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What Should I Do Today?

Dilemma

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Answering KJV Onlyism | hipandthigh:

This little guy has been all over Facebook in a variety of memes, and I love his face.  It’s so easy to wonder what his dilemma might be.  Let’s see, should he. . . .play with his toes? Throw a tantrum just for the fun of it? Spit his cereal back at his longsuffering mommy?  Fill his diaper that she JUST finished changing?  Hmmmm.  Life has so many interesting options.

I suspect that the parents of this child are in for quite a ride.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/dilemma/

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Pain

Nerve

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Hoo boy.  No fiction this morning. If we were playing a word association game, and you said nerve, my immediate response?  PAIN.  

I have a couple of herniated lumbar discs.  I had pain treatment not quite a year ago that  relieved the pain almost completely.  A little achiness now and then, but nothing an over-the-counter medication couldn’t deal with.

Three weeks ago, is started kicking up again.

I also have stenosis and degenerative disc disease.  That’s quite a cocktail of misery.

Stenosis comes from a Greek word meaning to choke.  There are little holes in the bones for the nerves to pass through.  When the bone around those holes begins to crumble, the nerves are pinched.  And they react.  They don’t like being pinched, so they pinch right back.

Yesterday I was going to go to work, but as I was getting into the car, my hip/leg/lower back all said, “No, you’re not!”  So appropriate calls were made to cancel my clients, get an appointment with the pain doctor, get a script for the medications to get me through until I can get the shots that will relieve the pain long-term.

Getting old does have its downside.

So when I saw this morning’s prompt, Nerve, this post pretty much wrote itself.  I’m well aware of my nerves right now!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/nerve/

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Cross-Country

Sink or Swim

Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?

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It was 1973, late August.  We were moving from northern Michigan (Terry is a Yooper)  to southeastern Pennsylvania.  We had two little boys, aged 4 and 2.

Terry was driving the big U-Haul, and he led the way.  I was in the car, a fairly new and inexperienced driver, with the little boys in the back seat. This was years before our nanny government made us strap little ones into seats that kept them immobile.  I can’t imagine how they would have survived the trip back then.  We had build up the back seat with suitcases and put a mattress over that, covered with blankets and pillows.  They slept, played, and kept themselves pretty well occupied.

In the front seat, I white-knuckled it all the way. I was terrified.  I’d never driven in heavy traffic, or used cloverleaf interchanges.  I’d certainly never been tasked with keeping the vehicle in front of me in plain view while I coped with all the other things I had to deal with.  One child was still in diapers.  The older one was fully  potty-trained, but needed to stop every now and then.  We didn’t have cell phones back then, so communicating was pretty tricky.  I’d do my best to get in front of Terry, letting him know we needed to pull over.  Sometimes there was a handy rest stop.  Other times it was just make do with whatever shelter we could find.

I’d never had to do anything like that before, and I still don’t like to drive in heavy city traffic.  By the time we finally arrived, I was a wreck.  My nerves were shot, and I was barely holding on to my temper.  When I’m stressed, I don’t cry and whimper.  I get mad.  Poor Terry.  He didn’t have a clue how terrified I’d been.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sink-or-swim/

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Just Shut Up!

Break the Silence

When was the last time you really wanted (or needed) to say something, but kept quiet? Write a post about what you should’ve said.

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It would be easier to write a post about the things I’m glad I didn’t say. As a person who finds it fairly easy to have foot-in-mouth disease, I’ve had to learn to just shut up.It’s an ongoing process. And it doesn’t come easy.  I have pretty good radar, and I usually can spot a phony, or just a plain old-fashioned creep, pretty quickly.  That’s when it’s a good idea for me to button the lip.

When I was in college, way back in the Dark Ages, there was an individual of the male species who felt that because he had testosterone, he was automatically entitled to the respect and awe of anyone from the female species. 

This person was bloviating, in a psych class, about the superiority of the male race. I was unimpressed. I finally couldn’t stand it any more, and I raised my hand, got the professor’s nod, and said, “Does he get to have the floor for the entire class period?”

Mr. Bloviator got all up on his dignity and informed me that the Bible says that women are to respect men, and I’d better watch my step.

Yikes. Complete perversion of what the Bible says. Complete misapplication. I really couldn’t stand this dude, and I said, “You show me a real man, and I’ll respect him. In the meantime, you need to sit down and listen to the Professor. We’re not in this class to be ‘educated’ by you!”

There was utter silence, during which I’m sure my face flamed bright red, but then someone started clapping, and soon the whole room was applauding. That was really embarrassing, too.

Mr. Bloviator sat down. Needless to say, he never deigned to notice my existence after that, which I’m sure you know absolutely broke my heart.

Am I sorry I spouted off?  No, not really, but I could have found a less offensive way to say what Blovy needed to hear. And that’s what I’ve worked on over the years.

Sometimes it’s better to say nothing. That’s hard for me, ’cause I always have something to say🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/break-the-silence/

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So Different!

Long Exposure

Among the people you’ve known for a long time, who is the person who’s changed the most over the years? Was the change for the better?

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Dad was born in 1923. A product of his era and environment,  he was a tough, get-it-done, suck-it-up kind of a guy.  When the market crashed in 1929, his dad lost just about everything. He moved them from California to the Arizona Strip, a place in the Utah desert where he built them a dugout to live in. Life was hard. The Great Depression was settling down over the country. People’s lives were changed, often overnight, from relative security to no security at all.

As is often the case with young kids, Dad really didn’t pay much attention to how poor they were. He loved the desert, and he loved the freedom he had to roam wherever the itch took him. He had a dog, a gun, and it seems I remember him talking about a pony, too. His mom made the dugout into a home, but he spent as much time as he could outdoors.

My grandfather was old-school German. He taught my dad to be racist, really, and it was a strongly ingrained belief in my dad’s mind and heart that there were flaws in every other race, but not in his own.  He wasn’t hateful about it, that I remember.  It was more just a matter of fact. He knew, and used, all the epithets that can be applied to those of a race not his own. It wasn’t unusual in his day.

He also grew up under the autocratic dominance of his father, whose word was law, and often enforced on his two oldest sons with what we would look at today as physical abuse.  My aunts don’t remember that. They and my youngest uncle were treated differently. It’s always fascinating to me how children reared in the same family often seem to have been reared by totally different parents.

In any case, Dad was indeed a man of his time, of his environment, of his background. And it wasn’t all bad. He was part of the Great Generation, the ones who endured and survived the Great Depression because of their strength of character, their determination, and often their faith in God.  They were the ones who went off to war and died by the hundreds and thousands for their love of country, family, home, and the American way of life.  I have infinite respect for them. Without their strength, we would have lost our freedoms sooner than we are now. I don’t think the Great Generation would have stood silently by while government exploded into what it has become today, although the seeds were sown back during the Depression and even before that.

Fast forward now. Dad had accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior when he was a boy of 12 or 14, but he never grew in his faith. At age 19, only a month after he married my mom, he went off to do his part in World War II, having joined the Navy and been assigned as a torpedoman in a submarine.  He came home from the war filled with hatred for the Axis enemies. And then God began to work, and my dad’s world tilted to a different angle.

Fast forwarding again, Dad went to Bible college and became a pastor. It would never have been his prediction for his life, or even his choice. His real dream was to teach history on the college level, and he would have been good at it. He was a great teacher. But he knew that God was leading, and he couldn’t resist that call. And it changed him.

Keep up now. We’re moving ahead many, many years. Dad got a call from a little church in the South, where he pastored for about 25 years. Living in the South was a revelation for him, and yet another change was taking place. He was learning that people of color, whatever the shade, were no different than he was.

The last ten years of his life, his heart changed him physically. His first heart event was when he was only 60, and for the next ten years he was in and out of hospitals, in and out of surgeries that saved his life but weakened him physically.And with his physical debility came a dependence on the care and kindness of the Black doctors and nurses who took care of him time and time again. It changed his already altered belief in the inferiority of other races. DAD

I’ve read that people who undergo open-heart surgery are often emotionally affected by it. Dad was. He grew softer and gentler as he progressed through his illnesses.  I was especially touched by his tenderness toward my niece and nephew, my brother’s kids, who loved their Papa as much as he loved them.  They were the only grandkids who lived nearby, and he saw them nearly every day.

One day, to my great amazement, as I was talking with my dad on the phone he became clearly emotional, and ended the conversation with “I love you, Linda.”

Could have knocked me over with a feather. He just didn’t say things like that. I knew he loved me, although there was more than one time when I was almost sure he didn’t, but I can’t remember ever hearing him say it before. The closest I can remember being keenly aware of his strictly hidden emotion was the day he walked me down the aisle, and then switched places with a pastor friend who helped with the wedding. As he turned to face Terry and me, I saw the twitch of his eyebrow and the tightening of his lips and jaw that was a dead giveaway of his effort to control his emotions.

God knew that the work He gave my dad to do was going to be hard, and that it would take a strong man to do it. He also knew that Dad’s heart needed to be softened and changed. And it was. People still talk about how Preacher said or did this or that; how something he taught them changed their lives. The changes he experienced made him better. The little boy who loved being alone in the desert became a man who was loved by the people he pastored.  He was loved by his family.  He’s been gone 21 years now, and I still miss him.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/long-exposure/

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Fearless Fantasies

Fearless Fantasies
How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?

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I googled “fearless,” looking for a good illustration, and I came up with dozens of shots of Taylor Swift with her hair blowing all over her head. I guess she sings a song by the name of Fearless. Shows you how out-of-the-loop I am when it comes to pop culture.  The only reason I even know who she is?  She’s a native of a city near where I live. That’s it.

Anyway.  I saw this prompt two hours ago. Had an appointment, needed to do a couple of other things, so I’ve had some time to think it over, and I’m still not sure what I want to say. So pardon me for thinking out loud. This could be a bit of a ramble.

I would love to be fearless about a lot of things.  I’m terrified of snakes. It would be nice not to have such a visceral reaction if one of the scaly creatures shows up in a TV program or photograph. I would love to be fearless about hiking through a snaky place like the Appalachian trail, or maybe the desert where diamondbacks and sidewinders sun themselves.

I have a fear of high places that drop straight down from where I’m standing, with no guardrails to stop my fall.  When we were in Sioux Falls with my son and his family, we went to a theater like an IMax. We entered at the very top level. I got a feeling of vertigo, and it’s terrifying.  I had to grab rails and turn my back, facing the chairs until I could sit down. It’s horrible.  I’d love for that to go away.

There’s really not much else that gives me such a  ghastly sense of fear and helplessness. Wait!  Aha moment!  Helplessness!  Yes!  Okay, enough exclamation points already, but I do think I’ve stumbled onto something.  It’s the helplessness, isn’t it?  I mean, I don’t like centipedes, but I’m not helpless with them. I can smack’em. Gone. Same with spiders. I hate the way the skitter, but I can always catch them and send them to spiderly heaven. Gross.  But snakes and steep drops?  Helpless.  I’d be a great subject for one of those big dudes that hypnotize their prey.  Here I am, just look into my eyes and hiss, and I’m done for. Kaput.

Well, I’m generally of a pretty practical frame of mind, so I’ve been thinking about  how fear can be, and often is, a very helpful thing.  The fear of sudden and painful death keeps me from playing in the traffic. The fear of extremely painful death keeps me from tasting bleach or inhaling a combination of ammonia and bleach. The fear of losing a limb keeps this granny off the ski slopes. That doesn’t seem like a negative thing to me; it’s just good sense. If I weren’t afraid of ending up in prison, there may be a trail of seriously maimed or comatose people in my backtrail. It is often fear of consequences that keeps of from doing something foolish, harmful to ourselves or others.

Other side of the coin?  I love the way the kid in the picture is just standing there calmly facing down the wolf that’s about to make lunch out of him. That kind of fearlessness I admire. Standing up to bullies, standing up to difficult things we can’t avoid, standing up to fear itself.

I have a client I’ve been working with for over a year. She was having serious PTSD symptoms due to an accident she had witnessed. I can’t go into detail, obviously, but this poor woman hadn’t slept well in three years, and is still struggling with some fears that have changed her life.  One of her problems is the inability to speak up in her own defense. I’ve helped her find her voice, and grow a backbone. She was afraid she didn’t have the right to speak up. Now she knows she does. Not only is it a right, it’s an obligation to stand up to the bullies, to back them down, to let them know you are NOT afraid.

I love my work.

And I’m not afraid to do it.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/fearless-fantasies/

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NOOOOOooooooo!

Can’t Stand Me
What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?

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I watched the video in absolute disbelief.  See, over the years I’ve trained my eyes to see me as I wish I were, not as I am.  The video playing so heartlessly before me was bringing all my years of denial crashing around my feet.

No denying what is on the screen. No denying what is on the scale. No denying the size tags on the clothes in my closet.  Well, on the clothes I can presently wear, at least.  I have several wardrobes that I’m going to get back into. Someday.

I hate seeing pictures of myself.  I’m always twice as wide as I should be, and cameras add ten pound. So they say, whoever “they” is.

Making jokes about my size is one of the ways I deal with it, but don’t ever believe  that old “fat and happy” nonsense. No one is happy about being fat.  I’m happy about a lot of things in my life, but fat is not one of them.

The good news is, I’m making just a little progress right now.  I’ve learned, over the years, not to talk about it if I’m making a serious effort to lose weight.  Seems as if I no sooner say it, than it comes to a screeching halt. So I’m really taking a chance here today, folks.

The thing is, my numbers were ALL too high on my last doctor visit a couple of months ago, including my A1C, which got me started on taking Metformin, Diabetes is a really nasty way to die. I don’t want to go there, and I don’t want to take pills, so I HAVE to get back on track with eating and exercise, and I am. For now.

Sigh.

 http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/cant-stand-me/

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Frame of Mind

(If you could paint your current mood onto a canvas, what would that painting look like? What would it depict?)

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Mansion Over the Hilltop

(Reviving Bricks
You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?)

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I’ve always loved that old house, and I can’t believe it’s mine! I’m old enough to remember how it looked 50 years ago, but not too old to enjoy restoring it. My aunt knew I loved it, and no one else in the family would want to be saddled with it. They would just sell it off to the highest bidder.

Not me. Aunt Roberta was eccentric, but she wasn’t dumb. She took good care of her fortune, and I’m shocked at how much money there is. This is like the dream of a lifetime for me, and I’m going to enjoy every minute. I don’t have to work now. I can spend all day, every day, re-dreaming my childhood pleasures.

 

First, I need an architect. It has to be someone who loves old houses the way I do, because  I won’t have the place torn apart and changed. I want it restored to the same floor plan, the same materials, as much as possible.  Of course, we’ll modernize the kitchen and the bathrooms and whatever else can be brought up to date without losing the enchantment of the old place.

I used to imagine I was Rapunzel, way up high in the turret, letting down my long, long hair so my handsome prince could climb and to visit me.

Or I’d dream that I was Sleeping Beauty, dozing my life away because of the spell of the wicked witch. One day I’d be Cinderella, banished to the top of the house where the mice and birds watched over me; the next I’d be Snow White,  looking for a way to escape from my Wicked Stepmother.

Hours and hours I’d spend roaming the house, poking into the attics, going through trunks of fabulous old clothes. Boxes of books, pictures, toys, keepsakes were all my playthings. Aunt Roberta didn’t forbid me anything, and I was like a shopaholic on Black Friday. No child ever had a more interesting place to play than I did. Sometimes I would take my treasures down to show Aunt Roberta, and she would spin stories of the past that circled around me like the warm arms of a lover.

I’m going to recreate all that, except of course for Aunt Roberta. But I have nieces, nephews, and grandchildren of my own now who are full of questions.  I can’t wait to turn them loose to discover all the things that are still preserved in that old house.

Work first, though. Everything has to be moved out, cleaned up, and stored while the renovations are done.  It’s going to be a labor of love. I can’t wait!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/reviving-bricks/

 

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Laugh Until You Cry

Roaring Laughter
What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?)

My dad was a very serious man. He enjoyed a good laugh, but he was not funny, and he could never figure out the art of telling a good joke.  When I think back at some of the things he did that made us all laugh, it was never because he did it on purpose, poor man.

There was the time we were having our family devotions, reading a passage from the Bible together. He suddenly roared out a sneeze, and his upper plate went flying out of his mouth and skidded all the way across the livingroom floor.  Very funny.achoo!

Then there was the rocking chair. We had an easy chair that he loved. It was a swivel rocker, very popular in the 1950’s. He could turn it to look out the window, or to watch TV, or however he wanted it.  He had a habit of leaning back in his chair. He was a big man. Yup. Over it went one day, and all we could see was the bottom of the chair with Dad’s feet waving at us over the edge of the seat. Roared with laughter. Took us a few minutes to get ourselves together to help him up.tipping chair

My favorite, though, is one I didn’t get to see.  Dad was having some back problems, and finally agreed to see a chiropractor. The good doctor needed an x-ray, and directed Dad to stand against the wall with his back to the screen. “Now, Preacher, take a good deep breath,” the doctor said.  Dad took a good deep breath, and his pants came tumbling down.  Right down around his ankles.  My mom nearly fainted, she laughed so hard.pants-downWish I had been there, glad I wasn’t. 

Why is it so funny when a serious person has these hilarious things happen?  I don’t know. I’m just glad they do.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/roaring-laughter/

To Agree or to Disagree

Disagree

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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It’s no surprise that the first thing I thought of was political disagreement.  Our country is more divided now than it was just before the Civil War.  Back then, there were only a couple of major issues. Today, it is not a matter of issues so much as is it a matter of world view.

Each faction seems terrified that the other is going to force a world view on the other that it simply cannot tolerate.

For instance, Hillary has said many, many times that the rearing of a child should be overseen by government. She has also said that “Your strongly held religious beliefs about things like abortion MUST CHANGE!”

I know that this video has been patched together to show her in the worst possible light. My purpose in using it is to highlight her determination to eradicate  “strongly held religious beliefs” from our culture. In another video, she goes so far as to say that biblical positions on abortion, for instance, are no different than things like honor killings and female genital mutilation in other cultures. We need to pay attention to her double-speak.She claims to be a Christian and have deep reverence for the Bible. Then she says that beliefs derived from the Bible have to be eradicated.

I disagree.  I disagree to the point of being willing to stand and fight if that’s what it takes.

Mr. Trump, on the other hand, seems to be saying what I agree with. For instance, I’m not against immigration, but I am deeply concerned that we need to protect ourselves against the insurgence of those who hate us and are already here, already attacking. Anyone who doesn’t see that is either delusional or just not paying attention.

My problems with The Donald are his unpleasant, to put it mildly, personal views about women who are less than Miss Universe beautiful; his inappropriate remarks about how hot his daughter is; his insulting comments on the faces and/or body parts of women. He’s not exactly an oil painting himself. It’s kind of a case of the kettle and the pot, in my opinion. But this is silly compared to our national problems, starting with the more than 20 trillion dollars of national debt that we have allowed to spiral out of control. Hillary will do nothing to improve that situation, because she’s in the pocket of the countries who hate us but that Obama has subsidized to help them make weapons to defeat us.

It seems contradictory that he does, in fact, put many women in places of heavy responsibility in his business dealings.  Maybe he just doesn’t know how to control his mouth–and that’s not Presidential behavior.  Quite a lot could be said about the morality of owning casinos, and of his personal life.

It is a sad thing that moral behavior and Presidents have often not gone together. Even the deeply revered Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy were known to have had at least one sexual affair during their tenure at the White House.  And we all know the reputation Bill Clinton has.

There has probably never been a President with whom I would agree on every single point. There probably never will be.  But I’d rather have  a President with whom I disagree only here and there, and not on every single point in the campaign platform.

And I know for sure that, as a meme going around on Facebook says,  Hillary has a list of scandals behind her that follow her around the globe, and people are concerned about Donald’s tone?  

Ach.  I just wish it were over, although I have a lot of concerns about what will happen after the inauguration next January. It’s not going to be a walk in the park, no matter who wins this awful election.

God help us. God, bring us back to You. God, forgive America.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/disagree/

Too Little Time

Unfinished

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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byg_0nncuaactga

“I have so many unfinished projects,” fretted Martha. Her mind went downstairs to her sewing area. Knitting, quilting, cross stitch, needlepoint; her fabric stash, her leftover yarn, the quilt top in a drawer that was turning yellow with age because it needed to be constructed and quilted. So many patterns, so many good ideas–and so little energy and time.

Back upstairs.  The kitchen was actually in good shape since the renovation, the cupboards organized and a lot of things tossed out that she hadn’t used in years. Still, even though she wasn’t doing much baking these days, it was too hard to let go of her pans and other utensils. Not yet. Not yet.

The bedroom?  Oh, my. Time to accept that there were things she would never fit into again, and even if she did they would be outdated and sad. Her closet and drawers needed a merciless winnowing.

Then there was the computer desk. Oy.  Paper really does reproduce overnight. She always kept up with all the bills, but there were some other matters that needed tending to in the next few days. And there were cards to send, notes to write, books to read, files to sort through.

She was beginning to understand her mom and dad a lot better.  It’s just really hard to acknowledge that you have less time left to live than you’ve already used up, and some things were just not going to get done. Fact was, she was running out of energy faster than she’d expected.

Well. She wasn’t going leave any more of a mess for her kids to deal with than she had to, so she sat down to make a plan. One drawer, one closet, one cupboard, one file folder at a time. Even if she just did one small thing each day, that would be one less thing for others to deal with when she was gone.

Now if only she could get Jim on board with her to start dealing with his own stuff.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unfinished/

Panic Attack

Panic

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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A panic attack is a frightening thing.  Symptoms can include any or all of the following:

Racing heartbeat

Chest pain

Shortness of breath             panic-attack-edited

Dizziness

Copious sweating

Clammy, sweaty hands

Intense fear

Parasthesia  (sensation of pinpricks or tingling) usually along the arms, but anywhere else as well

The victim often believes he is having a heart attack. A severe panic attack is temporarily debilitating.  Perhaps the most difficult thing to understand is that there doesn’t need to be  trigger event. It just happens.  It’s like a mega-surge of adrenalin, and it leaves the victim worn out, weak, and needing nothing more than to go to bed.

Here’s the good news:  It passes.  As far as I know, no one has ever died from a panic attack. Here’s what to do:

  1. Don’t fight it. It will take its course, and then life returns to normal. Usually, they’re fairly short in duration
  2. Breathe deeply and slowly, in through your nose, hold, out slowly through your mouth while you count to ten, or as high as you can. Do this all through the attack.  It refocuses your mind, and helps oxygenate your body.
  3. Anti-anxiety meds are usually prescribed “as needed.”  If you have to do something that makes you feel anxious just thinking about it, take one of your pills.  Well-known meds are Zanax, Klonopin, and Atavan.
  4. Treat your anxiety as you would the school bully.  Stand up to it.  Tell it that it can’t scare you. Take charge.  It helps!
  5. If you are a person of faith, prayer is a wonderful calmer-downer. Turning to your favorite Bible passages will also help.  Here’s a favorite of mine:

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”  Isaiah 41:10.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/panic/

Selfish Sam

Generous

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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“Sam, would you like a piece of pie? “

“What kind is it?”

“Apple.  Do you want some?”

“Who made it?”

Dead silence.

“Sam. Do you want pie or not?”

“Well, I guess, but it had better be a generous chunk. Don’t skimp.”

Dead silence.

“Sam, I just gave a generous portion of my homemade apple pie to the dog. Sorry–there’s not enough left for you.”

apple-pie-cut

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/generous/

An Education Rant

Jump

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

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I did something today that I rarely do.  I jumped into a semi-political conversation concerning  the sad state of education in America, and the silly idea that just throwing more money at it will fix it.

We’ve been throwing tons of money into “education” for years, and I’m putting quotes around the word because much of what we invest is not spent on the actual process of teaching and learning.

I am not against extra-curricular programs. I do think they need to be entirely secondary to academics. But that’s really a side issue, in my mind. The real problem is that teachers have had their days consumed with writing up reports, special-needs programs, student discipline papers. And they are required to teach to the test, in order to keep the school’s academic numbers high and thereby keep and/or increase their government funding.

It is very hard to find the time to spend with a student who needs extra help when the teacher’s desk is swamped with all the paperwork that is required of them these days that really has nothing to do with what students are actually learning.

Then there is this problem:

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The weight of power has shifted. The child no longer feels he must respect the teacher, because his parents don’t. A teacher is expected to please Junior and Junior’s obedient parents.

There’s a world-view problem going on here, not a money problem.

You will find that in school districts where parents are engaged in the process, and supportive of the teachers, the quality of the education rises.  I’ve talked to way too many teachers who are discouraged, burned out, used up, intimidated and worn out with trying to control unruly, disrespectful, and sometimes physically threatening and violent kids.

Most teachers enter their profession because they (a) love their subject and (b) have a heart for kids.  I believe a good teacher has that gifting from God, and is a priceless asset to any family. Yes, there are poor teachers who should never have entered the profession, but there are thousands more who do it because they love it, love learning, love the kids. It is sad when those teachers quit in discouragement because they get so little support from parents or, sadly, administrators who feel duty-bound to please the parents first.

Money is not the answer, and even if it were the answer, where do we go when the money runs out? Government is funded by taxpayers, not some Money Fairy that sprinkles cash liberally throughout the land. When the taxpayers are tapped out, there’s nowhere else to go, is there?

I didn’t make much money during my  teaching career. I taught in private Christian schools, and money was scarce. Parents often sent us their kids at great personal sacrifice. And yet, we got the job done. We graduated well-educated, well-rounded students who had some respect for authority, for learning, for making it on their own.

That’s what you get with a good education, even if there isn’t a fat bank account behind it.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/jump/

Sexy Potato

Stylish

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I dislike shopping. Despise it, actually. So I’ve learned to use a couple of internet stores that have clothing designed for women like me, women with more to love.

Only they don’t have any models like me, who are less than five feet tall.

So in order to try to be stylish, I have to  check the overall length of each garment. Dresses that fit the typical model just below the knee will be just below the floor on me. Sometimes hems are easily altered, but sometimes it’s just not possible without changing the entire look of the dress.

Pants are a nightmare. Most of my lack of height is because I have stumps instead of legs. So I look for capri-length pants, or pants that, when I whack of the length, don’t look like I whacked off the length.

Remember the  dwarf Dopey in Snow White? 

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Yup, that’s me.  Sleeves too long, pants too long.  But he’s happy, so I guess it’s okay🙂

I remember muttering to myself once that my trying to make my stumpy, lumpy body look stylish was like trying to make a potato look sexy.  My very patient husband says, “What’s wrong with potatoes?  I like potatoes.”

And maybe that’s why we’ve been married for 47 years.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/stylish/

A Special Treat for Me

My daughter-in-law posted this today, and it made me cry. I miss my kids. I loved singing with Mike and Janan when we could get together. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/silence/

Study God's Word

The singers are my oldest son, Mike, and his wife Janan. The pianist is her cousin. And the song, of course, is a classic that I love.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

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No Noise, Please!

Silence

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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(Start the video before you read )

You do  understand, of course, that there is a difference between profound silence, where there is no noise at all, and the silence of no intrusive, unpleasant noises.

I long for the silence of no intrusive, unpleasant noise.  No sirens screaming by and making you wonder what tragedy is taking place. No horrible booming and angry ranting from cars that sit behind you in traffic. No police sirens aimed–oh no! at YOU!  No arguing, no wailing infants or toddlers. No yelling adults, cursing each other and creating ugly air.

Pleasant noise?  Well, that would be children laughing and screaming in play; that would be the sound of the ocean; it would be the wonderful susurrus of a steady rain after a drought. Pleasant noise is good music, played at top volume if I’m home alone, but reduced to a whisper if Terry is with me. We both have trouble hearing each other if other noises are in the background.

I love the sounds of a forest. Sometimes it is so still you can hear the trees breathe. It is wonderful to hear the skittering of small animals that you know are harmless. Bird song is a delight, no matter where it comes from. And I’ve always enjoyed the sound of a small river moving over small rocks. Any sound made by water is a good sound, unless it’s a tsunami or a rushing flood. Then it’s terrifying.

Utter, complete silence is hard to come by. Even when no one else is in the house and I have no music playing, no television, there is the intermittent noise of the refrigerator, the air conditioning or heating, and the homey sounds of a house settling with age like an old lady getting comfortable in her favorite chair.

Actually, I think utter, dead silence might be kind of frightening. Where there is that kind of silence, there is no life. None. Brrrrr.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/silence/

My Muse must be Sleeping

Hike

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I’m waiting for inspiration. . . .waiting. . . .waiting. . . . .not much.  Hmmm.  I don’t usually have to search for something. Most of the time a memory, a story idea, or a song will come to mind pretty quickly.

Not today.

Well.  One thing for sure, unless a miracle happens in my lower back, I won’t be doing any more hiking.

I’m empty.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t get my coffee yet. I can smell it, though, so I’m going to hike into the kitchen and get fueled up.

Image result for a cup of steaming coffee

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/hike/