Mar 30, 2013

Those Are Called Jobs, Your Supposed to Pay People To Do Them.

In December of 2012 Unemployment in Rockford was double the unemployment rate of Arlington Heights, IL. That's on average, how we are, with comparable cities across the nation.  Often there is public lauding of a business who is adding as few as ten jobs to the market.  People have to move away to find work.  Crime is on the rise.  Forbes pronounced the city Miserable and our idiotic Convention and Visitors Bureau, in forgetting they were talking to visitors, agreed in a colossally failed inside joke that went over the heads of everyone who's wasn't from here.   The help wanted ads in the local paper simply no longer exist.  They've been replaced with people selling puppies and having garage sales to scratch out extra money. So when I do see a job in the paper, I read about what it is, I feel a little excited that someone is hiring. Just this week I saw this one:

Wait.  Go back and read it again... I did.  I had to read it four times.  Then I checked their website  To get one of these positions one must comply with a list of requirements; 

"...must work cooperatively and courteously with diverse groups of people; be able to access multiple references in a timely manner in response to customer requests for information; demonstrate oral and interpersonal communication skills, and have the ability to respond calmly in emergency situations. A basic knowledge of the internet or the ability to learn basic computer skills is necessary. The ability to travel to/from the airport in all types of weather conditions is required..."

The website goes on about dress code and age qualifications, minimum education requirements and finally gives you a link to an application... to apply for one of these volunteer positions... where the pay is a shirt and a nifty airport jacket.

Holy shit-balls RFD! Are you sure you can get off the ground with balls that big?!  That sounds a whole lot like jobs you are trying to fill without paying anyone to do them. Is this what we're doing now?  Asking for Volunteers?!  If so, Hey, I'd like to offer up the wonderful Ambassador Lawn de Bombadee Position for the summer.  Applicants must be extremely proficient in lawn maintenance, know how to repair small gas engines in case my mower sucks, must adore weeding as well as  laundry and taking out the garbage.  A basic knowledge of tree houses and tomato plants is a plus.  Volunteers will receive a brand new sharpie-personalized fruit of the loom t-shirt and one PB&J.  

Or here are some other places you can volunteer your time this summer: 

I would even bet these organizations don't have $122,568,336.00 in international airport assets for 2012. 

Mar 26, 2013

Adjustable Purse Strap Hack

The strap of my favorite buttery leather black purse wasn't leather, it was pleather and it fell apart. I was going to take it to a saddle shop and have a new one put on and then I got an easier idea. I bought a .99cent belt at Goodwill and attached it. Now it's adjustable. Favorite purse is now even favoritier - Yay!

Mar 18, 2013

Bag Lady

My version of this commercial

Diaper bag 

First kid:
Tupperwear of goldfish
Fruit snacks
Change of clothes
5-6 diapers
Changing pad
Diaper rash cream
Q-tips for sterile application of rash cream
Sippy cup
Extra hair ties
Five crayons, one of each color
Small hand made coloring book
Hair brush
Baby jacket
Band aids

Second kid:
One diaper
One inch plastic t-rex

Mar 10, 2013

Keeping it Classy

There's always the lady with two or three carts and her army of children aimlessly standing around in my way.  There's that one guy who's knees are bad and he's riding in the store provided hoveround with all his body spilling over in all the places, and in his cart I see seven cases of diet soda and thirty pizzas.  I see fifty teenagers I'd like to kick for dressing stupid and at least three old ladies who are taking their time comparing prices in front of the thing I want to get out of the cooler.  I say all this to make myself feel better than them,  while I am standing at Walmart, trying to figure out what sort of wine goes with corn dogs and freedom fries, while my crying two year old tries to escape the cart and my nine year old is whacking him on the head with a french bread in an attempt to beat him back into his seat.

Mar 6, 2013


Lead by example. - Fortune cookie fortune found in my Grandma's jewelery box

As you think, so shall it be. - Proverb 23:7

One million starts with one. - My daughter Ella

It's not supposed to be anything.  - From Pleasantville written by Gary Ross

Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor. - H. Jackson Brown

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. - Antione De Saint Exupery


Mar 4, 2013


Jack was ill when he was young and as a result has some hearing impairment on the left.  Nobody knows how much, it's just that the little hairs in there don't move like they should.  This could mean he hears nothing or something or everything and we just need to wait until he can talk more to find out.  The doctor said, because he can hear completely with his right ear, his language should be just fine, but the fact is Jack doesn't talk very much.  He's the second child, and a boy, and busy with riding motorcycles and drawing things, and when he does speak he's just not very good at it yet and Ella or I translate for him when we can or sometimes just take over and speak for him.  We ask him "What? Do you want?  A chip? Cheese? Toast? Milk? Grapes?" He just nods or says "Yay!" when we get to the thing.  This is exactly how not to handle things, I'm sure.

It's hard for me, because I compare him to Ella and her extensive vocabulary at age two.  I know I shouldn't.  It's apples and tigers.  Ella couldn't do a jumping jack until first grade and Jack can pedal a bike and roller skate, but life is far less frustrating for everyone when a common language is spoken.  I've heard him make all the required sounds for speaking English.  He has all the consonants and vowels in his arsenal, it just seems like he doesn't really care about it that much. Some days I'm all lax about it, figuring he'll learn at his own pace and he won't end up in first grade not being able to say 'please' and 'thank you' and other days I hear children at the grocery who seem like big kids to me and they are having a hard time speaking and I get all anxiety filled about Jack's words.  I did talk to a language specialist who wasn't worried, but that was three months ago already.  And what if, that was then and this is now?!

And now as I write this, I see how it is my primary occupation as a mother, to worry non-stop all the time to love these children and trust them to become who they are meant to be.

Mar 2, 2013

A Dishwasher Bitches!

I've never been soo excited about a dishwasher.  I have one again.  I like to hear it running. I like to task the eldest kid with emptying it.  She likes to do it.  I like having a dishwasher.  I didn't know how much until I didn't have one.  We left that crummy old cottage and moved about ten blocks south into one of the oldest neighborhoods in Rockford.  It looks like a Normal Rockwell street.  The house we live in is a four square, craftsman style, hundred year old house with cold hardwood floors and a big front porch... and a dishwasher.


I'm participating in Spring Art Scene in downtown Rockford. Come see it, April 5th & 6th.  The second printing of Toughskin Rhinoceros Wrangler Company is on the conveyor belt.  I have enough room to get paints out again.


I want to plan some sort of cookout in April around the time I turn forty.  The last time I planned a cookout for my birthday it snowed.  I feel like a celebration is in order for getting this far in life.  There should be cake and dancing.