The Life and Death of June Cleaver


Being an ideal parent requires a level of energy not found at the bottom of a pot of coffee, or a case of red bull. No matter your daily caffeine consumption, or your history as a high-school cheerleader, chances are you’re running low on steam at some point throughout the day.. Lately, For me, that ‘point’ is one that is constant.

I never seem to have enough oomph in me to ‘get things done’. Hell, let’s be honest… I am lucky if I manage to get them started these days. I am not gonna lie. I am God Damn EXHAUSTED and that “mother of the year” award is well out of my reach.

I am no June Cleaver, that’s for sure, but is that really such a bad thing?

I look around at all the parents I know, and while there are a few that might ‘pretend’ to be perfect on Facebook, it is a rare sight to see one that actually is. The truth is, most of my Mommy friends don’t even try to pretend they have it all together anymore, and you know what… they are a lot happier because of it.

I had the inkling to Google ‘June Cleaver” syndrome, (this curiosity came to me while I probably should have been cleaning my kitchen)  and what I found was hilarious… I really was just joking around, but apparently I am not the only one that see this as an issue in life.  Here is what came up in my search…

The first result from Google was a site called Ungrind.com and the author has a post called ‘June Cleaver Syndrome” in which she writes this:

June Cleaver Syndrome develops when we’re busy imitating someone else’s expectations, rather than those that are a reasonable fit for our lifestyle. We have an idea of what a “perfect” mom should look like, but that image isn’t anything near to the woman we are.

I can not help but envy the woman who wrote this, and agree 100% with the words. Even in the world we live in today, where the shows we watch make being a less-than-perfect mother a little more common (and dare I say acceptable) but we are also faced with the other extreme and judgment that comes along with this reality should it fall too far out of reach.

Sure, nobody expects us to stay home and cook and clean all day, a mother’s sole purpose in life is not to raise the children and keep the house… Yet how much of those duties have really been passed on?? Yes, we go out and work, or we can get away with a less than spotless house, but how do we ‘feel’ about it? How do we think we look because of it? How many of us worry, or make excuses for it? How many feel ‘bad’? Well I say, GET OVER IT!!

I am far too exhausted to worry about whether there is dust on my shelves, whether my floors are a little too sticky, or there are dishes in my sink. I am not going to vacuum every single day, and I am fine with the fact that there are fingerprints on my windows…

I am done with trying to be a ‘great’ mom, trying to please everyone, or trying to impress guests.. The truth is, I’M TRIED, and if you don’t know how that feels as a mother then your obviously on drugs (in which case, I want to know what they are and where you got them) because the truth is that just like everyone else I’d love to have a spotless house, and spend quality time with my children whenever they desired, teaching them endlessly, cherishing each second and watching them blossom and grow… But I am just too damn tired to care, and I highly doubt that my mucky floors are going to ruin their childhood.

I do what I can, when I can, IF I want to.. and If you don’t understand that, then you may not want to come over for a cup of tea or that bottle of wine because I am not going to kill myself simply to impress other people!

NoJuneCleaver

This was just another random rant from a Mad Mama.

Until Next Time…

 

A Word on Comment Etiquette


I thought I would take a moment out of my day to write a quick post about proper comment etiquette. Now I am not going to claim to be an expert on the topic, I don’t claim to be an expert on any topic, but I do consider myself to have a high level of Customer Service skills and common sense. Combined with a strong opinion I feel that I am able enough to write this post….

Recently on one of my other blogs a reader commented on an error in my spelling which I appreciated openly. I was unable to fix the error at that moment, but have since revised so that it is correct. While checking my emails today and moderating my comments I came across a comment from another reader, pointing out an error in the original comment about my error… This was not an issue, what WAS an issue is that ‘this’ reader went on to be vulgar and foul in his/her comment and unnecessarily rude in general regarding both errors that were made. Thankfully I have my site set up to moderate comments before they are posted and I caught this before it hit the site, but it got me to thinking about the proper etiquette of commenting and the basic rules that people should follow.

The following are ‘MY’ personal guidelines, and are not meant to be ‘pushed’ on anyone. Feel free to add you own as well and share any tips, tricks or stories you might have in the comments section of this page.

 The Basics of Comment Etiquette:

  • First and foremost, keep it clean. When you are commenting on someone’s blog post, or on any site, it is important to remember that people of all ages may read the content on the site. Keep your comments free of foul language or sexual content unless you are sure the site is for a mature audience only.
  • Secondly, say to others only what you would appreciate hearing yourself. It is fine to point out an error, disagree with a view, or propose an opposition, but do so with tact. Swearing, belittling or general put-downs are not polite and I am sure you would not appreciate them on your site, why would you want to put them on someone else’s?
  • Commenting should enhance the post, share the love, or propose an opposite opinion. Disagreements, debates and even arguments are fine as long as they are done tastefully and neither side is trying to make the other look bad. It is important that you remember your comments are in black and white, like texting there is no emotion shown on the screen. Be careful with your choice of words as many times what you mean to say gets interpreted very differently than it should by incorrect word choice. Avoid aggressive words and remember to use “I” to show the readers that you are simply sharing your opinion.
  • Use comments as a line of communication. Comments on a post make the writer proud and often time comments encourage more writing. Use commenting to show your support for the site and to help bring traffic to your own. Posting a comment saying that you enjoyed the post is wonderful and it encourages the writer to not only reply to your comment, but to write more content as well. Positive feed back is motivating.
  • Remember that each thing you say is a reflection of your own site. Posting a foul comment on a blog you read only reflects on you. Each comment you post holds a link to your own blog site, or other place on the internet. Keep in mind that if you want to appear professional online you need to think before you type. People are not going to want to visit your site if they see vulgar comments written by you on another blog.
  • Avoid spamming people. Though commenting on other blogs helps to generate traffic to your own site avoid spamming blogs with your own link. If you want to place your link on a site it is best to first post a useful comment, and/or use the link only for relative material that relates to the post you have just read.
  • Share your thoughts and show the writer that you actually ‘read’ their post by writing a more in-depth comment than ‘good post’. Though ‘good post’ is a great pick-me-up, writers like to know what it was that you thought was ‘good’ about it. Try elaborating on your comments to make them more personal.

I am going to leave it at that for the moment, as I am sure that many of us don’t need this basic advice, but for those of you who do feel the need to be foul on other’s posts remember these actions reflect more on you than they do the writer…. Just a thought!

 

Cheers!

Fame Claims Another Life – Amy Winehouse and the celebrity influence


If you follow the celebrity world, and even if you don’t, you are probably aware that singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment July 23, after suffering a drug overdose. She was 27 years old.

Is this the role model you want for your daughter?

Amy Winehouse, born September 14, 1983, was most known for her song titled ‘Rehab‘ in which the young woman sings “They tried to make me go to rehab I said No, no, no.” Winehouse has battled an addiction publicly since she first entered the world of fame, and even had to cancel her European tour recently after a performance where she could only be described as “out of it.

Since her death headlines and status updates have declared “shock” and “bewilderment”. There has been an overwhelming amount of sadness and sympathy, fans, friends and other celebrities are remembering fondly the singers beautiful voice, but they are forgetting the facts…

Now I warn you in advance, this IS going to offend someone…

The truth is, there is NO shock. If you are shocked that a 27-year-old, heroin addict with more money than God died of an overdose you are living in a bubble and I am about to burst it.

This woman was not ‘fabulous, wonderful, or amazing’ as I have seen written on walls, statuses and pages all over the internet. She was a very messed up young girl that needed HELP not a record contract!!!

YES, it is sad that she died. Of course it is sad. I am a bitch, but I am not heartless, no one should have to suffer that way, but I don’t have sympathy because with all resources available in this world today, and especially with all the money she had, she could have gotten help for her addiction.

I’ll tell you what IS shocking….

It is shocking that every single day we as parents sit here and tell our children that drugs are bad. We tell them that drugs will get them nowhere in life, that drugs will kill them, that drugs will rip their future from them. We repeat constantly that if they do drugs they are doomed to be losers for life….

Yet, EVERYDAY our children are picking up magazines, watching television shows and listening to music that is promoting, creating and supporting celebrities on drugs...

Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, and Paris Hilton are just the obvious examples. There are an ample number of celebrities that have been caught, or accused, of using drugs in the eyes of the media, and the eyes of our impressionable children.

The point is, These celebrities are supposed to be role models to our children. Young girls were watching Amy Winehouse, thinking she was cool, listening to her music, and aspiring to be like her…

Would you want your daughter looking up to a heroin addict?

Our children are looking up to all of these celebrities, turning to them for guidance, living life dreaming of being ‘just like them‘ one day, and they are not presenting a very good image for our children to mirror.

Cocaine, Heroin, DUI‘s and Hookers are the norm in the celebrity world today. Domestic violence, rehab and repeat offences have become our headline news. There is rarely consequence to the actions, unless it is the fate that Amy Winehouse has now suffered. Rarely do courts do more than give these celebrities a light slap on the wrist, allowing them to step out of court unscathed and teaching the teens that closely watch them that being famous means doing whatever you please without consequences.

Sure, you can argue that drugs have always been a part of Hollywood, but have they always been a part of your neighborhood to the extent that they are today? Children can get their hands on Cocaine easier than they can a basketball or jump-rope now a days, and Hollywood isn’t helping matters at all.

Amy Winehouse should be an example. Producers should consider more than the fact that someone has a good voice. A good voice is a dime a dozen, just look at American Idol. If an artist is going to be signed to a label, put in a film or shown on television they should not be high on drugs.

I can’t point blame at the producers, though I am sure the dollar signs may have blurred their insights, it is the artists and celebrities themselves that are to blame as well. You enter the world of fame knowing the costs associated with it, the lack of privacy and the pressure that come along with celebrity status. You make the choice to give up normality, you have no one but yourself to blame if you can’t handle the heat. You are a ‘role model‘ and whether you like it or not there are young people out there who are looking up to you. There are pre-teen kids who want to be like you, who watch you and mimic you. Celebrities: pull yourselves together and show them what they can be besides a heroin addicted whore.

Perhaps I am being harsh, but it truly makes me sick because there are thousands of aspiring artists, actors and singers out there that would gladly trade places with these spoiled little brats and never consider shoving a line up their nose or a needle in their arms. If fame makes you so miserable than stop working, singing, or acting and go home, go hide, or just go away. Ten other people ‘just like you’ will gladly take your place, and easily fill your shoes.

I am so sick of seeing headlines about celebrity arrests, drug overdoses and DUI’s. It is time that celebrities step up and show our kids what ‘hard work‘ and ‘dreams’ really are. It is time that they start standing up AGAINST drug use rather than promoting it. It is time they accept that they are role models to young boys and girls, and time they consider the consequences of their actions.

No offence to Amy Winehouse, of course she had talent, and clearly suffered from the disease that is addiction. She was a heroin addict that should have never had the opportunity to influence our children and when they tried to make her go to rehab she shouldn’t have said ‘No, no, no…

I Owe Toronto an Apology…


14 01 07 - Toronto Glitters

Image by Cliph via Flickr

Well, I admit it. I owe Toronto and apology! Apologizing and admitting that I was wrong have never really been my strong suit, but this time I think it is deserving. For many months now I have been ranting and raving about the bad parts of city living, and I have discovered that I am wrong… Yes, I said it. I am wrong! I admit it openly here for the world  see in black and white. (Wipe that smug smile off your face and I will explain myself. Oh, and don’t get comfortable with my apologies there won’t be many more…)

As I said, I have been ranting and raving about all the negatives that come along with city living. I have gone on and on about Toronto and the level of ignorance that the people here have… Now although much of what I said still holds strong, I owe an apology because my opinion was narrow-minded and I was not appreciating all the good this city has to offer.

For the last few weeks I have been going out of my way to travel and explore this city of 5.5 million people and I have discovered, and learned, many things.

  • I have learned that not everyone in Toronto is ignorant and self-absorbed. Though there are a great many of people who could benefit from common courtesy classes, not everyone is in it only for themselves, and there are a few kind souls in this city. I learned this by travelling alone with my children and trying to struggle to get up stairs at the subway stations. I will say a great number of people did walk (barge) right by us, but there were a number of passers-by that offered assistance as I struggled and even a few that went completely out of their way to help. I have to say that although many Toronto dwellers are cold and closed off, there are many people out there that are friendly and caring. I apologize to those people and only hope that their compassion and care rubs off on the rest.. and btw To all the rude people: Would it really kill you to smile, say hi, or step aside once in a while? Hold a door for someone, or offer up your seat? Take a second to be friendly, it might change your life… or someone else’s! 
  • I have learned that this city truly is beautiful. Though at times I feel like I am lost in a jungle of concrete buildings where heat seems to swell up from the depths of hell, there are parts of this city that are truly amazing. There are ample amounts of parks to enjoy, beautiful buildings to see and streets to explore. There is amazing art, diverse culture and every corner is like stepping into a whole new world. For not opening my eyes to the beauty before, I apologize, but for those of you that throw your trash on the side walks… pick it up and go to hell.
  • I have learned that although the traffic is bad, and the transit is packed it is a good system. The Toronto transit is one of the best, it is rarely running late and you never have to wait long. So, although I would avoid driving here at all costs, and I don’t much care for the transit because of all the people, when I do take the transit I don’t have to wait long and it is easy to use. For that I am thankful and I will apologize (partially, because many people here really don’t know how to drive and I am NOT sorry for saying that… The gas in on the ‘right’ people and yo u don’t need to constantly honk your horns!!)
  • I have learned that it is not the worst place in the world to live and that if you look you can find great deals. Just the other day I was complaining about the cost of living in the city, now I admit there are some prices here that will shock you to your core… I saw a one bedroom apartment yesterday that was listed at $2,900.00 per month and I almost died, but I have discovered that when you look for a deal there is one to be found in this city on almost anything… From books, to beds, to houses and cars the competition in this city means great deals for the penny savvy shopper. Set out to scour a deal and you will find one that pleases you. You may have to compromise, but you will find what you are looking for in the long run. So for this I apologize as well.
  • Lastly, I have learned that being in Toronto is like seeing the entire world all in one place. This city is probably one of the most diverse in the entire world. There are people from all walks of life moving along together. Each corner you turn brings you new smells, sights and sensations. There is culture and diversity like nothing I have ever seen, and it makes exploring this city an amazing adventure every time you step out your door. For this I am thankful… and I guess I apologize.
So there you have it Toronto. I have learned to appreciate many things in the last few weeks… I have seen that Toronto truly can be an amazing place. I will tell you that there are still a great deal of things I don’t like about this city, and I will never be able to handle the crowds or the constant chaos, but there is beauty deep within this city that touches your soul. There is amazing history and endless exploration that I can appreciate and enjoy. So, I apologize Toronto and I am glad that I finally opened my eyes, and my mind, to the beauty that is this city!

My God, I’m a Country Girl! – City Living and the Cost of Chaos.


Broadway show billboards at the corner of 7th ...

Image via Wikipedia

The city can be a wonderful place full of life and excitement. It can also be an overwhelming place full of chaos and stress, for me it has been exactly that. I have enjoyed the time I have spent in the city, but living here has made me realize that no matter how much I try to deny it, I am a country girl at heart. This is a strange realization to me, as I was born in the hustle and bustle of the city. I grew up here and I loved my childhood. Our family made the most of city living, with constant outings and daily adventures. Despite my city blood lines I just enjoy the peace and quiet of the country to the chaos of the city any day….

Now when I say ‘country’ I don’t mean cows, chickens and bales of hay. I simply mean a ‘smaller’ city or town with less going on and quiet moments to enjoy. The city I moved here from held that for me. It is big enough that you have all the amenities you require, but small enough that you can enjoy moments of peace when you desire them.

I am just not cut out for the Craziness that is city living and here is why:

  1. You are ‘No One’ Here – When you are living among 2.5 million other people you have to deal with the fact that you are ‘no one’. Okay, maybe your someone to somebody, but he reality is that city living gives you this sort of feeling that you don’t exist. I feel like an ant among the grass, somehow lost in the chaos of the city. It is rare that you run into the same person twice, and finding a friendly face (which is a comfort I enjoy) is few and far between here.
  2. There is never silence – Especially where we have been living, there is never a moment where you can just ‘be’. Surrounded by constant noise of cars, planes and people, city life lacks that ‘silence’ that I took for granted for so long. Even if it is momentary, that silence is time to myself to just be with myself and enjoy the world around me. The never-ending noise of the city is enough to make a person crazy, and it clutters my head.
  3. Getting places is a journey in itself – Even to go to the grocery store has become a chore for me while living in the city. There is never a good time to shop. In a smaller city you sort of learn the busy and quiet times of your local stores and you work around the chaos. That is impossible here. It seems no matter what time I was going to the store there were herds of people, long lines and just general chaos… it is overwhelming, especially with children in tow. Not only is shopping a task in itself, travelling to the shops becomes an adventure as well. Buses, trains and streetcars are constantly packed with travelers that are in a mad rush to get from one place to another. You are crammed together to the point of bursting, it feels like you are sardines packed in a can. I never had a problem with crowds before, but I certainly do now. I don’t like people invading my space unless I invite them to do so.
  4. People are just not nice – Not to stereotype, but people in the city are ‘rude’! It is very rare that anyone says excuse me before plowing through you in line, no one stops just to chat, they hardly ever say hello, and Thank-you is some long-lost word that no one ever uses. Walking down the sidewalk becomes a hazard and holds its own risks of injury from hurried travelers who refuse to step aside. I have watched healthy people look away as an elderly person steps on to the bus. I have witnessed more ignorance in the last few months than I have seen in a lifetime, and it is sad. Has life become so chaotic for people that they have forgotten the basics of common courtesy? When a pregnant woman, elderly, or disabled person gets on a bus, you get up and offer them your seat, Period! It is not hard to do, takes only a second and certainly won’t kill you, nor will holding the door for the person behind you struggling with two children and 20 bags… Pull up people, seriously! Anyway… sorry about that rant that is a whole post in itself…
  5. It costs a lot – Living in the city is expensive. Besides the outrageous amounts you will pay in rent there is the cost of travel, the cost of food, the cost of everything. Even a simple family outing turns in to an extravagant affair… Though there are more resources in the city, I have learned that they are harder to tap into, with tight stipulations and odd hours of operation people complain that it is more difficult to find the help you need here than it is in smaller towns. Long waiting lists and large need make attaining what you need a very difficult process.
Maybe it is me personally, I guess I was just made for a simpler life. The city has its plus side, of course or 2.5 million people would not live here, but for me the pro’s just don’t out-weigh the con’s.
I think for me the city is more a place that I enjoy to visit, but don’t want to live. I like to explore and enjoy the chaos when “I” want to, but I like the escape and luxury of going back to a quiet home.
Do you live in a big city? What do you like/dislike about it? If you live in a small town, why do you enjoy it?
I would love to hear how others feel about city/country living, feel free to share your thoughts in the comment area.
Cheers!

The Cost of the Final Launch – STS 135


STS-135 Last Shuttle Launch

Image by Robert Scoble via Flickr

Today I witnessed a big moment in American history, world history in fact. I watched the 135th, and the last, launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. It was an amazing sight to see and it made you proud to watch, (even though I am not American) it is a big part of Canadian history too. I held my breath along with millions of others as the shuttle launched into the atmosphere, and felt relief when it didn’t explode into millions of little pieces in front of my children’s eyes. It was grand, to say the least… But I learned a few things today with the help of some inquisitive children…

I learned that to launch each shuttle costs Half a BILLION dollars!!!  HALF-A-BILLION!! Are you kidding me?? I’m sorry but that is a lot of money that would probably be better spent elsewhere! Half a Billion is a big number in itself, made even bigger when you discover that these astronauts are only going to the ‘space station‘ and are only going for “12 DAYS!!” That is an expensive vacation!

Today all the news channels spoke of this last launch and of what it means for NASA and America itself. They asked if it was right for space study to be going off in a different direction…

Well… I would say so!!!

Half a Billion dollars and we have accomplished NOTHING! These space shuttles have made 135 trips to a space station at Half a Billion dollars each… an estimated $196 Billion dollars over the last 40 years. That is a LOT of wasted money!! Especially considering it cost the lives of 14 astronauts. Sure, these shuttles have provided some amazing images, and advances in technology, but when you consider that the original outlook for the program in 1972 was to launch an estimated 50 launches per year, the actual accomplishments don’t really live up to the costs! (or their original plans apparently)

Granted there are accomplishments to be proud of, and those without which we would not function the same today… it is kind of a toss-up in consideration really. Though there have not been advances in many years, and it is clearly time to move on.

I can not get over the Half a Billion dollar price tag for 1 ship to spend 12 days at a space station that they have visited 134 times before… I think if you MUST spend this money on space exploration at least go land on mars, design a ship that goes further faster, or bring back a picture of a little green man. In the very least, for HALF A BILLION DOLLARS, do something that you haven’t done 135 times before!

 

And You Thought ‘YOU’ Were a Bad Parent….


I had started out writing a list of Tips for a Successful Summer vacation with the kids when I stumbled across the following question posted on a website and I HAD to share it here. This is for all the parents who feel like they are not doing their best at times, all the mothers who question if they are ‘bad’ parents, and all the times that parents have wanted to, or actually did, lose their cool… You are ‘Parent of the Year‘ compared to this:

My wife and I adopted a child in a foreign country over 8 yrs ago. We have been experiencing a lot of problems with this child from her telling us she hates us, her cursing at us, bad behavior at school and at home. Can we give up our parental rights to her even if she is not a legal resident of the U.S.? My wife has serious health problems and I am currently having several emotional problems due to the problems caused by our child.

WTF??? Is this guy serious???

This is not a stray cat, or pet goldfish we are talking about!!!
This is a child!

A child that these people made a conscious choice to bring into their lives, probably after much Consideration. Never mind the fact that international adoption is a difficult procedure that usually requires various complex procedures, interviews, complicated paperwork and a whole lot of cash!!! You don’t just give a child away after “over 8 years” because they are acting out… This couple puts any other ‘bad mother’ (a.k.a Britney Spears, Kate plus 8, and Octa-mom) to shame!

The worst part of this is the fact that; not only was responding closed on this question, meaning I was unable to tell this couple exactly how low and pathetic I thought they were, but the responses that followed were people who were understanding and sympathetic…. WTF is WRONG with ppl???

If I announced the equivalent of this on my Facebook in regards to my child I am almost sure that not only would I have NO friends or contacts left, Child Services would most surely be knocking down my door with hours of my post!

I was horrified when I read this absolutely disgusting question, but I was even more horrified to discover that the issue they are inquiring about happens “all the time”. I learned through some simple research that many children who have been adopted from foreign countries get sent back days, weeks, and even years later!

I heard about one couple that actually put their adopted daughter on a plane back to Russia with a note attached to her jacket. The note simply read: “Here, we don’t want her anymore!”

Something is seriously wrong with people…. This is not Walmart, there is no refund and even Walmart wouldn’t do an exchange after 8 years!!!

I get upset enough when I see ads offering ‘beloved family dog needs a new home. Rufus is 14 years old (or 5, or 9)…’ it’s not right to give away a pet that has been part of your life that long, let alone a child with feelings and emotions.

What did these people think when they made the choice to adopt? Did they think that because the child was from a less prosperous country that she/he would hang on their every word and treat them like Gods??? This child has no idea that they were rescued from bad place, that they were given a chance at a better future. They have no idea that their parents are supposed to be their hero’s. Even if they did know all that, they are children. Children are jerks, they are rude, and bad and they get into trouble. Just like getting a puppy… you have to expect that it is going to piss on your floor a few times at least!

My son rolls his eyes at me, he talks back sometimes, and he just generally pisses me off, that doesn’t mean I am going to ship him back up the old birth canal, or package him up and send him back to the manufacturer… This is not some electronic you got at Best Buy that comes with a lifetime warranty… this is a human being with feelings, thoughts and life….

I don’t know what this couple decided to do. Honestly I hope they did find a way to ‘Get Rid of’ the child (as the post was so compassionately titled) because they don’t deserve to be parents, they don’t deserve much in my books… Sure our kids drive us crazy, and once in a while we all consider sending them off to Timbuktu, but children bring joy, love, honesty, and compassion to our lives. They teach us lessons we would never otherwise learn. They show us the beauty and gift of life, a gift this couple should never have received in the first place!!

Honestly I have NEVER been more disappointed in a parent before, and if this couple ever happens to stumble across this post I hope they read it and feel like the pieces of s**t that they are.

***END RANT***

Life For Sale!


Oh to the woes of the drama that is my life… Time for an update on the state of the ‘home’ front…

As you all know we have moved around a lot in the last few months. It seems every house we find presents a new set of stresses we have to face, the new house is no different, though this stress was completely unexpected…

Our new house was fantastic, still is actually, aside from a few little things. The layout of the home is perfect, the price is right, and the area is one that enhances our family lifestyle. Things here are good…

The house we rented holds 3 apartments, One in the basement where Big C‘s friend resides, and one up above, we rent the entire main floor. The apartment up above was home to a quiet man who was rarely home, thus giving me no fear of the issues we faced at our last apartment with the elephants upstairs. Unfortunately, the man upstairs also faced his own set of demons, and recently passed away. Apparently having been sick for a long time, and facing the chaos of a ‘hoarder’ lifestyle he chose to commit suicide… No not in the apartment above Thank-God! Needless to say, he will no longer live upstairs….

His death is a sad fact and I feel bad for his family, who appeared to tackle his ‘hoarder’ home. Now he did not hoard garbage, but rather just ‘stuff’ lots and lots of stuff… Just like the Television show, there were small pathways to walk and the rest was all stuff….

Now I know that this must have been overwhelming for his family, they must have been in complete shock, but how they have gone about it is probably the strangest thing I have ever seen, and is the topic for this post…

Most people would face this obstacle with the intent to complete a task. Especially a family who has arrived from other parts of the country and lives nowhere near this man’s home. This family has not done anything like that… Here is what they did do…

Seeing the large amount of stuff in this home one would think you would simply want to get it all out, and out of the way, but NO these people have spent the last two months sorting each and every paper, item, and box and gathered up a large pile of trash, that now sits in the driveway of my home!

Please understand I don’t want to sound cold-hearted, or insensitive but read further and I am sure you will understand…

Not only have these people spent months going through these items, they do so at all hours of the night… which is not even the biggest issue, though it is an annoyance in itself… The biggest issue is that they have also been having Garage Sales Daily for that period of time… and not just Garage Sales, in the tense that a Garage Sale is usually done (Eg: weekends, daylight hours, Cheap deals on cool stuff, etc…) They have had REGULAR Garage Sales from morning through night…. Often times still out in the driveway at midnight haggling people for cash….

Now I understand that they have faced a death, and the death of a hoarder at that.. They have a large amount of items to dispose of, and usually a Garage Sale is the easiest way. Though in this case I would have recommended that they locate an auctioneer and go about removing it all that way, as much of it is usable stuff… But they have opted to have Garage Sales Daily instead….

Now, Let me tell you why this is a problem….

a) It is occurring daily from morning till night. Not just on the weekends or during daytime hours as normal people would do…

b) The pile of garbage that this constant “sale” has created is now taking over my side yard… I am sure it is a haven for rats, rodents and stray cats… You may remember my ‘run-in’ with stray cats

c) They are not cutting deals as a normal Garage Sale would do… In fact, they are trying to charge ‘Top Dollar” for a bunch of old, though useful, stuff…
Here is a conversation I overheard:
“I’ll give you $20 for that drill.”
“Well that drill costs $59.99 at Canadian Tire, so I want $50 bucks”
“If the drill is $59.99 at Canadian Tire Why would I give you $50 bucks? I can just go there and spend 10 bucks more to get a warranty and a box!”
“$50 bucks or no sale…”
****Customer walks away**** 

d) There is a city By-Law that clearly states a household is only allowed ‘2 Garage Sales per year’ This means that the hope of me having a Garage Sale later this summer to clear out my clutter has now been washed down the drain… Today the city By-Law officer showed up to take pictures and serve notice of this By-Law… Actually it made my day. I have recently decided that if it happened one more day I was going to call the city… But someone clearly beat me to it… He took pictures of the Garbage pile too!

e) Endless Garage Sales = Endless people… This also mean that my kids have not been able to go outside…. though these people have tried to tell me different I am not comfortable with my children running around with 50+ strangers standing in my driveway! It is just unsafe!

f) Garage Sales usually occur in the ‘garage’, since we have no garage they are occurring in our driveway. This fact means that no one can get in or our and my kids can’t ride their bikes….

You can see where the problem lies…

Now these people are still at it… even today in the pouring rain they outside sorting through stuff. I am sure that the moment the clouds part they will be setting up and I think that will be the moment that I break… I can respect that they have suffered a loss, and I even feel pity for the difficult task they have had to face… (Keep in mind that this man also had a storage unit full of things and so they have been renting a U-Haul truck, that has also been parked in my driveway for two months, to help house all this junk.) But there comes a point where enough is enough and my sadness for their loss no longer outweighs the suffering they are causing my family and my home… Hence the breaking point should they happen to attempt to set up today!

We tried to address this issue with our landlord, unfortunately he doesn’t live here, so he just does not care. The city seems to understand though at least that is good!

What would you do in this situation? How would you react? Keep in mind that these people have still not shown any sign of leaving although each day they say “This sale is their last” 

??????

The Argument Against Child Pageants… In My Opinion a Form of Abuse!


Low self-esteem is a serious issue in young girls, and a topic that I have addressed many times on my blogs, and in life. The effects of low self-esteem run deeper than most people imagine, and can cause irreparable harm to a woman’s emotional well-being years down the road. Beauty Pageants are a competition of ‘beauty‘, a judgment of looks and image that in essence decides who is beautiful and who is not. These competitions are a major cause of low self-esteem in girls today, and need to be addressed on a very serious level.

Is this what beauty means to you???

The popularity of beauty pageants has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade. Long gone are the days of the teenage “Georgia Peach” pageants, replaced with ‘Little Miss Perfect” and “Toddlers in Tiaras.” The fight for beauty has seeped into our young children and is creating countless issues that will be prominent in these children in the years to come.

Girls as young as 4 and 5 years-old are being ‘forced‘ to succumb to spray tans and hair bleaching in the name of beauty. They are being made to look like skanky young adults, and are being robbed of their childhood in the whole sickening process. I used the word “Forced” because I don’t believe that any 4 or 5 year-old child would choose to go through what these young pageant girls must go through each and every day. Though many of them probably view the whole charade as “Fun” I believe that it is more due to the fact that they are being told it’s fun, then the actual enjoyment of the situation.

Now, I have no issue with pageants themselves. Beauty Pageants can be great for building confidence and self-esteem. Young girls having a chance to show-off their talents and intelligence is a wonderful thing. What I have an issue with is what these pageants have become over time… No longer is a beauty pageant about being cute, being talented, or being intelligent. These pageants are about bleach blonde unnatural hair, fake tans, false teeth and a Barbie doll image that doesn’t exist. I ask these parents of pageant girls,

What are you teaching your children?

The image you are creating for your daughter is unattainable, and because of this falsity it is bound to have disastrous results. You can tell a little girl wining doesn’t matter until your blue in the face, but through turning her into something she is not you are speaking volumes in the opposite direction… and that is exactly what you are doing while you are spray tanning you child and bleaching her hair… you are telling her that the way she is, is not good enough… No matter what you try to say otherwise… that is the message you are sending, consciously or not!

I have been asked numerous times if I think these pageants should be banned, and my answer is always “Yes“. I think they have to be banned, for the time being at least. I don’t think that these parents have a clue the damage they are doing to their children and without the outside world stepping in to stop it, I don’t think they ever will. These mothers of pageant girls easily defend their actions no matter how much factual information they are faced with to show them the damage they are creating. Parents will defend their children by listing the benefits that pageants provide, benefits such as; Confidence, self-esteem, poise, and drive for success. But they fail to consider the consequences that surround the teaching of such false values and shallow views. Pageants now a days don’t teach girls about confidence, they teach girls that having a “Barbie Doll” image is the way of the world. They don’t teach self-esteem, they teach girls that who they are is not good enough for success, that beauty is skin deep and that without it they are nothing. They don’t teach poise, they teach children that being fake is society’s preference, and being who you are inside is going to get you no where. Is this the lesson we want our children to have??? Is this the reality we truly want them to live in?

I could rant and rave for hours on the effects of pageants, but as I said it is not the actual pageant itself, it is what these competitions have become….

My daughter is beautiful. She has light brown hair, a gap between her teeth and often a filthy face. She toddles around the house getting into trouble and making a great big mess. To me she is perfect just the way she is… I would never consider bleaching her hair, or spraying on a tan just to gain a trophy to place in her room.

Should my daughter ever suffer from low self-esteem I will reassure her of her beauty by placing her in front of a mirror and pointing out her good traits. I will remind her of how smart she is, and the talents she has, and the health she should be thankful for. I will help her feel secure by acknowledging that everyone looks and acts differently, and I  will be sure she knows that images in magazines are airbrushed fakes.

How can you deny your daughter the joy of who she truly is inside? That is the part of her that makes her unique.

Perhaps these parents are living vicariously through their children. I believe that each has security issues of their own that they are trying to appease by turning their children into their image of perfection… They need to open their eyes and realize that their children are wonderful just the way they are, and that they can not take back years of their own insecurity by creating a “Barbie Doll” that is not real!

Teaching your daughter that being beautiful is a sure road to fame and success is only enhancing the issues we have in the world today. It is true society values beauty, but shouldn’t we as parents be trying to change that view? We certainly shouldn’t be encouraging it, as this is only worsening the issue at hand.

Look now at your children, look deep into their eyes, Can you honestly tell me that they are not amazing JUST THE WAY THEY ARE?

So yes, I say ban the pageants. Stop this ‘abuse‘. Children should be taught to love themselves as they are, not forced to live a false image that does not exist. Teach your daughters to respect themselves, accept themselves and most importantly be themselves… or this issue is going to repeat itself as it has in you!

Here is a great link about the effects these pageants can have on our young girls, please check it out:  http://www.momlogic.com/2009/04/child_beauty_pageants.php

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crazy Cat-astrophy!


I remember when I was little I was constantly bringing home strays. Stray cats, stray dogs, and even on occasion… stray people. I was a little mother hen always on the look out for then next ‘animal’ in need. One time I even found a flying squirrel and another time it was a baby mole… I certainly was an animal loving child!

Some things change I suppose. Though I am an animal lover now, I love animals a lot more when they are not my responsibility, and are not in my house… But… I still have a thing for caring for strays.

While doing the dishes Thursday evening I heard incessant ‘meowing‘ outside my kitchen window, upon inspection I found a very small, very skinny, very hungry cat sitting outside my window crying for attention and food.

I am not a cat person… not that I don’t like cats, I do, but years of bad allergies and asthma attacks have chipped away at my feline fondness. Even still looking at the skin and bones that was this young cat, who appeared to be either pregnant currently or had just recently given birth to kittens. (who judging by the malnutrition and poor state of health that this cat was in probably didn’t do well, if they had survived at all!) Needless to say, my heart ached for this poor animal who had clearly been abandoned by its original owner in the middle of the of the city and left to fend for itself. (which clearly was not working out so well)

It truly bothers me that a person can leave an animal to suffer the way people often do with cats. Sure, cats may originate from the wild and they are pretty self-sufficient creatures, but years of domestication mean that this animal is not meant to live wild…Especially in the midst of a city where they are unable to hunt and survive. It disgusts me that people can leave a poor little animal to suffer the way these stray cats do without a thought to their needs or a feeling for their lives. But that is an endless battle…

So feeling sorry for this sad excuse for a kitten I gathered some turkey breast and dog food, along with a bowl of water and fed this poor little abandoned animal. Well she gobbled it up instantly… She was clearly starving! After she had her fill of all that I had to give her she decided that we should be friends… Despite her disgusting, filthy, clumped up fur that was caked with grease and mud, she was kind of cute…

I sat and snuggled with her for a few moments, petting her and trying to pull of the excess hair that had clearly never been cleaned.

Now keep in mind here that my family is the proud owners of a very big, very stupid Rottweiler. Kayla is about 3 years old and weighs just over 100 pounds. She is an intimidating dog that often frightens large men, but believes that everyone should love her and be her friend… I joke often that our large dog thinks she is a chihuahua, as she will run up to people, jump up on us when we first come home, or climb up on our laps as we sit on the couch… This dog weighs more than I do, she is a far cry from a poodle!

As I lifted the cat to further inspect its sad state my big beautiful dog came bounding towards us and scared the whiskers off this poor little animal…. Who of course lashed out in fear and ended up injuring “me” instead of her curious attacker!!!

The picture above is the result of me trying to be cat woman and make a poor stray feel happy and loved! It also doesn’t do justice to the injury, which at the moment of impact began pouring blood into my eyes and caused it to immediately swell shut!

Now normally a scratch from a cat would not be cause for alarm in my books, but thanks to my curiosity (aka: Hypochondria)  and the World Wide Web, I discovered that cats carry a large amount of bacteria on their claws and that a simple scratch can lead to dangerous infection and disease…. So… I panicked! (Not immediately though.. It wasn’t until I awoke in the middle of the night and could not open my swollen eye that the fear really set in!)

One walk-in clinic, two prescriptions, and three hours later, I am fine and will not require any major surgery, or suffer from any permanent scaring! Though I did have to get a booster shot just to be safe!

I fell bad, because this incident was clearly not this little cats fault. She did not intentionally set out to harm me. She was simply reacting to a scary situation that I happened to be in the middle of!

I have since made a friend. This little cat has been hovering outside our house, and even managed to sneak inside for a second yesterday! The kids have taken a liking to her, and she seems to have gotten over the dog! I sat outside talking away to her during the sunny afternoon like a crazy cat lady… and although there is no chance of her ever becoming a member of my household I did go buy her some food.. because despite her filth and fur she is a cute harmless little animal, and unlike the heartless owner that abandoned her in the middle of the city I cannot watch anyone suffer!

The lesson out of all this????

No good deed goes unpunished!

Cheers!