Thursday, July 30, 2009


I was over at Ruth's blog
and noticed a give away at another blog "Guest Post & Giveaway with Laurie Viera Rigler, Author of Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict"
I entered because I AM a Jane Austen addict. The author chatted of storytelling instead of "writing a book". Sounds good to me!

Monday, July 27, 2009

THESE are the people "helping the middle class"

They don't even know what a middle class person looks like!

List of 12 Top-Earning Personalities:
1. Oprah Winfrey -- $275 million2. Dr. Phil McGraw -- $80 million3. Simon Cowell -- $75 million4. Howard Stern -- $70 million5. Rush Limbaugh -- $54 million6. Donald Trump -- $50 million7. David Letterman (tie) -- $45 million7. Judge Judy (tie) -- $45 million9. Ryan Seacrest -- $38 million10. Ellen DeGeneres -- $35 million11. Jay Leno -- $32 million12. Tyra Banks -- $30 million

Monday, July 20, 2009

What could have been

Today I had lunch at the home of a friend from Hong Kong. There were three of us who spent a great deal of time together in the colony- trying to survive. Their husbands have continued on in the field that my husband once was in. Important work. Good work.
At home, at times, I wonder what our lives would look like if my husband had not decided to get out of that work. There could be lots more foreign travel, many more big parties and our children would have attended excellent high schools. Sometimes I could be found grieving for that life.
With that power and money also comes long hours in windowless rooms. My husband thrives on being outside on the tractor or walking the dog. He took two years completely off to coach track for our son.
Maybe with age comes a bit of wisdom to do what you were meant to do. Giving up "dreams" for reality of home.
Kansas seems to be where we belong.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The calm

Spending three days with a high school friend was calming to my soul. She lives by a graveyard from the early 1850's on a quiet street:>) Our children are the same age, and are as lovely as they have ever been.
The trip was supposed to be about a workshop on world history.
I truly feel sorry for the public school students of the cities of the northeast if these teachers are indicative of their peers. I found them to be freely opinionated about their extreme liberal views. It was so disheartening to hear the entire group gasp when a Catholic school teacher say that she "once told her class that the Catholic Church was the only true Church". ( A CATHOLIC school teacher SHOULD tell her class that IF she is being paid to teach CATHOLIC principles). Then there was the applause when one younger teacher said he made sure his kids knew he was agnostic. (My thought: What is the difference between telling what you do or do not believe when teaching children?.)The icing on the cake was the high school teacher who declared out of the blue " If men had children, abortion would be a sacrament". Really, I thought about throwing up. If she felt free to make such a statement to a group of 150 strangers, what does she say to her class?
On the other hand (glad there was another hand), there were two workshops about website usage and primary source gathering. My favorite parts of the workshop were the visit to the Yale Art Museum and a drumming circle with Mindy. If you are in need of any primary source history site, leave me your comment. There are some great ones out there I have not used before.
I now have about 600 pictures loaded on my computer for powerpoint building next year. Most of all, I am calm. I love my job and am looking forward to the year. I also assured myself that I would never take a NCSS lead workshop in the East again....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Off to the workshop

Cell Phone- lost
Directions- sketchy
Sleep - minimal
Workshop- priceless (I hope)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Time with the Grandbaby

This is the accumulation stage of talk for toddlers and we are happy to comply with verbal interaction! The toddler and I are walking all over DC seeking out new experiences and words. We take the Metro in the morning to our first stop. He sees all sorts of people- listening to languages and trying to communicate. He speaks "hi" and "bye" very well.
I love to surround him with art and talk about it. He sits quietly and listens. OK- we stroll by the paintings and he listens to my commentary because he is strapped into his stroller:>) When we go in next week, we will look for more discovery rooms.
Yesterday was the carousel. It moved quickly and he held on tight. It was questionable on the "like it" meter.
Today is Ford's theater and the American Art Museum. Tomorrow I head to a conference at Yale. Wish me luck on the roads!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A New Primary source

Since it is not a book - I don't know if a certain reader would consider it a primary source.
A new encyclical. I am slowly working through it.


National Galleries, American Art Museum and some things in between kept me walking today.

Singing, Spinning and Chatting

Toddlerhood is the most blessed time of life. Life consists of kisses, new words, going down the slide without help, naps, singing, Blue's Clues, stroller rides, helping birdies, dancing, clapping hands, spinning, and just chatting. Foods are yogurt, milk, fish sticks and whatever else comes your way! Anyone have any ideas on feeding a toddler veggies????
Life is good!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What does it mean to be informed and involved

A rude discussion on another blog has spurred me to thinking about "informed and involved". In Washington DC, access to excellent CSPAN radio is easy. I can only get snippets of it at home so I am soaking it in while I travel.
Yesterday CSPAN was the "close of the court" chats with several of the Justices. Those people are amazing. "We do not see ourselves as you do. We are simply the trustees . Ninety- five percent of our work is reading briefs. Five percent is the argument." Primary sources are extremely important to knowing the difference between what people think is going on and what is actually going on.
At home finding primary sources is more difficult. Listening to CNBC has been a surprising place to listen to lectures on the economy. They "step into" their program for Bernacky, Newt and Geitner. The best speaker is Bair of FDIC. She is a whip- and more Conservative than the rest. You can also catch the heads of most major companies at one time or another.
The News Hour(PBS) is pretty good about going through the news and choosing three important areas to delve into. Balancing that with BBC the World helps me see the more global view. In DC you can get news from almost any part of the world.
Reading the New York Times and Wall Street Journal is a way of getting "print news". Cruising them regularly I read some great articles written by Conservatives and liberals alike pleading their cases on the editorial pages. Both papers are some of the few who still have reporters on the ground, so their regular news is pretty decent.
Last are people whom I have known for years, and some immigrants I have just met. We talk about what is happening and our experiences in the past. When we were young these talks were theoretical. Most of them have moved on to being in positions where theory now meets the reality.
I do pick up an occasional book. Most of the ones I read are on Afghanistan and Iraq. Doctors without Borders put out a great one not too long ago.
It takes over a year to publish unless it is simply a long editorial (which politicians and talk show hosts are famous for). They are good for historical perspective, but not current. You have to admit, most of what is happening in the US and world economy is unprecedented. If you are one of the few still comparing it to the Great Depression...oh well, read away. This time will be titled the time of "great greed of many". If you are smart, you simply continue to live life carefully when it comes to finances.
Blogs, they are fun, but often they are talking heads from broadcast news who simply want to be talking heads on a computer screen. I don't like the screaming on either medium. Who are they sponsored by, where do they get their news, I check it all out and rarely bother to read more than my "friends' family news".
Involvement has been my weak link. I get back here and think," I would love to go into public health." There are so many ways of helping. Alas, I am lazy and willing to limit my involvement to reading my emails from my Congressmen, writing them back and working at school. I suppose that working to form the next generation of leaders is involvement.
Today will be spent finding more objects to take pictures of for classes that I will be teaching. Time for more involvement will happen when I am sixty!
How do you get your information to stay informed?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Off I go!

Happy Fourth of July!