What kind of a world are we making for our children?


Another bulletin comes on the TV about another shooting, this time in a mall in Maryland.

What bothers me most about my reaction is that I’m not shocked. Shootings around this country are becoming a commonplace thing. Do you even pay attention any more when those “special bulletins” come on TV interrupting the violent program you may be watching, (You might even not be watching TV, you might be playing those realistic killer video games. ) Could there be a connection? Duh, yes.

What worries me is my little grandson. He’s so sweet and innocent. What kind of world does he have to look forward to? Is he going to have to be locked down in his house at certain times of the day.

I remember when I went to school. It was one of the safest places in the world. The thought that somebody would come in the school and harm the children was the farthest thing from anyone’s mind. Everything was orderly, and kids didn’t have to be frightened.

I did see changes come  when I was still teaching school. We had several lock downs because of the rumor of drive-by shootings. Those guns again.

Something tells me that our gun policy is not working. It’s getting more and more like the wild west every day. I’m thinking even the wild west isn’t as wild as our society is becoming these days.

I heard some conservative woman on TV suggest that we should lock more people up in mental institutions to solve this problem. As far as she could see, the problem had absolutely nothing to do with too many guns. I won’t even dignify her by mentioning her name. (She is the one with the long blonde hair and the irritating voice. )

It looks like I’m going to do most of my shopping online. I’ll try not to worry about the future. But I really wish my grandson’s mother would start thinking about the benefits of home-schooling.

A glimpse at the Harmony Project


I belong to a terrific group, The Harmony Project. We sing, share and serve. Here is a video showing us getting ready for a performance.

This group doesn’t just sit and complain about the way things are; they do things.

This season we’re  planting trees, building a playground, and painting murals. That’s just a few things we’re doing this month!

We are also giving a musical performance May 15 and May 16 at the Southern Theater. You can contact me, or call Capa for tickets.

If you know me, see if you can spot me. I’m in the second row wearing purple glasses and a purple shirt!

As you can see, many of us are from the baby boomer generation, but there are people of all ages, races, and different points of view!

It is very cool. I feel like the baby boomers in this group are still holding onto our ideals. This included, peace, love, happiness, and harmony!

This woman at 109 knows the secrets of life


Even though this is 8 minutes long, it is worth watching. It will make you smile. Hint: she sees the glass as more than half full. It seems so simple, but I think we’ve lost that optimism.  In her day, she was an accomplished pianist.

She doesn’t live in the past. She embraces the here and now. That is also very cool. This was made last year. She is now 109 years old.

Tell me your reaction to this interview. What do you think is the secret to a long, happy life?

A Different Kind of Inauguration: Barack H. Obama 44th President of the United States


The . Original title: The original Star Spangl...

The . Original title: The original Star Spangled Banner “Museum” (from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negative or negative sleeve.) This glass negative might show streaks and other blemishes resulting from a natural deterioration in the original coatings. cropt from LOC file before upload to Wikimedia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I liked Obama’s inaugural speech. What did he talk about? Carrying on our “ founding fathers “ideas of everyone treated with equality. Everyone working together and getting along. What a novel concept. He talked about immigration and gay people being allowed to be who they are.

What I liked best about his speech is that he probably wrote it himself. Nothing like having an intelligent president. It’s nice to watch his family too. You know he really values women by the way he treats his wife and daughters.

Naturally, having James Taylor sing “America” entertained me no end. (And every baby boomer.) Kelly Clarkson singing “ My Country Tis of Thee.” was very inspirational. It was like I was hearing that second verse for the first time.  Beyonce was the best, singing “The Star Spangled Banner.”

My absolute favorite was the Cuban- American poet, Richard Blanco. Here is his poem in case you missed it. Until I did his research I didn’t realize he was gay. Should that matter? Should we be talking about that? I don’t think so.

What do you think?

Click on the link, and you can view the poet reading his poem at the Inauguration.

http://youtu.be/1mDrk8AC4G4

Why are our 21st Century Heroes so narcissistic? The Tipping Point for me: Lance Armstrong


English: Arnold Schwarzenegger in July 2003

English: Arnold Schwarzenegger in July 2003 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the old days that I remember, our heroes were strong, humble, and caring for others.  They did not make speeches about how great they were. This might explain why so many of us admire Barack Obama. The President

Lance Armstrong getting mobbed

Lance Armstrong getting mobbed (Photo credit: ShapeThings)

English: This photo depicts Donald Trump's sta...

English: This photo depicts Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

typifies old-fashioned behavior. He isn’t big on name calling, boastfulness, and he  loves his family. He’s not afraid to tell us that either. He also manages to appeal to our human positive side too.

In contrast to him, we have a lot of boastful narcissists continually taking the spotlight. It’s good to have a good self-image, but do you have to tell everyone else about it? Can you get outside yourself for five minutes?

Then we have members of Congress, who do nothing but argue and name call, and put themselves first. No wonder we’re all so discouraged.  If you ask me, they all need a good talking to about really caring about other people. What happened to respecting the office of President of the United States? People used to do that.

Media Narcissists

The latest media boastful heroes have been Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Trump, and now Lance Armstrong.

Donald Trump is the example of the professional “I am great person.” I think people are finally sick and tired of him. He is nothing but a bully. He does prove the maxim if you tell people how great you are, they will believe you.

I watched “The Apprentice.” At first I thought he was nicer than people thought. But, as time went on, I realized first impressions can sometimes be correct.  He operates by telling  people how great he is, makes them call him “Mr. Trump,” and basically sets himself up as a king.

He rewards the people who are the most competitive and cut throat like him. He fought with comedienne Rosie O’Donnell by calling her names.  He challenged the President of the United States  to supply him with proof of his birth. He said “if he does this, I will contribute to the charity of his choice.” Really?

Then we  have good old Arnold Schwarzenegger walking all over Maria Shriver by fooling around right under her nose. He’s another one who managed to convince us to see his movies and elect him Governor.  Why? Because he told us he’s great and people believed him. He is trying to come back. I don’t think he’s going to make it. I think he went too far.

Now, we have Lance Armstrong. A person we thought was admirable turns out to be a pathological liar and a  bully. During his Oprah interviews he proved that he has little insight on his poor behavior and how he hurt other people. I wouldn’t be the least surprised if he comes back like other people displaying poor behavior.  Personally, I’ve had enough of him.

Yes, I’m talking about Bill Clinton. A lot of people forget he was impeached for his bad behavior.   I wonder what happened to the girl he victimized. But everyone forgave him, and he’s more popular than ever.

Maybe one day, the tide will turn. Maybe one day we’ll get back to politeness, good behavior, and acting civilized.
What do you think?

Harmony Project gets loads of bikes to give to kids for Christmas


305432_10151280280413070_1024731632_n305432_10151280280413070_1024731632_nHere’s what can happen if people work together, and do something positive. The Harmony Project, a philanthropic group that sings and shares had a one day drive in Columbus, Ohio, to buy bikes for foster kids.  It worked!  In one day, enough money was raised to buy 155 bikes!

In light of what has happened recently, this is encouraging news. If we put our minds to it, we can do anything.

We just need to believe in ourselves, and what we can accomplish! Picture by David Brown, director of The Harmony Project!

The Harmony Project Buys 150 bikes for kids in Columbus: thank you!


You want to find out what happens if people turn their energy into doing good things?

I’ll tell you.  The Harmony Project had a one day social event to purchase bikes for foster kids in Columbus, Ohio.

Everyone kept posting updates. We tweeted, blogged,  facebooked, pininterested, stumbled, Google plused, and asked for as little as $1.00 to pay for bikes. (If you want to find out more about the Harmony Project read some of my other posts referred to in the related articles.)

The people who thought up this even  expected to get $8.000.00. They ended up with almost twice that.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone turned negative energy into positive energy?

One-hundred-fifty teenagers in Columbus, Ohio, are going to wake up Christmas morning and have new bikes! They’re kids who are in foster care.

It was all done in one day. I want to thank all the people who contributed. Especially people who did it because I asked them!

Wow. Here’s a few pictures of our group!

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Ten stupid things women do for men: A little humor, but it’s not that funny.


English: Leg hair of a 17-year old white male

English: Leg hair of a 17-year old white male (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Shave their underarm and leg hair. My husband absolutely goes crazy when he sees I have a hair in one of those places. In the meantime, you should see him. I am certain a man thought this up in the first place.

2. Wear makeup. This is really stupid. Painting our faces? How many men wear makeup? I do enjoy wearing it sometimes. But, I’m at the point where it doesn’t do that much good.  Maybe a little bitterness here.

3. Wearing a bra. What’s wrong with being au natural. When you get older, your breasts droop. God forbid anyone should know your not a young thing with perky breasts.

4. Dying our hair. More men than woman go around with gray hair, and this is socially acceptable. My husband pitches a fit any time I suggest I go gray. He humorously says, “I don’t want to be with an old woman.”  I am 11 months older than him.

5.  Wearing Spanx. I watched a story about this on  Nightline tonight.  How many men wear Spanx?.  A woman did create this. She says, “it gives women confidence.” Now, why don’t men feel like they should have confidence like this. (She’s on the Forbes list of billionaires.) Who knew there was big bucks in sucking it in.

6. Making their breasts bigger. I remember I worked with a “girl” who did this years ago. After her boob job she loved prancing through the mall with her ponderous boobs (balloons really) ll. She liked guys looking at her and saying “she was hot.” She really enjoyed becoming a sexual object.

7. Making their rear ends  bigger. This one is too silly. I always wanted mine smaller. I also read an article about someone’s fake rear end  folding in on itself. It was going the wrong way.

8. Wearing expensive perfume. I guess it doesn’t hurt to smell nice. But, men don’t waste nearly as much money on smelling good.

9. Some woman, even old ones, won’t cut their hair or change their hairstyles because their husbands won’t like it. There’s nothing sadder than watching an old lady with an outdated long  hairstyle.

10. The dumbest things some women do for men is let the man run everything. Now, how many men would put up with that?   And that’s not funny. Not even a little.

Any other things you can think of? I would appreciate your comments! Scan to the end of this post to get to the reply section!

American Tapestry by Rachel L. Swarms :The story of Michelle Obama’s Ancestry


Photograph of Michelle Obama's paternal line g...

Photograph of Michelle Obama’s paternal line great-grandfather, Fraser Robinson, Sr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

American Tapestry by Rachel L. Swarns, is the story of First Lady, Michelle Obama’s ancestry. If you’re looking for a story about the First Lady’s life, you won’t find it in this book. What you will find is her family tree, and fascinating stories about her relatives.

The author, a New York Times reporter, did extensive research before writing this book. She used census records, photographs, oral histories, and interviews with many of Mrs. Obama’s relatives.

A genealogist, Megan Smolenyak had discovered a connection between a white slave owner, Henry Shields and Mrs. Obama’s great-great-great-grandmother, Melvina. Together they had a son, Dolphus. The author uncovered a funeral program of the son, Dolphus, and a photograph.

Swarns collaborated on an article about this discovery in the New York Times, and did further historical research to write this book.

The author follows four families in the South who eventually migrate to the North. From these families, comes Mrs. Obama’s great grandparents
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A History Lesson

This is not an easy book to read. There are at least 30 characters to keep track of. Sometimes, you have to go back and reread their connections to each other, but if you persevere you uncover a fascinating story.

The book is in Three parts: Part I —Migration [to the North], Part II—The Demise of Reconstructions and the Rise of Jim Crow, Part III—Slavery and Emancipation.

Not only is it Mrs. Obama’s story, but the story of black people after the Civil war to the present day. Highlights include: black migration to the North, Reconstruction, sexual exploitation, lynchings, people being discouraged from voting, segregation, and passage of The Civil Rights Act of 1963. White and black people intermingle throughout the book.

The oral history was handed down in bits and pieces. Former slaves wanted to put the past behind them. The slavery experience was so painful and shameful that the first generation of freed slaves didn’t want to talk too much about it with their children.

Interesting characters

The author starts out with, Phoebe Moten Johnson, Mrs. Obama’s paternal great grandmother. She decides to escape her dull farm life, in Villa Ridge, Illinois, and gets on a train to seek her fortune. She ends up traveling to four different cities before she ends up in Chicago.

To tie the stories together, there is some speculation on the author’s part. This is about Phoebe:” “Swarns admits that “[n]one alive today knows the precise pace or number of stops that [Phoebe] made on her journey. There are gaps in her story, countless unknowns. …”

There are many other fascinating characters in this saga: Fraser Robinson, Sr., a man who accomplishes a lot even though he loses his arm after a tree falls on him when he’s a child. For a time, he moves in with a white family, friends of his father, and watches as black people lose rights they were granted after the Civil War.

Mrs. Obama’s relatives, like many African-Americans, migrated from the South to the North because there were more opportunities. They did a variety of jobs including: carpentry, coal mining, church ministry, household helpers, and railroad workers.

The author quotes Mrs. Obama’s aunt, Francesca Gray who states that in the black version of the American dream “ you dream a little bit at a time.” It is about black Americans striving toward the pursuit of life, liberty, happiness and property.

I would recommend this book because it gives an insightful look at what the black experience may have felt like after the Civil War to the present day. We learn how the American dream was accomplished by people at a clear disadvantage. Mrs. Obama’s family are the main characters in this book, but they represent the black experience in America for the past 150 years.

You can find this book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and on various websites.

911: Should they stop reading all the names every year?


911 was very frightening to me.   I was teaching in a school, and the parents, teachers and kids were petrified. They let the kids watch what was going on all day, and I didn’t think that was necessary. I figured it would scare them even more.

People were rushing to the school to take their kids home. A lot of the people in the district were in the armed services, and this effected them even more.

I seriously was not sure about The World Trade Center. I did know that someone else had bombed it. I had no idea about how many people worked there. Two of my children had toured the place earlier in the year. What if they’d picked September 11?

After I heard the Pentagon got bombed, I really wondered if this was it. Was the world going to come to an end? Weren’t we all wondering that?

Every September 11 they read the big list of all the victims

Should they read every single name aloud at the ceremonies?
One of my friends on Facebook  ( Lisa)  brought up a good point.  Why should the families have to hear every single name? Doesn’t that make it even harder on them every year?

If I’d lost anyone, I’d think I’d want their name to be called every year. I think their families would find it comforting to listen to their names called on the anniversary. (Even if they have to wait to hear it.)

What do you think?

Thank you Lisa for the idea for this post.

English: World Trade Center, New York, aerial ...

English: World Trade Center, New York, aerial view March 2001. Français : Le World Trade Center à New York. Vue aérienne datant de mars 2001. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where were you on 911? How did it impact you?