Friday, December 31, 2004

you can make a difference

I, like many I'm sure, haven't been able to turn the channel from CNN the last few days. The absolute devastation in Asia is more than I can comprehend, and I sit here with tears running down my face, feeling helpless. As more and more reporters and cameras enter the area, I've started hearing one refrain over and over - "Where is the help? Why is no one here? Where is the United States?". Many Americans are infuriated by comments like this. We are, it seems, damned if we do, and damned if we don't. We step in anywhere to do anything, and we are big bullies, trying to tell everyone what to do. If we seem to be a second too slow, suddenly we are selfish, stingy, unwilling to share.

As an American living in foreign countries, I've had numerous chances to discuss this phenomenon with others, and this is the conclusion I've reached. As the wealthiest country, we have become the "parent", if you will, of the developing world. Early on in a country's development, they are eager for our friendship and assistance, much like a young child. However, like teenagers, most of the developing countries have now made other friends, and have their own ideas about how to run their lives (or governments). They don't appreciate as much when we give our advice, and often turn their backs on us. However, when they have trouble, they run to our arms, desperate for our comfort and assistance.

What America should do is what any good parent should do: remain firm in OUR values, teach by example, yet allow the younger countries to grow into their own, and recognize that their values may turn out to be different from ours. At the same time, we must understand this is one world, one family, and know that when one of us hurts, it hurts us all. It is our responsibility, as the parent, to be there when they need us. - Kelly in Peru

PS - And one other thing - Please, everyone, everywhere - give what you can... If not to help the people of Asia, then help the Sudanese in Darfur, help migrant farmworkers in Florida who lost all in the hurricanes, or the people of Bangladesh, Haiti, the Dominican Republic. If you think that your little bit doesn't make a difference, know this: according to Oxfam, a measley $20 USD can feed a family in Ethiopia for 6 MONTHS! Don't sit in front of your tv, shaking your head at the troubles of the world - Do something! And if you can't do something, give something.

Marie's note: This came from a mailing list I am on and I thought it was interesting enough to share. There are hundreds of organizations that are accepting donations to help the people in the affected areas. Countries delivering millions to billions of dollars in aid packages. Just be careful of the charitiable organization you give your money to... make sure that they are a good one.

Follow the links for more information and places that are helping out in Asia.

Action Against Hunger

ADRA International

Air Serv International

American Friends Service Committee

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

American Jewish World Service

American Red Cross


Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team

Baptist World Aid


Catholic Relief Services

Doctors Without Borders

Habitat For Humanity International

Oxfam America

Project Concern International

Project Hope

Save The Children

United Way International

World Hope International

World Relief

This is of course just a partial listing. If any of the links don't work, tell me and I'll figure out where I made the error at in coding them onto the page.

Wishing you all a safe New Year's...

Until next time~

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

good morning

Gas prices fell for the 8th week in a row. At the Fuel Zone up the street, it's $1. 65 which is much less than it was a few months ago. I was surprised that they didn't jack the price up for the holidays. Because they usually do. :-/

Watching the morning news. Waiting for Katie & Matt to come on so I can find out what is going on around the country/world. I imagine that the tsunami will be on the top of their list of things to talk about. That's a really sad situation. I've been reading about it online. I can't even begin to imagine so I won't even go there.

It's the end of the year and they are showing the year end rundowns about stuff. The top 10 news stories, videos, etc. etc. I read somewhere that one of the top stories of the year was the U.S. election. I'm guessing this was the in the top 10 stories for the United States but I'm not clear on that. Lance Armstrong is the AP athlete of the year and President Bush is Time's man of the year. Wasn't he the man of the year last year or the year before? I thought he shared the title with someone else in the recent past or is that his father I am thinking of?

Elizabeth got up at 3 am this morning. She come walking into our room crying and calling us both. We put her bed with us but she was restless and feverish so I got up to get her something to drink and some medicine and when I came back, Chris was up getting dressed to go hunting today. Elizabeth and I ended up watching Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets. I love that movie. I don't sit and watch complete movies very often but I did this morning and I enjoyed it. The other night we watched Never Die Alone with DMX. Watched it twice. That's a pretty good movie. Got the movie The Alamo too which we both thought sucked. Chris was a little pissed because they put the best parts of the movie in the trailers and he said if he had known it was that bad, he'd have picked out something different for us. Apparently he got those so that I would watch with him and when he put in The Alamo, after about half an hour, I got up and went to put clothes away.

He got home at a decent hour last night. We had supper and played with the kids. Elizabeth sent much of the day yesterday by herself. By her own choice. She kept going into her room and laying down. We'd go talk to her and she'd talk to us and then tell us to "go away". She'd come out, whenever she got bored being by herself I guess. Right now, she's laying on the couch watching The Today Show.

There is still a lot of snow around. By tomorrow, I think it will be gone because the temperature is supposed to get into the 50's and then 60's the rest of the week, until Saturday at least. That's as far as the forecast went.

I am so tired. When she takes a nap today, I'm going to have to take one as well. For now though, I'm going to go do something productive.

Until next time~


Monday, December 20, 2004

silence is golden

The Aleve company should pay me for taking their product. I go through enough of it. The kids are going stir crazy from being cooped up in the house. It's only 25 degrees outside so they can't go out and play. Makes them cranky. Which makes me cranky.

Nick spent some time on the computer playing a game. Got mad when I told him computer time was up. 8- Can't win for losing some days. Although I have to admit that I may have to find the game he was playing. It looked really :$

Put together chili. Still have to make cornbread. I don't know why we have cornbread when we have chili. Chris likes it so I make it even though I'm not sure why. Other than he likes it... ok, I've confused myself now.

To email or not to email... my older sister? I'm thinking maybe. I always have this trouble around the holidays. I want to make contact but resist because my efforts before have been rejected or ridiculed. Bah... so not in a christmas spirit right now.

Tried to finish my emails this morning but I got interrupted by an instant message conversation from, of all places, Egypt. Which was cool at first but now I'm annoyed because the second time I got online, the other person was still there. And decided to strike up another conversation. I love to talk to people online, I really do. I don't get to do it that often because I'm not usually online a whole lot, but I also like to know who exactly I am talking to... male, female.. ya know? And I have no idea in this case. I think girl but I'm not real sure. :-/

The sun is shining so beautifully. It's false It looks like it should be really warm outside but it's not. Very very cold. I went outside in shorts and instantly regretted it. I think if I had stayed out there long enough I would have turned blue... :-o

I wish I could get motivated to actually do something constructive. I have no energy. None whatsoever. Wasn't it enough that I got out of bed today? I didn't think so

I'm worried about Tracy's girlfriend. Chris was telling me how she's been acting and I wonder if she doesn't have PPD. Their baby is a couple of months old and she's doing a lot of the same shit I did when I had it. I told Chris to tell Tracy to make sure she sees the doctor and talks to him. *sigh*

I think I am going to do one room at a time. At least each room will get done and I will have accomplished something no matter how small it may be.

I tried the whole Flylady thing but her constant emails started pissing me off. It would have been ok if it was just the reminders but the overwhelming-ness of the 'testimonials' irritated the crap out of me. I don't want to read about everyone else has made this massive turnaround from their former perfectionist or slobby selves... and now have the time to bake cookies and do this and that... I can manage most of the stuff but those testimonials just drove me over the top.

And speaking of Flylady, my mom could have made this program and made bazillions on it if she had wanted to. Back in the 70's she was doing the whole 15 minutes a time routine and putting her lace up shoes on in the morning. I'm willing to bet that a lot of women were even before the 70's. But this lady is the one who put it all in writing and started sending out the reminders. And those damn testimonials. FYI: The testimonials really grate my nerves. I'm done now. :P

Until next time~


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

this is reality calling...

Leave a message.... ;-)

If I could be serious for a brief moment... *ahem* I'm in such a good mood. But I don't know why. It is 1:40 in the morning. I am still awake. I think I may be going crazy. Not actually crazy crazy... just insomnia sucks big time.

Chris is asleep. He went to bed at *thinks* 9:30. Said he had a headache. I think he was just tired of listening to me laugh... I was hyper. And everything was funny. We made goodie bags for Nick's class for the party on Thursday. 28 of them. Lots of candy. The teacher is going to hate us. I don't care though. I told Chris she should have asked us to send potato chips or paper plates instead of candy.

We went to see his dad tonight. Took the kids over there and they had a blast. Dad was happy to see them. We really should go over there more often. It's just everyone is always so busy. *sigh*

Finished my Christmas shopping on Friday. This is the first time in eight years that I won't be doing the last minute rush for presents. I am so proud of myself. And even prouder that I didn't skip paying any bills to be able to Christmas shop. And very very very times infinity grateful that this year they gave out Christmas bonuses.

Rearranged part of my living room today. And Nick's bedroom. Elizabeth actually went to sleep in her bed tonight. That was nothing if not amazing; since for the past couple of weeks she has refused, hands down, to sleep in her own bed. She usually tries to sneak in with us after she thinks we've gone to sleep. There's a problem or two with that. First, when she tries to be quiet she sounds like a herd of stampeding buffalo running through the house. And second, she climbs in bed with us by attempting to climb over me. Which usually means she plants her knee somewhere in my kidney area. And then she kicks. She's a restless sleeper. I don't get much sleep so I'm cranky the next day and it's just not a win win situation for anyone. But I hate to put her out because she seemed genuinely frightened about sleeping in her bed. Tonight though she didn't give me any trouble. Children should come with instruction books.

Ok well then, with that having been said, I am now going to go away.

Monday, December 6, 2004

something new

The wonderful world of online journaling. A new blog. What am I thinking? Like I don't have enough to keep me occupied already. ;-)

Let's start with the basics: My name is Marie. I am 28 years old. I live in North Carolina. In the middle of nowhere to be exact. I have 2 very wonderful children. Nicholas is almost 10 and my baby is Elizabeth. She's 2. At the moment, she's still sleeping. If she wasn't, this would be full of typos because her favorite place to be is on my lap, standing up, thus making it almost impossible for me to see the computer screen.

I have been married for 8 years. Chris is the love of my life and the bane of my existence. We have our good days and our bad ones and somehow they all balance out. You'll read alot about him if you venture back here again.

I am one class away from a degree. All that degree does though is give me a reason to take more classes. I am majoring in psychology and social work. The further along I get, the less I am sure that I want to go into social work. *sigh*

I have a lot of interests. Meeting new people, online journaling, arts/craftsy type stuff. I am semi-addicted to ebay. I read a lot, and I write short stories which turn into long stories which turn into wall paper for my desk. And incredibly bad poetry.

I have a website which is a work in progress. Feel free to check it out and tell me how to make it look better. It needs help. I need help... lol. I'll eventually figure out what I'm doing with it.

That's all for now. I need coffee to sustain me through this day. So I'm out of here.

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 175

It's been awhile since I have done one of these although my offline gratitude practice remains on point. In no particular order, here ar...