Wednesday, December 30, 2009


A lot of my favorite blogs post predictions at this time every year. You can read Sharon's here, and Orlov's here.

So I thought maybe I should do a few too, but first I asked the wisdom holders of the next generation.

Galen said that there will be a new Lego movie out. He even named it.
Ewan said that my parents' dog could die.
Ian said that he'll get new toys.
Clay said "I will get a new toys too."

My guess is that my children's predictions will be more accurate then mine :) Just remember to value my advice for the amount you paid for it.

10 predictions for 2010

1. That Shannon will learn how to take off all her clothes. This will occur in the same week she learns to open the house doors and run into the yard. Children always seem to learn new skills in sets of 2.

2. That the real price of oil/energy in all storable forms will continue to climb and that we will rejoice in finding ways to use less of it.

3. That it will take my family all year to successfully transition to cloth wipes for toileting use.

4. That Galen will continue to do well in school and that we will have to fight for getting enough challenge to keep Ian interested.

5. That we will be living closer to the earth, particularly for when we go to bed and arise each day.

6. That Ian will desire to take care of himself, and learn how to, and be willing to do it several times a day with minimal adult support. (ok, this one may be a stretch for this year)

7. That technology and the access to it will start to be limited due to budget constants. Many families will be priced out of personal computers and internet connections.

8. That airlines will continue to offer degrading services for higher and higher prices. This means that many families will also be priced out of flying. (that and the fact that new regulations will began to make the 1,200 mile trips by car with 5 kids look easy).

9. That Hunt Utilities Group will began marketing a very promising line of awesome houses that will not only lower utility bills (good bye heating costs) but they will also be designed to handle lots of kids effectively in small spaces. And they have a green house to assist in your gardening efforts.

10. That people will began to realize that other people matter to them, that other people matter more then another computer game or the next TV show and that they will began to talk with them more, play more games together and build a community.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Spirit

Yesterday I saw Christmas. I got my car stuck trying to get out of an unplowed driveway and before I could call someone for help, 2 cars stopped and help me push my car back on the road. I think the amazingly quick response of the two different sets of strangers was a sample of the True Spirit of Christmas. If only we could all remember and do that everyday!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Rollercoaster

Tonight, as we lit the dinner candles and turned off the light, we actually had a few moments of reverence. The kids felt awe. They were polite and asked for things nicely at the table. If that is what it is like to eat in the dark- then maybe we will do it more often. :)

But no worries- they made up for it big time after wards. The did the dishes quickly with almost no fighting- I even got them to sing for their right to open presents. But when the presents were open all *ell broke loose. I had 3 kids screaming at the top of their lungs. 2 because they didn't get the $90 toy the wanted and the third because she couldn't hold the doll fast enough(it was all strapped in to the package).

The doll was easy to take care of, but the other two... I should have thrown out in the snow for being ungrateful. Clay was having a first class melt down- I still don't know what his problem was. I wonder if he was trying to act like his brother. Ewan was the one who was pouting and fussing at not getting his $90 toy. I have warned the kids all year that I was not buying toys for Christmas (especially not expensive ones). It took him about an hour to calm down and began to realize how awesome the tool set I got for him was. Then he nailed up a letter holder on the wall that he got Dad for Christmas and enjoyed discussing the tree forts he could build. Right now he is hammering on something up in his bedroom.

I am not sure if I want to find out what it is.

Monday, December 14, 2009

oxytocin and autism

Does this remind you of Galen?

"From the perspective of the newborn, babies also more often seem to have problems making close contact with their mothers after an oxytocin-assisted delivery, -which can lead to problems during nursing. Disproportionately, such babies coming in to my practice displayed behavioural signs of trauma. They were more likely to display the moro reflex and this over a longer period of time, and they were often very easily startled. Such infants are often known as "screaming children�, and may only be calmed when on someone's arm. Usually, an infantile colic is diagnosed in such cases and a therapy is then arranged to address this "disorder'. Affected infants also tended to show a change in skin complexion, and to sweat. They were usually restless and only able to focus after a while. They were sometimes hypotonic or hypertonic and often had problems controlling head movements.

Even if these criteria are not seen as oxytocin-specific, but rather as general criteria for a traumatised baby, I first became aware of a correlation with the use of a labour promoter, because these same children were also the children who were not able to be comforted immediately after birth, even by their own mothers. While in cases of non-assisted births (even those completed only after many days of labour-related strain), once the newborns had overcome the stressful experience of birth, these children were subsequently able to be calmed through bodily contact. Could the missing of oxytocin at the bonding sites be a possible mechanism for the persistent restlessness of these children? "

read paper here

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Mothers are like fresh air and clean water... Nobody notices you until you're gone.

Also none of the above are counted as valuable in world economics either.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I have been quiet lately- that is because it is hard enough to talk in between coughing, and even harder to type.

So after hearing the kind of noises upset tummies make- in my chest last night, I decided that it might be time to go and have this crud (Minnesotan word for whatever is going around) checked out. And I officially have reason to feel like I have been run over by a steam roller. This crud, that I normally shake off in an afternoon nap has decided to bite and hang on for dear life.

So even though there is no tests to determine what kind of crud was able to catch me- the swine flu was the suspect upon the Doctor's lips. And the steam roller officially comes in with the secondary infection of pneumonia.

To tell the truth I was fighting something minor and barley worth the bother in October- but by Nov 3nd I was out.... chilled and engeryless. Coughing was established by the 10th. And I progressed to get less feeling ok by the day. Until I gave up and stayed in bed almost all day for the last 4-5 days.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Recession may be over?

This article says the recession may be over Just in time for holiday shopping!

Seriously who are they kidding? ( the article is well thought out, but the idea of the recession ending seems ludicrous)IMHO it is their way of saying spend and spend for Christmas shopping is upon us.

I would venture to guess that most Americans who were scrapping by and lost their jobs ate up all their available credit before they were willing to go on state aid. And for those those who were not able to find another job.... and even for those who were, They have nothing left to spend on frivolous stuff this Christmas.

And although this may be bad for the economy it is very good for us. Imagine having the opportunity of learning that life does not suck just because you can't by everything- in fact life can be even more fun when you don't buy things. We have our houses so full of stuff that with a little ingenuity we can make do and find out that it is actually fun to make do, to find out how resourceful you can be- and you know what? It builds you self worth when you find ways to make do. It builds your self worth to have industry happening in your home, to be smart and useful once more as a human being should be and not just an unfortunate unemployed cog in a broken military industrial complex that has become our nation's lack of economy.

What I am trying to say is that it is time we realized that we need to revamp our personal economies and industry and worry less about the national one.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tax rates and universal health care.

We are currently earning $14/hour- not really enough to scrape by- that bring in about $1792/month of which $110 goes to social security and other taxes.
We have good health insurance- that costs our employer about $1495 per month (not counting dental).

If the US government has a single payer, universal health care then our business could pay us that $1495 per month more in wages. Our take home pay would be $3287/month.

Sounds great doesn't it? Well in most countries with single payer health care the taxes are high- 30-50 percent of wages. At 30 percent of wages that would be $986.10 going to taxes and a take home pay of $2300.90. That is $500 more in my pocket and it doesn't even count the savings of out of pocket medical expenses.

At 50 percent tax rate our take home pay becomes $1643.50 which is $38.50 less then what we are earning now- but our current medical bills (even with good insurance) comes to more then that from just 1 doctor's visit- so we would still be doing better then what we are doing now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

This popular sovereignty necessarily implies popular responsibility. Instead of blaming their troubles on a king or tyrant, all citizens are responsible to share the burdens of governing, “that every man might bear his part”

-Dallin H Oaks 10-13-09

Aside from the obvious fact that this objection would deny free speech as well as religious freedom to members of our Church and its coalition partners, there are other reasons why the public square must be open to religious ideas and religious persons. As Richard John Neuhaus said many years ago, “In a democracy that is free and robust, an opinion is no more disqualified for being ‘religious’ than for being atheistic, or psychoanalytic, or Marxist, or just plain dumb.”[xiii]

read it

Magic is in the air

or at least the aroma of a wonderful chocolate birthday cake. After I let Shanny taste that magic by spoon she followed me around with her little mouth open.

Wow- have we been busy lately. Every weekend for the last 2 months has been booked. This week my kids learned a lot about the cultural formalities that surround them. They attended a very traditional Lutheran funeral (complete with hotdish, rolls and red jello for lunch) and then a wedding.

This week we hope to tone things down again and get back into home making and family routines.... try to get that bedtime thing happening :)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


If God doesn't destroy Hollywood Boulevard, he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.

Jay Leno

If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don't hoard it. Don't dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke.

Brendan Francis

When you come to the edge of all the light you know and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.

Barbara J. Winter

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as true strength.

Ralph Sockman

Happiness is a choice, not a result.

Ralph Marsdon

All violence in human life is caused by “wealth without work; pleasure without conscience; knowledge without character; commerce without morality; science without humanity; worship without sacrifice; politics without principle, and rights without responsibilities.”


Fame or integrity: which is more important?

Money or happiness: which is more valuable?

Success or failure: which is more destructive?

If you look to others for fulfillment,

you will never truly be fulfilled.

If your happiness depends on money,

you will never be happy with yourself.

Be content with what you have;

rejoice in the way things are.

When you realize that nothing is lacking,

the whole world belongs to you!

Lao Tzu

Bad times, hard times - this is what people keep saying; but let us

live well, and times shall be good. We are the times: Such as we are,

such are the times.

St. Augustine

If logic tells you that life is a meaningless accident, don't give up

on life. Give up on logic.

Shira Millgrom

"Don't spend your precious time asking 'Why isn't the world a better

place?' It will only be time wasted. The question to ask is 'How can I

make it better?' To that there is an answer."

Leo Buscaglia

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas Edison

It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do.


It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.

W. C. Fields

Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.

Dr. Seuss

The fruit of silence is prayer.

The fruit of prayer is faith.

The fruit of faith is love.

The fruit of love is service.

The fruit of service is peace.

Mother Teresa

Almost anything you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.

Mohandas Gandhi

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fwd: Chanhassen dinner theater photo break

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Mike Newbold <>
Date: September 4, 2009 7:57:21 PM CDT
To: Raya Aaa Newbold <>
Subject: Chanhassen dinner theater photo break

Here is the best photo from my photo op.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Emotive Minnesotan

I was not raised to send greeting cards and hand written notes at every occasion. I was not raised to rejoice loudly and vocally. In fact interpersonal conversation involving anything I truly felt or thought was not highly encouraged. Most of this is part of my Minnesota cultural heritage. Emotion expend too much energy when we have to keep warm (at -60) and chop the fire wood.

Often times our attempt to share our emotions end up as a few brief words describing what we see or did rather then our feelings on the matter. One could almost think our emotions are covered in a parka- they show forth once a year for those 3 brief days of summer.

So how do we show forth our feelings? Those of us raised in MN have learned to read the body language through the parkas.... but that does not help those of us who feel the need to express.

I have found that even most of the time that I can not adequately express my self through prayer, but to praise or cry out in agony of soul I needed an outlet. So I had to learn to dance. I had to learn to sing.

And so, as my family gathers at the bedside of my Aunt Katie (and I am stuck at home, with hyperactive, bored and autistic children) I will dance for her. My dance will be one of joy of her part in my life, it will be one of sadness for the family as we will all greatly miss her, it will be one of hope and praise in the beauty of the atonement and resurrection and the promise of eternal families. It will go on until my resources are exhausted and my heart pains are sung out, until the sorrow is swallowed up and replaced with joy.

For Aunt Katie I wish I could share it and have those witness it feel it too.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ever worked for months or years trying to teach your child something and then you leave for a dinner party and come back 3 hours later and they are doing it all on their own?

Or that you give up on them ever learning it and then one day you glance out your window and see both of them (not just the one you were trying to teach) riding bikes down the driveway together?

I have seen enough examples like this over the last 10 years to figure out that we really are powerless to teach our children very much at all. When it is their time they will learn what they are ready to learn. (and not a knit wit before or after). it seems like the best we can do for them to learn it is be prepared to back away, let them do it and then applaud.

Yeah- it helps them to have to tools on hands and the examples of how to do it in front of their face... but really we can't teach to do it. They magically pick it up and one day go flying with out us.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It was summer’s last hurrah- and this year it’s only hurrah. 93 and sweltering. Sweat beaded up and rolled down her knees and she sat at the computer typing. The dog nudged her leg. “Let me finish this paragraph and then I’ll take you out.” She muttered.

5 minutes later and after a little debate about the proper use of antecedents and pronouns she finally set her computer down and stood up. She stretched upwards and cracked her back. The sun had set and there was a promise of a breeze passing through the screen door. Her dog followed her as slipped outside. She felt the grass through her sandals and decided to slip them off. Yes, that felt good, bare feet on soft grass. Shadow was right behind her, his big brown eyes happy now and the mouth drawn up in a doggy grin. It was setting up to be a beautiful night. The sky was clear, but until her eyes adjusted she was mostly blind on the way down to the lake.

Nearing the beach she heard a rustle in the bushes. Shadow stopped and growled. “What do you see?” she asked him. “Some king of critter?” Then her eyes adjusted enough and she was able to see a white stripe in the darkness.


Shadow barked as the skunk ran off. The stench hung heavy in the hot moist air.
“Come Shadow, into the lake!” Shadow bounded into the water. She paused to strip herself of clothes. She held them close to sniff them but couldn’t tell if it was her clothes or the air that smelled. So she tossed them aside and dove into the water.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Saturday, August 08, 2009

goop and poop

Only those of us mothers who are specially chosen to cloth diaper and hand rinse them have the opportunities to find out exactly what it is their precious baby girl ate all week.

Most weeks I find things like Styrofoam (do you know that poop with a high amount of Styrofoam in it floats really well?) legos, balloon parts (gasp!)

But this week I actually had a new experience, besides the beans, corn, paper, Styrofoam, legos and the obligatory beads, I actually had a googly eye staring up at me out of the goo.

Maybe Grandma is right when she says that Shannon is a "good eater." At least she is also a good pooper.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Mood swings

I didn't sleep well the other night. The full moon, Mosquitoes, and a very nursing kid did me.6
It is amazing who horrible the world was last night. My kids were all annoying whiners, and my husband was a good for nothing .... Don't even get me started on how my house looked.

But after about 8 hours of undisturbed sleep the world looked much better. My kids were cute and helpful, my husband wise and handsome and
My house looked livable.

I am beginning to think that sanity is directly related to the amount of sleep one gets.

No wonder some moms go crazy.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, June 22, 2009


It’s healthy to have a good fantasy life. At least that’s what I’m told.
So here it is Saturday evening 4:50pm and I am drifting into fantasy while driving into town to gas the car and buy groceries for the next week. I just dropped the kids at home after a whole day and a half of swimming and hanging with their cousins at grandmas. I was wiped- almost falling asleep…. When the fantasy hit.

I am tired and I really would like to go home. I would really like to soak in a big, hot bath- in a sunny, spacious bathroom. My fantasy bathrooms are always sunny and spacious, where the bathtub is so big and is surrounded by windows that are surrounded by woods- or a really nice walled off garden. So at this point, as soon as I realized I was fantasizing I took a quick reality check. Not going to happen. Because #1. We have a small (puny) tub, in a small interior bathroom (not sunny), and this small little tub is fed by a small little, less then perfectly functioning, hot water heater- and I know from experience that the little hot water heater can give you a 5 minute shower or run a load of diapers, and that in my last house the, bigger, nicer (working) water heater with twice the hot water was still just barely enough to fill our decent size whirlpool bath. (yes, I miss that bathtub, and that larger house more often then I would have thought)

So anyways, I thought I would just forget these details of my real life and see where the fantasy would lead me. And it led me, right after the nice long soak, to a clean bedroom- with my clothes laid out and waiting for me (and not being sat on by some little 5 year old with stinky pants who was waiting for me to vacate the bathroom). After that, I would emerge into the world…. refreshed, relaxed and clean in to a house that is clean and pretty- where someone even had taken the efforts to put out several bouquets of fresh, fragrant (lightly fragrant, and not overly strong) flowers in several locations, which served to add a dash of light and bright life to our living room- the flowers were in even in my (current) favorite colors of orange and yellow, highlighted with some greens and baby’s breath, that just seemed to say- welcome to your day.

And then I would enter the kitchen, the large, spacious, sunny kitchen. (did I mention clean and organized?) and there- spread on the table would be a light, healthy dinner- already for the family to eat. My kids would come in- scrubbed and tubbed- with their rosy cheeks glowing, wearing beautiful white, light weight summer PJs. They would smile at me as they entered and proceed to sit down quietly and fold their arms for prayer.
My hubby, smiling, would sneak up from behind me and cover my eyes and say “Guess what I made for you?” And then he’s show me some awesome desert- with chocolate and berries. He would let me have a taste, but make me promise to wait until after I enjoyed the main course. The kids would laugh gently and quietly fold their arms. The dinner would melt in my mouth and fill all of my nutritional voids for the day.

That is as far as my fantasy got before I arrived at the grocery store. Gassed the car, bought the groceries, drove home, made dinner, planted the tomatoes, bathed the kids, treated their sun burns, made treat and dropped like a ton of bricks.

Sometimes I look at my fantasies and think that I should full fill them- how can I get me life to be like my fantasy? Sometimes that’s a valid question. If I’m fantasizing about pancakes, then by golly, I should get off my butt and go make some. If I am fantasizing about a nice garden, then maybe I should works towards that goal. But if the fantasy is about something I really don’t care about or don’t really want (like life as a movie star), then maybe I should just ignore it. The problem with this fantasy is that it was right on the ragged edge of being able to pull off.

Do I put in the efforts required to reach the fantasy, or parts of it? Or do I chalk it up as crazy?

I didn’t know. So I bought myself some brownies at the grocery store and ate them on the way home.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

This week in iphone pics

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I dont know if you can tell- but Most of these empty posts were attempts to send pictures from my phone to my blog. The words made it, the pics didnt. Sorry- I will have to figure out how to do that.

Re: Noodles

this must mean you are enjoying the cabin and beach today.. awesome.. that scruntchy face is terrible.. a good one to torture her with many years hence..
today has been a nice quieter day.. I am very tired again.. even though I already had a nap.. and now a nice supper of ham, bubbles and squeek and duck egg... very tasty and then a sticky pudding that was awesome..
The day started out with a parade, cool weather, and then a day in the trade show part of the event.. I bought a few pashima scarfs... with Rotary logos on them.. very pretty and a warmer pullon.. thingy... so all in all a very nice day.. went swimming last night... and am now ready to sleep again. I think..
nothing really exciting.. have met lots of nice people.. chatting here and there.. that is what it is all about...
tomorrow will be a long day.. up early for the first session of the conference... then a tea.. and then some wait time.. and then a renaissance festival at a real restored castle.. so.. it should be fun...
so tell me more about your day.. and what everyone is doing.. etc..
love ya lots

Raya Newbold wrote:

Sent from my iPhone

Fwd: "the grouch" eating sand

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Mike Newbold <>
Date: June 19, 2009 8:02:54 PM CDT
To: A Newbold Raya <>
Subject: "the grouch" eating sand

Sent from my iPhone

Fwd: Future martial artist

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Mike Newbold <>
Date: June 19, 2009 8:04:39 PM CDT
To: A Newbold Raya <>
Subject: Future martial artist

Sent from my iPhone

2 am

Sent from my iPhone

Oodles of noodles

Sent from my iPhone


Sent from my iPhone

Scrunch face

Sent from my iPhone

Cute shannon

Sent from my iPhone


Sent from my iPhone

Friday, June 19, 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

intersting article

Erasing Autism
Scientists are closing in on the genes linked to autism. So why is
Ari Ne'eman so worried?
Claudia Kalb

From the magazine issue dated May 25, 2009

It's spring in Washington, and Ari Ne'e-man, with his navy suit and leather brief-case on wheels,is in between his usual flurry of meetings. Ne'eman is a master networker, a guy you'd think was born in a campaign office and bred in the halls of the Capitol. He's fluent in policy-speak and interacts seamlessly with high-level officials (he's just had lunch with the acting vice chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and inquisitive reporters alike. He's formal but sociable and has a well-timed sense of humor. He also has a problem with velvet. I knew this
about Ne'eman—he'd mentioned it when we first started talking more than a year ago—but now, in a D.C. coffee shop, he gets into the sensory details. His father used to drive a car that had fuzzy velvet-like cushioning, and it made Ne'eman crazy to sit in it. "I'd wince because I'd think about how it would feel to get that under your fingernails," he says. I think I see him shudder at the memory.

Ari Ne'eman is 21 years old and has Asperger syndrome, a high-functioning diag-nosis on the wide-ranging autism spectrum. Ne'eman's velvet aversion is triggered somewhere deep in his brain, a brain that he happens to relish. He doesn't want anybody to mess with or, God forbid, cure his Asperger's. It's who he is, who he's always been. It's why he's had ob-sessive interests since toddlerhood. At 2½, he saw a dinosaur skeleton at New York's American Museum of Natural History and announced, "That's a pterodactyl." From there he fixated on baseball, reciting players' names and stats ad nauseam, whether or not anyone was listening—a behavior experts call perseveration. Later it was constitutional law. His friend Ben DeMarzo remembers driving with Ne'eman and two other classmates one high-school weekend. DeMarzo and the others wanted to listen to music—the Beatles were a favorite—but Ne'eman had other plans. "Ari made us listen to Supreme Court oral arguments. It was brutal," DeMarzo tells me. He was outnumbered—how'd he win? I ask. DeMarzo laughs. "Ari always wins," he says. He certainly puts up a fight. Ne'eman is officially studying political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, but he also runs the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, a nonprofit he founded in 2006, the year after he graduated from high school. The task he has taken on is daunting and controversial: he wants to change the way the world views autism. Autism is not a
medical mystery that needs solving, he argues. It's a disability, yes, but it's also a different way of being, and "neurodiversity" should be accepted by society. Autistic people (he prefers this wording to "people with autism," a term many parents use, because he considers the condition intrinsic to a person's makeup) must be accommodated in the classroom and workplace and helped to live independently as adults—and he is pushing to make this happen for everyone on the spectrum. They should also be listened to. "We're having a nation-al conversation about autism without the voices of people who should be at the center of that conversation," he says.

Ne'eman's network has local chapters in 15 states, and he works closely with organizations like the EEOC and the American Association of People With Disabilities. Neurodiversity activists see their mission as a fight for civil rights, and Ne'eman and others are willing to stir un-rest.
very straightforward," says Lee Grossman, head of the Autism Society of America, who supports many of Ne'eman's efforts. "He tells it like it is from his perspective." Ne'eman has taken on powerful organizations, specifically Autism Speaks, the largest science and advocacy group in the country, be-cause he believes they rely on fearful stereotypes and focus their research too heavily on what causes autism as opposed to improving quality of life for autistic people today.

Last year he helped stop an edgy "ransom notes" ad campaign created by New York University's Child Study Center to raise awareness about autism. One said, "We have your son" and are "driving him into a life of complete isolation." It was signed "Asperger Syndrome." Ne'eman was appalled. "There's a misperception that autism is some thief in the night that takes a normal child and places an autistic child in its place," he says. "That's not true."

The autism spectrum itself, however, is a universe with multiple galaxies, including nonverbal toddlers who bite themselves and college grads who can't tell the differ-ence between sarcasm and seriousness. This complexity leads to passionate and conflicting viewpoints. Not everybody stands behind Ne'eman, and some adamantly op-pose his views. One major area of contention: scientific research, which includes the hunt for autism genes. I knew Ne'eman had a surprising outlook on this and figured he'd have something to say about the recent news that scientists have found common gene variants that may account for up to 15 percent of all autism cases. This is big in a disorder that varies so enormously from one individual to the next. Environmental factors also play a role, but if scientists can test for specific
genes—most of which have yet to be discovered—they may be able to intervene much sooner to help kids. One day they might even find a cure. This is exciting for parents who want to understand the roots of the disorder. Therapies—some helpful, some shams—vie for their attention and their pocketbooks, and they'd welcome better, more targeted treatments. But the new genetic advances concern Ne'eman. He doesn't believe autism can be, or should be, cured. His ultimate fear is this: a prenatal test for autism, leading to "eugenic elimination." If a test is developed one day, it will be used, he says. And that means people like him might cease to exist.

When I press Ne'eman on genetic research—doesn't it have some merit?—he says he doesn't oppose it outright, but he believes scientists must consider the ethical implications of their work far more carefully. Already couples are testing embryos for diseases like Huntington's, then choosing to implant only the healthy ones. And who can blame them? But autism isn't a fatal condition. Should people without the disorder be allowed to judge the quality of life of someone who has it? "That is a message that the world doesn't want us here," says Ne'eman, "and it devalues our lives."

The prospect of no more Ari Ne'emans—whether you agree with him or not—is haunting.
Termination of fetuses with Down syndrome is routine today; given the fear that autism inspires in parents, why wouldn't it follow? And what would our world be like without autism? The vast differences among individuals on the spectrum make the notion even thornier: will parents start demanding to know whether their fetus will be low- or high-functioning? But it's also impossible to ignore the parents who say they'd do anything to free their children from isolation and pain. Some feel so hopeless so much of the time, they do wonder in private if their children would
have been better off not born. And who can blame them?

Ne'eman battles a strange kind of image problem: his critics accuse him of not really being autistic. His mother, Rina, is particularly sensitive about this. "People who see Ari today have no idea where he's been," she says. As a young child, Ne'eman was verbally precocious but socially challenged. "I didn't understand the people around me, and they didn't understand me," he says. He was bullied and ostracized—back then he didn't look at people; he flapped his hands and paced incessantly (he still does both today); he brought newspapers to elementary school as
leisure reading. "I think the word 'freak' may have come up," he says. He was, at one point, segregated from his peers in a special-ed school. That led to struggles with depression and anxiety so severe he would pick at his face until it bled. I asked Ne'eman how he manages all the professional mingling he does today. Small talk makes him uncomfortable, but he's learned to play along. Still, none of it is easy. "You come out of a meeting and you've put on a mask, which involves looking people in the eye, using certain mannerisms, certain phrases," he says. "Even if you learn to do it in a very seamless sort of way, you're still putting on an act. It's a very exhausting act."

He remembers being taught in social-skills training that when people are happy they smile with all their teeth, and when they're sad they wear exaggerated frowns. "I was always wondering, 'Why is everybody around me neither happy or sad? They don't have emotions'," he says. When you're autistic, social interaction can be like a foreign language: no matter how fluent you become, you're never a native speaker. Katie Miller, a fellow activist, jokes that "Ari is the only autistic we know whose special interest and talent lies in networking." But, she says, "it didn't come naturally. He's learned it the way every-body else learns algebra." Ne'eman has a way of taming the stress he feels: he wears a tie because it puts a soothing pressure on his neck. "It's a good way of calming my anxiety," he says.
One of Ne'eman's latest efforts is a new public-service announcement called "No Myths," which he helped create with the Dan Marino Foundation, a funder of autism research. In it, Ne'eman appears in red sweater and tie along with others on the spectrum, including a man who speaks through a communication device. "Our futures have not been stolen," Ne'eman says. "Our lives are not tragedies." The message is clear: We stand before you. Don't make us go away.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Ewan's request

Dear bob and ray
I wood like $165.99 for a bike for Ewan Newbold so he has a bike to ride on the palle bunyen trall. (Paul Bunyan Trail) i wood learn to ride a bike safe and sond with a helmit ney (knee) pads elb pads and learn trafick laws .

snelye Ewan Newbold.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


life continues... which I think it will do for the rest of it.

Galen and Ewan learned to ride bikes today. So now we need to get a few more bikes and bike helmets and after Galen crashed he also asked for knee and elbow pads :)

Ian graduated kindergarten yesterday- the class of 2021. That means I will be 43 when he is set to graduate highschool. Yowzer!

Clay is out of school for the summer and is hanging quietly around the house. Shanny will now walk holding onto your hands.

There are so many things I want to do before summer hits and I spend 28 hours a day taking care of kids, instead of only the current 23 hours/ day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

shattered illusions

My parents completely destroyed one of my illusions- a precious hope I had kindled in my heart for many years.

You see I had always assumed that once your children grew up and moved out of the house (and had children of their own) that you and your husband may get a few uninterrupted hours to enjoy your marriage.

But they proved my wrong, when I showed up at 8am to steal some of Dad's homemade yogurt.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Hair is Turning Grey

My Hair is Turning Gray and my Mom's getting Wrinkles.
And other wondrous things you realize after 30.

I've been watching my hair. What started as nice little highlights in my bangs that made me look a little "experienced and sophisticated" has now blossomed into a full take over. Gray hairs reach down to my shoulders. They grab the light- and my attention.

I also noticed that my wardrobe is getting more conservative. I am wearing more jackets, longer skirts, and the only thing that fits tight are the waist bands of my pants. Gone are the strappy 5" heels, something about chasing toddlers didn't work well in them. Gone are the bright prints and all shirts designed to show off my bust line or leave little to the imagination.

I've become accepting of that paunch in my belly. Although, sometimes I still imagine wearing a spanx- I know my need to breathe would get in the way.

Instead of dinners where I wait until I'm hungry to see what to make, I have all items defrosted and ready for my chef hands at 4pm. Instead of a carefree "What are we going to do tonight (Pinky)? We have nearly ever minute planned until we scraggle of to bed with a basket of folded laundry.

These changes I sometimes bemoan. Did the world catch up with me and is it making me pay? Or is this the price for experienced gained in 30 something years?

I've traded my concern with how "Hot" I look in public to how happy and healthy my children look. I gave up fighting my eccentric side. It was easier to ignore it. My painting set still sits in it's box, 8 feet high. My hair bows and scarves are now my daughter's play things, and white, sturdy bras overwhelm my underwear drawer.

My cars are well used, my walls are scribbled on. But my garden is growing, green and happy in the sunlight.

I look forward to and mourn (at the same time) my fertility ending. One would imagine after 5 kids I would happily exchange midnight feedings and diaper changes for menopause, but those people forget the warmth of newborns on your chest, the milky smiles and those innocent searching eyes, the grabbing fists on your shirt, those first words and the cute fortitudes of movements.

I am proud of what I have accomplished and very patient with what I have put off until later. I used to look at my parents and admire them for what they have accomplished. Now I see them turning into my grandparents. My dad, still trying to hold to the ideals he had, admittedly, yet to reach, reminds me of my grandfather Curmudgeon. My Mother, and her patience for shopping, meetings and medical appointments, reminds me of an angel. She too has changed, but not in her ability to accomplish things and enjoy life.

Her age, I see in her face, droopy eyelids over twinkling eyes. Yesterday it shocked me- wrinkles on her cheeks. But her tenacity, her strength, her ability to change, within herself and in the outside world, things that need to be changed. I honor that and do not mind one day becoming like her.

Meanwhile, I am growing gray on my own and showing my age with essays of musing.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Decreed in Heaven

Putting pickles in tuna fish is required because it was written in the stars in the ancient heavens.

I made tuna fish roll ups for dinner and Ewan said he didn't want pickles, so I had to explain to him why I was doing it. I just told him that it was required because it was written in the stars in the ancient heavens.
Then he said we don't have ancient heavens and I told him that is true, we have a modern heaven, but the ancient heavens were what people who lived millions of years ago saw when they looked up, and then he forgot about the pickles and asked if that was true of the mustard too.

Shannon chewed on something that bit her back yesterday.
She cried when the 9 volt touched her tongue.
So, i put it away and Dad pulled it back out to see if she would do it again, but the smart cookie wouldn't.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Healthy School breakfasts

Not as hard as they think....

The other day I attended a school breakfast with my children. They had a special day for "Moms and Muffins". But at that time, not only was I eating a muffin and a little plastic container of OJ, but I was watching the other kids eat a normal school breakfast, which is now free to all kids at the school.

The free breakfast is a great idea. It is very nice to know that my kids will have something to eat at school no matter how rushed or out of groceries we are in the morning.

While we sat there and ate a decent size muffin and drank our OJ, I saw the other children walk out of their line with a small cup of highly artificially colored and flavored (highly sugared) yogurt, a small muffin and a milk. And it struck me that there was nothing in that breakfast that had any real nutritional benefits. (except the milk).

And I also noticed that all the items were easy to serve in individual throw away containers. UGG! I realized that it made it all easy to serve, but in exchange it was not easy on the Earth or the Children's bodies.

You would not imagine stuffing you highly tuned car with junk- sugar and solid oils?, SO why do we stuff the children's highly tuned bodies with junk and then want them to sit still and listen and learn?

So- I have thought up several options for easy, healthy school breakfasts that kids would love and it would be nourishing to them.

1- Yogurt parfait. You serve each kid a serving of plain yogurt in a bowl. Then they walk down a yogurt bar where they can add items to their yogurt. These items include fresh (or previously frozen) cut fruits, sliced nuts, rolled oats, granola and honey.

This simple idea includes whole grains, protein, pro-biotics and fruit.

2- Whole wheat cinnamon rolls with fruit and a cheese slice. The keys here are to make the cinnamon rolls healthy and serve serve real- not processed cheese.

3- Breakfast burrito bar. Each child gets a wholegrain tortilla and then walks down the bar that offers scrambled eggs, black beans, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, onions, fresh green, salsa, plain yogurt (to use as sour cream) and of course a side of fruit.

4- Oatmeal bar. Serve them a bowl of oatmeal and let them top it off with thier choices of the following: Raisins, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nuts, plain yogurt, other dried or fresh fruit.

5- Breakfast sandwich- use a wholegrain english muffin or bagel and put real cheese, eggs, and ham inside. Bake until warm. Great, warm and filling. Offer with fresh fruits.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Now a rant....

I wish I could help the modern mother to understand that one sigh of hers (in the presence of a child) may have more life long consequences on that child then all the preaching at church in a year could.

And that then taking care of the children rather then being in a Bishoprich meeting is in no way saying that women are less valuable then men.

There are so many feminist mormons out there that just can't wrap themselves around the differences inherent to men and women to understand our different callings in the church and home. Not only that but in the world in general, women's tradition roles are so poorly understood. Even the way the economy accounts for things leave traditional women's roles unaccounted for, as if they didn't even exists.

I have a few books that broach the topic of the way the economy accounting should work, but I have yet to open them. We should be able to find it within ourselves first- we shouldn't need the political and economic climate to agree with us before we act.

I just wish there was a way to help others understand. I want others to see that my conclusions are not a product of brain washing, but an answer with in myself that I had to struggle to find and understand how to implement.

What is weird is that these ideas are not being fought in a gender vs gender arena, but are being fought mostly in the hearts and minds of our own gender.
Are we asking too much of our own gender to seriously give our all to our next generation?

Real feminism should be seen as a movement to understand and fully utilize our gender for all the beauty and good it can fill the world with.

Great article about America's Financial issues

Wow- of you want to understand the banking/ financial issues in America right now- this is a great article.-

here are some highlights:

At the root of the banks’ problems are the large losses they have undoubtedly taken on their securities and loan portfolios. But they don’t want to recognize the full extent of their losses, because that would likely expose them as insolvent. So they talk down the problem, and ask for handouts that aren’t enough to make them healthy (again, they can’t reveal the size of the handouts that would be necessary for that), but are enough to keep them upright a little longer. This behavior is corrosive: unhealthy banks either don’t lend (hoarding money to shore up reserves) or they make desperate gambles on high-risk loans and investments that could pay off big, but probably won’t pay off at all. In either case, the economy suffers further, and as it does, bank assets themselves continue to deteriorate—creating a highly destructive vicious cycle.

To break this cycle, the government must force the banks to acknowledge the scale of their problems. As the IMF understands (and as the U.S. government itself has insisted to multiple emerging-market countries in the past), the most direct way to do this is nationalization. Instead, Treasury is trying to negotiate bailouts bank by bank, and behaving as if the banks hold all the cards—contorting the terms of each deal to minimize government ownership while forswearing government influence over bank strategy or operations. Under these conditions, cleaning up bank balance sheets is impossible.

Nationalization would not imply permanent state ownership. The IMF’s advice would be, essentially: scale up the standard Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation process. An FDIC “intervention” is basically a government-managed bankruptcy procedure for banks. It would allow the government to wipe out bank shareholders, replace failed management, clean up the balance sheets, and then sell the banks back to the private sector. The main advantage is immediate recognition of the problem so that it can be solved before it grows worse.

.... To those who say this would drive financial activities to other countries, we can now safely say: fine.

The second scenario begins more bleakly, and might end that way too. But it does provide at least some hope that we’ll be shaken out of our torpor. It goes like this: the global economy continues to deteriorate, the banking system in east-central Europe collapses, and—because eastern Europe’s banks are mostly owned by western European banks—justifiable fears of government insolvency spread throughout the Continent. Creditors take further hits and confidence falls further. The Asian economies that export manufactured goods are devastated, and the commodity producers in Latin America and Africa are not much better off. A dramatic worsening of the global environment forces the U.S. economy, already staggering, down onto both knees. The baseline growth rates used in the administration’s current budget are increasingly seen as unrealistic, and the rosy “stress scenario” that the U.S. Treasury is currently using to evaluate banks’ balance sheets becomes a source of great embarrassment.

The conventional wisdom among the elite is still that the current slump “cannot be as bad as the Great Depression.” This view is wrong. What we face now could, in fact, be worse than the Great Depression—because the world is now so much more interconnected and because the banking sector is now so big. We face a synchronized downturn in almost all countries, a weakening of confidence among individuals and firms, and major problems for government finances. If our leadership wakes up to the potential consequences, we may yet see dramatic action on the banking system and a breaking of the old elite. Let us hope it is not then too late.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Non- Economic Plan

And for those people who have yet to hear about the details of the Geithener's plan to bring American Financial Stability to it's own funeral- here is my rendition of it.

The 3 part plan is as follows:

PART 1. Gov't + Biz back (bad) loans so that we can purchase toxic bank assets with what is left of our 401Ks.

PART 2, TALF makes loans to investors to purchase junk consumer debt (making it easier for us to purchase the toxic bank assets.

PART 3, The FDIC (yep, the people you trust to back your money in the bank)makes loans to purchase Toxic bank assets.

Theoretically these 3 pieces are supposed to assure the banks get good money to sell off their bad assets.

And who is the bottom line consumers of these toxic assets? We are- 95% of them coming from our hard earned income tax and 5% coming from what is left of our 401Ks.

The 95% really bothers me- the 5% will lead some crazy investment people to invest and say it was "Good" because the loans are backed by the Gov't. Meanwhile the Gov't is throwing in the 95% by printing more money (that are backed by the toxic assets) and leading down a fun road of hyper inflation.

The bottom line is : Bank's bad assets to US (the US taxpayers)
It also will equal a nice little small latte for $100 a cup.

I think I will invest in something that inflation won't rip apart- like maybe food storage and a garden.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Shaken, not stirred

Yup, I have been shaken, but not stirred.

I happened upon the fate to send a deer flying tonight, and the experience literally left me shaken. My mind was calm, but my hands were shaking as I tried to get my cell phone to work.- Which it did not- battery was exhausted. Silly phones, they need to learn to keep a charge for a week at a time.

Anyways, the front drivers side corner of my beautiful blue pruis was smooshed in enough to keep the tire from wanting to move- so the car is still sitting upon the scene that occurred 1/2 mile away from home. Nobody but the deer was hurt and I am not sure how bad the deer was hurt. At first I thought the thing was instantly dead- but then it started to move it's head, and then it started to move it's back and it managed to get itself sitting upright. We called the sheriff's department and they are in charge of the deer.

Ewan, who was with me, is thinking they will bring the deer to an animal hospital- I didn't have the hart to tell him how they would "take care" of it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jars of Snot

Copious amounts of snot - too bad snot isn't like gold- that everybody wanted and was willing to pay for- or this week we would have hit the mother load. Sometimes I wonder how much snot we are really making- and to measure that one would probably want to collect it in a glass jar. Then I envision someone like Calvin going around and attempting to sell it. I can almost envision what a jar of snot would look like. Wanna see?

Yeah, I don't blame you for politely declining. I would too. Maybe it's a good thing I don't have Calvin for my son. But he's probably fit in here anyways.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I like to see the glass half full- That being said- here are some advantages to having your whole family down with the flu/cold/crud. It is really quiet economical.

1- Save on heating oil. With 3 of the kids running over 100 degrees there is really not much reason to heat the house- if you're cold go stand by one (that is assuming you are not being snuggled to death by the three already).

2- Save on groceries- yup most of the groceries we bought on Saturday are still sitting here shinny and new- at most we have gone through lots of juice and ramen. And the pan of rice crispie bars lasted a whole 20 hours.

3- No whining or fighting. Yes, we have some fussing but Tylonal cures that.

4 for the first time in their lives the kids understand how to be quiet. I haven't had to tell Galen or Ian to shut up once today- or even to be reverent during prayer time.

But from the activity levels it looks like Clay and Ewan will go back to school tomorrow. They actually have been walking around today and one even asked for some entertainment.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Man's duel roles

A lot has been said about women being cast in duel roles of prostitute and angel- but much less has been said about man's duel roles of dufus and wise father. Our recent media has been filled with men playing the dufus- Men like Homer Simpson and Tim (the tool man) Taylor. These men are always making a mess of things and their wife is always right. In fact, there has been so many father as dufus characters that sometimes we forget the other role.

Fathers can be wise men. In the TV shows of the 1960s and 70s it was the Father who knew best and the Father who always gave wise words of council at the end.

My suggestion today is that we don't look at our men as being either one, but look at them simultaneously in both lights. That they can be both wise and pig headed, funny and serious, and hardworking and a goof off. That the dufus is the wise man in a different light.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

wow- good article

It's called "Getting prepared"

Here are some excerpts:

But let's take it apart. Starting from the very general, what are the current macroeconomic objectives, if you listen to the hot air coming out of Washington at the moment? First: growth, of course! Getting the economy going. We learned nothing from the last huge spike in commodity prices, so let's just try it again. That calls for economic stimulus, a.k.a. printing money. Let's see how high the prices go up this time. Maybe this time around we will achieve hyperinflation. Second: Stabilizing financial institutions: getting banks lending ¬ that's important too. You see, we are just not in enough debt yet, that's our problem. We need more debt, and quickly! Third: jobs! We need to create jobs. Low-wage jobs, of course, to replace all the high-wage manufacturing jobs we've been shedding for decades now, and replacing them with low-wage service sector jobs, mainly ones without any job security or benefits. Right now, a lot of people could slow down the rate at which they are sinking further into debt if they quit their jobs. That is, their job is a net loss for them as individuals as well as for the economy as a whole. But, of course, we need much more of that, and quickly!

So that's what we have now. The ship is on the rocks, water is rising, and the captain is shouting "Full steam ahead! We are sailing to Afghanistan!" Do you listen to Ahab up on the bridge, or do you desert your post in the engine room and go help deploy the lifeboats? If you thought that the previous episode of uncontrolled debt expansion, globalized Ponzi schemes, and economic hollowing-out was silly, then I predict that you will find this next episode of feckless grasping at macroeconomic straws even sillier. Except that it won't be funny: what is crashing now is our life support system: all the systems and institutions that are keeping us alive. And so I don't recommend passively standing around and watching the show ¬ unless you happen to have a death wish.

Right now the Washington economic stimulus team is putting on their Scuba gear and diving down to the engine room to try to invent a way to get a diesel engine to run on seawater. They spoke of change, but in reality they are terrified of change and want to cling with all their might to the status quo. But this game will soon be over, and they don't have any idea what to do next.

So, what is there for them to do? Forget "growth," forget "jobs," forget "financial stability." What should their realistic new objectives be? Well, here they are: food, shelter, transportation, and security. Their task is to find a way to provide all of these necessities on an emergency basis, in absence of a functioning economy, with commerce at a standstill, with little or no access to imports, and to make them available to a population that is largely penniless. If successful, society will remain largely intact, and will be able to begin a slow and painful process of cultural transition, and eventually develop a new economy, a gradually de-industrializing economy, at a much lower level of resource expenditure, characterized by a quite a lot of austerity and even poverty, but in conditions that are safe, decent, and dignified. If unsuccessful, society will be gradually destroyed in a series of convulsions that will leave a defunct nation composed of many wretched little fiefdoms. Given its largely depleted resource base, a dysfunctional, collapsing infrastructure, and its history of unresolved social conflicts, the territory of the Former United States will undergo a process of steady degeneration punctuated by natural and man-made cataclysms.

In the United States, the agricultural system is heavily industrialized, and relies on inputs such as diesel, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and, perhaps most importantly, financing. In the current financial climate, the farmers' access to financing is not at all assured. This agricultural system is efficient, but only if you regard fossil fuel energy as free. In fact, it is a way to transform fossil fuel energy into food with a bit of help from sunlight, to the tune of 10 calories of fossil fuel energy being embodied in each calorie that is consumed as food. The food distribution system makes heavy use of refrigerated diesel trucks, transforming food over hundreds of miles to resupply supermarkets. The food pipeline is long and thin, and it takes only a couple of days of interruptions for supermarket shelves to be stripped bare. Many people live in places that are not within walking distance of stores, not served by public transportation, and will be cut off from food sources once they are no longer able to drive.

An even simpler approach has been successfully used in Cuba: converting urban parking lots and other empty bits of land to raised-bed agriculture. Instead of continually trucking in vegetables and other food, it is much easier to truck in soil, compost, and mulch just once a season. Raised highways can be closed to traffic (since there is unlikely to be much traffic in any case) and used to catch rainwater for irrigation. Rooftops and balconies can be used for hothouses, henhouses, and a variety of other agricultural uses.

Another category of real estate that is likely to go unused and that can be repurposed for new communities is college campuses. The American 4-year college is an institution of dubious merit. It exists because American public schools fail to teach in 12 years what Russian public schools manage to teach in 8. As fewer and fewer people become able to afford college, which is likely to happen, because meager career prospects after graduation will make them bad risks for student loans, perhaps this will provide the impetus to do something about the public education system. One idea would be to scrap it, then start small, but eventually build something a bit more on par with world standards.

College campuses make perfect community centers: there are dormitories for newcomers, fraternities and sororities for the more settled residents, and plenty of grand public buildings that can be put to a variety of uses. A college campus normally contains the usual wasteland of mowed turf that can be repurposed to grow food, or, at the very least, hay, and to graze cattle. Perhaps some enlightened administrators, trustees and faculty members will fall upon this idea once they see admissions flat-lining and endowments dropping to zero, without any need for government involvement. So here we have a ray of hope, don't we.

Of course, cars and trucks will not disappear entirely. Here, again, some reasonable adaptations can be brought to bear. In my book, I advocated banning the sale of new cars, as was done in the US during World War II. The benefits are numerous. First, older cars are overall more energy-efficient than new cars, because the massive amount of energy that went into manufacturing them is more highly amortized. Second, large energy savings accrue from the shutdown of an entire industry devoted to designing, building, marketing, and financing new cars. Third, older cars require more maintenance, reinvigorating the local economy at the expense of mainly foreign car manufacturers, and helping reduce the trade deficit. Fourth, this will create a shortage of cars, translating automatically into fewer, shorter car trips, higher passenger occupancy per trip, and more bicycling and use of public transportation, saving even more energy. Lastly, this would allow the car to be made obsolete on the about the same time scale as the oil industry that made it possible. We will run out of cars just as we run out of gas.

I've covered what I think are basics, based on what I saw work and what I think might work reasonably well here. I assume that a lot of you are thinking that this is all quite far into the future, if in fact it ever gets that bad. You should certainly feel free to think that way. The danger there is that you will miss the opportunity to adapt to the new reality ahead of time, and then you will get trapped. As I see it, there is a choice to be made: you can accept the failure of the system now and change your course accordingly, or you can decide that you must try to stay the course, and then you will probably have to accept your own individual failure later.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Routines, Routines, Routines, Routines

Mike and I are learning just how important it is to stick the the routines with Galen. One would think that after 10 years we would have sort of a clue. But guess not.

Neither of us comes from a back ground were we had strict routines for anything- our families were pretty laid back- that approach does not seem to work with my Galen. One can blame it on autism, or on him just being a kid.

But the fact remains that anything unusual will give us payback the first time we want him to wake up for something. And this weekend that was today.

He fights like a wild cat to wake up and get on the bus if he had a broken routine during the weekend. That means that the movie and ice cream was too much for him yesterday. Probably added on top of being at his cousin's house all day on Saturday. It got a little much for him to a point were he wanted to run home around noonish on Saturday. I don't think he is used to being picked on by girls near his age nor was used to sleeping in the basement because the toddlers were throwing up.

And then Sunday I brought them to their grandma's to play- and we stayed up a wee bit passed their bed times- I thought it would be ok- as there was no school the next day- but I guess not.

So here we are again, trying to figure just what percentage we can deviate from our routines and be safe for Galen. The percentage is looking smaller all the time.

As it is we already start our bedtime routine after school. They come home, have to play out side and do their chores. Then they are allowed 1/2 - 1 hour computer time. Then it is dinner time. They have to do their chores. We have snack and scripture study. Then the boys have to gather their school stuff, and it's story time until they all hopefully zonk out cold by 9 pm. If it's a weekend the routine starts with dinner time- and might include a bath.

We don't have much of a morning routine yet- we keep it pretty short- like get the kids up, dressed and on to the bus. This lasts for about 20 minutes.

Oh well, if I am stuck with routines I might as well make the most of them and add good habbits for myself and house. Like what to pick up, clean, change and prepare after the kids are on the bus. (usually the kitchen, the laundry and start dinner)
and at night- getting myself studying time.

Enough rambling. Have a good day.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Today I went to a big grocery store in Brainerd, instead of our local, small one. I had a gift certificate for it and had to pick up my boys several blocks away. It was interesting (and frustrating) to do my weekly shop there.

Most of all, what struck me was the miles and miles of plastic instead of food. I felt there was no connection at all to where the food came from or even anything to hint at what's it purpose was. If I didn't know I was supposed to eat what came from a grocery store, I am not sure people could convince me to.

There was no physical sensations associated with the shopping that would remind me of food. All touch was smooth and solid, even the floor I walked on was smooth, the visuals were all smooth. The only smell was old ice and human perspiration, a touch of bleach. Even in the produce department, there was no fruity or earthy smells. By the time I got to the back of the store, I felt totally disconnected from the world and begin to wonder if that is how most people live now days in America?

With the complete lack of sensations the only things helping you to decide what to buy would be the price signs and pictures on the boxes or plastic bags. No wonder Americans are fat-

I also found the huge size overwhelming. "Food, food, everywhere, and none of it to eat."

Then I went outside, and I had wind on my face, and a temperature that made me feel my skin again. And I breathed in, stale exhaust, and I looked up- as I usually do at night- but there were no stars to see. And inside I cried. "Is this what we have done to ourselves?"

"Where is the beauty? where are the sensations? Where is life in a city?" Are we, as a culture, sensory depriving ourselves? To a point that we seek the simulations of violence in video games, just to feel alive?

Are we so disconnected ?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

more pics- again

more pics

pictures for you

My web slide show program crashed, so I guess I am just going to have to do pictures the old fashioned way. sigh.... It was going to be a really cute one too.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Thank you for your presence.

Yesterday was my birthday! I am a whole year older and wiser too, then I must have been last year at this time.

People have (especially my mother) asked me what I want for my birthday. And you know, I don't really "want" for anything. The one thing I have wanted most over the last few years is now squirming on my lap and trying to eat my mouse. (and I'm not talking about the cat).

And I thank her for her presence. I was in great want/ need of her presence. And I thank you for your presence in my life. For all that you have done for me. For all that you have listened to me prattle about my newest acquired knowledge and daily challenges. And for being there and caring about me, and letting me hang out with you.

Your presence means more to me then stuff. Thank you for being present.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

conerning women and economy

In Dr Suess’s “The Lorax” the oncler uses the following phrase “business is business and business must grow, regardless of crummies in tummies, you know.”

I have often contemplated that phrase and it’s implications on the environment and economy. But now I have begun contemplating it’s implications on families.

I have determined that businesses do not have to grow. That if they can make a consistent profit, it should be good enough, and that to grow a business should be a conscience choice. However, businesses that use debt financing are forced to continue growing to pay of the ever increasing interest and investment. And that is often why business have to keep “biggering and biggering.”

(ok, off track, back to families) To have a higher standard of life.. (to enjoy life more, have more health, time, and experiences) are not tied to the economic impact we make. The problem with economics is that is measures money changing hands. It does not measure success, happiness or family unity. Therefore holding the Gross National Product (national economic numbers) as the indication of how well a country is doing is very misleading. It seems to suggest that anyone not earning or spending is not valuable, therefore the traditional roles of women and families get pushed away in favor of increasing the GNP.

Traditionally all the work women do (the cooking, cleaning, sewing, child rearing) were not counted in the economic figures. When women decided to get jobs and add to the GNP, not only did their wage add to it, but the money they paid out to daycare, to fast food, to housecleaning services all added to the GNP too. But just because they increased their impact in economic terms does not mean that they increased their standard of living, or their happiness.

Housecleaners, daycares, nannies, quick and easy foods, only in semblance replace the value of the women’s work in their homes, but the true value and power of having all of that unified into a nurturing and loving whole is missing. Homes loose their drawing power and families forget why they are.

As the nourishing food and family time get pushed aside, the crummies in tummies (and hearts)happen to our children and to ourselves. As a women and mother I have made the decision that my economic impact pales in value next to the hopeful, joyous eyes that look to my guidance everyday at home. No successes outside of the home will ever replace failure (for lack of being there) in it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

more breast feeding needed

Why it should be mandatory for women to breastfeed in public.

Good for Mommy, good for the baby,
good for the on lookers :)

read here

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Top 10 things to do when it's 30 below.

10. Snuggle with hot cocoa under a blanket.

9. Go out for a DQ.

8. Plan a Luau. (indoor pool party with all the Hawaiian decorations).

7. Snicker at people who forgot to wear their coat or hat or mittens, and are subsequently freezing as the run from the car into the store.

6. Share your bed and body heat.

5. Plug in you car.

4. Wish you had an extension cord that would reach your car.

3. Let your cat in at night.

2. Shop for swim suits, shorts and sundresses.

1. Seriously think about moving to Florida.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

build a better cart

I just saw an advertisement for a building a better cart game. I was hoping it was actually advertising a better on-line shopping cart system, but it was just a game.

So instead of sharing my desires for a better cart with the game people- I will share it with you.

For a better shopping cart- it needs integrated inventory control and tracking. And of course management's ability to go and change any details in it by hand. It needs to be able to print a nice packing slip- right from the cart system. IT should track sales of items per month and groups of items per month. It needs to be web based- and not housed on individual computers that may crash at any time. IT should ask customers if they would like to join our e-mailing list and then create an easy to use emailing system for alerting customers to current sales and promotions.

It should be integrated easy into website- probably and HTML code cut and paste ability. And when new inventory comes in it should alert customers who have looked at similar things in the paste.

I had doubling the work load- so the inventory imputing should be able to feed directly into my quick books files for up to date accounting with a quick download.
It should also download all sales and returns at the same time.

It would also suggest items at check out- like chocolates or candy at the cash registrar. And the customer can come back any time to the cart, just as they left it. The cart will notify the customer if prices or availability changed.

ok- I will revisit this idea some more, but had to write these thoughts down before they are forgotten.

Friday, January 02, 2009

The first day of what's left of my life

As far as I am concerned today is the first day of the New Year. Yesterday was a day out of space and time.

this year I am planning to slow down and avoid the holiday sales. no more 18 hours per day 6 days a week for 9 weeks before the new year. 60k of inventory left my small building in that time this year. (or that is what it will be when I finish my last retail order).

My store is closed and I have to remind myself that I no longer have to check my email every few minutes and that I no longer have to answer the home phone "Round Belly Clothing."

Today I am planning to print out some packing slips, after folding enough laundry to find all the washed diapers that the kids lost when they piled that load with the rest of the laundry. :)