For our souls…

My husband and I had many differences. One centered on our music preferences.

As an ex-naval man, he’d had a few unfortunate instances where black friends felt the need to abandon friendship (his and theirs), in favor of, their racial affiliations. He was hurt by this, and therefore, felt discrimination of a different kind. He talked of having really wonderful “buddies” who acted as if he were an “enemy” when grouped with “their kind”. You know, I don’t think he ever had a prejudiced inclination until this occurred.

Well, my affinity for Motown, didn’t make him happy. My goodness, R&B is awesome and sensual. I’d never considered it a racial statement but dang good music.

He aged and mellowed, a bit, before I put my foot down. I loved R&B and his unfortunate experiences, had nothing to do with whether I could continue to love it.

This post is for anyone, black or white, who has felt the “heat” and ugliness of racism. Grow-up! Rise above the hurt and embrace our humanity. We can only adjust our own attitudes, but that’s a great start.

The Confederate Flag was not all about anti-black sentiment and Motown is, truly, all about soul…. Not black soul or white soul. The human soul.

Fill in Those Blanks America!

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria d...
Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria dell’ Accademia, Venice (1485-90) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Math Anxiety by Deb Russell at

Where Does Math Anxiety Come From?

“Usually math anxiety stems from unpleasant experiences in mathematics. Typically math phobics have had math presented in such a fashion that it led to limited understanding. Unfortunately, math anxiety is often due to poor teaching and poor experiences in math which typically leads to math anxiety. Many of the students I’ve encountered with math anxiety have demonstrated an over reliance on procedures in math as opposed to actually understanding the math.”


The above statement seems to have been written just for me. I don’t do math.

 How is it there are a multitude of ways to get kids to read but there seems no one has explored diverse methods to bring kids into the understanding of math?

I have always accepted an “either /or” philosophy. Either one is creative or they can do math. Those who explore the “word world” draw on a different part of the brain from “number” people.

That thinking cannot be correct. People are capable of overcoming strokes, they must be capable of understanding math and the Arts. Leonardo Da Vinci serves as the perfect example of the human ability for excellence in both areas.

Our nation’s children are failing to keep up with students all over the world. The lack of math “understanding” seems to be the most prominent reason.

I wanted very badly to become a scientist, in my early days, and gave up on that dream due to an egregious lack of math ability. Now in adulthood, I can call it a phobia. My mind draws a blank when numbers come into play. Funny thing, I excelled in geometry. It was a visually based subject with more “memorized procedures” involved. Seems to make the case about math anxiety even stronger, doesn’t it?

I’d love to offer more math related activities to my granddaughter but not knowing the “stepping stones” toward understanding math myself, makes me a poor teacher. I believe I will research new methods. Any suggestions from others will be gratefully accepted. Now I understand how frustrated parents/grandparents, who speak a language other than English, must feel when asked about English composition by their kids.

You know? With good material, I may just start over and learn along with Katherine. Life’s too short to accept any “blanks”. 🙂

What to do? Give yourself a “noogy”.

The worst thing that we can tell ourselves is “I can’t”. My granddaughter was using the phrase so often that I began giving her a signal, in the form of a “noogy”, every time that it left her lips. Not sure about the proper spelling but a noogy is that irritating rub of the knuckles on top of someone’s head. It has become a ritual and I have been the recipient of a few noogies myself.

I am  constantly searching for projects. Being creative is a lifestyle and, once you “buy in”, there’s an appetite to satisfy. This appetite is for something new and exciting.

Well, I suggest when there is a lull in your projects to revisit those that you may have filed under the heading,”I can’t”.

Years ago I spent a short time sketching caricatures of my day care kids. It was a fling that I had not recalled until I browsed through some old photos. My “passion”, at that time, was to dabble in the art of illustrating children’s books.

I am going to give myself a noogy and try it again.

Here is what I had done and dismissed.

Story from Random Words #3 “Life Noticed… Life Inspired”

Sharing MY moment with you.

The Creativity Games site has a random word generator for folks who wish for prompts for stories, poems or discussion. It has offered me a lot of fun. I am about to create my third story using 5 words that I got there. My personal exercise rules consist of developing a story in one sitting and as quickly as I can. Today’s words are:


Here is my story:

A blank stare and idle hands were not unfamiliar to me. It’s called “writer’s block”. As I waited for my creative juices to stir, my heart pounded. Creating a story is equivalent to giving birth in emotional satisfaction. When thoughts galvanise,  and a unique piece results, an extraordinary birth occurs. Even more than a normal birth, which takes two DNA donors, the new title comes only from myself.

Today my mind contemplates Mother Nature. She is a favorite subject and ever inspiring. I had a kid game that I used to play when I took long rides in the car on”old style” family vacations. There were no video players or hand-held electronic games in my childhood. The value of having nothing to entertain a child but their own imagination can not be measured or underestimated.

I called the game,”Never, Ever, going to see that again.” It consisted of one player, Me. Not a button, controller or battery needed.

I’d focus my attention on something outside my window. It was usually so small and insignificant that I knew only I would ever witness it. How often do we direct our attention to the ordinary, plentiful items that make up our world?

You’d think a bird would be a good subject. No way. That bird was bound to be witnessed by someone, somewhere, at a feeder or casting a shadow from above. My subject, most often, was one single leaf. A marvel of nature that was mine to behold and witness alone. The power in that “view of the world” has made me appreciate small things to a degree that I’ll always treasure.

This story was not only fun but true.

The Sweet Spoils of Outrage

I am very close to being outraged.

The act of outrage…yes, act is what it is most often…is an outrageously common occurrence.

In the area of human nature, there is a no more uncluttered petri dish than a child day care. I observe the most elemental parts of the human psyche daily.

Today, I foolishly engaged in a debate with a person who posted his own political commentary with his primary source, The Huffington Post.  (Stop groaning…I know who you are!)
I am a conservative leaning person. I am a republican. I’ve been told that I am naive, but I believe all political factions want what’s best for our country.

Disclaimers made, my interaction with this fellow American, who started his statements “You right-wingers…”,  was quite interesting. His “outrage” was over the current Rush Limbaugh controversy. (Ever realize how everything is either a controversy or crisis these days?)

I told him that I’d prefer that each individual decided to listen to him or not. I also said that I hadn’t listened to him in 2 years because I had decided he was a sexist creep. My biggest problem with this “liberal leaning” fellow’s opinion  was his inference that Limbaugh-Gate was the biggest problem our nation faces and that until he was proverbially “hung from a yardarm” our nation could not carry on its business.

My own comment follows:

I prefer that people use their own judgement. I stopped listening to Rush 2 years ago after a very sexist,and insensitive comment let me know he was a creep.
It always worries me when the “outraged” people want to draw their own line on what is acceptable in the face of free speech. I believe there is an underlying assumption that “outraged people” know what’s best for the masses. That thinking is distasteful to me. ♥

He retorted another text about those who divide us.


Starting an informative dialog with “You right-wingers” apparently missed his divisive meter.

Now for the child’s tantrum which made this post happen:

Sally got off of the preschool bus and came into my kitchen as my “all dayers” were finishing some hot chocolate. She very rudely demanded hot chocolate and was told, not now, lunch was approaching and besides, she had not asked politely.

Sally started crying and was ignored. Sally left the room and began screaming. “The dog is eating my bear toy! {tears…deep breathed growls…screeches}STOP HIM!”

I entered the room as the dog walked away from the bear. I was unsure if he ever touched it.

Sally’s screams of outrage continued. “It’s ruined! I’m telling my mom! Can I HAVE hot chocolate?!!!”

BINGO! The sweet spoils of outrage!

What does outrage do for us?

  • changes the subject
  • gets immediate full attention
  • gives us an opportunity to sneak our agenda into consideration.

From the example of babes, I now get the full picture.

From here on, I’m going to avoid the habitually outraged in order to talk with adults.