Friday, October 9, 2015

What's all this "Shameless Parenting" crap? Just handle your shit.

Good grief, I was cursing through some blogs, just wondering what everyone else talks about, and I came across a couple about 'Shameless Parenting' or 'Guilt-free Parenting'. My reaction went from what the hell, to what the FUCK!! Are you really kidding me!! As a parent, I know you always question what your doing, but I never felt quilting about it. I knew I was screwing my kids up, at least a little, when I refused to do what "They" wanted me to do. Like dropping everything to drive them somewhere or expect them to clean they're room and behave like human-beings in stead of neanderthals just finding they're way out of the cave. Whatever demands or punishment I put upon them, in the long run they got over it. Mostly. Why mother's today go through life thinking they need to be this wonderful, above and beyond Mother Teresa mommy, really leaves me scratching my head. That is way too much work. They'd be a lot happier if they simply just didn't worry about it. The whole concept of guiltless parenting flies way over my gray head. It doesn't even stir a strand. To error is human. I guess those mom's didn't get that memo in they're DNA.
We are meant to screw up our kids. It's our jobs as parents. It the kids jobs, when they hit 18yrs old, to figure that out and go forth and make a life for themselves, mostly straightening out what we screwed up. What I'm seeing in kids today, with all too perfect mommies, is that all the perfection, scrambling to avoid all the horrible guilt and shame that comes with it, is creating a whole generation of really screwed up kids that feel entitled and are in general spoiled brats. Now there's something to feel guilty about. These are the kids, I'd like to trip as they run down the frozen food isle of the grocery store causing mayhem, as mommy tries to control them with her 'inside' voice. These are the teenage girls who tells her mom to 'Shut up' in the check-out because she's on her cell phone. I'd grab that cell phone and chuck it as if I was a world series pitcher ready to strike a pinch hitter out. It would be gone in seconds into the atmosphere of the store, only to be heard clinking as it makes contact with the floor, in the wine isle on the other side of the store. No, just scream at them as if you're howling across the Grand Canyon, while in the store. All the baby boomers would stand up and cheer you on. Seriously, we'd love to see it. It would validate how we raised you! Threaten to ground them for life, take away everything they have that they enjoy and move on in great happiness and pride, knowing you can handle this shit. When my kids miss-behaved in the store, and they did that, especially my boys, I left the basket in the middle of the isle grabbed them my the shirt collar and marched them out to the car. We'd then proceed home, and have peanut butter and jelly for dinner. If I had it. Did I scar them for life, by expecting them to behave like humans in the store or anywhere, I don't think so. They might argue that point. I guess I'll have to ask them. Mostly they laugh about it, and remind their kids, "Don't mess with Nana, she ain't nothing nice when she's mad."
My granddaughter is 13yrs old, and I honestly feel sorry for her when she gets into high school and college. They're won't be any good men for her. Only those spoiled brats who ran through the store out of control, now all grown up. It's a sad situation.
What this all leads to, is the kids knows mommy is feeling guilty or shameful for taking the bull by the reins and taking care of business. And don't think the little scamps aren't taking advantage of it. My daughter once threatened to call CPS on me, because I wasn't giving her what she wanted, which was a car. I really couldn't pull a rabbit out of my hat, but she wanted me to pull a car out of my ass. So I handed her the phone and said, "Don't do me any favors." She didn't call, didn't get the car, and I didn't feel guilty.
As parents we do the best we can. We work with what we have. Give the kids what they need, (and there is a big difference between what they need and what they want) and move on without guilt or shame. My mother use to say something that still makes perfect sense today, "Eighteen is the year of reason. Once they turn eighteen they're an adult. The only person they can reasonable blame for the mistakes they make, is themselves." Give kids a bit of common sense by not showing them all the 'guilt & shame', make them behave in the grocery store and all will turn out just fine, because you've got your shit handled. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A grandmother's view of selfies

The first 'selfie' was taken by one, Robert Cornelius, in 1839. Although, it wasn't quit as convenient as raising a arm with a small object at the end, that with a small click, you've got a photo. He had to set up the camera, uncover the lens, run and sit in front of it, wait a few minutes, and then run back to the camera and cover the lens. If a photographer did that, they really must have wanted that portrait. That's a lot of work. If it doesn't turn out, then ya got to do it all over again. In most cases it didn't turn out, so why bother.There are very few clear selfies from the early years of photography.
Way back then it was called a self-portrait, and it was work to achieve. I think Robert would be pleased to see how it has evolved to something so easy. Like me, I'd hope he'd also be puzzled to it's importance in one's daily live. I'd hope he'd be appalled at the abuses it also has brought to the surface that literally slaps us right in the face. After all he did it for the art of photography. Today, it's done for the self-indulgence of one's ego, no art involved or even considered. Just ask Kim Kadashian, as she releases her book, 'Selfie'. Which is what else? Selfies of her famous face. Personally, if I don't see another photo of her face, her behind or husband, it would be too soon. Unfortunately, young people copy and admire her, and so much want to be her, at least in the world of selfies. 
I've unfriended individuals from my social media sites, who over indulge in selfies. Because, honestly, it's just weird and boring. Because, I don't give a wit what they look like in the grocery line, or while they wait for their kids to get out of school, or whatever else is going on in their life that they feel requires a selfie. TMI, goes beyond what I'm thinking.  
Don't get me wrong, if a close friend has changed her hair color and sends me a selfie, announcing, "What the fuck have I done!? I've made a mistake! I don't look like my pic anymore. I'm destine to be alone!!" Okay, I accept that, especially if it comes to me directly. Everything else is too stupid to put out to the universe known as the internet, as well as ridiculous. It makes the individual not only look bad in the picture, but obsessively embarrassingly needy.
There is a whole psychology behind, (what I consider to be annoyingly bizarre), phenomenon. What many in the profession of digging around in ones brain-matter has concluded, it has to do with self-worth or self-value. Yes, someone actually paid someone with a PHD to figure this out. Just ask any baby boomer and we could have told them that for free. It's pretty obvious to me or anyone who has a ounce of intelligence. Selfies are all about ones self-esteem.. 
The back lash of seeking out affirmation in selfies, is of course the negative and the awful abuses. Not everyone gets that boost to they're delicate ego, by way of the selfie. I've never taken a selfie, because it would most definitely not boost my ego, but send it crashing down into a deep abyss of obvious age lines. There is a lot of mean people out there, who jump on the back of the negative and go to town on someone who simply relies too much on the affirmation of a self-portrait. It's like riding a wild a pony into a burning barn. After all, those individuals are cowards, because they hid behind social media to dole out their particular brand of cruelty. It's easy to be mean when your not face to face with someone. Then there are the really nasty abuses. Young girls thinking they can trust their 16yr old hormone driven love interest with a provocative photo. Sadly, the fall out of those situations often are, the love interest can't be trusted and just sent out a group message to the football team with the photo attached. Who in turn send it out to the basketball team, hockey team and all points in their young lives. In most states it can lead to an arrest and the shame attached to a innocent girl moves to even a wider audience. The reactions, fall out and trickle down affect of such selfies have been known to be horrifically life altering. In someways, for all concerned, it will impact their lives forever.
Did we raise a bunch individuals who have such low self-esteem, that they have to be constantly getting affirmation that the color of dress they picked out, has to have the approval of the world to know if green works. In my day, we just flew with it. I was a hippy, so no one really cared anyways. Thank goodness. Not that it would have mattered to me. I can't imagine living my life, searching out that self-worth by posting a image of myself so that hundreds, (if there are hundreds on my social media site) to see that whatever I'm posting in a desperate search for approval. I'd wonder if they'd even get it? What would it change? I guess my outfit? Hardly..Besides, I find the whole idea of it exhausting.
I'll stay away from selfies not just for now, but forever. The internet is forever. Phones get hacked and pictures get stolen. So staying out of that realm for me, is the safest and best thing to do.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Beware of companies who do Ancestry DNA testing.

Recently, I went on to Groupon, to buy a Ancestry DNA kit. The only company at the time on the site was Ancestry by DNA, formally known as Connect my DNA, located in Fairfield Ohio. Both companies use, GeneSys Biotech testing site, which led me to believe it was one in the same. I bought the coupon, and ordered my test. It came in a timely manner and I was excited to use the test and send it back. I wasn't doing this because I don't know my ancestral history, I was doing it for the fun of it. I had bought my granddaughter a DNA test kit from another more reputable company. It was just something fun to do. I knew what mine was coming back as, but still there was a bit of curiosity and excitement. The only line in my family that is a true mystery, is my grandmother's father. She was born on the Boise Forte Chippewa Reservation. Her mother was full, we have records of land grants etc, from her mother. Her father, we believed was a mixed-blood Chippewa. He had to be Chippewa because my grandmother was enrolled with the tribe on Boise Forte, her mother was from White Earth. The only way my grandmother's enrollment could be with Boise Forte, is if her father was Chippewa. If he was non-native, then her enrollment would have been on White Earth. So, I was in searching for my mysterious Great-Grandfather through my DNA.
What I got back was shocking, ridiculous and even laughable.
The test showed 83% European. No breakdown, just European. That's pretty close to true. Then it went on to say I was 13% Sub-Saharan African, that was a shocker and only 4% Native American. My shock came from the Sub-Saharan African. If I'm 13% African, then one of my parents would have to be 26% and a grandparent would have to be 52%. I'm not adopted, I know my parents. I grew up around my grandparents. My mother was full British. We have documents, bibles, census pictures, from her family. No African. My father is1/2 Chippewa, and 1/4 Irish and 1/4 German. Again, we have records, pictures, bibles, papers from the reservation. The only missing link is my Chippewa Grandmother's father. If he was African, which is not completely out of the realm of things, he'd be mixed blood Chippewa. Which wouldn't make my Grandmother 52% African. It might make her 25% at best. After all, her mother was full blooded, no doubt about it Chippewa.
I appealed the findings, explaining how this wasn't possible. And that my granddaughter had a DNA test done, and no African. The explanation I got back was so ridiculous, I actually laughed out loud. They gave some convoluted backwards reasoning about "Spectrum of linage". I fired back saying, that's ridiculous, either they mixed up my DNA with someone else, or they do substandard testing.  I demanded my money back.
You'd think that if I was African, I'd know it, considering it was 13%. There is no whispers of any African's hidden away in my ancestry. My family is well rotted in Northern Minnesota as one of the first settler families in the territory. Then there is that Chippewa. If I was African, I'd want to know. I'd want to find that person. Find out who they were and why they were hidden from us. I'd honor their relationship to me. So this isn't about being African or not, its about the testing process and how this company in particular could send someone who isn't aware of their ancestry searching in the wrong direction, and possibly never discovering where they came from. 
The company has now stopped communicating with me. I've reported them to the Better Business Bureau. As it turned out I wasn't the first. I found them on YELP, with over 50 bad reviews. I also found a report online when the company was going under the name Connect My DNA claiming they were a scam, that I can believe. Ancestry By DNA is a scam.
I'm currently composing a letter to the GeneSys Biotech Board of Directors, which Ancestry By DNA uses their labs for testing. This companies advertises their testing as "Where the Truth Begins." They do a lot of paternity testing, Immigration testing and Native American enrollment testing. I haven't been able to discover who actually owns Ancestry By DNA, if its GeneSys or they just contract them for testing. Whichever it is, Ancestry By DNA is making them look bad. The quality of their testing is substandard. Which makes me question GeneSys standards.
The moral of this story is, really review, study and Google the company you're  going to use for any Ancestral DNA testing. There are a lot of scam artist out there and Ancestry By DNA is one of them.             

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Indian Rice, Veggies and Coconut

2 Coriander Seeds
5 Cloves
1 Bay leaf
½ Stick of Cinnamon

Soak rice and ingredients for 20 mins in water. After 20 mins cook rice as usual.

Can use a combination of veggies.  Whatever amount needed. If it is a large crowd increase ingredients.
Brown in oil
½ tsp of Cumin seeds
½ tsp of Black Mustard seeds (this is popular in Indian cooking. Can be replaced with yellow mustard seeds.)
After a few minutes add:
¼ Red Onion, (more if desired)
1tlb of grated fresh Ginger
3 chopped Garlic cloves
½ cup of shredded Coconut
½ tsp of Garam Masala Spice (It can be found in any spice section of most grocery stores.)
Don’t brown for too long, ingredients can become bitter, just a few minutes, then add a variety of veggies, such as broccoli, peas, grated carrots. Stir together, for a few minutes until slightly tender. Sprinkle with a handful of Cashews, and then serve over the rice.

It takes about a ½ hr total for the dish. It’s very tasty and aromatic.

A side note, if desired, brown with ingredients one small red pepper. Then remove before serving. It adds a bit of bite to the dish. 

I don't have a picture of this dish. It's very colorful and fun. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A old hippies guide to a all natural, very cheap moisturizing facial mask

I swim, bike and hike in the summer time. The sun, the sweat, and the chlorine are hard on my skin. It dries it out quickly. This is my favorite remedy during the long hot summer. It helps moisturize and for the baby boomers, it helps to smooth out the pigment of the skin. We do struggle with those pesky poorly named, age spots aka sun damage.
The best thing about this moisturizing mask, it's extremely cheap to make, because it takes only two ingredients that are in most refrigerators and cupboards. It will take all of five minutes to put together, and another thirty to really work.

The ingredients:

1 1/2 tbsp of plan yogurt. (Make sure it's plan all natural yogurt. No added sugars, dyes or preservatives. No need to smear fruit on your face. Plan yogurt works just fine.) I like Greek yogurt for the best results.

1/2 tbsp of honey. I prefer all natural local honey. The purer, the better. Like anything, if honey is over processed, it loses a lot of it natural healing properties.

What to do:

Blend the two ingredients together well, until smooth. It should turn a nice beige color. Then with your finger tips work the mixture into clean skin for at least 3 minutes. Then go and watch T.V or something for at least 15 mins. At the end of the 15 mins. if your skin is dry, the yogurt will have all but disappeared into your skin. Skin is like one giant sponge. It absorbs everything, good and bad. There will be a bit of sticky film once it's absorbed. Repeat again, working the yogurt and honey into your skin, go do something for 15 mins. If your a writer, go edit a paragraph. Once again the yogurt will have disappeared. If you like, repeat the process over again, or until all the mixture is used up. Then rinse thoroughly with warm water. Pat your face dry and apply your favorite moisturizer.  You will notice a immediate improvement in the feel and look of your skin. And it can be used often as you like, it doesn't clog up pores. I use it everyday that I swim, which is at least 4 times a week.

If your traveling to writers conferences, such as RWA, this is something you can make in a hotel room. Buy a smaller container of yogurt, pick up few packets of honey for tea, and put it in the hotel room frig. You'll have it there the whole time, to help repair you skin after partying, drinking, and eating way too much of a good thing, called chocolate.  

I like to do this in the evening for the best results. Your skin will feel so smooth, soft and if it gets on your lips, it taste good! This is something I did in my hippie years when I didn't have any money to buy skincare products. I created them. This probably cost less then .25 cents per mask. Can't get any cheaper then that.. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Leaving RWA and other crap, as I try not to whine about my issues

I haven't blogged since January. It's been over eight months of silence. In that six months, I made some major changes in my writing life. I took a long over due break from writing anything. With that I decided to leave RWA.
Let me say this much, I have a lot of appreciation for RWA. They taught me how to write a novel, then sell it. When I first joined the group 19yrs ago, one had to have a agent. I do mean you had to have one, or the book didn't sell. Self-publishing or as it's called today, Independent publishing, was known as Vanity press. If an author, did a vanity press, well, that meant you weren't good enough to sell to a publishing house. And you had to pay to get the book published. It didn't come cheap. No Amazon, no B&N, no online tablets or Kindles, nothing. An author had to have a agent to find any success. Then you were lucky to see your book last longer then 40 days on the shelf. That is still true today, in brick and mortar stores. 
At RWA conferences, I got requests from agents/editors for fulls, for partials, for the usual first three chapters. Nothing ever came from any of it. Now much older, a bit wiser, I know I was just fooling myself. It wasn't my writing, or storytelling, it was the fact, I didn't write or read romance..Yes, I joined a organization, that promoted romance, a genre, I don't write, or rarely read. I do mean rarely. It has to be one hell of a good book, for me to read it from front to back. Those, at least for me are, rare. Rare as Bigfoot walking into campsite, waving a sparkler, singing the Star Spangled Banner.
At RWA conferences, I felt like a square peg, trying to fit into a round hole. All the promotional covers of bestselling authors, were romances, I had no idea were out there. I recognized some names, especially those who belonged to local RWA chapters, and of course the real biggies, like Nora Roberts. I'd sit at lunches, with authors at the table that to everyone around me was well known, accept me. I'd smile, pretend I was familiar with there works, mostly I'd just sit quietly, feeling like on some level of the universe, I should know this person. Like during a macroscopic quantum phenomenon. Yep, pretty much, it was as tiny as an atom, and if I opened my big mouth to ask, "Who are you again?" It would have behaved like one.
I usually returned home from the conferences, with renewed writing juices, but exhausted. The energy in the air was overwhelming. So many hopeful people, so much desperation. It left me 'non compos mentis', a nice Latin term, that meant, I lost my mind. Yep, pretty much. It was lost in some other city, in a crowed hotel elevator full of hopeful writers, who just knew they had the next big Fifty Shades of Gray. A book I couldn't get past the first three pages. When that subject came up, I'd crawl back into my atom infested world, and smile.
I also came home with boxes of free books. Some signed by authors, that were favorites of friends and family. Once I sorted through everything, passed out the signed ones, the rest went to the used bookstore for a credit.
Overall, I've met a lot of nice people. I also have lost more friends then I kept. I belonged to three different blogs, that were connected to RWA. All three imploded, leaving friendships frayed and lost.
I went as far as to form a local RWA chapter. It lasted eight years. Meetings and membership fell off, and it was time to close our doors. The board fell into a battle over what to do with money left in the chapter account. When money enters into friendships, everything goes south. This was no acceptation. Hurt feelings, friendships in the tank, we closed the chapter down and we all went our separate ways. That was eight months ago.
In July when my membership to RWA was due, I just filed it away in a deep file of the forgotten. It wasn't a easy decision, but once I made it, I was okay. When this years conference came along, all the pictures were posted on FB. Looking at them, I knew I had made the right choice. All the pictures of friendships and meeting the big names in publishing smiled back at me. RWA has a wonderful networking system through their online classes, conferences, chapter meetings and loops. I just never took advantage of it, because I didn't write romance, and didn't want too. I could see my old square corners popping up again in all the party descriptions and happy group pictures.
I may write another book someday, never say never. But I know my days in the world of romance writers is indeed behind me.
RWA was mostly a good experience, with some let downs and disappointments. My time there is over, now to move on to the next chapter.

Friday, January 24, 2014

What's on my Mind? The lastest with Justin Bieber

Hearing all the crap in the news about Justin Bieber doesn’t surprise me. Everyone is scratching their heads wondering, “what happened?” Well, nothing happened, this is who he is and has been ever sense fame found him on YouTube. His family and the public just didn’t see it. Maybe his family did, but was so in awe of their little darling, they didn’t rein in his punk ass antics. After all they also went from poor to rich overnight on his musical talents.
What happened is Bieber turned eighteen, wasn’t under the thumb of mom, dad, managers and his ‘people.’ I’m pretty sure this young man was chomping at the bit just waiting for that magical age of adulthood, so he didn’t have to play the sweet-teeny-bopper heart throb anymore, and be all nice to the camera, as the boy next door. Oh, I bet his neighbors in Calabasas have plenty to say about the ‘boy next door.’ Deep down in Bieber’s little soul, he felt he was really was some little Canadian thug and damn it anyways, was going to show the world and all those haters, what a tough guy he really was. He’d make sure he was taken seriously. How to achieve that? Behave like a little punk. He has become proficient at stupid, childish, out of control, and attention getting self-destructive behavior. If you want the world to take you seriously, this isn’t the way to do it, cowboy. All he is a wanna-be a thug, in pants slung down below his ass, (good thing he didn’t have to run from the cops, now that would have been a sight) with a million dollars in his pocket. He can buy friends, which apparently he does, quit often, along with cars that cost more than my house.  
The next question, ‘Where are his people?’ Oh, they’re there, collecting their paychecks, and I’m fairly certain, kissing his skinny ass. Because to suddenly act on Mr. Bieber’s most recent run in with the law, which landed him in a delightfully brightly colored orange jumpsuit in front of unimpressed judge, for a DUI, is a PR nightmare. How to handle it? Tell this nineteen year old millionaire who controls the purse strings and one’s job, he really needs to straighten up and fly right. Well I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation. If that happens, I’m sure his PR people are packing up their desk, computers and pictures of their kids from Biebers life and joining the ranks of the unemployed. It’s tough working for a teenager.
Apparently, Mr. Bieber isn’t getting it and no one is helping him get it. He’s goal to create a bad boy image, isn’t working. I’m sure he LOVED being searched for weapons in his car. That would cement the thug image. He really just is creating the image of a millionaire spoiled brat young man, with way too much time and money on his hands. Mama needs to come down from the cold north of Canada, slap him upside the head, and drag his ass home. In law enforcement, we’d called it, the come to Jesus lecture. He really needs that, along with a good dose of a reality check. Mama stated once she never comments on her famous son’s behavior, because he’d never talk to her again. Well, maybe she should, and take that chance. Adult or not, he’s still a teenager, who needs his parents to tell him what’s up and how it’s going to go down.
I doubt his recent run in with the law, will change anything. He came out of custody, waving at his fans. “They love me, they really love me. I’m a thug.” Although, the rumor is he was crying in custody. I guess being a real thug was a bit scary.
In the past he often ranted about his ‘haters.’ Obviously, he has trouble understanding, not everyone loves him or his music. I’m personally not a fan of his music, nor were my grandkids. I don’t think it’s good or bad, it’s just not what my grandkids listened too.
Somewhere along the way something happened to this young man. He’s slowly slipping into that, I was once a child star of great fame and talent, to now I’m an adult, and not so cute anymore syndrome. So what can I do to get attention? He needs to take a look at Lindsay Lohan, Brittany Spears, both of which when they turned eighteen also went off the deep end. They also had people, who actually fought to help them and ended up on unemployment because of it.
Bieber needs to remember he isn’t entitled, special or a God. He’s just a rich kid who throws $7,500 at a very happy stripper. If he wants to change his image, (not sure he’s willing to give up the thug shit), he could donate that amount of money and more to feed the homeless. He has money that could do a lot of good. He could do a lot of good for a lot of kids and homeless families. Occasionally, he’ll pop up at a children’s hospital or something, but that is very far and few between moments.
If the rumors are true and Bieber was crying his eyes out when he was arrested, after mouthing off to a cop, it could signal, this kid needs help. He’s been left to his own devices and it hasn’t turned out too well. He’s mixing alcohol and prescription drugs and who knows what else. If he doesn’t get help, he could end up dead. That young man needs to look at the history of the rich and famous, see how many with his behavioral habits are still living the high life or even still alive.