Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Week Late and Several Dollars Short

I forgot to post photos from Jimmy's second birthday! His Daddy won't let me forget it either! His birthday was May 27th. We had his party on Saturday May 29th at the Ross Norton Recreation Center in Clearwater, FL. We had lots of fun. The place has an excellent playground. Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Some Thoughts on Slipshod Patriotism

With the Memorial Day weekend just passed and the NHL playoffs in full swing I feel the need to say something about what I consider an appalling lack of flag etiquette in our country.

Since the bombings of September 11, 1991 it has seemed there is an upswing of patriotism in our country. This is good. What is distressing is how few people seem to know the proper way of showing respect to the flag and/or how to act when our National Anthem is sung. I wanted to gnash my teeth when, before the first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs started, the National Anthem was sung and people in the stands were clapping, talking to their seatmates, and some still had hats on! Have these people never been instructed on the proper etiquette?

So in a nod to Miss Manners (whom I will never purport to be) and as a patriotic American, Navy veteran, and former Girl Scout, here are some rules that should be observed when honoring our flag and our National Anthem:

Remember when you were in school and you said the Pledge of Allegiance with your right hand over your heart? That still goes. If the flag passes by (such as in a parade) it is customary to stand and salute the flag with your hand over your heart; if you are wearing a hat, then REMOVE IT and place it over your heart. For uniformed military members a hand salute is required; for an honor guard the rifle is brough to Present Arms. I have also seen military veterans, such as VFW or American Legion members giving a hand salute. This is proper. What is not proper is just ignoring YOUR flag as it passes by. Hundreds of thousands of men and women have fought and died for that flag to defend and insure YOUR freedom and, unfortunately, your right to ignore the symbol of your country! Please don't dishonor their sacrifices by ignoring your flag.

Now as far as the National Anthem goes, that is, in my opinion, also an occasion of honoring your country. When I am at a sporting event and the Anthem is sung (no matter how well or how badly...and I've heard both) I turn to face the flag, even if it's on a jumbotron, stand at attention, and place my hand over my heart. It makes me angry to see people around me carrying on conversations, clapping like it's another American Idol audition, and hats still on heads. I don't expect you to sing along, after all, it's not the most singable tune in the world. I do expect you to shut up, take your hat off, and honor your country! Even if you don't put your hand over your heart, for God's sake just stand there quietly until it's over and TAKE YOUR HAT OFF!

Patriotism is a wonderful thing. I consider myself patriotic. I love my country. I even served my country for a brief time in the Navy. My husband is an Army Reserve veteran. My late father-in-law served in the Army during World War II. I had one uncle who was wounded in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. I had another uncle who was an Army lawyer and help prosecute Japanese war criminals after the Second World War. My mother's cousin is one of the most patriotic people I know and would be appalled if she saw some of the things I'm talking about; her late husband served in the Merchant Marine. My point is, my family is very much grounded in love of and duty to our country. We consider ourselves true patriots. So much of what I see today is convenient or just plain emotional patriotism.

When you fail to honor our flag, you fail to honor our country. When you fail to show respect when our National Anthem is sung, you fail to respect our country. And perhaps even worse than that, you fail to show honor and respect to the men and women who have lived and died for our country. Whether it was the foot soldiers in the trenches of France in 1917, the sailors in Pearl Harbor in 1941, the women of the WACs, WAVES, and WASPs taking over domestic tasks so the men could go overseas, the Marines island hopping the Pacific, the grunts in Bastogne, the crew of Enola Gay, the soldiers, Marines, and sailors in Korea and Vietnam, the troops in Desert Storm, or our men and women currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, countless people have put their lives on the line for our country; some have been killed in service to our country. To those who have served and come home and to those who have been buried on battlefields abroad, you have my utmost gratitude and respect. Thank you!

So the next time you see a flag pass by or hear the National Anthem sung, remember it's not just a piece of cloth or just a song. These are two very powerful symbols of our country and reminders of all the people who have served our country. Remember that. Respect that.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I almost forgot!

Happy 23-month-old birthday, Jimmy! You're almost two and you're growing up so fast! Daddy, Snoopy, Smoke, and I love you very, very much!

Grammar Lessons

Okay, grammar is one of my pet peeves. Driving around town I see English grammar mutilated by people who want my business. If you don't care enough to use your native tongue properly what assurance do I have that you'll treat me properly as a customer? I won't go on about all of the ways supposedly educated people abuse the English language but I will touch on a few.

Apostrophes. Never has such a small piece of punctuation been so horribly abused. Let's get this straight. And in case you were wondering what an apostrophe is, it is in "let's". Of course if you were wondering what an apostrophe is you probably wouldn't be reading my blog. The only proper use of the apostrophe is to either denote possession or ownership (John's shirt) or as a contraction of two words into one (Let us = let's, would not = wouldn't). Got it? An apostrophe is NEVER, NEVER, NEVER used to make a noun plural. This is where I gnashed my teeth when I saw a sign advertising "Puppie's"! That would denote belonging to Puppie, not the plural of baby dogs. Aaaarrrrrgh! When pluralizing our last name it should be the Meissners, not the Meissner's, and the possessive would be the Meissners', i.e. the Meissners' car. Also, when denoting a possessive if the persons name ends in the letter S then it is proper to place the apostrophe after the S, i.e. James' toys, not James's; my kids' teachers, not my kids's teachers. Got it? Let's go on.

Alot is NOT a word!!! It is "a lot", two words, meaning many. Always. Forever. It has never been any different. Anybody omitting the space between the A and the L should be whipped.

Now for one bit of confusion that I have a hard time understanding why it's (apostrophe!) confusing for anyone who was paying attention in class: There, their, they're (again with the apostrophe!). Pay attention! There denotes in a particular location, i.e. over there; never, never, never is it to denote possession or mean they are. Their is the one that denotes possession, i.e. their car; never, never, never does it mean a location or is it a contraction of they are. They're is a contraction of they are, i.e. they're coming over at 7:00; never, never, never does it mean location or possession. Learn and memorize these and life will be better.

And the final one upon which we will touch today is the misuse of your and you're. Your is the possessive, i.e. your raincoat; it belongs to you, it is yours. You're is a contraction of you are (that's what the apostrophe means), i.e. You're late for work (you are late for work).

Unfortunately I realize the people who most need to learn these lessons probably won't read this. If I can save at least one person from writing like a fool, my work here is done.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Couple Rants and Some Musings

First the rant: WalMart Sucks! Somehow I don't think I'm the only one with this opinion. This morning Jimmy and I took off for our local WalMart (about 5 minutes away) to get some dog food for the boys.

My Snoopy

is allergic to corn and can't eat anything with corn or cornmeal as a primary ingredient; he breaks out in sores if he does. I was feeding the boys Ol' Roy Skin and Coat Formula (lamb & rice) but all of a sudden it seems to be illegal to carry that particular line of WALMART'S OWN BRAND in North Pinellas County. I used to be able to get it in Tampa when I worked over there but I'm not going all the way over there; can't afford the gas! So I switched them to Rachael Ray Nutrish (tm) chicken & veggies which they love. Naturally our sorry little local WalMart (in Largo on Missouri Avenue at Rosery Road if you want to avoid it) didn't have that. Grrr!

So I went to the nearest WalMart Neighborhood Market at Highland Avenue and Greenlea Street in Clearwater. They only had a little 6 lb. bag and that was leaking. Hello? I'm feeding 2 dogs! Six pounds of food won't last. So I then went to the WalMart at U.S. 19 and Northeast Coachman Road, the one they're converting into a superstore...very, very slowly.

By this time I'm steaming and I told the guy working there that it was absolute BS that I had to go running all over the county to try to find dog food they carried only a month ago. It seems because they're "expanding" they've discontinued a lot of their lines. Sheesh!

Finally I had to suck it up and go to the WalMart Super Center in Oldsmar. OLDSMAR! I live in southwest Clearwater, almost in Largo and I had to go to Oldsmar! I'm unemployed so I don't have the money to waste gas like that. I also don't have the money to buy a more expensive premium food! I'm sure that if I had complained loud enough they would have been happy to direct me to another brand that would have cost $4-5 more a bag. I used to like WalMart but after being met with such a poor brand selection and incompetence today I'm changing my opinion. The hell of it is I'm on a very limited budget and I usually can't get what I need less expensive elsewhere. It's a Catch-22 and I hate it.


Second WalMart Rant: Idiots who don't return shopping carts to the cart return. I know it's a problem at most stores with shopping carts but it seems to be worse at WalMart than anyplace else. I mean, how stupid and/or lazy are these people? I can almost understand it if you're parked at some distance from a cart return but I've seen idiots (yes, they're idiots) leave carts next to their cars when the cart return was RIGHT ACROSS THE PARKING LOT! Not a few spaces away either; I mean if the person backed their car up straight they would run right into it. And when the return is only 2 or 3 spaces down and you can't put your cart there that's pretty damn lazy/stupid too. So I got "carted" in a WalMart parking lot today because someone didn't want to make the effort to put their cart back in the proper place. Granted, our car is pretty beat up, but really! Wake up, people! Put the shopping cart in the cart return; that's what it's there for!


Musing: Two days after Jimmy was born a couple tornadoes tore through Kearney, Nebraska causing a lot of property damage and frayed nerves...and made it into an episode on The Discovery Channel show Storm Chasers. I think it's affected him. My little Husker is actually more of a little twister. Like the tornadoes of his birth, he can plow randomly, mercilessly, blindly, and even blithely through the landscape causing great destruction and mayhem. Of course being almost 2 now he thinks it's great fun. (Was I this much of a handful at his age? If so, Mother, I'm sorry.) Such is life with a tornado, er, toddler. I need to go put parts of the house back together.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


My husband has been after me forever to update this so here goes. Just a few ramblings today:


Why is Facebook so darn stingy when it comes to giving away Facebook bucks on their games? I'm playing Treasure Isle and I can't buy extra energy or gems or anything because I only have five lousy Facebook bucks. It should be easier.


A royal purple Audi A6: Doesn't that just scream "Pimpmobile"? That's just wrong!


Dear God, what kind of sick sense of humor do You have that You give a toddler so much energy and his mother so little?


Sarcasm; it's not just for breakfast anymore.


Dear God, palmetto bugs a/k/a those bigass Florida cockroaches: Why?


The older I get the better I was. I'm not having anymore birthdays. Forty six is enough.


Why can't I get a job? I want one. I need one! Somebody please hire me.


Dear God, politicians: see above palmetto bug question.


I think I'm going to watch only PBS from now until November; no campaign ads.


Beach therapy should be covered by health insurance!


Speaking of beach therapy, here are some pictures from our trip to Clearwater Beach on Thursday (if I can get blogspot to cooperate):

That's enough for today. I need my Facebook fix.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jimmy is 5 months old!

Yesterday was Jimmy's 5 month birthday! Can you believe it? Here is his update in his own words:

Hewwo evwybuddy! My name is Jimmy. I is 5 mumfs owd now. I is getting weawwy big an' I is eating wike a widdle bawacooda (watevew dat is), at weest dat's wat Mommy sez. I is now wowwing ovuw bof wayz fwum my bak to my tumee an' fwum my tumee to my bak. I is pwaying in my exursawser now. It's fun! I wuv to waff an' smiyul wots.

Mommy haz startud a noo job (watevew dat is) so I is staying home wif Daddy wen hez not doing hokee stuff. Day aw wooking fow a baybeesitur fow me fow wen Daddy haz to go owt uv town. Dere is a wady at chuwch dey aw gonna ask.

I is vewy, vewy exsitud! I is geting baptizeded on Sundee! My Ant Deedee is fwying up hewe fwum Fworda (wer Mommy is fwum) cuz her is my godmuvuw! Her huzbun Unka Wic cant com. We is gonna hav wots of fun! Is is gonna get to bewong to Jeezuz fowevew! I weawwy wuv going to da chuwch. Aw da wadies wuv me!

Daddy tooked me an' Mommy to a hokee game wast Fwidee nite. We went bak to dat pwace cawed Gween Bay. We seed dese gize fwum da weeg Daddy usta wuwk in. Dey wuz cawed da Gween Bay Gambwers an' da Fawgo Fowce. It wuz fun! Daddy seed sum kidz he nowed fwun da teem he usta wuwk fow. I weawwy wike hokee!

Dat's aw fow now. Daddy hasta take Mommy to wuwk so I gotta go get dwessed. I wuv aw uv yew!