Thursday, February 28, 2013

Recess Time

We got some more of that "White Stuff" as Molly calls it. She likes it and she ran outside and ran in a big circle. Seeing that circle got me to thinking. Back when I first started teaching we took students outside twice a day for a Recess. A break from the classroom to play and refresh themselves. It was a good time for them and there are good, sound educational reasons for doing so. The students would generally organize themselves to play certain games which would involve both boys and girls and would be athletic in nature and involve a lot of running and movement. The teachers on "recess duty" would supervise to make sure the games did not get to rough and out of hand so that no one got hurt. The games would sometimes change with the season In later years it seems that many times the activity changed. We had basketball hoops and a football field and the boys would play while the girls would socialize and sit on the swings or the jungle gyms. Sometimes they would just wander around the playground. A game of tag might get started but with the advent of "sports" on TV the character of the playground changed. I think the PE teachers had a lot to do with that also for they used the sports for their curriculum. But that is another story. I went to Wikipedia to share some of the games I remember the kids playing. There were many variations of Tag the one I remembered when I saw the circle in the snow was Fox and Geese

"A traditional type of line tag, sometimes played in snow, is Fox and geese. The fox starts at the centre of a spoked wheel, and the geese flee from the fox along the spokes and around the wheel. Geese that are tagged become foxes. The intersections of the spokes with the wheel are safe zones."

This was a form of "Tag' and required snow.  Another form of Tag was "What Time is is Mr. Fox?
One player is chosen to be Mr Fox. Mr Fox stands at the opposite end of the playing field from the other players, facing away from them. A call-and-response then takes place: all players except for Mr Fox chant in unison "What's the time, Mr Fox?", and Mr Fox will answer in one of the two ways:
1) Mr Fox may call a clock time (e.g., "3 o'clock"). The other players will then take that many steps out loud as they go ("One, two, three"). Then they ask the question again.
2) Mr Fox may call "Dinner Time!" Then Mr Fox will turn and chase the other players back to their starting point. If Mr Fox successfully tags a player, that player becomes the new Mr Fox for the next round.

Another Tag game was Duck, Duck Goose.

In this game, usually played by young children, the players sit in a circle facing inward. One player, the "picker" or "fox", walks around tapping or pointing to each player in turn, calling each of them a "duck", until finally announcing one to be the "goose". The goose then rises and runs around the circle in the same direction as the picker, attempting to tag that player before he or she can sit back down in the vacated spot.

As with all games and playground activities the supervising teacher was there to make sure that things did not get out of hand.  If they did not pay attention and make sure rules were followed and the games did not get out of hand there would be complaints which would lead to banning.
Another game (non tag)  was:

Red Rover Red Rover

The game is played between two lines of players, usually around thirty feet apart. The game starts when the first team (usually called the "East" or "West" team, although this does not relate to the actual relative location of the teams) calls out, "Red rover, red rover, send [name of player on opposite team] right over." or "Red Rover, Red Rover, let [name of player of opposing team] come over." or "Red rover, red rover, we call [name of player on opposite team] over."
The immediate goal for the person called is to run to the other line and break the "East" team's chain (formed by the linking of hands). If the person called fails to break the chain, this player joins the "East" team. However, if the player successfully breaks the chain, this player may select either of the two "links" broken by the successful run, and take them to join the "West" team. The "West" team then calls out "Red rover" for a player on the "East" team, and play continues.
When only one player is left on a team, they also must try and break through a link. If they do not succeed, the opposing team wins. 

In later years when I was supervising playground the boys wanted to play football.  They also were playing football in after school leagues and always wanted to play tackle.  This had to be banned on the playground because they did not have protective gear on and so they played tag football or flag football and the girls were mostly relegated to the sidelines.  Once in awhile a girl would play football but that was not usually the case.

I was not in favor of it because of the injuries.  I can remember one mother being very upset because of a broken arm that her child had received playing football after school.  I remember thinking (and I may have even said it)  "What can you expect when you let him play football.  You are lucky the injury was not worse.  

The  teachers were there to modify rules, select appropriate boundaries and equipment, and make sure pupils are safe. Teachers should emphasize tag games that develop self-improvement, participation, fair play, and cooperation and they need to make sure the game does not get out of hand.  Too many times when I was supervising I would see other teachers using the time to visit with one another instead of actively watching to make sure the students were safe and I am sure I did the same thing at times.  

Play is necessary and important to a child's development but it should be play that includes all children and above all it should be safe. Here is an article from the New York Times about the importance of Recess.. The Fourth R.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

These Are A Part of Me

One time when I was doubting myself (I have done that often) and a friend shared this poem by Leo Ralston.  It helped.

In Some Ways, However Small and Secret
"In some way, however small and secret,
each of us is a little mad. 
Everyone is lonely at bottom,
and cries to be understood,
But we can never entirely understand anyone else,
And each of us remains part stranger,
Even to those who love us.

It is the weak who are cruel;
gentleness can only be expected from the strong.
Those who do not know fear
are not really brave,
For courage is the capacity to confront
what can be imagined.
And you can understand people better if you look at them,
no matter how old or impressive they are
as if they are children;

For most of us never really mature;
we simply grow older.
And happiness comes only when we push our hearts and brains 
to the farthest reaches of which they are capable,
For the purpose of life is to matter;  . . .
to count;  . . .
to stand for something;
To have it make some difference that you lived
at all."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Well, I've already missed two of them

I can remember one time when I was much younger I was driving home from Des Moines late one night (after being God only knows where) and looking up to my right and seeing a comet. I mean it was wonderful.

I think I went home and woke my mother and sister up and took them out to the country so they could see it also.  We used to do that with the Northern Lights.  We didn't see them often here in central Iowa but occasionally we did.  There was an astronomy group here in Ames that would ring your phone and play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on your phone to let you know that they were out.  We would then call my great aunts Ethyl and Kate Mike who would throw their coats on over their night gowns and get in the car and drive out to see the lights.

We could see them better when we were on our annual Vacation trip to Leech Lake Minnesota.  One night I was at the local Drive In Movie Theater to see a movie and I looked out and saw the most beautiful Northern Lights I had ever seen.  They were a snaky curtain of greens and reds and they sparkled.  I drove the car to the ticket office and asked them if I could get back in after I had driven up to the gas station at the "Y" to use the phone to call back to the resort so that the folks back there could see it.  Then I went back and watched the rest of the movie.

It is easy for me to understand why early man was obsessed with and wrote myths about the constellations.  When I was a kid and before my eyes needed glasses I used to lay out on the hill at our place just North of Ames and look at the stars.  I even saw Sputnik go across the sky one time.  I wonder what they (primitive man)  would have thought about that.

Speaking of Stars.  The Annual Oscarfest was last night.  I started watching it and soon got the computer out to work on one of my blogs that I keep up.  Specialis Procer had a wonderful Festive Board and I wanted to get the speech put up on The Papers Blog.  I could work on it and still watch the Oscars.  The only comment I have to make on the "Stars" there was this -

Quvenzane' was the most beautiful female on the Red Carpet, certainly the most poised and least posed.

I would recommend you read this article about her.

They need to bring back Neil Patrick Harris as host.

I guess I have babbled on long enough.  I guess I should quit or I will be accused of being as boring as the Academy Award Show.

Oh,  and I woke up at 4:00 AM this morning and then went back to sleep after about an hour of thinking and woke up the second time a little before 11:00 AM. I am writing a talk for the April Festive Board and am in the rumination phase so I have all these ideas bouncing around in my head and they wake me up. Such fun..

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Blight

The Westboro Group (I won't call them a Church) are a blight on this nation. When they went to Santa Monica (A beautiful city I have visited many times) they were met with the only way to deal with them This made me tear up to see young people understand that God is Love (I John 4:8).

Molly on Monday

Molly here,

We had some more of that "white stuff" outside this week.  I had fun playing in it.  I ran around and jumped and stuck my nose under it. B G even saw me eat some but by the time he got the camera I had had enough so he didn't get any film.  Ha!
 I found a new toy this week.  B G says it is Jon's Cap.  He got it on one of the trips he and B G took together and it is fun to play with

Many of the pictures are "fuzzy" because I was moving so fast and B G is getting shaky so they aren't so good but you get the idea.

B G and I like this one even if it is fuzzy.  Really shows the action. I roll over on my back and toss it in the air.. Eventually I win... I always win.

"Official" picture of me as the "Conquering Dog"  At least I did not have to kill anything.

Jon "messaged" some pictures up to B G of Mr. Miles in Arizona.  He looks good.  They have green grass down there already because they have had some rain.  Jealous.

B G is having some doors put on the cupboard and he had Brandon come over to do it.  Also he did some other things for him.  I like Brandon.

Some other guys (John and Don) stopped by Friday night to pick up B G to go to "Lodge" (?)  B G did not get any pictures of them.. Perhaps I am going to have to get a new camera man.

He did take a couple of dumb movies and they are below.  I hope you enjoy them

Have a good week, everyone.  Woof!

B G named them wrong - they should be the other way around.. I may have to get a new helper algother.. Woof, woof!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Salute XLVIII

I first saw Maggie Smith as Miss Jean Brodie in the movie "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"  - I fell in love with her immediately and still love her as the Dowager Countess on Downton Abby - She makes me happy that she has shared her enormous talent with us.
Dame Margaret Natalie "Maggie" SmithDBE, (born 28 December 1934) is an English film, stage and television actress. She has had an extensive career both on screen and in live theatre, and is known as one of Britain's preeminent actors. She made her stage debut in 1952 and is still performing after 60 years. She has won numerous awards for acting, both for the stage and for film, including seven BAFTA Awards(five competitive awards and two special awards including the BAFTA Fellowship in 1996), two Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards and a Tony Award.
A Breast Cancer survivor she has also been involved in charity work. In September 2011, she offered her support for raising the $4.6 million needed to rebuild the Court Theatre in New Zealand after the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake. In July 2012, she became a patron of the International Glaucoma Association, hoping to support the organisation and raise the profile of glaucoma.  On the 27th November 2012, Smith contributed a unique piece of art – a drawing of her own hand – to the 2012 Celebrity Paw Auction, in order to raise funds for Cats Protection.
Source Wikipedia
Quotes from Maggie
People say it gets better but it doesn't. It just gets different, that's all.

I longed to be bright and most certainly never was. I was rather hopeless, I suspect.

Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.

I tend to head for what's amusing because a lot of things aren't happy. But usually you can find a funny side to practically anything.

I believe that I am past my prime. I had reckoned on my prime lasting till I was at least fifty.

I had been feeling a little rum. I didn't think it was anything serious because years ago I felt a lump and it was benign. I assumed this would be too. It kind of takes the wind out of your sails, and I don't know what the future holds, if anything.

I know there is something out there and like most people, I tend to believe in it more when things go bad.

I like being outside and working with the elements. The elemental aspects of it. The physicality of it.

I like the ephemeral thing about theatre, every performance is like a ghost - it's there and then it's gone.  
It's true I don't tolerate fools but then they don't tolerate me, so I am spiky. Maybe that's why I'm quite good at playing spiky elderly ladies.

My career is chequered. Then I think I got pigeon-holed in humour; Shakespeare is not my thing.  

The performances you have in your head are always much better than the performances on stage. 

There is a kind of invisible thread between the actor and the audience, and when it's there it's stunning, and there is nothing to match that.

Lady Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, Quotes

Violet, to Robert in his black tie: "Do you think I might have a drink? Oh, I'm so sorry – I thought you were a waiter."

Violet, on Sir Anthony at the altar: "He looks as if he's waiting for a beating from the headmaster."

Tom: "They turned everyone out of the castle. Lord and Lady Dromgoole, their sons and all the servants. And then they set fire to it."
Edith: "What a tragedy."
Violet: "Well, rather yes and no – that house was hideous. Of course, that is no excuse."
 Cora: "I think Granny's right."
Violet: "Can somebody write that down?"
 Violet: "Robert, people like us are never unhappily married."
Robert: "What do we do if we are?"
Violet: "Well, in those moments, a couple is 'unable to see as much of each other as they would like.'"

Isobel: "I think Cousin Robert is referring to Ethel's work as a prostitute."

Violet: ". . . Well, of course these days servants are very hard to find."

Isobel: "I think Cousin Robert is referring to Ethel's work as a prostitute."
Violet: ". . . Well, of course these days servants are very hard to find."

Bishop Desmond Tutu             
Betty White       


“Learning how to love is the goal and the purpose of spiritual life - not learning how to develop psychic powers, not learning how to bow, chant, do yoga, or even meditate, but learning to love. Love is the truth. Love is the light.”

-Lama Surya Das

‎"Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness."

-Albert Einstein

And know that Mind is the Builder. Oft things said under the breath and never given expression to in word may be as potent as though you railed for a period. For, ye are measured with that measurement in body, in mind, in spirit, that ye mete to others. ~ from Edgar Cayce reading 2751-1

From "following Atticus" Facebook page


Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Serendipitous Photo Shoot by Bob Kelly

On the afternoon of February 20, while the sun was still shining, I went out to discover some images to capture, before the big snow storm hit that night (which it did)!  As I left Ames I spotted a coyote right along highway 30, but there was no way I could pull over and grab an image in the traffic, so I smiled and went on.  About five miles to the SW I saw what looked like an eagle sitting along the edge of a cornfield.  It seemed strange because eagles do not usually do that, but as I approached I could see the carcass of a dead raccoon, thus the eagle was nearby.  He did not flinch one bit, so I stopped and grabbed a burst of images through my driver side window, as I stayed in the car
About ten minutes later I saw a second eagle perched in a tree, right beside the road, and this one also was a poser for at least three minutes, which was enough to grab this image.

 Despite the fact that the old aging barn was partially obscured by tree branches, I liked the framing effect of the old trees on either side of the image and the ruts in the driveway, that led your eye to the barn.

 This shiny and sharp looking pickup chose to park outside and NOT in the garage behind it!
 The aged wood texture of this barn and window was a "must shoot" for me.
 The old tractor is aging in place, as a sentinel to the former grain elevator, that is being torn down.
 I liked the sign for Farnhamville with the grain elevator behind it, showcasing its agricultural setting.  As I left and went back to my car I saw a twenty dollar bill caught on some weeds.  I picked it up and was rewarded for going back to get this shot!  I suspect it blew out of a car window, was later covered with snow, and just appeared with recent melting.
I was captivated by the architecural style of Holy Trinity Luthern Church in Farnhamville.  The triangles within other triangles were distinctive.

Something Good for Saturday

Everybody loves Brownies. Here are three recipes to choose from.

Caramel Brownies

1                           German Chocolate Cake mix
1     stick                Margarine, melted
1/3  cup                  Evaporated milk
1     6 or 9 oz. pkg.  Chocolate chips
1     pkg. (50) pieces   Kraft caramels
1/3  cup                    Evaporated milk
1     pkg.                  Walnuts, chopped
1   Grease pan.
2   In a large bowl, mix cake mix: cake mix, margarine, and evaporated mike.
3   Place 1/3 to 1/2 of batter in greased cake pan.
4   Bake 350°,  minutes
6   In a double boiler, melt caramels, chocolate chips, evaporated milk.
7   Pour over batter.
8   Add walnuts.
9   Place the rest of the batter on top.
10 Bake: 325°, 15 minutes.
Yield: 9" x 13"

Author: Mary Jane Rabinowitz

Creme' de Menthe Brownies

1   stick  Butter
1   cup    Sugar
1   can    Hershey's Chocolate syrup
4            Eggs
1   cup    Flour
½  cup    Nuts, chopped
1  cup   Butter
4  T     Instant Vanilla Pudding
6  T     Crème de menthe
1  cup   Confectioner's sugar
1  can   Milk chocolate frosting
1   Grease and flour pan.
2   In large bowl, cream butter and sugar.
3   Add Hershey's syrup and eggs.
4   Beat well.
5   Add: flour and nuts.
6   Bake: 350°, 25 minutes.
7   Cool completely.
9   Mix: butter, vanilla pudding, crème de menthe, and confectioners sugar.
10 Mix until very creamy and smooth.
11 Spread on brownies.
12 Refrigerate until firm. ( At least 2 hours)
13 Frost with milk chocolate frosting.
14 Keep in refrigerator
Yield: 9" x 13"

Author: Mary Jane Rabinowitz
Source: Ginny Jackson

Fudgey-Mocha-Toffee Brownies

145 calories per serving.
2        T       Instant coffee granules
¼       Cup    Hot water
¼       Cup    Butter
¼       Cup    Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2  Cups  Flour
1 1/3  Cups  Sugar
1/2  Cup  Unsweetened cocoa
1     tsp.   Baking powder
1/2  tsp.   Salt
1     tsp.   Vanilla extract
2             Eggs, large
1/4  Cup  Toffee chips
1   Grease bottom of pan.
2   In small bowl, combine: coffee granules and hot water.
3   Stir until coffee granules dissolve.
4   In microwave safe bowl, combine semi-sweet chocolate chips and butter.
5   Microwave on high one minute or until butter melts.
6   Stir until smooth.
7   In large bowl, combine: flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
8   Stir.
9   In medium bowl, combine: coffee mixture, butter mixture, vanilla extract, and eggs.
10 Stir.
11 Add coffee mixture to flour mixture.
12 Stir until just combined.
13 Spread evenly into pan.
14 Sprinkle evenly with toffee chips.
15 Bake.
16 16. Cool on wire rack.
Yield: 9" x 9" pan.
Oven Temperature: 350°F
Cooking Time: 22 minutes

Source: Ginny Jackson