Women, Working, and Urinal Cakes

“I think it’s a mistake for these highly educated and capable women to make that choice [to stay home],” said law professor and working mom Linda Hirshman. “I am saying an educated, competent adult’s place is in the office.”

Whoa! I’m an educated competent adult. I should make my own choices! And I’ve chosen to stay home and educate my children, as opposed to going to work full time and educating other people’s children.

Hirshman says working is also a matter of feeling fulfilled. She doesn’t buy into the arguments of many homemakers who say taking care of the family is the most fulfilling thing they could imagine.

“I would like to see a description of their daily lives that substantiates that position,” Hirshman said. “One of the things I’ve done working on my book is to read a lot of the diaries online, and their description of their lives does not sound particularly interesting or fulfilling for a complicated person, for a complicated, educated person.”

Excuse me. What diaries online is she talking about? If she’s talking about blogs, she should call them that. There is a word for them. And I can tell you that my life is particularly interesting.

For instance, just yesterday, having heard of “urinal cakes” for the first time (My eldest asked his father what they were for.), we got into a discussion on them. Then my husband said he didn’t think eating words, like cake, and restroom words, like urinal, should be used together. My eldest was asking why not. I explained to him that it was like putting “your parents” and “sex” into the same phrase. “Eww! Let’s not talk now.”

There you have it. Urinal cakes are fine and dandy discussion words for teenage boys, but not your parents’ sex.

I said I was going to blog about it, but they didn’t want me to. (I wonder why.)

Maybe all the particularly interesting blog entries aren’t written down. Though if you’ve read Bouddica’s Voice, Daring Young Mom, Roughcut Gems, or ArmyWifeToddlerMom, you know that’s not totally true.

As for “fulfilling,” who is she to decide what is fulfilling? Which is better? To make some money, talk to grown ups, send my kids off to someone else to raise? Or to raise them myself? I vote for option number 2. I voted with my hands, my feet, my life, my money. And I’ll keep voting that way till they’re “grown up.” And maybe longer, if you look at The Common Room.

Hirshman says that’s why women should only have one child. If you have one, you can keep up in the workplace, but two makes it difficult.

So, she not only wants to decide what I, a competent educated adult, will do every day, she also wants to determine how many children I have. Maybe I should send her over to the Common Room. I’m sure the Headmistress would have some significant things to say to her about that.

One of Hirshman’s most sobering arguments is that women who leave the workplace are ensuring that the hard-won gains made by women will be undone. She asks why should business schools give advanced degrees to those who don’t use them?

How about because women paid for them and earned them? This idea about not giving people degrees is why my grandmother, educated at UC Berkeley, with a BFA and an MFA, was asked to turn down a slot for a PhD. But do you really think, in an age when MORE women than men are going to college, when more women than men are getting advanced degrees, we’re suddenly going to go back in time because some of the women aren’t using their advanced degrees for a while?

Is she crazy?

What school requires, or even considers, whether or not you are actually going to use your degree? Certainly not the one where my dad’s friend’s brother-in-law got six doctorates in a row. He was 50 when I last heard and was still going to school, still had done nothing with his advanced degrees but get another TAship. Do you think the schools are going to quit awarding him degrees just because he has them and isn’t using them? Not as long as he’s paying, they’re not.

And neither will any other school.

All the above quotes are from ABC News.

Air Force Family has a discussion up that is related to this post. Not on this woman’s view of what we women should be doing, but on the Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs mag’s discussion of “patriarchy.” It is well worth a ready.

List of Books 2006

I began this list with good intentions, to write every book I read, that was not a romance novel, down for one year. But I read quickly and I don’t always like the books and I forgot to continue by the end of the year.

As I went through my shelves to find what books I might have left off but had read, I found about forty books I bought to “try” but I haven’t read them yet. And I can’t find Eragon, which I thought I had purchased to try. But maybe it was Shadowmancer instead.

Why did I not include romances? Because I read so many of them. They are quick reads and I enjoy them. They always end happily. I will go to the bookstore, perhaps once every two or three weeks, and read two or three books and bring home a few more. About one week a month I read about ten a day. So I figure, easily, without exaggeration, that I read 365 of them a year. It may be as many as 700. But most of them aren’t great literature and even the ones I keep to read again usually go away eventually. I only have so much space on my shelves. And I didn’t think anyone would care about “romance” books. I am an English teacher, after all. I should be reading high literature.

Crossroads and Other Tales of Valdemar edited by Mercedes Lackey
The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey
The Serpent’s Shadow by M. Lackey
The Wizard of London by M. Lackey
Phoenix and Ashes by M. Lackey
The Price of Prophecy by me (Hopefully it will get published and you can read it too.)
Brighid’s Quest by P.C. Cast
One for Sorrow by Clive Woodall
Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
Dead Zone by Jim Butcher
Blood Rites by Jim Butcher
Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher
Summer Nite by Jim Butcher
Death Masks by Jim Butcher
The Dragon Hoard by Tanith Lee
The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
The War God’s Own by David Weber
The Windrider’s Oath by David Weber
Oath of Swords by David Weber
new book by David Weber– What was its name?
a collection of short stories about wizards… It wasn’t very good and I gave it back to the library.
30 children’s books: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Three Pigs types

Science Fiction
Plan B by Miller and Lee
I Dare by Miller and Lee
Crystal Dragon by Miller and Lee
9 short works by Miller and Lee
Field of Dishonor by David Weber
Flag in Exile by Weber
Honor Among Enemies by Weber
In Enemy Hands by Weber
Echoes of Honor by Weber
Ashes of Victory by Weber
The Service of the Sword by Weber
Crown of Slaves by Weber
War of Honor by Weber
The Shadow of Saganami by Weber
At All Costs by Weber

Screenplay by Disney by Jason Surrell
Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge– read for church. Okay but didn’t really speak to me and I found it depressing.
Julian of Norwich by Father John-Julian I’ve owned it for a year and read it to prepare for a class this summer. Very interesting.
Readings on Beowulf: Literary Companion Series
Approaches to Teaching Beowulf by Bessinger and Yeager
Great Tales from English History by Robert Lacey
England: A Concise History by F.E. Halliday
Scientific Conversations by Claudia Dreifus
Scientific American’s Ask the Experts
Quantam Leaps in the Wrong Direction by Charles M. Wynn and Arthur W. Wiggins
Unsolved Mysteries of Science: A Mind-Expanding Journey through a Universe of Big Bangs, Particle Waves, and Other Perplexing Concepts by John Malone
Education Myths by Jay P. Greene
Marley and Me by John Grogan. a wonderful book, even if you aren’t a dog lover, very touching
Rough Medicine: Surgeons at Sea in the Age of Sail by Joan Druet
A Black Woman’s Civil War Memoirs: Reminiscences of My Life in Camp With the 33rd U.S. Colored Troops, Late 1st South Carolina Volunteers by Susie King Taylor
Letters to a Teacher by Samuel Pickering
Enzymes: The Fountain of Life by Lopez, Williams and Miehlke– interesting, but not as fun as it sounds

Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder. Very slow, accurate portrait of life as a teacher.
Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
Sam’s Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson
Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
Forever Odd by Dean Koontz
Brother Odd by Dean Koontz

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by the Pearl Poet
The Canterbury Tales
The Dream of the Rood
The Wanderer
The Wife’s Lament

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney– I thought it ended in the middle of the story.
Whatever Happened to Janie? by Caroline B. Cooney–I did not like the resolution. It is the conclusion of The Face on the Milk Carton.
Murder in Ordinary Time by Sister Carol Anne O’Marie- Interesting, but I didn’t like the constant quotes from plays and poems. Would a 70+ year old nun really have so many things memorized that she still remembered that wasn’t Bible?
Getting a Way with Murder: A Father Dowling Mystery by Ralph McInerny- I liked the characters, but the story was middle of the road.
Her Death of Cold: A Father Dowling Mystery by Ralph McInerny- Same as above.
Death at Bishop’s Keep: A Victorian Mystery by Robin Paige
Death at Daisy’s Folly: A Victorian Mystery by Robin Paige
Death at Rottingdean: A Victorian Mystery by Robin Paige
Death at Devil’s Bridge: A Victorian Mystery by Robin Paige
Death at Gallow’s Green: A Victorian Mystery by Robin Paige
Death at Whitechapel: A Victorian Mystery by Robin Paige
Death at Blenheim Palace: An Edwardian Mystery by Robin Paige– all of these are excellent
Death at Buckingham Palace: Her Majesty Investigates by C.C. Benison
All Booked Up by Terrie Curran It’s an excellent read. Has a lot to do with medieval books and novels. Interesting.
Murder in Grub Street: A Sir John Fielding Mystery by Bruce Alexander Good, but not as good as the one below, which comes after it in the series. (Quite unusual to find the later work superior.)
An Experiment in Treason: A Sir John Fielding Mystery by Bruce Alexander This was the first one I read and was excellent.
Thyme of Death by Susan Wittig Albert
Witches’ Bane by Susan Wittig Albert
Hangman’s Root by Susan Wittig Albert
Rosemary Remembered by Susan Wittig Albert
Rueful Death by Susan Wittig Albert
Love Lies Bleeding by Susan Wittig Albert
Chile Death by Susan Wittig Albert
Lavendar Lies by Susan Wittig Albert
Mistletoe Man by Susan Wittig Albert
Bloodroot by Susan Wittig Albert
Indigo Dying by Susan Wittig Albert
A Dilly of a Death by Susan Wittig Albert
Dead Man’s Bones by Susan Wittig Albert
The Tale of Hill Top Farm by Susan Wittig Albert
The Tale of Holly How by Susan Wittig Albert

Running Today

I decided I had to at least go move today. Even though my thighs are hurting from the 5K and I had a headache.

One thing I learned from the timing and seeing how far I was “running” is that I was not running; I was jogging. That was clear during the 5K which took me 43.58 minutes. That’s about 14 minute miles.

So I decided I would try to speed up today. Silly me. I did my first mile in 13 minutes by running 1 min and walking 1 or 2. I started out the first 8 minutes by doing 1/1. Then I went to 1/2. But the second mile, to get me home, I couldn’t do that. So I thought I would run for 20 seconds every minute. Nope. That didn’t work. I couldn’t recover. Instead I ran 20 seconds out of every 2 minutes. The second mile took me 15 minutes.

I am going to speed up. And I am going to run another 5K on March 25. I will hope to do better on that one.

Running Race

On the weekend before my 44th birthday, this coming Friday (3/3), I ran/walked a 5k. It was, as a friend said, a personal record. I’m trying not to just get older, but to get better, too.

Comment Spam

I’m used to the viagra, the penis enhancement, the gambling, the teen sex… But today I got a comment that would be about six pages long if it were printed on the evil of the Media, using the Dragon from Revelation, purportedly written by the squeegee king Ariel.


Tip Tuesday

Daring Young Mom writes about how to lose weight and asks for comments. Some of the answers are serious, such as “don’t graze. Only eat sitting down. And don’t do anything else but eat.” (That last actually doesn’t work for me. If I only eat, I eat a lot more because I’m paying attention to the food.) Some are less so, such as “Dye all your food blue. Go into a coma or onto Survivor.”

Some thoughts on how to lose weight:

1. Start your morning with caffeine. Green tea is the best, if you can drink the stuff.

2. Quit eating at 7 pm. (Assuming you have a semi-normal day schedule.) The later you eat, the more likely the stuff is to end up as excess because you aren’t doing enough to use it up.

3. Eat smaller portions. This can mean several things. Eat smaller meals. Eat on a smaller plate. Even eating five times a day can help, if you eat around 300 calories each time. (You use up about 100 calories on the eating/digesting. So 1500 calories with 300 calories to digestion or 1500 calories with 500 to digestion.)

4. Add steps to your day. If you normally take everything upstairs at once, don’t. Make several trips. If you are the parking spot guru, give up that close one and walk a little farther. Go down every aisle at the grocery store, if you can manage not to buy the bad stuff. Take the dog out for a walk instead of just letting her into the backyard. This is in addition to 30 minutes of “exercise” a day.

5. Lift weights. If you lift weights you will,
gain muscle.
lose fat.
gain bone density.
look fitter.
tone up.
The only way you will look horrific because of lifting weights is if you take lots of steroids or more testosterone than the average teenage male has in their system.

6. Add veggies and limit refined sugars. Add a huge helping of veggies to each meal and only eat half of the refined sugars you would normally have. For example, when I’m making spaghetti, I make myself a salad and skip the garlic bread. Switch to whole wheat (not enriched whole wheat flour, but whole wheat) instead of processed foods. It takes your tummy longer to digest.

7. Don’t eat lots of veggies that turn to sugar quickly: peas, carrots, potatoes, corn.

8. Buy smaller or individual packets of your junk foods, if you are going to have them in the house. Buy the boxes of Oreos that come in 100 calorie packages instead of the cheaper, but far easier to abuse, Oreos bag.

9. Eat slowly. The slower you eat, the more likely it is that your tummy will send your brain the full signal before you’ve polished off enough calories for a sumo wrestler.

10. Make a list of 1o things that make you feel better and post them on the fridge. When you are tempted to eat because of a bad day, read the list and go do one of those. My list includes “have sex, walk, read a book.”

11. Drink water. Lots of water. If you have enough that you are sufficiently hydrated, your body will not hold on to so much water weight. You can lose up to 10 pounds just from drinking water. But you have to do it every day. Drink at LEAST 64 oz a day. But then drink half your pound weight in ounces of water. (If you weigh 150, drink 75 oz of water.) Tea will work. Flavored water will work. Soda does not count.

12. Don’t just measure your weight. Also take inches measurements. Five inches off my waist is a great motivator to keep up the good work!

13. Fall in love. I know some people lose weight when they’re sad, but I don’t. I did, however, drop 15 pounds in three months without any effort at all when I first fell in love with my husband.

16. Eat protein at every meal. It’s harder than fat to digest and it helps you build muscles and bones.

17. Don’t skip any meals at all. You’ll be starving later.

18. Eat the least amount of carbs you can manage at breakfast. It will help you not have sugar cravings later in the day.

There you go. Tip Tuesday from DYM and me.

No God?

My eldest son said today at lunch that he is no longer a Christian. As if it were no big deal. As if it were something like being a vegetarian, something that won’t impact his life long term.

I called him in and asked him why he said such a thing. He said because it was true. He said because he had asked God for a sign and God hadn’t given him one.

I told him that if he had a sign, he wouldn’t need faith. He asked why he needed to have faith. I didn’t know what to say. I told him because God wanted it. He asked why God wanted us to have faith. I said I didn’t know.

I gave him a book and asked him to read the introduction of it. It’s Lee Strobel’s The Case for Faith. I’m going to ask him to read a chapter a day and discuss it. He doesn’t value my opinion, so I am hoping that someone else’s opinion will at least cause him to think.

If you pray, I would appreciate your prayers for my eldest son. And for me for wisdom and patience.

Getting New Health Insurance

We’ve been paying a fortune that grows every year for health insurance. Now, however, the Texas legislature has done something useful and adjuncts can get health insurance through the school. We have to pay more than the full-time faculty, but we can get it. Since many colleges, especially community colleges like mine, are taught by mostly adjuncts, that’s a good chunk of people who can now get health insurance.

When I went to enroll they told me it was expensive, because I am paying 40% more than full-timers. But it is about 33% of what I am paying now for my insurance. So we are making a huge savings! Or we will be, come July.

And, the best news, is that our primary care physician and my Ob-Gyn are both on the new plan.

More Internet Comments on Nightshades

On swelling and time:

Sensitivity to certain alkaloids naturally present in “nightshade” vegetables causes pain and swelling in a significant minority of individuals with degenerative arthritis. Nightshade sensitivity is not the same as allergy, and is not detectable by any laboratory tests in current use. The only way to figure out whether nightshade vegetables bother you is to totally eliminate tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant from your diet, along with tobacco exposure in any form. Even if you’re nightshade sensitive and totally eliminate all of these, it can still take three to four months for symptoms to recede.

from Tahoma Clinic on Degenerative Arthritis

On what plants are included and doctor reactions to discussions of nightshade allergies and attendant problems:

the Fijian headhunter Cannibal Tomato or the Tasmanian Kangaroo Apple, not to mention the tasty tropical Zombi Apple.

These exotic fruits, along with his familiar favorites of tomato, potato, peppers, and eggplant are all members of a class of plants called the Nightshades (named after the Deadly Nightshade plant), to which he had apparently developed a sensitivity. The botanical family known as Solanaceae, also contains a number of poisonous and hallucinogenic plants, as well as medicinal herbs, some of which are used to manufacture commonly prescribed medications, such as atropine and belladonna.

Some patients claim that certain foods cause them a host of more ill-defined symptoms, like fatigue, irritability, muscle pains, hyperactivity, or depression. These peculiar reactions are labeled “food idiosyncrasy”. Patients with food idiosyncrasies are often felt by their doctors to have “Prozac Deficiency Disease”, and may even be referred to a mental health professional for evaluation, as their symptoms can be rather bizarre and difficult to relate to food ingestion.

from Killer Ketchup

Subtle food allergies, that attack physically, emotionally, or mentally, along with time frame for symptoms:

Most people are familiar with the kind of food allergies that make you swell up or break out. These obvious “violent reaction” allergies are caused by a single food like Shellfish or Peanuts. However, it’s estimated that up to 50% of Americans suffer from more subtle food allergies, or sensitivities. More difficult to pinpoint, these allergies don’t immediately make you puff up like a blowfish or break out in horrible hives. Hidden food allergies affedt your quality of life in more insidious ways: physically, emotionally,and mentally. Symptoms are highly individualized, including a muddled brain, mysterious diarrhea, or multiple ailments. Some symptoms do not appear until 3 days after eating an allergic food.

What Causes Hidden Food Allergies?

Essentially, a body out of balance: any single food can upset your body’s delicate mineral balance, and then start a chain reaction that impairs your digestion and immune ystem. One of the biggest culprits may be the Standard American Diet (SAD). Refined flour, white sugar, and processed foods are new inventions that don’t come with the minerals we need to spark digestion. SAD also centers on only a few foods like beef, eggs, dairy products, wheat, corn, and sugar. We unwittingly eat these foods every day – yet many of us are allergic or sensitive to them. These foods damage our tissues and our bodies need 3 to 4 days between eating allergic foods to recover.

How Can I Be Allergic To Food?

When you have a food allergy, your immune system is responding improperly to a substance that is not usually harmful. Of course, wholesome food is not innately bad. Yet, even good foods can turn bad in a body out of balance.

from GeoCities, Food Sensitivity and Allergies

Foods such as potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant sometimes referred to as “nightshade foods” could be the cause of stiff joints, pain and inflammation.

from Arthritis Support

Night Shade Allergies

My mother is in the hospital with nightshade allergies, life threatening ones. She wanted to know what kind of reactions nightshades give people. And her doctor wouldn’t take my personal experiences, so I sent her some off the net.

What are my personal experiences? Trouble walking. Joint and muscle pain. Muscle weakness. Back aches. Back spasms. Severe head aches. Sore extremities. Pain. Lots of pain. Stomach upset. Rash. Skin splitting open when exposed to allergen. (Such as when cutting a tomato.)

If I avoid nightshades, I am much better off. But it is very hard to do.

Nightshade-family vegetables:
Eggplant, peppers (bell peppers, cayenne, chili peppers, paprika), potatoes, and tomatoes.
Not actually an allergic reaction. Solanine, a slightly toxic substance found in nightshades, doesn’t harm most people. It isn’t detoxified properly by some people; this is a genetic difference. Those folks get joint pain that may be diagnosed as arthritis, and muscular pain from nightshades. They may need to stay off of these foods for a few weeks or months to clear the solanine from their system.
Tobacco is in the nightshade family too, so it causes pain in the same way.

from Body Technician

Constipation or diarrhea, depression, tiredness, weight gain, headaches, joint pain, PMS — these and other low-grade, chronic reactions may be the result of one or more common food allergies or sensitivities. Allergies can affect almost any part of the body and you can develop an allergy to virtually any food. The most common food allergies are triggered by wheat, the nightshade family (cayenne, eggplant, tobacco, peppers, paprika, tomatoes and potatoes), peanuts, coffee, oranges, sugar, chocolate, eggs, soy, corn and milk (and milk products such as cheese).

from Fred a Care

My personal journey with pain began two decades ago, when my lower back started bothering me. At times, I could barely walk, and I vividly remember two occasions when muscle spasms “threw my back out” and I was unable to get out of bed to go the bathroom. (Anyone who has ever had muscle spasms shudders at the memory.) Coincidentally, the day after my last attack, I received the results of an allergy panel from my doctor, showing I am extremely allergic to garlic, and sensitive to almonds and chicken. I had been chugging down prodigious amounts of garlic prior to the attack, thinking that garlic was the quintessential health food. I immediately eliminated those foods from my diet, and my back was fine. Amazing!

Nutritionally trained physicians have tested several diet therapies, with varying degrees of success. Many people find relief by eliminating foods in the nightshade family, including eggplants, bell peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. The Dr. Dong diet eliminates all additives, preservatives, fruits, red meats, herbs, alcohol and dairy products.

Food allergies or sensitivities can trigger painful flare-ups in 20 – 60% of people with arthritis, according to a study published in Arthritis Today. (Dunkin, 1999).

from Inflammation News

Allergies to certain foods appear linked to rheumatoid arthritis, particularly those in the nightshade family of plants: tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, peppers and tobacco. Experiment by removing these foods, one at a time, from your diet. If your arthritis worsens and then improves after five or six days, you may indeed be allergic. See a doctor for a more complete allergy screening.

from Web Terrace

There are reports that belladonna [a nightshade] may cause decreased perspiration, vomiting, decreased flow of breast milk, headache, excitement, agitation, dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, unsteadiness, abdominal distention, reduced saliva, muscle tremor, rigidity, leg cramps, blurred vision, sensitivity to sunlight, slurred or meaningless speech, increased action of reflexes, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, abnormal heart rhythm, skin rash, dry skin, hives, rapid breathing, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, respiratory arrest, convulsions and coma.


Solanine is a substance found in nightshade plants, including tomatoes, white potatoes, all peppers (except black pepper), and eggplant. In theory, if not destroyed in the intestine, solanine could be toxic. A horticulturist, Dr. Normal Childers, hypothesized that some people with osteoarthritis may not be able to destroy solanine in the gut, leading to solanine absorption resulting in osteoarthritis. Eliminating solanine from the diet has been reported to bring relief to some arthritis sufferers in preliminary research.2 3 An uncontrolled survey of people avoiding nightshade plants revealed that 28% claimed to have a “marked positive response” and another 44% a “positive response.” Researchers have never put this diet to a strict clinical test; however, the treatment continues to be used by some doctors in people who have osteoarthritis. As with the Warmbrand diet, proponents claim exclusion of solanine requires up to six months before potential effects can be seen. Totally eliminating tomatoes and peppers requires complex dietary changes for most people. In addition, even proponents of the diet acknowledge that many arthritis sufferers are not helped by using this approach. Therefore, long-term trial avoidance of solanine-containing foods may only be appropriate for people with severe cases of osteoarthritis who have not responded to other natural treatments.

Most of the studies linking allergies to joint disease have focused on rheumatoid arthritis, although mention of what was called rheumatism (some of which may have been osteoarthritis) in older reports suggests a possible link between food reactions and exacerbations of osteoarthritis symptoms.4 If other therapies are unsuccessful in relieving symptoms, people with osteoarthritis might choose to discuss food allergy identification and elimination with a nutritionally oriented physician.

Titan Support

Other blog posts on this topic:
Night Shade Allergy Dangers
Night Shade Intolerance
Night Shade Food List
Night Shades, Solanine
Internet Comments on Night Shades
I recall why I started avoiding night shades.
Not mine, but referenced in one. Applied kinesiology can help you identify your food allergies.
Night Shades and history, a lighthearted comment.
Night Shades are High Phenol
Eating Allergies = Pain
Restaurant Foods that Aren’t Night Shades
Food Allergies, trying to figure them out and trying to live with them–outside of the hospital.

Please feel free to leave a comment describing your experiences with night shades. Sometimes it is good to know it isn’t just me.

“Your Friend’s an Idiot”

I can’t really write that, can I?

Someone wrote to me and said that her friend was treated rudely by a woman taking her money at the booksale. The friend described the woman who took her money as “long, sandy hair and tall.” No one at the tables matched that description. The only person with “long” hair is me. And mine is raving red. No sandy to it. The tallest person there was also me, 5’6″. Not exactly tall. The other three people there were all in their 50s or later. One had sandy hair, but it only went to her shoulders and she’s shorter than I am.

So it was either me who was rude- and I wasn’t. Or it was the newbie who was rude- and I don’t think she was either.

What’s the most likely scenario? The friend was in a bad mood and took someone’s slowness or quickness, someone’s attempt to do a good job, as rudeness and “not wanting to be there.”

Honestly, of all of us, I was probably the most “not wanting to be there” because I hadn’t intended to be there that morning, but lots of the volunteers from the library didn’t show.

Is her friend really an idiot? No. But this was a bit of “tempest in a teapot” for no good reason. Even if a tall sandy haired woman WAS rude, did it make any difference to this woman’s life, other than to give her something to complain about? No, it didn’t.

I need to learn diplomacy. I really do. But I didn’t write and say, “Your friend’s an idiot.” Thank goodness.

I politely wrote back about the volunteers and the woman me wrote back, still upset, and said that the woman who wasn’t there because she didn’t exist, needs an attitude adjustment. I know we should trust our friends more than people we don’t know well, but if a tall sandy haired woman took her friend’s money, she stole it. There wasn’t a volunteer like that working at the tables.

And I often said, “Five fifty” or whatever and took the money, gave them change, and said, “Thank you.” So maybe it was me. But I don’t think I need an attitude adjustment.

If she doesn’t want to buy our books, fine. If she wants to get polite conversation she shouldn’t come during the busiest hour. Oh well. It’s over and done.

I am going to get help with this next one or I am going to quit. Quitting isn’t very polite. But I don’t want the hassles and I’m not good at dealing with them, either.

Sucking the Life Out

Whenever I feel bad, I want to touch my husband. It always makes me feel better. But if he knows I’m not feeling up, he says it feels like I am trying to suck the life out of him. It’s made me a lot less likely to reach for him, good or bad, because I know he doesn’t feel comfortable with it.

But now at least I know I’m not the only person who feels better after holding hands or some other physical contact…

The Washington Times has an article that says:

A touch of her husband’s hand is one of the most effective ways to calm and comfort a woman, said University of Virginia psychologist Jim Coan, who looked inside the brains of 16 wives to discover that yes, hubby held the key to their peace of mind.

Using magnetic resonance imaging, Mr. Coan found that women under stress who hold their husbands’ hands show signs of “immediate relief,” with a powerful decrease in threat-related brain activity. What’s more, the better the marriage, the better the relief.

They also referenced two other studies which have shown that women get positive benefits out of marriage.

Women in satisfying marriages have a distinct health advantage over single or unhappily married women, according to an American Psychological Association study that found that solid marriages benefit blood pressure, cholesterol and other cardiovascular factors.

The “bliss of a steady marriage” is also a strong antidote to a life of crime, a University of Florida study found.

It doesn’t say what benefit men get out of the whole thing, but I would expect that there would be some. I guess they’ll have to do more studies for that.

Thanks to All Things Conservative for pointing in the right direction.

My Mother and Oma

Oma fell three weeks ago today and broke her back, shoulder, and arm. This week she had some internal bleeding. Yesterday she walked to the kitchen on her own. The first time she’s walked more than four steps in the three weeks. I hope she will continue to improve.

My mother is in the hospital again. She has been in the hospital for a week and was in the hospital four days before that, too. (She was out of the hospital for about 16 hours.) Her leg is no longer oozing, which is good. But she is in a lot of pain. She had an allergic reaction to the epinephrin they gave her to stop an allergic reaction (bad event that) and they still haven’t determined a diagnosis.

Polimyalgia rheumatica has been thrown around some.

Keeping My Promise

I said I’d keep posting here about running and eating, whether I was doing it right or not. Yesterday and today I didn’t stay on my eating plan. I did eat less than I would have previously, but probably twice what I really should have on carbs.

And I walked on Thursday. I didn’t run. I haven’t run in ten days. But my knees have finally quit hurting.

Book Sale is Done

That was a lot of work. More work than I usually do. I had to be there all morning today, plus last night (which is normal).

Then the family who was supposed to come and close us down decided not to come but didn’t bother to tell anyone. They are unreliable. This is the second time out of four that they haven’t done what they asked to be allowed to do.

But we sold a lot of books, got rid of a lot of books, and have a small but good stack to start out with next time. We may have to cull children’s though. We haven’t let as many of those go and we have too many of those which aren’t selling.

I’m glad it’s done for the next quarter.

Pappy Boyington

I grew up on “Baa, Baa Blacksheep” so I was appalled when I read about the University of Washington’s student senate meeting in which they decided not to honor this distinguished UW alumni because he killed people (during WWII, the enemy, and survived 20 months of a Japanese POW camp).

I haven’t written on it because I didn’t really have anything to add besides horror at the students’ attitudes and frustration with the left’s indoctrination that these guys can’t see that people like Boyington are the reason we have freedom. As the Mudville Gazette states, “Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

I think I read it first on Michelle Malkin’s blog, but I know I read it several other places, too.

One of the things UW is trying to do, since they can’t overrule or undo their senate meeting, is get more street cred. So they’ve come up with a scholarship for Marines and their children in his name. I’m glad to see this, but it doesn’t take away from the lack of civic awareness on the part of their students.

File It Under has a link to the PDF of the minutes of the meeting, if you want to be outraged from the primary source.

Yes, he gave his time and energy for free speech. I believe the UW student senate had the right to say what they did and make this call. I have the right to say that they are foolish for doing so and show their propensity for repeating history. (Don’t know, doomed to repeat.)

Lawyers Want it Their Way

The American Bar Association wants law schools to use racial preferences, regardless of the laws in their cities or states. Excuse me. That’s lawyers. Now we know where the activist judges come from. They come from the ABA.

Full disclosure: My father, brother, and two cousins are practicing lawyers. None of them, to my knowledge, are on the board of the ABA.

I read it, three times before I posted, at Discriminations.