Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jen on a Journey

Ready?  Set...  Go!

That's how I'm feeling lately.  Ready to go.   And I'm going to use this blog that I keep pushing aside as a means to find myself in the midst of the chaos.

From empty nesting to a change of careers to the need to loose a few pounds, this is my journey.  You're invited to come along for the ride.

Jen

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lessons learned... but what to do with the knowledge?

I learned something last week.

Okay, maybe I didn't actually learn it, but I was reminded of it.

I learned this:  I learned that strong women are the ones who lift each other up and not tear each other down.

I knew that.  I think I just needed to be reminded.    Now for the part that I am pretty sure I learned: Not all women want to be strong.  Not all women want to lift each other up.  Some don't even get it.

Maybe I knew that, too, but it didn't really sink in until this week.  It's not a mentality that I can understand.  Especially for adult women who volunteer to work with kids.

I guess I get the concept of "looking out for number one."  I don't believe in it, but I can understand the mentality behind it.

But to be so insecure in yourself that you allow your child to scream at an adult?  I don't understand that.  To be so full of self-doubt that you're willing to be treated awfully by that same child and not understand when someone else is defending you?  For that I am so sorry.  To be so focused on your goals that you would allow slander?  That's something you'll have to answer for in the future... maybe not on Earth, but someday.

Maybe I'm just an "odd duck," but I don't much care what you think of me.  Of the billions of people in this world, there are a handful who's opinions truly matter to me.  Women who are full of evil, full of self-righteous indignation, full of...well crap, their opinions aren't among them.

I know that's not the case for everyone.  And it wasn't always the case for me.  There was a time that people's opinions mattered.  A lot.

Women who are in leadership positions within girls' organizations who aren't strong women shouldn't be in those positions.  They are the ones who can't see the "diamond in the rough."  They can't see beyond the stubborn to find the determined.  They can't see beyond the different to find the unique.  I feel sorry for them and their narrow world view.

Would I and will I defend those not-strong women placed in leadership positions again?  Yes.  Because I am a strong woman.  Should I learn to kiss a little more ass to keep those women out of positions where they are actually hurting an organization I love?  Probably.  But I won't.  I've never been very good at kissing ass and I don't think it's a life skill I want to spend much time learning now.  Will I step away from an organization I love because of these evil women?  I don't know.  I'm thinking about it.  Very seriously.  But then I think of the other "odd duck" girls who are still learning and wonder where their strong woman role-model will be if I do.

The one thing I do know...no matter what, I'm not changing my values to make a spoiled child happy. No matter who's in charge...

Me

Saturday, October 12, 2013

In my spare time....

I don't have a lot of "spare time."  Or maybe I do and I just fill it so full that I don't think I do.

I work a part time job out of the house.  It's only a few hours a day.  It's just that those particular hours aren't the nicest for having to work.  I'm there by 5 a.m. and done around 7:30 most days.  That leaves the rest of the day.

I have what amounts to two full-time jobs at home.  I'm a web designer and an author.  Both can take up 40 hours a week.  Well, the writing takes more time, but the web designer pays (slightly) better.  Either way, they keep me busy.

But I have hobbies.  I raise bees.  I knit.  I spin.  I sew.  I embroider.  I read.  I bake.

I am an active member of organizations.  That takes time for meetings and time for other duties that I end up volunteering for.

I don't seem to have time for exercise.  Mostly because I don't like it.  I used to walk three miles everyday, but that seems harder to fit in with this part-time job.  I want to.  I just don't make that time.  Even though I know I should.

So that's how I spend my spare time.  You?

Me

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Dear Congress,

I got a little fired up this morning and sent this to South Dakota's Congressional delegation.  Will it do any good?  Probably not.  Made me feel better, though.

As most Americans, I am concerned about the current government shutdown. World War II vets were barred from visiting their own memorial. Park Rangers are preventing people from stopping on Highway 16 to take pictures of Mount Rushmore. And now CBS is reporting that disabled vets may not get their pay if this nonsense continues though late October.

This is disgraceful!

My husband proudly served his country in the United States Air Force. He is a 100% Disabled American Vet (DAV) and his income is the majority of our finances. We struggle to live within our means. And now he may not get paid?

I understand the position that members of Congress are in. The ACA is unacceptable and hurts Americans -- especially the working poor and middle class. 

But this shutdown is going to cause more problems. Not paying furloughed employees. Not paying Survivor’s Benefits to families who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Not paying disabled vets. I have trouble believing that those are principles that would make our Founding Father’s proud.

If Congress can’t come to some type of agreement, would you be willing to halt your own pay until an agreement is reached? If this was affecting your pocketbook, the pocketbook of the rest of Congress, the President and Vice-President, not only would you have earned additional respect, but it would tell me, the rest of South Dakota, and the citizens of this Country that you care. 

Truly, my husband’s annual VA payment pales in comparison to the $174,000 annual salary of a “rank and file” member of the Legislative Branch of our government (http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/governmentjobs/a/Annual-Salaries-Of-Top-Us-Government-Officials.htm). 

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am a proud Republican, but that isn’t going to put food on our table or pay our bills come November 1. Tell the people you were elected to serve that you understand their plight and are willing to sacrifice as well.

Maybe if enough members of Congress do that, some kind of agreement will be reached.

Thank you for your time.

Me

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Why I didn't blog over the weekend

I had every intention of blogging on Friday.  And Saturday.  And Sunday.  And even on Monday.

However, Mother Nature and Jack Frost combined to thwart my plans.  However, I'm not calling defeat.  It's not my fault that we were slammed with snow.  No, really.  We were.

I'm not talking about a few inches, and some wind.  No.  We had 21.5 inches.

I'll let that sink in for a moment.

Almost two feet of snow, not counting wind.

That would be a Jeep Cherokee and a Chevy Silverado under snow pile one and two respectfully.

As if the snow wasn't bad enough, there were massive power outages.  Poles were snapped.  Last I heard, there were at least 1,300 poles broken like the one up the road from my house.  We're lucky.  Our power is back on.  (It was out from about 3 p.m. Friday until about noon on Monday.)

That's a lot of food that went bad.  48,000 people were without power at some point.  That's a lot of spoiled milk.  South Dakotans lost a lot of cattle.  Some estimates are at least 5% of the state's entire cattle were killed in the storm.  Not going to be good for beef prices.

So now you know why I didn't blog over the weekend.  Clearly, the Universe had other plans.

Me


Thursday, October 03, 2013

Short post today....

Blogging day 3 and it's still hard.

Only this time it's hard because of the day I've had.

Worked this morning, and then friends who'd been visiting were heading back home so we had a "send off breakfast."  Then I came home and did some various housework and web design work.

That's when I heard the snarling and yelp coming from the two "big boys" (a 9 year old yellow lab and a 10 month old rottweiler).  That required a trip to the vet for the rottie.

Then a meeting tonight that went long.

All the while keeping an eye on the weather, which is supposed to get yucky.  Let's hope it either doesn't get as bad as they predict or it doesn't hit until after I get home from work and picking up the puppy at the vet.

Yeah...  one of those days...

Me

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

It's not the music that bugs me....

Blogging day 2 shouldn’t be this hard.  But it is.

Today’s prompt was something about what song annoyed you every time it came on.  I don’t have one.  Well, I probably do.  I just can’t think of it.  If I can’t think of it, I can’t write it.

Instead, I’ll write (complain!) about something I heard on the radio this morning.  The morning DJ’s were talking about the government shutdown, which is a whole other post.  What bothered me about it was the following comment:

“This is about ObamaCare.  That’s a law.  Get over it.”

Excuse me?  You know, it was a LAW that women couldn’t vote.  It was a LAW that alcohol was illegal.  It was a LAW that 55 miles per hour was the fastest you could drive.

How many of those are still national laws?  Um, none.  Zero.  Zip.

In South Dakota, the following are still laws:
  • No horses are allowed into Fountain Inn unless they are wearing pants.
  • It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory.
  • Movies that show police officers being struck, beaten, or treated in an offensive manner are forbidden.

Oh, and I’m sure they’re consistently enforced, right?  

There’s also a debt-ceiling law which seems to get changed on the whim of the idiots in Washington, D.C.  

Do I think a government shutdown is the right answer?  No.  But a revolt is probably not the “right answer” either.  

Yes, ObamaCare is a law.  No, I don’t like it.  Yes, it’s costing the average working person much more than they anticipated.  Yes, it’s going to cost jobs.

But to say “That’s the law.  Get over it.”  I’m sorry, but that’s shortsighted and one of the biggest problems in the United States right now.

So, Mr. DJ, pull your head out of the sand.  Look at the state of the country, the state of the world.  There are many things wrong, and being complacent isn’t going to help.  Frankly, it’s what got us into this mess to start with.


Me