Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Who Did You Say You Are?

You might remember a post I wrote a week or so ago, Time Changes Everything  where  I was talking about the 56 year old that decided to use the last two frozen embryos that she "won" in the divorce to have a set of twins.  The ex isn't keen on the idea, to say the very least,  but they were part of her settlement...so I guess they were hers to handle anyway she saw appropriate.    The reason I am bringing up the subject is that while that is an odd situation there seems to be a plethora of stories lately about maternity and paternity confusion.

Thought Number One: FYI: Craigslist + Catheter = Child Support

You probably remember hearing about the case out of Kansas when the State of Kansas decided to sue a sperm donor for child support.

 I know! That was my first reaction too!  Well...seems there are a few facts that came out in court that the media failed to mention.  This might not make it more palatable for a state to be suing a sperm donor but it does bring up some questions as to the legal process that protects children in unusual family dynamics.

While it is true that the State of Kansas did, in fact decide to sue William Marotta for $6000.00 in past child support related to the fact, he fathered a child via a sperm donation to a same-sex couple,  Jennifer Schreiner and her now-ex-partner, Angela Bauer.  The problem arose from the manner of the "donation".  The women posted an ad on Craigslist to find a suitable daddy for their child.  Mr. Marotta came to an agreement  with the women that he would not be obligated to the child in any way. This wasn't handled by an attorney or a clinic...just a man, a plan, some sperm and two women that wanted a baby.

Unfortunately for the clueless parents-in-the-making,  the law in Kansas (and in 10 other states), requires a physician  or clinic to be involved with the insemination process  for it to be considered a legal "donor" situation.   It turns out that men furnishing their sperm for the purposes of baby-making,..... because of a Craigslist ad, and some hand delivered semen (OK..maybe hand isn't the appropriate word...but you know what I mean.), it might make the legality of it a bit "iffy".

As it turned out the two moms split and both filed for welfare and child support from the state.   Then Kansas went looking for the daddy, thinking he could help to take some  financial responsibility for the now three year old little girl.

The case was heard in a local court in  October and a decision is due before the end of the year.  The lawyers on both sides feel that there will be appeals, no matter which side wins.  Ultimately, the thought is that the laws will have to be more specific to protect donors from being sued and persons seeking artificial insemination will hopefully be more inclined to approach insemination with the aid of physicians which would of provided a legal basis to protect the donor, even in this case.  

Thought Number Two:  Maternity and Paternity is Getting More Complicated

The other day I was watching one of the morning talk shows and there was a segment about the reality show that is being aired on MTV called the Cryo Generation.   The  6 part realty show documentary follows the search conducted by a 17 year old college student, Breeanna Speicher who decided to search for her biological father.  Her biological father was an anonymous sperm donor for her two moms.

Sperm donor clinics became prevalent in the 1980's so there is a whole generation of children now to the age where they may be curious about their genetic backgrounds. There is even a movie currently in theaters, Delivery Man  which tells the story of a man that finds he is the biological father of 500 children. 

As for the MTV Cryo Generation group, they have been aided by Wendy Kramer, the founder and director of the Donor Sibling Registry.   Through the registry, Breeanna has found 15 half-siblings that were also fathered by Sperm Donor #1096. Ms. Kramer believes that children have the right to know where they come from and satisfy their need to know their genetic parent.

Which brings me to..."why this is of interest to me".

I find it interesting that today there are so many resources to help in seeking one's genetic parent.  In the mid 1970's after having Kiddo #2, I decided to track down my biological mother.  Back in that time period there were groups that you could work with that had figured out strategies to find parents but without computers it was very difficult. Most of it required tracking down people that might knew other people that knew other people.

In my case, the year 1975 had my poor brain  swimming in a pool of postpartum hormones that kept telling me that there was a woman somewhere in the world that had two adorable grandchildren that she knew nothing of. I might add, that she was also not aware that these two children were the most perfect, beautiful children that were ever born.  (maybe I was prone to overstating it a bit due to the hormone-tainted-brain-pool as well.)

My circumstances were different in the fact that I was separated from my biological mother at a very young age but I vaguely remembered what she looked like (or so I thought) and I knew her maiden name and  her surname at the time of my birth.  So, I spent my days going through phone books of various cities looking for  a last name and calling a LOT of people asking if they knew this person or had they had ever given birth to a little girl named Cheryl  M. After a myriad of calls, I managed to connect with someone who knew her current married name and the state she was currently residing in. I backtracked....looked through more phone books until I called the right person. 

Let me tell you, you haven't had a more bizarre phone conversation than when you ask someone if they gave birth to you and they pause before they answer. Which makes one wonder if the person fainted, couldn't remember or thought it was a trick question. 

Now.... you would think of this as a success but....here is the thing about tracking down biological parents.  They don't necessarily want to be tracked down.

My sweet husband went along supporting me in this quest even though he had been lucky enough not to have to endure a mother-in-law up to that point and encouraged me to invite her to Kansas City for a visit.  Seemed like a fine idea at the time.  I was 23 years old and was about to meet a person of which, I had just wisps of memories.

BTW....Memories are totally inaccurate. I now know that very young children don't see their parents as they are. I have to think our adult memories of our parents are also not entirely accurate because of  our childlike perceptions at the time the memories were created. 

Another component to this is:  time is not your friend when trying to reunite with a parent.  I would have to think the longer the time span, the harder it would be to fill the gap.

As for my mother, she did arrive in KC, via the bus.  My first surprise was the fact she was blind.  (I would say that I didn't see that coming but that seems cruel.)  If one was to write a screen play based on me picking her up at the bus station, it would appear to be a comedy.  I thought I knew what she looked like.  I wandered around the station for quite awhile trying to figure out which of the hundreds of women in the terminal might be her,  when luckily,  she heard me talking to someone.  I presumably  was whining about how I should of asked her for a clue of some sort to know who she was.   Good thing she had good hearing.

While her blindness meant she couldn't appreciate how beautiful my babies were, it added another dimension to what was to be  a bizarre couple of days.  (This is just another example of why my husband deserves a medal for all he has had to endure in our 42 years of our marriage.)

 All in all, I realized, she came to KC out of curiosity and the need to justify why I wasn't a priority in her life.  From my point of view, it satisfied some of my curiosity but left most of my questions unanswered. I later learned that she preferred to tell people she had only one child which was a son she had adopted later in life. This was just one of the  indicators that she had detached herself from me and wasn't needing to reconnect.

I received word a couple of years ago she passed away.  In her obituary, it listed her adopted son and two previous children...my brother and me.  Obviously, someone felt the need to include us but they had a first name (which was the wrong name) and "last name not known".

SOOOO..back to the idea of searching for biological parents.  For all the paternity tests, the DNA testing and tracking down unknown siblings, technology has made it easier, I'm sure. Computers and Smart phones might of made my search more efficient.  But the current climate of invitro, sperm donors and surrogacy makes more cases that might arise for children wanting to know their parent.

 Sadly, for those that feel that connection, the truth  is "some people won't want to be found?" Those that do...hypothetically they might really result in a kumbaya kind of moment. BUT in cases such as the Cryo Gerneration....  If donor #1096 isn't interested in seeing or knowing about his 15+ kids, is it more hopeful  or more hurtful to try to find him?

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Friday, November 22, 2013

State of Confusion

Crazy week with a lot of odd news from various states.

 California Love

 Charles Manson (yeh, that Charles Manson..psychotic killer) is supposedly engage to be married to a 25  year old.

The blushing bride's name  is Star who's been loyally visiting Manson in jail since she was 19 years old and
maintains several websites devoted to defending Manson and his pro-Earth environmental causes. According to an in depth article that is due to be published in   Rolling Stone today, Star says the pair will  be heading down the aisle.  

In 2007, Star moved to Corcoran to be near Charlie, who she visits each Saturday and Sunday for up to five hours a day. "Yeah, well, people can think I'm crazy," she says. (of course they do...because she is.)

She grew up near St. Louis, where she says she was smoking marijuana, eating mushrooms, not wanting to go to church every Sunday with her devoutly religious family, so they locked her in her room for much of her high school years. When she was 19, she took the $2,000 she'd saved up working in a retirement home kitchen and hopped a train to Corcoran.

Star's resemblance to Manson Family member Susan Atkins is beyond striking, and Star seeks to distinguish herself from the woman known as Sexy Sadie, who was incarcerated for her role in the Tate-LaBianca killings until her death in 2009. "That bi*** was fuc*** crazy. (takes one to know one)

Star says there won't be any conjugal visits because "California lifers no longer get them." If they were an option, "we'd be married by now."

Manson, however, seems less convinced the impending nuptials are a reality, "Oh that," he says. "That's a bunch of garbage. You know that, man. That's trash. We're just playing that for public consumption."

Seems that Charlie isn't quite as enthusiastic about the impending nuptials. Probably that would change if those conjugal visits were an option.  Perhaps Star needs to read the book "He's Just Not That Into You"

Kansas: This Land Is Your Land-ing

Crabby may or may not of been working in the tower.

A Boeing 747 jumbo jet hauling parts for a Boeing 787 landed at a small airport on Wednesday by mistake. It's destination was supposed to be across town at the Air Force base. 

The jet landed at Col. James Jabara Airport, about 8 miles north of its intended target, the McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita. Jabara's runway is just 6,101 feet long, much shorter than is ideal  9,199 feet needed for an aircraft of that size.

Investigators don't know yet why the jet landed at Jabara. Atlas Air spokeswoman Bonnie Rodney did not immediately return early Thursday calls and an email from The Associated Press seeking comment. Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said he could not immediately provide any information on how or why the jumbo jet landed at Jabara.

The plane, operated by Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, had to be turned around by a  tug to prepare for departure, said Brad Christopher of the Wichita Airport Authority.

On Thursday after a long night of calculations, dumping fuel to lighten the plane's weight,  and the surrounding  area being evacuated as a precaution if the jet failed to get airborne, the behemoth jet lumbered down the runway and took off.

Officials tell Fox News that the FAA is currently investigating the situation and findings will be released in the coming weeks.

With only 9 miles between airports, in a vehicle going over a hundred miles an hour, I suspect a wrong turn can happen fast...really, really fast.

New York ...Bad Santas

For any of you seasonal Santas that were planning on heading for the Big Apple to get your Santa on, there might be less alcohol served to your jolly ole selves, this year.

According to articles in the New York Times and USA Today, the city is asking bar owners to not serve anyone dressed in Santa duds.

This year's Santa Con has met with some bah-humbugish opposition to the annual event that draws thousands of  Santas to the city.

The NYPD  has sent a letter to bar owners from Midtown to Chelsea, asking them not to serve people dressed as Santa Claus during the next month’s annual bar crawl, according to a report from ABC news.

A number of bars have already promised to comply, the report said.  (call me a cynic but really???...bars are going to turn away thousands of customers because they are dressed up like Santa Clause?)

“Having thousands of intoxicated partygoers roam the streets urinating, littering, vomiting and vandalizing will not be tolerated in our neighborhood,” Lieutenant John Cocchi, of the Midtown North Precinct, said in a letter to bar owners.

According to the SantaConNYC website, “SantaCon is a charitable, non-commercial, non-political, nonsensical, Santa Claus convention that happens once a year for absolutely no reason.”

A code of conduct on the website lists several do’s and don’ts of the event, including be nice to kids and respect the city.

Although New York's SantaCon is receiving the most attention, people in cities all over the country plan SantaCon events.

Nothing says Christmas like drunk Santa peeing in the street. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Timing is Everything

Today is an auspicious day here at TAOBC.  This post is #400.  Yep, after 400 posts you would think I would have gotten blog writing down down to a science, wouldn't you?   You would be wrong.

Case in point, you might of noticed the absence of my Friday Weird news roundup last week.  I actually had some things going on that didn't allow me to sit and while away (waste) hours at the computer. I hear you asking "what would be more important than blogging?"  Here's what happened.

Thought Number One....Fun (**sarcasm**) Things Happen When Husbands Are Out of Town

Every "wife of a traveling man" will agree with me that if their husband travels extensively,  these two things will happen.

1.  When they are IN town, life will hum along easy-breezy and hubby will secretly wonder what you do with your time. (Actually there are a few that have been known to actually say out loud, "Don't you ever get bored?"  Some of those men learned that question isn't met with a favorable response.)
Hubby is in Paris so I can't blame him.

2.  BUT...when husbands are OUT of town, something BIG will break, someone will get sick or a natural disaster will strike. Sometimes all three will happen simultaneously...this is more likely if the traveling  husband is not able to be reached by phone.

 As far as last week goes and the reason for the missing post is....

Wait....make that  the  REASONS  for the missing post are:

A. Poor time management
B. Lack of inspiration
C. Preparing for my trip to Europe
D. Leaves plaguing me with their messy and time consuming cleanup
E.  Mother Nature is a mother-sumthin-sumthin
F.  All of the Above

Some of you might remember a post I did quite awhile ago called  Spitting in the Wind  [link]  in which my darling husband attempted to repair a sprinkler head in our irrigation system which resulted in an emergency call to the company that installed it. (sorry, honey, but those little keys that come with Hunter irrigation systems are Kryptonite to your Superman ...you know it, I know it and the Hunter repair guys know it.)

While my house isn't exactly Tara, the water spout is pretty accurate.

  Luckily for him but unluckily for me, the very same sprinkler system, didn't respond favorably to the unseasonably cold temperatures that went from 53 degrees Fahrenheit to 17 degrees  in the time span of less than 24 hours. I didn't get "wind" of this until I was picking up my grandson from school and my cell phone rang.  A very concerned neighbor wondered if I was home.   WELL...let me just say IF I was home, I might of noticed the geyser in the front yard that was shooting higher than the second story gable of my house.  What to do?  It's past 5 PM so the irrigation company is closed and the city water department is closed and my neighbors are watching the equivalent of  Old Faithful. The big difference is my geyser is  causing a frozen mess.

Did I happen to mention that just a few days prior to the big break, I had a new patio poured and there was new sod put in?  Of course, because trying to figure out how to shut off an irrigation valve isn't stressful enough without adding the component of  freezing a yard of  freshly laid  fescue sod.

Never fear, I made my way home to a crowd of onlookers that were audibly "oohing and ahhing" over how pretty iced trees look and inaudibly thanking their lucky stars it was my house and not theirs.

I paged an emergency number to both the city and the irrigation company and in slightly less than two hours, I got a response. I might mention here that two hours with two little boys watching the pretty water show along with a group of  "plumbing-challenged"  neighbors feels more like an eternity.

BTW...I don't fault either company for a slow response,  as there were irrigation system backflow valves all over town exploding. This freezing temperatures are unheard of  for this time of year and no one had winterized their irrigation systems. To enforce the lesson to take care of that earlier next year,  the city guy did mention, that I am probably going to be getting a hell of a water bill.  Evidently geysers go through a lot of water.

Thought Number Two:   Where to Go From Here

So, anyway...those were some of my excuses reasons for the Friday post being MIA.

On the occasion of this 400th post,  I just wanted to  say to all my readers how appreciative I am of you.  I know a lot of you have been here from the beginning and endured the "learning as I go" process that went with TAOBC.  You were here with inspiration and support even when the reader count didn't warrant me to continue.  I thank you for you readership and comments.  Both of those things make me very happy.

Also, a big THANK YOU to the bloggers that have always been supportive of me and have become good friends. (This is especially true of the Blogdumps group that have been here from the very first months of TAOBC.)

AND to some of the newest blog readers and blog writers that have more recently connected with me (or is it Crabby Pants that you are reaching out to?)  I am creatively renewed when I see new people visiting.

As for the future of The Art of Being Conflicted...I hate to say it but for the next month or so, my posts may be scattered and irregular.    Seems a bit disingenuous on my part to thank you for you loyal readership and then tell you that I am probably going to be sporadic in my writing for awhile...just know that I am terribly conflicted about that.

Fair warning...

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Off Course

Yesterday I did something extremely out of character for me.  I went shopping.  As most of my regular readers know, I HATE...can't emphasize that enough...see the capital letters...HATE shopping.  That is a
The original version of "Are we there yet?"
double dose of hate when I am required to clothes shop. But, with my upcoming trip to Europe which is going to be even colder than Kansas, I am gearing myself up with some extra warm clothing.  Since I so rarely take myself into an actual brick and mortar store, it was a bit of an odd sensation being so firmly entrenched in Christmas.  Yes, the Christmas music is playing, the signs display red and green with holly and bows, and entire sections of stores are ho-ho-hoed and decked the halls with trees and such.

Thought Number One:  Aren't We Forgetting About Thanksgiving?

When you consider how precarious and fortuitous it was that the Mayflower ever actually made it over here, you would think we would be a little more gracious about honoring their efforts.  Let's just look at the historical events that didn't work out exactly as planned.  Just about every version of the Thanksgiving story neglects to tell us some of the major screw ups. 

If you go back to around 1608 a congregation of disgruntled English Protestants left Scrooby, Nottinghmshire and moved to Holland.  These people were Separatists who didn't want to be affiliated with the Church of England. This group of Separatist, called themselves the "Saints".  They did find some religious freedom in Holland but the Dutch craft guilds were making it very difficult to work except in very low paying jobs.  The group decided to move somewhere where there was more freedom from government.

So the Saints moved back to London to organize themselves for taking a trip over to the "new land".  They worked with a prominent merchant that worked out a plan for them to colonize an area in the general vicinity between Chesapeake Bay and the mouth of the Hudson River.  The King of England granted them leave of the Church of England provided they "carry themselves peaceably".

So in August of 1620 a group of Saints joined up with another group of secular colonists whom they referred to as the "Strangers" loaded up their belongings onto two ships: the Mayflower and the Speedwell. Early in the voyage the Speedwell sprung a leak and the two ships turned around and went back to England.  There they loaded the passengers off the Speedwell and onto the Mayflower with what supplies they could squeeze on.  Now the single ship had 102 people heading for Virginia and needed to have enough food, wine and beer to make it over to the new world.

Oh...you didn't know about the wine and beer.  Yes, during the time of the Mayflower people had not figured out that water filled with raw sewage was  impure and tended to make people sick.  They hadn't quite figured out about purification processes but they had figured out that fermented beverages did not make them sick.With that in mind there needed to be enough fermented beverages to drink on long voyages.

Anyway..back to the story...by the time they got out of town it was nearly winter.  Not the best time for an overcrowded ship to be sailing to Virginia but that is what they did.  After about 64 miserable days at sea, the hardy group of Saints and Strangers arrived in Cape Cod around November 9th  (by today's calculations they think it was around November 19th).

Wait??? Where is Virginia??  Seems that just as everything else was working against them, they missed their mark on where to land.  The patent they held from the Virginia Company of London authorized them to build a plantation in Virginia. Unfortunately, winter was upon them and they were running out of beer. So what is a Pilgrim to do?  They wrote the Mayflower Compact and picked out a site to establish a colony.  The sight they picked was probably in the area of Plymouth Bay where the Native American farmers had cleared the land.  Conveniently the Native Americans died thanks to the Colonist bringing with them European-borne pestilence, freeing up the land for them.

Long story short,....In their first winter in America, more than half of the Plymouth colonists died from malnutrition, disease and exposure to the harsh New England weather. In fact, without the help of the area’s native people, it is likely that none of the colonists would have survived. An English-speaking Pawtuxet named Samoset helped the colonists form an alliance with the local Wampanoags, who taught them how to hunt local animals, gather shellfish and grow corn, beans and squash. At the end of the  next summer, the Plymouth colonists celebrated their first successful harvest with a three-day festival of thanksgiving. We still commemorate this feast today.

Thought Two:  This Year Thanksgiving is Being Replaced 
While Christmas is usually taking over Thanksgiving...there's a new interloper this year.

 This year, thanks to an extremely rare convergence, Thanksgiving (Nov. 28) falls during the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights. Some are calling it “Hanu-giving.” Others prefer “Thanksgivukkah.”

From a purely numerical standpoint it’s a pretty big deal. Math geeks say the last time it happened — at least since President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a federal holiday — was 1888. And by one calculation it won’t happen again for another 79,000 years.

Seventy-nine-thousand, forty-three years, to be exact. But who’s counting?

While I am not entirely certain of my facts here as I am not Jewish and can only go by what I hear and/or read, (By all means, correct me in the comments if I am misunderstanding this)  Hanukkah starts on the same day every year on the Hebrew calendar. But since the months of that calendar have only 29 or 30 days, the Jewish year falls roughly 11 days short of the 365-day Gregorian calendar. To keep everything in sync an extra “leap month” is added seven times every 19 years. That made Hanukkah unusually early this year. Combine that with an extremely late Thanksgiving, and boom! Thanksgivukkah! It falls on the second night of Hanukkah.

But seriously Thanksgivukkah poses several real-life conundrums. What kind of food do you serve? How do you decorate when the browns and reds of Thanksgiving clash with Hanukkah’s blue motif? And after using up two feasts in one night, then what are you supposed to eat?

Guess you can give tribute to the original colonists...drink the beer and wine.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

That Might of Been a Mistake

When Maimonides said:

It would seem that Maimonides didn't have the insight to know that by 2013, there would be people that could make "wrong decisions" of  EPIC proportion.

Yes, this week, Crabby and I are prepared  to question the validity of  "any decision is better than no decision".

Take for example:  Was the Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford,  wise in telling the media on camera, that he did, in fact, smoke crack cocaine, but in his defense when he did...he was in a drunken stupor?  Yeh, perhaps NOT talking would have been a better approach.

But there were other bad decisions this week as well.

Pipe Down

Deputies said a man who was coming to court for a hearing at the Cowlitz County Hall of Justice was arrested after he put a meth pipe in a tray at the security checkpoint Tuesday.

Steven Todd Campbell, 51, was out on bail on charges of possession of methamphetamine and obstruction of justice.

The Cowlitz County sheriff’s office said when Campbell was asked to dump the contents of his pockets into the tray, he took out a three-inch pipe coated with brown residue and covered it with a piece of paper.

The deputy working the scanner recognized it as a pipe used to smoke meth and arrested Campbell.

Campbell was sent back to jail on another possession of methamphetamines charge.

You know it's going to be a bad day when you are headed to court on a drug conviction charge and you get charged with a drug possession charge.  Very deja vue-ish, I would think.

Should I or Shouldn't I?

A suicidal man who blew up his second-floor flat has been jailed for arson after a court heard his neighbors were lucky to escape the blast alive.
Michael McStay, 39, filled his home up with gas with the intention of committing suicide but then changed his mind and opened the windows to let the fumes out.

But before all the gas had escaped, McStay lit a cigarette, sparking an explosion which blew the roof off his upstairs flat and causing £270,000 of damage.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how residents living in the flat beneath McStay were fortunate not to be killed in the huge explosion.

McStay has now been jailed for 27 months after pleading guilty to arson.

Sentencing him, Judge Jeremy Freedman said: 'It was your intention to take your own life but you thought better of it and you opened the window and somewhat naively believed the gas would then escape. What you then did, as an act of folly, is light a cigarette and the inevitable happened. There was what can only be described as a massive explosion.

 Now that is some serious indecision.  I think maybe the neighbors would of fared better with the original plan. Did the judge really use the word folly???

 This House Comes With Income Potential

In all the years that I have been in real estate...not once while taking interior pictures, did I miss noticing the production of illegal drugs to the point that I included them in the homes pictures.  Oh, I have seen illegal drugs, I just chose not to put them into the pictures. But that is what happened in the UK, when a home in Eaton Bristol went on the market.

The firm describes the terraced house in Easton, Bristol, as being "in need of refurbishment". The ad also stated: "Victorian-style villa in need of refurbishment found on the cusp of Easton and Greenbank and comprising entrance hall, lounge, open-plan kitchen/dining room, with two bedrooms and first-floor bathroom.

 The original photos showed the exterior, as well as a bathroom, kitchen, and garden.

AND what is being called a bedroom...

The manager of Besley Hill's Easton branch declined to comment.

Wonder how many people called in to ask if they were planning an OPEN HOUSE anytime soon.
What is really the worst  part as far as decisions go ...not removing "home based business"  before calling the Realtor or the Realtor including the picture into the advertisement?

Wife Made Bad Decision on Who to Marry

Jian Feng sued his wife for giving birth to what he called an “incredibly ugly” girl.

“I married my wife out of love, but as soon as we had our first daughter, we began having marital issues,” he told the Irish Times. “Our daughter was incredibly ugly, to the point where it horrified me.”

Initially Jian accused his wife of infidelity, because he knew he could never be the father of an unattractive child. However, DNA tests proved that the child was indeed his. Feng’s wife then came clean and admitted she had about $100,000 worth of cosmetic surgery done in South Korea before they met.

Feng sued his wife on grounds of false pretenses, for not telling him the truth about the plastic surgery, and duping him into believing that she was beautiful. A judge agreed with Feng’s argument and ordered his wife to fork over $120,000.

Now he is just being ugly. How does one say asshats (let's include the judge as well)  in Chinese?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Time Changes Everything

I, recently was talking to my trainer at the gym, who was telling me about a friend of hers that is expecting twins.  Now that wouldn't be that big of deal, I guess, when you consider people are popping out 4 and 5 kids at a time these days.  What  makes this sort of unusual this is a single mom that is 56 years old.  She has a teenager still living at home from her previous marriage. It turns out that while,  she was married, her and her husband had invitro fertilization and there were some eggs left that she didn't want to go to waste.  Which leads me to the part where she is having twins at 56 years old. (Just a thought here...if you are post menopausal and your uterus is crying out to you to have another baby...tell it to shut the hell up.)

I know several women that have had children in their mid to late 50's but what I have noticed is that they parent differently than they did with the children that they had earlier in life.  They parent like grandparents parent. 

 I suppose, if you are among my younger readers and/or have not had the opportunity to be a grandparent, I might have confused you.  Grandparents parent with the premise of keeping little ones happy and entertained.....heavy on the happy.   We don't parent with the fear of spoiling the child.  We don't care about that as much as keeping little people safe and happy.  We want to be the "fun" grandparents.

So today my thoughts today are on how age impacts the way people parent.

Thought Number One:  Parenting-Lite

I have talked to a number of older siblings who have told me, "Mom would of never let me get by with the things she lets  [little bro or sis] get by with."    In one instance, I was talking to a guy that has a brother that is 23 years younger than he is.  He, in fact, has his own 2 kids and says his parents treat his younger sibling very much the same as they treat his children...their grandchildren.

Weeelllll...this has led to me thinking about my own differences as to how I parented the first time around versus how I parent my grandkids.    The obvious differences hasn't escaped me.  Maybe more so lately has my grandsons have been spending a little extra time at grandma's house lately and I recognize that I don't hold my ground quite as well as I used to.  Nope...very slippery slopes these days.

In the long term, I do want to be part of the team that helps these little people to grow up strong and healthy in both body and spirit...but in the short term, I want them to have a really fun childhood. Plus we have the added component of trying to reinforce the rules that their parents have "suggested" that they/we follow. Is it possible to do both: Please, the parents and please the kids?

Dare I say, that the odds of pleasing everyone is remote.  First of all your/mine grown children probably are still simmering over the injustices they feel were inflicted on them as children.  Now they see how you/I have become all soft and malleable at the hands of their kids. (I am sure this is the case in much older siblings as well.)

One of the many examples of this is:  Way back when...I was in my early twenties with my own two little ones, I was probably pretty quick to kiss away any boo-boos or ouchies.  A boo-boo could of been anything I deemed not requiring stitches. While, clearly, I never told my kids to "suck it up" or "walk it off", it might of been implied.  This morning while getting my youngest grandson ready for school he noticed a little dot of a mark on his hip. Smaller than a mosquito bite but a little bump like maybe  a runt of a mosquito bit him.  Out comes the Neosporin.  I can't even imagine the shame and humiliation that would go with having an actual injury on my watch.

Then we get to the basic principles that come with trying to adhere to they "way" they do things.
My daughter and her family eat very healthy. They boys get lots of fruits and veggies and very little sugar.  I am totally in agreement...in theory.  I eat healthy and don't eat sugar either but in my quest to be an awesome grandparent, something has to give. Just today, one of my grandsons told me he liked eating at my house because there is desserts during the meal.  (He was referring to the happy face on the pancake that was in part chocolate chips for the mouth.)

Yes, there is a law that Grandmas bake cookies. 

Yes, that would be cookies baking.  The anticipation is high.  (OH, and just for you mother hens out there judging me...my oven doesn't get hot on the exterior so he is perfectly safe...new technology is an awesome thing.)

Speaking of technology...in lieu of hours in front of the TV...

Interesting program

Changing the channel

Seems to be that appliances work for the kid so who am I to deny him some fun.

Icemakers could be considered educational.

OK...so I don't JUST park my kiddos in front of appliances.  I also teach them things.

Batman clothing is always appropriate

Gambling is both fun and rewarding
Choose your tattoos wisely

Dancing in the street is ALWAYS good.
Cleanliness is next to godliness

Hide and seek is a game of skill

Thought Number Two:  Don't Ask Permission, Ask For Forgiveness

OK...so I might not be getting the prize for being the best grandparent in the world but I surely do  love the role.

NOTE: And to my daughter and son-in-law.  I realize that even when I tell the boys that some  things are best to keep as a  secret,  they run to you and spill their guts.  We need to be working on what the word SECRET means.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

No Going Back

Note to my readers this morning:   After I published my post today...it vanished.  Poof...just vanished.  I am trying to remember what I wrote on the fly so sorry to say...what you get is what I can remember writing about.  Blogger is being very unfriendly today.  I find this especially ironic as I am talking about do-overs.  Someone at Blogger has a evil sense of humor.

Have you ever done something, only to regret having done it and wish for a do over?  Perhaps, several do-overs such as Bill Murray had in the movie Groundhog's Day.   This weeks "odd news makers might of wished for a second chance.

From Bad to Worse

A man in China, was supposedly so depressed by his lacking love life that in a moment of desperation, he cut off his penis, the Mirror reported. (Now that isn't going to do much for his love life, is it?)
 Shortly after his amateur amputation, 26-year-old Yang Hu had second thoughts and quickly got to a hospital in hopes of getting his sex organ reattached.

Actually "quickly" is the wrong word since he went to the hospital by riding his bicycle. To make matters worse -- as if that's possible -- he actually forgot to bring his chopped-off penis with him, requiring him to ride his bike back to the home, the Daily Star reported.

When he returned with his dismembered organ, the doctors gave him some bad news: Because Yang's penis had been without blood for too long, it would be impossible to reattach, HuffPost UK reported.

The rule of thumb as far as any body part...don't leave home without it.

Speaking of Missing Body Parts

A severed finger left at the crime scene helped police in Glendale,  Arizona arrest a man suspected of trying to steal copper wire.

An air conditioning company employee reported to the Glendale police that  someone tried to steal the wire from his truck on Oct. 7th.

The spool of wire — worth more than $300 — had been pulled out about 20 feet from the truck, and what appeared to be a cut off finger was caught in the wiring.

Police retrieved the finger as evidence, and forensic technicians were able to match the fingerprint to 29-year-old Joshua Allen Goverman.

Goverman told detectives he lost a finger while working on a car. (not really a great excuse as the police had caught him red handed albeit minus one finger) He was booked on suspicion of theft. 

Authorities didn't know whether Goverman had a lawyer who could be reached for comment.

Perhaps, Goverman is having trouble dialing his lawyer's number.

Do Over and Over and Over

A Kingsport, Tennessee woman's food cravings allegedly ran amok Wednesday morning, as her boyfriend's refusal to go to McDonald's spurred her to run him over with a pickup truck — striking him three times.

Crystal Greer Brooks was arrested shortly after midnight when police arrived at the scene and found evidence of injuries to Brook's boyfriend that appeared to be consistent with being dragged under the truck.

Upon interviewing a witness, police learned Brooks, her boyfriend and an acquaintance had "all been drinking" then had decided to go out to get something to eat.  (are we surprised about the drinking part?)

Brooks allegedly became angry at their choice of restaurant — which is not identified in the police report — and demanded that her boyfriend pull his pickup truck to the side of the road. As he exited and walked to the front of the vehicle, she slid behind the wheel.

According to witness statements to police, Brooks then pulled forward and struck her boyfriend, knocking him, "onto the hood and then onto the ground." She's then alleged to have accelerated forward two additional times, striking her boyfriend in each instance.

Brooks denied hitting the man with the truck, claiming that he had, "jumped onto the hood." Based on his injuries and tattered clothing, police determined otherwise.

An individual who accompanied the pair attributed the attack to the golden arches, saying Brooks, "was mad they didn't stop at McDonald's."

Brooks was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, booked into the city jail and then transported to the Sullivan County jail in Blountville.

That is the very definition of a Mac-attack.  You have to wonder what the boyfriend's choice of a restaurant was, if McDonalds was a step up.