Saturday, October 31, 2009

Helen Keller?

I grew up talking about how wonderful Helen Keller was.
When reading another blog I found that she grew up to be very contrary to my own beliefs. It took a lot of looking before I could find a primary source- but this clinches it for me:
Dear Margaret Sanger,
What a glow of gratification was kindled in my heart when Polly read last week the wonderful news that you had founded the Planned Parenthood Association in India!
Not only have I continued to follow your work with loving admiration and expect ever greater results from your beneficence, I have also known of Nehru's statesmanlike interest in birth-control, and now I behold you and him and Lady Rama Rau working together -- a triple Hercules -- for the deliverance of a land long cursed with excess of population. I cannot imagine anything more blessed happening on earth. As you teach, mankind has through ignorance often destroyed the sweet joy of childhood. Now a tide of enlightenment, slow but sure, shall lift its healing waves from one end of the world to the other until every child has a chance to be well born, well fed and fairly started in life -- and that is woman's natural work as the creator of the human race. Affectionately I salute you, Margaret Sanger, as the prophet and the the woman Prometheus of humanity's highest physical and mental welfare.
Often Polly and I speak of the visits we used to have with you and the inspiration I drew from your brave words. You have travelled up and down and athwart the world since, but I never lose the warm thrill of your beautiful personality.
With Polly's and my love and wishes for a Christmas luminous with the service you are rendering to mankind, I am,
Devotedly your friend,
Westport, Conn., December eighth, 1952

Bull's Eye

My husband and I are beginning to work through what we have in common. After a longer marriage and many years working on opposite sides of schedules...we have a great deal of work to do. See, we plan on being together for the next fifty years....

Some people do quite well growing up together. We tend to look at things quite differently. Still, just like in the money, we have decided to rework things.

Today we went shooting. Both of us enjoy target shooting, but we have not done it together for several years (probably three). When we last did, I was there more to accomodate our son's (now ex) fiancee. Grocery shopping at seven and then off to the range.

I have to say- I still have it!

Once again I proved that women can be a better shot. We both shot well- but I beat him by one point! Now, did he "let me win"? Maybe. All I know is that we had a good day at the range and plan on having more good days together. I really like my husband.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A little side note:>)

This was on AOL today. How do you know your office is dysfunctional?
Sign No. 2: Bringing up a problem is considered more as evidence of a personality defect rather than as an actual observation of reality
Whew - I feel much better!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Investing

For years I have been the investment/bill manager in our house. I seem to have the sense of "know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em". Recently my husband discovered his IRAs. They have been steadily growing under my wings for a while. He just never even knew about them. Well, the two he knew about have made no money in the last 10 years....he controlled that.
We moved our IRAs from the dreaded AGEdwards/ Wacovia/ Wells Fargo this week. They clipped a nice percent from our money before sending it on (it was all in cash). It is now safe in a bank/brokerage that I trust.
What did he do? "Wow! Money to invest!"
My stand on what is happening in the market right now is what happens every year this time of year. The big firms are cashing in to give all of their people the capital gains that they want to see (which are not real- but we get to pay Uncle Sam for them).
My philosophy is never buy past Oct 20th unless you really see something pop. Hold um until the end of December if you can and buy like crazy after the Mutual funds dump mid Dec.
Did he listen? Nope.
Did he invest this morning and then watch it go down the rest of the day? Well, if you follow the market you know the answer.
See, my husband has STILL not figured out that this money is actually MY retirement. He has his pension from the Army. It would sustain him without a problem if I should pass away first. Me? I don't have any pension and our IRAs are my retirement IF he (eight years older than me) should pass away first. (Please don't ask me about insurance - he was a finance major and is convinced it is a rip off).
Taking the money and playing is not my idea of fun. I have worked hard for these gains. Got out before the crash and held in cash until now.
He will learn. Today he even said something about this morning when I said- quietly- "I think you might not want to invest today because of the profit sharing this time of year." Tonight I got, "I think I should have listened to you. At least we are in good stocks;.)"
This is something I have studied for the last 25 years. I ask him for advice about other things that he has studied for years (like people). UGGG! sometimes he is such a MAN!
Taking up golfing is sounding better each day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Walking and thinking

I wish I knew how to golf.
Golf tends to be a sport of walking and thinking- sometimes discussing. It is you and a few out in God's place- just walking and thinking. Sure you plan your next hit-but that does not seem to be the point. The greens, the tress, the time to just think and walk.
Golf is the sport of business. You get out on the links and just have time to talk and think. Until recently you could be quite alone with your friends or associates. I am betting people feel that they have to take their cell phones with them these days...it interfers.
This time of year you get to enjoy that great Vit. D(of which I am so defficiant) and the changing trees. It puts things into perspective: your life, your family, your envirnoment. I don't know why I never saw that before now. Golf was always the "rich man's sport" - but I think men, more than women, in the past have needed a good excuse to get outside without huge competition.
Tennis is taken up on sides, swimming is alone, baseball is alone within a group and then a party after. Yup, golf will be my next game. I plan on taking it up in the spring after the golf course thaws:>) I should talk my "kids" into learning as well. I think we could all use some walk and think time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Not enough camera time:>)
















When you are down- there is always an up

The weather is changing into winter. You can always count on spring.
The kids are wild. You can always count on a good reading day to calm them down.
The polls are saying the country is ending, You can always count on American inginuity to pull them out.
I am waiting patiently. Things are coming soon.
Universal health care in some form.
Employment in new fields in areas that are attempting to grow instead of staying stagnent.
And people to see that all of the nay saying does nothing but depress people.
It is time to pick up your crying mats- quit giving the nay sayers money and move on.
Some will stay behind- wringing their hands and claiming the country has gone to hell in a handbag.
Heck, it went there years ago.
I am riding the wave of tomorrow. Changing what I need to in order to put my life in balance.
Isn't it nice to finally have a moral person in charge?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Too pooped to pop

My mom used to say this when a child was so tired all they could do is cry.
That is how I have felt the last few days. Exhausted.
We had parent conferences- and they were excellent.
The projects are coming in and they are really good.
We are going on a field trip this week- and that is wonderful.
The reality is I am still exhausted.
Maybe the doctor will be able to help me out on Monday.
I sure hope so. This type of tired is not very helpful to my lifestyle (although my house sure looks better now that I have been home for two full days and have cleaned a bit at a time).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bono

To be quite honest I had not listened to Bono until he met with George W Bush and they worked together on the "AIDS in Africa" project. He praised GW as an excellent ambassador for the poor and his work in the subcontinent.
Then Bono met with the Pope. Another good set of meetings. See a rock star can shine a different light on a subject and Bono is careful about making sure the subject is poverty not him.
I agree, totally with Bono. Most of the world's ills are about money. Why do white college aged women have the highest abortion rate? They are afraid of a baby "ruining their lives". Why are so many in debt up to their eyeballs? They are afraid someone else will get in front of them. Why is it SO easy to recruit in Saudi Arabia or the mountains of Afghanistan? The people are desperately poor and told that everything they have will be taken for the good of the developed world.
I have witnessed extreme poverty. It is scary. I try to erase those faces from my memories- the garbage dump children in Egypt, the starving children in Vietnam, the beggars in Hong Kong. I try to erase where they live- the tin houses, the cardboard boxes, under roads. I cannot do it. I constantly want to look into what I can do to help to eradicate poverty- and extremism....
I did not know about the millennium agreement to get rid of extreme poverty until this article http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/opinion/18bono.html was brought out by my sister.
I think the re branding of America is a good thing. We do have great ideas. We have possibilities to help the world while continuing to increase our country's level of education and inspiration. I have traveled all over and would like to say that we are the best... let's get back believing in ourselves and quite running us down all of the time!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Have I told you lately how much I love to teach?

Yes, I go back and forth as far as how long I can sustain my sanity and teach. Today was a very fulfilling day. Deciding to throw my old style at the classes, we produced a newsletter about Egypt. Research, writing, keyboarding, cut and paste, pictures...all in three days! It was GREAT!
I miss this type of classroom and will be returning to it more often in the future. Now, if I can hold on to my sanity until the end of the year:>)

Five minutes to go

I have to leave in five minutes.
Am I dressed for school? Nope.
Do I have the material to read for the weekend? Nope.
IS my classroom set up for a day of frenzied copy paste? Nope.
Am I ready? You betcha!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Paying for college


One of my friends has a daughter heading for college this year. Pre engineering, she is ready for the academics. Paying for college is another issue. Although our state has a rather low tuition, the parents were hoping to use the post 9/11 bill to help with expenses. Congress approved that the bill could be used for dependents, which is wonderful. The down side is the paperwork is so darn complicated.
Her husband is in the National Guard and is probably in his late fifties. He does not intend to use the benefits and would like to hand them over. They only have one child- who is the center of their marriage. This, actually, would have been easy last year- but now there are rules. One rule is commit to serve four more years after the benefits are transferred. This guy has served two year tours in Iraq. He has put in more time than most active duty guys. I think the government likes to mess with National Guard because their lobby is not so great.
Would you say a little prayer that I can help her through this transfer? For a school teacher and a maintenance worker- paying for college out of pocket is a daunting task! Of course they are too "rich" not to be paying out of pocket!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thinking that 2010 will be the last full year.

My husband and I have been thinking a great deal about "retirement". There are so many things we would like to do that schedules we now keep do not permit. He turns sixty this summer and I am younger. We have saved, but not nearly the amount that most say we should.What is the point? My dad stopped his regular job near his sixtieth, and my mother never had a job outside of the house. They continued to accumulate wealth in different ways.
The day to day... What we have in our household is an excess of creativity sitting inside the house, unable to go outside because of schedules.
How do people multi task their creativity. They can think about their full time jobs, volunteer full time and still work in wood or at the sewing machine. Personally, I don't know how they do it. I simply cannot do it!
After my husband's surgery last year and the year of recovery, things have come more into perspective. We do need to take time out to really enjoy what we have to offer.
I love to sew- not clothing, but quilts. It has been a VERY long time. I no longer know the jargon nor do I have a good machine to work on. Not the best at putting colors together, I would really enjoy working with a friend to put thought together and me doing the labor.
Hand sewing is also a passion. Embroidery in college was a way to work though times that had strange hours. Not cross stitch- that does not do it for me.
Scott is excellent with wood. He, unlike me, has been collecting things for his mission for many years. It is set up, and now it needs wood. Personally, I would enjoy being the finisher for him- learning to polish and upholster what he makes.
We simply have grown away from our first joys. This time here, learning how to live again, has been the growth that brings us to the conclusion that we need to get back to it all.
Not sure if I will sign a contract to teach next year yet, I do see my gifts there as well. Teaching is a never ending thankless position. It takes all of my mind and heart and exhausts me.
My plans are to finish my Masters and then evaluate if I can use it in a different line within teaching. PeaceCorps, Mission work...we really don't need much to survive we have found. Age is becoming a barrier.
And then there is always the thought of being around for our children.
So much to do.
I am thinking the year 2010 or 11 may be the time to just get out and get going!
BTW- these are not our work- but maybe something like them will be in a few years!

Friday, October 09, 2009

My other son

My sil checked a block yesterday that is important to his future. Amen! He chuckled as he said that this time, at the end, he got down on his knees and prayed that he passed. That is how important that particular check was. I can see the Lord poking my dad in the side, commenting how sil finally was on his knees!
I am beginning to see the softer side of this guy. My daughter has been out the last few nights- so I have had the chance to chat with him. Sometimes I have to stop some tendency on his part to be negative, because this kiddo has the whole world available to him. Why do some people grow up not believing in themselves?
Don't be scared my daughter and other son. You both are bright. You will figure it all out. There are now tons of options.

Banning

There is a Catholic blogger who banns comments. First she might open her comments for one comment, but when she thinks that another comment could come, she closes them again- only to those who oppesses her POV. She uses mean words to respond. She did mention once that she holds grudges...Duh!
This is not unlike what I see for her type of Catholic is as well. Struggling with vocal Catholics (not doctrine- just the people that attend Church), I have given up on going at all. A comment is made, a question returns, the door is slammed in your face and then you are talked about - sometimes not even behind your back. This is not the way of Christ. His arms were open and questions were a part of his teaching.
I am beginning to look for a kinder Church community. For years I sat through verbal abuse because I ask questions. I have to admit, I have not given the church here a real try- but my fear factor is SO high, it is not worth it. I have taken a year off and am starting to look.
One good friend attends a Church in Phoenix that offers many services to their population that she is getting into- driving people to medical appointments, sitting with them, taking food to the poor, sitting with them... all things the Catholic Church did well 20 years ago. Yes, I could start these ministries here- but that puts me back in the "vocal Catholics" block.
Too tired to do leading- I just want to do.
I am ready to step up and really work again. I hear the Presbyterians do a great job here. I could do adoration on Wednesdays in the next town and church there on Sundays.....

Monday, October 05, 2009

construction zone


An old picture- but how I feel about my class these days. They are under construction! I have been making many more calls home than I have in the past. Parents seem to be happy with their children's progress. I have a few who need heavy construction.
Life
Is
Good.