Thursday, October 29, 2009

So I spawned a couple of geniuses...

...who'da thunk it.

Today was parent teacher conferences. My kindergartner is reading at a 2nd grade level!! I was so proud I could have spit. She also told me that Grace is very well behaved and that she (her teacher) is always using her (Grace) as an example of how to behave. And that she is soooo quiet in class. Oh dear, I thought. We're not talking about the same kid! Crud, and I was so proud.

And Emily had a great report as well. Her teacher said there wasn't much to say since Emily hasn't been in class for too long. But have I mentioned that she was the only kid in her class to get 100% on this big CMA test. It's this language arts test that all the kids in 2nd grade and up have to take. They take a couple each year. She was the only one!!!!

Mama and Papa bear are beaming...

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Mom...

South Bend Tribune Oct. 23, 2009

Founders said nothing about a right to health care

I have nothing but the utmost respect for people who dedicate their lives to serving God, so I read with interest the Oct. 2 Viewpoint by Rabbi Michael Friedland and the Rev. William J. Wassner of the United Religious Community, in which they asked: "If indeed we hold 'these truths' to be self-evident that all persons are created equal (and) are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — then would not access to quality health care for all also be self-evident?"

Actually, I'm afraid I would have to say no. The rights enumerated by our founding document refer to what are known as "negative" rights. In other words, these are rights you already own by endowment from the creator. They are beyond price. The only thing government needs to do is keep its hands off. That's why they're called negative rights: They can only be taken away. Things such as food, housing, education and health care are in a different category. They are commodities with economic value. They must be produced by the sweat of someone's brow. I can certainly agree that we should do everything we can to provide these things for those less fortunate, but let's not confuse the issue by calling everything a "right."

I have a question for the rabbi and the reverend: What about the morality of burdening our children and grandchildren with crushing debt? They will already be saddled with a bankrupt Social Security obligation and a failing Medicare system. Why don't we boldly proclaim that every generation has the right to enter life free of economic debt?

A different writer in a shorter letter offered her opinion that government-provided health care is a Christian concept. She cited the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 4, verses 44-45: "All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need." This is definitely an endorsement of the communal life of a Christian community. But please note: The early Christians did not sell all their worldly goods and give them to Pontius Pilate to be distributed to the community. Big difference.

Actually, most Christians today emulate the early Christians whenever they give time, treasure or talent to any of the numerous Christian charities. Just look at all the schools, universities and hospitals founded by Christian organizations. Just look who is serving in the soup kitchens and in missions around the world.

One last thought: The Declaration of Independence refers not to happiness as an unalienable right, but to the pursuit of happiness. This is a very important difference. No government can guarantee happiness. No government can guarantee full employment. No government can guarantee a chicken in every pot. Our founders were wise enough to realize that. I sometimes wonder if our modern longing for a government that will supply us with all our needs isn't an incipient form of idolatry.I'd like to close with a quote from our first president: "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oh My Stars...

Where do I begin? How about at the beginning. I have been having a love affair with paper since I was about 5. Isn't that right, Mom? Well, the romance is over. We have broken up. I have touched and counted more paper in the past 4 days than I have EVER wanted to in my life!!! Thousands upon thousands of pieces of by one...and...AND...we had no scanners! You read that right. Our whole data base was lost the day before. We were not able to scan anything. Every wretched piece of paper had to be looked up in our little cheat book Becky so graciously compiled the day before. Every piece. And I'm telling you, thousands.

The pandemonium started on Thursday. When I got to work at 8ish the line was down the block. When we opened the flood gates the people poured in and didn't stop until about 11 hours later when we were forced to lock the door early because of the overwhelming crowds. We continued to check out those people until around 10. The staff stayed to clean up the devastation until about 1:30 in the a.m.. We got about 1/15 of the work accomplished.

I am here to tell you that Thursday line was snaked around the store and those crazy people stood in it for 5 hours!!! They ordered Jimmy Johns. Some of them made arrangements with their "neighbors" to watch each others carts while they took turns going out to dinner and returning to finish waiting in line. There were lifelong friendships formed in line that day my friends. People watched each others children grow up and move away. It was incredible.

The staff was stunned, most of them into delirium. Now, many of you know this already...I do love to talk. It's what I do. But this was too much even for a seasoned gabber like myself. My tongue had blisters on it by the next morning. Most of them from me commiserating with all of our lovely and devastated customers. I'm telling you, our boss hired a massage therapist for us but I think a grief counselor would have been just as useful. I would say every 2nd customer asked the same question..."why?" "Why are you taking my favorite store...why!!" They cried at the counter. They're scared and confused. I can't blame them.

Lots of them brought us food. Cupcakes from Indulgence. Homemade Texas sheet cake, which can I just say is the BEST thing I have ever tasted!!! One loyal PITer bought us all Pumpkin Spice Latte's from Starbucks. We had cookies delivered. Chocolates. Bags of candy from Martins. It was fabulous.

So, I'm gonna have about 120 hours on my paycheck...I'm not made for work like that. I'm not like the other girls at work. They amaze me. I'm weak. A weakling. A softie. I can't go on. Seriously, I think Becky might be a robot. She doesn't even complain. Hey Becky! How many hours have you logged so far this pay period? 200? She doesn't moan, fake fall asleep at the counter...none of those shenanigans.

Oh, one last thing before I go pass out on the couch. So Thursday night, no maybe it was Friday, doesn't matter...this lady comes into the store visibly shaken. Says someone left their

two kids in their car while they came in to shop. And one was a baby in a car seat. Well, they also left their car keys because the older kid tried to drive the car and hit another car in the parking lot!!!! I am sooooooooo not kidding!!!!

Good Night...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pages In Time

Eight years ago I had my first child. Emily was born in September 2001. I will never forget the night I decided to start scrapbooking. I was laying there in bed and decided that I would set up a small table in our bedroom and begin scrapbooking our new baby. I hardly slept at all that night. I talked to a friend of mine who told me about this great store right in Osceola that sold scrapbook supplies. I went there that first week and thought I was in heaven. It was about as big as a BP. It was called the Crop Shop and they had scrapbook paper and tanning beds. Strange but...I could not believe all the paper they had. At least 40 choices. And they had these little people die cuts that were soooo cute. And that was about it.

Shortly after that a new store opened in Town & Country and now I was surely in heaven. It was like...3 times the size of my little gas station scrapbook store.

Then in late 2002 I walked into the newest scrapbook store in town, Pages In Time and this time the angels were singing. Everywhere...for as far as the eye could see...paper. Glorious paper. And walls and walls and walls lined with stickers.

My second baby was due to join our family in September of 2003. I had become a loyal shopper at PIT and met and really gotten to like Anne (who would later become one of my very best friends) I had talked to her a lot as a customer and seen her at MOPS with our little babies. Then...she got me my job. I was now on staff at Pages In Time. I could not believe my good fortune.

That brings me to another PIT story...real quick...I also met my other very best friend at PIT. Carrie. She was there cropping and I was sitting behind her and I was crying about something and I turned to her and I said "Can I talk to you for just a minute, I'm really sad." And she did and now she's like my sister.

So anyway... now more than 6 years later it is all coming to an end. My bosses, the Turners, have decided to go ahead and close the store. Out of respect for them I won't go into details about the specifics but I will say that I have good and honorable employers and it has been a privilege to work for them all these years.

It has been a dream job. If I needed more hours, I got them. If I needed to cut back, I cut back. If I worked tomorrow night and wanted the night off, I make a few phone calls and there was always someone willing to pick up your shift. Mark would get off work late sometimes so I bring my kids to work with me. I have been surrounded by my favorite "stuff", some of my favorite people, and did I mention I got PAID to be there!!

I have had some of the greatest conversations with these women I have worked with. I have laughed with them. And goodness knows I've cried with them. I will so desperately miss this place and these people. I will so miss bickering and sparing with Becky. I will miss my Tuesday night girls Sherry, Cathy, and Tammy. I will miss people walking up to me with a sliver of paper with a smidge of yellow print on it and desperately saying "have you ever seen this paper?" and me leading them right to it.

I know that store like my reflection in the mirror. I am so going to miss my job.