Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Oh! that baby mom got me

Judy, Judy, Judy! http://heavenonearth217.blogspot.com/
and Renee TOOO! I promise to do them both on Thursday or Friday. First I have to get some sleep and bring Scott home from the hospital.....

Can you really live on very little?

For about a year now I have done a great deal to simplify our lives. I have gotten our regular bills down to within just one income. The Mastercard takes the other one every month- but those things can be controlled (just say NO!)

The idea is that I am attempting to see if we both can do something else with our lives. I love to teach-but it takes every ounce of energy to do it...and I am sick of the institutional garbage. I do not know what else I want to do. Dabble would be one thing. I get bored quickly in volunteer positions since those seem to go to the lowest thinking job in a place. But what else?

Scott knows what he wants to do- wood working. He figures he can substitute five or six times a month and keep himself in wood (of course having our own forest is an asset.)

I have been frequenting the frugal blogs and putting in a toe here and there. I just am not sure I can let go of the extra income. For the next few months I will be exploring what it takes to, not only to be frugal, be simplistic. We will not starve- but can we live the simple lifestyle we dreamed about 25 years ago at the beginning of our journey together?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Music and Art

What is missing from the public school classroom? Music and art! Sixth graders are often tossed about during the day- subject to subject- class to class. No time to just be for themselves....
My goal is 30 minutes- half of the days I read aloud- the other half I play classical music. At first they asked if I would play "their music" or read "this book". Standing firm- I told them to be truly educated they needed to hear the classics in literature and music. I believe that they do not have to be totally involved- just let it fall over them like a waterfall. Then, one day, when they are exposed again, they can say " I've heard that one before!"
And then there is the art. The mediums are conducive to my room- watercolor, crayons and colored pencil. The canvas is the all important "xerox paper" (please do not tell my fellow teachers that I "waste" this precious resource)! First, the pictures were their names (I give no guide). Now they are venturing into cartoons and landscapes. Sometimes there will be a chat or two - while I read or play the music- but often it is silent of chatter. Pretty amazing for 23 students - most diagnosed as ADHD.
Maybe, I will borrow a picture or two to share with you. What I cannot borrow is any more time from their day for the "frivolous things" of art and music! This is where being a homeschooler is a major advantage!
Should I do what my dad suggested long ago- get that silly admin license and open a school where the arts are where they belong? For those who value their time in art and music seem to value their knowledge in other places as well.

Baby Days

Test driving my dd's webpage.
My daughter is attempting to make some money so she can stay home with my DARLING grandson (not at all the nana talking). She is making diaper cakes.
Oh- what we come up with when those little people enter our hearts!

Friday, January 25, 2008

That WAS my house-and my life

I had to chuckle that I could not find a picture of us in front of our current house- so I put in a picture of the house that we sold to move to Kansas. Yes, it was a dream house- on a dream piece of land, in a dream spot. The only bad thing was that the city was a nightmare for us.We were out of step with the rising monied people and the aggressive personalities that seem to present themselves daily. We found ourselves struggling with something we had never ventured into before- keeping up with the Jones.

So when I was gone on a sales trip, my husband started to clean out the house. He basically moved to Kansas and told me where our new house was located in a matter of months. I found that the ONLY thing that I hated about the move was that I was far away from my family. Other than that- Kansas is the place to be called home. I don't seem to have a picture of the front of the house right now- but here is the barn!

Of course now- while I wait for a call from my husband's hospital- I wonder why I would have ever left the security of huge city medicine (Phoenix).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I am so frustrated tonight. My husband had a hip replaced and now seems to have an infection. His surgeon "put him off" until Friday. I feel he needs to go in. He told me to stay out of it. Husbands- can't live with them- can't live without them!

Monday, January 21, 2008


He doesn't fit my vision of how to change things- exactly. I am nervous that he will put extreme people on the Court. But...I cannot resist this man. He has me in the mode to think that SOMETHING, ANYTHING could change in this country. He walks the walk instead of just the talk.

I just want to pinch his cheeks and say,"You go kidddo!".
Ok- I am offically an Obamabacker.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Some of my favorite blogs

I have some favorite spots that I frequent. Sharing them might bring you some of the joy that that they bring me!
My favorite photo sites are: Like Merchant Ships (love her links as well)
andMorningRamble. Although these two are growing on me as well:desert native II and The Heart of Harmony.
My favorite book sites are:This That and the Other Thing and My Garden in Garmisch (although I love just keeping up with their families-like I do withThe Gashlings or A day in the life.... orQuite The Normal Life . )
Time to think- or argue:>) My Domestic Church
Or just be inspired Dei Gratia, By the Grace of God!
I get loads of financial speak at the moneygardener
I am looking for some good political (analytical) blogs....all that I read is just stuff people put out against who they do not like.
There are many more - too many to list.
Blogs are an entirely different "newspaper".
My mom used to read the newspaper for hours- and I find myself doing that with blogs.


I am here to admit my addiction to the Aloha State. What is it about that place that constantly calls me there?

I hate the plane ride- 12 grueling hours - connections - sitting. My friend had a man die on her flight there - and they just had to keep going. My plane lost an engine and we turned around.

Still- the air, the warmth, the feeling. I just don't know what it is that calls me.
I know if I were not married to a mountain man and had children who lived on the mainland- I would sell this house in a minute and rent a condo on Oahu for the rest of my life. I could live without a car- renting on the few occasions that I needed to get to the other side of the island.

What is it?
This is a school that I in serviced about five years ago. It was small and just- open. The Catholic School was nestled in the mountains among the trees- run by a couple of retired San Diego teachers who did it as a side income to their retirement money.
When we lived in Hawaii- the kids were treated like dirt. I wasn't treated much better. But there was something about going out and seeing a tropical rain forest canopy a mile from your house that just had me....
So, Scott has declared that he will not return to Hawaii. He would prefer to fish in Texas. I will go- probably for my last time- with my daughter, son in law, grandchild and possibly my Mother this summer. I will have to take lots of pictures- for this is it. My obsession with Hawaii will have to meet some of my other obsessions- in my heart!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Caring for the children

The argument made in Ruth's blog was that women have always had help in the home so they could get things done. They were housewives- not mothers - as their primary purpose. They ran the social and cleaning schedule of the household- as well as cared from the children. Hummm- true- but really if push came to shove - the children came first.
In the 50's, when convince became a rule of thumb, women had more "leasure time" to play cards and tennis. Then late 60's pushed a number of those women into the work force- mostly (from my perspective) in divorce. Men saw that women could make money and care for children- so did the courts- and off came the gloves on the family.
Before the 60's children were rarely, if ever, placed with non family caretakers for long periods of time (and I would say that 50 hours a week- long periods of time) unless the families were extremely wealthy (nannies) or extremely poor (those are the horror stories) any time before the 1980's.
My mother did not "homeschool us". She did not see herself as "the educator" - because that was not what she was "taught to do". Instead she ran the household. We lived in a relatively safe place- rode our bikes unattended, played kick the can in the street, and played summer softball. She had help (if I remember- about 2 days a week).That woman was one of the key people in my religious life- so I am glad she was there. I would probably be a very different person if she had cared for me full time. I am not sure if that would have been good or bad.

Now a parent who stays home with their child is often looked down upon as someone who is lazy. They often make their staying home case by becoming homeschoolers. I don't have a problem with that. I don't have a problem with people returning (or beginning) to work. Still- I am out on the issue on whether it is better for the family for non family to care for children.

What do we know? Early childhood- the first five years (the bible says seven) are crucial.
Yes, we will have universal preschool- is that good? Would it be better to pay a family member to stay home?
We know that our lives revolve around both parents working.
We know that the next generation is putting off marriage - and child bearing.....but it only the men putting off the child bearing- since we are at a 60% rate of unmarried mothers having the future generation in some places. (Mothers who HAVE to return to work).
I have great concern over the "women have always worked and children have always been cared for by others" rhetoric. I worked. I am educated. I have a number of friends who are the sole or "most valuable"paycheck in the family. But what is the cost-----Really?
Is the argument "Our mothers did it" a good one?

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I found out on another blog that Karo syrup was originally produced to stimulate the appetite. Karo Syrup Ad,
I know on the days that I do eat a candy bar, I am much hungrier later on. Maybe what the ad refers to is the spike in insulin and then the drop- making you hungry.
Another reason to cut candy out....
As if I really need one!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Language of God

I finished listening to Language of God today- as I drove to pick up my husband from the hospital. Deep and intellectual, this book gives real insight as to how a known atheist scientist comes to believe in God. He was the head of the human genome project- and renowned for his research. I do not know where to begin about this book- except to say that it is a profound work that should be read by all of us who strive to defend our faith. It was much easier to listen to (I got my copy at Cracker Barrel) than read (my son gave me a copy and I made it through the first five pages before I felt totally overwhelmed scientifically) The author made many arguements that I have heard in the past- but could not refute. It totally made sense to me. Although he is not Catholic, he mentions JPII several times and refers to his letters on evoluntion vs creationism. I cannot tell you more- it is all still swimming in my head. A definate read!

Sunday, January 06, 2008


How do I do this?
This That and the Other Thing
and Domestic Church
You have been tagged!

New School

My classroom

Tagged by Caroline

1. WHO WERE YOU NAMED AFTER? A singer- but it turns out that my father's aunt had the same name (he claims he did not know that) and my mother's mother.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Yesterday- I cry very easily
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes- My printing is pretty good as well:>)
5. DO YOU USE SARCASM ALOT?Occasionally...
7. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?No. I am afraid of heights!
10. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Yes...but I am a wimp when it comes to confrontation
11. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM ? Ben and Jerry's New York Fudge Chocolate (won't be eating that for a while:***(
13. RED OR PINK? Red, Red, Red
15. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My dad. I really miss my dad. I do think about my Nana and Father Tom and invoke their intercession for things when I am worried.
16. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Black pants and no shoes (in the house - ever)
.17. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?Beef Stroganoff that my dh made
20. FAVORITE SMELLS? A clean baby, Lavendar, cinnamon

23. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Football (but I would rather see it in person)
24. HAIR COLOR? Auburn (but really it is gray:>)
25. EYE COLOR? Hazel- green/brown/blue
26. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Nope- glasses
27. FAVORITE FOOD? Ethnic- I can't think of one above the other.
29. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? In the theater- the new National Treasures (but missed the ending when the baby had enough:>) At home-The Kingdom
31. SUMMER OR WINTER? Hummm- love all seasons now that I live in Kansas
33. HUGS OR KISSES? both
.35. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The Language of God
39. FAVORITE SOUND? Baby laughs
41. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? A Long way- Saudi was the most different, Hong Kong-the physical distance is further
42. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? teasing kids into enjoying learning
43. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Phoenix, Az

Thanks Caroline! I will get Ruth and Elena later:>)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Patron for the year

There is a site where you can ask for intervention and selection of a Saint for your year.
I have not been diligent in my participation of my religion in the last year and I am attempting to get on a better foot this year. So I asked http://hicatholicmom.blogspot.com/ to find my Saint.
She came back with St Casimir. Hummmm - a polish saint who was charming and followed the faith carefully. He died young- just before he was to assume the throne of his land. So...what does that have to do with me?
My first search brought me here:http://www.stcasimir.org/ It turns out that this Franciscian parish is in...Baltimore (where my daughter and family live). Not only is in Baltimore- but it is about a mile from my Irish ancestrial home! My father's family lived in that area for over 100 years.
It is also interesting that the parish in Baltimore has a school named for my son's patron- Father Kolbe.
My second search brought me to Wikapedia. The last sentence was this:

On June 11, 1948 Pope Pius XII named Saint Casimir the special patron of all youth.

I have been working hard on discerning whether to go back to teaching what I love (Social Studies) or continue teaching what I am good at (Special Ed). I think God is telling me to listen a bit more....to Him:>)

Moving In

I have moved into my new classroom in the new school. Our community has not built a new middle school in about 50 years, so this is a BIG deal. The school is beautiful. Of course it has all of the "not done" things- no internet in the computer classrooms, only 18 chairs and tables in my classroom with 24 students- but it is wonderful none the less. I have never been the first person to take over a room. That, in and of itself, is a major deal for this old teacher.
Now, we have to make AYP. I made some inroads last year on how to improve test scores. This year the challenge is to get this much lower group of students to pass. If most of mine pass, it will bring up the SPED scores enough for the school to pass. If nothing else, I will WILL and PRAY this group to passing:>)
I don't mind the state testing. It actually forces some of the teachers to teach what is actually necessary for a child to function in this society.
I will attempt to remember to get pictures of the new school this week. Really, it is excellent.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Baptism day on the Feast of the Holy Family. Our Grandchild was delivered as a child of God.
There is something amazing that happens at a baptism. You can feel the Holy Spirit hovering over the child. Maybe it was because the child was so close to my heart- but I definately felt a calm come over all of us. We were all so nervous about when and where. It was all just...perfect.

The world

Maybe I could use a few more countries----traveling at 60 is my goal.


I am glad to be home.
We rolled into the house at 8pm on New Year's Eve. It was cold and the driveway was full of turkey tracks.
Molly jumped out of the car and ran around like a crazy dog.
Great to be home!

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