It’s graduation time and parents all over the country are buying their high school students or recently graduated students a car. Awesome…that’s so wonderful. But for the love of God don’t buy them a nice car. Not now, not yet. I’ve written about this before and time after time I’ve been proven RIGHT.
The first care you buy for your kids should be a practice car cause they are going to trash it. They are going to back into stuff, scrape things, rear end (very lightly) other cars. Cause they are kids. I know you are thinking your child is different buy you are dead wrong. Your beloved kiddo is gonna drive too fast, take chances and mess up that pretty used or new car you just bought for them.
Sandor is ten years old, and can’t see the dirty clothes on the floor, how’s he gonna see a fire hydrant or stop sign? He won’t, until he drives into it.
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Last week Fountain Lake had a music/band performance and FOUR cars passed me on park Avenue. I was driving exactly the speed limit. Fifty mile an hour. Three out of four of the cars who passed me were driving by teenagers from Fountain Lake. I knew them all. They were running late (cause that’s what teenagers do) so they passed, when it wasn’t really safe.
Lexie has a crappy car. It’s the 1996 Mary Ford Explorer we bought for Mary and she when she was 18. It was a wreck in six months and now it’s Lexies, all banged up and ugly.
Yesterday she asked me “If I get a full ride to college will you get me a new car(new to her, not new new)?”
This request works for me because it fits our “Yes for a Yes” prime directive hampoland rule. Lexie get’s what she wants…after I get what I want.
Here’s the second reality about teens and cars. This rule applies to all kids, including mine. Teens are going to speed no matter what kind of vehicle they drive. I’ve seen a teenage boy driving an ancient station wagon go 20 miles over the speed limit everyday on the way to school. He was a boy scout and brilliant but he was just a boy. Lex drives too fast, she doesn’t believe me and thinks I’m mistaken but she does.
And if you buy your kid a hot fast car they are going to go even faster, just because they can. If you buy your child a corvette, a ninja, a mustang, any hot go fast vehicle DO NOT BE SURPRISED WHEN THEY GET A TICKET. You bought them a car built for speed, designed to go fast. What the hell do you expect them to do?
If you bought you kid a submarine they would go underwater. If you buy your child a fast car they are gonna go fast.
I have a friend with a Camero, he jacked it up and it now has 740 Horsepower. he’s 45 years old and guess what he’s gonna do? GO FAST!
So, do yourself a favor, recognize that teens will do what they always do. Bang up cars and drive fast. Buy them something with airbags, keep them on a short leash and you’ll probably make it through graduation.
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Tags: cars, spoiled kids, teen drivers, teen-agers
I’m reprinting this story because I gave my rock to a friend yesterday. She is the aunt of a seventeen year old boy who is struggling with all sorts of issues. She wants to save him so she took her own sister to court to get custody.
When I walked into court I handed her my peace rock because it has the power to help in special situations.
Here’s the story of my peace rock. (And fyi, the aunt’s story had a happy ending.)
A little less than a year ago my brother, Granger, died. It was a pretty horrific and heartbreaking situation. Granger was my last living family member. That’s why I sometimes feel like the last creature from my herd; the last zebra with these stripes.
The day I got the phone call, telling me Granger wasn’t going to make it, I was hanging out with my kiddos, Lexie and Sandor, who was 8 at the time. We were looking at some funky art in a tiny gallery on Central Avenue. When the phone rang I stepped outside to take the call.
I was told he might make the next 24 hours, but it was doubtful. My big brother was going to die and leave me here, all alone.
My heart thumped with pain and I tried to breath evenly. I didn’t want to break down and wail in front of the kids. It was really hot that day, almost a hundred degrees but I shivered in the sunshine and I prayed.
“Lord, please help me with this, please help me find some peace and strength to get through this. I don’t have much left. Just help me find some peace, Lord, because I don’t understand this.”
Peace and strength, that’s all I wanted. After I prayed I felt a little better. I took three giant breaths and willed myself not to cry then I walked back into the gallery to find the kids.
Lexie was looking at an abstract painting of a horse, or maybe it was a volcano. I took her hand, it was warm and dry and felt nice. For a moment I stared at the painting with her. “Where’s Sandor?”
“He went out back to play with Daniel and Ben.”
I nodded and decided I wouldn’t tell them about Granger until we got home.
I willed myself not to start crying as I walked to the galleries’ back door. Sandor and two other little boys were squating next to a pot- hole filled with black water.
“Come on Boy Boy,” I yelled. He popped up like a jack-in-the-box and ran to me.
“Look what I found, Mom.” He stuck his grubby hand in his pocket and waited for me to stretch out my hand. Then he placed a smooth river stone on my palm. “Look at it!” he said excitedly.
I unwrapped my fingers and stared at the grey rock. The word PEACE was etched into the surface. I looked at Sandor, who was grinning.”Where did you get this?”
He was bouncing just a little. “I found it in the puddle over there,” he said and pointed to the pot hole. “You can have it,” he said cheerfully than ran off to find Lexie.
Granger did die the next day. I kept that rock in my pocket for the next two weeks. Now it stays in the cup holder in my car. I rub when I need to and sometimes, when other people need a little Peace, I share my rock.
I’m pretty sure God and Granger would want me to pass the peace.
**You can comment or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on facebook. I always need more friends.
Tags: Ar. I Granger McDaniel, faith, Hot Springs, Peace
If you ever visit Hampoland and ask for a drink you’ll probably be handed a beautiful- tacky- coffee mug. Doesn’t matter if you ask for water, wine, coffee, juice or milk, chances are you’ll be drinking out of a coffee mug.
I have wonderful and bizarre of coffee mugs from all over the world because my kids and friends go to great places and always bring me a coffee mugs. They are more useful and cheaper than t-shirts.
My most recent addition came from Portia Rico. Mary and Jack went there to surf last month and Jack got me a mug with mustached man(he looks kind of like Burt Reynolds) sitting on either a horse or donkey.
Right now it’s sitting in the cabinet next to a mug with the presidential seal and a picture of Socks the Cat. Mary gave me that one for Christmas last year along with a pair of Toms. She was working at the Clinton Foundation so everything in the gift shop was fifty percent off.
Jack and I took Lex to Graceland so I have a mug with Nixon and Elvis shaking hands. One of my favorites is from Fox Pass Pottery. When Lex was born Barbara and Jim Larkin (legendary artists) made her a cup with her name and a blue rocking horse.
My best buddy Amelia brought me a mug with lots of tribal salmon and birds swimming around from Alaska. There’s a goofy leopard print mug with a cheetah head handle. Alex gave it to me when we were dating. It’s weird.
I’ve got a Henry VII mug from London, mugs from Barcelona, Chicago, Nashville and the Outter Banks of North Carolina, New York and Detroit cause Alex was born and raised on Motown and there’s pirate mug from Daytona. I love my Shack Up mug from Mississippi. There were share-cropper shacks in the Delta but I think somebody famous like Morgan Freeman turned them into little blues cottages.
Oh, and one of the best is from St. Louis. It has a big picture of the Arch of course. Amelia and I took Mary up there for college. Mary told everybody we were both “her moms,” so everyone we met thought we were a nice gay couple. Mary stayed in St. Louis for a few months then ran off with a guy who’s e-mail address was “Toker 69″. That’s what I think about every time I use that mug.
There’s Pisgha, Alabama home of the Eagles. Pisgha is Amelia’s home town and it’s really fun to say out loud. The best for coffee is a big blue mug Lex got me from the Ripley’s Museum in Branson.
There’s only one rule about coffee mugs in Hampoland. We have an old cheap cup with cows. Twenty years ago when Mary and Jack were little, we had an entire set of cow dishes. Now there’s just one cup left with a momma cow and her baby. It’s called the “Cow Cup” and you’re only allowed to drink milk from the Cow Cup. If you try to pour juice in the Cow Cup everybody in the house will yell at you. Even Lexie and Sandor’s friends know not to put soda in the Cow Cup.
So come on over any time. Ask for something to drink and you’ll probably get a great story along with your beverage.
Tags: amelia houser, coffee mugs, collections, Cow Cup, Fox Pass Pottery, Graceland, hampoland, Nixon, traditions
For years I’ve heard about the ignorant little church Westboro Baptist. They are the ones who picket military funerals. I’ve always assumed they were closed minded idiots but it wasn’t until I visited their web page that I really started to consider their vile form of insanity.
Their official web page is www.godhatesfags.com.
But gay folk are not their only targets. Apparently, according to Westboro God also hates Muslims, Jews, Whores, The Media, Sluts, Liars, The Adulterous, the Divorced…well…just about all of us, for one reason or another. ( I should warn my children now they will probably show up at my funeral too.)
They call the Pope the “Godfather of Pedophiles.” They claim the United States of America bombed their church to make them stop screaming about gay people. The don’t capitalize America because they think God hates us. (this of course begs the question “Why do you live here, than?”) They call Catholic churches Catholic Whore Houses and female politicians who opposed their picketing soldiers funerals are called whores too. And God hates whores.
It gets even better…or worse…depending on your sense of humor. They have a world map on the website. You can click on any country and a detailed explanation as to why God hates that country will pop up. The reasons are astonishing, countries get on God’s list for everything from idolatry to tattoo popularity. According to the map God hates Poland because of Aaron Katz – Poland’s first openly gay female rabbi. According to Westboro God hates the whole wide world, you and me and everyone else.
(Question in my head. If he hates me why did he give me such wonderful children?)
As far as I can see, the Westboro God only hates…nothing else. Their views are so bleak and horrendous they don’t really make me mad, just sad, because they believe God is so ugly and hateful.
By most accounts Westboro only has approximately 50 members. So I looked up some stats on the American population. This might be bad news for Westboro.
1. 3.4-5.0 percent of Americans identify themselves as Gay. That means Westboro probably has one or two gay folk hiding in the closet.
2. Roughly eight percent of Americans struggle with alcoholism so they probably have at least four drunks stumbling around in their ranks and “God Hates drunks”.
3. Roughly nine percent of Americans use some for of illegal drug on a regular basis. So there might very well be four or five stoners or pill poppers marching around with their “God Hates America” signs.
4. Fifty percent of American marriages end in divorce and according to Westboro God hates those people too. I’m sure there are divorcees posing as Christians at Westboro. Does Pastor Fred know?
5. And finally sixty to seventy percent of married Americans commit adultery at some point during their marriage. If Wesboro has just fifteen married couples half of them have probably stepped out for a little “strange” at some point. do they still get to hold the hateful picket signs?
What a sorry lot of Christians that Westboro seems to be. We are all a sorry lot, flawed from day one, mired in our sin and ignorance. Still, I know God loves us. And I know He doesn’t want us to hate one another.
In Matthew 22:37 Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38:This is the first and greatest commandment. And in verse 39 He went on to say ”And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Love your neighbor as yourself….humm….even the Gay, Jewish, Catholic, Drunk Whores. yeah, I think so.
This very same sentiment and commandment is repeated several times in the bible. So that’s what I’m going to go with. No maps of hate, no pathetic picket signs or ugly words.
I have to wonder, how can Westboro possibly know what God is saying, thinking or feeling? They never seem to shut-up long enough to listen to Him.
Tags: gays, ignorance, Jesus, Westboro Baptist Church
Please, stop being mean to your kids in public. I don’t care if you are a redneck in Wal-Mart or picking up a espresso in Starbucks. You look and sound like a witch when you are rude or snarky to your own child in public. Mean moms are the worst.
Seriously, do you think anyone wants to invite you over for a beer or a spin class when you treat your child with absolute disdain in public? Do you think the cute 26 year old guy with sideburns and massive biceps wants to spend any time with a woman who is mean to her kids? Here’s what he’s thinking, ‘if she’s mean to her kids she’ll probably be mean to me too”.
And consider this, when you are mean, tense, rude or short with your child, I’m pretty sure, you look at least ten years older. It’s true, mean people looker older than nice ones.
Don’t yell at your three year old, don’t roll your eyes and hiss at your six year old when they touch the gum at the grocery store, don’t swat them on the back of the head or I’m going to inject myself into the situation. That’s right, I’m going to call you out in public and you’re going to get even more angry.
Ok, so you’re busy texting and talking and trying to decide what shade of hose you really need. Yeah, that stuff is pretty important, but don’t act like a spoiled thirteen year old when your child interrupts because he really has to go to the bathroom.
Smile, for God’s sake. He needs you. And don’t make the “I’m such a martyr ” sigh. Don’t make that noise that tells the world you are overworked and exhausted. Lot’s of moms seem to specialize in that noise. Cut it out.
Kids are irrational, moronic they don’t understand anything, they need everything, they are demanding and rude and pushy and insane….cause they are babies. They are supposed to be that way.
And here’s my final tip, don’t spank a crying child and expect him to stop crying. She’s going to cry more if you hurt her. And again, you’re making your self look bad and everyone standing close to you is thinking that poor kid has such horrible, mean, stupid mom.
Tags: babies, kids, mean moms, parenting
Kennedy is Sandor’s ex-girlfriend. They are in fourth grade and “went out” for months. Much to my surprise they were holding hands and he walked around with his arm around her sometimes, just like big kids. But two months ago Sandor broke up with Kennedy because “she got mean and bossy and stopped being fun to play with”.
I waited till we were in the car. “So what’s going on with Kennedy?”
He made a noise with his throat meaning he was disgusted. “She hits me and pushes me from behind and kicks me all the time on the playground.”
“Did you tell the teacher?”
“I tried but she wouldn’t listen. She told me to ignore it. But she does it every day.”
“Has she ever actually made contact when she kicked at you?”
“Yeah, lots of times. She got my knee last week but she was aiming for my nuts. If she was a dude I’d hit her so hard.”
Sandor has been in Taekwondo for seven years so his defensive skills are pretty sharp. Good thing Taekwondo teaches lots of groin blocks.
And he’s not afraid of a fight. A couple of weeks ago he came home with bloody knees. He told me a bigger kid grabbed his basket ball and threw it into a ditch then started walking away. Sandor ran up behind the kid jumped on his back. They both went down. Thankfully teachers didn’t see all this action or both boys would be in ISS.
But Sandor doesn’t know what to do with Kennedy…because she’s a girl. Teachers don’t pay attention…because she’s a girl. Sandor is ten and knows he would get into so much trouble if he hit a girl at school…but how’s he supposed to react?
It’s a reverse bully sexism situation.
Good thing there’s only three weeks of school left. Until then he better keep on blocking.
Tags: 4th grade, bully, girl bully, playground, taekwondo
When I googled pictures of women kickboxing they were ALL SUPER HOT BABES IN SPORTS BRAS. Not my kick boxers.
Several are in really, really good shape, better than me, and others are working on it. Most of my kick boxers are teachers at Lake Hamilton School and they inspire me ….because they don’t quit. They don’t complain, they don’t make excuses. They keep on going and getting better.
I have a friend whomy age and started Taekwondo. She always said her goal was “to suck a little less every day.”
Instead of being intimidated and sitting on the couch watching tv, these women put on boxing or MMA gloves (that’s really fun to watch) and they jab-cross, jab-cross tick tock jab-cross, they upper cut hook bob and weave. They round kick the heavy bag until they are sweating and gasping and exhausted….but they keep on going. And they are getting better every single week.
One of the ladies is a substitute teacher, totally dedicated to her family and she punches like a monster. She said her husband didn’t really believe she could punch…hard. She can. So I gave her a couple of focus mitts and told her to let her husband and hold for her while she punched. She came back this week all smiles and said her husband backed up while she was punching.
Here’s the reality, most of us stop learning anything new once we turn thirty. We just repeat our actions because it’s safe, it’s what we know. We won’t look like idiots.
Adults who start any martial arts program, from taekwondo to kickboxing, are heroes to me. They are brave and smart and strong. And they aren’t afraid…of anything….at any age.
When we stop learning new things, we stop growing, when we are more afraid of looking like an idiot than growing… we have officially gotten old and broken down.
Don’t let that happen. Find something new, learn something new, Russian, how to play the piano, learn to rock climb or kickbox.
Stand up and be brave. Do something new and you’ll be honoring my middle age kickboxing class and this beautiful life God has given you.
Tags: Ignite Martial Arts, kick boxing, martial arts, middle age, taekwondo
But in the world of country music women get away with murder, literally. They get to say and do things that would get men deep fried by Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, in People Magazine and probably by a judge.
If Toby Keith released a song called, “I’m Gonna Make Her Pay” then sang about keying his girlfriend’s car, slitting her tires and smashing her headlights with a baseball bat…. Nashville would implode … Johnny Cash would come back from the dead to kick Toby’s ass, guitar strings across the South would suddenly snap. Law suits would be filed and his records would stop selling.
But that’s exactly what Carrie Underwood did in “Before He Cheats”.
” I dug my key into the side
of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive,
carved my name into his leather seats,
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
slashed a hole in all 4 tires…
Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.”
The lead singer with Little Big Town pretends to be a Tornado when she sings
“Yeah, I’m gonna lift this house, spin it all around
Toss it in the air and put it in the ground
Make sure you’re never found”
Yeah, she’s gonna kill him and bury the body. Nice.
What would happen if Brad Paisley said he was going to murder his honey and make sure the corpse was well hidden? Girls can say anything, boys can’t. there’s a clear double standard. In the world of country music I can kill my husband with a kitchen knife and food processor then sing about it. But he better not lay a hand on me. there’s only one place that’s acceptable for men…in the world of rap.
How about the troubled and always dangerous Miranda Lambert? In Gun Powder and Lead she sings,
“ I’m goin’ home, gonna load my shotgun
Wait by the door and light a cigarette
He wants a fight, well now he’s got one
And he ain’t seen me crazy yet”
Miranda, you know smoking is no longer politically correct. Shooting your husband is just fine but put that smoke down.
Weird thing, these are some of my very favorite country songs.
In the business and political arena women sometimes get a raw deal. But karma is a booger in the world of country music. We have women with bad intentions and fire arms. So next time a man decides to screw over a woman, he better make sure she’s not a country music fan.
Tags: country music, Double Standard, Little Big Town, miranda lambert
At least once a year one of my college age kids calls, in a panic, because a text book is going to cost them some stupid amount of money. $600 is not unusual for a science book$543 for a ballet text book, $400 for a history book, .
That’s more than my mortgage, people in third world countries live on six hundred dollars a year, put two text books together and you can get a root canal! But that’s what we expect from our collage kids and their families. It’s wrong, absurd….it’s retarded. ( yes, I know I’m not supposed to use that word but I don’t care.)
To add insult to injury the book you pay hundreds of dollars for will probably be uselessly out of date in a year. Then when you try to donate it to your local library they will laugh at you and refuse the ancient and costly artifact. So you’ll give it back to your college kid knowing they will use it as door stop or they’ll just roll joints on the cover for the next year.
Kids are trying to find ways around the text book mafia, they share, they buy used books, they troll the internet as though searching for a mail-order bride. And I just found out about a site called slugbooks.com you can click here to check it out. Maybe they have a solution to this insane and unfair practice.
If we don’t fix this problem kids will take second jobs, like Strip Karaoke to pay for their books. The late hours at the strip club will keep them from getting to class, they’ll flunk out and become professional dancers just because their Into to African American Literature book cost $450 dollars.
But here’s my idea. They should start making textbooks the same way they make comic books. Those are pretty cheap, they are light weight so our children won’t have back problems from carrying them around in their back packs. And kids love reading comic books.
And when the semester is over we should all meet in front of the text book publisher’s office building, set our comic book and laugh at them.
Comments OffTags: college text books.
This man, I’ll call him Reagan, is a walking contradiction. A wall to wall, coast to coast conundrum.
Reagan he owns a chain of very successful sex stores in central Arkansas (a very conservative state). These stores have videos and linger, novelty items and “toys”. When I meet Reagan in one of his stores, to work on his advertising options, I never know where to look. I don’t want to make eye contact with the creepy dude looking at weird videos. I don’t want to study the “toys”. Generally I poke through the fish net nighties until he appears and we sit down in his office.
Many consider Reagan the “porn king” of Central Arkansas.
Reagan is also openly gay and has been for more than twenty five years. But never, once, have we had a sexually explicit, graphic or dirty conversation. He’s just not that kind of man.
Reagan is one of the smartest men I know and we have great discussions about current political issues, our similar family histories (both of us had brilliant Southern diva moms), bad literature, civil rights, herbs, recipes and my children. When my daughter, Mary, needed sponsors to attend a political workshop in Atlanta, he was one of the first to write her a check.
Finally, Reagan is a dedicated, had core Republican. We have great debates over policy and voter trends. He generally wins because he’s more well read. But I try to keep up.
Once I told him finding a gay-Republican guy was like discovering a unicorn or mermaid. I thought they were mythological creatures and didn’t actually exist in this reality. But Reagan is a conservative. He votes his wallet.
In reading this, it’s obvious Reagan and I have virtually nothing in common. But we are humans and we are friends that’s about it.
We all want to put people into one box, with one name. But most of us crawl out of our stereotypical box and find homes in a bunch of other boxes. Reagan is all kinds of stuff but most importantly he’s my friend and adds to the complexity and beauty of my life. I’m lucky to have him.
Tags: Cupids, friends, radio sales, Republican men