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Ok, That’s it, I’m Out… 

Ok Republicans, that’s it, I’m OUT.

I am breaking up with you. It’s not me, it’s you. I was never really a full fledged member in the first place…

  
I grew up a Democrat, then became a Reagan Democrat, then became an independent contractor and then the first time I looked at THAT tax return I became a conservative.

Sort of. 

Anyway, for your party to let a dude with a bad spray tan, horrendous comb over, who’s on his third wife, who starred in a reality show with Gary Busey and Nene Leakes  and then went bankrupt multiple times to win these primaries and you can not bring anyone decent to the prom is ridiculous. 

Cruz? Hello that guy was definitely given swirlies in middle school.

  
Rubio? Napoleon complex. A little bratty.

Carson? Who needs Ambien  when you’ve got him-I mean for the most part he will bore our enemies to death so there’s that. 

Kasich? Who?

Jeb? You let him get to you – big mistake, BIG big mistake.

Christie? First of all , fire the doc that did your gastric bypass- really shitty job in my opinion…

It’s gotten so expensive and so contentious and so awful to run for the big house in this country none of the good people will do it. Your ego needs to be the size of Texas to run or Trump Tower. 

So Big Don, if you build that wall you know your golf courses and landscaping at your homes and businesses is gonna start looking pretty shitty. 

And I’d like to see you bully Putin. That ought to work out REALLY well for us. 

And do you have ANY idea how they will decorate the White House? It will make Kanye look likes he lives in Restoration Hardware. 

I used to be worried about your party and my uterus. I was becoming worried about your marriage and religious stances. But this guy? 

  
Now I know the GOP has lost its collective mind and obviously does NOT have the cohesiveness to put up a decent candidate. I mean Sarah Palin, really? 

I should have known then. 

Big Don is seriously messing with you. If you don’t think by November the party will be in shambles I have news for you. 

Republicans, Please PLEASE get some cojones- get him OUT. 

So I am done. I’m still a moderate. But I’m going to take my vote somewhere I’m treated like the somewhat educated person I am. 

American Idol.

My Celebrity Boyfriend is Gilbert Gottfried…

fb

My hippie name is Flower.

My subconscious personality is German.

Can I pass a basic math test? (level 2nd grade)

I am 95% funny.

My real occupation should be therapist.

I know all the correct answers to the language quiz.

My spirit animal is orangutan.

My Disney Villain is Ursula.

My Disney Character is Goofy (natch)

The state I should live in is Texas.

My celebrity boyfriend is Gilbert Gottfried.

The house I should live in is Haunted…

Is this what Facebook has been reduced to? Quizzes, memes, quotes, and selfies?

I was looking at my news feed this weekend and out of 1244 friends, I bet only about 20 of them post consistently. It seems to have gotten quieter out there on the old book of faces and actually I have been as well. There are only so many pithy things I can think of saying on a given day. And I TRY not to post a cute cat video or some video that will make me ugly cry and ruin my Botox.

Are people actually getting their lives back???

Well, I did see a post from a friend who NEVER posts unless the fam is in Vegas with freekin CHANNING TATUM. (rant over)

But it seems like some of us are getting a little bored with social media. I know my Twitter participation is way down. I do love Instagram but mostly put fancy enhanced iPhone photos on there. I actually read a book last week.

A real book. Like one with pages and everything.

And that’s another thing. I don’t do Kindles. I have the app, I had a nook, but I found that I actually like turning real pages. I like to be able to skip forward back to figure out what’s going on. And I found that when I am on Kindle on my iPad, if I get to a boring part of a novel, all of a sudden I see that Facebook button and press there. Then Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. And by the time that happens I have lost interest and need to do some laundry.

Speaking of which, I’m thinking my quiet Facebook friends have cleaner homes that me.

But I got US Expert on the US History quiz.

 

How about you-are you on social media more or less?

 

When did Thank You Become a Thing of the Past?

I like your daughter. But you, my dear, are an asshat.

Why, you say?

The past 2 weeks my teen had one of her best friends who moved to another state stay with us for 2 weeks. A lovely young lady with manners and a quiet persona, I truly enjoyed her company and so did my daughter.

I also fed her, traipsed the two of them around town, and cleaned up after them.

Her mother came to pick her up last Sunday morning at 9am. Texted her daughter from the street to say she was waiting on her. Did she come in to my home and thank me? Did she text me or acknowledge that we were even present in our house during her daughter’s visit? Did she even text me to say that they were alive and back in their city?

 

No. No and No.

When my daughter started spending the nights out I always went to the home of the lucky friend and introduced myself to the parent. When she was in middle and high school, if she was going to someone’s house I didn’t know, I did the same thing-much to her major eye-rolling.

I was constantly shocked at how many of her girlfriends were dropped off at my home where the parent didn’t check to see if we were home, or to meet me if I didn’t know them. In this day and age, how can you just drop off a girl at someone’s home without checking to see if the dad is a pedophile or the parents are outright wacko?

I had one mom act like I was helicopter mom when I dropped my teen off at her home for a sleepover. I didn’t know her. She acted offended. She was taking them for a sleepover at the local Marriott that had an indoor pool. Which, by the way, is an idiotic idea for a birthday party in the 8th grade with 8 fourteen year old girls. I just wanted to know that she had this under control. I didn’t actually ask that but did ask if she had help and wasn’t doing this by herself. She assured me she was fine.

Right.

The next day my teen comes home. In tears. First, they stayed up all night and one of the girls texted some boys that they were at the hotel. They showed up after 2 am. Big brother brought them. Hotel Security was involved.

Then, most of them, including my daughter, thought it would be a good idea to take diet pills so they could stay awake all night. She took 5.

Can you say furious? I called this mother and never heard a word from her. She was in charge. Or, really, she wasn’t. I wanted the straight story. Never got it.

I learned a lesson that night.

Now when 18 goes to people’s homes or has dates and our rule still stands. If we don’t know him, he must pick her up, and come in the house or she doesn’t go.

Our house, our rules. Deal with it.

And if my kid EVER spends more than 2 or 3 days at your home and enjoys your hospitality, you can bet she will WRITE you a thank you note, and I will make sure I thank you as well.

Pass the Perfume and Bring Me a Fan

hiherspotty
@flickr

This weekend I found out that I am getting to the age where going to the bathroom in a clean restroom is a right, not a privilege. You would think that since the porta potty was invented in 1962 by George Harding that it would have come a longer way in 60 plus years.

But it hasn’t.

Initially this device was invented for people who built and worked on ships-because finding a place to shit on a ship closer to the area you worked in was a necessity. Designed on the outhouse concept, ship workers were having to leave and walk all the way back to the docks to go drop the kids off at the pool. Made of wood and metal at first, they found that they were smelly.

OH REALLY???

So in the 1970’s they were made of fiberglass. They are still smelly. But on the flip side (ok, porta potty joke inserted here heh heh) they are lighter and easier to transport. And clean. The cleaning part is selective at events. Some do every day, some wait till the end.

Obviously where I was this weekend, they waited till the end.

Now I know us gals are for equal rights and all that but I am sorry, I just CAN’T go in a plastic crapper right after a 300 lb guy with tats, a Big Gulp and an ‘I’m with Stupid’ shirt on comes rambling out the door.

RattlesnakeWarning1
@Flickr

I. Just. Can’t.

At the end of the day, I’m still a delicate southern belle with (some) manners and a personal hygiene fetish. Showers are important to my mental and physical health. And so are clean hands.

And clean hienie.

astrodiaper
@Amazon

I consider it the lowest depths of hell to go in a plastic box with an open toilet in 86 degree heat to get some relief. I’d rather wear astronaut diapers to an event than go in one of those things again.

I participated in an antique festival this weekend and besides the slow sales, me and the girls all around me were laughing AND complaining about the relief stations. I swear, we would have paid a dollar a poop to go in an air-conditioned, clean women’s room if they had it. Because in reality the people who make the most money at these things are the guy selling the funnel cakes, corn dogs and water at two bucks a bottle. Which is why they need these things.

I’m sensing a business here. Can you see me, in a pink trailer with ladies rooms, air conditioning, working sinks, fans-at a dollar a drop? I’m going to call it The Princess Pooper and am going on Shark Tank for funding.

Don’t steal my idea. I know lawyers.

So please Festival people, concert promoters, party planners, and all, at least can you DESIGNATE the chick shitter???? Would it kill you? Could the Porta Potty makers make pink potties with fans for goodness sakes?

Just until I get my funding.

You’re invited to my launch party. Bring a fan.

FUN FACT: The world record for the most porta potties assembled at one time occurred in 2009. During the inauguration of President Barack Obama, 5,000 porta potties were rented for the attendees of the event.

Oh those crazy Democrats…

I only need 12 MORE LIKES on my Facebook page right up there to the right to get to 2000-LIKE Forever 51 and I promise to keep us both entertained.

10 Things To Not Do Yourself

It really makes me crazy when I am either shopping with someone or I am manning my booth at the antique market and someone says, “Oh, I can make that MYSELF!”

Yeah sugar, you just go ahead and try that whydontcha. . .

And BC can also be the WORST about saying this, especially when it comes to the yard.

poolboy1
A girl can dream…

In my wildest of dreams I have a pool boy, a landscaper, a gardener and a yard man. A whole slew of he-men trimming and making my Barbie Dream House Garden come true. In my hood, most people have yard services and for the first 16 years we lived here we consistently violated the covenants by doing our own yard. And BC grew up in a household where his weekly duty was cutting their 1 acre yard thick with St Augustine grass that he had to use the push mower on for years.

It gives him major acid flashbacks. So when he did ours, he always came in with the ‘itches’.

I’m allergic to this, I’m allergic to that. When I cut that bush down I broke out in hives. Wahhh Wahhh Wahhh.

Never mind the fact that he just had to have that $1500 mower to make our grass perfect. Oh, and that makes him cough and sneeze constantly too.

So about a year ago, I convinced him to give it up and hire a yard service.

Saved the marriage. And got the HOA off our pine straw-less backs.

So for all of you who have friends, or family members that always say, “I can do that cheaper myself,” I give you

10 Things To NOT Do Yourself:

1. Heart Transplant
2. Cremation
3. Root Canal
4. Septic Tank Cleaning
5. Defend Yourself in Court
6. Breast Augmentation
7. Asbestos Removal
8. Hair Plugs
9. Build Your Own Swimming Pool (I swear he ALMOST tried this)
10. Lasix Eye Surgery

Cremation Update - 375
You’re a hot piece of ash…

I love my yard guys, even if they are portly and muddy. Cheaper than marriage counseling.

STEEL Magnolias???

Glock 9mm
Glock 9mm

I shot a Glock and I LIKED it…

I am NOT a die-hard right-wing nut job.

I am NOT a huge proponent of weapons.

I do believe there should be SANE gun control.

I do not LIKE loud noises.

I have all of my teeth and I do have a CUTE pickup truck. Without a gun rack.

Monday is Ladies Day at our new local gun range. Ladies shoot free! Show up there and just check out who is pulling the trigger like no tomorrow: the tennis team captain, the soccer mom, even the gals from the Bridge club in the neighborhood.

Seriously.

BC (the ball and chain hubby) took me for the first time a couple of months ago. I had been resisting this whole ordeal because, frankly, the whole gun thing skeeeeeeers me.  I never grew up around them, they kill and maim people, and I knew nothing about them. And I liked not knowing about them. My bubble is fine thankyouverymuch.

But over time, being married to a military man who collects these things (and safely keeps them in a huge safe locked away for eternity) I was talked in to going ‘at least once’ to at the very minimum, learn and try. So off we went to Ladies Day. Because, you know, if I didn’t like it, at least BC didn’t have to pay for it.

Off we went. Got in that truck, cranked some ZZ Top, and went around the corner in suburbia to the range that’s right beside the local grocery and ballet studio. What an oxymoron.

This new range is very luxurious, leather couches, a flat screen ,viewing area, and quiet. BC handed me some ear muff thingies and in we went. There were a couple of people in there shooting some scary rifles. It was loud even through my ear protectors but kind of muffled. I wanted to turn around and rum screaming from this place. It smelled like gunpowder and metal (duh). BC set me up with a small .22 pistol to try first. He showed me how to hold it, how to load it and all the safety parts. He set up the target down the way and had me cock the pistol (heh heh I said cock) and then aim at the target. My heart racing, I pulled the trigger. Pop! Missed the center but hit the edge! And it wasn’t really that loud.

Now that wasn’t so bad.

After I got a little more courageous he brought out the 9mm Glock. This is a well-known gun, expensive, kinda sleek and pretty, has quite a kick to it, and is LOUD.

The trigger was waaaay harder to pull than the .22 that was for sure. and it didn’t pop-it went BOOM! That was a Depends moment for me.

But completely empowering.

Then I was done. All of about 15 minutes. BC and the 18-year-old then proceeded to bring out the big stuff and shoot some more. I went to the lobby area to enjoy the leather seating and relax. He cleaned up, packed every thing up and we headed home.

What is with the tacky shirts? BC and 18 on a hunting trip
What is with the tacky shirts? BC and 18 on a hunting trip

I then found out that the gals in the local Bridge group (average age 60’s) go to the same place on Mondays as well. These are the girls with the Blue Willow china, the convertibles, and attend their churches every Sunday. And the tennis girls. Saw one on Facebook the other day posed with an AR rifle (holy God I am NOT going to do that) shooting away at the range. And cute skeet shooters that are my daughter’s age.

garden-and-gun-3My favorite magazine is Garden and Gun. There are some cute leather bags with hidden gun compartments in them, there are pink guns, and skeet shooting is oh so royal sounding.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to get all armed up and nut jobby. It’s important if your significant other has firearms to learn about them, learn gun safety, and insist they be locked up. I was psycho momma for years before this making sure all were hidden well (ammo and guns separately) locked up and untouchable by me and any kids. And believe me, BC did a very good job with that. And I am still psycho mom about it, even though now I know more than I did a couple of years ago.

The reason the Bridge group goes is because they wanted to learn how to protect themselves if they end up living alone. Makes a lot of sense. Many of my divorced and single girlfriends are learning to protect themselves as well. And I think that is really important.

And the empowerment part, well, I’m not gonna go out and be all Charlie’s Angels, but I do think, given the circumstance, at least I won’t be afraid to  protect myself. Because if anyone is going to steal my designer knock off bag, harass my family, or break in to my home, they’d better be prepared-it WILL get ugly.

So, okay, it’s not a trip to the mall, which I much prefer. But I’ll go again.

As long as they start making cuter accessories for us girls. Just saying…

 

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Before You Bring Them Home…Our Rescue Stories

bubbameme
This is Bubba. He loves the insides of pillows….

You’ve seen the posts. You’ve quickly changed the channel when the first lines of “In the arms of an angel…” start playing. You avoid going to Petsmart on weekends so as not to see their faces in those crates, looking for their furrever home.

This family has adopted over 4 canine rescues and 4 feline. Or, rather, this girl and her daughter with the word maternal need tattooed on our foreheads.

I have seen many of my friends and neighbors posting and thinking about rescues this month and I want to tell you our stories, and give you some guidance on these animals. Because, once you make a commitment, you need to honor it with your best intentions. Because it is HARD. None of these rescues have been easy.

Our experiences vary, and we have had to re-home two of our dogs.

And I will be honest. Because you know that’s how I roll.

BC and I grew up in households with animals, but not rescues. In the 60s and 70s that just wasn’t the thing. We both grew up with puppies bought from breeders, BC had an Irish Wolfhound (in the Florida heat, naturally) that I still think he loved more than any of the things I’ve brought home in the 25 years of our marriage, including me. I mean, he has a pewter plate with her photo on it. Still, in his office.

My family brought home poodles and Cocker Spaniels (before they got psycho) and one chocolate poodle we called Chipper that came from an Italian deli in New Jersey. Of course, he was the best and ended up with our maid in Newark. That is another story of my family with animals, but I digress.

Katie and Scraps
Katie and Scraps

A year in to our marriage, I fell in love with Jack Russells. This was before they got popular. I ended up with a bat-eared runt of a JR and we named him Scraps and he was by far the best dog we have ever had. Over time, as puppies became commodities in pet stores and breeders got greedy the amount of abandoned, abused and neglected animals have risen in our country. Therefore our humane societies, pounds and rescue organizations have become overwhelmed with these animals.

Our first rescue was a female Jack Russell named Cookie. What a cutie! 8 months old, black and white, looking like an Oreo and full of life. We added her to our then brood of two other male JRTs. Within a couple of days, she became intensely bonded to our daughter, then 8. Which was fine, except, there wasn’t a friend of hers that this dog didn’t do a sneak attack on and bite on the butt or upper thigh. It was weird. You couldn’t predict when it was going to happen. We took her to training classes. We did everything they said. We kept her outside when someone came to the door because she would go berserk when the doorbell rang. She became increasingly dominant over our senior Scraps and harassed him constantly (see, the female always seeks out the weaker, even in the dog world). We had to make a decision. She was becoming a liability. So after a careful search and process, we adopted her out to an older couple with no animals. Best decision ever. It was a hard one, and I felt terrible breaking that commitment to her but it was the right thing for her and our family.

Kiwi
Kiwi

Our next was a tuxedo kitten Katie named Kiwi. He was, by far, the coolest cat in the hood. Easy going and very talkative, he was the master of his domain, but ruled quietly. Then came a kitten Katie found in the Kohl’s parking lot and Simba joined the household. They both gave the Jack Russell’s wide berth and were easy. Except that they wanted to live outside. And after time, both split for various reasons that we don’t know and I was done with indoor/outdoor cats.

Rosie
Rosie

In 2006, and  a weak moment on a Golden Retriever rescue sight I spotted this adorable 6 month old huge white fluff ball that was a Great Pyrenees. We drove an hour south to a neighborhood near the airport and picked up this 50 pound, drooling, scared sweet girl and brought her home. The rescue said that she had been in an apartment and that the owners had no idea she would grow so fast and turned her in. But after getting home and reading the veterinary report from when she was turned in, it looked more like she was from a puppy mill situation. Mainly because we crated her in one of those big nice metal crates when we left the house and when we got home it was just about completely destroyed by a panicked 50 pound skinny Pyrenees. I have found that these organizations aren’t always totally honest when you ask them where they got the dog. And this has been across the board. They are well-meaning folks but I think if they gave you the real story sometimes you would run screaming in the other direction.

Rosie was smart, easy, loving and trustworthy but it took her at the very minimum 6 months to finally let down and become herself. At which point we found out that she was an incessant barker. Not at the doorbell, but at just about EVERY thing else in the world. I knew this breed barked but holy god was this unreal. I read where someone said that a Great Pyrenees would bark at a butterfly fart. They were right. After four years and antagonizing our neighbors, BC had a high school friend with 5 acres in northern Florida that took her. She is still there, happy as a pig in shit and we get videos and pictures regularly on her progress. That was a hard decision to make but it was the best one. The tension in our household from her barking was not fun, nor was it for our neighbors. Moral of this story-do not get a Great Pyrenees and expect it to fit in easily in a suburban neighborhood. Also, make sure you have a high fence. They like to roam…

Take me home.....sucker....
Take me home…..sucker….

Then came Willie. Boy, was he a pro at the rescue place, all rolling over and licking my face and acting all wonderful. This little terrier had been re-homed twice. I know why. He is a terror. With a Napoleon complex and an insatiable need to be the boss of everyone and every thing in the household. Only 14 pounds of scruffieness, this little guy can take down a Great Dane in 20 seconds given the chance. As usual , the first 30 days were the honeymoon period. At day 31, he decided the cats and the other dogs must either go or bow down to his awesomeness. He growls in his sleep. We have had him 3 years now, love him and found that doggie Valium works great on a rescue that has been bounced around many times.

3 weeks ago, 18 got a bug up her butt and brought home a Huskie/Shepherd mix named Bubba. BC wasn’t particularly excited about him.  He kept saying, NO MORE RESCUES unless they are puppies. This guy is 1 1/2. From a supposed hoarding/neglect situation, which I tend to believe. Shy at first, in the 3 weeks he’s been here, he has fit in well, gives Willie a wide berth and was house trained in a day or two. He is has also totally bonded to 18 and follows her everywhere. He did come with worms, hence he is underweight, but at this 3 week point, I have seen him wake up to his environment more and am convinced he is going to be a great dog.

At the vet, I have worms...
At the vet, I have worms…

We do have 2 more cats, Bob and Smudge who are indoor guys-I would rather put up with the littler box than the distress of worrying about an outdoor cat not coming home. It sucks. Trust me. There is a reason the cat rescues want you to keep them inside. Besides, once I found Litter Genie, it changed my world….

A rare quiet moment...
A rare quiet moment…

So here’s the deal on rescues from a normal person (well, that’s debatable). It is a wonderful and helpful way to acquire a family pet. But realize that you are making a decision that needs to be well thought out. Most of the times, when we seek a puppy from a breeder or such we do tons of research. Many times this rescue is an emotional decision on a Saturday when on the previous day you had no intention of having a pet. The rescue folks work many hours on their own time and nickel to save these animals. They also don’t want to see this animal in this situation again. Realize that this dog will take about 2-4 weeks or more to become themselves again. In the crowded situations at the adoption day they may not be the way they are going to be when you get them home. Spend time with it, take it for a walk, if you can, bring your other dog from home (if you have one) to meet them before you take them home (I did this each time and am glad I did). It takes a little more time but it’s worth it.

We’ve had successes and failures. Make sure you have a backup plan if the animal doesn’t work out. It’s not fair to them or you if the fit is not right. Remember they more than likely have had a pretty awful beginning and will take time to love and trust. Patience is really important. That first month is the same as a let-down period – I swear animals also get PTSD.

Love and patience will work. And firm leadership in the household and some training.

And they will love you forever.

Good luck!

 

I love sharing-sign up to get me in your inbox right up there on the right! Let me know if you have rescued and how it worked out!

Match Dot Loser

You ever have one of those days when you just feel blergh and fugly????

Need an emotional pick up?

Then go to Facebook and  see if anyone is trying to get you to hook up! Who knows, you could meet some dude or dudette in a faraway land, like, maybe the Middle East, and then you would never have to worry about makeup again.

After all, those head wraps do solve many female problems…

Did you know there are more messages in your Facebook inbox than you think? Have you opened it up? When you are on your PC, open up your messages and look to the right and open the Other tab. This is where your FB spam goes. And if you are lucky, you will get a message like this:

fbsnip1And this:fbsnip3WOW – what a pick up for my day! I am sitting here in worn out sweats, no makeup and my hair looks like a fright wig and these guys WANT me….and this is my profile picture (at that time):

spoon

Captivating, no. Astonishing? Holy $hit, seriously? I am looking very more attractive. I am your soul mate.

And Bachelor Number Two-you need to do some more homework on Rosetta Stone, just saying…

This guy is intent on saving me. He must read this blog:

fbsnip2

I am sooooo gonna burn!

And that is TOTALLY NOT FAIR because I still suffer from years of Catholic guilt.

This guy wants to get to know me better:

fbsnip4I am a pretty damsel. This guy gets bonus points for using the word damsel. Old school, I liiiike it.

If this guy had really creeped on my profile he would have seen that at one time my dear BC (husband) was in the military. And more than likely out ranked him. Uh oh:

fbsnip5

I get it-man it must be REALLY lonely there to troll for yours truly. He saw my profile and couldn’t help writing. Umm Hmm. This profile picture?

Tan mom and 16
Tan mom and 16

 

Or this one?

 

shamingThe hotness is overwhelming.

And last but not least, the most persistent of the Bachelors:

fbsnip6

He gets a kitten because he tried TWICE!

Go get an ego boost. And then get creeped out.

Next post:  Changing your privacy settings…

 

I love sharing! And LIKE me on Facebook!

 

 

 

The 7 Sites Your Teenage Daughter is on Now

Or, how to stalk your teen on the internet.

So I shared a blog post yesterday on Facebook by a mom of boys that basically said to teenage girls-watch what you post photo-wise on social networks. Because if the photo is a selfie that is provocative, racy, etc. it sets a bad example for girls and that male teens can no longer ‘unsee’ that photo once they have viewed it.

They are more likely to post a photo of themselves.....
They are more likely to post a photo of themselves…..

Boy, was there some push back on this post. Which I am surprised about.

At the end of the day, male teenagers are inherently horny creatures and very visual. And I agree with this mom. Whether you like that or not. And if you have your head in the sand and think that your darling daughter has not posted at least one sex-kitten photo of herself at least once, I have news for ya.

I have a teenage daughter. That I have had to police on social media. Who has not always posted the most flattering photos, on occasion. So I got educated really quick on the other sites these girls visiting.

It also takes a village. Communication with other tech savvy parents helps and we keep tabs on the kids. And I am going to give you a BIG hint here-have a trusted young relative friend your daughter on these social networks (because they will always friend their young cool cousins, etc) and have them notify you if they see anything graphic, dangerous, promiscuous, etc. It works.

That’s where I am going with this today.

Pew Research states that teens are sharing more and more on social media:

Teens are sharing more details about themselves on social media profiles, but few do so publicly; 60% of teen Facebook users keep their profiles private

Teen social media users do not express a high level of concern about third-party access to their data; just 9% say they are “very” concerned

Teen Twitter use has grown significantly: 24% of online teens use Twitter, up from 16% in 2011.

-there is no fear. I have asked and these are the answers (at least in the teen world in this house-this article confirms this) and I will tell you how to access them.

landscape-of-users

Where the GIRLS are today on social media:

1. Facebook: Who isn’t on this? And frankly, their demographic has aged– the most frequent users of Facebook right now are women 18-49. The older demo is catching up quick as well. Lately, most teens are not using Facebook as often as in the past – mainly because us old farts are on there. Yeah, we’ve ruined that for them. They also have learned how to use Facebook correctly and in most cases, keep it drama free. Easy to access, free sign up.

2. Twitter: If you are not on Twitter as a parent, you should be. The sign up is free. You do not need to understand it. All you need to do is sign up and start searching your kid’s name, or their friends names. They have become smart with this service, creating hard to find names and twitter handles, but with a little creativity, and if you find one friend and look at their followers, or who they are following, you will most likely strike gold. They’ve learned to lock their accounts down-if they’ve done that, ask why. This is how they communicate where the parties are, new relationships, aggravations, parent trashing, break ups, bullying and more. It is how authorities broke the case in Ohio of the high school girl who was raped by members of a football team there. Kids still are not too smart, these guys posted pictures and comments in their own names and this was presented at court.

This photo was tweeted by the rapists in this case. Nice
This photo was tweeted by the rapists in this case. Nice

3. Instagram: While this was primarily designed as a photo-sharing social site, teens have found it as an alternative to Facebook. Less chatter, photos only, easy to access and is the selfie capital of the internet. It’s also the place where you will find the raciest selfie’s on the planet. This is also a free service and many teens use the same handle as their Twitter one-so they are pretty easy to find. You can also lock down your account here as well as find and look at who’s following whom. This is also a must be on site for parents. This blog post by my favorite blogger, The Bearded Iris, will set your hair on fire. Read it.

Credit- In The Powder Room
Credit- In The Powder Room

 

4. Tumblr: Where the teen girls are. This is a micro-blogging service and is free. If you want to write a lengthy post this is not the place to do it. Mainly photo sharing and gifs and only about 6% of all internet users are on it. Teens are really creative at this one because no one uses their real name and they change their blog title all the time so it’s hard to keep up with them. The few sites I have landed on that I know the girls are mostly emotional photos, romantic photos and gifs, some racy some not and if you suspect your teen is having emotional problems they tend to spew it all over this service. It takes some detective work to find your teen on this, if they tell you then you are in good shape, if not, ask other moms (many of whom have no idea their kids are on this service).

This is a gif:

5. Vine: Like Instagram, only with 6 second videos. You follow people, they follow back. You take a video with your smart phone with the Vine app and then Vine posts it. Here’s what I have found. My teen and her friends have not really taken to this service like some of the others. Especially since you can now use video on Instagram. Handles are much like or the same as Twitter. Easy to find your kid as well as their friends. I find it annoying-that’s just me.

6. Snap Chat: This app is downloaded on to a Smart phone. Users take a picture then send it as a text to someone else. The photo can last for 1-10 seconds when you go to view it. Teens like it because of the spontaneity. They also think that the photo will not last, but guess what, technology has caught up with that and there are now hacking programs that have found that the photo is still actually on the phone. Also, photos can be saved in that time to the recipient’s phone and shared with who knows who later. It has also been called the ‘sexting app’. Great. Bullies love it too. Be aware that this is becoming really popular with the kids. This is when I think setting data limits on phones is a good idea because it will eat up data… Here is a great parent’s guide.

7. Ask.Fm: Relatively new. You can join for free as well. This is the next FormSpring (Anthony Weiner’s favorite social network, which I HATED-kids ask questions, kids answer, kids post nasty things, let the bullying ensue). Your teen signs up then asks a question, others answer. Or, they say ‘Ask me a question” and there it goes. It has been named the new bullying site. You can’t just snoop around on this site without logging in and creating an account.

Ask.fm

Most sites state that you have to be 13 to join. They don’t police that very well. Personally I think that schools need to do a required seminar on this topic by the 9th grade. I know private schools have clear rules for social media but most public do not-especially in our area. Teens tweet and Instagram from school all day long, it’s a wonder they learn anything at all. Just like the sex talk, the social media talk is part of our duty now.

Teens are like ants. Once you shut down or infiltrate a social media service they just move to the latest new thing. If their account is locked and you did not know that-ask why. If you, as a parent, are not tech savvy, do not be ignorant. Many local schools have parent classes on social media and there are great sites like KimKomando.com that explain these sites in detail.

Don’t get me going on the privacy issue with teens. They aren’t writing in a diary that they lock and put in their desk drawer. They are on public sites. You can’t count on them to be 100% safe no matter how locked down you or they think their site is. Google your daughter-her most recent posts on the big 3-Facebook, Twitter and Instagram usually show up.

These are my opinions and my limited research. I have referenced sites that I think are helpful here in the post. Thanks!

 

I love sharing!

Marry Me, Fly For Free! Our Life On Stand By….

Why am I always waving in pics? Milano 2008
Why am I always waving in pics? Milano 2008

This is a newer version of a post I wrote last year and I have revamped it for the Generation Fabulous Blog Hop this month-a blog hop on transformative travel. And boy, has my travel changed in the last 25 years..

25 years ago I was set up on a blind date.  With an airline pilot and former Air Force captain.  In my single days, I had a cousin who was a Navy fighter pilot, who had come to visit me on leave and practically got us all arrested, drank every bit of my meager supply of booze, and scared off my girlfriends.  I was NOT looking forward to this.  But I was bored and didn’t have much else to do that Friday nite so I decided to meet whomever this was.

A year later we were married and living in suburban Atlanta.  What was I thinking?

FLIGHT BENEFITS!!!!!!!!!!!   Yippeeeee!!!!

Even if the uniform is all polyester and he wears a clip on tie.  Wow, so hot….

So, over the course of our married life, we have been able to travel to some pretty great places around the world.  Even if we do stay in the airline discount places and not the Ritz. For a mere 72 hours…

BC and 15 on the way to Germany
BC and 15 on the way to Germany

Besides-I consider a hotel with a door to the outside camping and I certainly won’t do that.

And the great part of this benefit is you usually get in the business class cabin space available.  That is, until fares dropped, 9/11 tanked the airline industry, and it was cheaper to fly than take Greyhound.

The other benefit-or it could be a detriment, is that your child gets to fly anywhere too, and is eligible for business after the age of 8.  So every time we have flown to Europe, 17 has flown in business class. Good or bad, it is a great perk.

 

So many people come up to me and say, “Wow, you must get to fly ANY where for free! Do you go with your husband on his trips?”

And to that I politely nod and say that yes, we go, yes it’s free, but not without some serious hiccups along the way.  And I have to make sure I have plenty of my BP meds on hand because the life of an airline family flying what they call Non Rev (free) is not what it’s cracked up to be.

For instance:

* We only get on after ALL the paying passengers, upgrades and re-routed folks get a seat.

* We pray to the weather gods because if there is bad stuff somewhere else it’s either gonna screw us or help us.

* I have become all to familiar with the exit row. And you can bet that this chick will be the first down that slide if I have to use it.

* Domestically, we do not get served food (if they have a meal on a 5 plus hour flight or international) until the paying folks get theirs. And we get what’s left over. So that butternut ravioli with the green sauce no one else wants? Yep, that’s my meal. Thanks.

* I am not an early morning person. But I had to learn to be because I have to count on all the rest of you lazy asses to miss that 6am flight so I can get on. So if you sleep in, don’t feel guilty, an airline employee just got your seat and is thanking you!

* I have learned to pack light. I NEVER check a bag-even to Europe. Because if I don’t get on, there go my clothes and granny pants to unknown destinations.

* Airline kids (at our specific carrier) can not sit in business until they are 8. So, if you are in business and a toddler is driving you crazy or a baby is creaming bloody murder, rest assured that it does not belong to an employee and that they actually PAID for that seat…

* International non-revving is a whole other goat rope. You have to have a Plan B.  Luckily my Plan B is the fact that I have a sister in Germany and can get there if I get bumped.  We left a companion last week in Brussels that did not have a Plan B. Not sure when she got home but we were the last flight out to the States that day. Hello expensive hotel room…

* The employees in other countries are by and large not directly employed by our airline and are either other airline’s employees or contract workers. They really could care less if we get on a flight or not. Especially those bitches at the DeGualle airport that work for Air France. They all are wearing the tightest pony tail imaginable and sniff at the fact that you are on standby. “Oh so sorry Madame, I cannot tell you what zee numbers are for zis flight even though I am looking right at zem on zis computer..”

CDG Escalator
CDG Escalator

* My parents were non-revving in Germany and the gate agent in Frankfurt got so frustrated with every body that he finally yelled, “I hate this fucking job. I quit!” Yes, that is what he actually said and did. Mom and Dad didn’t get on, and had to travel to Amsterdam with no luggage, spend the night, and try from there. That’s almost 48 hours in the SAME pair of underwear…See pack lightly above…

* It has taken me over 13 hours to get to Jacksonville, Florida (6 by car) 16 hours from Orlando to Atlanta via Washington DC (with a toddler-THAT was fun) and the same once from Orlando to Atlanta via New Orleans. I could go on but you get the drift.

* If I could have a dollar for every time the gate agent has placed me next to a fearful flyer I would be rich. But it’s pretty fun to experience when they are a drinker….

Because of this perk my daughter and I have had the opportunity to visit many cities we would never have dreamed of, visit friends around the US and meet great people.

 

17 in Biz-on the way to Brussels
17 in Biz-on the way to Brussels

We have learned one thing. If the trip is less than about an 8 hour drive in the car then we drive.

Yes, we are ingrained in to the Stand By (or stand and say bye bye) way of life. And now that the hubs has over 27 years of service (and a plastic set of gold wings to prove it), we do get on more often than not.  With the great unwashed.  In coach.

 

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