Tag: Family

Ignoring the Rules 2.0

 

We just moved.  I’m in a new neighborhood, a new town, same state – thank God (for Gov. DeSantis).  It’s a 55+ community because me, my husband and our cat are over 55.  He picked the community – when we cashed out in spades selling our old house, and our real estate agent told us about our current town.  We like it here, but it’s been less than two weeks.  There’s construction – because half the country is moving to Florida –  and older folks.

I have nothing against grey hair and golf carts.  Personally, I like Ultress and Preference by L’Oréal – it does wonders, but that’s just me. The next-door neighbor brought us a triple chocolate cake.  He has brown hair and two adorable pooches. They gave us a snapshot of the nearby neighbors and I was impressed.

They seem to jump in and do projects – scarfing up free lumber from the dumpsters and building things as needed, including a ramp for a disabled neighbor and insulating garages from the Florida heat.  Older people know how to build things and how to budget.  They bike, kayak, walk, and hike, we noticed. The amenities center had a lively water volleyball game taking place when I visited, an outdoor painting class, and bocce ball and tennis games in action.

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The question, “What are you willing to DIE for?” has been in the back of my mind all week. Yes. It is a question I have pondered often. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted a renewed call to commitment. I was listening to Bari Weiss talk about “Things Worth Fighting For.” Her impassioned, logical, […]

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Quote of the Day: Churchill on Family Size

 

“One to reproduce your wife, one to reproduce yourself, one for the increase in population, and one in case of accident.” — Winston Churchill

This was his formula for family size. It is one Janet and I subscribed to, although we only got to three. (Fortunately, there have been no accidents.) It seems anachronistic today. The better sort have been decrying increase in population for nearly a century because it will lower global standards of living. (This despite fewer people living in abject poverty today than in any time in history — even though we have nearly three times the world population as we had when family planning became a crusade for the “progressives.”) China embraced a one-child policy that is leading it towards demographic disaster over the next 20 years, despite their efforts to reverse it. So let’s hail Churchill’s formula for children.

The Big Joy in Small Things

 

I have talked about practicing gratitude before, now I want to discuss a way of doing that. Too often, we wait for the big events to feel joy: Graduations, weddings, promotions, the long-awaited vacation. All of these are great things to enjoy. They are also things that don’t happen every day. In the grind of everyday life, we fail to notice the small things that bring us joy. I have found if I am mindful of the small joys in life, my overall sense of gratitude is much higher.

You may think that you don’t have any small things to bring you joy in a normal day, but I would argue that is because you are not really searching for them. It is easy to become overwhelmed in the day-to-day activities and miss the moments you could have. I want to use an example from my own life this Christmas Eve.

Over the Hill and Through the Woods to Mr. Churchill’s House We Go: A Disaster in 3 Parts

 

In our household, I’m known as the one with ‘bright ideas.’ 

Maybe I should clarify. ‘Bright ideas’ here is spoken in roughly the same tone which Bill Buckley reserved for his interactions with Gore Vidal. Somewhere between getting caught up in a riot in Paris and taking up kicking men twice my size in the head as a hobby, my parents lost some confidence in my critical thinking skills. Well, before that, maybe, but you get the picture. 

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My Mother gave me a piece of furniture that used to belong to my paternal grandfather.  I am like her in that I have trouble disassociating items with people and assign too much sentimental value to inanimate objects.   She kept it in her garage piled with junk until one weekend I took my two oldest […]

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The Faded Blue Rug That Changed Everything

 

“We’re going to sleep in the new house tonight,” my dad announced one summer evening.  There were no beds in the new digs yet, just sleeping bags on the living room floor, yet none of us demurred.  Our current house, a stucco ranch set back in a lot with another brown stuccoed rental in front, had seen us through a year.  I’d finished eighth grade in this place: studied the anatomy of bird wings, made mnemonics for plant terms, recorded myself reading off grammar terms and definitions, and drove my older brother to my door saying “Would you shut that off?!” when I played back the tape. I’d stayed up until the wee hours reading my book report selections the night before they were due to avoid the fat, gaping zero we’d been promised for failing to finish.  (I made it through Gulliver’s Travelers, but had to give up on a tome called Bangkok.)

Brown. The old three-bedroom house was dark brown, from the rugs to the drapes to the trim.  There was the perimeter outdoors where us kids had played a game of hide-and-seek with the neighbor kids, racing to spy each other through parallel windows and laugh. We got in trouble for that–we had trampled the landscaping.  I remember fine black dirt, pepper or eucalyptus providing shade. A chain-link fence bordered a parched back yard where I’d felt mild interest in a tent one of us had put up.

The Miracle of Parenthood

 

Today is my daughter’s sixth birthday. Usually, when admiring my kids, I tend to reflect on the miracle of pregnancy and birth — how someone so intricate and tall grew from a fertilized egg inside me. The toes, the fingers, the little naked bums navigating the staircase — how did that little personality come from inside me?

Except today, I find myself ruminating on the miracle that my kids may grow to passably decent adults. Parenthood is hard. It requires 90% of you about 100% of the time (unless you are sleeping). I’d say 100%, but I know I don’t give 100% – hence the miracle.

Are You Going Back to Life the Same Way – Post-Covid?

 

Are you going back to your life the same way, post-Covid and now Covid 2.0?  I ask because I think many are not. I’m not.  Getting back to normal is like after 9/11, a new normal. It may be a good thing.  Let’s examine this more closely.

First (and this is a big one), parents have gotten an up front and center view of what their children, starting in kindergarten, have been being taught. Climate Change, Critical Race Theory, White Privilege, multi-gender identities, indoctrination on a massive scale, that take the parents’ boundaries out, along with reading, writing, math, art, sports, science, and literature as the priority, and placing the focus on an extreme progressive ideology.  At any rate, at least parents are aware and can take steps to do what is best for their children and family.  Prior to Covid, many were unaware of what was taking place within our schools, within teachers’ unions, and even the innocent library.

Adoption & the Journey to Healing

 

It was on Tuesday, June 13, 1967 — 54 years ago yesterday — that a nineteen-year-old girl gave me the precious gift of life.

Then, from a place of love and fierce protection, my birth mother gave me the precious gift of unselfish love and made the tough choice of allowing someone else to raise me as their own, in the hopes that I’d have a better life than she believed she could provide.

China’s Population Mistake

 

Western progressives have fretted since the late ’60s about the population explosion. Paul Ehrlich (the most famous population scaremonger) and John Holdren (Obama’s science czar) wrote articles proposing dosing the water with sterilization drugs to prevent mass starvation. In 1970 Ehrlich predicted that 65 million Americans would starve to death during the 1980s.

China did something about this in the late 1970s. Their One-child Policy severely punished violators, and prevented births by forced abortions and sterilizations. It was monstrous, but it fit the prescriptions of western progressives.

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1.) My dad taught me that when you’re in the bathroom and someone knocks, the proper response is to heartily intone, “BUSY!”  2.) We learned from our mom that the apex of contentment was sitting on a bamboo couch in the evening with a book and a giant bowl of popcorn.  Preview Open

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Over on Jenna Stocker’s terrific post about Evil, the subject of my brother John came up. While I admit that the venue seemed apropos — and if you knew my brother like I know my brother, I’m sure you’d agree — I nonetheless resist the temptation to reply to the comments about him there, because […]

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All True Wealth

 

Despite the synergine the Count’s eyes were going shocked and vague. He pawed at the little plastic oxygen mask, batted away the medic’s worried attempt to control his hands, and motioned urgently to Mark. He so clearly wanted to say something, it was less traumatic to let him than to try and stop him. Mark slid onto his knees by the Count’s head.

The Count whispered to Mark in a tone of earnest confidence, “All . . . true wealth . . . is biological.”

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October 29, 2006: Our first snow, first Halloween, and first day moved into our new house. (Read Part I here, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here,  Part V here,  Part VI here,  Part VII here,  Part VIII here,  Part IX here, and Part X here.) Preview Open

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On this episode of The Federalist Radio Hour, Aaron Renn, founder of The Masculinist, joins The Federalist’s Executive Editor Joy Pullmann to discuss the cultural, social, and spiritual decline in the United States and how shifting our focus back into families and “business at home” can be useful in addressing it.

ACF PoMoCon #31: Marriage Problems

 

So the podcast’s back after our long election-to-inauguration holiday. America’s still standing, thank God, but the madness continues, which we’ll have to bear the best we can. Today, I bring you one of my scholarly friends, Scott Yenor, who has a wonderful book on the successes and failures of feminism: Choice as far as the eye can see, and unhappiness on its heels. It’s called The Recovery Of Family Life and it analyzes the feminism, sexual liberation, and contemporary liberalism ideas and policies, and their unintended consequences. Scott points out that the great middle-class republic seems to be turning into a different regime because of family problems: Family is rare among the poor–but even though it is dominant among the rich, it is superfluous rather than foundational. Marriage comes last.

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The last couple of weeks, several people (some of whom I consider to be friends) have been very angry with the management of Ricochet. Most recently they have been furious with Rob Long. I haven’t heard his comments yet, but I’ve been reflecting on the choices people are making to leave, and I don’t relate […]

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While I believe most people are shocked and upset by yesterday’s events at our Capitol, we have to keep our wits and move forward. We cannot control the behavior of others and events that come and go, beyond our control.  This includes yesterday’s breach of the Capitol in Washington, DC.  I’ll give my thoughts briefly, […]

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My Best Christmas Gift

 

For research into his Christmas Eve message, our pastor asked the congregation to post him with a description of the best Christmas gifts we had received. Well, aside from the best Gift of the Christ child, of course! This was my post to him:

I’m going to call it the “best gift” for a couple of reasons; First, I still have it. After 43 years or so. Even though it no longer works. It is in my jewelry box for sentimental reasons. Second, it is one of the most unique gifts I ever received from a giver who means the world to me. The gift? A pocket watch. Yes, an old-timey pocket watch, a Bulova, to be specific. It isn’t one of those thick railroad conductor watches. It is sleek, thin, and modern; gold plated and etched on the outside in a fine crosshatch pattern.