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Monday, September 30, 2013

What's wrong with today's kids?

I have worked as a supervisor at our family center for about a month and I am asking what is wrong with today's kids? Perhaps the better question is what is wrong with their parents? The younger kids are fun to be around and are responsive to learning new things. What happens to them between first and sixth grade I have no clue. Some of them turn into smart mouth brats who have no clue what the word respect means. A couple of these charming individuals will, I am sure, be featured on the front page of our local paper in the not too distant future, and not in a good way. They are so full of negative energy it is just plain scary. I have had a good deal of experience with children of all ages through the years and raised three of my own, but I have never had to deal with kids like this. I wouldn't want to be a school teacher today for any amount of money. I had a parent who witnessed the behavior of one of my charges last week. Her response was, "If my daughter ever talks to you that way I want you to call me!" Thank goodness there is at least one parent in the group who cares how her child acts! Apparently this is an experience I am supposed to have or I wouldn't be having it, besides I need the money.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Talented expression

I love promoting others who express themselves through a gift that I do not have. There are many new art forms out there that absolutely amaze me. Lately I have been seeing driftwood transformed into magical pieces of art. Below is a beautiful example found on Facebook and created by James Doran-Webb. Another art form that has been popping its head up lately is 3D art, created on any surface paintable. The example below recently caught my attention. Wow to be so talented!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Repair or replace that is the question

For the second time in a very short span I have had unusual electrical problems in my house. I was forced to decide to repair or replace the cause of the problems. Keep in mind that my house was manufactured in 1976. Also there are two things I don't mess with and they are electricity and gas. I figure they both have much more power than I do. The first little problem came when I flipped the light switch in a bathroom and nothing happened. I found it strange that a night light plugged into the outlet worked fine. Following the instructions of a willing repair person, led me to purchase a new switch. ...and then there was light! My second experience came yesterday when I attempted to turn on the ceiling light in my kitchen. The bulb literally exploded. I immediately turned off the switch. After removing the remains of the bulb I tried to dislodge its metal top from the fixture with needle nosed pliers. The entire thing had melted, making the job impossible. I have had light bulbs pop before, but they have never been a fire hazard. Because this same light fixture had in the recent past, water in it when my ceiling got wet from excess snow on my roof, I decided it made more sense to replace the fixture rather than repair it. There are times when things, including relationships have moved past their expiration date and fixing them is no longer a reasonable path to follow. It seems lessons come in all shapes and sizes when we pay attention.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Practicing to be a squirrel

Over the weekend I went on a cooking spree with the intention of filling up my near empty freezer for the cold months to come. This morning it made me think of a squirrel- minus the fur. So far I cooked up a batch of burritos, green chile stew, chicken, beef stew, crock pot lasagna and for good measure, pumpkin muffins and an apple pie from last year's frozen apples. I have a problem with people who say they don't cook because they live alone. So what! I cook up full recipes, divide the finished product into individual portions and freeze them. It saves a whole lot of money that I might otherwise be tempted to spend eating out and less trips to the grocery store. I guess I could have, might have, been a squirrel in a previous life
Pumpkin muffins, made by mixing a 15 oz can of pumpkin with a box of dry cake mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 min.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A personal spin

This is my first full week of working as a regular part time employee of our family center. Although it is important to know the basic rules of behavior for a supervisor and the kids who are being supervised it is also important to learn to put a personal spin on the job. In a way the kids are fortunate because the four of us in charge range in age from a high school Junior to me (never mind my age!) It didn't take me long to learn to deal with the little problems that come up, based on my own life experiences. I especially enjoy interacting with the younger kids and it seems the feeling is mutual. Most of them know that my own grandson goes to the center and possibly they react to me as an extra grandmother. I don't mind and it gives me an opportunity to put my personal spin on the situation.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Art Linkletter was right

Kids do say the darndest things! As things were rounding up at Future Foundations Family Center yesterday afternoon a darling little girl, probably in the first grade, was sitting next to me in the bleachers. All of a sudden she exclaimed, "Wow this has been a really long day; first I had school and then Futures!" Although she made me laugh I clearly saw her point. Things have certainly changed since I was her age. I had a whole lot more freedom than kids have today. It was also true of my three children, of which the youngest just turned 34. The main difference is that I and they got to go home after school and pretty much do whatever we chose to do. I realize that children are very lucky to have "safe" places to go after a hard day of school, but it is a substitute for a real life caring parent. In my opinion an elementary school age child should not have the need to say- "Wow this has been a really long day!"

Friday, September 6, 2013

A new adventure

You may have noticed my absence this week. It has been due to starting a new adventure and has caused me to readjust my time. A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to become a "sub"; supervising youth at our family center when one of the regular staff is gone. The first week was two days, the second three and this week I moved up to four and my title changed from sub to regular staff. I took the place of a high school student who thought he was indispensable and could show up whenever he felt like it. Surprise! It seems my entire life has been preparing for this job. When my boys were young I did babysitting then when they entered school I spent a lot of time helping with PTA projects and did a stint as a Cub Scout Den Mother. After my daughter started school I became a permanent room mother for whatever grade she was in. Moving on up, when she was a teenager I was an Advisory Board member and Mother Advisor for the Masonic group she belonged to. A few years ago I briefly tried out my wings as a Foster Grandparent for the school system. Finally, as many of you know, for the last two summers I have coordinated a writing camp for grades 3-6 at the same family center that I am now employed at. You may have noticed that it took a long time to actually get paid for what I have spent years doing for the experience. ...And my dear mother once accused me of not having "stick-to-it-ness". Wrong!