Showing posts with label Good Advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Good Advice. Show all posts

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Halloween-Last minute ideas for a backyard bash

Have a backyard bash to celebrate Halloween. Gather your costumed friends to gather for a backyard Halloween party that includes a bonfire, smoking punch, snacks, and games. 

Build the bonfire

If you do not have a firepit, build a bonfire pit a safe distance from the house.
Dig a shallow hole large enough to contain the fire.
Set two medium-sized logs side by side in the middle of the hole.
Place newspapers, hay, or wood pieces in the spot for kindling.
Light a match and carefully place it in the middle of the bonfire to start the kindling.
When the kindling has an intense flame, place another log across the top of the fire.
When the top log catches fire, your bonfire is good to go. Feed the fire regularly throughout the party. Be sure to douse it with water when the party ends.

Halloween Punch

Make your favorite punch and encase it with dry ice to create a spooky atmosphere. For the how-to, watch the video below.

Prepare for ghostly games

The Mummy

Break into teams of three or four. Each team will have a toilet paper roll and choose one person to be the mummy. Each team has five or ten minutes (whichever you decide) to use the entire roll of toilet paper to wrap their mummy. The winners are the team with the fastest time and the most creative mummy. Prizes can be candy, popcorn balls, or a round of applause.

Eat the Donut

Use tree limbs or a clothesline between two trees and hang donuts using string. Donuts should be slightly higher than the average teen. Choose teams of two, and tie them together at the waist. Each team tries to eat the donut without using their hands or arms—the first team to eat the donut wins. If a donut falls to the ground, the team is eliminated. 

Blindfold Drum Finder

Choose one person to be the drummer. The drum can be a pot or hollow log, anything that resonates. 

The game begins when the drummer drums once. Each player is blindfolded, and the drummer chooses a spot away from the bonfire. The blindfolded teens try to find the drummer. The drummer can make a sound every few minutes. The game continues until each teen has found the drummer. The drummer, if found too quickly, may change location. 

How to Use Dry Ice with Halloween Punch (click here)

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Climate change: what is the cause? What solutions can we apply?

Climate change, global warming: We experience it every day. The increase in severe weather, the droughts, and the melting ice are all symptoms of a worldwide illness. I recently read an article discussing the causes of alarming global warming. This article states, "Human activity has rapidly increased the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution-human activities such as burning fossil fuels, including coal and oil, have increased greenhouse gas concentrations in our atmosphere."

The article did not point out the number of factories and cities constructed during the industrial revolution. Building the factories and towns required the consumption of acres of trees to clear the land and build the needed housing. Transporting goods and people led to the need for roads and railroads. While removing the trees, the use of fossil fuels increased with few remaining air filters (trees) to combat the warming effects of these greenhouse gases.

There is always cause and effect. The cause is the deforestation of the land and increased use of fossil fuels. The effect is global warming or planetary destruction. There is a reasonable, cost-effective method to reduce carbon dioxide using this simple cause and effect model. The technique is how our planet developed the life-sustaining air we need to exist.

Trees are natural air purifiers using a process termed photosynthesis. During this process, leaves pull in carbon dioxide and water and use the sun's energy to convert this into chemical compounds such as sugars that feed the tree. But as a by-product of that chemical reaction, oxygen is produced and released by the tree

Governments spend billions of dollars seeking to control carbon emissions and develop alternative energy sources. Carbon cleaning plants capture and bury the carbon dioxide. But these plants do nothing to release breathable oxygen back to nature.

 Iceland introduced the world's largest carbon cleaning plant, claiming the plant will remove 3,600 metric tons or 7,936,632 pounds per year. About 15 plants are in operation.. It is excellent to clean carbon dioxide from the air; it is better to set up an efficient air filter that removes the carbon dioxide and returns clean air. Achieving this is simple and rewarding. 165,347 mature trees can achieve the same air purification. One tree removes 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air and returns breathable oxygen.

The funding from the federal and state governments would be better used to reforest cities, develop incentives for builders to resist the need to raze land before building homes and business sites and remove blighted city areas, replacing these areas with trees.

Reforesting is not a novel idea. China, the top polluter of carbon dioxide, launched a reforestation project in 1999 to combat the damaged landscape of China's industrial growth. China has spent upward of 100 billion dollars, benefiting crops, controlling in part the carbon dioxide emissions, and has raised the forest coverage to about a quarter of China's total land.

In the U.S., combating the degradation and rise in crime in blighted urban neighborhoods could be better served by removing abandoned buildings and replacing these with trees. Many communities have pockets of blight, a breeding ground for drugs, crime, and despair. Replacing these areas with trees would improve living conditions and create an environment of hope and a future. One acre of blight can hold 80-120 trees and remove 3,840 to 5,760 pounds of pollution from the air in one year.

So what can one individual do? Plant trees. Incorporate trees into your landscaping projects. Various trees enhance any yard; some are quick growing, like the Quaking Aspen, Sugar Maple, and Arborvitaes. Whichever type of tree you choose, remember one mature tree can create enough oxygen to support 4 people.  

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Practical ways to recognize and managing stress

Mental stress occurs when you are frustrated, angry, or anxious. Stress can happen in a productive situation, like stressing muscles to gain strength, or stress can negatively impact the body and mind. Some pressure is good, improving motivation and productivity. But what can you do when stress elevates to an unhealthy level? What's stressful for one person may not be stressful for another. 

If it causes you to stress, that is enough. Look for ways to manage the stress that is individual to your circumstances. I am a "hands-on Controller."  I get paid good money to serve as office manager and financial wizard and to ensure profitable operational control. In this role, my stress can be overwhelming. Employees have demands, emails to answer, financial statements to compile and report, bills to be paid, and cash to receive and apply to the customers' accounts. Once I thought about running down the hall and bouncing off the wall, knocking myself silly.

Stress can include too many phone calls and emails, meetings that interfere with deadlines, and the physical stress of sitting or standing for an extended period. However, learning to manage stress is the healthier way to meet the daily challenge. When facing pressure at work, maintain a sense of humor. Realize that mistakes happen.

 One of the simplest methods is to take periodic breaks. Get up, stretch, and move away from your work area for a few minutes. If your work culture does not have formal breaks,  you can still take short breaks to play a game of solitaire or a word game, anything quick requiring concentration that takes your mind off the problem or situation. Or take a break and remain productive by sorting your mail, cleaning off your desk, or catching up on some filing. These tasks are mental breaks.

Practice deep breathing: sit up straight, inhale deeply and exhale to the count of 10. Repeat this four or five times. It increases the oxygen in the blood and will refresh you. When the focus is on breathing, your mind will relax. You may come up with a better idea or change your perceptions.

For continuous stress management, exercise regularly. Exercise releases endorphins, which elevate your mood and help promote a sense of well-being. I like to exercise right after work. Exercising is my way to bridge the day between work and home. Walking enables you to relax, releases the workday, and renews your energy for the next set of tasks at home. You can also take an aerobic or yoga class on your way home from work or simply exercise at a gym with some good music.

Remember to include laughter in your daily routine. Laughing has positive benefits and is proven to reduce stress. Laughter enables you to be less serious about yourself and lifts your spirits. Laughter can result in more creativity and perhaps better problem-solving. I have a dark sense of humor and employ this daily. I have a voodoo doll with my boss's face glued on it and a big hatpin holding it on my bulletin board. If this is not for you, still look for opportunities to laugh. Make some time to enjoy a good comedy show or movie, the sillier, the better.

Make time to read. Concentrating takes your mind off the day and helps you to rest. For the best relief, put the trade journals aside and pick up a mystery or romance.

Managing stress is possible. It is important to move away from the circumstances that promote stress. Socialize regularly with friends. A good dinner with friends, a movie, shopping, playing cards, bowling, or taking a pottery class (or whatever interests you) help maintain a sense of self and accomplishment apart from the workplace. Recognize what your stress inducers are, and use short breaks, laughter, exercise, reading, and time with friends to allow yourself time to recharge.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

What we can learn from Pearl Harbor Day

Pearl Harbor Day is a remembrance of the attack on the United States December 7 1941. In the early morning hours, Japanese pilots bombed Pearl Harbor, killing 2,335 servicemen and wounding over a thousand others. Sixty eight civilians were also killed. The Japanese attacked with warning. The pilots bombed airfields and damaged eight battleships. Among these is the Arizona, which exploded and sunk killing about 1,100 men on board. The attack on Pearl Harbor marked the entrance of the United States into World War II.

To my surprise, many of the people I work with didn’t even remember Pearl Harbor. One guy responded “Why should I remember something that happened 25 years before I was born?” Maybe it’s just me, but I believe that as an American I should be knowledgeable of my history. I know that America is not perfect, but being aware gives the country a chance to learn from mistakes.

Personally, I am concerned about the state of the nation. There are so many folks who offer opinions without understanding the who, what, when, where and why of the circumstance. I remember what it was like before the civil rights movement in the 60s. I was young, but I remember Martin Luther King’s speech. I remember watching the violence and bigotry in the country, and seeing African Americans leading the way for equality. I remember the Vietnam protests and the brutality of the 1968 democratic convention where protesters were beaten and gassed on national television. I remember the 1970 shootings at Kent State, where the National Guard opened fire on protesters, killing four students and wounding nine others.

When the Twin Towers fell, Americans were firmly behind the invasion of Afghanistan and some wanted to bomb the entire Middle East. The War on Terror was coined, and the United States entered into the global war on terror. But who remembers the bombing at France’s Orly Airport attack on July 15 1983. The bombing killed eight people and wounded 55 others. Terrorists bombed the 1972 Summer Olympics killing eleven Israeli athletes and one German police officer. Terrorism was largely ignored by the United States until it reached our borders, just as it did on Pearl Harbor Day in December 7 1941.

In my home town we experienced unbelievable riots over the shooting death of Michael Brown. This lead to the Black Lives Matter movement. But, at the same time folks were marching for Black Lives Matter, a nine year old girl was killed by flying bullets while she did homework on her bed. Black Live Matter didn’t protest this.

Am I rambling? Some. But all we experience now in America is rooted in what has happened in the past. And, because some have forgotten the past, the country continues in turmoil. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

America has gone too far

When did it become a threat to have freedom of ideas, opinions, and lifestyle? America has gone too far in the effort to ensure freedoms for some by restricting the freedoms of others.
An owner of a sports team expresses jealousy because his girlfriend is hanging around with powerful men. He states that she should not be hanging out with black men. Now he is losing his livelihood, labeled a racist, and is being publicly disgraced. However, no one seems upset that he is a married man having an affair.
HGTV cancels a show about two brothers building houses so that low-income families can have decent housing. HGTV canceled the show because one of the brothers expressed concerns about abortion and homosexuality on a talk show in 2012. Does being pro life interfere with a person’s ability to build a decent home?
America was built on a foundational statement “I may not agree with what you believe, but I will defend to the death your right to believe it”.
This foundation is what brought about the 1960s racial equality movement. This foundation is what drives the right of gays and handicapped persons to be treated with respect.  This foundation is what makes us a free and unique people.
Why should we be so frightened of disagreement? If we truly believe what we believe, then why is disagreement such a challenge?
I have heard that 10 percent of the people I met will not like me. Oh, well. What I have come to understand it that yes I have opinions and ideas, but when I am dead they will blow away in the wind.
America, as a country of individuals, would be better served by simply shaking it off.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Are you wise or foolish?

Did you ever wonder about the difference between wise and foolish people? Foolish people don’t give much thought to the effect their actions have on others. They don’t really think through their decisions, then complain and feel like the world is against them when life doesn’t work out according to their plan. On the other hand, people who have some wisdom understand their actions have repercussions, and usually think before they act. When they make a mistake, they own it, and try to recover.

 A gentle answer will calm a person’s anger, but an unkind answer will cause more anger.
Wise people use knowledge when they speak, but fools pour out foolishness.
As a tree gives fruit, healing words give life, but dishonest words crush the spirit.
Wise people use their words to spread knowledge, but there is no knowledge in the thoughts of fools.
People with understanding want more knowledge, but fools just want more foolishness.
A wise son makes his father happy, but a foolish son disrespects his mother.
 A person without wisdom enjoys being foolish, but someone with understanding does what is right.
 Plans fail without good advice, but they succeed with the advice of many others.
People enjoy giving good advice. Saying the right word at the right time is so pleasing.
 Wise people’s lives get better and better. They avoid whatever would cause their death.
Good people think before they answer, but the wicked simply pour out evil.
Good news makes you feel better. Your happiness will show in your eyes.
Respect for the LORD will teach you wisdom. If you want to be honored, you must be humble.

Fools reject their parents’ correction, but anyone who accepts correction is wise.
Those who make fun of wisdom don’t like to be corrected; they will not ask the wise for advice.
If you listen to correction to improve your life, you will live among the wise.
Those who refuse correction hate themselves, but those who accept correction gain understanding.
People with quick tempers cause trouble, but those who control their tempers stop a quarrel.

A lazy person’s life is like a patch of thorns, but an honest person’s life is like a smooth highway.
The person who quits doing what is right will be punished (by his own undoing), and the one who hates to be corrected will die (because he doesn’t listen to reason and act carefully).

Greedy people bring trouble to their families, but the person who can’t be paid to do wrong will live.
Much wealth is in the houses of good people, but evil people get nothing but trouble.

Actions and Effects
Happiness makes a person smile, but sadness can break a person’s spirit.

Every day is hard for those who suffer, but a happy heart is like a continual feast. (Therefore, share your happiness with those who suffer; bring cheer and hope to those who are in despair)
It is better to be poor and respect the LORD than to be wealthy and have much trouble.

It is better to eat vegetables with those who love you than to eat meat with those who hate you.
How God views the difference between wise and foolish lives

The LORD knows what is happening in the world of the dead, so he surely knows the thoughts of the living.
The LORD’S eyes see everything; he watches both evil and good people.  

The LORD hates the sacrifice that the wicked offer, but he likes the prayers of honest people.
The LORD hates what evil people do, but he loves those who do what is right.

The LORD will tear down the proud person’s house, but he will protect the widow’s property.
The LORD hates evil thoughts but is pleased with kind words.

The LORD does not listen to the wicked, but he hears the prayers of those who do right.
Proverbs 15:1-33 (NCV)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Are you thinking of suicide

Life can be brutal. I found myself at a crossroads seven years ago. I was very sad; my grandchild has just passed away. My job was stressful, and, no matter what I did, I never seemed to do well enough for my boss. I doubted my ability to be a good enough person. I became lost in a dark and desolate place.
As I sat on the edge of my bed, thinking about ending the confusion, I had a piercing of light. Where I was in my life was very low, I did not think it could get any worse. And I realized that this was a horrible place, about as low as I could feel, so it was not going to get any worse. I realized that as long as I breathed, there was hope of life getting better.
I will not tell you it happened overnight, but I will tell you that my life is so good now, it was worth the pain. And I will tell you that there is a God, and He loves you.
Perhaps you have heard that God so loved the world He sent His only Son into the world to become the graceful reconciliation of God and man. Maybe you think, “Well, God did that for everybody, no especially for me”. But God did do this especially for you.
God sent Jesus because we can never be good enough on our own, no matter how hard we try. Jesus will come along side of you and infuse you with hope. Take another breath, then another. Ask God to help you.
Then call someone and talk to him or her about how you feel. Maybe you do not think you can talk to those who are close to you, and that is okay. There are 24-hour hotlines with people like me who really understand the depth of your despair and pain.

Call 24/7 1-800-273-8255. Someone is waiting to help you.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Honoring your parents

I saw a woman in the elevator at work. She was taking her mom to or from an appointment. The woman’s mother looked to be around eighty or so. She had twinkling blue eyes and she smiled at me. The woman with her mother looked bored and aggravated, as if this action of taking care of her mother was the most unwelcome chore in her life.
I remembered when my Dad was in the hospital at the end of his life. He was very ill, and apologized to me for being such a bother. I thanked him for the great life he provided for me, and told him never to apologize. I said “Dad, you didn’t throw us out when we were too much trouble, you made sure we were fed, sent us to good schools, and never turned your back on us (there were six siblings) even when we deserved it.”
People are living longer now, and many people have taken on the role of caregiver to their aging parent. I see some of them. They are aggravated with their parent for being old and needing care. And, yes, it is difficult. But so were they when they were they were babies, toddlers and teenagers.
If you are in this situation, remember your parent took care of you when you were unlovable. And, the way society is today, your parents could have ignored you, walked away from you, or simply thrown you out of the house.
There is a psychological toll when a care-giving child has to come to terms with the fact that they, the caregiver, are no longer children. It is a kind of forced adulthood. However, do not dishonor your parents. Do not act as if this is a huge inconvenience and wear your distain on your face. No parent wants this situation when the roles reverse.
Remember the fifth commandment:
Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 5:16 (ESV). This is not just for kids.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

St Louis is fascinating

I was writing an article for CBS Local on railroad adventures in St. Louis. I was doing research and was reminded how fascinating it is to live in St. Louis. Most people do not know how rich the history is, and what incredible treasures are everywhere. When I was younger, I had some friends who lived off Dorsett Road, when Dorsett was just a two-lane road and Westport Plaza was only a plan. My friend’s house sat on a large piece of land that is now a subdivision. There was (and probably still is) a large creek that ran through the property. I was walking along the creek bank and found the old Creve Coeur Trolley tracks. The Creve Coeur Trolley once ran from the Delmar Loop along what is now Midland and ended at Creve Coeur Park. The power station still stands in Creve Coeur Park.

The neighborhood I live in used to be a large lake. The spring that fed the lake still runs through the neighborhood. As I walk my dogs, I can “see” the curvatures of the lake still in the landscape. In fact, when walking my dogs, I actually walk uphill from my house and back to my house.

St Louis is a very old city. Looking at the architecture of the buildings and houses in the city, one might not guess this. The city was destroyed several times-once from a riverboat fire that burned most of the area near the Mississippi River, once by the strongest tornado every recorded, and once by an earthquake that was so intense the Mississippi River ran backwards. But if you are aware, you can find remnants of history still standing, or laying around.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Doomsday preppers: How ready are they

I have been watching the National Geographic show “Doomsday Preppers.” I wonder how ready they really are. The individuals stockpile food, water and other supplies, practice shooting at gun ranges, and have bug-out drills. Some plan for an economic collapse, others for extreme natural disasters, but rarely do I see them plan for a real future after the event they dread occurs.

What happens after they survive? Most individuals are making isolation plans with a few friends or family members. I am intrigued with the combat drills, and wonder whom they plan to fight. Most mention marauding motorcycle gangs and wild thieves. But are they prepared to shoot a mother with an infant and a toddler looking for food and shelter, or the family with young children who have run out of their stockpiles, and are looking for shelter and other survivors.

What kind of world will they build in the aftermath? From what I can tell, it is one where the prepper’s family survives by shooting everyone else. So what kind of life is that?

I do believe the families do need to prepare for natural disasters by developing a plan to be self-sufficient during a crisis. We have seen the lack of planning and preparedness that occurred during Katrina. People should keep a supply of canned goods (which also contain drinkable liquid), dried foods, flashlights, batteries, a heat source that can be safely operated, medical supplies, etc. Families should have a plan to stay in touch, or meet up locations and safe words.

But if people are really so concerned about mass prepping, it is best to establish a survival community that includes carpenters, nurses, hunters, and others with contributing talents. The community should not be implosive or exclusive, and it’s best to have a contingency plan to include at least 50 to 100 folks who did not plan. After all, what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?

For the earth to continue it will take a community of survivors working together, not locked down in a bug-out location.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Brain Eating Amoebas

Brain eating amoebas. That's what I woke up to as I turned on the morning news. I signed onto my computer and found out a woman in Illinois shot herself and her three children in the head. And I wonder why I am so sad sometimes.

I grew up in the 50s and 60s when there were only four television channels and computers were only for big business. There was certain innocence in the world. Now everywhere I look I am bombarded with the most incredibly bad information.

Its no wonder so many people need medicine for depression. I tried not watching the news, but that seemed foolish to not be informed. I cannot escape the Internet. I remember God is good, and I look to Him for direction and wisdom.

In the early 1900's, swine flu wiped out entire towns. Infant death rates were high. I found out that antibiotics were not even around until the end of the 1800's and the polio vaccine didn't arrive until the 1950s. So, it's always been hard.

As I prayed this morning, I read Psalm 97:5: The hills melt like was in the presence of the Lord. In my mind's eye I saw that the mountainous obstacles that surround us, the perilous terrain we tread, all become smooth as we rely on and trust in God. Life is hard but God is good.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: Exposing the Truth

The truth behind the Occupy Wall Street protest reveals the mind-set of Wall Street.

Like the debtor forgiven
Who leaves the king and seeks out
Those who owe him money
Credit kings, forgiven by the government,
Seek to sap the last cent
From their debtors.*

---As the economy crumbles and savings are dust
    Only God is invested to manage our trust.

The current movement to Occupy Wall Street led me to think about the real reasons the revolt is occurring. People are trying to satisfy their basic need for food and safety. In an effort to clear away debris, I did a lot of research and it is economic tightly woven tapestry of corporate practices, personal agendas and greed.

*Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. "Be patient with me," he begged, "and I will pay back everything." The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

But when that (forgiven) servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. "Pay back what you owe me!" he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, "Be patient with me and I will pay you back." But he (the forgiven servant) refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.

When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. "You wicked servant," (the master) he said, "I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?" In anger, his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. (Matt 18:23-34)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Post Traumatic Sixites-Reality TV Begins

In 2010, reality tv has taken over the networks. But in the sixties, reality tv begins--and it was reality. Watching the news made you duck. It started with the replays of President Kennedy's assassination, then we watched Lee Harvey Oswald get shot. Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were gunned down, and we watched.

There were riots, church bombings, and civil rights workers killed. The Vietnam war was broadcast regularly, until they had to stop because someone saw their son dead on a stretcher before they were even notified. And into the seventies, there were students killed at Kent State, and the clocktower massacre.

Before this, television was non-threatening entertainment. Women and children never got killed. Actually, I saw the first lady die in an episode of Bonanza. Anyway.

So trying to sell reality television to me is a hard-sell. I have seen the real stuff. And it left the youth of the sixties with a plateful of hard truth.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Unschooling: tales of near death and betrayl

I am learning about Unschooling. As I think about the philosophy I found while reading about Unschooling, I thought about all the unschooling that happened to me before I was six. I know the before six part, because my family moved to the suburbs when I was in first grade. The unschooling lessons I learned involved near death experiences and betrayal, as seen through curiously intuitive eyes.

I remember watching the Hallmark Hall of Fame show about a lady who was a pirate or leader of some group. What impressed me was that she jumped from a high tower into a sheet the guys held. This looked really fun and exciting. So, the next day, I talked my girlfriends, Kathy and Peggy, into playing this game.
We went to the back of Peggy's apartment building. We found a screen door. They held it and I went up to the third floor landing and climbed over the rail, prepared for adventure. It was cut short by a neighbor who rushed, screaming, and grabbed me. I was not happy. But later I learned I could have been killed.

Living in the city, hills and trees were fun places to go. My sister had to take me with her and her friends, and we were going to Mud Hill. Mud Hill was two blocks, one busy street and a good hill climb. Then we had to walk across a train trestle to reach Mud Hill. The slats were pretty far apart, and I had short legs. I stepped into the middle of the slat, and my shoe got caught. I didn't know anything about spatial relationship, so I was worried I would be stuck forever. Then I saw the train coming. I screamed "Barbie, Barbie" and other yells. The group turned back. My sister said, "Oh, she always yells like that" and kept walking. I think it was my cousin who finally had pity and saved my life. I wasn't sure I could trust my sister after that.

Now, the big betrayal. One hot afternoon, I took $5.00 from my dad's dresser and bought everyone in the neighborhood an ice cream from the ice cream man. My sister had two fudge bars. Later that day, I was coming up the front steps, and heard my sister telling my mom about how "… and she took money from your dresser and bought everyone ice cream, hump." However, she left out the part about how she ate two, and, even though she was five years older than me, did not try to stop me at all.
I slid against the wall, trying to get to my bedroom unnoticed. It did not work. I got spanked and she got ice cream.

Unschooling happens all the time. Even when kids are traditionally educated.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Unschooling: When did the land of the free become the home of the stupid

I watched a short interview on CNN this afternoon. The host was 'chatting' with a woman who unschooled her children. When asked how her kids would learn things like trigonometry, the woman tried to respond, but couldn't pronounce the word. Then she said if her teenage son wanted to learn it, they would look it up on the Internet.

I have no words.

I write regularly helping parents find ways to motivate and teach their teenagers. And live through the teen years. Parents want kids to stay in school, to graduate and move out. But I found out that as many as 300,000 kids are in the unschool program.

These are the future leaders of our country. That scares me, and I'm fearless.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Woodstock-Where were you in 1969?

Hey all you old hippies! Saturday, August 15, 2009 is the 40th anniversary of Woodstock.

Where were you in 1969. I was on my way to New York in my little yellow volkswagon. Never made it, the car broke down. I was bummed.

Woodstock was a peaceful, messy, farout music festival. Short on food, water, and clean condtions, hippies remained peaceful and fun-filled. Yeah, some drugged out, most were high, but this was a time when you knew the person next to you had your back.

It was a time before the drug wars, the bikers, and the bad guys. Peace, love, and rock n roll.

I am older now, straight, and a solid citizen. But my heart beats hippie.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Facing the Challenges of Life

I have challenges in my life, times of trouble, sometimes I am afraid. I believe God is good, all the time. So I choose to hope, I choose to believe. Sometimes I have to laugh at myself, I am no one really, another soul.

I am misled by my own passions, deceived by my desires, and I am inpatient. A Bozo, really. But isn't that why Jesus died?

Not so that I could be "holy" and walk around in a cloud. Not so I could sit around with others and talk about the decline of the world. But that I could bring hope. I know that we are bad and good, we do the best we can.
Hope never fails.

I hear the Lord, He calls to me,
"Believe Me one more day,
I'm on your side,
I'm in your heart,
I won't turn you away.
Pick up the laughter,
hold the joy,
Embrace the dream, and stay.
Grab hold the hope,
Protect your thoughts,
For now I make the way.
Like streams
Where none have been before,
Where desert roses bloom,
I am Creator, pure and good.
The way will be clear soon."