1

Funny story:

Two or three year ago, I started getting email about meetings from people I didn't know.  Then I would get the occasional email from a college in Ontario about registering for classes or something.  I also received emails from an animal shelter in Ottowa or Toronto.

I'd usually just delete these emails, figuring that there was another Stephanie Moulton in Ontario who wasn't receiving some of her email, hopefully because someone else had entered her email incorrectly in their database (And not because she got her own email address wrong.  Or had given out a bogus address because she didn't want to give out her real email.).

I get these random emails three or four times a year and just delete them, feeling somewhat bad for this other Stephanie Moulton because she's not getting some of her emails, about half of which could be kind of important.  (Reminders about meetings?  Class work for group projects?  Yeah, kind of important.)

I haven't received too many of these emails in 2017, but they all come from places in Ontario.  So when I got an email from an esthetics salon in Ottawa a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't surprised:

Skip to last Sunday (July 16).  I hadn't been online for a few hours, so I opened my computer to check my email, and had two new emails:

My first reaction: "What's POF?"  I opened the email about registration details:

Sunday was two days before our wedding anniversary.  Jeff was sitting at the dining room table, and I had an email open about registration details for a dating site.  My first response was, "Shit!  Delete delete delete!"

Once my heart stopped racing, I thought, "I really should unsubscribe to these emails."  I opened the second email informing the other Stephanie that someone was interested in her, scrolled to the unsubscribe link at the bottom, and clicked it, hoping to unsubscribe so that this little issue was remedied.  Once at the POF site, I looked at the screen and discovered I needed a password to unsubscribe.

Crap.

At that point I thought, "I really don't want all of these POF emails coming to my inbox, how can I fix this?  (thinks about it for a few minutes) Ah!  Gmail spam filter!"  So I set up the spam filter to send all of the emails to the trash and patted myself on the back.

While I did that, about seven more emails from POF got to my inbox.  I trashed those and went about surfing Facebook.  Two hours later, my inbox was POF free.  Out of curiosity, I checked my trash to see if any more emails had been caught by the spam filter, and discovered that the other Stephanie had twenty new emails from POF.  I was really hoping that these guys writing to her were nice and not sending inappropriate pictures to her POF inbox.

Occasionally, gmail will send an important email straight to my trash, so I check my trash a couple of times a week.  I checked my trash Tuesday (July 18) afternoon:

One hundred messages.  Oh, there are more:

Another thirty eight messages.  As of 3:30 a.m. Wednesday (July 19) morning, the other Stephanie has received 138 messages from POF about guys who have contacted her.

I decided to try tracking down the other Stephanie Moulton.  Of course my first stop was Facebook, and I found one young woman with that name in Ontario.  I have yet to receive a reply.  I hope I hear from her soon.  As amusing as it is to be receiving emails from a dating site, I'd really like them to stop.

So, um, what would you do in this situation?  Comment below!  The more entertaining, the better.

 

 

 

1

It's been almost a month since I wrote about talking about mental illness.  I pulled a paragraph out of that post to help highlight what I'm going to write about today:

"As I mentioned earlier, I'm now transitioning from prozac to wellbutrin xl.  Having transitioned from celexa to prozac several years ago, I knew what the whole process of switching antidepressants was like, and it's not enjoyable.  For the past twelve days I've been even more tired than usual, have found myself becoming impatient easily, eating more sweets than normal, and crying (It was difficult to cry on prozac.  I had to be really upset to do so.).  It hasn't been quite as awful as being unmedicated was, but it has been difficult.  I've had to tell the people closest to me that if I start acting depressed again that this is why."

I've been on Wellbutrin XL for a whole month now.  The past four weeks have been difficult.  I cried a lot, sometimes over stupid things.  I lost almost every ounce of patience that I had.  I was extremely irritable.  The combination of no patience and irritability made me not want to be around myself; I was really glad that Jeff and Liam were camping so much with Boy Scouts so that they didn't have to be around me so much.  I was prepared for all of that though.

What I wasn't prepared for was how absolutely worn out I became each day.  Not just tired.  Worn out.  Like I'd been doing hard, physical labor for eight hours, and feeling like this by nine or ten in the morning.  And on top of feeling like this and wanting to sleep all the time, I was having more difficulty than usual falling asleep and sleeping well at night.

Two weeks ago, it got so bad that I decided that I had to make time to rest for a whole day.  Fortunately, Jeff and Liam were going to their last weekend of Scout camp and I was able to pull this off without worrying about making sure they got fed.

So I took that whole Saturday off and did what I wanted.  If I wanted to sleep, I slept.  If I wanted to watch tv, I watched tv.  If I wanted to read, I read.  I ate when I was hungry, I avoided Facebook and twitter, and spent the day making time to take care of me.

And I felt really selfish and guilty at times.  There were at least five times that my brain said, "This is stupid.  You have stuff to do around the house and errands that could be run."  When that happened, I did what my therapist has instructed me to do:  I acknowledged the thought, pushed it away, and told my brain I wasn't going to feel guilty for taking care of myself.

Because that's what rest is, ladies and gentlemen.  It's taking care of ourselves.  We work eight hours a day, then go home and take care of houses, spouses, and kids.  We use our weekends to do housework or play too hard.  We stay up too late surfing the web or watching tv.  We rely on caffeine to get us through the day instead of plenty of sleep and healthy food.  We go too fast, live too hard, and then wonder why we're tired all the time.

And those are normal circumstances.  Throw in stressful life circumstances or illnesses and our bodies eventually give out and start demanding more rest.  We become worn out, irritable, stressed, depressed, and sick.

Unfortunately, those of us living in the United States have been taught that "Idle hands are the devil's playground."  We've been taught a work ethic where we must always be busy.  Our jobs ask us to multitask, even though research has shown that multitasking is a myth.  Even when we have down time, we use it to finish little projects that use just enough brain power and energy that we're not really resting.

And God forbid that we actually rest.  If we try to do that, we get guilt from our culture, acquaintances, friends, family members, and even our own brains.  Sometimes it's just easier to keep going, no matter how tired we are, than to take the time our bodies need to rest.

I can't do that anymore.  My personality demands alone time to recharge.  My body demands rest.  My brain chemistry is crying out for me to listen to my body and stop.

So I'm making a choice to be more aware of when I'm  tired and need to be resting. That Saturday was successful.  I did it again on Sunday.  I will probably try it again on Sunday.  I may not be able to do this every week, but I'm going to do my best to make a day of rest a habit and I'm going to work on not feeling guilty about taking care of myself.

I encourage you to do the same thing.  If you are a Christian, remember that we are commanded to observe a Sabbath day.  God created the Sabbath for us, so that we can rest and recharge.

There's nothing shameful about resting.  There's nothing shameful about admitting you need to rest.  So take the time you need to rest.  Quit multitasking.  Sleep.  Go slowly.  Rest.

Pet peeves.  All of us have a few of them.  Here are a couple of mine:

Not putting shopping carts in the corrals.  Yes, I know, it's hot/cold/rainy/etc. outside, and the cart corral is five spaces away from you.  Too bad.  Just too bad.  It's not OK in any way, shape, or form to leave the shopping cart a) in another parking space, b) propped crookedly on the island cement and the parking lot, c) just outside the cart corral.

My new "favorite" is people who only have a few bags and don't need the cart         to get the bags to the car, so they leave the carts inside.  Like this:

And finally, how lazy do you have to be to leave the shopping cart in the parking lot AT ALDI?

Badly parked cars.  Cars parked inside the lines, but one side is RIGHT ON THE YELLOW PARKING LINE.  Cars sharing two parking spots.  Cars parked diagonally, either inside the lines of their own space or across two or more spaces.

Honestly, it takes every fiber of my being to not take pictures and Facebook shame people like this.  It takes thirty seconds to repark the car if you're not doing it correctly, so just take the extra time and do it right.  Please.

Being late all the time.  I admit, I'm one of those people who runs early for just about everything.  Running right on time for an appointment makes me antsy, and if I think I'm going to be even two minutes late for something, I call the other person to let them know.

That there are people in the world who are constantly late for everything drives me nuts.  Please don't get me wrong--if someone is late a couple of times because they lost track of time, I understand that that happens.  That happens to all of us.  But I know some people who are late to everything because they just are.  It's rude and irritating.  It shows me that that person thinks that my time isn't as valuable as their time.

So what are your pet peeves?  Let me know in the comments.

 

On June 26, 2017, Huffpost published an article by Kayla Chadwick titled I Don't Know How to Explain to You That You Should Care About Other People.  In it, she writes:

"I don’t know how to explain to someone why they should care about other people.

"Personally, I’m happy to pay an extra 4.3 percent for my fast food burger if it means the person making it for me can afford to feed their own family. If you aren’t willing to fork over an extra 17 cents for a Big Mac, you’re a fundamentally different person than I am.

"I’m perfectly content to pay taxes that go toward public schools, even though I’m childless and intend to stay that way, because all children deserve a quality, free education. If this seems unfair or unreasonable to you, we are never going to see eye to eye.

"If I have to pay a little more with each paycheck to ensure my fellow Americans can access health care? SIGN ME UP. Poverty should not be a death sentence in the richest country in the world. If you’re okay with thousands of people dying of treatable diseases just so the wealthiest among us can hoard still more wealth, there is a divide between our worldviews that can never be bridged.

"I don’t know how to convince someone how to experience the basic human emotion of empathy. I cannot have one more conversation with someone who is content to see millions of people suffer needlessly in exchange for a tax cut that statistically they’ll never see (do you make anywhere close to the median American salary? Less? Congrats, this tax break is not for you)."

If you claim to be a Christian, I do know how to explain it to you:

John 15:12--My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you.

Proverbs 29:7--The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.

Jeremiah 22:3--I, the Lord, command you to do what is just and right. Protect the person who is being cheated from the one who is cheating him. Do not ill-treat or oppress foreigners, orphans, or widows.

Micah 6:8--He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

1 John 3: 17--If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?

1 Corinthians 10:24--None of you should be looking out for your own interests, but for the interests of others.

Provers 22:22-23--Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life.

In short: Love others as God has loved you.  If you love God, you will take care of the poor and the oppressed.  The Lord requires His followers to take care of the poor and the oppressed, to bring justice to the world and be merciful to others.  Look out for the interests of others instead of your own interests.  And if we don't do these things?  The Lord will protect the needy and punish us.

As Christians, we should be helping people.  We should fight for a living wage for all people because the Lord requires us to take care of the poor, and people who aren't making a living wage are poor.  You can gripe all you want about not wanting to pay a few cents more for your fast food and how people should get real jobs if they want to be paid a living wage, but this argument is rooted in greed, not the betterment of others.

You can gripe all you want about not wanting to pay for another person's health insurance, but that's not loving God because you aren't loving your neighbor.  This isn't an argument about how the free market will help make health insurance more affordable: what you're really saying is that you aren't going to take pity on someone who has less than you.

And that's not right, and that's not just.

So if you claim to follow Jesus, but you've made arguments against raising the minimum wage, health insurance for everyone, paying taxes, or anything else you might call liberal economics, know this: Jesus commands us to take care of those who are poor and oppressed.  If you aren't doing the right thing, the just thing, maybe you're not following Jesus.

 

 

 

We've been here before, ladies and gentlemen.

Once again, the major cable companies--Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T--want the FCC to get rid of net neutrality regulations:  "Broadband giants like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, oppose the FCC's net neutrality policy, because it prevents them from turning the internet into something like cable TV, with different price and service packages for premium content. And they've got a willing ally in Pai, a former Verizon lawyer who was selected to lead the FCC by Trump in January."

Net neutrality " ... is the concept that internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T and Verizon shouldn't be allowed to prioritize or block legal content on their networks. It also means that they can't set up online fast lanes for deep-pocketed companies at the expense of startups. This open access principle is responsible for establishing the internet as an unprecedented platform for economic growth, civic engagement and free speech, according to net neutrality advocates."

I don't want to pay more for Internet than I already am just to have slower service than what I already have.  And I don't want to pay even more than that to have internet service at the speed I have now.  I don't want sites to be blocked from me because I have Comcast and the website's ISP is AT&T.

If you agree with me, here's what you can do: Send a letter to the FCC and Congress telling them that you don't want the FCC to end net neutrality.

Please protect the future of the Internet and email the FCC and Congress today.  Share this post with your friends so that they can email the FCC and Congress too.  Post about the fight for net neutrality on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and everywhere else you live on social media.  And thank you for helping!

2

After last week's heavy post about my mental health, I decided that this week I would write about something a little lighter and more fun and tell you about my three recurring nightmares and the dream that made me laugh.

The one I have most often involves toilets.  In my nightmare, I'm always trying to find a toilet because sometimes one needs to use a toilet.  For some reason, I'm always trying to find a toilet in a locker room, the size of an Amtrak lobby, that's filled with toilets.  But they're all out in the open, not in stalls.  Variation on a theme:  some of them are in stalls, but it's like three to four toilets to a stall, and the stalls aren't the cleanest.  Second variation on a theme: Many of the toilets are in stalls, but they haven't been flushed or they're out of service.  Fourth variation on a theme: I'm trying to find a place to take a shower and all the showers are out in the open.

 
The nightmare I have less frequently, but still often enough to mention, is the old "I skipped all my classes and now have to show up for the final exam" trope.  It's usually always a math or literature class, and I haven't done any of the homework.  Bonus points if the math class is taught by Pat, the man who taught precalc and discreet math my senior year of high school (shout out to all my Uni friends).

Honorable mention goes to the dreams in which someone in my family gets sick or dies or Jeff divorces me.  Fortunately, I don't have those dreams too often, as I wake up crying and then can't get back to sleep.  Huge props to my anxiety kicking in while I sleep.

And now the dream that woke me up because I was laughing in my sleep.  I forget the whole dream, but I was at my Aunt's house and for some reason brought in a dog and pony and told her it was a dog and pony show.  Honestly, it still makes me laugh.

What are some of your dreams or nightmares?  Are they as stupid as mine?

PS--you can subscribe to or follow my blog by signing up to receive emails.  I'd love to have you join the fun!

5

Gather round again, y'all, for a trip to the inside of Aunt Stephanie's brain.

I think it's really important to talk about mental health.  I have depression, and have had it since I was at least ten, but I know now that there are things I was thinking and feeling even earlier than that that might have been the first symptoms of depression.

When I was growing up in the 80s and early 90s, mental health wasn't really something we talked about.  The first time I was really able to put a label on it, I was sixteen, but I thought that being depressed was just another part of being a teenager.  I didn't tell my parents what I was feeling because I thought I could deal with it myself.

The first time I talked to a doctor about it, I was almost 28.  I took wellbutrin for a little over a year, and this was back in the days that wellbutrin was taken once in the morning and once in the afternoon.  I was alway really good about taking the morning dose, but forgot the afternoon dose on a regular basis.  I think it helped, but that was several years ago and I wasn't terribly consistent with it.  I quit taking it shortly before I found out I was pregnant with Liam.

When I next talked to a doctor about my depression, I was 35 and about to enter my last semester of grad school.  I had been unmedicated since quitting wellbutrin, and I was miserable.  If you've ever been depressed, you know what I'm talking about.  If you've never been depressed, I hope you never understand the combination of sadness, anger, apathy, fatigue, irritability, and hatred for yourself that is depression.

When I started taking the antidepressant the doctor prescribed for me, I slowly started to feel better.  I figured out that what I was feeling and thinking wasn't normal.  I wasn't sad and angry anymore.  It felt good to not worry so much about life and not feel like I had to take everything so seriously.

I was on that first antidepressant (celexa) for about two and a half years, and had to abruptly switch meds (to prozac) due to health concerns.  I was on prozac for about five years, and I'm now in the process of switching to wellbutrin xl.

I'm not telling you this to extract sympathy or get attention.  I'm telling you this so that, if you've never known chronic depression, you understand that mental illness isn't a made up disease, it's an illness.  And for those of you who know what it's like to have depression, I want you to know that you're not doing this by yourself.  

I talk about being mentally ill and having depression to help end the stigma that surrounds the description "mentally ill."  I'm not crazy, I'm not psychotic, I'm not a sociopath.  I'm just mentally ill.  I take medication and see a therapist so that I can deal with a very real illness.  I talk about it because when I was young and going through this, I didn't have the words to describe what I was going through.  I didn't know how to tell someone, not even my parents, that what I was feeling was real and bothersome and not normal.  When I was growing up, people didn't talk about mental illness.  How could I have the words for something that was a real thing, but that no one talked about?

As I've gotten older, people have become more aware of what mental illness really is and have started talking about it more.  It's really important that we talk about it.  You know why? Because somewhere, there is another ten year old feeling exactly how I did.  She needs to know what mental illness is so that she can put her thoughts and feelings into words and get the help she needs.  I talk about it so that other people know it's a real illness that can be as deadly as cancer.  I talk about it so that people who are younger than me won't have to stay silent and die slowly.

We have to talk about it so that we become comfortable talking about.  I'm open about having depression, taking medication, and seeing a therapist so that my friends and family become comfortable hearing about it.  I don't want sympathy for me.  I want understanding and compassion for others.

Usually when I talk about my own mental illness, I talk about it a generalized sense.  But today I'm talking about it in a more focused way because I'm feeling the weight of depression more lately.

Sometimes when you've been on an antidepressant for a long time it will become less effective or stop working entirely.  That seemed to have become the case with me and prozac.  It was still working, in the sense that I wasn't depressed and angry all the time, but it had become less effective.  Full disclosure, between my brother's death over two years ago and being fired from a job I hated eight months after that, I was giving the prozac some serious overtime.

For several months, I've been feeling more and more unmotivated to do anything.  I can get out of bed and get ready for work, but getting myself to do dishes or laundry has been a real struggle.  I used to love to write.  I've wanted to be a writer since I was fifteen.  Writing is almost nonexistent for me anymore.  I'm ok once I get started, but getting started has become increasingly difficult.  I'm tired all the time and taking more naps than I probably should.  I'm an introvert and need alone time, but I've been needing more and more alone time recently and could see that it might become a problem in the future.

Fortunately, I was due for my yearly med check a couple of weeks ago.  Bonus points: the health system I'm in recently started using a questionaire  for mental health patients to self-evaluate their illness.  As it turns out, I was on the lower end of moderate depression again.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm now transitioning from prozac to wellbutrin xl.  Having transitioned from celexa to prozac several years ago, I knew what the whole process of switching antidepressants was like, and it's not enjoyable.  For the past twelve days I've been even more tired than usual, have found myself becoming impatient easily, eating more sweets than normal, and crying (It was difficult to cry on prozac.  I had to be really upset to do so.).  It hasn't been quite as awful as being unmedicated was, but it has been difficult.  I've had to tell the people closest to me that if I start acting depressed again that this is why.

Even in the midst of my body using the last of its reserves of prozac and adjusting to wellbutrin xl, even though it's still hard for me to do the things that are important, I still have to talk about mental illness.  I must be open about it so that if you have to change meds or know someone who is, you know what will happen.  I must be open about it so we can talk as freely about mental illness as we do about breast cancer and diabetes.  I must talk about it now for ten-year-old me who didn't have the words to say and for sixteen-year-old me who didn't care if she lived or died. (Sorry, mom and dad.)

So let's talk about it.  Mental illness of any kind is nothing to be ashamed of, so start talking about it and get the help you need.  Don't be ashamed to say to your doctor that you need antidepressants.  Don't be ashamed to start talking to a therapist.  Don't be ashamed to tell your partner, your parents, your kids, your friends, and all of Facebook that you have a mental illness and how you're getting help.

Just please... start talking about it.

A few years ago, I saw this on another blog I read.  Here goes:

1. You have 50 dollars in your pocket--what do you do with it?
I used to be a bank teller.  I never have more than $2 in cash in my pocket.

2. What is your most guilty pleasure?
Harry Potter Fanfiction.

3. Have you ever seen someone die?
Like the moment a person actually takes that last breath?  No.

Like the hours before and after someone passes away?  Yes.

4. Are you confused as to what lies ahead of you?
All the time.

5. What was the last movie you saw, for pleasure, and would you recommend it?
Saturday night, I made a double feature of Bridget Jones's Baby and Can't Buy Me Love on Netflix.  If you like fun chick flicks, then yes, I'd rec them both.

6. Superman or Batman?
Batman. Especially Val Kilmer's Batman.

7. If the person you like does not accept you, would you continue to wait for them to change their feelings?
I've been married for far too long to even remember what this sort of thing felt like.

8. If the person you secretly like is already attached, what would you do?
Well, the person I not-so-secretly like is attached to me...

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy recently?
As much as I despise even mentioning the man, Trump.  Every time I see his picture or read about something he did or said, my blood boils.

10. If you could have chosen at birth whether to be a boy or a girl, which would you be?
My answer depends on my mood. Mostly, I like being girl. But there are times when i want to be a boy.

11. Which of the 7 Deadly Sins do you think you relate to the most; why?
Pride. My high opinion of myself is my horrible downfall. (this was the other blogger's original entry, and it's good, so I'm not changing it)

12. Who would be your ultimate seven dinner guests?
C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, Benedict Cumberbatch, The Doctor, Rich Mullins, my brother, and Jesus.

13. Clinton or Obama?
Obama. (Please come back, Mr. Obama...)

14. Would you rather be a really good person or a really interesting person?
I'd rather be a really good person.

15. Do you believe in some form of life after death?
Definitely.

16. Which fictional character could you most see yourself marrying?
Charlie Weasley.  George Weasley.  The Doctor.

17. Best bald Star Trek Captain - Picard or Sisko?
Picard.

18. Do you have a motto? If yes which one?
Love one another.

19. What type of friends do you have?
Well, I think they're cool.

20. What place most speaks to you?
Any road, especially an interstate, that has a lot of trees on both sides.  Better still when the road curves and as you come around the curve, the scenery opens up to trees, trees, and more trees.

 

By now, you know that Trump withdrew the United States from its commitment to the Paris Climate Accord.  I don't want to go into details about what the United States actually agreed to do in the accord or what our withdrawal from the accord means for the environment.  I have deliberately avoided reading any other articles encouraging you to keep doing your part for the environment.  I wanted what I had to say be my own words, even if I'm sharing the same brain with other people.  So please be patient with me, especially if you've read articles like that since June 1.

Now then.

The thing about international climate agreements like Kyoto and Paris is that it's the countries working together to lower fossil fuel emissions and greenhouse gases.  The key is that we're working together.  One country can work towards those goals, sure, but it's more effective if other countries are working towards the same goals.

In the words of the Wonderpets, "What's gonna work?  Team work!"

Yes, the United States has withdrawn from the agreement.  That's not a good thing.  But Americans can still make a difference.  Are you recycling?  Great!  Please keep doing it.  Do you run a small (or large) business that is consciously using green practices to reduce your carbon footprint?  Excellent!  Please keep doing it.  Do you walk or bike to work several times a week?  Fantastic!  Please keep doing it.  Are you eating less meat? I mean, I know, think of all that yummy pulled pork you're missing out on, but it's still a sustainable move.  Please keep doing it.

There are so many things that we, as individuals, can do to live healthier, more eco-friendly, and sustainable lives.  While it would be better for the United States to be in this agreement instead of withdrawing from it, that doesn't mean change can't happen.  It means that I, and you, and our families and friends here in the US need to keep doing all those small things that help the environment--because all of us individually doing lots of small things will make a difference.

I'm frustrated by the lack of forward-thinking in the current Federal Administration, but instead of letting my frustration consume me, I'm going to continue to incorporate an increasing number of environmentally-friendly practices in all areas of my life.  You keep up the good work too.

 

Yesterday was Memorial Day.  It was also, technically, Day 3 of Liam's summer vacation, though he insisted it was only DAY 1! because the previous two days were the weekend.

The past three days, Liam has told me he's bored more times than I can count.  There are 101 more days of summer vacation, and I'm really starting to dread them.

Are you familiar with Phineas and Ferb?  If not, the theme song to this (TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!) Disney cartoon will introduce you to the general plot:

Here are the lyrics in case you need them:

There's 104 days of summer vacation
And school comes along just to end it
So the annual problem for our generation
Is finding a good way to spend it

Like maybe...
Building a rocket
Or fighting a mummy
Or climbing up the Eiffel Tower

Discovering something that doesn't exist (Hey!)
Or giving a monkey a shower

Surfing tidal waves
Creating nanobots
Or locating Frankenstein's brain (It's over here!)

Finding a dodo bird
Painting a continent
Or driving your sister insane (Phineas!)

As you can see
There's a whole lot of stuff to do
Before school starts this fall (Come on Perry)

So stick with us 'cause Phineas and Ferb
Are gonna do it all
So stick with us 'cause Phineas and Ferb are
Gonna do it all!
(Mom! Phineas and Ferb are making a title sequence!!)

The problem is that most kids aren't Phineas and Ferb.  I wasn't, and I was a kid in the land before time (AKA no internet.  My GOD, what did we DO before then?!).  Even so, I managed to keep myself contentedly relaxed and bored by entertaining myself.

Do kids not entertain themselves anymore, or is it just my kid?

Last night, Liam and Jeff went for a hike with the Boy Scouts, and I had three hours all to myself. Most of which I spent on Pinterest  frantically looking at ways to keep a pre-teen busy during summer vacation.  Judging by the lists I saw on Pinterest, my kid isn't the only one who doesn't entertain himself when faced with NO SCREEN TIME. (Gasp!  What kind of mother AM I?!?!?)

The good news is that I have a tentative plan now from last night's research, one that doesn't include me being Head of Liam's Personal Entertainment Committee.  (I know, I know, I should have been thinking about this long before last night, but I didn't wait until the middle of July.  Point to me.)  I'm thinking: library once a week; reading time every day from all of the books he checked out; swimming (maybe every week); working on his blog (maybe book reviews of all the books he's reading?); filling up the Netflix queue with some good movies for a quiet afternoon; STEM apps on the iPad; begin to learn a new language on Duolingo; and other possibilities. (as you can see there's a whole lot of stuff to do before school starts this fall....)

Now you tell me:  what do you do to not be your child(ren)'s personal entertainment committee during the summer?

As an added bonus, here is the extended version of the Phineas and Ferb theme song.  Because it's fun.