Tag Archive: they call me jane

Boy, was I surprised the other day.

It wasn’t the dog displaying some new talent. But if he ever learns to tap dance I will certainly tell you.

It wasn’t a bag of money appearing in my bank account or a shiny new set of cabinets in my kitchen. Nor have I been at a Oprah taping to receive ‘stuff.’

The witty and wonderful Jeanne at Another Stir of the Spoon was awarded with the Stylish Blogger award. Those of us who head over there on a regular basis know it is totally deserved on Jeanne’s part. I can even look over the fact that she is a Packers fan. Do you even get a choice when you live in northeastern Wisconsin? I mean, what else is there to do up there beyond gawk at flora and fauna or cook? If I had Jeanne’s kitchen, I might cook all of the time as well.

I do not know who to give credit for this lovely image but here it is!

As I was reading through the winners – a lot of book people by the way – I suddenly noticed my name. Notes From Rumbly Cottage. She gave me the award and said many nice things about my blog!!!!! Woo-hoo.

The funny thing is the week before we were having a discussion in one of my posts about being freshly pressed. I was told that particular entry should have been featured for the day and it was a shame it was not. That is when I replied that I do not expect to get pressed – ever. From what people have told me it is a crap shoot at best although it is quite the ego boost when it happens.  Though I have written some funny pieces and some heavy emotional pieces that I think should have gotten pressed, it hasn’t happened. And I am not going to obsess about it – too much.

Now, onto the business of the award. The Stylish Blogger award requires the winner to 1) acknowledge and link to your nominator; 2)write seven things about yourself; 3)nominate six other worthy bloggers; and 4) inform those worthy bloggers of their award. 

Since No. 1 has been taken care of in such a grand style, let’s move on to the rest.

Seven Things You May or May Not Know About Me.

1. I am truly self-absorbed. The world does revolve around me and no one else. I am happy to share my universe with you.

2. One of my favorite books in the world is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I haven’t read it in a while which means I need to put that on my list of things to do.

3. I love to garden. I like getting my hands in the dirt and putting in new plants every year. However, I do not like formal gardens all that much.

4. I miss having a cat. My husband is a dog person and our current dog would not tolerate having a cat in the house. Someday, I will have a cat in the house again.

5. I make more spelling and grammar mistakes than anyone should. I have to force myself to read all of my posts  and comments in case I have typed too fast and left out an important ltter or to.

6. I grew up on a farm with a big red barn and a corn crib. We had chickens and a big garden. That farmland is now a subdivision that knocked out every little hill and the hedgerows.

7. If I work for you, I will work my ass off. I will try to come up with ideas to make things work better although I will have my days to be a total idiot as well. All I ask in return is to be treated decently and for you to act in an ethical manner so I do not have to bring it to your attention in case you do not.

Now for those who will receive a Stylish Blogger  award from me. This was really hard to do. I visit a number of good writers, some of whom have already received this kind of award. I also wanted to honor those whose pictures give me joy and inspiration on a regular basis.

1. Living Dilbert may have taken a break for a while but I have consistently laughed at her posts about outrageous behavior from her bad bosses. Two months ago, she escaped with her sense of humor firmly intact and has returned this week to the blogging scene. Just the header photo alone gives you a sense of the topic.

2. The one blog I share with my kids is Lego My Photo.  We love seeing what the Lego guys are up to every week and the kids wonder how they can create what this guy does. Gorilla on a bicycle, hiker building his dream house (with an outdoor grilling area), easy vader are just a few of the gems you have to check out.

3. When I need to be emotionally inspired I check out They Call Me Jane. Jane has never failed to uplift or put words to something I had been feeling and wanted to write about. Problem is, she does it before I do and much more succinctly.  I hate her, I love her, I hate her, I wish I wrote half as well.

4. Mia’s Country Living is done by a blogger in Norway. Mia has a homestead with farm animals and she spends a lot of time crafting. Her denim quilt inspired me to post my quilt. Her work inspires me to get out the fabric, especially blue and white which looks so crisp and clean. Her tiny home is un-naturally neat, something I look forward to having when my house is not filled with children.

5. Another inspiring crafter blog I like to visit is Terri’s Notebook. Whether it is a color project for class or taking time to use scraps to create quilt blocks that are used to make a purse, I am always fascinated by Terri’s color combinations. Plus, she likes to hike and garden, then show the pictures.

6. As I said before, I visit a number of good writers. I love them all but, obviously, I cannot list them all. Well, I do in my blog roll. But here and now my sixth and final Stylish Blogger award goes to Plane Janer’s Journey. Jane is the smart and funny and occasionally whacked out friend I have yet to acquire. I feel like I am listening to sage advice, an understanding of life that I have not yet attained with a dollop of good humor. I laugh, I cry and sometimes I really hate her for writing at such a higher level. But then she comes back with some smart-ass remark and I remember why I love her so.

Picture by Luis Rock 62

So please visit all of these wonderful people who do good work on a daily basis.  All have been informed and I hope making nominations of their own. After I get done reading my fellow award winners I am off to the award ceremony.

Jeanne, there had better be some Pinot Grigio and really good Wisconsin cheese on the hors d’oeuvre table. Perhaps, I will bring my triple chocolate pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. It is worth breaking every diet in the world.

Are you the bully or the bullied?

I know this topic has been big in the news lately. A father got on a bus to confront his child’s bully. A college kid committed suicide after being outed in the internet. Then a few more of these were reported.

I started seeing postings on this topic everywhere. I saw an excellent essay on this topic at They Call Me Jane. I watched the Ellen clip, read the Newsweek article about Phoebe Prince.

Book Cover from Barnes and Noble.com

Book Cover from Barnes and Noble.com

But before any of those events I had been reading 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult. It was a book chosen by my book group set in New Hampshire before, during and after a school shooting. The culprit is a 17-year-old boy who has been bullied since the moment he stepped on the school bus for kindergarten.

The situation doesn’t end, ever. Not when his parents try to bolster him, not when he develops one friend and another deserts him. He is the object the ‘cool’ kids choose to grind down into nothingness. Until one day he strikes back in the most terrifying way possible.

Our point of view comes from his mother, his former best friend, her mother and him. Occasionally, we hear from his brother,  father and a detective on the case as well as the lawyer for the boy.  For me, the most heartbreaking was that of his mother. She saw the problems but never did enough. It wasn’t until the event was over that she began to understand how bad it was and that even their own home was not welcoming to him.

I cried for a week after reading this book. I wondered if my kids went through or go through this stuff now. Why do I send them to school? Would I sit back and ‘let’ it happen to this degree?

You would think that once kids get to college that life would get better. But we have seen news stories that tell the truth. People still need to be bullies no matter how old they are. Worse yet, it can go viral with no place to hide.

What really bothered me most was the story in Newsweek that seemed to give the opinion that it is wrong to punish the bullies, especially in cases where the victim commits suicide. After all, the kids we are punishing are ‘good kids.’ They are smart, privileged and going to college. These will be future leaders.

I used to work for an adult bully; I worked for several. And I am willing to bet all of these people acted the same in high school and college. They were happy to pick on anyone who was different from them, be it talent or emotional sensitivity or sexual orientation.

I do not want these type of people to be leaders. Didn’t we see enough of this behavior during the Karl Rove era? This is a man who crafted political campaigns that called opponents who were military veterans, including a Vietnam prison camp prison survivor, unpatriotic and won those contests. This is a man who secretly outed a CIA operative to columnist Robert Novak because her husband dared speak out against President Bush and his policies.

Bullies do not stop being bullies just because they grow up and pretend to mature. They just use their tactics on the playing field to which they propel themselves. In some ways, high school never ends. Never!

So while I wring my hands and wonder what I would do, I applaud those parents who do something. I applaud that dad who got on the bus and had his special needs child identify her bullies. He lectured and yelled. He let those kids know that their behavior is stupid and hurtful and NOT OK.

I applaud a mother who posted on the Newsweek article about how she took it to the principal, then the superintendent and then the school board when her daughter was bullied and it would not stop. She kept a log and noted every phone call and every bullying incident. Finally, she sued the school district to get the bullying to stop. Her daughter called her a warrior mom.

The sad part about all of this is that after Columbine, we all vowed to stop bully behavior. Rules and laws were put in to place. Life was going to be better, we were going to find a Nirvana where peaceful co-existence would be the law of the land.

I am still waiting for that to happen. And if I want that to happen, I guess in my corner of the world, I have to make it happen.