Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Beautiful Live Oak Tree

This incredible Live Oak tree is located on Destrehan Plantation, 30 minutes from New Orleans along the Mississippi River.  The levees are just beyond the tree with the river on the other side.  Destrehan was first an indigo plantation then a sugar cane plantation.  The tree is between 200-250 years old according to the Native Tree Society.  I took this photo on Sunday, July 24, 2016.

Link up with Image-in-ing  , WW on T, and WW to see more amazing photos.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Little Random

I'm linking up with Stacy today.

I know I'm not the only one who is sick of all the debate, divisiveness, and back-and-forth political bickering we've got going on in the US right now.  I think maybe we could solve it like our parents did long ago when we fought with our brothers and sisters.  If you shared a room with a sibling, and you couldn't get along, your parents would just put a line down the middle of the room, and you both had to stay on your own side.  You could do whatever you wanted as long as you stayed on your side of the room and didn't argue.
"Their solution was to lay a jump rope on the floor to divide their bedroom in half." (This Room is Mine, by Betty Ren Wright.)
 How about we just divide the country in half and let each of the two sides take half the country and do things their way?  Each side could make their own rules.  Perhaps it could solve it.  Nah, just kidding... sort of.

I finally watched the women's gymnastics Olympic trials from July 8 and 10.  It's by far my favorite Olympic event, and I can't wait for competition to start August 5.  I think the chosen team is going to be phenomenal!

Aly Raisman's first tumbling pass earned her gold last time and will hopefully do the same this year.

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I've also been watching Scandal and loving it, until the fifth season.  Now it just seems like a mirror of real life.  Planned Parenthood as the focus of a bill, a President's wife running for President, gun violence issues, entitlement, free college, gay marriage, and education bills.  I liked the first four seasons so much because it was an escape!  Now it's just... preachy, regardless of your position on any issue.

Before I go, I want to share a video I saw on Facebook that made me smile.  There was an abandoned puppy, soooo cute, that was nursed to health by a momma cat.  Watch!  Betcha smile!

And that's a wrap!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday Thirteen

13 Random Things I Can See from Where I am Now

1.  My laptop, of course, is right in front of me.
2.  The TV.  I'm watching an episode of Scandal on Netflix.

3.  My cell phone.
4.  My NOOK.  I've just had to have it replaced for the second time in one year, both times due to defects.
5.  An uneaten Quaker Chewy Dipp.  These are good!

6.  My water bottle.
7.  My Scentsy warmer.  I love that stuff!  If you have no idea what that is, follow my link!

8.  The coffee table.  We've always had a rectangular one until we bought this oval table about four years ago.  I like it!
9.  My little trash pile that I have to throw away when I get up in a few minutes. 
10. A purple journal I write in when I am listening to the message at church.  It has, "Be still and know that I am God" on the cover.
11.  Postcards my daughter brought me from her trip to study abroad.
12. A soft, tan blanket that the cat loves to sleep on. And she's sleeping on it right now!
13. The fireplace.  I'm ready to use it.  Tired of this darn Texas heat! 

See?  I told you it was random! But maybe you learned a little about me!

Visit more Thursday Thirteen.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The World

One of my Facebook friends asked, "Has the world gone bat-shit crazy?"  Well, yes, I think it has.

My heart is sick, and I am scared, not just for myself, but for all of us.

First - To address officer's use of excessive force:  We rarely see anything but the aftermath, yet we judge these officers who I believe, in 99.9% of cases, are truly trying to do the right thing.  Case in point:  A video taken by a bystander went viral. He thought the police were being too violent with a suspect,  Turns out, the activity prior to the recording that wasn't on the video gave more than justifiable cause for the way the officers acted, and guess what?  The proof is on their dashcam and bodycams, but are the news outlets showing those videos?  One did.  The media is feeding the frenzy.

Second - Worldwide we've seen bombings and shootings, and even a man using a truck as a weapon as well as an attempted military coup.  There has been so much bloodshed across the world.
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Third - We have police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge being shot for no other reason than that they are police officers.  It's crazy!  Why would you want to harm the people who are there to Serve and Protect us?  Even if a handful are bad, why take things out on the rest?  I think this man, the Dallas Police Chief, should be our next President!

Last - There is so much controversy surrounding both major party candidates for President, I think we should just scratch it all and start over.  No, that can't happen, but I don't feel confident about either candidate.
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So I'm heartsick and scared, and the only thing I can really do at this point is pray.  Would you please pray with me?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pray for Nice

14/7, French holiday, Bastille Day, fireworks, live music, parties, family holidays.

I am sick with grief.
I would be so happy if I didn't have to hear the word "horrific" again, but is there any other way to describe it?
At least 80 dead, 18 more injured, including at least two Americans.
And it is still unclear who the perpetrator was at the time I am writing this.
I do not understand how anyone could want to kill someone else.  I just can't fathom it.  What is happening to our world?  It's become a very scary, uncertain place.
And France just keeps taking a beating, so to speak.
Oh, pray for Nice, and please pray for peace.

What can I do?

I've often wondered what I can do to help race relations, and relations with protestors, police, media, etc.  What is my part?  My role?  I have always heard, "If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem."  I searched and found some reasonable ideas for Thursday Thirteen.

1.  Avoid stereotypical language.  Don't generalize.  All __________ people are bad drivers.  All ___________ people are on welfare.  All _____________________ people like ______________ .  I know I don't want people to think that I am like all the teachers they see on the news, so why should I assume that all people of one color, religion, career, are the same.

2.  Speak up when someone is telling a racist joke.  It is not okay.

3.  Demonstrating good citizenship. Know the issues and vote.  Don't just vote for a person based on their name or party.
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4.  Don't allow what I see, read, hear, or watch to manipulate me to think a certain way that conflicts with my own ideals.

5.  As a teacher, I can lead by example.  I can demonstrate within my classroom  what a multi-cultural world should look like.

Ideas paraphrased and adapted from "Ten Simple Things You Can Do to Improve Race Relations" by Charles A. Gallagher

6.  Make a commitment to learn more about other races, religions, and cultures either by conversing with others or reading about them.  Visit other areas in my region where members of other races, religions, and cultures live to see what it is like.
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7.  Support businesses and institutions that promote racial inclusion.

8.  Encourage schools to recognize in positive ways the various cultures that make up our country.


9.  Encourage young people in my circle of influence (my own children and my students) to get to know people of other races.
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10. Join a volunteer group that supports amicable race relations

11.  Create a program in the community you live that bring together young people from diverse backgrounds.  Local libraries and inter-faith caring ministries may be able to accomplish this.

12. Research what other communities are doing to address racial equality.

13.  Pray.


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