Nebraska

travel

Sitting home tonight with Dave.  Both boys are out so we decided to catch up on some movies we keep recording and saving, yet never get the chance to watch.  Tonight we decided on Nebraska. I have been putting this one off, thinking it would be too depressing. Filmed in black and white, I just wasn’t sure if I’d get into it.  I was wrong.  I loved it!

Dave and I have a bucket list.  One of the things we have talked about doing is renting an RV and driving across the country.  Just to see what is out there.  I’ve been all up and down the East Coast but not many other places.  I have made it to Alaska, Louisiana and Nevada.  We spent a few hours in Utah while visiting Nevada while there for my cousin’s wedding.  That’s it.  It is kind of sad actually.

I want to see more of the mid-west, although the movie today didn’t really portray it as the most exciting place.  Driving across the country would give us a chance to see so much more.  Living so close to New York and the hustle and bustle of the city really shows the vast differences across our country.  New Jersey is the 5th smallest state yet the most densely populated.  Traffic is usually one of the top stories on the news because it is everywhere!  It seems so different as you get further and further from the big cities.  I think I would like it – at least for a little while.

Wholesome Television

Laura Ingalls Wilder Quote Simple Pleasures

As a little girl, one of my favorite shows on television was Little House on the Prairie. It happens to be on again in syndication on the INSP channel.  The channel also shows reruns of The Waltons, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and inspirational movies. There is such an innocence in these shows. So many good morals.  Dave and I are addicted to Little House.  Even though we have seen every episode, we still watch them again and again.  As I write this, “The Camp Out” one of the earlier episodes is on.

Over the summer I was watching a marathon of Orange is the New Black - quite possibly the complete opposite of wholesome and innocent.  Now I am stuck on a Little House marathon.

My kids won’t watch it – not even when they were younger.  I can’t even think of a children’s show that’s on the air today that could compare to it.  That’s just too bad.

Did you watch Little House?  Did you read the books?  I always loved Mary Ingalls.  Dave’s favorite was Mr. Olsen.  Who was yours?

What Do You Give Out for Halloween?

trick or treat

Today, I came across this funny post which was posted by 95.5 WPLJ:

Don’t be THAT GUY… avoid handing out the following candies and RUINING Halloween!!
1. Necco Wafers
2. Anything found in a bowl at an old persons house
3. Charms lollipops
4. Sugar babies
5. Mr. Goodbar
6. Good & Plenty
7. Mounds
8. Raisinets
9. Smarties
10. Chicklets
11. Whoppers
12. Dots
13. Candy buttons

I beg to differ!  If I got a bag filled with Mounds and Whoppers I’d be the happiest kid on the block!!  Dave is all about Mr. Goodbars!  Raisinets are one of my favorite things to mix with popcorn, (sweet and salty) so I wouldn’t have minded those either.

The rest of them, especially #2, I could do without.  When we were kids, my mom always made us give the handfuls of change that we got to our church.  We were those kids, who had to stop trick or treating, to go to mass on the eve of All Saints Day.  We’d empty our pillow sacks of treats and gather up all the money and toss it into the collection basket at mass that night.

Years ago, Dave wanted to be the house that everyone remembered.  The house that gave out FULL SIZE candy bars so he went to Costco, got cases of them and those years, we were that house!  That only happened for a few Halloweens, now we get way too many kids at our house to do that.  Dave still likes to hand out the good stuff.  You’ll always get to choose a chocolatey treat or sweet chewy one if you come to our house.  My kids have been known to come home between trick or treating runs and empty their bags, putting the stuff they don’t like into the give away bowl for another child to choose.

DJ doesn’t go out trick or treating anymore.  Drew and his buddies have their route all planned out already.  He isn’t going to give this up for awhile!

What was your favorite treat to get in your trick or treat bag on Halloween??  Any on the list?

The F-Word

sensitive strong

This afternoon I saw a video shared on Facebook and I am torn between whether I absolutely love it, or if I am totally horrified by it!  Sounds crazy I know, but it is a bunch of little girls using the “f” word over and over again in the hopes to educate adults on sexism.

The video was put out by FCKH8.com.  I had never heard about this organization until today.  They are all about speaking out and standing out for what is right.

FCKH8.com is a for-profit T-shirt company with an activist heart and a passionate social change mission: arming thousands of people with pro-LGBT equality, anti-racism and anti-sexism T-shirts that act as “mini-billboards” for change. Started in 2010 with comedic viral videos that captured millions of views on YouTube, FCKH8.com has shipped almost 200,000 equality tees, tanks and hoodies to supporters in over 100 countries. T-shirts emblazoned with bold messages like “Some Chicks Marry Chicks, Get Over It,” “Straight Against Hate,” and ”Legalize Love” have been publicly talked about by celebrities including Jane Lynch, Adam Lambert, Perez Hilton, and Zac Efron – who’s raved about his own “Some Dudes Marry Dudes, Get Over It” shirt in the press. Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi even have their own pink “Some Chicks Marry Chicks, Get Over It” buttons. With over 305,000 followers on Facebook and 43,000 on Twitter, FCKH8.com has given over $250,000 to the equality cause through directly funded projects and donations to LGBT charities. In 2014 FCKH8.com expanded it’s anti-hate message with campaigns and tees focused on fighting sexism and racism and supporting those important causes. In a effort to get tees to supporters even faster, the FCKH8.com brand recently became owned and managed by Synergy Media’s team of passionate people with a vision to make an even bigger positive impact with the activist brand. FCKH8!

I am far from a prude and have been known to use the F-word plenty of times, but this video really has me wondering if having little girls parading around in princess costumes using words they probably don’t even know the definition of is the right way of doing it. BUT, maybe it is, because it sure has a lot of people talking about it!  Thousands of people have commented on the video asking the question, “What’s more offensive? A little girl saying f*ck or the sexist way society treats girls and women.”

I am still not sure how I feel about it…it certainly has gotten me thinking. There must be something about it that has attracted my attention because I have watched it three times.

I have decided to share it here and I am attaching it with a warning.  It might be offensive to many.  If it is, I apologize in advance – if you are easily offended, DO NOT WATCH IT!  Just curious to know what you think.

edited to add….. Video has been removed from You Tube.  You can still watch it on FCKH8 if you want to see it.

Acceptance

autism

When I began this blog nearly two years ago, it was with the intention of spreading kindness and sharing good news stories.  That has changed a bit, but I still like to share things I read about or see – I have been using my “Random Kindness Tour” button on my site, where I share videos or stories I find on the internet.  I have added a lot of them there.  Once in awhile though, something is shared with me that I want others to see and spread as well.

Today, a friend from college shared this link.  She has an autistic daughter and she is her biggest advocate.  I have learned so much about autism from her.  My nephew is “on the autism spectrum” as well.  This “What Would You Do?” story sheds some light onto the daily struggles families dealing with autism go through on a daily basis.

October Rose

roses thorns

It is chilly today!  I actually wore my winter coat and a hat to Drew’s soccer game this afternoon!  After just wearing a sweater up until yesterday it was quite a shock to wake up to this morning.  The sun is shining but the wind is blowing and the temperatures haven’t gotten out of the 50’s.  The heat won’t go on in our house for awhile!  We try to go as long as possible without turning it on, even if it means wearing a scarf and hat in the house.  Dave isn’t stingy about anything EXCEPT that.  I sleep in a hat throughout most of the winter because even when the heat is turned on, it doesn’t get turned up much more than 62 degrees!  Nighttime is lower.  We use oil heat and it gets pretty expensive.

I was dressed in enough layers to stay warm at the game and the sitting in the sun made it bearable.  I am a wimp when it comes to winter weather.  I despise it.  I wrote about it all throughout the past miserable winter we went through last year.  I will complain about it and that’s why I vow to never complain in the summer about it being too hot.

I like to hang on to the beautiful weather as long as I possible can which is why this made me so incredibly happy when I saw it when we got home from Drew’s game.

October Rose

One last rose.  Blooming in the sunshine despite being whipped around by the wind.  It is hanging on for one last hurrah.  We have spectacular roses blooming from Spring throughout the Summer.  I can’t take credit for them.  Mrs. Werthman, the owner of our home before we lived here took meticulous care of them. She lived here for 65 years.  Those rose bushes are probably older than me.  I don’t do anything for them.  I let them be and each year, they come back in abundance.  This one rose, in all its glory today gave me one last hope that winter is not right around the corner.  I had to take a picture – just to remind me.

One More College Visit….

success

Today DJ and I took another college tour.  Caldwell University, a local university about thirty minutes form our home.  He was totally against it knowing how close it was to home, but did it for me.  I had been at a fall festival recently and there was a representative there who was giving out literature about the school.  They offer A LOT of financial aid and even though it is not a public university, it could wind up costing us a lot less than a typical private university. He was quite unenthusiastic about the visit.  I tried to talk to him about how little debt he’d have after college if he went to a school in this price range over some of the other universities we have seen.  Obviously that means little to him.  I doubt it would have been what I wanted to hear at that age either.  He went with me reluctantly but he went and that’s what I was hoping for.  We listened to Dr. Blattner, the president of the university speak as well as a few students who shared their experiences.  Once again, making me wish I could go back to school.  This school offers so many community service projects, including Midnight Runs into NYC where they feed the homeless.  I kept nudging him during the speeches and he’d just roll his eyes at me. We left the auditorium and he was still not very enthusiastic.  Since today was an open house, there were professors set up in another building who would be available to answer any questions about specific majors.  He begrudgingly followed me there.  It was crowded and he mumbled something to me about how this school could have such a good broadcasting department when no one even mentioned it during the first session. We found the communications table and walked over.  The first thing we noticed on the table was an Emmy.  It had been won by Justin Cece, a former Caldwell graduate who donated it to the communications department. Neither of us had ever seen a real Emmy before.  That caught his attention, as did Professor Mann who was there to tell us all about the department.  He gave DJ so much attention, answered all of his questions and even told him that he had the perfect name for a career in radio.  We talked about work studies in the area of broadcast journalism and he let us head over to the broadcasting center where we met the station manager Nick who gave DJ a tour of the studio and let him look at all of the equipment.  DJ was actually smiling at this point.  He was asking questions and fiddling with the cameras.  His interest had been sparked!

We even took a picture of DJ with the Emmy.  It isn’t the sharpest photo, but I joked with DJ that maybe it was a look into the future.

  DJ holding an Emmy

I am glad that he stuck it out and gave it a chance.  He wound up seeing it in a whole new light.  Now the application process begins…