18 January 2017

Nightmare Scenario: Parade Danger

From The Advocate, our local newspaper, Child dies after being struck by float in Abbeville's Martin Luther King Day parade:
A child struck by a float during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade Monday in Abbeville has died.
Witnesses say the child was struck by the vehicle pulling the float after entering the roadway for a piece of candy or throw. No barricades were placed along the roadway during the parade.
There's a bit more to the story, with a little shaming of the mom (she was watching other children in addition to this one), but basically five paragraphs about this nightmare scenario.

I watched a story about it on one of our local TV stations last night. It was not the lead story (that went to a rash of break ins at our university's football stadium -- WTF/who cares), and it was just as short. There was a picture of the child and a bit of interview with a grieving relative. But nothing about taking steps to ensure safety of other children at future parades (we have parades so often in Louisiana it is ridiculous). There was basically no real reporting at all (in either media).

If this child were white the reporting would have been different. Lead story, more complex reporting with an eye to stopping this type of tragedy in the future. The distance of the town from Baton Rouge doesn't matter. They do huge packages about little towns when there's a sensational crime  So I can only surmise that this coverage is light because of the child's race.

There's no reporting even on the number of other children/people who have died at parades (and you know there have been others). Asking parade organizers at the upcoming Mardi Gras parades for their take on the loss and how they'll be improving safety to avoid that at their parades. That kind of thing.

I didn't think I had the capacity to care about things that aren't strictly national politics with the dumpster fire that's going on in Washington, but obviously I do. And this is awful and scary. I hate that a family has to deal with the loss of a child over candy.

10 January 2017

Second Verse, Same as the First

Jane is still not a dancer.

She has done much better in this new dance class we tried out at our local recreation park system. But there have been problems of a different sort.

Basically the teacher has a conflict in her regular job, and with traffic she can't arrive to the class on time at 5 p.m. So she moved the class start time to 5:15 p.m. She often doesn't arrive until 5:30 p.m. And then class still ends around 6 p.m. because there's an older girls' class that starts then (although she said she moved that class start time to 6:15 p.m. too). Some of the older girls start arriving at 5:45, which means Jane's class can be as short as 15 minutes without any distraction.

Jane's unable to show me too much of what she's learned. She enjoyed the class though. There was supposed to be a parent watch evening, but we never even got to do that because the teacher was THAT disorganized. I'm disappointed to have put more time and effort into this and still have no photos or recital experience to show for it. But we're moving on.

(And of course I'd already paid for the recital/costume fee, but they said it can be refunded ... if nothing else they could pass it along to another student I think as a scholarship. It's not ideal, but I deserve some consequence for the mistake of paying in advance!)

Jane's going to try a theater program instead. She's in basketball too this season, so she has an athletic activity and an arts activity. Soon she can start piano lessons, which she's interested in. There's just so much we'd like her to do and not enough time to do it all!

Can our lives really continue like this? Will our world still keep turning after inauguration day? What about after the first nuclear bomb is sent? Does it matter if America crumbles around us? I am so worried and sick about it ... but I still have a preschooler who has activities, a baby who is developing gorgeously and my usual gripes, physical problems (wrist/carpal tunnel lately as the sinus stuff finally clears out I hope) and TV TV TV to watch (OMG Sherlock!). These are my golden days, and they are almost over...

25 December 2016

Messy Bun Hat

My sister talked about a coworker who knits these, and I said I could make her one. I just started the hat around a hair rubber band and added a flower. There are endless possibilities -- including the vertical stripe hat that starts as a tube and is finished with single crochet at the top. This was just the quickest way to get it done since she was just visiting for a couple days. Now she'll have warm ears when she's doing carpool duty at school.

Merry Christmas.

Messy Bun Hat Front
Messy Bun Hat Side
Messy Bun Hat Back

21 December 2016

Church Service without Worship

Our church had a "Lessons & Carols" service this past Sunday, and something about it has irked me ever since. It took me a couple days to realize what bothered me.

It was a well-attended service. There were extra chairs added to our gym-turned-sanctuary (while construction is under way in the actual sanctuary), and with only one service instead of two it was definitely packed even with regulars. There were also lots of guests.

The music and readings were beautiful and meaningful.

But my complaint (?) was that there was no congregational response. There was one line of response after the lighting of the Advent wreath candles, but we didn't even sing "Emmanuel" as response as we have all of this Advent (and Advents past, if memory serves).

The congregation sang no carols. We did no responsive reading. There was no communion. (I go to 8:30 service and we have communion every week.) There wasn't even a formal prayer. (I do understand music can be a form of prayer though.)

Basically it was a performance in the strictest sense of the word. We didn't even stand up the entire service.

So I've felt a little off this week. I didn't have a communal worship experience. And I guess it shows me that I've come to rely on that grounding, especially in times like these. I haven't said anything to the people who plan worship, but hopefully someone else will and they'll realize that next year's service like this needs more participation. Last year's "Lessons & Carols" did include congregational responses, prayers, etc.

I'll be glad to get back to regularly scheduled programming in the new year.

14 December 2016


Living in a post-truth world... Silly Mari edition.

On Saturday I burned the roof of my mouth. REALLY badly -- like blisters badly. On some caramel I made for candy for church coffee time. Among the stupidest things I've ever done ... and that is saying something.

So, I happened to have a dentist appointment this week and my mouth is still all messed up. Healing but painful. I explained to the hygienist that I'd burned my mouth before she got to work. She asked "did you burn it on pizza?" And I said YES! Like, what is wrong with me?!?!

AND THEN when the dentist came in later I had to tell him, and I had to SAY the word pizza. And he asked me if it was homemade (and I said YES, because the caramel was???). Gah!

So, fake news from me. Totally not the same as pizza gate (although OMG pizza is a connecting factor!), but good grief.

This served NO purpose other than me being completely awkward. Is caramel somehow more embarrassing than pizza? I am the dumbest.


I ordered way too few Christmas cards, as I was so mad and still am. But I decided to send out more than the 40 cards I bought. So ... conundrum. It's too late to order more photo cards. So I just bought some Hallmark cards at Walgreen's and some wallet size pictures of the girls to slip in. Ca-CHING. That's $15, so at least as much as it would have cost to buy 40 more cards (in the first place/during the Cyber Monday sales). Maybe next year I'll be back to myself?

I have addressed all the envelopes but need to sign the cards and stuff them, then stamp them. Oh, and I don't have enough stamps so I'll have to go to the post office AGAIN and buy even more. Meh.


After getting well from the flu during my birthday I promptly got a stomach bug and was throwing up (and more) the following weekend. It took several days to feel back to normal after that. And then less than a week later Jane got a cold, then Livia got sick (she'd just gotten over a double ear infection) and her eye was all messed up. She had conjunctivitis, but drops have helped that go away. Jane is still fighting her virus or whatever. And wouldn't you know it, I am getting sick too. Shawn has a sore throat too. I don't think it's going to be as bad, but we'll see. That's THREE illnesses in about three weeks (since Thanksgiving). My poor body.

11 December 2016

Three Little Monkeys in Crochet

It's just like riding a bike. I can pick up crocheting these silly hats pretty easily. But the weaving in ends, changing colors and sewing, sewing, sewing weren't as fun as they used to be. I had a hard time making three graduated hats -- they ended up being pretty good for each of the kids they were intended for (three siblings in a family we're friends with) and had a bit of room to grow.

Jane liked them so much that she said she'd like a monkey hat too. She also looked at my book and said she'd like a snow man one. I should look through my completed hats and see if I have one of those done already!

Livia's been rocking Jane's pumpkin hat, but I should make her something more seasonal. We only "need" hats around here occasionally. Yesterday was one of those days. We'll be traveling in December/January to Shawn's family's town and it will be colder there so she'll definitely need something warm.

30 November 2016

Nine Years of NaBloPoMo

I looked at my NaBloPoMo tag on my blog and realized I had 299 posts with that tag. Today's makes 300. Divide 30 days in November and that would mean I've been doing it for 10 years? I just checked and nope. I must have tagged more than just the first post of the day, because I started in 2008, so this makes the ninth year completed. Weird to have completed exactly 30 extra posts. (Here's my first NaBloPoMo tagged post.)

This may have been the hardest year to do NaBloPoMo. Everything is just so awful and terrible. I say that knowing full well 2017 will bring even bigger, more awful challenges. I hope I'm still able to write next year!

I also realize in some of my ranting posts I don't cite or link sources. My journalistic muscle is rusty maybe, or I'm also realizing that no one cares about facts or the truth or more information. NO ONE CARES.


I have been on two big vacations with my inlaws. We went to Dollywood in Tennessee and to the Outer Banks in North Carolina in summer 2014 and 2015 respectively. This year the area we stayed in North Carolina received a major flood, and just this week the area we stayed in Gatlinburg is burning.

I think for the sake of the places we'd go visit I should never go on vacation with my inlaws again???


My health is improving. I still cough a bit in the night, but not as much. There's hacking up junk in the morning, but it's not green anymore. (TMI?) My back is still sore, but the pain isn't debilitating anymore. I should still see a chiropractor.


When I was in college a friend from church called me "Governor" a lot. I was a smart kid and just all around promising I guess. I certainly had a superiority complex (mixed with an inferiority one!) and this surely fed into it. I've been thinking about it recently, whether running for office is something I could consider doing. I'd be a terrible direct-ask fundraiser, and I am not the best at talking to people. I hate giving speeches or being in front of a crowd. Probably a behind-the-scenes job would be better. And my communications skills and journalism training should be useful in a political situation. Basically I am thinking by typing ... considering what I might do after my girls are in school or otherwise cared for enough that I could jump back into the working world. I know I don't want a "normal" job anymore. There's going to have to be political meaning, and frankly I'm going to want to spend my time RESISTING what's coming (and which by that time will be fully entrenched).


Hold me!