More on nine kids

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OMAHA, Neb. (Sept. 26) – An out-of-work widower who abandoned nine of his children at a hospital under Nebraska’s new safe haven law said he was overwhelmed without his wife and just “fell apart.” ”I hope they know I love them,” [the father] told KETV. “I hope their future is better without me around them.” 

This came from the AP web site.  It seems he has some extended family who offered to help him out.  Maybe he was stubborn, or maybe he had valid reasons for not letting family take his children.  He has to be depressed.  His wife died in childbirth a year ago.  He also has a HS graduate 18 year old daughter he did not drop off. 

Certainly dropping your kids off at a hospital is preferable to doing away with them in some other manner, but man, it isn’t something you could un-do easily. 

It is a busy night out there, I have heard an owl and something that might have been his dinner (better count the cats…just kidding) and now I hear a chorus of coyotes.  I pronounce it KY-oat.  Just in case you were wondering.  It is kind of like the leg protector things people call chaps.  Those who wear them pronounce it shaps, probably something to do with chaparral.  Don’t even get me started on creek and crick.

Tomorrow looks to be busy in a fun way.  Better get some nighty night. 

Safe Haven

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Nebraska was the last state in the union to enact a safe haven law for “children.”  The law didn’t specify an age.  So far about 14 kids have been dropped off this month, ranging from ages 1.5 or so to 17.  As far as I know, most have been older than ten.  One family dropped all nine of their kids at the hospital.  Could all nine have been rotten, or was it perhaps their PARENTS?  Are people really that detached from their children?  It is beyond my comprehension.

It could get even more interesting because legislature does not resume until January to change the law. 

It certainly highlights a lack of knowledge about the availability of parenting programs.  What are they going to do with these poor kids?  I can’t imagine a foster family able to absorb a sibling group of nine.  How incredibly sad.  For everyone. 

Our local tv station had an informal poll, I didn’t catch how many responded, but 34% of the people felt that no age was apropriate.  The other choices (1 week, 6 months, etc) all had fewer voters.  What do you think? 

 

 

Eye and itch update

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Well, the eye Dr measured my corneas and said, “Eh, um, maybe, probably you can get surgery.”  It seems my corneas are thin (at least something is thin on me) and my eyesight is poor enough that they might need more room to do the surgery.  My eyesight weighs in at a hefty -9 what ever that means.  To me it means I can’t find my glasses unless they are on my face.  I guess they have another kind of procedure that will probably work for me.  Our appointment is Nov. 7. 

I took some Claritin and that helped the hives.  I took a generic Aveeno bath last night and also used real Aveeno soap and came out feeling softer than Paul.  I will be trying that again.  It is getting better on my tummy, my arms/hands and my sides, but I still itch on my legs and feet.  Probably the worst area is my butt.  I have found if I keep the itchy areas clothed, I don’t scratch much.  Usually I keep my butt clothed, so it hasn’t been much of a challenge.

Leo is taking a monster nap today, 2.5 hours.  It is nearly time to pick up Mae from school, I am going to have to wake him up.

Mom is visiting my brother in Korea, and her cell phone died in the airport.  She called back a few hours later, from a borrowed phone and left a message on my machine.  It seems her plane was delayed, to the tune of a luxurious night in Minneapolis’ best Days Inn.  Fortunately she got her luggage and was able to charge her phone.  I definately wanted to tell her goodbye and that I love her before she went off to Asia for three weeks.

I found a good author, her characters sing with life and humor.  I will be checking out her other three books. 

 

What’s one memory from your college experience that you will always cherish?

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Oh, that would be drunk bowling with Scott and Amy.  That and building snow men one night.  I also fondly remember my 21st birthday.  So that was three.

   

My itches and my eyes

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This morning I woke up with hives. The only other time I had hives was on the day of my last final in college. Surveying. My fingers swelled so big, I could hardly hold a pencil. I knew what I was doing in the class but the prof made me nervous, to the point of mentioning it to my advisor. He was hitting on me. My advisor took it all quite seriously until I told him who it was (his racquetball buddy). I came in just under the wire with exactly enough credits to graduate, and I got a C in surveying. Phew.

I have no pressing deadline now, just itchy lumps all over, mostly on my tummy, legs and arms. I called the nurse from our insurance and she said I could take Claritin. So I did.  I also have plans for a cool bath.

Tomorrow I will go with GD to the eye Dr to learn about Lasik surgery.  In college I misplaced my glasses, and I couldn’t find them.  I had to go door to door down the hall to find someone awake so she could walk into my room and hand me something that was in plain sight.  For those who have sight.  (my contacts were in solution and I couldn’t put them back in) You know the big E on the eye chart?  Yeah, I can’t even see the chart on the wall.

The soundtrack of my life

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My husband listens to country music, and has his alarm set to the local station. This morning I awoke to a reminder of exactly why I left country music behind. The first song, played before 6 in the morning was about a child getting the tar beaten out of him or her, I was too sleepy to tell which. This was what I awoke to. After the snooze was something about “there is no love here anymore.” Let’s wake up and have a great day now.

I started out listening to country music in the 70s through an AM station out of Denver with my dad. Mom listened to her classical records. Somewhere in grade school, maybe around age 11, the man of my dreams (at the time) listened to top 40 pop rock, so I did too. A high school boyfriend listened to folk, so I added that to my play list. At a dance club in college (the crowd I hung with tended toward country) I requested “One woman man” by George Jones. The CDJ or whatever they call them looked at me with disgust and said he didn’t have any George Jones. I looked at him with disgust and said “How long have you been listening to country music? Six months?” The next week he had some Jones CDs.

Some where around the time Garth Brooks discovered, and subsequently ruined, Chris LeDoux I started to leave country. It had become rock, and not the kind of rock I liked. Now a lot of it sounds like rap to me, and I just don’t care for rap. Sure some of this new country is okay, but I don’t care for most of it.

After college I went to the black hole of telecommunications. We had no TV signal, and very limited radio signal. My choices were some guy droning for hours on end about corn markets with two songs thrown in for good measure or the public radio station blasting “classical across the heartland” (My slogan not theirs, but you have to admit it is a good one) so that is what I listened to. I liked the news, and the music was ok, most of the time. It beat hearing about wheat futures all day long. At home, I played the Glen Miller record I stole from my step dad. What I gained from this time period was a distaste for commercials.

After moving down here I found myself with some choices (although I think they are still fairly limited) for listening material. I have settled on a combo of a semi-adult morning show I find my self laughing to (and occasionally turning down so my little pitchers can’t hear parts), NPR and Christian radio. Somehow what I remember as pop/rock has turned a little too much toward the R&B or something that doesn’t seem to have a tune anyways.  I have problems with music I can’t dance to.

Today’s Christian radio is not the Christian radio of my childhood. I love it because it sounds like where I had hoped rock would go, and it is commercial free.  Some Christian stations are definitely better than others.  I don’t take the time to recognize who sings what, I just listen these days.  I have records, tapes and CDs of all kinds of stuff, and I am pretty open minded about what I would listen to. I try to keep a working knowledge of our music culture, but I don’t recognize many of the artists I read about in your blogs.  Since I don’t have the capability to download songs, it may be a while.  Music is kind of a big thing, so many different kinds exist. 

Supper time again

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Ah.  The Grand Island Gossip had a little more information this morning. 

  1. A male supervisor followed a woman into the bathroom
  2. The packing plant denies all of the charges of abuse
  3. The plant runs 24 hours a day, I think. They have light shifts on Saturday and are pretty much closed Sunday.
  4. They process 400 critters an hour, except when large numbers of their workforce are on strike, then it is down to 240 or so.  Sheesh, no wonder we get contamination in our meat! (we get ours from a local locker plant)
  5. They employ 2500 people there, 500 + are Muslim (a minority, but a large one)
  6. The change of supper time means somehow that second shift workers are only able to work 36 hour weeks, not full time.  Employees would be allowed to make it up on Saturdays if they wanted to.  How shifting a meal break would remove four hours from a work week really makes no sense to me, so maybe it is a cost saving technique the plant has implemented in a passive aggressive attempt to pit their workforce against each other and cut costs at the same time
  7. They are also breaking up two 15 minute breaks into 5 minute increments for other prayers
  8. When someone takes a break, everyone has to, because the line can’t keep going
  9. The non-Muslims went on strike yesterday after hearing the new terms
  10. I don’t think it is legal to smoke in Nebraska anymore, so smoke breaks are not an issue

So, I still think they ought to be able to fix things somehow, with some common sense.  For example the Muslims could agree that the sundown prayer is the most important and find a way to skip the daytime prayers so they don’t have to split up the breaks.  It is certainly not fair to make people work part time for one month because of someone else’s religion, but they ought to have enough respect to go along with changing the supper break for a month.

You know, come to think of it, I am not aware of a Muslim house of worship.  I know where to find the Jewish Temple, the LDS and the Salvation Army, but not the Muslims.  If we have 500 at one employer, they must gather somewhere to worship. 

It was hilarious to read someone’s letter to the editor extolling the virtues of the Hispanic immigrants in comparison to the African ones.  He pointed out that they adapted to being Americans much better.  I bet that person got upset just last week when he saw the local Spanish newspaper, the bilingual clerk at the grocery store speaking Spanish to the person in front of him, and signs in the windows of the tiendas on fourth street.

Hypocrisy at its finest.

When is supper?

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Our community is full of refugees. Many of them work at a meat packing plant. Earlier this week 500 of them walked off the job because they are Muslim and want to pray at sundown through the month of Ramadan. Someone got kicked while trying to pray and someone’s supervisor followed her into the bathroom to prevent her from praying. The packing plant ultimately decided to modify the supper break to coincide with sundown to accommodate Muslims, for this month only. Now the other workers are up in arms at this concession. What do you think? People are saying things like, “You should go back to your own country where you will have plenty of time to pray while your children starve!”

I can’t help but think that if the story were about Christians trying that hard to pray that the community would be proud of their behavior. I can’t think of the last time I heard a story about American Christians trying that hard to pray.  What does freedom of religion mean in America?     

Marriage questionnaire

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How long have you been married? 11 years and four kids

Is this your first marriage? yes

Is it how you imagined it would be? nope

What would you change? Not sure the computer has enough memory ha ha ha

Are you married to your soulmate? No, I can’t imagine a soul mate

What do you argue about the most? Inane things

What do you see eye to eye on the most? Our kids

Where did you meet your spouse? He tried to sell me propane. I feel a blog coming…

Where was your first date? Rosebud Casino, a Ronny McDowell (or someone like that) concert

Where were you when you became engaged? Bridge over North Loup River

Did you live together before Marriage? No

What was your wedding song? Who knows? I had the singer pick it because she would be singing it.

Who was in your wedding party? My best friend and my step daughter

Do you get along with the in-laws? As much as anyone does

What’s your view on children? They are a blast

Does your spouse feel the same way? yes

Are you a 2 peas in a pod or opposites attract couple? Opposites

Do you go out without your spouse? Usually

How long are you away from your spouse before you start to miss him/her? 12 hours when I am at home, longer when I am on vacation

Have you ever compared your spouse to someone you have dated in the past? In what way? Nope. No comparison

Do you trust your Spouse? Implicitly

Does your Spouse trust you? He better!

How well do you know your spouse’s favorites? I buy his underwear…

How well does your spouse know your favorites? Plead the Fifth

Do you get along with your spouse’s friends? Yep

Does your spouse get along with your friends? I think so, they overlap quite a bit

Did you go on a honeymoon? San Antonio/Corpus Christi

Do you watch the same TV shows? Yes, because I choose!

Can you agree on Pizza toppings? Yes

Who takes out the trash? Me

Who does laundry? Me

Who is the first one to wake up in the morning? The baby

Do you have any traditions? Not really.

Is there anyone in your spouse’s family that you can’t stand? Nobody he doesn’t care for too

Anyone in your spouse’s family you adore? Several

Do you know your spouse’s passwords/pins? Yep

Does your spouse know your social security number? Probably he has a number thing

Do you ever nag your spouse? Probably

Do you admit wrong doing? From time to time

Does your spouse? Not too often

When is the last time you or your spouse bought each other flowers? Bought or gave? I got several bunches of wildflowers this summer, which are always better than purchased flowers.

Behind the scenes, why Wildflower does what she does

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Soccer practice went well.  It was early enough we could make it home by supper time at 5:30.  Games are later.  Coach said Mae was coordinated and handled the ball well.  This was something no coach ever said about me, even to be nice to my mother!

 

Here is my rationale for what I am doing, you commenters you.  I have done some thinking on this.  I grew up 30 miles from town and 10 miles from the nearest kid.  I just played with my brother since we were too far from town for dance and soccer was not yet invented.  These days I speak to my brother about once a year.  I talk to my grade school chums more often than my brother.  I guess I like him enough, we just aren’t close at all.  I don’t resent how I was raised, I am kinda proud of it.  I remember taking tumbling classes at the Y and also an art class when I was little.  Mostly we spent our spare time exploring the Wildcat Hills behind our house.  Our unspare time we spent haying for dad.  We were outside a lot, we had a lot of outside to be in.

 

My brother and I had to play grade school sports (volleyball for me, basketball for my bro) because there weren’t enough kids for a team if we didn’t, unfortunately athleticism does not run in our family.  We certainly didn’t add much to our teams, and we both resented having to play.  I was in college the first time I attended a football game. (Yep a Nebraska anomaly) My 9th grade PE teacher gave us a sheet of paper describing football and then tested us on the game.  I failed.  How do you learn a sport from reading a sheet of paper? 

 

My husband was quite the opposite he wanted to play high school sports and was not allowed to.  He and most of his siblings still resent this greatly.  Sports are a huge priority for him.  It will be a challenge to keep him from living vicariously through his kids. My MIL told my SIL as she watched her granddaughter at a gymnastics meet, “I am glad none of my children had any talents.”  My SIL commented that they were not allowed to have any talents.

 

I guess I want to hit this somewhere in the middle.  The ladies love the glamour of dancing.  A benefit is the fact that I can grocery shop with the gentlemen while the ladies are in dance and not interfere with nap time, the only time all week I can accomplish that.  (grocery shopping with four kids is actually considered a contact sport, I heard talk about an exhibition game at the Olympics this year, but I didn’t catch it)  I doubt dance will last very long into their school careers.  Who knows about soccer, but I want my kids to have some sports awareness so when they get older they are not completely naive to it all like I was. 

 

Mae thrives on being around other people, especially in a leadership role.  Jane will never do well in a team sport; she does things her own way, in her own time and usually alone.  I got to watch my two year old, Leo stand on one leg and kick a ball yesterday.  I had no idea he could do that!  I should try it myself sometime…

 

While it is only two nights a week after supper, I feel it is controllable.  That still leaves 5 nights a week to be kids at home, which is also important to me.  When the gentlemen get older, I guess we will take it from there.

 

After this year, I think I will send Leo and Paul to pre-school only one year.  (The ladies both went two, but only two or three days a week.  Jane goes four days a week.)  That will save me two years of running around.  I certainly find myself refering to my black appointment book before planning anything these days!

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