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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in charles_hanon's LiveJournal:

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Monday, November 1st, 2010
9:03 pm
No subject.
Every once in a while I think, "Hey, I should start blogging again."

And then I think, "Nah."
Sunday, June 7th, 2009
5:27 pm
My thoughts on a piece of bad news
A really terrible story.


I am on another web site from whence I am familiar with this woman and her children. Sometimes I have a feeling about people but not this time. When she took her blog off line I figured it was because the child was dying and she didn't want any more public scrutiny.

But no, it was not that. At all. Much worse.

I do wonder what makes someone crack up like this. Certainly she was under a lot of pressure and was something of an overachiever (raising three young children, one with a lot of special needs, while going to school as well.) But what kind of person are you to start with, that this is what happens inside your head? Why do some depressed/ mentally ill individuals hurt others, while most just destroy themselves? If science could solve that problem the world would bow down and worship it..

I'm glad that technology was used for so much good in this instance. Modern medicine saved her child over and over. A camera caught her in the act. So often I tend toward seeing the darker side of technology and medicine. It was good to see them as the heroes (along with the medical professionals who suspected something like this) of a detective story. For my fellow bloggers who ask, "What is redemptive about this?" I'm going to answer, "The surveillance camera, and the people who figured out what was going on."
Thursday, May 21st, 2009
12:52 pm
Corporal and other kinds of punishment
So, I have a two year old, and hang around lots of other parents. So this idea of "spanking" comes up sometimes. I don't believe in it. Here are some reasons why:

Things I, personally, learned from being spanked:

- My parents are people who hurt me
- The parent who hits harder is more to be feared
- Authority figures are scary and dangerous
- Disrespect is the only tool that I, a small and helpless person, have, and you can't beat it out of me. So I will cultivate this to a fine art.
- Physical violence is an acceptable method of problem-solving
- If you are bigger, you always get your way
- My parents spank me when they are mad/frustrated/angry and it doesn't always relate to my behaviour

I don't learn best when I'm irrationally angry, so I don't try to teach my child things when he is.

Ways I learned how to act like a more decent person:

- Modeling
- Quiet, gradual encouragement to do the right thing
- Natural consequences (don't put oil in the car = dead engine)
- Peer pressure
- Staying away from bad situations
- Kindness of others

A lot of this line of thinking was encouraged by reading Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. It's a very secular book, but it's very much in line with the way God relates to us humans. I've never, so far as I can tell, been spanked by God. :-) Allowed to experience the consequences of my own choices, yes.

Being a parent causes a lot of personal growth. I have to put aside my own reactions in order to deal with a situation lovingly. My child may have not taken a nap and be throwing toys around the living room after being asked to stop and having the toys taken away and I may be tired and hungry and he is getting on my last nerve. Believe me, there are times when I have to remind myself of all the reasons why I am *NOT* going to hit my child. But there are lots of other ways to handle it. What I usually do is some variation of getting us out of the area where the bad behaviour is taking place, then address some of the aggravating factors that might be contributing to it. (Hungry, sleepy, lack of attention from mom, etc) This requires.. self control! Hey, a fruit of the spirit! Alternatively, we can redirect the action into an acceptable outlet.. i.e. go outside and throw balls around the yard.

I know that as Mr. Toddler gets older and finds new, more creative ways to misbehave, I will have to keep coming up with new, more creative ways to deal with them. That's ok. It's good for both of us. He gets to learn how to channel his urges to do whatever, how to problem solve, how to deal with conflict, etc.. and so do I. He gets a little more slack, because he is two!
Thursday, May 14th, 2009
8:56 am
Mom and friends
The coming and going of mother's day this year got me thinking about my own mother and my friendships with other women. I think they have some parallels.

I respect my mother and we are fairly close. This is despite a particular wound that occurred between us in my formative years, and is still there in a way. It's not something that will ever go away and we have talked about it, but it's just kind of there and keeps us farther apart than we would otherwise be. It is something that my mother can't or won't change about herself & her life.

I have the same problem with friendships, I think. I can really feel a great connection with someone, but I'm always afraid of betrayal and perhaps that comes across as a certain hesitancy to get too close, or as an unwillingness to reach out when time, distance, or inconvenience are in the way. But just as I can't give up my mother, I don't like to give up on friends.

I recently was on the receiving end of something like this for perhaps the first time. A few years ago I was involved in an activity with a person, who I'll refer to as Z, who became a friend. This was not an instant falling-in-love kind of friendship, it was more a gradual thing that took a little bit of work on both our parts to overcome our respective reserve. When the activity ended where we saw each other regularly, I was still friends with Z. In the last few years both of us have experienced a number of ordinary life changes such as having children, moving, etc. My policy with old friends generally is to "pick up where I left off" whenever I do see them again. But this time it didn't seem to work.

I saw Z a couple of times, months apart, and it seemed somewhat normal, maybe a little cooler than before but not unexpectedly so. Recently, some things happened in Z's life which she sent out in kind of a mass e-mail to a group of friends. I tried to reach out to her, offer to meet for lunch or another activity, and I offered to share my experiences with a somewhat similar situation.

And I was met with complete and utter silence.

My mother and I TALK. That's why we still have a relationship. As Thomas Mann said, "Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory word, maintains contact. It is silence which isolates."

Hope everyone had a lovely mother's day.

Current Mood: calm
Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
3:43 pm
Hair incident
So, it turns out that if, say, you take a bath with some olive oil in it to keep your skin from drying out, and then you do a somewhat indifferent job of washing your hair afterward, you may not actually wash out all the oil that your hair obligingly soaked out of the bath.

Tell you what, even when I was a teenager, I was not this oily.

Current Mood: greasy
Monday, January 26th, 2009
3:14 pm
On Facebook.
I held off on joining Facebook for a long time, but around the end of the summer I decided that I was a bit lacking in social interaction and so I joined.

The good: I have gotten back in touch with many good friends. I had a lot of friends from high school who I was very close to at that time, and that was before the internet took off, so we had lost touch.

The bad: The level of interaction is generally fairly superficial.

The ugly: Sometimes awkward situations arise. Do you "friend" your long-time-ago ex? What do you say to people who post things on your wall that you'd rather they didn't post? Why did that long lost friend appear, then disappear?

My favorite: Some of the really wonderful older people, mentors, youth group leaders, teachers, etc. who are on facebook. I so love being able to reconnect with them and let them know where I am now. It's not where I ever expected to be!
Friday, January 2nd, 2009
5:50 pm
Early in the morning on December 24th, the toddler and I woke up with a good deal of emesis. The next 2 days resulted in mountains of laundry and the house taking on a dreadful sour smell.

We were well enough by the 26th to travel to see my family in another state. My dad woke up in the morning of the 28th with the same unpleasant symptoms. We visited the extended family that day. We returned home on the 29th, and as of the 30th, 11 family members were infected. ELEVEN. I think my dad is the only one who had to get intravenous rehydration.

We are pretty amazing disease vectors, if I do say so myself.

Pine-sol, as it turns out, works perfectly for making it so that the house no longer smells like vomit.

Current Mood: better
Saturday, December 6th, 2008
5:53 am
November. Steely Dan. A dearth of blogging.
Crewmen of the true companion
I can see you're tired of action
In this everlasting twilight
Home is just a sad abstraction.

Just beyond the troubled skyways
Young men dream of fire and star shine.
I've been dreaming of my own green world
Far across the reach of space time.

--Steely Dan, "True Companion"

I have just had the most pleasant November I can remember in a long time. The cold and dark and bad memories usually start piling up on me a bit in November, but this year they stayed away.

I woke up this morning with a nightmare that reminded me of my immense gratitude for the place I live now. For too many years, home was, indeed, just a "sad abstraction." Thank God it's now something concrete, and happy... "my own green world" is covered in snow at the moment, but that's ok.

Re: dearth of blogging. First I took an honest to goodness internet hiatus because I was tired of general and particular stupidity on the internet, and because I had too many other things to get done. Also, I've been reading an awful lot of books because I'm doing a reading contest at my local library. Isn't that quaint?

Current Mood: calm
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
1:26 pm
Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel of the Super Cold of Doom. If it would just leave without causing me some otitis media that would be appreciated.

Current Mood: sick
Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
8:03 am
Zans again
The last 3 days have been canning days. My house is a disaster, but at least the produce piles are shrinking.
Monday, July 21st, 2008
8:25 pm
Crop dusters
The crop duster is out today. I'd feel better about going outside if I could see some toxicity data for strobilurin and triazole that was not solely the product of industrial chemists.
Wednesday, July 16th, 2008
2:07 pm
snort snort snort
11 million people visited the doctor because of allergic rhinitis in 2005.

I was one of the visitors yesterday. Back to the nasal steroids. SNORT. They rock. Also, in my bloodstream, zyrtec is better than claritin by about a 15% margin. Not a ton, but enough better to keep the eyes from itching and the nose just barely open at night.

I really can't complain. My health has been excellent for the last six years other than the puking-incessantly-when-pregnant bit. Hooray.
Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
1:24 pm
Oranges and Lemons
This morbid little nursery rhyme with its execution chorus has been in my head all week. Someone recently gifted us with a copy of The Baby's Opera and now I've learned lots of new, weird nursery rhymes.

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
7:43 am
A Public Service Message
I bought the youngster a pair of Wee Squeak shoes recently. They are shoes with squeakers in the soles.

He completely freaked out when he heard the squeaks. Cried inconsolably and refused to walk on them while yelling "HENNY! HENNY!" I guess he felt that he was stepping on chickens with every step.

The packaging, website, and the lady who sold me the shoes all said that the squeaks were removable. I could not see a way to do that without damaging the shoes.

So here is our public service message. If you have these shoes, and want them not to squeak, all you have to do is plug the little air outlet hole near the heel. We are currently using a piece of scotch tape for this purpose, but I'm sure caulk, play-doh, silly putty, or any of a multitude of similar substances would work.
Tuesday, June 17th, 2008
12:50 pm
We have a cold. Yucky.

Baby is talking a lot, and repeating everything we say to him. New words are added daily.

The business I am running is keeping me very, very busy. I'm glad it's finally stopped raining every other day & that we were spared any serious property damage in the flooding.

The adjuster will be here later this week to look at our garage roof where the tree fell on it. I am hoping it's less than the cost of our deductible so that we don't have to make a claim. I dislike insurance intensely.

I should get back to work!
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008
2:20 pm
Meme time.
From morgan_x:

What are five things on your to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?
*Bring cat to the vet (his eye is swollen, red, nasty, & gooey)
*Make dinner
*Pull some weeds
*Bring baby to his eye dr. appointment
*Move laundry to the dryer

What are five snacks you enjoy?
*Rainier cherries. And they're ALMOST in season!
*Ice cream
*Kit kats

What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?
*Pay off the farm
*Help some people out
*Set up a wind power generation site in this county
*Give the rest to worthy causes

What are five of your bad habits?
* Wasting time on internet
* Brooding over things I have no control over
* Leaving dishes all around the computer
* Leaving the pole barn a mess
* Not doing the dishes

What are five places where you have lived?
*Terre Haute, IN
*Broward County, Florida
*Plattsburg, NY
*North Vernon, IN
*Belmont, MI

What are five jobs you've had?
* Social Worker
* Documentation Manager
* McDonald's Crew Trainer
* Quality Analyst
* Mom
Wednesday, May 28th, 2008
1:34 pm
Sleazy junk mail
We got some junk mail from "St Matthew's Church" this week.

This is prosperity-gospel-take-your-money stuff at its wildest. It includes a "Prayer Rug" and a "Secret Prophecy." And promises that sending them a "seed" of money will result in you getting bazillions of dollars in the mail. Talk about a black eye for Christianity. Yuck.

Lots of other bloggers have talked about them. The worst part is that they seem to target their mailings to the poorest counties in America. I live in one.

I hope people around here are ignoring this stuff, or at most getting a laugh out of it.
Tuesday, May 27th, 2008
2:11 pm
Blessed are the Peacemakers

I'm a bit... opinionated, you could say, on a variety of issues. I'm sure everyone has certain ideals about which they are passionate.

What I struggle with at times is befriending people with different priorities. I do believe that everyone deserves a chance, and I can smile & nod with the best of them when required.. but for a profound and engaging friendship, it seems to be that there either has to be agreement, or a tolerance of different opinions which is equally rare.

Those of you who have close & dear friends who disagree with you on many things, how do you do it? Or do you just have lots of acquaintance friends, & fewer close friends? Help me out here.
Thursday, May 22nd, 2008
8:24 am
MEATLOAF, not the band
Just for you, Natural Mommy.

I took the Ground Turkey Meatloaf recipe from the Barefoot Contessa cookbook, and made some slight modifications.

Mine is a little simpler. Here's how I deviate from her recipe:

1) I use ground beef
2) I don't bother with the tomato paste or chicken stock.. they are there solely to moisten up the ground turkey, so ground beef doesn't require these things
3) I use a roasting pan with the lid off to contain the fat
4) I use as much ketchup as it takes to cover the top of the meatloaf pretty thickly, I don't measure it.
5) I cook until it is 180 in the middle. This has been known to take 2 hrs or more.
6) Most of the time I make half or 1/3 recipe. You need MANY hungry guests to do justice to a 5-lb meatloaf.

Now, for the recipe swap.. I'd like a really GOOD recipe for tomato soup. NOT gazpacho and NOT chunky. Or, anything you do with white beans that's really good. My white bean recipes are all "eh."
Friday, May 16th, 2008
12:40 pm
Casserole recipe swap
I don't cook very many things you could call "casserole," but here's one:

Macaroni & cheese


1 small onion or 1/2 large onion
2 T butter
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 28-oz can stewed tomatoes
1 lb noodles of your choice
1/4 lb chopped ham, optional
12 oz velveeta or other fake cheese
1/2 c milk
4 oz or so shredded cheddar
dry bread crumbs
dried parsley

1. Chop the onion & celery. Sautee in butter until translucent. If using fresh garlic, add it near the end so you don't burn it. If using garlic powder, use it in step 5 instead.
2. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain.
3. Cube the fake cheese. Put the fake cheese and milk in a bowl; microwave for about 30-40 seconds at a time, stirring until melted and smooth.
4. Put the noodles in a 13 x 9 cake pan or other similarly-sized casserole dish. Add the sauteed vegetables, the canned tomatoes, the cheese sauce, and the ham (if using), and stir it all up.
5. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, garlic powder (if using), cheddar cheese, and a lot of paprika. Some black pepper never hurt, either.
6. Cook at around 375 until it's browning on top & warm throughout. 15-20 minutes is usually enough.

Want more casseroles? Check out Natural Mommy's recipe swap.
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