Friday, October 30, 2015

Because It Is Friday

And the day before Halloween.  BOO!

And everyone in mi casa are getting over having wretched colds. Yuck.

Okay, it is serious time here. As a mature woman I understand that there are people who take the Bible word for word. I still think they cherry pick, but let's not get too specific shall we? I am usually pretty okay if while speaking with you I find your views differ than mine, but I do not approve of them if they are akin to sharia law. Allow me to intro you to a hardcore right wing pastor, named Kevin Swanson, who pretty much touts a Christian ideal not dissimilar to some of the intense parts of sharia. Not a big deal  you think? Oh yeah, here are some things he has said:

Kevin Swanson repeated his criticisms of the Girl Scouts, which he previously said to be a "wicked" organization that is "turning young girls into lesbian communists."
Me: The only wicked thing the Girl Scouts has done is made their cookies smaller.

He also stated that Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina were divine punishments of "pro-homosexual cities."
Me: So what is his explanation for the F2 and up tornadoes that routinely whip down the Bible Belt?

Working women hate men and their children and are destroying America.
Me: I see, so single moms and women whose husband's have died and had to go to work have ruined the moral fiber of our Nation? Not the people who rape or commit murder or molest children. Gotcha.

Halloween is a celebration of the victims of Noah's flood.
Me: I got nothing. Well, except that Christianity adopted a lot of Pagan practices, but you need to figure that out for yourself Mr. Swanson.

This shining ray of love and light will be hosting the National Religious Liberties Conference in Des Moines, Iowa next week where he has invited GOP candidates like Mick Huckabee, Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz to speak.
Let's beat the dead horse shall we?
Religion has NO business being mixed with politics. People have different ways that they connect with God, if they even believe, and one way is not the right way or a better way.
I am tired, so tired, of being told I am going to hell because I have gay friends or support education. You Sir want your parishioners uneducated so you can control the masses. I want them educated so they can decide for themselves if Beyonce is a spawn from Satan or just a talented artist who gives a boring interview. Why the fear of an educated parishioner? Scared of them questioning you? Shouldn't that be a good thing?

If you are not an American you need to understand the GOP has a big old hard on for the Founding Fathers. Funny, they only love the quotes or ideas that align with their ideals. Yeah I know, all political parties do this, but the GOP, they always forget an important one like separation of church and state, which is IN OUR CONSTITUTION. Nor do they seem to recall that most of those folks that fled to the Americas because they had enough of their own country's bullshit and decided, hey, maybe religion infringes too much on our personal lives or we want to do our own thing.
Here are some quotes from the Founding Fathers that someone posted in the comments on article about Mr. Kevin Swanson on Gawker. I agree with each one.

“This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.”
-John Adams
“In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty.”
-Thomas Jefferson
“Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history”
-James Madison

Granted, if you believe in God, have faith of any kind and practice in an organized way, good on you. I do my own thing and on my own terms. That is the beauty of being allowed to believe or not believe. The one thing that should be a constant is to show mercy and love as Jesus did, but that is so far gone from most hardcore belief systems that it is frightening. We can certainly debate about death penalties, homosexuality, abortions, divorce, why forgiveness should happen and is so damn hard, etc, but at it's most simplest, getting your hate on is not religion. That is more like someone else my dears.

Peace and enjoy your weekend.

Monday, October 26, 2015

When You Grow Out of Things

Not your actual clothes, but the style, books, music movies and other facets of culture.

Some years back a friend of mine decided she wanted to re-read some classics. She had always been a fan of The Great Gatsby. From what I recall, she was not as much of a fan when she returned to all things Nick Carraway. There is something disappointing about something you once loved falling short on the second go around. For me it was "Catcher in the Rye". There seemed something trite about Holden Caufield when I was no longer a rebellious teen/young adult. I am not saying Salinger sucks before someone gets all upset, I am just saying, that book was good for me at a prior point in my life, but not now.

Sex and The City. I hear shrieks across the Universe. On a whim I decided to rewatch it and while I am almost done with Season 2, I have to say, Carrie Bradshaw is one of the more annoying, least empowering women characters ever presented. This is nothing about SJP personally, just the character she played. I found myself rolling my eyes about her ridiculous shoe habit, her smoking habit, her whining and her horrible outfits. I never liked how she dressed and could not for the life of me understand everyone drooling over Patricia Field's "fashion eye". For real??? Explain this mess to me, please? Howdy to my old boss Mr. Bon Jovi.

Ugly outfits aside, each woman on the show had positives and negatives, but Carrie pushed me over the edge numerous times throughout. Also the idiot writers using Suffern, NY for Aidan's cabin and calling it country. Suffern happens to be right over the border from New Jersey and trust me, is not as country as say the Catskills area or Adirondacks. This was just sheer laziness. Yet I continue to watch.

Embracing the 80's look. The latest fashion crazy is wearing leggings and having fringe on everything. Someone get me the aqua net! Yes, I was a tween/teen in the 80's so it is a been there done that and to be honest some of it was ugly the first time. Leggings are not horrible, but how people wear them are.

I can no longer listen to Led Zeppelin really. I blame the old 92.3 in NYC for that. They played them every hour sometimes every half hour. I liked their music, but it has been a long time since I went out of my way to purposely listen to one of their songs. There are other bands I just downright hate, but that's another post.

A list of things that I have semi grown out of recently.

NYC. Have lived next to NYC all my life. It is now this uber expensive place in almost every area. I miss the grittiness, the sex shops, the dirty low down clubs, but I understand change happens. I am all for a better, safer NYC, but with that has come housing price points the average human being will not make as a salary in their lifetime. We still visit, but each time I wait for the bridge to cost close to twenty bucks soon. Damn shame.

Frugal living/Simple Living Blogs. This is an arena where you need to find the ones that suit you best. In my case, I messed that up for awhile and was all over the place. Some blogs are extreme frugal living while others have ti down to a nice science. Parts of living a frugal/simple lifestyle work for me, but not every part. In our house we like to eat out and I like to have my eyebrows done. Does it put us in the poor house? No, so I will not feel guilty when I don't want to cook and prefer to order in sushi.
As an aside, I feel bad for so many readers of these blogs who comment. Some are in real tough economic times and advising someone to just grow tomatoes is not going to pay their electric bill, especially if they already do grow their own food. This is why I pared down my frugal living blogs to those that offer sound advice and I am glad I did. I highly recommend Assortment, Frugal Queen or Down to Earth in case you need someplace to start.

Food Blogs. This is also an area I had to pare down. There are so many good ones out there, but what's the point of me keeping it just for the pretty pictures? Allow me to ask though, what is with the incessant amount of ingredients for simple things like cookies? Scones? Chocolate chip loaves? I love the exotic as much as the next person, but sometimes you just want something you can use. I am happy to browse, but am no longer bookmarking in that category.

So there's my list. Nothing earth shattering or exciting, but it is funny how one has to literally decide what to do with their time on the internet. I even forget I have a Pinterest account sometimes. LOL Good times.

Have a wonderful evening.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015


When anyone has a child you accumulate clothing like a squirrel accumulates food for the winter. Okay, stupid analogy, but the truth is our son has been fortunate enough to get a lot of nice clothes during his three and a half years here on earth. While we have donated quite a bit and passed stuff onto friends, I admit I wanted to get a little bank back for some of the things we have purchased. A friend had recommended consignment, but around our area if it is not high end labels like Jacadi or even Janie and Jack, they will not even look at the items. One place even had Ferragamo shoes for a four year old. No, I am not kidding. So for those of us who chose to dress our kids in Gymboree and not Ralph Lauren cashmere, there is a place called Once Upon A Child. You bring in bags or bins and they go through and see what they will purchase and give you cash on the spot. The two times I used the location in Fairfield, NJ I got $13 and $25 bucks. Not much to write home about, but it is something.
A new location opened about twenty minutes away so I decided to give it a shot. The reviews I read on Google and Yelp were not all that great, but I figured I would take a chance. Now, each place is owned individually so while I am sure there are standards to what they will take, I was hopeful the booster seat, unopened swim floaty and barely worn winter boots would be a hit. My bin and small bag which had lots of nice clothes was probably worth close to $250.
I made $3.70.
They took one pair of Stride Rite shoes and one pair of Carter's pajamas.
The look on my face when the young woman told me there was a stain on the booster seat and that they could not take infant stuff unless it was an actual outfit was incredulous. When she asked if I wanted to "cash out", like it was some big ass win, or take the items back I took the $3.70. I wasted more in gas getting there then they paid me. That was a serious waste of my time. Best part is, I watched them hand other people back full bins of decent stuff and one guy brought in a beautiful hand painted horse that they turned away because Target sells one unpainted for $65 and his was custom. What the what??
Prior to this I did walk around and to be honest, a lot of the items were not in great condition. When I checked clothes for my son, there were pilled/faded sweatshirts and t-shirts. Um, what?
Needless to say, I will make more money donating the clothing and getting a tax write off. Hell, I would get more at a yard sale. As someone pointed out in their review, this place is making a serious profit, which yes is the point of business, but low balling items that have never been worn or making up fake problems with stuff is another.
So if anyone wants a Fisher Price booster seat, that has a stain, let me know :)


Monday, October 19, 2015

Yes, Hello, It's Me

My goodness. I had no idea how long I had been gone from the air waves. Seems September was the last time I had something to say and since then, well, I sort of felt I had nothing. Not that it needed to be all fabulously curated and Pinteresty bullshit, but I wanted to have something of interest. Instead of the usual, cleaning up the gardening still trying to write line.

Anyway, down to business.

Our son is a bug fiend. Not just a normal, "Hey look, a spider" type of kid. He wants to cuddle with a praying mantis and hold black widows. He digs watching Monster Bug Wars and any entomology videos on You Tube. Somehow this year I found that Cornell University does an annual Insectapalooza. Since we have both been to Ithaca before, my hubby attended Cornell, Go Big Red!, we knew we had to take our son to this show. We began to look into places to stay.

Now, we have our handicapped pup so that presents a problem at times when it comes to hotels. Some let you bring your pet, but you cannot leave them unattended in the room. Um, yeah, no. We have come to the conclusion that it is much better for us to rent a house at a decent rate, but Ithaca is not cheap. Luckily I kept looking and found a very cool, underground earth home called Fieldstone Suites available to rent.

Yes, our son found a grasshopper. Cool house though right?

They allowed the dog and they are on 39 acres. Perfect. It is one giant room, but it worked out really well for us. I recommend looking into renting there if you head up to Ithaca. There was a fire pit and grill for use , but since it flurried a few times, yes Upstate NY beats to its own drum, we just ran around the yard throwing a ball and getting our pup and child some serious exercise.

The day of the show our son was very jazzed as only a three year old can be. The event was held at  Comstock Hall and it was pretty choice. Our son got to meet Dr Linda Rayor who started Insectapalooza AND is one the of entomologists on Monster Bug Wars. She took a picture with us which was very kind, but the big plus was she allowed him to help feed the Huntsman Spiders. Yeah, this is our child's Disney World people.

One interesting thing for me was there was a film crew there from Tasmania. They are filming a documentary called Sixteen Legs, about an incredible cave spider that was recently discovered in Tasmania. They had been in the States for three weeks and were going to museums and universities getting people's thoughts, reactions and opinions on spiders. We actually got picked to be interviewed. My son lasted all of three seconds and then it was all me. Yes. I was interviewed and it was funny. I have no idea if they will use any of my footage, but it was a cool experience and the three man team were really nice people.  I chatted for a bit with the biologist/zoologist/all around nice man, Dr Niall Doran, who is involved with this project and he is director of Bookend Trust, a not for profit education initiative that works to inspire young people to make their mark in the world by focusing on a environmental career out of Tasmania. While this is fascinating and fun, allow me to mention the most amazing part. One of their patrons is Neil Gaiman. That's right. The one author I would love to meet and probably pass out when I do, is involved in this project. Thank you Universe. For what I am not sure, but I am getting closer to maybe one day actually shake that man's hand. LOL

We spent two hours at the show, which was divided up among three floors of classrooms. They did a great job and we are  hoping to make this a yearly tradition. I still do not like desert centipedes and I must say that tarantulas are very beautiful in person. Below is a picture of our son holding a walking stick insect from Vietnam. He was in heaven. He also got to hold a spiny leaf insect, a pepper roach and a crayfish. God Bless.

Now for the food. On Friday night we ate at Taste of Thai where I had a delicious Pad See Eew and on Saturday night we did Moosewood. Their baked mac and cheese with tempeh bacon is fantastic.

So to all of you I say make a stop in Ithaca and enjoy yourself. There are tons of places to eat, things to do, I highly recommend the Cornell Plantations, and of course, you can always do a wine tour around the Finger Lakes. Not to sound like a cheesy ad, but there is something for everyone. I am looking forward to going back, in warmer weather, and to Insectapalooza next year.

Have a fabulous day!!