Sunday, August 26, 2007

" I 'm back...again."

Lisa has us answering the question, “Why do you blog?” for this Fun Monday assignment.

Disclaimer: As I have answered this question in one of my initial posts, I am more or less repeating an one of my earliest posts on Return of the White Robin. So for this Fun Monday post, I might be cheating...once again. This entry refers to one of my first Fun Monday posts. I continue to blog partially because the kind of camaraderie that exists with blogging buddies including the Fun Monday crew.

Alas, I am back. As you know robins return in the springtime, and spring is here at last with figuratively and literally. In the summer of 2006, I started a blog called The Spring of the White Robin. As fall arrived, keeping up with my job as a seventh grade science teacher, carrying out various responsibilities at church, and maintaining the blog became difficult. Something had to go; so the blog was shut down on September 23, 2006. You know robins fly south for the winter. Now, that spring is here robins return as is my personal blog. Besides, I want to play a blog game called Fun Monday. Tristan of Brothertons asks the players to describe, "how would you like to wake up?"

What follows is my first entry on The Spring of the White Robin, which includes an explanation of the blog name and how I started blogging.Why in the world would a sixty year old woman want to start a blog? Well, my involvement with all of this originated from reasons other than starting my own blog although my reasons are related to the world of blogdom. My original goal was merely to be able to comment on another blog. A friend had written a blog, and I desperately wanted to leave my own gems of wisdom as a comment. This particular blog at the time only allowed comments from members from the community. So I registered, enrolled, and logged-in with a display name, username and, of course, a clever as well as secret password.

All right, fine, so how was Spring of the White Robin born? Well, among other things, I imagine myself as a great writer. Okay, so my writing is not so great, but I have a great title. Strangely enough, there is such a bird as a white robin. Maybe there is not an all white robin, but there are robins with white feathers where other robins have red feathers, a robin white breast so to speak. So in my fantasy world where I AM the great writer, I write a tale for preteens about a young girl having grand adventures and creating splendid inventions during the spring, in which our heroine simultaneously discovers a pair of white robins. Of course, my novelette is adored by young girls everywhere; and thus, I am an instant success. By now, if you have read this far, you may be thinking, “Why in the world would a sixty year old woman want to start a blog? The white robin story s*cks.” I have to admit that Blogger has seduced me with the opportunity to post my picture. Even though I am old and gray, I like this picture taken by my photographer son. And the overalls are one of my favorite things to wear. Hence, this blogging began as the desire to comment and as the vanity of having my picture along side my profound, humorous, and more often than not boring comments.

Final Note: Although this entry refers my desire to be a great writer, I really do not cherish the act of writing itself. I know several bloggers that enjoy blogging as an outlet for their wonderful and clever writing. I mostly blog to communicate with others.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Good-bye Summer

I know that fall will not actually start for another month, and I realize that there are thirty more days until summer of 2007 sounds the death knell. However, for millions of school children, college students, and teachers the traditional summer vacation is coming to a close in the United States. Some schools have already begun, and some schools will start after Labor Day. However, for Daddy D, me, and the children in our school corporation, school starts this week, and summer vacation is officially over. Weekday trips to the beach are over. Sleeping late in the morning is finished. Midday picnics are caput.

Thinking about the summer season reminds me of the summers of my childhood. In the days before home air conditioning was common place, water play was important to children. I remember the joys of running through the sprinkler to cool off. Do children still do that? If it was very hot, my parents would fill a wash tub for me to cool off in the yard. Our wealthiest neighbors always had a kiddie pool. Luckily, these kind folks were always willing to share the water fun with the neighborhood children. In this picture depicting summer fun in the early 50's, I was not old enough to attend school. But in those days, school always started after on the Wednesday after Labor Day. Whatever kind of summer fun the children of today have, that summer fun for the most part is over for the year.

Good-bye to summer fun. There is no more running through the lawn sprinkler. (Darn it.) I am off for School Organization Day for the 2007 - 2008 school year. Sigh...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My Big Fat Lying Life: I Can See at Last

The Other Bear and the Uncaring Bear at Uncaring Bear , this week's Fun Monday hosts, are requesting, "Share with us a little white lie that you may, or may not, have gotten away with. Perhaps it's something more sinister than a little white lie - maybe even a deep dark secret that you've kept buried for years! All the better! Now's your chance to get it off your chest and confess."

During my youth, honesty was not especially my strong suit. I lied to stay out of trouble. I lied to impress friends and enemies alike. And sometimes, I lied for no specific reason at all. Out of the many, many lies, I remember three specific white lies. Most of my lies seem rather bizarre to my adult self. When I was in grade school, my best friend found that she needed to wear glasses. Her first pair of glasses had interesting pearly white frames. Since this was the 1950's, the frames were probably those stylish cat's eye frames. For some reason, I wanted to wear glasses too so I told my friends that I needed glasses as well. Furthermore, I squinted at books and held them close to read to prove that I had poor vision. I was so proficient at this lie that I almost convinced my own better than 20/20 eyes that I could not see.

Another very strange fabrication involved telling a girlfriend that my name was Mollivia and that Molly was merely a nickname. Why would somebody lie about their name? Your guess may be as good as mine. Well, you might make up a better name, a dramatic name, or a poetic name...but Mollivia?

When I was in college, my lying days had diminished. But I remember telling a man with bloody gums, named Jim, that I was busy on the night of the first college dance. Bloody gums Jim then asked some of my friends to the same dance. My friends were honest with Bloody Gums telling him that they planned to attend the dance as singles. The honest girls went to the dance and had a good time. I stayed at home that evening and missed out on a fun evening.

Fortunately, as I gained maturity, I realized that honesty is actually easier than lying. Gradually, I quit feigning ailments, stopped making up fake names, and have refrained from creating artificial activities. Granted occasionally, I do tell white lies to avoid hurt feelings. If push comes to shove, I might tell you that I like your new hair cut. However, even then, I try to be creative in answering questions like, "Do you like my new hair cut?" I might respond, "How do you like your new haircut?" or "You have chosen interesting color."

Nowadays, I do wear glasses, and I wear them all the time. I miss the days when my vision was perfect. I really cannot imagine what possessed me to lie about needing glasses. I need them now to see, to read, to drive, to compute, to eat... honest. You do believe me. Right?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

On Your Marks - My Track Story

Being a female born in 1946, there were not many athletic opportunities open to me as I grew to adulthood. Well, at least there were not many institutionalized competitive chances. Unlike the girls of today, the young girls in the fifties did not play soccer, softball, volleyball, baseball, or basketball. Maybe we were fortunate to have coeducational gym classes at my elementary school; but in later years, the boys were separated from the girls in my junior high and high school physical education classes. The athleticism in my high school gym class consisted of the class of girls walking the circumference of the Girl's Gymnasium while being encouraged by our teacher to walk briskly, to throw out our chests, and to move our arms enthusiastically.

I am not a picture of athletic prowess, but as a child I could run fast and seemingly fly over the high jump bar. In kindergarten, my teacher said that I was the best skipper in class. Now, granted this was kindergarten, and maybe the teacher was being kind and found something for each child to excel in or be best at doing.

But on with my track third grade, the activity for one period was to run the 60 yard dash as our teacher timed our speed. All 37 children in our class ran the sixty yards while being timed by our teacher, Miss Spangle. After everyone was finished running, Miss Spangle announced all of student's times except mine. To top this off, she exclaimed that "Michael Haines with the best time is the fastest runner in the class," and of course, the class cheered. Then, my teacher took me aside and told me quietly and privately that she had not announced my time as I ran faster than Michael. She continued that my score was not announced as we would not want Michael to feel badly that he was beat by a girl.

The sad part of that story was not that the teacher lied or that I was cheated out of the brief moment of glory of being the fastest runner in class. The sad part of the story is that I thought the teacher was right, "We would not want Michael to feel badly being outrun by a girl." The good news is times have changed. In today's world, young girls have open to them a wide range of athletic events including softball, basketball, swimming, golf, tennis, gymnastics as well as track. You go girls.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Have you seen this?

Listen to what the future Vice-President Cheney had to say in 1994 about invading Iraq, and what might happen if the US invaded Iraq. I guess that he has had a change of heart. I do not say this often, but it appears that Cheney was right.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fun Monday - Sweet Eating

For this week's Fun Monday event Beckie, our hostess at Give It a Try, wants to know what your favorite treat is. Is it sweet or sour? Is it plain or salty? Is it candy or chocolate? Is it homemade or store bought? For instance, if your favorite is chocolate, tell us what kind specifically - sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes not so much. I have heard a lot of talk about Junior Mints, but is it your favorite or just a tasty treat? It can be anything, popcorn, peanuts, ice cream or chips, maybe you have more than one favorite - that is ok, just show us your favorite(s) and tell us why you like it so much. C’mon, what gets you all juiced up?

If I was still a drinking lady, I would say that Kahlua and Cream is my favorite treat. Now, I do not mean Kahlua and cream poured in a glass and mixed together. I mean that Kahlua is poured into a glass over ice and then cream is added ever carefully so that the the two are layered with Kahlua on the bottom and the cream or half and half as the top layer. For a year or so, Daddy D made me one of these every evening for an after dinner treat. As you can imagine this drink is calorie-laden. Perhaps, I gained ten pounds that year. However, when you drink this delight, some of the superb alcoholic coffee-flavored Kahlua slips into your mouth with a little bit of cream creating the most delightful sensation. Oh yes, this is soooo good. Daddy D, who has worked as a bartender but by day is a chemistry and physics teacher, would like to remind you that the cream is less dense than the alcohol so that the cream readily floats atop the Kahlua.

Although I no longer drink, I do enjoy some other tasty and maybe should be forbidden treats. As a child, Jujyfruits were my candy of choice at the movie theater. I liked all the flavors except the licorice fruits. To me, licorice tastes like dead bugs in lighter fluid. Daddy D gets to enjoy any licorice at our house as well as of few of the other delectable Jujyfruit flavors. I especially savored the green fruits, which used to be mint-flavored. The current Jujyfruit greens are lime-flavored. The lime is okay, but not refreshing like the mint greens of yesteryear.

Another favorite is raspberries and cream, which might be food of the the gods. Unfortunately, fresh raspberries are not available throughout the year. I did find and enjoy some of this fruit of paradise for this post. Hmmm...yum Finally, when we rent a movie, I like to have baked corn pops. One of the reasons that I like corn pops is that these kernels of air puffed corn almost melt in your mouth with a lovely buttery taste reminiscent of the best movie popcorn. Corn pops are tasty with any beverage. I like to have mine with Coke or O'Doul's, which is a non-alcoholic beer. Well, almost non-alcoholic, the O'Doul's label makes this claim, "Less than 0.5% Alcohol by Volume." O'Doul's is all right but nothing like Kahlua and Cream.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

And the Oscar goes to...

Some time ago, the lovely Jen of A Snowball's Chance... granted me this award.

A few weeks later the inimitable Swamp Witch of Anecdotes, Antidotes, and Anodes, issued me this award.
I am quite honored to be recognized by these outstanding ladies. You probably recognize Swamp Witch as one of the premier creative bloggers. If you have not met Jen, rush over to her site. You will see that she herself exudes thoughtfulness both in her blog and in her comments.

As these things go, there are guidelines for accepting these awards. "The Thoughtful Blogger Award is one of five distinct awards in a series of awards created by Writers Reviews' intuitive, creative and most thoughtful blogger herself, Christy Zutautas. There is a specific description for each award listed here along with the award rules. Writers Reviews has created a way to honour the bloggers we admire in a personable way on an individual basis, that frees us to celebrate each blogs unique contribution.”

Honestly, either one or both of these honors should be granted to most of the blogs that I visit. A number of folks are creating high-quality output on a regular basis. In this post, I would like to recognize some of these efforts.

My good friend, Gawilli of Back in the Day , is both a thoughtful blogger and creative blogger. Her thoughtfulness is exemplified in her entries concerning social justice. Gawilli demonstrates this thoughtfulness here and here. Her delightful creativity is illustrated throughout her blog as she takes back us in time by writing about her mom and dad and many other topics. However in one post, Gawilli was both extremely creative and thoughtful. If you are skipping the links, be sure to look at this one. You will see the depth of her creativity and thoughtfulness in this post. Thereby, I wish to honor my friend, Gawilli, with both a Creative Blogger Award and a Thoughtful Blogger award.

Lynne of A New Jersey Girl is extremely talented photographer and shares her beautiful wildlife photographs on a regular basis. Thus, Lynne is certainly deserving of a Creative Blogger award. Look here and here to see examples of her dramatic photography.

Tod of A Bridge of Cows has declared his blog to be a tag-free zone, which is clever as well as thoughtful and creative. So although Tod may spurn the award, he too should sport a Creative Blogger award.

Sunshine of And the Pursuit of Happiness is indeed a creative blogger. She created the fun and festive blog prom. Furthermore, by organizing a group of guest posters, Sunshine setup an entertaining travelogue through the United States when she was on vacation. Thus, this Creative Blogger award goes to the lovely Miss Sunshine.

Finally, although I could go on and on, I recognize Captain Corky of Corky's Log as a Creative Blogger. Those of you that visit his blog will surely agree that Corky's brand of sarcasm is top-notch. Where would we be without a regular dose of Corky? Furthermore, he and his lovely wife Allyson have created the most fabulous baby. If you visit for the humor, Corky always has a bonus picture of Max to keep his millions of readers happy.

If you are a regular visitor to these blogs, you will undoubtedly concur with my choices. If you have not had the delight of these blogs, check them out today. I heartily recommend these five blogs for your regular reading pleasure.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Fun Monday

ChrisB of Ms Cellania is this week's Fun Monday hostess. Chris is asking us to show our aprons either a favorite or an unusual one or more than one. Be creative as you like; and secondly if, like me, you have lots of 'tea towels' that are brand new (or could be an old favorite) I would like to see those as well and hear the story behind the picture- was it a gift from a holiday, a present from auntie that you only use when she visits etc...........

I will be sticking with aprons as my tea towels are boring. My parents retired to Florida after living in Indiana most of their lives. Both of my parents were fine cooks. Usually, Dad did the day-to-day cooking, and Mom specialized in gourmet cooking for parties and special events. Unfortunately, my mother suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage a few months before their scheduled move to Florida. Being paralyzed on her right side, my mother was not able to do much cooking. So originally, my Dad did most of the cooking. After a few years, a physical therapist encouraged my mother to help my dad with the meal preparation. To support this effort, I made these simple aprons for my parents. They seemed to enjoy the gifts and asked me to make them another set of aprons out of some black and white striped material that my mom had purchased prior to the stroke.

Unlike my grandmother, Orpha Gray, who wore an apron everyday but Sunday, I hardly ever wear an apron. (Unfortunately, I have no pictures of Grandma Gray in one of her aprons.) Occasionally, if the food preparation is messy, I wear the aprons shown above. At Christmas, I sometimes wear the festive apron in the following picture.

One Christmas, our lovely red-haired daughter-in-law, made my husband, Daddy D, this useful apron for doing dishes. Daddy D and I have division of labor in our home. I do most of the cooking, and he does most of the dish washing. Notice that this nice apron is made of towels, which is useful for quickly drying soapy hands.

The last exhibit for this Fun Monday is the most charming. My husband teaches high chemistry and physics during the school year so he was the perfect choice to play the character, Dr. B. A. Loon, for the summer Vacation Bible School skits at our church. In the picture, Dr. Loon in his lab apron with the Periodic Chart of Elements is discussing the concept of pressure with the children in the audience.