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Showing posts from March, 2016

Mama Is On a Diet – Again!

           When Ebola came to the United States, we panicked.   Now the Zika virus has us running indoors in fear of mosquitoes, yet we are blasé about our worst epidemic.           According to our total BMI, the US is the 9 th fattest country on Earth at 74.1%. That’s a lot of overweight people considering we outnumber the other eight fattest nations since they are mostly small islands in the eastern Pacific Ocean. We also outweigh the total number of underfed and starving people in the world. Since three out of every four Americans weigh in over their optimal weight, the CDC has declared obesity an epidemic in the United States.   And I am one of those three. This epidemic leads to premature death in this country, but instead of fighting this epidemic and changing our ways, we force the world to accept us as we are. Wheelchairs, caskets and graves, and gurneys are now larger to accommodate heavier clients.  Ambulances come equipped with winches to lift and lower patients, an

Happy Easter

Years ago I belonged to a parish church that was among the first in our community to enact a “passion play.” It covered Jesus’ life from his arrest on Thursday night, his death on Friday, and his Resurrection on Sunday morning. The props and special effects were engineering feats, the makeup and costumes amazing, but it was the SRO attendance at the one enactment on Good Friday that proved our church had attempted something special. The first year I played in the “the angry mob.”  I really wanted a speaking role, but the deacons and their wives had already taken all of those. I just had to do the best I could with what I had been assigned. The deacon playing Jesus led the way up and down the church aisles carrying a cross. Roman soldiers accompanied him.  Behind them walked John and the two Marys.  The Angry Mob (about a dozen of us) brought up the rear, jeering and calling for Jesus’s death.   I knew I had nailed my performance when a furious preschooler lunged at me from

Raising Kids

I had a strict, Hispanic, Roman Catholic upbringing.  Family came before anyone or anything. Discipline was doled out on a generous, per diem basis, and the status quo was non-negotiable.  It was more like static quo. I loved (and survived) my upbringing but I decided when I had children I would to do it differently.  I was still strict, Hispanic, and Roman Catholic, and no one or nothing came before my three children, but I wanted to raise them with less external physical force and more internal self discipline.  They kept me on my toes and I was constantly coming up with rules that were both fair and just. Yes, I did spank them but not as much as they remember (and love to tell the grandkids).  There were a lot of “time outs,” “go to your room,” and the good old standby – groundings. I took advantage of those many moments when we “liked” each other and were getting along instead of butting heads, rolling eyes, and losing our tempers. I used those moments to discuss, listen,

At Grandma’s House

          There’s a high chair by the trestle table and children’s plastic Christmas plates in the kitchen cupboard.  One toddler cup lost its sippy lid years ago and an “emergency bottle” sits next to the special dishes in the china cabinet. An apartment-sized crib keeps the two boxes of rescued toys in the back room company, and Veggie Tales and Charlie Brown DVDs outnumber the TMC or Downton Abbey collection in the living room.  Stuffed toys abound ready to keep little people company during a nap, and a rocking horse that’s been in the family for two generations longs for a rider. The “linen” closet stores a junior-sized inflatable bed, and toothbrushes wait for overnight visitors in the bathroom.  The medicine cabinet hides baby safe meds, tiny nail clippers, and cartoon bandages and thermometers of every type. Night lights lead the way to safety, bathroom, and grownups in the dark.  Another closet hides (though it isn’t much of a secret) the play guns.  They don’t shoot b