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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll….Sort Of

I recently read a post on BlogHer by PurpleClover entitled “I Gave My Daughter Her First Joint”.  Here’s a brief synopsis: Mom provides her 14 year old with her first joint rolled from Dad’s stash.  Daughter takes it to friend’s house to share.  Mom continues to provide 14 year old with pot. 

There were a ton of comments on this post and it got me thinking about my daughter, who is now 18, and how I feel about pot and her. 

 I understand a lot of people commenting have bigger problems with this post than the fact that she “let” her daughter smoke pot but I don’t want to get into those.  I likely share some of those opinions myself.  These are just thoughts I have on sex, drugs, alcohol and teenagers in my experience.   

I’ve always been the type of mom who doesn’t bury my head in the sand when it comes to my kid’s behavior.  I know she is going to have sex which is why we had the safe sex conversation when she was about 11 and I would randomly start the discussion whenever I felt it had been too long since I had brought it up.  I knew she was going to drink alcohol which is why I would make sure she understood to never drink and drive and if she found herself in a situation where she needed me, to call me, even if she was drunk as a skunk.  I also knew she was going to have friends that drank and I made sure I told her to never get in a car with someone who was driving after drinking. 

I have always tried to encourage her not to smoke cigarettes or pot.  Cigarettes because they are poison and disgusting.  I used to smoke so I know what I am talking about.  But mainly, I encouraged her not to do these things because she has asthma and asthma and smoking don’t mix.  I know she smoked a cigarette with a friend when she was in 9th grade.  She didn’t like it.  I don’t think she has smoked pot but I could be wrong.   

I think if she didn’t have asthma, I would be the type of mom who would recognize that it is hypocritical of me to say that she cannot smoke pot.  I did.  In fact, I was 13 when my brother, 18 months older than me and oh so much cooler, gave me my first joint.  I smoked pot until I was a junior in high school.  I stopped because a boyfriend let me smoke a laced joint and I did not react well to it.  At that point, my brother was out of the house and living his own life so I didn’t have him to watch out for me and make sure I was not getting pot from shady dudes.  After that incident, I realized that I didn’t know for certain what I was smoke and it wasn’t worth it to me to continue smoking. 

I would, however, encourage her to wait until she was older to smoke pot and I would also have to set some ground rules like not sharing pot with her friends because her friends’ parents may not feel the same way as me.  Also, I would worry about her smoking pot away from home because I know what it feels like to wake up in the morning beside some guy and having very fuzzy memories of how I got there.

I found that being open with her and explaining to her how it made me feel (out of control) and stupid decisions I had made while under the influence (with guys, mainly) and the shame I felt after being with a guy while under the influence, this had a bigger impact on her than just telling her not to do it. 

I don’t have access to pot as an adult so obviously, I couldn’t provide it to her but if she wanted to get it, I would talk to her to make sure she is getting from someone she trusts.  I would also want her to smoke it at home so I would know if there was something wrong.

I know that pot is being legalized in a lot of places.  I don’t have any particular opinion on that.  Actually, I feel that the government has more important things to spend their money on, like ending homelessness, than worrying about whether people are smoking pot.  The problem I have with people who smoke pot is when that interferes with their life.  If they aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing, at work, at home, as students or parents or whatever, then I have a problem with pot.  I also have a problem with people saying they “need” to smoke pot to relax.  That is like someone saying “I need a few drinks every night to relax.”  I think when it gets to that point, you can consider yourself an addict and I have a problem with addiction.  Addiction makes people do things they normally wouldn’t do. 

Thankfully, I was never faced with this situation where I had to outright “condone” any sort of pot smoking.  My baby is an adult now, but I would like to think that the lessons I taught her about drugs, alcohol and sex, stayed with her and whatever choices she chooses to make, she makes smart ones that are right for her.

My only comment to other parents who criticize this mom for condoning pot smoking is: Be careful not to be a hypocrite.  If you smoked pot when you were young and you turned out fine, is it right to say outright that your kid cannot do it?

Please know that I am not saying you should tell your kid it is okay to smoke pot, if that is not how you feel. 

What I am saying is that sometimes honesty helps.  Admitting to your kid that you smoked pot when you were in high school but that you didn’t like how it made you feel, or what you did when you were stoned, or whatever you want to share with them, may be a better alternative to getting your kids to “just say no.”  Kids are smart and they respect honesty so be honest with them.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: Kate’s Escape from the Billable Hour

Kate's Escape from the Billable Hour by Petula Parker is a great book.

Having been a paralegal for the past 16+ years, I found this book to be a lot of fun to read. Anyone working in the legal field and familiar with "Big "Law" firms and the never-ending need for more billable hours, will find a lot of humor in this book. However, this book is so fun it is for everyone, not just those of us slogging it out in the legal field.

This book is for those people with a first crush they can't move on from and those of us stuck in a job we hate who ask “what am I going to be when I grow up” and “is this really all there is”. This is also perfect for people who love a lot of humor in their books.

I found this book to be particularly funny because it made me remember working for an attorney who used to lecture us to bring a file into the bathroom with us so we could count it as billable time. 

The cover of this book is cute although maybe the suitcase should be a little bigger to more accurately reflect the baggage we all carry. The book was also well written and well edited.

Disclosure: I received a free book in exchange for my unbiased review contained herein.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Review: Snack Girl to the Rescue! by Lisa Cain

snack girl large download

Do you need to be rescued from bad eating habits and junk food? Are you looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle but don’t know where to begin? Well, fear not because Lisa Cain, a.k.a. “Snack Girl,” is here to help! A busy mother of two, Lisa faces the same challenges to healthy eating that we all do—unlimited access to junk food, a jam-packed schedule, a tight budget, and a love of delicious food. So in Snack Girl to the Rescue, she has created a way to make small changes that will make a difference in how you eat and live.

On her mega-popular blog Snack-Girl.com, she shares the simple secrets and delicious, healthful recipes that have helped keep her budget and her body in check. without sacrificing fun or flavor. Now with Snack Girl to the Rescue! A Real-Life Guide to Losing Weight and Getting Healthy with 100 Recipes Under 400 Calories, Lisa is sharing her best, tried and true advice on avoiding common weight-loss pitfalls, shopping healthier on a budget, and getting in shape, along with 100 recipes for fun, quick, and affordable meals and snacks—all of which clock in under 400 calories and are Weight Watchers friendly!

There are no gimmicks, no short cuts, it's just how you're supposed to live: a healthy balanced life. Lisa shows us in this book, that nobody is perfect—but with a few minor tweaks, you can change your lifestyle, be happy and be healthy.

Here is a bit about the author:

Lisa Cain, Ph.D, an evolutionary biologist by training, is the founder of Snack-Girl.com. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her husband, their two children, and their dog.

I have been a long-time subscriber to Snack-Girl.com so when I had the opportunity to read and review Snack Girl to the Rescue! by Lisa Cain I was so excited.

This book is broken up into parts.  Part One is the meat of the book.  It includes Lisa’s thoughts on fad diets, diet pills and other sorts of diets.  It also includes her personal experiences with many of these diets.  It talks about healthy eating, healthy balances of foods, and the importance of exercise.  Honestly, I had a hard time getting through the first part of this book.  Not because it was poorly written or not interesting but just because this seemed to be my particular hurdle. 

Part Two is the good stuff, at least for me anyway.  Part Two is the recipe section and let me tell you there are some really good sounding recipes in there.  For instance, the pineapple vodka slush seems to keep calling my name.

 Smile

These recipes are great because they are low in calories but still taste great.  For many of us trying to lose weight or maintain our healthy weight, the thought of eating another tasteless backed chicken breast and a pile of plain steamed veggies sounds about as appealing as walking across hot coals carrying an elephant.  But with Lisa’s recipes, they introduce tons of flavor and variety into your healthy eating habits (notice I didn’t say the dreaded “d” word). 

If you are looking for practical, real-world changes to your eating habits and lifestyle, this is a great book for you and I would recommend you take a look at Lisa’s recipes for low calorie food ideas. 

Disclaimer:  I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Book Review: The Winter Calf by Michael S. Nuckols

The Winter Calf is a beautifully written book. This is probably one of the best books I have read in a long time. The writing is magical and takes you on a journey as the story progresses. The story has many twists and turns and doesn't end how you think it will. It is a heartbreakingly beautiful, moving story. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read an amazing story. However, keep the tissues handy.

The cover is great and although, it is stark, it matches well with the story. As for the writing, I found one error in the whole book. Other than that, it was flawless.

After reading The Winter Calf, I will be reading other books written by Michael S. Nuckols to see if they match the beauty of The Winter Calf

Disclosure:  I received a free book in exchange for my unbiased review contained herein

Friday, April 11, 2014

Book Review: Worlds of Obsession (Celtic Otherworlds) by Kella McKinnon

 

Worlds of Obsession (Celtic Otherworlds) is a great book. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Worlds of Obsession had a good storyline, great characters, great dialogue, a great struggle and a good ending. You can’t help but love the characters. The “hero”, Bastien, is a wounded, brooding man who faces a great struggle when he meets Liv. The “heroine”, Liv is a little lost and not sure where she fits in the world. Unfortunately, the road these two must travel is a pretty bumpy one but in the end, everything becomes clear and all the pieces fit together. This book also has great supporting characters and it will be exciting to see how the author writes their stories.

The cover is wonderful and the writing and editing was flawless.

Disclosure: I received a free book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.