Interesting article

Think About Pink

That rubber bracelet is part of a newer, though related, trend: the sexualization of breast cancer. Hot breast cancer. Saucy breast cancer. Titillating breast cancer! The pain of “First You Cry” has been replaced by the celebration of “Crazy Sexy Cancer,” the title of a documentary about a woman “looking for a cure and finding her life.”


I hate to be a buzz kill, but breast cancer is just not sexy. It’s not ennobling. It’s not a feminine rite of passage. And, though it pains me to say it, it’s also not very much fun. I get that the irreverence is meant to combat crisis fatigue, the complacency brought on by the annual onslaught of pink, yet it similarly risks turning people cynical. By making consumers feel good without actually doing anything meaningful, it discourages understanding, undermining the search for better detection, safer treatments, causes and cures for a disease that still afflicts 250,000 women annually (and speaking of figures, the number who die has remained unchanged — hovering around 40,000 — for more than a decade).

I’ve never been comfortable criticizing the breast cancer awareness campaigns.  I don’t feel it’s my fight (despite the reminder that ALL women have to worry about breast cancer).  But this article puts its finger directly on the issues that I have: not only is the campaign overdone, tasteless and sexualized, it isn’t doing any good.


After a busy weekend doing nothing much eventful (exception: I did meet Rachel Balducci and have her sign for me her book, How Do You Tuck in a Superhero?), we have settled into our boring school routine.  Since Bill was off last Thursday and Friday, we didn’t do a full week’s work then, and the running around from the weekend plus a cold/fever virus that half of us are fighting has everybody feeling drained.  My kids think the best solution on days like that is to watch an entire season of The Dick Van Dyke Show

Unfortunately, their mother/teacher/slave owner thinks doubling up on the grammar and Latin lessons that were dropped last week so that we’ll be caught up to where we should be will make us all feel better.  A sparkling clean house is also a cure-all for most ailments in my world, but I’m not going to push it.

So onward we trudge.  We need to do only 5 weeks of school before the end of the calendar year to be halfway through the school year.  The kids don’t know that we’ll probably take at least 3 full weeks off for Christmas and going into January.  That downtime will be worth all the long days now.

Clever Idea of the Day

I cleaned my closet!  It’s not 100% organized, but at least you can open and close the door.  I have more craft projects this weekend, so I’ll be in there later today getting the bins straightened out.

Fritz is camping with the Boy Scouts this weekend.

Separately, Bill and Billy are camping with the Cub Scouts as well.  They will take our 6 person tent.  A few years ago, the tent poles were left behind after a camping trip.  We went back, but they were gone.  We hoped that someone from the group (it was another Scout camp) had picked them up and would put out an email asking who had lost their poles, but it didn’t happen.  Apparently, this isn’t such an uncommon experience, because LL Bean sells replacement poles.  Replacement poles are much cheaper than a new tent. 

Unfortunately, the new poles did not come with a carrying bag like the original poles had.  Perhaps bags are also sold, but we didn’t go back and check.  We’ve just grumbled about it for years.  Of course, we don’t think about it except when we go camping.  Like this weekend.

Have I ever mentioned that I have a lot of old Army uniforms?  Or that I like to recycle them?  Or that I like to recycle any fabric whenever possible?  The blouses (the tops) have a big portion of fabric that is useful, but the pants are not as easy to use because there are so many seams.  I have made some bags for boys (“man-purses”) which have been very popular (in fact, the kids need some bags to hold piano music and I think I’ll use the pants if they are wide enough…one more project on my to-do list).

Well, not only was one leg of an Army uniform the perfect size for a bag for tent poles, the ankle has a ribbon already in to cinch it tight.  I actually already had one leg detached from a pant, so this project merely involved a 3 minute session with the sewing machine to put in an extra-strong seam along the cut edge.  The finished product:

It even has room at the bottom to store the rubber mallet my husband uses to put the plastic tent pegs in.

I have at least a dozen pairs of pants in my closet.  If you need a bag for your tent poles, let me know.  I didn’t put on a carrying strap, because I didn’t think it was really necessary (car to tent site being generally less than 10 yards), but I could add one later if I change my mind.

Working on it

All my sewing supplies (materials, ribbons, thread, patterns, etc) I keep in plastic bins which I have tucked neatly into the master bedroom closet.  Usually, they are thus neatly tucked.

Between Halloween and the ball and various other projects, I have been rummaging in every.single.bin.  Therefore, they have been pulled out and left open with their contents roughly shoved around and sometimes spilling out everywhere.

The master bedroom closet is not a large closet.  I have been unable to close my closet door, and I have to step on things to get my shoes or clothing.  It’s ridiculous.  And it’s especially ridiculous since I know if I did the Flylady-15 minute-timer-thingy, I’d have the job done and a cup of tea brewed and ready to drink before the bell dinged.  By the time this blog post is typed, it could be done.  But Bill is still sleeping, so I can’t do it right now.

(It’s Veteran’s Day – he gets to sleep late.  Last Veteran’s Day, he had to work, and even if he’d had the day off, he would have had nothing to do in Bagram.  If you are a veteran and you have the day off, good for you!  If you are not a vet, and you have to work, good for you, too!  No whining.  Soldiers are on duty 24/7/365.)

On Monday morning, I told Bill: “The closet is my top priority today.”

On Monday evening, I told Bill: “I didn’t do the closet…but we cleaned the garage and you can park there again!”  (The garage had been messy since the Oktoberfest, because decorations are stored in bins out there.  Halloween only made it worse.)

On Tuesday morning, I told Bill: “The closet is my top priority today.”

On Tuesday evening, I told Bill: “I didn’t do the closet, but I paid the bills and dropped a carload off at the recycling center and the thrift store.”  It feels so good to get things out of the house.

On Wednesday morning, I told Bill: “The closet is my top priority today.”

On Wednesday evening, I told Bill: “I didn’t do the closet, but the fleas I discovered on the dog on Sunday are dead.”  De-fleaing involved spraying and vacuuming the house as well.  Quite a chore.  Dog is happy; I am happy.

Now it’s Thursday morning.  My priorities today are to go to the grocery store and have a lunch date with my husband.  But I think I have to tell him that the closet is my top priority.  It’s practically a tradition at this point.  Hopefully, though, the not-cleaning-the-closet tradition will be broken very soon. 


It’s my top priority.

Way to Go, Weston, Missouri!!!

Weston, MO is not far from Fort Leavenworth, KS.  It’s a cute little town that Bill and I enjoyed visiting while we lived there.  They have the best Memorial Day parade wherein the parade itself is 2 or 3 times longer than the parade route.  They also have a great Irish restaurant.

And they have fabulously patriotic residents who stand united against despicable abusers of our First Amendment rights.

Residents of Missouri Town Block Protesters From Picketing Soldier’s Funeral

this link has videos:
Hundreds Gather in Missouri Town to Block Westboro Baptist Protest at Soldier’s Funeral

The counter-protesters blocked the corner where Westboro had a permit to assemble, and they also formed a human shield at the funeral home.  I am all in favor of freedom of speech, but I think it is clearly meant to be freedom to speak your opinion against the government, businesses, and public individuals not freedom to harass private citizens.  Shouting profanities at grieving family members who are burying their dead should not be in the realm of protected speech.
Good job, Weston.

The Merry Wife of Suburbia (Act XLII, Scene XI)

A suburban home.  4:45 pm Friday afternoon.  The housewife sits at the dining room table while the children run amok.  Her hair is in curlers.  Her face lacks makeup.  The babysitter is due at any moment.  She is frantically pushing fabric through her sewing machine.  The doorbell rings.

Housewife: Must be the babysitter!

Daughter #1: Mom!  Some girls are here!

Housewife: (aside) Not another fundraiser… (to her daughter) What do they want?

Daughter #1: I dunno…

Son #2: (eagerly) They’re selling cupcakes.

Housewife: (aside) I am not getting up from this machine.  (sighing, to son)  Tell them they have to come in.

Enter the babysitter, a woman in her 20’s.

Housewife: Stephanie, what do they want?

Stephanie: They’re selling cupcakes.

Enter two teenaged girls.

Girl #1: We’re selling cupcakes.

Housewife: Do I have to pay you now?

Girl #2: (timidly) Yes…

Housewife: (loud sigh, shaking head)  Girls, I’m Cinderella, and I’ve got to finish this dress for the ball.

Son #2: I’ve got money, Mom!

Housewife: You want to buy cupcakes?  (He nods his head.)  Then go get your money.

Girl #1: We’ve got red velvet, vanilla……(The din of running, playing children obliterates the sound of her voice.)  What kind would you like?

Housewife: You’ll have to ask the buyer.

Phone rings.

Housewife: That’s your dad!  Somebody answer the phone!

Son #1 answers phone.  Son #2 returns with money.  He orders cupcakes.  Girls depart.  Son #1 hangs up phone.

Son #1: Dad’s on his way home.

Housewife: (rising triumphantly from her chair and shaking out the dress) Good!  And my dress is complete!

Curtain falls.

Before: skirt is floor length

The Dashing Duo

In front of my favorite rose bush

Eye opening, or not

My friend stopped by yesterday, and I showed her a skirt that I was converting into a dress for a military ball.  I hadn’t done anything yet, but the ball is Friday night.  My friend is also a seamstress, so she stepped right in with helping me lay out pieces.  Meanwhile, another friend stops by and we had quite a little party with us (mostly them) ripping seams and pinning and cutting. 

It was great.  I highly recommend having other people come over and do your craft projects for you.

At one point, I had one friend counting the number of steps in the directions and the other friend commenting that I had 48 hours to get it all done.  “I have 49 hours and 15 minutes to get it done,” I corrected her haughtily.  “You can always be fashionably late,” she replied.  I suspect they think I’ve overstepped my capabilities. 

Last night I made a run to the fabric store for a crucial zipper, and I picked up some fabric to make a jacket as well.  The facility where the ball will be is freezing, and a fur coat would be welcome (but I just got some satiny material instead).  I also bought a strapless bra, since the dress is wide on the shoulders.  Then I bought some new eye makeup.

After all that, it was bedtime, so I’m only on step 4.  It may be a late night tonight.

This morning, I put on all the eye makeup to see if I liked the look.  I don’t generally wear much makeup at all, and if I do it might be a mascara and a natural shade of lip stick.  I like the way it turned out as it helps make my blue eyes pop out from behind my eyeglasses.  But it’s definitely too dramatic for daily wear: medium and dark blue shadow, black liner and mascara.

At the breakfast table, I was not at all surprised when Katie asked me, “Mommy, are you going somewhere today?”  Innocently, I asked her whatever did she mean?  After she pointed out I was wearing makeup, I looked both older boys straight in the eyes and asked them if they noticed the makeup.  Nope.  Of course not.

I love boys, I really do.

And I love having daughters.