Thursday, February 27, 2014

How to punish a child…the School Edition.

Now parents, non-parents, and grandparents alike, do you think it seems fair to punish a child this way?   I remember a time that if Johnny was allergic to something, a parent was allowed to bring in special food (without the allergen in it), and the kid can still participate.  By the time that kid went to Kindergarten, they knew what they can and cannot eat, it was put on their school record from day one, and no one made a fuss about it.  Same with religious restrictions.  But folks, we as a nation have become a nation of, “If I cannot do it, neither can you.”  I understand where they are coming from.

The school/school system does not want teachers to put out any extra work to decide what child gets what food item, so all special parties for a birthday, not even healthy snacks, because they are so afraid of what happens if they get sued for the following:
  • Ignoring their special food needs child
  • Ignoring their religious rights
  • Ignoring their cultural rights

So school boards across the nation are issuing out new rules and guidelines for birthdays, holidays, and other events.  I want to take the time to address each of the other problems that also exist in this country regarding school and food…

Punish the child to fit the parent's crime....
A town in Utah a few months ago, the school board decided that they were fed up with delinquent payments from parents with the school lunch program, so instead of confronting the parents one at a time, they took the children’s lunches, throw them in the trash, and the children were given fruit and water.  After several people complained, the school board reneged and the children were given back their lunches, and the school system is working out a payment plan for all the parents.

In a Canadian providence, a mother made her children’s lunch.  That afternoon, she received a notice from the school stating that she forgot a grain item in their lunch, so she was fined $10, because they added that item in the children’s lunch.
In a non-food example, but related, a school decides that because Halloween is a pagan holiday, there will be no parades around the school with costumes, no homemade goodies for the children.  Christmas is the same way, except Christmas is NOT a pagan holiday.  

One of the problems has been that the country has allowed too many people in and claiming that they have the right to live the way they want to, but at the same time, these same people want to denying everyone else that same right.  I am not against immigration, because we immigrate to other countries as well, but if I want my child to have the same privilege that I had as a child at school, I have that right.   I want my child to enjoy parties, and sending their teacher a gift for being for him/her, in addition to the academic part.  The other parents do not have to participate, but some school systems has a “non-exclusion” policy.

As for the school lunch punishments being constantly issued throughout the land, schools need to take a hint from Utah, work out a payment with the parent, not the child.  Children should be allowed to be children, and not be involved with “grown folk’s” dealings.   If a parent wants to send a child an unhealthy lunch, which in the case of the Canadian woman who was fined $10 for not having a grain item in her children’s lunches, was very healthy, let them.  They know what their child likes and dislikes.   Please allow a parent to be a parents, because there are too many parents who could care less about their child.

So is there a solution...
It seems that there is no viable solution in the school system, but there is.  The trouble is there are too many people needing too many rights.  I have only scratched the surface.  Who knows when the next newscast will pop up a story about a child (or a group of children) being deny something in school?  My next question is what is the school system’s stand on bullying?   Think about it and be blessed.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Follow up to Happy Ballet Day (Feb. 7) and other things

photo by Crystal and comp
First of all, this is one of those across the board comments.  I do apologize for not responding to all of your comments.  They are so kind and sweet.  I am so glad that everyone appreciates the art of dance and know what they can or cannot do.  
I just want to let you know that ballet was not the only dance form I took as a child.   I also took Jazz and Tap.   Jazz allowed me to get off of the pointe shoes, and with tap, hey, I like making noise, LOL.  If you think I was finished, I also took piano and organ lessons as well. Toss in a few Girl Scout and youth meetings, school choirs, and I was a busy girl.  I did not have the time to get bored and do nothing.  I also had chores to do.
If you guessed today’s post, then yes, it is all about keeping your children busy.   I am just going to say it right now, folks. For the most part, today’s children are lazy and rude.  No respect for people, rather they are their friends, family, or the lady sitting 5 pews from the pastor.   You ask them to do something, and they give you 15 “excuse me, are you talking to me, I hope you are not, because I will cut you” looks.  It does not have to be that way.  Here is the reason why.
I think sometimes we as adults have forgotten what it was like to be a child or a teen.  They get frustrated, and they do not know what the protocol is for many situations.  It is hard to keep up.   I could remember as a child, that anyone over the age of 20 was called Mr. or Ms. first name or last name would be preferred.   An adult has to give you permission to speak.  In fact, it is preferred that you were not in the room during “grown folks” talk.  Chores were done, music and dance lessons were practiced, homework was done, and family prayer time was done, all before play and television.  I did not have a television in my bedroom until I moved into the condo I live in now, and only because my father thought that I needed a bigger TV for when he and my mom came over.  The old analog set is in the bedroom.  another rule was I needed to be in before the street lights came on, or I was in for a rude awakening.  Finally, I did not get to watch television or go out to play if they had to tell me more than once to do my chores, get my homework, practice, acted out in public, or got into trouble in school, such as a bad grade or was sent to the principal’s office.  This was a one or two-week thing, depending on how severe it was.
Because of all the rules in my parent’s house, I dared not disobey them, but my parents loved me despite of.  I got swatted once, for breaking my brother’s baseball trophy, and still missed Luke and Laura’s wedding on General Hospital, because I was not allowed to watch.  I was on punishment for it. (Made that up when GH had their 50th anniversary on the Soap channel a few months ago). I got mad at him and threw down the trophy.  So it was no accidental feat, I wanted to.  In the 8th grade, I hit a girl with my purse in school, because I thought that she and another girl was talking about me.  I talked my way out of the suspension to one day, but to my father, it was not the end of the story.  Two weeks, no television, and the only time I got to go outside was if we were going somewhere. I missed two episodes of The Bionic Woman that I really wanted to see (made that up by watching them on the Syfy channel years later).  
The point I am making is today’s kids have it made with all of their phones, iPads, game stations and such, or do they?  Parents have to learn when to say no to a child who wants a Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube account.  There has to be a limit somewhere, and this is coming from a person who is just an aunt.  I feel like I am more than just an aunt, because I see how my nephews and niece operate.  They are 18, 6, 5, and 3, and they all have different personalities.  When they raise their voice or do not listen to me, I let them know that it is wrong of them to do it.  I have not swatted anyone but once.  Nephew, who is now 18, was climbing on my grandmother’s couch.  Both I and my mom told him to stop, but apparently it did not set well with him, and I swatted him with my hand.  He had on a diaper, and told me that it did not hurt, so I sat him in time-out.  He was mad at that point, but he had to learn not to climb.
I will be coming to a close by saying something that I say in my Happy Ballet Day post:  you have to know your child.  Do not just throw your child in an activity and expect them to fall madly in love with it right away.  Rec centers are wonderful for that, and many of the people who commented
have said that they do utilize the rec centers as a tryout tool for a dance, music or sport activity.  These activities in a normal setting are expensive, and there are some inexpensive things you can do with your child as well:
  • Free museum day
  • Run in the park
  • Teach them what you know, but put it to their level.
  • Take a bus ride if you are always driving.  This is great for them to learn the city and it saves on gas too.
  • Go on a walk
  • See if there are any child-friendly tours in the city (behind the scenes)
  • Interactive stuff
  • Blowing bubbles with dish soap and a common object.
  • See if the local dance, music, or art company will allow your child to visit for a couple of hours,

These are only a few things that you can do with your child.  Have fun, and do not be hard with them.  When you do, do it out of love and tell them that it only helps them to be a better person and show respect for one another.   Be blessed.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Working without a net....

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image by agiletools
"Working without a net" is my favorite phrase to say.   I a not sure where I found it at or when I started saying it, but it means, working without a plan.  well that is what I am doing, working without a plan.  

I have not written anything in this blog all week since my Happy Ballet Day post, and frankly that is sort of a good thing.  See I am trying to re-adjust my sleeping schedule.  So far, so good.   So with that being said, have you ever done things without a plan, and if so, how does it make you feel?
For me, I feel lost and uncertain.  in the case of my writing, I have no canvas to bounce off of, and I find that I write longer.  To quote a fictional character, Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) from Star Trek: the Next Generation, when she was without her empathetic powers in an episode, My posts "have no depth or portion", and they "look hollow."   The same can be for the rest of non-plans.   Does that mean that I cannot do things spontaneously?    Yes I can.  Like for instance, often times when I come back from a business meeting, and I want to check out a new area or store, it is usually on the way home, but they are unplanned stops.  Maybe it was the art of passing by that place over and over again, and if I have nothing else to do for the moment, I will do it.   another example is I very seldom plan to eat out anymore.   The reason, I am trying to cook more at home, because I want to know what goes into my body.  
I have chosen to become this way, because I used to do a lot of impulse buying.  It was the old, "I see it, I want it, whip out the charge card" routine.  I did not do it a lot, but it has gotten me into a lot of hot water when I did it.   You know the symptoms:  The surprised look you get after looking at the credit card bill, crying, sobbing, and my personal fav, the promise to never do it again for the rest of your life, only to do it all over again.  
Now I go with a plan, if I want it, check the bank account to see if I have enough money to get it.  If I do, how much do I need it.  Not want it, NEED IT.  If I do need it, fine, I get it, but if it is a want...I wait a month.   After a month, I go through the process again, and if the money is still there, and I do not have any bills coming due, and I still want it, then I can buy it.
So going with a plan is really simple, and once you do it, you will never want to go back to the old plan again.
Well got to run, and this covers this weekend.  Be blessed.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Ballet Day (February 7)

Photo By
I want to wish everyone, young and old, male and female, the fit and unfit this celebrated time of national ballet day.  As I sit here, I needed a little inspiration to get me something to write about, when I looked in my phone and opened a little-known app called Checkiday.  It tells you what national day it is.   
I believe there are two types of little girls....the ones that want to be all girly and the ones that are not.  Neither type is a bad thing, because it fits whatever personality that little girl wants to be.  I wrote something similar back in 2012, I believe, and it still holds true today.  Everyone is an individual, but that does not mean that you cannot be part of a group. In fact, team building is a very important skill.  I will tackle that another day.
So what is National Ballet Day?  It is a day of celebrating all things ballet.  Now folks, I am not suggesting that you all run to the nearest dance store, grab a leotard, some tights, a tutu, or 2, some pointe shoes, and strut your stuff.  Not everyone is a graceful ballet dancer.  (Guys, you may want to skip the tutu part, or not, I am not stopping you).   It take years of discipline to do this.  Trust me, I should know. 10 years is all a girl can take, and now my feet cry when I see a pointe shoe.
(This is a pointe shoe, up close and personal)
You start from ages 3-7, learning the basis or technics of all things ballet.  If some of you who watch Dance Moms think Abby Lee Miller is bad, think again.  She is mild compared to a straight-faced, technique-driven, no-fat on the body ballet teacher.  These teachers are not a needs-to-win-every-competition like Abby does.   They are performance driven and you have to eat, drink, and breathe ballet.   They do not want you to take up any other form of dance either.
Once you get your basis down to a science, guys still do demi-pointe (or tip-toe) work, while the girls rise to the occasion (get it), to begin preparing for pointe work.  There are pointe tests to make sure you are ready for the challenge.  They are technique and the strong feet test (you do know your feet and ankles have to be very strong, right?).  I do not know the actual name of these tests, I just know they are there.   I am going to stop here, because it will take at least over a thousand words or more to explain, and frankly, time is money.  I do have a few tips:
  • You do not have to start at age 3.  I personally do not recommend it.  Why?  Dance needs to be something fun for your child to enjoy, not loathe by age 13.  Some children start at age 7 and in pointe shoes by age 12, but you have to know your child.   A good dance mom (or dad) listens to her (his) child.  If your child is crying while they do their first recital, pull them out of dance for the next year and let them sit it out during that time.  This will give the child a chance to “miss it.”  If they mention dance while absent, put them back in, but have a discussion first.  Do not keep pulling them in and out of dance class.
  • The best way to start a child out is use the recreation center.  If you are going to an actual dance studio do your homework.  Ask about all the fees up front, dance schedule, how elite classes are run, and about contracts. 
  • Most studios do have fees for costumes, concerts, and other outings.  Do not join if you do not have the time nor the commitment to do so.

Otherwise, have fun, dance the night away.  If you love to dance, but do not want the discipline, there is always the rec center, and they are not that big on technic at all.  Happy Ballet Day everyone!!!!

Attention Writers: you may want to try this...

photo by
My friend Tim Torkildson, has an opportunity for you on his website -I write the Bloggs.   it is an open mail call celebrating  and memorizing the four Freedoms, as articulated by United States President Franklin D Roosevelt in 1941 during his State of the Union Speech.

You can find all the information for I write the Bloggs website.
it on the

Thank you, and good luck  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

My top 5 Favorite Books

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This month, I will be using a lot of writing prompts, and even come up with a few of my own.  I have not done February 1-5 because of other obligations I had, and that’s OK. I have also gone back to writing for others as well, so if you do not see a post from me of some kind, I am doing just that, writing for other people.  After this post, I will give you some tips on when and why you should be writing for others.  You will be surprised at some of my answers.  Now on to my favorite books (top 5)
Top 5 favorite books
These books that I like are in no particular order, and it may not be a specific title, but a type of book.  I just wanted to warn you of that fact before you read the list.

The Bible.  I am a very spiritual, yet inspirational person, and I turn to the bible for life lessons.  I am a Christian, and I will tell anyone of that fact, but I am not a judging Christian.  This means I am not going to tell you what you are doing wrong.  I am going to tell you what I do not like what is happening in your life.   This means I am not going tell you what you should wear, dress, or act, because I feel that order to lead others to Christ, you have to do just that, and not judge a person.  I have not walked in your shoes and you have not walked in mine.  If I have been in your situation, I will tell you how I handled it, and where you can go to find that help.  Mostly everything that I have been through, I have pick up the bible for the answers, because even though it happened to a person over 2000+ years ago, there is still some good lessons to learn from it.
The Wizard of Oz.  I often feel like Dorothy in this book and I know that when times are tough, you can go home again, because there is no place like it in the whole wide world, except heaven.  Keep in mind young people, if you ever decide to read anything after you see the movie, like The Wizard of Oz, it is different.   I had to learn that often producers do not go by the book, because the scene adaptation maybe more disturbing than the book, so they change things.  The Wizard of OZ is one of those escape books.
Romance novels.  Yes, I am one of those women who sucker herself into a good romance novel.  I love being the heroine of the book, and throw myself into the one who is being seduced.  I love especially the African American ones.  
How-to books.  Need to fix your faulty hard drive? There’s a book for that.  Learning how to write a business plan?  There’s a book for that.   ¿Necesita ayuda con el español para ese viaje a España? (Need help with Spanish for that trip to Spain?) Hay un libro para. (There’s a book for that). Anything that I want to find out about, I read a how-to book.
Craft and Travel books.  I lump these together, because they are the most read of the how to books.   I scrapbook, make cards, and try other crafts.   I am also a Disney fan and I love to travel to different places.   I also do not use these books in the manner that most people use them, which is to how to do something such as how to make a travel scrapbook page or how to get a Fastpass to Soaring at Epcot, because I know how.  I use them to get new ideas on a subject I am familiar with.  I used to treat dance books the same way.  I know how to dance, but maybe an expert might give me a new technic on how to do a Shuffle-Ball-Change in tap that is easier on the joints.  I also use these type of books to give my readers pointers inside pointers, because I cannot get out to the Disney Parks as often.  I live in Ohio, which is a 15-hour drive to Orlando, Florida, or a plane ride to Anaheim, Ca.

So there you have it, my top 5.  By the way, I like both print and e-books.   Be blessing my friend, because you are smart, and you can read.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

…Love, February

Photo by God's Unspoken Ministries
The year started with a wonderful January.   I started over some things that I wanted to do last year, but never have the motivation to do it.  Have you ever felt like that before?  Your intentions were good, but then you get sidetracked, and the interruptions get in the way. 
About the middle of January came the “Ice Age.”  If you have ever lived in the upper middle part of the United States, the cold snap usually begins at the Colorado border, goes upwards to the “Dakotas,” hitting every state along the way, shoots across towards Michigan, and ends up in Maine.  Not this year.  It started around Utah, and then without warning, that cold snap, which really wasn’t a cold snap at all, more like what happens when Antarctica takes over, shoots across the rest of the country, like a speeding bullet.  It attacked every state, except California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and the lower half of Florida.  There were states, like my state of Ohio, who was kind of used to it, while states like Georgia were so scared, people left their cars on the freeways, and started walking home without them.  Schools in Texas closed at 39°, while the schools closed here in Columbus when the temp hit a -1° or lower.  Even then, the biggest school districts were sometimes afraid of closing.  My lights went out one time.  I also had the heater on all night, which was a first for me.
It is now February 1st, and love is in the air.  I have told you about the heartaches I have had when finding a man and sometimes being blissfully single is not all it is cracked up to be.  This February, I am not going to dwell on that. Black (Or African American) history is this month.  There are so many things that African Americans have created that we use today, but it seems to me, there was either a half of a credit for that invention, or no credit at all.  I am not saying people need to take back what was said, just give credit where credit is due.
What hurts me the most, is when people do not believe in what another person can give to a situation.  That is in all races, not just the African American race, but all.  Parents want their children to do EXACTLY what they say do with their career and life.  Men want women to do the same.  People have a preconceive notion that what they say goes.  They do not want to hear what the other person has to say.  They do not want to hear that there are more ways today to do something, then back in the last century.  It is “my way or the highway.”  As long as you are willing to work 40 hours a week for 40 years, and in return get 40% of what you earned during those 40 years, that is the only way you are going to retire.  Period.  What they do not realize, is people today are not willing to work 40 hours for 40 years at a company who could give a living crap about you.  There are other ways to work. What they also do not realize is that you are living for you, not them, and that is what makes it so hard for them to let go.  So, they have to keep telling you what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.  That is very sad to me, and I do not know why they do it.  
The problem is races have been doing it for years, spouses have been doing it for years, and parents have been doing it for years.   I said, “Stop it and live for you, and do not worry about what I or the other person is doing.”  “Let me live my life, and if you want to help, fine, help is greatly appreciated, but if you don’t want to help, there are other ways for people to find that help if they know where to look.”  This also goes for the person who depends on that help as well.  There are two kinds of dependency in an adult life, and I do not like neither one.

So this is my Love, February statement, and I would say it again, again, and again.  Be a blessing by giving advice, listening to what the other person has to say, and excepting any solution to end the situation.   That is the best help you can give.