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Merry Meet & Thank you for visiting!
This blog is all about all the things that make me up. I am a Mother, I am a Pagan Witch, I am a Wife, I am a homemaker, I am a student, I am Spiritual, I am a Teacher, I am Liberal Hippie, I am a Voter, and I am extremely opinionated! Plan to see it all! If you don't like what you see, feel free to leave! However, chances are, if you stick around, you'll find more to love than hate!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm all shook up!

So today I survived my first earthquake! Okay, so I survived my first tremor.

I'm sitting on the bed rocking Madeline to sleep when I feel my either bed shake. It looked like something out of the Exorcist or something...  It shook hard enough to shake the pile of papers on the dresser over and fall on the floor. At first I though one of the kids was at the foot of my bed shaking it, but when I looked they weren't there... Then I kinda got freaked like "WHY did my bedroom just shake" then they broke in on the TV and said earthquake...

From what I'm gathering on news reports the quake was a 5.9 and based in Virginia. But it was felt as far away as Canada and New Mexico. Honestly, I thought it was neat... I never felt anything like that before. If it weren't for the damage they cause I would say send more!

So anyways, I survived... Apparently my mother and husband live in a bubble though because neither of them even felt it... Oh well.

Reasons why children should NOT be saying the Pledge of Allegiance!

Recently there has been a "Statement" going around on Facebook. It's rather unoriginal and people are simply copy/pasting it over and over... I think I've seen it at least a dozen times! But apparently, as is usually the case, no one thinks before they post... And people prefer to choose emotion over common sense. So, it's become an issue that was simply never meant to be one...
Anyways, the post is as follows:




As usual I'm the only one who doesn't blindly click "like" and re-post. Instead choosing to use my own brain! But unlike so many parents out there, I don't want my children to live exactly as I did because I admit that there were flaws with the way things were 20 years ago and change is needed! This is one
of those places!

So lets explore why children shouldn't be saying the Pledge of every morning...

1. Children Can't Pledge To Anything!
First it's important to understand fully what a Pledge is. According to Dictionary.com the actual definition of the word is "A solemn binding promise to do, give, or refrain from doing something." Essentially it's a contract of some kind.

Now I would think that most people would agree that children should not be making "solemn binding promises" or entering in to any form of contract. Children simply don't have the understanding or mental capability to take such action. It's this same reason most people use to argue against teen weddings or children making medical choices for themselves. Children simply don't have the ability to make a promise to or for anything on a life long basis, hell, my kids promise me every day they aren't going to argue, they'll keep their room clean and they'll let their sister sleep... And they can't remember those promises 3 hours later, so how can we expect them to take a life long Pledge of Allegiance to a country?

We don't allow children to enter in to ANY form of contract in any other context. And the reason simply is because they do not have the maturity to make those choices for themselves. Who in their right mind would think a child has the ability to do such a thing? Yet, we expect them to Pledge their Allegiance to our country every day they go to school?

2. Devaluation of the Pledge & What it Stands For.
A pledge is only as valuable as the sincerity and ability of those who take it. Children tend to be very sincere, but only because they have no grasp of forever. Every day when my children promise not to fight, they are very sincere about it, they truly mean it. But hours later, it goes right out the window when someone sits on the other's bed or plays with the other's toys... Which takes me to the "ability" aspect. It's not that children don't want to do what they say, they simply don't have the ability to follow through with long term promises.

You wouldn't put much value in a blind man's pledge to watch your child. Why? Because no matter how much he promised to do his best, he can't see them. So how can we place value in a life long Pledge taken by children who can't grasp the reality of what life long means?

I am the type of person who feels it's important to place value on promises and pledges! I teach my children never to promise something they don't plan to keep or that they aren't 200% sure of. At one point in history breaking an oath or pledge was punishable by death. Thankfully we aren't killing people for breaking promises today. But we are setting our children up to fail. I mean any child who decides to move to another country, travel the world, or take up a political opinion or belief which counters those currently held would in fact be breaking this pledge which they took as a child.

Complete devaluation!

3. It's Unconstitutional
Each of us has a constitutional right to a freedom of religion. That freedom means we are guaranteed the freedom of our own religious beliefs and that our government has no ability to dictate or control our beliefs, practice or worship in either public or private. This means by having children Pledge their Allegiance to anything but themselves or their God limits their freedom to have their own beliefs... 

It's also worth noting that the original Pledge of Allegiance had no mention of God. This wasn't in fact added until 1954, prior to that there was no direct religious connection. But it did still limit one's ability to properly follow their own convictions.

For those who do not believe in God, saying this Pledge violates their freedom by mixing religion with politics. For those who do believe in God this violates their freedom by aligning their beliefs with a God whom may or may not be the one they believe in. In addition it also supposes that this God would approve of the government as it stands today - which there is no way to prove.

Now, don't get me wrong, I believe that the Pledge of Allegiance should be taught. However I don't believe children should be expected to say it. Those who take this oath to serve and honor our country should be of sound, stable and mature mind, they should have the ability to understand the seriousness of their oath and know that it doesn't counter personal or religious beliefs to do so. Children simply can't do that.

I love this country. I hope my children will as well. And I believe that if someone is to promise their allegiance to it they should be expected and obligated to do so. Anything less is traitorous, and should not be tolerate! Again, children have no ability to take such and oath or to understand the breath of what they do when they repeat those words.

Now, I've been told that this is a subject I take to seriously. But I say if you aren't taking it seriously there is something greatly wrong. The Pledge of Allegiance is in fact an oath of loyalty to our flag and to our country, it is a serious thing - It should be taken seriously! And it shouldn't be taken less seriously by children, instead it's seriousness is something we need to impress upon them so they understand the weight of those words! It something which they need to understand can not be taken back, can not be broken and can not be taken lightly...  An oath of loyalty to ANY government, group, person, faith or belief is something which a child should never be expected to enter in to. They are adult matters and should only be entered in to by adults who both understand the weight and length of what their words mean!

Pride in this country can only be taught and expressed by showing a child how great this country truly is! Our political system, our legal system, and our history are awesome and worthy of honor, love and pride. As far as I am concerned they are more than enough reason to pledge your loyalty to this country, but only by those who have the ability to properly make that oath. So teach your children the history of this great land! Teach them the good and the bad! And allow them to see the greatness which their generation is about to inherit. Don't teach them to take blind oaths and easily breakable promises. The ability to repeat a 120 year old poem does not qualify someone as a patriot - Knowing that this country is the greatest on Earth and being willing to make a life long oath of loyalty and love knowing full well they may have to back that up with their lives does! There's a HUGE difference!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hot Sauce and Cold Showers for a 7 year old?

The following video is from today's Good Morning America Broadcast. As a mother, the video brought me to tears! - Just a warning!

I am NOT against physical discipline and agree that I would prefer my children learn consequences as children than be faced with adult consequences later. That said, there is a difference between physical discipline and abuse!

Hot sauce is NOT an okay way to discipline a child and can cause health issues. It's literally acid! Putting acid in a child's mouth is simply not okay! And let me be clear here, adding hot sauce to food, which dilutes the potency, acidity and pain is completely different than forcing a child to hold a mouthful of sauce...  Want proof? Do it yourself! Take a spoonful of hot sauce and hold it in your mouth, now tell me there is no difference between that and food!

And as for the cold shower...  I shouldn't even need to address this! Cold showers were used as punishment and torture by the Nazis. And are used today as torture by armies trying to force confessions or information from war prisoners all over the world. Why would ANYONE think this kind of treatment is okay to use on a SEVEN year old CHILD? Hell, for that matter, there is some debate over whether or not it should be used for prisoners of war... 

Now, to the question of "does she belong in prison?" Believe it or not, I'm on the fence! First, I am a firm believer that child abusers belong in prison! And I don't believe they should have the right to regain custody after they get out either... But here's the thing, this woman belonged to a generation where this type of punishment was considered normal and even loving by some. The idea that we have to be hard on our children or they will grow up weak was very much a part of the blue collar culture for many generations. I don't believe it was any more right than it is today, but the fact is, that's how it was.

My mother picked a switch off the tree, her father used a belt... Today, I would hope someone would remove children from a home like that, but then, it was not only accepted, but expected! I feel this woman is repeating that cycle and honestly doing what she believes she is supposed to do. The footage is from an episode of Dr. Phil where they were attempting to help mothers who had issues with anger and went to far with physical discipline. She was trying to get help, not just for her, but for her son. She was taking steps to better herself for the sake of this child.

So I think she believed she was doing what was best for the child, in an attempt to better his life and give him a good start... The child himself was an abandoned orphan from an alcoholic mother and a criminal for a father in Russia. When he was removed from his mother he and his brother were sleeping on shelves... This woman didn't only have four children of her own, but had adopted this in need child and his twin brother. She wanted to do everything she could to give him the life he deserved... But good intentions can sometimes lead to bad actions, and in this case, they did.

But prison? I don't think she is the classic child abuser. I don't think this was a control issue or a child who is unloved. I think this is a mother who is repeating an abuse cycle out of a true want to create a better life for this child and his twin. She made bad choices! And she needs help, but she's already admitted to and reached out for that! So, therapy, parenting classes, mentoring, even community service? These could be wonderfully benefits for this mother AND her children! But prison? What's that going to do? Remove the mother? Leave the father with 6 kids all by himself? Sure, but is it going to fix the problem? Far from it. If anything it's going to create more issues!

I understand that the system wants to make an example of this woman, and that since her issues were aired on TV something has to be done. But I think there are better options out there than a year of prison for her and a year without their mother for the kids.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Homeless people are people too!

So yesterday I was listening to the radio and the "daily question" on one of the local stations was "How do you handle homeless people asking for money?" The answers I heard made me sick to my stomach! But one in particular made me so angry I had to change the station.

A man called in and said "I work hard for my money and shouldn't have to share it with low life's who can't be bothered to do for themselves." he then went on to tell the story of how he saw a guy with a sign that said "I need beer" so he went and bought the man a 6-pack...  Seriously? People who are starving, cold, wet & sick... They don't deserve your $.50 but some guy begging for alcohol earns a 6-pack? What the hell is wrong with people!

Homeless people aren't all angels, and many of them are there because they made poor choices. BUT, they aren't less than people because they are poor. Sure, there are those who will take your dollar and buy booze or a fix. But who are you to decide that someone doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt? Who are you to decide they aren't going to buy a dollar sandwich? And if you're really so convinced that they are going to do something you don't agree with with your money, go buy them a sandwich or a loaf of bread! Give them something that they can't spend on drugs... but don't just walk away!

People seem to think it's so easy to get off the street and that only bums are there. But in reality any of us can end up on the streets  at nearly any time. Some of the most common reason for homelessness are mental illness, job loss and divorce. Things which can and do happen to anyone!

And getting out of that kind of situation is even harder than preventing it! You can't get off the street til you have an income. You can't have an income til you get a job. You can't get a job til you are off the street & have a valid address... It's not like someone chooses to stay on the street or chooses not to do better for themselves. But the cycle of negativity is ridiculous!

Pittsburgh has about 400 shelter spots which are given on a first come first serve basis. But there are about 1500 to 2000 people living on the streets of the city year round who simply can't find a shelter with room! Or course they are dirty, smelly, cold, hungry and needy... You would be too if you were living in back alley ways with one outfit and no where to shower for weeks or months at a time! Why would you hold it against them? Common sense says if you don't want to have them in the system or have them on the corner begging you need to help them get out of the situation they are in.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Awesome Show Today!

So I had a great Wildtree show today at the local coffee shop! It wasn't the largest show I ever had, but it was a great fun time. I was able to make some great connections on the local business front and get a few more people introduced to Wildtree at the same time! Thanks to all those who came and thanks to all that ordered! If you'd still like to order I won't be finalizing my order til Monday, so visit the website and place your order or give me a call and let me know what you need!

Friday, August 5, 2011

So I have to sell my car to pay for my BILs porn...

First let me say I'm all about "Do the Crime - Do the Time" kind of thinking. But when did paying the bill become the crime? I am one of these people who honestly never downloads ANYTHING unless I have paid for it and know it's from a company and not some person who could be screwing me with a virus or something. My Brother-In-Law however, not so much. He's a big P2P user. I have said over and over again - STOP DOWNLOADING!!! I hate it! All our computers are on a network together and the last thing I want is some creep bugging our network because he downloaded the wrong thing.

So anyways, he apparently can't enjoy all the free porn that's already online, he had to download some... And low and behold, he violated copyright laws. But it's MY name on the Internet bill... So guess who's being sued. Not him. Not the adult that actually broke the law... But ME. I got a notice yesterday that said I have 20 days to settle the case out of court for $3500, or they are taking me to court for the full $30,000 allowed by law... 

Where the hell am I going to get that kind of money? Seriously! We don't have the cash to pay the Gas bill right now, and now I have to come up with $3500 or face $30,000? So, it looks like we need to sell the car now. Yep, that's right, I'm going to be a full time mom of 3, with no car, and a HUGE hill between me and ANYTHING. Gods only know how I'm going to get Alex to the bus stop when school starts.

Hopefully we can get enough for the car that we can afford to get a little $500 beater that will last til the spring, but I honestly have no clue what the hell we're going to do!

But seriously, how is it even legal to sue me, who didn't break the law, rather than suing the man who actually did it? He even admitted that he did it! Not that he has the money either, but at least then he would be on the hook for it instead of me... Maybe then he would quit doing this... 
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