Things you always wanted to say but were afraid

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Peach State says: Mema’s Chairs – This made me remember a story

Peach State says: Mema’s Chairs.

A man and his wife had lived many happy years together on the farm, reared three girls and were beginning to talk about distribution of their belongings.  At a Sunday dinner with the three girls and their husbands and kids, the topic came up about who wanted the four-poster bed that all three of the girls were born in.  Although it was not really an argument, it was obvious that all three coveted the bed and no matter what someone’s feelings would be hurt.  The day ended and all went home.

A few weeks later the entire family was again together for a family dinner and when it came time to leave, the dad asked all three girls to come to the barn with him.  The girls assumed he had something quite important to tell them as this was a very unusual move for him.  When they arrived in his most familiar place, he handed each of the girls a sack of sawdust and said, “He is the bed.  I ground it into sawdust so each of you could have your share, for I’ll not have my family troubled by material things.”

And that was that.


The need for cameras

I know all the arguments about privacy and stuff, but after 22 years in education in every position from coach, teacher, assistant principal,  and principal, I believe there should be video cameras in every classroom, locker room and any other place that children interact with adults in school.

We don’t have any problem having cameras in the hallways and cafeterias in case students “act up”, but we have yet to go to the next step of putting them in the classroom.  Just think of the advantages; you could share all good teaching techniques and exceptional lessons with others; you would have video for parent conferences to show how students behave at school; adults and students that know they are being video taped will monitor their actions a bit more; and finally, it would provide any “evidence” that might be necessary when we get into the he said/she said arguments.

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If you still are skeptical, watch this video, but be prepared to be disgusted.

Click on this to hear UTUBE video

Politics of money

The older I get, the more I understand what my father was trying to tell me about money.  My father has been dead for many years, but through my teenage years we had a standing argument about money.  His premise was “money would buy happiness.”  My premise was, “no matter how much money you have, you are not necessarily happy.”  We would argue the point on a regular, usually about once a week, basis.

At that time it was just an argument between an idealistic teenager that had grown up with the things she needed, but not always everything she wanted and a grown man who had known poverty and was hanging on to his little bit of prosperity with all the strength he had.  I didn’t understand it until now.

As I read about the people who care little about others and make millions off the backs of the working poor, I understand why my father tried so hard to make money more important to me.  He knew that at any moment something bigger, some kind of monster, could take it all away.  I had been shielded from that.

When I read about Bain Capital and the way they do business, I understand that I could easily be one of the thousands of laid off workers suddenly without jobs, or those that on the first day of Bain Capital’s management were fired and offered an application to apply for their jobs at half the wage and no pension, or the widows and orphans that one day had their pensions cut to nothing.

Oh he made money, and it helped a lot of us since our pension plans and college endowments had invested in the company just for that reason.  Of course, the individual didn’t know that, but we liked making money too.

My father did understand the money issue much better than I did, but I’m learning.  I just don’t want to be like Mitt.  I don’t want the only people with a seat at the table to be millionaires and how could they since I’m not.  I just want to be left alone and treated fairly.  Apparently, that is too much to ask.

Please, if you want some interesting information about how the money-making machine works read the article in the Dallas Observer.  Excellent research and fascinating study in psychology.

Mitt Romney: American Parasite

Mitt Romney’s years at Bain Capital represent everything you hate about capitalism.

By Pete Kotz Thursday, Apr 19 2012

Just click on picture to see full article.

I can say it and I did

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Future admin building? Fits what's inside?

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If this was your child, would you want her going out in all kinds of weather to get to her car after school?

Well, I learned a few days ago about the renovations at the admin building of my previous employer, and I nearly flipped out.  The reason being, our campus houses the severe and profoundly disabled children for the entire district.  For two years we have been trying to get awnings built over the sidewalks that these children go out every evening to be picked up.  Those with cerebral palsy, in wheelchairs, and other physical issues are forced to go out and down a sidewalk with no protection from thunderstorms, hail storms, sleet, not much snow here, but when it does snow it always manages to snow at dismissal time, and other weather related problems.  Yet, our renovations of the admin building has become more important with a new regime change than these children.

Since I no longer depend on THEM for my paycheck, I fired off three emails to three board members.  I heard back from one.  One that I did not hear back from actually has grandchildren in our school, but of course his children are “perfect.”  I am so happy to report that the one board member that stood up for us may have actually changed the tide as it appears we will be getting our awnings as well as a new office area to remove the filthy carpet that the health department actually requested be done over a year ago.  Now, I don’t want to get too excited.  I’ll believe it when I see it, but I can keep the heat on now that I can say everything I always wanted to say but was afraid to!  Just to end on a descriptive note; the board member that brought this up asked the question, “Why does ****(name left out to protect the innocent) always have to suck hind tit.”  For those of you that don’t understand that particular analogy, ask a farmer.

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I like shooting a gun, but……

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I have to be truthful.  I enjoy shooting a gun, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a handgun or a rifle.  Granted, I don’t have much experience, but I have shot a 22 pistol, a 410 shotgun, and a few other hand me downs.  I have never bought a gun.  The collection in our house has grown as people have died.  We now have the Mr.’s dad’s 22 rifle, his brother’s rifle of some kind and another brother’s rifle of some sort.  We also have two handguns, one was my grandmother’s 22 pistol and the other was the Mr.’s sister’s handgun of some sort.  As you can tell by my intelligent discussion of the types of guns we own, I am not very well versed in the pastime.  I do enjoy shooting them, but only at inanimate objects.  I have shot bales of hay, telephone poles and old water cisterns made of concrete.  And honestly, I enjoy it.

I have often wondered if I could shoot a person.  I think I could if I felt threatened enough.  I could imagine a situation where someone was after me or any of my family and I shot them, but I’m sure I would be so nervous that it would be a toss-up as to which of us got shot, me, the family, or the attacker.

I just don’t understand how a person could possible need all those assault rifles unless they were police officers and needed them to keep up with the Jones.   I mean the drug dealers.  I don’t know.  People I know that have shot those automatic assault rifles tell me there is nothing like it.  I doubt I will ever know because the ammunition alone would break my budget.

Anyway, I just wanted to confess.  I’m not ready for the NRA, and in fact I’m not sure why we need that organization.  Seems to me we have lots of guns and lots of people who aren’t going to give them up, so I don’t know what the NRA does for them.  If those people get mad they just shoot someone don’t them?

But, I do have a great thought.  Ted Nugent and Dick Chaney as hunting partners.  A great reality show.  Put them both on an island a let them hunt whatever they want to.

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I wish I could draw – is it anything like writing??

If you have not discovered Mark Fiore, take a look.  He is irreverent, funny, outspoken artistic and just plain entertaining.  What a great way to educate.


Pulitzer-prize winning Mark Fiore, who the Wall Street Journal has called “the undisputed guru of the form,” creates animated political cartoons in San Francisco, where his work has been featured on the San Francisco Chronicle’s web site, SFGate.com, for over ten years.  His work also appears on Newsweek.com, Slate.com, CBSNews.com, MotherJones.com and NPR’s web site.  Fiore’s political animation has appeared on CNN, Frontline, Bill Moyers Journal, Salon.com and cable and broadcast outlets across the globe.

Beginning his professional life by drawing traditional political cartoons for newspapers, Fiore’s work appeared in publications ranging from the Washington Post to the Los Angeles Times.  In the late 1990s, he began to experiment with animating political cartoons and, after a short stint at the San Jose Mercury News as their staff cartoonist, Fiore devoted all his energies to animation.

Growing up in California, Fiore also spent a good portion of his life in the backwoods of Idaho.  It was this combination that shaped him politically.  Mark majored in political science at Colorado College, where, in a perfect send-off for a cartoonist, he received his diploma in 1991 as commencement speaker Dick Cheney smiled approvingly.

Mark Fiore was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for political cartooning in 2010, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in 2004 and has twice received an Online Journalism Award for commentary from the Online News Association (2002, 2008).  Fiore has received two awards for his work in new media from the National Cartoonists Society (2001, 2002), and in 2006 received The James Madison Freedom of Information Award from The Society of Professional Journalists

Bursting into flames?

I just spit my water all over my computer.  I was watching the documentary by Ken Burns – Prohibition.  Excellent documentary, by the way, but in one segment they said that during the late 1800s children were having to go to classes three times a week to learn the evils of drink.  One of the biggest fears that they taught was that if you drank too much you would spontaneously combust into a blue flame.  I wondered what that was that I was seeing and experiencing as a teenager and young adult.

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could be a friend from my early years

You need a rooster at your place?

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After relocating to the thriving metropolis in Central Texas some 30 years ago, I decided to really immerse myself into the culture.  The first immersion was really just fortuitous.  Having to use the windmill for water, the need to learn simple repairs led me to try to purchase the “rubbers” for my windmill, when actually I needed “leathers.”  That’s an earlier blog.

Having met my closest neighbor, a lovely hard-working woman who had raised four children on her own after her husband had been accidentally killed by an electric shock.  They had a dairy, so she was left to run the dairy and raise the small children.  This she managed to do, and by the time I met her she was remarried to an old high school friend that had returned to the area from Dallas (a bit better off as the head of an electrical company) and made her life much more comfortable.

Neighbor lady had a relative that worked at a local college that experimented on animals to create hybrids.  ThImage Detailey had developed a hybrid chicken that matured in four weeks to be able to butcher in a relative short period of time.  After they had completed their experimentation, they had these leftover chicks and she had access to them.  She asked me if I wanted any.

Well, since I had become such a great little farm lady, I quickly said sure (not realizing exactly what that meant).  The next morning, I found a box with 25 day old chicks on my front porch.  They were making an awful lot of noise cheep, cheep, cheeping and desperate to get out of that box.

I brought them in and sat they on a table.  The middle child was just toddling around and as I tried to figure what I was supposed to do next, he abruptly reached in the box and grabbed a handful, in both little chubby hands, of baby chicks.  Only two were squished before I was able to pry them out of his fat little fingers, and I quickly got them to the barn, got them enclosed, and got a light on them.  Adding the food and water made me think I had pretty much taken care of the baby chicks.

Well, all went well for several days, then as baby chicks tend to do, they began to grow.  Now remember, these were a hybrid that had been genetically altered to mature in four weeks and ready for butcher.

Four weeks came and each hen (and they were all hens) had begun laying eggs.  By this time, I had just turned them loose, and they had a chicken house for the laying and roosting.  Now of course, not all hens lay every day, but out of 24 it was not uncommon to have days with 17 to 20 eggs.  It began to become a bit of a problem what to do with that many eggs.  Remember, this was daily.  We ate eggs, the dogs, cats, and pigs ate eggs, and I began to wonder what my next step should be.  This is where having an experienced neighbor is so valuable.  Her question was, “Why don’t you just put some in the freezer?”  After receiving instructions (before google), I went home to prepare for the butchering.

I was a city kid.  They closest I had been to butchering any animal was purchasing the meat already packed in the grocery store.  Occasionally, I would see some large cuts of meat being whittled down in the back of the store, but certainly not enough to get the butchering certificate.

Now, elderly neighbor suggested wringing the neck or chopping it off, followed by plucking by hand as many feathers as possible, followed by dunking now dead chicken in boiling water in order to get he remainder of the pin feathers (very small feathers that are very gross if you see them or eat them after cooking chicken).  You can then freeze the entire chicken or cut it up before freezing.  Sounds simple enough doesn’t it?  These elderly farm people did it all the time for Sunday dinner, remember?  I don’t either. Image Detail

Out I go to the barn.  I decided that I was incapable of wringing anything’s neck, so armed with an axe I set out to kill me some chickens.  I killed a couple, but no one told me that they kept running around after they had no heads, and to say the least this really spooked me.  I was convinced I was being chase, punished, or haunted by chicken spirits from millions of years past.  My other thoughts were that these hybrids were some sort of bionic, nuclear, radioactive, killer chickens.  Not a pleasant thought.

They finally went down, and I went about following the remainder of the instructions.  I managed to sort of complete four chickens.  There seemed to be a lot of leftover feathers.  I was covered in wet, stinking feathers and the barnyard resembled the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  This would not work.

After traumatizing the remaining 20 hens and having 4 pitiful looking dead chickens, I decided I would just go to the store to get my chicken.  It was a family tradition, but I still had a bunch of chickens, laying a bunch of eggs.

The next plan of attack was to allow the hens to set some of the eggs and hatch some babies.  (Wait for it.)  I was relaying my plan to the elderly neighbor when her obvious shock showed in the tone of her question, “You got a rooster out there?”  “Why no,” I replied, at which point the obvious dawned on me.  “Oh my gosh,” I stammered, turning beet red – no redder.  “Please, don’t tell anyone that I said that, ” I pleaded.  I knew what kind of idiot they would all thing I was.  Remember, I was the one that asked for the rubbers for the windmill.  “Well honey,” she slowly drawled, “You can let them hens set all they want, but without a rooster you won’t ever get any babies.”  She probably got her chuckle for the year or lifetime out of that one.

I know she got on that party line the minute I left her house.  It really was too good a story not to tell.

I pulled up to the little store in the little town several days later.  I was what was referred to as a “grass widow” (divorced) in their neck of the woods, and there was always lots of speculation about what I might be up to out in the country.  I saw as I put the car in park several of the old men in town, one of the old bachelors, standing on the porch.  When I was fully out of the car I heard the comment I had been dreading, “Hey, Mrs. I hear you need a rooster out at your place.”  I just ducked and plowed ahead.  After all, I was fast becoming the entertainment in a town with not much entertainment.

One of those on the porch was the Mr.

President Bush likes to moutain bike ride – how nice.

If he had just let it go at that, but no, true to form, he had to keep talking.  He went on to say he loved to ride; he said he didn’t even mind getting beat. If he had just let it go at that, but no, true to form, he had to keep talking.

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Bike wreck without being in a race.

“I don’t like to be beat by a one-legged veteran.”  He didn’t really say that did he. Inappropriate sense of humor hasn’t changed at all.



Even this was a new one for me

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First off, I would like to report that I really enjoyed the confetti easter eggs that are around now.  The grandkids and I really enjoyed smashing them off of each others’ heads although I had a slight advantage in height. 

But, this Easter Sunday we had a first.  Our baby girls and her family visited as well as our middle son and his family and my mom, so we pretty much had a circus.  The youngest granddaughter, LD, is 3 years old and while her mother was doing some baking she evidently took a few RAW eggs and colored them with her hard-boiled ones.  I think my daughter knew, but just let her go on with her artistic side.  And how you might ask did we discover this?  Well, what were we doing with the confetti eggs!

One of the best easter egg hunts ever although I still don’t get the connection between Easter, Resurrection, Rabbits, and Hard-Boiled Artificially Dyed Eggs.

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What holiday is next?? OMG it the DAYS – Mothers’, Fathers’, and anything else the card, flower and retail moguls can get us to buy into.


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