Mixed Messaging and the war in Ukraine

As a former student of international affairs and politics I am closely following the horrific events unfolding in Ukraine.  I am appalled to see innocent Ukrainians being killed and wish for Russia to leave this wonderful nation, however unlikely that may be.  My question is: why isn’t anyone stopping Russia?  At the conclusion of World War II, numerous countries gathered to form the United Nations hoping to maintain international peace and security in the future.  They didn’t want to see history repeat itself.  So why won’t these U.N. countries enter this war to protect Ukraine?  The main reason seems to be that Russia is threatening to use nuclear weapons against anyone who interferes with their “special operation” in Ukraine.  While I realize the significance of this threat, I still don’t understand why we can’t do more to end this bloodshed, especially when the western countries seem to be standing up to Putin in other ways.   

To give a little background here, Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union before its dissolution in 1991.  When Vladimir Putin became the president of Russia, he set his sights on resurrecting the Russian empire. With that in mind, he formulated a plan to acquire Ukraine and believed the Ukrainians would be happy to come back.  Instead, Ukraine was enjoying its sovereignty and expressed interest in joining N.A.T.O. (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization). This idea angered Putin because he is threated by the west and doesn’t want another N.A.T.O. member in his backyard.  Therefore, on February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, shocking many countries around the world. 

At the beginning of this invasion, President Putin warned the world not to interfere with Russia’s affairs in Ukraine.  He threatened to use chemical and nuclear weapons if any nation imposed sanctions on his country, provided military aid to Ukrainians or gets directly involved in this war.  Despite his threats, world leaders responded with stiff sanctions on Russia and harsh words about Putin and his plans.  At the same time, these leaders refused to send troops to Ukraine. 

The U.S. and N.A.T.O. have said they aren’t sure where President Putin’s “red line” is in this war. In other words, they’re not sure how hard they can push him before he starts World War III. If that’s the case then why is President Biden calling Putin a “butcher” and “war criminal,” but won’t enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine like they asked.  I guess we can sling insults at Putin and impose economic sanctions on Russia, but we can’t get involved militarily.  My question is: if we’re so afraid of starting a nuclear war, then why do these world leaders consistently insult President Putin and take actions that directly contradict his wishes. 

President Biden isn’t the only one who is flexing his muscles at Russia.  The European leaders are doing the same thing.  For instance, they have imposed strict sanctions on Russia and are sending humanitarian and military aid to Ukrainians, but they won’t shoot down Russian aircraft who are bombing innocent civilians. 

There is a lot of mix messaging going on from both sides of this fight.  It seems like weekly we hear Putin threaten to use nukes on his opponents.  So far we haven’t found his “red line” in all of this, and Ukrainians are dying every day. Why not unite our forces around the world to defend a democracy that didn’t ask for any of this?

While I understand the hardships of any war and would never want to see President Putin use nuclear weapons on anyone, I still can’t digest the fact that the U.S. and other world leaders won’t use their military might to defeat the Russians and save Ukraine. How can so many countries stand by and watch an innocent democracy be obliterated for fear of starting another world war?  I thought we created the U.N. and N.A.T.O. to prevent such things from happening again.  The threat of a nuclear war with Russia is real and shouldn’t be taken lightly by any country, but does that mean from now on when any country threatens to use nuclear weapons we will just give them what they want?


It’s been a while

It’s been a while since I have written in my blog.  I have had a lot on my plate the last 2 years.  First, we decided to move across town and then the pandemic hit.  The move was difficult for my girls and they required a lot of attention.  Then we decided to keep them home instead of returning to school after Covid struck.   So, I didn’t have much time for my career.  That all changes now.

When we decided to move we did it mostly ourselves.  We had a realtor find our new house, but we managed the sale of our old one.  I don’t recommend this unless you have a lot of time on your hands and want to test your marriage.  The stress of wondering whether your house will sell or if you will find a new one is almost unimaginable.  I staged our house and took pictures.  This part was enjoyable, but showing the house ourselves wasn’t. The biggest stressor was deciding on the list price and negotiating with multiple bidders. Realtors really earn their commission at this stage of the game!  Once the house was sold and the moving date was settled the mental stress was over.  However, the emotional and physical pain had just begun.

We only moved across town, but this meant that my kids were changing schools.  It was extremely sad to leave the school my children had gone to for years.  The staff and our friends made us cry repeatedly with their well wishes.  This took a toll on my older daughter.  She was also entering a very emotional stage in her life: adolescence.  She didn’t want to leave the house she grew up in, the school she called home and all of her friends and neighbors.  As a mother I was truly concerned with how to help her through this terrible transition. 

In the middle of selling our house, saying goodbye to our beloved school family, and normal life (work, school, Sunday school and swim team) we also had to pack up our house of 13 years.  Who needs sleep, right?  When moving day finally arrived we hugged our awesome neighbors goodbye and waved at our house for the last time.  The girls cried all the way to our new house.  This made me question our decision to move in the first place. 

Once we cleaned and unpacked at the new house we soon realized that things were going to get better.  The only hurdle left was starting school.  My youngest daughter was fine because she doesn’t worry a lot and was excited to make new friends, but my older daughter was starting middle school.  She made friends and seemed to figure out the school very easily, but the homework in conjunction with swimming was too much for her.  She physically had a rough time and her age and emotions didn’t help the situation. Our days were filled with tears and our nights were sleepless.  I was committed to seeing her through this tough time. 

We persevered and the girls started getting used to their new home and schools.  That is until last March when the world shut down.  Luckily for them I was home and could help them manage the wide range of problems and issues.  First there was the internet, then it was how to do schoolwork without live instruction from a teacher.  I kicked into high gear and ordered books and school subscriptions online.  I was determined not to let my kids fall behind with their education. 

So from early 2019 until now I took on the jobs of realtor, mover, housekeeper, interior decorator, gardener, teacher and mental health professional.  This was in addition to my usual job titles of wife, mother, chauffeur, cook and life coordinator.  I love being there for my family, but that was a lot to handle.  Now it’s my time.   My kids have learned to be more responsible for themselves and our house is more or less settled. 

Do you know what an empath is?


three peple having conversation on table near wall
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As a kid my mom always told me that I was too nice and people were going to hurt and disappoint me.  I agreed with her, but never truly understood what she meant.  She would say that I give a lot of myself to others, but will not always get that in return: enter the disappointment.  It wasn’t until just recently that I realized what I am: an empath.

In simple terms an empath is someone who feels other peoples’ emotions and can put themselves in someone else’s shoes.  Empaths are very intuitive and caring and nurturing, which can lead to others taking advantage of them.

I really am a person who cares about others.  I’ll listen to the lonely person at the grocery store who may need someone to talk to or a funny old lady who spilled coffee on herself and needs help cleaning it up.  When I see someone in a difficult position or in pain, I will go out of my way to think of how I can help them.  I would want someone to do the same for me.

For instance, I will listen to a friend talk about their difficult family member and how they are wrecking their life.  I will offer to help in any way I can, but sometimes people just need someone to listen to them bitch.  I know I do!  Most people today will listen to your story for a minute, and then they’re too busy to continue.  Instead I try to focus on their thoughts for as long as I can and then I’ll check on that person weekly to make sure they have recovered from their painful situation. I don’t think I’m wonderful just because I was there for you, but I think it’s rare to find people like me who truly care.

On the flip side of things, I do get angry when some people won’t extend me the same courtesy.  I’m not kind to others just to get kindness in return or for praise, but sometimes it would be nice to have people care about me in the same way.  For instance, I make it a point to say hi to people wherever I go and I especially seek out my friends and acquaintances in group settings.  I’m always hurt and amazed at how people will just leave a place and not say hi or bye.  They know you’re there, but they can’t be bothered to stop their conversation or move through a crowd to see you.  I know they aren’t trying to be hurtful, but they just don’t care enough to inconvenience themselves.

Empaths also can have their energy sucked from them very easily and can have mood swings depending on the people they are around.  I unfortunately hear a lot of sad medical stories from my husband because of his job.  I have had to ask him to stop telling me about these injured or sick people that he works with because I physically hurt when others suffer and I can’t fix it.  I like being a fixer, but sometimes there’s nothing I can do to help people.  On the contrary, I am elated when I’m around my friends and family and there is a lot of good happening.  Every time I leave my great group of friends I am on cloud 9 the rest of the day.  Nothing can make me down or blue and I feel ever so grateful to have them in my life.

So I guess what I’m saying is that I finally understand what my mom was saying to me when I was little.  I’m an empath and I’m proud of that quality, even if it does cause me pain sometimes.  Are you an empath or know someone who is?  Look it up sometime.  It’s a word that you don’t hear much about.

Some parents really annoy me

boy in white shirt and black track pants
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I was watching a movie the other night, I won’t tell you which one, and it got me thinking about how important it is to be a good parent.  The movie wasn’t about parenthood, but there was a scene that moved me.  Sometimes people don’t realize how their actions can tremendously affect their children in the long term.  So I want to talk about how important it is to think about what’s best for our children now and in the future.  Anyone can have a child, but it takes a lot to be a good parent.  You have to think about how your everyday actions can affect your child.  Now I’m not saying you have to be perfect, but shouldn’t you want to do the very best job you can.

In this movie, the scenes would flash between the present and past.  We got a good look at the son of the main character as an adult and child.  From the beginning of the movie you could tell that this character (the son) was not right and had a lot of anger toward his father.  As the movie unfolds we find out that the father would drag the son away from his mother while she worked in their home office.  The kid wanted to be with his mother, but the father prohibited the son from even giving her a quick hug.  The mother just sat there and didn’t stand up to her husband.

As I saw this, all I could think about was how heartless they both were for not just explaining to the young child that his mom needed to work and that he could give her a quick hug and then let her get back to it.  It turns out that the father was raising the kids while the mother was hard at work in the home office.  All he cared about was the mother getting her work done.  Did they honestly think the kid wouldn’t be affected by this?  Did they not realize that depriving a child of attention might make him resent them later?  Why are people so clueless?

I think the parents should’ve allowed the son to see his mother for brief periods throughout the day instead of keeping him away from her.  He didn’t understand why he couldn’t see her.  He was just a little boy.  The father could’ve been more understanding of his son’s anger and shown him some compassion too.  Also, I wish the mother had fought a little harder for her son’s sake.  All she seemed to care about was pleasing her husband.  So their short term actions (dragging the child away from his mother) greatly affected this boy.  He grew up to be very insecure and had so much anger towards his father.  He couldn’t move past his strong feelings and therefore had a terrible relationship with him.  This might have been avoided if they had given him some attention and explained things to him when he was young.

In my opinion, parents don’t often take the time to put themselves in the child’s shoes.  Wouldn’t you want someone to take the time to talk to you about why things are happening?  I know I would.  I’ve worked with a lot of kids over the years and taken some child psychology classes.  Children just want what we all want: love and respect.

I try to think about my actions on a daily basis.  I think about what’s best for my kids now and what’s best for them down the road.  I don’t think a lot of people realize that.  You can’t just stick your kids in front of tablets and devices because you can’t handle them.  You need to teach them how to follow rules, communicate with others and be a good person.  Isn’t our long term goal as parents to raise healthy, happy, independent and successful adults?


Going back to work after being a stay at home parent can be rough

So I’ve decided it’s time to reenter the workforce after being home with my kids for 10 years.  My children are getting older and I miss using my brain to make money.  There will always be work to do around the house and my kids will continue to need me, but I want to have something that is just mine.  So with that in mind I’m trying to put my resume together.  Now if you read my bio you already know that I’ve worked in many different fields, but the one that is going to help me the most right now is my recruiting experience.  I used to be the one who scrutinized resumes for a living.  Now I’m facing the daunting task of creating mine for the first time in 10 years.  Yikes!

We used to look negatively upon women who stayed home with their children and supposedly lost their work skills.  Well I say let’s change that.  Just because I have worked at home doesn’t mean I can’t hack it in the workplace.  I had a career for 8 years before I started a family and I didn’t have to manage as much stress and workload as I did when I was home with my kids.  So let me just tell you, future employers, why you would be lucky to have me or any mom or dad like me!

I am a great multitasker and can hustle.  Can you listen to two kids talk at once while making a great meal from scratch?  Can you do laundry and clean dishes while keeping kids safe in the house all day?  Can you help with homework, prepare snacks and chauffeur them around to their activities with all the necessary items they need for the day? I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m really good at keeping all of these things in check.  My kids are happy and healthy and doing well in life, my husband goes to work every day and does his thing and my house is usually very clean.  I still manage to go out with my friends, have play dates, see family and host parties.  The reason things are going well in my household is because I give 110% and I’m very good at planning and organizing everything.  I’m constantly learning new ways to make our house function more efficiently so we can enjoy life.

Once I have completed my resume I just hope employers will give it a once over.  I know I can jump right back into the work world, but I have to dazzle them to even be considered for a job.  It’s a shame that hiring managers still might think this way.  I hope this stigma changes soon.

I’d love to hear your thought on this post.  Please share any relevant stories or advice!


juggling mom

Sad to see the holidays end???


berry branch christmas christmas balls
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I always feel so rushed and stressed before the holidays that I don’t get to thoroughly enjoy all of the decorations my family puts up.  After we celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve I always insist that we lay under the Christmas tree a few more times before we take it all down.  My family gets sad, just like me, when we have to put it all away until next year.

How many of you out there are sad to take your decorations down too?  I know some people love to get it over with and go back to normal.

Why is it that we can cure some cancers but we can’t eliminate toenail and fingernail fungus?


This may seem like a weird topic to you, but someone in my family has had toenail fungus for the better part of a decade.  We have tried everything and talked to every doctor, nurse and skin specialist: nothing works.  It’s very frustrating.  People who don’t understand what fungus does to nails think it’s just cosmetic.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  When you have it in your toes your nail bed is raised and this causes pain.  It also continues to spread from nail to nail.  Now if you stub your toe, you’re in for a world of hurt.  The toenail splits or just comes off and the blood pools up under what’s left of your toenail.  This injury can last for weeks and sometimes you need the doctor to treat it.

The other part of this fungus that baffles me is that some people get it and others don’t.  What makes some people susceptible to it and other people can share a shower with a person and not get it?  It’s so strange.  More and more people are getting this fungus in their toenails and nails. I know so many people affected by it.

We have come so far with cancer research and scientists have found cures for some cancers.  Don’t you think they should be able to get rid of a silly fungus? Different types of fungi have existed in this world for a long time.  What makes this toenail/fingernail fungus so hard to destroy?  We have to find its kryptonite!

What would you do if you won the lottery?

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This week someone won $1.6 billion with a single mega millions ticket.  How incredible!!!  What could you possibly do with all of that money?  Well the other night while lying in bed I thought about it.  I’ll tell you the specifics, but I’d love to hear what you would do with your winnings.

First, I would get a financial planner and attorney and then I would pay off my debt and put tons away for retirement and college funds.  Always do the boring, responsible stuff first then have some fun.  For fun I would buy a new house in my current location and one in California, Hawaii and the French Riviera.  I would enjoy decorating every inch of these houses with beautiful things, like a huge lap pool.  Next, I would go car shopping.  Where is the nearest Porsche dealer?  How about we throw some travel in there!  I think a lengthy trip to Hawaii with a long layover in California sounds nice, don’t you?  After recovering from that trip I think I would head to Europe for a month.  I’ve always wanted to sample their food and wine and see all the beautiful sites in each country.

Next, I would show up at each family member’s house with a fat check.  I’d love to see their faces when they get it.  Also, I would definitely have to buy tons of toys for my kids and nieces and nephews.  It would be like playing Santa for a day.  How fun!!!!

Finally, I have always wanted to open a center for the homeless.  My facility would be totally secure thanks to armed guards and metal detectors.  We would have food, shelter, clothing and many other services.  For instance, I would love to have doctors, nurses, nutritionists, psychiatrists and social workers to help people get back on their feet.  We could also provide recruiters and vocational specialists to help people get jobs they could keep.  I would form relationships with local schools to help people get an education, if needed, and have realtors locate homes they can afford.

My center for the homeless would be colorful and bright.  I could see myself planting a vegetable garden.  Our crops could be used to make meals for our residents.  We would have flowers and fountains everywhere.  It would be a bright and cheery place where people could feel happy and safe.  My facility would be totally free and open to all who need it.  I could really make a difference in the lives of many.  Then maybe I could teach other people how to duplicate my vision.

What would you do if you won the big bucks?  Please share in the comment section below.

What makes a good parent?


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After 20 years of caring for children and observing their behaviors I have formed many opinions on how to be a good parent and what not to do.  I am and always will be an advocate for children and I get really steamed when I see parents mistreating or neglecting a child.  It’s not easy to be a good parent, but I think it’s the most important job a person will ever have.

I truly believe every child needs love, stability and discipline in their daily lives.  Kids need to be hugged and nurtured, but they also need rules and schedules to help them cope with the stresses in life.  Without discipline kids develop bad behaviors which make school and friendships very difficult.  For instance, when I was little my friend’s sister was a brat.  Every time we tried to play together the sister would scream if she didn’t get her way.  My friend and I would try to ditch her every chance we got.  If parents spoil their kids and don’t teach them how to deal with disappointment then no one wants to be around them.  Do you want your kid to grow up alone with no friends or relationships?

A good parent can admit that they don’t know everything and need help from others.  It definitely takes a village to raise a child.  I don’t know how I would’ve survived getting my babies on a sleep schedule if it weren’t for books and my mother listening to me cry every day on the phone.  I thought my kids would never learn to nap.  Also a good parent can see that their child isn’t perfect and needs help.  I’m so sick of seeing kids behave wildly and know that they’re not getting the help they need.  Too many parents are in denial about their kids’ actions and don’t want to put their foot down and say “no” or take them to a doctor or therapist to find out why they are behaving in such a way that’s unacceptable in school and society.

Sometimes I don’t think parents realize the short term versus the long term when it comes to raising their children.  If today you teach them to be kind to others then they grow up happier because they think beyond themselves and give to others and our world.  If you don’t teach them right and wrong and discipline them for unacceptable behaviors today, then they grow up having trouble in school, can’t get or keep a job and possibly end up in jail.  Children need parents or guardians who guide them daily on their journey in life.  They need parents who will teach them how to survive and be successful in this world.

In my opinion, hugging your child and praising them daily while still enforcing the rules and setting expectations for them is the best way to raise a caring, independent, likable child.  Isn’t our goal as parents to raise our kids to be successful in life?  By this I mean able to function as an adult separate from us and having loving relationships in their lives that make them feel fulfilled all the while hopefully making a positive impact on our world??  There are some people that just shouldn’t be parents.  I wish more people would realize that about themselves instead of having kids and being a crappy parent.