What I Do on a Rainy Day

CB108122 

(a.k.a. a response to a random writing prompt)

I like a rainy night even better than a rainy day, since it helps me sleep, and I don’t have to worry about going outside and getting wet. Lately, though, I’ve been doing a lot on rainy days. Here in North Carolina, the late summer storms snuck up on us, and we were unlucky enough to get caught in torrential downpours at the most inopportune moments, such as when we were walking into church a few weeks ago. That was a really long walk, and we got there looking like drowned rats. Cliché, I know.

I don’t like to drive on extremely rainy days either, but I try not to let anyone sense my anxiety in the car. Of course I’d much rather be at home in our driveway, teaching our son how to jump in puddles, and making sure he doesn’t try to eat any worms. He likes to watch the rain out the windows, and he doesn’t seem to mind getting wet outside.

As for me, I’d much rather be curled up with a book on a gray and rainy afternoon. Or watching a movie that I’ve been meaning to see. I think that I use the weather as an excuse not to do things, so that I don’t feel as guilty about wasting a non-sunny versus a sunny, beautiful day. Every day is precious, though, so maybe I’ll make more of an effort to truly enjoy even the soggiest of days. A little rain never hurt anyone.

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Can I rant for a minute?

Jon.

Kate.

Jon…

Kate…

JON!

KATE!

Who wants to hear any more about either of them?!?

Seriously. How much more of their family drama must we suffer through? I don’t even consider it family drama anymore. It’s just a hot mess of back-and-forth jabs, inflammatory headlines, and speculation. I bet the TLC execs are kicking themselves for letting what started as a wholesome family show turn into such a train wreck. But then again, ratings are ratings. I’m sure this topic has been covered from virtually every angle by gossip columnists, pop culture gurus, bloggers, social workers—and I consider myself a social worker so, no, I’m not mocking them. At this point, I’m not sure what I could even contribute to the conversation. But after reading yet another headline–there’s at least one new one daily–about what one of them allegedly did to the other, I just want to scream.

Are we supposed to choose a side? It’s like picking the lesser of two evils, so I guess we’re supposed to just munch on our popcorn and watch the “drama” continue to unfold. Their behavior should be offensive to anyone, but I think that they strike a particular nerve with regard to their children. Who, if anyone, is looking out for the best interests of their children? Now, we’ve seen those shows about “whatever happened to…” fill in the blank with a child star’s name, and the results weren’t always good. Children of celebrities and child celebrities themselves often have a rough time, we know that. But in this case, it’s not just that the Gosselin kids are constantly in the spotlight because of being filmed for their TV show; they’re also being damaged by the irrational behavior of their celebrity parents. A while back, before Jon and Kate’s marriage blew up, Kate’s sister-in-law constantly accused her of exploiting the children, and the show was a hot topic on mom blogs and parenting forums. I didn’t follow the chatter too closely. But the show went on and grew even more popular, at least in part due to the gossip, I’m sure.

Then the rumors of infidelity and a possible breakup started, and since then, the situation has spun out of control, so I’m just wondering who in their right mind still thinks that this show is a good idea? A TV Guide poll from Oct. 2nd asked if “Kate Plus 8” should be cancelled, and apparently 72% voted yes. See http://www.tvguide.com/News/Jon-Gosselin-TLC-1010402.aspx

That’s comforting, but it doesn’t mean it will happen anytime soon. I admit that it’s kind of fun to read other people’s comments about the whole fiasco. Hopefully TLC is reading as well, and realizing that a lot of people seem to be tired of the garbage that they’re showing. Oh, and Kate’s going to star in her own talk show? Ugh, I’m ready to cancel our cable service now. It’s been said before, but someone needs to step up and look out for the children. Rant over.

Happy October!

42-15584316 It’s a great time to enjoy the cooler weather and the bright autumn colors. I love the contrast of the red, orange, and yellow leaves against the Carolina blue sky. Even the grass is still bright green. Most of the month is nice, but towards the end the days get more gray and cold. At least we can look forward to Halloween. Every year I try to figure out how (or if) I want to celebrate. I can’t remember the last time I wore a costume, and most years we stay home and just hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters.

Now that I’m a mom, it’s fun to check out the cute Halloween costumes for kids, or to look for party ideas. So I investigated some of the top Halloween trends for 2009, just to see what’s out there for kids and grownups alike:

There are some great party ideas at  http://www.celebrations.com One popular buzzword these days is frugality, and this site has a cool section on “cheap and chic” party ideas. The idea I liked best was to stream Halloween-type music from Pandora (which I happen to be listening to as I type this). You could choose traditional Halloween party music (Monster Mash, anyone?) or something more contemporary and dark. I’d play a lot of The Cure! Cheap decorating is as simple as covering your furniture with white sheets, hanging fake cobwebs, tossing around a few leaves and dead flowers, and of course using a lot of candles for dramatic effect.

I’m also interested in “green” ideas, and this site mentions things like making homemade Halloween candy and other treats.  As far as the kids’ party ideas, I have to say that a lot of them were more on the chic side than cheap. One author cited a “small” party budget of $500. WHAT??  That’s not cheap in my world. Clearly the bulk of the budget was spent on the parents who attended the soiree with their toddlers, because I honestly don’t think that the 2-year-olds would have noticed if the party hadn’t been professionally catered. Oh wait, I just re-read the article, and the author’s based in L.A. Maybe that explains it.

Seems like, around here, families do Trick or Treating and that’s about it. I’ve never actually hosted my own Halloween party. What are the popular activities in your area? Adult parties? Kids’ parties? I’d love to get some ideas!