School Lunches Aren’t What They Used To Be

2015-04-16-school-lunch-virginiaThis photo is causing all the rage in the eastern part of the U.S. this week and the rage is rapidly making its away around the world wide web.  The photo this unnamed mother snapped of her child’s school lunch is shocking the public, but I’m not one bit surprised.  Last year I contemplated a school lunch piece after having lunch with my daughter for her birthday.  Her lunch consisted of Pizza sticks, marinara sauce, tater tots, and an orange.  The vegetable was a wilted salad so I can understand why my daughter and the majority of other students were passing it over and the alternative to the pizza sticks (chunks of dough with a mystery cheese baked in the middle) was chicken nuggets.  And God only knows what was in that formed breaded meat mush.

Anywho, I was appalled. If you ever seen my cooking, you’ll know I take my kids nutrition seriously.  My desire was to get into the school kitchen and start taking pictures. When asked I for outright access, my calls were ignored.  And the woman that I befriended to gain undercover access was just so nice that I couldn’t report on something that could cause her to lose her job.  So I tabled the idea and pretty soon life interfered with the blog and the idea grew cold.

Oh but then I came across this news story today and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk about it.  This school in Portsmouth described this meal on the menu in a manner in which parents reading the menu at home wouldn’t have a clue to the fact that what you see in the picture is what you’re actually getting.  According to the original story at WAVY.com this is what was on the menu for the day this meal was served:

Spicy Cajun Fish w/Brown Rice

Cold Cut Turkey Sub (w/g)

Assorted Chef Salad (Croutons & Crackers)

Steamed Carrots & Side Salad

Fresh Orange or Canned Fruit

1% & Skim Milk

That’s one creative writer they have working over there at the Portsmouth School District.  I wonder if I could get a job doing the same thing.  Here, let me try:

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Farm Fresh Lightly Breaded Fish Strips

Toasted Multi-Grain Artisan Bread w/ aged Vermont Cheddar Cheese

Fruit Salad (Assembly Optional)

2% and Whole Milk

Bottle Water

It only took me five minutes to put this mock plate together and STILL it looks more appetizing than what’s being served in Portsmouth, V.A.   When the Portsmouth Public School District was questioned by the staff at WAVY.com about photo of the school lunch the following statement was released from Food Service Coordinator Jim Gehlhoff:

“We appreciate this parent’s concern about the presentation of this school lunch. Poor lighting and food presentation make this lunch unappealing. Other lunch options on the day this photo was taken included a chef’s salad and turkey sub sandwiches. The meal in this photo and other meals served by Portsmouth Public Schools meet nutritional and USDA requirements. The presentation of the meal pictured concerns us and we plan to address presentation of food items in a training session with all cafeteria managers. Our goal is to provide healthy food options that students will want to eat. We will take actions to ensure that presentation is addressed.”

Well, I’ll say this.  It’s not your food presentation, and it sure as hell a’int your lighting.  It’s the crap you’re putting on the tray.  And I don’t know what disturbs me more, the fact that this is approved by the government or the fact that the school systems in this country are so broke that they can’t even fake the front of a healthy meal.  I’ve seen poorer countries do it, there’s no excuse.  We’ve got to do better.

Read the Original Story Here 

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Parents of Free Range Kids Pushing the Limits

635646095001839113-free-range-parentsI have a firm belief that the entity known as Child Protective Services is nothing more than a government funded bully organization that poses a false front in order to infiltrate families and divide them for financial gain.  But this post is not about them.  This post about when we as a society need to step back and allow parents to parent.  It is one thing to voice your opinion about a particular parenting style, but it’s a whole different monster when you’re invading their homes and forcing them to illegally sign documentation that forces them to follow your advice.

Protecting children is more than being aware of a child that’s possibly in harm’s way.  It’s also about understanding cultural diversity and respecting the boundaries of individual parenting styles.  When we see something that could possibly endanger a child as a society we have to speak up.  While we can’t control the discipline techniques of parents, we can make alternative suggestions at appropriate times.  The situation in Maryland is tricky because while I don’t agree with the practice of the Meitiv’s, I will jump to defend their situation because of my firm belief that parenting techniques are unique to the individual family unit and because of the individuality of the children cannot be universal. Meaning one parenting style doesn’t fit all.  Every mother and father should be allowed to raise their children in a manner that is comfortable for them and their children unless this practice places the child in immediate danger.

In this particular situation many parents are saying that the Meitiv’s are placing their children in immediate danger by allowing them to walk around town unsupervised.  But are they really?  It all boils down to the terminology of immediate danger and possible danger.  Most parents take the extra step to prevent terrible things from happening to their children.  An example would be rather than just teaching our children to look both ways before crossing the street; we hold their hands and cross the street with them.  Delving into this topic will take us down a hundred different side streets, but to stay focused on the main topic the Meitiv’s only placed their children in possible danger by allowing them to walk around unsupervised.  Not immediate danger.  After all, the police intervened twice; no harm came to the children, and there’s no telling how many times the children have done this in the past with no complications.

I can understand the innocent value they were trying to instill in their kids by giving them this autonomous freedom.  It would be a beautiful thing if they have raised perfect geniuses with this technique but I can’t seem to overlook the fact that they sent these children out into the world with a false sense of security and no contingency plan if something went wrong. I’m not saying that something will go wrong, but proactivity saves lives.  Why didn’t the 10 year old have a cell phone?  Why had the children not been advised as to what to do if approached by the police a second time?

After this second incident the world is saying, “Two blocks isn’t a mile Mrs. Meitiv’s but that’s still two blocks unattended.” and, “Although the son is older, what if someone tried to take his little sister?  He wouldn’t be able to fend them off and then he’d be scarred for life because he couldn’t save her.”  Yes.  The Meitiv’s put their children in “possible danger” and these are just some of the possibilities that may not have been thought through before sending their children out into the city.  Not the country side.  Not the suburbs.  The city.

Lenora Skenazy, author and blogger believes that the instances of these possibilities happen less than we are led by mass media to believe, and as a result our fear of these possibilities have become irrational.  I can agree with her about that.  I live in a relatively safe neighborhood and finally after four months I let my seven year old and her six year old sister ride their bikes to a friend’s house one block over.  However, before this big step, the anxiety I experienced when I would perform my 15 minute visual check and couldn’t see them near the yard must have aged me 10 years. Skenazy claimed in an interview for reason.tv that the crime rate today is comparable to the crime rate in 1963, and it makes me wonder where she lives.  Children are dying every day on streets of Chicago, but the media is not reporting that.  While I support the idea of Free Range Kids, the concept has to be practiced in conjunction with common sense.  What if one of the Meitiv’s children was hit by a car? The other child would have to spring into action to find their parents and be at the mercy of the strangers around them. I allow my kids to ride their bike to their friend’s.  But I have that friends name and parental information and they have mine.  I grew up Free Range, but someone always knew where I was, and they always knew how to contact my mother.  This doesn’t work well in today’s society because other people children are seen as “not other people’s problem”.  So rather than invest a few moments in a child’s life to ensure that they are ok, they’d rather call the authorities and put into motion the highest form of legal protocol that could possible destroy that child’s life.  But the media doesn’t’ push the pure fact of that possibility either.  It’s not a crime to subject your children to these possibilities.  The Meitiv’s have a legal leg to stand on there.  But it should be a crime to send your children out into the world without the proper preparations and information.  I’m not here to convict them of any crime, I just want to be real and let them know that they’re playing with fire.  And I’m not trying to tell them to teach their children to be afraid of the world around them.  Just teach them to be aware. There are ways to promote autonomy in your children that would prepare them for apocalyptic events but at the same time wouldn’t put them at “possible” risk for harm.

My advice for this family would be to continue with their beliefs but while in the Matrix, follow the Matrix rules.  This second offense is only going to show them as being defiant.  Fighting Child Protective Services is like a David and Goliath battle.  If you’re bold enough and you feel strong enough to fight them, fight them.  Just know that as a government entity they are a force to be reckoned with.  Unless your child dies in their custody, your case is pretty much blown off. Even when they are wrong they will use the excuse that just allowing the possibility of something going wrong to arise makes you guilty of neglect.  If they want to charge with child abuse because your child choked on a hot dog that you didn’t cut up, they can.  And they will most likely win.  Why?  Because children are involved and judges always err on the side of the child.  The Meitiv’s stance for freedom is valiant, but most likely in vain, and in the end the children will pay the price.

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He Tore Up His Allowance Money

11119711_10155417350310585_5920146361119048066_nSo I was cruising Facebook (Big Surprise) and I came across this shared photo you see featured here and the caption below read:

A child ripped up their allowance because it wasn’t the amount his mom Said she would give him. She walked out her room and saw this. What would you do? Not how you would feel, but what exactly would you do if this was your child’s behavior?

I’ve been catching a little, not a lot, of flack about my stance on spanking.  I’m still sticking to my guns here about the issue because there are just times in parenting where spanking is not only called for, but down right needed.  I have five kids under my belt with ten years between the oldest and the second.  I’ve made my mistakes, and now I’m correcting them.

However it’s important to understand that not every offensive action performed by your child requires corporal punishment as a form of behavioral correction and modification.  Some actions present themselves with teachable moments that go way beyond the offense.  Teachable moments that will not only build character, but help your children learn to become a part of a working society.

Here was my suggestion:

This child would spend every ounce of free time he had taping that money back together and then I would force him to hand it over towards the electric bill that month showing him the bill amount, teaching him to calculate it, and just how little his five dollars really contributes. And THEN for six months his allowance would continue going to the electric bill. This way, like the rest of us bill paying citizens, the next time that Mofo got an allowance he would appreciate it.

Giving children money without teaching them the value of a dollar could set them up for failure in the working world and will set them back a few times if they aren’t fast learners.  My children ask for money all the time for various things.  If it’s not a necessity, I say no.  When they ask why, I tell them they haven’t earned it.  When they ask how they can earn it, I assign them a job with the difficulty based upon what they are asking for.  Sometimes I even go the extra mile of having job shortages, so they can know what it feels like to want something and be unable to make the money for it.  If done within reason, it’s a great teaching tool for parents.  But it’s not for everyone.

What would you guys suggest?

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Stephen King Plays The Ultimate April Fools’ Joke on TWD Fans

4422358-midnight_swim__daryl_dixon_x_reader__by_musicmaniac427-d6t1v5yThis morning someone posted on my Facebook page that Daryl Dixon would get the ax in the season 6 premier of The Walking Dead in October.  “Pure Blasphemy!!!!”  I said, and started digging to find the truth.  When she told me that Stephen King said it, I was floored.  When I checked his official website and found the statement under is News Page, my heart stopped.  I started to think about life without The Walking Dead, and if I could even ever watch again.  Oh, yeah, and about to the two “other” major characters demise that he spoke of as well.  Then I looked at the date above the news post.  April 1, 2015.  And I also remember Mr. King Rick Rolling people last year for April Fool’s Day.  Good one Mr. King, you got me.  Good one.

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Sister Wives Divorce: “Meri, you have my sympathy.”

sister-wives-season-finale-divorceSo here recently I had been joking about having a sister wife with a dear friend of mine, and after the conversation I started to give it further thought.  If you know me, then you know my further thoughts tend to get derailed and end up in some dark and dank ravines, however this time I was slightly enlightened.  I was a big fan of HBO’s show Big Love, which caused me to take an interest into plural marriages.  Watching the show I became attached to the characters as anyone does in art that interests them and I was able to connect on a psychological level with them as I better understood the ideas of their storylines.  Follow me here.  HBO’s big love did for plural marriages what photo shop does for the fashion industry.  It provided an illusion to both the beauty and the horror underneath the subject line.  I think Kody Brown thought he could pull off the same illusion with the reality television show, “Sister Wives” however his script just isn’t strong enough to get the audience to buy it.

The whole plural marriage idea has left me fascinated for years. While there are disadvantages for both sexes, the advantages become almost desirable the more I think about it.  I practically requested the advantages after the birth of my third child in a broken marriage and up to my elbows in toddlers and housework.  I’ll be honest.  I was tired of having sex with my husband because he was no help and added to list of chores rather than take away from it, I was overwhelmed with house duties and responsibilities, I was sleep deprived to the point mental instability, and no one visited me so I was lonely.  Had it not been for Facebook, my story today might be on the side of tragedy rather than triumph.  So to get to my point, yes I could have used a sister wife.  Someone to live in the home and share my wifely and motherly duties and I do the same in return for her. And since we know men are happy when their sexual needs are met, this would have made a husband happy enough to go out and work to provide for his growing family.

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You don’t even have to say it.  I know this was the “Big Love” illusion of plural marriage that I was seeing, but part of me hoped that it was true.  Then “Sister Wives” aired and I saw what being the first wife really is when I saw Meri Brown in her first interview.  Even if plural marriages are the accepted norm of your culture, there are still psychological characteristics of human behavior that makes this act a struggle for all individuals involved.  (Especially the children)  So when rumors started surfacing that Meri was asking for divorce, I saw the pattern emerge when I saw the age of her child.  And in this case, I believe that as the other children all grow and leave the house, the pattern of the mother separating herself from the chaos will continue. These women with the exception of Robyn, are still in the marriage for their children.  They are no longer in it for the love and affection of Kody.  They are doing what they have to do to survive.  Have you seen their houses???  I see other women bash these sister wives because they “allow” their husband to sleep with other women and I think it’s unfair.  You don’t know what you’d do until you are in that position.  When your greatest fear is not being able to take care of your children you will consider selling your soul to make sure that you do.  These women haven’t made a deal with the devil, but they made a lifestyle choice that helped them survive some of the darkest days of their lives.  And who are we to judge?  I support plural marriage if women are conscientious and educated on the choice they are making and that the man they marry is of sound mind and capable of taking on more than one wife.  (None of that Pimp shit)  I’m happy to see Meri legally free from her ties to Kody.  It will be interesting to see if she will stay out of loyalty or  take her money, sell her house, and keep walking out of necessity.

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Angie Stone Follows Through On Every Momma’s Promise To Knock Teeth Out

hqdefault (1)You’ve seen the pictures and read the headlines, but have you gone through the comments?  Well, if you do you might be surprised to find out that most people are supporting Angie’s parenting methods of her 30 year old daughter that is living on her dime and allowing her kids to run amok in her home.  I can’t say that if my grown ass child punched me in the face after I told her to clean up after herself and kids in my house I wouldn’t have busted her in the face and knocked a few teeth loose either.

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My question about the scandal is this:  Why is there no bruising?  Were her teeth about to fall out anyway?  Good strong teeth don’t just break and if you hit someone hard enough to break their “good” teeth, then there’s going to be a good deal of swelling and bruising.  I see none in this photo, and I think there’s more to the story than we’re getting at the moment.  I’ll keep watching to see how it unfolds.  Until then, Hang in there Angie!

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Brace Yourselves Parents: SnapChat is DOWN

snapchatTake shelter, your teen is about to get moodier.  The popular SnapChat is currently experiencing an outage.  Let’s hope they get this up and running again soon because now Twitter is starting to buzz.  My poor teenage daughter can’t go 20 mins without recording video of herself so I have the commitment papers prepared and waiting by the front door.  It’ll all blow over…right?

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