Random End of the Month Thoughts

Hi and happy last day of August.  Can you believe it will be September tomorrow?  I sure can’t. This month has been a busy one and flew by.  Ian has been in school for a  month now and is doing well.  For that we are truly thankful.

It is hard to believe that this is only my second posting this month.  The one I did two weeks ago doesn’t seem to have been read by many people. Oh well.  I really need to get back to regularly writing and posting.  Here are some thoughts over the last week.

I enjoyed my first PTO meeting this week as an interested parent, not an officer having to do something.  It was different and good.  The PTO at this school is different than last year.  Not as much to do and support but what there is to do is quite important.  Nice to be a part of that.

This weekend is football time in Tennessee.  For those who don’t know, the University of Tennessee is a popular team and many people plan their Saturdays in order to watch the games. Orange and white are the colors of choice for many fans as they are yelling at the stadium or cheering in front of the television.  It is almost a religion here.

In 1998, UT won the national championship game.  It was a big year for UT.  One of the local television stations is airing information about that year’s team, information on each week’s game and the fans.  It has been a great look back.  We hope for a winning season this year for UT.  Last year was rough for them and I hope they are on the rebound.

Also this weekend is Labor Day and a three-day weekend, which is so nice.  We can sleep in for three days instead of our usual two. YEAH!  Ian asked this morning what that day is for.  I told him it is to celebrate workers and also the end of the summer.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

I don’t know about you but I grew up learning that everyone at an office has an important and vital job in the success of the company.  The janitor keeps the building looking nice, the boss leads everyone and all of the worker bees also do their part.  My hope is that we can all appreciate our co-workers and those who provide services to us and for us.

Speaking of hard work and doing their part, you know who has amazed me this week?  President Jimmy Carter.  He is 93 years old and is building a house with Habitat for Humanity.  He and his wife are working together with other volunteers.  He has been busy giving back ever since he left office as president.  He is someone for Ian to learn from.

Another person is the late Senator John McCain who died this week of brain cancer.  This is the same cancer that led to the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, and to Beau Biden.  These men were all mentioned and praised during the remarks yesterday by Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden and McCain had an unusual friendship, especially in today’s atmosphere of hating those we don’t agree with, or ridiculing them.  They were totally different and called each other on it. They had major disagreements but were still there for each other and were friends.  They knew how to laugh and respect each other.

At the funeral in Arizona, Biden said, “I’m sure there’s people who said to you: ‘Explain this guy to me.’ Because, as they looked at him, in one sense they admired him. In one sense, the way things changed so much in America, they looked at him as if John came from another age, lived by a different code — an ancient, antiquated code where honor, courage, integrity, duty, were alive…. truth is, John’s code was ageless…. He’d part company with you if you lacked the basic values of decency and respect.”

If only we could go back to that treatment of each other again. I am so very tired of the idea that the other side is the enemy.  They aren’t.  They are just different in what they think.  They could, however, be considered an enemy if they are out to do you harm.  Egging others on to violence and hate is so very wrong and needs to stop.

I didn’t always agree with Senator McCain on issues but I did respect his service to our country, his time as a prisoner of war, the fact that when offered to be sent home he declined since he wasn’t the first one there, and his love of his family.  He was decent, had integrity, and amazing courage.  And, he never thought of himself as a hero.

These are the traits that I want Ian to have as he grows into manhood.  These are the traits that my husband and I are trying to teach him, trying to model to him, and trying to discuss with him.  We want him to be a man of integrity, honor, courage, love, respect for others, compassion, and so much more.

(All pictures are from Power Point Clip Art). What random thoughts did you have this week?  Please share them.

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Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

There once was a song that had that line in it by C&C Music Factory. In fact, it was the name of the song if memory serves — “Things That Make You Go Hmmm.”  I just found it on You Tube to jog my memory.  It will now be stuck in my head for a while and I will be singing along.

After watching this video, I also listened to C&C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat” and “Here We Go Let’s Rock and Roll.” And “Everybody, Everybody” by Technotronic, “Strike It Up” by Black Box, Shannon’s “Let The Music Play” and Soul II Soul’s “|Back to Life.” These songs take me back to the early 1990s when I was in my 20s and loved dancing every weekend at a club.

My friend and I had so much fun and would dance for hours. There was so much great dance music back then. Each song has memories and so much fun attached.  I only wish that now I could dance for hours as I did then. Talk about great exercise!  I am working now on losing weight and getting healthy again and hope to be in dancing form again soon.

Anyway, this song came to mind over several things that have happened over the last few weeks, including this new journey of losing weight.  A lot on the national stage as well as in my own little corner of the world has made me stop and say Hmmm, or what the beep, or what in the world is going on.

Regarding my most recent change of habits of eating and exercise, I went hmmmm since after a summer vacation of great food and lots of walking, I had lost 5 pounds.  I was thrilled at that and realized that yes, I can do this.  I just have to put in the time and effort.

So, now after dropping off Ian at school in the morning, I am taking some me time and walking a few times around my neighborhood.  I am trying to work up to longer walks and more time on that and possibly some breathing exercises and core work.  It feels good since it is still cool in the morning and a nice time to also think.

My eating habits have also changed somewhat for the better I think.  I am making a point to have salad every day — usually at lunch. Also, I am eating more seafood and plenty of veggies at night. I still like my ice cream and other treats, but do try to have more balance.

So that part of life is improving and that is great.  As much as I enjoyed the PTO work that I did, I wasn’t left with much time after also doing family business work.  So, this year at least, I will help some with PTO but will balance that with other things.  And, that is what was needed since I was nearly burned out at the end of last school year.

One of the things that has burned me out is the concern with so much hate, division, and meanness in our country and especially on a national level.  Our leaders no longer want to seem to find ways to work together or make compromises.  Instead they call one another childish names, are mean and hateful to each other, and dismiss those who don’t agree with them.

As a parent of a child, that truly troubles and worries me. How can I teach our son to admire and follow the example of so many adults who don’t know how to act or treat each other?  Instead we often tell him, see that adult, that is how not to act.  Please be better than that adult and treat others with kindness, respect, and love.

Many times the way adults are acting is what you might hear on a school playground where kids goad and tease each other.  “I know you are but what am I.”  “You are a poopy head.”  “You are a butthead.”  And the list goes on.

In fact, this week one of the congressman called a man a butthead.  Never did I think I’d hear that from an elected official about another person who he clearly didn’t agree with.  He was talking about John Brennan whose security clearance was revoked by President Trump.  I think the congressman’s point could have been made differently, but that is what he said.

Brennan apparently didn’t release any classified material as you would think would have happened.  Instead, he has been very outspoken and negative about Mr. Trump.  Maybe he has gone a bit too far but he is entitled to speak his mind and what he thinks.  Perhaps there is more to the story that I am not aware of.  If so, I’d like to know what it is.

I know a lot of people probably disagree with me, but I had to say what the beep about this since it doesn’t seem like something that should have happened in a democracy with our freedom to say and believe what we want.  Do we want to live in a country where the president tells us what to think, who to listen to, what to say, and how to say it?  And to never question him and perhaps eventually her?

I don’t.  I can’t help but wonder if other people do want that. So many people seem to be going along with this or just don’t see it.  The First Amendment is as important to me as the Second Amendment is to some of my friends and family.  Let’s think about what we say, have some facts to back up our arguments and present them without slamming others.  Am I naïve to think we should be able to do that?

I went to journalism school and studied hard.  I learned the difference between fact and opinion for my articles. I worked as a reporter for several years and loved it.  I know the importance of the free press, the importance of asking the tough questions, and reporting on things that matter.  I covered the things that people need to know about — county commission meetings, the work being done by the fire department and police department, the school board meetings where decisions are made that are hard, and so much more.

I will work to defend it.  I just hope I am not alone in that defense.  Along with this, the notion that the media are enemies of the people just makes me so mad and sad since it is not true. Journalists by and large work their jobs and report things for the general public to know about. They also ask tough questions that many subjects don’t like to answer.

This week, approximately 350 newspapers across the country spoke out against that notion of being enemies of the people. They instead are standing up for freedom of speech and freedom of the press. My hometown newspaper was a part of this and I was so happy to hear that.

On a completely different topic, another thing that made me go hmmm this week was our son’s request to start calling me Mum.  He has called me Mommy, Mom, and now after reading the Harry Potter books decided he likes Mum.  “That is fine with me,” I told him.  “Just please don’t call me Mother.  I don’t like that” and he said okay.

What things make you go hmmm?  I have many more and will address them in other blogs.  This is it for now.  Back to the music that always seems to help.  How about a few by Janet Jackson from the 1980s/1990s — “Rhythm Nation,” “Control,” “When I Think of You,” and “Escapade.”

It’s a flashback weekend for me with all of this great music.  With all of the crazy things in the world, it is nice to hear some music that I grew up with.  Blessings to you and yours on the rest of your weekend! (clip art is from PowerPoint.)