You are hereMonthly archive / April 2008

April 2008

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home3/tjwise/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home3/tjwise/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home3/tjwise/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home3/tjwise/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home3/tjwise/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home3/tjwise/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home3/tjwise/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home3/tjwise/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home3/tjwise/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.

THE DOG ATE MY BLOG

            Okay, so I have a bazillion excuses why I’m not going to post a blog this week ranging from the dog ate my blog to being sequestered as a star witness for the crime of the century. (If I put as much effort into writing a blog as I did into making up excuses I’d be done by now!) But the sad, and honest truth is, last week was my birthday and I got a ton of really fun, although potentially lethal birthday gifts, and I’ve been crafting my little heart out! My well intentioned, although momentarily forgetful family, gave me sharp, pointy objects. (After mishaps in the past they’ve been known to remove all sharp objects from my reach!) Tim bought me a wood carving set, and Michelle and the family bought me “stuff” for dry felting. I started out by taking a gouge out of my left palm with the carving tools, then when sufficient damage was done there, proceeded to put enough pin pricks in my thumb and finger to resemble at least 5 of the 12 Zodiac constellations! Trooper that I am, I persevered! I dry felted some gnome babies and carved very primitive cradles for them! I also made half a dozen new flower fairies to romp with the gnomes. To prove I haven’t been a total slacker this week, I’m including some pictures of the gnome house!

 

            I hope everyone had a glorious week, and hopefully, has been outside enjoying spring! Join me next week, same time, same place, for an honest to goodness, well thought out, and undoubtedly inspirational blog. Until then…be safe and enjoy your week!   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STACKED AGAINST ME!

            When my children were growing up I always kept a mending basket in my room. Sweaters that lost buttons, jackets that needed new zippers and pants that required hemming were layered in the basket. Then, during idle moments, I was able to scoop up the basket and spend the required time needed to repair said items. Sounds efficient, right? There remained, however, a two pronged problem…first, coming up with idle moments, and second, mustering the motivation necessary to spend my precious leisure time on a task as mundane as mending! Suffice to say the basket was seldom moved, and every couple of years when the clothing was mounded so high that the addition of one more item threatened to topple the carefully constructed edifice, I’d need gardening sheers to cut away the carpet that had grown through the basket weave!

 

            For clothing, the mending basket was the kiss of death! I could imagine a particularly astute pair of pants, digging its heels deep into the carpet as it eyed my mending basket, uttering a final plea, “Please, don’t put me in the basket! Anything but the basket. I’ll be good, honest I will! You don’t need to patch the hole in my knee. I like it that way. Yeah, that’s it…I made this hole intentionally, ventilation you know. Just don’t stick me in the basket!” The reality of the situation was…once in the basket…gone forever! Although my intentions were honorable, my follow through left much to be desired!

 

            My mending basket represented one of many “named” piles in our house. Truth be told, I am a stacker. Okay, there you go, I’ve said it. Isn’t that the proverbial first step, acknowledging you have a problem? Trouble is, I acknowledged the problem some 30 years ago, and still I continue to stack. And before anyone asks, NO, I have never sought professional counseling, although, through the years, my family has staged multiple interventions.

 

They: “Why don’t you just throw that stack of magazines away?”

 

Me: “Because there are ideas in there I want to save. I’m going to go through them and pull the articles I want to keep.”

 

They: “You’ll never do that.”

 

Me: “Yes I will.”

 

They: “No, you won’t.”

 

Me: “Want a brownie?”

 

            And so the stack of magazines continued to reproduce until they could be used as a coffee table or to do homework at. Then, on some random day, abounded with renewed determination, I’d grab a pot of coffee, several of the magazines, and a stack of file folders, and begin to “go through” the heap. After flipping through a couple of the magazines, unable to remember what had been so interesting that mandated saving, I’d give up.

 

Me: “Okay, let’s get rid of the magazines.”

 

They: “Hallelujah!”

 

            Quickly, the stacks would disappear. You NEVER want to give a stacker the chance to change her mind! Regret was always swift and severe, when later that evening I’d remember that somewhere I’d seen a recipe for quick and easy tiramisu and realize the hidden gem was now the property of the local recycling center! I learned that employees at recycling centers have little patience or compassion for stackers that return to the scene of the crime wishing to be reunited with impulsively discarded treasures! Sadly, I’d walk away knowing our lives were a little less brilliant due to the overwhelming loss.

 

            One of the most awe inspiring stacks was school papers, you know, backpack potpourri…a literary genre in and of itself. This included everything from homework assignments to monthly newsletters. There were book club orders and fieldtrip permission slips. Add articles on head lice and requests for soup labels. Multiple this by 3 children, and the results are devastating for a stacker. I did have the presence of mind to create a substack…things that required action…but the rest landed on the stack “to be gone through more thoroughly at a later date.” These stacks would actually get so high that they required boxes to hold them. They eventually worked their way down to our basement, with me vowing to organize them “soon”. I probably reached a stackers “low point” when I opened my preschool, and had to clear my stacks out of the walk-out. After two weeks of pure angst, I decided to rent an off-site storage unit, to TEMPORARILY house my stacks until I could go through them. (This is not an embellishment for the sake of storytelling, folks, this is the sad, gospel truth!) For 10 years my stacks grew, as I paid a small sum of money each month for what I perceived to be storage of irreplaceable treasures, but really it was for some misbegotten peace of mind.

 

Intervention…

 

They: “When’s the last time you’ve been to the storage unit to get something out?”

 

Me: “I’m planning on going tomorrow. I think I actually wrote it on my calendar.”

 

They: “Seriously…as God is your witness, when is the last time you took anything out?”

 

Me: “Define out.”

 

They: “When is the last time you drove to the storage unit, rummaged through the stacks, and actually brought something home with you?”

 

Me: “Okay, never, but that doesn’t mean I won’t.”

 

They: “You’ve got a problem.

 

Me: “I know I do.”

 

            Eventually, I got rid of the storage unit. My excuses became more and more feeble, and ultimately I knew they were right. I did not have the fortitude to do it myself, and on the dark day when I gave my family permission to “throw it all out” I staged a solitary memorial service. Gone were the never created scrapbooks; gone were the bathroom makeover suggestions; gone were the plant markers from perennials that moved on to a higher plane years ago! I was overcome with a sense of inexplicable loss, but truth be told, I lost nothing of value besides a monthly storage bill!

 

            Since that time, I’ve gotten much better, hmmmm, well, at least better. I still stack, but I usually contain my stacks to a three-tiered basket and my desk’s pigeon holes. Also, as mostly empty nesters, we receive far fewer pieces of potential stack fodder. And, probably having the greatest impact was the introduction of the Internet. With information readily available 24/7 and an almost endless supply of storage, I am able to save important emails, magazine articles and sites of interest in cyberspace...instead of my desk...or dining room table…or foot of my bed! I must admit my computer screen is cluttered with a cornucopia of icons of well traveled sites, and my favorites list is so enormous and random that although bookmarked, I actually have a hard time returning to a site after I leave it. But it makes me feel secure to know all this vital information is safe and sound, and someday soon I’ll get around to organizing all of it. Really…I will!

 

Almost everyone has some area of their life that gets away from them. Maybe you’re a stacker or a garage sale junkie or a procurer of vintage garden gnomes…anything excessive that causes others to shake their heads, suggest professional help, or orchestrate a friendly intervention! If you’re willing to come out of the closet and fess up, what behavior do you psychotically…I mean excessively exhibit? 

RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES

            Okay, it’s been raining for so long you're beginning to wish you hadn’t laughed at Noah! It’s not that you mind the rain…the lakes are low, there was a drought last summer, now Mother Nature is bestowing a moist elixir upon a parched earth! You know that this will help wake up the perennials in the garden and nothing beats the smell of a fresh crop of worms on the driveway! (Ugh!) The only problem is the incarcerated inmates, formerly known as your children, are getting restless. You’ve got two options. First, go crazy and take them with you or second, come up with some activities to soothe the wild beasts. A couple of months ago we talked about snow day activities, now it’s time to talk about what to do when it’s raining and there’s no relief in site!

 

When you can go outside:

 

Kick off your shoes and quack like a duck! If weather conditions are safe…another words NO lightning…go outside for a while. Few things will stick in your child’s memory like a slosh in a puddle! Take time to notice how different nature looks in the rain…tree branches droop, flowers close up, and animals are suspiciously missing. Talk about where they’ve gone. If it’s warm enough, walk barefoot in puddles, splash, and squish. If it’s too chilling, tromp around in your puddle stompers, raincoats and umbrellas. Float stuff in puddles, make bridges over downspout “rivers”, or simply waddle around like a duck!

 

When you can’t go outside:

 

Make indoor “mud pies” for birds. Combine equal parts of peanut butter and cornmeal. Add a little honey or lard. (Always mix peanut butter with something else when feeding birds or they can choke.) When the children are done “mooshing” it, scrap it off their fingers, and have them pat the concoction into a pie pan (or anything else you are willing to set outside) and sprinkle with sunflower seeds, peanuts, or another bird delectable like chopped fruit. When the rain stops, the pie can be set outside for our feathered friends.  

 

Need a way to constructively use up some of their enviously endless supply of energy? Rainy days are great days to come down with a bad case of “Dance Fever”. Turn on your favorite music and dance with your kids. Teach them “your” dances. Hmmm…how long has it been since you did the Macarena? Forget the moves or need some music…try YouTube.com. In “my day” we did the twist, the mash potato, and the pony. (All available on YouTube.com!) Into Country/Western music? Teach them a little line dance. Want really high energy movement? Play anything from the 80s! (A favorite of mine is the mock video, “Pop Goes My Heart” from Music and Lyrics.) All music is great…just rock ‘til you drop!

 

Go on an indoor scavenger hunt. Simply make up a list of things kids need to find in the house. (If you live in a multi story house, make sure to request things that will require some serious stair climbing!) Make the items enigmas that they need to figure out. For younger children suggestions might be: A vegetable that is yellow, a toy that squeaks, something with words in it, things that keeps our feet warm. For older children: $4.73 minus 3.97 in coins, a book with the word “forest” in it, something that gets wetter the more it dries (a towel), something that is black and white and red all over (a newspaper). You get the idea. (In anticipation of a scavenger hunt write down ideas as you think of them. When you’re ready to play, you’ll have a reservoir of ideas to pull from.)

 

Make your favorite cookies. Here is a favorite of ours:

 

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup flour

 

Directions

Cream together the peanut butter and butter; beat in the two sugars and then stir in the remaining ingredients. Arrange by teaspoonfuls on baking sheets. Press flat with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 40 cookies.

 

Watch rain puddles. When we were children my mom told us that the rain hitting the puddles looked like cowboys riding broncos in the rodeo and the “bubbles” were steers. (She was from central Texas, what can I say?) Watch the rain with your children. Ask them what they think a heavy rain looks like. Have them draw pictures depicting their image of rain in puddles. Talk about the phrase “raining cats and dogs”. Have them come up with ideas as to the source of that expression. (Although the true origin is not certain, it is suspected that it makes reference to the filth and open sewers that existed in 17th and 18th century London. Dead animals, including cats and dogs, were often allowed the rot on the side of the roads. When a very heavy rain descended, the water washed their corpses down the streets, usually ending up in the river! Obviously, you won’t want to share this grisly image with young children, but older children might find it fascinating!) Have them come up with their own idioms and use them in the future! (I love anything esoteric that finds its way into a family’s vernacular. I’ll spend a whole blog talking about that one day! Remember the term “red car”!) If your children are interested in other idioms try http://www.idiomsite.com/. It’s fun learning about the origin of phrases. (Caution: I have not read all the entries so I cannot vouch for the site’s appropriateness. I had not found anything offensive in the entries I read.)

 

If you have contact paper, construction paper, and tissue paper available (might want to stock up in anticipation) make stained glass raindrops. Trace a raindrop shape (about 6” x 9”) on blue construction paper. Using 2 pieces of paper at the same time cut around the outside of the shape, then cut out the inside to create a 1” frame around the edge of the raindrop. (You will need to do this for young children.) Cut 2 pieces of contact paper slightly larger than the shape. Place one of the raindrop frames directly on one piece of contact paper. Rip or cut blue and white tissue paper into little pieces. Place them inside the shape. When you’ve covered most of the open space, lay the second frame over the first, making sure they line up exactly. Cover the raindrop with the remaining piece of contact paper. Cut away the excess contact paper, making sure to leave a quarter inch around the entire outside to hold it together. Punch a hole in the top and hang in a window. Create an entire downpour!

 

raindrop

 

So, it’s rainy and dreary…pretend like you are somewhere else! Have a picnic on the floor of your living room, teddy bears invited! Create caves and tunnels using tables, chairs and blankets and go spelunking! Flashlights are a must! Is it 45 degrees and rainy? Have older children use weather.com or your favorite weather site, and find areas of the world that are experiencing the “perfect” weather day. (78 degrees and sunny?) Make sure they check areas in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres!

 

Grab a sketch pad and a few colored pencils and head out to your local nursery. Your spring garden may just be waking up, but at the larger nurseries, they’re well into planting. Wander the hothouses. Observe the seedlings. Check out their cacti quarters! Have your child sketch plants they like. Make sure they include the name of the plant and date. Later, you may wish to include these plants in your garden. It you don’t have a local nursery open at this time, go to an on-line site and check out flowers. MSU has a great site, and a great garden, for children. http://4hgarden.msu.edu/. Have them sketch gardens they see on-line.

 

Create a Rosetta Stone. On a piece of paper list the letters of the alphabet. Next to each letter place a simple symbol to represent that letter. Now write a message to your child using this code. Give them the “Rosetta Stone” and have them decipher the code. Older children can create their own code. Who knows…maybe this can become your family’s own secret code enabling family members to write notes to one another using hieroglyphics!

 

Curl up and read a good book. Picture book suggestions for the day: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, by Judi Barrett; Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse; Bartholomew and the Oobleck, by Dr. Seuss; or Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco. Older children might enjoy: The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm by Anne Capeci; The Rain Fairy (Rainbow Magic: The Weather Fairies, No. 7) by Daisy Meadows and, of course, the granddaddy of all storms…The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

 

If you read Thunder Cake, bake a cake!

 

If you haven’t already, introduce your children to the wonderful world of “musicals”. Kids are naturally drawn to music and the movie musicals are a wonderful way to introduce the theater since many are based on Broadway plays. In anticipation of a good rain get a copy of the DVD Singing in the Rain with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. My parents loved in when it first came out, we loved it as children, as did my children, and now my grandchildren adore it!

 

Take a nap! Rainy days have a way of lulling us to sleep!

 

What were some of your favorite rainy day activities as a child? Do you think they would translate well to kids today? If you have children what rainy day activities do you do together?

SURE SIGN OF SPRING!

            Spring is here. You know how I know? It’s not because the robins and red winged blackbirds have returned to our yard, although they have. It’s not because there is a multitude of tiny squirrels raiding the bird feeders, although they are. And it’s not because the bulbs are pushing past last year’s yard debris, although there appearance does in fact herald the arrival of spring. No, the undisputable indicator of spring is my yearly rummage through my craft area looking for my watercolors and sketch pads. Now this, in and of itself, may not seem like anything unusual. Nice weather makes us want to open windows, fly kites, plant trees, and get outside to do some watercolors. The only thing is, over the past 25 years, each spring I always assemble my watercolor collection, and NEVER paint or draw a darn thing!

 

            My family knows of this unrequited desire. And they try to be supportive and encouraging. Just about everyone who knows me, at one time or another, has bought me paints, sketch paper, and pencils. They’ve bought me nature journals and watercolors. They’ve bought books that inspire and instruct…yet I’ve yet to open a single tube of paint.  

 

            Tim says maybe I need an easel. Eureka! I think he’s right. I also think he just made more work for himself, as I send him off to Home Depot to buy the supplies necessary for constructing a personalized easel. Let’s see…I’ll need a cup holder for my diet Pepsi…and a little clip where I can hang my cell phone. And, oh yes, I’ll want a stool…and perhaps it should be adjustable. And since I can, I think I’ll have him install a garden umbrella with a 360 degree turn radius allowing for the greatest solar control. Did I mention that I will need somewhere to hold an iPod? Music can be very inspirational when painting. Anyway, I’m sure with a quality easel I’ll finally start painting!

 

            “Yeah right”, she says, with a noticeable amount of sarcasm! When it comes right down to it, I don’t paint because I don’t know how. I want to. I mean I reeeeaaaaallllly want to. I’ve signed up to take classes, but something always seems to come up, and it’s never worked out. Who am I kidding? Truth be told, I’m intimidated. When I see some things past students have painted, and I go all limp in the wrists. How could I possibly hold a paintbrush? I look at a virgin piece of paper and I get the phalange equivalent of being tongue tied! I suppose I’m use to being good at the things I do…sometimes even “the best”. I can knit and sew with confidence and ease. I can hold my own at cooking and decorating. But short of this one cute drawing of my old dog that I’ve perfected over the years, when I draw something, it’s about a 50/50 chance that others will know what it is. There was this one Pictionary incident that will live in infamy, when my frustration resulted in me impaling my sister-in-law with my uncooperative pencil! You know, you stick a pencil in someone’s forehead ONCE, and they never let you forget it! Anyway, I’m reminded of the scene in The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery where the young boy draws a picture of a boa constrictor right after it swallowed an elephant. Having shown this picture to many adults, and all of them insisting that it’s a fine hat, he gets very frustrated. I can’t remember if he gives up drawing or just showing his pictures to adults. I totally get how he feels. Perhaps my talents are simply misunderstood…Nah.

 

            So, as always, spring is here and I’ve started assembling my multitude of artistic supplies. Although I may not be an artist, it can never be said that I’m not a cockeyed optimist! Besides, this year is going to be different. This year I’m going to throw caution to the wind, unscrew a tube of watercolor and, and….and probably screw it back on again! No, darn it, not this year. This year I’m going to do it! I’m going to take my paints into the garden and actually use them. And then, out of gumption or sheer spite, I’m going to hang them all over my walls as if I’m proud as punch of them! When people say, “Hey, that’s a nice…mountain?” I’ll just say, “Silly adult! THAT is a dappled daisy unfurling her petals in the early morning sun! Or was it a caterpillar?” Doesn’t matter…I’ll be painting!

 

Everyone, or at least I’m hoping everyone, is intimated about something they’d like to try. What’s that one thing you’ve always wanted to attempt but just haven’t?    


THE RED TENT

            I was what you might call a late bloomer. When I was ten years old my best friend got her period. From that day on I assumed it would happen to me any day. I had to wait until I was almost 14 years old. In the meantime I watched as everyone else around me crossed the threshold from little girl to woman, leaving me behind to hold the door open, as I peered into the mysterious room with longing and curiosity. I think that there was some sort of cosmic justice, that when I finally “crossed over” it was celebrated by a throng of women.

 

            The setting…the wake at my Bushia’s house the day we buried my Dzia Dzia. A large family meant a large wake and ten families were packed into her small home. When using the bathroom, I realized the long awaited event had occurred, leaving me thrilled, but embarrassed. Why here? Why now? I went and found my mom and whispered in her ear. She led me back to the bathroom, where she left me sitting on the toilet, with my soiled panties soaking in the sink, as she went off to find some “supplies”. Within moments the bathroom door opened and an aunt and cousin came into the room. Still sitting on the toilet, I was hugged and welcomed into the sisterhood. The news spread quickly, and within minutes the bathroom was filled with all my female relations. I remember thinking at the time, “I should be mortified”, but I wasn’t. Maybe it was a life affirming event that came on the heels of death itself, or maybe because this is in fact the way we should usher each sister into womanhood, that I was mesmerized by the moment. This seemingly innocuous event had caused such a stir that there was literally “standing room” only in that small bathroom. I can remember women sitting on hampers, leaning on doors, and standing in the bathtub. Through the course of the next hour, everyone in the room shared some tidbit about “coming of age”. And although it took a couple of days to totally lose the toilet seat imprint from the back of my thighs, it was a small price to pay!

 

            A couple of my aunts described being completely unaware of menses and thought they were dying. Other aunts told tales of actually “being on the rag” and needing to wash them out at day’s end. This also involved hanging them on the line to dry and receiving merciless ribbing from an endless supply of brothers. A cousin recounted her humiliation of walking around school with a growing crimson spot on her skirt before a kindly teacher noticed and helped her. Most of them had learned about menses from sisters and friends. There were giggles and outright laughter as stories were shared, and it was wonderful to see Bushia shed tears of mirth instead of sorrow. Slowly, the room cleared, and a sanitary pad was pinned to a pair of my grandmother’s baggy underwear…let’s not even go there…and I was more or less ready to re-enter the world! Unbeknownst to me, as each woman left the room she was questioned by her husband. When I finally left the feminine sanctuary, I was greeted by sheepish smiles or winks from my uncles, and teased by my older male cousins. Although I was self-conscious, I was also proud…proud of being a woman, proud of leaving my childhood, proud of being initiated into the sisterhood clan.

 

            I, of course, had well prepared my daughter for the event. One day she came home from school and casually mentioned that she had started her period. In what I considered an appropriate demeanor, I began jumping up and down, hugging her, and asking for details. I can’t even begin to express my disappointment when her response was, “It’s not a big deal.” And, the initiation was over. It didn’t feel right…where were the stories, where was the camaraderie, where was grandma’s underwear? I had done such a good job preparing my daughter that she already had supplies and enough knowledge to handle the event on her own. I, on the other hand, could not leave it alone, and the next day I went out and bought her first bottle of grown up perfume, Coco Channel, which would remain her favorite. The other day this same daughter, who had earlier shunned my support, was over. She was in a “cyclic funk” and in dire need of some rest and pampering. Instead of receiving it, she pointed out, we’ve created a society that has asked women to ignore their bodies and to “carry on” despite our instinctual desire to curl up in a ball and renounce the human race for a couple of days each month! We are not even supposed to talk about it! And it makes me think of how far we’ve come as women, but at what cost? Several years ago I read the book, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. The red tent was the place women gathered in Biblical times during their cycles of menses, birthing, and illness. For three or four days a month a woman was sequestered from the rest of tribe, where she was cared for and pampered by other women. When she emerged from the tent, well rested and revitalized, she was able to tackle her overwhelming day-to-day chores with renewed vigor and emotional alignment. If this doesn’t make you lust for the good old days, I don’t know what would

 

            Women today are expected to do it all. Besides running a house, raising children, researching car seats and vaccinations, many women are also trying to establish careers and compete in the workplace. AND, if that wasn’t enough, we are supposed to “rise above” our innate biological urges, and sail through the month in a homogenous manner. I find myself asking “What’s happened to us?” Where are the red tents, where are the initiations, where are our sisters? Okay, although a pleasing fantasy, we can no longer skulk off to the red tent once a month. Although, after discussing this blog with Tim, he saw an incredible business opportunity…a chain of “Red Tent Spas” throughout the country that housed menstruating women, providing care and pampering, and isolating them from the rest of the world for 3 days a month. I think most men might even support this! But, in the real world, it’s hardly an alternative, so the question is…how can we, as women, as part of a sisterhood, support each other?

 

            I think the first step is in acknowledging that we are in this together…it’s not an every man…I mean every woman…for herself. We should try to be more in tune with the other women in our lives and help each other. If my strong days are your down days, I should be willing to brush your hair, take your kids for a few hours, make double the dinner and share with your family or just listen. We need to celebrate the uniqueness of our sex. We are NOT men with breasts! Yes, we have brains and brawn. Yes, we are equals to males, but for the love of God, we are different! And that’s not a bad thing! And, I think sometimes, we try so hard to instill in our daughters the confidence to compete with men that it may come across that being female isn’t good enough. True equality does not mean “same”, just equal. So, let’s rejoice in our daughters’ femininity. Let’s celebrate a child’s passage into womanhood, and the miracle of birth, and the seemingly cosmic connection we share with nature. Let’s acknowledge that our hormones can cause physical and emotional stress and help one another. We are part of a wonderful, nurturing, mystical and miraculous clan…at times weak and needy…but usually strong and invincible. And, despite the fact that once a month we share the praying mantis’ desire to bite the head off our mate, we are exceedingly caring, and that should be readily apparent in how we treat our sisters each and every day!

 

Please share this week’s blog with the women in your life that you care about…and make a point to be there for one another! I send a gigantic sisterly hug out to each and every one of you!