Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Wherever you are..

Written on December 24th, 2009 by Suzanne3 shouts

..Mom — Merry Christmas. I miss you. Here are your favorite songs.

and

Eleonore Kaethe Martha Schwarz (Blochwitz)
1950 – 2000
Rest in Peace

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Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving

Written on November 28th, 2009 by redwaterlilyno shouts

It was quiet here – just the three of us.

The day before the feast I got a call from a Sheriff’s Department in Colorado – wanting info on my son’s father so I can arrest him for owing child support. Do they really think that 18,000 dollars in arrears later I wouldn’t have gone to court already if I had any clue WHERE he is? However, I also found out that there are two warrants out for his arrest – a drug charge and a domestic violence charge – I am not surprised. Anyway, the Sherriff there in Colorado is running a “special” for Social Services to pick up a few guys that owe a lot of money. Good Luck and Happy Holidays.

Then again – what woman was stupid enough to live with him? Hope she didn’t have his child!

As for Thanks-giving – I am thankful that my son is with me and is safe :-)

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

Written on October 26th, 2009 by redwaterlilyno shouts

wow..39 – and I don’t feel a day older than I did yesterday.

I keep looking forward to the forties – but they take quite a long time to here. Yes, I know – i am strange — I am the only person that wants to get older instead of younger – I hear the 40s really rock!

So anyway – my gift from my dearly beloved was a pasta maker – so I’ll be cranking out some home made pasta later today – if you have a good recipe, post it in the comments :-) I am making Ravioli stuffed with Buttercup Squash and with a nut sauce, I think. I already made myself some good Espresso (one would think I am of Italian and not German heritage).

I won’t celebrate much though. Still feeling sick from that fly my son gave me and I am actually running a low temperature – so I am EXHAUSTED and tired. This too shall pass.

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still here….i promise

Written on October 8th, 2009 by redwaterlilyno shouts
  • I never did receive a call from the Pediatrician’s office on my son’s blood test results – I only know that it wasn’t Lyme because I called them. JERKS. No more Nemours Pediatrics – I am going elsewhere. He’s now 15 – does he really still need a Pediatrician anyway?
  • One of our cats got really sick – he had a urinary blockage. The vet thought that he could save him, but — unfortunatly the high Potassium levels had already attacked his heart (we didn’t know what was wrong until the day that we took him to the vet).
    Zeus

    Zeus

    Unfortunatly Zeus- which was a stray until we took him in when we built our house (he lived on the property that we purchased) – lost the fight and lives now at the Rainbow Bridge together with Dino, Hattrick, Ivan, Mischief, and Doofus. I take comfort in the fact that he had a few really good years with a family that loved him – and that for a few years he didn’t have to worry about how to stay warm and how to get food. He had a few years of walking across me in bed and poking me with his paws (boy, he knew how to put all his weight onto one spot only). He had a few years of being loved – that’s all that matters, right? Rest in Peace “Pokey Paws”. We miss you.

  • Last weekend we were in Maryland for a Tae Kwon Do competition. It was very disappointing. A sport that is so deeply rooted in tradition and respect has lost the fight to commercial schools that care about nothing other then winning more and more trophies so that they can advertise it. In return they don’t teach their students crap about the sport, the tradition, and the basic respect (such as bowing when entering the Dojang). Sucks.
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Wii Fever

Written on July 20th, 2009 by redwaterlilyno shouts

So we finally did it — we hooked up the Wii that we bought a while back and while I can’t quite figure out how to box and bat a baseball – I rock at owling. I really didn’t think it would be this much fun! Do you have a Wii? What is your favorite game?
We bought the Wii together with 4 exercise games because we really purchased it in an attempt to make exercising fun – I HATE exercising. I went to CURVES for a while and liked it, but the CURVES here closed down and the next closest one to our house is owned by a Christian Right Winger — She won’t get my money.
I also bought a bike earlier this year but I need to figure out how to adjust the damn brakes – the front brake touches the wheel and I can’t seem to adjust it right. Once the weather isn’t as hot, I hope to ride my bike every day for at least an hour.
I suck at dieting, but I hope that exercising will get me into the mindset to really change things around.
And what better way to exercise then in a way that is FUN!

Coons proposes 26-day furlough for New Castle County employees

Written on February 11th, 2009 by Suzanneno shouts

According to the News Journal:

The county’s overall furlough plan includes:

• Converting 14 paid holidays a year to unpaid days for the next fiscal year, which is July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010.

• Adding 10 unpaid days off in the next fiscal year. On those dates, which have not been decided, government would shut down except for public safety and other essential personnel.

• Converting two holidays this fiscal year – Good Friday and Memorial Day – to unpaid days.

• Freezing step pay increases.

The plan applies to non-union employees and Coons’ executive staff, though it is unclear whether it would include the 13-member council and its staff.

For the top tier of county leaders, the furloughs would be added to a 7 percent pay reduction that Coons imposed on them in December. Coons included himself in that pay cut. His yearly salary is $126,141, a figure set by the state.

It’s easy to give up a month’s worth of money if you make over 120K – how about Coons returns some of his pay and lives off of the average Delaware salary.  Here are some examples:

 

Median Salary by Years Experience - State: Delaware (United States)
Median Salary by Years ExperiencePayScale Salary Calculator

CAREER TOOLS: Salary Calculator, Career Path Tool, Cost of Living Calculator, Meeting Miser

 

Median Salary by Job - State: Delaware (United States)
Median Salary by JobPayScale Salary Calculator

CAREER TOOLS: Salary Calculator, Career Path Tool, Cost of Living Calculator, Meeting Miser

As for Coons' proposal, workers making a salary of $30,000 would lose $2,769 for a total of $27,231.
Workers making a salary of $60,000 would lose $5,538 for a total of $54,462. For those 30K workers that's about $100 per paycheck. If you live in NCC and make only 30K and are a single mother, that can hurt you a lot.

Why you ask? Well, let me give you an example from my past.  When I worked as Administrative Assistant at the University of Maryland, I made about 34K, that’s about 1,300 gross per paycheck. My net pay (taxes, insurance, parking, etc.) was about $$1800 a month.

  • My rent (including utilities) was $750
  • My son’s daycare (one of the less expensive ones in the area) came to $100 per week/$400 per month
  • My car payment (I needed a car to get to my son’s daycare, there wasn’t one within walking distance or on my bus route to work) was $270
  • Car Insurance came to $120 per month
  • Gasoline to get to and from work and the nearby grocery store came to about $80 per month
  • My telephone bill at home was $25 for basic service with long distance calls blocked.

So my total bills came to $1,645. At the end of the month that left me with about $155 for food, clothing, shoes, doctor co-pays, medication, car repairs and oil changes, and entertainment (I did have a child after all and he deserved an ice cream every now and then or a trip to the zoo or something).
Now if my pay back then was cut by $100 per paycheck, I would not have had enough money to cover my basic bills — none of which had lots of frills or where outrageous. I lived on the bare minimum as it was. My work was too far to walk and so was my son’s daycare. My apartment was the cheapest I could find in the area and having the utilities included as least didn’t give me outrageous heating and a/c bills in the summer. Other apartments ran close to what I paid but had utilities extra. The only part I could have cut out was my home phone. HOWEVER, my family lives in Germany and when my mother died, the telephone was the only way for my family to get in touch with me and tell me. I was not going to let go of my only tool to be reached by my family in an emergency.

Anyway, there is a little history of my life 8 years ago – so if you scream that we need furloughs, think again and wonder if they really should be applied to EVERYBODY or not.

And what if a State employee that gets furloughed now qualifies for food stamps?

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GOOD, Religion, Atheism, and a search for something

Written on January 6th, 2009 by Suzanneno shouts

If you have not checked it out yet, go to www.good.is and see for yourself.  I found the blog via little leaflets that were at a Starbucks store and have been hooked on the website ever since.  This week the GOOD blog had a story about Atheists.  Of course, this article comes at a time where I am really struggling to figure out where I am in terms of religion/spirituality/atheism.

 

I am not a believer and I don’t make a secret out of it.  However, I also always had an interest in trying to find out more and trying to figure out what it is about religion that hooks people.  In some way I am even a bit jealous in the fact that people can find comfort in something that isn’t tangible – because I can not.  That said, however, my partner and I have been to a few meetings of a “house church”.  The meeting were started by some of our friends and are headed by Reverend Dusty Pruitt.

Raised in the Missionary Baptist tradition in Ballinger, TX, Dusty Pruitt was a US Army officer in 1971 and discovered MCC when a subordinate, who just happened to be an MCC deacon, was assigned to her office and sought permission to attend church. Dusty is now a retired MCC pastor and says that MCC’s ministry is “Life-changing, life-giving, life-saving” and that other denominations just have no clue about the community of MCC.

In 1983, after pastoring MCC Long Beach for three years and continuing to drill with the Army Reserve two times a month and two weeks a year, she gave an interview to the Los Angeles Times about her work with MCC as an example of how one person could reconcile the often wrenching conflict many gay men and lesbians have between gay and God. This article was picked up by Pruitt’s commander in the Individual Ready Reserve who initiated an investigation into Pruitt’s moral character (for being gay). This investigation took away her promotion to Major and gave her an honorable discharge. Pruitt went to the American Civil Liberties Union, which took her case along with the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. The ensuing 12-year legal battle was resolved in 1995 with Pruitt’s being reinstated, accorded the promotion to Major, and then retired with the Army Reserves. The case was denied certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court thereby allowing  a positive ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to remain in effect–which resulted in Grethe Cammermeyer, Keith Meinhold, and Mel Dahl all being allowed to serve as openly gay in the service until their retirements as well.

I feel comfortable with Dusty because I know her on a personal level and, most of all, because she is a lesbian.  The church that we are starting here is a UCC (United Church of Christ) which varies greatly from the Church of Christ in that is is an open nd welcoming denomination.  Nevertheless I still struggle with the idea of “being religious” but on the other hand feel pulled toward seeing this through to see where it will lead me (or what it will lead me away from, as the case may be).

 

I try to be very open minded at this point and to really see if there is anything there that means something to me.  After all, when my mother died at age 49, the first thing I wanted to do was to go to church.  I never quite understood why I felt so strongly about going to church during that time of my life, but I lived in Maryland and visited a German church.  I didn’t quite fund what I wanted (inner peace, healing, talk, companionship of some sort) — but I never quite gave up hoping that I would find it somewhere.

 

During the holidays there were a lot of shows on TV about the bible, the history of Christianity, and the life of Jesus.  I watched many of them but found one on the Banned Books of the Bible the most interesting because it answered many of my questions (how did the Bible come about, who compiled it, who decided what to put in it, etc.).  I find myself more confused now then I did before though – because I just don’t think I can put a lot of faith and believe in a book that I feel is not “divine”.  How can something be the word of God, if men meddled with it?  I also have a tough time seeing Jesus as the savior – but thats a story for another day.

 

SO ANYWAY – I stared attending service and try to become more informed about Christianity and the Bible – because I need to KNOW about it to be other in favor or against it or to even not have an opinion at all.  I didn’t grow up with spirituality of any kind.  My family ily did not attend church, did not subscribe to any religion, or was very spiritual in any other way.  So I am learning and teaching myself as I go.  Now if only I could figure out what is pulling me and why and where to — though, something inside of me tells me that I will never be a believer or a follower of any one religion.  But until it gives me the heebie jeebies, I will stick with it and see where it leads me – and who knows – maybe Dusty can help a hard headed skeptic like me find my niche in this whole thing.

 

Where am I getting with this post?  I don’t know. . .

 

I am curious – are you a religious, spiritual, or atheist person?  Why?

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Christmas, Milk, and whatever else there is

Written on January 6th, 2009 by Suzanneno shouts

Christmas at our house was rather quiet but very enjoyable.  While I miss the big, huge family holidays, the way they used to be when I was a child, I also enjoy the smaller, more quiet celebrations that I have with my son and my partner.  Christmas Day we went to friends of ours that have become much like a family and we also spent new Years Eve with them.  Though, I don’t think I will ever get used to New Years Eve in the United States.  It is definitely a much more exciting celebration in Germany.  We don’t usually start to party until PM and the party really doesn’t start fully until midnight – after all, we celebrate the New Year and not the outgoing one.  Parties rarely end before 3 in the morning, because at midnight we go outside and set fireworks off – imagine an entire city of 3 million people engulfed by fireworks.  Growing up there wasn’t a house on my street that did not have its own fireworks (oh and – before I forget – we never had accidents either).  I remember standing on the roof of our five story house and shotting bottle rockets into the air.  It was awesome.  The next morning I would get up and watch the New Years Ski Jumping on TV (something I miss a lot here too) and at some point we would go outside, the smell of gun powder still hovering over the city.  New Years Day was always a very quiet day – people were tired, hung over, busy cleaning up from last night’s party, and busy removing the old and letting in the new.  I can’t even describe the mood that day – sadness mixed in with joy – and a general curiosity of what lays ahead.  This day (the fifth of January) also signaled the end of the school break – by the 5th we had to go back to school (that’s also the day many of us took their Christmas tree down and finally removed the Christmas presents from the living room).

 

We went to he movies once during the holidays – to watch Milk, the movie about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official.  I wrote about that movie before.  The movie was very well done and Sean Penn did an excellent job.  Upon exiting the movie one of my friends stated that the movie was awesome or something along those lines – I responded that I can’t describe a movie that is a true and sad story with that word – instead I found it aggravating, saddening, and empowering.  Whenever I watch movies like that, I know that the fight isn’t over – not for a long time – and that unless we keep fighting,t here will never be true equality.  I also know that there is something everybody interested in true equality can do to help out.  After the movie my partner and I felt very drained and we both stated that we needed to do something “very gay/lesbian” rather then look at the straight people crossing our paths and be angry at them.  So we did the one thing we knew would lighten out moods and we went to Lambda Rising, a book store for gays and lesbians in Rehoboth Beach.  We purchased, among others, a movie about the Times of Harvey Milk, a book about Harvey Milk, and a book about the AIDS Quilt (the founder of the quilt was on Harvey Milk’s campaign team).  I am glad the store didn’t have a shirt saying “Don’t feed the straight people” — I believe I would have been very tempted to buy it.  I know, not all heterosexuals are narrow minded bigots, but still – after watching movies like that it just stirrs up something inside of me.  I don’t think any heterosexual person will ever truly understand how gays and lesbians feel when faced with discrimination against us and knowing that this discrimination and hatred has taken the lives of some of our brothers and sisters – and they are brothers and sisters even if there may not be anything else we have in common then our sexual orientation.

What else?  Not much – i think it is time to get off the soap box for the moment.  more later — maybe.

And to think I was worried about my initials growing up…

Written on December 17th, 2008 by Suzanneno shouts

*after writing this post I saw that delaware Liberal had also writtena bout it. That post can be foudn by clicking HERE.
ANYWAY – on to my post:
I was watching “The View” this morning and a story got my attention. The story is about a little boy named Adolf Hitler and ShopRite’s refusal to put that name on the boy’s birthday cake. I have to admit that my reaction is probably extremely strong, because I was born and grew up in Germany (the west part of Berlin, to be exact). I grew up with the initials SS because both my first and last name start with the letter S and I did not have a middle name. I was always bothered by that fact, knowing the German history and what those letters meant to many older Germans and Jewish people. When I got married I was very happy that my initials changed, but after getting divorced and obtaining the American citizenship, I wanted to take my maiden name back. However, I could not take back my initials, so I did the one thing that I could do to change it: I took on a middle name and changed my initials from SS to SES. I feel a lot more comfortable writing down my initials or even signing papers using my initials. This was extremely important to me because I wanted to get rid of the negative feeling about my initials.
The topic on TV this morning about this boy really got to me. This innocent child will grow up with a name that has so many negative feelings and attitudes attached top it and will only appeal to people that are, in my opinion, sick anyway – namely Nazis or Neo Nazis. How can anybody name their son Adolf Hitler? The Express Times wrote in its Sunday issue:

Adolf Hitler Campbell — it’s indeed the name on his birth certificate — turns 3 today, and the Campbell family believes the boy has been mistreated. A local supermarket refused to make a birthday cake with “Adolf Hitler” on it.
The ShopRite in Greenwich Township has also refused to make a cake bearing the name of Campbell’s daughter, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, who turns 2 in February.
Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, a girl named for Schutzstaffel head Heinrich Himmler, turns 1 in April.

…The Campbells have swastikas in each room of their home, the rented half of a one-story duplex just outside Milford, a borough in Hunterdon County. They say they aren’t racists but believe races shouldn’t mix.

…In the foyer, Heath Campbell, who said he has German ancestry and a relative who fought for the SS, took off boots he said were worn by a Nazi solider named Daniel.
He laid them next to a skull with a swastika on its forehead, the first of dozens of swastikas seen by the Campbells’ rare guests.
There are swastikas on walls, on jackets, on the freezer and on a pillow. The family car had swastikas, Heath Campbell said, until New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families told him they could endanger the children.
The swastikas, Heath Campbell said, are symbols of peace and balance. He considers them art.
“It doesn’t mean hatred to me,” he said. Deborah Campbell said a swastika “doesn’t really have a meaning. It’s just a symbol.”

JUST A SYMBOL??? Some symbols are bound to bring up a lot of emotions and some symbols have a lot of history and negativity attached to them — how about the Rebel Flag? If you fly that flag you have to know and be aware of the fact that some people might feel offended. It’s a risk you take. So if you name your children and decorate your house with Nazi-related items then you need to be aware of the fact that this will cause strong emotions in some people. Just imagine how a Jewish family might feel that lives nearby!
I really feel sorry for these children. I only had to deal with screwed up initials – they have to deal with screwed up names.

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Trip to Nap-land?

Written on December 1st, 2008 by Suzanneno shouts

After eating Turkey for 5 days, I am finally back from the land of the sleepy and shall return as your host of this blog with lots of nothing to say. Well, I do have a lot to say, but it may not be of interest to you. Then again — who cares, right?
Of course, all that sleepiness has nothing to do with the L-Tryptophan in the Turkey (other foods have it too), but for us it’s just that we rarely ever eat such big meals and sit together and chill out for such an extended period of time. Standing in the kitchen from 9 AM until 3 PM may make one tired too.
I made some awesome bread for Thanksgiving from a Mother Earth News magazine. We also had a Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, gravy, butternut squash, whole berry cranberry sauce (I just can’t use that other stuff with the ripples from the can), and green bean casserole – and very good company. We invited a friend over for dinner who otherwise would have been alone at home. I think he enjoyed himself — well, until we had to leave him alone in the house anyway because the dogs decided to become escape artists and dug a hole underneath the fence to get to the neighbors house. The neighbor bought chicken – I suppose for the entertainment value or the eggs — and the dogs really want to get them (the chicken, not the eggs – or maybe both?). We have a beagle (the digger and sniffer), a black lab (they are birds and he wants them), a Border Collie (he just wants to herd the chicken before he eats them), and a Chow Chow. The Border Collie and the Chow were good boys and stayed in our yard. Meanwhile the sniff and dig team (Harley the Lab and Sarge the Beagle) went underneath the fence to get some chicken. However, the chicken had already flown the coop because the neighbors are too stupid to buy a real gate and door for their chicken area and every now and then the door is left open or opens up by itself and the chicken wander underneath the fence across our driveway (marked by the trail of chicken shit) and into our woods where they happily look for food and annoy us and our dogs.
So we yelled and screamed and called for our beloved four-legged companions to return to our side of the fence. When that failed I took the car and drove next door. one dog was looking for chicken while the other stood watch at the fence. I am glad the chicken weren’t there, this could have ended ugly. The two bad dogs jumped into my car and I drove them back to our house, where we immediately fixed the hole underneath the fence. Afterward we finally were able to get back into the house and return to our guest who had been patiently waiting.
our house is never boring, that’s for sure.