Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2009

I try not to lecture on this blog but I just have to say this, so please bear with me.

Susan Boyle, the British singer on Britain’s Got Talent, steps out on stage and people roll their eyes and laugh. At what? At the nerve of a frumpy woman, with frizzy hair, to dare think she deserves our respectful attention long enough to give her a chance?

I was raised with the concept that you treat everyone like you would like to be treated.  Isn’t that really the only rule you need to live by?  You would not want someone to shoot you, to cheat on you, to steal from you, to laugh at you, or to judge you by your looks alone. 

And, believe me, those looks are fleeting.  Snap your fingers and you too will be sixty and have wrinkles and battle weight as your body slows down.  So—–

Everyone. Let me repeat, EVERYONE, deserves respect until they have proven they do not. Our children deserve our respect. Our parents deserve our respect. Disabled people deserve our respect and that also means people who do not obviously look disabled, as my husband has never “looked” like he was disabled. Of course, now that he looks like he is ninety, when he is really fifty-six, he gets more respect for his disease.

We are so quick to judge! Whether it is someone’s weight or looks or hair or teeth or scars or, or or. Let’s give everyone the respectful attention they deserve and that we would want, if we just weren’t so darn perfect.

Read Full Post »

I am so excited this morning. I heard the President’s speech about the high speed train system. I swear, every time he steps up to the mike, I get more hopeful for the future of this country.

Images of the future look positively clean and space-age, as gleaming trains speed across the country. Indiana to Wyoming in just over three hours would be a possibility. I could do a book tour without getting on an airplane.

Now, I really would like to take an old fashioned train trip, watching the scenery float by; having lazy conversations while eating in the dining car. My great grandfather worked on trains. Way back then, they used to throw the dishes out at the end of the line, rather than wash them. When great-granddad got off work, he would go to the dish pile and collect the unbroken dishes and bring them home.

There were three adults and six children living in that home and it was the depression. These dishes were a big help. I still have an oval plate and two coffee cups. The cups had two handles on them so that you could sip your coffee with less chance of spilling it on you.

I don’t think spilling will be an issue on a train going three hundred miles an hour. That track had better be smooth.

I can’t wait.

Read Full Post »

Summer is almost here.  Tulips and daffodils are blooming and tomato starts, in the bay window, are two inches tall.

This means that I will soon be reminded that I have, yet again, overestimated my youth and energy.  I am still weight lifting and doing aerobics, and still stuck at 11 pounds lost, but I do hope I have the energy for the garden this year. 

I have a hard time throwing out the weaker plant starts.  I just cannot imagine me ever being able to chop up the Mandrake roots.   Since I do like to have extra plants, and thus extra produce, to take to the Seniors in mom’s apartment building, I planned on planting more this year anyway. 

No one is fond of mowing our 3.8 acre yard. A couple of areas of the yard are wooded, so we just leave those alone.  I think one winter day, when the ticks are hibernating (Do ticks hibernate?) I will put the teens to cleaning the woods.  That is, if they are ever home long enough. 

No longer a Teen, #1 is living in Santa Fe, temporarily and is 22 now.  Teen #2 will be 20 this June, and is always gone to the fire department or nursing schooling, or working.  Teen #3 is now best buddies with his girlfriend’s dad; whose house he goes to for extra tutoring and also to help around their property.  The latest project is a “man cave” in the barn; complete with comfy chairs and a television.

It is always a spur to tell them that they can use the wood they pick up for their fire pit, plus, them being volunteer firemen (and cadet) they realize the fire danger of an overgrown/deadwood woods.

Our drive is 400 feet long and I would love to build a Japanese style walking garden on the strip of land to the east of it. The area between house and pond, to the west, could be deck and terraced gardens; thus, eliminating most of the mowing. We would then be left with the area around my studio to mow. I would love to have that in square foot gardening plots.  Thus again, dreaming of a time when energy and aching bones was never a problem.

Read Full Post »

We have taken on a roll that many adults now hold, and that is grandparents who become parents to their grandchildren, as well as taking care of their own parent.  It is one thing to raise a child from birth, or a young age, and it is another thing to take on a teenager.  I mean, come on guys, the world is WAY different now than it was when I was a teen. 

 

The deal with these guys is their previous upbringing, or lack thereof.  There was a big focus on being obedient and saying “Yes, Sir” and “No, Ma’am.”   While, we feel it is more important to have respect and give respect than it is to say meaningless words that you are beat for, if you do not say them. 

 

The boys did have varying degrees of influence from us.  They were with us, for their first: nine years, six years, and three years respectively.  The youngest does not remember living with us at all.  The oldest made a fluid transition to our home.  He did not make a fluid transition to school.  He once did a whole semester of homework, without ever turning it in to the teacher.  This is something only a homeschooled boy would do; or an idiot.  And, he is not an idiot.  We found out about it because we had four teachers tell us, at his first public school conference, that he was a genius.  I could only look down at the F’s across the page and ask “Why this, then?”  Not turning in homework will make even a genius fail. 

 

What worries me is the lack of “love of knowledge and education.”   It was more important in their stepfather’s home, to fear than to love.  Fear Stepfather’s belt and retribution, fear (for girls) of not wearing prairie dresses and head coverings.  Fear of the word “Foolishness.”  That last one is because it means the “rod of correction” is going to beat it out of you when your grandparent’s leave. 

 

These three are safe now and have varying degrees of success.  They do not know how to judge people, as their past experiences consisted only in friends like themselves.  Which consisted of other ultra conservative Christian home schooled children who are protected from the world out there by paranoid parents.  So, we are now locking our doors and covering our windows so the Bi-Polar ex-girlfriend of EMT will leave us alone, perhaps proving that it is not so bad to be paranoid.  But, it is not a good way to live.  He trusts everyone and is friends to everyone, even someone who is in need of commitment (even her mother says so at this point). 

 

I do not understand why these parents, who isolate their children from modern society, do not realize that their children must go out and live in the world we all live in and if you do not provide a child with the tools to recognize and understand that world, that they will have a hard time getting along in it.

Read Full Post »

Guilty Pleasures on Allison’s Blog. Guilty Pleasures « That’s What She Blogged

 

Here’s a quick list of mine :

 

1.     Yes, People magazine.  You don’t look so guilty reading it in the doctor’s office though, you know.

2.     My third watching of Tortilla Soup this month.

3.     South Bend Chocolate Company, Dark Chocolate

4.     Watching CBS Sunday Morning in my pajamas.

5.     Taking down my Harry Potter gift trunk to be a kid again.

6.     Having the house all to myself

7.     Singing to myself when I have the house all to myself

8.     Practicing the violin

9.     A mechanical pencil and a sketch book

10.          Reading a good book   

 

Okay, they are mostly not such “guilty pleasures.”  But, they sure are pleasures.

Read Full Post »

XUP Bedtime Stories for the Stout-Hearted « XUP tells the best stories.  I have heard of Rasputin before but this is a great retelling. 

What this has to do with today’s post, you ask?  I am not sure, but I will try to find a way to bring it in.  I just read XUP’s post and had to pass it on.

I am sitting here thinking about fish and guests.  You know that saying about a fish and guests after three days.  I have a guest who is going on fifteen days now.   Today, I sit and think of ways to get her to leave.  Perhaps just, “EMT said you were leaving today, don’t forget the children’s toys.”

Yes, she has children, at her mother’s home and she has gone there and gotten all  three of them once, so I had a Saturday of children and then one of them once, so I babysat for that one.  I’m thinking she is just too comfortable here and it’s time to stop feeding her.

EMT has stated that she is not the person he thought she was.  I pointed out that living with someone can sometimes show that up, and that no one said she would be living here.  He had said, and I quote, “you’ll be seeing a lot of X .”  And that is not X as in XUP.  Her I could put up with for fourteen days.  She, I told you I could find a way. 

Anyway, this girl has got to go.  Fifteen straight days is WAY MORE than a lot of someone.  And, with her, I think three days might be more than enough.

Read Full Post »

Until I heard a woman being interviewed a week ago, in reference to the North Dakota flooding, stating that she was lightly optimistic, and that to a Norwegian is like being ecstatic, I had no idea what my Norwegian heritage meant.  You see, I’m a mutt and until just about two years ago, none of those nationalities were Norwegian. 

 

Mom’s heritage is British and Basque, with a rumor of Native American thrown in there.  My dad, a VanVleck, had always thought he was British on his mother’s side and Dutch on his dad’s side. 

 

My nephew is really into genealogy JayJay’s World and has traced dad’s family back as far as:  Generation 7:  Van Vleck, John Henry Sr. 

 

John Henry, Sr., or his family, came to the USA in the early 1800’s.  It is unclear whether he was actually born here or in Holland.  So, dad was partly right, but apparently what my nephew is finding, is that the VanVlecks might have changed their name from VanVlackern when they originally came from Norway. 

  

I sometimes envy a person with one national heritage.  They know their holidays and their place in the world.  However, us Mutts do have the benefit of getting to choose one or all of the nationalities running in our veins. 

 

Let’s face it, most of us are from somewhere else,  But, as for me, the Norwegian information does explain some things about my dad.  His lightly pessimistic was like the pits of despondency.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »