Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"They are Muslim. They are not Islamic."

What the heck does that mean?
If Muslims do not kill Muslims then what was the horrifying Iran/ Iraq war all about?
According to the UN:
"The war cost both sides in lives and economic damage: half a million Iraqi and Iranian soldiers, with an equivalent number of civilians, are believed to have died, with many more injured; however, the war brought neither reparations nor changes in borders. The conflict has been compared to World War I[38]:171 in terms of the tactics used, including large-scale trench warfare with barbed wirestretched across trenches, manned machine-gun posts, bayonet charges,human wave attacks across a no-man's land, and extensive use of chemical weapons such as mustard gas by the Iraqi government against Iranian troops, civilians, and Iraqi Kurds. "

No US boots on the ground?  
How about the trainers from our Special Forces? 
 Someone needs to let the Air Force know that they no longer wear boots if shot down.

What a mess.

On the eve of 9/11, I am not thrilled with anything going on in the Middle East.
Unfortunately, I feel it will, someday, again, bite us in the tush.

I miss the thought of your smile Lt Col Neil Hyland. It has been a long 13 years. 
The Risk games until 2 in the morning were the highlight of "Advanced Course".
May your soul and the souls of all of the departed, within this war against the US,
rest in peace.


A special on Vaccineshttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/vaccines-calling-shots.html.
Well worth watching.


Saturday, September 06, 2014

The bells are ringing.

My daughter is homeschooling this year.
She went to a co op meeting
Co op- an informal "school" taught, by parents, once a week for homeschoolers.
Looking for other kids to socialize with is a priority
since my grand loves to be around peers and the neighborhood is pretty quiet.

She understood that last year the co op had about twenty families.
The parent needs to volunteer in some capacity
so their child can attend the art, music and pe classes.

She walked in
Over fifty families were present.
There were another twenty who were unable to make it to the initial meeting.

Many of those at the meeting were doing their first year of homeschooling.
Lots and lots of mothers with boys were attending.
Few, from her mingling, were there for religious reasons.

Schools have changed a great deal in the last ten years.
The push to read in Kindergarten goes against all research on boy brains.
The absence of real math in primary puts us significantly behind the rest of the world.
Recess is almost non existent.
Even some state curriculums state that
 science and social studies can be eliminated if more time for reading is needed.
Does no one in charge recognize that social studies and science
are the application of reading and math?

The way to do all of this is to have children sit
  for a very long time while teachers work in small groups
  so they are assured the child can read.
It seems many bright children are being left behind.

Many left behind are boys.
Did you know that 1 in 42 boys are considered on the Autism spectrum?
 2/3 of all children who are Learning Disabled are boys.

Why is that?
Have we changed education so girls can do well,
that we have turned our boys into non school children.
Are we labeling some children who have "typical boy" characteristics?
You know
 single tasking,
a bit ahead visually but behind verbally,
more physical then language oriented,
characteristics.
No, I am not stereotyping. This is research based.
Boys' brains, in general, develop on a different time line.

It seems that a growing number of parents are turning away
from "traditional" education.
They are still seeking to change the system.
Until they can, they will educate their own.
In 2012 that stat was about 1.6 million children.
It is predicted that number will actually
 pass all children in private schools this year- 2.8 million.
My guess that is a low number.

My daughter's district, this year, has declared
that they are significantly behind in the paperwork.
They had so many people apply to homeschool, for the first time, this year.
The population of a regular elementary school showed up
at my daughter's new co op.
This is a "good" school district.

The bells are ringing.
Anyone listening?






Sunday, August 31, 2014

Amen.

I cannot get this movie out of my mind.

Amen. portrays a Nazi scientist caught in the middle of killing Jews.
Horrid you say. He was a criminal. He was evil.
There is set of scenes with a train that is just haunting.

Today I listened to a National Right to Life person
debate a lawyer fighting against the laws in Texas
which restrict abortions (after the period of overnight abortion pills) to surgical centers.

Tonight, at Church, all I could think of was those trains.
They took people to concentration camps.
The German Doctor knew it. People knew it.
He couldn't get anyone to stop them.
He couldn't "prove" that it was happening.
They were Jews anyway- subhuman.
Babies, before the first breathe, are not people at all?

Haunting.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Yard Sale?


Our first sixteen years we lived in nine different houses.
One thing the military does is offer to store your stuff
If you are moving overseas.
Three of our houses were overseas tours.
Once stuff is in storage, it can live there a long time.

When my husband retired from moving
We built a house in Flagstaff that would hold most of our stuff.
We were a bit overwhelmed when we got three separate shipments of storage items.
Who knew that the crib was in storage?
Three sets of dishes? Really?

We stopped opening boxes.
When we moved here we made no real effort to get rid of
Things we had collected while In The Army.
We did rid ourselves of hundreds of books and
Piles of teaching "stuff".

We are going to move again.
The house- which ever we decide on- will be much smaller.
Our children really are grown.
They have their own houses and own taste in"stuff".
Can anyone say yard (or on our case, barn) sale?

What happens when you open a box that was packed in 1991 in Hong Kong?
Or 1993 in Hawaii?
Or 1996 in Saudi Arabia?
Memories? Absolutely.
Temptation of rehousing items in the house? Yes.
Yard Sale? Painfully? Yes.

Here is a sample:
Army uniforms from the Vietnam to Desert Storm eras.
"Flip flops" from Hawaii in ever shape and size.
A face carved into a tree limb (Bavaria).
A set of Chinese rice dishes (no plates, just eight sizes of bowls).
Posters and the shirts of everyplace imaginable.
Old "teacher" books. Old tween ager books. Old teen books.
Art supplies from everywhere.
Walkers, crutches, fishing boat motors, wire, chairs for children, punch bowls, TV, microwaves, room screens, suitcases from long ago.

I sure hope someone comes to the sale.
None of this is going with me!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Invention of Wings

I rarely write about the books that are on my shelf.
Reading one or two a week keeps me moving forward.
There are some meditation books that simply stay in place
and are read over and over again.
Historical Fiction is my favorite genre.

Invention of Wings.
Picked it up after reading Secret Lives of Bees.
That book "read" quickly. Set in the 1960's south.
It was good, but not great.

Invention of Wings is almost excellent.
Following the life of a Southern woman,
moving for society to Quaker,
moving from rich to poor.

The writer also followed the life of the slaves of the household.

The book answered many questions for me
as to how things could have been
and were in certain cases.

I am being round about.
This book is worth a read.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Though different eyes

My eyes have been looking at all sorts of houses.
Tonight they stopped on a house that looked perfect.
Cute, medium sized, in the price range,
out in the country
Whoa!
Out in the country.
That is all right.
The people selling the house are probably ready to move into town.
They are both 75.

That makes them 11 years older then my husband.
How in the world did he get to be this old?

He plans to live until he is 100.
He really looks great for his age,
for any age.
I think of him as being closer to 50.

Should we live "out in the country?"
Twenty minutes to the nearest hospital
might not be the best idea.

Sigh.
We have so much to do!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Teaching, sorting, learning

Is it really only Monday?
Last week was spent helping a few teachers get started for the year.
My chuckle came when the sales rep for my state
called me to ask a bit about Saxon.
She sells it, but knows little about it.
 I used to work for them when they were independent of the conglomerate.
Politely answering her questions seemed to put her at ease.
She still doesn't understand why homeschooling parents love it.
Shrug.

My church is on a mission to feed the hungry.
This week's task is to get ahold of a different church in town
and see how we can support them.
Glad to do it.
Working at the food bank is one thing.
Feeding people who are in need of a hot meal is very different.
Sorting things out for the long haul.
Sorry I won't be here much longer.
Excited to know my new parish is very active in this type of ministry.

Took over many "old" pieces of my bathroom and a few fans to Habitat.
It will be hot this week.
They said the fans will go fast.

Yesterday was sorting day for my son.
Hard to go through toys and memories.
Stuff, how to downsize stuff?
Not sure our next house will be quite so large.

We decided many of the toys will be used by the next generation.
Most of the stuffed toys will go to the shelter.
Other things- well, it was fun to talk them through and put them in the circular file's black bag.

Thinking we will take the suit cases to the shelter as well.
One of my friends reminded me not too long ago that suitcases are expensive
And moving is often fast
this time of year.
Another teaching for me to learn.

Watched a strange, but powerful, movie tonight.
Amen. (the name)
On Netflix.
Easy to be caught up in stuff when you don't know how to get out.

Last I will leave you with one last thought.
This sign is posted in a restaurant in a city I used to live in.
 I was quick to judge.
This establishment is in a very child oriented area.
I assumed ( and we all know what that means) that no children were allowed.
The owner used to be a bit grouchy.
I assumed, again, that he had just tipped the edge.
His son has taken over in the last few years.
Here is the actual policy:
I am relieved that I was too quick to judge.
This does fit the area that the establishment is in.

As an adult with no children around on a consistent basis,
I understand fine dining without children.
These establishments are often on their own,
instead of in the middle of a children's wonderland like Monterey wharf.

As if the establishment even cares, I apologize for getting a bit twisted on this sign.
Sometimes I forget to read the commas.
Looking forward to eating there again in a year.