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Yesterday was a great day! Gary and I were off together and were able to meet friends for breakfast at the new Caddo Cafe. The food was good, the portions huge, the prices low, and the service WONDERFUL! I predict that Shellie has found the combination for success.
I was also able to work in the wildflower bed and remove some of the broadleaf weeds by hand. My father stopped by to tell me that it would be "easier with a weed eater". I couldn't quite convince him that I wanted some of the grass to remain to support the wildflowers. And I wasn't really in the mood to explain symbiotic relationships. J Anyway, I was very pleased to see that we have two strong colonies of ox eye daisies and that the purple coneflower is flourishing. I want to get more perennials and self-seeders established.
The electrician came out and put in two new ceiling fans for us. We also opted for those crazy-looking energy efficient fluorescent bulbs. The white light takes a little adjustment, but I think we will be happy with them. And the one in the kitchen is two years old! I really should change the office bulbs also. Have you noticed that I’m slow to embrace new fangled ideas? Lol
I went to the genealogy library while the electrician worked. I’m terrified of electricity, among other things. A side note: earlier in the week Dr. Phil featured people with “phobias and unrealistic fears” and my son said I should have been a guest. Anyway, I do have a reason to fear electricity. I was badly shocked once, to the point of nearly passing out. If someone hadn’t been there to unplug the cord…well, let’s just say that my fear of electricity is real and that I don’t like to watch anyone work with wires. So…at the genealogy library I found several interesting bits of information and it was a good day. I was also able to solve a problem I’ve had in locating a headstone at the cemetery- the lot number was wrong – and I took a photo for someone who has been patiently waiting for it.
I was able to edit an essay for a friend. That’s something I love to do!
I worked in our garden. Replanted some tomatoes and planted two butterfly bushes.
I watched a movie with my honey.
All in all, a great day! Hope today is great for you!
In the summer I like to wander out to the patio and see what is going on outside. Last night was great! There was a coyote in the pasture, apparently stalking something. I was able to watch him with my binoculars for several minutes. The binoculars weren’t necessary since he was so close to the house (not a good thing I suppose), but they just enhanced my enjoyment of the experience. With the binoculars I could actually see his eyes!
I heard a familiar cry and turned to watch a heron land on the tree at the edge of the pond. Then I watched him wade at the water’s edge, looking for his next meal.
The bunnies came out to play. There are two to four each night and early in the morning. Even though I know they are nibbling things I’ve planted, I still love watching the rabbits. When I was a child my father hunted rabbits and we ate them. I’m not sure I could do that now!
I moved the hummingbird feeder recently because the squirrels kept knocking it down. It is now on the porch eave and I actually prefer it there because I can get closer to the birds. They have also been very frantic about all the new blossoms in the yard. They zip past my face and rush from one plant to the next.
I didn’t see the pesky squirrel last night, but I did see her earlier in the day. She has been causing problems as usual- broke another bird feeder. I have decided that open, flat bird feeders are the only safe alternative in this yard! She has out-smarted all the others. Might as well just let her eat.
I tried to take another raccoon photo last night, but wasn’t successful. I have a new idea I’m going to try tonight. I’m determined to get a photo of one of them standing up!
The cows, as usual, were crowded around the truck last night. They’ve actually bent my mirrors back a couple of times. They push against the gate trying to get inside the fence. They would open it if it weren’t for the cord we keep tied on it. I guess they find some comfort in sleeping near the house, or they just know my flowers would taste better than grass. I’m not a big fan of cows. I’ve been around them all of my life and they still don’t make sense to me. But the calves are adorable!
Sometimes when I’m watching the critters or picking flowers I think about our years in the city. I always had flowers, even if they were just in pots. I had fish or birds, dogs, cats. I tried to keep in touch with nature. However, being in the country and watching animals in their own environment is much more entertaining!
I listened yesterday as two friends spent their lunch hour discussing American Idol. They talked about the judges and contestants as though they were old friends, and I wondered if perhaps they don’t honestly know more about those strangers than they do each other.
I’m fascinated by people and even more so by the relationships between them. I know people who are so close they can finish each other’s sentences. They share ideas and secrets and day to day musings. I know people who have shared the same “space” –work, school, neighborhood- for years, and yet know very little about each other. They talk about the weather and work and children and American Idol, but nothing too personal, nothing too deep. There are boundaries to their relationship and they don’t cross them.
Friendships have always had classifications. We have best friends and buddies and pals. We have work friends and school friends and church friends. We have acquaintances and contacts and associates and colleagues and contemporaries. But friendship has taken on a new dimension with the creation of “cyber friends”. An interesting note: the synonyms Word gives for cyber are “fake, replicated, pretend, imitation, virtual, and computer-generated”. With the exception of the last one, I’m not sure that is totally accurate or fair. I’ve made some fascinating discoveries about cyber friends. And my conclusion is that sometimes they can be just as “real” and good for us as the people we have known for a lifetime. Here are some things for you to ponder:
1. Cyber friendships tend to escape the boundaries of class and status. This means my group of cyber friends is more diverse culturally and economically than my real friends. Most of my cyber friendships originated from genealogy contacts, blog readers, or Facebook contacts. When I initially relate to a cyber friend I have nothing on which to base first impressions except words and perhaps photos. I don’t look at what they are wearing or driving. I don’t know where they live or how much money they make. I judge our compatibility on common interests and ideas. Yes, lies are told on the internet. Perhaps I’ve been lucky, but I haven’t encountered many fake people in my virtual world. I guess my interests and age don’t attract many scam artists.
2. Cyber friends may actually know more about the genuine you than your real friends. Blogging, email, Facebook, and other social networking sites manage to pry information from people. Through questions, quizzes, comments, and discussions you can learn a lot more about a person than you might in daily conversations. There is something liberating about the virtual world that removes the inhibitions we might have in person. Yes, again, people lie. But I find people are sometimes more willing to share their feelings online than across the dinner table. In daily life we all tend to “chit chat” about the weather, work, television, etc. We don’t often get into deeper conversation topics out of fear that our emotions will get out of hand and we will surprise or offend the person with whom we are talking. Or maybe we just don’t feel like we have the time to discuss real issues. Online we can cry and type at the same time. We can pour out our feelings at 2am, even though the person we are “talking to” won’t answer until 8am. We can take more risks because we don’t have to actually see that person every day if something goes wrong.
3. Cyber friends can enrich your life and expand your understanding of people. Because of the facts of #1, cyber friends take you out of your comfort zone and show you how other people live. As we age our real friends age with us. We have many of the same memories. We travel in the same circles, attend the same events, and shop at the same stores. We talk about grandchildren, retirement, aches and pains. Cyber friends change all of that. They live in different time zones and have totally different experiences. They can tell you what it is like to live in the city or in snow country or in a foreign land. They have different jobs and hobbies and ideas, even different values.
4. Cyber friends may be more accepting of you than real friends. As much as we love them, real friends are sometimes less than supportive if we want to change, grow, or explore new ideas. Tell an old friend you are going to try yoga and he or she may respond with “Oh, I remember when you tried that dance class. That lasted about a week.” See, the problem with real friends is that they remember our failures as well as our successes. They remember the person we used to be, and may resist any change that threatens their relationship with that person. A cyber friend accepts who you are NOW without any background except what you give them. And yes, perhaps it isn’t fair that you can share only the good stuff, but sometimes we all need a “clean slate”.
My cyber friends make me laugh and cry and think.
I love, love, love people. I love to watch them and listen to them and talk to them.
I love my real friends and my cyber friends.
I love my old friends and there is room in my life for new friends.
I thank God for each and every person he has brought into my life. Each one has enriched and empowered my life.
Enjoy your friends today!
My granddaughter just got her first job. She’s going to work for one of those status stores that sell over-priced t-shirts to teens with more fashion sense than common sense. Having worked for Macys for five years, I can tell her that if she pays attention her retail experience will teach her a lot about people, money, and priorities.
My first real job was far from glamorous. I worked as a waitress at a small café in downtown Durant. I wasn’t very good at it, and I made a lot of mistakes. I couldn’t figure out why we had to wipe cabinets and counters and generally “look busy” when there weren’t any customers. I also couldn’t figure out why the owner brought her dog to work each day or why the cook made her- the dog- a hamburger patty for lunch. I guess there were a lot of things I couldn’t figure out because I only lasted a couple of months!
My next job was based on my “experience” at my first job- I went to work as a waitress at the local bowling alley. For those of you who don’t remember- it was across the street from SOSU, where the art building is now. The highway patrol building was next door and the guys stopped by often. I was still a lousy waitress and I seldom got an order correct. I dropped things. I got sick. I was generally miserable.
My third job was a little more suited to my abilities. I worked as a proofreader for an advertising agency. I advanced to paste-up artist and lasted three years before the company went bankrupt.
I went through years of jobs. Some were better than others. As I got older I learned more about what I could and could not tolerate. I learned more about what I really wanted to do, and as you know, finally did it. I know my granddaughter is smarter than I was. Her first job is merely a step along the path. She has plans and dreams and ambitions. She will find her place in the world much more quickly I did. I only hope that her first job is much more enjoyable than mine. She’s off to a better start- at least clothes don’t break when you drop them! Lol
Kindergarten students have a difficult time with broad concepts. I’ve had some amusing encounters with them before, but “desk cleaning” this week was priceless. Thursday I told them “take everything out of your desk and put it in your cubby so you can pack it later”. Simple enough? Oh, no! Here’s what happened:
Three seconds elapsed time before the first question.
K- “Do you mean our pencil boxes?”
Me- “Yes, everything.”
Two minutes of silent working.
P- “I have my math chart. Do you want it?”
Me-“No, put it in your cubby.”
S- “Do you want us to take our erasers?”
Me- “Yes, take everything out of your desk.”
E- “Can we take our scissors home?”
Me- “Yes, your scissors should be in your pencil box. Put it in your cubby!”
I swear to you that for each and every item in their desk there was a child who specifically asked if it could be taken home!! I finally said, “If I turn your desk over, I don’t want anything to fall out!” That seemed to make it clear. LOL
I found out later that my two colleagues had experienced the same problem. No one quite understood that this was really the end of school.
We had a great last day! The children were pleased with their awards and proud of their memory books. Some of my parents looked stunned- as though they couldn’t believe the year was over and they had survived. Many thanked me and I thanked them. We’ve worked hard together this year. I’m already making plans for next year. As I dismantled my room I thought about ways to change it and improve it. I have a list of teaching tools I want to get that I’ve heard good things about. I’ve applied for a grant for a science habitat. During the summer I’ll make plans for some curriculum changes. Always looking forward.
In the meantime…
I have a garden that awaits.
I have vacation plans.
I have blinds that need to be replaced, and carpet that needs shampooing, and closets that need cleaning, and… Gran always said, “No rest for the wicked.”
Have a great day!
What does it take to make you happy?
A friend asked this question on her blog and although my answers to her aren't deep, thoughtful revelations, I repeat them here for you. Sometimes our quickest answers are actually the most truthful.
1. A cup of good coffee.
Yes, boys and girls, it is the LAST week of school. Mrs. Maurer is so excited! We’ve worked so hard this year and you’ve learned so much. I’m very proud of you! Yes, of course I’m going to miss you, but I’ll be right here in the hall next year, watching you trudge off to first grade and hoping you make a good impression.
This week is about fun and games and cleaning and reassurance. Most of my students are thinking about summer and the endless days of play and sunshine and friends that awaits them. But some are already worried about the realities of first grade. They know the work will be harder and the expectations even higher. Most will do just fine. In fact, Friday one of my students surprised me by reading the label on his ice cream. He zipped right through “artificial flavoring” without missing a beat and only got stuck on a couple of chemical words that stump all of us. Lol
I sat down yesterday to read the special newspaper supplement that lists all the area graduates. The photos prove that 2009 is the year of the worst hair I have ever seen! Well, okay, maybe since the sixties. But I sure hope some of these young men and women clean up their act before their first job interview.
I wish the young lady who waited on me yesterday afternoon at one of my favorite stores would leave some of her jewelry at home. It’s hard for an old woman like me to have even a casual conversation with someone who has her tongue, nose, lip, eyebrow, and both ears pierced (four times each on the ears). I didn’t know where to look. Reminded me of the quote I read yesterday- “A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that individuality is the key to success. Robert Orben” The whole piercing thing has gotten to the point that I don’t consider it a statement of individuality or even rebellion, just one more fool following the pack.
So…last week for kindergarten and high school and teachers and parents.
Ice cream today to celebrate our reading success.
Bubbles tomorrow just for fun.
Finish and autograph our keepsake books on Wednesday.
Do some serious cleaning Thursday.
Doughnuts and awards on Friday.
A great plan…
The June issue of Money magazine contains a disturbing article. “The Trouble with Public Colleges” examines the serious problems confronting high school seniors and their parents this year. Public colleges, faced with record applications, smaller budgets, and increased costs, are coping by cutting programs and services, reducing staff, and raising tuition. This means incoming freshmen may have a more difficult time finding a school, affording the tuition, and getting specific classes needed for their major. And state universities can no longer be considered the “sure thing” that students and parents rely on if their plans for private school education don’t work out.
The article goes into detail about the reasons behind the colleges’ problems. It also gives advice for parents trying to cope with all of this. However, the most significant line for me was at the very end. The author, Pat Regnier, makes the point that where you go to college doesn’t matter for most kids. The real difference in America “is between those who go to college and finish and those who don’t”.
There is such wisdom in that statement- it is astonishing to me that most people don’t understand the significance of it. Our own family has dealt with this issue forever. My husband went to college for several years, but because of some family problems, didn’t graduate. As a consequence, he spent his life in “jobs” rather than pursuing the career he had planned. Our oldest daughter majored in education at her local university and has been teaching for most of her adult life. Our other daughter managed to carve out a business career for herself without going to college, but her story is unique and she put in years of hard work and determination to get where she is today. The road might have been easier and smoother with a degree. And what she did is getting more and more difficult for younger generations to do at all. Our son went to college for eight years, but never got a degree. He skipped classes, put little effort into the ones he attended, and became bored with the whole process before dropping out. Consequently he has had a series of jobs he hasn’t liked, that haven’t paid well, and he regrets the years and money he wasted. He now plans to return to college and improve the quality of his life. I went to our local university when I graduated from high school, but I married young, quit college and didn’t return until I was 42 years old. When I finally got a degree in education it completely changed my life. I went from a struggling housewife who always had two or three part-time jobs or a “long hours, low pay job” to a professional woman with a career.
And my career hasn’t just meant more money for our family. It has meant better health care for me. It has meant more time and money for my community. My degree has also allowed me to change the lives of my students. I wonder about the class that will be graduating from Caddo High School in a few days. How many lives would be changed in our community if just half of those students graduate from college?
My grandchildren will soon be contemplating college. I would advise them to consider their talents and aspirations and income far more than the reputation of the college they will attend. There are good teachers and bad teachers on any campus. There are problems on every campus. What matters is learning as much as possible about your intended career, training for it, and getting the credentials that allow you to pursue it. What matters is finishing what you start. When you are out here working in the real world most people don’t know or care where you went to college unless you are talking about sports. They just care about how well you perform in your profession.