Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Veg Out

As a Special Educator, I am constantly inundated with stats.... 1 in 4 kids this and 1 in 5 kids that.
Here's a fact to ponder: many needs (mainly those that fall on the Autism Spectrum) are considered to have no known origin.  There's no cause.  (Yes, I am aware of the theories.... I'm getting to that)
Yet, Autism, and other special needs,  have been called an epidemic and projections have its rate amplifying yet.

So, here's all I'm saying, either these "need epidemics" have always been this prevalent and the stigma is just thinner~ enough to where we talk about them more, or  there is a cause ~ our lifestyles!

We shovel so much poison into our children and our system from day one:  we let these screens (computers, TVs...) train up our young, we're tricked by GMO's (and of course the healthiest, purest food is most costly), and we rely more and more on texting in place of genuine social interactions .

"Get down from your soapbox, Karen," I can hear my best friend saying.

Okay, I will. But indulge me just a second longer and find out what sparked this philosophizing moment.

Today I was munching a carrot at work and one of my students innocently and sincerely asked, "What is that?"  Further conversation-- & they'd never tried a carrot (or brocolli, or green beans, or...)

So maybe its time we all Veg Out.

(photos: my eggplant, carrots-from our garden, peppers from a local farmer, and raddishes we grew.... Grow food, not lawns)

Monday, February 25, 2013

"Breakin' Up the Scenery"

Just some signs found along the way...

Now, that is quality!


... In one convenient location!

Friday, February 22, 2013

So, cross the line.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tones of Home

My mom used to tell me how when she was in high school in  Da Soo, she and her friends would sing The Animal's hit, We've Got to Get Out of This Place, as if it was written just  for them~ an anthem to anyone yearning for the lights and sounds of a city, but growing up in Hometown, America.  She told me this to empathize with the desire I (and most of my friends) had to leave the North Country for a taste of variety.  Even though I always loved the outdoors and nature, I needed out of that small town.... especially in April when there was still feet of snow on the ground. 

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to be able to find some tickets back to America's High Five (for those who are oblivious right now-- look at a US map.... which one looks like a mitten?) for a few days to see my family and take care of some things.  Since you may not be acquainted with the wonder that is Michigan, let me explain it to you... there are two peninsulas: the Lower and the Upper (or UP).  Well, I'm from the UP (I'm a Yooper girl for sure-- click here to see what that means!) which means I had a five plus hour drive after my flight. (Luckily, I have dear friends family closer, so I didn't have to drive until 4 a.m.) I guess that somewhere over the past decade, though, I've realized how much I genuinely miss many parts of home.   
I miss snow.  I love that this snow doesn't close schools or slow life down. 

I miss real  food. I love that mom bakes potatoes in tin foil.

I miss puppy kisses.  I love this new, happy pup and will always be thankful for the companionship of our big softie.

I miss the accents and people snow shoe-ing.  I miss the buzz and hum of snowmobiles and counting the sleds and as they zoom past at night, instead of counting sheep.  I miss shanty towns and knowing that no matter how great a fisherman someone is out there, my grandpa was "the real deal".

 Yup, if da UP had even one city near enough dat we could get out and go, I tink we'd move back, eh!
These are the tones of my home.  What are the tones of yours?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Just a Feeling

I'm not a vulnerable person.
Even if I'm feeling vulnerable, I'm one of those who cries only in private, deals with it in my own way, and moves on. 
Hey! I'm a Swede;  its what we do!

I don't explore to escape; I explore because its what I love and I refuse to live a life I don't love.

But, you know, I've got a lot going on right now and all I keep thinking is.... I wish I had a Winnebago and then I could go-go.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Just a Thought

Lest you think I have some sort of superiority complex, I would like to publicly admit that I whine.  I do. I complain about money, weather, bosses, politcs, the world.  But to be honest, complaining has two sides.  

There's the annoying, talk an issue to death, whiney side that we are all to familiar with, and, let's be real here, all do-- far too much.  You know the complaining I'm talking about~ the kind that we all hate but all do ad nauseum. I'll tell you what I want to complain about-- this type of complaining.
But, on the other side of the griping coin, there's the complaining that we seldom remember.  The type that leads to action and change.  This complaint is the complaint that ended slavery and stopped segregation.  This is the bellyaching that overturns dictators and seeks out justice.  I would like to learn how to complain this way. 
Here's what I'm saying.  There's far too much of the first complaint and not enough of the latter. 
When we say, "They really ought to...." or "You know what they should do....", who exactly are we referring to?  Who is this they
Maybe its just a socially acceptable way to displace our guilt and place blame on an anonymous third party while we park our cabooses and watch more TV. 
Seriously, think about it.  How often do you say (or think) that they shoulda, woulda, coulda?  And more importantly, is your bleating going to get them to do whatever it is you feel so passionately they should? 
I'm just curious.... what if we all conducted a little experiment.  What if instead of going on about the theys, we replaced they with we

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

....and You've Got a Brand New Key....

Roller Rink Date Night...
Expectation:  Stale food, blood splattered Floors, cheap music,  and creepers with yellow-tinted glasses lurking in dimly lit corners.
Reality: Mediocre snacks, multiple laughable moments (sans blood on the floor), standard music, and a sole creeper with yellow-tinted glasses lurking  in neon tinted corners.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Oh hello, there.

***Found this gem on Pinterest. She looks like a party girl, if you ask me.***

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Of Scratches & Pennies

I listen to vinyl and I don't own an I-Pod.

To me, a conglomeration of the most stylish sounds and current radio standards that are heard, but rarely listened to, just can't compare to the feeling of lying on the living room floor, soaking in the beams that sneak in through the window and the melodies that sound just a bit gritty, knowing  the record is spinning.
And, sitting at home searching the song banks for 1 hit wonders just doesn't match up to the experience of thumbing through stacks of vinyl plates, searching for the perfect addition to the household noise.  

While I get the lure of the digital soundwaves (hey, even I frequent Pandora, especially at work), its stolen something from culture and rites of passage.  Scouring neighborhoods of cities looking for true record stores, sifting through random wonders at yard sales, junk shops, and antique malls, and listening to the crackling static breaking through the speakers are intensely serene moments. 

And.... most importantly, you can't do this with an I-Pod.
((**The two photos above of face albums.... yeah, I found those on Pinterest.... Looks fun,no?))

Friday, February 1, 2013

Snow in July

...Meanwhile, in North St. Paul, Minnesota....
Just so you know, that annoying driver who dramatically swerved across four lanes to meet the exit after catching a glimpse of the world's largest snow man hiding behind the overpass was me.  I deserved your honks, your sneers, and your fascinating sign language.... but just so you know, it was worth it.