Aurora's birthday was yesterday: her last one as a teenager. We went out to Olive Garden for dinner last night as a family and it was one of the nicest family dinners we have had in a long while: no drama, no strife, no tension; just laughter, enjoyment of being together, and a really nice meal. It was wonderful!
The election is over and now it's time to sift through the results, determine what needs to be done, and buckle down. Needless to say our household wasn't happy with the result, and I feel strongly a number of things need to be changed in how we do our democratic system (I think we need to return to the popular vote and get rid of the electoral process; it's outmoded and outdated); I also believe we need to get rid of "projected results" and reporting on winners of states based on small percentages of returns as polls close. I would like to see a moratorium on results until after all the polls have closed in all states, and the majority of votes have been counted before winners/losers and results are broadcast because it is so frustrating to watch political dissections taking place before all votes have been counted, and this focus on "key states" makes it feel like who cares what the "other voters think"--if you carry states x, y, and z, then you can't lose! Perhaps the winner should be determined by how many states he or she carries (again, popular vote in each state) versus "electoral votes". I am so frustrated with our current system, and have been for years! (My blog, my opinion, take it or leave it, but let's not fight). Aurora, Rei, Dan, and Patrick all voted in their first presidential election this year and I am proud of them for contributing to the process, flawed as it is.
We have had a nasty flu bug floating around our house this past month or better. Brie came down with it first, then a week later Skye had it; I came down with it as she was mending, followed by Dan (who probably came down with it shortly after me), then Eric, about 7 days after me. Seems like there is a long incubation period before symptoms manifest, but as Eric starts to feel better no one else seems to be getting sick (thank God!). It starts as a lingering, annoying sore throat, moves into a cough and chest congestion/headache, followed by head congestion, and can include lower intestinal issues/stomach cramps as well, along with chills, body aches, and a general sense of having been hit by a truck. I still have lingering cough/sinus symptoms that won't go away but otherwise I am feeling better, and Eric ended up taking Sunday off sick after plugging through working Thursday thru Saturday (he had 3 overtime shifts in that two week period!)
The teen population continues life status quo: school, and/or job hunting. It's getting a bit frustrating that the boys haven't found jobs, especially with the holiday/seasonal employment season heating up, and at least Dan and Patrick having no restrictions on availability (Aurora and Rei have school and other commitments to work around). Brie is planning out her last semester at SWIC for her AA degree, and her schedule will somewhat dictate what my availabilities are (based on Skye). We (and they) are settling into a routine of sorts that fluctuates from week to week, sometimes day to day. It's working though.
Prayers are needed for Liisa and Zack, especially heading into the holiday season. Zack was fired for being late to work yesterday because he was voting. He had asked his boss if he could go to vote after the noon rush was done (was scheduled open to close) and was told the polls open at 7 and to go before work, so he did, but had to wait in line for his turn, thus making him late for work. An hour after he got there he was told he was fired. They are now back-pedaling on the reason for the termination (because it is illegal to fire someone for voting), but the crux of the matter is that there have been no complaints of unsatisfactory job performance, no warnings, write-ups of other complaints, and (at least at the wedding, which his company catered) it seemed he was doing amazing there and they loved him! Regardless, bills need to be paid, children need to be supported, and they need two jobs.
Prayers are also needed for a dear friend of mine who continues to face an uncertain future due to unemployment, the lack of a safe residence come the end of the month, and health issues. Life has been extremely hard for her these last 4 years, and for whatever their reasons are, her family appears to have abandoned her to the whims of fate rather than standing with her in her time of need. I don't understand it, because it isn't how I was raised, but my heart hurts for her and I pray things turn around for her.
Today is another of those grey, gloomy days that make me want to turn on lots of lights, burn a candle or two, and make things feel bright and homey inside. We gave in and turned on the heat (to 68 degrees) because with so many of us being sick the house was taking on a decided chill when things dropped to the upper 30's outside. I think I am gonna stay away from the television or radio today and just listen to my audiobooks and music on my Zune, and maybe look at the election results/numbers online later on. I think I just need a day of prayerful reflection, of counting my blessings, and focusing on the things I can take care of for today.