Sunday, July 31, 2011

weekend didn't go as planned

I took Friday off to pack. Picked up my daughter at the designated time, picked up my hubby, ran to the store for the couple of "oops...forgot to pack that" things and then we were finally on our way. About a 2 hour drive to the campground. Somewhere along the way the two of them fell asleep. Somewhere along the way it started to rain, and rain, and rain. Eventually they woke up. We got gas and  we used the bathrooms. Hubby was sent to a portapotty outside. Seems the gas station discriminated against men a little bit and the one rest room was for women and children only. Sorry honey!

 Finally we arrived at Silver Lake State Park in the rain. Are you sold out? Have any lean-tos left? Sold out, sorry. Tomorrow will be nice. yeah, okay. Get to campsite and start unloading and setting up tent. It's pouring. Get enough of the gear cleared out so that daughter and I can get firewood. Pay $12 for firewood. Drive around state park for a little bit. Find the playground and the beach - looks nice! See most of the other campsites- it's pretty hilly and half the park is empty... and finally come back to unload the firewood. Daughter stays in the car. Smart kid!

 Hubby and I decide to move picnic table and firewood because tarp can only be set up in certain spot... use potty, start thinking about supper, and then.... hey honey... step into the tent for a minute... feel that? Yeah that's a LAKE under where we are supposed to sleep tonight. All the water is running down hill into our campsite and under where the tent is. Can we move the tent to another spot? Sure, but more rain is going to come. Meanwhile we are already soaked to the bones wringing out our clothes and wrecking our shoes. We have a family meeting and decide to call it quits. 

Drove down the road found a hotel. Sold out. Okay fine. Back in 2005 I remember lots of hotels in White River Junction. WRJ is about 30 minutes from where we are. Plug it into the GPS and go. And we did. 

First hotel was sold out, second hotel was nearly $200/night, and 3rd hotel wasn't much better but it had a pool at least so we're staying. Now 7:30pm. Check in and bring dry clothes up to room. Room is wrong kind of room. Hubby got a queen. He thought it was a King. I went back to front desk. They are checking in bus tour. Oh joy. I get new room. This one with 2 double beds. At least it's non-smoking. Okay move all our stuff to new room. Now get dry clothes. Now get supper. Chinese buffet. yeah... I don't want to track that thank you. Get kid back to hotel room long after bedtime and eventually get to sleep pretty late. 

Up saturday morning early because I'm sharing bed with kid who is using me as a pillow (hubby has his own bed). Breakfast and then swimming in the pool. Well at least there is some good in life. The rain has stopped. It's nice out. So we took our time and made a few stops and a detour over to Keene, NH and finally came home Saturday afternoon. Unloaded the car... ooh it smelled so bad with all that wet stuff!! Then took daughter swimming at our local lake for a couple of hours. So she's happy. 

Sunday/today mostly quiet. Slow morning, errands, and then more swim time. Cooked dinner on the grill, and had some quiet time in the evening too. Then at bedtime daughter says "Mommy.. we never got to play on that playground.. when are we going back??" LOL! I don't know kid, but I'll make a note of it. Maybe we can do a daytrip sometime. It's only 2 hours. Haha.. 2 hours for a playground?? I don't know about that but we'll see. At the very least there are a lot more campgrounds to explore so maybe next year I will book a lean-to at the same place or another one nearby and we can go back sometime then.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Writing stuff, thoughts after reading essay by Dani Shapiro

In the July 17, 2011 copy of the "New York Times Book Review" Dani Shapiro has an essay on page 27 titled "The Me My Child Mustn't Know". I read this yesterday and I think a lot of us can relate to it. I have written stuff that could be hurtful to people. I have written stuff that I don't want my daughter to see, at least not until I'm dead and she's old. I think being a parent does alter our thinking about our writing, at least if we want to be published. I can certainly understand Ms. Shapiro's point of view. The odds of me being published are pretty slim. The odds of my daughter reading my stuff when she is 15 or 16 years old... I don't know. I remember being a teen and digging through my mother's room and reading some of her stuff. I had questions. My mother got angry but she answered them. I still have questions but I know better than to ask them now. So yes having a child alters our art of writing, or at least what we do with it. I don't know if I'll ever get published. The fear of hurting my friends, family, former lovers, etc. is one thing that holds me back. I think if I do publish I will have to publish fiction so that I don't hurt anyone. Still, it's a tough thing to sort out.

You can read more here:

This is the book that Ms. Shapiro didn't want her son to know about. I admit I haven't read any of her works.:

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Being Green isn't easy, 9 years as a one car family

For the past nine years my husband and I have been a one car family. When people hear this they say "Oh well you two work together so it's easy" and then we move on to something else. Our situation minimizes in their eyes because we work similar schedules and work in the same building. As we gear up to become a two car family I'd like to say a few words.

We have never rented a vehicle for convenience.The only times we have rented a vehicle have been when we needed a truck for hauling stuff that wouldn't fit in our car, when we moved, or when we went somewhere that we didn't think the crappy car we owned could handle. Yes, we rented a vehicle for our two trips to Black Rock City, Nevada. We rented a pickup truck for one weekend when we redid our bathroom. We rented something when we moved.

During the nine years that we have been together I have had four different jobs. One of those was across the bridge. Also my husband is on-call 1/3 of the time. He and two co-workers rotate a beeper. This means that my daughter and I have been to work with him at some very odd times. Before our daughter was born I was there on even odder times, usually in the parking lot waiting. You never know when that beeper goes off whether it's going to be a ten minute problem or a ten hour problem. If we are out somewhere and he gets called in, we all go initially. Once he settles it out how long it's going to take we figure out what to do with our daughter and myself, whether we should wait somewhere or go home. Our schedules are similar right now but they do not match exactly, and there are a lot of times when we need to be in two different places.

During the nine years that we have been together we have lived in three different places. Well four to be exact because when we first got together he still had a separate place, but we have had three shared places.

During the nine years that we have been together we have been through three cars. He sold his truck in the beginning of our relationship since it wasn't running anyway. We had my old red Ford Escort Wagon. I forget what year it was but it was known for electrical problems. When we finally traded it in (if you could call it that) that car had no heat and no back window. It was a work of art. In the winter my husband rigged up a converter to the battery and set up a space heater to defrost the windshield. When someone hit our parked car and took out the back window they didn't bother to stop. He took one of those plastic floor mats that you put under office chairs and cut it to size and taped or glued it in place. It held. What was left of back lights were held in place with spray foam. I remember that.

During the last nine years that we have been together 6 1/2 years have not been on a bus route. So if you are thinking "yeah, they just used public transportation..." then think again. We live out in the sticks folks. There is no cell phone service here and until a year ago we didn't have high speed internet. As it is now we have satellite internet that goes out whenever we get a storm. We are about 7 miles from the nearest state road.

I have been known to strand him places, leaving him to find a ride home from a friend or a co-worker. I love him dearly but it has happened.

When our car died two years ago and I had pneumonia it was a rough week of car shopping and doctor's appointments because we had to combine things.

I spent most of the 14 weeks of maternity leave without a car, in the middle of the woods, with a newborn, and dial-up internet. I thought I was going to go crazy. I probably did.

I think in the nine years that we have lived as a one car family we have paid our dues to the environment. We traded in that junky Ford Escort for a fuel efficient Honda Accord and when the transmission went on that we bought an Element because it slides on the snow and ice a lot less. We have made compromises in our jobs, in our social lives, in our education, and in our family life because of the dedication we have had to being a one car family.

Now our daughter is entering Kindergarten. Now the era of being a one-car family is coming to an end. Of all the obstacles we have been able to overcome, the public school system is not one of them. With Kindergarten on the horizon, and the end of paying for full time daycare in sight, we will soon be buying a second car. Our lives will change a lot.

It's been a good ride for the last nine years but it hasn't been an easy one. Time will tell if we miss it or not.
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Identity Crisis and ACOA/Al-Anon, part two

Well I think I am pretty much stuck with my Icepacklady name on Twitter. I'm starting to pick up some followers, and a few folks are even retweeting what I write. Yahoo! I retweet quite a bit too of course so it's all fair. For better or for worse I have my real name on there too.

My next Identity Crisis to handle has to do with ACOA and Al-Anon. I think I have this solved but I'm going to put this out there anyway. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I am an Adult Child of an Alcoholic. I went to my first Al-Anon meeting when I was a college student and in a crisis. If my memory serves me right the meeting was on campus, at lunchtime, and the subject was balance. I probably cried. After that I went to some meetings there but not always. It wasn't a convenient time etc. Years passed by. Another crisis in my life. I actually shopped around for meetings this time. Showing up at a couple here, and a couple there, before adopting a "home group". I also went to meetings online. My boyfriend at the time was studying abroad and I was working two jobs. I managed to find time to go to a lot of meetings between the online ones and the face to face ones. When the boyfriend came back to town it got harder to go to meetings. Then the relationship ended and I rebuilt my life. That's another story. Time passes. Things change. Now my life is different and I cannot go to meetings, and I'm not sure I really need to but I picked up the books, actually went out and bought new ones since I'd donated my old ones long ago when I was cleaning things out. I also found a lot of blogs out there. So I started blogging about my life and what was going on, and I did it in Al-Anon terms. However there is something in most 12 step programs that talks about anonymity so I took that to be that I needed to be anonymous on my blog. I chose a different name and created a separate blog and I posted it all there. Sometimes I was pretty sure people would connect me to the blog, and once or twice I even told people point blank that I was the writer of that blog but for the most part I kept it separate.

You know what? That blog got more followers than this one has. People could connect to it. Maybe because it was specific. It wasn't scattered like this one is.

So now that blog is out there but I told my readers that I was dropping out. I started it when my mother came back to Massachusetts after my grandmother's stroke and I ended it pretty  much when she moved back to Florida. Now that she isn't in my life every day I don't feel like writing the blog.

What I would like to do is to add an Al-Anon/ACOA page here to this blog. I know that's not very anonymous of me, but at this point I don't really care. I'm more interested in unifying myself. In pulling all these different pieces of me together and putting them under one roof.

The family, the writing, the weight loss, the politics, good books, and ACOA/Al-Anon all under one blog. I'd like to do it all under different pages to make it easier to read. I'm still trying to figure out how to do that though. Although I've figured out how to create different pages I haven't figured out how to add posts to them. Still working that out.
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Lost 30 pounds so far

I have lost about 30 pounds so far. I've gained a couple in the last week but I'm sure I'll lose them again. So 30 pounds since September 1st. I'm not following Sparkpeople's exercise or food plans. I'm just tracking what I eat and trying to make healthy choices. I'm also tracking my exercise as well.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Identity Crisis and Twitter, part one

Follow me on Twitter logoImage via Wikipedia
I'm having a small identity crisis. I've decided that I really want to do more with Twitter. I think that I could use Twitter to bring more readers to my blog. Unfortunately for me the names that I would like to use on Twitter have already been taken. There is already a person with my name there. There is already a "RebeccaMa" there. There are some others that I have tried as well. So right now I've got "Icepacklady" which is how I opened my Twitter account originally a few years ago. "Icepack" is the name I used at Burning Man in 2003 and 2004. "Icepacklady" makes it more feminine. The origin of  the "Icepack" name is simply that I was cold even when it was 80-90 degrees out. It's not a bad name, but I haven't been back to Black Rock City since 2004 and there is no plan to get back there anytime soon. As much as I love the place, it's just not happening. So... why continue with that name? I'd like to ditch it, but I don't know what to replace it with. I have thought about using my maiden name, but that doesn't seem right. On Twitter it does look like I can have a UserName and a RealName and both are easy to change. So I think my RealName is okay. It's my UserName that is the problem.

Any suggestions? I have thought about using Clessonville, but that doesn't seem "human". Hmm??? Help!!

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why the Casey Anthony case upsets me (and maybe others too)

Every day thousands of children are abused, neglected, and injured intentionally by others. Every day in this country THOUSANDS Of children are reported missing, and many others go unreported. We don't like to think about it because it scares us. It could be our kid next. When a case occurs where we have a clear victim and a seemingly clear criminal we want to see justice. This is how I see the Casey Anthony case. It wasn't some random person who killed some random child. We have names, we have faces, we want justice. I know the jury was there for 33 days, etc. but that's not how the court of public opinion works. For the sakes of all the thousands of cases where we don't have someone standing on trial, where we don't have a person's body, we want justice. It's not fair, but that's how it goes. We are human, we have feelings, and we feel pain.

Casey Anthony has been booked into the Orange ...Image via Wikipedia

According to in 2002 (on their website now):
How many children are reported missing each year?
The U.S. Department of Justice reports
  • 797,500 children (younger than 18) were reported missing in a one-year period of time studied resulting in an average of 2,185 children being reported missing each day.
  • 203,900 children were the victims of family abductions.
  • 58,200 children were the victims of non-family abductions.
  • 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping. (These crimes involve someone the child does not know or someone of slight acquaintance, who holds the child overnight, transports the child 50 miles or more, kills the child, demands ransom, or intends to keep the child permanently.)
[Andrea J. Sedlak, David Finkelhor, Heather Hammer, and Dana J. Schultz. U.S. Department of Justice. "National Estimates of Missing Children: An Overview" in National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, October 2002, page 5.]

In 2010 the FBI listed 565,692 people under the age of 21 as being missing just from that year alone.


Children disappearing is so common in our country that the government even has a "survival guide" available online for families and how to cope called "When Your Child is Missing: A Family Survival Guide"--

This isn't a third world country, this isn't a place plagued in a civil war, this is the U.S.A. and this stuff happens EVERY SINGLE DAY.

So Casey Anthony feels the wrath of public opinion. I'm sorry if you don't think it's fair, but that's the way it is. Until these numbers go down then she stands on trial as a representative for all the criminals who get away with murder and abuse.

For further reading, check out this--

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