Ladyrebecca's Musings and Ramblings

The Increasingly Political Thoughts of Rebecca (Becky) Walker

I love my car November 16, 2009

Filed under: Anecdotal,germany,Reviews — Addicted to Yarn @ 11:29 am
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Last summer, my husband bought me a car. Yes, we discussed it before hand but, recognizing his superior knowledge and intuition regarding automobiles, he had the final say. And I am, oh, so glad he did.

Last Saturday dawned as the four days before it had–gray, cloudy, foggy, dreary, depressing, oppressively depressing, gray, blah, foggy. Get the point? Jael and I had a lunch date with some friends so continuing to hide out in the house was not an option. We got into my Volvo V70, with the five-cylinder turbo-charged diesel and five-speed manual transmission, and headed for the base.

Volvo V70, turbo-charged, five-cylinder diesel

2000 Volvo V70

While I detest weather such as we had that day, my car loves it. Never does the Volvo sound happier, shift smoother, and purr more contentedly than when the weather is crushing my soul. This is a good thing, as I absolutely LOVE driving the Volvo when it sounds like that and it has an enormous effect on my mood.

From the deep growl of low RPM’s to the throaty purr of high RPM’s (assisted by the turbo), the car wants to fly down the road. Only on foggy, dreary days do I have a hard time keeping it under 100 (kilometers per mile, about 60) on the way to base. On foggy, dreary days, I find myself flying along at 110-120 kph. As a ticket would NOT help my mood, I am constantly having to break the rhythm of the car’s song.

But even with the speed limit cramping my style, I arrived at the post office/meeting place with a happy heart. My morning funk had been completely dissipated by the joy of driving such an incredible machine. Better than Prozac.


Aaaaahhhhh February 28, 2008

You know, it is just amazing to me what a good night’s sleep will do. Life is so much more handleable today. We are supposed to have “abundant sunshine” today so we should be able to play at the park after Story Time. Tuesday was raining, last Thursday was raining and we were sick the Tuesday before that and the Thursday before that our friends weren’t able to stay and play. So, after three weeks of trying, Brodie and Jael and Isaac might actually get to play at the park together.

I am so glad that we have decided to home school Jael. Brodie just turned two. Isaac is about a year and a half. Jael can play fine with them. There is a little girl at play group who is a year older than Jael and she can play just fine with her. We went to one of Israel’s co-worker’s son’s birthday party a week ago and she played fine with the six and seven year olds. Yay for not being peer stratified!

I read an article last night about a teacher who has been verbally abusing the children in her class, calling them stupid and mean and threatening them. One of her students came to class with a tape recorder in her backpack. The student’s mother had put it there because she was concerned that the teacher might not be acting in an all together healthy manner. The mom’s fears were not unfounded. When presented with this information, the school board admitted that they’d had to discipline this teacher the year before for slapping a four-year old child. The discipline consisted of, get a load of this, one day suspension without pay.


A whole day with no pay! You mean, she took a day off and didn’t get paid for it? The horror!

Seriously though, there are a ton of problems with this situation. I’m going to start with the slapping because if that had been handled correctly, this second story wouldn’t have happened. The teacher should have been ordered to attend intesive thearapy and if she was unwilling than she should have been fired. My husband and I believe physical punishment has a place in a parent’s discipline regime. However, we don’t slap her. Slapping is a reaction and not discipline. We don’t ever spank her when we are angry. We don’t discipline based on how we feel about her behavior. We discipline because she has disobeyed and must be taught that there are consequences to disobedience. Slapping is reactive and is not thought out. So, not only was the teacher disciplining in a way reserved only for the child’s parents (corporal punishment), she was doing it badly.

Four year olds should not be in school. I’m an ardent supporter of homeschooling and we’ve started some with our four year old but only as much as she’s enthusiastic about. We’re considering not starting formal education with her until she’s about eight based on research showing that kids who don’t start formal schooling until 8 but are allowed to explore their world and learn through play, catch up with their conventionally schooled peers within six to twelve months. The “late starters” have better social and creative skills than their more heavily schooled peers.

Then you have the yelling at kids. What makes someone think this is okay? I mean, yeah, maybe your parents were verbally abusive but why would that make you think it’s okay to speak to other people’s kids that way? Don’t they cover the proper way to speak to kids and control behavior issues as a part of the “becoming a teacher schooling”? If that isn’t covered, than why in the hell are the masses letting these people spend eight hours a day to “professionally” teach their kids?

My husband has worked on cars since he was about eight years old. He worked as a Ford mechanic for about a year and has much experience working on a variety of cars in his personal time. He’s fond of saying, when presented with a car problem he’d not encountered before, “Why send my car to the dealership to have them screw it up when I can screw it up at home for free?” I ask the same thing about school. “Why send my kids away all day to be screwed up by a stranger when I can do it at home?” And of course, hopefully avoid some of the screwing up.

After ranting about strangers for a bit, I am feeling downright happy.

And I just cleaned off all (well most anyway) of the horizontal surfaces in my house (well, kitchen at least). I also swept the kitchen and vacuumed the house. No, I’m not manic. Israel asked me to clean the house today. A totally reasonable request but one I resented anyway. Until I got started and then it was so nice to have clean surfaces and a clean floor that I didn’t mind being reminded of my wifely duties.

Jael and I are off to Story Time.

Until next time…


WAAA! February 27, 2008

The darkness lurks always under the surface. Maybe for a moment a smile graces my face or a laugh crosses my lips but it’s a moment and then the crushing weight of the dark again presses against me. It’s less when I hold my loved ones close to me. When I lament that no one loves me and my daughter proclaims, “Some one does. ME!” and runs into my arms, I am for a moment spared from dwelling on the emptiness of the void. But she quickly tires of lying in my arms and as she runs into the next room, apathy washes over me anew. When my husband holds me close to his strong chest, the darkness is still there. The tears press against my eyes, held back by some unseen force but there is some comfort in his embrace.

Why so dark? I don’t know. I want to blame it on this place. This fetid, rotting sand bar we’ve been sentenced to but I don’t like to blame my problems on circumstance. Although, this place does leave much to be desired. Not only is there nothing to do, there’s no one to do it with. We’ve no friends that we can just call up and say, hey, we’re bored. Come over. I’d go for a walk but there’s nowhere to go and nothing to see. A walk should be a quiet, reflective time. It’s hard to be reflective with the constant drone of traffic and generators and construction equipment and ignorant people flapping their yaps.

I worked out today. The workout felt great. Really, really great. Unfortunately everyone else in the gym felt it necessary to talk nonstop. No one really talked much to me, which was fine but I was unable to ignore their constant drivel. “American Idol.” “The Biggest Loser.” “Lost.” “Dancing With the Stars.” “The Super Bowl.” blah blah blah. Who the hell cares?

The American College of Gynecology made a statement about “The Business of Being Born” and said, basically, that homebirth is dangerous and anyone attempting it is putting the process of giving birth above a healthy baby. BULLSHIT!!! They are lying! Your baby is LESS likely to die or have complication if you plan a homebirth under the care of a certified midwife, even if you end up transferring to the hospital. YOU are LESS likely to have major surgery (c-sections are major surgery, people), to die, or to suffer from serious complication if you plan a homebirth under the care of a licensed midwife, again, even if you end up transferring. I know why they said what they said. It doesn’t make me mad that they said it. They think they are doing the right thing and the right thing happens to make them a butt load of money. It makes me mad that people believe them.

I talked to a gal today who is heading to Germany in the next couple of weeks. Her husband has just graduated from tech school. They are 19 and 20. She had her first baby when she was 16 years old and her second when she was 18. They have worked hard to be responsible. They are really excited about going to Germany. I’m excited for them. She seemed like a really nice girl but she was so afraid. She was afraid her daughter would fall. Her daughter found a bent spoon at a park. She assumed someone had been doing drugs there and never went back. I understand being cautious. I mean, we don’t leave Jael with just anybody. Family is about it. We don’t trust the federal government to raise her so we are homeschooling. I am afraid of what she would become if she thought that the average military family were normal and healthy and so we moved out of military housing.

I don’t know. I’m just rambling. These periods of depression pass but they aren’t fun while they are here. I just wish we had more friends. I miss Dianna. I miss James. I miss Travis and Christy. I miss my sister and my mom. I miss my brothers and my dad. I miss Sarah. I miss having people who we could just drop in on and who could just drop in on us. But we’ve not found that here.

Luckily, I know that this too will pass. Hopefully I’ll have happier news to report next blog.