Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Thursday, October 17, 2013

College visits, applesauce and fall foliage

The trees in Southern Minnesota are deliciously colorful right now.  The rolling hills and bluffs are swaddled in hues of gold, red, orange, brown and purple.  We have been deprived of the glory of the fall season having lived in North Dakota where our 80 acres had a total of ONE tree.  Sadly, that one tree would go from having some nice bright, green leaves to completely bare in about an hour and a half. 

Madison and I traveled 60 miles down Hwy 61 to Winona, Minnesota today.  It follows the Mississippi River and the bluffs that surround it on both the Minnesota side and the Wisconsin side.  It was a beautiful drive with the trees in full color.  Our journey to Winona was Madison's first college visit/tour.  Winona  State University is a pretty campus nestled at the bottom of the Mississippi bluffs, along the river and is resplendent in color right now.  The campus is about 10,000 students and seems to comprise a fair amount of diversity, which is important to Madison after having lived through the single ethnic lack-of-diversity experienced in North Dakota. 

We saw the important things on campus and culminated in the bookstore where she bought a sweatshirt.  I asked if she had chosen this as her one and only college and she informed me that she plans on getting a sweatshirt at every college we visit.  Whew!  That kid will have a lot of hoodies by the end of this Spring! 

She also took her PSAT yesterday which is another sign to me that I am indeed past my college fun-in-my-prime days.  I had to keep reminding her that the cute guys were checking me out and not her.  How silly could she be? 

I am now home, making applesauce with the abundance of apples that our trees gave us this year.  The smell in here is unbelievable!  So I'm pretty sure that my day today qualifies me for Mom-of-the-Year status.  I've watched my first born tour her first college, helped her prepare for her PSAT, marveled at the beauty of fall, and lamented her approaching college days while making applesauce.  If only all my days were this contemplative.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

All work and no pay equals our reality

Marc has the distinct pleasure of working every single day for our federal government without pay now.  He gets to go and put his life potentially in harms way all without the benefit of a pay check.  If I seem disgruntled, it's because I am.  Marc doesn't get bonuses, overtime pay, or comp. time.  He also hasn't had a pay raise in more than 3 years.  And now, he gets to go to work and not even have the promise of a paycheck.

I'm embarrassed to be an American right now.  Our Congressional members are punishing the citizens because they refuse to work towards a solution.  Why is the word 'compromise' viewed as a negative?  Why is compromise viewed as a weakness?  I do know that we would not be in this position if the members of congress were denied a paycheck until a resolution was found.  This is hard to believe.  Who are those elected officials working for?  Too bad we can't decide to vote for no pay for them! 

Rant over.  Now continue on!