I Say No to Religon but
I say yes to God. My relationship with God, as with all, is unique. My beliefs include in being the best version of yourself and doing good for others when possible. I believe in kindness, oneness and respect. Although I see how religon can be a source of comfort, belongingness and maybe unity in life (questionable), I also see how religion is a source of division, exclusion, and force of hate stemming from a system of beliefs that are supposed to create belonging, unity, and comfort.
What a dilemma.
It Ain’t All Bad
As I scrolled through some posts and liked a few, I noticed a lot of posts talked of the “good ol’ days” as if everything about the internet were terrible. Although life before the internet was good, life after the internet isn’t so bad either. Yes, the “good ol days” were about playing outside, talking on a phone rather than texting, and reading paper books and magazines rather than scrolling on a screen yet, I find life with internet wonderful too. The internet is mostly likely why my husband and I are married today. Before the internet, we put pen to paper to keep in touch, miles and borders between us. The letter were slow to arrive and the information already slightly dated. As time passed, we lost touch, can’t say why. But then, the internet came out, I got an email and there was excitement again, similar to the time of getting letters. Now, hearing the dial up or the ping of the ICQ messenger service letting my know my love was online and chatting with me this is the new excitement and similar to the written letters but better. Today there is daily texting, less wait ,and more frequency. Wow! Sure, before the internet, life may have been better, but I am sure if you look closely, you can see life after the internet is just as good, just different than before.
Short and Sweet
I have not written in a long while. Getting back into it today.
Today’s post is about motivation. My smart watch just sent me a message, ” You can still do it!” I looked at my watch as I woke up from my long unintended afternoon nap and thought, “Self, no you can’t!” I guess I am tired and I am in no state to be active. Although these messages are meant to motivate me to get up and exercise, today is clearly not one them. As I lay in bed, I ponder the idea, does this “You can still do it” message ever really work on me? Have I ever gotten the automatic message and said to myself, “Self, yes you can!” “Let’s go and exercise!” I don’t think so, nice try I guess. The question I am left with is, does this message really work for anyone?! If it does, please drop me a note and share a moment.
Actually, the message did motivate me or at least it sparked creatvitiy within me. It gave me something to blog about.
Until next time,
Relaxed and chilled.
An Ideal Day
Second cup of coffee.
Seated in my reading chair with the bay windows ajar, summer, spring, early fall only.
First cup, scrolling through social media.
Second cup, book in hand
Third cup, a skip through morning shows, stop only if mildly entertaining.
Time to get ready for what may come, if anything.
Move to cream colored sofa.
Watch Law & Order SVU marathon or The Closer
Lunch. Homemade. No processed food please.
A bit of reading or writing perhaps.
Looking, searching, internet.
What shall I eat for dinner?
Move back to reading chair in front of bay window. Feet up on ottaman.
Dinner, pan seared chicken breast with sliced avocado and boiled sweet potatoes.
Family talk via phone.
Change. Ready for bed.
Cream colored sofa.
More TV, a movie perhaps, binge a show, or maybe read again.
Almond Pancakes, Stop with the box!
It is of no shock that processed foods are not good for you, and the article published today by CNN only reconfirms this information. So, I am sharing a super easy recipe for almond flour pancakes which I make quite often. They are simple to make and I am pretty sure your family members will end up perfering these almond pancakes to the boxed kind.
I am also sharing this recipe because I know there are healthy pancake recipes out there that require bananas, like the one I published in an earlier post, and I know there are plenty of banana haters out there.
This recipe is dedicated to those who hate bananas, like my son.
- 1 ⅓ cup of blanched almond flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1 tbs of honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Dash of salt
- Avocado spray/oil for pan
Mix all ingredients is a medium bowl. If you see that the batter is too dry, add a little more almond milk until proper consistency.
Serving for 2. Makes 4 nice size pancakes.
Yellow Card Method
Getting students to be their best at all times is a challenge. We create and establish classroom norms, but as we know, self control is something that is still in development and students need help with self regulation.
A large majority of my students, in my area of teaching, either play futbol, aka soccer, or they are Champions League fanatics. There is always talk about which team is best, Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United. One day it occurred to me to capitalize on this futbol fanaticism.
I have no fancy name for this discipline technique, I simply call it the “Yellow” card method.
When a student is not behaving at their best they get a yellow card. This yellow card is actually a second warning. The first warning is simply a verbal warning and a reminder of behavior expectations, perhaps a seat change if necessary. After a warning and the yellow card, if the student still continues to struggle with self regulation then comes the dreaded “red” card. Once a red card is given, that means a note home is sent and a discipline slip is given.
I used yellow and red construction paper. I cut them up into card size and plastified them.
This is a simple but effective technique.
Drop a note if you try or a variation of it.
Learn Something New
I tell my students that you never stop learning. Learning continues through college and well into adulthood. I give them examples from my own experience in the field of teaching, always learning something to stay current and up to date on teaching trends. Eyerolls are what I get as a response from my middle schoolers. Go figure.
Recently, the English department asked the social studies to team up with them for a cross curricular unit for World Read Aloud Day, February 1st. The book chosen was Brother’s Keeper by Julie Lee. The book is set during the Korean War, when the North invad the South. When I heard it was set during the Korean War, my immediate thought was I did not recall learning about the Korean War or if I had, I remember nothing of it. I immediately searched online to get the gist of information on the war and started reading. As stated in a previous post, I loved Brother’s Keeper.
The discovery of another genre to add to my reading genres is a recent learning. I am a non fiction reader and tend to shun fiction writing. My immediate reaction to hearing that this book was historical fiction was “Oh I am going to have force myself to read this one.” Obviously I was focused in the fiction part. But, to my surprise my feeling quickly changed when the historical aspect was introduced in the book.
Learning about the Korean War is my most valuable new learning. I compare this war to the middle child, the forgotten one, as it is a war that has not had enough attention brought to it within schooling systems. The Korean War or The Forgotten War is of significance, and I highly recommend reading Brother’s Keeper not just because of the story but more improtantly for the learning or the re-learning of Korean War. It was a significant event in history and the effects can still be seen today but rarely is it spoken of.
Yo Hablo Spanish
I could have been trilingual. Today I would say I am somewhat bilingual. I can speak Spanish with high fluency but it is grammatically incorrect. English is my native language. When I was a baby, I was exposed to three languages, English, Spanish and Ukrainian. As my speaking skills started to develop, my phrases and sentences were a mix of the languages. This frightened my mother and she ordered everyone to speak only English to me. As a result, I lost what Spanish and Ukrainian I spoke or understood. Even after many years of schooling and with a trip abroad to learn Spanish, I did not pick up Spanish. This I do not accredit to bad education but rather to a stigma that was and is associated with Spanish speakers and the language Spanish. It wasn’t until I met my husband did I learn to speak Spanish or even had the interest in learning it. He is bilingual and I learned to speak Spanish from him and from being exposed to his culture and family. Ukrainian is the language I wish I could speak today. I know I would probably not use the Ukrainian language as much as Spanish, but I think being trilingual would be useful and interesting.
The ability to speak more than one language is of importance these days as the world is getting smaller. Technology connects people from all over the world. Being able to speak more than your own native language will be, if not already, quite beneficial. When traveling through Europe you encounter citizens who are multilingual. Not only do they speak their home country’s language but they speak two or even three other languages from neighboring countries. In contrast, on this side of the world, the Americas, there are only four major languages: French and English in North America , Spanish in Central and South America, and Portuguese in Brazil. Yet most Americans, North, Central and South, barely speak two languages and have very little interest in learning to speak languages from “across the pond.” In the North, we look at those who speak Spanish with disdain and find little value in learning the language or any other language for that matter. While we are busy looking at “those Spanish speaking people” with disdain, I wonder how we Americans look to others: Europeans, Asians, and Africans. Are we being looked at with the same look of disdain for only speaking English and thinking English is the only valuable language?
Wow! I am sure glad I learned to speak Spanish.
“We all got crowns” from Taylor Swift’s song You Need to Calm Down resonates with me.
While I do agree with the idea that all women have crowns, unfortunatley we have NOT figured this out as the song goes on to say. Women pull each other down. We criticize and judge each other from anything to everything, the way we dress, too fat, too skinny, doesn’t act her age, cradle robber, slut, bad mom, terrible wife, can’t cook and so on. Why do we do this?
Where is the perfect model we are supposed to be following? Some may instinctively answer God, but I am leaving religion out of this because when we are calling women fat, ugly and a bad mom, religion is not around . So, besides God, is there a universal standard we women should all be adhering to? If such a model or standard exist, can it please be shared universally?
About a year ago I decided to no longer partake in putting another woman down, rather I decided to repsond to such situations by saying something positive or simply not responding. The not responding really confuses people. I believe women need to stand up for and support one another rather than spend time and energy knocking each other down. Whether you agree or disagree with what she is doing or saying, we should support. Why? Because we are all trying to do our best with what we have learned from generations before and from ourselves at present. Are we perfect? No. Are we doing our best, yes. No perfect model has been presented as of yet, and until one is put forth for all to follow, “We all got Crowns!” So, wear yours proudly, and help keep all other crowns shiny too.
Personal Space, Respect It!
WOW! I had to look to other blogs for inspiration on this one. This could turn into a TMI kinda thing.
Well, I am definitely not the touchy feely kind of person. I show loads of affection to my family within my household and that includes my dog Kiev, but other than that NADA. I keep people at a distance. Maybe it is a city thing, or I’ve watched too many Law and Order Special Victims Unit shows (Go Stabler!), or perhaps that’s just the way I am. I live in a place where it is customary to greet each other with a kiss on the cheek, both family and friends and perhaps new acquaintances. I thought with the pandemic this little pesky tradition would have gotten cut out. But no, the custom carries on although I do think there have been some adjustments depending on the people. This is a custom of which I do not adhere to and I am selective as to who I greet in this manner. Usually, I walk into a home or place and say hello in general to people while other family members do the customary cheek kiss. I am aware that new people meeting me may find me rude, but if they are important enough to matter they will eventually understand, otherwise it does not matter. As for my family outside my four walls, they understand cheek kisses are not my style.
As for work, I have a couple of co-workers that are huggers. Sometimes they run up to me and hug me. Omgoodness! Overwhelming. Personal space invasion! Not sure what to do with that, but they know me by saying, “I know you are not a hugger, but I am going to hug you anyway.” OK. I guess. I do appreciate it and I wonder if they think by doing it will convert me into a hugger or perhaps they secretly despise me and this is their form of revenge. Should I ask?
So in general I would say, I am a keep your distance kinda person! It’s just simply the way I am.
Air kisses accepted. Well, maybe.
A Book Review, An Investigation, The Unsolicited
I recently got a new book. Usually I get my book recommendations from various papers and magazines I subscribe to and with GoodReads, but this new book, I got off my TikTok feed. Because it was talking about books, I stopped and watched. I am only in chapter one and I am already writing a recommendation for it. How could I? Well because I can tell it will help thousands answer that pesky question Why? Why don’t other countries get involved? Why does the US always have to get involved? Why can’t those other nations help? The title of the book is Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall. I recommend it, it’s an easy read, and it will have you looking at maps. Most importantly it will help to answer the questions and comments people make about why? Chapter one alone will help people to understand the situation of Ukraine immensely. I do not recommend this book for those who know their history and geography as you may find the information to what you would think is common knowledge; and perhaps it would be if we would teach world history in our schools rather than a lopsided view of US history. This book should be used as a text in history.
The Cold War. Now this is a subject that if you have time and are somewhat interested in history you could look into. I suggest you start with the Forgotten War also known as the Korean War. Your investigation will take you from Asia, to Europe, and into Latin America. I will venture to say that many know of and are taught about the Europe, Russia, Cuba Cold War missile crisis. But I am not sure how aware people are of how the Cold War reached into Latin America and the effects it has on the US today. I do believe many have heard of the dictators that came into power in Latin America and how the US aided the country in stopping the dictator takeover, but the story that gets told over the media outlets and that we hear are not the whole story and are lopsided too. This investigation, if done, may help to answer the comments and questions as to why are “they” the immigrants coming to the US or at least shed some light into the matter.
If anything, by reading and investigating you will be able to explain to the askers of why.
Money & Time
“If I had more money” and “If I had more time.” I say these two are the two biggest lies I tell myself.
There are times when I do wish I had more money. “If I had more money at this moment I would not have this problem or I could make the problem go away.” While yes, having a bit more money at that moment might help me solve that particular problem, other money issues will soon arise after and they too would require more money to solve. The issue then is not having more money, but what is being done with the available funds at hand I would say is the issue. I am a reflector so I am well aware of this but I still do things which I should not, like buy a five dollar coffee.
I used to say if I had more time, I could do whatever. But it wasn’t until I got cancer did I really understand the concept of time. The truth is I and YOU have the time if I make the time. If there is something I really want to do, then there is definitely time. Upon being diagnosed with cancer and praying that I would be a survivor, I vowed to neve take time for granted again. I remember hearing people say “this weekend we can” or “next month that.” I remember thinking to myself, how do you even know you will be around then. I do not take my time for granted. This, my friends, is no easy task. It requires me to say no to engagements and activities that would be considered rude to say no to or would cause the occasional whisper. “She’s not going?” “ She left?” I do not mean to be rude. I just choose to use my time wisely for I know it is not indefinite; it can and will eventually run out.
The money one is still a lie I tell myself occasionally, but not the one of time. I have been cancer free for 2 years.
Kitchen & School
“Ok boys and girls we are going to have a test after this.” “Pay attention.” I turned to the chalkboard and proceeded to teach my six dolls how to spell words. Playing school was one of the things I did quite frequently. I had good students, like Lisa, my dolly who always paid attention, but sometimes Ian the teddy bear would misbehave and be sent to the principal’s office. I had a large chalkboard, the one with two sides. Saturday afternoons were my favorite time to play school.
“Hi, welcome, may I take your order?” With a quick flip of my chalkboard my room had transformed into a restaurant. “And how would you like your eggs cooked?” Playing kitchen was my second favorite activity. One Christmas my parents gave me a kitchen that actually could use real water to wash my Holly Hobbie dishes and tea cups. My mom would buy me the books with the carbon papers where I could take the orders. My customers would always paid in cash and would get the right amount of change back because the digital cash register helped me figure out the change. I did it all, I cooked, waited and took payments. I was definitely understaffed and sure if I got tips.
These two activities, I cannot say if they were the dream jobs that I had thought about as a child but they were the two activities that I played the most in my room. Today, these same two activities are the ones I most engage in. I currently work in the field of education. I teach middle schoolers and I have been teaching for over twenty years now, a very gratifying while frustrating job. I also enjoy cooking. When I moved into my house, the first thing I did was remodel the kitchen to make it my dream kitchen. I love to try new recipes and whip up desserts on any given day. According to my kids “In this house, we eat very gourmet food.”
Today’s question was a good one. It brought back happy memories and realizations.
Had to peruse my bookshelves for this one. I wasn’t sure I even had a repeat author. I immediately thought, nope I do not have one as I am a nonfiction reader. But of course, I proved myself wrong. There are two repeat authors. David Sedaris and Chelsea Handler. They are definitely my favorites. Humor and sarcasm are the common denominator.
Historical, academic texts, biographies, autobiographies and memoirs are my typical readings. Serious informational reading one might say. But Handler and Sedaris are two authors which also call my attention. Their writing causes me to burst out laughing, chuckle and smile in public or at home. I especially love it when it happens in public. Oh the looks and stares of envy I get. These types of books are great reads, enough to make me a repeat buyer.
Boarding Gone Wrong!
My perfer mode of travel is by plane. Its usually quickest way to travel although not necessarily the least stressful way especially during borading.
Usually I am not one to board a plane right away nor do I tend to take things on board because I do not want to be fighting for space in the overhead compartments. But on this occasion, I had to do both; board early because I was taking carry on items. As I sat and waited for the other members of the row to join me, I began to observe all the happenings of the boarding process.
One of the first things I noticed was that a lot of people that morning woke up and forgot how to count. People kept passing their rows and ended up having to double back, which of course mucked up the boarding process, causing congestion and some uncomfortable touching. I sat there mystified because these people had their tickets in hand with the row number on it and yet they still seemed to pass up their assigned seat. Then, there were those whose bags were too cumbersome for them to handle and struggled to place them into the overhead bins. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why people pack bags that they cannot carry or handle. At this point I checked my watch because I felt some time had passed and we had not made much progress in boarding. We were already 30 minutes in and half the plane was still empty. At the same time, I began to wonder where my row companions were, as the seats next to me were still unoccupied. Perhaps they were stuck behind the person who could lift their bag into the overhead compartment or rubbing butts with someone because someone was doubling back to their missed seat.
The most entertaining boarding event I witnessed was the window aisle seat switcharoo! You know where a person sits in the aisle seat because they have a window seat or vice versa. Why for the life of me do people play such games? Why not simply take your seat then ask if anyone would mind switching. It is obvious that you are faking. The letters A and C and D and F look nothing alike so confusion is not justified. There are little pictures next to the letters too to help avoid confusion on seat assignments but yet there are still lost soles sitting where they should not be. Finally, there is the I am not seated next to someone because my seat assignment is way over on the other side of the plane problem so I decided to sit here. This really is a biggy as it holds everything up as this requires multiple participants. Not only do you need to involve the person sitting next to you but you may need to involve passengers in the next row or even rows aways. Once you find a person willing to switch seats then you have the whole carry on bag issue. What about my bags? OMG just sit down! You will have to wait and be inconvenienced at the end of the flight just like you are inconvenincing everyone right now. I looked at my watch and thought wow 45 minutes into boarding how much longer is this going to take?! I was about to recheck my ticket for the estimated time of departure when my row mates showed up, a young couple. As they sat down and we tried to figure out which belt buckle belonged to who, the man mumbled to his partner “Just in time, best way to fly is with no carry ons so you can board at the end not have to worry which leaves room for more preflight cocktails.”