Thoughts From A Registered Ohio Voter

Posted in Current Events on November 6th, 2012 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Swing state, political battleground, campaign focal point, election ground zero…  call it what you will.  As a Christian middle-class American, I call it Ohio, and Ohio is my home.  With regards to the 2012 Presidential election, like
countless fellow Ohioans, I’ve grown weary of the seemingly endless parade of dinnertime (wakeup and bedtime) political phone calls.  I’m tired of receiving campaign postcards in the mail (between Thursday and Saturday last week, we got EIGHT political post cards in the mail – I don’t want to be wasteful; I’m thinking of incorporating them into a quilt).  And what if all that postcard mailing money were being spent on feeding and housing the homeless?  Or providing quality health care to the uninsured?  But I digress…).
I do care about the governmental consequences at stake; I note opinions and where the candidates stand on such controversial issues as abortion, the definition of legal marriage, and the state of the economy.  However,  the Holy Bible is the law by which I try to live my life.  And there are no less than 17 Bible passages referring to false prophets.  While educating myself about the Presidential candidates, I did a bit of research into the Mormon religion where I determined that Mormonism does not follow the same Bible I believe to be God’s word.  Although my political and societal views are
usually Republican-esque, in this election, I have felt  unrepresented by a candidate, which is why I’ve begun telling the Romney people who call me that they cannot count on my support for their candidate.

We can faithfully pray about the election and how our lives will be affected afterward, and we can also have peace knowing that our wonderful God is sovereign.  I like the definition of God’s sovereignty I found on theopedia.com:  The Sovereignty of God is the biblicalteaching that all things are under God’s rule and control, and that nothing happens without His directionor permission.
Have peace.  Your vote counts, it matters to people, but also know that God is in the cockpit – no one is going to pilot this plane we call the United States unless our Lord lets him into the cockpit.  Whether Americans will call Barrack Obama a 2-term President or if they get to know Mitt Romney as Commander-in-Chief, it happened because God allowed it to happen.
“The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.” Psalm 103:19
As a popular saying goes: may the best man win.  As far as I’m concerned, that man is Jesus.

And Speaking Of This Horrible Economy…

Posted in Current Events on March 8th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

A thought occurred to me the other night – didn’t Barrack Obama promise to bring the troops home from the dangerous Middle East if he became President?  Well, it’s been more than 6 weeks since he’s taken office, and I haven’t even  heard any talk whatsoever about troops coming home.  I realize these things take time, but like I said, it doesn’t even seem to be in the planning stages as of yet.

And then I was thinking, what happens when they DO come home, and now we have thousands of able-bodied Americans who just served our country only to come home to find out that there are NO JOBS for them?  What will that do to the unemployment rate?  And pardon my ignorance, but when do people in the military get paid?  Are they receiving paychecks right now while they’re serving, or do they get paid when they come home or both?  If they get paid from the government when they come home, that will complicate matters also since the government will suddenly be responsible for paying thousands of soldiers.

I’m not saying that the President is keeping the troops overseas to procrastinate the employment problem.  But the fact remains that he promised he’d get them home and ASAP.  And there is also the fact that the job opportunities are shrinking at a rapid rate.  I normally don’t get too political, but I haven’t heard any of the analysts on tv talk about what to do with the troops for employment should they return to the United States, so I thought I’d throw it out there.

And it needs to be said how incredibly thankful I am to not be personnally affected by the struggling economy.  My husband is self-employed and successful, and I haven’t even thought about going back to work myself yet since my kids are still very little.  My family and friends seem relatively unscathed as well; although I did see my former neighbors in the newspaper the other day for foreclosure.  What a shame; they were nice people.  Here’s to hoping the economy improves – and fast!

Presidential In-Laws

Posted in History on January 20th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In-laws have a bad stigma in our country, to say the least.  From sayings like, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your relatives” or “When you marry your spouse, you’re marrying her whole family” to classic TV shows which depict the dreaded mother-in-law as a horrible threat or consequence for a character’s bad behavior (The Honeymooner’s, Bewitched, The Flintstones, to name just a few), in-laws definitely have a bad rap.  Scenes from these shows flooded my brain recently when I read the following article on cnn.com – seems even the leaders of the free world have had problematic situations with their mothers-in-law.  The reason the article was published is because apparently Barrack Obama’s mother-in-law, wife Michelle’s mother Marian Robinson, might move with the new first family to Washington.  So will Mr. Obama’s situation be comparative to poor Harry Truman, whose mother-in-law refused to call him anything but Mr. Truman?  Or will it be more like Dwight Eisenhower, who got along famously with his mother-in law – in a good way?  In recognition of Inauguration Day, read the following article for some interesting historical lessons about the complex familial relationships formed as a result of the union of two people:

From cnn.com, by David Holzel
(Mental Floss) — President-Elect Obama’s mother-in-law will be moving to Washington with the first family, at least temporarily, his transition team has confirmed. Marian Robinson will be the latest in a line of presidential in-laws who, for good or ill, lived under the same roof as the president.
President Dwight Eisenhower and his mother-in-law, Elivera Doud, pose for pictures with some of the grandchildren.

President Dwight Eisenhower and his mother-in-law, Elivera Doud, pose for pictures with some of the grandchildren.

Here are four stories that confirm the old truism: While America can choose its president, the president can’t choose his in-laws.

1. Ulysses S. Grant and ‘The Colonel’

You would think that the Civil War was settled at Appomattox, and no question of its outcome would have been raised in the White House of Ulysses S. Grant, who, after all, was the general who won the war.

But you would be wrong, because living with Ulysses and Julia Grant was the president’s father-in-law. Colonel Frederick Dent (his rank seems to have been self-selected) was an unreconstructed Confederate, a St. Louis businessman and slaveholder who, when his daughter Julia went to the Executive Mansion early in 1869, decided to relocate there as well.

The Colonel didn’t hesitate to make himself at home. When his daughter received guests, he sat in a chair just behind her, offering anyone within earshot unsolicited advice. Political and business figures alike got a dose of the Colonel’s mind as they waited to meet with President Grant.

When the president’s father, Jesse Grant, came from Kentucky on one of his regular visits to Washington, the White House turned into a Civil War reenactment. According to “First Families: The Impact of the White House on Their Lives”, by Bonnie Angelo, Jesse Grant preferred to stay in a hotel rather than sleep under the same roof as the Colonel.

And when the two old partisans found themselves unavoidably sitting around the same table in the White House, they avoided direct negotiations by using Julia and her young son, named for the president’s father, as intermediaries, Betty Boyd Caroli writes in “First Ladies”: “In the presence of the elder Grant, Frederick Dent would instruct Julia to ‘take better care of that old gentleman [Jesse Grant]. He is feeble and deaf as a post and yet you permit him to wander all over Washington alone.’ And Grant replied [to his grandson and namesake], ‘Did you hear him? I hope I shall not live to become as old and infirm as your Grandfather Dent.'”

The Colonel remained in the White House — irascible and unrepentant — until his death, at age 88, in 1873.

2. Harry S Truman and the Mother-in-Law from Heck

Harry Truman and Bess Wallace met as children. He was a farm boy; she was the well-heeled granddaughter of Independence, Missouri’s Flour King. When they married in 1919, Truman was a struggling haberdasher, and Bess’s mother, Madge Wallace, thought Bess had made a colossal social faux pas. Until she died in 1952, Madge Wallace never changed her mind about Harry Truman. Her Bess had married way below her station.

Madge had plenty of opportunities to let her son-in-law know it. The newlyweds moved into the Wallace mansion in Independence, and the three lived together under the same roof until the end of Madge’s life.

When Harry Truman was elected senator, “Mother Wallace,” as Truman judiciously called her, moved with her daughter and son-in-law to Washington. In the family’s apartment, she shared a bedroom with the Trumans’ daughter, Margaret. And when Truman became president, she moved with them into the White House, where she cast her cold eye on the new commander-in-chief.

“Why would Harry run against that nice Mr. Dewey?” she wondered aloud, as Truman was fighting for his political life in the 1948 presidential race, according to “First Mothers” by Bonnie Angelo. And when Truman fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur for insubordination, Mother Wallace was scandalized. “Imagine a captain from the National Guard [Truman] telling off a West Point general!”

In December 1952, shortly before Truman’s term ended, Madge Wallace died, at age 90. For the 33 years they lived together, she never called her son-in-law anything but “Mr. Truman” to his face.

3. Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Mother-in-Law of the Year

If Truman’s story sounds like the set-up for a film noir, his successor’s relationship with his mother-in-law might have been a Technicolor musical.

Elivera Mathilda Carlson Doud, Mamie Eisenhower’s mother, was “a witty woman with a tart tongue,” Time magazine wrote, and Dwight Eisenhower thought she was a hoot. “She refuted every mother-in-law joke ever made,” Time wrote. There was no question that she would join her daughter and son-in-law in the White House.

Ike called her “Min,” the name of a character in the Andy Gump comic strip. Ike and Min “constituted a mutual admiration society, and each took the other’s part whenever a family disagreement would arise,” said Eisenhower’s son, John. The New York Times observed, “The president frequently looks around him sharply, and inquires, ‘Where’s Min?'”

Widowed shortly before Eisenhower became president, Min spent the winters in the White House and summers at her home in Denver. It was while visiting his mother-in-law’s home that Eisenhower suffered a heart attack in 1955. Two years later, in failing health, Min returned permanently to Denver. She died in 1960, at age 82.

4. Benjamin Harrison and the Reverend Doctor

Benjamin Harrison’s father-in-law, John Witherspoon Scott, bore a double title: “reverend doctor.”

Scott was born in Pennsylvania in 1800, did post-graduate work at Yale and took a professorship in mathematics and science at Miami University, in Ohio. He was also a Presbyterian minister and an outspoken abolitionist. The reverend doctor was rumored to have shielded runaway slaves in his home as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Whatever the truth, Miami University dismissed him for his anti-slavery beliefs.

He accepted a post at Farmer’s College, a prep school in Cincinnati, where he became a mentor of a student named Benjamin Harrison. During his visits to the Scott home, Harrison became friendly with the reverend doctor’s daughter, Caroline.

Young Harrison spent so many evenings at the Scotts’ home that he got the nickname “the pious moonlight dude,” according to “The Complete Book of the Presidents” by William A. DeGregorio. He and Caroline were married in 1853 at the bride’s house. The reverend doctor officiated.

John Witherspoon Scott later became a clerk in the pension office of the interior department. He gave up the position when Harrison was elected president in 1888. A widower since 1876, Scott moved into the White House with his daughter and their family.

It was the president’s custom to lead the family in a half-hour of Bible reading and prayer after breakfast, Anne Chieko Moore and Hester Anne Hale wrote in “Benjamin Harrison: Centennial President.” When the president was absent, his father-in-law took his place.

Caroline Harrison died in October 1892, two weeks before her husband lost the presidential election. Her father died the next month, at age 92. An obituary described John Witherspoon Scott as “a man of wonderful physical vigor, tall, broad chested and well preserved mentally.”

He Is Here!

Posted in Kids on July 16th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 days oldAfter months of blogging about my pregnancy, it’s finally over and with the best result possible – a healthy, beautiful baby boy!  His name is Christopher Vincent and he was 8 lbs. 2 oz. and 20.7 inches long when he was born at 2:53 pm on July 11.  He is named for his father (at my insistence because my husband felt it was egotistical of him to duplicate his name – not when others do it, just him for some reason) and his middle name is after the baby’s late grandfather, my husband’s father who passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease when our oldest child was just one year old.  So we’ve been waiting a long time for a namesake for Vincent, and now little Christopher Vincent is here.  He is a perfect baby and rarely cries, although he does seem to have his days and nights mixed up.  Today he slept for almost 5 hours until I woke him up to eat.  But that’s probably because last night he woke up every hour.  I wish I had known he was going to sleep that long because I would have taken a nap!  It’s been difficult for me to sleep at night due to the extreme pain I’m feeling because of the emergency cesarean they had to do to bring little Christopher into the world.

Here’s a warning – I’m going to get a little bit graphic medically here because I feel the need to explain what happened to me.  That way, other moms searching for info about pregnancy, cesareans, etc. can happen across my site, and maybe it will help educate them and ease their fears if they know some things they can expect.  For the rest of you, I apologize, and I suggest just looking at the really cute pictures of the baby and moving on to my other posts.

So I went to the hospital Friday at 7 am to get induced…  I was really excited, but also pretty nervous.  It’s ironic that I didn’t allow myself to get as nervous as I was with my 3 previous pregnancies because my last birth went relatively smoothly, so I figured, why get all worked up when everything will probably be fine?  But it wasn’t.  Well, in the end it was, but until I got to see Christopher, Friday was one of the worst days of my life.  It all started when the nurse couldn’t get my IV in.  I always bruise like crazy from the IV, but they’ve never had trouble getting it in me before.  In fact, I seem to remember writing a post in my blog about what good veins they always say I have.  Anyway, the nurse was trying to “save me a poke” and get a blood sample at the same time she hooked up my IV.  I ended up with two holes on my right hand that swelled up like balloons – and I still had to get the IV put into my left hand.  All that and she STILL had to draw blood from the vein like a regular blood sample, thus not “saving me a poke” at all as she had promised.  But it didn’t matter because I never care too much about the blood draw since I’m used to it and my veins are so easy to find…  but anyway, after all this, I had to make a stupid comment – I said to the nurse, “I hope this isn’t an omen for how the rest of the day will go…”  Idiot.  Apparently I cursed myself because things were just going to get worse. 

The contractions started getting pretty painful and I called for the epidural, which if you don’t know, is a pain elimination procedure (supposedly) administered directly into the spine.  It’s very uncomfortable to receive one, although it’s nothing compared to the pain of the contractions it relieves, provided someone poking around in your spine doesn’t bother you.  Except that mine didn’t work, which I’m told is rare, so don’t worry, just research other options before you go…  But for me, this is where things go from bad to worse.  Once we’ve all determined that the epidural didn’t take, they make a call for the anesthesiologist to come back and discuss options.  Except that, lucky for me (sarcasm), there was a shift change, so the person who messed up my first epidural was no longer around to mess up a second one.  And, of course the new anesthesiologist didn’t want to do one on a patient who had been done by someone else.  And I should note that every time they call the anesthesiologist, it takes forever and a day for them to come because they’re usually doing other patients in the hospital or who knows what.  I wonder if it’s like that at larger hospitals…  Our hospital is quite small, and I’ve often wondered if there are certain aspects of care that could be better as a result.  Anyway, so the 2nd anesthesiologist is explaining my options to me, and she is talking so slowly, I swear I was close to kicking her – I could still feel my legs, after all, and that was their fault, not mine.  As she’s explaining my options to me (not that there were many left), the nurse decided to check me and that’s when she discovered we didn’t have time to do anything – the baby was coming!  The anesthesiologist was shooed away and the doctor was called, but of course with the way things had been going that day, she had gone home and so we had to wait for her to get back to the hospital.  She got there and I was finally able to start pushing, except the baby wouldn’t budge.  I think the pain was worse than it’s ever been, and I could tell the baby wasn’t being pushed, and then the worst news yet – the baby’s heart rate started dropping.  Everyone started running around, honestly, it was total chaos, but I couldn’t even think straight through all the pain.  They wheeled me into the surgery room where there were like 10 people wearing surgery masks all doing different things.  I was actually in favor of them knocking me out – the sooner, the better.  Of course because of the epidural not working, I felt them cut me open, but in retrospect I don’t know if it hurt more than I was freaked out about being able to feel them cut me open.  My arms and legs were tied down and I will be honest – it was a horrible experience – I couldn’t sleep my first night in the hospital because right when I’d fall asleep, I’d have a flashback of the experience and jolt awake.
Then, I smelled something funny in my oxygen mask and the next thing I know, I’m being wheeled out of the room – it was over!  They had gassed me after all – lucky for everyone involved!  But now I’m stuck with the awful recovery process of a c-section.  One of the worst things about it besides the pain is the fact that I can’t lift heavy objects – including kids.  The second I got home, my 21-month-old reached her arms out and said “Mommy!” with a big smile, and promptly started crying when I couldn’t pick her up.  Between the lack of sleep, the hormone changes, and me missing her, I started crying, but luckily grandma saw me lose it and stepped in to rescue us; giving my daughter ice cream to feed me that made it all better for both of us.  Now, only 2 days later, my daughter seems used to not being picked up, and the pain seems to be getting better, finally.  Yesterday the pain was getting worse instead of better; when I woke up, every square inch of my body throbbed with pain, and I couldn’t move at all – it was awful and totally discouraging.  But, I had forgotten that the doctor said to also use ibuprofin along with my pain meds, so ever since I’ve been trying that, it’s been working for me.  But believe it or not, another pain remedy is baby-smelling.  You just sniff the head of the newborn baby and give him kisses and it makes the pain better too!  The worst part of the whole thing is that I had really wanted more kids, but after Friday, I just don’t know if I have it in me to go through something like that (or worse!) again…  But for now, I am enjoying mommyhood immensely, and the girls LOVE their new little brother.  Taylor and Sammie want to hold him all the time, and Sammie especially can’t keep her hands off him.  She’s always petting his head or touching his hands, or softly kissing him…  she is so gentle; it’s very sweet.  And Disney, being almost 2, is getting her own ideas on how to care for Christopher as well.  Yesterday she tried to insist that he be put into his car seat and of course she threw a tantrum when it didn’t go her way…  But overall, things are going great and wil be even better once we unmix Christopher’s days and nights and get some more sleep!

Oh, and one more hint that will give you a fun momento for the baby book.  If you mail a birth announcement to the White House, they will send you a congrats card from the President!  Signed by an intern, of course, but hey, for some people in the ’90’s, that would have been Monica Lewinsky!  Here is the address you send it to, you can also do this for wedding invitations, though I’m not sure the address is the same.  I would just do a google search for “white house wedding announcement” or something like that.

Send your baby’s name, birthdate and address to:

White House Greetings Office
Room 39
Washington, DC 20500

Teacher’s Pet – All Grown Up

Posted in Uncategorized on May 12th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , ,

While serving on the board of a local community agency, a certain personality type came to my attention: teacher’s pet.  Yes, these people are alive and well and living as adults.  Surprisingly it’s not something one grows out of when he or she leaves school; rather, the behavior seems to evolve and follow the person into adulthood.  I use the term “teacher’s pet” loosely here because I don’t know how else to describe it, so I will try my best to give examples.  Back to this person on the board – it starts when the person stops the flow of the meeting to contribute to every item on the agenda.  I think it’s good when people participate and share their ideas, but there is a fine line when their comments and “helpful” suggestions cross the line into being disruptive.  Case in point – at a meeting recently, an item on the agenda involved discussing traveling to Chicago for a board training seminar.  The teacher’s pet of the group spoke up and went into great detail about how the board of this organization should actually be taking more than one vehicle on trips like these in case something happens to the vehicle.  He explained that if the vehicle carrying the entire board of the organization were to crash or something else horrible were to happen, we would no longer have a board if the President, Vice President, etc. were all riding together.  Good point, but a little extreme, I would say…  This board is not in charge of running a country or anything close to that scale.  I’m not saying that it’s not important or that steps should not be taken to safegaurd the staff involved, however, I don’t think dividing up into 2 vehicles has anything to do with preventative safety and actually seems like it might put a strain on the budget (insert another gas prices gripe here).  It’s a good idea for the President and Vice President of the United States and other heads of government to travel separately but when talking about this particular group it just doesn’t seem like a logical idea, especially not an idea that should have taken 20 minutes or longer to discuss.

A second example of adult teacher’s pet behavior happens often in community theater.  My husband and I are active in our local theater group, and while directing a few plays together, we’ve come across at least one individual who was a bit over eager to please the directors.  Again, don’t get me wrong, enthusiasm, especially for community theater, is a great thing.  But when you interrupt the process of producing a play in order to offer “helpful” suggestions that aren’t really helpful at all and just keep the entire group waiting for you to finish talking, then it’s probably better if you just let the director do what he or she needs to do.  It’s also especially annoying when people offer things to help with the show; be it labor, props, etc. only to not follow through and actually deliver the work and/or goods.  Makes me think they were just sucking up to the directors! 

So when I say ‘teacher’s pet’, I guess I just mean those people who are so overzealous about showing and proving to others that they are participating in the group that they come forth with ideas that aren’t always well thought out.  Like I said, it’s not that I discourage contribution, and by no means should people be made to feel that their ideas are stupid, however, they should use discretion in bringing up topics that are relevant to the conversations at hand and also make sure that they are going to follow through with what they say they will contribute.

POST DISCLAIMER:  None of the above comments have anything to do with anyone who is a regular reader of my blog!!!  🙂

Snow Day #11,572

Posted in Movies, Uncategorized on March 5th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ok, I’m exaggerating just a tad on the number of snow days we’ve had, but that’s what it feels like by now!  I suppose with the new dog in the house, today was as good a day as any to have yet another snow day, but my poor husband is going to go crazy from shoveling all this snow!  It’s become almost a daily chore – just what he needed!  And, the weather guys are saying that they’re tracking ANOTHER system due here on Friday!  They won’t use the dreaded 4-letter “s” word though, it’s kinda funny.  They’ll just call it a “weather system” and “let’s see what it drops on us” – as if there’s any chance it will bring something other than snow (that dreaded 4-letter word!), yeah right.

Hubby and I braved the weather last night to venture out to a movie for date night.  Our date night is once a week on Tuesdays, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s snowed for the last like, 5 Tuesdays in a row, no exaggerating this time!  Last week,  our movie theater was CLOSED because of the snow – that stank.  Instead of having a nice dinner, we got snacks at KFC cuz we were running late for the movie, and then we got there, and they were closed!  So sick of this weather already!  What did that groundhog say again?!?  So anyway, we ventured to a neighboring town with a movie theater that’s a little bigger; that way we could be assured it would be open.  We saw Vantage Point, an action movie with Dennis Quaid, Forrest Whittaker, and Matthew Fox.  And speaking of Groundhog Day, if you’ve seen that movie, even though it’s a comedy, Vantage Point actually had something in common with it in that they kept showing the same scene over and over.  The point of the movie was to take the audience through an incident of terrorism, one persepective at a time.  Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox played secret service agents, and Forrest Whittaker was a tourist bystander who happened to catch everything on video.  It was a satisfying action movie – MUCH better than Gone Baby Gone…  I might actually say it was kinda like Groundhog Day meets In the Line of Fire, if you’ve seen that movie, since Dennis Quaid’s character had been through an assassination attempt on the President before and was jumpy – just like Clint Eastwood’s character in In the Line of Fire.  If you like action movies, this one won’t disappoint.  I was actually surprised there wasn’t a little more to the plot, and I can’t believe the constant violence earned it only a PG13 rating.  But when I think about it, I suppose you could see the same type of violence on tv any given night or even on cable during the day – it’s just what has happened to entertainment these days, I guess.  Vantage Point has constant action, the movie is never slow, and seeing the action from the different people’s perspectives (vantage points 🙂  get it?) was interesting and not at all confusing like I was concerned about.  I found something at the end of the movie incredibly hokey, but then again, that’s common in action movies, you gotta appreciate them for what they are.

Voting in the great state of OHIO

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

Today is finally our turn to vote in the primaries here in Ohio.  And of the candidates who are left, I only really like one!  A lot of people in this neck of the woods find it unfair that we don’t get much of a say earlier in the campaign, when all the candidates are left.  I just accept it for the way it is, and I enjoy being in the national spotlight now – it’s neat to turn on CNN and hear Ohio this and Ohio that.  So, I will be going to the polls later today when time permits to perform my duty as an American citizen and vote – though I hope it doesn’t land me in jury duty at a later time.  And I will vote for the candidate I would like to see lead our country, even though he doesn’t stand a chance and will most likely drop out of the race within a week.  Then tonight, I will watch all the news channels as the final numbers come in, and whether we like it or not, we can all enjoy being a part of history, since pretty soon it will be official – we will have a presidnetial candidate who does not fit the mold of the traditional American president: a white male.  Well, sometimes change is good, but for now, go Buckeyes!