Thursday, February 24, 2011

being a REAL parent

First let me admit something... I watch entirely too much television. I need to attend a 12 step program or something. I don't always watch crap. last night I watched The Biggest Loser. I am often moved to tears while watching this show. I mean cmon it's meant to be inspirational.

Last night was a whole different ball game. I saw three parents choose to gain weight in order to keep their kids safe from elimination. I saw a son tell his dad "If I can ever be half the man you are, I am a success". I saw a father and mother fall on the sword to make sure their kids stayed at the ranch and further improve their health.

The job of a parent is to do whatever it takes (legally, morally, and ethically that is) to make sure their kids have a better life than we had. That means skipping the newest technology gizmo in order to pay for books or clothes or anything else that could better your child's life.

I was blessed to have a mom that did this exact thing for me growing up. She gave up things in order for me to have the necessities of life. and plenty of "extras" such as sporting equipment that was not cheap by any means. I am truly angered when I see a parent complaining about not being able to pay for a cap & gown for graduation, but they are able to go to the casino and gamble a couple hundred dollars away. Or smoke a pack a day and not think twice while their child is wearing clothes from last school year. I have been trying to quit chewing tobacco for a LONG time. UGH it's hard. The bottom line tho... IF I had to make a choice between sending my kids on a school trip/function/graduation trip and buying a can of chew? I would give it up in a heart beat!

Sadly, my dad didn't understand sacrifice for me. He was happy with his life and was OK with me visiting during the summer and showing up around my birthday and Christmas. that was about it. so Guys.... Here's my plea to you. If you have a child, for Gods sake! Quit being so damn selfish and get your kids what they need! Remember that YOU chose to bring a life into this planet. Remember that THEY come first in everything that you do.

OK, Off my soap box now. To the parents who understand selflessness, sacrifice, giving your kids better things than you had, teaching them value in what they have, My hat's off to you!

Tell me what you think. Should more parents take a lesson from The Biggest Loser?

Monday, February 21, 2011

What really pissed me off?

I found this email that I had printed out when I was in the Navy. I read it last weekend and then shared it as a note on Facebook. Then today, I found an article about a wounded soldier who was heckled at Columbia University while giving a speech in support of the ROTC. You can read the story HERE. I tell ya what, by the end of the story, I found my knuckles were white and my blood was boiling. OF COURSE the ritsy titsy rich parents don't want their kids to go to war or learn what it means to serve our country. OF COURSE they are against the war. OF COURSE they would say the military preys on low income families. What really pisses me off? The amount of federal funding that goes to Columbia. I don't know how much, but I am more than certain that they get money from the government. so these pansy ass students who are against the war want to rally and say things like "1 in 3 females in the military are sexually assaulted" But they failed to mention how many females are sexually assaulted on a college campus. hypocrisy much?!?!

Anyways, off my soap box. Here's the note I posted on Facebook. Tell me what you think about all of this.

"It could have been any night of the week, as I sat in one of those loud and casuel steak houses that are cropping up all over the country. You kjnow the type- a bucket of peanuts on the table, shells littering the floor, and a bunch of perky collee kids racing around with longneck beers and sizzling platters.

Taking a sip of my iced tea, I studied the crowd oer the rim of my glass. I let my gaze linger on a few of the tables next to me, where several uniformed military members were enjoying their meals. Smiling sadly, I glanced across my booth tothe empty seat where my husband usually sat. Had it only been a few weeks since we had sat at this very table talking about his upcoming deployment to the middle east? He made me promise to come back to this restaurant once a month, sit in our booth, and treat myself to a nice dinner. He told me that he would treasure the thought of me there eating a steak and thinking about him until he came home. I fingered the little flag pin I wear on my jacket and wondered where at that moment he was. Was he safe and warm? Was his cold any better? Were any of my letters getting to him? As I pondered all of these things, shrill feminine voices from the next booth broke into my thoughts.

"I don't know what Bush is thinking invading Iraq. Didn't he learn anything from his father's mistakes? He is an idiot anyway. I can't believe he is even in office. You know he stole the election"

I cut into my steak and tried not to listen as they began an endless tirade of running fown our president. I thought about the last night I was with my husband as he prepared to deploy. He has just returned from getting his smallpox and Anthrax shots and the image of him standing in our kitchen packing his gas mask still gave me chills.

once again, their voiced invaded my thoughts.

"Its all about oil you know. Our military will go in and rape and pillage and steal all the oil they can int he name of freedom. I wonder how many innocent lives our soldiers will take without a thought? It is just pure greed"

My chest tightened and I stared at my wedding ring. I could picture how handsome my husband was in his mess dress the day he slipped it on my finger. I wondered what he was wearing at that moment. He probably had on his desert uniform. Affectionately dubbed coffee stains, over the top of which he wore a heavy bulletproof vest.

"We should just leave Iraw alone. I don't think they are hiding any weapeons... I think it is all a ploy to increase the president's popularity and pad the budget of our military at the expense of social security and education. We are just asking for another 9/11 and I can't say when it happens again that we didn't deserve it"

Teir words brought to mind the war protesters I had watched gathering outside our base. Did no one appreciate the sacrifice of brave men and women who leave theirhomes and family to ensure our freedom? I glimpsed at the tables around me an saw the faces of some of those courageous men. Looking sad as they listened to the ladies talk.

"Well, I for one, think it is a travesty to invade Iraw and I am certainly sick of our tax dollars going to train professional baby killers we call a Military."

Professional baby killers?!?! As I thought about what a wonderful father my husband is and wondered how long it would be before he was able tosee his children again, indignation rose up within me. Normally reserved, pride in my husband gave me a boldness I ha never known. Tonight, one voice would cry our on behalf of themilitary. One shy woman would stand and let her pride in our troops be known. I made my way to their table, placing my palms flat on it and lowered myself to be eye level with them. Smiling I said "I couldn't help overhearing your your conversation. I am sitting over here trying to enjoy my dinner alone. Do you know why I am alone? Because my husband, whom I love dearly, is halfway across the world defending your right to say rotten things about him. You have the right to your opinion, and what you think is none of my business. But what you say in my hearing is and I will not sit by and listen to you run down my country, my president, my husband, and all these other fine men and women in here who put their lives on the line to give you the freedom tocomplain. Freedom is expensive ladies. Don't let your words and actions cheapen it."

I must have been louder than I meant to be, because about that time the manager came over and asked if everything was all right. "yes, thank you" I replied and then turned back to the ladies. "Enjoy the rest of your meal."

To my surprise, as I sat down to finish my steak, a round of applause broke out in the restaurant. Not long after the ladies picked up their check and scurried away, the manager brought me a huge helping of apple cobbler and ice cream. Compliments of the table to my left. He told me that the ladies had tried to pay for my dinner but someone had already beaten them to it. When I asked who, he said the couple had already left, but that the man had mentioned he was a WWII Vet and wanted to take care of the wife of one of our boys.

I turned to thank the soldiers for the cobbler, but they wouldn't hear a word of it retorting "Thank you, you said what we wanted to, but weren't allowed"

As I drove home that night, for the first time in a while, I didn't feel quite so alone. My heart was filled with the warmth of all the patrons who had stopped by my table to tell me they too were proud of my husband and that he would be in their prayers. I knew their flags would fliy a little higher the next day. Perhaps they would look for tangible ways to show their pride in our country and our troops. And maybe, just MAYBE, the two ladies sitting at that table next to me would pause for a minute to appreciate all the freedom this great country offers and what it costs to maintain. As for me, I had learned that one voice can make a difference. Maybe the next time protesters gather outside the gates of the base where I live, I will proudly stand across the street with a sign of my own. a sign that says "THANK YOU!!"

Note from me:

I also fought for every persons right for freedom of speech, the right to have an opinion, the right to live in this country without fear of religious persecution. whenever the weather is decent in Red Bluff (meaning around 70 degrees with no wind or rain or blistering heat) a group of protsters gather on main street to protest the war and protest the military. I like to call them fair weather protesters. If it REALLY mattered to them, they would be out there all day every day of every week of every month of every year. Rain, sleet, snow, sunshine, or 115 degree weather. But they aren't. Actions speak louder than words. If you care about something, SHOUT it from the the mountaintops. If you were able to read this note, thank a teacher. If you were able to read it in english, thank a veteran or service member.

If you found this note offensive, I honestly can't say I am sorry. If it did offend you, you have the right to not read it, you have the right to unfriend me, you have the right to call me whatever name you please. I won't be offended. After all, I fought for that right too.

To sum it all up, I think a sticker on a car I saw words it best. If you don't want to stand behind our troops, please, FEEL FREE to stand in front of them.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Flash Mob for Mrs. Palubeski

Today, I saw the most inspirational story of a community (more specifically, Red Bluff High School students) come together to lift up one of their own. Here's the story:

about 5 months ago, Betsy Palubeski (teacher at RBUHS) was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She underwent treatment and came back home on monday January 31st after being gone for over three months. The story is that when her treatment was done, the nurses sang "Zippededoodaa zippededay My oh My what a wonderful day". Quite a song to hear when you've just been told "Your cancer is gone".

Enter monday... Cindy Haase (another teacher at RBUHS) asked the high school band if they could learn the song and then today (friday) mob together with the rest of the school and march to the front of Mrs. Palubeskis house and welcome her home. I didn't hear about his until one of the members of the bank posted on his FB page about what was going to happen. Well, I got on the horn to KRCR channel 7 and KNVN/KHSL and both were able to make it. While their videos are a lot nicer than mine, I still made a mash up of what I recorded.

To say that being proud of the students would be an understatement. To say that the faculty that made it happen are awesome is an understatement. Simply, this was one helluva start to 2011 for students, teachers, observers, and Mrs. Palubeski. Here's the video that I shot. Share it, make people aware of cancer and early detection. Get involved with Relay for Life, donate platelets and blood, get on the bone marrow registry. DO SOMETHING. I don't have deep pockets, but i've got a big heart. I can't donate much money, but I can certainly donate time.

Mrs. P's husband also recorded a video and shared on Facebook. you can click HERE to go watch it. He's got a point... There aren't many places on earth that can do something this cool. Red Bluff, Ca is one of those places. This isn't just a great place to live, it isn't just a great place to raise a family. It's a place to become part of a BIG family. One that I have been part of for my entire life. It makes me proud to say that I am Red Bluffian Through and Through.

Here's where I call everyone to action: If you have defeated cancer, know someone who has, and ESPECIALLY if you know someone who has succumbed their battle to cancer, PLEASE, PLEEEAAASE find a cause to help support and donate to. Me personally, Relay For Life. I am hoping to raise $1000 this year. I raise $1000 and I will dye my hair purple and pink. I want to rid this horrible disease from this planet and want to celebrate more birthdays with friends who have kicked cancers butt and told it to never come back again. If you want to donate, click HERE. If you want to get involved, please email me and I will make sure you get in touch with the right people. Lets Save the TaTa's and Kill Cancer!

The Nice Guy