Thursday, November 29, 2007
"I went to a forum which my church holds at noon once a month. Mr. Gilligan, who was an Ohio governor and has been more recently held a position on the Ohio State Board of Education, spoke on the status of education in Ohio and in particular in Cincinnati. Evidently the Ohio Supreme Court has voted 4 times that it is illegal to fund education in Ohio from the real estate taxes but the legislature has not voted to do anything about it. Gilligan is really against Charter Schools as they are not regulated and only recently have been told they must meet certain standards. One third of the 800 charter schools either have or soon will be put out of business. Also, without having to prove how they are spending the money, they are taking funding away from the public schools. It was a very interesting hour and a half forum. Gilligan has got to be in his 80s but only recently, after serving on the Ohio State Board of Ed, for 8 years, is going to step down."
I feel like I need to educate the public on exactly how wrong this man is because politicians are spreading lies just so the Dept. of Education can keep all of YOUR tax dollars!!! First, a CHARTER school is a school which has met certain standards in order to operate within a district and thereby is eligible to receive tax dollars PER THEIR OWN STUDENTS from the district in which that student lives. And only A PORTION of the tax dollars are put aside for that student. The district is still getting paid a portion of the tax dollars to educate a student WHO IS NOT THERE! Why do we NEED Charter schools?? Just take a look inside a classroom. There are many kinds of students with many different kinds of learning styles and needs. As much as I revere teachers, I have not known anyone to be able to meet all of those different needs at once and they would be the first to tell you that themselves. Especially with the state standards and No Child Left Behind (which isn't working). Charter schools provide all kinds of alternatives for those children, whether gifted, behind or atypical. Many cyber (online) homeschools have been started during the past 8 years or so. They have been evolving as this is completely new for our country. They absolutely DO have standards to follow...state standards if they receive public funding. Students are required to do the same annual tests that public students take. The schools do have to show that they are teaching the children! Otherwise the students would be declared TRUANT which is against the law. This is even more difficult for these schools because they do attract students of all different abilities...the "norm" is much different sometimes and test results can suffer from that. If the Charter school is not doing it's job or is not successful at organization, it will close. It does happen which is good. Public schools which are not successful, still stay open. Hmmmm. There are Charter Schools in Cincinnati that have been there longer than some of you have been alive! I taught at two of them! And they are still there. They are part of the Cincinnati Public School System -- so this Mr. Gilligan, who by the way is NOT a teacher and probably sent his children to a private school, which is even more "UNregulated" than Charter schools, does not know what he speaks about!!
Now YOU are an informed person! YOU should be able to choose where your child attends school for THEIR own success... not some politician who is just a mouthpiece for one of the largest lobbying unions in the United States!!! Go and be wise!!!!
But their music makes me feel so good.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Then I found out that one of my own friends, not real close but I have spent lots of time with her over the four years we've lived in Lancaster, just died suddenly of a heart attack on Tuesday evening. She left her husband and two beautiful daughters (middle school ages). It just breaks my heart! I took Ellie out for a walk and that is where we spent time together-- walking the path behind our home-- and I just cried. Maybe it's the age I am now, that these things might happen more often. It isn't easy to think about. Heart health is something that women need to pay closer attention to!!! I will miss Cathy and there seems to be a void in my world now...
The sun is shining today... it is a beautiful day. I guess those of us who are still here need to pick up and go on. And keep appreciating all the beautiful things that are still in our lives.
*** Cheer up with me: click on this link to hear what my daughter and I are loving to listen to lately: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8Z-DIAthbM
*** Jenn Docherty is blogging again!!! And I've missed some since October! She's already had snow in New Jersey... check out her blog at the right on my favorites!!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
On a better note, my Fraktur lesson went really well and the kids enjoyed learning to use pen nibs and ink! Now I have to get ready for my Odyssey of the Mind team to come over for their weekly meeting. I hope I can do this... I think I'm in shock right now that everything is lost.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Today is Charles Shultz's birthday! He was born in 1922. So what would that make him? I'm too tired to do the math!! He was one of my first heros when I was in First Grade. I LOVED the Peanuts (I think you already knew that), and I credit him with my desire for drawing the perfect curved line! Just try to draw Snoopy's nose and you'll know what I mean!
Lastly, you're wondering what Fraktur is? I'm teaching about it tomorrow. This is probably my last real class because I'm handing over the teaching jobs to others in December. Fraktur is a German form of calligraphy that the immigrants brought with them to America. It is a rural art form which has it's main center here in Lancaster, PA. The Amish and Mennonites are the last group to practice it, as printing presses took over the industry. Scriveners would offer their services for birth records, baptism records, marriage certificates, book plates, etc. Teachers and ministers were actually the main artists of fraktur, as they were the most literate of their towns and teachers made very little in the days before public education, so it was a way to supplement their salaries. Fraktur was also a way to preserve the cultural heritage that Pennsylvania Germans brought from their homeland. The writing and motifs reflect the life that they led and is a large piece of American History. Only 5% of fraktur samples are in existence today due to their fragile nature. You can see samples at the Philadelphia Art Museum and the Met in NYC.
Hope your week is off to a great start!
xoxo ~ Bethany
Friday, November 23, 2007
We had a lovely time at my inlaws home for Thanksgiving...they are all the nicest people in the world! BUT... Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because I LOVE LOVE LOVE the traditional feast of foods: green bean casserole, turkey AND gravy, cranberry relish, and of course pumpkin pie! If you know Craig's parents, you know that they love to experiment. So hesitantly I went, hoping that they would at least prepare a turkey! They did, though they "didn't have time for the gravy". But they did have time to make shrimp and scallops!!! I guess maybe the Pilgrims might have served sea food at the first feast but that was the first time I had it for Thanksgiving! They remembered cranberry sauce... heavily injected with ginger!! I ate it, but I would recommend not using it in the future. There were the regular Hissong mashed potatoes, broccoli, yams and sweet potatoes (though no casserole which I need to make!), corn, and .... I was waiting for my favorite green bean casserole.... Scott made it... where was it here???? No where! (I have to make that this week too!). For dessert I always look forward to one of my very favorites: pumpkin pie with whipped cream. It's not something I ever eat outside of Thanksgiving because my family doesn't like pies very much, and I would weigh 200 lbs. if I ate it by myself regularly. Well, we had pumpkin cheesecake. Sounds good but it's NOT PUMPKIN PIE! So, now I have to find a slice of pumpkin pie somewhere. I almost bought a whole one but I recently lost weight and didn't want to revert back to not fitting in my skinny jeans again.
So next year I am thinking of offering to cook Thanksgiving dinner at our house again and that way I can have all my favorites. I did enjoy the dinner yesterday, don't get me wrong. And the conversation was very interesting... Craig's brother is trying to convince him to attend some extraordinarily expensive seminar (while I was kicking him under the table). I think it was very beneficial to them but I have furniture to buy... he can "find himself" some other time!!!
After we came home, we watched the parade that Craig taped and I saw my Snoopy float! I was a little disappointed in the lack of float coverage and the bands they only showed for a minute, before switching to Broadway performers and NBC actors. But I'm thankful for my tivo and tv, so I could see it. Today has been a very quiet day... I'm learning all about the art of Fraktur for my lesson on Tuesday and enjoying our Friday off. We went to Central Market this morning, picked up locks for breakfast, a couple salads, and a nice piece of salmon to grill tonight! Hope you're enjoying your day too :)
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I'm so thankful for all of you and I hope you have someone special to share your holiday with!
I also pray that everyone finds a table to share food with someone and to say grace with in all our cities across the country tomorrow. Our family tries to help as much as we can, whether it's our neighbor next door or the soup kitchen downtown... it always makes the holidays more special when you can give a little joy to someone else!
I realized last night I missed A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!!! And I don't even own it, go figure! Maybe there will be a repeat playing somewhere? I will be taping the parade tomorrow because we'll be driving 'over the river and through the woods' to the kids' paternal grandparents house in the morning!!! So the next time you see a Snoopy float, think of me ;)
Love to you all ~ xoxo Bethany
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
'But you're standing on my head Clara,' said Macy as they stood making a very cute but slightly heavy snowman.
Laura also has other wonderful things for sale on her etsy site like these "Christmas Puddings"!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Have a great day!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Did I ever tell you our family secret? My daughter is an elf and after lights go out at bedtime, she sneaks up to the North Pole to make toys for Christmas! She was born a week before (Dec. 17th) and she can wiggle her ears just like one!! But, shhh, don't tell anyone! I always kiss her goodnight and tell her to hurry back before the sun comes up! (My son is a leprechaun... that's the Irish "Quinn"...his middle name... in him! He was born March 20th... 3 days after St. Patrick's Day!)
Only another week until Thanksgiving and the Macy's Day Parade...hooray!!! I LOVE the parade and I love to watch for my Snoopy float! I don't know why...just a long standing tradition!
Today's Art Day went fabulously and they did enjoy the pop-up card! (and the flip books, and the Chippewa Birch Bark Canoe, etc., etc. ). I LOVE LOVE LOVE watching children make art! And one boy who has a learning disability found that he could draw well, which led to him trying other projects and he came away from the morning beaming ear to ear! He finally felt like he was good at something! That's what makes it all worthwhile!!! And I even got a couple hugs too! You know I love that!
Monday, November 12, 2007
What I'm listening to right now: Peter Gabriel's "Us" album... "Love to Be Loved", "Steam", "Kiss That Frog", etc.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I have always adopted cats all my life, but one in particular was the love of my whole family's life! Her name was Apricot. Only because that is what they called her at the Shelter, after a little apricot coloring behind her ears! My children were only in preschool and had only owned goldfish which subsequently died easily, leaving them in tears for days and myself wondering if it was a good idea to introduce pets whose life spans only lasted months! My husband and I lost our first "baby"...Molly Cat who died one month before our daughter was born, leaving me thoroughly depressed (high hormones didn't help!) and lonelier than ever. After having two babies 15 months apart, we had chosen to wait on adopting another pet... well, we didn't really have time to think about it!!! So the children finally were old enough to ask, and I took them down to the shelter. They had been around my in-law's dog when they were very little but he passed away and then they were introduced to my mom's large, bouncy lab and developed a fear of dogs in general. Dog... out for now. Cats... no problem. Or so I thought. I expected to look for and adopt the first calico I saw because I grew up with Patches, the perfect calico cat, then Eloise, the next perfect calico cat (you see the pattern). Well that calico that I did see had a note on the cage that it did not prefer children (or many others I also found out). I was going to make that cat like me ... I am the cat whisperer! But it hissed and didn't care that I was the cat whisperer. Then they pointed to the fluffy cat. The nice lady at the shelter said she had this tiger-striped cat who she knew was a sweetheart. They used her for pet therapy at retirement homes. She was young and loved people. Hmmm. Never liked the tiger stripes as much. It wasn't calico. period. But this lady insisted we look at her: Apricot. "But you can change her name of course." We took her out of the cage and into a room to get acquainted. She sniffed around and looked at us a little hesitantly but started warming up to me. It could be that she sensed my kids were a little afraid... they were backed up into the corner of the room, with their legs pulled up ontop of the bench, wondering if she was going to jump on them like the big lab did!! I immediately liked her personality, but still...she's not calico! So I told the nice lady that we'd go home and talk about it and I would come back if I thought we wanted her. Well, that doesn't go over big with kids...leaving without anything. But we did.
I told my husband that evening and he was missing having a cat too, so I decided to go get Apricot while the kids were at preschool! She was the sweetest thing. I knew she'd fit perfectly with our family. And she had already used her charms on the older people...great resume! I brought her home and later when the kids came home, they came in and I told them the news! Apricot came out to greet them and they ran and jumped on the couch, away from the floor where she was. They were terrified! (They thought she would come always caged???!) After a half an hour they realized that she just wanted to be their friend, and they warmed up to her, petted her and well, fell in love! And a miraculous thing happened. Apricot taught them to love other animals too...even dogs! When I asked them what they wanted to name her, they said, "She has a name: 'Apricot'!". So it stuck. "Apri-cat" and a host of other nicknames followed. Everyone loved her... friends and neighbors! She was the most loving cat we've ever had. I attached a photo of one of her favorite sleeping positions! Unfortunately she didn't get to be with us for as long as she should have. Someone visiting let her out the door (and it was not like her to run outside) and she was hit by a car. We were mortified. We still haven't replaced her with another cat. It's so hard. But we did adopt another pet earlier this year: Ellie, the collie! I am proud to say that I am now a cat-lover who owns a dog!!! And Apricot will always live in our hearts eternally!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Time to start the Christmas shopping and Holiday decorating!!! It would be nice to buy handmade this year when possible! And time to design the annual Hissong Christmas card too!
The last print is actually his Christmas card he sent to me. It is also a lithograph and on the back of the card he wrote, "1963 Studebaker Lark Regal Wagonaire - Lithograph 1988". I told you he liked them! One time he went to a car show during the summer break and sent me a photo of a Ferrari at a car show he went to... as if I would like that or something??!!(He and Craig would get along great!):
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
(This is me fooling around on the job at the Typesetting place I worked at with the stat camera--the only way to take a picture of yourself was to wear sunglasses and keep your eyes closed!!! What?!! I wasn't the only one there who did it!!!)
So, where were we? Yes, well if you knew Andy (and most people did) you knew that he was one of the most creative and talented guys you could ever meet! His art work amazed. (I am not scanning in his drawings...maybe another time) But I do have some things to show you that he did for me way back when...
Andy knew I loved birthday cards and always made his own for me:
He also made fun of my car!!!! He had an old Studebaker (in great condition) and he loved them. Car snob!
We also left each other notes in our printmaking drawers... both of us loved Calvin and Hobbes cartoons. Here's his own caricature of himself...I think he was trying to grow his hair longer than mine at the time!!! Kind of like that lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers!!!
One day I got this in my drawer! A story about how he ran into Edie Brickel who was in town doing a concert, and managed to wipe out on his bike in fresh concrete.... always something crazy with him!!!!
Here are two Christmas cards I got from him... he was fantastic with relief printmaking!
So if you run into a guy who loves to laugh, calls himself M. Andrew, who is sickingly talented, listens to They Might Be Giants and dances ANYWHERE, and has an Art Ed degree from DAAP, Univ. of Cincinnati... let me know!!! I would love to find him and say, "hi" again! In the meantime, I'll continue to sleuth and maybe he'll turn up where we least expect him!
To Be Continued...
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
She is a cheerful sprite.
She lives in fields where wild flowers and poppies grow.
She is only seen during the first snow of winter.
She likes to wear red petals in her skirt. She has delicate green wings like a cicada.
Find your fairy name!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
These were the shadow puppets that were made of thin plexiglass...
And the last birthday thing I want to share with you is the sweetest gift from my friend Becky-- she needle-pointed this beautiful sewing pouch for me!!! She hid "Happy 41" in it too ;). You're the best Becky!!!!
You might notice that my new Michael Buble cd is in this picture too!!! Dad got it for me!!
I'll leave you with these wonderful lyrics as this is what I've been listening to all day:
You're a falling star
You're the getaway car
You're the line in the sand when I go too far
You're the swimming pool on an August day
You're the perfect thing to say
And you play it coy
But it's kind of cute
When you smile at me, you know exactly what you do
Baby, don't pretend that you don't know it's true
'Cause you can see it when I look at you
And in this crazy life
And through these crazy times
It's you, it's you
You make me sing
Your every line
Your every word
You're a carousel
You're a wishing well
And you light me up when you ring my bell
You're a mystery
You're from outerspace
You're every minute of my every day
And I can't believe that I'm your man
And I get to kiss ya baby just because I can
Whatever comes our way
We'll see it through
'Cause you know that's what our love can do
'Cause in this crazy life
And through these crazy times
It's you, it's you
Ya make me sing
Your every line
Your every word