Thursday, May 28, 2015

12.28 Cooking - Grill Envy

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-eighth day of each month is "Cooking."
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Our apartment is on the second floor. We have a lovely eight foot by ten foot balcony that would be perfect for grilling if only it weren't for the fact that grills are banned on the second level because of fire concerns. The folks on the ground floor have concrete decks, we have wooden balconies. They get to hear the sound of our footsteps and our cat thump thumping as she jumps down from her tree (seriously, she is the clumsiest, loudest cat - I thought cats were supposed to be graceful), but they also are allowed to have grills.
I yearn for an easy dinner where we throw chicken on the grill with some vegetables wrapped in foil. I want to cook fish on the grill OUTSIDE so that we don't have to smell it in the house for the next three weeks. I just really am jealous of all those people who can host barbeques and just whip up a selection of brats, hotdogs, and burgers.  Green, people, I am GREEN with envy.

Today is apparently National Hamburger Day and sure enough, hamburgers are on our menu for dinner tonight.
Seriously, it's a piece of crap.
But we're going to cook our burgers on a George Foreman Grill today and someday, when we grow up, maybe we can get our own real, outdoors grill.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

12.27 Media - Warning: Danger Zone

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-seventh day of each month is "Media."
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I mostly find religion inoffensive. I mean, I'm not religious, but I see the appeal of it.  If it doesn't hurt me or anyone else, I see how it could be comforting and even useful in terms of moral action. I also sound a bit patronizing when I talk about religion, so I tend to avoid it if at all possible.

But.

When religion is the excuse people use to create extremist views and it does hurt people, I can get riled up.

Religion is no reason to suggest that gay/black/mentally ill/people with other religious affiliations/tattooed people/whoever is different from you deserve to have rights or liberties taken away.

It's no reason to create an environment where women are so subjugated that when a teenage boy fondles a preschool girl, the teenage boy can't see what he did was wrong and the girls have no idea that what happened was unusual or that they should speak out about it.  It's no reason to fail to give the boy some sort of mental health treatment, no reason to continue to allow the boy unchaperoned access to girls he's already victimized and other girls.  It's no reason.
I think the Duggars have failed their children - all of them - maybe even especially Josh.  I think Josh Duggar is a symptom of the problem of subjugation of women in a culture that treats women as nothing more than virginal vessels who then become incubators whose job it is to submit to their husbands' requests for sex at any time. It's not surprising that sexual abuse is rampant in a culture like that.

It is surprising that a family that knew it had such allegations in their family would consent to being part of a reality television to be held up as paragons of what the American family should want to be like.

It is chilling that the Duggars thought they could just sweep this under the carpet. If I go all conspiracy theory on it (the police officer who is now in jail for child porn, the judge who was a Huckabee appointee, Huckabee himself), I get really nervous about the child welfare system in this country.

So, to sum it up, I wish nothing but bad things for the Duggar parents. I worry for the underage children still under their care. I hope at least some of those children are able to withstand the brainwashing, break away from the cult, and live normal lives. I hope Josh Duggar gets counseling and the girls he molested, including his sisters, never have to see him again.  I hope Josh Duggar's children are healthy and happy and remain so. And, most importantly, I hope this wakes people up so that they will stop holding up sick and twisted fools like the Duggar as an exemplar of morality and happiness.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

12.26 Support - From Far Away

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will  post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-sixth day of each month is "Support."
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Some of my friends and acquaintances are going through some rough times right now - health issues, hard decisions about family pets, and relationship woes.

I've taken to sending them pictures of adorable animals I see.

Like this baby turtle wandering on my walking path. I have no idea how that turtle knew it was heading toward water, but it was heading in the right direction, so I just took a photo and left it alone.
Or these geese.  They may be jerks, but they're picturesque if you ignore their honking, hissing, and defecating.
Or my cat.  She was so annoyed with me this morning when I took this photo that I laughed and laughed for like five minutes. Everyone likes a picture of a grumpy cat texted to them, don't they?
I don't always know what to say or how to say it, but I hope my friends know that they are in my thoughts when they get these silly things.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Monday, May 25, 2015

12.25 Courage - The First Step

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-fifth day of each month is "Courage."
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Theirs was a solid Catholic family: mom, dad, two boys who were the oldest, and three little girls. Catholic grade school, Catholic colleges for all the kids.

But the cracks started to show.

The family arguments were legendary. The oldest brother would declare "you are dead to me" to one his siblings and the silent treatment would last for months.

The mother got sick. The youngest daughter left her job and her husband for months to be with her at the end. And then the arguments started. The youngest daughter fought her father about her mother's last wishes. She wanted more say in medical treatments. When the mother died, it was in a room where her husband and daughter were in the middle of a screaming match.

The father never spoke to his youngest daughter again and within six months, his own illness quickly taking him away from the family.  None of the other siblings will talk to the youngest daughter.

She calls me, crying. She is orphaned, her brothers and sisters won't talk to her, and while she loves her husband, he's gone a lot.  She's sad, she's lonely, she's afraid that her disrespect of her father will follow her into the afterlife.
She calls me, tells me that she has called her siblings. She has reached out, she has done her best, but they won't talk to her. She's crying.

There's nothing left to say.

She's very brave, I think.  And she feels very alone.

Someday I hope she finds a family to replace the one that has abandoned her. Family is not always shared DNA, but shared experiences and shared love.  I hope she finds peace. I hope she finds comfort from her husband, her friends, and her church. 
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

12.24 Pain - Thunderclouds

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-fourth day of each month is "Pain."
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Anniversary #7.

I force Dr. BB to pull out the tripod and take our photograph somewhere on our anniversary every year. Last year we actually just took a selfie together and I was grumpy about that for a long time, so when I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was remind him that we needed to take a picture.

And then we looked outside and noticed it was pouring rain.

Here's the deal. We don't have indoors activities that we do together. We hike, take walks, go for bike rides, and other assorted activities that take place outside. Where it was pouring rain.

I watched the radar like a hawk and when there was a tiny break in the green, I put on lip gloss, grabbed the camera and umbrella, and marched my husband out to the backyard to take this.
And as soon as we heard the shutter click on this, the sky opened and we were drenched by the time we got back inside.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

12.23 Writing - Code

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-third day of each month is "Writing."
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One of the podcasts in my regular rotation is A Way with Words, a show about language, word usage and history, wordplay, and the general oddities of how we communicate.  I don't always agree with the hosts' philosophy on language because I'm much more of a stickler than they tend to be, but, in general, I love that they accept neologisms as part of an ever expanding and evolving language and that they are so excited by regional variations and dialects. It's not necessarily a podcast for everyone, but if you love words, idioms, and the impact of language on culture, it's totally fascinating.

Some of my favorite segments on the show include terminology used at the workplace.  Usually folks in fields like business, law enforcement, and education call in, but I want people in construction to call in more often.  I know they have interesting turns of phrases that they use and I want to know them.

For example, what is with all the codes that are written all over the sidewalks in our town?
I'll admit I still think C3PO when I walk by this one.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit To Quit.   

Friday, May 22, 2015

12.22 Seven Deadly Sins (Sloth) - Lazing

Bestest Friend and I are embarking on a new blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-second day of each month is "Seven Deadly Sins."
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I dropped Dr. BB off at school because he had some annoying end of the year crap to do and then I walked over to the coffee shop where I was meeting a woman who was going to give me some extra work to do over the summer.  But I was about half an hour early for my meeting and instead of going for a walk or finding a park and doing lunges and squats or SOMETHING active, I sat on the steps by the lake and watched this goose family circle round and round and round the lake.

The parents seemed to distrust me, sending me squawks and hisses the first couple of times they passed my way, giving me a wide berth, and sending daggers my way with their best goose glares, but after a couple of laps, they just ignored me.
And that's all there is.  Dirty looks from geese and an exceptionally prolific algae bloom.  Let's get this weekend started.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit To Quit.    
 
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