But I had to drive to Riverside County today, which took me two hours there and two hours back. The first half of the drive up, I reveled in the silence. The second hour, I listened to NPR. The entire two hours back, I listened to various talk radio programs because gosh, there's a lot happening in the world.
Did you guys know that we elected a new President?!
I should probably read the paper. But that might cut in to my shower time and cleanliness trumps knowledge. So yes, I may be totally ignorant ... but I smell nice. And now that I've got a lot on my mind, I feel compelled to unload it here.
TOPIC IGas prices in San Diego County are approximately 20 cents higher per gallon than Riverside County. I work in the oil industry and I have absolutely no idea why that is, but it really stinks.
Especially since I live in San Diego County and filled up before I drove north. And then forgot to fill up before I drove back home. So at no point did I benefit from a reduced sales price, except to see the gas station sign and process the gas station sign and realize after I was out of the area that I didn't capitalize on the gas station savings. Neither coming nor going.
Approximately 1,500 Marines deployed to Afghanistan today from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The families were all hoping that the deployment would come after Christmas but when they're called up, they're called up.
I listened with a lump in my throat as mothers and fathers said good bye to their young sons, many of whom were being deployed for the first time. Everyone was confident that the soldiers would return home safely because they've received excellent training to prepare them for their missions.
First, It is my prayer that each and every one of those
Second, I thank from the very bottom of my heart, each and every one of the soldiers (and their families) that are committed to serving our country. Whether you believe in the mission or not is irrelevant. These people have been called and for that, I am humbled and honored and extremely grateful for their servitude, sacrifice and bravery.
Do you know someone in the military?
Please thank them for me.
Eight hundred thousand (800,000) H1N1 vaccinations were recalled today because the potency is not strong enough. The vaccinations were intended for children between the ages of six months and three years of age.
My pediatrician was out of the vaccination when we took the children in for their recent appointment and I keep forgetting to reschedule and then I wonder if I should.
Have you had your child vaccinated yet?
Why or why not?
Tiger. Tiger. Tiger.
What the heck?
I know that you have a lot of smart people giving you advice, so I'm sure you don't need it from me. But I'll give it anyway.
First, If you wanted to live a bachelor life - you had that option. But once you married a woman and made a commitment to her that you would be a devoted husband and father to the two innocent children that you brought in to the world, everything changed. Of course you probably realize all of this by now. (I damn well hope!)
Second, Excellent move on taking an extended leave from golf. While I thought for several days that the reason your wife had smashed out both windows on your SUV was because she was desperately trying to save your life (as opposed to TAKE IT), once the truth emerged about why you were fleeing the scene - the very first thought to cross my mind was that you needed to take an indefinite leave of absence and focus solely on your family.
Third, I don't know if you've really focused on your family as much as you've hidden from the tabloids on your yacht? While I understand and respect that you want your privacy, you are a huge public image and the train that is your life has derailed and burst in to flames, under the microscope that is the World Eye. It's time to come out from hiding and show your face. Even if it is scratched and still not fully healed. Fortunately for you, by the very nature of humanity, we love to forgive. Not necessarily forget, but definitely forgive. Especially if we can see that you are genuinely dedicated to making something right from a terrible wrong.
Fourth and most importantly, If you haven't done it already, you need to throw yourself at your wife's feet and BEG for her forgiveness. Apologize as if your very life and soul depend upon it, because they kinda do. And then, going forth, you need to be the absolute best husband and father that you can be. If you don't know how, there are books and classes and therapists and churches that are there specifically to help you succeed. Ultimately, you need to turn the same level of attention to your family that you have turned to your golf game and then some. This is not the time to bogey or play the game par. This is the time to birdie and eagle on the marital front.
Tiger, I'm hopeful everyone will give you a mulligan. It won't be easy. I suspect it might be a lot like shooting a hole in one, consistently. But seeing as you're the best golfer in the world, I have faith. Now Just Do It.
What say ye, in the public court of opinion?
Can Tiger recover?
Will his wife forgive him?
Would you forgive him?
TOPIC VIn California, free mammograms and cervical cancer screenings are currently available to low income and uninsured women through a federally and state funded program called "Every Woman Counts." But as of January 2010, the only women that will qualify for free mammograms through this federally and state funded program must be 50 years old.
According to the story, African American and Hispanic women who will not be eligible for free mammograms, because of these changes, will be at a much higher risk of dying from breast cancer since it will not be detected in time for early intervention.
Have you heard about the federal task force that met - discussed - and ultimately recommended that women can postpone having a routine mammogram until age 50? While it was once recommended that those screenings for women begin in their 40s and continue every year, they've now pushed back the minimum age to 50, and reduced the recommended screening to once every two years.
And then there was something about breast self-exams do no good and women shouldn't be taught to do them. Perhaps women should just ignore any lumps and bumps that feel suspicious?
See, I just did the 3-Day walk and was shocked that the vast majority of the breast cancer survivors I saw were younger than me. Many of these women have absolutely no family history of the disease. Much like the beautiful 39-year old wife of a man that I work with, who passed this past October. Nor do I recall there being a family history with my dear friend Julie who died because of breast cancer when she was in her 30's.
The goal to survival is early detection. And while the average age of a person diagnosed with breast cancer is 55 to 65 years of age, there are far too many occurrences with women who are significantly younger.
So I'm thinking of writing to one of our Congressmen. And Governor. And maybe running for political office because what the heck is going on with this world?!
What are your thoughts on the matter?
Our date night on Sunday was awesome.
Although it went something like this: The babysitter arrived at 5:00 PM on the dot, because my husband gave her the wrong time in which to arrive. Charlie was out with the children at our community center tree lighting ceremony. I was home cleaning the house because we had someone coming over (!!) and I couldn't stand the thought that our sinks were dirty.
Charlie and the children arrived home at 5:20 PM. Once they were back, my husband rushed in to take a shower and the children showed the babysitter every single toy and clothing item that they own, hence demolishing the space I had just painstakingly cleaned. The two large pizzas that I ordered an hour earlier arrive.
Ten minutes later, Charlie is done and I run in to get dressed. Five minutes later I emerge and we make our somewhat discreet exit, so as to not set off The Henry.
We arrive at the neighborhood Christmas party two minutes later and I take what will be my place at the kitchen counter for the next two hours. My feet move no more than 16 inches as I talk to one person after the next. Three small cups of wine are consumed and yet none of the delicious looking appetizers. Because all of the food was at a table over five feet away. Refer to second sentence within this paragraph.
We lost all track of time as we were talking with one of our neighbor's who is a Marine and had been shot in the abdomen while in Iraq. We leave the party at 7:40 and RUN home because our babysitter's mother was due to pick her up at 7:30. (She is parked at the curb and looks at us oddly as we RUN up to the house.) We arrive home - the kids are great and begin crying because they don't want us back yet. We pay the sitter $30.00 for the night, which works out to approximately $10 per hour that she was with us ... or approximately $15.00 per hour for the time that she was alone with the children.
I could write a whole blog post about why I think it is a travesty that babysitters expect as much money as they do these days. OF COURSE, I believe that my children's safety is of paramount importance, but come on. Can you really tell me that if I pay a sitter $25.00 an hour that my children are going to be any more safe than if I pay someone who is fully capable of escorting them out of the house in the event of a fire - or calling 911 in the event of an emergency - for $5.00 an hour?
Sure, I want sitters to come back. Sure, I want to pay them fairly. But $5.00 per hour per child?! This is babysitting. Not Montessori.
When *I* was a teenager, I picked two children up from school three days a week and drove them home. While the children did their homework, which I supervised, I cleaned the kitchen and got their dinner ready. For all of my efforts, I was paid $20.00 a week. And you know, sure it would have been nice to make a whole lot more money, but I was 17 and how much money did I really need? Most of all, I felt good knowing that I was helping a single mother who would have been in a real pinch if not for me providing "bargain" babysitting services.
Did you know that the divorce rate is 50% and the average couple spends 37 minutes a week talking? Wouldn't it be nice if more parents took time for themselves and went out on a date every so often? Wouldn't it be great if people could AFFORD to go out on date nights, even if that meant taking two hours to sit in the car in the driveway and chat? It just seems that with the current state of the economy, it's absolutely ludicrous that there are people asking - and receiving - $20.00 or more per hour to BABYSIT.
The next time that we hire a sitter, I'm going to offer no more than $12.00 an hour if the children are awake and $5.00 per hour if they are sleeping, with a minimum of $20.00 for the event. If they like it great. If they don't, I won't go out.
Because not only am I cheap - I am perfectly content to stay at home.
One day last week, someone with the tag name of "keepinchinup" left a comment on my blog about how down they are feeling. As it happens, their comment caught not only my eye - but also my mom's eye.
Mom sent me an e-mail the next day asking for keepinchinup's e-mail address because mom wanted to reach out to them. When I told my mother that there was no contact information for this person but I would be willing to write a post to them, Mom wanted me to pass along the following:
I have this feeling that I would like to reach out to that person and try to lift them up. They are telling us something and I hate to ignore it. I have been in their position and it is not fun. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel and I would love to encourage them to go for a walk and breath and take a yoga class and go help someone that is worse off then they are. I want them to know that I care.So, keepinchinup - if you are reading this - I want you to know that both my mom and I are thinking of you. Whoever you are. Wherever you are.
You are in our thoughts and we truly hope that you are able to find some of the magic this Christmas.