Wednesday, June 19, 2013


My 7yo son LOVES to tell jokes.  Jokes that you can't help but laugh at because they make no sense whatsoever.  Knock knock jokes are his specialty.  Here is an example of one of this morning's jokes....

Him:  "Knock knock"

Me:  "Who's there?"

Him:  "Boob"

Me, pausing and giving him a look before I reply:  "Boob who?"

Him:  "Aren't you glad you don't have big boobs?"

This results in huge, belly-busting laughter on my part because 1) the joke makes no sense and 2) I have big boobs.  This joke led to a few jokes about butts and penises.  (He is in love with talking about "inappropriate" things right now.)  That led to me putting my mom hat on and reminding him to tell "clean" jokes.  And he replies with a joke about poop.  Which was doubling funny (or shall I say punny) and had me turning around so he couldn't see me smile.  Egads, that kid makes me smile.

PS.  Blogger tells me this is my 900th post.  I want to cross 1000 this year yet.  :)  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

kinda last minute getaway

so near the end of April, the hubs and I were talking & we said we'd each share something we wished we could do this year.  He, of course, would like to go and pay cash for a new camper.  Okay, not happening.  My turn.  Now, I have a problem dreaming big.  It's not something I usually do, I try to stay within attainable, small dreams. But I say I wish we could swing a quick trip to Walt Disney World before our annual passes expire.  He looks at me and says, you know we could possibly do that.  Um, no.  Not realistic at all.

Fast forward to one hour later and we are booked.  Nice flights on Southwest, we had enough vacation points to cover 3 nights, and of course we had our park tickets.  Airfare and food was what we needed to cover.  We worked it so we'd be gone Wed-Sat and would hit the last weekend of the Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot and the opening weekend of Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Oh yeah, photos of flowers and getting my geek on?  Excitement was pretty high in the weeks leading up the trip.

The hubs and I will be celebrating 15 years of marriage this August, so we decided to call it an early anniversary trip.  Anything to justify, right?

Here are some highlights.....

 We had beautiful skies, fantastic weather, and warmth in Florida.

  We made a pledge to be silly on this trip, to not take ourselves too seriously

 Some Haunted Mansion fun....

 Fiesta margarita.  You will begin to see a theme on this trip....

This year's festival had food booths and we took advantage of trying new foods & drinks.

 Dole Whip w/ Rum.  Yum.

 Another indulgence on this vacay, we got a SWEET deal on this car

Betty White and my finger shot for Seppy

Selecting dessert

 'The Dark Side,' a very yummy beverage

We had an awesome time.  We thoroughly enjoyed our lack of parental responsibilities for four days and enjoyed each others company.   We so needed this time and even though it was an extra expense, it was so worth it. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

confusion, activism, relaxation, and more. oh my

I didn't feel well this morning, so I called in sick.  It's turned into a mental health wellness day as well.  I finished a delightful, "fluff" book this morning and decided to indulge in a documentary.  One yesterday and one today.  This morning, I watched Pink Ribbons, Inc.  I had told myself I'd relax until noon before showering and then doing some stuff while remaining relaxed.  Then I watched a show that addressed the commercialism of the breast cancer campaign.  I have had some feelings about said campaigns over the recent years, but have felt it was not something I should share as I have family & friends are are large supporters.

I thought the film was done well.  It was thought provoking, informational, and resourceful for me personally.  I took some notes and it got me thinking.  (Remember, that piece above where I shared I was intending to relax today?  Well, I don't do 'nothing' very well.)

  • The "survivor" status.  Yes, I think individuals should be celebrating their living through cancer.  However, I am uncomfortable with the "survivor" message sent by the breast cancer awareness machines.  This is two-fold with the term "battle" as used in this situation.  Whether intentional or unintentionally, well-minded people talk about how this person "lost the battle" or "won her battle" with cancer.  What does that mean about those who die from cancer?  They weren't strong enough?  They weren't good enough?  Brave enough? I could go on and on.  
  • Charlotte Haley is a woman who designed cards with salmon-colored ribbon on them to promote and encourage individuals to contact their government officials to request that more money be granted for cancer prevention.  Long story short,  Mrs. Haley didn't jump on board and the machine chose a different color.  I share this because Mrs. Haley was concerned with the commercialism of those involved.  And this story leads to one of my concerns and it is discussed in this film.  I admit I have purchased "pink" products.  I have thought to myself, it's better to purchase the pink item rather than the non-pink item because some money is going towards the cause.  That shit ended for me within the last 1-2 years.  Why should I buy a $20 water bottle in which only $1 is gifted to a breast cancer group?  So "I" can feel good?  So, I can show others how supportive of whatever group the piddly $1 went to?  Bullshit.  I'd rather give the entire $20 to an organization.
  • Where does my money go?  As a donator and a volunteer for a non-profit, this is important to me.  I have made a stand to not donate to organizations who don't support the values and beliefs I have.  Okay, maybe 1-2 slip through because I want to support a friend's kid or something a friend is doing.  However, there are a few hot button issues I have firmly come to stand for....equal rights for all and a woman's ability to choose.  You may not agree with me and that's okay.  It's my money and not yours that I am deciding to spend.  :)  I don't support the Komen Foundation for remarks made by their leadership.  And that's okay.  I still support breast cancer research and support services, I just do it through a different avenue.  I am aware of a large tax exempt organization that has a legal team at it's ready to sue start-up non-profits if their tagline, logo, or whatever is too similar or is possibly infringing on their "copyright."  Who the fuck owns the pink ribbon anyway?  Who gives a shit?  Thanks for spending donor money to be assholes to another cause.  
    • They discuss in the film about how little money is being aimed at cancer prevention.  If we aren't tackling what causes cancer and how to prevent it, how can we 'cure' it?  Are there multiple researchers working on the same thing?  Is someone doing a project that has already been done?  How can I look at all the research for myself and make sense of it?  
    •  Who is sitting on the boards of these large machines?  Pharma companies who stand to benefit from treatment drugs?  Companies whose products have a correlation to cancer, even possibly causing cancer?  How does an organization realistically fund a research project on the effects of pesticides if a board member's company owns a pesticide company? 
  • Why pink?  Pink is supposedly a 'feminine' color.  What does our society think pink represents?  I personally think of softness, comfort (in particular with the pastel-ly pink) and a "girl power" way for the hot pink, but in a middle school kind-of-way.  No color represents the experience of cancer.  I get that there has to be a color(s) for a campaign, but the pervasive nature of the pink campaign for breast cancer makes me want to vomit.  
  •  Sometimes the message of positivity is too much.  Cancer fucking sucks.  Living with cancer, experiencing life with cancer is not easy or pretty.  I don't feel that individuals are not given the freedom to be angry.  Those affected by cancer are "supposed" to remain optimistic and not think of the worst.  How alone an individual may feel at times going through the journey of cancer?  Support means supporting people at the times of most desperate need, acknowledging the hurt and the anger, the good and the bad, meeting them where they are at.  
I stepped away in the middle of this post for a few hours and have returned, so some of my angry steam has flowed away.  :)  What I want to end with is what I took away from this documentary.  I am angry that these groups are not working with environmental groups.  The toxins we are injesting via pesticides, plastic, etc have to be having an effect on our bodies.  I am frustrated that our government by in large refuses to acknowledge we are poisoning ourselves and this earth, that they allow a company like the big M and their fucking soybeans to keep steamrolling our farmers and our citizens.  I am beyond pissed that our government can't get their shit together enough to look at legislating chemical companies and what potential dangers there may be, but wants to control my fucking reproductive system.  I learned today that there is a website that I can go to to learn about the beauty products I use (however, little that may be) or the sunscreen I put on myself & my kids and read a review of how safe that product is.  I found a website that I can read some research pieces on.  I was inspired that I can make changes in my own life to feel better about the products I use, the organizations I support, and learn more in general about breast cancer & the research being done on it. 

I sat there and applied it to my volunteer work and the walk I just coordinated this weekend.  How can I change the way I speak about preeclampsia.  What message do I send when I ask for support in the fight against preeclampsia.  Now, I recognize that preeclampsia and breast cancer are two different health situation.  But there were things I felt I could apply.  Being sure to honor those who are here after their preeclampsia experience as well as those who are not.  I can be better at sharing what research grant $ I fundraise for is actually going for.  I want to talk more about personal advocacy as it is something we don't do in our health care system.  We are taught to listen to the doctor, to not question, may be given grief or even pressured to not have a second opinion.  This weekend I met a woman who I firmly believe would not be here today on earth if she hadn't advocated for herself against a medical team who completely disregarded her, her concerns, and her symptoms.  Five years later, she questions them but not to their face.  I want to highlight how important support is.  Patient support is critical.  Support from others is equally as important. 

I have put together today that the larger picture of women's health and rights are important to me.  Whether it be prenatal care across the glove, sexual education of our young people, breast cancer, domestic violence, or preeclampsia.  Each is separate, but yet connected.  And there is something I can do.  I can continue to write my governmental officials about topics important to me, I can continue to donate to organizations I find worthy, I can discover new organizations I may wish to support, I can change the life of people.  Here or across the globe, I am an agent of change.

I learned that I can add a piece to my "about me" life description.  I am an activist.  For whatever the cause may be, if I believe in it I will do what I can to make a difference, no matter how small.