Monday, November 29, 2010

The Little Red Hen

I'm a fixer. I don't like to watch people fail and I really hate to fail. I tend to be very hard on myself and I expect the same out of other people. That can be a recipe for a train wreck. It can also be the recipe for intense motivation. I am learning a really good lesson right now from a kids book. My mom read this book to me when I was little and now I am reading the same one to my son but what he doesn't know is that it is mommy's favorite book right now because I need to read it over and over and over again until the reality of what it is saying sinks in deep and some part of me really digests it and I start living this little book, guilt free. Why? Because I know it is going to make my life better. I know that I am going to be less stressed and in doing so I will be less frustrated with other people because not only will I not expect them to live up to an insanely high standard I also won't be frustrated when they end up not doing anything at all.

The Little Red Hen. In short this hen does everything around the house for a lazy dog, cat and mouse, one day she finds some wheat and asks for some help to plant and then tend and finally harvest grind and make the wheat in to a cake. The response of the other animals is "Not I!" until the little red hen gets to the part where she asks "Who will eat this cake?" of course everyone jumps up and comes running in to the kitchen wanting a piece of cake. What does the little red hen do? Well she gives her cake up of course because she is the perfect martyr and then cleans the kitchen while fuming about how the others never do anything and she goes to bed hungry and angry. OK. So that isn't what happens. She tells them to take a hike. She says that she has done everything by herself and now she is going to eat the cake by herself. And she does. All of it. She doesn't even share. That wicked.... hen. The book ends by saying that from then on she had to do everything by herself and she was selfish until she died. OK. Not really. It says that from then on she had three very eager helpers. Her one act changed the lives of all of them. How is that possible? It boggles my mind! How did something that seems "selfish" end up being the thing that brought all these animals together and made their house a happy sharing home? Here's my take on it. Of course I am going to give you my take on it, I mean you are reading my blog after all and everything in this blog is jammed full of opinions but the warning is in the title. The hen knew that she couldn't just give in and continue to live life as it was with her being all pissed off that she wasn't getting any help and on top of it depriving herself of the things that she enjoyed. Even though she didn't get any help with the work it took to plant, take care of, harvest, grind and make the wheat in to a cake she did it anyway, she did the work because she enjoyed it and knew she would enjoy the end result of her labor, you see it isn't the work that gets her undies in a bundle it's the other animals thinking that they deserve all the benefits when they do none of the work. When she bakes that cake that day she decides that things are going to be different. She has a lump of guilt in her throat that she can hardly talk around when she tells the other animals that she is going to eat the cake alone and the cake may have been one of the hardest things she had to swallow, the first few bits anyway. But then something amazing happens, she lets herself enjoy eating the cake and when she is done she happily cleans up the kitchen and goes to bed, content. The next day she wakes up to three transformed animals. She doesn't become lazy, she loves to work and cook but now she has the help that she needs and she gets to watch them enjoy their hard work by eating the next cake that she bakes that they helped plant, tend, grind... and dang-it even if she hadn't got the help that she needed she had found out that she could happily go about her business but that it wasn't her job to make sure those other animals were fed. She didn't lose anything. She gained companions. And she had her cake and ate it too.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I joined the insanity today and it made me feel oddly American. In a good way believe it or not. Joining in traditions can be a great experience, in my opinion it is one of the only ways to really get to know a people. I don't think I every truly appreciated traditions in the US until I lived in another country and learned to appreciate and respect their traditions. It was odd how that happened. Opening up to love their country and a new (to me) people gave me the ability to look at my own country with a new pair of eyes and to recognize and appreciate things in a whole new way.

What I did not appreciate was the two young men who walked out of Herbergers at 3:30 a.m. this morning with two arm loads of Columbia coats that they had not paid for. Why? It is odd how a thing like that can make you feel violated. You didn't do it. You told someone about it (well, my mom did) but they still got away with it, it has an odd way of making a person feel dirty.

There are just some things about people all the way around, in this country and in every other that you just can't like.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear Hospital

Dear Hospital,

First of all I would like to say that I am not pointing this at any of the staff that come to work every day like everyone else, hoping for a paycheck in this economy. I don't mean to make your day miserable because I am completely pissed off. I am sorry that you have to be the one that opens and reads this letter because I know there is nothing that you can personally do to change this autocratic system. But I have to be heard otherwise I sit here feeling like a victim, yet again.

I come to the hospital only when I don't have any other choice. I am one of those weirdos that likes to take care of things as naturally as possible, and yes, that does include drinking herbal infusions and taking tinctures. I also like to prevent sickness by eating well, exercise and sleep. Sure, I know that you say people should do those things but in reality if we weren't sick you would be out of a very lucrative job.

When I do venture in to a hospital, especially the ER, it really is an emergency. Unfortunately this last visit didn't have to be an emergency it's just that you haven't made care readily available in small towns at odd hours in any other form than the hospital ER and since I have no other choice other than to go to the ER you make sure that I pay for all the times that I didn't visit this year.

How in the world can you charge more than the sum of my house payment, groceries, internet, cell phone and power bill for one visit for an infection that I already told you that I had. Here is a direct quote from the RN "well we wouldn't have even had to test that, it was obvious what you had." all that while handing me the antibiotic that in the hospital they probably charged me $100 for when I went and got 10 pills the next day from Wal-Mart for $4. Am I the only one that see's something wrong with that?

When I called to complain about the outrageous bill you had sent me you said that that was only for the doctor and there was a second bill for me taking up space in the completely empty ER. The doctor worked for the clinic and they wanted their slice of the pie as well, my pie, my son's pie, my family's pie. And then they ask me why I don't have health care. Do you know what health care costs at my husband's job? $650 PER MONTH! We can't afford that. There is no way. I have been told that they have the "best" health care coverage in town. I don't know how anyone could know that because I don't know who in this small town could afford that on what they pay for wages here.

I have digressed. I guess this isn't your problem is it? You just want me to shut up and pay your bill. But I do want to know how a doctor gets paid almost $250 for spending less than two minutes with me. I mean I know that he is in his late 40's and probably would really like to pay off the rest of his enormous student loans and is probably paying one of his children through school right now but how do his costs get rated higher than mine? That RN got screwed. He spent all the time with me and I bet his paycheck wasn't half that.

Did I mention that I knew what I had? I even knew what I needed to take to get rid of it but do I have an option to purchase what I need or to get a quick checkup and prescription? No. I am forced to go to the ER. I am forced because there are no other options.

Something is terribly wrong. I know you can't fix it. I can't either. I can't pay your outrageous prices. What happens next time I need help?

Thanks for your complete lack of concern for the general populace.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Music Awards

So I'm back. I finished my NaNoWriMo. It was fun. I was really ready to be done. Which is king of funny considering there are still five days until I can even submit the thing for them to tell me that I have actually written over 50,000 words. I guess I jumped the gun a little bit.

Just a little FYI. I started a new blog. Just because. Now that I don't have a novel to write I had to put all that nervous energy somewhere. So go take a look. I think that I need to do some sort of makeover on my blog so that I can link them up and such. Oddly enough I really don't like doing that. It reminds me too much of scrapbooking. I hate scrapbooking. I love other people's scrap books. They look great. It's creative. I hate it.

So on to the real meat of this blog. I am hosting a music award this afternoon. Right now. Sorry I didn't give you all any warning but this isn't up for a public vote. I give the award. You all read my rant and we all stay happy. Especially after I get this doozy off my chest.

We were recording earlier this week and since we were playing music the subject of music was buzzing everywhere. Musical opinions are almost as volatile as political opinions. And the subject of lyrics came up. Now I'm not going to tell you about this whole conversation but it did start me thinking and that is where the great idea was born to host this award. One song and one song only will win this afternoon. I bet you are wondering what it is. I am going to keep you in suspense for the next couple of sentences while I explain the criteria for winning.

To win the song must display lyrical power and a hip beat that makes everyone want to listen to it over and over it also must be the number one song that will push the average teenage right over in to having sex with his or her significant other after hearing played at this years prom (Has prom already past? Sorry, homeschooler talking here), anyway, it is important that this song just may make much older men and maybe the occasional pedophile also salivate over the fact that they could put their hands on a teenage girl. And before you all start freaking out let me first say that yes, I do know the lyrics of the song, and yes, I actually do have half a brain and I do know what she is "actually" talking about so you can forget leaving a comment correcting me. SOOOO... the moment you all have been waiting for. AND THE WINNER IS.... KATY PERRY singing "Teenage Dream". Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And the tears dried

I have to take a break. This whole NaNoWriMo thing is getting to me tonight. Oh, don't worry I am totally keeping up with my word count. I am way too competitive to not have that happen. I just hope I don't run out of story before I get anywhere near my word count. I can feel a little bit of panicked frustration setting in. Anyway, this is the antidote. I am going to combat writing boredom by writing something. Something different.

I have always been a crier. My mom tells this story about me at when I was around five years old or so. I was sitting in a pile of laundry that I was supposed to be helping my mom fold. I was sitting there in the middle of the clothes bawling. Why? Because I just couldn't do it or maybe because I didn't want to do it which is very likely. But I can almost guarantee that there was this well of frustration bubbling up in that little girl. She was crying because she couldn't get it right. Never mind that this was probably the first time that she had actually tried to fold clothes in her mind she should be able to do it and do it perfectly, the first time.

I have carried that kind of attitude in to my adult life. When things are difficult I cry, when I am frustrated I cry, angry, sad... you get the picture. But these are not tears of some softy these are tears of frustration and disappointment. I am usually frustrated at myself for not being able to do something perfectly the very first time. There is a right and a wrong way to do things and if you don't get it right then you are wrong. That really has been the philosophy of my mind for as long as I can remember. I don't even know why. That is not what I was taught when I was young. I don't ever remember feeling pressured to be perfect at any of the things that have brought the tidal wave of tears.

I also cry when someone is frustrated with me or even if they are someone important in my life and they have a serious discussion with me. I can't help it. It's like the floodgates open up. They aren't floodgates of sadness they are floodgates of self-anger of frustration that I had not foreseen what I was about to be told and avoided it completely. The thing is there always has to be something wrong with me and if I could just figure it out and get it corrected then I would make everyone happy all of the time and I would always do things right.

Wow. I am actually getting tired just writing that. When it is all out there it sounds completely stupid. I might be able to see why a child would think that way but when it moves in to the world of adults it doesn't look quite as "right".

Recently I have been noticing something. My tears are drying up. Maybe it has something to do with getting a little older and (maybe?) gaining some maturity. Maybe it has something to do with being married for a few years now. Maybe it has something to do with having my own child. Suddenly I am finding some grace for myself. Oh, I am not saying that it is coming easily because it isn't, I actually have to trample over loads of guilt, sometimes every day, sometimes I have to get over guilt about not feeling guilty!

I knew something was changing the other day when I had had a few serious discussions with important people in my life and I didn't cry during any of them. As a matter of fact I didn't cry after any of them either. I took everything that was being said and looked at it for what it was, a conversation, an exchange of thoughts and ideas from one adult to another, they weren't doing anything wrong and I wasn't doing anything wrong. We were sharing.

I had an even more emotionally charged discussion tonight. Not once did I feel like crying. At one point I felt the frustration start to rise and settle at the back of my throat, it began to form a lump around which I was having difficulty swallowing. And then I realized how silly I was being. Why would I let something like a discussion dictate my emotions like that? Why would I start passing blame? Why would I blame myself for something that there was no blame in? Who in the hell am I anyway to decide that I am so powerful that I can direct the emotions and/or outcome of other people's lives and emotions. HA. When I look at it that way I actually have to laugh at myself. Which, believe me, is not easy for me to do but it is getting there.

I am leaving the clothing pile to the five year old and I am moving on.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Big Blank

So that is what my brain is right now. I am attempting to do this whole NaNoWriMo thing and so far I am keeping up but seriously, it's only day 3, not real hard to do. The worst part of the whole deal is that you aren't really allowed to do any revision, you are just supposed to puke stuff out, I am starting the think that is just what this is going to be, a pile of steaming puke. That is what "they" say you are supposed to be doing, it's supposed to get your creative juices flowing, apparently enough that it regurgitates onto the page. I would like to think that there might be something that I can "use" out of all of this how's that for a capitalistic thought?

So here's to puking this stuff up for the next month.