The long dark night of the economy

Yesterday, my neighbor lost his job. This is not the first person I have met that is suddenly out of a job. My sister was lucky and survived the cuts at her work, in fact, she was one of 9 people out of 75-100 who kept their jobs. My nephew worked at Linen and Things. He is having trouble getting unemployment.

The economy is very scary right now. I worry about friends who have cuts looming. I know that we have funding from congress for a while and that, in general, what’s up in space, stays up in space until it breaks or there is a replacement. So I do not worry so much about me, although Jay and I have a back up plan for each of us.

I have been trying to buy a little more for the food pantry. I have taken to picking up $5-$10 of pasta and rice every shopping trip and dropping it in the pantry box. People who never thought they would need it are going to the pantry more and more. Less people are donating, arguing that "charity starts at home". I wish I could do more. I try my best, I encourage the kids to do what they can, but is it still hard to see families struggling.

How has the economy affected you? What are your worries?


It is just me, or is this winter getting to everybody?

Last night, the girls were all "mom, mom, mom". I had to fix some plots for work before this morning, so I was trying to fix that and get things going for bedtime. I get so torn. The girls want me to snuggle with them every night. But I am exhausted and want some time for me. But they are growing up and one day, they won’t want snuggles (Soleil already doesn’t like me to kiss her in front of her friends, so I squeeze her shoulder or just give a tiny hug in front of them). This is a horrible quandary.

I wrote to a friend of mine last night that I am so crispy. I am so worn out and so overwhelmed by everything in life. She replied that she feels like she is in quicksand. That is a great description of what it feels like right now. Quicksand. Running on ice. Up a creek without a paddle.

I haven’t exercised at all this week. It makes me feel icky to not exercise. I am 5 weeks into Weight watchers and I have lost 5 lbs, but I need to keep it up to get to my goal. And I need the exercise. When I don’t get it, I don’t feel as successful with the weight loss.

I wonder how much of this quagmire is from the length of winter this year. It is long and wet and cold and we still have a dumpster in our driveway. Does anyone else feel this way? (minus the dumpster…really, when it leaves it is spring.)

A Tuesday morning post (coming to you in the afternoon!)

The weekends are starting to become computer email free and I do check facebook when I can. I am not sure how this has happened, but life is spirialing out of control. I am exhausted and strung out. I have issues at work that I can’t keep up with.

I have a family issue involving money going on and it’s one of these things that I just can’t deal with. I have to listen to my mom complain and then I have to listen to my sister and I see both of their sides, but I just get sick to my stoimache having to be in the middle. I always get caught in the middle of these things and I feel like I am a kid again and how things are never fair and how this person does that and GAH! I want to throw up. I love my family. But far away is good.

I have a few things that I must do today, including calling the newspaper and yelling at the guy who has decided that delivering the paper at the end of the yard is good enough. Sigh. And to fix a few plots that are just a tad off. Sigh.

On the plus side of life, I did some serious purging of my bathroom yesterday and threw out 1 bag of stuff, packed 1 bag of toiletries for shelters and installed some organizers. I took 5 boxes to Goodwill between toys, clothes and kitchen items we no longer needed. I dropped 3 bags of packing peanuts off at the UPS store (hint! Save your packing peanuts. Most recyling programs won’t take them, but the local UPS store DOES and they just reuse them as packing peanuts. The ultimate recycling!). I feel like I am making some serious progress in decluttering the house of what we don’t need. Now to get serious about some of the other rooms! 🙂

Wow, this is a seriously boring post. Sorry about that!

Nocturnal horses

Last night was a long night.

First, Jay and I have been having connecting issues. Not fights or anything like that, but life has overtaken both of us and we need to just be together a little. Last night was crazy between some scheduling issues and doctor appointments, we ended up going out to dinner. Then Jay put the girls to bed and I relaxed with my Wednesday night TV (Ghost Hunters and UFO Hunters).

Then Luna awoke at 11:30 (right during UFO Hunters.) and 12:15 and 1:00 and 1:45 and 3:00 and 3:35 and 4:30 and.. somewhere in her I slept in her bed for a while so she slept. All I know is that I woke in my bed and she in hers.

It was all nightmares. Of what? I have no clue. But she was nightmaring all night.

Man I hate this part of parenting. The poor kid is suffering and you can only rub their back and say that it is okay….


Brazil-Deep thoughts and reflections

In August, there is a meeting in Rio de Janeiro. We decided we should go as a family. Now this will make it a bit tricky as both Jay and I will be presenting posters, but I think this will be good. First off, the girls have not yet traveled out of the country (ok, Canada doesn’t REALLY count because growing up in Buffalo, I figured we were Canucks by proximity anyway). Second, the girls have learned about South America and seriously, how often does one get a chance to go to South America? We also realized that asking our parents to travel every where with us is a bit much. So we are going to do this without the extra help.

I have permission from my supervisor to go. Jay and I are doing one poster together, and he is doing a separate one. I still have to call the girls’ camp for the summer and cancel out the week so we don’t get charged extra for that.

Then, my MIL called. She is terrified of the girls being kidnapped in Brazil and held for ransom. I did a quick internet search and did find that there are some issues in Rio with safety. I also saw that most of the kidnappings are local or football player’s families, etc. I immediately went to the library website and selected 5 books on Brazil and Rio to look over.

I have since spoken to 3 people who have lived/traveled in Brazil (two of them lived there for 5+ years). They were honest, these things happen. The disparity between upper and lower class is huge in Brazil and middle class just doesn’t really exist. Often it is locals who are robbed, but tourists can be. Most tourists are fine if they follow the general rules of safe travel.  We will need to have the kids work closer with us. They will need to carry the name of our hotel on them in case we get separated. We are going to plan out more than we need so we always have a plan to deviate from (or not).

The books agree with what my friends said. Stick to the main paths. Take more tours than not. Don’t go off wandering. Relax and carry smaller amounts of money. Be aware of the scams and protect yourself. Don’t stress if you are robbed. You shouldn’t lose much if you don’t carry much.

 When my MIL called, I felt like I was in a no win
situation. If we go with the kids and something happens, I am a
horrible mother. If we don’t go because I am worried about something
bad happening, I am giving into fear. I have spent since 23 trying to
not give into my fears. I ride on airplanes even though I am terrified.
I have been in a glider, I have learned that I can leave home without
panicking that the house has burnt down when we leave. I think this is
the hard part of this decision. Not to go just because I need to
conquer fear, but not to hold back because of fear.

We have made the decision to go. I just requested the Rosetta Stone Portuguese Brazil for myself. I hope I get it within 2 months so I have time to go through it. I need to learn some of the language since we don’t know any Portuguese. We are prepping the kids already, taking hikes and teaching them how to stay with us when needed so we don’t just throw this at them when we go.

I will have to get Soleil her fish tolerance test at the hospital soon, since many dishes in Rio are laced with fish and seafood. I am allergic, but I don’t want to see her getting ill too and we haven’t concluded if she has this allergy or not.

But we are going. Jay and I are so lucky to have these opportunities to share with our children. Most people rarely get to travel out of their local area. I want to teach the girls about the world. And how to interact with other cultures. And how to respect the dangers, but not to give into our fears.


Today was crazy and busy

Today was full of fun and stress


today, I am alive

I have two wonderful girls who frustrate me, but I love them

I have a wonderful husband

And family and friends

And a roof over head

And food to eat

And plenty to bitch about

But more to be thankful for


My heart and thoughts go out to all of the families and friends from flight 3407 that fell from the sky in Clarence last night.


Well, that was fun!

I am in shock! The weather is actually NICE TODAY! Holy carp! 

We have one remaining problem with the kitchen remodel… The dumpster. You see, they started the process by placing a dumpster in our driveway on Dec 8. We’ve had approximately, 620 ft of snow and 12 inches of ice dumped on us since then. The dumpster is still in our driveway. As in frozen in our driveway. The company has been by twice to pick it up and they can’t. We have an inch of ice on that side of the driveway. Our driveway faces north, so our thaw potential is low.  We’ve decided that the first sign of real spring in our neighborhood will be when the dumpster is gone. Oh, and did I mention that the dumpster is now filled with snow? It was the only place we could angle the snow thrower. Sigh.

Last night, we attempted to help Soleil with her math homework. Luna was happily chicken scratching writing her classmates names on valentines. Star Wars Clone Wars Valentines, thank you very much! The homework seemed pretty darn challenging to me. She had 7 crabs and 5 sea stars (formerly known as Prince, I mean starfish). How many legs and arms together? Okay, Soleil, how many legs on a crab? 8. How many arms on a sea star? 5. So she easily knew 5×5= 25 and we counted by 8s to get 8×7=56. We added them together using the magic of 25 (56=25+25+6)… Then we got to the second page. You have 45 arms and legs together. How many crabs and how many sea stars? Find 4 different answers.

I am sorry, but when two astrophysicists can’t figure this out and in fact do a mathematical proof that you can only have 2 answers, you know something is wrong. I emailed the teacher. She actually checked her email from home. “We’ve been doing this unit for two weeks and we have 10 for the number of arms and legs on a crab”. 10. Ah, yes, 10 would work and be a hell of alot easier for a first grader! I asked Soleil. How many legs on a crab? 10. Why didn’t you tell us that before? Well, really they have 8 legs and two claws. The claws aren’t really arms or legs.

At this point, I throw my arms up in the air like there are no repercussions. Sigh.

We will be redoing the homework tomorrow night.


The long dark coffee hour

While I was partying drinking getting buzzed relaxing in Florida this weekend, Jay discovered that a glass coffee pot is not as strong as a quartz counter top. So far, the coffee pot has not been replaced and life as we know it is getting mighty dark. I even stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts this morning and got a Gretzsky (the Great One, a 24 oz coffee). I slept quite well last night and the coffee was needed to get moving.

The weekend away did wonders for me and my psyche. I am just about ready to tackle the world again.

I am still tensing up, but I am going to work on relaxing a bit more now. I need more down time, less stress time. I hate feeling the stress of needing to do something instead of just relaxing through it.

At home, Jay found 2 cheap as dirt MP3 players for the girls. Yes, my girls are now rocking to Weird Al Yankovic on their own personal MP3 Players. Me, being the geek and mom that I am, insisted on buying kid sized ear clips with volume limitations for them. Sorry, no earbuds yet for my girls! Total cost of 2 MP3 Players? $15 Total cost of 2 kid appropriate ear clips? $39.98 Sigh

Does anyone else have kids that are obsessed with Star Wars? Because mine are FREAKING OBSESSED with it. To the point when they were doing O words at Pre-k, Luna chose "Obi-Wan"






This post is not suitable for all audiences

Children and Wall Street CEOs may be offended.

Yeah, I know, I said I was taking a break, and I am! I am going to the airport in 30minutes!!!!

Yesterday, President Obama said he would cap the salaries of companies that take the bailout to $500,000. Yes, a half of a million dollars.

Hell, that’s reasonable to me. Then the "financial experts" jumped in. One said that $500,000 was "draconian". WTF? Seriously WHAT THE FUCK?

What planet do these people live in? The average salary of the American worker is $25,000. The average salary of the American family is closer to $54,000. And they think 10-20 times that is draconian? Is their job really that important that they get so much more than oh, TEACHERS? Or more important than POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS? ooh! Wait, I’ve got it! They are FAR more important than the people who move the goods they buy, the TRUCKERS and TRAIN ENGINEERS of the world. Or the people who BUILD THE ROADS that they have people drive their cars on (which some are BUILT BY AMERICANS EVEN IF THE MAKE IS NOT AMERICAN).

Seriously, this pisses me off. America is about living the American Dream. To be comfortable in life. To work for a better future for your kids, to be happy and healthy. But when these guys DESTROY our economy, and the world’s economy (so sorry Iceland, you didn’t need to have ANY money), and then claim they need more than $500,000 a year? Yeah, I have NO SYMPATHY for them. NONE WHATSOEVER!

Okay- I needed to get that out. 

Back to my regularly scheduled break.

BTW- my sister’s department kept 9 people. She is one of the 9! Woot! I feel bad for all of the others who did lose their jobs.