Nice People Wear Masks In Public

Mamacita says: Whenever I see a maskless person who KNOWS HIS RIGHTS and thinks Covid is just the flu, out in public, I instantly assume that their parents were siblings and that each time they walk maskless through the Walmart/church/post office/anyplace door, they have personally murdered at least ten innocent people. In cold, hard, uncaring, unfeeling, selfish, babyish, ignorant, elitist, blood.

On a related note, these people who refuse to wear a mask and insist on forcing their Fox News belief system on others always look like they’re chewing on a live, struggling wasp and are doing it on purpose. Mean, stolid, and stupid.

Bring it.

Forgiveness? Still Working On That.

Mamacita says: On this day four years ago, I was in the intensive care ward. A woman had run two stop signs and collided with me as a colleague and I were on our way to a faculty meeting at the college. I will never fully recover from that wreck.

I can close my eyes and see her coming at us.

I never heard a single word from this woman, not an apology, not a hope that I would recover, nothing. Silence. Her insurance company fought us every step of the way. Until we hired a lawyer, the insurance company called me several times every day, starting with the day I got home from the hospital, chewing me out for thinking I should get any kind of settlement from them or this woman. (“You are too badly injured for our budget.”) (“What kind of person are you to ask for money from this woman?”) Only the news that a lawyer had been hired stopped the calls.

Four years later, the business part of this ordeal is finally over. (Eternal thanks to my awesome lawyer.) The healing part, both physical and emotional, is still ongoing. Every time I see a cutesy commercial for her insurance company, I want to throw something at the screen. They were absolutely horrible. As for the woman who tried her best to kill us. . . . I’m glad you weren’t hurt.

On a related note: we didn’t make it to the meeting, but fortunately we weren’t elected to anything or put in charge of something as absent teachers so often are. My beloved little red car was totaled, as was any hope of an active life for me. Oh, I can get around, but it’s not a pretty sight.

I am still working on the forgiveness part of this saga.

48Kimmie Deckard Knapp, Thomas Underwood and 46 others26 Comments

Christmas Season Without Mom

Mamacita says: I used to put a 6-ft. Christmas tree (tiny, by my standards) in my office window. People who live here couldn’t really see or appreciate it (except me) but Mom told me that when she stood at her kitchen sink and washed her dishes, next door, she could see it perfectly and loved to see the twinkling lights, so I really put it there for her to see while she worked. I didn’t put a tree there this year.

Parents: Do Your Job! Make Magic!

Mamacita says: I know there are people out there whose personal beliefs hold no toleration for celebration. I’ve had students who never blew out birthday candles, or hung a stocking, or had any kind of day singled out for any reason whatsoever. I’ve been asked NOT to put a sticker or stamp or any kind of decoration on a child’s perfect paper that might make him feel special in any way. And while I have always tried to respect the beliefs of others, and while I have always tried not to criticize any family’s particular quirks, I can’t be quiet any longer. I have something to say to families who do not allow their children to celebrate anything: Shame on you.

We owe it to our children to make sure they realize there are worlds of wonder living side-by-side with the world of everyday life. Each world needs the other for proper contrast.

I can’t stress this enough: parents have the power to separate ordinary days from extraordinary days for our children, and for ourselves. Use your power, for your children’s sake and for your own. Give your children’s lives some special sparkly moments. And hurry up with it, because every day your child is one day closer to leaving you and setting up a household of his/her own.

Make sure that the few years with you are good years. Give your children memories of magic and twinkling lights, of birthday wishes and valentines and sparklers, as well as the memories of everyday life. Both are vital. Both are wonderful. Key word: both. If anyone tells you such things are wrong, don’t believe him/her. These things are very, very right. Do it even if you personally don’t approve. There’s nothing to disapprove of, and everything to embrace.

The world does not revolve around you; it revolves around none of us, but shining a little light and some smiles on each other as we make our way through life can make a big difference. You don’t have to connect it with a religion or any kind of belief system. You can do it just because it’s the end of the year and winter can be dreary and why not let it go out with a bang instead of that whiny whimper?

Holiday season is upon us. Get on it. It’s time to start.

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

Mamacita says:  This day used to be known as Armistice Day, in honor of the armistice that was signed on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”.  This year, 2020, marks the 103nd anniversary of Armistice Day.

People wear poppies on Veterans’ Day.  Do you know why?

John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields”

This term also refers to the fact that back in ancient times, a worker who was hired at the eleventh hour of a twelve-hour workday was paid the same as those who had worked all twelve hours.

After World War II, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans’ Day.  Many people do not realize that this is an international holiday, observed by many other nations as well as by the United States.

Schools do not teach students much about World War I, and I have never really understood why.  Most social studies classes, unless it’s a specialized elective, study the Civil War (Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn) and then make a giant leap over everything else so they can briefly mention World War II (Hitler was bad) and then leap again and remind students that JFK was assassinated (“I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris”) (“I am a jelly doughnut!”)  all just in time for summer vacation.  I learned most of what I know about World War I from reading L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside, and yes, it’s another Anne book; this one is mostly about Anne and Gilbert’s daughter Rilla. I cry every time I read it, even though I know what’s going to happen.  You’ll cry, too.  This book was written eighteen years before Anne of Ingleside, which takes place when the children are very young and was was sort of “inserted” into the list of Anne books, but that’s all right.  I would imagine, though, that at the time the books were being written and published, that might have been confusing to readers.  Anne of Ingleside has an ominous vision in it, that comes true in Rilla of Ingleside.  I have not been able to re-read Anne of Ingleside ever since I realized this.

On this day, let us honor the men and women who keep us safe, both past and present.

“It’s about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. It’s about making sure they have the care they need and the benefits that they’ve earned when they come home. It’s about serving all of you as well as you’ve served the United States of America. Freedom is never free.” – President Barack Obama

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” – former president Bill Clinton

I also like this one by Calvin Coolidge:  “The issues of the world must be met and met squarely. The forces of evil do not disdain preparation, they are always prepared and always preparing… The welfare of America, the cause of civilization will forever require the contribution, of some part of the life, of all our citizens, to the natural, the necessary, and the inevitable demand for the defense of the right and the truth.”

And I’ll end this post with this one, by FDR:  “When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.”

God bless America.

Back Off My Series Books!

Mamacita says: One of my majors is Children’s and Young Adult literature, and I do love my series collections, so I am telling editors everywhere to BACK OFF MY SERIES BOOKS!

Beany Malone
Nancy Drew

I will not have an updated or politically-corrected version of any book in my house; therefore, Nancy Drew drives a roadster; Judy Bolton is amazed when she sees the maid at Lois’ house; Beany Malone uses her home ec skills learned at school to keep house while her father is away on business (no mother, just teens), and feels it’s her own fault when her date bruises her shoulders; Mary Fred buys a horse without asking permission; little Brian Belford rides his bike all over Denver; Trixie Beldon pretty much runs wild (so cool); Pollyanna Whittier pretty much exists to placate her mean aunt (the aunt reforms in the movie but reverts back in

the series) Anne Shirley spanks the brat in her classroom; Emily Starr would rather stay single than marry a man she doesn’t love no matter how rich he might be; The Story Girl, Sara, makes her own rules; the kids in the Harry Potter series defy the rules and in doing so save the day; Portia and Julian pack a lunch and run wild until dark; the Melendy kids all do their own thing – alone! – in New York City! as well as together; little Oliver Melendy befriends strangers and enters their homes; Stacy Belford is nearly raped by a man twice her age who gets off with a tongue-lashing and a warning; Ben Belford helps to support his siblings and works his way through college; Dulcie Lungaarde makes all her own clothes and drops out of high school to marry a man who also quit school; Martie Malone frequently leaves his children home alone for weeks at a time; Cuffy shares a house with a man and his kids; Jennifer Reed marries a serial cheater because his parents thought marriage might calm him down; Kay Maffley’s son is deeply disturbed; Rosellen Kern is confined to a wheelchair and later crutches; both Kay and Rosellen die; Joe Collins and Kay run off and get married when they are eighteen; George

The Melendy kids

Fayne’s clothes are stolen by a bratty boy and Nancy finds her nearly naked in the bushes; Carson Drew is an attractive wealthy lawyer who has been widowed for many years but doesn’t date; Bess Marvin is fat; George Fayne is boyish; Honey Dobbs was a thief; Lorraine Lee is a terrible snob; Lois is two-faced; Mrs. Bolton is terrified of hypnotism; Lucy Smeed eloped at seventeen with a circus sideshow man and died in childbirth; Hannah Gruen lives with a single man and his daughter and keeps house for them; Horace Bolton is described many times as a sissy and a coward, and helps himself to his sister’s money and spends it on himself; 15-year-old Judy Bolton is attacked, tied up, and left in a shack; Bert Bobbsey is wrongly accused of breaking a store window; Nancy and Ned Nickerson don’t date without a chaperone; Garnet Storm is a whore who takes advantage of Ben Belford’s kind heart; Jeannie Kinkaid decides not to pursue her search for her birth mother; Stacy’s friend Claire, homely, braces, glasses, counts on Stacy to find her escorts to dances and sports because nobody would ask her otherwise; Jill Belford acts like a boy; Rose Belford leaves her children alone at night to play the piano in a night club; Miguel Parnell drove to Denver from Mexico alone, enrolled in school under a fake name, and lives alone for months; and you know what? All of these books are the better for it. Better. The Nancy Drew books, especially, have been changed, even a lot of the names! until the characters and plots are barely recognizable. Not in my house, editors. Not in my house. The setting of a book is as important as a character; we learn history and culture from the setting. If someone doesn’t like or approve of the way a book was written, let that someone write his/her own book.

What’s next – change the movie stars on Anne Frank’s wall to more modern stars that today’s kids can identify with? That would be really stupid, wouldn’t it. Now think about that.