Show and Tell

Mamacita says:  Many years ago, I was teaching Public Speaking in a small farmland high school in southern Indiana. My students’ assignment, one week, was to give an informal “how-to” presentation, a brief demonstration of something they personally knew how to do.

That week, we all learned how to crochet a chain stitch, how to do macrame, how to carve a simple wooden toy, how to change a tire, how to juggle, how to put a belt on a broken vaccuum cleaner, how to put a zipper in a skirt, how to make various color combinations of Easter egg dyes with food coloring and vinegar, and how to make homemade ice cream.

We also learned how to put a suppository up a cow’s butt, how to take a horse’s temperature with a rectal thermometer, and how to neuter a bull calf.

It was a really interesting week. I’ve never been able to look at a rubber band or a razor blade the same way since.

Why Does Martin Luther King, Jr, Merit A Holiday?

Dr. Martin Luther KingMamacita says:  Why is Martin Luther King Day a holiday in most communities?  Why does Martin Luther King, Jr. merit a holiday?

This day is a holiday because intelligent, sensitive, educated people understand that today deserves respect because a man who dedicated his entire life to peaceful means of acquiring freedom for all people fully deserves to be recognized, and there are still, shamefully, communities that do not consider this of any importance. Making it a holiday forces people to look at his name on their calendar, if nothing else.

If he had advocated violence, it would have been different. Violence does not deserve recognition. If he had advocated “something for nothing,” it would have been different. Bums do not deserve recognition.

But Dr. Martin Luther King advocated equal rights for all people, not just for whites and not just for blacks and not just for whites & blacks. He dedicated his life to gaining equal rights for EVERYONE.

And I can’t help but listen to a speaker with such beautiful grammar. His grammar enhances his message.

May we all have this same dream.

Careful, grammatically-correct language and an almost poetic speaking style will always get my attention.  It’s an assumption on my part, of course, but I associate good grammar with people who actually know what they’re talking about.  In fact, I am convinced that this is so.

Martin Luther King, Jr. definitely knew what he was talking about, and he knew HOW to present it.

====Martin Luther King, Jr., hate, let no man

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Many thanks to Norm Reeves Hyundi Superstore for creating this graphic.

Many thanks to Norm Reeves Hyundi Superstore for creating this graphic.

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Quotation Saturday: Special New Year 2019 Edition

quotation saturday, mamacita's blog, jane goodwin

Every Saturday: Quotations to feed your soul.

Mamacita says:  For this first Quotation Saturday of 2019, here are some quotes about the New Year:

1.  It depends on us.  Another year lies before us like an unwritten page, an unspent coin, an unwalked road.  What pages will be read, what treasures will be gained in exchange for time, or what we find along the way, will largely depend on us.  –Esther Baldwin York

2.  Every New Year is the direct descendant, isn’t it, of a long line of proven criminals?  –Ogden Nash

3.  I will seek elegance rather than luxury, refinement rather than fashion.  I will seek to be worthy more than respectable, wealthy and not rich.  I will study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly.  I will listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with an open heart.  I will bear all things cheerfully, do all things bravely, await occasions, and hurry never.  In a word, I will let the spiritual, unbidden, and unconscious grow up through the common.  –William Ellery Channing

4.  We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential.  –Ellen Goodman

5.  New year, same goal.  –Joe King

6.  The new year begins in a snow-storm of white vows.  –George William Curtis

7.  Happiness is too many things these days for anyone to wish it on anyone lightly.  So let’s just wish each other a bileless New Year and leave it at that.  –Judith Crist

8.  No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference.  It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left.  It is the nativity of our common Adam.  –Charles Lamb

9.  New Year’s Eve, where auld acquaintance be forgot.  Unless, of course, those tests come back positive.  –Jay Leno

10.  Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.  Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.  –Brooks Atkinson

11.  I made no resolutions for the New Year.  The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning, and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.  –Anais Nin

12.  New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.  –Mark Twain

13.  Every man regards his own life as the New Year’s Eve of time.  –Jean Paul Richter

14.  An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.  A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.  –Bill Vaughn

15.  New Year’s Resolution:  To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.  –James Agate

16.  New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.  –Hamilton Wright Mabie

17.  People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.  –Unknown

18.  New Year’s Day – Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.  Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.  –Mark Twain

19.  Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.  –Hal Borland

20.  The Old Year has gone.  Let the dead past bury its own dead.  The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time.  All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months!  –Edward Payson Powell

21.  Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.  –Oprah Winfrey

22.  We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.  –Edith Lovejoy Pierce

23.  The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year.  It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes.  Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions.  Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.  –G.K. Chesterton

24.  Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.  –Oscar Wilde

25.  Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.  –Benjamin Franklin

26.  Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits.  –Unknown

27.  Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve.  Middle age is when you’re forced to.  –Bill Vaughn

28.  The only way to spend New Year’s Eve is either quietly with friends or in a brothel.  Otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off, someone is bound to be left in tears.  –W.H. Auden

29.  It wouldn’t be New Year’s if I didn’t have regrets.  –William Thomas

30.  Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year.  Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.  –Thomas Mann

31.  One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this:  To rise above the little things.  –John Burroughs

32. From New Year’s on the outlook brightens; good humor lost in a mood of failure returns. I resolve to stop complaining.  –Leonard Bernstein

33.  Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you don’t think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. You’ll look ten years younger. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I love you’. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.  –Ann Landers

34. Surely, it is much easier to respect a man who has always had respect, than to respect a man who we know was last year no better than ourselves, and will be no better next year.  –Samuel Johnson

35.  No, life has not disappointed me. On the contrary, I find it truer, more desirable and mysterious every year ever since the day when the great liberator came to me: the idea that life could be an experiment of the seeker for knowledge and not a duty, not a calamity, not trickery.  –Friedrich Nietzche

36.  It is difficult not to believe that the next year will be better than the old one! And this illusion is not wrong. Future is always good, no matter what happens. It will always give us what we need and what we want in secret. It will always bless us with right gifts. Thus in a deeper sense our belief in the New Year cannot deceive us.  –Kersti Bergroth

37.  I feel that you are justified in looking into the future with true assurance, because you have a mode of living in which we find the joy of life and the joy of work harmoniously combined. Added to this is the spirit of ambition which pervades your very being, and seems to make the day’s work like a happy child at play. –Albert Einstein

38.  Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle.  –Eric Zorn

39.  In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want. –Old Irish toast

40.  For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. –T.S. Eliot

41.  A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other. –Unknown

42.  As you go through your week, month, and even New Year, recognize the people who have packed your parachute and enabled you to get where you are today.  –Unknown

43.  Everybody has difficult years, but a lot of times the difficult years end up being the greatest years of your whole entire life, if you survive them.  –Brittany Murphy

44.  For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice, and to make an end is to make a beginning.  –T.S. Eliot

45.  The New Year, like an Infant Heir to the whole world, was waited for, with welcomes, presents, and rejoicings.  –Charles Dickens

46.  Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.  –Ralph Waldo Emerson

47.  But can one still make resolutions when one is over forty? I live according to twenty-year-old habits.– Andre Gide

48.  A weasel comes to say “Happy New Year” to the chickens.  –Chinese proverb

49.  Life is a challenge; meet it!  Life is a dream; realize it!  Life is a game; play it!  Life is Love; enjoy it!  –Sri Sathya Sai Baba

50.  I’m always excited about the new year.  Every time I make it to another birthday, it’s a good deal.  –Bruce Kinzie

Happy New Year, my friends.

 

Merry Hogwarts Christmas To You

Christmas at the Burrow

Mamacita says:  James and Lily Potter weren’t the only parents who knew about magic, you know. I love to imagine Christmas at the Burrow, also; Molly and Arthur Weasley, poor as they were, must have given their large family a wonderland of inexpensive dreams-come-true. Hogwarts gave its students a magical Christmas experience, too, as all good teachers and schools do used to do. Authority figures owe it to children to do so.

Parents owe their children some magic.  It shouldn’t be an option.  Children need magic, and parents can give it to them with not much effort at all.

Parents are magic, you know. ALL parents can do it if they try. We have, in our fingertips and in our heads and in all those old boxes, the power to transform ordinary things into things of magic and wonder. We have the power to transform an ordinary day into a Holiday. There is more than tinsel and glass and molded Hallmark treasures in those boxes. There are memories, stored in those boxes. There is each child’s First Christmas, in those boxes. There is the Christmas we were all too sick to go to Grandma’s, so we had to stay home and entertain each other. There is an ornament from the Christmas of the Emergency Room visit. There are ornaments made of styrofoam and glue and glitter. There is the ornament someone bought in the Chicago airport, just because it caught his eye and he thought someone else might like it. There is the ornament a little girl used to lie under the tree and watch, JUST IN CASE the elves would peek out the window of it and wave at her. There is the ornament with sad eyes that a little boy worried about, year after year, and which must be hung in exactly the same spot on the tree – and low, because it’s really, really heavy. I have a Christmas angel made out of a torn purple pillow case and a toilet paper tube, and a piece of that same pillow case with “Oh come holy spit” written on it in black magic marker. It’s worth more to me than anything in Tiffany’s. Erma Bombeck had one, too; when I read about hers I felt kinship! There are ornaments from friends, and ornaments found at yard sales and flea markets. Every ornament on our tree has a history. I know where and when everything on that tree was purchased, or made, or given. A real Christmas fanatic can tell you the circumstances under which almost any ornament on that tree was obtained.

I can look at my tree and see more than just a beautiful twinkling tree. I look at my Christmas tree and I can see all the years of my family’s life, represented on the branches.

I can remember, as a child, sitting on the floor and just staring at our tree. It was almost beyond my comprehension that our house could contain such glowing wonder. It was like magic. My mother created magic, in our house. How did she do it? I still don’t know. I only know that I have tried to create that same magic in my house, for my children, and I hope I have succeeded.

Why do I work so hard, harder even than Clark Griswold, to try and create a magical Christmas? The answer is easy. “Because.”

Power. Parents have power to change a mundane day into a day of wonder. Our children’s memories depend on our willingness to use that power.

Sometimes we are so physically exhausted that it’s difficult to put out the effort. Don’t ever let yourself get caught in that trap. Once you start, it’s easy to continue.

Your children are worth the time. And so are you. Get up from that chair, get those boxes down from wherever they’re stored, and get busy. Make magic for your children.

Otherwise, they won’t know how to make magic for their own children

Another Christmas Day Has Come and Gone. . . .

Mamacita says:  . . . and so another Christmas Day has come and gone. The day after Christmas always seems sad to me. Christmas itself takes such a long time to get here; the calendar turns to fall and fall brings thoughts of winter and winter without Christmas would be exactly the horror C.S. Lewis paints it to be. We need December in all of its holy and secular incarnations. It gives us hope. Reasons to go on. As Allison Kitchell says, in the Christmas novel What Child Is This that I’ve already quoted several times but am not finished quoting yet because it’s packed so full of great ones, “December is the crown.”

Christmas takes a long time getting here, but it’s over in the wink of an eye. It’s over. 24 sixty-minute hours made up of sixty-second minutes, but the day went by so fast it made my head spin. On Christmas Day, we live in hyperspace. I could almost see the clock hands spinning around and around, and it seems as though the chimes were ringing every few minutes instead of on the hour.  It comes too fast and it’s over too soon.

It’s over, but it’s the crown.   December is the crown.

December is the crown.

December is the crown.

Einstein was right: it’s all relative. Days like today yesterday go so fast. Christmas Day has the same shelf life as any other day, but it’s always thus with the things we love most: time passes so much more quickly when we don’t want it to. If only we had the power to slow time down a bit when wonderful things are happening. . . but then, when wonderful things are happening to somebody, someone on the other side of the world, or the street, is weeping and broken-hearted. It’s all relative. And when we know something lovely is fleeting, we tend to appreciate it more.

A helping hand is never amiss.

A helping hand is never amiss.

We are all fleeting. Therefore, let us all try harder to be kind, and honest, and considerate, and helpful, slower to pass judgment, quicker to assume the best of people, more inclined to work hard, be braver, more trustworthy, and cleaner, so that anyone and everyone we encounter is encouraged by our lives. Let us all try to pay attention to each other, and bolster each other, and do our fair share and then some, and extend a helping hand whenever we possibly can. Today, it’s someone else who needs help. Tomorrow, it might be us.

Because it’s fleeting.  It’s all so very fleeting.

Let’s do the Time Warp again.

The Glorious Christmas Mess

broken candy cane, Christmas is overOne of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day.  Don’t clean it up too quickly.  — Andy Rooney

Mamacita says:  Well, it’s over. The kids are gone again, and I’m left with the Christmas mess.  I both love and hate it.

I love it because it’s the Christmas mess, and it represents family and togetherness and fun, and it’s wadded giftwrap and bits of ribbon and shredded styrofoam and SLABS of styrofoam and empty boxes and funny-shaped pieces of cardboard and candy wrappers. It’s little (and big) pieces of cellophane, invisible on the carpet unless the light is juuuuust right. One can also find those by slipping on them and nearly (or actually) falling on one’s large butt. It’s those metallic gold coin wrappers that the kids kick under the furniture. I am still finding those in midsummer.  It’s tissue paper and tags and napkins with Coke rings on them beside all the chairs in the living room.  It’s bubble wrap under the dining room table (my feet love that!) and it’s the third dishwasher load in four hours.  What a mess.  I love it.

Christmas mess

I hate it because the Christmas mess means the Christmas fun is over.

My children have left my home and gone home.  I’m not sure I will ever get used to my kids talking about “home,” and having it NOT be my house any more.

It’s always (okay, ‘usually’) hard to say goodbye to my kids. I kissed them and hugged them and told them I loved them.  I loaded them up with clean laundry and pie and leftovers.  They’ve got parties to go to later tonight.  They got in the car and drove away.

The house is very quiet and peaceful now, but that’s not how I like to live.  Quiet homes are overrated.  I’d rather have activity and laughter and chaos.

I am not ready for Christmas to be over.  Then again, I am never ready for Christmas to be over.

You surly curmudgeons who hate Christmas and can’t wait for it to end:  You ain’t right in the head.  I mean it.  There is something missing inside of you –  something vital and necessary and wonderful

You can get it back if you really want to.

And if you don’t want to, let me repeat:  You ain’t right in the head.