me vs. the driveway

It has become my nemesis. Always covered in ice, snow, slush. You name it and I’m shoveling it. Today was no different. Not enough snow to use the snow blower and too much to leave there to melt on its own. Two inches of wet, heavy, heart attack snow. Fat globs of slush plop on my neck from overhanging branches. A foot of dirt and ice clog the entrance, left there by accomplice plows. My shoulders scream for mercy but my arch enemy won’t let me rest. It’s me or the driveway. One of us isn’t going to make it out of this winter alive.

ps. Anyone have a jackhammer I can borrow? Um. No reason.

it’s a good day

All politics aside, this is one of those days that someday people will ask “where were you?” I want to remember it, partly for my boy, who being five is far more concerned with reading Calvin and Hobbes and laughing at deranged snowmen to pay any attention to that “boring stuff” on all the tvs in the house today. He won’t remember it, but I will for him.

It’s nice to witness a good historic moment. It seem most major events are bad news, and this is a nice change of pace. It’s a good day.

Veteran’s Day

Today is the 90th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. Armistice Day was changed to Veteran’s Day after World War II to encompass all Veterans of all branches of our military. I hope you take a moment today to remember those who’ve served this country, fought for our rights, and for us.

One of the guns of Battery D, 105th Field Artillery, showing American flag which was hoisted after the last shot had been fired when the armistice took effect. Etraye, France., 11/11/1918. National Archives.

The announcing of the armistice on November 11, 1918, was the occasion for a monster celebration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thousands massed on all sides of the replica of the Statue of Liberty on Broad Street, and cheered unceasingly. National Archives.

A few years ago I had a job in which I worked regularly with veterans of all of our wars, talking to them about their experiences and looking at their photographs. I saw first hand how much it meant to them to be recognized and appreciated. How important it was for their history to be recorded. I still tear up thinking about some of them. Now when I meet a veteran I always try to take the opportunity to shake their hand and thank them for their service. It sounds hokey in writing, but it’s not. It’s important, to them, and to us, to never forget.

One of my best memories was in talking to a man who had served in Korea. During our chat I referred to his time in the Korean War and he looked at me strangely and told me how good that felt – that I had called it a war. I knew that for years it was called a “conflict” instead of a war, but a war it was, and the vets who fought and died there have a right for it to be called by its correct name. That meant something to him and now it will always mean something to me.

So if you meet a veteran today, or any other day, don’t forget to thank him or her. It’s worth the effort, I promise you that. And to the veterans in my life – I love you and and I’m indebted to you.

Edited to add: To our Canadian, French, British and Australian friends (and anyone else!) who also celebrate today, it may be called a different name but the sentiment is still the same. xoxo

just bullets again

Monday is always a good day for bullets. There are too many random thoughts in my head today for one coherent post!

I’m here.

I’m sort of back. I’m here, but not here, ya know? I’ve been reading your blogs, and getting back to commenting, but I’m mostly staying off twitter and all of the other social places. I honestly can’t deal with the time suck right now! I’ve been up to my eyeballs in work the last few days, which is really a good thing as it distracts me. As hard as this weekend was, I did appreciate seeing family that I haven’t seen in many many years. When I lived “away” I missed many family events and I don’t want that to happen anymore.

I have to say, I love you all, my bloggy, tweety friends. Even though I closed comments on my last post, so that no one would feel obligated to say anything, soooo many of you emailed me, dm’ed me and @ed me anyway. I can’t thank you enough for your kind words and virtual hugs.

So, since I truly believe blogging is good for my psyche, I’m considering joining NaBloPoMo in November. Considering. For those of you who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, November is National Blog Posting Month, when you post something every single day. Generally I post about 4-5 days a week anyway so it’s not a huge stretch for me to do it. However. I’m worried the obligation will make me despise my own blog. (And the crap I might post could make you hate it too.)

I want to know – are you joining in too? Have you done it before? Loved it or hated it?

I might just go with the consensus in comments…should I do it, yes or no?

Blog Action Day

Did you know today is Blog Action Day? Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything planned but I’d like to reprint one of the first posts I ever wrote. The topic of Blog Action Day is poverty, and my post fits pretty well with that – and how you can help without even spending any money.

Free Rice – originally posted on March 25, 2008

Charitable causes. There are ever so many aren’t there? Everyone has in their mind what they prefer in a “good cause.” For me it almost always comes down to children. I also tend to gravitate toward local charities like soup kitchens. It’s a hard thing to look at your own happy, healthy, energetic child and know there are kids just like him in your own community who go to school, or to sleep without any food in their bellies.

Now, look beyond your neighborhood and the bigger picture is such a harsh, overwhelming reality it’s difficult to comprehend. USAtoday ran an article this morning about the rising cost of food around the world this year and the terrible consequences for the World Food Programme.

I heart the World Food Programme. I have for some time now. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of extra cash to send them. I do, however, have downtime in the evenings when I like to blog surf and play computer games. My favorite games are solitaire majong, solitaire scrabble, and freecell. Exciting? Not. Well, they aren’t supposed to be, they’re supposed to relax me and work my brain a bit, you know, to help with my little memory problem…

Enter Free Rice. My newest online addiction. It’s a little word game, and for every word you get right you’re giving grains of rice to the World Food Programme. How cool is that? And seriously, once you start you can’t stop. Go on, learn a few new words and you be surprised how fast the rice grains grow.

This was a good reminder for me to put the Free Rice button back in my sidebar – it was lost in the move and I’m glad to have it again. There’s lots of choices of banners and buttons if you want to get one for your own blog!

Help end world hunger

that’s a really big bus

I didn’t think I’d cry.

After all the pictures were taken. After all the hugs and kisses were done. After I walked him up to the big yellow bus and he went up the steps. After the bus driver asked if he was a kindergartener. After I said yes, and she had him sit in the first seat. After he squeezed in with two other kids because it was already crowded. After she called out to me with that look and told me to have a great day. After I thought would make it without crying after all.

That’s when he stood back up, looked out the window, waved, and called out “bye mommy!”

Damn. I cried all the way back up the hill, all the way back to the house.

I didn’t think I’d cry. I was kinda dumb to think that.

stumbling around

I am, at the moment, mired in penguin pictures, still. But every now and then I take a mini-break and go read some of your wonderful posts out there. The problem is, my brain is so fried and my time is so limited I haven’t been commenting as much as I like to. You all know what a commenting fool I usually am! Please don’t think that I haven’t been reading.

Along those same lines, I’ve always tried to respond to individual comments here. Yeah, I kinda suck at that lately. I love you guys for commenting, and frankly, comments pretty much make my day. I am constantly amazed that you keep coming back here and reading my drivel! The number of comments compared to my total readership here is pretty shocking. Look at my Feedburner chicklet on the bottom left, I only have like 30-40 regular readers, and you all comment pretty much at least once a week. I can’t thank you enough for that.

So here’s the thing I’ve been thinking about. I’m trying to be a better sharer. Commenting on your blogs is fun, and I’m sure you appreciate it, but, if I only have 10 seconds, would you rather I say “great post!” for only you to see or would you rather I Stumble it so others will know about it? Stumble eh, I thought so. So I am going to make myself a new policy, that I am going to become a Stumbling fool as much as I am a commenting fool!

If you are on Stumble, please come find me so we can share great posts with each other! I want to see what you Stumble too!

Some of you may be asking, what the heck is Stumble? It’s one of those social media places where you can share your favorite reads with your friends. Check it out, sign up, (friend me!) and start giving a thumbs up to your favorite sites and posts! Btw, it helps to download the Stumble toolbar for your browser, it just makes it that much easier to say “I like it!”

In the same vein, if you prefer using one the other link sharing sites, you can probably find me there too. Although I’m concentrating my efforts on Stumble I do have profiles on these as well: del.icio.us, Digg, Kirtsy, and Technorati.

I love you, my bloggy friends, mwah!

edited to add: BTW, one key to being a good stumbler is to NOT mark your friends as Adult Content by mistakenly hitting the wrong button. Damn. Um, hey Neil, I’m trying to fix that porn label on your post. Sorry!!!

sharing the love

I just received this award from Sometimes Sophia and I realized I also received it from Sue at Stay at Home Mom quite some time ago, and I, um, kinda forgot to pass it on. Sorry Sue! Thanks to both of you for this. It means a lot to me.

You should check out the original source of the award and why she created it.

In honor of the inspiration for it and one of miracles of modern medicine – organ donation – I’d like to pass this award on to Especially Heather, who will understand why I gave it to her.

what a flop

I wrote a post and it was depressing so I deleted it. There’s no funny in me today.

I played poker with some friends last night so I was sure I’d have some stories for you, but man, I sucked. I was exhausted from a week of taking care of chicken pox boy and dealing with work crunch and I just couldn’t concentrate.

Today we’re missing my father’s 75th birthday party. Stupid pox. Bah humbug.

Dang, this post came out depressing too. At least it’s mercifully short.

Anybody got anything fun to talk about? Or at least wanna commiserate?

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