Posts Tagged ‘Life Long Learning’

“I said what I meant, I meant what I said..”

Last year’s Presidential election saw a surge in political comments, cartoons, and rants in social media. Any hopes we “common folks” harbored that this would all go away after inauguration have been dashed. The President is a magnet for criticism and over analyzation.

Listening to the news this morning I heard a phrase that I must have read several hundred times when our daughter was young. She loved elephants after our trip to California in 1986. First there was the Dumbo ride with her Aunt B. Then a departing gift, a stuffed Dumbo became the favorite “security/comfort” night time must have.

It was probably a few years later that she brought home the required school library check out. It was

At the time she was not an independent reader and had merely chosen the book because there was an elephant on the cover. That night I dutifully read through the book and rediscovered the joys of Dr. Seuss. Then I read it again the next night, and the next and so on. Library day came one week later and she wanted to renew her selection. The teacher said that wasn’t the way this library worked and put the book in the return bin. She selected another book but left it at school in her locker. When I asked what we were reading at bedtime the darling little girl began to retell Horton in amazingly accurate recall. There was special emphasis on the phrase, “I said what I meant, and I meant what I said. An elephant is faithful one hundred percent!”

In the morning I told her to bring the library book home from school. After all I was a teacher! Well you guessed it no library book again that afternoon. I loaded her up in the car and said before we could go to the barn, (another whole book), we were going to the library to check out a book. She asked for Horton at the front desk and the librarian took her right to the shelf. checked the book out and off we went. We usually listened to the country station on the radio as we traveled to the barn but not today. There sat our little girl in the back of the car reading her book.

Eventually, I had to buy a personal copy. That was the long road to creating an independent book loving reader.

That is how the spokesperson’s comment, “He said what he meant, and meant what he said”, triggered a 25 year old memory for this Mom.

Dr. Seuss is alive and well in this technology crazed world.

SUNday Morning

This morning as I tuned into CBS Sunday Morning I realized that I was developing a new ritual. Over fifty years ago I had a Sunday paper route and I have made it a habit to read at least one Sunday newspaper since that time. Today I sensed the change in my ritual that has come about in the past three years. My husband may say the change is due to my inability to have our dog retrieve the paper for me.
Newspapers have been in decline with the emerging electronic advances. First television news programs and commentators slowly replaced the print media and now the internet dominates with its speed and many sites. However, we still subscribe to a Sunday paper and I make it a habit to read most of it.

This Sunday morning I tuned in for the full ninety minutes. In the central time zone “Sunday Morning” begins at 8 AM. I find myself multi-tasking during the show, eating breakfast (blueberry muffins), emptying or loading the dishwasher, dressing, planning tonights dinner, and going over my weekly calendar. These activities would not be possible if I were reading the newspaper.

Charles Osgood has become my favorite anchor. He opens every show with the traditional teases. Today’s main theme was the Presidential Inauguration. Along with the cover story there are several features which I enjoy – Almanac, Television, Passage, Profile, Opinion, By The Numbers, and Nature. I always manage to gleam some interesting facts/trivia, knowledge, and reaffirm some of my educator/life philosophies.

Almanac was presented by Mr. Osgood and reviewed the life of Audrey Hepburn on the anniversary of her death in 1993. She is a favorite of our daughter so I sent her the link on this story.
Television featured Highclere Castle otherwise known as “The Real Downton Abbey.” I texted a good friend to tune in because like so many others we watch the series on PBS.
You can’t have an Inauguration without the President so several stories, including the Cover Story, pertained to past Presidents, and as a student of American history I sat down and paid close attention. Two Presidential biographers outlined what they believe were the essential qualities in a good President. A President must be wise and honest, (taken from John Adams letter to his wife Abigail), he must have courage, patience, determination, and integrity. D. McCullough stressed that the good Presidents, “Lead not only with actions but with words.” I especially liked D. Gergen’s addition to the list – persuasion. He cited Thomas Jefferson as the first President to use inside the beltway persuasion to achieve political success. I also felt that both men wanted a President to be friendly, especially with his political adversaries. Citing J. Meacham in “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” Gergen said, “He believed, I think rightly, that it is harder to say ‘no’ to someone when you know them.”
Passage was another Osgood piece and covered the passing of Dear Abby. I grew of reading Pauline Phillips “Dear Abby” advice column in the newspaper. She died of Alzheimer’s disease this past week at the age of 94.
By The Numbers Nine was the number today. This is the number of Presidents who were not sworn into office on January 20th before noon. I learned that Calvin Coolidge was staying at his home in Vermont. The house had neither telephone nor electricity so the news was delivered to him in the middle of the night by his father who later sworn him in by the light of an oil lamp.
Profile talked with Warren Buffet on life and investing in stocks. He is very interesting.
Nature took us to the USA’s first national park, Yellowstone. This segment is always wordless and is about a minute long video that the show closes with. Today I watched the geysers in the snow, beautiful.

SUNday Morning always features numerous suns. Today mt favorite was a snow covered sun.
CBS NEWS SUNDAY MORNING
Check out the show next SUNday Morning on CBS

Frog Friday – Take II

I had another one of those aha moments while preparing some cookies for dinner with our Grandson and his baby sister. Well, really I was craving chocolate and tonight’s dinner presented me with a good excuse to indulge.
For years I’ve made peanut butter cup cookies (SIL’s second favorite treat) but had trouble taking them out of the mini muffin tin. Just last month while working in the kitchen with the cooking channel on I picked up a neat trick.
To make removal of the cookie easier you place two narrow strips of parchment paper under the cookie dough ball before baking. After cooling grasp the strips and the cookies easily lift out.
IMG_0228
YUM. I had to use Hershey Kisses instead of miniature peanut butter cups because I had irresistible chocolate urges two nights ago. I’m never going to lose those extra pounds.

Now, did you notice how I tied this baking into Frog Friday?