Categories
Life Pets

Meaningless Drivel Monday: Random Labor Day Thoughts

It’s a good day when all the socks in the laundry folding basket have mates.
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Wouldn’t you agree?  Yes, I am folding laundry on Labor Day.  And the hubster is working.
And so is the son-in-law, so Daughter and I are home.  I fold laundry while she plays video games.  Nice, huh?  The good thing for her about being home is no housework, right?
So I am quietly folding laundry, pondering topics for today’s blog post, and Daughter screams (hollers):  “Ack!  There’s a red wasp!”  

Now, red wasps in our neck of the woods are the horror, with their angry aggressiveness and mean stings.  I still have a scar on my forehead where I was stung at the tender age of four!  That sucker chased me down.  CHASED ME DOWN.  Tha horrah!  

But I digress.  Aforementioned red wasp is indeed inside the glass door flitting around in a panic, able to see the great outdoors but unable to get there.

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Several options flash through my mind as Daughter says, “Again?  How are they getting in?”  She had to call her grandmother over from next door the other day to help kill one while we were gone.  Our doggie door gaps a bit, so I am sure the wasps are getting in that way.  Who wouldn’t find a way inside where there is air conditioning?

In a flash I decide against the flyswatter and the bug spray.  I had to act quickly.  No time to fetch said weapons.  I pick up a nearby flip flop, open the glass door, and coax the beastly insect to freedom.  It all ends well.  No violence, no noxious fumes, everyone happy.

Next issue at hand:  convincing my three dogs that dinner is still over an hour away.  Stop staring at me with those sad eyes!  She’ll give in. . .she always does. . .

“Feed me, Mommy!” say Whitey and Molly.

“Did you say ‘time to eat’?” Maggie asks.

What are YOU doing today?

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XOXO


Categories
miranda lambert teaching

Teacher Tuesday: The rewards of social media

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Facebook sometimes gets a bad rap.  Everybody who is hip and tech savvy seems to have a Facebook or Facebook page while the rest consider it a waste of time and an invasion of privacy.  Granted, some people spend way too much time reading news feeds and posting statuses that no one cares about.  Worse still are those who upload photos that no one wants or needs to see.  Photos of children are freely posted without regard for the potential of some pedophile somewhere using the photo or information in some perverse or criminal way.

All that said, I too, have joined the bazillions on Facebook.  I have more “friends” than a person could ever keep up with, and I take an hour now and then to scroll down the news feed to find out what is happening out there with people I rarely see in person.  It’s an excellent way to keep up with people I would never see or hear from.
But the best thing about it?  I get to be in touch with former students I would never hear from otherwise.  And what I learn is the best reward a teacher could ask for.

I see them grown up now with families and careers and surprising maturity.  For the most part, I didn’t teach the “gifted” kids or the “honors” kids; I mostly taught the ones who struggled through high school, the ones who might have dropped out without my special dropout intervention program.  Many of these kids were labeled underachievers and troublemakers by teachers and administrators who should have known better.  It speaks volumes when some of these kids call themselves “rejects” or “losers” because they have not been successful in school.  In my opinion, school has failed them, and not the other way around.  I spent a lot of my time defending these kids to the very system which prides itself on educating every child.  All too often many kids do get “left behind” in the quest for school district recognition.

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This is actually a graduation photo from the school where I used to teach.  The young lady in the center is one of my former Sunday School students!

Anyway, back to Facebook.  What better reward could a teacher have than to see posts by former students describing their service in the military, their careers, their children, their spouses, and their homes?  I love finding out that my kids (students) have grown up into responsible citizens and family members.  Facebook gives me a window into the world of my former students that I would never have had before.  

I have discovered that my former students are now electricians, plumbers, mechanics, contractors, singer/songwriters, nurses, massage therapists, police officers, gun dealers, photographers, real estate brokers, weather forecasters, business owners, lab technicians, firefighters, landscapers, fence builders, teachers, legal assistants, car salesmen, computer technicians, cowboys, professional cheerleader director, and the list goes on.

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One of my more famous former students at graduation:  Miranda Lambert.

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Another famous student:  future Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders director  Kelly McGonagill Finglass.

So, however self-absorbed today’s generation may be, I’m glad that they are giving me glimpses into their successful lives.

XOXO


Categories
Memoirs

FOLK Magazine’s Journal Challenge: My Favorite Trip of All Time

This week’s journal prompt from Folk Magazine mentions that this is the time of year when people begin planning summer vacations.  They then ask us to tell about our favorite vacation of all time, and then explain what makes it so special.

Another tough one, but out of all the family vacations I have taken in my life, first as a child with my family, then as a parent with my own children, I would have to choose the vacation that my son took me on just after he graduated from high school.

I will never forget when he asked me.
“Let’s go to New York, Mom,” he said.
I had to laugh.  “Yeah, right,” I said.
“No, really.  I’ll pay for it with my graduation money.  If you will buy the food, I will cover the hotel and flight.”
Suddenly a real live trip to a real live place that I never thought I would ever in a million years be able to visit became a possibility.  (That is SOME sentence, even for an English teacher. . .)

Soon, we found ourselves in the middle of a big ol’ city with not a clue as to how to get around.  My son is a pretty smart young man and he figured it out for us.  And this was pre-GPS and internet on your cell phone.  I will never forget the landmarks and sights we beheld, or the rush hour subway traffic and street vendors, or the way New Yorkers use their feet like Texans use their cars.  My feet were so sore one night I had to sit down in the shower!

Matt and me at Maxie’s in Times Square.  It was June, 2002.
But the thing that will stick in my mind forever is the fact that Matt invited me, his mom, to go with him when he could have invited any of his friends or other family members.  What a privilege for a mom to be included in a once-in-a-lifetime experience with her teenage son!

On Liberty Island with Manhattan behind us.  Gotta love those plaid pants!  And I was a redhead back in those days. . .
We had such a great time that I was invited AGAIN two years later to go with him and his best friend before Jordan entered the Army!
Yep, it was a great trip with a great kid.  I’d have to rank it up there as my all-time favorite.  

What would be your favorite trip of all time?

XOXO


Categories
Uncategorized

Teacher Tuesday: Worth Remembering (FOLK Magazine Journal Challenge)

Today marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover, and FOLK Magazine’s 2013 Journal Challenge urges us to reflect on the importance of remembering.  It has been said that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.  Remembering past mistakes and making corrections is critical for eventual success.

But what about remembering family and/or religious traditions?  Are those important?  The Jewish and Christian faiths place great importance on remembrance of religious traditions.  The Passover itself was instituted by God as an annual remembrance of His deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage.  So is it important to remember family or religious traditions?

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I say, yes, very much so.  Just as the Christian church observes traditions such as the Lord’s Supper, baptism, singing familiar hymns, and having Sunday School classes, families observe certain traditions as well.  What would Christmas and Thanksgiving be without traditions?  How many families do we know who put up a Christmas tree every year or have a turkey dinner every Thanksgiving?

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Are these traditions important?  I believe they are very important, especially to children.  They provide security–a constant in an unpredictable world.  They provide connections to previous generations, and opportunities to spend time with people we would ordinarily not take the time to visit.  We often do not even realize that we are creating traditions with our families when we really are.  

I started a simple tradition in my home to help celebrate our birthdays.  One year I bought a cheap foil banner with the words “Happy Birthday” and placed it across the top of our entertainment center over the television.  I had gotten into the habit of placing birthday cards received on the top of the entertainment center and thought a banner would be a good way to show them off.  I have done this every year for each birthday since the children were small.  One year I couldn’t find the banner, and my daughter asked where it was.  I dug a little deeper in the drawer where I keep it, and there it was, so up it went.  Traditions do matter.  Our children count on them.
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What traditions do you feel are important?

XOXO


Categories
Uncategorized

At Home Monday: More family talent. . .

You may remember that my sisters and my mother exchanged handmade and handcrafted gifts for Christmas and my birthday.  I think I shared what one of my sisters gave me–a cute owl painting and a burlap and linen vanity stool–but I never shared what my other sister did.  

She was inspired by a similar painting she saw on Pinterest, but she did the lettering on this one herself!

She also knew the words are from one of my favorite hymns, which makes it even more meaningful.

Then I saw online a cute piece of mixed media art featuring a small camper.  I am currently restoring a 1978 Scamp trailer, so I love all things with vintage campers.  I hinted to her that I wanted a piece of art featuring my Scamp.  Guess what she brought me this afternoon?

She did it all herself with a canvas, scrapbook paper, and paint!  It’s a really big 16 x 20 inches, too!  Since I don’t have a birthday coming up, I told her it was perfect to give me for her birthday (which isn’t until May).  That’s how I roll. . .

Not really.  But I DO love my talented family!  I would love them anyway, talented or not.
Yep, I would.

What is your favorite handmade item?

XOXO