Showing posts from August, 2017

Guns and Gun Sense aren't Synonymous

Despite what the NRA might like you to believe, gun ownership and gun sense aren't synonymous. It's not even a matter of semantics. It's a simple equation. One does not equal the other -- at all, by any stretch of the imagination.

Let me explain with a real-life example if you aren't already on the same wave length about this topic.  And, I have to tell you, although I'm technically putting a friend of mine on blast, I am not demeaning her. She is simply a great example of failed gun sense in the USA.

The other evening I attended my first Moms Demand Action meeting. This organization (working in partnership with Everytown) is about enacting gun sense -- not restricting the 2nd amendment (so get your gun-toting panties out of a bunch and try to get through this blog). The organization is about maintaining or adding back into a legal form some much needed gun sense.

In war (Iraq - I can speak first hand about that because I'm a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom…

A Small Gift = A Big Smile

My little one was asleep on my lap when the doorbell rang. I checked my app and saw it was FedEx leaving a little something. I wasn't expecting anything though ...

I put her down to rest in bed (without waking her. Yay!) and grabbed the envelop. Someone from Beverly Hills sending me something marked "Extremely Urgent?" Hmmm
I opened it up and smiled - a huge ear-to-ear kind of smile. It was an autographed CD from Chris Botti -- with my name spelled * correctly * --- ahhhhhhhhH!!!!!!!! What a great surprise!!!! Ahhhhmaazzzzzing!!!! 
I blogged previously about Chris Botti and his tour manager. And if you missed it, I'll fill you in briefly. 
I went to Chris Botti's concert in Fort Lauderdale a few years ago and, after the show, waited on line for him to autograph my ticket stub. He did and my name was spelled wrong. It happens. It happens a lot, actually. And, I tried to tell him how grateful I was for his music when I was deployed to Kuwait / Iraq but fa…

Daily Fresh Air & A Lot of Sweat

I have a few daily goals I like to hit no matter what. Even in days when I wake up tired from a bad night's sleep or feel like I have a million things to do. I keep two primary daily goals.

Fresh Air with my girls and playing an instrument.

Once my oldest started school, I decided to learn the Ukulele. I have an app that is working out okay the free version of the app (Yousician) is rather awesome because it gives you only a limited time of a free lesson a day. Because it's such little time (a half hour perhaps?) it's something that I always have time for. That's a goal I hit for myself.

I'm only ending week two of the Ukulele so I'm far from a master. And, let me tell you, it's humbling as hell to be a beginner at something. Ya gotta start somewhere though! To be honest, I'm a bit stuck on this one lesson. The song I'm playing to is torture (if I never hear it again after I finally pass the test on it, it will be too soon. haha) Transitioning my f…

After the Uniform Comes Off, What's Next?

I came across a profile on Instagram of a former Frogman (Navy Seal) named Mario whose post about having diverse interests and passions resonated deeply with me. Team Guys (Special Forces fellas) are idolized like Superman (minus the panties on the outside of their clothes). They aren't superhuman, of course, but they do have a dedication to training and a commitment to success that is unmatched by most. These guys master the concept of mind over matter because in situations where everyone would quit, they keep going. That's admirable as hell! Anyway, it's because the advice came from such a skilled warrior that I appreciated his thoughts so much. One may assume that a Special Forces guy would be 100% focused on the mission ahead - and, when not on a mission, is training for a mission. But that's not what his post was about.

His post, which I can't find anymore (bummed about that) ... was basically how diverse his passions were. He wasn't just a Navy Seal / Sai…

Oppressed Majority - Majorité Opprimée

In a short 10-minute French film by by Eleonore Pourriat, it becomes more obvious what sexism is like for those who are often blissfully unaware.

The experiences of women are often dismissed. Whether it's being harassed at work, diminished of value at home,  harassed on the streets and even sexual assaults are met with indifference and excuses.
Did you see what she was wearing? 
It was late at night - what did you think would happen at night? 
Why were you in that part of town? 

But the fact of the matter is that harassment and unprovoked attacks toward women should not be supplemented with excuses or belittlement. She should have fought harder. She should have screamed louder. She shouldn't have been walking alone.

She should be able to live and exist. PERIOD.

The movie is short.
Make it a family night.
Watch it.

And, it's not "too adult" to watch with your children (your pre-teens and teens) because disgusting sexualization and harassment happens to them as well.…

TMI? Perhaps it's necessary

I've been on the fence about posting this because talking about personal hygiene is faux pas. But, I feel this topic is worthy of offending social norms.

Shall we talk about periods for a moment? Half of the world consists of females so, if the men aren't interested, skip to another blog. But, if you are a father of a daughter, you should know about this.

I have always used tampons or a liner. And, it wasn't until after a HUGE gap of time (one of the perks of breastfeeding my daughters is not getting a period for a wonderfully long time) I decided to look into the Diva Cup. I heard about it before but never seriously considered it. But then I tried it.

Now, mind you, I'm still recently back to getting my period. This is one of the huge perks of being a milk maker! But, it would have been so nice to have this option when I was in the military - especially when I was deployed overseas.  Why? Because this little brilliant silicone cup doesn't allow for leaks. And, it…

More Future Peace Makers, Please.

In 2010 I traveled to Spain. I wanted to listen to Spanish Guitar (the most romantic guitar music - ever!) and sip Cava, eat tapas ... I went for the culture, the food, the sights. I love traveling and Spain was a great choice.

I stayed in Barcelona. (as I say the name, I say it with that Spanish lisp in my mind). I walked the streets endlessly. I took their subway (got lost many times). I drank plenty, I shopped a bit. I walked around Las Ramblas and giggled at the signs ALL OVER that reminded people not to pee on the streets in public. (Guess that was a big problem with addressing? haha)

And yet, as I was making lunch today, I learned about the horrific incident in Barcelona. In that insanely crowded street  - Las Ramblas, someone drove into the pedestrians? What the hell?!

I don't understand senseless violence. I don't practice violence. I don't subscribe to violence. I don't watch many violent movies. It's not my thing. I like peace. I like love. I like romanc…

The Little Black & White Named Virginia

Now that we are settled back home and my oldest daughter is in school, we won't be traveling for long periods of time (until the holidays and summertime) so, we have decided to continue fostering with the Saint Lucie Humane Society. My girls are thrilled.
I contacted the foster / adoption coordinator (who is a volunteer but deserves a hellova salary because she works her but off) letting her know we were open to having a foster. It took no time at all to get assigned a kitty in need of a home.
Welcome, Virgina! This little black and white female kitty is basically a teen mom. She's only 1.5 years old (approx) and her kittens were already adopted -- she remains and is looking for her forever home. She's so tiny! She has such a small stature because she is basically a teen kitty and not yet full grown.
Some people are hesitant about female cats. I don't know why. All cats are different and have their own personalities. Virginia has already shown us that she's kid fr…

Missing the Snow

I'm already plotting my next big trip. I'm planning a winter escape during my daughter's winter holiday. Where to go? Somewhere with a direct flight. Somewhere with snow.

I saw this photo on my facebook feed the other day and it looked beautiful to me. Fresh snowfall in New York - when the snow is still white, barely stepped in and still gently falls from the sky. In reality, snow in the city gets dirty so fast but for a brief bit of time, it's absolutely stunning!!

In Florida, we are fortunate to have warm weather year round. I realize what a treat that is. We get to go to the beach year round and, on a few occasions, have to don a sweatshirt, scarf and hat. It's not freezing but the sea breeze gets cold. And, anything even in the low 60s is cold with that sea breeze. And a full disclaimer, a lot is cold to Floridians. Our sense of temperature is pretty pathetic because we live in a year-round warm climate.

Anyway, I'm already searching the house sits as the…

School Begins? * Holding my breath *

My oldest is beginning school. Florida has a VPK (Voluntary Pre-K) program for little ones. I was on a wait list and received a call very recently that a spot opened up at a local school. An alternative was a few hours a day at a private Christian school with teachers who didn't even have a bachelor's degree. (eek)

Okay, college doesn't make everyone brilliant. I get that. But I also know that college takes commitment and dedication. It's an investment in higher learning. So, even if they don't graduate brilliant as can be, at least they are trained to think, reason, use logic, etc. Someone who barely makes it out of high school and gets a teaching certificate or child care certificate has less value to me. They could be good people but, I want people who invested in their own future to invest in my daughter's.

I got the call about the vacancy when I was in Hilton Head but promised to bring in the necessary paperwork to the county office when I returned. I did…

I loved him then but not 'Like I Do Now'

A few months ago, I put out into the infinite abyss (aka Twitter) a tweet about Chris Botti. I wrote about how much I loved his music and how much of a peaceful escape his music offered me when I was deployed overseas in Iraq. I went to see him in concert in Fort Lauderdale a few years ago shortly after leaving the military and he autographed my ticket.
Now, I had a lot going on when I did this. First, seeing him play live was amazing. Secondly, I bought a ticket for someone to come with me but was stood up (good friend, aye? And my "friend" didn't even offer to reimburse me after standing me up. Blah)  Anyway, it didn't matter that I was there alone because I enjoyed his music alone. And ... I wasn't alone. I was with him listening to his music. So, I suppose the experience felt more intimate because I didn't have someone with me who didn't enjoy him as much ... (see how jerks do you a favor by not showing up in your life sometimes? Seriously. It's …

Thanks for your service but ...

When I was in the military, my mom told me some outrageous stories about what people would say about her having a daughter serving in Iraq. She bought me some things from Nordstrom's or was it Lord & Taylor ... anyway, she'd get, "You can send things to her?" Seriously, after years of being at war, people were so disconnected with the mere concept of sending a care package. Seriously!

That leads me to more significant things stemming from a lack of connectedness with the military --- the "thank you for your service" that happens once or twice a year or the post about the military on Veterans Day or whatnot. It's so inconsiderate to think that your one-day-a-year support or "thanks" is any benefit to troops or Veterans.

To delve further into this insult ... when a service member (that's another word for all branches of service Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, Coasties, Sailors) is killed at someone comments on a news article (or shares it) w…

Hilton Head Island's Inspiration

This is my second trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. According to GPS it's exactly a 6 hour drive - surprisingly manageable with my kiddos so long as I occasionally reach one arm back and hold the littlest one's foot. LOL Anything to keep from hearing sadness in the back seat.

Anyway, my favorite time of day is when the beach empties in the evenings and it's low tide. The beaches fill up with little pockets of water as the tide pulls out. I have yet to see a sunset but that will start tomorrow. It's going to be an early morning from here on out with the kiddos to watch the sun rise. Basically, I like all times of day that involve less crowds and this area gets PACKED during the day. Seriously, what is this ... South Beach Miami?!

Anyway, it's been an absolute treat housesitting here with my daughters. It's a beautiful place to explore and simply enjoy. Plus, this place is super family friend. In fact, as I was leaving Harbour Town yesterday, the perso…