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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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.

little_red_riding_hood_by_evanira-ondeviantartcom

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!