Feminism

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

This week’s topic choice comes to us from Tracey, and it’s simply: Feminism.

If you Google the definition of feminism, you get: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.”

I’ll be honest. This was a tough topic for me to digest. Over the course of my life, I’ve never felt less than, or as though I’m not as tough or as competent as a man might be. I wasn’t raised to believe otherwise. I remember a conversation with my grandfather back in the 80’s, when I was just some punky kid with her whole future ahead of her. He told me something that I took to heart and never forgot.

“No one is better than you, and you’re no better than anyone else. You can be whatever you want to be.”

I know he told me this because he didn’t want me to walk around as though the world owed me a living, yet he also wanted me to recognize the potential I had to achieve anything I put my mind to, without belittling anyone on my way to reach my achievements. This is how I’ve primarily lived my life, with a few random slip ups, of course. I’m only human. I’ve let opportunities pass me by, and I’ve jumped feet first into many a situation where I should have really thought it through first, but I’ve never felt my being a woman was the reason holding me back.

I’ve never been career-oriented, not ever. When I was asked in high school what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was never manning a large corporation or owning my own business. Those were  never my aspirations. I wanted a secure job, something that would take care of me and provide me with a roof over my head and food in my belly. I guess it’s those blue collar roots ingrained in me. I come from a line of hard workers who work their asses off to provide for themselves and their families, if they’ve got one to support. I was raised to be independent. I had my first job at the age of 14 and my first apartment when I was 20. No one else paid for it, it was all on my own, and let me tell you there were plenty of Top Ramen and Mac and Cheese nights, but it was well worth it.

Me, at 14
Me, at 14

I recognize the hardships women have faced over many years to try to assert their independence. Recently I’ve been a lot more interested in my ancestry and after looking into census reports from the early 1800’s, I’ve found that many of my female ancestors listed “homemaker” or “housekeeper” as their line of work. I wonder how they would have felt bearing witness to the fact that many of the women in my family now have gone on to do amazing things outside of the home, working alongside their male coworkers, or how there are more and more men leaving the corporate world to help raise their growing families.

I’m not sure if I would categorize myself as a feminist, but I do believe in equal opportunities. I believe we have the right to do what we choose to, in order to live a happy fulfilling life. For some, it’s owning their own business and climbing that corporate ladder to success. Others might find happiness raising a family and staying home with their children, or they might mix it up.  I don’t care if you’re a man or woman. If it’s what works for you, then it works for me. I don’t think a person should be judged for what they feel passionate about.

 

 

 

The Luck of the Draw

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, Melissa picked the topic. Have you ever won anything? If so, tell us about it. If not, tell us about something you’d love to win.

I don’t win much, because I don’t enter much. As in contests, drawings, or lotteries. I go in with the mind set that the odds are most likely stacked against me, so why bother? I know, it’s very pessimistic of me.

There have been exceptions to this rule, however. When I was 11, I wrote a very brief paragraph on my amazing pet poodle (actually, the poodle wasn’t mine per say, but my grandparent’s) and submitted it to Dog Fancy. I’m sure I got published because of my age. How many 11 years old read Dog Fancy? I received $50 and figured I was well on my way to becoming a freelance writer.

Then there was the first time I ever went gambling, and won. I had recently moved to the Midwest and checked out the casinos over in Council Bluffs, IA. I was on the Wheel of Fortune machine, and suddenly the machine shut down and nothing worked. I was pissed off, to say the least. I figured it was a mechanical error, but when one of the employees stopped over to check on things and I informed her that the Wheel of Fortune was broken, she started to laugh. “Honey, you won!” I couldn’t believe it, and I still couldn’t believe it $750 dollars later! I’ve had no luck in the gambling industry since.

In more recent years, I find myself winning goodie bags or prizes when I donate funds to my son’s elementary school. The best win was a free night’s stay at a local hotel. My husband and I scored a babysitter for most of the day, and then he graciously let me stay in the hotel room, alone, no kids, just me, myself, and I. Although I didn’t get much sleep, it was nice laying around in a comfortable bed and watching tv in peace and quiet, a total rarity for me.

I’ll occasionally surrender to the “enter your information to win a free car!” propaganda from some business, knowing full well that I’ll get a call a month or two later from the business, claiming I’ve won a prize- not a car, but a _________________ (you fill in the blank. Home security system. Lawn service. Home repair. Window replacement.) I don’t really see this as a win for me, because I know good and well the business is merely trying to dredge up more business by dangling a carrot in front of me. I’m usually good at steering clear from this, yet I’m sometimes suckered right back in.

What about you? What have you won?

 

Jump Into Fall

benjump
At Vala’s

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, I found inspiration from the changing seasons. What are some of your favorite colder weather traditions?

Colder weather was never a friend of mine, not for many years. It might be because I’m a summer baby, or that I don’t take too kindly to any temperature below 75 degrees. Either way, the hotter the weather, the happier I was.

I’ve lived in Nebraska over a decade now, and I’ve changed my perspective on the climate. I have to. It’s sink or swim, or in my case, sled or avalanche. I’ve found a way to appreciate the positives of cooler weather, holding firm to a sunnier disposition even if there is no sun. Some of my favorite traditions when the weather turns:

Hot cocoa: There’s nothing more soothing or comforting than a steaming hot cup of cocoa with marshmallows. It just doesn’t feel right in the warmer months, but is the perfect go-to drink when it’s cold outside.

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch: I’ve been taking the big kid to Vala’s since he was 2. We go once a year, every year.  It’s a family tradition and we always end the trip with the boys picking out a pumpkin to take home.

The big guy when he was 3, with a pumpkin to call his very own
The big guy when he was 3, with a pumpkin to call his very own

Juicing: I know, this is an odd one, yet I don’t juice much in warmer months. I stick to smoothies. Once the weather cools off I stow the blender away and replace it with my juicer. I try to juice once a day and I have the boys help out by picking what produce they want to throw in. My goal is to juice every morning. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m working towards it.

Children’s Museum: When it’s nice out, my kids spend more time outdoors than in, which is why we usually don’t visit the Museum until it’s cold outside. We try to hit up the Museum at least once a year, sometimes twice. It’s a great place to go and it’s entertaining for my four-year old as well as the nine-year old.

Martin’s Hillside Apple orchard: We do this once a year, too. Since the big kid was 3. It’s a smaller orchard and that’s what we like about it, although this year the place was packed to capacity! I love the cornfield maze and the butterfly corner, along with the stuff for the kids to play on or play with.

Through the maze, Big guy, 3 years
Through the maze, Big guy, 3 years

Fall cleaning: I know, it sounds exciting, doesn’t it? I try to clean out what we don’t need or use to make way for the new stuff we’ll receive during the holidays. It’s become a necessity with two boys who have gobs of toys, and it’s nice to donate what they don’t play with. I do this in the Spring, too.

Wool socks: Cold weather is here when I slip on the ol’ wool socks. The salesman at the local running store told me how phenomenal wool socks are for running during the winter months, and how they don’t even need washed for days at a time since they wick away moisture so well. I casually glanced down at his shoes and wondered just how stinky those things were- but he had a good point. Wool socks are the bomb, and important while running in snow.

Trick or treating with friends: I can’t think of a year we haven’t gotten together with good friends and trick or treated, not since the big kid was in diapers I’d imagine.

Little guy last year
Little guy last year

The holidays: For us, that’s Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m getting excited just thinking about the delicious food, the time spent with family, and I can’t forget the annual holiday party we throw at the beginning of December. This will be our 3rd year of potluck, friends and karaoke. What could be better than that?

The hubby and I at last year's party
Me and the hubby at last year’s party

What are some of your favorite cooler weather traditions?

 

Ghosts

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, Denise picked: Ghosts.

 

Fitting for this time of year.

I used to watch horror flicks religiously as a kid. The all-night benders with friends, stuffing our faces with popcorn and candy corn while screaming in terror when some boogeyman showcased itself on the television. While I’ve steered clear of scary movies as an adult (why give myself nightmares? There’s enough scary shit in the world to keep me up at night) a select few  have never left the recesses of my mind. Whenever October rolls around I’m reminded of the ghosts and goblins of my youth. I figured I’d share a few.

1. The Amityville Horror

Pure evil. Based on a true story, which you know is the absolute worst scary movie to watch. The whole time you’re waiting for the kitchen cupboards to swing open and for blood to ooze from your own living room walls. I made the mistake recently of watching a documentary on Amityville on Netflix. I had to stop it after half an hour.

2. House

Ding dong. You’re dead.

Even as a kid, I thought this movie was complete cheese ball, but it made it more palatable. A horror writer moves into his aunt’s house and gets way more than he bargained for.

3. The Shining

The image of Jack Nicholson is enough to scare the crap out of you, but the story line is even scarier. A haunted hotel. A family snowed in. You do the math. Not to mention it’s a Stephen King classic. “Honey, I’m home!”

4. Candyman

I don’t know if this counts. Technically, Candyman isn’t really a ghost, per say. But he’s scary as hell. My sister and I still talk about Candyman on occasion. Neither of us had the balls to ever, ever say his name in a mirror five times, so maybe in a sense he’s our scary ghost.

5. Stir of Echoes

Talk about a rough calling. The guy never asked to have the ability to communicate with the dead. I have never heard the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” the same way after hearing the song in this movie.

6. Poltergeist

Who didn’t have the fear of being sucked into the television after seeing this movie? The sound of the old woman saying, “Carrie Anne”… now that haunts my nightmares.

7. The Sixth Sense

“I see dead people.”

And if you’ve seen the movie, and the person you’re watching it with hasn’t, don’t ever give away the ending. Do you remember how much of a snafu that was back in the day?

8. The Blair Witch Project

I saw this in the theatre. Not only did it make me extremely nauseated (the camera is very shaky and unsteady), but it scared the shit out of me. You just don’t know what’s going on.

9. Christine

Oh, you know. It’s just the story of a haunted car that falls in love with it’s owner. Totally normal, standard, creepy stuff.

10. Ghostbusters

I know, this isn’t really all that scary, although it was to an 8-year old little girl when she saw it for the first time. To this day, my husband and I will quote from this movie all the time. And sometimes when my kids are being particularly nutty, and they holler, “Mommy”… I retort, “There is no Mommy. Only Zuul!” No, they don’t get it, but that’s okay. I do.

Happy Haunting!

 

 

 

 

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