Jamie Patterson Managing EditorOur daughter Elsie will celebrate her second birthday today, and we can officially say we have entered the “terrible twos” era.
I say this all in good humor, but I think she entered that stage a few months back.
I love my baby girl with all my heart. It is so special to have a little girl with their sugar, spice and everything nice.
But I must admit that Elsie has slowly transformed into a little diva. She knows what she wants, and she knows just how to get it.
Just this morning,we had a complete melt down because I didn’t allow her to color herself with markers. Thinking I put the markers in a high location, I came back into the room to discover that she had climbed on top of an adjacent chest and was inching her fingers to grab the marker box. When I placed her back down, she grunted at me.
I have never been grunted at before in my life. But with Elsie, it has become a daily occurrence.
Something else I must get used to is her use of the word “no.” She doesn’t just say it. She says it with sass and a matter-of-fact attitude. And, you guessed it, it is normally followed by the grunt.
Everyone keeps warning me about the terrible two stage and the dramatic moments that come with having a little girl. I thought I could prove them all wrong with a proper princess.
But those folks knew what they were talking about all those times.
Just last Sunday, I had to remove her from children’s time at church because she thought it was a good idea to jump off the pulpit. Fearing she would hit her head, I approached her to “quietly” remove her from the scene.
I got the “no” and the body bends as we walked out of the sanctuary.
She is full of attitude, and I am told it only gets worse.
But I am more than ready for this wild ride.
I want her to have a little spunk. I want a kid who you never know what is going to happen with. That is the fun part.
Already at two years old, Elsie has that larger than life personality.
She loves to laugh, loud. She will let out a series of giggles that echo through the whole house. And she doesn’t care who hears her.
She is the best dancer in Yazoo County. When a tune comes out, her dancing shoes go on. She dances her heart out, and she doesn’t care who sees her.
She loves to explore and have wild adventures. She isn’t afraid of anything. If something grabs her attention, she has to figure it out regardless of the outcome. And she doesn’t care what people tell her.
Elsie walks her own line, marches to her own tune. She is who she is, regardless of what you want her to be.
It would be nice to enter the second year with a prim and proper little girl...a little girl who remains calm and collected.
But where is the fun in that?
I want my Elsie who laughs loud, dances without care and is determined to do things her way. I want my spunky, devil-may-care Elsie.
With her, those “terrible twos” don’t seem so terrible after all.
Jason Patterson Editor & PublisherThese days every business manager has to be looking for every possible way to make a profit.
Here at The Yazoo Herald the best way to do that is to produce a newspaper that people want to read and that advertisers know people are reading. We’re doing that to the best of our ability, but I’m always having to look for an extra way to save a buck or generate some new business.
The Mayor and Board of Aldermen may have provided such an opportunity last week. By including the need to produce rental income to the nonsensical list of excuses they accept as “hardships,” the board created a great opportunity for us.
The Yazoo Herald owns a rather large lot beside our building on Grand Avenue. Currently it’s only an expense as we keep the lawn maintained and pick up all the beer bottles our neighbors like to throw over the fence during their frequent celebrations.
Instead of the lot being an expense there is now great opportunity. I’m thinking we can fit nearly a dozen of those FEMA trailer-style campers on the lot. Instead of it being an expense, suddenly it’s a great income producing opportunity.
Now the Mayor and Board of Aldermen (except for Ward 2 Alderman Jack Varner, who was absent from the meeting due to illness and probably got a whole lot sicker after hearing of his colleagues’ actions) might argue that my desire to establish a trailer park right in the center of town isn’t the same thing as the request they approved last week.
But wouldn’t they be discriminating against me? Wouldn’t they have to apply the same rules?
That seemed to be the warning issued by city attorney Sarah O’Reilly Evans who made it clear that the board was setting a potentially problematic precedent. Her warning was of course ignored. No one was really surprised because our city leaders just don’t seem to see the big picture when it comes to property issues.
Granting exceptions to carefully crafted zoning ordinances for just about any reason is a big mistake, and I don’t think any of them realize why.
When they grant exceptions to business zoning districts, they argue that it’s to promote business.
They may in fact be making it a little easier for someone to open a business by allowing the individual to set up shop in the middle of a residential neighborhood. But at the same time it cheapens the value of the area actually zoned for business, and it makes the residential area less desirable. In the end you’re losing more than you gain every time.
The same thing goes with mobile homes. There are zones where they are permitted, but they should be limited to those areas. Residents have a legitimate interest in protecting their property values, and the city should share that interest as the taxes on those properties is what pays the bills.
Elected officials need to realize that one of their most important responsibilities is managing real estate. When you look at the most prosperous cities in our state, they have leadership that totally understands this concept.
Take a look at Madison, where the building code standards are so high that even gas stations are built on a grand scale.
I’m not suggesting that Yazoo is in a position to demand the same standards as Madison, but we can certainly do a lot better. We need to start demanding that our elected officials get serious about enforcing zoning ordinances, requiring property owners to maintain their property to the standards established by the city’s ordinances and cleaning up those properties that have been long neglected.
It’s time to put the needs of those who take pride in their property over those who make excuses for negligent people while once beautiful neighborhoods become slums.
It’s time to start creating neighborhoods that people want to move to rather than neighborhoods that those with the means to do so are leaving as fast as they can.
It’s time for Yazooans to realize that we all deserve just as much respect from our elected leadership as citizens get in Madison, Ridgeland or any other town in Mississippi.
Why should we deserve any less?
Last Updated (Tuesday, 21 May 2013 19:17)
Jamie Patterson Managing EditorIt seemed too good to be true.
The afternoon had been peaceful and relaxing, and all the worries from the day were left where they started in the first place.
My husband Jason and our son James were outside, throwing the baseball around. Our daughter Elsie was watching her favorite cartoon, complete with some cheese for a snack.
With our stereo playing some of my favorite songs, I calmy prepared supper in the kitchen. We were having homemade pizza that evening.
All was calm and perfect.
And then the bottom fell out.
Elsie, who discovered her juice cup was empty, came running into the kitchen at full speed. Her entire face was consumed by her tiny mouth as it let out cries of anguish.
Holding the empty cup into the air, she then dropped to her knees. A full blown tantrum began, complete with tears and quivering lips.
Apparently Elsie thinks all empty juice cups are incapable of being refilled.
At some point, I think she even forgot what she was upset about because she didn’t even want the juice anymore.
The juice wasn’t helping. The cheese snack was an insult. Nothing was controlling this state of emotion inside my tiny baby girl.
And then, my mother instincts seemed to take over.
Grabbing Elsie and heading into the dining room, we started dancing. One of my favorite songs, The Very Thought of You by Billie Holiday, was playing softly in the room. And we simply danced.
I held my little girl in my arms, with her tear-soaked cheek next to mine. And the song seemed perfect for the moment.
Elsie sniffed a few final tears, and I could feel her grip around my neck tightened. And then she gave that final “sigh.” The tantrum was over.
But I didn’t stop dancing with her. Just because the tantrum was over didn’t mean the dancing had to stop.
We ended up swaying back and forth for the remainder of the song.
She then looked at me and scooted down to the floor. All was again calm, and she went back to her cartoon. I went back to my kitchen. And the music kept playing.
I instantly went back to my own childhood when my grandmother did the same thing for me. Maw Maw and I would dance to Fats Domino in her kitchen.
She would have a wooden spoon in her hand, as if she was conducting an orchestra. I would be fluttering around her with a dish rag.
No matter what was going on in the world past her screen door...inside her kitchen, we were happy.
To this day whenever I hear Fats Domino, I smile. It takes me back to that childhood kitchen with the smell of hot gumbo, the feel of that cool breeze coming from outside, and my Maw Maw spinning me in circles.
It was a moment and place I try to return to from time to time.
Now whenever I hear that Billie Holiday tune, I will remember that one moment when my own little girl was safe in my arms. When she held me in her love, and I tried to make it all better.
It was when the world stopped for us, and we danced.
Walter Patterson Herald Columnist“The secret to my success was that somehow I always managed to live to fly another day.”
– General Chuck Yeager
In my lifetime, I have never seen such an assault on our Constitution or our way of life by the leftist in this country who want to change our society and force socialism, or worse, on every American.
Capitalism is under a vicious attack. Earning wealth is no longer an American value. Personal responsibility has gone out the window. The new mantra is, “Let the government take care of you.” Over 10 million Americans are now drawing Social Security Disability Insurance, and nearly half of our population is on food stamps.
Scandal has gripped Washington, and it is clear to any objective observer that President Obama and Hillary Clinton fabricated a story on Benghazi that will no longer fly. President Obama drew a “red line” in Syria and now he claims that he does not know who used the poison gas – Syrian army regulars or the rebels.
Since the rebels are a rag-tag bunch, it would seem that the answer to that question is crystal clear. It seems to me that the only party with access to the poisonous gas is the Syrian army, but that’s just me.
Under Obama, almost everything is getting worse. The Federal Reserve continues to pump $85 billion dollars a month into the stock market. Today, the stock market is over 15,000, but this is the equivalent to a “cocaine” high.
We’ve had this experience before. Do you remember Jimmy Carter and the 20 percent interest rates? The same economic conditions that caused the Carter presidency to fail are now in play.
At some point in the near future, interest rates must rise. I don’t know how high they will rise, but I know that the result will be brutal to our anemic economy. Moreover, the recession or depression that follows will be much worse than the Carter disaster.
Janet Napolitano, “Big Sis,” is purchasing even more rounds of ammunition. She sent out a questionnaire that asked ammo manufacturers: “Are you capable of producing large quantity orders of any training caliber specified with a short turnaround time of 30-60 days? What would your lead time be for an order of 2 million rounds of a single type listed above?” According to one Washington news analyst, “This is increasing concerns that the federal agency is continuing its arms buildup in preparation for domestic unrest.” As I’ve stated before, there can be only one reason to buy ammunition on this scale: to use it against the American people.
But enough of the bad news. If you look far enough over the horizon, you can see some clear sky. Washington insiders are already labeling President Obama as a “lame duck” president. That means that now much of what he wants done is not going to get done. His inexperience is beginning to show. No chief executive would dare lie to his staff or to the American people.
It may take some time, but the truth usually finds a way to come out. The Benghazi Scandal will be hung around his neck and Hillary’s. Hopefully, the American people will wake up and see Hillary as the incompetent prevaricator that she is. Remember her screaming to Congress, “What difference does it make now?” You will see that played over and over in political advertisements, and they will be very effective.
Obamacare is under attack – by Democrats. They can see the angry storm that this legislation is going to bring, and they are beginning to worry about their re-election chances. The chief supporter of this nightmare bill, Senator Max Baucus, has already declared that “it is going to be a train wreck.” He has, also, elected to retire from the Senate. He may be smarter than I thought
Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, has chimed in and seconded Baucus’s analysis, but then he had the temerity to say, “The federal government is not spending enough money on the implementation of Obamacare and it’s the Republicans fault.” Any Republican who votes to give one penny to this socialist boondoggle must be removed from office immediately. Remember, only 42 percent of Americans are even aware that Obamacare is law. Shocking!
The National Rifle Association had a great convention. Membership is up dramatically, and it appears that we still have a fighting chance to preserve our Second Amendment rights.
As General Yeager said, “…I always managed to live to fly another day.”
Jamie Patterson Managing EditorI was thinking long and hard about what hints I could drop to my husband Jason with the approaching Mother’s Day celebration.
Normally, I let conversations linger to what movie I might would want to catch soon or what new restaurant I was interested in trying.
I have even been known to leave advertisements from the newspaper right next to the remote control or near the coffee pot. (That trick landed me a watch that I wanted on Christmas).
In the end, Jason has always managed to do something really nice for me since I first became a mother five years ago.
We usually do a simple date night alone because with two kids constantly pulling you in every direction, a quiet evening alone is sometimes the best thing.
At first, I was happy with a movie date but I have started to give that a second thought.
My perfect Mother’s Day could begin with breakfast in bed. All the times I bought those vintage serving trays at garage sales, it’s time we put them to use.
Jason could bring the tray to me early Sunday morning before church. Relaxing in bed, I could enjoy a cup of coffee with a cinnamon roll and maybe even catch up on some reading.
What a minute...do I really think this would work?
First of all, the commotion in the kitchen would probably wake me up first. There would be no such thing as Jason lightly tapping on the door to bring my tray into me.
The baking pan would probably be dropped into the sink, echoing through the house.
Our daughter Elsie would be screaming for Daddy to make her some milk as he tried to make a fresh pot of coffee.
Our son James would be moaning about how he would like a cinnamon roll and not another Honeybun.
During all this, Jason would be (trying to whisper but really yelling) about how the kids need to settle down because “Mommy is still sleeping.”
In reality, I won’t be asleep. I will be waiting in bed for my tray, really itching just to get up to assist with the situation going on in the kitchen.
And I can predict that once Jason brings me my breakfast in bed, the kids won’t be too far behind ready to join me.
James will jump into the bed with me, throwing the sheets up around him as be bounces from one side to the next.
Elsie will grunt as she tries to pull herself up onto the bed. I will bend down to pull her up, and she will immediately go for my food.
By the end of the morning, my bed will be a wasteland of wrinkled sheets with sticky handprints all over them. My breakfast will be devoured by a hungry infant. My coffee will be cold because I couldn’t drink from a hot cup with two bouncing kids by my head.
And that reading I had in mind...it will include Winnie the Pooh or the latest dinosaur book.
I can’t predict the future, but I have a pretty good idea at seeing what “might” happen.
And you know what? It will be the best Mother’s Day ever.
Perhaps it would be nice to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet, but where is the fun in that?
The kids don’t understand why Mommy needs “me” time. Relaxing is not on their agenda. But they want their Mommy.
James wants me to see his latest flip on the bed that he can do. Elsie wants to share a few pieces of sweet rolls with me. And who can pass up a funny book?
And I want that for this Mother’s Day. I want to spend a day with my family. I don’t want to have a moment alone.
I can honestly say that I want a crazy, wild, need a nap but we don’t have time for that kind of day.
Give me a backyard with a plastic pool and a few water guns. Give me two hyper children who want nothing more than to run around without a care. Give me a husband next to me on the patio watching the kids run wild.
That would be the perfect Mother’s Day. Without them, there’s nothing to celebrate.