Random Thoughts on Symmes

… inept, but trying real hard

Happy Earth Day! April 22, 2008

Filed under: Events,Family,Friends,Quotes,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 10:19 am
You knew I couldn’t stay away today, right? 
So, here’s a quote from one of the articles in the New York Times’ special green magazine issue yesterday – titled “Why Bother?”  It’s about whether the small changes that we can make as individuals matter – even though the problem will require the will of governments around the world and multinational corporations to change their basic practices.  We’re asking you to do one thing to make your life greener, starting today.  So why should you bother, anyway?

“If you do bother, you will set an example for other people. If enough other people bother, each one influencing yet another in a chain reaction of behavioral change, markets for all manner of green products and alternative technologies will prosper and expand. (Just look at the market for hybrid cars.) Consciousness will be raised, perhaps even changed: new moral imperatives and new taboos might take root in the culture. Driving an S.U.V. or eating a 24-ounce steak or illuminating your McMansion like an airport runway at night might come to be regarded as outrages to human conscience. Not having things might become cooler than having them. And those who did change the way they live would acquire the moral standing to demand changes in behavior from others — from other people, other corporations, even other countries.” 

Here are some simple ideas we can all commit to – pick at least one you haven’t tried yet and start Earth Day tomorrow as part of the growing community of people making a difference. We’re asking everyone who works here to do the same.

 – Reduce the amount of meat (especially beef) in your diet – make one or more days each week vegetarian.  (How about Tuesdays?)

 – Eliminate your junk mail with http://greendimes.com/  

– Make a call for the climate:  call Capitol Hill (our Capitol Hill Operators are really helpful, don’t be afraid to call and ask for your Member of Congress!!) 202.224.3121 and ask for leadership from our elected representatives – get ideas on what to say here: http://www.liveearth.org/?p=366

 – Travel greener – when on the road for work or pleasure, seek out “green” hotels, rent hybrids, and use the train or public transportation whenever possible.

 – Buy “green” cleaning, home, and beauty products whenever possible.  [www.askgreentara.com is my favorite – and she’s local!]

– Make a commitment that your next car will be more fuel-efficient that your current one – keep your tires inflated and your engine tuned to maximize fuel efficiency.  And drive slower…

– Here’s the big one:  think about carpooling.  Figure out who at the office lives near you, and figure out if there are times you could drive to work together.  You don’t have to do it all the time … but look for opportunities to do it.  It might be easier than you think.  We’ve started to see more carpooling among our staff, and people are enjoying it.

– Turn off appliances and computers when you’re not using them, and unplug your chargers – use a power strip to cut “phantom” power loss. 

– Buy green – think about a product’s environmental impact and look for the most efficient option – an “Energy Star” fridge, an organic cotton t-shirt, a previously owned couch from http://www.craigslist.org.

– And last but not least…change your light bulbs!  Although I hope you’ve already done that.

Anyway, thanks for making the earth a healthier place!  Below are some additional links with great ideas & suggestions to help not only the planet but will save you $$$ too!  Happy Earth Day! 



Martha Stewart [to banish junk mail & catalogs!]

If you have others, please share with me too!


Dear April April 13, 2008

Filed under: Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 11:00 pm

You’re fast approaching March in the overall undesirability category, despite my prior notion that your predecessor was the cruelest month.

Oh, you started off promising enough, with your three or four spectacularly beautiful days when I thought I maybe could get away with planting things in the yard before Mother’s Day.  And then we’re back to square one.  It’s cold, it’s rainy and I’ve had to turn my heat back on. 

Aaaanyway, all of this is to say that April, while it’s not too late for you to get your crap together and pull out a decent to above-average month, frankly I don’t like your chances at this point.

Prove me wrong.  Seriously.

– Layni


Why I believe April 12, 2008

Filed under: Children,Events,Family,Quotes,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 5:01 pm

Last night, Harold, Maddie & I went to dinner.  We had just left the restaurant and were sitting at the red light waiting for the green light.  We were listening to the radio.  A woman had called in to make a request.  It had been a rough year and she was at her limit as far as what she felt she could handle.  She went on to explain that as rough as it had been, she loved Jesus and knew He wouldn’t give her more than she could endure.  Could they please pick a song for her that was encouraging?  I was listening intently. 

Additionally, we were distracted by a girl.  She was standing in the median on her cell phone.  She was wearing a fur-edged, view-obstructing hood and had just unsuccessfully stepped off the curb trying to cross 4 lanes of impassable traffic and had to run quickly back to the concrete slab for safety [ironically, she was under a sign that clearly showed a person mid-walk with a red circle & line through it.  Perhaps she was, “Obvious” impaired.] 

Now, anyone who has ever rode in a car with me knows, I am, what one might call, an anxious driver.  I wait with baited breath for the light to change so I can GO.  Life is too short to waste precious moments accelerating.  Just punch it and GO.  I don’t speed, it’s just that I need to be through the intersection before the guy next to me can get his foot on the gas.  I just need to.

This said…

we’re sitting there, listening to the woman on the radio pour out her heart to millions of listeners, watching the young girl in the impractical coat, unassumingly risk her life to cross traffic illegally and somewhere in the midst of all of this … I lost track.  I started daydreaming & praying.  Praying that the girl would make it across the street without being plowed down.  Daydreaming about the lady on the radio and wondering what I song I would pick for her that may be helpful to her situation.  It would need to be encouraging. 

A car honks.

I snap out of it.

The light is green.  It’s my turn!


A school bus.

Loaded with kids from Finneytown, on their way home from a game, I guess.

Roars through the red light.

Right through the red light.

Through my green light.

Through other peoples green light.

A green light I’ve been obliviously sitting at for so long that someone needed to HONK at me all, “GO!”

Harold asks, “Do you realize what just happend?”

I didn’t.  Not really.

“Who is the person who always has to be first through the intersection?”


“Right.  So why didn’t you go?”

“I-I don’t know.”

“You should have been there.  You WOULD have been there.  I’ve never seen you miss  a light.”

“Wow.  You’re right.”

I went on through the light.  I took a few moments and digested what had just happened.  I should have been in that intersection.  Why wasn’t I in that intersection?  I had my baby with me.  Was that why?

“I don’t think it was us.”

“Huh?” , I asked.

“I don’t think it was because of us.  I think it was the kids on the bus.”

I knew what he meant and of course I agree, but I can’t help but feel like it had a small bit to do with …

Psalm 91:14 “Because they love me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue them; I will protect them, for they acknowledge my name.

Thank you God!  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you!


So she says … April 10, 2008

Filed under: Children,Creativity,Events,Family,Fun!,Quotes,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 1:42 pm

Maddie:  “What channel is ‘skiffy’ on?”

Me:  “Skiffy?”

Maddie:  “Yeah.  Skiffy.”

Me:  “Are you saying ‘skiffy’?”

Maddie:  “Yes.”

Me:  “I don’t think I know this ‘skiffy'”

Maddie:  “Yeeessss, Mommy.  That channel what has ‘Tales from the Dark Side’ on it what we watched yesterday?”

Me:  “Oh, you mean SCI FI!”

Maddie:  “Oh.  [giggle]”


[Home sick with an ear infection, Maddie suddenly feels like she might be sick during lunch.  Hanging over the garbage can …]

Me:  “Uh-oh, do you feel sick-y?”

Maddie:  “Uh-huh.”






Me:  “Are you done?”

Maddie:  “Say pizza or something.”

Me:  “Pizza.”

Maddie:  “Keep going.”

Me:  “Cold pizza in a dirty ashtray.  Ummm, shrimp covered in hair, dipped in mustard.”

Maddie:  “Yeah.  I’m done.  Thanks.”


[Maddie got in bed with me at some point during the night last night & around 5:30 this morning, I was awakened by her talking in her sleep]

Maddie:  *wimperwimperwhine*  “Excuse me.  Sir?  *whine* I was trying to get a toy out of the toy box *sniff sniff* and my jacket fell in the mulch.” 

Me: [???] “Awww, it’s ok.”

Maddie:  [sitting bolt upright in the bed, looking at me in disbelief]  “You could hear that?” 

Me:  “Yes.”

Maddie:  [giggling uncontrollably]


I can haz decent post topic? April 6, 2008

Filed under: Fun!,Photos,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 11:37 pm

Perhaps not.

humorous pictures

humorous pictures


Having a conversation only she can understand April 4, 2008

Filed under: Children,Family,Food,Fun!,Quotes,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 11:58 pm

Sitting in Chipotle with Ashton enjoying a bowl & perusing the latest issue of CityBeat  (local indie newspaper) and I don’t know if y’all remember this or not, but when you’re a teenager it’s very important for people to think that you are like totally plugged in to the music scene.  Like somebody might ask you if you’ve heard the latest CD from Congress Freckle and you’d be all, “Um, it sounds familiar.”  So we’re reading the music section and she recognizes a band like, I don’t know, Placenta Boathouse or Gopher Factor or the Vernacular Fasteners or some such brilliant name and she’s all,

“Oh!  Placenta Boathouse.  They’re really good.”

I ask,

“Are they a local band?”

To which she replied, being sure not to make light of their evident popularity [somewhere] and with complete sincerity,

“Well, they’re not from here.  But they’re totally local where they’re from.”