Friday, August 31, 2012

Find the Truth

I find it appalling that a candidate for vice president would go on national t.v. and use half-truths, misdirections, and outright lies to denounce the current president and then claim that his team will not lie to the American people! In his speech at the Republican convention - that auto plant he seems to be accusing the president of closing? It closed BEFORE Obama even took office. The money he claims the president is pulling from Medicare? His plan pulls the exact same amount - and both plans pull it from providers NOT customers, i.e., US. That commission that he said Obama ignored? Ryan voted against their recommendations! The list goes on and on. Don't believe me? Go to, which is a nonpartisan fact checking website and see.

Barney Frank says,"Paul Ryan is a rigid far-right ideologue and a clever politician.  That’s a dangerous combination -- especially in an election where ultraconservative billionaires like the Koch Brothers are spending millions to ensure that their extreme right-wing agenda becomes a reality. We have to do everything we can to expose Romney and Ryan’s plans to slash the social safety net for seniors, children, and pretty much everyone else to pay for more tax breaks for millionaires. Unlike some of these Tea Party Republicans, Ryan understands that much of what he wants to do is very unpopular with the American people. He’ll do everything he can to avoid the specifics of his plans to end Medicare, privatize Social Security, and give Mitt Romney a 1% tax rate."

This "trickle down" nonsense has been tried, and failed.  Reagan insisted that cutting taxes would spur private industry and ended up with the biggest deficit to date.  Only when Clinton came to office and raised taxes did the deficit go away.  We've been down this road before and we know what will happen if we do this again.   This time, though, we have such a huge deficit that we just can't risk failure, messing around with fiscal policies that have already been proven to be failures!

This campaign is crucial to our future.  It doesn't matter to me if you're a Republican or a Democrat.  Just don't rely on ANYONE to tell the truth.  Check for yourself the accusations people are making.  Only then can you make a truly informed decision. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Reality Check

Be grateful for all you have.

Give some of what you have to others. 

Monday, August 27, 2012!

I have been slowly moving away from being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator.  First, because of health reasons - I was always tired and hurting and had lost all desire to spend the hours necessary for prepping for classes.  And second, because of eBay.  I just don't have what it takes to do both, and, frankly, eBay makes more money.

The problem is that I couldn't get my heart to agree to pull out of it completely.  I have loved stamping for a long, long time.  I love the company, I love the products, I love the people.  SU! has allowed me to continue as a teacher, long after my elementary classroom days were over.

Then - the miracle happened.  I got better.  I had the two Radio Frequency Ablations, which have removed a huge amount of pain along with six tiny little twigs of nerve on both sides of three vertebra.  The new medication I started, called Symponi, has brought back my energy and banished much of the tiredness...and all of a sudden the new catalog started exerting its siren song.  So much beautiful stuff!

So, this fall, I decided to just host a simple Open House, and then teach a couple of classes.  I thought that was a nice compromise.  I purchased one batch of supplies - picked only the stuff I personally love - and decreed to myself that That Was All.

The problem?  Temptation, like this card by Justin Krieger.  I love fall.  I miss fall.  I love cards that allow me to FEEL fall despite temps that are still routinely over 100 degrees.  I was NOT going to get the wonderful new Sizzix leaf die cut with matching stamp set (gingham and plaid, no less!)  And I already bought one package of the new Coredinations cardstock that can be sanded to show the contrasting color inside...and I did NOT get brown.  To make this card would cost me over $50.  I Must Resist.

I'll let you know how that goes....

Friday, August 24, 2012


Socks (in front) and Callie have learned over the past couple of years to tolerate one another pretty nicely.  Callie especially likes to snuggle up to Socks when it's cold because Socks radiates heat like a good old fashioned stove (due to her weight and thick, fluffy fur, I suppose). Every once in awhile, Socks will get irritated with Callie, whose way of saying "hello" is to jump onto her back and bite her neck...doesn't go over well, understandably...  Callie has learned that in these situations, discretion is the better part of valor, and she prudently takes refuge under the Hepplewhite dresser because Socks is too fat to go under there and get 'er.

The point being that, despite differences and irritations, these two get along and live together.  I find it curious that, in situations of violence such as today's shooting in NYC, the inevitable comparison occurs and someone refers to someone else behaving like an "animal".  I think the far better description is to describe that person as behaving like a human.  Animals rarely kill each other for fun, or in anger.

And now the eternal argument will rage - gun control or gun freedom?  I say, who cares?  The real point is, "How do we stop people from getting to this point?"  And that leads me right back to the cats.  Tolerance.  We are all so ANGRY these days.  I was in JoAnn the other day and there was one cashier and one manager who had stepped over from Returns to open another register.  It was a Sunday evening near closing and there were two of us in line, waiting while a third woman checked out.  An expensively dressed, impeccably coiffed Ahwatukee Lady Who Lunches came in and approached the Returns desk, surveyed the situation, and immediately started tapping her foot and showing signs of irritation.  Mind you, by this point, the manager was getting ready to call one of us over and the third lady was done, so if the two of us had checked out uninterrupted it would have been the work of maybe three minutes.  However, the Expensive Person was by this point about to boil, so the manager left the register and went to wait on her.  Of course, I eavesdropped, figuring it must be a Very Important Matter...and was shocked to find that she had some mundane questions about products.  No return, no disappointing purchase.  She was just That Much More Important than the rest of us.

Bad behavior begets more bad behavior.  People who are pushed get to the point where they start pushing back.  All the laws in the world won't help change human behavior.  That has to come from within.  So, the next time you start getting irritated because something isn't going your way, STOP.  Think.  Change.

I will, too.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Potty Training

When our girls got old enough to handle their own toileting needs, I thought I was done with wiping butts for good...or at least until grandchildren.  Ha!  The more-than-life-size beast in the picture above is Younger Progeny's cat, Socks.  Socks came to us as a starved, five month old pound kitten.  She commenced eating upon arrival...and hasn't stopped since.  She quickly ballooned up to 20 pounds, and the vet gave us a stern talking-to, but we haven't been able to budge her weight since then because she is EXTREMELY smart about getting to food.  We can't just cut back, because the other two cats are on the skinny side.  Cats are designed to eat many small meals throughout the day, so you can't just try and feed twice a day.  Cats are not dogs.  They will not snarf up a meal and then be fine for the rest of the day.  Trust me on this...I've tried.  You haven't lived until you've had a hungry cat denied her lovely fishy pieces of crunchy goodness.

We tried putting the food up on the kitchen bar, because she's too fat to jump up there.  However, she's very smart, and she's learned to use anything - and I do mean anything - to assist her climb.  There is a table near the bar where I work on my eBay stuff, and for awhile we routinely heard the crashing of objects as Socks used this table as a launch pad...and because of her enormous weight and Newton's Law, she would slide right across the bar and onto the floor on the other side, bringing down everything in her path.  Then we got smart, and figured out ways to block her from using the table.  However, someone (usually me) always forgets, and someone (always me) has to sweep up cat food and, occasionally, broken bowl bits (contrary to popular belief, Corelle WILL break if it falls enough times!).

Lest you think I've wandered from my original thought, let me point out that cats don't use toilet paper.  They Clean Themselves.  Enough said.  However, this particular cat can no longer do that because she is too fat to reach the relevant area. And since YP is away at college most of the time, guess who gets the job?  Naturally.

You haven't lived until you have watched me pull a baby wipe and call to Socks, "Let's get you clean!  Come on, Socksie, let's get you clean!"  She wanders up, Assumes The Position, and I get the inestimable pleasure of wiping her butt clean.  The things I do for my children...  She allows this for two reasons.  One, we give her treats.  Two, she really does hate not being clean.  She always "helps" me by grooming her arm while I work, that being the only place she can reach at the time.

And I thought I'd be bored in "retirement".