How does that idiom go? “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” or so said Robert Burns, but in my opinion that’s no excuse to at least have a few ideas in your back pocket for that stretch of two-and-a-half months once school gets out.
Yes, it is June and there will be a lot more kids staying up late, playing outside, taking family camping trips, and meeting friends for fun rather than study groups. Summer is here and that sends some parents into crazy mode as they wonder what to do with all that time.
Last year on the final day at our school a large group of about forty kids and twenty parents descended upon a local ice cream spot (walkable from school) and celebrated the arrival of summer with the consumption of frozen treats. This year we plan to mark the last day in the same fashion but I have a little more in mind than simple ice cream or frozen yogurt. Continue reading
One of the things the Bible teaches is the total depravity of unredeemed man. “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God” (Romans 3:10). If enough people believe the lies of the devil, eventually their entire culture becomes depraved.
Witness what happened last week in Miami Beach, Florida. There, a 41-year-old woman – her motive is unknown – was spotted stomping on the nest of a sea turtle, and jabbing at it with a wooden stake. She was summarily arrested and charged with the crime of “turtle egg molestation or harassment.”
Sea turtle eggs have been welcomed in life and protected in law since 1973 when they found shelter under the Endangered Species Act. Paradoxically, 1973 was the very same year in which abortion was “legalized” by the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. Continue reading
In honor of Fathers Day and men everywhere, we’ve come to our final Blue Zone. Not that there aren’t other places and other peoples who live long on this earth, but this Blue Zone is where, proportionally speaking, men live longer than anywhere else on our planet! In America only one in 5,000 people live to the age of 100; in the Ogliastra villages of Sardinia, Italy, five people out of 2,500 live to be 100 years old. Blue Zones are those areas where it was discovered that people lived longer than other areas of habitation. Circled in blue ink by researchers, they became the Blue Zones.
In most of the world where a man reaches the age of 100, there are five women who do so. In Sardinia that ratio is one to one, probably because men are able to stave off heart disease longer. But how do they do that? For starters older people don’t retire they just change jobs. In America it is not uncommon for a man to die of a heart attack within three years of retirement. However, changing what work men do keeps them alert and active and using their brains. Not sitting in front of a computer or the TV and just sitting. Continue reading
I’ll tell you how it started out that night:
I’d gone to see my father where he lay,
Determined not to try to make him hear
Or summon up the memory of the guest
Who’d come once more to visit him this night,
In the old folks’ home. Most times he didn’t know
That I was standing there, or who I was.
He hardly ever spoke, for he’d forget
After he’d begun, just what it was
That he had meant to say. Continue reading
Of course, I saw the new movie touting all the super heroes! I grew up with them. I loved comic books but had no subscription. My sources were Susan, my best friend, whose brother had a large box of them. Susan’s mom had secured the comics in an unused wood stove in their basement. Susan would stand guard while I read as fast as I could.
Every summer, we vacationed in Spirit Lake, Idaho at Uncle Cliff and Aunt Rosie’s house. My cousins, Pete and Oly, had an even larger box of comic books twice the size of Susan’s brother’s collection. I could “comic book” to my hearts content. Back to the movie; I loved it and stood up clapping at the end. After I got home however, I realized that my favorite hero had been omitted! Plastic Man was not represented! He was an amazing flesh colored, stretchy hero, who thwarted bad guys right and left. I loved the comic book where he figured out that the drinks at a roof top cocktail party were poisoned. My parents had cocktail parties so I was especially interested in how Plastic Man would save those who hadn’t already bit the dust. I remember these reading marathons as if they’d happened yesterday.
In reality, my superhero was my father. Mom? Yes, however, she was approachable only under certain conditions – the main one being “I didn’t do it, mom.” Dad on the other hand knew better. Not only had I done it, but I could justify it. In most cases I could claim legitimately that I had “gotten away with it”! However, I thought he should know “just in case”. I covered all my bases. Happily, my father let me know albeit subtly that I was simply high spirited. Better yet, he seemed to be proud of my fearlessness. Where angels feared to tread didn’t phase me. I was not an angel. I saw my childhood self as judge, jury and avenger! My adulthood has not been any different – just ask my children!
It has occurred to me more than once that parents should be superheroes for their children. Bringing children into the world is a great joy. As parents, we should also be shepherds, guardian angels and yes…superheroes. We should have patience. We should have the capability to see our child’s humanism; their abilities, needs and frailties. We have been there, and we should be able to honestly access the strengths and weaknesses of our children.
A helping hand, the ability to listen without prejudice, the ability to fearlessly take action if necessary: these are the qualities of superheroes and yes, good parents. Our obligations are to share our knowledge, our abilities, our love and our acceptance. Providing a warm and loving atmosphere is a good thing. However, of equal value is our reaction when for whatever reason our own circles of stability are upended. In such moments, our actions and reactions take the stage. In that situation we can indeed become heroic. We can manifest the all-important attribute we call survival. If done right, survival techniques involve facing the problem, getting assistance if necessary, having the ability to bravely go beyond a possibly unfortunate solution to the unconventional. Certainly, there is a higher power, but more readily available can be the knowledge of what to do and the courage to carry through. Plus we don’t need to wear capes or tights!
It’s the best medicine!
The rose, the flower for those born in the month of June, is the national flower of both the United States and England. It is also state flower of several states including Iowa, North Dakota, Georgia, New York and Texas. Portland, Oregon holds an annual Rose Festival, and in Southern California’s annual Rose Parade features hundreds of floats decorated with many thousands of roses and other flowers and plants.
All species of the Rosa (Latin for red) come from the northern hemisphere, and normally form as shrubs or bushes with flowers. However some are considered trailing plants or climbers that will grow up walls and over other plants. The most common colors are red, pink, yellow and white; however they can also be found in various other colors including orange, peach, purple and black. Continue reading
Christ had a very clear understanding of why He was born into our world. He expressed that purpose to Nicodemus [Nic, for short] in a late-night conversation recorded in the third chapter of John. Nic was a very religious man, having devoted his life to the study of the Scriptures. But as he heard of the miraculous healings Jesus was performing, he was honest to admit that his religious traditions paled in comparison to Christ’s power. Therefore, he arranged a private meeting with the Lord. During their brief encounter, Jesus explained that He came to this world so that people of all backgrounds could go to Heaven.
Jesus said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Continue reading
Playful 5-month-old meets Juno and Lincoln at Oregon Zoo’s Steller Cove
Visitors might notice more splashing than usual at the Oregon Zoo’s sea otter habitat this week. Uni Sushi, the rescued pup who arrived earlier this month, had her first meet-up with the zoo’s other otters — Juno and Lincoln — and the three got along so swimmingly they can now be seen together much of the time.
“The introductions went very well,” said Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey, the Oregon Zoo’s senior marine life keeper. “They just hit it off right away and seem to enjoy one another’s company.”
Keepers say Juno’s maternal instincts kicked in as soon as she met Uni — much as they did last year with Lincoln — and she hugged the young pup close and floated all around with her. Lincoln soon joined the pair, greeting them with a chorus of squeaks, and all three have been playing together since. Continue reading
I subscribe to an abundance of women’s magazines. Every month I am beset upon by women writing article after article on how to be themselves and claim what they have earned. I suspect I know where it all started – possibly in Hollywood, possibly in politics. Anyhow, it seems as if every article addresses, at some point, how women are losing ground and all the things we, as women, should be doing to maintain any sort of authority, ability, or authenticity. Honestly, I have discontinued two of these magazines because I can’t stand this ridiculous rhetoric anymore!
Since I have been on this earth 80 years in September, I have never felt inferior or looked down upon. I have always been the person I am. I just figure with the right equipment I can do anything I want to. I know for a fact I have made the world a better place – especially for dogs! I have a spoken up for my family when it was needed. Then there’s the whole self-esteem thing. Ladies, the only way you lose that is if you give it away! If it weren’t for women, the economy wouldn’t exist. Continue reading
The signs are everywhere at this time of year in the Pacific Northwest. The weather grows a little milder, the days’ lengthening is gradual but reliable, hardware stores and plant nurseries roll out their carts full of vegetable and flower starts, and buds and leaves emerge on winter–worn bare branches. It is spring and we are seeing green! Shades of green, that is.
I am a proponent of getting outside all year long, but isn’t it more enticing when you have spring’s “spring” in your step? This is an opportunity to take your children outside and invent activities simply not possible in the wind and rain of dismal winter. Following are some ideas that I have gleaned from various sources and friends over the past few years:
Jill Frankel Hauser has a great book out called Science Play that offers low–cost “discoveries” for the younger set. One idea from her book is to hand a box of crayons to your child and go on a walk. Ask your child to find as many things in nature as he can that match the colors of his crayons. The sky is truly the limit here—hopefully it offers you a chance to match to that blue to your Crayola. Continue reading