Thursday, October 13, 2016

What's happened to political decency?

I'm horrified by what I'm seeing in this Presidential election season. We have lost all decency and decorum. I remember back when America was appalled that Dan Quayle misspelled the word potato. People couldn't believe that a man who couldn't spell was Vice President of the United States. But now, America holds ignorance up like it's a virtue.

During the debate, I watched Donald Trump spew unintelligible rants about Russia and Syria, proving he knows nothing about the world or foreign policy. And yet his followers cheer for him and the talking heads say he did well in the debate. 

I remember when it was unconscionable to call someone a liar, back when the most shocking thing said during a debate was "Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy." Donald Trump has dragged our political system into the gutter, pointing his finger in Secretary Clinton's face and calling her a liar, calling her the Devil, saying she has a heart filled with hate, saying he will throw her in jail while his supporters jeer and holler. And the talking heads praised him for ending the debate by saying she was a fighter, as if that somehow made him a gentleman. Trump has turned this campaign season into a dystopian reality show. Jerry Springer even tweeted that he'd like to have Trump on his show. What an embarrassment we are, in front of the entire world. I am so concerned for our young citizens watching this, worried that they will become calloused and immune to how wrong this is. I hope to God we can find our way back from this dark era. I hope we can return to a two-party system in which our elected officials may not have agreed but they worked together and respected one another. The objective of a two-party system was to discuss our differing ideas and come up with bi-partisan compromises that best serve the people. It was never intended to be a death match.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Loving and Losing Stitch

I'm shattered. This morning, our beloved Stitch didn't greet me when I woke. He didn't come when he heard the can opener, and I thought that was odd. I called, and he didn't come. Evan and I found him lying still on the rug in the living room. As long as I live I will never be able to erase the heartbreaking image of Evan shaking Stitchy's lifeless body and shouting, "Stitchy! Wake up, wake up!"

Stitch was only nine years old. He wasn't sick. This was a complete shock.

Yesterday was a really good day. I was home all day. We took several walks in the field and he was happy and spry. I gave him a few treats. He ate all his dinner last night. And then, somehow, he passed away in his sleep. 

I always called Stitch my little gentleman. When we were walking through a door he'd always stop and look up at me, wait for me to pass through first. He was a gentle and considerate soul. He loved everybody. He never wanted to fight with other dogs or cats, he just wanted to be friends. I am still in disbelief that this has happened. I can't stop crying. This house doesn't feel like a home without him.
Many of you supported us when we fought for years in court to keep Stitch away from his former owner who had abused and abandoned him. You know the long journey and the struggle, how very hard we fought for him and how very very much we loved him. Stitch was no ordinary dog. He came to our lives to teach us courage, and how to stand up for something you believe in. I know that for the rest of my life I will carry the lessons I learned through loving this dog. Because of Stitch, we started the #SaveStitch campaign fighting for animal rights. After the L.A. Times, NPR and Fox News picked up the story, this case became a national conversation. In the courts we fought for pets to have the right to live in the home that is safest for them, rather than being treated as property to be returned to the owner, regardless of inhumane treatment. We lost our case and our appeal and weren't able to change the laws, but we held on to Stitch. After all that drama and 3 years of court battles, I don't know if we made a difference or not, but I do know that Stitch was able to live his life with us, in a home where he was loved beyond measure.

The short years we had him weren't nearly enough, and yet, I feel so fortunate to have had him at all. He blessed my life, and touched many others. He was my little gentleman. A piece of my heart goes with him...
(For those of you who don't know the story of Stitch, it's here. If you think I fight hard against gun violence, it's only because I learned how to stand up to bullies when I fought for Stitch;

Monday, October 3, 2016

We Gave Our Son a Stranger Things Birthday Party (and it was awesome!)

Evan, 10 years old,  just started middle school. It's been tough for him because he's amongst the youngest and smallest in the school, and since most of his friends went to other schools, he doesn't know many people. He's been miserable since school began mid-August. But the one thing that has made him happy is watching the whole season of Stranger Things - twice. He became obsessed with the show, watching countless videos and vines, reading insider blogs watching all the interviews. He said he even liked it more than Star Wars.

So this September, since he was turning ELEVEN, my husband and I decided to give him a birthday party he'd never forget.


Our front door.
We built the theme around finding Barb. These were posted outside the house.
Pizza and Eggo waffles and Twinkies for dinner? You bet!
The goodie bags had to be authentic.

I made his birthday cake out of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and candy
We played STRANGER THINGS trivia.

We set up an Eggo bar for the kids
We painted the alphabet on a tablecloth and hung it on our wall.
We used Stranger Things text generator to make his invitations
We got into character!
Our best friends got into character, too!
We downloaded the whole Stranger Things soundtrack and had it playing the whole night. After Stranger Things trivia and Demogorgon tag, we played a hot potato game to "Should I Stay Or Should I Go." And after dark, we surprised the kids by taking them on a Barb hunt. We had turned our basement into The Upside Down, dark with vines and webs and everything covered in black and a bubble blower going under blacklights to give it that weird snowfall effect.  We brought the kids down there two at a time, while the scary "LIGHTS OUT" Demogorgon theme blasted. After walking through massive webs and putting their hands through Demogorgon goo (warm, mushy, overcooked spaghetti) they would eventually find a corpse covered in slugs and bugs, with oversized Barb glasses. Suddenly, Sheriff Hopper would jump out of the shadows with a flashlight under his face, warning them to never tell ANYONE what they'd seen, and the kids all went screaming up the stairwell.

All in all, it was a fantastic birthday party that Evan will never forget, but the part that made Evan the happiest? When Shannon Purser (Barb) tweeted it!