The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...

The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...
He's thinking Classic. (click on photo)


Jan 28, 2012

May my daughter remember my determination this way

"I grew up in NYC alone with my mom. She was a single parent and while life wasn't always easy, it sure was fun. Even as a child, I understood that, financially, we were living on the edge. but somehow we always got by. My mom was determined to give me a well-rounded childhood-n matter what it cost.

She could have chosen to live in a less expensive neighborhood but she was never one to compromise. We lived on Central Park West, went to Broadway shows and dined at the city's best restaurants. I went to private school and summer camp, took ballet and piano lessons, and learned to ski in Vermont on weekends.

My childhood sounds like on grounded in privilege but that’s only one side of it. My dad was gone, leaving us with no money when I was very young. My mom was strong, beautiful and artistic and an uncanny ability to convince people that she could do almost anything. She used all these qualities to supplement her meager financial resources and combined, they magically arrived us through life one day at a time. I don’t remember ever hearing her say the word "can't".

My first memories of Mom in the working world were formed by earing her tell stories of being a model. She was one of those women who made heads turn every time she entered a room and for 10 years she posed for advertising, runway shows and department stores. I never learned precisely why her modeling career ended but I remember hearing vague stories about lecherous photographers and creeps who couldn’t keep their hands off her.

So she eased herself into another career and soon our apartment was filled with paintings and art supplies. There were easels in every room, some for paper and charcoal drawing and others for canvas & oils. Shed often paint all day and well into the night; I still remember her - brush in hand, working as she watched Johnny Carson until the wee hours of the morning. To this day I have no idea where she sold all of her artwork, but she found a market somewhere. She produced a prodigious amount of art that was apparently good enough that she sold all of it, earning enough money to pay the rent and my private school tuition.

When I was 8 years old my mother decided to spread her wings even farther and using her artistic talents, became an interior decorator as well as a landlord. I became her willing assistant. It was my first encounter with entrepreneurship. My mother had saved just enough money to rent an unfurnished, unoccupied apartment on east 56th Street, where we spend weekends painting walls and drawing floor plans. I would measure and she would draw.

Once the apartment was painted & my mothers decorating plans competed, we'd it the auctions. Mom read the paper to see what was coming up for auction that would fit her designs. I'd have fun going along after school and offering my opinion on which piece of furniture I thought would look best in the new apartment. We refinished or repainted furniture when necessary and in a matter of weeks listed the apartment in the "For Rent" section of the NY Times.

The phone rang off the hook. Within a week we'd found a tenant and rented the apartment with a year’s lease. By the time I was twelve, my mother, repeating that same scenario many times, was managing more than twenty apartments, all of which she'd decorated and subleased at substantial profit.

But times change. A few years later the NY rental market began to falter; Mom's business was slipping away. Overnight, rentals had become a thing of the past; people with money were buying their apartments instead of renting them. Undaunted, Mom entered school and after 6 months of classes, proudly announced that she had earned her real-estate license. If she couldn't rent, she was going to sell. Our days of refinishing furniture & visiting auction houses were over.

Mom started working at an up & coming firm on Madison Ave that was carving out a lucrative niche market by catering to wealthy clients looking for luxury apartments in Manhattans newly converted co-op buildings. Her first client was Woody Allen; a new career was born, a new adventure begun.

Mom's goals were straightforward: to be a good mother, enjoy a full life by embracing new experience and marry a wonderful man with the same objectives. She never did find that perfect man but she scored high in every other regard. Flexibility was an intrinsic part of her nature and helped her overcome setbacks without losing her enthusiasm for her dream.

As for me, she gave me the gift of knowing I can do whatever I want and the courage to follow through. I new as long as I was doing what I loved, money would follow. And, in genera, it has."

From Bob & Melinda Blanchard "Live What You Love"

Jan 21, 2012

Culture Challenge of the Week: Parents Who Won't Parent

The new Fox TV show, "I Hate My Teenage Daughter," aired an episode recently that provoked passionate debate among real life moms. The TV episode followed a mom's reaction when her fourteen-year-old daughter wanted to date an older teen--a teenage dad. One viewer, then, turned to her peers on the popular blog site for moms, CafeMom, and asked, "Would you let your teenage daughter [age 14] date a guy who has a baby?"

While many of the moms said "no," (often saying they wouldn't let a fourteen-year-old date anyone), a few flakes said yes, and a significant number waffled.

The "wafflers" trouble me most.

Many wafflers were moms who felt a decision like this -- whether their 14-year-old should go out with a teen father -- wasn't theirs to make. As parents, they could only speak their piece and hope for the best.

Rules? Futile.

In their world, teens call the shots. Parental wisdom stacks up as one opinion among many -- advice to be considered, or not. Whether a teen will follow parental advice on dating is no more predictable than a roll of the dice.

"I would try to persuade her not to," said one mom. "I doubt I would have a choice, but I wouldn't like it," said another. A third chimed in with a fatalistic virtual shrug, "You can't really control love…"

Teen dating decisions for these moms clearly fall within the realm of personal autonomy, and so a daughter's autonomy (at 14!) would be absolute. Like selecting perfume, who they will spend time with alone becomes a matter of distinctly personal preference, impervious to rules or objective measure.

And so, if these parents believe they ought to suspend their parental judgment in favor of adolescent preference, what then is a parent's role? To 'support' --financially and emotionally -- their teen's decisions, regardless of whether or not those decisions are moral and prudent.

It's a secular parenting philosophy that extends beyond dating decisions to nearly every aspect of teenagers' lives -- friends, music, school, media, and faith. Teenage autonomy trumps parental authority.

The stage has been set for years now. From cartoons, to children's books, to adolescent literature, to school sex ed classes -- the cultural message is that parents are either clueless buffoons, or old-school tyrants. And, if parents don't willingly grant autonomy to their teens, then kids need a work-around (often provided by "teen advocates" with their own agenda).

Too often, parents themselves buy into this philosophy. As a result, according to Albert Mohler, the President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, parents today "have largely become passive facilitators in the lives of their children."

How To Save Your Family with Loving Direction [Authority]

These waffling moms need to take their blinders off. With eyes wide open, they need to look around and realize that they, not their teens, are the grown-ups in the room.
Teens simply don't have the knowledge, maturity, and wisdom to make adult judgments.

This is why they have us.

Parents possess experience and wisdom that children won't have for years. Even a mature teenager cannot easily envision -- by herself -- the full, long-term consequences of her actions. She hasn't lived long enough and doesn't know enough. An adult, on the other hand, presumably is aware of the consequences of early dating -- and the risks of dating an older male whose values and self-control are in doubt.

Most of the moms in this online conversation had the right instincts -- they knew the right decision. What they lacked was the confidence and will to act; they lacked the confidence and will to parent.

That's not okay.

Parents have more than wisdom and years -- we have a responsibility, given by God, to train our children in the way they should go. (Prov. 12:6). It's an ongoing responsibility -- a gift to our children -- that does not end magically when a child hits 13.

Or, 15. Or, 17.

Loving parental authority not only teaches children right from wrong, but also helps them develop prudence, exercise gradual independence, and assume greater personal responsibility on the path to adulthood.

Teenagers need their parents, and parents need to parent.

Do your teens call the shots in your home? Is your parental wisdom just one opinion among many -- "advice" for your teen to consider or reject? It's time for parents to parent!


Teens rebel. It's an inevitability that is not a matter of if, but when, and how often. And, even the best teens think that they know what's best for them, and will reject your wisdom from time to time.

But, the answer is not to throw your hands in the air (or, offer a virtual shrug), and accept defeat. Teens do not know what's best for them. They need you, and the rebellion you see in them is evidence of that.

Stand your ground. Don't relent. They may not immediately recognize that you are right, and that you have their best interests in mind, but one day they will. And, the alternative -- letting teens run their own lives -- can have tragic consequences.

More than just needing you -- teens want you. They want your guidance and rules. So, be there for them. They'll appreciate it more than they'll let you know.

Rebecca Hagelin - 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family

Jan 17, 2012

Are Sydne Spies of Durango High School's yearbook photos too racy? My response.

Looks like a modeling photo, She's absolutely beautiful. However, teens often forget that as they get older and come in to their young adulthood, a photo like this - it's not just the high school boys getting their attention. So it's up to the high school to step in and create a high school friendly book. We don't want our teachers facebooking with our kids, having relationships with our kids - we probably shouldn't put solicitous provocative photos in the yearbook. It all works together. As a female from a house of strong females and a mom of many daughters (one son, poor guy) - it is VERY difficult to balance being strong, comfortable in our femininity that includes sexuality without taking on the current societal view that we should allow AND EXPECT our daughters to BE sexualized. Is there anything else our girls could be? Worth as a female is still locked into our breasts/ass/physical perfection. In all these years, we still haven't developed past the feeling the need to achieve that and fighting for worth to others and our internal selves beyond that. Looking at the lifespan of humans, there is plenty of time to explore your sexuality and we push our kids to start out young. Feels a little pedophiliac to me at times. Create clothes at the age of 5 that are too short, too high, write words across our little girls butt to draw attention. The photos are racy, no doubt. And no man is looking at this parents daughter with "good" intentions. In fact, a man that thinks this should be encouraged with our young girls, should be looked at twice, three, four times. His intent is probably NOT the good of the young girl but more for his own visual gratification. I think at times women think they will control with sexuality but I'm not quite sure it really works out that way. It's a lonely road in the end for a girl/woman when she's given all she has. I was at a local football game recently and this man's teenage daughter walked up, in skimpy/short short, tight, glittery shorts. Nice body. Def flaunting it. I watched as his grown adult friend looked her up & down as she walked away and quickly averted his eyes when his friend turned his way. It made me a tad nauseous and validated my own parental choices with our daughters. Balance, balance. Maybe someday we'll find it.

Jan 8, 2012

AOM: The Thousandth Man

The Thousandth Man
By Rudyard Kipling

One man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it’s worth while seeking him half your days
If you find him before the other.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine depend
On what the world sees in you,
But the Thousandth Man will stand your friend
With the whole round world agin you.

‘Tis neither promise nor prayer nor show
Will settle the finding for ‘ee.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of ‘em go
By your looks or your acts or your glory.
But if he finds you and you find him,
The rest of the world don’t matter;
For the Thousandth Man will sink or swim
With you in any water.

You can use his purse with no more talk
Than he uses yours for his spendings,
And laugh and meet in your daily walk
As though there had been no lendings.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of ‘em call
For silver and gold in their dealings;
But the Thousandth Man he’s worth ‘em all,
Because you can show him your feelings.

His wrong’s your wrong, and his right’s your right,
In season or out of season.
Stand up and back it in all men’s sight—
With that for your only reason!
Nine hundred and ninety-nine can’t bide
The shame or mocking or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot—and after!

Hat tip to Gilberto C. for this Manvotional

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