Miscellany

Yesterday when I got home Terry told me there was a message on the phone–something about my license key for Microsoft expiring.  Doubtful, I listened to the message. An obvious robo-call, and I was pretty sure it was a scam.  Looked it up, and sure enough, it’s baloney.  If you get a call, purportedly from Microsoft, saying that your license key has expired and giving you a phone number to call, don’t do it. This has been going on for over a year, from what I read.  Microsoft will never call you if you did not contact them asking for a call-back.

Honestly, the creativity of evil minds is endlessly amazing.  Wish they’d apply their energy to something legal once in a while.

My first grandchild, Victoria, is graduating from high school today over in Germany.  Mike, her dad, sent us a link so we can watch the goings-on. Hard to believe my granddaughter is that old.

On June 7, Terry and celebrated 48 years together. Again, it seems impossible.  I thought only OLD people were married for that long!  Next month, I’ll be 70. Impossible.  That means my youngest will be 40,  also impossible.  Mike will be 47.  When your kids start bumping 50, you know you’re arriving in Senior Citizen Territory.

I remember my mom commenting on the fact that both my sister and I were in our mid-sixties, shortly before she died. She said she felt she should have done more for us, and I told her I thought she should stop worrying about her babies 🙂

Time is a fickle thing. When you are young, you wait impatiently for time to pass. You’re eager for the next birthday, the next big holiday, the first day of school and the last day of school. College. Marriage. Babies, Career. And then suddenly you’re on the other side of all that, wondering where the years went while you weren’t watching. These days, I have trouble keeping up with the calendar.  And if that doesn’t sound like an old person’s remark, I don’t know what does 🙂

Maybe a dozen or more years ago, Terry installed central air in our house. What a blessing it has been!  Probably the best gift he’s ever given us. I don’t do well in the hot humidity of my corner of PA.  I know many people who look forward to it, but I don’t. It makes my joints ache, saps my energy, and makes me long for a reprieve. Recently, the AC unit died a natural death. Terry did what he could to repair it, but felt he should call in an expert to finish hooking it up. That expert is here this morning, and we should have it up and running before the predicted hot weather sets in over the weekend.  Just in the nick of time, because it’s been beautifully cool for the past few weeks.

Later today we’ll be driving  down to our church for a homeschool Co-op picnic to celebrate the end of the school year. It has been my privilege and great delight to teach a couple of high school classes these past two years. What a great bunch of kids, eager and willing to learn. There wasn’t a bad attitude anywhere to be found. So refreshing to work with young people who want to work with you.

You know, I have a truly wonderful, blest life. As I listened to the heartbreaking stories of some of my clients this week, sharing their tears and sorrow, I was impressed again with how little real trouble Terry and I have had to deal with.  No one gets through life without some difficulty, and we’ve had our share of ups and downs. But over- all, we are thankful and grateful to God for the years we’ve shared together.  Trouble will either defeat you or make you stronger.  You choose.

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This and That

My son and I were watching a movie the other night.  The male lead had just lost his wife to cancer. He and his three pre-teen children were in the early stages of grieving, adjusting to life without Mom.  His in-laws had come to stay for a few days, and  they had all kinds of ideas for him and the children. Things came to a head after mom-in-law rearranged his kitchen to suit her own ideas, and then announced that she and dad-in-law would be more than happy to move in “temporarily”  so that he wouldn’t have to worry about the children or the house.

By this time, the male lead (call him Brad) had been flooded with other well-meaning friends and neighbors who had overwhelmed him with chicken casseroles and apple pie. He was in shock from his wife’s sudden death. He was tired of pretending to be okay with the interference of his (well-meaning but misguided) in-laws.  He snapped. Told them NO!  They were not moving in. This conversation is over.

In the next scene, in-laws are loading up their car, feeling quite aggrieved and misunderstood.  Brad is trying to make up for his outburst. And finally the mother-in-law makes one of my most-dreaded comments.  She says, “But we were just trying to help!  Just trying to do what’s best for you and the children!”

I’ve written about this topic here, so I won’t rehash the whole thing.  Just two points:  ASK before you jump in to “help,”  and then LISTEN and follow your adult child’s wishes.  Also, consider that maybe you DON’T know what’s best for your adult children, and your “help” comes off as interference and condescension.

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And please, don’t go rearranging your adult child’s kitchen or any other part of his house. It’s not your job. Really.  It’s not.

A quick mention of another topic entirely:  I’m only two payments away from finishing up my student loan, incurred in 1998 when I started working on my master’s degree so I could do private practice counseling.  I can’t tell you how happy I am to be so close to making that final payment!  I’ve been working at this job for nearly 16 years;  I’ll be 70 in July. Making that final payment will give me the freedom to choose whether  to continue or to retire.

I’ll probably continue, at least for a while or as long as my health will allow.  I can sock that money away into our retirement fund, and that would be very good.

And that’s about it for this morning.

 

Friday Free-fall

I have decided I’m not going to read any morepolitically -oriented stuff on Facebook for a while.  It just raises my blood pressure. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to refrain, because I’m passionate about my beliefs. Maybe I should just stay away from the yellow journalism kinds of posts that aren’t verified with anyone I trust. Those I do NOT trust would be Snopes and any of the MSM.  You know you’re getting highly left-slanted news. Of course, there are those on the right who are just as guilty of posting highly emotional, questionable “news” that is designed to tempt you to share it with all your friends, thereby circulating stuff that has very little verification behind it.

Come on, folks. I think we all agree that 2016 was an awful election year, with endless accusations and counter-accusations.  I’m glad that’s over, but now I wish both sides would just shut up and go about the business of making the best of things.  I’m sick of the whining of the left.  I’m embarrassed by the unkindness of some on the right.  Let the rancor and animosity die. It’s totally not productive.

Yes, for sure I will be glad when Barry’s face doesn’t dominate everything completely.  Yes, I’m sick of his arrogance and dishonesty.  After all, they’re off on another multi-million dollar vacation during a time of incredible danger in the world.  As usual, all he’s saying while people are dying is “FORE!”

I saw something the other day about Michelle running for President in 2020.  God help us. A more entitled, angry, and arrogant person couldn’t be found?  It has to be Michelle? Poor woman would have to start waking up in a house built by slaves all over again.  Tsk.

Okay, does anyone really think I can keep my resolve to stay away from politics?  Really?

No?  Me neither.

 

Visitors

Today, a good friend and my daughter are coming, bringing lunch with them.  I’m SO looking forward to this!  It’s been a long and relatively quiet six weeks for me.  I’m not used to being housebound, and I don’t much like it.

It’s gorgeous outside.  The sky is that intense blue that only comes in the fall.  Temps are mild.  Fall is so beautiful here in my corner of PA.

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I was browsing through Facebook a few minutes ago, looking at prayer requests, responding to messages.  Then I got to thinking about things some other people have told me about the junk, sometimes very offensive, that pops up on their news feeds. I’m thankful that I don’t get very much of that sort of thing.  Political posts, yes, but I can scan those pretty quickly and decide whether or not to read them.

The other day, along the right sidebar, I saw a post that said “Trump is Dead,” along with a picture of him lying on the floor. I’ve learned to be very cautious about things like that, and I’m glad I didn’t click on it.  A friend told me that she did click, and it was a big scary warning that she now had a virus on her computer and all her info would be stolen.  Good grief!  Avoid the click bait, folks. They usually don’t provide what they claim.

The other day I noticed one of those things that said Bill Clinton had been arrested.  Doubting Thomas that I am, I didn’t click on it. I did google it though, and found that Clinton’s brother had been arrested for a DUI.  Nothing new or newsworthy there.

I’m wondering why FB allows those misleading, dishonest come-ons. Makes no sense to me.

Well, I need to go tidy myself up for company.  Praying you all have an enjoyable weekend, If your weather is as pretty as mine, you’ll  take advantage of being outside before the winter  grey sets in.

 

 

Friday: It’s a School Day

I’m here a couple of hours early, so I brought my laptop to catch up on some things and write a post here, as well.

“School” is a homeschool co-op at my church. Kids from several other churches in the area meet here every other week, and teachers who have expertise in several areas come in to teach. The kids love it, and it gives the homeschooling mamas a break. These classes count in the curriculum.  There is a science teacher (retired) who is quite creative in his teaching. My grandkids look forward to his classes. There is art, Spanish, gym, and me?  English. Last year I taught a group of junior-senior high students how to do a research paper.

This year, it’s going to be a lot more fun.  We’re doing some study on the origins, history, and political ties in traditional fairy tales and nursery rhymes.

What I’ve learned about fairy tales has made me decide that we’re just going to do an overview of themes, characters, and objects while we talk about origins and history, but I won’t be teaching the fairy tales themselves.

The ones we know have been completely (well, almost completely) sanitized and Disney-fied and are a far cry from the stories  that were  handed down for a couple of hundred years.

They’re grim.  They’re dark and bloody.  They are today’s soap operas. There is misbehavior, murder, incest, and all other sorts of fearsome activity.  They make Stephen King’s works a lot less scary. I don’t think the parents of my students would be too thrilled with having their kids learn all that stuff.

There are some common themes, though, that run through most fairy tales.  Right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, love vs. hate.  There is the defeat of the evil sorcerer or witch, the triumph of the innocent prince or princess who prevails against evil magic.

There are all sorts of characters that show up for fairy tales.  Princes, princesses, kings and queens, mothers and fathers, wicked step-mothers, witches, fairies, helpful animals and very scary ones.

Think of Little Red Riding Hood, sweet, innocent, but disobedient. She was TOLD not to go through the woods!  The wolf, fangs dripping and fire in his eye, who in the original stories  ate her up and had Grandma for dessert.  The brave woodsman who comes along just in time to see Grandma’s foot disappearing down the wolf’s gullet, and takes his axe and chops the fox in two, revealing Grandma and Little Red, unscathed and not even  unhappy. Of course, the wolf dies.  That made some animal-loving people unhappy, so now the story ends with either the woodsman or the father showing up just in time to save Grandma and Little Red, and the wolf escapes to hunt again.

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Objects that tend to appear in most fairy tales include crystal balls, magic mirrors, keys, tunnels, swords in stones,talking animals, unicorns and dragons, poisoned fruit and magic cloaks that make a person invisible.  There are more things, but that little list gives you an idea.

And the homework for today? Choose some characters, objects, and a theme and write the first two or three paragraphs of your own fairy tale 🙂

This is going to be fun!