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Showing posts from May, 2016

An Open Letter on Surprises

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You always surprise me. One day I will post an article with no notice from you whatsoever. On another, I can't turn my back before you are all over. It is one of the great things about blogging.

I suppose that all of us that write about what interests us without any respect for genre or subject know that inconsistency is going to happen. What catches my attention may simply bore everyone else.

The article I wrote about a personal experience with shunning that reflected the life an elderly person has, evidently hit a hot button. Remaining effective and needed becomes increasingly hard as we age. For me, the story is not nearly over and you will hear a lot more about that subject.

On an election year we are all a little on edge. This year the "edge-o-meter" is off the charts. Republicans and Democrats have become so accustomed to voting for their party that they cannot even imagine doing anything else. No one that I know is all that fired up about Trump but why do I feel t…

Politics: Supporter or Evangelist

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Hillary Clinton at the 2004 March for Women's Lives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I received a "Support Hillary" bumper sticker this morning. I don't really think I have ever had that happen before...no politician has ever noticed me at all...my husband yes but me no. I was surprised.

But...what surprised me the most was my unwillingness to wear my heart on my sleeve. When I my husband told me to put it on the car I didn't want to do that so I didn't. What was that all about?

I am a Democrat and very liberal in some ways. I do think that Clinton is very smart and of course she is a woman and there is always that. So why don't I feel completely certain that she is a good choice or a bad choice.

I do support her candidacy and watch the primaries. I did vote for her. It could be that I have seen too much in my life and honestly know what could go very wrong.

It turns out that I am not the evangelist for the woman. In the end I simply will vote for the best of t…

The Quietest Classroom of 2nd Graders in the World!

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I visited my grandchildren's "Year of Learning" open house last night. I am a retired teacher so this sort of thing just makes me happy.

My youngest grandson, Brycen, read a book and shared his books about the farm. He is in kindergarten. He is doing a great job of being 5.

The oldest waited patiently until it was his turn. As we left Brycen's classroom the kindergarten teacher remarked on what a treat it was going to be when we visited Brayden's second grade classroom. We could hardly wait to see.

This is what we were greeted with:


...the world's quiets class!  When Brayden introduced me to his teacher (beautifully if I do say so) I asked her where she found this genius idea. "OH, a teacher friend shared this on Facebook." Isn't that wonderful. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I think that Facebook sharing teacher is going to be flattered all around the world!

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My hat is off to that Kindergarten teacher of Brycen's. S…

On Being Invisible

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I have a "friend" that shuns me. I am assuming you know what that involves but just in case you have never hear about the practice here is what it is:
Shunning can be the act of social rejection, or emotional distance.Torefusetoacceptsocially; to avoidhavingsocialcontactwith. This definition is the one I have experienced from my friend. Although this has nothing to do with religion, the people that she gathers around her do nothing to change her attitude.

This has been going on for many years so I have come to terms with it. I do not know why she does it. It just is.

I began thinking about how being shunned is in a sense becoming invisible to one or more people. I have had women tell me that they feel "invisible" now that they are older. I have asked myself why that is many times.

Becoming invisible can happen for many reasons. I have found that when no one will listen to me I feel as though I am not there. It happens occasionally at family gatherings.

When my opinio…

A BOOK WORTH READING: WHAT THE DOG SAW

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What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I have been a fan of Malcolm Gladwell for years. In fact, I have most of his books and actually carry them back and forth with me to Arizona. I know...weird huh? But there you have it.

I find that his stories are ones that you read and say to yourself "wait" here it comes. And it always does. The punch line for an incident or even a whole chapter. He makes the connection that somehow I don't see coming.

I visited the bookstore last week and bought some books for the grandchildren, a puzzle book for my husband and What the Dog Saw by Gladwell for myself.

I began reading immediately, because a new book is very exciting. I read the introduction and the first chapter. Then I handed it to my husband with the instructions to read what I had read so we could talk about it. These Gladwell books are just too good to keep to yourself.

In this book Gladwell strived to explain what goes on inside the mind of a person t…

There's a Girl in the Boy's Bathroom? So????

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There's a Boy in the Girls BathroomMiss Nelson Is Missing, transgender bathrooms  and me.

I taught small children for many years. Every child between the age of 3 and 9 in our community knew my name. I was a substitute teacher.

In those 13 years I substituted, I probably learned more than the students. For the most part, I looked forward to each day in the classroom and took great satisfaction in filling another person's shoes. See, I needed to do everything like the teacher or it upset the students. I didn't want to do that.

I have two stories today:

First....
It was very simple back in those days when I was in the classroom. Students used the shared classroom bathroom or in the halls the boys used the boys, girls used the girls and teachers used the teachers. But it didn't exactly work that way.

The book that should have been written was There's a Teacher in the Kid's Bathroom. I had a 2nd grade teacher tell me that she spent a lot of time counseling childre…

On Wasting Time

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Pia Savage wrote an article on her blog at Psychology Today about how much smarter she has become as she matured. She set 40 as her bench mark for actually figuring out what it was all about.

The story she told rang true with me...why? Well, it seems the more I write about aging the more I like what I have discovered about myself. I continue to grow smarter, wiser and even a little funnier. On the down side I have never gotten over being messy in the places you cannot see. That is who I am.

I have figured out what my strengths and weaknesses are and even what my disabilities might be. Knowing that I am what I am has forced me to actually deal with those disabilities.

I am a person that really, really likes the bottom line. Being forced to read the instructions, go through a sales pitch or even sit through a sermon at church is actually painful for me. I do not make a choice to be the way I am. I simply am.

Wasting my time is not a good thing but because I am a creative and flighty kin…

How Does Your Garden Grow?

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The oldest known version [of Mistress Mary] was first published in Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book (c. 1744) with the following lyrics: ♬Mistress Mary, Quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With Silver Bells, And Cockle Shells, And so my garden grows.[1]♬ Now that you asked...my garden is growing quite beautifully, thank you!

When we bought this house 4 years ago we bought a wonderful house with a not so wonderful yard. My husband does not ever want a lawn so we set out to fill a fairly large lot with flowers and green plants of every sort.

Here is the before and the after.
The friendships that have grown in the process have been every bit as beautiful. When I work in my yard, people stop and talk. I am at my very happiest when someone asked me for a plant or even wants to walk my garden with me.

The after pictures were taken a few minutes ago. What a beautiful day.

How does your garden grow?

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On Growing Rice

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We just returned from Arizona and are now at home in Oregon. Our trip this year took us through the center of California where much of the produce we find on our tables is grown. Rice is one of those crops that somehow seems out of place and yet there it is.
Growing rice really is a mystery to me. The rice that is grown in water to hold the stalks up (I am told) and is planted April. In the Yangtze Valley of China where the crop is harvested in October, the streets and highways are used to dry the harvest. Even in the middle of the villages rice is spread in the middle of the streets by the "people" to dry. It is not called the People's Republic of China without reason.
For those of us that have driven through California where large processing plants take care of the drying rice and machines plant that same rice in flooded paddies, it was a surprise when we come to a very wide road that cannot be driven on this week because the "people" are drying their rice c…