You Thought it was Just Baby Shaking…

I read this whole thing in email. I don’t know how or why it was sent to me. I don’t have children. But, as I was reading it I had the thought… why don’t car manufacturers just have a setting which keeps the car from overheating inside? They have many other safety features for children/ parents. It would also save all those pets left in cars.

There are all sorts of stories that are almost identical to Brenda’s, all over the world. They are all incidents in which tired, busy or overwhelmed parents simply forgot to take their kid to a babysitter, or into the house after being out, and they were left to die in hot cars.

Each year in the US, about 37 babies and toddlers die when they are accidentally left strapped in car safety seats or become trapped in vehicles that rapidly heat up.
Since 1998, there have been at least 570 documented cases of heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles.

It has become my mission to speak the message of being a “conscious” parent. I now appear in articles, blogs and the like discussing top tips for mums to slow down and stop being “rushing women”.

Here are some of my top tips to prevent accidents like this:

Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.
If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle, call 000.
Be sure all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don’t overlook sleeping babies.
Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices. If a child is missing, always check a pool first, then the car, including the trunk.
Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and when the child is in the seat, place the stuffed animal in the front seat with the driver. Or, place your purse or briefcase in the back seat so that you will have to look in the back to retrieve it, thereby seeing your child.
Make “look before you leave” a routine whenever you get out of the car. I see some stores has a sign on its entrance that reminds shoppers to be sure that they have all their children out of the car before they go in the store.
Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up to daycare

Where the Wild Things Are: A Pagan Celebration

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, September, 22, 2003.

Tomorrow is the Autumn Equinox. I should be doing something, celebrating the changing seasons. But I’m not. I’ll be at work from 9:00am till 8:30 at night. By the time I’m done I will be too tired to drive myself home. But, I have to do that so I’ll manage somehow. Times like that I’m so glad it’s the car that does all the work!

Anyway, real life does interfere with how Wiccan or Pagan we would like to be. That’s ok, it’s reality. If I was to skip work and the big meeting after work, that would be living in some unreal imaginary world of my own creation. I have to work to make money to pay for my car, my rent and the clothes I wear while I do all those other things. Now and then I even treat myself to a new book, a fancy coffee or a day of window shopping.

It’s ok to live in the real world. It’s ok to miss a Pagan celebration. It would be nicer to not miss it. But, really as long as I’m alive and still on this planet I’m not missing a thing. As I drive I’ll be looking at the darkened forest I drive through on the way home. I’ll be watching for deer and foxes who sometimes show up along the roadside in the evenings. I’ll be listening to the sounds of the night as I drive with the windows down to let in all that cool night air and the scent of crisp Autumn leaves.

You may not light candles, perform rituals or chant pretty rhymes but that doesn’t mean you’re not celebrating along with the rest of the world. It’s what you have in your heart, mind and soul that matters, even if you only express it to yourself. You don’t have to prove how Pagan you are to anyone but you.

Show Us Your Debt! | xoJane

SHOW US YOUR DEBT! We’re Coming Clean About What We Owe and Why | xoJane.

My comment on the post:

I had to drop out of college when I couldn’t afford to finish my last semester. I was renting an apartment and sub-renting to another student. When she decided to move out I was sunk. Could not pay all the rent myself. Put stuff on a credit card and I still have a bad credit rating – even though my own checks on it say I have nothing bad. That was over 10 years ago. I wish I had been able to finish college, Corporate Communications. But, here I am. I keep my head above water and my only current debt is a department store credit card which was over $2000 but this tax season I used my refunds to pay it off, mostly. So, I’m mostly debt free but I don’t have a car or anything much to show for it. I wonder if it’s better to have the debt than to not have the debt?

The View from my Front Door Today

This morning I heard a police siren and ignored it. We hear them now and then as they head to some location in our small city. We live in the almost suburbs, a quiet area with four elementary schools on the same street I live on. Traffic is limited to 40K through the school area and only goes up to 60K farther along. This street has young families and older couples with empty nests. It’s not the street for turning up 20-something young women dead in a dumpster.

I wish I could talk to my Grandfather. He thinks the way I do, he doesn’t judge people too easily and he thinks well of everyone, expects people are basically good and care about each other. I’ve had some cynicism creep in over the years but, essentially, I still think the same way too.

My Mother is assuming the young woman was troubled, the type to be out drinking and screwing around. I don’t assume anything about her and I don’t feel like judging her or making any decisions/ predictions about who she was. I’m mostly angry, deeply, tremendously angry. I’m so angry I’m trying not to think about any of it too much.

I wish I could ask my Grandfather what he thinks about the world today, the “war against women”, the type of lives young women lead these days, the type of lives young men lead these days. I wish my Grandfather could tell me what he thinks. But he’s been dead a long time now. Cancer. So he can’t tell me a thing.

I don’t want to think about the women in my family, our experiences with violence against women. My own, personal experience. My sister who was raped and saved from being murdered and having her body dumped somewhere only because someone heard a noise and came to check. My sister has four children now, two of them are daughters. What will their future be like? In our family (my Mother, myself and two sisters) only one of us has escaped violence or predatory experiences by men. Not a great statistic for my sister’s two daughters. It’s not wondering which of them will be molested, raped or worse. It’s wondering if both of them will and will one of them be killed.

Like the girl, the young woman, in the dumpster today. Just three or four houses up from my house. I watched the police car parked to block the street all day. They left after 8:00PM. It was a long day to leave a car running with lights flashing. I wonder how they keep the battery from dying.

I don’t want to think too much more about it tonight.

Car Boot Sale

I’d never heard the term “car boot sale” before. I knew the boot was the trunk of the car, in the UK.

Car boot/trunk sales or boot/trunk fairs are a mainly British form of market in which private individuals come together to sell household and garden goods.

We have farmer’s markets here. Similar but not quite the same. This would be like having your garage sale at the farmer’s market.