Friday, April 20, 2007

Why the Dogs Got Steaks for Dinner:

Up and at 'em
Pet care
Read Op-Eds
Check headlines
Get kids up and off to school

Calling for dollars:
(The one activity that makes all candidates feel like a dog being dragged into the vet for a rectal exam.)
"Hi remember me (from some obscure somewhere about twenty years ago?) Why am I calling? Well, funny you would ask...Could you write me a check for $500.00? Oh, I see. Well, how about twenty?"

My third trip to the doc this month. The tubes in my ears have collapsed. Prognosis: meds aren't working. The magic eight ball says surgery is in my future. ugggh.

Grocery. Found two nice juicy steaks for the grill. Yummmmm.

Babysit the after school crowd while writing thank you notes to donors and working on campaign.

Door to door campaigning.

Daughter in crisis: yesterdays sore throat has turned into full blown flu, and tweenkin is locked in the bathroom at the school dance, blowing chunks and writhing with embarrassment while all her school mates gossip and watch.
Super mom to the rescue!

Third grade son is having slumber party. Two overnight guests are planned, but ten neighborhood boys are in our back woods wearing full military gear,doing "night maneuvers" with their pop guns. One falls into a barbed wire fence on the neighbors property and slices open his chest from collar bone to belly button.

Urgent Care

Rambo comes home, and digs on the purple heart status among his peers.
(I have to brag here a little bit: The urgent care did not charge for the visit because my first aid work was so good, they did not have to do anything.) Everybody is good at something, and this is one of my talents. Trust me on this; if you ever fall off a cliff in the wilderness, I'm the girl you want on the other end of that rope.

I finally start to cook those steaks... and. the. grill. runs. out. of. gas.

Off to the propane store, but first, all three boys reveal multiple day old boo-boos and want band aids. Then of course my daughter wakes up and starts puking on cue.

Dinner is served, but no one is hungry, so the dogs lucked out and got steak.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A big day at the Statehouse

This energetic group trained all morning and, armed with the facts, lobbied for the Ohio Prevention First Act.

All this happened right after the Statehouse was evacuated because of a small fire. People were all over the place. It was bizzare. While we were waiting for everything to return to normal, I sat on the statehouse steps just a few feet behind the podium shown in this picture.

I was just a chit chattin away with my home girl about who knows what, when some stranger came up to me all bug eyed and informed me the microphone was on, and our conversation was broadcasting all over the Statehouse lawn.

EEE-GADS! Now the world knows all my secrets! LOL

Anyway, when the fireworks ended, we rallied with Senator Sue Morano, Rep. John Peterson, and Rep. Tyrone Yates who have all worked very hard on the Prevention First bill.

This bill will improve access to family-planning services and honest, comprehensive sex education, so that Ohioans have the resources and knowledge they need to prevent unintended pregnancies.

(When it comes to "Family Values", it just seems to me that education and prevention make a whole lot more sense than criminalization and social ridicule.)

Note to those of you who like to play Where's Waldo:
I'm in the second row on the right, next to the lady in red.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Here's a question for your health insurance company:

How come Viagra is covered under most health insurance plans, but women's contraceptives are not?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

On Imus I must say...

Sure, we need to protect free speech in America, but that does not mean Lenny Bruce was ever entitled to a prime time network sit-com. His act belonged in the smokey side street clubs, and Imus belongs there too.

We have different levels of decorum for different venues, and I for one am very glad to see the American people finally stand up and demand an end to shock jock shout show dramatics.

Our airways are infested with a whole stable of professional hatemongers (mostly from the right) who are making millions of dollars, poking sticks at every little bee's nest they can find.

Our nightly news has degraded into a sound-byte city of snarky wordsmiths who have no regard for the true art of debate.

Our talk shows have devolved from places of public discourse and reason, to a name calling, big time wrestling exposition of closed minded bullies. The more outrageous you are, the more press you get.

If the trend continues, pretty soon our networks will be anchored by the street corner schizophrenics. (Oh well, I guess that's one way to help the homeless, but it definitely would not be my solution of choice.)

I feel bad for the fall of poor old Imus, but he will land on his feet. He wont make as much money now, or wield as much power, but he still has an audience, and he will find a another station willing to put a few thousand watts behind his rusty barbed wire tongue; of that you can be sure. Shock Jocks are like car accidents. They sadden and disgust us, but we just can't seem to look away.

My hope is that free market capitalism will solve the problem through public pressure. If people refuse to listen, refuse to watch, speak out for justice and use their buying power to influence advertisers, it will regulate the hate mongers to a smaller market share, and in doing so, reward the voices of reason with prime time shows and premium pay.

I am not about to advocate taking away any ones right to free speech. I just hope we are smart enough to prevent these people from getting rich while doing it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Women in the workforce

Women do not need anything else to feel guilty about. Guilt is a driving force for most women. Mothers feel guilty when they stay at home with their kids, because they are not earning an income. They feel guilty when they depend on their husbands for support. They feel guilty when the take that full time job because they end up too tired to put their full energy into their kids, their husbands, and their homes.

Women worry all the time about looking their best, not so much for themselves, but for others. They want to be gourmet chefs, choosing healthy fresh organic foods to put on the table in style, but generally, then find themselves heating up some frozen concoction they found on sale in the grocery store. Either that or they grab a McMeal to eat in the car while playing the role of soccer-mom-taxi-driver.

Women feel guilt more times per day than adolescent boys think about sex, and folks, that’s a lot!

So it is not surprising that Leslie Bennett’s new book “The Feminine Mistake” is creating a roar of controversy with devoted stay at home moms. But before they dismiss her as the devils advocate, they would be wise to take a relaxing Calgon bath, and curl up with this remarkable eye opening book.

Bennett’s point is not to condemn the stay at home mom for her choice to nurture her children. Rather, it is a book of research and facts on the economics of motherhood which lets these women know exactly what they are in for.

The research compiled for The Feminine Mistake makes it clear that women who opt out of the workforce to stay at home with their children are making a definitive and quantifiable economic choice with long term ramifications.

A press release from Hyperion publishing states:

THE FEMINIST MISTAKE explains how when women give up careers, the loss in income has a cascading impact on medical benefits, retirement funds and other long-time financial needs. And sadly, Bennetts exposes how the much-vaunted concept of the on-ramp -- the track for talented women to rejoin the workforce following some years at home-- does not exist. Women are finding out too late that motherhood and community service too often still does not translate in HR departments as viable skills.

There is a solution to this problem that will make women stand up and cheer; One that has been sitting right under our noses for over two decades.

Twenty five years ago, colleges and universities around the country predicted new trends of work from home, job sharing, flex time and telecommuting would be the wave of the future as personal computers and technology integrated into our lives.

Sadly, that shift has not occurred. In order to be competitive in the workplace and secure opportunities for advancement, dedicated employees are expected to work forty to sixty hours per week, and make personal sacrifices for the good of the company. This puts women with children at a severe disadvantage in the workplace.

In the United States, we think of our nation as a family. We say our children are our future, yet again and again, we undervalue this concept, in every economic and social policy we create. Our schools are under funded, our teachers underpaid, our daycare facilities for working mothers are abysmal, and the very structure of our work model handicaps families and limits their ability to put the devotion they desire into the very areas we claim to cherish.

Since the beginning of time, women have worked along side their husbands while simultaneously caring for their children. From the Hunter gathering period of pre history thru the agricultural age, women provided food, wove baskets, made pottery, created clothing, tended livestock, built homes, and reaped the harvest, right along side their spouses.

The modern industrial ages represents a short blip in the long timeline of history. And this is the core of our modern dilemma. Women can no longer contribute to the workforce as they always have when the modern structure of society separates work from home.

What is needed is a reintegration. Technology makes this possible. Women know this instinctively. They realize modern corporate structure is damaging to their families, because in spite of statistics, they KNOW as mothers and wives, the love and caring they provide for their families is in fact important. So, they leave the corporate world and either opt out to stay home, or become entrepreneurs. They become freelance consultants, small business owners, part time employees, or seek jobs in the school system that will allow them to share schedules in sync with their children.

While you can tell a woman this is an economic mistake, it will do no good to poke a stick at a mother bear willing to sacrifice her very life to protect the cubs in her den. Forcing a bear to abandon her cubs to join the circus with the promise of free food and treats is no solution. We must find a better way.

Women represent half of our national workforce. If our country is to remain vibrant and strong we must address the issues of working mothers and create opportunities for women to be competitive without sacrificing their role as the primary caregiver of their families.

A few simple and long overdue changes will dramatically improve the net worth of American families, and have a positive effect on our nation’s children.

If we provide incentives for corporations to implement family friendly models including work from home, telecommuting, flex time, job sharing, and on site daycare services, we will provide working parents opportunities to remain in thriving careers commensurate with their abilities, while devoting larger portions of time to the needs of their families. We can also use the legislature to encourage policies which reward parents for community service and mentorship in the public schools.

If we create small business incubators through local government programs to increase the success rate of entrepreneur ventures, this too will provide opportunities for devoted hard working parents, who agonize over the choice between career and family and look for opportunities for flex time scheduling.

If these new models become widely available to both men and women, the balance between work and home will not fall exclusively to women, but will become a partnership of childrearing within the marriage, (and provide significant advantages for single parents too.)

When parents can remain viable and active in the workforce, in career positions commensurate with their skill levels and abilities, offering higher wages and better health coverage, the overall economic outlook for our country will see the positive effects of the increased spending power of the middle class. Children will recieve the attention they need, communities will thrive socially as well as economically, and corporations will reap the benefits of a thriving growing economy.