requested if I would please write her notes on post-its and leave the napkin alone. Feeling suitably told off, I shall take note of her reasonable request, and in the future it’s a Post-It and a napkin.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Richiss

My daughter asked me if I was mad at her because she was “richiss.”
Of course, I had to ask what richiss was and she answered, “Prejudiced against rich people.”
When I was done laughing I had to say, “But we are rich.”
“No ma, not because we have each other, but rich people who have houses and dogs.” Ha Ha. Tomorrow I’ll try to explain the difference between preudice,jealousness and plain ol' dreaming.
Tonight however, I am going to look through the overpriced small houses with land for sale on the internet, and be a little richiss myself.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Primary

Well, I’ve explained the primary and general elections to my six-year-old because she thought that when we vote for Barack Obama tomorrow that he would be our President. She has always gone to the polls with me and remembers voting, what she didn’t understand was why he wouldn’t automatically be the president. So I’ve explained everything… well, almost everything… I had to stop short of explaining the popular vote versus the electoral vote. I barely understand all of that... Whose idea was that anyway?...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Turkey Tracks


“Mom wildlife, wildlife!,” she was screaming as she was running in, as I was hobbling to run out to her and put my boots on at the same time. It is so exciting to see nature, as it should be free and not at a zoo. This is what we live for and someday, if we can ever afford a house, we hope to live with woods around us… She was so loud it ran away, so we followed the tracks like detectives. A turkey! We finally saw it ahead, its black body outlined by the whitewashed world, and it was huge.
The nor’easter snow whipping around our faces, we watched the turkey until it disappeared down over a cliff and we didn’t want to continue trudging through the accumulated three feet of snow. Holding hands, we suspended reality for a bit, simply standing in the middle of the snowy field watching the flakes light onto the branches as the sky mysteriously got darker and darker and the snow started to glimmer in the moonlight. The world’s so quiet during a snowstorm, the snow muffling any sound of reality until we can almost, just almost; hear each flake hit the snow pack.
Ah, that's where they came up with the word tranquility…

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Colorblind Nation


That was my idea, but it is not going to work. I thought that if we not only accepted each other’s differences but also didn’t even see them, then we could fight hate, prejudice, and anti-Semitism in the country. Parents of my generation, all that I know, are raising their children to accept differences and not pre-judge by any stereotype, leading to each generation being more tolerant than the last. In my home, I thought I would do this so spectacularly well that my child would not even see color, and she didn’t for the first three years. At three, I knew she saw color but no implications of it, when she told me that when she grew up she was going to have dark beautiful skin like her friend and marry a girl. I just told her that she could be whatever she wanted to be when she grew up and hugged her. Imagine how wonderful her three-year-old world was when anyone could change the color of their skin whenever they wanted.

Now she is six and I have to accept sadly that we shall perhaps never be a colorblind nation. When describing people she uses color as another way to describe them, white or African-American. I told her that I am not white, I am pink, and I think it is true. White to me is a historically negative label. It dismays me that she chooses to use what is most obvious in her descriptions, although to ignore what is most obvious as I do perhaps is not the answer either. My child got a new student in class and she told me that she is African-American, and I said, “So… is she nice?” Right or wrong response, I don’t know. She told me that she is nice, and she thought they would be friends. Later after thinking about it, I asked her after why she thought it was important that she told me the new student was African-American instead of telling me what color hair she has or something. She said it was important because we have to help her learn English because they speak a different language in Africa and just because someone is different than she is doesn’t mean that they can’t be friends. And that her friend “Sally” is different because she is blind and it is harder for her to play, but she doesn’t care that she is different than she is, because she is her friend.

Well, she may not be colorblind, as I thought I would raise her, but she does not see that someone was different from any majority, just different from herself, and I think that is a very important fine line. I can’t teach her to be colorblind, but I have taught her that people who are different from us can be our friends. As long as she hasn’t learned somewhere to seek out differences in people and use that as a reason not to be friends, than she is okay. Living in this society, even as a hopefully enlightened adult, I do not know if I even do and say the right things. When my old neighbor from Africa came to visit and asked if my new neighbor was African I said, “No, she’s American.” But perhaps I should have said, “She’s African-American but from Boston, not straight over from Africa like you.” I didn’t though, and over thought after (as I tend to do) wondering if I answered her question correctly, not knowing why she asked. Did she want to know where she came from, or the color of her skin? If truly the color of our skin is not important, than why do I think it is important that friends who are new to this country have friends that look like them, just as I have sought out and made friends who believe in the same things I do. It helps one not to feel alone or to be homesick. So I do not know, sitting here and writing this I am starting to think that I will keep watching my child and I will follow her lead because it seems she may have some things to teach me because she is not colorblind, but she thinks different colors are beautiful.