Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Sleepy Time Gal"

My mother always used to nap in the same exact position....on her right side, all curled up in a tight little ball, with her robe covering her completely.  She slept on her "good" ear.  And she never moved!  She never tossed or turned from that position until she woke up.  I don't know if she moved around more at night, but at nap time (and she liked naps), it never changed.  I used to wonder how she could be so still while she slept!

I, on the other hand, am usually all over the place....until recently that is.  I have noticed lately that I will fairly frequently have an unusual pain in my shoulder or my neck when I wake up in the morning.  It will be really stiff and painful and it feels like I haven't moved all night.  And it is happening more and more.

In and of itself, that wouldn't be so bad, except that I have somehow injured my left shoulder (maybe the rotator cuff?) and I am having really sharp stabbing pain if I try to lift my arm over my head.  I have no idea what I did or how it happened, it just did!

Because I am a firm believer in the if-I-ignore-it-it-will-go-away school of medical care, I haven't gone to the doctor or had an x-ray or seen a physical therapist.  I do a few simple stretches throughout the day and that seems to make it a little better until the next time I forget and quickly  reach up for some reason.  Then it is a BIG OUCH!

Last night was another of those nights where I'm not sure I moved all night.  It sure doesn't feel like it!  My left arm, shoulder, and neck were practically impossible to move this morning....well, for a few minutes anyway!  It's a little better now, but there is a residual ache remaining.  Sigh....this getting old thing is getting to be a royal pain....literally!

When I think back to my mom's sleep pattern now, I think that in one more way, I am slowly turning into my mother!  Nevertheless, as much as I love and miss her, this is sure one trait that I wish would just pass me right by!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

"Horse of a Different Color"

And now for something completely different....

Isn't this the most beautiful horse you have ever seen??  I wasn't one of those little girls who becomes totally enamored of horses for a few years while growing up, but it doesn't take a love of horses in general to appreciate the beauty of this one.  Hope you enjoy it!!

Unfortunately, I know absolutely nothing about the photo or the horse, it was posted on Facebook without any information.  Do any of you known what kind of a horse it is?  It looks like some sort of draft horse, but that's about as far as I am willing to guess!

Maddie-the-Great IS one of those girls who loves horses and she actually gasped when she saw this picture.  I can't blame her a bit!!

What a beauty!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Stop, Think Again"

One of my favorite bloggers is Jessie Leigh at Parenting Miracles (http://www.parentingmiracles.net/ )  She always impresses me with her rationality, sanity, and good sense.  Her post earlier this week is a great example of her simple yet so effective approach to parenting.  It was titled, "These 10 Things are NOT Child Abuse!"

She, like many others, is aware that some parents have very rigid standards about what is or is not permissible in raising a child.  And some of those standards have gone way beyond the reasonable or rational.  With her permission I re-post part of her post here.  (If you'd like to read her full post, cut and past the following link into your browser.  http://www.parentingmiracles.net/2012/05/10-things-that-are-not-child-abuse/  )
"....not a single one of these things qualifies as child abuse:
    • Having oodles and bunches of kids.
    • Expecting your child to eat the food that you serve.
    • Having an only child
    • Sending them to daycare.

 And her list goes on.

[DISCLAIMER:   The rest of this post is made up completely of my own thoughts (NOT Jessie Leigh's) and DO NOT represent anyone else's position.]

 As a person who was raised in the 1950s and 60s, it's hard for me to believe that so many of today's parents could possibly see anything wrong with any of these actions, much less consider them to be "CHILD ABUSE."    I'd even go so far as to say that most of my contemporaries would feel the same!  We were raised with these things and they were considered common place, normal, and unremarkable!!  How did things get so twisted around?  When and why did mothers agree to buy into such odd conclusions?  Those were essentially rhetorical questions.  I know that parents are trying to be the best parent they can be and they are trying desperately to protect their children from any and all conceivable harm.  Ok, I get that.  I do really.  It is just that it is an impossible task!  Other than putting kids in a cocoon of cotton wool and never allowing them to experience life, parents  just cannot protect their children from everything!   In fact, too much protection does at least as much harm as good.

One of the reasons that babies are born to mothers and dads who are responsible for them until they are grown, is so that the parents teach and prepare their children for life.  If they are so over-protected that life never touches them, how will children survive once their parents are no longer shielding them?  Children need to learn to deal with adversity.  They need to understand that their actions have consequences!  They need to know how to handle defeat.  They need to learn how to be responsible for themselves and their actions.  They need to know how to keep themselves safe.  They need to learn what is acceptable behavior and what is not.  How can they learn to do all that if they never experience any of them in childhood?? 
There is one more thing that I think could be added to Jessie Leigh's list: spanking.  I know that this is complete heresy according to today’s mores, but I am not at all convinced that a spanking under certain circumstances is horrible.    I was spanked a few times as a small child and I ALWAYS knew that Mom really meant business about whatever it was. I also ALWAYS knew that I was loved! My husband was spanked, my cousins were spanked, most of my friends had at one time or another been spanked. We survived and we learned!
Now of course, I am NOT talking about beatings, or whippings, or fists, or belts, straps, switches or the use of anything other than a couple of quick swats by a flat hand applied to the child’s clothed bottom after some truly unacceptable or dangerous behavior. With a young child, words and reason do not make much of an impression. Talking about making good decisions is meaningless to a 3 year old.  A spanking is more more effective. I spanked my daughter a few times up until she was old enough to listen and understand other sorts of discipline. It was not even close to child abuse. Sometimes you need to get their attention and create a link between bad behavior and immediate consequences. (By the way, my daughter is now a wonderful, successful 45 yr old wife, mother, and career woman who is completely well-adjusted and sane.  She chose not to spank her child.) 

Basically, I guess I believe that children need to understand actions and consequences and they need to understand them sooner rather than later.  By putting a young child in a time out and then talking about the event with them ten minutes later is completely pointless.  By the end of the time out, they have already forgotten what ever it was that they did!  

Please understand that I am just as horrified by child abuse as everyone else. But child abuse is a whole different thing than a spanking.   Truly there is a significant difference and distinction between them.  I think parents today have been so spooked by the thought of child abuse (see Jessie Leigh's list!) that they have over-reacted to the point of eliminating a very effective discipline measure for teaching their children about consequences.  

I know that some readers will react with horror at this, but I truly believe that more parents occasionally use spanking than will ever admit it.  I also believe that more parents should consider using it.  And to them and all others who have or have not spanked their child, I promise you that a child who is spanked by a loving rational parent is not scarred for life. Really!

All that I am doing here is proposing that parents realize that spanking can be a strong deterrent for bad or dangerous behaviors.  It makes more of an impression than all the time outs in the world.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"I'm Old Fashioned"

Anytime there is any type of election coming up, there is a veritable flood of recorded messages from or about the candidates.  I, however, do not listen to such phone calls.  As soon as I recognize that the "caller" is a recording, I hang up.  If it is so important to get their message to the voting public, then have a live person call me.  I'm not too interested in political messages anyway, but I can guaran-damn-tee you, I will not waste my time listening to a recording.  I have other things to do.

It used to be limited to political messages, but these days there are all sorts of charities, companies, and causes which have opted to invade my life with their messages.  Its annoying, but I don't listen to those either.  You want my attention?  Well, siccing a recording on me is not the way to get it!!

Now there is a new wrinkle.  It started with interactive "customer service" menus that require input from my end.  Evidently these things can be set up to pick up certain words and that puts you on whatever track to get to the next question on your way through automated hell, trying to speak to a company person about any number of things.  Those annoy me as well, as the options offered never seem to quite fit my needs.  If it gets too complicated I either hang up in frustration or stick with it until I can confuse it enough so that it connects me to a person.

Although, I don't care for these types of calls, I at least know going in, that the voice is computer generated and react accordingly (hanging up!)  With this new wrinkle the line between real and computer voices is much less clear.

It's happened twice now. The first time it was easy to tell, but the second time it took me a while to figure it out.    The "conversation" went like this::

CALLER:  Good afternoon.  How are you today?

ME:  I'm fine thank you.  And you?

CALLER:  I'm fine.  Thank you for asking.  I'd like to speak with Michael ____ please.

ME:  I'm sorry.  He's not available.

CALLER:   Oh, well, I'll call back another time.  There's no message.

ME:  Well, I'm Mrs. ____.  Could I help you?

CALLER:  Oh sure, I can talk with you.  That'd be great.

ME:  What can I do for you?

(a couple of clicks)

CALLER:  Good afternoon. How are you today?

ME: What?   Is this a recording???!!

CALLER  I'm fine.  Thank you for ask......(voice continuing)

ME:  I can't BELIEVE this!!   (Hang up)

I swear, until the clicks, I had no idea it was a recording!!  The voice seemed to be responding to my input appropriately.  The voice didn't sound at all mechanical or fake.  It sounded real enough to fool me.  Evidently something triggered a restart, or I might not have known even then!

Technology just keeps getting sneakier and sneakier!!  Recordings that seem to be a real person!! I ask you!  I don't know about you, but that sort of thing leaves me feeling duped, foolish, and annoyed!  Seriously annoyed!!  Unfortunately I hung up before I learned who was calling and why, so I can't even contact them to complain!

I have a phone for MY convenience, not for the convenience of those who want only to sell me something!

I guess "I'm Old Fashioned"....my phone is for conversations with people not machines!  

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