Life Update

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I just wanted to update you on what’s been going on lately.  Last weekend I had a sleep-over with a nine-year-old boy who is a friend of the family.  It was an exciting time, since we were also cutting down two very large trees (that needed to be cut down for safety reasons), worked with a wood chipper, and logs to be cut up.  There were plenty of things going on, including hauling tree limbs, and we fit in a two mile walk with the dog.  He was a big help, and we had a lot of fun!

I’ve been struggling with my depression lately and haven’t been getting as much accomplished as I would want.  I’m making an effort to take my St. John’s Wort when I should (I must admit that I don’t always take it three times a day) and working on writing down my goals and trying to accomplish at least some of them on a daily basis.  If any of you have struggled with depression please share how you’ve dealt with it in the comments below, maybe you’ve got some advice that could help others.

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And, last, but not least, I’m still looking forward to some more consistent spring weather.  As I’m writing this, I’ve got both fires going because we actually had some freezing rain last night, and it’s still pretty cold outside.  Once it starts to warm up, I can see Spring cleaning happening.  But for now, I won’t be washing windows until it gets a little warmer.  So, what’s going on with you?

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What About Education?

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It seems that in America the states have lots of money for building new prisons, but no money for education.  I am talking specifically about Oklahoma, but this is true of other states as well.  In full disclosure, I am the daughter of a teacher, and I also homeschooled my children from grades 3 to 8.  I believe strongly in a good education system where science and math are taught, along with accurate history, literature and the arts.  I well-rounded education is a requirement for a good society.  I’m not alone in this, since many of our ancestors were also in agreement.

I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the various teachers strikes, but they were not only striking for more money (remember, a teacher must have a Bachelors degree in teaching, but also a Master’s Degree – that is six years of college), but they are also striking for newer textbooks (some are over twenty years old), there are not enough books for the number of students, there are leaking roofs, moldy walls and ceilings, exposed wires, broken desks and chairs, no paper, and the list goes on and on.

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So, my question is this?  How did this happen?  Why is education being slowly strangled due to lack of money?  As a child I can remember when people who were smart were looked up to.  At some point, many parts of society decided to wage a war on education.  Being “smart” became less desirable, with put-downs such as “nerd” and “geek” being used.  Being a “bookworm” was a negative thing.  I wish I knew why education is no longer valued.  I do have some thoughts, including the fact that if people are kept from learning deductive reasoning, they may be easier to trick.  I’m leaving some links below that I hope you will check out.  The videos of the schools are really difficult to watch because they look like third world schools.  Please comment on this subject below.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2014/02/05/americas-school-funding-problems-state-by-state/?noredirect=on

 

Happy End of Week!

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Today is Friday, and I wanted to remind you all to make sure that you have a wonderful, fun weekend!  I hope that you get to do something fun rather than just running all the errands that you haven’t gotten to during the week.

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It’s important to take the time and do something relaxing and fun.  So, have a great weekend!

 

 

Goals for April

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Seeing as how my goals for March didn’t really work out all that well, I decided to forge ahead getting something done for the month, here are my goals:

  1. Novel checked and printed out for reading.
  2. 600-word short story written.
  3. Coaching lessons and homework done, certification requested.
  4. Spring cleaning accomplished with “some” crap discarded. I want to concentrate on actually cleaning before discarding.  That way the house is *gasp* clean.
  5. Organization of paperwork and filing.
  6. Adding more yoga to my workouts; walking 4 more miles per week.

I think that’s it…  If I add more to the list, I’ll let you know.  What are your goals for the month?  I’m so hoping that the snow is finished with us, that the weather gets a little bit warmer, and that the mud dries out.  Let me know your goals for the month, and we can encourage each other.

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Life Changes

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There are as many ways to change your life as there are people. While one way will work for one person, it won’t work for another. Each of us is in charge of how our life goes, even when it doesn’t feel like that. Our reactions to what happens to us is often the only way we can change things. Each time something perceived as “bad” happens, we can control how we react. Just for an example, my sixty-year-old husband was laid off a few weeks ago. He could have decided that was it, and he wasn’t going to work anymore. That, of course would have been devastating, and we would have sunk into a mire of our own making. We owe a mortgage payment, a tractor payment, not to mention the usual utilities, etc. that go along with living. Instead he looked at where he was, and realized that being completely depressed wasn’t going to help. We needed to replace his phone, and laptop, since they were both company-owned. Which we did, immediately. Not so easy is replacing the company-owned truck, since our truck is a diesel-guzzling beast. However, we will be hopefully getting a certified pre-owned smaller truck with better gas-mileage soon. But, the best part of this was that because of the many contacts he has made over the years, he was hired with a new company within five days (including a weekend).

We were lucky. I know that we were lucky. Events turned out just right for us, and I know that they don’t turn out just right for everyone. My daughter graduated Magda Cum Laude from college in September and she is still looking for work. Luckily, she has her job creating content for a web-site that she’s had for a few years, but she would really like to find a full-time job. She looks, but the market is tough.

The big difference with this set-back was that we had an action plan, and I believe that action helped keep up my husband’s spirits. I didn’t let him sit around and be depressed. I helped him act in order to go forward. Sure, looking for a phone and laptop doesn’t sound like much, but it did keep him occupied. Having to find places to store all his tools, etc. that were in his truck also kept him busy. He went from working to sorting and storing, to planning and researching new phones and laptops. Action is necessary for change.

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The end note is this: no matter how much you want to change, you have to put that want into action. Action is what changes you. Nothing else. So, decide how you want to change, and ACT!

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February Wrap-Up

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This month has been more than a little strange.  Some of it was good strange – I made a new friend, and god knows that making a new friend “later” in life is not an easy thing to do.  So, that was a great positive!  However, the negative was that my husband was laid off from his job.  This was a huge blow, since his phone and laptop were both company-owned.  We immediately went and got him a new phone, and a new laptop.  So, now not only do we have no income, but we also have more bills to pay.  Yay us!

Hopefully he will get a new job soon, and maybe even a raise?  He hadn’t had a raise in about seven years, and we all know that the prices of things have just kept going up.  But at the same time wages have been stagnant for most of us.

As far as my February goals are concerned, I’ve worked-out every day, and done Yoga almost every day.  I have been doing a weekly dusting, so there is that!  I haven’t done any work on getting my certificate, nor have I worked too much on my fiction writing, organizing, financials or anything else.  This lay-off has kind of thrown a wrench into my stuff since I’ve been busy with my husband’s stuff.  So, that’s how my month has gone.  What about your February?  Let me know in the comments and we can encourage each other.

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I Just Can’t…Republican Tax Bill

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The Senate has voted to give itself the biggest tax break in years.  Yes, that’s right, while the rest of us will be paying more in taxes, the richest people get to pay less.  Not only that, they also voted for some pretty terrible things.  Don’t believe me?  If you’re on Medicare, your cancer treatment will no longer be paid for.  Since there is the excessively high cost of medicine in the U.S., and people simply cannot pay for it on their own, now if you’re on Medicare and you get cancer, the “family values” people are basically telling you to “just die already”.  People are going to lose their health care, since the help in paying for it is gone, also.  And, the price of health insurance is, of course, going to go up.

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During the Reagan Administration, we were all introduced to this mythical idea that once the richest corporations got a tax break, they would “trickle down” their profits to the rest of us – you know, the lower echelons of society – the “workers”, if you will.  This “trickle down” would be accomplished with higher wages and a much better standard of living for most of society.  Has this worked?  Did it ever work?  Well, wages have been either stagnant, or have actually gone down ever since.  Now, at the same time, have prices been either stagnant, or gone down?  Oh, please, don’t be silly.  Of course not!  Now, those of us “workers” just get to work more jobs.  Remember, President Bush thought it was “fantastic” to work three jobs.  Of course, he himself never had to, but hey, isn’t it just great for you to need to!

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I will be waiting with bated breath to see just how the corporations and top 1% of the country will “trickle down” their tax breaks to us this time.  Unfortunately though, I fear that I won’t live that long to do so.  After all, if I get sick (or if you do), neither one of us will be able to get health insurance, nor will we be able to afford medical care.  Oh well…there are a lot of us out here who will have to die before the rich will be affected.  And, after all, isn’t it all really just about them after all?  We’re just the supporting cast members.

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