Philosophizing About my Boys

JohnFKSo I finally had some time for myself, on a Sunday Lt._Joseph_P._Kennedy,_Jr._Navyafternoon.  This hardly ever happens because usually at least one of the kids is demanding something over the weekend.  But two days ago, the kids were playing really nicely so I was able to just sit and relax. So I took the opportunity to enjoy one of my favorite pastimes – American history.

I used to read American history all the time but, since having the kids have had less time.  Now though, in the last few months, I have gotten back to it somewhat and am currently up to John F. Kennedy.  Apart from my own history books, I was recently learning about connected items from the Shapell Manuscript Foundation.  It seems that the Foundation has in its possession a letter that he wrote to a Miss Forbush following the condolences John received on the untimely death of his brother. He wrote: Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness in sending me those prayers at the time of my brothers death. They were a great help, and I want you to know how much I appreciated it.

So having read this letter, I wanted to know more about the relationship Joseph had with John, especially given the fact that I have two boys myself.  I have to admit that I was quite shocked, that, given that I’m a full-bred American, I had absolutely no idea about how and why Kennedy came to power.  In my investigation, I found out that it was actually his brother Joseph P. Kennedy who was slated for the world of politics.  But he was brought to his premature death when the plane that was taking him on a secret mission suddenly exploded.  Given that his father had been grooming Joseph to be America’s next President and on that fateful trip that dream exploded, John F. Kennedy – the less smart, less popular, less attractive and younger brother – had to step up.

So as I was watching my boys begin to rough and tumble, I wondered what impact my expectations – subconscious as they might be – would have on them in the future.  I certainly hope that neither boy ends up feeling how John clearly did – less attractive, less popular and less smart than the other.

Anyway it’s interesting to learn about the leaders of our country in this way; focusing on their personalities, their relationships with each other and with their parents.  For me personally it really helps put a spin on how human they were and, of course, how I can assist my own children develop their particular strengths.

I’m looking forward to the next bit of quiet time I get to learn more.  I thought it was so cool that I stumbled upon this through the Shapell Manuscript Foundation – who knows what else there might be!

Professional Women’s Network

working-womenA little while ago I got together with a bunch of hip, talented women for a networking session.  Casa del Matador hosted the NAPW Portland Chapter and we discussed an array of different topics with a focus on stress management.  Portland Chapter President Franchesca Vermillion, D.C., discussed the four types of stress that exist: chemical stress, emotional stress, physical stress, and mental stress. All these can lead to: blood pressure issues; mood swings; difficulty sleeping/eating, etc.  People deal with these stresses in different ways and the most popular method seems to be caffeine, which is actually a drug and can have side-effects if used long-term, including osteoporosis, which is more commonplace amongst women.

Well, that was definitely food for thought for me. I know that I consume way too much caffeine, and, some years ago, was diagnosed as having borderline osteoporosis back from when I was in college and had terrible eating habits and was probably under-nourished.

However, the thing with me is that I don’t use caffeine as a stress-crutch.  But according to Vermillion since many people do (especially women who seem to want it all), it is time to figure out how to combat the problem.  She said that we must first take care of ourselves and then worry about others.  But, as Daniel always likes to point out “you’re usually Number One on your list!”

Still, although I didn’t really relate to too many stresses in life which seemed to be the seminar’s focal point, I did have a tremendous opportunity to connect with new people.  I now feel that I can actually use the connections to further some of my potential business ideas.  Plus, there could be more women with whom I can rotate for my “ladies who lunch” rotation!

Portland Entertainment: Mark Your Calendars

kids-theaterThere are a lot of fun things happening in my neighborhood now.  I think I’m going to go to some – if not all – of them.  I’m happy also because there are fun things for the kids to do too.  First, there’s the 49th Annual Portland Swap Meet between April 5th to 7th at the Portland Expo Center.  It’s pretty cheap too so that is an added bonus. I think Daniel and I will get a babysitter Friday night and head out to Mago Hunt Center for the comedy Bluffoons.  That looks like fun and I could do with a laugh.  I thought of going for salsa lessons too at the World Famous Kenton Club but when I mentioned it to Daniel he gave me “the look.”

Still, now that I think about it, that doesn’t include much for kids.  So then I checked out if there was anything going on at the Portland Stage and was delighted to see that the summer is packed with entertainment.  The theater is set up just for kids and there are professional actors for them to learn from.   This is a great way for kids to use their imaginations, bringing modern literature to life and developing acting skills.

So it looks like there are going to be a lot of fun activities for the whole family over the next few weeks.

Portland Happenings

portland-parkHave been feeling a little bored the last couple of weeks. So I took a look at the local paper to see what was going on.  In Northeast Portland, I saw that Parkrose High named its Rose Festival Princess, but I wasn’t too upset to have missed that.  But what I do want to do is check out the new wine shop in Kerns as a few new bottles of bubbly will certainly not go amiss in our household this coming Easter.

While looking for fun things to do, I read that NAYA is making efforts to create affordable housing in the SE Portland Lents region. Maybe I can finally persuade mom and dad to start looking at properties and I’ll get free babysitting!

And in the meantime, a Spring Break Adventures camp for kids is to be hosted by Portland Parks & Recreation, taking place at the Matt Dishmann Community Center.  That looks like the perfect outing for Jayden and Ethan.

Lending a Helping Hand

helping-handDespite the fact that Daniel and I don’t hold by any particular religion, we do feel it is important to teach our children a sense of doing good by helping those in need.  So when I read about a few parishes getting together to collect over 140 tons of food (or money to purchase it), I jumped on the bandwagon and got my family to follow suit, putting religion aside completely.

This food is going to help those in need that are aided by Neighborhood House, SW Portland.  Apparently it’s an especially important time to help these people – just after the holiday season.  The parishes involved are: St. John Fisher, St. Clare and St. Thomas More.  Another thing that appealed to me was the fact that it’s not just Parish congregants who are involved but Jewish and Muslims too – so it’s totally not a religious-based thing which is important to me and Daniel. It has been going since 2007 but, given that according to Neighborhood House’s executive director Rick Nitti, the State of Oregon witnessed a 2 percent increase in poverty last year (as compared to nationwide figures that did not experience any escalation), this is a great year for us to start getting involved in such a project.