Sunday, January 31, 2010

For my homeschooling friends

This looks wonderful!
http://www.rosettastone.com/homeschool/languagelearningtrip
You ought to check it out!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

And so

Can we see what else can happen?
I'm sick.
The fort is asking people to "retire" early so they do not have to RIF.
My son in law's class was cancelled due to Marine budget cuts
AND our credit card number was stolen!

We are headed to Idaho to say good bye to my mother in law on Friday. I am praying that trip goes well. Most of the cousins will be there. I am also praying that I don't give Scott this...whatever it is... so he will be well.
Some weeks are longer than others.
At least teaching went quite well. Never really thought much about the difference between philosophy and religion until my second hour class got into a discussion about it.
Don't worry- there are great people coming up to be leaders. I get to teach them every day!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm sick

AGAIN!
This has been a rough year. The flu is back with a vengeance. My students are falling like flies....AGGGG! Six weeks until state testing!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Links

I have been following Ruth's blog for a very long time. Before blogs we argued about theology and chatted about children. The idea for sharing links is a good one.
Here are a few blogs I follow regularly:
Patty leads you through her joys and sorrows of being a "plain woman" in a modern world. I enjoy her stories, poetry and photos!

Some of the blogs I follow have already been mentioned-D'Etta, Carrie, Renee and Michelle I read as soon as they post. All are bloggers and have become on line friends over the years. Many of the blogs have slowed down- like Cathy's, Teresa's and Ann's .

I find myself daily at: get rich slowly and Frugal dad to find out if my financial life can be helped- lol.

When I need an extra lift I head to Churches of Venice or any of the slow traveler blogs. Heavier theology reading? Amy.
There are many others- but that is a good start!

Sometimes death comes slowly

My mother in law passed away last night.
I could almost hear her say, "I finally get to be with Grandpa"!
I have listened to many stories of this couple over the years.

Both my mother and father in law were the youngest children of 13. These were not happy healthy families- they were dark and scary. They lived through the depression in the kind of conditions that I cannot imagine- utter poverty. Those who thought the great depression ended in 1940 did not see the real poor. The garden on the land along the train tracks was where my mother in law got the only food around for a long time. I am pretty sure my mother in law was from a plural marriage - all of her siblings are step and she is "sealed" to the other mother. There was lots of hollering and hair pulling growing up in that house from what I understand- that was sort of her "joke".

My mother in law was engaged to a man whom- I think- never came back from WWII. Her brother closest in age, and seems only friend, died in a motorcycle accident. Heart break started early in her life.

She met and married my father in law at church. He had worked on the Anolia Gay during the war and was ten years older than she. They struggled financially for a very long time. Three boys- each born 18 months apart. Fighting over money plagued the household. There were lots of violent episodes from my mother in law's temper. Only my husband seems to forgive that financial worries and improper parent models lead to the paddling with anything from a warped washboard to flyswatter handles. Still, she baked bread and had dinner on the table nightly- no matter what it took.

My mother and father in law mellowed once plumbers at the nuclear plant began to be paid a working wage. They cared for their elderly parents until they died- the only ones who did from my understanding. My sister in law was born and life was better.Unfortunately, the boys were almost out of the house. The other two despised my mother in law - still the one who cannot stand her the most made sure she was cared for her until the end.

My husband left home in 1967 and never looked back. We always had a "chatting" relationship with his parents- but never particularly close. He appreciated that they did what they could to raise the family and came to understand the dire circumstances of his parents' background. I think the one thing I can say that my husband inherited from his father was his ability to just forgive and move forward. I wish I could do it as well as he does.

What I remember about my in laws in their older age was they seemed to have finally fallen deeply in love with each other. They tended a large garden- half of which was given to the "widow women" in their poor community (they never wanted to move). They chatted and watched TV together- still eating their "Samiches" off of plastic plates from the 60's and jelly jars for drinks. They held hands and snuck kisses every time they left the room from each other.

They were married 54 years. My mother in law said that the best years were the last ones because they worked together. She also said that if you can make it past 25years you might be ready to live together for a very long time. I believe her.

I don't think either of them thought it would take ten years for them to be reunited. Her heart was broken the day he died. Then she just proceeded to wait - dying of a broken heart. She stopped taking any medications years ago. She did not attend weddings or blessings of great grands. She simply did not want to be on the earth anymore.

No matter what - there had to be something there in the early years. Each of the children became successful in their own fields. Their children are now marrying and having children of their own. There is a definite sense of taking care of the next generation. There is genuine love and respect for one another. Maybe the cycle of poverty and abuse has been broken by the example of wisdom in older age....

I am sad that it took so long for God to take this soul. We worked hard to find her some type of outlet, but she simply would not use it. I hate to say it- but I really hope to die from a broken heart one day. To love so greatly must be amazing. She would have been 84 next month.

Be at peace Grandma.
We will all gather to give each other one last hug in your honor.
Please say hello to my dad as you pass by his way,
while once again holding hands and smiling with Grandpa.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The difference between the liberal Democratic congress and the rest of us in the middle

I get it. People need reasonable changes. The Democratic congress does NOT get it.

I have to laugh at the people who simply do not get that if you voted for Obama, you didn't, overnight become a flaming liberal Democrat. We live in a state that practices what I preach, basic people to people politics. My congressmen/women are all Republican.
Some of the people I hear the most from live in a state known for their liberal leanings.... to each her own.
All politics is local.

What a mess.

The thing is- from what I hear- it will not be JUST the Democrats losing seats in the fall. All senior people will be up for the block. The problem is .... how can people run without a party in this vast system?

As for the race in Mass- I love it. It is fitting that a former male nude model makes his way into the Senate representing a "Catholic" state. You go Mass!

As for Obama. I am looking forward to many more Republicans being in the legislature. They could gain majority and give Obama the give and take that is SUPPOSED to be in Congress. It might even be up to them to open the debates to the cameras(which Obama misspoke by telling people would happen. Only the majority party can do that.)
Republicans did it under Clinton. They passed some excellent welfare reform at that time. Maybe health care is on its way- next year. I sure hope it is not dead.

But I have to admit- my health care stocks are doing gang busters and the debate will not touch where I live (military) for many years to come:>)

Friday, January 15, 2010

the market and banking

Banks drive me crazy. How did we let it get so bad? Unfortunately, it will not get better unitl the 'free market" people see that making a profit is not the most important thing. Looking for good stocks who do not buy into the greed factor is tough.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kids

Our team inherited a student at the beginning of the semester.
He is a pistol!
Classified gifted, with a mouth that will not stop.
So far, the mouth is not "dirty" and he is a bit hyper- but he seems good enough.
I guess the other team could not handle that gifted often walk to a different beat- and this kid's beat is all over the place.
Tomorrow I argue for him NOT to be put into a different classification. That classification would make him more "SPED" and gifted would be secondary.
No way!
I am not going to let this hot potato be put back in the ground!!!!
We need LOTS more smart people doing good things. This kid can be trained.
Honey works so much better than punishment!
He may drive us crazy- but he doesn't know who is now on his team!
LOL- he may want to go back to the other team where he just got punished but did not have to work before the year is out.
No way!
Once he is ours----we OWN him! HeeeHeee Heee
PS- a few prayers for the taming process are solicited at this time:>)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Working hard in China

Spent the afternoon working on my China unit.
The district opened up You tube to us!
Fantastic!
I found clips of every major landform and hyper linked them to the map.
Now, if I could only get a class on how to hyperlink to google earth!


Saturday, January 09, 2010

Forgot my camera

What a week to forget my camera at school!
Blankets on the windows,
doggies walking on three feet to keep one warm,
space heaters,
fireplaces,
snow filled trees,
snow glistening in the wind,
an empty town.
I don't mind the cold,
as long as the heat is on.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Heat- finally


Thank good ness!

The heater works.

It is currently 0 with a slight wind.

Tonight we expect negative numbers.

Several days heating with a downstairs fireplace had left us less than warm.

Deep freeze

-1 at the back door
0 at the front door
Wind was whipping all night
Our students would be better off in school today- but I am glad to be by my space heater blogging.

On another note.
I totally understand where Sen Dodd is coming from.
Although I have never really appreciated his politics, I know his constituents voted him in time after time.
And now it is time to go.
He feels it is time to realign his life.
He states that two friends have died recently.
The year that dad, Paul, Ron and Sue all died, just before Jennifer got married, was a reality jolt for us. We started to be realistic about our age and what we want to do after the jobs are gone. We began to save like crazy people.
We cut back our lifestyle and concentrated a bit more on staying in touch with our children.
We now have a few more friends in scary spots. I know this is what the future holds.
Grandchildren, love, death, divorce, stability. We are trying to prepare.
Next step- finding a good place of worship.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Laundry


Our children have been wandering in and out of our house for the last seven years. I always used to laugh because they ALWAYS brought their laundry.
My son would arrive from West Point with shirts that had been stuffed in a locker somewhere for months. They needed a quick wash and were ready to go.
My daughter arrived home from camp or college or work- with mounds of grim. Several washes later they were done.
We would chuckle at the loads and get going.
Most of my friends still say "UGG!" when the laundry arrives with the adult child. Then off we all go to sit and occasionally fold while laundry is being done.
None of us do the laundry for our kids-but we get to enjoy them being in the house for several hours for the wash and drying. They usually sat through a meal and a chat before they were off to their next adventure.
It is a way to stay connected and still let them become the adults that God intends for them to be. It is an easy connection time.
I did the same to my mother. One time I arrived from DC with a baby and toddler in tow- and two bags filled with laundry that I had not had time to do. I was so relieved that I did not have to do it at the laundry mat!
I never really thought of the expense of doing laundry at my parent's house. I did the laundry and my mom got to know her grandchildren during the spin cycle.
When my "children" and my "child's family" left this time it was with clean laundry. The clothes that they had to have when they returned to their homes were ready. I did not do the laundry, but always benefited from the chat time that the dryer cycle allowed me.

BURRRR

4 degrees in the front yard
1 degree in the back
the wind is whipping.
BURRRR

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Sleet, snow, sleet, sun, freeze


That combination makes for a frozen heat pump.

Baby it is cold outside!
Keeping the fire going is my job....