Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Farewell February

Random thoughts at the end of my favorite month.

Leap Day, our county workers celebrated it with the day off. Made me think, it is an extra day that doesn't exist in three out of four years. Why spend your extra day at work? Does your employer really want to pay you to work an extra day this year? Why not make it an obligatory holiday?

Do you save the extra button that comes with many new clothes purchases? I just bought a pair of Ralph Lauren pants at Dillards on clearance sale with 40% extra off. I like getting a good deal. The extra button was stapled to the tag on the pants. What a great idea. From now on I'm going to staple the button bag onto the tag that has the name of the garment and how much I paid. It's always fun to look back and say either "I paid that much?!?" or "Wow, that was a bargain." And I'll always know which piece of clothing each button belongs to.

It's been a long day - 8:00am-3:30pm at school then 5:00pm to 9:00pm at the public library. I'm going to pour a glass of wine, watch a TV show and then go to bed.

A fond farewell to the month of February and nablopomo blogging.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Running Schools Like a Business

The problem as I see it is that children are not products. Each child is a unique individual who enters the school system with all the baggage and support of his/her experiences. There is no one perfect way to transform four-year-old pre-K students into graduating seniors of equal performance.

Praise the Lord that no one has ever considered athletic ability to be something every student must master before graduation. I wouldn't have made it out of high school. I think the idea that every single child can and should master all of the same subjects to a superior level is just as unattainable.

We have high school students who are disruptive in classes because they have no interest in academic subjects like advanced mathematics, Shakespeare, chemistry, foreign language, etc. They want to be welding, working on cars, learning a why don't we give them that opportunity? Why do we force everyone into a cookie cutter college bound future?

It's just my opinion, but then who else's would it be?

Monday, February 27, 2012

What Are You Reading?

I'm in the middle of two wonderful series: The Hunger Games (Catching Fire, book 2) by Suzanne Collins and Dean Koontz's Frankenstein (Lost Souls, book 4). Both series are so captivating that I want to gobble them up, but then I slow down to savor every morsel. I don't want it to be over.

I remember the end of the Harry Potter series. I had a student tell me that he didn't know what he would read next because nothing could be as good as Harry Potter. I had to agree.

I read that J K Rowling is writing a new book, for adults. No mention of title, subject or projected publication date. But I know when it comes out, I will be reading it.

What are your suggestions for my next good book?

Read on!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday at my Church

The Sermon Title: A Forgiveness Beyond Compare

This story sums it up.

There was a priest who was guilt ridden by something he had done in seminary. He confessed his sin and was forgiven but could not forgive himself. One day a parishioner told him that she had physical visitations from Jesus. They talked often (Jesus and the woman). The priest was skeptical. He told the woman to ask Jesus, the next time they spoke, about the sin that had her priest in such despair. She agreed to do so. The priest didn't see the woman again for quite a while but when he did, he asked her if she spoke to Jesus about the sin that he had committed. She said she did. "And what did Jesus tell you?" asked the Priest. The woman told him, "Jesus said he didn't remember it."

The message was good, the first in a series on "24 Hours that Changed the World," the last 24 hours of Jesus' life on earth. We'll continue the theme at our Lenten Bible Study this evening.

But God gave me a different message as well. Not in the same way as the woman in the story but through a song we sang. Verse 4 of "It is Well with my Soul" was an aha! moment for me. "And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll..."

My continually changing, growing, morphing faith will one day be like a solid object that I can see. The clouds will roll back like a scroll...a scroll that contains the truth as it really is.

In the meantime I need to do the best that I can. I'll have questions, new ideas and new experiences all combining to bring my faith into focus. It's an exciting journey and I look forward to knowing "the rest of the story."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dental Health & the Tooth Fairy

From the Book about Beth

Six-years-old, 1989 - You were so thrilled about finally losing a baby tooth that when "the tooth fairy" left 50 cents under your pillow, you wouldn't take it because, as you said, "I want to keep my tooth." I gave you a little pill box to keep it in and you'd take it out every day and brush it!

Sometime later in March of an unknown year, I had my wisdom teeth pulled (the bottom two). The dentist would not give me my teeth saying it was some OSHA regulation or something.

When I got home I made the comment, "I left my teeth at the dentist's and now the tooth fairy won't bring me anything." You disappeared and came back a moment later, handed me a nickle and said, "Here, the tooth fairy told me to give you this."

If you have little kids, write down the funny things they say and do. It will bring you laughter and entertainment for years to come.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Week of Holidays

The Week in Review

Monday: Presidents Day
It was a federal holiday; people celebrated it everywhere, except in Indiahoma. We had school as usual. It was a fun day at school doing out-of-the-ordinary presidents related activities. My service learning class made Wordles about different presidents. It was amazing how each of the word pictures prominently displayed the president's name and a description of who he was.

Tuesday: Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras
It isn't a federal holiday but it is a big deal holiday in Baton Rouge (all of Louisiana?) where my daughter lives. It was also another excuse to do fun activities at school. The 8th graders created Mardi Gras Wordles and made them the desktop background on the library computers. Sweet.

Wednesday: Ash Wednesday & George Washington's actual birthday
Ash Wednesday is a religious holiday. It seemed appropriate to mention it since Ash Wednesday is the reason we have Fat Tuesday.
George Washington's birthday brought up good discussion on how we used to get days off for both George and Abe's birthdays and what were the reasons for making a single day to celebrate all of our presidents.

Enough said?

Friday: In-Service Teacher Training
This was a day off from school for the students and support staff so, to me, that qualifies it as a holiday. It's a good break for the teachers too, doing something a little different from the usual.

This was a good week for those of us who like to celebrate.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Today is my Birthday

And it's time for some great birthday music!

by the Beatles

photo labeled for reuse with modification
google image advanced search

Put Another Candle on my Birthday Cake
by Sheriff John (AKA: Birthday Cake Polka)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Big Middle Bit, HELP!

I'm seeking your advice. How does one lose belly fat?

I’ve lost almost 60 pounds in the past several years, way over 100 pounds if you count the 5-10 pounds that I continually lose and then gain back again.

The worst part of this weight loss/weight gain cycle is that the weight changes places. I have the skinniest face and my legs can fit into skinny jeans, it’s just that the big middle part of me can’t. When weight comes off, I lose it in my legs and face; but the weight returns to my waist and stomach. I have pants that fit when I was heavier but I can’t get the waistband to button now.

I go to the gym 2-4 times a week, depending on work schedule and attitude. I even do that twisty machine where you sit and move weights side to side with your abs. I don't eat sugar and am careful about the fats I eat. I creatively follow the SouthBeach diet because it is a healthy way to eat.

So my question to you is: How can I lose this big middle bit? Has anyone been successful? Please share your stories and advice.

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


My friend's husband, David, is a professor of theater arts at Cameron University. He is retiring this year and has just finished his last production at Cameron as a faculty member. You might have guessed the play was Tartuffe.

When Susanna told me that David was doing Tartuffe as his last show, I told her that Tartuffe was the first college production I ever saw, probably in 1969, when I was going to Stanislaus State College in Turlock, California (I am not making this up). My dear friend, Tommy DeGomez, (Tommy, are you out there somewhere?) played one of the parts. Tartuffe was once a first and now it's a last. I would've gone no matter what the play.

I messed around not knowing which performance to attend, when all of the sudden it was the last performance day. It was Sunday and no one answered at the ticket office. Without reserved tickets, my daughter and I headed to Cameron hoping for the best. When we got to the ticket window we were told that there were no more tickets but we could be on the waiting list. If the reserved tickets were not claimed by 5 minutes before showtime, then they would be sold to those on waiting list.

It was kind of exciting waiting for the time to pass, hoping no one else would claim their tickets. Then when they started calling names of people to come up and get tickets, it was like waiting to hear if you'd won the lottery. When I heard my name, I did a little victory dance on the way to the ticket window and then found out they didn't take credit or debit cards and the lady didn't want to make change for my $50 bill. But she did and we got in.

It was a good, solid, theater-in-the-round college production. The audience was eclectic with college professors and kids from Job Corps, teenagers and retirees, ladies in pearls and kids in jeans. We all stood at the end for one final standing O, watched as students and friends bid Dr. Fennema adieu and then a 70 something women in front of me put the icing on the cake with her final comment, "I think it's the 18th century wordology that just exhausts me."


Monday, February 20, 2012

My Baby has a Job

It doesn't pay anything but it's what she was born to do.

Over a year ago we got this beautiful Great Pyrenees puppy. We didn't need another dog, the one we had was more than enough. But we also have goats and it seemed everyone with livestock had a few Pyrenees to guard them. So when my boss was looking for homes for his puppies, we jumped at the chance to have one. We even got pick of the litter and we named her Lola Bear.

We did not raise her according to the book. She lived in our backyard until last week. She got lots of kisses and hugs but had no one to guard.

About a month ago, my husband's goats started having babies. After he lost 4 babies to renegade dogs, he decided it was time to introduce Lola to the goats and see if she was up for the job of guarding them.

I miss my little Bear when I get home and she is
nowhere to be found. But it's good to know she's taking care of the goats and has something worthwhile to do with her time.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday at my Church

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Our pastor told us an interesting story about James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. James was the captain of his college tennis team. He worked hard for years training to get to that position. One year he received a trophy honoring him as the top men's tennis player in his college division. All his hard work paid off.

As you probably know, God had a higher calling for James Dobson. It wouldn't surprise me if he kept playing tennis, but most of his energies went into following the path of servanthood that God laid before him.

We are finite. We are here for just a period of time. What will you do with that time? What do you want your life to stand for when it is finally over? In Christian imagery, when you stand before God or sit at Jesus' feet, what do you want to hear said about the quality of the life you led?

Have a wonderful Sunday. Be blessed and be a blessing.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

What NOT to Post

As promised from yesterday, today I will share about how teachers can lose their jobs due to off-campus conduct and speech. Doesn't sound fair, does it? I can do whatever I want on "my time." It's nobody's business but my own. Apparently that isn't so in the eyes of the law.

A teacher was moonlighting as an entertainer (use your imagination). Parents complained, school was disrupted, and the teacher was fired. The teacher sued, the school won.

A teacher posted on facebook a picture of herself in bed with a bottle of tequila and commented about her past life as a drug addict. This teacher was also fired and the school won the lawsuit.

ADVICE: Act like everything you post will be seen by your boss.

Teachers are public employees and all public employees have an exception to Freedom of Speech. Teachers are considered to be agents of their school district and must behave in speech and action according to the policies of said district.

#1 Rule = Don't be stupid.

Use good judgement. Social Media is not the best place to complain about your school. If there's something going on that deserves complaint, take it to your principal or appropriate person, follow the chain of command and perhaps you can get the situation resolved.

These are not personal comments, but rather notes taken at a Social Media and Cyber Bullying workshop presented by an attorney and sponsored by Professional Oklahoma Educators.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Social Media & Cyber Bullying

From a Cyber Bullying workshop I went to today.

We learned what a bully is, how the problem is escalating and that the worst thing you can do in a bullying situation is nothing. Law suits are rampant and kids are killing themselves and each other because of bullying.

Facebook is currently the most popular social medium and the place where a lot of cyber bullying takes place. There are other cyber bullying hot spots, blogs being one of them. The examples of what kids do to each other are heartbreaking.

For instance, a cheerleader in West Virginia created a fake myspace page for another student. It was called "SASH" (Students Against Sluts & Herpes). It was all negative, hurtful words and images about the other student. The cheerleader wrote about SASH on her blog and invited other students to view the myspace page and leave hateful comments.

The other student's mom told the school about it. The school administrator suspended the cheerleader and kicked her off the cheer squad. She was also banned from all extracurricular activities for a semester.

The cheerleader's mother sued the school for violating her daughter's rights. The court found in the school's favor because the bullying caused a disruption at school even though it was all posted from home. The things she wrote also violated the school's bullying policy. The judge was shocked that the cheerleader's mother pursued a lawsuit against the school instead of disciplining her daughter.

With the Taliban and a world of terrorists breathing down our backs, why do we need to terrorize each other?

Tomorrow...why teachers have to filter what they put on Facebook. (not a bad idea for everyone)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Parenting & the Joys of Being a Grandma

My daughter and her son have temporarily moved in with us since they found mold growing almost everywhere in their apartment. We have an uninhabited 2nd floor with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom and a sitting area. It's temporarily perfect for them.

This morning, the above young boy, was whining about going to school. He had a snow day on Monday, he came home from school sick on Tuesday, he made it through an entire day on Wednesday and thought it was time for another day off on Thursday.

His mother scolded him and told him to get dressed. "I don't wanna." A disagreement ensued with Owen being grounded from the computer and being helped into his school clothes.

Beth went back to her preschool preparations and Owen came in to see me and get some comforting. So fun to get cuddles from a sad little boy. He thought his clothes were stupid, his shoes were too small, his socks were too big and school is absolutely unnecessary. I gave him a pep talk saying school is like a job. I go to work every day, he goes to school everyday. His reply, "But you can quit your job. I can't quit school."

Beth and Owen were both in better moods when it was time to leave for school and I was feeling good about bonding with my favorite grandson. Being a grandma is a lot less work than being a mom. I thank God that Owen has a mom who disciplines him in love leaving me to just enjoy him.

From Beth's past:
First day of Kindergarten, August 1987 - "You told me that you said a prayer the night before school started: 'I pray, I pray, I pray - please make me sick for school tomorrow.'"

Then in September of 1989 - "You're already getting tired of going to school. It's mostly going to bed early so you can get up early and doing homework. You told me, 'When I grow up I'm going to be President and I'll make a law that kids only have to go to school one day a week." You still looked disgruntled and shook your head and said, "No, only one day a year!"

Owen comes by his love of school naturally.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hunger Games

Hunger Games was the Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award winner last year, from both the Intermediate and the High School lists. Kids have been reading it and loving it since it was published in September of 2008. I was never interested.

Then a couple of weeks ago I saw the book on CD at the public library and decided to give it a try. I was hooked from the very beginning. The writing is wonderful and the reader is the perfect voice of Katniss.

Cleverly contrived plot line, stunning details, every chapter end a cliff hanger, love and terror, injustice, human spirit, suspense, reality TV...what doesn't this book have? Boring ho-hum parts.

Since I was listening to it in my car, I became a very friendly driver. I saved money on gas driving slower (very green of me) so it would take me longer to get places (more listening time). I hoped for red lights instead of green. Detour? Great! It's a 20 mile drive to my gym and I went every chance I got.

I'm not divulging anything specific about the story. I want you to read it for yourself, preferably before the movie comes out on March 23. Better get started soon! Let me know what you think of it.

P.S.---If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can read Hunger Games for FREE.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February Snow

We finally got some snow in Southwest Oklahoma. When I was leaving for school this morning, my grandson asked me, "Do you want to see me make a snow angel?"

I told him, "No, I'll just take a picture of my snow angel."


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday at my Church

2 Kings 5:1-14

Beth & Owen were gone cub scout polar bear camping, Daryl in the choir leaving my mother-in-law and me to hold down the pew. The sermon was about spiritual wholeness.

Let me remind you about the story these verses tell. The cast of characters are the king of Aram, Naaman his general who had leprosy, Naaman's wife, Naaman's wife's Jewish servant girl, the king of Israel and the prophet Elisha.

The servant girl told her mistress that if Naaman would go to the prophet Elisha, he would be healed. The mistress told her husband and Naaman told the king.

The king did a funny thing. Instead of sending Naaman to see the prophet, he sent him to see the king of Israel with a letter and a lot of expensive gifts for the king. The letter told the king of Israel to heal Naaman. That just made the king angry.

Elisha heard about this and told the king to send Naaman to him so he would know there is a prophet in Israel.

Namaan showed up at Elisha's house with his horse and chariot. Elisha told Naaman to go immerse himself in the Jordan River and he would be healed. This time Naaman got angry. He thought that was an idiot plan and he stomped off.

Naaman's servant convinced him to try it. What did he have to lose? So Namaan did what Elisha told him to do and his skin became young and healthy.

Our preacher spoke for 20 minutes or so about spiritual wholeness. We need to delve into our "Jewish" roots, observe a Sabbath of rest devoted to God, disciplining ourselves to daily devotion and meaningful prayer. His message was good but I'm not sure how he got it from these verses.

I was struck with the fact that Naaman only had to do a very simple thing to be healed. He was insulted by that. He wanted to do something big and grand and noteworthy; but the only thing that would heal him was simply washing in the Jordan River.

Is our salvation, our spiritual healing, just as simple? Just one simple thing. No need to worry or work or wonder if what we are doing is enough. The one simple thing took care of it.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things

My youngest daughter was always saying and doing funny things. At some point I decided to start writing them down. I share the first one with you here.

August, 1986, Beth was four-years-old.

Beth, you are always saying and doing funny things. I think I should begin recording some of them so they will continue to amuse us for years to come.

One day this month, you and I drove to Frederick to go to the health department and then visit Aunt Norma Lee. We finished our health business and tried to leave for Norma Lee's but the pickup wouldn't start. I asked if you would say a prayer with me that God would fix the truck. We prayed, I tried the key, the truck still wouldn't start. I said to you, "Come on, let's go call Norma Lee and have her come pick us up."

You looked up to the sky and said, "Never mind God, we're going to call Norma Lee instead."


Friday, February 10, 2012


This is a funny picture, almost an optical illusion. The bottom part is a book, made just for me, that is propped up in front of my computer, the top part of the picture. The book is less than a third the size of the computer monitor but it looks bigger. Camera magic.

My grandaughter, Jane, fills the monitor desktop. My mother-in-law has a digital photo frame and she spends hours enjoying pictures of Jane on it. She told me that she looks at the pictures and has conversations with Jane. She's 87-years-old so I let that explain the conversations. Sweet. But I understand better now. With Jane on my home and school computer desktops, I find myself talking to her all the time. "Good morning precious. I love you." And on it goes. It must be a grandma thing that has nothing to do with age.

That explains the computer desktop part of the picture. The book is a gift I received in the mail today from my daughter and granddaughter. It's called Jane Loves Gingie. I became known as Gingie when my grandson babbled the word before he spoke any real words. I was holding him and he said "Gingie." I insist that he gave me that name and it stuck. Mari called me last week to tell me that Jane had just said, "Gingie." Incredible, my name is her first word too.

The book is precious with lots of pictures of Jane and me. It leaves no doubt that Jane's Gingie is a big dork. I'm OK with that. As long as my children and grandchildren love me, it's all good.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Evaluation Day

At your job, does your boss pick a day to come visit you and watch you perform? That's how teaching works. My school is small so the principal walks through often. He knows what's going on but still has to do a formal evaluation once a year (more if you're a new teacher).

I always get stage fright. I'm not bothered at all when he pops in unscheduled, but knowing he will come on a specific day at a specific time makes me nervous.

My evaluation was yesterday. My principal came to watch my high school Pre-Teaching students teach lessons to pre-Kindergarten students. This is a first for me, that my students performance directly affected my performance evaluation. They were great, did a wonderful job and afterward talked about it like they were professionals with sense.

Today I had a post-evaluation meeting. It was mostly good, with one "needs improvement" box checked under "CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT: Discipline: The teacher clearly defines expected behavior (encourages positive behavior and controls negative behavior)." I need improvement because I didn't have my rules posted. I have a different opinion about the need for posted rules but he's the boss so I'll get some on display for all to see.

But what rules do I want to post? I accept all suggestions. I think humorous rules would be good. Is that appropriate? I like my daughter's Pre-K rules:
  • Eyes on the Teacher
  • Have listening ears
  • Use your inside voice
  • Keep hands and feet to yourself
I would add my #1 rule "No Airborne Objects in the Library."

My students know what behavior I expect of them, I encourage positive behavior and I very rarely send anyone to the office for negative behavior. But if posted rules are a requirement then posted rules we will have.

Help me if you can.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Public Library

Do you value your public library? Why or why not?

I have always used and loved libraries. I read and they've got all the books for free. I like free.

In college I decided to get a masters degree after being unable to discover a job I could get with a double major BA in German and Linguistics. I wanted to get a Masters of Library Science but the counselor at Cal State Fullerton discouraged me because there were no librarian jobs available. If he'd known I was going to move to Oklahoma and have a librarian job dropped in my lap, maybe he would have let me get the degree I wanted. So instead, I got a Masters Degree in Linguistics. They don't even have any jobs you can get with degrees in linguistics.

Now I am happily a full-time school librarian and a part-time public librarian. The two jobs compliment each other and I feel very fortunate to have work that I enjoy.

Do you remember Arsenio Hall? He did a funny bit every show about "things that make you go Hmmm..." I went to work tonight and thought I was back in the early '90's in the middle of an Arsenio Hall Show. The city has decided not to replace the two aide jobs that are open. Hmmm... The city is going to have the library open fewer hours to save on electricity. Hmmm... Some of the options are particularly peculiar. And they are still looking for a new library director at 70 K. But they can't replace 2 minimum wage jobs? Hmmm...

Things are up in the air and crazy. I guess I'll just hold on and see what happens.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Flexibility and a Sense of Humor

My pre-teaching class began their lessons teaching Pre-K students letter recognition and how to print their names. We were all set up, four centers for 11 kids.

At the long table was Dylan and his clay ready to help the kids form the clay into the letters of their names. At the other end of the long table was K'monica with cans of shaving cream to spray on the table. The kids could write their names in the foam and clean their hands at the same time. After writing in shaving cream, the students move to the floor where Lacey had letter flashcards laid out. The mission was to pick up a capital letter and find its corresponding lower case letter. Last but not least was Mark, set up in the library office. His lesson was sorting plastic letters by color and shape. Yes, letters are shapes.

I made lists for each station telling which kids would be there at what time. We would rotate every ten minutes. Kids' names were taped to the long table in their groups. Then we waited for the kids to get there.

Lisa, the pre-K assistant, was supposed to bring the pre-K kids to the library before my pre-teaching kids got there. After the pre-teaching students arrived and we'd waited for a few minutes, I sent two girls to go get the pre-Kers. The girls came back empty handed but with news that the pre-K class went into the special ed classroom, it looked like maybe they were going to get their eyes checked. Really?

It was unclear if they would come or not. I wondered why we weren't told there was a change in plans. Here's where flexibility comes in handy. We'll wait and hope for the best. It wasn't long till Lisa came in with three kids. Of course they were all from different groups. An impromptu new group was created for them and they started the clay activity. Then one more kid came in...sent him to Mark followed by the next two kids when they arrived. It kept going that way until we had all 11 pre-K kids in the library, plus one. Yeah, we got a new kid today. Eventually, all the pre-K students got to spend some time at each center and everyone had a good time.

The pre-k students were escorted back to their classroom and cleanup began. Did I mention a sense of humor? Instead of cleaning up, Mark got the shaving cream and transformed himself into Santa Claus. I'm quite sure these high school stuents had more fun playing with the shaving cream than the four-year-olds did.


Monday, February 6, 2012


Stephen King told me in his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft that one of the most important things a person can do to be a good writer is to read a lot.

I've always been a reader and a writer. My parents bought me comic book subscriptions and books and took me to the library. I also always had a diary and I wrote a lot of letters.

I'm still reading and writing. I always have a book on CD in my car. I was listening to Hunger Games in my car when I drove home from school today. It was such a good part that I sat in my driveway for ten minutes before going in the house. Even then I wanted to hear what would happen next so I changed clothes and headed to the gym (a 20 minute drive away, which isn't a bad thing when you've got a good book to listen to).

At the gym I listen to a book while walking on the treadmill. Currently I'm listening to Fire Sale (V.I. Warshawski) by Sara Paretsky on Playaway. Other times I listen to a downloaded book on my iphone.

More Hunger Games on the way home from the gym. I'd been told over and over again that it's a great book. I now know for myself what everyone else has been raving about.

I have a book that I read in the bathtub. Right Now it's J.D. Robb's Innocent in Death (a Lawton Public Library Adult Book Club selection).

When I go to bed I'll read The Garner Files: A Memoir by James Garner that by daughter gave me for Christmas. I once had the Rockford Files theme song as my cell phone ring tone. Love Jimbo.

Is reading four books at once too many? Sometimes the plots of my multiple books get intertwined, which can be interesting. However, these four are different enough that they don't blend together.

What are you reading?


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday at my Church

The story of Jonah and the whale may be one of the best known stories in the Old Testament. In July 2010 Jonah was the theme of a funeral in Indiahoma. I'll always remember that funeral when I come in contact with Jonah.

Today in church our preacher preached on "the end of the story." Jonah did not want to go tell the people of Nineveh that they would soon perish as a result of their evil, wicked ways. They were enemies of Israel. Why should he have to have any contact with them? But God wore him down and Jonah finally agreed to walk into and across Nineveh. It took 3 days! He preached as he walked, "In 40 days Nineveh will be destroyed."

Jonah expected the people to ignore him and God, but they didn't. From the king on down, every man, woman, child and animal fasted and cried to God for help. God took pity on them and did not destroy them.

Jonah's reaction was anger. Jonah went and told his enemies that his God was displeased and would destroy them. Then God treats his enemies like they are family. What's up with that?

And as usual, we aren't so very different from characters in the Bible. How often do we want God to crush our enemies? And why do we even consider other people as our enemies?

Our preacher challenged us to consider who our enemies are and instead of hating them, talk to them for God and maybe they will be spared the same way the whole city of Nineveh was.

Have you crossed paths with Jonah? I'd like to hear about it.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Doing Nothing

I have a morning routine that includes watching short Jerry Seinfeld clips. 3 a day take 5 minutes or so to watch and I start my day off with humor, sometimes riotous laughter.

One bit that I've seen several times but always enjoy is Jerry relating how people ask him, "So what you doing now? You don't have a show anymore, so what do you do?" His answer is, "Nothin'." He goes on to explain that doing nothing is not all that easy. When you are doing nothing, you are free to do anything which can lead to doing something so you are no longer doing nothing and then you have to drop everything. It's really funny when Jerry tells it.

So here it is, Saturday morning with the whole day in front of me. I work 2-3 Saturdays a month so having a Saturday off is a luxury. I plan on doing nothing that I don't want to do (clean the house), somethings that I have to do (laundry, church newsletter), anything that I want to do (blog, read, watch a DVRed show or two, photoshop) and have everything my way today.

Wishing you a Saturday just the way you want it too.


Friday, February 3, 2012

We Have Met the Enemy

and he is us.

A library patron told me this story. He said he read it in the newspaper.

Some guys were having a tailgate party that continued on after the football game was over. Everyone got drunk, some more than others. One guy passed out and his "friends" propped him up and surrounded him with empty beer cans and other decorative items. One drunk sprinkled him, but not with Holy Water. Meanwhile, pictures were being taken, posted on facebook and texted to friends. It went viral.

The patron asked me, "Did you ever read 1984?"

Oh my, we don't need to worry about Big Brother watching our every move, we are doing it to ourselves.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Furry Fun

Happy Groundhog Day! Did the furry little critter see his shadow? He did! So now we have 6 more weeks of winter? Except we haven't had any winter weather yet. Does that mean 6 more weeks of no winter weather or will we finally have 6 weeks of regular winter weather?

I wonder if Punxsutawney Phil had anything to do with student behavior today. Some were loud and obnoxious, others were catatonic. I thought a student or two had gone deaf or perhaps no longer spoke English. Talking with colleagues after school, it seems their students were in the same state as mine. Let's just hope today isn't like the movie "Groundhog Day" because I can't take too many more days like today.

I'm off to my second job at the Public Library, hoping the patrons there have not been touched by whatever got my students.

Happy birthday to my friend Susanna whom I used to work with at the library. It's a great place for many reasons.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Funeral for February First

I met Jean Perry in the summer of 1979. Now, nearly 33 years later, we laid Jean to rest just a few miles from where I met him.

If there's something good about funerals, it's family getting together. Jean's kids, their wives and children were all there as well as Daryl's sister, mom and a favorite cousin from South Texas. And it's nice the way friends and community members gather around to support and comfort the mourners.

Daryl officiated the funeral service and spoke about Jean as if he were a saint, which he wasn't. He told us that Jean was in a better place, paradise for eternity. I was wondering, what's the criteria to get admitted into paradise? The scripture, "Judge not lest ye be judged" reminded me that it's not up to me who gets in where, I just need to worry about myself.

Daryl was with Jean when he died. Daryl took his hand and said, "When the Lord reaches out for you, take hold of his hand." Jean answered, "I already did." He died just a few minutes later. That explained why Daryl said Jean is in heaven.

A funny piece of trivia was that Jean and Phyllis (an aunt on Daryl's mom's side of the family) were mixed double tennis champs in High School. I didn't know they played tennis in Frederick, OK back then and it's still a funny picture in my mind of Jean and Phyllis with tennis rackets in their hands.

Now that we've got the February funeral out of the way, bring on the February fun!