Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Solar Eclipse and Weather

           With all the hype involved, I thought we would be seeing the cornoa.  Jenna and I were both disappointed that we didn't.  We were more impressed by the blood-red sun painted that way due to all the smoke.  Mornings are usually clear.  Not this morning.  Smoke makes fires appear closer than they are.  There are so many of them.  I like the feel of the pool in the morning - especially when we have had it to ourselves - though I do miss some of the other members of the class.  School starts next week and so it's understandable why we haven't seen those who are school teachers.

            I have Jenna's agenda for yesterday stored on a file - but not ready to post.  I have to create a discussion post for my economic class (which I am NOT enjoying) and 100 word report on the summer reading program.  My blog posts will have to remain on the back burner for the time being.

Meanwhile I have these photos of yesterday:

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Another Disappointment

Jenna's been in a slump
I wish I knew how to fix the situation
surely as my mom wished she could
when I was the age that Jenna is now

 I don't believe mom had gone through this slump
when she was thirteen.
Her parents were newly divorced and
she was a latch key kid trying to support her mom
and help look after her brothers
She didn't have time to get bored
Jenna gets bored
I got bored.
How unfortunate.

I think my mom had it harder than I do.
Jenna still allows herself to be disappointed
whenever plans don't work out or
promises get broken.
When I was thirteen, I had already fixed my mind
into believing that I didn't care
It was a lot easier to not care than be hurt all the time

Lonely.  We both needed good friends.
And actually I was in a better position as far
as contact goes.  There were fewer working mothers
and houses close together. 
I could walk up or down the street and
spend some time with either Julie or Janeen.
Jenna has never really had a soul mate
a great friend she could confide in that
is nearer to her own age

 We both thought she and Annette were like two peas
in a pod.  I had even created a post about it.
Unfortunately Annette's mom seems to have control issues
and insecurities much like the mother
of Jenna's sisters - who we are not in contact with because
they were brainwashed into believing we are horrible people.

She and Kylee hung out the other day.  I wish
they could get together more often -
especially since each is lonely in her own way.
But it doesn't work out as often as we'd like.

Jenna has always wanted to do activities with the boys rather
than the girls.
She hasn't always liked young women or
activity days before that.
She also has issues with the newest beehive who
needs to be involved - but somehow seems socially awkward.

The young women - or perhaps it was all of the youth -
had planned for a dress-up party. 
Initially, Jenna had wanted to go as a lobster.
She doesn't have a lobster costume, but did purchase
a scary costume for Halloween.  She decided
she would wear the costume to the bbq/party. 
She's been looking forward to it for over a month.
Last week it was announced that there would no longer be a bbq
but bring your laptops.  We will find names in family files
so that we can do baptisms.
Oh, joy.  So not only is the bbq cancelled, but have turned it
into something completely boring.

 I actually enjoyed family history when I was her age
A Million times more than I do now.
Well - perhaps less than a million.
And it was never the genealogy thing.  It was
the adults I enjoyed being with.
Wow.  That sounds weird to my ears as I write that.
I was thirteen.  What did I know?

 Jenna hangs around adults at the library and
our water aerobics class.  I think she feels more comfortable
I know I did.
I didn't do well with girls my age.
I guess they all weren't like Barbie dolls but
there were enough that were into boys
and fads
and fashions
and I never was.
I can understand her not relating to the YW.
There are so few of them.
I understand why plans change.
I don't understand why they did when I was a youth.
I often got upset with those who would suggest the activity
and not bother to show.  What's up with that anyway.

So that's been a slump contributor I'm sure, plus
the fact that she has been without a room for 
the last two months. 
Service Master was great when we had their fans -
They checked on us every day.
But once they had their equipment back
we weren't even an afterthought.
Our house still isn't finished.
But Jenna's things have finally been returned.

 She's been hot and cold. 
Mood swings and slumps.
I do believe my mother had it worse.
I was a psychological mishap.
I HATED being a teenager. 
I would never want to go through that again.
And yet . . . here I am.  Going through it.
Experiencing it from a mother's point of view.
And I cry when I think about how my mom
must have felt.
It was heartache for her
and she didn't know what to do.
And I want to apologize to her.
I want to say I'm sorry I was such a spaz,
and I'm thankful that you didn't have to go through it
with all of us.

On Monday we will watch the eclipse at the pool.
I was able to make Jenna smile
laugh actually
when I shared this thought
that I took from facebook
(I don't know who to credit though -
one of Corey's friends . . . .)


Today we went and picked pears.
I don't know if I'll post about it or not.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Faeries, Fairies, Selfies and Climbing Hills

                When I showed up to the library on Monday, Rindy and JM handed me a book on Faeries and told me look through the book and pick something to share.  They said they had looked for a story but weren't able to find one.  The "information" book was the only they could find.  Faeries are micheiveous creatures - not to say that fairies aren't - but I think the spelling somehow changes the definition.  Faeries, on a whole, sound impish and somewhat scary . . . at least from the descriptions in the book.

                I did like the "faerie" definition to mean "doesn't necessarily have wings, no specific size (as some can be as big as giants)  . . . but are all bound by magic" and there were different classes of faeries, which I did not go into.  The book had some detailed illustrations on some pages and rather dull ones on others.  The information that I thought I would share was always on a page without illustrations or so minute it seemed ridiculous to hold the book up for the children to look at.  I told them we would first learn a bit about fairies and then I would read them a book with an actual story.

                I mostly asked questions:  Who knows what a fairy is?  What does a fairy look like?  What does a fairy wear? and then we would talk about what we thought and what was written in the book.  One girl suggested that fairies wore paper.  I read that everyday wear was mostly made of leaves and that mouse skin was used for the faeries who went to battle.  Silky webs were reserved for high fashion.  I pulled these two examples from the web:


When Jenna was younger we had used flower pedals, grass and leaves to make fairy clothes.  It was fun.

                 Someone had given me Pinkalicious Fairy House to read.  I don't recall ever seeing a children's book (early reader) told in first person before.  That was different.  I read some, showed pictures, told some, skipped pages, then sent them outside to make fairy gardens.



                On Tuesday Jenna and I went downtown to take some selfies as it was city hall selfie day in Myrtle Creek.   

                We had left  the house at 8:00 and left city hall to go to the pool but as we were there major early, we took some other selfies as well.

                Our instructor is out of town and so one of the lifeguard' has been assisting the class with workouts. There were four of us, I think.  Yesterday there was only two.  Yesterday the pool was warm.  Yesterday Jenna and I just did our own thing.  It was glorious!

                The skies have been clear the last two mornings. 

                Jenna and her friend Kylee had made plans to spend the day together.  I dropped Jenna off at the school where they started to hang.  After I returned for them, I could see the haziness filled the skies again, and the mountains were hard to see.

                I must have driven the car up and down hill, back and forth, wearing the poor thing down as I was either driving Jenna and Kyle around or running errands for Roland.  I was tired of having driven more in one day than I'm used to in just one week.

                When we returned home from our trip that we'd taken in June, we passed the small town of Glide before entering Roseburg.  Last night the stations flashed a warning on the screen that Glide was to be evacuated IMMEDIATELY.  That's not good.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Free Stuff

          Roland ended up taking Jenna to the fair on Friday.  I thought it said to dress as a vegetable to get in free, but a friend pointed out that it said to dress a vegetable.  

Thus Roland and Jenna decorated a couple of carrots before leaving the house.

          After they arrived, they were told there was a seven dollar fee to park.  Roland asked where the free parking was located.  He was told if he parked at the high school, there was a "shuttle" that would bring him back to the fair.  So in order to save money, they went and parked at the high school and returned on a school bus that Roland assures me was designed for small people.  I smiled as I considered the greyhound I had taken from Portland to Salt Lake City in this post.


          They returned home just as I had finished up my last post - but had not yet posted "Use Labels for Items, Not People "  Jenna and Roland were wearing black baseball caps when they returned.  Enthusiastically, Jenna started pulling items out of a blue tote bag she had received and told me how she and her dad had acquired each.

           Roland had purchased a few tickets so that Jenna could play games or go on rides.  She collected posters by throwing darts.

          She used all of the tickets but four and as there was nothing left for only four tickets, she gave her tickets to the bus driver to pass on to another child who may not have a lot of money either.

          Though it had cooled down from the beginning of the week, it was still hot.  I don't think that Roland and Jenna were gone for four hours before they returned.   

          Roland asked me to take her to a birthday party as he was worn out and didn't feel like driving.   For the second time in our lives,  I dropped Jenna off at party without having met parents (or adult guardians) I think it was probably the most well attended party she's been to since we've lived in Oregon.


          This week has cooled down 20 to 40 degrees from last week.  That's quite a jump!  I have had the windows open for the last two nights and it's been wonderful!  Jenna and I put on our swimsuits this morning for our water aerobics class, but first went to the middle school to drop off some books.  Though the temperature read 62 degrees, it felt colder because of the cool wind.  I stopped to put my jacket on, and we both opted not to continue with going to class (which I think is a first for Jenna and water) and went downtown to hand deliver a couple of surveys that Roland would like to have for class and a possible business (which I will post about at another time)

          We stopped off at Soco for the world's greatest cookie (I kid you not . . . walnuts, coconuts, chocolate chips PACKED into deliciousness) and returned home before 9:30.  Will be heading to the library within the hour.  I don't know what the specific theme is for today.  I think perhaps we'll be building fairy gardens.  I think next week may be our last for summer reading.  I know Jenna returns to school on the 29th.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Use Labels for Items, Not People

        I watched the 2016 version of Ben-Hur for the first time last night.  I don't recall ever having made it through the 1959 version without crying, so why should 2016 be any different?  Jenna looked at me after the Chariot Race scene and asked if I was crying.  I cry for a number of reasons each time.  She had excused herself before the crucifixion.  That was heart-wrenching.  

        I had recently met some of my water buddies at the local coffee shop.  One asked what makes one a Jew.  Is it a race? a religion?  It doesn't matter - we're all part of the human race.  He was just wondering.  I'll admit I've wondered about that myself.  I sent him a link to this site.

        I am one who could never be in the Klu Klux Klan or put labels on people - usually I don't know.  I don't know if that would be considered ignorance or miraculous - as in most cases I truly can't tell by looking at a person what race he or she might be - and it doesn't matter.  Why do we insist on putting labels on each other anyway?

        When Ben-Hur started, Judah and Messala are racing their horses - egging on one another.  It reminded both Jenna and I of the introduction to the Prince of Egypt.  In both movies the pair start out as friends, but labels change when groups are divided: Romans and Jews, Egyptians and Hebrews, North and South, Americans and Japanese.

        I thought about countless stories I have either seen, heard about or read.  Some true, some fiction - but all with the same purpose.  Sometimes friendship tear apart, sometimes they end up saving - but are still lost in many cases.
        Best Friends Forever: A World War II Scrapbook, by Beverly Patt,  is about a friendship between two American girls named Dottie and Louise.  Though both are Americans, Dottie is sent to an internment camp and writes to Louise who keeps her letters in a scrapbook along with some other memorabilia. 

But both girls are affected by the war, and when Dottie and her family are relocated, she no longer hears from Louise.  Still friends in their heart, but there is still a sadness of losing contact.

        I watched Friendship in Vienna when in 1988 when it was first created and aired on the Disney Channel.   It is about the friendship between two girls, Inge and Lise - neither understanding the conflict that surrounds them or why both of their parents insist they stay away from each other. 

One day Inge is told she can't continue with her education at the public school.  Lise's brother joins the youth of Hitler and Lise tells Inge to stay away from him as he has become a dark person.  She sacrifices much for their friendship.  Their friendship is torn, but it is because of their friendship that Inge and her parents are saved.

        I thought of examples from before the Civil War - those may have attended West Point Military Academy and fought in the Mexican war found themselves on different sides did not view themselves as comrades but enemies.  I thought about some of the westerns that my husband will watch in which friendships are formed between those that have been told not to be friends.  Sometimes it works to be a blessing.

        We don't always share political points of view.  We tend to use labels - even if it's not meant in a derogatory way - we still call ourselves Jewish, American, black, white, straight, gay, rich, poor, star- and plain-bellied Sneetches (see here) How great it would be if we just saw ourselves as human beings and treat one another with respect and dignity.

For further information about the examples I used see here for " Best Friends Forever: A World War II Scrapbook"  and here for Friendship in Vienna 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Missing the Fair

                I think most fairs offer a free admission before things fully get started.  Roseburg offers a FREE Admission for Seniors Until 3pm I thought today, but it was actually yesterday.  We could all dress up as vegetables and get in free tomorrow between 10:00 and 1:00. 

Jenna loves to dress up, too, though I don't know if she's ever considered dressing up as a vegetable - though I know that she would do it for food.  No matter.  It's been so smoky and hot that I don't want to go - although we had planned on it.  We'd take Jenna there in the afternoon but probably wouldn't spend a lot of money.

                Jenna asked if we could go today.  Her friend had called and asked if she could meet her.  I told her to see if she could just get a ride with her friend - it certainly seems like it would be more convenient for both of them to arrive together than to try and meet up.  Thus far it doesn't sound promising that she will be going this year.

                But we have gone to the last two and there will be more.  Roseburg may not even be as smoky as Myrtle Creek appears to be right now - or it could actually be worse.  The fires don't appear to be as close to us as the smoke is. 

                I'm just having a hard time dealing with it as I age. I really shouldn't complain as I am better off than others who have had to evacuate or who have lost their homes. My prayers are with all of those who fight to put out the fires and keep us safe from harm. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Car Wash Memories

        We went to get the car washed yesterday.  Though not an automatic carwash, it brought up memories - though not in chronological order.

Memory 1:        When Kimball learned to talk, he'd talk with such excitement that he'd often stumble over his words and came across as stuttering;  he would also put himself in third person.  Kimball LOVED vehicles, dump trucks, cranes, cherry pickers, tractors . . . you name it.  He really did know the names and what they did.  My mom thought he would be fascinated by the car wash as well.  He wasn't.  He was actually very freaked out.

        "I'm sorry, Kimball," (once in the automatic car wash has started, the driver needs for it to finish before exiting) "but I really thought you might like the carwash."

        "Kimball doesn't li-li-like the carwash.  Kimball wa-wa-wants to go."

        Grandma pointed out the light that was red and told Kimball that once it turned green we could go.  Kimball was so focused on that red light  that I think he forgot how scary he thought the carwash was.  As soon as the light turned green he cried, "Go, Grandma, Go!" 

Memory 2:        I don't know how old I was when this next memory took place.  I'm not even sure if I was in the car with mom or if I had just heard her relate it often enough that it felt as though I had been there.

        There is a sign with the directions on what one is supposed to do in the automatic car wash.  I think ROLL UP WNDOWS was number one, which she did.  But as she got closer to actually going through, she had to roll the window down to insert the coins.  She forgot to roll the window up and had just come from the hair salon.  Her next errand was picking up a prescription or groceries or something.  She pointed to her hair and told the cashier that this is what hair looks like before and after going through a carwash with the window down.  She said it gave the cashier a laugh.  But I remember her ragging on about it each time we'd go through that it specifically said to Roll Window before inserting your coin.

Memory #3      There was a carwash (not automatic) across the street from the ice cream parlor where I used to work.  I remember a group of teenage kids approaching the store after hours.  Instead of spending money on ice cream, they decided to go across the street and have a water fight using the car wash hoses.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Solar Activity - Myrtle Creek

            We have activities each week for the Children's Summer Reading Program.  Today's "Build" activity featured a solar oven and building S'mores. Yum!

            JM took the children outside and placed marshmallows in the oven and explained how it would work.  

          We then came inside and had story time - only it was more of a question, answer and demonstration than straight reading.  We talked about the sun and moon.

            When we finished with the book, Rindy was up with her "Pin-a-Moon-to-the-Sun" craft.  Each of the children were given black paper to create a moon.  After all the moons were cut out, each stood in line to paste their moon on the sun while wearing their solar glasses.  It was really fun.   

            The best part of our activity was returning outside with graham crackers and chocolate to add to the marshmallows - which really hadn't toasted to the melting stage.  But those squares of chocolate certainly got soft in less than two minutes in the sun.  

            Everybody enjoyed their s'mores - particularly Jenna who got to keep the solar oven and all leftover fixings.