Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Things I Can't Do Anymore, Thanks to the Internet

So we've all gotten the emails from Aunt Sally, the Facebook shares, the paranoid rants from friends saying, "OH MY GOD did you read the one about.....???" Most of them usually turn out to be urban legends. Even so, way too many people will believe them anyway. It seriously seems as if the more our knowledge is expanded by technology, the dumber and more gullible we get. No matter the story, no matter how far-fetched, it's on the Internet. It's been shared like thousands of times. How can it not be true? 

So here's a list of things I can't do anymore.....thanks to the Internet and all of you people who forward me emails, share things on my Facebook wall, and do the whole, "OH MY GOD did you hear about....." thing. Thanks so much.

Things I Can't Do Anymore, Thanks to the Internet:

I can no longer open a bathroom door without using a paper towel. Or my sleeve. Or the hem of my skirt. I've even used my elbows at times. But I've seen enough women leave the restroom without washing their hands and I've heard enough stories about the crap (literally and figuratively) left on the handles of public restroom doors that I can't bring myself to touch them anymore.
I can't let the waitress put lemon slices in my ice water - too much bacteria on the lemon peel. 

I can't sit down on a hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed. And don't even get me started on the ink blot designs I make in my head out of the blood and other stains that would surely show up with black lights in the hotel room. 

I have trouble shaking hands 
with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking one's nose. 

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because
 I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years. Hey! We didn't know they were bad until recently!

I can't touch any other woman's purse 
for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom.

I must send my special thanks 
for the email about rat crap in the glue on envelopes. I must also send an extra special thanks to whomever invented self-stick stamps and self-sealing envelopes. 

now I have to wipe off the top of every can before I open it for the same reason.

I can't have a drink in a bar
 because I fear I'll wake up in a bathtub full of ice with my kidneys gone.

I can't eat at KFC 
because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freakish things with no eyes, feet or feathers.

I can't use cancer-causing deodorants 
even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day. (Actually I do use deodorant. Body odor is one of my biggest pet peeves and I just can't handle it, no matter what the consequences might be.)

Thanks to you 
I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes. Yet another reason why I think religion is crap. 

Because of your concern , 
I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains. I also no longer use Listerine, because it can apparently remove the callouses from your feet. 

I no longer buy gas
without taking someone along to watch the car, so a serial killer doesn't crawl in my back seat when I'm filling up. Or slide in the passenger seat. You know what? From now on I am just going to send my husband to buy the gas.

I no longer use Saran Wrap 
in the microwave because it causes seven different types of cancer.

And thanks for letting me know 
I can't boil a cup of water or heat up my coffee in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face, disfiguring me for life.

I no longer go to the movie theater 
because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS when I sit down. That and the fact that people in the movie theater are generally so fucking annoying that I want to slap every single one of them before the movie is over.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a huge phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore and the I would dial it anyway. But I digress.

Thanks to you 
I can't use any bathroom but mine because a big black snake could be lurking under the toilet seat and cause me instant death when it bites my butt. Because there's plenty of room for a big black snake under the seat, you know. You'd never notice a huge snake before you sat down.

And thanks to your great advice 
I can't ever pick up a dime coin dropped in the car park because it was probably placed there by a molester waiting to grab me as I bend over. Because they all want me. They really do. 

I can't do any gardening 
because I'm afraid I'll get bitten by the Violin Spider and my hand will fall off. For those that don't know, the Violin Spider is a Brown Recluse. I live in Texas. Those suckers are vicious. Your hand probably wouldn't fall off, but it wouldn't be pretty after the spider got done with it.

I can no longer take my dog to the dog park because she might pick up a poison soaked Nerf ball. There are just too many weirdos out there.

I can't use the barbecue grill anymore because if I'm wearing my contacts, they're going to fuse to my eyeballs, and if I'm wearing my glasses, I can't see worth a damn. 

So see? See all of these things I can't do anymore? Things that were, for the most part, fine and dandy before the Internet allowed us to share, post, send, and tweet anything and everything, be it true or not? 

I'm sure there are many, many more. Maybe enough for another blog on another day. But that's all for now. I'd love to hear some of yours!


One Blunt Mom

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Baby Called Me Momma: An Epiphany

So it's not often that I have one of those "Ah ha!" moments. I would venture to say that the same is true for most parents. We tend to get through each day on cruise control, going through our routines and just hoping to make it to bedtime with some degree of sanity left. And I don't know about you, but every night after my babies are in bed, tucked in safe and sound and snug as bugs, I sit and I think about a million things I wish I had done differently during the day. Things I wish I had said or not said. Reactions I had to situations that were either over the top or not reactive enough. I am so far from being a perfect parent it's not even remotely funny. I lose sleep over this. I really do.

The other day, the hubs and I were out to lunch with the girls. It was a normal day, a normal lunch, nothing special. Both of the girls were playing with their iPads (no judging) while we were waiting for our meals to be brought to the table (and yes, they put them away when our food arrives). I'm sitting there trying to have an adult conversation with my husband, and naturally my youngest wants to tell me about every single thing going on with the screen on her device. Most of the time, I'm like, "Yep, that's great," or, "Wow! That's awesome," not actually looking at what she's showing me. Come on, you do the same thing. There's only so many times you can look at the Dora game before you want to pull your hair out.

But then she said, "Oh look, I made it blue, Momma!"

There was something in her voice, such a sense of joy, that it made me stop and just look at her. I don't know what it was, it was something she had said many times before, in one version or another. But it just made me catch my breath. For a while I just sat there and studied her face, her hair, the different looks she would make as she was concentrating, her perfect skin, marveling at how this tiny creature was mine, was created inside of me, and how, for now at least, I (and her daddy) am the center of her whole world. I looked over at her older sister, and tried just looking at her, but I got the, "What??" question, so I smiled and let it go. The whole experience didn't last more than a couple of minutes, but it was quite humbling, and it brought tears to my eyes.  Here was this amazing little person, calling me "Momma". Something I waited for my whole life. Something I had heard her sister say a million times, and I remember feeling amazed the first time I heard it. But this time, something just hit me.

My husband and I talk a lot about how lucky we are. Just the other day he was telling me that a coworker of his told him about a good friend who had just had a baby, but the lungs weren't developed enough and the baby passed within a day. We have friends and family who have had babies with severe birth defects. We also have friends and family who have either never been able to have children or have struggled and struggled with fertility treatments and doctor intervention to have just one child. I have PCOS, and we didn't get married until I was in my early 30's. I was positive we were going to have to go through fertility treatments and all of that in order to get pregnant. I was actually pretty scared that we were never going to be able to have children. I just wanted one. My whole life I had wanted to be a mom. I always thought that if I was just lucky enough to have one, I would be content. Never in my life did I ever imagine I would be blessed with two beautiful girls, neither of whom were conceived with any drugs or fertility intervention at all. They are truly amazing babies. My first born was a preemie, and she spent over a week in the NICU, but she is quite healthy now and so amazingly smart, precocious, sassy, independent, gorgeous and at the same time incredibly vulnerable that there are many times that I just don't know what to do with her. The youngest was full term, hale, and hearty and is now three. Enough said.

So again, we try to appreciate how lucky we are. When we see children in wheelchairs, children who have obvious disabilities, when we hear stories about tragic births like the one above, or friends who have miscarried, or other sad news, we look at each other and know that we are lucky. And yet, we still take for granted our two beautiful, well-mannered (most of the time) girls. Every single day. We take for granted the fact that they can walk independently, communicate effectively (and sometimes a little too well), go to the restroom by themselves (finally).......we take their very existence for granted, like we deserved these amazingly gorgeous creatures to be ours.

I could say I am going to try to change. I could say I will take the time every day to stop and appreciate these precious little people and how amazing they are, each in their own way. I am their mother, I love them more than my own life, I will protect them from any harm, giving my own life in the process if I have to. But I am also human. I get tired, I get frustrated, I get annoyed, and honestly.......there are only so many times you can hear your name being called in the space of two minutes before you are ready to break something. Seriously. If you can't relate to that, PLEASE, tell me your secret.

What I will say is that I will TRY. I will try to slow down and appreciate the little moments where my children are being children, I will try to cherish the smiles and the impromptu "i love you's" more, and I will do my best to not let my frustration with myself carry over into any frustration I have with them. What do I mean? I am a terrible time manager. I try to tell myself I'm not, but I am. And when we are running late, I get stressed and frustrated, and it's no one's fault but mine. So I am going to change that. For all of us. Because these two little people deserve happy mornings and yummy breakfasts, not "hurry ups" and frozen pancake sticks.

I'm gonna go get some hugs and kisses now.


One Blunt Mom

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Truth about Vaccinations: Your Physician Knows More Than the University of Google (Guest Blog)

(I found this link through a friend on Facebook. The article is written by one Jennifer Raff, who possesses a Ph.D. in both Anthropology and Genetics and is currently on staff at the University of Texas at Austin. You can read her credentials here. After reading the article and all of the comments, some arguments made still baffle me. Let me know your thoughts.)


The truth about vaccinations: Your physician knows more than the University of Google

“A cousin of my mom’s survived Polio and lived the rest of his life with its effects. He was not expected to live past his teens but made it to his 40s. I am grateful that modern science can protect us from Polio and other diseases and I choose to take advantage of modern science to give my kid better odds of not dying from a preventable disease. I had heard a lot of noise from people claiming vaccines caused Autism, but never saw any clear evidence. It just seemed to me like people really wanted to point to something as the cause and they latched onto vaccines.”–Jennifer
I have been getting into a lot of discussions about whether vaccines are safe in the last few days. I’m not sure if it’s because of a post going viral about a (terrible) Italian court rulinglast year (In contrast, American courts side with doctors and scientists on vaccine safety)or Jenny McCarthy’s recent hiring as co-host on “The View”, or simply (as a friend suggested to me today) the fact that a new school year is starting soon and parents are having to provide vaccination records to schools.
“(I got my children vaccinated) because the science supports it and I don’t want my kids to die. And civic reasons. It’s so straightforward.”–Britta
Whatever the reason, this week I’ve been in many conversations with individuals staunchly against vaccinations, parents who are very upset at the idea of unvaccinated children putting their own kids at risk, and parents who are confused and worried and want to know how to make the best decision possible for their children’s safety. I’m writing this for the third group of parents.
What’s going on?
There has been a very steep decrease in the rate of vaccinations recently, particularly (but I want to stress not only) within communities of affluent, well-educated parents:
“It’s that whole natural, BPA-free, hybrid car community that says ‘we’re not going to put chemicals in our children,’” Shapiro told Salon. “It’s that same idea: ‘I’m going to be pure and I want to keep my child pure.’”
California law mandates that all students get vaccinated, but it also makes it easy to get exemptions for personal beliefs. And parents in tony places like Marin County are taking advantage of it in seemingly growing numbers. One public elementary school in Malibu, an affluent beach town just north of Los Angeles, reported that only 58 percent of their students are immunized — well below the recommended 90-plus percent level — according to Shapiro.
And it’s even worse in some of L.A.’s private schools, where as few as 20 percent of kids are vaccinated in some schools. “Yes, that’s right: Parents are willingly paying up to $25,000 a year to schools at which fewer than 1 in 5 kindergartners has been immunized against the pathogens causing such life-threatening illnesses as measles, polio, meningitis and pertussis (more commonly known as whooping cough),” she wrote. –from mine)
This is particularly frustrating when there is overwhelming evidence that vaccinations DO NOT cause autism. As the wonderful blog Science Based Medicine puts it:
“At this point, the evidence is so utterly overwhelming that there is not a whiff of a hint of a whisper of a correlation between vaccines and autism that it has become irritating that antivaccine activists keep pressuring scientists to do the same study over and over again, coming up with the same results over and over again, and then seeing antivaccinationists fail to believe those same results over and over again. Apparently, antivaccine activists think that if the same sorts of studies are done enough times, there will be a positive result implicating vaccines as a risk factor for or contributing cause to autism.”
Why are parents choosing not to vaccinate their children?
I think there are several reasons, but they all may have some connection to misunderstanding of what the scientific evidence on this issue is, or resistance to perceived authority. In Western cultures, we’re accustomed to framing every public issue as two-sided. People who refuse to acknowledge that there’s legitimacy to the other side are “unfair.” I think this viewpoint is really muddling the vaccine safety conversation. When the media presents scientists on one side, and Natural News on the other, it’s creating a false equivalency. The anti-vaxxers have no credible scientific evidence supporting their position, but placing them opposite a scientist makes it seem like there are two legitimate sides to this debate. There aren’t. The simple fact is that there’s overwhelming scientific consensus that the MMR vaccine doesn’t cause autism.
“I unapolagetically vaccinate my kid, and it’s not just because that’s what you do, it’s because I really looked at what the science said and made a decision based on facts, evidence, and rational weighing of risk-benefit. I think the problem is that it’s easier to feel off the hook for risking your kids via inaction rather than action. But realistically, the risks of vaccination are so much less than the risks of what could happen if your child does get a vaccine-preventable disease, and you are also protecting those who *can’t* be vaccinated. That’s why I get a flu shot. Not because I am going to die of the flu, but to protect the elderly, infants, and immunocompromised folks I might come into contact with.” –Melissa (emphasis mine)
Do vaccines work?
Yes. Here are some of the diseases prevented with vaccinations:
Do vaccines cause autism?
No. As a starting point for you, here’s a roundup of trustworthy scientific resources for you to read on your own (everything is peer-reviewed, or contains links to peer-reviewed articles):
Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism
Vaccine Safety studies (a bunch of studies, with notes about what they mean):
Concerns about vaccine safety (this is really great, and written in layman’s language)
How do we know that scientists and doctors are right?
I’ve been asked about this quite a bit lately. One person asked me “why aren’t we getting peered reviewed research from other points of view?” The reason is quite simple: there isn’t any.
Scientific research works like this:
You start with the specific questions “Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?”, “Does the MMR vaccine increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease?” and so forth. You then design a study to test that question. It’s not starting from one “side” or the other, trying to seek proof for it. That’s the way politics works, not science. When you get an answer, it’s either “yes” or “no” (actually it tends to be “there is a statistically significant association between this drug and this disease” or “there is NOT a statistically significant association between this drug and this disease.”) Your results are submitted to experts for peer review. These experts then go over your results and methods with a fine-toothed comb, trying to find weaknesses in your approach, or over-interpretation of the results. They evaluate your statistics to make sure that they’re correct. If they decide that it’s acceptable (and this is usually a very hard test to pass), your paper gets published and is considered “peer-reviewed.” But that’s not the end.
Studies are then done by other research groups to both test and build upon your results. While the initial screen by peer reviewers is very stringent, it doesn’t always catch mistakes, and can miss identifying faked data (for example, Andrew Wakefield’s paper got past peer review because the reviewers didn’t catch that his data were fraudulent). However, all scientific research is iterative–that is, it builds upon a foundation created by other research. So if your results are wrong, or faked, it will quickly become obvious to other researchers who try to replicate or use them. Scientific consensus is VERY hard to achieve. So when it happens, pay attention.
Why do I (and others) keep harping on “peer-reviewed” studies? Why do I (and others) refuse to acknowledge the truth of what X blogger says?
Science operates based on the philosophy that the truth is knowable if we design experiments correctly, and we do enough of them to rigorously test our hypotheses. And I hope that you know by now that anyone with a keyboard can make stuff up. Peer review is how we test that someone isn’t making things up. Experts in your field have to agree with your conclusions.
But what about Andrew Wakefield’s research?
“I got my son vaccinated after doing research about it. I had been going through birthing classes that were against it, but the scientist in me questioned what they were saying. I found the info about the falsified info about autism. I still couldn’t believe (and still can’t) that parents would hold chicken pox parties. I’d had chicken pox as a kid, and I know about shingles. It just made sense to me.”–Charity
Andrew Wakefield faked his data for profit. His medical license has been revoked as a consequence. It’s important that people know that the the link between vaccines/autism is based on an outright lie–most of the other authors on the paper have removed their names from it. You can read more about this story here:
What are the consequences of not vaccinating your children?
“We chose to vaccinate Vera on a regular schedule, and to be honest I did not do extensive research. I read enough to know that the studies showing an autism link were bad science and I found a pediatrician I really trusted and talked to her about it. I also really do believe that those of us with healthy kids should vaccinate to protect children who have compromised immune systems.”–Faye
Harm to your child:
Penn and Teller illustrate this beautifully (if profanely: language NSFW)
To put it simply, your child is at risk of contracting a preventable disease.
Image from
Many of us (myself included) don’t remember polio epidemics. This was the treatment. Image from

What happens in the absence of our vaccination program? Read about it here:
Harm to other children:
“Unvaccinated children are concentrated in particular states, increasing the risk of transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases to other unvaccinated children, undervaccinated children and fully vaccinated children.”
One person with whom I was discussing this issue (he has not vaccinated his kids, but does homeschool them) put forth a hypothesis:
“but if you are correct, i guess in the near future the progressive stateswill have noticeable outbreaks (and not just the ones you read about), ones that touch somebody you know, as more and more hippy parents stop vaccinating their kids. stay clear of the pacific northwest or perish. ahaha. nah, we are growing super strong natural kids for the future here, and not ones reliant on medicines from a lab. we are sprouting wings and soon we shall fly to furthest regions of the universe and beyond”
I agree with that hypothesis. Unlike the rest of his comment, it’s quite scientific. IF vaccines are protective, and IF parents are choosing not to vaccinate, we should be seeing outbreaks of those diseases in states where the rate of non-vaccination is highest.
This is indeed the case. Here are two examples:
Incidents of whooping cough (pertussis) are significantly higher in states that easily allow parents exceptions from the vaccination. In Washington state alone, there was a 1,300% increase in cases.
Have you ever taken care of a child with pertussis? I have. This is what it’s like (warning: video of children in pain):

And cases of measles infection in the United States have already doubled since last year.
That’s just the beginning. This post is already too long, but I urge you to go to the CDC’s website and read about recent outbreaks. They are tied to regions where vaccine rates are low.
Final thoughts
Googling and listening to what people tell you over on parenting message boards, “Natural News”, and similar sites is not the same thing as advice from a trained physician. I really believe that the vast majority of parents who are leery of vaccinating their kids are simply confused because they’ve been given bad information.
“We live in a society, and our actions have consequences for others. It’s our responsibility to protect our children and our neighbors’ children. Plus our ancestors could only have dreamed of something that would protect their children from these horrible diseases.”–Mary
Vaccination is not just to protect your own child. It’s also a moral and civic issue. Remember that we are incredibly privileged in our society to have access to vaccines. In many places around the world, people don’t have easy access to them, and there are even some places where aid workers are killed for trying to administer vaccines. Our privilege confers responsibility as well. By vaccinating your children, you are also protecting other children (and adults) who can’t be vaccinatedHere is a really great explanation of this, and the concept of herd immunity.
“I chose to have my first child vaccinated because I paid some attention in science classes and it works. I paid better attention in history classes and have a sense of the suffering various preventable diseases have caused in the past and I didn’t want that for my child. After my first born spent a week in the hospital with an infection, I feel much more strongly about having my second child vaccinated. In that case, it wasn’t something that could have been vaccinated against, but there is no reason and no excuse for subjecting your child to the risk of that kind of suffering over a preventable disease. It’s irresponsible and cruel.”–Eric
Wakefield, McCarthy, Kennedy and other leaders of the movement are deceiving you. They bear responsibility for the deaths of children. That’s why I keep speaking out on this issue.
I hope that I’ve provided you with a starting point from which to do your own research. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me here, or on twitter, or by email (, or–even better–ask your physician!
What actually causes autism? That’s a really important question, and it’s been the subject of intense research. I’ll write a post summarizing the latest results soon.
Edited to remove Lyme disease from list of vaccine preventable illnesses. There’s a vaccine currently in clinical trials, but it’s not fully tested or available yet. Thanks to “justreadingyourblog” for pointing that out to me.
Also edited for grammatical errors.


To see the original post and the comments following it, click HERE.

If you'd like to follow Jennifer and her blog, click here. Please tell her I sent you. Thanks.

One Blunt Mom

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Letting Go of Your Past for the Sake of Your Children's Future

Hello friends.

This is a blog I have been wanting to write for a while, I just haven't been quite sure how to put it down on paper, so to speak. Many people know my history and the severely dysfunctional family I come from, but to put it out there in such a public forum has been a little daunting.

You know from my posts on my page that I am pretty passionate about my views on different topics. A lot of those views differ greatly from how I was brought up. But I thought you guys deserved to know where I am coming from most of the time, and so many of you have been so supportive and encouraging that I decided it was time to share.

I grew up in a small affluent community in the midwest, very white bread, everyone belonged to the country club and everyone went to the same church. Funny, since I was baptized in an Episcopalian church not too far away, but this church was Baptist. Must not have mattered, since it was closer to home. We had a golf cart, mom and dad played golf every weekend, they played in golf tournaments, went to parties, were very social, and all of that jazz. It was actually a nice place to live and grow up.

When I was 9 years old, all of that fell apart. My parents informed my two brothers and me that they were divorcing. My mother packed the three of us kids up and moved us back to Texas to be near my grandparents (NOT the go fishing, cookie baking, hugs and kisses type, trust me). This was the summer before I started 6th grade. With regards to the divorce, it was just nasty and so completely inappropriate with regards to what we were told. For years, my brothers and I were fed so much poison against my father from everyone from grandparents to aunts, uncles, and cousins.......everything was his fault, he was a terrible person, how could he have treated my mother that way, and so on and so on. I felt the need to grow up really fast, because I felt that I needed to take care of my mother and be strong for her. My older brother and younger brother stayed pretty clueless, and my older brother held onto such hatred for my father (and has to this day) that he was never much help. The few times I saw my father after the divorce, there was such animosity anytime he would try to pick us up or come into contact with any other family member that it just got really uncomfortable. At one point he came over to pick up my younger brother and me at my grandparent's house, and my grandfather walked out onto the driveway with a shotgun. Yeah. I was sitting in the car. Over the years my father and I had an on again/off again relationship, more because of me than him. I had so much negativity built up from all of the crap I had been brainwashed with about him, and I had a lot of growing up to do before I could really let go of it.

So fast forward a bit, and my mom remarried when I was 13. At that time, she was working for my grandparents who had their own business. My stepfather brought nothing to the marriage, but they managed to keep running the business, although not well enough for my grandparents to continue living in their house (they ended up moving to another town into a pretty crappy neighborhood). For years I watched my mom and my stepfather struggle, neither of them able to manage money worth a crap. They morphed the business into something a little different, but it was never very successful. I also watched my mother completely enable both of my brothers for years and even to this day, and they are both in their forties. My mother and stepfather were miserable. They weren't happy at home, they weren't happy at work, they made each other's lives hell for over 25 years. My stepfather left three years ago. He had been lied to for years, and while he was no saint (the first Thanksgiving I brought my then future husband home for dinner, he threw his fork across the table and screamed and left the table because he didn't want to say what he was thankful for), I really don't blame him. Watching them all those years made me realize exactly what I DIDN'T want in my life as far as a relationship was concerned.

My first realization that my parents were racist? My best friend in 6th grade was black. We are still friends, mostly through Facebook, and she is just gorgeous inside and out. But in 6th grade I was never allowed to go to her house, she was never allowed at mine, no sleepovers, nothing. These were the rules of my mother and stepfather. I never really got an explanation, and at one point I actually said to my mother that she was racist. My stepfather was so racist that to the day he left he would get angry that the black server at the coffee shop he went to wouldn't call him "Captain" (I am not kidding). My mother was NOT very happy with my comment. But she was then, and she is now. She is racist, intolerant, homophobic and ignorant on so many topics, and that infuriates the crap out of me.

I graduated high school in the top 7% of my class (there were like 450 of us, so not bad - class of '89, baby!), worked full time in child care to put myself through college, since there was never any illusion that anyone else was going to pay for it, and then had a very successful teaching career in public school. When I couldn't make ends meet living in an apartment on my own on a teacher's salary, I got a second job in retail. What a concept! I never asked anyone for money. (I am the only one in the family with a college degree.)

So I met my then future husband, we started dating, and married in 2003. I had our first daughter in late spring 2005 (with complications and a stay in the NICU), and I stopped working then. I am thankful every day that he has such a great career that I was able to stay home with her, and then continue to stay home when we had our second daughter in 2010. In 2006, we ended up moving to the Northeast for a little over 6 years, moving back to Texas about a year ago. Those 6+ years of living thousands of miles away really gave me a new perspective on so many things. I saw so many situations differently and I also saw how toxic a lot of them were, and how sucked into them I would get. I had the chance to become my own person, to build a life in a brand new town with new friends, new experiences, and new challenges, with people who didn't know me at all. It was actually really great.

Ok, so here's where it gets interesting. If you're still reading, you are my hero!!

When we moved back to Texas we moved back to where my brothers and my mother live. This was a huge point of discussion between my husband and me when we were deciding whether or not to move back. My older brother and his wife are just not nice people. They have done some really horrible things to me and my family, and though I have forgiven my brother, he is just not someone I can have in my life, much less around my children. My sister-in-law? She brings out the absolute worst in my brother. It's actually very sad. These are people that scream, yell, and cuss at their children. My brother has called his daughter an idiot, his son a "little shit", and other such colorful monikers. His wife is no better. That woman is just malevolent. I do not want, nor do I need, people like that around me. Oh but wait! They go to church! My mom loves to tell me how they go to church every Sunday and how involved they are. Too bad it doesn't seem to be sinking in at all. And the enabling? I could go on for ages. My mother has always been all about my older brother. I don't get it, but there it is. This is not jealousy talking, honestly. It's just a fact.

My younger brother is a former (I hope) drug addict. He says he has quit, but I just don't trust him. The fact that he ever even did drugs in the first place just floors me. He was a star football player in high school, a U.S. Marine, and I was so proud of him. His girlfriend is someone who has cussed my mother up one side and down the other, has thrown chairs at my mother, has lied to just about everyone, and loves to stab people in the back. Sounds like a winner, huh? Although I would love to have a relationship with him, since we were always close, I will NOT have her around my children. So it is what it is.

In the year we have been back, none of them have made any attempt to see us or communicate at all. I have always been the family mediator, the referee, and I am just not doing it anymore. My mother does not deal with this well. On one hand, I don't blame her, but on the other, she has enabled both of them so much their entire lives and she still does. My older brother and his wife owe her thousands of dollars that they refuse to acknowledge, and my younger brother basically tanked her business, her only source of income. She lost her house (long story, but it was her own doing), and she now has an apartment. She wants to live the life of a retired wealthy widow, but she never, ever planned for that kind of a life. I hate her situation, I hate that she let it happen, I hate that she is unhappy, but it's not up to me nor is it my responsibility to fix it. It has taken me a LONG TIME to come to that realization and be okay with it.

However, the jealousy and resentment towards me and my family is so palpable that it's hard to even have my mother over to my house. There are constant insinuations about what we can afford and how much things cost, and there are also constant requests for money. And this is someone who continually posts status updates about bible passages and other nonsense in between the absolutely hateful posts directed at Obama. My older brother will post something on his wall (or so I get told) about some wonderful thing that happened at church and then the next day he will post a status update laced with foul language berating some sports team, or Obama, or anything else he doesn't agree with. Such hypocrites. But you know what? I refuse to apologize for having a good life. I refuse to apologize for having a good marriage. My husband is amazing, he loves and respects me, he takes very good care of me and his daughters, and he works hard to do so. He does NOT work to support my mother, who is in a situation made of her own doing.

There is SOOOOOOO much more history here and so much more to the story, but I didn't want this to be a million miles long. Suffice it to say that I don't take the removal of people from my life lightly. But it is what is best for me, for my marriage, and for my children.

I do now have a relationship with my dad. It took a long time, but I have finally decided that the past is the past and there's nothing he can do to change what happened, but we can try to move forward. I want my kids to know their grandpa. And you know what? It's been amazing. We have fun together, we laugh, and my dad and my husband actually argue about who's going to pick up the check if we go out to dinner. You have no idea what a novel experience that is around here. The first time we spent time with him and my stepmom, my husband said, "Ohhhh! So THAT'S where you come from !" Ha! We can talk and debate without someone resorting to insults and swearing, and my dad actually has had some really good advice and encouragement for me when I share with him some of my frustrations about all the crap going on. I also now know a bit more of the story behind their divorce, things that make so much sense knowing my mother. Things I wish I had known a long time ago. I am thankful for him.

Ok so religion? A large part of my family consists of Baptist ministers and missionaries. I grew up in the bible belt. Some of these people are amazing, kind, generous people. But others are amazing and kind one minute, and hateful and judgmental the next. I have seen too many so called "Christians" behave in the most un-Christianlike ways possible, and it seems to be getting worse. I have no tolerance for that. I do not begrudge anyone their faith. Honestly, I envy those with a strong sense of faith. But what I do have a problem with is people who think their faith belongs in schools, in government, in public buildings. It does NOT. We should have respect for all. America was NOT founded on Christianity, people. In my opinion, agree with me or not, the bible is a work of fiction, changed so many times over the years that no one has any idea what the original work even said. It contradicts itself over and over, makes no sense a lot of the time, and was written by men who thought the world was flat. I'm sorry, but how is that any different from the Scientologists who follow a book by L. Ron Hubbard? Why couldn't I just take all seven Harry Potter books and from a new religion based on them? Voldemort as the evil one, Harry Potter as the savior? Why not? I believe in science and facts. I do have questions, I do have doubts, and that is why I would say I am agnostic more than atheist. I could go on, but I really don't want to offend any more people than I already have. And besides, I have covered this in prior blog posts.

Guns......oh boy. I honestly cannot get over the paranoia going on right now in the American Taliban (that would be the Tea Party and any other right wing nut stupid enough to believe the government is trying to repeal the second amendment). Gun restrictions have actually loosened during Obama's term. Again, all reasonable people want is for weapons capable of firing multiple rounds per minute to NOT fall into the hands of people who would use them to harm innocent people. I cannot figure out why that is so hard to understand. When the founding fathers presented the second amendment, they had absolutely NO IDEA that we would progress to the level of weaponry available today. They had muskets, revolvers, pistols, and bayonets. Cannons that took 5 or 6 men to move. I couldn't care less if you own a handgun. You have the right to protect your home and family. But no one needs to own a semi-automatic rifle, or a machine gun, or a gun capable of firing rapid, multiple rounds. No one.

Obama? I don't think he's done all that great a job, but he is the President of the United States, and I will give him the respect he deserves as such. I will NOT talk badly about him in front of my children, and his skin color has absolutely nothing to do with anything, much less his job performance. To me, it's kind of like your relatives. You can talk badly about them all you want, but if someone outside the family does it, there's hell to pay. It should be the same thing. My husband and I talk a lot about what's going on in our country, but we get really upset when people from other countries talk badly about our President and NO ONE says anything or steps up and says it's not okay. Because it's NOT okay. I think it makes us look really bad to the rest of the world.

Ok I'm gonna stop here. Partly because it's almost 3 a.m. and partly because this is already way long and those of you still reading are just freakin' saints. Seriously.

I hope this gives you a bit more insight into who I am and where I come from. If you still want to know more or you have a question, please don't hesitate to ask!


One Blunt Mom

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Priceless Response to a Conservative (Wish I Had Written It)

Hello friends........

I came across this amazingly well-written, painstakingly researched article the other day. It really is worth your time to read it, and please don’t skip over the links. I am asking you to really read this, think about it, and share it. The more people who know the truth, or at least move towards finding the truth for themselves, the better. 

This is a very scary time in our country, and there seem to be way too many people drinking the Kool Aid. They are not willing to find out the truth for themselves before believing every single negative thing said against our president. Look, I don’t agree with everything he’s done, but I think he is doing the best he can, especially when battling against a Republican party that refuses to cooperate in any way, shape, or form. But you know what? He is the President of the United States, duly elected by a majority of voters, whether you like it or not, and he deserves the respect due to him.

All of this talk of impeachment and treason, talk of him trashing the Constitution......please, tell me, exactly what has he done that would warrant impeachment? How has he committed treason? He may have made decisions that weren't popular, but what president hasn't? The biggest problem I have with most of this inane gibberish is that it stems from deep-seated racism on the part of many people. If you have a problem with his policies, that's one thing.....if you have a problem with him because of his skin color, that's quite another.

The hysteria, paranoia, and fear-mongering being perpetuated by the GOP lately is absolutely ridiculous. If you don’t believe that, you seriously need to crawl out from under your rock and take a look around. 

I have said before......I am an independent. I have views that are considered liberal, and I have views that are considered conservative. What I also have, that seems to be hugely lacking in so many public forums, is COMMON SENSE. I am sick of the "libtard" labels being thrown around, I am tired of the insults and vulgarity leveled at anyone who dares to question anything done by the Republican party. I especially love the term "racist" being thrown around when anyone disagrees with something Obama has done. "You don't like Obama? You must be racist!" PLEASE!! And the Tea Party? Good lord. They might as well just put on their pointed white hats and come out in the open. 

So again, please read this. Please share it. And if you don’t agree with it, well.....enjoy that Kool Aid you seem to be so fond of.

My Reply to My Conservative Friend
August 26, 2012 at 4:22pm

Today I got an email from a conservative friend who implored me to go watch the movie “2016 Obama’s America.” Here is my response to her.

Marilyn, please bear with me. Here is my take on the history of what has happened to our country.

Back in 1971, a corporate lawyer by the name of Lewis Powell penned a document that is known as the “Powell Memorandum.” In this document, which was sent to his friend at the US Chamber of Commerce, Powell extolled the virtues of blending business interests with political interests…attacked the hard work of people like you and me who care about our environment, attacked the education system, arts and sciences, in that they impede business interests. That memorandum eventually spawned right wing “think tanks” and created a massive lobbying effort that we are paying for today. Literally. With our tax dollars.

In the later 70’s, the Republican party initiated an agenda that they called “Starve the Beast.” The purpose of the agenda was to intentionally run up the debt to a point where the cutting of social programs would be a necessity. Reagan bought in and ran up deficit and debt to previously unequaled levels. It would take a president and congress that subscribed to this doctrine to bring it to fruition. We lived that reality during the Bush tenure.  Massive tax cuts for the wealthy, a trillion dollar big pharma giveaway, and a couple of wars ensured that the beast would indeed be starved. The deficit accumulated under Republican “leadership” amounts to approximately $12 trillion dollars. Here’s proof: 

Starve the Beast analysis:

Combined with the starve the beast mentality, came the part two of the double whammy - deregulation of the financial markets. During the first decade of the 21st century, we realized a fraud perpetrated against all the participants of Capitalism that dwarfs any fraud previously. Trillions of (non-existent) dollars were literally scooped up from the global public and created a breathtakingly unimaginable debt vacuum. Cheap credit, loans to anyone who could fog a mirror were made, and we (and nearly every Capitalist country on earth) are living the results of this mentality. State and local government who invested deeply are bankrupt. Ratings agencies rated these packaged bundles of garbage at triple A (why? Because they could) and everybody bought in.

By 2007, everything was in place. The US debt had run up into the multi-trillions. The financial markets were ready to implode. Then, it happened. The global recession, brought on by conservative economic and regulatory policies, hit with a force that we still reel from. State and local governments that invested heavily started to financially collapse. Millions of Americans who trusted in our economic system were left bankrupt from the fraud. State and local governments were left in a vacuum. International governments imploded from the financial toll.  Millions and millions of people are suffering from this outright fraud perpetrated against humanity.

When President Obama was elected, within the first days of his leadership, Mitch McConnell made it clear. The first thing on his agenda was not reversing the massive unemployment brought on by this fraud. It was not turning around a battered economy. It was to make President Obama a one term president. Republicans in Congress agreed. The evidence is there for all to see. The number of filibusters in Congress is unequaled. Nothing, repeat NOTHING the president has done to help our citizens has been embraced by the Republican party. The level of vile hatred generated against our president is absolutely unprecedented via unsubstantiated lies and repeated via chain email, and talking points. A record number of anti-citizen’s rights bills have been penned by Republicans at the state and federal levels. This information is all out there, Marilyn. Women’s reproductive rights, equal pay for equal work, gay equality.

I won’t even go into the fact that Republicans have made every effort to undermine our government from within. Unqualified appointments, making decisions against the best interests of the country to “prove” that “government doesn’t work.” It’s nothing but a corporate sell-out, with the blue-print being the Powell Memorandum. 

Needless to say, I am passionate about this. I am absolutely disgusted that America has come from being number one in the world on nearly every aspect, to trailing far behind other western countries. Health care, public education, the list is nearly endless. By every measure, our country has suffered from the conservative-corporate collusion. We are literally living the results of an agenda that has taken 40 years to complete.

I, for one, want to see the United States Republican party outlawed as a treasonous entity. Their successes have brought on the failure of the American institution. I am thoroughly disgusted with the lies, the hypocrisy, the outright fraud perpetrated against you, me and  every participant of Capitalism. Capitalism is a failure, Marilyn, it is a failure that was ensured by a deliberate stacking of the deck AGAINST the participants.

I will never support another Republican at any level of government. The Republican agenda is poison.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If feels good to finally get this off my chest in one sitting.


(Written by Bruce Bacon,


Thanks for reading and sharing.


One Blunt Mom