Monthly Archives: February 2007

Am I completely missing something here??

Please.  If you know me at all, especially IRL, please head over to this conversation.  Please read the comments.  There’s a guy there making all sorts of statements about the “facts” of the inequality of women, and how childless people are unbalanced, and how women should pretty much just be childbearers…  And then I, who am VERY slow to be offended, take issue with his statements, and he responds that I’m misstating his “facts,” adopting a, “What??  Who me??” posture.  I find it extremely imflammatory.

Either I’m way misunderstanding what he’s communicating, or I’m way too idealistic with things that seem simple to me, like that women are different than men, but not unequal, and that someone can be nobly childless.    

More of my “feminist” thought — Equal pay for equal PROFITS

On Saturday, on my way home from grocery shopping, I heard this story on NPR’s Weekend Edition.  (For the record, I, a fairly staunch conservative, really enjoy NPR, and I have for years.  If one has the mental capacity to sift through NPR’s political bias — and I believe I do — one can hear a great range of news and human interest stories, told in-depth, intelligently, with a high degree of journalistic excellence.)  The story is about Wimbeldon offering the same winnings purse for its women tennis players as for its men, for the first time this year.

I think King is along the right track, sort of.  But not quite.

Now, I’m totally not a feminist.  I’m just not.  However, I do believe — strongly — in equal pay for equal work.  But in sports, this can get tricky.  The NBA, for example, brings in boatloads more $$ than its women’s counterpart, the WNBA.  I think, though, I have come up with a solution:

How about restructuring athletes’ pay so that it is commensurate with the profits from any given franchise?  I think that Major League Baseball does this, to some extent, but why not make it across the board?  IOW, Wimbeldon could evaluate, say, the average profits taken in the last 5 years from ticket sales, advertising income, and any other source of monetary gain, breaking it down both for the men and the women.  Then (just pulling these numbers out of the air), say the winnings for first place is $1,000,000, and that equals 6% of the profits, make the women’s top pay 6% of the profits that the women’s end of it takes in.  If that makes it equal to the men’s, great!  If that makes it MORE than the men’s, then they deserve it.  If that makes it less than the men’s… well, sports is a business, and it’s only fair to make the pay in line with what the profits can support.

Make sense?

Same for WNBA.  If the NBA’s top star’s salary is $3M/year, and that equals 0.5% of the year’s net (ha, ha — pun not intended), make the top WNBA star’s salary equal to 0.5% of the profit.

And so on.    

My latent feminist gets riled up

Thanks to Honey for starting this conversation.  And thanks, in a way, to her commenter named “seneca” for stirring me out of my inaction, reminding me that there are still dorks in the world.

(Hopefully) My last comment on my dumb wisdom teeth

I used to think that I must have an uncommonly high threshold for pain.  Now, I realize that I have just been uncommonly protected by God and have just not actually been in any pain before.

I have delivered four babies with absolutely no medication.  However, that’s fairly short-lived, and the ends are worth the means.  😛 

Other than that, and the occasional headache, and semi-ongoing lower back problems, I have virtually never had any kind of long-term painful episode.  I used to get PMS badly, for which I would take aspirin, but once I went gluten-free, that went away (although at that time, four years ago, I also started taking vitamins & supplements, so I’m not sure which — or if it’s both — is the source of relief for the PMS).

Enter the Wisdom Teeth Removal Week.  Ugh.  I approached the whole event with some chipperness, just happy to get them out (they were rotten, and pushing all my other teeth out of alignment), and anticipatory that I would weather it like a champ.  Couldn’t be harder than birthing babies, right?

Well, here it is 10 days later, and my need for round-the-clock medication is just starting to wane.  I’ve been on 2400 mg of ibuprofen and NEEDED it, plus supplemented with 2-3 doses/day of extra-strength Tylenol.  I never did do the Vicodin they prescribed, as I wanted to get back to nursing ASAP, and anyone who’s had to “pump and dump” knows the feeling that knots up in pit of the stomach, watching that liquid gold go down the drain.  I now have greater humility regarding my tolerance for pain;  I’m not nearly as tough as I thought I was.

When I talked to a nurse from the surgeon’s office last Wednesday, to ask her, “Is all this pain normal?”  and to hear her say, “Yes” and to find out that I could take double the dose that the ibuprofen bottle suggested (what a relief that was!), she told me that my lower wisdom teeth were half-covered in bone, and that the roots were growing parallel to my jaw — back towards my neck, instead of down towards my feet.  She called it a “tricky” extraction.  When she told me that, I vaguely remembered the doc going over my x-rays back in November, but back then, it didn’t really translate.  After having my whole head hurt (and “hurt” seems like such a gentle word, not apt at all!!) for days from those dumb teeth, those x-rays seemed a whole lot more significant.

I have also made liberal use of my Rice Pack.  I think I first heard of this on the Sonlight Forums.  Can’t remember exactly.  Instructions:  Get a long, clean (of course) sock and fill it about 2/3 full of brown rice.  Stitch or tie the end closed.  When you need a hot pack, stick the rice-sock in the microwave — mine takes about 2 1/2 minutes to heat up.  The heat lasts for a good 20-30 minutes, and smells good, too.  😉

I have my post-op appointment in about an hour and a half.  Here’s hoping everything shows up clean and healed!!

Homeschooling curric review: Thumbs-Up for multi-sensory MCP Phonics K

With my 5yo Wesley, we have recently started Modern Curriculum Press’ Phonics Level K — a.k.a. “plaid phonics” because of MCP’s plaid pattern on many of its books.

Earlier in the school year, we mostly worked on Wesley’s stylus skills (ability to hold/manipulate pencils, crayons, etc.) and his reading.  He reads like a pro now, and can commendably use his pencil, so it’s time to move on to things where he actually needs to write.

Wesley is my third son — with my first two, I used different phonics materials, mostly Explode the Code.  I still think ETC is a great program;  I just wish I had discovered this book earlier for my oldest two sons.  However, I might not have sufficiently recognized MCP Phonics K’s strengths, years ago.  Now, after going through a learning disorder diagnosis with my 2nd son, and experiencing occupational therapy sessions with him, I can *really* appreciate MCP’s multi-sensory approach. 

The first section is dedicated to listening and speaking, motor skills, and visual and auditory discrimination.  It uses a variety of activities:  simple poetry, having the child describe a picture, simple pencil skills like easy dot-to-dot, coloring, scissor skills, pasting, matching, etc.  “Actual” writing of letters isn’t even introduced until page 80, which I think is a real plus.  I think it’s wise to make sure a child can actually recognize (by sight) a letter, and know the sound it makes before trying to master our quite-complicated written alphabet.

The book is not actually created for homeschoolers.  Thus, it has both classroom and “supplementary” home activities described.  We just do all of it at home.  🙂  The pages are full-color with nicely drawn full-page illustrations.  Each page has simple instructions at the bottom for the teacher/parent to guide their child.  The book is broken down into four sections, and at the start of each section two supplementary library books are suggested, with I think is a nice feature.  At the back is a set of tear-out alphabet cards, printed on cardstock, and an envelope in which to store them. 

Just make certain you have the version that is copywrite 1997.  Unfortunately, in trying to save money, using www.half.com,  I accidentally purchased an earlier version, which is nowhere near as wonderful as this most-recent edition, and I had to chalk that up as a loss and purchase a new copy at www.cbd.com.

It’s hard for me to imagine anyone being disappointed with this book.  It’s like the best of everything for Kindergarten Phonics.  

I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time.

Girl.  Mathematician.  Hilarious.  Must visit the blog.  Her post titles add to the humor. 

 

There are dozens more.  Virtually all of them made me giggle.  Some of them made me near lose it, laughing so hard.

The Seven Deadly Sins, Illustrated Geometry-Style

This is really clever.  However, I didn’t come up with it.  (My blog title should actually be “Very Rarely Clever.”)  I got it from my Uncle Steve, but he didn’t come up with it, either.  With a little searching, it appears that a girl named Jessica Hagy came up with it.  She even has it on a tee shirt, if you’re interested.

(Example:  C = Sloth, D = Greed, so CD = Get Rich Quick Scams)

Moving (?) again, dear stepdads, and life’s unfortunate eventualities.

My husband and I are serial movers.  We’ve lived in one apartment, one condo, and this is our 4th house now, in less than 12 1/2 years of marriage.  I have been highly supportive of all but one move, but in retrospect, that move was a good idea, too.  We’ve been in this house for less than a year and a half.  It’s a wonderful house.  (My hubby designed it, but for the home builder for whom he works, so it’s not like it’s a custom).  I love the area where we live;  it’s adjacent to the actual desert, and it’s 4.5 miles to the nearest stoplight and store.  I like being off the beaten path.

However, we’re sort of starting to entertain thoughts of moving again.  But, it’s for a good reason (again)!  I really think that it’s borne out of something that the Holy Spirit laid on my heart, because I had been thinking about it, and when I decided to talk w/ my dh Martin about it, all I said was, “Dear…” and he filled in the rest;  he had been thinking about the same thing.

My mother is not in good health.  She has been married to my stepdad, Joe for 8 years.  Joe is the most involved grandfather that my kids have, coming over for dinner usually once a week, giving my kids weekly general music lessons, and my 9yo personal trumpet lessons.  He’s been great for my mom, and I love him dearly.  He has family in Tucson, but he’s said before that he’d rather spend holidays w/ my family than with his own.  (He had twin daughters who were my own age, who were victims of FAS due to his ex-wife’s alcoholism.  The girls died — VERY tragically — in a freak automobile accident six years ago.)

Anyways, I fear that my mother will not be with us all that much longer.  She has Marfan’s Syndrome, and most people w/ Marfan’s don’t live past 50.  She’s almost 58.  Eight years ago, she was given six months to two years to live.  She has a slew of health problems, though continues to live life normally, and to hear her talk of it, her worst problem is that she’s tired.  She’s not a complainer… but from the cues I’ve picked up on… well…  I’m just starting to think we ought to be better prepared for the possibility of her not living for years and years and years.  😦

(This is ending up a longer post than I had intended.  I just can’t tell a short story.)

So, my thought has been that I would like to have a house that would allow for one of our parents to move in with us, whenever that becomes necessary, with the sad likelihood being my mother passing first, leaving my stepdad alone.  Our current home is a good size for us, but there would really not be adequate room for anyone else — any other adult, that is.  There’s always room for a baby!  😆

A while ago, I broached the idea with my husband.  Turns out (“coincidentally”), he had been thinking of the same thing.  He’s more inclined to find a piece of land and design a custom with an attached casita (bedroom/bath/living area/kitchenette).  I like that idea, but I’m finding myself partial to the idea of an already-built home with a guest cottage.  But, neither of us are stuck with our particular preferences.  I mentioned that the western edge of Cave Creek might be an ideal location — close, relatively speaking, to many of the things & people that are important to both our family, and my mom & stepdad.  It’s not all that close to our church, but then, neither is our current home.  In that particular area of Cave Creek, there is a fair abundance of both buildable lots/acreages, and homes-with-guest-houses.

But we agreed that, though our house is worth more than we bought it for, we are in no shape financially to pull this off.  And, for that matter, I didn’t know if Joe would *want* to move in with us.  We decided to start toying around with home plans, and just sort of get the ball rolling mentally.

So, I’ve been trying for a month or more to talk w/ Joe in person about this.  I see him so frequently, but each time, I’ve just not been able to — it’s just too noisy w/ the four kids, or he’s going somewhere imminently, or we are, or…  So…. when we talked on the phone today, I told him that though I’d rather discuss the previous w/ him in person, that it wasn’t working, and I didn’t want to wait any longer.  I launched (lurched, more like it) into the idea, blurting it all out as kindly and cautiously as I could…  

He was touched.  He choked up.  He loved the idea.  He even said that it would be ideal before anyone dies, because that would enable them to sell their current home (which they were undecided about) when the rebuild of their cabin in Crown King is complete, yet still have a place to come to here in the Valley, for a weekend, or a week, or a month…  Their cabin rebuild should be early this summer, and my mom & he have been planning to make it their primary residence.  (He’s mostly-retired, and my mom, who should retire, but doesn’t want to, is working on developing a business out of her home.)  AND — here’s the kicker — he said that in order to make it happen, he’d be willing to contribute the proceeds from the sale of their home and go in with us jointly.  Wow.  Holy cow.  That sends the idea from lovely dreaming into “could actually happen, and sooner rather than later.”

I so don’t even want to entertain the thought of my mother (or anyone else dear to me, of course!) dying.  But when that happens, I want our family’s home to be a place where our parents would come to live out the rest of their days.  I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.  🙂 Happy in a melancholy way, though.  😦     

Grrrrr….

If anyone knows how to avoid paying the $250+ fee that accompanies one-way car rentals, PLEASE let me know.  I have the plane tickets booked to visit family & friends with my kids about a month from now, and it’s looking like the rental car, due to that blippety-blip-blip fee is going to be more than the cost of flying!!!!!  Ack!!

I can’t search any more online today;  I need to go tend to things around my home, and get ready to go (with 9yo Ethan) to my friend’s son’s basketball game.  His high school has made it to the Boys’ 5A-II State tournament;  he’s the pointguard for Peoria High School.  Yay!  (The only reason I’ll be able to go is because I just found out today that I can actually take double of the ibuprofen I’ve been taking all week for my dumb jaw, which has been hurting like the dickens.)

Baseball predictions 2007: Micah Owings

The Diamondbacks have a 2nd year pitcher named Micah Owings, who went 16-2 in AA and AAA last year.  I have been following him since he was drafted by the Diamondbacks out of Tulane University.  Tulane is the closest thing I have to an alma mater, since I attended the School of Architecture there for 2.5 years (leaving for mostly health-related reasons).  I feel like I have a vested interest in Owings, because of the Tulane tie, and because he’s a Christian;  I want him to succeed.

I predict that by the end of the 2007 season, Owings will be the #3 starter in the Diamondbacks’ rotation.

Here’s an article on him from Sporting News, posted today.  And another from the Arizona Republic, the largest newspaper in Arizona.

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