Thursday, November 17, 2011

Trusting God with Our Children & Their Future

I received a phone call yesterday from my 7 yr old's teacher informing me that my daughter was being sent to the "TAB" room. I'm not sure what "TAB" stands for - when my two teenagers attended the same elementary school, it was called "PAR" - which was something about Positive Attitude Reinforcement or some such thing.  Whatever it is called, the room in question is the place they send the kids who grossly misbehave in class - my daughter had hit another child and was sent to "make a Plan" at the TAB room.  Ah, the joys of being a parent.

It is amazing how four kids can be so different.  My oldest daughter, "SwimGirl", is 16: artistic, quiet, reserved (except at the pool - then her happy crazy side shows up and she is a joy to watch dancing on the deck as she awaits her next race), responsible and sweet.  She's had her moments - they all do - but for the most part, she is by far my easiest child. She is content to read or draw, amusement on her face as she watches the antics of her siblings. My 15 year old son aka "T-Bone", is also reserved, except on the ice or lacrosse field.  Then his ultra-competitive nature comes out as he deeks his opponents who assume from his size, that he will back down from attacks.  I've watched him check kids twice his size, skate away with the puck as they sit with their butts on the ice, shaking their heads and wondering what the heck just happened.  He is smart and charismatic - a natural leader in any situation.  Always high energy and somewhat sassy, he is destined to change the world and will.

My seven year old daughter has always seemed to be a perfect melting pot of my husband and I.  Extremely energetic, she has trouble sitting still for even short periods of time.  She hums and sings almost constantly - whatever "ear worm" is cycling through her head comes out of her mouth.  This was an issue with her teacher last year, who believed that all children learn the same way and my daughter's constant singing caused her teacher a constant headache.  After a year with "Sparkles", the teacher retired. Coincidence? I don't know.  Sparkles is my little handful and trying to find ways to train her to follow directions while encouraging her awesome spirit is a constant battle.  I love the spirit she has - her feistiness comes from both my husband and I - but it gets her into trouble, as it did yesterday.

My baby, "Princess Buttercup", is five years old.  Out of all my children, she most resembles me physically.  She will be the child who will give me a passel of grandkids.  She is sweet and smart. She tries to sing, but is eclipsed by Sparkles' talent since Buttercup can't carry a tune to save her life.  She loves to snuggle, but also has a dose of high energy that I need to find a place to focus it.

Back to Sparkles and yesterday's incident: The "plan" they worked out with her at the TAB room was one of trying to get her to think before she acts, something we've been trying to do since she was tiny.  Unfortunately, she seems to have been born that kid who will put their hand on a burner after being told not to do so many times.  Then, after being burned, she'll have to do it several more times just to see if the same results occur.

With all that is going on in the world, it is so scary as a parent to trust that things will work out for good.  I look at SwimGirl, hovering on the brink of adulthood and I worry about her future.  She's worked so hard at school and swimming - she's on the edge of launching out of the safety of our nest and the world is going crazy.  The little ones in our home would adjust well to a different sort of life: Buttercup has always wanted to live on a farm with lots of animals and Sparkles would finally have a place to expend all her crazy energy.  But my older two? How does one say "I'm sorry - all those years in school, on the ice, in the pool is for naught.  The world is crazy and we must flee now" when you know it will break their hearts?  The people in OWS and this administration claim that they are working for the future of our country - how can this be so when all they seem to be perpetuating is mediocrity and violence?  Where is my children's futures in their plan?

This is the time when trusting God and HIS PLAN is so important, but how hard is it to hand over all that and trust?  Some days it is easier than others.  It brings to mind the verse: "But Jesus called the children to him and said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'" (Luke 18:16, NIV) Letting our children go into his hands is what he requires of us, so it is what we must do, but it can be so hard.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

OccupyMN Movement is Spreading

According to this morning's Pioneer Press, OccupyMN is spreading to several other cities around the state including Rochester, Duluth, Alexandria, Bemidji and is coming soon to St. Paul.

The St. Paul occupiers are still working on the plans which may not include actually "occupying" the state Capital:
"There are those who want to camp out all winter," Jewett said. But he said, "Occupy is a consciousness. It's a new awakening. It's not all about a physical location."
Huh. Let me get this straight: According to all the other "Occupy" movements in the country, the point is to OCCUPY an area, preferably near a bank, and annoy the bankers so much that they'll finally agree to shut their doors, right?  So, if the Occupy St. Paul movement doesn't do this, if their idea is that "Occupy" is a "consciousness", shouldn't it be called "Consciousness" instead of "Occupy"?  Or are they hoping to occupy the consciousness of the public and the bankers? Or avoid having to share their food with the homeless people who flock to all the other Occupy locations? (Which, really, people? Isn't your movement about wealth redistribution and helping the poor? Why are you selfishly refusing to share your food with the poorest of the poor? Or is just that it is easier to yell about the top 1% and covet that money than to do what is right and share with the poor out of their own pockets.  Most of that money was either panhandled or "donated" anyway - not earned at all by the protesters.)

The Minnesota Occupy movement is concerned about the coming cold (Global Warming, where are you when the Kool Aid drinkers need you?), but have been distributing information with their plans for dealing with the cold, which includes occupying empty foreclosed-upon homes.  Yeah, that'll work. I'm sure the suburban cops (that is, if the Occupiers venture out of the sanctuary of RT Rybak's world) would LOVE to have a crack at evicting squatters from homes:  it would break up the monotony of their days usually spent stopping speeding moms as they fly between appointments, schools and hockey rinks.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Late Fall Grays

As the month goes from the vibrant hues of reds, oranges, and yellows into dreary shades of brown and gray, so does my mood.  The news from around the country - OWS sheeple complaining about the cold, cop-killer literature found at protests, more disturbing info regarding Fast and Furious and the like - is more depressing every day and seems to match nature's mood as she prepares for winter.

It is the time of year when, along with the last minute Halloween costume prep (my kids seem to have decided mom is capable of whipping together any type of costume in very short amounts of time and test that skill every year) my entire being wants to go into hibernation mode along with the squirrels and bears.  Yarn and the thought of long days spent in front of a fire watching a marathon of Reese Witherspoon or Sandra Bullock movies call to me as do the stacks of books at the library - how many books can I get through this winter? - their siren call overwhelming.

Recently, I picked up a book on the "Staff Favorites" shelf at my local library called,  "Literacy and Longing in L.A." (Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack).  I'm only about 20 pages into it and actually may not finish it since the main character seems to mirror me a little too much.  When she gets depressed, she goes on book binges - reading day and night until the funk passes.  I can relate to that habit all too well, since I do the same. There's just something about books that soothes my soul - escaping into a world created by a fantastic author is so much easier than dealing with the realities of a hockey mama's world sometimes.  Through books, I've traveled with special agent Scot Harvath as he saves the country from another terrorist attack or with the Jewish slave girl, Hadassah as she, through her own life example of love, shows her Roman owners the way to Christ.  Even the "chick lit" books - "brain candy" to me - offer a moment to live vicariously through someone else's eyes, to escape the drudgery of the every day tasks required of a (ho-hum) stay-at-home mom of four.  I can burn through a "brain candy" book in less than a day and often do in the summer.  My choices are not limited to fiction, I also check out (and, in the case of Glenn Beck books, often buy) non-fiction books, usually political in nature, to try to understand more of what is going on right now.  My non-fiction collection includes "A Patriot's History of the United States" (I keep hoping my SwimGirl, now in American History at school, will pick it up but she has yet to do so), "Culture of Corruption" by Michelle Malkin and Jason Lewis's new book, "Power Divided is Power Checked" along with a variety of Biblical texts, biographies and memoirs (my favorites being by the sassy author, Jen Lancaster).

One of my dreams is to write and publish one of the many stories floating in my brain, but every time I sit down to write, the fear that the story will suck is overwhelming.  Sometimes I'll write a chapter or two, then read what I've written and think "Do people really talk like this? No." and scrap it.  I keep wishing for an invention that would enable the frustrated writer to connect a USB cable to his/her brain (maybe a port right behind one ear?) directly to the computer, so that everything that writer "sees" could be directly downloaded into the computer in whatever language desired.  Think of how much easier it would be to get those stories out!  Of course, there's always the chance of some rogue government taking the device and using it for nefarious means, which could create a lot of issues since there would be no way to know if what was being downloaded was actual memories or figments of a person's imagination.  Imagine being prosecuted for things you had only imagined! What trouble we would all get into. (Or maybe just me since my imagination has always been far crazier than my actual world.)

This is still a young blog, but I'm wondering if there's anyone out there who also finds themselves in the doldrums at this time of year and if so, how do you deal with it?

Friday, October 21, 2011

OWS, checkpoints: Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

Several years ago, while watching a movie on a random rainy summer afternoon, I was hit with the need to WRITE. I ran upstairs and grabbed my story-ideas journal and started scribbling.  The words flowed through my pen like it was possessed, describing a future America torn apart by civil war and economic disaster.  It was the summer of 2009; the world I described was set in the year 2014.

A little freaked out by what I had written, I put the journal away, but couldn't release the images of ruin from my mind.  As time passed, I went back to the journal and added bits and pieces as they came to me: plot lines flowed from my pen as easily as syrup sometimes, other times, it was work to get a word on the page.  Some of the scenarios flowed from earlier thoughts - ideas that had come when driving into the State Fair a few years prior, or when driving through rural Minnesota on the way to hockey tournaments.

I do not claim to be prophetic with the things I wrote down; I believe that anyone who has been paying attention to our country's (and the world's) current events could possibly see what I've seen and written down regarding our future.  However, it is quite scary when things I wrote back in '09 start actually occurring, such as the checkpoints on Tennessee highways or in Michigan, the increase in civil unrest through the Occupy movements around the world, the class warfare encouraged by President Obama and the rest of his ilk, etc. and has been the cause of many panic attacks, until I grab hold of the one thing that can keep the panic away: God.

The Patriots of America need to stand up to the forces that would destroy the country.  We need to search for leaders who will hold true to the Constitution and who have the best intentions for our country.  We need to share with others the corruption occurring in DC and around our country, shedding light upon the darkness that threatens to spread and conquer our land.  But we also need to remember that whatever happens is part of God's Plan and only He knows what the future holds, and whatever happens, it is what He has decided to happen.  The "whys" or "hows" of His plan may not be revealed to us during our lifetimes.  Our job is to wait on Him, wait for His direction and then do the "What" He asks of us.  If we stand like Esther, praying and waiting for His call, He will answer us.

As it says in Romans 8:28-38: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persectuiion or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 'For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' no in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." (NIV, emphasis mine.)

In all things, pray unceasingly and time will show who will be conquerors.  Do not lose heart, Patriots, but know that things will work out according to His Plan.  Do not be afraid, but plan for whatever may happen. Make sure you and your family has a contingency plan in place, pay attention to the signs and prepare.  There may be those who are claiming to know the day of the end of the world , but no one knows the time of the end but God.  (Besides that, our personal "end of time" can happen anytime - so we must always be prepared for that, right?)

Have faith and one way or another, we shall be conquerors.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Update on Linework in NorthEast

Heard from lineman today in Long Island. Apparently the utility has brought in 3500 linemen to restore power to the remaining 80,000 or so still without power in that particular area.  The number of linemen for that small amount of outages is astounding.  Nevada has about 700 linemen in total for the entire state to take care of the grid - so that number is almost equal to the total number of linemen from about 5 states.

Why the hoopla for Long Island? There were several hundred people without power for over 2 weeks in NW ND last spring when the temps were about 20 degrees during the day, but no one seemed worried enough to send/request additional crews to help those North Dakotans in need at that time.  Is it because the people on Long Island are more important than those in ND? Or do they just have louder voices?

The questions swirling around the utilities' efficiency is pretty ridiculous when you realize that over 8 million people who lost power during Irene have had it restored in less than a week.  Most people in Texas during the aftermath of Ike went around 3 weeks without power, but there was no investigations forthcoming to find out the whys of the situation.  Why is that now that the Northeast has been hit that the speed with which power is being restored is being questioned?

My lineman has been told by his superiors that he isn't to talk to customers while he's working the job, and to keep an eye out for the media - apparently they have been sending reporters in to photograph the situation.  Unfortunately, part of the issue stems from the fact that the linemen drive 13' high trucks and many of the "parkways" in the affected areas only allow for a 8' clearance.  This means the equipment can't get through and the linemen have to be creative when figuring how to bring in new poles.  This on top of the fact that they must hand dig all the holes for the replacement poles - something that obviously adds additional time to power restoration.

If there is an investigation that needs to be done, perhaps it should be on the Long Island regulations that allow for 8' clearance on roads and the rules mandating hand-dug holes, not to mention the fact that it took, for one particular job, no less than 4 different people to sign off before the work could even begin.  The linemen are there.  They are trying to get the power restored.  The bureaucracy needs to step back and let the guys do their work.

Friday, September 2, 2011

8 million have had power restored in less than a week.

Questions are being raised regarding the amount of time it is taking to get the power restored to the millions who were left without electricity after Hurricane Irene.  According to the Pioneer Press, 9.6 million people were left without power after the storm raged through several eastern states; as of the time of printing of the linked story, 1.3 million were still without power.  No mention is being made of the fact that over 8 million people have had their power restored in less than a week.  Only complaints that it hasn't been completely restored to all who lost power, even with the floods that ravaged communities, breaking up roads and dismantling bridges in their wake. Do people not understand that in order for the power to be restored, the linemen need to be able to reach the communities - without roads and bridges, how are they to do so?

My husband is one of the thousands of linemen who left their families to travel to the Northeast and restore power to the stricken communities.  He has called me daily and told me about the kinds of obstacles they are facing with each restoration.  His stories include having to drive miles out of the way just to find a road through to a community without power, waiting for "bird-dogs" (safety/EPA people) to show up (as much as 5 hours late) to sign off on jobs, getting lost on winding roads in the Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York, walking several miles of line to find the tree that had fallen and cut off power to many homes, and most recently, sitting in traffic on Long Island while trying to reach his destination where he would be fed and have to endure a long meeting with the utility company execs who would be explaining to the crews what they could and couldn't do while replacing poles and lines.  The rules he faces include being unable to use an auger to dig holes for the power-poles - each pole hole must be HAND DUG before the pole is set.  According to the information given to him, there are at least 100,000 people still without power on Long Island alone, with hundreds of crews trying to restore the grid and get these communities up and running again.  How quickly do you think the power will be restored when each pole has to have a hand-dug hole?  This is quite frustrating for the crews who are there, attempting to do their jobs, but are inhibited by regulations put in place either by Federal, State, Local or Union entities.

If you or your loved ones are without power, please understand that the crews are doing their best to restore it for you.  When Ike hit Texas, some people went without power for weeks.  With a storm of the magnitude of Irene and the millions affected, we should applaud the hard work of the crews who have restored power to more than 8 million people already - this in itself is amazing.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mobs at WI State Fair - what does it mean?

I listened with disbelief this morning as Glenn Beck talked about what had happened at the Wisconsin State Fair yesterday.  I say with disbelief, because about 5 or 6 years ago, as my husband and I drove onto the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, MN (only the 2nd largest State Fair in the country; over 100,000 people a day visit during the 10 day fair), I was struck by how little security was instituted on the fairgrounds.  Thousands of cars a day drive directly onto the grounds to the parking lots located around the fair; people with animals and farm equipment access the Fair daily.  Feed, fertilizer and any number of items are transferred onto the grounds daily.  With little or no security.  There are entrances used by the workers and volunteers that are not staffed by anyone, or if they are staffed, it is minimal.  4-H kids sleep in dorms above the barns or in the hay with their animals; people stay in the adjacent RV lots for the entire 10 days.  On the busiest days - weekends and Labor Day - it is nearly impossible for any type of vehicle to get through the masses of people on the grounds.  I've watched ambulances attempt to make their way up Dan Patch Avenue and am amazed at the inability for pedestrians to yield to the emergency vehicles.  That day, as we slowly made our way to a lot behind the Grandstand, I was struck by the amount of chaos a group of people could cause in an attack on the Fair.  The vision hit me like watching a movie - strategically placed weapons/devices throughout the Fair, mid-afternoon on a weekend could cause massive chaos in a matter of seconds.  Chaos that would only be made worse by the fact that emergency vehicles wouldn't be able to get in and people wouldn't be able to get out (the Fairgrounds are enclosed by a chain-link fence).  An attack of that kind would literally be like attacking the heartland itself - after 9/11 everyone was worried about an attack on Mall of America - but I fear that they looked to the wrong place.  In the years past, I've seen no stepping-up of security on the Fairgrounds.  Anyone can still get in at anytime with anything in their vehicles or on their person.  It's like they've buried their heads in the belief that it couldn't happen here.  

To add to this, my husband is a High Voltage Power Lineman.  Recently, we had storms move through the state and thousands were without power.  When he goes on "Storm" he knows he will be working at least 16 hour days until the power is restored.  He does this willingly, since this is something for which he signed up when he joined the apprenticeship many years ago.  He's worked after Ike in Texas (helped rebuild the massive powerlines between Galveston and Houston), in Parkersburg, IA after it was completely devastated by a tornado and smaller storms in between.  The other day, while he was in North Minneapolis attempting to restore power, the residents of the area came out and started harassing him and his co-workers, swearing at them and accusing of leaving their neighborhood for last because of the high black population it contains.  He was mystified by their behavior - he has NEVER been attacked like that in all his years as a lineman.  He talked to some other linemen from other companies who experienced the same thing in the area.  In fact, when N Mpls was hit by a tornado this last spring, the looting began BEFORE THE TORNADO HAD LEFT THE GROUND, and the linemen who went to restore power there also were accosted by the people of the neighborhood who not only accused them of waiting too long before restoring power but, as they cleaned the rims of their cars, told the linemen that they needed to be clearing the trees after they finished restoring the power!!!!!!!!!  These guys have worked all over the country - they were in New Orleans after Katrina even - and had NEVER been treated like that by anyone in their lives! One of the things that my husband likes about his job is "lighting up a town" after they've been without power and being able to knock on the doors of the people affected to tell them to try to turn their lights on - the joy expressed by most people makes his job a pleasure.  But these ingrates in N Mpls made him feel like he should have had a police escort (something that was necessary in certain areas of Houston after Ike, but only because w/o the police, the line trucks were stripped of all the copper they carried), and many of the linemen he's talked to feel the same way.

Mpls/St. Paul have some of the highest Somali populations in the country.  The administration, with its class/race warfare is perpetuating the likelihood that more incidences like the one in Milwaukee will happen in other places.  It confirmed my fear that I had years ago and that I continue to have every time I visit the Fair.  Combined with the people in areas near the Fairgrounds and their attitudes toward the workers attempting to HELP them, I can see the exact thing and worse happening here.  Texas has the largest State Fair in the country - I wouldn't be surprised if something happens there except for the fact that more people, unlike in Progressive MN, actually carry.  Minnesota does have conceal/carry laws, but it is getting more and more difficult to get those permits.

With the Presidential elections around the corner, and those candidates visiting major events like State Fairs in the near future, I wouldn't be surprised to see more incidences like what happened in Milwaukee occur.  A lot of people dismiss me as a conspiracy theorist or fear-monger, so I've stopped trying to warn those who refuse to use their eyes to see and their ears to hear.  It might be my crazy imagination running wild, but there have been many events that have occurred that I knew would occur before they happened - not the details, certainly, but an idea or a gut feeling - for this reason, I cannot discount those feelings or concerns.  I know that if it is God's will that America survives the craziness that we are in the midst of, that we will survive, but if it is His plan that we don't, I just pray for the safety of my family, friends and children.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Since I'm driving my FaceBook friends crazy with my continual postings of world/US events, and my comments, so to alleviate the angst that is being felt by those friends (along with being unfriended and/or blocked by people I really don't want to unfriend or block me), I've decided to start this blog.

A little about me:  I am a conservative libertarian.  I believe in small government and fiscal sanity.  I am a Home Executive, which means I stay at home and run the house in which my husband and four children and I reside. I am very opinionated and have a hard time stepping back from a debate, be it political or whatever.  You can follow me on twitter - MNHockeymama is my tag.

Along with political and current events, I plan to also possibly post just some daily musings from life as I see it, as well as a short-story now and then or a story written in serial form.

I hope you enjoy following my blog.