Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Things Schools Should Teach (T13)

We probably all look back at our education and think, at times, "I wish they'd taught that in school."  There are things I wish my own children could have learned in school.  I guess I taught them some of it, but making it part of mainstream education would be a better way to equip our kids for their futures.

1.  Taxes.  What is taken out of our paychecks and why, as well as sales tax, gasoline tax, occupancy tax, and so on.

2.  How to choose an insurance plan (HMO, PPO, Vision, Dental, Critical Care, etc.)

3.  How the legal/court system actually works. (You can't just say, "I'm going to sue you!" Do you actually have a case?  What about attorneys, attorney fees,  witnesses, evidence, etc.? It's a long process.  Is it worth it?)

4.  How to recognize bias or an outright scam.

5.  How to conduct oneself in professional situations such as interviews as well as on the job whether it's at Pricewaterhouse Coopers or McDonald's.

6.  How interest works, both the kind you can accumulate from a savings account or the kind that accumulates against you from a credit card account.

7.   Why nothing is actually free.

8.  Basic car care (or if you're in a city that mostly uses public transportation, then a study of how that works).

9.  How to create a household budget with all of the essential categories.

10. How to use and take care of household appliances (stove, oven, dishwasher, washer and dryer,  air conditioner, etc.)  Seems simple in this high-tech world, but many young people have never had to do this.

11. How to open and use a bank account and bank terms such as minimum daily balance and overdraft protection.

12. Basic health care, nutrition, first aid, and mental healthcare.

13. How to develop and maintain healthy relationships in real life (not just on social media), platonic or otherwise.

We could probably all think of so much more!    Drop an idea in the comments below.  I'd love to hear them.  And visit Thursday Thirteen for more fun lists.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Fun Photos

This historic building (The Kaila M Sullivan Chapel and Hall) was formerly the Webster Presbyterian Church which was built shortly after the Great Storm of 1900 had destroyed the previous church.  In the early 1960's, subdivisions started springing up all over the area due to NASA and Johnson Space Center.  In fact, John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin were elders at the church.  In 1981, the chapel was relocated and refurbished. It operated as museum for over 40 years.  It is now on the national register of historic places and operates as a venue.  

The land where the chapel and hall now sit was once occupied by Native Americans who left shell deposits that date back to 1476 BC.  

The Harris County Boys' Home once occupied the site where the chapel and hall sit now.  The Boys' Home was rebuilt further back on the property, and you can see part of it to the right of the structure.

Beautiful landscaping!

For more fun photos, visit Image-in-ing and Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, May 09, 2022

Random Happy Tuesday


Whew!  The last week has been ROUGH!  I spent a lot of time with my son on Mother's Day, and we both went to see my mom, so that was truly special.  My husband bought me flowers and took me to dinner.

  And we have a short getaway planned for next week. But man!  Last week was turbulent!  That. Is. All.

I was looking at a local news site today and saw a very inspiring story about a 19 year old girl who is graduating from Southern Methodist University (in Dallas, next door to where my daughter works)  with a law degree!  Meet Haley Taylor Schlitz

She went from public school to being home schooled in fifth grade due to the lack of acceptance into traditional gifted and talented programs.  She graduated high school at age 13.  She graduated from Texas Woman's University at age 16  and was accepted to nine law schools. When she graduates SMU's law school May 13, she will be the youngest ever to do so.  She is also an author (2 published books thus far), a public speaker, and an advocate for women and people of color.  Sounds like she is destined to do great things.

If that didn't put a smile in your heart or on your face, I don't know what will!

Keep those smiles coming!

This struck me as hilarious!

And last, but not least...

Have a great week!

Don't forget to visit and/or link up with Stacy Uncorked and Comedy Plus.

Saturday, May 07, 2022

Sunday Synopsis


Tribes (A. Scott Fenney Book 4)Tribes by Mark Gimenez
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I was so so so disappointed in this book! I usually LOVE Mark Gimenez and put him on level with John Grisham, but he let me down so much. This book is part sex, part politics, and part diatribe. There is only a scant amount of drama and the story is so predictable. And there are way too many uses of "whereas" in this book. The first few times, it was cute. Not anymore.

This is book number 4 in a series.  A. Scott Fenney is a Federal Judge who leaves his judgeship to represent his former lover who is accused of manslaughter in the death of an 11 year old boy during a raid on a notorious gang that had 12 young black girls held captive to be sold as sex slaves. The former lover, Cat, from his previous book, is an FBI agent who went above and beyond the call of duty to go into the home and attack from the rear while the other agents were out front taking cover behind their disabled SUVs where a dozen agents were already dead. Catarena killed two dogs and every human in the home including the young boy.

SPOILER ALERT: So many inconsistencies and unforgiveables in this book! Throwing F bombs in the courtroom. Not acceptable in ANY court of law. A local DA who is in "love" with a man she has never actually met, so much so that she sends him "vagina" texts and tries to seduce him numerous times despite the fact that he isn't interested. And what judge would leave his lifetime secure post to defend the woman who is about to be the mother of his child? Can you say CONFLICT OF INTEREST? But he also defended his ex-wife, who we find out in this novel is now dead in Mexico.

STILL SPOILING: Did anyone at all find it believable that the DA would host a concert and throw F bombs on TV? That she would incite riots on purpose? That she would tip off The Tribe of Death gang that the FBI is about to conduct a raid? That she would allow 12 young girls to be sacrificed to start her race war? She couldn't have known Cat would go in the back way and save the day. And who believes that the gang leader would mug for a camera allowing all of the gang's activities to be recorded then let the girl recording it get away. Then other gang members kill her AFTER she is in witness protection and relocated to France. That sounds right. (not)

STILL MORE SPOILING: It was completely obvious that Jesse was being used as a human shield long before the characters figured it out. Also, is it realistic to think that the top guy in the gang would go from Houston to Dallas and actually give a speech before killing Cat and her unborn child? Wouldn't Cat and Scott still have been taking precautions to keep her safe since everyone in the city was blaming her for killing a young black boy? And would a medical examiner actually commit perjury willingly for any reason?

LAST OF THE SPOILERS: What parents talk to their 13 year old girls about multiple orgasms? Oh. That's right. None. And allow them to use swear words generously. And the judge's diatribe at the end of the trial was pure propaganda on how to "fix" America. I may agree with some of the concepts, but I just find it difficult to believe that a judge would deliver a verdict that long and that personal and that irrelevant to the actual case - which was clearly whether or not she was acting in a manner reasonable to her expected job duties to be immune to prosecution under the Supremacy Clause. Her case had nothing to do with race.

Okay. I'm done complaining now. I was hoping Scott would get married and live happily ever after and the girls would have a mother, but it was not to be. I don't really want to read any more about A. Scott Fenney.

P. S.  The cover of this book is truly boring.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Random (Happy) Tuesday


The "happy" is in parenthesis because there isn't much happiness going on around here right now.  I'm in a downward spiral.

Mom's memory is going away so quickly, and she is in constant pain for which not much can be done.  Mother's Day is coming up, and I'm not exaclty sure what to give her.  My sister has her second chemo treatment today, and I will be waiting almost a month for the results of my blood test to see if I have any of 47 gene mutations that can lead to cancer.  My hair continues to get thinner, my blood pressure is up, and my left shoulder and hands are aching badly from osteoarthritis.   I also just started two new medications, and I'n not sure they are doing what they are supposed to do.

Things at home are tense as well, and the tension will have long term consequences in my opinion.  There is a lot of resentment breeding. I almost think it would be better to stab myself in the leg and deal with some physical pain rather than just the emotional pain.  So, you can see why the "happy" part is questionable. 

We did make reservations to go to Granbury and stay in a cute cabin for a little mini trip; however, with all the chaos going on in our household at this time, I'm not sure we will actually be able to go.

That's it.  I have nothing more to say about any of this now.

Have a good week!  Don't forget to check out Random Tuesday Thoughts and Happy Tuesday.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Sunday Synopsis


I Funny: A Middle School StoryI Funny: A Middle School Story by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The last few books I've read have been disappointing, so I needed something fun and easy to read to get me over my reading slump. This one was definitely a quick, easy read as it's written for middle grades. Jamie Grimm wants to be the funniest stand-up comedian in the world, even if he is in a wheelchair. Jamie's uncle tells him about a contest for young comedians, so Jamie prepares his best routine, in between bullying sessions from his cousin and his friends.

It was a good story and only somewhat predictable. The characteres are not as 3-dimensional as I usually like, but as the series continues, I'm sure they develop more. Some of the humor was actually funny, and some of it was only "ha-ha" funny, but the author(s) did some research on comedians to make it more realistic. It's not a bad book if you need something fun to distract you from reality.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

On this Day... A T13 post

 On this day, April 28...

1.   Year 1180 - Phillip II of France married his first wife Isabella of Hainault at Bapaume.  He was 14 and she was 10.

2. Year 1192 - Newly elected King of Jerusalem Conrad of Montferrat was assassinated in Tyre.

3.  Year 1635 - Virginia governor John Harvey was accused of treason and removed from office.

4.  Year 1442- King Edward IV was born on this day in Rouen, Normandy.

5.  Year 1721 - Female English Pirate Mary Read who operated throughout the Caribbean died in prison.  She was also pregnant at the time.

6.  Year 1758 - James Monroe was born. He became the 5th President of the United States.

7.  Year 1788 - Maryland becomes the 7th state to ratify the new United States Constitution.

8.  Year 1903 - William Randolph Hearst (newspaper publisher) married Millicent Veronica Willson.  Hearsts' daughter would later become a household name due to her kidnapping and Stockholm Syndrome.

9.  Year 1945 - Benito Mussolini, Italian facist dictator, was shot by communist partisans at the age of 60.

10. Year 1979 - John Candy wed Rosemary Margaret Hobor in Toronto, Canada.

11. Year 1908 - Oskar Schindler was born in Zwittau, Austria-Hungary.  He is the subject of "Schindler's Ark" and "Schindler's List."

12. Year 1990 - Axl Rose of the band Guns N Roses married Erin Everly.  That marriage was annuled the same year.

13. Year 1999 - Arthur Leonard Schawlow died of leukemia at the age of 77. His work with lasers helped his team of physicists win the 1981 Nobel Prize for Physics.

I would like to credit my source for information.  Thank you.

Visit Thursday Thirteen for more fun content or to join in the fun!

Fun Photos


The state flower of Texas is the bluebonnet (since 1901).  It blooms every spring, usually around the end of March to mid-April.  They bloom all over the state, but the hill country claims to have the most.  There is even a Texas bluebonnet map.  There are bluebonnet trails, and hikes, and festivals and photo shoots.  Did you know most of them are actually purple rather than blue? There are five different varieties of bluebonnets.

I don't know when taking photos with the bluebonnets became a "thing" here in Texas, but it did.  Professional photographers get big business this time of year taking photos with a backdrop of bluebonnets.  Here are some featuring our beautiful granddaughter (and we're pretty fond of her parents, too! tee hee!)

For more fun photos visit Image-in-ing and Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Random Happy Tuesday


Last year on "The Great Texas Birthday Road Trip" my husband and I  went to Blisswood Bed and Breakfast Ranch (so awesome, romantic, fun), San Antonio (always a good time), Austin, and Dallas.  This year, I have decided where I think I want to go.  Granbury, Texas. 

It's closer to Dallas, so that could be the next stop, if there is one, or I could stay longer with my daughter and fly home or go on to Austin. We don't have any details worked out yet because I only found this place two days ago, but The Inn on Lake Granbury is where I think I would like to stay.

  We may put it off until September when it's not as hot and fewer people take vacations.

I have 9 pages of medical history for myself and my family to fill out before my appointment for genetic testing.  I'm still not exactly sure how it works or exactly how many things they test for, but I'm sure I will get some answers soon. I also wish there was a way to tell if I am at risk for a subarachnoid hematoma, the cause of my father's death.

This is just to show the different layers. The subarachnoid area is very close to the brain. 

(Subarachnoid hematoma is usually caused by the rupture of a cerebral aneuryism).  His only symptom was a headache, then justlikethat, he was gone.  I have always wondered if that will happen to me with all of my headaches.

Moving on to something more cheerful...

As a former English teacher, I can relate to this!

Clever ad for hair products!

This gives the term "cheat sheet" a whole new meaning.

If only I had some oreos...


And last, but not least...
Have a great week!


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