Waking up in the middle of the night with a banging migraine, I couldn’t return to slumber. When this happens I grab my iPad to check what is going on in the world. Usually it is more of the day’s events with the latest “experts” weighing in. Last night was far different. As I check my various news outlets, my heart breaks. Instead of finding more Hilary shenanigans, the news was centered in Dallas, Texas. Of course you already know the travesty that occurred there. What concerned me is how far is this going to go. We have experienced too many tragedies in recent times and regardless of the perpetrators, we cannot seem to be peaceful. Life is full of possibilities and we cannot be human about it. There are misguided people in the world. Let’s avoid resorting to violence, bullying, and division of communities. Instead, look to cohesion. Civil discourse is fine and can be rather productive. The latest situations have really exceeded the boundaries of collective discussions. As a civilized society, many look to us for guidance. We are failing miserably. While I can never fully understand the experiences of others, I try and look at their plight with empathy. There will always be good and evil, but to live in constant strife is unhealthy. Mistakes are made, some are irreversible. The one thing I can hope for is some semblance of responsibility to each other and our shortcomings. Instead of anger or hate, funnel that energy into truly making a difference. The lives disrupted by these heinous acts only reverberate each time they occur. How long must we live in fear? When will it be safe to enjoy a public event? I can only hope that we can begin by moving forward without revenge. Perhaps start trusting more, not judging others, enjoying our differences, and learning something valuable by our past errors. No one is perfect or better than another. Accept those things and try to better yourself. Everything begins with you.
Living in a city where the sale of fireworks is permitted, I find it rather cool. But, there is a hitch. If you purchase these legally sold fireworks in Daytona Beach, you sign a waiver stating you will not deploy said fireworks in the city of Daytona Beach. Hello!!! What type of madness is this? You can purchase but not deploy fireworks. What does the city think I am going to do with these fireworks? Where can I use them? I don’t see anyone purchasing fireworks,signing the waiver, and stashing them in their closet.
While trying to sort this dichotomy, I am hearing and seeing fireworks up and down my street. Did these consumers sign the magic waiver? I think not. As my dog cowers and pushes into my rib cage, I ask myself who is checking these “waivers?” How does one ensure that those legally purchased are going out of the city to enjoy the fanfare they spent a week’s paycheck on?
The questions have no answers, I understand that, however it is one more thing that is floating through my mind on this wonderful Fourth of July.
You may ask why I am calling the Coke Zero 400 event the Firecracker 400. Long ago, the race was called that. Named for the close proximity to the July 4th holiday, this name sticks with with most residents in the town. The simpler name suits the race.
Over the years, the racing industry has grown by leaps and bounds. Sponsorship has gone from car advertisements to fuel the driver’s career, to basically removing the personal element of the race itself. Everyone had their driver. Now, everything is labeled by companies. I can tell you the brand that goes with the number before the driver.
Every year, big business places their ever reaching hand into all forms of the public arena. Don’t get me wrong, it is what they do in order to ensure profitability. My thoughts are with the drivers. Godaddy.com used to equate to Danica Patrick, Home Depot used to be Tony Stewart. I find car sponsorships to be great, but the big brands have gone one step further. They now have to label everything. Daytona Speedway had a facelift. Now every entrance to the venue has some big name on the facade. The race names are being changed to “Sponsor” “#”. Where will it end?
The point here is that in the early years, it was simply a testament to the drivers’ abilities. Today, ticket prices are obscene, parking rates even more so, and in order to attend a race you need a second mortgage. People query as to my absence from the various wonderful races held here at the racetrack. Intimacy. The closeness and old school cool is lost under a weighted fight for product placement. All is not lost though. Later today I will step outside my house and see the Goodyear blimp, the military aircraft, and hear the engines roar and will have my moment with the drivers….my way!
Waking up before the kids this morning, I have been tending to some much needed chores. Not your everyday chores, but the ones that need to be done regardless of the desire to do so. One such chore is waxing the cars. The Florida heat can really do a number on the paint job. Instead of waxing the car once a year, it ends up being done at least 3 times, preferably 4 times. Evidently, getting up early in the morning during this oppressive heat wave is not early enough. This brings me inside to diligently scribe my latest blog post.
Unlike many folks in the US, I am afforded the luxury of being a ‘stay at home’ mom. Before all of the Gloria Steinem fans scream that I am pushing the movement back 40 years, realize that this is working for us. Having me home with the children, in my opinion, is bringing us back to the importance of our family and how being home makes them better children. I realize many of those parents out there cannot afford to stay home, but I can assure you, it does come with sacrifice. I am not out shopping every day with the money my husband makes. Instead, I am scrimping, saving, allocating, and pulling off some creative finance management. Mind you, it isn’t as hard as you think. It is all about priorities.
Now comes the best part of all it. The time to be me. The time to devote to our family far outweighs my need to own a Porsche. Trust me, if someone hands me the keys to a 911, I will be more than happy to accept, but since I have a better chance of meeting Elvis at my front door, the idea is moot.
One thing I have discovered while not working in the conventional way is the fact that I can make money at home. Is it MLM, or Avon, or Amway, or Ponzi schemes? No, it is simply finding my niche and embracing it. I am not the most social person in the world, however, ask some of my friends during my single days and they will reply differently, but I have met some amazing people via the internet. I never thought in a million years that you could meet people and connect so readily on the net. I mean, I knew you could, but I thought most were scammers and/or #twitterinvaders. Being a wife of a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) and also growing up very street smart, I am very wary of the motives of people. I am not paranoid, however, I like to be very sure of whom I deal with and make sure that they are kosher. This summer has been quite the learning experience and it far outweighs the daily grind. Being home makes my Summertime Easy.
With only a little over a week until school starts, I can relax. Then, I take over my next job, homeschooling mom to 2 boys.
As we sat in shock yesterday afternoon during the reading of the verdict in the Casey Anthony Case, a plethora of questions began to flow. How could this happen? Why did this happen? Is the jury blind? And ultimately, What is in store for the future since anyone can get away with murder?
With social media having a HUGE impact on the course of this trial and the advantages of the internet being at our fingertips, how can anyone not have an opinion?
Considering my strong views and my eagerness to impart them without request, I still maintain that the verdict, thought not maybe what we wanted, was rendered according to the law. The law requires ‘reasonable doubt’, which is easy to do. The law currently states that in the United States, juries must be instructed to apply the reasonable doubt standard when determining the guilt or innocence of a criminal defendant, but there is much disagreement as to whether the jury should be given a definition of “reasonable doubt.” What may be reasonable to you or I may not be reasonable to others. To set a threshold to where that doubt begins and ends is perhaps something we need to address.
Another problem with the current system is that we see everything. Every detail is released to the public is something to add to our ‘evidence bin.’ We, as the public, are privy to information that far exceeds the amount of information that the jury sees. In essence, we cannot render a fair verdict under the current law of reasonable doubt.
The reason that the verdict touched us so very much is because an innocent child, defenseless and unaware, had the life taken from her. What brings us together as humans is the empathy we feel for the family and the shock at the possibility that anyone, even a mother, could possibly take the life of a child. The justice system does not always work; however, the fact that someone can murder or be a part in the death of another is unfathomable.
During these past several weeks, thanks to Twitter, I have forged new friendships and met others that share my grief and wonder. I feel as though this trial has been a learning experience in life in general. It taught me that despite the ugly truths of life and death, there is always a layer of positive to be garnered. For that, I am thankful.
May the memory of Miss Caylee Anthony live on in all of us.
Well, the kids wanted an impromptu campout. As I type this, I am snuggled up in my Slanket and my sleeping bag with my boys right beside me. Cold weather is a precious commodity in Florida. Last night the projected temperature was to be in the upper 40s. So backyard camping we went. Of course with all the luxuries of home…..laptop, Nintendo DS, etc. Laying out here reminds me of the wonderful fall of home that I miss. Sleeping with nature actually puts a spin on your sleep. You have so many sounds that normally are not in your abode. I cannot wait to go camping in Ocala with the sounds of silence reverberating in my ears. The best part of last night’s ‘camping trip’ was waking up to the sound of water droplets on the rain fly. I could do this more often than I initially thought as the fresh air infused my lungs with new energy.
It is the time of the year when the holidays come back to back to back. Are you wondering if your sanity will be intact by the end of the season? Observing the myriad of shoppers and the plethora of grocery store promotions, one wonders if the season preparations are worth the hype.
The unofficial fall/winter holiday season starts with the pumpkins and candy. I am sure that the dentists and candy manufacturers invented this holiday. They needed to replenish their bank accounts after the summer vacation season. Don’t believe the ‘usual’ roots of this tradition. It is all hogwash.
Next we celebrate the Feast of Thanksgiving here in the United States. Now I know for sure that between this and the entire holiday season, the gyms, and the diet companies up their stock at this point in the game. I find that spending 1 week prepping, cooking, cleaning, and getting ready for this huge meal only to eat your meal within an hour is a bit of overkill. I always hear the same thing during this holiday, ‘if you are going to cook a turkey, you might as well buy the biggest one you can find!’ I fall in to that trap every year. If you really wish to add stress to the Thanksgiving holiday, you get to go out the next day and shop at 3 am. On the other hand, it could be a good thing; maybe you can shop away those calories eaten the day before.
Between Thanksgiving and the New Year, many people find themselves in a whirlwind of activity for their respective holidays. Regardless of what you celebrate, if at all, you are stuck trying to complete the every week tasks of grocery shopping and perhaps some other needs. Ringing bells, holiday music, and sparkling lights flood our senses. Aromatic baking and food preparation infiltrate every olfactory nerve within radius.
Moms truly know the reasons for this ‘sensory overload.’ It is about the family, the kids, and the memories. The smiles on their faces tell you that it is all worth it.
As a Pennsylvanian native, I always looked forward to the colorful shades of fall. The latest fashion catalogues filled with sweaters, coats, and boots. The slight crisp in the air of the upcoming colder weather…..
Well, the south does not work that way. September not only brings us more of the same heat, extreme heat, but it brings us something more….hurricanes. I am not complaining about the hurricanes, nor am I upset about the heat; I just want my body to stop anticipating the lovely season of fall! For some reason, unbeknownst to me, my body begins to get this itch. It seems to sense that, despite living in the south for over 12 years that the sweaters need to come out. The fashion world still advertises these scrumptious sweaters, comfy coats, and bitchin’ boots. (Dare I use an 80’s term?)
Do they not know that here in the south it is the salty surf shorts, sporty sunglasses, and the ever so trendy funky flip flops?
But I digress….My body really seems to think it lived back in Pennsylvania. It still goes outside looking for the smell of leaves burning, the sounds of band practice, the hint of a crisp breeze and the feel good weather begging for the outdoor activities only a southerner can truly appreciate.
Which now leads to the question of how adaptable are we really? If we are able to evolve in order to withstand differences in climates as well as environments, then why does the body feel the need to prepare for the winter, formerly experienced by cold and snow in the north, to one that never really comes in the south? And, by the way, why is the holiday of Christmas always expressed with Santa in his sleigh? We all know that that Santa would not survive Florida in that suit, even in the winter months.
As the days get shorter, and the local football events begin, it really will never feel like the Traditional Fall my body yearns for. However, I know that I will not be shoveling snow this year and I suppose that is one thing I know that I will never miss.