The boys are back in town…

I love it when my kids surprise me. DS#1 was at scout camp this week and I’m hearing great feedback from other parents about what a leader he is. He’s the senior patrol leader and made it his responsibility to take care of the younger kids. I’m getting stories about how after finishing his own 2 laps for qualifying to swim; he jumped back in the lake to help a younger scout who was struggling. I’ve had a father say he doesn’t ever worry about DS#1 getting lost in the woods since he has too much common sense and would find his way to safety. (DS#1 got wilderness survival this week at camp.)
The only down side to having him back is now that he earned the horsemanship merit badge, he wants to go to riding camp. Anyone want a 13 year old to care for their horse for a week this summer?

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Hurt feelings – – real or imagined.

My husband worked for Don Busath Photography. Don and his family are considered some of the best portrait and wedding photographers in the state. When I got married Don offered to shoot my wedding at staff costs (it would have been a $500 gift which in 1987 was HUGE). My dad said that even the staff cost was too expensive and he hired a different photographer. Don was hurt and insulted that his competition got the contract and his relationship with DH really cooled. It really hurt DH who had turned to Don so many times when he needed a father figure.
What really hurt is when my younger sister used Busath Photography for her wedding. Don had retired but my dad paid Drake’s full price (not even having a staff photographer shoot it). DH saw it as a rejection of himself as a son in law. After all, if a discount at Busath was too much for us but full price was good enough for my sister either my parents hated me or they hated him. The even stranger part is that when I got married, my parents were in a better financial place but I had to watch every penny. I did my entire wedding for less than what my next sister spent on her dress. I know I should just let it go and chalk it up to the experience of being the oldest. I probably should have stood up to my dad and demanded that they accept Don’s present. But then part of the reason that I still work for the family business is that I’ve never stood up to Dad and I still accept every guilt trip he hands me. It’s easy to say get away from family when I’m talking to others and see situations that are worse than mine and, in a way, I am more distant in my relationship with my family than the other siblings are with each other. I can’t change the past, and I’m not sure I want to change the status quo. But I need to let go of the past hurt and just smile next month when Drake is shooting pictures at the next wedding.

Tips for a job search in the US…

As much as we would like to think we are culturally diverse…If your name is beyond the normal spelling and pronunciation of the average English speaker you may want to provide a nickname or a pronunciation guide. I know we’re supposed to give equal access but my HR manager just put aside several resumes for rejection letters strictly on the basis that she would be too embarassed to call them for interviews since she would mispronounce their names. So, Xoprantchatka, I’m sorry but you’re getting a rejection letter strictly to ease her discomfort level.

Airing of a different sort…

Speaking of airing I’m going to be on AM820 tomorrow morning from 9 to 10 MDT. Yes, you’re welcome to listen via internet.

Airing some dirty laundry…

My brother is in jail today. Police chase stops when dog bites owner No, Nick is not the dog’s owner. This is my brother’s dog and the stolen laptop that Nick had he claims came from my brother. I guess I should clarify that P is not really my brother. I was the oldest until I was 8 and then my grandfather’s cousins’ son came to live with us. He couldn’t be adopted because of some technicality between the Finnish government and INS. P never took out US citizenship while here and for the last 6 years, my parents have paid his rent since he doesn’t work and P doesn’t come to any family functions or return phone calls. Mom is saying we should just let the police deport P since he hasn’t renewed anything with INS in about 20 years and is thus an illegal immigrant from Finland. She’s worried that Dad is going to bail him out again. I didn’t know Dad had bailed him out the first time. Mom’s concern is how she will get P’s stuff moved out of the house so that Dad can get the cleaning deposit back. I told her I would appreciate my lawn mower back if it’s still among P’s stuff (he stole it when he moved out of my rental house). She didn’t think that was funny.

Always in the most obvious place…

I found my brain; I should have known it would be in a box of unfiled things in my stash room. (Refer to post of June 05 2006 if you’re lost).

A not very happy fairy tale….

Pants used to hang with Ixy and Yantz. Pants mother felt that Ixy was a bad influence and Pants should go hang out with the pretty crowd instead of the “strange” crowd.
It was confirmed today that Pants dropped out of school and ran away last month. I’m worried about her since no one knows where she is although it is rumored that she may be living with an ex-boyfriend’s extended family in Arizona.

Some background (and snarking)… Ixy has always lived in a world rich with imagination (as befits a dragonlet). This confuses many of the women around me. Even 200 years later they very much epitomize the women that Mary Wollstonecraft talked about who trade respect for beauty and the fleeting adoration of men. I wish Ixy took a bit more care for her appearance but I figure she’ll grow into it some day. Then again, she may not. After all, everyone in Vegas had more smelly stuff than I did and I didn’t even know what was in some of the bottles but I digress… Pants mother started forbidding her daughter hanging with our crowd when 2 things happened. First, her older daughter moved in with a guy and got knocked up (resulting in stricter rules for the younger girls). Second, Pants asked for a compound bow for Christmas. This made Pants’ Dad very excited. Despite having only daughters, he could go do some “fun stuff” with his kids. Pants got those stupid roller skate shoes from her mom and was told that she couldn’t come camping with us anymore and why didn’t she go hang out with the very pretty girls (who show way too much thong at church on Sunday for my comfort). (It’s been joked that if we did another lip-sync at church again, that Ixy’s age group should do Loathing from Wicked with the bishop’s daughter and her crowd as Glinda and Ixy and friends as Elphaba. Yes, it really is that divided. We’re having an increase in ditching church. Anyway back to Pants…
I’m not sure if it was really Mrs. Pants trying to keep them apart or Pants getting a boyfriend (which thrilled her mom even with the older sister’s example) that stopped Pants from hanging with Ixy and friends about 4 years ago. I’m just sorry that it ended with Pants feeling so isolated and unwelcome that she didn’t think she had anyplace safe she could go or any friends close by who would support her. I also feel bad that I didn’t make more of an effort to keep the gang together. But with Yantz moving to Texas, there really wasn’t much I could do. As Ixy keeps telling me, the gang was all there, and it was Pants decision to not hang with them, it’s not like Pants listened to her mother anyway. If Pants really wanted to be watching anime’ she would have been here like the rest.

On Goals…

Perhaps you’ve seen how an upward spiral can happen as you build a healthy lifestyle. With momentum and small, but consistent, healthy actions, success comes easier and easier until results start to exceed the effort you put into it. Well, the same thing can happen when it comes to being a positive force for others. One small action leads to another, which can lead to many. Your actions may inspire others to do the same, with far-reaching results that completely outweigh that first effort. You’ll probably have no idea how much of a total effect your actions will have. But that kindness will often be paid back two-, three- or even tenfold. If not from the person you helped, then from someone further down the “kindness” chain. So go try it out! Do a kind thing for the next person you meet, and see if you don’t get a positive return.

A thought to ponder

Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. . . .
“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended. . . . Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other” Marvin G. Ashton

This is Mr. Darwin today…

They did it again. Yesterday Dad calls for all the kids to get in the car. I’m one of the kids aren’t I? I followed everyone out the door and when the little one opened the door for me, I was first in the truck. I thought I was obeying quite well. Dad gets mad and yells, “Mr. Darwin, get back in the house.” Mom was laughing too hard to give commands but when she got her breath, she called, “Darwin, here.” I know I’m supposed to come running when she says that because it usually means treats but she had her fuzzy keychain in the door and I know that means she is going to lock me behind. Luckily today they left the computer on. I just know they are going someplace with interesting smells. I just know it. Maybe I’ll just email the ferrets for new commands. I’ve been getting bounces from their email box. Something horrible must have happened. I just know it.