Watching Disney XD Channel Alllllllllllllllllll Day

I’m babysitting some awesome kids this week.  I’ve been babysitting them for the past eight years, so they’re not exactly little anymore, which makes watching them quite easy…hence the blogging.  They do get kind of bored, but they don’t like any of my ideas.  I’ve searched the internet, racked my brain, and nothing is good enough or desired by both kids.  Oh well.

 

 

This is a duck.  I don’t know what kind.  It lives at the zoo.  It is cute and maybe cuddly, but I couldn’t hug it so I don’t know.  It might be too tiny for it to really be cuddly for me.

I have a rotary cutter now.  I am borrowing it from my aunt, and she gave me some directions for quilting, so I will be starting cutting the squares soon, maybe even tonight.  That should be fun.

We are going to go rock climbing.  Just have to occupy them for another hour and a half.  I think I’m almost as bored as they are.

What to write now?  What would you like to read about? Hmmmmmm…

I think I will take some pictures of some arts and crafts and post them at some point, but I’m not doing that right now.

 

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Zoo and such

So this is a young orangutan at the zoo.  It’s cute and cuddly.  Well, I suppose I don’t know about the cuddly part, as it was behind glass.  But I can assume and pretend.

I went to the zoo with my family today.  We had a lot of fun and I took lots of pictures.  Like this:

That’s a turtle.  It’s cute but probably not very cuddly.

After the zoo, I bought some card making supplies and was going to buy a rotary cutter to cut my quilt squares, but I only had one coupon and the other store didn’t have a coupon, so I didn’t get the cutter today.  That’s okay; I’ll have plenty of time to make a quilt later.  I also got a new plastic storage drawer thing.  It’s teal and was on sale, so I liked it and bought it.

Now, it is dinner time.  I’m having what my grandma simply calls “hot dish” and cottage cheese.  I might have applesauce for dessert.

Guess I don’t have much else to say right now, just that little update.  Have a lovely day!

This is Bothersome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you read that?  It’s from Representative Akin’s senate race site.  The first sentence in the second section needs a semi-colon or other editing, but let’s not get into that.  At the beginning, it says, in reference to his comment about “legitimate” rape, that he made a mistake.  That’s fine.  Then, it says “…working to protect the most vulnerable in our society is one of my most important responsibilities,” seemingly still in reference to his rape comment.  So let me get this straight…people, especially women who can get pregnant, who get raped are the most vulnerable in society?  I’m sorry, but, most of the time, rape isn’t about being weak or the most vulnerable (unless women in general are just considered vulnerable, which is a problem in itself).  Rape is about power, the power the rapist wants to exert.  What, exactly, makes someone “the most vulnerable,” in need of Akin’s protection?

In looking for someone else’s response to this comment, I first came across this statement by Akin, in which he again refers to the most vulnerable in society.  Some excerpts:

  • “As a member of Congress, I believe that working to protect the most vulnerable in our society is one of my most important responsibilities, and that includes protecting both the unborn and victims of sexual assault.”
  • “the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year”
  •  “Democratic leaders in Washington who are focused on growing government”

Let’s first make it clear that I don’t really have anything against this man.  He simply provides good starting points for conversation, and I’m not going to let these comments go without my comment.

Oh, from another interview (here):  “even as a pro-lifer, I’ve always stood up for people that were the most vulnerable.”

Okay, so let’s take a brief look at some of these comments.  I’m not even sure where to start.  Well, I guess, lets start with the “thousands” of women who are raped and abused every year…more like hundreds of thousands, millions if you go global.  Approximately 2/3 sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim (for lack of a better word)…predators can be anyone.  Anyone can be abused.  Abuse is NOT a sign of weakness, and his comments (and those made by lots of other people) implying that it is really bother me.  Also, the democrats trying to grow government…at least they’re not trying to force the growth of unwanted babies in wombs they don’t own.  Yes, I realize that’s a bit of a polarizing and arguable statement, but I don’t really care.  There are undeniable facts that are being denied, and that bothers me.  If you would like some statistics, check out rainn.org

About the “vulnerable”:  that seems to put some of the blame on the victim…it’s like saying it’s the rabbit’s fault the eagle ate it because it’s vulnerable to the predator.  Again, rape is NOT the fault of the victim.  There is nothing someone does to make them vulnerable, or even worse, deserving.  Rape is most often committed in the victim’s home by someone who is not a stranger.  It’s not like most rapes are young women being stupid and walking alone down dark alleys in crappy neighborhoods at 3 am.  It’s date rape, it’s incest, it’s abusive relationships, it’s general predatory behavior and has nothing to do with the victim being “vulnerable.”  What does vulnerable mean?  It’s a state of being, a capability or susceptibility to being wounded, hurt, abused, etc.  How does one determine the “most vulnerable” people when it comes to matters like rape?  We are all capable of being harmed, and I find it offensive to imply that some people are innately more susceptible than others, weaker than others by some fault.  I’m sure this isn’t what these comments were meant to illicit or represent, but it’s worth thinking about because it is a far to common attitude in our society.

Flowers and Photos

I went to a garden park thing today and took some lovely pictures.  This is one of them.  Ta da!

What else shall I write about today?  Well, tomorrow I’m going to the zoo and taking more pictures, so that should be fun.

I also got some new crafty stuff, so I’m going to be crafty later today.  Tomorrow, after the zoo, I’m buying some more card making stuff and a rotary cutter, so then I’ll get started on quilting.

Actually, I think I’ll be crafty now, bloggy some other time.

Resources and Rededication

As I mentioned earlier, I got the book Quilting for Peace from the library.  It’s full of resources for people who want to quilt as a way of sharing their love with others.  This post comes in two parts:  resources for those of you (and me) who may be interested in crafting, particularly in activist or charitable ways; my rededication to and explanation of my hopes and dreams in this realm.

First, the resources, a very incomplete list of organizations and individuals, causes and complaints that can be served through arts and crafts (creating or purchasing).  I’m not sure how to organize the list, so I”m just going to start with some stuff from Quilting for Peace (by no means all the groups or ideas from the book, just some that have websites up) and then continue with other things I’ve found.  Maybe I’ll make it more organized later or something.  Mostly, use these as starting points for your own research and creativity.  Find local organizations to give to (shipping costs a lot), make sure you know about the credibility of a group before giving to them, and all that kind of stuff.

http://belovedquilts.blogspot.com/

http://heartstringsquiltproject.com/

http://homeofthebravequilts.com/

http://qovf.org/

http://andstillcounting.blogspot.com/

http://binkypatrol.org/

http://quiltsforkids.org/

http://newbornsinneed.com/

http://wraptheminlove.org/

http://firehousequilts.org/

http://morethanwarmth.org/

http://www.aidsquilt.org/

http://alzquilts.org/

http://blankettheglobe.net/

http://craftivism.com/definition.html

http://niadart.org/

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/04/14/150494837/revealing-the-revolting-beauty-of-food-waste?sc=fb&cc=fp

http://www.quilts4kids.com/

http://www.knit-a-square.com/

http://www.threadproject.com/asp/project.asp

http://made4aid.org/

http://www.warmheartswarmbabies.org/

http://www.operationteddybear.ca/about/

http://www.projectlinus.org/

http://lovequilts2macs.homestead.com/LQHomepage.html

http://www.carewear.org/

http://bags4darfur.blogspot.com/2008/04/some-time-ago-blogger-friend-of-mine.html

http://www.afghansforafghans.org/

http://www.asg.org/html/giving.html

http://www.angelsforhope.org/

http://www.bundlesoflove.org/

http://chemocaps.com/

http://addiandcassi.com/curecaps/

http://curechief.com/

http://www.thehugsproject.com/

http://loveletterscares.org/

http://www.hillcrestcf.org/crafting/

http://www.motherbearproject.org/

http://www.stitchesfromtheheart.org/

http://www.touchinglittlelives.org/mission.html

http://www.halfknits.com/

http://craftyarncouncil.com/?q=warmup.html

http://about.me/knitsforlife

http://pinkorca111.wordpress.com/about/

http://threadsofhope.com.ph/index.html

http://www.kids-with-cameras.org/home/

http://millionmandalasforpeace.blogspot.com/

http://quiltsbeyondborders.wordpress.com/about/

http://www.artbeyondboundaries.com/

Well, I suppose that’s enough for now.  If you find that some of the links aren’t helpful or whatever, let me know so I can fix them.  I’ll be adding more, too, just not right now.

Now for the rededication part, briefly for now.  For years, I have had a dream of starting an arts nonprofit, possibly internationally, possibly within the US, to bring art to kids who don’t get it because of poverty, etc. and use their art to raise awareness of their situations, and maybe even raise money to help them.  I want to do more than give people stuff (of course, this is very needed work, too, and work I participate in frequently); I want to serve kids and help them help their communities.  If you have any ideas, suggestions, contacts, etc. that may be even slightly helpful, as ill-defined as this plan is currently, I would really appreciate your input.  I’ll add more details later; I’m trying to come up with a plan and really decide what I want to do.

More on Stupid People

This is not a pleasant topic.  Nobody really wants to talk about rape, but it needs to happen.  Here’s a letter that hits on a lot of important issues within this topic, especially concerning the recent comments about “legitimate” rape and pregnancy.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eve-ensler/todd-akin-rape_b_1812930.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

I thought a good way to go about this discussion would be to focus on things that people, theoretically, can’t really disagree on.  Like definitions.  Who’s going to argue with Webster’s?  Well, yes, a lot of people, but it’s still a good place to start.  Alright, the archaic definition (emphasis added): To seize or take away by FORCE.  The definition we are talking about:  unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent.

Okay, so now we know what rape is.  There are people out there, people in positions of power, who do not think that this is rape.  How so?  I’m not sure, but introducing language to laws, etc. about “forcible” rape is 1) redundant and 2) a very poor but alarmingly successful way to get people to believe that some rape is less bad, perhaps, than others, that it isn’t even rape, that the person claiming rape is, basically, wrong, and that the government has no desire to help them.  Such language implies that people who experience rape are not to be believed, or at least not respected, because their rape might not be real enough or bad enough or forcible enough to be “legitimate” rape.  My question is, why are we trying to redefine rape?  I know it’s tied to abortion issues, but really people, come on.  Redefining rape does not make for fewer unwanted pregnancies.  Redefining rape does not make rape go away.  Redefining rape does not make people who have been raped feel any better.  Redefining rape is stupid.  Let’s take the energy, time, money, and thought we spend on discussing and trying to change these words and instead spend it on helping people.  Let’s try to help people who have been raped, not take away their dignity more.  Let’s enforce laws against rape.  Let’s teach our children to be respectful.  Let’s decrease rape (and the unwanted pregnancies it causes) not by redefining it but by taking action to stop it as much as we can.  Let’s use some common sense.

Crafting Peace?

I’m at the library today, and I picked up a book that I saw on Amazon, put on my wishlist, and then kind of didn’t think about again.  It’s Quilting for Peace:  Making the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time, by Katherine Bell.  I glanced through it, looked at the projects, read a few quotes, and decided I should probably check out this book and read it further. I have a week and a half left before I go back to school, and the gnawing desire to DO something hasn’t gone away.  I decided that I wanted to make a quilt, a small doll quilt to begin with, because I was inspired as a child by a book I saw on Reading Rainbow, and the desire to create a patchwork quilt of reused fabric squares has never left.  My original purpose for creating the quilt, since I don’t need it for my dolls, was to donate it to the camp I work at for their annual quilt auction.  The quilt auction is the largest fundraiser for camp, and I sincerely believe in the work camp does (otherwise I wouldn’t work there).  I really enjoy making arts and crafts with a point, generally to “help” people.  We could debate the meaning of help, if it’s worth it, who it really helps, if it’s dignified, etc., but I don’t feel like doing that right now.  That’s not the point (although it is an interesting point to discuss later).  The point is that people everywhere are in need and I can help them.  You can help them.  We can help them.  By doing so, we help ourselves.  Being creative is great, but creating with a purpose is what it’s all about, at least for me, and if that purpose can be something more important than grades, that’s awesome.  So back to books.  I already own Craft Hope, a great book with a variety of projects and charities highlighted.  There’s another thing we could talk about–charity.  What does it mean, is it the best solution, etc.  But we’re not going to talk about that right now, either.  The point is that, sometimes, a hand-crafted item can really help someone, whether it saves their life in a physical sense or just makes them a little happier for a while.

So what’s the point?  I’m not sure, to be honest.  I just felt like telling you all something about what I want to do.  This post is probably going to be a bit long and a bit more disorganized, but that doesn’t really matter.  *uses Focus Energy like a Pokemon* Okay, hopefully this makes some sense to someone.  If not, oh well.

First (not really, as there are two paragraphs already written, but whatever), some quotes I found in Quilting for Peace:

  • “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”–Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”–Anne Frank
  • “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”–Nelson Mandela
  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”–Margaret Mead

There is so much I could say about each of those quotes, and maybe I will later, but I’m trying to avoid tangents right now.  For the moment at least, let’s take them together:  basically, we, the human species, know the world can be improved. …So let’s do it.

At some point, maybe in a few minutes, I’m going to research and link to a few sites of groups that do crafty peace/hope/help things.  You may explore (or not) at your pleasure, and of course search for more.  I would be thrilled to learn of any you know about.

Oh look, I left the library and am now back to typing.  I think I feel like reading now, so I’m going to stop blogging for a bit, but I shall return.