Monday, February 25, 2008

Looks Like We're Moving.......Again!

Ugh......I hate moving. You'd never believe it by how many times I've done it, but I really do. There is nothing I want more than to own my own home and know that I never have to move again, unless I really want or need to.

We've been in our current house a little under 15 months, and have had nothing but trouble since moving in. If it's not the nosy, nitpicky neighbors, it is the homeowners association. And you'll pardon me if I put a HUGE emphasis on the word ASS in "association". I really don't understand what the neighbors have to whine, er, complain about anyway. We are up at 6:30 in the morning and let our dogs out to pee.....and they are quiet little dogs who don't raise much of a fuss. We are all our the door by 7:15 am and are usually gone from 10-12 hours. When we get home in the evening the dogs get taken for a walk, and are let out again for a half hour before we go to bed. No big deal, right? Apparently, wrong. We've had 3 seperate complaints lodged about dog noise from this one snooty, irritating lady who lives across the back alley from us. Plus, we've been fined for running an office out of our home, which we don't.......and havn't for months.....but we still keep getting fines and notices for it. No one wants to bother coming and inspecting the house to see that we arent running a business from there. Heck, we're hardly ever there. Stupid neighbor lady. I really don't know what her problem is.

Ugh, so the bottom line is she has made our lives completely miserable since we moved in.....complaint after complaint that is completely unfounded and not followed up on by the HOA. They just blindly take her at her word and either fine us, or fine the guy that owns the house. Well, I guess the HOA has decided to hit this guy where it hurts. They have told the guy that owns our house that they are fining him $500 a month until we move out. Needless to say, we fully expect to have our months notice handed to us on the first of March.

I was really hoping that we didn't have to move until the boys were out of school, but I guess that is not meant to be.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Where's the Beef? Not in Mississippi!

If you think your lawmakers pass some rather bizarre bills, I'd like you to meet State Rep. W.T. Mayhall Jr. of Mississippi.

The Republican lawmaker stirred up the legislative pot a little more than usual last week when he introduced a bill that would make it illegal for restaurants to serve obese customers in his home state.

According to the wording of the bill, scales will appear at the door of restaurants that seat five or more patrons, and folks with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher won’t be allowed to be served. And to comply with government regulations, restaurants will have to keep records of patrons' BMIs.

Naturally, the mainstream news media jumped on this story like a hungry fish on a night crawler. Rep. Mayhall couldn't be serious, could he?

Well, sort of. It seems that Mayall, a retired pharmaceutical salesman, was appalled that so many of his constituents were tipping the scales at what he called dangerous levels.

Therefore, in order to protect folks from the dangers of oversize cheeseburgers, curly fries, loaded pizzas and cream puffs, he introduced the law to stop the abuse of calories right at the front door of the restaurants. Mayhall said that he hopes the bill will “call attention to the serious problem of obesity and what it is costing the Medicare system.”

Predictably, all hell broke loose from every corner of the state as well as the nation. Restaurant owners reminded the legislature that they don't want to be saddled with the burden of deciding who is too plump to be served in their business.
Imagine trying to convince a 300-pound construction worker to step on the scales or be subjected to a body-mass measurement in order to be served. Most patrons will more than likely tell the host or hostess to shove the scales and BMI measuring device in an area where the sun don't shine.

The Coalition of Fat Rights Activists (COFRA) – yes, there is such an organization - is calling on the Mississippi House of Representatives to withdraw the bill, pointing out that restaurant employees are no more qualified to judge a person's BMI than an auto mechanic or pipe fitter.

Besides, COFRA pointed out, under some body-mass index standards, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and actor Brad Pitt wouldn't be allowed to eat in a Mississippi restaurant because of their muscular build. I can just picture a 110-pound hostess telling Governor Terminator that he can't enjoy today's rib-eye special because he's overweight. “I'll be back,” he reminds her.

For what it's worth, I probably would be rejected at the Jackson, Mississippi Waffle House, too. I have yet to lose the "baby fat" that came along with my youngest son.....four years ago.

Just because someone is overweight doesn't mean they're unhealthy. In fact, due to their metabolism, some people can gain weight by just looking at a strawberry shortcake.

While Rep. Mayhall's bill might have been a tongue-in-cheek effort to highlight what he perceives as a problem in his state, he should have known better. People all over the nation are getting tired of laws being passed for the “common good” of society. Individual rights seem to be flying out the window.

Hopefully, the Legislature across the rest of the country will take heed of the Mississippi fiasco and not try to pass a similar law. If they do, I suggest we stage a protest at the state house cafeteria and hold the cooks hostage until the bill is either withdrawn or defeated in committee.

But first, we'll have lunch.

Even writing this makes me hungry.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Losing the Family Patriarch

OK, I guess I'm ready to sit and write about this now.....

On the 21 of January, 2008 our family lost a wonderful man. A man who was father to 7 (one of them being a nephew that he raised), grandfather to more than 40 grandkids and their spouses, and great-grandfather to more than 40 more.

My grandfather, Max Court, was the epitome of a wonderful grandfather. He showed equal love to all his grandkids, taught us wonderful lessons and was ever vocal about his faith in the gospel and beliefs in the church. He was a great athlete; playing softball and riding a bike well into his 60's. He had an immaculate yard and fabulous vegetable garden. And he seemed to be in his element when his tiny, 2 bedroom house was overrun with family.

I have a lifetime of memories about he and my grandmother (who we lost almost 9 years ago). My grandpa had a huge impact on my family's life.....and I mean my personal little family. He baptized me when I was 8 yrs old. He was the one who gave my first son a name and blessing......and he's the one who baptized my husband when he joined the church back in 1999.

He would tease, torment and grill every boyfriend I ever brought around in high school. He instilled in me a love of the gospel and a deep rooted respect for the priesthood. I think I got my love of crossword and jigsaw puzzles from him. I named my middle son after him, which brought him to tears when we shared with him our boy's name. And he sang the most wonderful old cowboy ballads. But my favorite song he would sing to me when I was little was called "Daddy's little girl". It was a song that Elvis used to sing, but my grandpa would always substitute the word "daddy" with the word "grandpa". I'm going to miss him. And it makes my heart happy to know that his last words to me were, "I love you sweetheart. You're a good girl."

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Finding Your Passion

I learned something last night. When you love something, you crave it. You cant get enough of it. You get it, but it's never enough. You need it. More of it. Then, you get it, you're doing it and I can see your entire facial expression change. Your demeanor, everything.

I'm talking about Andrew doing taekwon do, people.

This kid LOVES the sport. Everything about it. Running until you cant breathe, and then pushing yourself to run more. Kicking and punching with everything you've got in you. He doesn't have the word 'quit' in him. Even when he's sore as heck, and his foot is all bandaged up, he still begged to go to practice, then to 'just stand in at the back of the dojang, then just join in on warmups, then patterns, then sparring with his team. He can't get enough.

I watch these boys play. The passion, the drive. These kids give their entire beings into the sport. I love it. I could watch it for hours up on hours. They don't care if people are watching them screw up, they just give it their all and who gives a crap what other people think.

So, this carefree passion they all have, where does it go?

You grow up, and suddenly no matter how it makes you feel, or how great you can be at something, that no longer matters. You suddenly care what this STRANGER thinks of you. How you look, how you do whatever it is that you're doing.....Why?

I take my kids for a walk. We take Giant steps. We walk backwards. We do stupid made up karate moves while stepping. I don't give a flying fig who is watching me, or what they may think of me. I'm not doing it for them. I'm doing it for me. For the kids. We enjoy ourselves. We race, we walk sooooo slow. We hide behind trees and scare each other. Of course, so the person driving by is glaring at me shaking his head. 'Why doesn't she grow up?' I'm sure he's thinking. But guess what? I am grown! And, I'd thumb my nose at you if I cared enough to take the time to do so. How grown up is that?

I don't understand, for the life of me, why people place such value on how other people perceive them. Why does it matter? What is going to change in your own personal world if the 2 people driving down the street approve of your behavior while you're playing in your yard with your kids? Is the world going to stop if they don't approve? Glory! What if they even talk about you as they drive away? Oh my Gosh!

You rule your world. Only you. You are the one responsible for your own happiness, and unfortunately, your own misery as well. People casually passing judgement on you will not make one bit of difference at the end of the day. I promise.