Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Slipperiness of Kids

Image: pregnancyhumor.com
I'm sure everyone who has internet access has seen the story of how a Gorilla was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo because a four year old got away from his mother and went into the enclosure. Of course this caused a lot of internet rage to rise up. People were very up in arms that the gorilla was shot even though, from what I read, the boy had serious injuries after they were able to rescue him. And of course, all sorts of awful things were said about the mother.

As a mother, I feel so badly for that boy's mom. Kids are crazy slippery creatures and can make a break for it the second you have your attention elsewhere. And unlike the internet hordes think, it is simply impossible to have your eyes on your kids every second.

Thankfully, I haven't ever lost Emily in a scary place like that. When she was that age, I had a harness for her because I was super paranoid about losing her. It was cute and had bat wings. Of course, there are people out there who think leases on toddlers makes them more like pets than people. I didn't give a crap what they thought though.

I do remember a story from my childhood. I was only about five or six years old. My sister is 18 months younger than I am, and was about three when we all went down to GA to visit my dad's brother and his family.

We went to Six Flags over GA while we were there. I think my aunt and uncle only had two kids at that time, and then my parents had me and my sister. So it was a pretty even adult to kid ratio. Despite this, my three year old sister wandered off. She didn't even know she was lost but it took our party a good fifteen minutes to find her.

I was little and I still remember this. I'm sure my mom remembered that until the day she died. Now that I'm a mom, I can't imagine the fear she must have felt while we were looking for my sister. Thankfully our story turned out okay.

And even though a gorilla died, the child's life was preserved. I know some people might not see it that way, but the zoo did what they had to save the child. And I'm sure that mom is beating herself up more than any nasty comment on the internet can. Her kid was hurt because of it!

So my prayers go out to that family and I hope no lasting damage happens to that little boy or his family. Parents are human too and it only take a second for a curious child to slip away.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Captain America and Hydra

Image: nypost.com
It's pretty obvious from my blog that I'm a huge geek. I've never been much of a comic books geek though. I know all the characters, but most of my familiarity with them comes cartoons and movies. I love the Batman animated series - I remember rushing home from school in order to see it every day.

I didn't know a lot about the Marvel characters until the MCU started up. I remember Todd telling me that I had to go see Iron Man because it was so good. I loved it as well. I enjoyed Thor and the 2nd Iron Man movie too, but when Captain America: The First Avenger came out I was blown away.

Since that time Cap has been my favorite super hero. He's brave, strong, has a good moral compass and tries to do what he thinks is right. He's all American and I just love him.

When the internet lost its' mind a few days ago over the last page of the new Captain America #1 where Cap is showing saying, "Hail Hydra", I was pretty annoyed. There is no way, in my mind, that Steve Rodgers would be Hydra. Let alone Hydra for 70+ years!

It wasn't until I saw a post last night that it started making me feel angry. On Tumblr, several people posted how kids were really upset over Cap being Hydra. When I talked to Emily, who is 7, and asked her if she thought Steve could ever be Hydra she looked at me like I had two heads. No way is he ever could be evil.

Yes, Marvel can do what it wants. Yes, they can retcon this like so many other storylines / characters. But it's still vastly out of the character of Captain America. I think a lot of fans would be happier to read new stories with new characters instead of comic book writers gutting favorites for shock value.

For me, I'll be clinging to MCU Steve who would never bee Hydra. I was watching The Winter Soldier and then Age of Ultron last night. Cap spent the whole of The Winter Soldier fighting against Hydra and he was so shocked and appalled that SHIELD was basically hiding Hydra that he punched a screen in anger.

If I could draw, I'd try to make my own comic. I'm positive it's not easy but I'm sure I could come up with a better story than the one within Captain America #1.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Most Useless Of Chores

Image: tupain58.com
I will fully admit that I was pretty lazy as a kid. My room was often like a minefield of stuff on the floor. I was more interested in reading than anything else when I was younger. I had chores I had to do and the one I disliked the most was making the bed. It just seemed pointless to me.

I've grown up and I have my own house now. Since I'm the mom and I work from home, a lot of the chores fall on me. I do dishes, laundry, pick up, scrub the toilet etc. All of those have a purpose and I don't mind doing it because I like having a house that isn't a disaster.

But one chore that I don't do is making the bed. I know some people think it makes everything look neat and tidy - and I suppose it does. But it just isn't something I do.

Todd and I don't share blankets and we haven't our entire marriage. He runs hot and I run cold. Usually he'll have a sheet and sometimes a blanket in the colder months. I have a a comforter, a blanket and sometimes my electric blanket when I get really cold. It's not neat and tidy to have all these blankets on the bed. I'll arrange Todd's blankets before I go to sleep since he gets home later than me.

Emily has 2 blankets and a comforter that she uses no matter what time of year it is. She doesn't make her bed either. What we do at bedtime is either Todd or I will tuck her in by putting her blankets over her. It's a nighttime ritual we've had since she started sleeping in a bed. I just don't see the point of making her make her bed since all the blankets will be coming off anyway.

I'm sure someone out there will probably think I fail at housewife-ing but as long as the people (and cats) living here don't care, neither do I. I'll never have a Pinterest worthy house anyway. All those hours I spent making my bed as a kid could have gone to reading more books!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Girl Scouts and Baseball

Baseball is the great American sport and while I've never been a fan of watching baseball on TV, it's always a ton of fun to see a game live. Asheville has a minor league team but we've never went to see a game. But this past Saturday, it was Girl Scout night for the Asheville Tourists so we went with Emily's Girl Scout troop.

The night before it had been storming so the game got cancelled. So instead of one game, we got two! Emily and I got there just as the first game was starting. They were doing a giveaway of jerseys for the first 1000 people. I was a bit surprised that we had gotten there in time to get jerseys, but we did!

Emily was excited by all the food vendors and wanted to eat first thing. But after we got our free jerseys, I wanted to find our seats. We were the first ones from our troop to get there, and we had great seats. We only watched a bit of the game before we went to get some food.

As her troop mates started arriving, the more excited she got. The girls had a good time cheering on the Tourists and singing with the songs that were played between plays. The first game was suppose to only be 7 innings to make the second game not run too late.

At the end of the 6th inning, all the Girl Scout troops went to line up for the parade. I was a little worried when the game went into extra innings and took two more innings to finish the game. But Emily's troop leaders said all the girls were very patient as they waited.

Between games, all the Girl Scout troops got to march on the field. Emily was so cute as she waved wildly to everyone. One they were done, they made their way back to the seats. After Emily came back, we went to go get snacks.

Emily got cotton candy and I got a funnel cake that I shared because it was huge. At this point, it was past Emily's usual bedtime but she was really hyped up on sugar. Her and her friends cheered loudly for the Tourists as they waved their hats. Some of them even got a picture with the mascot, Mr. Moon.

Around 9:30, I felt it was time to get home. We had to be up early the next morning to sing at church. The people left from her troop also left the game at the time. We got a ride to our car in a golf cart, which made Emily very happy.

All in all, it was a fun time. The Tourists won both games and Emily enjoyed herself!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Disney Plans!

This October, Emily and I are heading to Disney World for our first girl's only trip. It will probably be the first of many because Todd is not as into Disney as I am. We are going to be doing several things that Todd thought Emily was too young for on our last trip.

Firsts for Emily is going to be going to Epcot for the first time plus going to the Halloween party. We are eating at some old favorites but some new restaurants as well. My wonderful travel agent was able to get us all the dining reservations we wanted!

Just for fun, here's our plans!

Saturday - October 1st - Arrival Day! Because I'm driving and can't drive straight through like Todd does, we are stopping the night before. I hope to be on the road nice and early to get to our resort, Art of Animation, in the morning.

We aren't going to do early check-in, mostly because Emily wants to be able to watch Disney cartoons in the lobby. I don't think that our room will be ready right away so we are going to head over to the Magic Kingdom.

In the late afternoon, we have a dinner reservation for Ohana at the Polynesian Resort. Emily really wants to ride the monorail and I really want to eat at Ohana. So we are going to take the monorail there and back. We probably won't stay too long at the Magic Kindgom after that, maybe ride a couple more rides. We'll have to get into our room after and I'm sure I'll be tired at least.

Sunday - October 2nd - Epcot Day! I'm hoping to get there at rope drop and then we'll take an early lunch because we have a reservation for the Nine Dragons a little before 5 pm.

Emily's never been to Epcot though she says it's her favorite park. I'm really excited to ride on Spaceship Earth, which I haven't rode since I was a kid. Emily is looking forward to playing the Agent P game and doing the Kidcot stations.

Monday - October 3rd - Hollywood Studios Day! My main goal is to see the nighttime show. It was raining too hard when we were at Disney for our honeymoon and last trip it was our last park day so Emily was a bit worn out. I will see Fantasmic! this time!

We will probably try to do rope drop, especially if Emily changes her mind and wants to do the Jedi Academy. Otherwise, we'll probably just try to get there early but not stress too much. Probably will head out for a nap after our character lunch at Hollywood and Vine.

Tuesday - October 4th - Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party day! So we are sleeping in, though we do have a character breakfast at 9 at Ohana because that's the only way Emily can meet Lilo.

We might go to Disney Springs after that, but mostly we'll be resting and napping until it's time to head to the Magic Kingdom for the party! We'll be there close to 4 pm so we can maximize our Magic Kingdom time!

Wednesday - October 5th - Rest Day! We are going to sleep in and do a whole lot of nothing this day. Probably will hang out by the pool and maybe go put-put golfing. We have a dinner reservation for the Whispering Canyon Cafe which is at Wilderness Lodge. This is a new restaurant for me and I'm looking forward to seeing Wilderness Lodge too!

Thursday - October 6th
- Animal Kingdom Day! We'll probably do rope drop again this day if possible. I know we'll want to go on the Safari at least once plus I know that Emily wants to see both Festival of the Lion King and the Finding Nemo Musical.

We'll probably go back to the resort early for lunch and a nap because we have a Yak and Yeti reservation last afternoon. I really hope that the Animal Kingdom nighttime show will be up and running by then. Either way, we'll probably not stay at Animal Kingdom too late.

Friday - October 7th - Magic Kingdom Day! This will actually the 3rd time we we'll have been to the Magic Kingdom this trip but this is our main day in the best park (in my opinion) at Disney World.

We have a pre-rope drop reservation for breakfast at the Crystal Palace so Emily can meet Eeyore and Piglet. For rides, we'll probably mostly focus on what we haven't gotten to earlier in our trip. We have a counter service reservation for lunch at noon for Be Our Guest because Emily wanted to eat in Beast's Castle again. We'll probably just stay at the park until 7 because it's a party night and we'll have to leave once the party starts!

Saturday - October 8th - Departure Day! I'm hoping that we'll be on the road fairly early. I'm hoping that I can actually make the whole drive home without having to stop for the night. I'll play that by ear. I'm sure we'll make our normal trip to the food court to use up any extra snack credits so we can have snacks to go home with.

Both Emily and I are really looking forward to this trip!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

My Ghost Adventures - The Moving Flower

To start at the beginning of this series, click here!

Even though I live in a haunted house, extra weird things only happen every once in a while. Usually the activity consists of footsteps down the hallway. But our ghost decided to play a little with Emily the past few days.

Emily is in Girl Scouts and they do a lot of crafts. Because the weather is warmer now, they are doing things involving plants. This week's meeting had them making fairy gardens. They were given two flowers, a house and then a bunch of shiny stones to make the fairy garden.

When we brought Emily's home she insisted on keeping it in her room. One of the cats knocked it over the next day, so I put it up high on top of the record player she has on her dresser. We are planning on moving it outside once we get a spot for a garden set up but I've been sick all week and I haven't been able to do it.

Emily can see the garden but she can't reach it, like to water it, without a stool. But she told me earlier this week that one of her flowers had been unplanted and moved by the other one. She was a bit upset but I helped her put it back it its previous spot. I didn't really think anything of it.

That is, until it happened again yesterday. In the picture, it's the yellow flower on the right. It was pulled out with the roots and dirt (the flower had come in a container with some dirt in it) and moved back to the left. No animal could have done it, and Emily and I didn't do it.

She moved it back and I asked Todd when I called him later that evening if he had moved it. As I expected, he hadn't. So for some reason, our ghost wants that flower on the other side. I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll be able to fix up the garden outside and get all plants outside! We'll see if it keeps happening once the fairy garden is out of the house.

Up next - Knocks in the Night!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Be A Good Samaritan

Election years seem to bring out the worst in people and this year seems to especially so. The hate that people are spewing really is sad and discouraging. A local story that really highlighted this attitude made national attention yesterday.

It's the story of the tow truck driver and the disabled woman. If you haven't heard it, basically a woman got in an accident in Asheville on her way back to SC. A tow truck driver was called to tow her car, but decided not to because she had a Bernie Sanders bumper sticker.

Image: funny-pictures.picphotos.net
The tow truck driver says that the Lord told him to strand this woman on the side of a very busy highway - all he knew about her was that she was in the need of help and was a Bernie supporter. From everything I've read, he's very impressed with himself for being such a good "Christian".

In fact, he's basically the opposite of a good Christian, good person and whatnot. And I don't really consider this a political issues, it's a common human decency issue. In fact, what Jesus taught in the parable of the Good Samaritan was just the opposite.

You can read the whole passage here, but the end is what really speaks to me especially with this story.

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
 Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Even if you are of another religion or don't believe in a higher power at all, it's a good thing for society in general to follow Wheaton's Law, which is simply put - Don't be a dick. In the case of this story, the tow truck driver backpedaled a little when he found out that the woman was disabled. He said that if he had realized that, he would have waited with her until another tow truck driver came.

My thought is, what good would that have done? She was still stranded on the side of the road, stuck in her car. And no matter who it was, healthy, ill, male, female, white, person of color, gay, straight, etc. People are people and they deserve to be treated with even a hint of human decency.

Hate is an easy path to go down. It's easy to hate people who are different or whose choices you don't understand. Love can be a harder path because there are going to be people you just clash with for whatever reason. If someone is making choices that you don't agree with, the decent thing to do is to let them be unless they are harming themselves or others. Even doing that little bit and trying to be kind to your fellow humans, and the world would be a better place.