Friday, March 27, 2015

"The Tale of Samuel Whiskers"

My kiddos did a good job last Friday at our Fine Arts Competition.  I was really proud of them.  We did a Reader's Theater adaptation of "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers, or, The Roly-Poly Pudding" by Beatrix Potter.  The boy in the back played Samuel Whiskers, and he was especially good playing the part of a stuffy old rat - and the other boy did a good job playing a scared little kitten all tied up in knots.  The girls did well too.  We took second place - and the other junior high speech group from our school took first!  It's not too bad to take second to another group from your school.

For several of these students, this was their first opportunity to participate in a speech project.  I saw once again how good it is for young people to learn to develop confidence from being on a stage.

We had a long but good day.  Overall our school did well.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday's Fave Five, 3/20/15

Link to FFF Host Blog

This is being written the day before - because tomorrow I will be on a marathon 16-hour day to the Fine Arts Festival with our school.  But I will set it to post on Friday.

1. Well, many years a group of students will come and say "Will you please help us work up a dramatic piece for the Fine Arts Festival?"  And I think of ideas, then agree to help them - and then remember that that means that I have to GO to the Fine Arts Festival, in a city two hours from here.  Tomorrow is the day.  But, it's also a privilege to go to watch these students, most of whom have worked very hard, perform, and I know that it means a lot to them to have teachers there.

2. Sale of a lot of eBay books recently.  Our ChildCare had a whole shelf of unused ABeka workbooks that would not be used because of a curriculum change.  So I sold them - as usual, most of them went quickly - and split the profits.  They get rid of books they don't need - they get $$ for their special fund - I get a little $$ for my effort, and my Paypal account gets built up.  Frankly, I love the "high" of an eBay sale.  Kinda crazy, but it's fun to watch the feedback build up, as well as to have "fun money" in Paypal, so that if something comes up that I would like to buy, the $$ is in there to spend and not feel guilty about.

3. Made stuffed peppers last weekend, and had enough for several lunches for me and also for daughter who loves them.  She always appreciates having a few lunches for her workweek, so it's fun to have a few to give to her.  And this week there were enough for four lunches for her!!  (Maybe I went a little overboard on the stuffed peppers. . .)

4. Out to eat with dear friends last Friday night.  We do not see as much of them since they changed churches, but we still try to get together from time to time.  

5. A pot of soup from my mom for after the root canal this afternoon.  This is being written pre-root canal, but I'm assuming that it will follow through as she has offered!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Made In America?

Jessica, who came to the English
Corner both times.  We have
remained in contact on WeChat.

Seattle, who says I feel like "her
mum."  She is lonely.
Summer, mother of the blind
girl and now mother of this
precious baby at right:

I've got to mail a package to Andrew with several items that he didn't have room in his luggage to take.  I have wanted to include a few presents to three people:  Jessica, Seattle, and Summer (who had a baby last fall).  So the last couple of weeks have included a couple of shopping trips.

However, though this is something that we know in theory, I discovered in full force how true it is.  You cannot find clothes made in our country.  You can find clothes that were made in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Taiwan, and of course (ubiquitously), China.  But not the USA.  

This state of affairs seems to have crept up on us surruptitiously.  Oh, we knew our clothing manufacturing was being farmed out to other countries, but the magnitude of it becomes real when a person truly tries to find something made in the U.S.

Think of how many manufacturing jobs have been eliminated.  Think of how many sweat shops have been created in other countries.  

I finally gave up and settled on clothing made anywhere (but in China) for Summer's two little girls.  I found some socks that are clearly labeled Made in America (brightly written on the package) and will send them to the others along with a couple of other small things.  It was the best I could do.  There is virtually no clothing made in the U.S. any more.  How did this happen?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday's Fave Five, 3/13/15

Link to Friday's Fave Five host blog.

1. Well, I can't be thankful for a successful filling, as mentioned on last week's FFF that that would be all that was needed to repair a crack in a tooth.  The problem was much worse than originally indicated.  So, instead, I can be thankful for modern dentistry, that will be able to repair the tooth with a root canal, a post in the remaining tooth, and a crown. 

2. Very thankful for my daughter's best friend, who is also an accomplished hairdresser, who gave me "the works" yesterday.  She gives a mean haircut, as well as a nice highlight job, one that doesn't deny my gray hairs, but definitely tones them down!

3. I had an efficient week at school.  I got a lot accomplished, complete with getting ALL the junior research papers graded, as well as five sets of tests.  And I only have six senior journals to go.

4. Daughter and I had a fun morning last Saturday, last minute deciding to hit the yard sales.  There were only a few, but the first and last ones we went to were like hitting the jackpot, especially for her.  I'm always grateful for the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with her.  We don't get the chance very often.

5. I love this bulletin board.  It's by a mysterious author who goes by the initials d.a.w.  He puts four-line poems in a magazine I used to subscribe to, and they are always very witty.  In case it's not real visible, it goes like this:  "Springtime showers hang around / To see if they can drown the ground. / Resourcefully, the garden copes / By raising little yellow periscopes."  Very clever!  And very adaptable to a bulletin board.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I Chronicles 10:13 & 14

I have been reading the Old Testament stories in the ESV, starting in Genesis and now as far as I Chronicles.  The ESV is great to read, because it keeps the basic structure of the KJV but removes the archaic "thees," "thous," and -eth endings. (For example, it says "hear" instead of "heareth" for action verbs.)  And it is very interesting reading.  Much easier than KJV.  It's brought back a lot of memories of childhood Bible stories.

This morning I came across this verse:

13 So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. 14 He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.

That is a sobering reminder of the consequences of not following God!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015



I went for a filling this morning, knowing that Tooth #29 was cracked between the tooth and the old filling.  Dentist thought he could fix it with a new filling.

He drilled.  And drilled.  And I could feel it even with three novocain shots.  Turns out the decay was worse than he expected.  Down to the pulp.  Inevitable root canal.  It has to be soon or I will have pain.

Then will come a crown.  Oh, and there's not enough tooth left to support a crown, so a post will be needed in the tooth.

Ouch.  Not only in my mouth, but in my calendar (three appointments coming up) and wallet also.

Trite statement, but one that works:  It is what it is!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday's Fave Five, 3/6/15

Link to Friday's Fave Five host blog.

1. This first Friday's Fave Five is a little different.  Sometimes a blogger wonders if people actually read her blog or if it's really just serving as a personal journal.  Well, last Saturday in the store, I ran into my dear friend and former colleague Barbie, and we were having one of those grocery-aisle chats - when she said "I always enjoy seeing if you put up a Friday's Fave Five each week."  Well, Barbie - here's FFF, and here's a shout-out to you.  I appreciate you!!!  :-)

2. We had to go to the dentist this week in Greenville, and stopped at a new restaurant afterward.  It was an Italian restaurant - I'm not always crazy about Italian (except for Carrabba's) :-) but this was great!!  

3. Also at the dentist - I was expecting to hear I needed a crown, and maybe even a root canal, on a cracked tooth.  Turns out it is cracked at a filling line, and the dentist thinks he can fix it by refilling it.  That's a wonderful relief.

4. Monday night we made a quick trip to the farm ponds that are a main area for birdwatching in our area.  It turned out to be too late to see the goose that was supposed to be there, but Mike said "Let's stay and see the ducks go to roost."  I've never seen anything like that before.  It happens right at dusk, and the flock rises as one.  There were three separate flocks on the pond, so they flew up separately.  Who knows what the trigger is - maybe an alpha male, or something we don't know.  Anyway - they fly up in a big circle, and then fly to whereever their roosting place is for the night.  It was beautiful!!

5. And - great news that I just got - Mike passed his annual exam!!  He completed it a couple of hours ago, and it's always a big relief to get that text from him that says "I passed!!"  It's a huge deal.  A four-hour-long test.  His study materials filled one and a half copy-paper boxes.  I'm very proud of him for his success at it!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Credibility = Integrity

This little pic made the rounds of Facebook this week.  Locals know that our "huge" snowstorm turned out to be . . . a cold rain.  With maybe a tiny bit of sleet mixed in.  So people chuckled at this.

But -- it is a sad picture also, as are the similar ones I've seen of the same man, with other funny captions.  Because, in the space of a couple of weeks, Brian Williams has gone from being a respected news anchor to being a laughingstock in the nation.  All because he had a need to exaggerate details about his career - a career that was stellar and needed no embellishment.

The fact remains that without credibility, a person's integrity is deeply hurt, and his good reputation is lost.  And it doesn't take much dishonesty for a person to lose credibility.  Honesty is everything, in a person's career or in his personal relationships.   I guess Brian Williams sees that more clearly now.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday's Fave Five 2/27/15

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog.
1. The snow day that wasn't.  Supposedly we were to get anywhere between 3-8" of snow.  All the stations, all the models, were forecasting that much.  Schools called the day off the night before.  And--we were right on the dividing line.  The temperature was 2 degrees above freezing.  So, we expected to wake up to a winter wonderland, and instead woke up to - a little frost and minimal ice.  Mostly a cold rain.  I graded papers most of the day and got 3 1/2 sets out of 4 completed - including poetry projects and book reports.

2. A pot of cheeseburger soup.  Mom sent it home with me on Tuesday night, and it was nice not to have to cook.

3. A tight roof, plenty of blankets, gas logs and a heat pump, food in the refrigerator.  Simple things for which we are not grateful enough, especially on cold, wet winter days.

4. A great day in church last Sunday.  Our assistant pastor preached a great message, and the missionaries who came that night gave a sweet program with many memories for our church people who had visited them on two separate missions trips.  We went home, as did many others who commented later, refreshed and filled.

5. Birds are eating me out of house and home!  I found a 50-pound bag of sunflower seeds last weekend at a feed store, for a great price - and may have to get another bag within the next week!  I enjoy watching them.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday's Fave Five, 2/20/15

Link to Friday's Fave Five host blog

 1. We survived the ice storm this week with minimal problems.  Power was out from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. Tuesday night, but that was all.  When I heard it go out at 1 a.m., I thought "Well, that's that for two or three days."  So it was a pleasant surprise to hear it come back on so quickly and so early.  Apparently that was the case, and time frame, for many people in our area.

2. No school Monday for President's Day, then no school Tuesday and Wednesday for an ice storm, then a delayed opening on Thursday because of the severe cold - makes for a nice week of school.

3. Andrew made it safely back to his city in China about 24 hours ago.  He stayed with a family we know in Beijing for almost a week, because there were no flights due to the Chinese New Year.  It's always a relief to know that he is back OK.

4. Very good open house last week.  We do "double school."  The first year the students weren't excited about it, until we did it once and they liked it.  We have a day of school, then actually come back that night for three more classes!  Anyone from the community, or parents, can come sit in on classes and observe what goes on.  And the trade-off?  No school the next day!

5. We saw this goose last Saturday in a cove on the lake.  At first we thought it was just a generic farm goose among the Canadas; then we thought it was a snow goose; but, after studying it, realized it was a Ross's goose - a rare bird for our area.  I've been back several times but have not seen it again.  After posting it on a couple of lists, I've received emails from several other birders, more avid than I am, who thought it was a good find and some who want to try to find it themselves.  My gut feeling is that it is a one-time viewing and has gone on to other places.  But it's always a treat to find a rare bird.