Friday, August 27, 2010

Before and After

I don't have alot of time to blog today, but I wanted to leave you with this to start your weekend.

This is my cat, before:

This is my cat, after:


This is what happens when your long-hair cat doesn't allow you to brush him on a regular basis.  It's called "The Lion" cut.  Looks more like "The Poodle" cut to me. Feel free to laugh; I know I did.

Friday, August 20, 2010

We Ask Different Questions

It's exciting to watch children grow up.  Not only do parents get the privilege of seeing their children learn and grow right before their very eyes, they also get to engage in speculation as they wonder what their children will do when they grow up. Will they get married and have their own children? Will they go to college or trade school? If your son loves Legos, will he be a civil engineer or a carpenter?  If your daughter loves to draw, will she be an architect or an interior designer? 

I enjoy listening to other parents brag about their children. When you add a special needs child or a child with a chronic illness into the mix, however, the speculation is a little fuzzy and there are different questions to be asked such as:
  • I wonder if he'll be able to live independently?
  • Will she learn how to use public transit?
  • Will he be able to have some sort of a job?
  • Will she ever learn to read?
  • Who should act as a guardian and make the hard decisions after I'm gone?
Aside from not wanting to be labelled "Captain Bringdown" or "Major Killjoy", I try to avoid discussing these things with parents of typical kids and instead discuss them with parents of special needs kids.  I do this because (1) I don't want to appear to be fishing for sympathy; and (2) I don't want other parents to feel uncomfortable or guilty.  It's one thing to talk about how your 12 year old son is excelling at baseball and might make the All Stars team; it's quite another to talk about how severe your 12 year old son's seizures are that he has to wear a helmet in order to protect his head should he fall and hit a coffee table. Not to mention all of the medications he might be taking.

On the other hand, I don't want to give the impression that I'm embarrassed by my youngest son.  I'm very proud of his accomplishments; his accomplishments are just a little different from those of most 8 year olds.  His future will look a little different, too.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Frugal Advice from the Master

A while back my husband and I were talking about all of the reams of frugal advice being doled out like candy: advice on cutting spending at the grocery store, how to stock your pantry, how to find bargains galore, making do with less, determining your wants from your needs.  And yes, I have linked to the Dollar Stretcher because I sometimes need ideas on how to do these things. It's kind of amusing to see the shift in advertising as well; it wasn't too long ago where ads for luxury items tried to entice consumers with mantras like "Because you deserve it" or "It's all about you", or something to that effect.  We don't see these ads with those messages anymore in these "hard economic times".  Or do we?

The problem as I see it, with all of this new-but-really-not-so-new-everything-that's-old-is-new-again frugal advice is that the message still conveys that it's all about YOU.  Or me.  Sorry, I should have capitalized that: ME.  There is alot of frugal advice out there...probably more than we've seen since the Great Depression.  Most of it is practical, sensible, and self-centered.  It's also based on our propensity to worry.  I am not advocating uncontrolled spending and self-indulgence; nor am I advocating penny-pinching stinginess and hoarding.  The truth is, I don't have any easy answers...I am not the "Master" in the title, not even in jest.  But I will tell you this, if you are a Christian, or even if you're not, some of the best advice (believers would say it is a command) came from the Master:

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.  Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:24-34

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Yosemite the Beautiful

Back from a short vacation in Yosemite.  All I can say is, how can someone be surrounded by so much beauty and still say that there is no God? Yosemite is simply stunning.  Too beautiful for amateur pictures do not do it justice.
Bridal Veil Falls

The Meadow
El Capitan

Half Dome

Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:2)


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