Saturday, September 16, 2006

Poor Wyoming

Wyoming is so misunderstood.

I was born in Wyoming. I lived in that state until I started the seventh grade. I have countless friends and relatives still living there. It has a beauty that is like no other. Some of it is barren. You can see for miles and miles. There are antelope. Lots of antelope. There are beautiful mountains. The wind blows. And blows. And blows. I recently read that Cheyenne, not Chicago, is the real windiest city.

Why do I think Wyoming is misunderstood? Well, I decided to print out state maps for Thomas, because we still haven't done a "good" state study. I went to because it is a great website. Well, much to my dismay, I found their Wyoming state map. I didn't like what I saw.

Enchanted Learning's Wyoming map

Go ahead, take a second and look at my beautiful Wyoming.

So if you don't know anything about Wyoming, what would you think by looking at this map? That the entire state has mountains!


Here's a physical map of Wyoming.

See the difference?

Yes, Wyoming has mountains -- beautiful Mountains. But it also has "flat" land. Not flat like Kansas, but the type of land you can see for miles and miles. Desolate, barren, antelope-filled, wind-swept prairie land.

I googled some photos of the Wyoming I know:

photo one Does this look like a mountain? There are miles and miles of this!
photo two Ditto

site three: This site has a great selection of photos showing great mountains and the barren lands.

I'm just very picky. I decided to not use Enchanted Learning's maps. Wyoming isn't all mountains. I don't want Thomas thinking that it is. Well, he wouldn't, he's driven through eastern Wyoming many, many times. But...if their Wyoming map is incorrect, I wonder how many other states are? I only know a handful of states. I've been to many, but not like I know Wyoming, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.

I didn't bother checking any of the other state maps.

My beloved Wyoming was misunderstood and I didn't care to go further.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

CBS, 9-11 and Women Firefighters

I watched the CBS 9-11 special tonight. I was glued to the television. It was so, for lack of a better term, good. I cannot put into words my thoughts and feelings about it.

However, at the end of the program, when they showed photos of all the firefighters that died, something popped into my mind. All were men. Were there no women firefighters there that day? Obviously none died, but were there women?

I'm too tired to do much research, but I did find a website with a short article. It is about Lt. Brenda Berkman. So in answer to my question: Yes, there were women firefighters on the scene.

Here's the article.

I will probably be doing more research about this in upcoming days just to satisfy my own curiosity.

I remember when women were "allowed" to become firefighters way back when. The big question was always, "Do you want a man or a "weak" woman carrying you down a ladder from a burning building?" My answer then and now: Doesn't matter, I want someone that can do the job.

I remember the day of 9-11 well. I was severely deperssed. Thomas had just started kindergarten. He had the teacher from hell. That woman was a b*tch and I do think I could say that to her face, so I feel safe saying it here. She started in immediately. She treated Thomas like garbage. She was a parent's (and child's) nightmare. Eventually after Thomas lost all self-esteem and was depressed himself, we demanded a transfer and a new teacher. Took some time to convince my husband, sadly.

The morning of 9-11, I had decided to "pull myself up by the boot straps" and get on with life. I went to my cleaning group, logged into the chatroom to say hi to my friends. We used to chat for five minutes, then clean our houses for 25, then meet in the chatroom again. It was fun. I needed them that morning to get me out of my funk. Instead, I was informed that one plane had hit the towers. I logged out of the chatroom and was glued to the television for days to come.

I was miserably depressed that year. I had a son who was suffering, a husband who was burying his head in the sand, and I was as down as I had ever been in my life. I was scared and sickened from 9-11. I think the worst thing about 9-11 was there was nothing I could do to help.

What a difference five years makes. My heart still aches, as does everyone's. There just are no words. But life goes on and we honor those who lost their lives by living ours.

Tomorrow we will have a moment of silence. Tomorrow we will discuss 9-11. Tomorrow, and forever, we will remember.

my downfall

I stole candy from a baby today. Well, actually it wasn't candy, it was the last bag of chocolate chip muffins. Darn, they're good. Poor Thomas was saving the last bag for him, but I ate it. I didn't feel guilty, either.

I wonder why I'm fat -- 250 calories, 14 grams of fat in each mouth-watering bag containing 5 muffins. Argh. Each box has four bags of muffins. Cost is $3.29, or if we're lucky and catch a sale, two boxes for $5.

I don't buy these often because they're gone in a matter of hours. I can feel pounds of fat forming on my body -- my skin painfully stretching by just eating one bag. Okay, I am exaggerating, but I know these are killers for my weight-health.

I make great muffins. I have played around with standard muffin recipes quite a bit and ended up with a mean batch of oatmeal chocolate chip muffins. I also have the very-best-in-the-world bran muffin recipe. Both my concoctions are yummy, healthy, and low in fat -- but they just aren't Hostess Mini-Muffins.

So in terms only a 10-year-old can appreciate: I got the last bag, nanny-nanny poo-poo.

I'm so evil!

COMMENTS FROM THOMAS: What a terrible person to steal from their kid! Those were mine, I'm mad! I love mom anyway.