Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Mess- Equality in Marriage

I know that I have been rather quiet regarding certain social topics in my blog. I have done this for various reasons. 1. I feel that politics, marriage, sex, makeup, money, and religion are personal and should remain within the family values. 2. I am not very eloquent regarding my views regarding politics. 

However, the Supreme Court is deliberating the  Defense of Marriage Act (commonly referred to as DOMA) which defined marriage as between a man and a woman and marriage equality based the California Prop 8. 

This very discussion now brings it out of the homes and into societies "Coffee Houses."  We are being asked to review and re-evaluate our views on a very touchy societal taboo. This taboo is centuries old and many cultures have very strict views on the topic. Being a Viking historians I can confidentially say that the Vikings were very open minded about this topic and had no laws regarding it. 

I would like to share with you one of my favorite blogs. Victory Girl. She has eloquently discussed the topic and why the Republican Party needs to re-evaluate their stance. 

Please read with an open mind......

One Gen Xer’s take on family values, marriage and DOMA

by JENNIFER on MARCH 25, 2013
This week the Supreme Court will tackle two huge issues, both of which will have far reaching implications for many in this nation. The first is the Defense of Marriage Act (commonly referred to as DOMA) which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. This Act was passed in 1996 by President Clinton, and was the Federal Governments first foray into the marriage issue. Prior to the passage of DOMA, marriage was strictly a states’ rights issue. This meant that states, like Vermont, could pass laws to recognize gay marriage in their state; conversely this also meant that if the voting public had the issue brought before them they could also ban it if they had the votes to do so. The second issue at hand is marriage equality.
Within the Republican Party there has been a growing divide on many issues, but none as stark as the issue of marriage equality. The major split is between the more religious, social conservatives (generally older) who are vociferously against it and the more libertarian, classic liberals (generally younger) who are passionately convinced that government has no place intruding into this most personal of issues.
As a member of Generation X, I am one of the many who simply do not understand why the Government needs to be involved in this issue. I remember watching the news with my best friend and coming to understand that my Government had just said while I could marry, he could not. This made no sense to me in 1996, and in the coming years, as I watched many friends start families and get married, it made even less sense.
One family I had the privilege to watch be created was a friend who fostered a six month old baby boy with her partner. After having the boy with them for six months, the two were so in love with him that they could not imagine life without him. They petitioned the state to adopt him, and his mother agreed. You see, his mother had given him to the state when she realized she could not afford to care for another child. If he had not been adopted by my friend and her partner, goodness only knows what would have happened to this sweet boy. Luckily, the court agreed and he got a family. Now, before you leap to the conclusion that this poor boy is at a disadvantage not having a male role model, nothing could be further from the truth. He has six uncles who are always around him to give him all the male role modeling a boy could ask for. He also has a home that surrounds him with love and offers him a much better life than he would have had floating through the system for God knows how long.
Many similar families are caught in this divide, as are many politicians with sons and daughters who are gay and lesbian. Even Dick Cheney has a stance on this issue. Mr. Cheney and his wife are for gay marriage and have appeared with their daughter, Mary who is a lesbian, in many PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) advertisements supporting marriage equality. Ohio Senator Rob Portman recently “came out” in favor of gay marriage due to his son’s recent admission that he is gay. Senator Portman made a completely logical appeal to the aforementioned social conservatives in the Republican Party that do not approve of marriage equality by pointing out that marriage is the building block of any civilized society. People who marry are more likely to own real property and have families, as homeowners married people pay more taxes since most are double income earners, and they support public schools with their property taxes. It benefits society to have more married people and families because it widens the tax base and lessens the burdens on society.
I would argue that it also behooves Republicans to recognize that we have been the party that has pushed the social envelope in the past on controversial issues. The Emancipation Proclamation is just one example of that. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is another. The fact that our party gave women the right to vote, and more recently gave this country its first Latina governor should not be overlooked when it comes to the issues of DOMA and marriage equality.
I am a Republican because I believe in the ideal of equality for all citizens regardless of their race, creed, religion, sexual persuasion, gender, ethnic background, age or veteran status. I am a Republican because I believe in marriage and family and societal stability. So, it only stands logically that I would be a Republican for marriage equality.

Please feel free to follow Victory Girl........

Friday, March 15, 2013

Garden Friday- Frost Dates

We are blessed in California for having early Frost Dates. 

Viking Mom what are frost dates?

The frost dates are a guide to help Farmers and Gardeners know when to plant. There are plants that thrive in cool weather while others thrive in warmer weather which is why it is important to know when to plant. In Southern Californa we have to watch for heat index as well.

Viking Mom, how do you know when to plant? 

The key factor is knowing your plants. It doesn't matter if it is produce, vegetables, herbs or ornamental. Knowing the plant will determine when to plant or if your region is a good place to grow. Knowing when your regions average last spring frost date will also aide in your decisions making. 
You can read more here at Mother Earth News

Another place to look for frost dates is on the back of the seed packets and labels. 

Sometimes it won't say "Frost Date" but it will say what the temperature should be for the soil. This is always important to know. 

Bless Bless
Viking Mom

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

No Conventional Grocery Store Challenge- Summary

On January 9th the Viking Family decided to take a No Conventional Grocery Store challenge. You can read about it here.

We had many reasons to take this challenge but we also discovered many unexpected riches and rewards in taking this challenge.

We are very blessed to have many local Farmer's Markets in our county. Our first step was to plan our week and our meals. I use Menu Planner to plan out our families weekly meals. From these menus I was able to plan out our shopping lists.  

As it turned out we have three Farmer's Markets that fit beautifully in our family rhythm. We had the choice of shopping on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The BIG Farmer's Market was on Sunday.  To find a local Farmer's Market in your area check out this site here.

We originally started going to the Big Farmer's Market every Sunday. We quickly discovered that we didn't need to attend the Big Farmer's Market every Sunday with the other two available during the week.  Plus, the trip to the Big Farmer's Market became an all day affair which limited out time on other projects. 

During this challenge we learned many things besides shopping for fresh food. 
A humorous one we learned was about arriving early. I wrote about our first big adventure here. 

We also have experienced those wonderful moments in parenthood when the unexpected becomes those perfect little teaching moments. I wrote about them here.
What developed were the Blessing Bags. These little bags have items in them that the Viking Children can give to the Homeless.

The Viking Children have also developed a wide scope of stories they have shared in class with their teachers and classmates. My favorite story from my son, that was retold to me by his teacher, was about the "Message Man who makes Viking Mom walk better." My daughter added the additional description of the "Strawberry Doctor who makes Viking Mommy walk a better." As his teacher explained she had complained that her back hurt in class. Viking Monkey Boy told her that she needed to see the "Message Man at the Farmer's Market who helps Viking Mommy walk better."  The addition of "Strawberry Doctor" only added to her vivid imagination but also to her confusion. So, here is the "Rest of the Story." On one of our trips to the Big Farmer's Market we discovered and met Dr. Collan Koeppen of Active Rest Chiropractic. On his booth table he always has fresh strawberries, thus "The Strawberry Doctor." In a short period of time, Dr. Collan has managed to stabilize my neck and reduce my migraines and chronic headaches. He has been so worth the trip the Big Farmer's Market. It also has added to our growing list of unexpected  moments in this adventure.

Another fun story comes from Viking Lady Bug. Our Viking Lady Bug loves to dress up and bows, ribbons and fancy hair items are always part of her attire. One of the Moms at our Humble Little School asked her where she got her cute hairband. She touched it and said, "The Hair Bow Lady at the Big Farmer's Market made it for me. Do you like it?"
In another trip to the Big Farmer's Market we met the "Hair Bow Lady." Now, there are many colorful people at this Big Farmer's Market and the Hair Bow Lady is one of those adorable people you can't resist to hug every time you see her. She also makes adorable and one of kind hair bows and hairbands for little girls. Her real name is Vyvienne and she owns Vyvienne's Headbands here in San Diego. Please if you find her booth at any of the Farmer's Market in San Diego county stop by and say "Hello" to her. She is a delight.

Now, an interesting twist in our adventure has occurred. We realized very quickly that certain items we use on a daily basis can't be found at the Farmer's Market or are waaaaay toooooo expensive. We decided for these items that we would use Sprout's Farmer Market to acquire these items. We just couldn't find toilet paper at the Farmer's Markets or toothpaste no matter how hard we looked. 

If you get a chance... take a look at Sonrise Ranch. Not only do they make me homesick but their meat is out of this world. Buying their meat is our bi-weekly splurge.

In summary, have we saved money? I am not sure. That will have to be another post. 
Are we having fun and eating healthier? You bet!
Are we learning and loving from the unexpected? Yes we are! And we are embracing each moment. 

All in all... I think we are going to continue going to the Big Farmer's Market on Sunday and use the other two during the week for the those "oops we need this" moments. 

Our new goal. Using Farmer's Markets to prepare for Winter and the next California earthquake..... or the Zombie Apocalypse. Which ever comes first. 

Bless Bless
Viking Mom

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Random Act of Kindness-Pettiness

One of the goals of the Random Act of Kindness blog post is to give Parental Units tools and ideas on how to teach, guide, imitate, inspire and show kindness. It also helps this Viking Mom develop tools, too.

An area this Viking Mom really struggles with is dealing with pettiness. I have little patients with narrow minded people.

The Webster Dictionary defines "pettiness" as: 1. being small or minor and of no importance. 2. narrow minded or unsympathetic. 

I am going to speak about the second definition. This world is full of narrow minded and unsympathetic people. We see it in the media and how we interact with each other. It is really easy to fall into the same pit fall of pettiness and retaliate with harsh words. However, what is the message we are sending to our own children who watch our every move? Harsh words only adds to the ill feeling we create in any social setting.

How does one illustrate to children why harsh words are so dangerous?
Here is a physical metaphor to use:

TOOTH PASTE AND WORDS... A teaching lesson

Get a small travel size toothpaste. A large one will work too. 
Ask your child if they thinks they can squeeze the entire tube of paste out... and then put it back into the tube? 
No one will think they can...Proceed to squeeze the entire tube onto a paper plate and show how it cannot be put back in.
Compare it to our words and how  we treat one another.  Your kids will get the visual of how once we say unkind words... we can't take them back.  We can apologize but it's still out there and has hurt our friends

This is a wonderful visual; refer back to it throughout the year.

Bless Bless
Viking Mom

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Random Act of Kindness Tuesdays- Write a Note

Recently, I have had several occasions to discuss the validity of teaching cursive handwriting to children. Many feel that its not important to teach cursive handwriting any more due to our technological dependency. Why write a note when one can use email?

But, emails, instant messaging, texting et al take out a personal touch when communicating with people. I found the simple exchange of giving cash for my purchases at the Farmer's Market gave a magical touch to the transaction. 

My Random Act of Kindness Challenge. Hand write a note to someone to show appreciation or gratitude. 


angelmini.gifWrite a note of appreciation to your mailman, paperboy, garbage man et al. 

angelmini.gifWrite a thank you note to someone

angelmini.gifSend handmade cards or a letter to someone you care for

Monday, March 4, 2013

Manic Monday- Ssshhh A Dream Could Be Coming True

I am so afraid that if I say this out loud that my dream won't come true. This Manic Monday is tightly packed because this afternoon the Viking Kiddos will having their entrance interview for the Waldorf School of San Diego. 

So, this morning is jammed packed with Student Home Visits then I rush over to their Public School check them out and then drive over to the school for their interviews. 

My goal today is to