Kids Get Fall Break Nowadays

Not that I am any kind of geezer who complains about the “Good Old Days,” but it bothers me a little that today’s kids go to school on a totally different schedule than what I had to observe when I was in school. Around here, they start back to school the first week of August, which is more than a month earlier than when we started back the day after Labor Day, and that ends their “Summer Break.”

Then, the kids here get off two weeks for what they call “Fall Break,” then they get “Winter Break” and then “Spring Break.” Notice the pattern? They have removed references to holidays. Also, they have shortened what we called summer Vacation to just 2 months, instead of three. That is because they spread that other 4 weeks out during the year to give them longer “breaks.”

Maybe the kids like to have “Fall Break,” but what on earth do all the parents who work do with their kids being home for two weeks in October? I don’t know many employers who are going to happily let the moms stay home for two weeks, especially no one who works in retail when they are ramping up for the Christmas shopping season. There is not much to do in October – it’s too cold to go swimming or fishing and there are no festivals or fairs or anything fun to do with kids.

I think the school administrators are trying to gradually force year-round school on everyone and by sneaking in a few days here and there they are hoping that nobody notices. That annoys me greatly. I don’t agree with year-round school and I LIKE having the kids out of school for three months in the summer. And I like having time for the kids to play sports, go visit family, and just have fun being kids. What do you think about year-round school?

QOTD – A New Series for my Blog

Looking through some old papers, a little clip from an old newspaper fell out onto the desk. I noticed it was a quote that had meant a lot to me at the time,

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” Ignacio Estrada, educator and author

So, it occurred to me that I have several of these little clippings stashed around my office. I don’t have enough to do a Quote of the Day every single day, but maybe I will make this a new feature of my blog and just share the different quotes here as a QOTD as I come across them.

Which Extreme Weather Event Scares You Most?

Last year and again this year our country is experiencing a lot of extreme weather. Which extreme weather event is most likely to threaten the safety of you and your family? Is your property adequately insured and have a safe room or shelter from the most likely threats?

The tornadoes in Oklahoma should be a reminder that none of us are safe from a random act of extreme weather. About 80% of America has experienced property damage and loss of life from tornadoes, although most of the tornado activity is in the mid-west. Coastal areas are under threat of hurricanes. The desert and drought areas are under threat of wildfires. Snow covered areas threaten avalanches and mudslides. California and Alaska experience multiple earthquakes every month. And, of course, lightning kills a lot of people every year. But according to a recent news story, more people die in floods than any other weather related event.

Although my home is located near a large lake, I have not worried much about flooding because of the terrain in my neighborhood being very hilly and we are upstream from the dam. If the dam was to burst, the water would be flowing away from my neighborhood. We are more worried about damage from a tornado or straight line winds, as there are dozens of tall, heavy trees throughout the area.

But to answer my own question, which extreme weather event scares you most? My answer would be a tsunami scares me most. I hope I never have to face a wall of water a hundred feet high – or more. A lot of other extreme weather events can be avoided or prepared for. But tsunami – I don’t know how anyone can expect to survive that.

Breakfast is Important

Do you eat breakfast? Or do you start your day with a cup of coffee as you make a mad dash for work?

My mother was a huge fan of breakfast. She insisted that everyone in the family sit down in the kitchen every morning and eat a proper breakfast. In fact, she believed that sending us all off with a good breakfast was one of her most important duties as a mother. She always got up early and cooked a full breakfast for the family, even when she was sick or exhausted from whatever other events were happening in our busy lives.

I also believe that breakfast is important, but I have to admit that I do not cook a full breakfast most mornings. I MUST have my cup of coffee, but I usually also eat something like an English muffin with marmalade or a couple slices of raisin bread. Some mornings I will eat a bowl of cold cereal with fruit on top. And, in the winter, a cup of hot oatmeal is really nice.

On the weekend I am most likely to actually cook a full breakfast. My go-to weekend breakfast is a couple slices of bacon – REAL bacon, not that turkey bacon stuff – and two eggs, usually scrambled but friend is OK once in a while. I like some kind of side like potato cakes, hash browns or maybe hominy. And just about any kind of bread toasted goes great with my meal. I am allergic to orange juice, so if I drink any juice it is usually grapefruit juice or tomato juice.

What is your typical breakfast?

Settling Into a Plateau with Facebook

When I first joined Facebook, I was so excited about the platform. I started searching out people I knew personally and also asked to be added as friends of friends. Then Facebook started being a dick about not really knowing the people who you asked to be friends, so I stopped doing that. Regretfully. Because, honestly, I think that meeting new people and making new friends is what I like best about Facebook and what it is really good at. To discourage that seems nuts! Frankly, if someone else wants to make a competing Facebook and let you have different levels of “friends” to include people you have never met in person but who seem to have interesting viewpoints and lifestyles, I will be on it!

About 2 months ago, I realized that I had almost 500 friends. But a whole lot of those people were totally passive and never commented on my posts or shared anything with me. So, I started deleting people. The only ones that I kept were people who met certain criteria:

  • They don’t lie to me
  • They have never stolen from me
  • They comment occasionally when I post something they find funny or interesting
  • They want a real friend – not a fan to just kiss their butt
  • They don’t want to be friends just to pitch me something or try to sell me something
  • They don’t have to agree with me – just be respectful to me and my other friends during any heated discussions

I was able to get rid of over half of those so-called friends. And the ones who are left are much more precious to me.